Time Off (short story)

“Who Am I” the man said quietly to him himself as hes kenneling on the ice cold blood stained snowy ground, surrounded by Harlem’s beautiful brownstones. He remembers a time when the neighborhood was different. A time when he couldn’t even leave his block alone without the company of family or friends out of fear of being jumped by local “niggas” around the way. Those times were dangerous but to him, it was a time that had soul, excitement and his aspirations were new and yet to be explored. It was a time where he still had something to live for, something to believe in.

The man slowly removed his right hand from his face, leaving his left on. He split his middle and ring finger to peak out as if he was peaking out of a curtain. He looked up to the sky. The stars and moon was such a beautiful display of the magnificence of the universe. The combination of the street lights, mixed with the stars and moons gleam down on him like the lord was personally calling him home.

But hes not, because what hes done is the opposite of a good deed. Hes covered in blood that isn’t his own. But the question is how can such a usually calm and polite man end up in such a position?

He told the woman that he murdered not to “fuck with him” . But unfortunately the woman didn’t take his advice. The woman that’s laying bloody in front of him is actually entrepreneur Barbara May, his boss.

Earlier he complained about being stressed out because of home issues that he was facing. His child had just flunked out of school, another was pregnant at the age of 13 and he caught his girl cheating on him with her boss. They were 8 days away from being evicted from their 1 bedroom apartment.  He left his girlfriend and is fighting for sole custody of their youngest child. It doesn’t help that he suffers from kidney disease and the treatments are making him worst.

He asked Barbara for some time off to “sort some things out” and if he could have Christmas off next week to spend time with his kids. She told him “no” and that she needed him to cover his shift or he was fired. In a fit of rage he grabbed a sharp razor off the table and stabbed Barbara in her throat. While repeatedly calling her a “bitch”.

After the deed was finished he began to cry realizing what he had just done. He had a clean criminal history and this was his first offense. Barbara was on floor with blood pouring from her neck and he knew he had to finish the job. He grabbed a knife and stabbed in the pit of the stomach until she stopped moving.

He dragged the body outside of the restaurant and couldn’t keep his balance slipping on the snow covered ground.

In the distance he heard sirens and see blue and whites racing to the scene. Neighbors must’ve heard the commotion and called the police. The man took the bloody knife out of his coat pocket and slit his throat to avoid life in prison. That was the end of this young mans life.

As for his girl and children. She ended up marrying her boss and getting sole custody. Barbara restaurant closed down and eventually was renovated and turned into a vegan seafood restaurant that cater to younger “hip” crowds.

The End

By John C. Spain 12.6.18


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