Victoria's Bookshelf

Where the discerning reader goes for a good story and stays for the inspiration.



          Regina literally gasped when the man and woman turned away from the booth after purchasing their tapes.  And if their presence caught her by surprise, you could’ve knocked Regina over with a feather when the tall, light complexioned young man with them, turned around as well.  Marcus Wallace and his parents were at Bethany Baptist Church.

            “Oh my gosh…Marcus...Wallace. I...I haven’t seen you in years.”  Regina was in shock as she stood face to face with the young man she’d hoped was gone from her life forever.  Regina had never seen his parents nor Marcus Wallace at Bethany before.  Why now?

            Regina Bell…long time no see.  I promised my folks I’d go to church with them this morning, but we were running behind schedule.  So, we decided to attend Bethany since it’s right around the corner from where my parents live now.  What a coincidence to run into you here.  My…have you changed.”  Marcus Wallace smiled at Regina.  “You look good girl!”  Marcus was never one to hold back what he wanted to say, no matter how inappropriate.  To top it off, he decided to give Regina a once over slow perusal of her body.  They were not in the sanctuary, but still within the confines of the church.  But, there was nothing Christian in the way Marcus ogled Regina. 

            Regina, too stunned to say anything in response, just stood there with her mouth gaping open.  Oh my gosh! This was not happening.  Not here…not now.

            Michelle wasn’t paying much attention to what was going on at the AV Booth.   She had signed her name to the list for Valentine’s Day Ball volunteers.  She then glanced over and witnessed the shocked look on Regina’s face. 

            Regina…are you alright?”  Michelle meant that question for only Regina’s ears.

            “Of course she’s alright.  She’s just so happy to see some ‘old friends’.  Aren’t you Regina?”  Marcus quickly extended his right hand towards Michelle.  “Hi.  I’m Marcus Wallace.  Regina and I…go way back.  Don’t we?”  Marcus’ left eyebrow arched and nodded his head towards Regina at that last comment.

            Marcus’ parents, not sure what was going on here, but knowing their son, figured now might be a good time to cut in and stop her from being further embarrassed.

            “Hi.  I’m Walter Wallace and this is my wife Phyllis.”  They both extended their hands towards Michelle.  They briefly remembered Regina, although she did look a bit different from how they remembered her.

            “Oh…where are my manners.  I was so taken in by Regina’s sexy, new look, I forgot myself.  These are my parents.”  Marcus waved his hand towards his parents.  Regina had met them a long time ago, but her friends had not.

            By this time Langston and Robert had joined Michelle and their faces reflected much confusion about what was going on with Regina.  But, not to be rude, everyone shook hands all around.

            “Marcus, we need to get going.  Unfortunately we all came together.”  Walter said apologetically looking towards Regina and her friends.

            “What a shame.”  Marcus took Regina’s hand in his.  “You and I have shared some fun days together…haven’t we?  Well, I’m hoping that we can grab a moment to reminisce about those old times before I head back to California.”

            Regina could barely bring herself to say anything during this entire episode, but managed to finally find her tongue.

            “We’ll see.” Regina, feeling repulsed by Marcus stroking her hand, slid it out of his grasp.

            “Well, it was nice to meet all of you.”  Phyllis gently tucked her hand in Walter’s as they all quickly walked towards the church’s front door.  Marcus glanced back at Regina, quickly looked her up and down, then followed his parents out the door.

            By now, mostly everyone else in the church had left, outside of the security personnel.  

            Michelle, Langston and Robert just stood there by the AV booth and looked at a still somewhat shocked Regina. 

            Regina, why don’t I walk with you to your car?”  Michelle thought it might be a good idea to get Regina off by herself, away from this scene, as quickly as possible.  She could tell from Regina’s expression how thoroughly embarrassed she was.  Michelle wasn’t quite sure who Marcus was, but from Regina’s face and body language, he didn’t look like someone she had wanted to see right now.

            “That would be fine, just let me go get a sip of water first.”  Regina headed towards the back area where the water fountain was.

            “Do you know him Michelle?”  Robert softly asked after Regina was on the other side of the door.

            “No…I don’t think so.   She appeared awfully uncomfortable around him.”  Michelle whispered back. 

            “Alright Michelle…let’s go.”  Regina grabbed her robe bag off the hook.  Still somewhat distraught, she forgot to say goodbye to Robert and Langston.  She couldn’t even bring herself to look their way.

            “Langston, I’ll get a ride home with Regina.”  Michelle couldn’t bear to leave her friend by herself, not after what she just witnessed.

                “No problem sweetheart.  You two be careful.”  Langston quickly kissed Michelle, then watched her catch up to the departing and shook up Regina. “What do you think that was all about?”  Langston turned and asked Robert.