Authors: J. Jakee
A Sisterly Relations Novel
This is a work of fiction. The events and characters portrayed are imaginary. Their resemblance, if any, to real-life counterparts are entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2016 by Jerré Boyd. Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
Edited by: Val Pugh Love
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WRITTEN FOR Vanessa, Tiffany, Chanel, Damion and Granville.
Your destiny awaits. You got nex
While most girls I know grew up practicing the speech they’d give when they received some kind of entertainment award, I was the one imagining what the acknowledgment page of my very first book would be like. I wondered what I’d write and who I’d mention. Would it be funny or serious? Would it be one page or four? I would literally sit curled up on a couch, studying the acknowledgments written by my favorite authors. I would take delight in their personal style and humor. Then, I would close my eyes and imagine mine… my very own acknowledgement page… and, here I am. By the grace, mercy, and goodness of my Lord and Savior, I am here doing the very thing I began dreaming of when I was sixteen years old.
Of course, I have to first give honor and glory to Jesus Christ, not only are you my homie, but thanks to You and only You, I get to know what it feels like to be a “daddy’s girl.” Next, I have to thank my #1 fan, my mother Yolounda Barlow, who began investing in my dream before I knew it was there. You purchased a journal for me back when I was ten, and I wanted nothing to do with it. Flash forward nineteen years and forty-three journals later, and I can’t see myself functioning without one. I’m an avid scribbler like described in Cacoethes Scribendi written by Oliver Holmes. I have to thank her husband, Mr. Otis for investing in my dream by purchasing me a new laptop for Christmas 2014. If it weren’t for you, I definitely would have kept on procrastinating.
If it wasn’t for Vanessa, I would have given up for the 1000th time. I hope that she is ready for me to give up 1000 more times with the next. Seriously, your unfailing encouragement, sisterhood, dedication and push throughout this entire journey has been such a blessing. God spoiled me when you became my best friend.
My Soror Tiffany who got to know the characters of this book before anyone else. Tiff rode with me when I only had about 1,500 words typed, and she sometimes knew Nola better than I did. You were initially my sister through Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. Over time, I’ve realized that you are also my spiritual sister in Christ, and you may just be my identical twin sister at that… Thank God for you.
I need to thank my cousin Chanel for her gift of persuasion and marketing. Be steadfast and that gift will take you far. Thanks to my brothers Gordon and Damion, and my cousin Granville for their support and belief in me. Thanks to Soror Naomii for proofreading my website, Calvin for being my first unrelated biggest fan, my sorors Trice and Moya, my grandmother, my aunt Missy, my uncle Byrd and my cousin Baron who all encouraged me and made me feel like a celebrity.
I’m also thankful for my friend Gavin. I love you for your artistic mind which is often identical to mine. You allowed me to cry on your ears when I felt defeated and discouraged, even when that sometimes left us falling asleep on the phone. You remind me of how beautiful, how intelligent, and how talented I am at the most unexpected times. Thank you for being genuine. And, I saved the best for last - my baby boy “Ro” and his father. To my son’s father, we don’t always see eye-to-eye,--especially when it came to completing this manuscript. You knew when I was sleep deprived and on the brink of a meltdown. You would send me to bed, and I would hate you for it, yet I’d wake up grateful and refreshed. When it comes to needing anything, even some peace of mind for the sake of what’s left of my sanity, you are never hesitant to be there for me. Thank You! Thanks, for being a wonderful co-parent and friend. To my son, your existence is the reason why I told myself I will no longer waste time. In order for me to encourage you to follow your dreams, I would first have to follow my own. Here it is. I do this for you baby boy. <3
These are the stories from the sorors of Alpha Kappa Lady Sorority Inc., The Omega Tri-State Chapter.
Founded: February 8, 1973
Alias: Pretty Ladies of Poise
Colors: Chrysanthemum Pink and Olive Green
Symbol: The Chrysanthemum
Purpose: “To establish and maintain a lifetime of sisterhood, dedication to service, and highly ethical standards.”
Motto: “We are our sisters’ keepers.”
It had been the third morning in a row that I woke up in our bed alone. Engaged… yet abandoned for some floozy on the fourth floor. The fourth freaking floor. I did my usual routine and called to leave him the usual message after he hit the usual ignore button.
I spat through my cellular, “I hate you. Do you hear me?
I hate you
My soror, Marley, crept behind me with caution. “N-Nola…They… we’re about to call you forward.”
I snapped, “Jesus, Marley! Can’t you see I’m on the phone?” I threw my hand just centimeters from her face. “You need to back up!”
Her nude-colored kitten heels nearly slid across the linoleum floor as she scurried behind the conference room doors. The automation from Trav’s voicemail echoed through the lobby of the community center.
To send your message now, press one. To re-record, press two. To delete your message, press three.
My hand shook as I pressed the END button. The rays from the morning sun beamed through the oversized windows, as I paced the floor. A marathon of thoughts raced through my head
… I knew about his cheating... Why am I mad? … My sorors are waiting on me… Smile…Don’t let them see you mad… Don’t let anybody see you mad. Call again… BE CALM…You have everything… Don’t call him again…Get even. Get even. Don’t call him again. Smile… Smile. Call him, again.
My heart pumped and thumped against my chest as I redialed. Being sent to the voicemail again after three rings only exacerbated my wrath.
I boiled, but I exhaled and whispered through the phone, “If I’m pregnant, you can forget about seeing our child. You cheating son of a bi—”
“Soror Nola, we’re just about ready for you.”
Our chapter president, Gabrielle, held the door open and extended her hand for me to grab. Her warm and friendly smile competed with the sun rays. Her hazel eyes twinkled, as did the crystal buttons on her soft pink suit jacket. And, just like that, I simmered as she led me to my post in front of my sorors.
The large room hosted about ninety of us every second Saturday morning from September through May. I had a weak spot for the women who sat before me, because six years ago, they chose to love and accept me without even truly knowing who I was. They showered me with the honest support and sincere affection that my family withheld. On top of that, they were distinguished scholars, career women, and retirees - a few them were over the age of seventy-five. They were real life examples of what I needed to be, if I wasn’t already, and I felt compelled to impress them for that.
Most of us were entrepreneurs, corporate climbers, lawyers, nurses, doctors, educators, and freelancers above the age of twenty-two. Well, except for Marley. She is our baby who graduated high school and college early. She joined the chapter at twenty, just a little over six months ago. Gabrielle selected me to be her mentor. I initially obliged, because Trav had recently proposed and an extra hand with the wedding planning was just what I needed.
Marley’s puppy dog eyes studied me as I approached the stage and joined another soror at the podium. I smiled as if it was effortless, and all of my sorors smiled back. Some of them nodded with their hands pressed together, faces full of elation, and their eyes and smiles showing that they were proud of the young woman they thought they knew from mind to muscle.
“Without further delay, we present Soror Nola Victor with the
2014 Soror of the Year glass plaque
,” Gabrielle said.
Everyone rose and appalled as I posed with Gabrielle and smiled pretty for the cameras. The soror at the mic pulled out a folded paper and read, “If there is anyone who truly understands the meaning of devout dedication to our sisterhood, it’s Soror Nola Victor. Her selfless spirit has been reflected through her leadership roles within the executive committee, and through her participation with all of our community service events and philanthropy.”
She peeked from the paper and laughed. “Not to mention, whatever she does, she always
good doing it.”
My sorors playfully clapped and cheered mirthfully as I flipped my long hair and slowed-twirled, showcasing my Vera Wang hot pink tulip skirt.
The soror continued, “Soror Nola Victor has also been dedicated to revamping our closing year retreats, making them fun, exciting, and most of all memorable. Since she chaired the Retreat Committee four years ago, our membership retention has never been better! Her work ethic is phenomenal. Her sweet and kind heart is incomparable. Soror Nola, we admire you, we appreciate you, and we love you.”
As the room awed, I hugged my soror tightly, hoping I could squeeze some of her positive energy onto me. I approached the mic and tried to shake off the negativity that consumed me.
“Thank you so much, sorors. I feel so honored to be recognized by this chapter. You ladies are my inspiration to do better and to do bigger. With that being said, could sorors Marley and Bailey please join me up here?”
Marley and Bailey looked at each other, confused and caught off guard. Yet, they rushed to the front.
I continued, “In light of doing bigger and better, the Retreat Committee has already decided on this year’s location.”
I heard Marley whisper to Bailey, “We have?” Through my peripheral, I saw Bailey shrug as I announced with a smile, “Hotel De Relajar. Some of you may have heard of it. It’s a spa retreat right here in Delaware. For the first two hours, we will have our leadership seminar. After that, we will have a banquet lunch followed by massages and manicures. My fiancé and I got lucky at the firm just recently, and well, all expenses will be paid by me! How does that sound?”
My sorors stood, cheered, and hugged each other. All of them were full of excitement. Marley and Bailey looked stunned, but neither one of them bothered to question my decision. I watched everyone’s reaction, tickled with complete satisfaction. Revenge tasted so, so, so good. Plus, I got to feel like Oprah when she used to do the My Favorite Things specials on her daytime television show.
Immediately after the meeting, I tossed on my Dior shades, slipped on my fur, and slid out of the doors without saying good bye.
Marley caught me in the parking lot sitting in my pure white Range Rover. I had just pulled out one of Trav’s credit cards and charged $3,685.23 for our retreat through Hotel De Relajar’s mobile app. She knocked on my window. Her grey trench was sloppily thrown on, and piece of lint clung to her hair.
“Leaving so soon?” she asked.
I pulled down the window. “It’s going to be a busy day for me. What’s up?”
“I wanted to apologize for disturbing your phone call earlier, and I wanted to thank you for funding our retreat!”
“You are forgiven, and you can thank Trav for the retreat, actually,” I smiled.
Marley pressed her mitten-covered hands together. “He’s so amazing, Nola. You’re marrying a good one.”
I reached over and plucked the annoying lint from her head.
“You blindsided Soror Bailey and me. We can’t wait. When January ends, I’ll be counting down the days.”
“You and I both,” I replied as I started up my Range. “Do you need a ride or something?”
Marley’s eyes bulged, “Oh no! I drove today.”
I started to pull the window back up, “Bye, Marley.”
She waved her hands to signal me before I pulled off.
“Wait, one more thing!”
“Urgh. Hurry. It’s cold,” I griped.
I frowned. “No. You ask me this every single month. My response won’t change.”
Marley sucked her lips in and nodded solemnly. And then she perked up again.
“Well, just don’t forget about lunch Tuesday!”
I stroked my hair nervously and tossed it behind my shoulders. Tuesday. Lunch with Marley on Tuesday was the absolute furthest from my mind.
“I’ll let you know, Marley. I have a doctor’s appointment that day. Listen, it’s cold. I’m tired. I have a lot on my mind and a lot to do. Do you mind if I… I’m gonna drove off now.”
Marley shook her head and stepped back.