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LOOK AT IT RIGHT IN THE FUCKING FACE YOU METH FUCK by Marston Hefner

He was just having a terrible anxiety attack on how this was all going to end. Berry was in the darkness of his room when he realized he was willing to go to any lengths in order to maintain his own personal property and respective riches that no one but himself had earned in his own lifetime with no trust fund or outside help but the sweat off his back and his best faculties put to use and the 20 mg tablets of Adderall he’d been prescribed ever since he burned out and thought everything was coming to an end for him; a pill that returned vigor to not only his career but sex life and had his wife remarking he was a “hyena” in bed. He would then laugh at her like a hyena and she would beam.

But the Adderall had its down sides towards the end. He could not go to sleep during reasonable hours and he was often found scratching at his desk.

So it was Berry’s not addiction but by the books Adderall intake that brought his marriage to the brink. His wife asked for a divorce and left Berry really worried, the Adderall didn’t help the worry, about what would happen to his own hard earned money? Because out of a romantic notion of forever and ever he never did make her sign a pre-nup. It was unromantic, they thought together, though now he thinks it was her idea and he agreed. And sometimes people want to come close to ruining their whole lives, they want to put it all on black, which is what the no pre-nup really was, Berry realized now.

So to counter his insane wife he had to get a specific team together. Lawyers who didn’t go by the books, didn’t even know what the books were. A team of lawyer brothers who symbolized in a peculiar way hunger and destruction.

He called them up.

“Deuce,” said someone coolly on the other side of the line.

Berry broke down and told the man how he just needed someone, something, who wouldn’t follow the rules. Please God.

“It takes this sort of desperation for us to take the case,” said Deuce. “They need to be as desperate as we are hungry and addicted. Our clients need to be so disoriented about the world, so close to breaking, that they don’t know what living means.”

Berry thanked “Deuce” endlessly and said you’re saving my life and the guy just hung up the phone but not before telling Berry to bring 100 thou to their office door tomorrow morning.

Berry did as they said and went to work where he felt he had a new lease on life. The Adderall was perking him up. The gym, in a section of his building, was warm and inviting. He spent an hour doing crunches, handstands, knee bars, and pushups. The smell of sweat meant progress. The attractive woman on the treadmill could be his next wife. The man who just walked in and started on the pull up bar could be his new best friend.

Berry went home half expecting the impossible, his wife’s ashes on the front step. That this was the kind of quick and efficient service people had come to expect but not take for granted from “Deuce”. But when Berry came home he found the dog on the couch barking at him—a small black Pomeranian. He heard a sizzling pan and the kitchen vents.

“Hello honey,” she said from the kitchen.

His steps faltered. The kitchen had been remodeled twice. The first time, you just would not believe the contractors, said the wife, oh they got what they wanted alright. The second time had been better. White walls and wood oak drawers. Nothing to distinguish it from any other upper-class kitchen. No parrot cooking gloves. No Swedish themed salt shakers.

He went around her waist and held her like that.

“Why do we fight?” she asked. “Why do we fight?”

“I don’t know.”

“If I could take back all I said. Would you forgive me?”

“It’s too late for forgiveness. We have lawyers involved now. I thought this is what you wanted?”

“What if I don’t know what I want?”

“You’re a big girl.”

“I suppose you’re right.”

“I don’t like the feeling that I’m making this choice for you. It was your idea.”

“I know.”

“And no pre-nup.”

“I told you I’m not talking about that with you.”

“Not really fair. I break my back.”

“Bear.”

“You just have it comin to you is all. A team of meth heads going right at you. Boom. A bee line for you. Throwing the whole book your way. No stone unturned. Half of the money going to the addiction. The addiction fueling, burning the midnight oil at both ends. 48 hour marathons of looking for ways to get me to keep my money. And let’s not even start on the trial.”

“What are you talking about Bear? Meth?”

“The trial will be the worst. These guys are going to be talking like 2000 wpm. No joke. They’ll be doing loops around your lawyer. Nothing will go without an objection. Your lawyer will get dizzy.”

“Berry. I’m worried about you.”

“What?”

“You don’t listen to me when I’m talking.”

“I was just talking. Just now.”

“But you weren’t talking to me.”

“Here we go.”

“You never work on yourself Bear. You’re always ranting to people. You’re not talking to people. It’s the Adderall. I don’t think it helps.”

“You know you’re right. What can I say? You’re right.”

“Oh Bear. I’m going to miss you. You’re a good man.”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t you want to know what we’re making tonight?”

“Looks like salmon and mashed?”

“That’s right.”

“Mother’s recipe for the mashed.”

“I know you love the mashed.”

“Sweet. It’s very sweet.”

She smiled. He hugged her back and said low in her ear: “I only wish the lawyers I hired would be so sweet. Because, hun, they’re not going to be sweet. Not at all. No mercy. Like machines.”

“Oh let’s not talk about lawyers or pre-nups or anything ugly like that. Let’s just talk about tonight.”

“Alright.”

“Let’s just act like everything is alright. That everything here is working properly.”

“Because it’s not. Not really.”

“No.”

“I find it strange we aren’t together. As if something irreversible has happened to us,” said Berry.

“I know.”

“Once you talk about divorce. No, once it happens. There is no going back.”

“OK. It’s ready.”

“Let’s eat together. Like we used to.”

“You’re so soft right now Bear.”

“I could consume you.”

“Oh not little ole me.”

“Come here.”

The lights were dim as Berry exhaled. The television was on but there was only static. They lay on the couch. A vanilla couch that was coarse and expensive. Berry went over and took a bite out of the salmon then scooped the mash in his mouth. He walked back over and lay with her. They didn’t have to do it. He could let go of that 100k he gave to “Deuce”. Let it go. He could fix their marriage. He could sleep in their bed. He could give up the Adderall.

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” she said.

“So you’re going through with it?”

“I told you I don’t want to talk about it.”

“…”

“Let’s just enjoy tonight for tonight,” she said.

“That’s not good enough,” said Berry.

“I can’t give you what you want.”

“I’m not giving you anything. Not a penny. You can keep that yoga studio I bought you. You can keep the studio, of course. A gift. You’re not keeping the house.”

“You always say something mean when I don’t give you what you want.”

“You’re very perceptive.”

“You’re a good man.”

“So you’ve said.”

“I’m going to miss you.”

“No mercy.”

“What was that?”

“What?”

“I heard glass breaking.”

“What?”

“Towards the living room.”

When he reached the living room he spotted a figure half inside and half outside his window. There was another figure behind the first. They were both dressed in black. The man in the window was cursing as he pulled himself into the room.

“What the hell are you doing?” asked Berry.

“We go to any lengths. Any lengths. You know that. Professionals,” said Deuce.

“Are you high?”

“Through the roof. There you go. Alright.” He brought his brother through.

“You two can go. Now is not a good time.”

“You hired us and now we’re going to do our job.”

“…”

“Excuse me.”

They walked into the kitchen. The wife screamed.

“Maam,” said Deuce.

“Who are you?”

“We represent Berry. Have a seat.”

She looked at Berry confused.

“Now if you don’t do what the plan is… You have a choice. You can do what we say, you can give this up, or you can go against us,” said Deuce.

“I’m going to call the police.”

“Now you can do what we say or you can go against us,” Deuce scratched at his arm. “There’s something in my veins! There’s spiders in my fucking veins.”

“Hold on just a second,” said the wife with the phone by her ear.

“You’re not listening to me lady,” Deuce said. He went to the phone and ripped it out of the wall.

The wife shrieked.

“OK. I understand. I understand,” she said.

“You see this?” Deuce licked the knife.

“I understand. I understand. It’s over.”

“By the fucking books,” Deuce stabbed the knife into the phone. “Have a good day maam.”

The brothers walked towards the living room from where they entered.

“Boys,” Berry said catching up to them. He gave a professional nod. “You did good.”

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