“ Someone To Watch Over Me “ Part 2 by Carrabella Alvarez
Chesapeake Bay, Maryland
Kathy and I had been good friends for 2 years before her daughter was born. When she was pregnant, I’d talk to her baby and tell her I couldn’t wait to meet her. Once Mary was born, she was the precious dumpling I knew she’d be.
Whenever I traveled, I’d send Mary gifts and have her locate the places I traveled on a map. When I returned, Mary would be so excited when I called.
“Sista, Sista, thank you for my necklace, my Conk shell, my dress, my, my….Thank you for everything, for everything!”
I also sent gifts for Kathy and her husband Ward. They were a wonderful family and I adored them.
10 years later; Kathy called me saying her marriage had ended. She had already left Ward and moved into an apt. I couldn’t believe my ears. Until that moment, she never gave any indication that her marriage was in trouble.
In the meantime, I had been buying waterfront property. My home was directly on the water front, while the cottage I was renovating was 4 houses from the water. I lived only a few minutes away, so the renovation went pretty fast.
Once the cottage was finished, my intent was to resell it for double what I paid. It was beautiful. However my plans changed after I had a terrible dream. In it, little Mary was calling my name, crying and afraid of someone who was lurking in the shadows.
The very next morning I called Kathy inviting her and Mary to move in the cottage until she could make better plans. The apt complex they were in wasn’t safe and I wanted Mary near me to make sure she was all right. Kathy was thrilled. She said Mary had been very unhappy lately and even her grades had dropped.
Being on the water would be healing for both of them. And her husband could visit anytime.
I was anxious to see my friends. We had talked on the phone, but I hadn’t actually seen them for almost a year. When they pulled up, I expected Mary to jump out and give me a big hug like she had been doing for 10 years. Instead she got out slowly, shoulders slumped, head down.
“Hi Sistaaaah” she said, dragging and slurring her words like she was on medication. All I could do was hug her and promise to make things better.
I wanted to know why Mary was so despondent, but Kathy didn’t explain or look me in the face as we talked. She needed extra keys, so I went off to get some made. I had a long lunch before heading back.
When I returned, I saw why Mary was so sad. Not only had her family broken up, but there was a new element in her life. A young man was helping Kathy move in. It was her new boyfriend and she was moving him in also. When I handed Kathy the keys, she didn’t even introduce me to the guy. Ok, that was not a good sign. In the meantime, Mary was outside kicking a ball like she wanted to murder it.
Whoa….first day and a situation already. The lease was for Kathy and Mary to live there. The mortgage was $600 a month. I was only charging her $300 and I was paying the rest. I wanted Kathy to save up her money so she could get them a bigger place later on. I could have rented the cottage for double the mortgage, but it was more important to protect my little friend.
However, now things had changed. I was not going to let her boyfriend live there for free. And I do mean ‘boy’ friend since he was at least 20 years younger than her. Nothing wrong with that, except that the whole situation stank!
Soon after they moved in, the neighbors called me saying they were arguing all the time. I waited another month before taking action. I called Kathy, told her about the complaints and that her boyfriend was not on the lease. He'd have to pay $500 or leave.
To my delight, she had already put him out for stealing her grandmother’s diamond ring. According to Kathy he didn't care about her daughter either.
“Oh, he cares about your daughter, but not in the way you think!”
Once those words flew out of my mouth, I couldn’t take them back. If Kathy had asked me about it, I would not have answered, but she didn’t comment on it at all. Her lack of comment bothered me even more.
For the next 2 months Mary was happy. She went boating and swimming with the kids and families on the Bay. Things were going well until Kathy let her boyfriend back in. The complaints from neighbors started coming back in also.
I dreaded dealing with them, but since I had to go over there to finish the porch, I figured I’d talk to both of them. He wasn’t there when I arrived and Mary was getting ready for school. Before I could tell her about the complaints, Kathy gave me the shock of a lifetime.
With a police officer living right across the street, Kathy comes on the porch and tries to hand me a bag of Marijuana! It was in a clear bag and she made no attempt to disguise it or hold it down low so people walking by couldn't see it.
I immediately raised my hands in the air and backed away from her!
“Whoa Kathy! What are you doing?”
“I got this for you.”
“No you didn't! I never asked you for anything like that. I quit smoking 15 years ago.”
“Oh, I thought you smoked.”
With my hands in front of me, I got off that porch, into my car. Back at home, I knew without a shadow of doubt that Kathy had tried to set me up. If I had taken the weed, a police car would have stopped me before I got home.
Kathy and I had never smoked weed together or even discussed it. That was definitely a set up! With me in jail, her and her boyfriend could live in my cottage indefinitely. Oh hell no! I felt sorry for Mary, but those two had to go!
Since he wasn’t on the lease, I filed court papers to have them evicted. She didn’t show up to contest it, so it went through. I could have had them removed immediately for having 'drugs' on my property, but instead I gave them 30 days to get the fuck out!
Neighbors called me saying they were worried because they hadn’t seen Mary for 2 weeks.
When their time was up, I went over there to see if they had left. Nope. In fact, Kathy and her boyfriend were drunk and asleep in Mary's bed when I walked in.
“Kathy, Kathy, get up! Where is Mary?”
Groggy and disheveled, both of them looked up at me.
“What the_______?” the boyfriend said.
“You're supposed to be out of here today! Get the fuck up! Kathy where is Mary?”
“She’s staying with friends. Sistah you’re just being mean!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah, get out!"
They did leave. A week later they still hadn’t removed any of their furniture, so I called her parents to come get it. They said the didn’t have a truck or place to store their daughter's belongings , but I told them to come over anyway, I'd handle everything.
By the time they got there, I had hired someone to move it and paid for storage. I needed them to be there to verify that nothing was taken or broken. I wanted that whole thing over with and if I had to pay to be free of them, then so be it.
I also asked them if they knew where Mary was. They gave the same vague answer Kathy had given; she was staying with friends. They didn't look at me when they said it. Apparently they didn't know where their grand daughter was either.
Once the cottage was empty, I repainted damaged spots and told my agent to put it up for sale.
Funny how things happen; A week later, my agent called saying someone got his number off the
‘For Sale’ sign and wanted me to call them. It was Ward, Mary's father.
Come find out, Kathy had never told Ward that I was the one that let them stay in the cottage. She had never invited him over. When Ward wanted to see Mary, Kathy took her over to his apartment.
Here’s how he found out how to reach me; His friends had tracked him down, saying Mary had been staying with them. Kathy had dropped her off 3 weeks before that and never came back. Naturally he went there to get his baby. Mary didn’t know my address, but she did know how to get to the cottage. Once there, he got the agents number off the sign and asked that I call him.
We talked for a couple of hours. Ward already knew about Kathy's boyfriend. She had been living with him in the apt. after leaving Ward. The guy had been arrested for selling weed at the apt complex and Kathy had used her influence to get him probation. Ward begged her to let Mary stay with him, but she refused. He also tried to get her a better apt., but she refused that too because her boyfriend wouldn’t be allowed to stay there if Ward paid for it.
When I invited her and Mary to come live on the Bay, I got caught right in the middle of all that without knowing it.
Once we were all caught on, Ward wanted to come over to get Mary's computer. For some reason, Kathy
It had been 2 years since I’d seen Ward. I gave him a big hug. But the best surprise was Mary.
She jumped out of the car and flung herself in my arms! She was smiling from ear to ear.
“Sistah, Sistah, guess what? I’m staying with daddy now. I’m gonna miss you, OK, but I’d rather live with my dad. We can come visit though. And Sistah, thank you for letting me live here. Thank you for everything, for everything!”