“No, they are not. That’s where you are wrong. My son and his friends have better things to do than harass and threaten your daughter,” Chad replied.
“I see you trying to cover up for them,” Edward remarked.
“No, I’m not. Look when all this shit first happened. I was angry and I didn’t believe Paige when she complained about it that was before I saw the evidence. As you know, I used to be a police officer years ago and I still have connections with the police departments. Sometimes, they ask for my advice for certain cases and I keep track of what’s happening in the community.”
Edward’s eyes widened. He wasn’t expecting Chad to tell him all of this so he remained quiet.
“I might as well tell you this because the police department is going to reveal this information tomorrow morning. They have been taking this investigation very seriously especially Officer Boyce. Chief Winters put her in charge of the investigation. The Go-Getters are very popular around the world and we have a devout following and these people will do anything to protect us. The police have been surveilling several persons of interest. During the investigation, these alleged suspects led them to incriminating evidence. They are going to make the arrests tomorrow. So, the crazy and dangerous people that have been harassing and threatening Paige, including the suspect, that shot at her is in for a rude awakening.”
Edward was speechless and was glad that this situation was almost over. “I see but you and your family did go after my daughter. Your family criticized Paige and didn’t believe her in the beginning.”
“If you were in our positions, you would have done the same thing. What if your son’s girlfriend accused him of rape? She said that she thinks he raped her but she wasn’t sure about what happened. Wouldn’t you feel some kind of way? You would be skeptical and fight for him too, right? I’m an assertive father that stands up and protects my family.”
“You must also understand that I’m going to react the same way by protecting my family too. I heard that Zack had a mental breakdown and is currently in rehab. How is he doing now?”
Chad became a little emotional. “Zack is doing much better. You know, my friend Gus is a mental health counselor and a prominent doctor in the county. He’s been prescribing him an antidepressant for his depression and helping with his anxiety. Gus has him under control and he is responding well to treatment. Zack’s not crazy, he just had a mental breakdown. He’s a strong kid and he’s going to fight this. Zack had a lot on him. He lost his girlfriend Camille two years ago, his Aunt Grace died a few days ago, Paige accused him of rape and broke up with him, my wife and I wasn’t getting along but we are better now.”
“I understand. My son Steven had been suffering from PTSD from when he was stationed overseas and he is getting treatment for it too.”
“How is he?”
“He’s responding well at the moment.”
Chad signaled to his friends to approach them. They quickly surrounded Chad and Edward. “That’s good. Edward, I wanted to talk to you about the Go-Getters organization. I know you already know a lot about us. I wanted to recruit you to join our team. I admire what you are doing out there, being conscious, helping the community, you seem to be an amazing family man. Why don’t you come listen to our meeting tomorrow? We are recruiting as many pro-black and conscious brothas that we could find. There’s a war coming, brotha, and I’m trying to prepare our people for it,” Chad said.
Edward nodded. “I’ve been paying attention to what the Go-Getters have been saying for years. I know about this war and revolution that y’all are bringing to fruition. I know that you think y’all are the modern-day Black Panthers. I must say that I wasn’t sure how this meeting will turn out. I thought we were going to have some type of blowup and you will get your allies to jump me or something.”
“No, we don’t do things like that. We would never fight a fellow conscious brotha unless he gives us a reason too! We are only trying to prepare our people for the upcoming revolution. World War Three is approaching and we want to make sure all of the right people are on our side, ” Chad replied.
“Brotha, rage and revolution is a dangerous mix,” Edward remarked.
“The New Black Wall Street has been helping the black community for years and preparing for our urban revolution. So you see we have every right to be angry. Righteous anger, brotha.”
“I don’t want you all to get our people hurt or killed in this World War Three or urban revolution.”
Chad scoffed. “I’m not talking about a physical war where people are hurting and killing each other. I was in the military like you, brotha. We were trained to always let war be a last resort. I am talking about a financial war. An international mass boycott like they did with the Montgomery bus boycott during the civil rights movement, only this time it would be permanent across the globe. You hit those pocketbooks and keep your hard-earned money by supporting your own—pro-black and conscious folks that give back to the community—you will rise to the top. Come listen to what we have to say about it this weekend. Then you’ll get the full picture.”
Edward sighed heavily and looked around at the lounge.
Zack arrived at Paige’s new home. He parked his Jaguar in the driveway. He was feeling much better than before.
Also, he felt guilty about cursing out his friends at school the other day but he wanted to wait to apologize. Zack would rather ask Cain to apologize for him.
He looked at the huge property and took a deep breath. He called Paige before he came over but she didn’t answer the phone.
She must be ignoring me again. I don’t blame her because I know she heard about my breakdown, Zack thought.
Cain’s father Gus was nice and patient with him throughout his therapy treatment.
Zack rang the doorbell. He heard someone ask who is it and Zack said his name. Edward answered the door and stared at him in surprise.
“Whoa, Zack, what are you doing here?”
“Hi, Mr. Wiliams. May I speak to Paige? I need to see her.”
“I’m sorry you can’t. She’s busy right now.”
Steven walked past Edward and glared at Zack. “Hell naw, you can’t see my sister! For what, so you can rape her again!”
“I didn’t rape your sister the first time!”
“Son, please don’t.”
“Why not, Dad? This little boy and his family and friends were harassing and threatening Paige. She almost got shot, could’ve been killed! Fuck off, little punk!”
“I didn’t do that, man. Neither did my family or friends.”
“Steven, watch your mouth. Let me handle this.”
“You are a liar! Dad, I’m letting him know that we are not afraid of the Go-Getters. They don’t run our town. We ain’t no punks. You better leave my sister alone. You mess with her again, I’ma mess you up!”
“Steven, I said let me handle this! We don’t want an altercation.”
Steven nodded at his father but then turned to glare angrily at Zack again.
“Zack, we don’t want any trouble. Aren’t you still in rehab for your breakdown?” Edward looked at him in concern.
“I am currently in rehab. It’s my second day. I feel fine and my treatment is going great.”
“That’s good to know. As I told you earlier, I can’t let you see Paige now. You just started rehab. We need to give it some time, at least six months. I can’t trust you around my daughter because what if you have another breakdown around her and I don’t want her to get hurt. She’s been through enough shit as it is.”
“I understand, sir. I love your daughter. I’m in love with Paige. I care deeply about her.”
“Yuck, you have lost it! Paige doesn’t want anything to do with you anymore! She doesn’t want a dude that raped her, got his family and friends to threaten and shoot at her, and now in rehab for trying to kill himself,” Steven scoffed in disbelief.
“Really, you are in rehab for attempted suicide?” Edward asked.
“Yes, sir, I am but I will never do that again.”
“His father didn’t mention that when y’all spoke at the lounge. It’s all in the tabloids now. They are dragging your ass like they did Paige,” Steven laughed.
“No, I didn’t know the reason why. Anyway, Zack, you need to leave. I’ll tell Paige that you drop by to see her and it would be her choice if she wants to speak with you,” Edward told him.
“Yeah, I know you do. Paige doesn’t want a crazy man!”
“I already talk to Paige recently.”
“You did? When?” Edward asked.
“I called her a few days ago when she was at Danielle’s slumber party. She was interested in speaking to me.”
“I’ll tell her that you came by.”
Steven glared at Zack again like he wanted to beat him up.
“Thank you,” Zack replied and got into his ride and left.
“Son, we are not trying to start a beef with Zack’s family. That’s exactly what will happen if you were to beat him up.”
Edward and Steven went inside the house. Steven jogged upstairs to his bedroom while Edward knocked on Paige’s bedroom door.
“Hey, honey, Zack came by earlier and wanted to see you.”
“I told him that you were busy and if you wanted to see him then it was up to you.”
Paige sat on her bed and sighed.
“I strongly prefer that you don’t see him after everything that happened. He said that you two already spoke on the phone a couple of days ago.”
“Yeah, we did.”
Jude came inside the room and sat beside Paige. “It’s a good thing that there was no altercation with you and Chad.”
“Yeah, I know right.”
“Also, sweetie, if you were to see Zack, please give it time. At least three months to make sure he is well and ready to be in a relationship,” Jude gently touched Paige’s leg.
“Alright, I was going to give it time anyway.”
“Well, good then. Paige, your mother and I are going to bed. If you need anything, let us know.”
“Yeah, goodnight, honey.”
The next morning, the local news announced that the police had arrested the suspect that had chased and shot at Paige. It was an obsessed supporter of the Go-Getters.
The young man had been rejected twice when he applied to be an official member of the Go-Getters club organization. The news showed the man’s mugshot. He wasn’t familiar to her.
Paige thought he looked disturbed. His eyes made her shiver. I don’t blame the Go-Getters for rejecting him, she thought.
Paige watched a brief clip of Officer Boyce and some more officers announcing to the public that not only did they arrest the disturbed young man but an entire group of diverse, young men and women that had been harassing and threatening Paige.
Officer Boyce said that a trail of digital evidence that they tried to cover up led them to arrest the group of people.
The officer mentioned that the group was long-time fanatical supporters of Chad, the Summerville family, and the Go-Getters.
For years, they left a long trail of harassing and threatening anybody that came after the Summervilles and the Go-Getters.
“I know you are glad,” Edward said, sticking his head into her doorway.
“Yeah, so Zack was telling the truth. He and his friends weren’t the ones harassing me,” Paige remarked.
“That’s what his father said too. Let me get to work.”
“You and mom working today?”
“Yeah, we’ll be back this evening. Your brother is on a date with his girlfriend. Sorry, we have to leave you alone. Don’t answer the door for Zack.”
“Come on, Daddy!”
“I’m ready to leave, darling,” Jude called.
Edward and Jude left for work at their company, Williams Future.