Day 6) Friendship : #CWC2:

Write about being a friend with a criminal

The clock was ticking towards eleven when the door knocked. I was washing my dishes, eyes half closed, head eager to hit the pillow. A second knock followed, more urgent and more forceful. I quickly dried my hands and threw the towel over the counter before striding towards the door.

“Sam?” I whispered loudly as I opened the door, looking behind him for any sign of a follower. “The fuck are you doing here?”

“I need to get in Alex.” his pleas was slightly more menacing than he wanted it to be. I looked down and noticed his clutch on a green duffel bag, and I knew trouble has arrived.

I slammed the door after shoving him inside, locking the door’s several locks firmly. He dropped the bag near the coach and sat down, huffing and puffing. As I approached, I noticed the nervous trembling in his leg, the way his eyes twitched; he was planning his next move. I stood there, arms crossed and stared at him.

“Look,” he stole a quick glance at me before looking away “don’t look at me like that man. I had no one else to trust”

“Fuck a trust Sam. I thought I made it clear that I don’t want anything to do with your night shift job

“I know man, I know. I’m sorry but I messed up this time alright?”

I took a deep breath to charge a second barrage of goading, then decided against it. I was tired, and more fighting won’t help me. My sigh of frustration carried the message, and I noticed the ashamed expression on his face. A small trip to the fridge to grab two beers later, I offered him one and took a seat on my private rocky chair.

“Okay…Fine, okay. So tell me. What is this time? Hmh?” I pressed impatiently.

“Right.” his features softened a little, taking a moment to open his can “This was supposed to be a small hit and run yeah?” He fell silent, rolled his eyes to my sarcastic head nod. It wasn’t the first time anyway, so he took no real offense. “Point is, I stole from the wrong people. And now they want my head.” he gulped down his beer, downing bitterness like it was a cure to his disease.

“How bad is it?” I leaned forward, passing over the list of names not to be crossed in my head.

“It was a small card game set up. Few bills around that should be 20’s, but we found the thousands.” My eyes widened, embracing for the numbers. I wasn’t read. “Got me a good few hundred millions in this one alone” he nodded toward the duffel bag. I felt breath knocked out of me.

“T- this one?” I squeaked.

“Well my share that is. You know I work with the other two.” He leaned back, trying to disappear into the couch, rubbing his temples. “One is already dead. Michael, you remember him yeah?”

A face of a young blonde kid flashed before me as I nodded in acknowledgment. A pretty face for the trade I found, but the best at it as well. Many a lady fell for his charm before finding her arm deprived of it’s bag. He didn’t hunt alone. So I looked Sam in the eyes, the question obvious.

“His girl is halfway towards the border.”

“Does she know?”

“You think I had the fucking time? We all split like we always do.”

“Then how did you know?”

“They called me. My phone rang, and it was his number. I was ready to scream about the policy of keeping radio silent until we’re safe.”

“Jesus Christ.” I shook my head “Yeah but that answers how much, not from whom.”

“Its- its the mayor’s”

“The what?” I asked unconsciously.

“I know right? Who knew the god damn mayor would be have a betting poker den huh?”

“The mayor?” I repeated.

“Yes Alex, fuck man. Yes the person that runs the city, snap out of it. I’m supposed to be starstruck, not you.” he sighed, letting his head relax and stared at the ceiling. “And yeah, you’re wondering: that’s still a lot of money for one person, even if it’s the mayor. So,” he gestured with his hand dramatically “you could only image what kind of people would find a seat at his table. Heads of multi-billionaire companies and CEOs of mega-corporations. So,” a humorless laugh escaped him “I have the mobs, the police and everyone with power hunting my ass.”

“Wow.” I stood up and began to pace the room. “And throughout this adventure. couldn’t you, like, consider: well shit, this is way over our heads and we should bounce?”

“It was too late for that man. The moment we pulled up our guns, it was too late.”

“You can’t tell me so many important people didn’t have guards like ants on a candy?”

“I’m guess they wanted to keep it a safe zone. A gentlemen summit or some shit. But that’s the thing. They did hire some protection. Three other guys. But it was the recruiter that gave us the intel. We didn’t know who we were stealing from, but the contract said the game would be easy in and out. And it was. By the time Michael put the two inside the control’s room out, neutralizing the last one was easy. Michael’s girl knew how to have fun on duty. Point is, didn’t know who it was until we busted through the doors, masks down, guns up.”

“You still could have pulled out, damn it!” I shouted, before realizing that getting attention from neighbors would be a bad idea. “Call them, and give them back the money. Now.”

“It’s not that easy Al! They already shot Michael and promised to ditch me with his corpse by the end of the night man. It’s not about getting the money, its about sending a message at this point.”

A breath of despair dawned on me as I opened the fridge, grabbing the case of remaining beers.

“Okay, so you said you wore masks right?”

“Yes”

“So how would they find out about you?”

“I don’t know man! The recruiter maybe? He either sold us out, or Michael gave in to torture before he died. I can’t be sure of it, but I can’t take the risk. I need to disappear! My identity needs to die tonight!”

“And you still thought, it would be a good idea to bring that much heat to my apartment?”

“Because I knew I could count on you”

“I’m going to give them a call. I don’t know if they’ll listen, but I’ll try to do negotiate a deal. Maybe trade Michael’s girl for your life and money. Only you can draw her out, so they can either risk that much money escaping, and killing only one. Or they can get all their money back and spare you. If I was a betting man, I’d take the second”

“Or, as a mayor, the bitch won’t get past the borders, will she?” he said in a voice of defeat “If I was a criminal, and I am by the way… I’d have all my money + 3 corpses instead. Winners gets all. No Alex, I need to leave and never look back.”

“If you think she can’t leave the borders, what makes you think you can?”

“Because you’re going to drive me out.” the tears in his eyes, the plea in his throat was chocked by an unmistakable test of trust.

“You’re out of your fucking mind.”

I knew this man from a young age. We grew up together, and even though life took us down different roads, he had my back as I did his. I knew what he did was wrong. But I also knew the demons that haunt him. The expensive sickness that plagues his mother back in their homeland. If I can sell him out now, I would put him out of his misery. Bury his burden along with his past. I would be doing him and her a favor. He knew the road he took was dangerous. It’s time to face the music.

My thoughts raced in my head as I stood near my nightstand. Peering down at my handgun. Make it quick, and he wouldn’t see it coming. Give the mayor a call, and give him back the money and the corpse he promised to have. Although, would he believe me? Or would he think I was the thief, and killed a friend in order to bail out?

I locked my gun, grabbed my keys and went back.

The lifeless bag thumped in the back of my trunk as I passed over a street bump. The night lamps were few and far between, lighting my way towards my destination. I stared one more time towards my gun, then back to the road, and sighed.

“I’ll find a way to pay for this Alex” he muttered, staring out the window one last time before hiding beneath the seats.

“Yeah,” I replied silently, staring at the borders further ahead “I needed a vacation anyway.”

Aka: Alexander Borgia. Writer of Kastan’s Champion: a fantasy adventure book from an upcoming series “Kirin’s Requiem”