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. 

😂🤣😭 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.

Thirty years ago. 7 days after Mr. Abimbola’s death.
“Thank you for meeting with me. I know that it’s only been a week, but Eboda was my friend. I want to honor him by keeping his vision for Eboda Technologies alive,” Mr. Bennet said, to Mrs. Abimbola who sat in front of his desk. “I have the papers signed, I am confident you’ll do what’s best for the company,” Mrs. Abimbola said, passing a manila envelope to Mr. Bennet. “Is there anything else I need to do?” she said. “No. This should take care of everything. You and your daughter will never have to worry about money, ever again, and if you ever need anything, please feel free to call me, anytime.” “Thank you for everything. I couldn’t have gotten through this without you,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “Don’t thank me, we’re family. Family takes care of each other,” Mr. Bennet said, as he walked Mrs. Abimbola out of the office. After Mrs. Abimbola had driven away, Mr. Bennet took the paperwork she had and began to shred it. Then he looked at the will he had fabricated, which stated in the event of Mr. Abimbola’s death, the company would become his. Next, he looked over the signed agreement between himself and Mr. Washington. “There’s no need for this,” he said, as he continued placing the papers she’d given him into the shredder. “Thank you, but I’ve already taken care of everything,” he said out loud, with an evil grin.
When Mrs. Abimbola got home, her house had been broken into. Someone had been through Mr. Eboda’s things. They’d taken his computer, some of his software and they’d even taken some important papers out of the file cabinet. Mrs. Abimbola called the police and then she called Mr. Bennet. He came right over to console her. He told her that a large sum of money would be deposited into her account in a couple of days, and he advised her to move. “Until then, you and Kacely should come stay with my family,” he said. Mrs. Abimbola agreed.
One night as Mrs. Abimbola was heading to the shower, she noticed there wasn’t any towels in the bathroom, so she was going to ask Mrs. Bennet where she could find a clean towel. On her way to Mrs. Bennet, she heard Mr. Bennet talking on the phone in his office. “Did she have any copies of that will, at her house?” he said. “What about copies of her agreement to sign the company over?” he said. Mrs. Abimbola’s heart dropped. “Well, I’ve been through the things she has here. There’s no sign of a copy of a will, or any paperwork. There’s no proof. I’ve gotten rid of whatever she’s given me, and I’ve already taken care of the will at the Insurance company. You know, I have my connections,” he said with a devilish grin. “There’s no trace of a will anywhere? Tell you what, just burn the whole house down. It will do me and her a favor. They could use all of the money that they can get right now. He didn’t have much of a life insurance policy, anyway. Listen, just do your job. I have to go,” Mr. Bennet said, before hanging up the house phone. Mrs. Bennet walked out of her room to go check on the kids, when she was startled by Mrs. Abimbola, who was standing in the hallway. “I’m so sorry,” Mrs. Bennet said. “I didn’t realize you were right here. Is everything okay? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost,” Mrs. Bennet said. Mr. Bennet came out of the office which was across from their bedroom. He stood beside Mrs. Bennet. “I’m fine. I was coming to ask you for a towel,” Mrs. Abimbola said, holding back the rage, confusion and tears. “Sure. They’re in this closet, right beside you,” Mrs. Bennet said, as she opened the closet door, picked up a neatly folded bath towel, and handed it to Mrs. Abimbola. “Thanks,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “If you need to talk, remember. We’re here for you,” Mr. Bennet said. “Thank you both, so very much. You’re too kind,” Mrs. Abimbola said, as she went to the bathroom, turned on the shower, sat on the toilet and cried. She heard Mrs. and Mr. Bennet walking by. “Poor thing. Did you see her eyes? She almost seemed frightened. She’s strong though. I don’t know what I’d do if I lost you. I’d be terrified myself,” Mrs. Bennet said.
After minutes of crying, Mrs. Abimbola composed herself and got into the shower. “Good thing we have that safe deposit box,” she thought to herself.
A lot had went on since Kacely’s house had gotten robbed. A week later, Jackson, Mr. Bennet and Mr. Washington (Kerrie’s father) were all in the news with the headline titled, Eboda Tech scandal. It all began when the Feds raided Jackson’s house. They were looking for evidence that tied him to the money laundering scandal, instead they found the will and the safe. LAPD came to arrest Jackson.
“Mr. Bennet, did you know of a will, leaving Mrs. Abimbola as CEO of Eboda Tech?” a reporter asked, Jackson’s dad as he was leaving a restaurant with his wife. He ignored the reporter. The driver opened the back door and Mrs. Bennet got into the car, and so did Mr. Bennet. A few seconds later, the driver, drove their Escalade off. “I didn’t even know it was there, Kace. Someone’s trying to set me up. You gotta believe me. Why would I steal it and bring it to my house? That’s stupid,” Jackson said, to Kacely who’d came to visit him in prison. Kacely believed him, so she dropped any charges against him. She finally talked her mother into pursuing a lawsuit against the Bennet’s and Mr. Washington for Eboda Tech.
Court was now in session. “Mr. Bennet, how long had you and Mr. Abimbola been on bad terms before his death?” the prosecutor said. “For a few weeks,” Mr. Bennet said. “Why were the two of you on bad terms?” the prosecutor said. “We had a disagreement about investments,” he said. “Can you be more specific,” the prosecutor said. “He didn’t want Mr. Washington to get a sixty percent return on the company and I thought it was the best deal we’d, I mean he’d received,” Mr. Bennet said. “Mr. Bennet, why did Mr. Abimbola have a will made which turned the company over to you in the event of his death, when he already had one in place to give Eboda Tech to his wife?” the prosecutor said. “I’m not sure. I never even knew of a will. It was never mentioned to me, nor has there ever been any proof until now. The Abimbola’s are only doing this because Kacely Abimbola was fired from Eboda Tech. This is nothing more than retaliation,” Mr. Bennet said. The courtroom audience began to talk amongst themselves. The judge hit his gavel against the sound block. “Order in the court,” he said. The prosecutor called her next witness to the stand. “Mrs. Washington,” she said to Kerrie. “When did you find out about Mr. Abimbola’s will?” Kerrie told the prosecutor how she’d hired a private investigator when she and Jackson began to date, to find out more about the Abimbola’s. She said, that her private investigator acquired the original will, that left Mrs. Abimbola as CEO. She then went on to say, that she told Kacely about the will, a few months before she and Jackson were divorced. Next Kacely was called to the stand, and she confirmed Kerrie’s testimony. The next witness was Mrs. Abimbola. Mrs. Abimbola said, that she knew about the original will, that left her as CEO. Kacely was shocked. This meant her mother had been lying to her all this time. She’d told her that she never knew of a will. “Why would she lie to me?” Kacely thought to herself. She continued to listen to her mom testify on the witness stand. I never mentioned the will to Mr. Bennet, she lied. I thought maybe my husband had made other arrangements, so I just went with the flow,” she said. “If you don’t mind. What does, went with the flow mean, Mrs. Abimbola?” her attorney said. I accepted whatever Mr. Bennet said, and received what I was told, my share of the company profits,” Mrs. Abimbola said. After a month of going back and forth to court, the jury ruled in Mrs. Abimbola’s favor, and she signed the company over to Kacely. Mr. Bennet faced federal prison time for Investment fraud and Identity Theft. Mr. Washington got away Scot-Free, as he claimed to be just as bamboozled as Mrs. Abimbola was. Kacely and the other board members decided to go with a new investigator that only required twenty percent. The board motioned to fire Jackson, because he was no longer a good fit for Eboda Tech.
“Hi, Kerrie. Pull into the driveway,” Kacely said, to Kerrie who was on the other end of the call pulling into Mrs. Abimbola’s driveway. Mrs. Abimbola was throwing Jakayla a princess party for her birthday, and Kerrie brought the kids over to her home. As Kerrie and the kids came in, Kerrie’s heart sank into her stomach. The kids ran to Jackson and hugged their sister, then gave her some gifts. “Kerrie, what’s wrong. You act as if you’ve seen a ghost,” Kacely said. “That’s the man. I hired him as my private investigator before I knew who you were,” she whispered. “That’s the man who gave me your father’s will,” she whispered again. “Who Frank?” Kacely laughed. “No way. Frank is not a private investigator. Frank’s my mother’s boyfriend. He’s not a PI, he works in the home… security… industry,” Kacely said slowly, as it all began to make sense. Her mom and Frank had set all of this into motion from the beginning, by telling Kacely about the will. “Wait a minute, does this mean that Frank was the one who broke into my house, disarmed my alarm and took the will, then planted it a Jackson’s house? It had to be, why not break in during any other time? Why break in, when I was at my mother’s house?” she thought to herself. She couldn’t let Kerrie know that she was right, though. “I assure you, it wasn’t Frank,” she lied. “You know how they say, all black people look alike? That’s all you’re seeing. Trust me,” Kacely said. Later on that evening, after everyone went home, Kacely stayed around to help Mrs. Abimbola clean. “I know that you know the truth,” Mrs. Abimbola said, as she helped Kacely clear the table. “Mom, how could you? What type of game are you playing? Your own daughter? Why would you have Frank give Kerrie, dad’s will? Furthermore, why years and years later, you send him to break into my house in order to set Jackson up?” Kacely said. “We gave her the will, because we knew she’d show it to you. We thought that she’d show it to you in the beginning, because she wanted you as far away from Jackson as possible. I admit, I had him give it to her, in hopes that it would draw a wedge between you and Jackson. It didn’t happen as I planned, though. So, after you had it for a while and didn’t do anything with it, I made it look like Jackson took it. I went at him to get to his father. I’ve always known Mr. Bennet was a snake, and I swore on your father’s grave that one day, I’d bring the Bennet’s down to their knees, and I did,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “I’m the one who sent the Feds to his house, and told them that they’d find evidence that linked him to the money laundering case, inside his office. I didn’t know of any money laundering evidence, but I knew that your father’s will was there,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “And, you’re happy about what you’ve done?” Kacely said. “You damn right, I am. Mr. Bennet had no sympathy for what he did to your father or our family for that matter, so I have no sympathy for any of those people, either,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “But mom, whether you like it or not. Jackson is your granddaughter’s father and he has been innocent in all of this,” Kacely said. Then she called for Jakayla to gather her things and to come kiss her grandma goodbye. After Jakayla kissed Mrs. Abimbola goodbye, Kacely told her to go get into the car and buckle up, and she’d be right there. “Everything you’ve ever told or taught me was a lie. You’re no better than them. You’ve allowed bitterness, anger and resentment to consume you all of these years, and the sad thing is, you don’t even realize it. You have to be careful with vengeance momma,” Kacely said. “It’s not vengeance, it’s Karma,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “No,” Kacely shook her head. “This isn’t Karma, momma. It’s all you. You’d better watch out. There’s a quote by Mahalia Jackson that says, ‘If you dig one ditch you better dig two cause the trap you set just may be for you.’ “And that’s exactly what happened to the Bennet’s. They sat a trap for us, but we came out on top,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “You’d better hope you’re right momma, because somehow, I feel like this isn’t over. Goodnight momma,” she said before walking out of the door.
The End

“It didn’t make sense to me either at the time baby, but your father was under a lot of stress and pressure. Maybe he did die of an accidental drug overdose. I don’t know. I mean, I never knew that he used any drugs, but he was dealing with a lot, and sadly that’s how many people cope with life. It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. We’d talk, but obviously I didn’t know the extent of what he was going through. He was a genius, but he’d put every dollar we made into building Eboda Tech, and we were broke. He had a brief falling out with his best friend, Mr. Bennet. Certain individuals were pressuring him to sell Eboda Tech, and he didn’t want to sell. Although it was still small, your father was devoted to that company. It was his passion, and he took pride and joy in the work he did. He wasn’t going to allow someone to come along and take credit for something that took his blood, sweat, tears and years of building. Anyway, just leave this situation alone. You can’t trust that what Kerrie’s saying, is true. She’s probably had someone make this so called will up, just so you’ll go after the Bennet’s. I never knew about a will. Listen, the Bennet’s has been good to us. Haven’t they always taken care of us?” Mrs. Abimbola said, to an anxious Kacely on the other end of the phone. “I guess, momma, but that company is our legacy. They’ve only given us scraps, compared to what we really deserve, if what Kerrie’s saying is true,” Kacely said. “Aht, no. Don’t get greedy. Greed will cause you to fall into a pit you cannot get out of. I’m telling you, if you pursue this lawsuit against the Bennet’s, concerning Eboda Tech, it will not turn out good for any of us. You, me or Jakayla. Think about Jakayla,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “Mom, Jakayla’s exactly who I’m thinking about. I don’t want her to get what they decide to give her, I want her to have everything she deserves. What if these people are as corrupt as Kerrie’s saying? I don’t think she’d make this stuff up. She’s filed for divorce because she’s tired of keeping these corrupt secrets,” Kacely said. “Kacely, she’s filed for divorce because you and Jackson has tarnished her image and everything her family stood for. Don’t believe the hype. She’s humiliated. Not only did her husband cheat, he cheated and has a daughter with a black woman. I don’t care how much of a Christian she claims to be, she’s a liar. I don’t care how nice she pretends to be to you, she’ll always regard herself as superior to you, and not only because her father is the largest inside owner of one of the largest bank holding companies in the United States. Think about it, as long as everything was in the dark, and out of the public eye, she was okay. She knew exactly what was going on between you and Jackson, but when the world found out, all of a sudden she got tired of keeping family secrets? Child please. Mark my words, at the end of the day, all Kerrie cares about is keeping her and her father’s reputation in tact, and the same goes for Jackson, which is why they were married in the first place,” Mrs. Abimbola said. “Okay, mom. I have to go. I love you. I’ll talk to you later, okay? Bye-bye,” Kacely said. “Okay, I love you too, goodbye,” her mom said, before ending the call. Kacely exhaled deeply. Her mind was all over the place. Kerrie seemed sincere earlier, at the cafe. Kacely didn’t believe that Kerrie would fabricate a will, just to cause chaos between her and Jackson. Or would she? Her mom had gotten to her. Kacely didn’t know what to believe or do. For now, she decided to lock the will away, until she could process her thoughts.
Seven months later, Kerrie and Jackson were divorced, and Kerrie had published her first book, which had become A New York Times Best Seller called, “A time to heal.” Kerrie was doing book tours and she’d quickly become a motivational speaker, self love coach and social media sensation. She was doing great things. Kacely’s haircare line was prospering and she began working on a skincare line as well. The past seven months were calm, until a storm came in the form of two FBI agent’s who came knocking on Kacely’s front door. The agents questioned her about money she’d sent to Jackson, earlier in the year. They showed her papers where three million dollars were sent in her name to Jackson’s account. “I didn’t send three million dollars. This is insane. I sent three dollars, to Jackson’s account, for half his shares. This was almost a year ago. What’s going on?” she said. “Do you have proof to back what you’re saying? Because, according to the bank statements we have, three million dollars were transferred out of your account into his,” one agent said, showing Kacely the bank statements. “I don’t have three million dollars, nor have I had three million dollars, ever. At least not at one time,” Kacely said. “You mean to tell me, that Jackson gave you half of his company shares for three dollars? You expect us to believe this?” the other agent said. Kacely opened her lap top and pulled up the transaction. The account showed proof that three dollars were transferred to Jackson’s account. The agents looked at each other and then looked back at the online statement. “Can you print this off?” Agent number one, said. “Sure,” Kacely said, before printing the statement off. “Thank you for your time. We apologize for the inconvenience,” agent number two said, before they left. “What the hell is going on?” Kacely said outloud, after closing the door behind the agents. She called Jackson. He answered. She told him what had happened, and asked him what was going on. He said, that somehow his bank account was linked to someone who’s been arrested for money laundering. “The FBI is questioning everyone who has sent or received money from my account.,” he said. He told her not to worry, and that his lawyers were on it. Kacely wondered what the hell, Jackson had been up to? Money laundering? Who was it that had gotten arrested? Why did the FBI have a bank statement showing that three million dollars were transferred out of her account into Jackson’s, but her statement showed three dollars? Later on that day, Kacely decided to pay those agents a visit to find out more information, but they warned her to stay away from Jackson, and to stay out of the investigation, because the people they were after were dangerous. “Let us do our job. You just keep you and your daughter, safe,” one of the agents said. “What does that suppose to mean?” Kacely asked. “Just, be more aware of the company you keep,” the agent said, as he walked her out. That evening, when Kacely picked Jakayla up from after school care, she decided to go to her mother’s house. She didn’t feel safe, going back home, so she and Jakayla spent the night at Mrs. Abimbola’s house. The next morning, Kacely went home to get her and Jakayla some clothes for the weekend. Jakayla stayed with her grandmother. As she went to open her door, she noticed glass on the ground, and the glass pane on her door was broken. She immediately, called the police. She didn’t go inside. After the police came and looked around inside her home, one of the officers told her that her alarm was disarmed and it appeared to be a robbery. He told her to look around to see if anything was missing. Kacely looked around, nothing seemed to be missing. Then she remembered the will. She went to look for it in the security safe in her attic, but the entire safe was gone. “What was inside of the safe, ma’am?” the officer asked, as he took notes. “My father’s will,” Kacely said. Jackson pulled up to Kacely’s house while the officers were still there. “Kace, what’s going on? What happened?” he said. “Someone broke into my house,” she said. “What? Where’s Jakayla? Are the two of you okay? When did this happen?” he said. “I don’t know, I just got here not too long ago. Jakayla’s not here, but she’s safe,” Kacely said. The officer began to question Jackson. After they got all the information they needed, the officers left, and one of them said, he’d be in touch. After the officers drove off, Kacely asked Jackson what was he doing there. “I came to see my daughter. Am I not allowed to see her anymore?” he said. “Not until you tell me exactly what’s going on, Jackson. The Feds come to my house questioning me about money, and now my home has been broken into. What have you gotten me into?” she said. “Nothing, Kace I promise. Every time I checked my accounts, my money was spot on. I don’t have time to manage every account I have on a daily basis, which is why I have an accountant. How was I supposed to know that he was laundering money through my account? It wasn’t only my account, it was several others account as well. I didn’t have anything to do with any of this. Now they’re trying to figure out, just how much of my money is legit, and how much is illegal,” he said. “What do you know about my father’s will, Jackson?” Kacely said. “What are you talking about? What will?” he said. “My father’s last will stated, that in the event of his death, my mother would become CEO of Eboda Tech. What do you know about that?” she said. “What do you mean, what do I know? I know nothing of this. This is my first time hearing of your father’s will. If that’s true, how did my father become CEO? How long have you known this? Why are you just now mentioning this to me?” Jackson said. “Because, the will was the only thing that was stolen, out of everything in my house. No jewelry. No money. No laptop, TV, or anything expensive was taken. Only that will. If you are telling the truth about not knowing about my father’s will, then someone is working really hard to make it seem like you do. Some kind of way this robbery is connected to that money laundering ordeal. If you truly care about your daughter the way that you say you do, you need to get to the bottom of this and figure out what’s really going on.
Kacely was right, Jackson thought to himself. He left her house and immediately got a private investigator to work on this. After getting a repairman out to fix her door, Kacely went back to her mother’s house, were she secretly kept a copy of her father’s will, hidden in her old bedroom.