Part 1: Royalty

I guess I completely understand now why they say to name your kids something they can live up to. My mom’s name was Mercedes and she acted nothing as classy as a Mercedes was. But I mean how could she when she had never seen Mercedes in the ghetto, at least not any good ones. And by chance, if she did the driver was either lost or a drug dealer checking on his workers.
My mom named me Royalty but that was the furthest from what she treated me like. I was 16 and I knew for sure my life wasn’t supposed to be like this. But when your mom was only 32 and still trying to live her life because she had you young what could you expect?
“Royalty when Joe gets here you stay in your room. He doesn’t know i got a kid especially not one your age. and I don’t need you messing this up for me.” My mom said. When I was younger I use to think my mom hide me from her male friends cause I was ugly. I mean before she got on DSS and we got this 2 bedroom apartment we live in a one-bedroom and when her male friend came over she hid me in the bathroom closet with a box of fruit snacks and juice.
It was because of that that I learned what sex was way too early. But I also learned the quick lesson that what happens in my momma's house stayed there. I made the mistake of telling my grandma about my mom's visitors and my nap place in the closet and at 7 my mom got her first family court appearance.
When we got home from the court appearance and my mom was in range. She said that my grandma and I were against her. Because I told my grandma what was going on in her house and that my grandma got on the stand and told the court. my mom beat my ass with the belt buckle that night.
The next day when she sent me to school I had learned my lesson that what happened at home stayed at home. when my teacher saw the marks all over me I lied and said I fell. She sent me to the nurse and the nurse called the police.
Child protective services and police officers filled the nurse’s office asking me questions and I sat there telling them the same story that I fell. I didn’t care what they saw. I knew that they would have to endure the pain of that beating my mom gave me.
They sent me to live with my grandma after that while they did an investigation. Even my grandma questioned me and as much as I hated lying to her and she knew I was lying I told her the same thing I told the people at school. My grandma’s house was heaven I got home cook meals for dinner. Someone to play with me and look over my homework. But that was short-lived because they threatened to cut my mom's food stamps off, so she took an anger management class, and then they gave me right back to her. Some fucking system our government provides.
My mom and grandma haven’t talked since the day I walked out of her house and went back with my mom. And when I got home I realized nothing had changed. my mom told me I couldn’t talk to my grandma either so i suffer in silence. And the silence created a different person in me. Most people take it as i had a bad attitude but if they only knew i was hurting.
The doorbell to our apartment rang and my mom looked at me. I got up grabbed my poetry book off the kitchen table and went into my bedroom. I heard the door open and my mom greet a man that had a really deep voice. They talked and i did everything i could to tune them out without making noise.
I stood and looked at myself in the full-size mirror I had on the back of my door. “You could be such a pretty girl if you’d smile more” I whispered to myself. People had told me that time and time again. And although i was light skin with long curly hair and society said i was the definition of what beauty was in this generation i felt everything but beautiful.
Time went on and i eventually fell asleep. I woke up and looked at the clock it was 3 am. I figured it should be okay for me to go to the bathroom and get something to drink. Seeing that i didn’t hear any talking or the sound of my mom's headboard knocking. I opened my room door and other than the living room tv playing it was silent. I went to the bathroom and then walked through the living room to the kitchen to get some water.
When i turned the corner in the kitchen the dark skin bobby brown-looking man was standing there with nothing but his boxers on. I turned around quickly to race back to my room. But the guy called out to me. “Wait come back who are you,” he said. I said nothing i just looked at him. “Can you talk?” He asked. I still said nothing. “Maybe i should go wake up Mercedes.” He then said. “No please don’t wake up my mom.” I finally said scared. “Your mom?” He asked. “Yes,” i said. “Well damn, you sure got ya momma's good looks and banging ass body. He said. I smiled.
“What is your little fast ass doing out here.” I heard my mom's voice say from behind me. “Mercedes why didn’t you tell me you had a daughter.” He said. “Because Joe you were never suppose to see her. Royalty was suppose to keep her ass in her room.” My mom said. “Royalty? What a beautiful name. Mercedes you don’t have to hide your daughter from me. If we are going to be together i have to love your daughter just like i love you, we are a family.” He said. My mom got happy and walked over to him. “Really Joe a family?” She said. “Yes its crazy you have been hiding her from me all this time now i know what was in that room you never let me in.” He said. “I was just waiting for the right time.” My mom said.
“Well there no better time than now. Hi, I'm Joe” he said extending a hand to me. “Hi,” i said shaking it. “How would you ladies like to go to breakfast in the morning that way Royalty and I can get to know each other better.” My mom agreed then we all went back to bed.
After that night things with my mom and joe got serious. He even eventually moved in. My mom was so happy cause he was taking care of her. i was happy because he was so nice to me and he showered me with what i thought were love and gifts that I was missing. It was so nice and a needed change. My mom wasn’t calling me ugly or stupid because she was actually happy.
“Hey Royalty, how was school today?” Joe asked me when i came into the house smiling from ear to ear. “Really good. Is my mom here I got really good news to tell her.” I said. “No, she’s out getting her nails done but you can tell me I wanna know the good news.” He said. I went to the table and put my book bag on the table and pulled out my award I got accepted into the honor society” I said jumping up and down.
“Thats great! we got to celebrate.” Joe said. “Yes joe! And I just want to say thank you.” I said to him. “For what?” He asked back. “For coming into me and my mom life. Everything has been so much better and happier around here since you showed up.” I said. “I did it all for you Royalty you were so pretty but seemed so sad.” Joe said and I smiled.
Joe got close to me. “Now I need you to do something for me. “he said. “Sure joe, anything.” Joe got closer and kissed me on the lips. I backed up. “Don’t be scared Royalty, I love you.” He said. “You love me?” I asked. “yes, I’m only with your mom to be near you; but your what I want.” He said. “But I’m only 16 and a virgin.,” “thats okay we don’t have to tell anyone and I will take it slow because I love you and don’t want to hurt you.”
Joe's words were ringing in my head. My own mother didn’t even tell me she loved me. And here Joe was. He told me he love me call me beautiful and had been the sunshine in my life since he showed up. As i stood there in silence Joe finally said “you know what I’m sorry I’m a get my stuff and leave.” He said.
I stood in the kitchen and could hear him opening up the dresser drawers in my mom's room. I went into my mom's room and as he was placing clothes into a bag i grabbed his hand. “You love me right?”

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