Monday, August 31, 2015

Fiction Series: Boroughs Apart: Part 12







Hey, Everyone! We give away a lot of creative content, for free, here at Rivaflowz.com. In return, we’d like to ask you one favor! Can you share the link to this post? Hashtag it #BoroughsApart and tag @rivaflowz (on IG or Twitter) and let people know how much you enjoy the series! If you'd like all the parts to this fiction series, click HERE.

Reynold's wife swung like a pendulum, from the banister of their second floor stairwell. He tried to muster something, anything, but failed. Even in her demise, he could not love her the way she should've been loved.


__________________________________

Cheryl was a schoolteacher at the same college Reynold taught in. In Jamaica, college was tertiary education. It wasn't a  place you received a degree, but rather a place that you prepared for it. Reynold was a teacher before he left the island, but couldn't find work as more than a waiter or bartender in America. This was the only good thing about being back home.  

Cheryl was intrigued by the literature he taught. Students walked into her math class with new Renaissance poetry, work she'd never seen in any textbook. They seemed to enjoy him and talked about his presence, long into their equations.

She finally approached him, after three weeks of mystery. When anyone greeted him, he didn't speak. The other teachers, especially the women, buzzed about how gorgeous he was, but were thrown off by his rudeness.

He was sitting at a lunch table, after school let out, reading a book, when she finally spoke, "What are you reading?"

"To be exact: Battle of The Landlord, but the entire book is Langston's poetry."

"Who?"

"Langston Hughes."

"Is he big in New York?"

"How do you know that's where I was?"

"You lost a bit of your accent. It was just a guess. I see that I'm right."

"Maybe."

"Why don't you speak to anybody?"

"I'm speaking to you now."

"You know what I mean."

Reynold looked up at Cheryl. She was cocoa, with a head full of curls, and she smelled like shea and coconut, distinguishable from the other side of the table. 

"I like to keep to myself."

"Can you keep to yourself, at Likkle, tonight?"

"Likkle? What's that?" 

"It's a bar, downtown. The staff goes there to grab a drink after our craziest days."

"Was today crazy?"

"Every day is crazy."

Reynold smiled, "Thanks, but no thanks."

Cheryl got up to leave, "Well, we're there all night if you change your mind."

Reynold got home an hour later. The walk from the school, to his small flat was hot and heavy with thoughts. He couldn't stop thinking about Ruth. He thought coming back home, the change of scenery, was enough to rid himself of the memories. Sadly, she was seared on to his mind, taking her seat there forever. After he dropped his work bag and pulled out papers to grade, he found his way to the bedroom. He opened his sock drawer and pulled out a picture of Ruth. She sat smiling, on a rooftop in Harlem. The black and white photo seemed to move, Reynold could imagine her hair flapping in the fall wind, her beauty fighting with the smog and smell of the city.

He put the picture back into the drawer and sat at his kitchen table to finish grading. Halfway through a few promising essays, the realization hit him. It punched him harder than when he'd gone to the diner to find Ruth, when he roamed the subways looking for her, when he stepped off of the plane at Garvey airport.

He was never going to see Ruth, again.

Reynold grabbed his coat and stepped outside to hail a cab. A small car pulled up and he sat in the backseat. 

"Where to boss?"

"Downtown. Likkle."



Evan Sr. returned home early, that evening. His wife was stunned, already at the dinner table with their son. The table was set for two. The moment she heard his key in the door she motioned to the maid to set his place. 

Instead of walking to his office, he walked straight into the dining room. He looked relaxed and happy, he wasn't wearing his usual business attire, but was donned in a buttoned shirt and jeans. It seemed as if he was taking more time off of work, to handle other affairs. 

He sat in his seat and smiled; he rubbed his son on the head. Evan Jr. was going to be 12 this year. He was bright-eyed and excited to see his father. He was his biggest fan. 

Evan Jr. spoke first, "Dad! At school we..."

"One second, son. I need to talk about some business with your mom."

Ruth looked up from her plate, visibly disinterested in anything he had to say, "You're home early. I thought you'd be out on the Island all week."

"I was and then I got a call from a long-time tenant that's moving out of 135."

"My father's building?"

"You mean my building. I inherited all of that."

"We did..."

"Whatever. Remember that party I picked you up from?"

"Scarcely. We were young, so long ago."

"Interesting. I remember it like it was yesterday. You were visiting with these two roommates. One of them is gone, the other still lives there."

Ruth could feel her heart, beating a mile a minute, "So?"

"So, he's moving out in the fall. He'll be gone for the rest of the summer and wants to sublet before his official move out date, in September."

"Okay. That sounds fine."

"Would you like to know where he's going?"

Ruth pushed her broccoli with her fork, she tried to act as if she didn't care, "Where?"

"To Jamaica. He's going to a wedding. I think his old roommate is getting married. Nice, right? We should go to Jamaica, sometime."

Ruth stuffed the broccoli in her mouth, she hoped it would go down with the tears that almost made their way to the surface. 

"Any friends there, Ruth?"

Ruth pushed through the pain and smiled, "No."

Evan Sr. cut a piece of his steak, "Good. Now, son, tell me about school today..." 



"Why the hell would you invite her here?"

Evan's mother seemed taken aback. She was under the impression that her son requested Rebecca's presence, that he'd changed his mind about Ella. 

"You didn't want her here?"

"No! Ella is on her way."

Evan's father chuckled, "We're all family. We can eat together. Rebecca used to be here all of the time."

Evan grit his teeth and clenched his fists; Rebecca standing in between them was the only thing keeping him from clocking his dad. 

Grandma Ruth stood up abruptly, "I see I'm going to need more scotch for this evening."

She stood up and walked towards the steps.

Evan's father looked annoyed, "Ma, where are you going?"

"To get my glasses!"

"You don't wear glasses!"

She yelled from her room, "My scotch glasses!"

Just then the doorbell rang, again. Evan walked to the door, knowing this time around it was Ella and her grandfather. He ushered them in and told them they could have a seat anywhere, while he took Ella's coat. Ella stared at Rebecca who'd also taken a seat, wondering why Evan's father's mistress was there. 

Evan's father introduced himself to Reynold, "I'm Mr. Marquis, Evan's father."

Reynold shook his hand and hugged his wife. He told them that he was pleased to make their acquaintance and took a seat. Evan's father looked just like the man who'd taken Ruth away from him. He was certain this was the same family. He looked towards the doors that separated the house, from the private office. He'd never forget that room. 

Evan's father spoke again, "You look familiar. Are you from Harlem?"

Reynold chuckled, "I guess you could say that."


Evan Jr. was bored. His father left, right after dinner, and told him he had to work. He'd come to understand where his father was based on his attire. It was Tuesday and he wore weekend clothing. He was not going to work.

He walked through the house and looked through the closets and drawers. He wanted to know more about his father, more than the hour intervals he'd grown accustomed to. He found himself looking through the hatboxes in his mother's closet, while she helped clean the kitchen. There was a pink box filled with letters. They were all addressed to his mother, years before he was born, from a man named Reynold. They held no stamps, so they must have been delivered by hand. 

In one of the envelopes, there was a picture. It was a photo of his mother, years younger, standing next to a man he didn't recognize. 

Evan Jr. was suddenly angry. He knew his father's absence was due to his mother's lack of loyalty. He stormed downstairs with the intention of confronting her; he was going to get her to admit her wrongdoings.

Instead of finding her washing dishes, he walked into the kitchen to find his mother curled into a ball, crying on their linoleum floor. He suddenly lost his bravery.

"Mommy?"

She sat up suddenly, wiped her eyes, and tried to pull herself together, "Yes, baby."

Evan Jr. couldn't think of anything to say. He said the first thing that came to his mind, "Where is daddy?"

"Your father is at the summer home."

"But it's winter."

Ruth pulled her son close and wrapped her arms around him, "I know, baby. I know."







Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dating Series: Looking for A Love Jones, Part 2




As most of you know, my last book of 2015 will be a memoir on love. Its release date should be mid-September. It's a compilation of stories, never told anywhere else. They've never been on this blog or any other site and it's longer than my other two books. Leading up to this release will be this final dating series. I'll release an installment each week. I hope you enjoy it. If you'd like to share it, you can do so with the hashtag #lookingforalovejones & tag @rivaflowz on IG or Twitter.

Read Part 1 of this series, HERE.

Travis 

I'm not a fan of random social media messages from men I don't know. They're always really creepy. There's one guy who insists we've met on several occasions and sometimes describes what I've worn for the day. (Yes, this is really scary.) There's another that sends me random love poems, written by Romantic Era poets. There's even a guy that sends pictures of me performing poems. He congratulates me on shows, but has never greeted me at one. He says he's not ready yet. 

Yikes.

Being in the limelight causes my eyebrow to immediately arch, whenever the Facebook message sound goes off. 

Ding. 

His profile picture was tiny, on the left side of his message, but I could already tell that he was well dressed and a deep shade of chocolate. Enlarged, his photo boasted a white linen suit against a red brick background. He was bald, with an incredible smile. 

"I fathom that if you were lighter, blonde, or had more time, your work would already be viral."

I was taken aback by his message, "Excuse me?"

"I'm a photojournalist. Do you know how difficult it is to sell stock photos of people with melanin?"

He'd started the conversation as though we'd already known each other. His statements were intriguing. I decided to play along. 

"Is it? I know nothing about that field."

"It is. My pictures are in magazines and newspapers, but in my free time I take images for folks to use in their digital spaces. Folks without melanin are flying off of the virtual shelves. However, we brown skinned folks are not." 

We messaged back and forth, for a week, and eventually exchanged numbers. I waited for a few days for a message or a call, but he failed to appear. After two weeks, I'd decided that our friendship ended within those Facebook messages. 

The living room was quiet. There'd never been a day that Ray came to visit, where things seemed solemn. I walked out from the kitchen, with his glass of water, and caught him staring at Mason's items sitting next to my couch. He'd left his bookbag and computer, while he went out to visit with friends. 

"So, he is staying here."

I handed Ray his water and sat beside him, "No. He came over for breakfast, with a mutual friend. He's a few blocks away visiting his frat brothers, from college. He asked if he could leave his things here."

"And you said yes?"

"Yeah."

"That's not like you, Ms. I-need-my-space."

"A bookbag and a laptop aren't going to stress me out."

"He left it here, so he could come back," Ray kicked Mason's bag.

"Stop that!"

Ray laughed, "Look at that. You're even protective of his stuff."

"Whatever. What did you end up doing, last night?"

"After you and homeboy had your first kiss at the bar, I went to get some numbers."

I smiled, "Oh, you caught that."

Ray rolled his eyes, "I did. I ended up taking Jenna home and then I went to see Mila."

"Who is Mila?"

"A Karen rebound."

"I thought we couldn't call them that."

"You can't, I can."

"So, tell me about her."

"Ain't much to tell. I'm not going to see her, after last night. I got what I wanted."

I rolled my eyes, "You're disgusting."

"Where'd you go with, Mason?"

"He took me home, like a gentleman. I went to sleep and then woke up this morning to prepare for his arrival."

"Where's my brunch?"

"Back at your momma's house."



Ray punched my arm, as my doorbell rung. Mason was probably back for his items after his meeting. I opened the door to find him, with two tickets in his hand.

"J. Cole concert?"

My eyes brightened, "Hell yes! Where'd you get those?"

"They're for press and since my writer can't make it tonight...why not take the best writer I know?"

I hugged him, hoping Ray wasn't behind me staring, "Thanks! I'm about to go and pick something out to wear."

Ray joined Mason in the living room and I heard the two greet one another. I pulled a pair of jeans and a cotton tee, while slightly eavesdropping on their conversation. I could barely hear them. When I figured out what I wanted to wear, I made way back into the living room. I caught Mason, mid sentence.

"That means she's single then, my brother..."

I sat between my best friend and Mason, "What are you two talking about?"

Ray got up to leave and grabbed his car keys, "Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

The concert was amazing. Afterwards, Mason and I made our way backstage and interviewed some of the other Dreamville artists. I really wanted to help and reminisced my days of writing hip-hop journalism. Mason was a few years younger than me and watching him I could see the same passion I had, for the work. 

He was finishing up an interview with an emcee, when a random girl walked over. She was an hourglass, with surgery to match. 

She spoke quickly, "Are you a reporter? You should interview me."

Mason smiled as she giggled, after her statement, "I'm good. Thanks for the offer."

"You own HipHopForever, right?"

"Yeah. How'd you know that?"

"You're fine as hell and I've seen you at a few shows."

I really didn't want to be petty, but I'm not that mature yet. I coughed. 

Mason turned to look at me, "This is my homegirl, Erica. She came with me and thank God she's helping with some of the writing."

The random girl acted as if he hadn't introduced me. She pulled a business card out of her bosom (as if!) and handed it to him, "Call me sometime."

When she walked off, I took the card from him. It had a huge picture of her face and bosom plastered on it and it said her name and "model." I gave it back to him, "Typical."

Mason put his arms around me, "You're not jealous, are you?"

I grit my teeth, "No. Besides, I work for you. I'm just one of your writers." 

He smiled, "You do not! I didn't mean it like that."

I laughed, "I'm just messing with you. C'mon, let's go." 

Travis

Travis finally called. 

He'd been in the hospital, visiting his sister for the last two weeks. She'd fallen ill and they were incredibly close. He spent every moment, by her side. I listened to him as he spoke: things didn't look good, he'd only left the hospital to breathe, he hated that place and was only there for her. 

"I'm not good at dealing with things like this."

"Who is?"

We tried to talk about everything but. I made him laugh and he thanked me for it. Before we knew it, four hours passed. 

"It's been really good talking to you."

I rolled over, on the sofa I was laying on, "It was good talking to you, too."

Three seconds after we'd hung up the phone, he text me, "Let's go out. tomorrow."

I was suddenly intimidated, I looked at his text and scrolled through his social media. I viewed thousands of followers that were in awe of his work, the hundreds of emojis girls left behind, and how debonair he was at all times. 

I responded, "I have to write, all day. When I get back from Jamaica?"

"You're going away?"

"Yes. Only for two weeks."

He laughed, "You can't play hooky, tomorrow?"

I swallowed my insecurities, I could hear them land in the pit of my stomach, "No, two weeks. I promise."

He was pissed, "Nah, I'm good."









Fiction Series: For Coffee: Part 2


Part one and the series can be found here! We'll be updating every week. 

Let us know if you like the series, using our hashtag: #forcoffeewithlove

Summer 1985—Brooklyn, New York, USA
Julian

"And if you don't come quick
You not gonna see your son
So I grab a bunch of roses
And I started to run"
--Barrington Levy, Here I Come

I waited on the steps of my home, for my father’s arrival. Sometimes he showed, other times my mother would come out and tell me that he called to say that he’d visit another time.

This time he showed.

As usual, I heard him coming before I saw the car. The pulsating beat of reggae announced his arrival, to the neighbors.

I grabbed my knapsack from the steps and walked to the passenger side of the car. When I opened the door, I realized he was blasting Ranking Dread’s “Fatty Boom Boom.” He was obsessed with my mother’s culture, but could barely look her in the eyes.

“You’re not coming in, to say hi to mom?”

He looked at my front door and put the car back into drive, “Maybe next time.”

My father, Delroy Williams, was American born. His family hailed from the Deep South, Alabama to be exact. His mother, my grandmother, often told stories of cotton farms and disenfranchisement laden with her beautiful accent. My father garnered his love of Caribbean culture from my grandfather. His mother moved to New York, whisked away from Monroeville by a man in a pickup truck that blasted old Jamaican Ska. They ended up in New York City, where she gave birth to Delroy in a tiny South Bronx apartment and he’d grown to be a DJ, a spinner of his father’s records, and in charge of the tunes at the party repass his father requested.

My father turned down the music, “This is what I want you to play, when I die. Don’t mourn me, dance.”

I laughed, “Going out like grandpa, huh?”

“That’s right.”

My father wore a Jamaican flag around his sienna wrist and a small hemp pouch hung on the front mirror; it held souvenir coffee beans and was painted green, yellow, and black. For a man, born here, who’d only visited the Caribbean on vacation, I was amazed at how authentic he tried to be. He’d met my mother on one of these visits, became enamored with her smile and sway, and decided to marry her right away. A few years after my birth, she’d revealed to him that she only married him to make her way to America. Although they speak, mostly about me, I don’t think he’s ever forgiven her.

“How’s school, Julian?”

“It’s cool. I’m at Erasmus now. Mommy didn’t think Wingate was a good fit for me.”

“I hear Erasmus is just as bad, now.”

“I guess, but the English teachers are really amazing. A lot of students are getting published, early on.”

“I guess you still want to be a writer.”

I chuckled, “I guess you’re still sad that I don’t want to be a DJ.”

“Selector.”

“Okay, dad. You have to be a true yardie, to earn the selector title.”

His father turned left on to the Interboro, the way to the Bronx, “I’m a yardie at heart…”

“And so was your father…we know.”

They both smiled, finding themselves doing the push and pull of writing versus music once again.
I continued, “I’m having some trouble with The Crew.”

Delroy looked concerned, “Do you need me to come down there and talk to those boys?”

“They’re not all boys, dad. Some of them are grown men. They hang around the school, some of them know mommy from back home and they keep asking me to be down.”

“No son of mine will be caught up in that foolishness.”

“I don’t want to be a part of any of it. I’m just trying to make it through this last year.”

Delroy reached over and pinched his son’s shoulder, “That’s my boy.”

I took in the scenery around the curvy highway that spun through the border of Queens and Brooklyn. Headstones peeked out from the side shrubbery. The cemetery was large and took up about a half a mile of the highway. I wondered, if my peers continued down the road they were on, how many of them would end up with their names engraved on one, before their time.   

Summer 1985—Blue Mountains, Jamaica, West Indies
Selam

Sammy followed me around the backyard, while I tried to hang up the laundry on the clothesline. He was persistent, annoying really, inquiring about our new visitors.

“I saw him and his mother come last night, Selam. They look like they’re from foreign. Which part your mummy know them from?”

I continued hanging up the clothes, “You’re too fast, Sammy. Your house is on a completely different hill and yuh find complete view of my yard.”

“Boredom.”

“He’s mommy’s childhood best friend’s son.”

“He has on Adidas! They rich!”

“They’re not rich, Sammy. That is just trend in America.”

“You like him?”

“Is that you really want ask! You come over here to fast about my love life.”

“No.”

“Sammy, I met the boy last night.”

“Which part him sleep?”

“In the guest room, with his mother.”

I looked over at Sammy, he was sitting on overturned laundry basket with his arms across his chest.

“You want to get to know him?”

“I don’t care about anything but my studies. I want to go UWI.”

“Is that right? Your mother set on you going to foreign with mummy and I.”

I stopped putting laundry up, “Excuse me?”

“We’re going up before high school finish. They’re going to put us a grade back anyway.”

“When is that?”

“The end of the summer.”

“Wha? Who told you this?”

“I overheard my mummy and your mummy talking about it.”

“Fast, just fast.”

I was suddenly extremely nervous. How could my mother plan on my departure, without a word to me?
Summer 1985—Blue Mountains, Jamaica, West Indies
Julian and Selam

Selam could hear the music through his headphones. It was music that she hadn’t really taken a liking to, but her mother seemed to enjoy it. Julie, Julian’s mother, sent tapes for her to listen to. Julian sat on the porch, bopping his head, writing in a book, and scratching his skin.

“I see I’m going to have to burn some bush for you.”

Julian took his headphones off, “What?”

“I see that you’re scratching up a storm and your arms are getting red. Mosquitos love new blood.”

“I’ve been using this spray we brought, but it’s not really working.”

Selam looked at his outfit. He seemed so out of place with his tracksuit and sneakers, in 90 degree weather.

“You’re not hot?”

Julian wiped his brow, “No.”

“A lie yuh a tell. You’re burning up. There’s no one here to look cool for. I can’t even wear my hair down, in this weather.”

Julian looked up at her bun and took off his jacket. He wore a white tank underneath.

“I’m sure you feel better now.”

“What do you do for fun, here? Milk cows and sharecrop?”

“Well, this isn’t a dairy farm, so there aren’t any cows here. We have staff that farms the land. My mother and I just do the tours, now.”

“You still didn’t answer my question.”

“What do you do for fun, city boy?”

“You can’t answer a question with a question.”

“I just did.”

“We listen to music, cool out, hit the park, skate, or catch a flick.”

“We’ve been to Kingston to Carib Theatre a few times, but you see those movies in America way before we do.”

“I’m sure.”

“We do the same things. Listen to music, make food, cool out, pick fruit. We’re not all that different.”


Julian looked around at the farm and sneered, “Right.” 


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fiction Series: Boroughs Apart: Part 11



Hey, Everyone! We give away a lot of creative content, for free, here at Rivaflowz.com. In return, we’d like to ask you one favor! Can you share the link to this post? Hashtag it #BoroughsApart and tag @rivaflowz (on IG or Twitter) and let people know how much you enjoy the series!




Evan’s parents were fighting, again. He typed the same two words over and over; frustrated that he couldn’t focus.

Mission Stateemnt…Mission Staement…Mission Statement…

His parent’s voices made their way down to Evan’s part of the house, their heavy footsteps above his head.

His father paced when he spoke, “I had a meeting. I told you this.”

“You missed the most important tea of the season! Everyone was asking for you, you promised you’d be there.”

“I’m sure you were perfectly fine sipping chamomile without me,” Evan’s father’s words were slurred, they hung loosely, ready to slip him up at any moment.

“Everyone has a significant other by their side, but Bethany! Lonely Bethany! It’s always Bethany.”

“You drive me crazy with this third person thing you do. You’re so damn self-important! You would be no one if it wasn’t for my family.”

“Is that right? You’d have more than one heir if it wasn’t for your family!”

“That was over thirty years ago! Stop living in the past.”

“I would’ve had two sons if it weren’t for the Marquis family and one of my sons wouldn’t be a prisoner in his own home!”

Evan heard his father’s study door slam. It was indication that he was done arguing. The next thing he heard was his mother sobbing.



Christmas was different this year.

Evan Jr. was turning seven, the snow was falling, and there were gifts all around the tree. But this year, there were more gifts than ever.

After counting the presents, three times, Evan Jr. crawled into his mother’s lap. She was seated, by the fireplace, longing for something he was too young to understand.

“Mommy, why are there forty presents this year? Last year, we had twenty. Who are Jill and Jonathan?”

His mother looked down at him, her eyes weary, “They’re guests that will be here on Christmas Day.”

“Are they family?”

“Sort of. Their mother will be here too. Her name is Carol.”

“If they’re not family, what are they?”

“They’re your kin, baby. They’re not mine.”

Evan Jr. was still confused, “How long will they be here?”

“Just for the day. They’ve just moved here from another country. They’ll be staying in Sag Harbor. They will visit every now and then.”

“In our vacation house?”

“Yes.”

“Why mommy? That’s our house.”

“It’s their house too, now.”



Evan’s mother retreated to her bedroom; by the time he made his way upstairs. Ruth took her place, sitting in the living room, with a drink in her hand.  The light in his father’s study made it clear he wasn’t going to sleep in his bed tonight.

“Those two are always fighting.”

Ruth looked up from her drink, “Be glad they’ve still got something to fight about. Your momma isn’t a fool, but she’s too comfortable. It’s when they get quiet, when they stop caring, that you should be afraid.”

The house was quiet: Evan’s father hadn’t tried to stand his ground or apologize, he’d retreated. There was truth in his grandmother’s statement.

“Are you a fighter, Grandma Ruth?”

Ruth laughed, “No, hunny. I regret it too. How’s that girl you’re seeing?”

Evan blushed, “What girl?”

“Oh, you know exactly who I’m talking about.”

“She’s cool. We spent today in the park. I took her on a picnic.”

Ruth playfully punched her grandson in the arm, as he sat next to her, “What do you know about pitching woo boy?”

“I know I had to Google ‘date ideas.’ Mom and dad don’t really recount their dating days.”

“With good reason.”

The two of them laughed. Their family history was filled with pain and regret, but moments like these were rare.

“She’s good people, Grandma Ruth.”

“A good person doesn’t count for much, in this house, Third.”

“I see.”

“What’s a Google?”

Evan laughed, “Nothing, Grandma. Let me help you up to bed.”

Ruth stood proud, placed her hands on her hips, and swayed herself, as if she was in a ballroom, “I still got it. I can dance myself to bed.”

Everyone was ready.

Evan, Grandma Ruth, and his mother and father sat patiently in the living room. The caterer brought out small plates of appetizers, the sound of silver trays against wood, the only noise in the room. The doorbell broke the silence.

Third was the first to rise, eager to greet the guests. He walked briskly to the door, with his father on his heels. He opened the door, surprised to see his ex-girlfriend Rebecca on his doorstep.

“Becky?”

She stepped into the house and removed her gloves, “It’s Rebecca, Evan. Your house looks exactly as I remembered it.”

Evan’s father hugged Rebecca as if he’d knew she’d be arriving, “How are you, love? It’s so good to see you!”

Rebecca smiled, “Same here, Mr. Marquis.”

Third was stunned, “What is she doing here?”

“I invited her, son.”


Ella sat in the car with her grandfather in front of the Marquis home. She was nervous as hell and if it weren’t for Grandpa Reynold’s insistence, she might’ve turned right back around.

“You’ve been here before! This is going to be a piece of cake.”

“Not in this capacity. You should’ve seen the way his mother looked at me when she realized Evan and I knew one another.”

“His mother is a fool if she doesn’t see how amazing you are.”

“I don’t fit into his world, Grandpa. What if I’m not…What if we’re not good enough?”

Reynold was pissed, “No granddaughter of mine will ever feel that way. You’re good enough to be anywhere on this earth. You hear me?”

Ella stared out of the window, trying to find the courage to go inside. As she adjusted her coat and readied herself to step out of the car, she noticed the young lady that she'd caught with Evan’s father walking towards the Marquis brownstone and ringing the doorbell. Evan came to the door to greet her, he looked shocked. Before she heard him close the door, she heard him say, "Becky?"

What the hell was going on?