"The thing is, he's already rich. That's what I don't get."

"I know, J," JC said for the fiftieth time. He put a hand down so Justin could pull himself up, but Justin batted it away and stayed huddled on the floor, arms wrapped around his knees. "Go to bed, okay? There's no point getting yourself more upset."

"I'm not upset, I just - I can't understand it. I mean, if he was poor or something, I could - It's not like it would make it right. It's never right, to steal and to lie and to - to trick people, but at least then it would be like, he felt like he had to. But he had, he has so much more than us, why would he have to do that?"

JC banged his head lightly against the wall. "He didn't have to, J. He wanted to, because he's a greedy bastard and that's what he does. He steals and lies and tricks people who have less than he has. What is there to understand?"

Justin looked up at him. "But he wasn't just that, that's the thing. If he was always just awful, then it wouldn't be so bad. But he wasn't - he gave us stuff, and got us the house, and he made sure my mom could come and he was - people make jokes but he was nice to me, he was really nice to me, like when I was homesick, and he didn't have to be. It's not like I would have left or something, even if he was mean, but he wasn't. He just - he liked me."

"He acted like he liked you, Justin," JC said.

"You think he didn't?" Justin bit his lip.

"Why do you care? He ripped us off and he's trying to keep ripping us off, what does it matter if he thinks you're a great kid or not?"

"I don't know," Justin said. "I just keep thinking - maybe if he could explain, maybe it was all a mistake or maybe he meant to give the money back, maybe there was something -"

"Justin," JC said. "Do you really think that?"

"No," Justin said. He pushed himself up to his feet. "I just wish I did, you know? At least then I could understand."