A week had passed. Mel had broken the news that they had lost the appeal. It didn’t make a difference that Jon had tried to put the fire out. They had still ran and not called the authorities. Tammy hadn’t known that she could’ve felt more depressed than she already had…but she was wrong. Knowing that he wouldn’t be coming home — took all her hope away — had placed her in a deep depression.
Tammy was quickly losing weight, having lost her appetite. She hadn’t showered or dressed for days, instead she just would lay around in her PJ’s. All she did was lay around Reva’s house….moping and napping whenever she could. She found sleep was the best way to past the time. She would drift off into a dream world where Jonathan was home again and everything was fine.
Tammy could see that Jonathan’s situation was taking a toll on Reva as well. She had been drinking more than she used to. Billy and Josh would often stop by to see how they were doing. Although, Reva and Tammy tried to put up a brave front whenever they were around…Tammy could tell that they could see through it.
Tammy turned on the TV. She flipped through the channels, hoping to find something to watch. She finally settled on a soap opera. She didn’t know the characters names or what was happening, but it was sad. One of the characters had died. Judging from the way it was portrayed…one of the good characters. Why do bad things happen to good people? Tammy thought to herself. She turned the TV off. Her own life had enough problems. Why should she watch something that gave her no hope or had no happiness in it?
The doorbell rang. Tammy slowly got up and went to answer it. She opened up the door. “What do you want?” Tammy demanded, after seeing who was at the door.
“Is that any way to treat an old friend?” Lizzie asked, barging in uninvited. “Gosh! You look like hell! You should really shower or do something with yourself. I came over to see how you’re doing.”
“Since when have we been friends? I seem to recall a time when you hated me. As for the showering, what’s the point?” Tammy asked, resigned. Resigned to the fact that Lizzie made it impossible for her to kick her out and resigned to the fact that Jon wasn’t coming home any time soon.
Lizzie acted appalled. “I’ve never hated you! Maybe I was jealous…but I never hated you! Where would you get that idea?”
“Oh, let’s see…how about the time you drugged Joey to make him and I think you had slept with him?” Tammy reminded her.
“How do you know that?”
“Jonathan told me, of course. He has told me everything,” Tammy explained. “How you pretended to be his girlfriend to make me not suspect you. How you bought the drugs from him in the first place. Your entire plan.”
“Oh…” Lizzie didn’t know what to say to that.
“Oh and how could I forget this one?” Tammy continued. “You ran Sandy down with your car! You were aiming for me and hit Sandy instead! Now, how would I know that one?” Tammy asked her, angrily.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Lizzie denied, then tried to leave the house, but Tammy blocked her way.
“Want to know how I know that? Sandy recognized you driving the car. He told me so,” Tammy explained. “Those are only a couple of the many reasons why I think you hate me. Now, why are you really here?” Tammy demanded.
“I’m here to give you my support…but obviously you don’t want it or need it,” Lizzie walked around Tammy and towards the front door.
“Wait!” Tammy shouted. “I’m sorry, I’m in a bad mood. I know you’re here to see if I’m okay. I really appreciate it…I really do, but I’m too angry and frustrated. I’m sorry…stay.”
“You’re sure?” Lizzie asked, hesitantly. “I don’t hate you anymore. I really don’t. I don’t have any reason to now.”
“You don’t? Why?” Tammy asked, surprised. “Oh yes, let me see now. Ava is the one who’s first on your hit list now.” Tammy answered her own question.
“I don’t hate Ava,” Lizzie denied. “It’s just that she’s always around Coop. Whenever I see him, she’s there too.”
“Don’t they work together?” Tammy pointed out. “Isn’t that how it’s supposed to be, if you do?”
“I just don’t like them spending so much time together,” Lizzie stated.
“I forgot, you’ve never had to work a day in your life,” Tammy replied. “Maybe if you did…you’d understand.”
“Can we please stop talking about me?” Lizzie pleaded. “I want to know about you. How are you doing?”
“Oh…well. My boyfriend is locked up and won’t be out for ten years. He doesn’t want me to even visit him in jail, because he doesn’t want me to see him like that. I’m finding it hard to do the littlest things without him. I miss him like crazy and I also have to deal with the fact that my own mother is the reason why he’s behind bars in the first place. How do you think I’m doing?” Tammy asked, angrily.
“I guess…not so hot,” Lizzie replied. “Why don’t we do something to take your mind off of things?”
“Like what?” Tammy asked.
“Like going shopping, go to a spa, I don’t know…something,” Lizzie suggested.
“No thanks, I don’t want to. I just don’t feel the need to keep up with my appearance especially, since Jonathan’s gone.”
“Well, we could go see a chick flick at the movies or something like that,” Lizzie suggested some more. “We don’t have to do anything really. We could just talk.”
“The only thing that would take my mind off of things is sleep. But I’m not tired,” Tammy replied. “The rest sounds fine and dandy, but I just don’t want to.”
Lizzie had a thought come to her. “I know! Since you don’t want to leave the house. How about I go rent us a couple of movies and we can watch them here?” Lizzie suggested. “I’ll even phone up Marina to see if she wants to join us.”
“Will you promise go away and leave me alone when we’re done?” Tammy asked, trying to bargain. Anything, as long as Lizzie promised not to bother her again.
“Sure. I promise,” Lizzie answered. Not realizing that Tammy was actually serious and not joking.
“Okay,” Tammy answered. “Go get the movie, Marina and I’ll wait here.”
“There he is!” Reva greeted Jonathan, as she walked into the visitor’s room. “My baby cub, you’re mama bear is here. How’re you doin’?” She slurred, as she sat down.
“I think the question should be how are you doing?” Jonathan asked. He could see that she had been drinking. “Partying pretty early in the day, aren’t you?” Jon asked with concern.
“What time is it?” Reva asked, looking around for a clock. “Oops, I don’t even know what day it is…morning or night?”
“Ma…you’ve got to stop this,” Jon urged. “This is the third time you’ve come in here, drunk or at least half-way wasted. What about Tammy? Didn’t I ask you to look after her as well?” Jon gently scolded.
Reva waved her hand. “Tammy is fine. When I left the house, she was sleeping. As for stopping…why?”
“Why?” Jon asked, incredulously. “You don’t want to end up like Billy. Remember what he has to battle everyday? It could happen to you too.”
“Whenever you’re depressed or something doesn’t go the way you want it to…you would drink too. I don’t see the reason why that I can’t,” Reva pointed out.
“That’s different. I never had anybody counting on me to look after them,” Jon explained. “You promised me that you would look after Tammy.”
“Tammy is my niece…or have you forgotten. I think she’s old enough to be able to take care of herself. We are there for each other. But I don’t have to watch over her, 24/7, and she with me. We are big girls and are able to take care of ourselves.”
“Whatever,” Jon rolled his eyes. “Knowing both of you…that’s the understatement of the year!” Jon grew serious. “How is Tammy doing…really?”
“Really…” Reva repeated. She quickly sobered up, her concern was that great. “She’s not doing very well. I don’t know what more I can do for her. She depressed and has lost weight,” Reva explained. “She lays around the house and sleeps. She doesn’t go out. She dropped out of school.”
Jon was immediately concerned. “How long has this been going on?” He asked.
“For awhile; since your appeal was turned down.”
“Why didn’t you tell me this sooner?”
“What could you do?” Reva pointed out. “You’re in jail, or have you forgotten?”
“I could try to help!” Jon shouted. He roughly ran his hand through his hair. “Reva, you have to let me in on these things!” He shouted at her. “Between the two of us…we could come up with some way to help her!” Jon’s heart broke even more than it already had been, after hearing what Reva had to say. Tammy! Jon thought to himself. Please don’t do this to yourself! I’m not worth it!
“I don’t know what we could do!” Reva shouted back. “The only thing that she and I both want, is for you to come home. I don’t see that happening…”
“I trusted you to look after her. I can’t believe that you would let me down again!”
“I didn’t desert her…we are both feeling the same way,” Reva pointed out, mad that he would suggest that she wasn’t keeping a close eye on Tammy. “We do some things together…but we’ve come to the point where we both have to deal with it in our own way.”
“Do me a favor, okay?” Jon asked. “Tell her that I want to see her. Maybe I can get through to her.”
“I thought you didn’t want her to see you like this,” Reva reminded him.
“That was before I knew how hard she would be taking this. It never occurred to me that you wouldn’t keep up your end of the bargain. Oh wait, why am I not surprised? You always are looking out for number one!” Jon accused.
“Fine, I’ll tell her, but you don’t have to give me crap for supposedly not holding up my end,” Reva replied. “I did everything in my power to help her. I love her too…she’s my niece!” Reva stood up and walked out of the room.
Marina, Lizzie and Tammy plopped down in front of the TV. Lizzie put a movie in the DVD player. Lizzie had rented, “Thelma and Louise”, among some others.
Much later, after Marina and Lizzie had left, Tammy was alone with her thoughts once more. Suddenly, Tammy got an idea…one that brought a smile to her face for the first time in a long time…
Reva arrived home, and noticed that Tammy wasn’t around downstairs. She couldn’t wait to tell her that Jonathan wanted to see her. Reva went upstairs, where she looked in on Jonathan’s room. No Tammy. Where was she? Reva knew that Tammy had basically moved into Jonathan’s old room, to be closer to him.
Reva checked Marah’s old room. There she found her, on her computer. She had a smile on her face. Reva was happy to see it, it had been a long time. “Hello Tammy,” Reva greeted her, as she entered.
“Back so soon?” Tammy asked. She looked away from the computer screen to look at Reva.
“Yeah, I’ve been to see Jonathan.” Reva explained.
“Oh? How is he doing?” Tammy asked, curiously. “Did he mention me?”
“Yes, he did. He wants to see you,” Reva told her, knowing that Tammy would be happy with the news.
Tammy’s smile grew even brighter. “He really asked to see me?” She asked, pleased and surprised. “What did he say?”
“He wants to see you, because I told him how you’re not eating and that you’ve dropped out of school,” Reva explained.
“Why would you tell him that?” Tammy accused. “You know that he wouldn’t want to hear that!”
“I know, but I knew it was the only way to put that beautiful smile on your face again. You two need each other…it’s obvious. Someone had to make him change his mind,” Reva shrugged.
“Thanks…I think,” Tammy replied, gratefully. Reva turned to leave the room. Tammy called her back in. “Reva, I think I’ve come up with a way that I can be with Jonathan…permanently.”