Some people don’t stay in a relationship out of love, they stay because they’re in fear. Fear of being alone. Fear of starting over. Fear of losing something. Fear of the unknown, or even the future, to name a few.

Love has nothing to do with fear. 1 John 4:18 (GNT) “There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.” If you are being held hostage by your own fears, it’s time to overcome those “what if’s” and those negative thoughts, and replace them with the thoughts God has for you. God has said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11

Stop holding on to people who mean you no good, out of fear of who you think you’ll become outside of them. Put your complete faith in God, and know that He got you. Never put a person in the position to be Lord over your life. That position belongs to God. Power belongs to God.

If He can love the real you, so can you. The only way to receive God’s best for you is to let go of what you consider, the best that you can do. Read my book, “How to let go and let God.”

I might step on some toes, but here goes…

Sometimes it’s not the enemy… it’s you, but blaming the enemy keeps YOU from being accountable for your actions, and it keeps YOU comfortable in your mess. Now, that mess could mean anything. It could be YOUR own ways, a lack of faith, living with a victims mentality, and so many other things people are comfortably struggling with. You would think that struggling is uncomfortable, but some people have gotten so accustomed to it that it has become their way of life. They blame the enemy for showing up to the fight, but they don’t take accountability for being unprepared. Instead, they just lay there and take the punches and complain, when God has equipped them with everything they need to fight their battles.

This battle is not for the faint of heart, and Jesus said, we each have to carry our cross. If you claim to be a child of God, stop living with a defeated mindset. As long as YOU continue to live with a defeated mindset, you’ll continue to lose, because in your mind, your situations or what you see has already won… You better come out of that and get back in the game. Stop taking punch, after punch, after punch and put on the whole armor of God and fight back.

God doesn’t have any cowardly soldiers. Get out of YOUR feelings! I purposely capitalized YOU and YOUR because when you choose to blame people, or even the enemy for your lack of faith, success, or anything else you feel you lack in your life, it’s not really about them, it’s about you. Everything else should be a non factor, because you should be confident in who you are and whose you are. The enemy only have the power you give him.

Take your power back by getting out of your feelings. At some point you must learn to let go… Quit comfortably struggling and get my new book, “How to let go and let God.” Click below! ❤️

Dear God,
Forgive my sins and heal my heart. Heal that deep dark place that I hide behind my smile, my gifts, and my wisdom. Get rid of that spirit of perversion which is causing me to be double minded and blind to the Truth. You are the Way, the Truth, and the Life, Jesus. Lord, I trust you with my entire being. It’s your Spirit who keeps me focused when the distractions are closing in on me, or when things aren’t going according to plan. Help me to remember that you chose me. Not because I’m perfect, but because your perfect will can be done through me and because you first loved me. Wash me in your blood. Remove those suppressed feelings that are secretly harboring garbage in my spirit. I denounce bitterness, hate, vengeance, lust, rage, envy, depression, physical or mental sickness, and any foolishness of this world. I look to you God, to repair my brokenness. I can’t do this by myself and no one else has that power. I give myself away, completely to you. Change me and make me more like you. Change my way of thinking. Let my walk match my talk, and let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight. Let whatever I do in the dark, match what I profess in the light. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

***If you’ve enjoyed this prayer, be sure to sign up for my email list where you will receive continuous encouragement to help you on your faith walk. Also, check out my new books, ‘How to let go and let God’ and They Verdict’. You can access all my books here. ⬇️⬇️⬇️***

When we choose to let go of the things beyond our control, we give God the opportunity to be Lord over our lives. There’s a different kind of freedom and peace that comes with completely releasing those issues of the heart to God and trusting Him to do what only He can in whatever way He chooses. The peace and freedom is not of this world, it surpasses all understanding because only the Spirit of God can give it. God’s spirit becomes our calm within a storm. Our overall wellbeing thanks us for releasing those burdens.

Get to a place of which you completely trust God with your issues, past and present. Some things aren’t meant for you to carry on your own to include the hook of bitterness. When someone holds on to an offense, it hooks them and becomes a snare of destruction. You may think you’re punishing the person who’ve done wrong by you, but you’re really punishing yourself because the longer you hold on to this hook, the heavier it gets. The weight increases because it’s baggage.

It gets in the way of you experiencing the joy and love that you deserves, which adds more and more baggage to that hook.
You may think you’re in control of this hook, but really you’re hooked. You’re hooked on pain because you refuse to let go. The hook of bitterness comes in and robs individuals of life. Instead of living, they’re struggling to survive and they’re doing this the best way they can within their own power, but you don’t have to bear the weight alone when all you have to do is put your trust in the power of God. He can do more with the issues of your heart than you ever could.

Matthew 11:28

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Don’t ever give yourself away to the point of which another human being has power over your life. Power over your happiness, your smile, your purpose, your day to day life, or how you interact with family and friends. When you give a person your everything, and make your life revolve around them and only them… you’re making that person your god, and you are putting your life in danger, because if and when that person walks away they are taking every single thing you’ve given to them, with them. They’re taking your mental health, emotional health, spiritual, and in a lot of cases physical health with them as well, and they are leaving you malnourished and on the brink of death. This is why it’s so important to seek God first.

Get lost in God’s love first, then love yourself without having to be attached to another person, and learn become whole. The wrong spirits know who to prey on. If you don’t know who you are, you will try to find your identity in a relationship or other people. If you don’t love yourself, you will also look for the love you should be giving yourself within a relationship, or again, other people. Those ungodly spirits will trick you into believing a person is your savior and they will use the wrong person to try to kill, steal, and destroy your life.

Your happiness and self love should never be tied to a person/people. Not your spouse, not your child, not your parents, friend, mentor, pastor or whomever. People aren’t perfect and not everyone has good intentions. Some people have ulterior motives. The wrong people will tell you what you want to hear, and they will manipulate you and prey on your weaknesses if you’re lead by your feelings.

Your identity isn’t found in people, it’s found in Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. God has to be your focus, not your feelings. For more insight, get your copy of my new book “How to let go and let God” by clicking the link below. ⤵️⤵️⤵️

When God’s about to elevate you, not everyone can go where you’re going! You can’t be in your feelings because there are some people you gotta leave behind! Not everyone is for you! Some are only for what they can get from you! They’re just along for the ride! But the ride stops here! ✋🏾 🛑 Time for them to 🗣 Get off! 🚌 Some people are only dead weight, and it’s time to let go and make room for the blessings ahead! If you agree, then my book “How to let go and let God” is the book for you! Preorder your Kindle version copy now! ⬇️https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CL3VP22/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_TzgcFbSB4K8RS

Hey, my loves! This is it! It’s been a blast writing this, I hope you enjoy but most importantly, I hope you found a message in it! One love. ❤️

Chapter 8

TKO

The reception area was decorated with sky lanterns, that hung beneath the beautiful palm trees on Tybee Island. The canopy was set in a Chuppah Mandap style, with royal blue and ivory rose bouquets to secure the curtains. The chair covers were ivory colored chiffon, and the tables were set with fine china and crystal glassware. The centerpieces were placed every five chairs, with sixteen inch clear Eiffel Tower flower vases that sat beneath bouquets of mini button ivory poms, white Cala lilies, and morning glory flowers. The scenery was absolutely breathtaking as guests watched the sunset above the island. 

The dance floor was in the middle of the reception area, and a photo booth was near the entrance.  “Shante did a really nice job with the wedding and reception decorations,” Jess said, to a woman beside her. Wait, she did all of this herself?” a lady asked. “She supervised, but her staff put it all together. You know she’s been doing home decor and event planning since forever, so putting together her wedding and reception was her dream,” Jess said. 

“This is really nice,” the woman said. Jess had no idea that the woman was a producer from a popular home decorating television show, and the woman wanted to feature some of Shante’s work on her show. Shante had no clue about this either, she had met the woman through a celebrity client. As Shante and Travis walked to the entrance, the DJ began to introduce the newlyweds. He began to play “A night to remember,” by Shalamar, in the background as he talked. 

“May I please have your attention as we welcome the newly weds, Mr. and Mrs. Anders! Please join me in congratulating the happy couple,” the DJ said. Shante came in waving her bouquet in the air, and Travis was doing a little two step beside her, as the crowd cheered and congratulated them. After Travis and Shante sat down, dinner was served, but before everyone dug in, Chris said some encouraging words to the happy couple and proposed a toast. After the toast, Chris had to leave to get back to Karen and their newborn son who were at a luxury resort nearby.

“Chris, thank you and Karen so much for coming. The two of you didn’t have to drive three and a half hours away with your newborn son, but I’m so grateful. Are you guys leaving tonight?” Shante asked. “You’re welcome, and Karen was determined to come, no matter what. So, I made it my business to get her here. 

We don’t want to be on the road too late with the baby, so my driver will take us home in the morning,” Chris said. “Okay, thanks again. Tell Karen to call me once you all make it home tomorrow,” Shante said. “Okay, I will,” Chris said. He then spoke a few words to Travis and left. 

Jess was posting pictures from the wedding and reception on her social media, and she scrolled down her timeline and saw that Curt’s son was born on the same day. Kirkwood Curt posted three hours ago: “The best day of my life. I got a son. Thank you, God,” with the praying hands emoji. After dinner, the DJ called the newly weds to the floor for their first dance. 

They danced to, “If this world were mine,” by Luther Vandross. Afterwards the DJ said, let’s get this party started, as he began to play, “Let’s get it started,” by The Black Eyed Peas. People began to come to the dance floor to party. Jess and Derrick went to the dance floor for a couple of songs. The two of them danced together doing mostly old school dances from the nineties. The DJ began to play some throwback hip hop and r&b, following Jess and Derrick’s lead.

Jess and Derrick looked like two best friends on the dance floor, laughing and having a good time. Jess began to get thirsty, so Derrick went to get her something to drink. Shante came over and began to dance with Jess. “I know that look,” Shante said. “What look,” Jess said. 

“That look,” Shante motioned her head towards Derrick, who had his eyes fixed on Jess with a huge smile. “He loves you,” Shante said. “I know. I love him, too, but we’re just friends. I’m don’t know if I’m ready to move on yet, I feel like if I do, I’ll be cheating on Mark. 

I don’t think Derrick’s ready, either. We’re just two friends who enjoys each other’s company,” Jess said. Derrick came back with the punch and Jess took a drink. “Whew, I have to sit down for a minute, my feet hurt,” Jess said. Her and Derrick went to sit at the table for a bit.

“Put your feet up here,” Derrick said, tapping his to leg. Then he took off Jess’ sandals, and began to massage her feet. Jess smiled, and watched in admiration with her elbow on the table and the side of her face cupped in her hand. This man would do anything for her, and she knew it. But saying hello to a new relationship with Derrick, meant she would have to say goodbye to Mark, for good. 

Although she didn’t want to say goodbye to Mark, she knew that it was time to let him go. Life and love had taught her not to take anything for granted. “I love you,” Jess said, without thinking. “I know. I love you, too,” Derrick said. 

“No, I mean that, I’m in love with you, Derrick,” Jess said. Derrick smiled, and looked into Jess’ eyes and said, “That’s exactly what I mean, every time I’ve told you, that I loved you.” “Really?” Jess said. “Oh, yeah,” Derrick said. 

“Will this mess up our friendship?” Jess asked. “Not if we never stop being friends,” Derrick said. Jess smiled, “Never,” she said. “I like the sound of that,” Derrick said. “Ouch,” Jess said. 

“What? Did I hit a corn?Derrick joked. Jess laughed, “Whatever. You know I don’t have any corns. No, it was a really strong Braxton Hick,” Jess said. 

“Are you sure it wasn’t a contraction? You are two weeks away from your due date. Wanna go back to the hotel?” Derrick said. “No, I’m fine. You know, I’ve been getting those really bad ones a lot lately,” Jess said. 

“I know,” Derrick said, as he worked his hands to Jess’ other foot. “Let’s hope she doesn’t come tonight. My anxiety would be through the roof if my water broke in the middle of the dance floor,” Jess said. “Well, just take it easy for the rest of the night,” Derrick said. 

Suddenly, there was slight commotion at the entrance. “What’s going on?” Jess said. Derrick turned around, and there was Curt. “Oh, hell nah,” Jessica said. “Wait a minute,” I thought you said that his baby was born today. 

What is he doing at Shante and Travis’ wedding, and who invited him?” Derrick said. “Nobody invited him, that’s Curt. He doesn’t need an invite to show up and disturb the peace,” Jess said. Curt began to walk towards Shante who was about to throw her bouquet. The DJ was just about to tell all the ladies to report to the dance floor when Curt interrupted. 

“Nah, hold up. I have something to say,” Curt said. “I’m about to stop this,” Derrick said, as he put Jess’ feet down and walked up to Curt. “Look, man. I’m not sure what’s your business here, but you need to go, like right now,” Derrick said. 

“That’s right, you don’t know what business I have here, because it’s my business POTNA! Now, get out of my way,” Curt said, before pushing Derrick. Derrick was about to punch Curt, but Travis calmly pushed Derrick to the side and said, “No, it’s okay Derrick, I got this one.” “Yeah, okay. You lucky, fake ass T.I.,” Derrick said. 

“I got your fake T.I., busta!” Curt said. Travis stood with his arms folded and looking Curt in the eyes. “Listen, Too Short, I’m going to tell you one time, “Get out,” Travis said. “Man, whatever, preacher boy. You better get out of my face.

Shante, it’s not too late to leave this clown. You can get this shit annulled. Listen, I love you baby. I made one mistake. I’m not even with lil shawty,” Curt said. 

Travis had enough of Curt’s mouth, he uppercut him under the chin and knocked Curt out. “Who wants to catch the bouquet?” Shante said, as if nothing happened. “Ladies report to the dance floor,” the DJ said. The ladies came running and stepping over Curt as if he wasn’t on the floor.

“Somebody get this cat out of here,” the DJ said, as two men dragged Curt out of there. One man poured water on him and he woke up. Embarrassed by what happened, he got into his car and drove back home. Travis threw the garter, and Derrick caught it. “Yo, once again, congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Anders. 

I wish the two of you nothing but blessings, love and success. Travis and I go back a long time, and to those of you who didn’t know, back in the day, he had a nickname, TKO, y’all see why. Anyway, we’re going to continue to party and let’s continue to make this night unforgettable,” the DJ said, as he began to play the “Cupid Shuffle,” by Cupid. The dance floor was packed, as everyone danced the night away. Shante and Travis stood off to the side.

“I love you Mr. Anders,” Shante said, as she grabbed Travis’ tie and pulled him close for a kiss. “Um, and I love you too, Mrs. Anders,” Travis said, before they kissed again. “Come on love birds. Y’all have all night for that. “Come dance,” Jess said, as the happy couple followed her to the dance floor.

THE END ❤️

Chapter 7

Happy Birthday

Hey y’all, I know you’ve already read 1-6, but just in case you haven’t, go back! 😁 Too much has happened that you don’t want to miss! Anyway, enjoy! ❤️

The months seemed to fly by. It was now Memorial Day, and also Travis’ birthday. Family and friends were coming over to Shante’s for some poolside barbecue. Karen was due in a few days and Jessica was due in three weeks. They both came wobbling in the door, one behind the other. 

“Hey, y’all! Oh, look at y’all! Both of you look so cute with your maternity swimsuits. Come on in. The pool is ready if you all want to go out back.

Travis is out there grilling. Hey Chris, hey Derrick,” Shante said. Everyone spoke, then the men immediately headed out back with Travis. “Girl, I gotta sit down. My feet are killing me. 

Look at how swollen they are. They look like pigs feet,” Jessica said, as she took a seat at the dining room table. “Excuse me ladies, but I have to potty, for what seems like the hundredth time today, and it’s not even three o’clock yet,” Karen said. “Of course, go ahead,” Shante said. “You know, you’re next, don’t you?” Jess said.

“Next for what? A baby? Girl, no. Me and Travis both agree that we want kids, but I don’t know about having any, any time soon,” Shante said. “Well, it’s not like you can wait ten or fifteen years, friend. 

Your biological clock is ticking,” Jess said. “My biological clock? No you didn’t… As if we aren’t the same age,” Shante said. “Yeah, but I’m about to have a baby in three weeks.

I’ve had a lot of complications with my pregnancy due to age. You know what I’ve been going through. The risks increase with age, so you better gone and get started, and besides, don’t nobody want no old granny looking momma when you’re taking them to preschool. All the little kids are going to be like, “Somebody’s grandma’s here,” and your baby’s going to embarrassed, crying and talking about, “That’s my momma,” Jess said, in a pouty kiddie voice. “Whatever, forget you,” Shante said with a laugh. 

Karen came out of the bathroom. “Shante, Jess is right. Women over forty are at a higher risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and protein in the urine, which can be deadly,” Karen said. “Thank you,” Jess said. “I just turned forty one.

Y’all act like I’ll be fifty tomorrow, but I get it. I totally understand,” Shante said. “Do you?” Karen said. “Yes, I do, and I appreciate the both of you. I really do.

I know it’s all done in love. Whatever happens, will be,” Shante said, as she finished the garden salad with grape tomatoes. “So, this means that there may be a baby in your near future?” Jess said, getting a baby carrot off the vegetable tray, and popping it in her mouth. “If it’s God’s will, yes,” Shante said.

“Now, grab that tray and let’s go outside, but wait,” Shante said, before whispering. “Listen, Travis birthday gift will be arriving in an hour. In about forty five minutes, I’m going to send him to the grocery store for something random, and when he gets back, his new car will be in the garage. I need one of you to record everything, once I go live on my page. “I got you,” Jess said.

“Yay, I’m so excited. He’s going to be stoked,” Karen said. “I know,” Shante said. “Come on, let’s go outside and eat,” Shante said. “Now, you’re speaking my language,” Jess said. 

“Happy Birthday, Travis,” both Karen and Jess said, as they came out the door. “Thanks, ladies. Hey, I’m finishing up the ribs, but everything else is ready, if y’all want to eat,” Travis said. “You don’t have to tell me twice,” Jess said, as she began to fix her plate. Karen wasn’t ready to eat yet, so she went to sit and put her feet into the water, while Chris got into the pool and went for a swim. 

“The water is actually really nice,” Karen said, looking back at Shante and Jess who were busy fixing their plates. “Are the two of you getting in?” Karen said. “Not right now, I’m trying to feed my face, sis,” Jess said. “Yeah, I’m going to get in later,” Shante said. Derrick fixed him a plate as well.

“Happy Birthday, baby,” Shante said, as she gave Travis a quick peck on the lips. “Thanks, babe,” Travis said. Everyone was having a good time at the barbecue, listening to nineties hip hop and r&b, and enjoying the pool. It was almost time for Travis’ gift to be delivered, but everyone had to play cool. Jessica went to sit beside Karen, and the two of them only splash their feet in the water.

“Dang, baby. I can’t believe that I totally forgot to go by the bakery and pick up those banana foster cannolis. Can you please go and pick them up for me?” Shante said. “Sure, baby. I forgot to grab some beer for the guys, so I was going to run up there really quick, anyway. 

Are you sure that the cannolis are all you need?” Travis said. “I’m sure, so hurry back. I’m going to have the super soakers ready when you come back,” Shante said. “Not the super soakers? Oh, this a party, party, huh?” Travis said. 

“Oh, yeah! But only for you, baby. Now, hurry back,” Shante said. “Okay, I’ll be back in twenty minutes,” Travis said. Travis’ new car was delivered as scheduled, now everyone was waiting inside until he got back from the store.

Everyone except Jess, rushed into the garage where Derrick had a camera set up to record Travis’ reaction. As the garage door came up, Jess quickly went out of the front door, to record Travis’ reaction from a different angle. “Happy Birthday,” everyone said. Travis was about to drop the beer and the cannolis on the ground, but Derrick grabbed the bags. “Baby, no way,” Travis said, in disbelief. 

“Yes way, baby,” Shante said, with a smile. “Baby, no way. You’re kidding me right?” Travis said. “Nope, here’s your keys,” Shante said, handing Travis the keys to his new whip. Travis hugged Shante, then kissed her all over her face and neck. 

Shante laughed. “Thank you, baby,” Travis said. “You’re welcome. Get in and take it for a spin,” Shante said. “Okay, get in the passenger,” he said. 

“Oh, let’s do it,” Shante said. Before Travis got into the driver’s seat, he looked into the camera on live and said, “Y’all see this Bimmer, 2020 i8? Wooo wee! I know you see it! Whose fiancée better than mines? 

Nobody,” Travis sang, in his Keith Sweat voice. He and Shante went for a quick spin down the street, and then they came back home. Travis loves his new whip. Once everyone came back poolside, Shante brought out the Super Soaker water guns, and everyone began to spray each other. Jess and Karen couldn’t run anywhere, so they got sprayed the most.

“So, all y’all just going to team up on the pregnant women, huh? Okay, bet. When I drop this load in three weeks, and then six weeks after that, y’all in trouble. You too Shante. Don’t think I’m going to forget, just because you’re my best friend,” Jess said. 

Good thing I didn’t wear my good wig over here,” Jess said. “I know you are glad. Look at my hair, it’s ruined,” Karen said. “Karen, you know I love you, but why did you come to a pool party with a brand new blowout,” Jess said. “I don’t know, girl. 

The party gave me a reason to get cute, you know I’ve been in the house for the past thirty six weeks, and you never know who me and Chris will run into. I can’t be out here looking crazy,” Karen said. “Girl, I think I’ve just peed on myself. I’ll be right back,” Karen said, as she tried to get up, but a sharp stabbing pain went through her belly.

“Help, it won’t go away,” she said holding her belly. Chris hurried out of the pool. “Chris, I think this is it,” she said. Chris gently helped Karen up. “Okay, y’all. 

It’s been nice. Travis, happy birthday, brother. Sorry, we have to go, but we have a baby on the way,” Chris said, with excitement. “Oh my God. It happens like that? 

Out of nowhere with no warning? Dang. I’m scared now,” Jess told Derrick. “You weren’t scared before?” Derrick asked. “Not really. 

What if it happens like that, and I’m at the grocery store or somewhere in public. That would be embarrassing if I’m just walking around in the store and my water breaks,” Jess said. “If something like that happens to you, you wouldn’t be embarrassed, you’d be in pain, and that’s all you’ll be thinking about. Trust me,” Derrick said. “Oh, I believe you. 

You’re a nurse, so I know you’ve seen it all,” Jess said. “Be sure to count your contractions to let the doctor know how far apart they are,” Derrick told Chris and Karen. “Gotcha,” Chris said. “We’re going to clean up here, and we’ll be on the way. Yay, you’re going to have the baby,” Shante said.

“Oh my God,” Karen said, out of nowhere and in a frantic. “What? What’s wrong baby? Was it another contraction?” Chris said. “No, my hair,” Karen began to cry. 

“Somebody’s going to take my picture, I just feel it,” Karen said. “Wait a minute,” Shante said, as she rushed to her room to get a head scarf. Then she came outside and quickly wrapped the scarf on Karen’s head. “Now, go, have a baby,” Shante said, as she opened the pool gate for them to walk to their car. “Lord, this woman is about to push a whole baby out, and she’s worried about her hair,” Shante said.

“We’re right behind you,” Shante said, with a wave, as she saw Chris and Karen off. Okay,” Karen said. Everyone began to clean up, and they changed into their regular clothes and headed to the hospital. While they were waiting, Shante watched the video of Travis’ reaction to his new car. As she was looking at the video, she noticed Curt was in the comments being messy. 

She was going to ignore his comments and block him, until she seen Jessica’s reply to his comments. “Aww, look at ‘the help’ and his sugar momma. It’s about time. I know you tired of that raggedy Honda,” Kirkwood Curt said. Jess responded, “Some people will say and do anything to stay relevant in a person’s life, even when it’s clear that the person doesn’t want anything to do with them.

My friends may not have time for pettiness, but oh, I’ve got time today. Travis may drive a Honda, but at least he doesn’t live with his momma,” Jess wrote. “That’s because he lives with his SUGA MOMMA!” Kirkwood Curt replied. “Curt, why are you on my friend’s page acting childish, and you have a child on the way? Go away,” Jessica wrote. 

“Nah, Shante’s really out here upgrading dudes. Good for her. It’s funny to me, because I ain’t never been broke,” Kirkwood Curt said. Then he began to post pics with him holding racks of money in the comments. “Curt, go head on. 

This man owns his business, debt free, while you’re out here posting borrowed money. Quit capping,” Jess said. Shante decided to block Curt. They had been having a great day, and an ex was not going to ruin it. Chris came out of delivery after everyone had been waiting a couple of hours. 

“Yo, I’m a fa-ther. Chris junior in the building,” Chris yelled, with both hands in the air, and then he begin to do a little two step. “Congratulations,” everyone said. The next day, Chris was trending on social media. The headline read, “It’s a boy!

Atlanta mayor does happy dance to celebrate his new bundle of joy! The delivery had gone well, and both Chris and Karen were thankful and overjoyed with their healthy little bundle of joy.

Five days later, and it was Shante and Travis’ wedding day. Although Karen had given birth a few days before, she and Chris came. The wedding was beautiful, but in a small intimate setting with only seventy guests. The reception would be much bigger and titled, “An Unforgettable night, with the Mr. and Mrs.” No one knew yet, but it would definitely be a night to remember. 

Y’all should be caught up by now! Geez! 😜 Just joking, but for real. Read 1-5 first. Love y’all! ❤️

Chapter 6

I gotta pee

The next morning,  Chris went down to the station with Jessica to ID the guy who police had in custody. At first Chris was hesitant to ask Jess  to come, seeing that she’d just been released from the hospital, but Jessica quickly agreed. When they got to the station, Jessica confirmed that it was the suspect. She felt as if she was going to lose it. She thought about taking an officers gun and killing the guy who killed Mark, right there in the police station. 

She wanted to confront him and just ask him why. She wanted to break down and cry. She was overwhelmed with emotions and she thought about her baby. She had to put her child’s life before her own. She took some deep breaths in and out, to calm herself down.

“Chris, can you please take me to mom’s now?” she asked. “Of course, sis. You did good. Come on, let’s go,” he said. As they went out the door, the news reporters were there to get a statement. 

Chris told the reporters that this was a very difficult time for his family, so please give them their space. Later on that day, a spokesman for the mayor gave a statement on behalf of Chris, while Chris spent some quality time with his sister and his mom. “Son, I know you have a lot of important things to do. It’s okay if you need to get back to work. Your sister and I will be fine,” Ms. Tina said.

“Mom, my family is top priority right now. I love my city, but I love my family even more; besides, I have people in place to handle business for me when I’m out of office,” Chris said. “Okay, son, but really, everything is fine. You’ve made sure that your sister has all her clothes, personal items, medication for me and her. You’ve bought groceries. 

We’re good. Thank you. How’s my daughter in love doing?” Ms. Tina said. “She’s good. You know Karen. 

She wants to make sure that everything not only goes well, but goes along perfect with this pregnancy. She’s reading all kinds of books and taking all kinds of precautions,” Chris said. “Well, that’s good. Tell her not to worry so much though. The two of you just need to trust God during this process. 

Everything will be just fine,” Ms. Tina said. “Thanks, mom. I’m going to check on sis right quick. She’s been in the bathroom for a minute. Chris went upstairs and knocked on the bathroom door, “Jess, are you okay in there?” he said. 

Jessica quickly wiped her eyes. Yes, I’m good, just showering,” she lied. “Oh, my bad. Anyway, I was just checking on you. You need anything?” he asked.

“No, brother. Thank you, but really, I’m fine,” she said. “Okay, me and mom are downstairs. Holler if you need anything,” Chris said. “Okay, I will.”

The shower had been running, but Jessica had been sitting in the corner of the tub crying for thirty minutes. She was not okay. She knew that she had to pull herself together for her baby, but she also needed time to grieve. She felt guilty  because she was trying to rush herself out of the grieving process, but every time she tried to only focus on her baby, she would become sad all over again because her baby is a part of Mark. It was impossible for her to let go this so soon. 

A few days later, Jessica joined a support group at her mom’s church, for those dealing with a loss. Although her mom had went through what she was going through, Jessica felt as if her family and friends didn’t understand. She felt as if everyone expected her to be normal, but she had to find a new normal and that would take time. The support group helped a lot. There were men and women who’d suffered all types of loss, and their perspectives and ways to cope began to inspire Jessica to live a life of hope. 

In the group, each person had a partner who was called “My brother’s/sister’s keeper.” The partner was assigned to check in, support, and encourage their brother/sister. Derrick, was Jessica’s partner. He’d lost his wife a year ago, and the facilitator filled in as his partner, until Jessica signed up and the facilitator assigned them to each other. Derrick was a supportive partner and quickly became a good friend to Jessica. 

They took walks together, supported each other’s work or personal events, and frequently FaceTimed or watched movies together. They soon became very close. It was now Thanksgiving, Shante, Karen and Chris had come over to Ms. Tina’s house for dinner. Karen was now three months, and Jessica was two. Both of them were dealing with morning sickness.

This was Karen’s second time running to the bathroom during dinner. “My God. Why is it called morning sickness when I feel terrible both day and night?” Karen said, to Chris, who was busy holding her hair while she puked. “I don’t know, baby. Do you want to lay in bed for a while? 

I can bring you some ginger snaps. I know you love those, and they help when you’re nauseous,” Chris said. “But, I want some turkey and dressing,” Karen pouted. “I know baby, but I don’t think the baby likes that. Every time you eat it, you run to the bathroom,” Chris said. 

He walked her to the guest room and made sure that she was comfy in bed. “I’ll be right back,” he said. While Chris was coming out of the guest room, Jessica was running into the bathroom. She began to puke into the toilet. “It smells like gravy in this house,” she said, before puking again. 

I thought you liked gravy?” Chris said. “I used to, but now I hate gravy, and this entire house smells like it. Yuck,” Jessica said, before wiping her mouth with a napkin and flushing the toilet. “You need anything? Karen’s in the guest room laying down. 

The two of you should keep each other company,” Chris said. “No, I need some fresh air. Sis is more than welcome to join me, but I’m going to go for a walk, and I’ll be fine. Chris went to ask Karen if she wanted to go for a walk, but she didn’t have the energy. Dinner was coming to an end, and Shante was going over to Travis’ parents house to meet them for the first time. 

Afterwards, she and Travis was catching some Black Friday sales. Chris helped Ms. Tina clean up, and afterwards, he and Karen left. Jessica came back and the house smelled clean. There was no gravy smell. “Thank God,” she said, as she inhaled.

“How was your walk, baby?” Ms. Tina said. “It was calming and refreshing. Sorry, I had to run out of here, ma. I never thought I’d hate gravy, and usually that is the only way I’d eat mashed potatoes or dressing, but now, it’s disgusting,” Jess said. Ms. Tina laughed. 

“It’s okay. I hated all kinds of foods that I normally love, when I was pregnant with you. So, I totally understand. Hey, why didn’t you invite Derrick over?” Ms. Tina said. “He’s having dinner with his late wife’s family. 

You know, they’re all really close. We’re going to catch a movie later though,” Jess said. “Oh okay. Good,” Ms. Tina said. Later on, on Jess and Derrick’s way to the movies, Shante called. Shante said, that they were at a jewelry store and Travis had just proposed to her in the mall.

“I had no idea that he was going to do this, but we have been dating a couple of months. I didn’t think it was this serious, but he has always taken our relationship serious. I don’t know what to do,” Shante said. “What do you mean, you don’t know what to do? What did you say after he proposed?” Jess said. 

“Girl, I was stuck. I was like, ‘I. I.. I gotta pee, I’ll be right back.’ Girl, everyone was looking at him as he knelt down on one knee, and then they watched me run away. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared as hell. 

Does he seem to be rushing to you?” Shante said. “Listen, friend. What do you feel? Do you love Travis?” Jess said. Shante took a deep breath in and out. 

“I’ve tried to run from this, but yes, friend. I love him, but I’m scared. Is it really love? Can you fall in love and know that this is the person you’re supposed to marry within a two month time period? I’m just really afraid, friend. 

I want to get married some day, but what if we’re moving too fast?” Shante said. “What is it about Travis, that’s making you question this? Life is full of what if’s, but you can’t be afraid to take a chance, especially when it comes to love. I hate what I went through with Mark, but it taught me not to take love or life for granted,” Jess said. “There is nothing wrong with Travis, and that’s what scares me. 

He’s perfect,” Shante said. “Well, he’s not perfect. None of us are. I think his flaws are just different from what you’re used to dealing with, and I can’t really say his flaws but his weaknesses. So, let’s think about this. 

He’s persistent, but he’s consistent as well. I don’t think that’s a flaw but maybe a weakness, because he goes after what he wants and he doesn’t mind putting in the work, even if it doesn’t work. That says a lot about him as a man. Not many men these days will put in the effort if it’s no guarantee that they’ll get what they want. Friend, this man loves you. 

He has been celibate for two years and could have married any woman. Have you looked at him lately? He is fine, and he has a successful business. This man is a man who’s sure of what he wants. He loves you and is willing to be humiliated to prove it. 

Now, what are you going to do?” Jess said. “That’s why you’re my best friend. God kept you here for me, because had he not, I would’ve just walked away from this,” Shante said. “So, what are you going to do?” Jess asked again. “I’m going to get married,” Shante said, with excitement.

“Yes,” both Jess and Derrick yelled. “Now, get your butt back out there and say yes, and put me on speaker phone so that me and Derrick can hear,” Jess said. “Okay, girl. I love you,” Shante said. “I love you too. Now, go!” 

Shante rushed back out the bathroom and Travis was standing at the jewelry counter. “I’m so sorry, Travis,” Shante said. Travis thought that Shante was turning him down. “It’s okay, Shante. I shouldn’t have,” Travis said, before Shante cut him off. “No, no, no. 

Do it again?” she said. “Huh?” Travis said. “Ask me again,” she said. Travis got down on one knee. “Shante, will you?” 

“Yes, yes, yes,” she interrupted Travis mid sentence. “I will marry you,” she said, as she kissed his face all over. Travis stood up and they hugged. “She said yes, y’all!” The crowd cheered and some recorded the engagement on their phones. 

Travis wanted Shante to pick out her ring. She chose a 2 Carot Radiant Cut Halo Engagement ring with side stones in platinum. Shante took her phone out of her pocket and hit FaceTime so Jess could see. “Whew wee! Bling, bling,” Derrick said. 

“Yes, friend. That is a really, really nice ring. Congratulations y’all,” Jess said. “Congratulations,” Derrick said. “Thank you,” both Shante and Travis said. 

“We gotta celebrate. We pulling up. Where y’all at?” Derrick said. “We’re at the mall, but definitely, let’s meet up,” Travis said. “Ok, cool. Send the address,” Derrick said.