I wake up in a cold sweat. In the dark I sit up and look from one side of the room to the other; hoping that the past day was all just a dream. Looking for some sign to confirm my hopes, my eyes settle on the digital clock. It read three o’clock a.m. If you could call tossing back and forth sleeping, then I’d only slept for three hours.
I thought maybe after dinner with Marcus that I would feel a little better. Unfortunately it only made matters worse. Not to say Marcus didn’t try to cheer me up, but after I had the chance to literally sit down and replay everything that happened, it was just too overwhelming. Having four Long Island Iced Teas didn’t help either.
After dinner, Marcus wanted to take me out for a ride in his new car, but I turned him down; telling him that I thought it would be best if I were left alone.
“Trevor, this is not the time for you to be alone.” He said. “You need something to keep your mind off of what happened. I have an idea, why don’t you spend the night at my house. We could roast marshmallows, play Scrabble, do each other’s hair.” He laughed.
“I know you’re right. And I know you’re only trying to help, Marcus. But you’ve got to understand, if I don’t deal with this now, I won’t be any good to anyone. Don’t worry buddy, I’ll be fine. I just need some time alone to think this out.”
“Alright Trevor, but just remember, I’m here for you if you need me.”
After driving for over an hour, I wound up going to Central Park, hoping to clear my head. That didn’t work. All I could do was think about Mitchell and about how much shit I’d gotten myself into because of him.
When I finally got home it was around midnight. My home had never felt so unwelcoming. I almost went back outside. To sleep in my empty bed was not an appealing thought.
But, sleep was not a luxury I was going to indulge in this night. As I inched my way over to the edge of the bed I decided that maybe a drink would lull me to sleep. I reach over to the foot of my bed and grabbed my robe. Then I remembered I still had a few sleeping pills in the medicine cabinet, so I crawled out of my bed and dragged myself into the bathroom.
“Here they are.” I say as I pop two pills. I walk downstairs in the dark to get myself a glass of wine.
I open the refrigerator door and look inside, looking for the bottle of wine I bought Friday night. I pushed aside the carton of milk and the half empty bottle of orange juice.
“Hmm, where in the world is it?”
I close the door, thinking I was beginning to lose what little mind I had. I knew I didn’t drink the whole bottle, so I looked in the cabinet. Though the bottle of white wine wasn’t up there, I did notice the bottle of Dom Perignon from New Year’s Eve. I grabbed the bottle and placed it on the counter. I rumm aged through my utensil drawer for a corkscrew when I noticed the bottle, which used to contain the white wine I was looking for. It was in the garbage pail right under the sink.
“Wait a minute. I couldn’t have drank that whole bottle.” I sat here thinking. What could have happened to it? Why didn’t I notice it before? John and Matthew took the other garbage pail with the pipe and vial, and I know John doesn’t drink, so he surely couldn’t have drank it when he was here. Then I thought, maybe Mitchell drank it, but I didn’t remember him having any. I dismissed it figuring I must have drank it and just forgot about it. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.
I opened the bottle of champagne and went to the freezer to get some ice. If there is one thing I hate, it’s warm champagne. I put four cubes in my glass and poured the champagne over the ice. I gulped the first glass quickly, hoping to feel the effects of the liquor quickly. I really needed some sleep.
As I pour myself a second glass, I notice the red light on my answering machine is blinking like crazy. I walk over to the table with my glass. I press the play button.
“You have four messages.” The monotone recording announces.
“Trevor, it’s me Marcus...” I pushed the delete button, since I had heard this message earlier.
“Mr. Morrows, this is Dina from the Big Brothers Program of New York. I’m just calling to congratulate you on your acceptance to the program. Our next orientation will be in two weeks. At that time we will schedule an interview with you and the parents of one of the perspective young boys. Please give me a call at 555-1275, area code 212, to confirm that you can attend the orientation. I look forward to hearing from you. Good bye.
I wrote down Dina’s name and telephone number on my message pad and pressed next on the machine to hear the next message.
“Yo T, wut up? It’s Reggie. Haven’t heard from you in awhile ma n and uh you know, I was just thinkin bout ya and thought maybe we could hook up or suhin’. Anyway, give a brotha’ a call, I’m still at my girl’s crib so you can reach me there. Anyway gotta go. Peace out!”
It had been awhile since I saw Reggie. He was one of those temptations that tried to charm me while I was dating Mitchell. After our break up though, Reggie did take care of those conjugal needs (if you know what I mean). The brother was good, but after awhile I got tired of it and him. I mean, though we both knew that the relationship was nothing more than sexual, I guess I wanted and needed more. And that more was not going to be filled by him.
Reggie was a self-proclaimed bi-sexual. Whatever the hell that meant. It didn’t bother me a bit when he told me he was shacked up with this woman. It was fine by me, she could have his sorry ass, because I could only put up with Reggie for so much. He didn’t work, he thought he was God’s gift to humankind, he was pushy, lazy, arrogant, way too in love with himself, talked too much, always late, and thought he knew it all; when he didn’t know shit. But, he was good in bed. Now, he wasn’t as good as Mitchell; but let’s just say the brother gave new meaning to the words “dining out”. Granted, I did feel guilty for using him as I did, but guilt never felt so good.
Since I had no use for him now, I deleted his message also.
“Trevor sweetheart, it’s your mother. Listen call me when you get a chance. I know you don’t want to attend this dinner of your father’s, but it’s important to him. If you don’t want to do it for him, then please do it for me. Anyway, just give me a call sweetie, bye• bye, love you.
I knew that man would have mom call. Fortunately, this dinner is not for another two weeks, hopefully my life will have a brighter shine to it by then.
By this time the pills and champagne had begun to have it’s effect on me. But, instead of going back upstairs I grabbed a quilt my grandmother made for me and decide to try and sleep on my sofa. And slept I did.
The combination of the sleeping pills and alcohol must have had it’s toll on me, because the next thing I know I hear sounds of hammering. Groggily, I look up at the clock and it was two o’clock in the afternoon.
Barn, barn, barn. “Trevor are you in there? You must be, your car’s out here.” It was Marcus.
I roll off the sofa and hit the floor; hard. As I get up off the floor and try to make my way towards the door, I can hear Marcus talking to someone.
“Have you seen Trevor today?” He asks, whom I assume must be Mrs. Liu.
“No, I not see him. Who you?” She asks. “I’m a friend of his.”
I finally make it to the door and swing it open. I must have looked like hell, because Marcus looks at me as if I were some creature from a science fiction movie.
“What the hell took you so long to open the door? I’ve been out here for almost twenty minutes.” Marcus then turns to Mrs. Liu, “Thanks honey, he’s ok.”
I walk back inside and Marcus follows.
“Boy, are you alright? I called you earlier, but you didn’t pick up the phone and after the way you were last night, I got worried.”
I laid back down on the sofa and pulled the quilt up to my chin. I mutter to Marcus under my breath. “I was asleep. Can’t a person sleep in on a Sunday?”
Marcus picks up the half empty bottle of champagne that I left sitting on the floor and sniffs it. “Hm-mm, any other person can, but not you. I can’t remember the last time you’ve slept this late. Anyway, get your black ass up. Remember, we’re supposed to go to the beach today.”
“Marcus, I don’t feel like going to the beach. You know what I’ve just been through, damn. Can’t you just leave me the hell alone?”
“Trevor, don’t go dragging me in your little world of turmoil today, okay? I can tell your ass just woke up though. You’re just as bitchy as my moms gets when her monthly visitor comes a-knockin. But, as your bestest friend in the whole world, I’m not going to let you stay here and mope. You and I both know the best thing for you right now is to get out and get some fresh air. So stop feeling sorry for yourself and smell the coffee, the roses or whatever. Look, it’s a beautiful day.” He says as he pulls back the curtain.
“When did you become the spokesperson for Prozac?” I asked laughing.
“Very funny, smartass. All I know is that when I was going through somethangs with Isaac, you didn’t leave me to drown in my self-pity, which I was doing quite lovely if I do say so myself. So, I’m just returning the favor.”
“Fine.” I say. I start to get up but the champagne kicked me back down. “Oh shit.” I moan. “I don’t feel so good.”
“Well, I guess not. How much of this did you drink anyway? You’re not becoming a lush are you?”
“I’m fine Marcus. I just need to take a quick shower and I’ll be back to my ol’ pleasant self.”
“Pleasant is not what I would call it. Anyway, just hurry up. I told the crew that we would meet them at the beach around three-thirty.” Marcus urges.
“Alright, alright. I’m getting up.” I get up slowly, trying to mentally will the room to stop spinning. When I finally get my bearings, I was able to make it to the bathroom without any incidents.
After a quick shower, I felt tremendously better. I really needed to slow down on my drinking though. Waking up and feeling like shit was starting to become a regular habit.
I throw a blank et, my portable cd player and a towel into a bag. Just as I as was about to run down stairs, I remembered that I was supposed to give the Urbans’ a call. I quickly run down to the living room where Marcus was listening to the stereo.
“You know, Toni’s new cd is all that and a bottle of Snapple.” He says. “I know. Look, I need to make a quick call and then we’re on our way.”
“Alright, but you’ve got five minutes. Who you callin’ anyway, that it can’t wait until you get back?”
“Marcus, now you’re gettin’ in my shit. If you must know, I need to call Mitchell’s parents to make sure their ok.”
I pick up the phone to dial the number. I then remembered that the Urbans’ usually attend afternoon church service and that they would probably not be home. But, I decided to call and leave a message anyway.
The phone rings five times before the answering machine clicks on.
“You have reached the residence of the Urbans’. Presently, there is no one to take your phone call. Ifyou would be so kind as to leave your name, phone number and a brief message, we will be happy to return your call as soon as we become available. Thank you for calling and have a pleasant day.”
“Hi, this is Trevor.” I say quickly.” I was just calling to make sure everything was okay.
If you guys need me, just give me a page. I’ll speak with you later, bye.”
“Okay, let’s go. I hope you’re driving.” I say to Marcus as I grab my keys from the counter.
“Naw, I thought we could ride your broom.” He laughs
I get back from the beach about nine o’clock that evening. I was totally wiped out. Though I did have a good time, I couldn’t help but relive yesterday’s events over and over in my mind.
When I walk through the front door; the first thing I do is check the answering machine. Again, the red light on my answering machine is blinking.
“You have three messages.” The machine announced. The first message was from Reggie. I knew he was going to call again. When the man wanted some, he was persistent about it.
The second message was from John. He called to let me know that the Forensic Department completed the autopsy report on Mitchell and he wanted to stop by tomorrow to discuss the results. He felt that the DA’s office would definitely want to speak with me, because the results showed signs that Mitchell did overdose, but not on crack or any other “recreational” drug.
The third message was from Mrs. Urbans. Her voice was strained and she sounded tired. She called to let me know that Mitchell’s funeral would take place this Saturday at the Morningside funeral home. She said she would call me later to give me more of the details.
I decided that I would call John before I went upstairs to take a bath and speak with the Urbans’ tomorrow.
“Hi, Yolanda? It’s Trevor. Is uh, John in?” I asked.
“Oh hi Trevor. Yes, John’s right here.” John’s wife replied. “John, it’s Trevor on the line.” I could hear her call to John.
After a few minutes John picked up the phone.
“Trevor, (huff) hold on let me catch my breath.” John said breathing heavily over the line. “Hey man, what the hell are you two doing over there?” I jokingly asked.
“Listen man, it’s nothing like that. I can’t remember the last time Yolanda left me breathless.” He said laughing.
I could here Yolanda’s response, almost as if I were in the same room with them. “I heard that John. I’ll remember that when you come beggin’ for some okay.”
“Oh baby, you know I’m just teasin’. C’mon you know I can barely move when you whip it on me.”
“Alright den. You better recognize.”
I can’t help but laugh. “John, you guys are about as nutty as a fruitcake.”
“I know, but that’s why we love each other. Ain’t that right suga dumplin’?”
“I don’t know, I may have to leave your ass for the mailman. At least he makes regular deliveries.” Yolanda jokes.
“Alright now, don’t make me come over there. Just sit your fast ass down while I take care of some business.”
“Listen John, I just wanted to know when would be a good time for you to stop by tomorrow to go over the report.”
“Oh yeah, well I figured around eleven-thirty tomorrow morning.”
“Okay great. Listen, why don’t you come to the office so you can see my setup.” “Sounds good. Well, see you tomorrow then. I’ve got a couple more sets to do before I can call it a night.”
“No problem, tell Yolanda I said goodnight.” “Will do buddy.”
Not two seconds after I hang up the phone; it rings. I look at my watch; it was a quarter to ten and I couldn’t figure out who this could be.
“Yo, what’s going on man? It’s Reggie. Damn, you’re a hard man to reach.”
Aw shiiit. This was the last person I wanted speak to tonight.
“Hi Reggie, what’s new?” I try to sound as disinterested as I could, hoping he would get the hint.
“Nuttin’ man. You know, I’ve been thinkin’ about you and just wanted to stop by.”
I start laughing.
“Yo, what’s up? You got somebody there?” he asks. “No, no.” I said. “I just thought of something funny.”
If he only knew that the last person I slept with ended up dead, he wouldn’t be so eager to want to come over.
You know, I realize I’m spending way too much time with Marcus. He’s beginning to rub off on me. I’m having the same type of warped thinking he has.
“So, is it okay if I stopped over or what?”
“Reggie.” I began. “Don’t you have a piece of pussy over there with you? Why do you need to come over here.”
“Aw c’mon T. You know you want this as much as I want you.”
“Wrong, my brother. I do not want you as much as you think. To be frank, you’re flattering yourself.”
“Damn T. Is everything ok? I didn’t mean it like that. I’m sorry Gee.”
“No Reggie, I’m sorry. It hasn’t been a very good weekend and I shouldn’t take it out on you.”
But then he proved to be the insensitive ass that he is. “Well, why don’t I come over and comfort you.”
“Didn’t you hear me. I said, it hasn’t been a very good weekend. The last thing I need right now is to be bothered by some jackass, who thinks that his dick can change the course of the planet.”
“Fuck you then, Trevor. I know a lot of guys who would die to get with this.”
“Then Reggie, why don’t you do yourself a favor and call one of them, because I’m not interested.” I slammed the phone down.
The phone rang again. I unplugged it. I knew it couldn’t be no one but Reggie.
I got up the next morning feeling refreshed and relaxed. Something in the air made me feel that today was going to be a good day.
I woke up around six o’clock and got ready to go for my morning run, which I’ve neglected to do this past weekend. It would have probably helped me if I had. Because running always clears my mind. When I run I feel like I’m the only one in the world.
I run about three miles before I decide to turn back. My usual route is about five miles, but today, though its only six-thirty in the morning, it’s so hot and humid that I’m already dripping from sweat.
I rush upstairs to take a quick shower, but before I do, I decide to call my mother to let her know I would be attending dad’s dinner.
“Good morning.” My mother says cheerfully.
“Good morning to you too, gorgeous mother of mine. What has you in such a good mood this morning?”
“Well hello son. What can I say, it’s a beautiful day and I feel and look great. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood.”
“I need some of those pills you’re taking.”
“My baby, I’m high on nothing but life. So, you’re not calling to cancel on the dinner party are you? Laverne’s planning a fantastic menu: Beef Borginon, baby carrots, rice pilaf and for dessert your favorite, Baked Alaska.”
“That’s sounds absolutely wonderful. I had already made up my mind to come, but now I’m going to enjoy it.”
“Oh that’s great Trevor. Your father will be so happy. I know you told him you were coming, but he said you didn’t sound too convincing. So he had me call you to make sure. You know, you and your father used to be so close. But ever since you came out to us, you two haven’t gotten along so well.”
“Well mother, that was entirely not my fault. He was the one with the issues. He was the one who had a problem accepting me. But you’ve seemed to accept it.”
My mother chuckles a little. “My darling son, it’s not that I’ve accepted it, it’s that I’ve accepted you. I didn’t raise any child of mine to not love himself. If this was something that was a part of you, then as your mother, I will love you no matter what. I may not agree or like it, but you are my son.”
“Then explain to me please why dad acts like such an ass, with his little, snide homophobic remarks. You may as well inform him that if he makes one crack about anything gay, I’m leaving.”
“Trevor I know, I know. Your father can be a pill to deal with, but you have to understand that your father was and is hurting. Give him some credit though, he has come a long way since you first told us six years ago.”
“Okay. I will give him that. Tell me, sweet woman, how did my father get so lucky as to marry such a fabulous lady such as you?”
“We may never know Trevor, we may never know.” We both laugh.
“Well, while we’re on that subject of relationships, I do need to tell you something. Mitchell died this weekend.” I said.
“Oh my baby, are you alright?”
“Yes, mom, I’m fine,” I decided that I didn’tneed to go into the details with her.
“Oh Trevor, I am deeply sorry to hear that. I knew that you were still in love with him even after everything that he’s done to you.” ·
“Well, I wouldn’t go that far.”
“Trevor, this is your mother you’re talking to. You can fool yourself all you want, but you can’t fool me.”
“Well at least dad will be happy.”
“Now Trevor, you know your father may not have agreed with or accepted the decisions you made, but he always wanted to see you happy.”
“Yeah, that’s the thing. The type of happiness he wanted for me was based on his standard of happiness.”
“You know that, I know that, and in some weird way, your father knows it too. But no matter what, he does love you. And you know I love my little puppy.”
“C’mon Ma. I haven’t been called that in God only knows when.” “I don’t care. You will always be my little puppy.”
“That reminds me, mother, how did I end up with a nickname like puppy anyway?” Mother starts to laugh. “Well, if I remember it correctly, your grandmother started to call you that when you were a baby. She said your eyes reminded her of her puppy back when she was a little girl.”
“Oh, I see. Well, I guess that’s not too bad. Okay, mother. Listen, as much as I always enjoy our chats, I need to get ready for work.”
“Alright, baby. But you be sure to call me the minute you need anything. I know that you are a strong black prince, but you will always need your mother. And Trevor, I hope you’re not drinking too much.”
“Yes, mother, I’ll be sure to call you if I need you and no, I’m not drinking a whole lot,” which was a lie, I just didn’t need her to know. But something in the back of my mind knew she already did.
“Alright then, I’ll let you go. I love you Trevor.” “I love you too, mom.”
I quickly showered, dressed and made my way to the office.
As I walk through the elevators I was greeted by whom I assume was the receptionist. “Good morning. May I help you?” The young receptionist greeted me with a smile.
“Good morning, I’m Trevor Morrows. I just moved in. This is my office.” I said pointing to the doors.
“Oh, Mr. Morrows, how are you? My name’s Michelle. Boy, you’re awfully early. It’s only eight-thirty. The other two usually don’t make it in until around 10:30.” “Well, I’m pretty much an early bird.”
“Really? So am I. I usually get in around 7:30 to make coffee, open the doors and the switchboard. I guess getting here earlier isn’t so bad, since I leave at 4:30. Anyway, welcome to the building and if there’s anything you need just give me a holler. Oh yeah, by the way, you have a message. Your first one,” she giggles.
“Thanks so much.” I say to her as she hands me the written message. The message was from John.
As soon as I get to my desk, I immediately pick up the phone to call John. If he called me this early, something must be up.
“Good morning, Homicide. Detective Lirday speaking.”
“Hi Matthew. This is Trevor Morrows. I’m returning John’s phone call. Is he there?” “No. I’m sorry, Mr. Morrows, but Detective Langston is not here at the moment. Is there something I can help you with.”
This man was way too accommodating. It made me want to throw-up.
“No, thank you. Could you just leave him a message that I called and I’ll be in the office all morning.”
“Not a problem, Mr. Morrows. Oh, and by the way, I will not be handling your case. Detective Langston has taken it over.” he says sarcastically.
“Um, Matthew, the last time I checked, this was not my case. I have nothing to do with it.”
“Oh, I apologize, Mr. Morrows. I should have said the case. My mistake.” “Whatever. Just be sure to tell John I called. Okay?”
I hung up the phone. You know that kid is wacko. Somebody must have left his bag of Skittles open.