I stood there looking at her and she looked at the picture of that girl. She looked so sad like she had died already. I was just there to make sure her body followed the rest of her.
“Dude, when she walked into my studio downstairs, I promise you I only saw a kid who was interested in developing her painting style. Then we spoke and when I listened to her – we have so many things in common. I don’t know if that makes her mature or me immature. We went through some of the same rough things in our life, just in different decades – neither one of us had it easy. I knew that it wasn’t merely the love of the same artists that made our bond tighter. We both love Matisse. Yes, on occasion she would say things that would remind me of the generation gap but I was ready to work through that. After a month I knew without a doubt that she was the woman I wanted to marry.”
This woman is crazy, I hadn’t heard a damn thing she was saying that made me think what she was doing was right.
“So what the fuck happened? Why you didn’t say nothing?” I asked.
“Kids have it a lot easier today than we did. My tuition if my father found out, my friends and family, all of it would have been gone. I only came out three years ago, Dude. I’ve loved women since I was five and I’ve only just started to really be me at 40. I don’t know what to do. What would I tell her? What would I say to her, ‘teach me’? And what do I do when she, being so free and open, wants to go to parties? What happens when she shows up with me, a pathetic old lady?”
“Why couldn’t she teach you? Just because you’re older don’t mean you know everything. And when you go to a party she tells her friends she ain’t getting beat up and she’s happy as hell! Then you are going to have to fight them young girls off you because they are going to want what she got!”
“You’re pretty. You can get plenty of girls.” I couldn’t believe I was hearing me say this. Psycho is going to kick my ass.
“You mean dating? I’ve done a little of that – disastrous. I’ve been looking for women to be her and it hasn’t worked out. I want to wake up and it’s her voice I hear saying good morning to me; it’s her scent I smell in my sheets when she’s not there. I know what I want, who I want. And more than anything I want her to be happy and she is. I know I sound like an idiot, Dude. Maybe I am depressed. Maybe I’m just broken.”
“What about when she comes to visit and sees your dead body? I know she got to have a key.”
“She did. It’s the key you used to get in here. She and her girlfriend have been doing a lot more things together and she thought it best that she not have my key. She didn’t want to lose it so she gave it back. Did I tell you they travel?”
Her story was getting sadder by the sentence. Everything she said made me want to walk out of there without touching her and I was fucked up off that.
This crazy depressed woman was my first real conversation. She called me beautiful when nobody ever did in my life. And she was a great artist – how could I dead a teacher? There would be a special place in Hell, just for me, if I did that. I didn’t know what to tell her.
Niggas get depressed too don’t listen to that bullshit like we don’t, you should take those pills and maybe that would help, should I say that to her? I wanted her to wait just a little while and maybe the feeling would pass.
“What you going to do about your paintings?”
“I’m about to make my collectors some very happy people, I can tell you. Besides, I haven’t done anything new in almost a year. OK, Dude, enough of my sob story. I paid and I expect my consultation.”
“I’ll come back in a couple of days.”
“A couple of days? I paid!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll be back. I have a rep, you know. Two days and I’ll be back.”
“I’m a silly old lady to you, aren’t I?”
“I think you’re wonderful.”
“Thank you. I’m glad they sent you, Dude,” she said and I dipped out of there, quick.
Give me a couple of days; what the fuck was wrong with me? I know that movie “The Professional” like the back of my hand andLeongot fucked up because he got soft. But I felt alive like all those colors Andrea had in her paintings. If she could get over this somehow, I thought that it could change me too – my life could be different. I listened to somebody and she thought I was good enough to tell her story. I didn’t even get the chance to tell her I was an artist too. I paint those figurines that should count for something, right?
I turned to go back to her crib and tell her that I paint those figurines but I want to learn some real shit. She’s got to miss teaching, being away from it for so long. I’m sure once she got started there’s a lot of stuff we could make together.
I ran back into the building and made it back to 5C, I still had the key. She was in her bedroom and I could hear a fast clicking sound. I knew exactly what that was and I rushed to her bedroom.
“Dude! You’re back.” She had the .32 aimed at her temple. I aimed my pistol too, right between the eyes.
“I thought you were going to give me a couple of days.”
“This is the first time I actually built up enough courage to get this far in the game.”
“Andrea, I told you I have a rep.”
“Will you forgive me?”
She was a half second slower on the trigger than I was. Mine went “pwtt” as the silencer does and hers went, “click”. I couldn’t take the chance of her finishing the job I got sent there to do.
Shortest fucking friendship I ever had – hell, my only friendship.
None of this shit matters anyway. You’ll never know how much pain she was in because I took the suicide letter with me and the .32. I grabbed one of those long ass boxes she had lying around and took some good paintings and the one of you that isn’t finished, that she had sitting in the easel. It’ll look like a robbery gone wrong, like they call it on the news. And you and your girlfriend will help too. Y’all are going to tell the police that you saw a scary looking black man with big box that looked like a painting walk out her building. You’re going tell them that your girlfriend said, “Excuse me, sir,” and I grunted and kept it moving. Then you said, “Men can be so rude.”
Girls can be too, bitch.
My day in Hell will have to wait; I got a stay from God. This was a mercy killing.
I do my job, you pay me, it gets done or I die getting it done.
Tonight, I died.