Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Episode 38

Episode 38

Erika looked up from her desk as Willis approached. She had finally made a decision and had asked the man to meet her.

“Erika, darling, you wished to discuss my proposition?” Willis asked confidently.

Erika nodded and decided to simply go the short route, “I’m declining. Thank you for the offer.”

“What?! You’re declining! Do you realize what I am offering you?” Willis asked.

Erika nodded, she had asked herself the same question once she reached her conclusion after many sleepless nights. “I’ve decided to persue other opportunities.”

“Is someone offering you more? How is that possible?”

Erika smiled, “He’s offering me love and I am actually on my way to meet him.”

Willis smiled. “Ah, love. I guess I can not compete with that. Well, in that case, good luck my darling. I hope he is everything you desire and more.”

“Thank you, Willis. I hope things work out with you as well.”

“I’m sure they will, there are not too many women on the island willing to turn down a fortune in the pursuit of love, but I commend you. Now hurry up, don’t keep the young man waiting.”

Erika rushed into the diner and grabbed Kevin in a passionate embrace.

“Wow!” Kevin breathed collapsing into his seat. “What a greeting!”

Erika smiled. “I’m so happy and content. Everything is falling into place right now.”

“How so?” Kevin asked.

“Well, we’re getting married.”

“We are?”

“Of course, silly. I love you.”

“What about…about the other offer?”

“I turned him down. Told him I was following love.”

“Wow, if I had known that was why you were so excited I would have saved you a trip.”

“Huh? What are you talking about?”

“I’ve been thinking…about us. I love you, I really do, but the more I think about it the more I realize that we would never work together as a married couple. We value different things and our ambitions are not equal. In fact, they’re opposite.”

“What does this-“

“Basically, I couldn’t be married to a woman willing to enter into a marriage of convenience for money. I mean, what else would she be willing to compromise for the sake of an extra simolean? “

“So you don’t want to marry me anymore.”

“I want to marry you, I really do, but I can’t. We would be so unhappy.”

“So, where does that leave us?”

“I don’t know. I know that I can’t date you anymore, I love you too much and the temptation would be too strong to try and make you my wife. I don’t even know if we can be friends still, my desire for you is that powerful that I don’t trust my emotions around you.”

“Why not just follow your emotions?” Erika asked pleadingly.

“I really can’t, we wouldn’t be happy. In fact, I need to go. I’m sorry.”

Kevin stumbled getting up and grabbed Erika into a hug. “I do love you, that’s why I have to go.”

Erika watched as tears threatened to spill over as Kevin walked out of the diner…and out of her life.

Lani stared at the pile of suitcases near the door of the condo, her heart was heavy and her mind clouded. Things had happened so fast.

“You don’t have to go.” She whispered as Russel placed another bag by the door.

“Yes, I do.” He responded. “You deserve happiness and if happiness is without me, then so be it.”

“But it’s not!” Lani wailed.

“Don’t worry about the diner,” Russel answered. “I don’t renege my promises. I will continue to financially support the diner and the condo is yours as long as you want it. It’s paid for and the bills are handled directly from my account.”

“Russel, don’t-“

“I have to, Lani. I can’t stay here, loving you so desperately and watch as you run to the arms of another man. I have to leave.”


“That’s the taxi,” Russel said. “I have to go.”

He swept her into his arms and held her tight. “I will miss you so much, I hope that one day you’ll see that I did love you. Perhaps I didn’t show it in the right way, but I did love you the best way I knew how.”

“Russel, please don’t go.”

“Don’t ask me to stay, I can’t bear it.” He answered releasing her and grabbing his bags.

Lani followed and stood motionless as he packed the taxi. Her limbs wouldn’t move as he took a seat and waved at her. They still would not move as the vehicle drove down the lane and Russel exited her life.

“But don’t you get frustrated at times?” Sierra asked.

“Sometimes, but I call my mentor when it’s gets really bad and I make sure to use my support system. Each day gets a little easier.”

Sierra nodded, soaking the advice in. Ever since that meeting, she and Donna would meet sometimes to discuss her road to recovery and each time she would leave with more hope of recovering.

“What about-?”


“Sorry,” Sierra said glancing at the phone in her pocket. “I have to take this.”

“Hello?” she asked walking towards a corner of the room.



“You have to come back home quickly, grandfather is dying!”

Opal glanced around the hall and quickly opened her locker. There it was, the small folded sheet of paper. She unfolded the creases and smoothed it out.

Good move-ur sekrets safe wift me

Opal gingerly smiled, thankful that the whole ordeal was over. She couldn’t bear facing her disappointed teammates again.

“Opal, I’m glad I found you.”

Opal stuffed the paper into the locker and slammed it shut. “You found me, coach. What can I do for you?”

“Well, it’s more of a question of what you haven’t been doing for me. Your performance lately has been letting down the team, the school and yourself. You’re better than that. What’s going on?”


“I was afraid of that.” She frowned. “If nothing is truly going on, then I must accept that your recent performance is not due to external factors and that you hold sole responsibility. Which then leads me to make the best decision for the team. I’m afraid that you are no longer the captain of the team, effective immediately. Dalma will be replacing you starting the next practice, I expect you to give her your full support.”

Opal gulped, fighting back tears. “Yes.”

“Great. Have a good weekend.”

Opal squeezed her eyes shut as the steps of her coach receded. She had lost her position as captain, all because of-

“Ah, there you are.”

Opal turned to face her idol, the man that could make her a star. She smiled.

“I’ll make this quick since I have another meet to attend. I am no longer considering you for the team, obviously your recent performance has been nothing short of a disappointment. I wish you all the luck in the future. Goodbye.”

Opal felt her knees weakened. She had lost a spot on the nationals, she was no longer captain and all her dreams were very quickly deteriorating before her eyes. In addition, she was the only one to blame.

Nailah watched as Donna turned a few knobs and flipped a few switches on the monitors surrounding her daughter.

“How long will..will”

“Not long.” Donna answered.

“Will it…hurt.”

“No, she’ll simply…go to sleep.”

Nailah blinked back tears as Donna quietly exited the room, she watched her daughter lay in the tiny bed and watched the nearby monitor slow down and finally…stop.

Only then, once the screen was black, once her daughter was cold, did she allow herself to cry.

“Thanks for coming,” Nailah whispered to Donna as they watched the final shovelfuls of dirt cover the casket.

“Of course.” Donna choked, painfully aware of her own red-rimmed eyes and the matching eyes all around the little site. She hated losing patients, but she knew that the rhythm of life consisted of beats and silences. She just really really really disliked the silences.

Nailah knelt down over the fresh mound of dirt and placed Justice’s favorite doll. “Goodbye, sweetheart. Mommy loves you so much.” She said wiping at her tears, leaving fresh streaks of mud on her face.

“Do you want us to drive you to the house?” Missy asked her mourning friend.

Nailah shook her head, “No. I’ll think I’ll walk.”

The crowd slowly disappeared leaving the young mother and her child alone for their final words.

Nailah dropped the scissors on the bathroom floor as the knocks pounded again.

“Are you sure you’re ok?!”

“Yes! I’m almost done!” she shouted back, her toes covered with strands of hair. She leaned into the mirror and caressed her head and the tiny wisps of hair covering it.

“Yes,” she whispered. “Now I’m ready.”

Episode 37

Episode 37
Randy rushed into the shelter looking frantically around. The call had came a hour before and he needed to see his baby girl at this very moment. It had only been a few days, but it seemed like years. Years of combing every beach, every hospital, calling friends and walking around the island in search of Carli. Now, it would end, if only he could find her.

“Randy! She’s in here!” Missy called, bringing him back from his frantic nightmare.

Randy rushed into the open room and saw his daughter sitting on a couch, staring at her hands.

“Daddy!” she cied before running into his arms.

“Carli! We missed you so much!” Missy said as the teen stepped out of her father’s embrace. “Why did you leave?”

“I didn’t want to be sent away!”

“We’re not sending you away,” Randy interjected. “We did the research, the school sounds like a great place for the remainder of your education.”

“Your father chose a great school for you to attend, because he loves you. Like my parents loved me and sent me to a boarding school when the schools nearby were not good enough for their little girl.”

“You went to boarding school?”

“Yes, it was the best time of my life if I do say so. You will enjoy the school, it even as a nationally ranked tennis program.” Missy added.


Randy nodded. “I’m sorry for not including you in the decision making process, I need to learn that you are on your way to becoming an adult. It won’t happen again”

“Thanks daddy.”

“So these are the numbers that first drew my attention to the problem,” Meka said as he and Lani sipped drinks over the accounting records. He had made a few changes in the book to support his plan and he could see that she was very close to taking action about Russel’s alleged stealing. He only had to push a bit more.


Meka groaned as the man walked into the diner. Lani grinned.

“Hello,” she said wary of why he rushed into the diner with such a big smile.

“I have fantastic news!”


“I was offered a contract with the agency.”

“That’s great.”

“They want me to go to Crystal Springs for a long-term project. I want you to go as well.”

Lani’s mouth dropped.

“How dare you!”


“How dare you steal from the diner and then have the audacity to ask me to move to Crystal Springs with you.”

“What are you talking about?”

“So you were planning on telling me when?” Roxy asked staring at Jamal.

“I was going to tell you, but it just became bigger and bigger.”

Roxy sighed.

“Honest. When we met on the cruise, I was celebrating my offer from the label. I didn’t want to tell you and then you date me because of where you thought I might be going. The business is tough and you could be offered a contract one moment and then the next, the company could go bankrupt. So I made up this alter ego for my career and then I never got around to clarifying the issue.”

“Never got around to it?” Roxy gasped. “We’ve been dating this long and you never thought to say, by the way, I’m a singer and a mildly successful one at that.”

“I know, I was wrong. I have no excuse. I shouldn’t have kept it a secret, but it went on for so long that I couldn’t tell you either. Please forgive me.” Jamal pleaded wrapped his arms around Roxy.

“I don’t know, how can I be sure that there are no more secrets.”

“This is it, I swear.”

Roxy grinned, she couldn’t stay mad at him for long. “Ok, all is well.”

“The taxi is here!” Carli screamed running down the hall. “It’s here!”

Randy grinned at Missy as they watched the teen gather her last minute things. Carli had made a drastic change for the better concerning the school, especially after talking to the tennis coach on the phone.

“Hey! Don’t I get a hug or something?” Randy asled as his daughter lunged for the door.

“Yes, of course. I was just opening the door to let in some fresh air.”

“Or was it that you are so excited that you were going to leave without your things.”

“No way, I couldn’t start the semester without these things.” Carli giggled. “I’m going to miss you, daddy.”

“You’ll be home for the holidays, and we’ll visit.”

Missy opened her arms for the teen, “I’m going to miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too. Take care of daddy while I’m gone.” The teen teased.

“Of course.”

“Thanks again…for everything.”

“You enjoy yourself. Don’t work too hard.” Missy whispered.

After the driver had loaded Carli’s things in the trunk, Randy and Missy stood on the curb of the street watching their daughter disappear into the horizon.

“What are you talking about?” Russel hissed hoping Meka couldn’t hear.

“You’ve been stealing from the diner. Admit it.”

“Why would I steal from the diner when I’m investing in the diner?”

“The numbers don’t lie.”

“The numbers…? Ah, Meka showed you something in the books, did he? It must be true if precious Meka said it’s true.”

Lani tensed her lips in anger.

“Well, I may be a fool in love, but I’m not a fool. I refuse to sit here and allow that man to spread lies about me. Even worse, you believe him. How could you actually think that after investing all my money into this place, helping you keep it afloat that I would steal from it? I guess you actually didn’t think, did you? Meka said it was so and you accepted it. Well, I’m done with this. Obviously you still have feelings for him and I’m fed up with playing second fiddle when I’m supposed to be your man. All I did was try to love you the way you deserve, try to show you how much I care, but instead I get this! I refuse to compete with that man anymore. I know that he won and I lost. Forget about Crystal Springs. I’m leaving Pahala.”

Lani watched as he stalked out the door and felt the rush of tears come to her eyes. How could she be such a fool. He was right, she still had feelings for Meka, but now she realized that she had even stronger feelings for Russel.

“It’s ok…” Meka said rubbing her shoulder.

Lani jerked away. “Don’t touch me!”

“Wha-what?!?” Meka asked. This wasn’t part of the plan.

“You! You got what you wanted huh! You destroyed our relationship! I can’t believe I was so stupid!”

“Lani, you got it all wrong.”

“No, you got it wrong! Get out! You’re fired! You will no longer be my accountant, and don’t bother speaking to me when we pass on the street!” She screamed before running to the back office in tears.

Episode 36

Episode 36
Sierra sat down in the class and looked around.

Many of the same participants were there, but the facilitator was missing. She sighed and restlessly gnawed her fingernails. She didn’t want to be here, but she didn’t want to be expelled either and the way things were looking, the board wouldn’t be very lenient about keeping her in the program.

Finally the door opened and Sierra watched in awe as Donna walked in the room.

What is she doing now? Spying on me?

“Hello, my name is Donna. I’m filling in for your facilitator.”

“Hello, Donna.” The room echoed.

“I am an addict, pain pills are my drug of choice. It’s been 2,435 days since my last relapse and it’s still a day by day process.”

Sierra could barely keep her mouth closed, Donna…an addict?

“Would the circle like to share?” Donna continued, leading the recovery group in their routine.

Erika walked into the modern condo and bit her lip to keep from gasping. Willis’s beach house was amazing, the views of the surrounding ocean, the endless wood floors, expensive art work and even a staff to call its own.

“Wow, this is really nice.” Erika said as Willis lead her to the kitchen.

“I’m glad you like it, would you like a drink, some dessert?” Willis asked seating her in a comfortable stool in the kitchen.

Erika smiled as a young man placed a plate of chocolate goodies in front of her. “You even have a cook?”

Willis’ face wrinkled in confusion, “A cook? O, no… this is Leon… I… well, we might as well ask her now.”

Leon nodded and forced a smile for Erika.

She looked between both men as the writing on the wall became clearer.

“You’re- ”

“Yes, and we would like you to marry me.”


“It’s well known that I’m worth a small fortune, what’s not known is that I don’t have access to over half of that fortune until I marry. I need a discreet wife, one who will keep my secret.”

“That doesn’t sound too fair for the wife, especially in the uh… bedroom.”

Willis laughed. “That’s what I like about you, to the point. My wife would be free to entertain her lovers, however they too must be discreet and she must present the front of a devoted wife to the public, meaning her lover, like mine, must be hidden away. In return, she has access to my fortune, my property and of course will be maintained even after my death.”


“So…will you marry us?”

“Uh… I …”

“Take your time, think about it.” Willis assured, “for now, how about that drink?”

Donna sat down and tried her best to formulate the words to be as tactful as possible.

After a few moments in silence, Nailah spoke up. “It’s a losing battle, isn’t it?”

Donna nodded and Nailah started to weep. “I’m sorry, Justice isn’t getting better and now the machines are doing 90% of the work for her.”

Nailah nodded. “Now what?”

Donna took a deep breath. “Have you considered organ donation?”

Nailah shrugged, “Not really.”

Donna pushed some brochures towards the young woman. “Read these, they tell you a little bit about it.”

“When do you need a decision?”

“Soon,” Donna spoke. “We have to… obtain the organs very shortly after… after…”

Nailah gulped, “and that’s soon right?”

Donna nodded, not willing to tell her that it was sooner than she thought since the machines were basically living for her little girl.

“I’ll let you know tomorrow.”

Opal fumbled with the lock of the locker, trying to calm herself down.

It was a few hours before the meet and she needed to focus since Central Isle wasn’t going to lose again so easily after being beat the first time. She reached for her towel and noticed a folded paper drop to the floor.

“What’s this? Another coupon for pizza?”

Opal opened the note:

I kno what u did 2 d babiy. Loz the meat or elsey

Opal gulped and crumbled the paper. This can’t be happening, not now.

Opal struggled to keep back tears, she was up and either she did her best or…

She shook her head and scanned the audience, she couldn’t take any chances, the blackmailer could be in the audience right now, but who? Who would know and who would want her to lose?

She didn’t have much time to think before the start whistle blew, forcing her to act.

Opal rubbed her face in despair and walked into the silent locker room. The team had left already, many of them avoiding her and she would have done the same if one of them had failed so miserably. What started off as her best year ever was looking suspiciously like it would be the worst year of her life… no, the second worst year of her life.

Erika smiled as she entered the diner. She waved to Lani as the woman greeted other customers and joined Kevin at the small table.

“How was your trip?” he asked.

Erika blushed, “it was ok.”

“How did he take the news?”


“Don’t answer that, it doesn’t matter. It’s in the past and this,” Kevin continued pushing a small box towards her, “is our future.”

Erika gulped, this could not be happening…again. She flipped the box opened and confirmed her suspicions with one glance at the small ring.

“Will you marry me?”

“O, Kevin…” Erika sighed.


“I… I …” Erika smiled, realizing that this was indeed very perfect. “Do you know that Willis proposed to me?”

Kevin gulped, “what did you say?”

Erika gave him a brief synopsis of the weekend. “This is great! You could move into the condo and we could call you my assistant and you could go everywhere with me. We would have access to everything, houses, cars, money, everything we would ever want.”

Kevin frowned, “Let me make sure I understand. You will enter a marriage of convenience and I would join you and your pseudo husband and his lover in some sort of arrangement of deception. I can not be seen romantically with you in public and you could never acknowledge us. Correct?”

“Egh… it’s not quite like that.”

“Sounds like it to me.”  Kevin said standing up. “Listen, I want you and all of you. I don’t want to pretend to be or not be something. So if you change your mind about this whole marriage of convenience thing, call me.”

With that, he stalked out the diner.

“O, great.” Erika sighed.