Give My Love to RosebyMyhands316©
Author's notes: I'm sorry that it has been so long between stories. I'm still finding things I have to fix around the house. Unfortunately, I also had to spend the past holiday season dealing with my mother's death and estate. It was while driving on the very long trip across country to get back home when I listened to some of my old favorite songs from my childhood. This is the story that came to my mind after listening to Jonny Cash's version of this title. I have tried to update it from the late sixties to something more current and bring it to a logical conclusion. This one is a bit long, even for me.
Once again, this is a copywrited work of adult fiction and all legal disclaimers apply. Please take the second to vote or a minute to comment on this story.
You know you life sucks when it resembles a country music song. Not even a new upbeat song, but one of those slow sappy things, full of remorse and depression. How I got to that point, I haven't a clue. I moved out of Hicksville, Backwoods, USA; before the ink was dry on my diploma. I wanted the lights and action of the big city. I worked very hard to lose my 'country' accent while completing my two years of College slash Trade School.
I mean really, it's not like I'm some kind of 'broke dick dog'; as my dad would always say. I have plenty of money in the bank. I swore on my grandmother's grave that I would not end up dirt poor, like so much of my family has. I saved every dollar I could.
Besides, I would always room with someone else. Just to keep the bills down. Hell, I didn't really need a car, that's what public transportation is all about. All I needed was my handy case that held my laptop and tools and the clean clothes on my back.
My life was going along just fine. I got laid on a semi-regular basis. I was smart enough not to let any of those bar flies trap me into fatherhood and stayed away from married women altogether.
Since I didn't have that much overhead, I poured at least half of my paychecks into my savings accounts. I gave decent gifts for the holidays, but other than seeing my family once a year, I'd become an urbanite to the core. I finished my Master's Degree while on the road, and never really looked back.
How I ended up in place like Folsom California, I still wonder. My boss said it was an emergency. He said the company paid for my ticket, and supposedly for the room. As far as I knew, everything was normal. Bouncing all over the country for work was the norm, not the exception. I mean I was the childless, single one. Who else where they going to send bouncing across country at a moment's notice?
When I went to check in to my room, I should've known something was fishy, when I had to use my own credit card as a second payment option, just in case.
The next day I started work, just like so many other jobs. I knew going in it was a long winded project and dove right in. I kept thinking about how much overtime I'd be getting to get this job done in time and on budget. A few more jobs like this, and I just might go out and buy that truck I started wanting. I was getting tired of the cheap rentals work paid for on my trips, when they paid for them at all. And, let's face it. With the cost of airlines, I could travel just as cost effectively overland.
So, there I was, on that fate filled morning that changed my life forever. I walked up to the granite faced building, waved at the guard as I went to my temporary office so I could fix the server banks, getting them ready to switch over to the new system. I won't bore you with the techno-speak. It always grates on my nerves anyway.
"Good morning Pete." I called as I passed.
"Morning...." The guard grunted his eyes never stopped moving as watched the flow of people walking past.
I took the time to savor the scenery while I entered the big glass elevator. There were women a-plenty to peruse, with their tight tops and skirts almost exposing everything. I was in heaven as the buxom blonde entered the lift.
"Morning...." I said brightly, trying to look into her blue eyes and ignore the abundance of soft cleavage that was thrust into my vision.
"Yes it is." She snapped back in a tone that clearly said I was beneath her notice and to keep my eyes where they belonged.
"Her G-string must be wound a bit tight." I murmured and shrugged as I made my way to the desk I was using. Yes, I glanced back as she turned away from me to take a good long look at those legs that made a perfect ass of themselves. So sue me, I'm male.
I logged onto my laptop and turned on the computer at the desk. I typed in my password and was astonished as it came up with an error message. I tried again, to no avail. I was just reaching for the phone when I heard the voice behind me.
"What are you doing?" The blonde from the elevator asked with a hiss in her voice.
"I'm trying to logon so I can set up the bridge between the new and old servers. I might want to be able to go home sometime this month." I barked back as I typed furiously.
"You need to stop that right now... You've been locked out!" She reached over and shut off the computer.
"Why...?" I asked irritated.
"Security will be up here to take the laptop and insure there is none of our files on it." She said snidely.
"Like hell they will." Oh, this was going nowhere fast. "That's my personal property and I don't give it to anyone." I stood up to face the bitch. "What the fuck is going on here?"
"Will you keep your voice down...." She looked over my shoulder. "Take the laptop and escort this person out of here." She said to the big burly security guy as he walked up.
"Touch it and I'll call the cops and have you arrested for theft." I stepped in between him and my very expensive computer. "As a matter of fact, why don't you just call the police, your boss and my boss? I'm not moving until I know what the hell is going on!" I pronounced my judgment, like I actually could get away with it.
"Sir you need to come with me."The guard flexed his over developed arms.
I sat down and pulled out my cell. After punching my boss's number at the office, I heard. "The number you have dialed is no longer in service...." I punched it in again and heard the same message.
"What the hell...?" I asked confused. "Look," I said to the two people watching me like I was a bug. "there has to be some kind of mistake. I'm a paid sub-contractor sent here to set up the new server banks." My stomach started sinking.
"It's your mistake, and that job was finished last night by someone else." Blonde spit out. "Your firm was released, after we received notice that they filed for bankruptcy, as you should well know." Her arms were crossed and her eyes were shooting darts at me.
"They what...? They can't, they owe me like ten thousand dollars... and who is going to pay for the almost two hundred hours I've put into this job?" I was shocked, I was pissed, but I was also smart enough to know I was the one being left out to dry.
"We've paid for services rendered and notified your company that your services are no longer needed." I was really getting to dislike the silicone stuffed bitch and her superior tone. "The issues you have with your employer are not our problem. We've paid your company as per the contract. Now, we want to make sure all our files have been erased from any computers you have had access to. We'll forward your computer after our IT department has cleaned it." She snapped her fingers at me like I was a dog.
"Like hell. I have over five grand in programs on that thing. You aren't stealing them from me. If I'm fired, then fine... I'm out of here like a herd of turtles. But, it will take more than you and Brutus here, to even think of taking my computer. If you want me to clear my work file, then great; I'll do it here in front of you and your boss. But, you are smoking some good dope, if you think I'm letting your IT geeks get their hands on my computer and fuck it up." I picked up the phone and dialed 911.
"What are you doing?" She asked shocked and appalled.
"Calling the cops." I refused to back down.
"911 what is your emergency?" I heard over the phone.
"I'm being robbed!" I got out before the security guy slammed his ham sized fist down on the receiver. I just looked at him. "They'll be here in about five minutes. Touch me and I'll add assault to the charges." I sat back and waited.
Okay, okay... that was a bit over the top, but hell, I was blindsided with all this and my shocks were just starting. Yes, I deleted their file. Hell, I do that after every job anyway. Yes, I was walked out of the building like some type of criminal. But, it wasn't like I was ever coming back, no matter what type of money they offered me when their servers crashed in two days.
How did I know about the crash? Because I set up test program and didn't get to complete my work. The test program will only work the servers for two days before shutting them down and parking itself, while it does a complete diagnostic. It won't restart until it receives the final run code, which I just erased. Sucks to be them in two days, but I had bigger problems to deal with. I went to check out and found out that the company had used my card to charge almost six grand of past due bills at the hotel chain. I called my bosses house and got his wife.
"Wendy, what in the world is going on?" I asked, after she told me Bill wasn't there.
"I was going to ask you the same thing Trenton. Bill left yesterday, cleaned out the accounts and I haven't heard from him since. I've had agents from every agency with all those initials, at my door looking for him. They repossessed my car, and the school I had Christy in, has informed me unless I can pay the twenty thousand in tuition owed, she is not welcome back and they will not forward her records until they've been paid." She vented at me.
I hated being called Trenton... I much prefer Trent, but it was the name my mom saddled me with, so I sighed and took it in stride. "You've got to be kidding me...?"
"I wish... I don't know what I'm going to do. Bill took care of the finances and now I find that I'm in a big mess and he just walked out on me. Patty, my neighbor, just told me that Bill and his new assistant have been coming over here or a regular basis while I was at my charity meetings." She babbled on. I did feel sorry for her, but I had personal issues to deal with myself.
"Have you talked to Steven?" I interrupted her tirade.
"He's gone too. The guys in the suits said he fled to a non extradition country with all the profits from the business. They took everything and they showed me where they put me as a responsible party for all the debts. I can't pay over five million dollars. I don't know what to do....."
She was crying, and I hate when women cry. Hell, listening to all this, I was ready to cry myself. I'm not stupid, but I was left holding the bag, as it were.
"We've both been screwed over." I told the distraught woman. "Wendy, Find whatever money you can and get yourself a good lawyer. You're going to need it." It was the best advice I could give her.
"Why...? I haven't done anything wrong." She said shocked into silence.
"Neither have I, but I have a feeling that Steven and Bill had this planned and we're the ones to take the fall for it." I sighed. "When you get that lawyer, let me know. I'm going to have to sue the company for my lost wages and stuff. You need to know if the house is part of the business. If it is, you need to start protecting yourself and Christy. A good lawyer will know what to do. I have a feeling this is all going to go south real quick." Okay I am human and I've always had the hots for Wendy, so it didn't hurt me to be nice. It might even pay extra dividends in the long run.
"Do you really think so?" I could hear the fear in her voice.
"Yeah, I think so. Sorry Wendy." I answered forlornly. Just as she was saying something, my phone beeped, telling me I had another call. Glancing at the display, I saw it was my roommate. "Sorry Wendy, but I have to go. I have another call I have to take. I'll call you when I get back in town and maybe I could come over and go over things with you."Like I said, I am male and I wouldn't kick Wendy out of bed for eating crackers since she was suddenly single.
"Sure, Trenton, I'll talk to you later." I heard her sniff back more tears as I flashed over to the other call.
"Hey homey, give me some good news." I exclaimed, knowing the day couldn't get any worse.
"Hey Dude, Um, sorry; but I ain't got none." He said in his false suffer dude accent. "Like there was this party, and someone knocked over one of the torches and like dude threw his drink on it and it like exploded." He rambled on.
"That sucks dude...!" I interrupted his story. "So whose house was it at?" I asked trying to get to the point.
"Like, I was hosting and stuff. It was our pad...." He huffed like I was being dense. "Like Dude, you think you can send your part of the rent early. I need to find a new place, man."
"How bad was it?" I asked, wondering why he needed my rent to get a new place.
"It's like totaled man. Like to the ground... but no one was hurt. It just took awhile to get the fire people here and stuff." He stammered on.
"WHAT...?" I screamed.
"Hey Dude... Don't need to yell at me, man. It wasn't my fault. I like, well you know, need to find a place and I'm like broke. I shot my wad on the party and need some cash. So whatdoya think?" He acted like this was my problem.
"So, let me get this straight." I rubbed my head in frustration. "My house is destroyed by a fire at a party you put on. Everything I own is ruined. I have no place to come home to, and you want me to pay you my part of the rent so you can get a new place?" My head was pounding.
"Exactly... I knew you'd understand, Dude. I'm like desperate man. I mean like, Missy is all over me, like to get a place to like get together and stuff... so we can take it to the next level. So, you doing the wire transfer or what dude?" I could hear the relief and joy in his voice.
"I don't think so Dude." I was ready to explode. "Your housing issues are not my problem. Mine are!" I slammed the phone shut, breaking it in my anger. I mean really, what the fuck else could go wrong? In less than a day, I've lost my job, had my ex-employer steal over five grand from me, had to console my boss's wife, and found out my idiot roommate burned everything I owned if a fire that made me homeless. I needed to get somewhere to start figuring some things out.
I hate small cities. No taxi service to speak of and I hate walking more than to get from the front of a building to the pace I sit. After walking father than I ever wanted to walk again, I ended up at the cell phone store. I stood there flabbergasted as I was being told that breakage is not covered... and it would cost me to get a new phone... and, would you like to upgrade while you're at it...?
Yeah right, let me take two to go!
Anyway, hours later and a couple hundred bucks lighter, I was walking out of the store just as it was getting dark. I looked around and knew I was going to have to find another hotel to stay at, since I was ever so nicely asked not to come back to the place I was staying at. I looked at the map-app on my new phone and found that there was a West Bestern only a few blocks away. I shrugged my shoulder strap into a more comfortable position, grabbed my overnight bag and took the shortcut behind the strip mall that had a set of tracks behind it.
I made it maybe a half a mile when I saw a lump next to the tracks. As is got closer, I saw that it was a man hunched over, grabbing his chest. I walked as fast as I could to see if I could help the poor guy. When I got there, I rolled him to his back, trying to move the small cheap overnight case he had clutched to him. His eyes fluttered open. I saw his red rimmed, yellowed eyes and wondered if he was going to die right there. He started talking, and I leaned down, wondering what he might have to say.
"Do you want me to call for help?" I asked reaching for the new phone, forgetting the actual phone service wouldn't be turned on for another day.
"No..." He croaked. "I'm glad you found me mister. I'm done in and I know it." He gasped out.
"What can I do for you?" I asked not knowing how to respond.
"I have to trust you. Don't have a choice... but mister, if you could, please take my stuff to Rose. Tell her to buy something pretty, please mister." He panted. "I spent ten long years paying for my crime... I was trying to get back home Louisiana, to see my Rose and to get to know my son, but I won't make it." He grabbed my shoulder and looked me in the eyes before going on.
"Give my love to Rose won't you mister. Take her all my money; tell her to buy some pretty clothes. Tell my son his daddy is so proud of him. And don't forget to take my love to Rose."I looked around to see if anyone was around who might be able to help me. I didn't want him to die like this. No man needed to die like this.
He went on. "Tell them I'm thankful they waited for me. Tell my boy to help his mom at home. Tell my Rose to try and find another. It's not right that she be left alone. Mister... here is a bag with everything I own... it won't last them long, they way it goes. God bless you for finding me today. Now don't forget to give my love to Rose."
I could see the life leaving this poor man and he kept repeating. "Give my love to Rose... tell my son his daddy is so proud of him and don't forget to give my love to Rose...," as his breaths became labored.
"Hey, what are you doing there?" A voice called out.
"Call an ambulance...!" I shouted back. I picked up his small bag, amazed at how heavy it was. I put it with my stuff and waited beside the dead man.
"So, is that all, the convict said?" The bored looking cop asked me an hour later.
"Yeah, he just wanted his family to know he cared...." I shrugged.
"Did he give you a name other than this Rose person? Did he give you a last name? Any other information as to who we can bill for the service and cremation?" He didn't look at the covered body as he took notes.
"Nope, never got his name... can I go now? I have to find a place to stay for the night until I can catch a flight tomorrow." I was getting mad at the insensitivity. A man just died and this cop acted like I was the problem.
"Yeah, we have your information... if you remember anything important, call and let us know." He handed me a card and turned away.
I trudged to the hotel and paid for the room. I dropped everything on the dresser and flopped down exhausted by my day. I called for Pizza delivery and had cold Pizza and warm beer for dinner. I took a shower and tried to get the dying man's words out of my head.
I looked at the clock as it blinked over to one in the morning. Sighing in agitation, I tossed off the covers and stomped over to the bag that was staring at me. Running my top lip through my teeth, I worked the broken zipper back. On top I saw some out of date clothes. I pulled them out as a letter fell to the floor. I went to pick it up as wads of money started falling out of the bag.
There were bundles of tens, twenties and folded over bundles of mixed cash. There had to be a small fortune there in that bag. My first instinct was to declare myself rich, but his words came back to me. 'Take her all my money; tell her to buy some pretty clothes.' I knew this wasn't my money and I wasn't a thief.
"Damn it to hell...." I muttered as I picked up the letter and read the address. It was to a Rose Greek of 271 Broken Oak Drive, Elizabeth, Louisiana. After a quick search, I found I was headed right back to a place like I ran from so many years ago. It was a tiny town of under ten thousand people, in the heart of Allen Parish, back-woods America.