The morning greeted with me with already brewing coffee as I eased out of bed with a cat-like stretch. It had been hours since I’d left Evelyn, and the worry for her had gone nowhere.
I shuffled out of my bedroom, and into the kitchen. Nothing like a fresh cup of java on an early Saturday morning. I stirred in my creamer, added just enough sugar, and thought about reaching for the phone to call my sullen friend.
“It’s 7 a.m., Too early to call anybody, girl!” I told myself.
I scratched at the braids in my hair with worry, and sipped on the brown elixir that always made me feel so alive.
“I love you,Mr. Coffee!” I said to my machine. I tapped it on top, like petting a Schnauzer, and I knew it must love me too.
I sat down on the big, oversized brown chair that faces the window in my front room, and sought a bit of comfort to go with my morning magic juice. I nestled in, pulled up the need-to-be-dusted white mini blinds, and looked for the doe that always pokes her head out of the woods about seven fifteen.
“Hello,Beautiful.” I whispered.
As if she could hear me, she raised her head, and looked towards my apartment. I sipped at my coffee, and smiled.
“God is so amazing!” I thought to myself. I just sat there, watching her like that, for twenty minutes, or so. Out of nowhere, my cellphone started to ring.
“Hello?” I answered, happy that it was Evy.
“I’m like five minutes from your place. Are you up? I’ve got Krispy Kreme’s!” I could hear her smiling through the phone.
“Yea, sister! I’m just sitting here watching Dee.” I sang back to her.
“You, and that deer!” She laughed. “I’m gone get me a shotgun, and hunt her down! Make me a lil deer soup!” She teased like always.
“You better leave my doe alone!” I giggled back. “Come on through! The door’s open, Crazy!”
I got up, resistantly, and opened the front door. Every joint in my six feet tall, two hundred pound body ached from Evy, and I’s walk through Downtown Dayton on the day before. Still, I thanked God that at forty-eight I was still alive; still able to move at all. Some folks didn’t have that.
Evy pulled into the space next to my old blue junker, a ’95 Buick Century, and like a tiny Tinkerbell, her frame seemed to float out of the big Escalade that brought her there.
“Good morning, Friend!” She said, all of her beautiful white teeth showing.
“Good morning, Friend! Praise the Lord! What has you all happy this morning? I’m not complainin’ now, but what a change from the shower of tears on yesterday! Gimme a hug!”
I hugged her as if I hadn’t seen her in years, even though her hands were full, and she couldn’t hug me back.
“Alright, alright” she said. “Let me get in, and sit down, Huggy Face! You’re acting like you didn’t just see me yesterday! Take these donuts before I finish them off, with my fat self.”
I looked at her with a side eyed grin, and shook my head. Evelyn Harris couldn’t gain a pound if she tried.
“Fat? Where? Girl, the last time you gained a pound you were still in diapers. What do you weigh, like a buck twenty?”
“A buck twenty five according to the bathroom scale this morning. That’s too much! I’m only 5’3.”
I couldn’t help but to laugh a little.
“Trust me, you’re not fat. You’re beautiful, my sister. I don’t think I’ve ever been a hundred and twenty five pounds. You know I’ve been this height since I was twelve, and the smallest I think I’ve been was a hundred and fifty. You remember how skinny I was then?”
I turned my face into a grimmace. I couldn’t imagine being that tiny again.
“Yes!” She said with a giggle. “We were both a hot mess back then! Yuck on the eighty’s! Worse decade ever!” She used her hands to do the thumbs down symbol, then flipped tossed her hair the way the white girls did on TV.
“Right? So glad we’re older now! So, really. What is going on? What has you floatin’ on air this morning?You were so undone yesterday.” Now, I had my serious face.
“Prayer, Friend! I went home, and cried, I did. Then, I thought about Daddy, and what he went through to start, and pastor Peaceful Beginnings, and I had to talk to God because I just cannot understand how we got here! I mean, here’s a man who put his all into the church, who prayed with joined hands with all five of his children every morning before school, who died in service to the Lord, and his children are fighting amongst themselves, and not working together? It is crazy! I just prayed, Sis.”
I walked into the kitchen for another cup of Joe as I listened to her. I had a lot to say, opinions, and whatnots, but she didn’t need that. Not yet.
“You want some?”
“Yes. A big cup!”
I went into the oak lined cabinet, and got out the biggest cup I could find. She talked, I poured.
“If I leave, there will be no one there that understands the love that it will take for Peaceful Beginnings to remain functional; the understanding needed for those that come in seeking refuge.”
“I see.” I answered, walking back to my comfy chair.
“It matters, you know? Daddy said that God told him to start that church. I look at it this way. I strayed away, but came back. And, they’re judging me, hard! But, they don’t think I see it, or feel the way they distance themselves from me. If I see it, and feel it, why wouldn’t someone who comes in off the street notice it, as well?”
She broke half a Krispy Kreme, and dipped it into her gigantic cup off blackcoffee before taking a huge bite.
“What does your mom say, or do, about all of this? Have you talked with her about it? And, what about the pastor, have you spoken to him?” I said, biting my lips after every question.
She dropped her head, as if she didn’t want to entertain the questions I had asked. And, once again, her eyes poured tears.