I step outside of La Tercita to take Joseph’s call. I am truly not in the mood to speak with him. Jacinta thinks me and her father are just alike. I have no idea how she sees this, but I totally disagree. Joseph is shrewd. He cares deeply for his children, but it is the obstacle course from hell to enter into his circle. He has a brilliant mind and is well versed. He has patents that we currently depend on for everyday life. I know that he is “letting” me handle this situation. I also know that my “handling” time is almost up. Joseph gets right to the point. “What’s the status with Jacinta?”
I see that Chico is outside trying to explain something to Joseph. Joseph has been like a father to me. Ever since Cint and I were roommates at Hampton. I can call him no matter what and he has my back. I put some money on the counter and look at our waitress like, “you know you could have given us more Cuban bread” She is looking at me like, “I am so glad you are taking your greedy ass up out of here.
I go outside and without missing a beat, I grab the phone from Chic. “Daddy!!!”. “Nicole is that you?” “Yes it is. I came down here to help Chico with the foolery that the state of Florida has infringed on my sister. Daddy, this is a hard one. We are going to have to get lawyers involved and from what I can tell, she will have to go through hell and high water to even pass the mental part and then be placed on a docket in court. No telling how long this is going to take.” I know that he is cringing because I know what his next words are. “Nicole, I am flying down there tonight and we are going to nip this in the bud. I don’t have time for any doctors or any lawyers. They do not need me to call my federal friends to help with this situation” I tell Daddy that it is not necessary for him to come tonight. I tell him that I will be here until this situation is resolved. He is worried about my baby. Everybody is worried about the baby. I tell him the baby is fine and is looking for a nice offering towards his college tuition fund. He chuckles. He says, “Nicole, nothing can happen to her, you know that” The understanding that I had from those words were that this was not a question, but a statement. He asks to speak back to Chico. I shrug my shoulders like “I did the best I could”
“Yes Joseph. I understand and agree with you 100%. You and I are on the same page” I truly meant everything that I was saying to Joseph. I did not have the high government friends in my pocket, but I would give my world for Cint. “Chico, I am counting on you to get this situation resolved and resolved quickly. Have you been to see her? Will they let you see her?” I tell him that we were given special visitation about an hour ago and that we are going back in a few for regular visiting hours. “Make it very clear to Jacinta that she is to call me. One of you give her your phone so that I may speak with her. When you saw her earlier, how was she holding up?” I explain to Joseph that Jacinta was doing well under the current circumstances. Nicole was able to do a makeover. I could hear him smiling about that, but I know he ain’t smiling at me. “Just make sure that I get a phone call from her in the next couple of hours” I explain that it was hard to get our phones into the facility. However, I will make it an urgent point for Jacinta to call her father. “Chico, as soon as you leave the facility call me” Will do. He just hangs up. No bye, no it is going to be alright, no I got your back, nothing. Why this man is not cool with me, I just can’t figure it out. Nicole senses this and tells me that it would not have matter who I was, Daddy was never going to like Jacinta’s or her sister’s husband. That is part of the plan and she starts to walk back into La Tercita for a Guava Turnover. She walks out with a dozen in a box. I say nothing about it. I don’t even ask for one. SMH
“GROUP!” I swear this is the most “meeting up” deal in the world. I am trying to figure out why or how this is beneficial for this “group”. They go through the same process everyday. There is a commotion and it is Lieutenant telling the “arts and crafts” coordinator that he is not going to group. Everyone is settling into their prison chairs and Lieutenant is telling the coordinator that if she doesn’t get out of his face, he will send the little people that are around him to fuck her up. Just then, Maria floats her ass over there to find the damn little people. I am assuming that she has figured out that Lieutenant has ghost friends and maybe she can meet them too. An orderly comes over to act like he is going to restrain Lieutenant. I get up and go towards the situation. I don’t call him Lieutenant to his face. The minute I got there he calmed down and explained to me that a man like him does not color. I see. I ask the coordinator if it would be ok if he watches me color instead of coloring himself. She concedes and is giving me a “thankful look” I am looking at her and giving her a “Get my ass out of here look” Again, I see the lady with the white coat on. I am distracted by Lieutenant. The coordinator tells us to take a seat.
“Arts and Crafts” in the “Doom Room” is different from camp. You can not use scissors, not even the rounded kindergarten kind. Everything is pre-cut. We have a dab of Elmer’s glue and I do mean a dab. We are to use the glue to put glitter on our fancy “arts and craft”. So in today’s project, we are going to color Easter eggs and we can use glitter!!! The coordinator goes into a military trunk that is locked to the hilt. Both key and pad locks. She opens to the trunk and it is full of paper!!!! Construction Paper! Copy/ White Paper!! Crayons! NO MARKERS!! Why do yall have this shit locked up?!!! I am insulted. I can only imagine how the rest of the “Doom Room” feels. THE EASTER EGGS ARE PAPER!!! So basically we are coloring some damn paper Easter eggs with crayons. Now I understand why Lieutenant is mad.
We sit at the table and I tell Lieutenant that I am getting two eggs. One for me and one for him. He seems to be ok with that. As I start to color, Lieutenant starts to talk. He is talking low, so that only he and I are having this conversation. He tells me that I look like his mother. I make a face that says I am flattered. I have no idea what his momma looks like. He says that I color like his mother. Now Lieutenant looks to be in his late sixties, early seventies and he is saying that “I color like his mother”. Did they even have crayons back then? Anyway, I go along with what he is telling me. He tells me that his mother was very neat like my coloring. He could never be neat, even when he was in the army. He says that she would make the prettiest cookies and pies. I think that is sweet. I finally ask Lieutenant, “what is your name?”. He says William Jones…. The exact name of the grandfather who raised me. This makes the hair stand on the back of my neck and I look up and say “Thank You”
I tell Nicole that she needs to go to the bathroom while we are in the lobby of the hospital. She thinks that is smart and goes off clicking. As I wait for her, I think about Cint. I don’t want to see her like I did earlier. I don’t want to leave her as I did earlier. I want her to know that we are going to do everything in our power to get her out of here. I start to remember how Jacinta and I first met. It puts a smile on my face. She was only eight years old. Her kickball had rolled towards me and she wanted me to throw it back. I thought she was mean at the time. But she was trying to win this damn game. I laughed at her spunk and it made me smile now. I don’t want her to give up. I will never give up on her. Next thing I know the clicks are coming and coming fast.
We go through the matrix. Again, Nicole is utilizing being pregnant as to why she is not leaving her things in a locker. We get through and Jacinta is waiting right there. Again, the “Doom Room” is wishing that they have visitors, but if they don’t, watching us will suffice. The minute that I was about to speak, Nicole cuts me off and hands Cint her cell phone. She looks around and tell her to put it away, they aren’t suppose to have those in here. Nicole says, “I wouldn’t be as worried about getting this phone confiscated as much as I would NOT call your father. You think that this is the “Doom Room”, what room do you think we are going to be in if we don’t give you this phone?” Right.
The phone rings twice. “Daddy, it’s me……”