"Let's start at the beginning."
"The beginning? What are you? Nuts?! We don't have time! There's an assassin out there going after Charlie! I have to go! Right now!!"
"We're sending some policemen to find her, it's okay. Let's just talk about that man in the elevator."
"You're crazy. Not on your life."
"Look, Dave, I believe you—"
"Did you just call me Dave?"
". . . um. Yeah, b—"
"Don't call me Dave."
"Okay. Look, I don't really want to have this conversation with you, because I'm sure there's a good reason for what you did. Self-defense or something, right?"
"Nope. I just got pissed off."
". . . David, seriously."
"Give it a break, will ya? I'm tired. I want to go sleep."
"You can sleep later. Now sit back down. You shot someone today. That's a big deal."
"Yeah, whatever. Lock me up."
"David! Can you please work with me here? I'm trying to help you!"
"Well you can't help me!"
"David, please, stop! None of this is going to help you!"
"Like I give a . . . you know, forget it. I'll tell you."
"That guy I shot, he was the Knight."
"The Knight? As in, the serial killer who killed your wife."
"And how are you so sure?"
"He told me."
"Mhm, okay. And did you happen to record him saying this to you?"
"No, I did not."
"So let me get this straight—the police chief of the LAPD tells you he's the Knight, and so you shoot him."
"Not exactly. He pulled a gun on me—"
"So it was self-defense."
"No. Shut up and let me finish the story."
"So he pulls the gun on me, I get pissed off, and I take it from him. Then he starts telling me all of this crap about my wife and how . . ."
My neck is so tight I can barely breathe. I shift my gaze up to the ceiling and take a deep breath. "He basically told me . . . that he had fun."
"It was fun killing your wife."
"Yeah . . . that."
He's looking at me different now. He looks like he pities me. Great. Just what I need. I bury my face in my hands as I try to compose myself. "And the worst thing is . . ."
I stop myself.
The policeman's looking at me so stupidly. I just want to slap him.
"The worst thing is . . . I . . . I, uhh . . . I don't feel any better."
". . . what do you mean?"
"I thought I'd feel better, you know . . . after shooting him."
"But you didn't."
"Nope. Not at all. In fact, I feel worse. The last piece of my life that was still connected to my wife was anger and this lust for vengeance . . . and now . . . that's gone too."
Silence envelops the room.
I stand and walk to the window and look out. We're a ways up . . . four stories . . . two more steps and I'd be dead—free of my thoughts.
"David . . . I'm . . . I'm sorry."
I put out my hand. "Cut the crap. Just tell me what I'm going to need to do."
"You've been through a lot in the past 24 hours."
"Yeah. Yeah, I have."
"You must be worried . . . about Charlie."
I nod, not looking at him. "Yeah . . . more than anything."
"I'm not supposed to let you leave, you know."
"Yeah, I know."
". . . I wish I could let you though. You'd probably be able to find Charlie a lot faster than the losers in blue."
I look at him. He smiles at me.
He stands. He walks over to me and looks out the window. "A long way down, pal. Seems like a doorway to peace, eh?"
"Trust me, mate, that girl of yours is worth not jumping for."
He turns and walks away, leaving me alone by the window. I glance out and look back at him. I open the window. "Actually," I say, stopping him in his tracks, "I think she's worth a jump."
I put my hands on the windowsill and push forward, swing my legs out, and fall.