Brown-Eyed Heaven

All Rights Reserved ©

57


“Well, I watched that horrible police interrogation video with Porsha and Chief Winters again. I still can’t believe that Juan, Satin, and their friends did all that freaky shit to Porsha. Poor thing,” Danielle stated, shaking her head.

“I know right. I remember asking Zack if he was into freaky oral and shit and he looked at me like I was crazy. I don’t blame him. I know I don’t get down like that! Of course, I still remember events that night before I got drunk and only remember a little when I was drunk,” Paige remarked.

Crystal rolled her eyes. She hadn’t done that in a while. The old Crystal was coming back.

“People are into what they like because it’s their business. Y’all don’t have to criticize other people that disagree or have different lifestyles than y’all,” Crystal replied.

“That’s not what we are doing, Crystal. Geez, Paige and I are only giving our opinions. I guess you must be one of those folks that we are talking about,” Danielle stated.

Crystal scoffed. “Whatever, let me go talk to my man Charlie in peace like Paige did. I got to cool off too. I’ll be back in a bit, ladies.”

Crystal left the room. Danielle walked out of the room to see how far Crystal was before she talked about her to Paige. “Crystal gets offended quick. Dang, she needs to calm down.”

“She has been through some shit. She’ll be alright. Have you been checking out talk radio and social media lately? They have been dragging me every day since I accused Zack of rape. It’s brutal. Nearly all the men are on Zack’s side and even the women are split on what happened.”

“I know. I have been keeping track of it. I don’t like the tone. They need me on there to put people in their places.”

“People have been calling all day on the radio dissing and criticizing me especially the men. It’s mad disrespectful. Why allow it even on respectable mainstream radio and television?” Paige sighed and shook her head.

“I know right.”

Crystal made it back to the bedroom twenty minutes later. “I feel you, Paige. It’s obvious that haters gonna hate.”

Paige surf social media sites. There were comments, posts, pictures of her and Zack, articles, videos, and people live streaming entire videos about her and Zack.

There was a lot of sexism and inappropriate language directed toward her. These people didn’t even know her or know what happened that night. All they knew is what they heard on television, radio, and social media.

“Forget them, Paige. We are your friends and we got your back, babe,” Crystal comforted her.

“Yeah, boo, we are willing to risk our own reputations to support and defend you,” Danielle added.

“Thanks, sweeties,” Paige smiled.

***

Paulena looked down at her bronze skirt suit with dark heels and listened as Daphne opened the door. Daphne was dressed in a silk gown and slides.

She had a gorgeous short hairstyle. She looked busy as if she didn’t want to be bothered by anybody.

“Yes, what you want?” Daphne said impatiently. She stood in the doorway and didn’t invite Paulena in.

“Daphne, your son hit me the other day. He was drunk and very abusive, verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. Maybe you can talk to him,” Paulena said, showing Daphne her badly swollen and bruised face where Chad had slapped her.

Daphne scoffed. “What in the hell did you say to him? What did you do? I know you did something to piss him off, girl. My son doesn’t go off on someone unless you give him a good reason to.”

“I didn’t say or do anything bad to him! He was drunk and acting inappropriately. I tried to reason with him to stop it. I know you don’t like me and I don’t care…”

“I don’t dislike you. You are weak, Paulena. Chad could have done much better than you. He tells me all you do is deny him sex because you can and spend our money, going on thousand dollar shopping sprees every week!”

Paulena nodded and looked disappointed. “You are a terrible person. He gets it from you. What happened to you? Who made you this way? Did someone hurt you, break you?”

“I am an African-American woman that grew up in the segregated, deep Jim Crow American south. White America helped spurn me and now they’re suffering blowback from it!”

“I see you didn’t answer my question. Is that what you did to Chad? Did you have an unusual relationship with him? You and Chad have always been very close and get along much better than most mothers and sons. I always thought he got his irrational hatred for women from his father Joel but now I see that he got it from you. A mother teaching her son to hate other women. Wow!”

“You bitch! I don’t have to defend my relationship with my son to you! How dare you accuse me of molestation, incest? We are not white. Black people don’t do shit like that! This is Arkansas, not Alabama! You are far off the mark. It was never that type of relationship! We always had a close relationship. I never had an incestuous relationship with my son because I have an awesome marriage. Get the hell off my property!” Daphne slams the door in Paulena’s face.

Paulena drove over to Angela’s home across town. She rang her doorbell. Angela’s long curly, dark, brown hair swayed as she walked.

She was dressed in a sophisticated, bright blue pantsuit and black stilettos, and her makeup looked perfect. Angela strongly resembled Chad. She looked at her video monitor and saw Paulena standing on her porch and opened the front door.

“Paulena, what a surprise? I wasn’t expecting you til this weekend,” Angela smiled and invited her inside.

“I know.” Paulena came inside the house and sat down in a recliner.

Angela’s home looked like the cover of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Paulena raked her fingers through her dark, curly, black hair and took off her expensive shades, showing Angela her face.

Paulena and Angela had been friends for years and always gotten along. Angela introduced Paulena to Chad years ago.

“Oh my God, Paulena! Chad hit you!”

“Yes, he was drunk and became very abusive. He cursed me and called me every misogynistic slur he could think of!”

“What’s wrong?” Jacques, Angela’s husband, walked into the dining area.

He was a good-looking man and tastefully dressed too, in a gray, three-piece suit, designer shoes, and a nearly shaved haircut.

“Do you mind if I tell Jacques?”

Paulena nodded.

“Chad hit her and was verbally abusive to her.”

“Damn, are you feeling okay, Paulena?” Jacques sat down beside Angela.

Paulena nodded again.

“Do you want me to talk to Chad? I’ll talk to him and tell him not to hit you again. Chad knows better. Our parents didn’t raise him to hit or fight women!”

“I’ll talk to Chad too. Chad and I have been friends for many years. I can see if I can get through to him,” Jacques said.

“That’s nice. I appreciate that. I went to Daphne and Joel’s house before I came here. She didn’t believe me and we had a verbal altercation. Then she got offended and slammed the door in my face.”

“I’m sorry about that, Paulena, I’ll talk to my mother too. You know, everyone’s a little stressed lately. We got that huge meeting coming up but that is no excuse,” Angela sympathized.

Paulena nodded. “I was on my to the New Black Wall Street. I wanted to wait until my face healed.”

“I understand, hon.”

“Where are the children?”

Angela smiled. “One is on a date, another is studying, one is out with friends, and the youngest is shopping.”

“They don’t want to stay home with their parents,” Jacques joked.

“Sound like my kids,” Paulena smiled.


***


Zack sat beside his Great Aunt Grace’s bed in the hospital. She coughed and stared at him.

“The whole family been to see me. I’m so glad. I told everyone that I’m ready for my God to take me home. At first, I was scared but I’m not anymore.”

“I understand.”

“I’m ninety. It’s my time. I thought I can beat this cancer but maybe the father got better plans for me in heaven.”

Zack wiped tears from his eyes and remained quiet. Aunt Grace looked over at her younger photographs on the table.

There were pictures of her wedding day, hanging with friends, playing with her children, working, partying, having fun, protesting at civil rights marches, and meeting with famous folks around the globe.

She had personally wanted them there. Zack followed her gaze.

“Oh my God! Zack, honey, you see what I see!?”

“Huh, Aunt Grace? What do you see?”

“I see my husband standing over there in the corner. You don’t see him?”

“No, Aunt Grace, I don’t. Maybe only you can see him.”

“I guess so then,” she continued to stare at the ghostly vision of her husband who was smiling and beckoning to her.

Grace didn’t blink. She reached her arm to him too. She gasped when she saw another ghostly vision. This time it was a young woman.

“What in the world!?” she muttered, staring hard at the new vision. Then a realization hit her when she saw that the ghostly woman was her when she was younger. “That’s me.”

“Aunt Grace, are you okay? Do you want me to get a nurse or doctor?” Zack was alarmed.

To Zack, she was staring without blinking at a wall. He didn’t see anybody or anything. She looked obsessed.

Grace was watching a younger version of herself take her deceased husband’s hand and slow dance.

The rest of the Summerville family came inside the hospital room. Daphne, Joel, Chad, Paulena, Angela, Francis, and their spouses.

“Is she alright?”

“Someone get a doctor! She looks sick!”

“Zack, everyone, pray with me,” Grace looked around the room. She reached for Zack’s hands and tightly held them.

They began praying but before the prayer was finished, Grace died peacefully. A flatline occurred and a doctor and nurse rushed in.


***


Zack sat on his bed and closed his eyes. Tears dropped onto his lap. He sighed deeply and put down the iPhone that he had been holding.

I’m sick and tired of losing people that I know. Camille, my Aunt Grace, Paige, Zack thought.

Zack went to his father’s arsenal room to get a pistol, a Glock. He remembered as a teenager his father showing him the millions of weapons and military equipment that he collected since he was a boy. Chad had told Zack that he was welcome to use it too.

Zack peered into the mirror holding the gun. He sat back down and listened to birds chirp, roosters crow, and the sounds of nature taking place all around him.

The sky was a deep shade of blue. The yellow sun was warm and shining high in the sky. A few wisps of white clouds looked like someone placed them there.

The entire scene looked picturesque, like a realistic painting. It was a beautiful day. But Zack felt gloomy on that beautiful day and didn’t care anymore. I feel as if life has given up on me.

Zack raised the pistol and aim it at his mouth and closed his eyes again, preparing to pull the trigger.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.