from my pocket.
“You need to explain it to me first. I’m thinking you’re the one that bumped your head and not Joe. I can believe you’re asking me to do this shit.”
“Everything has turned into a mess. Mia won’t see me or talking to me and it’s all Tammy’s fault.”
“Still not giving me enough detail here, Mikey.” She went back to working not finding my request important enough to stop. “If she fucked everything up, why in the hell do you want to talk to her?”
“She’s claiming I asked her to marry me and that she’s pregnant with my baby.” There it was, out in the open. I might as well have put that shit on a billboard now. Izzy never kept a secret.
“Wait, what?” She stood suddenly. “You drop that shit on me like it’s nothing while I have a needle in someone’s skin?”
“You asked for details and those are the details.”
“Give me fifteen minutes to finish this and we’re going to have a talk before I do what you’re asking me to. I want to know what the fuck happened with the doctor too.”
“Fine, I’ll wait.” I sighed and kicked my feet up on the customer chair. “How’s Joe?” I asked. “Anyone see him lately?”
“He’s well. You should go see him. He’s been home for two days,” Anthony said.
“Kind of had other things on my mind,” I muttered.
“I know, but I’m sure Suzy is smothering him to death at this point,” Izzy said, laughing.
“Joe loves that shit. He’s probably milking it for all it’s worth,” Anthony stated mimicking a blowjob.
I missed being here every day. I missed the four of us as it had been weeks ago.
Everything had changed in my life in the last week – the highest high to the lowest low.
I wanted so badly to talk to Mia. I wondered if she knew how to block someone like Izzy had done on my phone. I hope she didn’t block me. She hadn’t read a damn message I sent her. I couldn’t help myself. I had to keep trying.
Me: Mia, please talk to me. Tammy’s lying and insane. You have to believe me! I miss you, Doc.
I stared at the screen hoping my message would show read but nothing. It just sat there delivered and unread.
I opened Facebook and searched for her page. She posted something yesterday. I shouldn’t have looked because it made me feel more rejected than I already did.
She posted a quote from Cicero. - Nothing is more noble, nothing more venerable than fidelity. Faithfulness and truth are the most sacred excellences and endowments of the human mind.
I sat there, stunned into silence by her words, as I waited for Izzy to finish.
I still caught myself thinking of Izzy as a little girl. I pictured her with her pigtails flopping, playing hopscotch in the front yard or begging us to play football. She always felt left out because we worried she’d get hurt. She turned into a tomboy in her teenage years before she realized the power of being a female.
Izzy was a tag along and we hated it when she was a little girl, but as she grew older, we used it to our advantage. We scared away more men than she’d ever know.
She was ours to protect… no matter the cost.
I had been lost in thought when she walked back into the work area after her client left. “Alright, let’s go outside and you can tell me what happened.”
“Thanks, Izzy,” I said, following her out back.
We walked into the Florida evening sun and my skin felt like it was being burned. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, just a brilliant blue color and the sun shining brightly.
“Why do you want to talk to that pyscho?” She crossed her arms over her chest, leaning against the building in the shade.
“I want to catch her in her lies,” I said, as I ran my fingers through my hair. “It’s the only way I can do it quick.”
“Why not just go to the police? I’m sure they can speed shit along if you tell them you’re Thomas’ brother.”
“I will if I have to, but I need to prove to Mia that she’s full of shit, Izzy. I can’t have this hanging over my head with the fight coming up either.” I moved my neck from side to side, trying to crack it. I gave it a push before hearing the bones crack to relieve some of the pressure.
“What’s your plan?”
“I’m going to pretend I give a flying fuck and ask to take her take me to the doctor with her. I want to be the proud daddy. I’m hoping they can confirm that she isn’t pregnant and that it will at least win some favor with Mia. Hopefully it will get Tammy out of my life once and for all.” I kicked a stone, watching it skip across the back parking lot.
“Could backfire in your face, brother.”
“It’s not my kid even if she is pregnant.”
“It only takes once.” She rolled her eyes like I was a fucking idiot.
“No shit, Sherlock. I used protection every time. She’s grasping at straws.”
“Fine, but when this shit blows up in your face, just remember I told you so.”
“Oh, I’m sure you’ll remind me every day, baby sister.” I laughed.
“Give it to me,” she said, holding out her hand.
Giving her my phone, I watched as she tapped the screen and within seconds handed it back.
“You really have to show me how to do that,” I said, scrolling through my contacts and stopping on Tammy’s name.
“Nope. I’d miss out on all the good shit if I taught you boys everything.”
“You’re right. I’d give my left nut not to have to deal with your ass sometimes. Thanks though for this.” I wrapped her in my arms, kissing the top of her head.
“Just let me know if you need reinforcements. I know Ma told you you’re not allowed to hit girls, but that rule doesn’t apply to me.” Her smile grew so large it almost touched her eyes. “That’s the bonus of not having a dick and being part of the pussy party.” She laughed, slapping me on the chest.
“You’re my go to chick for an ass beating, Izzy.” I smiled at her. She really could be adorable.
“Go get your shit straightened out. You have a fight to win and I may or may not have something very important bet on the outcome.”
My smiled faded. “You didn’t bet on my fight, did you? Please tell me you at least picked me to win.”
She nodded. “Fuck, yeah. Who else would I pick? You’re going to break that dude’s neck.”
“Only if I can get my mind in the game before that day. My life needs to even out so I can concentrate on one thing at a time.”
“Well, what the hell are you still standing here for? Get.” She shooed me.
“Yes, ma’am.” I saluted her as I walked away.
I reminded myself I had a mission as I sat in the hot car waiting for the air conditioning to kick in. I had a mission. I gave myself a pep talk, psyching myself up. “You can do this. You have to do this. ” I held my breath and hit the call button. My stomach flipped with each ring.
“Michael?” she asked in almost a whisper.
I heard her voice and I had to choke down the bile rising in my throat. “Hey, Tammy.” I almost convinced myself that the hello was sincere.
“Oh my god. I’m so happy to hear your voice, baby. I’ve been waiting for your call.”
I closed my eyes and gripped the steering wheel. “I’m sorry I’ve been a dick. Think you could forgive me?” I asked through gritted teeth.
“You know I love you, Michael. I could never stay mad at you.”
Her voice made my skin crawl. “How’s the baby?” I asked, rolling my eyes.
“Safe and sound. Growing bigger every day,” she replied in a cheery voice. Clearly she was had an entire jar of screws lose in her head.
“I was thinking,” I stopped and gave myself a moment to carefully form my next words. “I was wondering if we could go to the doctor so I can see the baby on the monitor, like an ultrasound. I told my mother and she said it’s the most amazing experience to see the baby in the womb.”
She gasped. “You t
old your mother?”
“I did. She’s so excited to finally have a grandbaby. I want to show her a picture of our baby. What do you think?” I held my breath. Please be crazy enough not to question my lie.
She sucked in a breath. “Okay, I know a doctor at the hospital that I can call, I guess. Maybe she can get us in,” she said with a shaky voice.
“Tell her it needs to be as soon as possible. I can’t wait any longer and it would make my mom really happy.”
“I’ll try and track her down at the hospital tonight. She may be there when I go into work.”
“Perfect.” I said feeling relieved. “Listen, I gotta run. I’m supposed to be at my brother’s. Text me when you have the details.”
“I will, Michael. I love you.” She drew out the words.
Cue the creepy music from the movie ‘Psycho’.
“Back at ya.” I tapped end, unable to spend another second on the phone listening to her and lying through my teeth.
She deserved the deception.