The story so far:
Things Not Made To Open - 66 by scryier
Have you ever been to Ohio?
Land of the Flats?
The Buckeye state?
Home of the Reds, Browns, Bengals, Indians and Chief Wahoo? Actually, I like Chief Wahoo. I like that **** eating grin stretching across his face. It says something about being in Ohio.
We're in Ohio. It's 8:30 in the morning and I'm calling Diedra from a Hotel room, somewhere in Ohio. Koa is sleeping and I'm hoping she stays that way, because I don't want her to know I'm calling the girl she most wants to meet, in life, for reasons I don't even understand. Up until now, all my calls to Diedra have been answered by her answering machine, or, maybe it's my answering machine. I'm not sure which one of us paid for it. Anyway, up until now, I just left messages that I didn't expect she'd answer until I finally quit calling. I don't mean to say that I thought I'd hear from her once I quit calling. I just mean, I quit calling. I gave up on ever getting through to the girl.
This morning, however, I expect she'll answer her phone. This morning, I expect she's sleeping and the phone will catch her totally off guard. This morning, my expectations ring true.
"Yeah?" Diedra says, sounding half dead.
"Hi," I begin, trying to sound as jovial as I can.
"What are you calling me for?"
What a question. It's direct. It's to the point and the voice is strong. It never ceases to amaze me, how fast a person can wake up in the morning, when they want to.
"I'm in Ohio. I'll be coming into town, today. I expect you'll have my money."
"Well I don't have your money."
-Do I detect a certain level of anger, in this once soft, sensuous voice?-
"Look, Diedra. Six months ago, you led me to believe you couldn't make your rent. You didn't have any food for the kids and you didn't know how you were going to make your car payment. The money I lent you, I sent in good faith and with the understanding that when you got your settlement, I would be paid back in full. You got your money over a month ago. I want mine."
"Well, I don't have it!"
"Well, what in the hell did you do with it?"
There's a man's voice in the background. He's asking Diedra who she's talking to and Dee is telling him to go back to sleep.
I turn around and glance at Koa. She's sitting up in bed, smoking a cigarette. I can't help but notice the knee of her left leg. It's bouncing up and down, underneath the blanket, like a basketball and this is not a good sign.
I turn my attention back to the phone.
"I guess," Diedra says. "You could say we invested it."
-Smart **** little bitch.-
"Time to call in your investment," I add.
"Why? What are you going to do? Sue me? I didn't sign any contract."
-Smug. So **** smug.-
"Diedra dear. Did you ever notice how every check has a blank line on the lower left hand corner?"
"Did you happen to pay any attention to what was written on that blank line when you signed that check?"
"What are you getting at?"
-So much for smug.-
"I wrote personal loan, Dee. Your signing that check was as good as signing an agreement. You are required by law, to make payments on a loan, 90 days after accepting the loan. My copy of the canceled check shows that you cashed it on January Third of this year. We passed the 90 day mark, sweet heart and you can't show any evidence of having paid me back a dime."
Diedra is tongue tied and I don't even know what I just said, because all of what I just said, I just made up. If there's a shred of truth to any of it, it's way beyond me.
"Why are you calling me?" Diedra asks.
"I'm calling you about my money."
-I'm also banking on your stupidity and I think your stupidity is about to pay dividends.-
"No you're not," she says. "You're harassing me. You have no right to call me. If you don't cease this harassment, I'm calling my lawyer!"
There's a part of me that feels very sorry for Diedra. Sorry for her kids, too. I almost want to apologize for getting caught up in my principle's, but I don't.
"So, that's what my phone calls are now?"
Technology. You gotta love it. Whenever one is faced with a situation one can't deal with and that particular situation is courtesy of Ma Bell; said individual can merely hang up. Click! Situation gone. Isn't that stupid?
I place the receiver back on its cradle.
"What did she say?"
I turn around and look at Koa. Her left leg is going full throttle, now.
"I don't think I'm going to get my money."
"I think we should go knock on her door."
"I think I'm going to take a shower."
"Ah," Koa utters, followed by something that sounds like- "ben-day-ho!" I don't exactly know what it means, but I don't imagine it's anything too flattering.
I go off to the bathroom, never-the-less. Regardless of the consequences, I will not introduce Koa to Diedra. I'm certain Koa would like to kick the **** out of her. I think Koa is street enough to do it, too. Trouble is, this isn't the Big Apple. This is the little Oh. There is no room for street justice in Ohio. In Ohio, there is still the law of the land, along with the Bengals, the Browns, The Reds and The Indians. And there's also Chief Ya Hoo. I can see him somewhere in the back of my mind, as I step into the shower. I can see that **** eating grin stretching across his face. Something's lit his fancy and I can hear his laughter. Somehow, in this bright Ohio morning, I’m convinced he’s laughing at me.
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