Tuesday, June 9, 2009
1st Love, 2nd Chance...3 Hearts ~Epilogue-A Year Later~
Layla DaCosta-Linden was sentenced to 20 years for killing Hassan Lawrence. Her lawyer tried to get her off on a temporary insanity plea but it didn't fly in the face of the jurors who believed she was cognizant of her actions. Her children are with their father and split time between him and her parents. During the trial, Natalie couldn't bear to face her...yet, she did sit with the family in support of her sister. The sentencing was rough on the family. The DaCosta’s were extremely sorrowful and apologetic with condolences to the Lawrence’s...but the bond of the two families were irreversibly broken.
The Lawrence’s got plenty of condolences, flowers, and hugs. The DaCosta’s were asked NOT to attend so out of respect they didn't. Beryl did show with her mother, brother and cousin in tow. She was devastated at the vision of her former fiancé lying dead in a casket because of unrequited love. Beryl recorded the service and gave the tape to Natalie. She knew it hurt her to not be allowed there to see Hassan be eulogized and buried...so she taped it, with the permission of the Lawrence’s. That was the beginning of their friendship.
Natalie and Vaughn married in a small ceremony just before Layla's trial began. Natalie wore a simple cream halter gown with a plunging back with thin ribbon borders in her favorite color of peach. She carried peach daisies and her mother; a great baker...made her wedding cake. Even though the event was supposed to be a celebration, there was a vacancy in the bride's face. Her truest love was gone...at the hands of her sister...who was gone in a way as well. Vaughn makes her happy though. He doesn't expect her to not mourn Hassan or her sister-ship with Layla...he just works hard to keep his woman happy.
Beryl began contacting Natalie after Hassan's funeral. They formed a friendship just from their mutual loss. This day, Natalie was calling to check up on Beryl. "Hey, B...how are you?" Natalie asked. Beryl perked up at the sound of Natalie's voice. There was a weird consoling in having Natalie as her friend. "HEY, Nat...What’s good Mrs. V? Beryl called Natalie Mrs. Vaughn all of the time. “I'm good. Just working!" Nat said. Beryl knew that Natalie worried about her. When she and Natalie began talking, one of the first things they shared was Beryl’s profound sense of loss. Even though it was evident that Natalie was HASSAN’S true love…Hassan was Beryl’s. She could barely eat or sleep since Hassan died. So, when Natalie called, Beryl knew that she’d get the 3rd degree questioning. She didn’t mind though…she liked that she was being looked after. For some reason she withdrew from so many of her friends when Hassan was killed…and Natalie was the closest thing to it she had nowadays.
Natalie got to the question at hand. “Well, I’m just gonna get down to it…Vaughn and I are having a baby and want you to be the godmother.” Beryl screamed and dropped the phone. Natalie laughed while she heard Beryl in the background running around. She was SO happy! Natalie and Vaughn felt so blessed and wanted to share that with Beryl. She’d been such a good friend, especially when Hassan died and Natalie’s family wasn’t allowed to attend the funeral. She’d been there for Natalie when Layla had been sentenced for killing Hassan. Even though Natalie tried to pretend that she could handle it to everyone else, it was Beryl who saw and heard Natalie break down at the loss of her sister. She never knew how much Layla hated her and resented her. When the details of the murder were disclosed in court, Natalie’s mouth was agape at the final dialogue between Layla and Hassan. She couldn’t have imagined that his words could drive Layla to do what she did…so there were days Natalie’s heart couldn’t bear the pain of losing them both.
“OH MY GOD…” Beryl said. “…I can’t believe it. WOW. Congratulations, Natty! You and Vaughn deserve this happiness more than most I know. I’d be honored to be the baby’s godmother!” Natalie was pleased to hear Beryl happy and to know that she’d be willing to spiritually co-parent her and Vaughn’s child. They talked a little more, going back and forth about baby details. When they hung up, Natalie told Vaughn how Beryl accepted their request and he hugged his wife. “That’s so cool, baby. I’m glad that she did…I wouldn’t want anyone else to be the godmother.” They agreed and decided to go to dinner as a mini celebration of the news.
Beryl went upstairs and into her bedroom…sitting on the bed gently. She leaned over and said, “Hey baby boy…you’re getting a little brother or sister. Daddy and Auntie Natalie are having a baby!” She kissed her 3 ½ month old son, Preston Lawrence Michaels and smiled. No one would ever know that he was really Hassan’s and not Vaughn’s. After all…a child needed a father.
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