NaNoWriMo Day 15- The Shoes of Baltimore
Jamie took this all in. He went from stealing $20 to being offered a job from one of the biggest mover and shakers in Baltimore.
But Jamie was street smart and knew that everything came at a price.
“What exactly am I going to have to do?”
“I need someone discrete. I need someone to move packages from one place to another. I need someone who knows how to keep their mouth shut. You’ll also have to be comfortable with carrying a gun. I’m not going to lie kid. Things can get messy and dangerous out there. You have to protect yourself. Most of the time, though, you aren’t going to carry a gun. If you get pinched, I need to just shut up and have as little evidence on you as possible to keep you from getting in trouble. If you get asked questions, you don’t know. You do’t know where you get he package. You don’t know where you got the gun. You don’t know who gave it to you. You know nothing.”
Jamie wasn’t in the market for a job before this meeting. And he never really did anything to the extent of what working for Trevor Gatz. He had bodies on him, meaning that he was known for killing people. Again, Trevor was good. He didn’t do the work directly. He could never be fully connected to the crimes. The local law enforcement just couldn’t get anything to stick. He ran legitimate businesses, and he paid his taxes on time. He didn’t even try to find any loopholes or make any charitable donations to try and lessen his taxes. He just paid them straight up. On paper, it looked like he cleared a little over $100,000 a year. But the rumor was he was worth millions. In fact, hundreds of millions.
So he had the money to make people disappear if he wanted to.
Jamie knew there was no getting out of it. He had to work for Trevor Gatz.
But he threw out the question anyway.
“What happens if I don’t want to?”
The men in the front seat laughed. Trevor didn’t laugh. He had a blank expression on his face.
“Well, then we’ll have to have a different conversation. And, believe me, I don’t think you’ll like what I have to say. I won’t be so generous. I don’t take kindly to people who steal from me. So you can take this opportunity, make more money then you’ve ever seen, and be in my good graces and reap the benefits that come from it. Or, you can leave this car and not work for me. In that case, these men will follow you. You won’t notice them. They’ll sneak up on you jut like my associate did earlier one night, when you least expect it. But I want you to look over your shoulders for a certain period of time. It could be a few weeks. It could be a few months. I could even leave you on the hook for a year. But eventually, one of these men will kill you. And from what I hear, anyone who is on my bad side has a hard time falling asleep. So if you want to live like that, it’s up to you. To me, it seems like the choices are pretty simple. One is good and one is bad. But, it’s up to you. I don’t like to make decisions for anyone. I can only present you with opportunities. From there, you decide your fate.”
“So we do I do from here?”
Trevor nodded approvingly. “Wise choice. I knew you were smart. From here, my associates will meet you tomorrow and set you up. You still live at home with your mother, Judith, I’m assuming?”
“Yes,” Jamie said. He knew how serious this was since he Trevor already found out who his mother was.
“How late can you stay out?”
“Till about midnight,” Jamie said.
“Okay. At 11:45 p.m., one of my associates will meet you in a car parked in this exact spot. It won’t be the Escalade. They will give you a burner. We have some privacy apps and such installed on the burner and a VPN network that makes it look like you’re placing calls and your activity is in New York. Do not use the phone to do anything other than contacting me and my associates back after you’ve been contacted first. We also have a phone for you to call when you get in trouble. Are you going to be able to keep this hidden at your home? Or would your mom care if she stumbled upon this stuff?”
“Na, I think I’m good. I can hide it just to be safe, but I don’t think she would really do anything. But yea, it should be good.”
“Be sure. We can’t have any issues, or we’d have to terminate your contract with us. And that won’t be pretty. You have to make sure that you also don’t discuss this with your friends. I might be able to bring them in eventually, but not right now. You were the only one that has shown brains that I know of. And I don’t take a bet unless there’s pretty good odds that it will turn out in my favor. Got it?”
“Yes sir,” Jamie said.
Trevor pulled out the wad. He counted out $200 and handed it to Jamie.
“Think of this as an advance kid. I think you’re going to do some good work for us. Don’t waste this trying to impress girls or buying a bunch of stupid flashy shit. Spread it out. Hold on to some of it if you ever get in trouble and need it. You never know. It’s always good to have a backup plan and protect yourself.”
Jamie took the money and put it in his pocket.
Trevor held his hand out. Jamie shook it.
“See ya around kid,” Trevor said.
“See ya,” Jamie replied.
The guy who originally had a gun to Jamie’s back opened the door.
“My associate will walk you back to your home,” Trevor said.
“Is it okay if he doesn’t? If my mom sees him, she’s going to ask a lot of questions. She might think he’s a cop and I don’t really have an excuse made up about why this guy was walking back with me to the house.”
“He can walk a safe enough distance behind you. Will that work? We just want to make sure that you get back okay.”
Jamie couldn’t tell if this was general concern of more of a threat. Did Trevor think he was going to run off after this meeting and tell the cops? He might have. Trevor was clearly protecting himself.
“Yea, I guess that’ fine,” Jamie said. He really couldn’t argue with Trevor. Even if he said no, he knew the man would still follow him. At least this way, his mother couldn’t give him crap if she was looking out the window and waiting for him to walk back.
Jamie closed the door and started making the short walk back to his place. The man followed behind him, but when Jamie looked back, it appeared he was just taking a stroll to the casual observer.
He must have done this a few times,Jamie thought to himself.
He looked up at his mother’s window before putting the key in the door to see if she peaking out at him. Her room looked dark and he didn’t see her. It was just about 11 p.m., so he was still home before the generous curfew. He would catch her looking in his room sometimes in the middle of the night. But she must be asleep now.
He put the key in the door and looked back at the main. He was walking past Jamie now, not showing any recognition of him. You would have never known that less than 30 minutes ago, he had a gun in Jamie’s back, marching him towards an iconic drug kingpin.
Jamie didn’t know if he was supposed to say anything to the man or not, so he just let himself in to his house and closed the door. He was hoping that he didn’t run into that particular crony of Trevor’s anytime soon. Even though he was just following orders, Jamie was still kind of pissed he got the drop on him and sneaked up so quietly. After being terrified, he was mad that the man pulled a gun out on him.
Jamie turned on the TV and watched some of the news before he went to sleep. He knew the media just tried to make everyone scared and depressed, and he understood why most people didn’t watch the news. But he felt that it was also just telling true stories, and it was up to the viewers to take that information and do as they please with it. They can view it as depressing, or they can know what’s really going on. What’s happening. How people are feeling. He watched that for about 20 minutes and then his eyelids felt like they weighed 1,000 pounds. On the weekends, he wouldn’t mind falling asleep on the couch with the TV on. But during the school week, he felt like he got a better nights sleep in his bed. He walked upstairs and into his rooms, taking his socks and pants off. He was almost too tired to brush his teeth, but he didn’t want that sticky stuff from the desert to sit in hours mouth all night. After brushing his teeth, he jumped into bed. He still had a lot of questions and was nervous about what working for Trevor really meant. But he was also excited to have money of his own. Maybe he could even slip some in his mom’s purse from time to time without her knowing. If she noticed it, he could just say he got a job doing odds an ends for an old lady through school. He could think of something to throw his mom off the scent of what he was really doing.