Chapter 3: Nadia

If you asked anyone what Nadia Iman Jones-Fundman’s biggest flaw was, they would tell you it was her inability to take no for an answer.

When she tried out for cheerleading in college, she didn’t make the team. So she took it upon herself to follow the head coach around the school whispering cheers she had created and doing stunts until she had been given not only another tryout, but a position as a co-captain. In college, she was told she wouldn’t be admitted into her dream marketing program; she then created a marketing campaign as to why she should be the only student accepted, sent it to the dean of the school and every other person on his level. She was then admitted on scholarship.

Not accepting “no” was the reason why she now had the corner office at the agency after year three versus the lower level office given to a coworker who was working on year ten. It was the reason why her Range Rover came with peanut butter colored seats rather than the standard khaki ones. It’s why her home was worth more than anyone else’s on the block. It was the reason why she was married, why she was respected and why she loved herself. And it was the reason why she was at the state research center at 12:12pm, in the office of lead research specialist Markus Isaiah Fundman while he was on his one hour and fifteen minute lunch break, with a month’s supply of newly developed birth control pills that he told her just this morning she could not have in one hand, and a pacified baby in the other.

She had laughed and smiled her way into the office where she was formerly a regular, letting people ooh and ahh at her child with ease when she would normally rush right into Mark’s office in order to not be bothered. But today, she had been on a mission. The government had cut birth control for undisclosed reasons, and here at the State of Georgia Research Center they were examining the recalled packages for “possible health risks”. Mark was the lead researcher on the project and had been for several years, which was why she knew that he would be the one to ask for a supply. So she asked. And he said no. And here she was.

In a span of fifteen minutes she had managed to disguise stealing a banned contraception pill into surprising her husband at work and finding that he had “unfortunately” already left for lunch. As she walked out with the package in her baby’s diaper bag, she told the rest of the staff not to mention it to Mark as she would surprise him when he got home. She then walked to her SUV, strapped her child into the backseat and drove home.

She sat in the driveway for about fifteen minutes as she examined the instructions for use. “Take once daily, at the same each day, for a month.” No seizures. No heart attacks. No chronic diarrhea. In fact, the area dedicated to health risks had been left completely blank. She popped one of the small pink pills into her hand and began to untwist the water she had planned on taking with it. She looked at the one pill she had at her hand and paused to pray. “Lord,” she said with her eyes closed. “All I can ask for is your protection.” She paused for a moment and waited to hear if He may say no because the only being that she would not argue with was the higher one. She heard nothing. She sighed, put the pill in her mouth, took her water and swallowed.

She sat motionless for a few seconds, waiting to see if she could feel death or not. Still, she felt nothing. She moved her fingers and toes. Everything wiggled, and nothing fell off. “So what is all of the fuss about?,” she muttered to herself. She sighed, and turned to her baby. “You ready to go inside, lovebug?”

Jasmine laughed at the sound of her mother’s voice. Nadia stepped out of the driver’s seat, walked around the car and scooped baby and diaper bag into her hands. As she walked towards the door of her house, she scrambled to get her keys out of her pocket.

“Hey, Nadia!”

Nadia turned around to see her neighbor Ms. Jenkins waving from across the street. In the midst of the turn, her keys fall out of her hand and Jasmine’s bottle pops right out of her mouth and into the grass. “Fuck,” Nadia whispered to herself.

“Do you need some help?”

“No, m’am!,” Nadia said while bending down. “I’ve got -”

She had extended her hand to grab her keys. Just a simple extension of her joints. And suddenly, she felt as if she had been struck by some of the best lightening ever created. Her keys gravitated off the ground and shot toward her like a vacuum in mid air. Jasmine’s bottle, which had been laying in the grass, stood up on its own, spun itself clean and gravitated right into Jasmine’s hands, and she place it right in her mouth.

Nadia gasped in shock. She spun around, certain that Superman or Batman or any man was around her and been the cause of the supernatual. She turned around again. Nothing. She looked at Jasmine, who looked at her was glee that she had been reunited with her bottle. Nadia couldn’t breathe. She looked up to find Ms. Jenkins staring at her, with her jaw touching the floor. She stared at her for a long time, long enough to make Nadia feel the Earth move. then , Ms. Jenkins laugh.

“Well,” she chuckled. “You done found you some special shit.”

 

 

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