The Serial Killer of Bush Street Part 45

Copyright 2018 MillieAnne Lowe, Oceanside, California

God, what a fool I’ve become. I should have stayed home with Marilyn. Why didn’t I think to make grill cheese sandwiches instead?

Brian had become a nervous wreck while waiting outside the Chinese restaurant’s back door. It wasn’t that big of an order. Why is it taking so long?

Chang walked by his cooking staff and snapped orders at them in Chinese. Two of the cooks turned and nodded. Chang turned to Brian and showed him thumbs up. “They almost done.”

Brian watched one of the shorter cooks fill a white enamel pot with plump won tons and added thick red slices of Cha Sieu. Marilyn’s favorite types of roasted pork. This dish will make the long wait worthwhile. The cook snapped the side clamps onto the top of the lid. “Here,” he pointed to the pot as he spoke to Brian. “This for you.” The cook smiled and Brian had a glimpse of three gold crowns in his mouth.

“Thank you,” said Brian.

Then Chang appeared with two large brown bags full of steaming hot food. “This all for you, my friend.” Tapping Brian’s arm with the back of his hand, he added, “No worry getting home. You turn and meet a friend of mine.”

Brian did as told and there before him on the lower step at the door was a smiling young Chinese boy. “This is Johnny,” said Chang. “He a good taxi driver. Also, he the son of my sister’s friend. Johnny will take you home quick.”

“Hello, Johnny. I’m glad for your help. Here are three items we can put on the back seat with me,” said Brian. He then turned to pay Chang. He handed over $30.

“No, no. Too much!” said Chang taking the twenty and pushing back the ten dollar bill.

“But there is so much food here,” protested Brian.

“You keep ten dolla – take taxi home.”

“Ah Chang, you think of everything, thank you,” said Brian. I should be back to Marilyn’s in about ten minutes. He slid into the back seat and pulled the door close.

“Where is your home?” said Johnny.

“Bush and Taylor Street, said Brian.

“Ah, yes. I know neighborhood.”

Brian saw Johnny’s big smile in the rear view mirror.

“I get you there, quick,” said the young Chinese man.

 

Johnny double-parked in front of the door Brian pointed out. Brian noticed that the young and eager to help cabbie had forgotten to pull the meter’s flag down when they started their trip. Brian said, “Will ten dollars be enough?”

“Too much,” said Johnnie waving his hand back and forth refusing the offer. “You keep money. Chang bring me lots of work. He told me you are a good customer. You no have to pay me tonight.”

“Are you sure? How about taking this as a tip?”

“I no need tip tonight. Next time. You can be my repeat customer. Ask for me when you call for taxi. I always near this area,” said Johnny.

In his black jacket and yellow cab cap, Johnny opened the back seat door and pulled out the two brown bags of food. The familiar aroma of Chinese spices and gravy seeped out to delight their senses. “Food smells so good. It make me hungry,” said Johnny.

Brian came along side of him as they approached the steps to the front door. “Ai, you know front door not closed all the way? This way all the time?” Johnny said.

Startled at the question, Brian answered with a flat “No. It’s always closed tight.” He put the pot of won tons on the marbled floor with a clang and pushed through the door. He started running up the stairs.

“I come see if you need help,” said Johnny as he put the bags of food inside the foyer by the door. “I hear noises. Someone angry.”

Brian had already reached the second floor landing and was turning onto the third floor. He heard some unfamiliar noises and thought only of Marilyn’s safety. I hope to God she hasn’t opened the door to anyone.

Copyright 2018 MillieAnne Lowe, Oceanside, California

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