Last updated December 2, 2018
It was three years earlier the 21st of November when they met on the Battery. That night the moon was full; a half-dozen boys in search of Mr. Right waited against the seawall shivering in unsuitable summer coats. Abel Erikson was one of those Mr. Rights enticed by the one black boy who was there with an overstuffed backpack. He was more distinguished and poised than the white ones all the same.
“Do you have a light?” he said with a cigarette cocked at the corner of his mouth.
“Sure,” the boy said striking a match and, in the flame, he saw that Abel's eyes were hazel like the color of algae murky pond water. He shook the firelight out and backed up.
He wasn’t necessarily skinny but full-bodied like a strong field hand, Abel thought. Indeed, he carried himself well in baggy cheap clothes Abel prayed were surely just baggy but undeniably dirt cheap. No, he didn't look fat at all in his outfit. “Cold out, don't you think?" he said as smoke billowed from his mouth.
“Yes,” the boy said mashing his cig butt out with the tip of his worn-out boots.
“What are you looking for?” Abel said.
“I’m looking for you,” the boy said.
“My car is parked up the street. Would you like to go there and warm up?”
“What kind of car?”
“A Mercedes. A dusty kind of red with soft leather seats. Very comfortable.”
"Of course," the boy smiled.
Inside the car, the boy offered a stale can of malt liquor beer pulled from his backpack, and they shared it along with one cigarette. As the moon rose higher in the black sky changing into a dazzling white, Abel leaned over and kissed the boy on the mouth and felt himself sinking, slipping into the soft leather seat, losing control and wanting it.
This kiss, the helpless way it made him feel, captivated him so, leaving him no hint of the dark machinations yet to come, no hint of the relentless downhill spiral . . .