Appearing in the story:
Sunday morning at the Hoves’ household was spent discussing their last night brake in. Krystal made breakfast and the attempted burglary was number one on the menu. Laquita’s father acted as if it was no big deal, the fact that he overpowered a young woman who tried to rob them in the middle of night, Laquita’s mother was besides herself from shock that things like that happen even in nice little towns like Sunset Valley, Krystal was worried for dad, because even though he laid most of the blows he received some as well and Irene, as usual was curious.
Even after breakfast Laquita heard her question dad: “Did she wear a mask? How big was she? What do you think she wanted to steal?” She sighed. Today was supposed to be about her, today was her graduation ceremony at the City Hall. Hoping the others had not forgotten about it she went to her room to get dressed, Irene barged in the middle of her putting on her robes, and turned around: “Not looking, not looking.” Laquita smiled, “It’s ok Irene. ”
She insisted she would drive everyone there, she was still a new driver but she was confident they would make it to City Hall in one piece. Dad remembered he forgot the camera so he went back inside to get it and they all waited for him in the car. She was more nervous than she expected to be. Her palms were sweating as she gripped the steering wheel, she didn’t know if it was the ceremony, or the drive, or simply growing up… She was so happy this summer when she finished school at last but still life was just about to get real… Dad finally arrived and they were off…
They all gathered in front, and her dad insisted to take one picture before they get in. He and Krystal fought about who would take a picture, Krystal said she would but dad insisted all of his girls had to be in it. Laquita rolled her eyes nervously, she just wanted to go in and get it over with. “Come on Irene, move closer to your sisters…” Her father yelled and then suddenly turned around and stopped mid sentence.
Laquita’s surprise worked and she smiled. Rita Prentiss was her half sister, her father’s oldest daughter. Rita and her father had no relationship, so as an extension neither did her and Laquita but she wanted to change that, and a small step towards that goal she decided to invite Rita to attend her graduation. She didn’t tell this to anyone, truth be told she was worried Rita would not show up. But she did.
Laquita didn’t plan this, they kind of ran into each other at a party at Eevee’s house, Eevee’s family had a lot of parties and people from the whole town attended them and apparently so did Rita. Laquita knew who she was so she approached her and struck a conversation. It wasn’t long since it switched to their father. “Look I know you think he is a bad guy… Maybe he was, once. But people change I can testify to that. Look he raised me, his blood runs through my veins, look I have his eyes. You like me? Well I wouldn’t turn out the way I am without him…” Rita watched her intently with those cold eyes of her. “You are my sister.” She said finally. “And if it means that much to you I would come, not because of him.” Laquita smiled and thanked her. And now she was really here.
Rita stayed only for the ceremony, she sat with her husband and not with the rest of Laquita’s family but that was something. She graduated with honor, and with a little sting she also accepted the “Most Likely to Never Leave the House” award from her classmates. She did smile as she accepted the award and waved to everyone all the while thinking that one day all those people are going to watch her on TV and vote for her as president of the whole country.
Afterwards her mum told them she made lunch reservations at the bistro and they all ate there, for the first time, like family. Laquita was even allowed to have a glass of wine, she really wanted beer, but if she ordered it her mum would probably have a heart attack so she stuck to wine. When they were done it was already getting dark outside, damn autumn and it’s short days Laquita thougt. “So we managed to have a nice family dinner without us embarrassing you?” Her father asked with a smile as they waited outside for mum and Irene. “It would seam so.” She replied, also with a smile. “Well that has to change, as soon as possible.” Her father added with a grin. “Look at my guns girls!” He yelled and started flexing. Laquita laughed but Krystal only frowned.
It was decided that Krystal would drive since, apart from Irene, she was the only one not drinking so she turned around to dad. “I’m going to get the car, you wait here with mum and Irene.” Then she turned to Laquita. “Can you come with me Lucky?” And she did. When they had move a little from the door Krystal handed her a little box. “Here.” She said. “I’m so proud of you little sister.” Laquita was so moved that she was speechless. “Thank you so much Krys! Can I open it?” “When we get home.” Krystal said with a smile and started toward the parking lot. Laquita followed curious about the little package.
Laquita cheated, she opened the package as soon as she was in the car. Krystal frowned at her but she didn’t care. It was a beautiful, emerald cut blue topaz. “Wow Krys…” Was all that Laquita was able to say as she stared at the little black box and it’s content. She was so moved that even thought she was tired from all the excitement of the day she volunteered to do the laundry, it was usually Krystal’s job but at least tonight she could let her older sister rest.
First thing Laquita did the next morning, after getting dressed, was calling her best friend Eevee. She had to tell her all about the wonderful day she had yesterday. “So now you have your diploma it’s off to job hunting, huh?” Eevee asked. For a moment Laquita was speechless. She did have a vague plan of how her life was going to go from this moment but she didn’t think it should start today… But then again why not? “That’s the plan!” She told her friend and just for a moment a strange thought crossed her mind, she never knew what exactly did Eeevee do for a living… But Eevee hung up and Laquita got back to her life troubles.
She went online to check job offers, she knew she wanted to get into politics, there was nothing else that interested her, not right now at least. Unfortunately with her lack of experience, the only thing she could get was a job of a Podium Polisher in the City Hall. She sighed as she applied for the job. That wasn’t the way she was going to start her career… But then she thought about what it took to be a politician, and one of the things, of course, were connections, and she did have those.
This thought occurred to her while she was on the phone with her boyfriend. She had been seeing Ahmed for three years now. It all began in high school, of course, she was done with all that drama with Bradley, him choosing Summer, and she never really was much into Jerome Ayers. And Ahmed was the new kid, which automatically made him interesting, but he also liked photography, and wrote poems which he never showed to anyone, and was also kind of cute so Laquita went out with him. They went to the lounge, it wasn’t really her thing, but Ahmed wasn’t the kind of guy you could take to a sport bar, even though she was sure she could get drinks there.
They didn’t believe they weren’t minors, so they couldn’t get drunk but the night wasn’t a bust, they talked and had fun, he even managed to convince her to play her bass for him. And right before they went home for the night they kissed.
The kiss was not as magical as Laquita expected it to be, Ahmed wasn’t really good at it, and when she was in heels she towered over him which made the whole thing impractical but she didn’t give up. All they needed was practice and practice they did. Three ears later they were still together.
And now on the phone with him Laquita remembered that his mum worked for Iliana Langerak. She asked for his mother’s number and that afternoon invited Mrs. Kerrie to come over. To say she was nervous was an understatement, of course it didn’t help that right before Ahmed’s mum would come over her dad had gotten to repairing the shower and banging loudly on the pipes and Krystal and Irene were engaged in a pretty loud shouting match. Laquita sighed. She should have arranged the meeting elsewhere…
Before she was ready, somehow above all the noise, she heard the doorbell and ran to greet Mrs. Kerrie. It was a nice pleasant conversation, Mrs. Kerrie, the mother of two teenage boys herself was used to the noise. She admired the living room, praising how many nice things they have. After the small talk Laquita presented her problem expecting Ahmed’s mum to smile and offer her a better job, change her future. But the woman in front of her did not smile. “I’m sorry honey.” She said, and seamed really sorry. “But I cannot get you anything right now, the elections are in a month, everyone is busy… There is always next year.” She finished but Laquita was heartbroken, right now next year seamed an eternity away… But she did like this woman, and she knew she was Ahmed’s only parent and proceeded to do something that surprised even her. “Thank you very much, for listening, for your advice… Just one more thing… Would you allow me to marry your son? Not right now, we are both young, and unemployed, but one day, when we are ready.” The woman finally smiled. “Of course Laquita, nothing would make me happier than having you as my daughter-in-law.”