Meet the Parents
Meet The Parents
I was getting ready to head to Isla Paradiso to see my girls. I was eager to see how they were living and at the same time check out their boyfriends, Jaylen and Micah. After the fiasco of a relationship Reagan was in before, I was even more concerned about her having another boyfriend. After Reagan’s last visit, she acted weird every time I spoke with her. It was unlike Reagan to not say what was on her mind. I had the feeling Reagan suspected there was something going on between Marcia and I.
Truthfully, I did start spending some time with Marcia a couple of months ago. I don’t know, but something started to blossom between us while she was still living here as my nurse. We developed a deep friendship and she became my constant companion. I could talk to her about a lot of things. She was a warm, goodhearted, and compassionate woman. Marcia was the first woman I have seen since my wife walked out on our family several years ago. I did have feelings for Marcia, which made me feel a bit guilty as if I were betraying Apollonia in a way. I couldn’t deny it, I was still in love with my wife. I was hoping that now that I was seeing Marcia, my feelings would gradually dissipate for Apollonia.
Marcia and I didn’t become intimate until after she moved out and started working for a nursing home. I didn’t want her to be employed by my daughter and working for me if we were in that sort of a relationship. We were comfortable with one another and she took away some of the loneliness I felt once my kids moved away.
Marcia was a good woman, but many things held me back from giving every part of me to her. We have discussed when I should tell my girls about her. I was hesitant because I didn’t know how Reagan and Kennedey would react. Marcia herself had two kids in college. Once her kids left the home, she sold her house in Seattle and moved here.
We enjoyed each others company. After my heart attack I needed to keep myself busy. I joined a couple of social sports clubs for fans and started little DIY projects around the house. All to pass the hours. It was nice meeting new people in town and fixing up my home, but I felt there was something missing. Being with Marcia was helping me to fill that void.
“Baby Girls!” I greeted both my daughters as I arrived in their new home on Isla Paradiso. “Daddy! You’re here!” They both exclaimed. It was good to finally arrive in town and see my babies. Reagan told me that both Jaylen and Micah were coming over in a little while for dinner so we could all get to know one another. I admit, I had my reservations about Reagan dating so soon after that nut.
I made a promise after my heart attack, that if I suspected for a second Jaylen or Micah were bad news, I would put my foot down and do everything in my power to stop my girls from seeing either one of them. Maybe I was overstepping my bounds, but knowing my little girl was beat absolutely made me want to die.
“I see you changed your hair, I can’t call you Gingy anymore,” I said as I observed Reagan’s new blonde hair. Personally, I preferred her natural red hair. Hopefully she was just going through a phase. Reagan touched her hair. “Yeah, but I’m going to go back to red soon. Just wanted to try something different,” She said.
“I got you girls a little something,” I said, handing each of them a gift box. The girls were excited when they saw it was their old Teddy bears they used to play with when they were younger.
“OMG, Daddy! This is Pinkie!” Reagan exclaimed. “Where did you find Randy? I can’t believe you had these, thanks Daddy!” Kennedey said excitedly. “Actually I didn’t have them. The last time I went to Miami, your Grandma Carmen had them in a box in her attic. My mom sends her love,” I said. I was happy to see the smile on their faces, it reminded me of when they were little.
“So are your guys dragging now? I thought they would be here already,” I said. “No Daddy. We told them to come in a little while because we wanted to check in with you first,” answered Reagan. Kennedey and Reagan looked nervously at each other.”How is everything, Daddy?” Kennedey asked with hesitation in her voice. “Good, baby. Things couldn’t be better. How is your art coming along?” I asked. Kennedey’s face slightly fell. “Okay, I guess. Still having a difficult time finding buyers and galleries to hang my work. There are a couple of places you can see it and I am displaying more of it on a new website I just built,” she answered.
After I freshened up and changed, Reagan, Kennedey, and I continued to catch up for the next hour or so. They told me about the new projects they were working on. Reagan’s new endorsement deals and Kennedey’s new sculpture she was designing. After they gave the grand tour of their new house, I was very impressed. Reagan told me that she wanted to have more work done in the spring. I looked around and I was very proud of them. I was happy they were finally getting along and spending time together as sisters. That’s all I ever wanted for them.
The doorbell chimed and in walked both Jaylen and Micah. I stood there for a minute as Reagan and Kennedey greeted them both. The guys looked at me with hesitation on their faces. Good, they needed to be nervous. “Daddy, this is Jaylen, Jaylen this is my father, Ray,” Reagan introduced us. Jaylen extended his hand to mine and gave me a firm handshake, keeping eye contact with me. That was good of him to do that. If he was acting too nervous and avoided my gaze, that would tell me he was hiding something. “Nice to meet you, sir. Reagan has told me a lot about you,” said Jaylen. I nodded my head “Nice to meet you,” I said. Kennedey turned to Micah and introduced him to me. While Micah, too had a firm grip, his hand was a bit more on the clammy side. I could tell he was a bit more nervous in meeting me than Jaylen was.
Our group all stood in the foyer for a moment not saying too much, finally Reagan spoke up. “Well, being that it’s less than thirty degrees outside, we can’t barbeque. So, we made an early dinner should be ready in a few,” she said. From what I could tell, seeing both Micah and Jaylen together, they weren’t exactly chums. I knew they had other interests and beyond them running into each other perhaps at the house to see my daughters, they didn’t have much interaction.
I was quite surprised finding out Kennedey was in a relationship. I knew of her issues with intimacy and getting close to the opposite sex. Much of that was related to her fear of losing someone else she cared about after her mother. While I was proud of her for letting some of that go, I would hold my complete judgment on Micah after I got the chance to speak with him a bit more.
We settled into the dining room ready to eat the dinner Reagan and Kennedey prepared for us. Another awkward silence came over the table again. Jaylen and Micah didn’t say too much and briefly looked down at their plates while I observed their body language as they picked at their food. I started to dig in and once I did, everyone else began to eat as well.
I thought about the last time I met one of my daughter’s suitors, that asshole. Reagan was upset with me because I went in on him from the beginning. I questioned everything from his job, his lifestyle, to his relationships with women. Maybe it seemed to be a bit much at the time, but in hindsight, it was the right thing to do because it let me know he wasn’t about nothing. While I will always be frank and blunt, I would not ride the boys as hard so soon per my daughters’ request.
“Jaylen, my daughter tells me you own a club here and in New York?” I asked. Jaylen nodded his head. “Yes, sir. My brother, Amarre and I both do,” he answered. I knew from my own research and what Reagan has told me that Jaylen was financially secure. While that was good and all, it wasn’t something that would really benefit Reagan on account of she made her own money. I was happy that she wasn’t dating someone that could possibly use her for her money. I saw online that Jaylen had many celebrity friends who frequented his clubs. From his old Instagram pictures it seemed that he dated a lot of girls and he was still pretty much a party boy. When I questioned Reagan about this a while back she said he did like having fun, but he took care of his business and he was not the playboy apparently he used to be.
I didn’t get the vibe he was only interested in my daughter as a showpiece unlike that low down dirty dog she was with before. When I heard what Jaylen did to Ra$hin a part of me was satisfied he taught that punk a lesson. Another part was upset it wasn’t me who got to that little bastard. I still felt as if I should have handled that because Reagan was my child. I knew intelligently in my condition, physical force wasn’t the best thing. Reagan put that all behind her long ago and I was happy. It made me furious he came out here just to mess with her one more time and try to ruin her happiness. As Jaylen talked about his upbringing, his family, and his general thoughts on life and my daughter, I could sense he was a respectable young man. But, I was no fool, he would still have to earn my complete respect.
Turning my attention to Micah, I was curious about the man that finally broke down Kennedey’s walls, which was not an easy feat. “You’re some sort of musician, I am told, Micah?” I asked him. Kennedey sat up straight and swallowed hard as if she was nervous about my bringing up Micah’s so called occupation. “That’s right, Mr. Leeds. I play several instruments and I am in a band with a few of my friends. I mainly play the guitar and drums,” he answered. I kept my eyes locked on his body language, checking to see if he was nervous about sitting next to me. Kennedey and Reagan looked at each other, I could tell they wondered what I was thinking.
It was no secret that I wasn’t too ecstatic about Kennedey dating a musician. Micah wasn’t exactly successful. His band, Edge of Anarchy got small gigs here and there, certainly not enough for Micah to pay the bills and take care of my daughter. Kennedey defended Micah to me when she visited Appaloosa saying he also designed websites and was a part time graphic designer. Musicians also spent a lot of time on the road and tended to get into a lot of shady activities, not to mention groupies. I didn’t want Kennedey to worry about that should Micah start going out on the road on a more regular basis. True, he was doing better financially than Kennedey, but I felt she was just a few steps away from her big break in the art world and soon she would be discovered for the great visionary she was.
Micah too, like Jaylen seemed a bit apprehensive in talking about his occupation. Both of these fellas seemed to be eager to please me. I didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing. On one hand, it showed me they wanted to make my daughters happy by getting along with their father, on the other hand it could signal they were hiding not so glorious sides to themselves. I only hoped my daughters didn’t feel as if they needed a man and were only in relationships because it’s want they wanted.
After dinner, I was determined to spend a little alone time with Jaylen and Micah. I didn’t care if Reagan and Kennedey put up a protest. “I’m sure you boys are sports fans. Why don’t us fellas go into the living room and catch the game. Just us okay? We can get better acquainted that way,” I said. All four of them looked a bit nervous and to my surprise, Kennedey nor Reagan complained.
The guys followed me into the living room. I switched on the television and motioned for them to take a seat. “You can tell a lot about a man from how he follows sports and the teams he likes,” I said, my tone flat. Micah and Jaylen glanced at each other, unsure of what to take away from my comment. Good, let them sweat a little, I had to entrust these boys with my most precious assets when I left, namely, my babies.
“Um, yeah. I’m a big sports fan. My father often took my brother and I to games when we were growing up. We still catch Yankees and Nets games when we visit New York,” said Jaylen. Although I wasn’t fan of any of the New York teams, I couldn’t hold that against the boy, being that he was from Brooklyn. My Heat of course were the best in the NBA, I could proudly brag about that.
“Yep, the Nets are doing well this season. They won’t make it all the way though,” I said. Jaylen remained quiet, he was smart not to challenge me, although I could tell by the look on his face he disagreed with my prediction.
“What about you, Micah? Are you a big sports fan?” I asked, knowing he wasn’t but I was interested in what he had to say. “Well, I catch a game or two. I’m from the ATL, so there ain’t that much to be excited about. My brother has always been more into sports than me. He actually plays in the minors. If I do watch anything, it’s usually basketball because it’s fast paced. Truthfully, I don’t like the commercialism of professional sports. To me, it takes away the heart of the game,” said Micah. I laughed to myself. He certainly had a lot in common with Kennedey, couldn’t be mad at him for that.
“Okay, I’ll get to the point. I’m a father of two beautiful, magnificent and intelligent young women. My daughters mean everything to me. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them. I only want the best for them. If they want the stars, I would give them the moon. Naturally, because we live so far apart, I am concerned about who they spend their time with. Reagan especially has gone through a lot and Kennedey is working through a lot herself. I want to know from each of you what your intentions are with my girls. If you say things you think I want to hear, I will know it. Just be honest. I don’t pussy foot around. My family deserves the best and they need to be treated like the queens I have raised them to be,” I said.
The room suddenly got very quiet and I knew Reagan and Kennedey were lurking nearby, trying to listen to every word that was being said. I looked at the guys expectantly, waiting for one of them to say something. “Mr. Leeds, you have every right to be concerned about Reagan. She has been through a lot. I’m from Brooklyn so I say what I mean. When I first met your daughter at my club, I was instantly drawn to her. Not only because of her looks, but there was something magnetic about her. I only wanted to get to know Reagan better. She is funny, smart, and she has a big heart. We have a lot of fun together, we make each other happy,” said Jaylen.
“Okay. Are you still the playboy gallivanting across the country with different women you once were, or has my daughter made you change your ways?” I asked bluntly. Jaylen didn’t blink. It was as if Reagan prepped him on the possible questions she knew I would ask.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say I was a playboy. I was young and liked having my fun. Never a womanizer. I have many friends all over the country, not all the females I know, I’ve dated. I knew I would want to settle down one day when I found that special person, and one night, she walked into my club. It was a wrap after that,” Jaylen answered. As I observed Jaylen’s face, I could tell he was being sincere. I too dated many girls back in the day, but once I got with Apollonia, I only wanted to be with her and no one else.
“So am I to assume you are looking for a serious commitment, could you see yourself wanting to get married some day?” I asked him. “Most definitely. As I told you earlier, I come from a traditional family. I knew I always wanted that for myself one day. Mr. Leeds, I am very much in love with your daughter. She makes me want to be a better man. I would never do anything to jeopardize my relationship with her. I too believe she deserves nothing but the best. As long as she wants me, I will continue to try to make her happy,” answered Jaylen. I nodded my head and scratched at my goatee. Jaylen’s answer wasn’t rehearsed. I felt he was being honest.
“Micah, I’m not going to lie to you. Your occupation worries me a bit. I know you have a time struggling with your music career. I respect that you have other ways to hustle and pay your bills. I am concerned that if you start going on the road more, there are challenges you will be faced with. I don’t want to see Kennedey stuck holding the ball. She should not have to worry about what you are doing on the road or making ends meet. My wife and I did struggle at times. I even had a degree, but there was so much competition for athletic trainers in a city like Miami,” I paused letting it sink it a little before I continued.
“My girls were both born during the height of the first Gulf War, the economy wasn’t as strong and jobs were hard to come by for many years. My wife and I both decided it was best for her to be a stay at home mother for the most part while the girls were growing up. I do not want Kennedey to struggle, worrying about the mortgage, putting food on the table, or paying the bills. She is perfectly capable of taking care of herself, she is a smart girl, but whatever man she ends up with must be able to support their household,” I warned him.
Micah looked a little taken aback. Jaylen had a look on his face that he was relieved he was not getting the same financial grilling as Micah. “I understand your concern, Mr. Leeds. While my band struggles for gigs and getting a demo together, I do what I can to make ends meet. Growing up in Atlanta, education was always pushed. I was just one year shy of graduating from college before I got serious with my music. I do plan on finishing my degree one of these days online. My brother, Lake and I do share a home. I have my own car and my graphic design business. I have a few clients I do work for and that supplements my income. My band has gone out on the road a few times. Many musicians get caught up in the whole sex, drugs, and rock and roll lifestyle. I can assure you, that is not me. I am only into making music. Kennedey doesn’t have anything to worry about and one of these days I would love to bring her with me on the road,” said Micah as he let out a breath.
Again, I laughed a little to myself, these boys were practically sweating bullets but they were doing a good job of covering it up. For my daughter’s sake I wasn’t going to go in on them much more. I was highly protective on them. No red flags went up as I spoke with the boys. I had a good sense of people and for now I felt relieved that these were the young men my daughters have chosen as their boyfriends. Neither one should expect that I would not continue watching and keeping my ear to the ground. Micah nor Jay better be out here slippin‘, heart attack or not, I wouldn’t hesitate to put the check down.
Kennedey and Reagan didn’t complain too much yesterday about my talk with Jaylen and Micah. They knew it was going to happen and they knew how I was. The girls told me they needed to discuss something with me. By the looks on their faces, I could tell it was something that bothered them a lot. I half expected this to be about Marcia and I was right.
Reagan and Kennedey looked at each other, nervously. “What is it girls?” I asked, expectantly. “Daddy, we know you are entitled to a personal life. When I was in Appaloosa a while ago, I saw some female things in your bathroom. I didn’t want to bring it up at the time and upset you. Kennedey and I just want to know if you were seeing Marcia,” answered Reagan. I couldn’t say I didn’t know this was coming.
“I’ve been meaning to talk to you about that. The truth is, a few months ago, Marcia and I started growing close. We talk about a lot of things, mainly our kids, she and I have a lot in common. We developed a friendship. I enjoy spending time with her,” I said, looking at both of them. Reagan and Kennedey both shifted uncomfortably in their seats. Kennedey twisted her hands. “Did you want to say something, Kennedey?” I asked her. “No,” she answered, quietly. Reagan let out a loud sigh.
“Daddy, don’t you think this is too soon? I mean, how could you start something with her, knowing I was writing the checks for her to be there?” Reagan asked, pouting her lips. “Reagan, look, I told you long ago that Marcia didn’t need to be there. You insisted that she stay on. I told you when this first happened, I would pay all your money back,” I said, keeping my voice even. I knew my child and this was the best way to deal with her, by keeping calm.
Reagan rolled her eyes. “So basically what you are saying is that after she nursed you back to health, I was paying her to sleep with you? What does that make me? Her pimp?” she said with disdain. I shook my head. “Reagan, you need to have some respect. You know better. Not that it is anyone’s business, but our relationship didn’t gravitate to another level until after she stopped working for me. I know this comes as a shock to you girls, but I do have a life,” I said sternly. “We know you have a life, Daddy, but you couldn’t discuss this with us earlier instead of letting us find out on our own?” Kennedey spoke up.
“Sweetheart, I was going to tell you both eventually, when the time was right. You two have your own lives and relationships out here. While I want to know about what is going on with you, I don’t tell you that you are obligated to let me know about your relationships beforehand. Meeting those boys, yes it’s something I wanted to do. But don’t act like I need your approval to see someone,” I said.
“But, Daddy…” Kennedey began to say. “No, Kennedey, you girls have been out of the house for many years, since college. My whole life from the time you were born up until recently has been about you. Marcia has kids in college too. We’re just two people looking for companionship that has become more,” I cut her off.
“What I don’t get, Daddy is that all these years you have professed your love for Mom. Secretly hoping she would come back, which is why you never pursued a divorce. Don’t say it’s because you don’t know where she is. You can get a divorce by public declaration. Now, we’re just supposed to accept you got a girlfriend out of the blue? What happens next? Are you going to get that divorce or are you still holding out hope that Apollonia is going to appear out of nowhere and want you back?” said Reagan.
“Y’all don’t have to accept anything. Both of you want me to like your little boyfriends, but I can’t expect the same courtesy from you two. I’m not stupid, I didn’t expect this to be easy for either one of you. I know you’ve always only seen me as your father and nothing else. I am a man and I am human, I have feelings like everyone else.” I said. Kennedey and Reagan looked at each other.
“Daddy, it’s not that we don’t want you to be happy, but you can appreciate that this is a shock for us. Beyond her being your nurse, we don’t know too much about her. Just little things she told us while we were there after your heart attack. We don’t know what kind of woman she is truly. She came all the way from Seattle, what do you know about her life back there?” Reagan questioned. “Actually, she has told me a lot. There isn’t some big conspiracy. We up and left Miami, people move all the time, Reagan. What do I know about your boyfriends beyond what you have told me? You got to get to know people,” I said.
“You still could of told us, Daddy,” Kennedey said, stubbornly. “For real, I mean she only lost points with me on account of her unprofessionalism. Who gets it on with their patient while working for their charge’s daughter?” Reagan questioned with such attitude that only resembled that of her mother’s. “Well, Reagan, baby, pumpkin, sweetheart. Like, I said, she and I did not go there until after she quit. Marcia has a lot of integrity. Frankly, I don’t care for either one of you girls’ attitude. I suggest you fix it now, because Marcia is in my life,” I said as I stood up and headed upstairs.
I felt bad about my conversation with my dad. My father being disappointed in me was something I could never handle easily. After we all talked yesterday, my father went up to his room and stayed there pretty much for the rest of the day. He only came down when it was time for dinner and the conversation was awkward at best.
I’ve wanted my father to move here for quite some time. I hated that he lived so far away. Even though Kennedey and I lived together, I felt like if he lived close by I could have the chance of getting closer to him and kind of having him to myself from time to time. I had in my mind that I would go over to his house and cook him dinner. We would have coffee on the patio and watch old reruns of The Jefferson’s.
My daddy was only going to be here for a few more days and Kennedey and I didn’t want to spend it fighting with him. No, I still wasn’t feeling this whole Marcia thing, but I was going to bite my tongue for now. Kennedey and I came into the kitchen and found our father cooking breakfast.
“Morning, girls. Just making a little breakfast for us. Hope you two slept well,” he said, looking up. I glanced at Kennedey, we were both surprised he didn’t seem too bugged out from yesterday. “Look, Daddy, we wanted to apologize for the way we spoke to you. Of course we want you to be happy. Let’s not spend the rest of your trip out here fighting,” I said. Kennedey nodded in agreement.
“I understand how it could be upsetting for you. You girls are dealing with your mother’s issue, you’re confused how that plays into what’s going with Marcia and I. Honestly, I can’t explain everything. We can start over. After breakfast, why don’t we head over to that winter festival in town and maybe we can catch a movie. It can even be one of those chick flicks,” said Dad. I smiled to myself, happy that Daddy wanted to put yesterday behind us as well.
Going to the winter festival with my father and sister was so much fun. Daddy even bought us some hot chocolate, it reminded me of when we were little. Kennedey and I even convinced Daddy to come ice skating with us, something we never could do growing up in South Florida. My father had to leave in a few days, when that time finally came and went, I was so sad to see him go. I wish he would just to IP already.
Jaylen and I were back in New York again. He didn’t say too much to me about his conversation with my father. Jaylen knew that my dad was only looking out for me and he expected that. He did mention that he respected my father and he admired him for the good job he did on raising us.
Unlike my last trip with Jay to New York, this time, I would be meeting his parents. I didn’t have the greatest experiences with mothers of my boyfriends in the past. The way Jay and Amarre spoke about their mother, you would think she was perfect. Both of his parents were professionals and did a lot for Jay and his brother coming up and I half expected that included spoiling them, of course Jay would deny this.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous about meeting Jaylen’s mother. She was a former model so she knew my occupation well, I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or a bad thing. It was important to me that Jay’s family liked me. No, I would not be a phony, I would be me, but just a toned down version of myself.
“But what have you told your mother about me?” I asked Jaylen, as we drove through the city. “I don’t baby. Just regular stuff. Not everything. I mean, relax, my parents will love you because I love you.” Jaylen assured me, I wasn’t completely convinced. We pulled up to a respectable neatly kept house in the Prospect Park area of Brooklyn. Jay’s parents certainly did well for themselves.
Jay’s parents greeted us at the door. “Hello, Reagan, it is nice to finally meet you,” his mother greeted me warmly. “Hello, Mrs. Powers, it’s nice to meet you as well,” I answered in kind. “Please, Yuri, and this is my husband, Kevin,” she said. I turned to take Jaylen’s father’s extended hand. “Nice to meet you, Reagan. Jaylen finally decided to share you with us,” Kevin Powers teased. I slightly blushed. I was taken aback at his parent’s warmness and his mother’s exquisite beauty and demeanor. The woman reeked of class and style. Jaylen hugged both of this parents and I could feel the love in his family.
“Why don’t we sit and chat for a minute? Reagan, would you like any tea, sweetheart?,” Yuri asked me. “Yes, that would be nice. Can I help you?” I asked her, all of a sudden remembering the manners my father taught me. “Oh no, sweetie, you’ve had a long flight, I already have the water ready. The teacups are on the coffee table,” she responded, politely. I nodded my head. “Thank you,” I replied. Jaylen looked at me with a slight smirk on his face, he knew I was doing my best to be polite and respectable. I wanted to punch him in the arm for teasing me, I would get him later.
Yuri and Kevin came out of the kitchen with tea for all of us. Jaylen complained that he didn’t drink tea and he just wanted some grape juice. “Well, you’re going to drink this tea, sweetheart. It is cold outside and the last thing we need is for you to get sick. As much of a baby you turn into when you catch a cold, I don’t want you burdening this poor girl with that,” said Yuri. I slightly giggled looking at Jay who rolled his eyes. Jay’s never been sick since I’ve known him, but I could see how he would turn into a big baby if he were sick.
“How did you get into modeling, Reagan?” asked Kevin. “Initially, my father allowed me to dabble in it when I was in high school, but he felt it took away from my schooling. After I graduated from college, we moved to Starlight Shores and I signed with an agency out there. I began getting work right away and I guess I fell in love with it,” I answered. “I know the feeling. It is a lot of work, but there were many things I loved about modeling when I was doing it over twenty years ago,” said Yuri. I hoped that Jaylen’s parents wouldn’t want to talk about my career for too long, I didn’t want to seem shallow or for them to be focused so much on that , but then again maybe it would take some of the focus away from my family and the private parts of my life.
To my relief and I am pretty sure to Jaylen’s horror, his mother whipped out old family photos and shared many pictures of her sons as babies and growing up. Jaylen was so cute and for a moment I imagined that if we had a son one day, he would look like Jay. After about an hour, Kevin suggested we go out to dinner in the city. I was bit relieved, thinking I could handle myself better on neutral territory.
I knew Yuri was sizing me up, although she was very polite about it. I guess she wanted to know more about the girl her son was knocking boots with. Maybe she didn’t want to know all of that information, but she was interested in me, because apparently, I was the longest relationship Jaylen has ever been in. Jaylen mentioned a while back that he told his parents I was the only woman he has ever been in love with.
I tried to concentrate on my food, which I couldn’t really taste, while taking part in the conversation around me. Kevin and Yuri went back and forth with Jaylen, teasing him about all the parties he would sneak and have and the concocted stories he and Amarre came up with to get out of trouble. They were nice enough to constantly bring me into the conversation.
As I observed his family there was something very endearing, yet foreign to me. Sure, I interacted with my father and sister like this when were together as of lately, but never have I seen this family dynamic of a mother being truly invested in her children. I may have seen other families like this, but I just wasn’t paying attention back then, either that or I shut it out because it hurt too much.
Yuri reminded me of Clair Huxtable in a way. The looks she gave to her son and husband, the class she exuberated, and the way she spoke. I could tell she could read somebody with the quickness if need be and was capable of throwing classy shade. She seemed to light up when talking about her kids and family.
The woman had impeccable taste. Everything from her perfect make up, vintage Prada handbag, her Versace blazer, to her Louboutin heels. All impressive labels, but I didn’t get the feeling she paraded her nice things around on display as a status symbol. Her skin, a beautiful cocoa brown, Jaylen had her Asian eyes. The woman didn’t have one wrinkle and could easily pass for Jaylen and Amarre’s older sister. Yuri had a certain regalness about her, I’ve only seen in movies about queens and princesses. I couldn’t believe I was about to say this, I was awestruck. That never happens to me.
After dinner, We decided to stop by the wine shop. I was impressed with Yuri’s knowledge of fine wines, but she didn’t seem pretentious about it. The more I was around her, the more I grew to be in awe of her. I have always wanted to grow up to be a respectable and classy black woman, sort of like my dad’s sisters. Yuri reminded me of some of them in that she was nice, down to earth, and had class, yet she was more refined. Yuri had a throaty laugh that would make any passer by want to know what she found so funny. People were drawn to her.
Once we left the wine shop, we said goodbyes to his parents who needed to be up extra early for a joint project they were working on together. Kevin was very laid back and reminded me of Amarre, only Kevin was more likable in my book. Yuri possessed that same twinkle I loved in Jaylen’s eyes. Like, she was excited about life and what the next day would bring. She didn’t seem to take herself too seriously; one of those stop and smell the roses kind of people, much like Jaylen. I was expecting this evening to be disastrous.
I knew Yuri’s opinion carried a lot of weight with Jaylen, although he wasn’t a mama’s boy. You never get a second chance to make a first impression, therefore I hoped his parents liked me. Usually it wouldn’t matter to me if someone liked me or not, but I knew how important Jaylen’s family was to him. I knew Jaylen would be in my life forever and I could see myself one day being Mrs. Jaylen Powers. If that were to happen, these people would be connected with me for life. Of course I wanted to get along with them.
Jay and I headed back to his apartment, after we both showered we made ourselves comfortable on the sofa. The snow started to come down pretty heavy. I rested against Jaylen’s shoulder, listening to the soft sound of the stereo playing. “What are you thinking about?” he asked me. “Nothing too much. Your family is very nice, Jaylen. I see why you love them so much,” I replied. “Yeah, I do. I can tell my parents really liked you. Thanks for coming to meet them. It was important to me to have my parents meet the woman I love,” he said. I didn’t say anything and thought about the last several days, from Jay meeting my father to now. This was a major step for both of us in our relationship. My father told me before he left he did like Jaylen and he got good vibes from him, basically he gave me his approval. I knew my father though, he would keep one eye open, as always.
Jay and I were only staying in town until tomorrow and we wouldn’t see his parents again before we left. They were busy with work and Jay needed to take care of a couple of things related to Avenue. Secretly, I was relieved. Jaylen’s mother was pretty perfect, I could only dream of having a mother like that growing up, yet there was a part of me that still preferred my own mother, but as a totally different person than what she was. I started to drift off, listening to the beat of Jaylen’s heart.
***I have added a new menu to my secondary blog that I will post other character POVs from time to time that do not further along Reagan’s own storyline. I call it the Expanded Universe of Reagan Leeds: Run The World. Thank you.
I have written Amarre’s POV, you can read it here.
I have also updated Briah’s story, you can read Part 2 here.