Saturday, October 11, 2014

Chapter 50

"What the hell did you say?"  He slurred the s in say so I figured out real quick he’d been drinking wasn’t likely to be reasonable.

My strategy was to make it so if the guys did go after Mason that there would be a more legitimate reason than that his mouth runneth over.

"I said you scream like a girl you big dork.  And you're drunk.  Take a hike Mason and go get you some coffee or something before the cops notice you.  You know the 4th of July celebration up here says no drinking.  Go before you get in trouble and then cause more trouble for Delly and her husband.  They don't need that kind of grief and neither do we."

"Why you little ..."

Sawyer was springing to stand up when a hard voice said, "Go."

Everyone suddenly noticed the other guy pushing his way through the small crowd that had formed.  "But Burt, she was disrespecting us."

The guy shook his head and said, "She was only giving you what you're due."

It took a few moments for the drunk man to figure that out.  Then he tried to get all up in his brother's face but his friends pulled him off and away.  The man then turned to Sawyer and looked like he was chewing glass before he said, "Delly wants to know if you and ... and Kay-Lee want to come over to the table and have a piece of pie.  She said to tell you that it's the one your mother used to make every year."

"Berries with real whipped cream?" Sawyer asked.

The man named Burt nodded.  "Yeah."

Then Sawyer nodded.  "Yeah.  Yeah I ... I would ... if ... if it isn't a problem."

Burt deflated a bit and said, "Naw.  Naw, truth is this might make Delly feel better.  She uh ... she ain't feeling too good.  The blood work came back and ... and it ... they say she needs some other tests run."


The fireworks were over, the blankets and towels and leftovers were all packed, and all the goodbyes were said.  Gramps and Uncle James had clapped Sawyer on the back like he'd done something good and even Uncle Mark nodded in his direction.  The other uncles all let him know in their own way they agreed with the other three men.  I got my own share of pats and such but it was almost too disconcerting to take in.  Linda gave me a quick hug and Sawyer and I escaped the mosquitos as quick as everyone else after that.

Sawyer was silent for a long time.  We were half way home when I couldn't stand it anymore.  "Are ... are you upset with me?"

"What?" he asked finally startled out of his funk.  "No.  Of course not."

"You sure?  I ... I didn't lie about the swimming I just didn't think anything of it and then instinct took over."

"Kay-Lee, the last thing I am is mad at you over that.  A little boy is alive because you knew what to do.  And I hope I don't sound awful but I'm not even thinking about that."

"Then what?  That guy ... Toby?  Or is it Mason being a jerk?  Or your sister?"

"All that I guess."  He sighed.  "I feel bad for Delly but I don't know what to say to her.  Maybe if they find out for sure that something is wrong with the baby but ... they don't know for sure yet and she's already said that she isn't going to have an abortion even if the doctors keep trying to force her into one.  She's like almost four months along anyway."

"An abundance of caution."


"That's what the doctors call it when they almost scare you to death.  They call it an abundance of caution.  Prepare for the worst and hope for the best.  After a while it stops freaking you out but it never stops bothering you to a certain extent."

He put his arm around me in the dark of the truck cab.  "You'd know about doctors."

"And how.  I'm not saying something isn't wrong.  I'm just saying that she doesn't know for certain yet so getting worked up over what you can't control is a waste of time and energy you could better use to deal with the things you can control."

He pulled me closer and I slid across the old bench seat as far as the seatbelt would let me and daringly put my hand on his leg.

Next he said, "Toby ... well Toby is ... look he's the guy that Lisa two-timed me with the last time.  If I'm understanding what he's saying - and what people tried to tell me - she'd told him we were broken up and not seeing each other."

"Were you?"


"That sucks.  It had to have hurt you really bad.  I'm sorry."

"Why?  It wasn't your fault."

"Because you don't deserve to be hurt like that and it obviously still means something to you that you still held it against that guy Toby."

"Eh.  Some of the stuff is ... habit I guess.  A bad habit.  But it's over with and I wouldn't go back and change it because then we wouldn't have gotten together."

"I'm glad.  Not that you had to go through that but that ... that we're together."

"Yeah.  Me too."

"What's left?  That jerk Mason?"

"Mason is going to cause trouble.  Doesn't matter what Butt ... er ... Burt says.  Mason ... he's gotten in with some bad people and it's messing him up.  Mason wasn't like this when we were in school.  He was actually one of the good guys.  He'd stop fights.  Crack jokes to make people feel better.  But our senior year he started dating this girl.  She was kinda ok but her family was pretty trashy.  I don't know ... I think that's when he started drinking and smoking pot.  Delly told me once that Mason told Burt that it was during one of those times that he let them talk him into doing some crystal meth.  He ain't been the same since."

"He's a druggie?"

"I don't think so, at least not one that does it regular.  Staying clean is part of his probation and he's already had at least one VOP.  If he gets caught with dope in his system - and they do random checking on a pretty regular basis which is part of the reason why Mason is so twitchy and paranoid - he'll be back in to serve his full sentence and he won't make it long in prison.  He isn't strong enough to fight them off."

"Lots of fighting in prison?"

"Uh ... yeah.  Look, I don't want to talk about that part.  OK?"

"Sure. OK.  So long as you know you can if you ever get around to needing or wanting to.  You aren't going to freak me out.  I heard some of the stories of what goes on in Juvie."

My words and tone let him know what I meant and he stiffened briefly before saying.  "Yeah.  OK.  But nothing like that happened to me.  I got lucky.  I never came against anyone I couldn't beat, beat back, whatever.  But ... but it was close a couple of times.  And I don't like to go back to those times."


"You sure you're ok with me not ... talking about it?"

"Sawyer I don't see you asking for all the nitty gritty details of all my medical issues.  You asked just enough so that I could tell you I was ok and not in that shape anymore.  You deserve the same respect.  I just want you to know you can count on me."

He sighed and some of the tension started going out of him.  "You're amazing."

"Oh don't start."

"Too late," he said but he let it go and didn't say anything else which suited me just fine.



  1. Some very good chapters, thank you.

  2. Great chapter Kathy, thanks.

  3. Enjoyed all the chapters, Thanks Kathy!!