Another Night at Josies...Although this time it was sort of a couples night...My wife Sepia and I were sharing a booth with Sean Jackson and his wife, Sheila and Clerow and his very pregnant wife, Cora beth..We were having drinks and chowing down on some delicious Barbecued wings..Good times..
"Hey Kev...it's kinda nice huh....not having a big case in awhile, just chillin huh?" laughed Sean.
"Yeah man....after that mess in Newark...I haven't wanted to do nothin but chill.." I laughed.
"I might beg to differ." said Sepia with a sassy smile...Sheila and Cora Beth both smiled and then busted out into conspiratorial laughs...Clerow winked and Sean, a little slow on the uptake tonight began laughing himself...
"Oh and do that huh?" he added..
Across the bar from us sat Bernadette, the hair dresser and now ex-wife of my now estranged friend, Harry Charles was all dolled up and sitting at the bar with Ralph Scallion, the randy cook from Dollar Bill's joint..''Bottom of the C"...They had been dating for a few weeks now.
"Get a load of that" said Sepia as Corrie and Sheila looked on...
"Poor Bernie...out of the fryin pan and into the fire ." Said Cora beth...
"Come on Girls stop gossipin" said Clerow.
"It's the truth...Ralph is a stone cold dog....If any of you men weren't here right now..He'd think nothing of putting the moves on any one of us." said Sheila.
She was right....He would....He had already tried to put the moves on both 88's girl, Mabel Jenkins and Reed Nelson's girl, Debbie and a few others....I didn't care for a guy like that who could look you in the face and then try to take your woman...but I said nothin..I sat back and drank my beer and ate a few peanuts.
Into the bar came trouble....A nattily dressed, but nasty charactor named Abel Gardener. I had never liked this guy and he had never cared much for me. He was a low level player who was trying to make a little noise. He was also crazy...It was suspected but never proven that he had been involved in a triple homicide..Playas in Philly would kill you over money, kill you over territory, kill you over drugs..but rarely over a woman, unless it was his wife you were screwing with or a long term girlfriend..never over somebody who wasn't even yours..Yet the story had it that he had slaughtered three men, men that weren't even players, just regular guys who were his possible romantic rival for some woman who didn't as it turned out even like him. Abel denied the story because he had to...It didn't make him look good amongst his peers at all.Yet I could believe that he had done it...He was crazy..and a known hot head.
"Hey Kev..Aint that Abel Gardenor?" asked Clerow.
"Yeah that's that crazy fool...What about him?" I asked.
"Well, yall gals talkin bout Bernadette steppin out with Ralph Scallion....She also been steppin out with Abel." said Clerow.
"What?" said Sepia.
"Man you kiddin...Him? Him? He's a killer." said Sean Jackson.
"Oh my God, I've got to talk to Bernie about her choice of men." said Sepia.
"Damn Bernie...Harry Charles wasn't no prize...but he startin to look a whole lot betta now." said Sheila.
"Yeah,I seen him at the Fish store the other day....He was talkin bout gettin back with Bernie...How he a better man now." laughed Clerow.
''Harry Charles?? Ha, fat chance." said my wife, Sepia. "He owes Gorilla Lewis fourteen hundred dollars..said he was gonna stop gamblin...He did stop playin poker and cards, but he bet on the Sixers game the other night and you know they lost." she continued.
"How do you know so much about this?" I asked , very amused.
"Kevin..everybody in the beauty shop know that Harry been tryin to get back with Bernadette..
He went to those anger management classes and gamblers anonymous classes too...He been comin around , talkin all sweet and bringin her flowers and whatnot...and then the other day, he didn't come around....but Gorilla Lewis and his boy, Elephant Jones came around and they wasn't too pleased....You can't teach an old dog any new tricks." she said. With that Sheila and Corabeth laughed heartedly.
Things weren't going so well at the bar though...Abel Gardenor was purely livid that Bernadette was sitting at the bar with Ralph Scallion. When Abel was upset..He got loud..
"What the hell are you doin in here with HIM?" he yelled.
"Abel, what are you talking about, Ralph is a friend...just like you're a friend....you don't own me." said Bernadette.
"WHAT? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU TALKIN TO?" screamed Abel.
"Hey, keep it down Abel." said Gus.
"Gus, stay out of this..This between me and Him." snapped Abel.
"Who you think you talkin to?" said Gus.
Abel produced a .38 smokeless and aimed it at Gus...
"Say another word and I'll drop you where you stand old man " screamed Abel...
The next thing Abel heard was the click of my.38 smokeless...on the back of his neck....
"You know shorty doo wop, everybody aint scared of you." I said.
Abel slowly turned around and saw Clerow, Sean Jackson, Albert and Eddie and Honey Brown, all armed and all aimed in his direction....He was crazy...but not that crazy!
"Hmmmph, well if it isn't the resident doo gooder...Kevin Morris...You know, one day you gonna stick your nose in the wrong person's business and it aint gonna go well for you."he said.
"Yeah,yeah,yeah...but it aint in the wrong person's business tonight is it?" I said.
"Cool...you got me...but I'm gon make sure I see you again Kevin...after I deal with Bernadette and this fool here." he said pointing to Ralph Scallion.
"Who you callin a fool you little half pint bastard" said the now brave Ralph Scallion.
"Oh you got heart now huh? Have that heart all the time...Cause I'm comin for you." he said..
By now, Gus had come from behind the counter and grabbed Abel, wrestled the gun from his hand and cracked him so hard...I felt it...Abel left his feet and slammed up against the wall...before he could do anything, Gus grabbed him and pummeled him before Clerow and I pulled him off..
"Get out...and don't you ever pull a gun on me you punk...I'll kill ya." screamed Gus..
"You may just have to do that old man...I'm gon see all of ya..just wait." said Abel as he straightened his clothes and walked out the door..Everybody clapped and began cheering as he left.
"Wow Gus...I don't think I've ever seen you like that." I said.
"That kid done lost his mind..pullin a gun on me....I whooped his daddy's ass once and I won't hesitate to whoop junior's too." said Gus.
Like I said , another night at Josies... Sepia, Sheila and Corrie were practically surrounding Bernadette talking to her , while Ralph Scallion was prancing about..
"Thanks Kev, Clerow and Sean...I was just about to get in his butt...man, yall probably saved his life." he said.
Clerow looked at me , as did Sean Jackson and just grinned and shook their heads....But I understood that a hornets nest had been opened here... Abel Gardenor was crazy....He wasn't going to take public humiliation lying down....Ralph Scallion, who I didn't care about at all was probably in grave danger, now more than ever....Possibly Gus too... I was going to make sure that Gus was protected.
I talked to Eddie and Albert, Gus's bodyguards and muscle in the bar as well as my friend Big Nasty. They assured me that they could handle anything from Abel...but Gus, being Gus just waved us all away..
"I'll be okay..I'm not worried about that snot nosed kid." he said.
"You never can be too sure "I said.
Later that night , I lay in bed with Sepia staring out the window....
"What's on your mind lover?" asked Sepia.
"The sky looks funny." I said.
"How?" she asked.
"It looks kinda bright ,for it to be almost four in the morning." I said.
"Is that supposed to be some kind of omen or somethin?" she asked.
"Don't know...but it's making me feel some kind of way." I said.
"Oh brother." laughed Sepia.