7:29 on the dot. Yes! I'm going to get to work 15 minutes early. Breakfast in hand, phone charger, and a new box of spoons for Poole who has given me a spoon for my Chobani for the last month or so. I run down the stairs and wham! Trip and fall, dropping all my snacks. The box of spoons flies up and bursts open as it hits the ground. I try to grab my smoothie cup before it could crack into pieces but its too late.. Then ...wait ..oh nooooo.. damn it! MY KEYS! I search my purse, knowing they aren't there.. run back upstairs, leaving the messy watermelon smoothie, covered in spoons, right where it laid. I wiggle the doorknob, knowing it's locked.. And finally, let out an atrocious scream.. UGHHHHHH!!!! Slide down my door, let my bottom hit the floor, and tears hit my cheeks, racing down to my lips. Frustration. Pure, unfiltered, frustration.
Everything is going wrong.
But I must think fast. Can't be late to work.
"Vell, can you bring me my spare?"
"Sure.." He sounded groggy, I knew my phone call had awakened him out of his sleep. "But you know it's going to take me a minute. I live downtown now."
"Sheesh! Forget it. I'll call the super."
But first, let me text Eve. She doesn't live too far. Maybe she can come get me and take me to work with her.
"Yea .. sorry.." She had already left and was well on her way.
Last resort, call the super. I didn't want to do it. They take 2 hours and they charge you $35 to let you back into your own damn house.
"I'll send someone over!" The woman said on the the other line. But I hardly believed her.
Texted my boss, G.. Told her to find coverage.. I knew I was in it for the long haul.
So I sat in the lobby and waited ..and waited ...and waited.
"Might as well write.." I thought.. So I pulled my journal from my purse and began writing when the cutest little old woman came and sat on the couch across from me.
"How you doing baby?" She asked.
"I'm good. I won't complain." I told her. Even though I had just finished crying about how my entire life was in shambles because I was completely locked out and wasted a perfectly good watermelon smoothie.
"Hmp! It ain't complaining if it's bothering you. Is' a big difference 'tween talkin' 'bout yo isshas (issues) and dwellin' in 'em. Now what's the matta'? I can see you upset."
The tears all came back, reuniting with my cheeks, and racing toward my sweat shirt. "Well, for starters, I have had a terrible last two weeks at work. Lost one of my babies to violence. My students practically hate me. My sister is no where to be found. My dog can't live with me. My best friend's mom had a stroke. I'm locked out of the house and my car. I'm going to be late for work. I can't find a man. And I dropped my whole smoothie."
My mascara ran down my face, burning my eyes.
"Catch yo' breath! And huh.." She said, handing me a folded white napkin that she took out of her pocketbook. "Wipe yo' nose."
"Now listen... and listen to me good now: You just need to slow down. You going ten miles a minute. You can't work like that. I don't care how young you is, the body just don't work like that. Now, I'm sorry, so sorry about yo' student. But yo' other kids don't hate you. They just upset, like you is right now. Today, when you go in yo' classroom, you smile at them and tell them you love them anyway. You got to love people anyway. No matter what they do, love a person anyway. Imma pray for yo' friend's mama too. I had a stroke last year. She'll pull through, she probably need to slow down too. Let me tell you, if you don't slow down on your own, God will surely do it for you. That's why you locked out this morning here. And you'll find your sister and a man. Just stop looking and let God take care of things. It's okay to cry. It's good to cry. You need a healing. You hear me?"
"Yes ma'am. Thank you." I said before blowing my snotty nose and wiping my Maybeline-blackened eyes.
"You come and see me sometime. I live over on the 3rd floor. Down the hall from you. I know you.. And that loud bam boom bop you listen to!" We both laughed as she walked outside to get in the car with a man whom appeared to be her son. In walked the super..
"Are you the one locked out?"