Chapter Six Hundred and Seventy-three - And really, when have you ever done anything on your own? (part three)
CHAPTER SIX HUNDRED and SEVENTY-THREE
“He’s gone,” Tanesha said. “You can talk to me. I’m just a regular person. I work a job like you. I’m no star.”
“Okay. Um,” Hazel said. “Thanks.”
“No problem,” Tanesha said. “What’s going on?”
“Jabari is Annette’s eldest child,” Hazel said.
“She has two or three others,” Tanesha said. “I’m not really sure how many because we’ve never seen them.”
“She has three other children,” Hazel said. “Two of them were removed from the home and placed with Annette’s mother. The youngest one was a baby.”
“Okay,” Tanesha said, slowly.
“Annette’s mother has died,” Hazel said. “As well as her sisters, Annette’s Aunts. They. . . well, um. . . Covid. The whole family has died.”
“The whole family,” Tanesha repeated still unsure of what was being said. “Their fathers?”
“One is in the hospital,” Hazel said. “Covid. It doesn’t look like he’ll make it. His parents have already succumbed to the virus. The baby’s father, well, he died.”
“Wow,” Tanesha said.
“Oh, sorry, he was a rapper,” Hazel said. “He was killed before the child was born last year. Drive-by shooting.”
“Okay,” Tanesha said. “I apologize but I’m not sure how I can help.”
“You’re right. I need to be more clear,” Hazel said. She gasped a breath and started talking, “I need to place the children. Annette’s chlidren are in foster care now. I went to visit with them last night, and they kept asking about Jabari. They don’t want to be placed in Atlanta where they’d be away from Jabari. They’ve asked me to move them to Denver, so that they can see their brother.”
“My friend, Heather, has a social worker who has helped them with their adoption,” Tanesha said. “If you hang on a minute. . .”
“I’ve spoken with social services there,” Hazel said. “They are as overrun as we are.”
“Overrun?” Tanesha slowly asked the question.
Tanesha felt like Hazel was saying something but she was too slow to hear or understand.
Her mind slipped to standing in the Castle kitchen this morning. She was putting away the tea pot when Delphie came up to her. Delphie hugged her. Pulling back, the oracle gave Tanesha was Valerie called an “Oracle Bomb,” a prophetic sentence that makes no sense at the time but will at some point in the near future.
“And really, when have you ever done anything on your own?” Delphie asked.
She kissed Tanesha’s cheek and drifted away. Tanesha realized that Hazel had been talking this entire time.
“I’m sorry,” Tanesha said. “I got off work at 3 this morning and have been running since then. I’m a little bleary. Would you mind repeating what you were saying?”
“Sure, no problem,” Hazel said. “How is medical school going?”
“Weird,” Tanesha said. “The pandemic has made the school part pretty weird and the rounds deadly.”
“I’m tired,” Tanesha said. “I’m sure you are too.”
“I bet,” Hazel said. “And yes, yes, I’m exhausted.”
“Please, humor me and repeat what you were saying,” Tanesha said.
Denver Cereal continues tomorrow...
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