Alexie accepts and carries out a dare by her father.
Off went the shower. He headed to the linen closet, but was brusquely reminded that yesterday was laundry day. He was supposed to fold cloths -- the disadvantage of procrastination. Off to the dryer, he got mad at himself for eating into his at-home time. The return trip from the dryer to the shower is when Wanda walked in the door. Furious, she asked, "Why the HELL are you walking around our house naked?"
Wanda wasn't the model student Marquis was. Her father wanted to be in her life. He had this little problem. He didn't see anything wrong with smacking her mother around when her mother "stepped out of line." Wanda's hid this from her children (or thought she did) as much as possible.
She bounced around foster homes and juvenile centers from age nine to sixteen. Therefore, the concept of "home" didn't mean as much as it should have meant for a child. She was really a smart kid. She, probably, would have been in advanced classes and on the fast track to a successful college career. The "what-if's" in life can be funny like that.
Thanks to counseling and an OTJ training program, she started making moves to straighten her life out. She had gotten her GED. Wanda worked at Carl's Jr. for a little over a year before "moving up" to a job at a buffet. Just like anyone, old habits don't just disappear forever. Mike met Wanda when she worked at Carl's Jr. Mike never hit Wanda with his hands. He did his abusing emotionally. That's how she wound up pregnant in a relationship that -- if she had thought about it -- would have ended as soon as it started. She found out she was pregnant about a month and a half into working at the buffet. At her second trimester, she had a miscarriage and discovered how fortunate she was. Wanda wasn't the woman of Mike's dreams. He had always wanted to become a parent. Wanda just needed to be a woman. When she was no longer with child; she was no longer with Mike.
It's said, "The best revenge is a life well lived." Wanda was not in that "well lived" category; she had, pretty much written-off the American dream they tell you about. But she was in a place of contentment. Seven years in her own apartment, she had grown strong in her belief that the picket fence wouldn't be hers AND that she would be OK without it.
Wanda met a guy named Marquis at the gas station where he worked, at the time. He fell in love at first site. She told him that she had problems with men in the past, but that didn't stop Marquis from pursuing her. Maybe there's something to persistence. He was able to convince Wanda that he was different from the men in her past. He made her laugh, but he had the maturity to know -- to let her know he was a grown man. He learned that from his family. They were tightly knit. It was Marquis' family that continually nagged him about moving in Wanda while they were just dating. He decided they were right and proposed.
That was about a week before you came in. Newly engaged, a big party would add to her joy. Smith, Goldman, and Trotter won a particularly important case, and went to her restaurant to celebrate. That night, the wait staff got tips as big as the rest of the week. Wanda invited a couple of her girlfriends from work to a party at her place. Cindy and Diane agreed and followed Wanda. On the way, Diane started coming down with a head-ache. Diane being Cindy's ride the celebration was going to be just Wanda and her man. Yes, she probably should have called to let Marquis know she was bringing home company. As she turned the key to see her groom-to-be nude, that thought was not at the forefront. Her only thought was the fact that her co-workers may have walked in on him had Diane not been worn out from her double shift.
"Why the HELL are you walking around our house naked? ...Because my friends don't need to see you naked." "...Because we have neighbors." "...Because you are grown enough to know better."