We stood in the kitchen exchanging information. I needed to know as much about Diego not only for Jessica and my god daughters but for Denise as well. He didn’t tell me anything I didn’t know already but he did confirm that the guy I feared was dead was indeed dead but that Diego wasn’t the main suspect. He had several enemies and a couple were more attractive for the hit than Diego. That didn’t mean that Diego didn’t do it.
My father announced that he was tired and my mom got up immediately to grab their things. My dad was a soldier but he knew his limits. He had survived colon and prostate cancer but of course with all other health issues, more issues came along. They said their goodbyes and that left Steve, Sean, Jessica, and Diego. Fun times.
Jessica and Diego were sitting on the couch. Steve was sitting in my chair, and Sean was sitting on the floor. I refreshed drinks but instead of soda, I gave the guys beer and the ladies wine. I was enjoying my little dinner party not only because of the Diego and Steve saga but because Sean was there catering to everyone as if she lived there, which eased up my work and Jessica was there having a good time. She didn’t get out much. Never did. She was a homebody.
I turned on some neo soul and we had conversations among ourselves. The only ones who weren’t speaking to each other were Steve and Diego. Was I the only one who noticed that? Jessica and Sean were talking about her girls. Steve and I were talking about the music I was playing. It was an up and coming artist, Ledisi. My father had bought her CD along with a few others when I bought my house. Diego joined in the conversation about Jessica’s girls. They laughed together about something the girls had done over the weekend. I was the godmother to Jessica’s girls but I hadn’t spent time with them since a week before my…accident. I missed them. I felt a little jealous that Diego was sharing in their lives. He seemed to be really animated when he talked about them. That thought made me nervous. He wasn’t even taking care of his own daughter really. Who was he to be spending time with my god daughters?
“Diego, have you talked to Denise?”
Jessica looked at me and her face turned red.
“Yes I talked to her this morning a minute.”
“She seems to be enjoying the home she is in. I’m sure her and Tammy would get along great since they are about the same age.”
“Uh yea, they probably would,” he said looking at Jessica.
“She has a birthday coming up. Are you doing anything for her?”
“Actually, we were talking about having a birthday party for her,” Jessica interrupted.
“Oh really? Is it a surprise? She didn’t mention it,” I asked looking at Diego.
“Yea it’s a surprise.”
He tapped Jessica on her shoulder.
“You ready to go,” he asked standing over her.
“Yea, okay,” she said looking at me. I knew I was going to hear about it later but I didn’t care.
I got up and let my guests out and gave Jessica a hug.
“Take care. Call me tomorrow, ok?”
“Yea okay,” she said. I knew she would call me first thing.
Steve started laughing after I closed the door.
“You’re funny,” he said popping another beer.
I laughed and then we both laughed like we were watching Kat Williams!
Sean looked at us confused.
“Care to share,” she asked looking from me to Steve.
We laughed again.
She got up and took Jessica and Diego’s glasses in the kitchen.
“Do you know who Diego is,” I asked her.
“Yea, he is a local dealer.”
“Well that’s the joke basically. The drug dealer, cop, and social worker under one roof.”
She laughed too.
“Yea and the paramedic!”
We all laughed.
Steve excused himself twenty minutes later and it was Sean and I alone again.
We cleaned up the kitchen and I heard scratching noises at the window. I ran over to the window to let Sammy in. Fat cat jumped down to the floor and meowed. Milk time! We couldn’t do anything but laugh as he sat down and waited nicely for me to pour him some milk. Spoiled rotten.
We sat down and listened to some jazz this time and drank a bottle of wine.
“I guess I should be leaving. It’s late,” she said yawning.
“Do you work tomorrow,” I asked. “I’m off for a week.”
“No, I’m off for the weekend,” she said yawning again.
“How far away do you live?”
“Well I guess I’ll drop Sammy off and stay at my moms. I live in
.” South Park
“Oh nice. Paramedics make good money huh?”
“Yea right. I got a hook up kinda.”
“Oh really. Old girlfriend,” I teased.
“Actually my parents owned it. My mom can’t stay in both places and my brother likes apartment life, so that left me or sell it.”
“Yea it’s a nice spot. Little house but big enough for little old me.”
“Well you could stay here if you want. I wouldn’t mind the company.”
She sat up straight.
“Really? I would like that!”
She grabbed her cell out her pocket.
“Dammit, I forgot to charge my phone. It’s dead.”
“You can use mine.” I handed her the cordless.
I leaned back as she checked on her mom and promised to bring Sammy by in the morning.
“He’s okay mom. We might have to lock that cat door at night so our little guy doesn’t get really lost.”
They spoke for a few moments and then she hung up the phone smiling.
“Yea my brother is there.”
“Oh that’s good. You guys really take care of your mom. That’s nice to see these days.”
“He’s a momma’s boy still,” she joked.
“Then she has two momma’s boys,” I teased.
She laughed so hard tears came to her eyes.
We talked about her brother a bit and how they both decided to go in their respective careers. Their father, though a decent provider, had never really had a “job.” He hustled all his life. In and out of jail on small charges. Bought home from drunken binges. They loved their father but they both vowed never to be like him. They had their mind set on “careers” since they were in elementary school and that was it. They had careers they both loved. Now they tended to their mother and made sure that she was stable. One thing their father had done right was invest in life insurance. Mom was set.
Sean started falling asleep and I didn’t want to interrupt her. I grabbed a blanket out of the hall closet and draped it over her. I watched her for a few moments as she slept peacefully. I felt safe with her there. For the first time, I slept in my own bed since my…accident.