CHAPTER TWO HUNDRED and TWO
“There’s a cup of tea for you in the cup holder. You left yours on the bus. And…” he reached in his pocket and pulled out something wrapped in a napkin. “I don’t know what this is but it’s from Katy.”
Tanesha opened the napkins to see a crumpled Strawberry frosted Pop Tart. Katy was only allowed to have these once a week; she had given her favorite treat to Tanesha.
“How did you know?” Tanesha sniffed back her emotions.
“Me?” Shaking his head, Mike turned onto Montview Boulevard and drove toward the School of Medicine. “I have a newborn. I can barely tie my shoes for lack of sleep and…”
Tanesha laughed at the idea that a man who never slept was sleep deprived. Mike glanced at her and laughed.
“The first person who told me was Jake,” Mike said. “He asked on Thursday if I would mind being on this street at 6:45 a.m. this morning. He gave me a map but not a reason why. He said I’d know when I got there. I didn’t find out why until Delphie pulled me aside yesterday and asked if I would mind helping you. I told her I already had plans for this morning, but she was quite sincere. Jill asked last night. But the kicker was Katy. She was standing outside our door this morning with your treat. She followed me around to make sure I wasn’t late.”
Tanesha shook her head at the psychics.
“You’re well prognosticated,” Mike laughed.
Tanesha laughed. He threw a handkerchief at her.
“That’s from Jill,” he said. “So what happened?”
“Some girls got on and started talking about…” Tanesha’s shame and sorrow welled. She shook her head and stopped talking.
“Jeraine, huh?” Mike nodded.
“You act like you expected it,” Tanesha said.
“I live it,” Mike said. “I was out of the VA, I don’t know, maybe two weeks when the first guy started bragging about screwing Val. On and on he went. He threw in all kinds of details. I wanted to kill him but Delphie was there and…”
Mike shook himself like a dog.
“I want to kill myself,” Tanesha said.
“That too,” Mike said. “When we were in LA last time, I was fawned over by all these women who wanted to fuck me and ‘enlightened’ by all these men who said they fucked Val. It’s disgusting.”
“Bizarre,” Tanesha said. “These girls knew details about him. I mean he must have…”
“Or they read those stupid magazines,” Mike said. “I’m not saying Jer wasn’t promiscuous…”
“He screwed everybody,” Tanesha said.
“Everybody talks,” Mike said. “Those girls might have had sex with him, or more likely, they’re just mean. They saw you on the bus and wanted to make you feel bad as bad as they feel.”
“How do you know?” Tanesha asked.
“Because that’s what Delphie told me when I was going to kill that guy,” Mike said. “Plus, is it really normal behavior to brag about the intimate details of your sex life in front of strangers? Would you do that?”
“No way,” Tanesha shook her head.
“So why would they?” Mike asked. “Think about it. What are they doing?”
“Bragging,” Tanesha sighed.
“Trying to boost their ego,” Mike said. “Everybody knows you and Jeraine now. Everybody knows you’re going to med school. They had to know what you were doing.”
“You don’t think I just overheard them,” Tanesha gestured out the window. “I could go anywhere and a billion women are going to be ‘he’s so big’ and…”
“What?” Tanesha asked.
“At least I don’t have to hear about the size of Val’s… whatever,” Mike said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…
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