The Honeymoon is Over Chapter 2


Ann Coulter

Jada Pinkett-Smith

Wicked Wisdom

Phillip Thomas Duck

Alisha Yvonne

Laura Schlessinger

Dr. Frederick K.C. Price

James Patterson

Eric Jerome Dickey

Jackie Collins

L.A. Banks

Brandon Massey

Kendra Norman-Bellamy

The Honeymoon is Over Cover
The Honeymoon is Over!

Chapter 2

Unable to work, unable to control my thoughts, unable to suppress my deep and abiding love for Parris, I decided that I wasn't letting go of our relationship. I wasn't giving up so easily. I loved her and I told myself that she loved me, too. For all I knew, she may have had another man and she may not have. Whichever the case, I knew a man was behind all of this. As far as I'm concerned, when a beautiful woman decides to leave a man, especially her first lover, some other man has wormed his way into her heart.

I believed that if I put in the hours, if I committed myself to getting more and more contracts, if I pushed our business into all the major cities on the coast, I could slow down in another year or two.

It was working, too. Kennard Janitorial Services was on the move, but as a result, it created more work for me. What Parris didn't understand was even though we were bringing in more accounts daily, I couldn't spend that money on her. I couldn't even spend the money on myself. We had to put nearly every dollar we earned back into the business in order to grow and become a major player in the country.

My vision for the business extended way beyond San Francisco, way beyond California. My vision for Kennard Janitorial Services was to have contracts in every major city in the continental United States. However, that was going to involve a lot of work and lots of hours. Thinking about it now, I guess I really couldn't blame Parris for dumping me. At the same time, why couldn't she understand that riches don't magically appear overnight?

As I drove over to her Alamo Square Victorian, every good thing about her, every good thing about us, flooded my mind like a good movie, a love story you never wanted to end. The time I reserved a suite at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel when we went to Washington, DC came to mind. We made love everyday, sometimes two or three times a day, and still managed to see all the sites and memorials.

I remember visiting John Fitzgerald Kennedy's grave and looking at the eternal flame Jackie lit. Camelot was gone; thirty years removed and yet this touching legacy still brought tears to Parris' eyes. I hugged her and she hugged me back. From there, we walked down the stairs to a landing where they had phrases from his speeches engraved in stone for all to read. With me standing five foot nine and dwarfing Parris, who wasn't quite five feet tall, we read them all.

After remembering her height, I found myself smiling, laughing even about how sensitive she is about her stature. "I'm four foot eleven and seven eighths," she'd say with rancor, letting everybody know exactly how tall she was when people guessed her height. One of the things I loved about Parris Stalls was she stayed in shape, exercising religiously, keeping that marvelously sculpted body of hers looking like it belonged on the cover of a magazine. And as far as I was concerned, it did, along with that pretty face of hers.

Thoughts of losing her returned with the unrelenting emotional pang and fear of our relationship being over. I didn't want it to be over. I hadn't felt this emotional since my doctor told me my NBA career would never be. That was the first time I remember crying since my father stopped whipping me for breaking his rules. And cry I did. I cried so loudly that day, people visiting their loved ones left them and came to comfort me. They all knew who I was back then. I was Nelson "Skywalker" Kennard.

I was hell on the hardwood, too. They'd all seen me shoot jumpers with two or three guys hanging all over me and still hit nothing but strings. Not only could I make thirty footers consistently, I could, as they say, jump outta the gym, hence the name, Skywalker. I was awesome. Awesome! If I was anywhere near the basket, somebody was going to get slammed on and it didn't matter how tall the player.

One time, Utah came to the University of San Francisco. They had a seven footer that was known for blocking shots. I dunked right in his face. He was totally humiliated. The whole team fell a part after that. I scored forty and we routed those guys 120-65.

There was a serious buzz about me being the number one draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers. Michael Jordan was still the best in the league, and the ESPN talking heads were hailing me as the next greatest prospect to come along. Just as the experts predicted, Philadelphia drafted me and offered me an obscene amount of greenbacks. And this was guaranteed money! Guaranteed!

I remember sitting at the table with my family and my best friend, Sterling Wise, who at the time was in law school at Georgetown; he and I played high school ball together and he was very good, too. We were all waiting in eager anticipation when David Stern went to the podium and announced, "With the first pick of the NBA Draft, the Philadelphia 76ers select Nelson Kennard." I was richer than rich in an instant, and within the hour, I was on a private jet to meet the ownership. I remember riding in a limousine to the Spectrum and then walking into the locker room, where they already had my name on my locker.

The same private jet flew me and my family back to San Francisco. The plan was for me to pack all my personal belongings and move into a posh townhouse in an exclusive suburb of Philadelphia that team management was renting for me until my mansion was built. The Philadelphia brass did everything first class. These guys even took me to a couple of sites where I would choose where I wanted to live. It was mind blowing to go from having nothing to being able to buy anything I wanted. There was no way I was going to screw this deal up. No way!

But I did screw it up. What made matters worse was that for years I've had to live with my own stupidity. My mom, dad, Sterling, and everyone, even the Philadelphia brass told me not to doing anything foolish before I was an official 76er. And what did I do? I went by the park and decided to play in a pick up game. I had been there all day, playing ball, enjoying my last game at the park. Just as I was about to leave, some guys who knew me begged me to stay and play one more game. Something in me said, "No, go home and get ready to go."

Instead, I ignored the voice inside my head and told the guys I'd play one last game. The game was nearly over and we were about to win. I had the ball and the defender was playing me too close, which told me I could go around him and give the spectators what they wanted…a high flying slam dunk.

My first step was lightning quick, and I went around the defender like he wasn't even there. When the other players saw me come into the lane, they parted like the Red Sea, preferring not to get dunked on. However, when I went to push off on my left leg, my knee gave out. I screamed in pain as I felt my kneecap slide up my thigh, causing me to crash back to earth like a duck shot out of the sky by a camouflaged hunter.

My career was over before it had even begun. Fortunately for me, the president of the school liked me and allowed me to come back to school to get my master's degree in business, free and clear.

When I turned onto Steiner, which was where Parris lived, I was lucky enough to find a parking space not far from her Victorian. Just as I was about to get out of the car, I saw Shenandoah Armstrong, a former basketball rival, get out of his Mercedes Benz, walk up the stairs, and ring her doorbell.

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