I own a small women’s boutique in Phoenix. A lot of my customers are walking inside the celebration of buying their first home. It is often hard to choose which method to go about financing a home if you have never gone through the process. A lot of my clients have fallen into the trap of the balloon payments. Life has a way of asking for balloon payments as well.
Jamestown condominiums stood fourteen stories high. The building was located in the heart of Tempe Arizona and its glass seems to reflect the moon at night as if it were a mirror to the city. The sleek architectural design was only part of the confirmation for success that the residents felt when the driver pulled in the front to deposit them in this elite structure. Most of the resident’s occupation involved words like “fundraiser”, *charity event host*, *actor*, *actress*, *game show host* and a variety of ” I am important” jobs. The residents of these condominiums never filled out an application stating their employment. After all, there was no job that could actually pay for this type of luxury. If you weren’t well known when your name popped up to be called with the privilege of living there. It was already understood that you would be making a substantial deposit along with a pre-designed balloon payment.
Jermaine Twiner floated back and forth across his private infinity pool with his mind floating in and out of space and time. The penthouse suite had a dash of extra luxury and the infinity pool was just one of them. He opened his eyes and stared at the moon. He loved to come out for a swim when the moon was full or even half full to clear his mind. He also loved the fact that while most of the residents paid with their reputation to get in they were still beneath him despite all their glory. He held a much higher position in the scheme of things. He was the mechanic as the mafia called them. But, to most people who knew of this type of employment he was simply called a hit man. Someone who came to visit you in the middle of the night when the grim reaper requested your payment.
As Jermaine stood up in the pool he noticed the reflection of his naked body in one of the twenty-seven mirrors he had installed around the pool. He was an athletic man and loved to indulge in his own handsomeness. His ego had taken a deep dive a few years ago when his wife had left him for a woman. He looked in the mirror as he reminisced on that thought and found himself complaining out loud. ” It just doesn’t get any better than that” he chuckled.
The two beautiful children they had made over the years during his career had survived the divorce and accepted the change a lot better than he had. His ego and manhood took a terrible dump right at the end of what had once been a very lucrative career. He had given his wife Lucille every luxury known to man except for time. He spent most of his time on the road in secret locations accumulating the money to pay for the luxuries Lucille liked to accumulate. As far as the children went he gave them his love in balloon payments.
Tonight was going to be a difficult conversation. He was going to be meeting with his employer to discuss the terms and conditions of his leaving the business. When you are a hitman, quitting is not an easy option. You hold the keys and secrets to some very powerful people. Secrets that could destroy them. Some job relationships are formed through commitment, loyalty and the ability to handle a large workload and many hours of sacrifice. This job held all those attributes along with a contract defined through blood sweat and tears. The terms and agreements for retirement in his line of work were generally forged in blood. Jermaine knew he would have to come up with a good solution in order to get the powers that be to accept his request for retirement so he decided to offer them a balloon payment.
The job had long ago destroyed his marriage. The final straw had been the day his wife found an open pack of condoms in his car with three packs missing. They both knew he spent more time on the road than he did on the path to the family life. The temptation over the past few years had gotten the best of him. The conventional sex and romantic burps had lost his attention somewhere along the way. Over the past ten years, Lucille had remained faithful to him but once she found the rubbers all that seems to change.
The first affair she had lasted all of three months. Her lover mysteriously disappeared one day and was never heard from again. She knew in her heart of hearts that her husband had been responsible for that but, she knew better than to question him about his victims no matter who they were or the circumstances. But, enough was enough. Lucille decided her heartache and financial greed had to dwell in two separate rooms of her life in order for her to survive. So she found a job in the family and moved on. She spent her time cleaning and developed her own reputation for being very efficient.
“Good evening Jermaine” Giovanni spoke in a whispered tone of authority. ” I hear you are entertaining the thought of retirement? That’s just not a word that is thrown around in this business with no substance.” As Jermaine started to explain his exit plan from the business Giovanni listened intently. Jermaine came up with a solution he felt would please Giovanni and allow him to walk away Scott free. He offered him a balloon payment.
Under the contract, Jermaine would hand Giovanni a paper with five blank lines on it. Giovanni could then order the lives of five people with no monetary allotment. Jermaine could take care of them and walk away clean.
Giovanni agreed to the exit plan and informed Jermaine the list would be delivered to him the next day.
When Lucile arrived at her husband’s penthouse the next day she just cleaned up the murder scene like she always did. As she started to dismember him for more compact cleaning she noticed the paper in his hand. It had one name on the list *Jermaine Twiner*
Along with a message:
In this business, there are no balloon payments.
Lucile kissed him on the forehead, finished her job, picked up the payment then went to the Lavender Estate Real Estate office to write a check for her new home. When the agent asked her if she would like to go over some of their balloon paying options Lucille smiled and said ” No thank you, sir. I already did the research on Balloon payments and they have a way of popping on you when you least expect.
3 thoughts on “The Balloon Payment”
OMG OMG OMG. .. This woman, this author, this writer of suspence and thrill… WWWOOOWWW. .. gifted, talented and creative. .. Excellent story
I knew this wouldn’t end well for him lol. I always enjoy these short thrillers and often want them to continue lol.
You are truly an amazing writer Cynthia. You always keep me on the edge of my seat! Keep it coming