A little exercise in slang and dialect drawn from watching the judges on television try cases. This is a mixed race romance. If that bothers you, please read something else.
I was just finishing my lunch and had paid my tab. I was sitting on the sidewalk at a little eatery in a tourist town on the North Carolina coast. She came swinging by, maybe even strutting a little. She was tall, with long raven hair gathered in a silver clasp that nestled near her neck, with the loose strands flowing halfway down her back. Her breasts were bouncing in her red silk top with every step she took with her long stride. She wore tight designer jeans and above average heels.
I watched as she went by, intent to see if she was as attractive from the rear as she was from the front. She was that--attractive, I mean. I glanced around and there seemed to be three older youths who were as interested as I was. Maybe not so much in the woman, but in the black shoulder bag that swung from the long strap over the opposite side. Curious, I stood and followed at a distance. The turned into a parking garage and the youths closed up as she started for the elevator.
I closed up too, and we all entered the lift at the same time. I will say she was a little concerned, but put on a brave face. When we reached the fourth level the lift stopped and she waited for the door to open. The biggest youth turned to me, saying, "You don't get off here." He showed me a knife he had hidden by his side.
"Okay, your call." The door started to open and he turned his attention towards it for a second. That's when I hit him in the kidney with all the force I could. Scooping up the knife that flew from his hand, I followed the two others out to where they were accosting the woman. I saw that one of them also had a knife and was trying to cut the strap of the shoulder bag. The other kid was hanging on to her, and the woman was trying to wrestle out of his grasp. I launched myself into the mix. Immediately I was slashed low down in the side for my troubles.
It hurt and as the knife was withdrawn for another try at me, I extended my arm. No attention was paid to me holding the knife, and he kept coming, running right into it. I was knocked down in the process. The kid went down with blood spurting everywhere. The woman was no shrinking violet, for she used her bag as a weapon and clobbered the third boy in the head. He staggered and then ran for the elevator. I was suddenly weak as I flopped around on the deck. The woman had her cell out and was talking rapidly.
I passed into a welcoming darkness. When I became aware, I was lying on a gurney, being loaded into an ambulance where again the light disappeared.
When I next came to, I was in a hospital room hooked up to wires and tubes. I can't say I was hurting, but I was pretty groggy from my medications. A coffee-colored nurse came in, saw I was awake and said there was a policeman that needed to talk to me. He questioned me and I told him the events I remembered as they happened. When I finished he said that I had killed one person, ruptured the kidney of the one in the elevator and they had the third in custody.
"The woman you defended was cut pretty severely in the arm as the thugs tried to get her handbag. She said she wasn't aware she had a defender until after she had been sliced and the kid was down and bleeding. She will be along to thank you for helping her a little later. Don't feel bad about this. We have been trying to find out who was committing these robberies. This is the fourth one, and we are sure these three are the ones that are doing them. Two out of three of the first victims were injured and one wasn't expected to live for awhile. She will, but she won't ever be the same."
The nurse came in. The policeman eased out when she motioned for him to leave. "Will someone please tell me how badly I am injured? It seems as if everyone has an agenda but me."
She laughed at me. "Wimpy white boy, can't take a little slice and lose a little blood. You're fine." She ran something into my ear.
"Ow, what the hell are you doing?"
She paid no attention and kept on talking, "Hey man, you're hot stuff from what everyone tells me. You stopped a regular crime wave all by yourself. I'll bet if it had been me you wouldn't have gone after them boys. It had to be that beautiful chick upstairs that made you do what you did."
"We'll never know will we? What's your name?" The nurse stopped moving around and looked at me.
"Because I want to ask you for a date. I'll need your name and address so I can find where my date lives."
"Why would you want to do that? Take me out on a date, I mean."
"To prove to you that I think you are just as beautiful in my eyes as the woman upstairs."
"Ha! You just think you can get into this little black girl's panties."
"No harm in trying is there? Now tell me how bad I'm hurt. I want to know so I know how long before you can go out with me."
"My name is Piper Burns, just as the name tag says, but I don't go out with my patients. You really are going to be fine. The knife that got you, sliced along your ribs and down into the muscle of your arm as you turned. It nicked a good sized vein when he pulled the knife out. Actually one going in and one coming out. The sudden loss of blood sent you into shock. Of course hitting your head when you went down didn't help much either." She spent another five minutes writing up my chart and then left.
I watched her as she exited the room. There was nothing alike about the woman I had helped and this nurse. The woman I helped, you would say had class, I suppose. Piper was built more like my Mom. I'm not saying my Mom didn't have class, she was just someone you wanted to hug and when you were hugged back it made all your troubles go away. It was doubtful I would ever get to explain this to Piper and why I thought she was beautiful.
I grew up in a mixed race neighborhood. The first girl I kissed had been black and the first girl I made love to was of a mixed race--Chinese and black. My ex-wife had been white, for I thought, with a little prejudice I suppose, that is what I should look for in a mate. The marriage lasted barely sixteen months before I caught her with one of my neighbors. The vows we had taken apparently meant nothing. No kids, anyway, to get in the way of the divorce, which would be final in less than a month.
I was twenty-eight, earned a reasonably good salary, but had to travel on occasion. That was how I discovered my wife's infidelity. I came off the road early and went looking for her. It was the sounds coming from the neighbor's bedroom window that led me to her and to him. I got a few bruises from that little set-to, but not as bad as the ones my neighbor had to contend with. At least he didn't have a knife. This trip down south was my yearly vacation. Time to think about my life. I was sick of collecting all of these hurts.
Then I remembered a short time ago, I had killed a man. Christ, I didn't ever want to do that again. I dropped off to sleep. When I awoke, the woman whose defense I had gone to was sitting beside my bed. Piper came in and started the ritual of taking my vitals. The woman spoke. "Hi there, savior, I'm Sharon Clones. I came in to compare wounds and thank you. We had us quite a time didn't we?"
"Sharon, nice to meet you. I'm Rick Manning. Yes, we had us a time. I don't suppose you know the song by Bobby Bare, 'I'm The Winner, ' do you? It's a ballad about a man that challenges someone to a fight and the guy gets beat up all the time, but his injuries are short of what he gives the other guy--so he is the winner. That's the way I feel."
"Well, I'm going to make it up to you. Just as soon as you are able I'm taking you out so I can really thank you. And when I set out to thank someone, I go all out."
"That's nice. I must tell you I've made a prior date with someone. It is someone I just met recently and I really want to go out with her. We'll see how that works out before I'll consider meeting you. Just coming in to say thank you was all I expected and I appreciate it."
"That's too bad. I was looking forward to showing how appreciative I can be. Are you going to be here in town very long?"
"Not long. This little session here in the hospital has eaten up most of my vacation and I can't extend it."
"I'm going to leave my address and I want you to call me as soon as you are released. Promise?"
"Okay, I'll call." We talked about different things, including the weather. When Sharon was ready to leave, she came to my bed and kissed me. Piper just happened to come in as this was taking place.
Sharon took my hand and placed it on her breast and kissed me again. "I really do want to thank you properly. That's just a little sample. I'll be in tomorrow to see how you are doing. Bye, now."
Piper lit into me as soon as Sharon was out the door. "Boy, you are a fast worker. You ask me for a date. A woman comes in and insists that you take her out and promises more than a sample of what she is going to give you. And to top it off you already have a date with an unknown woman so you can't collect what she is promising. I wouldn't go out with you--ever!"
"Piper, for your information, that unknown woman is you. As for Sharon, I don't intend to go out with her. I said I would call her and I will, but it will be only to make my excuses. I like to do the asking and I usually turn down those that ask me. Now, when I'm not your patient anymore will you please let me take you out?"
"We'll see. I suppose it wouldn't do any harm. I'm not offering what that other woman is though."
.... There is more of this story ...