hop strike

On This Day: August 3
  • 1821: Uriah Smith Stephens born in Cape May, New Jersey. He was a tailor who led nine other garment workers in founding the Knights of Labor in 1869.
  • 1882: US Congress passes Chinese Exclusion Act. The Act stops immigration for 10 year, and it denies citizenship to those already in United States until 1943.
  • 1907: The Spanish anarcho-syndicalist labor federation Solidaridad Obrera was founded.
  • 1910: Ricardo Flores Magón was freed from the jail in Florence, Arizona.
  • 1913: Wheatland Hop Riot: in Wheatland, California, police fire on IWW organizers and striking hop pickers.
  • 1918: A strike was called for better wages and shorter hours of the workforce of the Conpanhia Cantareira (shipbuilders) and the Viação Fluminense (trams) in Brazil.
  • 1927: Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller refused to intervene in the coming execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti.
  • 1929: Socialist Thorstein Veblen dies in Sand Hill Road, California
  • 1936: Jesse Owens wins the 100m gold medal at the Nazi dominated Berlin Olympics.
  • 1961: In Canada, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) changes its name to New Democratic Party (NDP) and chooses Tommy Douglas as its leader.
  • 1966: Lenny Bruce, called “the most radically relevant of all contemporary social satirists…” is found dead at age 40 from a morphine overdose in Los Angeles.
  • 1981: 15,000 air traffic controllers begin strike action in the United States.
  • 1982: In The Marshall Island, an occupation forced the cancellation of a US missile test as protesters refused to evacuate or move to safety.
  • 1986: Florence Reece dies in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was a mine workers union activist and author of the song Which Side Are You On? written during the 1931 Harlan County strike.
  • 1986: Marxist Saul “Paul” de Groot dies in Bussum, Netherlands.
  • 1987: France’s Radio libertaire received a license to broadcast after a six-year fight with the government.
  • 1988: 143 white English and Afrikaans refuse to serve in South African Defense Force during the occupation of Angola and Namibia.
  • 2004: Famed photographer and anarchist Henri Cartier-Bresson dies in Céreste, France.
  • 2015: Syrian Civil War: Jordan MacTaggart, from Colorado, was killed while fighting for the YPG.
Slam Dunk Chapter 1

Hello everyone! Welcome to the third and final part of the Defense series. I cannot wait for you guys to read this series, you’re in for a crazy ride!

Most of the chapters in this series will be inspired by Banks’ songs, the song inspo is real right now! 

The song that I seeked inspiration from is, Alibi by Banks

Here is the link to the song

I hope you enjoy this first chapter.

—–

“Mom, can I stay over Dad’s for dinner?” Mackenzie asks Ahsha who just came in from a long day at work at the dance studio. The mom had been working on choreography at her dance studio and was in need of a well deserved nap.

“Yes sweetheart. Where is your brother?”

“He’s hanging out with Daddy. Do you want to speak to him?” The eleven year old has a sly smile on her face as she looks at her great aunt, Katharine.

Ahsha tenses up at the mention of Derek’s presence and she finishes putting the papers into their appropriate files.

“No Ken, it’s okay. I can just talk to him later.”

“Ken, is that your mom?” Derek asks as he strolls into the room with Carter at his side, the two just finished watching basketball.

“Yeah, here dad!” Mackenzie cheers and practically throws the phone into her father’s hands. Derek chuckles at his daughter and shakes his head.

“Thank you, Ken.”

Derek and Ahsha have not spoken to each other in two years and had just finished with the finalization of their divorce.

“Hey.” Derek answers the phone, letting out a light chuckle at Ahsha’s incoherent rambling on the other end of the phone. He hopes that she says something to him over the phone.

“Hey. Derek, I have to go. I’ll be at the mansion to pick up the kids around eight, if that’s okay.” She blurts out and smacks herself in the head for talking, grabbing her laptop.

“Yeah, it’s fine Ahsh,” Derek answers and his eyes widen at the mention of his wife’s nickname, Ahsha’s heart skips a beat. “Remember, you’re always welcome over for dinner.”

“Thanks Derek. I really need to go, I’m in the middle of something important. I’ll talk to you later.”

“Okay. Talk to you later.” Derek retorts.

“Bye.” Ahsha says and quickly hangs up the phone. She feels her heart racing once again and feels tears rushing to her eyes. She quickly wipes them away before they turn into full on sobs.

“You already cried over him last night. When are you going to stop?” She asks herself, unable to stop the tears from flowing this time.

Her phone rings once again and her heart races as she closes her laptop. She grabs the phone and realizes that Kyle is calling her phone.

“Hey Carebear!” The blonde answers excitedly. Little does Ahsha know, she is making her way up to her condo now.

“Hey.” She answers the phone, sounding glum.

“Carebear? Spill it.” Kyle drills, sensing the tone of her best friend’s voice.

“I’m fine, Kyle.” Kyle’s phone cuts off and she knocks on Ahsha’s large white door. Ahsha jumps up and opens the door for her best friend. Kyle walks right into her best friend’s condo and gives her best friend a tight, comforting hug as she cries in her arms.

“Sister intuition told me you weren’t fine which is why I came over. Now spill it.” Kyle says as she lets her best friend go and takes a seat next to her on the chair, putting her Celine bag on another chair.

“Derek invited me over for dinner and I don’t know if I can go. Kyle I’m not even over him yet.” Kyle nods her head in understanding and rubs Ahsha’s back.

“I know it’s been a year since the divorce and I know how hard it is seeing him everyday and not being able to still jump in his arms and tell him you love him. It’s okay to still be upset. Getting over him is going to take some time, take as much of it as you need but don’t rush it.”

“I still love him.” Ahsha admits for the first time since the day of the divorce being finalized.

“And that’s okay, love.” Ahsha wipes her tears away and wraps her arms tighter around Kyle, holding her close.

Ahsha’s phone rings once again and she sees Derek’s number pop up on the screen. Kyle gently rubs her back as she picks up the phone.
“Hello?”

"Mommy can you please come for dinner? We’re having chicken parmgon.” Chloe answers. A chuckle escapes Ahsha’s lips, giving both her and Kyle some light at the end of the tunnel.  

“Chloe it’s parmapon.” Lillianna answers, causing Mackenzie and Katharine to crack up at her.

“Sweetheart, it’s Chicken Parmesan.” Mackenzie says before taking the phone. Ahsha sits at the other end of the phone chuckling at her girls.

“Mom can you please come for dinner?” Ahsha’s eldest inquires.

“Please mom?” Carter says, standing next to his sister while his father is still busy preparing dinner in the kitchen.

“Pleaseeeee?” All four kids beg, warming Ahsha’s heart.

“Fine, I’ll come to dinner tonight. Auntie Kyle’s coming too.” Kyle’s face has confusion written all over it.

“I’m doing what?” She asks.

“Okay mommy! I’ll talk to you later, bye!” Mackenzie answers before she quickly hangs up the phone, seeing her father walking into the den.

“What are you guys doing?” Derek asks, noticing Mackenzie’s nervous expression. Chloe and Lillianna look at each other with their eyes wide open.

“Nothing!” The twins exclaim at the same time.

“Chloe and Lilly are up to no good like always.” Carter says, causing the twins to give him the side eye.

“They look just like Ahsha.” Katharine laughs out loud as she sees the twins’ little faces.

“Right?” Mackenzie chimes in and sits next to her great-aunt on the chair.

“I’m going to take the chicken out of the oven. Dinner should be ready in about fifteen minutes.” Derek tells everyone and leaves the den.

“Kids.” He scoffs as the thought of Ahsha coming for dinner crosses his mind.

Back at her apartment, Ahsha is now tapping away at the emails on her laptop while a million and one questions escape Kyle’s lips.

“What if you two get back together again?”

“Kyle.”

“Ahsha. I’m just asking Carebear, it’s so obvious that you still love him.”

“Really? How so?” The mother asks as she stops typing up the roll sheet for tomorrow’s hip hop class. The conversation strikes a nerve and she tenses up.

“Shall we talk about when he walked in here with the twins yesterday? You couldn’t stop staring at him.” Kyle says as Ahsha looks down at her lap.

“Yeah. But.”

“There’s no buts Carebear. Plus you told me twenty minutes ago that you still love him. I may be blonde, but I’m not stupid. Let’s go to dinner, I’m hungry.” The blonde chuckles and wraps her arms around her best friend.

“I’m not driving.” Ahsha tells her. The two best friends head out the door and get into Kyle’s car.

En route to the mansion, Kyle starts to ask questions again. “So are you excited to finally talk to Derek?”

“I don’t want to talk to him Kyle,” Ahsha replies bitterly. “The last time he and I had a full conversation, it was the day I divorced him.”

Kyle stays quiet and continues driving, knowing Ahsha’s stubbornness will wear off after a while. “What?”

“Nothing.”

“What, Kyle?”

“You don’t think you guys gave up too easily? I get that he was hurt about Mary and that he decided to shut down, but you shut down on him too.”

“Kyle, I really don’t want to discuss why he and I divorced. I am trying to move on.”

“Move on or keep stuff from me? Carter told me that you still cry in your sleep. I know today wasn’t the first time you’ve cried like that.” Kyle takes a glance at Ahsha before she pulls up to the red light.

“It happened once or twice.”

“Not counting tonight. Last night, two nights ago?” Kyle asks, seeing Ahsha crumble.

The young mother looks out the window, feeling her heart racing. “Yeah.”

The blonde stops the car and looks over at her friend again. “Like I said, It’s okay to still be upset babe. You two have been divorced for a year, no one says you have to heal overnight.”

“It’s easy for you to say when you’re married and you two are going strong, Kyle. Do you know how bad it hurts to see him everyday and know that what we had is gone?” Ahsha asks as tears fill the rim of her eyes.

Kyle pulls into the driveway at the mansion and hugs Ahsha after putting the car in park. “I can’t go in there crying.” Ahsha jokes and wipes her eyes.

“I’m right here, remember.” Kyle tells her and grabs her hand.

“Thank you, Kyle.”

The two get out of Kyle’s car and walk to the door of the mansion. Kyle knocks as Ahsha stands there somewhat frozen in fear of what the evening holds.

Max the Pit Bull barks in excitement as he smells Ahsha’s scent and runs in circles around Katharine who makes her way to the door. “Calm down, buddy.”

Katharine opens the door and beams as she sees Ahsha. “I missed you!”

“I saw you earlier at dance, Kath.” Ahsha chuckles and hugs Katharine back.

Max waits for Katharine to stop hugging Ahsha before he jumps on her and then jumps back down. “Max!” Ahsha coos and plays with the large dog who is very excited to see her.  He excitedly rolls over and lets her rub his stomach. He snorts out loud and moves his large legs as Ahsha reaches his ticklish spot.

“Mommy!” The twins scream and run to their mother. Ahsha perks up and stops rubbing Max. The dog gets up and runs out of the room, going to greet Derek in the kitchen.

“Hi my babies!” Ahsha coos and kisses Chloe and Lillianna all over their little faces. They let out their little laughs and hug their mom.

Ahsha puts the girls down and notices Lillianna’s hair is out of its ballerina bun and into a regular ponytail. “Where’s your pretty bun, Lil?”

“I like ponytails better, mommy.” The three year old sighs.

“Auntie Kyle!” Lillianna screams, making Kyle laugh.

“Lilly pie!” Kyle happily cheers and picks Lilly up, kissing her all over her face.

“What about me?” Chloe says, crossing her little arms in disbelief about her godmother’s behavior.

“If you aren’t your daddy’s twin.”

“No! I’m Lilly’s!” Chloe replies as Kyle kisses her cheeks. Kyle places both the girls down and notices Ahsha and Katharine in conversation.

The twins run off to go tell Derek that Ahsha and Kyle arrived. Ahsha and Kyle take off their shoes and place them next to the door with everyone else’s shoes.

“Hi mom!” Mackenzie calls out and rushes to give her mother a hug.

“My big baby!” Ahsha says and wraps her arms around her oldest child.

“Your favorite baby.” She reminds her mother as Ahsha kisses her forehead.

“Actually, I think Carter’s my favorite.” Ahsha says as she sees her son coming into the room to greet her as well.

“Hey!”

“It’s not my fault I’m mommy’s favorite.” He replies as he hugs Ahsha as well. Ahsha presses a kiss to her little boy’s forehead and holds both of her children close to her.

“I love the both of you.”

“We love you too.” The two siblings reply at the same time. The three let each other go and they go to hug Kyle.

“I’m your favorite, right Auntie Ky?” Mackenzie asks, batting her big brown eyes.

“Yes, you are, my sweet Kenzie.” Kyle tells her and kisses her forehead, wrapping her arms around her goddaughter.

“Me too?” Carter asks, seeming hopeful. Kyle laughs loudly and hugs her godson.

“Yes, you too, my handsome.”

Derek walks into the living room with the twins at his side, he looks at Ahsha and suddenly forgets what he has to say. He is taken aback at her beauty.

Even in a pair of leggings, a Loyola Marymount hoodie, no makeup, and her hair up in a bun, Ahsha Hayes could still be the most beautiful person to Derek.

“Dinner’s ready?” Katharine asks, noticing Derek and Ahsha looking at each other without breaking their gazes.

Katharine and Kyle look at each other and wink. “Yes.” Derek states as Lilly bumps his side on purpose. She and Chloe look at each other and laugh loudly, the two wink at each other.

“Yeah, dinner’s ready.” He replies again, rubbing his head.

“Let’s eat!” Chloe cheers and rushes into the large dining room, pulling Lilly with her. “They still love each other!” Chloe excitedly whispers to her little twin.

“I know!”

Everyone follows behind the twins, unaware of their whispers to each other regarding their parents.

Taking their seats, Ahsha notices that she is sitting in between Mackenzie and Kyle.

Derek says grace and then everyone passes around the food. The parents each help out the twins with getting their chicken and spaghetti on their plates.

The dinner table was filled with small conversation as everyone enjoyed the delicious dinner prepared by Derek. Ahsha internally sighs, appreciating the taste of Derek’s cooking all over again. Chloe and Lilly were the first to finish and were excused from the table to go play. The kids finish eating and everyone around the table shared stories about their day, except for Ahsha who stayed quiet, feeling awkward in the presence of her former lover.

The sound of her ex-husband’s deep voice was enough to send Ahsha’s heart beat into shock. The angelic voice was enough to take her brain to places she had forgotten all about in the past year. The thought of the former baller turned Devils CEO’s body pressed against hers made her soak in a place where she thought was a desert.

“Well guys I have to go. I have a presentation that I have to prepare for class tomorrow.” Katharine tells everyone.

“Go ahead, Ms. high schooler.” Ahsha teases. The seventeen year old lets out an exasperated, “Two more weeks until graduation.”

Katharine gives Kyle, Ahsha, and Derek hugs. “Goodnight guys.”

“Goodnight. Let me know when you get home.” Derek calls out. Ahsha and Kyle finish eating their food and are stuffed.

“Will do, nephew!” Katharine teases as she makes her way out of the dining room. Derek rolls his eyes at his younger aunt’s statement. Having a great aunt who is eighteen years younger than him seems a little embarrassing, but having her around was like having a younger sibling.

Katharine says goodbye to her great-nieces and nephews, then heads home to her parents, John and Elise.

The girls run back into the dining room. “Daddy what’s for dessert?”

“Apple pie and ice cream in thirty minutes.” He answers. The two run back into their playroom right after they get the answer they were looking for.

The table falls awkwardly quiet as the three adults sit in silence, not knowing what to say next.

Ahsha realizes that she has to use the bathroom.

“Excuse me.” She says and gets up from the table feeling hot, dizzy, and nervous. The young mom wanders upstairs and straight into her large, spacious, old master suite without even realizing her actions. She heads straight to the bathroom and starts to use it. Looking to the left to grab toilet paper to wipe with, she notices that there is barely any toilet paper left.

She uses what she needs and gets off of the toilet. She then gets dressed again and goes about her business in the bathroom.

After washing her hands she plans on getting more toilet paper but remembers she cannot reach. “Okay, jump.” Ahsha says, speaking to herself jumps as high as she can to grab the toilet paper.

“Dang it.” She says aloud and continues to try and reach the toilet paper.

Derek finds himself checking up on Ahsha who has been gone for a while. He makes his way to the master suite and hears Ahsha trying to reach the toilet paper and chuckles. He knocks on the door and she answers it, breathing heavily due to jumping around.

“Do you need help?” He asks, sending an entire army of butterflies to her stomach.

“I got it.” She snaps, realizing that her tone came out somewhat harsh when she sees his face change.

“Sorry I didn’t mean…”

“It’s okay. Here.” He tells her. He comes behind her and wraps her arms around her waist, picking her up so that she can reach the basket with the toilet paper. She grabs a roll and Derek gently places her back down, slightly hypnotized by the smell of her perfume.

“Thanks.” She tells him and looks up at him, realizing that she cannot look away from his eyes.

She notices what is happening and excuses herself. “I’ll see you downs…” she is cut off by her ex husband’s lips covering hers.

Without giving any thought to their ordeal, the two continue to kiss. Ahsha forgets about the toilet paper in her hands and lets it fall onto the bathroom floor.

Derek picks Ahsha up and places her on the bathroom counter, still attacking her with body with kisses.

He starts to slip his hands underneath Ahsha’s hoodie and she quickly removes it without hesitation. She grabs Derek’s white tee shirt and slips it over his head and goes back to kissing him. In one swift motion Derek manages to pull off Ahsha’s leggings and lacy peach thong. She feels the cool air in the bathroom hit her bare center and she shivers.

Derek presses hard kisses to Ahsha’s neck and she pulls his pants as well as his boxers, revealing his large, erect piece.

The kisses on Ahsha’s neck start to move down to her breasts as Derek twirls his tongue around her hard, sensitive buds, causing her to moan. Derek’s large hand covers Ahsha’s bare center and she nearly jumps when his large finger traces a circle around her clit and she bites her lip.

Derek senses her body’s reaction and gently moves his two fingers into her. Ahsha struggles to hold on to the bathroom counter and nearly falls off when Derek places her back on. Her fingernails claw at Derek’s back as he continues his hard movements. Ahsha’s moans grow louder and before she knows it, Derek’s face is now in between her legs, cleaning up her juices himself.

Ahsha’s legs turn into jello as Derek continues his work at making her moan his name. “Derekkkkkkk.” She screams as she releases into his mouth. The feeling of euphoric pleasure takes over and a smile graces her lips as he continues to pleasure tease her with his soft lips.

“Please Derek!” She screams, begging to feel him inside her warm body. Derek gives in to her plea and stands back up, moving himself into her, nearly shocking her. Her eyes roll to the back of her head and she rubs Derek’s back as his lips devour the sweet spot on her neck.

He stops to look at the beautiful woman that he is having sex with after a year. His brown eyes scan her beautiful face, sensing her love filled emotion.

Ahsha looks into his eyes as his movements continue. Their eyes automatically read “I still love you.” and Ahsha lays her head on Derek’s shoulder as he quickly moves in and out of her. She feels herself release for the second time and Derek moans when he feels Ahsha’s walls tighten around him once more.

The dancer picks her head back up and presses another kiss to the baller’s lips, this time pouring pure lust is in the kiss.

As Derek keeps moving Ahsha feels his piece pulsing inside of her and decides to mess with him a bit by going faster than his pace. She smirks as he slows down, this time stroking her hard and slow.

He releases inside of her and kisses Ahsha’s lips. The both of them stay silent, the pleasure still takes over them and without a word, Derek slides out of her, leaving her sore.

Ahsha gets up and quickly gets dressed, finally realizing what she had just done with her ex husband. Derek passes her her gray hoodie.

“Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.” He answers.

Ahsha finishes getting dressed and fixes herself in the mirror. Derek does the same and lets her leave the bathroom first.

He runs his hands over his face and realization of recent events hit him. “What did I do?” He asks, feeling nauseous and dizzy due to his actions.

Ahsha practically races out of her old bedroom and downstairs to Kyle who looks at her best friend as if she has two heads. She notices the small mark on her neck that wasn’t there an hour ago and her eyes widen.

“Girl!” Kyle screams, causing Chloe’s head to snap up.

“We have to talk later.” She whispers, running her hands through her short hair.

“I’ll tell you everything.” Ahsha whispers back as the kids go back to playing amongst themselves.

Derek is in the kitchen moving the warm, freshly baked apple pie slices to plates when Kyle walks into the kitchen. “What the did you two do?”

“Nothing.” Derek quickly chirps and finishes plating the desserts.

“D-Ro.” Kyle sternly says, causing Derek to look up from the plates.

“Ahsha and I had sex.” He admits, tears threatening to rush down his eyes. Kyle’s heart breaks as she hears Derek’s voice crack.

“You did what now?”

“I’m pretty sure I messed things up even more, Ky.” Derek says, trying not to become too upset in front of one of his best friends.

“No you didn’t. Look, between me and you, Ahsha still loves you even if you think she doesn’t. You didn’t mess things up. Who knows, maybe this was a good thing.”

“How Kyle?”

“I don’t know, but it could probably help you two get back together again.” She says, rubbing his arm. She heads out the kitchen, leaving Derek to ponder his conflicting thoughts.

Kyle sits down next to Ahsha in the den as Mackenzie tells Ahsha a story about something that happened earlier in the day. Derek walks into the room waiting for Mackenzie to finish telling her story. She finishes and looks at her dad.
“Pie time?” She excitedly cheers.

“Pie time!” Derek mimics.

Everyone walks back to the dining room and sit down for dessert. Ahsha feels a little awkward as Derek passes her some pie and ice cream. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

Derek takes his seat and starts to eat his dessert with Ahsha completely on his mind.

The group finishes their dessert when Ahsha notices that it is now eight thirty and that the kids have to be in bed my nine thirty.

“Okay guys lets go home and get ready for bed.” Ahsha says to her four kids.

“Goodnight daddy!” Chloe and Lilly cheer and run to go hug their father. Derek laughs and kisses his little girls’ faces.

“I love my girls.”

“We love you too.” They tell him and let him go.

Carter is the next to go hug his father. “I’ll see you tomorrow dad.”

“Sounds like a plan to me CJ. You know we still have that basketball game to watch.”

“The one where the Sixers beat the Devils! Yes!” Carter cheers excitedly, causing everyone in the room to laugh.

“We’ll see about that, Car.” He tells his son and rubs his head.

Mackenzie is the next one to say goodnight to her father.

“I love you daddy.”

“I love you more, Kenzie.” Derek presses a kiss against his daughter’s head. A feeling of sadness waves over Derek’s most sensitive child and he hugs her again.

“I’ll see you tomorrow okay baby?”

“Okay.” She tells him and holds back her tears.

“Hey, no crying. I’ll be right there to pick you up from school.” He tells her and presses another kiss to Mackenzie’s forehead. The young girl leaves her father’s side and heads to the corner of the room to grab her backpack.

Kyle says goodnight to Derek as Ahsha helps the kids out their backpacks on.

Ahsha says goodnight to her ex husband, also holding back tears. “I’ve been crying way too much today.” She tells herself as Derek pulls her in for a friendly hug, holding her tight.

“Goodnight.” He tells her.

“Goodnight. Thank you for inviting Kyle and I over for dinner.” She tells him and lets him go.

“You’re welcome. You’re always welcome to come for dinner, Ahsha.” He tells her, looking deep into her eyes. She quickly averts her attention elsewhere.

“Well I’ll see you guys tomorrow.” He almost immediately says, trying to relieve the awkward tension.

Derek opens the door and the army of four children run out of the mansion and straight to Kyle’s Ford pickup truck.

Ahsha and Kyle follow soon after.

“Drive safely!” Derek shouts, waiting for everyone to get into the car.

“Thank you!”

Derek chuckles to himself and closes the door to the now empty mansion. He looks out the window and sees Kyle drive off, heading back to Ahsha’s condo.

“Max!” He calls out. The large dog comes running out of the den and straight to Derek, sensing his sadness. Max whines and licks Derek’s hand.

“I miss her, buddy.” He tells his dog and heads upstairs to take a shower feeling upset over what happened earlier in the evening. Max does not leave his side and crawls into bed with him later in the evening.

Back in the truck, the kids are talking amongst themselves when Lilly starts to speak up. “Mommy, are you happy?”

“Yes, Lilly I’m happy. Why sweetheart?”

“Nothing!” She quickly says, earning a confused look from Mackenzie. Kyle pulls up to Ahsha’s condo and puts the car in park.

Ahsha leans over and hugs her best friend. “Thank you so much Ky.”

“You don’t have to thank me Carebear. You know I love you.”

“I love you more.” She tells her. Kyle hugs her tighter.

“Call me later.” She whispers in her ear. Ahsha nods her head, understanding what Kyle meant and lets her best friend go.

“Let’s go little people.” Ahsha tells her four kids. They all climb out of Kyle’s truck.

“Goodnight auntie’s babies!” Kyle calls out.

“Goodnight auntie Kyle!” All of the kids cheer at the same time causing Ahsha and Kyle to look at each other and laugh.
“Alright girl.”
“Let me when you get home.”
“I will, Carebear.”
Kyle drives off while Ahsha and the kids go into their condo. Mackenzie and Carter head to their rooms while Ahsha goes with the girls so that they can get ready for bed.

Whoever said that getting four kids ready for bed was easy lied like a cheap rug.

“Mommy can you tell us a story!” Chloe eagerly asks as she climbs into her bed.

“What would you guys like to hear?”

“How you met daddy and got married!” Lilly cheers, pulling her fluffy blanket over her small body.

“Of course.” Ahsha tells herself. She takes a deep breath and tells the story, smoothing down her eyebrow, a nervous habit of hers.

“I met your dad when I was fourteen. We weren’t friends but he loved me very much. One day, a couple years later, I was running outside and I ran into your dad. He and I started talking and he asked me to be his girlfriend, then we got married a year later.”

“Can we have more details?” Lilly asks, shocking Ahsha.

“How in the world are these little three and a half year olds so smart?” She asks herself, internally groaning.  

“One day, babies.” She tells her little girls and kisses their foreheads.

“Mommy loves you guys.”

“We love you too.” They tell her and settle into their individual beds. Ahsha turns their lights off, leaving their matching Elmo night lights on.

Ahsha closes their door and leaves to go check on her other two children.

“Lil?”

“Yeah Chlo?”

“Mommy and daddy need to get married again.”

“I wish they were married.” The twins wish out loud before closing their eyes, heading to sleep.

Ahsha goes to Mackenzie’s room and finds her daughter already asleep. “Goodnight baby.” She whispers and kisses her daughter on the cheek.

“Goodnight mommy.” Mackenzie whispers back and reaches her arms up to hug her mother. Ahsha wraps her arms around her daughter, holding her tight.

“I love you.”

“I love you more, Ken.” Ahsha answers and kisses her daughter one last time. She leaves her bedroom, closing her door.

Mackenzie opens her eyes again and jumps up, seeing that Ahsha is gone so she grabs her cell phone.

“Kath! I think my parents kissed!” She texts quickly, before heading to sleep.

Ahsha makes her way to Carter’s room and finds him sleeping as well. “Goodnight mommy’s big boy.” She tells him and kisses his forehead and gently hugs him, silently thanking God that he does not wake up too easily to her being in his room. Carter keeps his eyes closed, feeling exhausted after a day of basketball with his father after school.

The young mother heads out of her son’s room and she goes back to her room feeling a sense of emptiness, so she goes to take a shower. She removes her hoodie and immediately smells Derek’s signature scent of Gorgio Armani’s Acqua Di Gio written all over it.

She throws the jacket into the dirty clothes bin and continues to undress herself. She makes her way to the bathroom and starts to take a shower.

She closes her eyes and lets the water hit her face. Flashbacks of Derek standing with her in the shower pop up in her head, she feels herself wanting to reach out and grab him. She opens her eyes and begins to wash her body of the day’s events.

“You just had to go over his house.” She tells herself as she finishes showering and turns off the water. She dries herself off and walks back to her room with her towel wrapped around her wet body.

She lets out a sigh and finishes the rest of her night routine by getting dressed for bed in a large tee shirt and a pair of shorts. She gets into bed and grabs her phone, scrolling through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram and is interrupted by her phone ringing.

“Ahsha Marie!” Jelena fake scolds on the other end of the phone.

“Jelena Anne!” Ahsha mimics, her voice unknowingly cracking.

“What’s wrong love?” Jelena asks, sensing the tone in her best friend’s voice.

“Nothing. I’m fine, J.”

“Come on, you’re like my sister. You can’t make an attempt to cover your feelings Ahsha.” Jelena tells her, tucking a piece of hair back in her curly bun.

“Jelena, I’m fine.” Ahsha tells her, her voice cracking even harder. She quickly wipes her tears away.

“You’re okay.” She tells herself as the tears continue falling.

“I’m coming over.”

“You don’t have to.”

“You’re my sister. I’m not going to let you be upset by yourself.” Jelena insists and starts to put her shoes on. She hangs up the phone and Ahsha texts Kyle.

“Can you come over?” She sends and lays down in her bed. Crying was something that Ahsha Hayes had not done since the divorce.

Jelena and Kyle get to Ahsha’s condo at the same time and rush to their best friend’s door, being careful of the noise. The Roman kids are irritable when woken up, but just like their father, they all sleep like rocks.

Ahsha comes to the door no longer crying, her eyes bloodshot.

“You guys didn’t have to come over.” She tells the two women and they both hug her without saying a word. Ahsha gives in and allows herself to cry in her friends’ arms.

“Aww Carebear.” Kyle says, gently rubbing Ahsha’s back. Jelena gently closes and locks the door and goes back to tending to her best friend.

“Let’s go sit down.” Jelena suggests. Ahsha sits in the middle of the short, comfortable chair while Jelena sits on the right side of her and Kyle sits on the left.

“What happened babe?” Jelena asks, holding Ahsha and trying to calm her down. Ahsha begins to speak but is very incoherent so Jelena just holds her.

“I know you haven’t spent much time crying over this but it’s okay.” Kyle encourages and lays her head on Ahsha’s shoulder and tries to comfort her as well.

“I can’t keep hanging on to him.” She sobs out. Kyle removes the large throw blanket from behind her and places it on hers and her two friend’s legs.

“Hey, look at me,” Kyle tells her and moves her head off Ahsha’s shoulder. The blonde wipes her best friend’s tears away and gently caresses her cheeks. “It’s okay to still be upset, Carebear. He means a lot to you and losing him was heartbreaking. You haven’t given yourself time to grieve.” Kyle says and wraps her arms around Ahsha tighter.

“You’re going to get better. I promise Ahsha.” Kyle reassures, pressing a kiss to Ahsha’s forehead.

“I promise too Carebear.” Jelena also promises, grabbing her best friend’s hand.

Something inside of Ahsha has a small glimmer of hope that things between her and Derek would be fine, but of course her stubbornness would never let her admit it out loud.

“What if I don’t get better?”

“You will, in due time, love.”

In due time.

And that was chapter 1. I hope you enjoyed reading this long chapter, and if you listened to the song, I hope you enjoyed that as well!

Thank you for reading! :)

I lost track of the story from the 4th line. I don't even know what's going on anymore. Send help.
  • Homura: Ah, another beautiful day to do evil!
  • Kyubey: What are you going to do today, Homura Akemi?
  • Homura: Skip school and play video games all day.
  • Kyubey: But you've been doing that this entire week!
  • Homura: I know. What could be more evil than not going to school?
  • Kyubey: ...Sometimes I forget you are eternally stuck as a middle school student.
  • Homura: Huh?
  • Kyubey: Nothing.
  • Homura: It's not like there's anyone who can stop me so I've finally found an evil plan that won't totally backfire on me!
  • Sayaka: ((Kicks down Homura's door))
  • Sayaka: AKEMI! BECAUSE YOU'VE BEEN ABSENT FOR SO LONG THE TEACHER HAS SENT ME TO CHECK UP ON YOUR SORRY ASS! IF YOU'RE NOT SICK OR SOMETHING I'M GOING TO KICK YOUR BUTT FOR MAKING ME WASTE MY TIME!
  • Homura: Oh no, my evil plan totally backfired!
  • Kyubey: I'm pretty sure the universe resents you trying to remake it and it's just screwing with you at this point.
  • Homura: No time for your witty banter Incubator, what do I do?!
  • Kyubey: Pretend to be sick?
  • Homura: NO I MEAN GIVE ME SOMETHING MORE SPECIFIC!
  • Kyubey: Lie in bed and cough a lot?
  • Homura: Yeah, that'll work! And I better change back into my pajamas so it looks like I've been in bed all day too!
  • Sayaka: AKEMI, I'M WEARING MY SPECIAL ASS KICKING CLEATS AND I'M COMING UP TO YOUR ROOM NOW!
  • Homura: Oh crap, there's no time to waste!
  • Kyubey: Why don't you just stop time and-
  • Homura: No time to waste listen to you either! Help me button up my pajama top!
  • Kyubey: Oh sure, let my just use my fingers and hands and OH WAIT I DON'T HAVE ANY!
  • Homura: Argh! No time! No time!
  • Kyubey: Seriously, just stop time and-
  • Homura: I won't do any of the buttons on my pajama top then, help me find my pajama pants!
  • Sayaka: MY CLEATS CRAVE ANUS, AKEMI!
  • Homura: WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!
  • Homura: I mean.... OH WOW. I AM SO SICK. SOOOO SICK. COUGH. COUGH.
  • Kyubey: ....Did you literally say "cough" instead of coughing? Not only are you an idiot for doing that, you're an idiot for thinking that would work.
  • Sayaka: Oh wow, I can hear Homura coughing. Maybe she really is sick after all.
  • Kyubey: ...........
  • Homura: SMART!
  • Homura: NO, CAN'T WASTE TIME! FOCUS HOMURA, MUST CHANGE PANTS!
  • Kyubey: I know I don't wear pants myself so I can't really tell but I'm pretty sure you don't need to focus to put on pants.
  • Homura: SHUSH KYUBEY, DON'T TALK OR I'LL LOSE MY FOCUS!
  • Kyubey: No seriously, how hard do you need to focus to-
  • Homura: DAMN IT KYUBEY YOU MADE ME PUT BOTH LEGS INTO THE SAME LEG HOLE!
  • Kyubey: ...........
  • Kyubey: How did you trick everyone and become a demon again?
  • Sayaka: ((Slams her foot through Homura's bedroom door))
  • Sayaka: MY CLEATS AND I HAVE ARRIVED!
  • Homura: AHH! I'M OUT OF TIME! MUST JUMP INTO BED AND PRETEND I'M SICK!
  • Sayaka: I can hear you, you know.
  • Homura: DAMN!
  • Homura: ((Tries to hop towards her bed))
  • Sayaka: ((Bursts through the door))
  • Sayaka: I'M GONNA KICK YOUR ASS AKEMI!
  • Homura: DAMN YOU TO HELL MIKI! STAY AWAY FROM ME!
  • Homura: ((Tries to hop away as fast as she can))
  • Sayaka: You realise that every time you bend down to hop, you're placing your butt in the optimal butt-kicking position.
  • Homura: DAMN YOU BUTT, HOW COULD YOU BETRAY ME?!
  • Sayaka: ((Winds up for a kick))
  • Homura: Preemptive strike!
  • Homura: ((Hop-tackles Sayaka to the ground and falls on top of her))
  • Sayaka: GET OFF ME!
  • Homura: NEVER!
  • Sayaka: ((Tries to push Homura off))
  • Homura: Damn, I can't hold Miki down like this! If only I had proper usage of my legs, I could use them to hold my position better!
  • Homura: i know! I just need to take my pants off!
  • Homura: ((Starts wriggling out of her pants))
  • Sayaka: H-Hey, what are you doing?
  • Homura: Taking my pants off!
  • Sayaka: WHY?!
  • Homura: BECAUSE OF CLEARLY THOUGHT OUT, LOGICAL REASONS!
  • Homura: AHA! NOW THAT I AM PANTSLESS CAN NOW I CAN UNLEASH MY TRUE POWER!
  • Sayaka: WHY WOULD PANTS BE SEALING AWAY YOUR TRUE POWER?!
  • Homura: NOW THAT I HAVE YOU RIGHT WHERE I WANT YOU, I'LL-...Uh, lemme think about this...
  • Sayaka: WHY DID YOU EVEN PIN ME DOWN AND TAKE OFF YOUR PANTS OFF THEN IN THE FIRST PLACE, IDIOT?!
  • Homura: .............
  • Homura: Uh, lemme think about this...
  • Sayaka: And not only that, your top is unbuttoned! Are you trying to seduce me with your lewdness?!
  • Homura: ...If I said yes would that piss you off?
  • Sayaka: YES!
  • Homura: Then... I'M TOTALLY TRYING TO SEDUCE YOU WITH MY LEWDNESS!
  • Sayaka: DAMN IT AKEMI, STOP BEING WEIRD!
  • Homura: NEVER!
  • Homura: LET'S WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I TAKE MY TOP OFF TOO!
  • Sayaka: DAMN IT HOMURA YOU'RE MAKING THIS REALLY WEIRD AND AWKWARD!
  • Homura: AH HA HA HA! HOW DO YOU LIKE ME NOW, MIKI?
  • Sayaka: I think I like it a lot, actually.
  • Homura: AH HA HA H- wait what?
  • Homura: ....Am I sitting on something?
  • Sayaka: .....
  • Homura: .....
  • Sayaka: ....
  • Homura: .....
  • Sayaka: .....
  • Homura: Oh.
  • 
  • 
  • 
  • 
  • 
  • 
  • 
  • Kyubey: That's hot.
8

Sayville Modern Diner in Sayville, NY

The day after Thanksgiving, you relax around the house all morning. Door-busting Black Friday deals aren’t exactly enticing—mostly because you’d have to get out of your pajamas. But when Dad calls and says he took a half-day to take you for lunch at the diner, you throw on a jacket and you’re out the door.

The Modern Diner in Sayville is a piece of history. Its retro decor boasts murals depicting ‘50s sock hops, original Lucky Strike magazine ads (Don Draper style), sparkling emerald pleather booths, and worn Formica tables. 

As your waitress sets your table, she tells you that you look just like her grandkids— “so handsome!” When you quickly order a basic turkey sandwich, she persuades you to take a few minutes to find something you really want. And she’s totally right—the Reuben panini melt is worth the extra wait.

The fading November sun beams through the blinds, falling over crispy golden fries, bubbling chili, and glistening green pickles. You don’t have your camera, so you snap a few photos with your phone, hoping they capture the unique beauty of this place. Dad pays the bill and you leave a hefty tip for your sassy waitress before heading back out into the cold, full, caffeinated, and cheerful. It’s hard not to be in a place like this.

2

Deschutes “Hop Henge Experimental IPA”

93 A-


This seasonal Imperial IPA is available January through April. The term “experimental” is in reference to a single mystery hop variety that joins a family of Cascade, Centennial, Millennium, and Chinook. On the nose are reminiscent notes of tart clementines, mango, apricot, cannabis, mint, and sweet bubblegum.


The palate reveals a panoply of citrus carrying a sense of elevated lightness, infusing fresh and juicy hop flavors. A balanced blend of bitter and sweet is expressed like orange zest over biscuits with honey, carried through all the way to the end. Fruity esters infuse flavors of papaya, peach, and pineapple. Hops gradually expand into an herbal blend best described like rosemary, juniper, lavender, sage, and pine that rises into a climactic strike. Sticky hop resins are stirred up in its wake, lingering without destroying the palate or too much oily film left behind. The mouthfeel begins clean, slightly crisp in carbonation, growing creamy in the middle, then finishing oily with a dash of thinning solvent. Alcohol comes in the form of fruity esters, light hints of spicy phonols that add a light spice to the finish.


As far as doubles IPA’s go, this delivers what I would expect, so I was neither impressed nor disappointed. I find it’s not as layered, thick, and textured as many others, which at least may provide greater drinkability. As for style parameters, this is really spot-on, and I find very little to complain about. While this is rated at a bitterness of 99 IBU’s, in no way does it present itself with such intensity. It’s just an all around solid brew with good aroma and even better flavor. If you’re a fan of doubles, I think its worth at least one purchase. I appreciate the superb balance, its ability to present intense hoppiness without aggressive bitterness. While Hop Henge doesn’t join my list of favorites, it displays a strong confidence with a sense of wholeness. Once again, I recommend it to the hop heads.


Known Malts: Munich, pale, crystal, carastan.

Known Hops: Cascade, Centennial, Millennium, Chinook.


9.3%

99 IBU

Bend, Oregon