Imani and Braxton:A Compton Love Story

By: Keisha Simpson-Baker

“Oh really! I had no idea,” Kayla gasped while clutching her chest.

“Kayla, stop the dramatics. I know you know we’re together. I saw you post on Braxton’s wall.” I couldn’t hold back any longer.

“I honestly did not know you guys were in a relationship. That is so sad.”

“What’s sad about it?”

“Well, first it’s sad that Braxton, whose family is very involved with the church, is going to more than likely get tangled up in a scandal with you. He should be with someone who is equal. Secondly, it’s sad that you guys are together and no one even knows about it. You haven’t even met his family, have you?”

“No, but-”

“That’s because he is ashamed that he’s dating someone who doesn’t even go to church. Come on now, his family ain’t gonna go for that.”

“Whatever, Kayla. I don’t know when you got this ‘holier than thou’ attitude from but I remember clearly last year when you were linked up with Taj Glover. And everyone knows he doesn’t stay with a girl unless she’s giving him what he wants.”

She had shock written all over her face. “Like I said, I’ve changed over the summer, and it’s all thanks to Braxton. I would have never gotten so involved with church and making my life better without his support and guidance. He molded me into a better person. Right now, he’s young and he can get easily distracted but someone like you but when he gets a little more mature, he will see that you are a little bit of quick fun but I am wife material.”

I’d had enough of all her presumptions about my supposedly wild and promiscuous lifestyle, especially since they were all lies. I knew there hadn’t been any rumors about me, nor was there ever a reason to be. I had never even dated a guy at the school mainly for this reason, so I decided to end the conversation with a low blow.

“Kayla, like you said earlier, you had Braxton to yourself all summer long. All that time you spent together but he still doesn’t want you; he wants me. You’re wasting your time if you think I’m going anywhere and you’re making a complete fool of yourself on Facebook. Braxton and I are going to be together, so you need to deal with it and move on. I’m done with this interview.”

I picked up my things and headed to the back of the room where the computers were and began typing up my article. Although we only spoke for half the time allotted, I had more than enough material to write an article. I texted Braxton to meet me after class with plans to flaunt him in front of her face. The bell rang and I hung around class waiting for Kayla to ensure she would see Braxton and me together. I followed her out the door but before I could say anything to Braxton, she walked up to him.

“Hi, Braxton. Your girlfriend and I are going to be partners for this writing project. I gotta talk to you about it later since she wouldn’t speak to me and she’s the subject of my paper. I’ll call you tonight,” she said, glancing in my direction.

I stepped in between the two of them and gave Braxton a kiss on the lips, something out of character for me because PDA on school grounds was forbidden, but this was worth it. Kayla rolled her eyes and left.

“What was that about? Why is that girl calling me?”

“Mr. Mitchell paired us together for an interview assignment. Isn’t that great?” I said sarcastically. “She and I couldn’t get along for the duration of the interview, so now she wants to talk to you to get information about me.”

“Oh well, don’t ever worry about it. Let’s just get the assignment done and then we won’t have to deal with her anymore.”

“I don’t think she’s going to go away that easily. Do you? She just keeps going on and on about how you’re only with me because I’m not a church girl and you can get sex easily from me.”

“You don’t believe that, do you?”

I just shrugged.

“Look, guys talk around here and we all know who’s easy and your name is on the not list. If that was all I wanted, I know where to go, but I’m a relationship guy. I mean, if things go that route with me and you then it happens but that’s not my goal here.”

“I get you, Brax.”

Still, what Kayla said did rattle me a little bit. I breezed through the rest of the morning and met up for Braxton at lunch. We decided to do lunch at the baseball field where there was peace and quiet and no distractions, and we could eat lunch picnic style. I didn’t want to talk about Kayla anymore. She had taken up enough time in my and Braxton’s short relationship. Braxton un-wrapped a huge sandwich that had been cut in half to share with me. I pulled out chips and sodas from my bag.

“So, Imani, this weekend my church is hosting an event. I was thinking you might want to come? It’s on Saturday night, though.”

Kayla had made me realize how important Braxton’s family and spiritual life were. Granted, it wasn’t an invitation to Sunday morning service but I would take what I could get. I knew that meeting his parents would solidify my standing as his girlfriend.

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