Chapter Forty

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Two Days Later

As I was on my way downstairs I noticed Jake's door was closed and knocked before entering without waiting for an answer, "Do you knock?" I turned up the corners of my lips, "I know you heard those three knocks I just did."

Taking a seat at his computer chair I spun around so that I was facing him and observed him laying in bed with his arm in a sling and that big bandage still over his shoulder. "How's your arm? You can still play right?" Jake sighed as his jaw tightened, "I'm gonna be out for a while."

I bit down on the corner of my bottom lip, "I came in here because I just wanted to say thank you." He raised his eyebrows as a look of innocent confusion washed over his face, "You fought Mason and took a bullet for me. You could have died trying to help me but I just had to let you know I'm grateful." Jake shook his head, "It was my fault you went over there in the first place."

I shrugged, "Regardless. What you did was brave. Besides... you probably saved your nieces or nephews life... or... great niece?" He furrowed his brow as I looked down at my hands, "What the hell you talking about?" I looked across the room, "I'm pregnant. You haven't heard everyone talking about it?"

"Hell no. Is it his?" I shook my head no, "It's Augusts." "That skinny guy? That hangs out with you and Emone?" I nodded, "We've been dating for months now."

"Well... if you need anything let me know." I was slightly taken back, "If I need anything?" I repeated as I stood up preparing to make an exit. "Yeah. We can't stay frenemies forever J we might as well start here." I rolled my eyes as I walked towards the door, "Really? Do we have to?" I asked and watched Jake start laughing, "Yeah we do." I sighed, "I guess." I sang as I closed his bedroom door and continued on my journey downstairs to get a snack from the kitchen.

Leaning against the counter I pulled my phone from my back pocket and texted August. I hadn't heard from him since before I left the hospital and I wanted to dead whatever awkward space that was going on between us.

 I hadn't heard from him since before I left the hospital and I wanted to dead whatever awkward space that was going on between us

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I sighed as I stood up straight and threw out my now empty bag of Cheez Itz. When I went upstairs I laid down on my side watching reruns of Full House trying to get my mind together. August was definitely giving me the cold shoulder and I wasn't feeling it. I had a lot of things to get off of my chest, and I was gonna let August know how I felt.

"Soooo you just not gonna answer the phone?" I looked up to see Emone walking into my bedroom door and immediately making herself comfortable taking a seat on the edge of my bed. "My bad I was trynna chill for a minute before going to see August." Emone laid down on her stomach and I rolled my eyes playfully, "Yeah? Y'all talked about the baby yet?" I shook my head.

"We haven't talked about much of anything lately. Every time I call him he's busy or can't talk at the moment. I finally got him to meet me at the park I just hope he don't try to run off somewhere." Emone kissed her teeth, "Run off to where? He don't know nobody." I shook my head, "I don't know who he knows..." She hit my thigh, "Girl shut up. That man don't know nobody and he ain't getting to know nobody. He just got his head up in the clouds somewhere."

"He doesn't want a baby though. Hell I don't want a baby. We haven't even told Darnell that I'm pregnant yet, the label might not even want to work with us anymore." I laid back staring at the ceiling, "All this hard work we done put in is about to be flushed down the drain." I heard my friend sigh, "So what do you want to do?" I shook my head, "I don't know but not this..." "What do you mean not this?"

"This," I gestured holding my hands apart, "I don't like having anxiety or having to question how things are going to work out. I don't want to have kids not now not no time soon. I just want to live my life and be young and free." "Do you think you and August are gonna make it though?" I sighed, "I don't know..."

4 P.M
The Park

I got out of my car stepping out into the slightly muggy weather which made me even more anxious of my nearing encounter with August. I spotted him sitting on the swings so I made my way over to him and he looked up at me from his phone. "How you doing, ma?"

"I'm good... you gonna give me a hug or?" He stood up wrapping his arms around me tightly and I inhaled deeply, taking in this boy who I'd been sweating like crazy. I sat on the swing beside him and there was an awkward moment of silence before either one of us spoke up.

"So what's going on?" August opened the floor for conversation. "I just been trying to figure everything out y'know... and I haven't heard from you so I was starting to wonder—" His brows drew together, "Starting to wonder what?"

I sighed, "I was starting to wonder how you and I are gonna play out? I know you probably don't want the baby but we gotta talk about it some time." I watched him bite his bottom lip, "It ain't that I don't want the baby. I'm just not ready. I know you ain't ready either. We went from getting to know each other and having fun to needing to prepare for a child that neither of us know how to care for."

"So what do you want to do?" I asked. "What do you mean?" "I mean... do you still want to be with me?"

"Why wouldn't I want to be with you Jelissa?" I rolled my eyes, "Because all this week anytime I try to call you, you got some nutass excuse for why you can't talk or why you can't meet up with me. You're just making me nervous for what's to come and if you trying to split up or whatever I'd rather know now instead of later."

"I just been busy Jelissa! You're pregnant right? I'm gone have to provide for this baby right? It's gone need diapers and shit right? I'm not just sitting at home on my ass avoiding you, I'm trynna make sure we all straight. We gotta grow up because pretty soon it isn't gonna be just me and you anymore."

"Well why couldn't you just say that instead of letting me sit up in that house thinking there was something wrong?" August took my hand in his and kissed it, "I didn't know you were feeling some kind of way but I'm sorry love."

After talking for a few minutes more we got in my car and I drove towards Augusts to drop him off. The ride was pretty much quiet but when I pulled up outside his place he slid his hand up my thigh and I looked over at him as I took off my seatbelt.

"Look I'm going back to New Orleans in a couple days to spend Spring Break with my grandma but I'll be back Monday afternoon." My eyebrows snapped together, "Why you just now telling me?"

"Nana sent my train ticket in the mail it was a surprise." I kissed my teeth, "You better not talk to no girls down there." He chuckled taking my chin in his hand, "You the only girl I'm gonna be talking to ma. Come here." I shook my head turning away from him but he turned my face right back towards him and pecked the corner of my lips.

"You gone act like you don't want to kiss me?"

I rolled my eyes playfully, "I don't want to kiss you. Kissing you got me pregnant." August started laughing, "Kissing me got you pregnant? You crazy as hell you better give me my kisses before I get out this car." He mumbled against my lips as I accepted them into mine."

"I love you," he said while pulling away slightly and I ran my fingers through curly hair, "You love me?" I questioned. "I do." He kissed me again and I smiled against his lips, "I love you too... You'll call me tonight?" He nodded before grabbing his backpack out of the backseat, getting out of the car, and heading inside.

Are Jelissa's feelings valid about the space between her and August? Why?

Do you think August is being truthful about why he's been so distant from Jelissa? Why?

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