Contemporary Fiction

"Do you know who these belong to? I think these are Joey's. That's definitely Sunrise Films logo on all of this stuff."

Amanda said as she looked through the camera equipment scattered throughout the storage unit.

"What does it matter? Can you sell them on Facebook Marketplace for me or not?" Sam said, starting to feel like his sister was going to let him down yet again. This always happened and it infuriated him. He thought this would be an easy slam dunk, and give them a chance to bond, while at the same time putting some much needed dough in his pockets and giving his sister a little financial aid too. But, he should have known better. With Amanda, it literally was always something.

"This gear definitely belongs to Joey from Sunrise Film Productions. I worked as a PA for him on a few commercials a few years ago, and he let some of us assistants use his gear to film a few weddings to make extra cash during the down times. He was a really nice guy...I wonder how all of his gear ended up in this storage unit...maybe I should just give him a call...I don't think he went out of business...Do you think someone robbed Joey and stored the stuff here while they tried to sell it online

"Amanda, look...this is turning out to be a lot more complicated than I wanted it to be. I thought this would be something that you would want to do, to help me and to make a few quick bucks. I asked you, because I know you have experience working with this kind of gear...you have friends in the industry who would be interested in getting some of this stuff for cheap, and you're always getting rid of spare and random stuff on Marketplace...but now it’s like...I should have known better...of course you would put Joey over me."

"Sam, I'm not putting Joey over you, just let me give him a call, if his company folded and he couldn't pay the storage fee, then it’s all good. But if somebody jacked this stuff from one of Joeys trucks, which is kind of what this looks like...then I can't do that. Joey's a good guy."

"Forget it Amanda, just forget it."

"Sam you don't have to be that way. It's not like I'm making this up. And, hey, I know you're a little strapped for cash right now...but you're not a thief, you're not a crook. If somebody found your DJ gear in a storage unit...and someone had stolen it from your car...you'd want to know right?"

"Of Course. But Amanda...it's just I do really need the money. The pandemic has basically wiped me out. I thought I could make it. I thought, you know, I can live off my savings for three months, even six months...but this thing has gone on for almost a year, and I'm wiped out. I put my last little chunk into this unit...I can't afford to not sell this stuff."

"Well, Sam. I got to call Joey and let him know, to at least ask him. I mean maybe his film company folded and this gear is up for grabs fair and square...then we can sell it and have a clean conscience."

"Amanda, you don't have to help me. Forget I asked you, come on let's go. But you can't call Joey either. I have to sell this stuff, even if it's just to get what I paid for the unit back...I don't think you get it. I'm really in a tight spot right now."

The two got into Sam's van and started driving back to Amanda's apartment, when Amanda's conscience took the reins.

"What are you doing...Amanda...give me your phone."

"I can't...Sam... you’re better than this...trust me...just let me reach out to Joey...you know he's a great guy, he'll probably give you some reward money...plus it's just good karma...I mean..."

"Amanda...give me the phone..." Sam said between gritted teeth as he reached across the space between the velour covered captain's chairs and snatched the phone out of Amanda's hand, tossing it nonchalantly into the boulevard.

"Saaaaaaaaaaam!!!! Stop the car."

"Amanda...you weren't listening...all you had to do was be cool."

"Stop the car Sam."

"I should have never asked you to help me. You never come through. You never ever do anything to help me. And after all I do for you and continue to do for you."

"Stop the car before I start screaming Sam. Let me out."

"Oh, I'll stop the car." Sam said as he pulled the van over onto the side of the road.

As soon as the van slowed to a stop, Amanda flung the door open and jumped onto the grassy shoulder.

"I hate you Sam. You're such a selfish pig. You've always been a pig."

"Me? Selfish?"

"Are you kidding me...I do so much for you and not only do you neverdo anythingto help me or Debbie or Ty...but you don't even appreciate everything I do for you."

"We're done Sam. As far as I'm concerned I don't have a brother."

"Yeah well...if you ask me I've never had a sister!" Sam said as he pulled away glancing back angrily in the rear view mirror as Amanda started walking up the road trying to find what remained of her phone.

Sam stormed into the house where, as luck would have it, his wife was just Facetiming him.

She had quarantined with her family in Atlanta and got stuck there when the lock down hit and decided to just wait it out because she didn't want to risk bringing any sort of virus back to Sam or their 7-year-old son Ty who was in the other room studying the different trees for his science class.

"Hey Honey." Sam said sitting down to answer the call on his IPad.

"Hey Baby! Oh...What's wrong Sammy?"

"Nah... it’s nothing."

"Baby come on, you're fuming what happened? Is everything ok...where's Ty?

"It's all good it's just Amanda..."

"What did she do now shug?"

"It's the same old thing...she just...she just has different priorities, and it's just so frustrating! You know I do so much for her...when she got married two years ago I DJ'ed her wedding...got all of the equipment set it all up, did all of the formalities, broke it all down everything. I found her a videographer and a photographer and covered it all! I mean that was a lot of work...and it wasn't cheap."

"You're a good brother Baby..."

"I'm done though!"

"You don't mean that."

"Yes I do! This was it. "This was a chance for Amanda to make things right, not only for her to pay me back, eve just a little bit for the wedding but for all of us to get a little bit ahead and ...man...I just thought it was a no brainer...but of course not.

"Baby...what happened?"

"Don't worry about it Debbie. I don't want to talk about it right now. It's all good, I'll figure it out. But I'm done with Amanda. This was it, this was her chance and she blew it. She's out. She's done. She's cut off. I don't want anything to do with her... or her husband or their life.

"Sammy, you're just mad...I know it can be really frustrating...whenever somebody feels like..."

"They're giving more than the other person...with no reciprocity and no gratitude." Sam interjected.

"Exactly, and you are a very good brother, but and this is tricky. You can't expect Amanda to be as good of a sibling as you are. You are an incredible brother and an incredible son and you are constantly putting your family first, and Amanda just has...a different way of seeing things."

"Screw her."

"I know you're mad...Hey why don't you take Ty and go for a hike in the Nature Preserve...let this go and just enjoy spending some quality time with your son...then get a nice dinner at that Mexican place you boys love...what's it called...Three Amigos!"

"That's a good idea D... thank you...I love you."

"I love you too...tell Ty his mama loves him and I'll be home soon...I can't wait to be with my boys."

"Us Neither. We miss you something terrible. Bye Deb."

"Bye sugar! Love you!"

Sam got up from the blank screen and called for his son..."Hey Ty?!"

'Yeah Dad?!?"

"You wanna go for a hike in the Nature Preserve?"


"Get those fancy new boots on then and let's go. How many birds do you think we can spot this afternoon?"

"How many trees do you think I can name?"

"Let's find out buddy boy!"

"Oooh! I wanna see what the biggest tree in the Nature Preserve is ... Dad, what do you think it is?"

"Hmmm...I bet it's a Sweet Gum!"

"Sweet Gum? Come on man you know that there are some massive Tulip Poplars in that forest that are like Legacy Trees...I bet it's gonna be a Tulip Poplar."

"Well let's go see...loser buys dinner...Three Amigos?"

"Oh yeah! You're on Old Man!"

February 06, 2021 04:57

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.