Miss Gardner has come back to the private waiting room to escort us back into the children’s ward of the hospital. I am having to pull myself together so that the kids don’t see me upset. I don’t want to upset them any more than what they already are. Jacinta is in a child’s bed and Jordan is in a hospital style crib. Jordan has a bottle and Jacinta is sitting up coloring in a coloring book. She was always being creative, even at such a young age. It breaks my heart to see them and yet I am over joyed that they appear to be ok and that they will be ok. I am just hoping that seeing us will make them happy. My mother squeezes my hand and it presses me to speak. “There goes Daddy’s babies!!!” I say this with the largest smile that I can muster. Jacinta looks up and she screams. “Daddy!” She runs to me and throws her arms around my knees. Jordan is still being greedy she is looking, but she is not letting go of that bottle. I pick up Jacinta and I head to the crib and I pick up Jordan. I hold them tight and I can’t help it. The tears continue to escalade from my eyes. I am seriously weeping. I feel my mother behind my back. She is kissing my baby’s cheeks and telling them that Goodmomma is here.
Jacinta lifts her head and notices me crying. This starts her to cry. I am not even sure if she even knows why she is crying. Her heart is built different from most. If you were to fall and hurt yourself, Jacinta would cry. Even if it didn’t bother you. She was extremely and has always been really sensitive. Because Jacinta is crying, Jordan decides to join in the fun and cry too. I sit down and the kids are in my lap. We cry together.
Ms. Garrett has taken this opportunity to pull Miss Gardner aside to have a conversation. “Ms. Gardner, I think you can see the love that this family has for these kids. I truly don’t believe that they will be in danger if given custody to their father. I am not sure about the mother of the children, but their father is just that. He loves these kids and I am certain that he will take extremely good care of them.” Ms. Gardner gives me a look of understanding. I know that personally she agrees with what I am saying and what is being shown to her from Joseph and the kids. Joseph has pulled himself together and now he is tickling the two girls as they burst out in laughter. “Ms. Garrett, I know that this is a difficult situation. Trust me, it is hard to be in the position that I am in. However, I have to abide by state protocol. Given the circumstances, we will have to get a judge to determine where these kids will be placed until a thorough investigation of both parents have been completed. I will do my best to show favor to Mr. Jones, yourself and Mrs. Jones to the court. I can not however, promise any kind of outcomes. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure the safety and the care of these children. Either way, they will be here in the children’s ward a few more days for observation.” I look over at the children and Joseph. My heart sinks.
“Julianna!!! Get the fuck up! I swear you ain’t worth shit! All you do is get high and pass out. You aren’t even fun any more. You letting yourself go. Maybe I need to let you go too.” I hear Pocket talking, but I truly don’t understand a word that he is saying. My vision is blurred, but I know enough to know that I am passed out again on the floor of Pocket’s and Pinky’s townhouse. Through one eye, I can see Pinky sitting in her chair fuming at the fact that I am always in her home being paraded around her as if she doesn’t exist. It seems like whatever Pocket has just said, seemed to appease her. I really don’t give a shit what she thinks. She is irrelevant to me. Married or not, I know that I am Pocket’s bottom bitch. There is no question about that. So even if he is mad with me, I am still number one. She will just have to get over that shit. I am not even worried that she is currently pregnant. Even with her stomach sticking out, she is smoking a joint and has already hit a few swigs of some brown liquor that is sitting on the table in front of her. She says that Pocket is the father of her baby. Yeah right.
I bring myself to get up off the floor and off to the bathroom I go. I have to pee like no one’s business. I am looking stupid when I see that there is not one piece of toilet paper in the bathroom to wipe my ass. I look into my purse to see if I have some Kleenex. As I am searching through my bag, my wallet falls out. It opens to a picture of myself, Joseph, and the kids. It dawns on me that I still haven’t found them. I really don’t know what to do about this crazy ass situation. My head is spinning not just from the thoughts of my kids, but also because I must be coming down off of some serious blow. There is a loud knock on the bathroom door and it causes me to jump. “Julianna, get the fuck out there and let’s split. We got work to do!” Pocket is still on his rant and is obviously ready to go. I want to sit here. I am in no mood to run the streets right now. The guilt that I have is horrible and I don’t wish this feeling on anyone.
Joan is still at the table sipping on her coffee and picking at the omelet that I have made her. I am sick of waiting on these people to give me some clue as to what they want to do about getting these kids back. It is like Joan isn’t herself either. Fuck it. I call my friend that is a big wig at the International Long Shore Man Association. This union is more of a fraternity than anything. Everybody has the dirt on everybody that works these docks. “Books! (Yes, his nickname is Books). It’s me Marion. I got me a little situation that I need your help with.” Books is more than glad to help. “You got it man, what can I do for you?” Joan has taken out a cigarette and is smoking as if her nerves are about to explode. I almost feel as though she knows more that what she is letting on to knowing. I will get to that when I finish with Books. “There is a cat that works there by the name of Pocket. I am sure you have heard of him. Well he recently had a set at the house of my niece. Not sure who all came to the set, but I hear it was a bunch of Long Shore Men there. Thing is, her kids were at the house during this party and now no one seems to know where they are. Can you put it out there and see what you can find out? I would owe you big man!” Books ain’t stupid by far. He already knows that what sounds like a favor is really a demand. He knows that I am that guy in these here streets. “I got you man. As soon as I know more, I will hit you up. By the way, your niece, what is her name?” I tell him that she is a beautiful girl by the name of Julianna. We end the call and I turn to Joan to see if I can get anything else from her.
I wasn’t expecting Big Daddy to call me about this shit with Pocket and Julianna. Hell, I was at the damn party my damn self. I ain’t telling him that shit though. I don’t need that kind of trouble in life at all. He operates like a mob cat. That ain’t my shot. The thing is, when I was at the party, I don’t remember seeing any kids at all. Hell I was there at least two days with this new chick that was down for whatever. I think that I would know if there were any children there. But there wasn’t.