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“Where are you Jaydi?” My mother asked. She actually used a couple more colorful words. She’d left a message yesterday urging me to call her back.

“I’m in Cleveland.” I said as relaxed as I could. I was nervous as ever inside, though. I was actually shaking as I sat on the hotel’s bed. T was lying down next to me. He was the one that persuaded me to call her. I’d been too scared before, but he felt kind of guilty that I was with him and my mother kept calling. I had no choice but to call her.

There was a long, long pause, but she finally spoke. “Jaydi Ciara Campbell, what in the name of (colorful words) is you doing in Cleveland?” She didn’t say this as a question; it was like an order. She was commanding me to explain everything to her. But it was hard to explain.

I started to speak. “I—

“Do you know what Camilla said? She said you were with that rapper boy. What are you doing with him? Jaydi, I don’t even know if you’re safe. At least Camilla’s mother has her daughter home now. Camilla has some sense in her brain. You on the other hand, are stupider than a blind termite.” She interrupted.

I could’ve told her that all termites are blind, but I wasn’t looking forward to getting slapped through the phone.

“Why you gotta call me stupid?” I blurted. This was probably worse than saying the termite thing, and I couldn’t figure out why I said it.

T raised his eyebrows; he knew kids just weren’t supposed to say things like this to their parents.

My mother kept on saying things to me, things I didn’t want to hear. Almost all of them were rude, so I just stayed quiet. Finally, she said: “When are you coming home?”

“The question is,” I started to say, “am I coming home or not.” That was rude comment number two.

“Jaydi….I’m not sure if you’re taking drugs, or what’s gotten into you, but I just advise you to think before you speak. That’s all. I’m not going to say anything else, I’m just waiting for your arrival tomorrow morning.”

With that, my mother hung up the phone, and I was left sitting there, smiling. You might think I was crazy for smiling in a situation like this, but I was smiling for a particular reason. I could feel it, rushing through my entire body. It was coming, little by little.

I was getting more and more careless every day.

I put the phone away and lied down across the bed, staring up at the ceiling. It was 5:30 AM, and the sun was already up. We didn’t want to sleep any longer, though. So T and I were both awake now, just lying there.

Until he spoke. “So what’d your Mama say?” I just shrugged my shoulders.

“What else would she say? She just yelled and cursed and threatened me. Oh, and she called me stupid.” I said. T chuckled, and I did too. It was kind of funny that my mother was so angry with me. It wasn’t a laughing matter, and it definitely wouldn’t be funny when I got home, but for now it was easy to laugh at. Everything was just so easy now.

“Did your friend snitch on you?” He asked. I nodded my head.

“Of course she did. She’s just jealous, though. She knows what’s going on, and she’s just really jealous.” I said. That was probably true. I mean, who wouldn’t be jealous of me right now? I smiled a vain smile.

T came and sat next to me and put his arm around me. “Don’t you think it’s time to talk?” I raised my eyebrows.

“About what?” I asked innocently. He smiled and pulled something out of his pocket. It was a picture of someone, but when he opened it up I could see that it was him. He was sitting in front of a computer in some kind of room. He had his arm around a girl, and their cheeks were touching.

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