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The Window

9 Years Ago

           "The Window"

      By Mark Stitz

It was late on a Friday afternoon, I had just gotten out of work, and after giving Rosie a call
I stopped in at Charlie's Grill for a cup of coffee. Normally. I'd have had a shot and a beer, but I was on the wagon for about six months, and it felt pretty good.
So I sat at my table, looking out the window, and I thought about Rosie, and her kid. Jimmy was a good boy, eleven years old and he desperately needed a father, a firm hand to guide him. I just wasn't sure that I was cut out for the job. Don't get me wrong, I loved the kid, and I sure as hell loved Rosie, I guess I was just afraid I wasn't made out of the right stuff to be a father. I suppose I was afraid of getting too close. Besides, I thought I was too young to settle down.
As these thoughts ran through my head, I watched as Maria, the waitress brought my food to my table. Her illustrious black hair was neatly tied back, as her hips sashayed back and forth, built like a Sherman tank, while her eyes and her smile lit me up like a roman candle on the Fourth of July.
"Hi Richie", she said, giving me the warmest smile I'd seen all day. I just couldn't help but stare, as her lips were like the reddest rose, and the smell of her soft perfume was mildly intoxicating, like jasmine incense in a soft summer's rain. " Hello sweetheart, thanks very much," I said to her, as I took my plate and moved it to closer to me. I smiled at her and held eye contact just a bit too long. She winked at me and I grinned, as she sashayed past me back to the kitchen. Gorgeous , I thought, but definitely trouble. And I have more than my share.

So as I waited for Rosie, I stared once more out the window, and I thought of all the days and nights I had spent in this exact spot. This was the same seat I was in a month ago, when I had bet the Lakers wouldn't cover the spread against the Knicks. Not only did they cover the spread, they blew them out! What a chump I had been thinking it was easy money, because I heard a tip from a trainer. Well, now I was in the hole five large, and Mr. Rafferty wants to get paid, and a man like him doesn't like to be kept waiting. He had been upset, and I could still hear his voice,"Richie, I like you, but you're bad for business, I don't want to have to make an example out of you." I had assured him that this was the last time, so he sent some people over to pick up the money.

"Here comes Rosie, right on time, I thought as I saw her through the window, with her curly blonde hair blowing in the breeze.I was so happy, knowing she always made me feel good in so many ways. And there was little Jimmy right beside her. Suddenly all was right in my world, I was glowing, and just as I had that thought my window exploded into a million pieces like crystals flying in every direction, as the sound of gunfire deafened my ears. I felt like I was trapped underwater, I couldn't move, as I heard Rosie screaming, and a car's tires screeching, and my damn cell phone ringing , all at once. And then I saw, little Jimmy, with his white tee shirt soaked red in blood, lying on the ground, with a confused look on his face. His eyes were wide open and he was still. My phone kept on ringing, ringing.
I managed to pick it up, unable to talk, shaking with fear, and crying. "Next time I don't wanna hafta send a message".....
I screamed and sat up in bed, shaking, crying, with my pajamas soaked with sweat. I dream this dream every night for the past year, since that afternoon. I reached over to the nightstand, turned on the light, and poured myself a glass of whiskey from the bottle and drank it down. Then I turned, and stared out the window.

© 2014 Mark Stitz