“Where are you?!” Joey heard a man’s voice bellowing outside the bathroom that he had been cleaning. The voice sounded so angry and threatening, that he cowered in a stall, hoping whomever it was would go away without his intervention. He pulled out his phone, wondering if he should call the police. He wondered how long it would take police to get here. Maybe he should call Roscoe.
He listened to the ringing as he heard the screaming outside. “Tammy Bangerter says that you been sleepin’ with Kit Kat.” Joey couldn’t hear the other person arguing. Roscoe answered his phone and Joey immediately started talking, “There’s a crazy guy here screaming.” Joey quietly cracked the door to the restroom and looked out. He couldn’t see the guy who was yelling, but he did see Samson yelling back. “If you hadn’t abandoned her, I wouldn’t have had to take her to my house!”
Joey opened the door a bit more and could see the hulking blond man who was mad at Samson. He thought he recognized him. “I think it’s that farmer who builds crazy stuff,” he whispered into the phone. Roscoe replied that he’d be right there, but Joey wasn’t as scared as he was before. He knew this guy. They had talked tinkering together. After something like that, you’re friends.
“I was just doin’ my normal visit, like I’m SUPPOSED TO! When was the last time you did your scheduled visit, you hypocrite?!” Samson was screeching at him. Joey watched with fascination how two guys he liked so much could be so angry at each other. Joey couldn’t remember the name of that farmer, but he listened as the big guy retorted, “I guess I have a diff’rent definition for visit than you got. Tammy Bangerter says her car stayed all night one night!”
Joey walked out of the bathroom toward the two of them. He had never seen Samson angry and the power exuding off the little guy scared him a bit. “If you had attended the meetings that you’re SUPPOSED TO, then you woulda known about that and what happened instead of assuming that I’m SLEEPING with her!” The farmer yelled at him, “She needs a year of mourning, you Chink bastard!”
Joey watched helplessly as Samson punched the big farmer. James! His name is James! The guy had been leaning down to scream at Samson, so the first punch was dead on, but Samson literally had to jump to connect a second time. James was stunned by the blows and Joey screamed at the two of them, “Samson! James! What are you guys fighting about?”
The big blonde turned toward him, screeching, “I’m not James!” There was a trickle of blood coming from his nose and suddenly Joey’s fear returned in full force. It wasn’t the same guy he had talked to a couple of weeks ago. Who was this guy?
Samson answered Joey’s question, long forgotten, “John here thinks that he owns Kit Kat.” The massive guy turned on Joey’s friend, swinging wildly, but missing. “I called dibs!” Joey tried to lighten the mood and protect his friend with a joke, “Well if this girl is so awesome, maybe I should check her out.” He laughed uncomfortably. Both of them stopped raging at each other and glared at him with eyes that could cut through steel like a laser.
“What’s goin’ on here?” Roscoe’s voice sounded like a gong. Joey skittered to Roscoe’s side. Neither Samson nor that big guy answered. They both looked guilty and fearful of Roscoe’s booming voice. “This gotta do with Kit Kat?” Both guys blushed with embarrassment and Joey noticed a bright red mark on the middle of Samson’s forehead. Was it a bruise? Did that guy get a punch in without Joey noticing? He saw Samson’s hand go up to his forehead to hide the red mark.
“John Sebastian,” Roscoe reproached, “If you wanna date Kit Kat, ya gotta date ‘er. You can’t just claim ‘er for yourself and then just stick ‘er in a box or somethin’.” The big guy nodded as if he had been chastised by a parent.
Roscoe turned toward Samson, “And you! I can tell you been takin’ out your frustrations on John’s face, here.” Joey chimed in, “That big guy called him a ‘Chink.’” Roscoe turned toward Joey and he felt himself shrivel a bit in fear. “Oh, did he?” Joey nodded, wishing that he was FAR away from Merriton. Where could he go? It was getting cold. Time to go south. This was his last week here, anyway.
“John, you gotta be careful! People walk into branches up here on the mountain all the time. You’re BOM. You know better than to walk into a branch.” The big guy just shrunk before Joey’s eyes while Roscoe continued talking, “Lucky thing Samson was here to patch you up, isn’t that right, Samson?”
Joey watched Samson’s eyes widen with fear. Why would Samson be afraid? Roscoe was letting him off scot free. “He…” Samson tried to answer, “just barely walked into the branch?” Roscoe nodded, “Ya gotta med kit to patch ‘im up?” Samson looked at the big guy and they both stepped a bit away from each other. “No?” he answered.
“Then I’ll take ‘im to the station and patch ‘im up there.” Roscoe replied, but both of the men screeched, “No! No! That’s okay!” Samson started pushing the massive man back to his pickup, “I think I might have a med kit in my pickup.” The man was quite obviously fearful of whatever Roscoe was threatening. It all sounded benign to Joey, but he trembled with the terror that was emanating from both the ranger and the blonde.
Roscoe faced Joey, “You saw John walk into that branch, right?” He was nodding at Joey as if he expected a yes instead of the confusion that Joey felt. “Yes?” Roscoe continued nodding. “Thought ya did.”
Time to go south. It was getting cold in Merriton.