M

eanwhile two nights ago this was going on in Chicago….

Dr. Wilhelmina (Will-a-mean-ah) Gaines’ energy is drained from another week of bad relationship therapy. She’s been back from her Los Angeles office one week and is headed there in two days to attend her patient-turned-friend Katrinka Alston-Love’s fiftieth birthday extravaganza. Between her practices there, Orlando and Chicago she is starting to feel a little drained. No scratch that, a lot drained. Thank GOD, she was able to catch a service at L.O.G.I.C.™, so she has a piece of spiritual restoration within her.

Jamie was slowly taking that away. He is an hour late. He’d come to her house the day before and spilled the beans on a relationship with a girl at school. She already knew he was dating. He claimed he wasn’t messing with her anymore and said he wanted to get serious with Wilhe. He didn’t care that he was a senior in high school, and she was a thirty something year old (she refused to tell him her age). He was eighteen so to himself he was a man. She was leery. But went against her better judgment allowing him to spend the night one time when his mother had gone to Atlantic City with a man. Ever since then she’d caught feelings for him. The very thing she discouraged her patients from she was doing. Introducing sex too early in a relationship. He promised he’d come back tonight since he had a game Friday and she was going out of town. The doorbell rang. It wasn’t him. It was Aneco.

“What’s up Neec?”

“Nothing much. I came by to get the book I left.”

“Oh, yeah I forgot. It’s on the kitchen counter.”

“You’re forgetting something? Too much work stress, huh?”

“Yeah,” she lies. She does have a little stress from work-related drama, but this is all about a teenager she has no business dealing with.

“Okay, well we’ll be by when the game is over. I’m sure Jamie will be hanging out with the slut since he started seeing her again.” That is the dagger to the chest that Wilhe did not need to hear.

“I’m flying out to L.A Friday.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot. Well, I’ll see you when you get back,” Aneco answers. Wilhe closes the door wanting to slam it. Kick it. Rip it off the hinges and throw it over the balcony. Instead she drinks herself stupid and passes out on the couch.

It is almost two in the morning when she awakes with the urge to urinate. She scans all the beer and liquor bottles. Her conscious won’t let her go back to sleep without cleaning up. The overloaded trash sends her out the apartment to the building’s incinerator. She laughs lookin’ at the mirrored image in the elevator. She looks like a madwoman with her hair a mess, trash bulging through the bag like body parts are inside and a broken knife in hand. She figures in a drunken stupor she used it as a bottle opener and broke it. She throws the trash down first and hears the door open. Low and behold its Jamie. He attempts to lie his way around why he didn’t come by. She stands there listening her blood heating up more as the lies spew from his mouth.

“You know what? Save it Jamie. I’m not a high school chic. If all you wanted to do was fuck me that’s all you had to say.”

“Really?” he asks as if he had no clue she would be cool with that. Instinct tells her to push the blade in her hand through his chest. The blood gushes out as he slid down the wall grabbing on to her for support. She snatches the blade out and his blood sprays her in the face. She throws the stained blade in the incinerator and steps over his dead body serenely. She replaces her usual before bed serenity bath with a quick shower and slept like a newborn baby.

She wakes up to the same serenity and sustains her tranquil mode until she came in from shopping to find police tape and investigators out front of her building. Aneco, Romeo and Eddie are consoling each other inside the lobby over the discovery of their friend. When Eddie says Jamie was found stabbed to death in the incinerator Wilhelmina faints.

She calls Randi to tell her what happened. She wonders in disbelief how someone could kill a kid like that. Now, his basketball dreams are dead. Along with a young man who didn’t even get the chance to really live life. Even though it is lookin’ to be a cold case she hopes they find enough evidence to catch his killer. And bury them under the jail.

“Randi, I can’t believe he’s dead. I can’t believe someone has been stabbed to death in this building.” Wilhe confesses lying in bed with a cold cloth covering her forehead trying to get rid of a crier’s headache.

“That’s crazy, with security and all those cameras. And they don’t think it’s someone in the building?”

“They’re not sure. There are no cameras by the incinerator. Girl, if I got a murderer in this building.” She shudders at the thought of someone capable of killing living within a stone’s throw of her door step. “They said they didn’t see any suspicious characters in the surveillance tapes. I’m like what the hell is a suspicious character.”

“A black person roaming around in your building. Whether they live in it or not, they’re suspicious. You better not leave out your apartment late or you’ll be a suspect. You know the system. The same one I fight with down here every day.” She tries to lighten the conversation.

“Girl, I don’t know what to say. This is some off the wall mess.”

“What happened with the chick he was creeping with? I don’t trust the way these kids are today. They aren’t anything like we were. We’re finding more and more of them killing people in some inexplicable ways.” She lets out the unsolicited truth of working as a Federal Agent.

“I know. It makes me feel even older than I want to. It’s been awhile since I talked to him.” She hopes her best friend believes the lie. She already had a headache. Being scolded on bad judgement in the men department while masking the pain through psychotherapist job duties isn’t something she feels like hearing at the moment. She regrets even telling Randi she slept with him, so she dared not say she did it more than once and started developing feelings for him. “It’s funny ‘cuz he called out the blue and was supposed to come by last night. He never showed up.” She silently remembers. “They said they think he was murdered sometime this morning,” she says aloud to her best friend. “I was already out for the night if he tried to come over.” She tells herself only. “What if he tried to come here? I might’ve been able to save him. That’s what keeps making me cry. Because I didn’t answer the door…I could’ve…” She starts up again.

“Come on girl. You gon’ be alright. It won’t nothing you could have done to change destiny.”

“I just feel so bad. He was just a baby. He didn’t even get his chance to grow into his manhood.”

“I know.” Randi feels bad for her friend. She’s never heard her cry like this. She knows Wilhe’s has the biggest heart to help people. At any cost, she will lay her own life down on the line for someone to be better. The world couldn’t have a better therapist than Dr. Gaines. “Do you want me to fly up?”

“No. I’ll be alright, eventually.” She tries to gather her emotions.

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. I’m going to let the rest of these tears out. Then I gotta pack.”

“You’re still going to the party?”

“I think the getaway will do me good. I’m not seeing any clients. I’m just going to Kat’s party. Then I’ll stay a few days at my place there, come back and get ready for this funeral.”

“Okay, well, have a safe trip. If you need me holla. I love you girl.” Her best friend Randi Gibbs lets out. She worries a little for her friend. Ever since she’s spread out across the states with her practices the stress is showing its signs. Though she’s talked to her Wilhe’s not ready to accept she’s in over her head. She feels like she can save every relationship through her therapeutic skills. It’s her GOD given duty to do so.

“Love you too.” Wilhe hangs up and places the washcloth back into the icy water next to her bed.

The thought of what Jaime did to her darts into her mind. He’s stood her up for the last time. For some reason that thought makes her happy. She smiles…

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