Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hearts of Darkness, Part XI

When David closed his apartment door behind him, he sighed. He locked it, too, as if maybe turning it would turn back everything that had happened. He was famished, so he ate. He checked his messages while eating as he cooked. He cleaned his teeth and steadied his voice before making the return calls. The story he told was that something had hit him after he left work. Not feeling well, he went right to bed, and woke up the next day, only an hour previous. He was feeling much better now. Truth was the best vehicle for lies.

That night, he did not run. The oddest thought occurred to him when he realized that Jarvis knew his address because he had returned his wallet. He thought about the huge man swooping in through one of his windows. And doing what? He had his chance to kill David, and he didn’t. Not like all those men on that roof. Or the two strangers with their green car. David thought about what his father had told him. It probably wasn’t all lies. He probably told his son whatever he needed to, to garner the desired results. But he didn’t lie outright. Truth was the best vehicle for lies.

David had his worst week of work since first getting the job. He told his co workers it was the last remnants of the bug. By the middle of the week, he recognized that something had changed, and by the end he realized that he needed to make a decision.

On Sunday, he thought about church for the first time in years. It would’ve been nice, he thought, to have some place to go to get the answers to his questions. Instead, David went back into the ghetto. He brought along a bag that had his wallet and a change of clothes, but he also kept his teeth hidden behind the top of his zippered jacket, and his hands in his pockets, except for when he knocked.

The place wasn’t difficult to locate. He had the scent, and when it came down to locating which specific house, the area of dead grass and weeds, the rot in the wood and foundation, gave the place away.

Jarvis opened the door, and did not look surprised. David wondered if they tracked by scent also.

“What is it that you want?”

David thought about that, about the man’s odd way of speaking. “I’m not just curious,” he said. “I really want to know.”

Jarvis observed him for a long moment. Then a longer one. “Wait here.” He left the doorway and the door open, and returned in a few moments. When he returned he closed the door behind him as he walked past David, who followed.

“Where are we going?”

“To answer your questions.”

Jarvis seemed to have the same familiarity with the bus system that David did, who felt better about not being able to drive. It was a bit strange for people such as them to be taking the bus, but there they were. He didn’t sit next to the larger man. He couldn’t; he told himself it was because Jarvis was so broad.

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