THE COLDEST SUMMER EVER…
I really don’t remember exactly what I was doing when Denisha told me that she was moving to Florida. I had overheard her speaking to my mothers’ brother about it over the phone a few times, but I honestly thought that my sister was going to shrug it off and not pursue the move. So when she bought it to me, I was a little confused. I was sitting in her living room chair, by the window. She just came out with it.
“I’m moving to Florida.” I remember staring blankly at her thinking that she was joking. “After my son comes home from the hospital, I’m moving to Florida. My sister had given birth to my nephew Keanu and he was in the hospital ICU, being born prematurely. Denisha had had an extremely hard pregnancy plagued by a lot of emotional and physical downs. So during the last few weeks of her pregnancy when she was being coaxed into moving to Florida, I paid the talk no mind at all. We had a history of Denisha up and moving away, and then coming back a few weeks later. There have been times where Denisha would make up her mind to move and to change her mind.
“He said that he could help us get set up.” The guy that Denisha was referring to was my mothers’ brother. I don’t recognize the man as a relative and I never say his name. So I will not refer to him in my book. If he had nothing to do with this story, I wouldn’t write about him at all. He is as good as dead to me.
“He said that it would be easy to find a job there.” My sister was fed this fairytale of moving to another state and being comfortable with her family. She thought that they would help her find a job and find a place to stay. Denisha thought that they would help her invest in property and buy a house so that her two little children would grow up and be happy. She was force-fed a dream. I sat there and listened to her dream. I listened to her say that there were no jobs in Jersey City and that she was tired of struggling. She explained how she wasn’t going to let anyone talk her out of it, because her mind was made up. I stayed silent.
As much as I thought that it was a bad idea, an opinion I had voiced to my mother, I said nothing to my sister. My mother and Leeman told my sister that I was against the move. It was a bad idea. I didn’t trust my mother’s brother, he was an ex addict. .I can’t trust anyone who sells me fairy tales without telling me the price I would have to pay for the happy ending. I’m certain Snow White had to fuck a dwarf before she ran off with Prince charming. However, Denisha decided to listen to her “Christian” family and walked by faith. I supported her decision, all the while wondering, what am I going to do?
I had been staying with my sister during her pregnancy because she needed extra help around the house. Before staying with her, I was staying in South River, New Jersey. Staying with my sister made it possible to see my niece often. I enjoyed staying with my family, because I loved being around them. Regardless of anything that we might have gone through, there was security in knowing that my family was there. But as the Florida became a reality, there was no invite for me to join them. So the decision was to leave me in Jersey City.
I had a job, but good paying jobs in Jersey and New York were very hard to come by and so, I knew the inevitably, I would be homeless. I was blind-sided when my sister told me that she had stopped paying rent to fund her trip to Florida and she had been served with an eviction notice. At first, the plan was to hand over the apartment to me and I could stay there when they left. But when the eviction came, and I knew that I could not pay the back rent on my own. I had to pack up my things and move out.
I remember the day my niece left. It was Mother’s Day. She and my mother were driving down to Florida with my mother’s brother and his wife. I suck at saying goodbye to people. But it hurt like hell saying goodbye to my niece again. The first time I had to say bye to Keyarra, Denisha decided to move upstate New York with my cousin Kris and his wife Wanda. The morning they left, I was destroyed. I wasn’t even in the house that morning. I said bye to Keyarra over the phone.
This time, Keyarra gave me a hug and a kiss. My mother hugged me and told me that she loved me. If you really loved me, why would you leave me this way? I thought. I waved them off. As I was headed upstairs back to the apartment. My friend Johnnie called me.
“Are you okay?” Johnnie asked. Johnnie was the only person I had allowed to get close to me. I loved Johnnie. “I have a feeling that you aren’t okay.” He said.
“I just had to say bye to my mom and Keyarra.” I said trying not to cry.
“Do you want to talk about it?” Johnnie asked. “I know that you don’t but you should.”
“I’m fine.” I said.
“You’re such a fucking liar.” He said. “You’re so tired. Stop being so tired.” Tired is a gay term for tired acting queens. For some reason, Johnnie loved calling me a tired queen. Because I was a tired queen.
“I will be okay.” I said.
“Out of all the days they had to leave, they picked Mothers’ Day?” He asked. “That is so fucked up?” I started to sob lightly.
“I will call you back.” I said and hung up the phone. Johnnie texted me.
I know Ur crying… That’s so tired!
I laughed. He was so right!