The walk back to Shelly’s room from the garage seemed so long. I took my time so that I could gather my thoughts as I knew the nurse was watching Shelly’s room for me. As I reentered the hospital, I noticed a bouquet of the most beautiful pink roses I had ever seen in the flower shop’s display window. They were Shelly’s favorites and also her favorite color. Was this a sign for me to get them for her? I would like to believe so because Shelly loved flowers. Flowers were a beautiful reminder that you are loved. She had been through a lot in these last few days and I knew that she could use all of the genuine love that she could get at this moment. I wanted her to know that she still had at least one person that she could depend on that had her best interest at heart. I wish I could take all of her pain away. Especially since most of it was a result of choices that other people made in their lives.
“May I help you? We’re about to close soon and I don’t want you to have to feel rushed making a purchase decision.” the salesperson asked and jolted me from my thoughts and I noticed that I had stopped in the doorway. Something felt off about the energy in flower shop but I’d leave that for later and just focus on the mission at hand.
“Yes, I would like the pink rose bouquet in the window.” I said as I headed to the register and pulled out my money.
“It’s pretty expensive but it’s because it is. . .”
“Sir, I didn’t ask the price. Ring it up so I can go please!” I snapped and then caught myself. “My bad. I’m kind of in a rush though.”
“It’s no problem. I understand.” The salesperson responded as she gathered the bouquet. “Vase on us!”
“That’s so sweet! Thanks!” I responded and paid for the flowers and made my way to Shelly’s room. When I got there, I had the shock of my life. Latif was standing next to Shelly’s bed. I froze and looked back and forth from the door back to Latif. For the first time in life, I had no idea what to do. I called Leaf and slipped my phone back in my pocket.
“What do you want Latif?” I asked and turned the volume down to my phone so that Leaf wouldn’t be heard through the phone?
“I wanted to check on my baby. That’s all.” He responded and turned to me with a sinister smile on his face. I placed the bouquet of flowers on the counter near the sink and walked over to Shelly who I can visibly tell was worried. I grabbed her hand and she squeezed my hand tight. She looked at me as I looked her I her eyes and followed her eyes to the gun Latif was holding to her.
“You are going to kill us? In a hospital? Where there are plenty of people outside the door? Where the security will kill you before you have a chance to make it out? Did you think this through? What’s your end game?” I asked curiously. I was not afraid at all as I had never been afraid of anything.
“I do not give a fuck about making it out of here.” He said and pointed his gun at my head.
“Does that make you feel better? I hope so! Now, that I have your attention maybe you can answer this question for me. What made you want to be a rat? No, let me correct that, What made you become a liar because why in the fuck would you tell them people I killed Darryl knowing you did?”
“I did that shit for this bitch! She was supposed to love me!” He shouted and Shelly squeezed my hand harder. “She used me and that shit is not cool.”
“She used you?” I asked confused.
“Yes, she used me. She talked all this shit about loving me and building a family but she really is a fucking bull dyke in love with a bitch.”
“Okay, Latif, I’m confused as shit! She just started dealing with that damn girl!”
“I’m not talking about that useless bitch! I’m talking about you!”
“What?” I asked confused as shit because Shelly never came off at me crazy or tried to hit on me so this really caught me off guard. “What are you talking about?”
“She’s obsessed like you’re her woman. Always has to run, skip, or hop to your beck and call.”
“I do the same for her and that’s not obsession. That’s loyalty. That your problem that you know the difference.”
“Well, bitch why won’t you teach me?” Latif walked to me just as the door bust open.
“Freeze!” the officers shouted. Though they were the last person I thought Leaf would call, I’m glad he called someone. Latif began to turn slowly towards the officers and as soon as he faced them he fired and missed and I ducked as they lit his ass up. Boom! Boom! Boom! Four shots were fired and Shelly’s machine started to beep loudly. I immediately started to panic as the nurses and doctors rushed in and pushed me out of the room. Leaf arrived shortly after that and of course, Meka was with him. We were moved to the waiting area where worry riddled my body. Leaf finally got me to sit down. Meka was back and forth to the nurses’ station and for hours, my world spun in slow motion. My mom and had Leroy arrived and though I could hear them talking, I couldn’t respond. I could see people going in and out of the door we sat next to, but couldn’t even tell you what they looked like. Nothing left my head but tears. I actually cried myself to sleep on Leaf’s shoulder. I woke to the sound of someone praying and praising GOD. It was my Mom. I noticed Leroy, Leaf, & Meka talking to a nurse and I instantly got up. As I walked towards them, I could have sworn I saw someone staring at me though the window of the door next to where I was sitting. However, when I looked again, no one was there. Closing my eyes, I quickly shook my head side to side in an attempt to clear my brain.
“She’s fine. Her blood pressure spiked because of the incident that occurred but she was not shot at all. We had you wait while the Crime Scene Investigators came to do their work and Ms. Rodriguez was cleaned and transferred to another room. You all may go to visit her now.” The nurse said and we rushed back to see her. I instantly hugged on her and we cried. Once I heard her sniffle, I leaned up.
“I’m sorry. Am I hurting you?” I asked concerned.
“No girl! I’m crying tears of joy. You always save my life.” She said and broke down.
“I always got your back. ALWAYS! Never forget that girl. We’re all we got!” I screamed!
“Well, I’d like to think that you two know that you have me too. Veronica, may I get a chance to hug my own daughter please?” My mom asked and we all chuckled.
“Yes ma’am.” I responded and Mom, Leroy, and Leaf took their turns giving her some love.
“What the fuck are you doing here?” Shelly asked.
“Well, we never got a chance to take her to her train. . .” I began to lie to avoid the awkward space that would have filled the space if we explained why Meka was really there.
“I don’t think she’s talking about me. . .” Meka stated and I turned around to see that the doctor had entered the room and I'd be damned!
“CARL?!” I screeched! “What The Fuck?!”