Maxwell Inouye

One in the Morning

It had been a long day of work, and I, Peter Bronson, was just going to bed. At the detective’s office Greg Smiley told me that my best friend Max Cunningham and his girlfriend Gloria had robbed a bank and killed five police officers on their way out. When I heard this, I was shocked because Max would never do anything like that. He had a wife. It had to be the girl influencing him, a la Machine Gun Kelly. I couldn’t stop thinking about what I would do if I saw him. Would I arrest him, or would I let him go on his merry way?

While I was lying in bed, I couldn’t fall asleep, so I got dressed and walked down to the corner café, where they were selling Phillie’s cigars for five cents. I couldn’t get Max off my mind. Why would he rob a bank? How did he get with another girl? When I looked into the window to see if it was open, I saw Max, in a sharp blue suit sitting next to Gloria. She was dressed like the devil, with her red dress, red lipstick and curly red hair.

Before I went in, I had to lower my hat so that Max wouldn’t recognize me. He didn’t even look in my direction when I ordered a cup of black coffee. Eric, the blonde haired manager of the café, knew that Max and I had been friends since high school. He tried to get Max to realize I was across the table from him. I told Eric to keep his mouth shut. I was practically on the job again, but I wasn’t officially on duty. The first sip of the strong coffee cleared my mind, so I could decide what to do about this situation. My best friend, a huge criminal, is sitting across a table from me, and it would never be easier than now to just put him in cuffs. But if I don’t, no one would know that I had the chance to arrest him.

As I sat staring at the black and white marble counter, I weighed my options. I had been a good cop all my life, never going crooked for anyone. Two years ago I turned in my brother Rick for evading his taxes, but Max felt more like a brother than Rick. But this was different, because I just had a feeling that this wasn’t Max’s idea. When we were going to college, I didn’t have the money to go with him, so his father gave me the money to go. The Cunninghams were a well-off family, so why would Max need to rob a bank? Max was also a morally upright guy; he helped turn in two murder suspects to me a few years back. I remember when he found them for me, I had gotten a huge raise for solving the mystery, and I said I would find a way to pay him back. But he still robbed a bank and killed five men, so maybe he had changed. If I had turned in my blood brother, I had to turn Max in. I was desperate for a reason to let him go, so I eavesdropped on their conversation.

“Where should we go off to now?” asked Gloria.

“I really don’t want to do this anymore. What if I killed someone I knew, like Pete? He works in the business.” Max replied, giving me assurance that we still had our friendship.

He hadn’t completely changed and that was all I needed to change my mind. There’s no way I could find the courage to arrest my friend and throw him in jail for the rest of his life, all because of the girl. I would never see him again either way, but let’s just say I was repaying the favor. The girl was lucky, because if she wasn’t with my friend Max, she would have been locked up for good.

So while the two lovebirds kept talking the night away, I left at 1:30 AM, knowing I could have solved one of the greatest cases of the year, but I let the opportunity slip away. I walked down the dark empty street passing by the streetlights one by one, wondering if I should have gone back to get them. Max and Gloria robbed thirty more banks, but Gloria got shot during their last robbery. She got what she deserved. Max disappeared off the face of the earth and became somewhat of a gangster legend. I could have put them away, but if we switched roles, Max would have done the same for me.



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