“I think you’re overreacting.” Darryl said as he picked up his phone to read his emails.
Sammie sat on the other end of the couch feeling a bit unheard. She stared at Darryl for a few more seconds before getting off the couch and leaving the room.
This was the first time she felt her feelings invalidated by her husband. He was always telling it like he felt but he normally sided with her or at least validated her fears whenever she brought them up. But tonight, he didn’t.
Overreacting, she thought, I’ll show you overreacting.
Sammie plopped herself onto her bed. She couldn’t shut her mind off on what was plaguing her. She was worried that her little attitude outburst at work would cause her to lose her job. She always kept a level head about her and wasn’t sure how her boss took that outburst. She ran out of the office before she could find out. It was embarrassing and she didn’t have a reason for it to escalate that way.
Today was just a terrible day to begin with. Her coffee spilt everywhere and she was late to work because if it. Every project she had included something that went wrong when it was supposed to go smoothly. She did the math, there should have been no bumps in production. But it felt like everyone was calling her today with a problem that needed to be fixed, right then and there.
And then her boss came up to her and commented on how her performance today at the meeting wasn’t her best.
“I don’t give a flying fuck if it wasn’t it’s best, I did my best,” Sammie snapped. It was like someone had possessed her for those few seconds. The whole office floor was silent. Sammie looked around and saw that everyone was looking at her from over their cubicle walls. She felt claustrophobic and wanted to flee. She looked at her boss whose lips were pursed.
When she relayed her fears about being fired to her husband, he didn’t think it was a big deal to worry over. That didn’t make Sammie feel any better than she did on the drive home.
Darryl came into the bedroom and saw Sammie, still plopped on the bed in the same position she was in when she first got on. He sighed and crawled into bed with her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her in tightly against his body.
“I know you’re worried, but I think if you just calmly explain to your boss, she’ll understand. We all have those days. Don’t need to stress about it.”
Sammie started to cry. Darryl hugged tighter.
“I must have fit the angry black woman stereotype.”
“I’m sure you felt like Viola out there, didn’t you?” Darryl chuckled behind Sammie.
Sammie felt a smile creep through her lips. She turned around to look at Darryl. His face always soothed her. His deep warm brown eyes always melted away any trouble.
“Thanks, baby.” Sammie kissed his lips sweetly.
“I’m sorry I made you feel worse.”
“No, I just didn’t hear what I wanted. You’re right, I’m overreacting.”
Darryl smirked. He put his lips against Sammie’s forehead. She melted into his warm body. Just like that, her fears went away.
The next day at work, Sammie cautiously walked into the office. She avoided any eye contact with her coworkers as she made her way to her desk.
Sammie paused hearing her name and winced when she realized it was her boss. She turned around to face her. A huge smile was plastered on her boss’ face. Sammie felt like she walked into the Stepford Wives.
“Care to talk in my office?” Her boss asked, still smiling.
Sammie nodded in response and followed her boss into her office.
“Listen, Katie, I can explain…”
“No, it’s fine. I reflected after you left and I’m not even that mad you said that. It’s true, you did your best and that’s what I should have said.”
“I just had a really bad day, yesterday. It won’t happen again.”
“We all get bad days… even myself. I think I projected that on you as well. Care to forget it ever happened?”
Sammie couldn’t believe her ears, but she nodded anyway. “Yeah, sure. See you at the two o’clock.”
Sammie left Katie’s office feeling like a weight has lifted off her chest. She couldn’t believe that it actually happened.
“So, did you get fired?” Justin, her best friend and coworker, asked during the lunch break.
“Would I be eating lunch if I did?”
“True. Well that was some outburst, girl. I didn’t even know you had it in you.”
“Me neither,” Sammie stabbed at her salad. “I’m still in shock I didn’t get written up.”
“I heard that Nicole was going to call security…” Justin watched Sammie’s reaction before continuing, “that racist bitch.”
Sammie chuckled. Nicole had always been trying to find ways to get Sammie fired from the office ever since Sammie started working.
“She can’t even figure out how to use the security speed dial. I think I’ll be okay.” Sammie responded.
Justin howled in laughter. He clutched his stomach, he was laughing so hard. Sammie laughed along with him.
“Where were you yesterday when I needed this laugh?” Sammie glared at Justin.
“Sorry, I was too busy kissing Frank’s ass for a promotion.”
“Did it work?”
“Girl, would I be sitting in here with you if it did?” They laughed some more.
The rest of the day Sammie felt uneasy. She couldn’t shake that nagging feeling that something was going to go wrong. She knew that her boss was willing to put it behind her.
So why couldn’t she?
When Sammie got home she was only greeted by her retired K9 German Shepherd, Zane.
“Where’s Daddy, Zane?”
Zane ran around in circles, just excited for someone to be home. It wasn’t normal for Darryl to be home from work later than Sammie. Since Zane retired, they changed their schedules so that he wouldn’t be left alone for too long.
Sammie checked her phone for any messages she might have missed, but there was nothing. So, she called Darryl.
“Hey this is Darryl, leave a message!” The voicemail message was followed by a BEEP.
“Darryl, it’s me. Just checking where you are… thought you said you’d be out earlier today. Call me back.” Sammie ended her call. That feeling was growing inside of her. Something was wrong… but it wasn’t with her job.
Sammie tried to take her mind off it by taking Zane out for a long walk around the neighborhood. She felt maybe the walk might lead her to Darryl. Maybe he was out for a jog and he didn’t want to bring Zane or his phone with him.
All sorts of thoughts flooded Sammie’s mind. The walk wasn’t helping and she was getting extremely frustrated with Zane as he kept stopping to smell every blade of grass they walk past. She could feel the heat rise in her cheeks as her eyes started to water.
Something was wrong. Something was wrong.
Sammie turned around the corner to her street and noticed a few cop cars sitting outside her house. She immediately felt a ball drop in the pit of her stomach. Something… was… wrong.
She didn’t know how, but her feet carried her to her front yard where she met the officers who were standing in idle waiting for Sammie to arrive. She recognized one of them, Officer Samuels, but she stayed inside her car. Sammie tried to wave at her, but Officer Samuels avoided eye contact. This was a bad sign.
“Mrs. Livingston?” Another officer asked as she approached.
“It’s actually Sammie Ellings, I didn’t change my last name when we married.”
The officer nodded and took off the hat he was wearing. He ran his fingers through his hair trying to find the words.
“Your husband was involved in an accident,” he finally said.
Sammie took a deep breath. This was a part of his job description, he would be put in harm’s way every day, she knew this.
“What kind of accident?” Sammie tried to not break down into tears before she could find out more information. “Is he okay?”
“He is in the hospital. There was a shoot-out during one of his stops. His K9 saved him.”
Zane whined, he didn’t like being in one spot for too long and the sight of the cop car made him anxious to get to work. Sammie put her hand on his head and slowly patted him while she processed this information.
“Is he conscious?”
“For a few moments. He told us to get you.”
Sammie walked over to Officer Samuels’ window and banged on it for her to open.
“What’s wrong? Why can’t you look me in the eye, Samuels? What happened?”
Officer Samuels refused to look at Sammie.
“What aren’t you telling me?!?”
Zane started to bark, feeding off his owner’s anxiety.
“Ma’am, please, let’s just put your dog back into the house and we can take you to him.”
Sammie reigned Zane in with his leash and held him close.
“I’m not leaving him. He can come with… he’s a retired K9 doesn’t that give him some special clearance?”
“I’m afraid not. Unless he was a support animal, which he wasn’t trained for.”
“Bullshit! He’s a fucking K9!”
“Sammie…” Officer Samuels was getting out of the car. “Sammie, please, we really need to get you to the hospital. Just put Zane back in the house.”
Sammie felt her anxiety wash over again.
This is not happening! She exclaimed in her head. She felt like screaming.
Once again, Sammie moved towards the house, not really sure how she did it, but she put Zane back into the house and put down food and water for him. She wasn’t sure how long she’d be. She grabbed his favorite puzzle toy and put in treats for him to find while she was walking out.
In the cop car, everyone was silent. She learned the officer that spoke with her first was named Owen Johnson. He was green and Samuels’ new partner. He elected to sit in the back so Sammie could feel comfortable.
Samuels drove in silence. Every time Sammie looked at her, she wouldn’t return a glance.
“What aren’t you telling me?”
“I can’t tell you anything.” Officer Samuels finally spoke as they approach the hospital. “They’ll tell you when you get in.”
This was one of the longer stories I’ve written. Sorry to cut it here, but the rest you’ll have to find out in the full story!
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