Cookie was thrilled when her phone rang. The thrill settled in when she glanced at the caller Id. Cookie flipped open her phone.
“ Thank god it’s you . I have had a night…” Cookie rolled her eyes as spoke.
“Hello?” Cookie asked when the line remained silent.
Cookie suddenly clued into the sound of heavy breathing on the other end. She stopped walking and looked around helplessly. Not even really sure what she was looking for.
“ Moon, did you lose your job or something? Is Carl bothering you? “ Cookie asked helplessly
“ I need you…I need you to go watch Claire…now. I shouldn’t be on my cell now. I’ve been to the bathroom three times tonight…I tried calling you…and everyone else.”
“ I thought Fran was watching her.” Cookie said.
“ I can’t leave her with a man.”
Cookie muttered, “ This is an odd turn around…”
Moon snapped, “ Can you do it or not?”
Cookie glanced at the phone warily, “ Aren’t you almost done your shift?”
Moon sighed, “ In an hour”
“By the time I get there, you’ll be on your way home.” Cookie said
Moon huffed, “ I’ll go home now, my schedule is flexiable…I won’t make quota but I can’t I just can’t”
Cookie crouched down on the ground and pulled her arms close to her chest. She could picture Moon doing the same thing on the John. Feeling literally and metaphorically closed in.
“ Something is up…What is it…?”
Moon’s breathing almost seemed to halt, “ I’m going to sign out. I can’t leave her. Can’t leave her again.”
Cookie looked up at the sky furtively, “ Ok sign out, I’m coming over. You’re not making any sense. Hang up the phone. “
Cookie sighed and felt her newly acquired money for the last time. She would have to take a fifteen dollar cab ride. Cookie hated cabs. It wasn’t just the waste of money. There were a lot of perving drivers. She didn’t mind it so much if they weren’t creepy. Cookie reluctantly looked up the number in her phone and called it. She looked at the house she was standing in front of. She couldn’t see the numbers well, so she walked up until she saw, the numbers 99 illuminated. Cookie moved to the other side to stand by house number 98. Cookie liked even numbers.
The cab came fifteen minutes later. Cookie literally jumped into the car. The cars tires actually bounced. Cookie could just image the drivers eye brows raising. Cookie ignoredhim and his eyebrows. She was only vaguely aware that the drive was male because she could smell his cologne. It didn’t matter that it smelt good because it was head ache enducing and this was an inclosed space.
“ I need to go there. Cherry lane apartments, I’ll point to the right buildings” Cookie muttered as she attempted to pull the seat belt across her body.
“ Here, Sometimes it gets jabbed let it go and then try again. Ok that didn’t work just pull…no not like that. “ He grunted and leaned over her.
Cookie snapped and finally got a look at her chauffeur, “ I can get it. Listen its starting to loosen”
Cookie gave on yank and the seatbelt oozed on to her lap. She smiled smugly as she finally fastened her seat belt.
He just gave the slightest of shrugs and looked towards the roads. Her first impression of him was he was to young to be driving cab. Most of the drivers were truck drivers first and were looking for something of a slower pace. From that shrug Cookie was getting the impression he was some one who didn’t give a shit and that was a compliment.
“ That’s downtown right?”
Cookie looked at him and huffed.
“ Sorry, You pointed out the window like it was just down the road.”
Cookie was ready to make another frustrated noise whenhe blurted “ I’m kind of new at this ok?”
As if to make a peace offering he started the car and turned on the cd player but left the meter off. He started tapping his fingers on the steering wheel as he drove. Cookie was drawn to his hands in her profession she saw a lot of hands. He had man’s hands. Too many men had pale delicate hands. He had the kind of worn leathery hands she had read about in many of her borrowed romance novels.
“ So, you hitting up the club?” He asked non chalently
Cookie looked at him questionly through the rear view mirror. His green eyes glittered at her amusingly.
“ I don’t know how to put this…you look young and ready to par-dance! Ahh those were the days!”
Cookie shook her head but smiled slightly as she peered back to the front. It was finally quiet enough she could just think. She focused on the music and the sound of the car driving over loose gravel. It was the sound of distance and distance passed.
Cookie squinted at her sudden insight and instantly blamed it on his music choice. She tapped the cd player and grunted, “ What’s this?”
“ Corrine Bailey Rae. I play this for the ladies. A little soul, blues etc. I’m more of a hip hop fan myself but they all come from the same place right?”
“ It’s depressing.”
“ The song’s called loves on its way.”