Having locked down a veteran, however beat-up, Joakim was heading back to his room feeling refreshed. That was short lived. Upon reaching his door, he found a note that read:
Meet me at the Still Grill. I will be waiting.
Joakim grabbed the note and thought about how much he wanted to cop a squat in his room. And thought about Mike Jimmy And headed toward the restaurant.
Approaching the grill, it was easy for Joakim to pick out the Scottie Pippen Statue. Sitting in the outdoor section, the sun bounced rays off the bronze bust in every direction. Many people asked to move away his table. “Hello, Scottie Pippen Statue,” Joakim said with a smile. The two were not bosom buddies. They were more acquaintances.
“Please, take a seat,” the statue warmly offered. Joakim sat down across from SPS. “You look beat.”
“Nothing I cannot handle,” Joakim said, stretching his limbs a tad. He ordered a drink from the prompt waitress.
She repeated, “Sheep milk white russian, equal parts,” and left.
Joakim turned to his table mate, “What’s the good word? Why the invite?”
“I hear you are on the Mike Jimmy case,” it was neither a question nor statement from the statue.
“I have been looking into many things these days,” Joakim casually threw out.
“You come up with anything?”
“Less than I would care for,” he remained aloof.
The waitress was back with his drink. The Scottie Pippen Statue laid a twenty on the table and told the waitress to close out the tab, adding, “Exact change.” The waitress sighed and walked away. The statue refocused on Joakim. “Listen, I am telling you this out of respect. Drop the Mike Jimmy case. Walk away from it before you get hurt.”
Joakim’s eyes narrowed. “If you are mixed up in this, you might as well come clean. I am not going anywhere.” In addition to being figuratively true, this was also literally true, as they were both stuck on a ship of limited size.
“I know your work. I know you would eventually come to me. I wanted to contact you first. And now I am telling you to step down. This is much bigger than the two of us or anyone on this boat, for that matter. Step off the case.”
The waitress returned to the table with the statue’s change. The Scottie Pippen Statue pocketed it all. Joakim looked at him in disgust. “So the rumors and the nickname are true.” Joakim took out a fiver and dropped it on the table as he stood up. “Not only do you live up to your moniker, but you are a coward as well. If we have to rumble at some point, so be it. I’ll take on your weathered, old man looking face any day of the week.” Joakim turned and left, not waiting for a reply.
The statue sat there, still as a statue. A tear rolled down his bronze cheek as he knew it was true. All of it.