Isis took the Van Wyck Expressway out of Queens. As she drove, she thought about what Sammy Russo had said, the largest drug dealer in Harlem would probably know. “What the hell does that mean? ‘All those fools in Harlem think that their operation is the biggest.’”
Isis parked a block away from Pathmark. She needed to pick up a few things. She ran into her niece at the superstore. “Hey, Auntie, what’s up?”
“Hey, Pam, I needed to do a little shopping.” Isis hugged and then kissed her niece on the cheek. “My fridge is cursing me out. So, how ya been?” Before Isis could ask Pam about her mother, Isis saw Deloris standing in front of the checkout counter. Instantly, she felt apprehensive.
“You two should talk, “Pam said, “I mean, this shit...excuse me, Auntie.” Pam didn’t have to excuse herself because Isis didn’t hear a word she’d said. She was focused on her sister. Her throat went dry, and her hands began to shake.
“I can’t...I mean she doesn’t want to have nothing to do with me.” Pam took her aunt by the hand and dragged her towards the checkout counter. “No, Pam... I can’t.”
“Yes, you can,” Pam said, as she held on to her aunt’s wrist. Deloris seemed shocked to see her daughter dragging Isis in her direction. Isis watched her sister’s expression go from shock to outright hatred. Isis felt the spit in her mouth dry up. Deloris stood in the express line. Two other women stood in front of her. “Mommy, your baby sister wants to talk to you…”
Deloris paid her daughter no attention.
“Deloris…” Isis said, then she’d paused. One of the women that were in front of her sister turned and looked at Isis. “Please,” Isis whispered. “We’ve got to stop--” Deloris Thomas turned and slapped Isis hard across the face.
“To hell with you, Isis!”
“Mommy! What’re you doing?”
The women that were in front of Deloris all gasped. Isis stood rooted as a gob of phlegm stuck her in the right eye.
“Mommy, no!” Pam shouted. Isis slowly wiped the saliva from her face, looked at her sister, then turned and walked away. “Aunt Isis…wait,” Pam called out, but Isis did not wait; she walked out of Pathmark and headed toward her truck. The tears began as soon as she slammed the door on her Durango. Isis sat inside her ride for two minutes before she turned the key and pulled away from the curb.
Isis parked her ride behind a brand-new Mercedes-Benz on One Hundred and Fifty-Fifth Street and Riverside Drive. After five minutes of musing over the incident with her sister, Isis became overwrought. If that were anyone else, who’d spat in Isis’ face, she might’ve beaten the crap out of them. But this person was her eldest sister. Isis wiped her eyes, as two lovers passed her jeep. But as soon as they were out of sight, her tears returned.
For the first three weeks after Isis’ mother had died inside the Queens Criminal Court building, young Isis had suffered from Separation Anxiety Disorder, but with sheer determination, she fought her way out of her funk. Now the feeling was back. Isis chewed on the inside of her mouth, as she sat behind the wheel sobbing.
A tapping on her windshield had brought her back to the here and now. She whipped her head in the direction of the sound, her hand on her weapon.
Detective Annette Toni was staring at her.
Taylor rolled out of Tina Smalls’ queen sized bed and stumbled toward the bathroom. He’d spent the last two hours, off and on, pounding into the young woman.
Taylor stood in front of the bathroom sink and removed a bloody condom from his penis. Before he arrived at Tina Small’s apartment, which was on the second floor of Jonathan Jacob’s apartment building, Taylor had interviewed Tanya Jamerson’s co-workers. He’d found out that Tanya was in the habit of producing false documents for a small fee. Afterward, he’d made a phone call to Tina Small. She’d invited the detective over to discuss her relationship with Jacob. But when Taylor arrived, Tina Smalls greeted the detective wearing a silk robe and nothing else.
Taylor slowly opened the bathroom door and peeked at the young woman. She was lying on her back, snoring. Taylor tipped toed over to Tina’s night table. He had to know. He picked up her handbag and removed her wallet. Tina Smalls was seventeen years old.
As soon as Toni and Isis entered Toni’s apartment, Toni sat Isis down on her couch, then she poured her a drink. Isis was still upset over the encounter with her sister. She’d explained to Toni what had transpired at Pathmark, and she’d also told her about the origin of her sister’s hatred towards her. “She’s insane,” Isis said, as Toni poured her drink.
After two hours and four glasses of scotch, Isis was feeling a whole lot better. She looked around the apartment for the first time. She noticed how cozy and neat the apartment was. There were diplomas from Stuyvesant High School and Yale University hanging on the wall. There were numerous plaques and trophies: Judo, Karate and two for marksmanship. Isis also noticed some certificates from the FBI training center in Quantico, Virginia.
Isis looked over Toni’s CD collection and found out that she and Toni shared the same taste in music. “You like Sade, too?”
Toni, who was in the kitchen, said, “Yeah, she’s my all-time favorite.” Toni entered the living room. “Hey, why don’t you play ‘This is No Ordinary Love’.”
“Oh my God, that’s my all-time favorite.” Isis placed the disk into the C.D. player, and Sade’s smoky voice filled the room.
“Come on, let’s dance,” Toni said. She pulled Isis off the couch.
The criminalists swayed to the music. Isis thanked Toni for being there for her. “I don’t have that many people I can lean on,” she said. “Aside from Lt. Stone and my niece, Pamerla, I have nobody.” Isis caught herself staring into Toni’s eyes. They were emerald green and almond shaped. The two women moved closer to one another. Toni reached out and gently touched Isis’ face.
“You have me, Isis, if you want?”
Isis’s heart was racing. She’d never been attracted to a woman before. But she found herself longing to kiss Toni, and she did. Both women totally lost their inhibitions. Toni, who was lesbian, led Isis toward the couch. Their lovemaking was sweet and tender at first, but it soon turned into a frenzy. Both women devoured one another’s flesh as if they were making love for the last time. The detectives made love-- off and on-- all night. As they spooned, Toni whispered in Isis’s ear, “Would you be my girlfriend, Isis?”
Isis, who was spent, said, “I’ve always been your girlfriend, Toni.”
Stacey and Jannifer wore matching black nightgowns as they approached their twin sized bed. They got down on their hands and knees, and both girls pressed their palms together as if they were about to pray. But instead of praying, the twins laid their heads at the foot of the bed and made their foreheads touch. Their eyes were locked on one another’s.
When the twins were at the psychiatric center in Louisiana, their caretakers often found the girls in this awkward position--thrashing about--but their foreheads would stay linked.
Stacey and Jannifer had suffered from the same recurring nightmare for the last three years, ever since their parents were killed by two psychopaths.