Chartan(Last week: Chartan learns from Gina that Brazil has cancer before he prepares to drive his fare, including Elisa, back to Sacramento.)

The drive home from Berkeley was uneventful until Chartan pulled to a stop in front of the office building where he had picked the three women up six hours earlier.

            “Driver, I’m not going back to work—would you mind taking me home?”

            He stared at the intercom. Elisa had waited until the end to play her end game.

            “Where’s that?”

            He wrote down the address before he got out of the limo to hold the door open for the two women in blue. One  of them pressed a $20 bill into his hand.

            “Thank you.”

            He watched the women disappear into the building.

            “Chartan, I’ve changed my mind.”

            He refused to look inside the limo.

            “I know this bar close to here…”

            “No.” His response was firm and quick. He closed the door.

            The drive was filled with Elisa’s muffled taunts—Chartan had turned off the volume on the intercom. When she banged on the thick glass window that separated them, he tried to recall his conversation with Brazil on the mountain top until she began yelling. He stopped the limo in front of the police station.

            Chartan opened the passenger door. “ Would you like to talk to the police?” he asked.

            “I’m going to report you to your boss—you’re going to lose your job.”

            He looked down at her legs dangling from the seat.

            “Please do,” he replied.

            “Fine, just take me home.”

            He got back into the limo and drove another five minutes. When he stopped he spoke slowly into the intercom. “Let yourself out.”

            After the door slammed shut, he looked in the rear view mirror. Elisa’s face was contorted with anger. He sped off. Next stop: Brazil’s house.

To be continued next Sunday…

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