After the DNA samples were taken for the paternity test, Kingston and Tasha were told the results would be in 5 to 10 business days upon arrival to the lab. They went to the clinic on Friday…
Since they left the clinic, Kingston hadn’t made contact with Tasha, which she understood. Giles was back in town and New York’s favorite Major League Baseball couple had many galas and events to attend being the holiday season.
On Monday, she interviewed Blaire Sage, the famous church girl gone wild, seeing that her father was the preacher of one of the largest churches in America. In Tasha’s opinion, Blaire hadn’t gone wild, she simply chose a career in a secular market and not ministry and the church had criticized her and ostracized her for it.
Much of her songs were about love, not about lust. And she proudly proclaimed each love song was about a deeper level of love she had been privileged to love her husband. Other songs on her albums were about life’s ups and downs and when she wasn’t making music or touring, she and her husband checked up on the orphanage they started in China and they also go on other mission trips.
Seeing that the Deets was a savage show seeking the latest gossip, Tasha interrogated her about Blaire’s cousin, Paisley Adamsen, who had a child out of wedlock about eight years ago at the age of 19. The father of the child went to jail for aggravated sexual assault, but rumors were floating around that Paisley lied in order to protect her family’s ministry.
The Deets never needed the interviewee to say anything about the chatter on the rumor mill, they just needed a facial expression that would create a cluttered buzz on every social media outlet. Blaire’s face was filled with panic and her eyes cut away from Tasha’s. The songtress struggled what to say fumbling for her muffled words under her breath. Finally she stated, “The truth can never stay concealed, if that were true, I find it hard to believe my cousin would go along with that.”
On Tuesday, Tasha sat at her desk from 5 am to 1 am the next day looking for enough stories to cover for the next two weeks.
On Wednesday, the studio had an early Thanksgiving meal catered to serve as a friendly potluck.
On Turkey Day, that’s when everything got interesting…
Against her better judgement, Tasha went to her father’s for dinner to avoid her mother. Maybe she freaked out being around the woman that gave birth to her while she was pregnant. Like, an experienced pregnant woman can detect a newbie pregnant woman a mile away, right? Like the woman’s baby-senses get all tingly and go off, right? Maybe not… Tasha had no clue she just knew the thought of being around her mother stressed her out.
Regardless, Tasha liked her odds with Dad and Jenny over Mom and Pat.
Everything was going fine. Tasha only could stand to drink half a glass of wine before she grew queasy and so far, the bird and dressing was staying down the shoot. Foolishly though, she made the grave mistake and she offered to help Jenny clean up in the kitchen.
Tasha’s father had plenty of wealth to hire help like a maid to tidy the dishes, but Jenny found cleaning to be therapeutic and refused to have a maid and a nanny. Instead, she preferred housekeeping over being a typical high society trophy wife. It was Jenny’s dream since grade school to do the House-Wife-Thing-In-Jersey, even though her inheritance as heiress for the King of Apps for Mobile Devices was enough to set her up for life three times.
Jenny washed the dishes, yes, she washed every dish by hand from the sink, while Tasha dried the dishes to stack them in the dishwasher so everything could be disinfected.
Just barley starting the dishes, while the rest of the family and guests enjoyed the football game, Jenny tried to reconnect with Tasha, “How is Carter?”
“I wouldn’t know…”
Jenny left her hands submerged in the sudsy water as she tilted her head toward Tasha and raised her brow, “When did you two break up?”
“We were never together. It was just causal.”
“Well, your father and I were casual until I got pregnant with Humphrey.” Jenny shined a plate sparkling clean with her sponge. She handed that plate to Tasha to rinse and dry.
“Please, stop talking now before you make me sick.” Tasha sighed as she stacked the rinsed plate into the dishwasher.
“I’ve never seen you go ham on turkey like you did today. Are you sure you’re not carrying Carter Jr.?”
Tasha froze as a rush of nerves shot panic straight to her heart. She knew it was dumb to spend the holiday with anyone who once was in the state she was in now… Her trips to the bathroom have been minimal… How could her pregnancy be so obvious?
“JK,” Jenny laughed clumping a bust of suds into her palm and then she flung the suds at Tasha.
The foamy white bubble suds fluttered to land on top of Tasha’s hair all pinned up in a bun. Much of Tasha wanted to flick water back at Jenny from the running faucet on the empty side of the sink, but that would be like the old days… and no matter how much Tasha has tried to rekindle her life long friendship with Jenny, their bond cannot recover from Tasha’s best friend marrying her father. And marrying a man approximately the same age as her father wasn’t so bad, but she was Tasha’s father’s mistress while he was married to Lucille, Tasha loved her stepmother more than her actual mother. But what really stung, was that everyone knew about the affair but Lucille, for she passed away before Tasha’s father and Jenny went public.
Jenny’s father, Dean, was ticked and stopped communication with Tasha’s father, Tanner, unless business manners meant the men must talk. Dean may be an app genius, but Tanner is the grandson of a ranching TV mogul and many of Dean’s apps flourish through a deep pocket partnership with a huge subsidiary of a major monopoly telecom company. Well, once a huge subsidiary, Tanner Turner, the grandson of the man who started the company managed to buy the TV incorporation back and created another monopoly telepictures company.
Tanner, however, could not buy back the famous news station that was the first to constantly broadcast and now streams nothing but news. Ironically, that news broadcast company’s parent company canned Tasha Turner when she got sued for defamation, because of a story she spun that her bosses knew was more gossip than fact.
The ladies cleaned side by side only talking to communicate how to pick up the table or where to put away the silver. In under an hour, they picked up the dinning area, cleaned the dishes from dinner, and got the coffee, tea, and dessert ready for roughly 20 people.
To bring Dessert Time to everyone, Tasha helped Jenny place items in the silver three tier trolley cart. Tasha set things in place on the cart and Jenny handed Tasha the items to be set in order.
For seven years, Jenny has publically been with Tanner, Tasha’s father. For six and half years, Jenny hand been the third Mrs. Turner. For just over six years, Jenny has been the mother of Tasha’s only sibling. Tasha and Jenny may have been best friends since private school in Pre-K, clearly they lacked something because a true friend would never betray Tasha in such a way.
Handing Tasha a stack of small plates, Jenny asked, “If we can’t go back to the way we were can we at least get to some place new to get a fresh start?”
Taking the plates gently, Tasha rolled her eyes and pointed out, “For seven we’ve been trying….” she went on to question, “If you were me, could you?”
Remorsefully, Jenny averted her gaze and turned her back to Tasha. Tasha knew leaving things with that rhetorical question was enough to guilt trip her oldest and once dearest friend. Somehow, Tasha was thirsty to see Jenny suffer, therefore, she decided to lay it all out.
Crossing her arms, Tasha stood behind Jenny and leaned into her ear, “How would you like having a father who barely remembers you exist? When my parents were married, he never spent the holidays with us, and my mom flew us off somewhere for her to have a shopping spree extravaganza. Then, your parents get divorced and you find out you get to have two Christmases, and they actually turn into zero Christmases because your mom figures you’re old enough to be left alone and when you go to your dad’s there’s a nanny standing by the Christmas tree because daddy and his new wife are off on a beach somewhere avoiding the cold…”
Tasha went on about how eventually her father began to cheat on Lucille and neglect her too like he had her mother and Tasha herself. But unlike Tasha’s own mother shopping away her pain, Lucille spent time with Tasha and took an interest in her. Then, Lucille got deathly sick… Tanner Turner once again was nowhere to be found, but there was plenty of evidence he was cheating on a dying woman…
“You announce you’re pregnant and marrying my father three weeks after Lucille’s funeral and you have the audacity to joke about getting pregnant on purpose to trap a guy to break the ice?!”
Jenny turned around as she backed away from Tasha. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
“To make everything worse, since Humphrey was born my father takes every holiday off to spend it with the son he always wanted. Right now, they’re watching television together, building a precious memory that I can’t recall even having one like it.” Tasha complained.
“Oh yeah,” Jenny raised her voice, “You act all jaded like you’re the only spoiled heiress who never got daddy’s attention!” Jenny suddenly back-kicked her bottom black kitchen cabinet with the heel of her boot.
Tasha jumped a little fretful over that bipolar-like reaction. She stepped behind the cart to serve as a potential weapon incase Jenny lunged for her. Not that Jenny would ever physically harm Tasha. And Jenny was definitely not bipolar to Tasha’s knowledge.
Crying as her face flushed red and the vein in her forehead bulged, Jenny shared her side… “I know what it’s like being ignored by my father too. Growing up DJ got all the attention. DJ got to go to the office with dad, DJ got to go on special trips, and DJ was taught the keys to the app-making kingdom. How many people create a network of apps dependent on one another to fully enjoy the features by the user. Only brand cellphone makers were known for doing so beforehand. I may stay at home and bake cookies all day but I graduated from MIT for God’s sake!”
“Clearly you have daddy issues, but you could have found any other older man but my dad!”
“No I couldn’t!”
“Yes you could have, there are plenty of dirty old men out there. How would you like it-,”
“It’s called love Tash, GOSH! I fell in love with your father over my summer internship. And lower your voice before we become screaming chicks in a cat fight.” Jenny combed her ginger stranglers of hair out of her face and rubbed the back of her neck. Taking a deep breath Jenny stepped closer to Tasha, which made Tasha roll the cart forward to keep Jenny back.
Jenny leaned over the surface tier of the cart and whispered loudly, “I really was just joking. I wanted Humphrey when I got pregnant but I didn’t get pregnant on purpose. Being pregnant one day and then not pregnant the next day… well… sucks…”
Seeing Jenny struck with sorrow made Tasha pull the cart back. On behalf of a shred of compassion, Tasha moved toward her friend, but she could not bring herself to embrace Jenny for comfort.
“What do you mean by that? Did you have a miscarriage or something?”
Shaking her head, “No… It was intentional, three times…”
Okay… maybe they weren’t best friends like she thought. Who hides three abortions from their best friend?
Jenny went on to explain she had one in high school. Smith Wilson, her high school beau helped her through that one. In college, she wasn’t sure who the father was due to a wild night at a crazy French Court styled party. From the shame of that alone she bared that by herself. The most recent one was last summer. Jenny and Tasha’s dad found out the child she was carrying was highly at risk for down syndrome, they both agreed they didn’t want to subject a child to such a difficult life.
Tasha didn’t know what to say. But now Jenny was further made a stranger in Tasha’s eyes than she was before this confrontation.
“What are you going to do?”
Tasha was done. She wasn’t going to stand in her father’s home and let another 31-year-old woman mother her. Immediately, Tasha held her tongue and fumed with rage deep inside as she headed for the door to leave. Jenny hurried after her, begging Tasha to sort things out with her. Tasha was set in her lane when the commentators, during the Half Time Show, dropped Kingston Rourke’s name when she entered the living room. The wall has a built-in screen that dissolved when not being viewed and looked like an average wall.
Kingston was about six years younger than Tasha. In college, he played football, but decided not to go pro because the football community didn’t embrace the LBGTQ community as well as the baseball community did, plus… with Giles going pro Kingston didn’t need his own career in football.
Rex Hollinger, an alumnus of the same alma mater as Kingston, and happened to be a retired QB for New York City’s best team, who everyone thought Kingston would have replaced had he gone pro.
Rex and another ex-football player, Tank Burke, and analyst Shanna Wright sat in the advanced studio with mainly interactive green screens with hologram integration interfaces— but to viewers it looked super stellar and had rich realistic looking content and the commentators controlled it all with the flicks of their fingers and programed body gestures.
“I can’t believe it about Kingston Rourke. I know all of New York City is sending positive thoughts and vibes up to him and his family right now. Those who pray, I’m sure are lifting him up in prayer to the universe and the powers at be.” Rex stated.
Tasha rushed to the foyer and dug through the closet to pull out her cellphone, which she stupidly kept tucked in her purse. A gazillion messages from her boss exploded on her lock screen and trending on every social media outlet and gossip news feed was the same information. Kingston Rourke attempted to take his own life.