Georgia knows things are about to get rough, because rumor has it her boyfriend is bedding another woman. In a fleeting moment her suspicions are confirmed, when Joe tells her he needs more space. He reveals how he is receiving a promotion at work. She finds all things surface in losers before the word ‘marriage’ comes to pass.
Phantom e-mails start to come in more consistently. Within the text, there are nuances that imply the sender knows things only Jeremiah could know. Soon… The author grows more brazen and has details one can’t glean from any social network. Georgia finds herself torn between hope and fear. How could it be him? What if it is some sicko? The mother knows she must protect Tawny. I must keep her off the computer. The e-mails are about to drive me nuts, let alone a child. The sender never acknowledges any e-mails I’ve returned, as if a channel is open—yet closed off to my input.
Like a phone solicitor, Lucky calls again.
“Give Sammy Moore back ourn family bible, Georgia!”
“What use does a rock legend have for Jesus?”
“Fix yer flint or wish ye seed Jeremiah dang cherry.”
There is a long pause.
“How can this even be possible?”
“Oh…yee o’ little faith. Didje heerd of miracles?”
“Only in the bible or on Oprah?”
“Beaumont’s Bible can whup up a miracle caps any climax.”
“Yee question thy laws?”
Georgia wonders if any devised law could bring her long dead fiancée back from the grave?
“What must I give in return, Lucky?”
The cagey man chuckles.
“A body reckon jist millennium resurrection here.”
“What’s in it for you?”
Lucky clears his dry throat.
“Tis grum in this richer.”
“Aim yu keer.”
“Lucky, you’re avoiding my question.”
Lucky vacates the phone line—again. Georgia finds herself nervous as ever. Why are so many being sent to outright annoy me?
Tawny comes bouncing out of her room with a face reflecting hidden mischief, as if she is completely oblivious to what her mother has drummed up.
“Wha…t…s u…p?” Tawny says like an old commercial.
“Wh…ats…u…p!” Georgia returns—even louder.
Tawny starts to giggle, as she thinks about her mom’s verbal ping-pong of the oft repeated question.
“You learn that at community college?”
“I had a pretty liberal education.”
Tawny does not fully know what it means, but she acts like she does. She looks over her mother’s shoulder and notices Georgia scrawls several inserts into her journal about some guy named Lucky. The child knows better than to make any of her mother’s problems her business, unless her mother offers to tell her.
“Why am I so unlucky?” Tawny asks, attempting to spring some truth from her mother.
“Honey, we make our own luck!” Georgia changes the subject. “You about ready for school?”
Georgia starts to educate her daughter early, if only behind a desk in the corner of the living room, in order to get a very early view of what it would be like to ‘home school’ her child.
“Have you got your homework finished?”
“Oooops…. I did it again!” Tawny sings, before she adds, “Teacher said she’d give us a little more time in class.”
Tawny smiles. Georgia doesn’t know why she senses her daughter is lying.
Georgia enjoys a quiet ride to early childhood education.
“You seeing any boys I should know about?” Georgia asks, point blank.
“A new boy. He is neat.”
Ahhh…To be in puppy love again. Georgia thinks. She knows her daughter will be a teenager before she knows it. She wishes she can keep the child under the age of ten—forever. But she is just grateful Tawny’s Asthma seems to be improving, thanks to the latest inhibitor on the market. Recently, the young mother began to see slight glimpses of the woman Tawny will become; this preview continues to magnify as Georgia drives the child to school. For the first time, Georgia helps Tawny zip up her backpack, while wondering what her child has stashed inside? Georgia begins to see glimpses of independence—as well.
“Don’t worry, mom. I will be with my best friend.”
Georgia drives away from the school brushing tears from her eyes, even though Tawny teases her more than anything else. My Tawny is growing up. Georgia tells herself. She knows she will be at her bank window in an hour, nursing the idea of five O’ Clock. Her fate is the hourglass, containing the sand, dispensing the time defining granules of the single mother’s life.
Larry’s tail man still reels when he speaks of the headless body of Bruno propped against a large tree. He fails to confide the fact he saw a Ninja go into and come out of the men’s restroom where authorities found the bodyguard’s severed human head. Larry will not believe me anyway. At the time, the trail man had been dressed like a park maintenance worker, with his own motorized fix-it cart.
Days later, the trail man is glad he had worn a disguise. It had masked his identity and saved his life. If the Ninja had been able to earmark him as a key witness, he knew his life would not have been worth a flip. Even so, the man finds sleep extremely hard to come by, when darkness creeps up the comforter of his empty bed.