In Atlanta XXXVIII… Chapter 38

“We would like to welcome you to Norfolk International Airport, where the time is 8:18 a.m. Please remain in your seats until the seatbelt sign has been turned off. We thank you for choosing Delta airlines for your choice of travel today. Flight attendants, all call and cross check.” Listening to the stewardess only reminded me of Julianna. I met her on one of my many flights coming in and out of Norfolk. She was a flight attendant for Delta and I have to say that I had never seen such a beautiful woman in all of my life. I was determined to make her my wife. I didn’t care what I had to do to get her, but I made it my mission to pursue her heavily. I am sure being a flight attendant she encountered many men that would have easily tried to snatch her up. It was something about her. Her hair framed her beautiful face and her almond shaped eyes sparkled when she smiled. Her perfume would have me hypnotized. She was so free, so helpful, and so beautiful. She had me wide open from day one.

I started making my reservations so that it would correlate with her flight schedule. I wanted her to make note of my presence every time I was on a flight. I started off by leaving behind little trinkets, gifts, and flowers so that when they left the flight she had something special waiting on her. I always signed my name and I always requested the same seat. I left my number on the cards hoping that one day I would get a phone call. That phone call never came. This was probably due to the fact that I was never in the same place at any given time. If she had called me I would not have known.

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One day after take off, I decided to approach her before the beverage service commenced. I think that she thought that I was waiting to use the restroom. I was shocked when she said “Hello Joseph! How is your flight so far?” I was stuck and for the first time, I didn’t know what to say. “My flight is going well. Did you like the gifts that I left for you?” She blushes, “Actually, I have been meaning to thank you. You know you don’t have to do that. That was very sweet and very thoughtful. I truly appreciate it. But if you don’t stop, people are going to start to think that you were my boyfriend.” I smile at the thought that she is thinking what I am thinking. “Well, I don’t see why they would think differently. I say we make it official. Once we land, there is a great restaurant that I would love to take you to. Let’s make a go for it.” Her smile broadens and in the most polite way she tells me that she has another flight with a layover in Atlanta. But she was willing to let me take her out on that following Friday. I was the happiest man that day. Nothing could have stolen my joy.

As I am waiting to get off of my current flight, the thought of not knowing what is going on with my wife is killing me. Even more, our children is the most important thing in my life. Nothing and I do mean nothing precedes them. I grab my suitcases in baggage claim and head to where the taxis are waiting. I ask them to head straight to my house. At least I can see if there has been some progress since my mother has been in town. Not to mention, I need to assess things and get to my car so that I can hit the streets looking for them. It takes us only twenty minutes from the airport to arrive at my home. When we pull up I notice that the front door is wide open. I hurry up to pay the cab driver as this situation is starting to become unreal for me. As I am getting my luggage out of the trunk a Cadillac pulls into my driveway. I am not sure who this is. By this time, I am relieved that my mother walks out of the front door as if she was looking for me this whole time.

A very elegant woman exits the Cadillac. She looks familiar, but for some reason I cant place where I know her nor do I remember her name. I speak and ask “Hi, can I help you with something?” She pauses and takes a good look at the suitcases that I have lined up in the middle of my driveway. My mother finally approaches me and she hugs my neck as if this will be her last. I turn back around to the lady in the driveway. My mother speaks, “You must be Mignon Garrett. I am Joseph’s mother Susan and I am sure that you probably know him as well.” She is pointing to me and then it dawns on me who she is. It is clear that there is a ton of information that I am not aware of. I am anxious to understand what is going on.

Ms. Garrett is truly polished and I am very curious as to what role she is playing in all of this. I know that she is the ex wife of my wife’s step father. Why she was contacted versus anyone else in Julianna’s family is beyond me. But who am I kidding. Julianna’s family is all over the place mentally and most of them are heavy drinkers. It is no telling what has this lady involved. I usher my mother and Ms. Garrett into the house where I am totally embarrassed of it’s condition. My mother is already reading my mind. ” Joseph, the housekeeper found the house looking like this. I have been up all night trying to get it back in order. I was given Ms. Garrett’s number from your housekeeper. Ms. Garrett was the one that came when your ‘lovely’ mother in law declined.” You can clearly hear the sarcasm and dismay that my mother is expressing towards Julianna’s mother.

“So Ms. Garrett, I know that you must be here for a reason…” She starts from the beginning explaining all of the details about the children and how Julianna hasn’t been seen or heard from in days. She also tells me that my kids are with a Virginia Beach social worker and they are in Virginia Beach General for health observation. I am furious and two steps from the garage to get into my car. Ms. Garrett asks if it would be ok if she were to follow us there. I concur and we load into our cars. Momma is riding in the car with me. “Joseph, listen to me. The kids are with professionals and they are ok. We just have to get to them and get them back. Ms. Garrett has been a God Send in this situation . We owe her the world. If it weren’t for her, no telling where these kids would have been. I need you to go into this hospital calm. You don’t want to upset the kids anymore than they already are. They are going to be so happy to see their father. You have to put on a game face for now. Let me handle all of the talking.”

We pull into the parking lot and I am out of the car in a flash. I rush through the emergency room until I see an information desk. I explain the situation and ask if I can see my children. The lady is really nice and sympathetic. I can already tell that she feels sorry for me when I tell her who my children are. “Sir, if you could just take a seat, someone will be out to speak with you shortly.” Shortly? “Ma’am I don’t think you understand. I don’t need to speak with anyone. I need to get my children.” Again, she gives me a sympathetic smile and says, “Sir, these are the rules when it comes to children in the hospital under these conditions. I promise to get someone out to you as soon as possible. I know this must be trying, but we will get you in to see your kids” With that, she walks away in search of whomever it is I am suppose to speak with. I didn’t like her comment of them ‘letting me see my kids’. I came here to get my kids. I am not leaving here without them.

Pocket just happen to have a run to make this morning. I was able to convince him to let me go by my house to “change clothes”. I really just wanted or at least wished that somehow Jacinta and Jordan were in their rooms sleeping. I open the door and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Pocket was sitting in the driveway smoking a joint. In the foyer were several suitcases. All had international tags tied to the handle. Shit!!! Joseph is home. It has hit the fan now. Without even thinking, I am back in the car with Pocket and rushing him to pull off. He doesn’t care and puts the car in reverse. I have to get as far away from this place as I possibly can. Joseph is going to hit the roof when he finds out about the kids. He probably already knows and is furious. I am getting the fuck up out of here tonight. How? I don’t know.


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