Veda spent a lot of her time either preparing for the pageant, doing homework or talking to Adonis.
"You are Adonis are pretty buddy buddy don't you think?" Zuri asked.
"What are you talking about?" Veda looked up from the math homework she was doing at work. No one was coming in and she decided to get it out the way while there was still time.
"I mean we don't hang out as much as we used to since you've been friends with Adonis. Like don't get me wrong, I'm proud of you for making a friend that's a guy but we were friends way before him."
"I'm sorry Z. I've just been caught up in a lot. With the pageant coming up and homework. But I'll be sure to make time for you. Hey! You can help me pick out my dress."
"I thought Veronica was gonna help you with that," Zuri says.
"Not anymore. She has a busy schedule so she won't be able to go with me."
Zuri clapped and did a small squeal.
"This is gonna be so much fun! When do you wanna go?"
"We can go tomorrow since NY&C is closed and Venus wanted to go."
"Do what tomorrow?" Sam asked.
"Veda, Venus, and I are going to pick out Veda's dress for the pageant Veda's doing."
"You're doing a pageant?"
"Yea," Veda answers. "It's no big deal though. I'm only doing it for the money."
"Well I'll be rooting for you, girl."
Veda's phone than rang. It was Veronica.
"Veda get home right now," Veronica orders. Her voice was shaky like she'd been crying.
"Veronica, what's wrong?"
"Our apartment. It caught on fire."
Veda's stomach dropped. Zuri could tell something was bad.
"I'm on my way," Veda says packing her things.
"What's going on?" Zuri asked.
"My apartment.. It- It caught on fire."
Zuri's mouth dropped.
"Here, let me drive you there," Sam says.
"I'll stay here until you get back."
Sam sped to Veda's house. You could see Veronica and Venus crying outside watching their apartment burn.
"All of our stuff," Veda managed to say as she saw the building. Firemen were sprawled around the building spraying hoses.
"What are we gonna do?" Venus asked. She was scared and shook against Veronica's leg. A car pulled up and out walked a boy about Veronica's age.
"Ronnie, you can't stay here," He said. Veda looked at the teen with a confused look. Did he call her by nickname?
"Where are we suppose to go?" Veronica asked.
"You guys can stay with me. There's enough room and food for you guys."
Veronica nodded agreeing. Veda was too upset to object and she followed her sisters to the car.
"Do you need anything?" Sam asked. Veda shook her and hugged her boss/friend.
"Thank you so much. Tell Zuri I'll text her when I get to this guy's house."
Sam nodded and drove back to the mall.
Getting in the car, Veda sat in the backseat with Venus, listening to her hiccups. Everything they knew was gone. Their apartment with all their things were gone. They literally had nothing left.
They stopped at a house not too far away. It was near the good park of Brooklyn and had a lot of space.
"Donny! Come help me out!" The boy called. Out walked Adonis and he and Veda made eye contact. Then it hit her. That's Jayvon, Adonis' brother. "Go show these two around."
Adonis nodded and motioned for the two to follow him.
"This is your room," Adonis says to Venus. There was an extra bed next to Jaylen's bed for her to sleep on with sheets already. Venus walked into the room and looked around.
"Hi Venus!" Jaylen greets with a big smile. Venus smiles back and they began to play around. As Adonis led Veda to her room, she stopped him.
"Uh, Adonis," Veda says. He turned around.
"Thank you. For um, helping us."
"Oh. Uh, no problem," Adonis answered. He showed her her room and went downstairs. Veda pulled out her phone and called Zuri.
"Hey V, how's it going?" Zuri asks.
"Fine. We're staying with Adonis' family.
"Yea. His older brother knows Ronnie somehow and he offered to let us stay with him."
"Wow. Don't get pregnant now."
Veda let out a soft laugh.
"Are we still on for tomorrow?" Zuri asked.
"Yea we are. I'm not gonna cancel on you because of this."
"I wouldn't be mad if you didn't. You're going through a lot and I don't want you to do something you don't wanna do."
"No I'm fine," Veda assured her. "But I'll see you tomorrow. I might take a nap."
"Alright. Call me if you need anything."
"I will. Thanks Z."
Veda hung up and laid down. She felt cold and tired and hurt. She just wanted to sleep her sorrows. A knock at the door made her look up.
"Hey V," Veronica says.
"I'm sorry about everything."
"But you didn't do anything."
"I know. But I'm suppose to be your legal guardian. Your parent. And I've failed."
A tear slipped out of Veronica's eye. Veda wiped it away.
"Don't tell yourself that Ronnie," Veda tells her. "You didn't fail at all. We couldn't help that mom died and dad left. We couldn't help that we were very young living on our own. We couldn't help the fire burning down everything we love. But you can never say you failed because you didn't. You've been the best guardian anyone could ask for and the best sister anyone could have."
Veronica hugged her younger sister.
"So that's your boyfriend?" Veda asked moments later. Veronica chuckled.
"Yea. I should've told you before but everything happened so fast."
"It's fine. I'm friends with his little brother."
"Adonis? Oh, I hadn't gotten to meet him yet. But I met Jaylen."
Veda and Veronica continued their conversation until Venus walked in.
"Hey Venus. You havin fun with Jaylen?" Veronica asked. Venus nodded. She sat on Veda's bed.
"V, can I sleep with you?" Venus asked. Veda kissed her head.
"Of course you can."
Veronica left the room and Venus snuggled again Veda.
"Are we gonna be okay?"
"Of course we are. As long as we have each other, we'll be fine."