“I didn’t want to be alone …”

Welcome to Sunday Sips. I hope you enjoy this sample of Baby, I’m For Real.

Reba lost count of how many times her head dipped south and sprung back up before smacking her forehead on the desk. After falling asleep last night on the sofa, she awakened in a panic when she glanced at her watch. Two in the morning rolled around and she hadn’t heard a peep from Roxy. Their ritual was to always check in with the other. Repeated attempts to contact Roxy had gone unanswered. Every time Reba closed her eyes and drifted off, she was jolted awake. Each time she peered out the living room window into the darkness looking for any sign of Roxy.

Frustrated, she removed her headset, stood and stretched her tired limbs. It was impossible to get any work done with her nerves on edge. Lucky for her, the group of doctors she worked for were away at a medical conference. Additional work wouldn’t be added to her queue until their return.

The sooner she heard from Roxy, the better she’d be able to concentrate on the many charts which needed transcribing. She didn’t want to think the worst, but if she didn’t hear from Roxy by noon, she was going down to the police station to file a missing person’s report.

Reba leaned her hip against the desk as she reached for the paper cup of coffee on the desktop stacked with charts. Taking a sip, she grimaced and then tossed the now cold liquid in the garbage can. The drawer made a screeching sound as she pulled it open to get her cell phone. A sigh of relief blew past her lips when the familiar voice answered on the third ring.

Relieved her child wasn’t dead in a ditch somewhere, out walked worry and in marched attitude. “Girl, where in the world have you been all night?”

“I – I was at Adam’s.”

“Uh-huh…” Reba intoned, impatiently waiting for Roxy to explain why she wasn’t at home where she claimed she was going.

“I didn’t want to be alone. So I went to Adam’s…”

“Uh-huh…” Reba swallowed the hurt. So, she didn’t want to be alone. Instead of coming back to her mother, she ran into the arms of man.

“And I spent the night with him.”

“So now you’re spending the night at some man’s house?” Didn’t this girl learn anything from me?

“Not just any man, Mom,” Roxy said in her defense.

Reba’s voice was unyielding and unapologetic. “I didn’t raise you to be laying up with some man. Roxy, you know better.”

“Mom, please don’t be mad at me,” Roxy whispered.

It wasn’t that Reba was mad with Roxy. She was all too aware of what being involved with the wrong man could do. Yes, she knew Adam and was aware he came from a good family. But what she didn’t know was what kind of a man had he grown into. Reba vividly remembered Brenda, Adam’s mother, ranting about this girl and that girl calling the house all hours of the night. Nor had she forgotten how he exploded at Roxy and his little sister, Abby for spying on him and some girl making out on the sofa while he was supposed to be babysitting the girls. Had he outgrown his teenage tail-chasing days? Or simply morphed into a full-grown tail chaser?

“Do you know what you’re doing, girl? Do you know what kind of man he is? You better hope you don’t get stuck with a baby.” Reba rapidly fired off.

“He’s nothing like Harold. He’s not going to stick me with a baby.”

Reba softly gasped. Man, those words felt like darts shooting straight in her chest.

“Mom, I’m sorry…I didn’t mean—”

“Little girl, you better pray he isn’t like Harold,” she snapped before hanging up on Roxy.

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