Debt Collector

The alarm on my watch goes off. Crap I forgot I had that meeting today. This will have to wait until later. I can’t miss this meeting. I’ve already rescheduled three of them. I punch out for lunch and head through the backdoor. I expect the cold air to hit me when I step out. I don’t expect a fist to the side of my face but I suppose I should have. I had it coming, or my mom had it coming. The punch rocks me and causes me to stumble and fall.

“Don’t get up,” I hear Teddy say.

“I don’t have your money,” I try to explain.

“Well, your mom is too drunk to pay me. Your dad is somewhere avoiding her and can’t pay me. That means that you need to pay me.”

“I know, and I’m working on getting your money. I’ve been making payments.”

“Payments aren’t good enough. You work at this big fancy building and can’t come up with my money? I thought you were supposed to be some kind of scientist. What do you do here? Mop the floors.”

“I am a scientist, but I’m not rich.”

“Doesn’t matter, I just need to be paid.”

“You know what, I’m not going to pay you. I’ve had enough of this crap,” I pick myself up off the ground.

“You’re a big man now. All grown up Robert? Okay, we’ll handle this like men.”

“Whatever, we’ve got nothing to handle,” I walk past Teddy and his goons towards my car.

I feel my feet lifted off the ground as one of his men slams me back down to the cold unforgiving concrete. Dressing in layers doesn’t help to block the kicks. I know there’s only three of them, but it feels like I’m being kicked by a dozen people. I try to roll up and cover myself but it doesn’t help. They just kick harder and harder. Eventually they stop and Teddy rolls me over. He spits down on me and laughs. He’s taking pleasure in this.

“Hey, I like that you had balls. I’ll give you another week to get my money,” they walk off as if they’ve just heard the funniest joke ever.

I roll over and push onto my knees. The taste of vomit quickly fills my mouth. Did they beat me that bad? Enough that I would throw up my breakfast? I have to find a way to pay him. I can’t even find a way to pay him because mom keeps gambling and losing more. I’m already giving him everything I can. If I don’t pay they’ll just keep beating me until one day they kill me. But, every time I pay, mom just gambles more. It’s a vicious cycle.

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