We sit at my table. I pick at candle wax stuck to the linoleum tablecloth. Lyle and the squat guy, whose name is Moses, guffaw. Pricks.
“Thirty-three thousand, eight hundred and nineteen dollars,” I mumble.
They laugh and slap the table. Tears run. I pick at the candle wax.
“Try living without a job,” I say.
“Ah, spare us the social welfare boohoo,” Lyle says. “So you’re in a bit of a spot. Which bring us to us.”
I look up from the wax.
“Our employer, who wishes to remain anonymous, would like to offer you an employment opportunity,” Lyle says.
“Me?” I ask.
“Precisely,” the squat guy says.
“He wants you to find someone,” Lyle says. “In exchange, all of your debt will be taken care of and you will receive an additional fifteen grand.”
“Me?” I ask. “Are you sure you have the right person?”
Lyle lifts his index finger in a gesture to tell me to wait. He gets up and leaves the room. Squat guy, arms crossed, rocks in his chair. He looks at me, bemused.
I hear my apartment door shut. Lyle returns with a brown manila envelope. He hands it to me. I tear it open. There is a photograph of a man inside.
““You must be joking,” I say.
I do not understand. I glance at the squat guy. He smiles. I look at Lyle. He shrugs.
“I’m confused,” I say. “If your employer is looking for the man in the photograph, why would he ask me to find him? You guys already found him. That’s me.”
To Be Continued