Tyrone's Play Money

Contributor: John Laneri

- -
Tyrone Freeman walked into my office on a Friday afternoon just as I was ready to leave with my wife, Carrie, who by the way works my front desk.

Right off, the man pissed me off. He was mid-thirties, loaded with jewelry, and arrogant as hell. From his manner, I suspected that he was living on the edge, perhaps even dealing drugs. I disliked him immediately.

“Hey dude, that's a cute chick you got working out front.”

“That 'chick' is my wife,” I replied, as I pointed to a chair, noting that my relationship didn't seem to faze him in the least.

After five minutes of rambling on about nice looking women, he went on to say, “Some girl accused me of rape... said if I didn't pay her five thousand, she'll file charges. Claims she has a doctor's report.”

“That could be a serious charge.”

“But, I'm innocent. Well... innocent enough.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

He looked around the office. “Impressive place... probably cost some real scratch.” Turning back to me, he asked, “What kind of money you charge.”

In an effort to hear his story, I replied, “Whatever it takes to have a jury declare you innocent. That is – if I decide to take your case.”

“Money's not a problem. I have a big house and plenty of play money.”

“Then, tell me why you're... 'innocent enough'.”

From there, he went on to elaborate a typical account of boy meets girl in a bar, and then ultimately ends up being accused of rape – typical for meat heads like Tyrone.

Interrupting him, I asked, “Did you know the girl?”

Tyrone cleared his throat then said, “ I'd seen her around. But you have to believe me when I say, I'm innocent. She was all over me from the minute we met... couldn't wait. Personally, I like to go slow, build up the romance – know what I mean?”

“I don't care if you are innocent or guilty. My job, as an attorney, is to clear the matter before she changes her mind. Maybe, she's playing you for money, maybe not. Maybe she just wanted sex. Maybe you pissed her off. Maybe you really did rape her. But, you need to know that I run the show. And, if I decide to take your case, consider yourself a paying bystander that keeps his mouth shut.”

He pondered that point and said, “You're a heavy dude, but here's what I'll agree too.”

“Lay it out,” I replied, just as Carrie stuck her head in the door and asked if she could leave early. I indicated yes and turned back to Tyrone. “Now tell me, what you'll agree too.”

I noticed Tyrone glance over his shoulder and run Carrie's length before saying, “You can handle the show. But, I'll plan the strategy. I've got friends that'll vouch for my whereabouts on the night in question.”

“I don't work that way, but I'll give it some thought. What's the girl's name?”

“Shirleen Parker... she lives in the Longwood Apartments.”

He handed me a slip of paper with her details then stood to leave.

“Sit down,” I directed, pointing to the chair. “If I decide to take your case, you have papers to sign as well as put up a ten thousand dollar retainer for preliminary work.”

Tyrone exhaled a deep breath. “That's a steep number. I'll have to think it over before signing anything. Maybe, I need to talk to her, try convincing her it wasn't rape.”

“My professional advice is to stay away from her. If you're lucky, she'll still settle for five thousand. When done properly, consider it a bargain compared to the alternatives.”

The following morning, I asked an investigator to check out his story. After learning the facts, I decided not to get involved. The physician's report from a local ER indicated that the girl had displayed marked physical abuse including several superficial knife wounds as well as perineal trauma suggestive of a rape. It also stated that DNA samples were pending at a private laboratory.

In my opinion, Tyrone needed to be dealt with by a heavy handed prosecutor.

A few days later, Carrie mentioned that someone had rummaged through her desk during the night. I suggested that we keep closer tabs on security; however, that evening while I was working late, she frantically phoned and indicated that she had seen a prowler in our backyard.

“Lock the doors, and try to stay calm. I'll call the police then head your way. ”

Red lights were already parked in front of the house when I screeched to a stop against the curb.

When Carrie saw me she hurried my way, her blouse hanging in shreds. “It was that Tyrone person,” she said, tears filling her eyes. “He kicked in the door and threatened me with a knife. An officer killed him when he pulled a gun. They say he's a big-time drug dealer.”

I took her in my arms and held her for many minutes thankful that she had not been harmed.

Several days later, as my fury began to subside, I met with Shirleen Parker and suggested that she file a civil suit against Tyrone's remaining estate. With the doctor's report, and a potential DNA match, she might just have a case.

She agreed. We went to court, and she eventually received her five thousand with two additional zeros added to it for pain and suffering – less of course, my forty percent for the effort.

The best part of all, Carrie quickly put the incident behind her, and a few months later, we were cruising the Mediterranean and living it up – thanks to Tyrone's play money.

- - -
John is a native born Texan living near Houston. His writing focuses on short stories and flash. Publications to his credit have appeared in several scientific journals as well as a number of internet sites and short story periodicals.
Read more »
These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • Sphinn
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Mixx
  • Google
  • Furl
  • Reddit
  • Spurl
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati

Help keep Linguistic Erosion alive! Visit our sponsors! :)- - -