Brown-Eyed Heaven

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44

***

“We’re in the country land now, Zack!” Paige exclaimed.

“I know right,” Zack smiled.

Paige and Zack pranced out of Zack’s new Jaguar jeep. They were in Murfreesboro, Arkansas and at the Crater of Diamonds State Park—one of the only diamonds producing parks in the world that the public can search for diamonds and keep what they find.

Zack had already paid the $11.50 ticket and admission fee (each) in advance online for himself and Paige.

He also rented their digging tools so they can start their dig for diamonds. The maid had prepared their cooler that held their food, snacks, and cold drinks. Paige and Zack dressed casually.

Paige had on worn, blue jeans, a white t-shirt, and white Nike shoes. She had her hair styled in a messy bun.

Zack wore old gray jeans, a Polo shirt, and Adidas shoes. They each wore hats to shield their heads from the hot sun above.

“Do you want to dig together or separately?” Zack asked Paige.

“Um, let’s dig together because that’s more romantic,” Paige grinned.

Zack grinned in return. “Of course, boo. It’s best to dig after it rained because it brings the diamonds to the top."

Paige and Zack had explored the town during their drive. They walked around and held hands. They began to explore the history of the 37-acre park.

People from all over the world come to visit and search for diamonds and other rocks.

Paige and Zack checked out the park’s visitor center and the Diamond Discovery Center where they learned all about the diamonds and how to best search for them.

Thousands of diamonds have been found since 1972 when the park was included as Arkansas state’s park.

Paige and Zack walked past some walking trails, picnic areas, camping grounds. They explored the gift shop and the Diamond Springs Water Park.

They were only one of several patrons of color visiting the establishment at the time. They explored every inch of the park.

They took a break to have lunch and use the restrooms. After hours of digging, they finally found a diamond! They had it analyzed by the staff.

“Wow, awesome! I never found anything of value before!” That Paige remarked.

“Really, boo? I have. A few years ago, I found a wallet full of money in the Discount Grocery. It was over a thousand dollars. An elderly black lady lost it in the store. It was under a shelf. It had her license, social security card, id, business cards, etc. I took it to the lost and found. The folks in the store contacted her and she came back to get it the next day. She wanted to meet the person that found it. Me of course. She was so grateful and wanted to give me two hundred dollars for finding it. I told her no, I didn’t need the money. I turned it in because I knew the person needed it. She told me she definitely needed it back and that God was watching over her that day. She had bills, gas, business appointments, etc."

“Whoa, I know she was glad!” Paige commented.

“Yeah, I know. You ready to be featured in the news?” Zack chuckled. “A bunch of folks that found big and recording-breaking diamonds ended up in the press afterward.”

“Not really,” Paige answered. “Our diamond is small, we might not make the cut.”

“Yeah, I know. I don’t blame you,” Zack nodded.

Zack and Paige left after spending almost half the day at the park. They were back in the ride and driving home. Paige felt tired and Zack said that he felt lazy. Zack pulled up at a convenience store to fill up his gas tank.

“You need something in the store?” Zack asked.

“Nah, I’m cool,” Paige answered.

They were on the road again minutes later. There were only a few cars on the long winding road. They rode past a state trooper. Zack was going the appropriate speed limit. The trooper turned on his lights and siren and sped up behind them.

“Oh, Lord,” Paige rolled her eyes.

“I know right,” Zack scoffed.

Zack pulled over on the side of the road and turned the motor off. They noticed that they were alone—no one in sight on the road that stretched for miles.

It had been a dry and humid evening. Like a lot of Arkansas’s summers were. The dusk was just beginning to settle in. The trooper stepped out of his cruiser. He had parked his cruiser halfway across the road.

“You have the live video hooked up? I got my cell phone already live streaming especially in times of potential trouble,” Paige remarked, scoffing.

Zack laughed. “I hear you. It’s on now, it’s filming 360-degree angle! I always have my camera live streaming too because I don’t trust nobody especially these motherfuckers.”

Paige sighed heavily, “I don’t blame you.”

“Hello, good evening?” the trooper greeted them when he approached.

“Hello, Officer,” Zack calmly greeted him.

“Hello,” Paige replied.

“I’m Officer Nichols. I want to let you know upfront that you’re not in trouble. I’m pulling over every motorist that drives through here. We have been notified of an armed robbery-murder suspect that carjacked some occupied vehicles, and we believe that this individual is currently in this area. The authorities are taking the extra precautions to keep the community around here safe.”

“I understand. I heard about this case on the news this morning,” Zack replied.

“Yes, it’s getting a lot of press. If you don’t mind, may I see your license and registration, please?”

Zack gave both documents to Officer Nichols. He scanned it briefly and went to his cruiser to run the information through the system. Then the trooper gave it back to Zack.

He shone a light in the backseat and asked Zack to pop the trunk—which Zack did. Another car was coming fast along the road. The driver slowed down when they saw the trooper. He held his hand up, signaling for them to stop.

“Pull over to the side of the road, please!” He instructed them.

It was a young white couple. They looked nervous and obeyed the trooper’s command.

“Yes, sir,” the male driver replied.

“Everything’s clear here. Sorry for the intrusion. You may leave. Have a nice day,” the trooper replied to Zack and Paige.

“Okay, thanks,” Zack replied.

The trooper swiftly walked over to the couple’s ride. As Zack started the ignition to leave, they heard the trooper asked for the driver’s license and registration and to pop their trunk.

“I guess he’s one of the good ones,” Paige cracked.

Zack looked over and smiled at her. They were back in town in no time. Paige yawned and stretched. Zack’s iPhone rang and he answered it. He engaged in a long and exciting conversation with Tristan.

Paige’s iPhone rang a couple of minutes later. She answered it. “Hello,” Paige asked.

“Hey, Paige. Did you hear about what happened to Crystal? Jasmine told me that Crystal got jumped by some hoodrat females!” Danielle told her.

“Oh my God, say what? That is horrible! What happened?” Paige sat up.

“Girl, I don’t know all the details. Jasmine didn’t know either. I guess she is Crystal’s new friend. Jasmine said that she is helping Crystal work on an unauthorized protest that they plan to have on Emille’s grounds about Porsha’s rape and suicide. Crystal didn’t tell us about the fight. I guess she is still bitter about those deeply melanated parties I guess. All I know is that Juan and his friends hired some girls that they knew from the hood to beat up Crystal. They put her in the hospital. They mess her up bad too,” Danielle informed her.

“I can’t believe that Juan would do some shit like that,” Paige commented.

“Yeah, I know. I warned Crystal about how dangerous Juan, Satin, and their friends are but she didn’t listen,” Danielle said.

“Hmm, hmm,” Paige nodded her head.

“Jasmine also told me that those hoodrats filmed the entire fight. They uploaded the video all over social media and sites like WorldStar and The Shade Room has it listed too. Black Twitter and everybody talking about it. It’s a damn shame! I feel for Crystal. That’s so humiliating. I mean Crystal and I had our spats but no one deserved that type of whupping. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy,” Danielle remarked.

“I know right. Have you seen the video? Can you send me the link?” Paige asked.

“Yeah, I did. It was hard to watch. I wanted to snatch those bitches' edges! Bad thing about it is that Crystal used to be cool with them. They used to hang out together in Crystal’s old neighborhood. I bet she never thought that someday in the future that her old friends would turn on her and do her like that,” Danielle replied.

“Goodness. That is so wrong. Juan poured all types of gasoline on the fire. I still can’t believe that he hired them. Why isn’t he in jail? That’s what I want to know!” Paige griped.

“Yeah, I know. As we all know, Juan’s family is well connected. The popo is investigating and looking for those girls. They can’t be that hard to find. I bet they ain’t even trying to look for those girls. Especially since it revolves around Juan. Anyway, I sent you the link. You get it?” Danielle asked.

Paige received a notification. “Yeah, I did.”

Zack finally hung up.

“I’m going to watch it and I’ll call you back later, alright,” Paige replied.

“Okay, then.”

Paige took out her headphones, hook them to her phone, and played the video that Danielle texted her.

Paige watched the girls follow Crystal in a rowdy neighborhood. When Crystal turned around, she looked uneasy. She watched them taunt her, fight her, gang up on her. They mess her up. Paige frowned at the spectators rooting at the fight as if they were watching a game or a movie. They acted as if this wasn’t real life.

It was sad. Frustrating. Angry. Stupid. Ignorant. Crazy. It was a hot mess. It was a lot of things. Paige finished watching the video and shook her head. Danielle was right—it was hard to watch. She felt sorry for Crystal and especially sorry for Porsha who killed herself because she felt she had no way out. Could I have done something more? I don’t know what I could have done though. Paige thought uneasily.

“Was that one of your friends?” Zack asked.

“Yeah, that was Danielle.”

“My friend Tristan told me that Crystal got jumped by some females the other day,” Zack looked at Paige. “They made a video and uploaded it to the internet and it has gone viral.”

“Yeah, I know. Danielle told me about it and I just watched the video. It was horrible,” Paige said quietly.

Zack shook his head.

“Um, Porsha’s funeral is coming up next week. I don’t even know if Crystal would be well enough to go. Danielle and I are going,” Paige said.

“My friends and I are going too. We didn’t know her but we want to show our support like we did at the memorial. I feel sorry for what happened to Porsha. I mean I don’t know what happened between her and Juan but…”

“Porsha was raped. That’s what happened to her. She was gang-raped and nobody didn’t do a thing about it. The cops didn’t care enough to investigate and I wonder if Juan’s family’s close connections with the cops had something to do with the case being dropped, the prosecutor didn’t bring the case to trial, and the community didn’t show Porsha any support at all,” Paige replied.

She suddenly felt sad and pissed about the way that Porsha was treated. I could have done more, she thought. What if Porsha had been my sister or friend? Hell, that could have been me! Paige was deep in thought.

But little did Paige know that would be her soon. She would feel what it would be like to walk in Porsha’s shoes.


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