My Sister’s Keeper
My Sister’s Keeper
(Author’s note this chapter takes place right before the cliffhanger scene at the end of the last chapter showing the Leeds’ girls’ reactions to Reagan’s situation becoming public)
I felt horrible about what Reagan was going through. When I saw her in the kitchen that day with those bruises on her face, I wanted to explode. How a man could ever lay his hands on a woman is beyond me. I’ve never liked Ra$hin, nor have I ever trusted him. I was surprised he did that, but I wasn’t shocked. He has shown violent behavior in the past and got into a big fight with Kiyan over Reagan, he was just too possessive. I am glad Reagan finally sees the light. I just hope she isn’t too weak and goes back to him. I really don’t think she would this time around.
Reagan came home from her meeting with her agent Charlie really upset, telling me that Page 5 was going public with the story. I wasn’t sure who could have told. I didn’t think it was Taina, but I can’t say for certain because I don’t know her very well. Reagan said she had to meet with some new lawyer about all of this mess and went upstairs to her room, she didn’t want to be bothered.
“Wait Reagan, what are you going to do once Daddy finds out about this? You know he is going to flip,” I said to her.
Reagan let out a huge sigh. “Yes, I know. I am not sure. This nightmare is just getting worse,” said Reagan, looking tired and stressed. “You should probably think about calling him yourself before he will read about it tomorrow,” I told her.
She nodded. “I will, I just need to lie down for a while,” she replied. “Do you want me to make you anything to eat?” I asked her to which she shook her head no. I felt so bad, things have gone from bad to worse.
Reagan dialed Daddy’s cell number and put the phone on speaker so we could both hear what he was saying.
“Hello?” said Daddy
“Hi Daddy, it’s Reagan,” she replied
“I see that, hey ginger baby? How’s my girl? Where’s your sister?” he asked
“I’m fine Daddy, and Kennedey is right here. We have you on speaker,” said Reagan
“Oh? Ya’ll haven’t made a conference call with me since you were in college and then it was usually when you were arguing about something and wanted me to take either side,” he chuckled. “This isn’t a fight is it? Because you girls are getting too big for this,” Dad continued.
“No, it’s not a fight Daddy,” Reagan replied.
“What’s wrong Rea Rea? You sound upset,” said Dad. Reagan looked apprehensive, like she was all of a sudden unsure about telling our father what happened. I looked at her and motioned her to tell Dad.
When Reagan still wasn’t saying anything, my father grew worried. “Kenney? What is wrong with your sister? Why isn’t she saying anything? What is the matter? You girls are scaring me now,” he said.
“Um, well Reagan will tell you Daddy,” I replied.
“One of ya’ll isn’t pregnant are you?” he asked cautiously. “No, no, no. Nothing like that. Look Daddy, this isn’t easy for me to say. Look, tomorrow Page 5 is running a story about me and Ra$hin. It’s pretty damaging and I wanted to let you know about it before you read about it on the paper…” Reagan was cut off my Dad.
“Oh heck! What is it now Reagan? What is going on?” he said. Reagan sighed again. “For one, you should know I am no longer with Ra$hin, we broke up weeks ago. Basically, I found out he had been cheating on me again and throughout our entire relationship. On top of that he got someone else pregnant,” Reagan said.
I could imagine our father on the other end shaking his head. “Oh Ginger Baby, I’m sorry. I didn’t want you getting hurt again. I knew that sucka was no good. Hopefully you can see that now and will never give him another chance. I’m sorry boo,” Dad replied. I looked at Reagan and mouthed the words “Tell him” to her. She nodded.
“There’s more Daddy. When I confronted him about the stuff I saw on his computer he really blew up, and well he sort of, kind of hit me. Anyhow, someone apparently found out about it and ran to the press. I’m so sorry Daddy! I should have told you earlier!” Reagan rushed out the last few sentences. What did she mean “sort of, kind of”?
“WHAT! That bastard hit you! I’m going to kick that boy’s ass! What the hell do you mean he sort of hit you? Ra$hin is a dead man!” My dad exploded into the phone. Reagan’s eyes were starting to tear up. “Daddy! Please, just calm down!,” she exclaimed. “No, I will not calm down! What kind of man would ever hit a woman? If he wants to fight, I suggest he come see me. We don’t play that in my family! I am on the first plane out!” Dad yelled.
“Daddy, you coming here will only make things worse. I have enough to deal with. You trying to beat up Ra$hin for what he did to me is not going to solve anything Daddy. No offense, you’re not a young as him anymore. Come on Daddy, weren’t you the one always getting on me about fighting?” Reagan asked.
“This is different. I am your father and natural protector. That boy better be glad I don’t live there! Why did you wait all these weeks to just tell me this Reagan?” he asked.
“Because I knew you would go ballistic Daddy. No, this is not that much different. Come on Dad, you are better than him. You taught me and gave me all my morals. Beating Ra will not solve one thing. If anything, it will make me look bad. I don’t want people thinking we have a family full of thugs, which we do, but you’re no thug Daddy,” Reagan pleaded. I could hear my dad let out a deep breath.
“Don’t Reagan. When you become a parent, you will know how I feel. I am torn up inside right now. I’m going crazy because I can’t be with you right now. You’re my baby Reagan. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for you or your sister. I don’t care, I am coming out there. Get used to it,” he said. Reagan shook her head again. “Daddy, please…” she said, sounding defeated. “Are you at least okay? What all happened? Tell me everything,” replied Dad.
“Yes, I am okay now. Don’t worry, it wasn’t some beating like the paper may say tomorrow. He hit me once and I got out of there,” Reagan said. “Don’t try to downplay it Reagan. One hit is one hit too many,” he said. My dad pushed Reagan to give him more details and to determine if she was telling him the absolute truth. Reagan may be a lot of things, but she wasn’t a liar.
I could tell it was torture for her to give our father the details of that night. She was reliving it all over again. We eventually got off the phone with him. There was really no stopping him from coming out. He called back later on and said he had a flight scheduled for the next night, it was the first available one he could get.
The next day I had a lot of errands and running around to do. I felt bad for leaving the house knowing that it was now national news about Reagan and Ra$hin. I asked Reagan if she wanted me to stick around but she said no because she had meetings with her new attorney and public relations firm she recently hired.
I was working on some new pieces and sculptures that I wanted to submit to a local art show coming up in the near future. Maya and I were also collaborating again on a project for the youth center in her neighborhood. I met up with her and my other friend Monica to discuss the details.
“Look at you all suited and booted, where you coming from?” Maya asked me. “Remember I had that meeting with the owner of that new art gallery about getting some of my work added to their collection? Well, I had to look somewhat presentable,” I replied.
” Oh yeah, that’s right. So what were you thinking Kennedey? Maybe doing a mural for the center?” Maya asked me.
“I’m not really sure, a mural seems so redundant at this point. People always make murals. I want to do something a bit different. I was thinking of making a sculpture that the kids can participate in. I would start off with the base and the general direction and the kids can add their own touches and pieces that they make to it,” I told her.
“Wow, that sounds great Ken,” Monica chimed in. Maya nodded. “It does, and I think my director would really like the idea because it gets the kids involved,” Maya replied.
We started shooting ideas back and forth, deep in discussion when I heard Reagan’s name pop up in someone’s conversation. “OMG! Did you read about Reagan Leeds and Ra$hin? Isn’t that crazy? They said he whooped her butt! I wonder what she did or what she found on him. He probably cheated on her again. She was stupid for getting back with him after the last time he cheated!” one person said.
“Ugh, I can’t stand Reagan. It probably wasn’t even all that serious. Knowing what a drama queen and bitch she is, she is over-dramatizing it. I bet you, her people are the ones who sold the story! All to make her look like a little victim knowing she has been getting a lot of bad press from fighting in the club to sloring around with everyone in the industry,” someone else said laughing.
“Hell, she is the one who most likely started it and hit him and Ra was just showing her she can’t check no grown man. What a bitch, I can’t stand her anyway. Ra is too good of a man and fly to be wasting his time on a skeezer like her. Did you see on Twitter the rumors that he knocked up some female? Reagan probably found out and went off. He dumped her, she tried to get buck and he simply shut her down!” the first person said.
I could not believe what I was hearing. Oh hell no I thought to myself. I got up from where I was sitting and went over to the group of girls to confront them.
“What did you just say about Reagan Leeds? You better watch who you’re calling a bitch, so stupid, you don’t know any of the circumstances!” I yelled at the ring leader
“And who the hell are you? You don’t know anymore than we do! You need to watch your mouth!” the girl said.
“Actually, I know everything you dumb cow. That is my sister! You jealous females, always trying to put blame on the woman. You are so ignorant. You can’t believe everything you read. Really? Ra is your hero? Typical groupie!”I shouted.
I knew I shouldn’t have even said anything, especially letting these people know Reagan was my sister and commenting on the situation, but I was just so furious! How dare they say those things about someone they didn’t even know and assuming it was my sister’s fault? Trying to blame her for Ra$hin hitting her? Were they serious? Were there really people, especially women out here that blamed the victim? What is wrong with people?
Maya and Monica came over to see what was going on.
“Come one Kennedey, let’s go. These skanks aren’t worth it,” said Maya. “Don’t get knocked out up in this mug!” said one of them. The group of girls went back and forth with me and my friends for a few more minutes, our insults getting louder and more heated until the owner came over and asked us all to leave. I am not one for confrontations usually except when it comes to my family. That was total BS. My heart was beating so loud.
It was quite similar to high school. Some girls that didn’t like Reagan started a nasty rumor about her, claiming she was a hoe and slept around. My sister was a lot of things, but that wasn’t one of them. The rumors had gotten so bad and Reagan was getting in fights with these girls left and right back then. I knew it was really getting to her.
One night she was sitting our room really upset and I could tell she had been crying. She confessed to me that her boyfriend had dumped her because she refused to give it. Reagan admitted to me she was just a tease. Considering how we weren’t getting along back then she must have been telling me the truth if she went through the trouble of confiding in me of all people about it. I knew Reagan wasn’t with anyone until she got into college.
I told Maya and Monica I was going to have to catch up with them later. I knew I needed to talk to Reagan and let her know about what just happened before she started getting tweets about it.
I had been gone for most of the day. I checked my phone to see if I had any missed calls. All I could see was a lot of text messages from people asking me if my sister was okay. I hadn’t checked my phone all day. I really did not want to talk to anyone about this. It was really none of their business. I knew most were just asking out of concern. Maya and Monica had already gotten the basic 411 from me earlier when they saw it online. Again, I knew I should have not gotten into a confrontation with those girls, but I could not help it.
Reagan and I bump heads a lot, but she is my sister. When something major like this goes down, of course we’ll be there for each other. It’s too bad it took something like this though to make us start acting like sisters again. I don’t expect my relationship with Reagan to be perfect, matter of fact, I know it won’t, I just hope we can be civil toward each other and maybe hang out once in a while like we used to before our mother left.
Speaking of our mom, she didn’t leave until we were much older, but in some ways that was such a pivotal point in our lives. We were impressionable girls in our early teens, trying to figure out who were were, trying to become women. I think it crippled us in many ways. Reagan never seemed to be without a boyfriend or companionship after that while it was hard for me to even be serious about anyone or want a relationship. I typically shied away from the yucky love stuff.
I’ve never told anyone this, but sometimes I think maybe it would have been better if my mom left years prior to our teens. That way there would be less damage for the coming years and all the negative stuff she said through our growing pains. I wasn’t close to my mother, neither was Reagan. I knew she thought Reagan was prettier than me by the little side remarks she would say, basically because Reagan looked like her and my mom commented that I looked like my father’s mother whom she couldn’t stand.
Reagan had mentioned to me years ago while mom may have made those comments comparing our looks she believe our mom was ultimately jealous of her. She believed because she was still young and had many opportunities to look forward to in her life while our mother felt she has squandered all her opportunities and blamed both my father and Reagan for making her give up her dreams. How can you blame an innocent child for your what you did? I felt bad for Reagan growing up because I always felt after my father, she got the lion’s share of Apollonia’s wrath.
I was always torn about how I felt about my mom in my later years. While I loved remembering things about her when I was small like listening to her records, I hated being reminded of how mean she started to become when we got older. She was always hot headed and snappish she really didn’t have patience for children, but she knew when to cool her jets. I guess I was so happy as a little girl when she seemed to be content I overlooked how miserable and moody she was ninety percent of the time.
I made my way up to our house. We lived in a gated community and there had been so much paparazzi wanting to get in and take pictures. It took me a while to just get past security and into our house. I was never fond of having so much glass in a house where folks could pretty much just look inside. From the street you could not see in our house, but you could if you were close enough.
When I walked back into the house Reagan’s new attorney Mark Schumberg, public relations manager Brad Wallace and Charlie were there. Reagan looked beyond stressed. She had been in an intense meeting with them all day.
“Are you okay?” I asked her, coming into the dining area. She looked up.”No, but what can I do? We’re almost finished here, right guys?” she asked the group. They nodded and replied yes. “Um, Reagan I need to speak with you really quick,” I told her. She sighed. “Okay,” she said, getting up.
We walked into the living room for some privacy. “Don’t get mad, but I may have made things worse for you,” I started to say.
“What do you mean?” she asked. I looked down at my feet in embarrassment and proceeded to tell her what went down earlier. Reagan didn’t look surprised she just shook her head. I wasn’t sure if she were angry with me or not.
“Look Kennedey, I’m not mad at you. I know you were only trying to defend me. I appreciate that. Thanks for coming to me. But you can’t let dumb people like that get to you. I know that’s a lot coming from me, but I don’t want you to get in the middle of this. People have talked mess about me all my life, especially the past year, so I am used to it. Don’t get caught up in my bull. I know you have a lot to do to prepare for this art show, I don’t want you to get distracted,” Reagan replied.
I was almost shocked, it has been since forever or perhaps never since I heard Reagan speak so diplomatically. I knew she had been through an ordeal, maybe she just didn’t have any fight in her right now. Reagan said she had to finish up her meeting, which had been going on for most of the day.
“We can start dinner once they leave,” she said. “Okay,” I replied and went to change out of my clothes and check my emails.
From all my alerts and emails I could see the internet was blowing up about Reagan and Ra. I read one report that Ra$hin was in New York and laying pretty low. Dirt bag, he needed to be hiding his ugly face. I couldn’t stand him. Daddy must not have known Ra$hin wasn’t even in town. I was relieved about that.
I looked at the time, I knew my father should be getting in within a few hours on a late night flight. I was answering some emails when Reagan walked into the room looking as if she had aged five years in the last several weeks. She had dressed pretty fast into her pajamas.
“Daddy just called. You heard about all those storms in Appaloosa? Well, the runway got washed out and there are mudslides blocking most of the roads in and out of town. So, he can’t get a flight out tonight. He is hoping tomorrow or the next day at the latest,” she said. I wasn’t sure if she were relieved he wasn’t coming or upset.
“Oh, that sucks. Well, maybe it’s for the best. He needs to cool down anyway. Look at me telling someone to cool down, especially after I blew up today at those chicken heads,” I replied. Reagan actually chuckled a little bit.
“Yeah, I have been meaning to ask what was up with that? I mean when you got all gangster a few weeks ago. I know you are no punk, but I never saw that coming,” she said. I shrugged my shoulders. “What can I say? I’m a De-Sai. Ratchet runs on Mom’s side of the family. Thankfully, we didn’t inherit it too much,” I laughed a little.
“Well, I think I inherited more than you,” said Reagan.
“Maybe, but at least we have some of Dad’s sense,” I replied. “Yeah, I guess so,” replied Reagan. I didn’t like seeing her put herself down. Ra$hin really did a number on her beyond the physical thing, he messed with her emotions and psyche. I could see he was bad for her self esteem months ago. “Shall we start dinner?” I asked, changing the subject. “We shall,” she replied.
“I have been getting so many requests for comments and interviews,” Reagan said while we ate dinner. “Oh? What did you say?” I asked her. She swallowed. “I declined. I don’t want to go discussing the details of what happened. It’s no one’s business,” she said. “I don’t want to become some poster child for this,” she continued on.
I was quiet for a moment. “Well, maybe in due time you will want to talk to the public about it. I don’t think it means you will become a poster child so to speak. It happens more than you know. Maybe, perhaps it would be a good thing for you to say something. You have a lot of fans and people who admire you. Girls, especially little black girls looking into breaking into the modeling world look up to you. They’re watching to see how you handle this. Some of these girls and women are in an abusive relationship and don’t know how to get out…” I was cut off by Reagan.
“I wasn’t in an abusive relationship. He hit me once and I was out. I didn’t stick around for more and I would never be with a man that did that continuously,” Reagan said defensively. I could tell I had struck a nerve.
“Look, Reagan, I know that. But abuse is not all physical you know. It is verbal, emotional, mental, etc. Ra has shown you all of that before. Look at how he has spoken to you in the past and handled you in the club. He really stole your joy for over a year,” I said to her.
She looked skeptically at me. “How do you know all of that? You weren’t around nor did I tell you any of that stuff,” she said. I shrugged my shoulders. “You can’t keep everything to yourself, when we live under the same roof Reagan. I admit some things I overheard you discussing. Some things I read about online, you know the stuff in public in the club,” I told her. I thought she was going to get mad for a moment, knowing I had basically eavesdropped on some of private conversations with her friends.
“Be that as it may, it doesn’t matter now because he and I are over and we will never be. I can’t believe I gave up so much of myself and my life for someone I never even truly loved. And you know what ? I don’t even think I would have given much of a second glance if he was not who he was. I’m not saying I only went out with him because he was a big star, I mean I am not that shallow. I am no gold digger, but I ain’t messin’ with, well you know the rest. But, over the last several weeks I really had to look at myself. Would I have been attracted to him if I did not know who he was? If he didn’t have swag? Most likely no. Once we got together and started talking I did like him, I was attracted to his vibe. I just mean if he was not on my radar I would have not looked at him,” Reagan said looking deep in thought.
“You were attracted to his celebrity initially,” I said to her.
“Initially, yes. But trust me, I would not have been with him if I did not like him or start to believe I loved him. Maybe I wanted to believe I was in love. I think I was more in love with the idea of being in love. To tell you the truth Kennedey, I have never truly been in love before. I hate the fact I told him I loved him when I really didn’t” said Reagan.
It was kind of sad, Reagan wanted love while I was afraid of it.
“Don’t be too hard on yourself Reagan. If you felt like you loved him at some point, of course you would tell him that. I for one never believed you were in love,” I confessed to her.
Reagan looked surprised but didn’t say anything. I understood what she meant about not noticing Ra$hin if he wasn’t the biggest rapper out. I mean I have never told her this, but I didn’t think Ra$hin was all that attractive. He got all those women because point blank he was a mega star. He wasn’t even Reagan’s type really. The guys she has gone out with in the past were much more attractive and smart. I’m glad she woke up and smelled the coffee I just wish it didn’t have to come to this.
I woke up to the sound of Reagan’s cell phone ringing from the hall, I wondered what she was doing up so late. It couldn’t be time to get up already it wasn’t even light outside. I checked the time on my alarm clock, it said three am. Who could be calling this early? I went into the hall to see what was going on.
“Who is it Reagan?” I asked her? “I don’t know recognize the number,” she said answering the phone. “Hello? Who is this?” she asked. “Is this Reagan, Reagan Leeds?” the called asked on the other end.
“Who wants to know? You called me,” Reagan replied. I whispered to Reagan put the phone on speaker. “This is John Carter. I am your father’s next door neighbor here in Appaloosa,” said John Carter. I could feel tension starting to build in my face and worry starting to grow on Reagan’s face. Why would our father’s neighbor be calling us so late? “What is this about Mr. Carter?” Reagan asked, trying to keep her voice even.
“You and your sister Kennedey need to get to Appaloosa Plains right away, your father has had a heart attack,” John Carter replied. I could not believe what I just heard.
Please tell me this was a nightmare and I was going to wake up. My heart sank as I fell back against the wall.
The room started to spin. I could hear screaming, I looked to see where is was coming from and realized it was me.