On this night, Lorraine was drunk like I never saw her and spilling out all over. She's one of the bar tenders that very nearly had me killed because I was a clean-cut white boy from nowhere who showed up driving the bar trade around nights in a cab - FBI or some kind of narc, for sure. Tonight, her tongue is loose because she's facing an indictment for dealing coke out of the bar, and she's scared and naming names, but only to me, and here is where I'll prove I can be trusted. My cab is a confessional and a crime scene and I am bound by a special kind of confidentiality, the kind that keeps you breathing. I carry her down the icy walk into her place - she gives me the keys - and straight to her bed, where I pull off her boots and she starts to unbuckle my belt disoriented and misunderstanding the transaction entirely. I sit with her and talk to her quietly, holding her hand, stroking her hair - she's crying now.
She quieted down after a long time of crying with me making all kinds of reassurances, and I promised to drive her to the court myself tomorrow to help her get through it. She kissed my hand and said alright, that she was fine now and going to sleep, so I took my leave. I'd been tied up with her for a couple of hours now and I'd be lucky if I'd even make gas and lease by morning, so I was ready to get back to it. Something told me to go back though, and I wasn't clear if it was the voice above my waist or the one below that was talking, but I went back. I still had her key, so I opened the door softly just in time to see her take a little .22 caliber Derringer out of a drawer. When she saw me she took off, with me lighting out after her, and she put the little gun to her head.
I slapped that gun out of her hand hard - we both scrambled for it across the floor - and she was wild. I came up with it, and she pounded and slapped and scratched on me until I had to pin her to the bed. She started the crying again, and I laid there with her until she finally passed out, then I sat in a chair a while longer and felt this good and bad thing pushing and pulling again, so I took the pistol with me and left.
The court date came and went and she never spoke of that night or any of it. But when she called for a cab from the bar for one of her customers, I never heard anymore comments about narcs or FBIs. About a month after it all blew over, I ordered a beer from her after my shift and paid her with two bucks and a little pistol.
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