eMe:Chapter 3: Throwing Off The Path
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 15:10
Yasser Shaikh, a senior majoring in biotechnology, will provide The Spectrum with a chapter from his fiction story “eMe” that depicts the life of a college senior law student who happens to get involved in a Mexican mafia drug cartel and soon finds himself running from the cops. This is chapter three.
Chapter 3: Throwing Off The Path
New York City, at 16:45:
Eduardo got off the train and walked in the crowd, still buried in his newspaper. He had to be quick but inconspicuous. As soon as he was out of Bowery sub-station, he detached from the mass of sweat and smells and walked over to Bowery and Kenmare St. He had to walk two blocks till he found a pay phone.
The phone rang a while until Jim picked up at the last ring.
“Hernandez,” he said, trying to sound audible.
After a long night at the precinct, Sergeant Ricochet often had to handle his words or he would just start blabbering in Spanish. He had been in America since he was five, yet had difficulty speaking English.
“Alo, Soy yo! Meet me at the regular spot. Diez minutos.” He hung up and began walking.
The meeting spot, an Italian grocery store, was perfect. No one there knew Spanish, and people didn’t bother listening whether you talked about the weather or human trafficking. Surprisingly, most of the crowd there was Chinese rather than Italian. It was set up between tons of Asian stores, so it wasn’t unusual.
Jim was there on time. When Ed walked in, they both pretended to not know each other but kept shopping. When they got close, Ed began, “Estoy en problemas!”
Jim just nodded; this was not the first time Ed had been in trouble.
When Ed first came to New York, Jim found him a girl to marry so he could become a citizen. He made sure Ed’s records were clear and he was out of the files.
So far he had only been through theft and bounced checks, but Jim knew it was bigger this time. He had that intuition -- something that comes with 13 years of police work.
“What is it this time?” Jim asked. He stuck to English, a sign of panic. “Yo maté a un hombre.” Ed replied.
That’s when Jim realized how accurate his instincts had turned out to be. He immediately turned around and grabbed Eduardo by the arm. “What? Are you f****** kidding me?”
Jim’s face turned red with a mix of anger and panic. He wanted to run from there. But he knew he had to watch this idiot’s back.
Jim hustled out the store with him before the storekeeper turned his attention to them. They hurried into an alleyway and Ed started telling Jim about his brother, the tattoo he had heard of and the gunsmith he had killed that day.
Jim could barely process the mix of incomprehensible information he had right now. He couldn’t think straight.
He handed Ed his apartment keys and asked him to go there right away. He knew it was stupid, but being out on the streets was not going to end well for Ed.
Besides, Jim lived with no family, so it was ok. He would just have to cancel his date tonight with the hot bartender. However, that was the least of his concerns.
He walked back to the fifth precinct and once there, his mind began to race. Hours passed and he felt like he had no choice but to turn Ed in. He will probably be out in eight years or so. He hoped.
Right at that moment, his eyes went over to the copy of The New York Times on his desk. The copy was open on to the technology section.
There was a small news item about the latest database NSA had come up with. This was something they could use for replacing one person’s information with another. They would probably use this to create fake identities for their “covert operatives.”
Jim finally had an idea. Although he was a small time cop, he had made good friends in his time. Now was the time to call upon friendship. He took out his cell phone and a pocket diary. These were the numbers you did not keep in a cell phone directory.
He dialed his “amigo” in the NSA.