We all got moved into this safe house that was somewhere between the two motels. Mary told us it was very off the books, that only a few select people in the precinct were aware of its location. I would ask as to why we weren’t stashed here in the first place, but I figured there were more pressing matters she had to deal with.
Like Gary Newburn.
He got stashed along with us. Not right away, he came to join us a few hours after we got situated with a hood over his head. “I don’t trust the thieving bastard,” is what Mary snarled at us when we saw her escort him through the front door. I think she trusted us more to not spill the beans on where exactly to find this place than him. Fair point since he’s a bank robber.
He was kept away in the basement of this place, guards outside the door obviously. If I had to guess he was locked up like Hannibal Lecter in Red Dragon. Given enough space, room to move, but cuffed so he can’t get any further than he was allowed to go. That’s just my best guess, seriously, Mary pounced on anyone that sniffed around that part of the house that weren’t the guards assigned to watch the door.
This was all done on Saturday, the day everything was supposed to go down, but one of the demands from Jerry and the people he’s with was that it now be done tomorrow, on Sunday night. Said it was their peak business hours.
I will admit this place was far nicer to stay in than the motel and the hospital. Nice AC and heating, decent wifi connection, and a sweet TV area with a PlayStation 4 that alone helped me and Matt relax. Mary brought that in herself when we got moved in here. Said she’s taking it back once all this is done, which I guess meant she got it on her own personal dime. I mean gaming is a good way to deal with stress. Our parents seemed a little more relaxed now that they had some room to breathe. Joel’s security at the hospital got doubled obviously, but I think he’s pretty safe where he is.
The whole stay there could only be described as tense. It was like we were all standing in the middle of a giant powder keg that waited for that one spark to set it all off.
Things didn’t get any better when it dark. Mary called me and Mike and all the other involved parties for tomorrow upstairs to go over our roles in tomorrow night’s plan and what to do should our rendezvous go sideways. Things went relatively fine and smooth, that is until Mary wrapped up and asked if anyone else had questions. Ralph asked if Gary Newburn should have been present.
“I ain’t letting one single soul in this house near that man, be they breathing or not.” That response from her was one of the angriest I’ve heard from her yet. It sounded like that question offended her. “As far as I am concerned he is so far away from this that he has no place out there tomorrow night. His only connection here are those two motherfuckers that got us here in the first goddamn place! I doubt he knows who Doobs is, so no, that son of a bitch stays locked up and locked away until this first mess is cleaned up. Once it is, then you, Ralphy boy can help him and myself with making sure no counterfeit money further gets circulated around town. And then, and then, negotiations about your questionable record can begin.” Those last few words in particular were said with such seething content.
Ralph just then sat back into his chair like a grouchy child that didn’t ever everything they wanted for Christmas. Fitting, given the season.
We got dismissed and fed a lovely pizza buffet that Mary also provided for us. Even had a couple of slices sent down to Gary. It was overall pretty good, delightful evening really. The calm before the storm I guess is what they call it.
We all had to be in bed by 10:30PM, so just a little before then me and Mike sat on the steps outside with a couple of sodas. Unable to successfully stealth some beers away with the present company.
We both got even more introspective about everything again. It was hard not to honestly. This time really felt a little bit different. There was this sense of finality in the air, like we were heading towards a big crescendo.
“Fuck,” said Mike. “Just fuck, man. I really still can’t believe everything that has happened.”
I burped after a particular big gulp of the fizzy stuff. “What were we thinking? I mean really, what the hell were we honestly thinking when we just upped and took that bag?”
“I dunno man, we were smoking some rather good shit that fateful night.”
“Things really aren’t gonna be the same after all of this. We most likely have trust issues out of the ass from this, ones that will probably need therapy to get over. It will be a good while until we even know what normal is again. All because of greed, the most powerful sin of them all.”
Mike looked at me in a really puzzled manner. “Well, shit, tell me how you really feel, Chaser.”
“I just might.”
That made us both laugh a big hearty laugh. Not the near psychotic level that Mary did the other day, but it was still a good release of pent up emotion.
Mary then stepped out on the porch and told us to haul our asses to bed. She went back in and we stood up and then we hugged. We hugged each other close and deeply, as if it were the last time we were about to see each other.
It felt safe. Comforting.
It felt sad.