June Special: Negotiation

Monroe checks his watch, 11:55. Thirty minutes had passed, and the man reading the paper two tables down hasn’t flipped the page. Across the street, another man sweeps a spotless sidewalk. 

The waitress brings Monroe a fresh cup of coffee. Her earpiece sticks out as she turns away. He takes a sip. The tightly packed buildings and alleys should create a claustrophobic maze. He dabs sweat from his forehead with a napkin. 

An older gentleman slips into the seat across from Monroe. His sunglasses hide the pain in his eyes, but not in his voice. “What’ve you done with her?”