Collins isn’t all about breaking bones

If you all have been following my stories following the thug Collins which can be found here, here, here, and here, then you know he’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. But humans are complex creatures and so….

Hungry was an understatement and I was feeling a bit nostalgic, so I ended up at my old haunt. It was the first time since the Reece experience, and I figured people wouldn’t be looking for me there because it was too obvious. I didn’t know much, but I did know thinking creatively made things too complicated and I hate complicated.

I sat at the bar facing the door. A feeling came over me. I was comfortable there. The familiar sounds of the kitchen, the smells of pasta and meatballs and manicotti, the women laughing, touching their lover’s hands over the table, candles flickering, people laughing at the bar, everything made me sentimental. Sentimental. I swear Rosa made me that way.

One night after dinner we took a walk down through Riverside. The small hills by the river were littered with people listening to some jazz band. It was a Woody Herman tune, Laura, that made everyone embrace, even the teenagers. The night was clear and the air coming off the water cool, but comfortable. Rosa and I sauntered the path by the river.

When this guy came jogging up toward us, I put my hand in my pocket feeling the weight of my .38. He was an abnormally tall man, skinny, Adam’s apple jutting from his throat like a deformity.

“Hey, hey, Rosa.”

Rosa’s blank face stared back at him.

“It’s me,” he said.

Rosa blinked. I was giggling inside. She either didn’t know him or she had a tremendous poker face, and either way I found it extremely funny.

“From the restaurant. I sat by the wall and I told you about my daughter.”

A light-bulb goes off in her eyes and she nods, “Right, right, the big tip guy.”

The guy blushed. “She dyed her hair blue.”

“Yeah and I told you it could be worse – she could be a goth.”

Kicking some grass, the guy looked up into the sky as if there were some words swirling up there and he could just pluck them down.

“What do you need, buddy? We’re enjoying a night here,” I said.

“Sorry. Sorry,” he sheepishly said. “I, well, you know, it’s like this.” He looked down at Rosa again. He looked at me as if I was going to judge him. What the hell did I care about his kid? “Ok, so now she has this nose ring and, well, I just don’t think this, this…”

“A fucking nose ring?” I say all excited like and his face turns white. Rosa gets this sly smile on her face. “Are kidding? A nose ring?! What kind of kid are you raising?”

“That’s why, well, Rosa, do you think, really, do you think she’s….”

I never had kids so I’m the last person to comment on them, but this was clearly not about the kid and Rosa knew it too. She gripped my hand tighter and said,”Look, it could be worse.”

“Worse,” he whimpered.

“She could’ve pierced her clit,” Rosa said.

“Uhwah,” he groaned, his face blanching as he stepped backward almost tripping over his feet.

As he headed back up the hill, Rosa and I laughed. It was a real, laugh. The kind of laugh that only lovers and children can experience.

By Chad Rohrbacher

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