I got out of the cab and looked in my wallet. I sat down and counted my remaining cash; I had $832 left to my name. I walked up and down the strip looking for the cheapest hotel to spend the night in. I could afford to stay anywhere, but I wanted as much money as possible to put my master plan in to motion. I went over the calculations in my head the entire car ride here. If I could scope out the streets and see what they had to offer without spending over $300 this week, I could be a millionaire by the time I'm 20, and my birthday is in only 4 months. My plan is simple, buy and sell drugs. I did my research and I now know the approximate prices of nearly every illegal substance on the planet. Just by buying an 8th of crack on the lower end of the price range and selling on the high end, I could make a decent living here. After a month or so, I will take all my starting money to the casinos. By being a little reckless I can at least make a name for myself. First thing in the morning I’ll--
“Excuse me, can I help you sir?” I snapped out of my trance just in time to notice that for the last couple minutes I’ve been staring at the chest of the receptionist in the motel I walked into.
“S-Sorry...” I stumbled on my words as I avoided her eyes, “ I was lost in thought.”
“That's fine,” she laughed, “You'd be surprised how many guys come to Vegas to get,'lost in thought'. Would you like a room?”
“Yeah, sure, um... the cheapest you've got, please.” I don't know why I was so nervous around this girl. I usually wasn't this shy around girls, or anyone for that matter. I mean, sure she was pretty, but not enough to make me stutter like a 3-year-old.
“Alright then Big-Spender. Your room will be A6, that's the 2nd door just down the hall there.”
“Cool, thanks. Have a good day!” I sputtered.
“You too!” she cheerfully replied.
I walked into my room and saw what I expected; not much. There was a bed and a broken dresser and that was about it. No TV, no bathroom, no nothing. I didn't care much. It was only $30 a night so that means I still had about $90 for food for the week, and my estimated $500 for any narcotics I could get my hands on. Since I was gonna be here a while I decided to take the clothes out of my duffel bag and put them in the broken dresser. The drawer made a terrifying screech as I pulled it out. I put my laptop and charger under my clothes to keep it safe I guess. In this motel I wouldn't be surprised if it and the rest of my things were stolen by morning. It was about that time I realized how tired I really was. It was early in the evening but I had been awake since 2 am when I found my dad dead.
The tears were what hit me next. The recent months of pent up anger and sorrow came out all at once. I felt like the loneliest person in the world. Both my parents gone, I left my home and my life has pretty much changed forever. After my pathetic 15 minutes of fame I drifted off into sleep. Now, as far back as I can remember I rarely had dreams when I slept, but when I did, they meant something. That night I saw myself in a light I never thought I would actually be in. I was a little older, maybe early 20's. I was wearing a white suit and everybody shouted out my name as I walked into the casino. I basically owned the place. I sat down at the first blackjack table I saw and laid down a fat stack of cash. I called out “hit me!” without really thinking about it and laughed with the crowd as I got 21. I was king of the world and there wasn't a problem in the world.
I woke up to gunshots. I looked outside and saw a man in black running down the street away from a body in the middle of the road. No one screamed. Nobody called the police.
“I guess this is where I live now.” I said quietly to myself. I got out of my bed and looked at my phone; it was 1:48 am. I sat there in my bed, looking out through the blinds and watched the body on the ground. Suddenly, he twitched a bit, and rolled back and forth. He was alive! I threw on a jacket and quietly ran outside.
“Hey! You okay dude?” I timidly called out to the writhing form in the street.
“Fuck! Do I look okay to you, bitch?!” He yelled back. I hurried over to his side to take a look at the wound. The bullet hit him in the gut, a little to the left of the bellybutton and out his back. It was a ways away from the spine so he probably wouldn't be paralyzed.
“Listen buddy, I’m gonna give you a ride to the hospital, okay?”
“Are you shittin' me?”
“Trust me, your going to be fine. It looked like it didn't hit anything vital. If we get to a hospital soon you'll be okay.” I reassured.
“Whatever motherfucker, just help me up.” I put his arm around shoulders and helped him to his feet. He slouched a bit but he was able to walk with my help.
“Do you have a car?”
“Yeah, yeah, I parked my car around the corner.” We walked in silence for a while. Neither of us really had anything to say. He was shot, I was helping to take him to the hospital, no biggie. We got around the corner and I nearly shit myself. There in front of me was a brand new Audi Quattro.
“This is your car?!” I asked. I couldn't believe that this disgruntled man, wearing a jacket that belongs in a dumpster, owned such an amazing car. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a keyring.
“Here, you drive. I'd probably pass out if I tried to drive us there.” I carefully helped him into the passenger seat and ran over to the driver's side. My hands were shaking as I sat down and closed the door. I put on my seat belt and started the car. The engine roared to life and the vibration shook the teeth in my skull. I looked behind me and pulled out, put in drive, and headed for the hospital.
I learned that in Las Vegas, the doctor's are all assholes. They rushed the man inside and even though I was trying to help, they called security who in turn called the police on me and named me the prime suspect in the shooting. A few hours later the man was out of surgery. He called the police station and they released me immediately. They even gave me a ride to the hospital. I looked outside to see that the sun was up. I walked up to the front desk and they directed me to his room. I walked in and the guy gave me a huge welcome.
“There's the guy! That's the motherfucker who saved my ass last night! What's your name boy?”
“Johnny, Johnny Scott.” I replied with a smile on my face. I was just glad the poor bastard wasn't dead.
“Well, Johnny, I can't thank you enough. The doctor said if you didn't bring me here I could have died last night. I wanted to tell you that I owe you my life. I also wanted to thank you personally. The name's Tony, Tony Morrietti. I owe you big time, son. I owe you big time.”
“Don't worry about it Mr. Morrietti. I was just doing whats right.”
“Bullshit. I saw the look in your eye. You would have took the clothes off my back if I died! And my ride too! Well, I'm glad that you didn't, and I'm sure that the community is too.”
“Why's that?” I asked.
“Because I run Las Vegas. If I wasn't around the Union would have to send another stupid schmuck over here to run things. You're looking at the biggest crime lord in the West.”