Midnight, and the whole world seems quiet. Like the sound's been turned down by some all-powerful being, turning away from the soap opera of our lives to answer the door or argue with His wife. Tonight, I thank him for the silence, however long it may last.
The morning took me on the usual rounds of late. The office, the Bridge, Henny's, desperatley waiting for some sign from K. Mercifully, it comes. As I walk into Henny's, I catch a crane resting on a windowsill. I take it and leave the café, opening the folded paper as quickly as my trembling fingers will allow.
K is alive. The note is all innocent pleading: she didn't know about the trap. She asks to meet me
at the Bridge in the late afternoon. My head is full of perfume, confusion and anger. It could be yet another trap. I go anyway.
For once, I'm at the Bridge first. I speak to the barman and seat myself in the darkest corner I can find. The place is quiet, amost empty. I can't see anyone who might want to kill me. I try not to let myself relax. I'm just about shaking with paranoia and impatience when she enters, striding across the room. She doesn't look around her as she enters, doesn't stop to acknowledge anyone or anything. She's a bullet fired from a gun, heading towards the bar. The barman points in my direction.
She tells me what Thompson is onto her now, too. She tells me that she can't get to him anymore. She tells me I need to step back and leave him alone. She tells me to drop my damned thirst for venegence. She tells me coolly, calmly, her eyes never once leaving mine. Her cigarette slowly burns away in her outstretched arm, ash tumbling to the table, forgotten.
If Thompton is onto her, then K can't help me anymore. She'll just get herself and me killed. So I play along, nod genially, promise to drop everything. Her eyes betray nothing, I don't know if she accepts my lies. She stands and leaves. She doesn't say goodbye, but she does turn and whisper something to me.
'C-C-N-R', her lips say. Then she's gone, out of the door.
In the silence of now, I ponder those cryptic letters. They mean nothing to me. But they means something to K, and I'd bet my life, and hers, that they're the path to finding Thompson and ending all of this.