The Truth Will Set You Free

Larry came down the stairs still rubbing a towel over his damp hair. The quick shower had felt good. He had donned his casual clothes and no longer smelled like garbage. His tux, on the other hand, couldn't be saved..

Balki and Mary Anne, the happily married couple as of three hours, were standing beside the door next to a pile of suitcases, the majority of which were Mary Anne's. The newlyweds were all packed and ready for their honeymoon on Mypos.

Jennifer and Mary Anne were talking excitedly. Balki stood by and just listened, which Larry thought was rather odd behavior for his overly talkative cousin.

"They're all ready to go." Jennifer announced as her husband approached.

"This is going to be so much fun!" Mary Anne squeaked.

"Here, let me help you with those." Larry offered, reaching down for one of the suitcases, but found he could barely lift it. The weight nearly dislocated his shoulder. "What's in here!?"

"Be careful with that!" Mary Anne warned worriedly. "My makeup is in there."

Half an hour later all the luggage was out of the house and Larry, Balki and Mary Anne stood just inside the door watching Jennifer rearrange everything. She had all the bags back out and was attempting to put them back in the car in an order that 'made sense'.

Balki turned to his new bride and gave her a gentle kiss on the cheek. "Mary Anne, do you mind helping Jennifer. I need to talk to Cousin Larry for a moment."

She thought about it for a second than smiled indulgently. "Well, okay. But don't be long."

"I'll be counting the seconds, my little lamb kabob."

With that assurance she skipped down the steps to join her friend.

Balki grabbed Larry's hand and led him into the kitchen.

"What are you doing?" Larry asked in growing confusion.

Balki shrugged one shoulder uncomfortably. "How...um...how's your head?"

Larry reached back, touched the back of his head and winced. "It's fine." He lied. The place where Balki had bashed the pot over his head still smarted.

"Sorry about that."

Larry dismissed it with a wave of his hand. "You didn't drag me all the way back here to ask about the bump on my head did you?"

"No." Balki bowed his head and stared at his shoes for a long time. "Cousin, I...I feel awful."

Larry's eyebrows raised. "Well it's a little late to get cold feet now."

"No. My feet are fine."

He placed a friendly hand on the newlywed's shoulder. "That's not what I meant. Don't worry, Balki. Mary Anne is a wonderful girl. You two were made for each other."

Balki shook his head with a sad sigh. "I don't mean I feel bad about that. I mean I am ashamed of myself."

Larry donned a confused frown. "Ashamed? Why?"

"I am so sorry, cousin." Balki's large brown eyes, so full of remorse began to rim with tears.

Larry was now completely at a loss. "Sorry? For what?"

"'For what'?" Balki's jaw dropped in disbelief. "First of all I lied to you. I told you that it was the pigglwggliki's job to guard the marryage necklace when in fact he...

Larry gave Balki a lopsided grin. "I know, 'walks the groom up the aisle then does absolutely nothing."

"There were better ways to cheer you up than comming up with a big fat lie. I...I don' know what came above me."

"You were just trying to make me feel better." Larry gave s small chuckle. "And it worked for awhile."

Balki shook his head again. "But it was still wrong!" He gestured expansively in growing frustration. "And when you lose the Bitatatoutata Ratatatoulle I should have saw it as the pit opening up for me because of that lie. But what do I do?" His hands balled into fists and his voice rose an octave as if he was ready to cry. "I lose my temper at you. And over an accident!!" He brought a hand up to the bridge of his nose. "I should not have been angry with you. You don't mean to lose the Bitatatoutata Ratatatoulle. And you wouldn't have had it in the first place if I don't lie to you."

Larry was both startled and moved by the heart felt apology. He put a comforting arm around his cousin who was now trying to wipe stray tears from his face. "Balki, Balki, Balki, I'm not angry with you."

"You have every right to be."

"Well I'm not. Balki, everyone loses it sometimes. Especially when they're under stress. And your wedding is one of the most stressful times in a man's life."

"I was so worried that we wouldn't find the Bitatatoutata Ratatatoulle and the marryage would be doomed."

"And that's perfectly understandable. Like I said, stress like that can make anyone act crazy. I mean, look at me. Even I've lost my temper once or twice." He didn't have to wait for Balki to catch the understatement.

The Mypiot allowed himself a small chuckle through the still falling tears.

"You know what your problem is, Buddy?" Larry gave his best friend a brisk slap on the back. "I'm rubbing off on you."

Balki laughed harder as the tears slowed to a stop. "If..." He paused to sniff. "...if I ever start saying 'I have a plan' shoot me."

"I'll remember that. Now, I want you to walk out that door, go to Mypos and forget about everything but having a great honeymoon."

"I know we'll only be gone a short time but I'm gonna miss you, Cousin." He gave Larry a warm hug.

"No you won't." Larry said as they broke the embrace. "You'll be too busy showing your bride how to milk goats and sheer sheep."

"Oh, Cousin. You know me too well!"

"And..." Larry continued as they headed toward the front door. "...while you two are enjoying the finer things in life Jennifer and I will have the house all to ourselves." He elbowed Balki in the ribs with a you-get-my-drift look. Balki replied with a knowing laugh.

After this went on for a few seconds Balki stopped and asked: "You are getting out the big jigsaw puzzle, hoh?"

Larry stared at his cousin for a long moment, then finally said. "Yes, yes we are."