“I’m sure he’s okay, honey,” he cooed. “If you don’t hear from him by tomorrow I’ll be glad to call the station in Savannah to see if there’s any info on him if you’d like.”
“Thanks baby I appreciate that but I hope it won’t be necessary. This just isn’t sitting well with me. I’m going to ring Daryl just in case to see if he’s at least spoken with him in the past few days.”
Just then the valet pulled up with her car. Rick tipped the guy, and he and Michonne parted ways with a lingering kiss and a promise to hook up for dinner later on that night at her place.
As soon as Michonne was on the expressway she put in her phone’s Bluetooth device and called her brother Theodore aka T-Dog’s cell phone.
“Hey baby girl,” he exclaimed cheerfully over the loud laughter of his four children and the barking of the family’s dogs as they ran around their home’s spacious backyard.
“Hey Bro! How’s the family?”
“Everybody’s good. Wifey’s working a few hours down at the salon today so I’m on solo daddy day care duty until she gets back. We had a big pancake breakfast earlier; you should’ve stopped by and joined us for Saturday morning cartoons! Then I took the rug rats to Target and the grocery store and we just had lunch. Now I’m just letting them run wild out here in the yard until somebody gets tired enough to go down for a nap.”
“Fat chance of that!” she laughed. Michonne knew her nieces and nephews very well. T-Dog and his wifes children were all very well behaved and polite kids but since all four of them were under the age of eight they were also bursting with energy and the last thing any of them were going to do was volunteer to take a nap!
“So what’s up, sis?” he asked.
“When’s the last time you talked to Dixon?”
“Daryl came over for dinner a couple of nights ago… why?”
“Well, you know Carol’s staying down at my beach house until next week and she called me earlier this morning to let me know that there was a power outage late last night and now the A/C isn’t working. We’ve both been calling Merle for hours now and neither of us have been able to reach him on his cell or on his office phone, and both mailboxes are full. Crazy thing is I left him a message over a week ago about getting the pool ready and left a few emails but he never called nor emailed me back. And, prior to letting me know about the A/C, Carol said that the pool hadn’t been touched when she arrived yesterday and she had to fill it up herself. I was gonna ask Daryl if he’d spoken to him recently. It’s not like him to not handle a job or answer his calls or business emails for days on end and I’m getting a little concerned.”
“Michonne, I hate to say this but I don’t need to remind you that Merle goes through these phases from time to time. His crazy ass is probably out in Vegas or Reno someplace blowing his plane ride home money on a crap game, or drunk out of his skull laid up with some chick at a cheap casino motel somewhere. It’s been a long while since his last bender so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the case. But if you think you need to talk to Daryl about it, try his office first and then his cell.”
Michonne thanked him and told him she would. Of course each of her nieces and nephews wanted to speak to her before she hung up, and after chatting a few minutes each with them and promising to stop by that next day… with snacks and surprises as always, she called Dixon Brothers Contractors’ Atlanta office.
“Dixon Brothers, this is Abe, how can I help ya?”
“Well if it isn’t Big Red!” Michonne exclaimed.
“Chonne!” he exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear. Abraham Ford and Michonne had dated briefly in high school, and had remained friends and Michonne had been calling him ‘Big Red’ ever since. He got a kick out of her affectionate nickname for his tall, imposing stature and his signature bright red, flat top haircut. Abe joined the army right after their graduation. His main career was as a drill sergeant and an arms trainer at a local army base, but he worked part time some weekends for Daryl by helping out on a few home repair jobs to make some extra money on the side.
“How are Sasha and the baby?” Michonne asked, referring to Abe’s pregnant wife and soon to be born son. “I know she’s about to pop any day now! And what are you doing at work, anyway? Shouldn’t you be at home rubbing her feet or something?” she laughed.
“Today’s my last day here for the next month or so and I’ve got eight glorious weeks of paid paternity leave from the base as of yesterday! Sasha’s doing just fine but she’s miserable in this heat… I promised to pick her up an egg custard snowball on the way home. Poor thing…. she’s beyond ready for it to be over. She’s actually due on next Wednesday, so my boy should be making his grand entrance in approximately four more days. Dr. Denise, our obstetrician, says he’s already over 10 pounds. He’s so lazy he hardly kicks his mama anymore and so fat he can’t even roll over,” Abe laughed.
“Like father, like son,” Michonne laughed. She knew how ecstatic Abraham was over the pending birth of his first child with his beautiful wife, nurse Sasha Williams-Ford (who just so happened to be the younger sister of Michonne’s own former flame, pro boxer Tyreese Williams.)
“Same thing Sasha says!” he chuckled. “Dr. Denise let us know that if the baby doesn’t wanna come out on his own by Friday or next Saturday at the latest, they’re gonna take him by C-section because she’s so tiny and he’s gotten so huge and he’s still growing by leaps and bounds.”
“Well he got it honest, Abraham! What are you, 6’1, 6’2?”
“6’2 and a quarter and 230 pounds of solid muscle, baby! And you better believe the wife loves every ounce!”
“I bet she does! You’re what I call a whole lotta man!” she teased. “You guys will be in my thoughts and prayers. Make sure to send me plenty of pics when Lil’ Abe Jr... I mean when Big Abe Jr… arrives,” she chuckled.
“Thanks and I sure will. Now what can I do for ya?”
“I need to speak to the head redneck in charge… where’s Dixon?”
“Unfortunately Daryl’s off today and he isn’t scheduled to work again until Tuesday. Is there anything I could help you out with?”
“Oh no Abe but thanks. It isn’t job related. I’ll just try his cell.” They exchanged a few more pleasantries then Michonne ended the call. She then dialed Daryl’s cell phone number as she pulled into the driveway of into her palatial Alpharetta, Georgia home.