Time To Love-RELOADED-Time Will Reveal-part 3
Nina has been experiencing false labor since Friday. Today is Wednesday and still nothing has happened with the pregnancy. Tank is going crazy down in Natty. They are in constant contact with each other and Mr. Parkwood has agreed to fly Tank home when she goes into labor. This calms Tank down a bit. But not Nina. She’s very impatient at this point and just ready to bring their little girl into this world. The October celebration will be held 3 days from now, on Saturday night. Rob will turn 24 tomorrow. Rich turned 19 on the 1st and Greg Jr made 14, on the second. Rebbie’s baby brother, Archie Jr turned nine years old yesterday. Stoney’s day of birth, which is always included in the crew October celebrations, is the twentieth. He would be 25 years old, if he hadn’t been brutally murdered nearly 4 years ago. Him and Bre’s daughter CJ will be 3 years old on the eleventh. Nina has been helping mama Jackie with final preparations for CJ’s birthday party at Granny’s House. It’s being held Saturday afternoon, prior the celebration at The Chill Spot. Bre, Jb and Lynn fly home for the weekend. CJ has received a package, special delivery, at her grandma Debbie’s home. Her grandpa Chester Lee sent her a baby doll and a card from prison. Both had been handmade by him. He is Stoney’s father and he had kept his word to CJ and Bre that he would not lose touch with them. CJ loves her doll. She’s very excited as she joins her crew for her birthday party. Both celebrations go off without a hitch. Renee and Chill meet with the accountants today to go over the books for Crew Enterprises. Every business has been profitable. The Chill Spot is number 1 while The Crew’s House of Soul Food is a close second. Crew Cuts & Styles is third but not far ahead of Crew Details and Granny’s House. Rob’s studio and record Store has shown enough profit to support itself. It’s moving into it’s own suite at The CrewLand Mall. The name they select for it is, Jenkins Jams Company. The name Rob has used, all along. Reaper has a single on the radio and he’s nearly done with his CD. June’s younger sister Brittany sings background vocals on 3 of his songs. He has 11 tracks recorded and mastered. Rob is shopping him to labels and trying to get him signed to a record deal. His father Archie Sr steps in as his manager, which frees Rob up to travel with the music. But these days everyone in the crew are concerned about Nina. She’s way past her due date. Not only is Tank going crazy and bringing everybody in Cincinnati along with him. But her parents, Al and Jo are just as anxious as her and Tank are. Meanwhile Tank’s parents, Pearl and John are trying to keep everybody calm while trying to conceal their own eagerness. This is the 1st grand baby, for both sides of the family. So they are all anxious. Big John calls Pearl from the road, to check Nina’s progress and to see how Ebony and Ajay are getting along since their arrest.
“Hey baby. How’s everything at home?” he asks, while on 1 of his many calls to Cleveland.
“Nobody got hurt, locked up or suspended, so far,” Pearl says sarcastically, “But it’s still early.”
Her and John share a laugh.
“Nina hasn't done anything yet, ha?” he asks.
It’s the 18th day of October and Nina is 18 days past her due date.
“She’s so tired of being pregnant, John,” Pearl says as she laughs again. “Every time she comes over, I rub her shoulders and her back while she complains to me about how tired and miserable she is.”
“What’s Weston saying?”
“She’s trying to wait for her labor to come naturally. But she gave her until Monday. If she hasn't done anything by then, we’re going to induce her.”
“She’s got about five days to get it jumped off?” he asks.
“Yes and Tank is about to worry me, her and Jo to death, about it,” she says, “He’s so afraid he’s gonna miss it.”
“Well baby, the man wants to be there to see his first child born and that’s a very good thing,” he says, “And I expect that from him. But the baby’s not coming until it’s ready to come.”
“I know but Jo and I want her to have it naturally, if she can,” she says, “Instead of a cesarean section.”
“Uh huh. Okay,” he says. Then he changes the subject to something else that’s been on his mind. He asks, “They still got Angel locked up?”
“Oh yes and she’d better not get out either,” she says. “Ajay will kill her, if they do let her out. Ajay don’t play that type o’ shit and I like that. He ain’t gone tolerate nobody hurting baby girl.” “Like you,” Pearl says as she smiles. “Like me? You think?” he asks as he laughs. “John, Ajay acts more and more like you as the years pass. I can see it clearly now,” she says. “Then can you see why our baby girl loves him?” John asks. “Yes. I’ve been able to see it,” she says, “I just wasn’t ready to accept it, back then. But she loves a man who’s just like her daddy.” “She can’t help herself then,” he gloats, “Her father is way to irresistible.”
Pearl agrees with John and they laugh as they discuss they’re feelings about Ajay and Ebony’s relationship.
“They’re doing good, Pearl,” he says, “I visited with all of them when I went through Cincinnati, last Tuesday,” he says, “That’s a nice mansion they got them in.” “Oh, I know,” she says, “Me and Jo love the house. But we still don’t want Nina to take the baby down there to stay though.” “Y'all know it’s their decision. We’ll have to accept it if they want to take her to Cincinnati,” he says.
Pearl says she understands but she doesn’t have to like it.
“They come home every chance they get,” he says, “They’re gonna want to go to the club. You and Jo will have her the whole time.”
“I know. They run the streets the entire weekend when they do come home,” she adds with a laugh. “Nina’s ready to have that baby,” he offers, “So she can get back down there with them.” “Oh yes. She’s been working at the salon. But she’s missing baby girl, T-baby and Rebbie, like crazy. Not to mention Jeremy,” she says with a slight chuckle. Then she says, “Just like I’m missing you.” “I should be there around three or four. No later then five, tomorrow morning,” he says, “You’re gonna keep it hot, right?” “You know it,” she answers with a smile.
He’s traveling from Iowa, this time. Pearl says she’ll be off from work tomorrow and she’ll be home when he arrives. She’s going back to the graveyard shift for the fall, so she can help out at the mall in the mornings. They exchange hugs, kisses and “I love you,” Then they hang up.
Wednesday morning starts out normal for Nina. Just like every other day of her pregnancy. She has backaches, uncontrollable bathroom urges and swollen feet. She drags herself out of bed, gets dressed and goes to work. Only to get there and be told she could’ve taken the day off. “Nina you know you could’ve stayed in bed, if you wanted too,” Tonya says as Nina wobbles through the door. “I know. But I get too depressed and bored just laying around the house,” Nina says, “I can’t wait until Friday, when my baby gets home.”
She’s missing Tank, terribly. They’re closer now, then ever. And they have been discussing marriage a lot. Jo and Pearl asked them to promise they would allow them to give them a wedding. Nina doesn’t want to get married while she’s pregnant anyway. They’re waiting until after their baby girl arrives. Then they’ll get engaged and set a date.
“Since I’m here, I may as well take a few heads,” she say as she sets up her station. “Hopefully the moving around will bring her on down.”
Her and Tonya usually have a light schedule on Wednesday mornings. By the late afternoon, business picks up and it stays busy clean through until the close of the day on Saturday. Which is at 6pm. On Sunday and Monday the salon and barbershop are closed. Nina has already hired and trained a replacement for when she’ll be out on maternity leave. Her name is Justine Carr. She’s Jackie’s niece by marriage. She’s actually the niece of Jackie’s husband Jason. The crew met and saw her a few times, over the years. Justine has just recently come to live with Jackie and Jason since they moved back to Cleveland. She attends night school at CSU, where Tonya is in grad school. Justine already has experience in Cosmetology. She’s worked in a few shops in Columbus but she’s been slow to choose a real career. She’s 23 like Tonya and Jr. But she had dropped out of high school and didn’t do anything for awhile. Her uncle Jason took custody of her before she turned 18 and made her get her G.E.D. Finally she’s on the right path and trying to get her life straight. The crew gave her an opportunity and so far, she’s working out great. Chill and Renee had introduced her to Kilo. His government name is Kejuan Thomas. They’ve been seeing a lot of each other, lately. Things seem promising. Justine has stepped up her responsibilities. She’s already at work when Nina comes in.
“You’re ready to drop that load. Ha, Nina?” Justine asks. “Yes. It’s time out for this,” she says, drawing in a deep breath. “Or you alright, cousin?” Tonya asks as Nina is her first cousin by marriage. “I don’t know. My butt and everything is hurting,” she answers. “You’re in labor, I’ll bet,” Justine says and they all laugh because they’ve said that every morning for the past 3 weeks. Tank calls just as Nina is putting her 1st client under the dryer. He’s on his usual morning call to check on her. “How are you, baby?” he asks. “Pregnant,” she answers sarcastically. “I know you’re tired, baby. But it won’t be long now,” he says.
He’s said that every morning for the past 3 weeks too. They hang up after a brief conversation and he heads to class.
About an hour or so later, as Nina is finishing up her 5th client, she finally gets some real action. “Tonya, y’all I can’t stop peeing,” Nina says. “What?” Tonya asks. “I’ve been to the bathroom seven times, already. It’s just eleven forty five,” she says, “I can’t even cut if off, really.”
Before Tonya can respond, Nina sits down in her station chair and all of a sudden, her water breaks and spews across the floor in front of her station.
“Call Tank back!” Justine yells, “We’re having a baby, today!”
She runs to get towels and a mop while Tonya helps Nina. Justine throws towels on the floor to catch the amniotic fluids. Then she calls mama Jo before she starts to mop. Nina is finally in active labor. Tonya and Justine scramble to contact Tank and the rest of the crew, in Cincinnati. They need to be on their way, if they want to be here in time for the birth.
Tank and Parkwood are going to fly. He’s telling Nina and running through the Cincinnati airport, at the same time.
He says, “I’m flying out in twenty minutes.”
It’s only been a half hour since her water broke. During that time, Nina goes from the salon to lying in the prone position in the labor and delivery unit of East General. Dr. Weston is there and so are Jo and Pearl. Nina’s on the phone with Tank, who’s flight is ready to take off in minutes. “You’d better hurry, baby. My water broke and I’m dilated to four centimeters, already,” she says, just as she gets her 4th huge contraction and screams out. Pearl takes the phone while Jo helps Nina with her breathing. “Come on and get here, son,” she orders, “This baby ain’t gonna wait for you.” Mr. Parkwood’s jet is ready to go. Him and Tank take off for Cleveland. Ebony and the rest are driving up. They left Cincinnati over 30 minutes ago. They’re driving and having very stimulating conversation. June brings up the subject of sexual positions. Ebony is too embarrassed to talk in front of the guys. Her girls say very little too. Rich adds his 2 cents. But Ajay teaches the class. He not only names more positions than anyone else. He also explains how to do them. Ebony is so embarrassed, she turns a lighter shade. Ajay thinks it’s funny. So funny in fact, he teases her along the drive home.
“We’re gonna try all of them tonight, baby,” he jokes.
“The sutra one too?” Rebbie asks as they all laugh.
The foursome doesn’t even know what that means yet.
“No not until we’re married,” he says. “When will that be?” T-baby digs. “I don’t know but we’re going too,” he says. “All y’all wanting to get married at the same time?” Rich asks. “Yes,” Rebbie and T-baby say, simultaneously.
Ebony doesn’t offer an answer. She just looks at Ajay.
“That’s too many damn people,” Ajay says as they all laugh again. They continue driving with plenty of conversation about weddings, babies, sex and all. Ajay senses that Ebony is uneasy about the whole wedding talk. He doesn’t know why, right now. But they’ll talk about it in private as soon as she’s ready too.