At home, I went to Reagan’s room and stood in the doorway, expecting her to be asleep in her bed; though it was way too early for her to be home from school. I could smell her baby powder and lilac scented essence. For the first time since having her, I missed her.
I trusted Scott and knowing him, he had pulled a stunt out of spite of me not wanting to marry him. He saw the passion in my eyes when I spoke about acting. I guess he figured it was more important to me than raising my daughter. His decisions rarely confused me but I was stumped.
On the other hand, I could honestly say that he was the one person on this earth I trusted with the well-being of Reagan. Well, besides me, of course.
I would soon have to find something to busy myself in the absence of my baby. With little true friends in Miami, I had spent the majority of my time there being a mother to Reagan and co-parent to Scott. Most of my friends had been made (and some lost) during my years on the West Coast. When I had down days, I usually called Papa or my high school best
While I was riding the wave of fame Chelsea had moved from Miami to New York. Though Chelsea and I didn’t speak on a daily (or monthly, sometimes yearly) basis, she was more than a friend, she was the sister I always wanted. What I loved most about our bond was that we could go any length of time in between conversations and always picked up where we had
left off. It had been far too long. I needed a friend at that moment.
“Teresa Jackson!” Her alto voice sang on the other end of the phone.
“I think I dialed the wrong number,” I joked in reference to her using my real name.
“Girl, you will always and forever be Reece to me. I don’t know no Tawneeeee.”
We giggled like school girls and caught one another up to date on one another’s lives. Chelsea had parlayed the perfect post-teaching job into a great life for herself in New York. When she lost her teaching position due to budget cuts, she was asked to be the guardian of a 16
year old actress in the Big Apple. Once then-famous Racquel McDougal was old enough to live on her own, Chelsea remained in the city.
Though she couldn’t land a writing job at her favorite black women’s magazine, she was able to blog her way to the top; securing sponsors and a cult-like following. Writing under the pseudonym Mahogany Jones, Chelsea was able to discuss controversial topics while maintaining her very Christian point of view in real life. Chelsea, a hopeless romantic to boot, had found herself in love once again. This time with a tall, Nigerian lawyer named Tunde.
“He’s the one, Reece,” she cooed during our marathon conversation.
“So, you’re finally over Jared? We’ll see.”
“Yes, we will. We’re coming down there next week. So you’ll get to meet him.”
“Get the fu-uh –udge outta here.”
“Yup. So, be sure to have Miss Reagan ready for Auntie Chelly and Uncle Tunde. We’re staying on the beach. We’ll be there for a little over a week.”
“What’s the occasion?”
“His cousin is getting married. His parents are in Nigeria and he’s the only boy so he has to represent for his family.”
“Cool. But, um, you won’t be able to see Reagan.”
I had to break down all the particulars about Scott taking Reagan and me not having his new number. It wasn’t as painful as I thought it would be. Chelsea took it lightly, too.
“Oh, well, Scott only wants what’s best for Reagan. We both know that. He’s probably not over the fact that he’s not her real fa-”Chelsea blurted without thinking.
“What does that have anything to do with it?”
“Nothing. It’s just. You know what? We can talk about it in person. Just know I had a talk with Scott recently and he’s a good man. You ever thought about that, Teresa?”
“Not you, too. If I hear how good of a man he is one more time, I think I’ll probably drop dead.”
“Be my guest.”
After a thirty-second pause we both broke into laughter. Chelsea and I could never stay mad at one another for over a minute. We had always respected one another’s differences enough to know when to say when. Though her comment about Reagan’s father bothered me, I knew it came from a real place.
Over the years, Scott and Chelsea had formed a brother-sister relationship. It was Chelsea who answered the phone on those late nights when Scott called to see if I had been with her when I went missing. Chelsea was Reagan’s unofficial god mother and would’ve been named my maid of honor if I ever committed to marrying someone.
Chelsea’s family made me their daughter when I was a rough, fourteen year old girl from
Liberty City. Sure, at first, I thought she was a snobby Oreo with no street sense, but over the years I’d seen her struggle and recover just as much as anyone else. She had made it in New York so she had to have some kind of heart about her. Where I was strong, she was weak and vice versa. I had watched her pray for me many nights when she thought I was asleep across the room from her.
She loved me like her mother had given birth to me and I was so thankful for that love.
“So, have you been going to worship service?”
I had known this question was coming sooner or later.
“No. I’m making a conscious effort to try and get to hell as quickly as possible. Pre-marital sex? Check. A child out of wedlock? Check. What else?”
“I think you pretty much covered it. You want me to bring you gasoline g-strings or boy shorts?”
“Lemme think. Boy shorts. They make my butt look better.”
“Honestly, Chelsea, I don’t think I can go back there.”
“Why not? All have sinned and-”
“Fallen short of the glory of God, I know. It’s just that since Scott and I broke up I don’t wanna go by myself.”
“You and Scott broke up over a year ago. Don’t tell me that’s the last time you’ve been.”
“Uhhhh. Okay, so I won’t tell you and I don’t need a lecture. When I get it together, I’ll go back.”
“All I can do is pray.”
“Please do that. Seriously, I need it.”
“I know. That’s why you called me.”
I heard her voice smile on the other end of the phone. I smiled as well.
“You ready?” she asked.
“Yeah. Let me get down here.” I knelt down beside my bed and clasped my hands.
My best friend, sister, and prayer partner sent up a prayer so heartfelt and sincere. I had no choice but to allow God to do what He would. By the end of the prayer we were both in tears, reconnected in a way only God could permit. I was ever so thankful and ready to move forward; accepting of what God had already done.
To be continued…
Hey lovely readers! What would you do if you were in Tawny’s position? Do you remember Chelsea? Are you glad she’s back? Let’s talk about it!