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Now behold the glory that is...
"Kendra Ciara Floyd… Mrs. Floyd...Mrs. Marques Floyd…" John listened as Kendra fanaticized about changing her maiden name to her fiancé's. He smiled at her babyish manner. But what else would he expect from her? The woman did have a babyish appearance. Her short stature, puffy cheeks, blemish-free skin, and large gray eyes (that always made her look somewhat surprised) constantly made people mistake her to be much younger than thirty.
"You should marry someone with Sinclair as a last name." John said as he walked into the kitchen. He grabbed an orange from the fruit bowl on the counter.
Kendra snapped out of her daydreaming and turned to him. Seeing it was John, she felt a bit embarrassed. "Why?" She asked with a raised eyebrow.
John sat at the table across from her and began to peel the fruit. While he did so, he replied, "It sounds…cooler." His eyes squinted as the zesty mist from his peeling sprayed about.
"Kendra Ciara Sinclair…Seen-clare." She nodded after adding some foreign accent. "It does sound cooler. But, I already found my man, Marques,"—She sighed as if in ecstasy—"so I'll just have to deal with Kendra Ciara Floyd…for the rest of my life."
If you guys stay together that long, he thought sardonically. John couldn't comprehend how Kendra could automatically assume that she and Marques would "have and hold each other 'till death do they part". People do get tired of each other and love really isn't what people think it is. Fake things don't last.
"What's the matter?" Kendra asked, seeing the look on his face.
Teenagers, Kendra thought while her eyes glanced to the ceiling. "Well, then." She said, slowly getting up from her chair. John watched; his gaze was fixed to her large round pregnant belly. "I think it's about time you got ready for school."
His blue eyes lazily left her stomach to her face. She was watching him expectantly.
"I don't gotta be there until twelve today." He replied. Feeling she didn't believe him, he added, "I just have to take a regents exam, remember? Regent's week? I told you about it last week?"
John watched as she thought about it. "Oh, right. It must have slipped my mind. Sorry." She gave him an apologetic shrug. John knew that shrug. He was used to getting it.
"Can you take Kendal and Marsha to school then?" Kendra asked meaning her seven-year old twins. "I have to start working on this project for work and find a caterer for the wedding."
"Sure." John didn't mind. He liked the kids and, besides, their elementary school was only ten minutes away…five minutes if he took his motorcycle.
Kendra caught the gleam in his eye. "No." She said adamantly.
"What?" He said, feigning innocence.
"My kids are not getting on a bike with a novice rider." She looked at him directly. "I mean it."
Even though it was a negative response, a part of John enjoyed seeing that side of Kendra: Her maternal side.
Did that include him? Another part of him hated to see that side of her strictly used on Kendal and Marsha.
Now she had another baby coming along...Would he continued to be pushed out?
"I won't." John assured her before she went to her study. "I won't listen." He muttered with a sly smile and continued his peeling.
He ended up obeying Kendra's wishes after all.
Although Kendal was all for the motorcycle ride to school, Marsha adamantly protested. "I would like to get to school alive, thank you very much" was her winning statement.
What if he had an accident? John had thought at the time. Kendra would disown him (Not that he didn't feel owned in the first place). He also didn't want another reason for Marques to dislike him.
"Can we leave Marsha home and ride your motorcycle tomorrow?" Kendal asked as the three of them walked down the street. While holding Marsha's hand, he looked from his worn black sneakers to Kendal. He smiled, "I don't think Kendra—I mean, your mom would like it."
"Yeah, punk." Marsha mocked. She stuck her tongue at him. Kendal returned the gesture.
Once John heard the playful shouts of little kids, he knew they were at their destination. A bunch of kids were running around and playing upon the large blacktop in front of the school.
While John scanned the area, he stopped when he saw a woman hugging her son. Her hand rubbed his back up and down soothingly as she whispered to him. She then gave him a big smile before kissing him on the forehead and pulling away. The boy grinned back at her and walked onto the blacktop. The mom proudly watched him go, holding her hand to her mouth.
His first day, John thought. He couldn't remember if he and his own mother had a moment like that when he first started school. He wouldn't have been surprised if she had just dropped him off and left without as so much as a goodbye. He remembered when Kendra had taken him to school, though.
"I'll be here when you get out, okay?" Kendra had told him.
Through tear-swollen eyes, he asked, "Promise?" He knew, despite his young age, that his mother wasn't coming back for him. The thought of not seeing Kendra anymore scared him.
"Of course." She said with a smile. She wiped away his tears with her thumbs. "I promise." She assured. She looked as if she was about to hug him afterward but she stopped herself. "Now go on. They're starting to go in now."
"Johnny!" Marsha shouted, causing him to squelch his thoughts. She tugged on his arm. "They're starting to go in now."
John followed her finger that pointed at the kids gathering around the entrance.
"Already?" Kendal whined as he dropped the stick he was prodding the ground with. He clicked his tongue before looking up at John; his small gray eyes were lazily half-closed. The small boy sighed. "Bye, man." He started to walk off.
"Later." John said. He then looked down at Marsha who continued to tug on John's arm.
"Bend down." She said with a shy smile.
John glanced away for a second and grinned. He knew what was coming. Marsha did this everyday before she left for school with Kendra. Now she had a chance to finally kiss her "boyfriend" in front of her friends.
John did as she said and she kissed him on the side of his mouth.
"See you at home!" She yelled before catching up with Kendal who was making gagging gestures at the two of them.