"Mad? No, not at all," he said, looking at me sideways, a half-smile on his face. "Why should I be mad? I'm clean. If I wasn't clean, then I would be mad."
I left him sitting with the blonde. I took one last look at the back of his head as he leaned over and began kissing her. It seemed he was just a guy after all, a 29-year-old guy trying to make it in New York. A guy who knew something, but not too much. Because his papers were in order, he was sitting in that bar with that girl instead of staring at a wall in an anonymous jail cell. My call hadn't saved the world, but it hadn't condemned an innocent man, either. He was clean enough. I was clean, too. Or at least as clean as I could be.
Since I tracked down Ameen for this story, I see him on the street all the time. He's just doing the usualhanging out with the guys in front of the deli, talking on his cell. We say hello, and it's perfectly friendly, although there's an undeniable tension there as well. I guess you could say we're keeping an eye on each other.