Time to look at Annalisa’s story. I’m not sure if I want to change much about her, but now we have a tenuous connection between her and Jack, maybe we can explore this a little further.
It will certainly change the dynamic between them, and reflect in whether or not she lets him go or not.
But the story would benefit more from relating how the disaster happened, and the fact the relationship between Simmo and Annalisa had run its course.
There will still be that basic fear of being left alone with the shop keeper and the consequences, which she believes will have a very bad result.
Annalisa had known the moment she had agreed, or rather having been coerced to agree, to go on this foolhardy mission, it would not be the ‘piece of cake’ he said it would be.
It was the culmination of a series of events the brought her to the revelation that is was not her he loved but her money.
And the fact the ‘recreational’ use of drugs was far more serious and far more costly that she had realized. Until her parents cut off both her access to her bank account and credit card.
Simmo had gone quite literally ‘ape shit’ when he found out, and the full extent of what was a ‘recreational use’ of drugs became clear. In the first stages of withdrawal he was nothing like the boy she used to know.
But, she would go along with him this once and that would be an end to it. Her funding his habit, their relationship, though she chose not to tell him at the exact moment because he was very threatening, in fact it was going to be the end of everything to do with him.
As they left the apartment for the last time, an eerie calm had come over him, and he had revered to the Simmo she used to know. There were flashes of the old Simmo from time to time, but the ever increasing use of drugs had changed him, changed his personality, and now there was very little left.
She thought about staying, trying to being him back, get him to go to a rehabilitation center, admit he had a problem.
Stepping out of the building into the cold night air brought her back to her senses. There was no helping him, now or ever.
It was nearly time, a few minutes before the shop closed, the time, Simmo said, when the shopkeepers ‘other’ customers arrived.
She hoped there were no other customers.
The plan was simple. Simmo would show the money, a twenty dollar note wrapped around a wad of blank papers, the shopkeeper would get the bag, he would give the wad, take the drugs and they’d run, hoping he wouldn’t discover the truth before escaping out the front door.
And if he did, she asked.
He had it covered.
She didn’t like the sound of that statement, or the savagery with which it was delivered. More and more this was sounding like a suicide mission.
Simmo patted her on the shoulder. It was time.
She looked at her watch, 11:25 pm.
From across the road she had watched the shopkeeper going through the motions of closing the store, bring in the sidewalk displays, wiping the counter, sweeping the floor. As they crossed the road she could see him standing behind the counter, waiting, watching the clock tick inexorably towards 11:30.
She preceded Simmo into the shop. His idea was that seeing her would create a distraction. He smiled when he saw her, frowned when he saw Simmo. He knew the moment he saw Simmo exactly what he was there for.
© Charles Heath 2016