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  • Writer's picturelesandamoore

Spring into Zaddy Inc





Spring is one of my favorite seasons, not only because I was born on May Day, but also because I get to witness things come back to life. During my morning walks, I marvel at the colorful flowers, luscious green grass, and beautiful butterflies fluttering around.


Much like spring, crafting great stories happens over time. Usually, a title comes to me first and then I create a journal to jot down ideas about the characters, scenes, etc. Since I consider myself a pantser, someone who writes by the seat of their pants, I save the outlining process until after I’ve completed a first draft.


Once the foundation has been laid, my brain gets to work filling in the holes in my story. Like a seed, the more I nurture it, the more it grows. 


For the past six months, some of the ladies from The Freestyle 9 have been watering and cultivating an amazing project to share with you this spring. We created a standalone series about a group of older, sophisticated men for hire, zaddies to be exact.


We were tasked with creating a storyline for our very own zaddy. At first, I was excited about the project, but after the “shiny new object” phase concluded, I struggled to finish the first draft. I had to resort to different measures like transcription and handwriting. More importantly, I had to push through my insecurities to reach the finish line. Once the first draft was complete, a sense of relief washed over me and the rest was history.


So you see, just like the grass and the trees, my story had to undergo a rigorous process to blossom into what it is today. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome.


Here’s a sneak peek from Dr. Josiah Mitchell’s story, Second Time Around


Chapter 1: Are You Ready?

Josiah


After calling her name one too many times, I jogged up the stairs and knocked twice on her bedroom door. No answer. I knocked again. But this time I turned the doorknob, only to learn it was locked.


“Ny’Asia Mitchell, what did I say about locking doors around here?”


Sounds of discomfort came from the other side before the door swung open.


“Good morning. It’s time to get up for school. Your breakfast is ready. You just might have enough time to straighten up this mess of a room.”


“Dad. I’ll clean it next week,” she whined.


“You said that last week. Now get up before you’re late again.”


I walked out of the dirty room and headed back downstairs to finish my morning coffee and sudoku puzzle. It was my daily ritual before heading into the office to see my patients.


Ten minutes passed before my daughter made her way downstairs, dressed and ready to talk my head off. After filling in the last block, I closed the book and gave her my undivided attention.


“So there’s a party tonight and all the seniors are gonna be there,” she started.


“And?”


“And I need you to talk to Mom and convince her to let me stay home with you.”


“Oh no. I’m not getting involved. Besides, I have to work my second job this weekend.” I finished off my coffee.


Ny’Asia sighed and looked around the room. “Again?”


“Yes. Again.”


“Well, I’m old enough to stay home alone. Anyway, all of my friends will be there. I don’t want to go to dinner with her and Matt. I want to enjoy my last few months at home.”


“Tell that to your mother. If she says you can stay, then it’s fine with me.”


“Thanks, Dad.”


She hugged me and scarfed down her breakfast. As she put on her backpack and headed out the door, a younger version of her flashed into my mind. Where had the time gone?


I shook my head and proceeded to clean up the kitchen. Once everything was nice and tidy how I liked it, I grabbed my bag, set the alarm, and locked up the house. 


On my way to the office, I listened to The Steve Harvey Morning Show. It always put my mind at ease as I navigated my way through the hectic morning traffic. Because my office was on the other side of town, I had to leave an hour earlier to get there on time.


When I pulled into the parking lot, my office assistant and nurse practitioner were standing outside having a morning smoke. They tossed their cigarettes before I got out of my car. One of them rubbed sanitizer on her hands as if it could cover the stench of tobacco smoke.


“Good morning, Dr. Mitchell,” they both said.


“Good morning, ladies.”


While they finished chatting, I unlocked the doors, turned on the lights, and headed to my office. Plopping down in the chair, I removed my cell phone from my bag. I placed the ringer on silent and powered up my computer. The first thing on the agenda was to check my schedule and gauge what the flow of traffic would be like.


According to the screen, I had less than twenty patients and a meeting with my office manager to review my finances. I locked my screen and walked over to the corner and fetched my lab coat and a fresh mask. Although the virus was under control, one could never be too safe, especially in a healthcare environment.


The first half of the day was filled with yearly wellness visits, which were a breeze. Before I knew it, it was time for lunch, so I retreated to my office and grabbed the salad I made at home. A few bites in and my cell phone vibrated on the desk. I glanced at the screen and instantly regretted it.


I took another bite of salad before answering the call.


“Hello.”


“Hey, Joe. How’s your day going?” she asked in the calmest tone I’d heard in a long time.


Something was up. I could feel it.


“Good, Natasha. And yours?”


“Great. I was just calling to make sure you make the final payment to the caterer for the party.” 


“You don’t have to remind me. I said I got it. Is there anything else?” I wanted to hang up, but she was still the mother of my child. I owed her that much respect.


“That’s it. Oh yeah, and make sure Ny’Asia gets plenty of rest.”


“Huh?”


“She needs to rest so whatever bug she has can pass on. But I don’t have to tell you that because you’re a doctor.”


“Right. If that’s all, you have a great day now.”


She must’ve sensed the sarcasm in my voice because she hung up the phone without saying goodbye. I took a deep breath and let it out before finishing up my salad, making a mental note to call the caterer on Monday and pay the remaining balance on the invoice. 


Her phone call prompted me to check my other itinerary. Thanks to my side hustle, tonight and tomorrow night would bring in some nice funds. More than enough to pay for the overpriced caterer she hired for my daughter’s graduation party. 


A tap on the door disturbed my thoughts. 


“Come in,” I said, swiveling around in my chair.


“Hey.” Sabrina stood in the doorway with a folder in her hand. “Are you ready for the meeting?”


“Of course, Have a seat.”


As she sat down across from me, a hint of honeysuckle floated through the air and landed in my space. It was refreshing.


“I want to start by saying that all of your hard work is finally starting to pay off. We’re actually making a profit according to these numbers.”


“Really? You mean we can keep the lights on?”


She laughed. “For now. I think you should consider having a reopening. It could bring in tons of new patients.”


“I don’t know. Sounds like a lot of work and I have more than enough on my plate right now.”


“Now that you have a partner, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, we can hire more staff to help out. All I need is the okay from you and I could start putting things into motion. Just think about it and let me know how you want to proceed.”


She was a great addition to the office. The practice managed to stay afloat because of her savviness. Sabrina found ways to save on expenses without jeopardizing the quality of care for the patients and the work environment.


“I’ll get back to you next week. If there’s nothing else, I have a few sick visits and I’m out for the weekend.” I stood up and put my lab coat back on.


“Well, I’ll let you get back to work then.” 


After resetting a shoulder, draining blood from a patient’s toe, administering a breathing treatment, and referring a patient to an immunologist, my caseload was complete. I finished up my work on the computer and left the workplace behind. With only a few hours to pack and head to the hotel room, there was no time to waste at the office.


By the time I made it to the house, Ny'Asia car wasn’t in the driveway. I pulled into my space and turned off the ignition. She was probably somewhere spending my money.


Money I didn’t have. 


While gathering my bags off the passenger’s seat, I got a text notification. I dropped the stuff and checked my messages.


Breaux: Are you ready for tonight?


I took a deep breath. 


Me: Yep. About to pack now.


I waited patiently as the dots appeared on the screen.


Breaux: Perfect. Let me know how it goes. She’s one of my best clients.


I gave the message a thumbs-up and tucked my phone into my pocket. Grabbing the bags off the seat, I exited the car and jogged up to the front porch of my two-story brick home.


After fiddling with the alarm, I slipped my shoes off and tossed the bags aside. My stomach growled, prompting me toward the kitchen. I pulled some leftover salmon, rice, and broccoli from the fridge and threw it into the microwave. While it heated, I plugged my phone up on the charger.


Beep. Beep.


As soon as I removed the food from the microwave, the front door opened.


“Dad.” Her voice echoed throughout the house.


“In the kitchen.”


Her footsteps grew closer and the rustling of bags grew louder. My assumptions were correct. She had ventured to the mall and swiped my credit card again, despite my instructions to only use it for emergencies.

According to Ny’Asia, shopping was an emergency.


“Hey. How was your day?” She placed the bags on the floor.


“Same stuff, different day. What about you? Still under the weather?” I faked a cough.


“I see you talked to Mom already.” 


“I did. And you lied to her. Why?”


“Because that’s the only way she would let me stay. I cannot miss this party. Everybody’s gonna be there. Speaking of, check out my new outfits.”


“Outfits? Why do you need more than one?”


She gave me a look like I asked the dumbest question on earth. I shook my head. 


“Okay. Let me see what you got.” 


As I finished eating my food, Ny’Asia must’ve pulled out at least four outfits and some shoes. I added the cost to my pile of debt and made a mental note to make a payment on the card before she maxed it out. She had no idea that her daddy was broke, and I had no intention of breaking the news to her. 


“That’s nice, honey. No alcohol and I want you in this house by 12:30. And try not to post any evidence on social media. Your mother will have a fit if she finds out you lied just to go to a party.”


“Okay.”


“I gotta pack. I’ll check in on you before I head out.”


I scraped my plate and loaded it into the dishwasher. Glancing at Ny’Asia, I thought about her mother’s sense of style. She inherited her love for fashion from her maternal side. I was more laid back with my appearance. When I wasn’t wearing scrubs, I dressed modestly. Only when the occasion called for it would I be caught in a suit. And tonight was one of those occasions. 


I jogged upstairs to my bedroom and packed my weekend bag in preparation for my dates with my clients from Zaddy Inc.


*Click the link to pre order your copy of my first fake dating romance! It releases on 4/19/24!


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