Revenge is a dish best eaten cold
I waited and watched for seven years. I saw him come and go – Dolan. I watched him stroll into fancy restaurants dressed in a tuxedo, always with a different woman on his arm, always with his pair of bodyguards bookending him. I watched his hair go from iron-gray to a fashionable silver while my own simply receded until I was bald. I watched him leave Las Vegas on his regular pilgrimages to the West Coast; I watched him return. On two or three occasions I watched from a side road as his Sedan DeVille, the same color as his hair, swept by on Route 71 toward Los Angeles. And on a few occasions I watched him leave his place in the Hollywood Hills in the same gray Cadillac to return to Las Vegas – not often, though. I am a schoolteacher. Schoolteachers and high-priced hoodlums do not have the same freedom of movement; it’s just an economic fact of life.
He did not know I was watching him – I never came close enough for him to know that. I was careful.
He killed my wife or had her killed; it comes to the same, either way. Do you want details? You won’t get them from me. If you want them, look them up in the back issues of the papers. Her name was Elizabeth. She taught in the same school where I taught and where I teach still. She taught first-graders. They loved her, and I think that some of them may not have forgotten their love still, although they would be teenagers now. I loved her and love her still, certainly. She was not beautiful but she was pretty. She was quiet, but she could laugh. I dream of her. Of her hazel eyes. There has never been another woman for me. Nor ever will be.
He slipped – Dolan. That’s all you have to know. And Elizabeth was there, at the wrong place and the wrong time, to see the slip. She went to the police, and the police sent her to the FBI, and she was questioned,
and she said yes, she would testify. They promised to protect her, but they either slipped or they underestimated Dolan. Maybe it was both. Whatever it was, she got into her car one night and the dynamite wired to the ignition made me a widower. He made me a widower – Dolan.
With no witness to testify, he was let free.
He went back to his world, I to mine. The penthouse apartment in Vegas for him, the empty tract home for me. The succession of beautiful women in furs and sequined evening dresses for him, the silence for me. The gray Cadillacs, four of them over the years, for him, and the aging Buick Riviera for me. His hair went silver while mine just went.
But I watched.
I was careful – oh, yes! Very careful. I knew what he was, what he could do. I knew he would step on me like a bug if he saw or sensed what I meant for him. So I was careful.
During my summer vacation three years ago I followed him (at a prudent distance) to Los Angeles, where he went frequently. He stayed in his fine house and threw parties (I watched the comings and goings from a safe shadow at the end of the block, fading back when the police cars made their frequent patrols), and I stayed in a cheap hotel where people played their radios too loud and neon light from the topless bar across the street shone in the windows. I fell asleep on those nights and dreamed of Elizabeth’s hazel eyes, dreamed that none of it had ever happened, and woke up sometimes with tears drying on my face.
I came close to losing hope.
He was well guarded, you see; so well guarded.