I went straight around the back to the garage and knocked and then entered. What did I expect? I expected Enrique to be curled up on his bed crying in his white suit. Or hanging from the ceiling in his white suit. I expected him to be deeply unhappy and wearing his white suit. I guess I also expected him to blame me for something. For taking his job although I hadn’t taken it, it had been given to me but I’ve seen enough TV to know how these things develop. Like, never tell a friend that his new girlfriend is a whore. Do that in a film and the friend is blaming you so I was surprised that he wasn’t wearing his white suit. He was wearing a white vest, a relaxed moustache and an erection. I found him fast asleep and sprawled and naked from the waist down. The covers had ridden up and his stiffy was exposed. I froze.
The plan, which I’d planned on my walk home, was that I was going to walk in and find Enrique curled up and crying like a dog. I would maybe hold the bag behind my back and tease him with it. Make him guess what it was to break the ice. Then I planned to shake the bag of heroin at him. He would blow his nose, rub away his tears and smile for the first time in days and I’d give him the bag and he’d eat it or whatever the fuck it is he does with it and then he’d tell me how to run the shop and I’d be great at it and have his job. No hard feelings.
Walking in and finding that fucking thing staring at me wasn’t in my reckoning at all. I hadn’t come in quietly or anything as I didn’t think he would be asleep and then he was stirring. I froze even more, particularly my eyeballs, hoping he would go back to sleep and that I could quietly leave and he’d never know I’d seen his dick. Of course he suddenly sat bolt upright.
“Wha’ da fuck?” He asked.
“What the fuck, you?” I replied. “Punch that thing down, man.” I held the bag behind me. I could still make this work.
“Guess what I’ve got for you?” I asked, looking at my hedge trimmer.
“Yeah, it’s your drugs.” I shook the bag of drugs at him.
“I don’ use no more.” He crashed back flat on his bed. “Been clean fo’ three days.”
“Don’t be silly!”
“Fo’ real. Feel good, man. Might go for a run.” He wiggled his toes.
“I can still see it.” He pulled the covers down then got up on his elbows and looked at his toes that were still wiggling. “Come on, don’t let this get to you. Don’t let it change you. You’ll feel better.” To be perfectly honest he looked better than I’d ever seen him. He looked almost healthy, wasn’t so yellow.
“Chu have eet.”
“No, they’re yours, you should take them.”
“Take the drugs, I just carried them all the way home!” Enrique’s stiffy seemed to have gone down. I wonder if I could grab a handful of heroin and press it into his face. He just needed the taste for it. He might not think he wants it but one taste and he’d be shovelling it in. Like me with pistachios. “At least say thank you.”
“Thanks man, bu’ I just no need dem. I…” He trailed off.
“Fuck you, then. It’s here if you want it,” I said and placed the bag on his coffee table. I looked around again. “Hey, so they’ve made me look after the shop, until you come back.” I nearly coughed.
“Si, Paula tell me,” he seemed to giggle at that and I thought about biting the hand that feeds you and how annoying that was.
“Just a week.”
“Yeah. Then you’re back, buddy.”
“Don’ fuck it up, man.”
“Ha, funny, nah, it’s sweet. One thing… you know the money and ordering stuff in the shop?”
“Good one. Seriously. What do you do with the money?”
“Chu don know?”
“Of course I do. Just seeing if you do.”
“Chu don know!” He sung with a smile.
“No, I do, just want to double check.”
“S’no as easy, eh?”
“It’s even easier, mate. Surprised how little there is to it. A monkey could do it. You do it, don’t you?” Enrique sat up, swung his legs out and leant over to grab the bag. He looked into it. “You going to tell me, or what?”
“If chu ask nice.”
“Oh fuck off you fucking greasy twat.”
“I no tell you.” Enrique sniffed the contents of the bag. His stiffy was back or hadn’t gone in the first place.
“What the hell is wrong with you? What were you dreaming about anyway? Men’s bums? Big hairy men?”
“Chor wife,” he said with a yawn and a stretch but he put the bag next to him on the bed. He was going to shoot up! Sucker. He leant back, looked down at his wigwam that was still pitched in the sheets covering his waist and batted it. Just batted it sideways and the side of his moustache twitched, like how a bear might bat something.
“You’re such a fucking prick.”
“I tell chu, I tell chu.”
“Fuck it, I don’t want to know.” I did, but I said I didn’t because I’ve got a small amount of self respect. Outside I walked slowly across to the house, to give him time to burst out and insist I listen to him. If he insisted it would be okay. But he didn’t.
Over dinner my wife asked me if I was getting a pay raise to go along with my promotion. She doesn’t know it’s only a week. I told her I was and she said, “thank fuck for that.” I left the room before she could make me feel worse. I went into the kid’s room and watched them sleep.
The worst thing about having kids, apart from their birthday parties, is that when you have kids you can no longer just kill yourself. When things get a bit much. Before you have kids and a spider drops out of the sun visor you just hoof it into a tree. Can’t do that with kids. Your escape route is blocked. Blocked by a wall of guilt. Not saying I’d have killed myself but it would have been nice to have it as an option, maybe then I wouldn’t have felt so trapped. With that avenue closed to me and with Enrique being an asshole there was only one choice left and I took it. I also took most of the money and two of Sean Penn’s pens.