“Why the cops act that way to me? Well, not for the heroics. That day was full of heroes. I just decided to be a hero with the right person.” He waited for her to say something. She only held his trembling hand.
“You see she was the daughter of a Senator I never heard of, who evidently is pretty powerful.”
“His grandchild? My God! Michael, when did you do this?”
“I can’t remember the exact date, but,” quiet tears ran down both cheeks. “It was in September.”
She stared at the calm demeanor in the seat next to her. Though the flow of sorrow looked endless.
“See, he told me,” wiping the tears, “someday you’ll need a favor. Or, someone you care about may need one? Something that would be impossible to pull off.” A breath relaxed him. “I want to do it. I want to do the impossible for you.” Michael’s vision followed the passing bus, “he broke down and cried. A big deal in Congress and right there, he just started crying.” Turning toward Bobbie, “word gets around. The whole force are my friends.” The sad memory passed. He returned to his cold outlook.
“Michael. What did that hooker tell you? Did you use that favor for her kids?” The yielding look softened the question.
“Well, its unfortunate that you call her that. She had only nice things to say about you.” Still looking out the windshield, “no, I helped those kids before that.”
“I’m sorry. Her name is Rosita? I want to tell you something.” Bobbie became anxious, as if straining at a leash.
“Whatever big secret you have to tell me, forget it. It won’t change the way I feel about you, Bobbie.”
“Feel about me? You feel something?” Bobbie raised a bare foot onto the leather. That diminutive face rested on her kneecap. He looked at the red toenails. Her foot was so petite. She waited for him to speak.
“For what its worth, I almost love you. It doesn’t matter what you are or what you’ve done. I,” pausing, “almost love you.” Before she could answer his finger pressed the moist lips. “I know you’re a guy.”
Bobbie fell back into the leather seat. The already pale face grew ashen.
“I didn’t need Rosita to tell me. She did, but I already knew.”
Bobbie took a breath. Reaching deep inside to muster the force needed to speak. “How long did you know?” The statement used what little strength was left.
“I had a serious conversation with myself about those tits of yours. I know Chino girls are small, but?”
“I figured they’re the product of hormone treatments. And everyone knows Asian babes got no ass.” A sigh interrupted the checklist. “Your hips are little curvy. Those tits and ass…estrogen squared? That could be a felony?”
“Going to put me in handcuffs, Michael?”
“Tempting proposition,” The man’s right eyebrow shot upward. There was a humorous relief to the serious conversation.
“That’s why you butchered you hair?”
“Of course! My passport says male.”
“Bobbie, it may say male.” The smile caused a pause. “But no way could you pass for one.” The wink ended the sentence.
“Michael, please forgive me. I wanted to tell you, but didn’t know how.” Bobbie’s voice was straining.
“Hey! Who would know how?”
“Please what, baby? I told you how I feel. Nothing changed.”
“Michael, I really, really care for you. I mean.”
“Baby, I care for you. Didn’t you hear what I said?” Michael held her arm as he talked.
“Oh yes! You almost love me. That’s ok. I understand. Its just, I didn’t think you were gay. I kinda worried that maybe you were homophobic?”
“Gay! Bobbie, I’ve been many things in my life, but happy isn’t one of them.”
“Please, Michael no jokes.”
“Honey, for the first time in my life, I wish I was gay. I never been happier. Well, certainly in the last few years.” His hand gently stroked her cheek.
“Where do we go from here?” Bobbie meekly asked, as brown eyes looked ready to water.