Ten fucking minutes.
That’s all it was, just ten fucking minutes. It’s not like I never made Teddy wait for me neither. Fuck, I put him off longer on the day this shit all went down.
Right beside the gas station there’s this drug store so I’m in there walking around, throwing shit into a basket. Not really thinking about it, just trying’ta make it quick. Some hair shit, toothpaste, pack of toothbrushes. Some clean shirts and socks, that kind of shit. It’s not like we can all stop and do laundry or anything.
I’m in and out of there in just over five minutes. I know because I was looking. Back to the gas station. Didn’t even take the time to stop at the van to drop the shit off.
Ten fucking minutes and Teddy’s bitching about being on hold with the moron at the counter. Got a point there.
“You’re late, Taylor.”
Teddy don’t really scare me when he starts talking like that, cold and controlled, but I know it’s good at scaring the shit out of most people he talks to. Like it’s taking everything in him not to scream at me.
Don’t succeed. Fucking losing it. He’s always had that in him. Just a matter of time till he snapped. I seen him go off on people for a fuck of a lot less than making him wait for a phone call.
Then again, it wouldn’t'a mattered much what it was. This thing between us has been a long time coming. I’ve never been Teddy’s guy and he knows it. Sure, I handle shit for Teddy but Teddy’s never been Benny, never commanded that respect, and he knows it. Never trusted me, not after Benny was gone.
I don’t say a fucking thing. I don’t get paid to argue with Teddy. The guy behind the counter can hear Teddy screaming and he’s white as a ghost, scrambling to get out from behind the counter. I block him in and watch as his hands go up, where I can see them. Wouldn’t put it past any’a Teddy’s guys to try to make bones by getting a shot off at me.
Tension’s so fucking jacked up. Like a firefight it all goes clear in my head. Calm. Teddy’s still screaming and I hold the phone off my ear. Look out the window.
Deep fucking breath.
“It was ten fucking minutes, Teddy.”
On the other side of the line, Teddy stops screaming about what he’s going to do to me. Just a second like I caught him off guard.
“You fuck! You listen to me, Taylor! I own you…”
I let him drift again, hearing everything but it don’t touch me. Waiting.
“You sent me out with nothing. Ten minutes. Ten minutes to stop and pick up some shit at the store to make the rest of the trip bearable.”
He’s not hearing me either, still fucking yelling, but I get it out anyway. I don’t give a shit anymore, not about what he says. Only about what he does and that’s what I’m listening for.
Appears that on top of the ten minutes I made him wait, I was already late. A look at my watch. Maybe a half an hour. The horses. Not about to fucking say that out loud, that I slowed down so the kid could look at some horses. So fucking what, I’m here now right?
It’s never been about the time and it isn’t about the time now. He’s looking for anything, any fucking reason to fuck me.
Knowing that makes decisions easier. Clearer. I still need time, so I’m stalling.
“Look, I’m here now, checking in -”
“It was a mistake to send you out alone on this. I can see that now.”
All’a sudden he’s not screaming no more. Nothing new for him. Teddy can go from a screaming fit to calm in a second flat. Usually right before he whacks a guy. So it don’t mean he’s calmed down. Teddy don’t get over shit.
I’m listening to every single word. This is where it always goes bad. Where I really know instead’a playing guesswork.
“…Arms made it clear that you couldn’t really be trusted with something like this. Not to let you do this on your own. I told him, ‘No, Taylor’s reliable, he’ll get the job done…’”
I know that’s fucking bullshit but Teddy likes to hang that shit over a guy. That on top of everything else, you let him down. When you’re life’s in the balance, you’d be amazed how many guys’d get fucked up over that. In no time they’re begging Teddy. Begging to do better. Don’t mean shit cus Teddy’s already made up his mind about it and they’re fucking dead no matter what they say. So yeah, I don’t fucking buy it.
I could tell him anything, tell him everything he wants to hear. It don’t matter. Teddy’ll just keep talking cus he’s got all this worked out in his head already.
Fuck me, and people give me shit about that fucking “500″ speech.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m listening to every fucking thing that’s coming out of him. Teddy talks a fuck of a lot and he always drops shit and tells people what the fuck he’s gonna do. Most people are so busy trying to tell him what he wants to hear that I don’t think they’re listening, but I’m listening.
“…It’s not too late to keep this from being a complete and total fiasco. I’ll have Arms send out one of his best guys to help you out with the woman. To speed this whole thing up. That way you can get back here sooner.”
Squeezing the phone so tight it just might break. There’s not a fucking thing I can say to change his mind. If Teddy’s saying it now it’s cus he’s already done it. He isn’t going to fuck around, wasting time sending someone out. Someone’s been out there all along, waiting for the fucking call.
“You’ll meet up with him in Montana, Taylor. I’ll arrange for a small plane to bring you back here.”
No fucking way Teddy’s gonna put out for a fucking plane to come get me. If I was in the city I’d be dead within the hour. Out here I got a bit of room, depending on how close Teddy’s guy is and how I play it out. Right now, I gotta play stupid.
“Where exactly you want me to meet the guy?”
“Wibaux. It’s on the map but I’m pretty sure you know how to get there, Taylor. I’ll have him meet you there…”
I swear I don’t hear another fucking thing he says. Nothing but fucking white as my skin goes cold. I don’t discount Teddy, not for a second but what’s really got me fucked up is that fucking town. Wibaux. Fuck’s done it on purpose too. Would’a been just as easy to have us drive through the southern states. Wouldn’t'a made no fucking difference. Teddy fucking wanted me having to go through Wibaux.
That’s where all this shit started, where he really started ripping apart Benny Chains’ crew. It all went fucking downhill from there and that’s where the fuck wants to finish it. Teddy’s finally quiet on the other side of the line. Waiting. He’s set this whole fucking thing in motion and now he wants to listen as I blow it.
So I don’t.
“We’re driving all night so I can be there at-” I make a play at looking at my watch before I answer. “Around four in the morning tomorrow. S’at fine?”
“Just make sure you’re on time, Taylor.”
Fuck hangs up but he might as well have said ‘or else’.
Back to fucking Wibaux, Montana. I swore I’d never go back. Fuck me.
Copyright © February 2009 xxxevilgrinxxx