Strangers Part 6 - Let The Pieces Fall Where They May

Updated: Jan 30


Episode 6 Let the Pieces Fall Where They May

Brianna finds a quiet corner and calls her sister. Immediately answering, Brenda says, “Hello, Devon.” “No, sis. This is Bri.” Are you OK? You sound upset.” “I don’t know where Devon is. His plane landed on time, but he has not called me, and he’s not picking up his phone.” Brianna is quietly holding the phone, and her other hand is clenched in anger.

“Hello.” Brenda, says to the silence. “Yes, I’m here.” reiterates Brianna.

“I don’t know what to do.” Brenda, says anxiously. “Maybe he met up with friends and had a few drinks before coming home.” “That would be perfectly fine Bri, but why not call letting me know or pick up when I’ve called?”

“I don’t know. Men are absent-minded when they get around their friends.” Brianna says, to ease her sister’s nervousness. Brianna is doing everything she can not to blurt out that Devon, is a no good, cheating, low-life, but she doesn’t want to hurt Brenda’s feelings. “I wish Devon would just call and let me know he is alright and he’ll be home soon. I just want to hear his voice.” Brenda says, with sadness in her demeanor.

Brianna makes a feeble attempt to lighten her sister’s load by saying. “Don’t worry sis, he’ll be home, I’m sure. And, when he does... Pop him upside the head and give him the 411.” This made Brenda laugh slightly. “Alright, sis, I am going to hang up and get my drink on before heading home,” replied Brianna.

“Well please be careful and don’t drink too much, get home safely.” Brenda said, as a big sister, looking out for her little sister. “I won’t, and I will. Love you.” Responded Brianna. “Brenda says, “You too, bye.”

Brenda hangs up the phone, throws her head back, and lets out an “Ah.” She walks over to the wine cabinet and takes out a bottle of Chardonnay that had already been opened, and pours less than halfway into a crystal goblet. She sets the bottle down, takes a sip while staring at the family photo taken on vacation at the cabin in Alaska, remembering the happier times of their lives together.

There is noise at the front door. Keys can be heard dropping, then inserted and the door opens. Brenda gets up and walks towards the door. Sophia is coming down the stairs, runs past her mother into her daddy’s arms.

“Daddy, you’re home. We were worried.” Sophia says happily. “Hey, baby. Worried, why?”

“Someone texted my phone saying your plane was missing. When you did not call mom, we did not know what to think.”

Brenda was relieved Devon was home. Yet, an unsettling suspicion held her in its grips. She has learned down through the years to always trust her first instincts.

Devon walks over to Brenda, without care embraces her, and tries to kiss her; she moves her head sideways to avoid it and steps back. She looks at him confused and in a calm voice tells Sophia, “Please leave the room, while I speak with your father.” Sophia understood, and without question, said, “I’ll be in my room.”

Brianna is cursing under her breath, upset, not knowing what to do. She, three-ways Brandy and her mom.

“Who’s that baby?” inquires Brice. “It’s Brianna, Hello.”

“Hi mom, I have Brandy on the other line. I am furious. I don’t know whether I should tell Brenda? Maybe I should not be telling you. I have to tell someone.” “Why, what’s the matter Bri?” her mom asked.

“Before you say anything Bri, Brandy said. Let me tell you the conversation I had with Brenda earlier today. She said, ‘Sophie received a text message saying Devon’s plane was missing.’ She called the airport and his flight had arrived on time.” “Wait, wait a minute. Someone texted Sophie’s phone and not Brenda’s?” Brice sat up in bed, listening. “Did she know where the text came from?”

Brandy said, “No.”

“OK, the picture is becoming clearer," announced Brianna. "I saw Devon walking with another woman, his arm was around her waist, and he kissed her before she got into the cab.”

“She asked me...” Brandy divulged with hesitancy in her voice.  

“What did she ask Brandy?” inquired her mother.

“If I thought Devon was having an affair because he had; two years ago.”

The line went quiet for a few seconds.

“What should we do?” asked Brianna.

Brice, having heard the conversation, waved his hand no, to Charm. Then mouthed the words “nothing.” “Your father said do nothing.” Brianna yells, “Do nothing? This is your daughter. You’re going to allow a man to do this to your flesh and blood? Oh yes, I have to remember, you did not care about any of us for almost forty years. What was I thinking?”

Brice interjects. “Young lady, I will not be disrespected by you or anyone else in this family. I am here now. And as head of this household, I will speak to Devon, not you, Brandy, or your mother. Me.”

“Brandy and Bri. I think it’s best we let your father handle this for reasons we don’t understand right now. I trust your father to make everything alright. Besides, they have been married twenty-five years and we know Brenda knows how to handle her business. So, let’s wait and see where the pieces fall.” Brenda is standing hands on her hips. “Devon where were you? Sophia and I thought something bad had happened to you. Your flight landed three hours ago, and not once did you call letting us know you were OK?”

Devon steps away, taking his coat off and laying it on the couch, and asked, “What do you mean, where was I? I stopped by the 19th hole and had a few with the guys before coming home. What’s this all about?”

“Devon, don’t play with me. Brenda said angrily. "Someone texted Sophie; you read the text. She doesn’t recognize the number.”

“So, what does that mean?” Devon pushing back. “It means something is not adding up, and you know what I mean.”

“No Brenda, no I don’t. Enlighten me.”

Tapping her foot, her arms folded, she yells, “You’re!” Then remembering Sophia is upstairs, she stops, lowers her voice, and continues. “You’re having an affair.”

Devon laughs and says, “You have lost your jealous mind. Did you cook anything? I’m starving?” “No, I didn’t. I was too worried about where my husband was.”

“Well, I am here. You can fix dinner. I guess Sophie hasn’t eaten either?” Devon projects a disapproved look onto Brenda. He picks up his coat and briefcase. He then rolls his eyes and says, “I’m going to take a shower and lay down. When dinner is ready, call me.” The heat of anger is rising from Brenda’s spine; her face is flushed. She is trying not to cry, to no avail. She remembers the process of Devon’s last affair. Her knees weaken and turned to jelly. She collapsed onto the couch, glancing toward the stairs. She can hear Devon and Sophie talking and a moment of laughter. Soon, Sophia came bouncing happily down the stairs, and said, “Mom, I’ll cook. What do you want for dinner?” Brenda is wiping her eyes and turning her head away to keep Sophie from seeing her face wet with tears. She responded with a sad, “OK.” Brenda’s phone rings. It’s Brandy,

“Mom, are you going to answer it?” asked Sophia. Taking in a deep breath, “No, let’s fix dinner. I’m hungry, are you?” “Yes,” Sophie says, avoiding the obvious pain her mom is experiencing. Brice prepared breakfast on the patio. It’s springtime, and the yard is in full spring bloom. Roses clung to the white trellis, purple lilacs and yellow daffodils sat in the manicured plots, and the grass appeared as a green, still ocean. The entire landscape gives an ambiance of freshness and newness. Brice draped the table with a cloth flowered covering. A platter of waffles topped with cottage cheese, pineapples, and strawberries is a colorful delight. He remembered beef bacon strips, almond milk, and coffee with hazelnut creamer were her favorite before he was sent to prison.

After taking a shower and getting dressed, Charm came downstairs. She could smell the aroma of the breakfast from the upstairs bedroom.

“A salaam...” then catching himself, says. “Good morning, beautiful.” “Good morning, Brice. How did you sleep? It smells wonderful down here and you remembered. The patio is perfect for eating breakfast.”

“My rest was good, and since I was up, made us breakfast.”

“You were up pretty early, said Charm.

“Yes, I get up early for Fajr prayer, then read a little.” He comes over and pulls the chair out for Charm to sit down. “Thank you, sweetheart. I thought about what is happening with Brenda and maybe, it caused you to wake up early. You were tossing a bit in your sleep.” Charm said concerned.

“La Ilaaha ill Allah. A trickster will never benefit, no matter where he goes. Not until he changes for the better,” reflected Brice. Switching the conversation, he asked Charm. Sweetheart, do you love this house?” “Yes, I love our home. Why?”

“I was thinking we could buy a bigger and newer home.” “Bigger home for what? It’s only us.”

“I was hoping to buy some prime real estate, with three additional properties on it for the girls and their families,” Suggested Brice.

Charm said, “No, I want to save the money for the girls and they can do whatever they want with it.”

“I am not saying use your money. I will buy the property and we can rent this one or sell it outright.” Said Brice.

“You have the money to do this?” Inquired Charm.

“Yes, the money I gave you is half of what was invested. I kept the other. This way I will have my family around to rebuild our relationships. Brice’s voice is breaking and his eyes become blurred with tears. “Charm, I want to know my daughters and grandchildren before I leave this planet. Inshallah, I have a few good years left. I want to be a part of my children’s lives. “Dear heart, Charm says, rising from her seat and walking over to Brice. She takes his face in her hands and speaks. “We will have to talk to the girls, and see what they have to say.”

The sincere and loving moment was abruptly interrupted by sirens of police cars speeding down the block close to their house, less than half a mile away. A car’s wheels can be heard screeching and crashing into something, sounding like other cars. Three to five

cars with lights flashing are stopping in the middle and inter-sections of the street. One officer could be heard yelling, “Get out of the car with your hands up!” The passenger opens the door and runs, jumping over fences and into Charm’s and Brice’s yard. He tore his leg on a nail. Bleeding and limping, he climbed over the neighbor’s fence, and out of sight.

The police drove down the alley and asked, “Did you see which way he went?” Brice and Charm looked dumbfounded and said nothing. The police car then sped away.

The evening news reported, “Two bodies, male and female were found shot and stabbed to death in an abandoned house in the 3300 block of West Craven. It is believed, it was a drug deal gone bad. If anyone has information on the murder, please call crime stoppers.” Charm held onto Brice’s arm and said, “It’s a few blocks from here.” Reference:

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