Chapter 32, Surprise Again! (Narrated by Kayla)

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel
Chapter 32

Surprise Again
(narrated by Kayla)

Camie had called and ask that we come up for Hannah’s birthday party, so we all cleared our Sunday to be there.  This time Ketly and Shayne were along for the ride.  Aisha elected herself to do the driving.  She was probably hoping she could spare us all of maybe thirty minutes.  Anyway, I was glad to be able to relax, and Ketly was writing and entertaining Shayne here and there.  The long and quiet stretches of road were exactly what I needed to help me sort out all the things I was contemplating. 
We arrived early, just a little after noon, and could hardly get to exchange any words with Camie before she was ordering and directing us to carry, hang, or unpack things.  We had officially become part of the decorating team.  Hannah appeared to be in much better spirits, and was running around Erilyn’s back yard chasing the family dog.

Eventually a handsome man showed up, and gave Camie a kiss on the cheek.  I assumed it was Derek.  Shortly after, Camie brought him over, and made a formal introduction.  They were absolutely dynamic together, and watching them side by side certainly drew Hannah to mind.  Speaking of Hannah, I could see Camie trying to hold back her affection for him.  In fact, she kept shifting her eyes over to Hannah to be sure she didn’t suspect anything weird between them.  I knew from conversations however, that that act wouldn’t last very long.  The way Camie talked about Derek—they’d have to come clean very soon.  Just a few moments later, Hannah caught sight of her dad, and took a break from her playing to greet him.  It was a different relationship than the strictly business one Nathan seemed to have with Hannah.  I didn’t sense anything really troubling except, he just didn’t look to be very fatherly with her. 

Around two o’clock, Erilyn came out to the back, where we were all frantically trying to put the finishing touches on the space, and reminded Hannah to get her bath.  I could tell that she somehow always kept her eyes on the bigger picture.  Once Hannah was gone, Derek found his way back over to Camie, and took the risk of kissing her on the mouth.  I immediately began looking around as though it was my job to keep their secret a secret.  I saw Aisha’s head turn, and I knew by the end of this weekend this matter could be under full address.  Ketly remained inside the house, probably tending to Shayne and trying to stay cool, so she didn’t get the memo, but Ketly was always finding things out on the back end. 

By the time the guests began to arrive, and everyone had converged to the backyard, I was spent.  Aisha, Ketly, and I found a cool spot under the tent, and watched the kids buzz around.  Natalie did eventually come out, but mainly spent her time on her cellphone.  Nathan, Derek, and one other dad that came out, were playing cards, while Erilyn and Camie served food, and talked with some of the parents that stuck around.

Ketly got a call on her cellphone, and exited through the back gate to take the call.  I wondered why she didn’t just go into the house, but then I thought… whatever.  A few moments later, I saw Tony coming through the wooden gate, while Ketly stood back at the gate, as if there was any mistake she had led him to us.  Mostly everyone’s eyes followed Tony thinking, “Who is that?” seeing that he had not showed up with a nine or ten year old.  When Aisha spotted him she immediately got up, and headed for the house.  I got up to follow her, but Tony held his hand out, and without a single word spoken, went in after her.  I could see Nathan looking like he was ready to protect his property and possibly Aisha, but Camie let him know it was okay.  I walked over to Ketly, and Camie followed. 
“How do you think it’ll go?”  I asked.
“Hopefully she can get some answers.”  Camie stated.
“I’m surprise at you Ketly.  That’s not like you.”  Camie was right, and I was also surprised by her.
“Well, she loves him, and he loves her.  He’s ready to fight for her, and so I couldn’t say no.”  Ketly rationalized.  Just then, I felt my phone vibrating in my pant pocket, and I stepped through the gate.  It was Nora.

A Better Pair of Shoes, a novel © Grace Call Communications, LLC Copyright ©2010, 2016, 2017 by Natisha Renee Williams All Rights Reserved.