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. 46

Secrets and Lies.

“Hey, you alright in here?” Giselle is sitting on the toilet with pieces of tissue in her hands. “I’ve been trying so hard not to break us up since mom died, and all I’ve managed to do was push us further and further away from each other.” “That’s not true,” Jhené says walking into the bathroom, “I’m still here, and you can’t push me away even if you wanted to.” “You know what I mean,” Giselle says blowing her nose, “I’ve made a lot of stupid mistakes in the past, but I finally started to feel like we were getting back to where we used to be.” Lola goes to look for them. “Listen, all that stuff that happened with Sam, Lola, and the company was probably going to happen even if you hadn’t-” “hadn’t what?” Lola says walking into the bathroom. Giselle hops from the toilet, “even if you hadn’t what?” “Oh, no Lola I was just saying that-” Jhené tries to explain. Lola’s looks at Giselle, “G? What is she talking about?” Giselle stands there in silence, with tears rushing down her face, “Lola, please,” Jhené says pleading with her, “No Jhené, I want her to tell me what she did, I need to hear her say it…” she says as her eyes begin to water. Giselle’s eyes grow wide as she looks at Lola, “did, did you know?” “I always thought it was dad who convinced one of his devout chairman to run him away to try and keep me there, but it wasn’t, was it?” “Lola…” Giselle reaches out for her, “why?” Lola says backing away from her, “Lola please let me explain,” “then explain, why would you do that to me? You of all people knew I was unhappy there, but Sam… he made being stuck there bearable for me and you knew that… so why would you send him away from me?” “Lola, I- I didn’t have a choice,” Giselle says to her crying, “our father saw Sam as a threat to the company. He saw how close you were getting and the conversations you’d have about leaving the company… he was infuriated,” “so what? He sent you of all people to get rid of him?” Lola says with tears in her eyes, “…yes.” “How could you?” “I didn’t want to do it Lola I swear!” “But you did, didn’t you?” “Please,” “So what did he offer you in return? More money? A higher position?” Lola’s eyes widen, “he made you president, didn’t he?” “Lola PLEASE!” “Ugh, wow, so much for family huh… And you know, the fucked up part is that I’m not even mad about Sam, I mean yeah I was hurt when he left, but the fact that it was my family who’d stop at nothing to rip away any piece of happiness we had because of fabricated feelings they had toward an artist! Yes, I did talk to Sam about leaving and pursuing a career in art, but all I thought was how I could never leave you guys or break the pact we made… but after everything happened, I realized dad didn’t care about what made us happy, he only cared about that damn company, and that’s when I realized I could no longer stay there. I hoped that you guys would find solace outside of that place and we all could be free of him, but I guess that was naïve of me huh. Lola, “always the dreamer”, isn’t that what dad would say? Somethings never change, even though people do… You guys can just let yourselves out.” She walks out their way so they can leave, Giselle wipes her nose and the tears from her eyes, “Jhené?” Lola calls out to her, “…how long have you known?” Jhené turns and looks at her, “I just found out.” Lola turns around and wipes the tears from her eyes, “but that doesn’t make me any less guilty, so if you’re going to hate her, then hate us both.” Jhené gathers their things and walks with Giselle out of the room. Once they reach the front door Giselle calls out to Lola, “I am so, so sorry, but please don’t hate Jhené, she had nothing to do with this,” Lola walks to her bedroom door, “I would never hate either of you… please lock the bottom lock on your way out,” she says closing her bedroom door.

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. 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. 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. 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.