When Massey stopped his car in the parking lot in front of Jabbar’s convenience store and jumped out of his vehicle, he had only one thought racing madly in his head: I hope Joaquin hasn’t harmed anyone.
When he entered the store, however, the scene was entirely different from what he had pictured in his mind.
Joaquin sat on the floor, hands on the back of his head, with his legs prostrate, Jabbar Junior was holding the phone and hiding behind the counter, and Mr. Jabbar was holding a shotgun, pointed at Joaquin’s face. Massey’s eyes went from face to face, trying to determine who was the most pissed.
Clearly it was Joaquin who was screaming about his impervious skin and how Jabbar could shoot him ten times over, but he’d still be fine because he was a fucking superhero.
Jabbar, on the other hand, screamed, mixing English and Arabic about how Joaquin was nothing but a lousy thug and how come Frank had decided it would be a good idea to send a thief to work at his family store.
Frank stuck his pinky fingers in his mouth and whistled until his lungs hurt. The pair stopped bickering, and Jabbar Junior dropped down unconscious behind the counter.
“What the fuck is going on here?”
“He tried to rob me!” Mr. Jabbar yelled.
“Fuck you bitch, you denied me mah job, ’cause I look like a thug!” Joaquin retorted from the floor.
“I said you are a thug! A thug I am about to shoot if he doesn’t pay for the broken bottle!”
“Fuck you! You said I was a thug. And you broke that bottle yourself, you pay for it, you pussy!”
Jabbar shoved the shotgun closer to Joaquin’s face.
“I don’t like lying little shit thugs like you!”
“Fuck you more!”
Frank gestured for Jabbar to put away the shotgun. He pointed toward his badge and the storeowner complied.
“Get up Joaquin.”
The boy scrambled to his feet. His shirt was a mess; his suit jacket sleeve was torn and hanging loose.
“You control this kid Frank. I don’t want him near my store again, or I shoot him.”
Massey sighed. “Hussein, don’t be like that eh? How long have we known each other? Ten, twelve years?”