As the cold water breaks in front of me, I remember the first time, you and I stood here. Back then, everything was still okay; everything was new, was exciting. We were fine; whatever this „we“ was. Not love, not friendship, not pure business partners, something in between and none of the above at all.
Back when we started out, we immediately realized, how different we were. It was necessity that required our cooperation, but from there something grew and flourished. And it led to success, made our working together smoother. I learned to respect your difference as you did mine – at least I think you did. We even discovered some similarities, another pebble in the great mosaic, that made “us” better in the long run.
In the night after the completion of our first business venture, we celebrated. Right here, in this very spot, we sat and talked, drank wine, smoked a couple of joints and listened to the stereo in my car, which I had driven halfway up the shore. At some point, you’d gotten up, said you’d be right back. I can’t remember, what I had been thinking about while I waited, when the music suddenly changed.
I turned my head, only to see you emerging from the drivers’ door. You had a blanket draped around you, covering you from the shoulders to the knees; as you walked closer I saw that you were holding it together in front of you with a curled fist. In your other hand was a bottle of liquor, the heavy stuff.
You walked around me and stopped in front of me, turning toward me and letting go of the blanket. As its ends fell aside, I realized that you were naked underneath. The next moment, you were on top of me and we continued our private celebration. I still remember the feeling of wet sand beneath me and the heat of your body on top, but I’m hazy about the details. The liquor took care of that. But I do remember how that same song played over and over in an endless loop, and how you proposed our next venture right there that night. I agreed. And it had only been the beginning.
We celebrated all our successes this way, and it felt like a winning streak, a rush of luck, a tide of good fortune, that just would not stop, as if nothing ever could go wrong. Whatever we wanted, we took it; every idea turned out great, leaving us with the cash and the fame… notoriety… whatever. You had the ideas and the contacts, I had the know-how and the logistics. We planned it all together and we were winners.
Until the day, when you brought in someone else. A business associate you called him, and as we shook hands, I realized that he was more than just that. From then on, you were around less and less, having to deal with things and prepare the next venture, you said. I accepted that, for a while, but I think I knew what was going on from the very beginning. I realized, you were advancing into a new crowd, making new friends and partners. I could see all that, witness your evolution and knew that it would only be a matter of time, when you needed to get rid of me.
Your trap was simple and effective, but it couldn’t stop me; I was prepared. After I’d killed the second assailant, the rest tried to flee – in vain. I dumped all four bodies in the sea, their ankles chained to cinder blocks. Then, I went after you. I knew, you’d be with your new friends. Ever since you met them, you’d spend more time with them than with me. What I had first mistaken for simple jealousy, had now turned into icy hate.
I thought, you’d be in his office, but he was alone, and he was drunk. The radio on the shelf had a tape deck and it played a song, I knew; the same song from back then, when we first celebrated. I wonder how many others you’ve played it for since then.
When he looked up and realized it was me, he fumbled for his drawer. A kick at his side and the barrel of my 9 mm convinced him not to try anything else. What I hadn’t expected were his tears. And yet, he wasn’t pleading for his life – he kept crying your name. Another victim now, no more.
I took him to our spot. I gave him a bottle of liquor to drink and all the while your song played on my car’s stereo, just like the night back then. When the bottle was empty and he was dead, I chained his body to another cinder block, drenched him with gasolene and loaded him onto a makeshift wooden raft, before shoving it off into the tide. With the cold water lapping around my knees, I lit up a cigarette, tossing the cheap lighter onto the raft, which took to the flame immediately, and waded back to the shore. I kept the music playing all the time, as the raft turned into smoke and the burning remains finally followed the pull of the cinder block, slipping down into the dark.
I can still hear the waves splashing softly. Your song still plays in my car stereo and I still think of you. A few pieces of charred driftwood dance in the surge. I’m certain to get a cold, a bad one probably, but I had to see him off. Your ceremony will be much longer, though.
I turn, carelessly flick my cigarette butt into the wet sand that once was our bed, and walk back to my car, to finally shut off that damned song.