“What’s your wife doin’?” said the driver.
“That’s not my…” Calvin shook his head. “I don’t know. She’ll be right back, though.”
“You better hope so, fair’s runnin.”
“She’ll be here in a sec, said she would.”
Calvin listened to “Bittersweet Symphony” on his Ipod again, and couldn’t stop replaying the kiss in his head. It’d been so long since the sweet ingredients of love had churned in his gut and been devoured by his heart. Marrying Bridgette was a blemish he’d been trying to paint around, but now that he was certain she was cheating and actively looking to kill him, brushing on a fresh canvas didn’t seem like such a condemn-able idea.
“Give her a call, buddy,” said the driver.
Calvin smeared his forehead. “Don’t know her phone number, believe it or not.”
“Ah, I see. Damn shame, thought you two looked good together. Good times end so fast.”
“You misunderstood. We’re gonna be together for the long run. Trust me.”
The driver adjusted his rear view mirror to catch a glance of Calvin, then sighed and turned away.
Calvin scoffed and shook his head. He tapped his fingers on his knee, then ripped the earbuds out and stuffed the Ipod back into his pocket. He checked the time – five minutes since she’d left. He ran a hand threw his hair, then fluttered his lips with an exhale and crossed his arms.
“Go in there and get her. Doin’ nothing for nobody, just waitin’ here,” said the driver.
Calvin groaned, then whipped out a wad of bills from his pocket. He swatted them in the driver’s hand. “Here,” he said, then stepped out.
He paced toward the club with his head on a swivel. Shea said she’d be right back, but the fact that she hadn’t returned wasn’t a huge call for alarm – chances were, she had some choice words before parting ways with Brody and leaving his dirty dick for good.
Still, Calvin felt uneasy – he was convinced Bridgette and Brody were conspiring to kill him. He could afford to look for Shea, as long as he remained surrounded by others – narcissists murdered, but weren’t the type to ruin their reputations and risk prison time.
Calvin passed by people exiting the club, then made his way through the smokers near the back entrance. He tore the door open and came face to face with Brody.
“H-h-hey, Calvin! I was just looking for you.”
Calvin dropped back a step.
Brody proceeded forward, then swung his arm around Calvin and tugged him away from the club and toward an empty alleyway. “Your wife tells me you’re quite the guitar player-”
“Eat a dick,” said Calvin, throwing Brody’s arm from his shoulders. He turned around. Brody jumped in front of him.
“Easy, guy! … what’s with the constant hard-on for me?”
“Returning yours from my wife.”
The smokers outside raised their eyebrows and moved a little closer.
“What? Nooo,” said Brody. “What kind of monster you think-”
“Kind of monster who kills. I know about the gun.”
“What gun?” said Brody, with a chuckle. “Oh, you mean this?” He reached inside the flap of his jacket, withdrew a handgun, then casually pointed it at Calvin. “I like guns, so what.”
“Put that shit away,” Calvin said.
“Easy guy! you really think I would shoot you?”
“Thought Bridgette might cheat with a douche-bag, was right about that.”
Brody smiled. The smokers watched eagerly.
“This attitude of yours is very disheartening,” said Brody.
“I’m leaving with Shea.”
Brody quit smiling. “What?”
“That’s right. You can have Bridgette, she’s all yours. I want Shea.”
Brody scratched his temple and lowered an eyebrow. “But… why?”
“Because when you acted like a pompous ass in the limo she told me to ignore you, and that’s goddamn refreshing after being told ‘stop being an idiot’ for so fucking long. Because when I got my ass kicked by some clown inside she cared more about me being alright than how stupid she looked being the wife of a loser. Because when I say it’s a perfect moment, she makes it better.”
“But Bridgette’s a ten, and they’re both blonde, so…”
Calvin scoffed. “You’re a joke. Get out of my way,” he said, trying to move past.
Brody grabbed him by the arm, then yanked him close and jammed the gun barrel into his abdomen.
Calvin glared at him. “I’m not as funny as you think,” said Brody.
“Move the gun.”
“I’ll start with the trigger.”
Calvin forced his words through gritted teeth. “What kind of idiot kills in public? Look around, we’re surrounded. They’ve got cameras recording this.”
Brody didn’t flinch.
“Why kill me?” Said Calvin. “Take Bridgette, she’s all yours. Let me and Shea walk.”
“Nobody’s trying to kill you,” said Brody.
“Ditch the gun,” said Calvin.
“You don’t give a shit, you don’t even love her.”
“Not that simple.”
“We’ll see, guy,” said Calvin. He shoved Brody then hurried toward the backdoor.
“H-h-hey, buddy!” yelled Brody. “Think you’ve had a few too many!”
Calvin reached for the door, ripped it open, then lost his feet out from under him. Brody had tackled his lower half. The door fell closed, and Calvin found himself wrestling on the pavement.
“You’re not getting back at that guy in there!” said Brody. “Already caused a scene, now you’re embarrassing both of us!”
The onlookers didn’t intervene. Calvin struggled to peel himself free from Brody, who wouldn’t stop yelling.
“I won’t let you fight him! I can’t, you’re not in your right mind!”
Calvin managed to climb on top of Brody, then swallowed up Brody’s face with his palm. “Shut the fuck up!”
“You’re drunk!” said Brody. “Get off me, you’re drunk!”
Calvin reared back then slugged Brody across the face. Blood fired out from his mouth.
“Money don’t buy fists,” Calvin said, then tried to push himself up.
Brody grabbed Calvin’s white button down, then ripped him close and hissed into his ear.
“I’m not the breadwinner bitch.”
“Shea’s loaded. Family inheritance.”
Calvin shook his head. “You’re talking out your ass-”
“Nothing to gain by killing you.”
Calvin’s heart raced. “So Shea is-”
“Dead,” said Brody, before taking a peek at his rolex. “Right about… now.” He laughed in his face, blood sputtering from his lips.
“No,” said Calvin. He shook his head, reached into Brody’s jacket, then yanked out the gun. “No!” He stood up and stormed into the club.
To be continued…
- Thomas M. Watt