He stood toe to toe with Karma. I was right next to her.
“Who the hell are you?”
“Her friend…don’t act like you don’t remember me Jalen.”I laughed nervously trying to ease the tension.
Karmas arms were crossed as she was looking down at her feet.
“Yeah, well if you’re such a good friend then lend her the money to give me.”
“I don’t have it either.”I stated slightly annoyed at this point.
He looked me up and down and quickly reached out and grabbed my necklace my Benetha gave me, and yanked it off my neck. It was a gold necklace with an old key hanging from it. I think it was some type of symbolic thing. I didn’t care for symbolic stuff but I loved that necklace because Bonnie gave it to me when I was real little.
Karma slapped him.”Give it back Jalen it ain’t worth nothin’ to you.”
“Get my money than B@#$!” he yelled causing a big scene.
Karma ran into her house, went into her closet and found a shoe box where she knew her momma had been saving money for awhile. She ran out and handed him one hundred and twenty dollars.
He grabbed the money” I want the rest of my money by next week when I get back in town.”
I couldn’t believe Karma let him grab the money before giving back my chain.
“Jalen give it back please.”Karma cried.
“I don’t want that crappy a*& thing anyway. He threw it in the bushes, and ran.
Karmas sister Monica stood at the door with her arms crossed over her belly, shaking her head. She went in the house and came back with a flash light. The rain clouds were blocking the sun making it difficult to see.
I didn’t get home until nine o’clock.
“Where have you been?”My mother asked looking at my chain in my hand.
“I was over by Karmas house.”I said giving her direct eye contact so that she knew I was telling her the truth.
“Go get some sleep. Ok” She said while trying to work the remote.
“Ok,…how’s Benetha?”I asked
“She sleep, I wouldn’t let her see that broken chain if I were you.”
“I won’t, I’ll fix it later.”
I went up stairs to my room after talking to mom. I put my luggage aside. I hate the fact that I couldn’t get anything done.
It was now nine thirty. I stretched out over my bed and tried to get some sleep. As soon as my eyes shut my cell rang. I never liked to ignore a call, so I rushed to answer it. It was Mya.
“What’s this about you leaving? Why you have to give this kind of news at the beginning of the week, you know how stressful Mondays are for me, now I have to deal with this.”Mya’s mouth was full of food.
“I was hoping you would be happier for me.” I said
“I am happy for you it’s just that I’m going to miss you.”
“I’m going to miss all of you guys. Karma keeps trying to convince me to drop the job, and I just can’t do that right now.”
“You can’t leave us out here by ourselves!”Karma shouted nearly scaring me out of my mind. She had been listening the whole time.
“Hi karma I’m glad you decided to join this conversation. Why don’t yall ever tell me when yall on three way?”
“Thats not important. Daina I think you should take the job and see where it gets you. You can’t stay in this town forever.”Mya said trying her best to sound supportive.
“I know, I’m definitely taken the job. Its good experience right?’I said listening for Mya’s answer and ready to ignore Karmas.
“You’re absolutely right. So when do you leave.”Mya began to sound more excited than I was.
” I think Next monday.If I can get the plane tickets in time. Scary huh?”
“Very scary, thats a lot to deal with. So are you going to live with that girl you used to know.”
Mya didn’t like Tanya but she was glad that I knew someone down there.
“Yeah she has an apartment and if I help pay part of her rent I can stay with her. For as long as I need to.”
“Did you tell Kendal?” Karma asked.
“Nope I didn’t have the time today. Karma when do you start your new job?”I asked trying to switch the subject. Mya and Karma always seemed to figure out what was going on between me and Kendal even after I told them that he and I were just friends.
“I start on Tuesday. That’s still not enough time to get Jalen’s money.”Karma said as if she were trying to beg Mya for the money.
“I take it she told you about what happened today.” I said to Mya wondering if she was going to give up the money.
“Yeah,” she sighed, “and Karma I’ll have the money by Wednesday, that’s the best I can do.”Mya said
“Thanks.”Karma said as if she had expected to hear Mya say that.
We all talked until eleven. Around eleven forty five I tried getting some sleep but I had too many things racing through my head. I got up to turn on my fan when I heard my cell phone ring again. It was Kendal. I started to answer when I realized I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t know how to explain that my life is about to change drastically. I didn’t pick it up. How could I tell him that I wasn’t going to be there for him like I used to. How could I tell the man that I grew up with that we were no longer going to see each other like we have been for the last thirteen years. The thought alone made me cry. I started to contemplate rather I really wanted to leave my best friends behind and start a completely new life with some people I barely knew. I couldn’t leave Karma and Mya. I would miss my best friend Kendal the most, because it always seemed like we were both on the same page. We both understood how each other felt and thought. I could finish his sentence just as quick as he could finish mine. He understood my body language. He was the person I ran to when I needed to hear the truth. Now I was about to leave him and everyone else. The world that I became comfortable with was about to be turned upside down. I went to sleep around two o’clock. I woke up at four. I was wide awake. The sun hadn’t made it up yet. I decided to watch it come up from the lake side. I took a shower and put on the jogging suit that Mya bought me for my birthday. I wrote a note saying I would be back soon so my mom wouldn’t worry. After grabbing my cell phone I put on my jogging shoes and started making my way to the lake. When I got there the sun was slowly coming up. It was light enough outside for me to be able to see the lake and the birds that flew over it clearly. I saw the two benches that were back to back with each other. They have been there for as long as I can remember. The sky was full of clouds. It must have rained earlier because the ground was partially damp. I sat down on the left side of the bench facing the lake. I sat there just thinking about how my life would drastically change. I started to stare at the picture like clouds that’s when I felt something cold and wet on my leg. I jumped immediately. When I looked down I was surprised to find a little puppy. I slowly scooted closer to the edge of the bench. I looked down and felt childish for being afraid of him so I petted him on the head, picked him up and sat him down next to me. That was a bad idea because as soon as he saw the candy wrapper in my pocket he started nibbling on it. I took it out for him. It was a smashed candy bar. He ate it as soon as I opened it and then jumped down off the bench and went on with his business. He was a stray dog with no one to watch over him, but he walked with confidence. I watched him walk and adventure alone into the world until I could no longer see him. If he could do it why couldn’t I? My cell phone rang a couple of seconds later.