You killed the boss?
Did I stutter when I said it, he says.
This was a loaded why.
Why did he kill the boss?
Why did he put on the blue suit?
Why did he tell me we had a job tonight?
Why did he involve me at all?
Things happen sometimes, he says.
I feel my anger seething.
But I'm not allowed to get angry.
I'm not allowed to have emotions.
I'm a worker bee.
The brains have the emotion, have the smarts.
I have muscle and intimidation.
But those don't work against another worker bee.
What the fuck I am supposed to do, Barney?
I saved you, he says.
You saved me?
By killing me?
No, he says.
Then he's quiet.
And I notice his knuckles.
They aren't white.
And his jaw is relaxed.
And for the first time ever in all the years I knowed him,
He looked at me.
In the eyes.
Not to scare, like we did to the people about to be bloodied.
That's what we called it.
When we finished, they looked painted red and black and brown.
Beautiful, if I knew what beauty was.
Each hit sent a shower of the red stuff all over you.
And then they were bloodied.
Sometimes they died. Sometimes they lived.
That wasn't my concern.
But now Barney had his eyes on me.
And I couldn't look away.
The job tonight, he says, it was for us.
It's always for us, Barney.
No, he says.
This job put us as the target, he says.
We were going to get bloodied.
We both turned our eyes back to the road.
Comprehension is a strange word.
And it don't fit here.