(continued from yesterday)
The ordinary face of Passenger Joe appeared in the limousine’s window as if a hand puppet.
Mike heaved a deep breath and his shoulders sagged in resignation. He stepped toward the open window of the limousine and Passenger Joe. Mike’s lips forced an uncomfortable smile, but quickly his lips pressed tight.
He pivoted and made a mad dash toward the house behind him. He bolted through the gate and to the back of the yard. He stopped abruptly at the a row of hedges dividing the property. He smashed the hedges down to make it appear as if he climbed over them. To his right a wooden fence, about four feet high stood. He climbed over it and walked alongside a house and back to the street he had just ran from.
Mike stooped low and walked beside a row of bushes. He scanned the street. The limousine was gone.
A deep breath of relief entered his lungs. He tried to walk nonchalant, but sweat rolled from his face, his heart pounded, and his mind seemed to be in a permanent state of shock and fright.
“What a minute,” Mike thought, “other than being snoopy what have I done wrong? Yeah, that may work in my world, but in Passenger Joe’s world it could spell disaster for me. Why the disguise? He may be hiding from something or others and I have stumbled across the entire scheme.”
“He appears powerful,” Mike thought, “and it’s only a matter of time before he or his goons find me. I hope he isn’t sadistic.”
“Wait a minute,” Mike stopped walking and his head darted around like a confused dog. “I’ve seen him someplace before, besides the bus. News on TV? No. Maybe it was the newspaper? No. I’m not ever sure he’s somebody famous, but I’ve seen him.”
Amid the deep rumination, the walk continued, it continued for blocks and hours.
He stopped at a sandwich shop around noon and ate.
The walk continued toward the bus termainal. He dreaded going near it, certain of the presence of a black limousine parked nearby.
“If we encounter, I should come clean with outright honesty and swear not to reveal what I observed. Maybe he will believe me. On the other hand, he may see me as nothing more than a ne’er do well looking for notoriety or a payoff to keep a secret. Dead men tell no tales. This is terrible thinking.”
Finally, Mike arrived at the bus terminal. He slid into the car and drove to within a couple blocks of his apartment. Cautiously he drove a couple of blocks radius, looking for the limousine or any goons in dark suits and sunglasses. Everything appeared normal.
Mike parked his car and walked hurriedly to the rear entrance of his apartment building. He squeezed through the service entrance. He punched the up arrow of the service elevator. Inside, he pushed the fifth floor. The elevator jerked and slowly lifted and slowed at the next floor.
“Could it be?” Mike thought. “Impossible, but probable?”
The elevator stopped and jerked into position. The door slowly opened.