By Cindy and Walt
Mike awoke that Saturday with nothing on his plate. He couldn’t go into the office because of some stupid rule about over time. They could track his logging on and off the computer. The door lock also had a tracker on it. He could access the computer from home, but the requests from the others were all filled for the time being.
He wanted to work on the puzzle, but it wouldn’t be fair to force the others. So he went up to see if his mother’s companion had gone. He really didn’t want to see the man who forced his mother to moan, whine, and scream obscenities.
Mike: My God, didn’t she know mothers didn’t do that kind of thing. (mumbling to no one)
In the kitchen he found a note…. Gone out to breakfast.
Mike: Simple and to the point. Time for me to ride the bike.
He got on his boyhood bicycle and rode it to a diner in the closest shopping center. Every shopping center in the burbs had some kind of small restaurant. The one he chose was 70% take out, but they did have a few booths. Since he was on a bicycle he ate at the booth.
After his dry eggs and burned bacon, he sat at the booth using the restaurant’s WiFi. He checked out the sites he used most often. Most of them bored him almost to tears. That is until he got to his online bank account. He found that unbeknown to him someone had made a $1500 dollar deposit in his account. He assumed it was his pay for two weeks as a government contractor. Of course it could have been from his previous business. He occasionally got commission payments on the account. He had never before found one so large in the account. He decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth.
In the same plaza, where he ate breakfast, there was a moped store. Actually, it was a pawn shop which had branched out to selling a few scooters.
Salesman: That’s a real beauty. 50cc, 4stroke, top speed forty miles an hour. A really nice ride for the money. It’s the next logical move up from the bicycle.
Mike: The bike is more about exercise than transportation. I just came by to look since I was here having breakfast.
Salesman: I can make you a great deal. Gas it up and you can ride it home. I’ll even hold the bike for you till you come back for it.
Mike: What is the great deal?
Salesman: Normally this model is $999, but I’ll fill the gas tank and give it to you for $899. I might be able to get it financed for you, but then it will be $999.
Mike: Let me get the name and other specifications and I’ll research this model. If it is what you say it is, I’ll catch a ride over to pick up one.
Salesman: Right, is there anything I can do?
Mike: Not for the next four or five hours.
Wes woke up in Salina’s bed. Unfortunately Salina wasn’t in it. She was sitting in the kitchen at the table with a cup of coffee. Wes joined her with no shoes or socks and in his tee shirt.
Salina: You look comfortable.
Wes: I am comfortable. How are you this morning?
Salina: Making a list for the grocery store. It seems the Government made a deposit into my account last night.
Wes: I guess I should check my account when I get home.
Salina: Oh, you are going home?
Wes: Eventually yes, maybe not today though. Of course I need to go take a shower.
He needed to do it with the smell of death off his body, but he didn’t say that to Salina. She didn’t need to know what happened when he last had to run out for a bit.
Salina: So go take your shower and I’ll be back by noon I’m sure.
Wes: I need to check on some things around the house. How about we meet back here at three. Maybe we can go somewhere?
Salina: Not till you convince Lucille I can be trusted. She has control of the ankle thing. At least I think she does.
Wes: Okay, we will still do something, I just don’t know what.
When he got home Wes downloaded five movies. They were the newest ones on the premium service. He put them all on flash drives so that he could take his laptop to Salina’s house. His plan was to use his computer /TV connection gizmo. He carried that along as well. Of course he had to remove it from his own TV first.
He left his house planning to return to Salina’s all clean and sweet smelling. His plan also called for him to stop for a deli sandwich tray from the Jewish Deli on the same block as his slightly better than slum apartment. He always visited it when he needed fancy take out to impress a woman. He hadn’t done that in a very long time.
May: (Into the phone) Hello.
Lucille: It’s me. Are you busy this afternoon?
May: I was going to wash my hair and do my laundry, so no not at all.
Lucille: I am taking my kids to the Lincoln Park this afternoon. Could you meet me at the playground area? I can bring coffee and donuts and you can bring me a real update, since all I get is ‘nothing to report’ reports from Steady Eddie.
May: Sure, I take my coffee black. I like donut fillings and I don’t care much what they are filled with.
Lucille: Good shall we say 3 PM?
May: Sure, I’ll throw my laundry in the car and do it after we meet.
Lucille: Don’t you have a laundry room in your apartment?
May: No the apartment has one for everyone but it’s all closed off. It’s also pretty creepy. I always go to one of those suds and brew places. I have a drink while the clothes wash.
Lucille: I have never been to one of those. Maybe I’ll stop by and buy you a drink for my next update?
May: Sure, why not. But for today it’s Lincoln Park by the swings at 3 PM.
Lucille: That’s right. The kids have already been promised.
While May and Lucille were having their phone conversation Eddie was at the Outdoor Mart. He had found online that they had a two burner propane stove for less than a hundred bucks. That would give him his burners to complete his kitchen appliance set up.
Eddie: Hey there. How about some help over here?
Salesgirl: Just a minute.
The bottle redhead was talking into a cell phone. Eddie waited a couple of more minutes then he decided, fuck it. He walked to the next aisle over and asked a man at least seventy for some help.
Old Man: Sure, let me get someone in that department.
Eddie: If you are going to call the redhead, don’t bother. She is too busy on the phone with her boyfriend.
Old Man: How about I get the department manager?
Eddie: That would be fine.
Five minutes later a kid about fifteen showed up. Eddie explained what he needed and the kid found a complete table top cook setup. Burners line valves and all. Eddie went to the register to pay.
Redhead: Hey mister, why couldn’t you wait five minutes for me to finish that call.
Eddie: Because my time is probably just as important to me as yours is to you. The difference is you are being paid for your time, and I’m the one doing the paying. So technically I’m paying you to ignore me and I really don’t like that at all. Now get the fuck out of my way.
Eddie pushed past her. A black woman rang it up, he paid with his debit card, then went to his car.
White is driving home, he drove by a flea market, so he stopped to check out a couple of used furniture dealers.
Eddie: Hey there. I like this chest. Do you have a ruler? I need to measure it and I didn’t bring mine.
He took a scrap of paper from his wallet and compared it to the chest. He carefully measured it.
Eddie: Sorry it’s too short by five inches. It’s wide enough and deep enough, but it’s five inches too short.
Very old Gray haired lady: Too bad. People once used a can of veggies under the legs to raise them up.
Eddie: That’s an excellent idea. Not a can of veggies, but a couple of two by fours will lift it high enough. How much do you want for it?
Old Lady: Since you got to do all that, how about twenty dollars?
Eddie: Fifteen would be better. (haggling was expected)
Old Lady: Done.
Mike: So mom where is your married politician tonight?
Mom: Oh, he is home with his family. I guess I’ll see him next weekend. He might even call a few times during the week. That’s how this is most likely going to play out.
Mike: You have done this before?
Mom: Since your dad moved out there have been a few times. It’s always the same. They find a younger woman and they just move on. I’m usually their first affair. Of course I am a little older now, so I don’t have quite as many options.
Mike: Why do you do it?
Mom: I like sex, of course.
Mike: Hell, mom, everybody likes sex, but we don’t chose inappropriate lovers.
Mom: Have you finally found yourself a woman? Maybe you will move out of the basement now.
Mike: I found a woman, but I still can’t afford to live anywhere else. Also, she is about five hundred miles away.
Mom: I don’t believe that. The woman sure, but about you moving out it was never about money, it was always about being alone.
Mike: I guess you are right. I like living here with you. It’s comfortable and I can wash your car so it’s not all bad.
Mom: No it’s not all bad. When you were a teenage boy did you even fantasize about me? I mean it wouldn’t have been unusual, or even shameful, it’s just a fact most boys do. I’m not too bad looking and you have seen me at my best and worst.
Wes and Salina were only interrupted three times during their movie night. Two of the interruptions were patients and one was a cop canvassing the neighborhood.
Cop: Ma’am, we are going door to door asking, if anyone knows this man?
He showed her a mug shot picture.
Salina: Of course that is Raphael, he is some kind of representative for the owner, I think. At least when I see him he tells me he is taking care of the place. Has something happened to him?
Cop: Why do you ask that?
Salina: When cops ask about someone in this neighborhood, he is either dead or he killed someone.
Cop: We found his body this morning. We just got around to organizing the door to door.
Salina: I really don’t know anything about it. He was here last night asking me if I needed anything. That was about 9 PM.
Cop: How about you, sir.
Wes: I’m just visiting Salina here. We work together. I never met the man.
Cop: Call me, if you think of anything. (He gave Salina a card)
After the cop left Wes made a sandwich on a Hoagie roll. He opened a beer and looked up to see Salina staring down at him.
Salina: How dangerous are you?
Wes: Honey, I’m a pussy cat.
Salina: More like a Tiger.
Wes knew that a secret shared, is no longer a secret. It didn’t matter how much you trusted the person.
Eddie spent the afternoon trying to fit the dresser into the space beside the sink. He had decided that the space should be his cook area. The chest of drawers would make a fine replacement for a base cabinet. He was able to fit the two gas burners beside the microwave, but not the toaster oven. He changed his mind. Instead of the microwave he placed the toaster oven beside the cook top. He used those items less than the microwave so he planned to place the microwave and the Mr. Coffee clone on the other side of the sink when he found another dresser.
Voice on phone: What are you finding out?
Eddie: Well, today I found out that kids have no respect for anyone. I have no idea how this country is going to operate when they are the majority. The last generation fucked it up bad enough.
Voice: You know that’s not what I mean.
Eddie: To be honest we can’t get anyone to talk at all. Not even a casual interview. They just clam up and refuse to discuss anything.
Voice: So what are you going to do next?
Eddie: We are going to try to follow the evidence. Whatever we can pull out of the stew.
Voice: Stay at it Eddie. I know you are fighting the good fight.
Eddie: Did you have anything to do with selecting the team?
Voice: Do you want to change the members?
Eddie: No I just want to know if whoever chose them couldn’t have found competent people without all the baggage.
Voice: Eddie people in their right minds would never go near this investigation.
Eddie: Yeah, I guess you are right. There aren’t likely to be any winners.
Voice: Keep me informed.
May was on time for her meeting. She saw Lucille by the playground equipment. She allowed the children to play on the large climb and slide village. May expected to see Lucille in a different light. Instead, she was reminded even more that Lucille was a political animal and seemed to have no human emotions. She was almost robotic with a computer for a brain.
Lucille: Here is your coffee and donut as promised. So what does the team know now that it didn’t last time we talked?
May: They know maybe even less than before. We have some theories and leads, but none of it can be proved and shouldn’t be in the public domain. I would rather not be the source of conjecture, that we later have to clarify or take back.
Lucille: So this is all a waste of taxpayer money?
May: Surely you knew that was likely, since people all over capitol hill are looking into all this. There may just be nothing to find. If you think the things they have done need reigning in, you may have to find a way to do it which doesn’t require a smoking gun.
Lucille: Do you know anything at all which we don’t.
May: It’s pretty much accepted that one of their contractors was involved in some killings in the Caribbean, but they were ruled self defense. One of those contractors might have been involved in the murder of a Drug distributor in this country. We know she was working for a second contractor at the time of the Caribbean incident. There were sketch ties to Swamp Dog. She was imprisoned there. She was later released, but we haven’t pursued how that happened. Someone with Juice might have interceded for her. That might be a place we could look next. That person might be an opening to the congressional connection.
May had realized that as she spoke. She knew it was a lead they should follow. The boss might not know what the investigation was about, but May did. Which was why she was being asked to narc on the others.
Lucille: Keep me in the loop. (Louder and to her children) Come on kids time to go.
May went home to call Mike and arrange a meeting. She decided to make the meeting with Mike for the next day. She needed some release. So instead of Mike, she called a man from DOJ, one who had nothing to do with her career. He could neither help her, nor toss a monkey wrench into the works when she proved to be not as loving as she seemed on the surface.
Lucille went home. She, her husband and the kids had a cook out. They grilled hamburgers for the kids and steaks for themselves.
Lucille’s husband: We should have called some friends over.
Lucille: We don’t have those kinds of friends. Beside what would we talk about, who you were screwing these days?
Husband: I was thinking we could talk about how much more important your job is than mine.
Mike slept alone in his basement wondering why his mother seemed to be flirting with him all of a sudden. She was attractive, even at forty four. She kept her figure and dressed well. Since she worked in the clerical office of the FBI she had been instrumental in keeping him out of jail. The ankle monitor was a great improvement over gang rape in prison.
He just wondered why she was so flirty at the moment. He gave up on the idea and decided it was his imagination. Since the waitress in County Seat, he had begun to see everything in a sexual light.
He climbed the stairs to look at the scooter in his garage. It was bright orange and didn’t look quite so cutesy as his other choices.
Wes had spent the day with Salina so spending the night was expected so he did.
Eddie went to bed with his unfinished kitchen cabinet on his mind. He had the name of a handy man he could get to install the upper cabinets. Which left him only the conversion of the base units. It would be an eclectic mismatched mess of a kitchen, but it would suit him.
Wes woke up to find Salina in the bed beside him. He reached over to hug her, when he did she turned away, but press her backside against him. He wiggled into her even closer, then tried to go back to sleep.
Salina knew whose penis was pressing against her and she didn’t mind at all. She had felt him inside her only a few hours earlier. She was surprised how tentative he was with her. Almost as if she was the one with the power. She knew he was a very dangerous man, but he seemed almost childlike the night before.
Salina: You know I’m not going to break, if you want to do things to me.
Wes: What is it you are saying to me?
Salina: I guess I’m saying I want to please you no matter what it takes. I want you to let go and do whatever makes you happiest.
Wes: Just being here makes me happy. It also makes me happy to see you happy.
Salina: You know that is not what I mean. I hated what I did for Raphael, but I also got excited by it as well. Then I hated that I hated it. Do you understand?
Wes: Yes I do. Sex is like killing. You hate it the first few times, then one day you don’t hate it. You are good at it, and you are proud of that. Next, you are ashamed of it because you are supposed to be. Later you are ashamed, because you let someone outside the circle convince you that you are defective. Defective because you don’t feel remorse for doing a job that needs doing.
Salina: Yes, I understand that.
Salina turned toward him with tears in her eyes, then slithered down in the bed, pulled the sheet off of Wes. Without warning she took his soft penis in her mouth and began to nurse on it. She did it exactly as she had for Raphael and she enjoyed it just as she did with Raphael. She even enjoyed it when she had to suck the semen from him. He had not fully recovered from the late night they had shared.
From his basement bedroom Mike heard his mother moaning and grunting. The politician must be back, he thought.
He climbed the stairs that led to the kitchen. He continued to hear her moaning and grunting. He could see that the door to her room was open. He knew it was wrong and he also knew it would scar him for life to see her, but he couldn’t help it.
The congressman must have come after midnight since the two of them had shared take out pizza and a bottle of wine just before then. He was sure that she had flirted with him, and he probably flirted with her as well.
When he could see in the room, he saw that the man, who was choking his mother with his penis, wasn’t the congressman. She was sucking on the penis belonging to the Pizza delivery man. Actually, he was just a boy. He was possibly even younger than Mike.
May woke up alone and depressed about it. She had been alone in the mornings too often lately. She had trolled the bars the night before, but couldn’t find anyone who was the least bit interesting to her. She knew for a fact that the men and women were the same ones or at least the same types who frequented the bars. Those were the ones who stayed over, then took her to some trendy restaurant for breakfast. Kissed her on the cheek, then disappeared with an ‘I’ll call you’. Half the time they didn’t even have her number when they promised to call.
She was alone in her bed, which she hated, but she hated more that it bothered her to be alone in her bed. She wasn’t even sure why it bothered her. Sure, her body often screamed for release, but that was not the case that Sunday morning.
That Sunday morning she was pissed that she felt the need for someone else to make her complete. It was a realization she came to only because she was investigating two women who had not needed anyone else to make them complete. She envied them. They seemed to have lived in the world, but not been a part of it. Almost like they were some kind of new super humans.
Not a super human because they could fly, Rose seemed super human because she could live almost a year in Devil’s Island, as she began to think of it, come back and not be any different from the experience. They had obviously tortured her, but she didn’t come back a killer, she had been a killer when she went there. It didn’t change her. She had always been who she was after her return. May couldn’t wrap her head around it all. She wondered what she would do if she met Rose Seabold in a bar. Better still, what would Rose Seabold do?
May decided to walk to breakfast. It was only five blocks to the neighborhood Sandwich Shoppe. She got up, almost took a shower, then decided to wait till she returned. She wore three layers of clothes when she left her apartment for the five block walk. She began at a blistering double time pace. Instead of the walk she could have gone to the gym, where she had a membership, but the walk suddenly made more sense.
Along the way she passed real people doing real things. It was a kaleidoscope of sights. There were joggers in their matching running suits from her neighborhood, and immigrants standing in the doorways watching the people go by. The immigrants were dressed in colorful, if unfamiliar, clothes.
May: Why the fuck have I never noticed all this life before? Shit, life is all around me, I just never looked.
She felt like a small rowboat in the sea of humanity. She knew that it was silly to wax philosophical about a five block quick march to breakfast. It was simply a morning of discoveries.
She went into the Sandwich Shoppe. She sat at the counter for the very first time. She perched on a stool near an older man in a blue worker’s uniform.
Waitress: What can I get you?
May: I’ll have what he is having and the coffee black.
Waitress: You not having your coffee with all that latte stuff in it?
The waitress asked not because she knew May, but because she knew the type.
May: No, I want it truck driver style.
She couldn’t remember where she heard it, but she was sure that it was in County Seat, probably from the waitress there. The one Mike, the little shit, had fucked. She laughed at that thought. Someone was in possession of a shorted out brain that not only was she acting like a bimbo, but also thinking like one.
The food came and it was excellent. It sure as hell wasn’t healthy, but it was better tasting than her usual egg white omelet.
After breakfast she power walked back to her apartment and took a shower. After she dressed for the remainder of her Sunday she felt terrific.
Lucille woke up with her whole family in bed with her. The kids knowing it was Sunday had slipped into the bed. Her husband as usual came home in the middle of the night. He was still sleeping when she awoke.
As was her Sunday tradition, she slipped into the ratty old College Jersey. It was one she wore for her winter rowing matches. She rowed from the number one position in her four woman Scull. That jersey she wore over sloppy athletic sweat pants. It was probably her outfit of choice to remind her of her glory days, or some such nonsense.
It was also comfortable for her cooking chore. It really wasn’t much of a chore. She opened a packet of premix for pancakes and a pack of chocolate sprinkles. Her main work was to mix an egg and 3/4 cup of milk with the pancake batter, then pour it into the pan. When they were done on one side, she flipped them and added multi colored chocolate sprinkles.
All that was taking place while the coffee was cooking. She saved one cup of the coffee from the night before to drink while the new coffee brewed. Something she had started to do since working on the new project. The people in the office, who arrived before the new coffee was started by Salina, drank a cup of the reheated coffee straight from the microwave. After she tried it once she found it tasted strong and awful, but it was what she needed first thing in the morning.
After breakfast her two sons dressed for the day, then she took them back to their room and redressed them. That too was a Sunday tradition.
Eddie was awake and out of bed before any of the others. He had things to do, even if it was Sunday. His renovation of the tenant farm house had all kinds of problems. He had been determined to fix them all himself, until the job came along. Even so there were some jobs that he hadn’t deemed urgent, so he was planning to do them as he found the time. The rear deck was one of them.
The rear deck was not a repair job. It was a complete build from the ground up. He looked out the rear door and found the eight posts he had set the day before still standing tall. He had dug the holes for the treated six by six posts in the afternoon of the day before. He also poured the cement into the holes to secure them. The cement really hadn’t been necessary, but he did it anyway.
The posts were eight feet long with roughly three feet set into the holes. That left them five feet above the ground. They could be trimmed later with a few saw cuts. The deck was going to be eight by twelve feet, give or take a few inches.
His plan was to build the deck right on top of the existing concrete block steps. They were low enough to allow for it. After a bowl of dry cereal, Eddie began to work. He snapped his line to keep the deck level, then began to build. He knew that it would be dark at least before he finished. He might finish in the dark or do it later. It would depend on how far he got on it during the daylight hours.
Lucille: Breakfast is done so what are you going to do for the rest of the day.
Husband: I need to go to the office for a while today. There are some bank loan papers to review.
Lucille: Don’t lie to me. Just tell me you are going to go out and how long you plan to be. You have a cell phone, if I need you. So answer the damn thing.
After her shower Lucille was dressed for the day. She asked the boys what they wanted to do. Park was their first choice. Lucille had other ideas. She knew everything about her team. Well, maybe not everything but a lot.
Lucille: How about we go for a drive in the country instead.
Both kids were excited to get away from their usual routine. It seemed to Lucille to be a perfect chance to talk to Steady Eddie alone.
After Mike rode his bicycle and showered, he took the aspirin, then went back into the house. His mother was still in her room, but passed out on the bed naked. He looked at her several minutes, then closed the door.
In the garage he rolled the scooter into the drive and started it. He used his smart phone to access his hack. The one he had installed months before. It allowed him to send a fake signal to the monitoring service, and to shut down his ankle bracelets GPS. He could probably work out a way to remove it, but he chose not to. He was, after all, working with a couple of cops. Well, one retired cop and one DOJ attorney. They did have eyes and would have noticed the absence of the anklet.
It was only the second ride he had made on the scooter, so he was still getting used to it. He stayed away from the few heavily used areas on a Sunday morning. He found the out of the way restaurant before shutting down the scooter. Once inside, he saw a table with eleven males and females gathered around it. Some of the occupants had motorcycle helmets on the floor beside their chairs. As always, he was amazed by the shit you could find online.
Mike: Mind if I join you?
Bearded older man: Not at all brother, what you got?
Mike gave him the specifications. The bearded man gave the specs on his scooter followed by all the others. They almost all were riding some version of the same Chinese scooter he had. There were a couple of Tomas and Vespas but just one of each.
He would never have considered meeting strangers for coffee before he met Wes. It amazed even Mike that one man could make that much difference in his life.
After his hamburger roll with an egg and cheese stuffing, Mike went along with the group on a ride around town. He felt that it was a great way to spend a Sunday, out seeing new sights and new sites. He smiled a lot. He realized the men of the club tended to be older. The woman was as well, but not quite as old as the men. He supposed women in their sixties didn’t like the idea of a scooter. Mike decided he would look for a club with younger members.
May called a young woman she had spent a night with recently.
May: Helen how is it going?
Helen: I’m fine, who is calling?
Mel: It’s Melody, you know me from the Pines a couple of weeks ago.
Helen: Oh yeah the lawyer. How have you been?
Mel: Just over worked. How about you?
Helen: I’ve been working a lot as well. I moved into a new apartment and it’s hard to find time to do everything that needs doing.
Mel: Well, if you need some help I’m not too bad with a paint brush.
Helen: Well, that’s nice of you to volunteer, but I don’t think my partner would approve.
Mel: Oh, one of those. I get it.
Helen: I could ask. She might enjoy the company.
Mel: No Thanks, I’m not good as a third wheel.
Helen: Shame, I love tricycles. Hey, I got to go we have a call.
Mel: What do you do?
The line went dead leaving Mel to ponder that.
Lucille showed up at Eddie’s former tenant farmer house with the kids shortly after stopping at McDonald’s. The kids brought their own happy meals. The three of them walked around the house to the rear where the sound of an electric saw could be heard.
Lucille: I recruited some help for you. I also brought lunch, since I figured you would forget to eat.
Eddie had no idea what was going on, but he didn’t mind the two boys being in his yard. Eddie liked kids and usually they liked him.
Eddie: I was about to take a break for lunch anyway. While I eat lunch we can build a couple of cars for the boys. What do you think guys, you want to build your own cars?
Lucille: Really? What kid could refuse to build his own car?
Eddie: Of course I was thinking how cool it would be to build a car with nothing but scraps and our imagination.
He left Lucille and the boys to go into the house and find his hole saw. The one he had used to install doorknobs on the new security doors. He had installed them himself almost immediately after he first bought the mini farm.
The saws cut a two inch disk from the door. That Sunday he used them to cut four disks out of a piece of scrap 1×6. The disk had a hole in them dead center where the pilot hole had been drilled by the saw. Eddie found some deck scraps he used to make the body and roof of the car. Then he nailed the wheels on loosely. In the thirty minutes it took for the kids to eat their meals Eddie had made two wooden cars. They were pretty rough but the two boys loved them.
For the next two hours he worked on the deck while Lucille and the boys got in the way. He had to find jobs for them to keep them out of the way. He did it as many times as possible.
Lucille: (closing the rear door) They will sleep well tonight they are exhausted.
Eddie: Did you want anything, or just looking for a place to go outside of the DC madness.
Lucille: It can wait. I’ll try to get by the office one day. We can go sit on the dirty steps and you can tell me where we really are.
Eddie: I look forward to it. And bring the boys back anytime. After this assignment I will have goats they can play with.
Salina: Wes I need some time alone. What we have had this weekend is wonderful, but I need time to think.
Wes: Sure, I understand. Take all the time you need, but remember I will be here when you decide.
Because of that conversation each member of the team slept alone and frustrated that Sunday night.