It’s the middle of the night. Everyone is asleep. Only one person owls* in a small room overlooking the city. He slips in and out of a droning state, whispers something unintelligible, and clicks on his phone to check the time. He is a little cold, shivers in his thin, white sweater. His toes stick out from the worn shoe and his brown pants don’t do enough to keep out the cold. He awaits for the time and sits there quietly. As his wandering mind roams in the city down below, his phone rings and yanks him out of comfort. His breathing hardens and the blinding light flickers on the phone. A little prayer helps, but there isn’t enough time, he needs to answer the phone.
He picks up and a few words come out of his mouth. They are enervated before he can go further. He is confused. He has been cheated of the product he thought he had, before he could plan for anything. It is his most important deal to keep this month’s customers out of his competitors’ hands. He ends the call with a plume of smoke spouting from his head. He almost shatters his bones, pounding on the concrete with his fist. He is furious beyond his control. Late night deals are bad for business. He remembers his father saying this. It is only for the good night kisses and baby I miss you texts. Shartan has to be smooth. Shartan has to be serious.
It is the middle of the morning that he finds himself sleeping next to a cat. How he got there and how he ended up down the street is a mystery to him. Everything before his wife left him was a mystery, too, and everything else in his life is gone with her. He is left with nothing to his name, except a few couple bills and some dog insurance. He gets up from the boxes and dusts himself up. There is a guy sleeping nearby. He bothers not to hear him out or say good morning. He just passes and keeps to himself, tucking his phone in his pants and goes on his way.
By the time it is noon, he appears at the coffee shop, as promised, and finds an obscure place. Less suspicious.
He appears before long — a man in a black tux and dark, faded shades. He enters the coffee shop, a little raucous, but clears his way to the place Shartan is waiting. He introduces himself with a handshake, no words, and proceeds to sit down and passes along the package. Shartan is focused on his eyes behind the shades and he says no word as well. Pulls the package towards him and below the table afterwards. The man taps on the table and his fingers drum to signal his offer. Shartan pulls a bag of bills and the man pauses for moment and takes the bag, putting it snugly in a small suitcase. He lets him know it is nice doing business with a nod and leaves Shartan to himself
Feeling lonely and defeated, he calls his girlfriend and asks her to come to this coffee shop. In an hour she is around and starts pouring her stuff before it was his turn.
“I sold a few couple pills, nothing’s came out. I just need to sell more. Just got new stock.”
“You serious you wanna keep doing this?”
“Baby how else can we survive. You know things is tough and we can’t go through this without breaking some rules.”
“I just need you safe,” she said, with a little comforting tone.
“I’ll do what’s best to be safe, but right now we need this.”
*Owls is not really a verb nor is it a thing. Only used in place of “night owl” for dramatic effect. Also not to be confused with “owling” (please)