‘Flaws’ (because it’s the writing prompt)

By: Murphy Doyle Maher

Date: 27th Jul 2021

Dani the Bartender sat on the sofa in the sunken living room Murphy Doyle Maher, staring at the curtained windows all around her that were put in place to protect the Ďheights concernedí dweller of said apartment. She rested her elbows on her knees and jostled her foot nervously which ended up shaking her entire frame. She was normally a confident young woman who more often than not could see her way through most problems. Sheíd been lucky enough to be born with foresight and exceptional judgement, and thanks to both had seen very little trouble. Of course, she was only 25, and this might very well be the start to that house of cards coming down in pieces. How did all of this even start? A new customer who she thought was funny? Befriending him? What was she thinking! This is New york for fuck sake. Everyone is either a murderer or a victim and unless she was gonna use that self defense class she only took two sessions of to become the new Ted Bundy, it was looking like she was taking up the other half of the relationship. Granted, It wasnít like she had found a body decaying in a tub full of some acid thatís safe to use in tubs or anything. She had just found a bathroom full of hair, broken mirrors, toilets and sink pieces scattered around, with a decent amount of blood splashed about. There were plenty of logical reasons that this would be like that. Right? What if they were demoing the bathroom, right? And like, someone decided they didnít like their hair? No, NO! The hair got caught in the…mirror…or something, so they had to cut her hair to get loose. WAIT. What if it’s not human hair! What if an animal got caught in there by its hair and in an effort to get it out smashed up the bathroom. Yes. That makes sense. But the hair was long. God it was so long. What animal has hair that long? A Horse! YES! But..But how did a horse get up here? Why would they let it in? And keep it in the bathroom? Where did it go? So many questions. And the only person with answers may be a murderer and may be trying to keep that a secret. But why would he not clean up? I mean weíve all seen Dexter at this point, or at the very least one of the 21 NCIS or CSI shows. As she asked herself a million and one questions that she herself could not answer with anything but further estimations, she looked up to see Murphy walking slowly into the room, not as drunk as he was, but not sober enough to be carrying two cups of black coffee. He spilt a little on his hand and watched as it fell to the hardwood floor and mumbled. Dani waited for one of the cups to be offered to her, so she could inform him that she doesnít drink coffee due to not liking the feeling, when Murphy sat down across from her, gulped the contents of the first cup straight down his throat, and then began to sip the other slowly.

Murphy Doyle Maher
So…what do you want to know?

Dani The Bartender
…for starters…uhh. You gonna kill me?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Havenít figu- Murphy sees the look on Daniís face go from confusion to horror and immediately changes his mind about messing with her, and drops the act at once. No! Not Ďet all. Why the fuck would I do that?

Dani The Bartender
…the bathroom? Itís not…ok so..

Murphy Doyle Maher
I get it. I canít even go in there. I use the one in the kitchen.

Dani The Bartender
Murph, itís none of my business what happened, but there is something that went really bad in that room. And you are like, level 7 avoidance, my guy.

Murphy Doyle Maher
WellÖ Murphy took a sip of his coffee, and sat back. Craning his neck so his head was resting on the back of the couch, he looked up at the ceiling and took a breath as if it might be his last. It was a few weeks earlier, we had just gotten to New York, and we had this plan to go for a walk and see some of the neighborhood. But as soon as we got outside, she had become a bit flustered. Donít know if it was being so exposed, or the cars, or the people, but she started to sweat. Needless to say it was a lot for her. So we came home. She apologized profusely, and I told her Iíd run down to the market, get some fish, and make us a great dinner inside. When I got back, she was in the bathroom. So I poured a few glasses of wine, and knocked on the door…thatís when…

The bathroom door opened slowly and Sarah was standing there. The sink and floor was covered in hair, and Sarahís head was not. Where once her gorgeous, and silky smooth hair had been, it had now been relocated to the floor. She smiled and asked what he thought of it. He put the glasses of wine down, and rubbed his hand over her head. She waited for him to say something and nervously laughed.

Sarah Wolf
you hate it, donít you?

Murphy Doyle Maher
No, no. Itís just…a shock is all.

Sarah Wolf
Right? Iíve wanted to do it forever. Never had the balls.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Much easier to shower with now, without your hair slapping me in the face Ďery time you turn about. I donít care Ďbout yeh haircut, lass.

Sarah Wolf
Bright side already. You get the fish? Because I care about the fish.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Yeah. Want to help me get it going?

Sarah Wolf
fuck! I canít. I have to go. Work. But when I come back?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Of course.

Sarah Hugged him tightly, and whispered in his ear with a gentle kiss. ĎThis will hold you until I can.í Murphy smiled and kissed her on the cheek. She smiled and laughed as she left, and shut the door. Murphy then came back to the living room, sitting with Dani, and drinking his coffee. She looked at him waiting for him to continue.

Murphy Doyle Maher
And thatís that. She went to work, and sheís been busy so…

Dani The Bartender
My guy. What happened to the bathroom?

Murphy Doyle Maher
…what happened to the bathroom? I know we talked about hair…

Dani The Bartender
Murphy, If you donít want to tell me, Itís fine. I shouldnít have asked.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Listen, yeh gotta forgive me. I got a lot on me mind. I got the jackanapes in Dynasty beating my door down, one by one it seems. First TK, Then Joe, the fucking manhatten champ, and now I got the big dog Paul, as if the beating I took last week wasnít good enough. I got my t-shirt sales to worry Ďbout, and on top of all this, I foolishly thought that adopting an animal was the best thing to do to cure the loneliness, only to discover that the animal in question is in fact the reincarnation of satan Ďiself. That if all negative thoughts were given claws and teeth, Iíve adopted it.

Dani The Bartender
..you got a dog?

Murphy Doyle Maher
I didnít say an angel, lass. I said a devil. Neh dog has ever been a devil. But that cat is satan.

Dani The Bartender
Forget the cat…

Murphy Doyle Maher
You wonít be saying that when it comes out..

Dani The Bartender
I have a friend I want you to meet. His nameís Greg. Heís been through something like this before, and I think you might see it better from his point of view, yíanno?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Yeah? Maybe. Maybe.

Dani The Bartender
You donít have to go through this alone..

Murphy Doyle Maher
But see, I do. Because of who I am. Call it a character flaw, but Iím not built for moral support. I dun see the point in reaching out and getting all verbally mushy oíer this Ďr that. Iím irish. We bury shite until it kills us and then they bury us. And if we leave anyone in some kind Ďf way, they do the same and so on and so fírth. And so the world spins on.

Dani The Bartender
Murph. You-

Murphy stops listening at this point. He likes Dani, and heís thankful she helped get his drunk ass home, but he doesnít need this. Nor her. Sheís a stranger sitting in the living room of a world she isnít a part of. Sheís an NPC. A fucking vendor. Buy my trash and sell me your goods and stfu. But he lets her speak. Let her words fall on ears that are not deaf but defiant. And let his mind concern itself with what truly matters. The flaw of being Murphy. Murphy was an average student, if the average was terrible. Murphy played baseball but mostly the only field time he saw was when his hat would blow out onto it and he was allowed to get it. Murphy had never exceeded anything. Except for pissing people off, and fighting. And at those he exceeded. And because of those, heíd found trouble at every turn, but success at quite a few as well. Of course, none recently. Bogged down by so much of his past and his present, he had very little time and effort to concentrate on the future. Especially when he had for the lack of a better way of putting it, no fucking interest in it anymore. The world he saw himself living in was no longer there. In fact, the only trace of it left was him. And that wasnít going to remain that way for long. Each day changed him a bit more and more. Like they say you change every 6 years or something, on the genetic level? That. But like, with days? But some things would never change. Things like Murphy and his absolute distaste for anything Montouri. Joseph especially, but also Paul. Which is odd because he and Paul have so much in common. Both are proteges, brought into the business and held back by the shadow cast from their mentor. Both are single dads, trying to save relationships with children they barely know. Both are wondering what the other uses as a conditioner, probably. I mean, Paulís hair is like silk. Is it that VO5 oil shit? Itís probably coconut oil which Murphy canít use because of how it makes his scalp feel.

But for all of these similarities they shared, there was one huge difference that would always put them at odds. And that is their flaws. Murphy knows that he is unable to take things, and people seriously. He sees this all as a fun little game and not the war everyone else is so sure it is. You hit me, I hit you. You dent my car, I take a mon-…And so on. But guys like Paul, theyíre not having fun. Theyíre out here to be the best of the best, and let the rest die like the…rest.

Murphy knows that he has a flaw in that he doesnít really care to see the other side of a story. He is the kind of person that only ever concerns himself with how the actions affected him. You did A, I felt B, I christopher you at acting class, and that ends that. But Paul, Paul seems like the type to want to talk about everything. You know, how those Californians all think emotionality is the key to everything. God, if the Irish ever expressed an emotion it was telling you where to go and what to do when you arrived. There was no Ďam sadí shite. ĎF course yeh sad, shite is shite, boyoh. Yeh supposed to be fucking sad, arenít ya, or yeh ainít paying attention.

And the other flaw that Murphy had, was that he held onto the past for far too long. Concentrated on where heíd been instead of where he was. Looked over his shoulder instead of where he was walking. Paul didnít have that problem. He was once considered a joke in this business. The invisible man, theyíd call him. The death knell to any good and standing fucking promotion. But he changed. Now, he wasnít just a big dog, he was practically the big dog. Paul Montouri doesnít work with you, you work with him, and that sorta shite. Because Paul turned it around. Made the effort. Showed that promotions didnít fall after he left, but because.

Murphy wouldnít put a dent in his armor, but heíd sure as hell give him a few scuffs to buff out at least.

Dani The Bartender
…whatídya think?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Wonderful idea. Fantastic. Best Iíve ever heard.

Dani The Bartender
REALLY? Oh man, thatís…Ok. So Iíll get him to meet us at Tanners. Say 7:00 pm?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Just that, was gonna suggest meself.

Dani The Bartender
Ok. Iím proud of you. I know how hard this is.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Thank you, lass. Means the world to know it.

Dani gets up, and attempts to hug Murphy, but Murphy stays seated and offers her a high five. She smiles, takes a deep breath, and is so thankful she was able to use her life experience and knowledge to help a person like Murphy. And Murphy picks up his phone and looks at other bars in the area, because he will never set foot in the one she works at ever again. Fucking werido.

He watches as she leaves, and throws his head back onto the couch. He missed the old New York. The one he left behind when he went to jail. Back then if you got drunk, theyíd throw you out into the street. Maybe you slept on the curb? Maybe you woke up in the tank at the local PO. But you didnít have to fucking bond with people over it. And thatís when he remembered the card heíd been given. And that pesky Flaw about looking back popped up again.

The number on the card had been for a man who had worked for the NHTSA and had become practically a doctor of car crashes. This was the guy who you brought in to dissect an accident and deduce what had gone wrong. He could tell you with minimal room for error, precisely what had occurred during the accident, and had quite the name for himself. Xavier and company had paid him to look over Murphyís case. Back then, it was simple. Two drunk idiots cause an accident that kills a beloved preacher. One of the idiots dies. The other gets charged with manslaughter. Not genius level work. But Murphy had always wondered which of them wre driving. Both were black out drinkers, both were insane. But which one of them were truly responsible for the death of that poor man. This guy had the answer. All Murphy had to do was ask. But if he did, He would know. Heíd no longer be left wondering. Heíd either know he paid his debt, or that he paid Willís for him. Perhaps heíd get some semblance of closure, or maybe feel off the hook about it. But the guy would still be dead, and Will would still be dead. And that would be that. So finding out, as nice as the thought was, was something he just wasnít ready for at the moment. He also wasnít ready for Vincent Black to walk into the room, but that one he couldnít control.

Murphy Doyle Maher
How THE FUCK did you get in here?

Vincent Black
I rode the elevator until it stopped here. X is smart but he underestimates peopleís patience.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Or nutbaggery.

Vincent Black
That too. Whereís Sarah?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Sheís out of town.

Vincent Black
So you got a hooker?

Murphy Doyle Maher
..a what?

Vincent Black
The lesbian who just left.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Why would I get a lesbian hooker?

Vincent Black
I donít know you that well.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Fair Ďnough. Fair Ďnough.

Vincent Black
Do you expect her back?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Letís not get into expectations, great or otherwise, ok? I expected to be able to sleep it off on the couch, but thatís not panning out either.

Vincent Black
When is she-

Murphy Doyle Maher
LOOKOUT!

A Black cat scrambles up the wall, kicks off and comes darting at Vinís face. Vin side steps and reaches out and grabs the cat by the scruff of its neck in mid air, and holding it at arms distance as it flails wildly, itís claws cutting through the air. After a minute itís attempts to reach Vin increase in speed but decrease in number. Hisses pour out of its face, as itís eyes grow wider and wider in rage.

Vincent Black
…what is this?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Thatís me cat. Issac.

Vincent Black
…this cat is Feral. Did you get it off the street?

Murphy Doyle Maher
No, went to the pet store for a fish. Saw the cat. Inquired and they said it would take a few weeks to approve me. But when I said I wanted this one they told me I could take it that day.

Vincent Black
I can see why.

Vin begins to growl, and slowly moves the cat closer and closer to his face. The catís ears begin to fold downward, and the cat turns its face away from Vin, who is now bearing his teeth complete with lip shaking snarl. The cat finally turns to Vincent and licks his nose, cowering away just after. Vincent then sits and places the cat on his lap. Murphy watches as the cat curls up into a ball and locks its eyes on Murphy, growling lowly but audibly.

Murphy Doyle Maher
What can I do fer yeh?

Vincent Black
You? Nothing. Sarah on the other hand has been feeding my children jobs she wants me to do, so they pass it on to X to get me to do it. And everyone is denying it, but my son loves his father. So he told me. I donít mind the practical joke. But when she doesnít answer my phone calls, itís a signal Iíd like to unmix.

Murphy Doyle Maher
I tell yeh what. Iíll give you a private line that she only got for me, but you have to do 3 things for me.

Vincent Black
Two things.

Murphy Doyle Maher
DONE! One, you take that fuckiní cat with you. And two, you make sure you tell her I gave it to yeh.

Vincent Black
…why? Sheís going to be mad.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Lemme show yeh somethiní.

Murphy stands up and beckons Vin to follow, but sidesteps all the way around the couch until heís far enough away from the cat, and makes his way down the hall. He stands near the bathroom door and waits for Vin to catch up, before throwing the door open. Vin looks inside and sees the broken toilet, the cracked sink, the shattered mirror, and the red stains all over the walls and floor. Vin looks at Murphy, and then goes back to the room. His eyes glanced at every detail. The cat also looks in, because itís followed Vin and is now purring at his feet.

Murphy Doyle Maher
See, I know what yeh goní think, but donít worry, Sheís nah dead.

Vincent Black
I know. I just saw her downstairs last week. This room is at least a month untouched by the look o-

Murphy Doyle Maher
You said last week?

Vincent Black
Was it last week? No. Week before. She visited Fran in the Infirm.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…Vin…youíre telling me that not only has Sarah been in the city in the last month, she was in this building?

Vincent Black
…Murph. Did she leave you?

Murphy Doyle Maher
…yes she did.

Vincent Black
Why?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Because I stood up fer yeh.

Vincent Black
Ö.that was stupid. What the fuck happened?

In a flash it all comes roaring back to him clear as day. The anger he feels over her lies of going away on business having cut through the sentimentality like a chainsaw through plywood. He watched it all unfold as if he was witnessing it rather than living it. His running out to get the fish and coming back. Pouring them some wine, and going to the bathroom to check on her. Except she wasnít how he said. She wasnít how she ever was. The door was locked but he could hear screaming and cursing coming from inside. Her voice was raspy and it was interlaced with the sounds of shattering and breaking. He held the glasses of wine and kicked the door open to find her standing in a pile of her hair, some torn out by the roots, other parts shaving off. Her fists bleeding profusely from every knuckle and both palms. The mirror taking part in the knuckles, and the sink she tried to tear out of the wall worked on the palms. She looked at Murphy not with the love heíd always known but with a hate unlike heíd ever seen.

Sarah Wolf
WHAT!? AM I NOT PRETTY ANYMORE!? DO I DISGUST YOU!? WHAT!? WHAT!?

Murphy Doyle Maher
jaysus, bats. Youír bleeding all oíer the place. Let m-

Sarah Wolf
DONíT YOU FUCKING TOUCH ME! YOU TRY IT, MOTHER FUCKER. YOU TRY IT IíLL CUT YOUR THROAT!! IíLL CUT ALL OF YOUR THROATS!!!

Murphy Doyle Maher
sarahÖ.please..just..

Sarah Wolf
THEY ALL THINK IíM BROKEN. THAT I NEED TO BE FIXED. VIN AND HIS THERAPY. I NEED THERAPY!? I AM THE FUCKING THERAPY!

Murphy Doyle Maher
Sarah..He just wants to help. X is the one who went out there against your wishes. Vin isnít the one wh-

Sarah Wolf
FUCK YOU! YOU WANT THEM YOU CAN HAVE THEM! LIARS, ALL OF YOU!! FUCK THEM, FUCK YOU!!! FUCK ALL OF YOU!!

Murphy Doyle Maher
Sarah, Yeh canít spend years making people love and look teh yeh, and then expect them to not want to take action. They didnít do it to spite yeh. And this all didnít happen because Ďf it. Marke was a bastard who wouldíah chose yeh anyway.

Sarah Wolf
YOU DARE TO DEFEND THEM!? YOU FUCKING SEE FIRST HAND WHAT IíVE BEEN THROUGH, YOU TRY TO HOLD ME WHILE I SUFFER, AND YOU DEFEND THOSE RESPONSIBLE!?

Murphy Doyle Maher
All I am saying is if any of those women at the shelter had two men who would be willing to risk all they cared for, just to get revenge on the mother fucker who hurt them, I think theyíd be in a better place. Rather than act li-

Sarah Wolf
I AM NOT THOSE WOMEN!!! I AM NOT WEAK AND DONíT NEED THEIR FUCKING HELP! I CAN HANDLE MY OWN SHIT!!! You need a hero, they need a hero. I needed people to fucking listen!! I COULD HAVE LOST SO MUCH, AND NOW IíVE LOST MORE!!!

Murphy Doyle Maher
…One day, yeh gonna look back at the here and now. And yeh gonna realize that yeh spent so much time being mad, that you lost time with people yeh canít get back. Death is a son of a bitch, bats. And when he takes yeh brothers, yeh not gonna be glad yeh was this angry for this long.

Sarah Wolf
DEATH? Murphy…If I could kill them both I would.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…you donít mean that.

Sarah Wolf
Tell me what I mean again.

Murphy put the wine glasses down, and tries to hug her, but she pushed him away and kicked him in the gut. Rather than doubling over, he fell straight down and hit the floor. Sarah grabbed him by the hair and lifted him to his feet, bashing him in the chest with the palm of her hand as he tried to back away from her. Back in the bathroom doorway, she pelted him until he was in the bathroom with no place left to go. Sarah let out a scream, grabbed his face, and swept his leg, sending him down backwards onto the toilet, knocking a section of the bowl off in a chunk with the back of his head. Murphy would lay there unconscious for some time, and when he woke up, sheíd be gone. No note then, no nothing of any kind since. Looking down at the floor, he can still see the outline of his body. The body she left, unconcerned for whether or not she had just injured him in some major way. Vincent snapped his fingers to get Murphyís attention, and Murphy looked away from the room, ashamed and saddened.

Murphy Doyle Maher
..had a disagreement.

Vincent Black
And so youíve been…

Murphy Doyle Maher
Iíve been pretendiní sheís at work, or in the bath. Or just in the other room. ĎCause I canít stand the idea of not being with her. And here, at least I’m in her energy. Here I can sense her. Feel her. If I leave here, I…I wonít.

Vincent Black
…I want you to come stay with me and Fran.

Murphy Doyle Maher
…who teh fuck is Fran?

Vincent Black
My wife?

Murphy Doyle Maher
Your wifes name is Vhodka with an H, for some fuckiní reason.

Vincent Black
Stop. Come stay with us.

Murphy Doyle Maher
Iíll think it oíer.

THE NEXT MORNING Murphy opens the closet in the bedroom, and grabs a shirt. Itís one of his own that says ĎIím not a legend Iím of Leg End.í It really didnít sell that well. He slips it on and then shuts the closet door. He then reopens the closet door and grabs the rest of his shirts, hangers included, and stuffs them into a duffel bag that already has his pants, and other clothing. Dropping the duffle at the doorway, he looks over the frames on the wall with the pictures in them, and takes a deep breath.

Sarah Wolf
” I would have loved this. “

Murphy Doyle Maher
I know. Shame, really.

Sarah Wolf
” Walk me through it. “

Murphy Doyle Maher
No point. Yeh nah even here.

Sarah Wolf
” please? “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Ok. For old times.

Murphy reaches up and points to the first picture. A word search with the word Ďloveí encircled with red ink. And it reminds him of how when he met Sarah and her family, how he for once in his life felt cared for, and loved. And how much more loved he wanted from Sarah, then he did her family. He then begins to move his hand about randomly to different pictures, as his lip shakes slightly. A picture of a plant in a jailcell with light shining on it, symbolizing the hope that kept him going. The hope that one day theyíd be reunited and he could tell her now what he wanted to tell her then. The ocean from a dock, which she had taken him to in order to balance himself out after getting out of prison, to show him that he was no longer stuck in a cell no bigger than a bathroom, but was now out in the open again, where he should live proudly. A head with a dream bubble in it, with a question mark in the center. She had always encouraged him to dream of any life he wanted, and with her by his side, who could stop him from obtaining it. He had never learned how to dream, but she taught him. A picture of a jukebox that she was known for dancing near. It was one of those that you could pay to skip other people’s songs, and she always did. Sheíd load it up and skip any song that dared come before her. No one minded because she was hot, and no one got mad because of who she was related to. The last picture he rests his hand over is that of a field surrounded by trees, with the sky above it highlighted in different colors. His eyes only closed for a second but in that second he was transported. To a day where they had taken their bikes out for 4th of july weekend and rode until they were exhausted. They stopped by a large field and set up sleeping bags. The air was cool, and the darkness was comforting so they didnít bother to light a fire. There in the blackness of an area unpolluted by light, they found each other. And as they intertwined, and made the moment their own, the sky exploded. Sparks rained down in various shades purple, blue, orange, and red. And when they were done, they laid their, bare to the world and to each other, and watched as the sky performed for them and them alone. Ripping his hand away as his eyes opened, Murphy choked back a tear that was determined not to be silenced.

Sarah Wolf
” Canít do it? “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Neh. Iím sorry.

Sarah Wolf
” Itís ok. I understand. “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Thank you. For all of this. It might be oíer, and it might hurt, but it was the best years of me life. And Iím grateful for every minute of it.

Sarah Wolf
” I wish it couldíve gone on forever. “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Aye..

Sarah Wolf
” Why canít you just keep pretending? “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Because sitting here and wishing you were here is all Iíve left. Itís neh a hand or a memory, but a feeling. Itís the memory of ah feeling. And that is nothing worth holding on to. Itís over, Bats. You gave me so much, and Iíll always be grateful. But I got to concentrate on me, me daughter, me career. On things that exist. Tangible things. And you, unfortunately, arenít one of those anymore. Iíve got a flaw when it comes to letting tíings go. Is Ďbout time I did better.

Sarah Wolf
” Iím proud of you, pokey. “

Murphy Doyle Maher
Maybe I’ll get to a point where it ainít only my subconscious what says that to me, eh?

Murphy picks up the duffle bag, walks over to the wall where the frames were, and begins to pull out every picture, and stuffs them into his bag. He then tosses all the frames to the side, except for one. Placing it in the middle of the wall, he hangs it back up with the scabbard to the apartment inside. He turns back and for a moment sees their lazy sundays, their sharing of funny pet related tik toks, and other moments shared in the bedroom. And then in a flash, they are gone. And then, so is he. Shutting the bedroom door, he presses his forehead against it, and whispers that heíll miss her. But no voice responds, and no voice ever will. He steps out of the apartment and grabs the bag of take away food he pulled from the fridge, and also the rotting fish, and leaves it for sanitation to retrieve. He then steps into the elevator, and as he realizes that he canít leave without his card, he takes a deep breath, and simply waits for someone to get him out of there.

Itís an hour and he finds himself at the Tanners. He walks in and finds a bartender heís never seen before, who he asks to give a message to Dani. Itís a note that says Ďsorry I was rude, but Iím good on my own. Ty for trying. Iíd say goodbye but I got a bus to get.í The bartender sees the note and asks if he means bus to Catch, and Murphy says ĎNope.í Exiting the Tanner for maybe the last time, Murphy hopes Dani understands, forgives him, and also never sees him again. As he goes to cross the street, a bus passes by with a poster on it promoting the upcoming Venom, which he knows will be a massive failure on his part, as why else would they put it on the side of a bus where it would be for the next ten years.

THE NIGHT BEFORE

Dani emerges from the Tower exit to the street and pushes past some tourists that are standing outside taking photos near the promotional posters in golden frames on the wall. She wants to tell them she just saw Vincent Black on the elevator, but decides to keep it to herself. She walks past a group of people looking up and shoulder bumps a woman who is looking at her and her alone. She apologizes and the woman who tilts her head to the side and smiles, responds No worries. Dani enters a nearby subway station through a pair of descending stairs as her phone rings with a number she doesnít recognize, and directly behind her is the aforementioned woman who follows with her phone in her hand as well.