At the House of LadyLee... We like to keep it smurfy!
Monday, August 04, 2014
I Miss My Friend *wails*
My work partner Meek-Meek has gotten a new job within our agency. And it hurts to walk past her empty cubicle to get to my own.
I miss ol' Meek-Meek. We worked together for at least 11 years. She pops up on our internal instant messenger system from time to time, and we chat about what's going on. She's not in our building, but she's located around 15 minutes from here.
But I still miss her.
I remember several years ago she we were in the lab and I braided her hair into two french braids (all the while looking around to make sure management wasn't coming around the corner). And like I said, we worked the same hours, approximately 10 to 6:30, and if one of us had to work a little longer, then the other waited. Sigh.
What I miss most of all is when she was say, "My pastor said something good at Bible Study" or "My pastor said something on Sunday, and I been thinking about it."
And what would follow would be a long discussion. And there's nothing like a good long spiritual discussion. And it was always something we both needed, because we were both working on ourselves.
And now she has moved on. I am so happy for her!
But I miss my coworker... and friend.
So I want to do a repost dedicated to her. Some of my characters are actually people I know in real life, but I make it up as their "alter-ego". And since Meek-Meek loves my writing, and reads all of my stories, I made up a character in honor of her. And she truly enjoyed it. This is a play on her name, but she's letting me keep it, and I am using it in the actual story.
I remember telling Meek Meek that her alter-ego really likes Diana Ross music for some reason and I was trying to figure out why.
"I don't know why she does, because I don't like Diana Ross," Meek said.
"Well good," I replied. "That is something I have to sit down and figure out. I'ma write a character sketch."
So hence came the character sketch of the female police chief in my story Watch.
Omens and signs. Signs and omens.
I believe in them. I believe in them all.
I love Jesus. I love the Lord, too. Like I was taught from an early age.
But I do know if I am driving down the road, and I hit a squirrel, it means there’s gonna be problems on the job that day.
That’s an omen that makes me close my eyes tight and hold my breath. It never fails. The last time that happened, one of my officers was shot. The time before that, we lost a few squad cars in a high speed car chase.
Omens and signs, signs and omens. A black cat running in my path. Breaking a mirror. They are all signs.
I’m not suppose to believe these things. That’s what my pastor says, as he screams it from the pulpit.
“Jesus is the truth and the light. Those things are things of the world. We are not of the world. We’re covered by the blood.”
But the pastor wasn’t there when my husband Jeffrey was in the bathroom, shaving that morning, and telling me about the squirrel he hit, and how the fur and blood was still stuck all in the grill of the squad car, and how it was hard to wash off, even with a fire hose. The pastor wasn’t there when my husband's shaving mirror fell off the pedestal and hit the counter. The pastor wasn’t there when the shards of glass, too many to count, fell into the sink. He wasn’t there when Jeffrey said “Baby take care of this for me. I’m running late, gotta go. Got that big sting going down tonight and I can’t be late.”
And I wanted Jeffery on out of there, too. He always played his Diana Ross greatest hits CD when he was getting ready for work. I never understood why he loved Diana Ross so much. All I knew was that as soon as he left, I could turn it off.
The pastor wasn’t there when I got the call in the middle of the night informing me that the sting had gone terribly wrong, and Jeffrey had been killed in a shoot out.
It had been a warm sunny day, not a cloud in the sky. And when I was standing on the porch waving goodbye to my Jeffrey as day turned to dusk, I heard the low rumble of thunder, and felt the raindrops fall on my face.
Signs and Omens, omens and signs.
Dead squirrels in the road. Shards of Glass in the bathroom sink.
A bright sunny cloudless day morphing into a thunderous cold rainy night.
Signs and Omens, omens and signs.
They are not of God. But at the same time, they never lie.
Some five years later, and something's wrong. I hit a squirrel on my way home from work. I did my best to avoid him, but it was as if the rodent had a suicide mission. I saw the blink of his eye just before I felt the crunch of his body beneath my tire.
The magnifying mirror I use when I remove my makeup at night fell over somehow, even though I am careful when I use it.
And as I lay in bed, in the dark, in the quiet of the night, lost in my thoughts… a low rumble of thunder as menacing as the growl of a protective dog invaded my space, soon followed by a hard steady rain.
It was just sunny and hot today, I thought. Not a cloud in the sky. Now it was raining?
I lay there in the darkness listening, thinking of Jeffrey, and how he died on a night such as this.
It had been five years since I buried Jeffrey. I’d made my peace with it. There were times, though, when the feelings from the weight of his loss crept up on me and covered me like a dark shadow.
Those times were few and far between, though. I was a Commander now, leader of my own zone. I had to be strong. I was the first black woman in that role, a squadron of officers under my charge.
I had to be strong, even though my heart hurt.
Just as I had drifted off to sleep that night, my phone rang.
“Bivins,” I answered.
“Commander, this is Officer Dawkins. We have a problem in Pop City that needs your immediate attention.”
I looked over at the clock. 10:45 pm. The last time I’d glanced at the bright digital numbers, it was a quarter ‘til 10.
An hour's worth of sleep. Better than no sleep at all.
“Fill me in.” I sat up and swung my feet over the side of the bed. I winced at the coolness of the hardwood floor on the soles of my feet.
“There’s been another murder.”
Another murder. Another young brother gunned down in the streets. And this wasn’t a turf war thing, dealers killing rival dealers trying to take away sales.
No, this was something more. Someone had been killing the young black men, popping them off one by one, execution style. Clean and professional. There had been ten murders in the past two years. The only positive thing that had come out of it was that everyone was scared and stayed behind closed doors.
Crime had gone down to nothing in Pop City… save for these murders.
“Where at?” I asked.
“Over near Poplar avenue.”
“Really? After all that mess that went on last week?”
“Well not Poplar Avenue. On the cross street, Pine street, right off of Poplar.”
Shoot. That was close enough.
We were short a couple of officers, both who had been put on administrative leave pending investigation of that mess last week. That meant I had to do a little more than I usually did. I had to make sure I made a presence at any violent crime scene.
“Give me twenty minutes,” I said. “I’ll be over there.”
We hung up. I washed up and quickly threw on my gear that I laid out earlier for the next day… black turtleneck, black slacks and black boots.
I grabbed my badge on a gold chain from the doorknob of my bedroom door and hung it around my neck. I put on my holster, secured my guns, and grabbed my keys and got out to the car.
I turned the volume on the portable CD player up. Diana Ross was singing "Love Hangover". She was talking about my heart right now.
I hurried down the street, off to Pine Street to see what was going on.
Hmmm... Well, well well. I wonder what's going on. I'm not all that sure, but I at least know why The commander likes Diana Ross. It reminds her of her deceased husband. And that has to be comforting.
I've already written a rough draft manuscript of this story awhile ago. It's too short, so I have to fold some characters in. That's were this character, Touch, and the infamous Cinnamon Sugar (who is Mzinspiredmind's alter-ego) come in. I have to fold all these characters into the story.
And that will make it all the more interesting.
So here's to Meek Meek... off to a new job.
You are not forgotten, girl. I'll never forget you.