“No, fellow, you can’t ever go back. You chose to come in here. Things are different now. What you see in there is only your memory of what was. Things are different now, they’ve changed, you’ve changed. Welcome to your new world. I hope, for your sake, you made the right decision.”
For one illuminating instant, he was able to compare his sexual craving for Jeanette to alley sex with one of those women. The first was somehow magical, holy, ecstasy at the top of the scale of human experience. The latter was dark, awkward, humiliating and always left him feeling worse about himself.
Tom stepped into the deserted street and looked around. Smoke from her pistol still hung in the air, and in the distance, he could hear a dog barking and the distant sounds of a siren gradually getting louder.
“What you want, Tom Chase, is to have two women at the same time. It’s like a harem. You have one for the day and one for the night. Perfect, isn’t it? But I won’t stand for it. I won’t compete with a dream woman.”
“I shot one,” Allyson admitted. “You will find two of my slugs in him. We know that a local shot one other using a borrowed shotgun of ours. The other shootings, we have no knowledge of.”
“Well, that local is one tough customer. Who is he?”
“His name is Charlie Chuck, and he saved our lives. So don’t you dare treat him badly. He is a vet from the Viet Nam era, and he knows his stuff. Better check on his wife because the terrorists probably got to her to find us. That could be the reason he tried to kill the other two.”
“It’s like the memory is just out of grasp, but the more I sit here and look at you, the more I recall. You shot two in the head and a bomb, no two bombs, went off. Did that happen?”
“Well, I just learned that I am an amateur at the spy game.”
“My whole existence is a mystery to me. I come and go helplessly through a life which seems to be a dream, and dreams which seem to be real.”
While an erratic and puffy wind played in the trees masking its sounds, the city hovered outside like a sleeping mountain leaving the nest of the park encapsulated in its fist. The distant click of a gate came to him as an electric jolt. The adventure was about to begin.
Here and there was the rustle of rats and the squeak of mice. He could just make out the flicker of a dim sign on the other wall a few yards from him. Fear welled up into his throat, and he could feel his pulse increase. It was the Exit Door. It was waiting for him.