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. 45

Expectation vs. Reality.

Knock, knock, knock, Lola rushes to the door and looks out the peep hole, “okay, well my sisters are here now, so I will talk to you tomorrow,” “alright, enjoy the rest of your night beautiful,” “I will, you enjoy yours as well, good night,” “good night.”  Lola hangs up the phone and opens the door, “well, I guess it’s safe to say that you and Eric are on good terms,” Giselle says walking through the door, “what?” Lola asks, “girl we heard your lil conversation through the door” Jhené says. “Oh that, hehe, that was just…” Both Giselle and Jhene look at her with a stale face, “yes, yes we are fine.” “Good. So, what is it that you needed to discuss?” Giselle says going through the cabinets in the kitchen, “also, I need wine. I know youhave some hidden away somewhere.” “Oh, check the bottom cabinet to the right,” Jhené hops up, “is it white or red?” “WHITE!” Giselle yells from the kitchen, “want some?” she asks, “yes please!” Jhené sings while dancing to the kitchen, “oh and give me one of her fancy glasses, I’m feeling classy tonight,” she says wiggling her eyebrows. “Fuck that, a red solo cup is the mood for me; considering the day I’ve had.” “Why what happened today?” Lola asks walking into the kitchen, “uh, you know, company bullshit,” Giselle says grabbing the bottle of wine, “we have yet to close the Keis deal and dad is breathing down my neck about it, you know, a little stress here and there, but its whatever.” “Well I hope things work out, I know dad has been trying to get them on board for a while,” “yes ma’am!” Jhené says jumping on the couch, “now enough of that, what was so important that you couldn’t have told us through text?” “Well,” Lola walks in the center of the room, “lord, you’re not pregnant, are you?” Jhené blurts out, “what?! Hell no!” “Ugh, who would be the dad?” Giselle says with her face scrunched up, “eww I know right, the last person you slept with was uh, what’s his name?” “It started with a J right?” asks Giselle, “no it was a W,” says Jhené, “William?” Giselle says, “no, Wesley!” shouts out Jhené “Yeah Wesley!” Giselle concurs. Lola, who is getting annoyed, looks at them, “are yall finished or yall done?” “My bad,” Jhené says taking a sip of wine, “but just to clear, you are NOT having Wesley’s baby, right?” Giselle says, “ugh, I AM NOT PREGNANT! And his damn name was not Wesley, it was Landon” “LANDON!” both Giselle and Jhené yells out, “I hate both of yall,” says Lola rolling her eyes.

“Okay, we’re sorry for interrupting you, please tell us your important news,” Giselle says simmering down, Lola takes a deep breath, “well, they are launching a new Artis et Operis Gallery soon and the exhibitioner wants me to be their head curator once it opens…” “That’s great, right? I mean you make it seem like a bad thing or something,” “right.” Jhené agrees. “No, it’s an amazing opportunity, I would be getting paid triple what I am now and many of my artists would probably headline a lot of their showcases.” “Okay, am I missing something? This is good news, but I feel like we’re waiting for a bomb to drop,” says Giselle. “The new gallery is opening… in New York and I have to give my final answer by the end of the month…” The sisters sit in silence avoiding eye contact, “please say something you guys,” “um, well I think it’s an amazing opportunity Lola and I’m happy for you,” Jhené says. “Thanks. What about you G, what do you think?” Both looking at Giselle, “I think it is a wonderful opportunity… but I don’t think this is something you need our opinion on. You know as your sisters, we are going to support whatever you do, so long as it does not cause you harm, but I think you’re looking for us to make this decision for you, and that we cannot.” Giselle gets up and leaves the living room. “I don’t want yall to-,” “I think you do,” Jhené interjects, “but that’s okay. It is a big decision and its natural to want to consider how we feel, but this is more of a you thing you know; we’re both very proud of you though Lola.” Jhené gets up and gives her a hug then goes to check on Giselle. Lola slumps down into the sofa and looks up at the ceiling, well that did not go how I expected…

Loving Lola- Ch. 44

Diamonds in the rough.

“Great job guys, the display looks amazing!” Lola says as Stephanie adds the finishing touches. “Miss thang, this display is going to be the star of the showcase,” “yeah, this really came out beautifully.” “Thanks guys, I couldn’t have done any of this without you,” Lola smiles, pulling them in for a hug. Timothy glances at the time, “oop, alright my loves, I have got to get going,” he says grabbing his things, “and where are you off to in such a hurry?” Lola says with her arms folded, “well If you must know, I have a date with Enrique tonight, and I have to go get fine!” Lola and Stephanie look at each other, “Who is Enrique, what happened to Jacob?” Lola asks, “girl please, Jacob is a thing of the past, Enrique is the new flavor of the week; he’s my spicy Latino,” Timothy says swooning. “Awe, but I really liked Jacob,” Lola says pouting, “yeah, Jacob liked everyone else to,” says Timothy rolling his eyes, “but it’s alright, I laughed, I loved, and I found someone new!” “Well I still hate you guys ended on bad terms,” “I’m not, sometimes we have to go through the rough to find our Diamonds,” “aww, well I’m happy for you boo,” “thank you honey, but don’t think this means you’re off the hook, I have not forgotten about mister dove chocolate,” “hahaha, his name is Eric.” “Oh, was that the guy you went out to lunch with?” Stephanie asks, “girl you saw him to?” Timothy interjects. “Yall are too nosey for your own good, but yes that was him.” “Ugh! I have to go, do not spill any tea without me!” “Hahaha, alright fine. I have to get going myself, thank you again Stephanie, the display looks amazing,” Lola says giving her a hug, “n-no problem, it was all your idea anyway,” “still, I couldn’t have brought it to life without you guys, I’ll see you tomorrow, have a good night.” Lola goes back to her office to grab her things. When she opens her drawer to get her phone, she sees that she has a text message from Eric.

“Andrew, make sure your team is ready to present their findings at tomorrows board meeting, we must secure the Keis position as soon as possible, so closing that deal is top priority. Alright everyone, that’s enough for today, we will reconvene at 10am.” When everyone gets up to leave, Jhené stays behind to help clean up. “You didn’t have to stay you know,” Giselle says collecting the files from the table, “yeah I know, but I figured you could use an extra hand anyway,” “thank you, but I’m fine, this isn’t my first conference you know,” Jhené rolls her eyes and starts collecting the papers from around the table, “I’m not helping you out of pity, you’re my ride and you know how Lola gets whenever we’re late,” Giselle smirks and continues compiling the papers. “… asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, you don’t have to keep carrying everything on your own, it is okay to rely on others sometimes you know,” “oh really? And what do you think people will say if they hear that the president of the company is asking for assistance? Nonetheless, what do you think our father will say?” “I’m sure no one would say anything bad, if anything, they will see you as a person just like them,” Giselle slams the papers down on the table, “No Jhené, they won’t! These people don’t want to help me, if I showed any sign that I could not do this on my own, they will use that as leverage to try and rip this position right from under me… I may seem mean and distant, but it’s because I have to be, nothing is given to us for free; if I have never taught you anything, I’m teaching you that, it’ll save you a lot of disappointment in the long run.” Giselle gets up and takes the papers from Jhené, “meet me at the car, I’ll be down in a minute,” just before leaving the room she stops and turns to Jhené, “thank you… for staying behind,” “girl you’re insane” Jhené says shaking her head, Giselle smiles and leaves the room.

Hey, I just want to apologize for the way I acted today. Your business is your business and it was very childish of me for to get upset like that. I had no right to feel obligated to know what’s going on in your life and for that I am sorry.” Oh, yea that’s good, I’ll say that… right after I get out of the shower… and eat dinner… oh and I still have to meet Giselle and Jhené… I’ll just call him tomorrow. Ring, ring, ring, Lola looks at the phone and sees Eric’s name, SHIT!!! She paces back and forth, and before she realizes, “Hello?”

Loving Lola- Ch. 42


Lola chuckles as she watches Eric scrape the last bit of sauced up chicken in the corner of the bowl with a torn piece of tortilla. “So, how was it?” she asks laughing. He looks at her with a napkin in his hand and can’t help but to laugh. “That shit was fire I’m not even going to lie,” he says wiping his face. “Hahaha, oh I know it was. The moment you started scraping up the crumbs with that lil’ piece of tortilla I knew it was a wrap.” “No food left behind!” He blurts out excitedly. “Hahaha, you are a fool!” She says, both laugh hysterically. Eric sits back in his chair and stares at Lola with a slight grin. She looks at him and smiles, “what?” she asks fluffing her hair, “nothing, just enjoying the moment” he says. She blushes and then looks away. “So how long is your break?” She asks trying to change the subject, “oh, you ready to get rid of me already?” he asks mockingly. Lola smirks, “yes actually,” she replies. “Wow, and here I thought you were enjoying my company,” Lola laughs, “stop being so dramatic,” she says rolling her eyes. Eric chuckles then checks his watch, “I still have 15 minutes left; I have an hour lunch. I’m not going to get you into trouble, am I?” Lola smacks her teeth, “no, I was just making sure I wasn’t getting you into any.” “Oh, well thanks for your consideration Ms. Spears, but I’m grown” he says with a grin. “Alright, alright calm down,” “hahaha, what? I’m just saying.” Lola smiles and looks away.

“So, are you calmed down now?” “What do you mean?” she asks looking confused. “When you came out to the car, you looked a little estranged, you said that you’d just spoken with your boss and that you needed to calm down some, is it fair to say you’re calmer now?” “Oh! Yes, very much.” “Good, good.” Lola raises her eyebrows and looks at Eric, he smiles and looks back at her, “what?” “Are you not going to ask why I needed to calm down?” she says. “No. I figured if you wanted me to know, you’d tell me. I presume it’s something important and you probably want to discuss it with your sisters first, that is why you texted them right?” “…I mean yeah, but I can still discuss it with you,” “well, I’d love to hear all about it, I just didn’t want to pry or overstep. I want you to want to tell me things, and I am prepared to wait until you are comfortable enough to do so.” Lola looks at him and smiles, “You know, you’re sweet when you want to be,” she says rolling her eyes. “Don’t get used to this now, it’s just early,” he says with a smirk. “Oop, alright that’s fine,” she says with a grin. Ring, ring, ring, “oh, excuse me for a moment,” he says getting up from the table. “Sims… No, I closed on that this morning… The paperwork is on my desk, but he has one more payment until I can fully lock it in… Yes sir… But… He has until the end of the month… We’ve been trying to close on this studio for months… I did what I had to do, and it worked… Yes… Thank you sir.” Eric hangs up and lets out a big sigh, “is everything alright? That seemed a bit hectic.” Lola asks, “yeah, naw everything’s fine. Work stuff, you know how that goes.” “Yeah.” Lola starts gathering her things abruptly, “It’s time for me to head back, we should go,” she says. “Alright,” Eric says also gathering his belongings.

Once in the car, there is a forced silence. Eric arrives at the gallery and Lola immediately gets out of the car. “Hey, hey, are you okay?” Eric asks jumping out of the car. “Yes, I’m fine. Thank you for a lovely lunch, I hope everything works out for you at work. I have to get back and finish my display for the showcase coming up.” She says as she starts to walk away. Eric grabs her hand gently to stop her, “did I, did I do something wrong? Because I don’t feel like you’re very happy with me right now,” he asks with concern. “It’s nothing, I’ll get over it. I guess I’ll have to wait until you’re more comfortable with me to share things as well. You enjoy the rest of your day Eric.” She says lightly pulling her hand away walking into the building. Confused, he gets back into the car and heads back to work.

Loving Lola- Ch. 40

Getting to know you.

“Just a heads up, this place doesn’t really have private parking, so we’ll have to find a spot somewhere close to it.” Eric looks at her and laughs, “what kind of place is this exactly?” “Hahaha, it’s really good I promise. Oh, there’s one!” Lola says pointing to a parking spot across the street. While walking toward the building, Eric notices there is no inside dining. Lola looks at him and starts to laugh, “you must be used to five-star dining for lunch?” Eric chuckles, “not necessarily five star, but at least a decent place to sit.” “Hey now, this is a jewel amongst other places, don’t judge it just yet.” “Well what’s good here then?” “Like I said, I love the grilled chicken wraps, but they have all sorts of stuff. They make everything fresh to order, so whatever you can think of, they’ll make it for you.” “So, it’s like a bootleg hibachi huh?” Eric says sarcastically. “WOW!” Lola says laughing. “Don’t do my spot like that! But I think they could hook you up with some fried rice for real hahaha.” Eric starts laughing, “they may be onto something now.” While waiting in line, Lola texts the sister’s group chat about the news she received from her boss:

L: Hey guys, I have some really exciting news! Meeting at my house, 7pm? J: Okay, what happened? L: I’ll tell you tonight! J: Is it bad? L: No, why would bad news be exciting? J: Going to jail is exciting but that’s bad. L: Who is excited to go to jail?! J: I don’t know. L: BYE! G: Yall are stupid. 7 is fine. L: Okay, see yall later.

Lola put her hand on her face in disbelief, and laughs. “Are you okay?” Eric asks. “Yeah, my sisters are just… Do you have any siblings?” she asks. “Nope. Just me. Oh, it’s our turn to order, you know what you want?” Eric asks, “yes, the grilled chicken wrap supreme please. Hey, I’m going to find us somewhere to sit okay?” “Okay, I’ll come find you.” Lola finds a table not too far from the front. When Eric gets the receipt, he starts scanning the area for her. Their eyes meet and Lola smiles and waves to him calling him over to the table. He smiles back and makes his way over to her. “What number are we?” She asks, “37” he says. “32!” The man yells, “this may take a while” Eric says chuckling, “no, they move fast I promise.” “I hope so, whatever he was cooking while I was placing the order smelt so good, I need to eat something now.” “Oh, so you done talking crap about my “bootleg hibachi” spot?” “Hahaha, for now; I have to see what the food tastes like first.” They both laugh.

Lola looks at Eric for a moment, “what’s up?” he says looking back at her. “What’s your name?” She asks. “Hahaha, what?” “What’s your name?” she repeats. “Um, Eric?” Answering back confused. “Eric what?” She says looking seriously at him. “Eric Sims.” He says back with a serious tone. Lola smiles and holds out her hand for a handshake, “Hello Eric Sims, my name is Lola Spears, nice to meet you.” Eric smiles, “nice to meet you to” gently shaking her head back. “So, you’re not going to tell me what that was about?” says Eric. “It bothered me that I didn’t know your last name.” she says. Eric stares at her silently, and then bursts out laughing, “you did all of that just to know my last name? Why didn’t you just ask me?” “It wouldn’t have been the same, now, we are officially acquainted with one another.” She says to him. “Hahaha, so even though we went on a whole date, a handshake is what sealed the deal?” he asks mocking her. “Hahaha, shut up!” “37!” the man calls out, “come on let’s eat, I am starving,” “I got it,” Eric says as he goes and picks up the food.

Loving Lola- Ch. 35

First Encounter.

Slam! Clang, clang. Sophie tosses and turns from the loud noises coming from the kitchen. She picks up her phone and looks at the time and sees that it is 8:30am. She turns over and throws her face in a pillow letting out a heavy groan. She slowly gets out of bed, groggy and disoriented, making her way into the kitchen. “Tiana! What did I say about playing in the kitchen?” She walks around the corner and see’s Sam standing over the stove. She looks around, and then again at the time, “Sam? You do know it’s 8:30 in the morning, right?” “Hahaha, yes I’m aware.” He says flipping his omelet. She looks around again still confused, “hmm. Umm, why are you up then?” “I’m sorry, I didn’t know I had to ask permission to get up early in MY house.” He says sarcastically taking his food to the table. “Smh, no, I just don’t understand. You’re fully dressed, but not in your work clothes; what’s going on?” “Well, if you must know, I have an appointment with the realtor of that studio at 9. I told him I wanted to rent out the space, so I’m going to close the deal today.” “What?! OH MY GOD! Why didn’t you tell me? When did you do all of this?” “Calm down, I didn’t want to say anything until everything was official. I wouldn’t want you to be disappointed if things didn’t go as planned” She walks over to him and hugs his head, “Sam, I am so proud of you. You are finally taking control of your life; I would never be disappointed. Wait, so what did the guy say?” “Well, he broke down all of my options, but I said it would be easier for me to pay the total 6 months now instead of doing month by month payments.” “Okay, how much is that?” “… 4,000 dollars” “Holy shit!” Sophie yells loudly, “Mommy!” Tiana calls out in the distance. “Sorry honey!” “Sam, you don’t have that kind of money just lying around.” “I know that Soph, that’s why he offered me a deal.” “A deal? What kind of deal?” “I pay $2,300 today when I sign the lease, and I have one month to pay the remaining $1,700.” “Okay, okay, can you do that? I mean what will happen if you don’t get up the money in time?” Sam sighs, “I don’t have time to think about that…” “Yeah, okay. Well I support you no matter what.” He stands and puts his plate in the sink. He checks his watch and grabs his coat. Tiana walks out into the kitchen rubbing her eyes. “Uncle Sam? Why you not sleeping?” Sam picks her up and kisses her forehead, “I have some important business to handle that’s why.” “Portant business?” she asks. “Yep. Things are starting to look up,” he says looking at Sophie. He puts Tiana down and she walks over to her mother. Sophie grabs her hand and walks over to Sam giving him a hug, “you got this bro!” “Thanks soph.” He smiles, and waves goodbye walking out the door. “Alright, what do you want for breakfast honey?” “PANCAKES!” Tiana yells loudly. Sam walks away with a smile on his face, things are looking up.

When Sam arrives at the studio, he sees a tall man in a blue suit with papers in his hand standing at the counter. He parks and takes a deep breath before getting out of the car. Okay Sam, this is it. No going back or changing your mind. It is time to get your life back together and focus on doing what’s best for you! Sam walks inside, looks around then clears his throat catching Eric’s attention. He then turns around and looks at Sam and the gentlemen locks eyes with neither of them saying a word. Eric walks over toward Sam still silent. They look at one another for a moment and then Eric begins to laugh, “Gotcha!” He puts out his hand and Sam grabs it in relief. “Hahaha, yeah I was a little nervous for a second there,” “Hahaha, no need to be, that’s just a little joke we like to play. Now, let’s sign some papers huh?”

Loving Lola- Ch. 31

Apologies, apologies.

Lola stands up and rushes out of the restaurant. As the phone is ringing, she contemplates on whether she should answer or not. What do I say to him…? Should I even answer…? Without further hesitation, she answers the phone; “Hello?” Sam observed Lola’s abrupt leave. He glanced at Giselle and Jhené and they both look back at him, they all exchange expressions then look away. Trisha watches Sam’s face as he frowns up with concern. She grabs his hand and asks if he is ready to leave, he nods, and gently moves his hand away calling the waiter over for the check. Trisha takes out her mirror to check herself, but while doing so, she looks behind her to see what has happened. She notices Lola’s absence and flashes a slight smirk. Without knowing, Jhené and Giselle catches her spying on them from the table. She meets their eyes in the mirror and quickly removes it from her face. After the waiter comes back to drop off Sam’s card, Sam and Trisha begin to gather their things to leave. As they stand and begin to walk to the front, Sam signals a slight farewell to the sisters as they walk by. Trisha looks at them out of the side of her eye and keeps walking. Giselle and Jhené look at one another then resume eating their meals.

Eric looks at the phone in disbelief, “He-hello?” Lola is quiet for a moment, “Hi Eric.” Eric is happily surprised. “I didn’t expect you to answer, particularly because you haven’t been lately…” Lola doesn’t say anything. “But it’s all good, I actually want to apologize for blowing you up like that, that’s usually not me. I wanted to give you some space really.” There is a moment of silence on the phone. “Lola, I don’t know what happened, if I said anything to offend you, I am really sorry. You are truly a beautiful person inside and out. I didn’t want to go without letting you know that I am happy to have been the one to take your picture that night.” Lola chuckles, “even though it was supposed to be a group photo?” “Hahaha, you not gone let me slide on that one huh?” “Not a chance.” Eric laughs, “okay, I can take that. So-” “I’m sorry.” She interjects. Eric looks wide eyed at the phone. “You have nothing to apologize for.” “I do. I have been letting my past and my insecurities dictate my actions and I blamed you for it when you were only trying to be nice. I never wanted to let the way others treat me change how I treated others, but I began closing myself off, doubting everyone because of what I went through… I know everyone is not the same, I don’t fully understand your motives, but right now, I believe that you are not a bad guy. So, I really would like to apologize to you for acting how I did, none of this was your fault, if anything, what you said made me realize what I was doing and I thank you for that. I didn’t want to hear it, but I am glad you said it.” Eric smiles, “I appreciate the apology, and I respect you for saying that. You are truly something Miss Lola.” She blushes, “thank you. I am actually at dinner with my sisters right now, and I think it’s time for me to get back,” “oh okay, yeah, I didn’t mean to interrupt your evening,” “oh no, you didn’t, I’m… I’m glad you called,” “I’m glad you answered.” “Me too.” “Alright then, I’ll talk to you later?” “Yes, that sounds good.” “Okay. Good night Lola,” “good night Eric.” They both smile hanging up the phone. Lola grabs her face in disbelief and smiles. When she turns to go back into the restaurant, she bumps into Sam on his way out. “Oh, I’m so sorry, are you oh-” she stops realizing who he is. “Yeah, I’m fine, are you okay?” he says locking eyes with her. “Oh yes, I’m peachy” really bitch! Peachy?! “I’m sorry, I didn’t see you.” “Hahaha, you’re fine Lola.” He says fixing himself. “You guys leaving already?” Girl what? Walk away right now! “Oh yeah, I have to get home, I have an early appointment tomorrow.” “Oh okay, well you definitely have to get your rest then.” OMG please stop talking! “Did you enjoy the food?” “So far yes, this is actually my first time here so,” “Oh, well then you’re certainly going to enjoy it” Trisha interjects, “Sam, I’m ready to go” she says annoyed, “oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to hold you guys up. It was nice seeing you again Sam, and nice meeting you, Tisha, was it?” “TRISHA, actually.” “Well! Good night Lola, enjoy the rest of your evening.” Sam interrupts. “You too.” They both wave goodbye and go their separate ways.

Loving Lola- Ch. 28

No Misunderstandings.

“Oh wow, this place is nice Jhené” Lola exclaims. “I specifically said I don’t want to hear your opinions.” Jhené says. “Hahaha, but I gave the restaurant a compliment!” Lola says laughing. “I don’t care, keep it to yourself.” “Hahaha, this girl.” Giselle laughs. The hostess escorts them to their booth to be seated and assures them that their waiter will be with them momentarily. “So, what’s good here Jhené?” Giselle says opening her menu. “To be honest, I always get the grilled chicken. I don’t know what they do to it, but I can’t get enough.” “I want a margarita” Lola says looking at the drinks page. “Girl yes, I get the strawberry margarita every time.” “Ew why strawberry? That is my least favorite flavor.” “Didn’t I say I don’t care about your opinions” Jhené says looking at Giselle. “Damn! They have so many flavor options; there’s peach, mango, pineapple, orange-” “Hello ladies,” The waiter interjects, “my name is Jacob and I will be taking care of you this evening, can I start you off with something to drink?” “Um, I’d like an original frozen margarita, small with salt around the rim please.” Giselle says. “I would like a small strawberry margarita with sugar around the rim.” “Frozen or on the rocks?” “Frozen please.” “Alright, and for you miss?” “I really want a margarita, but I don’t know what flavor to get, which one would you suggest?” Before Jacob can answer, a lady a few tables away interjects, “Try the peach margarita, it is so good, I’m actually on my second one.” “And see I was debating between that one and the mango. Okay, well I’ll have a frozen medium peach margarita please.” “Alright, I’m going to go ahead and put those drinks in for you.” Jacob leaves to go put in the drink orders and Lola thanks the woman for her suggestion.

Justin and Damien are in the store with Eric while he picks up a few groceries. “Damien, how did we get sucked into this?” “It’s not like you’re actually helping anyway” Eric says. “Because I don’t even want to be here.” “Then leave, I’m not forcing you to help me shop. Yall stopped me remember?” “Yall can’t go two minutes without arguing. I swear yall act like an old married couple.” Damien interjects. “Why are yall in here anyway? Don’t yall have something else to do?” Eric asks annoyed “Actually yes we d-” “No. We were riding around and saw you walking” Damien says interrupting Justin. “Damn Damien! This is why I don’t go anywhere with you.” “Why lie? We weren’t doing anything and it’s just Eric.” Eric starts laughing, “and you say we fight like a married couple, oh okay.” He says. “Man whatever. Speaking of, so you gone try calling her again?” Justin asks. Damien looks at Eric. “Naw… She didn’t answer the first time and I don’t want to blow her up, seeming like I’m desperate or something.” Justin looks at him with a stale face, “You are desperate the fuck.” “No I’m not.” Eric says offended. “You are” Damien says. “Just drop it ight.” Eric says walking away. “Well at least you know she didn’t block you!” Justin says yelling down the aisle.

Sam finishes up in the bathroom and goes to wash his hands. He looks at himself in the mirror and starts to laugh, I don’t know how I get myself in these situations… Just eat and take her home, I do not need any misunderstandings. He dries his hand and leaves the bathroom. When he arrives back to the table, he sees Trisha drinking another margarita. “I see you ordered a second one after all.” “Yes, I just couldn’t resist.” She says smiling. Sam shakes his heads and begins to eat. He looks up and notices Jacob helping another table, “Yes, the restrooms are around the corner on the right” he says aloud. The woman thanks him as he walks away. She places her purse down in the seat next to her and stands up fixing her dress before proceeding to the restroom. Sam averts his eyes as she walks in his direction, but just as she is walking bye, he looks up and their eyes meet.

Loving Lola- Ch. 27

Now or Never.

Dripping wet, Lola emerges from the shower, wrapping herself in her towel. She wipes the condensation from the mirror, clearing a spot to see so she can wash her face and brush her teeth. Once she is finished, she yells to her sisters that she will be ready in a few minutes, knowing Jhené, wherever we’re going its not going to be too fancy. She walks into her closet looking for something cute, comfy, and casual. She pulls out a pair of jeweled studded sandals to go along with a multi-colored maxi dress she has been dying to wear. After she is completely dry and moisturized, she throws her hair into a high bun to complete the look. “Are you ready yet? My stomach is touching my back!” Jhené yells out to Lola. “Yes! I’m grabbing my purse right now.” Lola looks around for her keys and cellphone then finds them sitting on her dresser. She grabs both and throws them into her bag and leaves the room. “See, I told you I wasn’t going to take long” Lola says meeting her sisters in the kitchen. “Yes, yes great, now let’s go, I’m starving!” “This place better be good the way you are talking.” They all gather their things and head out the door.

Slurp, slurp, “OMG! This is so much better than I remember! I think they hired a new bartender because this is amazing!” Trisha says drinking her margarita. “Do you want to taste it?” She offers Sam, “Oh no I’m good. I’m the driver remember.” “Pfft, so? It’s just a sip, it’s not like you’re not going to get drunk off a little taste.” She says tempting him. “I don’t know, you’ve been sipping over there, and it seems like you’re feeling pretty good already.” “I’m just happy that’s all.” “Happy you got a drink?” He asks. “Well yeah, but I’m mostly happy that I get to spend some time with you outside of work.” The waiter comes back to the table, “are you guys ready to order?” “Yes!” Trisha says excitedly, “I’ll have the D3 special please with the guac and sour cream on the side.” “Okay, and for you sir?” “I’ll take the house special with extra pico.” “Alright, I’ll go put these in right away.” They hand the waiter their menus as he leaves the table. “I’m going to have to order another one of these” Trisha says stirring the ice in her drink. “Wha- you’re done already? You just got it! Sam says shocked. Shlurp, shlurpp! “Well it’s gone now.” Trish says taking a bite out of the orange slice from her drink. “You should probably wait to eat something before ordering another drink Trish, I’d hate for you to get sick.” “Aww, are you worried about me Sammy?” She says batting her eyes. “Caring and responsible, aren’t I lucky.” Sam looks at her and laughs.

Jhené pulls into the restaurants parking lot and parks the car. “This is one of my favorite places. They just renovated so it’s really nice inside, and the drinks are AMAZING!” Giselle and Lola look up at the sign, “Depasco” they say aloud. “I have never heard of this place before,” Giselle says. “Yeah, I wouldn’t expect you to, all that corporate food you eat.” Jhené say in a snarky tone. “Um don’t’ do me, it is not my fault the only places around the offices are upscale. I eat regular food to.” “Hahaha, regular food?” Lola says laughing. “What the hell is regular food?” she asks, “I’m guessing anything under $50 bucks that still gets you full.” Jhené says. “First of all, I don’t pay 50 anything for my food,” “Yeah because someone is always buying it for you” Jhené says. Giselle rolls her eyes, “anyway, I thought you were starving; can we get off of me and just go in please.” “Yall better not talk any shit about this place or I’m never taking yall anywhere again.” “Hahaha we can’t have an opinion?” “No! I didn’t ask for it, so I don’t want to hear it.” They all laugh and enter the restaurant.

“Alright, he we are,” The waiter says with their orders in hand. “Be careful the plates are hot.” He says placing the dishes on the table. “Is there anything else I can get for you?” he asks. “I’d like another margarita” Trisha insists. Sam shakes his head. “Where are the restrooms” he asks. “Around the corner on the right” the waiter directs him. “Thank you. Trish I’ll be right back.” Sam leaves the table making his way to the bathroom. Trish pulls out her mirror and checks herself, alright Trish, now is your chance, it’s now or never! In the distance she hears her waiter Jacob “Hello ladies my name is Jacob, and I will be your waiter for the evening, can I start you off with something to drink?” “I really want a margarita, but I don’t know what flavor I want” Trisha looks in her mirror behind her and she sees Jacob seating three women. She turns around and suggests the peach margarita, Lola looks at her and smiles, “Okay, well I’ll have a frozen medium peach margarita please.”

Loving Lola- Ch. 26

Man Up!

With his headphones in, Eric blocks out the world while walking to the store down the street from his house. Not wanting to waste gas, he decided walking was a better way to clear his head. So consumed in thought, he neglects to see a car riding next to him. The man is shouting from the window, but Eric does not hear him. Once Eric makes it into the stores parking lot, the car comes in and cuts him off, stopping in front of him. Startled, Eric snatches out his headphones and throws up his fists taking his stance ready to fight, but then he is surprised to see that it is Justin and Damien in the car. “Smh, man what the fuck, yall scared the shit out of me!” “Did you not hear me calling you? What the hell you doing walking anyway?” Justin says shouting. “Why yall rolling up on me like that? Yall was about to catch these hands.” “Man, you weren’t about to do shit, we were riding right next to your ass for about seven minutes, if we were anybody else, ya ass would have been out already. You need to be more aware of your surroundings.” “I got a lot on my mind alright. Walking helps clear my head.” Justin and Damien get out of the car. “What got you all messed up anyway?” Damien asks. “Smh, that girl he met at the bar.” Justin says. “They went out last night, and ever since he got back, he been like this, zoned the fuck out.” “What happened?” asks Damien. “I don’t know, he won’t tell nobody.” “Because ain’t nothing to tell. I told you I was good!” Eric yells. “Clearly you’re not Eric. This girl got you roaming the streets, mindless, talking about having to clear ya head. It was just one date, one encounter, what is so special about her that got you so fucked up?” Eric is silent. “Huh? Because I don’t get how you can go from one thing to THIS in the matter of 24 hours. Did yall have some bomb sex or something?” “Man, hell naw! I wasn’t even thinking about none of that with her. I actually wanted to get to know her man.” “Then what happened, because I’m confused.” “Yeah man, I ain’t never seen you like this before.” Damien interjects. “I DON’T KNOW ALRIGHT! I don’t know what happened. Dinner was great, the mood, the vibe, the atmosphere, everything was perfect. We were good, and then we weren’t. We started talking and I said some stuff, but I guess it came out wrong and now she won’t talk to me… This shit got me all fucked up I know. If it were anybody else, I would have been moved on with no problem, but she’s different and I… I just want to fix it.”

“You sure you ain’t smash? Because your ass is whipped.” Justin says jokingly. “Man shut up! This is why I didn’t want to tell yall, I knew yall were going to start talking shit.” Eric says annoyed. “Man calm down, I was just playing.” “Smh, whatever bruh.” “Look, I’m sorry man, I just ain’t never seen you act this way before. I expect this kind of behavior from Damien, but this is new for you. I can tell you really like this girl.” “Woman. She’s a grown ass woman.” “Ugh, don’t be that guy Eric.” “Then don’t disrespect her.” “She ain’t even yours yet and you already defending her; that’s probably why she is ignoring your ass, you talk too damn much.” “Naw, you might be right though, I do say things without thinking sometimes and I think I may have hurt her feelings. I just wanted to show her that I saw her you know? That I wasn’t trying to play with her. I can tell she been through a lot, but she keeps smiling and pushing through that shit; I am not trying to be another let down for her.” Both Justin and Damien stare at him, “Damn Eric, you really are whipped.” Damien says, “and that’s a lot coming from him” Justin adds. “Hahaha, yeah, yall might be right.” “Alright fine, what’s your next move into getting her back?” asks Justin. “What are you talking about? I told you she wasn’t talking to me.” “You are the dumbest smart person I know. If she didn’t cuss you out, or block you, then you still got a chance.” “Um, I don’t think it works like that.” “How not? It does in my experience.” Eric and Damien are quiet. “Did she cuss you out?” “No.” “Did she block you?” “I don’t think so. We haven’t spoken since the date.” “Well call her and see!” “No. I’m giving her space, respecting her boundaries.” “OH MY GOD! Just call her to see if you’re blocked man. See if it goes straight to voicemail, but if it rings, then you may still have a shot. Hell, she may even answer the phone.” “The logic in this is a little construed.” “Well you ain’t getting anywhere doing what you’re doing. If you want this woman, show her, man up!” Eric hesitates for a moment then pulls out his phone. He finds Lola’s number and makes the call.