I took the long way home after leaving my parents house. My plan was to wait for my mom to get home to tell them both about my upcoming trip down south, but, after talking to that Adaline woman from Ohio on the phone, I just wanted to get out of there, get something to eat and call Vickie as soon as I got home. I stopped at Church’s Chicken on East Jefferson near Belle Isle and got a 3 piece snack, two legs and a wing with fries, a biscuit, a jalapeno pepper, and a large strawberry pop that would serve as my dinner after talking to V.
“What the hell is going on?” (I thought out loud to myself). Who is this Adaline woman, what’s the deal on my hazel eyes, and, for that matter, what she doing with my eyes. What did she mean when she said she know about me – know what about me? I’m confused, how does some old woman in Akron, Ohio know that I have hazel eyes and we’ve never met – and what’s the story on how did Bud and Emma get a 32 year old child. They got me the old fashion way Ms. Adaline – you do know where babies come from – don’t you? I had so many questions to ask somebody, starting with mom and dad, but, look how Bud reacted when I told him about going down south – why was he so vexed, so uncomfortable just hearing me say the words – “I’m going down south on assignment.” To be honest, I wasn’t surprised by his reaction – something inside told me that this wasn’t going to be a pleasant moment between father and daughter. Still, I wonder, what’s the big deal, whats down south that Bud don’t want me to see? How is mom going to react -I’m sure when she gets home Bud is gonna wake up from that lazy boy and tell on me – tell on me, a grown woman who built her life around her parents so completely that I’ve never traveled outside of Michigan. I need answers, I need to know what they’re hiding from me, I wan’t to know why they never go back home – down south where they both are from. I need to know what pecans that lady is talking about, where they are, where down south do pecans grow. I need to, I need to – I’m going to call Adaline Love – I’ve got her phone number in my purse. I’m going to call Adaline when I get home, then, I’ll call Vickie.
I pulled up in front of my apartment full of anticipation of speaking with the mystery woman who knew both my parents. I grabbed some stuff out the back seat in one hand and my dinner in the other. As I was putting my key in the door, my neighbor across the hall from me came out dressed to impress somebody, with too much perfume and make up and hollered in her high pitch voice, “Hey girl. I’m glad I caught you Tommie, where you been all day?”
“Hey Flora.” (still fumbling with my keys). “Girl, girl, you won’t believe who came by here about an hour ago, I couldn’t believe it – he had the nerve”
“Who, who Flora, who you talking about?”
“Joseph, Joseph girl. I just happened to be outside getting something outta my car and he go pull up and blow his horn at me trying to get my attention.”
“What did he want Flo?”
“You girl – you know what he wanted. He asked me was you home and I got smart with his yellow ass and said “Do you see her car Joseph – I don’t see it, do you?”
“Well, what did he say after you said that?” (I asked).
“Nothing, he didn’t say nothing. He just licked his tongue out making perverted gestures and drove off. I made sure to give him the finger so he could see it in his rear view mirror.” (we both laughed).
“I know that’s right girl. I’ve been over at my parents house all day – where you off to?”
“I’m going to a house party on the North East side. My cousin is giving it and it’s suppose to be off the hook Tommie – you should come.”
“Thanks Flo, but, not tonight. I’ve got some things I need to take care of, phone calls and such, making plans for my trip down south – thanks though.”
“I hope those phone calls and such don’t include calling that ass hole Joseph girl, you too good for him Tommie.”
“I know that girl! I ain’t talked to his ass in over a year – that’s definitely over and done with.”
“OK then, I’ll see you later. Listen out for my car if you woke when I get home and maybe we can talk later.”
“Alright Flo, have a good time.”
I turned my TV on and sat down to eat my dinner. I thought about what to say to Adaline when she answered, if she answered the phone. Feelings of panic overtook me after eating so I got up and went to the bathroom and splashed cold water on my face for about 10 minutes until the panic subsided. The phone number in my purse stared at me like a photograph in a frame 330-868-8827. I dialed the number.
“Hi, hello, can I please speak to Adaline Love?”
To be continued…..