Seven years earlier...
I quickly take up my books and dash out the class as the bell rings for lunch, hoping I could get away without being seen. Alonzo is supposed to pick me up for our daily lunch date and I didn’t want to be late again. As usual.
“Hey Kalani,” I turn around to the sound of my name and internally roll my eyes when I saw who it was. Should have fucking known. “What do you want?”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Should I call you fatty Lani instead?” Latoya laughed at her lame joke and her lapdog, Trisha, laughed along with her. I closed my eyes in resignation, “I’m not in the mood for this today, Latoya.” She flips her curly hair over her shoulder and gives me a devilish grin.
Latoya Baymont was a the most sought after girl in our school and my number one tormenter. She had unblemished, light skin that made her look like she was glowing and bright brown eyes with long, curly hair. She was pretty and she knew it, but sometimes looks wasn’t everything. Latoya’s attitude could make anyone wish she had the face to match it.
Trisha Stevens on the other hand, was freelance. She was everybody’s lapdog and bitch.
“Well, I’m in the mood for some fatty fun today,” she pushes me back against the lockers and I look around to see that we were gaining a crowd as usual. I closed my eyes to block out the tears. This has been my life for the past three years. The same old taunts, teases and harassments weren’t anything new to me.
I wasn’t so much of a fat girl, at least I didn’t think I was. I had little stomach rolls and thick thighs, but that was something I got from my mother. I’ve seen bigger girls than me go about their day without a care in the world, so why can’t I be like them? Why do I let them get to me?
We were all friends at one point, but the minute Georgia made an appearance, things just weren’t the same for me anymore. My so called friends turned their backs on me and some of them were even my daily trouble makers now. I laughed sometimes when I thought how ironic shit can be.
“Just leave me alone.” I felt it before I saw it. My hand slowly raised to my left cheek where she had slapped me. I didn’t wipe the tears as they roll down my cheeks. Why bother? It was a common occurrence. I cried more than I ever had in this whole school than I ever did in my life.
“I hate your fat ass so much, it hurts to look at you. I don’t even know how Gia stands you.” Just then, my eyes lock with Georgia’s, and she rolls her eyes at me. “Come on, Latoya, I’m hungry. Leave the bitch for another day.” Latoya scoffs but agrees with Georgia, “Fine. I don’t want to loose my appetite anyway.”
She walks away with Trisha in toe, and the crowd dissperse. No one ever said or did anything to help. No one.
I quickly wipe my tears and rush out the door before someone else decides to mess with me. Not that it mattered when it was the same old thing being the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.
I stand out side Mama Loui’s, a nice, comfortable, Italian restaurant I didn’t know existed until Alonzo brought me here. He said it was his favorite restaurant, and it easily became my favorite too once I tasted their food. I was honestly surprised I didn’t know about the place because it was right around the corner form my school.
We come here everyday on my lunch time just to spend time together and I look forward to it everyday. This was the best part of my day and I couldn’t ask for more.
I met Alonzo at a house party some college dude I didn’t know, was hosting a year ago. I was sixteen at the time and he was eighteen. I knew about the party because I over heard Georgia talking to someone about it over the phone, so I snuck out to the party when she left.
I knew other kids from different schools would be there, which I was right about, and I went hoping to make new friends, but no one seemed interested in doing that.
I gave up after two hours of trying to talk to people when all they obviously wanted was to drink, get high and have sex. So, I stayed in the kitchen by myself watching everybody else have fun, while I stayed put with a bottle water as a companion. I smile remembering how he laughed at me when he came over to shoot his shot and saw I was drinking water.
At first I was cautious, I mean, how can this gorgeous, six feet three guy be talking to me? But then his laugh was so contagious that I ended up laughing along with him. He flirted at first of coarse, and when he saw how much of an awkward fool I was, we just started talking about our selves, getting to know each other.
He went to Richwood High, one of the many neighboring school to ours and I quickly found out that he was the quarterback for their football team. He was pretty proud about it, but it wasn’t in the conceited way at all, and I instantly found that admirable about him.
He led me outside so we could talk more clearly and I was nervous as hell, but he took baby steps with me, and for the first time, I felt like someone saw me, Kalani Monroe and not the fatty Lani. I wasn’t so easily open with people, but that night I just felt like I could talk about anything with him and that was crazy because we were strangers.
We exchanged numbers and texted each other everyday, and even though his school was a bit far out, he still made the effort to see me. I was falling fast and hard for him, and I didn’t want to because a girl wasn’t suppose to let him hit without commitment, right?
My past relationships left scars that Georgia created and I didn’t want it preventing me from having something beautiful, so I gave him a chance, and here we are today.
I feel warm hands wrap around my waist and a smile instantly lights up my face already knowing who it was. I turn around to be met by beautiful, blue eyes I seem to fall in love with more each day. “Hey,” he said with a smile.
His dark hair looked a shade lighter in the sunlight and a bit ruffled, but damn it made him look like he was ready for the runway. He wore those blue jeans that hang off his hip in that sexy way that I like, a black T-shirt and white Air Force’s.
He looked good.
“Hey,” I grinned when I see him leaning down for a kiss and I gladly met him half way. The minute his lips touched mine, I sighed into the kiss and he chuckled pulling away, “Miss me that much?” I forced what I hope was a convincing laugh past my lips, “You have no idea.”
He bites his lips, slowly raking his eyes down my body and I self consciously wrap my arms around myself. I wore a big T-shirt with loose, blue jeans that made me feel comfortable in my skin. I hated that he found my body attractive when it was anything but.
His eyes meet mine and I see his dark brows furrow, “You’ve been crying?” My eyes widen and I internally curse him for being so observant. “No,” I answered a little too quickly and he glares at me.
“What happened to you, love?” He holds my cheeks gently in his hands and I close my eyes at the warmth that fills my cheeks. “Who hit you?” He growled the words out and my eyes instantly snap back open. Fuck. I should have known Latoya’s slap would leave a print for him to see. Especially when we were in the sunlight.
His eyes were dark, like they usually were when he was angry and I mentally prepare myself for the onslaught to come. “No one. Can we go eat now? I’m hungry.” I tug at his hands in the direction of the restaurant, but he wasn’t budging.
“I’ll ask again, who did this to you, Kalani?” Whenever he called me Kalani instead of love, he meant business.
I sighed looking down at my shoes, “Its not a big deal, just some girl stuff.” Alonzo didn’t know much about my life at school and neither did anyone know about him either. I didn’t want my two worlds colliding, and I honestly wanted to keep it that way.
“You want me to let this go? Someone putting their hands on you?” I could tell that he was getting angrier and I tried calming him down by rubbing my hands down his chest. “Lonzo, I’m fine. It was just a little girl’s spat, nothing for you to get all alpha male about.”
He says nothing and pulls my face closer to his, examining the hand print. People were starting to look at us funny and I tried to pull away, “Keep still.”
“Lonzooo,” I whined like a child, “Come on, I’m hungry. Just let it go.”
He sighs and kisses my forehead, “Are you sure your okay, love?”
“Yes, I’m sure,” I grin for added affect, which, he wasn’t buying, but he chooses to let it go. “Okay, let’s go.”
As soon as we entered Mama Loui’s, the bell above the door dings and we’re greeted by the ever smiling waitress, Ruby. “My favourite Texas couple.” We grinned and gave her a hug. Mama Loui’s was the type of restaurant to always welcome you like you were family and that was something I easily picked up on and loved.
Ruby led us to our favourite spot, which, was the little cute corner with beautiful flowers that had a window seat. “The usual for you guys?” We nodded and she gives us her famous beaming smile and wondered off to get our orders.
“Kalani, there’s something I want to ask you.” My mind immediately thought the worse, but I drew my insecurities back in. This was not the time to think the worse. “Okay.”
“You know that I’m graduating soon, and my buddy is having a graduation party and I want you to come.”
I know that Alonzo and I had talked about the possibility of us still being together after he leaves and how we were going to work things out with him going off to college and I staying here to finish off High school, but it still bothered me.
I’ve never felt insecure about our relationship until now because he has never gave me a reason to be, not that he is now, but the very thought of the more mature girls he could meet would be appealing to him, scared the shit out of me. What if the long distance didn’t work? What if he ended up not loving me anymore? What if, what if, what if...
It was all ringing in my head and I didn’t like it.
“I don’t know...”
“Come on, love, it’ll be fine, I’ll be right there with you. Besides, I want my friends to see the girl they’ve been hearing I’m so crazy about.”
Blush on cue. I did want to meet his friends before he leaves for college...“Fine,” I said with a playful eye roll. He hits me with the killer smile and I swoon a little. He notices, and sends me a smirk. The devil knew what he was doing and I couldn’t help the laugh that left my lips.
It wasn’t like Alonzo didn’t want me to meet his friends until now, I just didn’t want to. I was scared to death that someone would recognize me and tell Alonzo what a loser I really am. I don’t think I could take having him being absolutely disgusted with me like how everyone else seems to be. Meeting his friends is a big part of his life just like meeting his family was, and they are just wonderful. I hope his friends are the same.
Ruby comes back with our food, and we both say thank you. She smiles and moves to a next table to assist other customers. The little bell above the door jingles and out of curiosity I look up and immediately spot Georgia, Latoya, Trisha and Georgia’s friend, Sophia.
“Fuck.” The curse came out before I could stop it, and Alonzo immediately picks up on it. “What’s wrong?” My eyes couldn’t seem to leave the four people who has tried everything in their power to make my life a mess.
Alonzo follows my eyes to see who they were trained on and he turns back around with this cute, confused look on his face, “Who are they?” I was in shock. I’ve known about this place since Alonzo and I started dating a year ago, and I’ve never seen Georgia or anyone of them here. Ever.
Warm hands finds my cheeks and I snap back out of it, “You okay, love?” I nod, looking down on my food, no longer feeling like eating. Alonzo looks unconvinced and I give his hands a reassuring squeeze. I didn’t need him worrying about my problems. They’re probably just here to buy something and leave. Yeah, that why they’re here.
Nothing seems to go my way, at any given time and before I know it, the annoying voice of Latoya reaches my ears. “Kalani!”
I look up to see all four devils looking at me, “Jesus,” I hurriedly look down and wish the floor would swallow me right this moment. I see them making their way over to me in my peripheral vision and I blanch.
“Well, would you look at that. Hate the fat free canteen food, fatty?” They all laugh at Latoya’s lame joke as usual and I mentally scold myself for not clapping back at the bitch.
“Who are you?” The moment Alonzo opens his mouth, all eyes snap to him and their demeanour immediately changes. The twirling of hair, the batting eyelashes and the flirty smiles comes out in numbers the moment the letches sees him.
Georgia was the first to step forward, “Whose this Kalani?” Alonzo looks confusedly between all of us and when I don’t seem to be contributing any response he speaks up, and I wished at that moment that he didn’t. “I’m her boyfriend.”
They all look at each other in shock then they all start laughing hysterically. “Oh, my, god!” Trisha tries to control her breathing but she just ended up snorting in the process.
“I’m Georgia, Kalani’s sister,” She gives him that beautiful smile that always seem to work on all the guys and I get up from the table in a hurry. I rush out the door with tears blinding my vision. I can’t sit there and watch her take away another boyfriend again. I just can’t.
Before I could get very far though, I’m being grabbed and slammed against the brick wall of the restaurant. The pain didn’t seem to register when I look up into the stormy eyes of my boyfriend and wonder why the hell is he here with me when he should be inside with my snake of a ‘sister’.
“Where are you going?”
I dropped my head on his chest and sobbed like the baby I was, “I-I don’t want to lose you, Lonzo.” I sniffled and leaned up to stare into his eyes, “If you wanna leave me then its fine and I totally g---”
“The fuck you talking about, Kalani.” he looked and sounded angry and I realized that I made a huge mistake. He holds my face in his warm hands and before I could react, his lips were on mine. He kissed me with such an intensity, that it took my breath away.
“I want you, Lani. Only you.”