“Oooo look at this!” Siren yelled as we shuffled about at the Underground late Saturday afternoon. “If we’re going to rebrand, we need to redecorate.”
“Yall worried about the wrong thang,” Trinity stated as she caught up with us with her shopping bags in hand. She must have somewhere to go tonight because she actually dressed like a woman, and not some mixed stud. Her hair was smoothed back into a ponytail and she wore jeans, actual jeans and a cute top to show off her shape. “If we’re taking this business to the next level, we need to step our game up. It ain’t about redecorating. We don’t even need to be in that damn house in the middle of a neighborhood with little to no parking. Even Caroline would agree with me on that.”
“So we save up money for a store,” Omni suggested as I continued to push my stroller down the stone walkway. Some stores were closed in preparations for tonight. Others were open with shop keepers standing outside texting on their phone while the booths in the middle of the walkway were covered. It wasn’t as crowded as it can be a night but this was the perfect time for me to shop since I had Yuma with me, and Nevaeh had her two kids. Omni couldn’t be bothered to fight through a crowd while pregnant and it was the best way to keep an eye on Siren so she didn’t wander off.
I felt like I took on Caroline’s role as the big sister to these girls but the damaged seemed to be done. They haven’t seen each other in a while since coming to South Carolina. Everyone was off doing their own thing so this was the one time we all got together in hopes of getting the house together to open for business.
“Titi?! Look!” Mai yelled with a point as Trinity reached down to pick up Mai and rest her on her hip as we continued to walk, “Titi!”
“You wanna go to the store?” she asked. “Aye, we’ll be back! Hold my things.”
She shoved her bags underneath the stroller with the rest of the things as the girls went off to the sweets and treats store. Nevaeh and I kept close to the stroller as I looked over to check on the boys.
“How are you holding up?” Nay asked. “You and Ben are doing fine?”
“I can’t really complain,” I smiled, thinking about the sex we had this morning, “can’t really complain.”
“I know that look,” she pointed. “Could it be that Delilah C. Skye is...dare I say? Happy?”
“Please,” I waved off. “Happiness in life is a fraudulent statement. I’m content and at peace, but never happy. Have you talked to Caroline?”
“No,” she sighed. “Junie had her on the phone for a minute while I was on a shoot but she didn’t really say much. Just checking in. No plans on visiting. She’s going to be shocked when she sees that we’re trying to keep the business going. No more outbursts in the house with the Jasmine thing?”
“None,” I smiled. “I refuse to even say her name and give the bitch any power. I don’t want her in my mental space, in my house, near my family. Nothing. I could easily retaliate but I’m learning to keep my working hands to myself from now on because my own mind will get the best of me like it did before.”
“Is this growth I see?” she asked as I laughed. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wanted to weakly whisper, it was fear more so than anything but I moved my locs back from my face. “Could it be that Delilah Skye is also growing...No more throwing roots on anybody and controlling their lives?”
“Ben wants another baby,” I admitted, keeping my voice low as people started to walk by, “and I didn’t oppose the idea...we’re trying but not trying for a daughter this time. I heard she’s happy with her relationship.”
“Yeah, Pia said her and Percy are having a ceremony soon. You know the invites will be coming, and you know you’ll be invited.”
“Mmmmph...” I hummed in response as the rest of the girls came out. Mai had her lollipop in hand with her spoiled hazel eyes shining bright with greed.
“Back to business,” Omni started as I rolled my eyes, “we need to replace that back door. I’m sure I can get Tucker to foot the bill on some of this stuff.”
“Dre can work on the maintenance,” Trinity suggested. “Plumbing is shot to shit. Caroline used to work on all of this so we didn’t have to worry about it. That’s what Akil and Antwon were for but them niggas just disappeared along with her.”
“Along with the clients,” Siren muttered.
“Are yall really going to take this seriously and put in the effort to run this business?” Nevaeh asked. “We haven’t talked to each other in a while and now all of the sudden? Yall are pumped and excited about getting back to the house?”
“I need money,” Trinity said. “Sue me. I got shit I need to pay for. Dre can only handle this shit by himself for so long.”
“I have a wedding I have to pay for,” Siren said.
“I have a child getting ready to enter the world,” Omni added as we all looked at her and the massive rock on her finger.
“That’s why nobody likes being around your fake ass Omni. You can’t relate to us when you’re driving a Porsche–––”
“I’m still the same sister that wants to be independent of my man! Tucker doesn’t and shouldn’t be funding my life! I have a degree, I’m educated, and I know how to make money! Why can’t I relate to my sisters who are cut from the exact same cloth as me?”
“This is why nobody likes you,” Trinity said with a laugh.
“Well if you’re serious, you all need to sit down and figure out what it is we need to do because the clients have stopped coming. Tallulah isn’t working with us anymore. Nobody has any plans on visiting Atlanta any time soon. Caroline was really the glue to hold yall together so now it's time to learn how to thrive without your big sister.”
“We just need to promote more,” Siren suggested.
“Caroline was responsible for that,” I added dryly.
“We need to rethink these prices,” Nevaeh said before nodding, “I know Caroline was in charge of the money too. Caroline pretty much did everything so we didn’t have to. All we would do is walk in, do what we have to do, collect the money and leave. She made sure all of us were taken care of.”
Yet, nobody made sure she was taken care of… What a shame. No wonder she up and left in the middle of the night. She reached her breaking point with the irrational decision.
“Aye,” Trinity let out as I looked over my shoulder, seeing she stopped to read a flyer posted on a column. Adjusting Mai on her hip, she squinted her eyes before gasping, “yall not gonna believe this shit…”
“What is it?” Omni asked as she snatched the paper down and walked towards us. I leaned against the handles of the stroller as she placed the red and black flyer before us, and read it out loud.
“Under the Moon. Herbs and Ritual shop grand opening,” she said. “We have spells, readings on site, castings, jars, herbs, totems accessories and more! Black owned. Female ran shop by three girls from different parts of the spiritual realm, coming together to...introduce the world of true black magic that lies Under the Moon for us all…”
“What about it?” Siren asked dryly. “It’s so many of these damn shops now. We can barely compete in that raggedy house we’re in.”
“Can we not trash talk the house?” Nevaeh sighed. “I like it.”
“Of course you do.”
“Look right here at the bottom,” Trinity said, holding the paper out again for us to see, “what does that say?”
“Contact Tallulah Skye for job opportunities,” Omni read as I snatched the paper from Trinity’s hand.
“What is this?” I questioned.
“This bitch done went and opened up a store on her own. That’s what it is!” Siren snapped. “I told you! Ooo! See!? I told you not to invite her to our house! I told yall not to invite any family to the house for work because all they’re gonna do is take it back with them to South Carolina and steal the idea! She’s doing it right here in Atlanta at that! Where are all our clients at?! That’s where they’re at! Right here!”
“Where is it located?” I asked, flipping the back as Trinity reached down to grab a glossy flyer off the ground. Suddenly they were everywhere. Something we hadn’t noticed or paid too much attention to until now.
“The store is here at the Underground,” she said as she looked around, “and it's been open for at least two weeks now. Thursday through Saturday.”
“This would explain where all our customers have gone,” Siren said, snatching the flyer from Trinity’s hand. “There’s no way she has the money to foot this. We looked at spaces here before and we couldn’t afford it so where did she get the money from?”
“Maybe Akil is helping her,” Nay suggested with a naive tone that made me roll my eyes.
“Ain’t enough dope and weed in the world for this shit,” Trinity retorted as we pushed forward, looking for the exact location of the store until we were so deep inside the Underground, we could hardly see the entrance, but we eventually came to a stop at one of the largest stores that had windows blacked out and covered with the moon cycle being stretched across. We all stood in front of the windows, staring in awe and envy as Siren crossed her arms over her chest while Nevaeh took a picture.
“We can take her to court,” Omni declared.
“And say what? They opened up a store like ours, like the thousand of others thats out there? We just do readings,” I said. “We’re authentic, true lowcountry magic. This here is a spiritual scam.”
I stepped up close on the door to look at the store hours with suspicion.
Sundays: Appointments Only.
Tuesdays: Wolf Totems Only from 11am-5pm.
For a reading, please visit our website at Under the Moon dot com slash schedule. We are currently booked until September but we have a waiting list for select dates during the week as well.
I stepped back and looked at the stretched out moon phase before as the rest of the girls followed, standing by my side with the children.
“Look at this,” Tallulah said, holding up another side that was stuck to one of the windows, “beware of large canines. Shifters, Saints, and Workers.”
“I don’t like this,” Siren pouted. “This wouldn’t have happened had Caroline been here. Tallulah wouldn’t have the nerve to do something like this.”
“Follow us on Instagram, and tag us with your purchase for a repost,” Omni read in the white letters painted at the bottom of the windows, “oh I got to show my husband this...He’ll find out who’s really behind this and if it is Tallulah, we’ll shut this shit down once and for all. He knows all the right people,” pulling her phone out, “trust me.”
“Well while yall figure that out, I need to make money and I’m not getting no regular desk job so I’ma hit Lu up and see if she’s hiring,” Trinity said as she walked off.
“What about the house?! What about getting our stuff together?! We said we were supposed to get closer as sisters now that Caroline is gone, we’re gonna try harder to be together.”
Trinity was already on the phone with Tallulah as she walked back towards the entrance. Omni was off on the phone with Tucker while Siren, who was taking the separation from Caroline the hardest, tried not to let it show. She was so used to her sisters constantly being up underneath one another and now they barely spoke throughout the week.
“Okay, so he said Tallulah Skye doesn’t own this store,” Omni said as she came back towards us, “so she’s probably an employee. It’s under the name Neminye Roots LLC. That’s all we know for now. He’ll look into it when he gets home. Does that sound familiar to anyone?”
“Not at all,” Nevaeh said with a shake of her head as she looked at me. I shrugged with every intention of finding out myself and getting a hold of Caroline tonight.
Now that i'm a few chapters away from finishing Skye Fall, I can throw my attention back to the blog. Sorry for the wait yall! Hopefully after yall read it, you'll see why it took so long. Its ALOT.