Ava came in and slammed the large glass of water on the table. A little bit of water sloshed out and she glared at me, daring me to make a comment. Luckily for me I was just happy to see the water so I greedily lapped away at it. I made myself stop before I wanted to and I set the glass down. I looked at Ava, “The sand?”
She pulled her hand from behind her back and set that down on the table and glared at me. Remembering Emily’s words I looked into her eyes and calmly said “Thank you Ava.” She looked at me disappointedly, it was like she had needed me to be cocky so she could bash me and with a grimace she nodded and moved aside. It was amazing to me how such a slight girl could slowly become so much of a behemoth in my head. She moved like a lumbering oaf when she was angry and that helped sell it. As I watched her retreat I realigned my thoughts and once again saw the angrier twin of Emily. I felt like it was good to remember that before I began again. I turned my attention to Emily and then back to the cup of sand and my half glass of water. My throat felt parched as I looked at it, knowing that I would not be drinking it. The thought that it was my last drink in this life almost made me tear up but I had the rest of the tale to spin. I needed to make Emily understand.
“Have you met evil before?”
Emily looked at me curiously.
“I am not talking about regular people who do bad or evil things. I am not even talking about bad people who occasionally do evil things. I am talking about evil. The type of person that you know no matter what you do or say you will end up screwed? Have you met that kind of a person?”
“I sometimes wonder if Ava and I are that. A lot of our dealings end badly Ray.”
“You are not evil, Emily. Your angry sister is also not evil. That nasty scumbag you had working for you, the one I toasted, had a touch of evil, like the highlights in some douchey boy band’s hair. He wasn’t evil though, just bad and mean.”
“Your point!” Ava ordered.
“Yes, sorry. I met evil that night. That little “walk” I went on ended up being a ride out to the outskirts of Vegas. I was surrounded by hundreds of houses. They looked empty and I wondered about the economy for a moment as I looked out the window. That’s what I do when I am scared, I think about stuff that isn’t important. Anyway, the walking wall yanked me out of the car and hauled me into one of the vacant looking buildings. It was fully furnished and I was thinking about the countertops as I was dragged through the kitchen. They were white and I was relieved because they wouldn’t be chopping parts of me off in there. That was when I realized I had no idea what was happening…. No, I mean I had no idea what I did for this to be happening. I had stared and she had ignored. I did not talk to her or as far as I know stop any business transaction. I suddenly started to feel a little upset about how the night was going. That was about the time I met him.
I was suddenly in a room that was too dark and I desperately wanted to leave. This guy was just sitting there, in the dark, waiting for me. “Put him down in the chair and go” The walking wall hesitated for a second and the man let out a sound that made me nearly wet myself. It took me a second to realize he was laughing at his bouncer. “Go. He and I will both be fine.” The walking muscle looked worriedly down at me and patted my shoulder reassuringly and my bladder spasmed again. Was I seriously going to pee myself in this scary man’s house? “Um….. sir… uh… would it be… uh alright if I used the…. uh… restroom…. uh… before we begin? Um?” He leaned into a pocket of light and spoke ”Sure. It’s down the hall on the right.”His voice sounded like gravel being scraped along the road and my soul shivered at the sound of it. I hurried out holding onto myself hoping that I would make it. Luckily I did or this might be a different story…. probably there would be no story. But either way I made it to the restroom and reluctantly made it back without any problem. I was secretly hoping for a bear attack.”
“Can you cut the jokes and get to the point?” Ava sneered at me. I just looked at her for a second and nodded before continuing.
“I began this by asking of your knowledge of evil.” I picked the glass of sand up and held it in front of me. “This is an average human. There is a lot that makes up a human; some good parts and some not so good parts.” I avoid looking at Ava and continue to focus on the glass. “Most people grow up fine and usually avoid doing anything too terrible but sometimes that person doesn’t get a chance to develop into a normal human. Something comes along and changes who and what they are.” I pick up my lovely clear glistening glass of water and start to pour it in the glass. “Whatever it is, maybe it a bad person with streaks of evil or maybe it is something supernatural, but that thing invades that person. At first it doesn’t take, the evil sits on top like this water but slowly it seeps into every crevice and every tiny space despite the size. It fills this person up and it forms them into something that brings evil everywhere it goes. Most people are lucky enough to avoid it but the chosen few that feel its touch begin a string of bad luck. Which for me resulted in being here sitting in this chair trying to make you understand.”
“Seriously? You met Satan? You bullshitter!” Ava is back in my face again.
“I never said that. I just am telling you what I believe to be the truth of my predicament and if you are done spitting on me I would like to continue.” I say as calm as I can be but my curse is working on me a bit and my anger, the one that gets me in these messes, is flaring up.
Ava comes closer and I foolhardily stand up and she is on me like a wildcat. Not actually wanting to hit her, I grab her wrists as she flails at me. Unfortunately, I have ho hands left to avoid the knee. I curl up into a defensive position (AKA the fetal position) and she continues to wail on me until Emily and Jimmy can pull her off and calm her down. I stay there for a long time trying to stop the dry heaves. When the pain becomes a dull roar I slowly get up and resume my seat and see aspirin and water sitting there waiting for me. “Thank you. I am sorry for escalating that fight Ava.” I gingerly sit down to face bewildered stares. I know in their eyes I did not need to apologize but I am trying to control my stupider tendencies and that includes antagonizing a wildcat, when I don’t I apologize. At least when I feel stupid about it, I apologize. What was I going to do when I stood up? I might not think everything through but I don’t hit a woman. Of course I might when she came to kill me later.
I take the aspirin and the water down before I continue. “I sat back down in front of this man and realized my bladder was sending warning signals to me because I still wanted to pee myself. I just sat there and shivered instead. And before you ask, I wasn’t cold.” I look at Jimmy when I say it. “Anyway he just sat there and watched me shiver. He leaned from the shadows again into the lone spot of light and I began to shiver harder. His eyes scared me and I to this day can’t tell you what I saw in them but they scared me. “What’s your name kid?” The gravelly voice sent new shivers through my body. “Ray” “So Ray, you like Diamond?” I was so scared my brain failed to process that he had said a name. “No sir. I do not have any diamond and I guess I don’t think much about them.” This was greeted by silence. “You misunderstand me. I’m talking about the girl you was eye-humping out on the strip. Her name’s Diamond.” I nodded my understanding to him and stupidly said “Diamond is a nice name.” He laughed and the sound still gives me nightmares. “Are you slow, Ray?” “Slow?” “Yeah, you know. You a simple guy, Ray?” “If you mean how smart am, I then I would go probably average.” “I’m gonna have to call you a liar Ray. You sit on the strip eyeballing Diamond and you hurt my business. No one is coming near her with your simple ass sitting there staring at her. She’s my best girl. She knows how to conduct business but she can’t do that with you daydreaming about her. And before you make any assumptions she ain’t no hooker. If she were a hooker you wouldn’t have cost me nearly as much. Lucky for you the night is young and we will sit and wait for her to come and tell me how the rest of it goes. I sure hope you know where to get big money Ray.”
I started to stutter. “But.. but..” “Save it kid. You never mattered to me before today but now you’re mine. You will make my money back or you will never leave here alive” After he said that he sat back out of the light and I could feel him watching me as I sweated and shivered.