Loving Lola- Ch. 49

I am here for you.

“Damn! Looks like the who city is here tonight,” Giselle says as they arrive at the gallery barely getting through the crowd. They ride around looking for a decent place to park for at least 10 minutes before finding a spot in the company parking lot. They sit in the car for a moment watching as more people fill the gallery, “the whole city came to this thing for real,” Jhené says, “I know right, let’s just go back home,” Giselle says cranking up the car, “Girl! No, we are here to support Lola, get out of the car. Your ass would say that after it took forever and a day to find a parking spot.” After a while of standing in line, they finally make their way to entrance. They each grab a flyer and pamphlet from the host, and just as they are entering, something stops Jhené. Not looking ahead, Giselle bumps into her from behind, “What the he-” Jhené grabs her arm and points her in the direction of Lola and their father, “oh shit…” “I didn’t think he would come,” Jhené says in a low voice, “what!? You invited him here?!” Giselle whispers in a panicked tone, “no! well… not really. I may have said something about it and then got upset when he started doing what dad does, so I slammed the flyer on his desk and left…” “Lord!” “I didn’t think he was going to show up though!” They watch the interaction between Lola and their father from a distance until they see Lola storm away. Their father adjusts his tie and walks into the crowd disappearing from their sight, “wait he’s staying? Why isn’t he leaving?” Jhené says looking for him amongst the crowd of people, “we have to go find Lola” Giselle says. Jhené looks at her with a surprised expression, “what happened to only here for support?” “Sigh, that’s exactly why we have to find her.”


Sam and Sophie arrive and are instantly entranced. They walk around marveling at the different pieces on display, “this gallery is amazing,” Sam says in awe. “I’ve lived in this city for almost 6 years now, and I have never stepped foot in here,” “well every time I’d ask you to come with me, you would just get mad and start yelling about how this wasn’t your life anymore,” Sophie says in rebuttal. “I was in a bad place… who knows, maybe if I would have just given it a chance and seen this place, it probably would have sparked my fire sooner,” “or made you even more reclusive.” Sam looks at her, “the point I’m trying to make is, only you could have gotten your spark back. You lost faith in yourself, so you had to be the one to believe in yourself again to get it back. Lola helped you see your greatness, but you are the one who made the first step. I thank her for whatever she said to make you feel inspired again, but remember it was Sam that had the final say so.” They continue walking looking at all the displays, “just think, your name could be here up on display one day,” Sam stops walking. Sophie turns and looks at him, “you okay?” “Thanks for always believing in me Soph. Hearing you say how great I was at this, or how I had so much potential to do that, made me feel like an even bigger disappointment because I didn’t feel that I was that guy anymore, yet, you never gave up on me… I will always be grateful for that.” Sophie puts her arm around his neck, “well if you really want to thank me, you could submit a piece for next year’s showcase,” “hahaha, let me pay off the studio first sis; but, there’s no harm in planning ahead. Sophie smiles and they continue admiring the pieces together.


Lola rushes off to the bathroom to clear her head running into the stall locking the door behind her. The door of the bathroom opens shortly after, so she reaches for the tissue but is stopped when she notices there isn’t any, “shit!” She says quietly, sniffling and wiping her face with her hand. Suddenly, there is a knock on her stall, “someone’s in here,” she says with her voice shaking. They knock again causing her to get upset. The person does not move from in front of the stall. Lola angrily opens the door, “I said someone is in here!” but is shocked to see her sisters standing there, “we just thought you might need to talk,” Giselle says holding tissues.

Loving Lola- Ch. 48

Taking the night off.

Sam arrives home, goes straight to his room, not saying a word shutting the door behind him. As the front door slams shut, Tiana rushes in to greet Sam but is too late to catch him. When Sophie looks at the time, she sees that again, it is 10am. Since signing the lease to the studio, Sam has been pulling 12 hour shifts back to back, working tirelessly trying to raise the remaining $1,700 in time. Tiana slowly walks back to her mother and sits down looking at her with a sad face, “awe come here baby, it’s okay, Uncle Sam is just a little tired right now,” “but why?” Tiana asks softly, Sophie holds her tight, “he’s trying to be a big boy… but I promise, he’s going to be back to fun Uncle Sam soon, okay?” Sophie says kissing her forehead. “In the meantime, how about I make your favorite, chocolate chip pancakes?” she asks giving her eskimo kisses, “no, pasta.” Tiana says, “Pasta? For breakfast?” Sophie asks confused, “it’s Uncle Sam’s favorite, and maybe when he wakes up, he will be happy and feel better,” she says fiddling with her doll. Sophie smiles, “I think that’s a great idea, pasta it is.”

When Sam wakes up, he is still disorientated and hazy from the lack of rest, so he lays there for a moment trying to fully wake up. He feels around the nightstand for his phone but does not seem to find it. Remembering that his phone is still in his pants pocket, he realizes that he was too tired to change out of his uniform before getting into bed. Reaching into his pocket for his phone, he hopes that it still has some juice left to at least tell him the time. It does not. He slowly maneuvers out of bed, putting his phone on the charger, sluggishly making his way to the bathroom. He turns on the water in the shower and just stands there. He looks at himself in the mirror and feels disgust, but he is too exhausted to care. Once out of the shower, he brushes his teeth, puts on sweatpants and a t-shirt then heads to kitchen for something to eat. Sophie and Tiana are in the living room watching television when he notices a big pot on the stove. He goes to lift the lid and is surprised to see that it is his favorite pasta. Before he is able to react, he sees Tiana peeking at him from around the corner, “she wanted to surprise you since you’ve been working so hard,” Sophie says to him. Sam walks over to Tiana and squats down, “is that true Tiana?” She nods her head yes, “I wanted you to feel better,” she says fiddling with her doll. Sam smiles and picks her up squeezing her tight, “I feel a lot better, thank you,” he says kissing her on the forehead. Tiana smiles and hugs him back.

“So, I guess you’re working tonight to huh?” Sophie asks. Sam looks at her, then at Tiana and notices her change in demeaner, “naw,” he says eating a big fork full of pasta, “I was thinking of hanging out around here tonight, that is if that’s okay with you guys?” Both Sophie and Tiana cannot contain their excitement. Sophie rushes to her room and returns with a piece of paper. “Since you’re taking the night off, I was hoping that you’d go with us to the Artis et Operis Gallery showcase tonight. It opens at 8pm and I hear it’s going to be amazing.” Sam looks at the flyer and hesitates for a moment, “everyone in the city will basically be there,” Sophie adds. “I guess it would be nice to see what kinds of talents I’ll be up against in this city,” Sophie jumps with excitement and hugs him tight, “yes! This is perfect! I haven’t been to an art showcase since, hell, the last one you were in, I’m so excited! Oh crap, you said yes, what am I going to wear?” she says rushing off to her room. Sam grabs the flyer and takes a deep sigh, “I hope I still have what it takes Sophie…” Tiana walks over to him, places her hand on his knee, and smiles.

Loving Lola- Ch. 37

A “Piece” of Mind.

“Welcome to the Artis et Operis Gallery, where every piece of art has a story to tell!”

Although these past few days have been a rollercoaster of crazy ass emotions, with a hardy helping of bullshit on a stick, coming to work always makes me forget everything I thought mattered because here, they don’t. My life is far from perfect, but this, being able to find works of art that not only speaks to me, but echoes volumes to everyone who sees it, fills me with this peace that I never thought I’d find. I’ve always known that I wasn’t the, “running a company type”. Sitting in the big chair at the head of the table was never my forte, I was content with just having a seat at the table. However, that contentment was never enough. Have you ever felt like you’ve just been putting one foot in front the other, not really knowing where you were headed? That was my life before this Gallery. For years, I’ve just been climbing this hill of hierarchy for the sake of my family, constantly wondering if there would be anything left at the top for me. That kind of uncertainty would probably force others in my position to work their hardest just so they can get the chance to see what lies at the top, but that didn’t fuel me at all. If anything, it just made me feel empty inside. Not only was I not confident in my abilities at holding my seat at the table, but I also found myself parading around in a mask of self-assurance, shrouding in despair. I could not take living unsure of what was to be of my life anymore, but I didn’t have the power to leave on my own.

The first time a piece of art spoke to me, something inside me clicked, and everything just made sense in that moment. I’m not even sure if it was the piece itself, or if it was the way it made me feel. When I looked at it, the story it told helped me see how things in my life would never change just by aimlessly placing one foot in front of the other. I realized I was only trying to fit into a pair of shoes that were clearly not meant for me and that, that gave me the power I needed to leave my family’s company. The hardest thing was leaving my sisters behind, but I knew if I only stayed for them, I would just resentment them later so, I did what was best for me. I’m sure they all thought I was either stupid or selfish for leaving, but by doing so, I found something I was never going to find being there, and that’s happiness and a peace of mind.

Self Love

I want you to burn that shit inside your mind.

Put it on repeat, and then rewind.

It’s appreciating every piece of the bad;

Going into the future, and from the past.

Acknowledging that you may have some flaws,

And loving that shit just because.

Knowing your perfections are built in those,

And understanding that none of you can be disposed.

It’s more than saying it to get through the day,

But believing it every step of the way.

Realizing that YOU ARE good enough,

Especially when the smooth turns to rough.

It’s more than having confidence,

Because self love doesn’t create narcissists.

You are both important and competent,

Worth loving, and is proud of it.

But mostly, it’s about forgiveness.

Really, being able to bear witness.

And loving everything you have to offer;

The ugly, and the beautiful with no falter.

– S.T.

Where are you?

I am looking for someone,
Well not really, I’m just waiting.
I know we will have lots of fun,
But our time with be spent debating.
We’ll fight, and argue all the time,
I can just see us now.
But we’ll make up and everything will be just fine,
Because our love with flourish somehow.

I just know we’ll be polar opposites,
It’s kind of scary to think,
But that’s just part of the consequence,
When your hearts become more in sync.
There’d be times where we won’t agree on anything,
And that may form lots of problems,
But just think of all the fun that brings,
And all the possibilities that blossom.

Kind and compassionate,
I know is what they’ll be.
We’ll probably find each other by accident,
But I’ll know they’re just for me.
Once we finally come together,
We’ll be stuck to each other like glue,
So as of right now, I’m just waiting,
And wondering, where are you?

S.T.

Poem: Growing Better With Time

Just sit back and think,

Come down from your mind,

Remember what we used to be,

Then travel back, from far and wide.

You don’t love me like you used to,

In fact, you love me better

I remember I couldn’t trust you,

That was not an option, ever.

I’d look back and think, love who?

Those were just four letters.

Now look at how much we grew,

How much we grew together,

Everything you did proved,

We can make it through whatever.

So if you ever have second thoughts

About the love we share,

Just remember how hard we fought,

For us to end up here.

It’s true we still have work to do,

It just gets easier with time,

But my heart will forever stay with you,

And yours will stay, forever mine.

S.T.

Poem: Balloon

“It isn’t safe” they said to me, my cheeks were as red as roses.

When I was done, I tied you up and held you while you floated.

This is something I’ve never done, it’s beautiful, I might say,

Just let me take a few more breaths, and then I’ll be okay.

Blue and green, purple and yellow, all of them were mine,

They said that I could never do it, but I just needed time.

My proudest moment I could say was when I created you,

When no one else had faith in me, I just closed my eyes and blew.

My lungs became consumed with air, and I felt I was immune,

To anything I couldn’t do, when I tied my first balloon.

No inhaler was required, I just needed time to rest,

I took my seat upon a chair, and held onto my chest.

My lungs, they didn’t fail this time, I was proud as I could be,

Because no one thought it was possible, but I believed in me.

S.T.