“Is he going to be ok?” I ask.
I’ve been in the waiting room forever. Only family is allowed in the ER. Marigold is crying. She looks pathetic honestly but I get it. Her son was beat up by her ex boyfriend.
“He’ll survive,” she explains, “This is all my fault.”
There it goes. She was doing the victim blaming thing. I roll my eyes at her. I don’t have time for this. I’m mad. I’m beyond mad. Her son was out with me when it had happened. If I wasn’t bullshitting with Sampson I probably could have helped him out. Still, it isn’t my fault either. There is only one person to blame for what happened and that was the person who actually did it.
It’s not long before the cops try to get a statement about what happened. They walk over to us in the ER and the looks on their faces just show they aren’t really all that interested. The one guy barely even looks at Marigold. He clearly wants to be anywhere else but here.
“Marigold, do you have any idea why someone would want to do this to Wade?” the cop asks.
He is so unprofessional. I get this was a small town. I get they all knew each but the way he was just talking to her just made it seem like this happened every other day or something. It was almost like he was asking her what was for lunch or something. This woman’s son just got fucking beat up.
“He was targeted,” Marigold says.
Marigold just stops talking at that moment. It’s like she loses all type of confidence she has in herself. I watch as she just looks on the ground as if the answer is on the ground. Am I in the twilight zone or something like that? Was I missing something?
“Deacon Wesley,” I respond for Marigold.
“And who are you?” the officer says.
“I’m a friend of Wade’s. I was there.”
“That’s quite an accusation,” the bored looking cop says.
“Were you there to see Deacon Wesley assault him?”
“I saw enough,” I respond, “I left the restaurant with Wade and I saw Wesley and a bunch of his fucking goons leaving the scene.”
The two cops look at one another. They aren’t taking down notes. They don’t even seem that interested. They don’t even seem sympathetic about what happened. These cops are looking at me like I’m the suspicious one.
“I haven’t seen you around,” the cop says, “How do you know Wade?”
“Like I said, we were friends. Did I not make myself clear?”
“What is the nature of your friendship?”
Was this guy serious?
I look over at Marigold. She had disappeared within herself. It’s almost like she isn’t outraged right now. It’s almost as though she expects these fucking cops to be like this. What did the nature of my relationship with Wade matter at a time like this?
“Does it matter?”
The cops look at each other again. Those suspicious eyes turn to me.
“We just think it’s a little odd. That restaurant is usually where a lot of couples go. I kind of find it strange that you were there with Wade. That’s all.”
“You’re concerned if I’m gay a time like this?” I ask him, “What kind of small town, country ass motherfuckers live in this town?”
“You wanna run that back again son?” the cop asks stepping forward.
Marigold grabs my arm and pulls me back. The cop is in my face and he looks like he is about to attack me or something. Luckily she grabs me and moves me out of the way before the cops do anything. I’m not confused anymore. Now I’m really pissed off. Now I’m understanding where these cops are coming at. They didn’t care about justice.
“He doesn’t mean it, Johnny,” Marigold tells the cop.
“Am I in the wrong?” I ask, “None of you are yet to say anything about Deacon Wesley and the fact that he attacked Wade.”
“You have proof?” the cop asks.
“I saw it.”
“That’s not what I asked you,” the cop says and takes a few more steps to me, “What are you? Are you some kind of idiot? I asked you specifically if you had proof. Didn’t I?”
I’m shocked. That’s the only way you can explain it. This has to be one of the most difficult moments in my life. I didn’t know Wade like that but it hurt that he was in there beat up and these cops weren’t even really interested in catching the guy who did it. They were just standing there with these smug ass faces on and making it seem like I was the problem here.
“Answer the question,” the other cop tells me.
“No. I don’t have proof,” I stated, “I didn’t fucking video tape Deacon Wesley leaving.”
“I didn’t think so,” the cop says at that moment and then turns to Marigold, “Marigold. You should watch your son. Have him spend some more time in church maybe and stop hanging around the wrong influences. Maybe things like this wouldn’t happen to him then.”
“Thanks Johnny,” Marigold says.
She thanks him!
I’m losing my mind at that moment. I’m pacing back and forth while the cops leave. I’d never seen someone be beaten as bad as Wade is beaten and I’m completely fucking helpless to do anything. I’m completely out of my league here. When the cops leave Marigold is just sitting there. She just has this stupid, weak ass look on her face.
“You’re fucking pathetic,” I tell her.
I don’t care if she’s an older woman. I don’t care if she is a Southern belle who has all this class. Right now I’m calling it how I see it. She’s pathetic. She’s pathetic for not standing up for her son. She pathetic just shutting up and allowing Wesley to get away with it.
The funny thing about Marigold is she is so pathetic that she doesn’t even argue with me. She just stares down at the ground. She’s crying again. I guess that’s what she’s really good at. She puts her hand in her face and just starts a slow moaning process.
She cries for almost 5 minutes before finally talking.
“It’s pointless. Wesley’s brother is the mayor. They’re not going to do anything. They are in bed with him. They’ve all been in bed with the mayor since the beginning.”
“So you just let them get away with it?”
“He did it to get back at me,” Marigold explains, “He did it as a warning. Next time it can be worse. We fucked with us and Wesley showed us who really ran this town. What am I going to do? Go to war with with Wesley and the mayor. I’m not crazy Syn. I love my son. Wesley is out of my life and I know what kind of person he is now. So it’s over. I’ll just accept my losses. Ok?”
She’s given up.
She’s sitting there looking like the weakest I’d ever seen someone in my life. She was cowering. That’s the only word to describe what Marigold was doing. Marigold was fucking COWERING.
“No. Fuck that,” I state.
“My knees don’t been that way lady. You afraid to go to war with these people? Japan wanted to go to war with the United States. Remember that? Remember what happened to Hiroshima. Well I’m just like Hiroshima. I’m a WALKING atom bomb. You pinch me and I’m blowing your fucking shit up…”
“Syn…there’s something you don’t know…”
“I’ve been thinking about it. Wade’s dad died in a really strange way,” she tells me, “The more I think about it the worse kind of feeling I get. Wesley just shows up right after my husband dies. It was just weird.”
“You don’t think Wesley had something to do with it…or do you?” I ask.
Marigold has this weird look.
“I don’t know. I just know that Wesley and Edwin Reading aren’t exactly the kind of guys you mess around with in this town.”
I nod. Now I understood why Marigold was so afraid.
The thing is I didn’t give a fuck about Wesley and Edwin Reading.
They needed to be worried about Syn Clinton instead.
I get back to Marigold’s poolhouse. She is staying with Wade at the hospital. There is no point in me being there. I don’t want to be around Marigold anyway. I hate seeing how weak she is about this. I just need to clear my head with what’s going on anyway.
Marigold really thought Wesley might have had something to do with her husband’s death. That was deep. Truth was I wouldn’t put it past him after seeing what he did to Wade. I hadn’t really ever dealt with something like this before. This man was crazy.
I’m thinking about it for hours until I get a knock on my door. At first I don’t know who it is. I grab a knife from the kitchen and bring it with me. Maybe it’s Wesley. Maybe the cops told him what I was up to and he’d come to shut me up.
When I get to the door and open it, it’s someone who I don’t expect.
Sampson is standing there. He’s dressed normal. He doesn’t have any of that reverend stuff going on. He just looks like normal sexy ass Sampson. The guy must know he looks good. His muscles are popping. He has those cute little puppy dog eyes when he stares at me from the door.
“I know it’s late, but…”
I walk in and go to the fridge. I managed to pick up a bottle of Hennessy on my way back from the hospital. Luckily the liquor stores stay open late in this little hick town. There wasn’t much of anything else to do but drink. I take the alcohol to the head and offer some to Sampson, who just shakes his head. I forgot for a moment that he was a man of God.
“You were expecting someone else?” he asks me.
“What makes you ask that?” I ask.
“You answered the door with a knife in your hand Syn,” he explains.
“My friend just got beat up.”
“I heard,” Sampson explains before nodding, “Small town…”
“Fuck this place,” I tell Sampson.
Sampson just stares at me for a minute, “I came over because I was worried about you. There are a lot of people around town who just aren’t used to seeing openly gay men. The entire town is talking about how you and Wade went on that date. I came over to apologize on behalf of the town that Wade was attacked because of it.”
“You know…the attack that happened afterward.”
I start laughing at that moment.
“Wait…you think Wade was gaybashed?” I ask Sampson.
It’s really laughable but the look on Sampson’s face let’s me know that he doesn’t find this funny. He is really here apologizing about this hick ass town as though Wade was beat up because he was out with me. He had no idea.
“That’s what people are saying,” Sampson explains, “A lot of people always assumed Wade was a little odd. The local girls wanted to date him but he never gave them the time of day. When people saw the two of you out together people just started to assume that was the reason that he got beat up.”
I roll my eyes. They were so small town.
“Wade wasn’t beat up for being gay.”
“Well whatever the reason,” Sampson says before walking over to me and grabbing me, “I’m sorry it happened and I just came over here to check up on you. I was…worried…”
It’s interesting how Sampson stares at me for a few extra seconds longer then he should at that moment. It’s funny how he supposedly wanted me so far away from him but the moment something happens he’s the first one to show up at my door. He’s standing there and he seems to have this real look of concern on him. Sampson was never too far away when it counted though.
“You were worried about me?” I ask.
“I’m always worried about you,” Sampson tells me, “You’re always involved in some shit Syn.”
“You knew that when you met me. You were the only person who I thought could actually handle me,” I state but then pause and stare at Sampson back, “I guess I was wrong.”
“You think I left because you were too much to handle?” he asks.
“I know that.”
“I found God, Syn,” he replies.
“And you lost yourself in the meanwhile,” I respond before adding with an extra heavy heard, “You lost me too.”
I hate having this conversation with him. This shit hurts. This wasn’t some fun happy moment. Sampson abandoned me. He just up and abandoned me one day. We hadn’t argued. We hadn’t gotten into it. He promised he’d be with me forever and then he up and left me. He found God. What kind of God had you abandon the person you loved for most of your life?
At that moment Sampson walks over towards me. This motherfucker tries to pull me closer and do something. I don’t know if he’s trying to calm me down or comfort me. I push hard at him though, right in his chest so that he moves back a little bit.
“You got me fucked up,” I respond, “Do I look like a wounded puppy. I don’t need you to lick my wounds, Sampson.”
“Right. I forgot you’re so tough,” he responds, “You don’t need me.”
“I don’t need anyone.”
“You’re SO fucking tough!” he screams at that moment, “Bullshit. You forgot Syn. I know you more than anything. You want me to hug you right now. Just admit that.”
Fuck this guy.
I hated this guy. He was looking at me right now with extended arms as though welcoming me to come in for a hug. This guy really thought I was going to get emotional over him. He just knew that he had an effect on me that no one else had. I hated how cocky Sampson was being right now. I hated the fact that he was fucking right…
“Fuck you, you piece of shit,” I respond, “Aren’t you’re wife and kids waiting for you?”
“I didn’t leave you for them. I left and then they happened. There is a difference.”
“Jesus Christ? How do you not stink when you’re so full of shit?”
Sampson moves close to me again. He attempts to hug me again, “Syn. Stop fighting me…”
“STOP FIGHTING ME!”
Sampson has managed to pin me to the wall. He’s grabbed me up. I feel all this resistance at that moment. How many times was Sampson going to leave me? How many times was I going to chase him down. This time was different though. This time he had a wife and kids. This time there was no going back to what we had before.
“You need to know that I’ve always checked up on you. Even after I left, I always reached out to make sure you were ok.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” I ask.
“I don’t want you to hate me.”
That’s when I do it. I kiss Sampson. I put my tongue down his throat. Sampson fights it at first but after a second or two he gives in. He aggressively pushes down on me against the wall. There is so much passion when his tongue enters my mouth.
Sampson grabs onto the side of my face. He picks me up and places me on the island in the poolhouse. His hard hands press against the smalls of his back. His tongues goes in and out of my mouth as we wrestle trying to show this affection for each other.
We’re two crazy people at that moment. We are both crazy in our own way. We’re two people who can’t shake one another. We’re two people who hate each other but love each other so much.
Sampson is breathing heavy. His dick is hard. He’s pressed up between my legs. He holds me tightly. He’s taken complete control of this situation. He puts his tongue in my mouth again and this time I’m not here for it.
I bite down hard as I can on his tongue.
Sampson screams out in pain as falls back after I bite his tongue.
“Get the fuck out,” I tell him.
“Syn you’re so fucking crazy. You know that? You’re a fucking lunatic.”
“I just wanted to see if you were really full of shit,” I respond, “Aren’t you so happy now? You’re a holy man. Wife and kids right? But your tongue is down your old boyfriend’s throat. Fuck you Sampson. Get the fuck out.”
“Why the fuck are you even here then?” he asks, “Ok. I can’t shake you. It’s clear. You know that. I know that. The secret’s in the open. But why are you here? You want to shove it in my face everyday for the rest of my life?”
For a moment he looks at me and I think about feeling bad for him. The kiss was everything before my crazy ass bit his tongue. A part of me wants to do it again. A part of me wants to kiss him forever. Then I remember. This is the guy that broke my heart.
This is the guy that left me to have a family.
No. He wouldn’t get away with it that easily.
“I’m here to make you suffer,” I say.
I head over to the hospital the next day. I want to check on Wade and see how he’s doing. Marigold hasn’t left the hotel and she meets me at the door of his hospital room. She’s wearing the same clothes that she was wearing yesterday. I can’t help but feel bad for her. I can only imagine how much it hurts to see your son completely beaten and demolished over something that you had to do with you.
Her face is downturned and a little upset. She forces a slight smile while giving me a soft hug. She looks so beaten. She looks so depressed.
“Thanks for coming back,” she tells me.
“Is Wade ok?” I ask.
“He can’t see out of his right eye. The doctor says…” she pauses for a few seconds. She takes a deep breath and slowly adds in, “…The doctor says he may not ever be able to see out of his right eye again.”
Fuck. I knew it was bad. A part of me just hoped it wasn’t that bad. These men beat up Wade to a pulp and they were going to get away with it. The cops didn’t give a fuck. They were going to walk around without any sort of resemblance of happiness.
She pauses looking down. She’s sad and a little confused.
“Don’t you dare cry,” I tell her.
She shakes her head with resistance, “I’m done crying. But what are we going to do? My son is laying in that room blind and there’s nothing I can do about it. Look over there. Mayor Reading is running for re-election. I called my lawyer. My lawyer won’t touch it. Everyone’s scared of Mayor Reading. He runs this town and he’s never going to let his brother get away with this. It’s useless. What can we possibly do? This is a paradise for Wesley Reading.”
The corruption in this city went deep. It went deeper than anything I could imagine.
So he ran this town?
This was paradise for him? Huh…
“We’re going to turn raise hell,” I let her know, “See what they think about their paradise then.”
To read the next chapter in advance go to www.crushedcrown.com