Things have been tense with Micah and I for a few weeks now. While he seemed to want to get closer to me, I steadily pushed him away. “What is the problem Kennedey? Every time I want to get close to you, you act like it appalls you or something,” he said.
“What are you talking about? Am I not here in the bed with you? Don’t act like we haven’t been doing what we just did the past two hours,” I replied, feeling irritated. “See you can’t even say it can you?” Micah questioned. “Say what?” I asked. “Sex, make love, you can’t even say those words. You can give me your body, but not your mind or heart. I don’t understand that. You have so much
passion for your art and community service, but when it comes to me, you shut down. Even when I ask you to stay the night you always got some tired old excuse to leave,” he said.
“What? I stay over a lot, so quit your lying Micah!” I argued. “Yeah, and when you do, it’s usually not for the whole night. You get up in the wee hours of the morning. Shit, after we do make love the first thing you do is put on your clothes and roll over. You don’t let me hold you, you barely speak to me, nothing,” said Micah, growing more upset. “Dang and I thought I was the female,” I
replied coldly. Micah rolled his eyes. Also, what was up with this “making love” stuff? I wasn’t sure how I felt about him saying that.
“Look, you need to get off my back. What’s up with all this pressure? I don’t have time to lay up and spend all day in the bed with you. If you didn’t notice I am trying to establish myself out here as an artist. You are much further advanced in your career than I am!” I exclaimed. “Excuse me? I still struggle with gigs and trying to record a demo, so don’t think you are the only one out
here busting your ass, Kennedey,” said Micah. “Well, at least you have more of a steady income than I do! If it wasn’t for the tiny bit of money my grandfather left me, which is just about gone, or my sister paying the bills I could not afford to live!” I shouted, on the defense.
“I don’t understand why you are yelling and getting excited Kennedey. Why are you making this about work and avoiding the issue about us. Why won’t you allow me to get close?” Micah asked calmly. “I am not the one making it about work! You brought up my work!” I complained. Micah sighed, shaking his head. “Only as an example to show you that you put way more compassion into your art and what you do for everyone else except me,” he explained. “Selfish much? Oh, is this your way of trying to keep me down? Outta here with that! You know what? I’m gone. I have to get my ass home because yes, I do have to get up early tomorrow and travel all around the islands looking for art buyers!” I yelled.
I got up, got dressed and left Micah in his room. As furious as I felt I couldn’t help but wonder if it was Micah I was mad at or if there were some truth to what he said. I decided to brush it off. Micah was putting way too much pressure on me. I hated all these labels everyone put on us. I was starting to feel as if I were losing myself. I needed to gain control. Forget him, he acted as if he knew me so well.
Work kept me super busy these days, between traveling for shoots, commercials, and runway shows I have not seen Jaylen or my family that much. It bothered me that I have not seen my father since I moved to Isla Paradiso, it was important to me that I make the time to go see him. In between jobs I scheduled a trip to Appaloosa to check in on him and see how he was doing. Kennedey came out here just a month ago to visit him.
Daddy told me that Marcia moved out and took a job as the head charge nurse at a nursing home. He claimed he felt a lot better and his doctors were happy with his progress. I still worried about him being in the house alone. At least he was good friends with the neighbors and they often checked on Daddy for us. I was in town for a couple of days and I would be leaving tomorrow. As soon as he was able, my father wanted to come to IP and visit. I suspected he wanted to size up both Jaylen and Micah, while seeing how Kennedey and I were living.
“Daddy, why don’t we go out to dinner tonight? My treat,” I suggested. “Oh baby, I don’t want you spending all your money on your old man. You have already taken me shopping, bought me a new suit, shoes, a set a golf clubs, the NFL Sunday ticket on cable, girl you’re spoiling me!” said Daddy, with a look of glee in his eyes. My father never felt comfortable with anyone buying him gifts, he never accepted a dime from his father and he had an issue with me paying for his medical care. He didn’t seem to mind that TV I bought for his bedroom, however.
“Daddy, would you quit tripping already? I want to do those things. You took care of my behind all my life. It’s not like those clothes were that expensive if that is what you are worried about. I mean, this is Appaloosa, you’re not exactly going to find a Saks or Neiman Marcus around the corner,” I said, in frustration. “Look, baby, I appreciate all you do, but I don’t need all that stuff.
You don’t have to send me gifts or buy me things, having you here is enough, Gingy,” he said, calmly.
“Well, I can just cook something, then. What do you want? No, you can’t have any steak,” I warned him. Daddy rolled his eyes and scratched at his goatee. “Reagan, my doctor said I could go back to normal foods over three months ago, as long as it was in moderation. I don’t eat steak all the time. Matter of fact, I haven’t had any in over a month,” he countered.
“Well, I’m not cooking that, if you want to have a steak, I suggest you go to Black Angus. I’m making something else,” I said, stubbornly and went upstairs to use his private bathroom since the other toilet broke this morning and Daddy had to order a part for it.
I didn’t like arguing with my dad, he could be so bull headed at times, just like me. I went to wash my hands and noticed a box perm on the counter. I certainly didn’t use a relaxer from the box on my head and Kennedey went to Briah to get her hair done, so I knew it wasn’t hers. I snooped around a bit and found a curling iron. Every instinct told me these were Marcia’s things. Maybe she left it behind, but she left a month ago. Why would her private stuff be in my dad’s bathroom?
I stood there for a moment, wondering if I should confront my father and ask him if he was seeing Marcia. Truthfully, I felt awkward asking my father about his private life. I guess I knew it was possible he had one, but I don’t think of him in that way, especially not since my mother left. I decided against saying anything and upsetting him. I was so afraid any little thing could make him have a setback. It was bad enough having that birds and bees talk with him back in the day, I wasn’t trying to have the same talk with him now that I was grown. Choosing to bite my tongue for now, I would let it go and just walk away.
Shortly before I went to Appaloosa, Kennedey and I found a home we loved on the island. We managed to finally sell our house back in Starlight albeit for much less than it was worth. Because of this, we had to take out a mortgage on our new house. It wasn’t too much and Kennedey insisted on helping me pay for it. I really didn’t want her to, I knew she wasn’t making a steady income.
Apparently my interview with Robyn Robertson set a record for the network. Millions of people around the world watched the telecast and the interview on You Tube. My PR firm and Taylor received hundreds of requests for statements and more interviews with me. Not to mention more offers of covers and potential endorsement deals. Beyond what I said in the interview, I had nothing else to say on the matter. Most of the reviews were positive with many people and other celebrities coming out in support of me.
There were people who criticized ACC for not asking me about dating Kiyan and everything that went down after that. Some folks claimed Robyn Robertson was too soft on me. Those were some of the conditions to me giving them the exclusive. My team set up parameters for the interview. Taylor and Brad would not let the network ask me about Kiyan, who Ra$hin cheated on me with, my family, or my father’s heart attack.
My image has taken quite a few hits over the last several months and my team was still working on repairing it. I was headed in the right direction with the many campaigns, covers, endorsements and commercials I’ve worked on. Building my brand was a priority. It occurred to me that I hadn’t updated my blog since the beginning of summer when all of this started. Brad suggested that I change the format and the name geared towards focusing on my brand and promotion.
We changed the name from ‘You Wish You Were Me’ to ‘The Reagan Leeds Life’. He thought the former title was a bit arrogant
and on the snooty side. While catchy, he made the point I created that blog when I was eighteen years old and now I was a grown woman, it was only fitting my blog grow with me.
Brad sent an image consultant, Jasmine Jones to help me set up the new format for my blog. She was going to be running it from here on out with exclusive content about my modeling career. “Well, Reagan, as Brad mentioned, your new blog is only going to be used as a promotional tool. We want to showcase your portfolio, runway and Vine videos, behind the scenes footage of your shoots, future campaign prints, interview excerpts, etc. I also took the liberty of starting a new Twitter, You Tube, and Instagram accounts strictly for promotion. We’ll only post updates and links to the new blog, of course nothing will get posted without your approval. Do you have any questions?” asked Jasmine.
“Wow, you guys thought of everything. Did you want me to update links on my personal Twitter?” I asked as I looked at my new website. “It’s strictly up to you. It would be great if you did, that way the followers you already have will know about your upcoming projects. Oh yes, I wanted to ask you, Brad thinks it would be a good idea if you showed up to any future community events your sister will be involved in. It will give the public a chance to see you in a new light. Showing everyone that Reagan Leeds does care for her community. I would advise staying away from the rallies, however. You don’t want to be perceived as a radical,” cautioned Jasmine.
I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to be fake about it and come off as a phony. I reasoned I could support Kennedey which is something I truly wanted to do while helping my image at the same time. “She has a few things she is working on for the West Island Youth Center, I suppose I can make an appearance. Just let Brad know don’t expect this all the time, I’m not trying to be a phony. I’m only supporting my sister,” I replied, authoritatively. “I will definitely convey that to him,” Jasmine assured me. Good, things were moving steadily along and my career was back on the fast track.
Once Jasmine left, I told Kennedey I wanted to talk to her about my visit with our father. I wondered if Kennedey knew anything about Daddy and Marcia. “Ken, when you went to see Daddy a month ago, did anything seem strange to you?” I asked. “What do you mean” she asked, with a puzzled expression on her face. I sighed. “I’m not entirely sure, but I think Daddy is seeing Marcia,” I replied.
“What? Are you serious? What makes you think that?” she asked in amazement. “Just, that I used his bathroom once and I saw this box perm and curling iron. I mean, why would that be in his private bathroom?” I wondered. Kennedey’s eyes grew as big as saucers. “Are you serious? Did you ask him about it?” Kennedey demanded to know. I shook my head. “I though about it. Any other time, I would have, but I didn’t want to upset him. It is his business after all. Ugh, Kennedey, do you think Daddy be getting down?” I asked her. Kennedey frowned showing me she was just as uncomfortable at the thought of our father getting it on as I was.
“It’s not something I like to think about. I suppose it’s possible, he is a man after all. I hope not, though,” said Kennedey. “Really? Why not?” I asked. “Cause he is still married to Mom. I mean they‘re technically married…” Kennedey’s voice trailed off. “True, but they’ve been separated for years. Mom ran off. You can’t think she hasn’t been with other men all this time,” I reasoned. I
couldn’t believe it, I was actually siding with the possibility my father and Marcia could be waxing, slee-hawing, having sex. The thought grossed me out.
“I suppose so. Reagan, have you ever wanted to look for Mom?” Kennedey suddenly asked. Her question surprised me. “I thought about it in college. Didn’t have any money to hire a private investigator so I figured it was a lost cause. Truthfully, I used to sometimes think she would come out of the woodwork once I became so-called famous. That she would try to contact me, looking for a handout or something,” I pondered, aloud.
“When she first left and months past without her contacting us, I began to think maybe she was dead,” said Kennedey. I never told anyone this but I have thought of the same thing right after it happened, but I never believed Apollonia was dead. “I don’t feel like she is, I know she is out there somewhere,” I said, quietly.
“This may sound weird, but back in high school, I sometimes hoped death was the reason she never came back. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t want her dead per se, I just could not think of any other reason I would have been okay with as to why she never came home. Why she never wanted us,” said Kennedey, her voice slightly cracking. Kennedey and I sat there in silence, both thinking about that Sunday, seeing our father in so much pain and learning our mother ran out on our family in the middle of the night.
Jaylen was flying back today from New York and was picking me up to try a new Chinese restaurant that just opened downtown. I thought about my conversation with Kennedey about our parents. Part of me wanted to know what and if anything was going with my dad and Marcia, the other part was like ‘see no evil, hear no evil’. I wanted Daddy to be happy. Selfishly at the same
time, I didn’t want to share him with anyone. I knew Apollonia was out there, although I had no idea where she could possibly be. Given my celebrity she must know about me and the things I am up. Does she even give a damn?
I brushed off those thoughts as I checked my Twitter and Instagram. I could see that Jaylen posted several pictures from his club in New York. As I clicked on them, I didn’t like the images I was seeing. There were pictures of Jaylen, his friends, and females surrounding him. There were different girls in some of the pictures. I recognized the one on his left as his ex, Ashley. He was
certainly living it up with these broads.
I felt a sense of deja vu from the night I checked Ra$hin’s emails and found dozens of pictures with him having sex with other women. Granted, these weren’t those kind of pictures. Even still, I didn’t care for these girls all over my man. I never liked the attention Jaylen received from other women and I knew he dated scores of women before me. I didn’t know if he knew all of these females in the pictures or if they were just patrons of his club, either way, I didn’t like the taste it left in my mouth. I damn sure was going to let him know what’s up.
Jaylen and I returned to his house from dinner. All throughout our conversation, I kept thinking about those Instagram pictures of him in the club with all those girls around. The more I thought about it, the more it pissed me off. I heard Jaylen’s phone chirping, at first I ignored it, but someone kept texting him. I looked to make sure Jaylen was still in the kitchen. I reached over and picked up his phone. There were a few messages from Apollo and Amarre and one from some girl named Shontae. My heart started beating faster as I clicked on the text:
Shontae: Hey Jay, didn’t have a chance to see you again B4 U Left. Need to run a few things buy U. Hit me back.
The message didn’t say all that much, but I still didn’t like the fact that some female was texting my man, saying she didn’t have the chance to see him again. He’s been running back and forth to Brooklyn more than usual lately. Everything I went through in my past made me extremely paranoid when it came to things like this. I wouldn’t be made a fool again and I was determined to check him.
“You were quiet at dinner, Ma. Is there anything wrong?” asked Jaylen as he sat on the sofa. “I have a lot on my mind,” I replied. flatly. “Such as?” he prompted me. “First of all, I‘m not feeling you traveling to New York so much lately. We hardly get to see each other as it is,” I said. Jaylen looked puzzled. “What are you talking about? Yeah, I’ve been in Brooklyn more lately because
there are a lot of things going on with Avenue. This is out of the blue, besides you travel a lot more than I do, Reagan,” he said.
“Um, that’s because my job requires it. I work all over the world, modeling is what I do. It’s how I pay my bills,” I retorted. “Let’s be fair, Reagan, I travel for my work too. I realize your job takes you all over the world, shit you leaving for Bridgeport tomorrow. If you’re upset about me going back home so much, you can come out there with me sometimes,” said Jaylen. “How am I supposed to do that, when I’m in a different city every week?” I asked, my voice getting higher.
“Have you ever thought about slowing down? Not taking so many jobs?” asked Jaylen. “Why should I slow up with my career? I just got back in the game. If anything, you should slow up with your career. I have a mortgage now, I got bills,” I replied, furious he would even suggest I should be the one to put my job on the back burner. “I can take care of us. You ain’t got to worry about
that,” said Jaylen.
“Excuse me, but I don’t need you to take care of me, Jaylen. Don’t make this about me. This is about you and your lack of respect for me. Yeah, you in the club all the time with females flexin‘ on Instagram. Practically cuffed with your ex. You say you’re working, but I don’t know what you’re up to when I ain’t with you,” I said. Jaylen looked at me.
“Really? You don’t know what I’m up to? My ass is working. You trippin‘ about some pictures on Instagram? I can’t help who comes into my club. As an owner, I have to be friendly to our patrons. As far as Ashley, there ain’t nothing going on there. We dated for a few months last spring. I haven’t seen her in forever. She knows I got a girlfriend, I ain’t thinking about her. Those other girls I know from around the way. If you haven’t noticed, my boys are in the same pictures. Why are you making this a thing, Reagan?” he said.
“Oh, I’m making it a thing? What about this message from some female named Shontae?” I asked and shoved the phone in his face. “Are you serious?” he asked, incredulously. “Yes, who in the hell is Shontae and why she need you to call her?” I demanded to know. Jaylen shook his head. “For your information, Shontae works for me, she is in charge of promotions for the club. Shontae is the one standing in the back by Aubrey. You’re really that paranoid?” he asked.
“Can you blame me? Females are around you all the time. I still don’t see why your employee is texting you,” I said. I knew there wasn’t much base for my argument. Determined to make it into something bigger, it’s all I knew how to do. “You need to stop, Reagan. My employees text me all the time about work. Ain’t nothing going on. I don’t have anything to hide. If you want to accuse me of something, I suggest you come right out and say it. You’re trippin‘,” Jaylen repeated himself in frustration.
Jaylen shook his head again and said something about going upstairs to take a shower. Let him be mad because I was mad too. Regardless if he owned two clubs, having a million chicks around him all the time wasn’t okay with me. Sure everyone knew he was my man, but he needed to put up boundaries. His ass certainly wasn’t about to get any tonight. Jaylen wasn’t going to be out here making me look stupid. If I were to flip the script, he would get his little feelings hurt. Yeah, let’s see how he likes that.
I left for Bridgeport the next day after my argument with Jaylen. We didn’t say that much to each other. I knew he was feeling salty about our conversation. Oh well, I wasn’t about to be rubbing and patting on him making his ego bigger. I had more important things to do. I was in Bridgeport for a Cover Girl commercial. As their new spokes model, I recently signed a two year contract to
represent the brand. The shoot was long and uneventful. Briah, Taylor, and Jasmine accompanied me for the trip. Bridgeport wasn’t my favorite city, but since this was Briah’s first time being here, we decided to stay for a couple of extra days.
We headed to The Supper Club, one of the most exclusive clubs in the city. The crowd was decent, but not too many people were in there tonight. We headed over to the bar and placed our drink orders. I looked around the room as I took a sip of my drink. My eyes rested on the VIP area and I had the near shock of my life. There was Rob Coleman, my ex boyfriend from college. Rob played in the NFL for the Bridgeport 59’ers. He was there with a couple of other players from the team. Rob was not only my ex, but the guy I lost my virginity to when I was a freshman.
We were together for about a year until he got drafted into the NFL. He was a year ahead of me in school and I have not seen him since the end of my sophomore year. I was never in love with Rob although at the time I definitely had strong feelings for him. “Oh snap, Rea Rea. Ain’t that Rob over there?” Briah whispered to me. “Yep,” I nodded. All of a sudden Rob looked up and spotted my group. A wide smile spread across his face. He pushed himself up from his seat and made his way over to the bar. He was still fine. Same pretty smooth chocolate skin and pretty teeth. Briah snickered as we watched him making his way over to us. Rob was one of the highest paid quarterbacks in the league. He had multiple endorsement deals and a non ending supply of females at his leisure. All the more apparent as every girl in the club had eyes on him.
“Reagan, girl, what’s up? Long time, no see,” said Rob, his smile wide and bright. “Hey Rob, how are you?” I asked. “I’m good. This is crazy. I ain’t seen you in forever. Damn, I can’t believe it,” he said. Briah cleared her throat. “Oh, Rob, this is my cousin, Briah, my agent Taylor, and one of my PR reps, Jasmine,” I introduced everyone. Rob greeted everyone as his teammates came over. “Oh,
this is De Marcus Hughes and Trey Jackson,” said Rob. “Nice to meet you,” I greeted the other players.
“You know this scrub? We didn’t believe him when Rob said he knew Reagan Leeds,” said Marcus. “Man, I told y’all. Reagan was my girlfriend in college, is that so hard to believe?” asked Rob. “Yes,” both Marcus and Trey said in unison, laughing. “Man, whatever. So what are you doing in town, Reagan?” Rob asked. “Oh, I was shooting a commercial for Cover Girl,” I replied. “For real? That’s
cool. Look at you, you coming up in the game,”said Rob. We all chopped it up about another twenty minutes at the bar. Talking about our days in college and the wild parties we frequented.
“How long you gonna be here? Cause I‘m having a little house party tomorrow night, I was hoping you and your friends would come through,” said Rob. I wasn’t completely sure how I felt about going to a party at Rob’s house. If I was going with my friends and he knew there was nothing going on, I guessed it wouldn’t be too bad. Suddenly the image of Jaylen partying around all those girls flashed through my head. “Sure, what time?” I asked.
I met Rob shortly after Kennedey and I began college. A popular starting quarterback, he was the big man on campus. Every girl there wanted to date him. I really paid him no mind at first, I never chased after men. Rob had to work to get my attention. He was pretty cool and our relationship was good, just somewhat on the superficial side. What did I know at eighteen years old? We dated a whole three months before I gave it up.
Eventually, our relationship ran it’s course. Rob started to get too big for his britches and developed an ego. He knew he was slated for big things in the NFL. I didn’t want to hold him back from what he wanted. I couldn’t trust he would act right once he was drafted and got out there. The relationship grew stale and by the end we were constantly fighting. We didn’t know what else to do so we stayed with each other a lot longer than we should have. Eventually, I told Rob I wanted to see other people. There was a lot of living I had left and didn’t need to be tied down.
“Oh so you determined to get back at Jay, huh?” Briah asked me as we made our way to the party the next evening. Rob lived in Highland Hills, one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Bridgeport.
“I’m not necessarily trying to get back at Jay. Just letting him know, if he can party with females he used to mess with, I could do the same thing,” I said. “Maybe you should try talking to Jay instead of going through all of this,” Taylor spoke up. “I have tried talking to him. He doesn’t think anything of it. Jay got in his mind since he’s a club owner, that it’s all good. He got me twisted,” I replied, stubbornly. Maybe I was being a bit childish, but I was still seething at those pictures and text messages. “Wow, this house is gorgeous,” said Jasmine as we entered through the door.
I looked around, the house was very nice. Rob was doing very well for himself. There was still something nagging me about being here, although I could not put my finger on it at the time.
The guests at the party consisted of several 59ers players and your typical baller groupies. I wasn’t impressed in the least. “Hey, you. Glad you could make it,” Rob said, approaching us. “Thanks for inviting me. Your house is beautiful,” I said. He shrugged a little bit. “Yeah it’s cool. It’s not even the biggest one I own. My LA house is the main pad. That house is bangin‘ cost me some
serious bread too,” Rob laughed. Okay, I wasn’t quite sure why he felt the need to tell me all that.
Rob continued on about some of the other properties he recently purchased. How he had was adding on another garage to fit his fit his fleet of sports cars that consisted of Ferrari’s and Lamborghini’s. As he droned on about his Nike, Wheaties, and Timex endorsement deals, I began to grow very bored with this conversation. Rob was determined to impress me, but honestly, I couldn’t care less.
The party droned on over the next two hours. The clock on the wall said 10:05. It was still quite early, but I was just about ready to leave. The people in Bridgeport were a lot of posers and lames. One of many reasons I have never liked this city. Everyone at the party was talking about launching some new cheap perfume or some tired ass clothing line.
I grew bored of my conversation with Rob and thought of an excuse to leave.”We gotta be heading out pretty soon, I have business to take care in the morning,” I said. “Awwwhh you can’t leave yet. We haven’t even had a chance to really talk,” he said. I wasn’t in the mood for any more mundane conversation and I realized Rob and I really had nothing in common. Sure, I liked having nice things too, but that’s not what made me who I was.
I had the feeling he wanted to have more than just a friendly conversation and that made me feel uneasy. “What’s up?” I asked, hesitantly. “Running into you last night was crazy. Dang, you looking so good Reagan. I mean, you are a supermodel now, your face is everywhere. I ain’t gonna lie, when I saw you last night it brought back all these memories. You were the one I let get away. Man, I was stupid. But, you’re here now. Shit after the party you can spend the night. It’s been a long time,” said Rob.
I took a deep breath, disgusted at his proposition. “Rob, before you say anything further, you should know I have a man,” I said. “What’s your man got to do with me?” he asked. Was he serious? “Well, I’m in love with my man, Rob. I don’t know exactly what idea you had in your head about us, but I’m not that chick,” I told him. “You’re not that chick, but you came to my house?” Rob asked. “So what? I came as a friend, nothing more. There’s nothing between us. That been over. Look, I gotta go,” I said. I could tell from Rob’s expression, he was angry. “Fine, whatever. Same old Reagan, I see,” he said coldly. “No, I’ve changed a lot since then, so have you, and not for the better,” I said and walked away.
I was relieved to be back home. It was a shame success had changed Rob so much and I soon remembered why I haven’t spoken to him since college. Jaylen called me saying he wanted to come by and talk to me about something. He sounded upset over the phone. I can imagine he read some of the tweets about the party and the fact I was there with my cousin and friends. It wasn’t like I was trying to be sneaky because there was nothing to hide.
“So what’s up, Reagan? Were you ever going to tell me about Bridgeport or were you going to just let me read about you kicking it with Rob online?” said Jaylen, his face was like steel and his eyebrow arched. “Um, first of all, why are you coming in here with an attitude? I haven’t even seen you since I got back home yesterday. There ain’t even nothing to tell. We ran into Rob and ‘nem
at the club and he invited us to his party. Nothing happened, why you trippin?” I asked innocently.
“Why are you playing head games Reagan? Like that’s cool or something,” said Jaylen, I could tell he didn’t like my answer. “Oh you can party with half the hoes in Brooklyn you smashed, but I can’t go to a house party?,” I demanded to know. “Difference is, I cant help who is at my club, but you chose to go party and shit with ol boy. You wylin‘ Reagan. That’s some mess I would never do to
you. As far smashing, there was only one chick up in those pictures I used to date and that was months before I even met you. So, don’t even try it. I ain’t got time for these games, you need to grow all the way up,” Jaylen said angrily.
Was he serious? “I need to grow up? Your ass stay in the streets. Every time I look at my Instagram you up in the club,” I argued. “I own the club. Of course a lot of pictures are going to from the spot,” Jaylen replied. “You know what I mean. All these females flexin‘ in pics with you, practically cuffed with your ex broad.
“Cuffed? My arms wasn’t around her, she was standing there posing like everyone else. You act like I’m the only one in the pictures and not all my boys, stop playin, Reagan. Didn’t we just have this conversation? I’ve kept it one hundred from jump. I ain’t messing around on you,” said Jaylen, on the defense. “Please, I’ve heard it all before Jay,” I said dismissively.
“Why are you trying to create distance between us? You really need to ask yourself that, and don’t compare me to your whack ass exes,” said Jaylen. “Whatever, do you, boo, King Dang A Lang. I’ve told you from jump I ain’t here for it, I’m not the one. I’ve been the fool before and I refuse to be one again. There’s always another, trust and believe,” I told him, unable to keep the anger out
of my voice. “Oh it’s like that then?” asked Jaylen. “Yes it’s like that. I don’t want to look at you right now!” I shouted. Jaylen was quiet for a moment. “Okay, alright, Ma. I’m out,” he said. I watched him as he let out a breath in frustration and marched to the front door. As determined as I was to check him and come out of this fight on top, it left me with a pain my stomach. Damn,
Reagan, just damn.
After my last argument with Reagan, I was glad to head back home to Brooklyn. I got up and gave myself a shave. Amarre and I had a flight in a few hours and I wanted to not think my relationship issues. That was the worst fight we’ve ever had. I wasn’t here for some of the things she had to say to me. I definitely didn’t like that she was partying with her ex in Bridgeport. I believed
Reagan when she said nothing went down and she only went there as friend. Even still, that shit wasn’t cool. Reagan only wanted to get me back for so-called partying with Ashley.
All the crap her ex put her through made Reagan very paranoid and even the thought or appearance that I was slipping’ made her assume the worst about me. I loved my girl, I was deeply in love with her, and I would never cheat on her.
When we arrived in New York, Amarre and I headed to Avenue to go over the bar cost reports and take inventory for our next order. I was distracted and Amarre took noticed. “Jay, man what’s up? Have you tried calling her again? You’re like a million miles away,” he said. “I’ve called, I’ve texted, she ain’t trying to talk to me, yo. I don’t know what to do,” I sighed. “What’s makes you think
you must do anything? Honestly, I know I told you the other day to reach out to her because you were really buggin, but if you ask me, Reagan is in the wrong,” said Amarre.
Amarre’s relationship with my girl has been bumpy at best, but I knew he would tell me the truth. “What do you mean?” I asked him. “Just that, she jumped to conclusions about that Instagram pic and Ashley being in the spot. Instead of being mature and trusting you, what does she do? She gets back at you by kicking it with her ex man,” said Amarre.
I agreed with Amarre that Reagan wasn’t acting mature based on those pictures. When she saw the text from Shontae, she still wasn’t satisfied when I told her she worked for me. “True, true. I’m still mad about that Bridgeport shit, A. I want things to work, but Ma is gonna have to meet me half way. She’s making me pay for her lack of trust in men. I would never cheat on her, son. I ain’t
blind, I see baddies and fine ass women all the time, but none of them got anything on my girl. I love what I got too much to mess it all up,” I said.
“Maybe Reagan will see you’re one of the good ones. But, don’t bend over backwards trying to convince her of that, Jay. Either she will see it or she won’t. You gotta do what’s right for you,” said Amarre. All of a sudden, Amarre’s warning about Reagan’s emotional baggage came back to me. My brother spoke no lies.
Once we finished going over inventory, Amarre headed out to meet with one of our suppliers, while I finished up some paperwork in our office. I wanted to head back to my apartment and get a couple hours of sleep before I had to come back tonight and stay here until five in the morning. On my way out, I was surprised to see Ashley coming through the door. Amarre must have not locked it behind him when he left, which was unlike him.
“Ashley, what’s up girl? What are you doing here?” I asked her. She gave me a seductive grin and smoothed her hair. “Hey Jaylen. I was just coming to see you. I was hoping I’d catch you here to talk. It was so good seeing you the other week. I hope you don’t mind me coming by,” said Ashley. Any other time, a woman saying they wanted to talk to me I wouldn’t think too much about it, but Ashley wasn’t looking at me like she was interested in having a normal conversation. Like I told Reagan, I dated Ashley for a few months last spring.
Our relationship was pretty quick and shallow, not based on too much other than sex. Of course I omitted the sex part, knowing Reagan wouldn’t like hearing that.
Ashley was definitely a banger with a body that wouldn’t quit. She turned me on when we were together and she was cool to kick it with, but I wasn’t in love with her. Once summer hit our relationship fizzled. I wanted to be out there dating other people and I guess she wanted to as well. “What’s up? What did you want to talk about?” I asked her. “I’ve missed you, Jay. You were
looking so fine the last time I saw you. I can’t get you off my mind,” she replied, seduction dripping from her words. “I’m flattered, Ash. But I told you before, I got a woman I’m deeply in love with. She’s my everything,” I said.
“That’s what you said. Look, we ain’t got be together, I already knew about you and Reagan. Ain’t nobody here are they? You can have the kitty if you want, Jay. No one has to know. You always could rock my body, boy. Our sex was always on fire,” said Ashley, looking me dead on in my face.
Her offer surprised me, the last thing I expected. But it was an offer I would have to refuse. “C’mon Ashley, I’m not rollin‘ like that. I’m with my chick. Even if no one else knew, I would known and I’m not okay with that,” I told her. Ashley rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Jay. You gonna give this up? You know how good it is. I know you want this,” she said with an attitude.
“Actually, no I don’t. It was good when we were together, but I’ll pass,” I said. “I’m impressed, Reagan really got you on lock. The old Jay would never pass this up. The old Jay and I used to screw our brains out here, in the bathroom, stock room, the basement, I can go on,” said Ashley. She was right, the old Jay wouldn’t pass it up, that was before I met Reagan.
“Again, I’m in love with my woman. Ain’t nothing going down, Ashley. I gotta head home. It was cool seeing you, but don’t come at me like that again,” I said, forcibly. “Whatever, Jay,” she said and walked out the front door.
Everything at the club last night was like clockwork to me. I went through the whole night busying myself with club business. Amarre even commented that he had never seen me so dedicated to my job before. I didn’t usually like to trouble my parents with my relationship issues but I wanted to talk to mother and see what she had to say. My mother’s advice was always sound. What better way to get inside a woman’s head than going to another woman?
“Glad you stopped by, sweetheart. Sorry, but I didn’t have time to make my homemade biscuits this morning,” said Mom. “Oh, that’s cool. Mama, I wanted to talk to you for a minute,” I said. She nodded her head. “Does this have anything to do with Reagan?” Mom asked with a knowing look on her face. I let out a deep breath and proceeded to give my mother the highlights of the last couple of weeks and my arguments with Reagan.
My mother didn’t say anything for a moment. “Sounds to me like Reagan is still dealing with trust issues. Her last boyfriend obviously put her through a lot. Unfortunately, many times people go from one relationship to another carrying baggage. If you don’t let that go your new relationship suffers. What she went through was very traumatic. I don’t know her, but I know you love her the way you talk about her. Your brother also says he can tell you’re both really in love,” said Mom.
“We are. I realize she has trust issues, but I’ve never given her any reason to think I would ever cheat, because I don’t want to. She sees some little stupid picture on Instagram and has a fit. All of a sudden I‘m public enemy number one,” I said.
“Well, look at things from her perspective. Knowing she has these trust issues, she sees a picture of you with several girls, one of them an ex. Even the most secure woman in the world would probably have an issue with that. On the other hand she shouldn’t have jumped to conclusions,” said Mom. “That’s what I tried to tell her, Mama. So what does she do? Goes partying with her ex to make me mad,” I said, feeling frustrated.
“She probably should not have done that. Doesn’t sound like she was planning for it either. I’m your mother and I wouldn’t lie to you. You and your brother are the loves of my life. Jaylen, baby, you have some growing to do. Both you and Reagan do. Again I don’t know the girl, I can only comment on what I see,” said Mom, thoughtfully.
“I try the best I can. I can’t help who rolls up to Avenue, Mom. She is gonna have to deal with that and realize I am not her ex,” I countered. “True, but you need to me mindful of how you interact with other women. You can still be friendly, but your boundaries need to be more clear, boo. I’m proud of the man you’ve become, you’ve come a long way since a year ago. Seems both y’all are stubborn. I wouldn’t concentrate on who is right or wrong. If you want this relationship to work out you need to communicate and let go of your pride,” said Mom.
My mother was right, I guess I really didn’t think about it from Reagan’s perspective.
By the end of my trip snow began to fall. I had some running around to do in Manhattan. The streets were pretty quiet. I decided to take a little walk to clear my head and I began thinking about my conversation with my mother. I knew I definitely wanted to be with Reagan and work things out with her. It was crazy, after years of dating a lot of different women, I found one that came into my life and changed the game. I couldn’t lose her. I would reach out to Reagan again when I got back to IP. She would know the door was open whenever she was ready to talk to me.
Not talking to Jay over the last several days was torture. As mad as I was about our fight, I was even more sad because I missed him so much. The first few days after we last spoke I was furious.
At first I thought I was just mad at him, but I realized I was more mad at myself. I allowed my petty insecurities to possibly mess up the best thing in my life. I believed Jay when he said nothing ever happened with his Ashley or any other female since we’ve been together, but my damn pride prevented me from admitting my wrong. No, I should never have went to Rob’s party.
Even though the thought of hooking up with him never crossed my mind. I didn’t look at Rob like that even though he still saw me in that way. Playing these childish games, what did it get me? Here my ass was sitting in my room watching the snow come down, while “We Belong Together” played on the radio.
I didn’t know nothing, I was stupid, I was foolish
I was lying to myself…
When you left I lost a part of me
It’s still so hard to believe
Come back baby, please
‘Cause we belong together…
Bobby Womack’s on the radio
Singin‘ to me
“If you think you’re lonely now,
Wait until tonight…”
No truer words have been spoken. I was foolish, I was stupid. No, I didn’t like that Jay seemed so nonchalant about posting pics with his ex and her friends in the club. I didn’t like it the same way he didn’t like me going to Rob’s party. Ever since high school when my mother left, I have been scared stiff that more people I loved would up and leave me. I made it so hard for myself. Either I held on too tight or I drove a wedge through my past relationships. This was true mostly, except with Ra$hin. Yes, I did try to hold on to that dysfunctional bull even after I knew I never loved him and throughout his verbal bashing to me. I tried hanging on because I was too afraid to be alone.
When Apollonia left it made me question whether or not I was lovable. Would anyone want me? What was wrong with me? If my own mother didn’t love me, why would any man? It’s only been in the last few months that I have started to like who I was again. There were things about myself that I saw being caught up with Ra and in that life I didn’t like. That relationship was an eye opener. Being with Jay was different. I never felt like I needed to impress him. He liked me for who I was from jump. He wanted to get to know the real Reagan Leeds. Not the one in the magazines and in the commercials.
Jaylen was my best friend, my lover, my man. He never made me feel as if I had to prove anything to him. Sure, I was afraid of losing him even though he never gave me a reason. Only my petty insecurity did that.
We were not technically broken up, just not speaking. Jay has tried reaching out to me several times wanting to talk to, but I’ve been too bull headed and stubborn to return any of his texts or phone calls. Being in love, while one of the best things you can go through in life, it was also one of the hardest things you can go through in life.
Feeling trapped inside the house one night, I needed some air. I headed into town wandering around aimlessly. Most of the shops were closed and barely anyone was out on the streets. The temperature had dropped into the late 20’s, but I didn’t seem to notice the cold, which was something for a Miami girl.
I played my last conversation with Jaylen over and over in my mind. I didn’t want the pattern to repeat itself. My mother gave up and ran out, not wanting to deal with anything. I wasn’t sure if she ever loved my father. I knew I loved Jaylen. I wanted to be with him, I wanted us to work things out. I was ashamed of my behavior and I didn’t know if I could bring myself to go to him right now. Even if I wanted to go to his house, he was in New York. I had to make it right, I needed to release.
Kennedey told me about her fight the other week with Micah. At first she wasn’t really saying anything but I could tell something was bothering her because of her mood. I couldn’t believe both Ken and I were in the same boat at the same time. Both of us bullheaded and stubborn. She was afraid of getting too close to Micah and getting hurt and I was pushing Jay away, afraid of getting hurt.
“Can you believe, we’re pretty much in the same situation, Ken?” I asked her. Kennedey nodded her head slowly. “I don’t know what my problem is, Rea. I mean, I’ve never been comfortable being in a relationship. Micah was getting too close and I did everything I could to sabotage it,” she said quietly. “Why don’t you feel comfortable with relationships? I’ve wondered about that over the years. Partly, I thought maybe you were too picky or maybe your expectations were too high,” I said.
“I’m not even sure if I know the complete answer. It’s like once I get with someone, I would feel like I was losing my identity. It was as if I felt too strong or too proud to want to be known as someone’s girlfriend. Like, I’m Kennedey Leeds, I can’t be anyone’s girlfriend, the title alone seemed too weird and foreign to me. After Mama left, I was scared that if I got close to anyone, they would leave me too,” Kennedey said, speaking as if she were in deep thought.
“I know what you mean. I felt like that too after Mom left. I think it just manifested for us in different ways. You pushed everyone away while I couldn’t seem to be without a boyfriend,” I said. “It started earlier, though. You’ve always been a lot more comfortable in your skin. While it took me a while to come into my own. I didn’t blossom until much later. I didn’t feel as pretty as the other girls in school. All the things I liked to do made me feel like an oddball. Why couldn’t I be normal? There was a few times I reached out to someone I did like and got rejected and that hurt and damaged my confidence. I wasn’t pretty like you and Briah, at least not until later, even still I often felt overshadowed,” Kennedey confessed.
I was surprised to hear her say that. “But Kenney, you’ve always been beautiful to me. I’m not just saying that because you are my sister. You’ve always had pretty skin and Daddy’s eyes, and bigger a booty than me,” I said as we both laughed a little. “There was a part of me that thought I could be normal and have a relationship and do all the things boyfriends and girlfriends do together. The icky love stuff. Even when it came to sex, I didn’t like to be held, I didn’t want to cuddle. As soon as is was over, I was ready to bounce. I kept myself from feeling anything. I could go months without sex and when I did have it, I could make my body become robotic, turn on, turn off,” said Kennedey, a far away look in her eyes.
“Until Micah?” I asked her. Kennedey looked at me and nodded her head. “Yes. When we first met, I was so attracted to him. He was really cute, but Briah was all over him. He kept trying to talk to me, but I figured why bother? He’ll end up like any other man I have ever liked and it wouldn’t work out. He would meet someone smarter, prettier, and more successful than me. You and Briah seemed like the kind of girls he would like. You were more comfortable with yourself,” said Kennedey.
“Well, I did struggle with my self esteem and it took time to build it up and it was worn down over time as well. I wasn’t always confident in my looks and who I was as a person. Modeling did give me a lot of confidence, but I relied too much on my looks for my self esteem. Daddy did the best he could, encouraging us, telling us we were smart and beautiful. But if your mother didn’t believe in you and never taught you how to be a woman…” I started to say before I trailed off.
How could I tell what was real and what was fake? Men told me I was beautiful and I believed them, but would they like me for who I was based on my heart? Would I always be considered a trophy? Those are the questions I began asking myself in college, not sure what was really true.
“I understand what you mean. After I saw that Micah was interested, I was shocked to be truthful. He was so much like me, we have a lot in common. I could talk to him about almost anything. He got upset because every time he tried to get close, I pushed him away. I know Micah is a good man. He treats me so good, but as usual I managed to sabotage it,” Kennedey sighed. “Do you love him?” I asked her. “I don’t know. Maybe I do know, but I’m too afraid to admit it. But check it, I do know that you love Jaylen and you’re just as miserable as me without him. I wouldn’t beat myself up too much if I were you. You should go to him, he’s one of the good ones, Reagan,” replied Kennedey.
Kennedey was right, Jaylen was one of the good ones. Best I ever had. I didn’t know what was going to come of her and Micah’s relationship. I hoped they could work it out. Micah brought out a fun side in Kennedey I have not seen since we lived in Miami. She still could take herself a bit too seriously at times, but she was learning to let go of some of the things she had no control over.
It’s funny all these years we’ve thought differently about each other. I always admired what seemed be her confidence it not needing to be with a man while she admired what seemed to be my confidence in allowing myself to have a man. When merely we were both hiding the fact that neither one of us was that sure of ourselves. It felt good to be open and honest with my sister. It was time to stop hiding and lying about everything. If I hoped to further my relationship with Jaylen, I have to be completely honest with him. Everything, the insecurity about my mother and my fear of being abandoned had to be addressed. It was time I put all of my cards on the table.
The next evening I headed over to Jaylen’s house. I knew he just back in town and I was nervous about what I would say once I saw him. I parked my car and my way up the walkway, concentrating on the sound of snow crunching beneath my feet.
To my surprised Jaylen was coming out his door. We both stood there and stared at each for what seemed like an eternity. “I was just coming to see you,” Jaylen finally spoke. “Really? Jaylen, I’m so sorry for everything I said, everything I did. I’ve been absolutely miserable. I missed you so much. I was so stupid. I should have trusted you,” my words came pouring out with heavy emotion.
“I’m sorry too. I should have considered your feelings. I missed you so much, Ma,” Jaylen spoke in a low voice. He pulled me close kissing me on my forehead. The way my body instantly heated up you would think it were one hundred degrees outside. I missed the way his lips felt on my skin and the smell of his breath. “We don’t we go inside?” he said, softly.
Jaylen opened the door, taking our coats and hanging them up. He followed me into the living room and sat next to me on the sofa. “Like I said outside, I’m sorry, Jaylen. I never should have doubted you. I’ve gone through so much in my life and in past relationships, especially my last one. I blamed you for something someone else did and that wasn’t fair. I didn’t like seeing those girls with you and it made me think of all girls my ex cheated on me with. I know you haven’t, but I was just so afraid of losing you,” I said.
“I understand. Just know when I say I’m in love with you, I need you to believe that. Reagan, you are it for me. I don’t want anyone else. Look, nah I can’t help who comes into either one of my clubs, but I now know to set up better boundaries. Trust me, everybody knows we’re together. Shoot, why you think the fellas in the club be hatin‘ on me? Cause I got the baddest chick in the game on my arm. You’re everything to me, Reagan. I don’t want to lose you,” said Jaylen.
I exhaled, there were so may things I had to tell him and I wasn’t scared anymore. “The one thing I’ve never discussed in great detail with you is my mother. Out of all the things in my life I have struggled with, her leaving has been the hardest. My sister and I have dealt with that since we were teenagers. My mom and I were never close. I relied on my father for all of my emotional support and stability.
I wanted to have a relationship with my mother, I wished were normal. She never seemed that interested in us. Our mom stuck around for years, but there was always this longing I had to be close to her. That some day she would look at me and would want me as her daughter. But she never did, she never looked at me like that. Then one day she was gone,” I sniffled.
I let out a deep breath as tears started falling down my cheek. “Baby, I’m so sorry you and your family had to go through that. I can only imagine how you must have felt,” said Jaylen, quietly.
I glanced out the window for a moment. “What are you supposed to do as a little girl when your mom never got down on the floor with you and played Barbies? When she would read to us, it was because we begged and pleaded when our dad was working late. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t all bad one hundred percent of the time. My mother loved to dance, it was her passion. There were times she would push the sofa out of the way and turn our living room into her own dance studio. Kennedey and I would come in there and watch her. Sometimes she would even show us how to do some of her moves and we would dance for hours. Of course those moments were few and far in between because most of the time she was distant,” I whispered the last few words, thinking hard back to those memories.
Jaylen patiently listened to me go on about my life with my mother and my fear of abandonment. Every insecurity, every doubt I had about relationships and myself. Every childhood dream I had which were mostly me wanting my mother to act like she loved me and wanting to grow up to be as beautiful as she was.
I didn’t stop talking until all of my cards were on the table. I was vulnerable, but not scared. Jaylen didn’t hold anything against me and he began to understand why I lashed out at him. It wasn’t that I wanted to create distance, but out of fear I did it anyway.
“You don’t ever have to worry about me leaving you. I love you, Reagan, you are the best thing in my life. I’m just grateful you trust me to tell me all of this, Ma. I know you have suffered. I wish I could take it all away from you,” said Jaylen. I looked at him seeing the love in his eyes and it warmed my heart. For the first time in our relationship, I was giving one hundred percent of myself to him. Not eighty percent, not ninety, but one hundred. If we were going to be together, I had to surrender myself to love and not be afraid of losing it. There were no guarantees in life, but I knew I would be with Jaylen forever.
“Don’t cry, baby. Why are you crying?” Jaylen asked softly. “Because and I feel so relieved. I love you, Jaylen. I never want to live without you,” I managed to sputter out through sniffles and the ” ugly cry”. Jaylen pulled me up and as we walked toward the window, he reached out and brushed away my tears. “C’mon, I’m going to make love to you and I won’t stop until you tell me to,” he said. I quietly obeyed and let him lead the way.
Ever since Jaylen and I made up a few days ago, it was as if we had a new found openness in our relationship. There was more trust and understanding. He never gave me any reason to think he would mess around on me. I felt good that I finally opened up to him about my mother. It was something I will continue to struggle with, I won’t lie. Knowing she’s out there somewhere over the rainbow. I refused to let that hinder my personal growth and come between Jaylen and I.
It made me happy, not only were things on the right track in my relationship, but Kennedey managed to make up with Micah as well. Like Maxwell, Jay and I stayed locked up in the house for days, until the cops come knockin‘. At least that was how it felt. We had marathons of making up to do.
Alas, a girl needed to get to the shop and her her whip done. Briah called me the other day telling me her little sister, Malika came out for her winter break from high school. Chile, she was asking for trouble. I haven’t seen Malika in in years, but she was a hot little mess. Briah wanted to give her something to do during the day, so she bought her to help around and clean up the salon.
“How are you liking the new crib, Rea Rea?” asked Briah. “I’m loving it so far. There is a lot of room, great views, can’t complain,” I replied. “Why didn’t you want to buy the last place?,” she asked. “Well, Ken and I didn’t really know for sure where we wanted to settle in, that’s why we chose to rent initially,” I answered. “Oh. Is Kennedey ever going to move out?” asked Briah. I hadn’t thought about that possibility in quite sometime. Truthfully, Kennedey and I never talk about it. “I don’t know. Eventually, whenever she wants. I mean, it’s her house too. We’re getting along the best we have in years. I like her being there,” I said.
“Maybe you and Jay can move in together,” Briah suggested. I looked at her reflection in the mirror to see if she was serious. “Shh, not so loud, all the ear hustling up in here. Girl, are you crazy? My daddy would kill me if I shacked up with Jay. Please, he gonna have to put a ring on it before that happens. Why buy the cow when you can have the milk for free? Ain’t happening,” I lowered my voice; snapping my finger. Briah laughed. “I know that’s right!” she said.
“Malika, girl, turn that up, that’s my cut!” Briah shouted.
‘For his life he can’t tell the truth.
How to love he ain’t got a clue,
Playing games like he’ll never lose you.
Try to talk to him, can’t get through,
Every day he’s a different dude.
These are the signs of a grown ass boy,
Better run for the hills,
I’m just trying to keep it real.
You can’t raise a man.
He’s already grown, what you gonna do?
You wonder why he acts like a boy.
It’s ’cause he wasn’t raised right before you
Girl, you ain’t never gonna change nobody…’
DJ Spin: That was K. Michelle with ‘Can’t Raise A Man’. Just to remind y’all that Ra$hin has added another date to his tour, coming back to IP. He’ll be performing at the East Bay Stadium. Tickets will be going on sale next week. You know them joints is going to sell out quick. JRok and Tigga are also joining him on the last leg of his tour. Make sure you listen all next week, we’ll be giving away four front row tickets for Ra’s show, stay tuned…
***Author’s note, Briah did have a POV for this chapter but I chose to cut it out. Briah has such a rich background and her own story, that trying to include bits and pieces of it into Reagan’s story would not do it justice. Besides, this is Reagan’s story and it would not be fair to her or Briah to try to squeeze in a little here and there if it does not further along Reagan’s own storyline. I have added the POV to my secondary Word Press Blog. I will occasionally add a POV of Briah’s backstory to that blog if it has nothing to do with Reagan’s own story.
On a personal note, I would like to say that Kennedey’s whole issues with intimacy and relationships is loosely based on my own personal experiences when I was her age. Thankfully, as I have gotten older I have managed to grow out of that.