Loving Lola- Ch. 49

I am here for you.

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


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


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

Loving Lola- Ch. 48

Taking the night off.

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

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

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

Loving Lola- Ch 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.

Bulletproof 

You think you’re bulletproof, but when the final shots are fired there’s red stains on your shirt and a numbing pain in your chest where you forgot your heart was. Tears start streaming down your face and you begin to ask yourself why as you fall to your feet. Why you thought you were bulletproof when you took your vest off to let them in, not knowing that they had the gun to your chest the whole time. You gave them your heart, but they gave it right back when they offered you their “love”. But you knew you weren’t bulletproof because you took down your guards, knocked downs your walls and allowed them to take refuge in your heart. 

You are not bulletproof. 

Those wounds may heal, but the holes will remain. Go ahead and wash out those red blood stains. Wipe away the tears that stream down your face, but don’t ever forget the love you gave. 

S.T.

Reflection

Who is there when all you hear, “time” is what you need? Or the one to just fill up the void when time isn’t up to speed?

When sadness is the only feeling that you’ve ever known, since feelings of entrapment happens when you are alone.

Who sees the real you when there is no one else? Or can see the hurt inside your eyes from all the pain that’s left?

When feelings of self doubt, of self pity, or self hate, arises and you try to change then feel its just too late.

The only person who truly knows exactly what to do, is the person you’d seek last for help, and sadly it is you.

No one else can lift the sadness trapped inside your heart, YOU must look deep down inside and find out where to start.

Look yourself straight in the eyes and be freed from this defeat, and then you will forever be, whole, happy, and complete.

S.T.

Poem: Trust

Why must you upset me so,

You thrive to live your life in woe.

It really is so hard for you

To leave the hurt, and just renew.

The future can run through your mind,

But have the past playback every time.

Learn to think with just your heart,

And truly then the trust will start.

Though, there are those times where you,

Will feel there’s nothing you can do,

But then the love will take full control,

Of your body, mind, heart and soul. 

S.T.

Poem: Words

Debating how to past the time,

While your hand just sits in mine.

We say “I love you” everyday,

But is that really what you want to say?

I feel, you feel, you’re obligated,

To say those words in which you’ve stated.

But here’s to you, my apology, 

I know you’re not in love with me.

To force those words coming from your lips, 

Makes me the biggest hypocrite.

If you’re not ready, I understand,

Just please don’t let go of my hand.

Hold me close until it’s time,

And I will switch your heart with mine.

If you take it, don’t let it break,

Just hold it tight and keep it safe.

I might say those words to you,

But you don’t have to say them too.

Not until you’re really sure,

That to you, “I love you” means something more.

S.T.