Monday, June 8th 2020
“How have you guys been?” Mike asked.
“Crazy, bro!” Kenny blurted. “Wait…where’s Harry?”
On cue, the screen adjusted as Harry logged in and his face appeared on screen.
“Eyyyy, Harry!” Kenny cried.
“What’s up?” Harry said.
“Who would’ve thought that we were right?” Mary continued. “Everything you predicted came true, Mike.”
“Everything we predicted,” Mike corrected.
“Yeah,” Jasmine nodded. “Who knew all of that was actually gonna happen? You were right.”
“I’mma keep it real with you,” Kenny cut in. “I feel like Mike’s theory made more sense than what actually happened. WHY WAS EVERYBODY GOIN CRAZY OVER TOILET PAPER? Nobody even had diarrhea!”
“That’s true,” said Mary. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that people are crazy.”
“But isn’t it weird that one of the deja vu’s never happened?” Kenny asked. “They never made that remake of Zoom.”
“Kenny,” Mike said. “What are we using right now?”
Kenny stared at the camera for several seconds, then his eyes went wide in understanding.
“So did you all bring your drinks?” Mary asked, flashing her glass in front of her camera.
Everyone raised their glasses.
“You know technically,” Mike interjected. “Only me and Jasmine are legal.”
“Whatever, Officer Mike,” Kenny said, taking a sip.
“So what have you guys been up to?” Mike asked. “Harry, you’re being quiet again. What’s up?”
Harry grinned. “I’m good. I actually, uh…I took Jasmine’s words to heart last year. I wanted to know what the black community actually is doing about black on black crime. So I got a job with a youth group in Newark.”
“Really?” Mary asked.
“Yeah. And it’s been quite an experience. I went to those barber shops you talked about, Jasmine, saw rallies at parks, and went to funerals for some of our kids. And yeah, the grandparents gave those “stop killing each other” speeches that I hadn’t heard before.”
“Whoa,” Jasmine said. “You did all that? I don’t know if I should be impressed or call BS.”
Harry just laughed.
“Wait, can we talk about the fact that Harry just walked into Newark and got a job?” Kenny said. “Just cuz he wanted to learn about black people?”
Harry’s face turned red. “Just trying to use my privilege for good for once.”
“Well, I’ve been organizing protests in all the surrounding towns,” Jasmine said. “We had one in Newark the other day, actually, Harry.”
“Yeah, I was there,” Harry said.
“WHAT?!” everyone said at once.
“Okay,” Harry said. “Relax. I was…with the youth group.”
“Wow,” Mary said. “Never would’ve thought.”
“I’m surprised you weren’t looting and rioting,” Harry added.
“Yeah no,” Jasmine shook her head. “We’re not about all that. See, we’re trying to NOT get white people angrier at us. So burning and stealing isn’t really our MO.”
“No, I mean I wouldn’t have blamed you,” Harry clarified. “Almost all of my youth have been frisked by the cops just for vaguely looking suspicious. And there was this one time…” He paused and took a deep breath. “Our youth pastor is black and married to a white woman. They were driving me home one night and we got pulled over. The cop looked straight at the youth pastor’s wife and asked her, “Are you okay?” She said, “Yeah.” Then he got back in his car and drove away without saying a word to the youth pastor. It seemed so random, but the pastor said stuff like that happens all the time. I get pissed when a cop stops me for speeding. I’d be livid if they kept stopping me cuz they thought I was kidnapping my freaking wife. If that happened for years on end AND I saw my friends get killed by cops on top of that, I don’t know how I’d react. So when people started looting and rioting, I disagreed with it. But I kind of understood where it was coming from.”
“Wow,” Kenny said. “That’s inspiring, bro. I respect the growth.”
“Yeah kudos to you, man,” Mike said. “What about you, Mary?”
Mary smiled for a second then lowered her head. “My grandmother…she uh…she passed from COVID.”
“I’m so sorry,” Jasmine said.
“Thanks,” Mary replied. “So it’s been a pretty rough couple months. I wasn’t even able to see her because at the time they were only allowing 5 people so my mom and her sisters got to go.”
“That sucks,” Kenny said.
“What was her name?” Mike asked.
“Edith. But I called her Granny Eddy.”
Harry raised his glass. “To Granny Eddy.”
“To Granny Eddy,” everyone else echoed.
“Thanks, guys,” Mary sniffled.
“Mike, didn’t you and Jasmine graduate?” Harry asked.
“Yeah,” Mike nodded. “We got a Zoom ceremony.”
“It was whack,” Jasmine cut in.
“They did what they could,” Mike said.
“Yeah I know,” Jasmine rolled her eyes. “It just sucks. Everything sucks. I didn’t even get to go out to eat with my cousins. We had to just have lunch at home with the three of us.”
“Yeah, that’s whack,” Kenny agreed.
“At least you graduated,” Mary encouraged them. “That counts for something, right?”
“Yeah,” Jasmine shrugged.
“To graduation,” Kenny raised his glass. “Or…coronation!”
“To coronation,” everyone echoed.
“How about you, Kenny?” Mike asked.
“Me? Maaaan…it’s been crazy, bro. We made it to the playoffs for the first time in 10 years. And then the rest of the season got cancelled.”
“I know,” Mike said. “I remember when they announced that.”
“And on top of that, Kobe died.” Kenny shook his head. “Bro, he was legit my role model. I started playing ball cuz of him. So when he died, I’m telling you I was motivated to make this the best season of my life. And then it got cancelled.” He paused. “So it was like losing something twice. You know what I mean?”
“You know, Candace Owens was a Kobe fan too,” Harry added.
Everyone went silent.
“What?” Harry asked, confused.
“We don’t speak that name here,” Kenny told him.
Jasmine shook her head. “You still have a lot to learn, Harry.”
“To Kobe,” Mike said, raising his glass.
“To Kobe,” everyone echoed.
“Speaking of conservatives,” Mary added. “What about all those conspiracy theories that were coming out when the pandemic first started?”
“Yeah,” Kenny agreed. “People were talking about how Bill Gates is trying to kill off half the population. Bro, that’s why I’m a Mac guy.”
“Or how this is all because of 5G towers,” Mary added.
“I would say it’s all crazy,” Jasmine went on. “But then again, so is predicting the future with deja vu’s.”
Everyone else nodded in agreement.
“And I’m gonna be honest,” Jasmine went on. “When white people started protesting the lockdown because it felt like communism…for the first time I could see where they were coming from.”
Kenny sucked his teeth.
“No,” Jasmine went on. “The curfews, getting policed for not wearing a mask…I could see how that looked like big government taking over. And then you throw in how facebook has been using our data into the mix….it all just feels a little…you know…fishy.”
“We don’t hate big government just for the fun of it,” Harry grinned.
“I guess,” Jasmine said. “I don’t think it’s the end of the world, though. I don’t think the fabric of American society is gonna unravel and we’re gonna be run by a fascist dictator by 2030. But I can see why y’all would think that now…”
“To capitalism,” Kenny offered, raising his glass.
Jasmine and Mike grimaced.
“Maybe not,” Mike recommended. “To no dictators.”
“To no dictators.”
“This was fun,” Mary said, grinning from ear to ear. “I’m glad we got assigned to each other.”
“And I’m glad we could still stay in touch,” Jasmine smiled.
“Yeah,” Harry nodded. “Now all we have to worry about is the earthquakes.”
The group paused.
“What earthquakes?” they all asked.
Harry blinked at the camera. “I didn’t tell you? I had a deja vu.”
Harry chuckled. “Just kidding.”