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*Days starting to run together. Totally forgot to post yesterday. My bad but all my writing energy is focused on finishing Charmed.*

Homer Skye

“Shit,” I sighed with a heavy exhale as Pia hung up the phone. No use in calling her back because she turned her phone off. I tried to get a hold of somebody else on the phone as I plopped down on my couch until Michael answered again.

“Nigga you hung up on me---”

“Pia and Caroline got into a fight,” I let out, leaning forward as I pinched my forehead with irritation, “I don’t know what’s going on. Ain’t nobody telling me nothing right now so I guess I just gotta wait for the call. Any luck on Ryan answering the phone?”

“Nah… She’s… I’on know man. I know I messed up with the lie but she’s not seeing the bigger picture that I haven’t messed up since then. Life was good until she found out about something that happened months ago. Why shit change---”

“Because you lied and you know that,” I retorted. “She’s still wearing the ring.”

“Yeah but she stopped planning the wedding or at least talking about it. One minute she’s nonstop about the wedding. Colors, and food. Where everyone is gonna be sitting at, and what’s everyone gonna wear. All of that talk came to a stop. She don’t come over like she used to and when I say lemme come down and pick you up so you can stay for the weekend, she’s suddenly busy? The fuck you busy for? You don’t do shit on the weekends nigga. How can I make it up if you not tryna be around me? If you’re not even giving me the chance to show you I’m trying to make things right over something that happened months ago? How can a woman say she wants a man to change but then don’t give him the space to do so?”

“Because you lied Michael,” I repeated dryly as I closed my eyes, trying to imagine Pia and Caroline fighting, “you lied. Plain and simple. Shit is more embarrassing to find out somebody cheated on you on top of them actually cheating and then you lied. That’s three things. Embarrassment because it happened in front of all of us, cheating because you lack self control but I’ve always told you that, and you lied. You’re marrying this girl and you---”

“Okay so give me the chance to make things right! Not ignore my calls or act like we wasn’t just getting married a day ago! This wedding planner is calling me now because Ryan ain’t dealing with her. Me and her moms stuck planning this shit. Even her Mom wants Ryan to work things out with me because she knows I fought harder for this relationship to work. Niggguhhh,” he suddenly sang in a low voice, “I’m this close to losing my shit and running up on her. I swear…. We was just getting married a second ago! How does everything change from something that happened months ago?! A slip up from me being drunk! I’on even remember dealing with the girl!”

“I’m not gonna keep repeating myself Michael---”

“I get that I lied, but---”

I tuned Michael out as I began texting my sisters in our group chat to call me. Somebody needed to tell me what just happened with Pia, and Caroline but everyone was on mute until I heard a beep on Michael’s end.

“Nevaeh is calling me---”

“Put her on so I can talk to her,” I said quickly as Michael clicked over. I waited for a few seconds until I heard my niece in the background talking.

“Hey Michael,” Nevaeh answered in her usual soft voice. By far the warmest sister I have. Just hate that she was stuck with Junie for a husband. “I---”

“Nevaeh, what happened with Pia?” I asked, cutting her off without so much as an introduction.

She paused for a moment before I heard her sigh.

“I really don’t know Homer. I’m just now getting the messages from Trinity. Nobody is answering my calls but I think Caroline might of had an episode and Pia witnessed it...Maybe freaked her out a bit---”

“Shit!” I let out, shooting up from my seat on the couch as I began to pace. “You never told her about Caroline---”

“The two don’t exactly cross paths on a regular basis. Nobody thought it was necessary. So nobody is telling me anything right now other than, Caroline is pissed. All I know. I was calling Michael to tell him Ryan is here in Atlanta. Before I went to sleep, I just wanted to let you know she’s here with us. Just had dinner---”

“In Atlanta?” Michael repeated. I could hear the calm in his tone which only meant he was bottling his anger up as he usually does before snapping. “She drove to Atlanta for the weekend? What’s in Atlanta?”

“I think she just wanted a girls weekend---”

“She got girlfriends in Augusta. Ryan don’t know yall like that. What’s in Atlanta?” he questioned. “Who she with?”

“She was with us. Nothing to be overly concerned about. I was just calling to let you know. She still has her ring on and she’s still marrying you. She’s out with Tallulah and Jasmine…. I’m only telling you this because if this was Junie, I would want somebody to look after him so she’s being watched by Indigo. I know they’re going out to the club---”

“A club?!”

“I doubt they’ll make it that far because she was drunk. They all got a little tipsy at the dinner but I don’t want you being upset at me for knowing she was here and not saying anything just in case you didn’t know. She’s a sweet girl. I think she’s just hurting…”

“Nevaeh get Trinity on the phone,” I said. “I---”

“I’m already mentally drained from all of this. Just call Pia----”

“She’s not answering the phone. Just call up Trinity or----”

“Homer please---”

“Nay? Nay! What club?” Michael barged in. “Find out what club she’s at so I can pull up on her bitch ass! She think she fucking slick! She got a nigga down there---”

“Huh Michael?” Nevaeh winched in confusion. “How do you jump from---”

“I’m not stupid! Niggas see her with me and still try it so I know how she acting by herself. Find out the club, I’ma get my shoes and pull up---”

“You’re being crazy---”

“I DON’T GIVE A FUCK NEVAEH! CALL HER! She won’t answer my phone! So call her! NOW!”

“Aye?” Junie Boy suddenly came to the phone, changing the mood of the three way call. “Baby go lay down, and put ya feet up.”

“I need to talk to my sister,” Michael stated. “This is family business, ain’t got nothing to do with you---”

“Family business these nuts my nigga. Don’t call my wife's phone no more with that bullshit. Ol fish mouf head ass nigga,” he muttered before hanging up the phone altogether. I couldn’t even fault him because if that was Pia and her brothers were calling yelling at her like a fool, I would have done the exact same thing.

I waited, hearing Michael moving around before giving in.

“You riding with me to Atlanta tomorrow morning?” I asked. I hoped to God this Pia and Caroline thing would blow over and things would be explained by the time I get down there, and Michael would be in a better head space.

“You know I’m ready to go now because if she wanna be in a nigga’s face, she can be in mine. I’m not stupid. I know my girl better than I know me. She’s finna act out and take it out on me---”

“I know but I’m leaving in the morning. Either wait until then or go now and fuck yo relationship up permeanantly. Which is it?”

Michael’s silence was enough of an answer for me.

“You need to think smart and use common sense,” I told him. I stood up and started for my bedroom before letting out, “and use this time to think about how to gain her trust again. I may be the last person to talk about having a healthy relationship since I was lied to for years but you shouldn’t be scared of your woman going to another city, if you trust her. You hear me Mike?”

He hated shortening his name but I wanted him to listen to me. It was rare that I got the chance to play big brother and protect him because Michael has always been the one to handle himself the right way, and the more sensible one between the two of us. Didn’t need me to fight for him when he was younger, and never needed me for advice for women because he pulled just as many as I did with no problems. If there was a chance for me to finally school him about something, I was going to take it.

“I haven’t been with Pia long enough but the fact that I can be in another city for a few days without worrying about how she may feel about it or if she wanna step out somewhere… Considering what I went through with Nasia, I can sleep at night knowing Pia won’t have me looking stupid where ever she’s at and she trusts me enough to know I won’t ever put her in no position to get her feelings hurt. You shouldn’t be thinking the worst knowing Ryan is down there. You automatically went to her cheating or being placed in a situation to cheat on you. That ain’t healthy,” I said with a shake of my head, “something isn’t right if that’s where yo mind went to. Nasia used to do that same shit but now I know why. Anytime I went back to New York or traveled somewhere, it was an automatic fight. She didn’t like the attention I would get, and didn’t like me at parties or clubs when she wasn’t around but it was because she was doing her own dirt, and was starting to feel insecure. You been messing around on Ryan for years and now you scared that she gets to go out---”

“Who side you on?”

“I’ma always have yo back but I’ve been Ryan in the relationship for years and you’ve been Nasia. It’s not fair that you get to get nervous and act stupid because Ryan finally decides to do what you’ve been doing for years, and if you trust her? She wouldn’t think about cheating on you.”

“I hear you,” he muttered more to himself, “and I trust her. I don’t trust her surroundings, and situations she’ll probably be caught up in. I don’t trust niggas around her and if she go out and do her…”

“Exactly what I’m talking about, see?” I pointed out. “Same difference Michael. You can’t be the criminal and the victim at the same time.”

I could hear him release a shaky breath.

“She’s going to find out that she can do a lot better than me and that’s what I’m afraid of…I can’t get no better than her. I won’t ever meet another woman like Ryan.”

“If Ryan loves you like she claims, then you are the best she can do and won’t accept anything less. Trust me on that,” I assured him. “I doubt she’ll do anything crazy tonight anyway so we’ll leave first thing in the morning.”

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