Techs were responsible for implementing the schedule that governed every aspect of the clients’ daily lives. There were no aspects of a client’s life that were not planned for. Even their free time was structured. While each client had their own individual treatment plan that outlined the goals of their treatment and its implementation, they all had the same basic plan to treat their addiction. This was an inherent flaw in the system, as each client had varying issues in addition to their addictions. The additional issues came with extra therapies and plans that varied from client-to-client. MPC’s primary concern was addiction recovery, as it was the direct life-threatening issue to the client; they only addressed other issues that directly affected the client’s ability to recover from addiction. Addressing multiple issues of adolescent clients required a robust, well-trained staff, and there were barely any funds to treat the clients’ addictions, much less additional issues.
It was the Tech that spent 12 hours a shift watching and engaging in every aspect of the clients’ daily life at MPC. Aaron was the Tech shift supervisor. He was boss, backup, and support for the Techs. His primary function was making sure the Techs stayed on the schedule, and in general did their jobs. But as far as Aaron was concerned, it was simple: he was responsible for implementing the will of The Old Lady.
The atmosphere of the kitchen area was out of place in the bland, sterile therapeutic environment of the rest of the Activity Center. The air was filled with the smell of herbs and spices. The sound of water boiling drummed out a slow, methodic beat. Sunlight shined through the windows of the kitchen and filled it with natural light. Handmade dream catchers hung in the windows. Crosses and other religious items where subtly mixed into the decor of shelves and walls. Miss Beebe hummed an ancient tune as she moved with a purposeful grace through MPC’s kitchen, orchestrating the afternoon’s lunch. She was the center of the kitchen, and even The Old Lady was loathe to challenge her authority in that space.
Aaron hurried to the kitchen. He wanted to be the one to tell Miss Beebe that Drake was back.
“Drake is back,” Ms. Beebe proclaims to Aaron without looking at him, focusing her attention on chopping vegetables. “Hmmmmmm, place felt different this morning. Nature is spinning about, busy like. It is always swirling round that boy! He don’t know it, no sir, he can’t see it yet!” He hears it, but he ain’t listening.” She laughs and continues, “but it’s time, he will have to listen and see, the hour is struck. Soon enough an understanding will have to be come to and choices will have to be made. “Oh yessir, its time”, she laughs again. “I can’t say anything about the outcome, can’t see it,” Ms. Beebe says, taking a serious tone.
“Ms. Beebe, how did you know he was working for the Man’s again?” Aaron said after getting over his disappointment that she already knew.
“I heard him,” she said in a matter of fact tone.
Aaron scratched the back of his head with his tech keys, cocked his head and asked, “Oh you already spoke to Drake?”
“Boy! I told you I heard him, I didn’t say I spoke to him, saw him, or someone told me.”, Ms. Beebe said, showing frustration with Aaron. Ms. Beebe’s expression changed to amusement and good cheer as she said, “Drake is loud, can’t miss him…well, those who listen can’t miss him.” Her expression changed back to frustration as she asked Aaron, “You never have listened have you? Boy, your mamma would be ashamed.”
Wide-eyed and confused, Aaron said, “Right. Well it’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure. And the Wicked Witch hates him, which will be good for me, because he will take her focus off of me and I can relax.”
Ms. Beebe stopped chopping vegetables, looked at Aaron, and using her knife as a hand gesture said, “Oh it ain’t only hate Aaron, its dark and much worse. And she got plenty of focus to go around.” Beebe let what she said hang in the air for a minute and Aaron stared at her with a look of confusion. She suddenly returned to chopping vegetables.
Aaron, rebounding from Ms. Beebe’s cryptic statements, repeated himself, “Well it should be interesting.” He laughed and said, “Mike told me Drake is going to be working with the girls.”
Ms. Beebe smiled and said, “Now that makes sense. Yes indeed, the Universe is swirling. Could be lots of Good to come about, and more than just children could be saved, lots more.”
Aaron’s posture and facial expression took on a curiosity as he asked, “What do you mean when you say the Universe is swirling, Ms. Beebe?”
She stopped chopping vegetables, grabbed the counter with her right hand, looked at Aaron with her head cocked, and said, “What do I mean? If you don’t know, you don’t know. And I ain’t got time to teach you. Your mamma would be ashamed. Boy get your fingers out of my vegetables. In fact, just get out of my kitchen.”
Aaron fled the Voodoo Woman’s kitchen shouting over his shoulder, “Yes ma’am ….yes ma’am.”