Solomon Lincoln Lays in an alleyway bleeding out. The darkness of the night and the black asphalt don’t quite mask the pool of blood that surrounds him. Only to the vigilant and determined eyes does the pool’s crimson tinge and slightly acrid odor reveal his peril. But to all cursory glances he looks like he belongs there. Just another black vagrant resting in a pool of his own urine, unable to contend with the dark liquor he apparently over indulged in.
What goes unseen in the distance is Adonis Paylor with his lungs straining as he urges his legs to propel him away from danger, a danger that was temporarily averted because of Solomon and his sacrifice. Good old Solomon who entered Adonis’ life just when everything in his world was spinning completely out of control. Solomon made it a point to steer him out of trouble and offered much unasked for and underappreciated counsel. When Adonis wouldn’t listen Solomon would know just where to find him and have the exact method to get him out of a tight spot. He never asked for anything in return. Paylor never thought about what made him so selfless it was almost like he expected Sol to be there for him. They hadn’t known each other for too long, but for some reason the situation just felt right to Adonis. A guardian angel came into his life at his time of need, but now Solomon Lincoln needed him. He was a good fifteen blocks away when he just couldn’t run anymore, hunched over with his hands pressed just above his knees as the sweat that collected on his forehead trickled down his nose and dripped silently on the street. Moments later after catching his breath, he stood upright and patted himself down, straightening out his clothes, rubbing his eyes and taking a long deep and sobering breath of the chilly night air. After he felt he was alert and presentable he hailed a cab and sent a text message to his fiancée, “Vanessa I need you to meet me at O’Keefe’s Bar. It’s Urgent!” He heads back to where he last saw Solomon, or Link, as he liked to call him. When he gets there he tells the cab driver to idle across the street from O’Keefe’s and waits for Vanessa to Arrive.
She opens the door to O’Keefe’s about twenty minutes later and does a quick survey of the bar, looking for Adonis to be on a stool when she faintly makes out the ring tone accompanied by a rumbling in her purse. She answers her phone, “Donnie, I don’t see you where are…”
Adonis interrupts, “I’m across the street in a yellow cab with the meter running. I need you to get a bouncer and go into the alley. Link is down there and I think he’s pretty bad off.”
She responds, “Why didn’t you call an ambulance? How long has he been there?”
“It’s complicated honey, there may not be much time. Just do this for me then meet me in the cab. We’ll follow the ambulance when it arrives.” He pauses, trying to remember the details of tonight’s events. “Oh, and my wallet is in my jacket it should be on the coat rack by the bartender. Just get to Link and I’ll explain everything in the cab.”
The cab driver raises an eyebrow at the news Adonis doesn’t have his wallet on him, and he takes a quick glance his rear view mirror. The man in his back seat looks a little disheveled and panicked, but he’s got freshly cut dirty blond hair is relatively clean shaven and has deep blue eyes. The cabbie decides, “I’d trust this man with my newborn baby, my wife and my life savings, he’ll probably leave a nice tip too.”
Vanessa shrieks when she gets to the alley, “Oh, Link! Link are you okay?”
He stirs slowly awake, looking up at her. He smiles, “Well if you’re tending to me, I take it Adonis is making out just fine. Knowing that makes me feel much better, all things considered.” He winks at her and drifts back out of consciousness, closing his eyes and keeping a satisfied grin on his bulbous lips.
Sometime Later Solomon awakens in a hospital room with a bandage dressing down his right side with his left arm in a sling. Donnie and Vanessa are sitting by his bed while the nurse changes the tube for his IV drip. It takes a while for his eyes to adjust and the view of the room comes into focus. Adonis rests his hand on Solomon’s shoulder and for a brief moment Solomon grits his teeth and furrows his brow. He then contorts his face into a wince indicating pain as opposed to resentment or more accurately anger. He reaches across to put his hand on top of Adonis’ and asks, “You wouldn’t happen to see my glasses around here, would you?”
“Glasses?” Adonis says puzzled, “I didn’t even know you wore glasses, Link.”
“Well, I don’t normally, but I keep them in my jacket pocket along with my contact lens case, he continues. “Practically blind without ‘em. I suppose it’s for the best though, the way I feel I’d hate to actually see the shape I’m in.”
Vanessa let out a nervous laugh, she could never tell when Solomon was joking, and he spoke plainly most of the time. Adonis sat stunned at the revelation that Link wore glasses. Link knew so much about him and did so much for him, but what did he do for Link? What did he even know about him? Link came well near death tonight and Adonis realized he didn’t even know his birthday or where he was from. He didn’t even know his phone number. This didn’t sit right with him. Vanessa’s nervous laughter just made things more uncomfortable. The discomfort stemming from the sudden awareness that Link, who is laying in a hospital bed on his behalf was little more than an abstract idea of a person to him only forty seconds ago. Not knowing what the diagnosis was yet, there was a good chance he’d be asked to notify Solomon’s next of kin. Adonis Paylor was now responsible for his guardian angel. For this man that did so much for him, even took the beating he deserved. Adonis had some questions now, and he was hoping Link would provide answers. He was praying for answers he could live with.