Chapter 11


Chapter 11

Do you know the difference between May and Might? Do you know the difference between May and Might?

"May" implies a possibility. "Might" implies far more uncertainty. "You may get drunk if you have two shots in ten minutes" implies a real possibility of drunkenness. "You might get a ticket if you operate a tug boat while drunk" implies a possibility that is far more remote. Someone who says "I may have more wine" could mean he/she doesn't want more wine right now, or that he/she "might" not want any at all. Given the speaker's indecision on the matter, "might" would be correct.

"You may not want to do this," Bron tells Zima.

Zima's eyes are tearing up. I've never seen someone look so distraught in her life. She doesn't even look the same. Her hair is in shambles. She smells like alcohol from here. I look at her wrists and I can see marks. Marks that let me know she's tried to hurt herself before and the more I go up her arms with my eyes, I see more marks. Drug marks. We lived in Philadelphia. I'd seen these before. Zima was definitely strung the fuck out.

"You ruined my life. You piece of shit. You ruined everything for me," Zima states.

I'm so confused. I'm so confused.

"Zima put the gun down," he states backing up.

"NO!" is her reply. .

Her hands are shaking. She barely knows how to aim the gun. She looks like she's having a nervous fucking break down right in front of us. She's pointing the gun at Bron. I don't think she's even noticed me as of yet. She has this idea in her head. This mission. The kind of face that lets you know she's been wanting to do this for a while.

What the hell had I missed in these past years.

"How did you even get a gun?" he asks her. '

That's when I see Bron's hand go up. He's making a signal. He's making a signal towards me. He's trying to get me out of here. I can see his hand waving me away.

She hasn't noticed me yet and maybe I can leave. Maybe I can get out of here. I start backing up slowly out of the room. Zima is tearing up. Her wails are so loud that you would think she was the one with her life being threatened.

"Sucked some guys dick for it. That's what I'm reduced to now. Can't work. Can't see my daughter. Can't live. All because of you. You made sure of that, didn't you Bron?" she asks.

Her anger is so intense. I want to walk out of the room. I want to make a run for it but I'm so sure she is going to kill Bron if I do. There was no way I was going to do that.

"What the hell are you talking about?" I ask, "Don't blame him for your shit."

Wrong move. Wrong move.

I notice her turn to me all of a sudden in her drunken stupor. For the first time she notices me in the gigantic room and her eyes look over at me like a hawk. She looks livid when she sees me.

"You're up..." she states.

"Zima, I don't know what happened to you in these last couple of years," I start, "But there has to be another way."

"No wonder he let off my neck for a minute. It's because he finally cared about someone else more," she states with this random odd smirk, "It's because you woke up."

That's when she points her gun at me. I gasp. I can't believe I'm in this situation. I can't believe after waking up from a coma I was back in this fucked up situation. I raise my hands. My heart is beating so fast. I shouldn't have said anything and looking at Bron's face he is confirming that. He looks so worried at that moment. He looks as though Zima is really going to hurt me.

Bron seems to be losing his cool when she does it, "Zima this has nothing to do with Nile. This is between you and me. Put the gun back on me. Zima!"

"No. Fuck that," Zima argues, "I know how you feel about Nile. I've known how you always felt about Nile. This is the one thing that I can take away from you that would mean something."

"I swear to God if you do this I'm going to bury you..."

"You already have..."

That's when Zima shoots at me! She shoots at me!

I close my eyes. I try to block myself. It doesn't matter. None of it matters. I close my eyes. I try to block myself.

It's not because I get hit. No the opposite has happened. Zima is so strung out on drugs that she misses the shot by a lot. The shot goes into the ceiling. Her shaky hands can't even hold the gun afterward. It's not because I get hit.

I think she struggles to get to the gun afterward but she doesn't even get that far. She stumbles forward and trips on her own feet. That's when Bron comes out of no where with a heavy fist and clocks her right in the face. I'm shocked by it. He hits her like he would hit a man. She passes out on the floor almost immediately with no hesitation. She hits the ground with a loud thud and she's out cold.

"Fuck you bitch," he says over her unconscious body.

He says it with real malice as he spits towards her. I could see this real hate in his eyes. I mean I didn't like Zima. I didn't hate her, I just wasn't necessarily excited about her existence. If she was on fire, I may drink a glass of water in front of her, but I'd get to calling 911 sooner or later. That was the kind of feelings I had towards Zima, but Bron had a whole different level.

He looked like he despised this bitch.

"Should I call the cops?" I ask grabbing his phone.

"No...I'll deal with it," he states, "Go to my room. Lock the door"

I don't move.

I don't like the seriousness in Bron's voice. The tone is freaking me out a bit. The way he is talking just is sending straight shivers down my spine. I don't like it.

" are you going to deal with it?" " are you going to deal with it?"

"Don't worry about that."

"She's the mother of your daughter Bron."

"Athena isn't my FUCKING daughter. Or did you forget?"

There is a silence. I can see all this pain in his eyes. It had to hurt him this entire time. I knew it did.

"Listen, I know that you probably have been through some shit since I've been in the coma but this isn't you..."

Bron gives me a real hard look, "GET IN THE ROOM NOW!"

I'm a little shocked by it. This aggression wasn't the Bron that I had known before. The Bron that I knew before was kind and warm. Him screaming at me like this was shocking. I go into his room and close the door.

At least I pretend to close the door.

That's when I hear Bron on the phone, "I need you guys to clean some mess up. Yeah. Some permanent mess..."


I avoid Bron for the rest of the week. Truth is I'm scared of what I saw. I'm a little turned off by him. I hide out at Jr.'s house. There I meet his girlfriend, who is a nice looking girl. It's nice to know through all this drama Clapper has raised his son right. Clapper lives somewhere else. According to Jr., Clapper was raising Athena. It just felt so weird to me. Clapper had never been in this girl's life and now he was raising her.

I hide out for a while. I have more than enough money not to have to go into the office. I've never had so much money in my life and after going shopping it just sort of felt like I had nothing to really use the money for. I thought about getting my own place but the Doctors say it's best for me to live with someone who can monitor me.

It's the end of the week when I get on a knock on the door.

"Uncle Nile?"

It's Jr.

"What's up Jr.?"

"My dad is downstairs to see you."

Great. I honestly just wanted some time to myself. I walk out of the room and almost immediately Jr. is looking at me with a really concerned look on his face.

"You OK?" he asks me.

"I"m fine."

"You've been really solitude for the past week."

"Guess I'm used to being by myself."

Bron doesn't hesitate. He just grabs "You sure there's nothing else?"

Why should I worry Jr. about what happened with Bron? Bron said he would take care of it. I had no idea what that meant but I knew that he would. I feel like I didn't owe Zima anything. Whatever happened to her was her fault. She came in there with a gun. She threatened not only Bron but threatened me.

Everything was her fault from the beginning.


I force a smile, "I'm fine."

I shuffle past him when he gives me the same look that his father always gave me. The last thing I wanted to do is relive the night with what happened with Zima. I didn't want to think about what Bron ended up doing with her.

I rather not know...

I get downstairs and sure enough Clapper is standing there with an expensive looking suit and a pretty girl on his arm. She has to be a model or something. She's a white girl with long blonde hair. I hadn't even known Clapper to ever date in his own race but then again who knew if he was actually dating this girl. For all I knew she could have been a little jump off for him.

"Where the hell you been?" he asks as soon as he sees me.

He abandons the girl's hand and gives me a hug. It's a warm hug. It's one of those Clapper hugs that I just missed.

"Just trying to get used to life..."

"You'll get used to it," he tells me with a wicked smile, "I assure you. I came bearing good news."

"Good news?"

"Romelo stopped his lawsuit in the proxy fight."

"Proxy fight?"

In a proxy fight, opposing groups of stockholders persuade other stockholders to allow them to vote their shares. Why would Romelo be suing other people in the company over a Proxy fight?

"It's nothing to worry about," Clapper states, "Especially now."

"Do you think? Listen. Since I've been gone has Bron been acting different?"

"Different how?"

"I don't know...just different."

"Well he came out of the closet..."

I stop Clapper.

"That's not what I'm talking about. I mean is Bron must have took it really when he found out about Athena not being his daughter right? I mean that little girl was his world. Could you imagine how you would feel if you found Jr. wasn't your son?"
There is a pause. I could tell Clapper hasn't spent much time thinking about this or maybe he's swept it under the rug so long that he was pretending like this wasn't an issue. He seems to be reluctant to talk about it. I know when Clapper doesn't want to talk about something. He gets all red. The girl next to him looks uncomfortable as well like she doesn't want to be in the area for this. This is all really comfortable but I just need to know about this weird thing with Bron.

"Honestly, we aren't friends now. I thought he would take it a little worse, but he didn't. Zima on the other hand...her life kind of fell apart. I was surprised when she brought Athena over to me for me to raise because she couldn't do it anymore.

Strange. Real strange.

"So Bron didn't explode?"

"Not outwardly at least."

"That's so weird."

I hear how he says outwardly as well. What if Bron was holding all of this in? I'm nervous for him. My friend was changing into someone else. He was changing into someone I necessarily didn't like. From going crazy at people in the office, to screaming at me, to this thing with Zima I knew that Bron was going through something and more than anything I wanted to be there for him. I wanted to help him out.

"Listen. Let's just forget about it," Clapper states, "Everything's good now. The lawsuit is done, you're awake and Bron can be in the same room without trying to fucking kill me."

"Would you say we're on the path to rebuilding our friendship?"

He laughs at the thought.

"Nah nothing like that, but I will say that we want to celebrate you."


"Yeah. We're having an event this weekend. The entire company is invited to celebrate your recovery and thank you for all your hard work in building the foundation of this company. We want to honor you this weekend."

I'm shocked. I have to admit a smile spreads across my face completely. I'm not expecting this. I know things have been a little bit weird but I'm hoping this will make up for all of that.

"Is it too soon? i'm still under medical watch?"

"It was Bron's idea," Clapper explains, "If you don't think you're up for it, let me know. I'll have him postpone it."

I find myself smiling again knowing that Bron was behind this. Sure there was that whole thing with Zima but it was her fault. I understood Bron might have some resentment brewing in him because of what happened with Zima but hopefully a conversation will help him know that I'm here for him no matter what. That's what friends were for.

"I'll go," I tell him.


The weekend is here before I know it.

Jr. knocks on my door telling me my ride is here. I get downstairs and when I walk outside I'm shocked by what I see. It's a horse drawn carriage.

"You've got to be kidding me," I state.

"No. We're not," a voice states.

The door of the carriage opens up and Bron is standing there looking like a snack. He's wearing an all black suit that matches my all white suit. He licks his lips as he sees me. His eyes glare at me as though I'm the only one in the world.

"This isn't really happening," I state.

I keep thinking that. I keep wondering that. It's like I've left my old life, entered a coma and woke up into some fairytale. Here I was a multi-millionaire with this the man of my dreams about to take me on a carriage ride to an event where they were going to honor me for something that I did a long ass time ago.

I feel loved. I feel this dedication.

"Have him back by midnight," Jr. warns Bron playfully.

"I might not bring him back at all," Bron teases offering me his hand.

I take Bron's hands. At that moment I forget about all the weird things happening. I forget about Zima. I forget all the bullshit we've been going through. At that moment all that matters is that I take Bron's hands and I feel the love he's willing to give me.

Bron helps me up into the carriage and before we even depart he leans over and kisses me. The kiss is soft. It's wet. It's perfect. His tongue is down my throat. His hands are manuevering around my body.

"You did this all for me?" I ask.

"You haven't seen anything yet," he promises, holding my hand and refusing to let it go even while my palms are sweating.

I pause. I want to enjoy this moment but something is on my mind. Something that I need to talk to Bron about. Something that I can't just completely ignore.

"Listen that thing with Zima..." I start off.

I don't even know how to continue with it. It's such a fucked up situation. It's such a fucked up question. Still I know that I need to address this sooner or later somehow. So I just suck it up.

Bron stares at me and shakes his head, "Listen. I never meant to put you in that sort of situation. Zima has been mentally challenged for the last few years."

"She made it seem like it was something you did to her..."
"You know Zima. And you know me," Bron states, "C`mon now..."

I think about it. Yeah. Zima was full of drama. She was the one who cheated on Bron who was always good to her. She was the one who led the party life. Whatever she did, she had to do to herself. Looking in Bron's eyes I feel like I know that. Bron is still a good person. He would never do anything to hurt the people that he loved.

"I'm sorry I  doubted you."

"So does that mean you're moving back in with me?"

I look at Bron when he asked that question.  God.  Here was Bron of all people giving me all of him.  Isn't that what I always wanted?  Wasn't this what I always wanted?  Him standing here with a smile telling me that everything was going to be OK and that I could trust him no matter what.  I find myself smiling back.  My life had made a turn for the better.  My life was perfect.


"Good.  We've arrived and I have a surprise for you."

"What is it?"

"He hands me an envelope."

"What is this?"

"You helped Romelo drop the lawsuit against us.  Because he dropped it I'm able to go through with the proxy fight."

"It was all Romelo who started this.  It happened when he developed opposition to how I was leading the company.  So he pressed to get control of the company.  With you in a coma it would have been easy for me and Clapper to take over the company.   He had a legal case however being that we only controlled 50 percent of the company.  And Clapper like the idiot he was gave Jr. control of 10 percent of his share.  So Romelo filed a lawsuit.  Well the thing is...he dropped it.  It that means we can finally push Romelo out of control completely.   And Clapper is so bad with money that I've been buying his shares a little bit at a time under pseudonyms."

This went into what Clapper mentioned earlier.  A proxy fight was a contest for control over the organization. In this case,  a group of shareholders, Clapper and Bron, were joining together to effect change in a particular area.   But being that Bron had a bigger percentage than Clapper he was planning on taking over the entire company sooner or later.

That wasn't how this company was meant to be.  We all had equal shares.  We all should have equal control.

All of a sudden it all clicks to me.

"You're trying to do a hostile takeover."

Bron smiles.  It's a smile that I don't recognize.  It's a smile that freaks me out completely.  I knew now that what Zima was saying wasn't a lie.  I knew now that he had definitely changed.   The fact that he was trying to push Romelo out and cheat Clapper's control out from under him just proved it.

Bron was pulling a hostile takeover and there was nothing that we could do about it. 

He nods at that moment as we walk into the party,  "I guess you can say that."



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