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Slow Leak

March 22, 2009

There is a particular quiet at night, when you are laying in bed alone. It’s the sort of quiet that really drives home the stupid mistakes of a day. The missed chances to fill the emptiness with the comforting sounds of a woman’s breath. Funny, how much this reminds me of it. Laying here, blood seeping through my fingers. A warm contrast to the cold .38 special in my right hand. I’m pretty sure that I am dieing, and all I can think is that I shouldn’t have snapped at her at lunch when she was worried about me. Worried I might be too old for this. Too slow. Well, the dead man across the ally would be pretty good evidence to the contrary, if I wasn’t slowly bleading out. A lucky shot, really. Snapped off as the guy fell. He was dead before he hit the ground. Not like this slow bleader I have. Shit. If I could just find the energy to stand, maybe I could find help.

But no, all I can do is sit here and think of the hurt in her eyes just before she turned to leave. That and wish for one last cigerette. A man should have the luxury of dieing with a good smoke. Especially since you can’t have a smoke anywhere else these days. My own damn office building is a no smoking zone these days. Who ever heard of a P.I. not smoking in his own office? Then, who ever heard of a P.I. getting himself shot to death over a nothing case. No big mystery. No master criminal. Just a bunch of stupid kids getting another stupid kid in over his head.

It’s getting harder to keep pressure on the wound. I try to focus my attention back to the moment and I hear sirens in the distance. Are they paramedic sirens? I might have a chance if they are. If they are even headed my way. Knowing my luck it’ll be some damn cop trying to make it to Burger King before it closes.

And there is her back, walking out the door. Another stupid mistake. Another chance, blown all to hell over my ego. “I’m sorry,” and my eyes fall closed. Nobody to hear it.

The sirens might be getting closer. It doesn’t matter anymore. Things are out of my hands now. I sigh and fall into that light reflecting off her earing just before the door closed.

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