My wedding is in April, after that I’ll be back!
In the closet Ch.10
Brian had been so happy with his success that he hadn’t realized Mariah’s suspicious actions lately. She would be sitting at the table, reading a book and suddenly jump up and peek out the window. If her phone rang, she would hesitate to check the caller id and answer. Whenever they were on dates or out on public, she would constantly look behind her back and check her surroundings as if she were looking for someone.
“Brian who is mommy hiding from?” Bria asked one day while they enjoyed lunch at the Elephant Bar in Emeryville.
“I don’t know honey, maybe she see’s someone she knows.” Brian replied trying not to scare Bria or alarm Mariah that he was on to her new weird actions.
Brian had been going to various jewelers looking for the perfect designer to create a gorgeous ring for him but was having no luck. Well it seemed that way until he was leaving 24hr fitness in the mall and noticed the Bay Area’s one and only, E-40 at the jewelry store on the corner across from the Mongolian food place. He made a mental note to come back and visit the next morning.
“It’s going to be a little pricey about $50,000 to create a piece as magnificent as this in such short notice.” Said the jewelry store owner as he sized Brian up to see how much money he could get out of him.
“Okay, I want the ring so whatever you need let me know!” Replied Brian as he wrote a check for the deposit.
Mariah’s mom had no idea that her daughter was hiding this very important secret but she was hiding a secret of her own. She wanted to tell her daughter that Brian had asked for permission to marry her but she knew it would be wrong to spoil the surprise.
Meanwhile Mariah wanted to tell Brian so bad but she was too scared. She didn’t want to lose him. But in order to fix the problem, she had to be honest with her man. Since he had just walked in on her yelling an unfamiliar male name out loud, now was the time. So she though…
Mariah dropped the phone and began to cry uncontrollably as Brian just looked at her while Brayden listened in silence. Mariah was totally oblivious the fact that she hadn’t hung up the phone. She kept her eyes on the floor as she began to put her words together before she spoke.
Brayden was pissed but he thought to himself, “If this dude takes her back, I will leave her alone. However, if he doesn’t then I will continue with my plan.”
Just when I thought…Ch. 9
Brayden had sat in jail for 2 days before seeing a judge. He was charged with trespassing, disturbing the peace and stalking. Mariah had filed for a restraining order against him and he was given three hundred hours of community service.
While in the holding cell, he thought about his last conversation with Mariah and the horrible news she told him. Yet, he didn’t care that she was in a relationship. As long as she remained in his life was all that mattered. Brayden figured he would let things calm down before he contacted Mariah again.
He was contacted to do to help renovate an old grocery store in the Hilltop area. The buyer wanted to turn the old store into a roller skating rink. The plan was to have the rink right across the street from the mall and Planned Parenthood, that way, all of the teens and adults would see it, in hopes of bringing a lot of business.
Brayden was excited he had been preparing for this project for the past two weeks and was ready to “pitch” his idea to the owner. Everything was falling back into place in his life. Yet he was still missing a wife and child to come home to everyday.
The reconstruction of the building had begun and the main focus for the owner was SAFETY! Brayden came up with a plan to install metal detectors directly into the building so that when you enter the facility the alarm goes off and automatically takes a picture of you. The second set of the detectors would be located by the security guards which is right after you pay and before you enter the lobby. To ensure this would work, they devised a plan to try and trick the system but it seemed to be doing it’s job. Whenever a worker would enter the facility with a hammer or even a screw, the detector would go off.
The construction was coming up on its 190 day mark which meant that the rink would be able to open in a few days. Young teens had been applying to work there. While the older folk read the Richmond Post and felt that this would bring more drama to Richmond but only time would tell.
“I am so happy to be able to bring the City of Richmond its very own roller skating rink. Before we open the doors I would like to call up the general contractor for this great project, he has done a great job. Ladies and gentlemen, please give a round of applause for Brayden Johnson.” Chris said, the proud owner of this great establishment, as he looked out into the crowd trying to spot out Brayden. After about one minute of silence, and no appearance by Brayden, they opened the doors and welcomed the guest. Later that night, Chris called Brayden’s cell but there was no answer. It was unlike Brayden to not answer the phone when Chris called, especially with this being such a great night to celebrate.
“What do you want Brayden, how did you get my new number?” Asked Mariah, as she whispered into the phone, fearful that Brian might hear her, she went into the closet and shut the door.
“I just wanted my lady to come celebrate the grand opening of the new skating rink in which I was the general contractor. Why are you avoiding me?” Brayden asked as he paced back and forth inside his house, while keeping an eye on the time.
“You and I are over, there was never anything to begin with. We were friends, what don’t you understand Brayden? Please leave me alone.” Mariah began to yell out of frustration.
“Mariah, I refuse to lose another love in my life. I will not let myself go through this pain again, especially when I have a say so this time! Like it or not, you will be mines!” Spoke Brayden in a deep and threatening tone.
“Babe who is Brayden and why are you in the closet with the door closed?” Asked Brian as he opened the door, he saw Mariah on the floor, looking frightened. He heard her yelling and was coming to check on her until he heard her mention some random dudes name.
Someone please call 911 Ch.8
“Mariah, I want to be with you. You are the perfect woman for me. We can build a wonderful future together.” Said Brayden, as he drove toward Mariah’s house, he had acquired her address from searching her license plate and a bunch of other online resources.
“Brayden, I have something to tell you. Mariah paused before exhaling. “I am in a relationship, he and I were going through a rough patch but now we are working it out and I want to be with him. I apologize for any stress or pain that this may cause you but I am going to have to end this friendship.” Mariah felt so relieved to hear the knock on the door which meant she could end the call by saying she had company.
“Just a minute” Mariah said as she picked up a few pieces of paper off the floor. She peeped through the peephole and almost died. Brayden was standing there with a big smile on his face.
“911, what is your emergency?” The dispatcher asked as Mariah tried to control her nerves as she spoke.
“There is a big, black man outside of my door, I don’t know how he got my address and I am home alone. Please send somebody now!”
“Maam, do you know this man? Is he a friend of the family?” The dispatcher asked as she reported the call.
“Yes, we have been talking for a few months but I just ended this friendship and he suddenly appears at my house.” Mariah, replied as she fell to the closet floor and began to cry.
“Maam calm down, we are going to help you. Now is he still there?” The dispatcher asked as she continued to record the information she was receiving.
“I don’t know. I’m in the closet.” Replied Mariah as she reflected on the stupid decision of befriending a man who she thought was normal. “I hear sirens, I think the police are here.”
Maam, I need you to come out of your closet and go see if he is still there.” The dispatcher instructed as she listened to Mariah’s breathing increase.
“Okay.” Mariah replied as she tip toed toward the living room.
“Freeze, put down the flowers sir, I want your hands in the air.” The officer ordered, as he stood with his gun pointed at this huge black man.
“Officer, I’m not here to cause any problems, I’m just coming to see my girlfriend, you see, I work, own my own business and I pay taxes.” Brayden said as he complied with the officers. He could not believe the cops were here, placing him in handcuffs when all he wanted to do was see Mariah. To make matters worse, she never opened the door.
Mariah couldn’t believe what had just transpired at her home. Thankfully Bri wasn’t there to witness any of this. Mariah knew she would have to move asap. But how could she convince Brian to move without having to tell him about this “friend” she was running from? She was in a sticky situation. If she didn’t make a decision soon, things could possibly get worse.
Over the past weeks, Brian had become so chipper, he seemed to be happy with life. He had made his first investment and sold out of all the hair within three days, it was time for a re-up. The hair business was very lucrative for Brian. He had seen the fruits of his labor and was ready for more. Now that he had received his profit from the hair, he felt it was the time to inform his woman about his job. Brian didn’t like to “count the chickens before they hatched” so he would rather make it happen then share with others his accomplishments, just in case the plan failed.
Mariah was happy that Brian had finally gotten a job because she was at her breaking point. Lately, her thoughts had been consumed with Brayden and all of his “Mr. Right” qualities. She hadn’t informed Brayden that she was “playing house” she felt it would complicate things. Mariah was beginning to pay less attention to Brian and focus on this great man Brayden.
“Hey gorgeous, what are your plans for the weekend?” Brayden asked Mariah while he opened the blinds in his room.
“My daughter has choir rehearsal on Saturday and we have church on Sunday, other than that, nothing. Did you have something in mind?” Mariah asked as she approached the red light by the San Pablo Casino.
“I really wanted to spend some time with you and get to know your daughter, but y’all have church so I guess that’s not going to happen.” Brayden replied, sounding really bitter.
Whenever Mariah spoke of her and Bri attending church, Brayden seemed to always get upset. So she decided to ask about his religion, which for her was the worst question she could have asked him.
Brayden began to explain how he didn’t believe there was a God because of all that he had been through. Losing his dad and then his high school sweetheart, it just seemed that God wouldn’t inflict this much pain on a person. So for Brayden, if there was a God out there, he must be really far away! It was as if Mariah had been hit with a brick, the amount of disappointment she felt was unbelievable.
Brayden not believing in God was a real turn off for Mariah. She was really beginning to like him and would hate to end their friendship because of one issue. As if, her being in a relationship and living in the same house with her man wasn’t a good enough reason.
“Is this for me?” Mariah yelled as she walked into her bedroom. Resting on the bed was a Louis Vuitton bag with a big bow and some other gift bags. As Mariah looked around, Brain was not in the room. She looked through the bags and pulled out a pair of Chanel diamond earrings with the matching necklace. Brian had always showered her with gifts but never expensive name brands like the ones on her bed.
“Omg, I can’t believe this right now! Did he really get me this Alma MM Loui bag?” She started screaming and jumping up and down.
“So I take it you like the bag?” Brian said as he walked in the room with a fresh haircut, some Timberland boots, her favorite and a fitted SF Giants hat tilted to the side. She looked at Brian and for the first time in a long time, she was attracted to him. She jumped up and hugged him tightly as he picked her up.
“There is more, meet me at the 44 Sports Lounge in Hercules at 7pm. Your mom agreed to watch Bria for the night and she is going to take her to rehearsal.” Brian whispered in Mariah’s ear as he kissed her neck.
Brian had been gone for a while and Mariah was home alone with her brain on overload. What should she do about Brayden? Should she keep him as a friend or just cut him loose? After all, he doesn’t even believe in God! Brian believes in God, he has his own lucrative business now and he is sexy as hell! What was I thinking? Mariah questioned herself as she searched for her ringing phone beneath all of the couture garments Brian had given her.
In an instance Ch.6
“One glad morning, when this life is over, I’ll fly away…Oh glory I’ll fly away.” The choir sang as Shanel lay in a white casket with all white on. Her flowers were white, everything was pure and clean just like Shanel. The twins and Shanel were the only fatalities when the train was struck by a big rig while crossing a local intersection. It was as if God took his Angels to Heaven with him and left the un-pure on earth to continue to suffer.
Brayden sat on that front pew with his head down the entire time and reflected on the past years of their relationship. How could he have been so selfish and not listened to her when she had something to say? Why didn’t he return her call after he put his phone on the charger? Why is it that the people whom love him dearly always lose their lives for him? Why? These questions were like burning knives going through his heart, he felt that if he had never begged for a costume, his dad would still be alive and now because of his selfishness the one angel that loved him the most was gone as well!
During Shanel’s service, there was a letter read by her roommate addressed to Brayden. The letter had been retrieved from on top of Shanel’s desk.
“My dearest Brayden, as I sit here and began to think about us, I decided to write out my thoughts so that someday I can share this with you without forgetting something. J Baby, you are my inspiration for each and every day that I live, you are my heart. Without you and God, idk where I would be, each day that I wake up I ask God to bless and protect you before I pray for myself. Someday I plan to bare your children, a little girl we shall name Sahlia and a little boy whom you shall pick the name. I can’t wait to see you this summer; we will spend every day together. We will go to the Berkeley marina like old times and walk across the pier like old times. Remember Indian Rock in Albany? That was our “first date” lol… I was so scared to climb up that huge rock but you encouraged me and assured me that you would never let me fall. There are so many plans I have for us and our future. I can’t wait to be yours for the rest of our lives. My goal in life is to make you happy! I love you and I’m still waiting for you.
PS, I have been accepted into Northridge for this upcoming Fall semester so you won’t have to be alone anymore. Love Nel!!! Xoxo…….
If You Seek, You Might Find Ch.5
This year Valentine’s Day landed on a Saturday. Shanel had just gotten off the phone with Brayden without telling him, she was on her way. Although she was upset and a little skeptical about Brayden’s behavior she decided that she was ready to make love to her man. It had been almost four years and she couldn’t wait any longer, so she thought. Ultimately, this would be the best Valentine’s Day ever. She checked the time and had one hour until departure. Fifteen minutes later, she arrived at the Richmond train station which was also the local Bart station. She found herself a secluded seat on the train and they took off.
It had been about an hour since departure and the train was quiet. Shanel looked at the mother across from her with the twin toddlers. Shanel began to imagine herself as a mother. She had always wanted twins but looking at the young mother struggling to keep the kids under control was somewhat of an eye opener. She was just dozing off, when she was thrown out of her seat by a huge jolt.
Brayden looked down at the Ashley’s head motion, in & out and around in circles and felt himself losing balance. He stumbled back onto the bed and moaned in pleasure. As his roommate Dre secretly watched and began to fantasize. The sound of Brayden moaning reminded Dre of the drunken night he and Brayden were entertained by the idea of a threesome. With this same girl Ashley, but for Brayden and Dre, they seemed to enjoy the sight of each other, not even focusing on Ashley. She was so intoxicated that she never noticed.
Dre and Brayden promised to keep that night to themselves. But for Dre it was hard to forget that wonderful night. For Brayden, it was a mistake and would never happen again. Just as Ashley began to play with his two extra accessories below, Braydens phone rang. It was his mother she was yelling and crying all at once. Brayden, jumped up in panic which caused Ashley to gag and vomit all over Brayden. She couldn’t control it; it was like the Exorcist.
“Mom, calm down, I can’t understand you. What? Shanel what? Ma what the fuck, calm down!” Brayden cursed and instantly asked for forgiveness. He had never cursed at or around his mom but she was pissing him off with all of the yelling. There was so much confusion and commotion going on in the room, Ashley grabbed her things and ran out. Never to be seen again.
“I love you and I never want to hurt you”Ch.4
“Babe, I love you and I will call you when I get settled in my dorm, I promise we will make it!” Brayden looked in Shanel’s brown eyes and saw that his future was with her and prayed to God that he could fight the temptation that was waiting for him. They hugged for what seemed like an eternity and he got in the car and drove off.
Shanel was using all of her might to fight back the tears, she didn’t want to seem weak but as soon as the car turned the corner, she collapsed to the ground and cried her eyes out. Why couldn’t he just stay out here with me? Why did he have to leave me like this? What am I supposed to do without him here with me? Why did he have to attend CSU-Northridge? After all there was a CSU right across the bridge. All of these questions overwhelmed her and all she could do was cry.
Then she heard Mary J. Blige-My Life ‘Life can be only what you make it…Say what’s on your mind and you’ll find in time, that all the negative energy, it will cease, then you’ll be at peace with yourself, you wont really need no one else, except for the man above…” The words were blaring in Shanel’s head as if, Mary was there singing to her personally.
As Brayden hit the highway the only image embedded in his mind was the blank expression on Shanel’s face as he left her standing there alone. Apart of him wanted to turn around but he knew he had to get his education! He prayed long and hard asking God to help them get through this test successfully. When he realized they were one exit away from his home for the next four years, he began to feel nauseas. His hands were sweaty and his vision was a little blurry. His mom noticed the odd look on her sons face and instantly pulled the car over, once they were off the freeway. She wanted to make sure that he was ready to for the challenge that was up ahead.
After all of the unfortunate things that had occurred in their lives, Brayden had never let it show. Not even when his dad was murdered in front of him at the tender age of five. It was the day before Halloween and Brayden and his dad were out costume shopping. When a young, dark, rugged teenager appeared out of the blue and demanded money. When his dad emptied his pockets with no money, the angry teen pulled out his gun and fired 2 shots directly at Brayden but his dad jumped in front of the bullets. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Since then Brayden avoids the Target on Mac Donald.
It had been thirteen years since this tragic day and the killer was still out roaming the streets of Richmond. So for Brayden getting his degree in Criminal Justice would be his first step in getting justice for his dad’s death. He assured his mother that he would be okay, and they proceeded to the college. During the first semester he and Shanel were doing great. Seeing each other on Holidays and communicating on Skype whenever they had the time.
Spring semester was when their fairy tale love began to waiver. Brayden had become consumed with trying to become a member of the “hottest” fraternity on the yard. So, time for Shanel wasn’t a priority anymore. Shanel was on the journey of finding herself. She and a friend were now roommates and living their lives. Occasionally they would attend the UC Berkeley college parties and meet different guys but none compared to Brayden.
“Hello, baby, how are you? We haven’t spoken in so long, I have some exciting news!” Shanel said, while she played with her 18” wavy Indian Remi hair.
“Hey, before you start let me just say that I love you and I never want to hurt you” Brayden replied as he exhaled. Before Shanel could reply, the phone went dead.
“Hello, hello?” Shanel was speechless, she called back but it went straight to voice mail. She looked at her packed suitcase and began to second guess this trip to Northridge. Suddenly a smirk came over her face and she decided she would surprise him and just pop up.