Chad danced with Paulena in the ballroom. Many other couples were dancing along with them.
Chad’s friends Joe, Willie, Gus, and Jarron danced with their wives and girlfriends too.
“I’m surprised that you still danced with me tonight, sweetheart,” Chad whispered to Paulena.
“Yeah, I am too but don’t get used to it. We danced together every year at this ball. It’s a tradition. I already filed for divorce but I’m glad that we had this conversation tonight about our family, the kids, and everything else,” Paulena answered.
“I have to leave. Good luck, Chad.”
“Good luck to you too, Paulena.”
Paulena walked away from him and then went to tell Jessica Mouliet something. Jessica was finishing her wine.
All of the men looked handsome in their tuxedos and the women looked beautiful in their gowns.
The ballroom looked modern and elegant as usual. Most of the music playing was old-school RNB.
“Hello, Paulena,” Jessica greeted her with a smirk.
“Hi, Jessica, you and Chad have been engaging in affairs for years. How do you feel about being a homewrecker in our marriage? And being a homewrecker in other marriages too?”
Jessica’s smirk widened. “I’m not a homewrecker in anyone’s marriage, dear. It’s not my problem that so many men are into me but I’m not into them. Their women shouldn’t be concern about me at all.”
Jessica gave a server her empty wine glass and walked off to dance with her husband.
Paulena looked on at Jessica before she left the ballroom. Chad walked over to the band members.
“Gentleman, play urban music only,” he informed them.
“Of course, sir, that’s all we are playing anyway,” one of the musicians said.
Daphne had left the ballroom earlier to speak with long-time friends at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
She had regularly attended the Christian affiliation with her family when she was younger. It brought back many memories, both happy and bittersweet. The memories flashed through her.
Daphne stood outside and stared at the establishment. Tears swelled in her eyes. She sniffed and looked around at her friends, brothers and sisters, is what they were called in this religion.
“Hi, Daphne, are you coming inside?” An elder smiled at her.
“Hi, not right now, Brother Mark. I will soon,” she answered.
Brother Mark nodded and went inside the establishment followed by other members.
“Mrs. Summerville, are you ready to leave? You told me that you wanted to leave at this time?” her driver asked.
“Yes, I am.”
The driver opened and closed the limo’s door for her. She got inside.
“Where would you like to go, ma’am?”
“Far away from here.”
Paige and Zack walked around in Silverson’s Jewelry Store for over two hours. The store was owned by Chad’s friend Jarron who was also the principal of Zack and Paige’s school.
“Let’s say if I were to propose to you, what type of wedding ring would you choose?” Zack smiled mischievously at her.
Paige couldn’t help but smirk. “Okay, alright, I think I know what this is leading up to.”
After a good amount of time, Paige selected a beautiful diamond wedding ring. It was worth over a million dollars.
“Wow! You have good taste! This looks like the type of ring that I would have chosen for you.”
“You went into your billion-dollar trust fund to buy some heifer, a gold-digging bitch, a million-dollar wedding ring,” Chad laughed.
“Dad, don’t say that about Paige. Don’t disrespect her like that. She’s a sweetheart and none of those misogynistic slurs. I love Paige. I’m in love with her and I want us to get married someday,” Zack remarked.
“When is someday? You’ve got college coming up in the fall, son.”
“It would be after graduation and before college. Paige is staying here in Arkansas. She’s going to Emille College. I will be flying back regularly to be with my sweetheart,” Zack mesmerized.
“Wow, I remember old Zack said that he would never get married and that all girls were nothing but…” Chad’s words trailed off.
Zack scoffed, “That was a long time ago, Dad. I was a horrible person back in the day. I’m not that person anymore. I’ve changed for the better.”
Chad nodded, smirking, “You were just being a kid, going through a phrase. I’m going to continue to have fun as a bachelor like I always do.”
“That’s awesome, Zack,” Joel smiled then turned to Chad. “Son, being with one woman is not enough? I couldn’t do your mother like that.”
It was late evening. Servers were busy preparing the food. The guests in the home were interacting with each other.
Chad, Zack, and Joel were standing on Joel and Daphne’s balcony at their mansion.
“It would be enough if I could find a beautiful sweetheart that will be able to satisfy me a hundred percent,” Chad drank his wine.
“Gentlemen, dinner is almost ready,” Daphne reminded them.
“Of course, darling, we’ll be there in a bit,” Joel blew a kiss.
They were silent for a moment.
“My father was amazing when he was alive. He taught me everything that I know. We need more men like him. Do y’all think he’s up there beyond the clouds and the stars? God gaining another angel and giving him more duties to accomplish,” Joel looked at the sky.
“Yeah, I do,” Chad touched his shoulder.
Josiah stood in the doorway and watched them.
“Hello, how are you, son?” Joel smiled.
“I’m fine. Thank you for asking,” Josiah responded.
Zack greeted him too but Chad ignored him. They all went to the kitchen for dinner. The servers prepared honey smoked ham, caviar, dressing, mixed fruit, steamed veggies, banana bread pudding, salad, beef stew, wine, lemonade, and fruit juice.
It was the end of the day, Paige walked out of school with Danielle, Crystal, Casey, Mackenzie, and Jasmine. Paige was telling them about her adventures and conversations with Zack.
“Zack took me to Principal Silverson’s jewelry store and ask me to pick a wedding ring if I were offered the option to do so.”
“That’s awesome!” Casey smiled.
“You go, girl!” Jasmine playfully hit her.
“We wonder what this might mean,” Crystal teased.
“I don’t know, who knows?” Paige cheesed.
“Come on now, Paige, you crazy! We all know what this means!” Mackenzie grinned, giving her a knowing look.
“Oh, Lord, Mackenzie! Don’t do Paige like that!” Danielle remarked.
“Let’s just wait it out and see what happens,” Jasmine said.
“I agree because you never know,” Casey added.
“Friends, let’s changed the subject okay. We’ve been talking about Zack and me for a minute and I want to talk about something else,” Paige replied.
They were standing on Emille’s top steps. The flags flew above their heads. As usual, the Arkansas and the American flags flew upside down while the African flags flew appropriately.
“Y’all know that down-low Go-Getter in the ATL has been officially kicked out of the organization. Bo-hoo,” Mackenzie informed them.
“Yeah, I heard about that too. That’s a shame,” Crystal shook her head.
“I know right, hon. Anyway, I got to head home. I’m tired and sleepy and hungry. I’ll catch y’all kittens next time,” Mackenzie jogged to his car and left.
The girls said their goodbyes.
“Oh shit, my period just came on and I’m cramping. Does anybody have a pad? My period came on a week early and I hate when it does that,” Crystal remarked.
“I have an extra pad and Pamprin,” Paige gave both to her.
“I have bottled water for you to take with the medication,” Danielle added.
“Thank you, sweeties. I’ll repay y’all,” Crystal took the items from them.
“I’ll see y’all later,” Crystal called, sprinting to the bathroom.
Jasmine and Casey left soon after. Paige and Danielle walked to the parking lot and got in Danielle’s ride and left.
They engaged in brief conversation and listened to music. Danielle dropped Paige at home and rode off.
After supper, Paige was startled by her iPhone ringing. She thought it might be one of her friends or Zack.
Paige didn’t recognize the number but hope it wasn’t a threatening call.
Since the Go-Getters’ crazy supporters’ arrests and after she changed her phone number, she has not had a threatening call since.
Paige was surprised when La’Shayla answered on the other end. La’Shayla suggested Paige hang out with her and her friends.
Paige agreed and La’Shayla picked her up in a brand new Escalade. They had planned to go shopping at the mall and study together for the final exams.
Dance music played from the speakers. They drove to the Complex Center Mall and met Brianna, Shanice, and Kerrie.
The girls greeted each other and began shopping. All of them were fashionably dressed in designer wardrobes. They wore mini-skirts, skorts, sundresses, blouses, halter tops, casual shoes, flats, and wedges.
Their hair was styled gorgeous. Some of them wore their hair hanging down, straight, and natural curls, the rest wore ponytails and braids.
Paige had as much fun with them as she did with Danielle and Crystal. A lot of the men check them out and whistled at them.
They must have shopped at all their favorite stores for hours. La’Shayla had her personal assistant carried numerous shopping bags to her limo. Paige and the girls left the mall.
“I love music! What about you, Paige?” La’Shayla turned the music up.
Bessie West and the Melanin Beauty Sweethearts were jamming on the radio.
“So do I.”
“My parents are visiting friends and I wanted to invite you and the girls over.
La’Shayla made it back to the District. The police officer let them through the gated community as always. Another officer waved at them.
“Officer Friendly, we still have that in our community. We need that in every community. We have terrific cops in the District. They practiced good community policing that makes their job a lot easier when the community trust you and is willing to work with you,” La’Shayla stated.
“Preach, I know right.”
“Yeah, our cops around here are off the chain. That’s what you called real police officers, professional police officers, competent police officers.
"Not those slave patrols, KKK, white supremacists masquerading as law enforcement. We need good public servants not criminals, thugs, gangstas with badges that are worse than your average criminal on the street.
"The entire community across the country needs police officers that treat everyone equally. Treat people the way that they want to be treated. The people that live in the District don’t have to worry about corrupt cops and illegal quotas but not everyone has it good like that.”
“I hear you, La’Shayla. The over-policing should be stopped and more de-escalation needs to be enforced.”
La’Shayla drove into her garage. They got out and met Brianna, Shanice, and Kerrie in the driveway.
They went inside and got comfortable. The maid brought them lemon cookies, baked chips, and flavored water.
They watched television, movies, music videos, and studied for their exams. Zack, Tristan, DaShawn, Cain, and Noah came over later in the night and studied with the girls.
“Y’all unexpectedly came to my house,” La’Shayla teased.
“Yeah, you know you wanted to see me boo!” Tristan smooched her.
“Brianna, can you come to the bathroom with me? I want to talk to you about something,” La’Shayla winked at Tristan.
“You females do the gayest shit. No way in the world would a real man ask another man that shit. For example, DaShawn, can you come to the bathroom with me? I want to talk to you about something,” Tristan laughed.
DaShawn and the others laughed.
“Oh hell naw, homie!”
“See what I mean!”
The guys left around midnight.
The bell had dismissed the school from the final class of the day.
“Hey, Tristan, can I talk to you privately about something important?” DaShawn asked.
“What’s up?” Tristan gave him a funny look.
“It’s not like that, man! You crazy as hell. It’s about tutoring for the exams this week. I know you tutor folks after school. I need some help with Trigonometry. I’m passing the class but I want to do better than average and make a better grade on the exams.”
“No problem, man. I could tutor you tomorrow evening. Is that cool?”
“Yeah, that’s cool. Thanks."
“Uh, huh, Mr. Moore going to correct this grade. A ninety-five percent is not for me. I made a hundred on this test,” Tristan went back inside the classroom.
Zack, DaShawn, Noah, and Cain followed him.
“Bro, I’ll be glad to get that in this class. Man, you are a perfectionist,” DaShawn said.
“I go and get what I deserved homie.”
Tristan walked up to Mr. Moore and alerted him about his mistaken grade. The English AP teacher looked at the grade, apologized, and corrected the mistake.
“Another perfect score. I make nothing but A pluses.”