Sister is the Best Medicine
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It all started as I was waiting at a pedestrian crossing minding my own business. I would not be able to tell you clearly what happened next even if I tried. One moment everything is fine and then the next moment one vehicle in the intersection slams into another, which caused a chain reaction. One car came flying my way, missed me by a matter of inches and killed the woman that was standing next to me.
I was so stunned I lost my balance. I fell on my ass and even though I was not hurt at all I felt like I could not move. I remember touching my face and not being able to feel it. My breathing was not doing its normal thing. I was frozen in place unable to run up and start helping anyone even if I tried.
I completely forgot where I was going, what I was doing, and I even had to think for a moment when the first responders asked me for my name. This just fucked up my whole day.
When I got home I remembered thinking that life was short. Life was way too short. I could have died. The images of all that blood and … I don’t want to think about it. But those images kept coming to me. My mind kept playing back that moment when the car flew past me and I heard the woman scream. For the next few days I would wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I was in a panic.
But I wasn’t injured. So I got on with my life. I finished my undergrad degree. I searched for a job and found one. I even met a nice girl that I thought I might want to ask out and maybe it would go somewhere.
Then I started getting calls and letters from lawyers wanting to meet with me and they fucked my life up more. Well, not really but it felt that way for a while.
Now, maybe some of this is not entirely correct. I’m just trying to put it here the way I understand it. Keep in mind that I am not a lawyer.
Ok. So it seemed to be the case that after the accident a bunch of people all started suing a bunch of other people. There was this complicated web of law suits. Somehow they all got packaged together but there was a question about if it was going to state court or federal court.
Now I have no idea what the difference between the two is. Why do we even need two different court systems? That just seems like a waste to me. But anyway, we have two different court systems with two different sets of laws and rules.
Now as I understand it, there was a group of people who wanted to move the collective group of cases from state court to federal court but you can’t just do that. There has to be some reason for moving it and they didn’t have a reason. But they really, REALLY wanted to move the case to federal court and they were grasping at straws to find a way to get it there.
Now it turns out that all the people involved in the accident were all residents of one state. But I was not a resident of that state. Why would being a resident or citizen of different states matter anymore? I couldn’t tell you. I thought we were all one nation under God but I guess in the law which state you call home still matters.
Anyway, the lawyers came after me. They wanted me to join them in the suit so that they could move the case to federal court. They told me if I helped them do that then they could get the insurance companies to pay millions of dollars more and we’d all be rich. But in order to join them in the suit I had to do something I didn’t want to do. I had to lie.
Yes, you read that right. I would have to lie and say that I was injured in some way during the accident. But I wasn’t. All that happened to me was I fell on my ass. I still had nightmares about what happened but I didn’t really think that counted.
Not only did I not want to lie under oath, I also did not want to go to jail. It is illegal to lie under oath after all. And as for those millions of dollars; even if we won, and there was a chance we might not, but even if we did win, all that money would go to the families who actually had injuries. You might say that is exactly as it should be but from my point of view I would be putting myself into a very risky position.
If I lied then I would get zero reward and I would have a huge target on my back. Not only that, but if I went to the families and asked for a bit of gratuity for helping them get rich, they could blackmail me and I’d end up having to pay them.
Their lawyers could see that I was not feeling their offer so they presented me with papers saying that they would pay me ten thousand dollars but only if they got a settlement or a judgment from the courts over a certain amount. Besides the money, they tried to impress upon me the morality of helping them. The rich guys and the insurance companies were evil and it would be a good thing to stick it to them. I thought that kind of argument was funny coming from a lawyer.
On Friday morning I got a call from the lawyers representing the insurance companies. They wanted to talk to me. I met them for lunch. We didn’t talk about the case right at first. I think they were trying to feel me out before they tried to get any information from me about the other anime porno side.
They were very interested in keeping the case in state court.
Anyway, the meeting ended without them asking me for anything but late on Friday afternoon they called me up and said that they wanted me as far away from the case as possible. They threatened that if I joined the suit they’d sue me and keep me from ever being able to get a job. They wanted me to sign some nondisclosure agreement and they wanted it returned to them first thing on Monday morning.
I did not feel like being intimidated. I told them over the phone that if they were going to treat me that way, then no matter what they asked of me, the answer was no. I didn’t need to wait until Monday.
Of course all weekend long I worried about what I had said. I thought that it was amazing how each side felt threatened by me saying I wanted to tell the truth. Do people just automatically lie when they go to court? Is it that strange for someone to tell the truth? I thought that’s what we were all supposed to be doing.
On Saturday, the lawyers tried calling me so I set my phone to not accept any phone calls until Monday. My phone didn’t ring but I kept seeing the notifications of how many times both sides tried to call me on Saturday and Sunday.
On Monday I called the lawyer for the families and the first words out of his mouth were “25 thousand”.
“If we get a judgment.”
“I’ll think about it.”
I hung up.
Then I called the lawyers for the insurance companies.
“You’re going to be in a lot of trouble.” the man said.
I didn’t even answer him. I just hung up.
Then I thought better of all this. I was going to tell the truth anyway. I knew I was. When I went to go give the deposition I was going to tell the truth. I didn’t need all this hassle.
So I didn’t answer my phone for a while. I went to work and focused on my job.
When I was leaving to go home a white man approached me. He seemed to already know who I was.
“How much?” he asked.
I didn’t even know who he was or which side he represented. I mean, I figured he was a lawyer, I didn’t know which team.
They thought I could be bribed? Well, bribery is illegal right? And I don’t want to go to jail. So I would not be taking a bribe. I was going to tell the truth. So I spelled it out for the man in as plain English as I could.
He listened and then countered. “Supposed you sued us and we wanted to settle with you out of court. How much would it take to make your law suit go away?”
“I’m not suing anybody.”
“Suppose we sued you. How much would it take for that law suit to go away?”
“I don’t understand. You can’t sue me for nothing.”
“We can sue you for anything. We can make it up and the courts will at least hear it. So, how much is it going to take for our law suit to go away?”
“You really want to bribe me?”
“I want to settle out of court with you.”
“Fine. One million dollars, up front, free and clear.”
“Let me make a phone call.”
“You do what you gots to do.”
The guy got on his phone and I went to the bus stop to catch my bus. The man ran over to me. “One hundred thousand. We can wire it to you today.”
“I said one million.”
“They won’t pay one million.”
“Then forget it.”
The guy got back on his phone.
My bus came and the guy followed me on the bus even thought he had arrived in a nice car. The bus had a rule that you couldn’t talk on the phone on the bus so the lawyer was reduced to texting.
He turned around in his seat to talk to me. “They’ll pay you 150.”
“Come on. You have to negotiate with us on this.”
“No I don’t. You asked how much and I gave you a number. What’s wrong with the number I gave you?”
“It’s too high. It’s just way too high.”
“Fine. Half a million.”
The guys started texting. The bus came to my stop and I got off. I was walking down the street to my apartment and the guy followed me without a care in the world as to the kind of neighborhood he was walking into.
“200.” the guy said.
“Dude, do not just yell numbers out loud. What’s wrong with you?”
“Sorry. Duo Centos.” I guess he was hoping I was educated enough to figure out what he meant by that.
“Quingenta.” I said.
I thought for a moment as he tried to figure out how much that was. Then it was back to the phone and then back to me as I was getting my key out to put into my door.
“Tre centa.” he said.
“Quingenta. No less.”
“Come on. That’s a good deal.”
“If you don’t want quingenta then deciens is on the table.”
He had to go look that word up. Then he was a surprised and shook his head. I invited him in and he made a call. I sat in my bedroom, which I guess was also my living room, wondering if I should go ahead and go around the track on the racing game I had in my console. They guy got off the phone and addressed me.
“They moved asyalı porno the offer back down to 100. They told me to tell you to take it or leave it.”
“Then I’ll leave it. Bye.”
“Yeah. I have company coming over.”
“We’re going to sue you. You do know that.”
“I have it on good authority that it is illegal to ask someone to lie to a judge. You aren’t asking me to lie are you?”
“No. Of course not. That would be unethical.”
“Then you better just go before you prove to me just how unethical you really are.”
The white man left and I tried to relax with my game.
My sister came over to get my college textbooks. She was going to try to use as many of them as she could. As she was leaving I saw the white guy arguing with another white guy over on the corner. I walked over to them.
“Wo. Both of you shut up. You can not be arguing like that in this neighborhood. Somebody gon call the police.”
Even with me there they just kept going at it like two preachers arguing over which translation of the bible was the best one.
“He’s going to join with the families and do the right thing.” said one.
“Where’s is injury?” asked the other guy who had offered me money while following me home.
I ignored them. I walked to the drugstore on the corner. I needed to get something to help me sleep. I was not going to be able to make it through the entire work week unless I got something to calm me down. These damn lawyers bothering me was making me remember the fucking day and all that … blood … I really didn’t want to think about it. The woman screaming in my damn ear …
It’s so weird. You grow up in a tough neighborhood, or at least you think it’s kind of a tough neighborhood. You get to thinking that you’re hard, that you’re detached. You pretend to yourself that you can deal with anything without emotions. I was an idiot. That did not prepare me to see bodies torn … Sorry. I need to take a second …
I was shaking when I entered the drugstore. My eyes kept welling up. My nose was getting stuffy and there was pain in my head. I found the section with the sleep medication and I tried to get a hold of myself. What was wrong with me? I was not going to just start crying for no reason while standing here. I made it go away. I just took a moment and made it go away.
I was still standing there when a cop came in and started chatting with the check out lady. I grabbed what I wanted and tried to see if there was someone else who could check me out. But that lady was the only one there.
“Still can’t sleep?” she asked. I just nodded as I got my money out. I couldn’t help but feel like the damn cop was staring at me. From the corner of my eye I saw that his hand had gone to his gun. Was he going to rob me? Maybe just shoot me for sport? I watched the lady ring up the medicine. Couldn’t she go any faster?
Come on. Please, just hurry up!
As soon as she had the box in a bag and she handed me a receipt I started for the door. The lady called to me as I opened it.
“What about your change?”
“You keep it.” I said. From over my shoulder I could see the cop had turned to watch me leave.
I wasn’t able to feel safe until I had gotten home and my door was locked. Just as I was about to go back to my game and do some mindless laps around the virtual race course my phone rang. It was one of the lawyers. I didn’t want to take it. Why couldn’t those assholes just leave me alone? But who was I kidding. They weren’t going to leave me alone unless I made them leave me alone.
I answered the phone. I didn’t let them speak.
“One million. That’s the number. If you call me again and try to tell me anything other than that number the deal is off forever. You have ten minutes.”
I hung up.
Every artery in my body felt like they were tightening and getting pulled to the point at which they would pop.
I wasn’t actually counting the time. I figured they would refuse and then just leave me alone. But before I knew it there was a knock at my door. I looked through my peep hole. It was the lawyer guy. I opened the door.
“You had better not try to give me a different number. No more bullshit. I’m sick of you fucking people. I’m this far from going and getting a restraining order against your dumb ass. I can not be dealing with all this anxiety.”
“One million.” the lawyer said.
“Where is it?”
“We’ll get it to you. Can I come in?”
“Would you please sign …”
“I ain’t signing shit. I’m not reading a damn thing. You show me the money and then we can talk but until then all you’ve got are words with nothing to back them up.”
I shut the door in his face even as he was trying to say something.
I turned my phone completely off. I had work the next day and I needed to cycle down or I’d never be able to get any sleep.
I was still playing my game when I heard a key turn my lock. My sister had come back to see me.
“I wanted to bring this one back to you.” backroom casting porno she said. She was talking about one of my old college textbooks. She wasn’t going to use it and I had a lot of notes about things in there that she thought I might want to keep.
“You still having trouble sleeping?”
“How can anyone sleep with all these people constantly calling me?”
“What do they want?”
“They want me to lie to a judge and they saying shit like they’re going to sue me if I don’t do it.”
“Well, just relax.” she said as she stood behind me and started rubbing my shoulders. “You are so tense.”
“I’ll be alright.”
“You’re going to have a heart attack if you keep letting this get to you.”
“I’m not letting anything get to me.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“Maybe that’ll help. It might take some of the pressure off.”
That was the sort of thing people said. But talking about it meant I had to think about it. That woman’s scream … The car … The blood … my hands locked in place and the car on the tv coasted into the wall that went around the track and then came to a stop.
I came out of it and I tried to play it off like I had meant to stop playing. I turned the console off and went to sit on my bed.
“Have you tried exercise?” my sister said as she came to sit next to me.
“I’ve got my weights.”
“I mean like running or something. I heard that jogging can really relieve a lot of stress.”
“Where would I run?”
“You can still use the gym at school can’t you?”
“No, you have to pay for that.”
“Mom and dad would be proud of you, you know.”
She put her arm around me and put her head on my shoulder. “Ok, look, maybe I’ll just give you like a full body massage or something.”
“You don’t have to do that. I think the best thing is for me just to get some sleep.”
My sister laid down on my bed. “Do you have anything to eat?” she asked.
“Did you have dinner already?”
“No, I haven’t really been hungry lately.”
“Well, then I’ll cook for you.”
“I don’t have anything to cook.”
“Then let’s order a pizza.”
“They won’t deliver here.”
“What! That’s wrong.”
“That’s how it is. But I’m not really hungry anyway.”
“Come on. You have to eat something. I bet the Chinese place will deliver.”
“You can try it if you want.”
“Let me use your phone.” I had a smartphone but my sister was still just using a flip phone. “They’ll deliver out here. What do you want?”
“I don’t even know what they have.”
“It’s fine. I’ll just order for you.”
My sister ordered food and I paid with my bank card over the phone. I almost never kept any significant amount of cash here.
While we waited my sister started talking about her literature class. “It’s so funny how like politics gets everyone thinking about the same thing all at the same time and then you start seeing the same ideas going into almost every book from the period.”
“Hmm. I guess so.” I didn’t know what she was talking about.
“See like, in class we were reading about these books from the 1950’s. And most of the time the people in the stories would be honest with each other. One woman would be a lesbian and she’d think that another woman was attractive so she’d make a pass and if the other woman responded then they’d go off and have sex. The big thing in those books wasn’t getting to the sex part but how they would hide it from their boyfriends or husbands.”
“It was so refreshing to read some of that stuff. I loved how open and honest the two women would be with each other about their feelings. Then the 60’s happened and all the books just got raunchy. It started to be about how many different people you could have sex with. Then there was this trend that started in the 70’s where it was like they couldn’t just tell the truth about what they wanted. They weren’t allowed to just want to have sex. They needed to have a reason or something. By the 80’s every book had to have some lie as a shield. They had to put some veneer on top of what they wanted. Those are all so frustrating to read because the audience knows that both characters want to have sex but they dance around it. They act like they don’t really want to do it but somehow they’ve got no choice. I just hate that.”
“Like, one woman says she’s going to teach the other one how to have sex so she gets a strap on.”
“A dildo a woman can wear and pretend she’s a man. Really, they’re both lesbians but they have to pretend with this teaching about sex lie.”
“Are all these books about lesbians.”
“Yeah, that’s the theme the teacher chose for the class.”
“Are you …?”
“Me? No. I’m not a lesbian at all. Not even a little. Never crossed my mind.”
“But some of the stories are kind of interesting. I think what happened was that once lesbians didn’t have to hide anymore they needed some other conflict in the story. I guess if you don’t have to hide then two women having sex because they want to is just too easy of a story.”
“I think I’d complain if my teacher wanted me to read a bunch of books about guys fucking each other in the ass.”
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