Night Before The Wedding…
Nothing beats a night at the strippers, especially if it’s a guy’s last night as free man.
“Can’t believe you’re getting hitched, man,” I say to my buddy Mitch. One of the dancers, with the original name ‘Missy’, circles her ass on his lap, and her nipples are right in front of his face.
“Sarah’s a great girl,” he says half laughing, distracted by the view. He picks up his glass from the small table next to him. I do the same, and together we drink to the future.
“Tomorrow,” I say with still some beer in my mouth, “me and you’re gonna be brothers!”
He laughs, washes down the last of his brew, and smashes the glass back on the table. Missy on his lap attempts to get up, but I intercept and stuff another bill into the side of her too-thin panties. That changes her mind quick, and she’s back rubbing her goddessness all over Mitch.
I lift my hand to signal the waitress for two more drinks, when my phone goes off. I read the text and get up to follow its instructions.
Mitch doesn’t notice, and to make sure he stays busy, I throw some more bills at Missy.
Time for me to shine. People think I’m kinda dumb, smoke too much weed. Even Mitch, God bless him, keeps me around as gopher for little scams. Taking cash from high-schoolers for cheap-ass dope, hooking new kiddies to “expand the business” as he says. But he thinks too small. He grows some plants, buys some cheap cocaine from the local distributor, and markets it all up for fucking pennies.
But I—Nathan Robertson—secured us a big deal.
I get to the back of the club, where the lights are dim and the loud music’s blocked somewhat. It’s where Jimmy “The Knuckle” Spano usually hangs out. Now he’s the real deal, the go-to guy if you want to make it in this town.
“Nathan,” he says and waves a hand. At his command, two of his bodyguards come up and frisk me. They find nothing, of course. I might not be the smartest around here, but I ain’t taking a knife or some shit to see the biggest name in the biz. The goons give him the ‘all-clear’ nod, and I catch myself imitating them to try and catch on for the future.
“Sit down, Nathan.” The Knuckle points to a seat by his side. Not as cushy or big as his own, but it’s right next to him.
“You know why I called you over, Nathan?” His voice is calm and friendly, in contrast to his eyes, which are cold and measuring.
I stutter some sort of vowel-collection before I find the right words. “Yeah,” I say, “you need a runner for some product.”
“I do need a new runner,” he says, putting weight on the word ‘new’. “My old one had a–how should I say?–change of heart.”
Suddenly, the air gets a lot thicker and I have troubles swallowing this big-ass knot that just appeared in my throat. Before I even know it, I say, “Ch-change of h-heart?”
“He was under the false assumption that he didn’t get his fair share. So he took it himself, behind my back, thinking I wouldn’t notice.” Another wordless hand signal, and one of his men is putting a cigarette between his lips, and lights it for him. His first drag is long and deep.
Smoke pouring out of his nose, he continues. “Unfortunately, I now find myself at bit of a situation”—his accent slips from classic mid-west to something from the east coast, perhaps—“needing someone I can trust on a very short notice. Some reliable.”
“I-I’m reliable.” My voice is shaky and I’m so fucking nervous.
“You are. And you’re unknown to the authorities. Of course, Nathan, I’d be willing to compensate you for your troubles.”
“It’s an honor,” I say in my best big-boy voice, “and I won’t disappoint you, Mr. Spano!”
The other goon, the one that was just standing there until now, goes behind Jimmy Spano’s chair and picks up a dark leather briefcase, and places it on the small table between our seats. I look at it like it’s on fire.
“Inside are two kilograms of pure-cut cocaine.” I have no clue what kilograms means, so I just nod. “I need you to deliver it to a bar called ‘Hell’s Kitchen’, about twenty miles east on the number 5, and another ten miles heading north on a dirt road. The bar will be closed tomorrow—“
“Yes, Nathan. Is that a problem?”
“Not at all,” I lie.
“As I was saying, it’ll be closed in the morning for your delivery. My clients will meet you outside the building. Hand over the case, and receive the payment in cash.”
“No need to concern yourself with pesky numbers, Nathan. Be there at ten, and don’t be late.”
Ten, perfect. I can do that. I smile and nod (you know, like they do), saying, “I won’t let you down, Sir”
“I know you won’t, Nathan. Because you know what would happen if you did.” He puts his hands together before his chest. The custom-made brass knuckles reflecting the colorful light of the club. “You know why they call me ‘The Knuckle’, don’t you, Nathan?”
He looks at me for a minute, saying absolutely nothing. I can feel the air getting hotter, and time just slowed down to heavy goo. Finally, I get the hint and get up to leave.
I put my hand around the handle on the case. The Knuckle says, “Do this for me, Nathan, and I’ll take care of you in the future.”
Nodding, I take the case and leave. Past the dividers, the loud music crushes right into my face, and I noticed that I held my breath since I got up and took the case.
I exhale, my stomach turning and aching like a million little butterflies are making babies, and walk over to Mitch. By now, Missy up and left, and Mitch looks bored and pissed.
“Great party, ass-face,” he says. “Where’d you go? What’s in that case?”
“Our future, Mitch.” I grin like I’m the only one getting it (which is true), and order more drinks and strippers.
I tell Mitch what I just did. First he’s mad, than his drunk brain slowly catches up.
“But fuck,” he says. “Tomorrow is my wedding! I can’t ditch Sarah for a case of coke, man.”
I say, “No worries. We get up early, drop it off on time, and be back before anyone knows we were gone, drop off the cash and get our share, and get you all polished up and over to that altar by noon. She won’t know. It’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, anyways. But this here,” I hold up the case, which feels both light and heavy at this point, “this’s the best fucking fortune a newly wedded husband could hope for.”
“And,” he says, slurring his speech much more than he did before I left, “I can get her that fancy hotel she wanted, and all that shit I lied to her about I would pay for.”
“Damn straight, brother!”
We both laugh and drink until the early hours in the morning, passing out as the sun rises up.
Not to brag or anything, but I throw one hell of a bachelor party!
Just a reminder that you can read up on how this scene came together in the Behind The Scenes (Before) post, where I go into details on thoughts on the Writer Emergency Card I drew for this scene: Card # 15 — Secret Society.
Stay tuned for the Behind The Scenes (After) post, where I will talk about what came to mind as I was writing the scene, how the card inspired me, and so on.
Until then, share, subscribe, like, and all that jazz.
(And don’t do drugs.)