august-aslina

SIX

Bailey 

Laughter has to be the best medicine that can cure all evils. That’s all I needed to forget about all my issues and problems. Not to mention, I was slightly buzzed but I needed that. I needed to relax before I drive myself into a serious panic attack. Ryan had never bothered to return any of my calls or text messages, so I simply stopped trying. By the time we were all settled around the dining table, enjoying the home cooked meal my mother made, I knew that Ryan wasn’t going to show. Was I disappointed? No. Did I feel bad that my mother was counting on him to come and he didn’t show? Yes. Ever since I revealed what was bothering me the past week or so, it seems like Ryan has been distant, mentally. Although it hasn’t even been a full two days, things just feel different and I go off on my basic instincts because they never seem to fail. This just goes to show, you can only rely on yourself no matter what. At least if you fall, you’ll be to blame.

Taking a sip of my fruity drink I concocted myself, I looked on, watching Chance and my mother attempt to dance. My eyes were glued to my iPhone, waiting for a simple message from Ryan to appear. Although I stopped trying, I wanted to see if he would make the attempt to reach out to me. Did he call and tell me that he wouldn’t? No but I knew better but wanted to think positively. I had called at least four times and all four times had went straight towards his voice mail. At this point, I didn’t know what to think or believe anymore. Ever since admitting to Ryan about Adrian, the distance between the two of us has been reinforced. At this point, there should no distance whatsoever. Sadly, there is and I can’t do much about it. Groaning irritably, I chucked my phone on the glass table and winced once I heard it come in contact with the table. However, due to the loud music erupting from the stereo, the noise went unnoticed; only I heard.

Even with me being surrounded by my family, at times, my thoughts still seemed to eat away at me. This definitely called for a time to refill my beverage. Removing myself from the chair, I slowly walked out of the backyard and towards the sliding doors. Once I was on the other side of the door, I trailed towards the kitchen and began to refill my drink of choice, mixing it with some Tropicana juice. I took a sip of it, testing to make sure that it was to my liking before heading back outside. I was on my way until the doorbell rung, halting my actions. I could easily walk away from the door and act as if I didn’t hear it but that would be wrong. What if it’s something important?

“Uh, how can I help you?” I said as soon as I opened the door. There were two young looking men standing before me and I immediately tensed, not understanding their purpose of being here.

“You are Ryan’s girlfriend… right?” I rolled my eyes and nodded slowly. I didn’t appreciate the way that questioned came off and sure as hell didn’t understand why he seemed so unsure. If you were, why come so far just to ask?

“He’s been arrested,” he blurted. My mouth fell as I stared between the two. The cocktail that’s in my hand would have slipped, had I not held a tighter grip to it than what I was doing already. The initial shock lasted longer than I expected to, approximately five minutes. Every so often I would feel myself going into a complete daze, totally ignoring the two people standing before me. The waving of one of the two hands in my face caused my orbs to focus in their direction. “He’s in a holding cell at the 28th precinct,”

“Wow,” I managed to get out. “Uh, how do I know you two are telling the truth?” Sadly, I did believe them but still, I needed answers. “And who are you to Ryan?” So many thoughts were surfacing through my mind. For the life of me, there was no way I could possibly think straight. My mind was racing with endless possibilities of what could have possibly led him towards the predicament he’s in now. Every single scenario played through my mind and I shook my head at all of them, nothing seemed impossible at this moment. 

“We were in the car with him before separating,” The one that remained quiet spoke. “We don’t know what happened so we regrouped and were told to come talk to you about it. And, we work alongside him,” Sighing roughly, one of my worst fears happened to be confirmed within the blink of an eye. So, Ryan happened to be assigned a job and on the way of completing it, he was pulled over and arrested. That seems to be the only logical theory I have right now. The anger that resided in me was slowly leaking through my pores and resulting in an unhappy attitude. I didn’t even give the two boys a proper salutation before slamming the door shut. The cocktail that resided in my hand, I quickly downed and briskly walked through the large house, quickly grasping my belongings off the couch.

The same time I turned around to walk out without much of a notice, laughter behind me stopped me right in my tracks. “Where you off to, Bailey?” my mother asked, her face growing serious as she inspected my bag. As much as I rather not admit to where I was heading, I knew sooner or later my mother would find out. From who? Rayne of course.

“Uh, I was just going to the corner store,” I managed to say without falling into an extreme stuttering problem. My mom looked at me as if what I just said made absolutely no sense. Then the look I was receiving from across the room all made sense. Since when was there a local bodega for me to walk to? I would have to drive and end up at a gas station instead. No way was she believing that awful lie. Rolling my eyes mentally, I shifted my body weight to my other leg and thought of another more convincing lie.

“There is no corner store in New Jersey close enough,” she chuckled uneasily. “Um, is there something you want? I’m pretty sure I have it,”

Do you have Ryan in your possession? “No, you don’t have it,” I sighed, shaking my head. “I’ll be quick, real quick,” I mumbled.

“Is the store really where you’re headed to?” she questioned causing me to look over my shoulder.

“Somewhat,” I grumbled, quickly walking out the house. The constant noise of feet behind me caused me to look over my shoulder one more time as I stared at Chance. Unlike my mother who allowed the situation to abate, Chance wasn’t going to do such a thing. He had his jacket in hand and quickly followed behind me. I guess that would have been a reasonable thing to do since I didn’t drive today and I hadn’t asked for my mother’s keys. A taxi would have been the next best thing to hop on. Licking my lips, I watched as Chance unlocked his car door and I hopped into the passenger side while he took the driver side. “28th precinct,”

“Harlem bound?” he asked, putting his car in motion.

“Yes,” I huffed, quickly signing into Ryan’s Citibank to check and see if he had enough funds available. This predicament could get somewhat messy due to Ryan’s record so I hope my actions weren’t going in vain. That’s the last thing I wanted. Just by looking at Chance every so often, I knew there were a few things on the tip of his tongue he wanted to say but instead of doing so, he bit his tongue and remained quiet. I got the gist of what he would utter but I wasn’t in the mood to hear him yell at me and tell me how bad of a man Ryan is. He shouldn’t have to in the first place but with Chance, he gives it to you straight; whether you ask for it or not. “Thank you,” I mumbled.

“For what?” he questioned.

“For driving me out here, although you didn’t have to,”

“Well, I figured I do it anyhow, seeing as how I was the only one who caught that something was off,” he mumbled.

“Well thank you, again,” I stated, pursing my lips shortly afterwards. The ride to the police station was quiet besides the low murmurs from the radio station Chance placed it on. I didn’t feel like holding a conversation, not in the least bit. My mind was without a doubt cluttered with so many thoughts and wonders. It hurts knowing that Ryan was up to no good, once again, and his life and freedom were in jeopardy. I had a clue as to what would entail with dating him but I never fathomed it coming to this very point. In just a few months, things have drastically began to change and I can’t do a damn thing about it.

The last I’ve been to a police station was two years ago. Two years ago, my father was booked and within a week given a court date. The last thing I want is for history to repeat itself. The only thing I’m certain for is that everything that is occurring is too overwhelming. I don’t want to have a mild breakdown because of this but I need to start putting my needs first because obviously, Ryan is preoccupied. The last thing that seems to be on his mind is this whole fiasco with Adrian. At the wrong time, he decides to slip. I can’t seem to grip his logic and it’s making me reconsider a lot of things. These thoughts have been surfacing a lot lately and Ryan’s actions are just reinforcing them.

I hadn’t even noticed by then that we had pulled up to the police station. My heart began to beat rapidly and for once, not an ounce of positive vibes seeped through my pores. I quickly gathered my belongings and swung my purse strap over my shoulder. Coming here to begin with was an embarrassment in its own. “Thanks again,” I spoke.

“No problem,” Even though Chance didn’t give out the verbal assault I know he’s dying to say, his attitude showed it and he’s aware of it too. In this battle, I was losing; I’ve lost all hope and the energy to carry on. I was just too busy shielding it so everyone around me would think I’m alright. I’m crumbling inside and I’ve felt the same way since going to the warehouse that fatal day. “You need me to wait out here or…?”

“Uh, I’m not sure. I’ll call you if anything,” I stated. He nodded once more and I unlocked the car door, slowly walking towards the steps that lead to the station. Every step I took, my anxiety level would rise. My hands came in contact with the metal door and I pulled it back, revealing the bright main entrance of the horrid place. There was a burly man sitting at the front desk, He had the complexion of a chocolate bar, no imperfections at all. I walked towards the desk, quickly gaining the officer’s attention off bat. There was a Dunkin Donuts coffee mug and the aroma of the coffee stench filled my nostrils instantly. 

“How can I help you?” he quizzed, his deep baritone voice invading my eardrum. 

“Um, I-I’m here to bail out Ryan Chalmers,” I stuttered. This is one of the first times I’ve ever come to bail out Ryan and since my nerves were shot, I didn’t have the slightest clue on what I was supposed to do. Upon closer inspection, one of his badges read Detective Harris. He stood tall, grabbing a few sheets of paper in his hand and signaling for me to wait a second. Before leaving, he did tell me that the bail was set a two grand to which I frowned at. What could he have possibly done in such a short amount of time that has his bail so high? At this point, I rather him stay his ass in there until he gets a court appearance, which will probably happen regardless. A few minutes later, the scuffling of feet against the floor went about and immediately, three faces appeared from the corner.

I could barely stand to look at Ryan’s pitiful face. I’m so disappointed in him; he knows this too which is why he’s avoiding my gaze as well. He went on his way to collecting his belongings while I went to pay the bail money. Two thousand dollars down the drain for what? “Court appearance in two weeks. Don’t miss it,” I overheard. I turned around and faced the cop as he continued to lecture Ryan. I was still confused on as to what he was arrested for and furthermore, even if I attempted to ask, the detectives would label it as confidential. Quite honestly, it was all just bullshit. Once the cop was finished, Ryan gripped my forearm and began to pull me out of the station. Not wanting to cause a scene in front of the cops, I remained mum on his action until we were outside.

“There you go again manhandling me!” I stated, snatching away. I noticed Chance’s car was still parked outside so I decided to tell him that it would be alright if he left since Ryan was able to retrieve his car. I was furious at this point, all due to Ryan’s foolish actions. A night spent at my mother’s house was supposed to be beautiful, instead I’m dealing with a matter such as this. Upon noticing me walk towards his vehicle, Chance hopped out his car and walked around the car to me. “I’ll ride back with Ryan,” I huffed.

“You sure? You good?” he questioned cautiously, his thick eyebrows furrowing together. He must have seen Ryan’s aggression first hand.

“I’m fine,” I answered. I gave him a quick hug before pulling away. Ryan can be very possessive at times and the last thing I want is for Chance to be on the receiving end of that, let alone have the two of them in a heated disagreement. “I’ll call you when I get home,”

“Alright, Banks,” he muttered, slipping back into the driver side. He quickly turned the engine on, watching it roar to life before he peeled away. 

“Let’s go, Bailey,” Those three words were his first three words since seeing me. He has yet to say anything else but he can command me to do something that he wants me to do without a problem, huh?

“Shut the fuck up,” I snapped, louder than intended. He looked taken aback and clenched his jaw. I swung the door open to his luxury car and got in, slamming the door behind me. All my frustrations were about to be released right now. I couldn’t hold it in any longer.

“Don’t be slamming my shit, alright?" 

"Instead of telling me what I shouldn’t be doing, I should be telling your ass what not to do. Where’s my thank you at? I didn’t have to come out here for this shit, you know. Matter a fact, why’d you get arrested in the first place?”

“Parking tickets,” He said too quickly and instantly, I knew he was lying. It was so obvious for me.

“Stop fucking lying!” I yelled. Ryan hadn’t moved a muscle away from the parking space as he stared at me with an intense gaze. Usually, I would be the first to give in and just drop the situation but tonight, I wasn’t in the mood for doing so. “You have a fucking court date two weeks from now, your bail was 2 grand and you were heading to the warehouse when you were pulled over. You don’t have any parking tickets, idiot. Why the fuck are you lying when your life and mine are in danger?” I said exasperatedly. 

“You gon’ quit yelling at me,” he said, sucking his teeth. He dragged his hand down his face and pulled his snapback lower on his face. I was highly annoyed by his behavior and this was closing close enough to the both of our breaking point. I ignored a lot of things before for the sake of us but it’s only so much I can deal with, especially in my predicament. I turned around in the seat and crossed my arms over my chest. There were plenty of attempts at him trying to soothe my mind during the duration of the ride. He would stick his hand out, attempting to grasp my hand and hold it but I easily slapped it away, his hand would absentmindedly rest on my knee till I took notice and he even tried to start a conversation with myself but I wasn’t interested in what he wanted to discuss. I wanted to know why he was arrested to begin with.

Even when I reached his apartment, I still held the same stoic expression, not bothering to communicate with him. I simply found his guest bedroom and curled into a tiny ball, looking at the lively streets. Without much of a notice, Ryan came shuffling into the room, finding a spot on the bed and hugging me from behind. I wanted so badly to break away from his grip but I knew he wouldn’t allow it by the way his grip on me tightened by every wakening second. “We need to talk,” his raspy voice spoke.

You need to talk,” I chuckled bitterly.

He groaned and turned me to face him. “Look, I know I don’t make the best decisions and shit catches up to me, but I'on like how this shit is bothering you and doing shit to our relationship. I can’t lie, I’m stressed as fuck right now and your wellbeing comes before anything else in my life but I need you to realize, this shit won’t be easy. It will never be easy. You just gotta take a leap of faith with me,” he pleaded. So let me make it easy for you, I thought.

“You don’t tell me shit anymore, Ryan,” my voice cracked. I was unaware of the few tear drops that were slowly coasting down my cheeks. It wasn’t until Ryan thumb swept under my eyeball, ridding me of my emotions I tried so hard to ignore all week long. “I’m tired of being in limbo with you,” I whimpered. “You give me so much shit to worry about, I’m losing hope in us,”

Ryan

At this point, we were at a standstill. I didn’t know how to feel about her confession and if anything, it just angered me more than it should have. After being arrested, all I wanted to do was relax with Bailey but instead, she’s barking up the wrong tree. The last thing I’m interested in doing is arguing but last night pushed us each to the brink. I wasn’t even able to catch much sleep and spent most of my time over thinking about last night. There was a few things I had to confess to Bailey before she found out any other way from a different source. Last night must have been a blatant sign for me to confess. Sighing, I quickly finished off the cigarette before removing myself from my balcony altogether. 

After much convincing, I was able to bring Bailey in my bedroom. She was clad in one of my Supreme shirts, curled into a tight ball. Before going to wake her up, I went to go brush my teeth. I know how badly she hates the smell of smoke on me and if we were going to talk, the last thing I needed for her to fuel fire against me is smoke. A little over ten minutes later, I emerged from the bathroom and strolled towards the bed. I pulled her by her toned legs, the oversize shirt rising up, showing off her black lace thong. “Damn,” I grunted, licking over my lips. “Wake up, B,” I mumbled, sitting on the edge of the bed. 

“What?” she croaked, rubbing her puffy eyes.

“I need to tell you some shit,” I muttered. I turned to look at her and caught her rolling her eyes. She pulled my shirt down and scooted to the edge of the bed alongside I. 

“Last night you didn’t have much to say,” she retorted. 

Rubbing my temple, I decided to ignore her attitude because I know what I’m about to say will be bigger than everything that will flow out of her mouth. “Bailey, other than the time you know of me getting arrested, when you went to DR for a week and some change with your mom, I had a run in with the law again," 

"What?” she muttered. “I went to DR only a month ago!" 

"I know, I know,” I huffed.

“For a week straight I was in county jail and Riley…” My jaw clenched unintentionally. It was still a rough subject to talk about to anyone and I rarely did. I doubt I was suppressing any of my emotions, I just decided not to talk to anyone about it because I didn’t see a reason to. My mother and I still weren’t on good terms. She feels as if I’m the cause of the shooting debacle but in reality, Riley was just as much involved as I was. He however, didn’t drop any clues for my mother to pick up on. A lot of the issues Riley took on, he was never one to let others know about and help him on. He was too independent for his own good and didn’t like the idea of a helping hand. He would help you whenever you’re in need but if you were to switch the roles, he would deny any help. 

A few months after the drive by, investigators began to say they’re doing everything to help and find out who did it but I know better. Not only that but they first assumed that it was simply coincidental and an accident; their first reasoning for everything. That was bullshit to me as well because a random drive by doesn’t occur. It’s thought out and meticulous. If anyone should know that, it would be me. I just feel bad for not knowing better. Maybe that hit was intended for me instead. I would never truly know now. “Prior to him getting gunned down, he warned me that some shit like this would happen, multiple times,” I said, shaking my head. Her small hands connected with my back as she gently rubbed it in circles.

“I don’t even want to know why you were arrested,” she grumbled. “Why didn’t you tell me when I came back?” she inquired.

“I wasn’t trying to stress you out,” I admitted. I know how Bailey mind works and of course anything that deals with my profession she’ll be against. “But there’s more,” I mumbled. “Two days before you came home, I had a court appearance and was told I had to remain out of trouble for six months straight or I would end up behind bars again,” In a nutshell, your past can catch up with you but thanks to my great lawyer, we were able to work out a great deal without involving my other problems, just the one current issue.

“So you eventually ended up breaking your deal and that caught up to you,” I simply nodded. She sighed roughly and removed her hands from off of me. “Two days, Ryan. Get your shit together or I’ll be gone,” she threatened, briskly leaving my bedroom.

Adrian

“We gon’ have to put a halt to our plans, A,” Justin mumbled, kicking his feet up on the table. “Apparently, Mr. Dumb Ass was arrested last night and now they have a close eye on him and anyone he affiliates with. Our goal is to get Bailey but as of recently, she’s been up under his arm. She ain’t a dumb broad after all. She’s been practicing at the Gun Range, she ain’t taking no chances,” he cackled and to which I did the same. I had to admire her desire to take heed to my words but I wasn’t trying to put a stop my plan either. There’s been no word from Ryan so I might as well do what the fuck I want at this point. He might have five million, he might not. If he does, for certain he doesn’t want to cough that much money up.

“So, you think we should fall back for a minute? Let ‘em think we ain’t gunning for them and then attack?”

“Precisely,” he smiled wickedly. “Besides, this drug exchange is way more important than anything else at the moment. Let’s worry about your personal vendetta later,” he advised. Personal vendetta? Indeed it is.

Nate Maloley Imagine: Kissin On My Tattoos.

Hello my name is Carly. So I wanted to request an imagine if that’s okay.. The story I had in mind was you and Nate have a long distance relationship while he’s in LA she thinks he’s cheating then while in her car the song kissin on my tattoos comes on and later that night nate tells her that she is the only one he wants kissin on his tattoos you can add more details but I think that would be kinda cute……

_______________________________________________________________________

Warning: Includes a super sweet Nathan Maloley and may cause extreme feels.

Key: (R/TN) = Random Twitter Name

       (Y/T/N) = Your Twitter Name

Y/N’s POV:

It’s never easy dating a growing celebrity, especially an attractive, male, up and coming rapper like Nate Maloley. Yes, I am blessed enough to have such an amazing, talented, caring, kind, and of course attractive, boyfriend. Believe me, I never forget how attractive he is, especially, when the girls he is constantly surrounded by point it out. Sometimes it’s so hard to look at some of the pictures he takes with fans. I know most of them are innocent but, sometimes I wonder if he’s ever tried to get with one of them. They’re all so beautiful, and they’re prettier than I am for sure. I even wonder sometimes, why Nate hasn’t left me already for one of the gorgeous fans he meets.

For the past 2 months, Nate and I have been in a long distance relationship. We’ve been together for a year, but when he decided he wanted to spend more time in LA to expand his career, there wasn’t anything I could do to stop him. Of course I wanted to be there with him, and I would be soon, but I had to finish school here first. I had one more month to go and then I could go out to LA to be with him again. Although he was beyond upset, Nate totally understood that I couldn’t drop everything I’ve been working so hard for, just to go to LA. 

After I woke up, I got ready for my day. After showering, brushing my teeth, doing my hair and makeup, and getting dressed, I sat down to eat my breakfast. I picked up my phone, went on twitter, and searched skatemaloley on twitter, something I caught myself doing often since Nate left. I would look through the pictures Nate took with girls and compare myself to them. I knew it wasn’t healthy, but in some weird way, it was addicting. 

As I was scrolling through I saw a picture posted by one of Nate’s fans. His arms were wrapped around her waist and his face was nuzzled in her neck. They definitely were too close for my liking. I tried to blow it off as an innocent photo but then I started seeing all these tweets about the photo and toward Nate and the girl in the photo. 

(R/T/N): OMG!! @_bethhh_ You are so lucky! You guys look like a legit couple!

(R/T/N): How was at the after party you guys @_bethhh_  @skatemaloley ;) 

(R/T/N): How steamy did things get afterwards ;) @_bethhh_ @skatemaloley ;) 

The more I read the tweets the more my anxiety kicked in. Nate wouldn’t cheat on me…would he? I decided to close out of twitter, finish my breakfast, and give Nate a call.

It felt like the phone didn’t even ring when Nate answered.

“Hey Lil Mama.” His phone floated through the phone. 

“Hey babe!” I said smiling, trying to sound cheerful. I didn’t want to lead Nate into thinking anything was wrong just in case I was being paranoid.

“What’s up?” Nate asked.

“Oh nothing. I was just eating breakfast and thinking about you.” I said as I giggled.

He laughed, “I was thinking about you too baby. I miss you so much (y/n). He said, his tone getting sadder toward the end. 

It made my heart hurt to hear him sound sad. Maybe I was being crazy, he loved me way too much to even think about cheating on me…i hope.

“I miss you too baby. I can’t wait to be with you again. Only one more month and we will be together.” I said to him reassuringly.

“I wish it could be sooner.” Nate said, sounding a little happier than before.

“Me too babe, me too.” I replied.

“I’m glad you called (y/n), but I have to go to a stupid meeting. I’ll call you later tonight?” Nate said to me sounding annoyed and disappointed.

“Sounds good Nate, I love you, good byeee.” I said dragging out the “bye” in a flirtatious manner. He loves when I do that.

“I’ll talk to you later lil mama, I love you too.” He said, hanging up the phone. 

It wasn’t long before my mind started filling with questions. Was he really going to a meeting? Did I hear a girl in the background? Was his “I love you” real? All the questions flooded my mind and made me sick to my stomach. I decided I would tweet and then just relax. Tweeting usually helped soothe my worries, it was sort of an escape for me in a way.

(Y/T/N): I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I have to wonder if he loves me.

(Y/T/N): I just have to know, who’s that girl…

It wasn’t long before my twitter started blowing up with RT’s and Favorites. I also got some replies to my tweet. Most of them were from Nate’s fans who knew I liked to write poetry and just assumed they were sneak-peaks of poems I was writing. However; I did get the occasional hate filled tweet. 

(R/T/N): Omg @_bethhh_ @(Y/T/N) is indirecting you and Nate, jealous much? 

(R/T/N): Haha at the indirect tweets from @(Y/T/N) about @_bethhh_ and Skate are hilarious.

@_bethhh_: @(R/T/N), maybe she’s realized someone can take her man.

The last tweet really through me over the edge. Of course Nate wasn’t tagged in any of them, because the fans would never insult me if they knew Nate would see, but I know Nate has my tweet notifications on so he’ll see my reply to the girls at some point and see how they’re acting.

(Y/T/N): Not tagging anyone, you know who you are, but no I’m not jealous and no one is taking my man. Just writing some poetry my loves.

After I tweeted that, I just sat around my house and waited for Nate’s call later. I was getting pretty hungry and the food in my house wasn’t very appealing so I decided to drive to chipotle and get some lunch. When I got in the car, the song “Kissin On My Tattoos” by August Aslina came on. I love that song so much. It always reminds me of Nate and Nate would always play it for me. That inspired another tweet from me. I pulled out my phone and went on twitter.

(Y/T/N): Really though…he only wants one girl kissin’ on his tattoos. ;)

That tweet really made my phone blow up. The fans that ship me and Nate were loving it like crazy. It made those few girls shut up for a bit. I picked up my lunch, went back home, and decided to sit on my couch and watch some T.V. 

Nate’s POV

That meeting felt like it dragged on forever but I was finally out. I pulled my phone out of my pocket to call (y/n/) and I saw I had tons of twitter notifications. I saw the things (y/n) tweeted and I was really confused. Did she think I was cheating on her with that Beth girl? That was some random girl who asked for a staged photo. Why was she trying to act like we were a couple, or that I cheated on (y/n) with her?

I decided I would tweet something and then call (y/n).

skatemaloley: cant love anyone else like I love my baby…@(Y/T/N).

skatemaloley: Still much love for the fans though…wouldn’t be where I am without you. <3 

I knew the fans would be shocked because I was never one to tweet about my relationship or put my business out there but I felt like it needed to be done. I clicked on (y/n)’s name in my phone and called her.

“Babeee” she answered in a cheerful voice. She was probably napping.

“Hi baby. Did I wake you?” I asked her.

“I was dozing off but it’s okay because I’ve been waiting for your call all afternoon” she replied. That made me smile. I loved that she waited up for me.

“ I saw your tweets babe” I said, wanting to get right to the point.

“Oh, you saw those? Yeah I’m working on some new poems and-” she said before I cut her off.

“ I know they’re about that picture with the fan baby. I wanna clear things up with you. I don’t want you thinking I have eyes on anyone else but you.” I said to her.

She hesitated a bit. It was an eerie silence. I could tell she was embarrassed or upset. “I just, you guys looked so close in that picture. You looked like a real couple, it made me nervous and-” she said to me. I cut her off again so I could explain.

“(Y/N), you should know I only have eyes for you and I will only ever have eyes for you. You’re my everything and I would never do anything that would compromise our relationship. You mean more to me than I could ever even put into words” I said to her.

“Awe Nate” she said back to me in a cooing tone.

“That one tweet was true though” I said smirking, even though she couldn’t see me.

“Which one?” She asked nervously.

“You are for sure the only person I want kissing on my tattoos” I said to her in a seductive tone.

She giggled at me and said, “Yeah, I assumed that.”

I heard her yawn and could tell she was tired. It was getting late for her anyway and she had classes the next day. “I’m gonna let you get some sleep baby” I said to her.

“Okay. That sounds good. Call me in the morning?” She asked.

“Of course lil mama. I love you, sleep tight” I whispered into the phone. She loves when I whisper to her. She finds it soothing.

“Goodnight babe. I love you too” She said. I felt like I could see her smile in that moment. Her beautiful smile that I fell in love with when we first met. We both hung up our phones and I decided to tweet one more thing.

skatemaloley: Goodnight my angel…sleep tight beautiful…@(Y/T/N). <3

Y/N’s POV

I heard my phone go off telling me I had a notification. I looked down to see Nate’s tweet. I unlocked my phone, faved the tweet, retweeted it, and tweeted him back.

(Y/T/N): @skatemaloley <3

I plugged in my phone and laid in my bed. It was nice going to sleep knowing Nate really loved me and I really am the only girl he wants kissing on his tattoos.

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A/N: So here is another imagine for you guys! It took me a while to work on it and I feel like it’s kind of sucky and sort-of too long but let me know what you think. You can send me any feedback to my ask! Feedback is loved and appreciated so please send it in! I hate not knowing what people think about what I write haha.

Requests are always open! Send in requests for imagines, blurbs, ships,written preferences, most likely to’s, or whatever else your hearts desire.

I do things about old magcon/Omaha.

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Stay Beautiful <3

-thatmixedbeauty

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August Alsina - Ghetto (ft. Rich Homie Quan)

XIII

Danielle

If I wasn’t already tired from the lack of sleep and busyness present over the weekend, I was sure feeling it now. My body craved sleep and I had a few more classes left for the day, but I knew I would make it by easily, If I stopped concerning myself with digital clock hung on all rooms. Sighing to myself, I quietly walked into my History class and walked towards my designated seat, that had a stack of paper placed right there as well. Picking it up, my eyes gazed over my name written neatly at the top and a grade in red color near my name as well. 

94%, well Done Ms.Danielle!

My lips curved into the widest smile known to mankind. I studied my ass off, making sure I got a reasonable grade for my test I took a few weeks ago. While Paige wanted to hang out and chill, I had shit to do and studying was the main thing. Hard work has paid off and I couldn’t have been anymore happy. Sitting down, I placed my bag between my legs and waited for the History teacher to make her appearance but when I noticed a short petite lady walk through the doors behind Mike, I knew she wasn’t here. That meant, kids that don’t belong in this class will suddenly appear, there will be no respect for the substitute, although she’s a usual around here and the class will be nosier than usual. Taking my phone out, I placed it on top of my desk along with my favorite headphones.

“Aye, guess what we have?!” Mike shouted in a goofy tone causing everyone to look up, especially because he was loud as fuck. “Substitute, y'all. This is Mrs.Quan,” he smirked. “She taken already y'all so don’t try no funny business,” I shook my head at his flirtatious self and turned to look at the gorgeous Asian standing before us. She was very soft spoken and polite and surprisingly, every boy in the class gave her more than enough respect and it’s rare that these boy do that. Since the original teacher forgot to assign us anything to work on, she said we were allowed to work on anything that needed to be done for the remaining class period and that she’d walk around whenever we would need help.

“94? That’s that ooh, kill ‘em shit,” Mike smiled, showing off his perfect teeth. I can give a compliment when necessary and Mike deserved it but I knew how gassed he would be so I refrained from saying it, especially with how everything’s panned out these last couple of weeks. I don’t know what Mike and I are at this point. We’re friends, that’s for sure but everything else is still up in the air. We haven’t discussed the kiss he planted on me a month ago, not that I want to, and we really didn’t go into depth about how we can fix our issues that we’ve had in the past, that’s ultimately preventing us from having a good and stable friendship now. Instead, we, well I, try not to think about it. It’s better that way. I’m not a confrontational person to begin with and I try my best to avoid drama, however, it doesn’t seem to work in my favor. “I did better however,”

“What’d you get?” I said, avoiding his gaze. He had that cocky smirk on his face that you either love or hate, there is no in between’s.

“Would you believe me if I said, 95?" 

My head snapped in his direction. "One point difference so no, I don’t believe you. But that is an impressive grade,” I chuckled.

“Hatin’ on a young nigga,” he said, kissing his teeth. 

“Oh please,” I said, dismissively. “If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t have passed,” I scoffed. Since we did have a few classes together, it would be rather evident that sooner or later we would start talking, gradually, and whatnot. Not having Mike around at all last year was a bit depressing and sad, and just to have him talk to me from time to time is always good. Low key, I’ve missed him but I can never admit that to him. 

“If it wasn’t for me begging you to help, I would have gotten a 94,” he winked. I chuckled at his statement and allowed him to have that. After we fell into a moment of silence, I diverted my attention to my phone that usually kept me company when no one else did. However, Mike had others plans as he scooted his chair closer towards mine and slipped my phone out of my grasp. I turned to face him with a raised eyebrow. “We need to talk,” he said simply.

“About?” For a good month we’ve done good in avoiding it so why now bring it up? He probably has, had his mind made up about bringing it up for the longest but hasn’t had the chance to do so, due to me and how difficult I’ve become. There’s no in between’s with me. It was either I’m going to face it or I’m not. Usually, either way I went, I always ended up getting screwed over in the end. A perfect example of that would be my lovely cousin, Paige. As much as I truly do love her and the company she brings, it seems like we can never be on the same page nor can she understand other people’s issues and problems aren’t mine. She wants to be aware and involved but she’s taking it out on the wrong person! What they’re dealing with, has nothing to do with me. And until it does, I won’t be involved. However, that’s not the case and it’s effecting Paige and I deeply.

She doesn’t even bother talking to me in the morning and when we drove to school together, she didn’t utter a single word to me. Yeah, I’m a bit hurt. “Our friendship, the kiss, anything in between,” he said. “I know you got shit you want to tell me about,” Although Mike can be goofy 90% of the time, I love when we were able to have a normal conversation and be serious with one another while we can. It showed me there was more to him than what he would want to show to many. There was depth to Mike but he didn’t allow everyone to see that.

“I’m good,” I chuckled, trying to reach for my phone. But being that he was way taller, he easily placed it out of my reach.

“You ain’t good,” he muttered. “Stop frontin’ and talk to your homie, wassup?”

“Nothing,” I said. “I swear,”

“Swear on what?” he questioned, quickly licking his lips.

I wasn’t necessarily OK and he could sense that which is why he’s poking and provoking me to speak on my thoughts. I wouldn’t say I’m closed off but I definitely tend to keep a lot of things stored away, not wanting to deal with the aftermath of it at all. Knowing I couldn’t swear on anything and mean it, I just pouted. “If you must know, I’m fine and dealing with life, OK?” I giggled. He pulled my chair closer towards him and stared at me. No matter how long I knew Mike, he was always a touchy person but knew his boundaries. I never thought twice about it because of how good of friends we were but know that I’m older and can understand a few things, I’m much more aware of all his subtle gestures. The question lies, does this mean anything? No, right? He’s still the same flirtatious Mike he was four years ago so what would cause a change?

“What about life?" 

"Hm, how do you know Paige?” I asked, not bothering to answer his question. 

He thought about it for a second. I’ve always wondered how but haven’t really bothered Paige to tell me more than what she’s told me. “Back home,” he shrugged. “My parents knew hers and we clicked,” he simply stated. “And no, we did not fuck,” he cackled. I couldn’t even front, I started to laugh as well. “My turn for a question,” he said. I nodded for him to continue. 

“Why you been ignoring what happened between us for the past month?” he asked.

“Mike, I really don’t think right now is the time to discuss it,” I muttered. “Especially with everyone looking at us like this,” Just like Paige and Jermaine, Mike and I had to rebuild our friendship. The only difference is that Mike and I will probably squash our beef before Paige and Jermaine does. “They still think the same way and nothing is going to change that so why discuss it like that’ll have any affect on them?” I questioned.

“Why you care about what other people think?" I never thought I would one day hear this. 

"Do not,” I uttered.
“Yessir,” he said. “But if it makes you feel better, we can discuss this later. Somewhere more private for the nosy people over here,” he offered.

“Uh, sure," 

"Aye!” he said, dancing around in his seat. 

“Don’t ever do that again,” I said through my laughter. 

“Girl, please. You know I can dance!” he voiced. “I taught Beyonce that Single Ladies shit. I choreographed it,” he stated simply causing me to laugh even louder. 

“You are such a horrible liar,” I mumbled. “Give me my phone,” I looked up at the clock and noticed only five minutes left before the bell would ring. 

“Is that a demand?” His brown eyes enlarged as he placed his hand on his chest.

“Is it?” I challenged.

“Hell yeah,” he said. “Who turned you so mean?” he said, patting his pants pocket and sliding my iPhone out. He turned on the lock screen and licked his lips. My face immediately turned a shade of red as I remembered what he was staring at. I quickly went to snatch it away from him and managed to take it away. “Ooh, Danielle got a body! Let me find out,” he said causing me to blush once more. 

“I can’t stand you,” I said, packing away everything I had out into my black bag. 

“Don’t lie. I heard it was unhealthy,” he said, standing up. He adjusted his pants that were sagging a bit and went to place a kiss on my cheek. “Remember that,” he winked. At first, I used to be confused by his actions but I’m learning to understand it more and more everyday, and the more I do, the more I wonder if what he’s doing is right for the both of us and for my sanity. I sighed contently that he was able to get my mind off a few things and rid my thoughts of trying to fall asleep. Grabbing a hold of my bag, I made my way towards the exit of the door and patiently waited for the bell to ring. 

“So you and Mike are official?” I turned my head to the side a bit and stared at someone who I deemed as unfamiliar.

“Does it matter?” I said.

“Just want to know,” she shrugged. “Wouldn’t want to fuck with someone else’s man," 

"Have all the fun you want with him,” I said but did I mean that? 

Brushing away those thoughts, I left the classroom, on my way to my next destination. As messy and untimely things may seem to be, I know it won’t last this long. Sooner or later things would eventually have to change. I just need patience in order for that to happen and so does everyone else.

Paige

“What room is Art in for seniors?” I questioned one of the security guards. These lazy motherfuckers would just sit around like they don’t have a duty to do. It was almost like they blended in with the kids. 

“Aren’t you supposed to be in class?” One of them asked.

“I would be there right now if I was supposed to, right?” I questioned. Why do people ask dumb questions? I’m not disrespectful but if I’m not in the mood and I’m being provoked, disrespect is what you’ll get. 

“Smart mouth, I’ll be watching out for you. Senior Art is on the third floor, room 309,”

“Thank you!” I smirked. Going on my merry way, I quickly went to find this Art room. Originally, I was supposed to be in Gym but I need to take an exam and this is my only free chance of doing so. I could have done it during lunch but, who am I to waste my only free period? Finally coming upon the room, I knocked on it slightly and waited for someone to open. 

“Why hello there,” The chirpy teacher answered. “How may I help you?" 

"Coach Rivera asked if I can take this test here,” I said. She extended the door and pointed to the back with a polite smile. The Art room was probably the largest room I been in besides the science labs. It was filled to capacity but I saw a few extra seats and tables towards the back, like she had pointed to in the first place. I scurried past a few people and sat comfortably at one of the tables. I looked over my test and smiled. This was going to be easy. Starting on the test, I timed myself for how long I thought this was going to take and if I would end up in the gym after this. After calculating my time correctly, I began to get to work. Of course I had to plug in my headphones because this might have been the nosiest class I’ve ever been in. I listened to Jay-Z “Tom Ford” on repeat while I took my test.

“Clap for a nigga with his rapping ass,” My head snapped up momentarily as I stared up at Sean. Between Jermaine, Sean and Mike, I knew the least about him but I always had an open mind of learning more about him anyhow. I do need to start making new friends and Sean seems like the perfect candidate. “Blow a stack for your niggas with your trapping ass,” he continued.

“Tom Ford, Tom Ford, Tom Ford,” I continued with a chuckle. He pulled up a chair in front of me with some art supplies. “You’re in this class?” I asked.

“Yessir,” he said. “Have been since September. Now, I know you ain’t in here for sure,” he stated.

“I’m not,” I said. “Doing a test for a class of mine," 

"OK, I see,” he nodded. Although I don’t talk to Sean as much as I should, I could tell he was more reserved than his two other friends. He wasn’t shy but he wasn’t loud and blunt either. However I described him was cute and fits him perfectly, if that makes any sense. He began to open up the bottles of paint carefully, not trying to splash any on my test nor our clothes. 

“What you 'bout to draw?” I asked.

“Shit, I was gon’ freestyle and draw something. But now that you’re here, I’m 'bout to draw you,” I removed the other bud that was still in my ear and stared at him. He was dead serious. My lips parted slightly and before I knew it I was laughing extremely loud, not too loud that the teacher had to remind me to keep it down though. 

“Please don’t,” i said, knowing this would be a clear disaster.

“Too late, I already got the colors,” he smiled. I rolled my playfully and slid my test to the side. “I'ma need you to be as still as possible. This painting right hurr 'bout to make me famous,” he smirked.

“So I can’t even talk to you?”

“You can do as you please,” he muttered, quickly setting up. “Just don’t move,” Once done, he asked me to pose a certain way to make his job much easier. After that, he finally began to paint and from what i could see, he was actually doing a rather good job. Better than what I would have done.

“So, I’m still getting to know you so tell me 'bout yourself,” I said, taking a quick glance at the clock. 

“What you wanna know, nosy?” he said, dipping the thin paint brush in the water. The clear water turned into a a watery shade of blue. I looked down at my apparel and noticed I was wearing a baby blue colored sweater. 

“Anything,” I said.

“Did you know I’m half Cuban?” My eyebrows rose.

“Really? How them Cigars like?” I giggled.

He chuckled huskily. “Never had 'em? When’s your birthday? I got you,” he said.

“January 13th,” I said. “You sure you gon’ remember it?" 

"If I put it into my calender, yessir,” he chuckled. 

“Do that because if I come to school and you don’t say happy birthday, it’ll be a problem,” I warned him. He quickly held his hands up and nodded.

“Wouldn’t do that to you,” he said. “If you don’t mind me asking, what’s up with you and Jermaine?” I rolled my eyes slightly and shrugged. I really haven’t talked to him today, yet, and I’m bound to see him down the line today in English. It’s not even that I’m upset he’s a father because that’s immature but it’s rather that I’m the last to know as if he doesn’t know me from a can of paint. Danielle on the other hand, I don’t know what to say about her either because she could have used little clues and whatnot to advise me some if she didn’t want to tell me word for word that he was a father but did she did that? No. So right now, everyone is bound to catch my attitude. Not intentionally but if it happens, it happens. I’m not going to feel regretful if I don’t have a reason to be.

“Nothing.” I shrugged. “You heard something?" 

He doesn’t talk 'bout you no more,“

"Huh? What do you mean?” Jermaine talks about me? To who?

“Nothing,” he chuckled. “Look, I’m almost done,” he said, quickly changing the subject. I sighed and looked down at the painting. 

“Not bad,” I complimented. Although, I really wanted to know what he was referring to, I knew he wouldn’t be as open in explaining that to me. “But, you never finished your statement,” I said, hoping he would slip up for a minute but he never did. Instead, he went to finish the painting with the few details he had yet to do.

“You think you’re slick, huh?” he chuckled. He stood up with my painting in hand and placed it somewhere far for it to drive, not before adding his name to the bottom of it. After that, he walked back over to me and began to gather his supplies and everything he brought with him originally. I looked towards the clock and noticed only ten minutes left and I had to be back in the gym in five minutes so coach knew I wasn’t just walking around for the fun of it. “You lucky you cool,” he said.

“And if I wasn’t?" 

"I wouldn’t be seen talking to you,” he chortled.

“Oh, so you were giving me a chance basically,” I said. “I see how it is now, Sean,” I said, wiping away fake tears. I stood up as well and gathered my belongings, happy that I was able to finish the test even with Sean as a slight distraction. He said I couldn’t move but I had no choice but to. I had a test to finish while we slightly conversed. 

“I gotta get to know you, just like you have to get to know me,” he declared. 

“You’re right,” I said. “Don’t be so shy next time. I know I’m intimidating,” I smirked, giving him a hug. “At least I know you’re the wise one out of your clique,”

“It’s in my genes, my fault,” he shrugged simply, licking over his extremely pink lips. 

“It’s all cool,” I said. “See you at lunch!”

Jermaine

“Man, you’re lucky coach didn’t reach through the phone and ring your damn neck,” A surprisingly relaxed Mike yelled from behind me, as we made our way to his locker. Removing my headphones from my ears, I allowed a plethora of noise to invade the causing me to subliminally flinch. Leaning against the locker next to his, I attempted to listen to a talkative Mike, which wasn’t anything new. This dude was always talking. But today, I just didn’t feel like listening to him or anything, anybody had to say. I guess you can say I wasn’t in the mood, which by the way, I’ve been mopping around the school wasn’t a good thing.

For the past two days, I’ve spent my time catching up on homework that shouldn’t have been assigned in the first place, running ridiculous errands my Mom thought was important, and yelling at Zen for blasting her music throughout the house. I was never one to deny someone from their music but the headache that has been irritating me for the past couple days would beg to differ. And unfortunately, today was no different. The only difference was that it was Monday and I had school, which I was beginning to hate with everything in me.

Seeing that Zen, Mia, and I decided to take residence at my moms’ for the next couple days, getting ready for school this morning was damn near impossible. When living with my dad, it was a bit easier since the house was so damn big. Everyone went their different ways and got ready how they wanted, music and all. But my moms’ place, though still immensely big, didn’t allow us the freedom to do what we wanted and how we wanted it.

“Nigga, you listening to me?” Mike questioned as he waved his hand in my face. Nodding my head, I removed my Nike duffle bag from my shoulder and dropped it on the ground between my legs, making sure to pay attention to whatever Mike was talking about. “Man, what’s up? You’ve been in this funk all day,” he declared, as he loudly slammed his locker. Cutting my eyes at him, I shook my head.

“Mike, it’s only 1 o’clock,” I stated, glancing at the watch on my wrist. I had class in a few and it was the class I was dreading the most. But it also happened to be the class I enjoyed the most. “But really, nothing is wrong. I’m just trying to juggle all that’s on my plate,” I mumbled, causing him to nod his head in understanding. Despite Mike not carrying and dealing with the same issues I am, he still understands the stress of it all. And most importantly, he respects it.

“Man, just relax, you’re tense, and you know how you get when you’re stressed,” he said. “You start over thinking shit, and you start talking a bit more and we all know that’s my job,” he joked, causing me to shake my head, and grab my duffle bag from in between my legs. Pushing myself off the locker behind me, I started to make my way to class with Mike in tow.

“No but real talk, how was the Ball?” he questioned for the umpteen time as we exited the school and made our way to the next wing of the school. “You didn’t say how it was and shit. You haven’t said much. Did you see Dani?” he rambled as I watched him fire off a shit load of questions.

“The Ball was good, not much happened and I did see Dani, seeing that she was with Paige most of the time,” I finished, making my reply short and simple. I was over this whole Ball situation and was tired of talking about it. Unless it was Mia talking about all the friends she made and how much fun she had, I don’t feel like discussing anything Ball related.

“Yeah I know, Dani told me,” he mumbled, which resulted in me stopping in my tracks

“Man, if you know, why the hell you asking so many questions?” I stated through my frustration.

“Because everyone has something to say about it but you,” he said, shoving my frame into some random car. “Like, how do you feel that Paige was there? That definitely shocked me,” he enthusiastically spoke, emphasizing how shocked he was. But he wasn’t the only one who was shocked to see her there. I knew Dani would be there since her mom was into these events and such, but knowing the little bit of history revolving Paige’s and her Aunt’s relationship, I seriously wasn’t expecting her to show up.

“Me too, I seriously wasn’t expecting to see her,” I mumbled as we stopped in front of my fairly empty English class.

“Well from how everything panned out, I know you weren’t expecting her,” he expressed, referring to Paige finding out I had a daughter and meeting her all in one night. That night when I walked out on Zen and Mel, I drove out to Mike’s, where he and Sean were kicking it. They knew what happened that night due to Mel telling them everything that happened. But knowing my decision and why I went about making it, Mike and Sean didn’t say much. They were just as protective of Mia as I was, so they understood, agreed and respected my decision.

“Man, whatever,” I mumbled as I dapped him real quick. “I’ll talk to you later,” I said before walking into my class.

“Don’t forget we have practice, I’m not covering for your ass no more,” he yelled into the quiet and empty class. Kissing her teeth, Mrs. Benton, stood up from her desk where she was doing work and walked over to where Mike was standing boldly.

“Mike, please get out of my face and go learn something,” she hissed as she placed her hand on her hip. Bursting out laughing, I watched as Mike’s face transformed from cocky to pure disbelief. Benton didn’t play. She was usually the teacher that was called on to put the students in their place. Though she was respectful, she didn’t fool around. Nodding his head, he pointed at her and walked away. Rolling her eyes, Benton reached behind her desk and shifted through her brief case. “I have something for you,” she said as the bell rang and a swarm of bodies rushed through the hallways.

“For me? You shouldn’t have,” I muttered sarcastically.

Laughing, she placed a bright collection of princess books in front of me. Glancing up at her small face, I watched as she beamed with delight. “It’s for Mia,” she smiled. “This was something Zen said she was asking for, but you guys couldn’t find it,” she said, before walking back to her desk. Shaking my head, I placed the collection of books on the desk beside me. There was a crazy amount of books in this collection and I wanted to know who was going to read them all to her. We were still trying to get through the other set of books her mom sent her and now there’s another.

“Okay class, please take a seat,” Benton shouted quietly causing the class to quiet down. Glancing at my phone, I responded to a couple messages that have been sitting there since God knows when. “Oh hi Paige, have a seat,” Benton said as a late Paige rushed through the doors and darted straight to her seat. Glancing over to where she was sitting, I watched as she settled into her seat. Placing my phone back in my pocket, I directed my attention back to Benton who was still standing in front of the class.

“Now I know this is a recurring thing lately, but once again I will be letting you guys out early,” she managed to articulate before the class erupted into fits of cheering. “Please quite down,” her small voice spoke. Sitting on her desk, she allowed her Jordan clad feet to swing back and forth smoothly. See why Mike was so in love with her! “This is your chance to get together with your partner and discuss your assignment. Some of you may be done and that’s good. I would advise you to look over each other’s work and make sure it’s up to par,” she said causing me to let out a deep breath I hadn’t known I was holding in. Reaching into my bag, I grabbed the folder I had been carrying since this morning. Along with the many things I did this weekend, I managed to thoroughly finish up my part of the assignment. Despite Paige and I not talking, I wasn’t about to leave her to do all the work, I was going to do my part.

“So what you’re saying is, if we finished the assignment, we can just chill?” a voice boomed from the back questioned. Nodding her head, a smile spread across my face. Seeing that this was my last class, I was able to just chill and relax until practice started later on in the day.

“But make sure you go over everything with your partner because I don’t want to hear no foolishness when you present,” she said causing the class to laugh. “No seriously, I want good work and more importantly, I want you guys to pass,” she finished as she jumped off the desk. “So I will see you guys tomorrow, we will be discussing the play Scorched, please make sure you–“ she started, before being interrupted by the noise everyone was making as they disappeared from their seats. “Read it,” she mumbled to herself.

Fixing the Topszn hat that was covering my freshly shaved head; I picked up my bag and the collection of books and made my way to the other side of the class where a calm Paige was buried in her phone.

“Here,” I said, placing the relatively thick folder on the brim of the desk she was sitting at. It had our initial notes and a USB that held everything she needed to finish up the assignment. “I finished up my part, everything is typed up and in depth,” I started. “Let me know if there is anything that needs to be fixed and you can email me your part if you don’t have it on you,” I finished, placing the collection of books beside me. Glancing my way, she slyly cut her eyes and grabbed the folder and placed it in her bag. Returning back to her phone, she continued doing whatever she was doing before I interrupted.

“Okay,” I said as silence fell upon us. “Do you have your part here? If not, like I said, you can email me it,” I stated.

“Hmm,” she hummed as she placed her phone in her back pocket. “My parts finished and ready to go,” she mumbled as she placed a USB stick in the palm of my hand. Shoving it into my pocket, I watched as she placed her bag on her shoulder.

“What file should I look under?” I questioned.

“Look under the folder that reads, asshole. Everything should be there,” she declared. Damn, am I the asshole? Is that how she really feels? “Is that all?” she asked nonchalantly. I nodded my head and walked past her without uttering another word.

Paige

The end of the day had finally arrived and I couldn’t have been anymore excited coming to that very realization. Once I walked through the heavy set doors and upstairs to my room, I knew for sure I could finally zone out in my own world. Aunt Lisa nor Trevor was around and I couldn’t tell you for the life of me where they had gone. I would assume work but they clarified that, that wasn’t what was on the agenda for the two of them today. I loved the fact that they’re, their own bosses and can clock in and out when they feel like it and make all the executive decisions needed. Hopefully one day, I’m able to do the same, legally of course.

I quickly dropped my bag near my feet and plopped down on my bed. When I left for school it was in a total mess so I’m going to go on a hunch and say my Aunt made it up for me. Kicking my shoes off absentmindedly, I dialed August number. This was one of the very few times I would be able to call him and he’ll be up so I had to take full advantage. "Hello?” he answered. A small smile formed on my face as I tried my best at not blushing. The simplest words he would say has me blushing for no reason at all.

“Baby!” I squealed, grabbing a hold of my Olympics and placing them in my closet. 

“W'sup, baby?” His New Orleans accent making an appearance. I never knew that was where he was from until he finally spilled the beans about it. Now that I do know, I can’t help but smile and feel some type of way every time I hear it. His accent is just everything and I love hearing him talk, just so I can hear it especially. “I missed you,”

“I have too,” I sighed. “I am not feeling California," As we all know. 

"Would you feel better if you had someone you knew out there?” he asked.

“Of course,” I said. “That would be so ideal right about know,”

“Your wish just might come true,” he chuckled. My eyebrows rose in suspicion but I thought nothing of it because August is always playing the mysterious role and throwing me for a loop. “I got another tattoo,” he said, coughing after saying so.

“August,” I gritted. He has way too many for someone so young. He started when he was sixteen and from there he continued to add and add and add. It’s not something I despise because I have too but I don’t want him walking around looking like a subway station in the 90’s. “What you get this time?" 

"I got an 'A’ on my neck. Like right in front," 

"Oh, is that why you’re talking like this? How are you able to eat?” I had so many questions and concerns. Most importantly, I wanted to see. “What prompted you to do such a thing?”

His hearty chuckles fled past his lips as it radiated of the phone line. “Baby, calm down with the interrogation, alright? You know I wouldn’t do anything to impair me. But yeah, slightly. It still hurts a bit so I might not be talking, yelling or anything like that for a while,” I smirked. August was a talker when he was good and ready, especially if he was mad. Maybe this is a good thing, I just won’t tell him that though. “Food? It’s hard to swallow shit,” For that, I had to laugh. As soon as I did, he immediately sucked his teeth in annoyance to my perverted mind. 

Who wouldn’t laugh at that?

“I eat soup and shit,” he said. “And to your last question, I was bored and I ain’t have you to entertain me like you usually do,” he sighed. I know this distance is weighing heavy oh him and I’m more surprised that he wanted to still continue the relationship even after I told him the news. I would have thought he would want to end this for both of our sake, but he didn’t. It just goes to show how much he does love me and he’s willing to make anything work for the sake of us.

“Aw, baby! Are you doing anything tonight?” I said. Although I had homework, an hour video chatting August wouldn’t cause any harm. 

“Nope,” he said. “I was just gon’ stay in,”

“Wanna Skype?” I suggested, biting into my bottom lip. I haven’t seen his face in so long; It was almost like I was starting to forget how he looked and if anything changed appearance wise with him.

“You naked?” he questioned, grunting after. My cheeks immediately warmed up at his blunt language. August is top three freaky. Although we never did it, we were close to it several times but it never seemed to happen for stupid reasons. Was I mad about that? No but it was a bit frustrating after trying so many times. August never really forced himself upon me because he was quite the southern gentleman but he always found someway to please me when sex was out of the question.

Don’t tell my mama though, especially my daddy!

“No,” I giggled. “I just came home. I haven’t even ate yet,”

“Ah, you rushed to talk to your man. I dig it, baby,” he cooed, making kissy noises at the end. “How 'bout this? Eat, shower, sleep, whatever you need to do in about an hour and then hit me back up. I’ll be waiting,”

“Deal,” I smiled.

An hour and ten minutes later, August and I were face to face, well computer wise. The smile that I had on my face as soon as I seen him appear didn’t go away at all. He looked scrumptious. Good God. August was as skinny as it can get but it worked for him and only him. He had on a short sleeve Polo shirt, that showed off his tattoos and the latest one on his neck. It wasn’t as bad but it would definitely have to take me some time to get used to seeing it. It was better than his Self Made tattoo on either side of his face, that’s for sure. We spent the time talking randomly about anything that came to mind and I can honestly say it was the highlight of my day. His voice was so calming and peaceful, it made me forget about all my problems and issues. 

I wasn’t concerned with my father issues, I wasn’t worried about Danielle and her ways nor my Aunt and I damn sure wasn’t worried about Jermaine’s ass.

If it was anything I was worried about was my mom and that was my only concern that I would always have. 

At the end of the day, I’ll be doing me and they’ll be doing them so I might as well look out for myself since barely anyone is. 

“August, you got my back, babe?” I questioned. He was leaning against a bunch of pillows in his bedroom and his eyes were glued to the screen as he continued to make silly faces at me. 

“Don’t even gotta question it, you know what it is,” he said, licking his lips and doing the Birdman hand rub. “Any nigga fucking with you, we’ll hit 'em up,” he said, in his best Tupac voice.

“Ride or die?” I said, my eyebrow raising a bit.

“Till the end, baby, baby!” I chuckled loudly as he transitioned into Biggie’s voice.

“You’re so silly, September,” I cheesed, purposely messing up on his name. “But I love it,”

Jermaine

“You pick me up so late,” Mia mumbled as she hopped out the car and raced to the front door where Maria was standing waiting for her. Cringing at the sight of her biting into her ice cream cone we bought on the way home, I helped a tired Zen grab the grocery bags from the back of my car.  

“I told you I had practice,” I mumbled as we made our way up the grand drive way and into the house. Kicking my shoes off my tired feet, I placed the bags of food on the counter. Though we were planning on spending the next couple days at my Moms’, we decided to make a pit stop, to get some more clothes and drop off some groceries. Kissing the top of Mia’s head, I took a seat next to her as I watched her dig her teeth into the ice cream. She really is her mother’s child.

“You practice too much,” she declared as Zen leaned against me, causing her hair to fall into my face. “I had fun with Aunty Mel though,” she rambled as everyone ignored her declaration. “We play doll and we sing,” she sung as loud as she could causing everyone in her proximity to laugh out loud.

“Is that my grand baby I hear singing,” a deep voice boomed throughout the house. Glimpsing at the kitchen walkway, I watched as my dad appeared in a full blown Armani suit as expected. This man couldn’t dress down to save his life. He was neatly put together with his favorite pair of shoes and a clean cut that brought it all together. Placing a kiss on Zen’s head, he picked up Mia and cuddled her into his arms. “You behaving?” he questioned as she nodded. “Good,” he said as he placed a kiss on her forehead and placed her down on her feet. “Zen baby, take Mia up stairs,” he demanded towards a sleepy Zen, who grabbed a hyper Mia’s hand and dragged her upstairs.

Walking over to where I was sitting, my dad nodded slyly for me to follow him. Following closely behind him, he opened the door to his study, signalling me to walk in first. Taking a seat on his leather couch, I leaned back into the couch, allowing myself to get comfortable. Taking a seat in front of me, he swiftly unbuttoned his jacket and leaned in forward.

“I talked to your coach today,” he said after a moment of silence. Letting out a deep sigh, I rolled my neck, hoping to relive some stress. “He called to ask if Mia was okay,” he stated. “At first I had no clue what was going on, but he went on to mention that you missed practice due to Mia being sick, or whatever lie you made up,” he said, shaking his head, getting angry as time went on. “Why weren’t you at practice?”

“I forgot. I got caught up with some things that mom asked me to do and by the time I remembered, practice was almost done,” I spoke calmly, trying my best to not get the fuck up and walk out of here.

“I don’t care if you forget, you are supposed to drop everything you’re doing when you remember and head to practice,” he shouted evenly. “That is your number one priority,” he stated, before leaning back into his chair and shaking his head.

“Who told you that?” I questioned boldly. This was the last thing I needed. “Yes ball is important, but understand this is not my number one priority,” I declared, mocking him in the process.

“Oh you want to get bold,” he smiled. “I told coach Mia’s not sick, so he is expecting you first thing in the morning,” he stated, with a smirk plastered on his face. Kissing my teeth, I quickly got up from where I was sitting causing him to shoot up from where he was sitting in retaliation. Walking past him, I headed directly for the door. “I have sacrificed a lot for you kids, to have all that you have and to live the life you live,” he indicated before I opened the door.

“Was it worth it?” I question coolly. “Was it worth missing pivotal moments in your kids’ lives?” I inquired. “Because I’m not doing that to my kid. I’m not going to miss moments of her life, knowing damn well I should be there,” I uttered before opening the door. Letting out a deep breath, he leaned against his desk and stared at me.

“Where you going?” he probed, demanding an answer.

“I’m going back to Moms’, we’ll be back in a couple days,” I replied smartly, hoping not to start an argument.

“You need to understand what’s important, Jermaine. You’ve worked too hard to turn back now,” he professed.

“Dad, what’s important is upstairs,” I confirmed. “You need to understand what is important,“  

XV

Jermaine

Walking through the empty hallways, I slowly turned the corner as I shoved my hands in my jean pockets. I was wandering aimlessly through this spacious, yet empty school, and I was enjoying every minute of it. The peace and quiet the school was currently providing, gave me a peace of mind I was in desperate need of. Especially after the series of events that has taken place over the past two days. My life has been anything but calm and peaceful. And I was partially, if not completely, to blame.

Especially in regards to my situation with Paige.

Would I be lying if I said I didn’t expect a reaction from Paige after my little stunt? Yes, I would. After all that has transpired between the two of us, how could I not. Within the short amount of time she has been back in my life, we went from being friendly strangers, to reacquainting our friendship, to now being simply strangers. There was no friendship, no relationship, no nothing. Just my secret, her built up anger and our stubbornness. Which is why I knew me missing our presentation was not only pushing it, but crossing the line. This was evident in not just her tone, which reeked of hurt and frustration, but her approach. From our brief encounter years ago, I knew Paige wasn’t one to shy away from speaking her mind. She’d rather tell you the truth than maneuver around you as if she never had a problem with you. So her words, her tone, her demeanor and feelings she expressed that day, I expected. But what I didn’t expect was her approach or more specifically, her choice in when and where to approach me.

Paige was private and valued her privacy. She also dreaded any type of attention, negative or positive, that came her way. This let me know just how mad she was. To boldly approach me in a parking lot filled with hundreds, even thousands, of noisy ass kids and not shy away, proved just how upset I got her and how fed up she was with me. For her to step so far out of character and forget all that she valued, spoke volumes to where her head was at. She was done. And I, all on my own caused that.

Letting out a deep sigh, I raised my head from its downward position and noticed that I had reached my destination. Leaning my frame against the locker filled wall, I stood adjacent to the class I currently feared entering. Slowly glancing at my surroundings, I noted its vacancy. Aside from the low noises that originated from a couple students roaming around, the hall was uneasily quiet and empty. Class was still in session and thankfully, would be for the next twenty minutes. I had a lot on my plate and one of those things was right in front of me. My English class. Out of all the courses I was enrolled in, this was the one I enjoyed the most, and as of right now, feared entering. Not only did I let Paige down by not handling my responsibilities and showing up for the presentation, I let Mrs. Benton down. And that was what I feared as well. She wasn’t only one of my biggest supporters and motivators, but she didn’t play. Of course she wasn’t going to cuss me out, but she also wasn’t going to let my actions be overlooked.

Snapping out my trance like state, I pulled out my vibrating phone just in time for her name to flash across the screen. Santini. Allowing the hot air to release from my mouth, I sunk further into the lockers. Tapping the ignore button for the umpteen time today, I watched as my phone relayed all my ignored calls. They were all from her. We needed to talk, now; but not at this moment. With all that I have going on, the last thing I needed was an instant repeat of our last conversation.

“Jermaine,” a lively voice called. Raising my head from the game I decided to indulge in, I watched as she stared me down with a confused look adorning her face.

“Mrs. Benton,” I said, pushing myself off the wall behind me. Placing my phone back in my pocket, I walked over to her frame which stood right in front of her now open class room.  “I came to talk to you.”

“About what?” she responded as she walked further into the cool class. Following suit, I closed the door and walked over to the desk I claimed as mine. Removing my bag from my shoulders, I sat on top of the desk, ready for what was to come next.

“About my absence from class yesterday,” I mumbled as I watched her facial expression changed from confusion to knowing. She knew why I was here, but she wanted me to come to her instead of her coming to me.

Taking a seat on her desk which was positioned in front of mine, she directed her attention to me. “Okay, what do you want to talk about?” 

“You know I wasn’t here in class yesterday. And I know you know I was at a mandatory practice,” I said as she nodded, confirming my assumptions. Nodding my head, I continued on with what I needed to say. “But I also know you know, I completed practice half an hour into class –“

“Meaning you could have made your presentation,” she finished. Looking directly at me, I watched as her expression remained silent. “That also means Paige didn’t have to present on her own,” she said, stating the obvious.

“Yeah,” I mumbled while nodding my head.

“So where were you?” she questioned, breaking the mere seconds of silence that fell over us.

Rubbing the back of my forearm, I directed my gaze somewhere else, trying my best to avoid hers’. “I went out to lunch,” I answered.

“Did you enjoy it?” she said, not missing a beat and catching me by surprise. Looking down at the floor, I slowly nodded my head in response to her question. I felt like a kid in detention. “Okay, now answer this; was it worth it?” she questioned. Looking up at her strong gaze, I shook my head no. Although I enjoyed lunch and just kicking it like old times, it wasn’t worth it. If someone would have told me missing class for a mere lunch break would have resulted in all this, I would have called them bluff.

“I figured,” she mumbled. “Well, I am not about to sit here and lecture you or cuss you out, I think Paige did enough of that for the both of us,” she said causing me to mirror her expression of confusion she was wearing a couple minutes ago. “Yes I know, her little declaration garnered a bit of attention and is now the topic of discussion. Of course, until something else happens,” she said, answering my unspoken question while shrugging her shoulders. Although I was surprised she knew, I wasn’t surprised by Paige’s “declaration” garnering attention. No one heard the content of our one sided dispute, thankfully, but they sure saw the anger present on her face and in her voice which was raised. 

“I’m sorry,” I said after I took note she had nothing left to say. “I know my apology doesn’t do much, but I feel like I owe you one.”

Scooting off her all black desk, Benton allowed her body to lean against the edge for support. “I want you to listen to me carefully,” she said, getting my undivided attention. “I’m not going to sit here and lecture you like I said because Jermaine you are too grown for that, and I know you know better,” she said. “But what I will tell you, is your actions were that of a child, not of a young man who is months shy away from being a grown man,” she voiced firmly.

“You have a phone, it works right?” I nodded, silently answering her. “So you could have called me and let me know you wouldn’t have been able to make the presentation. I would have had you guys present another day,” she voiced. “Better yet, you could have called Paige and let her know,” she said, standing up.

Walking to where I was standing, she stood tall in front of me. Letting out a deep breath, she ran her hand through her hair. “Jermaine, I am not the one you need to be apologizing to because whether you showed up or not, didn’t affect me,” she spoke, allowing a hint of emotion to seep through. “It affected Paige and you left her to fend for herself. You need to apologize to her because you were foul for that,” she stated before walking to where her bags were. She was right. I was apologizing to the wrong person. Although I have no intention to apologize to Paige right now with everything being so tense, I definitely needed to sit her down and apologize. “But thank you for your apology, just make sure this never happens again,” she finished.

“Trust, it won’t,” I said, my voice laced in assurance and eagerness. Like I said, Benton didn’t play. She was kind and sweet but she wasn’t scared about calling you out on your shit and putting you in your place; favorite student or not. Shaking her head, Benton slightly rolled her eyes and handed me a thin folder. “What’s this?” I said, scrunching up my face.

“Your new assignment that is due tomorrow,” she smiled. Staring at her in disbelief, she simply shrugged her shoulders. “If you thought I was going to give you a grade based on a assignment you only half assed did than you’re sadly mistaken, love,” she declared. “You will still need to hand in your written half of your assignment with Paige but you will be presenting a different topic, so it shouldn’t be too bad,” she said. “You’re lucky. It could be worse,” she finished before the bell rang, indicating class was letting out.

Mumbling a couple words under my breath, I walked back to where my seat was. Placing the folder in my bag, I grabbed what I needed for the class and placed them on my desk. Leaning back into my seat, I took a quick glimpse at the door just in time to see a curly haired Paige walk through the door. She looked unbothered by the whispers, the looks and more importantly, me.

August

Siting outside of the school’s parking lot, I waited patiently for classes of all High School students to let out. I had to make sure that I kept an keen eye out for Paige and I’m hoping that I don’t miss her from the information she’s given me over the phone earlier. Just over three hours ago, I landed in L.A. to surprise my baby. This was a plan in motion for a while now, to surprise her and I think this is the perfect moment to do so. Baby girl been going through a lot the past month and with me being here, I just want to assure her that it’ll be alright, even if I’m only staying for a week or so. Leaning against the leather interior of the rental car, I took a look at the clock and noticed it to be nearing near three. She’d be out in a second.

I parked near the entrance of where the lot is, so I’m hoping she sees me. But to be on the safe side, I hopped out and took a seat on the car with my gifts resting near me. Just like expected, a mirage of kids came from almost every exit known to mankind, trailing towards the parking lot. No one seemed to wonder why there was a kid sitting atop a car with gifts - maybe that was the norm for them out here. But in New York? You’d be lucky someone would stay out in the heat for your ass. Adjusting my hat just a bit, I continued to be on a look out for a curly haired Paige today. She sent me a picture of what she was wearing today without even knowing why I needed to see it. “She in for a surprise,” I mumbled.

Paige and I’s relationship dates back to when she was a freshman at the High School we both attended. I was just a year older than her in a higher grade but I was attracted to her because of how persistent she was in not liking me. I used to bother her all the time and in return she’d get so violent and try to actually hit a nigga. That’s when I knew there was something about her I had to stick around and see. Of course it was no easy task in trying to coin her into getting with me but through every road bump and shit, it was worth it and now, we’ve been together for about three years. Now that I think about it, three years is a long time and for the fact that I could keep my attention on Paige solely for so long means something. Damn, I love that girl. Picking my head up, I continued to look out for my girlfriend but I ain’t have to search too far as I seen her talking to her cousin, Danielle, that she’s told me about. 

Making sure that the car was locked, I had my keys and gift in hand, I strolled towards her slowly since her back was turned to me. The pictures she would send have absolutely nothing on how she looks in person. She was gorgeous beyond belief. Licking my lips, I gently wrapped my arms around her waist and placed a kiss on the side of her neck. “You miss me?” I grumbled, squeezing her waist a bit tighter. She gasped in my hold and quickly turned around. Her curly hair slapping me slightly while her eyes enlarged.

“August!” she shrieked, throwing her arms around me. For the fact that I had stuff in my hands, I wasn’t able to pick her up and hold onto her like I would have liked. But the way she grasped and held onto me, told me more than I would ever need to know. She placed light kisses all over my face while giggling uncontrollably. I don’t know what it was with this school but it seemed like everyone stopped to witness the amount of love I had for my girl and vice versa. “Baby, what are you doing here?” she asked, pulling back slightly to take a look at my face. I wasn’t even able to look in her eye and tell her without her wrapping her arms back around my neck.

“I came to visit you. You know, surprise ya,” I chuckled. “I couldn’t leave my baby out here hangin’,” I confessed.

“Oh God, I love you so much,” she said, playfully slapping my chest. “You said you weren’t going to make it,”

“It was a little white lie,” I chuckled. “Aye, check this out,” I grumbled. She stepped back slowly, not wanting to let go of me at all. “I ain’t going anywhere, you can let go,” I said.

“No,” she chuckled. “Your presence alone is making me extremely happy and I don’t trust these bitches either,” she said seriously. Shaking my head, I held up the flowers that I held in one hand and she blushed. “Thank you, baby,” she smiled, kissing my lips lightly.

“I got more shit to give but that’s for later,” With a smile and head nod, she entangled our hands and fingers together and pulled me towards, I’m assuming, her small group of friends since she rarely talks about them to me. 

“Guys, this is my handsome boyfriend, August,” she blushed. “Danielle, Lauren and Ashley,” she said, going down the line of the three girls that stood before us. I gave them a quick smile and a head nod. However, before I could verbally greet them, two niggas were approaching her with a questionable expression on their face. “Oh, Mike and Sean, this is my boyfriend, August,” Their eyes enlarged for a second causing me to glance at Paige. She rubbed my hand in a reassuring manner and just smiled, ultimately telling me that she’d fill me in later.

“Nice to meet y'all,” From out of the corner of my eye, I noticed another nigga not too far away, grilling everything that’s going on right now. Bending down to Paige’s ear, I whispered, “Is that your friend as well in the blue?” Taking heed of my words, she turned her head to look at who I was talking about and in a flash of a few seconds, a range of emotions were displayed on her beautiful face. I don’t want to take it the wrong way nor jump to conclusions but you can’t help me from thinking. Paige will definitely have to speak to me about that situation later.

“No,” she said.

“Alright,” I said as I accepted her answer. Licking my lips, I waited for Paige’s conversation between her group of friends to die down before I could have her all to myself. I did surprise her randomly so this is the least I could do, be patient. Once she was alone with me, I quickly pulled her to the side and towards where the rental car resided. it didn’t take long for both of our lips to overlap one another and engage in a slow kiss with her sucking on my bottom lip slowly. “i missed you,” I mumbled as she wiped the corners of my lips to rid myself of the lip gloss she wore. 

“I’m still in shock!” she chuckled. “I’m glad you came out though,” she confessed. “i needed a part of home with me out here,”

“I'a be out here for a while so whatever you want to do, we can,” I smiled.

“So… how does dinner sound for tonight?”

“Since when you do dinners?” I chuckled.

“It’s a California thing,” she shrugged. “Would you do it for me?”

“Anything for you,” I smiled, leading her towards the passenger side. Once she was comfortably settled in her seat, I trailed towards the driver side and started the engine up. I hadn’t noticed how long we remained in the school’s parking lot after school ended because it was practically empty. “Where to?” As much as I wanted to keep Paige to myself and just talk her head off or whatever the case be, I knew I had to be conscience of every other factor in her life. One main concern being her living situation. I know her Aunt isn’t going to allow her to go around town with someone she doesn’t know so this might get a little tricky.

“I don’t want to leave your side,” she pouted. “You trying to drop me off already, is that so?”

“You got curfew, youngin’,” I chuckled.

“You are one year older than me! I am no damn youngin’,” she fussed.

“Your my youngin’,” I smirked.

“Okay,” she said softly. “If we’re going out to dinner, you need to meet my Aunt. She’s a bitch so good luck,”

“She can’t be that bad,” I said, connecting our hands together.

“She doesn’t want me in her space, August!” she groaned. “Like, it’s one thing to say, I need to focus, I can’t be distracted and so on. No, with her, it’s I’m bored and feel like talking to someone but not you Paige, anyone but you, Paige. Or, I’m extremely bored; whose life can I bother now? Paige seems like a wonderful contender,” she chuckled bitterly. “Just yesterday she wanted to act as if she likes me. Type of bullshit is that? I legit apologized for my presence in the house and basically said if I could, I would find somewhere else to live,” I instantly frowned my face up at her statement. I knew her Aunt and her didn’t have the best of a relationship from what she’s told me but I never thought that it was this deep and serious. I knew when she told me she would be moving to California it would be a problem but I didn’t expect it to have this great of an influence on her.

“Don’t cry, Paige,” I mumbled, rubbing the back of her hand softly. “Please don’t,”

“I’m not going to cry for someone who doesn’t give a fuck about me, truth be told,” she frowned.

“Don’t say that,” I mumbled. “She cares,”

“How do you know that, August?” she questioned. “She only seems to care because of her sister, who is my mother. Any other reason, she wouldn’t have taken me in!”

“Stop,” I mumbled. I stepped out of the car and quickly went to her side, opening the door. I scooped her into my arms tightly and rocked her back and forth, allowing her to know that I’m here for her no matter what and I would never want her to feel like that. “I’m here, baby,” I said, against her soft skin. “Worry ‘bout yourself, not your Aunt. Until the time comes when you can’t take it anymore, let your parent know. Hell, let me know. It’s gon’ be alright, you know that. Why don’t you talk to her?”

“So she can yell at me?” she mumbled.

“No, so you can gain some clarity,”

“I’ll try,” she said softly. “Can you just drop me off? I just want to get ready for tonight,”

“Oh, you tryna get rid of me, huh?” I teased.

“Shut up! You better worry 'bout what my Aunt and Uncle has to say 'bout you," 

"Uncle?”

“Her man. He’s so gorgeous, August,” she smirked.

“You lucky I love you. I would have kicked your ass out and let you walk,” I said, sucking my teeth.

Paige

I couldn’t even believe my eyes. The fact that August was literally only twenty minutes away from me, caused the widest grin to spread upon my face. Anyone who was able to surprise me from back home was automatically loved by me but to know that he took time out of his busy schedule to make it happens, makes me feel all weird and tingly in my stomach. If I wanted to, I could have cried on spot but I didn’t want to look like a big baby so I held it in. Instead, I smiled every time he spoke and said something so adorably cute in his southern accent. I wasn’t sure how long he was expected to say in L.A. but I would surely appreciate it because his ass is supposed to be in school. However, August is very smart and brought along his work with him. Brains and beauty, beat that! 

Besides August and his surprise visit, school was O.K. It could have been better, way better but that’s not how things work at the Academy. With yesterday’s outburst in my head, I remained low key and didn’t bother with upsetting anyone for the remainder of the week. I had got a few run ins’ with people who heard my outburst but other than that, everyone left me alone - well, really, Jermaine did. In lunch, I sat furthest away from him and preoccupied myself with the abundance of homework I was given and then during English, I no longer sit near him so I didn’t have to worry about him. Mrs. Benton didn’t grade the project yet but due to our individual essay’s we had to write along with our presentation, there’s a high chance that he’ll get a passing grade on something he did not attend.

Shaking my head, I continued to lotion up and apply deodorant to my body since I just came out of the shower. Danielle was able to convince her mother to let us go out with our respective dates but on one condition. As expected, she wants to meet them and she even went as far as telling Trevor about it. Now, that should be something interesting. I already warned August so he doesn’t walk into this blind but I’m a bit scared for him. I’ve seen Trevor upset plenty of times when he doesn’t like a situation so I don’t want him to scare off my boyfriend of two years. Sighing, I quickly threw my robe over my body and trailed into Danielle’s room. 

The soft sound of SZA played in the background of her room as she sat on her bed, looking through a magazine. Surprisingly, she was already dressed and looked more than ready to head out. Or maybe it was the nerves. Whatever it was, she looked gorgeous and I’m sure Mike would appreciate it. Licking my lips, I crawled onto her all white bed and snuggled up beside her. “Mike said you’re sexy,” I teased, looking over her shoulder.

“Shut up,” she giggled. “He did not!”

“How would you know? Mike is a low key freak about you. He’s more than obsessed over you,” I told her, to which she blushed about. I found it extremely cute how she was so shy and introverted when it came to her feelings about Mike. It was obvious she had an interest in Mike and for her to sit up here and play like she doesn’t is quite obvious. She might as well admit it before he runs off and finds someone who will cherish him. I’ve known Mike for years and just like his energetic personality, if something isn’t satisfying him like he’s doing in return, he will move on. I’m surprised he hasn’t done that yet. “Sooo, are you ready for tonight?” I inquired. 

“Sure, I guess,” she shrugged. “I just want the outcome of the night to come with results, ya know? I’m tired of being in a tug a war with him,”

“Well, you two are not leaving until you clear the air!” I declared with a smile. Mike is a wonderful person and I know if they happen to get together one day, they would be perfect. They would bring out the best in each other. 

“I know,” she chuckled. “You and August are kind of cute," 

I blushed at her compliment, my cheeks immediately heating up. "Thank you. He should be here at any moment right about now. I’m scared for how Trevor will act towards him, you know? He just came home and I know he’s going to be super hard on August, ugh!” I groaned, rolling on my back. 

“He’s not,” Danielle chuckled. “He wouldn’t dare embarrass you either but without a doubt, he’s going to question August and Mike as well,” I sighed, shaking my head. With the plans of us double dating, we managed to coin August and Mike to roll in the same car as each other to make it easier on us. Mike and August met briefly before in New York but from the introduction to one another earlier, I guess they don’t remember each other as well as I thought they would but I didn’t want to stress over that too much anyhow. “What are you going to where for tonight?”

“I really don’t know,” I said, raking my fingers through my unruly hair. While my closet was packed to capacity with almost every clothing I would need, I couldn’t for the life of me find something to wear. I wanted to look special in the presence of August but I also didn’t want to overdo it which left me in this uncomfortable position now. Licking my lips, I asked her what I should put on.

“Why don’t you wear a skirt?” she suggested.

“I would but no,” I shot that idea down instantly. 

“Then, can’t help you. You know all I wear are skirts,” she chuckled.

“Shaking my head at you. Let me go get dressed,” I mumbled, standing tall. I stretched and trailed back into my room, in search of something potentially worth wearing for tonight’s festivities. For a fact, I knew that I’d be having a great time with August especially since he came all the way out to surprise me and I would hope for the sake of Danielle and Mike, this conservation does the pair a lot of justice and they’ll be able to resolve some of their main issues. They’re both, including Mike, level-headed people so it shouldn’t be a problem, I would hope. I sighed and locked the door behind me, dropping the robe off of my body. I had a few options set on my bed but I wasn’t sold on that being what I wanted to wear as of yet.

With a huff, I decided it would be best if I dressed comfortably instead of trying to dress for August. Whatever I threw on, he would enjoy. The next time I looked at the clock on the wall, it was surpassing seven and surprisingly, both boys were downstairs waiting for us. No one had mentioned to me August was downstairs but I overheard Trevor screaming for Aunt Lisa which is the only reason I knew they were here. I would have booked it downstairs if I would have known they would be here so soon but I was still fixing my hair. The least I could do is straighten it and it was taking longer than anticipated. Over twenty minutes into their interrogation process, I was finally making my way down the stairs. Danielle was even down here waiting for me! “Sorry y'all,” I said, causing everyone to turn towards the source of the voice.

I connected my eyes with August first, watching as he slowly licked his lips, standing to meet me halfway. Everyone was in the living room closest to the exit of the house. Mike and Danielle were visible to me but Aunt Lisa and Trevor had their backs turned to me. I embraced him a hug and whispered in his ear for him not to kiss me in front of them. I don’t want to cause a problem and I don’t want Trevor to get upset. “Chill,” he chuckled near my ear. I pulled away and straightened out my ensemble for the night. I slightly took Danielle’s advice and decided to put on a dress with a cute pair of loafers.

“August was telling me how he’s in College, Paige. I didn’t know that,” Aunt Lisa spoke up. There was a lot of things she didn’t know because I refused to tell her about it. It was none of her concern anyhow so she shouldn’t be this surprised. August just needed a stamp of approval from my biological parents and that’s it. Aunt Lisa’s opinions were truly irrelevant. 

“Oh,” I blandly said with a slight shrug. What was I supposed to tell her? Now you know? “What do you think about him, Trevor?” That’s what I truly wanted to know.

He had been relatively quiet and I wanted to know his thoughts on my boyfriend. “Seems like a good kid but only time will tell the truth. Same for you, Michael. Although I’ve met you a couple of times before,” My eyebrows rose at his statement as I looked between Mike and Dani sitting next to one another on the couch.

“Well, it was nice meeting y'all two again or whatever the case may be. Have fun but not too much fun,” Aunt Lisa said. I felt as if she was directing that question more to August and I than Danielle and Mike. I didn’t know whether or not that was something good or not. When we all parted ways, August and I left and entered the back of Mike’s car. The car August rented for his stay in California was in the driveway until we came back home. Since I wasn’t too familiar with California and all the restaurants, Mike led the way and directed us to which restaurant we should attend. On the way towards and walking to the establishment, Mike didn’t say much to me and I had to wonder why. Was it because of Jermaine or he just didn’t really fancy August as much as I thought he did. Either way, I wasn’t too interested in finding out since he had his own things to work out and so did I.

Taking a seat opposite of August, i smiled and placed my wallet to the side. Although he said I wouldn’t be needing one, I still brought it just in case. “Are those the earrings I bought you?” he questioned, taking a sip of the water that was placed before us only a few seconds ago.

“It is,” I blushed. “Tell me how’s everything in New York?” I said, genuinely interested. I always loved hearing about New York. It brought a sense of familiarity to me.

“It’s good,” he shrugged. “Shit is still the same but it’s obvious there’s a void without you around,” he sighed.

“I know. I was thinking about visiting during the holidays if I could. I miss my mother the most,”

“She misses you too, baby,” he informed me. “Whenever I talk to her, we always end up going on a tangent about you 'cause that’s the one thing we share in common with one another, you know? She a real good woman and it’s sad to see her going through something like this,” Her health was so unstable at times.

“I want her to be healthy again. I want her to be around when I have kids, graduate High School and College, everything,” I sighed.

“I know what you mean,” Around the time August was eighteen, he had lost his older brother to gun violence and was left to take care of his three nieces back in New York. It’s never easy losing someone you truly care for and for that very reason, he gets real emotional and sad over something remotely close to death. It brings him too many painful memories. Although it’s something he can’t hide from or avoid, he has to try his best to cope with it because life does not end when you die. “She’s a tough fighter though. You know that shit,” he said causing a smile to appear over my face.

“I think everyone knows that about my mom. So, let’s talk about us. I don’t want to get too sad and ruin this date night,”

“Sounds good,” he nodded. “Where you see us after you finish High School?” he inquired, quickly coming up with a question to ask. Two menus were placed in front of us to look from. I already knew I wanted to keep my meal light and simple so I wouldn’t end up looking three months pregnant when I left. 

“I want us to last for as long as we can, you know? Nothing is promised and I fear that something will break us apart because of the distance. How do you really feel about the distance between us?” I know it wasn’t something easy to take on and there was no easy approach to it so I needed to know exactly how he felt. I was used to being around him all the time and to be separated all of a sudden puts a bitter taste in my mouth. I love him with my all and would be severely crushed if we didn’t seem to make it work and work out. August is my first love and everything and I don’t want what we have to go up in vain.

“I hate it,” He spoke the words I knew he’d been feeling for so long but didn’t say because he didn’t want to worry me much. “But, I have to look at the bigger picture. That includes your safety most importantly so I have no choice but to respect it,” he put. “And you?”

“I just want to be surrounded by good people so you, my parents and friends. I could care less where I’m at if I knew you were with me,”

“I don’t know, Paige,” he mumbled. “This is starting to take a toll and i don’t want it to result in the end of us,”

“Wait, what? August are you breaking up with me?” I whispered.

“I could never,” he chuckled lightly. “Why would you say that?” he questioned, his thick eyebrows meshing together.

“That’s what it sounded like,”

“You know I love your ass way too much to do something like that. I just don’t want us to split either because of the distance, especially at such a young age for the both of us,”

“True,” I muttered. “If we both want this, we each have to put in the work for it, you hear me?”

“I hear you,” he smiled, leaning over the table and placing a kiss upon my lips. I smiled and waved for a waiter to come by. I caught eyes with Danielle and gave her a small smile. I knew whatever was occurring between her and Mike, they would get past it and be headed into a better future with one another. If not as a couple, as great friends. After the waiter took our orders, we were left to our lonesome while I lazily stared at my attractive boyfriend.

“I love you, Auggie,” I cooed.

“I do too,” he said. “You better love me still after these Oysters too,” he chuckled.

“Shut up!” I giggled. 

Jermaine

“Daddy, look!” a small voice called from behind me. “You like?”

Turning around, I looked at the state of my room which was clean, but covered in Pink, sparkling items. “I love it, Moo,” I smiled forcefully. She was driving me crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby but times like this, I wish she had her mom around. As of right now, I was finishing up my homework while Mia revamped my room in effort to make the perfect tent. But not just any tent, a tent that was pink, had beads and little shimmery sparkles. I loved spending time with her, but there was only so many wigs and dresses I could wear, only so much pink and sparkles I could take.

“Thank you, daddy,” she said, jumping from my bed.

“Mia, don’t do that because if you hurt yourself, I’m not taking you to no hospital,” I said as she giggled while making her way over to my desk, where I was forced to sit. Although she loved pink and sparkles, she was rough. She always wanted to wrestle and if she fell, she would get right back up and do the same thing that made her fall. She was the true essence of a tomboy and a girly girl. And I blamed Zendaya.

“Sorry,” she smiled as she crawled on my lap, and grabbed my pen.

“No, don’t do that, its daddy’s homework,” I said as she pouted. “Here,” I said, giving her the pen and a piece of scrap paper. Standing up, I placed her at the work space I set up for her in my room. It consisted of a small fold-able desk and chair, with all her coloring stuff. I hated it but it was perfect for times like this.

“Thank you,” she said as I set up her crayons in front of her. Kneeling down, I brushed her wild curls that mirrored her moms out of her face. “I draw you and mommy,” she smiled causing me to smile back at her.

“Okay, but Mia, please don’t make a mess or I’m calling grandpa,” I said causing her smile to drop. She was babied by my dad but when it came down to making sure she was well behaved and didn’t turn into those bad ass kids, he was on top of that. All it took was a couple words and she was all good. Kissing her cheek, I headed back to my desk and glanced over my completed work. It was now eight o’clock and I’ve been spending my time finishing up this assignment along with all my other homework since school ended. Deciding to finish off everything at school, I stayed in the library after my final class. One of the best decisions I ever made. I was able to finish off everything at a reasonable time, and go home straight after to a full house. Not only was everyone home but Maria, my moms, and the Carter’s were here too. And the kitchen was filled with food.

“Daddy, I like,” Mia said as she pointed to my iPod dock sitting next to her. Shaking my head, I turned up Meek Mill’s “Ooh Kill Em”, and watched as she viciously bobbed her head to the music.

“Chill, be careful before your head falls off,” Zen said as she entered the room. Laughing, I turned down the music and watched as she spoke into the phone. “Whatchu doing, love?” 

“I draw,” Mia answered as she swung her legs back and forth.

“Well, I hope you’re drawing a picture of me,” Zen said as she batted her eyes and flipped her hair.

“Nooo! I draw mama and daddy,” Mia said in her usual happy state, while covering her face.

“Oh, well I tell mama on you,” Zen said sadly causing Mia and I to look at her surprisingly.

“Mama!” Mia screamed, grabbing the phone from Zen. “Mama?” she smiled as she walked out my room, brushing past Mel in the process. “Hi, Aunt Melly,” she said before disappearing into her room.

“Hi, baby!” Mel screamed over her shoulder. Hopping on my bed turned tent, she sat in front of Zen, who was preparing to do her hair.

“Y’all can’t do that shit somewhere else?” I muttered, frustration laced in my voice.

“No,” Mel said simply before falling out laughing with Zen. So childish.

“No, but really Maine, I came to ask you a question about Paige,” Zen mumbled as she unknowingly hid behind Melissa wild hair. Looking their way, I wondered what she wanted to ask. After finishing up at school and coming home, I was bombarded with questions from the two sitting in front of me. Although I caught Zen up after the initial incident, Mel was clueless. So she demanded I filled her in.

“What about her? I told you guys everything that happened,” I said, getting slanted eyes from Melissa, who felt I was dead wrong for the stunt I pulled. She had no clue who Paige was but as of right now, she was Team Paige.

“No, I know but I was wondering if you knew the guy she was with today,” Zen questioned causing my jaw to subconsciously clench tight.

“No, I don’t know who he is,” And that wasn’t a lie. I didn’t know who he was but according to Mike that was her dude. No, I wasn’t jealous or feeling petty but what I was feeling was confused. She has fuming mad when I decided to keep Mia’s existence quiet but she has this “secret” boyfriend? Of course it could have slipped her mind which was cool but still. Shit made no sense. “Why?”

“No reason, but I saw you staring him down,” Zen said as she continued doing Mel’s hair.

“Nigga, you jealous?” Mel smiled. “Zen, was he cute?”

“He was fineeee,” Zen said, dragging the word ‘fine’ out causing her and Mel to burst out laughing.

“Man, I’m not jealous but confused,” I admitted before my bedroom door opened.

“Daddy, Mama,” Mia said as she walked through the room like it was hers.

“Tell her I’m not here,” I whispered as she placed the phone in my lap. Looking up at me with her big brown eyes, she smiled a toothy smile before taking the phone back.

“Okay,” she whispered back before walking towards the door. “Mama, Daddy say he no here,” she said causing Mel and Zen to fall out laughing, and for me to shake my head. She was definitely my kid.

“Why you ignoring my boo Santini Houdini?” Mel questioned, curiously. Those two were thick as thieves. After moving down to Cali from North Carolina, Mel and I became close as ever. Since we didn’t know anyone else and weren’t willing to, we spent all our time together. That is, until Mel decided I wasn’t enough and needed a female companion. And her name was Christina Santini. The girl with big hair, big teeth and a head way too big for her body. Since then, they’ve been inseparable. 

“No reason,” I mumbled, hoping to satisfy her with that answer.

“You’ll have to talk to her sooner or later,” she said, giving me an “I know what happened” look.

“I know,” I said, taking in a breath of fresh air. Just not now.

Mike

“Would you two like anything else?” the short female waitress questioned as she stood before us.

“No, that’s it for me,” I said as I gave her my menu before I was tempted to order anything else. I was starving and waiting for Paige and Dani to get ready didn’t help.

Glancing up at a frazzled Dani, I watched as she roamed the menu for the countless time since we’ve been here, which hasn’t been long. The once decisive girl I knew was nowhere in sight.

“No, that will be it,”Dani answered as she bit down on her lip and placed the menu in the waitresses hand.

“Okay, your food will be ready momentarily,” the waitress smiled before disappearing into the crowd of people that were occupying the restaurant. It was busy, much busier than the last time we were here. This was Dani and I’s favorite place to eat before everything happened. She loved the calm dark mood, and I loved the food. It was a win-win.

“Thank you, Mike,” she said, breaking the silence that fell over us after the waitress left.

“For what?” I questioned curiously as I took a sip from the water in front of me.

Releasing her bottom lip from the tight grip she had it in, she played with her wallet I insisted on her leaving at home. “For taking me to dinner,“ she said while avoiding eye contact. Letting out a hearty laugh, I watched as Dani became mush in her seat. Dani wasn’t shy. Around others she was assertive, prideful and confident. But whenever she was within my vicinity, whether alone or with a group, she became a nervous mess.

Taking her shaking hand in mind, I gently rubbed the back of it hoping to relax her a bit. “Well, thank you for allowing me to take you out,” I responded after I noticed her nerves had calmed down. Sitting up from her slouching stance, she coyly looked away from my gaze and blushed a light red. “Well look at that, she smiles,” I teased as she broke out into a fit of giggles.

“Mike, please stop,” she demanded through a wide smile, which she covered with her napkin. Although Dani’s a happy person and smiles all the time, it isn’t something she did openly. She always tried to hide behind her hands, a book, or whatever she has in her hands. And I didn’t know why. “Can I ask you something?” she asked causing me to nod in response.

“Only if I can ask you something,” I retorted. Shrugging her shoulders, she mumbled a simple sure.

“Okay, ask.”

“What’s up with you and Paige?” she questioned as she placed her hands beneath her chin. Taking another sip from my drink, I rummaged through my thoughts as I tried to come up with an answer.

“It’s complicated,” I started. “Nothing’s up with me and Paige but it’s more so what’s up with Jermaine and Paige,” I said. Although Paige and Jermaine have been going through their shit for a while, after yesterday’s events, everything now is tension filled. Their problems are placing me and everyone else in an awkward position and today was a perfect example of that. While everyone was rejoicing in Paige and her boyfriend’s presence, J was in the back confused by all that was going on, and I didn’t like that. “I’m just feeling like I’m in between a rock and a hard place with Paige and Jermaine, ya know?” I said causing Dani to nod a bit.

“I think you should let them deal with what they’re dealing with on their own,” she chimed in smoothly. “Don’t take on their problems and don’t get involved unless you feel the need to,” she finished as I took in all that she said. She was right. Their problems were their problems. But what if I did feel the need to get involved? What if I felt the need to choose? I’d be complicated because although I rock with Paige and have a great amount of respect for her, ultimately my loyalty lies with Jermaine. Letting out a deep sigh, I kissed my teeth. They needed to figure their shit out, and quickly.

“I understand,” I said, wrapping up whatever was left from the conversation. “Thank you though,” I said causing her to smile gently. “But, it’s my turn.”

Rolling her eyes playfully, she rested her back on the cushioned wall behind her as I leaned forward. “What’s up with me and you?” I probed. Although I’m ecstatic to be enjoying dinner with Danielle, this dinner wasn’t a dinner of leisure but more so necessity. We needed to talk and sort through our problems, something I was yearning to do while Dani was avoiding it. This was obvious in our expressions and demeanor right now. I was leaned forward with an expression of eagerness, while she was tilted back, with a look of nervousness embedded on her face.

“Mike, I don’t know. I was hoping we could figure this out but it’s complicated,” she stated lowly after she fell silent. “I like you, I do but I love our friendship,” she rambled as she tried to explain herself. “I just don’t want things to become tense and awkward,” she said as she finally looked me in my eyes. Placing my lips in a thin line, I simply shook my head and leaned back into my seat. Even though I understood where she was coming from, I didn’t care to hear her repeat the same thing I have heard times before. And that was because she would say one thing but her actions said another.

I adored Dani and she knows that. I have never been shy of voicing my feelings for her or showing her for that matter. But in spite of my declaration and my actions, she still can’t figure out if she wants to give this a go or not. Yes, I would feel some type of way if she said no but I wouldn’t be upset because there was a liable reason behind it. Shit, I would rather her tell me no than lead me on

“Dani-“

“I like you, Mike, I do,” she spoke, cutting me off. “Just give me more time to figure this out,” she said, pointing between us. “Please.”

Leaning forward for the umpteen times tonight, I looked into her pleading eyes, unsure of where we stood. “I don’t know,” I mumbled as I watched her hopeful expression fall from her face.

2Chainz releases dates and opening acts for his “2good to be T.R.U.” tour with Pusha T, August Alsina and Cap1. Tickets will be available for purchase December 13, 2013 with prices starting at $32.

Feb. 4 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
Feb. 5 – New York, NY – Roseland Ballroom
Feb. 7 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
Feb. 8 – Milwaukee, WI – Eagles Ballroom
Feb. 10 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Feb. 12 – Boise, ID – Revolution Center
Feb. 13 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SoDo
Feb. 18 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater
Feb. 20 – Santa Ana, CA – The Observatory
Feb. 21 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Feb. 22 – Las Vegas, NV – The Joint
Feb. 28 – Saint Louis, MO – Chaifetz Arena
March 1 – Indianapolis, IN – Egyptian Theatre
March 2 – Cincinnati, OH – Bank of Kentucky
March 13 – Dallas, TX – South Side Ballroom
March 14 – Houston, TX – Bayou Music Center
March 17 – Saint Petersburg, FL – Jannus Live
March 18 – Miami Beach, FL – The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason
March 20 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore Charlotte
March 22 – Upper Darby, PA – Tower Theatre
March 24 – Washington, DC – 9:30 Club

(Information Courtesy of Rap-Up)

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[DJ Khaled Ft. Chris Brown, August Aslina, & Fetty Wap - Gold Slugs]