Petey said, "Slow down, buddy. Take a deep breath."
John-John said, "It's over, little brother."
"Easy for you. They weren't swoopin' you," Larry was still breathing hard.
"What you ever thought bad thoughts about other kids?" Omega asked.
"You mean like the time Larry wished that Graham would fall off his bike and break his leg . . . and he did?" Cheryl asked, giving Larry a threatening look that suggested Larry ought to be tellin' the truth.
"Yep, did that." Larry fessed up fast.
"You mean like the time I saved the last piece of coconut cream pie, and you said you gave it away to poor people," Tim said.
Larry said. "Took it home and ate it at half time of a football game. Real good, too."
"Or the time you skipped church on Wednesday to go to the horse races and you lost a lot of money. And had to lie to Cheryl about it," Rick said.
"Remember that one all too well."
"Well, that's not enough to make me mad. You are still in the forgivable and lovable range," Omega said.
"What do I have to do to be outside of the forgivable and lovable range?" Tim asked.
"You're not there yet," said Omega. "I'll let you know, in neon lights of the heart."
"But it is enough for bad things to find you and make your life miserable," Petey said. "Maybe that's happened already.
"How do I get away from that?" Larry whispered and tried to stand up on legs that had lost all their feeling, except for those tingles that come from poor circulation. He was wobbly and headed every direction at once, like he was dizzy and had crazy legs.
"Gotta tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Best not to lie to God. Ever," Omega said. "People get into big trouble lying to themselves and even bigger trouble when they lie to God. You can only be sane and healthy, strong and happy, if you get a grip. You change big, bad stuff when you admit it up front and tell yourself the truth about how much it hurts you and hurts other people. Then you gotta tell me and God too."
"There's some really bad stuff out there, Larry," Petey said. "And apparently, it's following you, chasing you."
"Tell me about it," Larry said.