Casey & Khadijah, Part 1

Casey and Khadijah are best friends. They used to be next-door neighbors and have been close since childhood. Their mothers get along with each other. 

Khadijah is very observant, paying attention to everything that goes on around their neighborhood. She lives life for the moment, which is the difference that kept them besties as they grew to become beautiful young women and their roads became different. Casey is the laid-back type, shy and quiet. Neither of them have any children at this time but both love children and would like to have some of their own. For now, they both seems to put their dreams first, plus they still feel like they are too young and have a lot to accomplish before settling down.

Casey grew up chasing her dreams to become an entrepreneur. Now she works as an executive creator for a women’s cosmetics and clothing line in New York. 

Meanwhile, in Chicago, Khadijah landed her first job at a well-known printing company downtown, with access to top government material. She has been through a lot and made mistakes. But unlike most people, she learned from her ups and downs. She went from an abusive relationship to depression stages from missing her mother to reflecting on things that her mother taught her, including standing strong.

Casey and Khadijah never lost touch with each other. Both knew of the difficulties they went through living and learning life on life’s terms. 

Still setting up her office but preparing to go home, Khadijah’s phone rings. It’s Casey, of course. She listens to how things are going in New York and mentions she should make the trip, not just to get away from Chicago for a while but to reunite with a good person and good friend. 

Casey says it’s long overdue.“New Year’s is in seven more days. Let’s spend it together. What’s good sis?” Casey says.

“Girl you just breathing, you know I am there,” Khadijah replies. 

Khadijah’s mind snaps back to her here and now. Headed home from another late shift after finishing up talking to Casey, she’s tired and ready for a hot shower and sleep. Overtime for six days in a row. The money’s good, it pays the bills. But she thinks, “I won’t be able to pay anything if my body breaks down from lack of sleep.”

She heads off the elevator, moves through the main instance of the building and out the door straight to her bright red car. The pressure of everyday life sometimes gets to her. Driving home to her one-bedroom apartment, looking through her rear-view mirror, Khadijah thinks about just how much she needs this trip. They’re going to have so much fun together. Up in her apartment, Khadijah microwaves dinner, eats, showers, and heads to bed. But her phone rings again.

Now it’s her good friend Ronda, who is from Boston but has been living in Chicago. Khadijah hops right into the conversation, explaining about her trip to New York to see her best friend, all the way back to the sandbox, who had moved from Chicago to New York with her mother 12 years ago.

“Girl, you better go see her, as much as you talk about her every day” Ronda says, “Y’all love each other.”

“I mean, you’ll still be my best friend,” Ronda laughs.

“Girl, stop playing,” Khadijah responds. “It sounds like I hear jealousy in your voice.”

“Girl, nope, I am just kidding,” Ronda says. “You have my blessing. Go see your friend. Just make sure you keep in touch!”

“OK, yes, sweetie,” Khadijah says.

Khadijah hangs up the phone and lays back on her queen-size bed.

Eight hundred miles down the interstate, Casey looks over Manhattan from her one-bedroom Condo and thinks about all the men and women she went through just to support her Heroin addiction. And all of the things she has done in the name of love, or at least what she thought was love: the shelter, sleeping on the street, prostitution, rehab after rehab, the mental hospital. 

But she’s strong, Nine years clean and the clock keeps on ticking. Casey eats her microwave dinner, takes a hot shower, and takes her sleeping medication.

“Just every now and then we call each other,” Casey thinks as she falls deep asleep, anticipating what fun its going to be reuniting after 12 years. “But this time she’s coming to New York to see me.”

To be continued.

information about New Signature, a Washington DC tech solutions and consulting firm


email updates

We believe ending homelessness begins with listening to the stories of those who have experienced it.