So I Did,

by Jack Conroy

    He grabbed my hand tighter and lifted his leg up over makeshift fence made of old microwaves. His long hair billowed behind him and into my mouth. Turning around to face me he whispered gently “We made it. Now shoot me.” And so I did.

    But that was years ago. And tonight’s story ends a little differently. It’s not about love, or loss, or the fragility of human existence like before. It’s much lighter. 

    It was our first date, Simon and I. We’d met at the dog park. My Hugo gave his Bessy a few herniated disks and the rest is history. We exchanged numbers to discuss doggy insurance but ended up texting all night about who knows what. His dads bean roasting business. My dad’s bean roasting business. His sensitivity to wheat. My inability to read colorful lettering. His budding friendship with Boston Celtics legend Paul Pierce. My recent falling out with Boston Celtics legend Bill Russell. We eventually agreed to meet the next day at Chopped Drop; Lumber Inspired Coffee for our date. And it was a real date. I made sure to double check. We were mutually interested in one another romantically, and hopefully sexually.

     We had arrived six minutes ago, ordered, and chose a cozy seat between the classic fireplace and the window, etched with watery lines of falling rain. It was going on four minutes since a word had been said when he popped the question. “Can I ask you something?” he asked me. “You just did.” I replied like an absolute ass. “Can I tell you something highly confidential?” he quieted down. “Uh, yeah.” I replied, cautious but not too cautious.

    “My dad’s bean roasting business is a drug front. He is Quebec’s biggest drug dealer and his money is the reason I never had to go to college. Or get a job. Or do anything for myself.” I winced “He is highly successful and worth billions of dollars,” he continued. “He always wears a blue jumpsuit with a white fleur-de-lis patch so he matches the flag of Quebec. He loves this city. He just loves drugs too. And he’s killed hundreds of-”

    “Simon.” I interrupted him. “As the chief of the Quebec Police Department you realize the awkward position this puts me in as your soon to be lover.” I said, realizing that I had failed to previously mention I was a police officer and also realizing that I had just assumed Simon wanted to have sex with me. “You’re a cop? Man! Fuck twelve.” He muttered angrily, as he rose from his seat, spilling his coffee and leaving the coffee shop.

    I lowered my head, closed my eyes and thought long and hard about what Simon had just said. Fuck twelve? That doesn’t make sense in Canada. 10-79 is code for possible drug involvement, not 10-12. I knew this because I was the chief of Quebec Police Department.

    I was beginning to think Simon was not who he said he was.

 

___________________

 

   The next day I went back to the dog park where I had met Simon. The sky was gray and a mist of rain crawled down from the low hanging clouds. I sat on my bench, which used to be our bench, my raincoat pulled over my eyes. Hugo, sitting at my feet, started to wag his tail uncontrollably like he does when I say “snack truck.” I looked up and standing on my starboard side was Simon, forcing a small smile from behind his teeth. 

   “Hi there.” 

   “Hello, Simon.” I replied, breaking eye contact.

   “I wanted to apologize for what happened yesterday at Chopped Drop; Lumber Inspired Coffee, when we were on our date. I came to explain myself.”

   “What’s there to explain, Simon?”

   “Well, and bear with me here, my dad died over 7 years ago. He never owned a bean roasting business nor was he ever a drug dealer. I don’t even think that old man knew what drugs were.”

   “Hold your fucking Horses, Simon! I don’t understand.”

   “Just let me finish, please” he begged. I nodded, still confused. “I knew you were a cop from the police hat, badge, and holstered firearm you had on. I wanted a reason to get up and leave because I felt guilty being there. You see, my wife, she doesn’t know about us. And she would not be very happy knowing we went on a romantic date together.” 

   “God bless, Simon,” I said, relieved that I would not have to shoot him for being the son of a notorious drug lord. 

   “You’re happy about this?”

   “Oh no no, I’m not. This provides a grand obstacle in our relationship and I’m not sure what to do…” I droned off, realizing it would have to be Simon’s wife I would have to shoot.

   “But wait. It’s not an obstacle...because...I shot her.” 

   Problem solved, I thought to myself. 

   “I am the chief of the Quebec Police Department but I will let this one slide.”

   “Thanks, sweet-boo-boo sugar plum.”

    We continued our conversation. I learned all about his late wife. He told me that there was some place he wanted to show me. A beach house he had been building his late wife for the past seven years. He said it was supposed to be their 10th anniversary gift but he wanted me to have it now. I accepted. He told me it was a ways away but he wanted to take me there now. So off we went. As we walked to the bus stop the wind began to pick up. My pig tails were flapping in the breeze begging to tear parts of my scalp from my skull. The bus stopped and he told me we would have to walk the rest of the way. So we got out, removed our matching high heeled boots, and started our stroll. We walked in stride with one another, chanting ‘Left. Left. Left my wife and 48 children just because I thought it was Right. Right. Right in the dog park my dog your dog hop and a skip now Left. Left…”

    “We’re getting close,” he said and grabbed my damp palm with his.

After twenty six more minutes of walking I saw it. A cottage that looked no bigger than a hotel.     He grabbed my hand tighter and lifted his leg up over makeshift fence made of old microwaves. His long hair billowed behind him and into my mouth. Turning around to face me he whispered gently “We made it. Now shoot me.” And so I did. After all, he had killed an innocent woman. And even though I loved him, I was the chief of the Quebec Police Department.