“Mrs. Amir- Paul? We need you to come with us!”
I slowly turned around in my swivel chair to see who was commanding me to leave. Three rather mountainous men, dressed in tailored, black wool suits, were making themselves known. My immediate impression was that these guys were the new execs from upstairs, but they were all matching as if they were members of a dysfunct R&B group. Plus they looked a little too husky to care about the midday news!
“Excuse me sir, but you never said exactly who you were?”
“And I’m not going to! You need to come with us Mrs. Paul! Right now!”
“And . . . and what am I leaving for?”
“You’re leaving because Ms. Heaton is requesting your presence!”
“Oh you mean Chelsea? Whew! For a minute there, I thought you were going to say Mr. Houston! I know Chelsea! Tell her I’ll come through after I do this story in about an hour. My investigator says he has a story that is going to be big! Possibly a game changer! I wanna be the first to report it!”
The spokesman for the crew was incensed! His White bald head and face were beginning to turn red, but he quickly regained his cool, as if his life depended on it for some reason. He loosed his tie before he spoke again.
“Mrs. Paul, we were given specific instructions to bring you to Ms. Heaton right now. Now I’m asking you politely to come along. If we have to do this the hard way, then we will. One way or the other, you’re coming with us!”
Before I could counter with a witty rebuttal, the three amigos opened their suit jackets, revealing weapons in holsters as well as in their slacks. I nodded, but I heard a gasp from over my shoulder. Jessie, the intern, was frozen in fear and he attempted to stay still. The news studio was normally empty after the Sunday early morning news. However, the happy intern was going the extra mile. Jessie began to pee on himself as one of the henchmen started to reach for his gun.
“There’s no need for that! Please!”
I grabbed my things as I dismounted from the chair. I didn’t need anyone innocent getting hurt . . . again.
“Jessie, everything is alright. I have an important matter to attend to with my husband, but let John and Shannon know I’ll be back in about an hour or so okay?”
“O . . o . . okay Mrs. Paul”
Jessie ran for the bathroom as I made my way out of the studio. To the receptionist and other staffers that were looking from afar, it probably seemed like I was being fired! The way my three bodyguards were lined up on all sides? All that was missing was the box of knick-knacks that I had at my desk! However, this felt a whole lot worse than being canned. I didn’t know what waited for me as we approached the black SUV. Before the spokesman opened the door, another thug confiscated my phone and purse.
“Hey!! What the hell?”
The group leader didn’t offer a response. He simply opened the door and motioned me to get in. I reluctantly climbed aboard as the door slammed behind me. The locks bolted down as the vehicle began to start. There was no one in the back but me. The compartment was sealed off like a limousine, however I didn’t feel like royalty. I felt like a hostage!
“Let me out!!! Let me out!!! Where are you motherfuckers taking me? Let me out!!”
I started banging on the doors and on the wall in front of me. After a minute of persistent defiance, the front panel slid open.
“I’m only going to say this once you little spoiled princess! Put your seatbelt on and shut the fuck up! We’ll be at our destination soon enough!”
This oppressor’s disdain for me was obvious! He looked upon me as if I were trash and he didn’t want to be bothered. The harshness in his voice made me believe that he would rather kill me than to be shackled with the tasks of transporting me to his employer. Seeing that this low budget Ivan Drago wasn’t in the best of moods, I silenced my tongue and strapped myself to the seat.
Despair fell upon me as the vehicle moved along what seemed to be the interstate. The windows were reflective so I could only see the inside of the car. As I sat in my eerie quietness, my mind started racing. Why did Chelsea want to see me now? I knew that I came in last in the election, but the race was over two months ago! Surely if she was disgruntled about the returns, I would have been dealt with before right? Why wait until now? And if I was being reprimanded, where was Princeton? He held an equal stake in me losing! I mean, he was tasked with making sure that I went to all the debates and being by my side. But he never offered anything to say to win over the constituents! I was just supposed to stand there and be beautiful! I did my part! So if my husband wasn’t here, what could the future Mrs. Alexander possibly want with me?
After what seemed like hours of travel, the truck finally came to a halt. I could hear the men exit the truck. I braced myself for the worst! But as the door opened, I found myself at this gorgeous estate! I had never seen a mansion so esquite! Truly we were not downtown anymore!
I stepped out onto the marble driveway. My mind and body relaxed as I was led through the front door of this lavish home. It felt as Robin Leach was going to come out with his film crew and lead me on a tour of the rich and famous! However, reality set in as we came to the dining room where a familiar face was sitting at the table. The evangelist’s hands and feet were tied to her chair with a handkerchief in her mouth. Her face was littered with dried tears and blood!
“Jade?! Is that you?”
She turned her eyes toward me as if this would be our last time seeing each other. Anxiety consumed me once again. As I started to sit down at the table, Jade began trying to shake herself loose. In a rage, the spokesperson darted over and pimp slapped Jade until she fell over unconscious.
“Mrs. Paul, have a seat at the table. Ms. Heaton will be with you in a moment”
“You still haven’t given me an answer! What am I doing here?”
Truthfully I was scared to sit down, but I didn’t want to end up like ol’ girl. Just as I was taking my seat, a voice from the stairs rang through the morning air.
“I hope you have some answers for me Stephanie! Your friend over there didn’t fare too well!”
I turned to look and it was . . . . Chelsea! But this wasn’t the same Chelsea that was on the arm of James Alexander when I announced my run for mayor. No, this Chelsea seemed like she had aged ten years in the span of four months! Although she had on designer clothes and a fur coat, it couldn’t hide the weight she had packed on since we last met. The pleasant smile that greeted me several months before was now replaced with a repugnant scowl.
“What answers are you looking for Ms. Heaton?”
“You know what I’m looking for!”
“Umm . . . no I don’t Chelsea. I don’t even know what I’m doing here!”
“I know you already know Stephanie! You news people are always sitting on a story!”
“Chelsea, what the hell are you talking about? You’re making no sense!”
“What about Mr. Alexander? Is he alright?”
“No he’s not alright!! One of you bitches set him up!”
“Set him up? Whoa now! Why would I set up the man who helped fund my mayoral campaign?”
“I don’t know why, but nobody is leaving here until I get my satisfaction!”
“Chelsea, you need to calm down! You’re not making any sense!”
Out of nowhere, the fat bitch hauled off and slapped me!
“What the hell? Chelsea have you lost your . . .”
With that back hand flurry, I found myself on the ground. I couldn’t believe what was happening!
“Alonzo, pick her up and tie her to the chair! And where is Princeton? I thought you guys were supposed to pick him up along with Jade?”
“Ms. Chelsea, he wasn’t at the hotel when we came to get him. His car and luggage were still there, but he was nowhere to be found”
“I bet his punk ass had something to do with this! And to imagine, I fought for all of you! When Eric wanted to kill y’all, it was me that saved you! It was me that interceded for you all! And this is how you repay me? Setting my man up on a rape charge?”
“Yes bitch, a rape charge! Now my man is in the county jail getting fingerprinted and shit! No telling what they may pull up!”
I could hear the pain in her voice. Chelsea was not well at all! I would have comforted her if her men hadn’t tied me to the damn chair!
“Chelsea, I didn’t know anything about this! And I would have never planned anything like this!”
“If you wouldn’t have planned it, then where the hell is Princeton? Better yet, where is your pretty bitch? You must be hiding her in another country?”
“Angela is somewhere safe from Mr. Houston and his goons. She’s been through a traumatic ordeal and I don’t know if she will ever be the same”
“Uh huh. So why were you making plans to leave Atlanta right after Princeton made plans to leave the Six?”
“Wait? You think we all conspired against you?”
“Isn’t that what I said?”
“But isn’t that the sort of thing that Mr. Houston does? Isn’t he the conspiring, evil one?”
Just as I uttered his name, I heard a flurry of footsteps come from all areas of the home! Chelsea only had three men while a militia had infiltrated her residence. From the patio doors, a man dressed in winter white entered the palace. I knew he was the one responsible for everything that was going on today.
“Speak of the devil, and he shall appear . . . .”
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman