Dark Horse Chapter 24


Jack was drinking a non-steaming cup of coffee. I was drinking a bubbling Coke. The dining room was empty. A very large teenage boy was filling some straw containers behind the counter. Minutes before closing.

I was toying with the scrap of folded paper.

’’One thing I don't get,’’ I said, turning the paper over in my fingers, ’’is why you always blow on your coffee. I mean, couldn't you just snap your fingers and it would be instantly cool? Or, a better question: how is it even possible that God could burn his lips?’’

’’That's more than one thing,’’ said Jack.

’’You're not going to answer, are you?’’

He drank more of his coffee. His eyes were brownish, maybe with a touch of green. Maybe. What the hell did I know? I was colorblind.

’’Could you heal me of my colorblindness?’’ I asked.

’’Heal yourself.’’

’’Heal myself?’’

’’Sure. I gave you a big brain for a reason.’’

’’They say we're only using ninety percent,’’ I said.

’’If that much.’’

We were silent some more. I was thinking about my big brain...surely mine was bigger than most, since I was always being told I had a big head. Or were they referring to something else? I held up the folded piece of paper.

’’I'm going to open this now,’’ I said.

’’Go ahead.’’

’’I've wanted to for quite sometime.’’

’’I'm sure you did, but you didn't.’’

’’No,’’ I said.


’’Because I wanted to find the answer myself.’’

’’And did you?’’


The kid behind the counter walked over to us and told us we had five minutes. I said sure. Jack didn't say anything. And when the kid was gone, I unfolded the paper and looked down at the single word: Dana.

’’Lucky guess,’’ I said.

Jack laughed.

’’So why did you come to me,’’ I said. ’’Why are you here now?’’

’’You asked me here.’’

’’Fine. Now what do I do with you?’’

’’Whatever you want.’’

’’I'm thinking about writing a book.’’

’’Good for you,’’ said Jack.

’’It's going to be about this case.’’

’’Would make a good book,’’ said Jack.

’’I want to put you in it,’’ I said.

’’I'm honored.’’

’’That is why you came to me, right?’’

’’That is for you to decide.’’

We were silent some more. The kid behind the counter was turning off the lights, banging stuff loudly so we'd get the hint.

’’I feel we've only scratched the surface here,’’ I said.

’’That's why there's something called sequels.’’

’’You mentioned something earlier about loving me.’’

’’I did.’’

’’So do you really love me?’’ I asked, a hell of a strange question for one grown man to ask another grown man. Especially a man as tough as myself.

He said, ’’More than you know, my son. More than you know.’’ He reached out and put his hand on my hand. Radiating warmth spread through me instantly. ’’I am with you always. Remember that.’’

Something caught in my throat. ’’Then why do I feel so alone?’’

’’Do you feel alone now?’’

’’No,’’ I said. The lights went out, and we got up together from the table. ’’No, I don't.’’

The End

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