He Listens (Chapter 14)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.

QUICK RECAP:  Coming off the whirlwind of receiving the much needed closure from her past, Kayla has been spending time with a new love interest, Kareem.   


..Continued – 

“I can’t, I have to go by the office and drops some papers off to a client.”

“You’re all work and no play.  You’re too young for that.  Well, how about lunch?”

“I can do that.”

“Okay, call me when you are leaving the office.”

“I will.  Bye.”

The meeting with her client was uneventful.  A few papers needed to be discussed and signed and she was on to the office.  In route, her cell rings.  It’s Karah.

“Hey sis, what’s up”?

“Nothing much just ripping and running, you know.”

“I am too hungry, lets hit Olga’s, that sounds good.”

“Can’t baby sis, I just made plans with Kareem.  Hey, I know, you can come with us.”

“Where ya’ll going”?

“I don’t know where Kareem is talking about going.  But I do know that it is time that you two meet.  I’ll pick you up in about a half.”

Lunch was nice.  Karah and Kareem hit it off like old friends reunited.  That made Kayla happy.  After lunch she dropped Karah off at home and decided to indulge in her favorite pastime, shopping.  She takes the mall by storm hitting up all of the usual suspects and then shallowly retreats home.  Once she drops her bags at the door, she runs herself a bath, then checks her voicemail.  Kareem has called to tell her know how much he enjoyed lunch and meeting her sister.  He mentions that since families are being introduced into the equation, that his sister is having dinner after church on Sunday for the whole family, in honor of their grandmother’s birthday.

“Grandma’s birthday is a little heavier than lunch,” she said aloud.  Kayla wasn’t sure if they were there yet.  She starts to call Dawn for advice and their weekly catchup session, but as she stands there with her phone in hand, she thinks, “If I can graduate Magna Cum Laude and bring 1.5 million to the firm in three years, then I can definitely handle grandma’s party.”

It’s Sunday morning, and Kayla has some old school Yolanda Adams playing in the background as she sits at her breakfast nook and nibbles on a slice of cinnamon raisin bread.  Kareem wants them to spend to whole day together, so he and his son Jordan are coming to church with her.  Kayla has seen a thousand picture of Jordan and heard a million more cute moment stories but she has never spend more than ten minutes in his presence.  Ten minutes which occurred only because his mother was late picking him up one night when her and Kareem had tickets to the Comedy Club down on Brush and Lafayette.  But Kayla has decided that she isn’t going to stress over today.  Just as devotion service is beginning, they dropped Jordan off at Jesus Junction in the small chapel and find a seat mid way the center aisle.  Service was moving.  The choir tore it up and the pastor preached like it was his last sermon.  Kareem enjoyed himself and Jordan did too.

On the way to his sister’s house, Kareem preps Kayla about his family members and all of their idiosyncrasies.  He tells her the story about last year’s birthday party when Aunt Helen and Aunt Barbara got into it because Aunt Helen told Aunt Barbara that her macaroni and cheese taste more like macaroni without the cheese.  In which Aunt Barbara told Aunt Helen that if she would pay more attention to her husband than other people’s cooking maybe she wouldn’t be on husband number three.  When Kareem was finished telling the story, everyone, including Jordan was dying laughing. The rest of the ride turned into a competition of who could tell the most over-the-top family story.  And for a moment Kayla secretly removed herself from the conversation and smiles on the inside.

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.

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He Listens (Chapter 13)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.


..Continued – 

“I was on my grind Kay, but I never stop thinking about you and I never let another woman in.  I might have been with her but she wasn’t with me, just you Kay.  It’s always been just you.”

“You never told me that.”

“You never asked me to stay Kayla, and you never seemed affected one way or the other.  It didn’t seem to matter if we spoke every hour, every day, or twice a month.”

“It did matter Dre,” her voice begins to crack, “you mattered, you were my everything.  I’m sorry that you can’t forgive me and I’m sorry that I made the wrong decision, just know that it wasn’t an easy one and that it wasn’t done to make you feel the pain that you do right now.”

There is a long silence and he takes her face in his hands.

“I know that Kay, because I know you.”

They both force a smile through held tears and share an embrace that says that it is going to be okay.

After a few moments pass, he kisses her on the forehead and they embrace.  He holds her, wipes her eyes, and fixes her hair.

“I will always love you Kay.”

“And I will always love you.”

“Do you ever wonder how different our lives would be if I wouldn’t have taken the scholarship.”

“All the time Dre.  All the time.”

“Me too, and now I have another part to add to the fantasy.”

He is still holding her and her head is laying against his chest.  They give the moment the full attention it deserves and in harmony they perform their final kiss.  Andre stares at Kayla as if he wants to say more but he reluctantly remains silent. He releases his embrace and walks to the door.  Kayla joins him and they walk out of the room together.

The weight is gone.  Kayla feels lighter.  They return to the party and Kay enters the living room right in line with the Chicago Step.

“Hey, how yall gone start without me,” Kayla gripped?

A voice yells back, “We thought you were finished for the night.”

“Nah, I’m just getting started.”

Two hours later, after a lot of laughing, dancing, and reminiscing, everybody including Andre and Kayla decides to call it a night.  And for the first time, Kayla leaves one of Dawn’s parties the same way she came, alone.

The annoying sound of fake wilderness awakes Kayla and she reaches over to her nightstand and pushes snooze.  Ten minutes later, nature calls again and she decides to quit fighting it.  Sitting straight up in her bed she turns to looks at her clock with disgust, wondering why she ever thought that it would be cute to wake up to birds chirping and waterfalls running.   It’s two Saturdays pass the party and she is still adjusting to the fact that it is truly over between her and Andre.  They haven’t spoken, and she knows that if and when they do, it will be to lightheartedly reminisce not rekindle.  In the weeks since the party, Kayla has been out with Kareem a couple more times and he is starting to grow on her.  He’s such a nice guy.  She needs that in her life, and unexpectedly she’s realizing that she needs him in her life – someone and something different.  Finally, getting out of the bed to start her day, she remembers that she has to drop off some papers at a client’s house and then run by the office.  And in the midst of her getting ready to start her errands, Kareem calls.

“Kayla, have breakfast with me.”

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.

He Listens (Chapter 12)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.


..Continued – 

Dre pulls away from Kayla.

“Wait, wait, don’t just walk away, talk to me.  You don’t know the whole story.”

“I know you kept my baby from me.”

“It’s a little more complicated than that don’t you think.”

“Not really, you had too many opportunities to tell me Kayla, before and after.  I can’t forgive this.”

“I’m sorry Dre, but after all this time, I’m tired of carrying this and I’m tired of letting you hurt me.”

“Hurt you?”

“Yes, that’s what you do every time you go absent as if I’m not alive, you hurt me!”

“So you never told me, as pay back?”

“No, what are you talking about?  Let me give you the abridged version.  We were madly in love when you told me about your scholarship, and I was five weeks pregnant when you got on a plane and moved to New York.  I had just found out a few days earlier.  Your ticket was already purchased Dre.  The day you left was my first hospitalization.  When I got home from the airport, I started to cramp and bleed.  The doctors put me on bed-rest and for a couple of weeks everything was okay.  During that time, I nurtured our baby.  I loved him.  Then, my mother and Karah found out.  You know it was only so long that I would be able to keep it from them.  They convinced me to tell you and I was going to, but each time, I either lost my courage or the moment wasn’t right.  The second hospitalization was more severe than the first.  I actually lost consciousness at one point and when I awoke, he was gone. I’ve never felt pain like that, and I’m talking about the physical.  I was left empty literally and figuratively.  It changed me Dre.  And it took a while for me to come around.  In all that time, I was consumed with what was happening to me.  I never even considered what I was doing to you.”

Andre is overwhelmed.  He stands with his arms to his sides and his head slightly lowered.  “I had no idea that you went through all of that.  I don’t even know what to say.  I don’t even know who to be sad for.  I just know that I am.  Today is not the day, but one day.  Promise me you’ll share the unabridged version.  Promise me that you tell me the whole story – all of it Kay.  Are you fine, like physically and everything?”

“I am.  Thank you for caring.”

“Always.”

“When you left, all I wanted was for you to come back.  I really did plan to tell you, several times I tried…then after he was gone, I figured what was the point.  Time has taken its course Andre.  I couldn’t fix what had happened to us, I could feel us tearing apart but it was nothing I could do about it.  I don’t understand your type of love, the kind that can go absent for extended amounts of time.  Don’t get me wrong Andre, I do acknowledge my role in this, this is a conversation that should have taken place years ago.  But since the first hurt, whether it was intentionally or not, my heart aches when I think of you.  If it was intentional, that makes you an asshole and if I continue to allow you to hurt me that will make me one, regardless of your intent.”

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.

He Listens (Chapter 11)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.


..Continued – 

Kayla re-positions herself with distance between them.  She looks down on at the abstract print on the comforter and then up into his eyes with tears in hers.  “You left me Dre,” she says quietly.  “I needed you and you left me.”  He looks at her and for the first time can see the pain he caused.  He’s hurt because she’s hurt.  They both stare at the wall too afraid to look at one another.  He breaks the silence, “I’m sorry.”  She cries uncontrollably.  He tries to hold her, but she pulls away.

“I was pregnant Andre.”

“What…wait a minute, what?”

“I lost it, I was 18 weeks.  18 weeks pregnant with our child.”

“18 weeks…you never told me.  You were pregnant with our baby…my baby, and you never told me?  So you knew you were pregnant when I left?”

Kayla looks him in the eyes and replies, “Yes.”

“How could you keep this from me all this time?”  He looks at her as if she were a stranger.

She begins to explain, but he wants no part of it.  As she is talking he is holding his head and replaying the last two years in his mind.

“So that time when I couldn’t get you on the phone and you told me that you had the flu…?”

“Yes.”

He puts his head down and shakes it slowly.  “Why?   How could you take that from me?”

“Me, take something from you?  What about what was taken from me, physically Andre.  You weren’t there.  You never heard his heartbeat or felt him move, you have no idea!”

“I couldn’t do those things because you decided what I did and didn’t need to know…because you thought it was better to lie to me than to trust me.”  Andre stands and move to a corner in the room.

Kayla asks, “If I would have told you, would you have come back, or never left to begin with?  You’re telling me you would have given up your scholarship and your dream?”

“Yes, for you and my baby, I would have!”

“What you would have done was resented us both, I didn’t want that.  I knew what that opportunity meant to you.”

“You should have known what you meant to me, baby or not.  You didn’t have the right to make that decision Kay, you just didn’t.  You pretended to be happy for me.  You told me to go.”

And it was at that very moment that Kayla realizes and accepts that she is not the only victim.  She stands up and walks over to him.

“Dre, I really thought I was doing the right thing.  I thought that real love was about real sacrifice.  I didn’t want to come between you and your dream.  I didn’t want that to be the reason why you spent your life with me or proposed that I spend mine with you.  I didn’t want that for you and didn’t want that for me.  I’ll admit that I could have handled it better…I should have told you, but I was alone, scared, and confused.  I did what I thought was right Dre.  Please believe that.”

He stares her dead in her face.  “You thought wrong, I’m can’t believe this, I can’t forgive this.  I thought I was coming to a party, I knew you would be here, but I never thought this, damn.”

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.

He Listens (Chapter 10)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.


..Continued – 

“Repeating over and over again in her head, “I can’t go back there,” Kayla dips down the hallway to take a breather on the back porch.  She needed a minute to regroup.  But as she turns down the hallway she runs right into his chest.

“I remember the last time you kissed my chest.”

“Really, I don’t.”

“What?”

“I said, I don’t remember the last time I kissed your chest.”

“Kayla, is something wrong?”

“Why would you ask that?”

“Are you mad at me?”

“Do I have a reason to be?”

“Look, I don’t know where this is coming from but I don’t want to fight Kayla, I was hoping to spend some time with you while I’m here.”

“You were hoping that you could sleep with me while you were here.”

“Dang, is that all we do.”

“Apparently, since I don’t hear from you until you’re ready to talk.”

“Kay, I’ve called you a couple of times lately.”

“What?”

“Yeah, I called you a couple times last month.”

“I never got that call or any message.”

“I never left one.  You know that I don’t do messages, oh, and I got a new number.”

“That was you calling me from that 381 area code?  How in the hell was I supposed to know that that was you?”

“You knew that was me.  Who else would it be?”

“Are you serious Andre?  Do you really believe that or are you just saying it?”

Kayla lets out a frustrated laugh as she shakes her head and starts to walk away.

“Wait a minute, Kay, don’t walk away, come in here, can we talk for a minute?”

They enter a spare bedroom at the end of the hall, close the door and sit on the edge of the bed.

“I didn’t know that you were feeling like this.  You know that I love you Kayla, I always will.”

“You loved me once Dre, but that was last lifetime.  I can’t live there.  I know that you care about me, but it’s not the same.  I was still very much in love with you.  You moved away and moved on.  I stayed here and held on, to the nostalgia of what used to be and could have been.”

At this point it is painfully obvious that a conversation years in the making is about to happen.  And with this realization, Kayla lowers her head and wonders in silence, what happens when a weakened heart exhales.

“Kayla, it’s not like that, I love you.  You are probably the only women that I ever really loved.  How can you not know that?  How can you think that what we do is just physical or for play, really Kay…how can you feel that way about me and you?  You pulled away from me Kayla.  It’s not like you were blowing my phone up.  How many times did you come to see me, huh?  Every time we talked and every time we were together it meant something to me Kay.  When I first got there, I was lost, missing you, missing home, my family – everything.  To be honest, I was scared.  I didn’t know nobody or nothing about living in New York.  Okay maybe I could have called more often, and I was wrong for taking so long to get at you after my last visit, but you were sending me mixed messages for real.  Do you remember that?  One minute we were in love and next I couldn’t even get you on the phone.”

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.

He Listens (Chapter 9)

SERIES SUMMARY:  Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage.   Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.


..Continued – 

“Hey, Kayla, where in the world have you been hiding?  You look good tonight.”

“Brandon, don’t I always look good?”

“Yeah, but tonight you’re making a statement, come on in, you know Dre is here.”

Oh, Kayla knew that Andre was there and until she saw him it would be hard for her to breathe.  Mingling through the thick crowd she hears Dawn’s loud voice, “Kayla, when did you get here?”  Knowing that her cover was blown, she turns and smiles at the room of people who are all now fixated on her.  And, just as Dawn leans in for a hug, he walks out of the kitchen.

“Damn, he looks good,” she thought to herself.  “He looks like he tastes like chocolate,” she says out loud.  “What did you just say,” Dawn asked?  “Oh nothing,” Kayla replied as she watched him approach her.  “My turn,” and before she knows it, he’s holding her.

“How have you been?  You look good girl.  I miss you, what have you been in to?”

“Same old, same old, you know Andre, taking care of business and trying to live my life like it’s golden.”

“Well you look golden, give me another hug.”

She does, and when he holds for longer than a church hug should last, she pulls away.  “It is so good to see you Andre, let make my rounds, I’ll catch up later.”  And as she walks away she can feel him staring.  Operation “get rid of Andre” is in full effect.

Strolling over to the wet bar, Kayla is intersected by a noisy Dawn who wants to know all the details and why they parted so soon.

“Kayla, are you crazy, what did you say to him?”

“I told him that I would catch up with him later”.

“Why did you tell him that?”

“Dawn, somethings I have to work out on my own.  Let me do that please.”

“I hope you know what you are doing.”

Kayla mumbles, “I should have done it a long time ago.”

In that moment Kayla is reminded of the last Dawn house party that Andre flew in town for.  She clung to him the whole night.  Cut her eyes at every women who dared to even glance his way.  But most of all, she remembers requiring no explanation as to why she didn’t hear from him for months after.  Just to be with him was enough then.  She didn’t fool herself though.  She knew he wasn’t hers any more, and she knew it was only for a weekend.  They left that party, went back to her place, and didn’t come up for air until it was time for her to drive him to the airport.  An, “I’ll call you when I get there” and a kiss on the forehead was all she got.  She was messed up for days waiting for a call that never came.  That will not happen tonight.

To be continued…

© LaRonda Moore

*** He Listens Series Homepage.