Phoenix Chapter Nine: Consequences

Phoenix Chapter Nine: Consequences

A Chapter by SweetNutmeg
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Consequences

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Chapter Nine: Consequences


When Rogan got home Tuesday night, he slumped on his couch, holding his head in his hands. Not from the hangover. Memories had been ambushing him all day with piercing pain. Now at home, with nothing to distract him, he felt like he might be going crazy. He couldn’t control his mind. It kept dragging up images and emotions. This had never happened to him before. Always in the past, he had been able to compact his feelings about his sister into something very small and put it away. There was no putting it away tonight.   


He gave up trying to avoid it all and turned on Fade to Black by Metallica.


 Things are not what they used to be

Missing one inside of me

Deathly lost, this can't be real

Cannot stand this hell I feel

Emptiness is filling me

To the point of agony

Growing darkness taking dawn

I was me, but now he's gone 


He listened to this over and over after Lucy died. Listened until he came to hate it. Now he listened again and it hurt just as much as it had back then. The guitars faded away and he was left empty of all emotions. It was only eight o'clock, but he went to bed and fell asleep right away.


Wednesday morning, Rogan felt terrible when he got up, couldn’t remember why, and then it came back to him. He showered, hoping he could somehow wash it all away. Getting to work, clocking in and starting with his first car was a relief. It was some distraction from all the pain he'd been feeling. He forced himself to smile and joke with the other guys as usual.


Eventually the distraction of work succeeded in driving away unwanted thoughts and memories. He started feeling a bit more normal by lunch.


Andy found Rogan at the bus stop just outside Midas, after work. Found him and called his name. When Rogan turned, Andy punched him in the face. Rogan stumbled back, caught totally off guard. He covered the side of his face with a hand and said, “What the hell?”


“Deny it. Go ahead and deny that you and Allison spent the night together!” Andy demanded.


“Jesus, Andy, all we did was sleep.” 


“Yeah right, that's what she said, too. Some story about a dead sister,” Andy scoffed.


It took all of Rogan's self control to not launch himself at Andy. Through gritted teeth, he growled, “That's right, My sister died when I was 12. She died seven years ago as of Monday night.” 


“And how does that make it OK for my girlfriend to spend the night with you?” 


“Is she still your girlfriend?” 


“What?” Andy seemed puzzled by this.


“Is she still your girlfriend, now?”


“Why? You want a clear playing field?” 


“If she isn't your girlfriend anymore, what she does is none of your business. And what I do is definitely none of your business.”   


Gary and Ryan arrived at Rogan's side at this moment. 


“What's this creep want, Rogan?” Gary wanted to know. 


“Do you want to press charges?” Ryan asked. “That was assault.” 


Andy's fury did not lessen in the presence of two witnesses. 


“She was dating me when you slept together, so you are both my business.” 


“The only business you got is to shove off, buddy.” Gary unconsciously rubbed his knuckles, as if he was itching to punch Andy.


Ryan stepped between Gary and Andy. “OK, you need to get out of here,” he said to Andy. “Rogan, if you want to press charges, we can call the police right now.”


“No, no pressing charges. Just stay the f**k away from me. Allison isn't a cheater and neither am I. Go away.” 


Andy spat at Rogan's feet, gave him one more glare and turned away, stalking off.


“I'm glad I saw you from the front window,” Ryan said. “What was that all about?”


“Ah, I dunno, he thinks I slept with his girlfriend.” 


“Is your reputation catching up with you, Casanova?”


Rogan shrugged.  



***



The next night, Thursday after work, Rogan collected his guitar and headed over to the warehouse for practice. Buzz greeted him. Rogan could feel the man's eyes lingering on the bruise high on his cheekbone.


“Got into a rumble?” 


“Guy punched me.” Rogan considered telling Buzz the story behind the bruise. He'd have to mention Allison's overnight visit, though. He didn’t want to talk about that. 


Buzz didn't pry, just went back to his work on his drum set. Rogan got started on setting up.  


It was a good practice. Rogan felt fused into something larger than just the four of them. It was an exhilaration he felt nowhere else. It filled him with deep happiness, despite all the s**t going on in his life. 


After their usual two hours, J.D. had an announcement.


“I've got a line on a gig. I've been trying to get my foot in the door over at Benny's, and something might pan out. Rogan, you'll need an amp of your own, this practice one isn't good enough. If this comes through, we'll be playing the 24th, a Tuesday night. Does that work for you guys?”


Wednesday was Rogan's normal day off, so that worked perfectly for him. Now he needed to shop for a gig-worthy amp. He had two weeks. He planned to hit the pawn shop right after work tomorrow.


When they were all packed up, Buzz beckoned to Rogan, offering him a ride again.


Climbing into the large truck, Rogan said, “Thanks for giving me a ride all the time, man. It's silly being a mechanic and not having a car of my own.” 


“It's no problem, I drive down Hanover on my way home. If you can't get some transport for your amp by the gig, I can pick you up on the way. You'll have to help me with my drum kit, though. You can show your gratitude then.” Buzz laughed. 


Rogan laughed too, as he knows what a pain drum sets are. All that carrying back and forth, and then the putting together. It's a real b***h. 


An impulse took over and he found himself telling Buzz, “Thanks for not interrogating me about this bruise back there. It's not something I want the whole world to know, but truth is, some guy thought I was sleeping with his girlfriend.” 


“Were you?” 


“Only in the most literal sense, we were in the same bed and were asleep at the same time. That's it.” He thought about this. “It does look bad on the face of it, but why doesn't he believe her? He claims to love her, doesn't he trust her?” 


“Love can make people insanely jealous. Irrationally so.” 


“Yeah. Anyway, he hunted me down and punched me in the face. I guess they're not together anymore.” 


“Is that good news for you?”


The results of the break up finally made their way into his mind. She was single now. She didn’t belong to someone else anymore. She was no longer off limits. 


Buzz laughed again, at Rogan's silence. “I'm guessing the answer is Yes.”


Rogan squirmed a bit and was glad the cab of the truck was dark. “I suppose so.” 


They were pulling up to the snakehouse now, and Rogan was relieved to escape this conversation.


“Good luck in your matters of the heart, Rogan.” 


Rogan slid out of the truck with a quick thank you, his head full of Allison.   



© 2021 SweetNutmeg


Author's Note

SweetNutmeg
Thank you, my kind readers, for getting this far. Any and all comments are welcome.

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Featured Review

"Gary and Ryan materialize at Rogan's side at this moment." Of course the meaning is clear, but it made me think of Kirk and Spock materializing on some rocky planet.
"Rogan can feel the man's eyes lingering on the red spot high on his cheekbone, a souvenir from Andy's attack." Here is how I might slim that sentence down--"Rogan feels the man's eyes lingering on his bruised cheekbone." I left off "a souvenir of Andy's attack" because we already knew where it came from.
I find this to be a pretty clean chapter. You're getting better with commas, I believe.

Posted 1 Year Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for your review. I attended to those items you mentioned. You are, as always, ever.. read more



Reviews

The story is moving forward, hurray! I just got back from camping with 61 strangers, and it seems people have already picked out technical mistakes for you (though it's, as Samuel says, a pretty clean chapter).

Except for one tiny thing, though it's something not many people know.

“Do you want to press charges?” Ryan asks. “That was assault.”

Since Andy's punch physically landed in Rogan's face, it's no longer assault; it's battery.

https://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/violent_crimes/assault_battery.htm explains this well, but you can look up "assault vs battery" for more info.

But then again, it's not that important. I'm just a nerd who reads and writes crime. :P

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Would that be assault AND battery? That's something you hear on TV a lot. I might just stick with as.. read more
Wathanya.5KY3

1 Year Ago

Yes. That would make Andy's actions assault and battery, and he can be charged for both (but Rogan j.. read more
another excellent chapter as always they seem so short because I seem to burn right through them. then again I am a fast reader LOLO. Rogan seems to be causing problems everywhere he goes these days I notice good for us reader fans not so good for him.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

He's causing trouble, trouble follows him, trouble all around for poor Rogan. Thank you for reading... read more
"Gary and Ryan materialize at Rogan's side at this moment." Of course the meaning is clear, but it made me think of Kirk and Spock materializing on some rocky planet.
"Rogan can feel the man's eyes lingering on the red spot high on his cheekbone, a souvenir from Andy's attack." Here is how I might slim that sentence down--"Rogan feels the man's eyes lingering on his bruised cheekbone." I left off "a souvenir of Andy's attack" because we already knew where it came from.
I find this to be a pretty clean chapter. You're getting better with commas, I believe.

Posted 1 Year Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

SweetNutmeg

1 Year Ago

Thank you so much for your review. I attended to those items you mentioned. You are, as always, ever.. read more

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Added on August 12, 2019
Last Updated on February 15, 2021


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SweetNutmeg
SweetNutmeg

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***I am on hiatus and not returning reviews.*** I'm here to improve my writing. I love critiques that give me critical feedback, as well as praise. (Although, I do like praise. Gotta be honest.) A.. more..

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Phoenix Phoenix

A Book by SweetNutmeg



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