Monday, October 22, 2012

"Text Message" | Chapter 5


"You know, I don't like you." Jake said. You could hear the attitude in his tone.

"Well least we have one thing in common. I don't like you either." Eva said.

"Oh really?"

"Yeah, and I really don't give a damn either way."

"You!" Jake tried to control the volume of voice, "You talking to me like that in my house?!"

"Your house or not, baby I still don't give a damn."

"Alright guys!" Tracy skipped over with the two big boxes of pizza, “Time to eat!”

"Nah. You two go ahead."

" don't want any pizza?" Tracy looked at him.

"No as a matter of fact—No I don't want pizza. I came home early thinking my woman would have dinner on the table waiting for me."

"I told you I had to bring work home and couldn't cook."

"Well it didn't look like you've got much done. Plus why is the TV on? Why is she here?" Jake's anger began to show.

"JAKE! What has gotten into you?!"

"Well that's my queue to leave." Eva said grabbing her purse.

"No, you shouldn't have to leave because he wants to act up."

"Oh I'm acting up? Couldn't you have found a spare moment in your schedule to tell me you wanted to have pizza and company over? But you know what forget it. I'll go." Jake dashed off towards their bedroom.

"Here, the kitchen's that way" Tracy handed the pizzas to Eva.

"Uh, Trace..." Eva watched her dash off in the same direction as Jake, "Well puppy, you want to share a slice with me?" The puppy wagged its tail in agreement.

"What is wrong with you?" Tracy slammed their bedroom door.

"Nothing's wrong with me. What's your problem?" He snatched his tie from around his neck

"I don't have a problem. But you’re apparently pissed."

"You want to know what I'm pissed? Do you want to know why I'm pissed, Tracy?!"

"Yes I do!"

"I'm pissed because you have a person in my house I don't approve of!"

"You don't even know her!"

"Like you do?!"

"That's not the point; you just can't judge people without getting to know them. Besides she was nice enough to offer and help get my work done."

"That's what's wrong with you Tracy. You're too trusting of people and automatically make them your friend. You go the extra mile for people without seeing what they truly want. That's one thing that never made sense to me about you. It's like you're oblivious to the wrong people try to do!"

"Well you're a good example for that."

Jake stared at her for a moment then dropped his shirt on the bed.

"Look Tracy I love you, I just don't like people—especially strangers—taking advantage of you." He rested his hands on her shoulders.

"No!" She knocked his hands away, "you don't even have a good reason why you dislike Eva—any of my friends for that matter. Jake you act like I'm not supposed to have friends or something. Like I'm your personal maid whether I want to or not. But OH NO! Your friends can come over twenty-four-seven and it’s all good in the neighborhood."

"Because they're my friends, your friends always act so wild and uncouth like they have no home training. They act like most black people do."

"Black people?" Tracy couldn't believe what she was hearing him say.

"We'll not you, obviously. I’m talking about the people that belong in places like Harlem and Stuyvesant-Bedford."

"Did you forget my father is black? Or does he belong in the predominantly black neighborhoods of America too? You know what I can't believe you right now. Don't want to look at you."

"Babe that's not what I meant—"

"Whatever it was you meant. I don't want to hear it. I'm not white remember. Only part of me is. Excuse me for not being the blonde, blue eyed beauty you may want but if you can't accept me as I am then maybe we shouldn't be together much less get married, Jake. You approached me remember?"

"I'm not arguing with you about this." Jake brush past Tracy and changed his clothes in their walk-in closet.

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?!" Tracy was mad. It felt like he was purposely attacking her.

"It means I'm not going to argue with you. If I tell you something, I expect you to do it. Not disobey me—"


"That's right disobey me. I'm the man and I run everything and that includes you."

"Like hell you do! You can get the fuck out of my house!"

"Your house!?"

"I take care of it. You may pay the bills but you didn't make it a home."

"Well you make you a new home at your new girlfriend’s place. Take that damn dog with you and don't even consider coming back." Jake stormed out of the room.

"EXCUSE ME?! Are you putting me out?" Tracy just knew this man had lost his mind.

"Yes that's exactly what I'm doing."

"I can't believe you!"

"Believe it, don't come back unless you decide to stop being so damned insubordinate," Jake pointed to Eva; "I want you out my house too and don't ever come back."

"One you don't tell me what to do. Two, I don't give a flying fuck what you think. Three I ain't the type of girl you want to mess with. So I would advise you to go about your business and leave me the hell alone." Eva said in a no-nonsense tone. Tracy wondered why she couldn't be like Eva.

"I want you packed and moved when I get home tomorrow." Jake left slamming the door behind him.

Tracy stood there wondering would life always be like that with Jake. It's not the first time they've had a fight. The thing about the friends wasn't either. But it was as if he only wanted her to go to work and come home and do nothing else. Unless it was something he wanted to do. What she really couldn't get over what the fact how he act like he didn't like people of color. That hurt the most that's like saying I only love the white side of you and not the black. She couldn't hold back the tears and let the fall from her face. She stood there mad, angry and upset—fists clenched tight. Wondering what did she do wrong in the last few days that made her be treated so horribly—.

"Honey, don't worry about it ok? Shit happens. Why? No one knows, but you can't let it get the best of you." Eva patted Tracy's thigh.

"I know but still..." Tracy wiped a stray tear from her face and spent the short drive to Eva's place staring out the window.

"Alright we're here." Eva said as she tapped Tracy's shoulder.

"Hmm, was I sleeping?" Tracy stretched and noticed they were in a well-lit garage.

"Yes ma’am. I stopped at the store and picked up a few groceries too. You can take those in while I grab the paperwork." Eva pointed to a door.

Eva unlocked the door that connected the garage to the house. Tracy grabbed a few bags and headed inside. Before she could wonder where the lights where, the room turned bright. She looked around the large kitchen and enjoyed the colorfulness of it. As she began unpacking the groceries, Eva entered the room and left quickly before Tracy could ask where everything was supposed to go.

"There," Eva locked the door, "Now to put away the groceries. I'll put your bag in the living room for now and you can go have a bath or change into your night clothes when you want okay?"

"Okay. Hey Eva....I'm really sorry."

"Aww honey, don't be. I'm happy to have you over." Eva opened the fridge and began stuffing it with the fresh groceries.

Tracy went up behind Eva and gave her a tight hug, "Thanks a lot Eva. I truly appreciate it."

"No problem."

Tracy lay next to Eva who was sound asleep. She didn't feel like sleeping alone. She laid there for most of the night unable to sleep staring at the ceiling, thinking. Then her phone lit up and began to vibrate. She picked it up to see who it could be. Tracy was shocked to see it was the short code 53097. The message read:

"A lovers rift is truly the pits. Your fight with your lover will prove stronger than expected. Prepare for a day of unhappiness."

Tracy sat there staring at this message, partially in shock and terror. Then she wondered is Jake playing with my head? Or was it perhaps someone else? She turned her phone off and lay back down.

"I can't let the small things get the best of me." She whispered to herself, cuddling closer to Eva. Before another thought could enter her mind she fell fast asleep.

The next morning was a drag. Even though Eva had made breakfast, Tracy's mind was so clouded with stuff that it was hard to get it together.

"Here have some coffee babe." Eva put a big mug in front if Eva.

"Hmm? Oh." Tracy looked into the cup of coffee as if to be looking for a Magic Eight Ball answer to float up.

"Trace, it's going to be okay, don't worry about. Maybe you and the B-F will get back together after all this blow over. Then again maybe not, but you can't beat yourself up about it. Worrying about it is good. However you can't let it consume you and make everything else around you, including life, hard." Eva patted Tracy's head.

"Yeah I suppose you're right."

"I know, now eat your breakfast okay? We've got a lot to do today. Definitely need to pick up some five hour energy for you too." Eva said placing a plate full of food in front of Eva.

"Alright." Tracy looked at Eva whose over-sized night shirt did no justice for her body.

"Alrighty! Now I can go hop in the shower." Eva said.

"I'll do the dishes, it's the least I can do since you're putting up with me."

"Aww honey you don't have to—"

"No Eva I want to, please." Tracy said stuffing her face.

"Okay, suit yourself."

"By the way. You're a good cook too, better than me." Tracy chuckled.

"Well we'll teach you how to cook like me." Eva giggled as she walked away.

After Tracy finished her breakfast and washed all the dishes. She sat down thinking about what to do next. Of course she would keep working and do her best. That's all she could do for now. Like Eva said, she can’t sweat the small stuff. Maybe it is time to go with the flow and stop following a pre-made plan.

Eva and Tracy got to work around 4:15am. They took the rest of the paperwork down to the cafeteria. Three hours later they had finished a good amount and decided to do the rest during lunch and go over everything towards the end of the day. Tracy was happy that work wasn’t as demanding and enjoyed spending a good amount of it with Eva. Without her Tracy knew she wouldn't've been able to get all that done on her own. She wondered, how crazy can some people be? Unfortunately both of the women had meetings to attend and didn't have a chance to work on the paperwork like they had hoped to do during lunch.

"I guess we're taking this home, huh?" Eva sat in one of Tracy's chairs.

Tracy groaned, "UGH! I'm so tired of doing this! I want to go to sleep and actually enjoy it." She banged her head lightly on her desk repeatedly.

"You can say that again." Eva lit a cigarette and puffed out a small cloud of smoke.

*Buzz Buzz Buzzzz*

"Huh?" Tracy picked her head up and looked at direction or the noise, "Who's bothering me at a time like this?" She shuffled threw a drawer as her phone moved all over the crowded space.

"Boyfriend?" Eva asked tapping ashes into the ashtray.

"I don’t know, it could be him." Tracy looked at her phone and noticed it was a text message from a short code.

Without knowing Tracy dropped the phone and stared dazed into space.

"Tracy?" Eva stared wondering what was going on, "Trace? Earth to Tracy?"

Eva got up and walked over to Tracy and picked up her phone.

"You got a text from a weird number." Eva opened the text and read the message.

"Does it say 53097?" Tracy whispered.


Tracy cleared her throat, "D-does it say five-three-oh-nine-seven?"

"Yeah. You know what this is?"

"What does it say?"

"It says: Hard work is bound to pay off, but don't like this burst of success go to your head. Sounds cheesy if you ask me." Eva studied the text.

"I've been getting weird messages like that for the past couple days."

"Really? You know who or what it's from?"

"No clue, I replied and it told me the number was invalid and to try again with a correct number. Every text it sent that I saved disappears after I read it. I don't know how and I don't like that it always mentions something before or after it happens." Tracy began to cry.

"Whoa, whoa now. What's wrong?"

"Like yesterday it told me I was going to have a fight with Jake before it happened. Then it said that my morning would be rough because of the fight. It talked about when I got the promotion too—I think someone's stalking me or something Eva and its starting to concern me." Tracy began to sob.

"Well why not on the way home we'll stop at the police station and ask what we can do okay?"


After work, the two women stopped  at the police station and talked to an officer about what was going with the crazy texts. The officer informed them with no physical address or person for that matter, not much could be done. He did suggest that they might want to look into changing the phone number. That's the most sure shot way to do get rid of the annoyances. Tracy accepted and wanted to do so as soon as possible. After a trip to the phone carrier Tracy changed her number and was partially contented. Then the two women headed home to finish the completion of the work due in a few days.

"You know what I don't understand is that you start working as a Senior Executive. Then you start receiving strange messages at the same time. How is that possible?" Eva took a bite of her pizza.

"I also met Mr. Monroe too. Well not meet but still saw him." Tracy said.

"Yeah that too. I mean how did he know you'd be going to that same restaurant and that you were with your boyfriend when he's never met either of you? Something strange is going on." Eva rapped her fingers on the marbled coffee table she was sitting next to.

"I think so too." Tracy sighed.

"Oh! I heard some gossip!" Eva beamed happily.

"Oh yeah, what about?"

"Well apparently they're going to start taking applications for the new female position. I heard the secretaries talking saying they wanted to pick someone within the next two to three months."

"Is that good?"

"Yeah it is. I'm going to have a friend from college apply."

"Wait, won't they find out that you guys are friends?"

"No, and I'll tell you why. We went to high school together until she and her family moved. Believe it or not we ended up at college together. It was only a year and her family relocated again. The dad was in the military and got moved around a lot."

"Oh I see! Well how have you two stayed in contact for so long?"

"Writing. I never really had time to talk, talk on the phone. So she wrote a letter and I write one. That made it easier. Anyway here's the best part. Her husband will be starting a new job here in January. However they're moving here the beginning or middle of November. So she said she needed a job and I told her I would keep a look out. Well I told her about the crazy stuff that happened here."

"Oh I see! Do you think they'll find out?" Tracy asked.

Eva shook her head, "Nope. You see she worked as a detective for a time. She got her major in Business and her masters in Criminal Justice. When I last talk to her she said she was finishing up her doctorate in Communications."

"Wow a triple threat!"

"Yup, so I sent her email about the new job opening. So hopefully they'll hire her and we'll have a good team then."

"What's her name?"

"Her name is Linda. Linda Beaumont. One of the nicest, down to earth people you'll ever meet."

"I can't wait to meet her." Tracy smiled.

"I can't wait to see her!"

Before Tracy knew it Friday had come and it was time for the projection meeting. Tracy was nervous and was hoping all went well. She was happy she hasn't received any of those awful texts and hadn't had much problems with work either.

"You ready?" Eva asked.

"Yup! I'm ready!" Tracy said.


"Very much so, but I'm going to blow this thing out of the water. I can't wait to see the look on their ugly faces."

"That's my girl. Alright good luck!"

As the meeting came to a start. Tracy sat there twiddling her thumbs.

"Ms. Hubbard?"

"Ah, yes?" Tracy looked up from her hands.

"Do you have the necessary paperwork you were given to complete." Mr. Monroe asked.

"I apologize for being late group, how is everything with everybody?"

"Mit, you know how I feel about tardiness."

"Yes Marvin, I know. But I do have a company to help run as well." Mr. Sullivan said bluntly.

"Hmm, yes. Now where were we? Oh yes! Ms. Hubbard, your presentation please."

"Oh yes sir. Let me get my material." Tracy shifted through her briefcase.

"You know if you don't have what you need. We can move along to something else." Lance said.

"I have what I need thank you." Tracy said standing up and waved a stack of papers.

Tracy's presentation went well without any problems. She was glad about that.

"Ms. Hubbard do you have the necessary paperwork to back your presentation?" Mr. Monroe asked.

"Yes, yes I do." Tracy went and grabbed one of the several large attaché cases and rolled them to Mr. Monroe.

"Thank you very much, you may be seated."

"You're welcome." Tracy sat down and noticed the men were shocked and seemed pissed off. She smiled at them to let them know she wouldn't be knocked off so easily.

"Oh and uh, Ms. Hubbard?" Mr. Monroe said sifting through some papers.

"Yes sir?"

"Job well done."

"Thank you, sir."

After a good two hours of debate, the meeting came to close. The women being happy with the outcome dashed out the conference room. They decided to have a celebratory lunch in honor of their small victory.

Disgusted Lance threw a pile of papers. The other men stood there watching him take this temper tantrum.

"Lance would you please stop that and act like the adult you are."

"What?! You told me she would fail and all we had to worry about was the other bitch."

"Well they banded together and proved us wrong. That's only the beginning, isn't that correct Mit?" Said Mr. Monroe

"Absolutely. Tracy and Eva both are equal good workers. However Tracy seems to crack under pressure and Eva has an attitude control of zero. We can handle this. Just need more time and a new strategy." Mr. Sullivan said.

"More time!? What the hell does that mean?!" Lance turned beet red.

"Yes. We may already have our plan into effect. However they're planning as well and we need to be more prepared for the curve balls they’re going to throw at us." Mr. Monroe said dryly.

A knock came at the door.

"Come in," Mr. Sullivan peeped over the rim of his glasses, "So nice of you to finally join us, you missed the excitement."

"Excitement indeed," Mr. Monroe tapped his pen on the notepad in front of him, "Are you aware she changed her cell phone number a few days ago?"

"Yes I'm aware."

"Marvelous job you did on her the other night."

"How much longer must I put up with this?"

"Oh now don't tell me you're bored. You seemed to be enjoying yourself in the beginning. Until we have what we need, we will stop at NOTHING!" Mr. Monroe banged the table.

Lance stood there huffing angrily. Disgusted with what came out of Mr. Monroe's mouth. Mr. Monroe, got himself comfortable in his chair.

"Mit I'm sure you already know my nephew."

"Yes I do, Marvin."

"Lance, Leon and Robert. This is my nephew. My wife and I have raised him since he was a small child. He was my sister Margaret's only child."

"So what does he have to do with anything?" Lance asked disinterestedly.

"A lot!" Mr. Monroe walked over to the young man and patted him on the back.

"Well hope you feel all goes well." Said Mr. Sullivan.

"Oh it will Mit. Gentlemen, my nephew here is a role player in our game."

"How is he a role player?" Leon asked.

"Well let me formally introduce all of you. Gentlemen, this is Jake Williamson, my nephew, as well as Tracy's boyfriend or should I say fiancé?"

The men stood there staring at Jake in shock. It seemed like Mr. Monroe had a few tricks up his sleeves yet to be revealed.


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