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An arms length transaction.

In the brief moments before he killed himself, Rodney Jenkins thought of other people.

On Thursday night, he sat at his corner office desk in the offices of Umbridge, Frankel and Minnchek, LLP. It was well close to midnight and, for once, the associates and paralegals and assistants had all gone home for the evening. He was finally alone with the Baccarat crystal decanter of Macallan single malt scotch and his Smith & Wesson Model 637, Chief’s Special Airweight .38 Special. Fitting, given the people who helped drive him to this point had given him all of these things as gifts.

Rodney poured himself a double and drank it hard and fast. His hand rested on the neck of the decanter, and he remembered his dowdy and patient wife, Marcia, bringing it to his office twelve years ago.

“Rod, you’re a big partner now so you need partner things in this office.”
“Baby, you didn’t have to do this…”
“I know I didn’t have to, but,” she chewed on her lip. “I know you put in a lot of hours to get here, and you’re going to have to put in even more, impressing the other guys and your clients. I want you to have something nice to show them that you belong.”

He sniffed at the memory. That I belong. Sure, he belonged. He belonged chained to this desk, pushing mountains of paperwork. He belonged attached to his senior partner’s hip, making sure that the first chair had everything he could need, want and expect. He belonged glued to his Blackberry so he could answer his neediest of clients’ needs and questions at all hours. He belonged to the bar that he would belly up to at the end of a hard trial, opting to celebrate with the bar backs rather than go home to his wife and kids.

He belonged just like she belonged in that stupid house and car that were costing him a fortune because, as she had so lovingly told him, she was a “partner wife.” She had done her time and deserved her reward for putting up with his absence and the kids.

He chuckled cruelly to himself and laid sight on his gun. The .38 was loaded with one bullet because that was all that Rodney needed. He toyed with the chamber and thought of Priscila. Priscila was his legal assistant’s sister and his mistress for the past several years.

Priscila was also the one who had his nuts in a vice and was threatening him to either divorce his wife or face the hell that would be rained down upon his firm if he didn’t.

Priscila encouraged him to purchase the .38 at Collector’s Firearms in town. She stroked his biceps, shoulders and back as she cooed in his ear, “Papi, you look so hot holding that gun.”
She pressed her breasts into his back. “You have no idea. Oh, I want you so much right now…”

Rodney purchased the gun and kept it with him. While he thought of Priscila, he mindlessly stroked the gun and fingered the hammer, remembering the rough-and-tumble sex they had that night in his office.

He poured himself a single and slowly sipped it down, letting it burn his throat. The bottle of Macallan was close to the bottom, and that’s exactly how he felt. Close to the bottom. The Macallan was given to him by Barty Frankel, his senior partner, after the Eddison case.

“Rod, I don’t do this often, so appreciate it. I know you’ve put in some time with the firm, and I think it’s time we say ‘thanks.’”
“Barty, you really shouldn’t have. I don’t know what to say.”
“Just say thanks. Have a belt then get back to work on your witness prep for the Allistair deposition.”

Rodney had dinner with that bottle of Macallan that night. He was at his desk until 2 am, reviewing and highlighting and taking notes. Sure thing he appreciated that Macallan.

But tonight, after everyone had closed up shop, Rodney assessed the his state and realized that the three things on his desk right now – the scotch, the decanter, and the gun – these three things that owned a part of his soul finally took too much. He closed his eyes and leaned back, remembering his days in college and law school where he didn’t have to think in 6-minute increments.

Where he didn’t have to be superstar husband of the year by provided his patient but nagging wife their 12,000-square foot home. And her Mercedes GLK to drive the kids to and from their, well, whatever the hell it was they did.

Where he didn’t have to sneak around the damning glares from his assistant, Bella, when he traipsed back in from lunch, smelling of her sister’s cheap perfume.

Where the 13-hour days just to bill out 6 or 7 hours were still enough. Where he didn’t have to bring in a stopwatch and time his phone calls with his clients to he could pretend to remember.

For Rodney Jenkins, he was done pretending. He had spent the past 22 years of his life and career just having, well, not even a life. Just a career. Always juggling, never enjoying. He had watched his buddies go out with heart attacks, panic attacks, nervous breakdowns. He watched the big shots from his law class, who graduated Order of the Coif, silently “go away for a while” because they couldn’t shake the DTs or the detox.

For Rodney Jenkins, he was tired of his best friend being these things.

With a sigh, Rodney pulled the .38 into his mouth. A single tear fell down his cheek and his closed his lips and pulled the trigger.

This week's entry is for Afterthought, the Week 5 topic over at therealljidol.


Dec. 4th, 2010 09:21 pm (UTC)
bleak. i like it.
Dec. 5th, 2010 09:05 pm (UTC)
S'how I roll. Thanks.

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