Alex looked at his Note3 realizing there was still ten minutes before his contact was supposed to show. Alex began tapping his foot. The convenience store parking lot was mostly empty, with only two cars other than Alex’s Ford Taurus in it. Alex knew the small dumpy Black Hyundai belonged to the cashier inside, and the other car was driven by this sketchy guy in a hoodie. He had gone in ten minutes ago, but it had seemed like an hour at least. Alex pulled out his Sig C3 and checked to make sure it was loaded. Alex wondered what was taking that guy so long. Was he holding up the shop? If he was, would Alex shoot the hoodie to get some hero cred, or stay quiet hoping his own deal could still go down. That was the real question.
When the hoodie guy came out, Alex slunk down low and kept his gun pointed in the guy’s general direction. No sirens or screaming followed the guy. The hoodie guy seemed to have some sort of bottle in a brown paper bag held in a death grip in his shaky left hand. The guy walked directly to his car and drove off. Alex thought the guy looked like some loser drunk. He put the Sig back on the passenger seat and looked back and forth nervously. This was not the best neighborhood to hang out in when it was six in the morning, much less eleven at night. Alex would have just pealed out of there, but he was feeling the symptoms. Besides, he was going to hook up later tonight with his usual woman so he needed the boost.
An Audi A8 flowed into the parking lot slowly, a master of its domain. Alex grabbed his gun and quickly shoved it into his pants, hoping the Audi’s driver didn’t see what he had done. Before the Audi stopped, Alex was out of his car and moving towards the Audi’s passenger side window. It lowered slowly and a young man’s bald head stuck partway out. “Yo, where is Timmy?” he said.
Alex stopped a couple of steps away from the Audi, keeping his hands in clear sight. “Timmy sent me for the stuff,” Alex said. “I’ve got the money.” With that Alex reached towards his pocket.
A gun appeared next to the bald head, pointing at Alex’s crotch. “Wow there. You let Timmy I’m not doing nothing with someone new,” the bald head said.
Alex stopped and showed his hands again. “Look man, I need the hit,” he said. “I’ll pay extra.”
“What’s extra?” asked the bald head.
“Double. Hundred fifty for an eight ball,” Alex said. There was no response from the bald head. After a couple of seconds Alex said, “Come on man. I’ve got the money.” With that he reached slowly into his pocket and took out a wad of twenties. He counted off six of them. “Here, hundred sixty. Hook me up man.”
The bald guy thought about it for a minute, then he broke out in a smile. “Okay. I can do that. Carlos, get the man one of our specials,” the bald head said. The gun disappeared from the window, and the driver, Carlos, seemed to be rummaging around in the console that sat between the him and the bald guy. Carlos handed a baggie to the bald guy.
The bald guy waved Alex forward. “Come on, I’ve got to take a piss,” he said.
Alex quickly moved to the car, handed the bald guy the money, took his baggie of white powder, and retreated to his car. He threw the bag into his pocket as he got into the car and drove off. He watched all his mirrors as he drove off, looking for anyone trying to follow him. When he felt good that he wasn’t being followed he pulled over. Alex knew this was dumb, but he felt so flat, and he wanted to be ready when he picked up Rachel.
Alex opened the bag and laid down two lines on the mirror he kept in his car for such occasions. He rolled up another one of his twenties and took a quick sniff in with both nostrils. That was followed with a strong sneeze not once, but twice. Alex hated the fact he always sneezed twice whenever he used, but that was the price for the rush. He leaned back into the headrest, waiting for the rush to hit, but there was nothing. Alex opened his eyes, wondering what was wrong. He created another line and snorted it in, but the same thing happened. He dipped his pinky into the bag and tasted it. Nothing but the sweet taste of superfine sugar bloomed in his mouth. “Fuck!,” he yelled, then he began laughing.
Carlos parked the car in the spot Alex had vacated. The bald guy and Carlos got out of the car. The bald guy pointed at Carlos. “What do you think you’re doing?” the bald guy asked.
“I’m going to get something to eat while you take a piss,” Carlos said.
“Really?” asked the bald guy. “You can’t wait?”
Carlos sneered. “Can’t you?”
“Fine. Get me a Monster while you’re in there,” said the bald guy as he unzipped himself and pissed on the Hyundai.
“You’ve got the money,” Carlos said.
“Really?” asked the bald guy. “Didn’t you bring any money?”
Carlos shook his head. “I forgot my wallet at home,” Carlos said.
The bald guy finished his business and zipped up. “Fine, we’ll both go in. No one better mess with the A8,” he said.
Carlos hit the key fob and the A8 chirped as it locked up and activated its anti theft features. “It’s all good.”
The two of them entered the convenience store and looked around. It didn’t take long since the stuff in stock was as tired as the rest of the neighborhood. Still they both managed to get a couple of things to eat and of course the Monster energy drink as well.
The cashier didn’t really make eye contact with Carlos or the bald guy while she rang up their order. “That’ll be fourteen fifty,” she said.
The bald guy took out the cash he had gotten from Alex and peeled off one twenty to hand to the cashier. She took out a pen and marked the back of the bill. She looked back at the bald guy. “That’s not a real twenty,” she said.
“What the hell?” asked the bald guy. “What do you mean?”
“The pen makes a dark mark if this is just plain paper. It doesn’t leave a mark on a real bill,” the cashier said.
“Let me see that,” said the bald man as he ripped the pen from her fingers. She began to look upset, but then caught Carlos’ gaze that told her in no uncertain terms that she should make a scene. Her hands began to drift to her panic button when Carlos shook his head, stopping her in her tracks. She began to cry silently.
The bald guy was oblivious to all this. He marked the other seven bills Alex gave him and they all marked. He then reached into his own pocket and took out a different twenty. Sure enough, the marker failed to mark that bill. The bald guy threw the good twenty at the cashier and stalked out with Carlos right on his heels.
Outside the bald guy threw the money into the air, letting the wind take the bills. “Fuck!” Then the bald guy began to laugh at the irony.