Suburban Corruption | Teen Ink

Suburban Corruption

May 15, 2013
By aye_thom, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
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aye_thom, Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
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Favorite Quote:
Get a wiff

Author's note: I like food.

For what seems to be the 100th time, I roll my head across my stiff pillow and glance at my bedside clock. It reads 2:14 am. “Well, s***.” I think to myself as I try to comfortably reposition myself in my firm twin bed. I had insomnia problems in high school, but ever since I moved out of my parent’s house and into this dingy duplex, it has gotten much worse. It’s probably due to the fact that my life is in utter misery of sucking a lot. I’m 24 years old and I’m a fry cook at the local burger joint a couple blocks down the street.

Obviously, my life isn’t something that anybody would ever want to have. Nobody dreams of becoming a poor, burger-flipping individual who has no social life what-so-ever. I feel like I’m one of those cows that get bulked up, and then slaughtered when they weigh enough. This is because I am doing absolutely nothing important with my life, and then I’ll die. I want to get out and do something with my life, not just fry up some mediocre burgers. Money is something that I have never really had, and if I could get a job that would get me some good money, I could actually have a chance at doing something with my life. I don’t have much of a chance at that either though, seen as I never went to college.

After pondering and these thoughts about my substandard life, I try to reposition myself again. I get frustrated with the sheets rapping around my body and just throw them on the floor. Five more minutes of useless tossing and turning pass and I feel the need to get out of my bed. My next thought is to go grab a snack from downstairs. Within seconds, I am out my bedroom door and down the creaky old steps into the kitchen. A torn box of sweet and salty granola bars stare at me from the kitchen counter. I stop halfway to the box, grab a tub of peanut butter out of the cabinet, then continue towards the box.

I peel back one of the granola bar wrappers and then dip it into the peanut butter jar. While I’m doing this, I notice that the micro wave is open and there is still some cheese crusted on the door from when my dinner exploded all over it a few hours ago. After studying the microwave for awhile, I notice a pair of headlights shining through the window that’s to the left of it. I watch the headlights pass the duplex I’m currently in, and park on the wrong side of the street outside of the house next door to me.

“Strange,” I think to myself as I take a nibble off of my peanut butter covered granola bar. This is strange to me because the house next door to my duplex is for sale. After a minute or two, the car’s headlights turn off and the driver’s-side door swings open. Then, what a appears to be the silhouette of a man, steps out of the car.

I can just barely make out crude details of the man due to the poor lighting and that he is standing about a football field’s length away from me. He reaches into his pocket and grabs out a small box. From the box he pulls out a stick and puts it in his mouth, then lights it up. Cigarettes. The man stands there and puffs smoke for awhile until there is nothing but a little stub left.

I take another bite off of my granola bar, then continue to watch the man. His next move is to the garage of the house that is for sale next door to me. He walks with a little bit of a limp on his right leg. Once he gets to the garage door, he types in a code on the key pad and the garage door lifts up.

“Who is this guy?” I think to myself as the man disappears into the black void. “He couldn’t be the real estate agent, because why would the real estate agent be at the house they are trying to sell at 3:00 am?” I thought about this for awhile and then the man reappeared in the driveway of the house. He was carrying something, though. Something big. I could tell that it was heavy, too, because he was struggling to carry it out to his car and began to drag it on the ground.

The thought of going out to help the man crossed my mind a couple times, mainly because I was just curious. Whatever he is carrying is taking him awhile to get to his car because a couple of minutes passed and he is only halfway down the driveway. I quickly down the rest of my granola bar that I had been nibbling away at and threw on a raggedy pair of slippers. By the time I stepped out the front door of my apartment, the man was on the street near the back of his car.

I quietly open and close my front door so I don’t wake up the person who I share the duplex with. Once outside, I’m immediately greeted by the hot and sticky summer air. I turn and walk down my front steps onto the sidewalk. From here, I can see that the man set down whatever he was dragging, and was now fidgeting with his keys. I begin to advance on the man. The only light that guides me there is provided by the street lamp about fifty or sixty yards down the street.

Three quarters of the way there, I see the man start to try and put whatever he was dragging, into his trunk and he is obviously struggling.

“Need some help there, man?” I inquire. Startled, the man drops the package and reaches into his pocket then slowly turns to look at me.

“Who the hell are you?!” the man demands as he lifts a gun out of his pocket and points towards my face with a steady hand.

“I’m Ron. Ron Shafter. I didn’t realize that I had a new neighbor,” I reply with a calm, cool tone. The gun doesn’t seem to bother me very much at all. This is probably because I’m assuming that this man’s not going to pull the trigger. “Who are you?”

“Shut up, man! Don’t ask me any questions or I’ll blow your head all over the sidewalk!”

Suddenly, I sense that there is probably a reason he is pointing a gun at me. My eyes land on the bag that the man was trying to put in his car. It’s a body bag. There’s obviously someone in it based on how much this man was struggling with it a few minutes ago. 

“Who’s this?” I ask the man as I nod towards the body bag.

“I said no questions!” Shouted the man as he tightened his grip on his pistol.

“Don’t worry man, I’m just trying to help you out, okay? Let’s get this thing into your car.” I take a step towards the bag, and I feel the man trace my movements with his gun.

“I wouldn’t touch that if I were you!”

“Dude, relax, I’m helping you out. Let’s get this guy into your trunk. Then you can go on your way, and just forget about me.”

“But I can’t forget about you,” the man replied, “I’ve got to tie up all loose ends.”

“Loose ends? What is this some kind of ‘Bourne Identity’ s***? How about I just help you out with this little favor, and then you go on your merry flippin’ way.”

“Or I could just put a bullet through your head,” he replied immediately.

“It looks to me like your having enough trouble getting one body into your trunk,” I say as I gesture towards the bag again. “There’s no way you have room for two bodies in that trunk. Let alone, you probably don’t even have another body bag.” I could see the defeat ease onto the man’s face, and his gun lowers a little bit. “Let’s get this body into your car, man.”

“...Alright,” he sighed in a soft, pissed off tone. I grabbed one end of the bag and he grabbed the other. I definitely had the head end because when I lifted the bag up, I could feel the head roll over onto my forearm.

“Who is this guy?” I ask the man once again as we toss the body into the trunk.

“A loose end,” He replied in a firm tone of voice.

“Like me?”

“No, this man worked for us.”

“Worked for you? What, you mean you’re like part of a mafia or something?”

“I’ve said too much!” He shouts as he lifts his gun again. “You can’t live anymore.”

“Woah, woah, woah. Hold on,” I say to try and calm him down. “What If I work for you, whatever you guys do?”

“Impossible,” he said blankly.

“Nothing’s impossible, man.”

“We cant just have someone that we know absolutely nothing about just come in and work for us.”

“You know my name. My address. What I look like.” I say to him annoyingly.

“Don’t be foolish,” says the man stubbornly, still pointing his gun at me.

I reach my hand up and grab the lid of the trunk of the man’s car. Then I slam it down to close it. Once it’s closed, I lean on the back of the man’s car.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing.”

My hand slides into my pocket, and the man approaches me and presses the cold metal barrel of the gun to my forehead. “Smoke?” I ask the man.

“Smoke? What do you mean smoke?”

My hand comes out of my pocket with a box of Camel cigarettes enclosed in my fingers. He nods in approval, so I open the box,slide one of them out and hold out the box to him. Without lowering the gun from my face, he pulled it out of the box and stick it in his mouth. I light it for him, then pull out a cigg for myself and light it as well. After a long drag on the cigarette, I blow the smoke into the air and then ask the man what his name is.

“Boz,” He replies.

“Got a last name, Boz?” I ask, just to keep the conversation rolling and to try and prevent him from putting chunks of my brain all over the sidewalk.

“No. Now stop asking me questions.”

“You can put the gun down, Boz, you’re not going to shoot me.”

“But I have to, otherwise I’ll end up like him,” He says and knocks a couple of times on the trunk.

“Your a drug dealer, aren’t you?”

“What?!” He demands, and presses the gun against my chest.

“Well, I’m just guessing, but based on our location, Naperville Chicago, and your buddy here,” I bang on the trunk, “I’m beginning to think your dealing dope in this town.”

“You a cop, son?” He says in a worried tone.

I laugh a little bit, then reply, “No man, I flip burgers. Now, are you dealing drugs, or not?”

“Why are you askin’ me that?”

“Well, Boz, I think I could rack up some business for ya down here in Naperville.”

“Why’s that?” he says in a serious way. That was his first mistake.

“So, you are a drug dealer?”

“What? I didn’t-- What?”

“Are you gonna shoot me, Boz, or are you gonna let me help you deal this s***?”

He turns his head and looks around as if he thinks someone is watching us. Then he swipes the gun across my face. I feel it break skin, but keep from shouting out. “You son-of-a-b****!” He whispers at me, then removes the cigarette from his mouth. He takes the burning end of it and puts it out on my hand.

I didn’t move, even though the searing pain was almost unbearable. After what seems like five minutes, but is really only about thirty seconds, Boz stops and tosses the cigarette butt on the road. He then walks around to the passenger side of the car and opens the door. All the while, his gun is still pointed at me. I see his head dip down, then come back up. Then he shuts the door and and comes back to the trunk of the car. He is holding a shiny black briefcase, with brass locks on it.

Boz rubs his fingers over the codes next to the brass locks and then they fling open. The next thing I see is about 100 or so little plastic baggies of what looks like brown sugar.

“Heroin,” I say under my breath.

“Damn right it is,” he says in a grumbly whisper, not removing eye contact with the packets. “This s*** can cause a great deal of trouble in a little amount of time.”

“How much does it run at?”

“Ranges anywhere from $200 to $500 a gram. Depends on how smart or stupid the buyer is. I usually play it safe and say $300, take it or leave it.”

I lift my hand and reach to grab one of the bags, just to feel it. Before my hand even gets close, Boz slams the briefcase shut.

“I need to be able to trust you,” He says to me with direct eye contact.

Staring into his hazel eyes, I reply with “You have my word, Boz.”

“How do I know that your not going to turn me in?”

“I have no money, man. I’m living in a duplex and play with burger grease every day. This business has the capability to take my life from nothing and bring it up to something.”

“If you screw this up in any way at all-”

“You can trust me, Boz. I want to do this,” I cut him off.

“You have two weeks to sell all of this. Keep your money in an envelope, and don’t spend any of it. In two weeks, we will meet at this location,” He removed a pen and piece of paper from his left pants pocket and scrawled down an address and time then handed it to me. “You have full responsibility of your actions. If you screw anything up, you will be dead and it won’t be pretty. Welcome to the business, Ron.” He jutted his hand out towards me for a handshake and I grabbed his hand in acceptance of the job. He then hands me the briefcase, and turns back towards his car. Then he quickly turns back around and says, “See you in two weeks, Ron. Don’t get yourself killed.”

“Don’t worry, I won’t,” I say, without even looking at him, and begin head back towards my apartment.

“Hey, Ron,” Boz yells at me and I turn to look at him. He throws his pistol into my hands and says “That might be helpful in the future.” I give Boz one last nod and continue walking to my house.

Once I get back in my house, I look at the clock on the microwave. 3:39 am. In about an hour, my life had completely changed. I am now a criminal, selling drugs for money. My life will never be the same, which, to me, I think is a good thing. I take my slippers off and saunter up the stairs, briefcase still in hand.

I put the briefcase underneath my bed where it will be safe for the rest of the night. The briefcase will consume my life for the next couple of weeks, and I can already tell I will be obsessed with the idea of making at least $20,000 in the next two weeks. That is 25 times more than what I would be making at the old burger joint. This job will give my life purpose.

With this idea in my mind, I crawl into bed. I think about the new adventures that await me for the next couple of minutes, but I cant seem to stay awake. My eyes keep on falling shut. I take one last look at the clock. 3:47 am. The last thing I remember is thinking that my insomnia is finally gone.

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