TITLE: SELLING THE DRAMA
“Please, can I borrow your cell phone?” Khalid asked a young man who was weaving his way through the arena’s parking lot propped up by an irritated young lady. “It’s an emergency.” The boy gave Khalid a quizzical look. The smell of alcohol drifted off the kid like nuclear fall-out. “I’ll give it right back. And I’ll give you fifty dollars,” the man said, producing a wallet from his back pocket. The girl scowled and handed over her phone, pocketing the money before the boy could take it.
“Hello, I am in the parking lot,” Khalid said loudly enough for the couple to hear them. His charade was unnecessary as the couple were engaged in an argument by that time. Khalid continued in a quieter tone after Tikrit Todd answered at the other end. “Much is happening,” he reported in Arabic. “A big concert will soon take place in Havana. You need to start planning now.” He gave quick and sketchy details of Jake’s trip, keeping the conversation as short as he possibly could. In less than two minutes, Khalid handed the phone back to the girl, who barely glanced at him as she continued to bitch out her drunk boyfriend. The guy was unable to verbally defend himself as he was too busy throwing up on her open-toed shoes. Khalid slipped away to his vehicle, unnoticed.