Unedited and subject to change...y'all know what this is...enjoy!
“Thank you, mama,” PJ said, smothering me with hugs and kisses.
I soaked it up knowing that my time before he became a too cool teen boy would come too quickly and I should relish the affection while he gave it freely. PJ ran off, to call Danny and confirm that their plan had worked, no doubt and I grabbed my tablet to make a FaceTime call. As I waited for it to connect, I examined my face in the screen—taking note of the formerly fine lines around my eyes that seemed to have deepened overnight. Thirty-fine was quickly giving way to the rapidly approaching forty and I was feeling…a bit put out by it all. Not that I minded aging because I’m definitely like a fine wine, but as the years progressed, I found myself deeply reevaluating some of my life’s choices and wondering if I made the right ones. Before I could get too far down the rabbit hole of those thoughts, the FaceTime call connected.
“So did you join?”
“Hey Raq. How are you?”
“Yeah yeah hoe, pleasantries and all that. Did. You. Join?”
I nodded once and Raquel squealed in delight.
“I didn’t think you had it in you! My girl,” she said, jigging a little in her seat.
“You didn’t think I had what in me? Did you forget Tim?”
“Oh girl please, Tim was happenstance. Before him, your girl had cobwebs on her. You didn’t even bring my godson into the world via the old fashioned way and the last time you steadily talked about getting dicked down LBJ was in office, so…”
I tried, but failed to hold back a shriek of laughter at her ridiculousness. Raquel and I went back like four flats on a Cadillac. She had been my very best friend since we met in Kindergarten in Mrs. Papadopoulos’ class. She had a Care Bears backpack and Rainbow Brite lunchbox; I had a Rainbow Brite backpack and a Care Bears lunchbox so in a stroke of brilliance she convinced me to exchange lunchboxes so that we wouldn’t be mismatched. My mama tanned my hide when I got home, but it was worth it. Raq and I had been thick as thieves ever since. She knew almost all of my secrets and where most of the bodies were hidden. Outside of my sister, she was the one constant in my life that I could always count on.
“You know I can’t stand your ass, right?”
“But you love me,” she replied without missing a beat.
That was for sure. She was on a short list of few for whom I’d take a bullet.
“So you ever gonna tell me how you really found out about JON.com or are we making up a new lie on today?”
Raquel laughed and quickly averted her eyes asking, “Where’s my godson?”
Patrick happened to be walking into the kitchen when she inquired so he yelled out, “Hey Auntie Rocky” as he made his way, undoubtedly, to eat up all the snacks. I swear it felt like I was going grocery shopping every three days messing around with his hungry behind.
“Hey, my love. Come over here so I can see how much you’ve grown since I saw you last.”
“You aint slick,” I said lowly, “And you haven’t sidestepped my questions so as soon as you’re done with your fake fawning…”
“Sweet Sister Patty Cake, why don’t you know how to let things go?”
“Raquel Rachelle, why do you keep trying to hold onto secrets from me? You know it’ll all come out eventually.”
“Exactly, so exercise some patience, my good sis. You’ll find out sooner or later.”
I rolled my eyes and kept the conversation moving in another direction. She was being purposefully cagey, which let me know that when the bomb was eventually dropped it’d likely be extinction level event. That was just Raq’s way. She loved to keep things bottled, then over process, and finally talk things through with me way after the fact. She always needed that space to work things out and I normally granted it, but with this site, I knew whatever it was had to be juicy. Our conversation quickly came to a close, with Raq making me promise to hit her up the minute my profile was approved so we could go through my matches together.