Brown-Eyed Heaven

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53

Zack drove back home. He drove safely this time. He felt different and relaxed. No one hollered at him. Zack reached home and quickly came inside.

He washed his hands and join the rest of his family. They were all dressed elegantly. The women wore bright dresses, blouses, and skirts and the men wore white and dark shirts and slacks.

The dinner looked and smelled delicious. Zack couldn’t wait to eat. There was a bacon-wrapped ham sitting in the center near a bouquet of colorful red, white, and pink roses. A pitcher of ice-cold lemonade was resting by the ham and flowers.

The other dishes of food were mixed fruit, dressing, mustard potato salad, vegetable stew, buttered rolls, banana nut muffins with vanilla ice cream, and pasta.

Zack looked around the kitchen. All the appliances were new and modern. The Summervilles had the best and latest of all the technological innovations. The kitchen’s décor was estimated at over a hundred thousand dollars.

Maude and Alfred were serving the Summervilles and their guest, the family lawyer and fixer, Darrel Sims. He was one of their many dream team lawyers.

Of course, Maude and Alfred were Joel and Daphne’s staff but Chad and Paulena employed them occasionally too.

There were new staff members and they were quickly learning from Maude and Alfred. Zack glanced at his family members. They were all there.

Chad, Paulena, Francis, Francis’s husband John and their two children, Angela, Angela’s husband Jacques, and their four children, and lastly, Joel and Daphne.

“That Paige girl didn’t even get a rape kit. The doctors and police said that she hollered and acted a fool and ran out of the hospital,” Darrel informed them.

“What, oh hell naw!” Chad hollered.

“So, she didn’t get raped? If she got rape for real, she would have stayed there and got tested!” Daphne commented.

“That’s correct,” Joel agreed.

“I don’t think that little girl was rape at all. She lied,” Chad added.

“I believe so too,” Darrel said.

There were loud grumbles and stirs.

“That’s a shame,” Zack’s eyes widened. He was surprised to hear that about Paige. “So, what now?” he asked Darrel.

“I’ll tell you this rape case ain’t going anywhere. The judge about to throw this case out like a bad disease,” Darrel replied.

“As much as we do for the community, this is the thanks we get,” Daphne shook her head.

“I know right, Ma. People just ungrateful and ignorant. Dad, did you say that Judge Mitchell would have been presiding over Zack’s rape case?” Chad asked.

“Yeah, that if this case went to trial,” Joel answered.

“This case just went in the trash. Good, that girl Paige belongs in the trash too. Lying heifer. We should get her for filing a false police report and defamation of character. We have plenty of connections in law enforcement,” Chad angrily replied.

Zack nodded and blew a sigh of relief. “I can’t believe Paige lied like that then she ran out of the hospital and didn’t get tested.”

“That doesn’t mean that she didn’t get raped,” Paulena said.

Chad rolled his eyes. “Are you defending that lying witch? Come on, Paulena, whose side are you on?”

“It’s not like that. I’m not taking sides. I’m playing devil’s advocate here. Maybe Paige got scared. Maybe she was sexually abused, misinformed about sex. She was shy and a virgin. She seemed like a nice and sweet girl.”

Joel rolled his eyes and Daphne shook her head. There were looks of disbelief and grumbles at the kitchen table.

“Well, son, you can’t lean on your mother for help because it looks like she would be defending Paige,” Chad laughed.

Daphne and Joel snickered too.

“I didn’t mean it like that honey.”

“Paulena is not loyal at all!”

Laughter filled the room.

“Anyway, Zack you are going to be fine. Ain’t nothing going to bring you down. We are Summervilles!”

“Yes, preach, honey! Damn straight. None of the haters or naysayers can get to us. They want to be us but never. They’re all going to remember us. They’re going to remember the Summervilles. We are family, honey, and don’t ever forget that,” Daphne commented.

Daphne meant those words for all of the family. A few applauded.

“It looks like this rape case is going downhill,” Francis looked at Zack.

“I hope so cause I didn’t do anything wrong to Paige. That’s what I told my boys too. I admit that we were both drunk especially Paige. I encouraged her to drink, she rejected the offer at first but later changed her mind.”

“You shouldn’t have done that, honey. If Paige said no then you should have let it be,” Paulena scolded him.

Zack watched his father and grandparents scoffed and looked annoyed with his mother.

“Anyway, this supper is delicious! I’m always having great meals but not like this at home,” Darrel commented.

“You should have a homecooked meal often, Darrel, because you have always been a part of the family for the past forty years. I need a glass of water. Where is the help when you need them? Goodness!” Daphne looked around.

“Here I am, Mrs. Summerville,” Maude answered.

“I need more water, Maude.”

“Right away, ma’am.”

Maude went to get some cool water from the fridge and poured Daphne a cup full. Alfred brought in another bacon-wrapped ham. The new servants were busy cleaning up and making sure the Summerville family was satisfied.

“Maude, super was fantastic! Just like good ole times,” Joel commented.

Maude beamed, happy after being praised. “Thank you, Mr. Summerville, sir, it’s been a pleasure working for you, your lovely wife, Daphne, and your children after fifty years.”

“I know that’s right, hon. Thank you,” Daphne smiled.

“You’re welcome.”

Darrel got up to leave. “I have to get prepared for that court date that Judge Mitchell just handed down. My source texted me the info a few minutes ago.”

There were groans and grumbles again at the table.

“I’ll tell you that Paige girl is getting to be a thorn at our sides,” Joel muttered.

“I’ll see you tomorrow at eight. Again, thank you for that delicious meal.”

“Alright then, see you tomorrow, Darrel.”

“Yeah, bye.”

A few more goodbyes then Darrel was gone.

A new maid came to collect the rest of the dishes. She caught Chad’s attention. His gaze lingered on her like he was about to ask her for her phone number.

“Hey there, what’s your name?” Chad asked.

Paulena rolled her eyes at Chad.

“AmyLynn,” she quickly and quietly answered.

AmyLynn was short and slender, with straight black hair, and soft brown eyes, and regular features. AmyLynn’s dark brown skin glistened against the silky white uniform. Her maid uniform fit her perfectly.

“That’s a sweet name for a pretty housekeeper.”

“Thank you.”

“You’re welcome, dear.”

Amylynn went back to the servants’ quarters.

“Chad, stop it,” Paulena scolded him.

“What, what’s wrong?” Chad tried to look innocent.

“You are doing too much.”

“I’m being nice to the maid. Stop acting bougie, Paulena.”

“I am not acting bougie. You always act bougie and snobbish. You’re only talking to AmyLynn because she’s your type. If she was any other mediocre person, you wouldn’t give Amylynn the time of day, Chad.”

“Shut up, Paulena,” Chad snapped quietly.

“Chad?” Angela nodded her head.

Chad followed AmyLynn into the servants’ quarters.

“You see what I mean. He’s cheating right in front of me. It wouldn’t be the first time though,” Paulena quietly informed Angela, while the other family members conversed.

“I’m sorry about that, Paulena. Chad knows better. I’ll talk to him,” Angela sympathized with her.

“How long you been working for my parents?” Chad asked AmyLynn when he found her.

“Only a month.”

“That’s no time. You should come work for me instead of being my parents’ maid. You’re too gorgeous to be somebody’s random maid, boo. I’ll pay you triple what my parents pay you. Do you have an education? What do you have experience in?”

Chad advanced on AmyLynn until he was in front of her. He massaged her hand and she jerked back a little but she didn’t move her hand from the counter.

“I have a Bachelor’s and I have some years in customer service and housekeeping.”

Chad gave her his business card and included his cell phone number on it. “You can call me anytime, AmyLynn.”

“Uh, okay,” she smiled nervously.

“What are you doing, Chad? You’re not trying to steal our maid, are you?” Daphne walked into the room.

AmyLynn went back into the kitchen to load the dishwasher.

“Yeah, I am, Mother.”

“I just hired her. Get your own maid! If you take her, you better get me another maid.”

“Of course.”

Maude came back inside the room to began cleaning and left again.

“That Maude looks like some mammy on some slavemaster’s plantation,” Chad muttered.

“This is Maude you are talking about. She’s been with our family for fifty years. She helped me and your father take care of you and your sister.”

“I know, Mother, but she still looks like some mammy from Gone with the Wind or Imitation of Life.

Chad and Daphne went back to the kitchen. Chad drank champagne and glared at Paulena while she talked to Angela and Jacques.

The next morning came. Chad, Paulena, Zack, and Francis were riding in Chad’s new Cadillac to the courthouse.

“What the hell is that?” Chad scoffed at a rap song playing on Sirius XM.

“That’s a new rapper, Dad, his name is OctoAnt,” Zack informed him.

Zack and Francis laughed.

Chad switched to another radio station that played oldies. Marvin Gaye’s music spilled through the surround sound.

“What a stupid name! No one with any sense would want to listen to that garbage. I only listen to real music like The Temptations, The Supremes, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops. Back in the day, singers actually sang without all this autotune and special effects. They didn’t need all that mess to make them sound good.”

“I’m old school too. I love oldie music! Give me The Platters, Donna Summer, Tina, Jackie Wilson any day, but younger artists like Mariah Carey, En Vogue, Whitney, Boyz II Men were good. I’m not a fan of rap music. It’s too much profanity-laced, misogyny, vulgar language, self-hatred, colorism, etc,” Paulena added.

“All music has those issues,” Francis stated.

“I know but it seems that rap has the majority of it,” Paulena said.

“I agree. Rap ain’t real music. It sucks,” Chad remarked.

“Not all. What about Tupac or Biggie? A lot of folks admired them,” Zack asked.

“They were cool for what they represented. They were the only ones. Most of these so-called weak MCs don’t come close to them. A lot of these little boys and girls can’t rap and ain’t rapping about shit. All they saying is mess like, ’Uh-huh, yeah, All I do is party every night, do drugs, drink alcohol til I pass out, fuck bitches, they my hos. I’m only about them white and light-skinned hos. Only they can fuck wit me and go down on me.

“Get back and stay back dark-skinned hos. I got all this money, Cadillacs in every color, thousand pair of shoes, jewelry, a dozen mansions. I’m out the hood, taking care of moms, never knew my pops. Mess wit me then I’ll fuck you up! Black men only got one of three options-get rich and famous or locked up or dead. White man trying to keep a nigga down, bam, bam, bam!’ Did I miss anything?” Chad mimicked.

Zack and Francis laughed loudly. Paulena nodded her head.

Chad continued speaking. “In the meantime, they can barely speak and articulate a sentence. They can barely read and write on preschool level. They are retarded and special needs folks are smarter and have more sense than these clowns. They are uneducated, most don’t have a degree or finished high school. They are the biggest self-hating, sell-outs coons you ever want to see. It doesn’t matter if they are some ignorant rapper, sports athlete, actor, etc. They are out there making more money for their oppressors and taking care of their women and every other woman but their own.

“These negroes will tolerate black women that are passing or fair-skinned, as long as they do not look like them. They are just supporting their erasure with their half-breed bastard ass brats. All of that money goes right back into their oppressor’s hands after the black community especially black women helped supported them to get to where they are in life. I’ll go into more detail about this topic during my speech at my rallies next weekend.”

Chad, Paulena, Zack, and Francis got out of the car. The valet came to get the ride.

“Jake, be careful not to scratch or dent my ride now. This is an expensive paint job. This car is worth a hundred grand, way more than your minimum wage salary. Don’t let anyone come close,” Chad chided.

“Of course, Mr. Summerville, sir,” the obedient, sandy-haired, green-eyed Jake nodded his head like a good little dog.

“Jamal, be sure to let my parents know I’m here,” Chad informed the other valet, a tall and baldhead brotha that was approaching them.

“Yes, sir.”

“Where’s my wife?”

“I’m over here, honey.”

“Paulena, and kids, let’s go.”

They began walking to the courthouse. Jake drove Chad’s ride to a reserved spot while Jamal contacted Daphne and Joel.

The rest of their family members, friends, supporters, and reporters were waiting on them in front of the courthouse. Heavily armed security and police officers were out in droves.

It was a media frenzy. Reporters shouted questions, flashed cameras, and ran behind them. Their family and supporters made a lot of commotion.

The Go-Getters were all around downtown. Zack nodded at Tristan, DaShawn, Noah, and Cain. Zack and Paige’s rape case had made international mainstream news.

“Senator Summerville, did your son rape his girlfriend?” A female reporter shouted.

“Sir, Senator, are you aware that Judge Mitchell wants to set an example in the age of this Me Too movement?” A male reporter hollered after the first one.

“Senator Summerville, do you know that this case has divided the black community up?” Another reporter from a black press outlet shouted over the commotion.

“Senator, some women’s groups said that you have a very misogynistic record towards girls and women. What do you have to say about that?” Next came a reporter from a foreign press outlet.

“Senator, is it true that your team is trying to dismiss Judge Mitchell and replace him with your father, Judge Joel Summerville? If so, do you think that is fair and a conflict of interest?” Another reporter from a foreign press outlet.

“Sir, Senator, are you going to answer any of the reporters’ questions at all? You don’t mind speaking when you want to speak to the media?” An aggressive reporter from a rival political media outlet.

“Senator Summerville has nothing to say to the press. The tabloids are trash and full of lies. Good day now!” Lyle, Chad’s campaign manager, snapped at the wild and unruly press.

There were reporters from every news outlet. The local, national, and international mainstream media were all trying to shout over each other.

“No comment,” Darrel shouted.

Chad and Paulena held hands as they move along with Zack, Francis, Angela, Daphne, and Joel. They quickly walked into the courthouse.

Zack’s eyes stared into Paige’s as she walked along with her parents and brother on the other side. The trial was over before it began.

The two families were in and out of the courtroom and tried to sneak away from the press but it didn’t work because the press caught them leaving.

“Who slavemaster’s descendant is this?” Chad joked after Judge Mitchell presided over Zack and Paige’s case.

“Stop it,” Darrel playfully scolded him.

“I can’t believe the judge gave me house arrest. These white boys get off on way more than this. Actual rape, sexual assault, and all kinds of shit. Plus, Harvard and Howard are thinking about rescinding my college acceptance letters that they sent me,” Zack angrily replied.

“Son, you have nothing to worry about. Our lawyers getting ready to have that house arrest charge thrown out. The judge should have done it then. Your grandfather should have presided over this case. Harvard and Howard are not going to rescind your acceptance letters. Hell, I wish they would! Our organizations are very prominent in the education sector. My staff and I are the biggest donors and we always get shit done and various universities benefit from our policies. Harvard and especially Howard knows which side their bread is buttered on,” Chad remarked.

They made it their ride. The press was hounding them like wild dogs.

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