The Price of Family

The next day at work, Yardrite found Brian day dreaming of Stephanie, while mindlessly wiping circles in the same spot of the same button for half an hour.

“You’re going to get me divorced,” Yardrite started, “and that normally wouldn’t be so bad, if it wasn’t for the fact that I might actually love your sister.

Brian stopped wiping. He’d never heard anyone admit to loving his sister before. “You do?”

“I dunno. Sometimes I think do. I know I’m interested enough to see out the remaining year on this marriage contract, and maybe even reconsider a renewal, who knows? But now she’s blaming me for you not coming to dinner.”

“Sorry about that, I got tied up.” Brian smiled, thinking of his night with Stephanie.

“I’m sure it was a lot better than the night I spent with your sister picking at me over every little thing, so here’s the deal, if you stand us up one more time, you’re fired.”

Brian stopped wiping, “What?” he looked up.

“Yeah, my marriage is worth a lot more than your job to me, so if that’s what it takes to save it, there it is: if you stand up your sister and me one more time, you’re fired. Jube jube?”

Brian was offered a box of processed candy he did not reach for. “No, I’m good.”

“Yeah, you’re good. And you’ll be good and unemployed with rotting teeth if you miss one more dinner at our place. You sure you don’t want a jube jube?”

“No, thanks. I’m sorry about that, it was just a crazy night.”

“That’s ok, you don’t need an excuse, you’re family. But if you pull that shit again, you will be unemployed family. Last chance for a jube jube.”

“No, really, I’m good.”

“Alright, then, more jube jubes for me.” Yardrite flashed Brian a smile before leaving his brother-in-law to get back to the business of wiping down buttons.

“That’s easy for you to say, you’re dead!” Brian barked at the body in the button. “When I’m dead I won’t say or worry about anything either. I’ll be so dead I’ll never even know I was ever alive. I’ll forget all about cleaning your button and saying the right things to people all the time, or worry about keeping this stupid job. I’ll be dead and I’ll be perfect. And I hope, if they ever do find a cure to the common death they give it to you before me, so you can get on your knees and wipe my button clean, you dead dumb son of a bitch!”

Brian walked away to clean another button before he went berserk and broke in to strangle the dead. Had Brian not been seeing red, he might have seen the dead man in the button making fists, getting ready for a fight.


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