None of the characters in “Promises of Starlight” represent any person living or dead.
The character “Rock Star”/”Angel” is based on Adam Lambert. The author does not in any way wish to disturb or predict Mr. Lambert’s life through the characters in this story.
All videos are to be enjoyed through their link to YouTube. They are not to be downloaded. No claims are made on the videos by the author.
Chapter 42 – BACK ON TRACKS
Lover had all the family come to L.A. again to see how well Twin and Niecy were doing. Lil Bro and Sis had been there for the intervention but this time was different. This time they might be going on vacation with the family.
The family counseling and healing were working. Everyone was a lot more “settled.” Angel, Lover and Twin had decided it was time for something special and a “fabulously great” family vacation fit the bill.
“When we say ‘family,’ does that mean ‘everybody’?,” Love had hinted one day.
“I know what you’re thinking,” answered Angel. “What do you think about that? Do you want them to come, too?”
Lover had been thinking about it. He wasn’t sure about it, though. After 20 years sometimes he still thought about how Lil Bro and Sis had known that Twin was alive and hadn’t told him, even though he understood why. They hadn’t told him about Mommy, either, not at first. He understood about that, too. And, although all of the scars on his neck and in his heart had healed that night in the gym with Angel, sometimes, because he was a “thinker,” his thoughts got away from him.
Angel could see the dilemma on Lover’s face. “I don’t mind either way,” he said. “It’s really up to you. I am wondering, though, how you’ll feel if you DON’T ask them.”
As usual Angel was showing his ability to get to the crux of the matter, something he’d learned from Starlight.
“You’re right,” sighed Lover. “If we go without them, they’ll feel like I haven’t forgiven them, like they’re ‘outsiders’ instead of ‘family’. I don’t want them to feel that way.” He looked at Angel. “Would it really be OK if they came with us?”
Angel nodded. “Mom’s coming with us. Why should I mind if they come, too?”
Lover knew then that he’d at least invite them. Whether or not they came would be their decision, not his.
“It’s not Sis,” he said. Angel knew what he meant. Sis had straightened herself out and was living a happy life as a kindergarten teacher. It was Lil Bro who was the problem.
After they’d found Twin and gone off to Houston, Lil Bro had gotten into a real mess with Dealer over how much gambling money he owed him. Dealer had proved to be no more forgiving than Pimp Dealer, only this was strictly about money. One night he’d walked into the Casino looking for Lil Bro. He found him, too, playing blackjack. Lil Bro was sitting with his back to Dealer so he hadn’t seen him coming. Then he felt the huge hand on his shoulder and knew immediately that he was in trouble.
“How’s it going tonight? Things going your way?” asked Dealer, knowing what the answer would be.
“Oh, not too bad,” Lil Bro answered. “Could be better, though.”
Dealer laughed. “Ain’t that always the way.” He turned Lil Bro’s chair so the young man was facing him. “You and I got some business to take care of, right, son?”
Lil Bro couldn’t do anything but follow Dealer to the office. There were two Gang members following them. Big Gang members.
When they got to the office Dealer shut the door but left the Gang members outside. Dealer showed Lil Bro a seat.
“Seems like you got a problem.” Lil Bro knew what he meant. He had a problem alright. A $75,000 problem, give or take a little, with interest. (All dealers want interest.) Dealer took his time, lighting a cigar and offering one to Lil Bro, who shook his head “no, thanks.”
By this time Dealer knew who Lil Bro’s big brother was. That’s the only reason he’d let Lil Bro run up the bill he had. But this was getting out of hand and Dealer wanted his money back before it got really bad. He expected Lil Bro to do or say whatever he needed to, to get it.
“Look, boy, you and I both know where you can get that money from, real easy.” Dealer was looking like he wasn’t going to take “no” for an answer. “And as much as I like your sisters, I think it’d be best for you to get on the phone to L.A.”
Lil Bro was shaking at the thought of having to call Lover and ask for the money. Although Dealer hadn’t actually threatened anything, he knew he was too vulnerable to say he couldn’t make the call. That almost scared him more than Dealer did.
“OK, I understand you,” he said. “I’ll make the call. But I can’t promise anything,” he added.
Dealer knew better. He didn’t even have to say it. Lover wouldn’t want his hands on his little sister.
“We should call him.”
“We can’t call him. We’d have to tell him everything.”
“He’s our big brother. He should know everything, anyway.”
“Well, are you going to tell him?”
“No, I can’t tell him. This is your problem. You should tell him.”
“I can’t tell him. I just need to get the money.”
At first Lover wasn’t sure it was him. Then Sis got on the line and told him what she remembered about him, things no one else would know about. She told him about the hiding place and the books and the money. She told him his favorite color, what his room had looked like, his favorite teacher and why she’d been his favorite. She told him enough things that he had to believe her. Then she turned the phone back over to Lil Bro.
“I know you didn’t expect to hear from us,” he said.
Lover was devastated. At the time he thought Twin had overdosed, Mommy didn’t know where Lil Bro and Sis were and he couldn’t tell her. The only reason Lil Bro had called was to ask for money? His first thought was to tell him exactly where he could go with his gambling debts. But then Lil Bro had mentioned Sis and what might happen to her. What else could Lover do? He made a deal with Lil Bro—and with Sis.
College. Both of them. Any 2-year and then 4-year school that would have them both. Tuition, room and board, books. Part-time jobs. One fucks up, both are out on the street.
Lover paid off the debt. They both made it all the way through university, Lil Bro in Accounting, Sis in Early Childhood Education.
After all these years a problem had come back, one that Lover didn’t want to believe but that he’d always feared. Sis told him that Lil Bro was gambling again, trying to make a big win. After his experience with Twin’s addictions Lover’d known all along that something like this could happen. What made it worse was that he didn’t know where the money was coming from or why Lil Bro needed it.
Tomorrow in “Promises of Starlight”: Little bunny wabbits