Cheer up, Ahmad, she teases him. Things cant be so bad. She rolls her half-bare shoulder, lifting it as if to shrug, to show she is being playful.
Theyre not bad, he says. Im not sad, he tells her. His long body tingles under his clotheswhite shirt, narrow-legged black jeansfrom the shower after track practice.
Youre looking way serious, she tells him. You should learn to smile more.
Why? Why should I, Joryleen?
People will like you more.
I dont care about that. I dont want to be liked.
Excerpted from Terrorist by John Updike Copyright © 2006 by John Updike. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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