When The Glitter Turns Gold – Chapter 19

Chapter 19 — Mirror, Mirror

Aug 17, 2004 – Los Angeles, CA (North Beverly Park Suburb) – The Home of JT and Justin Poole-Tanner – The Family Room

“Wow, this room is big,” Caleb said, looking around as he, JT and Justin walked into the room.  “Daddy, can I watch some TV?”

“Sure, but only for a little bit,” JT replied as Caleb picked up the remote, turned on the TV and then sat down on the sofa in the room.  “Remember, we have to go check out the new school in a bit.”

“Yes sir,” Caleb spoke as he folded his arms across his chest as Justin and JT walked over to the windows in the room.

“Baby, are you sure you’re going to be happy, staying here in LA, twenty-four seven?”  Justin asked as he looked at JT closely.  “You’ve lived in Jacksonville for a long time and…”

“And as I told you last week, this is a new start for all of us Justin,” JT stated as he leaned in and kissed Justin’s mouth as Caleb giggled behind the two of them.  “What are you giggling about little man?”

“Nothing Daddy,” Caleb replied with a smile as JT walked over and picked him up and then kissed his forehead.

“Did you finish unpacking your things in your room?”  JT asked.

“Yes Daddy, Justin helped me,” Caleb replied as he giggled as Justin tickled him.  “Quit it Justin, that tickles.”

“It’s supposed to,” Justin replied as he tickled Caleb more as a phone rang in the room.

“That’s probably Nikki, she said she would call once she and Josh arrived in town,” JT stated as he fished through his pockets, retrieving the ringing cell phone and then opening it.  “Yep, it’s her. Hello Missy, you make it into town okay?”

Justin’s POV

He’s totally right.  This is a new start for a lot of people.  In the past few weeks, a lot of things happened and with that, he and others made decisions that affected our lives and the lives of others for a very long time.  I just hope with all the changes that have taken place, nothing bad happens.  I’m just happy that I’m still a part of his and Caleb’s lives.

Since the Fourth of July party, our lives have taken a different path than what I expected or planned.  One of the paths taken in our lives have to do with his career.  With the way things were going with his career, I thought he was going to take a break from recording.  Hell, I thought that would be the general thing to do since one of the execs of the record company told him he couldn’t record until they wanted him to.  He didn’t take that as the final say so of his career and he used some of his dad’s connections and bought controlling interest in the record company.  Now that he has control, he made changes to his contract.  With his recent actions, Glitter and Starletta are both unhappy.  Oh well.

Another path we’re traveling is this house.  We’re here in Los Angeles of all places to be in the world, the ultimate place to be if you’re a singer, actor or whatever.  With his resume of being in the spotlight, he has access to all aspects of stardom from here.

After the things that took place with Chris crashing the party, JT decided that he had seen and heard too much drama and that we needed some changes in our lives.  Since this house was already bought and he had been here before, we flew out here a few days later to see if I would like the house as much as he does, and I do.  This place looks great outside and it’s not as big as his military complex out in Jacksonville, but it’s big enough for our growing family.  After touring the house and the neighborhood, it was official that we would live here in LA, while Todd and Wes stayed at the other house.

Speaking of Todd and Wes, they are a really strange couple.  Shoot, with the way things went down with them, especially after Chad had proposed to Howard, Todd seemed to be in a strange funk that no one could explain, not even JT, his closest friend.  That didn’t seem to matter much to JT, being that we’re here and whatever drama they have going on there, won’t affect us here.  The drama I feel would affect us has to do with his brother Josh.  I don’t think Josh is really comfortable being around us, but yet, he agreed to leave Jacksonville and move out here with us here in Los Angeles.  Whatever’s going on with him, I hope it doesn’t cause a problem for me and JT when he finally arrives.

“I think that’s right down the street from us,” I heard JT say as I turned around to see that he was still on the phone, chatting with Nikki.

When he told her that we were moving out to Los Angeles, she jumped for joy.  She thought it was a great idea for all of us getting away from Jacksonville and starting new, some place fresh.  Being that she’s been keeping house in Atlanta with her mother, I can understand why she was so gung-ho about getting away from the east coast.  Things were made even more clear about her decisions when it came out that she and Josh were already married, and she hadn’t told her mother about it.  To say the least, JT was a bit upset that he didn’t get to attend her wedding, but the kicker came when she told us that she had gotten married in a private ceremony, somewhere in Georgia, a few days before they left to go to our wedding.  Talk about jumping the broom first.  Anyway, to keep things with ‘Mutual Attraction’ going great and to keep them together, Nikki and Josh are on their way here, to move into their new home.

As for ‘Mutual Attraction’ as a whole, I don’t know what’s going to happen.  With JT’s actions with the record company, things for them has changed quite a bit.  For Glitter, her solo career has been put on hold until further notice.  When she found out, she went through the roof at the meeting that JT had with the execs at the end of July.  That girl was so pissed off, she threatened to sue everybody around until she got what she wanted.  JT laughed it off and left things as they were.  He stated that once he and Nikki were settled, things with the group would resume.  I don’t know if that’s really plausible, since Mo’ette is a no-show.  She’s been acting really strange since David married the other woman.  She’s been acting—acting like she’s ready to end it all since she’s been hanging around with us.

“Justin, do you have any plans for the rest of the day?”  I heard JT ask as I looked up to see him walking towards me.

“I cleared my schedule for things here baby,” I replied as he smiled and then looked at me.  “Is there something else we need to take care of?”

“Nikki invited us to dinner,” he replied as he looked at his watch and then turned around.  “Caleb, TV time is over buddy, we have to go visit your school.”

“Okay Daddy,” Caleb replied as he picked up the remote, turned off the television and then slid off the sofa as he walked over to the two of us.  “We go now?”

“In a moment,” JT replied as he looked at me.  “Are you ready to go Justin?  You’ve been in here for over an hour, just looking out the windows.  You got something on your mind or…”

“I was just admiring the scenery of our new place baby,” I said, leaning in and kissing his mouth.  “I’m ready when you are.”

“Cool, let’s go,” he said as he took Caleb by the hand as the three of us walked out of the room, heading towards the garage—a garage that is slightly smaller than what I’m used to seeing, like the one out in Jacksonville that seems to have a car for every day of the week.  Shoot, who am I to talk?  At my old place out in Memphis, I had five cars, two shy of him.

Across Town – The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza – The Lobby

Mo’ette’s POV

Why in the hell did I bring my ass back to this damn hotel?  He already made his choice.  He chose that ho over me.  There’s really nothing more for me to do here.  He told me that he married her and that he’s going to be with her.  For the life of me, I don’t know why.  What does that ho have that I don’t?

Why can’t I let this go?  I know what he said, but I don’t believe he really meant any of it.  After all that we’ve been through over the past few years, something deep within me is telling me not to let him or this thing that we have go.  Why Lord, why am I being put through this trial?

“Well, look who it is,” I heard behind me as I turned around to see the ho in question.  “It seems the old whore is still breathing.  Haven’t you cried your heart out and died?”

“Leave her alone Emily,” I heard David say as I shook my head.

“Look here heffa, I’m in no mood to deal with the bullshit that you’re spewing,” I said as I pointed my finger in her face as her eyes widened a bit.  Apparently, she hasn’t taken the hint that I’ll drop her ass in a matter of seconds.  “And furthermore, I don’t need you sticking up for me David.”

“I was only…” David said as I pointed my finger at him.  “Mo, please…  There’s no reason for you to be here, doing this sort of thing.  We already…”

“Since you two are in the mood of thinking that I’m down and out, I got something for you,” I said as I cleared my throat as a song that JT had been working on, flowing through my soul and out my mouth.

[1]Did you think my life would end that day
That you walked out when you broke my heart
Did you think I couldn’t make it through
Ooh, without you
Did you think you’d stop my world with goodbye, oh no
Did you think I’d crumble inside

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
This old heart of mine is still beating
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

There were times when it took all my strength
To just get through, yeah, through another day
There were so many nights I thought that I was gonna die
Without you
But the tears I cried somehow made me strong, so strong
Did you think I couldn’t go on

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

You tried to cut me down
But look who’s still around
Without you
Did you think you’d stop my world with good bye, no baby
Did you think I’d crumble, just crumble inside

Not Me, I’m still breathing
And this heart of mine is still beating
I, I’m not feeling any pain
No baby, not me, I’m still breathing
This old heart of mine is still beating
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing
The tears I cried have dried
You are gone and I survived
I’m still breathing

“Hmph, I got the meaning of the song,” the bitch said as I shook my head as a few people that had gathered around us, clapped and cheered as I took a bow and then walked away, leaving those two fools there as I stopped at the door and then turned around to see that David had tears in his eyes.  Damn it, something’s not right here.

Jacksonville, FL (Arlington Suburb) – The Apartment of Joshua Raymond

Josh’s POV

Damn, what am I going to do with all of this stuff here?  Should I keep it all, putting it into a storage unit some place or should I get rid of it all?  Sighing deeply, I looked around the room, moving over to the different things—things I’ve collected over the years.  The Lord knows I have too much stuff here to faithfully decide about what to do with.  All the stuff here has a distinct memory for me.

“Lord, what am I going to do with all of this stuff?”  I asked aloud as I continued walking around the room, stopping in my bedroom as I looked at the different pieces of furniture in there that I had collected throughout the years.

Where am I going to put these things in my new place with my brother?  I guess I’ll have everything I want shipped out to the new place, like JT suggested and I really don’t know what to do about the rest of this stuff.  I just don’t know what to do about the other stuff that I’m not taking with me.  JT tried to convince me to just get rid of it all and get new stuff when I actually got out to Los Angeles.  I don’t see anything wrong with this stuff… Therefore, there’s no point in getting rid of it.  I don’t see any point of spending money to get new stuff, when this stuff is just as good as anything new I could possibly buy.  The way JT acted, it seemed to me like he was trying to say that my stuff wasn’t good enough for his—our home.

“Am I really doing the right thing here?  Is moving out to Los Angeles with him and Justin the right thing for me to be doing?” I asked aloud as someone knocked on the door.  “Who could that be?”

Putting the picture album down, I walked out of the room and headed to the front door as I looked through the peephole to see my adoptive brother Brad, standing outside with that evil heffa Layla.  What in the hell is she doing here with him?  Sighing, I opened the door, grabbed him by the arm and pulled him in quickly, trying to close the door to keep her out as my cat Sparky put up a fuss at the commotion that was going on.

“What in the hell is going on Josh?”  Brad asked as I finally got the door completely closed as she banged on the door.  “Josh, what’s going on?  Why you didn’t let her in?”

“Because she’s not welcomed here,” I replied as he looked at me strangely.

“Bro, what’s going on?”  Brad asked as the knocking and banging got louder and then she started yelling.  “Why aren’t you letting her in?”

“I don’t want to see her, she’s not welcomed here,” I replied as he shook his head.

“Bro, she just wants to talk to you,” he said as I shook my head.

“Well I don’t want to talk to her Bradley,” I replied as he frowned.

“Why not?” He asked.

“She’s a waste of time,” I replied as he raised an eye.  “She’s done nothing but string me along and break my heart!”

“I don’t think she strung you along bro,” he said as I shook my head at him as the knocking and banging continued.

“Get away from the door or I’m calling the cops!”  I yelled as his eyes widened as the noise stopped as someone outside yelled, ‘Thank You’ as Brad looked at me as if I were crazy.  “Why are you looking at me like that?”

“Why did you threaten to call the cops on your girl like that?”  He asked.

“She’s not my girl anymore,” I replied as he shook his head again.  “So, what’s up bro, what brings you by?”

“I’m here to see if you’ll reconsider leaving,” he said as I shook my head.  “You don’t have to leave here, to have a relationship with—with your real brother.”

“No, I don’t have to leave here to have a relationship with him and my family, but I’m choosing to leave for me and other reasons,” I said as he looked down.

“Does your decision have anything to do with Uncle…” He said as I shook my head and then raised my hand, stopping him from saying more.

“I’m doing this for me,” I said as he sighed.  “I would very much like to have a relationship with my family and I can’t do that here.  There are too many ghosts of my past, lingering around me here to cause problems.  I know my decision to leave here may hurt your feelings, but I…”

“Yeah, it hurts my feelings Josh, but I don’t want to lose you,” he said as he moved closer and then wrapped his arms around me.  “We’ve been through too much over the years and I’m not ready for the man that I’ve called my brother all these years to just up and leave.”

“I’m still your brother and we’ll keep in touch, but JT is my brother too and I would like to get to know my brother, the way I know you as my brother,” I said as he frowned and then sniffled.  “We’ve known each other since I was four years old and you’re my adoptive brother.  JT is my biological brother and—and we don’t know anything about each other.  The stuff I know about him is mainly what I’ve read in the magazines about him.  I know you think I’m making a mistake here, but this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me to get to know my family, my real family and I aim to do it.”

“He’s not going to treat you like family Josh,” he said, looking down at his hands.  “This is probably just some celebrity pity thing for him.”

“I don’t think it is Brad,” I said, thinking that very thing myself.  “He seems to genuinely care for me.”

“Does he care about you or does it have something to do about how that fans would react to knowing that he didn’t connect with his brother?”  He asked as he placed a hand on my shoulder.

“JT—JT is very family oriented,” I said, looking down at the floor.  “He has a husband, a son, he has connections with mom and dad, our mom and our dad, not your parents and he—he seems to want the family connection with me.”

“Are you doing this because of Layla and Uncle Walden?”  He asked as I sighed.  “Are you doing this to escape the memories of what he did to you—to us?”

“Why are you talking about that Brad?”  I asked as I felt the tears sliding down my face. “What’s the point in bringing that stuff up?”

“He—he hurt us, but he can’t hurt us anymore,” he said with a frown.  “We’re grown now and he’s not here to do anything to us.”

“No, he can’t hurt us anymore, mainly because he’s in prison,” I said as he frowned again.  “When he gets out of prison, I won’t be here for him to try again.  I’m not going to give him the chance to try to make a move on me.  Because of your Uncle Walden, I always wondered about my feelings for people.  Because of him, I don’t know if I loved girls or guys.”

“What are you trying to say Josh?”  He asked.

“I’m trying to say—say that I don’t know if I’m gay or straight,” I said, finally getting those words out of my system and into the open.  “For the longest time, I didn’t know if I liked boys or girls.  Had it not been for your Uncle Walden, I would’ve been able to make that choice on my own, instead I got used and abused by him!  Because of his actions, I don’t understand how to trust my feelings with other boys—men!”

“So, you—you’re telling me that you—you’re gay, possibly?”  He asked as I looked up and then shrugged my shoulders.

“I don’t know if I’m gay or what,” I replied as he sighed.  “I don’t know because I’m scared to trust my feelings around other men.  Each man I’ve been around with, I get scared they’re going to do the things to me that Walden did.  Do you know how hard it is to trust your feelings when you’re scared that someone’s going to hold you down and rape you, if you close your eyes around them?”

“I—I don’t know what to say to that Josh,” he said as I looked down.  “What about Layla?”

“What about her?”  I asked.

“Why didn’t things last with her?”  He asked as I shook my head.

“Because she’s an evil bitch that couldn’t stay out of jail long enough for anyone to build something with her,” I said as he looked at me strangely.

“So, you knew about her being in and out of jail?”  He asked as I nodded my head.

“Yeah, I knew about her being in jail and the prison time,” I replied as he looked down and then rubbed his head.  “She’s another reason why I believe that me being away from here and starting some place fresh would be beneficial.”

“Things could be beneficial here bro,” he said as I shook my head.  “Please Josh, please think about Mom and Dad, think about all of the people here that…”

“You want me to think about the people that allowed your uncle to use and abuse me,” I said as he sighed.  “You want me to think about the doctors that poked and prodded on and in me, because our parents thought there was something wrong with me, because I told them about the things your uncle did to me.”

“Josh…” He started as I shook my head and then kept on going.

“You want me to think about you, Olivia, Pam and Keisha, the people that I’ve always looked up to and thought were my friends, but none of you lifted a finger to help me when I needed it and I ended up here, in this place, a place where I had no choice but to run to, so I wouldn’t end up in a mental health institution.  What am I supposed to see that is so beneficial here Brad?”  I asked.

“When you put it like that, I—I don’t know,” he said as I looked him in the face.  “Does your brother know about your mental health issues?”

“He doesn’t care,” I said as he looked at me funny and then shook his head.

“Did you tell him about your issues Josh?  Does he or that husband of his know?”  He asked.

“Does that really matter Brad?  Why is that a concern all of a sudden?”  I asked.

“It’s a concern because I don’t want anything happening to you, I love you man,” he said as I shook my head at him.  “Regardless of what you think, I’ll always love you, blood or not.  We grew up together man, we are brothers.”

“Yeah, we’re brothers, but it seems I’m the brother that took the brunt of things,” I said as he sighed again.  “Regardless of what you say or do here Brad, I’m still leaving and I’m going to be with my real family.  Good or bad, I’m going to live my life—a life I should’ve lived a long time ago.”

“Josh, I—I hope you know what you’re doing,” he said, shaking his head as he leaned in and hugged me.  “If you need me, you know I’ll always be here for you.”

“I know Brad, but this is something I have to do,” I said, pulling away from him.  “I may not act like it, but I do love you too Brad, but my brother needs some family love and that’s why it’s time I show him some.”

“Well if something goes wrong…” he said as I shook my head.

“Nothing’s going to go wrong Brad,” I said, turning around.  “I’m going to get on a plane tonight and tomorrow, my new life in Los Angeles starts with my brother, his son and his husband.”

“I hope you’re right about things,” he said, hugging me once more as he turned and walked towards the door.  “I love you man, take it easy.”

“You too,” I said as he opened the door, waved and then walked out of the room, closing the door behind him.

Now, I need to get back to what I’m going to do with all of this stuff.  With the conversation I just had, I’ve made up my mind.  I’ll just put everything here in storage and if something happens, I’ll have it to come back to or go someplace else.  I guess that would be my contingency plan if something bad happens and I need to leave Los Angeles.  With that decided, I guess when I get out to Los Angeles tomorrow, I’ll just go shopping and get some new stuff.  Okay new life, here I come.

Somewhere in Grand Junction, TN – The Studio Apartment of Laci Greylek – The Front Yard

“Get the hell off of my damn property!”  Laci screamed as a few police officers stood out in front of the building.

“I’m sorry Ms. Greylek, but you’ve been warned about your actions towards others, plenty of times.  Now isn’t a joking matter,” a sheriff’s deputy spoke as he walked around the car to stand at the edge of the yard.  “Is Me-Ma in there?”

“Yeah, she in there, why you want to know?”  Laci asked, watching the man as he approached the door.

“You might as well leave little PJ with her and come on with me.”

“I’m not going anywhere with you Darby!  You tell that fucker to shove that damn warrant up his fucking ass!”  Laci screamed as the baby cried in her arms.  “I’m not letting you or any of those fuckers take my baby!”

“Come on now Ms. Greylek, don’t make matters worse than what they already are,” the sheriff’s deputy spoke as he hiked up the belt of his pants and then walked up to the front door.  “Go on now, pass little PJ over to Me-Ma and you come with me.  The sooner you take care of this matter, the quicker you’ll get back here to be with little PJ.”

“I said fuck off Darby!  Take your fat ass somewhere else with that shit!”  Laci yelled as she shook the baby gently, trying to get him to stop crying.  “Come on PJ, you gotta stop crying for mommy.”

“Ms. Greylek, don’t make me force you to come with me,” the sheriff’s deputy said, looking over the top of his shades.  “If I have to, I’ll drag you down to the office, kicking and screaming girl.”

“Do it Darby and you’ll fucking regret it,” Laci stated as she pointed her finger in the man’s direction.  “I’m not going anywhere with you or anyone else.”

[1] Song Excerpt = ‘I’m Still Breathing’ by Toni Braxton

To Be Continued…