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Lhasa – Chapter 10.8

As Brig prepared for his climb to EBC, Tommy convalesced. Happy and Yellow had returned to Hong Kong along with the rest of the 14K contingent. Although he had made tremendous progress since entering the hospital and had even begun walking again (with the help of a cane), the doctors were adamant that he continue to rest and recuperate.

Tommy had lots of time to think and plan and text. He was becoming a power-texter. He exchanged messages with Happy, Yellow, Johnny, and a less-than-enthusiastic Brig. Happy had told Tommy how visibly upset Brig was when Boss Chang had a brutally beaten and nearly dead Tommy drug into the interrogation room. And how, even though Brig had learned how thoroughly she and Tommy had betrayed him, Brig still loved her and had stuck around Xining long enough to make sure Tommy would survive.

Brig’s willingness to forgive may have inspired some. Tommy of all people should have felt something. But Tommy had been a criminal and con-man all of his life, and his first thought was, “How can I take advantage of this?” With Chang’s death and Happy’s promotion, Tommy was debt-free. Still, he needed to make a living. Now that he was out of prison, his pride would no longer allow him to accept money from his daughter.

Then he realized nothing had changed. As far as Tommy knew, Brig’s father was still considering the ransom. Furthermore, Brig had told him he still had access to a bank account that his father had possibly forgotten about. If Tommy could persuade Brig to join him, he may yet enjoy a respectable payday.

As a consequence, Tommy continued texting Brig, trying to regain his trust and friendship, but Brig wasn’t interested in returning to Xining. Tommy no longer had anything to offer him. As a last resort, Tommy concocted a story about an important piece of information he would only share with Brig to his face. It was a lie, of course…until it wasn’t.

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