“Eli’s girlfriend called me,” Faith began as she stirred her chai tea, “she wants to come in to get her braids done.” She glanced up at her mother.
Amy softly raised an eyebrow. “Okay. How do you feel about that? Does Eli know about it?”
“I’m assuming he does. I don’t know, he refuses to talk to me still.” Faith tried to shrug off the hurt. Faith was pretty sure he blocked all of her numbers because whenever she called him, it went straight to voicemail. Any return calls from Eli were handled through his attorney. “So, it’s interesting his girlfriend wants to see me. There are so many hairstylists in Harlem and she can get her hair braided by any of them.”
“But you know why she chose you, right?” Amy pressed. “Erica’s a smart woman and she knows what she’s doing. Did you speak to her?”
“She personally called me. She was as sweet and likeable as before. Like, ugh…” Faith chuckled. “I wish I could hate her but I can’t. She’s not some ghetto bird like Simone was.” She briefly looked up at the ceiling. “Erica’s a good girl. She’s a great woman. I just…” She let out another sigh. “…I hate she’s with my ex-husband.”
“But why do you care, Faith?” Amy asked. “You’re with that basketballer…Jeremy’s his name, right? He seems like a nice guy.”
Jeremy was going to be in town for a couple of days. Faith was going to leave with him to spend a few days in Los Angeles. “He is. Jeremy’s a great guy.”
Amy reached over and grabbed her daughter’s hand. “Talk to me, Faith Marie. What’s going on? This is beyond Erica calling you up to get her hair done.”
Faith’s eyes threatened tears. “I pushed Eli to hate me. After he apologized for everything and was seemingly husband of the year, I still wouldn’t forgive him. He asked for DNA tests for all of the kids and I just lost it. I can understand E.J., but for Nate and Aubri?” She softly shook her head. “It’s like he doesn’t trust me at all. He was the one that stepped out and yet I’m the one still being punished.”
“Are you?” Amy softly countered. “Faith, you admitted you still talked to Darren while you were pregnant. Eli found out things about your relationship through the press, hun. You weren’t forthcoming about any of it and you still held a grudge against him for his affair. How much longer do you want to hold a grudge before you realize you’re the only one suffering while the other person moved on?”
“I’m not holding a grudge,” Faith met eyes with her mother, “I’m moving to L.A.”
Amy read her daughter’s eyes. Something about them changed for the worst. They used to be filled with love, hope, and maybe a bit of defiantness. Now she seemed glossy-eyed and stone cold.
Faith had always liked material things but she seemed increasingly boastful about what she owned and acquired. She spent more time away from her salon, and away from Harlem, while she traversed with Jeremy’s friends and family.
When Eli finally left Faith for good, it spurned something inside the young woman that Amy couldn’t pinpoint. Faith used to quote the Bible and lean on Him during all times. Now she barely showed up in church. When she did go, her skirts and dresses barely covered her.
That wasn’t the worse of it. Amy heard a whisper Faith might have been messing with the nose candy but she didn’t want to believe it. Seeing how thin her daughter had become – Faith didn’t look like she weighed a hundred pounds – Amy wondered what else was her daughter hiding.
“How long has this been in the works?”
“Just recently,” Faith blurted, “Jeremy wants me to move to L.A. with him.”
Faith never liked Los Angeles and preferred Harlem no matter where she went. Amy knew she wasn’t going to survive very long there – literally. “And the children?” Amy asked. “How does Eli feel about this?”
“I don’t care,” Faith shrugged, “I guess his attorney will let me know how it goes.”
Faith wasn’t just holding a grudge against Eli; she was effectively punishing him for leaving her. What better way to do that than by moving across the country and taking the children with her.
Amy remembered what the D’Amatos did to Simone and Darren and feared they would act the same – if not worse – towards her daughter. It was Amy’s cue to intervene before things became worse between them. “Okay, Faith.”
Makes you wonder what the D’Amatos did to Simone and Darren, doesn’t it?
War will be out later this spring. Release date and possible pre-order information will be available soon.