Chapter Two

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"Me and my girls are goin' out tonight..." - Faith Evans


"You slept in my room," Janessa said as she leaned up against my door as I went through my closet, "You were nervous about the first day of school and you needed some comfort from your big sis to calm your nerves."

"You make it seem way too believable Nessie," I whined, "How come you're so good at this?" I peeked at her with a smirk as she rolled her eyes, "Because I'm supposed to be your sister not a saint." I chuckled taking out a short denim romper and my favorite pair of Jimmy Choo's. Flashy enough for a photo op and comfy enough for the concert, I thought to myself as I picked a few accessories from my vanity and placed them in the bag I usually carried to study at Emone's.

"Are there gonna be boys?" Janessa asked as she looked up from her phone still leaning against the door. I furrowed my brows, "Since when did you care about there being boys? But not to my knowledge."

"Since you turned sixteen... and since that last one turned out to be so... bleh, for the lack of a better word." I shook my head as I zipped up my small bag. "I'm over guys like Mason. That right there showed poor decision making skills," I chuckled even though Janessa could barely crack a smile.

I dated Mason for about a year against the advice of everyone around me, and honestly against my better judgement. There was always rumors about him around my school and all through out the town. But I paid them no attention, shoot all I wanted was to be down. And I was down for Mason.

In the beginning Mason was the sweetest. The first thing I noticed about him was that sexy porcelain smile against his milk chocolate skin. Waves on swim and a voice so deep I'd melt whenever I'd hear him speak. But unfortunately I wasn't the only one he had the power to make melt. And then there was also the problem he had with his hands...

But Mason was hard and that was what I liked about him. He bestowed pain upon people for a living and he wasn't ashamed of it. Sometimes he'd bring his work back to me and I wouldn't walk out of those situations the prettiest. Turns out he was tied into some street business with my uncle Sean. Although I never told a soul I knew it wouldn't be smart of me to stay with him. And there were a couple of failed attempts at flying solo that were all taken over by gifts and 'I love yous' and 'I'll never do it again because you make me better's or I need you'.

I had heard it all. But I still stayed with him for seven months afterward. Mason was the master manipulator. He could make you love him so much when you wanted to hate him with everything in you. His sob stories and lies have gotten me some major mental and physical scars that probably could take a lifetime to heal. And even though I never cried about it Janessa knew how much I was hurting and was always there for me.

"I still don't get how you can chuckle about this... but have a good time tonight baby. The basement door will be unlocked when you get back." She kissed my forehead before walking out of my room and I peeped at my phone to see Emone texting me that she and Amber were outside.

I grabbed my leather backpack and headed for my bedroom door as my mother, Angela, stepped in the doorway to block my path.

"And just where do you think you're going on a school night?" On the inside I was huffing and puffing and blowing this demon of a woman away... While on the outside I kept a small cheerful smile on my face. "Study group at Emone'e. Be back by curfew." I said as I swiftly brushed passed her running down the stairs and into Ambers silver 2016 Range Rover.

"Well it only took forever," Amber complained from the driver's seat as she popped her gum and Emone looked back at me, "Pay this witch no mind, but girl are you ready for the turn up tonight?" "You don't have to tell me. I know she's only acting like this because Davion hasn't called her all day."

Emone and I shared a small giggle as Amber huffed while driving down Madison Avenue. I pulled out my phone to no new notifications and hopped on Instagram. I wasn't about this uncuffed life and at times I felt a little lonely. But I knew getting my feelings hurt was never on the menu so I just kept to myself. Emone spoke up, "Jelissa we've got an audition in a few days! My cousin knows a producer that works with a lot of people who work for Atlantic."

I sighed and raised an eyebrow, "And what does this have to do with us?" Emone whipped her head around the headrest of the passengers chair, "This has everything to do with us. They're looking for a new artist and who's better than us?"

"You aren't listening to yourself Emone, they're looking for an artist. Not an entire group. And unless only one of us is gonna go, I see no use in us getting excited. I'm tired of getting my spirits up for nothing." Emone turned back around in her seat, "Well I think we should give it a try. My cousin says he thinks these people will really like us."

"Okay whatever, I'll do it. But I'm not getting my hopes up." I sighed as I posted a new selfie to my Instagram. "Ugh, you can be such a Debbie Downer sometimes. Lighten up Jelissa," Amber popped her gum, "Mmhm look who's talking." We fussed... but we loved each other.

After riding for about fifteen minutes we pulled up to Emone's and ran upstairs to her room. As we pre-gamed we blasted all kinds of music from K. Michelle to Jeezy. I got to thinking as I fluffed my freshly straightened hair over my shoulders, being signed to the same label as K. Michelle wouldn't be bad at all. Though I wouldn't let anyone see me sweat, not even my teammates, I wanted to be excited for the audition. But being told no so many times or not being what the labels are looking for over and over again does something to your insides. And it isn't pretty.

"Look at all that hair. And you've been thinking about cutting it," Emone stated as she walked into the bathroom and applied her eyeliner next to me. "Girl please this hair can go, now your hair is the business." I said as I admired Emone's large curly afro. Emone kissed her teeth. "Cut yo hair and I'mma cut you," she said as we erupted into laughter.

"Y'all ready?" Amber asked appearing in the doorway dressed in all black and we nodded her way through the mirror before we all headed outside.

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