Friday, June 22, 2007

A Tale of Two Women - A Mini Series, Part VII

Seemingly the dark cloud that had been following Deanna had finally lifted, and drifted over to Claudia. At the beginning of the New Year Claudia received word from Mexico that her father had passed away. Sadness filled the air because everyone knew how much Claudia adorned and loved her father. She had always been the sparkle of his eye, and he always revered her as a princess. As Claudia and her family prepared to travel to Mexico for her father’s funeral services, there was even a greater sadness in California for her brother who was now living here. Her brother had migrated with his now ex-wife and their son some years back to California as non-documented immigrants. Over the years her brother had divorced but not before having two more children who were born in America. Even though his two minor children were American citizens by birthright this did not protect Marty from travelling in and out of the United States. Because of his undocumented status he could not risk going to Mexico and not being able to return to the states to care for his three children. Ohhhhhhhhh what a lesson to learn. Because of the tangled messed he had woven in the fleets to get into the United States there was the unforeseen future now facing him—his father’s death. The family now had two reasons to mourn the loss of their father/husband and the absent son who wasn’t able to come to the funeral.

Once Claudia returned from Mexico she rightfully plummeted into a deep depression which is not good for someone with bi-polar disorder. Here she was back ‘home’ and so far from her mom, grandmother and all the familiarities she had known her entire life. Her husband had returned to his daily routine of work, her son required her attention, and although her father-in-law was a support to her, she didn’t necessarily receive all the motherly attention from her mother-in-law. She was able to seek some comfort through knowing her brother was nearby, but even he wasn’t that helpful because he had his own troubles dealing with a vindictive ex-wife.

Although probably much before now Claudia had suffered in silence because there we things going on in her home she didn’t share with anyone. Why? Maybe because she thought it would improve, maybe it would go away, maybe uncertain as to where to turn, maybe ashamed of the situations, or maybe too much to deal with. Whatever the reason she was silently suffering, but somehow always managed to put on a ‘happy’ face in front of everyone. The only person she was able to even minutely pull this mask off in front of was her father-in-law, yet even that was minimal in her revealing because she felt she had to be strong.

Claudia’s father-in-law checked in with her regularly to make sure she was ok, see if she needed anything and inquired whether there was anything he could do for her. She found this characteristic quality in her father-in-law very much similar that of her own father and for that alone she found refuge in him. The two of them have the best time teasing one another, poking fun at one another’s cooking skills, constantly playing tricks on one another, and have a love for one another as if they were paternally father and daughter.

Deanna sees this adoring relationship between her father and sister-in-law and has no pangs of jealousy because she knows both of these people are wonderful individuals and respects them both so much. She actually enjoys the bantering that goes on between the two of them. However, Claudia’s mother-in-law doesn’t seem to share the same attention. To the average outsider Claudia’s mother-in-law is a jovial fun loving woman that is a loyalist to her family. To the insiders of the network she can be passive-aggressive, stubborn and negative, all of which is generally communicated through non-verbalized communication (i.e., a roll of the eyes, a sigh, a critically judgmental look or an "I knew it" smug). More importantly sometimes the body language of someone can speak louder than any verbalized words.

Unbeknownst to Claudia’s mother-in-law who perhaps doesn’t think she can be ‘read’ especially by Claudia who’s English isn’t that good, she is the one that is only fooling herself. For Claudia has disclosed in private conversation to Deanna that she knows how Deanna’s mother feels about her even though she doesn’t understand why, and has decided to not let if burden her because after all she loves Clint and he’s the most important person to her.

Deanna is reveling in her new exciting life. She’s working, enjoying her dance classes, continuing her spiritual studies of Islam, Judaism, Christianity, as well as various other Eastern religions, spending time with friends, and most importantly a stress-free life.

Early one summer night Deanna and a couple of her girlfriends went to a Greek restaurant where they were going to watch some of her dancer friends perform a benefit for another dancer who had just died in an auto accident. Deanna was thrilled to be sharing this experience with her friends because she had not been to an outing like this as a ‘single person’. They arrived early to get a good seat which Fatima had saved for them. The event was going to include Greek dancers as well as belly dancers so the ‘cultural’ experience was going to be fun. The show was spectacular and at the end they had an open floor for anyone to dance to a traditional Greek dance which was being performed. Someone motioned for others to join the chain and something possessed Deanna to jump up and join them. It was as if she was in an euphoric state the entire evening. She was having such a great time.

Sometime during the night Deanna’s friends spotted a man who was checking Deanna out but didn’t say anything because after they noticed him he had left. Later in the evening Deanna and her girlfriends were dancing on the dance floor being silly and more importantly having fun. Deanna noticed in the doorway a handsome man stood there smiling at her group. Without consciously thinking Deanna motioned him to join them to which he did. The song ended and before they could leave the dance floor the DJ immediately played a slow song, and the handsome gentleman asked Deanna to dance. She was surprised at his asking, but agreed nonetheless and as they leaned in towards one another for the dance she smelled his cologne mixed with his body chemistry and before she could stop herself she said out loud, "oh, you smell good". The only saving grace was that it was a dark room and he couldn’t see her profusely blushing at her boldness. How dare she say such a thing!

After their dance, he asked her if she’d like to go out to the patio area where it was quieter to talk, and she agreed to do so. The handsomely dark skinned man introduced himself with a slightly detectable Arabic accent as Adam. Deanna thinking this odd that an "Arab" would be named Adam, but nonetheless she introduced herself as well to Adam. While they were visiting for a bit her friends quickly came to see if she was all right. Adam had suggested taking her and her friends to another place they they might find interesting and they all agreed to go. Adam invited Deanna and Fatima to ride with him, while the others followed in their vehicle. Deanna collected her belongings and followed her friends out to the parking lot to get in their appropriate cars. As Deanna exited the restaurant, turned to the right and found Adam holding the front door open to his Mercedes for her, while Fatima was already situated in the backseat. Deanna could not believe her eyes. For that very moment although critically materialistic in her thinking she felt like Cinderella getting into her coach to go to the ball. Deanna could not believe the good fortunes that God was bestowing on her, a life filled with good friends, a place to live, and a fun job.

As the evening came to a conclusion in the early hours of the morning before parting ways Adam asked Deanna for her phone number to which she provided him with her work number. They expressed how nice it was meeting one another and he stated that he would be calling her soon. Deanna returned home to her Chateau in the Ghetto filling like the bell of the ball and fell asleep smiling over the events of the evening.

The next morning Deanna awoke to a peaceful Sunday morning. For at the moment the Ghetto was quiet due to the drug addicts, alcoholics, welfare recipient squabbling neighbors had recently gone to sleep, so she knew she had a number of hours to enjoy the solitude before the ruckus started again. Still feeling the euphoric affects of the night before she was not ready to disturb them with the madness of the neighbors.

She grabbed a book, a hot cup of coffee, stepped out on her balcony and planted herself in the lounge chair she had. She began reading her book and quickly discovered she hadn’t changed the page in nearly five minutes because her mind kept wandering. Unlike most weekend days that go by in a flash this particular Sunday seemed to take forever to go by due to Deanna’s inability to stop thinking of Adam.

Finally Monday arrived and she was off to work, which would serve as a good distraction for her. Upon arriving at work she saw the message indicating light was lit on her phone indicating she had messages waiting for her. This was a normal occurrence because something seemed to always happen over the weekend that would require attention first thing Monday morning. However, the only message that was waiting for her was a message from Adam that was received on Sunday. He told her he had been thinking about her and just wanted to wish her a great day. A Cheshire cat could not be smiling as brightly as Deanna was at the sound of this message. She was nearly floating on air when she walked, and certainly carried a lightness about her that was probably apparent to everyone around her.

Later during the day Adam called Deanna again and this time she answered the phone. When she heard his voice her heart nearly skipped a beat with enthusiasm. They chatted for a bit and then he asked her to join him for dinner a couple of days later to which she agreed to do. A mere two days later seemed like a lifetime when one had something so exciting to look forward too.

The day finally arrived and Deanna primped, un-primped, primped again until she finally resolved herself she couldn’t do anymore to make herself look any different. Because of the amount of time she spent primping, trying on every outfit she owned, and criticized herself in the mirror over every aspect of her being she was late to get into the office that day, but wasn’t caught for her tardiness. After work Deanna drove to the restaurant she and Adam were to meet and upon her arrival she found he was already waiting for her. They met an Arabic restaurant and shared a very enjoyable meal. They spent hours on end talking about their backgrounds, families, work, education, and religion. When Deanna inquired as to what he believed spiritually as that was a very important issue for her; Adam seemed to tense up before saying he was a "Muslim". He seemed somewhat relieved though when Deanna didn’t run out the door screaming. They ended their evening with Adam inviting her to go out again with him on Friday night.

Oh how the remainder of the week seemed to drag on.

1 comment:

a_akak said...

wow, i hope this has a good ending ..........