She Was a Friend of Mine 5:Death Pool(3)

By: Jasheem Wilson

She just needed something to do with her hands.

“Fuck it,” Dr. Winters finally said after her hair was secured behind her head. She reached out and pressed the button to take her into the “Black Hole”, just as the elevator doors opened.

Dr. Winters looked up like a kid with her hand stuck in the cookie jar. Her heart almost stopped.

Sandra was smiling as she looked down at her phone. She had her purse and her lunch box hanging from either arm.

“Oh,” she said, when she looked up from texting to see Dr. Winters. “I thought you went home already.”

Dr. Winters knew she was caught.

After she apologized to Sandra for their last interaction, she told her she’d leave it alone. She’d told her she would lay low.

Dr. Winters did what she always did in stressful situations; she remained silent to see how it would play out.

“Why are you still he—” Sandra stopped when she looked over at the elevator buttons with her finger extended.

The elevator doors closed. As they began descending, Sandra dropped her hand and silently waited as well. Dr. Winters watched as the lights on the top of the elevator skipped past the first floor, where Sandra should have gotten off.

The elevator came to a stop and the doors opened. Dr. Winters stood there staring straight ahead.

I am a grown woman, Dr. Winters thought as she forced herself to walk past Sandra. Without a word to her, Dr. Winters awkwardly maneuvered her thick frame around Sandra and silently stepped off the elevator.

To her surprise, Sandra did the same, purse, lunchbox and all.

I don’t have time for this, Dr. Winters thought, not wanting the argument that was just about to break.

Knowing she needed to face this head on, Dr. Winters turned around and looked at Sandy. The elevator doors closed and the elevator went back up.

“What are you doing, Sandy?”

Sandra lifted a silent eyebrow as she adjusted her baggage.

“Come on Sandy, you didn’t see him,” Dr. Winters said, trying to make her friend understand.

Sandra began shaking her head.

“Sandy, it’s not like that. I was down here trying to find one of my patients and…” Dr. Winters was rambling, because her friend’s face had not changed. She was looking at her with a blank stare. The stare that said, “Bitch, you already know”.

“Sandy, he’s just a kid,” Dr. Winters said. Sandy squinted her eyes and then shook her head as if shaking off a thought. Her blank stare was back.

They stood in the cold hall staring at one another, until the guilt of what she’d been hiding began eating her up.

“Sandy,” Dr. Winters tried again. She needed her to say something. “Please, say something.”

Sandra’s face did not change as she nodded her head and said, “Lead the way.”

Chapter 3

Fantasy was sure she wasn’t the only one that felt she would always be a Shi Girl. No, they would all always be Shi Girls, Shi said so herself.

Shi had taught them all so much and came into their lives for the better. Shi was a beautiful person and Fantasy felt she’d given them all so much. Without even knowing it she’d given Fantasy a family and her first real home.

Though she was only four years younger than Shi, Fantasy saw her as a mother figure. And she was quick to tell anyone she was raised by her Momma Shi and Aunty Diamond. She’d known Diamond since he ran away and started living in the streets of San Francisco. Diamond occasionally let her clean up and sleep in her motel room, and when Fantasy was release from Juvenile Hall on her eighteenth birthday, Diamond brought her to Shi.

Though Fantasy had moved out on her own a few times over the years, the apartment they’d gotten together in East Palo Alto was the place she called home. No, not the place her father exiled her from the moment he found out his little boy wouldn’t grow up to be the man he wanted. No, Francis Campos was not Francis, but Fantasy. That’s who she felt comfortable as. And that was who she was. Something Shi and Diamond never shamed her for.

Fantasy smiled the way she always did when the elevators let her off on the third floor at Court Yard at Bay Road.

After a long day at Walmart she was happy to grab the toilet paper and tampons she bought on her break and leave.

Strolling down the hall to the apartment she shared with Tammy and Faith. Diamond was lucky enough to move in with Shi, while the other girls were out on their own, doing well. All the Shi Girls still stayed in touch.

Opening the door Fantasy announced her presence as she always did when she walked in.

“I’m back!” she called walking into the kitchen on the left. The house was dark so she hit the light and sat the bags on the counter. “I got the TPs.”

Fantasy shrugged off her Walmart vest and kicked off her shoes. Leaving them in the kitchen she called out, “Hello! Anyone home?”

Pulling her long hair out of the pony tail Fantasy scratched her scalp walking down the hall. She was about to open her mouth and call out for Faith when she heard someone scream out in pain.

“Shut up!” she heard a muffled voice say in a French accent.

Curious more than scared Fantasy made her way to the master bedroom, the room that use to belong to Shi. The room had been unoccupied since Diamond moved out. Though the bed was still in there it was used more as an office. Growing closer and closer the sounds in the room seem to go mute as she got closer to the glow spilling into the dark hall. Approaching the door Fantasy peeked around the corner expecting to see Tammy or Faith rustling about inside. And when she peeked around the corner that was just what she saw. Just not in the way that she thought.

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