“Last time I check, one stopped being a boy once he hit his forties,” Fancy replied.
“Girl, your Big Ma would be the laughingstock around these parts!”
“Big Ma, Millen has surely gotten over that after all these years.’
“Whatever girl,” Big Ma huffed. “I don’t plan to find out. Things are good like they are and I would ask you to keep your nose out of this grown woman’s business.”
Fancy was so ready for a comeback to that comment. Funny that she doesn’t have the same thoughts when it comes to my business, Fancy thought to herself. But rather than launch another argument, Fancy changed the subject.
It was now 4:25 p.m. on Monday and Fancy had eaten or slept very little since arriving that past Wednesday morning. She kept wondering if the last conversation between her and Big Ma had led to this stroke. Those thoughts would not allow her to rest. Wilson kept a hospital vigil alongside Fancy and as always, he did everything in his power to look out for Fancy. He knew Big Ma would have his hide if he didn’t. However, nothing he could say would make Fancy rest for more than twenty minutes at a time.
The medical center had a pioneering family ICU that allowed one visitor per night to reside in the room with the patient. Fancy camped out as much as she could, but felt obligated to allow Wilson to spend some of the nights with his lady love. On those nights, Fancy slept at the Holiday Inn across the street. If Big Ma had any idea that Fancy was not housed at a more upscale place, she would flip her lid. That past evening, Wilson had stayed at the motel. It was quite obvious that Wilson was tired as well. So Fancy had pulled out her best Big Ma impression to get him to sleep in better accommodations than the pull-out bed the hospital offered. Her routine must have worked, because Wilson gave in after only ten minutes of her ranting.
Wilson must have been pretty worn out because he had not graced Big Ma’s room all morning. He had called briefly around noon to let her know that he was waiting on something and would be right over afterwards. Fancy did not bother to ask what that something was. She instead spent that time contacting her cousin Candace to bring her up to speed.
Candace Jenkins, or Candy as she preferred to be called, was Fancy’s older cousin by six months. Big Ma had raised the two girls by herself. Both had been abandoned in a sense. Fancy, by her mother’s untimely death and Candy, by her heroin-addicted parents. Whereas Fancy had been Big Ma’s Great Light Hope, Candy seemed to occupy the role of Black Sheep. Fancy generally went along with Big Ma’s plans for her life; Candy bucked at every opportunity.
Fancy and Candy were quite close however, and Fancy intended to let her in on every detail of their grandmother’s illness. And she had done just that since that mad race from North Carolina last week. Fancy gave Candy the results of the tests as well as she could. She didn’t have to explain too much; Candy was a dentist in L.A.
Candy proceeded to give Fancy the details of her travel plans. She explained that Fancy did not have to do this alone. Fancy told her not to rush.
Candy exhaled on the other end of the line. “Look Fancy, you don’t really have to be the hero here. I am quite willing to come out there and help you out. Remember those four-year olds you left behind in North Carolina. I am pretty sure they would love attention from their mommy right now.”
“Look Candy, the twins are fine. They are with their daddy…I mean the daddy’s nanny…and are being spoiled rotten.” Fancy chuckled. “ I have a lot to undo when I get back.”
“I understand that Fancy, but they still need you. At least that’s what all the experts say…. of course, childless, all-over-the place Candy Jenkins wouldn’t know. At least that what Big Ma would say.”
Fancy declined to be baited by Candy. She had been in the middle of Big Ma and Candy’s war for years and she really didn’t have the strength to argue. She just stared out of the room’s solitary window with the phone pressed to her ear.
“Okay Candy, if I can’t come pick you up, I will have someone meet you at the airport in the ATL. Honestly, I will be glad for you to be here. I love Wilson, but I still feel alone.”
“Who says you are alone Fancy?” asked a male voice just behind her.
© Copyrighted 2010 by D’Anne Speaks