The Welcoming Sea – Part II

II.  Darrell and Todd

The knock on the door was not unexpected.  Darrell was sitting at his yellow Formica table in his small eat-in-kitchen of his apartment, drinking Jack Daniels and rereading the letter his daughter had left.  The one he had read over and over. He put down his glass, picked up his service revolver from the table and put it back in his holster he had in his hands. Darrell reached back to put it on the kitchen counter by the coffee maker.  He turned back towards the door, slumping in the chair.  There was another knock.  Darrell got up slowly.

Todd could hear sounds from inside the apartment.  He was going to knock again, but he heard the locks.  The doorknob turned and the door opened slightly then stopped.  Todd pushed the door open to see Darrell heading around the corner into the kitchen.

“Hey Darrell.” said Todd as he closed the door behind him.  He looked around at the small two bedroom apartment.  Darrell turned the corner into the kitchen. Todd saw the half empty bottle of Jack Daniels on the kitchen table.  Not a good sign he thought to himself. But half wasn’t bad.  Maybe just a buzz.

“Where’s Jenny?” asked Todd not seeing her in the apartment.

“At her boyfriend’s house,” replied Darrell.  “You want a drink?”

“No thanks.”  Todd walked to the end of the wall dividing the kitchen from the TV room and leaned up against it.

“How bout some coffee?”, asked Darrell.  Todd looked towards the coffee maker.  The coffee maker wasn’t even on. Todd did see Darrell’s revolver lying next to it.  Darrell had always been a mean drunk and was acting way out of character.  But he guessed since it was his first drug pick up, he may be a little nervous.

“You going to be alright for this?  The pickup is in an hour and a half, I don’t want to be out there with some drunk…”

“I’m sorry, what bullshit are you boring me with?”

Todd went quiet as he leaned his shoulder against the wall.   He looked at Darrell putting away his dishes.  They had been friends a long time.  At least acquaintances anyway.  Same small town, same small high school.

“Let’s get going,” Todd said flatly.  He turned around and walked into the living room.

“Sure thing”, said Darrell in an inappropriately upbeat note.  He emerged from the kitchen with a large thermos, took the bottle of Jack and loaded it up.  “Just something to keep the chill off.”  Darrell closed the container and faced Todd, with an odd smirk.

Todd turned around and headed for the door.  He opened it, stepped outside in the hall and turned around as Darrell fumbled for his keys before closing the door.

“You not taking your gun?” asked Todd.

“Nope.  If this is so easy we’re better off without it around”, said Darrell.

“Probably best,” thought Todd feeling a little more relaxed.

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