She was beautiful. That was all I could think about as I open the door to my office. I normally don’t pay attention to women anymore, I’ve become desensitized to women that even just a beautiful face doesn’t interest me anymore.
But her, she exuded so many things all at one time and I know I looked weird but I was drawn to her. I set my coffee down on my desk and open my laptop to display my desktop. I noticed I had an inbox of sixty thousand emails that I needed to sort through.
I take off my coat and still having this image of this woman in my head. She had this hazel nut complexion that was like the richest of skin tones, and her curls were smoothly pinned back into one of those ponytail puff things natural women like to wear. I could barely get a good glimpse of her because she was on her phone. But I do know that her aura screamed at me. It screamed at me and I was forced to stop in my tracks.
She screamed out in pain, passion, fear, love even. She was quiet. I probably won’t ever see her again but I do know you do not forget a woman like that.
“Yo, T, the boys want to know if you’re still doing the group talk tonight.” I look up to see my best friend and business partner in front of my desk. I didn’t even hear him walk in. Josiah and I have been friends since grade school. We played ball together, ran on the track team together, that has always been my boy. We both got into a lot of trouble towards graduation. It was a wonder we even graduated at all. We would skip class and go across town to hang with the boys on Z Street. We got into some hard drugs, alcohol, just two young black men on the wrong side of town who didn’t know any better.
“Wassup man?” I say as we do our greeting of a dap.
“But, nah, I can’t, Auntie is having a last-minute dinner she wants all of us to be at and you know how she is” I say, smiling and shaking my head as I mention my mother.
“Man, do I, Auntie J don’t play. Remember that time after graduation, when we got so drunk at that party, we missed our own graduation dinner?”
“She was so pissed when we walked in, I will never forget the look on her face and I felt bad for you because you lived there” He starts bursting out laughing.
“Keep laughin, man. You the reason I can’t miss anything ever again. So thanks a lot for that” I say, grinning, remembering that night my mother beat the living daylights out of my behind with that belt.
Janine Bordeaux was a very proud woman. She didn’t take to kindly to her only child missing the most elaborate of dinners.
“Good times” Josiah said.
“But, aye, look, give Auntie my best, but don’t forget we have that new kid coming in today from St. Joe’s shelter. It is your turn to do the intake” He says.
“I’ll holla at you later, man”. We dap each other up again.
“I got you” I say as he exits my office.
I sit back down again and open my emails to see the one for today’s visit. I review the few emails between myself and a “Honey Adeji” on details about the kid and was expecting them soon.
I scroll through some more emails. People inquiring about donations, shelter, the usual and the annual Christmas Party for Zion Church of NOLA in a few weeks.
I hear a knock on the door and see Cam.
“Hey Cam, come on in, wassup?”.
Cam was the very first boy we ever took in at the shelter, he has been here the longest.
A kid from the roughest neighborhood in New Orleans. It is hard for him to find a good home given his track record.
I see so much of myself in him. Only sixteen years old and has been in and out of detention centers and juvi his whole life. He was a smart kid who just got mixed up in the wrong group of people who snitched on him to lessen their time.
“Some lady and this lil dude are here to see you” He says as he stays in the doorway bouncing his basketball up and down.
“Shit” I mutter to myself, they are early.
“Okay, thanks Cam. Just keep them busy. I will be out in a second”. I say as I get all the forms that they will need to sign.