ACKNOWLEDGEMENT : Thank you Jesse
A tall, handsome young man walked towards an older fellow that was sitting in a wheel chair with a Starbucks coffee in his hand in front of an apartment building.
“Guten Tag!” hailed the older man.
“Hey, how are things, Lynn?” replied the younger. “Sorry I missed you at Starbucks today. I hope the coffee was still good without my presence.”
“Nein.” guffed Lynn with a chuckle.
“In my defense, I was held up by a pretty lady.”
“Ich mache mir Sorgen.” Lynn grumbled.
“Don’t worry, she didn’t give me her phone number.”
“I am not worried about her,” Lynn said as he converted to English , “I am worried about you, my young friend.”
“Me?! How so?” Nolan crouched beside his friend, took out a cigarette, and lit it.”
“For one thing, you’re as pale as Caesar’s ghost and you haven’t met me for coffee in over a week, Nole, what’s going on?”
“Yeah, well, you know..” Nole said with his hands in his pockets.
“No, I do not know. Please, tell me.” said Lynn, lighting his own smoke and taking a puff.
“Iche habe Durst..” Nolan said, beginning to leave. Lynn grabbed his arm. “You’re not getting away that easy my young friend.”
Nolan crouched in front of his neighbor.
“I’ve gotten into a bit of trouble Lynn,” Lynn cocked an eyebrow at him, suggesting that Nolan was only telling a half-truth; “okay, a lot of trouble, Lynn, with a very bad man…I’ve been away raising money so that…”
“Who?” interrupted Lynn.” Nolan was silent. So Lynn bursts forth, “Damnit, Nole, I asked who!?” This was the first time that Nolan had heard Lynn curse in their long friendship.
“The guy’s name is Fred Tate, and-”
“Okay, shut up now,” said Lynn raising his hand. So Nolan hushed.
“Nole, listen, I want you to go upstairs to your place, warm up some milk, drink it and then take a long nap. When you wake up, come over to my apartment and see me.”
“But-” began Nolan, but Lynn raised his hand, indicating that the conversation was over.
“Danke.” said Nolan getting up.
“Bitte sehr, and think nothing of it.”
Many hours later…
When Nolan woke up from a strange nap, in which he was floating in a blue pool of tropical water, and then the water suddenly turned black- waking him up. He checked his phone. No new messages, not even from Freddy Tate. Strange. He put on his coat and took the elevator down to the first floor, ignoring the seventh, where Lynn lived. It took almost an hour to get to Freddy’s place. Norman counted out the six hundred dollars that he was going to give the loan shark in his car before going up to the door. He rang the bell. No answer. He rang again. Still no answer. Finally he knocked on the door and it creaked open. He slowly walked in.
“Freddy? Freddy it’s me Nolan. I’ve got your money. Listen, sorry it took me so long to-”
Nolan stopped cold in the living room where he saw Fred Tate sitting on the couch with a neat, round hole in his forehead.
Nolan ran to his car, a white, ’94 Civic, as quick as he could.
After several minutes, Lynn had still not answered his door.
“Come on, come on.” Nolan said under his breath. Finally he heard a click and the door opened. Nolan walked right past Lynn and went into the kitchen.
“Well come right in, Nolan.” Lynn said with a laugh.
“What’d you do, Lynn?”
“Excuse me?” Lynn said with feigned surprise.
“Cut the shit Lynn, I know-” There was a loud crashing noise as Lynn threw his glass to the kitchen floor, followed by awkward silence.
“I apologize for the language, Lynn, it’s just-”
“It’s okay Nolan.” said Lynn, pouring himself another drink of vodka and orange juice.
“Let me ask you a question.” He paused. Is Fred Tate a good man?”
“Answer my question and quit interrupting.”
“Freddy was a monster.”
Finally, Lynn said this, and I quote:
“Be careful when fighting against monsters that you yourself do not become a monster.”
“Nietzsche.” acknowledged Nolan with deadly understanding.
“You’re a good person Nolan, and I did not wish to see you become a monster.
“A schlechte person?”