Not That Mean by Robert Ragan

Blue Collar Noir, Flash Fiction, Punk Noir Magazine, Robert Ragan

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Not That Mean


What am I doing? So in love, I’m starting to question my own morals. Yes, even criminals have morals.

One time, I was forced to pull a gun on someone. It was during a burglary, my best friend and I thought no one was home. This friend, who I’m sure would rather me not mention his name, told me to shoot this guy. But being the kind person that I am, I just couldn’t do it. Instead, I just grabbed the barrel and whipped its handle across his cheek. Instantly, blood started gushing from his face.

We both just ran. If we had stuck around any longer, I would have passed out cold at the sight of blood.

That was the worst thing I ever did. The stealing and selling dope, I knew it was all wrong. After getting away with assault with a deadly weapon, karma would have gotten me if I hadn’t stopped right then.

Going legit, I got a job as a painter. Working a day job meant having to go to sleep at a decent hour. Even worse was having to wake up early to the sound of an alarm clock. Sometimes, so tired and worn out, it feels like I’m dying. Still, at the end of the day, I’m making an honest living.

I never wanted to steal from anyone. Honestly, I was being a sorry piece of shit. No, more like the whole turd.

Every day I still worry about getting caught up. Till my last day, these crimes could always catch up with me. Right now though, I’ve got a lot on my mind.

Again, what am I doing? So in love, I’ve been ignoring all the warning signs. I went and fell in love with a single mother. Now, I can’t stand the thought of anyone else ending up with Ellen.

Her long blonde hair, deep blue eyes, and just the sweetest voice. Sunny and cheerful but you should see the way she acts behind-the-scenes. Bitch done raked her long manicured nails across my face, clinched her tiny fist, and punched me in the nose the way a man would.

Another time, Ellen actually hit me repeatedly with a broomstick. My buddy, my old partner in crime who I still refuse to name, he would have said, “That bitch would hit me one time. After that, she’d be too scared to ever raise her hand at me again.”

He would never hit a woman unless she struck him first. Me? Most times, I can take the heat. Other times, I just get up and say, “Fuck you, bitch, I hope you die,” then leave.

I would go to work then crash at my cousin’s house. Every time Ellen would start texting me after a few days. Just to make her sweat, I wouldn’t respond for awhile. Before it’s over though, she’s calling and I’m always eager to answer it.

Honestly, the pussy is too good to worry about the broad beating me up. But, the way she treats her nine-year-old son Justin, oh man, a few times, I wanted to punch the bitch in the face.

The first time I ever went to her house, I had just gotten off work and accidentally sat down on her couch with wet gray paint on my jeans. It was obvious she freaked out, yet, she screamed at Justin! Ellen ordered him, “Go and get a wet rag!” But she told me, “Don’t worry about it it’s fine.”

When the kid didn’t come back fast enough, Ellen backhanded the child hard across the face! Right away I said, “Hold on! Don’t hit him, it’s my fault.”

She looked at me dead in the eyes said, “Don’t ever tell me not to hit my child.” her eyes widened, “My mother and father both whooped my ass. With his father running off to be with some stripper, that leaves me to give him double the ass whoopin’s.”

I looked at young Justin, his own blue eyes said he was suffering. A part of me wanted to say there’s a difference between whipping the boy and backhanding him across the face.

Really, I can’t help but love the little blonde headed bastard. He has his mother’s hair color but apparently he looks just like his father. I never actually called the kid a bastard, I tried my best to be good to him. Lord knows his mother wasn’t.

Like any other child, Justin cursed saying, “Fuck!”

I’ve heard of washing someone’s mouth out with soap, but this crazy bitch squeezed the bottle of Dawn, squirting dish detergent into Justin’s mouth. Damn kid swallowed it and ended up getting sick. I said something about it and she spat in my face.

Before leaving, I asked Justin if he wanted to go with me. Flying into a rage, Ellen said, “If you ever take him anywhere without my consent, I’ll have your sorry ass locked up for kidnapping!”

I said, “I try to be good to Justin, but sitting here watching as you lash his bear back with a leather belt, I can’t help but feel like shit. We’ve been together a while now and I’ve witnessed the kid take some pretty vicious beatings!”

Talkin about leather belts…well, Justin got the metal belt buckle across his back once. Immediately, I snatched the belt out of her hands saving him. Then Ellen focused all of her anger on me, it was that night when her tiny fist socked me in the nose! My eyes teared up and blood started to flow. I wanted to pick the bitch up and body slam her in the middle of the floor!

What am I doing letting this continue to go on? I can’t get the law involved because people like me don’t have shit to do with cops. I could report her to Social Services. But anything I do might have Justin taken away and placed in foster care. Nobody in his father’s family wants him. Ellen was an only child and neither of her parents would have anything to do with him. So basically, Justin doesn’t have anyone but his mother and me.

My buddy, who I used to sling dope and rob people with, he comes to mind a lot as I think about what he would say. If I told him about the way Ellen treats her son…well, I couldn’t take his advice on this one because he would say, “Kill the sorry bitch, wrap her in plastic, and dump her body in the river!”

Honestly, I don’t know what I’m doing. The more I think about it, I’m not really in love with Ellen.

Thinking about it even more, I don’t believe it’s the sex that keeps me around. As a matter of fact, I know it’s not. Not when the bitch pulled a knife on me!

I think I should leave Ellen for real, once and for all. But what about Justin? What will happen to him? I guess I’m sort of like his protector, but who in the hell is going to protect me?

To see Ellen out in public, she’s dressed to kill, very polite, and outgoing. You have to really get to know her before you learn how savage she really is. I’m still dealing with it all but I don’t know what to do. I’m far from a saint, maybe I pistol-whipped someone, but I could never be that mean to a child.


Robert Ragan