Chapter 10: Its Because I Love You (The Real Me)

Christina

After my altercation with Omar, I now know, it is time for me to get away. I pack my bags and head straight to the airport. Back home is the best place for me right now, I ran away for a long time, but it seems to always give me relief when I go back. Not permanently, but clear my head. My destination is Los Angeles California. There, I have a different life. One that I tried so hard to escape. Sometimes it’s just good to see your loved ones, to remind you of the importance in life. Although I won’t be spending, too much time there, I still want to see them. I plan to stay at the Lorder Hotel, for about a month. I could just go to the apartment that I have there. This is the one place Omar, can never seem to pinpoint me unless, I was staying with my parents. I feel like Omar will show up.

I head to the hotel and check in. I don’t have to do much, because of my family. They’re just always glad to have me stay there. That’s why they allow me to use a different surname. All to ensure I can keep some form of privacy. Now that I’m thinking about it, that’s probably the reason Omar can never find me. The manager at the hotel is super sweet and really makes a girl feel welcomed. Once I check in, I go to my room and take a long hot shower. After standing in the shower for a bit the phone starts to ring. I ignore the first two rings but, it continues to ring. I shook my head in disappointment and turn off the water, step out of the shower and dry off while heading to phone. Once I pick up the phone the voice on the other end says in an accusatory tone, “when were you going to tell me you’re in town?”

“Mom I literally just landed, how do you to know I’m here?”, I say as I roll my eyes, looking at the phone. Then put it back to my ear.

“As smart as you are, sometimes I feel like I dropped you on your head at some point. Who’s paying for your hotel?”, my mother replies.

“Goodbye mom”, I say as I get ready to hang up the phone.

“No, I’m sorry sweetheart”, she says in time to stop me from pressing the end button. I put the phone back to my ear. When she hears silence, she knows that she can continue, “Your father and I want you to come over for dinner. I’m making all of your favorites.”

“You didn’t even know, I was coming. How are you making on my favorites?”, saying in a confused manner.

“I just had Lora go to the store, to buy all your favorite foods. Even though, I wish you would stay here instead of going to one of those hotels.” She says not even trying to hide her disdain. “Do you know how embarrassing it is, to have the manager of one hotel that you donate to, call you and say that your daughter is staying there?”

“No mom, I don’t know…tell me how embarrassing it is?”, I say waiting for her to respond.

“Sorry sweetheart, I’m just saying”, she says trying to make herself sound sincere.

“Well please say less”, I say underneath my breath

“What did you say?”, She asked me with an attitude, then continues “And your brother misses you, he really wants to see you”

“That’s funny because, I haven’t gotten a phone call from him ever”, I say sarcastically.

“Who’s the oldest sibling? I think you should be calling him”, she states. This is the moment where my mom tries to make me feel bad, for not being the big sister that they expect me to be.

“Here we go again, bye mom”, I throw my hands up, and shake my head.

“Will I be seeing you tonight?”, my mother asked right before ending our lovely conversation.

“Yes mother, I’ll come tonight for dinner”, I respond trying to get her off the phone.

“Now was that so hard, love you sweetheart see you later”, she says.

I’m a little upset that the manager called my mother. That’s never happened before. Which must mean that my mother, has been searching for me for a while and has everyone on the lookout. I hate when she does things like this. She’s trying to regulate my life as always. This is why I moved to New York, in the first place, to get away from all this. To start my own life and make my own money and do what I want to do.

I get dressed and head out on the town. My first destination is to my friend Dana, owner of Dana’s diner. Originally owned by her parent, was handed down to her when she graduated college. At first, they started off with only one diner but now she managed to expand the business to four different locations. One in San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. The diner, named after Dana herself is well known to be the haven for celebrities to get a quick bite. It’s also known for catering exclusive events. If you ask anyone in California, they must know about Dana’s.

My father was in the military for Twenty years. Once he got out, my parents used all the funds they’ve saved and put it into their dream, a PR company. Just like Dana, I was supposed to take control of my parents’ business, but I had different plans. My parents are well known in the entertainment industry for PR in consulting work. In the beginning they started off small, with just a few clients. Then they got their big break when they worked with Jay Z. After that, business started booming for them. Their life became everything they’ve hoped for, but I had no interest in taking over the business because, it was boring to me. I know many people would consider working with celebrities an honor but, I’ve been around it my whole life. I can’t see myself doing this, for the rest of my life. My decision has brought them so much anger, to know that I did everything in my power to steer away from the family business. Although in my eyes, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal because, I’m adopted. My younger brother however, is their biological child. I know I shouldn’t say it like that but, I think he deserves to have the business more than I do, and if you ask him, I guarantee he would say the same thing. Just like Dana, I was supposed to take control of my parents business, but I had different plans. My parents are well known in the entertainment industry for PR in consulting work. My father was in the military for Twenty years. Once he got out my parents used all the funds they’ve saved and put it into their dream, a PR company. In the beginning they started off small we just a few clients. Then they got their big break when they worked with Jay Z. After that, business started booming for them. Their life became everything they’d hope for, I had no interest in taking over the business because, it was boring to me. I know many people would consider working with celebrities an honor but, I’ve been around it my whole life and I just can’t see myself doing it. This brought them much anger, to know that I did everything in my power to steer away from the family business. Although in my eyes, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal because, I’m adopted. My younger brother however, is there biological child. I know I shouldn’t say it like that but, I think that he deserves to have the business more than I do, and if you ask him, I guarantee he would say the same thing.

Once I arrive at what I knew to be the diner, I recognized nothing. The only marker left to show me that I was in the right place sat on top of the storefront. There it was, “Dana’s” written in big letters. Definitely not the old storefront, that I’m used to, a brand new one with cursive italic words. A smile came to my face when I look at the sign, then I walk into the diner and look around. To see a brand new renovated restaurant. It was bright and lively, with all the bodies that sat inside. I still feel the same energy as before. but with a more modernized feel. I had no doubt that Dana would, make this place her own, and that’s exactly what she did. I’m so proud of her. I spoke to her assistant earlier this morning, and she told me that Dana would possibly be at the Los Angeles location for meetings. Although she has other locations, Los Angeles is home to her, so that’s where her office remains.

I walk to the main counter, where there is a young blonde girl taking orders, over the phone. When she spots me, she smiles and I could see her mouth saying, ” give me a minute”. I smile at her, indicating for her to take her time. I sat down on the stool next to me, patiently awaiting her assistance. As I get comfortable, I look at the table and see the menu. As I look through the menu, I see triple the amount of entrées that were once available for customers. Just reading through the menu begins to make me hungry. Dana is definitely doing her thing with these diners. As my eyes are glued to the menu, I hear the sound of heels clicking on the floor, getting closer. I take my eyes of the menu for a couple seconds and look to put a face to the noise. As I look up I see Dana talking to one of my employees, close to the kitchen area. I quickly put down the menu and hop up off of the stool. Then I walk over to her where her back is facing me and say, ” excuse me ma’am?”.

Dana

Dana stops and turns around. Before she could speak a smile appears on her face, and she hugs me tight, “OMG, What are you doing here?”, she says before letting me go.

” I just thought it was time, to come home for a little bit”

” yeah?! I know what  that means, there’s way more to the story than that”, she says crossing her arms.

I don’t respond, I just put my head down and cover my face with my left hand. That’s when she says, ” don’t worry about it we have enough time to get into the details”, she then looks back at her employee and says, ” James we’ll finish this later”, he nodded his head and walks away then she turn back to me and continues, ” OK so how are you?”.

“I’m not sure I’m as good as you’re doing”, I say as I look around the diner smiling

“Oh you mean this old place, I only did a few renovations”, she says.

She guides us to sit in a booth that is across from where we are standing. As we sit down she looks at me for a few moments before speaking again, ” I can’t believe you’re actually here”.

I think when I moved, the person that took it the hardest was Dana. Although she didn’t verbally tell me exactly how she felt. I knew that me moving was going to strongly impact her life. As I said before we did everything together, she was my backbone. She knew everything that was going on in my household and she knew how I felt. She never judged me or made me feel like less of a person, she was always there for me. As I sit down looking in her eyes, and she just stares back at me.  I can see the happiness but I can also see the hurt in her eyes,. I know I’d love to say, Victoria’s my best friend, but while I’m sitting here with Dana, I realize that this is going to remind me,, of what a best friend really is. No secrets, no lies just loyalty and love. I reach out and hold Dana’s hands, ” I needed to get away from the New York life, it was draining me”

“I can imagine”

“It Just feels good to be back here, with my real family”

“So you know what this means right”,

.”Oh yes! It’s been forever since we partied together and tonight is the night”, she said before she continues, ” I already have a table, with a few ladies. I would love for you to join us. I take that back you will be joining us”, she said demanding.

“Oh I should’ve been prepared for this”

” I agree, but we still have time to get you out of it”, she said before she popped up from the table then saying, “I have a lot of meetings to do today, so I gotta go. But I will see you at 10, “.

After leaving the diner, I drove around LA, for a bit before heading to my parents house. As I entered into the compound, I knew that I would have to become a different person. Those few moments slowly dragging by as I park my car in front of my parents house. This is what people call anxiety at its best. I have no idea why This happens to me every time I go home. I take a few moments to collect my thoughts before getting out of the car. As I look around, everything looks exactly the same way I left it. I guess mom felt the need to switch things up. As I’m reconnecting with the environment, I hear the front door open and I turn around. Standing at the double doors, is my brother Jordan. Before actually walking up to him, we look at one another for a few moments in silence. Until he finally broke his intimidating frown and walk down the steps to hug me.

Jordan

“What made you, decide to come back home?”, he says before letting go of me.

“I’m not coming back home, I’m just visiting”,

“However you want to say it, what made you decide to visit us?”

“I thought it was well overdue”

“I could’ve told you that”, he says walking back up the steps to the front door, then turning back at me to say, “are you just gonna stand there, or are you going to come in the house? You’re not a stranger”. I don’t respond I just follow behind him, into the house closing the door behind myself.

Our huge chandelier, hung from the ceiling, as bright as can be. The steps meet like a bridge, from both ends of the wall. Beneath it was a walkway giving access to the kitchen. The floor and steps are marble and the walls are painted tan. My mother is all about elegance, everything in our house, is made to perfection for the eyes of our viewers. My mother was a woman of class and opinion. As opinionated as she is, she made sure her house was always setting the standard for any possible guest that may be passing through. I continue walking into the house, making my way to the kitchen, where everyone is standing around the table. As I entered the room, all eyes turn to me. My father eventually pulls out the seat next to him, indicating for me to come sit next to him. I smile and walk over to the seat, gently sitting down and looking back at him. He smiles as he pushes my chair in. He sits down next to me, as he looks at my mother who is sitting directly across from him though i was so close to her, I wouldn’t look directly into my mother’s eyes. We all were around the table, staring at one another. This is the norm in my house, everything is always completely awkward until someone breaks the silence. Multiple times than none, it’s my father. For some reason he actually believes he’s funny, although super corny it’s just what we need to get the family talking.

“So Christina, i hear you’re popping in the streets these days?”

I slowly turn my head to make direct eye contact, “what?”

“What’s Poppin?!” my dad says, hoping to get a laugh out of anyone

“Dad no”, I reply but he just look at me as if you did nothings wrong that’s when I continue, “please don’t say that again”. He’s still looking at me wondering why, I was so pissed at him for speaking in such slang. My brother, just shook his head, and grinned the entire time if I wasn’t speaking.

“can someone just say grace, so that I can start eating please?”, mother said with a complete attitude.

“I’ll Say grace”, Jordan says smiling as he puts his hand out for my parents to hold them. My father displayed a great smile as he placed his left hand on top of my brothers right hand. My mother gracefully smiled and placed her hand upon my brothers right hand and held it tight. I followed up and held both my mother and my father’s hand. Together we are binded, and sharing this moment to acknowledge Christ, and what he means to us. We slowly followed up with the bowing our heads and closing our eyes. A few moments pass, and my brother begins praying, “heavenly father, we thank you for allowing us to be together again. For my sister to come back home and have dinner with us, like old times. Heavenly father I pray we enjoy our meal and thank our mother for the wonderful job she did with the food. Amen”. We all repeat Amen, before opening our eyes.

“Thank you son, for blessing the food, Now let’s dig in”

As the food is being distributed, my mother took no time to begin her interrogation, “So, what’s the real reason for this reunion?”

“There wasn’t supposed to be a reunion, but you insisted that I come over here. So technically that’s the real reason for the reunion.”

“You will watch your tone when your in this house”, my father interjected as he pointed his fork in my direction, ” do you understand me?”

“Yes, I understand”,

After we got through our awkward stage, we had a nice family dinner. We laugh and joke and talk about all the things that I’ve missed while I haven’t been around. My father wants to hear about everything that I’ve been doing in New York. My mother acting as if she’s engaged, but try to hold back her obnoxious comments. My brother asking question after question is if he just found his best friend. I’m glad we could sit down and have this amazing meal together, but the truth is always the same.

I put the finishing touches to my outfit, looking at myself in the mirror and smiling at what I saw. I’m wearing a, long sleeve, tight fitted, one piece suit made of metallic silver. I could see every curve in the mirror. I topped it with my favorite black stiletto heels. My hair is pinned up in a neat bun. My hair pulled up always accentuated by bone structure. I added an elegant pearl earring.

The next thing I know, Dana barges in my room, making a grand entrance, ” The queen has arrived”. She takes one look at me, begins yelling out as she skips over to me, ” that’s my best friend, that’s my best friend, you betta”, she said as she walked around me clapping. She knows exactly what to say to give me hyped up. As I listen to her chanting and clapping, I start dancing and twerking in front of her. And she says her last chance we both start laughing, ” I swear we think alike”, I say as I look her up and down. She’s wearing an all black long sleeve one piece.

As we stepped outside, still laughing, I see a all black Escalade sitting in front of the door, with a man in a suit waiting with his hands folded. We stepped down the steps and straight into the black vehicle.

I was very surprised to see that Dana had a driver, because she was always the type to want to driver self around. I guess a lot has changed since I’ve left, hopefully for the better. The drive to the club, didn’t have much talking. Dana just kept pouring champagne and drinking, bump into the music. I won’t lie, I took a few sips of champagne and vibe to the music, but I was more worried about what I was going to see once I got into the club. When we pulled up to the front of the club, the driver open the door for us. I smiled at him as I got out and Dana followed. There was tight rope on two sides, leading to the entrance way by the red carpet. On the side there are lines wrapped around the building with people waiting to get in. As usual we just step to the front, Dana hugs the bouncer before both of us walk in. As we step into the club, it’s full wall-to-wall people. A young lady that works there, guides Dana and I to our table. The table is sort of, in front of the stage but secluded from the rest of the club. The young lady moves the tight rope for us to sit down. Already at the table there were about four women. I have never met anyone of these ladies before. When they saw Dana face, they all got excited and rushed up to hug her. I just found a comfortable seat and sat down, while Dana interacted with her associates. As I’m pouring myself some champagne, Dana introduces her associates to me. I smile and nod my head as if I’m totally interested, in meeting them.

“Hi! Dana talks about you all the time”, One of the young lady says and she hugs me tight. I’m a little thrown off by her enthusiasm.

The other young lady follows up and hugs me also, but doesn’t say anything but smile. Where the hell did Dana find these, goofy ass girls. They’re cute, but nothing about them really stands out to me. After the introduction, I make my way to the dance floor. On my third glass of champagne it begins to kick in. I began dancing my life away, that’s when I noticed an attractive male staring at me as I dance. I know, I said that I wouldn’t focus on men while is LA, but the way he staring at me, makes me want to rethink things a bit. I break eye contact with him and get Dana’s attention to join me on the dance floor, but she was preoccupied with some other guy. I can’t fully make out what he looks like. After spending a few moments trying to get her attention, I decided to walk over to her to realize that she’s talking to my brother Jordan. I’m a bit confused, because Jordan was in the house when I left. When did he have time to get ready? And why is Dana and him so close to one another? A bunch of thoughts begin roaming through my head.

As I approach them, I simply ask, ” Jordan what the hell are you doing here?”

He turns around with the irritating smile he always gives me, “The same reason you’re here”

” i’m here, because my best friend…”, I say with an attitude. But as I repeat the words back to myself, I realize something didn’t seem right. I turn to Dana and ask her, ” what are you doing here?”

“To party, like the rest of us”, she says naïvely”

As I attempt to interrogate them some more. A man reaches from behind me, and grab the champagne bottle. Due to my irritation, with my brother already being here. I’m not ready to have anyone that close to me. As I turn around to give him a piece of my mind, I realize it’s the man that was staring at me on the dance floor. For some reason in that moment, the words couldn’t fully come out. I just began blushing, like a little girl. He says nothing, just pours the champagne while staring at me. He smiles as he hands me the glass, reaching over me once more to grab another another glass, and pours it directly in front of me. He puts down the champagne bottle and holds up the glass. As we, clinch our glasses together he nodded his head and smile, then takes a sip of champagne. Throughout our entire interaction, he says nothing just looks at me with that smile. I don’t know, what came over me. I lean in and kiss him, lasting for a A few moments, I step back in shock of my behavior. I can tell in his eyes, that he was just as surprised. He just picks up his glass, and takes another sip. I’m not sure why he’s not talking, but the silence is doing something to me. I enjoy the rest of the night. I’m glad, that I came out with Dana. Although I’m still skeptical about her and Jordan.

The next morning, I wake up with my head pounding. I should’ve known, this is how I’m going to feel, because after my third drink. Things became blurry in the room, but I just keep on going. Drinking with an attractive man, that I’ve yet to get his name. The way I behaved last night, is unlike anything that I’ve done before. With escorting, I never have to do much, but be there and smile. Last night I put forth effort, to impress this man. Why? I still don’t have the answer. I attempt to get up a few times, but my body will not allow me to. As I lay in the bed staring at the ceiling, I reach over to the side table, picking up the phone then I press 9, to call the front desk. The phone rings a couple times before someone answers, “Hello, my name is Seth. This is the front desk, how may I help you?”, says the voice on the other end. Still laying in the same position, I say, “Can I get a vegetable omelet, with toast and coffee please…to room 56”. The man says politely, “No problem, it will up to you shortly”.

“Thank you”, I say before hanging up the phone. I stare at the wall once again, then finally force myself to get up. I slowly lean up and sit at the edge of the bed. I take a couple of deep breaths, then go to the bathroom. I turn on the water to let it warm up as I undress, it takes me forever to finally get my clothes off. I then step into the shower, one foot at a time. As I stand underneath the shower for a while, it feels amazing. When I begin to feel myself fall asleep, I quickly wash myself up and step out the shower. I grab the robe I have hanging on the bathroom door. While in the bedroom I begin to lather myself with my scented lotion. That’s when I hear a knock at the door. I finish up my lathering, and head to the door. When I open it, there is a male standing in front of me, with a cart. I step aside to indicate for him to come in. He roles the cart into the room, stoping midpoint and turns back to look at me.

“Is there something else I can help you with?”, he says to me with a smile.

“No! That will be all”, I reply with a smile.

He nods his head and says, “Okay!  Have a good day”. Then walks out of the room.

“You too”, I say as I close the door behind him.

Later, I decide to meet with Dana at her diner around one. Once I step into the diner, I realize that the diner is packed. I look around for a moment, trying to find a table to sit at. Finally I notice my brother in the back of the diner, sitting at a booth. As I make my way over to the booth, I notice that he is sitting with someone else. I can’t make out the persons face until I get closer. Once I get close enough, I realize it’s the guy from last night. I instantly feel a rush going through my body. I don’t want to walk over to their table, because I embarrassed myself. How is he going to look at me? All the thoughts roll through my mind at the same time, that I don’t realize that I have made it to their table.

Jordan looks at me confused, “Wassup?”

“I could ask you the same thing”, I say with my hand on my hips.

Jordan interjects with confidence, “This is our spot, remember you have been gone for a while”

I reply, “Well I’m back now so…”

I look over at this handsome male, who is now staring a me, like he did on the dance floor. I try hard to be cute then I smile at him, “I’m sorry, I don’t think we formally introduced ourselves”

Michael

“I’m Michael”, he says in the most pleasant voice.

“Christina”, I say moments after him. I then ask him, “Are you friends with my younger brother?”.

“Yeah! He’s aight”, he replies.

“How old are you?”, I ask.

“Not as young as you maybe thinking”, he says smiling.

We both are playing this attention game. He won’t give in and I won’t either. I can stare at him all day. He has a natural swag, that I can’t put in exact words. Dana comes from her office and joins us at the booth.

“You made it! How you feeling?”, she ask me giggling

“Im okay now”, I say with a slight grin. As my memory begins to come back to me, I try to integrate Dana again, “Why were you and Jordan so close to one another, last night?”. I can tell everyone at the table wants to ignore me, but I continue, “I don’t get why you two were so intimate”. Jordan gets irritated with all my question, that he interrupts the conversation to say, “Dana’s my girl”, he then grabs her by the waist and smiles. Dana quickly pushes away from him and says, “not here”, she starts looking around to make sure no one is looking.

“Im sorry, did you say your girl?”, I ask calmly.

Jordan smiles and looks at Dana. Dana can’t even look at me.

“Eeeewwwwww!!! When did this happen?”, I ask Dana.

“I don’t know, a while”, Dana says trying to play it off.

At this point I’m boiling, suddenly Michael grabs my hand and say, “Let’s get out of here”. We both make our way out of the Dana, and into Michael’s car that is waiting outside.

TO BE CONTINUED…

FAN FICTION!!!!! 💋

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