In Atlanta II… Chapter 2

Text Message:  To Jacinta Daniel

From: Charlie

“Ok, bitch, now I am over here starting to worry.  I have called and texted both you and Chico and still no one has returned any of my calls or any of my messages.  Are you mad at me or something?  Can you at least just text back and say “fuck you” or something…”

Send.

I have been trying to reach Cint for a few days now.  It is unlike her to not call or text back.  Even if she was mad or going through something, I would think that I would be one of the first persons that she called.  Chico probably ain’t texted back because he ain’t trying to get in the middle of whatever spat this is that Cint and I are going through.  I don’t remember our last conversation being crazy or off the charts.  So if she is mad at me about something, I have no clue as to why.

Ding.

Text Message:  From Jacinta Daniel

To: Charlie

“Hey, my bad.  I haven’t been feeling well.  Sorry for not returning the text messages or calls.  What’s up?  You straight?  Is Luke ok?”

Finally!

Text Message: From Charlie

To: Jacinta Daniel

“Well it is about damn time!”  WTF is wrong with you?   You have a cold or something?”

Send.

The Xanax that I have given Jacinta has calmed her down some.  I tell her that we need to get dressed so that we can see our new home.  She did pretty good on eating her breakfast, which I am glad of that.  She starts to scratch the side of her face and I gently pull her hand away.  I know that the little red bumps are itchy.  It looks like it is.   I ask her if she is ok or if she would rather lay back down while I go get the house thing situated.  She gets up and says that she is ok and she starts to get ready.  Her phone is buzzing and while she is in the bathroom, I look to see that her childhood friend Charlie has sent her a message.  Jacinta and Charlie are close.  Both of them together is funny as hell.   Charlie went to another school with one of Jacinta’s cousins.  They met at a slumber party and have been super close ever since.

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I am certain that Jacinta has not told Charlie about the “Doom Room” or the fact that she is moving here.  I text her back so that she isn’t worried.  The next thing you know she will be blowing my phone up and asking a ton of questions, talking a mile a minute.  I will always divert her to Cint.  Half of the time, I don’t even know what she is saying because she is talking so damn fast and she is all over the place with it too.  I text her letting her know that Cint was sick and that is why she hasn’t been in contact with her.  Atlanta can be cliquish.  Even when we were growing up, if you were from Atlanta, you knew who everyone from Atlanta was.  No matter what school you went to, the popular was the popular and the lames were the lames, but we knew everybody!  Everybody had a cousin in some school that connected us with the other.  Either way, Charlie was very much involved in the “Atlanta” scene.  She was cool in just about everybody’s clique.  Because of this there were some things that I just didn’t think Charlie should know.  So I kept it simple and light so that Cint’s business would be kept on the low for a while or at least until she was ready to let everyone know that we were back.

I know that Jacinta doesn’t want anyone to know that we are back home.  I disagree that we shouldn’t tell at least our immediate family what is going on.  I make a mental note to call my momma when I get through with the property management people.   As I am saying this,  Cint’s phone starts ringing and it is Joseph.   DAMN!!  “Hey, Joe.  What’s happening?  Cint is in the shower.  Do you want me to have her call you when she gets out?”  I hear planes in the background and this makes me nervous that he is on his way to Tampa.  “Hey Chico, yes, have Jacinta call me when she is out of the shower.  I need to speak to her about something.”  I am already looking side eye.  She hasn’t been out of the hospital but for what?  Two days.   He is already putting things on her “To Do” list.  I can tell by the way he says that he needs to speak to her.

The truth is Joseph and I don’t get along.  I wish that we did, but he is so damn annoying. I mean I didn’t have a father like him that just cracked the whip and spoke into the air his commands and all shall be granted.  He treated them as if they worked for him or something.  Specifically, Jacinta.  I know that this is part of the reason why she doesn’t want to be back in Atlanta.  It is the responsibility of having to fix everything with her family here.  The truth is that her family isn’t ever going to be fixed.  This may sound harsh or selfish, but I want Jacinta to focus on her own family.  The family that she and I need to build together.  We aren’t getting younger.  This cancer scare has thrown us a curve ball.  We were thinking Invitro not Chemo.  All of this is running in my head and Joseph is the one that wakes me out of my trance.  “Chico!  You still there?”  I realize that I am still on the phone with this fool and I tell him that I am and that Cint is finishing up in the shower and should be calling him soon.  He hangs up.  Great!  I hope Cint has this shit all figured out.  I am not sure how she is going to be able to hold the strings close to her chest that we have moved back to Atlanta.

I have definitely steamed up the bathroom with this hot shower.  It feels good to take one and I am taking long showers too.  I will never take a shower for granted again.  I wipe the mirror with my hand and the face that looks back at me, is one that I just don’t recognize.  I look like hell.  My eyes are dark, my body is still covered in these red little bumps, and my hair is looking like the “Lion King”.  Fuck It.  I just want to get to this house and call some movers to have them unload the truck.  I throw my hair into a bun and enter the room to start putting on some clothes.  Chico is at the ironing board, pressing out his jeans and pullover Polo.  This too is an Atlanta thing.  All clothes, regardless of their condition has to be ironed over and over and over again.  His clothes can damn near walk out the door on their own.   He looks at me side eye like, “I know you need to use this iron”.  I am a changed woman.  I am not here to impress these bitches.  Not yet anyway.

I give him the “are you kidding me, we moving on the low look”.  He continues to press his clothes out and I am damn near ready to bounce.  While he is in the shower, I call around to see if I can have some movers meet us at the new place in 2 hours.  Done.  We are both dressed and Chico has called downstairs to have our car pulled around.  I am driving the car while he is driving the Penske truck with my car on it.  We head to our new place where we are meeting the property management people.

Our new home is in Walden Park.  Walden Park was the only place that I could find a sensible location and decent rental priced home that met our standard criteria.  I needed to be close, but in what I call the “no pop-up” zone.  The “no pop-up” zone means that you just can’t pop the fuck up at my house.  This is another thing that people from Atlanta will do.  Just because you are driving down my street going somewhere else, doesn’t mean you should “pop-up” at my house without notice and make yourself at home like we talk on a regular.  Most “pop-up” visits are usually to check shit out.  It is not like they are genuinely concerned.  Atlanta makes you nosey and trendy.  Everybody is trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Shit I am a Jones, I don’t have to keep up.  Neither here or there, I needed us to be in the cut and the cut we are in.  You have to come to it and can’t go through it.

The property manager’s name is Vera.  The house just had it’s last tenants in there three days ago.  I just so happen to find this as it was only listed for a day.  It has 5 bedrooms 4.5 baths and an unfinished basement.  Your typical new style Atlanta home.  Vera is nosey.  I had my roommate from Hampton send Vera a letter of employment verification stating that I worked for her at her company and that I was allowed to work from home.  This gave us the clearance so that I did not have to have her check with Coke to see if I still worked there.  No need in them folks knowing that I have flown the coop.   The letter states that I am clearly over qualified to rent this property and I treat her like I am taking a step down from what I am used to living.  I walk through the property and make notes with her on the condition of the house.  There is a truck outside, it is the movers and they are ready to get to work. Vera states that I move rather quickly.  I respond by telling her I think this is a long process.  Real curt.  She sees that I am not letting up on any information.  She has already received my wire transfer and all she should be doing is giving me and Chico documents to sign.   We clear that matter up and she hands me the keys.   As soon as she is in her car, I call a locksmith to come and change all of the locks.  Even she doesn’t need access to this house as far as I am concerned.

“Shawty, whoever this is that is moving next door ain’t no joke.  They driving like a fleet of Beemers!”  Marquis is standing on the front steps of his house while he let’s his Yorkie outside.  “Hey Ma!, you heard me?  The new neighbors are moving in.”  Racquel comes to the door to see what all the fuss is about.   She stands next to her son Marquis, who she notices is truly getting bigger by the second.  He would be leaving her in the fall to go off to college and she was dreading the day when he would leave.  She looked over his shoulder and noticed all of the moving.  “I wonder what they look like.  I can’t tell which one is the movers and which one is the new tenants.”  Cam is out and running towards next door.  Racquel starts to scream “Cam, get back here!”, but it is too late.  He has already made himself known on the next property and is playing with another Yorkie that looks just like him.  I walk next door to get Cam and to introduce myself.

“Yes, I will need at least two house keepers to come and clean my house today if possible….”  I am on the phone with a cleaning company to see if I can get anybody to come and do a thorough cleaning before we are officially moved in.  I am caught off guard when I see Baylor playing with another Yorkie.  They are so cute.  I lean down to play with the other dog as Baylor is already jealous.  I look up when I hear someone say “Cint?!”….  It is my cousin Racquel.  The little Yorkie is her dog and she is living directly next door. I guess my little secret of being back home is out…. Fuck!

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