Chapter 19, The Showdown is an explosive chapter. Terrence, one of the main characters, becomes fighting mad. Perhaps if Dre had positive influence in his life back then, he would have known better...done better.
Chapter 19 excerpt:
Like thunder out of nowhere, in stormed Terrence. “Y’all need to give me a minute alone with Traci. I’ve got some things to say before I clear my shit outta here.” His face was tight, lips were clenched and his fidgeting body promised a ticking time bomb.
“Boy, have you lost your mind?! When you walk into a room, you greet people, especially your parents. I don’t give a damn how many World Series you win or how mad you may be, don’t you cuss in the presence of your parents or the Grants.”
“Mama, I ain’t got time for all that.”
She pulled him aside. “Terrence, don’t live to regret this night. You ain’t no saint.”
Terrence was too mad. He couldn’t find words so he momentarily lapsed silent.
Esther continued. ”What you do and say here tonight could affect the rest of your life. Act like you got some sense, you hear me?”
“I hear you, Mama.” The rage was contained, but it was obvious that at some point, he would blow.
“Frank, let’s go. We need to give them some time alone.” She hugged Karen and John. “We’ll talk later.”
“Ok, girl, we’ll be right behind you.”
“What!?” John exclaimed. “I ain’t leaving Traci with that boy! He’s not thinking straight!”
Esther comforted, “I didn’t raise no fool. Let ‘em talk, John.”
“Come on, honey, it will be ok. Right, Terrence?” Karen insisted.
The anger muted him. Instead, he gave her a confirming half-nod.
John beckoned him to the door and leaned over speaking closely to his ear, in a near whisper, but with directness. “Terrence, you listen to me. I know you’re mad. I know you’re hurt. But lay hands on my baby and I will have to kill you. Talk it out. Just don’t put your hands on her.” John lowered his head and raised a brow. “We good?”
Terrence wanted to tell him to shut the fuck up, but he bit his tongue. “I understand, sir. I’m not going to touch her. I just need to clear the air, get my stuff and get the hell up outta here. That’s all!”
“Ok. I’m taking you at your word.” Tears were welling in Terrence’s eyes. “Go on now, talk to her. Talk!” John extended his hand, which Terrence shook in agreement.
Tina Denise was born and raised in Southern California. She is married and has two wonderful children, a son who is a professional athlete and an academically talented daughter. She has enjoyed a long career in commercial real estate and is an avid sports enthusiast, both which serve as the backdrop for her debut novel.