This is another short story I have written, one a little bit longer than the last. It needs some work, but I thought I would share it. Feel free to give any input.
I’ve been a taxi driver in New York for eight years now. Everyday is the same, the same people going the same places. You’ve got the people who think they are better than you, going to the big office buildings down town. You’ve got the people who think that you can do something more with your life, going to the airport or church. You’ve got the people who just keep asking random questions to fill up the silence, going to dinner or shopping. Then you’ve got the people who feel as though they have to share their deepest darkest secrets with you, and for some reason they are always heading to Queens. The last category has always compelled me; I have always wondered why they tell me their secrets. What makes me so special? The way I figure it is that people have a priest, or they have me. Only Catholics can use a priest for confession, so most people turn to me. People feel that if they tell someone, just let it out that one time, it magically goes away. Why not tell me; I am a taxi driver in New York. They’ll never see me again and I’ll never see them.
You would not believe the stories I have heard. Some of them are horrible, make your skin crawl, but who knows, they could just be making the whole thing up. After all these years, one story has always stuck in my mind. It was a Tuesday night. Tuesday nights are always the deadest, I mean who wants to go anywhere on a Tuesday night? Well, anyhow I was driving around, looking for someone to pay the rent, when I saw this guy waving wildly. I pulled over and he got in. He was a small guy, Italian I think. His hair was dark and short and his face unshaven. He was covered in sweat and sucking up air like it was on sale. “Where to?” I asked.
“Anywhere, just go!” he yelled at me.
I turned around to face him. “Listen buddy, I am not paid to figure out where you should go, I’m just paid to drive.”
He gave me an evil glare. “Fine, then I want to go to Queens.” Ah, the boy wanted to go to Queens, I knew then that I had a confession on my hands.
Queens was about a half hour away, it could take at least an hour with traffic but, like I said before, Tuesday nights are always pretty dead. I slowly pulled out into the street. “Common! Let’s go!” he yelled at me as he nervously looked out the window. I gave the car a little more gas to make the jerk happy, and we were on our way.
We drove for about ten minutes in silence. When he had finally caught his breath, he started to talk. “It must be kind of a risky job bein’ a taxi driver, not knowin’ what kinda psychos you could be pickin’ up. I mean, for all ya know I might be a murder, a crazy ass murderer. Of course I’m not though, I promise… well at least I think I promise, I mean I’m not sure if she’s… Well, never mind that. I can’t promise you that I’m not a crazy ass. That one you’ll have to figure out for yourself. You probably think I am one, the way I’m rattling on, but I’m just nervous.”
To tell you the truth I was getting nervous myself, I mean imagine driving with a guy who says he may or may not have murdered someone. I was about to pull over and kick him out, but he started talking and I was gettin’ curious. “I get this way, you know, nervous. I work myself up about little things, I get to rattling. That’s part of the reason why I was where I was when you picked me up, my damn rattling and love for money got me into it.” He then became strangely quiet as we made our way from highway 278 to 485. Not a sound could be heard but the wind rushing over the taxi.
I usually don’t talk much to the passengers. I seem to only speak up when they ask me questions, and that is purely out of manners, but I became curious about his story and I couldn’t help but asking, “So, why were you there? What happened?”
He seemed to jump when I spoke, suddenly coming out of his own world that he had zoned into. “You really want to know? Well I feel like I need to tell someone, might as well be you. Where should I start…”
I have always been a smart ass, kinda my nature ya know? So I told him, “Why not start at the beginning?” I was expecting him to get pissed off by this comment but he seemed to think that it was a good idea.
“Well, I guess the beginning always is the best place. It all started last week when an old buddy of mine from high school called me up, told me he needed a favor. I asked him what he wanted but he said it wasn’t something to discuss over the phone, so we meet that night at a bar. He bought me a beer and we went to a table in a far corner and he started to tell me about his wife. It seems that he had been unfaithful towards her, been cheatin’ on her for months and he wanted a divorce. Thing was that he was the person to blame, he did her wrong and because of that, she could take him to the cleaners. He needed to have her be the reason, have her do something wrong. That’s where I came in. He wanted me to win her over, get her to have sex with me and have him catch us in the act. I was a little hesitant but he was an old buddy and he offered me some cash, plus a bit of sex never hurt anyone. I agreed and we began to plan the whole thing. I was going to be a pool boy that he had hired and while he was off at work I would romance her. It was cliché, I know, but neither of us are that creative and it always worked in the movies. Two days later I was knockin’ on their door with only a Speedo on.”
“Wow, that must have taken a lot of courage,” I said.
“No, not really. Wearing the Speedo wasn’t a requirement, it was just my own special touch,” he chuckled. “So, anyhow his wife opened the door and when I saw her my jaw practically hit the sidewalk, I mean this gal was beautiful!”
“So if she was so great than why did your buddy want to leave her?”
“Who knows, I never met the other chick he was banging but she must have been one goddess if he was willing to leave his wife for her. So his wife invites me in, let’s just call her Rose, and she takes me to the pool. Their house and pool are amazing, it is obvious that this guy has a lot of money and I understand why he wants to hold on to it so bad.”
“So did you bang her the first day?” I couldn’t believe that I was getting so into this story. I couldn’t help myself from asking questions, but I had to know.
“Oh no. I had to scope things out first before I made my move, I didn’t want to scare her off. I started to flirt with her and noticed things such as daisies are her favorite flower. Well, by the fifth day she started to get into me too. I knew that it was time to make my move. That day I brought her daises, just by giving her those flowers she was like jelly in my arms. We had our first kiss, it was so sexy, so sensual. She desperately wanted to go farther, but I said we should wait. Told her to meet me at a hotel Tuesday night, this very night. I left her house and called Rose’s husband to fill him in on the details so that he could catch us together. The whole thing seemed like it was going perfectly, but I was wrong-”
“Hey man we’re in Queens, which way should I go now?” I didn’t want to interrupt but I had to ask.
“Um, take a left on 170th and drop me off in Kissena Park. As I was saying, I was wrong. I was to meet Rose at the hotel at 6:30, an hour before her husband was to arrive. I got to the hotel at 6:30 on the dot. I went in the room and turned on the light to see that Rose was already there sitting on the bed with a gun. I thought she was being kinky but she was serious.”
“Did she find out?”
“Yeah she found out! Luck just wasn’t on my side. For some reason she was bored that day so she went through her husband’s old year books and found my picture, then she read a note I left to him that said, ‘If you ever need a favor I’ll be there’. What are the odds? Well, whatever the odds were it was obvious that I was in big trouble. She started screaming at me, demanding to know if her husband knew about us and if he was trying to screw her over. I didn’t know what to do so I told her the truth, the whole truth. I started rattling away about how her husband called me up and how he was cheating on her. I thought that by telling the truth I’d get out of there alive, but my damn rattling seemed to make her more upset. She pointed the gun at my head and told me it was all my fault. She was going crazy. I didn’t know what to do so I jumped on her and the gun went off. I felt warm liquid on my hands and I thought I had pissed myself but it was Rose’s blood, I was covered in her blood. Luckily I brought a change of clothes with me so I quickly changed into them and threw my other clothes in a dumpster behind the hotel. Once I was all cleaned up, I just ran. Then I saw your taxi cab and decided to wave you down. I don’t even know if she’s dead; I was so scared that I didn’t even check. I think I am just going to stay low for a while, it wasn’t my fault at all but what court is going to believe me? She was rich, filthy rich, and I am just a poor low life.” He became silent and looked out the window, we were finally at Kissena Park. “I guess we’re here. How much do I owe ya?”
I slowed down and parked on the curb. “Twenty bucks,” I told him.
“That’s pretty good for that long a drive.”
“Well, I gave you a discount for the story.” He smiled, handed me a twenty, and walked off into the night. I watched him until he disappeared. As I drove off, I was tempted to go to the police to tell them what happened, but I didn’t have anything to go on. I didn’t know his name, the hotel, anything. Plus, who knows… the guy could have made the whole thing up.