Sunday, May 22, 2016

The Nerve (Photo Story)

Tony rings the doorbell to Lea’s apartment.

Come in…it’s open! (Lea, yelling)

Tony enters and is surprised to find Amber there with Lea.

Hey, Bro. (Amber)
Hey. I didn’t expect to run into you here. (Tony, surprised)

Well, today’s visit was unexpected. I had to give Lea and Kayla a ride home. (Amber)
Oh? (Tony, confused)

And I wish I could stay and chat, but I gotta run. I’ll talk to ya later. (Amber)
Okay. (Tony and Lea both answer)
Amber laughs.

I was talking to Lea. But, hey I’ll catch you later, too alright? (Amber to Tony)
Sure. (Tony, still a little confused)

Amber leaves.

Kayla fell asleep in the car on the way home. I can go wake her up if you want. (Lea)
Before you do, what was that all about? (Tony)
What do you mean? (Lea)
Amber and the ride home… (Tony)
Ohhh, that. My car broke down again. And there was no room in the tow truck for Kayla’s car seat. (Lea)

I thought you just got your car out of the shop a week ago. (Tony)
Yeah, it’s the third time I’ve put it in the shop this month. It’s too old to keep throwing money at, so Kayla and I might be taking the bus for a little while until I can save up for a decent replacement. (Lea)

But why call Amber? You could have called me, you know. (Tony)
I know. I just thought it would be better this way. (Lea)
How so? (Tony)
Wellll, I didn’t want your fiancée to think I was trying to lure you away by pretending to be a damsel in distress. (Lea)

Oh come on. So you and Kayla get stranded and you’d rather call her aunt, who you barely know, than her father? (Tony)
Barely know, huh? I guess you’re the one who doesn’t know. (Lea)
Know what? (Tony)
That I know Amber a lot better than you think I do. Kayla and I have been spending quite a bit of time with Amber and the twins. (Lea)

Really? (Tony)
Yes, really. Is that a problem? (Lea)

No, of course not. I didn’t mean to say it like that. I’m just surprised that’s all. (Tony)
To be honest, I’m really grateful for your sister’s friendship. I don’t know very many people in town, and I don’t think it’s healthy to be too dependent on you- no offense. Besides, it’s great for Kayla. The play dates have helped her really get to know her cousins. (Lea)
Tony shrugs and smiles.

LATER the same afternoon:
Brandy is meeting Tony for lunch at Made Fresh. When he arrives, she is already there, so he greets her with a kiss and takes a seat at the table.

So, how was the meeting with Kari Michell? (Tony)

Exhausting. I looked at so many photographers’ books that I thought my eyes would cross. The good news is I finally selected one. Now, all of our vendors are booked. (Brandy)

Good. What’s his name? (Tony)
Her name is Khadijah Phillips, and I’ll show you her website when we get home. I think you’ll be impressed. I know I was.  (Brandy)

The waitress brings Brandy her salad and takes down Tony’s order.

Is that all you’re eating for lunch? (Tony)
Yes, and please don’t give me a hard time about it. I had my final gown fitting last week. The dress is a perfect fit, and I want it to stay that way. (Brandy)
Tony flashes an amused smile before taking on a more solemn look.

So, I’m thinking of buying a car, and I want to discuss it with you. (Tony)

Why, is something wrong with the Jeep? (Brandy)
Nah, it’s okay. (Tony)

Look, it’s sweet of you to ask me first, but you don’t need my permission. We’re not married yet. If you want to buy yourself a new car, then go right ahead. (Brandy)

Well, that’s just it. I don’t want to buy a car for myself. I want to buy one for Lea. (Tony)
Excuse me? (Brandy)

Now do you see why I wanted to talk to you? (Tony)
Did I seriously just hear you say you want to buy a car for your baby mama? (Brandy)

Yes, but give me a chance to explain. Her car has been in and out of the shop for the past month. She needs reliable transportation to get Kayla to and from preschool and whatnot. She’s planning to take the bus until she saves enough money to buy another car, but I don’t want my little girl on the bus. I talked to my pal, Liam, down at Dollton Auto World and he found me a nice, used Fiat for a good price. I’m in a position to help and I think I should…with your consent, I mean. (Tony)

Brandy is deep in thought. On one hand, she can’t believe Tony would expect her to even consider this, let alone agree to it. On the other hand, shouldn’t she be grateful that she is engaged to such a generous and considerate man? Tony is waiting for a response, but she doesn't know what to say.

Thanks for reading!


  1. I... don't think I could agree. People like to use the "doing it for the kids" excuse a lil too much...

    1. True. That justification does get misused a lot, but I think Tony is genuinely looking out for Kayla in this case.

  2. See! I said that Brandy should step away but since she didn't, she's going to have a lifetime of instances like this and needs to get used to it. If she wants him, she's going to get THEM as a package, Lea included.

    It's nice and all that he's asking Brandy's opinion and keeping her in the loop, but I don't think he should have said... "with your consent." I like that he explained himself to her, but keeping his kid safe is a priority and if he has to buy his ex a car to achieve that, so be it.

    Did Lea know he was coming over? That sure is a short dress she's wearing considering she cant keep her legs closed! LOL

    1. Hilarious Muff! :-). I almost spit out my coffee on the legs comment, LOL! This is definitely a conundrum. I don't know if I could be in Brandy's shoes ....I'd probably take an "L" on this one. :-/

    2. Muff, I can't with you! I saw your reply this morning when I was checking my emails before getting out of bed and started my day laughing out loud at your comment about Lea's legs. I knew if anybody had something to say about that dress, it would be you! You are right that Tony, Kayla, and Lea are a package deal. If Brandy wants this man, she has to want him and all his "baggage" too.

    3. Whut?! I was just kidding because I knew her legs couldn't close, but now that you say she was expecting him she wore that too short dress on purpose. I know these games. Next thing you know, she's gonna be calling him to come back to her place to "fix" something under the sink. Then she's going to "help" him by standing there handing him tools in her too short dress and she will have "accidently" forgot to put on underwear! Mmh hmm. I'm keeping my eye on this chick.

    4. Muff, Lea and I are both shaking our heads at you. LOL

  3. Hmmm, I agree with Muff. I mean it was nice that Tony told her what was going on with getting the car for Lea, but since Lea is his baby mama, she is going to be in their lives. Lea and Kayla are now a part of the package. Now, I am not sure what Tony was doing at Lea's cuz I didn't see him with Kayla, but his daughter should be the only reason he is going over to her house. Now, about the car -- has Lea agreed to this? If I were her, I wouldn't want to accept a car from Tony unless they made some arrangements for her to pay him back for it in the future -- no strings, you know what I mean?! Anyway, it was a good story!

    1. Tony was there to see Kayla, but she was napping. I guess I need to go back and revise the story to make that part clear. I can't believe how many of y'all screamed foul play when you didn't see Kayla around- LOL And no, Lea has not agreed to Tony's plan. He made all the calls about the car after he left her place. I think he wanted Brandy on board before making the offer to Lea. At least I hope that's what he had in mind. Knowing Lea, she won't like having the car forced on her without the opportunity to pay him back. She already made it clear that she doesn't want to be too dependent on him.

  4. Lea's legs oh my...... Ok get the car, What is the child surpport situation...... Just asking (THINK). What was/is Tony doing there.!? Great story

    1. Ladonna, girl I tried to close those legs- it just wasn't happening! LOL There is no court order for child support, because Tony handles his business. Kayla has insurance benefits through Tony's employer and he pays for her child care plus gives Lea money to help with food, clothes, etc. Truth be told, if he paid child support through the courts, she would be getting much less than she gets now. He was there to see Kayla, but she was taking a nap. I will revise the story to make that clear. Y'all don't miss a beat!

  5. So many people have already spoken some of my thoughts. Why is Tony going to Lea's house at all if he's not picking up his daughter? I also don't understand why he thought Lea should call him for a ride, instead of Amber. Really?

    I also don't agree he should be buying Lea a car. Yes, he has a child with her and should support that child, but he shouldn't have to take care of Lea too. She is grown and not with him. If Brandy stays, she's a brave soul. I couldn't do all the baby mama drama. Run, Brandy, run! Tony's a nice guy, but I sense issues a comin'!

    1. Great points, Janainah. Tony was there to see Kayla, but I didn't make it clear that she was asleep. No shady behavior, I promise. I think his hang up about her calling Amber is that Kayla is his child, not Amber's, and therefore his responsibility. He also didn't know that Amber had become more than just Kayla's aunt. She's Lea's best friend.

      This car thing was Tony's idea. Lea doesn't know anything about it yet. She may or may not be thrilled about it. Tony's a nice guy and he's trying to be a hero, but who's to say Lea wants to be saved? He's the one creating the baby mama drama without even realizing it..poor guy.

  6. I REALLY like how Tony is trying to handle this. As a person who married someone who had full custody of 5 kids, I think I have a little experience here. Great guys are HARD to find. Would Brandy rather have a great guy, who is trying to respect her and include her in the decision making.... OR one of those not so great guys, who may not have a kid, but who doesn't treat her like a queen. There is no guarantee that the next guy she meets won't have a kid or two, and a couple of baby mommas. She needs to recognize that she has a great man, who is trying to do right by his child. This is a great indicator that he will be a great father for any future children she may have. Twenty one years later, and I can't imagine my life without my stepkids and grandstepkids. Word of advice to Brandy.....Don't take advice from women who aren't married. LOL!

    As for the car, I think it's admirable and his heart is in the right place, but he can't just assume that Lea will just accept that. He really should discuss it with her....after he hears what Brandy says...and make an offer, but not insist she take a car from him. Tell him don't be bad mouthing bus riding. He's sounding a little snooty.

    In this day and age lots of single people have kids. I would hate to be a single mom and not be able to consider having a future husband because he was "scared" of dealing with my baby's daddy. I would hate for Brandy to walk away and have regrets. The grass is rarely ever greener.

    1. Now I feel bad, Vanessa. You raise a good point about a single mother not being able to have a future husband. I guess there doesn't have to be drama and as long as they all behave like adults, Brandy could be happy with Tony. But I'm still not agreeing with buying that car. LOL!

    2. Vanessa, I think you really get where Tony is coming from. It's not that he *needs* Brandy's approval, but he wants it. The same way his best friend, Matt, didn't need his blessing to date Amber. Still, it was important to him to have it. I agree that it's a good sign of the kind of husband and father he would be.

      I don't think Tony has even considered the fact that Lea might not want him to buy her a car. He did the right thing by talking to Brandy. Hopefully, he'll talk to Lea next before he runs off to the dealership. I'll tell him what you said about the bus. I was a single mom for six years and my son and I were on Marta for at least four of those years. The bus wasn't so bad, but the characters on the train could be downright scary- lol

  7. It's admirable that Tony wants to help Lea, and that he is up front with Brandy, but he needs to discuss this with Lea also, she may not want his help. You have a very delicate but potentially volatile situation brewing here!

    1. Right you are, Chris! Tony seems confident that Lea will want and accept his help, but he could be wrong. If Brandy is on board, then he needs to talk it over with Lea pronto.

  8. I think it's great that Tony wants to contribute, especially since he seems to be financially able to.I don't think Lea will or should accept, though.
    I feel for Brandy, I really do... This is just a jealousy invoking situation, no matter how much she tries to keep under control.
    I really like the subtle assumption Tony made about the photographer being male and Brandy correcting him. It got me thinking that this little piece together with the "is that ALL you are eating" and wanting to buy a car for Lea, without discussing it with her, points to Tony being a little bit chauvinistic. I might be completely wrong (and hopefully am), but it just irked me the wrong way.

    1. Kat, I agree that this kind of situation invokes jealousy. I wonder how long Brandy can continue to feel secure in her relationship with situations like this, not to mention her future sister-in-law and her fiance's baby mama becoming close friends. And I think you might be detecting a bit of machismo in Tony. Let's hope it's not as bad as it seems. I do think that losing his father when he was fifteen and being the "man" of the house for his mother and sister brought out the protector within.

  9. Great story Jewell!

    Tony is very considerate in wanting to purchase a vehicle for Lea and being wise enough to know that getting Brandy's blessing is really important. I see no problem with him doing so for the safety of his child. On the other hand, I do not see Lea accepting it. Thanks for clearing up that he was there to see his daughter. I was wondering what his visit was all about. I can't wait to see how this unfolds. Your scenes look great as always!

    1. Thanks, Georgia Girl. Tony is a great guy. He was smart to talk it over with his fiancee first. I hope both Brandy and Lea can see that he means well.