Posts Tagged cigarette
Ala chose the door handle to focus on and kept her eyes there.
“Bad?” She almost whispered then waited.
He made a smooth left and kept the same speed.
“When we were asleep, my wallet was stolen.”
“What?” Her eyes darted to his face. He stayed composed. “Stolen?”
“Yes. I woke up and it was gone from my pocket.”
“How could that have happened?”
“We slept for around two hours.”
“And someone just came by and took your wallet?” She was terrified and felt her pockets, which had nothing in them to begin with.
She hadn’t felt violated before. The thought of someone she didn’t know so close, watching them, touching them while they slept made her nauseous. She took a deep breath. Her overreacted was not going to return Danno’s wallet.
“No one was around.”
“Apparently, someone was and we just didn’t see them,” Danno said.
How could someone have been following them when the trails were completely empty? She thought carefully and couldn’t remember a car or any sign that anyone had been there.
“How did they know we were asleep and not just lying there?” She said, near hysterics.
“They took a guess,” he said.
“This is too bizarre.”
“I’m sorry you’re frightened,” he said, putting the back of his hand against her cheek, comforting her, when his wallet had been stolen.
She turned and faced him, crossing one sore leg under the other.
“At least we’re okay. I mean, at least you can get a new driver’s license and cancel your credit cards. Everything is replaceable.”
She could tell he still wanted a cigarette. She got the pack from the glove box and took one out. She placed it between his lips and reached into his pocket to find the lighter. She lit it and rolled down the window.
“The thing is,” he said, puffing through his mouth. “Not everything inside is replaceable.”
“Oh,” she said. She looked out the window as the trees rushed past, making a kaleidoscope of browns and grays with light peaking through.
“There was a code card from the man I work for inside. I was supposed to go to his safe this morning to take out funds for a supplier. And, obviously, I didn’t.”
Ala scrunched up her face. She knew all of this was too good to be true. Behaving as they had brought consequences and now she wasn’t sure she would be able to help him.
“When are you supposed to pay him?”
“Tonight,” he said, tapping the cigarette on the thin glass of the window, dustings of ash flying out the car.
“Are you supposed to give him a lot of money?” She said, unsure of how to ask the question without prying.
“Not a lot, but money I don’t have on hand.”
He squinted in the rearview mirror.
“A hundred thousand.”
Her eyes flew wide open.
“Well, surely you can call your boss and tell him what happened.”
He smiled and looked at her out of the corner of his eye.
“He’s out of town for awhile.”
“The supplier can’t wait?”
“I’m afraid not. I’ll think of something.”
That wasn’t enough. She would be ill with guilt if she didn’t help him with this. It was her fault for being desperate this morning instead of letting him carry on with his day.
She thought of the measly ten thousand she would be getting for doing a lousy job of protecting Emmanuel’s house. He had trusted her and she managed to break the biggest rule on the first day. She thought of all of his careful instructions. A solution arose and punched her with adrenaline. She instantly felt better. Better than she had felt since she could remember.
“I know where you could borrow the money from,” she said with shining eyes.
She could hear before she could see. The sound of waves, but softer and more tangible, like paper being crumbled very slowly. She turned her head to the right and felt the ache from sleeping in an odd position. She turned her head all the way to the left to try and nullify the pain, which never worked. Then she opened her eyes. The sound was the trees, the leaves rather, rustling and blowing while clinging to the branches. The sky was still bright, meaning she couldn’t have slept for that long, in less this was a different day all together.
She rolled over to her side and pushed up to sit. She spotted Danno. He was sitting on one of the slate rocks a few yards away, talking on his cell phone. His pants were still rolled up from the climb and his face had gotten color from being in the sun several hours. She wanted to kiss him. She got to her feet and hobbled over, still weak from the climb and lack of water.
As she approached, Ala saw him pull the phone away from his ear and hold it so that the receiver was directly in front of his mouth. Then he said something very loudly, but the wind made his words inaudible to her. He tapped a button and put the phone back into his pocket. He smoothed back his hair and turned toward her.
A thin smile appeared and he stepped off the rock and met her halfway.
“You were out cold.”
“I know. I was so beat from the climb.”
“I’m sorry,” he said, taking her hand. “I thought it would be a nice way to spend the day.”
“Oh, it was, really,” she said, the fear creeping back that he may be looking for a way to leave her.
“Should we head back?”
This time they walked the outer perimeter of the hill, which was more of a downward ramp, to take their time. Ala could not imagine climbing back down in one piece.
She almost began to cry when the car came into view. She wanted to run, but didn’t risk it, because the boat shoes were sure to fall apart with any added impact.
They got in and Danno turned the air conditioning all the way up. He opened the glove box and took out a pack of cigarette’s that said Shepheard’s Hotel on the gold foil on the front of the pack. He pulled a shiny lighter from his pocket and lit one while it dangled sideways from his lips.
Ala hated smoking more than anything she could think of at that moment. She pushed the button to roll down her window. He turned the air conditioning off.
“I didn’t know you smoked,” she said, trying to sound casual, while also trying to evaluate whether or not the smoking was something she could live with. As if he had asked her to marry him.
“Does it bother you?” He asked, looking straight ahead.
“A little, yes,” Ala said.
She watched his face for a reaction. All she could see were the tiny lines in the crevices of his eyelids raising slightly. He opened the window and tossed the cigarette out. Ala rolled her window up. He turned the air back on.
“What if I told you that I only smoke when something bad happens?” He said, keeping his eyes on the road.