My nerves are fried. I mean, I am literally in beast mode and overwhelmed with how the hell I just got out of the “Doom Room”. Yes I am hungry. I have never been so sleepy in my entire life. Yes, all I want to do is take a shower and literally scrub my skin until it falls off. It is now 6:45 p.m. and I am still waiting in the car for Chico to finish up at the Penske desk. He calls my phone. The weird thing is, I had no idea what that noise was. I had been without my cell phone for more than 4 days. In just that short amount of time, my mind did not even register that the phone ringing was for me or that it was even my own phone that I could call and receive calls on as much as I want without supervision. When I don’t answer, simply because I am dazed out of my mind at my current state, Chico comes out to the car. “Babe, this is all happening rather quickly. This rental office is about to close. I have no idea what your plan is or what you are thinking. I will do anything for you and you know this, but I can’t even answer the questions that this man is asking me regarding the rental. Why don’t we get you home, get something to eat, get you settled and then tomorrow, you and I can figure out what we need to do and come up with a solid plan?” Unfortunately, I don’t know the answers to tell Chico to tell the Penske guy myself. Unfortunately for Chico, his logic, which is what we should have went with, was not what my head was telling me to do.
Hot and ugly, I get out of the car and go into the Penske rental office. I can tell that the guy behind the counter is looking at us somewhat questionable. Chico looks like he has it together and I look like he just picked me up off the crack strip. He is probably assuming that we are renting the truck to do something illegal. I don’t give a damn. I try to appear as if nothing is absolutely wrong with this picture. “Hi, my husband and I are in need of renting one of your large moving trucks. This will be a one way rental. We will also need a car trailer that can be hinged to the back of the moving truck. Do you have anything available that we can drive off the lot with right now?” The Penske guy has the most skeptical look on his face and to be fair, my face would be looking the same way if a person who came into store approached me with this appearance and then this proper intelligent conversation. “Ok. We have a few options that are readily available” As he is going over the different sizes of trucks and trailers, Chico is still looking at me like “What the fuck are we doing Cint?”
“So I will take the 26 footer with the car trailer”. He starts the process of setting us up in the computer and starts to ask the questions that Chico didn’t have the answers to. Technically, I am going along with this shit as he is speaking to me too. So all of this is news to both of us at this point.
1.) I will need the driver’s license of anyone who will be driving the truck. I look at Chico and as he is shaking his head, he pulls out his driver’s license for the man to run.
2.) Will you be using any of our insurance to cover your rental? Yes, we have our own personal insurance, but I would like to add supplemental because we are adding the car trailer.
3.) What location and when do you plan to return the rental? We will return it to a location in Atlanta, Ga. Does it matter which one. He shakes his head and says it shouldn’t be an issue as to where we return it as long as we return it in the state for which we have declared. How long will you need the rental? Four Days.
Chico at this point is pacing the floor with his hands on his hips trying to figure out what the hell I am up to. Where all of this is coming from in my head, I do not know. This is definitely someone speaking through me as I get this rental thing completed. The guy tells us it will be $700 something total and again, I look at Chico. He looks at me so disturbed that we have not had a formal conversation about what the hell we are doing, yet he pulls out his American Express. The Penske guy says that he will need a copy of our car insurance and while we are gathering that information he will pull the truck and trailer hitch around to show us how to operate it.
I decide that my work here is done and I am walking back to get in the car. Chico is right on my heels asking a ton of questions. “Jacinta, baby, stop. We have to talk. What in the world is going on. We have had a hell of a day. What are we doing with this rental truck? You know we can’t just pack up and leave. We have to get your Baker Act hearing completed. There is no need for us to not handle this situation so random and thoughtless. I know you have been through a lot. I have too, but we are going to do this the right way.” I look at Chico and I tell him just how much I love and appreciate him. Tears are now flowing again. “Babe, just calm down, everything will be fine. I promise.” I will go inside and cancel this rental, just sit here and I will be back.” With the tears still flowing, “Chico, I need you to get our car insurance information and give it to the man so that he can make a copy of it. Let him explain to you how the operate everything and once you are done, I will follow you to the house.” These words are FIRM! I kiss him on the cheek and tell him again how much I appreciate all that he is doing right now. He takes in a huge sigh and says “Ok, Jacinta. I just hope you know what you are doing. I trust you. I have always trusted you. I just want to make sure that you are trusting your decision making right now under the current circumstances. You have had a few meds today that may have you thinking unreasonably.” As much as I am clouded and confused, my mind has taken over and it is thinking and acting for me. Things are just going along as I am speaking it out of my mouth. It is not like I had a plan or anything. All of this was just coming to me as the minutes flew by.
I look out the window and notice that Chico was doing a crash course on how to drive this truck and utilize the car trailer. I take my cell phone, which I am surprised is even charged. Chico must have been using it while I was inside. I start the search for a home on the southwest side of Atlanta that is move in ready…. LIKE TOMORROW. I am strolling and strolling. As I look at the list, the area of town that we are from has slim pickings. Atlanta is not the city that it was when were growing up. Unless you trying to be in what now is the hood, there are very limited homes for sale, nor are there many if any homes for rent. I find one house. It is in the boon docks but still on the west side. I am actually liking the address more and more once I get an impression of where the house is really located. I try my luck and call the Property Management company listed. This time, I am not negotiating like I normally would. This time, I am not asking for any additional add-ons’ . I just need a place to park this Penske and unload my things so that I can lay my head down and no one can find me.
“Yes, this is Veronica with Atlanta Property Management Group, I am unavailable to speak with you right now. but if you please leave a brief detailed message as to why you are calling and a callback number, I will be sure to speak with you as soon as I can. Have a great day! BEEEEEPPP!” I feel discouraged, but I leave a voicemail anyway. I tell her that I am interested in the home that is for rent in Waldin Park and I would like to wire the first and last month’s rent tonight if I can. I tell her that she can electronically send over the rental agreement and I will kindly send it back to her. I hang up feeling like I think that whatever this is that is in my head is working for me.
Chico walks back to the car and asks me if I am able to drive? I tell him that I am and that I will follow him to the house. He is still shaking his head. “Jacinta, are you sure about this?” I know he is worried. This behavior is extremely out of character for me. I tend to obey the rules and cry about how bad things are after I had to abide by them. Chico and I have not had a full conversation of what all I had been through while I was in the “Doom Room”. I know that his head is swimming with questions and my head is swimming with flight ideas.
We are following each other back to the house and my adrenaline is pumping through these huge shoulders of mine. I call my cousins who live in downtown Tampa. “Houston, we have a problem, can you guys meet us at the house?” Up until now, I hadn’t discussed the situation about Jacinta with anyone outside of my mother, Joseph, and Nicole. I am sure that my cousins are going to be perplexed about why we are packing up our house in the my middle of the night and running away from Tampa like some gypsies. Once we get to the house, Jacinta and I are going to have to sit down and really talk this shit out. I have no idea what she is up to or how she is planning to move. I hope that I can talk some sense into her. The minute I think this, I call my cousin Mel. Mel and Jacinta are like sisters. She absolutely adores her and they talk quite frequent. I dial Mel’s number to tell her some of the details and she is already getting in her car on her way to us as we are still speaking.
The phone rings again and again I am spooked at the sound. It is an Atlanta area code. I decide to answer and fortunately it is the lady from the property management company returning my call. She is really formal and I am really just trying to get to the point. She tells me that the house has just been vacated and she is waiting on some things to be done to the home before she rents it out. I ask her what are these things. She lists carpet cleaning, house painting, yard clean up, and house clean up as her items that are pertinent for her. I tell her to scratch that and let me know how she would like for me to wire her the money. She is caught off guard with my eagerness and starts to asks a thousand questions. I cut her short. “Ma’am, I am sick. I have to have some surgery. My medical team and my family support system is there in Atlanta. I need a place tomorrow. I have a small dog. He is 15 years old and weighs about 8 pounds. Both my husband and I have solid income and savings. I can provide those supporting documents to you once I am in front of my system. Can you please just send over the rental agreement for both my husband and I to sign? I can meet you at the property at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow evening.” She is still sounding unsure about me and asks, “So you want to rent this property sight unseen?”…….. “YES”