“Let’s get down to business,” he said. The old man clenched his fingers together and held them over the desk before him.
That gray suit, that putrid cigar smell, the dim lighting, didn’t make up for the finely crafted and — wow, comfortable — cherry wood leather chairs.
I looked him straight in the eye, and kept my hands above the table out of courtesy and respect to this gentlemen. He had a reputation of treating people with respect, but only if they were loyal to the proposition, determined to repay their debts, and a man of their word.
“I only want the best for my family,” I said.
He scratched the bottom of his chubby cheeks. “I know you do. We all do.” He glanced back and forth, even though there was nothing but darkness on both our sides. “And at times like these, family is of utmost importance. Without a good family, what do we have?”
He coughed. All those years of cigar smoking must be catching up to him.
“I’d like to work with you,” I said, hoping he would understand my situation.
He nodded, and tapped his cigar on his ash tray. He gently cupped his hand and waved someone over.
Out of the darkness a man, who’s head was hidden in the shadows, leaned down to listen to this old man whisper something in his ear. He nodded, and then left the room. For a brief moment, light filled the room again.
“What are talking about here?” the man across from me asked.
I sighed, knowing that, asking for what I was going to ask for, was so much to ask for. I didn’t know how to say it. I practiced and practiced, for this moment for hours. And for months, this deal sat on my shoulders with a devil poking his trident into my neck.
“I don’t have much. I need as much help as I can get,” I said. There, I said it. I asked for help! The first time in my life I asked another man to help my family and I. I wanted to throw my hands in my head and cry. But I couldn’t do that in front of this man. I just couldn’t bring myself to show weakness; not to a man like this. Not now! Don’t do it! I shouted in my head.
The old man put his cigar out, and said, “How does $20,000 work?”
A great feeling of relief rushed over me. Was he serious? Wow!
“But it’s going to cost you.”
Of course! “Yes, anything. Anything for my family.”
“Okay, you got a deal,” he said. The lights in the office came on, and the man from before returned with a stack of papers in his hands. “Just fill this out, and we’ll have you driving a new car off the lot in no time.”
Note: This is my second “Daily Prompt,” which was to write a blog post in ten minutes. I hope you enjoyed it, and let me know what you think! I usually don’t write suspense, but figured I’d have a crack at it.