upscale home

“Jake Evans, 17, wrote a chilling four-page confession describing in detail the night of the killing.
Said he watched Halloween movie three times that week and stole his grandpa’s gun.
He said his family were turning into ‘people he hates’ and his sister was racist
Father and two other sisters were out of town at time of shooting
Confessed: Jake Evans, 17, told a 911 dispatcher that he shot dead his mother and sister; he is charged with capital murder. A 17-year-old boy who shot his sister and mother said that watching horror movie Halloween gave him the idea because he was 'amazed at how at ease the boy was during the murders and how little remorse he had’.

Jake Evans’ disturbing four-page confession was released yesterday during his trial for the October 3 shooting deaths of his sister Mallory and mother Jami in their upscale home in a gated community of Aledo, Texas.

The chilling confession spells out in intricate, matter-of-fact detail the thoughts and actions of the 17-year-old in the hours leading up to and during the inexplicable slaying of his two family members.

Though Evans is not known to have been suffering from any mental illness at the time, he writes that after the shooting, 'in shock I ran into my room and screamed at the top of my lungs that I am really messed up and that I killed my mom and sister’.

He heard noises and realized his sister was still alive.

'As I emptied the shells on my bed, I heard noizes (sic) and realized that Mallory was still alive.

'While I loaded the gun back up, I was shouting that I was sorry and then ran as fast as I could to kill her. I made sure my mom was dead and shot her again in the head.’

Evans said he had watched the Rob Zombie remake of Halloween three times earlier that week and felt it would be 'the same for me when I kill someone’.

The 2007 film is about a ten-year-old boy who murders several people and kills a number of others 15 years later.

Evans said he also had planned to kill his grandparents at their home across the street and his oldest sister who was there, as well as another older sister who was home from college, according to the statement.

Evans, who was home schooled, said he argued with his 15-year-old sister, Mallory, that day after she made a racist comment, and he felt his family were becoming people he hated.

'The people who are racists, bullies, and who are full of themselves are the really evil ones. And it amazes me because those three qualities are extremely common today.

'I was very sad because I felt like my own family were becoming the people I hate’, he wrote.

After hitting golf balls, running errands with his grandmother and watching television at home, Evans put a knife in his pocket and thought about killing Mallory, according to the statement.

But he decided to kill his mother and younger sister with a gun stolen from his grandfather so they wouldn’t feel pain, he wrote.

'I then spent probably over an hour walking nervously around the house thinking how life will never be the same and how I would never see them again,’ he wrote.

'Thoughts of causing her pain kept entering my mind and were really bothering me,’ he wrote. 'But then I’d think about the times she hurt my feelings or really pissed me off.’

Evans then reveals he went to his sister’s bedroom door and asked her to watch The Waterboy with him. But he later excused himself and went into the art room. There, he imagined killing Mallory again, he told investigators.

After about 30 minutes he came back with the knife in his pocket and thought about killing her.

'I sat for about 5 minutes and then playfully threw a pillow at Mallory,’ he wrote. 'We started having a pillow fight in the room.

'After a while I thought to myself that if I were going to kill my mom and Mallory, I wouldn’t want them to feel anything.

So I decided to kill them both with the .22 revolver I stole from my Grandpa.’

Evans shot Mallory and then his mother, Jami, with the .22calibre but went back and shot his sister again after realizing she was alive, according to the statement.

He also shot his mother again to make sure she was dead, he wrote.

But he said after shooting his mother and sister: 'I know now though that I’m done with killing. It’s the most dreadful and terrifying thing I will ever experience. And what happened last night will haunt me forever.’

At the time of the slayings, the 911 call was released in which Evans can be heard calmly explaining to the dispatcher what he did and why he did it.

He told her: ‘This is going to mess me up in the future…I told my sister that my mom needed her. She was in her room, and she came out of her room, and I shot her. And she rolled down the stairs and I shot her again.

'And then I went down(stairs) and I shot my mom maybe three or four times.’

In his confession, he describes the thoughts that went through his head as he realized what he had just done.

flickr

Binghamton Ny ~ Historical House ~ Italianate House Style by Onasill ~ Bill Badzo
Via Flickr:
Italianate architecture knew no class boundaries. The high square towers made the style a natural choice for upscale homes of the newly rich. However the brackets and other architecture details, made affordable by new methods for machine production, were easily applied to simple cottages.

Chapter 9 - What Happens in Vegas?

A Richonne FanFic Series


Previously: Read Chapter 8 (Here).

Chapter 9

Butter is an elegant posh restaurant in the heart of downtown Atlanta with an upscale southern home-style cuisine. The restaurant décor is simple but high-class with neutral hues and a modern minimalist style; soft lighting bathes the room in a warm ambiance and the live jazz music wafting around the room adds to the serene atmosphere.

Michonne remembers the first time she came to the restaurant. It was junior prom and the night turned out to be awful. The only thing pleasant about the night was Butter; she thought the place magical then and only became more enchanted with the restaurant as the years passed.

Now, Michonne curses the place for being so popular as well as herself for having similar taste as her mother.

Her eyes go to Rick, she notices the tick drumming against his jaw; it’s been present ever since the introduction of him as her friend.

Friend, Michonne? You could have done better. Michonne scolds herself.

It’s true but as her father said, her tongue was buried down his throat and being caught by her father; she lost her sense and said the first thing that came to mind. It also didn’t help that Rick was going to introduce himself as her husband. Even if that is true, she would rather ease into that conversation with her parents then dive in head first.

She chances a glance at him as she sits down, his normal cerulean eyes a shade of gunmetal blue as they bore into her. Michonne tries to smile as she pats his hand; his eyes narrow on her as the tick works overtime.

Judge doesn’t sit right away, he notices some men at a nearby table and starts in their direction to greet them.

Before he departs he gives another order, “Order wine, you know what your mom and I like.”

“Rick…” Michonne starts.

“Let’s just get through dinner.”

“Maybe it will not be that bad,” Glenn says hopefully. Michonne and Rick both shoot him a doubtful look, “I said maybe.”

Michonne turns back to Rick and reaches for his hand again, “Rick, I’m sor-”

“You said you wanted to talk about this later. Or do you really want to have this conversation now? In front of your father?” Rick asks cutting her off.

She nods and swallows the lump in her throat as an older server arrives at their table. The server takes their drink order, Michonne orders several chilled bottles of wine as Judge returns. He nods at Michonne’s choices before dismissing the server.

“So Richard…” her father starts.

“It’s actually Rick.”

“Rick is derived from Richard, correct?”

“Yes, but everyone calls me Rick.”

“Richard.”

Anger flames his eyes, she discreetly reaches over to him and squeezes his thigh. Rick’s eyes drop to her hand before he looks up at Judge again.

Judge smirks in triumph, “Richard, tell me about yourself.”

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Rick barely says two words before Judge’s attention is snatched away. He allows the reprieve to collect his anger.

“Vivian!” Judge stands and greets a sophisticated petite chocolate skin woman with straight gray and black hair. Similar to Judge, the woman is shrouded by an aura of majestic power radiating of high status and wealth. Judge kisses her cheek; she returns a smile as her eyes sweep across the table. Her eyes brightens at the sight of Michonne before dimming at the sight of him.

Rick sees the resemblance between the older woman and Michonne, especially in the dark brown eyes. The older woman is elegantly beautiful, effortless, the same beauty Michonne has. His mind can’t help but wonder if this is a glimpse of how Michonne will look when she’s older. Even in his anger, Rick warms at the thought of growing old with Michonne.

“Michonne,” the woman coolly says. Michonne rises to her feet and gives her mother a quick embrace.

“Mother.”

“Who do we have here?”

“Mother, this is my friend, Rick Grimes. Rick this is my mother, Vivian Rhee.”

Bile rises in the back of his throat as the anger churns in the pit of his stomach causing his heart to beat violently, that word again: friend.

“Ma'am, Rick Grimes.” Rick forces a smile standing to his feet and extending his hand. She looks at the hand for several long seconds before she takes it begrudgingly.

“Vivian Rhee,” She says her name as if the two words can bring mountains to their knees, as Rick looks into her eyes he has no doubt of the possibility.

“Pleased to meet you.”

“Mr. Grimes.”

“Please call me Rick.”

“Rick,” eyes so similar to Michonne’s coldly regard him. Rick quickly places the look, it is not contempt, more distrust and disinterest.

“Rick?”

All eyes go to the new arrival at the table. Rick immediately recognizes her as one of the women from Las Vegas, the stoic brunette and Michonne’s sister-in-law, Maggie.

“You know him?” Judge asks.

“Uhh… yes we met once before,” Maggie replies glancing around the table. She locks eyes with Michonne for several beats before returning to her father-in-law. “Briefly, we meet briefly but Michonne has spoken about him before, so I feel like I kind of know him.”

“Hmmph,” Vivian murmurs pursing her lips together, “Too bad the same can’t be said by the rest of us.”

“Rick you remember Maggie Rhee, my sister-in-law?”

“A pleasure to see you again,” Rick replies kindly.

Maggie gives him a tight smile, “Yes, nice to see you again.”

Judge pulls out Vivian chair as Glenn does the same for Maggie and everyone takes a seat at the round table. Vivian sits at Judge’s right side and Michonne takes a seat at his left with Rick taking the other side. Glenn sits between his mother and his wife, Maggie who in turns sits next to Rick. As they all take their seat, Rick notices he’s sitting immediately across from Vivian. Her dark eyes ripping into him.

The server returns with empty glasses and several bottles of wine. Rick watches with narrow eyes as Vivian and Judge are both polite and respectful to the server who pours their wine. Vivian asks for several minutes to look over the menu, the server nods before leaving their table. They all are silent as they look over the menu.

“Judge, my love, has Michonne said anything to you about… this…” Vivian trails off looking Rick over before returning her eyes to her husband, “Rick?”

“No my love. This is the first time I’m hearing or seeing him.”

“Hmmph,” she murmurs again. Rick can hear the disapproval in the sound. “Grimes you say?”

“Yes, ma'am.”

“From?”

“By the way of King’s County, Georgia.”

“Never heard of it,” She says before sliding her eyes to Michonne who tenses once her mother’s eyes latch onto hers, “Michonne… you look… well.”

A tight smile fits across her face, “You as well, mother.”

“We don’t see you often.”

“We see each other at least once a week.”

“You weren’t at Sunday family dinner.”

“I was busy,” Michonne calmly replies. Sunday evening, Michonne and Rick spent together on her couch eating soup and talking after their botched date the day before when Michonne got sick.

“We use to see you almost every day,” Judge says putting his menu down.

“If you’re so busy, what brings you here tonight?” Vivian asks.

“Rick and I were on our way to grab dinner.”

“My love, Michonne is being modest,” Judge starts, taking a sip of his wine before he continues, “She was tongue wrestling Richard while he groped her in front of the restaurant.”

Vivian gasps. Glenn and Maggie visibly cringe. Michonne tenses but sits straight in her chair with her head high.

“I’m a grown woman, I-”

“Yes, but are you a whore as well?” Vivian fires back causing Michonne to slump slightly and bow her head.

His anger snaps at his resolve, he refuses to allow anyone including her parents to speak to her with such disrespect. Rick leans forward, he opens his mouth to speak but feels Michonne’s hand on his thigh. He glances at her and she shakes her head slightly. Clenching his teeth and balling his fist, he remains quiet.

“We were only kissing.”

“He looked like he was trying to impregnate your mouth,” Judge comments.

“Judge!”

“You should know better than to present yourself lesser than a lady. You know better than to behave in such a manner, especially now with all of Georgia watching us,” Vivian says.

“I know… I’m sorry, I wasn-”

“I know I didn’t raise my daughter to behave so…” Judge trails off before he finishes, “loose.”

“Do you do this with all of your friends?” Her mother asks taking a sip of her wine.

That word again: friend.

“Actually, Michonne and I are not only friends we are m-”

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“Dating!” Michonne cuts him off again. She can feel his eyes cut into the side of her face as his anger rises. She’s going to have to make it up to him big time. She will deal with Rick’s anger later but at the moment her more pressing concern is getting through the impromptu dinner with her parents. “Rick and I are dating.”

“Dating?” Vivian asks.

“You have a boyfriend!” Judge states.

“Boyfriend?” Rick asks his head snapping at her.

Shit. Michonne thinks. His anger boils into rage, she can feel him vibrating because of it. Maggie’s eyes dart between the two and Glenn looks as if he’s trying to decide whether to throw up or run.

“Yes. A boyfriend! Ezekiel,” Judge answers.

“Ezekiel?”

“Dr. Ezekiel King,” Vivian corrects.

“Dr. Ezekiel King?” Rick asks. Michonne feels his cool blue eyes burn into the side of her face.

“Richard, stop repeating everything, you’re starting to sound like a damn parrot.”

“Ezekiel was never my boyfriend!” Michonne says to her parents before turning to face Rick, she puts her hand on his balled fist and looks into his eyes. She almost flinches at his cold glare. The nerve on his jawline ticking furiously. “I do not have a boyfriend.”

“Nonsense! You and the good doctor are seeing each other!”

“We dated for a couple of months but we haven’t spoken in several weeks,” Michonne says with eyes locked onto his. He calms a fraction but the tick still remains, his normally blue eyes look almost gray with rage.

“Are we ready to order?” the server asks slipping up to the table.

Judge orders appetizers for the entire table, not bothering to ask anyone what they may want. He then orders for himself and Vivian. Glenn and Maggie who have been quiet finally speak up and order their dinner. Rick glances down at the menu and orders the first thing his eyes land on while Michonne orders a small salad having lost her appetite.

“I’m glad to see you’re at least watching what you eat. The older you get the harder it is to lose weight,” Vivian starts.

“Mother please,” Michonne begs.

“You’re no spring chicken, so it is best that you watch what you eat. You do not want to be some fat mid-thirty year old black woman who can’t find a husband, now do you?” She finishes.

From the corner of her eyes she can see Rick’s mouth drop open before he can say anything Glenn intervenes.

“So… uhh… how long have you two been… uh… dating?”

Michonne is thankful for the change in conversation but she wishes it was any topic besides herself and Rick.

“A couple of weeks.”

“Hmmph,” Her mother grumps taking a sip of her wine.

“How did you two meet?” Judge asks.

“Work,” Michonne lies.

“You’re a lawyer too?” Her mother asks. Michonne can hear the hint of hope in her voice.

“No, I’m a Sheriff.”

“In King’s County?”

“Yes ma'am.”

“Hmmph.”

“And you two met at work?” Judge asks, eyes narrowing on the two.

“Rick escorted a guy up for court… that’s how we met.”

Michonne’s head aches from all the lies she’s telling. Her stomach churns with disgust at her cowardliness and guilt. The lies are a necessary evil, she knows there is no way she can tell her parents that Rick is her husband; that they met in Vegas, got married a day later and all of this took place two weeks ago. She can’t tell them, at least not yet.

“Hmmph…. From a renowned surgeon to a small town sheriff?”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a sheriff. A sheriff is a servant of the people, just like you Judge,” Glenn says defending Rick. Rick gives Glenn a nod in thanks at coming to his defense.

“Glenn, honey pie, don’t fantasize his job… he’s a glorified mall cop with a gun babysitting a Podunk town.”

“He’s more than that! Rick was elected Sheriff of King’s County and he didn’t even campaign for Sheriff. His name wasn’t even on the ballot, people love him so much they wrote in his name and he overwhelmingly won,” Michonne informs them also coming to his defense. She can feel his mood shift and lighten a fraction.

“You say all of that as if I am supposed to be impressed,” Vivian comments.

“Viv, my love, it is slightly impressive,” Judge observes. Vivian gives her husband an unimpressed look as she elegantly rolls her eyes. Michonne always marvels at how a woman can elegantly roll their eyes, yet her mother mastered the art with great ease.

She turns her unimpressed glare at Rick, “Well… Sheriff… I am not impressed.”

Rick locks eyes with her mother, the glare exchanged between the two seems like Titans gearing up for war.

He tilts his head and evenly replies, “I am proud of what I do and I am damn good at it. I enjoy my job. I enjoy helping people. I enjoy… no, I love protecting and serving the people of King’s County. You may not be impressed but the people of King’s County are. I may not be a lawyer, judge, or surgeon but I do damn good work. ”

Michonne beams with pride at Rick. She clutches his hand and gives him a supporting squeeze.

“Hmmph.”

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Rick’s annoyance at Vivian’s constant ‘hmmph’ murmurs eat at his resolve faster than her cool and quick jabs at him and Michonne. The condescending noise grates on his nerves; he wants to curse them then grab Michonne’s hand and storm out of the uppity restaurant. His southern manner will not allow him to disrespect Michonne or her parents as much as he may want to; therefore, he doubles his efforts to keep his boiling temper at bay.

The server returns with a bright smile. He refreshes everyone’s drink and tells them their appetizers will be ready soon. Vivian graciously thanks him before he leaves.

“God forbid if this goes further than dating,” Vivian starts saying the word as if it tastes foul upon her tongue. She washes the taste with another sip of wine.

God forbid? Rick bites the inside of his cheeks so hard his mouth starts to fill with blood. He clenches his fist as Vivian continues, “You’ll be the breadwinner.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being the breadwinner, mother.”

“Being a wife, possibly a mother, a career woman, running the house, and making sure all of the family’s finance needs are being met? It is a daunting and tiresome task.”

“This is not the 1950s, it is possible. All of it.”

“Before you and Judge met, you did it,” Glenn defends her.

“After you and Judge married, you did it,” Michonne adds.

“That was… is different.”

“A marriage is a partnership… my wife –”

“Wife?” Judge repeats narrowing his eyes on Rick.

Rick continues without pause, “My wife will not be alone in these daunting and tiresome tasks of providing, parenting, and taking care of our household. I will support her in every aspect of our marriage. If she wants to be the breadwinner than I will stay home with the kids. If she wants to be a housewife then I will make sure she wants for nothing.”

Rick feels Michonne eyes upon him, he wants to look at her but he defiantly stares into Vivian’s eyes. Those dark eyes so similar to Michonne’s almost cause him to back down, almost.

“She will want for nothing? On what? A thirty-five thousand a year salary? Maybe forty thousand and that’s me being generous. The shoes alone in Michonne’s closet cost three times what you make. Michonne is accustomed to a certain life-style. You wouldn’t be able to give her everything she needs, let alone everything she wants.”

“Mother!” Michonne hisses.

“Do not mother me, you-”

“This dinne-”

“Glenn won the bid for the Z Project,” Maggie speaks up cutting off Vivian and Rick. Rick freezes at the name, turning to the stoic brunette.

“Congratulations, Glenn.” Michonne says, a genuine smile crossing her lips at her brother’s success, even though the tightness remains around the edge of her smile.

“Oh honey pie, that’s wonderful news!” Vivian coos softening as she leans over and gives Glenn a kiss on the cheek before wiping at the area with the pad of her thumb.

Rick is taken aback at how quickly Vivian’s demeanor change but more so he’s surprised at hearing about the project Glenn is working on. “Z Project?” Rick asks.

“Z Project is the nickname given to the Zero Project being led by a fast growing company out of Macon. What’s the name of the company, Glenn?” Maggie asks smiling wide as the argument from the previous moment fades away into something lighter.

“G. and Cunningham, it is a company that said to be revolutionizing safety and security. They’ve been around for years but it wasn’t until a few years ago when they brought on a technological scientist Eugene Porter that the company exploded.”

Rick stills and holds his breathe at the mention of the company.

“I’ve heard of G. and Cunningham, they’re the company that won one of the national defense contracts with Homeland Security,” Judge states.

“G. and Cunningham, it sounds familiar, isn’t that the company you were brokering a deal with two years ago?” Michonne asks her mother.

“Actually, it’s been over three years ago but yes. Ultimately my firm lost to another one; the company was purchased by the same security company that brought Vivint for 1.4 billion dollars.”

“The company sold but the company is still doing National security contracts?” Maggie asks.

“If I remember correctly, the company only sold about forty-five percent of its equity, allowing the CEO and board members to maintain controlling power of the company,” Vivian explains.

“Is the Z Project part of the defense contract bid, Glenn?” Michonne asks, Rick can hear the relief in her voice from the change of subject. He tenses at the subject wanting it to desperately change.

“No, the Z Project is something totally different, but part of the project is to build a high tech self-sufficient community along with a state of the art command center. Think of an underground bunker but not underground.”

“Interesting,” Rick murmurs.

“It is more than interesting, it is exciting. I am so proud of you honey pie.”

Glenn shrugs his shoulders and shakes his head before moving to rub the back of his neck as he speaks, “My meeting today with the CFO, Morgan Jones, went very well; he loves the plans for the building and community. The other chief officers weren’t available for the meeting today but Jesus will give another presentation tomorrow for Mr. Jones, Mr. Ford the COO and Mrs. Cunningham the President. We should know by Monday, Jones wants the project to start as soon as possible.”

“Why aren’t you presenting tomorrow?” Judge asks.

Glenn steals a quick glance at Maggie before he looks at Judge and then at his glass of wine, “I have another presentation.”

Judge eyes narrows onto Glenn as he fidgets in his seat, “I thought the Z Project was the focus of the entire firm.”

“My love,” Vivian gently reprimands Judge before she smiles and rubs Glenn’s arm “That sounds wonderful honey pie.”

“There’s still another bid on the project but the way Mr. Jones was talking, it sounds like we’re a shoe in.”

“Don’t celebrate too prematurely,” Judge comments.

“Yes, sir. I know.”

“But congratulations, you earned this. I’m proud of you.”

“Thank you, father!” Glenn beams with pride.

Rick takes in the family moment. He releases a slow breathe as he locks eyes with Glenn. “Congratulations, so you’re an architect?”

“Yes, I’m a senior architect at Hilltop United.”

“Stop being modest, honey pie. You’re the top senior architect and the youngest at Hilltop United. If it wasn’t for you and that brilliant mind of yours that old fart Gregory would have lost his business,” Vivian states.

“Gregory is not that bad once you know how to deal with him.”

“If I were to call him a jackass, it would be offensive to donkeys,” Vivian says. Glenn only chuckles at his mom.

Judge nods in agreement with his wife before he adds, “Gregory is a well-connected man. It is better to have him with you than against you.”

Rick relaxes as the conversation moves away from G. and Cunningham; he immediately recognizes the name of the prominent architect firm, Hilltop United and its connection to the Z Project. He doesn’t comment not wanting any more attention on himself or G. and Cunningham; he only makes a mental note of Hilltop United, Glenn Rhee, and their connection to G. and Cunningham, planning on doing research about the company later.

“Jesus presenting tomorrow? Is he off of probation?” Michonne asks.

“Stop calling that boy, Jesus. His mother named him Paul not Jesus,” Vivian huffs giving an elegant roll of her eyes before taking a sip of her wine. Rick marvels at the elegant eye roll that’s so similar to Michonne’s that he almost smirks.

Glenn, Michonne, and Maggie all give a light chuckle.

“Yes he is, he’s doing well after the incident,” Glenn says with another chortle. Whatever the incident is, he knows it is nothing too serious, “Gregory is still watching his every move but he’s mostly off of probation. You know, he asks about you all the time. He tells the same stories about you two that I’ve heard a thousand time.”

Michonne shakes her head and chuckles. A burn of jealousy turns in his stomach as he looks at the side of Michonne’s face; he makes another mental note to ask Michonne who this Jesus man is along with her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Ezekiel King.

As if on cue the Server returns with their appetizers placing small plates in front of each patron and the collection of food in the middle. Judge surprises Rick when he blesses the food once the Server leaves. He stares blankly at the man as he helps serve his wife, smiling lovingly at her as he does so. Michonne places a small helping of fried pickles and dip on her plate before she passes the serving plate to Rick. He follows her lead and adds items from the collection of appetizers to his plate.

“Michonne, don’t you think that’s enough bread dear?” Her mother asks as Michonne starts to place a small butter biscuit on her sparse plate. Michonne leaves the biscuit untouched and passes the serving plate to Rick.

“What do you do Maggie?” Rick asks placing a biscuit on his plate and one on Michonne’s plate. The passive aggressive move is noticed by all but no one comments about it. He feels the dark burn of Vivian upon his flesh; he’s not doing well to win her over.

“I’m the director of Alexandria Safe Zone Charity.”

“ASZ? That charity does great work and not only for Atlanta but all the surrounding areas. I believe there’s a charter in King’s County.”

“There is a charter in King’s County, it is the newest one. ASZ is a great place.”

“One of the largest non-profit woman and children’s charity in the south,” Vivian beams with pride.

“Maggie is an angel sent from heaven the way she loves on those hurt people, women and kids. She does excellent work!” Judge agrees.

Glenn leans over and gives his wife a kiss on the cheek. The woman blushes, she looks up at Michonne who smiles happily at her.

“What about you Michonne? How’s work?” Maggie asks shifting the attention from herself to Michonne. Almost automatically the light mood of the table shifts at the mention of Michonne’s job. Rick watches as Michonne shifts in her seat.

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Michonne stifles a groan, instead she sips some wine before putting down her glass.

“Work is going well. I’m working a high profile case with Laster an-”

“Is Laster the lead prosecutor?” Her father asks.

“Yes, he-”

“I am still baffled at how you were passed on being a partner.”

Michonne feels Rick’s eyes fall on her. She licks her lips and shrugs.

“Michonne is a partner,” Rick declares. Vivian cuts her eyes at him before shifting them back to Michonne.

“Junior partner,” Judge clarifies.

“Barely a step up from being an intern.”

“Mother stop being dramatic, there is nothing wrong with being a junior partner.”

“I do not understand how Andrea… became a senior partner and not you. Is she sleeping with one of the executive partners? That can be the only explanation.”

“Andrea is not sleeping with any of the executives, she’s not like that!” Michonne defends her friend.

“Really? Need I remind you about her and Dale Horvath?”

“Mother!” Michonne says angrily, “She loved Dale and they we-”

Vivian waves Michonne to silence with a graceful flick of her wrist and a roll of her eyes as she finishes Michonne’s sentence, “Were married for eleven years. I know the tragic story.”

“Mama Viv,” Maggie pleads, “Andrea is smart.”

“I’m not saying she’s not, she’s very smart using her vagi-”“

"Mom!” Glenn pleas.

She softens at Glenn and pacifies him with a pat on his hand as she continues, “All I am saying is that Michonne is smarter and better than her.”

“Mother please!”

“You are a force to be dealt with in court! You have the highest successful case wins at that damn firm!” Judge adds his voice rising slightly in disbelief.

Vivian moves to comfort her husband, “You are not known as Michonne 'the Shark’ Carter without reason. What is Andrea’s nickname the wh-”

“Mother!” Michonne snaps.

“Was it the buy in? I heard Deanna increased the price of the buy in to eighty thousand dollars,” Judge says.

“Eighty thousand? That’s a hell of a buy-in,” Glenn quips.

“If you’re not paying attention Sheriff that’s at least two years of your salary.”

“Mother!”

She ignores Michonne and states, “If you need the money, we will lend it to you.”

“Nonsense, we will give you the money as a gift for making partner!” Judge commands.

“It is not the buy-in. I do not need the money.”

Vivian shoots Rick a cool pointed stare before asking, “Votes?”

“Everyone loves you at the firm. I doubt you didn’t have the votes.”

“Please Papa.”

“I should talk to Deanna and see if I can sway her to call another vote.”

“That’s not necessary, they’ll do another vote in five months and I’m sure I’ll make senior partner then.”

“Five months?” Vivian questions with wide eyes a fork dangle in the air halfway to her mouth.

“That will ruin the plan!” Judge barks.

“You do not need me to make the plan work,” Michonne says.

Her mother tsks, “We agreed upon this as a family!”

“You and Judge agreed upon this and dragged the rest of us along!”

“Speaking of the plan how is the camp-”

Judge cuts Glenn off with a hard look, he brings his stare to Rick before returning it to him. Glenn sighs and drops his head and focuses on his plate.

XxXx00000xXxX

No one speaks when the server returns with their meal. Rick can barely stomach the aroma of the food. He itches to snatch Michonne’s hand and storm off away from the table and Michonne’s parents. The way they talk to Michonne is appalling; especially her mother as if everything Michonne does is not good enough for the woman.

He knows the true reason she didn’t make senior partner, it is simply because she didn’t want to. She withdrew her name from the candidacy hours before the vote took place. He wonders why she just doesn’t tell her parents her reason.

During the course of the conversation Rick leans in, wanting to tell the reason but Michonne squeezes his thigh again. He knows he is going to have a bruise where her hand pressed against him the entire night.

For several moments no one talks and Rick is thankful for the reprieve but the silence only adds to the tension that sits at the table. Their meals are placed in front of them as the small appetizer dishes are removed; Rick notices his and Michonne’s plate have barely been touched. Once the table is settled with steaming hot plates of food and drinks refilled, the server silently leaves.

Judge is the first to start eating and the others follow his lead. Glenn starts the conversation again when he asks his mom about her financial firm. She cheerfully answers him; Rick happily ignores her as he watches Michonne from the corner of his eye. He chews his food slowly, while Michonne pushes hers around her plate. She hasn’t taken a single bite.

He leans into her and catches her eyes, the sadness in her brown eyes cause his heart to ache in pain. He fights the urge to pull her into his arms to comfort her. He reaches over and touches her right wrist. She looks down at his hand before glancing back to his eyes.

He leans in closer and whispers: “We can leave, Michonne. Say the words and I’ll take you away from here.”

He can see the indecision dancing within those brown eyes. After a long pause she discreetly shakes her head no. Rick nods and looks up to find both Judge and Vivian staring at them. Judge stares at him with distrust and peak interest while Vivian stares at him with distaste. Rick focuses his attention to Maggie who helms the conversation, Rick pieces the bits he hears together to figure out she’s talking about her family.

“Beth has an equestrian competition in London in a few weeks, Glenn and I are flying out there to support her.”

Vivian sighs and shakes her head slightly, “Noah also wants to go.”

“You should consider allowing him to go, Maggie and I will be there. We’ll watch over him,” Glenn offers.

“The boy has been begging us for the last two weeks,” Vivian confesses.

“If there’s a break in his schedule we may allow it,” Judge comments.

“How is Noah, I have not seen him in a while?” Michonne asks trying to join the conversation.

“Of course it’s been a while since you’ve seen your baby brother! You don’t come to family dinners!” Vivian replies coldly.

Immediately Michonne’s shoulders drop in defeat. She holds her chin up defiantly but the look of overwhelming sadness wrenches his stomach.

“He’s taking classes at Morehouse this summer, right?” Maggie asks trying to defuse the brewing tension.

“Composition and History 101.”

“He’s not pleased but the courses will aide his academics resume,” Vivian says.

“When is his next game? I want to come and see him play but he always answers my texts late,” Glenn states.

“I’ll look up his schedule and let you know honey pie.”

He nods before he glances at Michonne and tries to pull her into the conversation, “Yes, let us know. Michonne you should come too, we’ll make it a big family event. We could go get pizza afterwards like we use to.”

She smiles at his offer, “That sounds great. I love watching Noah play.”

“Really? Is that why you missed his last three games?” Vivian jabs at her, immediately Michonne’s smile falls.

“I missed a few of his games as well,” Glenn says coming to his sister’s defense.

“Perhaps but at least you make an effort. When was the last time Michonne even talked to Noah?”

“In fairness to Michonne, Noah is pretty busy. I barely see the boy myself and I live with him,” Judge defends Michonne. She smiles weakly at him.

“Hmmph.”

Silence returns for several minutes at the table. Rick’s temper sits at the back of his throat; he now along with Michonne, pushes their barely touched meal around their full plates.

“Beth tells me that Noah’s team has a good chance at winning national’s this year,” Maggie starts.

Judge and Vivian both brag on their youngest son for several minutes. Rick can see their love for their children especially Noah, who Rick surmises is both their biological son. He also notices Vivian heavily favors Glenn while Judge tends to favor Michonne but not quite to Rick’s liking. He doesn’t know the complete story between Michonne and her mother but he feels Judge shouldn’t allow his wife to cut down their daughter as she did during the course of dinner.

“Your son plays baseball?” Rick asks.

“No AAU basketball, he’s the star shooting guard for the Vikings; they are one of the top ten teams in the country,” Vivian brags.

“My son, an upcoming sophomore, plays AAU baseball for the War Hawks varsity, the top baseball team in the country. Rick retorts with a smirk.

"You have a son?” Vivian asks with wide eyes.

“Yes, I have a fifteen year old son, Carl, and a four year old daughter, Judith,” Rick says with pride.

“I assume you are divorced.”

“Yes, sir.”

Vivian inhales deeply before she exhales shaking her head in distaste. She lifts her head and rolls her shoulder back one at a time. Her brown eyes grow darker as she glares at Michonne.

“Mom… plea-”

Glenn is cut off with a flick of her manicured hand.

“Is this what this is about? You’re trying to replace –”

“Mother no!”

“Is this the reason you didn’t make partner? Is this the reason you’re ruining the family’s plan? Because you rather play mammy to his children because of An-”

“JUDGE!” Michonne snaps cutting off her father. His eyes grow large with shock at her tone.

“You go from a highly educated successful surgeon who’s one of Atlanta’s most eligible bachelors to this hick-town divorced sheriff with two children? And you’re telling me this has nothing to do with –”

“No. I doesn’t! I lov-” Michonne cuts off her sentence. His head snaps to the side of her face.

“You what Michonne? You love him? We’ve gone through this before,” Vivian huffs in a humorless laugh before she coolly continues, “I should have figured, we were due for another one of your breakdowns!”

“Mom…” Glenn whispers.

She ignores Glenn and focuses the entire weight and force of her dark brown eyes onto Michonne, “This…we… we are all in pain, whether you want to believe it or not we all feel the pain of his loss… we all feel it. We have all dealt with it but you still try to find an escape, I thought you were over this. I thought you were stronger than this but I fear I was wrong. I am disappointed in you. He would have been disappointed in you. Your behavior is appalling.”

Michonne’s crumbles, her eyes drop to her plate; her shoulders shake as she sobs silently, her tears pouring from her eyes. Seeing Michonne normally strong and proud helplessly falling apart from her mother’s attack causes his anger to erupt. He chides himself for not ending this horrendous dinner earlier, for allowing it to continue this long.

“You think just because you spread your legs for this man that –”

“ENOUGH!” Rick roars.

Several restaurant patrons’ eyes move to their table.

“Enough! You will not talk to Michonne like that. I refuse to idly sit and allow you to speak to my wi-”

“Please Rick!”

Her quiet pleas silence him. Her voice, the soft quiver stops him before he can truly rip Vivian apart. Clenching his jaw he turns to gaze at her, his heart aches at the sight of her tears.

“I know she’s your mother but I will not allow her continue to disrespect and speak down to you as if you’re not an amazing accomplished woman,” Rick says to his wife.

“And if you think I will sit idly by while you disrespect my wife and the mother of my children then you are sadly mistaken. Vivian may be hard with her approach but she is not wrong!” Judge speaks low through clench teeth.

“I was raised to mind my manners and respect my elders but you are a coward for allowing your wife to tear done your child with so much glee. She’s a malicious b-”

He feels the power of her wrist flicking up to cut off his words the same moment he feels Michonne’s hand on his. She squeezes his hand as hard daggers are thrown by her mother at him before she turns to Michonne.

“Michonne,” She calls out, “Michonne!”

She lifts her teary face and Rick’s heart clenches.

“Allow me to end… end this… whatever this may be,” Vivian says leaning in looking from Michonne to Rick then back at Michonne, “You claim you love him but have you told him? Have you told him about Andre? Have you told him what you did?”

Michonne inhales deeply, she pulls her hand away from his and pleas with her mother, “Please Mother… Please!”

“That’s what I thought,” Vivian turns a triumph smirk to Rick, “You may go now.”

“Michonne,” he calls out.

“I’m so sorry… Rick, I’m sorry.”

“Michonne whatever it is we can work it out,” He says as she avoids looking at him, he moves to touch her hand and she flinches away from his touch.

“Richard, you should leave,” Judge orders.

“Come with me,” He pleas his eyes only on weeping face. She pulls her watery eyes to him and his doubles in pace at the sight of pain that resides in her usually bright eyes. His only desire to hold her and take away the pain.

“Come with me,” He repeats.

As she reaches for his hand her mother speaks, “Tell him what you did and let’s see if the Sheriff will still look at you the same. Tell him.”

Her eyes grow wide as she takes in his face before they close against her mother’s words. Michonne pulls her hand away from his, the tears doubles their race down her face.

“I’m sorry,” She whispers. He nods fully understanding her even though she doesn’t see his action. Rick leans into her placing a soft kiss on her temple above her teary right eye before sweeping out of the restaurant.

XxXx00000xXxX

Michonne cries harder once Rick leaves. The comfort and peace of his presence goes along with him. Her cries garnish stares from the other tables.

“Enough of that Michonne,” Vivian chides.

“Enough Vivian, enough!” Judges states. He pulls Michonne into his arms and allows his daughter’s tears to soak his expensive suit.

2

There they were in the midst of what looked like a spooky old-growth forest (Princess Park, actually, mere blocks from upscale suburban homes here), surrounded by clumps of moss, overgrown ferns and gigantic Douglas firs, looking for clues of yet another allegedly paranormal crime, the kind they used to solve almost every week. They addressed each other, as they always had, by only their last names.

“Mulder,” said Gillian Anderson, reprising her role as the F.B.I. agent Dana Scully, the look on her face instantly recognizable; part reprimand, part in-spite-of-herself affection.

“Scully,” David Duchovny responded in character, somehow managing to mock her just by saying her name.

The New York Times, January 2016

Everything

The internet is just one big ad.
and here I am toying around with the idea
of selling myself to you
Yuck.

I’m told I need to make a list
and smile for the camera
and ironically say how much
I loathe irony

If I do all this correctly
I will collect small amounts of money
from many many different people
more people than I could possibly ever know

Can’t I just skim the fractions of pennies
from everyone like Richard Pryor in Superman III?
Can’t I just tap dance around upscale restaurants
and old folks home cafeteria’s, eating little bits
of it all? Sharing strange intimate moments

Yesterday, I spent 20 minutes laughing at the trees
I was laughing because I finally realized,
trees eat sunlight
and that made me want to become intimate with them
Perhaps then I would have something to say at parties

Sorry, I’m prattling on…
These are all the things I wanted to say to you
in the grocery store or the office
the things I wanted to confess in our strange church
of loneliness

I don’t need/want anything from you
maybe just someone to chuckle with in the darkness
about the terrible dumb stuff we do
how amazingly we fuck it all up
how love is just us forgiving ourselves
forgiving each other of forgetting
We are not alone

Unless you mean like alone
as in there is only this one infinite awareness
of which we all are
that’s cool too

Maybe it’s better to say
We’re not separate
You are giggling here with me
in this vast network of light and tubes
as the trees’ devour cosmic radiation
from a gigantic star 100 million miles away

Everything