Valerie – Speakeasy #160


 

“… Tell me if you’re game.

Always

Val”

*****

 That was the way the message ended. I scrolled back up to the top and started re-reading.

 “Hi Phil,”

 It began innocuously enough.

 “It’s me. I got back into town a couple of weeks ago and I’ve been trying to find you. I went by your place on 15th Street but the older couple, living there now, tells me that they never heard of you. So I’ve been going to The Rusty Nail pretty regularly, looking for anyone from the old gang. Guess who I ran into last night! Howie, that’s right Howie. He was there with Spike but Spike didn’t hang around when he saw me at the bar. Howie didn’t intend to tell me. He put up a good fight but, I finally got your email address out of him.”

 I’m gonna kill Howie. He knows better than to talk to me about you or talk to you about me. He knows you’re my Achilles heel. He knows you make me whole. That you’re bad news and trouble. He knows you’re an ache that I crave constantly– a drug that I need. He knows all of this. What the hell was he thinking?

 “Don’t hold it against him. It’s not his fault. You know how it is. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know I’m back and I’d like to see you. Try as I might I couldn’t convince Howie to tell me where you lived or give me your phone number but hey, an email is a good place to start, huh?”

 No way am I going to meet up with you again. What happened to that other guy? The guy who took you “away from all this,” took you away from me. That guy who was able to give you all the things I didn’t even know you wanted.

 “I’ve left Tony and I’ve left Milan. He was beautiful, and life was great for awhile but, Italy will never be home and I needed more. I didn’t know what I needed though. Then one day it hit me. I realized what a big mistake I made; leaving here when I did, the way that I did. I needed to mend some fences. I needed closure. That’s why I’m back Phil.”

 All you ever do is leave me. The last time you left you took my soul. Not gently either. You dug a hole in my chest and ripped my heart out. The void lingers still. Is my heart on display in your trophy case? Is my soul stuffed and mounted on your wall? Do you brag about your conquest to your friends?

 “I owe you an apology and would like to make it up to you. Howie says you’re seeing Ellie now. She’s kinda straight but, she’s a nice girl and I hope you’re happy together. You probably shouldn’t tell her this but; I’ve got a line on a job upstate that’s just perfect for us.

 Ellie’s a great woman. She loves me and, I like her a lot. I might even love her but it’s hard to say for sure. It’s hard to lower the walls again after… Well after you, Valerie.

 These guys I know tell me it’s a big score – a quick in and out, almost no risk and only a four way split. You and Ellie could live happily ever after. But two can live almost as cheaply as one. So I’m not going to beat around the bush. I’m just going to say it straight up. If you and I pooled our take we could be sitting pretty. You’re my loose end Phil; I can’t just leave you dangling. I know that now.”

 I’ve already done time because of one of your sure fire schemes Val. Can I risk that again? What about Ellie? She loves me. Who are these guys? Where did you meet them? Can you trust them? Can I trust you? God, I’ve missed you. Are you giving me another chance? Should I let you in again? Can I survive if you leave one more time? Would I want to?

 “Anyway, I’ll wait to hear from you. Tell me if you’re game.

Always

Val”


 The above took third place in the challenge – How cool is that?

The Prompts:

Okay, this week’s sentence prompt, provided by last week’s winner, Christi, must be used as the FIRST line in your piece. And the media prompt is a photo, find both below.

 “Tell me if you’re game.”

excavator-300x200

 The Rules:

  • Your post must be dated May 4, 2013, or later.
  • Submissions must be 750 words or fewer.
  • Submissions must be fiction or poetry.
  • You must include the following sentence as the FIRST line in your submission: “Tell me if you’re game.”
  • You must also include a reference to the media prompt.
  • This is week three of family-free month at the yeah write challenge grids. That means we are allowed to write about anything and everything except families
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