Sample of A Diva's Prayer






Copyright © 2017 Wayne Colley

All rights reserved. No part of the work may be reproduced without the expression written permission of the author. This book is a work of fiction. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. All characters, events, and incidents in this book are a product of the author's imagination.




Hey, Dominique. Long time no see. I didn't think you came to family reunions in the hood anymore — seeing that you went off to that fancy college up north, and got that cushy job my mama was telling me about. You big balling and shot calling, ain’t you?”

Watching the men in her family play a game of tag football, twenty-four year old Dominique Wilson knew who was talking to her, even before she turned around and flashed her cousin Keisha a smile. “What's up, Keisha? It’s good to see you cuz.” Since they’d grown up together, Dominique had love in her heart for her relative. “Give me a hug, girl. It has been a long time...almost two years I think.”

Although she didn’t really feel the urge, Keisha obliged her cousin’s request and gave her a quick hug. Then she pulled back, smacked her lips together a couple times and said, “Yep, I’m surprised to see you here at the family picnic — word going ‘round in the family is that you done got a little too uppity for hanging out with the likes of us.” Keisha followed her comment with a little laugh.

Dominique recognized pettiness where she saw it, but she didn’t feel like having any drama at their family gathering, so she chose to overlook what her cousin was insinuating. She gave Keisha a tiny smile instead. Then she shook her head and said, “Nope, I love my family, boo. It’s just that I’ve been too busy to hang out and kick it like we used to.” She shook her head again. “And to answer your question, I’m not big balling or shot calling… not in any way, form or fashion. I'm only an assistant manager at a preschool.”

Keisha let out another little snicker. “I bet you getting paid more than you'd be getting if you was working as a cashier at WalMart or something. I been playing it safe and working at the Wally World off of Flat Shoals Road for a little over a year now.”

I thought you were stripping at the Palisades Room.”

Keisha frowned. “Yeah...I was. But I had to give that up. I put on a little weight and the men weren’t handing out the dollars like they used to.” Her frown deepened and she shook her head. “But girl, I'm about to get on Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig or something. I need to go back to bringing in some real dollars again. I'm tired of the chump change. That shit is for the birds.” Then a smile suddenly came on Keisha’s face. “You remember all the fun we used to have when we used to go out clubbing together, cuz?”

Dominique began thinking back to her late teens. She had indeed had a good time clubbing with Keisha. They hadn’t been of a legal age to get into clubs, but that hadn’t matter. Fake IDs had done wonders for opening the doors of any club they’d wanted to step into.

Keisha laughed and pointed an accusatory finger at her cousin. “I know your butt remember, Dominique.”

Dominique smiled. “Yeah. Those were some good times, Keisha. We got into a lot of ish together. I ain’t even gonna try to lie about that.”

Just for ol’ time sake, you know what we should do?”

No. What should we do, Keisha?”

We should hit up a club or two like we used to back in the day. They got this new place opening up over on the north side. I been wanting to try it out for weeks. But my bestie, Peaches — I’m sure you remember her — she done got herself knocked up. She eight months pregnant and can’t run up in da club with me like she used to.”

Dominique liked having a good time, just like the next person. She’d been putting in so many hours at her job that she hadn’t been going out much lately. Plus, her new boyfriend, Mike, didn’t like her hanging out too often with her girls; so hitting the clubs had become a pleasure for her that she hadn’t been able to indulge in very often.

Keisha laughed again. “I know you wanna go. I can tell by the look in your eyes.”

Dominique smiled. “A’ight, Keisha. For ol’ time sake, boo.”

How about next weekend? I’m still living in them same apartments. Saturday night...roll by at ten and pick me up. I wanna hit the city in style. I hear you driving a brand new Lexus. I’ll look good in something like that.”

Dominique shook her head. “It’s not new, I bought it used. But it’s clean and it’ll give you a smooth ride. Plus it gets me from point A to point B, so I ain’t complaining.”

Right.” Keisha was pretty much sure that Dominique’s so-called ‘used’ Lexus was much nicer than the beat up twenty-year old Honda Accord that she was rolling around in. Some tricks just don’t know how good they got it. “I’ll see you next Saturday at ten. Right now I gotta go fix a couple of carry-out plates for Jarrod. I promised him I’d bring him home some food.”

You and Jarrod still dating?”

Naw, boo. I just let him hit it from time to time when all my other prospects done dried up. See you later, Neek. I gotta bounce.”

Keisha had been gone less than a minute when Dominique’s cousin, Shonda, gave her arm an affectionate little squeeze and said, “You sure you want to go back to hanging with Keisha? She family and all, but that girl is trouble. You got your life on the right track now, l’il cuz — with the exception of Mike of course.”

At thirty-two, Shonda, was one of Dominique’s favorite cousins — despite their eight year age difference. Shonda had her act together. She was married to a good man, she had a successful high-end nail salon that catered to celebrities, she had a positive outlook on life. Dominique really admired her and because of that, she generally tended to overlook the fact that every other word out of Shonda’s mouth had something to do with God or Jesus. I ain’t got nothing against the Lord, Dominique quickly thought to herself. I just get tired of hearing ‘Jesus this and Jesus that’ sometimes.

Dominique gave her cousin a tiny smile. “I see where you coming from Shonda. We just going out this one night for ol’ time sake. I’m not about to make Keisha my new BFF or anything.”

Shonda nodded her head. “That’s good to hear. Like I said...Keisha is family, honey, but sometimes a person gotta know when to cut certain family members off. You still suppose to love them — ‘cause that’s what God’s word has commanded us to do. But you don’t wanna get yourself caught up in no mess behind them. Know what I mean? Now, I’m only saying this because I know you’re trying to get your life in on the straight and know?”

Dominique gave her cousin a tiny smile. “Yeah. I understand.”

Shonda smiled right back. “Good. Now come help me and Aunt Nadine get the desserts out on the table. You know you invited to church tomorrow, don’t you? I invited everybody here at our family reunion. Pastor’s doing a special sermon he wrote.”

Dominique hadn't stepped foot in anybody's church in almost three years. And she'd only gone then because one of her male friends from back in her high school days had gotten shot up in a drive-by, and his mama had had his funeral at Calvary United House of Prayer.

Come on over to the church tomorrow, Dominique. God’s put it on my heart that he has a special message for you. All you have to do is show up to receive it.”

That's what all the saved and sanctified holy-rollies that I run into say, Dominique thought to herself. Every last one of them. That’s what she’d been thinking in her head, but out loud she told her cousin, “I'll think about it, cuz.”

And bring that thug of a boyfriend of yours along, too.” Shonda held up her hand in a stop motion. “And before you go there — you know, trying to say that Mike ain't a thug and all – remember I used to be just like you till I figured out better. I didn't want a man unless he had a rough side to him, unless he was a little street.” Shonda shook her head. “But thank God I finally realized that I wasn't going anywhere with a man like that in my life.”

Dominique knew for a fact that her boyfriend, Mike, wasn't rolling up into anybody's church. But she gave her cousin a tiny smile and said, “I'll ask him.”

A big old Kool-Aid Man grin magically appeared on Shonda's pretty face. “So that means you’re coming for sure then.”

Dominique let out a breath on a sigh. “Yeah. I don’t have any plans for tomorrow besides sleeping in. So yeah, I’ll show up.”

Shonda gave her cousin a hug. “Good, honey. I’m so happy that I’m gonna be seeing that pretty face of yours up in the place. You’re gonna be glad you came. I’m sure of it.”




Three Days Later:


Dominique hit I-20 and started on her way home. It had been two days since she’d visited God’s Tabernacle of Deliverance and she still had what the preacher had talked about on her mind. She couldn’t remember the name of the sermon, but she could remember the gist of the message. Reverend Harper had talked about God’s ability to give a person peace within themselves no matter what situation they were facing or had faced in life. The man had talked about God’s ability to relieve pain and suffering — both physical and mental.

Dominique frowned. She had a secret place of pain in her heart that had been with her ever since she could remember, ever since she was a little girl. If that God that preacher was talking about can take away my hurt from not having a father, I’ll serve him all the days of my life. That’s for real.

Dominique had no idea who her father was — and she was pretty much sure that her mama didn’t know either. All of that was because Dominique had been conceived during her mama’s crackhead days. Her mother, Fredricka, had slept with anything with a penis back then just as long as the man had been willing to pay for her next crack fix. Needless to say, it had been hard having a crackhead for a mama.

Seeing that her mom had waited until Dominique had been thirteen to finally decide to get herself clean, the two of them didn’t have the best of relationships. Dominique had been raised by her grandma for most of her life.

She sighed then began talking out loud in her empty car. “Yep, I might just give this Jesus a try...right after I get my party groove on with Keisha this weekend at Club Treasurz on Saturday night. After all, it ain’t like I got nothing to lose. If it doesn’t work out, then I ain’t gotta keep going to that church. I’ll just move on with my life. But there’s something about being in that place that had felt good to me. It felt kinda special. I can’t quite put my finger on that feeling, but I wouldn’t mind experiencing it again.”











Dominique turned around and peeped her reflection in the long mirror in her bedroom. She rubbed her palm along the side of her hip and smiled. Girls be paying plastic surgeons and street doctors good money to get this applebottom that I was born with. This dress is playing up all of my curves to perfection. She knew that her look was on point.

Just as she was about to step out of her apartment and leave to go pick up her cousin for their night out at the club, her cell phone began ringing. Noticing that it was her boyfriend, Mike, calling, she decided not to answer it. She already knew what he was calling about, and she wasn't trying to have the particular discussion that he wanted to have for a fourth or fifth time.

He ain’t got no rights telling me I can’t go out if I want to. It ain’t like we married or anything. We only been dating a little over four months. She sucked her teeth. “I’m a grown ass woman. I pay my own bills and I come and go as I please.”

Twenty minutes later, she was rolling up into Keisha’s apartment complex on the south side of Atlanta. Dominique had many memories of when she herself used to live in the Lakewood area, specifically near and around Adair St. Dominique was more than thankful that her job paid her enough to not have to live in the heart of the hood. She knew that a good deal of the people were decent in her cousin’s neighborhood, but she also knew that a good deal of them were dangerous. I don’t ever again wanna live in an area where I have to put three padlocks on my doors and bars on my windows...and dodge stray bullets from fools gangbanging. That ain’t where it’s at.

She didn’t even have to get out of her car to go ring Keisha’s doorbell. The second Dominique rolled up, Keisha was walking out her front door.

Hey, boo,” Keisha said the second she slid into the passenger side seat of Dominique's car. “Look at you... leather interior and a computer in your dashboard. This whip is nice. It's almost new, ain't it?”

I wouldn't exactly say it's almost new. It's six years old. I bought it off of the used lot last year.”

Well it look new to me. We gonna be rolling up to the club in style. I can't wait to get my drinks on. I been wanting some real cocktails for weeks.”

At this point in her life, Dominique didn’t do too much drinking. She would have wine with her dinner if she wanted to feel special, or a couple of cocktails if she was going out with her girls. But other than that, she didn’t get fall-out drunk like she used to when her and Keisha used to club together.

What? You ain’t gonna be drinking, Neek?”

Dominique sighed. “Yeah. I’m gonna have a cocktail or two. But that’s just about it, boo. I think my days of downing shot after shot are over with.”

Keisha smiled. “Well, I guess that’s just gonna leave more alcohol for me. But that’s fine...after all, we need a designated driver. Might as well be you seeing that you got the car and all.”




A Half Hour Later:


The club was indeed jumping and for the most part, Dominique was having a good time. They’d run into a couple of people that they’d gone to highschool with, so things were starting to feel a little bit like the old days to Dominique.

Because it was noisy in the club, Keisha leaned in towards Dominique’s ear at the bar and said, “Cuz, you gonna have to let me buy you a couple drinks. You bought the first two for us. I feel like I owe you or something.”

Dominique shook her head. “That’s okay, Keisha. I’m cool. I had my Bahama Mama and Blue Hawaiian — those two drinks are enough for me. I’m already feeling a buzz.”

Damn, everybody was right. You done turned bougey on us.”

I’m not bougey, Keisha. I’m just trying to keep a level head while we out having a good time. Ain’t nothing at all wrong with that.”

Dominique was able to turn down Keisha’s offer to buy more drinks for another half hour, then she caved to the pressure and threw back a couple of shots with her cousin. Right after she'd done that, a guy who'd been checking them out all evening bought them two more rounds of cocktails. Despite everything she'd been telling Keisha about keeping a level head, Dominique was now certifiably drunk.  She leaned across the long bar and clinked her drink glass with her cousin’s. Dominique’s words slurred as she said, “I think I’m a little bit buzzed, boo. But these purple drinks are sooooo damn good. I want me another one.”

Keisha, giggled. She was just as buzzed as Dominique. They weren’t fall-out drunk, raggedy as you wanna be stoned — not yet — but they were definitely getting there.

Kesha laughed for no reason other than she just wanted to. “I think we’re on number five, but yep, I want another one, too.” She popped her shoulders in a quick little dance move in her seat. “I’m feeling GOOD up in here! That’s what I like about partying with you cuz — you sho’ know how to have a good time.”

Within a minute, they’d both drained their glasses and set them down in front of them. Then Kesha looked across the room and locked eyes with a fine, muscular hunk of dark chocolate who’d just walked into the club. Without losing eye contact with the man, she said to Dominique, “Girl, I want me some of that. My va-jay-jay ain’t been hit in two weeks. I bet bruh-man know how to work it — how to make a woman feel real good. I can tell just from looking at him.”

Dominique knew what her cousin was gonna do, even before she stood up, winked her eye at her and said, “I’ll be back in a few, Neek.”

Sitting by herself at the bar, Dominique grinned as Keisha began flirting with the man. Over the noise in the club, Dominique couldn’t hear what they were saying to one another. But she could tell that Keisha was flirting because she did what she always ways did when she was trying to land a catch — she placed her hand on Mr. Sexy Chocolate’s bicep, gave it a playful little squeeze then stretched her body up towards his ear and started whispering something. Dominique was pretty much sure that what her cousin was whispering was something skanky and scandalous. She wasn't surprised at all when the two of them walked back over to her table. Dominique listened as Keisha made the quick introductions. Then Mr. Sexy ordered them another round of drinks — he paid of course.




A Half Hour Later:


When Keisha's new friend had come over to their table, Dominique had only been buzzed. By the time he'd footed the bill for another three rounds of drinks, she was for sure drunk. She giggled as Keisha grabbed her by the arm and whispered and slurred  in her ear, “I wanna do him girl...come with me. He got a hotel suite at the Four Seasons...right next door to this club. You can wait in the sitting area and take a nap while he hit it.” She drunkenly giggled. “You know your ass need to sleep off some of them drinks you put down so you can drive us home.”

If she’d been in a better frame of mind, she would’ve probably just called her cousin, Shonda, to come pick her up. But being that she wasn’t in any way able to think rationally, she went right along with what Keisha had been suggesting they do. After they’d made it to the hotel room, one thing led to two. Two things to three. Before she knew what was happening, the trio was in bed together and Dominique was participating in a skanky drunken threesome. Before she finally blacked out with Mr. Sexy Chocolate naked on top of her, her last thought was: What the hell am I doing? This is wrong on so many levels.




The Following Morning:


My head is about to explode. That’s the thought that went through Dominique’s mind as she slowly cracked her eyes open in an unfamiliar bed. The second thought was: Where am I? What happened?

Frowning, she turned her head on the strange pillow and saw her cousin, Keisha, tangled in the sheets beside her.

Dominique’s caution alarm began going off in her head. This is not good...not good at all. She reached out her hand and began shaking Keisha on the shoulder. “Wake up, girl! Wake up!”

Stop it, Neek,” Keisha mumbled. “You’re talking waaaay too loud. My head is killing me, boo.”

Dominique didn’t back down. “Get up, Keisha! We’re in some strange room. The last thing I remember is being at Club Treasurz last night. We done f’ed up.”

Dominique’s point finally made it through Keisha’s brain. She sat up in the bed and started looking around her. “Oh, shit,” she whispered under her breath. “The last thing I remember is meeting that handsome hunk of chocolate last night at the club—,” she squinted her eyebrows together in concentration. “—then I remember him asking me to come over to his hotel room so we could get our freak on.”

Dominique shook her head. “We’re in the hotel room. We’re both naked. Obviously, that’s exactly what happened, and from the looks of things, he done up and disappeared.”

At that moment, she noticed a sheet of paper that had been scribbled on laying on the nightstand. She picked it up and began reading it. I have somewhere I have to be today, ladies, so I already bounced.  Check out is at 12 noon. If you don’t wanna have to pay for the room, you should be out by that time. She was too upset about what had gone down to read the note out loud. She handed it to Keisha so she could read it for herself. Then she rubbed her hand down the side of her face in disbelief and said, “I can’t believe we had sex with some stranger. I can’t believe it. I knew I shoulda stuck to my rule of only three drinks. He was a complete stranger,” she repeated. “I don’t even know if he used a condom...I was too drunk to even remember. We don’t know what he may have given us...all them STDs out there.” She shook her head. “And what if we got pregnant?”


Keisha was used to living life on the risky side, but she knew that her cousin wasn’t into all of that anymore. Since she’d been the one prodding Dominique to down more and more cocktails, part of her felt guilty for getting her cousin into their current situation. Even back in the day when they’d used to go out clubbing together, Keisha would be the one who got all the way tore up, and Dominique would be the one who kept a level head. She frowned. “I’m sure he used a condom, Neek.”

Are you? Can you remember him putting one on? Can you honestly freaking say you can remember him doing that?!”

Naw, I can’t.” She got out of the bed. “But I think we’d better go ahead and get out of here. I’m not interested in having to pay a hundred bucks or more for this room. We’ll talk about this some more while you driving me home. Hopefully your car ain’t been towed away or something stupid like that.”

Fortunately for Dominique, her Lexus was still sitting in the club’s parking lot where she’d left it. Wearing a frown on her face, she turned and looked at Keisha. “Imma stop by the drug store real quick before I take you home. I’m buying a morning after pill.”

Morning after? Ain’t you on birth control, boo? I know I am.”

Dominique sighed. “Yeah. I was on the Pill — up until last week. I’ve been having migraine headaches for the last month or two; so this past Tuesday, my doctor put me on a medicine to stop my migraines from happening. That medicine might make the Pill not work. I been using my diaphragm lately when me and Mike had sex as an extra security precaution.” She shook her head and frowned even harder. “And no, I didn’t have my diaphragm in last night.”

Keisha frowned. “Oh. I guess you might have really f’ed up for real then.”

Yeah. And I’m going to the clinic first thing tomorrow morning when they open. I need them to test me for every STD in the book. You probably should go, too. I can pick you up at seven-thirty and we can roll up in there together.”

Keisha shook her head. “I don’t like doctors or nurses, boo. We both nibbled off of the same chocolate bar last night...and I’m sure you know what I mean by that. If them people down at the clinic test you and you come out clean, I’m clean too. Just let me know if you caught something, then I’ll go. Other than that...nope, ain’t happening.”

Dominique wanted to argue with her cousin — she wanted to insist that she take her butt to be tested — but she knew that wasn’t gonna be worth nothing. Keisha gonna do whatever she wanna do regardless. She nodded, instead, and said, “Alright, cuz. I’ll let you know.”




An Hour Later:


Dominique read the instructions on the box that the Morning After Pill had come in. “It shouldn’t be called Morning After Pill,” she mumbled under her breath. “I have to take two of these mugs for them to work. One now and one twelve hours from now.”


She shook her head and grabbed the small glass of water that she’d poured for herself. She swallowed the first dose and chased it with the cool liquid. Then she went and flopped down onto her sofa.

She couldn’t stop her mind from flashing back to  what had happened with Keisha the previous night. Both she and Keisha had been too drunk to remember all of the details of what had gone down, but one thing was abundantly clear — they’d both had sex with the man whose hotel room they’d stumbled out of that morning. On top of all that,  her and Keisha had been groping and feeling on each other in places that they shouldn’t have. Dominique wasn’t a lesbian and she wasn’t bi, but some of the sex acts that she’d involved herself in with her cousin made her feel like she had homosexual tendencies. She couldn’t believe what she’d done and she wasn’t too proud of herself. I should’ve listened to Shonda and kept my ass home! She tried to warn me about running around with Keisha again. And that preacher at the church did too — and he didn’t even know about it. He just prayed over me and said something about God told him I was about to come to a crossroads in my life. Told me that a questionable move on my part was about to have a profound effect on methat I had to choose between taking the left path or the right one.

She frowned. I hadn’t believed him then, but now I’m starting to wonder. Just as she’d had that thought, she felt a burning sensation in her belly that was mixed with nausea and her skin began to itch. Then her throat began to feel scratchy. “Oh hell,” she groaned. “I remember feeling like this that time that bee stung me. I’m having a damn allergic reaction to that pill I just swallowed.”

She knew she was gonna hurl, even before the contents of her stomach began making their way up her throat. She made it to the hallway outside of her bathroom before nature had its way with her. Crouched on her knees staring at her dinner from the previous evening peppered on the floor, she saw the Morning After Pill she’d just taken. Seeing that thing made tears of sadness and frustration come into her eyes. “I’m not gonna be able to take the emergency birth control. I’m allergic to it.”

Less than a minute later, she was downing a Benadryl to relieve her allergic reaction. She grimaced and shook her head once again. She couldn’t believe everything that she’d allowed to happen. “It was all my doing. I can’t blame anybody but myself for any of this. Not Keisha, not anybody. I knew better. Keisha was right — my ass really done f’ed up this time.”

She hadn't grown up in the church or anything, but what that preacher had told her the previous weekend about God answering prayers suddenly came to her mind. She began talking to the God that Rev. Harper had been preaching about. She began asking him to help her out with her situation. “I don't believe in abortions, so I could never abort a baby that I was pregnant with unless I was dying or something, God. But I don't want to be pregnant by a stranger — someone who I wouldn't even be able to identify on the street because I was too drunk to remember what he looked like. Someone who's name I don't even know because he was a  — well, a stranger.” She shook her head in disgust. “That would make me no better than my mama in her crackhead days.”

She kneeled there praying for a long time. By the time she’d said amen, she'd convinced herself that even if she was currently pregnant, the baby would definitely be her boyfriend, Mike’s. She smiled. “You answer prayers, God. As of this moment right here and now I'm dedicating my life to you. You answer the prayers of your followers — that preacher at church said you did. I’m now one of your followers. I had sex with Mike plenty of times. And last week when I first started on that medicine that made my birth control pill not work, my diaphragm fell out. I hadn't used any spermicide on it like I was supposed to have done because I didn't have any and Mike still wanted to hit it.”

Grinning, she nodded her head. Then she patted her belly. “Mike seed is swimming all up in me. I took biology in high school — his little soldiers would've gotten to my egg long before that stranger’s. If I'm pregnant, it's definitely by Mike. There ain’t no’ ifs’, ‘ands’, or ‘buts’ about that. It’s a sure thing. A guaranteed thing.”

Dominique still prefered not to be with child — even though she was sure that any baby currently in her womb belonged to her boyfriend. She frowned. “Something tells me Mike ain’t gonna make a good baby daddy. But if I am pregnant, I’m gonna make for damn sure that his butt stays in his son or daughter’s life. My kid is gonna know who his or her daddy is.”




It had almost been a whole month since the mishap at the club with Keisha, and Dominique had kept her word about committing her life to Christ. She was amazed by the amount of peace she’d received just from getting herself acquainted with God.

Dominique’s cousin, Shonda, smiled as she did Dominique’s nails in her salon. “You have this glow about yourself now, Neek. Serving God sure is working out for you, boo.”

Dominique returned her cousin’s grin with one of her own. “God is good like that, Shonda. You know, when you got saved a few years back, I never could figure out why you’d go and do a thing like that. Your life had seemed so fabulous.” She began ticking off items. “Your salon was successful and bringing you in five digits every month. You were engaged to a big time lawyer who worked downtown. You were going on vacays at least four times a year and getting into upscale parties that I never could’ve dreamed of getting an invite to.” She shook her head. “In other words, you had everything going for yourself. In my eyes, getting saved just ruined all the fun you were having.”

Shonda began thinking back over the person she’d used to be. She frowned. “I was having fun alright, but there was an emptiness in my soul that I didn’t understand and never could fill. That all went away when I got serious about serving Christ.” She shook her head. “Now I ain’t saying that life’s been a cakewalk since I got saved — even Christians have obstacles that they’re gonna have to deal with. But life’s been so much better with God in it.”

Yeah. I know exactly what you’re talking about, girl, and I’m only a baby in Christ.”

Mentioning the word ‘baby’ got Dominique to thinking about something else. She’d missed her last cycle and she’d been regular for years. She hadn’t taken a pregnancy test, but she was pretty much sure she was expecting.

What is it, Neek? I can see something in your eye.”

Dominique hadn’t told another living soul about what she suspected was going in her body — not even her best friend, Imani — and she tended to tell her bestie everything. She’d told Imani about what had happened with the one-night-stand with Keisha and the stranger, but she hadn’t told her about her maybe being pregnant. I feel like I have to get this off my chest. I’ll talk to Imani about it later on today, but my cousin Shonda here has really been there for me lately. She’s been answering the million and one questions I’ve had about salvation and everything.

Dominique sighed, then came right out with it. “I missed my cycle, Shonda. I think I might be having a baby.”

You having Mike’s kid?”

That particular question had been Dominique’s opportunity to tell Shonda about her one-night-stand, but she didn’t want to go there. I know it’s Mike baby anyways. I done prayed on it and I know the Lord has already answered my prayer to make all of this turn out right. I’m sure of it.

Dominique nodded her head. “Yeah...I’m having Mike’s child.”

I know I don't have to tell you how I feel about Mike. Even though he’s no-good, we’re all God's children. We need to pray for him, honey. Both of us grew up in dysfunctional families. If God could turn our lives around, he can turn Mike's life around, too. He can make him a good father for that li’l cousin of mine that you got baking in the oven.”

That's exactly what Dominique had been thinking. She gave Shonda a tiny smile. “God has all the power in his hands. I want my child to have his or her father in their life.” She shook her head. “I don't want any kids that I bring into the world wondering who their daddy is like I had to.”

I hear that, boo. I hear that.”




Later on that Afternoon:


Dominique’s bestie, Imani, looked over at her as they walked through the mall and frowned. “You look tired, Dominique. Maybe we should take a break from window shopping and gone ‘head and get us something to eat. They sure been working you real hard over at that preschool. You might have to tell them to cut back on your hours some. You look worn out.”

Dominique didn’t feel too much like eating. The sudden bout of nausea that she was experiencing was the reason why. She shook her head. “Let’s just sit down on that bench over there for a few minutes. I feel a little bit sick to my stomach.”


Imani went along with Dominique’s request. When they were both seated, she turned to her girl and said, “You not pregnant are you, Neek?” Then she giggled because she was sure that wasn’t the case.

Dominique sighed. Then despite feeling a little bit unwell, her lips turned up in a tiny smile. “What if I told you yes? What would you say?”

Dominique was surprised by the frown that suddenly appeared on her bestie’s face.

Imani shook her head. “I would say that I hope it’s not that guy’s who you had the one-night-stand with. Your butt should consider yourself abundantly blessed that you made it out of that little escapade with Keisha without an STD. Being knocked up by a complete stranger that you’ll probably never be able to find again — well, that’ll just be f’ed all the way up.”

It’s Mike’s baby. Okay, boo? I’m sure of it.”

Imani really was Dominique’s girl, so she wasn’t just gonna leave it at that. She loved her bestie like a sister. “How far along are you, Neek?”

Probably about a month. I just missed my period.”

And that situation at the Four Seasons happened about a month ago, too. You know it’s a chance that it’s not Mike’s kid...right? That it’s possibly the stranger’s?”

Dominique shook her head. “Nope. Like I’s Mike’s. My diaphragm slipped out while we were having sex a month ago and I hadn’t used any spermicide.” She patted her belly. “This is Mike’s baby up in here.”


Okay. But you’re gonna have a DNA test done when the baby’s born...right?”

Nope. I don’t see any need for that. Like I said, I know it’s Mike’s.” Dominique looked Imani directly in the eye. “You grew up in the church — your mama is on the usher board and everything — so I know you know about God. I prayed on it and God put it in my spirit that my baby is gonna to be raised by his or her biological father. Therefore, I know the baby is Mike’s. It can’t be any other way. Now are you excited for me or not, Imani?”

Imani said a quick prayer for her girl in her head. Lord, please let this turn out alright for my ride or die. I know what she did was wrong and not in accordance with your ways, but she got a good heart.

Imani proceeded to flash Dominique a smile. “I guess I’m about to be an honorary auntie. We gonna have ourselves lots of fun shopping for cute little baby clothes.”