frank had a strange look on his face when he entered the diner. it was a little past midnight and i had been waiting for him since 11:30. my coffee cup was empty and if it hadn't been for the fact that i only had enough change in my pocket to leave a tip, i'd have left ten minutes earlier. i'd thought about stiffing the waitress five minutes earlier. but then frank showed with, like i said, that look of sick panic.
She was sitting there with that look on her face. She had obviously been waiting for a while, but after what I'd just been through, I was in no mood for a browbeating, so I preempted her saucy admonition, "Honey get your bag and we're leaving. Now." "Good God," she said with more than a little sarcasm, Those donuts look great." Donuts. Can you believe? Donuts... at a time like that. It was time for a terse rejoinder so we could escape with our lives. "Car. Now."
Doesn't he realize I always eat when I am nervous? The look on his face, and the way he ordered me to the car like I was a child, made me very nervous. I knew that whatever was up would be something I didn't want to hear. The grim set of his jaw and his lips pursed so tightly, caused my stomach to tighten. I grabbed my jacket and told him to buy me a donut and pay the tab, then I walked towards the door. Being bossy gave me the illusion of control, and I tried to ignore the way my hands were shaking as I reached for the handle without looking back.
it had gone wrong suddenly, I thought as I roughly grabbed her by the arm and dropped a crisp ATM twenty on the table. I ushered her out of the diner and into the street. so suddenly. I had been certain I could navigate the intricacies of the deal without anything like the trouble that was now bearing down on me, on the two of us, like the fabled steamroller. she started to object before catching the look in my eyes. my fear, like a greasy contagion, became hers.
What's wrong? I wanted to ask, but knew he'd tell me when he was ready. Miscalculations before had resulted in explosive responses, and I was ready to lose it myself. The donut churned distastefully in my stomach. Good thing I hadn't been in the mood for eggs.
I fumbled in my purse for some antacid, and my fingers touched the cold steel of the gun.
Hurrying her toward the car, I heard the last sound on earth I wanted to hear--the crunch-crunch of gravel from around the corner of the restaurant--over by where sonny's private entrance was. I grabbed her arm to keep her moving, reinforcing the notion through clenched teeth, "Don't run, but don't stop either."
...and another handful of almonds