What are old friends for?


Nick looks like shit when he comes into our usual watering hole

One a year – regardless of weather, illness or military status, we relive the old days at college with one night out.

Bob notices first and tries to cheer Nick up with one of his exaggerated college jokes which falls flat when Nick tells him to quit clowning.

Bob give me one of those long looks that says, “He’s your best friend, so you get it out of him.”

But just what it is he expects me to get remains a mystery.

I sit next to nick and tell him to spill it.

He looks up and says, “My wife’s dead – murdered.”

Wife? What wife?

We all exchange looks – Bob giving us the crazy sign turning his forefinger near his forehead, since we all know Nick isn’t the marrying kind.

Eddy says, “Quit your kidding, Nick”

But Nick isn’t kidding, and tells us how he felt for this chick on first sigh, and begged her to marry him, and now she’s dead – murdered.

She would have been raped, too, except for some kids coming long just as the bastard pushed her into his car.

So rather than anyone testifying against him, the man killed the kids, then killed Nick’s wife, and sped away.

Sure, someone got the license plate.

And yeah, the cops busted him, the state put him on trial, but the bastard had money, bought a good lawyer, and got off.

And now, Nick is so sick with it, he’s thinking of doing himself in.

I tell him to get a grip on himself.

Life’s short enough without making it shorter.

Then, I look over at Eddie and Bob, who nod at me and I tell Nick we’ll take care of things.

All we need from him is the bastard’s address.

Nick looks startled and says we shouldn’t do anything illegal.

We assure him we won’t when we know we will

What are old friends for if we can’t do this for him?

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