The Kid had been hanging out in our local pub for about a month when Kitty Killer brought him home to AG’s for dinner on Christmas Eve. That was the first time that I had really talked to The Kid and I realised that there was a lot more depth to him than I had previously thought. We kept up our dialogue over the next few days.
Yesterday, just before 6 p.m., The Kid phoned me for the first time.
Kid: Max, do you have plans for tonight?
Kid: I’m having an emergency, will you come meet me?
Max: What?!! What kind of emergency?
Kid: I’ll tell you when you get here. Meet me at Anděl in 30 minutes.
My plans had actually been to stay at home for a change, do some research and writing and then get a good night’s sleep, but I grabbed my coat and ran out the door and onto the tram. My thoughts as I rode through the city: What am I doing? I barely know The Kid; there is something very weird about this and I have always had a feeling that he is hiding something. Am I going willingly to my own rendition? (I knew that one was a bit ridiculous, but I thought it anyway.) And so on. My conclusions then were: I do trust him, although I am not sure that I should. He’s just a kid and he needs help. I’m now curious and I have no fear. I may have felt differently if he had called me out at
The Kid was waiting for me right at the tram stop. I could see that he was nervous.
Kid: I’ve got to move out of my flat right now. Will you help me?
Max: Yes, of course I’ll help you. But what is going on?
The Kid’s hands were shaking as he lit a cigarette. He started telling me his story, which I could not follow very well and did not really piece completely together until hours later when I listened to him tell it to AG. I had found myself inside a story from a pulp magazine.
The Kid had been having a normal day when he got a text message from The Dumb But Attractive Blonde, his childhood friend and onetime girlfriend who was currently shacking up with an ex-con 33 years her senior.
I must talk to you. Meet me at Café X in 30 minutes.
The Kid texted back that he would be there.
Once at the café, The Dumb But Attractive Blonde informed The Kid that Gleb (a Russian acquaintance) had told her and the ex-con that The Kid had told him that he (The Kid) was going into the drugs and arms trafficking business together with the ex-con and 2 others. The ex-con had believed Gleb and therefore The Kid was guilty of spreading a damaging rumour. The Kid was incredulous. He objected: Why would I say something like that? What could I possibly get out of it? Gleb had been coked out and drunk when The Kid had supposedly said this. The Kid then phoned Gleb and asked him if he had really made the accusation. Gleb denied saying anything and told The Kid that he knew The Kid had never said anything like that and that he would say as much to The Dumb But Attractive Blonde. The Kid handed the phone to The Dumb But Attractive Blonde, but Gleb did not retract his earlier statement. Instead he reaffirmed to The Dumb But Attractive Blonde that The Kid had indeed told him what he had said he had told him. They hung up the phone. The Dumb But Attractive Blonde told The Kid that it was Gleb’s word against his and that they were believing Gleb. She also told The Kid that the ex-con had told her to tell him that he would not go after The Kid, but if he saw him he would break both his legs and both of his arms. The Kid questioned why The Dumb But Attractive Blonde would believe Gleb over him, and The Dumb But Attractive Blonde answered that she had known Gleb for a long time. The Kid was again incredulous because The Dumb But Attractive Blonde had known Gleb for about 6 months. She had known The Kid for over 10 years.
That was when The Kid called me.
To be continued…