ray could feel the amigos getting bored and getting ready to rag on him again.
he would have stayed and endured them if he had the price of another cup of coffee but he did not.
someone - he dd not remember who - or maybe he saw it on tv - told ray that in the “old days” you could go to a diner or restaurant and you could buy a cup of coffee and you could drink it and they would give you a “refill” - actually fill the cup up again for nothing!
but he was not sure he beleved it.
ray was not sure he believed anything he heard about the “old days” including whether they even existed.
anyway, his cup was empty so he got up and headed for the door. he took the styrofoam cup and a napkin and threw them in the trash can beside rhe door.
“nice housekeeping there, sunshine!” stan called after him. the amigos always left a mess on their table and prided themselves on doing so. they were helping the economy by giving the employees something to do.
“yeah, you’ll make some other girl a nice wife some day!” umberto added as the door closed behind ray, and they all laughed.
it was colder outside than when ray had come in. and the rain had turned to a wet snow, which was just starting to cover the sidewalk.
ray looked around. there was no sign of the girl, or anybody else.
he started walking back to his room. he could feel the snow on the sidewalk through the thin soles of his shoes.
as he approached an alley he knew.
he knew there would be something there and he should not look…
but he did look.
there, just inside the alley, was a huddled form. some snow was starting to cover it, but ray knew right away what it was.
it was the girl who had come into wendy’s, and she was dead.
ray knew that he would be blamed. it would be his word against the world.
he didn’t know who had really killed her, and he knew he might never know.
and he knew he had to act fast.
he picked the body up and slung it over his shoulder and headed down the alley.
at the other end go the alley was walker street - a much less traveled thoroughfare and one that led to a warren of abandoned factories and to the river.
in a previous life ray had been a squatter in one of the abandoned factories, and in a life previous to that one he had been a worker in another of factories, and although he had worked there for many years he had never risen either on the job or in the union and had always just worked his place on the line.
the snow began to fall a little heavier. this made his progress a little slower but reduced his chances of meeting anybody.
if a police car came along, there would be nothing he could do. he just had to take the chance. if he had just left the body there it would have been all up with him anyway.
with the body balanced on his shoulder ray trudged along as casually as he could.
he decided it was too far to the river. he would aim for his old squatter territory.
which, he had heard, had been pretty much completely cleared out by the various police forces.
ray kept putting one foot in front of the other and made his way through the swirling snow.