And now, at the end of all of this, I sit in a cell. A little can they like to call a toilet sits in the corner, a splinter of wood they call a bench in the other corner. I sit on the bench, staring at the wall, considering... what could I have done differently? Could I have changed the outcome?
But in the end I know I will realize there is nothing I could have changed.
"I'm trying to tell you something about my life.
Maybe give me insight between black and white.
And the best thing you've ever done for me
Is to help me take my life less seriously...
Because it's only life after all, right?"
I put my fork down on the faux Chinese plate in front of me, little floral designs spiraling around the outside, looking at the chopsticks still encased in their lovely paper covering. There might be other white people out there who think that eating with chopsticks makes their meal more "authentic" somehow, but I'll stick with the advanced technology of a fork.
Besides, Confucius never ate in a dive like this.
I stare at my greasy chicken Lo Mein and consider thoughtfully. I'm not going to be able to stomach another bite. The waitress, clothed in one of those silk "Dragon Lady" dresses, walks by, sees the look on my face, smiles and winks at me.
"Do you want any dessert?" Perfect English. A deeper smile, almost as if laughing at my inability to endure the torturous noodle dish in front of me.
"Seems not. I'll take that other dish now, though. What's the damage?"
"I'll go get your check. Box for your Lo Mein?"
"Not on your life."
Watching her walk into the back, I look around... and see the darkness in the corner move. I let my eyes quickly scan past, not wanting to call attention to myself. Looking down at the table, "FOUR HAPPINESS CHINESE CAFÉ" jumps out at me. I blink at it for a moment, and look back up to see Dragon Lady looking at me.
"Twenty Three Forty Two," she says, holding a portable card reader at me.
"Hmmm," I murmur, swiping my card through, barely noticing.
"Have a good night, sir," then, quieter, under her breath, "and take care tonight, I think you're being watched."
Smiling, I stand... time to see their next move.
Debouching into the open air, my breath floats in front of me like a cloud. Taking a deep breath, I exhale slowly, watching the air mist in front of me and slowly dissipate. The sky is a light grey, the sky lit by reflected light bouncing off the layer of clouds. No dark starry nights in the city. Carrying a little bag, I walk into the street.
I love winter nights. Sometimes, you can even believe that the air is still clean, still pure. Everything seems so still, so crisp, even in the midst of all the activity that a night in the city brings. A layer of snow lies on the sidewalk, crunching under my step, especially where no foot happens to have fallen before. Walking along, I take a corner, heading towards my destination. Which, right now, happens to be nowhere. I hear a small noise out of place behind me, and I smile. Rookies.
I look around for something... need to set this up just right, or showing this guy the error of his ways could be the last thing I ever do. Finally, I see what I'm looking for.
Taking another few steps, I walk around a corner and step into a small doorway. Pressing myself against the wall, I wait for a moment, then I see a man dressed in a black trench coat walk by, looking a little confused. He stops almost right in front of me... this is too perfect.
"You looking for someone?" Almost a whisper.
He flinches a little... not much, not bad. He looks over to me, his eyes narrowing just a bit. Not much, not bad. A rookie, but not hopeless.
"Nope, just taking a walk."
He's lying, obviously, but might as well play with it a little bit.
"I see. Yeah, this street, it's certainly breathtaking. I stop in that spot every time... the view is amazing." Stepping out into the street next to him, I look down the street. The dilapidated buildings seem to rise in front of me, a testament to decay. Only a few people are walking down the street.
"Alright. Cut it, I get your point. So, you know why I’m here." Barely audible. But you don't need the words to know what he's saying. Suddenly, he's on edge. Getting ready for something.
"Not really, why don't you tell me."
"You stole from my boss. I'm here to take it back."
"Your boss. Hmmm. Well, I don't have it any more. So, I guess you're looking in the wrong place." I start to walk towards the corner, and I feel something poke against my back... again, no need to see it to know what it is.
"You have anything you want to say before I take it out of your hide? Medicine does wonders these days, but a bullet in the bottom of your spine... well, that might be fitting revenge for what you did to us."
"Us is it? Already? Well... before you pull that trigger, you might want to take a look up, about 3 o'clock, and up about 30 degrees. Don't worry, I'm not stupid enough to make any sudden moves."
I know what he's looking at... it's why we're standing here. I know as he looks up and to the right that he sees a little camera, recording everything that happens at the intersection. Thank you Big Brother. I can hear him gasp slightly, and pull back.
"I thought so. Now, I'm not going to say very much here. But... you might want to take a look into the things your boss is doing. Think about how he pays you. And, in a few months, if you still are angry at me, well, I'm not too hard to find. And now you can walk away, before our fine friends in blue come to look for the person seen with a concealed weapon on this particular corner."
Cursing, I hear the quick, rhythmic crunching of snow get quieter and quieter. I stand until I can no longer hear it, then walk the other way.
I have a lot of Chapter 2 written, but... only complete chapters here.
Current word count: 1786/50000