Chapter 3 — Something in the Milk Ain’t Clean
May 28, 2004 – Philadelphia, PA – The Radisson Plaza Hotel – Mutual Attraction’s Suite – Mo’ette’s Hotel Room
I don’t like the feeling, that I’m feeling right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve actually felt this way. Please God; please tell me it ain’t so. I haven’t heard from David since he left here. Why haven’t I heard from him God? The minutes… The hours are turning into days and I don’t like it. What’s going on to keep him from calling me or from answering his damn phone?
“Please God, please tell me what’s going on,” I said aloud as I walked around the room. “I bet him not calling has something to do with that damn ho on the show with him.”
“Mo! Mo! I think you want to come out here!” I heard Justin’s voice as I stopped my pacing and walked over to the door, opening it to see what he wanted.
“What is it Justin?” I asked, noticing the strange looks on his and JT’s face as they stood there at the door. “Well?”
“Ah… Girl, I think you might want to go sit down,” JT said as he and Justin walked into the room, passing me quickly.
“What’s going on guys?” I asked, looking at both of them like they were crazy. “Well?”
“Have—have you turned on the TV recently?” JT asked, looking at me closely.
“What,” I said, wondering what he was trying to get at.
“I asked, have you turned on the TV recently, like any time within the last hour or so?” He asked, his expression changing to a null one.
“No, I haven’t turned on the TV, why guys?” I asked.
“Ah, I think you might want to turn on the TV,” he said with a frown on his face.
“Why JT, I’m not in the mood for watching the damn TV right now,” I said as he sighed. “What’s going on guys, why are you looking like that?”
“I think you might want to watch this,” JT said as Justin turned on the TV in the room and then switched the channel.
“Guys,” I said, stopping when Justin turned to the entertainment channel, showing me what my heart didn’t want to see. “What in the hell is this? Is this some kind of joke?”
“No Mo, it’s no joke,” Justin replied with a frown on his face as he looked down. “That’s him.”
“Get out!” I snapped as both of them looked at me like I was crazy. “I said get the hell out!”
“Mo,” JT said as I shook my head, pointing at the door. I’m in no damn mood for talking right now. Both of them need to get the hell out of here.
“Mo, if you want to talk about this, you know where to find us,” JT said as he looked down again as he and Justin both walked towards the door. “Mo, don’t…”
“Just go,” I said, turning my back to the both of them as I walked to the windows in the room.
Oh God, what in the hell is going on? Who is that damn woman? Is this some kind of joke or publicity scheme for that damn show he’s supposed to be working on or what? Why God, why is this happening to me? I—I thought he loved me. Did he really love me or was this just some game to him? I—I always had reservations about things between us and now I guess I have a big reason why.
I’ve loved him for a long time. David was a part of my life that I had locked away from myself, because I felt I didn’t deserve it. Now, that this has happened, maybe I didn’t deserve it. That’s why I left the spotlight so long ago. But with this happening, I don’t know what’s going to happen to me now. All I can do is cry…
I heard church bells ringing
I heard a choir singing
I saw my love walk down the aisle
On her finger he placed a ring
Oh, I saw them holding hands
She was standing there with my man
I heard them promise “Till death do us part”
Each word was a pain in my heart
All I could do, all I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
All I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
I was losing the man that I loved
And all I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
Yeah and now the wedding’s over
Rice, rice has been thrown over their heads
For them life has just begun
But mine is at an end
All, all I could do, all I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
All I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
I was losing the man that I loved (cry, cry, cry)
And all I could do was cry (cry, cry, cry)
Finishing the song, someone knocked on the door again. Sighing, I walked over to the door to see Jarrod standing there with a smile on his face. What in the hell does this fucker want?
“What is it Jarrod?” I asked as he walked into the room, passing me as he clapped his hands. What is it with these damn men today? Do any of them know how to wait until they are invited into a damn room?
“I see JT made a good decision, yet again,” he said, smiling at me.
“What are you going on about Jarrod?” I asked, crossing my arms across my chest. “What decision did he make, that has you here, talking to me right now?”
“The decision of having you in the group,” he replied as his smile grew. “I heard you singing just now and I recorded it. It seems you still got it Mo’ette.”
“What’s your point here Jarrod?” I asked.
“The point is, you’re going to release that song as a comeback single for yourself Mo’ette,” he said, smiling widely. “I was rude before, but at this point, welcome to ‘Mutual Attraction’ and by all means, keep singing songs like that.”
“I’m so not in the mood for this right now,” I said, pointing at the door. “Get out Jarrod.”
“Okay, I’ll get out right now, but I’ll be back later on,” he said as he turned and then stopped before he got to the door. “I expect you to be in Jacksonville with the others soon. By the way, have you seen Nikki and the others? I need to talk to…”
“Do I look like their keeper?” I asked as his eyes widened a bit as he stepped back away from me.
“Ah…” he said as I shook my head, interrupting him.
“Get the hell out of here Jarrod!” I snapped as he walked on out of the room, closing the door behind him.
An Hour Later – The Hotel Lobby
“Hello, could you tell me what room Justin Tanner is in?” Chris Keller, Justin’s past band mate asked of the woman behind the counter.
“Is Mr. Tanner expecting you?” The woman asked, looking at the man closely as she typed something on the computer.
“Ah, yeah he is,” Chris replied with a sly smile on his face. “Just let him know that Chris Keller is here.”
“Hold on just a moment sir,” the woman stated as she picked up the phone, pressed a button and then waited a few seconds as she spoke again. “Hi, there’s a Mr. Keller down here in the lobby for Mr. Tanner. Why yes sir, I’ll let him know. Thank you.”
“Well,” Chris said, looking at the woman closely.
“I’m sorry sir, but Mr. Tanner isn’t available to see you right now,” the woman responded with a neutral smile as Chris looked at her strangely and then shook his head.
“What do you mean he’s not available to see me right now?” Chris asked, getting closer to the counter. “I’m here to see him.”
“I’m sorry sir, I was informed that he’s not available right now,” the woman stated as Chris slammed his hand down on the counter, scaring her. “Sir…”
“I can’t fucking believe this,” Chris said as the woman motioned with her head as a security guard walked towards the counter. “This is just like him, doing something like… Okay, what’s going on here?”
“Excuse me, is there a problem here?” The security guard asked, looking at Chris closely.
“Yeah there is guy. Why are you here, bothering me right now?” Chris asked, looking up at the man.
“April, is there a problem here?” The security guard asked.
“Maybe, I don’t know. Is there a problem here Mr. Keller?” The woman asked, looking at Chris with a strange look on her face.
“No, there isn’t a problem here,” Chris replied as he glared at the woman, turned away and then walked away from the counter, spotting Justin and JT as they walked in the opposite direction. “You!”
“Oh great,” Justin said as he looked up to see Chris. “What in the hell is he doing here?”
“Who are you talking about?” JT asked, looking around, following Justin’s line of vision. “Ah, another one of your friends… I guess that reunion is going to kick off after all.”
“Don’t start baby,” Justin replied, sighing. “I wonder what the hell he wants.”
“How did he know you were even here?” JT asked.
“Josh probably told him,” Justin replied, sighing again. “Or Mom told him, probably to use him to get on my nerves.”
“It seems moms are good at doing that sort of thing,” JT said as Chris stepped in front of them.
“What’re you doing here? What in the hell do you want Chris?” Justin asked, looking at Chris strangely.
“I’m here because I would like to know what’s gotten into you. Being that you’re here with him, don’t answer that question,” Chris said as he shook his head. “It’s apparent that he’s gotten into you, again.”
“Watch your fucking mouth Chris!” Justin snapped, pointing his finger at Chris.
“When you grow a pair, then you can tell me what to fucking do,” Chris said, pointing his finger back at Justin. “What in the hell are you doing here, with him of all people? Is this what it’s come to? You sneaking around with him, bringing your fucking career down! What about the rest of us?”
“Yep, it’s happened, you’ve lost your fucking mind,” Justin said as he shook his head. “You can’t stand here and try to insult me and then want to turn around and question me about my damn actions!”
“Why in the hell are you with him? What happened to… What happened to what’s her name?” Chris asked, looking over at JT, smiling slyly. “Didn’t he break your heart? Isn’t he the one that caused you to want to kill yourself so long ago?”
“Shut up!” Justin screamed as JT’s eyes widened as a security guard walked towards them.
“Mr. Poole, Mr. Tanner, is there a problem here?” The security guard asked, looking at Chris with a mean look on his face.
“Yes, there’s a problem here,” Justin replied as he turned away from the security guard and Chris as he walked down the corridor quickly.
“Justin,” JT called after him. “Justin, come back here.”
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave here,” the security guard stated as he touched Chris’ shoulder, directing him towards the main doors.
What the fuck is wrong with him? I can’t believe he’s here with that black man. When Lynda called and said that he was actually here, I didn’t know what to think. Now that I’ve seen things with my own two eyes, I wonder if he’s lost his damn mind or what. This isn’t just some phase he’s going through like she said, he really has a thing for that man, for him to be doing all the things he’s done out in the open, the way he has.
I guess the spotlight finally got to him and made him flip his damn lid. What in the hell was he thinking, being with that damn porch monkey? If I’d known a long time ago that he and Josh liked niggers so much, I never would’ve joined them.
“So, what am I going to do now?” I asked aloud, walking back to the rental car. “I came here to stop Justin from making a big mistake, but it seems I’m too late; he’s already made the big mistake.”
Sighing, I pulled out my cell phone and dialed Lynda’s number. Seeing as I didn’t get anywhere with Justin, she’s not going to be happy with what I have to tell her. I wonder what it is that Justin and Josh see in those ugly ass black people anyway, to make them turn against their own race and lay with them the way are. Black people are only good for one thing, working and nothing more than that.
“Hello,” I heard Lynda’s voice.
“Hi Lynda,” I spoke, not really knowing what to actually say to her.
“Well hello Christopher,” she responded, sounding like she wasn’t happy to hear from me. “Did you get Justin to see the error of his ways?”
“No,” was all I could say. “He basically screamed at me and then had a security guy toss me out of the hotel.”
“He did what? How dare he,” she said as I shook my head. “It seems things have gone further than I could’ve possibly imagined.”
“I don’t know what’s going through his mind, but I think this is the real deal with him Lynda. He and that man are together and I don’t think there’s any turning back for him. They were actually kissing and hugging, like long lost lovers, out in the open, in front of the paparazzi, like they didn’t even care that people were watching,” I explained as she sighed.
“He’s ruining his career,” she said as I nodded my head.
“It’s not just his career Lynda, but the rest of ours. If we have any hope of getting back together as a band, he can’t be with that man,” I said, thinking about all the negative things people would say about the band. “If he doesn’t stop what he’s doing, we have no hope of having a reunion. His actions now can’t be undone.”
“I know this already Christopher,” she responded as I could visualize the gears turning in her head. “I’m going to give it another try. I hear that the black guy’s band is supposed to be heading to Jacksonville. I’ll head there and try to talk with Justin again.”
“In that case, I’ll be there, waiting for your arrival,” I said with a smile. “When they arrive, I’ll make another play for Justin and see what I can get started.”
“If he’s going to be with a man, I would rather him be with you, than be with that black man,” she said as I saw some paparazzi running towards the opposite end of the hotel.
“Lynda, I think something’s going on. I’ll call you back later on,” I said, closing the phone so I could go see what all the fuss was about at the other end of the hotel.
A Few Minutes Previously – Mutual Attraction’s Suite – JT’s Hotel Room
“Justin stop, you can’t keep running from me,” JT spoke as he walked up behind Justin. “Come on, talk to me here.”
“I—I don’t want to talk right now,” Justin replied, sighing as he shook his head.
“You can’t keep avoiding me forever,” JT stated, taking Justin’s hand in his own. “Talk to me. Tell me what Chris was talking about.”
“I said I didn’t want to talk about it,” Justin responded, looking down as some tears fell from his eyes.
“You may not want to talk, but I do. If we’re going to be together, you need to tell me what the hell Chris was talking about,” JT said as Justin spun around, looking at him with fresh tears in his eyes. “Justin…”
“Fine,” Justin said as JT looked at him.
“I’m waiting,” JT said as he kissed the top of Justin’s hand.
“I—I was depressed about you. I—I tried to kill myself as he said,” Justin replied, looking down. “I—I was really low and—and I didn’t know what to do. That—that was one of the reasons I decided to leave the guys and go solo.”
“Why did you want to kill yourself Justin? Why did you want to kill yourself over me? Remember, you were the one that…” JT said as Justin interrupted him.
“I left you, you left me, we left each other,” Justin said as he sniffled. “We have a fucked-up history baby, but now we need to be working on changing that, not dwelling on the past.”
“True, but I don’t like hearing that the man I’m in a relationship with, tried to kill himself,” JT stated as he looked down. “Besides, I’m not worth killing yourself over.”
“You’re worth a whole lot more baby. I’ll do anything for you,” Justin stated, pulling JT to him and then kissing his lips. “I love you JT, I love you very much.”
“I—I love you too Justin,” JT replied, looking down. “But, if we’re going to be together, you have to promise me something.”
“Promise you what baby?” Justin asked, looking JT in the eyes.
“You have to promise me that you’re not going to do anything to hurt yourself,” JT stated as he looked at Justin closely. “Promise me Justin.”
“I promise baby,” Justin replied, kissing JT’s lips again.
“Good deal,” JT said, wrapping his arms around Justin, hugging him tightly with a sad expression on his face.
To Be Continued…
 Song excerpt = All I Could Do Was Cry by Etta James