A fat orange Tabby cat stalks through tall grass unnoticed by two legged passerby’s, the black squirrel busy looking for food or even the red breasted Robin, the subject of his quest, waddling obliviously in the small pool of water. The Tabby ducks, his twitching tail the only part of his body noticeable. His focus square on the bird, his location is unfortunately comprised by an annoying rat terrier who suddenly appears yapping insanely. The horrible lil’ thing is cloaked in some type of thick looking bright two-legger material as he leads his human past the small yard.
Flustered, he takes his one opportunity to launch his attack as the spooked bird slips away unharmed. Unfazed, something fuzzy bobs on the nearby fence as a two-legger stops, leaves something before walking away. Determined, the Tabby sprints and bounces at the swaying fuzz. Sinking his fangs into his prey suddenly a black shadow envelopes him, howling, hissing, shrieking and yowling. The Tabby’s mouth is agape, hissing, but the black cat protecting his turf battles vigilantly freaking the orange feline away.
“Oh snap! Where those dang cats come from?!” A woman leaving a teddy bear by the fence sprints away to the confides of her vehicle.
The black cat proudly twitches his tail reclaiming his territory. This yard, this home is his and they better recognize. He lets out a satisfied yowl before continuing his rounds.
Oddly, his human, the older one, has been absent the last few days. He misses her dearly, she feeds him and takes care of him properly. The younger one, while kind to him is a bit more haphazard with his care. He walks the crest of his beloved fence to survey his neighborhood daily, ensuring everything is okay. Strangely, it recently keeps getting decorated by the passing two-leggers, leaving trinkets, cards, dolls, stuffed animals, candles, pictures, and strange food replicas. Most of this tribute to Mama Woods meant nothing to the protective cat besides being fodder to play with such as the fuzzy top that lured in the Tabby.
“Oh my goodness, Nightmare! Is that you? Oh my!” The voice was shockingly familiar! Could it be? The cat became excited.
The female was exiting a taxi cab with quite a few carry along bags, big funny glasses that made her look like a bug, her hair done in tight braided rows, a fluffy faux fur coat in spring weather that looked like it could have been one of the cats relatives, feathery leggings, and spiked leather heels high enough to kill somebody.
“Nightmare you silly rascal! How I missed you so!” Not worried, Nightmare let gloved hands scoop him up. He smelt her familiar scent, how it had been so long. Oh goodness, Nightmare was excited, he hadn’t seen his beloved MoMo, his original human in several cats lifetime! He nuzzled up to her as she stroked his silky jet black hair taking the intimidating walk up to her childhood home, mouth agape.
Mama’s quaint little home still was the showcase of the block with its orangish yellow siding, sky blue trim, huge wrap around porch that has held many family and neighborhood barb-b-q’s, yard full of lush vegetation, flowers and a small fragment of her vegetable garden of yore.
Rattling the front door to no answer Maureen peers through the screen door, “Silvia baby? Baby girl I’m here!”
Only answer she hears is the faint sound of loud music somewhere towards the back of the home. She knocks again to her dismay as Nightmare attempts to tap the door with his paw mimicking her. The door not giving in she wraps around the long porch peering in windows. “Silvia girl! Your big sis is here! Open up!”
Silvia finds the kitchen door open and pushes in, Nightmare spots his half empty bowl and yowls. “Oh honey, have you been fed? Tsk, tsk.” Maureen finds his food and fills it up and changes his water. “Lil‘ sis needs to show and prove or I may have to cart you back to the Chi to live with me and Bailey.” She ponders on the reality of the situation. She walks over to a wall of pictures, she traces her long fingernail over pictures of her mother and father. She sighs, wipes a tear away before seeing a picture of Ezekiel and his wife, makes sure to put it on its face.
She hears a rumble and odd noises coming from the den. She walks towards it as the muffled music gets louder, “Toodles Silvia baby, is that you? What are you doing?”
The den’s sliding doors are shut tightly, she fumbles with them, “I didn’t even know these worked!”
She finally manages to pop the doors open as they bang to the side. Maureen is greeted with Silvia screaming, “OH MY! Shut the door! Shut the door!”
Maureen’s eyes go wide, “Great googles! What the world!?”
Silvia screams again, throws a shoe to Nightmare’s surprise as he runs off hissing, “Shut it! Shut it!” Maureen submits and shuts them finally, clasps her agape mouth in shock.
Silvia shuts off the loud music of JoJo singing “Take the Canyon”, something crashes as you hear her rustling and fumbling in the room. She emerges several minutes later, dissembled, flustered, her clothes and hair a mess. She stands in the doorway and looks over her sister perched on a bench by the staircase, legs crossed, gloves and coat still on, she peers over her dark bug glasses. Silvia blushes and grins, “Um, hi sis! You’re here!”
Maureen shakes her finger, “Don’t um, hi sis me young lady! What the heck were you doing in there with that, that, device? Were you um, chatting with somebody?”
Silvia blushes twenty shades of crimson, “Um yeah, my boyfriend.”
“Boyfriend? Like that?! Where is this boy, Mama didn’t say anything about you having a man? Where is this fellow? Going to have a long talk with lover boy…”
“Um, Mama doesn’t know about him. Please don’t say anything.”
“Do what? How you hide this critter? Where this boy hiding, I’ll be that somebody to have a real chat with this…”
“He don’t even live around here, he’s not even in this state.”
Maureen looks at her sideways, “Say what?” She shakes her head as she helps her sister adjust her clothes.
“You didn’t even tell me you was coming! We can only chat by Skype, I thought I was alone!”
“Yeah, I see, what the boy in the armed forces or something? You meet at school?”
“No, no, um, he not even from here.” Maureen looks at her dumbfounded. “Okay okay, I met him online, happy?”
Maureen’s mouth drops again, “What, what, what?! Seriously?! Silvi! Heavens! This is some random boy online? Oh Mama said you was stuck on Facebook and Twitter! Holy crap! Have you ever even seen him besides pictures? Anybody else know about this? I have to call…”
Silvia leaps for her sister, “No no no! Nobody knows, except you now! You can’t, please sis, no. I love him.”
Silvia pleads with her eyes as Maureen looks at her dumbfounded, “You’re serious about this boy aren’t you? Love is a mighty strong word for somebody you’ve never met. You sure this isn’t a catfish moment? Sis, I’m worried about you.”
“No, no need to be worried, I can handle myself. I know he’s real, I’ve talked to him on the phone, we’ve sent letters. Sis, I feel him, he’s here.” She touches her chest, looks longingly out the window.
“Oh boy…” Maureen sits back down shaking her head. “So, how far away is this boy, he’s not across the continent is he? Somewhere overseas?”
“Um, no, he’s down in Dayton.”
“Really, in Ohio? That’s close, it’s near Mama’s family. A good what, three hour drive? Time to make that road trip.” Maureen picks Nightmare back up who was rubbing on her ankle, he purrs in her arms.
“Hey, what? A road trip? Now maybe that’s not necessary…”
“Oh, now you don’t want to meet this boy? This love of your life?”
“Um, well, I…”
“Okay, take me to see my mother then we making that move!”
“Seriously, you ready to meet this man, if he even is a man, or you scared?”
Silvia swallows hard, “Um…”
“Then it’s settled! Road trip! Now baby sis, take me to see my mother!” Silvia stands dumbfounded, mouth agape as Mo finds her keys and grins, walks outside to her car, “Come sister! This car is not going to drive itself!”
Silvia groans and submits, she knew once her sister was committed to a cause, resistance was futile.
Silvia pulls her Ford Focus into the hospitals parking garage when her sister, up to now calm cool and collected turns stark white. “Mo, whats wrong?”
Maureen gasps, clutches Silvia’s hand tightly, she can barely speak, “You, you…
“What sis, what?”
She points , “You, you didn’t say he was going to be here.”
Silvia looks at the row of cars perplexed, “What? Who?”
“The demon incarnate, I’m not ready. We gotta go.”
“The who what, sissy you’re freaking me out.”
“Woods Jr. I’m not ready.”
Silvia finally realizes she’s referring to Ezekiel’s BMW sitting the next row up, Silvia sighs, their feud has been lasting far too long. She suggests, “It can’t be him, he should be at work. It’s probably Kayla using his car.”
“No, no, my gut says its him OMG.” Maureen starts breathing hard.
“Sis, chill, I’ll call his work.”
“I need some air.” Maureen gets out and paces back and forth as Silvia makes the call.
Silvia gets out of the car, “Come on sis, they said he’s with his wife on important business, come on, they probably left his car and took hers.”
Maureen bites her lip, “Ugh, I hope so. I’m not going to let him faze me to see Mama. Maureen be strong, Maureen be strong, breathe, have to remember my steps.” Silvia looks at her skeptically as they enter the hospital.
“Do you want to get her a gift? We could go by the gift shop.”
“Baby girl, I already have something, most importantly, I’m here. Any word from Kevin?”
“Nothing, we’re still looking.”
“Both of our brothers are douche’s.” Maureen stops in her tracks, mouth agape.
“Mo? Now what?”
“Douche huh, good to see you two sis. Surprised you even came out of your closet to see your mother.” Silvia turns face to face with Ezekiel glaring at Maureen.
“See what I mean sis! I knew we shouldn’t have came! I’m not ready to see the devil incarnate! I can see mother later!”
“That’s right dear sis, run like you usually do. Mother’s been better off without you around anyways. Devil huh? Guess you don’t remember what happened in the city of Sodom to the likes of you.”
Maureen turns around and slaps Ezekiel to his surprise, “As if! It was destroyed for wicked people so look at yourself! I’m not letting you ruin my visit to see mother! Stay out of my way!”
Maureen pushes him out of the way as he holds his stinging face, Silvia smirks at him, “You so deserved that.”
“Is no matter, let her have her short lived victory. I have bigger problems currently, I’m here trying to find my wife. She never picked up the kids and hasn’t been answering the phones. Have you talked to her?”
“Oh my goodness, no.”
“I heard she may be here. If you’ll excuse me. You can take care of Jezebel.” He turns to leave.
“Maureen, her room is this way.” Maureen huffs.
“Oh my goodness, Woods family, I’m so glad you’re here! Come quickly!” Silvia turns to see Freddy Styles approaching quickly.
Ezekiel turns around also, “Fred, whats the matter, is it Mama?”
“Afraid so, she’s awake, but she’s not right!”
Ezekiel and Silvia look at each other before rushing off to the room, Freddy takes a breath as Maureen slips up behind him, “Oh my goodness, Freddy Styles is that you?”
Freddy turns and gasps, mouth agape, “Oh my stars, look what the cat dragged out, its not lil’ Ms. Motown, Maureen Woods in the flesh!”
They embrace warmly, “Aw always loved your big teddy bear hugs Freddy Styles, you was always my favorite! I had such a crush on you when I was little.”
Freddy holds her arms and gives her a puzzled look, “What, wait…”
She giggles and playfully punches him in the arm, “Hey, I always recognized what a good soul you were, you’re a legend in the neighborhood, and those fancy purple suits OMG! Was so handsome! And still are!” He smiles slyly, not sure how to respond. “Trust, I was with a man you are the prototype.”
He blushes, “You always have such a way with words young lady. I do miss your bright sunshine around here. I think you better go and see your mother. I’ll show you to the room.”
Mama is being seen by Doctor Sharon checking her vitals, a nurse assists. Mama eyes are half closed as she looks distraught.
Silvia and Ezekiel barge in, “Mama, mother, are you okay?”
Doctor Sharon glares at them, “I’m sorry, no visitors right now. Your mother is suffering a relapse, I need you to wait outside.”
“Mama! Mama no!” Silvia pleads, tears up.
“Nurse, please escort the Woods to the reception room!”
“Doctor, we have a right to be here to see our mother. What are you doing to her?” Ezekiel bellows.
The doctor sighs, “I need to stabilize her blood pressure, she’s 160 over 146 and thats not good. If you would give me a moment to…”
Mama grunts, “Kevin? Is that you?”
Ezekiel groans, “No Mama, it’s little Zeke.”
“Mama?” Maureen holds a lily as she enters, the room grows quiet.
Mama turns to the voice, “My baby.”
The heartbeat seems to stabilize as Maureen grasps Mama’s hand, “Mama, I’m here.” She places the lily in her weak hands. Mama tightens her grip around her hands.
“Baby…” She gasps, weak, her heart rate starts to rise.
“Please, let me get her stabilized.” The doctor pleads.
“Wait, baby girl, find Ponyi Patel.”
“What? Mama?” Maureen starts to tear up seeing her mother struggle.
“What is that, does she know what she’s saying?” Ezekiel injects.
“What is that?” Silvia gasps, holding her hands together.
“Find Ponyi, you find…Kevin.” Mama groans and passes out.
“Woods family! Please!” Dr. Sharon and the nurses work diligently on her. A nurse shuffles them out to the reception area.
“What is a Ponyi? That a game?” Silvia whines.
“I don’t think she knew what she was talking about. This is incredible.” Ezekiel shakes his head, pulls out his cell phone. Freddy gives Maureen a hug.
The nurse shakes her head, “Ponyi Patel is a woman, she visited your mother a day ago. I can’t say anything else but that may help.” She disappears into the room leaving the Woods and Freddy’s mouths agape.