“When was the last time you ate….or bathed?” Cookie asked Freedom.
She looked at the older woman who Chief adored and respected, almost more than his mother she would argue if he ever asked.
Freedom shrugged her shoulders, “I haven’t worked on a case in years”
“How old are you again?” Cookie questioned, knowing she wasn’t in her forties or older.
“Twenty nine going on sixty-two” Freedom mumbled under her breath.
Cookie laughed, it was her first laugh in a few days.
Chief’s arrest damn near sent her heart in cardiac arrest.
“I’m tired” Freedom finally admitted. She hadn’t slept in so long, neither had she ate or even took a seat on the couch to process everything that was happening around her. if only she took one moment to think, to evaluate and understand what had taken place. Not only in relations to Chief’s arrest but to her career.
However, she did acknowledge the fact that she loved him and apparently she loved him a lot considering she had missed the meeting with the Dean of the University to discuss her status as Professor. Freedom hadn’t addressed the rumors or speculation surrounding her name, she hadn’t checked the blogs at all.
Right now, she didn’t care.
If her time was up, then fine. she had done a lot, she paved the way for others to come through and make a difference.
Now that Chief wasn’t in her face, getting on her nerves with his stupid ass questions she realized that she needed him. she loved him, wanted him, desired his presence in her life and she planned on utilizing all of her resources to bring her man home.
Freedom wasn’t worried about them retaining him because she had the bond money on deck, it was the case that they had probably spent quite some time building. chief wasn’t saying much over the phone which left her to draw conlusions on her own.
“What’s London’s best friend name again? The light skinned fellow” Freedom asked Cookie.
Her face tightened and her demeanor changed, Freedom picked up on it all.
She had always been good at sensing people’s spirits and the mentioning of Chief’s friend, apparently made her uncomfortable.
“Jorian, why?” Cookie asked.
“Well Chief is speaking in code over the phone so maybe he can help me” she said.
Cookie shook her head, “No, I’m not sure if that’s a good idea. Chief doesn’t care for people to be in his business. maybe if you go down there you’ll get more information” Cookie suggested to Freedom.
The issue with that was, she was scared that cameras and such would be down there covering the Dorian McIntyre story and she didn’t want to be seen at the scene.
It wasn’t that she didn’t support #blacklivesmatter because she did and her yearly donation of one hundred thousand dollars was proof, today just wasn’t the day neither was yesterday or tomorrow.
Freedom hadn’t given up on her dreams or her goal of one day changing the world one little black girl at a time but she had allowed one student to discourage her. Freedom’s faith was weak right now and she hated to admit that she could care less right now about helping anyone else other than her man.
Freedom had given countless hours of her life and so much of her energy to the University where she taught and going above and beyond to ensure that her students did well in life and excelled in their careers and one fucking student threw it all down the drain.
Freedom’s reputation was tarnished and everyone she stood for meant nothing in the eyes of so many people, and sadly, in hers as well.
“I’m going to figure something out” she chewed on the bottom of her lip.
Cookie handed her a mug of hot tea, “Maybe after you get some sleep, everything will come to you”
Freedom nodded her head, she agreed with Cookie but couldn’t imagine herself laying in Chief’s bed without him being there.
Since the news came that he had been arrested, the wheels in her head had been turning non-stop. It seemed as if something was always happening to her, every time things were consistent and she was happy..shit went left.
Freedom wondered was she to blame, for her downfalls and for Chief’s demise.
“I think I should take you up on your offer and take a nap” Freedom got up from the barstool where she had been sitting all morning, typing angry away on her computer.
Work was the best thing for her to do under stress, although Freedom was technically banned from school, suspended, or whatever they said in the papers. She was still hard at work finishing up her next piece of literature.
“Okay I think that’s best, I’ll have something cooked before you wake” Cookie told her, just as Freedom was using work to keep her mind occupied; Cookie had been baking and cooking anything she could think off.
After a long, hot bath, Freedom tied her hair back in a long French braid and slipped on one of Chief’s t-shirts and pulled the comforter back and slid in. she took a long breath and asked God to keep him safe, knowing that he was a hot head and if the wrong button of his was pushed, he would snap.
Hopefully, when she woke up her attorney friends would have better news for her because Freedom had no idea what school Chief’s so called lawyer graduated from.
Dr. Freedom D. Anderson marched up the steps in a handmade dashiki from Kenya and dark denim pants, her hair was hidden in a turban made with the same print of the shirt she wore. The gold bangles that aligned her wrists were picked up during a mission trip to Africa. Her face bore no makeup, her skin was bright and fresh. With the largest pair of shades in her collection perched upon her nose and as close to her eyes as she could get them, she walked into the precinct where her man was being held hostage and asked for the Sheriff.
“Do you have an appointment man?” the receptionist asked.
Freedom nodded her head and pulled out her credentials, “No, I am an attorney here on behalf of London Montgomery and I need to see my client” she stated.
The woman looked down at her license and typed something on the computer.
“It says that his attorney is already back there, try another lie” the foolish woman spat.
“Dr. Freedom..Oh My God, is that you? my daughter loves you” the woman sitting next to the receptionist said aloud.
Freedom took a deep breath, the point of her wearing the shades inside of the building which was something she hated that people did, was to not be seen.
Freedom ignored the woman and said, “It’s perfectly legal for him to have another attorney present.”
If there was one thing Freedom knew down to the science of it all, was law. she studied and mastered law early on in college but chose not to pursue it fully. Her interest laid more heavily on informing her people about their rights and history.
Freedom’s passion didn’t exist in the courtroom, but because her man needed her right now. She was Attorney Anderson today.
“I’m tired of going back and forth with you, go get your superior” Freedom told the young girl. Every now and then her bitch attitude would reappear, that demon that Chief fought so hard to steer away was rearing its ugly head. Freedom could be an asshole if she wanted too and today she was not in the mood for bullshit.
Which meant shawty needed to let her through to see Chief or all hell would be raised.
“Girl do you know who that is?” the young’s lady co-worker asked.
The woman jealousy eyed Freedom up and down before saying so Freedom could hear her loud and clear, “Who? An Afeni Shakur reject?”
Freedom counted to ten, barely making it to four before the mother of Dorian McIntyre made her way to Freedom.
“Excuse me maam are you here for my son?” the short woman asked Freedom.
The pain in her eyes, the sadness and fear matched hers perfectly. She was in here day in and out, praying for her son’s life, his freedom and his future. The Justice System was showing no mercy on her baby’s life.
Freedom couldn’t help her though, not today.
“No maam, I’m not” she said, sadly.
The slight hint of happiness that Dorian’s mother was beginning to feel left just as quickly as it arrived once Freedom let her down.
“Well what are you doing here then? Searching for a story?” the woman now became bitter.
She was tired of all of these so-called preacher mans, activists, and people that swore they cared about black lives, coming up to the jail, shaking her hand, taking a picture and going on about their business.
Social media was making anyone famous but Lorisha, Dorian’s mother refused for these people to come up on the account of her losing her son.
She fucking refused.
“I been seeing you on the news, that girl blaming you for being fast. This is the perfect opportunity for you to clear your name wasn’t it? gone on” Lorisha waved her hand.
The woman was wrong but Freedom wasn’t in the mood to correct her. she was hurting and Freedom understood that.
“Call Michael Harrington” Freedom told the woman and turned back around to the desk.
“Yes, can I please-“
Lorisha asked her, “What?”
Freedom took a deep breath, thinking to herself, Why did I come up here?”
“Michael Harrington, tell him I told you to call him” she said.
“And what is he going to do?” Lorisha questioned, she was tired of getting her hopes up.
“A lot” Freedom looked her in her eyes as she said those two words.
Lorisha wanted to believe her but day in and out, her faith was getting weaker.
“And if he don’t will you help?” she challenged Freedom.
“Maam this way” one of the police officers came and got Freedom, finally.
She didn’t give the woman an answer. She had to get to her baby.
As soon as the small door opened and she was in the presence of London, her heart melted.
In the dingy orange jumpsuit, he was still a God in her eyes.
Her true love.
“Hi” she couldn’t believe she was nervous.
He was shackled to the table, his face bore no emotions and he didn’t crack a smile
Chief was fucking pissed and with every second that passed, his anger turned into hatred.
“What are they saying?” she asked him, after he ignored her greeting.
“Bullshit” he mumbled.
Freedom took a deep breath and then walked over to him, she went to kiss his cheekbut he moved out of the way.
She gasped, not understanding why he was rejecting her.
She wasn’t to blame.
“London” she said his name nervously.
“Get me out of here” he told her.
Freedom was trying, but she needed more information to work with.
“What do think I’m-“
He interrupted her, “We can fucking argue later. Listen to me”
She walked around the table and took a seat.
“They watching us baby, I need you to follow along okay” he whispered.
She nodded her head.
Chief had been waiting on her to get there for the past forty-eight hours, he wasn’t even concerned as to what took her so fucking long. The important thing was that she was there now.
Right now, he didn’t trust anyone but Freedom.
“My mom’s house has a basement, the ring I never gave you is in there” he stated.
Freedom followed and nodded her head, “Okay I’ll go there today”
“Take Cookie with you” he said.
“I need you to take the ring and get it cleaned”
She eyed him, wondering how dirty her hands were about to be.
“Then you need to go check on Jorian tell him I need money for my bond and you can’t do it. Don’t sit down, stay at the front door. It’s a clock on the wall, one of my favorite clocks”
She was confused, her eyes got big and she shook her head to tell him she didn’t understand.
“The clock on the wall is one of my favorites” he said slowly.
Freedom was so lost.
“When you go over there, stand at the door and stare at the clock, it’s one of my favorites”
Chief motioned for her to come closer, he acted as if he was about to give her a kiss, “Amisa is going to act like she’s busy in the kitchen, stand in front of the clock and watch her ass, take Cookie with you”
He smooched her lips and sat back in his seat.
What did they have to do with him being arrested?
“London, I don’t know” she was worried about all of this..
“I need you Free” he said, not giving her anytime to second guess doing this solid for him.
“Where are your attorneys? They told me they were here” she said.
“Get me some new ones”
She was going to suggest that anyway, “I’m on it”
“Gone and go, I’ll call Cookie phone later”
Freedom didn’t want to leave, she wanted to talk to him as long as she could but she knew that the quicker she handled everything for him the sooner he would be home, hopefully.
“I love you”
Chief smiled, for the first time in almost three days.
“I love you to Queen” he blushed.
Freedom opened and closed her eyes, processing his words so that she could replay them in her mind for the rest of the day.
She hated how it took him not being beside her these past few days for her to realize she never wanted to spend another moment without him.
Relationships were complicated but not the one she was forming with Chief.
He was her friend first, lover second.
“Talk to you soon” Freedom said as she stood up and picked up the manila folder she had brought along with her.
“Baby, be safe. This ain’t school” he told her in reference to getting involved with his illegal dealings.
Freedom nodded her head and left the room. seeing her beau in shackles and an orange jumpsuit had her in her feelings.
Officially, she was on a mission to clear his name of the murder charge and everything else was trying to throw at him.
“Maam” Lorisha called out to Freedom as she walked past her in the lobby.
Freedom didn’t have time to represent her son, she just didn’t.
“Thank you” Lorisha said.
She took a deep breath, thankful that Lorisha didn’t ask for her help again.
“God bless you” Freedom told the woman and left the jail.
She hopped back in her truck, ignoring all of the reporters and newscasters asking for her opinion on the Dorian McIntyre case and when was she returning to work, or had she got fired?
They boggled her down with all kinds of questions and Freedom didn’t bother to answer not one.
The same reporters that were forcing their microphones down her throat were the same ones who used to report her good deeds and turned around and posted false information related to her being suspended from the University.
Paige was a lesson learned and Freedom was extremely grateful for it. there was only one person who refused to discuss the issue surrounding Dr. Anderson and when the time came for her to speak on what happened, Reporter India Greer would be the only one to get the exclusive interview.
“What did he say?” Cookie questioned Freedom as soon as she entered the house.
Freedom removed her shoes and turban, her head was throbbing from it being wrapped so tight.
“We have a few errands to run”
Cookie got up and said, “Okay let me get dressed”
Chief was the son she never had and for him, she would do whatever to see him home.
Freedom watched Cookie leave the kitchen before sitting down on the bar stool chair and took a long deep breath.
“What have I gotten myself into?” she asked herself.
“Why aren’t you and your daughter close….if you don’t mind me asking” Freedom added after realizing that maybe her question was a little too personal.
Cookieacted as if she didn’t even hear Freedom, “That’s her house right there” she pointed to the third house on the left as Freedom reared her truck and pulled into the driveway.
“Her husband is a little controlling, sobe aware” Cookie warned as they got out of the truck.
Freedom wasn’t scared of no damn body, she feared nothing or no one in life.
She knocked on the door twice before ringing the doorbell and stepping back, waiting until someone came to the door.
Amisa appeared about two minutes later and instead of addressing Freedom she asked her mother, “is everything okay?”
“Yeah is Jorian here? Chief needs him to handle something”
Amisa shook her head, “He’s out of town” she looked away.
With Freedom being a highly-trained and well skilled professional, she knew immediately that the young woman was hiding something.
“Do you know when will he be back? it’s important” Freedom asked.
Amisa blew out a breath of frustration, “I can take a message for you” she looked at Freedom with envy in her eyes and never had Freedom see her look at her in that way, so she was very surprised.
“No that’ll be okay, thank you” Freedom told her and turned on her heels, leaving Cookie and her daughter alone.
Cookie rolled her eyes at Amisa, she was ashamed of her actions.
“I didn’t raise you to be hateful”
“To be honest you didn’t raise me at all” Amisa hissed and went into her home, slamming the door behind her.
When they pulled out of the driveway, Jorian appeared from the kitchen eating leftovers from yesterday.
“What she say?”
Amisa looked at him “That Chief needed you for something”
“What?” jorian questioned, wanting more information.
“She didn’t say, I aksed her could I take a message and she said no”
Jorian smacked his lips, “You should’ve pressed her for more infomraton”
Amisa was aware that Freedom wasn’t a dummy, “She knew I was lying ,she didn’t play into it all”
Jorian figured that to be truth, “Yeah I still don’t know how she ended up with Chief”
“Is he going to get out of jail?” Amisa asked out of concern.
“Why?” Jorian eyed her carefully.
“It’s a question, that’s all. I’m going to get started on the laundry” she told him and walked away.
Jorian took a peek out of the curtain and made sure they were out of his driveway before shaking his head and sitting down in the living room to watch television. Chief ass wasn’t coming home no time soon, he was sure of that.
“Cookie you and I both know he was in there” Freedom slammed her hand down against the steering wheel.
Cookie nodded her head but remained silent.
Freedom was getting frustrated, she needed her man home more then the air she breathed.
“What are we going to do? I’m not no gangster, I don’t want to use a gun. He’s banking on me to get him-
Cookie raised her hand and Freedom paused.
“Let me think”
She wanted to argue that they didn’t have time to think…execution needed tobe taking place.
The car ride back home was a silent one, Cookie had her selfish ass daughter on her mind and Freedom was too worried about Chief’s well being to focus on her career or the numerous emails she was receiving by the second from students that no longer looked up to her.
In all honesty, she could care less at this time. freedom was human, she would make mistakes and sometimes do things that everyone didn’t agree with. The crazy thing was it wasn’t for them to agree, she stands strongly behind what she told her student and wasn’t recanting her statement or opinion for no one.
Freedom walked into the house, bypassing the kitchen and went into Chief’s room, the one he openly shared with her and took a seat on the bench in front of the bedroom and wept to herself.
This year had been nothing but trials and tribulations, storm after storm and although Freedom hated to admit it, but she was getting weary in well-doing.
She had so much on her mind, so much on her plate and never in life had she been a woman to complain but DAMN where was her breakthrough.
A vacation…. A real vacation was in her future, something she rarely did because she had always been that ambitious woman that the rapper Wale rapped about in that one song she used to love back in the day.
But even bosses needed breaks and Freedom was in dire need of one.
The next morning, Freedom wasn’t aware that she even fell asleep but surprisingly the sleep was much needed and she was feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the world and get her man home.
Freedom fixed a cup of hot tea and rolled up a blunt, taking a small handful of the weed that Chief kept in a drawer in the kitchen. She hummed one of her favorite songs as she walked into the den, in which she had turned into a mini-office since she had began to spend so much time at his home.
Freedom pulled out her notebook and pen and crossed her leg, one under the other and got to work.
In doing so, she remembered that she had quite a few contacts in a county over from the one Chief was arrested in but yet and still…something was better then nothing and at this time Freedom was in desperate need of answers to hopefully point her into the right direction.
After talking on the phone for almost three hours, her stomach grumbled and she got up to fix her some lunch and ran itno Cookie who was in the kitchen doing the same.
“Busy day?” Cookie asked.
Freedom answered and said, “Yeah I have a friend down at the DA’s office, I’m going to meet with her at four and see if she can pull some strings and get London home or at least out on bond.”
Cookie was relieved to hear that.
Freedom smiled and walked around her and opened the fridge to prepare a salad.
“Has he called?” Cookie questioned.
Freedom checked her cell phone again, “No, I doubted if he does. He probably thinks they’re listening” she said, knowing Chief very well.
“If you decide to go back down there, will you let me know?”
Freeom told Cookie, “Of course I will”
She knew that they both were missing him just the same.
Freedom took her lunch and went back into the den, every second on the hour was devoted to getting her beau back home and she wasn’t wasting any time because it was the one thing that you could never get back.
She dialed up another number that she found in her directory and took a deep breath before saying, “Joel it’s Freedom, how have you been?”
Word would travel around fast that Dr. Anderson was calling around town asking for under the table favors and Freedom was well aware but did she give a damn? No.
Chief tossed and turned in the small cot, oh what he would do for his California King mattress and three hundred count sheets.
He didn’t doubt a lot of shit in lifebut one thing that worried him right now was spending the rest of days in here. He couldn’t do it.
His family depended on him, not for money because they were all doing well but he really believed he was the light of their home. The glue that kept his brothers together was Chief.
He wanted to be with them, celebrating life and spending the holidays together as they always did. Chief wasn’t made for prison.
Although he was a solid nigga, he still wasn’t built for jail, for goodness sake, who in the fuck was?
Chief sent a prayer up to the Heavens, he was in dire need of a blessing right about now and his only line of a miracle was Freedom…his Queen. If all else failed Chief hoped that she would be smart enough to use all of those powerful connections she had worked hard to establish over the years. He would promise to never fuck up again ,although he didn’t even see this arrest happening.
He had enough money to let the streets go and had no problem in doing so.
Those late nights that he kept and the people he killed, they were now haunting him while he laid wide awake in the cot.
Never had he felt bad or guilty for any of the crimes he committed until he was confined to a prison cell all day and left with nothing else to do but think.
Chief had much more to offer society other then taking away people from their families and if he granted access back into the world he was going to seriously change his life around.
He wasn’t no dummy, Chief was business savvy and could flip any dollar into a hundred then the next day make that dollar bill a stack.
Chief had the potential to start some shit and make it profitable.
He was going to talk to Freedom about his options and go from there…but then again, this was all upon his release.
Upon his exit from jail.
He was anxious to get the fuck out of the hell hole and fast.
A few days had passed since Freedom came and saw him and every day when the ringing of a bell followed by a voice over the intercom came his heart stopped for a split second.
He was waiting to hear “London Montgomery let’s go” from one of the jail guards.
He needed Freedom, literally and figuratively.