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. 43


“Timothy, can you at least hide next time you want to spy on me?” Lola says as she enters her office. Timothy peeks his head around the corner, “oh, so you saw me huh?” Lola stops and looks at him, “well then, next time I’ll be a little more sneaky, but I don’t know how when the whole front of the gallery is made of glass,” he says throwing himself into the chair. Lola quietly places her things ono the floor next to her desk. “You didn’t look too happy leaving that tall dark and lovely piece of dove chocolate, I hope there isn’t any trouble in paradise,” he says side eyeing her. “Timothy, can you go get Stephanie so we can start setting up this display for the showcase please?” She says ignoring him, “fine, but we will have this conversation miss thang,” he says leaving her office. Lola slumps down into her chair, why did I even get upset… I should just call him and apologize. Lola takes out her phone and scrolls through her contacts for Eric’s number. She finds his name but pauses before pressing the call button. She places her head on her desk and locks her phone then starts to groan. Ms. Allard walks by and peers in at Lola, she smirks and shakes her head going into her office closing the door behind her. Alright, pull yourself together girl, you have a bomb ass display to create, you can self loathe later! Stephanie comes and knocks on the door, “um, Lola?” “Yes?” she answers with her head still placed on the desk, “we need your assistance on placing the Dorothy Lewrant…” Stephanie says bashfully. Lola lifts her head and pulls herself together, “okay, I’ll be right there,” she says putting on a smile. She puts her phone in the drawer and goes to meet Stephanie and Timothy on the floor.

­­­On her way back from lunch, Jhené decides to give Giselle a surprise visit at her office. When she arrives, she knocks on the door and doesn’t receive an answer. She tries to go inside, but the door is locked. She peers in the window and notices all the lights are off; I know this is her lunch time. Somewhat perplexed, she pulls out her phone and decides to call Giselle and see where she is. When the phone begins to ring, she hears a sound coming from her office, oh wow, this girl locked her phone in her office. As she starts to walk away, Giselle answers the phone.

“Hello?” “What the hell? Did you not hear me out here knocking on your door?!” Giselle takes a deep sigh, “yeah…” “Yeah?! What’s going on with you? You’ve been MIA all day. I wanted to go to lunch together, but they said you weren’t on the premises, where did you go?” “I went to go see Sam.” Jhené looks up and places her hand on her head, “can you please open the door, I don’t think this conversation should be had out in the open, plus I feel crazy talking to your door like this.”

Giselle hangs up and unlocks the door. “Smh really,” she says opening the door, “you didn’t want to open it or at least say something?” “Sorry…” Giselle says laying on her couch. “I don’t like this… what the hell happened with Sam?” “… He said he wasn’t going to tell Lola anything.” “So, you went down there to see if he was going to tell her what happened all those years ago?” “… I also went to apologize.” “Did you?” “Yes. But he didn’t accept it. He said it was a bullshit apology and he felt sorry for me, then asked me to leave.” Jhené stands there quietly for a moment then goes to sit down next to her. “…well that was harsh. Although you messed up their relationship and convinced Lola to stay here when you knew she was unhappy…” Giselle looks at her, “although you did those things, I’m really proud of you for trying to fix your mistakes. He may not be too happy with you right now, but I’m sure it’s mostly because he thought you would never own up to your actions, but I think he will come around eventually.” “And if he doesn’t?” Giselle asks softly, “then, that’s okay. Even if he never forgives you, that’s not something for you to burden. You took the most important step and apologized, but now you have to deal with whatever comes from that and accept the consequences of your actions.” Giselle rolls over and hugs Jhené, “thank you for loving me Jhené.”

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. 41

The Apology.

“What do you want?” Sam says looking her in the eye. Giselle, with hands clasped within each other looks back at him. With neither backing down from their intense gaze, Giselle finally breaks eye contact, “I want to apologize to you” she says looking away from him. Shocked, Sam looks at her in disbelief, “Wh-what?” “The actions done unto you back then were disgusting and unjustifiable, I hope to squash all ill feelings you may have towards me or my family because of that.” Still not able to look him in the eye, Sam looks at her with a blank stare. The atmosphere between them drastically changes and Sam is no longer nervous or worried to be in her presence. His attitude and demeanor shifts, and he can no longer contain himself, “actions? You mean how you deliberately and single-handedly thwarted all communication between Lola and I with the constant lies you’ve managed to drill in her head of me just up and leaving her without a goodbye? Or even convincing her, your own sister, that nothing or no one was good enough if it were not connected to or beneficial for your company when you knew she was miserable there? Do you mean those actions?” Giselle stays quiet and they both sit there for a moment in silence. “Keep your apology, I don’t want it, nor do I need it.” He gathers his pen and notepad and begins to leave the booth, “Sam wait!” Giselle yells out grabbing his hand. He stops and stands there quietly, “look, let’s not make a scene okay?” She says to him. Sam angrily snatches his hand away from her, “what?! You’re seriously worried about making a scene, but you call that an apology? How long did it take you to come up with that? The few minutes it took to drive over here I bet. You couldn’t even own up to the “disgusting” things you’ve done, let alone look me in the eye. That’s just like you, but no matter how you dress it up, shit is still shit. You know, I used to be so intimidated by you, your family and all that damn power you threw around, but now, I just feel sorry for you. It’s sad the way you parade around like you’ve got everything under control when in actuality, you are falling to pieces just trying to keep your head above water, drowning in your lies and regrets… I know the only reason you’ve decided to do this after all these years, is because you’re afraid I’ll tell Lola everything you did, but I’m not like you. I would never try and drive a wedge between two people who love each other. Your sisterhood is your bond, you don’t have to worry about me breaking it, honestly, I’m sure you will do that all on your own.” With watery eyes, Giselle looks at him with a faint smile, “thank you. Sam, I really am sor-” “If we’re done here, I have to get back to work” Sam says interrupting her. She looks at him for a moment then pulls herself together. “Of course,” she says putting her shades back on. She thanks him for his time and leaves the payment for her drink on the table and takes her leave. Sam lets out a big sigh and slams his hands on the table drawing attention from the people in the room. Tasha looks at him worriedly from across the bar, he looks back at her and then heads to the back. She follows him and asks if he is okay, he nods his head yes, then she lightly places her hand on his shoulder and leaves.

Giselle arrives back at work and sits in the car for a moment. She removes her shades and begins to sob softly. Her phone rings and she quickly pull’s herself together. “Hello?… Yes, I am on my way.” She hangs up the phone, wipes her face and gets out of the car making her way into the building.

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.

Loving Lola- Ch 34

Telling the truth.

Jhené looks at Giselle confused, “What do you mean you lied?” Giselle covers her face in shame, “Lola was under the impression that Sam just up and left without a word because that is what I told her. Before she quit the company, she held onto the hope that he was coming back. She would ask everyday if he had called the office, looking for some sort of sign that he was going to return.” “Okay, but what does that have to do with you?” Jhené asks her. Giselle walks into her room and goes into her closet. She pulls out a box hidden on the top shelf and walks over to Jhené. She takes the box and sits on the bed, opening it. She pulls out numerous envelopes addressed to Lola; some never opened. “Giselle, what are these?” “I didn’t think Lola really cared for him until it was too late.” “Giselle,” Jhené says flipping through envelope after envelope. “She looked so hopeful every time she’d ask about him, then she’d look hurt when I told her I hadn’t heard from him. I couldn’t tell her what I had done.” “Giselle, what did you do?” “He called, and called, and called, and called, until one day he just stopped. I thought he had finally moved on and let her go, but that’s when I received his first letter. He figured that we were never going to let him speak to her, so he got smart and tried a different approach.” “Giselle…” “I was too deep in at that point to just say “I’m sorry”. I had to rid her of him for good. I knew that there was no going back so I collected all the letters and hid them so that there would be no remnants of Sam, and she will never have to know what I did.” “How long did you expect to keep this from her?” Giselle walks next to Jhené and sits down beside her, “ha, longer than this.” “Why didn’t you just throw these away? Why keep them?” “…I don’t know… I guess a little piece of me wanted her to know the truth, but I was always scared to tell her, so I hoped that holding onto these letters would one day give me the courage to give them to her and air it all out. But every time I thought about doing it, there was always some asshole she was dating that ended up breaking her heart. How fucked up would it had been if I, her sister, told her that I got rid of the one man who truly loved her, forcing her to encounter these terrible men? I could never do that to her, so,” “so you decided to not say anything at all and let her believe that Sam wasn’t shit either…” “hmph, do you hate me now?” Jhené is quiet for a moment. “I could never hate you, but I am disappointed. Lola trusts us, we are all we have, we can’t afford to do things like this to each other. G, you have to fix this before it’s too late. Now that Sam is back, I’m sure that he is not trying to lose her a second time. He could easily tell her all of this, don’t you think it’s better to hear it from you first than from him?” “How do we know he is even trying to pursue her though?” Jhené looks at her stale faced and pulls a letter from the box and begins to read: “Hold on tight and don’t let go, I will take you anywhere you know. All you need is to take my hand, and we will leave our footprints in the sand. In your eyes, there is that gleam, that I now only see inside my dreams. If only you knew that what I feel, is a feeling you’ve imprinted on my heart that’s real. Together is where I want to live, so you can receive all the love I’d give. But until then, I will love from afar, because leaving you has left me broke down and scarred. So, in hope of the day you’ll feel it to, I’ll forever hold onto the thought of you. – Sam.” “Now, does that sound like a man who is willing to give up so easily? He will try again, and I don’t think you will be able to stop him.”

Jhené places the letters back into the boxed and puts the lid back on. “Based on the content of these letters, he doesn’t seem like a bad guy and that’s great considering the scum from her past. She deserves to be happy.” She gives Giselle a hug, tells her good night and leaves her room closing the door behind her. Giselle takes the box and places it back inside the closet on the top shelf. Maybe I can talk to him instead… if I am to fix this, it needs to start with him. She cuts off the light and leaves the closet.

Loving Lola- Ch. 33

Digging into the past.

Dinner for the rest of the evening was full of laughter and fun filled conversation; they refused to let the earlier events spoil their night. Since Jhené picked the restaurant, she agreed dinner was on her, and although both Lola and Giselle enjoyed their experience at a new place, she promised to never bring them to any more of her favorite spots again. After leaving Depasco, Giselle dropped Lola off home, and they bid their goodnights. Shortly after exiting the car, the atmosphere amongst the two sisters began to shift. There was an unnerving silence between them that could not be helped until it was broken.

“So, are you going to say what’s on your mind, or are we just going to sit here and act like nothing is wrong?” Giselle asks Jhené. “What are you doing Giselle? Why can’t you just leave well enough alone?” Giselle lets out a sigh, “you don’t understand. You were much younger back then, so responsibility for the company was not a concern for you yet. If he would have stuck around Lola would have,” “left the company?” Jhené interrupts. “News flash G, she left anyway. So, what are you hoping to accomplish this time? Do you want to completely push her away, because that’s all you’ll be doing.” “I only did what I did to protect her. That’s all I have ever done, protect her, hell protect you both. Father blamed him for her leaving like that, and honestly, it was his fault. If he had not shown up spewing his artsy nonsense, she would have still been at the company where she belongs.” “Are you sure dad was the only one who wanted him gone, because I definitely sense some resentment on your end toward him. And if I remember correctly, wasn’t it you who interfered with their relationship?” Giselle scoffs, “what relationship? Lola did not pay that boy any mind; she was so consumed in the “art world”, that she continuously overlooked him. Please, I did that boy a favor.” “You don’t know how she felt about him, I may not have been “concerned” with my position at the company yet, but I did pay very close attention to you guys. I distinctly remember how both you and father reacted whenever she’d bring him up. Lola was too afraid to say anything about Sam because she knew that yall didn’t approve of him. Have you ever considered that maybe she opted to leave the company because of how Sam just disappeared? What if she defied father because she knew he had a hand in his dismissal? What would you do if she found out that you also played a part in that as well? Would you tell her that you were just trying to protect her? Because it sounds like you and dad were both being selfish and decided to cut any happiness away from her that did not have any ties to the company to only secure her position there. But yall failed to see that snatching away her happiness so abruptly, did the one thing yall believed was going to happen if you had let him stay. Giselle, I love you, but if you do this, I’m afraid you’re going to lose her for good.”

Giselle and Jhené arrive at their home. After their discussion, it was clear Giselle had a lot on her mind. Once they are inside, Jhené drops her things and gives Giselle a hug. “Listen, whatever happened in the past, is history. We appreciate how you’ve always looked after us, but we’re all adults now, if this Sam guy is bad news, then she will see it. Our Lola has been through enough bullshit to know what she will and will not settle for. Please do not make her choose between us and her happiness, because I know for a fact, we will lose that fight.” Giselle looks away, “I hoped that with him out of the picture for good, all the bad things I did would have been buried forever, but seeing him again, after all this time, brought it all back up. I got scared and angry…” she sighs, “What if he tells her what I did? She will never forgive me.” Jhené grabs her hand and leans her head on her shoulder, “then you apologize. That’s all you can do. Yes she will be hurt, but eventually she will forgive you, that’s just how Lola is.” Giselle lets go of Jhené, “Yeah, I’m not so sure. I lied about what happened between her and Sam…”

Loving Lola- Ch. 32

Can’t let go of the past.

Giselle and Jhené stare at Lola menacingly as she walks back to the table. She sits down and takes a big sip of her drink peering up at her sisters. She lets out a big sigh, covers her mouth and softly screams. “Why is life so complicated?” she says to them. “Go on and tell us what happened” Jhené says, “and by the way that woman was looking at us, I can tell that it’s something juicy” adds Giselle. “What woman?” Lola asks. “The one who was with Sam girl. She had the nastiest attitude, and she thought she was slick watching us through her little mirror, like girl we clearly see you dummy.” Jhené says rolling her eyes. “Oh yeah her! I don’t know what her problem was, her attitude was very rude when I saw them outside to.” “Outside? Yall were talking outside?” asks Giselle. “Not really, after I hung up with Eric, I was on my way back in when I bumped, literally bumped, into Sam. I apologized, then said some stuff, he said some stuff, and then we said our goodbyes. But yeah no, she did not like us speaking at all. I think she likes him.” They both look at her with a stale face. “Duh girl, she would not have been acting like that if she was just his friend.” Jhené says angrily. “… Do yall think he likes her?” Lola asks. “Why? What does it matter?” asks Giselle. “I don’t know, I was just wondering, but you’re right that’s none of my business.” Giselle looks at her and sips her drink. “Oh, let me tell yall about Eric,” “hold up, I have to use the bathroom, I’ll be right back.” Giselle stands up and leaves the table. Jhené looks at her in concern, “what happened? Is she okay?” Lola asks looking behind her, “oh yeah, I’m sure she’s fine.” Jhené says eating a fork-full of food.

Giselle stands in the bathroom, arms folded with her back against the door. Why did he have to come back?! Has he not caused enough damage to our family already? He needs to just let go of this silly crush and leave well enough alone! She walks over the sink and turns on the water. She looks at herself in the mirror with her hands planted on the sink, I cannot let this happen a second time. She washes her hands, takes a paper towel, and leaves the bathroom. When she returns to the table, Jhené and Lola watches as she sits down. “Are you better now?” Lola asks. “Oh yeah, I’m good. I do want to hear about you and Eric though, so go on.” Jhené peers at her from the corner of her eye, and Giselle does the same back at her. Lola blissfully unaware, excitedly tells them about her conversation with Eric.

In the car, there is silence between Trisha and Sam. “You two are awfully chummy for you guys not to have much history,” Trisha says breaking the silence. “I never said we did not have history, I just said she was but a memory as of late; but what was up with you back there? You were very rude to her. I am sure if you got to know Lola-” “NO!” She yells interrupting him. “Why would I want to be friends with a woman who clearly broke your heart?! She doesn’t love you like I… Just forget it, it doesn’t even matter anymore.” Silence fills the car once again. Sam pulls up to Trisha’s house and parks in the driveway. Trisha gathers her things and thanks him for the meal. “I’m sorry for how I acted, I was out of line.” She opens the door and pauses, just before stepping out, she turns to Sam, kisses his lips and quickly gets out of the car slamming the door behind her. Sam watches as she goes to the door, she turns around one last time and waves goodbye. He smiles and waves back then watches as she goes inside. He sits there for a moment and his smile slowly goes away, I’m sorry Trish, but I can’t give you what you want, I gave my heart away a long time ago, and I am not about to lose her again. This is a new beginning; I am going to seal this deal tomorrow for the studio and I will get back to my passion. She will see that I am not a fuck up, and that I am worth Lola’s time. This time Giselle, I will not back down. He puts the car in reverse, backs out of the driveway, and heads home.

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. 29


“Lola!” Sam yells in shock. Trisha looks restlessly at Sam’s reaction, and begins to feel uneasy about their encounter. “Sam! Hey!” Lola says looking at him then at Trisha. It’s that woman. Giselle and Jhené overhears a commotion and notices Sam and Lola’s confrontation. They watch their interaction with confusion and concern. Sam stands up hastily and introduces Trisha, “Um, this is my co-worker, Trisha, and Trisha, this is my- uh, erm, Lola. We went to University together.” Trisha looks at Lola but doesn’t say anything. “Oh, we met earlier, fantastic choice on the peach margarita by the way, it’s delicious.” Lola says smiling, Trisha smirks and looks away. There is an awkward silence for a moment. “Wha-” “Well, I don’t want to intrude on your date,” Lola interjects, “it was great seeing you again Sam” Lola says gently touching his arm. “And nice to meet you as well Trisha.” Lola waves and proceeds to the bathroom. Giselle and Jhené look at Sam as he sits back down at the table. Sam looks up, and they lock eyes, he then quickly looks away and continues his meal. Lola reaches the bathroom and places her back against the door. Her palms are sweaty, and her heart is racing, and she does not understand why. She walks over to the sink and turns on the faucet to rinse her hands. She looks up at herself in the mirror and cannot shake this strange feeling in her chest. She dries her hands and goes into the stall to use the restroom. She sits there for a moment contemplating on who that woman is to Sam. He said that she was a co-worker… but the way she looked at me… She finishes and goes to wash her hands. Hahaha, what am I thinking? Just before yesterday, I had forgotten of his existence; I haven’t seen him in years…So why should I care who he’s out with? She grabs some paper towels and tries to snap herself back to reality, I don’t care! I am focusing on me! No more men, no more issues, no more! She says looking in the mirror. She stands there quietly for a moment. She opens the door, throws the paper towel away and leaves the restroom returning to her booth without acknowledging their table. With her back facing Sam, she carries on with her meal as if nothing happened.

Trisha and Sam sit in an uncomfortable silence. Trisha watches Sam as he sits there quietly eating. His mood, the vibe, it all changed drastically after he saw her, who the fuck is this woman?! “I’m sorry, for putting you in an awkward position Trish.” Sam says. Shocked, Trish looks away from him and takes a sip of her drink. “Who is she?” she asks. “Hm?” “Lola, who is she to you?” She asks not looking at him. Sam sits there quietly, pushing his food around on his plate. “Honestly, I don’t know.” Trisha glances up at him, “Up until yesterday, she was just a memory.” Sam looks in Lola’s direction, flashes a faint smile then back at his plate. Trisha squeezes her fork angrily, I knew it! Whoever she is, he’s given her his heart a long time ago. I refuse to let this bitch take him away from me.

Giselle and Jhené look at Lola as she sits there eating in silence. “Can yall please not stare at me, I literally feel the heat from your eyes burning a hole into my forehead.” “Are we really going to sit here and not talk about what just happened?” Giselle says to her. “Yes.” She replies not looking at them. They sit there quietly. “Damnit, all I wanted to do, was have a simple meal, at my favorite place, and now I can’t even enjoy it.” Jhené says folding her arms. Lola lets out a deep sigh, “can we just act like whatever happened didn’t happen?” “No, because clearly something is bothering you.” Jhené says. “Didn’t we literally just talk about this at your house?” says Giselle. Lola squints her eyes and looks at her, “wow, that’s a low blow.” “No, it’s the truth. Just talk to us and stop holding stuff in, the sooner you say what you’re feeling, the better you’d feel.” I’m not so sure about that… I don’t even know what I’m feeling… Ring, ring, ring, “So are you going to tell us what happened or not?” Jhené says impatiently. Lola rolls her eyes and grabs her phone from her purse, ring, ring, ring, “are you not going to answer that?” asks Gisselle. “It’s Eric.” Lola says staring at the phone.