A Novel By: Danielle Clayton


After seeing Zorell come home stumbling accompanied by Sincere, I know now I can’t let her go to a party alone anymore. At least not a party at the Stallworth’s. I decided to approach Sincere before class to talk about it, but I wasn’t sure I could keep myself from blushing the entire time. Unfortunately, he wasn’t in class, but I did see him after sitting by the big oak tree on the quad.

“Sincere, can I talk to you.” I said as I approached him. He was reading a novel “Keep Your Frenemies Closer.”

“Sure, what’s up.” He put the book aside and looked into my eyes. He is very attractive but not really my type. I blushed trying to find my words.

“Um, how was the party?” I started

“It was fine I guess, if you like boy bands and unnecessary dance battles.” I raised my eyebrow.

“Dance battles?”

“Yeah, Triston thought it was a good idea to challenge me.” he said. I snickered.

“Yeah, definitely a bad idea. Did anything else happen? Zorell was kinda trashed.”

“Kinda? More like very. I didn’t think we’d make it.”

“I know you probably weren’t paying attention, but did she, like, get into any trouble and anything?” I asked looking for his reaction.

“Not really, I mean if you count her disappearing for a few minutes and arguing with Kortney trouble.”

“What happened?” I urged.

“Nothing she was just concerned about her drinking so much. You know, her stumbling and all.”

“Oh, that’s it?” I pressed on. He looked away as if thinking about something.

“Yeah.” he mumbled. I took that as something he wasn’t ready to talk about, so I dropped it.

“Well, anyway thanks again for making sure she got home safe, I really appreciate it.” I put my hand on his shoulder. He quickly stood.

“No problem, I gotta go.” And with that he was gone. There was something he wanted to say, but didn’t. He’ll tell me when he’s ready.

I hustled to find Sapphire and Lilianna. I spotted them in the parking lot laughing. They waved at me as I walked up.

“Hey, did you hear about Sincere and Triston’s dance battle. I heard Sincere killed him. He total should consider starting a career from himself. There’s a video on McClain’s page. I can’t believe Triston is dumb enough to battle him. He’s definitely not good enough to be on any dance floor. I heard Just Jake was there too. I love them so much. I wonder what songs they played. Do you think they performed “Another Kiss”, I love that song. Just another kiss is all I need, the taste of your lips makes me complete…” Lilianna continued singing Just Jake’s number one hit. I looked at Sapphire and giggled as Lilianna went into full out concert mode singing louder. She actually has a great voice. I nudged Sapphire pulling her closer.

“I think something happened with Zorell at the party. I talked to Sincere about it and he seemed kinda stand offish.”

“I don’t think that’s what made him “stand offish”.” Sapphire said lifting her hand to make air quotations and winking at me. I blushed but quickly shook it off.

“No seriously, I think something happened with Zorell and Kortney. He said they was arguing about her drinking to much. And I know Kortney cares about her, but something about the way the said it makes me think he not telling the whole story.”

“Relax, I’m sure it’s nothing. We’ll ask Zorell about it later.” Sapphire said looking back at Lilianna smiling.

“A-no-ther Kiss!!!” Lilianna finished, posing with one hand on her hip and one hand in the air pointing to the sky. We both clapped and cheered for her. A small group had come closer to hear her; they cheered as well. Lilianna took a bow beaming at us. I love her so much.

I sipped the drink Lilianna’s mom had brought to us. Having this down time after school was absolutely worth all the exams, homework and group projects we had to do this week. I’m so exhausted, I just want to chill for the rest for the weekend. I hate we had to go in on a Saturday to finish our project, but now that it’s done so am I. At least it didn’t take us too long, now we have the rest of the afternoon to sit around and do nothing. Too bad nothing also includes me keeping an eye on Zorell. Our mom was pissed when Zorell came home drunk. So as part of her punishment besides being grounded for two weeks and not being allowed to go to any parties, I have to take her with me when I leave the house. Of course, Zorell gave her the “I’m grown” argument and our mother rebuttal-ed with the “you can be grown when you don’t live here, get a job and pay your own bills” speech. That did the trick cause god knows Zorell does not want to get a job. Our mom gives her a monthly allowance while she studies part time online and runs her internet blog doing makeup. She gives me an allowance too, but I get more since I’m in school full time, Zorell doesn’t know. Anyway, so here we are sitting pool side at Lilianna’s waiting for Sapphire. Lilianna’s doing laps and Zorell is on the other side of the pool glaring at me. I rolled my eyes taking another sip.

“I’m Here!” Sapphire screeched, walking through the back gate.

“Hey, girly.” I said patting the chair next to me. She sat down, letting out a huge sigh.

“Girl, if I have be in this group one more time, imma lose it.”

“Was it that bad?”

“Girl let me tell you,” She sat back tossing her backpack aside. “This one girl is so freakin’ lazy. She will not do anything. I don’t even know if she is passing this class. And this other boy is SO obnoxious, it’s almost impossible to get him to focus. I could see if he had a mental illness, I could forgive that. But he’s goofy for the sake of being goofy.”

“How do you know he doesn’t have a mental illness?” I asked.

“I know he doesn’t. We’ve known him all his life we went to elementary school and middle school with him. The boy with the side part and always making jokes about every subject, and always getting called to the principal’s office for pulling pranks on the teachers.”

“Oh yeah, he is obnoxious. How did he even get in this school?”

“I don’t know, but I wish he would transfer, at least out of my class. He hasn’t changed at all.”

“Thank god I don’t have any classes with him.”

“Lucky,” she said looking at me. We burst out laughing remembering the pranks he pulled, shaking our heads. “So did you talk to Zorell about the party yet?” she said lowering her voice.

“Not yet, I was kinda waiting for you.” She glared at me from the side of her eye then looked over at Zorell.


“Cause if she tries to rip my head off for prodding, I know you can take her.” We both laughed.

“I got you girl.” she said grabbing the drink Lilianna placed on the small table slightly behind our chairs. I thought Lilianna was about to break into a full-fledged memoir, but she just dived back in the pool. I put my drink down and signaled for Sapphire to follow me over to where Zorell was perched. We sat down on either side of her, waiting for her to open her eyes.

“Go. Away.” Zorell said her eyes still closed.

“How was the party?” I asked.


“How was the band?” Sapphire asked.


“Did you have a good time?” I asked.


“Did you see Kortney?” Sapphire asked.

“No.” Sapphire and I looked at each other.

“You didn’t see her the whole time?” I asked.


“Did you talk to her?” Sapphire asked. Zorell opened her eyes scowling at us.

“What do you want?”

“Nothing. We just wanted to know about the party, we weren’t invited.” Sapphire said sitting back a little.

“It wasn’t invite only.”

“How do you know?” I asked raising my brow a little.

“Marlene told me.”

“You talked to Marlene? I thought we said…” Sapphire started. I held up my hand to stop her.

“Yeah, I talked to Marlene. So what?” she replied. We looked at each other again.

“Nothing, we just heard you and Kortney was arguing.” I said trying to sound genuine.

“It wasn’t an argument. Kortney just needs to mind her business.”

“What did she say?” I asked touching her hand softly. She pulled it away roughly.

“She just wanted me to stop drinking so much, leave me alone, worried about your own lives.” she hissed.

“Zorell you know Kortney cares about you. We all do. We’re just worried.” Sapphire spoke up.

“Then, why don’t you try being friends with Marlene and stop treating her like she the worst fucking person in the world!” she stormed away then looked back at us. Lilianna was listening from the edge of the pool. “Believe it or not Marlene is actually a good person if you talk to her. You should try it sometime.” She stomped inside. We sat there completely dumbfounded.


I don’t know what our dad sees in Cassidy. I mean love her, sort of. But how can he forgive her after what she did. Now I’m stuck with her stupid decision. I know I sound pretty heartless, but it’s not like she’s paying any attention to me, now that she has Kortney. My mom as always seen me as a problem child. I see her as a problem alcoholic that needs to disappear from our lives. And whoever Kortney’s father is, bailed when he found out Cassidy was pregnant. Thanks a lot.

I walked through the foyer towards my dad’s office. I heard a crash come from the dinner room and hurried to see what it was. Once again Cassidy was drunk and dropped another bottle of whiskey. I shook my head.

“Well, if it isn’t “mother of the year”.”I crossed my arms frowning.

“Well, if it isn’t my ungrateful daughter.” she slurred.

“Oh please, we both know who’s the ungrateful one.”

“Your, right, it’s your father,” she stammered stumbling towards me. “In fact, I think I’ll go give him a piece of my mind right now.” I instantly grabbed her arm and lead her to the sofa.

“Oh no, no, no. You sit right here. I’ll tell him for you. Besides I need to talk to him anyway about approximately how long I have until the company is mine. I can’t wait for him to retire.” I sat her down and turned to walk to his office. My mom chuckled.

“Oh darling, don’t get your hopes up. Your father isn’t giving that company to you,” she lowered her voice to a whisper. “He’s giving it to Kortney.” She burst out laughing and took another swig. My eyes almost fell out my head when she said that. I practically flew threw his door.

“YOU’RE GIVING THE COMPANY TO KORTNEY! YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO GIVE IT TO ME. I HELP YOU…” I froze. I was so full rage, that I didn’t notice Kortney was already there. They both were staring at me like I lost my mind. Kortney looked at our father.

“Is that true?” she asked him. He stood up, gently placed his hand on upper back nudging her out the door.

“We’ll talk later, promise.” He waited for her to disappear, then slammed the door shaking the frame. He turned around so slow I thought I hit my head on the way in. The pure hate in his eyes when he looked at me used to make me shrink with fear, not anymore. I stood my ground.

“Well?” I asked. Not only did he not respond, but he also slapped me across the face with a force so strong It could kill a physically weak person. I would have cried if the shock in me hadn’t not me off me feet, literally. He shook out his hand, went back to his desk, threw a paper at me and sat in his chair. It was the rights to his company that I was supposed to sign. But my signature was already on it. I looked up at him.

To Be Continued…


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