The smoke from her cigarette followed her curves
and I didn’t blame it. But a dame like that is always
almost more trouble than she’s worth. She spoke in whispers
to see if I’d lean in closer. Then cue the waterworks.
Sure, she’s hiding something, or she wouldn’t be here.
She’d be talking to the cops. Just take the check.
A man who doesn’t notice her should be checked
for a pulse. Quite a story, but full of detours. She curves
around the truth like it was a tree in the road. Here,
take my handkerchief. Stop the sobbing. “Always
assume the worst.” I tell her. “That way if nothing works
You won’t be disappointed.” There are whispers
in the street about her and Robbie Chambers. Whispers
that she not only knows what happened, but gets a check
out of it. Lot of money, enough for fur coats, cars, the works.
But something went wrong. Somebody threw a curve
when they were supposed to throw a fastball. They always
do. That’s why the cops can’t help. That’s why I’m here.
I call her on it. I say don’t start the crying, I’ve had it up to here
with the grieving widow bit. That’s when she whispers
an offer we haven’t discussed, then says “Stay with me, always
I don’t know why, but I trust you.” Problem is, I’ve never had to check
my pulse, it doesn’t go much faster. Next thing I know the curve
of her back is wrapped up in my sheets, I’m thinking, this won’t work.
Her story’s still got more holes in it than her husband did. Work
it out, what happened? Maybe Chambers can tell me, since I’m here
already and his main thug just shortened the learning curve
by walking into several bullets. Chambers denies, whispers
“Please. please believe me. She can have the check
I just wanted my cut.” Maybe so, but Chambers was always
clumsy, until he tripped into an elevator shaft. It’s always
something though, isn’t it? That’s why I’m careful. After all, work
stops coming in if you’re wearing a toe tag. She’s got the check.
cashed, and a gun pointed at the glass in my door. She’s here
alright, the money’s with her. Her perfume in the stairway still whispers
the way she came in. My hand cups the curve
of the doorknob and it turns like it always does. I know exactly why I’m here.
I pull the trigger, and of course it works. “Stay with me…,” she whispers
and she’s gone. I don’t need to check. What a damn waste of those curves.