“No where’s paradise forever,” I say to myself and light another cigarette. Had to end sometime, but right here, right now, like this? I thought I was better than this, I guess my type always does.
I flick the half-finished cigarette into the sea and turn my back to the storm over the horizon only to know there’s another one coming just a few steps up the beach. You’re alone here, and that’s the way it’s going to be. You’ve blown it and Tommy needs an answer.
The sand itches its way between my toes as I come to the neon promenade and the club’s lights wink at me in the way they always do as Ivan the bodyguard gives me a smile. “I’m glad you chose not to run Mr Frank! I like you, you know, it would have been a shame to have had to kill you.”
“Sure thing, Ivan.” I walk in front of him as he grabs my shoulder with a massive hand and I feel the gun poke me in the back.
“Ah! Frank, come on, come on!” Tommy stands up and greets me. He’s three days awake, full of blow and surrounded by his usual horde of women. “Look, bitches, make some fucking room will you?”
The women move and I sit, holding my hands together, leaning forwards. Funny sensation really, knowing you’re on the verge of death. All those other things, the dry ice, the pumping music, neon lights flickering and that thing, you can almost feel it in the air, the anticipation of something big.
“What’s the matter Frankie boy. Cat got your tongue?” Tommy yells and bursts into laughter.
I shake my head. That idea you can grab onto anything, the whole universe, I had it once, in the palm of my hand. No where’s paradise forever.
Tommy slaps his hand down on my shoulder and brings his stinking face in close. “What’s your answer, Frank? Make it a good one, I don’t want to have to ruin another couch.”
“And besides, Ivan said he likes me,” I say as Tommy bursts into hysterics. “But you know, I can’t do it, Tommy. Just can’t.” What was it those Curt Smith said? Welcome to your life. There’s no turning back.
Tommy’s immediately cold, the laughing stops dead. “Sorry, Frank.” He gives the nod to Ivan who’s drawing his gun. “Wait, wait, you know what, we’ve been through a lot.” He stands. “Ivan, take him out back, give the man a little privacy.”
“Sure thing boss,” the hulk answers and picks me up by the shoulder, pushing and prodding me into the back as I think, one last play?
“Ivan, you don’t have to do this you know. I’ll just disappear. I’ll be a ghost.” He pushes me to my knees and I’m shaking and sweating as I feel the barrel of the gun on the back of my head. “Come on, big man.”
There’s a click and a flash and my ears are ringing and the smoke of the shot and I slowly open my eyes, to see a shaft of light coming through the bullet hole in the door and smile.
“I like you, Frank, but you’re not worth my own life.”
Bang. No where’s paradise forever.