While we got Sammy cleaned up, he told us all about the real deal. I figured he should have no reason to lie to us about it at that point, although we were keeping close tabs on him. He said that only one person was supposed to go to make the deal; since his freedom was revoked until further notice, it was decided that I’d make the transaction. While I did so, the three of them had to wait in the car, Bill making sure Sammy didn’t try anything stupid. Caroline’s job was to observe them; if I came back and Sammy was dead, I wanted there to be one hell of a good reason.
The building the actual deal took place in was pretty nice, especially compared to the dump Sammy tried to off us in. Nothing really exciting happened; I got buzzed up and came in. The buyer was pretty sketchy looking, but he seemed pretty easy going. We basically made a bit of small talk, exchanged cases, checked to make sure we weren’t getting screwed over, and then I left. As a plus, Sammy was still alive when I got back.
We drove back to Bill’s place completely silently. Once there, we divided the money, five-hundred thousand a piece; every dollar was accounted for. There was a loud discussion about what to do with Sammy’s share and Sammy, but I felt that he still organized the deal and did a lot of work, so he deserved his share. Besides, what’s the worst thing that would happen if we let him have his money, he leaves town? As for what to do with him, I felt we should talk about it more in the future. Until the rest of us came to a decision, however, we’d be watching him.
Bill continually harassed me to come to a decision about what to do with Sammy, so I told him we’d talk about it. Today, that’s what we’re doing. We sit at the cafe, a block away from the house the opposing gang used to reside in. It’s actually a very nice place, and we have come back a few times since that excitement. As a bonus, it doesn’t seem like too many people knew about it; it’s not a bad place to come to for discussing matters like this.
“I want to kill him,” Bill tells me, straight up. “I mean, he almost killed you; this shouldn’t be such a hard decision.”
“I know,” I reply. “I’ll never be able to trust him again, but I just can’t bring myself to kill him.”
We sit in silence, sipping our drinks. I look at him; he finally says, “I have no problem killing him.”
I raise my eyebrows, “I never doubted that for a second.” I pause, “But I don’t think we should kill him; it’s not just that I can’t physically kill him, but I can’t just sit back and sentence him to death.”
We stop talking again. I glance away, observing passing cars. “What I think we should do,” I add, “is tell him to get out of town.”
I look back at him, continuing, “I mean, we can’t trust him anymore, but I can’t kill him; it’s the only thing we can do.”
He sits there, considering what I said. “Well, I guess that’s what we have to do, then,” he tells me.
Silence again; another sip of our drinks. He looks at the traffic, and then adds, “But I still think we should kill him.”
* * *
I hit the buzzer to Sammy’s apartment. We wait a few seconds, but receive no answer, so I hit the buzzer twice more; still nothing. “Hmm,” I say, “He doesn’t appear to be home.”
“Or at least he’s not answering the buzzer,” Bill adds. “I don’t like it.”
We stick around for several minutes until an old lady walks up with two large grocery bags. Bill and I walk up quickly behind her as she opens the door. “Here, let me get that for you,” I say, as I hold the door for her.
She smiles at me, “Why thank you, young man.”
Bill rushes in right after her and presses the button to the elevator, holding it open for her. She walks in and, seeing that we aren’t following, asks, “Aren’t you taking the elevator?”
Bill responds with a large smile, “No, ma’am. We’re actually on the first floor.”
“Such gentlemen,” she says as the elevator doors close.
We walk over to Sammy’s apartment, and Bill knocks on the door. We wait a few seconds, with no answer. “Try the door,” I say.
He tries it, and it opens. We walk in, yelling, “Sammy?”
We both look around, and he doesn’t seem to be in. I sit down on his couch and notice an envelope with a letter beside it. I pick up the letter and shout, “Hey, Bill. Check this out.”
He comes back into the living room and sits on the couch beside me. I read the letter aloud, “Dear Max, Caroline, and Bill. I can’t blame you for being angry with me. I have a hard time believing that greed could cause me to act the way I did, but I can’t deny that it happened. I felt an unyielding sadness every time I looked at you ever since the incident, and I could see that you never looked at me the same way either. Therefore, I felt it would be in all of our best interests if I left town forever.
“In the envelope is most of my share, minus what I used to chip in for the cost of ingredients and also minus a small amount to help me get on my feet when I start my new life. You may also notice that the remainder divides three ways very easily.
“I know I will always live with the burden of what I have done to you, but I hope that, while you will probably never forgive or forget what happened, you will believe me when I say I’m sorry. Because, that’s what I am: sorry.”
I cover my mouth. I feel like I’m either going to laugh or cry, or both. Bill says, “Well, I guess he’s gone; great minds think alike.”
“P.S.,” I continue reading, “If your name isn’t Max, Caroline, or Bill, please don’t take the money.”