Madam Cocaina:A Queen Pin's Story 3By: Fatima Munroe
I giggled wearily at how overprotective Phoebe and Deonte were since Montrell passed away. “You really wanna know who fucking with me?”
“Yea. I’m walking out the house right now. You at the house, right?”
“Yea I’m at the house. Come and get your brother. His memory won’t leave me alone,” I said as fresh tears pooled in the corners of my eyes.
“Damn Ju-Ju,” Deonte sighed. “I knew you shouldn’t have gone to that house by yourself.”
“Who is it bae? What’s going on?” I heard Phoebe’s voice in the background.
“It’s nobody baby. Go get Ju and bring her over here,” Deonte replied gently.
“Where is she?” Phoebe called from the background.
“At the house in the hills.”
“Tell her I’m on my way,” I heard Phoebe gathering her things and the door slam.
“Aight sis, Daddy’s baby is coming to pick you up. You gonna be aight until she gets there?”
“Daddy’s baby? Y’all two know y’all nasty,” I giggled as I chatted with my play brother until Phoebe got there. Depending on Ingrid’s call tomorrow, he might not be the only brother I had.
Phoebe picked me up that evening, and we headed to their home in the Santa Monica canyon. I spent the rest of the evening with my niece and nephew, hanging with Deonte and Phoebe. I called Valentina and Niyah and made arrangements for them to be picked up the next day so that we could all hang out like we used to before Montrell’s demise. I felt a strong need to surround myself with family while I waited to hear back from Ingrid.
The next day, the family surrounded me at the airport while I waited for Rebecca and her husband to arrive in Cali. Everyone else was already there: Valentina and the kids, Niyah and her husband, of course Phoebe and Deonte, and Simon and Morgan. Even my Aunt Lourdes, Guadalupe and the kids, her brother Tio and his family, and Eva and her family were there. As we watched the plane descend into the airport, my phone rang. I knew exactly who it was before I even bothered to check the screen.
“Hey Josefina. I got some news for you.”
“What’s that?” I asked nonchalantly.
“Whoever these two people are, they’re related. Their genetic makeup shows that they have the same mother and father.” Ingrid replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Thanks Ingrid,” I replied as I hung up the phone. It was true. The man that the South American cartels knew as Father Death was my long lost brother, Josef Rodrigo Borrego Jr. I wondered what he knew about his parents, and how he felt about being sent away to the orphanage. I had in my possession a copy of Abuela’s, Abuelo’s, Tasha’s and Papi’s wills, which mentioned nothing about my brother. I wondered if my Papi and Abuelo even knew he existed.
Lourdes must’ve felt me staring at her, because she turned around quickly and looked me in my eye. “Josefina? Is something wrong?”
“Why does everyone assume something’s wrong? No. I’m fine,” I replied, exasperated at everyone coddling me like I was a child. Before she had a chance to interrogate me further, Rebecca and her husband approached us, all smiles. We went through the customary pleasantries, hugs, kisses and praise for one another, catching up on the family gossip as we all piled into two super stretch Hummer H2’s, headed to my home in the hills. I texted Manuel and gave the express order to bring Father Death to me immediately.
Lost in thought, I absently listened to the family’s chatter while the trucks rolled up the 110. Lourdes kept stealing glances at me as she listened to Eva and Guadalupe discuss men in Argentina with her husband in the other truck. I diverted my eyes and watched the road roll by as I contemplated how to handle the situation with Josef Jr. How would I break the news to him? Lourdes had to know something; I saw how she kept looking at me like there was something she wanted me to know, but didn’t know how exactly to tell me. Seeing movement from the corner of my eye, I turned back around to see Tio waving his hand in my direction.
“What Tio?” I asked, exasperated and forgetting that although Tio knew five languages, English was not one of them. Lourdes translated for him, and he looked back at me with uncertainty.
“Disculpa me Reina del imperio de América del sur (Excuse me, Queen of the South American Empire),” he initially remarked snidely. “Sólo quería hacer charlar un poco, pero si vas a ser perra, luego follar (I just wanted to make a little small talk, but if you’re going to be bitchy, then fuck it),” he replied as he sat back in his seat. I looked between him and his wife, who looked on edge. Both of them worked for me, so I knew she was worried that if he pissed me off, she’d be unemployed.
“Mira Tio, mi mala, tengo mucho en mi mente. Pero si alguna vez solucionar su boca para hablarme así otra vez, no voy a estar como apologético (Look Tio, my bad, I got a lot on my mind. But if you ever fix your mouth to speak to me like that again, I won’t be as apologetic),” I warned.