By the time Grayson arrived in Malibu, the party was in full swing. Even though the sun had barely commenced setting, streaking the sky with purple. He was clean-shaven and wearing an oatmeal-colored linen suit that was light and airy and draped him beautifully.
Not even five minutes in he was looking at his watch. He hadn’t heard a thing from Dale yet, which was unusual. He was a billionaire, but he relied on his wingman, pathetic as it seemed to him to admit that.
He went to the bar that was on a deck overlooking the beach. The decor was sleek to match the profile level of all the attendees. Clean and modern with a black and white scheme, the strings of outdoor lights and other rustic touches there to add a degree of casual intimacy to the atmosphere. The level of celebrity there was excessive enough to shrink the entertainment world down to its actual size. Peppered among that crowd were beautiful plastic blonde nobodies, looking to snag a somebody. No one was bothering him.
Amara serves us dinner in the kitchen around the massive island rather than the grand dining room table. Two giant pendant lamps on each side of it light the kitchen like candlelight. I can see the starless night in the skylight above that’s about the size of the island itself and lined by gorgeous mahogany box beams. I can’t believe my friend lives in a house with a kitchen like this. It’s even more gorgeous during the day, when the skylight alone lights the entire kitchen. Amara just walks around like it’s all normal.
She insisted on cooking and made salmon, my favorite dish of hers. Grayson’s here, of course, being completely sexy with the baby on his lap. Rosetta, the nanny, is supposed to be taking a much-needed break but is instead cleaning, which isn’t her job.
Dale, his best friend and the new CEO of Webster, arrived home with Grayson. I’ve only met him twice before: once when Amara had her engagement party and once when Sam was born.
Dale is the whitest white guy I’ve seen up close in a long time. The fact that he’s filthy rich makes him almost bioluminescent. He has a bit of swag to him, that I suppose comes with being a billionaire and simply existing in the presence of Grayson Davis, who’s also pretty white. He seems like an underdeveloped character in a story, who’s talked about a little and shows up even less. He’s wearing a light blue dress shirt with white cuffs, navy slacks, and an expensive gold watch. His dandruff commercial hair has grown out rather long since I last saw him, and it’s kind of amazing. Full and sort of gravity-defying. He probably owned the 90’s.
He’s a big deal now that he’s the CEO of Webster. It’s weird to see him gussied up on the cover of magazines as I’m in line at the grocery store. I watched a baby throw up on him, I think to myself. He’s a busy guy, always having to run. So it’s even weirder to see him sitting down, not wearing his coat and enjoying a meal.
Kimberly Pritchard moved her stiff, sore limbs, atrophied from being stuffed into a poorly cushioned chair in the corner of her son’s hospital room. The cold, clinical beeps and whirring of the breathing machines tore through her scant dreams, assuring her in that sickening way that the nightmare of the last three days was indeed still a reality.
She tried not to focus on how much she wanted to be home in her warm bed, her son lively and kicking at her side. Tried not to focus on how she was one poor decision, one ignored intuition away from that reality.
A distinction the size of a breath had landed her here. In this hell. Her baby invaded with tubes and coaxed to peaceful slumber only by tears and fatigue, not his mother’s touch and voice and breast.
She looked at the clock. 4:53 am. She’d managed roughly three hours of sleep. More than yesterday, but still not enough to feel refreshed. Perhaps she never would, and maybe she deserved that.
She got up to use her breastfeeding pump. Jabari ate through a feeding tube and had trouble swallowing, but they used as much of her milk as they could. Plus, it soothed her to pump. It was one part of her routine that she could keep.
When she asked herself if there was anything she should focus on there was only one pressing concern: get her baby a new liver.
Once that could be achieved, she would move on to whatever else may need to be done, feel whatever she needed to feel, sue whoever needed to be sued, bury whoever needed to be buried underneath the jail. Anything not immediately related to that would have to wait.
Amara and Mya would likely be here this morning, she thought. Probably with…them. His friends.