More Roman, my contemporary romance. One and Two and Three and Four and Five and Six and Seven are here. There’s some strong language in this, mostly potty mouth stuff, but by now people should expect a pg-13 vibe on MoD — Enjoy
Roman, Part 8
A year ago if you had asked me if I’d ever think I’d be a band manager, I’d tell you to stop smoking. Having it laid out before me, a real opportunity to do something of substance, I feel empowered to make it work.
Margit’s prodding did more for me than I ever thought possible. She had always been my inspiration, my rock angel of sorts, but pissing me off put everything in neat little rows.
Jamie and I went to the Rock Basement together, Monday morning, bright and early. I rap on the door and Chuck eyes me through the glass like I grew a second head.
He unlocks the door, cracking it open only enough to talk. The door chain keeps it secure. “You showed up? On time, no less?”
I roll my eyes. “Of course I’m here on time. You gave me a job and I’m taking it serious.”
“Yeah well, you can go right back home. Both of you.”
Jamie and I exchange a confused look.
“There’s a warrant out for your arrest. They came here looking for you.”
Jamie crosses her arms, annoyed. “Fucking pigs, always gotta be drama queens over nothing.”
“Assault ain’t ‘nothing’ youi decked a guy. For what?”
“He was a dick,” Jamie says, shrugging. “Stuck his nose in our business.”
I sigh, raising a pleading hand. “Look, Chuck. It was a misunderstanding. You know the manager there right? Talk him down. Jamie didn’t mean it.”
Chuck raises a brow. “She’s got your ass on a short chain, huh? You have any sense in your head, Roman, I say you turn yourself in and say you had nothing to do with it. Jamie broke parole pulling that little stunt. I hired her knowing she had a record, biggest fucking mistake in my life.”
“Fuck you, Chuck.” Jamie kicks the door. I grab her at the waist and pull her back.
“Come on Jamie, you’re not helpin’. Chuck, you know I’ve helped you in the past, call the guy. Tell him she’ll apologize. He’ll I’ll even help in his store if he needs it. “
Chuck narrows his eyes at me. I try to put on an easy smile, but I know its crooked as hell. Jamie struggles like a wild animal out for blood, but makes no move to bloody me for holding her back. I give her an endearing squeeze and she calms a bit.
“Fine. No promises.” Chuck closes the door, removes the chain and opens up. Jamie blinks at him in confusion, and all her bloodlust goes dry.
“Sort the shipment while I make the call. I ain’t paying you.”
“Fine. Just… thanks,” I say, letting Jamie go.
We step in and Jamie storms over to the listening bench, flounces on to it and pouts. I lock the door and step in, approaching a box of CDs.
Chuck keeps his word, dialing up and trading words with the burger joint and spending more time padding the approach. I work quick, sorting through the pile with easy accuracy. A new single I wanted for weeks, only one copy, but I keep my mind straight.
I glance over to Jamie, letting it soak in we’re a ‘we’ now. I’m doing this for her and for me. So what if she’s trouble. She just has a temper.”
“Really?” Chuck says. The tone catches my ear, surprise.
I crane my neck to hear but its just Peanuts muttering on the other side. Chuck lowers the phone and gives me a look of disbelief. “He says he’ll do it.”
“Nice,” I say, pumping a fist. “What’s the catch?”
“No catch. He just wants the apology, from her.”
My heart sinks. “From Jamie, huh?” I turn to her and get the idea she heard, but didn’t really hear.
“No fucking way,” Jamie says. “I ain’t scraping to some wage slave so he can get off on seeing me bow and scrape. I’d rather deal with the pigs. That bastard’d go home and jerk off about it.”
Chuck glanced over at me. I snatch the phone. “Hey, uh, this is Roman. I was the guy with her when it happened.”
“You? The black kid with the headphones? So is she gonna apologize or what?”
I pause to swallow. “What sort of apology are we talking here?”
She flips me off and mouths ‘no fucking way.’
“Nothing fancy. I just want her to come down here during my shift and apologize. I can’t have my employees thinking I’m a push over. I’m ex military, you know.”
I roll my eyes. “Really? Can’t she just apologize on the phone?”
“I could always let the Police handle it. Warrant with you as an accessory to the crime. Now I know your name, I can have em’ knocking on your door.”
Stupid move on my part. I pause to consider. “Fine. She’ll be there today.”
“Thank you. I’ll call the police right now. Glad you could talk some sense into her.”
Jamie stormed over to me, snatched the phone from my ear and inhales to shout into it, but I was faster. I slammed a thumb on the receiver.
“Fuck you, you little shit. I ain’t scraping to–“ The dial tone shocks her into silence.
“Ok, now get out,” Chuck says.
Jamie shoots me a scowl and storms towards the door.
“Whoa, wait,” I say, cutting her off. “I’m helping you out. You just have to–”
“I don’t have to do anything. You’re a fucking sell out.”
“I’m your manager,” I say. “I’m keeping you out of trouble.”
“Sounds to me like you’re just kissing ass to keep out of trouble. Get out of my way.”
“Yes, please,” Chuck says, leaning on a hand. “I want the crazy woman out of here.”
I glare back at Chuck and open the door Jamie slides out and I follow, close and grab her by the back of her shirt. She rounds on me but I make no move to stop her. She checks the punch an inch from my face.
“Why’d you stop?” I say, unflinching. “If it makes you feel better, punch me.”
“I didn’t feel like it, alright?” she says. “Fuck. You told him I’d apologize?”
“Yeah,” I say. “Maybe you should wear a frilly little sundress while you do it. Show some cleavage.”
She smirks. “You’re an asshole.”
“Yeah well, made you laugh,” I say. “Look, no frills, just go in there, bust out some crocodile tears and this is all over. I didn’t know you were on parole, but it doesn’t surprise me.”
“Come on Jamie,” I say. “Setting fire to your ex’s car? That’s pretty metal. Also illegal.”
Jamie waves it off. “Fine. We’ll do it. Then we come back here and kick the shit out of Chuck for being a pussy.”
“You mispronounced: Ask Chuck nicely for our jobs back. We may be able to get some gigs, but for now, we need a day job. You plan on staying at my place? I need to pay rent.”
“Fine, but we’re demanding our jobs back. That loser needs us more than we need him.”
I sigh. “Arguable, but whatever. He’ll probably be cool once this blows over. We need to kill some time before the big apology, how about we practice first? I’d… rather get an idea for what you plan to say.”
“Fuck you. I’m sorry for not being an ass-kissing panty waste and beating your weak ass.”
“It’s… a start,” I say, smiling. “Let’s try again without any insults. I don’t think you want to have to apologize for your apology.”
“See? This is why I–“
I silence her with a kiss, then back off.
She stares up at me annoyed. “What?”
“No more of that if you don’t apologize. Alright? You realize if you… we… go to jail over this, I’m not gonna be able to be your manager or anything else.”
“Good point.” She glances away, annoyed. “Fine. Sorry for punching you… I overreacted.”
“Much better,” I say letting out a sigh of relief. “Now, let me let you in on a little secret. He’s a total tool. You think his employees are gonna respect him after this? Hell no. Why don’t you have some fun with this.”
She pauses to consider, then grins that devilish smile.