Saturday, March 26, 2011

No Fool Like an Old Fool ~ Part 2

Seeing the assault, a man in another unit went to the conference room, where the managers were having a meeting. He told them what had happened and Mrs. Dandridge followed him back to the area. It took her and five other people to pull Precious, kicking and cursing, away from Brian’s balled up body. Tears covered her face and blood ran from the broken skin on her fists. She continued to yell obscenities as they led her to Mr. Bentley’s office.

The company nurse came to get Brian. Some managers helped him into the wheelchair she had brought. As the nurse pushed Brian to her station, anyone who hadn’t witnessed the fight could clearly see the deep fingernail scratches covering his neck and face. They snickered and pointed at the patches missing from his already thinning gray hair.

After being released from the hospital, Brian was told to stay home from work for at least a month. Brian had never been off of work for such a length of time but knew he needed to be. Crazy woman. If I were twenty years younger, I would’ve shown that little bitch a thing or two.

His second morning home, Brian lay in his bed trying to ignore the pain in his right leg. Then the phone rang.

“Hey, should I make the funeral arrangements now or are you going to stick around and wreak havoc for a few more years?” the woman on the other end asked.

“Sarah?” Brian asked, “I can’t believe you called me. How long has it been now…twelve years?”

“Thirteen. So how did you manage to get your ass kicked by a twenty-five year old?”

“Who told you?”

“You know my cousin, Laura, still works there. She saw the nurse pushing you to her off office.”

“Nosey wench,” Brian said.

“I’m going to ignore that because I know you don’t know any better. I took off of work for a while, told them that my deadbeat husband needed me. I’ll be there in half an hour. I have to pick up my rental.”

“How did you know I wanted you to come?”

“I doesn’t matter what you want. If I don’t help you, it will be on my conscious for eternity. And I try to think about you as least as possible. See ya in a few,” Sarah said, hanging up not bothering to wait for a response.

Brian and his wife had been separated longer than they had been together. When he had returned home after the army kicked him out, his wife followed suit. Sarah was pregnant at the time, which should have been impossible due to the fact that Brian had been gone for a year. In a way, he had been ecstatic to be rid of her, but every now and then he wished he could have made things better between them.

Brian hadn’t been in a serious relationship since Sarah. He had dated a few women here and there but soon grew tired of them. It was never the same as being with sweet Sarah, so he resolved to stop trying to replace her. He got lonely for a woman at times, but it was nothing a bottle of Jack Daniels and a little Vaseline or baby oil couldn’t cure.

When he built his strength up, Brian crept downstairs to unlock the door so it would be open when Sarah got there. He was sitting in his recliner, in front of the living room television, when his estranged wife arrived, looking even more beautiful than Brian had remembered. Florida had been good to her. Brian tried to suppress his excitement at her being there, but when she began to speak, there was nothing to mask anymore.

“Brian, when are you going to learn that you are the minority at Internal Revenue Service? That place is ninety percent women, seventy percent black women, what were you thinking? Don’t answer that, I forgot that thinking was never your forte.”

“They need to do what the government pays them to do, and that does not include taking up money to give to some snobbish woman who’s not worth the cream she puts in her coffee.”

“You need to do what you are paid to do and that is to do your work and keep your nose and your big mouth out of other people’s business.”

“You sound just like those people. If I’m gonna have to justify my actions throughout this little pity visit of yours, you might as well go home now.”

“Brian, I’m just trying to help you understand that you can’t keep doing people the way you do. What if that young woman had her boyfriend or brother kick your behind instead of doing it herself? You could have been killed instead of just knocked around a little bit.”

“Knocked around? She did try to kill me with those witch boots of hers. You can see the imprints of them up and down my leg and thigh,” Brian whined, pulling up his pant leg.

Sarah just shook her head and walked into the small kitchen. Brian could hear her running water in the sink preparing to clean the dishes he had left on the table since breakfast. Thanks, babe, he thought, smiling to himself.

For the rest of Sarah’s stay, she and Brian got along quite well. He even began to entertain thoughts of reconciling with Sarah. He revealed his thoughts to her the day she was suppose to return to Florida.

“Sarah, how about giving your loving husband another chance.”


“Damn, you’re not even going to think about it?”

“Uh Uh.”

“Come on, babe, be reasonable.”

“Brian, remember when I begged you to let me move on base with you instead of staying with my parents?”

“Sarah, I thought that you would be lonely when I wasn’t there with you.”

“That was a crock of shit then and it still is now. I wanted to be with my husband and you left me.”

“Well, that didn’t mean you had to go gallivanting around and getting pregnant by some other guy. A black one at that.”

“I admit my guilt in the way things turned out, but Shelly has been one of the best things that have ever happened to me. Too bad I can’t say the same for you.”

Brian suppressed the urge to say something spiteful. “But I can do better, Sarah, just give me another shot.”

“We’ll see. I’ll call you when I have a chance to think about it. Bye, Brian.”

Brian returned to work the Monday after Sarah left. He hadn’t liked many of the things she said to him but he knew that she had been right. He also knew that he had been mostly to blame for their problems and subsequent separation. That meant he had a lot of changes to make, as far as his attitude, if he really wanted to win Sarah back. Brian also came to the realization that there would always be things he would dislike about the way things were done at his job. He wouldn’t be forced to just sit back and deal with it but he would have to go through the proper channels to get things resolved instead of being rude to his co-workers…in his new unit.

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