I tried to call Bob Simmons all day today to tell him about his impending death. Even went by where I thought he lived, but it turns out a Filipino lady named Susan lives there now with her dog, Pincher. Pincher was not nice at all, and Susan seemed way too nice.
Pastor Dave at the Methodist Church was no help, as Bob left no way to reach him beyond the number I already had. I was calling the third Simmons in the phone book when Jessie Cartwright came in the library.
“Thought you might be hungry. People still use phone books?” Jessie asked, dropping a greasy bag and two cokes down on the counter.
“They do when they’re trying to find somebody and have no other options,” I said, pulling out a handful of fries.
“Who’s the lucky lady, boss?”
“Ha, yeah, right,” I said, “Guy named Bob Simmons.”
“Bobby the Leg?”
The look on my face must have shown complete befuddlement. Jessie grinned, “We play soccer. Used to, when I worked for the library and he worked for the county digging ditches. The municipal leage.”
“I never heard about that?”
I shook my head.
“That’s strange,” Jessie said, drinking from his soda, “Thought you knew. So why you looking for Bobby?”
We dug into the hamburgers and fries, and I told him about what I had heard Chuck and Punkboy talking about. Showed him the map I printed out.
“Dressed in yellow?” Jessie said, looking at a bit of mustard on his hand.
“Gang. Sorta. If that’s what this is about, I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. And if there is, call the cops.”
“There’s nothing to call the cops about, not really. All the evidence I have is this map, and its just a place with some trees.”
“And the Yellow Bastards, they don’t really do anything. Maybe sell weed, but who doesn’t do that.”
I looked at my old IT guy.
“Didn’t. Who… didn’t sell… Anyway, the guys are low, low. Don’t even beat in their members from what I hear. Just kinda hang out together.”
“So you don’t think it’s anything?”
“Didn’t say that. Talk to Bob.”
“Been trying,” I said and held up the phone.
“Oh, yeah. Try his granny’s house. I might have that number here,” Jessie scrolled through his phone until he found the number and read it out to me. I took the note and called as soon as we finished eating. She said she had not seen Bob today, but that he was planning on helping her at the church on Sunday and he never missed helping her.
I thanked her and hung up.
“See, nothing to worry about. Man made plans to help at church.”
“That doesn’t mean anything,” I said, “Just because I make plans don’t mean a bus ain’t gonna hit me or some thugs I hang around with aren’t gonna kill me.”
“I guess. Why do you think, if they were going to, why do you think they want to kill Bob? Waste of a nice guy.”
“Something about being late? I don’t know.”
“Yeah, yeah he’s not really the reliable type. Don’t mean you kill a guy, though.”
“Depends on what he’s late for.”
I thanked Jessie for the food and talking. Letting it out calmed me down a bit, released some preassure. I would feel a whole lot better if I could talk to Bob, though, but Sunday would have to be that day. Cutting it close, though. Punkboy and Chuck said that whatever was happening was happening on the 10th. I guess we shall see.