“Congratulations Princeton! Welcome to the family son!”
My new father-in-law shook my hand after he assisted Stephanie out of the helicopter.
“The city looks so beautiful this evening! You can see Stone Mountain from here! It’s like we’re on top of the world!”
Stephanie was caught up in the scene as I knew she would be. I wasn’t much for taking in the moment but even I had to admit, watching the city turn from day to night on the helipad was breathtaking! I grabbed a hold of my new bride as her father escorted us through the Ventanas. My eyes began to bulge as we made our descent toward the 14th floor. There were people wall to wall! The wait staff was actually putting out tables along the edges of the balcony! While I continued to be in the state of shock, strangers were running up to me and Stephanie like we were Jay-Z and Bey, hugging and wanting to take pictures with us! All I wanted to do was get to our table! On cue, Ant came to the rescue, clearing out the crowd with Father Amir so that we could sit down.
“Hey babe. Are all these your people?”
“I was about to ask you the same thing Princeton! I see quite a few celebrities in the house but they were not on the guest list. Are we gonna have enough food?”
“Don’t worry ‘bout a thing queen. Your husband’s got this!”
I asked Ant to watch over the wait staff until I came back. I had to figure out what we were going to do about the food. I knew the 14th floor could hold two hundred people but our guest list was one-fifty . . . max! I began to make my way through the crowd to head back to the roof to think. I paid for the kitchen to prepare enough for one hundred and seventy five people. But this? This was gonna be a problem! Even though she wasn’t my beloved, I wasn’t going to have Stephanie’s day ruined by not having anything to eat at her own reception! She was on cloud nine and I wanted to make sure she stayed that way . . . . at least for today. I wouldn’t ruin this moment with the truth.
The sweat was beginning to accumulate under my shirt as I reached the rooftop. I walked back to the black chopper to collect my thoughts and see how much money I had left in my account. I couldn’t make any further request of the kitchen staff without having money in hand. I had already spent the last of my savings on this shindig so where was I going to get more money? I was already in debt to several people, including Ant. I couldn’t possibly ask the celebrities to leave! But then again, why were they here? I had two choices: Either find the money to feed everyone or ask the uninviteds to leave. As I started to walk back to make my announcement, a voice called out from behind the copter.
“Nice touch with the helicopter chief. I thought only ballers did this kinda thing?”
“I don’t remember inviting you to this reception Mr. Houston”
“Don’t be so formal Princeton! We’re practically family! Call me Eric!”
“Nigga, you got some nerve coming around after threatening to kill Jade! What the fuck do you want? Why the hell are you up here? You gonna sabotage the bird so it won’t fly?”
“Settle down pimping! I figured you would either be up here or in the bathroom . . . wherever that is! I’m actually here to resolve this little conflict you have”
“And what conflict is that?”
“Man it’s easy to see that you have more people than you bargained for! Hell, it’s written all over your face! But don’t worry, since we familly and all, I got you covered! As a matter of fact, one of my boss’s private chef’s is catering this affair so the whole thing is paid for. You’ll receive your initial payment back within twenty-four business hours”
He fixed his French cuff sleeve while giving me a wry smile. I wanted to continue in my anger, but I couldn’t. I wanted to slap the taste out of his mouth, but I couldn’t. Brother actually came through in my time of need. I looked at my account and I didn’t have two nickels to rub together. So instead of continuing to be vexed, I did the only thing I could do. . . . .
“Thank you . . . . “
I could barely manage the words. . . .
“No problem chief. Now I know you think I was probably wrong for the position I put you in. But trust me, in a few months you will thank me for this opportunity you have in front of you”
“Thank you? Seriously? Please don’t confuse my being thankful for actually liking your ass! You forced me to marry a woman I don’t love!”
“Ah yes, and you truly love Ms. Jade Alexander?”
“Well pretty boy, last time I checked, people who love each other don’t play mind games. What is it that the good book says? ‘Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, does not boast, it is not proud . .’ Is that what your bible says?”
“That it is does”
“So where was Jade’s kindness when she left you to date someone with more money? Was she patient with you and your dreams? I think not! So why are you holding a candle for her? She’s not worth it man!”
“But she explained why she did that . . .”
“And you believe that bullshit huh?”
Eric walked closer until he was looking me square in the face.
“Let me tell you something Mr. Paul. A woman like that doesn’t change! She only wanted you because she couldn’t have you. You were always available whenever she needed you. You were her simp . . . a puppet on a string! Now that you are not available, she’s pursuing you just to prove that she’s not one to be rejected”
“Ant said the same thing this morning . . .”
“Well your boy is right! I went through that same shit last year. I pulled all my coins together to get Mint Condition to my restaurant to impress the woman I loved”
“That’s where I know you from! You’re the guy from YouTube!”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah . . . that’s me. When I proposed, the bitch said she had to think about it . . . had to get her life together . . some shit like that! Then after time goes by, she calls out the blue saying that she wants to see me . . . but that’s only for sex and free dinners”
I could see the anger in his eyes. Whatever this lady did was still fresh on his heart.
“Oh . . . . I don’t know what to say . . I’m sorry?”
“Man, I don’t want you to be sorry! I want you to wake the fuck up! You have a good thing with Stephanie here. You’re about to step into a world of success. You’re going to be apart of the new Black Enterprise!”
“Black Enterprise? Is that what thugs call themselves these days?”
“No, politicians are the thugs! They fuck you up the ass with no warning! Me on the other hand, I simply merge selfish Black people together for our advancement. Kinda like what the church and the NAACP should be doing”
“Take your bride for example. Once she wins the mayor’s seat, she will pass laws on our behalf. Her celebrity will get folks who wouldn’t normally vote our way to do so. We can have change in the city. She will shed light on our school systems and get these celebrities to pitch in to support our own schools. No more scandals making our people look bad”
“We already have a bank. Now the mission is to have more businesses . . . other than hole in the wall food joints. I want our people to rise like the Jews and other immigrants that come to our country. We keep giving our money away. Imagine if we didn’t? Imagine the control we would have then?”
“So you’re saying that you are a modern day Malcolm huh?”
“In a sense . . . . . yes! I want to be a catalyst of change by any means necessary. And for Black folks who are self-serving most of the time, it takes some strong arm tactics to make it work! I believe the end justifies the means. Don’t you?”
“I don’t know about all of that”
“Well I’m a betting man myself. I promise you, in the next two months you won’t even think about Evangelist Alexander”
“So you think money is gonna make everything better huh?”
“Doesn’t it always? Don’t you hear the crowd?”
I could hear the DJ getting the crowd hype as chants of “Monica” rang two floors up!
“Wait a minute?! I didn’t pay for Monica to be here?!”
“But she is! Just give me until the election. If you still want to go back to Jade after that, you will have my blessing”
“No bullshit. Now go ahead and enjoy the party. The bar is paid for too so you can let your guests have drinks on me!”
I nodded my head in agreement and made my way back downstairs. As I descended back to the main floor, I could see Ant standing between Stephanie and another woman who was being ushered away by security.
“Hey babe! Is everything okay?”
“Everything is okay now. . . . . .”
“So who was that chick that needed to be escorted away by police? A crazy fan?”
“Actually, that was Angie . . . . my ex- girlfriend. She’s having a hard time letting go . . . . ”
“Did you think you were the only one who had to give up something?”
“So you were . . . . .?”
Stephanie moved in and kissed me on my lips.
“Yes, but now I’m with you . . . . and in a few months, I’m going to be mayor . . . .”
Written by The Wednesday Gentleman