"Donald kisses my fingers and tells me I'm beautiful," Rachel says.
Rachel's sensitivity could hang in a gallery.
"He's a good man, Rach," I say.
"Will you kill him for me?" she says. Takes a sip of coffee.
We're in the Dark Horse Cafe. It's crowded. Lots of chatter. Did she say kill?
"Did you say kill?"
"Kill," she says
"Eliminate from the earth kill," I say.
"Yes," she says.
"You're not serious, right? I mean..."
I look around the cafe and wonder if anybody else is talking about killing another human being. Maybe everyone is. Maybe this is the cafe of choice for assassins. I see a lot of students. Maybe this is the cafe of choice for student assassins. Does a student assassin only kill other students? I need distraction. My friend Rachel just asked me to kill her boyfriend of 8 months. The man she loves. Her soulmate.
"He's not kissing my fingers anymore," she says.
"Maybe he has finger fatigue. So this is why you want to take his life. "
"Will you do it?"
"You think he's kissing someone else's fingers. Rach, he doesn't seem like that kind of guy."
"That kind of guy never seems like that kind of guy," she says.
"The kind of guy who never seems like that kind of guy can also be mistaken for that kind of guy," I say.
"The guy that can be mistaken for that kind of guy can be acting like the guy who can be mistaken for that kind of guy and really be that kind of guy," she says. "Will you do it?"
Lets see... if I say no, she'll find somebody else and I won't sleep at night. If I say yes, maybe I can buy some time, convince her otherwise.
"Sure, I'll do it," I say.
"You'll kill him," she says.
Rachel takes a sip of coffee. She looks past me. She takes another sip.
"I was kidding you know," she says.
"Yeah, I know," I say.
"Because-." Her eyes water.
"Donald holds me when I get the awfuls," she says. Tears roll down her cheeks.
I look into her eyes. She's gone. Somewhere far. Somewhere I can't reach. I take her hand, cover it with my other hand. Sometimes that's all you can do.