Belonging to Lust

Chapter 124: Keep Trying

Instead of returning to school, or heading to their independent homes, the young girls headed to a seafood diner the McCoy sisters knew about in the city away from their town’s prying eyes and took a seat in one of the solitary booths in the back well away from the entrance. They had skipped school today to essentially help Zaiyia cease the bullying campaign targeted at her, the last thing they required was anyone trekking into the diner and recognizing either one of them then telephoning their parents on them for playing hooky. After browsing the menu and choosing their picks for lunch, the ladies delayed their discussion of the events of today until their waiter left.

Inclining her head back in the booth to stare up at the ceiling, Monique shook her head to herself and sighed gloomily. “Man, I cannot believe how that shit went down at Alice’s place.”

“I’m right there with you.” Zaiyia agreed, staring at the gold rings embellishing her clasp finger on the table top. “I should have handled that differently, I can see that now.”

Assata thought back to the situation they startlingly detected Alice in. Her father had beaten her and left her lying halfway in the bathroom. Putting all their differences aside, they all frantically came to her rescue, sat her snugly in her living room, and got to work rectifying her wounds. Giving Alice time to appease her weeping before electing to interview her on what happened to her, they had been jarred speechless when she had unexpectedly begun to bicker with Zaiyia out of the blue. Chastity and the McCoy sisters tried to stay out of their drama and concentrate on bandaging Alice, but the girl took it too far and ran her mouth to where they had to stand in consensus with Zaiyia instead of remaining impartial. Needless to say, Alice urged they leave or else she’d call the police on them. Not wishing to get the law associated, they left. “I’m not so sure about that Zaiyia. Alice was talking all kinds of shit that would have hit anyone’s nerves eventually.” Shaking her head too, she considered the others. “How the hell can you turn on someone that treated you from being deserted and clobbered on the floor by threatening to call the cops on them?”

“She’s just an ungrateful ass bitch.” Aishah muttered, writing Alice off as such. She didn’t understand it herself. “Ain’t nothing you can do about those kinda peeps.”

“Look, I’ll grant that Alice was a little off in the head today, but…” Chastity started to say, trying to champion the abused girl that turned on them. “That’s probably because of what she has to deal with on a daily basis with her dad.”

“You’re probably right.” Zaiyia concurred, sighing heavily as she rested her cheek on her fist. Her brown eyes locked on Chasity. “I’m sorry I let you down, hun. I was trying so hard to find the fucks to give for Alice White today, but when she spoke to me the way she did with that fucking attitude of hers and those words of deception, I just fucking lost it.”

“No, don’t, please. I understand why you snapped when you did. You don’t have to define it to me.” Chastity forgave as she leaned towards Zaiyia. “But I have to ask that you don’t give up on acquiring some nonviolent closure with Alice. I know she was trying to get under your skin today and she probably will the next time you two cross paths, but you can’t allow her to win this! You have to keep trying, I don’t care how many times you crash onto your knees, or turn your back on her, you have to keep trying!”

Aishah couldn’t believe what Chasity was demanding of Zaiyia. Gaping at her, she nudged the redhead with her elbow. “Yo, you still expect her to keep trying even after all that?”

Chastity nodded in admission. “Yes, I truly do.”

“But why?” Monique searched, frowning in displeasure. “She already tried to make amends with her and she wouldn’t listen!”

“Today wasn’t the right time.” Chastity reminded them. “She just got pummeled by her own father for Christ’s sakes!”

“Not that she gave a fuck!” Assata reminded her strongly. “All she cared about was blaming Zaiyia over some irrelevant idiot that no one fucking wants!”

“That’s true…” Chasity mumbled to herself, loathing to admit it. Alice was definitely off the deep end if all she could still fixate on was Alan after getting thrashed by her own father. “Like I said, perhaps today wasn’t the proper time to talk to her.”

Pondering over her friend’s words, Zaiyia shakes her head unsurely at the idea to keep going. How does one communicate to someone that wouldn’t listen to anything but distortions? After today, she was beginning to think they may never clear up the controversies between her and Alice. “Chasity, I don’t want you to think that I’m giving up or that I don’t believe what you're saying, but...I’m starting to think this shit isn’t gonna work. After what developed between me and that delusional bitch today, I just don’t see our strategy working here. We might have to come up with another.”

Chastity spurned the belief with a rigid shake of her head. “I’d beg to differ. I don’t believe we have to concoct another plan. The one you and I constructed is foolproof enough, it just might need a couple of testing runs before it works out.”

“What if you’re mistaken?” Monique asked her. “What if this strategy doesn’t work?”

“Yeah, what’ll be your next move then?” Aisha queried, glancing between the two.

“Alright, I’ll play along.” Chasity humored them, considering that circumstance. “If it doesn’t end up working out, we’ll just have to come up with a new system then.”

“We might have to as a just in case.” Zaiyia advised anyway.

Assata nodded. “I agree. So, what will it be then? If you can’t simply stride up to the bitch and have a civilized discussion then what is the next plausible step?”

The table went mum before Zaiyia replied with uncertainty. “Uh...I don’t really know.”

“If her father wasn’t the town drunk I’d propose chatting with him about it, or perhaps requesting our parents to instead.” Chastity offered, then bit her lower lip in speculation.

Suddenly, Aishah let out a giggle when a design came to her. Everyone at the table studied her curiously. “Sorry, I was just thinking what if instead of associating the parents you associate Principal Quinn in their place?”

“Principal Quinn?” Zaiyia reiterated incredulously. “Why him?”

“For two reasons.” Aishah began, holding up her hand as she totaled them off. “One, he’s a teacher that is on a mission to end the bullying against you. If you come clean about everything that's been going on he’ll have to go hunting for Alice White for answers and compel you two to hash it all out. Perhaps there you can finally get her to TALK to you rather than attack you. Principal Quinn won’t stand for that behavior. The second reason is that if he decides to engage the parents that means he’ll have to engage Mr. White. Principal Quinn is determined enough not to give up and will locate him. When he does, he’ll find out about the abuse and then before you know it Alice will be extricated from her abused household. Kill two birds with one stone, isn't that what they say?”

“Aishah, you’re a motherfucking genius!” Assata freaked out along with the rest at the table.

Zaiyia was too dampened to comment on her scheme. She barely listened as they went on organizing a Plan B. After eating lunch, she requested to be dropped off at home instead of returning to school with the others. She just needed time to be alone and scrutinize her options.