About the Author
Roosevelt Simmons is a specialist on the human condition wielding the written craft to enrapture the mind much like an artist wields a brush. The pages are a blank canvas on which to draw from a talent heralded by many and matched only by the imagination that rises to the task. The Agreement is the first in a series of recent pursuits. The author is progressing towards the sequel, A Promise.
Read an Excerpt
"Attention all units! Neighbors say shots were fired at 2116 Barry Avenue. Neighbors reported hearing loud noises and arguments at the house for at least an hour. One person appears to have been injured. We have no word of his condition yet," reported a dispatcher after receiving a very disturbing phone call. Several units responded to the call with emergency lights and sirens.
"Units there is an ambulance in route," the dispatcher continued.
This is what took place after a shooting at our house in the suburbs. When the police arrived, four people were in the house two men, a young boy, and a lady.
One of the men went to the hospital. Everyone else went to the police station.
When we got to the station, we were asked to sit down in a small room without a picture on the wall. Four hard, steel chairs are piled in the corner. Three detectives were in the room. One stood with a cup of coffee in his hand, staring at us. The other two looked like rookies, ready to take orders.
"Okay, who wants to start talking first? You all have heard your rights. Right?" asked the detective who stood with the cup in his hand.
We all looked at the detective and nodded our heads in agreement.
"Okay. Start from the beginning. Take your time. We've got all day."
"I will do all the talking," proclaimed the man of the house.
"The rest of you may jump in whenever you feel it's necessary," the chief detective responded as he looked at the lady and child for confirmations. "Go ahead, sir.
Again, how did this start?"
"Well, it all started with Mr. Smith."
Mr. Smith had just received a well paying job as a janitor, and he appeared to like it a lot. He did a very good job, so much so that at the end of the work day, he was filthy. The pay was better then what he had been making, and consequently, he was looking forward to meeting his son, Fred, at the end of the payday to take him to McDonald's and the movies. He'd never had enough money to do this before. While he mopped the floor, his son was at home, worrying his mother by continually asking her the time.
Mr. Smith took a break for lunch. While he chewed his sandwich, he noticed a co-worker eating lunch and reading the pages of a newspaper that were scattered on a table.
"You mind sharing your paper?" Mr. Smith asked, staring at the entertainment section.
"No, I don't mind," replied his co-worker. Mr. Smith grabbed the entertainment section to see the times of the show. Oh, good! The show doesn't start until 8:30. That will allow me lots of time to get home and take my shower and take my son to McDonald's, he thought.
The horn blew, signaling that lunch was over, and Mr. Smith wasted no time getting back to diligently mopping the floor.
Meanwhile, a co-worker approached him. "Mr. Smith, the boss told me to tell you that he would like to see you at the end of the day."
"I hope it's to give me a raise," he said, mopping steadily, "though I have been working here only two weeks."
"Well, I don't know what it's for. He just told me to tell you."
Mr. Smith nodded his head in agreement, and the co-worker walked around the mop bucket to the rest room. Mr. Smith stayed focused and kept mopping until the horn blew to announce the end of the day. He thought about changing clothes before going to see the boss, as his co-worker had told him to do. Then he realized that it might take him too long, and he didn't think it would be wise to keep the boss waiting. Plus the boss would know how hard he worked when he saw his filthy clothes. When he arrived at the boss's office, the door was open a crack.
"Hey! I see you got the message that I needed to see you," said the boss when he saw Mr. Smith peep through the crack.
"Uh, yes sir," Mr. Smith answered nervously because he did not have a good feeling about this meeting. It was like a déjà vu.
"Have a seat," the boss said, extending his hand and pointing at the chair.
"No, no! I will stay standing, because I don't want to get your furniture dirty."
"Yeah, judging by how dirty you are, you appear to be a really hard worker," he replied with a raised eyebrow. "That's why it's really hurts me to tell you this."
Mr. Smith sighed.
"Well here it goes. Due to a cancelled contract, our compensation expense is way over budget. Therefore, I have to lay you off for now."
"Lay me off!" Mr. Smith replied. "Please don't do that. I've only had this job for two weeks." He raised two fingers to show his time on the job.
"That's why we have to lay you off, because you are at the bottom of the seniority list. I am so sorry. But we sure will call you back if we get another contract." "All right. But are you sure?" Mr. Smith said, looking disappointed.
The boss nodded his head to say yes and frowned. "I am so sorry," he added.
Mr. Smith left the office very upset and disappointed. He was in shock and felt that he had nowhere to turn. Then he noticed an advertisement for liquor. There is a liquor store right below the ad, he thought. He walked to the store and asked the cashier for two pints of their hardest liquor. After paying for his purchase, he left the store and walked over to a bus stop bench. He sat, drinking and wondering what had just happened. He forgot all about the promise he had made to his son.
A bus stopped and the driver opened the door for him to get on. He waved the bus off. He did this repeatedly, and as time went by, the more he drank, the less willing he became to go home and face his girlfriend to tell her the bad news. Another bus stopped and opened the door for him to get in. He decided to take this one, having no idea where it was going. He just wanted to get as far away as he could. That is exactly what happened, because without realizing it, he had boarded the express bus to the suburbs. During the drive, he constantly sneaked drinks. By the time the bus reached the suburbs, he suddenly remembered the promise he made to his son.
"Damn!" he cursed. "Bus driver, let me off at your very next stop!"
He got up and tripped over himself. He didn't realize that he was drunk. He held the rails until it was time to get off. Once on the sidewalk, he started talking to himself.
"Man! Where am I?"
He then noticed a bus stop across the street. Without looking from left to right, he attempted to cross the street. I say attempted, because an oncoming car just missed him, and he fell to the ground.
"Wow! That was close," said Mr. Smith as he looked at himself to make sure he wasn't hurt.
He stared at the car and saw someone turning around to make sure he was all right. The car never stopped, and Mr. Smith wondered if it would ever stop. It never did.
"Man! What kind of people are they? I hope they never need anything from me," he said to himself. Then he realized that he was sitting on the street. When he attempted to stand up, he stumbled, but this time he wasn't so lucky. A car full of teenagers struck him and left him unconscious. Someone called 911. When the ambulance arrived, they found no identification on him. You see, Mr. Smith had left his wallet in his locker at work along with his clean change of clothes.
I can't tell you who hit Mr. Smith, but I do know the people who almost hit him. I know what was going on at the time and why they couldn't stop. Earlier that evening, the driver of the car was a wealthy man name Mr. Johnson. Mr. Johnson and his wife were rushing their son to the hospital. This is what happened that day. Mr. Johnson had come home from work, called his son, and wondered why his son didn't answer him. He became very frustrated and went after him. "Boy, don't you hear me calling your name?" Mr. Johnson asked as he turned down the volume on the TV with the remote. "Boy, I said get up! Let's go eat. Get up!" He nudged him. "Why aren't you answering me? What's wrong with your eyes? Are you sick?" Then he yelled, "Honey, get in here!"
Mrs. Johnson dropped her fork and knife and ran into the room to see what was so important. "What's wrong?" she asked. She glanced at her son.
He looked like he was asleep.
"It's Tim! He won't get up."
"What do you mean, he won't get up? He's probably just tired from a long day in school."
"No! I have been screaming and hollering, and he hasn't said a word or even moved."
Mrs. Johnson reached down to check Tim's neck for a pulse. She found a pulse, but something told her things weren't right.
"I'm going to get the car ready." Mr. Johnson said as he pulled the keys out of his pocket.
Mrs. Johnson put on her clothes and her son's clothes. She closed her eyes and said a short prayer for her son. "Heavenly Father, please don't let nothing happen to my son. He is all I got."
"Okay. Are you ready? Is everything ready to go?" Mr. Johnson cut in.
He picked up his only son to carry him to the car. "I will lock up and be right out," Mrs. Johnson said while getting the rest of her son's things.
Mrs. Johnson locked the door, ran to the car, and jumped in the back seat. She thought it would be wise for someone to sit with her baby. Mr. Johnson backed up without looking for passing traffic. He put the car in drive and peeled rubber. He ran stop signs and became eager to run traffic lights. The only reason he didn't was that there was oncoming traffic. When the light changed to green, he was swift to pass other cars. As a matter of fact, he became so swift that he came very close to hitting someone.
"You see that?" Mr. Johnson asked.
"Yeah, he was a bum, right?"
Mr. Johnson moved his shoulders up and down to say "I don't know."
"Well, please don't stop. We've got to get our son treated," Mrs. Johnson replied, as she looked back and noticed the bum sitting up on the street. She sighed with relief. "He's sitting up. You didn't hit him."
They maneuvered their way through traffic and finally made it to the hospital. Mr. Johnson and his wife sat in the emergency waiting room. Their son was in a room with Mr. Johnson's doctor. About two hours later, another emergency came in from an ambulance. Mr. Johnson got a glimpse at the guy.
"Honey, did you see that guy?" He asked while following the stretcher with his eyes.
"It looked like that bum you almost hit!"
"Yeah, it did. I thought you said that you saw him standing up.
Mrs. Johnson put her hand on his thigh to assure him. "I did. Besides, there was no bang, so if we did hit him it wasn't that hard. That guy who came in looked like he was about to die."
"Okay. Well, someone else must have hit him." "I hope he is okay," Mrs. Johnson said sincerely. "Well, hopefully they won't take their attention from our son. I would like to know that our son's life will be more important than the life of some old bum," Mr. Johnson replied.
They sat in complete silence. Mr. Johnson daydreamed and subconsciously listened to the receptionist as she talked on the phone. She appeared to be angry about something.
"Girl! You mean to tell me your man couldn't come back to watch his son so you could go to work? And he promised to take him to McDonald's and a movie, too? Are you going to take him yourself? Girl, I told you to leave him a long time ago. I mean, who needs an irresponsible man? Hey, I will fill in for you. We already had two emergencies. I don't expect anymore tonight. So go take care of your son, and don't worry. We will find some good men one day."
The doctor walked into the waiting room and took Mr. Johnson's attention away from the receptionist.
"Well, your son is suffering from his heart condition," said Dr. Cashion, holding a clipboard with paperwork. "Due to the late stage of the illness, your son needs an immediate transplant or he may not make it."
"What do you mean?" Mr. Johnson said with a raised brow.
Mrs. Johnson started to cry.
"My secretary put the word out already. She will immediately contact me when she knows something," said the doctor.
A nurse came rushing in. "Doctor, you are needed right away in the emergency room!"