Love and Assassins
Chapter One – Part Three
A few minutes later, bag in hand, I mounted the stairs of my apartment building. I found as long as I concentrated on what needed to be done I was actually kind of happy, in a strangely giddy sort of way.
Passing a landing I saw a man and a woman making out against the wall outside their apartment, number 15b. The man’s neck was covered in tattoos rising nearly to his chin and traveling down below the collar of his frayed t-shirt to reappear once more on his arms. His head had maybe two days stubble on it from a shave job.
“Get a hotel room,” I said.
The man’s dark eyes found me, narrowing. However his tongue was still locked in the woman’s mouth and she didn’t seem to have any thought about giving it up just yet.
I stood there staring at them. Old bathrobe. No shower. Drug store grocery bag in hand. “It won’t work out.”
The man exited the woman’s mouth, wiping his lips on his sleeve and pushing her face away. “What?” He asked, stretching his multi-muscled arms back. Like a Swiss Army knife muscles rose and fell from all sorts of concealed slots as he advance toward me, never taking his eyes off me.
“Nothing,” I said, still standing there. “It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.”
He stood there glaring at me as I resumed my slow march up the stairs, my path to destiny clear before me.
I arrived at my door a minute later, unlocking it and looking back down the stairwell. “She’s probably blowing your best friend,” I called down.
“You mother fu-”
I slipped into my apartment, slamming the door closed and bolting it behind me as I chuckled to myself.
I walked over to the kitchenette, pulling the cream and chips out of the bag. The coffee was already done so I poured some into a cup and sat down on the sofa, lighting a cigarette and popping open a can of beer.
I laid back listening to the loud banging which had begun on the door and the threats being made against me for talking bad about the man’s bitch, as he put it. I smiled, taking slow drags from my cigarette. Strangely, when I feel down – very down, I mean – making other people feel bad just… Makes me happy.
I took a drag of my cigarette, exhaling slowly and watching as it rose up to join the small cloud forming.
“Those are going to kill you,” I heard the old man saying in my mind.
I pulled the cigarette out of my mouth, staring at it thoughtfully. “Maybe…”
Five minutes later I was siting in bed, the cup of coffee half empty beside me and five lit cigarettes strategically positioned between my lips.
“Oh, hold on.” I pulled the cigarettes out and grabbed my untouched beer. Can’t let a good thing go to waste. I gulped half of it and set it down on a box near me. Then I turned to the five lit cigarettes in my other hand, puffing lightly on each one until they were all burning brightly again and placing them back in my lips.
Okay. One, two, three…
I inhaled as deeply as I could, filling my lungs to the max with the deadly smoke as five cherries glowed bright red in the starkness of my dingy little room.
Go, go, go, go, go!
I was getting lightheaded but still I persevered, opening whole new realms in my lungs, delving into new dimensions, letting the smoke boldly go where no smoke had gone before. And…
A moment later I was hacking my lungs out, critical thoughts racing through my mind about the inventors, makers and purveyors of all cigarettes and their immediate families.
Oh my God, I think I’m dying. I’ve never hacked so hard in my life. This is fucking painful, why do they sell these fucking things?
I stamped the cigarettes out on the carpet with my slipper, making a large black mark and eyeing the pack evilly.
Taking a sip of my coffee I laid back, waiting for the little hammer-wielding man in my head to get bored and stop beating my brain to bits.
Thirty minutes later I lit another cigarette, taking a drag and letting it out, the smoke idly drifting upwards to join the hovering cloud.
“I need a plan.”