The new guys Chuck had brought in were some local boys he knew from high school. It wasn’t so much that they were shiftless as that they were dumber than a bag of hammers. I didn’t trust them. They had no scruples and Chuck seemed blind to that.
Chuck said we needed them because we were expanding into coke on top of the cannabis we had been running. These two jokers had been small time dealers for a while and wanted to make more money, so now they were with us. Frank and Al. A complete waste of oxygen.
Not long after I got to town I met a girl while we were out drinking. She was with a friend and Chuck and I moved in on them. Things didn’t work out between Chuck and her friend but Rita and I got on like a house on fire. Within a month we were living together. Like I said, things were good in the early days.
One day when were hanging out at this garage we’d rented as the base of our operation I heard Frank and Al come in while I was taking a leak. Chuck was on his way, so I was the only one there. They didn’t know I’d gotten there and I could hear them through the door. They were laughing about something and then I heard Al say that he wondered how long it would take me to figure out that Rita was two-timing me. I waited a few minutes until the conversation had move on and then came out.
They looked sheepish and wouldn’t look me in the eye. I acted like I hadn’t heard anything and then Chuck came in and we got down to business. It wasn’t until that night when we all went out to dinner that I put it all together.
It was the body language between Rita and Chuck. I got real good at that sort of thing in special ops, I could see it plain as day. My good buddy Chuck had moved in on my girl behind my back. Between the attitude change, the hiring of Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum, and now the betrayal I got to thinking some pretty dark thoughts.
The next day I started making phone calls to some of my old contacts from my military days. Within a week I scored something nice. I went along like everything was sweet. I can put my feelings aside when I have to; I’ve just never been the kind that can forgive treachery.
Chuck continued giving me heaps of attitude; especially around the others. I thought things through and I realized it had all started right after Rita and I got together. That was the cause. It really disgusted me. The man I knew before would never have let a woman come between us. Chuck had changed.
One night at a meeting about the big shipment we were bringing in I made a suggestion and Chuck ridiculed me in front of everyone. Rita was there; she was in on the whole deal. I made up my mind right then and there how things were gonna be. Like I said before, I work with what’s in front of me. Regret is just wasted energy.
So it was that the day before the deal was going down I faked a knee injury. I called Chuck and told him I couldn’t be at the drop. He told me not to sweat it, Rita could do the driving and Frank could take over my part. It was just what I had hoped he would say.
I got out my hidden escape bag that I had put together and headed for the airport with the one-way ticket I had bought to Libya. I had landed myself a sweet security job with a high-tech company over there through my contacts. Oh, and of course I had made a little call to the Feds about a certain big cocaine deal that was going down. Why Libya? No extradition treaty with America. If Chuck and Rita wanted to implicate me it wouldn’t do them a bit of good.
At the appointed hour, while I was waiting for my connecting flight I called Chuck. When he answered the phone all I said was Tango Foxtrot Bravo. Before he could say a word I heard the sirens in the background and the sound of gunfire. I hung up and went to my gate to head off to my new life. Nobody fucks with Daniel Edward Ellsworth.