The good news, if you want to call it that, Brice is ok. He came out of the tunnel just as I went back for him. The bad news, however, I’ve got a few hours before I can get into see Crystal. I felt like I had a matted and tangled afro going on – even though I was over exaggerating.
I didn’t stay for pleasantries after coming back out of the tunnel. As far as I saw it, they could handle the rest. My plan was to change clothes and swing by Ean’s crib on the way to get my hair corn-rowed again. Ean must have taken off the moment he came out of the tunnel. It’s just like him to not hang around. My guess was he was halfway home, ready to take a drink.
It goes without saying that I jumped in the shower as soon as I got in. I didn’t bother to keep my head from getting wet since I was certain I would see Crystal tonight. After all that steam frizzed me out, she’d better not cancel. As I stared into the fridge, I shook my head at the fact there was nothing there I wanted to eat. I grabbed my phone and sent a text to Ean to meet me for dinner. I also sent a text to Tina, Marc, Derrick and Leah. I needed to chill with the whole crew.
Thankfully, when I show up to Friday’s, the server makes our usual table ready. We gather at least once a week to eat here. Most patrons don’t like the table in the back corner, so it’s usually available for us. I would start my night off with a Long Island Iced Tea. The rest was to be determined.
Walking through the maze of tables, I felt a tug on my jacket. I turned to see a large framed female with long fingernails. She had on a Wal-Mart vest and a name tag that read Diamond.
“My friend say she knows you…” She didn’t bother with ‘excuse me’ or ‘hello’ first.
I glanced at the table, preparing to assure “Diamond” that she had me mixed up with another guy. Then I noticed Candice among the four ladies seated. I smiled before I knew I was smiling. “Hi ladies…”
I really didn’t know what to say. What does one say to their future wife while she is drowned in a pool of soon to be drunk man-haters? I assume they are man-haters from the aggressive tug Diamond offered to get my attention.
Candice waved. I nodded to remain cool, then followed with polite conversation. “I don’t get to see you much. They moved me to another office.” I think I already told her that, I couldn’t remember.
“Then we will have to find some other place to meet up and talk.” Her voice was so sexy. I wondered if it might be too appropriate to go on and propose to her, right then and there.
“Candice…” One of the other girls interrupted. “Does his hair always look like that?” She frowned at me as if I had just been assaulted by the monkeys in the zoo.
“Oh, Candice...” Diamond didn’t want for a response to the other girl. “I thought you liked that superhero guy. He probably look much better than him.” Perhaps to Diamond, I wasn’t really standing there.
I won’t lie. I was embarrassed. I faked my smile from that point on, awkwardly waved and stepped back toward my table. This chick has some rude friends. I hope she drops them by the time we are married.
I sat at my table and ordered my drink. I did my absolute best not to look at any of the women at that table, even Candice. I was so happy to see my friends arrive – oddly enough, Derrick was the last one to get there. Though his timing was a perfect match to the arrival of my drink, Derrick didnt bring as much joy.
"Dispatch wants to see you. Now!" Derrick looked sort of depressed.
"About what?" I picked up my drink to take a sip when Derrick took it from me.
"I'm serious. Something about a hearing. Dispatch wants you at HQ, right now." Derrick sat my drink at another table. They seemed all too pleased to drink it. Nasty bastards.
"Derrick, I don't know what is going on... All I want to do is spend some time with my friends and get my hair corn-rowed. Is that too much to ask?" I just didn't want to fight about anything else right now. "Can I be left alone for just one minute?"
"Just go, Leroy." Tina chimed.
"Yeah, we'll go with you." Leah added.
"Just Leroy." Derrick looked at them. He was like a different person right now.
"We will all go." Marc stood to stare at Derrick - as if to say his word was final.
Derrick finally relaxed and agreed. We had just gotten out of the front before I realized that I had forgotten to pay for my drink. So, as a group, we quickly decided that Derrick should cover it - sucks to be the messenger.