Before I knew it, it was morning. I could smell the aroma of Mama’s traditional Sunday Breakfast. Fried haddock, pancakes, eggs, cheesy grits, and biscuits for Pops. I started to make my way downstairs.
I was greeted by a smiling Mama as Pops stood behind her, holding her waist whispering sweet nothings in her ear.
“Good morning, baby girl,” Mama rushed over breaking Pops embrace.
“Morning,” I smirked.
Pops straighten up his clothes belching out, “Good morning, how you feel?”
“Better than last night, although my head hurts from crying so much.”
“Well that’s good. I’m going downtown to see what’s up. He hasn’t called yet.”
I didn’t even realize that. I missed him indefinitely, but it had never dawned on me that he hadn’t had his phone call. Unless, he called someone else. I immediately shook that thought out my head. He’d definitely call to check on me, he knew better.
“John, its Sunday baby. You may not get anywhere until tomorrow.”
“Oh, trust me baby, I’ll get some sort of answers, today!”
Mama frowned, “Well can you at least eat breakfast with us. Tee hasn’t been over on a Sunday morning in a while,” She cut her eyes at me, as I blushed. Pops looked at me as to ask for permission. I nodded yes.
All three of us sitting at Mama’s dining table, eating off her fine china, reminded me of the good ol’ days, the days when I had no worries in the world and my hardest decision was how I was going to get my hair laid. We took a stroll down memory lane. Mama more than anyone, her memory was so sharp. We joked and laughed until we couldn’t anymore. We ate our feast until our bellies could no longer stretch.
“Okay, ladies. I have to run.” Pops said excusing himself from the table. Mom and I just nodded our heads.
I’m not sure what Pops had up his sleeves, but I’m sure whatever it was, he meant business. I was starting to wonder why Ray hadn’t called. Although it wasn’t 24 hours yet. The thought of Ray in a cold, dark, jail cell sent chills up my spine. I stressed the fact of him being thrown in jail over drugs, but murder? Not in a million years would I think something would go down like that. Ray was too smart. Too smart to act off emotions. Too smart to be messy and to damn smart to get caught. All for me. Unconsciously, I smiled. His voice replayed in my head, telling me it was his “job” to protect me. Did he see Kal as a threat to me? He knew that he couldn’t keep an eye on me 24-7-365. So. he had to have somebody take care of it. That somebody was him.
My parents thought I was thinking too negative, but maybe I’m just thinking logically. Kal wasn’t like himself maybe he pissed someone else off. But, why would they tie it to my baby? My head was beginning to hurt more, trying to sort out this bullshit. I just wanted to get back in bed.
Mama started clearing the table and I began to help. “Its okay baby. I got it, go freshen up.”
I looked down at myself. I was still in my dress from the night before. I put the dishes down and headed upstairs.
While in the bathroom I stood still staring at myself in the mirror. My eyes were puffy, make-up smeared. I stared into my own eyes trying to preserve my youth, finding that little girl who only wanted to love and be loved. What has she gotten herself into? The things we do for love. My body wanted to breakdown, but it couldn’t. I just kept staring until I finally got the courage to shower.
I stepped out of my dress, tied my hair up into a ponytail and got into the shower. The warm water drizzled down my body, easing my tension. I stood there rinsing off my pain, my tears, and my worries. Pops said he would handle it. Ray’s only option ever is to handle it. Whatever ‘it’ was I was letting go off and trusting the guys in my life to do as they say they would.
I released my hair from the messy ponytail giving it a good rinse. I was so wrapped up in the warmth of the shower I didn’t notice someone enter the bathroom. As I climbed out the tub to reach for my towel. My towel met me, forcing me into its hold, orchestrated by my man.
“Rayyyyy,” I screamed. He motioned me to shush as his lips touched mine. We engaged in a long passionate kiss. As if we hadn’t seen each other in days.
“I missed you baby.” He stated in between pecks.
“Oh, I missed you more Daddy.” I moaned to him, wrapping my legs around his torso. Ray held me up as if I was light as a feather. As we continued to kiss Ray gripped my ass making sure he didn’t let me go. As I ran my finger through his dreads.
“My parents,” I managed to say, “they’ll hear us.” Ray continued to palm my ass. Dropping me down on the bathroom sink he proceeded to meet my clit with his tongue. I fought back moans as my respirations increased. I wrapped my legs around his neck motioning him to move in closer. I covered my mouth with my hands, as I tried my best not to make a sound. The faucet was beginning to pierce my back, but I continued to gyrate my hips into his face, drowning him in my juices.
“Oh baby,” I whispered, as my juices began flowing into Ray’s mouth like a well. Ray got up and smiled, kissing me so I could taste my sweetness from his lips.
I realized the shower was still running and Ray hopped in. I followed behind him to freshen up real quick and went back into my old room. I threw on some old clothes I had in there and went to find Pops.
“Pops!” I yelled out looking for him.
“We’re on the porch, Tee.” He yelled back. I already had questions to ask in my head, the courage I needed to ask them is what I was trying to build up, but I met my parents presence before I had the nerve.
“Thank you for bringing him home, Pops.” I managed to say. Although it was sincere, I was still quite confused.
Pops winked at me, “Anything for my baby girl.”
“Where’s my future son?” Mama asked.
“He’s in the shower,” I giggled, “he smells like he did at least a year in the hole. My parents both laughed.
“What’s so funny?” Ray asked, joining us.
“Oh, nothing baby.” I turned to him and said. I noticed he had the same clothes on. “Um, I think it is time for us to go home now.”
“Yes, yes. Okay baby girl,” Mama started, “Ray, my son, good to see you here.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Michaels.”
The ride home was quiet. My mind was still on overlaod as I thought of the right thing to say. I knew what I wanted to say, but I know it wasn’t the right time. I could feel Ray’s dark brown eyes staring at me from the passenger seat, but I just smiled.
Ray smiled back as he gently rubbed my thigh. My juices began to flow even more as I began to pick up speed and Ray laughed out loud.
“What’s so funny?” I asked.
“Someone’s in a rush,” For the first time we’ve been in the car I looked back at my man with the biggest grin. He had no idea.
As Ray and I lay in bed trying to catch our breaths from escaping our soul, I couldn’t help but wonder what life without Ray would be like.
“Yes, baby?” He answered.
“I was scared.”
“Of losing you, of being alone.”
“You’ll never lose me baby.”
“But, why would you try to jeopardize that?”
“A King protects his Queen, ma.”
“Why didn’t you warn me?”
“I couldn’t tell anybody, baby. I was too careful, I don’t even know how they found out.”
“So, how’d you get home?”
“Yes, he pulled a couple strings. Ya Pops got a pull over this city, ma. I know you know that.”
“Yes but…” I began to cry. Ray must’ve felt it coming because he sat up to look at me, before it left my eyelid.
“Don’t worry baby girl. We got you.”
“I’m so scared Ray.”
“I’m sorry baby girl, but that bitch ass nigga violated.”
“What if they find you guilty?”
“How do you know?” I was confused, annoyed and angry all in one.
“Look ma, get some rest. Let me do the worrying. You got my word that aint shit gonna go south. Ya feel me?”
I did not speak.
“Tanya!” He yelled, startling me a little.
“Raymond, I heard you.”
“But, do you understand?”
“Yes. I love you. Goodnight.” It didn’t take long for me to drift off to sleep. I hadn’t even realized I fell asleep until I realized Ray was no longer beside me. I saw a light coming from the master bedroom and I could hear him in there talking.
“Yeah Pops. She’s sleeping…I don’t know, it’s going to be a rough couple days…Nah, she’s scared…of course I reassured her…Yes…Pops, I don’t know how you did it, but much respect…I promise to never let her down again…okay…I’ll let you fill her in. She listens to you…Yeah…okay, I’ll see you at Steinman’s office tomorrow morning…iight bet.”
Ray re-entered the bedroom and hugged up behind me. I let out a sigh of relief as he kissed my shoulder and whispered “I love you” in my ear. Goosebumps covered my body, just as they did the first time he kissed me. I’m so head over heels for him that I don’t even care that he just murdered a man. My conscience wouldn’t even come from behind close doors and run like hell. Love is so powerful and it conquers all. When I realized I didn’t want to run, it assured me that Raymond was my soulmate and true love, never dies.
Early Monday morning, Ray and I were up to meet with Ray’s attorney. Of course, I was right by his side. He’s been my biggest support and as his future wife I was there to give him mine.
Pops and Mama met us down at the office. Pops gave me the tightest hug. I know it had much to do with him and Ray’s conversation last night. Mama didn’t look like herself, but she pretended well. I made a mental not to check her on it once all this was over.
As we sat in Steinman’s lobby, there was an awkward silence, aside from Mama coughing. Papa rubbed her back and she kept saying, “I’m okay.” I knew she wasn’t, something was up with her, but right now I had to take care of my fiancé’s problems first. I squeezed Ray’s hand and he returned the gesture. He looked me in my eyes to reassure me. I was supposed to be here supporting him, but he was doing his best to support me. That’s another reason for me to love him because even in his toughest moments he still made sure I was straight.
“Mr. Reynolds, Mr. Steinman would like to see you now.” The thin blonde hair, blue eyed paralegal came to say. My palms were sweaty. I was probably more nervous than Ray. He mouthed relax to me as he grabbed my hand and lead me into the office. Pops and Mama stayed behind.
“Good Morning, Mr and Mrs. Reynolds.” Steinman stated very bubbly. He didn’t reach out for a handshake instead he embraced us with hugs. The gesture was nice, but I figured we were screwed. Reason being, he didn’t seem so professional, by giving out hugs to his clients. Really? But, here I am overthinking things, again. Pops would never steer us wrong.
“Good Morning.” We returned in unison.
“How’s Mr. and Mrs. Michaels, Tanya?” I was shocked he knew my name.
“They’re good. Doing well. I stayed although a little hesitant.
He let out a little laugh, “I’m sorry my name is George Steinmen, your father and I are great friends. You were all of three or four the last time I saw you.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I don’t remember.”
“It’s cool, trust me it’s actually a good thing, especially for your father.” He let out another goofy laugh and Ray joined in. I snickered, but nothing was funny to me,
“Okay,” he straighten up, “Mr. Reynolds, I have some good news.” I loosened up a lot.
“Talk to me,” Ray said in such a calm tone. I had to look at him to make sure he heard the man correctly. If an attorney said that to me I would have been jumping for joy. It was so like Ray to be playing it cool.
“Well, all charges against you have been dropped.” On que Ray and I jumped up and hugged each other. That was music to our ears.
“Whoa, man. Thanks!” Ray said sincerely.
“There was a request to redo his autopsy and his death was ruled an overdose, don’t thank me.” I was still ecstatic about the news as my mind wandered to Pops. That man was aa genius. I never knew how Pops handled things, but he always got shit done. No questions asked. We finished up a little small talk with Mr. Steinman before we headed back out to the lobby.
Ray and I were giggling, falling into each other arms like teenagers in love. Our glory faded away as we got closer to where my parents were. Mama was on a stretcher and Pops was right be her side talking to a medic. One thing about life; it sure knows how to pull you down no matter how high up you are.