The Birth of Mr. Peter James

(When one talks about “a new life,” that could mean one of two things. The first begins with conception – the other, with desperation.)

He is on the sofa, wrapped up in a trench coat, pouring himself a Scotch from the decanter on the table. He raises the glass to his lips slowly, his lips in a sneering half-smile. I find that I hate him.

“So, you’re Gray?”

“Yes. And you’re…” He takes an envelope from his coat pocket and reads the name I wrote down. “Mr. Peter James.”

“Yes, I am.”

He looks me over. “You don’t look like a Mr. James.”

“Well, I will be.”

He puts his glass down on the table and sets the envelope beside it.

“Good luck with that.”

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