Brown-Eyed Heaven

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55


Cain came over to sit down next to Zack and Noah. Tristan and DaShawn were dancing with La’Shayla and Brianna.

“Why on earth is Juan, Satin, and their friends still allowed to roam around as if they did nothing wrong? I felt sorry for Porsha, maybe I should have done more,” Cain replied.

“We don’t know what happen that night,” Noah said.

Zack glanced at them and looked around at the other wild partygoers. He didn’t say much.

“That has been the typical guy answer. We know enough. Juan has a record. I wouldn’t allow them to attend my parties and get-togethers,” Cain remarked.

“Yeah, I understand.”

“I’m glad that my family’s lawyers got that house arrest charge dropped. They also filed a complaint against the judge for allowing the rape case to go forward without any evidence. Let’s see where it goes from here,” Zack replied.

Noah glanced at him and nodded his head.

“I see that Juan bailed out those girls that attacked Crystal,” Cain said.

“I heard that too. They said Juan told the bail bondsman and the po-po when he got there that he came to bail out his hos!” Noah said laughing.

Zack laughed with him but Cain shook his head and rolled his eyes.

“That’s so sad and messed up.”

“He was joking, Cain,” Noah said.

“Not all jokes are nice nor funny. I don’t care for inappropriate and sexist jokes, brotha.”

“Anybody wants any drinks?” a server asked.

“I don’t drink. I’m underage, anyway,” Cain answered.

“Nah, I don’t feel like getting high tonight,” Noah replied.

“No, thank you,” Zack was unusually quiet.

Cain and Noah noticed it too. Zack talked as much as Tristan and DaShawn. Zack saw Cain and Noah give him concerned looks. They exchanged glances with each other.

“I’ll be back. I got to use the restroom,” Noah walked off.

“Are you alright, brotha? You looked distracted and sad,” Cain stared at Zack.

“Yeah, I’m cool.”

“No, you not, Zack.”

“You can read my mind now?” Zack scoffed.

“I can see it on your face. I read people very well. You don’t look happy. Is it about Paige, your dad?”

“I still love Paige and I miss her. I’m also angry that she accused me of rape and didn’t give me a chance to explain. Also, my dad got drunk earlier and hit my mom and pushed me when I tried to help her. He was cussing and acting a fool.”

Cain nodded. “I’m sorry about that. Your dad should not have gotten drunk and acted inappropriately. I believe Paige made a mistake. She doesn’t seem the type to do something like that. I didn’t know her well but I didn’t get a bad vibe from her. That is only first impressions, but the little time that she spent hanging around us, she seemed nice and cool. The girls liked her too especially La’Shayla and Shanice. They were surprised. Do you want me to speak with her? I can see if I can get through to her.”

Zack nodded his head this time. “I guess. I heard she said that somebody broke into her locker and trashed it. I wonder does she think I did that. I didn’t.”

“That was probably our crazy supporters. The groupies are deranged. She also said that people were threatening her over the phone, sending vile texts and phone calls. You didn’t film you guys having sex, did you? I hope you didn’t go the Juan route.”

They saw Noah kissing Kerrie. Tristan and DaShawn were interacting with Julius and his friends.

“Of course not! I would never do that. I’m not that type of person.”

“Good, man. Julius is the good seed like their daddy. Juan has always been wired wrong, he’s just plain evil. I heard a lot of stuff about him. It’s surprising how two brothers can be so different and so close. When Julius is not drunk, he is a great guy but he should stay away from the alcohol, Juan and Satin,” Cain said.

Zack saw Julius give him a funny look before he turned back to his girlfriend Alisa. Zack looked down at his iPhone and thought about calling Paige but changed his mind.

“Are you going to call her?” Cain asked.

“I don’t know.”


***


Zack loaded his books and notebooks in his locker at Emille the following day. He didn’t sleep well last night. The hallways were crowded and noisy as usual.

He didn’t see his friends or Paige anywhere. Zack had his back turned and by habit, glanced into his mirror pinned inside his locker.

He saw Julius, Juan, Satin, and a couple of other Go-Getters approaching him.

He turned around and faced them. He didn’t have a trace of fear at all. Go-Getters never came after their own like that but he wondered what this was about.

Was it about Alisa and their conversation in the hallway? She must have told Julius that Zack suggested she find someone better.

The suspicious look that Julius gave Zack the other night came back to him. The Go-Getters stopped a few feet from Zack.

“Hey, Zack, let me get to the point. Why in hell did you tell my girl Alisa that she could do better than me? She told me what you said,” Julius asked.

Juan and Satin were quiet for once.

“I’m sorry, man. I didn’t mean it like that. I saw you snapped at her over nothing and I only suggested that.”

Julius nodded and licked his lips. “We Go-Getters have always been cool, no bad blood at all. We always have each others’ backs. Alisa and I were drunk and going through a rough time. That’s rare. We always get along. Couples have shitty days, that’s normal, bro.”

Zack saw Tristan, DaShawn, Noah, and Cain walking behind Julius, Juan, and the others. Julius, Juan, and their friends turned and saw them too as they walked up beside Zack.

“I love Alisa and we planned to get married after she graduates from medical school. You shouldn’t have done that. I would have never gotten in your business. I know you got a lot of shit on your plate with Paige and everything. I remember when you and Camille had a falling out and you smack the mess out of Camille. We didn’t get into your business now did we? Hell, we thought you were gonna tear her ass up back then,” Julius brought up ugly memories.

Zack blackened that period out. “That was a long time ago. I’m not that person anymore.”

“Okay, I just wanted to remind you that we all have issues. There’s something in all of our pasts. So, we’ll just squatch this beef.”

Zack nodded. Then Julius, Juan, and the others walked off.

“That’s the Go-Getter privilege. They don’t even go to school here but security let them come and go as they please,” Zack muttered.

“Are you serious? Trying to start shit with a fellow Go-Getter over some dumb mess,” Tristan scoffed.

“It’s not like that, man.”

“Julius is cool people. There’s this rumor going around about this factitious beef between you and him,” DaShawn remarked.

“It was just a misunderstanding, that’s all,” Cain commented, defending Zack.

“Anyway, we don’t need this right now. Shouldn’t you be more concerned about lying ass Paige?” Tristan walked off.

“I got to get to work. Daddy’s calling,” DaShawn left too.

“If you need me, you can call me anytime, brotha,” Cain said and walked over to Shanice. She was waiting for him near the exit.

Zack walked out of the school with Noah and then they left in their rides.


***


Paige hung up on the nasty and threatening phone call. She was going to change her phone number as soon as possible. Paige had planned to go to the mobile shop over the weekend.

She still didn’t see how the anonymous clowns got her number to consistently harass and threaten her. They were saying that they were going to rape her again, beat her up, kill her.

They cursed and called her sexist and degrading language. That had been going on since Paige and Zack’s altercation and breakup.

Paige blocked all the numbers from calling and texting her but the individuals kept using other burner phone numbers. Paige gave all the new evidence to Officer Boyce.

They were investigating and tracking the calls and texts. Officer Boyce reassured her that even though Zack’s house arrest charge was dropped that didn’t mean that the rape case was over.

As Paige walked through Emille’s hallways, students stared at her. Many she didn’t know gave her harsh looks. Some she knew gave her the silent treatment.

Paige sighed. I see how popular that Zack and the Go-Getters are, she thought.

She got all her belongings from her locker. So far, no one messed with her new locker. She thanked God.

Danielle had left the school earlier for a doctor’s appointment. Paige glanced at Porsha’s portrait and plaque on the makeshift memorial stand. Porsha was now added to it. She read the inscription that said:

Angels have gone from us too soon

She shed a tear. Never thought that someone she knew would be added there. She also glanced at Camille’s portrait memorial too.

Paige made it outside. Students were everywhere. Talking to their friends, walking around, talking, texting, surfing the web on their iPhones and smartphones, listening to music, etc.

Many were driving off in their rides, waiting for rides, getting on the school buses, city buses, catching cabs, walking, riding bikes home.

Paige waved at Crystal getting in Charlie’s car. Crystal smiled and wave back. Crystal’s scars were fading now except a deep gash on her forehead and the emotional scars were still noticeable in Crystal’s behavior.

Crystal had always been rougher and bittersweet in life. Most likely, her environment made her who she was today. Lately, after her attack, Crystal was more alert, bitter, and gloomier.

Paige decided to walk home. She wanted the exercise and fresh air. It had been a minute since she walked after constantly driving and riding around in vehicles.

She was disappointed that the court dropped Zack’s house arrest charge. The memories of that fateful night were still bits and pieces.

She could barely remember what all happened. Vivid memories seemed to be gradually coming back to her but not quick enough nor was it good enough.

Paige sighed. “I wonder what Zack is doing? Should I call him?” she asked to the wind.

The breeze only blew at her outfit in response. A pair of faded blue jeans, a silk flowery blouse, and Earth sandals. Her hair was combed back, hanging down, and she didn’t wear any makeup.

Paige’s brown, leather handbag flopped by her side. Vehicles flew past her, playing noisy music and conversations floated to the wind.

Paige walked alone at a normal pace. Edward and Jude had called her earlier to make sure she was alright. Steven texted that if Zack or his friends give her any problems, he would whup their asses.

“No, I’m not going to call Zack, he’ll call me if he is interested.”

Paige was almost home. She looked up and saw a new black Lexus trailing her on the side of the road. It was only several feet from her as she walked on the sidewalk.

The ride was keeping pace with her as she walked. Paige began to get nervous and frightened. She quickened her pace. The car sped up.

She began to run and the car speeded up. Paige reached her street in the District. She turned to her house and peered at the car behind her.

The tinted windows were too dark for her to view the occupants inside. A window glided down a few inches and a dark pistol appeared in the opening.

Shock registered on Paige’s face as she reached her porch. The assailant shot up in the air and a second later, a dead squirrel fell out of a tree and rolled on its back.

An acorn fell out of its opened mouth. Paige ran into the house and locked the door. The assailant watched her go inside and sped off, tires squealing on the road.

Paige cried, she was in a panic. “Mom, Dad, Steven!” She yelled hysterically over and over.

No one responded. No one home, she thought. Paige called her parents and her brother. Neither answered their cell phones. She left messages on their voicemail. Paige called Officer Boyce. The officer was the only one that picked up.

“This is Officer Sally Boyce. How may I help you?”

“Officer Boyce, this is Paige Williams! Please come right now! Someone just tried to kill me!” she screamed.

“I’m on my way, darling! Keep the phone close by and sit tight.”

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