Curtis Taylor wasn’t happy to see his youngest daughter leave home to move clear across the country. He was suspicious of the idea of a young single woman living in the most sinful part of the country. Californians were known for their focus on everlasting beauty, money, pornography, and power. He advised his daughter to be careful, don’t go out or hang out with strangers, and under no circumstances take any kind of drugs. Her father was adamant about the dangers of living that close to “Sin City” or Hollywood.
Willie Mae Taylor cried and cried and then she cried some more. Her daughter was just as stubborn and headstrong as her father. She knew Cat could handle herself, but it didn’t stop her from worrying about her daughter. Willie Mae gave her daughter a hug, pulled her husband to hug their daughter, and began to pray.
“Father, I know you have opened the door for our child to use her degree and to see some measure of success in her life. I pray that you watch over her and keep her. Bless her coming and going. I pray that you place a hedge of protection around her. Father place angels around her on every side to fend off the fiery darts of satan. Wrap your loving arms around her and protect her coming and going. Father most importantly, please bless our child to never forget where she comes from and hold her and guide as she walks through each and every day. In your Son Jesus Christ Name, I pray. Amen.”
Cat kissed her parents one last time and started her trip.
The idea of driving from the small country town of Hope, Arkansas to Santa Monica, California seemed like a grand adventure. Nobody described just how long the trip feels once it’s started. Since she was driving alone, Cat planned to take regular breaks to assure she made it to her destination without any problems. Nothing in life ever scared Cat. She was a fearless black woman who was determined to experience everything life had in store for her. She planned the nearly 1700-mile trip and decided to make sure her trip was as safe as possible.
Cat thought about the hug and prayer she shared with her parents. She came from a humble Pentecostal family. The idea of moving to the west coast was kind of scary because she heard of the many people who left and never came home. She also heard of those who left and when they returned, they were different in a bad way. It was as if they were consumed by the desire to have and be something they were not.
There was no way she would change. She would not allow herself to be bullied or influenced by stuff that was wrong or immoral. When Cat was in college, guys always tried to get with her because of her body. They only cared about big breast, thick thighs, big natural round bottom, long real dark brown hair, toasted caramel brown skin, and a smile that would warm anyone’s heart. She never thought about her looks. Her parents raised her to be humble and to remember that she was no better than anyone else. Cat kept those thoughts and teachings close to her heart as she drove.
“No matter what happens, I will not change,” Cat said out loud.
Four days later, Cat pulled into her friend Samantha Granger’s drive. Walking up to the door, she could not believe she finally made it. The trip was the longest most exhausting road trip she had ever taken. She was so glad to finally reach the place she would be staying for a little while. When she knocked on the door, it opened quicker than she imagined.
“Cat, OMG! I can’t believe you’re finally here.” Samantha grabbed her and gave her the biggest hug. They walked into the house and went into the living room to talk about the trip and catch up.
“Sam, I am so glad to finally make it. I didn’t think I would ever make it here. Man, I didn’t realize how far it would be to drive here.” Cat groaned.
“I told you to fly. I could’ve bought you a ticket. You would’ve made it here in a few hours. That hard head is going to get you in trouble one day.” Sam laughed.
“Well, I can say I did enjoy some amazing scenery. The mountains between Arizona and California are to die for. I never imagined it would be so beautiful. I saw snowcapped mountains. It was so different from Hope.” Cat relieved the parts of the trip she really enjoyed.
“I know exactly what you’re talking about. My ex and I drove out to Flagstaff to take some scenic pictures. He paints landscapes. Are you hungry?” She quickly changed the subject.
“Honestly, I’m starving. When I reached Barstow, I should’ve stopped but I was so close. I just decided to continue on because I was totally done with this trip.” Cat laughed.
The ladies went into the kitchen to find something to eat. As usual, Samantha’s fridge was empty. She picked up the phone and ordered Chinese food. After about twenty minutes, the food was delivered. They sat together while enjoying the best conversation and food. The day went by so fast, Cat didn’t even realize when it got dark outside. Samantha told her about a party she was going to later that night. She told Cat she had to come to her first West Coast party. At first, she refused to go. After a lot of pleading, her friend convinced her to go.
The house they pulled in front of shocked Cat into silence. This was Beverly Hills. It was more lavish than she could ever imagine. They took a luxury Uber vehicle to the party. Even though Samantha told her it was a dressy casual event for clients of the doctor’s office for which she worked, Cat was hardly able to regain her composure. The knowledge that they were in Beverly Hills was blowing her mind.
Security allowed them to enter after Samantha presented her invitation. The people she saw coming and going were beyond beautiful. They were stunning. If this was a casual party, Cat would hate to go to a high-class party. She wasn’t sure she would feel comfortable attending something like that.
Samantha led her over to a gentleman standing by a beautiful white baby grand piano. Cat was entranced by the way he looked. It was as if she was staring at a supermodel. His dark brown hair was tossed back as if he had just run his hands through it. A well-trimmed beard and mustache made him look very distinguished. With a body like his, she was sure he had no problem hooking up with whomever he wanted. The piercing sky blue eyes reached into her soul. She felt her breath catch in her chest as he stared right at her. He was so sexy, Cat had a feeling he couldn’t possibly be straight. It was her luck that when she met a really mind-boggling man, he was looking for the same thing she was looking for. A really sexy guy. For some reason, she could not stifle a small giggle as she thought about discussing men with this beautiful guy. She just shut it out of her mind. To each his own. There was no sense in judging anyone’s preference.
“Sam, who is that? He is staring right at us.” She questioned her friend.
“That’s my boss. His name is Ari Gold.” Samantha responded to her question.