In Atlanta XXIII… Chapter 23

I am so thrown off with all that is happening.  First, I have to find a ride over here.  Second, I get here and the place is a mess.  Third, I find that these babies are here alone and locked in a damn closet looking and smelling like shit, literally.  Fourth, I call their own grandmother who totally ignores the urgency of me needing her help.  I am now on the phone trying to call Mr. Joseph’s work phone.  I know that he is away at sea, but there has to be a way to send him an urgent message.  I let the phone ring and on the second ring a very nice receptionist answers.  “Thank you for calling Sperry Defense Systems, this is the office of Joseph Jones, how may I help you today?”  With her being so snooty like, I really don’t know if I trust telling Mr. Joseph’s business like that to someone that he works with.  I straighten myself up to pull it together so I can sound like I got some sense.  “Yes, My name is Clara Burris.  I help Mr. and Mrs. Jones with their home.  I am having a problem here at his house.  Can someone have him call home?  I would think that he would consider this to be an urgent matter. ”  I can hear the scribbling of the secretary taking notes.  She finally speaks up.  “Ok Ms. Burris.  I will send a message to his location and someone will be in touch with you shortly.  Thanks for calling and have a great day!”  Yeah, I am having a great day alright.

It dawns on me that even though I have been able to get a message sent to Mr. Joseph, I am still having to watch over these kids.  I feel sorry for them.  The house is still a hot ass mess.  But I can not take care of the kids and clean.  So I decide to deal with the important issue which is the children.  I am too old and honestly, I just don’t feel comfortable taking these kids back to Tidewater Park with me.  Damn Clara, think!  What else can you do to help these children?  Mr. Joseph is from Atlanta.  All of his people are there.  Ms. Julianna on the other hand, all of her family is here in Virginia Beach and Norfolk.  All of a sudden a light bulb comes on.  It is a very uncertain light.  But any light is better than no light.  I take my chances and start dialing.  “Hi Ms. Mignon!  This is Clara Burris.  I have a problem and I was hoping that I could get your help or at least you can tell me what to do.”

I can’t believe what I am hearing.  I have known Ms. Burris for many years.  She originally started cleaning the office building of my ex- husband, Barry Garret.  He was a popular dentist and had a practice in Norfolk.  He is still located in that building and after I had our daughter Denise, he asked Ms. Burris is she would be willing to come and clean our home in Poplar Halls.   I caught my husband cheating with a woman named Angeline.  She was supposedly a patient of his and come to find out he was working on more than just her teeth.  He and I eventually divorced.  I had custody of our daughter Denise and he ended up marrying Angeline.  Angeline had two daughters of her own from two previous marriages, one was Julianna and the other was named Clair.  Clair and Denise were the same age and despite the hostility between the three parents, the children took to each other and Denise considered those girls to be her step sisters.  They were decent kids.  Their mother on the other hand was the home wrecker of Norfolk.  Despite our divorce, I remained in our home and was cited an alimony and child support.  I was also still allowed to have Ms. Burris come to our home and clean with Barry footing the bill each week.  I was a school teacher, so Denise and I made out fine.  What was bold was this phone call that I was receiving and in addition, Barry had Ms. Burris cleaning for him and Angeline.  Just messy.  I guarantee that Ms. Burris didn’t have a need to watch television.  All she had to do was just pay attention to all of our drama when she came into work.

After explaining the dilemma that she has found herself in, I am stunned.  She knows that I am an elementary school teacher and she is under the impression that I can help her figure out what we could do for the children given the circumstances.   I honestly had to tell Ms. Burris, that I was going to help, but I needed to make a few phone calls to see what we could and couldn’t do with these children provided the current circumstances.   I ask her if she could give me Julianna’s telephone number and if she could just watch the kids a little longer until I could call her back with a solution.

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I hang up the phone and in all honestly, I had to shed a tear and pray to God.  It was he that I needed to call on at this moment.  Barry put me through a lot with his affair with Angeline.  For the life of me, I couldn’t see what or why he would want to jeopardize his own family for a woman who seemed to only care about herself and his money.  I was the one that helped him through college and dental school.  I helped to build his practice to what it is today.  All of the hard work and sacrifices that I made for us as a family was now being given to woman that in my opinion didn’t give a damn about him.  I loved him genuinely and he broke my heart.  It damn near killed Denise.  And yet, here I am.  I am cut from a different cloth.  Julianna is a beautiful woman.  Why in the hell would she desert her children.  They truly are precious little angels.  I would hate to be them at this moment.  I know what it is like to be left hanging and abandoned.  It is the same feeling that I had with Barry.  At the same time, I am about to take care of the grandchildren of the woman that has taken so much from me.  This ain’t nothing but God.

Sur La Table

I walk down the hall, Denise is home from Howard University on spring break.  She has her stereo playing and she is going through a stack of new albums that I am sure Barry has purchased for her.  He tends to buy her love to make up for his mistakes with leaving us.   The thought of it all makes me mumble “bastard!” under my breath.  “Denise baby, I am going to need your help.  We have a problem.”  Denise scrunches up her face and the look of concern that she has is truly heightened.  I tell her to calm down. We have to go and get Jacinta and Jordan.  The perplexity that she now has on her face is priceless.  “What do you mean, we need to get Jacinta and Jordan?  Where is Julianna and Joseph?”  I tell her that I will explain in the car, but for now, Ms. Burris is over there and she needs someone to come and get the kids.

“Momma, what are we getting ourselves into?”  Her question is more valid than anything I can think of.  I just know that two little girls that are innocent have been left to survive for themselves and I will be damned to sit on the sidelines because of any kind of pettiness.  If anything, it isn’t about Barry or Angeline.  It is about two little girls who truly need help.

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