Chapter 6

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Those days I felt like all I was doing was sleeping. I woke up the next morning completely starving. Dan had left me some rice on the bedside table the night before, but I was so tired I hadn’t even seen it. I ate it in bed, but when I finished I was still hungry, so I forced myself to get up and go find something else in the kitchen. I could hear voices coming from the other room.

“Look what you did, you old hag, you have to buy me a new one now!”

“Go sell your butt and buy it yourself, you spoiled brat.”

“Tsk, and I thought you came here to apologize.”

“You really should learn a bit of respect for who raised you!”

“You didn’t raise me!”

“Oh, Andrew, good morning,” said Sara when I opened the door. Dan and the old lady were fighting in the kitchen. It was a side of him I had never seen: Dan the asshole.

“Good morning,” I said.

“I’m so happy that they are getting along again,” said Sara. “Are you hungry?”

“Yes… Is that ‘getting along’?”

“Oh yes, it’s always like that with them.”

I was a bit bothered by all the commotion, but I was feeling much better than the day before. I sat at the table and Sara went to the kitchen.

“Oh, Andrew!” said the old lady when she noticed me. I felt uneasy talking to her, after she had almost tried to kill me just hours before. “I came to apologize to you today.”

“Oh, well, sure Madam… apology accepted,” I said, secretly still scared she might get her gun out and finish what she started the day before. Sara put a plate full of pancakes on the table and just looking at them made my stomach groan.

“You see, you got caught up in a very regrettable situation yesterday. Although it was all this idiot’s fault, because he didn’t tell anybody he had come back,” she explained, looking at Dan. I decided it was the best timing to start eating.

“Anyway, I am ready to help you with anything you might need. Dan refused to tell me what you came here for, but if you ever feel like opening up to this mama here, my door is always open.”

A nice change of heart, I thought.

“I will remember it, thank you, Madam.”

“I really like you, Andrew. I can tell you’re well educated, and you’re very cute too. Do you need a job?”

“Cut it out now,” said Dan.

“Nobody asked for your opinion here.”

“You came to apologize, now you did it, so just leave.”

“Now what? You’re scared I’ll be taking your boyfriend from you?” she told him. Just like Sara did the day before, she immediately referred to me as his boyfriend. I always knew since we were kids that Dan was the type to like people in general regardless of categories like “male” or “female”, so it didn’t surprise me to find out he was bisexual during our adolescence. But even knowing that, shouldn’t they assume that we’re friends instead of a couple? I found it somewhat annoying.

“That’s ridiculous,” he said.

“Anyway, I have a business to run, so I’ll be going now. Sara, you have work today, you’re coming with me.”

“Yes, Mama,” said Sara smiling. I greeted them and thanked Sara for the breakfast.

“One last thing, Dan,” said the old lady when she was at the door. “That girl, the daughter of the detective, she came looking for you, more than once. Apparently, she left some of her things here. I told her I could get them for her, but instead she wanted you to call her when you came back. You understand, right? She was worried for you too.”

I could see Sara looking at the ground on the other side of the door. Whoever this girl was, she was clearly jealous of her.

“I see. I’ll call her,” said Dan.

“Next time you dump a girl at least give her back her things, you damn idiot!”

“I got it, now get going already.” He slammed the door behind her.

“I never knew this side of you,” I told him when we were alone.

“It’s frustrating. Even though I tried to keep my distance from them all my life…”

“They love you anyway,” I said, and he remained silent. “Why did you try to keep your distance? I think it’s great that you have them. I’m glad you were not alone during the past seven years.”

“Drew… I…”

“Yesterday Sara said that you went doing some ‘dangerous job’ on your own. What was it, and why did you do that?” Since I was staying at his place, I felt I had the right to know something more about the person I was living with.

“She was probably talking about my job with the drug dealers. The thing is that there was something I wanted, and to get it I had to get in the dirt. I didn’t want to bring down anyone else with me.”

“What was it?”

“… Revenge,” he said after a pause.

“On whom?”

“The man my mother ran with.”

“Who was that?”

He took a deep breath before replying, “The owner of a casino. He made her lose everything. After we came here, she begun to work at the brothel so that she could go spend everything at his place. After two months, she ran away with him. I have never seen her again. But that man eventually came back to town without her. I wanted to destroy him.”

“And what did you do?”

“It wasn’t easy to get close to him so the thing I needed the most was information. And to get it I had to get to know more people and their most intimate secrets.”

“So you started doing prostitution, and drugs.”

“Yes.”

“What happened in the end?”

“He was killed before I could do anything. Six months ago, somebody put a bullet in his brain. I was dedicating all my life to a revenge that was stolen from me.” He smiled bitterly. “I fell into depression when I found out. I pretended to go away on a job and spent four months in the slums of the closest city, selling my body on the street and spending what I gained on drugs. I was waiting to die from overdose anytime when I accidentally met a doctor I knew from when I still lived with my mother. He brought me to a rehabilitation center in the countryside, where I’ve been for the last two months. As soon as I came back, I wanted to see An because I hoped she would help me understand what to do with my life now. And there I met you.” I didn’t know what to say to him. His situation was worse than I had imagined. He looked at me straight in the eyes and I felt uneasy. “Are you disgusted by me?” he asked. He said it slowly, with pain in his voice. He didn’t wait for me to reply before he went to the bathroom to shower.

Honestly, I was shocked. The Dan I knew wasn’t the type to seek revenge or hate anyone, not to mention that he dedicated six years of his life to that. All of that for his mother, a woman who abandoned him without turning back. Did she deserve all the importance he had given her? He even left Uptown to stay with her. He even left me. Those thoughts were making me uncomfortable, so I decided I needed to move my attention to something else. While waiting for him, I began my research on Robinson.


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