You Will Learn
Ra$hin had been touring for last few months, I came out to see him a couple of times, but I was busy with my own job. I could not say things were the best between us. For one, he got mad when I told him I would not be living with him. He had been snappish and irritable as well. I figured part of that was because of the stress from the tour. I was starting to believe that everything that glittered wasn’t gold. I had not really hung out with my friends either. We were all preoccupied with life. When he came home on a break from his tour I came over to spend the night. I got up in the wee hours of the morning to use the bathroom and check some of my emails since I accidentally left my phone in the car. When I got on his computer his email was still up. Curiosity got the best of me and instead of just closing it down, I rummaged through some of his emails. I felt my heart sank seeing titles like “Hey, baby I had so much fun the other night…” from bossgirl90. I opened the email it said: It was so good being with you the other night boo. I can’t wait til you get back in town and rock my world again. ‘The email was from some chick named Cocoa Nichelle. I look her up on Facebook. Typical groupie, cheap looking trashy photos plastered all over her homepage. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I felt sick to my stomach. There were several emails from different girls. As I opened each one the images got worse and worse and looked like they belonged on some pay-per-view site. This fool had actually taken pictures and video of himself and several females getting down. He had pictures of himself and that stripper from Mr. Goodbar Simone, she was on a pole alright, but not the one in the club. I even saw a video of him in his bedroom here in Starlight Shores with Cocoa. I looked over at the date on a couple of the pictures of him and that stripper Simone and realized the dates coincided with my trip to New York last December. I felt sick. He was seeing her and coming home to me. I felt disgusted and dirty. I could not believe he cheated on me with Uniqua Sims of all people. Not only that, his trifling ass discussed it with this Cocoa chick and telling all my family business. He also admitted to knowing he had a baby on the way with her! How long did he know? I felt like I was outside myself. I didn’t know whether to cry, scream, or throw something. Ra$hin even had pictures of that video groupie, Minka Diaz and she was obviously trading favors with him. By the looks of where the pictures were taken it was in his bedroom in his Miami house, the date on the pictures indicated it was during the same time we were all down there for his white party. Rumor had it that is how Minka got most of her video jobs by hooking up with every rapper in the game. For him to have hooked up with her where we had slept while I was in town was unthinkable, no wonder he brushed me off about her being in his video for ‘Stuntin’ On ‘Em‘.
There were so many pictures and videos I had already looked at about ten or so and there were more, I just couldn’t bring myself to open them. Some of the text in one of the emails caught me utterly by surprise:
Cocoa: Hey baby, it was so good seeing you, my body thanks you more. LOL
Ra$hin: I know, same here.
Cocoa: When am I going to see you again? When will you be able to get make some time boo?
Ra$hin: I don’t know. I’ve been busy with this tour and everything, plus my girl is watching me like a hawk, kinda hard to get away from her ass sometimes.
Cocoa: Oh, Reagan? LOL I guess she likes to keep you on a tight leash huh?
Ra$hin: She thinks she has me on one. But I have always done what I wanted to do, ain’t no bitch gonna change that. She is so damn stupid, she’ll believe anything I tell her.
Cocoa: Aren’t you worried about getting caught again? I mean, didn’t she break up with you when she found out about you and that Martina chick?
Ra$hin: Hell no, I ain’t worried about shit. Reagan is not my mama. I couldn’t care less what she found it. Even if she did, it’s not like her ass would be going anywhere. Reagan is a damn leech and gold digger. Her messin‘ with me has benefited her more than it has me. All she cares about is the fame and fortune. As long as I keep her pockets full and her on my arm at awards shows and in public, she is happy and she ain’t going anywhere.
Cocoa: Damn, it sounds like you don’t even like her, LOL! I thought you wanted her to live with you?
Ra$hin: Shit, a lot of times I don’t, but I tolerate her ass because having her with me is a good look. She’s popular, mainstream and stays on everyone’s radar. But she’ll dry up eventually, then I’ll drop her ass, just like her mama did, shit no wonder she left, the bitch can be impossible sometimes. As far as us living together, I was just sayin‘ that shit.
Cocoa: Dang, her mama left her?
Ra$hin: Yeah. She claims that why she acts the way she acts sometimes because she is angry, but the truth is she was just born a bitch, if I was her mama, I probably would’ve left her too and her punk daddy and ugly ass sister. But like I said before, having her on my arm is a good look. When you date a Vogue cover model, it gives you a certain amount of mainstream cred, not the kind you get from just the hip hop community. Her expiration is almost up though, she has been a good promotional tool for this album and tour LOL.
Cocoa: Do she know that you got a baby on the way with that rat? I mean I know you were contesting the paternity, but now that you know it’s yours, did you ever tell her that you got Uniqua pregnant?
Ra$hin: No. I ain’t told her jack. I mean I ain’t with that hood rat Uniqua no way. Yeah I was messing around with her it was nothing serious. Three months later this trick talkin‘ about she pregnant. Well the test proved the baby is mine but I we ain’t about to be together. I couldn’t read anymore. I was stunned. It was as if I were outside myself looking at this email and all the horrible things Ra$hin was saying about me and my family to some skank who didn’t even know me. How could he say those things about my mother? And insult my father and sister like that? I may get on Kennedey and sling insults at her every once it a while (which she does as well) but I can since I’m her sister. But I’ve never called her ugly, because no one in my family is ugly. And him calling my daddy a punk?
Oh, I was seeing red now. I was going to explode. The wheels in my head were turning. Uniqua, that dirty ghetto ass skank that Fallion beat up at the club? Her? Really? I was seething with rage, I felt like I had the wind knocked out of me. The last time I saw that heffa was in New York. Something told me something was up at the time when I saw Ra checking her out. I didn’t want to make it an issue at the time because he and I had just made up. Everything I have known was all a lie. My blood was boiling. I woke him up and confront him about the emails. “Ra$hin! Wake your ass up now!”I yelled at him. He looked surprised and half asleep. “You cheated on me! You lied to me all these months and said there was no one besides Martina. Now I find out not only have you been doing every trick from here to New York. You actually got one of those hood rats pregnant? And you know it’s yours? When were you going to tell me? How could you do this to me? I hate you!” I screamed at him, I couldn’t even call it a real scream, perhaps a half scream and cry all at the same time.
I never felt so betrayed in my life. He was the comedian and I was the ultimate butt of his joke I felt so damn stupid, like this was all my fault and I had it coming to me. “What? What are you talking about? What email?” he asked. “Don’t play stupid with me, the emails, the pictures, the videos, everything on your computer!”I screamed. He was wide awake now. “What the hell are you doing going through my emails?” he shouted. “Don’t you put this off on me, you son of a bitch! I don’t know how many disgusting pictures and videos I saw of you and other females, you are pathetic! You’re a trifling ass dog, you are so damn stupid getting some bird knocked up! What, you weren’t expecting that, were you? Did you think you were just going to hide this baby? And don’t say it happened when we were broken up, because the time line proves we were still together!” I yelled feeling as if my head was going to explode.
My emotions were out of control. I said a few more choice words to him before he got a look on his face I had not seen before and he was very calm, almost eerily calm, but that soon changed. He then got in my face. “Look, I told you before not to try to check me, now you going through my personal shit? I don’t have to answer to you bitch. And so what I got some female pregnant? What you going to about Reagan? You ain’t gonna leave. We’ll never be over, not until I say we’re over,” he sneered at me with a threatening look in his eyes. The tone of his voice sent a bone chilling sensation up my spine. “It is over! For good! I never want to see you again, I can’t believe I trusted you, I can’t believe you could do this to me. I hate you Ra$hin! I wish I never…” I was abruptly cut off. Not by anything Ra$hin had to say, but all of a sudden I felt a pain across my face I had never felt before. It took me a moment to realize what happened. It was very surreal I was looking at myself from outside my body, Ra$hin had just hit me. I was too shocked to say anything. I didn’t know what to do or what to say. Ra$hin was quite too. Just when I thought he may hit me again, his facial expression changed from one of anger to a cold lifeless expression. I turned away very quickly scared of what he might do next. I only caught a glimpse of him reaching out for me. As I ran out the bedroom I could hear him calling out my name and telling me to stop. I don’t remember grabbing my clothes off the chair, but I must have because they were in my hands when I got in my car still in my underwear. I didn’t even remember driving home. I was crying so hysterically, I could not see the street before me. A higher power must have guided me home because I was clearly in no condition to drive. When I parked my car in the garage I threw on my clothes in case Kennedey was still up. I did not want her to see me like this. I kept my shoes off tiptoeing in the house as to not wake up the cats because in case Kennedey was asleep they would surely wake her up. My face still throbbed. I could still hear his voice and all the horrible things he said to me. My world had turned upside down in a course of less than an hour. My boyfriend had cheated on me with multiple women one of which he admitted to have gotten pregnant and hit me. It was over now. I could never go back, I was humiliated. No man had ever laid their hands on me. I was scared at the thought of becoming a domestic violence statistic, how could that be me? I then thought about what my father would say or do if he found out and that scared me even more. I could already feel his disappointment from hundreds of miles away. It never even occurred to me that something like this was happen to me. I started hearing all these different voices inside my head. I heard my father’s voice saying to me that he did not trust Ra$hin, that he wasn’t any good. I heard Kennedey is saying how pathetic I was for getting back with him. I could hear Taina giving me a similar warning. I could also hear Kiyan telling me that Ra would do this again. I didn’t know to what extent that meant until now. I lay on my floor shaking uncontrollably, unable to escape my thoughts, they haunted me. I sat there until sunrise. I am not sure of the hours. What my father said several months ago weighed heavily on my mind, but I chose to ignore it at the time, bury it deep down inside, file it away in my mental archives and kept it pushing. I learned how to hide these kind of emotions and put up a rough exterior a long time ago from all my run-ins with my mother and especially the day we all got up one morning waiting for Daddy to make his famous pancakes like he always did on Sundays. But that particular Sunday, there were no pancakes, there was nothing. Kennedey and I went into the living room where we found our father sitting on the sofa obviously upset. He looked up at us “I need to tell you girls something,” his voice shook.
“Last night while you guys were out, your mother and I got into a big argument. She told me she wasn’t happy and hadn’t been for a long time and felt I was holding her back from what she really wanted in life…” “What does she mean, ‘holding her back’? I interjected. “Shh, let him finish Reagan”, Kennedey hissed at me. Dad continued “Well I don’t know exactly what she meant this time around, ever since I met your mom, she has changed her mind so many times about what she wanted to do. So, I couldn’t tell you. I figured this was just another one of her tantrums about dancing and her playing the blame game she does every three to four months”. “Daddy, what are you trying to say?” I had asked anxiously. “Your mother is gone”, he said plainly, but with a sadness in his eyes I had never seen before, his eyes had no life in them anymore. Kennedey and I looked at each other. “Gone? Like she left and didn’t tell you where she was going? When will she be back?” I asked. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears.
“She is gone for good, at least that’s what she said in this note she left on the fridge,” my dad said as he pulled out some wrinkled up post it note. I read the note it said: ‘Raymond, you and I both know I haven’t been happy for years. I thought once we were married after I got pregnant that I could be a good wife to you, I never wanted marriage, I didn’t want all these responsibilities and you make me feel so guilty because I tell you it’s not enough. I am showing you that I am serious, I don’t want to be married anymore. I’m leaving, I need to find out who I am and live the life I started when I first came to this country. Don’t try to find me. Goodbye- Apollonia.’ I remember not feeling much of anything in that moment after I read that stupid post it. I just crumpled it up and went back to bed. I knew my mother was always capable of something like this, I just never thought she would actually have the gall to do it. Stupid cow. She didn’t say she was sorry or even one word about Kennedey or me. We’ve never gotten along. I was always close to my dad, both Kennedey and me were. When it came to getting homework help, we went to dad, if we were having a problem in school or with one of our friends, we went to dad. Thank goodness for those sex Ed and reproductive classes in the fifth grade or I would never have known what to do when I got my menstrual, because Apollonia surely never taught us a damn thing! In the weeks after my mother left things got so bad for us. My father was trying to put on a brave front for us, but I knew he was suffering. Kennedey didn’t want me to know it, but she took it very hard. Kennedey chose to occupy her time with school and the internet all the time while I either slept a lot or stayed out with my friends. We always bumped heads as sisters growing up probably because we were so different, but we got a long too and played to together as kids. Our sisterly relationship began to deteriorate as time went by. We fought all the time. We didn’t stay in Miami long, within a few months my dad sold the house and we packed up and moved to Appaloosa. So yeah, it was in that moment I learned to bottle things up and put them to the side, out of sight out of mind as they say, not that this thing with him is really out of mind. But I’ve learned to live with worse things than this, like having a mother who was never interested in you or your sister, never took the time out to come to your school functions, a mother who never told you she loved you. I felt so small and worthless, like I was nothing. I hadn’t felt this small since high school when my mother left. I couldn’t let anyone find out. I took a long hot bath, got a glass of water, took a couple of Xanax, went downstairs and cried myself to sleep. When I woke up, I was surprised I had only been out for a couple of hours. I didn’t hear any movement in the house. I could only hear eight little paws scratching around on the floor. I went into the kitchen to make myself some coffee, trying to start my day off with some sense of “normalcy”. I didn’t know where my phone was, maybe I had left it in the car. I was afraid he may try to come over. I did not want to see him. I did not want to see anybody. I felt like I was suffocating. I couldn’t imagine leaving the house, maybe I could stay inside for the rest of my life. How could I face anyone anymore? As I was deep in thought, I didn’t hear Kennedey walk back into the house until she was in front of me in the kitchen. I suddenly looked up at her as if I had never seen her before. It was too late, I could not hide my bruised face from her.
We locked eyes, I quickly looked away, ashamed and embarrassed. Kennedey was quite for a moment, she then spoke so low I could hardly hear her. “That bastard,” she said. She came closer. I immediately snapped to attention, determined to put out the fire that was surely brewing inside of her, somehow I felt I needed to in order to protect her or something.
No, I did not want her to make a big deal of this, but I also felt it was my duty as an older sister to let her know I was okay and to make her feel safe. It certainly occurred to me that I had not felt that way toward my baby sister in years. “It’s not what it looks like Kennedey, just calm down…” I started to say when she interrupted me.
“Bullshit, that bastard hit you! Don’t deny it Reagan! I am not blind! I am not stupid!” she cried with heavy emotion, her voice shaking. I could see tears starting to well up in her eyes. I wanted to be strong. It hurt me to see my sister’s reaction. “Kennedey, just calm down! I’m okay, I promise you,” I tried to convince her or maybe I was trying to convince myself. Either way, I wasn’t doing a very good job.
“Don’t tell me to be calm! I am not a baby Reagan! He put his hands on you,” she emphasized every word each one stabbing like a knife. “What happened? How long has this been going on? Has he hit you before? I’ll kill him!” Kennedey screeched at the top of her lungs.
“Kennedey please! Just stop! You’re not making it any easier. Please Kennedey, just please…” I said before I broke down crying uncontrollably. I collapsed in Kennedey’s arms. She held me very close and very tight. I did not know how long I had been there, but it seemed like I was crying forever. Kennedey just stroke my hair, I could hear her sniffling. After I calmed down I looked at her.
“Please Kennedey, you can’t tell Daddy about this, he will go crazy!” I pleaded with her. She opened her mouth. “No, Kennedey just promise me you won’t tell Dad, please!” I said. “Reagan, he needs to know about something like this! You can’t keep this a secret. He is going to find out sooner or later. You are famous, you can’t hide this!” Kennedey responded with a look of worry in her face. I didn’t even want to think about the possibility of this becoming public. I didn’t know what to say.
“Have you even thought about that? What are you going to do?” she asked. Again, I was at a loss for words. Kennedey insisted on knowing what exactly happened in the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t enjoy recounting the details, but as my sister, I supposed she deserved some answers. After I gave her the general details of the emails and pictures I had seen to my encounter with him, she just sat there quietly shaking her head.
“That asshole, he cheats, gets someone else pregnant and has the nerve to put his hands on you,” she said more as a statement than a question. I don’t remember how we had ended up from the kitchen to the living room.
She looked at me. “What are you going to do? If he tries to come here, I’m kicking his ass,” she said. Kennedey never was one for fighting, but I knew she was serious when she said that. She was the type that didn’t start fights or want to be in fights, growing up when someone was messing with her I was always the one to jump in and defend my sister against the bullies.
When she started taking advanced classes at another school some kids picked on her. She let it ride for a while until she had enough and blew up and rightfully defended herself without me around. She did not know it at the time but when I found out she stood up for herself I was the most proud of her as I had ever been, until now.
“Kennedey, look I don’t want you worrying about this. I don’t think he would try to come over right now. Even if he did, there is nothing he could say or do that would make things right between us. We are over, I assure you. There are some things I can forgive and get passed, but this is not one of them. Even if he had not hit me, I was still over it once I saw there was proof he cheated on me our entire relationship, topping it off with knocking up some bird,” I told her.
Kennedey looked uncertain and looked in my face. “I hope you mean that Reagan, I really do. I don’t mean to say this to be nasty, but ever since you got with Ra$hin and became famous it’s as if I don’t know you anymore. You just seemed to be so caught up with this lifestyle and your celebrity. You sacrificed so much to have this life. Don’t ever go back, this bull is so not worth it. The fame, the money, what has it brought you? I don’t see a happy person. You just seem more sad now than you ever have been. Can you honestly tell me that you’re happy Reagan?” Kennedey asked. I hated to admit it, but she was right. We sat in silence for a minute.
“No, I guess I can’t tell you that. You’re probably right in a lot of ways. I don’t know where I started to go wrong. I don’t know where life began to get so hard. But it is, and I don’t know how to make things better. I don’t know how to fix this,” I said with tears brimming in my eyes. I was so sick of tears, I thought my ducts would be dried up by now.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about fixing this Reagan. Maybe you should just ‘be’ for now. Let me be strong for you, we are sisters. Don’t shut me out like you always do, just let me be your sister again,” Kennedey said quietly. I wiped my eyes.
“I appreciate that, I do. But please Kennedey, please, please promise not to say anything to Daddy. I have to figure out what my next move is and I can’t have him here flipping out making things worse. Daddy has it hard, if he found out what happened, I don’t know what he would do. He would go crazy. I really don’t want to be visiting our father in jail somewhere either. So promise me, okay Kennedey?” I asked her once again. She looked hesitant.
“Okay, fine, I promise. But I don’t like it and if he finds out anyway and ask me about it, I won’t lie Reagan,” she said. I nodded. She looked like she did when we were kids agreeing to keep my secrets or go along with something because as her big sister she wanted to impress me, to make me happy. I hadn’t realized so much time had passed since Kennedey returned home.
My stomach churned, I had no appetite. Kennedey asked if I wanted her to make me something to eat, she looked hurt and worried when I told her no. “Maybe a little later, okay?” I tried to reassure her. “Okay, “ she said.
I got up, I wanted to go upstairs and rest I started walking out of the room. “Reagan?” Kennedey called to me. “Yes?” I answered, turning around.
“I love you,” she said.
” I love you too, sweet brown girl,” I replied calling her my father’s childhood name for her. I turned around and headed up to my room. ******************************************************************************
A few days had passed since “the incident” I didn’t really want to say the words aloud or to myself so I called it that. Kennedey, I could tell was feeling very worried about me. She opted to stay home dropping out of an important art show she was supposed to participate in to be with me.
I was okay, I told myself, but honestly, I was glad to have someone there with me besides the cats. I finally made myself look for my cell phone, which I found in the car. The car, the one he bought for me.
I did have my BMW I had purchased myself with my first fat modeling check I earned right before I met him, granted it wasn’t as expensive as the model he bought for me. I didn’t want it anymore. Matter of fact, I wanted to get rid of everything he had ever bought me. I wanted to burn the sheets he had slept, get rid of the jewelry and not even sell it this time, just throw it away.
My phone was dead. I charged it and immediately saw that I had many voice mails and text messages, mainly from him. I was afraid to listen to my messages. Even though I knew there were some from my friends and business related calls, I did not want to accidentally hear any from him.
I quickly deleted the many text messages I got from him, but not before seeing one claiming how sorry he was and how he needed to “make things right” with me. Please, I may have done a lot of dumb things in my life, but I was not born yesterday. I may have been weakened dealing with him over the past year, but I was not a “weak woman”. I was too stubborn, too bull headed to just be okay with that, maybe the only good thing I had gotten from Apollonia.
I was thinking about all this staring at the phone when Kennedey came in just as my phone rang, it was him. Kennedey looked at me and took the phone away. I thought she was just click do not answer, but she actually answered.
“Look you trifling, no good weak ass dog, you better never in your life ever call my sister again! You better be thanking your lucky stars my father, our cousins and uncles have not found out about what you did, because yo’ ass would be in the nearest ICU. You better keep hoping this doesn’t get out. You better beef up security, you better watch your back, take your ass back to New York, do something, but you damn sure better never come near my sister again. Because honestly, you don’t even need to worry so much about all the men in my family, because I’ll whoop you myself. You’re gonna make me catch a case up in here and I have no reservations about that, trust,” Kennedey spoke slowly and forcibly into the phone. I was shocked. I had never heard Kennedey speak this way before.
I just stared at her, her poker face unwavering. I could hear him saying something about wanting to speak to me, to which Kennedey simply replied “it ain’t gonna happen you son of a bitch”. “Just know I am serious, don’t come around here, don’t call our house, stay away from my sister!” she yelled and hung up. When did Kennedey become so gangster? Where was I when this happened? Maybe she did have a little bit of me in her after all. “You okay?” she asked. “Yeah, I’m good. Thank you,” I said. She then left my room. I proceeded to delete the rest of the text messages. I thought I had it in me to listen to my voice mails, but I did not. I still wasn’t ready to face the world.
I felt like everyone already knew my secret and I was embarrassed. I know it was not out there and I was scared it would be. I wasn’t trying to “protect” him or anything. Something like this would harm his reputation, but that was his fault. I really didn’t want people all in my business like that. I did not want to become some sort of “poster child” for this. Maybe my thinking was all wrong, but it was how I felt.
More days had passed and eventually I told my agency I was canceling everything. I had a million calls from Taina and some of my other friends. Taina had been working overseas telling me she was anxious because she had not heard from me. She would be returning home soon and wanted to see me. I was feeling apprehensive about that because I was not ready to face my friends yet.
I had also heard that Aoki decided to stay back in Japan for an extended period where she had been modeling. Word was that Aoki was going through extensive cosmetic surgery and didn’t want to return to the States until she made a full recovery. Ever since my last fight with Taina many weeks ago, we had not really hung out. She had been busy working and so was I aside from running around with him on the road. I missed my friend. I wished things were back to the same between us. I knew they would be, but things have been just awkward.
I also missed hanging with my friends as a whole, but surprisingly not the companionship, probably because Kennedey had been around so much lately. It’s not like we were even spending every waking moment with each other, but it was nice having someone in the house. She was cooking for us and doing all the shopping. I admit when she did leave the house, it was a bit scary.
I wasn’t ready to go out in public yet so I didn’t tag along. I knew I couldn’t stay in the house for long, but just a while longer. Just a while longer and the wicked one will be no more… neither will mourning, not outcry, nor pain be anymore, the former things have passed away” I all of a sudden heard myself repeating back some of my father’s favorite Scriptures he used to quote to us and say around the house when I was growing up. I almost fell over because I had no idea where that came from or why I thought of it. I felt guilty for not telling my father what was going on.
What if I was a mother and something like this had happened to my child? I would want to know, I know what I would do to the person that had hurt my baby too. Maybe this was why I didn’t want my dad to know. I knew he would come undone and I didn’t want to put my father in that position.
One particular night when I was still stuck in the house he came by wanting to talk to me. Kennedey would not allow it. I stayed by the door listening to what she was saying to him.
“What the hell are you doing here? Get away from our house. I told you not to ever come here!” Kennedey yelled. “Stay out my business and go get your sister! This has nothing to do with you!” he shouted back. “Bull! Everything about what you did to my sister has to do with me! Leave before I call the police!” Kennedey screamed through the glass door.
“Just open the door and let me talk to Reagan. Reagan!” he called for me. Kennedey once told him again, she was calling the police he decided to leave.
The next morning I woke up to the doorbell. I could see through our security cameras Kennedey insisted on having installed that it was Taina. I threw on some clothes and made my way downstairs. Kennedey had already let her in. “Reagan, I have to go pick up Sammy’s medicine. Will you be alright?” she asked.
“Yes, go ahead. I’ll see you later,” I told her. She looked at me for a moment as if to make sure, set the alarm and left. “Hey girl,” I said to Taina, trying to put on a happy face. I was afraid she knew what happened. “Hey! Reagan I’ve missed you! How come you didn’t return my calls?” she asked.
I motioned for her to come sit down on the sofa. “I’m sorry Taina. I know things have been crazy and kind of weird between us and we haven’t really seen each other. I missed you too though. I have just been dealing with a lot of stuff lately…” my voice trailed off.
“Girl, I know. But we’re still friends though, right? I mean I care about you Reagan, you’re my best friend whether you know it or not. I can’t stand not talking to you. I mean we have spoken and seen each other, it just hasn’t been much. I’ve been busy, you’ve been busy. So what’s up? Now that you are home and Ra is on a break from his tour, are you guys going to take a vacation? Go somewhere?” Taina asked.
I knew she was putting on a front trying to be supportive of a relationship she was not aware no longer existed. I was fully prepared to pretend I was fine. I planned to tell her it was over and leave it at that, but once I opened my mouth to explain that everything else just began to flow like a river. I confessed everything. At least I wasn’t crying, I was all cried out. Taina’s eyes were big. “Oh my goodness Reagan! Why didn’t you tell me sooner? Are you okay? I’m so sorry! That asshole!” she exclaimed.
“I’m okay, not really, but what can I do?” I replied. She reached over and hugged me hard and took my hand. “This too shall pass. Reagan sweetheart, I‘m so sorry this happened to you. You did not deserve this,” said Taina. I was quiet. “Have you spoken to him? Has he tried to call you again or see you? Does anyone else know? I will kill Ramon if he knew what his pathetic friend did and didn’t tell me!” she said.
“No, I haven’t heard from him again. But, please Tai don’t confront Ramon about this. I don’t know who else knows about this other than you, my sister, and him,” I told her. “Okay. But I am not going to be okay with this if Ramon knew something and didn’t tell me. What do you want me to do if he says something?” she asked.
“Nothing. It isn’t his business and I don’t want folks talking about this. Don’t get on Ramon either because it really has nothing to do with him. Don’t go screwing up your relationship on account of my mess,” I answered.
“But you’re my friend Reagan. If he knew something and continues to be friends with Ra I am not sure how I can handle that. You’re my girl Rea, dudes, come and go, but friends last a lifetime,” said Taina. “Thank you Taina. Really, the only way you can help me is just be my friend and just don’t go discussing this with anyone. My father doesn’t even know,” I said.
“Of course I won’t say anything, you know that. I will always be here for you. Know and trust that,” she assured me. It was nice knowing Taina was in my corner. I knew I could trust her. I also appreciated the fact that she didn’t make me feel stupid for going back, I felt stupid enough on my own.
Taina stayed for the rest of the day and had dinner with Kennedey and me. It was nice having my sister and friend there, but I still felt like something was missing. ******************************************************************************
A few weeks went by before I left the house. Charlie insisted on seeing me in his office. As I was making my way into his building I received a text from a private number.
It was an Instagram picture of Uniqua Sims taking a selfie of her pregnant belly. I shook my head in disgust and wondered who could have sent this to me.
When I got to Charlie’s office, I was not prepared when he told me that “Page 5” the gossip section in New York News Day one of the biggest papers in the country would be running a front page story from a so called “credible” source that I had been beat up my now ex boyfriend. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. I was speechless. “Reagan, I called you in to first ask if this is true?” Charlie asked with genuine concern in his voice. But from his eyes, I could tell he already knew it was.
“Well beat up is the wrong way to put it, I think,” I mumbled, embarrassed. “Does it matter? He hit you, didn’t he? Don’t deny it Reagan. Who else knows?” he asked. I shrugged. “I really don’t know now. If Page 5 knows about it, who knows? But, the only people I ever told was my sister and Taina. I know they wouldn’t tell,”I replied.
“Well, someone did, but it doesn’t matter now because they are going public with this tomorrow. They only told me as a courtesy and to see if I had any comment. We can do what we can to protect you Reagan, but you will need a lawyer,” Charlie said. My head was beginning to spin. “I have a lawyer,” I replied. “No, you have an attorney that deals with contracts and things of that nature. You need someone that can answer for you regarding this. Someone that works with high profile clients. I have some good contacts. I will set up a meeting for you,” he said.
Everything was happening too fast. I just wanted this to go away. I thought I was doing good considering weeks had gone by and there was not a peep about it online or in the rags, boy was I wrong. Now I had to meet with some public relations attorney? As I left Charlie’s office, I just thought to myself, how the hell did this happen? How did I get here? I hadn’t had many “worst” days in my life, but this was surely one of those days.
Somewhere deep in the shadows lurking beneath the underground of one of the world’s largest cities, someone has been taking a keen interest in Reagan’s latest ordeal, having read about it on the front page of one of the country’s biggest newspapers. The shadowy figure had been keeping tabs on Reagan for a very long time, contemplating…