The Confrontation

The voices from upstairs weren’t clear, but they were loud and they were angry.  Russell and Susan hid behind the discarded crib they both slept in and toddler basketball goals they played with 20 years ago.  They had come down to get some boxes to help Sondra move to her new apartment across town.

She graduated from the academy two months ago and started as a patrol officer a couple of weeks later.  This was her first free weekend to move to her first apartment.  When the yelling started in the back bedroom, Russ saw Sondra go out to her car and get her handgun as he and Susan were coming back up the stairs.  He stopped and ushered Susan back down to hide among their past.

The only person who liked Ray was their mother and that seemed to shift on an hourly basis.  Usually due to how much either of them had been drinking.  Ray and their mother Fancie had been dating off and on for 10 years.  With Sondra moving out, Ray decided Fancie needed protection and he was moving in to provide it.  He didn’t tell her until he showed up today with his pickup truck full of his stuff.

They had been sniping at each other for 2 hours, but something happened to make it personal in the last 15 minutes. Something personal enough that Sondra thought she needed the Walther PPK Russ got her for graduating in the top 5 of her academy class.

The voices had been rising and falling for 15 minutes and now they were at low ebb and moving towards the kitchen.  Russ signaled for Susan to stay where she was and moved up the stairs to the door to see what was happening.

He poked his head through and could see his mother standing at the kitchen door with Sondra in front of her.  He could hear Ray’s voice coming from outside.  “I’ll leave you crazy bitch.  You and them crazy-ass young-uns.  Shit, you know you need me here.  You know I love you, Fancie.”

“Get in your truck and go, Ray.  Go home and sober up.  If you come back drunk like this again I’ll have you arrested.”

“Girl, I know more cops in this town then you do.  I grew up with half of ‘em.  You don’t scare me.”

“This does though.”  Russ could see she was gesturing to the hand gun she had pointed low and away from Ray at the moment.

“Well, you and that ain’t going to always be here.  Me and Fancie, we belong together.  I’ll be back so we can talk alone, baby.”  He got in his old blue Ford and got it cranked on the second try.  He backed out of the drive way just missing the mailbox and Sondra’s Toyota.

“Sondra, why did you do that?  Now, he is just going to be madder than he was before.”

Sondra was already on her cell phone.  “Hello, I would like to report a suspected drunk driver. Yes, he is in a late model blue Ford pickup truck with a rusted rear panel on the left side.  The license plate number is FRD-0915.  He is headed west on Grover Street towards the hospital.  Yes, I saw him swerving around his lane as I drove past him.  He almost hit my car.  OK, thank you.”

By that time Russ had called Susan up from the basement and they were all standing around the kitchen.

Susan sat at the kitchen table, her hands shaking.  “What good will that do?  He’s just going to get out of it.”

“Maybe, but it will keep him in lock up for the night.  We can get the locks changed in the meantime.”

“I don’t know if this is a good idea.”

“Mama, we’re going to change the locks today and he won’t have a key.  If he comes back, don’t let him in and call me, Sondra, or Susan and we’ll come handle it.  You just going on back and lay down.  Me and Susan will go and get you new locks and be back soon.”  Fancie went back towards her bedroom and the three children stood around the kitchen in much the same way they did when their father died.  Susan at the table, Russ standing in the middle of the room and Sondra leaning against the wall.


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