Everyone could understand why Eric Lewis disliked Stefan. That made it hard for him to keep in touch and get updates on the search and rescue operation. It was rough for him, and Melody wanted so badly to make him whole again. That’s when she got the idea to give her son what he needed. She played the concerned mother card and went to visit Alice every now and then. Eric didn’t like her visiting, but Alice appreciated having a friend. Melody tried to explain that they were suffering too, but he was too prideful to accept it. A month went by, and the police still didn’t have any leads. A few days after that, the police informed the Lewises that the investigation had been taken over by the S.I.A. and that someone from that organization would contact them if they had any information. They apologized for not being able to find their daughter and assured them that they were in good hands now. Needless to say, no one was comforted by that. It actually made it worse. At least before, there was somewhere they could go, someone to speak to when they were desperate. Now there was only a nameless, faceless government entity between them and their daughter. Stefan hadn’t given up hope that she would be found, but in time, he began to heal and be less sad all the time.
Melody had been declining invites from Presley and crew that entire time. It didn’t feel right to be out having fun while her son was suffering at home. However, when the time was right, she accepted and went out to have some fun; she needed it. The ladies ended up at a nice, big karaoke bar in San Myshuno; it was a different one from the one the Pitts family went to. Presley was running a little bit late, and the rest of the ladies took seats near the bar. Imani was a bit on edge seeing as how the bartender was none other than Malcolm Landgraab.
“Look at that jerk,” she said. “I can’t believe he’s just gonna STAND THERE and act like he doesn’t see me!
“Yeah, I’m talking to you, you two-timing bastard!”
“I thought you two talked,” Lakiesha said.
“Yeah, we talked all right. EVERYBODY’S talking!”
“Ok, calm down,” Melody said when she noticed people looking at them. “What exactly happened?”
“He was with somebody a couple of days after me, got her pregnant too, and then he MARRIED her!”
Lakiesha looked ready to fight. “Oh no he didn’t!”
Presley had just arrived and took a seat while she watched this horror show.
“Uh huh! He doesn’t even come by to see his son anymore. YOUR FIRSTBORN!”
Malcolm finished wiping down the counters and promptly left the building.
“OH! So you’re just gonna walk outta here? You just gonna leave? Go ahead! LEAVE! THAT’S WHAT YOU DO BEST!”
“Imani…Imani, honey, it’s shift change,” Lakiesha said. “It’s 8:00, sweetheart. You’re embarrassing yourself.”
“I guess I didn’t miss anything, huh?” Presley asked.
“Not a thing.”
Lakiesha finally got Imani to call down and have a seat. Hailey asked the bartender to make a round of drinks for them and to make it snappy.
“Well,” Lakiesha said to Melody. “Look who’s stepped up her game!”
She knew it was supposed to be a compliment, but the way Lakiesha worded things had a way to get under her skin. However, she cracked a smile anyway.
“Yeah,” Presley said, “you look great!”
“And so relaxed,” Lakiesha added.
“And not checking her phone every five minutes waiting on a message from her kids,” Imani said.
“Leave her alone, guys.”
“Mel, how is Harmony?” Hailee asked. “I haven’t seen her in forever! I bet she’s so big now.”
Melody smiled. “Yeah, she is. She’s a little sweetheart.”
“I’ll bet she’s a charmer. I know your boys can take care of her, but I’d still be willing to babysit anytime. Just let me know.”
“Hey ladies,” a passerby said. She looked like she was going to repair the bathrooms or something. “You look like you came prepared to win the karaoke contest.”
“Contest?” they all said.
“Yeah! Every Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8-11. Sign up before it’s too late!”
“What the prize?” Lakiesha asked.
“It varies. Good luck if you enter! And hope none of the legends do.”
“Can any of you girls sing?”
They all looked at Melody seeing as how they all knew each other better.
“I-I kinda sing. Not well, but–
“You’re doing this!” Lakiesha shouted. “Go on up there and win us some moolah! WOOT!”
They all cheered as she rose to her feet and made her way to the stage.
“Hey sugar,” some man in her path said. “You gon sing real pretty for me?”
“Ehh, heh, excuse me.”
She picked up the mic and shouted “This one’s for you, ladies!” They all hooted and hollered for their friend.
The ladies went crazy. They had no idea she would sound so good. She didn’t win the contest, but they didn’t care. It was the most fun they had together in a while.
“Presley, come sing with me!”
“Oh, I don’t–
“Come on!” Melody grabbed her and ran to the stage with her in tow.
“My goodness that was fun!” Presley said.
“See! Thanks for singing with me. I’m gonna go ahead and slip out. Tell everyone goodbye for me?”
“Goodnight! Love you!”