On Friday night Biggy followed his previous routine, parking on Carrollton and waiting for the streetcar to come along with the knowledge that it would be there momentarily. He watched Polly go around the corner before getting out of his truck and following her.
Biggy stepped onto the curb at the corner of Burthe and Carrollton. He stayed close to the wall of the apartment building on the corner. He could see light in front of Polly’s house. He didn’t expect this. The two previous evenings he had been there, all was dark. He almost turned around but decided to go on, easing along in the shadows. When he passed the sliding gate behind the apartment building, he stopped and remained in hiding.
He peeked around the corner just in time to see a man hop off the porch and follow Polly down the driveway, calling to her by name. It was the man he had seen the week before, the afternoon he had driven by the house without even knowing for sure it was the one Polly lived in. He was obviously Polly’s neighbor and from the sound of his voice he knew her. What did he want?
As the man walked down the driveway Biggy could barely see Polly at the top of her stoop trying to get her key into the door. The man’s calls were becoming more insistent as he yelled “Polly, wait. I asked you to come in and have a beer with me.”
“And I told you I don’t want to. Now leave me alone or I’ll call the cops.”
The man was right behind Polly now. He reached up and grabbed her arm. The keys she held in her hand fell to the ground. He reached up and grabbed her arm, pulling her back down onto the driveway where he stood. He held both her arms to her side so that she couldn’t get away from him.
“Why not, Polly. You don’t seem to have trouble having fun with all your friends but you never do more than say “Hi” to me when you leave in the afternoon. What do you have against me?”
“Nothing, really. You’re just not my type.”
“But you invited me to come back here for gumbo when you had your friends over a few Monday’s ago. I thought that was a fun party. Why did you invite me if I’m ‘not your type”? Was it just some sort of pity thing? Did you feel sorry for old Paul watching me sit on my porch day after day alone?”
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Biggy could see this man was making an unwanted advance toward Polly. He had crept down the driveway and was crouching at the side of the Datsun truck parked there. He assumed it belonged to the man calling himself Paul. He was only a few feet from where they stood but was in the shadow of the truck. Paul’s back was to him.
Polly just stood and stared at Paul, tears coming into her eyes. She didn’t know what to say to him.
Then Paul slapped her. Hard. He said, or rather snarled, “Was that it, bitch? Did you invite me back here out of pity? You really don’t give a shit about me, do you. I’ve got news for you, bitch. I’m just as much a man as any man you’ve ever been with and I’m going to show you.”
He began to push her roughly towards the garage. “I’ll get what I want and you’ll get just what you deserve. Now get back there behind the house.”
Biggy knew that, with the lights off in Polly’s apartment, it would be very dark in the back. He couldn’t stand it anymore. He lumbered down the drive, moving as fast as his bulk would allow.
Polly’s eyes suddenly became as round as saucers as she saw Biggy running towards them, realizing in that instant that he was the same smelly behemoth who had scared her on the streetcar a few weeks before. Where had he come from? Why was he here? She let out an involuntary scream.
The scream, as well as the look in Polly’s eyes, alerted Paul that someone or something was behind him. He turned, still holding Polly. He shoved her as hard as he could back toward the stoop and turned to face the huge man barreling down upon him. He failed to notice that as he pushed Polly away she lost her footing and fell, striking her head on the corner of the step as she went down.
Paul tried to turn and run from the giant but tripped on his own feet and fell on the concrete just as the huge man fell on top of him and began beating him and muttering to himself.
“What the fuck are you doing, asshole? Why are you being mean to Polly? What did she do to you?” Biggy began to scream. Every time he asked one of these short questions, he would strike the man another blow to the head, pummeling it from side to side. By the time he stopped, the man calling himself Paul was dead.
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Biggy looked at his bloody hands. He looked over and saw Polly laying in a pool of blood. In his wrath he could not remember if Paul had pushed her or if he had in his effort to get to Paul. Without stopping to determine whether either Polly or Paul were alive he jumped up and started back towards the street as quickly as he could, wiping his bloody hands on his T-shirt as he went. Without even looking for people on the street he ran towards Carrollton and ran across the neutral ground straight at his truck, not noticing that he ran right in front of a streetcar just pulling away from the Maple Street stop. The carman had to pull his emergency brake. Biggy continued to run until he got to his truck. He jumped in and drove out Carrollton as quickly as he could. The carman noted the color of his truck but could not see the license number in the gloom of night.
Biggy continued out Carrollton until he got to Claiborne. He turned left towards Jefferson Parish. He remembered Jake telling him this was the best way to to get back to Lafourche Parish from Riverbend. Jake had said Claiborne would turn into something else when he crossed the Parish line but if he just stayed on that street, he would eventually come to another bridge across the river. Biggy thought Jake called it the Huey P. Long Bridge. He would be able to take that and get back on Highway 90. He would go to his houseboat and hide there. He could call Jake first thing the next morning.
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