Chapters 3 & 4 are posted. Enjoy!
Coming back home has always been a good feeling. Even though I love Dallas, Baker is more tranquil than the city life that Dallas brings. But when I stared into the beautiful face of my best friend, I remembered why I left. Yes, I’m glad to be back after two years of being away from my family and friends; but I left to get away from Camille. Right now, I don’t know how much longer I can stand by her without wanting to kiss those full lips of hers.
I guess I need to backtrack to when Camille and I first met. I don’t really remember the actual time, but my mom and dad always implied that I was two when we moved to Emerson Drive. My dad accepted a position as a bank manager at Baker Bank so my dad decided to move to be closer to work.
While Camille and I practically grew up together, from having play dates to developing our first bout of acne in middle school, I really started to notice her during our sophomore year of high school. Although my hormones were already on overdrive, just seeing Camille in her bedroom in her tiny nightshirts or laying by the Thomas’ pool watching her in her bikini really turned me on. With her golden caramel skin, long dark brown hair, and the sexiest body I ever lay eyes on, I had various fantasies about us being together.
There was one thing that I didn’t want to do since Camille and I were friends- and that was date her. Sounds crazy, right? Well for me, I realized I rather have my friend, who I practically grew up with and considered a sister (since we were both an only child) still be my friend than have dated her and ended up being enemies. That’s why I dated multiple girls at a time, that way I wouldn’t have to worry about getting into a relationship. I even dated our friend Rachel during our junior year of college, which probably didn’t go well with Camille, but it happened and I don’t regret it one bit.
But when I met Melissa, my issue with commitment became nonexistent. I finally gave someone a chance to be with instead of pushing her away. Well that and the fact that Camille up and married her college sweetheart Chad Anderson, which personally I can’t stand. The guy is a jerk and wonders how Camille would even give him the time of day, let alone married him.
Anyway, about Melissa, she is the perfect woman- smart, energetic, and so sexy. I knew the first time I saw her at work that I would want to date her, and among other things. But little did I know, I didn’t realize she was my boss, so of course it took some time before things between us heated up. Once we had a full blown relationship, I knew we couldn’t no longer work together, so I decided to quit my job at Preston-Wheeler and took an even better position at Press International in downtown Houston. And to this day, no one at Preston-Wheeler knows that Melissa and I are in relationship or even engaged for that matter.
The living situation couldn’t have come at a better time too since I was moving back. Since my mom passed away a year ago, my dad thought it was time to move out of our family home and move into a smaller place. To keep the house in the family, he asked me to move in, which I at first didn’t agreed to; but after much discussion (and pleading from my dad) I decided to go through it.
Now I’m staring at the one person that I wanted to leave from, but instead want so desperately to take into my arms and passionately kiss.
“So Chad is coming?” I asked while giving Camille a hostile look.
“I know you don’t like Chad, but he’s my husband, Trevor.”
“He doesn’t act like it.”
“He’s a basketball trainer. He’s never at home due to their away games.”
“I get that, but he can at least check on you. He acts like he doesn’t have a wife at home.”
“Don’t worry Tre, I’m fine with it.”
I shook my head in amazement. Leave Camille to be the understanding one. The woman can be as tough and straightforward as can be, but when it comes to Chad, she is the complete opposite. That’s another reason why I can’t stand him.
“OK, I’ll drop it. Anyway, I have to finish taking these boxes in.”
“You need any help? Or maybe company?”
“No, Gerald coming by in a little so I’m good. Besides go spend time with your mom.”
“I’ll call you with the party plans.”
As I went up to Camille, I put my arms around her to give her another hug. The way she felt press against my chest made me start to have thoughts I shouldn’t be having.
“See you,” Camille said as she started to walk to her parents’ door. She turned around and stared at me seductively as she opened the door and walked in.
I watched the door closed and gave a long sigh. I think I need to take a cold shower. Immediately.
“This is bull…”
“Don’t say it, Tamara.” Clara, my assistant warned me as I threw daggers at her.
I can’t believe my biggest client Reese Oliver, an actress who started in soap operas and now capitulated into a big star, has been arrested outside of a strip club for fighting with a patron because the girl was talking to one of the strippers she wanted to bone. I mean really! First off, why was she at a strip club trying to get with a stripper when she is what US Weekly considers one of the “Top 25 Faces to Watch This Summer,” and on top of that, was fighting another woman over the fact that she wanted to talk with a stripper. Now while I’m staring at the latest publication of the Houston Chronicle, I threw it across the room, wishing it was Reese I was slinging across the room.
I put my head in my hands and sighed.
“This could not be happening.”
“Should I get a press release started or…”
“Stay on standby. I need to call Reese’s manager to see what really happened last night. Also I need to see if anyone made bail for her. If not, I will have to.”
“I’m really sorry Tam, but you know Reese is a ticking time bomb. She could barely work with half her co-stars on Park Place that’s why she left the show.”
“If I would have known she was a walking lawsuit, I wouldn’t have taken her on as a client. I really don’t need this right now, especially since Rach’s funeral is this weekend.”
Clara went up to me and put a hand on my shoulder.
“You sure you’re OK to return to work? I know Rachel’s death took a toll on you.”
“Thanks, Clara, but I’m fine. I needed to come in. I need the distraction.”
Clara gave a sympathetic smile as she went into her office. I leaned against the reception counter and took a long swig of my Starbuck’s Café Latte. It has been a week since Rachel’s passing and I’m still in a state of shock. I’m truly felt numb knowing my best friend is no longer here. I’m still not sure why she was on Kelly Court; it’s bad enough to drive it when it’s daylight, but Rachel was driving on the street at night, which basically has no street lights and she was going over 75 miles per hour, which was way too high a speed for that small road.
When I got the news from her mother that Rachel died, my heart literally broke in two because not only was my best friend gone, but also my sister.
Although Rachel and I were from different races, I always considered her my sister because we practically were inseparable. We met in our ninth grade English class and we instantly knew we would be friends, mainly because of our personalities. We always tried to be the life of the party- if we wasn’t, then we will make it our mission to be. And it worked every time we were at a social function. We even tried to one up each other on everything- if it wasn’t with school, it was guys. We even competed to get the attention of one of our friends Trevor (which I have to admit is too fine for words), but his interest was clearly on Rachel. To be honest, I think his interest was on our friend Camille, but that’s another story to tell.
As we graduated high school and went to University of Houston, we were roommates and even pledged to Gamma Phi. Once we graduated, I distinctly knew that I wanted to go into PR while Rachel wanted to do theatre. I mentioned to her that if I ever owned my own PR firm I would hire her as my first client. After I did an internship at Parker and Co., a huge PR firm in Houston, I decided to start my own public relations company. It was indeed a struggle, but I got through it with flying colors. I hired Rachel on and before I knew it, not only has her career taken off, but so did mine. I was able to get high profile clients while Rachel was on the hit soap Park Place and landed her first leading movie role opposite In a romantic comedy. I was so happy for her and what she was about to become; now I won’t be able to get the chance to see how much her life would transform.
I walked into my office and picked up a picture of Rachel and me at a recent event in Hollywood. I really don’t know how I’m going to make it through the funeral, but I know I will find the strength from somewhere to say one last good bye to my friend.
The door opened to the office as someone walked in. I peeked my head out of my office and noticed my brother Derrick walking in.
“How you holding up?” he asked as he gave me a warm hug.
“I’m fine; just trying to get through the day.”
“If you need anything, I’m here for you, OK.”
“Thanks. Are you going back to San Antonio soon? I need to see if you were going to check on a client that is there for a shoot.”
“Why would I do that, sis”?”
“You did say if there’s anything you could do…”
“Just tell me when I need to go.”
“Thank you, bro.” I said as I went up to him and gave him another hug.
Derrick and I have a special relationship beyond the normal sibling relationship. We pretty much raised ourselves growing up, so we always leaned on each other when needed. Being the older sibling, Derrick always was there for me and I will always appreciate that.
“Will Melanie be at the funeral?” Asked Derrick.
I gave Derrick a suspicious look as he mentioned Melanie Bradshaw. Lately, he has been asking a lot about Melanie. Although she’s my friend, I don’t like the closeness of my brother and her together; mainly because she has a reputation of being a gold digger.
“Why wouldn’t she be? She was Rachel’s friend too.”
“Not from what I’ve heard.”
“What have you heard?” I replied, giving Derrick a puzzled look.
I really didn’t like how this conversation was going. I know Rachel and Melanie had their ups and downs, but they were always friends at the end of the day. If there was trouble with their friendship, I would have definitely known about it.
“It’s nothing to worry about, sis. Like I said, just let me know when you need me in San Antonio and I will go. I have to clear up some loose ends with the management company up there anyway.”
“Great. I’ll let you know after the funeral. Thanks again Derrick.”
Derrick smiled as he went up to me and kissed me on the forehead.
“I don’t know what’s going on between you and Melanie, but please just be careful.”
“Am I always?” He said while leaving out the door.
As I watched it closed, I shook my head and sighed.
“That’s what I’m afraid of.”