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Bussing It – Part 10

…10 Years Forward…


“Homecoming”

I’m honored to do Genie’s hair. Brings back memories of doing hair while Derek and I were both in college. He was finishing up his Bachelor’s in Religious Studies and I was getting my Master’s in Education. I worked at a high end salon, so I was racking in a lot of dough. Derek was working two jobs on top of going to school. And when I wasn’t at the salon, I was taking care of our girls… we barely saw each other.

But now, I work at Brink as a Math Teacher and Derek works at a Christian School as a Chaplain. He still works at warehouse some nights and on the weekends, but we’re not crazy busy like we used to be. He’s currently working on his Masters and wants to get his Doctorate eventually. I’m amazed at where we are!

“Wha-la!” I say spritzing her tight, pulled back bun with hairspray to hold it in place all night. I really didn’t do anything fancy.

She stands up and gives me the mightiest hug for the skinniest girl. Then she holds my shoulders and looks me in the eye, “I had a dream you and Derek had a baby boy.”

With an eye roll, “Derek and I are happy with both our girls… we don’t need anymore kids.”

We really couldn’t afford that right now.

“I’m just saying… he’s adorable! He looks like Papa Trick.”

Julie is pasty white with straight black hair and hazel eyes. Priscilla has straight red hair and ice blue eyes with freckles. She’s trying to tell me Derek and I are going to have a kid with brown skin and curly hair? HA!

“What are you smoking?” I joke.

“I know this is hard to accept but accept it!” She says keeping her cheery smile. She takes her navy-blue ball gown off its rack that helped it hang on the door of her closet. The bell of the gown embellished with faux diamonds and pearly-looking jewels. The sleeves of the gown matching blue but also see-through.

“I’ll wait for you downstairs with everyone else.” I say as I leave.

I was prepared to go through the whole safe sex talk. I know that makes me a little hypocritical as a Christian… but I think it’s better to have that conversation, but Genie’s pretty on fire for God… which I know we’re all prone to falling and sinning at times, but her heart desires what God wants for her life. At least I’m pretty sure, if her heart isn’t in that place, she is a GREAT actress.

In the foyer, Bobby lectures Oliver, Genie’s date, about when to be back and all the things father’s lecture their daughter’s date about. I picture Derek doing the same thing in like seven years when Julie goes to her first school dance. O my God! That’s only seven years away… I feel OLD. Okay, I’m only 26, but I have a 9-year-old! All my friends are just getting married and starting to have kids…

Xzavia, Bobby’s wife, has Albany on the home video-chat system. She’s away at college in Columbus, OH… That’s so far away from us, but we’ll see her at Christmas.

I purposely step in the line of sight to steal the attention.

Albany: Savvy!

Me: Hey Al!

Albany: I miss you.

Me: I miss you more! I can’t wait for Christmas… why aren’t you coming home for Thanksgiving again?

Albany: I’m going to spend it with Philip’s family. They’re right here in town.

Me: Aw… I forgot you have a serious boyfriend. Stop growing up! Just stop!!!

Albany: Whatever! You can take it.

Me: No, I can’t… (I get all teary-eyed.)

Albany: Are you crying? Are you finally pregnant again?

Me: Did Genie tell you about her dream?

Albany: No, we were praying for our families in class last month and I had a vision of you having a boy. He looks like your dad, just a lighter version. His curls are so gorgeous. You’ll finally have a kid that looks like you.

Me: (Trying not to be offended I say🙂 Julie and Priscilla look like me! We have the same eyes and noses.

Albany: Whatever, your son is gorgeous! I can’t wait until you find out your pregnant.

Me: D and I are done having kids!

From the top of the stairs, Genie yells, “No, you’re not!”

Looking at Albany on the hand held  video-chat sphere, Xzavia comes to my rescue, “Stop pestering her. Prophecy can change according to obedience, are you sure you were released to share that with Savvy right now?”

Albany: (wincing from shame) Oops. Sorry Savvy. I love you.

Clearing her throat loudly and theatrically fake, Genie directs everyone’s attention to her. We applaud her and tell her how beautiful she is as she descends the stairs. She walks up to Oliver, who nervously tells her how pretty she is. He puts the red rose corsage he brought on her right wrist.

In front of the door, she stands locking elbows with Oliver. Oliver’s black bowl-cut hair is slicked with a lot of moose to stay in place. He wears a gray suit with a navy-blue bow tie and a burgundy dress shirt. They smile for photos. I don’t get why Genie died her beautiful blonde hair jet black, but she wanted a different look. I never pictured Genie dating a Native American, but they look cute together. I for sure thought she would date a Mexican with her love of Mexican culture.

I remember when she was tiny playing princess in Bobby’s living room! I can’t handle this!!!

After pictures, I swoop in and hug her not wanting to let her leave. I whisper in her ear, “Guard your heart…” She totally knows what I mean by that.

Derek is the youth pastor at church, that we all go to together, and he preached a sermon about sexuality and purity. He preached when we guard our hearts we’re holding dear all the promises of God, and when we trust God and follow in His precepts, when we receive God’s promises it gives glory to God and prevents us from damaging our souls or hurting others. He emphasized sex out of marriage compromises our relationship with God. Because we’re designed for marriage and only meant to have sex within marriage, doing it outside of marriage damages our heart, but within marriage sex ignites our hearts and helps us build healthy concepts of commitment, love, and intimacy. I wish I heard a sermon like that as a teenager… Even though Derek and I didn’t have sex until our wedding night, this night ten years ago, which was like 4 months after Julie was born… I think Derek and I would have just had a smoother first year of marriage, if we heard the message he preached on “Guarding Our Hearts” at Genie’s age…

“Can you let go now? I don’t want to show up after all the fun is over.” She says loudly.

I release her drying my tears on my sleeve.

“Oh, Happy Anniversary! Why are you hear and not with your husband?” Genie wonders.

“He had to work… we’re gonna celebrate next weekend. Thank you.”

Bobby embraces me on the left and Xzavia embraces me on the right, as we stand outside by the door and watch the young couple get in Oliver’s mustang and drive away to one of the best nights of their high school career.

“Belated Happy Anniversary”

Half awake I feel a warm light appear in front of my face. The smell of pine firewood hits my nose and I perk up suddenly opening my eyes. To my wonderful surprise, it’s Derek holding a new candle of my favorite sent to my nose. I look at the alarm clock and it’s 4:13 am. He must have just gotten in.

“Happy Anniversary… Have I told you lately… I love you so much.” He set the candle down on my night stand and kisses me.

He breaks away and goes to stand up, but I hold him by the head, “Are you coming to bed?”

“I’m all sweaty and musky from lifting packages all night. Don’t you want me to shower first?”

“You can shower afterwards.” I kiss him back.

He pulls away to gain clarity, “You mean I’m actually getting lucky tonight?”

“So, you don’t want to then?” I tease.

Quickly, he stands up and whips off his shirt and then leaps over me and lands on his side of the bed. His long locks cover his face like a curtain. I turn over and I hover his head. I wipe the hair out of his eyes, strand by strand. For a good while, we just smile and stare at each other. He doesn’t look that different than he did 10 years ago. He’s a little thicker. I remember after military school for two years he had a six pack but now it’s a pouch… I’m very grateful he isn’t going bald like his dad…

But beyond his looks, I’m so in love with who he is on the inside now. I love the man of God he is. I love the father he is to our girls. I love the type of son he is to his parents. The type of brother he is to his siblings and to mine. I love the kind of neighbor he is to everyone around us. I love how he treats me like I’m his queen, but he leads me like a king. I love him more than I did yesterday. And yesterday, I loved him a lot because he picked up an extra shift at work to earn more money for our family vacation next June.

He lifts his head to kiss me, but I back up.

“What? You changed your mind?”

“Genie, Albany, and Xzavia have had visions of us having another baby… and I know we can’t really afford that right now?”

“Well, I wasn’t planning on going unprotected tonight.”

Yeah, we’re that couple that still uses condemns… Birth control makes me sick… we tried many different kinds but I’m one of the women in the world that gets terribly sick under hormone manipulation… and neither one of us like the idea of getting fixed… I’m usually pretty good about tracking my ovulation and make sure we avoid making love on the days I ovulate to be extra safe, but I don’t know… I kind of want another baby.

“You don’t have to tonight… if you think we can manage the expenses as they come up…”

“Oh, we can handle anything together. Are you sure?”

“Yeah…” I say right as I kiss him.

“The AMAs”

Tyler Swipe, who some how transformed into a pop star after rising to fame as a teen country star, announces who the New Artist of the Year is, “Kaylie Johnson!”

Julie and Priscilla leap off the couch and start jumping radically all over the floor. Julie does a somersault in between the coffee table and the TV yelling, “SHE DID IT!”

“Aunt Kaylie won! Aunt Kaylie FREAKING WON!” Cillie shouts exuberantly.

I’m like crying… This is the moment she’s been working for the past ten years. She moved to Nashville after high school. She would call me after every rejection, every fallen-through deal, and every disappointment for encouragement and prayer. When she took the huge risk to transition from a Christian artist to a Secular artist, she got a lot of criticism from our circle of Christian friends. But last September, her album dropped and beat out some of the top artists in the country. Her single “Love & Freedom” still sits at number one. Her album is the most downloaded across all platforms. Over half the songs on her album have been featured on TV shows, and in films…

Kaylie wears a stunning red dress, he long hair in a fancy fishtail braid, with sparkles and jewels woven in. She hugs the songtress Tyler Swipe and accepts her AMA.

Crying joyfully, she wipes her tears, “O dear Jesus my Messiah… I don’t have any words… but… Thank you! Thank you God, thank you to my producers Lauren and Ed, to all the musicians who played on this album… thank you to Neill, my husband… I love you honey… Oh, and I have to thank my bestie- Savvy! I’m so grateful for this and I would not be hear today if I did not trust the path God sent me down. My glory is God’s glory. Oh- and thank you Julie and Cillie, your prayers got me through- now go to bed!”

The girls freak out they got mentioned on national TV.

God’s goodness can be overwhelmingly beautiful.

“Cash Moneymaker, Future NBA ALL-STAR”

“Let’s go defense!” I blare at the top of my lungs.

“Cash Money!” Trick hollers.

It’s nice that we’re all here. Derek, my girls, Bobby, Genie, and Xzavia, Netty, and Deshaun, and Arnie and Jessica. Trick too, my dad, who is the best. I still can’t bring myself to call him dad like Netty and Arnie, but he’s cool with me calling him Trick. So… after Julie was born, I did start writing him letters, but even after he got out of prison we didn’t connect until my grandma, his mom, got sick. Julie was five and Priscilla was three. Julie has always been close to my grandma since she was born, so over the last week of her life we camped out at the hospital and Julie bonded with my dad right away. I knew there was no way to avoid him anymore.

Cash takes after his dad. He has a beautiful set of curls and yet, he shaves them all off to sport a bald look… He’s so tall for 13… 6’0”! College scouts are already recruiting him. He plays varsity for the high school he’ll be attending next year as point guard. Last week an analyst on ESPN brought him up and says he’s the second coming of Kobe Bryant…

Watching him on the court dazzles us.

One-minute left in the 4th quarter, we’re down by two points, and the other team has the ball. Cash didn’t play most of the game because he hasn’t been listening to the coach. He’s in right now, because he’s the best player defensively and offensively. He’s also the number one stealer in the region right now.

Sure enough, Cash steals the ball from the opposite team’s point guard. He drives to the hoop. On his way up for a lay-up he gets fouled, but he still makes the basket. He makes the extra point putting the team ahead by one.

 The clock slowly whines down, between the fouls and the time outs and the free throw shots, from both sides.

Ten seconds to go, we’re down by two, our ball. Full court pressure after the ball gets passed in to Cash. Cash spins around his defenders and rushes to the top of the key at the three-point line, he pops his shot off and it goes in putting us up by one!!! Yes.

They put full court pressure on the other team and the clock runs out before they cross over to their side of the court. We WON!

The whole family high-fives and hugs as we cheer about the victory. Cash leaves his teammates to join in our family hug. We don’t care that he smells and is drenched in sweat. We put him in the center of us and smother him with love!

This is one portrait of family I never pictured. I wanted a close family like this my entire life, since I was a little girl. We are far from perfect. We fight a lot and get on each other nerves, but there’s no doubt any of us love each other. We are all alcohol and drug free. We spend every holiday together. We get together once a month and we take giant family vacations together. We attend the same church. We live in the same city, and whether we’re blood or not, because we’re family, we’re there for each other, no matter what… All things are possible with God.

And my nephew will make it to the NBA if my prayers have anything to with it!

As we release Cash to go back to his team, Trick announces, “Pizza on me at Mama’s EVERYBODY!”

Trick does really well financially. He wrote a book about his life and his conversion to Christ while he was prison. He goes around the world sharing his testimony and preaching the gospel. And last month he just sold his book’s rights to Pureflix so they can make a movie about his life. Makes me wonder if I should write a story about my life… no one would believe I’m not on drugs, not a smoker, and not an alcoholic. That I’m a teen mom that lives in upper-middle class with a Master’s Degree. That I’m married to my childhood sweetheart. That I survived rape, kept and raised my rapist’s baby, and put my rapist behind bars… No one would believe my story.

“I Miss You”

Ten years ago today, a time of tremendous gloom

I sat in your hospital room

I witnessed you rededicate your soul to the One

Who bled, died, and rose again for you- the Son

Messiah Jesus- our glorious savior

Who won your heart through a painful cross labor

I’m at peace knowing you’re in paradise

I can’t imagine the glory you know and the size

Of the smile on your face

In that wonderful place

I have so many unfulfilled wishes really

I wish you got to hold Julie and Cillie

I wish you were there when Derek and I said I do

I wish I could hold you and kiss you and tell you I love you

I don’t really remember telling you that

And even though you put me through a lot of crap

I’m so grateful we had that best time together

For your finale in life, that it was better

Than our ugly beginning

I know you know in life now I’m winning

But with all my blessings- it doesn’t change this fact

I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU. I MISS YOU.

“Truth Prevails”

I stare at the letter from Kurt. He got sentenced for 15 years but he’s up for parole due to good behavior. He claims to have found Christ and his letter is filled with a long-winded apology. He wants me to be a character witness for him at his hearing! I believe he’s changed, but I don’t want to help him get out sooner. He wants to meet Julie too.

Now, we’ve told Julie that Derek isn’t her birth father. We told her that Kurt was and that he wasn’t a very good man and he was in prison for something bad that he did. We did not tell her about the horrendous act that led to her conception. We’re waiting until she’s older and more mature to handle that reality. We’re not lying to her, we’re just withholding part of the truth.

For the past year, I’ve allowed Julie and Kurt to exchange letters, but Julie’s never expressed she wants to meet him. She’s never referred to Kurt as her father. She tells her best friend Stacey that Kurt her is sperm donor dad. She came up with that take all on her own, after she watched a PBS special about IVF and egg and sperm donating in America, and how laxed our restrictions are on how often people can donate their genetic material. She may be 9, but at times she’s like 30.

I don’t know what to do… I don’t think I can handle this right now. Christmas is coming up, Derek and I just found out we’re pregnant for a third time- I really don’t why I let my sisters manipulate me into this pregnancy, and I have the classrooms from hell this year!

God, what do I do?

GO.

I laugh.

Julie walks past me and sits down at the kitchen table, and she set her backpack on the tabletop. Cillie follows her lead and sits next to her. They pull their school iPads out and log in to start their homework.

I snap out of it and put the letter in the junk drawer.

“What do you both want for a snack, before dinner?”

“A peanut butter and banana sandwich.” Julie asks.

“That’s weird!” Cillie says sassily to her big sis. “I just want PB&J mommy,” in a sweet girl tone to me.

That was Kurt’s favorite snack…

“Have you ever had a peanut butter and banana sandwich, Julie?”

“No, but Daddy Kurt says it’s is favorite snack and he misses it.”

“How come Julie has two daddies and I just have one? Paulie has two daddies too, but they live together, but he doesn’t have a mommy… that must suck.”

“Cillie, watch your mouth.”

I try to process Julie calling Kurt dad and wanting to eat a snack like him as I gather the ingredients. It’s so much easier to talk about forgiveness and moving forward when you don’t have to face the person who hurt you… I mean, I know I don’t have to worry. He has to register as a sex offender and he can never be alone with Julie, but I can’t stop my heart from racing with panic…

DON’T BE AFRAID.

Yeah, I don’t have to be afraid.

“Ooo! There are beautiful angels surrounding you mommy!” Cillie exclaims. She’s a seer. She sees angels all the time and she’s been getting visions about her baby brother like crazy. She told us his name the other day, Rodney, which before then we couldn’t choose between that name or River for a boy and Delany or Laney for another girl. We’re very private when discussing baby names not revealing the name until the seven month, but with prophetic kids and family members you can’t keep anything secret.

“Yeah, mom, God sent His messengers to help you be okay with Daddy Kurt’s letter. So are you okay with going to see him?” Julie wonders…

The mail was in the house, waiting on the kitchen island counter when I got in the door… The girls came in after me and there’s no way Julie could know about the letter let alone know what it was about…

Okay God… I will go… I’ll speak on his behalf but God… just keep me sane and my girls safe…

Both my girls get up and race over to me. They hug me as I start crying.

“It’s okay mommy.” Cillie says.

“You don’t have to go if it’s too hard.” Julie says.

Laughter tickles our hearts and as I crouch low we just keep laughing in the Holy Ghost. They smother me in kisses on my cheeks. Then Julie hands me the kitchen hand towel to wipe my tears.

“I’m okay… How did I get blessed with the best girls?!”

“Because God is too good!” They shout in sync.

…Back to the Present…


“God is Too Good”

I want to write a poem but I can’t really settle on rhyme and meter… But just thinking about God’s goodness, blows my mind… I went to church with Derek and Kaylie last week and I learned why awful things happen to people.

We live in a fallen world and we all have free will, because God loves everyone unconditionally, He will not override anyone’s freewill. Unless we submit our will to pursue after His will, is when He’ll interfere in our affairs and impact the earth because He gave authority of the Earth to us.

When we have relationship with God and we live our lives for Him, we build the Kingdom on the Earth. Through loving people like He loves us is how we change our world and bring people to Him. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to listen and to trust Him and have faith everything we go through has a purpose that will make God’s Kingdom bigger. As believers we are one big family and our job is to add to the family God has designed and to build a home for God on the earth.

I have to forgive the jerk, Kurt- I have to forgive Kurt… Because Jesus died for all of us, he deserves forgiveness. I have no idea how I can forgive him… but I know with God… anything is possible.

I think last night I had like a vision of my future… Ten years from now… I don’t remember anything but the names of my kids… I think… nope… I don’t remember. I have immense peace! Whatever life throws at me, God is with me, and He will never leave me or forsake me!

Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.

And I must be this way because Netty’s been praying for me… probably Derek’s prayers too… And well Kaylie’s as well… who cares! Jesus is the best friend I’ve ever had… greater than Derek and Kaylie put together.

I don’t hate my life anymore. I’m sad my mother is dying. I’m sad I don’t know my dad. But I got this hope, knowing everything is going to get better. I have a purpose now. And that purpose is living life with God, after all He made humanity because He wanted to enjoy community with us (Rev. 4:11).

I think I’m going to write a book about my life… or at least blog about it… so if anyone suffered like I did or do… they know there’s real hope. Not the kind of hope where you wish for things to be better, but with hope that confidently knows something better is COMING!


Author’s Note

Originally, “Bussing It” was going to be 12 parts. But I cut it short, when I incorporated the flash-forward, I felt like it offered enough to showcase the direction Savvy was going to take with her life.

I was seriously thinking about Savvy putting her first child in adoption, but I decided against that. I felt like a stronger story of forgiveness prevailing that way. But I’m pro-adoption…

This story is the first Story Sunday where I have campaigned like crazy on social media and the first series where I was very adamant about being consistent. I only broke once by failing to post a part one week, but life happened and I didn’t plan enough to make up for it.

I’ve had this idea since 2012. There’s many different versions on my flash drives. The only part I used from those other versions are the characters and the stories that Savvy told her little sisters. In one version, I was going to have Savvy grow up to be a famous children’s author and I think based on this version, we can see she definitely followed some path of writing in life, but I left it very open-ended as to where that goes.

In all the other versions but this one, Savvy and Derek were going to break up and he was going to die in  a car accident and or a drug overdose. But I really fell in love with this idea of the two of them forever and never separating until death from a ripe old age.

Originally, she was going to be pregnant by Derek and not Kurt. Originally Kurt was really sweet and Bobby was the child molester, but somehow those roles changed and I’m okay with that.

As usual I have people getting saved in my story because salvation is the best and I love seeing the power of that even in a fictional context. I think I’ve used the power of conversion too much. For the next one, we’ll have a series with already saved people!

Thank you so much for reading this serious. If you loved reading it, feel free to share it with someone you think would enjoy reading it!

If you have any questions for me, drop them in the comments section, and I will respond as soon as I can.

I know Disney uses the slogan “Dare to Dream”… and I don’t know how long they’ve been using that, but I thought of the for story title back in 2013/2014, and I feel like I came up with it first… but I have no proof and I very well could be wrong. But I dare you to dream and to never give up on your dream, you have that dream for a reason, and you are meant to fulfill it. God will show you how to do it the best way! And if God crushes your dream, he has something better in mind because He knows you the best!

Best regards,

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Bussing It-Part 9

“My Boys”

Cash sleeps peacefully in his car seat in the back. I can’t avoid looking in the review mirror to watch him sleep. His mop of maroon red hair reminds me of Patrick, dear old dad. For a second, I wonder how he holds up in prison.

Arnie talks just above a whisper not to wake Cash Moneymaker up. That name, right? I’m surprised the hospital let them walk out of with an infant named CASH MONEYMAKER.

“Thanks for coming to dinner with us tonight. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen my favorite little sister-cousin.”

I hate it when he calls me that… An abhorrent reminder of our terrible family tree.

“Yeah. It was nice. It’s a bummer Jessica couldn’t join us.”

Arnie sighs as he slowly rolls to a stop at a red light. “You know why she couldn’t join us?” He questions with hand gesture air quotes. I’m not sure if he’s really asking or being rhetorical… He continues without my response. “She’s out with her girls… enjoying her youth while she’s young! She don’t cook, clean, or take care of Cash. I do all that. She never picks up her phone. She gets in late at night. If I didn’t work overtime, we wouldn’t be making ends meet because she doesn’t chip in with her check at all… Jessica couldn’t join us because she’s a ghost!”

That sounds rough.

The light turns green and he looks back at Cash through the review mirror as he drives forward.

“I was going to break up with Jessica the night she told me she was pregnant; did you know that?”

I quietly shake my head no and moan subtly, “Nah-ah.”

“You know I only married her thinking about what my mom might of wanted… did you know dad didn’t marry my mom until after I was born? Netty was the only one born in wedlock…” He chuckles. “They of course told everyone they were married when they moved in together, but they weren’t yet.” He adds.

It’s weird. Our father had children with a set of sisters… Aunt Betty got breast cancer, fought it for three years, and died right before Arnie’s 16th birthday. Arnie and Netty went to go live with dad’s mom- Grandma Patricia. Aunt Betty never kept Arnie and Netty away from Grandma Pat, but Jewel never lets me see her. Maybe if I ask, I could go see her.

“Not to change the subject,” and by not trying to I totally am trying to, “how is Grandma Pat?”

“Good. Really good. She asked about you last week, I told her all the cool things you have going on and I left out all the drama- like the baby, D, and Aunt Jewel dying.”

“I get I disappointed everyone by getting pregnant as a teen too, but ironically, they baby, D, and my mom are the three main things giving me hope.”

“You really gonna marry D? Just because he knocked you up?”

“No… I mean sort of… I mean, D and I are going to get married one day any way, but due to this, we’re moving up our timeline.”

“You should put the baby up for adoption.” He says bluntly as he turns onto the street that leads to Bobby’s house.

“Well, tonight was great up until right now! Not everyone is like you, okay? D, is not you. D and I are nothing like you and Jess. I’ve been in love with D since we first met as kids. My love for him only gets stronger over the years. I love him more now than I did before I was pregnant. You have no idea the lengths he would go for me, how much he has already sacrificed for me, and how much more he is giving up for my sake. Sometimes, I think he’s too good for me, but I’m wired to love him, and if I don’t have to live without him, I won’t. Marriage wasn’t even on my mind, but he proposed to me. He got his parents blessing, he got my mom’s okay, and our families are surprisingly behind us. Life is always going to be hard, much of it will suck, but its not so much about where you’re going in life, but who is on the bus with you, bussing it through life with you. Derek is with me. Only death will separate us.”

The minute Arnie stops in front of Bobby’s house. I get out and slam the car door. Cash wakes up crying. As much as it sucks to disturb Cash from a peaceful slumber, I get satisfaction in charging away from Arnie with the final say in my court.

“Going Once, Going Twice… Sold?”

I stand amazed. I marvel at the beautiful, jungle styled nursey at Netty’s and Deshaun’s that used to be the office, across from the room I stayed in…

“We want you and the baby to stay with us.” Deshaun says.

That’s surprising.

“For as long as you need. We want school to come first to you.” Netty adds.

“You can focus on school and motherhood…” Deshaun falls silent.

“And if motherhood proves to be too challenging, we would be willing to take custody for you.” Netty shares the true motive of the baby room. They want my baby.

I take a deep breath in. I exhale as I count backwards from ten in my head. For some reason, this sweet offer pisses me off. Why do people think I can’t handle school and motherhood? Doing homework and raising kids isn’t a challenge for me. I did that with my sisters. They came out of my mother’s womb with me as their full-time caretaker. I was seven, went I was putting bottles of baby formula together and changing Albany’s diapers. When Jewel and Bobby were busy partying all weekend, I took care of the three of us.

And as a kid, even though I missed a lot of school, I never fell behind making honor roll every year until high school, where my grade went down for a lack of attendance. One teacher accused me of cheating, saying I couldn’t pass my tests if I wasn’t in class learning the material. Well, that one teacher was wrong! Obviously. Therefore, I left and I went to Brink.

“Thank you… this is really sweet… but I have to decline your offer.”

“We’re not going to offer something like this later.” Deshaun says firmly.

“That’s okay. D and I got this.” I say, proudly holding my bulging belly.

They chime in about how were too young to get married. I laugh because Netty married Deshaun when she turned 18 and he’s five years older than her. They started courting when she was 17 and half, but they were friends since she was 11 and he was 16. He was her youth leader in middle school and in high school. Granted, they didn’t kiss until their wedding day, but he groomed her to be his wife. And they are lecturing me about getting married too young… I can’t!

My phone pings with a fresh incoming text. It’s from Kaylie. She’s here to pick me up.

“I really appreciate this offer. I feel super loved, but I don’t need to take it. I can handle D, school, and the baby. I have to go, my ride is here.”

“The Darkness Gets Exposed”

Sliding into her car like a whale balloon, I sort of forgot we had a nasty fight. Remembering the last thing I said to her makes me want to climb right out. Why is she picking me up?

“Thanks for coming…” I say.

“I’m sorry.” Kaylie says turning off her ignition and pulling out her keys. “I had no business trying to force a huge life decision on you like that… I was wrong about that dream anyhow.”

Now I’m curious. As I struggle to put my seat belt on, I ask her what the dream did mean.

“Well… I think I know what the dream was about…” Kaylie admits nervously.

“I’m sorry too.”

“I get why you said what you said though… if I’m right about the dream…”

“What do you mean?”

She proceeds to tell me about her dream. She sees a dark figure looming over me at night while I sleep.  She seems me crying in Derek’s arms. I’m without clothes but he isn’t. She saw me give birth to a girl. She knows what I name the baby, but she won’t tell me.

She sees me place my baby girl in the arms of a light skin black man, he could be mixed. He has a maroon red afro, a matching goatee, and he dresses like he’s stuck in the 70s- paisley patterns and orange and yellow colors. He stood next to a woman with porcelain white skin and bright red hair. She had the most gorgeous aqua eyes. She wore clothes like she was in the 80s.

Then she sees the dark figure follow me as I age. Derek tries to help me, but I never let him. Before Kaylie saw anything else, she woke up.

“So based on that you think I give the baby to a couple that looks like my Grandpa Marion and Grandma Pat? How do you know I’m having a girl?”

“I know you’re having a girl because my dream from God said so… and yeah, I thought you were supposed to give your baby to a biracial couple, but I got it all wrong. The man is your dad, and the woman is your grandma, and after your daughter is born, you’re going to reconnect with them. But the dark figure… Kurt hurt you, didn’t he… he’s really the baby’s father, not D, isn’t he?”

I break down and cry. The burden of keeping that secret from everyone I love and care about hurts. Holding in such a filthy, dirty secret weighs on my heart. The more I cry… the lighter I feel. Like somehow, I’m letting go of all the darkness that shackles me.

Kaylie rubs my back… It’s soothing… Kaylie leans over and hugs me as she cries with me. Sometimes, it’s a relief to have someone sit with you, hold you, and grieve with you. Nothing needs to be said. No one needs to tell what to do to get past your pain. People who do that aren’t strong enough to bear the pain with you. But the person daring enough to empathize with you, and to labor in sorrow with you… that’s a true friend…

But how could she know the sex of the baby? I haven’t told anyone. Not even my sister. How could she know about the jerk? Just my mom and Derek know and neither of them would tell a soul. I’m a fool to ask when I know her answer. She’ll say that God told her through the dream…

I pat her on the back for I’m all cried out. She pulls back and sits back in her driver’s seat. We wipe our wet faces with our fingers. I rub my snot on my forearm like a little kid… not the most sanitary thing to do. Taking in a deep breath, I try to get back to normal… Finally, I ask something that really bothers me about God, “Why does God let awful things happen to good people?”

“Because He loves everyone.” She says…

We start laughing hysterically. I don’t know why, but the laughter perks up my downcast soul like a shot of a pure high straight through my whole body and mind. I seriously feel like we smoked some seriously good weed, but better! It’s like it’s a sunny, warm summer day, and I’m being hugged by everyone I love at once, while staring at the night sky. Those are my three most wonderful types of things in the world and this moment feels like all three of those things are happening right now. There’s a literal warmth coursing through my body. There is this energy, this presence all around us.

“I love you Savannah.”

“I love you Kaylie.”

Kaylie stops laughing, “I didn’t say anything.”

I stop laughing. I look at Kaylie and she looks back at me.

“I love you Savannah.” I hear softly but I don’t see Kaylie’s mouth move.

I check the backseat to see if Derek is with us, but he’s not. I want to freak out and panic, but I can’t. I have too much joy.

“A warm sunny, summer day… A starry night… Hugs from your favorite people like Genie and Albany, and Derek, and Arnie, and Cash, and Netty and me…” I hear and see Kaylie say. She adds, “God loves you very much Savannah. He has a plan for you and for your baby. The final days with your mother will be the best of times you’ve ever had with Jewel. Your father is getting out of prison soon and you’re going to get a letter in the mail from him, Netty will deliver it to you. Write him back. And don’t be afraid of the truth, expose the darkness and you will get justice. Turn Kurt in. Don’t wait any longer…”

There’s no doubt in my mind anymore. God is real.

“God”

All my life I didn’t understand

Who I was and especially the Great I Am

It didn’t matter how much everybody talked

I didn’t see what they saw that gave them their faith walk

So many times, I wanted to believe

But with all my terrible garbage I couldn’t perceive

Then something crazy happened to set me free

God audibly spoke to me

Now all I got on my mind is that God is real

He is real. He is real. He is real.

I feel like I’m falling in love all over again, but it’s stronger

I feel like I’m worth it, like life is worth living much longer

Jesus- died for me

Holy Spirit- sealed me with this revelation

Now I know G-O-D as FATHER

I don’t know much about dads because I never really had one

There’s this peace I have that somehow, I got this

God, I love you

Thank you for loving me

The poem doesn’t have a solid meter or rhyme

But it’s what’s in my heart this time (SMH-blah!)

Bussing It – Part 8

“Surprise, Surprise. Promises, Promises.”

Right now, I should be in the middle of Botany, confused out of my mind, instead Kim is and jotting notes for the two of us. I wait with Alexis at the airport for Derek.

I can’t believe we’re still together. All day I’ve felt like I’m in daze. Maybe, I’m in a coma and Derek isn’t coming in real life, just in my dreamscape… Then again, if I was dreaming I sure as heck wouldn’t be pregnant with the Jerk’s child, it would be Derek’s baby.

Alexis flips through a celebrity gossip magazine she has with her as I just sit rubbing my baby bump. I feel like the baby finds it soothing, but I do it mostly because it makes me feel calm.

“Poor Gina…” Alexis sighs referring to the famous Broadway Starlet.

“I don’t think she’s that bad off… I think it’s good she asked for help after a mental breakdown… That takes courage.” I say.

“Oh I agree, but the media just won’t stop talking about it. She doesn’t owe the public any explanations. She has every right to keep her life private.” Holding up the article about Gina, “They interviewed a friend of a friend of her cousin about her breakdown… the person wasn’t even there when it happened.”

“But yet, you’re reading the GUIDE TO THE STARS and supporting their exploitation of celebrities.”

Defensively, Alexis says, “I didn’t buy this, a co-worker gave it to me. I don’t buy stuff like this.”

I just let silence make things awkward between us. I scroll through my social media, which I haven’t done in a while, and notice about 75 comments on my post announcing my pregnancy. A lot of love from people with some drama from people who say I’m trapped in poverty now. I wonder how people would react if I confessed I would have rather aborted my baby… And the weird part is, it’s not because I don’t love my baby, but every night when I go to sleep I’m reminded of what that monster did. In my sleep, I’m haunted by what he did to me, some nights I can’t stay asleep. What will it be like, when the baby is here?

“I thought you both would be more excited to see me…” I hear Derek say as I sense his presence approach me.

I leap up as fast as I can and I spring into his reaching arms for me. I hug him tightly like my life depends on holding onto him. He smells a lot different. Instead of teenage male body spray that borderline mimics the fragrance of teenage girl body spray, he smells like he wears a grown man’s cologne.

Marveling at how his man mane is gone and he now sports a crew cut fade, I just stare at him. He even stands up straight with a posture like a soldier and his biceps actually have some muscle tone. He sort of reminds me of the jerk, I hate it more than I love it, but I love him.

I go to kiss him on the lips and he turns his head and makes me kiss his cheek. He takes my hand and intertwines our fingers. Then he gives me a soft peck on the back of a held hand.

“I missed you so much baby!” Derek says rubbing the back of my hand.

Did we enter the Twilight Zone and cross over into the 50s of America… How come he won’t kiss me like a normal teenage boy? If this has to do with Jesus, I’m gonna curse and I don’t swear.

Without asking, he cups the outside of my womb. The baby does move and then he retracts his hand a little freaked out.

“That feels weird…” He retorts.

“Imagine how it feels for me.” I say.

Alexis stands looking at us. I’m curious why we’re not leaving. I watch Derek give his mother a look and she slightly tilts her head forward, giving him a similar look back. Derek lets go of my hand and reaches into his blue, straight jean pants. I still can get over how he’s dressed. His red T-shirt is tucked in and he’s wearing a belt. Out his pocket, he holds a red ring box in his hand. As she opens the box as he gets down on one knee.

What is happening right now?! Is he proposing and Alexis knew about this? OMG, why is he proposing? Can we even get married? We’re teenagers!

“Savannah Lorene Moneymaker, will you marry me?”

Everyone in the waiting area stares at us, waiting to see what I’m going to do. If I say yes, and we get married, financially it will be a little easier, won’t it? Or will I get more money from the state being single? I really need to look into that… I know I want to marry Derek one day. I cannot picture my life without him. I don’t want to live life without him…

“Yes… I’ll marry you…” I say crying. I don’t like that I’m in tears, but I can’t help it.

He gently slides the modest diamond ring onto the proper finger and stands up to embrace me. He kisses me on the forehead and he shouts excitedly that I said yes. The crowd happily applauds for us.

This is definitely a surprise.

“Light and Dark Don’t Mix, Spiritually”

Kaylie’s silence worries me. I thought she would be happy for me and Derek. I hold my hand out so she can look at the ring, but she ignores it as she gets off her bed and crosses over to her closet on the other side. She slides her shutter closet doors open and the upper half of her body disappear behind a wall of her hanging clothes. She backs up and turns around holding a worn out shoe box. She comes back and sits down up against her cherry wood headboard. She pulls the lid off and the inside is cluttered with note cards, flooded pieces of paper, and pictures- polaroid pics, 4 x 6s, and a few wallet size pics too. Before she opens her mouth I know its her Trevor Box… I have an ALL-THINGS-DEREK-BOX too.

“Trevor will forever be my first love… but he’s not saved… he’s no good for me. Light and Dark don’t mix, and as hard as it was, I had to break it off with him for good.” Kaylie whines from her self-righteous soapbox.

I don’t need to hear this preachy stuff from her. I rock back for momentum and then I slowing roll off her bed. “You know,” I say, turning to put my tude in her direction. “I thought you would appreciate how Derek called my mom and got her blessing before he popped the question. That he secured a job through one of his dad’s friends before he came back. How Alexis and him are going to convert the garage into an apartment for us until we finish school… But no, your religion has to come before me… Moses wasn’t married to a Jew… she was from Media- not even his own kin. And Hosea married an unclean prostitute!” I pause for a second not sure why I brought the Bible into this… That’s what happens living with Netty and being forced to attend church twice a week. Plus, her and Dashuan talk about the Bible and their faith all the time at dinner- it consumes the conversation.

“I expected this from my sister, but not from you. And I don’t care if Jesus is a better friend to you than me right now… Knowing Him doesn’t give you license to tell people what to do with their life!” I yell.

Wow, I rarely yell, but hitting the 2nd trimester my emotions stay on high, in every single mode… And I can’t control it…

“It’s just I had a dream and I think it was about placing the baby in adoption…” She blurts.

“SO WHAT! I don’t care, I don’t care, I don’t care! I don’t have to follow God like you. I wish I could be as lucky as you and have this kid die in my WOMB!” And now I shut up.

Kaylie hangs her head as she trembles crying. Everything in me just wants to hold her and apologize until I really do die.

“I’m sorry…”

Not even looking at me, “Just get out…” Kaylie manages to say.

“The South Side-Again”

I like moving homes while being pregnant. I’m not really expected to do anything. Mom and I sit on the couch and we tell Bobby, Derek, the girls, and Bobby’s friends where to put things.

I guess Jewel and Bobby started talking right when she found out she was sick. He’s been seeing the girls every Sunday, since I moved back, and taking them to church. He no longer denies Genie is his. He can’t really, she looks like he spit her out.

The plan as of right now is that all of us live together until I marry Derek. Then I’ll go live with him and Alexis. Bobby has an extra truck that he’s letting Derek use, therefore, he can pick me up and take me to and from school.

I don’t remember a lot about Bobby, but I really hope living with him will be pleasant and as drama free as possible.

#TBT//#StorySundaySeries3.8

+Positively Unexpected – 8

…Christmas Continued…

Tasha held her breath. Waiting for Kingston to burst out in rage, to cuss her out, and to toss her out of the house into the cold because she just told him he wasn’t the father of the baby.

“Joseph wasn’t the father either…” Kingston whispered back. He winked at Tasha and told her, “I’d like to be the father, if you’ll let me.”

Stunned, Tasha just stood there. He wanted to pretend to be the father of her baby? Why???

Hope and John walked into the kitchen. John rushed to the stove as Hope went to the cabinets by the dishwasher. He got the food out of the oven as she got the plates and silverware.

“We weren’t sure when you’d be here.” Hope said.

“Good thing ham and all the fixings keep well in the stove on warm.” John said as he set a foil covered deep dish baking pan on the stove top.

Looking over his shoulder at Tasha, “Do you eat ham?”

Tasha was Jewish because of her mother, but her mother’s family was very reformed… and liberated from the law. Her maternal grandparents would be kosher for the holidays, but her mother loved bacon…

“Yes, I eat ham.”

Kingston took Tasha’s hand, “While the table is being set, I’m going to show Tasha something upstairs.”

John looked at Hope and they stared at each other wondering if that was okay for them to do.

“Okay,” Hope said keeping her eyes locked with her husband.

With a sprint in his gait, Kingston pulled Tasha along as he led her up the nearest staircase. Gently, he whisked her down the hall to a room on the very end. The room appeared to belong to a teenage boy.

“My parents want to turn my old room into the nursery. This would be their first grandchild, so they want the baby to have somewhere to sleep when we need a break. And this room over time will just become the child’s room.”

“Your sister doesn’t have children?” Tasha wondered.

“Ah… no…” He said releasing her hand as he walked to the center of his room. He explained Genesis had ovarian cancer when she was in college. She survived without being able to keep her ovaries. Due to her medical history of cancer she wasn’t eligible to adopt from the state or from anywhere overseas.

So Tasha still didn’t understand his logic. Logos was still single and had plenty of time to become a father one day… And as sad as it was Genesis would never be a mother, why did Kingston want to pretend to be the father to Tasha’s unborn kid?

“I don’t know if I’ll ever be the son my parents pray for me to be…” He went on to say, after the day they went to the clinic together, he started to do the math. He knew women were two weeks pregnant at conception, due to his mother’s work with NYSAPP. When the nurse practitioner said Tasha was eight weeks and the fact they were together about five weeks prior to that point, the nurse would have said Tasha was seven weeks along not eight if he was the father.

The night before Thanksgiving Day, Giles was delivered the photos by currier. Giles wasn’t so much upset with Kingston for being with a woman, but the continued infidelity. Giles wanted commitment, marriage, kids, and a life together. Kingston couldn’t do that no matter how hard he tried. He loved Giles but he wasn’t at peace marrying him.

“I know it’s crazy to think like this… but I’m just afraid if I marry the man I love I’ll officially be alone…” Kingston made a paradoxical statement, but Tasha suspected his reason was religious. She waited in the stale silence for his explanation.

He cleared his throat and took Tasha’s hands as he led her to sit down on the edge of his twin bed with superhero bedding.

“As a boy, no one could tell me God wasn’t real. But then I started getting dreams about kissing boys… My first crush was on a boy…” Nervously, he began to pick at the loose skin around his thumb cuticle. “I wasn’t ever molested which is what most Christians think cause homosexuality… And my dad was the best dad ever…” Pausing, he ran his fingers through his hair, then rested his drooping forehead into the palm of his hand, as the elbow to that hand rested on his knee. “I did everything I could as a teenager. I kissed girl after girl. I went on dates. I lost my virginity to an older girl. Though it bothered me to sin, I thought having sex before I was married wasn’t as bad as being gay…”

Kingston said the Bible was clear. Sin was sin to God, but in the church, Christians considered some sins more forgivable than others. Homosexuality was a sin a person had to be totally delivered from to be totally forgiven, and total deliverance meant getting married in the one-man-one-woman-way.

When he came out in college, his church friends deserted him, and his home church excommunicated him. He had to find a reconciled church, which didn’t have the same teachings he grew up with. The sermons always made him feel good about himself and encouraged him to do good things, but the way the messages portrayed God presented a God that didn’t make any sense to Kingston. He stopped going to church because he couldn’t handle the inner turmoil. If God was the God he was raised to believe in, Kingston wasn’t getting into heaven, and if God was the God that the reconciled church preached about, Kingston would be better off following the devil.

At first, he felt free being away from the church, but then he just got depressed. His battle with anxiety got far worse than it was in high school and he needed to be on medication for it. When Giles went pro and asked for Kingston to move in with him, Kingston decided to live like there really wasn’t One God, and it worked.

But after six months of living together, Giles asked Kingston to marry him and immediately Kingston felt grieved by the thought and he didn’t know why. He asked if he could wait to give his answer. That’s when Kingston became unfaithful, and it was with a woman. He started telling himself he wasn’t really gay. That he had what it took to be with a woman. But then Kingston would suffer anxiety attack after anxiety attack with awful thoughts of suicide, and every time Giles pulled him out from the darkness, even forgiving him after Kingston’s adultery came to light.

And even this last time with cheating on Giles with Tasha, Giles had a plan… Giles was going to pay the photographer a bunch of money not to leak the photos. Giles wanted to pay Tasha off to say she was their surrogate and take custody of the child. All Kingston had to do was run away and elope with Giles.

With his face flushed red and tears dripping from his eyes, Kingston confessed to Tasha, “I told him I didn’t want to go to hell if God was real and that if I married him, there’d be no going back…” Kingston used his knuckles to wipe the tears from his eyes.

Tasha put her hand on his knee hoping to comfort him.

“He turned into a maniac. He called me awful things. He said horrible things about my family saying I listened to their organized-religion-brain-washing. He got so angry I thought he was going to kick me out, but he packed his things and left…”

That was the first time Giles left him. It was always Kingston breaking up with Giles because of the burden of guilt from his infidelity. But that was the first time Kingston was honest with Giles. In the past, he just told Giles he wasn’t ready to settle down yet.

“I didn’t want to live without him… I didn’t think I could…” He sniffled as he wiped his nose with his fingers. “I found every prescription pill in the place, poured them in a pile, and popped them one by one.”

Softly, he cupped Tasha’s face and caressed her cheeks with his thumbs, brushing them down and up continuously, “Then I thought of you and the baby and what the world would be thinking when those photos got out… And I didn’t want to leave you in a world of mess…”

“Your mom said you called 911 because of the baby.” Tasha said moving her head back out his hands’ embrace.

“I can’t remember why I really called 911.” He said standing up, “I just know that I want to have this baby with you and I know I can’t tell you what to do…”

“Look, I grew up in a divorced home, being split between two households… And I wouldn’t wish that on any kid.”

“We could live together. We don’t have to get married or ever be together like that.”

“What would happen if I do enter a relationship or you do?” Tasha questioned.

“Change happens, we’ll deal with it as that comes…”

“And I don’t follow any religion and I don’t believe imposing religion on any child.”

“Everyone believes in something and in the end, we’re all free to choose. Everyone in my family believes in God.”

“And because of that you lost the love of your life and nearly killed yourself…”

“If my family is wrong, it won’t matter when they die, but if I’m wrong, it will matter…”

Tasha never thought of it like that… She didn’t believe in a god. She didn’t believe in reincarnation. She was convinced nothing happened when everyone died. But what if hell was real and her failure to believe in God would put her there. She didn’t understand how a loving God could put someone in hell, an eternal furnace of torment, but maybe Kingston’s family could explain that.

“I don’t think I want to be a mom… I don’t know how to be one…” Tasha said with tears in her eyes.

Kingston kneeled at her feet, “I have no idea how to be a dad…”

The spirit of laughter hit both of them simultaneously and they laughed ridiculously.

Logos came into the room without asking, “Dinner is served,” he said. “What’s so funny?” He wondered.

Kingston took Tasha’s hand as he rose. He helped Tasha onto her feet. The two kept laughing as Kingston led Tasha out of his room.

Following behind them, Logos asked again, “What’s so funny?”

…New Year’s Eve… About a Year Later…

Tasha stood outdoors on the studio platform, bundled up in the freezing cold. The ball was about to drop in Time Square and she had to kill air time with her co-host until the next musical guest was ready to sing, down below, on the stage set up for the crowd in the square.

“Hadassah… That’s such a unique name…” Bryan, Tasha’s co-host, said.

“Yeah, Bible names aren’t so popular anymore.”

“How did you and Kingston decide on that name?”

Tasha smiled really big thinking about how to state the truth in the least offensive way. “We prayed about it and that’s the name we got afterwards.”

 “Oh… I didn’t know you were spiritual. That’s beautiful… Well, um do you think Hadassah is fast asleep at home while you’re here to usher in the new year?”

“No… she never sleeps, but she’s not my problem tonight. She’s with her grandparents.”

“Your parents or Kingston’s?”

“Kingston’s…”

The floor director holds up his tablet which reads: Throw to the musical act: SLOPE.

“They love it too though, she is their first grandchild. Bryan, I don’t know about you, but I love our next musical guest!”

“Yes! Here’s Slope everyone!!!” Bryan shouted flamboyantly.

The minute the floor director cleared them, Tasha checked her microphone was off, and then she got in Bryan’s face.

“Stop putting all of my personal business out there. How would you like someone to do that to you?”

“I’m not the one who turned a gay man straight by having a baby with him. You must be some miracle-worker. How about we take five in the outhouse? I think I might want my third baby with you.”

“You need to really work on your insults…”

“I know you have poor gay-dar but in case you didn’t know, Kingston was never gay completely. He couldn’t have been if he left Giles Bordner for you.”

“We’re back in two,” the floor director said.

Both Tasha and Bryan got quiet quick knowing their mics were hot and could pick up every slight sound. They waited and read the directions on prompter. Tasha was to speak first. She was cued to mention Kingston. Views went up when things got tense talking about Tasha’s home life.

“We’re just about to usher in the New Year, and I’m little sad I’m other half isn’t here to share a kiss. Kingston, if you’re watching, I love you.”

“Awe… how cute? Todd, my boo, I love you too.” Bryan added.

The crew suddenly parted like the Red Sea and Kingston appeared holding sixth-month-old, Hadassah. Tasha wanted to gasp outraged but with the cameras were recording live around the world she made sure she was excited as she could possibly be.

“O my goodness!”

“O my Buddha!” Bryan gasped mimicking Tasha’s surprised expression.

Kingston stood in between the co-hosts. Tasha didn’t hesitate to take control of her daughter and place Hadassah within her own arms. Swaying side to side, which was the best way to keep the baby calm, Tasha mentally prepared to handle the line of questioning about Kingston’s sexuality.

“Kingston, not to put your business out there… but what is it like being married… to a woman…?”

“Well, I’ve never been married before Tasha,” he put his arm around her and reeled her closer to him, “I’ve never been in love with someone as much as I am in love with this woman. Being married is wonderful.”

“How come you never settled down with Giles? Didn’t he propose like three times?” Bryan badgered on.

“I wasn’t ready… and I never planned on ever marrying Tasha… but after Hadassah was born we grew closer spending so much time together, and in this positively unexpected way, I fell in love with her. And due to our newfound faith, we knew the best way to be together was through marriage.”

“Wow…” Bryan didn’t know what to say. If he said anything offensive about Tasha’s and Kingston’s faith, they could sue him for persecution. “BEAUTIFUL!”

“IT’S TIME FOR THE COUNTDOWN,” Tasha and Bryan said in unison as cued by the prompter.

They counted down from 10, when the 0 appeared, the ball dropped. Kingston kissed his bride of two months and their kiss had that same spark it did on their wedding day. The kiss was not the same as their first time. Simply because Kingston wasn’t the same man, because of his restored faith in God, he was a truly changed man.


Note from the Author:

Believe it or not, I always planned on putting Kingston with Tasha, but I originally wanted to take more time so you could see how they fell in love, how believing in God slowly transformed them into new creatures as scripture talks about.

I believe homosexuality is a bondage. Just like a liar, a fornicator, or anyone that is sinning is an enemy of God and will not make into eternity to dwell with God. I do believe Jesus delivers and saves and in Him freedom can be found. I say give Jesus the Messiah a chance and pray to God in His name, and I believe you will encounter the liberating love of the Father and comfort of the Holy Spirit, but you have to choose to do that.


Only one more repost left! Catch it next week!


 

Bussing It – Part 7

“Baby Buddies”

I’m an idiot. Roger, my case manager at school, advised me to take only one college course this spring. When have I ever listened to such sage advice? I signed up for three: Botany, Psychology, and Photography 1. The Psych and the Photography class were like made for me, but the Botany class happened to be other worldly… like info from another world with a language barrier I can’t crack!

Biology… why didn’t I take Biology? Well, for my third quarter in high school I’m taking it. Now, maybe taking high school and college Biology together would have enriching but at the time it seemed like getting put on a skewer and roasted over an open fire to me… In other words, just no. That wasn’t happening for me. I’m three weeks in, just past the point of the ability to drop the class without affecting my GPA and I’m in a sinking ship I need to make sure it gets to shore with a passing high C. If I flunk, I get my privileges to take college course for free revoked.

My two and half hour, twice a week class just ended and I’m frozen in my seat… looking over the notes I took during the lecture don’t have any fluidity page to page. I AM ON A SKEWER ROASTING OVER THE FLAMES OF HELL!

“Baby Brain got you bewildered too?” Kim asks standing next to me as I remain seated. She’s 28 weeks pregnant like me. We keep joking that our babies will be born on the same day. She’s half White and half Korean and her husband, Miguel, is half Mexican-American and half Japanese. She’s 36 and this is her fourth child. She’s been a stay at home mom, but not she’s going back to school to follow her passion and to become a teacher… She took Botany over Biology because she’s squeamish. I love the fact she pretends to be lost with me, but she totally understands this stuff more than me, and that’s why I sit next to her in class.

Pulling out her phone, Kim displays the latest 3D sonogram of her little one and hands me her phone so I can gawk over her growing miracle.

“Awe…” I say… Not really sure what to say.

“We finally decide on a name for her, it just came to us.”

“What is it?” I say handing the phone back to her. I close my notebook and pack up my things.

“Sonya Lucia Mary Soo Yun Tanaka… hopefully they count Soo Yun as one name or else we’ll be charged for a sixth name.”

Waddling out of class with Kim, I have to know, “Why so many names?”

“Well, my father is of Russian descendant and none of the other kids have a name to honor that… Then I’m really proud of my mother’s heritage. Of course, Miguel would die if we didn’t have a name that paid tribute to his family and Catholicism.”

That didn’t exactly explain why, but what more can I ask…

Right as we hit the parking lot, the gloomy rain clouds fulfill their purpose and release a steady rainfall. Kim whips open her hot pink umbrella with white pokadots and shares with me since all I got is Derek’s hoodie of his favorite baseball team.

“You’re not stuck taking the bus tonight are you?”  Kim wonders with genuine concern in her voice.

“Yep, I’m bussing it.” I sigh.

“The last think you want to catch is the flu or a bug. I got the flu with Junior and it’s the worse illness you’ll ever experience. You want a lift home. You live on the east side right?”

“Um, I’ll take my chances… thanks though…” I sneak out of the covering of her umbrella. The cold, thick rain quickly drenching the hoodie

Locking elbows with me and reeling me back under the shelter of her umbrella, she makes it clear, “Oh nonsense. I live on the east too. I’ll take you home. Do you live on your own or with your boyfriend?”

“With my mom…”

“Your boyfriend isn’t in the picture anymore?”

We stop in front of a white SUV. “He’s in military…”

“I never pictured you to be the military man type?” Kim as she unlocks her vehicle. She walks me to the passenger door and makes sure I get inside.

Once she takes the driver seat, she tosses the umbrella in the back, that clearly looks like it belongs to young children. Two car seats sat in the back, food crumbs, a musty, moldy aroma, and toys of all kinds from actions figures and hot wheels to baby dolls and teddy bears.

Now would be good to clarify and spill the truth about me… but people assume a lot, and when I talk about my life, I just want to disappear…

“That’s sweet you’re staying with your mom while your man is away, will he be back in time of the birth?”

“Hopefully…” I say surprising myself. Do I have a clinical lying problem? Am I a pathological liar?

“You know what we should do together?”

“A mommy and me class when the babies are old enough, we could be Baby Buddies?” Kim says excitedly turning on the ignition.

“Can you explain something to me? If the war is over, why do we still send soldiers over there? And is your man a marine, an army man, an airman?”

“Um… I’m in high school. I get to take college courses for free. My boyfriend got shipped off to military school before I found out I was pregnant, and after I told him about the baby on FaceTime, we haven’t spoken since… I’m 16… I turned 16 two weeks ago.” The truth feels good to say.

We sit in a loud silence for a moment. The rain comes down harder. Finally, Kim speaks, “You’re so mature for your age! You could have fooled me the whole semester and I wouldn’t have known… If you want to fake being older the rest of the semester, I will totally go along with it.”

As she backs up erratically, she babbles on and on about how great Mommy-and-Me-Classes can be. We zip through the parking lot and through the rain way too fast for two pregnant women inside an SUV.

“Remembering Jewel is Mom”

Jewel made Saturday mandatory family day. We all get up by 9, we leave by 10, and go out to eat for breakfast. Then we go see a movie. After the movie we go to the park, if it is too cold, we go to the library. We go out for lunner (lunch/dinner). Then we spend the night playing board games as we over indulge with ice cream sundaes.

I barely remember this side of Jewel. She was a lot like this when I was super little, when she was married to my dad.

Even though she’s dying, and she can smoke as much as she wants to, she doesn’t have a single cigarette in the apartment. She drinks sometimes, and she’s not supposed to, but instead of being an angry drunk, she’s a crying drunk.

I sit at the kitchen table, organizing the movie tickets and printed pictures for the past three weeks. Scrapbooking is the art of memorializing life moments in a photo album, an art form Jewel will teach me tonight. We have color paper with quirky patterns, scissors, glue sticks, sticker letters, and a blank scrapbook album my mom’s had for eons.

Mom takes her seat beside me, at the head of the table, and looks through the paper… “I’m thinking pink?”

“Eww… just because were girls doesn’t mean we need to make it girly… how about red?”

“The male version of pink… okay…”

I laugh. I never looked at red that way.

“So… uh… what do you want to do for your baby shower?”

“What do you mean?” I ask.

“Well, do you want people to know the gender or not?”

I get what she’s doing… she wants me to tell her the baby’s gender…

“I think I’d rather get gift cards to buy baby clothes… so the guests don’t need to know, but who am I going to invite who can afford to bring anything? Do I have to have a baby shower?”

I watch mom cut and glue pink paper that looks like strokes of paint into the first page of the album. She takes the movie tickets and our pics outside the movie theater and arranges them in a manner pleasing to the eye.

“I never really asked you, I just assumed, but… do you fluffing want to raise the baby? Have you thought about adoption?”

She’s the third person to mention adoption to me. Last week, at work, I went to a grand opening to La Vie downtown to take pictures for Troy’s food critique, and he suggested Derek and I look into adoption. Then Kaylie brought it up yesterday saying that she felt led to bring that up to me. Now, my mom.

“Sniff, there was this sweet couple from church that wanted to adopt you… sometimes I think I should have let them…”

I hate it when she brings that up. It makes me loathe myself more. It makes me feel like she hates me and thinks I ruined her life.

“O fluff, are you crying, what for?” Jewel asks as she gets up. Coughing, she rips a piece of paper towel from the roll, hanging above the sink and comes back over to me. She hands the paper towel to me use as a tissue.

“I feel like you don’t love me when you bring that up…”

“If I didn’t fluffing love you, I would have aborted you.” She erupts into a long coughing fit as she covers her mouth with her fist.

Like on code blue alert, I shoot up from my seat, and worry, “Do you need your inhaler? Where is it?” I go to the bathroom to check the medicine cabinet. It’s not in there. I scan the bathroom counter and don’t see anything. I barge into her room and look on the dresser, the night stands, and then I remember she probably brought it with us… It must be in her purse. I think her purse is in the living room.

Before I can get to her purse, and I’m back in the kitchen, her coughing stops.

“I fluffing fine… You panic too easily.”

“How can I not panic? You’re dying… you’ve chosen to die and that can happen at any moment… how cannot freak out about that?”

“Oh Savannah…” Mom says embracing me. She squeezes me tight and kisses me on the forehead. “I love you…” She says with a shakiness to her voice like she’s about to cry. “I know I’ve been the world fluffing worst mother… A real mother fluffer mommy dearest and you don’t need to forgive me for the sniff I’ve done, the blick I’ve been, but please, do me a favor… don’t panic… everything is gonna be okay, okay?”

There’s something about being held by your mother. Listening to her heart beat in her chest. The scent of her, her shampoo, her perfume, her clothes, her sweat… and the peace that hits you and makes you feel safe… If I could stay like this with her forever, it would erase all the terrible things she’s done, and it would stop any future of her not being there. To not panic, I have to remember Jewel is a mom, she is my mother.

“Alexis”

Alexis Fabry… she took back her maiden name when she divorced Derek’s dad. She’s a nurse at the hospital right down the street from my mom’s apartment. When Netty wanted to cart me around and look at hospitals to see which is the best one to have the baby, I was actually praying we wouldn’t go to Alexis’s hospital. Dr. Varejao can makes to four hospitals within the city, and its up to us which hospital we want.

We nearly make it out unseen, when Alexis enters the elevator before we can make it to the lobby.

“Savvy…” The tall, skinny aging blonde can’t say anything beyond my name.

“Hi Alexis…”

“Ms. Shay?” Netty double checks she’s Derek’s mother.

“Yes, you’re Netty, right?” Alexis questions shaking my sister’s hand.

“The one and only… how’s Derek?”

“He’s doing much better… Um…” Alexis gulps as she nervously pulls on her ear lobe. “How, are you Savvy? Other than pregnant, I didn’t know you were pregnant… does… did… you tell… Derek?”

“That’s a good question, Savvy, have you told the father of you baby about his child?”

The doors to the lobby open up and I choose to escape. I barge in between them and book it for the exit. I’m not ready to tell Netty the truth… I will but do I have to on this day?

They both catch up with me outside the sliding entrance doors. Those similar blue eyes to Derek, gaze at me with a fused look of confusion and concern. I’m sure she sent Derek away to prevent becoming a young grandma. Good news, she’s not going to be a grandma any time soon. Bad news, I can’t go over that.

“Since Christmas, Derek’s been begging to come back home and to stay with me. He said you needed him, you told him, didn’t you?” Alexis wonders.

I nod yes.

“I don’t get it… If you told him about the baby, why didn’t he say anything to you Alexis?”

Alexis shrugs her shoulders… She suddenly grabs my hand and caresses my backhand with her thumb.  “I’d love to have you and your family over for dinner tomorrow night, your sisters, your mom, and whoever else, and we can talk about what needs to happen from here… does that sound like a plan?”

Netty agrees to dinner without my consent. She never declines dinner. But if Alexis didn’t work all the time, she would be a perfect mom. She’s thoughtful and caring. She does all the house work even though she works over 50 hours a week. I used to wish all the time Alexis was my mom. I looked forward to her being my mother-in-law. Who knows what she is to me anymore? I don’t even know if Derek is still my boyfriend.

“Texting Derek”

Savvy: Derek… I still love you…

Derek: SAVVY! I love you. I thought you were done with me. I just want you to know, I’m still here. You and me, always.

Savvy: What about the baby?

Derek: You, me… and the little bambino too😊

Savvy: Really?!

Derek: Yes, who else have you told… everything to?

Savvy: Just you… and my mom… no one else…

Derek: Did your mom believe you?

Savvy: I think. IDK.

Derek: …

Savvy: Why?

Derek: I got a plan, but it won’t work if my parents learn the truth… How did dinner with my mom go?

Savvy: I’m alive… the baby is fine…

Derek: LMBO. My mom called me and reamed in to me for not telling her that you’re having my baby.

Savvy: But I’m not.

Derek: For my plan to work, you are…

Savvy: Is Jesus okay with you lying?

Derek: Probably not, but I don’t care. I’m never living without you.

Savvy: COME HOME!

Derek: I will be, Monday night? Will you come with my mom to pick me up from the airport?

Savvy: I’d love to but I have Botany at West Campus.

Derek: I’m getting in super late… like 9pm.

Savvy: I get out at 8:30.

Derek: Okay… Will Jewel be at work, maybe I can drop by?

Savvy: She works day shifts now, she’ll be home. Sorry.

Derek: When will I see you then?

Savvy: I guess whenever.

Derek: Can’t you skip one class? We haven’t seen each other in MONTHS!

Savvy: I’ll think about it.

Bussing It – Part 4

“Dinner 38”

              Netty firmly believes the family that dines together, stays together. Eating dinner at the table isn’t up for debate and absences from dinner is only excusable when sick, out of town, at work, or invited to someone else’s house for dinner. I’ve been to 37 dinners since living with Netty and Deshaun. Tonight makes the 38th dining experience.

              “At the next visit, we’ll know the sex of the baby. We should have been able to find out today, but the technician couldn’t get a clear view… but everything else looks really good.” Netty says passing Deshaun the serving bowl of sautéed green beans.

              Dishing out a hearty scoop onto his light blue plate, Netty’s favorite set of dishware, Deshaun asks me, “What do you want, a boy or a girl?”

              I hate that question. I hate that I’m pregnant. I hate that I dream about having a little girl and treating her like precious gold. I hate that I’m afraid she’ll look exactly like the jerk and I’ll detest her existence and treat her like the scum of the earth.

              “A boy.” I lie.

              “Really?” Netty seems surprised.

              “A boy, you want a little D running around?” Deshuan hands me the bowl of green beans.

              The whiff of the veggies makes me super nauseous. Normally, I love veggies, but lately I only want wings and rice. I take a little bit because Netty will lecture me about how bad it is to eating according to cravings and not a well-balanced diet.

              “I just want a healthy baby.” I say honestly. “Maybe, we shouldn’t bother finding out the sex. Letting it be a surprise could be fun.”

              Netty nearly choked on her meatloaf at that thought. Netty plans everything to a tee. Knowing the gender will help plan for the baby shower, how to decorate the nursery, and how to pray for the kid’s destiny. Gulping her food, she says, “Well, if that’s what you want… okay…”

              That must be the opposite of how she feels on the inside.

              “What does D want, huh?” Deshaun wonders.

              “Um…” I can’t lie about this one. Netty confronted me in the car, on our way home from the doctor’s visit, asking me if I told Derek yet. I told her the truth, that I didn’t. I almost broke down and told her about the jerk, but I can’t. “I don’t know.” I shrug my shoulders.

              Deshaun chuckles when he concludes Derek knows nothing about the baby. He sighs as he bites the food off his fork. Though his mouth is closed, we can hear him smack his food as he chews. It’s super annoying. The baby flutters and kicks me as I eat the meatloaf. This baby is a total carnivore.

              Deshaun takes a swig of his beer from the green bottle. He sets his beer down on the table and after he swishes his gulp down, he asks me, “You plan on raising this baby on your own?”

              “I don’t even know if I want the baby, so I until I know what I want to do, I don’t see the point in telling him.”

              “He’s the father, he should know about his child.”

              “D’s no more ready to be a father than I’m ready to be a mother.”

              “You should have thought about that before being careless and getting knocked up.” Deshaun snaps.

              Crying, unable to hold them back, I plea, “May I be excused.” I wipe my suddenly runny nose.

              “You need to finish eating.” Netty mothers me.

              “I’m done. I feel sick anyhow.” Guilt like a brick hits me. I’m a horrible sister for lying to Netty and Deshaun. I’m a terrible girlfriend from hiding this pregnancy from Derek. I’m an awful person. “May I be excused please.”

              “Yes, you may.” Netty says.

              I wish I could just leave my dishes behind, but that isn’t earning my keep.

              While I rinse my plate in the kitchen, I overhear Deshaun rant how unfair I’m being to Derek. Netty defends me a little bit, but she backs off the more heated Deshaun gets.

              In my room, I lie on my side, like a good pregnant woman, and I wish I just knew what to do. I wish I could stop crying, but I can’t.

“Post Trevor”

Kaylie’s been a doll. To spare me from the horrors of bus travel as a pregnant woman. She picks me up whenever. I text her my location and she pops up there as soon as she can get there.

I’m surprised at how well she’s coping. She broke up with Trevor before she miscarried, but I really thought she would go running back to him after she lost the baby, but that’s not the case. I also thought she’d be in utter despair. Netty confessed to me the other night she’s had two miscarriages and she still grieves the losses. However, Kaylie’s thriving in school. Her dark brown hair chases her crimson hair away as time goes on. She brings her guitar to school and plays in the park before and after school. In Social Studies when we talk about politics she boldly tackles the topic arguing from a biblical viewpoint.

I sort of have no idea what happened to my second best friend. She continues to be a different person. When she smiles, it doesn’t seem fake. When she sings, her voice brings a peace. When she laughs, she makes me laugh.

In class and in the hallways, when Trevor tries to talk to her, she kindly says she doesn’t want to talk to him. But when we’re alone, she says nothing bad about him. She wishes nothing bad upon him. Kaylie has become a saint. Kaylie’s life post Trevor is great!

I wonder, would I fair in life so well post Derek?

“GPAs”

College GPA: 3.9

College Algebra: A-

College Writing I: A

High School, Junior Year GPA: 3.89

“FaceTime w/ Derek”

DEREK’S long locks are gone. He sports a clean cut, close fade. He looks well.

Derek: I miss you so much babe.

Savvy: I miss you too.

Though SAVVY is burning up under a pile of covers, she makes sure to hide her bulging belly.

Derek: So my mom picked up a lot of extra shifts, because a lot of nurses took the holiday off, so… she isn’t coming out for Christmas after all.

Savvy: That sucks hon, I’m sorry to hear that.

Derek: No, this may be a good thing. Maybe my dad will let me go visit my mom and then I can see you.

Panicking, SAVVY blurts-

Savvy: NO!

Derek: (confused) No?

Savvy: Like I miss you like crazy. I really do. But you look really good… I can’t really remember the last time you looked so good, so happy…

Bashfully, DEREK smiles as his cheeks flush red.

Derek: I am happy. I’m really happy. Do you know why?

Savvy: Why?

SAVVY waited for him to be romantic and to say something along the lines of seeing her face, but what he said surprised her and made her angry.

Derek: Jesus the Messiah.

Savvy: (rolling her eyes) Really?

Derek: Yeah, like um, last week, before I got released for Winter Break… in our last chapel service I accepted Christ Jesus and invited Him into my heart… Like I have no doubts anymore God is real.  I don’t have nightmares anymore. I don’t want to get high anymore… and um… (whispering) I don’t think about sex all the time or look at porn anymore. (Returning to normal volume) And I don’t feel alone anymore… I have this peace constantly that doesn’t make sense. God is SO AWESOME.

Savvy: I’m happy for you… I’m happy that you’re doing so well.

Derek: Why don’t you believe in God?

Savvy: What?

Derek: I mean, do you believe in God, like Netty does?

Savvy: No. I don’t but I haven’t really bothered to study religion.

Derek: But knowing God isn’t a religion, it’s a relationship with Jesus.

Savvy:  I kind of don’t feel like the preaching right now and if that’s all you want to talk about, maybe we should just talk another time.

Derek: So you’re going to ask me to not talk about something important to me because it makes you uncomfortable. I asked you a question just trying to learn more about you so maybe I can help you and you want to avoid it…

Savvy: You want to know why I don’t believe in God?

Derek: Yeah, why?

SAVVY pushes off her heavy blankets and points the phone at her stomach as she pulls up her flannel shirt.

Savvy: Because I got fluffing raped by my mother’s boyfriend and I’m stuck having the jerk’s kid. (Pointing the phone at her cigarette burns on the upper part of her abdomen) Because my mother abused the crap out of me. (Crying, and yelling, she holds the phone back up to her face) Because you got taken away from me, the one good thing in my life and now there’s more than a physical distance between us. It’s like I’m not important to you anymore. I don’t believe in God because I have nothing good going in my life and I haven’t really seen anything to convince there’s such a thing as a good God because life sucks. I wish we had fluffed and I wish I was pregnant with your baby, because at least I would be excited about this and maybe I would have you back in my life and maybe, just maybe I wouldn’t feel like dying. Like I hope I die giving birth because I don’t want to live anymore, but I can’t kill myself, because I don’t want my mother to have the satisfaction of getting rid of me nor due I want my sisters to miss me… and truth be told I’m scared as SNIFF of death because I can’t help but think you and Netty might be right, God is real and because I HATE HIM SO MUCH FOR MY CRUMMY LIFE I’LL GET STUCK IN HELL. This life is hell enough. I don’t want to live forever in hell, but if God is real He better do one good thing for me. I don’t know what that is… but it better be something fluffing good. And you know what, I get enough God Talk living with Netty, so I don’t want to talk to you until we can just be ourselves and talk and if you can’t be the new you without Jesus Fluffing Christ, than I don’t want to talk to you. GOODBYE Butthole!

SAVVY hangs up the phone and throws it on the bed. It bounces off and falls to the ground. Fortunately, she didn’t crack the screen of the caseless phone.

#TBT//#StorySundaySeries3.4

Positively Unexpected-4

…Waiting…

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 Jenny 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. Tanner’s grandfather sold the subsidiary in his retirement years, but Tanner Turner,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 streamed 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 publicly 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, but 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 years 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. A little teary-eyed, Jenny 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, was a guest commentator.

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.

TO BE CONTINUED…


Yeah… Can you tell I grew up watching Daytime Soap Operas?

How could Jenny and Tanner abort a child that might be born with Down Syndrome?

Did you know in Iceland, the passed a law to abort babies that would be born with Down Syndrome? If any country needs revival, it is that one! They’re a huge humanist nation and big on self-awareness. They essentially are gods of their own lives.

But aborting pregnancies due to possible deformities rapidly increases. In many places across America, such abortions can be made up until 23 weeks pregnant. I know it’s like that in California…

My facts are not sought out myself. I learned about Iceland from USA Today, a political activist, and Twitter. The fact about America, I got from the remake of “90210” and an indie movie called “23 Weeks”.

I have know three women, whose parents were told to abort them in the womb because they would be born with Down Syndrome, but their parents were believers in Jesus the Messiah and trusted Him to do a miracle on their behalf. All three women were born normal at birth and healthy. If God is not a miracle-working-God, then what is He?

All life is valuable and whatever genetics or life throws at us, God leads us through and He uses our pain, our struggle to impact someone else’s life and lead them to undergo an extraordinary life with God.

Suicide is also no joke. Every person is important and anyone with suicidal thoughts should reach out. You may feel alone, but the reality is that you’re not!


Comment below your thoughts. Feel free to include questions. If you want to share, I would love the support. Also, are you a blogger, YouTuber, author, actor, singer, entrepreneur- something I didn’t mention- post a link in the comments and I may follow you! (I have to make sure we Gucci w/ G-O-D, and that doesn’t mean you have to be a Christian… but I censor my own content… I really don’t want to see anything obscene, but I also watch things like The Handmaid’s Tale on hulu… so… I just have to decide if I can be in your corner, just like you freely decided to be in mine!)

Much love,

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