Saturday, May 14, 2016
I Have My Suspicions
Brenan was the only one who showed up for the youth class. I ended up sparring with him because he asked me. But I mostly did defense while allowing him to do offense. Brenan was not turning his back as often, and he was getting out of the corners when I forced him into them. Now if only he would do that when sparring with the boys.
Brenan and his dad had barely left for the day when Justin, Janaye's brother, strolled in. It was two minutes before the youth class was going to end. Justin actually thought he was going to get a workout in. "What are you going to do in two minutes?" I asked him. "Can I come in now?" he said. "Your class started awhile ago. It's over for today," I informed him. The boy had a cell phone in his hand, and I wondered why he didn't notice the time on it.
About five to ten minutes later, Justin returned to ask if his sister had come to the gym. "I'm not her keeper," was what I wanted to say. "She hasn't been here in weeks," is what I actually told her brother. After he left again, a red flag came up. Surely, if he was there, his sister had to be in the field house, too. That scenario had happened before a few weeks prior, when Janaye came in briefly. She told Justin to make sure to call her on her cell phone at a certain time. Then she went away, and did not come back down to the gym that day.
Just before leaving for the day, one of the attendants told me they spied a teenage couple looking very cozy on the back stairwell leading up to the basketball gyms. I was asked had I seen the teens. "I'm in the basement," I told the attendant, "and I can't hear if anyone is up on the second landing." "Those two were whispering to each other," the attendant said with a tone that suggested the teens were having an inappropriate conversation.
I walked to the nearest bus stop after leaving the field house for the day, and there was Janaye, Justin, and some boy whom I had never seen before. She said hi to me, but gave no explanation as to why she hasn't been in boxing class for weeks. Janaye seemed very comfortable with the boy, however. Now I'm wondering if Janaye and that boy were the couple that the attendant saw on the back stairs.
A relative of mine, one of my older nieces, once used me a shield to cover up the fact that she had a secret boyfriend. My grandmother and oldest half-sister had practically imprisoned her in the house one summer, not letting her go anywhere. The smarter thing to have done was to talk to my niece, who was 14 at the time, and lay down rules and expectations. As hot as that summer was, it would have also been a good idea to let her go outside with her friends from time to time. But nooooo, as the late John Belushi used to say. That would have been too much like having common sense on my grandmother and half-sister's part. So one day, she told them she needed to go to the library. She couldn't go unless someone went with her. I happened to be at my grandmother's house that day, so I was pressed into service into being my niece's chaperon. The next thing I knew, I was being dragged around the neighborhood by my niece so she could steal some giggling and goo-goo eye time with some pock-faced boy she liked. That was the first and last time I allowed her to do that to me.
If I'm being used as a alibi in this current situation, I'm shutting it down with a quickness. I've already had to deal with a situation where another teen girl who was in the gym in the past was assaulted. She was telling her mother she was going to boxing class. I found out she was lying to her mama when her mama showed up one day to ask how her daughter was doing in class. The girl hadn't been there for two weeks. Not long after that, the girl was assaulted while hanging somewhere else when she was supposed to be in the gym. She only got slapped. But it could have been a lot worse.
Looks like I'm going to have to talk to Janaye's parents. She hasn't been in regular attendance for the past couple of sessions she's been signed up for. Her parents, particularly her dad, will probably want to sign her up for the summer session. Better for me to voice my suspicions now, than to be silent and wished I had said something sooner.