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. 

😂🤣😭 Aye, make sure you’ve read 1-4. Whew Chile.. I crack myself up. I’m a little throwed y’all, but anyway… Enjoy!

Chapter 5

Smurf coochie

Curt, what the hell are you doing here?” Shante said, after opening the door for an angry Corey. Corey barged into her house. “Excuse you,” she said. “You’re no longer welcomed here, and why were you banging on my door like the police?” Shante said. 

I’ve been gone two weeks and you already got someone else up in here? Where he at?” Corey said. “Excuse you? Curt, get out. Now!” Shante said. 

Travis came from the kitchen to the front door. “Is there a problem?” Travis said. Corey mocked him, “iS tHeRe A pRoBlEm? Hell yeah, tHeRe’S a PrObLeM. 

Who the hell are you?” Corey said. “I’m Travis, and you are?” “I’m the nigga that’s about to put you out,” Corey said. “Curt!” Shante said. Travis smiled, and scratched his nose. 

“I’d like to see you try,” Travis said, calmly, while looking Corey in the eye. “Okay, Curt it’s time for you to go,” Shante said. “I ain’t going no where until this fool bounce,” Corey said. “Corey Jamal Curtis Jr,” Shante said, before Travis interrupted with a laugh. He began to cry laughing. 

“I’m the fool? But you’re the one with three first names,” Travis said, before continuing to laugh. “Hold up. Your name is Corey Jamal Curtis? Or is Shante just playing?” Travis said. 

“Shante, please tell me that you’re just playing. No wonder this cat is talking out the side of his neck, he has three different dudes in his ear. Who are you? Corey, Jamal or Curtis?” Travis said. “Keep trying me, and you’re going to get your ass whipped three different ways,” Corey said. 

Travis continued to insult Corey with laughter. “That’s it, I’m calling the police,” Shante said. “Oh, it’s like that?” Corey said. “Oh, it’s just like that,” Shante said. “What about this clown?

Are you going to put him out too?” Corey said. What are you? Six? Get out of my house and stop worrying about what I have going on. You made your bed, now go lay in it. Goodbye,” Shante said, pushing Corey back out the door.

And here I was being concerned about you, but I see now that you’re good,” Corey said, while standing in the doorway. He shoved the roses into Shante’s arms. She grabbed them with one hand. “Leave Curt,” she said. Corey turned and said to Travis, “I better not see you or that raggedy ass Honda round town, or it’s your ass potna,” Corey said. “You ain’t going to do nothing Curt. You’re on probation. 

Go home,” Shante said, before closing the door. “Wow, I am so sorry Travis. I had no idea my ex was coming by,” Shante said. “It’s all good, I can handle my own,” Travis said, as they both walked to the kitchen. Shante threw the roses in the trash.

“I don’t know why things keep interfering, with our dates. Every time you and I try to get to know each other more, something crazy happens. Is this a bad sign? Are these red flags, telling us that it’s not going to work?” Shante said. “Listen, Shante. 

I’m a patient man, especially if I know something or someone is worth it. To me, you’re worth it. I’ve never met a woman like you. You’re confident, smart, beautiful, strong, you love God and you can hold your own. Not only are you all that but you’re an amazing cook. 

I love the fact that we both have common goals when it comes to a relationship, and I just want you to know that I’m not quick to leave when things get a little rocky,” Travis said. “You seem to good to be true. 

Why aren’t you married yet? I’m not trying to sound mean or skeptical. I’m just intrigued,” Shante said. 

“Well, I haven’t always been the way I am, but the past two years of celibacy has transformed my thinking,” Travis said. “Wait what? You’ve been celibate for two years?” Shante said. “Yes, I hope that’s not a problem,” Travis said. “No, I’m just. 

Wow. I didn’t know that men actually did that. I’ve never known a guy that could go more than a week without sex. I’ve been celibate for  over six months myself,” Shante said. “Really?” Travis said. 

“Yes,” Shante said. “Man, I’m relieved, because I really like you and I didn’t want that to be a problem. Sex can keep you from really getting to know a person. It clouds your judgement. It’s like you have tunnel vision, and you’re only really focused on one thing, and the closer I got to God, the more I realized that I no longer wanted that type of life for myself. 

I can’t find a wife that way. Those thoughts I had before becoming celibate only landed me a girl, and not a woman. 

I’m tired of having friends with benefits, I want a wife. It’s hard to find a wife when you’re a celibate man, though. You would be surprised at the amount of women who has a problem with a guy being celibate,” he said. 

“Really?” Shante said. “Yeah. They don’t trust it. It’s hard for them to believe that an attractive guy, with a successful business, can be celibate. It was hard at first, but everyday I make a decision to honor God.

I know that if I delight myself in the Lord, he will give me the desires of my heart, and at this point of my life, my desire is to have a wife and a family,” Travis said. I’ve ran the streets. I know what’s out there, and to be honest, it’s a whole lot of nothing. I need something real. When sex is out of the equation your whole perspective about love and life changes, because it’s easy to see a person’s true colors.

“I totally understand. I think it’s awesome, but you had me weak earlier Mr. Minister. You were just telling me that you’ve been preaching for two years, then when Curt showed up, you got a little petty,” Shante said. “I know, you’re right, but I wasn’t going to sit there and allow him to disrespect you. I feel like I would be less than a man if I didn’t check old dude,” Travis said. 

“Aht, aht. That is not scriptural, at all. What happened to turning the other cheek?” Shante said. “You’re absolutely correct. See, I rock with you. 

I need someone on my team that will hold me accountable.” he said. Shante began to clear the table, and Travis helped. “But just know, I’m not the type of guy who turns the other cheek when it comes to anyone trying to attack my woman, be it verbally or physically. I’m going to protect mine. That’s just how my father raised me, and he’s a bishop,” Travis said.

“I understand, but I can handle Curt. He’s all bark and no bite,” Shante said. “I know that you can hold your own, but I want you to know that your man, has your back,” Travis said. “My man?” Shante said. “Wait a minute. 

I think you may be moving a little too fast, Travis,” she said. I just ended a long term relationship with Curt, two weeks ago. I don’t know if I’m ready to be in a relationship yet. I think we should date for a while and we can see where it goes from there,” Shante said. “And, I respect that,” Travis said.

“But I’m one hundred percent certain that you will be my wife. We can date, that’s fine, but I’d rather court you,” Travis said. “Isn’t that the same thing?” Shante said. “No, it isn’t.

When a man courts a woman he’s intentional. He’s investing in the relationship because he sees something long term. It’s more than dating, in which you’re pretty much going out with randoms to escape boredom, or loneliness or some international issues. Not all the time, but most times. Have you seen the dating pool lately?

It’s hard to find a decent date these days. It seems like no one is thinking long term anymore. It’s pretty much all about being friends, but there’s really not a solid foundation for friendship there. It’s not always something meaningful behind a ‘date’ but when you’re courting someone, again it’s an investment. You’re thinking more long term. 

A date could be a waste of time, but when you’re courting, you’re actually building. So, I don’t consider you a ‘date,’ I’d rather you be my woman, but I’ll give you time. If you want to test the waters to see what’s out there, then we can date. I’m a patient man, but you’ll just be out there wasting time,” Travis said. “You’re kind of cocky, Mr. Minister.

How do you figure I’d be wasting my time,” Shante said. “I’m not cocky, just confident. I told you. You’re going to be my wife,” Travis said. There was a brief moment of awkward silence. 

“So, I made dessert, but after that fiasco with Curt, I no longer have an appetite, but I will fix you something to go,” Shante said. “Are you kicking me out? Listen, I apologize if I’m coming on strong. I just believe in keeping it real,” Travis said. “I’m not kicking you out, and you’re not coming on too strong.

It’s actually really refreshing that you speak your mind because a lot of people hide what they’re truly feeling these days. I remember what dating was like before I got into a serious relationship. It was like pulling teeth when trying to figure out who a person was. It’s like people work overtime to hide their feelings, so you never know their true intentions. So, I get it.

Anyway, you’re more than welcome to stay,” Shante said, as she finished loading the dishes into the dish washer. “What would you like to do? We can watch a movie or,” Shante said, before Travis cut her off. “I have an idea. I see that you have a karaoke system. 

Do you use it?” Travis said. “Sure, but I haven’t in a while. Me and my friends use it whenever we have girls night, but we haven’t used it in a while. Wait, can you sing?” Shante said.

“Can I?” Travis said, with a boost of confidence. I think that I can show you better than I can tell you. Set it up. We’re about to turn up,” Travis said, with a slight yell. “Okay, then. 

Let me grab my wine. I’m ready for this,” Shante said. “Oh, you’re ready for this serenade, baby?” Travis said. Shante smiled, “Oh, I’m ready. Let me see what you’ve got,” she said, while Travis tailed her to the living room. 

While Travis began to serenade Shante with an old school classic of “My girl,” by the Temptations, class was now in session for Chris and Karen who were at home reading about what to expect when expecting your first born. “Eww, baby. It says here that some women vaginas develop a blueish color due to increased blood flow, as early as six weeks. “Baby, I’m six weeks today. Can you look down there and see if I have a blue vagina?” Karen said. 

“Eww, a blue coodie cat?” Chris joked. Nah, baby. I’m not going anywhere  near that,” Chris said. “Chris,” Karen said with a pout. “I was just playing. 

Let me see,” Chris said, before lifting up Karen’s silk chemise and taking a peek. “Oh my God,” Chris said, in a panic. “What Chris? What? Is it blue? 

Oh my God!” Karen said, before throwing the book down and jumping out of bed, almost kneeing Chris in the face. “Oh my God, I have a blue vagina,” she panicked even more as she headed to the full mirror in their master bathroom. Chris was laughing until his stomach began to hurt. He got up and went after Karen, stopping her before she could look.

“Baby, baby,” Chris said. “What Chris? Why are you laughing? It’s not funny,” Karen said. “Baby, your vagina is completely normal,” Chris said, while trying to contain the laughter. 

“Come back to bed,” he said. “Chris, you play too much. I can’t stand you,” Karen said, giving Chris a gentle push. “Baby, you’re worrying too much. Everything is going to work out fine, and if you do get a little blue down there, the experts are telling you, it’s completely normal,” Chris said, before they both climbed back into bed. 

“Now, come give daddy some of that Smurf coochie,” Chris joked. Karen hopped back out of bed, faster than lightning, and went to check for herself, for real this time. Chris started laughing, “Baby, I’m just playing. Baby come back,” he said. “No, Chris. 

You play too darn much,” Karen said, examining herself. Chris’s cell phone ring. It was Atlanta police, calling to tell him that they’d found the man who robbed and killed Mark, and he was now in police custody. “That’s good news. Thank you for calling. 

I’m on my way,” Chris said, before ending the call. “I’m on my way to the station,” Chris said, to Karen. “Why? What’s going on? It’s ten o’clock at night,” Karen said, coming out of the bathroom.

“They found the punk who killed Mark,” he said. “Okay, that’s good. But why are you going down to the police station?” Karen said. “Because, I want to make sure that justice is served,” Chris said. “And it will be, baby. 

Come back to bed. Let the police do their job. You know that the media is all over this, and they’ll want you to make a statement. You’re still upset by this, as you should be, but don’t go down there while you’re angry. Wait until tomorrow. Okay?” Karen said. 

If you haven’t read 1-3, go back 👇🏾https://shubriccalbell.com/2020/06/07/unforgettable-a-short-story-by-shubricca-l-bell-chapter-1/

Enjoy!

Chapter 4

Shante’s got a man at home

After two weeks of playing phone tag and Shante standing Travis up twice, it was finally time for their date. Although it was a stressful time for Shante, she really wanted to get to know more about Travis and he had been patient, understanding and consistent in his efforts to get to know more about Shante. “Ding, dong,” the door bell ring. Shante quickly finished the entree’s off with colorful sauces and herb sprigs. She took off her apron and placed it in one of her kitchen drawers and ran to the door. 

She then checked her hair, makeup and outfit in the mirror before looking through the peephole and calmly opening the door. “Travis, hi. Welcome. Let me take your jacket,” she said. “Well, thank you, and hello to you too. You look amazing, and it smells amazing in here,” Travis said. 

“Well, you know, I may have whipped up a little something, something. I forgot to ask you over the phone, but do you have any food allergies,” Shante said. “Nope, no food allergies,” Travis said. “Oh, I brought a bottle of wine,” Travis said, handing Shante her favorite vintage Cabernet. “Wow, how did you know that this is one of my favorites?” she said.

“I pay attention,” Travis said. “Good, it will go perfectly with dinner,” Shante said. “Oh, yeah? What’s on the menu?” Travis said, as he followed Shante to the dining room. “Have a seat,” she said, motioning her hand for Travis to sit down. 

“After you,” he said, pulling out her chair for her to sit first. “Aww, thank you,” she said. The table was beautifully set with orange and cream hydrangeas with heather branches, mini natural birch pine cones and mini boo and orange pumpkins. “Wow, everything looks amazing. You’ve redecorated since the last time that I was here,” Travis said. 

“Wow, you do pay attention. I switched up a few things, here and there for the fall. I actually change a few things with every season to try to make my home feel more homey and festive. I guess it’s the interior decorator in me,” Shante said. “That’s right you decorate a lot of celebrity homes, right?” Travis said. 

“I do. Anyway tonight we’re having braised duck with orange, balsamic and berry glaze, sautéed Swiss chard with parmesan and rosemary fondant potatoes,” she said. “Wow, this is fancy. I don’t know what any of that means but it looks and smells delicious,” Travis said, before he and Shante shared a laugh. “Is it okay, if we say grace together before we eat?” Travis asked. 

“Of course,” Shante said. Travis grabbed her hand and began to pray. “Lord, thank you for this food that we are about to receive. Let it be for the nourishment of our bodies and bless the cook. In Jesus name. Amen.”

“Amen,” Shante said, with a smile. Travis smiled back, with a soft gaze. “What?” Shante asked, as she picked up her fork. “Your smile. I told you, it’s unforgettable. 

It’s like sunshine on a cloudy day,” Travis said. “Shante continued to smile and with a slight giggle she said, “Okay, Temptations.” Travis laughed, “I’m serious.” “I’m happy that despite everything you’re going through, you continue to smile,” he said. “Yeah, well I learned a long time ago, not to allow things around you to get inside of you.

If God gave it to me, I refuse to let the world take it away,” Shante said. “Amen to that,” Travis said. Travis grabbed his fork and began to eat a piece of braised duck breast. “Um. Woman. 

This. Is. The. BOMB. Oh, my goodness, wait, I need another bite. He took another bite and then he began to taste the greens and potatoes. Um, umm, umm! Wow. 

Who taught you how to cook?” Travis said. “My dad, actually. He’s a chef. “Kudos to your pops. He taught you well,” he said. 

“Thank you. I appreciate that. Wine?” Shante said, before getting the corkscrew out of the drawer. “Sure, but just a little,” Travis said. “Gotcha. 

I know you have a thirty minute drive home. So, Travis; tell me more about yourself. While Shante poured the two of them up a glass of wine inside, something else was brewing outside. Corey pulled up to Shante’s house in his 2020 Camaro, bumping trap music. Shante’s nosey neighbor was looking out of her window. 

When she seen Corey, she adjusted her boobs in her bra and rushed out to greet him. Corey got out of his car with a bouquet of roses. “Hey, Corey,” Brenda said, as she strut her stuff his way. “What’s up, Ms. Brenda? How you doing,” Corey said in his country grammar.

“I’m doing good, but baby I’ve told you. You don’t have to call me Ms. I’m not that old, but I can be your teacher,” she said. Corey laughed. “I hear you, Ms,” he said before Brenda cut him off. “Aht, aht,” she said. “I meant, I hear you, Brenda. Have you seen Shante? I’ve been trying to call her, but she haven’t been answering. I just want to see how she’s doing. I heard about Jessica’s old man. You know he was robbed and killed a couple of weeks ago, and now Jessica’s is in the hospital. I just want to make sure she’s okay, you know?” Corey said.

“Aht, aht, Corey. You not coming to check up on Shante. You know that she’s going through a vulnerable time and you’re trying to get back in. Listen, you fine, but you aren’t fooling anyone. You know you were wrong for running behind these little young girls who only mess with you for your money. 

Then you have the nerve to get the girl pregnant. She got you for eighteen years now,” Brenda said. “See, if you were going to mess around, you should have did it with a more mature woman, who has her own. Someone who isn’t trying to have your kids, but can make you her zaddy,” Brenda said, as she rubbed on Corey’s chest. “Okay, Ms. Brenda. 

That’s enough. It was nice seeing you,” Corey said, as he walked towards Shante’s garage. “Who raggedy Honda in Shante yard?” he turned and asked Brenda. “Whew child, you’re so ghetto, but I love it,” Brenda mumbled, then she said out loud, “Oh, that’s right, you haven’t heard. Shante’s got a man at home.” 

Hey y’all, be sure that you’ve read chapters one and two before proceeding… Enjoy!

Chapter 3
Why would God do this?

It had been a week after Mark’s funeral, and Jess was not doing well. She’d fallen into a deep, dark depression. She wanted to give up on life. At the funeral, Shante and Karen had to gently pull her away from Mark’s casket because she stood over his body crying for seven minutes. Chris had gotten a phone call from his mom today, saying that Jess was in the hospital from overdosing on oxicodone. Jessica’s mom would call her every day, several times a day, since Mark’s death to make sure that Jess was doing okay. Her mom became concerned that she hadn’t heard from Jess all day, despite several attempts to reach her, so her mom went over to check on her, and that’s when she found Jess unconscious with a suicide note on her night stand. Luckily, her mom got there in time and called an ambulance, and by the grace of God, Jess didn’t die. Shante, Chris and Karen came to the hospital to show their support. “Here you go mom, here’s a cup of coffee. Are you sure you’re not hungry? You need to eat,” Chris said. “Thank you, baby. I’m fine, I can’t eat right now. The doctor’s want to monitor her for a few days to make sure she’s no longer a danger to herself. They also want to do a psych eval on her when she gets better. I’m not going to let them put her in some crazy house. I’m going to let her come live with me for a while,” their mom said. “Mom you have a lot going on. You have your own health issues that you’re dealing with. She can stay with me and Karen. Isn’t that right, baby?” Chris said. “Of course, mom. We will be more than happy to let Jess live with us for a while,” Karen said. “Don’t be silly. The two of you can’t be stressed either. Karen you are already high risk, and trying to take care of Jess would be too much on the two of you. Don’t worry about me, I’m fine. I’ve got this,” their mom said. “Are you sure Ms. Tina? Because Jess can live with me for a while. I don’t mind,” Shante said. “I’m sure Shante. Thank you though,” Ms. Tina said. The doctor came to the waiting room to give another update on Jess and said that they could visit her for a while. He said that they had some blood work done and were waiting for some tests to come back. He also emphasized that Jess was still under a lot of emotional stress, so family and friends needs to focus on being present and showing emotional support at this time. After showing support for her friend for several hours, Shante left the hospital and told Jess and the family to call her if they needed anything. On Shante’s drive home, Travis called her and said that he had been at the restaurant waiting on her for the past twenty minutes. “Travis, I’m so sorry. So much has been going on the last two weeks. Tonight totally slipped my mind. I just left the hospital, my best friend isn’t doing well,” Shante said. “Is everything okay?” Travis asked. “No, she is taking her boyfriend’s death really bad. She overdosed, and I just don’t know what to do. I can’t imagine being in her shoes, but I’m doing the best I can to show her support,” Shante said. “Oh, definitely. I totally understand. So, rain check?” Travis asked. “Yes. As a matter of fact, why don’t you come over tomorrow night. I will cook us dinner. I want to make up for this,” Shante said. “Okay, sounds like a plan,” Travis said. “Okay, I will call you back when I get home,” Shante said. “Okay, cool. Talk to you soon,” Travis said. “Okay, bye,” Shante said before ending the call.
Back at the hospital, Karen and Chris were about to leave as the doctor came into the room. The doctor said that he needed to discuss Jessica’s blood test results with her. Jessica said that it was okay for her family to be in the room. The doctor said that all the test results were normal but Jessica was pregnant. According to the bloodwork, Jessica was three weeks. “I understand what you’ve went through and are going through, but you must take care of yourself because you have another life to think about as well. Okay?” The doctor said. “You are very blessed to have a strong supportive family in your corner, so hang in there, stay strong and congratulations,” the doctor said before she left the room. Ms. Tina, Chris and Karen all congratulated Jessica, but Jessica was silent. After a minute of silence, Chris and Karen said their goodbyes and left the hospital.
“Why would God do this, ma? I don’t know how I’m going to make it. How did you be so strong after daddy died all those years ago?” Jess said. “I had to be strong for you and your brother. Yes, I had lost my husband, but I couldn’t focus on my loss, I had to focus on what I had left. There were many days and nights I cried, but I had to be strong for when you and your brother cried, but truth is, I wasn’t always alright, and baby it’s okay if you’re not alright, but don’t give up on life. I don’t know why God took Mark. I don’t know why he took your dad, but I do know that even though life was taken away from us, we have a reason to live. My reason to live was to raise my children the best I can, and to train the two of you up in the way of the Lord, so that when you are older you won’t depart from Him. The two of you were my reason to go on, and now, your baby needs you to be strong. God left you with a miracle, so that you will always be reminded of the love you had. If you can’t focus on anything else right now, focus on becoming the best mom for your baby, because he or she will need you. Not only will they need you, but your brother and I need you, and most importantly, God need you here. You could have died, but God spared your life on purpose. This wasn’t luck or an accident, and although I don’t know the plans God has for you, I do know that they are good plans and He promised in Jeremiah 29:11 to give you hope and a future. So, baby it’s okay to grieve. It’s okay to yell, cry and be angry, but don’t shut me or your family and friends out and most importantly don’t give up on God. Even now, He has not forsaken you, and even in death, He did not forsake Mark. Mark knew God. Was he perfect, no. None of us are perfect, but I know that Mark is now resting in the Lord. You will see him one day, but don’t rush it okay?” her mom said. Jessica smiled, “I won’t. I’m sorry,” Jessica began to cry. “Thanks, mom,” she said. “I love you baby,” Ms. Tina said. “I love you too,” Jessica said. Her mom kissed her on the forehead and gave her a hug as she laid in bed.

Hey y’all, if you haven’t read chapter one, read it first and come back here. You can access it here ⬇️ https://wp.me/p7ouah-rl

Chapter 2
This is too much

“So, what did you want to talk about now?” Mark said, as he zipped and buttoned his jeans. “Nothing,” Jess said, in an exhaustingly satisfied tone. “It had to be something, you said it was urgent when we were on the phone. What’s up? Talk to me,” Mark said, while putting his feet in his Jordan’s. He grabbed his shirt off the floor and put it on. “Where are you about to go?” Jess asked. “I gotta handle some business right quick, baby. I’ll be back later on tonight,” he said. “What type of business, Mark?” “I just need to take care of some business real quick. Don’t worry, I’ll be right back,” Mark said. “Okay, I guess,” Jess said. “Come on baby, don’t be like that,” Mark said, before giving Jess a kiss on the cheek. “I love you. I’ll see you when I get back home,” Mark said, while grabbing his phone off the dresser. “Oh, this is home now? I like how you just slid that in there, Jess said, with a smile. “Oh, you caught how I slid that in there?” “Yeah, I did.” “I mean, why not? Don’t you think it’s time? I mean, you did give me a key,” Mark said. “Baby steps, Mark. Baby steps,” Jess said. “We’ve been baby stepping for the past year. I think it’s time for us to take our relationship to the next level. But we will get into all that later on tonight, when I get back, but before I go, are you sure that you didn’t need to talk to me about whatever you had on your mind earlier?” “No, I’m good. I was just having a bad day, but I’m better now,” Jess said. “Are you sure?” Mark asked. “Text me and let me know what you want for take out, tonight,” he said. “Yes, I’m sure, now go to wherever it is that you need to go, and tonight I’m cooking dinner,” Jess said. “Whaaat? You cooking today? I put it down like that?” Mark said. “You’re so silly. Yeah, you did, but don’t get used to it. You know I hate to cook, but I feel generous today, so you’re in luck,” Jess said. Mark smiled and shook his head. How are you going to be my wife and the mother of our ten kids one day, and you hate to cook?” Mark joked. “Boy, bye. Ten kids? You’ve lost your mind. I’ll see you when you get home,” Jess said. Mark smiled, “I like the sound of that.” Jess got up and took a shower, and afterwards she started dinner. She called Shante on speaker phone. “Hello,” Shante said. “Girl, I’m sorry about that,” Jess said. “Girl, you and Mark are so nasty. Anyway, what happened? I thought you were getting your key back,” Shante said. “Girl, I’m not taking my key back. I was just moody. You know how I get sometimes,” Jess said. “Yeah, I know. Poor Mark. I’m not sure if he knows what he’s gotten himself into,” Shante said. “He’ll be alright, but what’s up with you? Is everything okay? What did you want to talk about earlier? Was it Curtis trifling behind?” “Girl, no. I wasn’t playing earlier. I am done with Curt, but I am going on a date tomorrow night with Travis,” Shante said. “Travis? Who’s that?” Jess asked. “Just this fine brother who came to clean my carpets today,” Shante said. “Lord. Shante it hasn’t even been twelve hours since you and Curt broke up. Are you sure about going on a date?” Jess said. “Of course. It’s just a date,” Shante said. “Are you sure this isn’t some man you’ve called over to clean the cobwebs off that coochie? I mean, you have been celibate for six months. I can’t even blame Curt for acting crazy lately. Y’all used to go at it every day and then one day, out of the blue, you just choose to be celibate without even talking to him,” Jess said. “Yeah, well the relationship was pretty much about the sex. My celibacy proved it. He switched up on me when I became celibate. I knew that he had been cheating and when that little twenty one year old girl called playing on my phone, that was all the proof I needed to cut him loose,” Shante said. “Girl, well, good luck with that. I love the Lord, but I love some good wood too,” Jess said. “Lord, forgive this child,” Shante said. “What? At least I’m honest. Look, God ain’t through with me yet,” Jess said. “Yeah, we’re all dealing with something, honey. None of us are perfect, that’s for sure,” Shante said. “Speaking of perfect, Mrs. Karen is on the other line. I’m about to add her to our call,” Shante said. “Oh, Lord. I hope everything went well at the doctor’s appointment today,” Jess said. “Hey y’all! So, Chris and I have some exciting news,” Karen said. “Hello Shante, Hi sis,” Chris said over the speaker. “Hey, Chris,” Shante said. “What’s up my brother, mayor of Atlanta,” Jess said. “Okay, y’all listen. You know that Chris and I began in vitro a few months ago. Well, guess what?” Karen said. “We’re pregnant!” both Karen and Chris yelled, with excitement. “Oh my goodness, congratulations! I know how bad the both of you wanted this. I am so happy for the two of you,” Shante said. “Yes, I’m so happy for y’all. Congratulations! I’m going to be an auntie,” Jess yelled. “So, how far along are you?” Shante asked. “Three weeks,” Karen said. “I’m so excited y’all, but I’m kind of scared at the same time because I’m forty one, so it’s a high risk due to my age and the in vitro. So, I have to pretty much work from home, when I’m not in the courtroom, and I have to take it easy, but I don’t care. I will do whatever it takes,” Karen said. “Aww, we know sis. And Shante and I will be right there every step of the way to support you and bruh through this,” Jess said. “We appreciate it, sis,” Chris said. “No problem, bruh. You know I got you. Oh, momma said, call her too,” Jess said. “I know. She called us earlier while we were at the doctor’s, but we’re calling her next. Hey, are you straight? Karen told me that you needed to borrow some money,” Chris said. “No, I’m good bruh. I just like to mess with y’all. But it’s good to know that if I fall off, y’all got my back,” Jess said. “Of course. You’re my baby sister,” Chris said. “How are they treating you over at the bank?” Chris said. “I just got promoted to branch manager last week,” Jess said. “I know. Karen told me. Congratulations. I know we don’t talk often but I’m proud of you, and I love you, sis,” Chris said. “I love you more, brother,” Jess said. “Okay, we have a million other people who we need to call, so I’ll talk to the two of you later,” Karen said. “Okay, bye,” both Shante and Jess said. Jess began to hear what sounded like an argument outside of her apartment. She looked out of her kitchen window and that’s when she saw a guy point a gun at Mark and shoot him in the chest. Mark fell to the ground. The guy took money out of Mark’s pocket and got into the passenger seat of a car and the car drove off. Jess ran outside and fell to her knees and pulled Mark close to her. The neighbors were outside looking. “Somebody please! Call 911! Stop standing there staring, and call the police. Please, please,” she cried. Mark began to close his eyes. “ Baby wake up. “No, no, no. Please, baby don’t you leave me.” she said. The smoke alarm began to go off in her kitchen. The steak was burning on top of the stove. One of her neighbors went into her apartment to turn off the stove, and then she came back out and realized Mark was gone. She bent beside Jess and tried to console her. “Baby, he’s gone,” the woman said. Jess sat there with Mark’s lifeless body in her arms. “Nooo!” she yelled. “God please. God please bring him back,” she said. Shante could hear that something was going on, but she didn’t know what. “Hello? Jess? Jessica? What’s going on?” Shante said, over the speaker phone. Shante immediately left her house and drove over to Jessica’s apartment. When she got there, the paramedics were trying to resuscitate Mark, but he was already gone. Shante ran over to console her friend. Later on that night, at the hospital, the coroner gave Jess Mark’s things, and there was an engagement ring found inside his coat pocket. Jess broke down all over again. “I can’t do this, Shante. They say that God won’t put more on us than we can bear, but this is too much,” Jess said. Karen and Chris arrived at the hospital. “Sis, I’m so sorry,” Chris said, as he hugged Jess. She began to cry hard. “I know, sis. I know. I’m here for you. I’m right here. I promise to find out who it was that did this, and handle it. You have my word. I got you. I love you,” Chris said. “I saw him. I don’t know who he is, but I saw him kill Mark,” Jess said. Two officers came over to try to talk to Jessica. Not right now guys, please,” Chris said. “Yes, sir Mayor,” they said. The officers began to talk to Shante and they left their card with her. “What happened, Shante?” Karen asked. “I don’t know,” Shante began to cry. “I called you guys when we got here. I’m sorry that I didn’t call sooner but I can’t even think straight. We had just ended our call with you and then I heard something in the background like screaming and a gun shot. I heard her smoke alarm and I thought maybe something had happened to her, but it was Mark. Someone robbed and killed him and he was going to propose to to her,” Shante said. “What?” Karen said. “Yes,” Shante said. “Jesus,” Karen said.

Hey y’all! So, here’s a new short story for those of you who like romance, romantic comedies or shows like “Girlfriends,” “Sex in the City,” or “Sistas,” by Tyler Perry. This is the beginning so be on the lookout for the following chapters. Tag your girls in this post and the chapters to follow because it’s going to be gooood! 😁🍷

Chapter 1
The Beginning

“He ain’t got the key, I just let him in sometimes,” Shante said. “Wait a minute, are we talking about the key to your heart, your vagina or your house, because I’m confused at this point,” Karen said, before all three friends shared a laugh.
Shante Brown is the bad and boujee friend from the west side of Atlanta. Karen Parker is the classy and saditty friend from Buckhead, and Jessica Smith is the… Gemini. Yeah, Jess has two sides, and she’s from Decatur. “Speaking of houses, vaginas and keys, I need to go get my key from Mark trifling behind, because he ain’t getting no more of this cat,” Jess said. Shante shook her head. Karen put her hand against her forehead and shook her head too. “Child, what did Mark do now? I thought you just gave the man a key to your house two days ago,” Karen said. “I did. But I’m tired of him already,” Jess said. “But what did he do?” Shante asked. “Nothing, I just need my space,” Jess said.

Now you see what I’m saying about those two sides…

“Whew chile, the ghetto,” Karen said. Shante laughed. “Oh, I might be ghetto but guess what? So, is my brother who you married two years ago. So don’t be talking about ghetto. You know you like that ghetto love,” Jess said, as she began to roll her hips back and forth in a dance. They all laughed. “And Shante, I know you weren’t laughing, Ms. I made it out the hood but I couldn’t leave behind the wood,” Jess said. “Ouu, that’s a fire hook. I might make that into a rap,” Jess said. Shante was taking a sip of her Cabernet and spit it out from laughter. “Girl, you’ve made me mess up my carpet, dang! But you know what, you’re right. That hood wood, is some good good,” Shante said. “Aaye! That hood wood is some good good. That hood wood is some good wood,” Jess began to say in a rap. “You ain’t never lied,” Jess said as she gave Shante a high five. “Y’all crazy. Listen, I have a two o’clock appointment that I’m about to miss fooling around with y’all. And Shante, isn’t it a little early for wine? It’s just 1:30,” Karen said. “Well hell, it’s five o’clock somewhere. Listen, go on to your appointment before you’re late,” Shante said. “Yes, and tell my brother to call me. He’s gotten into politics and he act like he don’t know where he came from. I’m still his sister. Tell him he can call me sometimes, and tell him I need to hold about ten grand,” Jess said. “You see, that’s why he don’t call you,” Shante said, as she walked Karen to the door. Karen laughed. “I’ll be sure to tell him. He’s meeting me at the doctor’s office,” Karen said. “Girl, ignore that fool,” Shante said. “Sis, know I’m just playing,” Jess said, before whispering in Karen’s ear, “Tell him if he can’t do ten, I’ll take eight.” “Bye y’all,” Karen said, as she smiled and shook her head. “Love you girl,” Shante said, closing the door behind Karen. “Love you sis,” Jess said. “Love y’all too,” Karen said.
“Girl, I better get out of here too,” Jess said. “Right, you need to get your key from Mark,” Shante said. “Exactly,” Jess said. “Muah,” Jess said, giving Shante a quick peck on both cheeks. “Love you girl,” Jess said. “Love you too. Bye,” Shante said.
“I can’t believe both of them just left me like that. And look at my carpet. Now I need to hire someone to come out here and get this stain out of my carpet,” Shante said. She began to look online with her phone, for carpet cleaning companies. She found one rated five stars. She called them up and a guy from the company said that he could get someone to come out the same day. Shante was relieved.
A couple of hours later, a guy from the carpet cleaning service came. He was fine. Tall, chocolate, white teeth, strong arms, big feet… Shante was in a trance when she opened the door. “Umm, can I come in?” The guy said. “Oh, yeah. Sorry. Sure. I’m Shante.” “I’m Travis, with Professional Carpet Cleaning. Can you show me your problem area?” Shante closed the door. “Of course,” she said, as she lead him to the living room. “Oh, yeah. I can get that out for you with no problem. I’m going to go out to my van right quick and get my equipment. I’ll be right back,” Travis said. “Okay,” Shante said. While Travis was outside, Shante called Jess. “Hello,” Jess said. “Girl, what are you doing?” Shante said. “Mark,” Jess said. “What?” Shante asked. “I asked you, what are you doing?” Shante said. “And, I said Mark,” Jess said. “Bend over,” Mark said in the background. “What the hell,” Shante said. “Girl, I gotta call you back,” Jess said, with a moan. Shante ended the call. “They so nasty, and Jess so bipolar. I thought she was going to get her key,” Shante said. Travis came towards the door with his equipment. Shante opened the door for him. “This shouldn’t take too long. Are there any other areas of your home that needs servicing?” Nice home, by the way,” Travis said. “Thank you,” Shante said. There weren’t any other areas in her home that needed cleaning, but she got her bedroom carpet cleaned as well, just so she could look at Travis a little longer. He was done in an hour. “Would you like some water, sports drink, tea, soda?” she asked. Travis laughed, “Water will be fine,” he said. “Okay,” I’ll be right back. Travis began to get his equipment together. Shante brought the water back, and Travis drank it in less than a minute. “Thank you,” he said. People aren’t as generous as you,” but I appreciate it,” he said. Shante smiled, “No problem.” “You have a beautiful smile,” he said. “You’ve been smiling since I’ve been here. Do you just smile, all the time?” he asked. “Only when I like what I see,” Shante said. Travis smiled. “Same,” he said, with a smile. “So, are you single?” he said. “I am,” Shante said. She was finally done with her ex. “Well, can I take you out sometime?” “Let me check my schedule,” Shante said, pretending to go through her phone. “Oh, really?” Travis said. “I’m just playing,” she said. “Let me put my number in your phone,” she said. “I already have it,” Travis said. “You know, from when you called the office earlier. That was me who answered the phone. My partner couldn’t make it out here in time, so I came instead. We run the company together,” he said. “Oh, wow. Well I’m glad you came,” Shante said, with a smile. “There’s that smile again. Unforgettable,” he said. “What’s unforgettable?” Shante asked. “Your smile. You,” he said.

One for the reason of love (Autographed, S&H included)

Inspirational romance novel. Work was Caroline’s life. A relationship was the furthest thing from her mind until she met a charmer named Mike. Just when Caroline decides to give Mike a shot, her ex Stacy comes back into her life and complicates things. Will Caroline spark a new fire or rekindle an old flame?

$17.10

Loni couldn’t deny her feelings for Teddy. All this time they’d been spending together made her want to be more than just friends. She wanted Teddy to be her man, but she didn’t know if he felt the same way. She was afraid to admit her feelings to him, because she didn’t want to cross that friendship line, but then again, that line had been crossed with a special kiss. Still, she had no idea what that kiss meant. Was it something that was done because the two of them got caught up in the moment? It had been a week, and neither of them had talked about the kiss, or their friendship progressing into a monogamous relationship. “Sis, stop wrecking your brain, and just tell Teddy how you feel,” Erica said, to a stressed out Loni on the other end of the phone. “Don’t call or text him, because this is a serious matter. Talk to him face to face,” Erica said, as she went through her walk in closet, trying to find something to wear. “I just don’t want to mess this up, Erica. We basically made an agreement to keep each other company through cuffing season, so that neither of us would be alone, and to keep our parents off our backs. What if he doesn’t want a relationship with me?” Loni said. “Loni, you have to put yourself out there for the right one, and Teddy’s a goodun, as pops say,” Erica said, before her and Loni shared a laugh. “Yes, he is,” Loni said. “And, if he turns you down, you can’t really be mad, because you both had an agreement. So, if he rejects you, don’t let it come between your friendship,” Erica said. “I don’t know sis. It’s going to be hard for me to only be friends with him, now. I think that I love him. I know that I love him,” Loni said. “Well, the two of you need to talk. He’s probably afraid to tell you how he feels because he thinks you’ll reject him,” Erica said, still going through her closet full of clothes. “I can’t find anything to wear,” Erica said. “Erica, it’s choir rehearsal, not a ball. Throw on something casual before you’re late. You know how Teddy is when someone’s late. He makes us start all over, and the next thing you know, we’re in rehearsal two hours longer than we should be,” Loni said. “Yeah, you’re right. That’s the only thing I don’t like about Teddy. If one person is late, he makes us all stay late,” Erica said. “I know, so, you better throw on a jogging suit and some sneakers and get your butt down here, because I’m pulling up now,” Loni said. Erica looked at her watch. “Loni, you’re thirty minutes early,” Erica said. “I know. I was already in the area, remember? We were filming the reality show fifteen minutes away, today. It didn’t make sense for me to go home, then I would’ve been late. Anyway, there’s no one here right now. I’m going to take a power nap in my car. I’ll see you in a minute,” Loni said. “Okay, bye,” Erica said. “Bye,” Loni said, before ending the call. After choir rehearsal, Loni asked Teddy if she could talk to him. “Sure,” let me just lock up right quick,” he said. “Okay, I’ll be in my car,” Loni said. “Cool. I’ll be right there,” Teddy said, as he gave Loni a peck on the cheek. After he locked up, he came and sat in the front passenger seat of Loni’s car. Before they began their conversation, one of the choir members named Felicity, tapped on Loni’s front passenger window. Teddy rolled the window down. “Hey, um. Can I borrow Teddy for a minute?” Felicity said. “Sure, what’s up?” Teddy said, still sitting in the seat. “I think my car may need a jump off. Do you have a jumper cable?” “Yeah,” Teddy said. “I’m going to help her out right quick, but I’ll be right back,” Teddy said, before rolling the window up and getting out to help the woman in distress. After a few minutes, Loni noticed Felicity was doing more flirting than trying to get her car fixed. She was rubbing Teddy on the back, and the two of them were smiling and giggling. She wondered, what they were talking about. So, she rolled her front windows down, to see if she could hear. “So, are you and Loni a thing now? The two of you are always flirting, but I’ve noticed you’ve been extra close lately?” Felicity said. Teddy laughed, “We’re just really good friends, that’s all,” Teddy said. It felt as if Loni’s heart sink into her stomach. Where was the lie though? They hadn’t discussed a relationship. Still, Loni expected Teddy to say that they were dating. “Oh, yeah. ‘Friend outing.’ Guess they wasn’t dates. Ugh, he still sees me as his friend,” Loni thought. She was upset with herself for even making the stupid agreement, knowing that she really wanted a relationship. She never thought in a million years, she’d fall in love with her friend, but she did. “I guess I’ll have to ride this friendship thing out, until cuffing season’s over. That was the agreement,” she said, sadly to herself. “Hey, Teddy. I’ll call you later, I actually just got a call from my mom, it’s important, so I’ll talk to you later,” Loni said. She’d lied about her mother calling. “Wait,” Teddy said as he walked to the front passenger window of her car. “Are you sure? We’re almost done here,” Teddy said, before turning to tell Felicity to try cranking her car, again. “Yes, I’m sure. I’ll call you later,” Loni said with a smile. “Okay, talk to you soon,” Teddy said with a hand tap on the door. “Goodnight,” Loni said. “Goodnight,” Teddy said. Loni drove off. “So, since the two of you are just friends, does that mean you’re on the market?” Felicity said. Teddy removed the cables and closed the hood of Felicity’s car. “Actually, I’m currently off the market,” Teddy said, before putting the jumper cables on the back of his truck. “Um, lucky lady,” Felicity said. “Good night, Felicity,” Teddy said, before getting into his truck. “Night,” Felicity said, with a sexy wave. Then she got into her car and drove off. Teddy left behind her, and they went opposite ways.
Five weeks later, it was Valentine’s Day. Loni and Teddy hadn’t been spending much time together because Loni was busy filming two shows, one in which she starred in. Not only that, but she decided it was best to distance herself, because her feelings were beginning to get the best of her, and she had to stay focused. The last thing she wanted to do was act out of her emotions. Loni had done a lot of growing with Teddy though. Maybe, it’s because they were already friends. In the past she wasn’t the most patient person to deal with in a relationship, and she didn’t have a problem cutting people off with the quickness if she thought the relationship wasn’t going anywhere, but not with Teddy. She knew it was a possibility that he’d want to remain friends, and as hard as that would be for her, she’d understand and be cool with that. There’s no doubt though, the past fall and winter months with Teddy would remain special and Teddy would always be dear to her heart. “Tell him how you feel,” a voice said in Loni’s heard. Loni was scared to tell Teddy how she felt. “Why haven’t he said anything to me?” she thought. “If a man is interested, he’ll say something first, right?” “He did, ding bat,” Loni said to herself. “When he approached you about this whole agreement, he really wanted a relationship with you, but he thought that this was what you wanted,” a voice in her head said. “Okay, I have to stop talking to myself before I go crazy, and I’m going to talk to Teddy, tonight. “God, give me the words to say,” Loni thought to herself. “Loni. Um, helloo,” her friends on the other end of the call were saying. “I’m so sorry y’all. My mind was elsewhere, but I don’t know where he’s taking me. He said, it’s a surprise. Look, I’ll call the two of you later. I think that’s him at the door,” Loni said, to both of her best friends on the other ends of the call. “Okay, bye,” they both said, before hanging up. There were a second round of three knocks at her door. “Coming,” Loni said grabbing her purse and coat. She opened her door. “Madam, your carriage awaits you,” a stout coachman in neat attire, said. The coachman motioned his hand towards a gold pumpkin Cinderella style carriage, where Teddy stood outside the carriage door, and two Clydesdale horses stood in front. Teddy wore a pale pink blazer, a pearl white shirt, classic blue jeans that were cuffed at the bottom to show off his Chucks, a light blue flat cap and matching bow tie. Loni, wore an elegant Maya blue colored, long sleeves satin evening gown, and silver tassel detailed pumps. She greeted Teddy with a hug and kiss. The coachman opened the door and Teddy helped Loni inside the carriage, before climbing in himself. It was a warm and cozy, intimate setting on the inside. Loni felt like a princess. Everything felt so magical. They arrived at an upscale restaurant, where Teddy’s band members met him to play. Teddy pulled out Loni’s seat, and took off her coat and placed it on the back of her chair. Then a waitress came and took their drink orders, before he went on stage to perform. The owner introduced Teddy’s band, “Everyone, please give a warm welcome to our special guests, here to perform the song off their upcoming single, ‘Like a smooth drink’, which will be available tomorrow, on all streaming platforms. Ladies and gentlemen, ‘The Smooth T Experience’.” The crowd applauded as the band began to play. Smooth jazz filled the air with rhythmic sounds of lite funk, bass, elastic guitar and soprano saxophone. The crowd loved it, as they grooved to the hypnotizing melodies. Loni and Teddy spent the rest of the evening enjoying mentally stimulating conversation over a five course meal, before the going back to Loni’s place. Teddy sat on Loni’s couch, as she went to make them a cup of coffee. I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something,” she said, from the kitchen. “Me too,” he said. “I haven’t been completely honest with you,” Teddy said, as he walked towards the kitchen. “Okay,” Loni said, with a subtle laugh, as she handed Teddy his coffee. They sat down at the breakfast table. “Loni, I’ve loved you for a long time. Not just as a friend, but I’ve always pictured you someday being my wife. I never approached you in that way, because I knew you only seen me as a friend, but spending the last three months with you, has been amazing. That kiss was everything, but I didn’t know if I’d gone too far, so I kind of backed off for a while, but I think tonight’s a great night to let you know that, I love you and I want to make us official. We can take our time if you want, but someday, I want you to be my wife,” Teddy said. “Now, What was it you wanted to talk about?” he asked. Loni was emotional, “What you said,” she said, with tears of joy coming down her face. “It’s like you read my mind, and said everything I’ve been wanting to say,” Loni said. They both laughed, and stood up and hugged, and then she looked him in the eyes and said, “I love you, Teddy Bear. Teddy said, “I love you too,” before they shared a passionate kiss, goodnight. The End. ❤️

Loni had been on fourteen dates with fourteen different men, in twenty one days. None of them made it to date number two, and according to Loni, it was all with good reason. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute,” her sister Erica said, as they stopped on the stairs, before entering the church for choir rehearsal. “Someone actually came to meet you on a date, in their baby’s momma car?” “Yes, girl. I couldn’t believe it either, but she came to that restaurant, cursed him out and took her keys. Then he had the nerve to ask me if I could drop him off at home,” Loni said. “Well, did you?” “Ahh, no,” Loni said with a laugh. “I told him that I had somewhere to be.” “And where was that, Loni?” “At home in my bed,” Loni said, as the two of them shared a laugh. They continued up the stairs. “Girl, I’d already had a long day at work. I was tired, and not for the foolishness,” Loni said. “Oh yeah, that’s right. You’re producing a new reality series. How’s that going?” Erica asked. “It’s going good,” Loni said before Teddy, the director of music interrupted. “Erica, Loni, how’re you ladies doing tonight?” “Good,” Erica said with a smile, as she continued to her seat. “Hey Teddy Bear,” Loni said, as the two of them shared a hug, and kissed each other on the cheek. Loni and Teddy are longtime friends. They grew up together, attending the same classes during school, and they attended the same college as well. Teddy and Loni had a certain glow when they were around each other, and everyone could see it. The way they both smiled and looked at each other when they talked, wasn’t anything less than a special bond. It was more than just chemistry. After choir rehearsal, Loni and Erica was walking to their cars. “Girl, why don’t you and Teddy stop playing and be together, already?” Erica said. “Teddy? Girl, Teddy and I are just friends,” Loni said. “And the flirting?” Erica said. “The flirting seems to be a little more than friendly,” Erica said. “Erica, it’s harmless. We’re only friends,” Loni said, trying to convince Erica who wasn’t the least bit convinced. Teddy ran up behind the ladies as they were talking. “My bad ladies,” he said. “You almost left without your phone, Loni.” Teddy said as he handed Loni her cell. Her sister smiled and said, “Bye y’all,” before getting in her car. “Bye Erica. See you Sunday,” Teddy said, with a wave. Loni smiled, because she knew what Erica was thinking. “Bye sis,” Loni said with a wave, as Erica drove off. Loni and Teddy stood in the parking lot. “Thanks for my phone, Teddy. I’ve been exhausted, working late, and trying to find a date,” Loni said as she continued to update Teddy on her life for the past month. “Wow, you poor thing. Listen, you don’t have to show up to Thanksgiving dinner at your parent’s house, alone. My parents are going on a cruise this year, so there won’t be any Turkey for me, and you know your boy be hungry,” Teddy said rubbing his pudge. “Let me go with you, instead?” Teddy said. “Aww, that’s sweet of you Teddy, but everyone knows we’re just friends. I want them to take me seriously, and the only thing everyone in my life seems to take seriously right now, is the fact that, I don’t have a man. I’m not going to lie. I want a man too,” Loni said before she was interrupted by the wind chill. “Whew, this cold weather isn’t making things any better either,” she said as she rubbed her arms. “Here, let me warm you up,” Teddy said with a hug, as he rubbed Loni’s back. Loni continued to talk, “I just feel rushed, more than the actual desire for finding love. Rushed by my family, my feelings, my biological clock,” Loni said. Teddy laughed. “Woman, you’re only twenty six,” he said. “I know but,” Loni said before Teddy interrupted. “Listen, I’m not going to hold you long, because it is cold out here, but I’ve been feeling the same way,” he said. “Really?” Loni asked. “Yes,” he said with a laugh. “Guys go through the same things. So, I feel you. My parents has also been pressuring me to find a woman, get married and make a family. Listen, and I get it. They just want what’s best for us, but sometimes they can come off as overbearing,” he said. “Ain’t that the truth,” “What about this? How about I go with you to Thanksgiving dinner, and you come with me to my parents house, for Christmas, and from there, we’ll see how things goes. Neither of us want to be alone this time of year, and we are friends. So, why spend the Holidays being annoyed by our families alone, when we can be annoyed together,” Teddy said before they both shared a laugh. “Okay,” Loni said, coming out of Teddy’s embrace. “It’s a deal?” he said, extending his hand for a shake. “Deal,” Loni said, as she shook his hand. “Thanks for the talk to Teddy Bear. You always know just what to say, to make me feel better,” she said. “Likewise,” Teddy said. “You know that I love you girl,” he said as he opened her car door for her to get in. “I love you too, friend.” She got into her car and waved goodbye to Teddy as she drove off. “Lord Jesus, Erica’s going to have a field day with this,” she said.

It was fall, which meant, the leaves were changing colors as they fell beneath the trees. The weather was getting colder, which meant it was cuffing season. When it’s cold outside, people want to be boo’d up inside. Not to mention the Holidays. Who wants to spend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New years and Valentine’s Day, alone? No one, if they can help it; and Loni, was feeling this way more than anyone, especially since both of her best friends and her sister were married. She was beginning to feel the pressure to at least be in a serious relationship. Between her mother asking her, “When are you going to get married and have me some grandkids?” And her sister saying, “You don’t have a man, because you’re too picky.” Loni felt as if she was going crazy. “I’m not picky,” Loni said. “I just know what I want, and my standards are reasonable.” The holidays were just around the corner though, and loneliness had Loni thinking that maybe she should compromise her standards. Maybe her standards were too high. “Time is ticking, and I’m not getting any younger. In four years, I’ll be thirty, and although I have a great career, I want a family,” she thought to herself, as she bit into the shrimp cocktail, and gulped down her margarita, because she knew her mom’s sister was about to come bug her too, and she needed a strong drink to get her through the conversation. “Happy Birthday. What a nice party, auntie Bernice,” Loni said admiring the fancy decorations. “Thank you, Loni,” aunt Bernice said, before pulling Loni to the side. “Listen, Loni. You’re my niece and I love you, but why don’t you have a man yet? You’re beautiful, successful, you love God, you’ve got those child bearing hips,” aunt Bernice said, as she took a step back and looked at Loni’s curves. “It would be a shame for those hips to go to waste. Find you a man and settle down. Don’t keep cutting everyone you meet off, or you’ll never meet the right one,” aunt Bernice said. “I appreciate the concern, auntie, but trust me, I am single by choice. If I’ve cut someone off, it’s for good reason. I don’t believe that in order to find love, I have to settle for less than I deserve. I don’t just want a man. I want the man God has for me. I will have a family someday, but it’s all in God’s timing, okay?” Loni said. “I understand. I just don’t like the fact that people are talking about you. ‘What’s wrong with Loni? Why doesn’t she have a man yet? Her sister and best friends are all married and she doesn’t even have a boyfriend, yet.’ I’ve tried to defend them, but I’m concerned as well, dear,” aunt Bernice said. Loni looked around the room, and it was as if all eyes were on her. Everyone at aunt Bernice’s party were either married or had a special someone, even the dog. Loni felt as if she was going to have an anxiety attack. She had to get out of there. The pressure was just too much. She could hardly breathe, and every time she was alone, here comes loneliness, trying to get her to call her ex. Going backwards was not an option for Loni. She only believed in moving forward. She’d tried online dating in the past, that was a waste of time. She wasn’t going back to that either. She had to do something though. She was on a mission to find a guy, and find one quick. Her heart wanted love, but more than love, Loni wanted to shut the voices in her head and all around her, up. Thanksgiving was quickly approaching and she was determined not to show up to her parents house alone. “I can find love later. Right now, I just need peace of mind,” she thought to herself.