Javi’s plume of cigarette smoke passed through the street-light’s halo. The Avenida Gerald Brenan was quiet. Just the traffic warden’s cousins’ cars parked at the bus-stops and hemming in the rubbish containers. Nothing was moving. Javi was alone in the night, in the dark, on the pavement. Behind him, Kanadien’s laptop-fed loudspeakers were spilling reggaeton over the few customers. They were mostly young men, like Javi himself, if you considered thirty young. He did: he had left home at sixteen, when his mother had married El Coño. Well, she’d married him, but Javi had left when his mother scratched at his face. El Coño had broken her nose, so Javi had broken his.
Even in a town this small, Javi was able to avoid El Coño, his mother and his half-sister. She’d be sixteen herself soon. Javi’d had a girlfriend who worked in La Higuera, just down the road from one of the better high-schools in the town. They’d broken up after El Coño had picked Javi’s half-sister up from school. The man had come in for a drink. The girl from the bar had smiled at El Coño and that was that. People should be able to tell, just by looking. It was a pity though. He still looked Maria up on Facebook from time to time. It was funny to read “Maria esta en La Higuera”. Maria is on another planet, away with the fairies… Yeah, well.
A car finally went past. Policia Local. No Guardia Civil, not on a weekday night. Half ten. Might see the car again around two. That would be time enough. No chance of being caught, anyway, did it matter? He’d make sure people knew why. That should earn him some centro penitenciario points, at least. That and what the police would find eventually. Javi threw his Ducados to the ground, watched the tip glow and then stamped his heel on the cigarette end.
Work had dragged that day. He loved his job. It was no trouble to drive to the Parque Technologico, you didn’t even have to go all the way into Málaga. His first job there had been with Oracle, before they moved north. He was on his third start-up now. A consultant, no less. It just meant, as it did in every country, that he paid his own Seguridad Social. Javi loved that people were so dumb about informatica. Your average person knew fuck all about the internet, the cloud, even their own computers. Even the people who should take most care of their secrets, like El Coño.
A figure came out of the door of the next but one bar. He moved cautiously: tense? Nervous? Excited? Probably all three. Javi followed him down the narrow alley of the main street. A vacant lot at the end of it, had a peeling billboard advertising a property development that had never happened. El Coño was expecting to meet a 13-year-old girl. Javi would make him feel more than disappointment over the next half-hour.