Chapter 40, Aisha and Tony Rolls Out the Red Carpet Pt.2
It had been months since any of us had walked through the double doors at Catalina’s. This time six of us were expected to be there, rather than our usual four. Camie was in tow with her sister Erilyn, and her newest girlfriend and hairdresser Nohle. I thought about Kayla’s craft, and hoped for Nohle’s sake that Camie’s hair was on point. I was surprised to see that our usual valet guy had been moved up to some sort of management position, and was working on the inside of the restaurant. It was quite a cool thought however. When I made it around to where our table was, Kayla and Ketly were already seated, and snacking on bread. I quickly moved in on Ketly, who stood happily to greet me. It was astonishing to see her glow. She was not the woman I’d seen just a few weeks prior. Then again, nor was I. A huge storm had anchored its head over our circle, but I was happy to see that we’d cut its legs off. I circled back to greet Kayla, and she stood to her feet. She even took a slight step back to look at me. I knew what she was referring to. As I said, there had been a storm. Just as I was set to take my seat, Camie came bursting through the columns that complimented the two short walls that provided privacy for our party. She’d always been large and in charge, but now she shining. She didn’t look to be just content, but she looked radiant and happy. I did make reference of her new cut and all the movement it had. Everyone was now on their feet, and hugs and kisses were everywhere. I was taken aback by Erilyn, and how well put together she was. It was not the same Erilyn I’d met. Either Camie had gotten her hands on her, or she had a lot more style than she’d led on. It was the subtle choices that she made that gave her away, more so than the more apparent ones. Camie introduced everyone to Nohle, who had nothing but a huge smile, lots of warmth, and a radiance of her own. She was tall and slender with a bit of a pear shape. I didn’t know her nationality, but there was an obvious mixture of things. Camie was dressed simply in a Maxi dress, but I knew it was only to create a definite contrast in our minds. Not that we needed one, after the first drive Kayla and I took to Tampa. Still, I couldn’t wait to see what she had settled on for the party. Camie and Ketly double hi-fived each other, and shared a few extra moments in their embrace. It was cute, and it was clear that the two had become closer as well. Kayla and I had paid for a series of dishes to be delivered to the table, and shortly thereafter, they began to come. Kayla, Camie, Ketly, and I sat side-by-side and Nohle and Erilyn bookended us.