Author's Note: Tonight's the night! I really hope these writers don't break my heart and disappoint me like they have done so many times before. But then you know something I had a crazy thought what if the writers wanted "Samcedes" all along and then was like forced to push crap because of the director's and the sponsors – that would no longer make them bad writers; just sellouts. If it was the latter at least I can hope for better continuity when it comes to story-lines; eventually. This song in this chapter is called "Ain't no body's business if I do" also sung by Bessie Smith, (Yo she must have ruled the thirties) Please forgive any mistakes.
Disclaimer: I do not own Glee or any of its characters.
A year had passed and Sam had often spent time alone, during that year, he spent time on Grant Hill lying on the grass and looking up at the evening sky wondering about Mercedes. "Where was she? How was she?" He missed her something terrible he laughed at himself when he thought back to the day they had first met. If anyone had told him then that he would be missing her now – he never would have believed them.
As a matter of fact he was thinking about her everywhere he went even now, standing in the store in town, his mind drifted again to Mercedes. The magazines that she liked to read or the type of soda pop she liked to drink. He was pulled away from those thoughts when he heard the voice calling for help.
"I need a bottle of bourbon." the voice called out. Sam truly wanted to believe that he was a Christian but he asked God every night in his prayers to help remove the hatred that he had in his heart for Alfred Thompson. It was because of him Mercedes had felt fearful and had to leave town. So often he thought about what he would do to get back at him. "You still owe for the last bottle." the clerk said as he approached the man at the end of the counter. "You know I is good for it." Alfred replied slurring his words already; and it was only 10:00am.
Sam dragged his finger along the counter top where he was standing and touched the corner of a box of perfume that Mercedes had always loved. "Now, why you actin' like that Frank, just get me my bourbon now." Alfred leaned in on the clerk and faltered, he almost knocked over a small display case sitting on the counter itself when Sam leaned in a caught it. "Thanks Sam." The clerk said then he directed his conversation back to Alfred "Now you just wait right here and I get it for you from the back." Alfred started nodding his head in earnest with his eyes closed and then it seemed as if he must have played back that last conversation in his head because he then said out loud. "Sam?"
Once Sam heard his name called from the lips of the man he despised the most in the whole world, a feeling came over him that he had never felt before it was abhorrence; he had heard his old teacher speak of the word once or twice but now he really understood what it meant. "Sam?" he heard it again. Sam stood there taking in every ounce of strength to now turn around and face Alfred. Alfred squinted and looked at him as if pondering something. "It's been a long time since you been up to the house. I guess you can't chase no tail no more since Mildred's gone now, huh? And a fine piece of tail that was too; fine piece, I outta know." He snickered. Sam immediately felt his head begin to hurt as well as his stomach, his muscles tightened and he turned flush- a pink color filled his face and ears.
"She was my best friend." Sam whispered. Alfred leaned in and hit Sam on the shoulder with a heavy hand. "I suppose that's code for never gettin' any." He laughed. "Better men then you son have tried." Alfred continued but he still stumbled unable to keep his balance. The clerk came back and gave Alfred the bottle of bourbon. Sam then spoke up "How much does he owe you for this bottle and the last?" The clerk looked a Sam quite peculiarly and then said "$ 4.75" Sam reached into his pocket and paid off Alfred's debt. "Nice doin' business with you Sam; I don't think I want to do business with you no more Alfred." Alfred tore off the seal and took a swig of the bourbon. Alfred let the liquid substance warm his whole body and he shook slightly from enjoyment. "I don't wanna come here no more neither." He spoke adamantly as he continued to slur his words and took another swig from the bottle. "I am doin' some choppin'of wood on my land and then I am sellin' it all the farm; the whole kit and kaboodle. I'm too good for this dirt town. I'm leavin'." Then he looked at Sam and spoke again. "I think I'll go and find Mildred we got some unfinished bizniss to attend to." Then he winked at Sam turned around and started staggering toward the door.
Sam spoke "I am free today why don't you let me come help you with the choppin?" Alfred turned around and looked at Sam. "Nah, you just leave me 'lone, hear?" then Alfred left the store and walked off down the road. The clerk looked at Sam and Sam just hunched his shoulders and said "I was only trying to help." Then the clerk responded "You've grown into a right good man Sam, a good man." The clerk nodded his head and then turned around and began putting away merchandise from one of the other counters and Sam just left the store.
Sam hid himself just behind the tree line on the edge of Passing Rd. He waited almost 45 minutes and then he heard the noise of an ax hitting lumber. Sam looked around his surroundings and then proceeded to walk along the path that took him behind Mercedes old home. There he was, Sam saw Alfred had taken another swig from his now almost empty bottle of bourbon and he could barely stand up. This did not stop him from attempting to swing the ax one more time although he could not lift up his hand any further than his own shoulder length in height.
Sam looked around again and there was no one around as far as the eye could see. Sam walked over to Alfred and spoke to him. "You look like you could use some help." Sam said. Alfred turned around but he was now leaning to one side to hold his body steady. He squinted his eyes and then started shaking his head no. "I told ya ta leave me 'lone boy." Alfred said as he put the ax down on the ground and picked up the bottle and took his final swig; leaving the bottle bone dry. "Why didn't you leave Mercedes alone?" Sam asked in an accusatory manner. Alfred looked at Sam and started laughing out loud. He lowered himself to the ground and then laid down on the ground looking up at Sam. "Now you come to school me boy?! Go'on get outta here an let grown folks be! I'm too tired to be fightin' 'bout some gal who don't know how to satisfy a workin' man; but I'm gonna learn her; I am gonna find her and learn her." He began laughing again it was then that Sam picked up the ax from the ground and plunged it into the left thigh of Alfred and then pulled it back out.
Alfred let out a scream but Sam quickly reached into his back pocket and pulled out his handkerchief and shoved in Alfred's mouth muffling the sound. Sam kneeled by Alfred holding his hand over his mouth forcing the handkerchief in deeper to keep him quiet. Then Sam just waited; he waited for the scream to die down, he waited for the movement to slow down, he waited for the breathing to stop, he waited for enough blood to pour from Alfred's body and , he waited for the sun to go down. Sam had been in that same position for 3 hours until he was completely sure that Alfred was dead.
Then Sam got up and placed the ax in Alfred's own hand and lined it up with the wound in his thigh again. Sam went inside Mercedes' old place and lit a fire in the wood burnin' stove and tossed in the handkerchief and he watched burn to dust. Sam then walked out of the back door past Alfred's body and walked again along the path around the back of the house. He found himself eventually back on Sparta Rd. and walking into his own home. That was when Sam made an announcement to the family. "I don't want to be a farmer." He started... "I am gonna go and join the Navy- tomorrow."
Sam had been in the Navy for 4 years now he could not believe it was 1939 already. The time just seemed to fly by but he loved it and he was eager to sign up again for his next tour of duty. He had been stationed on the USS Tennessee which was one of the biggest Navy battleships. Sam was always good with his hands and he had been trained in engineering and worked on keeping the ship running in tip top condition.
Sam had grown to love the ship and his crew. He would give his life for any of these fellas. Sam realized that he had always been blessed in the way of friendship. If it wasn't for his friend Paul at home this could probably have not had stayed a reality for him. Paul always loved farming, it had been a passion of his even though Sam's heart had never been truly invested in it. Paul promised Sam that he would stay and work the farm for Sam's family. Especially after Sam heard that his father had died the very next year after he had enlisted.
Sam's mother would write him letters wondering if Sam was ever going to come back or was he going to make the military his career. She wondered because she thought, if that was the case, then she would just leave the farm to Paul because he had been taking care of it so well. Sam had no problem with that idea or staying away. There would be only one reason to go back to Caroline County and that reason had not been there in quite a while. His mind drifted to Mercedes again, he had wondered about her so often, sometimes he even feared the worst, but he had to believe that she was living her life somewhere and that she was happy.
The fellas came running into the quarters in the lower part of the ship to find Sam sealing up a letter to send to his mother once they docked again. They were on their way to Pearl Harbor for a bunch of training missions. They were to be stationed there for two years before finding out their next assignment. As the group of guys came running in and, one friend named Joseph, snatched Sam's naval hat off of his head "Seaman Evans! Address a ranking officer!" Joseph said. "I would if any of you were a ranking officer." Sam joked. "Well put Seaman, well put!" They all started laughing and Sam grabbed back his hat. "Another letter to 'momma' Seaman Sam? You're starting to look like a momma's boy." "Born and bred, sir." Sam laughed as he stood up and placed his hat back on his head. "Hey!" Another voice called out "Which one of you bums have shore leave tonight?" Several hands shot up but Sam's was the straightest and highest. "Lucky bums." Joseph said then he raised his hand too and they all started laughing again. Then another voice in the crowd spoke "C'mon topside you're gonna miss us docking off of Ford Island." There was a collective cheer and the Seamen went running through the bow of the ship and up the small winding staircase to the top deck.
The day was beautiful and warm, so warm, and Sam had felt like he had never been introduced to real sunshine before today, this was so much prettier and brighter than from back home. They could see all the other naval ships which had already been docked in the Harbor; some for training missions, some before setting out to further destinations, and some for repairs. He could see all of the other sailors, from the other ships, roaming around the dock and deeper inland. It was a community of sailors, Sam really loved it. He loved being able to see the world like he had always wanted too; but his mind stole away again to Mercedes. He didn't know when his plan had changed but now in his heart he had wished that she would have been able to see it with him somehow.
The USS Tennessee pulled into its slip and docked; all of the sailors had to stand at post and those who had shore leave needed to hear the same speech they always here before going someplace new. Basically it was your typical commit no crimes, don't be destructive; this is someone else's home, don't wind up in the clink, and if you were going to be irresponsible then don't catch a disease and bring it back on-board ship. Sam laughed at how when he first got into the Navy he had to have Joseph explain what he meant by that; but as time went by, and with different ports-of-call Sam learned pretty quickly what that was all about. Sam never did have a problem attracting the ladies (especially once he donned the uniform) but even though he may have had fun; it just seemed empty and he really couldn't tell why.
Sam was not a kid anymore and he wasn't opposed to love and marriage anymore like he used to be when he was eight, but somehow he just never seemed to meet anyone that he thought he would want to spend that much time with. Sometimes he had thought he hadn't been to the right place to find her yet but, on this ship, he had pretty much been all over and it still didn't seem all that promising. Sam finally started paying attention again in time for the speech to be over and then the sailors with leave were given permission to be off shore for 48 hours exactly; they had to come back on time so that the next soldiers in the rotation could have their leave as well.
Then Sam heard it "You are dismissed," was spoken by the Lieutenant Commander and a loud cheer rolled across the top of the deck. A massive wall of white naval uniforms started heading down the gangplank and off onto the shore. The only thing Sam new that he really wanted to do was find a picture post card of Hawaii so that he could send it with the letter to his mother; and a post office. After that he knew he was pretty much free to explore anywhere on the island.
There were about eight sailors in Sam's group who had gotten off the ship together and went there way toward the center of the small welcoming area that had been near the ships. There were long rows of native women who had placed an individual Lei on each one of their necks. Then they walked down the walkway and passed so many little shops that where set up along the way. Sam tried to find what he was looking for but he would admit that so many people were trying to hand all of these new sailors' information on the streets; that he could barely look for what he wanted. Invitations to luaus, bars, and clubs were plentiful and his friends could not help but stop and flirt with some of the women along the way.
Once Sam found what he was looking for he paid for his purchase and started asking for directions to the post office. When Joseph spotted Sam speaking to an older gentleman he went up to Sam and spoke. "I am afraid you are supposed to be speaking to members of the opposite sex, Sam. No, no this will never do." Joseph shook his head and sucked his teeth in rapid succession. "First, I want to get this out of the way for my mom." Sam said, "This man was kind enough to give me directions to the post office, so I will meet up with you later." Joseph looked at Sam a little distrustful and said "Where?" Then Sam looked at all of the invitations and cards that Joseph was now holding in his hand. "You have all the answers." Sam said as he pointed to the treasure trove in Joseph's hand. "Okay, Okay." Joseph looked in his hand and through the cards and he said "How about this place 'Jade' it is the only one that I have two cards for." Joseph waved the card in front of Sam's face. "Alright, fair enough" Sam said. Sam took the extra card from Joseph and waved goodbye and walked away.
Sam was hooked on Hawaii, he had been all caught up in the scenery and the exotic types of food that by the time he made it to 'Jade' it was dark outside. He did not know for sure if his buddies would be there but he did make a promise and he was going to keep it. Sam did not have to worry he did see a few of his buddies still there but they were happily preoccupied by members of the opposite sex. Sam planted himself at the bar with Joseph and then the drinking began. Sam had probably been there for about an hour and he was now in a full-on dart game with a couple of locals when music started playing. They had money on this game and Sam did not want anything to distract him but when the crowd started clapping and cheering he fully expected to have to turn up his concentration or else he would definitely lose the forty bucks that was on the table.
A female voice started singing.
There ain't nothin' I can do,Or nothin' I can say,That folks don't criticize me,But I'm going to do just as I want to, anyway,And don't care if they all despise me.
(Sam knew that voice instantly, his swung his whole body around and completely interrupted the game.)
If I should take a notionTo jump into the ocean,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, do.
(Sam's mouth dropped open and his heart started beating a mile a minute.)
If I go to church on Sunday,Then just shimmy down on Monday,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.
If my friend ain't got no money,And I say, "Take all mine, honey,"'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, do.
(Sam expected when he turned around to see his friend, but he didn't instead he saw this fully developed woman standing on stage. She had filled out and had curves, luscious curves, he felt himself unable to breathe.)
If I give him my last nickel,And it leaves me in a pickle,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.
("She was absolutely beautiful." He thought. He had missed her so much and now she was standing not 15 feet away from him.)
Say, I would rather my man would hit me,Than jump right up and quit me,'Tain't nobody's business if I do, do, do, do.
(But her singing, he thought that she was great before but now, she was remarkable, he truly knew that she had to be the greatest singer in the entire world. "The best or nothing." He thought.)
I swear I won't call no copper,If I'm beat up by my papa;'Tain't nobody's business if I do, if I do.
Once she finished the song then Sam smiled from ear to ear and spoke out loud - "Mercedes."
Author's Note: I hope you are enjoying the story so far, but I really can't tell because I am not getting many reviews. I am hoping I am doing the Tumblr prompt picture justice. If you know me at all you know I never know what the story is really about and I am just trying to have it flow. Thank you all for coming on this journey of discovery with me and Please Review. – Thanks Anna