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.”
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.
“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.
“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…….
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.
“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.
Brayden was a 29 year old, single man, with his own contracting business. He had been through his share of good and bad relationships with women. So as of now, he was on a break from committed relationships. His business was doing swell. He had just renovated the entire JKF Manner now the apartment complex was called, The Pines. He was making money and loving every bit of it. The only thing that was missing was a wife and child to come home to.
The year Brayden graduated from EC Prepatory High School, he had his plan already laid out. However, as he learned, some things don’t go according as planned. He had the greatest girlfriend in the world. She was smart, cute, popular and thick in all the right places. Every teenage boy wanted her for himself but she was on lock. If Brayden told her not to wear certain clothes, she wouldn’t. If he told her she couldn’t hang around certain people, she wouldn’t. He loved her beyond death and the feelings were mutual. But she was getting tired of being treated like his property. She loved him and wanted him to understand that although they were a couple it didn’t mean they couldn’t still be teenagers and party with their peers.
Shanel was only 15 when she began dating Brayden, besides going to school everyday, he was her only other priority. She didn’t have a close relationship with her parents and her siblings were in foster care. So when she found love in the form of a male companion, she cherished every bit of it. All she ever wanted to do was to make him happy! She wanted to be his wife, and the mother of his children so if that meant, following his commandments then that’s what she would have to do. Over the years, rumors had spread about this young couple, ranging from her being pregnant which could never be possible because they were still virgins, to him cheating on her during winter break with one of the “bops” at school.
She never believed anything she heard because she loved him and knew in her heart that they were just lies. But for him on the other hand, whenever he heard a rumor involving his beloved angel, he would flip out on her. He would drill her over and over again asking the same question over and over again just in a different context. Trying to catch her in a lie each time she answered his question with certainty, because in her eyes she knew she was innocent. They would go through their ups and downs like any other teenage couple however; they managed to keep it together.
“Hello, what are you doing? I’m over by the Jkf Manner and I want to see you.” Shanel spoke through the phone with such manners that sometimes Brayden could do nothing but smile even if he were upset with her.
“I’m at my uncle house in Narf (North Richmond) and I won’t be over that way until later. Why are you over there? Who are you with?” Brayden began to drill Shanel once again. Within five minutes of being on the phone, he had forgotten that she was trying to see him and his mind was racing 100mph, thinking the worst.
She held the phone in disbelief while he asked her a ton of questions. Including but not limited to, what she was wearing? How long had she been out? Why hadn’t she called and let him know she was leaving? And a host of other questions, Shanel was used to this but it was beginning to get old. The 21 question game was wearing her out. He didn’t trust her, he was always insecure. It was like a double standard, he could go and do as he pleased but she couldn’t do anything without reporting to the Warden! That’s what she referred to him as at times. Occasionally she felt like a prisoner trapped with no where to go!
Brayden would always make Shanel look like the bad person but in reality it was him always over reacting. They had just graduated high school and he was beginning to prepare himself for his departure off to college while she stayed home and went to The University of CCC. They were still virgins and Shanel wanted to keep it that way until they were married, she just hoped that Brayden could go through with the plan. She knew that this was a big request but if he loved her the way he said he did, he would be able to wait.
“Mom, I can’t believe Bri is going to kindergarten next month. It seems like she was born yesterday.” Mariah said to her mom, as she silently reflected on the past five years of her life. She had graduated from high school, went to a California State University San Francisco and graduated with a degree in communications. As well as overcoming the everyday struggles of being a young, college student and single mother. Her next goal was to become the head news broadcaster for KTVU channel two news. She knew it would not be easy but it was worth a try, after all, she got the degree simply to get this position.
Once G-Boy got news of her being pregnant, he wanted nothing to do with her. He suggested an abortion and when he realized that she was keeping the unborn child, he disappeared out of her life.
Occasionally when Mariah would take Bria to Hilltop Mall, she would see G-Boy and he would look at little Bria and keep walking as if he did not know she was his daughter. He would have in tow, his entourage, most of them sharing clothes, rocking, US Polo Assn.to be exact. They thought that they were rocking the best but in reality Polo by Ralph Lauren was the best they never had! Mariah, wanted to file for child support but G-Boy did not have a legal job, so that was out of the question. She was always amazed at how he was always shopping but never had money for his daughter. Mariah was determined to make sure her child went without anything! In her eyes it wasn’t an option, it was a requirement!
G-Boy’s mother was so sweet at times but you had to watch what you said around Ms. Rhonda. She would tell you everything was going to be okay and then tell all of his girls what the conversation was about. For her to be 41 years old, she surely didn’t act like it. She would fight the young girls around the hood and wouldn’t have any shame in her game. She was fucking her son’s friends and secretly trying to get pregnant.
Rhonda would constantly say, “You young bitches aint got shit on me, I been in this game for years. You could never do it like me!” And walk off with her dry quick weave and stank walk. Rhonda had been living under Public Housing Authority in the green apartment complex off of Barrett since she had gotten pregnant with G- Boy and had no plans to leave any time soon. As long as she kept receiving her In Home Care checks through her aunt, life was good. Sadly, her aunt would go without food and fresh clothes for days because her niece only cared about the money. In reality Rhonda was committing fraud and didn’t care who knew.
Over the past year Mariah had met this guy Brian. He seemed like a good guy. He constantly showered Bri with gifts galore. There were two sides to Brian unfortunately, Mariah only knew of one. If you were to ask someone on the streets about Brian Henderson, they would say something like “aw, be cool of him, he be with the shit!” Meaning, he was a crook, real shady and a con artist. Before Mariah met Brian, he had served ten years in San Quentin for armed robbery and fraud.
After Brian was released from Quentin, he declared that he would never turn back to a life of crime and drugs. He desired to find himself a wholesome woman and figure out a way to make a lot of money, the legal way. He was tired of having to watch his back in the streets of Richmond. And he knew that if he had to go back to the “street life”, that eventually he’d be another jail birds “bitch.” And that was something he couldn’t deal with again. He’d rather die than go back to jail. All the nights of smothering his face in the pillow to prevent from screaming and the dozens of jars of Vaseline, were in his past now.
As Brian became accustomed to life out of prison again, he was really trying to change his life. He joined St. James Baptist church, the biggest church in South Richmond. He participated in jail visits to encourage inmates that one day they too would be able to walk the streets freely again. However they must keep faith in God and never stray from His promise. Things were really looking up for him. He had a smart, gorgeous, feisty at times woman to come home to with a wonderful step daughter.
Brian knew he could never be the type of man whom, stayed home while his woman made the money. So every day, he would get up at 7am and be out the house by 8. If he wasn’t cutting his grandmothers grass then he was repairing something. Well he tried to repair things but he was never a “handy man” so he did his best.
One day Brian was watching a documentary about the hair industry and he felt chill bumps develop instantly across his fuzzy arms. The words, “hair industry is a 9 billion dollar industry” kept replaying in his head. He saw how much these women were paying for Indian Human Hair and it reminded him of his days in the drug game. For the past couple of weeks, Brian had been real distant from Mariah, always on the computer and never paying attention to how his woman was changing.
“Babe, why haven’t you cooked yet? You’ve been here for about an hour!!” Brian yelled to Mariah as he took his shoes off at the door. The number one rule in Mariah’s house! Brian was weeks away from his first big investment into the hair industry. Before prison, Brian stashed away about $15,000 in an old aluminum lunch box at his grandmother house. He knew that if he did his math right, within the next year he would have at minimum $100,000 in the bank. And all of it would be legal money! It was like music to his ears.
“I’m tired, I’m trying to prepare for this interview tomorrow at the school and Bri has a bunch of homework to finish. Maybe if you could have come home a little earlier instead of doing who knows what, dinner could have been done!” Mariah replied with an attitude, tired of paying all the bills and taking care of a grown ass man.
Recently Mariah had been getting a lot of attention from successful men who admired all of her achievements and of course her beauty. She had cut her hair into a short, Kandi inspired style with deep red highlights. She had been working on her physique, since the birth of Bria, she always had a nice shape but she wanted to upgrade without any surgery. Every night before bed, she did her routine, 100 crunches, 50 leg lifts, 30 minutes of walking up and down the stairs and of course her butt workouts. And for the first time she was able to see all of the results. Staring at the reflection in the mirror caused her to lust for herself. Yes, she was that gorgeous!
Tuesday, April 2, she drilled this date into her head. It was the first day that she allowed herself to be in the company of another man, other than her on own. He was tall, thick and caramel, Juicy was her name for him. The first encounter she had with Juicy was a rainy day in February. She was leaving Walmart in Hilltop after purchasing valentine day cards for Bri’s party at school. She was trying to pull her keys out and carry the bags when she bumped into this solid specimen of a man! She looked up in embarrassment and apologized. Before she knew it, he was accompanying her to her car with her bags in tow. She was reluctant to give her name, but how could she be so rude? After all, he did just help her to her car.
“Hello, pleased to meet you, my name is Mariah and you are?” Extending her hand, she made sure she didn’t break their eye contact.
His name was Brayden and that’s all she heard because she was so mesmerized by what she saw.
TUNE IN TUESDAY & Thursday 8pm Pacific time for the next chapter
From the minute Bria was conceived, her mother, Mariah knew life would never be the same. Although she knew this, she still seemed to go club hopping, bottle popping and flossing constantly, with her fake I.D. of course. If there was a bum asking for change, she would jump in his face and say “We swagged the fuck out, get on our level!” as if she was not 4 months pregnant with her first child.
Mariah was the type of female who loved all eyes on her, and she knew that any man she wanted, she could get. Her childhood was fair, she went from being considered “low income” to middle class but once she hit senior year of high school, she was determined to be better than her mother. She imagined that soon she would become a very successful, sexy, strong African American woman. However, that dream seemed to have been cut short once she woke up at 3am vomiting for eternity, well at least that’s how she felt.
Her mom was at work during the night and she never knew who her dad was. So when she suddenly realized that her vomiting, fatigue and moodiness were all signs of pregnancy, the first thing she did was call her so called “sis” Zyesha, who was nothing but a “hater” on the under.
“Zy, Zy, girl wake up!!” Mariah yelled into the phone.
“Girl, what?” Zyesha replied irritated because she had been woken up out of her dream, which was leading up to her about to “get it in” with G-Boy.
“I think I’m prego girl. Wtf am I going to do? I can’t have any kids right now and G-Boy is not “father” material at all!!! I mean I love him and all but I was not planning on him being the father of my child.” Mariah began to weep, because in her eyes, she was never going to make it out of the hood and become that rich girl that she wanted to be.
“Girl, have you taken a test, did you miss your dot?” Zyesha asked, wishing that what she was hearing was all a dream. Zyesha wanted to have G-Boys baby, she wanted to be the one riding in his purple Lexus coupe on 22’ rims with the Lambo doors. If Mariah was pregnant by him, all of Zyesha’s plans would be ruined!!
“No, but I can just feel it! I know I am. Man I wish the Dollar Tree was open, I would go buy a test right now.” Mariah replied, with anxiety in her voice.
“Well if you are pregnant, will you keep it? I think you should get an abortion, because he aint ready for no kids!!” Zyesha was trying to convince her “sis” to abort her baby.
“Damn sis, you sound like you more on his side than mines!! If this was you in this situation, I would be worried about what was best for you, not the daddy.” Mariah was a little annoyed so she ended the conversation.
Planned Parenthood in Hilltop opened at 8 am but if you wanted to be seen before 12pm, you had to get there at 7 am and hope that there was not more than two people ahead of you. The test came back positive. She cried and cried but she knew she had to be a big girl and show her mother that she could handle any obstacle thrown her way.
As her belly grew she realized that her so called “sis” Zy, was beginning to act funny with each passing day. So she decided to call and talk to her because Mariah was never the type of girl to kiss anyone’s ass.
“Hey sis, what’s good? I’ve noticed you been kind of distant from me ever since I found out I was prego and I just want to know wasup? You know I aint never been a girl for drama so we need to clear the air now.” Mariah said while Zyesha listened quietly and brainstormed what her reply would be.
“Girl I just think you should have gotten the abortion, I mean, you aint ready for no kids and I know you wanted to go off to college so why put your dream on hold for someone else? I just don’t understand and yo baby daddy aint nothing but a dog! Only thing he worried about is being the next Lil Wayne, and we all know G-Boy can’t rap!” Zyesha replied hoping that this time, she sounded as if she really cared about Mariah.
“First of all, you know I hate the whole [Baby mama/ Baby daddy] thing. He is my child’s father and I am his child’s mother! “Mariah replied with an attitude. “I feel like you have an alternate motive as to why you don’t want me to have this baby. But whatever girl, whenever you ready to start acting like a “friend” again, hit me, other than that, deuces!” Click, she hung up and thought to herself, if Zy can’t be supportive of me, then fuck her, ole’ nasty hoe!
On a cold and rainy Christmas morning, Bria was born, 8 lbs, 21in. And for the first time Mariah knew what unconditional love felt like. She was not worried about G-Boy being in Bria’s life. If it were up to her, she would be mommy and daddy. After Mariah & Zyesha had that conversation, they never talked again. On occasion, they would run into each other at the random Shmop’s. But never did either of the ladies try to fix the problem.
Shmop; A local, party hosted at a secret location. Usually too keep the “hood niggas” from shooting it up. Most of the time there is a ratio of 10 females to every 1 man….
Thank you for taking the time out to read the first of many chapters to come…Please tune in next Tuesday and Thursday@ 8pm for the next chapter..Also tell your friends, share this link and whatever else to notify others about this great fictional story on the way….. Thanx!
Growing up in any inner city seems to always have it’s challenges. When Mariah moved from Las Vegas at the tender age of 4, she knew that life as she knew it was about to change. Struggling with family issues and the day to day drama with girls whom she thought were her friends was beginning to get old. Now that Mariah is a teen mom, she isn’t prepared for the baby daddy drama that is headed her way. At 17, can she overcome the many obstacles that are about to be thrown at her? Or will she fall victim to the Real Richmond “swagged out” street life?
This is the story of a young, ambitious, Vegas made & Richmond, Ca raised girl who thinks she knows it all and can prove everyone wrong. Each Tuesday, I will upload a new chapter for all of you to read. In the meantime, spread the word and be here every Tuesday or Thursday, 8pm sharp!