Look at this damn house. It’s a shame how Ms. Julianna treats this house. If I had a husband that hired me a housekeeper and told me I still didn’t have to work…. Honey Chile!!! That would be everything. I can tell that she been having one of her parties. It is shit everywhere. I tried calling her this morning. She was supposed to pick me up. I ended up catching a ride from my grandson. This is a big house and whole lot of work. It typically takes me all day to clean it. Mr. Joseph gave me a key just in case Ms. Julianna was out running errands or couldn’t be here for some reason. That way I wasn’t held up from doing my work. I guess I need to go ahead and get started. Did I hear that baby crying? From what I can tell, I didn’t think Ms. Julianna was here. Maybe she left the television on in her bedroom. I drag myself through the family room, all the while shaking my head at all the mess that is lying around. I come here every week and when Mr. Joseph ain’t in town, I can tell. The house be tore up.
That is definitely a baby crying. I ain’t that crazy or that old to know this. I hear the wailing and as I get closer to the bedrooms it gets louder. I look in the master bedroom and I don’t see where the television is on. I still hear that crying baby. Lord, I hope ain’t nothing bad done happened to Ms. Julianna. I run through the house trying to find the sound. I look everywhere, in the bathroom, under the beds, everywhere. I hear the noise, but nobody is in the house. This is a real baby crying. I look behind the sofa. Still nothing. Oh Lord, I hope the baby aint in the garage. I check all over. My pressure done got up. This is driving me crazy. I know for sure that I hear a baby crying. The wailing of this child is loud and I am going to find her.
Ms. Julianna got some cute little angels. They tiny. I sometimes wonder if she feeding them enough. They just look so skinny to be so little. I get to the girl’s room and I can clearly hear the baby crying. It’s coming from the closet. I snatch open the door and I damn near done fell out. Them two babies on the floor locked in that closet. Diaper is fit to shame and the older one is crying too. Lord, help me! I pick up that dirty baby, filthy diaper and all and I start to rock. I take my other arm and I wrap it around the older one. She is crying too. “Jacinta, where is your momma?” The baby just shrugs her shoulders. I can tell they scared. I don’t know what Ms. Juliana done got herself into, but this ain’t right. I lay the baby across the bed and I go about looking for a towel. The older one pants is soiled too. I tell Jacinta to watch the baby and make sure she don’t roll off the bed. Hell, she ain’t but so tall herself. I run to the bathroom and it is full of trash and you can tell all kinds of thangs done went down in here. I would have thrown them babies in the tub to give them a bath, but it is just filthy.
I grew up poor, but I ain’t never been nasty. I live in Tidewater Park in downtown Norfolk and even though it is the projects, I have the cleanest unit out there. I hate that this is happening and for the most part, I don’t know what to do. Clearly, Ms. Julianna ain’t here. I have no idea where she could be. The only thing I know if that I clean for most of her family. I decide to call Ms. Julianna’s momma and see if she knows what’s going on. I finally got the baby some formula that I found in the kitchen. I was waiting on that bottle to warm up. I find some bologna in the refrigerator, but it looked old. The milk in there was sour too. Ms. Julianna must be off her rocker again. I don’t know if she been drinking or out snorting that white powder people doing now at the disco. But I know she aint well. She put on a front for Mr. Joseph, but it ain’t my place to tell him what his wife do when he ain’t around. He is a nice man and he pays me more than what I charge to clean. I am not about to lose my job cleaning for him because I done told on his wife and they think I am meddling. Not gone happen to me.
I get the babies and I sit them on the sofa next to me. I get my phone book out of my purse. In addition to cleaning for Ms. Julianna, I also clean for her mother Ms. Angeline. I get the phone in the family room and I am dialing. Hopefully, she is at home. She answers the phone, “Garrett Residence”. I personally think that she is trying to be more uppity than what she really is. “Hi Ms. Angeline. This is Ms. Burris. I am at your daughter’s Ms. Julianna’s house. She is not here. She left the kids in the closet and no telling how long they done been in there. I had to clean them up because they had gone to the bathroom on themselves. They were crying and this house is a total mess but Ms. Julianna ain’t here. Do you happen to know where she might be? I can’t imagine why she would leave these precious babies.” There is a silence on the phone and I am trying to even see if she is still on the phone. “Ms. Angeline?” Something tells me that she doesn’t see the urgency in my call. She finally speaks up, “Ms. Burris, I appreciate the call. I really do, but I don’t know where my daughter could be.” “Well Ms. Angeline, what should I do about the kids. I don’t know how long she has been gone. From the way these kids were looking, they have been in that closet for more than a day. I found some formula and I gave the older baby some applesauce. I can’t take care of these kids, especially if I don’t know when or where Ms. Julianna is. Can’t you come and get the kids?” Again another silence and I am shaking my head at this woman. I knew she was selfish, but this shit takes the cake. “Ms. Burris. I suggest you wait there for a few hours and hopefully Julianna will return. If not, call me back.”
This bitch! She hangs up the phone and I already know that if I call her back she ain’t going to come and get these kids. Lord, what am I going to do? Mr. Joseph is overseas at work. I do know that. Maybe if I call his office number, one of his secretaries can pass a message to him. I look back through my phone book and I find his work number. Please let these people help me get in touch with Mr. Joseph. He will know what to do.
Jordan is still not feeling any better. Chico is driving and Daddy is sitting in the back seat with her. I am sitting up front. I tell Chico to drive to Emory University Hospital. She still needs medical assistance. As I look at her, I keep telling myself that maybe I dropped the ball. Maybe I haven’t been the best protector of my little sister. She looks weak. When we were locked in that closet all the time, I really thought that I was being the big girl that my Daddy wanted me to be while he was away. The way his face is looking right now, I feel like I have let them both down. I try to hide my sadness. I know it is written all over my face as well. I just wish that Jordan could know that Goodmomma was back. I know that this will make her feel better. We finally pull into the emergency drive of Emory. I am going to make sure that Jordan is ok if it is the last thing that I do.