No Way Out
By: Jennifer Cook
They were after him again. He’d had so many close calls in the last few months, but none quite like this. He knew he needed to settle all of his gambling debts, and give up that lifestyle forever, but something always reeled him back in. He didn’t have the money he owed them. They’d had enough this time, and he knew they meant business.
He had the looks and the smarts to get to high places, but his addiction landed him in a dumpy apartment with a boring assistant job. His boss was a real piece of work, but he knew he couldn’t lose this job. He wasn’t about to live on the streets again.
He thought that he had covered his tracks enough. He thought there was no way they would find him. He was sure he had left no trail for them to follow. Yet, here they were. They were outside his building showing a picture of him to old Mrs. Hartley. He despised that woman, and she felt the same way about him. He saw them as he was approaching his building. They spotted him, and he turned to run as fast as he could.
He had speed on his side, and he quickly lost them. To be on the safe side, he slipped into the crowded restaurant on 9th Street. He wandered into the bar area, and checked behind himself several times. Just as he was about to sit and order a drink, he heard a familiar voice.
“Edward Wilson, is that you?”
As soon as he heard the name he’d left behind in his old hometown, he knew it was Martha Allen. He really didn’t want to play catch up with an old flame, but he suddenly thought she would make a nice decoy in case they followed him in.
“Martha Allen? I can’t believe it. It’s been so long!” He tried to sound convincing as he played along. He slid into the booth next to her.
“Edward Wilson…the one that got away. I thought I’d never see you again. What have you been up to?”
“Well, Martha, I figured it was time to escape that sleepy little town and try my hand in the big city. Tell me, what’s new with you?” Edward tried to sound interested.
“Oh, well, after you left, I married Bobby Evans. You remember Bobby, right? He was our school’s star athlete.” Edward looked down, and rolled his eyes. Martha kept talking. Every now and then he would nod so that she would think he was listening. “And then I up and left him….” He couldn’t take it anymore. She’d been talking for almost a half hour. “So I signed the divorce papers today, and just became a million dollars richer.”
Edward’s ears perked up. “That’s horrible, Martha. How about I take you out for a special dinner tonight, just like old times, and you can tell me all about it.” He gave Martha the smile that he knew she couldn’t resist as he slid closer to her in the booth.