Chapter IV: Prom Night

Traci sits in a chair in her room as her mom does her make-up.

"Honey, quit scrunching up your face. Relax," her mom says for the third time.

Traci tries to do as she is told but it is proving to be very difficult because of all the thoughts that are running through her head. She hasn't spoken to Jett since Ryan arrived. Traci has tried avoiding Ryan as much as possible, even with him staying in her house. She has decided not to tell Kayla about the almost-kiss between her and Jett. If she does she would probably end up losing another friend.

"Alright, I'm done." Traci turns her head and looks in the mirror. "You look beautiful," her mom said.

Her hair is done in little twists around her head and pulled into a French roll. Two pieces are spiral curled on either side of face and hang down past her shoulders. She has silver jewelry on to match her cream-colored dress.

She does look beautiful, she just doesn't feel beautiful. She feels like crap.

"Thanks Mom," she says and tries to force a smile.

Nicole puts a finger under Traci's chin and turns her so she can look her in the eyes.

"Don't worry," she says softly, "Jett is not one to hold grudges. No matter how bad yall have fallen out, yall always fell back in."

Traci just stares at her. A smile slowly makes its way across her face. "Thanks, Mom," she says, hugging her.

Traci eventually makes her way downstairs where her father and Ryan are waiting. He is actually being nice to her. Her father must have had something to do with it. She poses for pictures with him. She finally escapes when her mother leaves the room to go get the video camera.

"Bye Daddy," she says hugging him. "Bye Sweetie, have fun," Traci nods and leaves the house.

"Traci, you um…you look great," Ryan says.

"Thanks, so do you." They continue walking in silence.

"Traci, I wanted to apologize for my behavior when I arrived. The truth is I don't want to be here any more than you want me to."

Traci looks at him in surprise. "Really?" she asks him.

"Yeah, if it means ruining your senior Prom," he says nodding.

Traci stops walking and turns to Ryan. "I'm sorry too, it's just I was upset with you because Jett was upset with you. It's not really your fault. And, if it makes you feel any better I'm glad that I now have an escort."

Ryan smiles then turns to look at the house they've stopped in front of. "Jett's house," he asks. Traci nods and they walk onto the porch. "I'll wait out here," Ryan says and walks over to the swing. Traci takes a deep breath then pushes the doorbell.

Jett stands in front of his mirror as he puts on his hunter green tie. He has to admit, he looks damn good in his black tux with the vest matching the tie. He and Kayla will be matched perfectly. Jett hasn't seen her dress he only knows that it is hunter green. He doesn't care what color her dress is, he knows she will look great. Jett's thoughts turn to Traci. He hasn't spoken to her since her 'date' arrived. He's not mad at her, just upset that Ryan will be escorting her to Prom. He knows Traci will look great too. He still feels bad for overreacting about Ryan being here. He knows it isn't her fault. He's decided that he's going to apologize to her tonight and try to be civil towards Ryan.

Jett sighs and looks himself over once more then heads down the stairs. He stops in the entryway to the living room. His mom, dad, and his nana, Ms. Coretta looks up at him.

"Is that my great-grandson looking like he just stepped out of an Ebony magazine," Ms. Coretta says.

Wood and Jules tell him how handsome he looks. And before he can blink Jules pulls out her camera.

Jett goes over and pulls Ms. Coretta from the couch so she can take a picture with him. As he finishes taking pictures with them he hears the doorbell ring.

"I'll get it," he says and heads to the door. All breath leaves Jett as his eyes land on Traci standing on his porch.

She smiles softly at him and says, "Hi," while checking him out, "you look handsome."

Jett continues to stare but then his face melts into the smile that Traci has come to know so well. "Trae, you look beautiful," he says taking her hand and pulling her into the house.

Once again they are both subjected to their familial paparazzi, but it is not so bad this time because they are together as they had always been. And Traci knew they all would be right with them.