“How is everything?” my mom asks.
“Everything is perfect, Lorelei got to go back to school on Monday, the album is being cut together,” I say.
“Well that’s fantastic,” my mom says. “And I know you didn’t ask, but Braum managed to get back into school, they talked to the Dean, he just has to do a lot of work study,”
“That’s good! Has anybody heard from Bo or Demetra?” I ask.
“Bo handed over the bar to his younger sister and his mom, and neither have been seen in town since what happened,” she explains.
“Well that’s karma for you,” my mom shrugs, and I snort.
“Ma,” I say, she doesn’t say anything else. “I have to start getting ready, if I haven’t at least started my hair by the time Zahara gets here, she’ll have my head,”
“I’ll talk to you later then, tell me how the party goes,” she says, waving before turning off her camera. I move from my desk, over to my armoire to start my hair.
“We’re back,” May announces, down the hallway.
“Can you please get her ready? Zahara and Alec are going to be here in 25 minutes,” I shout.
“Alright!” May says, I hear the room door close and I return to doing my hair. Zahara and Alec burst into my room with my dressed wrapped in plastic, Zahara’s hair is pulled into a pretty updo, and she hasn’t started her makeup. Alec is already in his suit, and it looked like he got a haircut.
“Don’t you look fabulous,” I say turning in my seat.
“Thanks love,” Zahara spins around before hooking my dress on my closet door. “Almost finished? We’ve got to leave by 8, or we’ll be late, it’s in West Hollywood,”
“I’m almost finished, just go check on Lorelei,” I say, she nods leaving the room and I push out of my seat walking over to the dress.
“Are you ready?” Alec asks.
“For the performance? I’m always ready,” I say, and he snorts sitting down on my bed.
“No, For Raphael to meet Lorelei,” he says. “You’ve been holding it off for some time now,” he says.
“It’s been like two weeks,” I unzip the dress from the sleeve pulling it out. It was a tight white dress with lace arms, and frilly lace at the bottom. “I want to make sure that-”
“You were actually going to continue dating him?” Alec finishes and I nod, slipping into my dress. Alec stands to zip me buckling the dress at the top.
“15 minutes until I leave,” Zahara shouts.
“Someone is a little impatient,” I mutter. Slipping on my heels and grabbing my purse and phone. “Let’s get a move on,” Lorelei and Zahara are waiting downstairs, Lorelei in a pretty white dress that drops below her knees. “Don’t you look pretty,” I say, pinching her cheeks. I lift her into my arms, and we leave out to Zahara’s car.
When we arrive at the community center, it’s already flashing lights. Zahara pulls to the side of the building, forcing us to take the back entrance. Inside its loud music, and already drunk and loud adults, talking about nothing.
“My favorite girls!” Jacob shouts, walking over to us pulling Zahara in a hug. “Congratulations my little angel, how many years?”
“6,” Zahara says, pulling away.
“And my little Lorelei and her super star mommy!” Jacob says, pulling us into a hug. “I was wondering when you guys would show up,” he says pulling away.
“Are you bored Jacob?” I ask, and he laughs.
“To Death!” he says, before hooking arms with Alec. “I know you can drink,” he says, pulling him towards the bar. I set Lorelei on the ground.
“Stay close honey,” I say, as we begin making our way through the crowd.
“There she is, the women of the hour,” Calum says, when we make our way over to him. He pulls Zahara into a kiss, before pulling me into a hug. “Fashionably late as always,”
“And we look fabulous,” I say, he scoops Lorelei in his arms peppering her with kisses.
“And don’t you look just like an angel, I have a present for the both of you,” he says, looking up at me.
“For me?” I ask, and he nods, before pointing across the room. I turn around and immediately spot Geo and Laila at the bar with Alec. I rush over crashing into Laila. “Your assholes you didn’t tell me,” I shout, punching Geo in the arm.
“There you are,” Laila says, hugging me. “I was wondering when you were going to show up,”
“There was a lot of traffic, no surprise there,” I roll my eyes, pulling Geo into a hug. “How long have you been here?”
“We just got here this morning, calm down,” Laila nudges me.
“How long are you staying?”
“Just the weekend unfortunately,” Laila says, before grabbing her drink off the bar. “So let’s have fun,”
“Speaking of fun, where’s lover boy?” Geo asks, looking around the room. Before I can answer, Lorelei comes speeding at us.
“GG!” she shouts, Geo scoops her in his arms.
“Hi, my love, how are you princess?” he asks.
“Good!” she says, squeezing him.
“I missed my favorite girl,” he says, bouncing her in his arms.
“That says a lot about me,” Laila mutters, I lean against the bar waving over the bartender. “So, how are you?” she nudges me.
“Good, we’re finally going to release something about Lorelei tomorrow, the marketing team pulled some things together, you remember when Kylie told the world about Stormie?” I say, and she nods. “It’s going to better than that,” I say, and she snorts. “I start tour in March, officially,”
“Just in time for early graduation?” she smiles.
“Looks like!” I say, the bartended hands me a drink that I didn’t really remember ordering. “Excuse me, what is this?” I say.
“Vodka sour, with a spike of lemon lime,” he says, before pointing to the end of the bar where Raphael stands. He waves at me, with a wide grin.
“Is that Mr. Boyfriend?” Laila whispers, and I just nod. I grab my drink walking to the end of the bed, pulling him into a hug.
“You know you could have walked over, they don’t bite,” I say, when I pull away.
“Will you laugh if I say I’m nervous?” he says, I try not to laugh pulling him in.
“You have nothing to be nervous about,” I say, pulling away and hooking his arm. When I walk back across the bar, Calum and Zahara are waiting with Geo, Laila, and Lorelei. “Everyone, this is Raphael,”
“Hello everyone,” Raphael says.
“Raphael, this is my best friend Laila, and her boyfriend Geo,” I say, Geo scoffs and I continue. “You’ve of course met Zahara, and this is her boyfriend Calum,” I say.
“Congratulations, 6 years is a long time together,” Raphael says.
“Why thank you, longest 6 years of my life,” Zahara jokes, I take Lorelei from Geo, turning towards Raphael.
“And last but not least, this is Lorelei,” I say.
“Well hello Lorelei,” Raphael says, she immediately hides her face into my shoulder. “You look beautiful, you all do,” Raphael says.
“Already off to a good start my man, want a drink?” Geo says, gesturing to the bar and Raphael joins him. I bounce Lorelei in my arms, forcing her to look at me.
“Everything okay bear?” I ask.
“Are you trying to replace Daddy?” she asks, her eyes filled with worry. I squeeze her into my chest.
“Oh honey, your dad is your dad, nothing is going to change that, Raphael isn’t replacing anyone,” I say, I set her on the ground, and she seems to settle down.
“Excuse me, excuse me,” someone taps into a microphone, turning all the attention in the room to the stage. Where Zahara’s Father stands. “I just wanted to share a toast,” he says, holding up the glass everyone joining in. “I will admit that I didn’t think Calum was going to last with my daughter, she is a very tough girl and doesn’t allow a lot of people in, but seeing him with her now, and the wonderous group she is a part of I am happy that they’re still together” he says, holding up the cup. “To Calum and Zahara”
“To Calum and Zahara!” We all shout, before taking a shot. I turn to Calum and he winks, so I move towards the stage, walking up.
“Oh Adeya! It’s lovely to see you” Mr. Clarkson says, handing over to microphone.
“It’s lovely to see you too,” I say, before bringing the microphone close to me. “Good evening anyone, some of you might know me as Adeya, the singer,” I start, the crowd erupting in cheers. “But to Calum and Zahara I’m more than that, they’re more then that they’re some of my best friends, I don’t know where I’d be or who’d I be without them, Zahara helped me when I needed her the most and Calum was the most helpful person I had ever met, those two are the best things to happen to me,” the crowd cheers and I hold up my drink, “And this song is dedicated to Zahara and Calum,” I announce. I start the song, and everyone immediately gets to the floor to start dancing, Raphael even carries Lorelei out on his feet.
And when I finish, Calum is kneeling in front of Zahara on one knee. The room is swept into silence. “Zahara Clarkson, I never met a prettier soul, and I don’t think I can see myself with anyone else, you’re perfect for me, and I love you, will you make the happiest man on earth, and Marry me?” the only thing Zahara can do is nod, Calum scoops him into his arm and the crowd burst into cheers. I step off the stage and Zahara immediately smashes me into a hug.
“Congratulations!” I say.
“Thank you so much,” she says, I pull away.
“That’s nothing, it was all Calum,” I say.
“What you said is perfect too,” she says. “I love you,”
“I love you too,” I say, pulling her into another hug.
“You did amazing, that sounded beautiful,” Raphael scooping me into his arms. “Too bad I didn’t get to dance with you,” he says.
“I’m free now, here’s your chance,” I say, he wraps his arms around me, spinning me around. The next song starts, and Raphael holds me close, drifting me around the room, it felt like my feet weren’t even touching the ground.
“I have a question,” Raphael says. “And you don’t have to answer if you don’t want to,” he starts.
“Is it about Lorelei’s father?” I ask, his face drops. “It’s fine,” I say. “We dated in high school, and when I got pregnant, he broke up with me, not because I was pregnant but because he wanted something new,” I say.
“It’s fine, I’m fine,” I say.
“Are you still in contact with him?” he asks.
“Only for Lorelei, he’s a different person I don’t think I know him anymore,” I say. “But that’s ancient history,”
“I believe you,” he says.
I spend Saturday on the side of the pool with Geo, Laila, Calum, Alec, Mark. Raphael came and even brought Emily to play with Lorelei.
“Sun lotion?” Raphael asks, forcing me to roll over to my stomach. He sits at my side beginning to massage the lotion into my body.
“Mama! Mama! Look at me swim!” I hear Lorelei shout, and I turn seeing Emily help her swim around the pool.
“Food shout be ready in 15 minutes!” Calum shouts from the grill.
“More like 30,” Zahara mutters from her seat, before pushing out of her seat walking over to the grill. I roll over pushing out of my chair.
“Join me for a swim?” I ask looking over to Raphael who nods, I climb into the deep end, wadding out to the center. Raphael follows, wrapping his arms around my waist, kissing the back of my neck.
“I think they’re getting along nicely,” Raphael whispers, I look over at Emily and Lorelei splashing on the shallow end of the pool.
“That’s good,” I say, I was happy Lorelei had friends that weren’t in her twenties. I spin around. “Want to have a sleep over?” I question.
“For the girls, or for us?” he asks, I smile.
“Dinner is ready!” Calum shouts from the grill forcing me to pull away from Raphael. We join everyone else sitting at the table and starting to pile food onto plates. Lorelei sits on my lap and goes on a ramble about the pool and learning how to swim.
“Adeya,” Laila says, pulling me away from the table.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.
“Abraham is here,” she whispers.
“Here? As in California,” I say.
“No here as in at Zahara’s guard gates,” she whispers.
“What? How do you know?” I say.
“He texted me,”
“And you have his number saved why?” I ask.
“For Lorelei’s sake, do you really think I would take time out of my day to talk to Abraham?” she hisses.
“Is everything okay?” Zahara asks from the table, I wave her over pulling her and Laila inside.
“Braum is here,” I say.
“Here as in California?” Zahara asks.
“He’s at your gates!”
“How does he know where I live?” Zahara asks.
“I might have brought up the community, just because you wanted me to live here!” I say, Zahara glares at me before shaking it off.
“What’s the plan?” she asks.
“Well he can’t come here; you guys have to go figure out why he’s here! He can’t meet Raphael,” I say. “I’ll stay here,” I say, before turning and walking back outside joining everyone at the table.
“Is everything alright?” Calum asks.
“Just booking stuff, Laila needed help with some things,” I lie, they seem to believe me and continue with their meal. I couldn’t continue, my stomach twisted and turned, as I waited for Laila and Zahara to come back. My phone buzzes on the table, and I snatch it as if someone else was going for it.
Zahara: come to the garage.
“I’ll be right back,” I say, excusing myself from the table again and rushing inside. I make my way to the garage and Laila and Zahara wait inside with Braum. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m moving to L.A”