Ties That Bind

Free Ties That Bind by Brenda Jackson

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Authors: Brenda Jackson
King’s leadership of the civil rights movement as well as his policy of nonviolence.
    Everyone at Howard University left campus the day before Thanksgiving, heading home. Because they had the farthest to travel, Leigh and Noah left a day earlier than the others, catching the train to Miami. Ellie’s parents arrived to pick her up at noon on that Wednesday.
    Ross, who owned a late-model Chevrolet that his grandfather had given him, offered to take Jenna as far as Richmond, Virginia where she could purchase a ticket with a lower bus fare to Knoxville. Both Randolph and Ross had entertained her along the way with stories of their childhood and all the trouble they had gotten into.
    When they reached the Greyhound bus station, Randolph walked her inside. He then sat with her and waited for her bus to come, refusing to leave her alone.
    â€œI miss you already,” he said before she boarded the bus. They had seen a lot of each other during the past six weeks and the thought of not seeing her for four straight days had him in a state of misery.
    She had given him her parents’ phone number and he had promised to call. “I’ll understand if you don’t get around to calling,” she told him,
smiling up at him, knowing how much she would be missing him as well.
    â€œDon’t even entertain that thought, baby,” he said, holding her tight in his arms. He kissed her and then released her to get on the bus before the driver closed the door.
    â€œYou really like her a lot, don’t you?” Ross asked him when he made it back to the car. Randolph had appreciated his brother waiting patiently while he had stayed with Jenna.
    â€œYes, I like her a lot, Ross. She means a lot to me.”
    Ross nodded, smiling. “I can tell and I’m really happy for you, Rand.”
    Hearing Ross give his blessings on his and Jenna’s relationship meant a lot to Randolph. “Thanks, Ross, I’m glad to hear that you feel that way.”
    Randolph was not surprised that his grandmother knew he was seeing a girl around school. He wasn’t even surprised that she knew Jenna’s name. But he had been surprised to discover within minutes of arriving that she had taken the time to find out everything she could about Jenna, including her family history.
    When he and Ross arrived she was sitting on a burgundy leather couch in the living room. Like the rest of the house, everything in this room spoke of elegance, from the huge crystal chandelier that hung overhead to the huge gold sconces that graced the marble fireplace. Then there were several framed pictures that hung on the walls by renowned African-American artists Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence and Clementine Hunter.
    His grandmother stood when he and Ross entered the room, along with their grandfather who had opened the door. She didn’t bother with a greeting but lit right into him.
    â€œI ordered a report on that girl you’ve been seeing at school, Jenna Haywood, and I can’t believe you would even think to associate yourself with someone who is clearly out of your class, Randolph,” she said in a huff. A dignified huff but a huff nonetheless.
    He gave his grandmother the same stare she was giving him. If she
wanted a showdown she would get one. As she continued talking, expounding on all the reasons he should be paying more attention to developing a relationship with Lena Weaver, he took the time to study the older woman who for some reason felt she had the right to interfere in his life.
    He couldn’t help but think his grandmother was a beautiful woman. And as she always did, on today she looked refined, sophisticated and pampered. And of course she was impeccably dressed, a model of elegance from her head to her toes. Dressed in a beige linen suit, she was the epitome of a Southern-bred black woman whose educated family, as well as the family she had married into, had somehow managed to have a little more

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