In the car Roman is checking his emails on his iPad. Duke is still looking uncomfortable and Ramsey is driving. Dargon is sitting in the back with his father.
“I can’t believe you just did that to her.” says Dargon.
Roman says nothing. Ramsey looks up in the rearview mirror.
“Why would you do that to her? This isn’t something you could have done some other time? Six months ago? Three months ago? Hell…ONE month ago?”
“Who the fuck you raising your voice to?”
“Do you even care what this is going to do to her?”
“I care about my family.”
“No. You care about yourself. This isn’t about Devin. This is about you. Jay is a good dude. He works hard and he loves Devin.”
“I’m not about to let everything I’ve worked for be wasted because Devin thinks she loves some lil’ ghetto boy. I told her I was against this and yet she went ahead and did it anyway.”
“Dad…” starts Duke. “This isn’t right.”
“Ramsey, pull over please.”
Ramsey pulls over.
“I have a lot of work to do before this shit hits the fan. If you can’t be quiet while I work…I’m going to have to ask you to get out.”
Dargon looks at his father long and hard, puts his hand on the door handle and opens it.
Duke turns around and looks at his father with an extremely hurt look. “Bye Dad.” And gets out of the car to stand next to Dargon.
Ramsey drives off.
Roman never looks up from his emails.
At the church all the ladies of the wedding party are in the room with Devin who looks lovely in her bride’s dress. A photographer is snapping pictures of her and the finishing touches to her hair are being done.
Her mother’s phone rings and she picks it up.
“Hi son! Where are you?”
“Yes. We’re at the church getting Devin ready.”
Her face registers concern first and then a fake smile when everyone turns their head her way.
“Hold on Duke. Let me step out.”
“Mom? Is everything okay with Duke?” asks Devin.
“Yes. I’ll be right back. You look beautiful baby.”
And she walks out of the room.
Que drives up to Jayshawn’s house wearing his tuxedo with two well-dressed ladies with him. They get out and walk into the house. The mood is noticeably somber.
“Is this a wedding party or a bunch of pallbearers?” he laughs.
“You need to talk to Jayshawn.” Says Neil.
“What’s wrong with Jay? Where is he?”
“He’s in his room.”
Que walks to Jayshawn’s room and opens the door. Jayshawn is laying on his bed looking at the ceiling. The room is dark. He still has on his tuxedo without the jacket.
“Jay…what’s wrong? Why are you in here man? We gotta get you to the church for your wedding.”
Alarmed, Que sits on the edge of the bed.
“Jay?” he asks questioningly.
“There isn’t going to be a wedding.”
“What big deal do you have going on right now Que? I thought you were done?”
“Devin’s father knows of some big deal you’re doing. If I show up at the church he’s going to turn you over.”
Que jumps up. “BITCH WHAT?”
Jayshawn remains on the bed saying nothing.
“So dude came over here and pumped you full of some shit trying to get at you and you believed him.”
“What’s not to believe Que. This isn’t the first time.”
“I told you last time was the last time. I don’t have anything going on that isn’t legit. I paid my debt and I’m not going back to jail for anybody. I thought we were partners man. I thought you believed in me.”
Jayshawn sits on the edge of the bed with his head in his hands.
“I don’t know what to believe anymore.”
“Look. I can understand someone like old boy getting in your head but I’m your brother. I ain’t never lied to you Jay. I would never get into business with you if I had some other shit going on. I know staying clean is important to you and I’d never ruin that for you. I promise.”
Jay’s shoulders start shaking.
“I can’t deal with this man. I don’t know what to do.”
“I’ll tell you what you’re going to do. We might not have their political connects but we got something else. We got street connects and my street connect told me something a long time ago about Roman Singletary that will blow all of this shit out of the water.”
“Don’t worry about that. Let’s get to that church and have this shit out. Man up baby brother. Big brother got this.
Constance is standing at the street in front of the church. She’s greeting everyone as they pass by to enter the church but the smile doesn’t quite reach her eyes. She sees the car driven by Ramsey pull up and she walks over to meet it and gets in.
“Ramsey, would you please excuse us.”
“Yes ma’am.” He goes to get out.
Ramsey exits the car and stands off to the side.
“What have you done?”
“What I had to do.”
“No. You didn’t. Jayshawn is a lovely young man. Jayshawn is you back when you were the man I fell in love with.”
“What are you trying to say? You used to love me?”
“I’m saying that if destroying our daughter is who you are now then no…you’re not the man I used to love. It’s her wedding day Roman.”
“I told her in the beginning this wedding wasn’t going to happen. She didn’t believe me.”
“So you’re teaching her a lesson by setting her up for humiliation in front of all our family and friends? In front of the Governor? The Vice President? The media?”
“Public sentiment will be on her side. It will show the effects of attempting to merge lives from entirely different worlds. She’ll survive and be stronger.”
Constance says nothing. Tears well up in her eyes. “Who are you Roman? You’ve been knowing you were going to do this all along and yet…you were able to laugh and smile with your family as if nothing was wrong.”
“I TOLD you this wedding wasn’t going to happen! Believe me when I speak!”
Constance exits the car and goes to Ramsey. “Did you know this was happening today Ramsey?”
“Aunt Connie…I just do what I’m told.” He gets back in the car.
Constance walks back into the church and heads to the alter room where Devin is.
She turns to see Dargon, Duke and Dahni walking up to her.
“I’m about to tell her.”
“No mom. He should tell her.”
Ramsey and Roman walk in behind them.
“Let’s get this over with.” Says Roman.
The family walks into the alter room.
“Please excuse us. Our family would like some private time.” Announces Constance.
Everyone files out. Devin turns in her chair and stands suddenly feeling something wrong.
She looks at her mother.
The entire family except for Roman and Ramsey move behind Devin.
Roman clears his throat. He falters a bit as he looks at Devin. Ramsey discreetly steps back. “Jayshawn isn’t coming.”
“What do you mean he isn’t coming? Of course he’s coming.”
“No. He’s not. I’m sorry baby girl.”
“What did you do?” she steps forward and Constance grabs her arm to keep her next to her as the door flies open revealing Jayshawn, Duke, Neil and two other guys who are NOT dressed for a wedding.
“Devin…” says Jayshawn.
Devin rushes to his side. “What’s going on Jayshawn? What is Daddy talking about?”
Jayshawn doesn’t say anything and looks over her head to Roman.
“Oh…so all of a sudden nobody is talking? Good. Cuz I got some shit to say.” Starts Que.
He walks over to Roman. Ramsey steps between he and Roman. Glances to the side and notices Duke and Dargon stand still.
“Devin. Your punk ass father showed up with some money and some bullshit about me and told my brother if he showed up he was going to have me arrested so Jayshawn wasn’t going to come.”
“Wait. What?” she looks at Jayshawn. “You weren’t coming? Without calling me? Without talking to me? You weren’t coming?”
“We were there Devin. We saw the whole thing. We didn’t know where we were going. He and Ramsey had this all cooked up before we got there.” Says Duke.
“Look. I’m not about to explain myself to any of you. I did what I had to do. What any father would do. This is a mistake. His entire family is full of criminals and convicts.” Says Roman.
“Yeah…because we live our mistakes out loud because people like you won’t let us forget them right? Because people like you forget people like us make mistakes and grow from them just like you can. At least we don’t hide our mistakes right Senator?”
“What the fuck are you talking about?”
“You tell me. It seems that even though your family doesn’t know…everyone in the hood knows that Ramsey is really your son.”
The room comes alive with activity and outrage. The blood visibly rushes out of Ramsey’s face. He takes off his shades.
“What?” screams Dahni? “WHAT?”
Ramsey rushes over to Dahni. “Baby…”
Roman’s eyes gets big as he watches Ramsey and Dahni. “Oh my God. Are you two? Have you two?”
“IS THIS TRUE?” screams Constance to Roman.
“Wait…wait..” Roman is looking at Ramsey and Dahni. “You’ve been sleeping with my daughter? With Dahni? Wait…”
“Are you saying this shit is true? IS THIS SHIT TRUE? ARE YOU MY FATHER??????”
Roman starts gasping…moving his lips silently.
Dahni throws up. “Oh my GOD!”
“Well…I guess he was right after all. Ain’t ‘gone be no wedding today after this shit. Wow.” Says Que.
The fury on her face was what comes after total devastation.
She got that from her father. That move of standing squarely with her shoulders back. Her head tilted slightly. Her voice calm in a pitch others recognize as a voice of authority.
And everyone knows not to question.
The room cleared. The looks of startled disbelief on everyone’s face. Jayshawn stays.
“You weren’t coming.”
“I didn’t think I could do it Devin. Your father…”
“This has nothing to do with my father. My father showed us what he thought of our marriage long ago which is why he didn’t pay for the wedding. You knew the sacrifices I’ve made and the struggle it’s been and yet…you were just not going to show up after all?”
“Please leave Jayshawn.”
“I’ll leave but you need to know something. The way your father went after my family isn’t something a man should have to deal with even briefly let alone for the rest of his life. I love you Devin but in my world a man holds his dignity and pride near his heart. Your father broke all the rules and there was no way I’d be good with that forever.”
“You know where to find me.”
When the door closed behind him she unzipped her dress and stepped out of it wearing heels, thigh highs and her bra. With a body like hers…there was no need for anything else. She stared at the floor length mirror and pulled the pins out of her hair one by one and let them fall carelessly to the floor. When she was done she shook her hair out and smiled.
No teeth…just a tilt at the corners of her lips.
No shine in her eyes.
Just the darkness that comes with rage.
She walked over to the vanity where she’d taken pictures hours earlier getting dressed for her wedding day and got her phone.
“Duke…come get me. I’ll be at the back of the church in five minutes.”
She slipped on the ridiculously pink dress she’d worn to the church at her mother’s insistence, grabbed her bag and walked out.
Duke pulled up as she stepped out and she got in the car.
“Where to?” he asked.
“The condo in the city.”
He drove off as his phone started ringing. He looked in the rearview mirror. “It’s Dad.”
She said nothing.
“I can’t lie to him Devin.”
“I didn’t ask you to.”
Duke answered the phone.
“She asked me to pick her up from the back of the church.”
There was silence as Duke listened.
“Duke, may I speak with our father please?” Devin said.
“Hold on Daddy…she wants to talk to you. Hold on.” He handed the phone to Devin.
“Daddy? Fuck you.” And she lowered the window and threw the phone out.
“I owe you a phone Duke.”
“Might be a good thing to not have one for a while I’m thinking.”
She said nothing.
“Duke…how could he?”
Duke said nothing.
He looked up again…”I don’t know Dev…I don’t know.”
And he drove her to the city.
- See more at: http://creoleindc.typepad.com/rantings_of_a_creole_prin/2010/07/homage-part-2.html#more