The Closing Bell

The conclusion of The Blue Light

Lying awake on his down pillow top, another random woman’s arm laid over his chest, his thoughts drifted back to the field in which he left her.  The guilt was eating away at his insides and no amount of women, drugs, alcohol, and money could keep it at bay.  He took a life.  Took the life of the woman he loved most in the world simply because he couldn’t bear the thought of her leaving.  He was a monster.

When he created his false identity and went into hiding, he had no idea his life would lead him to the point it was at now.  At first, he welcomed the success.  Being one of the foremost investment managers in the nation certainly had its privileges, but it was a constant reminder of the horrible crime he committed.  By making money for himself and his employer, he was committing crimes and ruining lives almost daily.  He couldn’t see the blood, but he could feel it.

He used to be proud of his killer instinct.  Who better to blow away the world of finance than someone who had already literally blown someone away?  He used his ability to put his needs before all else to reach the pinnacle, but now what?  Would he just continue to live fast as he was, carrying the truth of that night in the blue light of the moon with him forever?  He was running out of substances which could dull the pain.

He never worried about the law catching up with him.  The SEC investigated him for some shady dealings on the FOREX he had been involved with a couple years earlier, and he walked away from that unscathed; with absolutely no discovery of his true identity.  He knew the only thing catching up with him was his conscience.

Friday, after the closing bell, he and some of his co-workers did the usual thing and hit the bars of Manhattan.  He had done a few lines, and was feeling invincible.  As the bar started to fill up, he scanned the room for the newest 20 something he could take back to his penthouse.  He set his sights on a brunette with a blonde dye-job.  She was sitting at the bar alone, but the bartender was chatting her up.  He watched as they flirted back and forth.  But, believing himself to be unstoppable, this did little to dissuade him.  He approached and grabbed the empty seat next to her.

“Barman,” he began, trying to show his power over the service employee who stood in his way, “Old Fashioned for myself, and what would you like?” as he turned his attention to the woman.

“Um,” she giggled, “I already have a drink.”

“Then another of the same for my new friend here,” he ordered to the bartender who was not too pleased with the interruption.

The bartender, knowing who was ordering the drinks, along with the connections his money afforded him, had to bite his tongue and go make them.

He turned his full attention to her.  “So, what’s your story?” he asked her.

“Um, well, I’m in sales,” she replied sheepishly.

“Oh, I don’t care what you do, I want to know who you are.  What makes you get out of bed in the morning?” he asked her.

“Well, I don’t even know your name,” she retorted.

The bartender returned with the drinks.  “Here is your lemon drop, and here is your Old Fashioned, Mr. Pendleton,” he said as he set the drinks down.

“See, now you know my name.  And we can get to know each other,” he stated with a grin.

“I’m Amber,” she began, “I don’t usually come to these types of places, but I’m looking for someone and think this might be a good place to find him.  Finding him is what makes me get out of bed in the morning.”

Suddenly his grin dropped as the recognition took hold.

“Mom says hi.”

And just after the words entered his head, so did a bullet from a sniper rife on a rooftop across the street.

As the panic ensued she rushed out to join her mother who blended in with the chaos to come down to the street.

Her hair covered the scar left by the dead man in the bar.  The plastic surgery took well, and she looked perfectly natural.

“But mom, what if he survived, like you did?”

“Oh Amber dear, I wasn’t stupid enough to use a .22”

Featured image “Photos NewYork1 032″. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Photos_NewYork1_032.jpg#/media/File:Photos_NewYork1_032.jpg”

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Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

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