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Not A Bad Thing

By Jgenisis Dodd All Rights Reserved ©

Other / Romance

Blurb

Kennedy and Aubrey have been best friends since they were in diapers. Kennedy has written off love because of so many bad experiences within her own life and those of her family members; until an unexpected love comes into her life and turns her world upside down. Aubrey is caught between a rock and a hard place. His love for his girlfriend is complicated by a love he'd been trying to deny for years.

Chapter One

I woke with a major headache and looked to my left, staring at the body next to me. I couldn’t tell you who it was, couldn’t tell you which one of my many conquests I had decided to spend the evening with. I slowly attempted to creep out of the bed, to go unnoticed but with no luck.

“Where you going babe?” his voice rang. I looked at him and as my eyes adjusted, I smiled. It was Jeremiah, one of my regulars I’d hooked up with a couple of times. He was clingy, but he was always available when I needed him to satisfy my itch.

“I need to head home.” I replied, combing my fingers through my untamed curly mane. “I have work in the morning.”

“Stay a little longer.” He said gently pulling me back down to the comfort of his blue Egyptian cotton sheets. They felt soft on my skin and with the headache I was having, my body was begging me to stay put.

“No I really can’t.” I said as he pulled me close to him and kissed me softly on the lips. “I have to be at work early. I have so much work to do, it’s ridiculous.”

“Don’t you just want to stay in bed all day?” he asked. “I’m sure you have someone at the bakery that you can trust to handle things for you.”

“They are important clients.” I said pulling myself back upright. “I need to handle this myself.” I stood up and gathered my belongings. My little black cocktail dress, red pumps and a matching black panty and bra set were all over the room.

I could just barely remember the night we had. I faintly remembered the phone call I had made to him after I had left the club with one of my friends; but the drive over I don’t remember at all. I know you should never drink and drive, but I had places to be and I couldn’t depend on anyone else to get me to where I needed to be.

“Will you call me tomorrow?” Jeremiah asked, watching me get dressed.

“Of course.” I lied walking over to him and kissing him on the cheek. I waved goodbye and headed out of his bedroom, down the hall and out the front door.

I should be tired of this. Tired of walking out after a night of sex I barely remember. You’d think that I could just get my shit together and settle down. I wanted to settle down, being in love just wasn’t for me.

I got into my car, a 2015 black Range Rover, and turned on the ignition. My clock showed it was 4:45 am and I had to be at the bakery by 7am. I rolled my eyes, feeling the headache in my eyes and drove off to make the long trek to my house in Cedar Hill.

I made it home in a little over thirty minutes. I parked in my driveway, not bothering to park in the garage since I’d be heading right out. I noticed another car in the driveway. I again rolled my eyes. It belonged to my best friend’s girlfriend, Amber.

I think that it would be safe to say that Amber and I aren’t the best of friends. She hates the fact that Aubrey and I are so close. She hates the fact that we shared a connection the two of them would never share. I smiled to myself thinking about how much I got under her skin.

To be fair, I wasn’t his only best friend. My twin brother Robert, Aubrey and I had all grown up together. Our mothers were best friends since they were in elementary school. They were pregnant at the same time, and had us months apart. Needless to say we’ve been inseparable since birth. Aubrey was an only child, so we were all he had.

I got out the car, and walked into my home after unlocking the door. I dropped my clutch on the couch, kicked my shoes off at the door and walked upstairs. I could hear movement from Aubrey’s room and knew it must have been him that was up. I tip-toed past his door and went into my bedroom. I gently closed my bedroom door and went straight into the bathroom.

I took my clothes off and hopped in the shower. I let the water run down my back, over my face, all over my body; letting it cleanse my sins away. When I got out, I wrapped a towel around my body and walked back into my bedroom.

“Late night?” Aubrey’s voice rang, startling me. He was standing in my doorway with his arms folded across his chest.

“Don’t do that shit.” I snapped at him. “You scared the hell out of me.”

“Paranoid much?” he walked over to the edge of my bed and sat down.

“No.” I replied sitting down on the opposite end of my bed. I grabbed my Jergen’s and started to lotion my body. The lotion made my dark chocolate skin shine. I loved the way it made my entire body soft. “But I’m barely use to you being here. Don’t make me regret letting you move in.”

“You love me.” He smiled. “Besides, this house is too big for just you and who else was going to help you with these bills.”

“What do you want?” I asked standing up and going to my drawer to grab some panties and a bra. “I even don’t know why you’re in here. If Amber sees you in my room with me and I don’t have any clothes on she’s going to be pissed. I don’t have time to knock a bitch out this morning.”

“Don’t be disrespectful. Besides, she’s sound asleep.” He said shrugging his shoulders. “And it’s nothing I haven’t seen before.”

“Don’t bring up old shit sir.” I said with a smirk. “That happened one time, in high school a long time ago.”

“That was a good day.” He said with a chuckle.

“Yeah right.” I said. “Neither of us knew what the hell we were doing and it lasted all of ten minutes, I doubt anything has changed since then.”

“Anyway.” He rolled his eyes. “I need to head out early, I have to be at the bakery to get those numbers ready. Can you be nice while I’m gone?”

“Maybe you should wake her so she can leave too.” I said adjusting the towel, pulling it tighter around my body. “I have a headache, I don’t feel like dealing with her without you being here. Besides, I have to head to the bakery too, I have so much to do today.”

“Still can’t believe it’s coming up on two years since we opened that bakery.” He said. “Nana would be proud. She’s probably looking down on both of us and smiling.”

“Stop trying to make me sad.” I said biting down on my bottom lip, try not to become emotional. My grandmother was one of the most important people in entire life. The day she died, I lost not only my grandmother, but my confidant, one of my best friends.

I hated to think about my Nana’s death, it had only been a few years since she passed. She lived a long and happy life, but I was selfish. I was with her the day before she died, sitting beside her while she lay in bed. She had gotten cancer and within six months was gone. I still remember the last conversation we had. She was asking me if I was okay, she insisted I needed to be okay. I missed her so much it was ridiculous. I remember she told me once that if I never had anybody else, I’d always have her.

It was my grandmother who had left me the money I used to start up my bakery. She had taught me how to bake since I was a little girl. We spent many nights in her kitchen, cooking up different recipes. Even though I had gone to school for Journalism, my grandmother knew my true passion was to own my own bakery. I was sorry that she wasn’t here to witness it thrive the way that it has.

“Please don’t start crying.” Aubrey said walking over and pulling me into an embrace. I wrapped my arms around him and let a few tears escape me. He rubbed my back, then put my head in his hands. He stared into my eyes and those strange feelings I often got around him emerged. “She’d be so proud of you, of both of us. We own one of the top bakeries in Cedar Hill, and soon to be in all of the DFW area. If you’re going to cry, it’s because we made it.”

“You’re right.” I said wiping away a tear. He kissed me on the forehead and held my hand. We sat looking at each other for just a little while longer, before I let go.

“Let me go wake up Amber.” He said and I nodded. He walked out of my bedroom and I closed the door behind him.

I managed to get dressed in a pair of black leggings, a purple t-shirt with my bakery’s name and logo on it ‘Delectable Delights’ and a pair of black shell toe Adidas. I looked in the mirror and stared at my hair. My curly black hair had obviously been sweated out last night, so I added some moisture to it. I put it in a ponytail, smoothing the edges down. The result was a puffy ponytail to the back of my head.

After getting dressed, I walked down the stairs and headed to the kitchen where Aubrey was sitting with Amber.

“Good morning Kennedy.” Amber said dryly in my direction.

“Morning.” I replied mustering up the biggest fake smile I could do. I grabbed my cell phone from where I had dropped it on the kitchen island and scanned my emails.

“There’s coffee.” Aubrey said giving me a ‘be nice’ look. I shrugged and poured myself a cup of coffee adding just enough cream and sugar.

“Are we still on for lunch?” I asked him sitting my phone down after seeing our lunch date in my calendar.

“Yeah.” He replied taking out his own phone.

“Baby, I thought you and I were going to go to lunch today.” Amber said in a whiney voice.

“We had lunch yesterday.” He replied. “It’s a business meeting anyway. We have to go over stuff for the bakery.”

“Can’t you do that some other time?” she asked. I turned away from them, grabbed the bread and rolled my eyes as I put a few slices of bread in the toaster.

“It’s a business lunch.” Aubrey told her. I was tempted to remind him that he was a grown man and didn’t have to explain himself to anybody, but decided against it. “I can’t reschedule it.”

“Right… business.” She said obviously frustrated. “What about tonight, are we still on for dinner?”

“Sure.” He said. “We can go back to your place afterwards.” I heard him kiss her and I cringed.

“I wish you’d move in with me.” She said as my toast popped up from the toaster. I spread butter and grape jelly on the bread and sighed loudly.

“I should go.” I told Aubrey. “I’ll see you at work.”

“Okay.” Aubrey replied. I smirked as Amber gave me the evil eye. I knew she hated me but I always failed to see how that was my problem. I grabbed my laptop, my cell phone, car keys and headed out the door.

I knew it was going to be a problem with Aubrey moving in with me. I knew it as soon as I offered it to him. It was a win/win for us. He needed to move since his lease was up, and I needed help with bills. My grandmother had also left me her home it was a while after she died that I moved in and invited Aubrey to come too.

Amber was so paranoid of our relationship, but had no reason to be. I mean yes, Aubrey is attractive. He was tall, maybe 6’0, he had a medium, but muscular build and he had these beautiful brown eyes that bore into your soul when he looked at you. His big bright smile could make anyone happy. He was going through a phase right now and was growing his hair out, which only added to his good looks. His mom, my aunt Sharon was white and his dad was black. His light skinned complexion and good looks made plenty of heads turn when we went out.

While he was very much gorgeous, we had always just been friends. The only thing remotely close that we came to being together was back in high school. We had decided to go to Junior prom together, and afterwards one thing had led to another. We were each other’s first, but that’s as far as it ever went. Thing had gotten a little complicated after, but we figured we’d be better as friends.

I didn’t understand why Amber made such a big deal out of our friendship. There were plenty of people who were friends with people of the opposite sex. A lot of those relationships were just friendships, nothing more and nothing less. It was stupid of her to be so jealous. I couldn’t bring myself to have that type of vibe with Aubrey. I didn’t ever want us to be different. I had been tempted to get something started, to kiss him, allow him to love me, but something in me just couldn’t do it.

I made it to work in a little over ten minutes. When I walked in, Samantha, my assistant baker was looking over some orders. “Hey Sam.” I said. “You ready for the day?”

“Yes.” She said, her dark brown hair was tied up in a tight bun on the top of her head. She put her hand on her hip and her brown eyes bore into mine. “Surprised you made it in after last night. Where’d you end up?”

“Girl Jeremiah’s.” I said laughing. “I don’t even remember it.”

“Yeah you just went ghost on me. You can’t be pulling that shit.” She said.

“I know, but hell I was in heat and he was the closest.”

“Girl, I’ll slap you.” She laughed. “I still don’t know why you won’t let Aubrey satisfy that itch. I mean bitch, you got in-house dick.”

“Bye.” I said. “We have two weddings today. Let’s focus on that, instead of my non-existent in house dick.” I waved her away as I walked towards my office. I could hear her still laughing as I went.

I put my laptop down on my desk, and sat down. I pulled my cell phone out and called my sister Jackie, I knew she was going to be up to take her daughter Nia to school. “Hey.” She answered her phone after two rings.

“Good morning.” I said. “What you doing?”

“Tryna get Nia ready for school.” She said. “I swear your niece is driving me crazy. It’s the same damn thing every morning.”

“Well what is she doing?” I asked.

“She stays up late on her damn iPad watching Netflix. She thinks she’s so slick.” I heard her sigh. “I wish Michael was here, he would know what to do.”

Michael was my sister’s husband. He had died in last year while fighting in Iraq. He had joined the Marines after Jackie had gotten pregnant with Nia almost 8 years ago. It was supposed to be his last tour of duty, but he never made it home.

“He is with you all the time Jack, you know that. And take the damn iPad away, that will end her staying up late watching videos.” I said. “I just wanted to call and check on you.”

“I’m okay.” She said. “Let me go.”

“Love you.” I told her.

“You too Ken.” She said before hanging up.

My sister was so stressed out and we all knew it. She wasn’t doing too good. She was pregnant when she found out Michael had died, and as a result of her stress and grieving she had lost her unborn child. These days, she drowned her sorrows with a bottle of Hennessy. I hated what loving someone so much had done to her. She wasn’t the same person.

I grabbed my phone, headphones and headed out of the office. I checked on the front of the store, to make sure someone was attending it. I greeted a few morning customers, then headed upstairs to the kitchen to begin my work for the day.

Hours later, I hadn’t even realized it was time for lunch until I got a tap on my shoulder. My music was blasting through my headphones and I was in my groove. Baking was one of two things that kept me calm, kept me sane. We were putting finishing touches on one of the wedding cakes we were doing and then had to start a new one after lunch.

I took my headphones off and looked at Aubrey, he was eating a cupcake. He must have stolen one of the ones being freshly made. “Ready?” he asked me.

“You’re going to ruin your appetite.” I said putting my utensils down. I walked over to the sink and washed my hands. “What time is it?”

“A little after 12.” He said stuffing the rest of the cupcake in his mouth. “God I love these cupcakes. So glad I work here, unlimited access.”

“Haven’t you ever heard the phrase; “Don’t use your own supply.?” I asked and he laughed.

“Whatever.” He said throwing the cupcake wrapper in the garbage.

We walked down the stairs and I stopped at my office to get my purse. I passed Sam in the front of the bakery as we left. “Hey Sam, I’m headed out for lunch. I won’t be long, I still have to finish the Anderson wedding cake.”

“I’ll hold down the fort while you’re gone.” She said smiling. She made kisses faces at Aubrey and I cracked up laughing when I caught her. I gave her the finger and Aubrey and I walked out the bakery and down the street to one of our favorite restaurants Vicki’s. It was a casual, almost diner type of joint. Southern food that had the best fried chicken I’d tasted since my Nana’s.

Once in Vicki’s we grabbed a table and ordered drinks and appetizers. I took out my phone and saw a text from Jeremiah asking me to dinner tomorrow night. He had been pursuing me for the longest, but I wasn’t the dating type. Anyone that I’d ever messed around with knew I didn’t want to be in a serious relationship. I made that clear up front. I loved the company that a fine man had to offer me, but after that I was on to the next.

My experience with relationships was not good. I had been hurt before and I witnessed so many people in my life have a hard time because of falling in love. Take Jackie for example, she loved her husband so much that she lost herself after he died. Aubrey’s mom had her husband walk out on her and their five-year-old son because he couldn’t handle life. Then there was my mom and dad who were in the middle of a separation because my dad was a cheater who took my mom for granted.

“So here’s the sales we did last month.” Aubrey said taking a file out of his bag and handing it to me. “We did pretty good, it’s trending up. It’s exactly where we need to be. Compared to where we were when we first opened, I say we’re on a good path.”

“I want to expand.” I said looking over the numbers. “There’s a building I’ve been looking at in Uptown that I think could be good.”

“Do you think we’re ready for that?” he asked.

“Yeah, these numbers say we are. Our store front traffic is great and online orders are always off the chain.”

“Give me the info and I’ll crunch some numbers, see how much we can afford to spend.” He said as the waiter brought our drinks. “But keep in mind Uptown is premium space. If you want to get down there, we’re going to have to spend a pretty penny.”

“Well I still have quite a bit of savings from what Nana left me.” I said. “ And if need be, we can apply for a loan. I really think this is the right move for us, especially coming up on our second anniversary. I’ll text you the information for the location. I also think we need to buy a new delivery van. We’re getting so much more business from referrals, and I want to be able to accommodate to our business needs.”

“I was thinking about a new van too.” He said. “I’ll factor that into the budget for next month and look around. Anything else?”

“No.” I said. “I think that’s it. I’m ready to eat.” I looked around the restaurant at other patrons eating and my stomach grumbled.

“So, I wanted to tell you something.”

“Uh oh” I said taking a sip of my Dr. Pepper. “Sounds serious…What’s up?”

“Don’t be mad.”

“Why would I be mad?” I asked him. “What did you do?”

“It’s not what I did, but what I’m about to do.” He said. He grabbed his bag and sat a small black box on the table. He opened the box and showed me a beautiful diamond ring. The sun shining in through the restaurant window hit the diamond just right, causing it to have an extra sparkle. “I’m going to ask Amber to marry me.”

“What?” I said spitting half of my drink out of my mouth. “You’re kidding right?”

“No I’m not kidding.” He said visibly upset by my reaction. “Fuck kind of thing to say is that?”

“I just… I have no words.” I said. “Why would you want to do that?”

“Not everybody wants to be lonely forever.” He said. “We can’t all be like you when it comes to relationships.”

“Fuck kind of thing is that to say?” I repeated his words.

“I’m in love Kennedy.” He replied. “You’re my best friend, you should be happy for me.”

“Are you sure you want to marry her?” I asked him. “What makes you so sure, she’s the right one?”

“I just feel it.” He said. “I just know.”

“That’s it?” I asked. “You just know? Maybe you should think about it some more, take some more time…”

“I’ve had four years to think about it.” He said grabbing the ring box and putting it back in his bag. “I really needed you to be okay with this.”

“Why?”

“Because, you’re important to me.” He said. “And this is important to me.”

I just sat and stared at him. I didn’t know what to say, or think. I knew in the back of my mind that Aubrey would eventually get married. I knew he would find someone, but I thought I had more time with him. I was being selfish.

“Fine.” I said. “I’m happy for you, as long as this is something you want.”

“I do.” He said. “I love her.”

“I love Jesus, but you don’t see me joining a convent.” I mumbled and he gave me a stern look. Our food arrived at that moment, so it kept him from replying to my comment. “When are you going to do it?”

“Tonight, at dinner.” He said. “Then I wanted to go out to Truth. Maybe we can all go out, I’ll call Rob. Can you call and ask Jackie?”

“Of course Jackie will be there.” I mumbled. “She wouldn’t miss a chance to go out and have a drink.”

“You’re too hard on her.” He said biting into his burger. “She’s going through a rough time.”

“Somebody has to be hard on her.” I said. “My mama and daddy baby her. Rob tolerates her. I can’t sit back and let her live her life like this. She has Nia to think about.”

“She’s trying to survive.” He said. “Cut her some slack, she lost her husband.”

“She lost herself.” I said. “That’s what being in love does to you. You sure you want to end up like Jackie? So in love that you lose yourself trying to please somebody else.”

“You let that nigga hurt you so bad that you see the bad in everybody else’s relationship.” Aubrey said shaking his head and putting a fry in his mouth. “That shit with Corey happened years ago Ken, and you’re still spiteful about it.”

“Not everybody can have somebody like you; now can they?” I asked. “You know what, I’m suddenly not very hungry.” I stood up and grabbed my cell phone off the table. “See you later.”

“Ken…” I heard Aubrey say as I walked out of the door.

When I got back to the bakery, I immediately went to back upstairs to finish my work. I hated that I felt that way, but I needed to shield myself. How dare Aubrey try to throw that shit in my face? He knew how much I had gone through with my ex-boyfriend Corey.

I had met Corey in college. We both attended Baylor University. I thought he was the love of my life, until he cheated on me and left me with 8K in debt from unpaid bills I let him convince me to get. We had been together for two years, I thought we would get married. He knocked up some other woman and left me for her. I was devastated. Aubrey is the only person who knew how bad it was, and for him to throw that in my face was hurtful.

I ignored him for the rest of the day. By closing time, I was exhausted and glad to head home. My headache hadn’t gotten any better, so I needed to rest. My staff worked hard, and I was proud of them. I let Samantha close up and headed home around 5:30.

I made it to my house in all of ten minutes. I was tired and really needed that nap. I parked in the garage; purposely not leaving room for Aubrey’s truck and went into the house. I dropped all of my things at the door, and went upstairs to take a shower. I smelled like flour and sugar and I was in desperate need of washing away from worries.

After my shower, I laid down in my bed and attempted to fall asleep with no luck. I turned on the TV, thinking it would make me fall asleep, but it didn’t. Instead I ended up watching two hours of Snapped. I had locked my door, and pretended to be sleep when Aubrey came knocking. I knew he was going to try to apologize, but I wasn’t in the mood to talk to him. I heard him go down the hall, into his room. He showered, and left.

Just as my eyes were drifting, my phone rang. “Yeah.” I said sleepily into the phone.

“Are you sleep?” Jackie’s voice rang from the other end of the phone.

“Trying to get some sleep Jack, what’s up?” I asked.

“Just calling to see if you’re still going to the club tonight.” I heard her panting.

“What the hell are you doing?” I asked her.

“Working out duh.” She replied. “It’s called multi-tasking.”

“I don’t know if I’m going to go.” I said.

“You’re his best friend.” She said. “You can’t not show up. No matter how you feel about marriage and love and relationships, you have to support him.”

“Thank you Oprah.” I said shaking my head and rolling my eyes. “Where’s Nia?”

“She’s in her room.” She said. “I’m getting ready to take her to Mom’s after I shower and get dressed.”

“Speaking of.” I said. “Have you talked to her lately?”

“Yeah I talked to her briefly this morning.” She replied.

“What’s the latest with her and daddy?”

“Call her and ask.”

“I’m not picking sides.” I replied. “If I call her, I’ll have to call him and I don’t really want to hear either of them tell us more lies. The both of them are on nerves 20 and 21.”

“She’s thinking about going through with the divorce.” She said. “And to be honest, I don’t blame her.”

“Jack!” I said shocked. “How could you even say that?”

“Look, Ken. You and Rob don’t really remember half the shit I remember.” She said. “I remember him coming home late, sometimes not at all. I remember the fights and arguments. It was a mess.”

“Still, you don’t just throw 35 years of marriage down the drain.” I said.

“Well tell that to daddy.” She said. “He’s the one that slept around, he’s the one that messed up.”

“Goodbye Jackie.” I said.

“Wait.” She said. “What are you wearing?”

“Black… We’re going to a funeral.” I replied. “Bye.” I hung up the phone as she laughed at me. I sat up in bed just as another episode of Snapped was going off.

What was going on with life? My parents were on the brink of divorce. My sister was an alcoholic. My best friend is marrying a complete bitch. My brother is a man whore following in my dad’s footsteps, and I’m sitting here alone as usual. I looked around my room and realized how empty it felt. No matter how much furniture you have to fill it, because there was no one sleeping next to me I felt completely alone.

By 9 O’clock I was dressed in all black and headed out the door. I drove thirty-five minutes to downtown Dallas. I parked my car with valet and went inside the club. I went straight to the bar and ordered a drink. It wasn’t long when I felt a tap on my shoulder.

“Hey pretty lady, can I buy you a drink?” a voice boomed from behind me. I turned around and smiled.

“Rob you’re such an idiot.” I hugged my brother.

. We could have been identical. We both had identical chocolate skin, light brown eyes and the same crest kid smiles. I had a head of curly black hair and he had a low haircut. Robert was much taller than me. He was always the tallest between he, Aubrey and I. In comparison, I probably came only to his shoulders in height.

“Hey Michelle.” I said addressing my sister-in-law. “You look beautiful.”

“Hey Ken.” She said giving me a swift hug. “How’s it going?”

“Good girl, trying to stay out of trouble.” I said.

“So I assume that’s not going too well for you.” She said and we laughed. “We both know you’re crazy.”

I liked Michelle. She and Robert had been together since college. She fit in great with our family. She was so good to my brother, she was more than he deserved. She stood just a few inches taller than me. Her long black hair flowed down her back. She was half Asian and black. Her light caramel skin was flawless and she had a smile that could make the grumpiest person smile in return. She was the type of woman who knew she was bad, but only had eyes for Robert. It was sweet really, I just wished he only had eyes for her.

“Should we get a table?” Rob asked offering each of us an arm. We walked to the back of the club and sat down at a table. I wasn’t really in the mood to be here, but I was trying to be supportive. “How do you feel about all of this?”

“I don’t feel anything about it.” I said shrugging my shoulders and taking a sip of my pineapple Cîroc. “It’s his life. Besides, maybe he can move in with her instead of staying at my place.”

“What’s wrong with you?” Robert asked me. “You seem upset.”

“I’m not.” I said looking away from him. I blamed our twin connection for him always knowing when something was wrong with me.

“You’re lying.” He said. “Tell me what happened.”

“Has he texted you or called? I’m ready to go home already, had a long day at work.” I asked changing the subject.

“Yeah, he said he was going to be here in a few.” Robert said. “Now tell me what’s wrong.”

“Kennedy, I need to come see you at the bakery.” Michelle said helping me change the subject. I wasn’t in the mood to get into anything with Robert. “Madison and Morgan’s fourth birthday is coming up and they each want different cakes. I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.”

“Sure, whatever they want.” I said. “Stop by tomorrow and we can figure something out. When’s the party?”

“Couple of weeks.” She said. “I just want to get a jump start on it. I know how busy you can get.”

“I’ll always have time for them.” I said. “Those are my babies.”

“Where’s Jackie?” Robert asked interrupting us. “Probably at the bar.”

“Robert.” Michelle said. “Don’t do that.”

“There she is.” I said pointing to the door. I stood up and waved her in our direction. She was walking funny, almost as if she was already drunk. Her long toffee legs carried her way to our table. Jackie was the only one of us that looked anything like our mom. Both of them had the same shade of toffee skin, same doe like brown eyes, same smile.

“Hey family.” She said smiling, sitting down next to me. I could smell the alcohol on coming out of her pores. “Where’s Aubrey?”

“On the way.” Robert said giving her the stank eye. “Are you drunk already?”

“Not yet.” She told him. “But give me a few minutes and I’ll be there.”

“That’s not something you should brag about.” Robert replied as Jackie took a long sip of her drink.

“Please don’t start that shit today.” I said. “I have a headache already and refereeing a fight between the two of you is not on my list of things to do tonight.”

“As long as he doesn’t start with me, I won’t start with him.” Jackie said looking at Rob. He made to say something but Michelle stopped him. Jackie and Robert got along the worst between the three of us. They both thought the other received more attention from our mom and the jealousy was ridiculous. I on the other hand could care less about having my mom’s validation so, I usually played the ref.

“There’s Bre.” Robert said standing up as Aubrey and Amber walked out way. She was hanging on to him tightly, smiling. I could see the ring on her left hand, gleaming all the way across the room.

“Congratulations.” Michelle said as they made it to our table. She hugged both of them.

“Thank you.” Amber said. “I’m so happy. I can’t believe this is happening.”

“Let’s see that ring.” Jackie said and Amber put her hand out to show off the ring.

“Congrats bro.” Robert said to Aubrey, giving him a hug. “Welcome to the end of the rest of your life.”

I put on my best fake smile and gave him a hug as well. “Surprised you showed up.” Aubrey said to me.

“I can still leave.” I told him.

“What am I missing?” Rob asked us.

“Nothing.” I said waving them off. “It’s a celebration, let’s get more alcohol.”

“Let’s party.” Robert said smiling. I hated Aubrey in that moment, for being so damn happy.

Continue Reading Next Chapter
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