I leave the room and head towards the elevator that will take me to the lobby. Hopefully, this cab will be waiting on me. The problem is, I don’t know my way around Virginia and I really can’t give him any directions. The last time I was here was when Jordan was born. I stayed a week, but I didn’t leave the house to do anything. All I wanted to do was spoil my new baby and Jacinta. Jacinta watched my every move. She is such a smart little girl. My heart softens knowing what has happened to them. When I was here, I would sit in the room with the girls while they took their naps. I was right there when their eyes started to flutter open. How the hell could Julianna leave them is beyond me. I am worried about her. The woman that I know isn’t like this. I know she loves those kids. Something in the pit of my stomach has me worried sick. I get off the elevators and proceed with my walk towards the lobby front doors. There is a cab waiting and I get inside.
I tell the cab driver the address to Joseph’s house. He is unsure of where this house is. So am I. I tell him that maybe I can remember how to get there. Either way, I am paying and if anything he will make extra if we get lost. He pulls away from the hotel and we are on our way. The sun has set and it is dark here in Virginia Beach. I can see why Joseph likes it here. It is peaceful and spread out. The streets are clean and it doesn’t seem as though there is a lot of violence. People tend to keep to themselves. Virginia is a military and college state. I am sure that with so many military living here, this is why things are so orderly and why it feels so safe. Even if it wasn’t safe to come out at night, I would still be out here looking for my kids. There isn’t anything that I am scared of. The only thing that could scare me is if something happened to my kids. Any of my kids! I run a really tight ship in Atlanta. Even these spouses of my children understand my mantra. Having had this thought, I have already made up my mind that Jacinta and Jordan are coming back to Atlanta with me. At least in Atlanta no one will leave these precious angels alone. Not on my watch.
I tell the cab driver that I remember driving down a Providence Road. He looks at me as if I am crazy. “Ma’am Providence Road is pretty long. It runs from Virginia Beach through Norfolk and then through Chesapeake.” I tilt my head. Something that I do when I feel as though I am being talked back to. “Then I guess we are going on an expedition. Besides, we only need to go through the Virginia Beach sector. My son’s address is not in Norfolk or Chesapeake. I am certain that we can find the house if we drive along Providence Road in the Virginia Beach part.” With this information, the cab driver turns around and decides to light up a cigarette. I hate the smell of smoke. It makes my nose itch. For good measure, I roll down the window. We start our journey towards Providence Road and I am watching each landmark as if my life depended on it. I finally see a street sign that says “Amesbury”. This is the street! “Sir, this is the street, and the house number is 952” A feeling of confidence and accomplishment washes over me.
I wasn’t sure what I would do once I got to the house. It isn’t as if I had a key to go inside and wait. Instead, I sit on the front steps of the house so that I can think this thing out. I am getting into this house, come hell or high water. I just need to be smart about it. There is a deck on the back of the house. There isn’t a fence for the back yard. Only Joseph and his neighbor next door are the only houses on the street without a fence. I make a mental note to speak to him about this. If I can break into your house, anyone can. I get to the back and sure enough the window to the kitchen is right off the deck. I can break the window and climb through. I don’t want to cut my hand or arm with the glass, so I go to the tree that is on the side of the house, to see about getting me a strong branch to break through it.
As I am pulling down the tree branches, I feel a light shine on me. Aww shit! Here we go. I figured the nosey neighbors in this neighborhood would be calling the police if they saw me. Joseph is the only black family on his street, maybe even in the entire neighborhood. Julianna is Filipino, being Asian doesn’t count as much as being black. People say that I pass as a white woman. This is only true because my real daddy was white. I naturally have blonde hair, but I hated the color and so I dyed it several years ago so that I wouldn’t look so Irish like. The blonde hair made me stand out and I didn’t like that. I look over my shoulder and the flash light that is being shined into my face, doesn’t allow me to see who is shining it at me. “Hello! Who are you? What are you doing to this tree?” The voice is a foreign voice. It sounds like a Chinese man. I place my hand on over my eyes to try and block the bright light that is now in my face. I yell back “My name is Susan Jones, my son Joseph lives in this house. He and his wife are not here and I need to get in it. I was going to break a window with this tree branch. I think the kids are in there by themselves and I am trying to get to them.”
The flash light falls to the man’s side and he hurries up to me. “Oh!!! Hi my name is Shu Wong. I am the next door neighbor. I will get my wife. She has an emergency key to the house. We don’t have to break nothing. I will get her.” The Chinese man hurries to his garage. Look at God! I am relieved and grateful that I didn’t have to break a window. What kind of name is Shu? I swear they need help with naming each other. I shake my head and walk towards the edge of their driveway. I look into the open garage. The light is on. I am instantly jealous. These folks got at least 4 deep freezers in their garage. If I was to put this on my carport, I wouldn’t have shit to show for it. In the corner of their garage, are enough fishing rods for a fleet of fishermen. There are all kinds of pots and pans hanging from the ceiling. Whatever they are doing, I am sure it is amazing. A great cook always recognizes another one.
The door from the house to garage opens and out comes a beautiful pregnant woman. She is also Chinese. She is carrying low and I can tell it is a boy and I also know that this must be her first time pregnant. She is very meticulous with her steps. When you have had six children like myself, walking on eggshells is the last thing you do. She is very nice and she holds a set of keys in her hand. “Hello, my name is Sara. Joseph and Julianna left a spare key with us for emergencies. Joseph looks just like you.” She smiles broadly. I ask Shu if he minds coming into the house with me to check on things. I told the two of them the situation. As I was talking the both of them kept looking at each other as if they knew something, but didn’t want to say anything. Finally, I cut the shit. “Look, yall real nice people and all, but yall know something and aint saying it. I have my own six children, my sister’s five children, and now I have a total of thirteen grandchildren. Now one of yall get to talking!”