She looks at me with wide eyes, and shrieks, “What the hell happened?” There’s blood all over my left forearm, and it seeps through my fingers as I try to wipe the remnants of his brain off of me.
“He fucking moved. I go to swing, and he moved his damn head and I hit him on the shoulder. He had a knife”. I look down and see the 4 inch black folder that cost him his life. I don't fuck around with knives, because if I'm slow on stuff like that it would have been me laying there.
I look down at his motionless body, and the massive amount of blood that’s pouring from his head. This is still bad. Very bad.
As I crept up behind him, the dumb broad let him catch her looking over his shoulder. Being the perceptive type he apparently was, he must have sensed what was going on and moved at the last second, causing me to strike him in the back of the right shoulder. He must have fished a knife out of one of his pockets and slashed at my forearm just as I caught him flat against the side of the head with the pipe on my second swing.
“Christ, oh Christ, is he fucking dead?”
I look down. Lifeless isn’t the word for what he is.
“Probably. If the pipe didn’t kill the bastard, then his head hitting the pavement did.”
“Oh God, the cops, oh fuck I gotta get out of here!” She is beginning to lose it, her eyes are wide and those white fingernails are flailing.
I look at her. A knife in the back.
I leap at her, grabbing her by the throat and slamming her against the brick wall. “You fucking listen here, say a fucking word about any of this shit, and I will fucking end you. You hear me? I will kill you soon as look at you. The cops are going to come, and ask you a shitload of questions, and you’re going to tell them you have no fucking idea who hit him or what happened. If you narc me out, I will kill you. I swear to Christ.”
The fear grinds out of her eyes as I tighten my grip on her windpipe. I will blow your throat out the back of your neck. It’s the same look. She knows I mean business… Christ I hope she knows.
My mouth is an inch from her face. “You never saw me, you hear me?”
In seconds I bound around the building and am at my truck, throwing the now dripping pipe in the bed at the same time as starting the car at the same time as hitting drive. My tires sear the pavement as I pull out onto Route 80, and though I'm unsure whether to choose East or West, the exit for West is closer so that's the way I go.
The phone has been ringing incessantly all morning. He knows exactly who it is and what he wants, but is enjoying making him sweat it out a bit. I t is, one could say, his privilege to keep his old acquaintance at arm’s length for now.
He lights a cigarette, looks in the mirror, sees the reflection of an middle aged African American man whose black curly hair has stayed in exactly the same spot for quite a while, although he’s getting a bit of gray throughout his beard. Not bad for such an old fucker, he thinks, fixing his tie. He has been old for a long time, but you would never know that. He walks out of the bathroom and over to the table, picks the phone up before it rings.
“That diner on Route 3.”
“If you want.”
The phone clicks off. He smiles as he blows the smoke out and looks out his window onto New York harbor.
It's beginning to snow as he pulls into the parking lot.mo Another damn cold Jersey day. I should really move South. It truly is depressing here in the winter. He walks up the stone stairs, sees his compatriot at the table inside. He waves off the waitress as he approaches the man he has not seen in quite a while. The man is a muscular man with thick forearms, his dark brown skin covered in a blood red Hawaiian shirt with dark blue flowers cascading around the sides.
“That’s quite a shirt.”
“Sexy, ain’t it?”
They don’t shake hands as he pulls the chair out, sits down at the table while now waving the waitress over now. “Miss? Irish coffee please?”
She nods. The man looks at him. “This early?”
He shrugs. “What do I have to lose? So… what do you want? Why’d you call me here?”
“You know why.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a fresh newspaper clipping, carefully unfolds it, places it on the table and slides it across.”
“Hmmm…. Man Murdered outside Strip Club.” He puts the paper down, looks up at him. "So?"
“And what makes you think you I don’t want him?”
“He killed this guy with a fuckin pipe. That’s some brutal shit.”
“It is. But you have a problem.”
“And that is?”
“That he ain’t all bad. I did my research. Purple heart, ex-cop,-”
“Awwww bullshit. You’re really gonna play that hippie ass, pussy liberal “product of his environment crap” right now?”
“It’s not crap,” he says coldly. “And yea, I’m going to. He’s not all gone yet. I don’t think he did it on purpose. And until we figure that out, until we know which way the motherfucker really goes, he’s on the table.”
“You knew I was calling about him?”
“Of course I did.”
“He could be a big asset if… you know…things were to get rough with you and me again.”
“I know that too.”
The man eyes him up and down, his eyes settling momentarily on the suit jacket. “That an Armani suit?”
“Just bought it yesterday.”
“Aww shit. When did you start getting all classy?”
“I figured… what the hell. Might be time to upgrade.”