Café Bon-Bon’s Wednesday special was oxtail soup. Rudy’d heard it was exceptional. He closed up Wednesday evening and walked to the restaurant.
As he sat enjoying his meal, Rudy saw a very tall Filipino mixed-race man come in with his arm around a pretty Chinese woman. The man was consoling her. His face looked familiar, but the barber couldn’t quite place it.
The two walked past and sat in the booth behind him. The woman was definitely crying.
In between small sobbing fits, she’d say something, speaking clearly enough for the barber to hear. Rudy was the master of making sense of people mumbling underneath hot towels wrapped around their faces.
“I thought you were done?”
“Shhh, honey, quiet. This is it, I swear. Then we’ll fly somewhere.”
Another burst of tears.
“Why can’t we leave now?”
“I have to do it.”
More tiny sobs.
“What if something happens? I could lose you. It’s too dangerous, Chris.”
And then it hit him. Chris. Of course. Mob enforcer Chris Andaya. Rudy’s hearing sharped more. You never knew when juicy information would come your way, maybe something to sell to Sergeant Yamamoto.
“If I don’t do this for Boss Yu, there’ll be trouble.”
Boss Yu. Rudy licked his lips.
The waitress came over. “Hey, guys, the usual?”
“Ah, just coffee, Margie,” Andaya said.
“Chris, you mustn’t.”
“Honey, Saturday’s it. I’ll be done in the morning, we can be outta here in the afternoon.”
Margie brought the coffee, then came to Rudy. “Anything else?”
She wrote his slip, then went to the front.
“I can’t take this anymore.” The woman stood and walked swiftly toward the front.
Andaya stood quickly, headed for the front as well. The woman exited. Andaya took out his wallet, dropped a bill on the counter. “Thanks, Margie.”
Rudy was coming up beside him.
Margie said, “Hey, you two okay?”
Before answering, Andaya glanced at Rudy. The barber froze. Andaya knew that look, and he knew the man. Rudy the barber. There was only one reason he’d be so frightened.
“Ah, you know,” Andaya said, looking back at Margie. He turned and headed out the door.
Rudy’s heart pounded as he walked back. He kept looking behind to see if he were being following.
He slipped into his shop and headed upstairs to his apartment.
Across Hotel Street, Chris Andaya watched the light go out.
* * * * *
Aloha, #WriterWednesday, I hope all is well with you. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
Use the prompt to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or simply leave it as a comment below. I would love to read your writing : )