Blame It On The Pain Episode 54
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🧏 Blame It On The Pain FIFTY FOUR:
The swipe of the newspaper against my arm almost causes me to laugh. “Jackson Mathew Reid,” Momma screams. “You think this is funny, boy?”
I ignore the howling of laughter coming from both Tyrone and Ricardo seated at the kitchen counter.
She swipes me again with the paper. “I'm fixin' to lay a real hurtin' on you.
I trucked all the way to New York because I thought you were going through a hard time and needed your Momma.
Then I come to find you screwing some hussy. You're supposed to be the good one!”
“Alyssa's not a hussy,” I growl.
She stops mid swipe. “Alyssa? Well, of course, Alyssa ain't no hussy. I'm talkin' bout that two- bit—”
I almost laugh again when I realize. “Momma, that was Alyssa. She just has dark hair now.”
She puts the newspaper down. “Well, I see. Glad to hear you worked things out with that girl. Bout' time. Now give me a hug.”
I pull Momma in for a big hug and Tyrone wiggles his eyebrows at me. “From the sounds that were coming through that bedroom of yours all night and this morning. I'd say you two definitely worked things out with each other.”
I open my mouth to tell him to knock it off, but Alyssa walks out, takes Momma's newspaper and swipes him across the head with it.
Momma claps her hands. “I knew I liked this girl.” She lets go of me and pulls Alyssa into a hug. “How you doin', sugar? I like the hair.”
Alyssa chuckles. “I'm fine, Momma. Need any help making breakfast?”
She waves a hand and motions for us to sit down. She scans the room and her eyes land on Ricardo. “I reckon I'm gonna be one plate short?”
He gives her a soft nod and she wipes her hands on her apron. “Hmm.”
“Hmm?” Ricardo says. “What's hmm?”
“Well, I never thought I'd say this because that Lou-Lou girl really dills my pickle, especially after she pulled that stunt.
But maybe you ought to suck it up and talk to her. That sparkle in your eyes is dimmer, Ricardo.
That girl had some kinda effect on you whether you're willing to admit it or not.”
Tyrone grins. “That's what I've been telling him, Momma.”
I take the stack of pancakes from Alyssa. “You know, I have to say. I'm on their side of the fence now.
Running into Alyssa again was the best thing that could have happened. Even if I did s¢rew it up by getting drunk at her workplace and saying some really messed up stuff.
It led me back to her. Lou-Lou's right across the hall, you guys have been ignoring one another for months now.”
To my surprise, Alyssa nods. “It's true. Don't get me wrong, I was pissed at what Jackson did that night. But, I wanted nothing more than to talk to him and work out our issues. I'm sure she feels the same about you.
I don't like Lou-Lou…for obvious reasons. But it's obvious that you both have something—” She pauses and makes a face. “Well, you have something together. And if she makes you happy that's all that really matters.”
Ricardo rolls his eyes, clearly hating that the focus is on his and Lou-Lou's former relationship.
Then he looks at me and gives me a wink. Now I know he's going to somehow use me to deflect the attention off of him. “Hey, Jackson. Did you tell Momma how you basically said that Alyssa was nothing but a good time at the bar that night?”
Momma gasps and reaches for the newspaper again.
“He was drunk, Momme didn't mean it,” Alyssa says, rushing to my defense. I reach for her hand and give it a kss.
Momma puts the newspaper down and picks up the spatula. Then she turns her gaze on Alyssa. “You work at a bar, young lady?”
Sht, I was hoping Momma wouldn't pick up on that. Fking Ricardo.
Alyssa crinkles her nose. I squeeze her hand as a signal to deny everything, but she doesn't take the hint. “Well, yeah. I mean, it's nothing crazy or anything. It's low-key and—”
Momma cuts her off. “Do you really think that's safe? You're a pretty young thing…who knows what could happen to you.” She points the spatula at me. “I can't believe you're okay with this, Jackson.”
Alyssa waves a hand. “It's fine, Momma. Trust me, my friend Shane who owns the bar is usually there with me and he would never let anything happen to me. And it's perfectly safe, there is an alarm system and everything. I always make sure to put it on right after I close up and head upstairs to my apartment.”
This isn't good.
Momma puts her hand over her heart and takes a step back dramatically. “You live at this….this bar? What if one of the customers follows you up to this apartment? Or even worse hides up there and attacks you? Or attacks you when you're closing one night and this Shane character isn't around?” She shakes her head. “No. This just won't do.”
I've never thought about it like that before, but seeing as I pretty much did that to her not even 24 hrs ago…Shit, Momma has a point.
Alyssa opens her mouth to answer, but Momma looks at me. “How can you let this happen?”
I open my mouth to defend myself…but I've got nothing. What Momma's saying makes complete sense.
I look over at Ricardo and he's happily eating his breakfast and humming to himself. I fight the urge to throw my biscuit at his head.
I look at Tyrone and he shrugs.
“Momma,” Alyssa starts. “I like it there and even more, I can afford the rent there. New York is a ridiculously expensive place to live. What Shane charges me for rent is a steal.”
She points the spatula at her. “Until someone steals you away in the middle of the night and you end up on the news.”
The thought of that happening makes my stomach knot up.
Alyssa stands up. “You should come there tonight and see it for yourself. It's a safe place. Come and have a few drinks on me and enjoy yourself.”
Tyrone snorts. “Momma ain't going to no bar, Alyssa. She can't hang like that.”
Momma folds her arms across her chest and glares at him. “I can most certainly hang like that. And seeing as I'm here for the next two weeks…it wouldn't hurt to appease Alyssa and see this bar.” Tyrone chokes on his food, but Momma turns her ebony eyes on me again.
“I'll see this bar, but I reckon a few changes will be happening by the time I hop back on that plane.”
I give her a subtle nod and finish the rest of my breakfast while answering her questions about the fight and the two bruises on my face.
TO Be Continued