So just a short description (because I’m at this Starbucks with very sucky wifi and I’m ready to go home LOL!). This is the continuation of the NICKI story I posted, and one of my sort of passion projects you could say. Overall, it’s some good work. I think? What do YOU think? Feedback is MORE than welcome for anyone who is reading my #FICTIONFriday posts.
“The Star is Rising” (Chapter Two) by Hannibal Alexander
One day, in February, me and Nicki were at the store getting munchies while the guys were back at Xavier’s. I had met her there on my way from work that day, and when I saw her she seemed really weird. Like she was sad and was trying too hard to make it look like she wasn’t. After about ten minutes in the store with barely a word said, I asked her what was wrong.
“Nothing, let’s just get some stuff and get back home” she said, and than grabbed whatever chips were closest to her and walked over to the register.
We hurried back home, which was about two blocks away. And she didn’t say anything to me, just doing that thing were it’s like she’s calculating things in her head. I didn’t say anything, but I was just eager to get to the house, I noticed that Mr. and Mrs. Duran were in the garage clearing up some clutter. We got upstairs to Xavier’s room, and I noticed Michelle on the phone sounding really happy in her room.
When we got to Xavier’s room, Nicki pulled Bobby up from the chair he was sitting on. He put out his joint and left the room with Nicki. Xavier got up from his bed and grabbed my hands.
“So look, I just gotta tell you… the family… well my dad and my mom and Michelle. Well… Michelle got accepted to Berkeley… in California”
“Okay” I said, still trying to figure things out.
“And my dad… well she actually knew she was accepted about three weeks ago. And than, my dad started talking to my uncle about jobs out there. And… he got a job out there, making like 75,000 a year”
“Oh that’s great” happy for Mr. Duran, I didn’t realize where this was all going
“And so, we’re moving… to California”
“Oh” I was stunned. He grabbed my hands tighter.
“And I want you to go with me?”
I wasn’t ready for that.
“Move… to California?” is all I could even think to say.
“yeah, look… my uncle has a auto repair shop. Like a couple of locations out there, and he said he’d give me a good job working there. Since I know a little about cars you know, he said he’d train me and everything. So, we don’t even have to live with my mom and dad, we could get our own place like we talked about.”
He sounded so excited about it. More so than any other conversation I think we ever had. I started to smile at the fact that he was excited, and at the fact that he factored me into his plans.
“but…” I still didn’t know what to say “… California, I… I mean, I don’t know anything about it”
“well, me either. I know it doesn’t snow”
“yeah, Nicki’ll tell you all about that” I added
“See… Nicki, she moved all the way to the other side of the coast and she’s doing fine”
“Nicki’s gonna stay here?” I asked, I didn’t even think about how this would affect her.
“I don’t know. She’s still trying to figure it out I guess… but… I am” he said, he let my hands go and gave me kind of a puppy dog face.
“I can’t… decide… right now” I said “I have to think about it… when are you leaving anyway?”
“Early June. As soon as Michelle graduates. We’ll be packed and ready to go that day”
“Wow. Well… at least I have some time to think about it right?”
“Yeah, but baby. Let me know soon okay. So we can figure some stuff out together. It seems like June is a long time away, but it really isn’t”
“You’re right” I responded, Xavier nodded and sat back down on his bed.
It was definitely a great offer. To leave everything behind and go to California with the love of my life. It was the leaving everything behind part that I had a hard time with. Though I didn’t necessarily get along with my mom and my little sister, I actually felt like they need me, just the same as I needed them. And the thing that kept running through my mind after his proposal was Nicki. What was she going to do. And just as I was thinking it, Nicki popped in the door. She asked me to come and talk to her in the backyard.
“You smoke too much weed nowadays girl” I said, as she passed me a joint she already lit. We were by the back fence of the backyard. Freezing. At least it wasn’t snowing.
“So Gina. What are you gonna do? Are you gonna go to the west coast?” She asked, abruptly changing into her serious tone.
“I was gonna ask you what you were gonna do?”
“I been thinking about it, but… I have to stay here. I made such a big deal about moving out here to my parents, that I feel like I have to stay. And Bobby’s… here too”
“But Xavier’s gonna be THERE?” I said, mad. And a little high now
“This is nuts… everything was so cool a couple weeks ago. I mean I’m like, happy for Michelle and my uncle. But, dam. It just messes up my plan”
“Well…” I started
“… I mean, I would be happy for you too Gina. If you went out there…” she said, looking me straight in the eyes “… you would probably really like it in Cali, and my dad is definitely gonna hook Xavier up with some cash if he does a good job at one of the shops. I mean you guys could finally get married”
“I know” I got excited about the prospect
“So you’re gonna go?” She asked, interrupting my daydream
“I have to think about it, I don’t wanna leave my sister and my mom like that”
“How was it like leaving your family?” I asked her
“Okay!… They didn’t want me to move. But… the thing was, I was gonna be out here with family. So now, my dad wants me to move back with them. But like, I’m doing good in school and I really like it out here… I don’t wanna go back”
“you think your dad is gonna make you move back home?”
“No, not if I figure out a way to make him… comfortable with me living out here still. So I just gotta figure something out”
“yeah, me too” I said, not sure why.
Over the next couple of months, I didn’t really try to figure out anything. I quit my video store job and got a job at a Spa a couple of bus stops from my house. It was a receptionist job, and I had a lot of fun there, because it was mostly a female run business. And I ended up working a lot of over time there because the pay was so great, that and the fact it would keep me away from my mom and Xavier questioning me about moving. Every time he brought it up to me, whenever we would finally get a chance to be together, I would always say “I still haven’t decided” “I need more time to think about it.” And when I wouldn’t want to talk about it, he wouldn’t want to talk about anything else.
Me and Nicki still hung out over the weekends, but my life became about my job at that point. I made a lot of new girlfriends at the Spa. Well, at least we talked a lot at work. They all got a kick out of me and Nicki’s crazy stories about going out. The other girl that worked behind the front desk, Missy, was always asking for my club update. I would tell stories about how Nicki and I joked back and forth, and how crazy we would dance with each other. Missy asked me how long I knew her, and I told her for less than a year, and she would tell me she thought Nicki was a life long friend of mine.
Once I started to think, Nicki gave me the best memories in 8 months than I’ve had all my life. I really started to weigh her obvious decision to stay as grounds for me to do the same. At the beginning of April, only about a month and a half before I pretty much had all the time I needed to make a decision , Xavier asked me if I was going to go with him.
“Seriously … Xavier. With work, and … I need a couple of more days to think about it” I said hoping he wouldn’t fly off the handle. He did though.
“Right! Why don’t you just say you don’t want to go. You don’t want to be with me”
“I wanna be with you of course… Just, I don’t wanna leave my mom and my sister”
“Who you always complain to me about” he yelled
“I mean… we just don’t…”
“Whatever Gina. It’s not even a big deal to me”
“What?” was he breaking up with me?
“What do you mean Xavier?”
“I MEAN…” he started “if you don’t want to be out there with me, it must mean you don’t want to be with me at all and are just too scared to say it…”
“But… you just can’t expect me to drop everything like that…”
“What do you have to drop?? Your mom and sister are still gonna be here, and you can find another job.”
I was almost speechless, but pretty emotional at that moment
“Xavier…” I started not knowing what I was really going to say, and than he interrupted me.
“You know what, just leave me alone. I need a couple days to think about this” he didn’t even look at me as he started flipping the channels on the TV.
I left out the room, and started to cry a little bit. I wasn’t sure that I wanted to move, but I was sure I wanted to keep my Xavier, and here I was jeopardizing our relationship because I couldn’t make up my mind. And not even that I couldn’t make up my mind, but that I’m really lying to him. I didn’t want to move for a lot of reasons, more than my mom. I grew up here, and my entire family is out here. I didn’t really want to be couped up in some place I don’t know anything about, while my man is at work all day and night. I wasn’t ready for that. Nicki wasn’t there that night to be my shoulder to cry on, so I went home and slept through Friday. Me and Nicki went out that night and we talked about me and Xavier’s fight.
“So what do you think about it?” I asked her while we were staggering back to the subway that morning.
“Really?” she asked, almost instantly sobering up.
“Yeah” I asked kind of laughing, nervous that she was going to say something I didn’t want to hear.
“Well” she stopped walking and looked me in my eyes “… I think he’s a little bit right. You don’t seem like you want to go there… with him”
“But… I do, I still want to be with him”
“Gina, I know you love him. But I mean, really, think about it. He’s like totally been planning everything since he heard the word. I mean did you even know that he’s been going to Auto career training classes”
“Really?” I didn’t know “when did he start?”
“like two weeks ago, he’s done in a week”
“He didn’t tell me anything about that”
“well, he is… and” she starts walking in a slow stride now “I mean, you’re my girl and everything, but you really don’t seem like a person who wants to move. I mean, my dad could have started to send you some newspapers with job listings or something. You guys could be looking at apartments already, but… I mean you just got a new job. You don’t really want to go right?” she stopped walking again and waited for my answer.
“I want to be with him though… but I just don’t want to throw everything away, for… a guy. That’s what dumb girls do right?”
“I don’t know Gina” she started to walk faster.
“So your definitely staying?” I asked as I tried to catch up with her
“Yeah, well… dependant on something” she stopped walking again
“I was kinda… like, it’s not even an option for me to move back to the west coast. I JUST go here… so I was thinking… if you weren’t going to the west coast. We could get a place together” She raised her eyebrows and started to smile a bit waiting for my response.
“yeah… like, I understand you don’t want to leave your mom and your sister. But you’d at least still be on the east coast. And! Since Xavier is my cousin, and he’s probably going to be around my dad a lot… it’ll be easier for you guys to keep in touch”
“How are we going to afford a place though? I don’t think I can afford it”
“Yeah you can… there’s a lot of places in Brooklyn that we could afford. Bobby’s been taking me to some of the ‘For Rent’ places. And I’m going to start getting work probably in the Summer. I signed up with a Temp Agency”
“Wow… how long have you been thinking about this”
“When X started taking his mechanics classes. And you guys weren’t speaking for like, the third time in two weeks” I guess her and Xavier talked about me more than I thought.
“Oh” I rolled my eyes back, kind of embarrassed that she knew about those fights
“Come on Gina. Like I don’t want to put any pressure on you… but since you’ve been around the family so long, my dad will trust you and me moving in together. He’s never even met Bobby, I barely told him anything about him actually, but he’s not gonna trust me moving in with some boy. And the only other option would be moving in with my Mom’s mom in Spanish Harlem. And… you know… I barely know her, and I know you”
“Not to put any pressure on me right?” I joked
“And… I, never been this close to another girl before. Really if it wasn’t for you… I really don’t know if I’d even want to stay. I kinda, need you out here” She said, her eyes starting to tear up
“oooh, Nicki, don’t cry”
“I’m not” she laughed “that’s just… you think about it. Okay” she said wiping her eye lids dry.
And that kind of sealed my future right there. The way I felt about her was the way she felt about me, and I think we both needed each other as we grew up. So I told Xavier the deal, we promised we’d keep in touch, but he was still obviously upset about my decision. But for once I was pretty pleased with my choice, I thought it was about time I moved out on my own. I was going to be 22 soon, and I guess I felt like I needed to find some independence. And still I felt that Nicki was someone I could depend on. She was focused, and determined to talk her dad into letting her stay in New York, and she got the job done. With a full game plan, and Plan’s B and C.
© 2014 Hannibal Alexander