Love Built on Beauty, Soon As Beauty, Dies.

Should I be ashamed of being with Jerome? These days people expect me to be angry towards him. People expect me to walk around, moping, and feeling depressed that my man is in jail. These days people say things to me. They tell me ‘what do you expect from a guy whose eighteen years old and I’m only sixteen yrs old? What did you expect from a guy that had lived in a horrible neighborhood and moved out to a better one? What did you expect from a guy that’s not used to change? A guy whose had a bad childhood? A guy whose mother died four years ago. And a guy whose father just got laid off.

And you know what I say to them? I say I’m sixteen and three fourths. And I expect my man to have two jobs and giving a helluva lot of that money to his daddy. I expect him to become the main contributor to the family. I’d expect my man to have an article published in the Atlanta Tribune about the death of his ma. I’d expect my man to be top five in his class. And I’d expect my man to sell his car he got for his birthday to help out his family with their financial issues. And if you knew, you would know that Jerome has done all of that. You are dismissed.

You know, I just never understood why--------

“Hey, we’re here!” my cousin Rachelle shouted. Interrupting my thoughts as she turned off the radio and jumped out the car.

I step out the car feeling suddenly more gloomy than before by looking at my surroundings. I look up and see the few patches of blue sky fading into the gray clouds. I look out and see rows of brown, red bricked buildings and alleys. I hear someone choking up spit out into the distance and smell a remote smell of weed. Out of the corner of my eye, I see an cacasion man in a black suit, looking a lot like Ryan Seacrest come from an alley. Rachelle and I watch him as he goes into a building with a small, hidden sign that says Frank Jeffery’s Courthouse. The man coughs and I raise my brows and turn to Rachelle. I see Rachelle and I see her with the same face expression. Together we walk towards the building, obscure of the future and hoping I never get a chance to visit this place again.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“In 10 Mins Court Will Be In Session. ” I heard someone yell.

~~~~~~~~~~

“Psssssssttt. psted Rachelle. “9 o’clock. Check him out. Doesn’t he look like that guy from American Idol. Ummm.. Ryan Seacrest!”

“Yep! That’s just what I was thinking when he walked past us.” I sheiked.

“Yeah, cept’ a broke, mentally strained, looking one-------”

“Shhhhhhhh!” exclaimed a strict-looking, uptight, middle-aged woman with a full head of gray hairs, blondie writing down something furiously.

“Oh no she didn’t interrupt you like that!” I said.

“Yeah, Granny don’t know where we be at.”

We both laugh because we both know we’re usually at and doing. Babysitting. But she doesn’t know that.

“Shush!” the strict, blond said once again.

“Oh No!, Does she not know who we are?!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah, As a matter of fact, I do. You are the criminals girlfriend.”

“Oh Dang”.

Rachelle chuckles.

“Two Minutes Until Court Will Be In Session.” someone yelled.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

“Please All Stand.” says the bailiff

“Thank You, You May Be Seated.”



The judge, an old, brunnete lady with hard not to notice lipstick starts to speak.

“This is a criminal case brought by the owners of the local store, Isla Inda, Mr. Cantilla, charging the convicted, Jerome Rivera Roberts with breaking and entering and stealing over $2500. According to investigations, it is claimed Mr. Rivera used the money to pay off finances, gave some to his father, Julius Roberts, gave some to the Maybel Rogers Foster Home where allegedly his cousin is situated, and lastly bought a lovely 10K ring for his girlfriend, Tamicca’ie Mitchells.

Mr. Rivera pleads guilty and the causes are allegedly for financial issues, just overcoming mild teen depression because of his recently deceased mother, Joycelyn Rivera, and for the happiness of his girlfriend and cousin.”

“The bailiff will now swear the jury.” says the judge.

“Will the jury please rise and raise your right hands? Please indicate your agreement by saying “I Do”. Do you swear or affirm that you will base your decision solely on the evidence presented before you in this------”

“Hey, you know Jerome bought me a personalized snow globe after he had to return the ring. Honestly, I think I like the snow globe better than the ring. He had out names engraved into the bottom of it.” I whispered to Rachelle

“Oh, Really! Where Is It?”

“At Home”

“Ok, you need to show it to me when I drop you off!”

“Alright.” smiling, I say.

I remember the day he gave me that ring.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I can’t believe this, Jerome!’ I say hugging him. “Where’d you get this type of money to buy this?!”

“Well, some of it I had saved up from working extra shifts.”

“Oh My Gosh! I Love It! Thankx!”

“Hehehe. Your Welcome, Boo.”

And I remember that same day, I told Rachelle about it.

“Danqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqq.”

“I Know Right!” I said, showing it off my ring.

“Wow, that’s beautiful!”

“I Know Right!”

“Wait, hold up. Jerome’s broke.”

“I Know Ri--- Wait, What?”’

“I said, yo man, Jerome, he’s broke hun, how’d he get that type of money?”

“He said he got the extra money from saving it up from working extra shifts.”

“Come on now, how was he working extra shifts when he spends all the extra time when he’s not at work, wither with you, at school, with that cousin in that foster home.”

“I don’t know Rachelle! I’m not Jerome!”

“Hun, all I’m saying is that Jerome might be playing you with that ‘working extra shifts’ crap. You should check him out.

“What? What I need to check him out for? How do you think he got the money?”

“I don’t know, but I know a lot of guys whose in his situation, out on the street selling dope and drug dealing.”

“Selling dope? Hahahaha. Come on now, Rachelle. Can you see Jerome selling dope?”

“Aye, All I’m saying is watch your self around him and check him out.”

You know when someone you don’t know gives you advice you don’t want to hear or can’t handle hearing, it stings like a bee but when someone you’ve known for your entire life does the same thing, it bites like a dog and your ear. You no longer want to hear what they have to say because your afraid of what else they might say to bring you to wipe the fogged up mirror of your reality.

At first when Rachelle had said that, I didn’t pay any attention to that. I thought she wasn’t being serious, something that recently has been happening a lot lately. When she left my house, I sat on the couch contemplating. Jerome selling dope? Could that be possible? Wouldn’t he tell me, though? Does he not trust me? Doesn’t he know that whatever he’s going through, I can help go through it, with him? Does he not want me to help him? And If he could be keeping that from me, what else could he be keeping? Maybe he has another girlfriend and the ring was for his other girlfriend instead but she was too stuck-up to want it. Am I his 2nd choice?

And foolishly, for a while, I didn’t like wearing the ring as much as I did and if there was another, that made me the stuck-up one. Additionally, I stopped talking to Rachelle for a week.

“Hey, there’s Jerome” Rachelle whispered to me.

Up in the front center of the room was Jerome. Looking confident, sane, and professional. Hmmm. He looks like he’s been working out.

“---Rivera and I’m 18 years old and I was a senior in highschool at the time of the theft. Up until the theft, I lived with my father and my cousin used to live with us because we took him from his foster home that he used to live in when his parents were in a car crash. Rest In Peace. Since, we couldn’t afford to keep him with us, we had to bring him into a new fosterhome. This one much better than the last. We had also moved when we placed him in that fosterhome to provide a better--------”

Highschool. Somehow, since the incident with that store and Jerome, the entire school found out and a place where everyone was happy, affectionate, and desire to be just like us turned to a place where envy, hatred, rivalry, resentment, and bitterness currently resided and Jerome and I centered it. There was little concern with us and it seemed like everyone is waiting for us to break up. Not just waiting but hoping for us to break up.

“Girlfriend, Tamicca’ie Mitchells, please come up to the front of the courtroom.”

I walk up, all eyes on me. Shaking but unsure why. Throats tight. Heart beats speeding. Mouth getting dryer by the second. Pressure to present what people want from me.

I clear my throat. I seemed weak and didn’t seem to help so I cleared it again.

“Hi-ii, my name is Tamicca’ie Mitchells. I currently attend Hamilton High School and I’ve known Jerome since the eighth grade. “

You know I’ve been missing school for Jerome. To take shifts at work that’s overlapping my school day. And Did Jerome even use the money to pay off his jail? No, he gives it to his dad. Gods only knows what he uses the money for.

‘Until the ninth grade, I had only occasional conversations with him. In the middle of my ninth year, Jerome and I started dating on and off. This year, we’re official.”

“And has you and Jerome ever had verbal fights?”

“Yeah, doesn’t everyone? Jerome and I are like brother and sister as well as boyfriend and girlfriend. Siblings fight but obviously are fights weren’t important enough because I would remember them. And each fight we have we learn from them and overcome that so we never have to fight over that again.

Liar, we had a fight the last time we spoke. Three weeks ago. What about? Again, not spending the money I give him on his fines. That was the purpose of the money I’m giving him, right? So, why does he keep giving it to his dad? I threatened to quit my job. I felt like I wasn’t doing this for him but his dad who’ve I’ve never met and until his mother died only heard bad things about. Then he started to cry and I knew something was up. His dad was in the hospital. I started to cry with him but when I got home somehow I was still mad at him.

“Uh-huh. And so currently, Jerome does not have a violent history with his peers, he has not gotten into any fights, and he isn’t a victim of bullying?”

“Nope. Everyone I know thinks he’s sweet, nice, and kind.”

My throats getting tight again. I don’t think I can take anymore of these questions just like the sudden large quantities of questions I suddenly having for Jerome since the incident.

“And has Jerome-----”

Why hasn’t he been telling me everything like he used to? We’ve grown farther apart. I don’t know if I can take all this pressure up here.

“Excuse Me, Can You Repeat that?” I say.

My hands are sweating and it’s so cold in here people are wearing sweaters. I don’t know if I can take this anymore.

*I starts whimpering*

“Maim, what’s wrong?”

“Tamicca’ie?” Jerome says

“starts bawling*

“Maim, please stop.”

“I-I-I-I C-C-C-C-C-A-N-N-T-T-T-T” I struggle to say clearly

Someone grabs my shoulder and lead me out to back door. I see Jerome struggle to go an comfort me. The last thing I see from that room is Rachelle getting up.

The man leads me to the woman’s bathroom and leaves me in front of the restroom door. I go inside. I see a little black seat in the corner and I sit down. I go through my bag looking for tissues and I find the snow globe instead. How’d this get here? I look at our names engraved on the back. It’s funny how something I once saw as beautiful makes me sick now. Something in me gets me to go to the trash. Smelling of Sweat. Heart Pumping. Knees Shaking. Mouth Dry. Crash! Rachelle runs in.

“Woah, are you okay? I heard something break!”

I get at my seat to take a look in the trash, to take a look at my past, to take a look at what Jerome and I once were. This entire time, I’ve been questioning myself. Telling myself I’m overreacting. Ha. Just like that quote I read the other day. “Love built on beauty, soon as beauty, dies”.





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