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Chapter 62: Falling Away from Me
“You cussed her out on the floor in front of customers?” Janda asked.
“It seemed the thing to do at the moment.” Terry stated.
They were in the manager’s office in the back of the kitchen. A desk dominated the space, topped with a myriad of important looking papers. A computer monitor sat on a corner of the desk, close to Janda, with a keyboard and mouse in front of her. Terry sat in a chair in front of the desk. Manuals, books and licenses adorned the walls and crowded in on Terry. One wrong move and everything will fall in on me, Terry thought.
“Terry, you know better.”
“Nobody told that woman to give me shit because she couldn’t get something for free.”
Janda held up a hand. “First, don’t snap at me…
“I ain’t snappin’…”
“Yes. You are.” Janda insisted. “I don’t know what’s wrong with you lately, but you’re messin’ up, being short with people and flubbin’ simple stuff. That’s not like you.”
Terry sighed. “I’ve been under a lot of pressure lately.”
‘Well, I’m about to relieve you of it for a couple of days.” Janda said. “You’re suspended.”
“Yes. Suspended.” She folded her arms. “I could fire you. I’m doing you a favor.”
Terry stared at her, his face blank and impassive. Then he smiled and said, “Fuck a favor. I quit.” He walked out and dropped his apron on the floor.
Terry walked into his house with a brown paper bag. He took out a bottle of Bacardi Gold and a two liter bottle of Coke and made himself a drink, heavy on the rum. Terry dropped in a couple of ice cubes and gulped down a third of it. He belched, freshened up his drink and walked back into his living room.
“I’m doing you a favor, just firing you”, Terry muttered, imitating Janda. “Do me a favor and shut the fuck up.”
Terry flopped down into his favorite chair and took another drink. He was mentally exhausted, but at the same time, he felt free. It was strange. There was no prospect of income on the horizon, but he felt free, limitless, like nothing could stop him. He looked at his two guitars and keyboard and thought about going into music full time.
He missed Dom.
Janda was right, he was different lately. Ever since Dom left, Terry had gradually pulled away from everything that mattered to him. He wrote letters to Dom, but didn’t get any response back. Seeing as how he basically told her to piss off and never bother him again, he wasn’t entirely surprised.
He went into his room and turned on the 13” RCA color TV he finally bought. He watched it sometimes, when he had nothing else to do and the muse wasn’t pulling at him; Usually music videos, music documentaries and the occasional sitcom. A video was on and the music caught his attention. It wasn’t the usual cookie cutter R and B material. There was a brain at work with the arrangements and the melody. Terry bobbed his head to the beat and took another drink when he heard a voice, A voice that energized him every time he heard it during rehearsals.
Dominique was singing to him.
Well, not really, but she was looking into the camera as she lip-synched a song off her upcoming album, ‘Dominique’ called ‘Wings to Fly’. She looked absolutely beautiful, undeniably radiant, just like Terry knew she would. Just like that, the mental exhaustion and hesitation was burned away by a bright rush of anger. On screen, Dom embraced some light-skinned pretty boy and sang to him, smiling all in his face.
‘Wings to Fly.’ If Avant Groove hadn’t taken her in, if I hadn’t given her a place to stay when her momma kicked her out, she wouldn’t be where she was now. And did she thank any of us or try to help any of our careers get started? Hell to the naw!
Fuck that! Muthafuck that! I ain’t got a job holding me back. Ain’t nothin’ but space and opportunity in front of me. That bitch ain’t the only one who can blow the hell up.
Terry grabbed the phone and dialed a very familiar number, even if he hadn’t called it in recent months. It was late afternoon and he was confident that Eric would be home.
“Nothin’ much. Workin’. Well, not so much. Just got fired.” Terry sighed. “Eric, I’m sorry for pullin’ a slow fade on y’all.”
“Well, having you there the past year would’ve been easier, but we got through it.”
Regret and sadness ripped into Terry’s heart. He betrayed his best friends, put his dream on the shelf because of a woman. That shit is over, Terry thought to himself.
“To what do I owe the honor, Cuzzin?”
“First, am I forgiven?” Terry asked.
Terry breathed a sigh of relief. “Thanks. Now, can I come back?”
There was a distinct note of relief and happiness as Eric said, “If you can be here tomorrow morning at eight o’ clock.”“Cool. I’m there. It’s on, Cuzzin’.”
(c)2015 Courtney & W.L. Sherrod