When I opened the door I was a little surprised; the place was a loft and a lot bigger than I thought it would be. It smelled real nice, like incense was burning, Sandalwood. A Jill Scott song was playing softly in the background and I went to the door real quick to make sure I had the right place. This was it, 5C. It looked more like someone was preparing for a date and not with me.
There were canvases in a corner and one on an easel – let me guess, she’s an artist. Curiosity got the best of me so I checked out her stuff, the chick was bad. She was that dude with the bitch in the shell, bad. She painted other chicks, like portraits, and she did some real quality shit. I saw a couple of naked girls in there too, lots of colors. She had some naked black girls; I never knew black girls could be in paintings like these.
Why the fuck would this chick want to off herself? I never asked myself questions on a job and for the first time, I felt like it would be a shame for me to do this. This chick was giving me doubts. Drug dealers, pimps, gangsters, crooked cops, I had no problem running up in their house and finishing them. But her, she’s an artist. What did she do?
I went up the stairs to her bedroom and she was there. She was sitting on the corner of her bed with a nickel-plated .32 beside her. She didn’t reach for it, that’s why I was here. She held something in her hand that looked like a picture frame and I could tell she’d been crying. I had my pistol aimed right at her when she turned and saw me.
“You have such beautiful bone structure.”
I had what? This chick was confusing me and worse yet, I couldn’t pull the trigger. I didn’t put my gun away because I saw she had one, regardless if I thought she was going to use it or not.
“What’s with the heat, Lady?”
“Oh. They say I’m depressed. They give me pills that I don’t take; have you seen the side effects of these things? I got this gun for my safety because I live here alone. Every once-in-a-while when I have one of my bouts with depression I like to play a little Russian Roulette – only I never make it past putting the gun on my bed. So I decided I’d call in an expert and here you are, an expert.”
“Um, this ain’t part of company policy but, why you want to do this?”
She handed me the picture frame. It was a picture of a young, fat girl, smiling like she found a treasure of fried chicken and jelly doughnuts. Her hair was curly and she looked good-natured enough, but she didn’t look like the mark. Matter-of-fact, the mark looked like me, if God decided to make me pretty and girly looking with nice chinky eyes and long dreadlocks, instead of this buckshot I have all over my head.
“She dead or something?”
“She was a student.”
“You a pedophile?”
“No, I’m old and silly and should be playing bridge with my peers, shouldn’t I?”
I looked around the room, didn’t see no bottles, she wasn’t drinking.
“How… How old is she?”
“She’s 22. Now be a cad and ask me how old I am?” She winked at me and I didn’t know what to say.
“I’m 43. You see, silly. Do you know what’s so sad about the whole thing?”
“She hasn’t got a clue. Which isn’t that bad when I actually think about it because I’d be absolutely mortified if she did. If she could see me like this…”
“Well, I’m saying, people do this old young thing all the time now-a-days. I think you should tell her before you get a um, consultation.”
“ ‘Consultation’. Now there’s a euphemism if I’ve ever heard one.” I smiled at that one it was kind of funny.
“Apart from the fact that I’d have absolutely no idea where I’d begin with her, I think that her age appropriate girlfriend would strongly object.”
“You could start by saying that you love the bitch, then I’d take care of the girlfriend for you since you already got credit, if you know what I’m saying?”
“I told you I love her. She’s very happy with her, they travel together they go on art junkets, which is a great thing. She keeps up her painting and I get to see her every now and then. I’ve seen her in a bottomless pit of despair. Now, she’s so happy, why would I ruin that with my delusional machinations? It would be selfish of me – excuse me, what is your name?”
“I find it hard to believe that your mother named you ‘Dude’.”
“I find it hard to believe you want to die because of some young bitch.”
“Touché, Dude. I’m Andrea.”