Love Laws is Ms. Muhammad's first book for Young Adults.
Mary's Book Palace
Shanty and Jessie have known each other all their lives. They shared most everything, at least that's what Jessie thought until she learned things about Shanty she never new. Wanting to be successful, Jessie embarks on a long time dream of her grandfathers and takes it in another form to the worst part of her home towns neighboorhood. being under the watchful eyes of Dustin and Russell Jessie finds herself up to her throat in Love laws.
Jessie? Have you decided on what you want
to do for your birthday Saturday,
sweetheart?” Mrs. Jackson asked, as she entered the
kitchen to make a cup of tea. Jessie was just finishing her
“I really hadn’t thought of it, mom.” Mrs. Jackson
looked surprised from her daughters answer. Placing her
hand on her hip, she turned to look at her daughter.
“Jessie, I must say you are no ordinary girl if I
ever saw one in my life! Every girl is always excited about
her eighteenth birthday, and you, young lady will have a
special one, too! Now, let’s just talk about this and see if
we can’t find out what you’d like to do to celebrate. Your
dad and I talked about it last night, and we’d like to take
you out. I really want to make it special since you will be
leaving for college soon.” Jessie placed her dishes in the
dishwasher. Turning to her mom she voiced her opinion
on the subject.
“Mom, if you and dad want something special, it’s
fine with me. What do you have in mind?” Jessie sat
down at the table to hear her mother’s thoughts on what
would be Jessie’s special day.
She knew that whatever they came up with, it would be
nice for them to spend their quality time together as a
“Well, your dad mentioned something about a
nice lunch at Bindley’s, and then we would go over to the
mall and look around for an outfit for your graduation.
We then can have an early evening at the skating rink if
you want, before dinner, instead of waiting to go Sunday.
I can make some of your favorites. What do you think?”
Mrs. Jackson asked, before sitting down across from
Jessie at the table.
“Sounds fine to me mom, but I really don’t need
another outfit. I can wear something from my closet. I
just bought a few things that will be fine.” Jessie finished
her orange juice and wiped her mouth. Standing she
walked to the fridge and poured herself a glass of water.
Drinking it all, she placed her glass in the dishwasher
before sitting back at the table next to her mom.
“That may be, honey,” Mrs. Jackson continued,
“but I want to get you something nice anyway.
Do you think Shanty would like to come along to the mall
“Are you kidding? All you have to do is mention
mall and Shanty will be there before us,” Jessie laughed.
“I’ll call her and set it up. I’m sure she’ll join us for the
skating, too. She’s dying to see you and dad skate since
she knew of your skating challenge.” Mrs. Jackson
laughed as she replied,
“Sweetheart, that wasn’t a challenge; that was a
night of lounging for your father and he’ll never admit it,
although he has found new strength since then.” They
both laughed as they left the kitchen. While her mom
went to the basement for laundry, Jessie grabbed a book
from the bookshelf and went to the back yard. Sitting in
the lounge rocker with feet up, she started to read.
This was a rare time that she enjoyed for herself.
It was a warm, Saturday morning, and Jessie wore her
green shorts and a pullover green t-shirt. She enjoyed the
warmth on her bare feet and legs. Being absorbed in her
book, she was unaware of the company she received.
“So, what are we reading?” Dustin spoke, startling
“Dustin, one of these days I’m going to hurt you
for tipping up on me so much. Can’t you announce
yourself like most people?” Jessie replied, a little irritable
at his sudden presence.
“Oh, now you’re saying I’m not respectful? I
think I’ve shown you nothing but the highest respect,
considering the circumstances.” Dustin replied, as he sat
besides her, stretching out his legs. Grabbing her pillow,
he placed it behind his head as he relaxed.
Jessie looked at him in amazement of his actions.
Snatching her pillow back, she hit him with it.
“Why are you here, Dustin, and why don’t you
call before you drop in on a person. I may have had
company or something,” Jessie spoke, while repositioning
herself on the lounge swing. Dustin pulled his green and
white cap down over his eyes and ignored her comment.
His long legs moved back and fourth, rocking the swing
slowly. He wore a green and white short set, which
matched his gym shoes. Jessie noticed the hair on his legs
resting from dampness. She thought he must have been
running again. Dustin shifted, and the warm breeze sent
the smell of his morning cologne up her nose. Lightly
scented, she thought he smelled nice. She propped her
pillow under her side as she sat back and pulled her
shapely legs under her. Immediately, Dustin pulled out
her foot and began to massage it gently. She tried to pull
her foot back, and he tightened his grip
“Chill, Shawty, and let a brother show yah some
love,” he spoke, never looking out from under his cap.
Jessie relaxed under his strong, firm hands as they
massaged her foot.
“Why are you here, Dustin?” she asked, looking at
“You saying you want me to leave?” He
responded, still not looking at her. She felt the
perspiration on his hands, as he continued to massage her
“I’m asking why you came by; surely you weren’t
dying to give me a foot massage,” she spoke, as she
shifted onto her buttocks, releasing her other foot from
the now uncomfortable position. Dustin raised his head
to look at her from under his cap, while he took her other
foot and continued the massage. He never satisfied Jessie
with an answer, but soon kissed her small foot, raised his
cap from his eyes, and gave her a long look that had Jessie
wondering if something was wrong with him.
“You have anything cold to drink besides water?”
he finally asked, his eyes never leaving her gaze.
Jessie pulled her foot from his hands as she rose from the
lounge swing. Dustin, too, rose to his feet and followed
her into the house. Pulling out two tall glasses, Jessie
walked to the fridge and took out a carton of Strawberry
Kiwi juice and filled both of them to the rim. Handing
Dustin his, he drank it before she could even begin on
hers. Giving her the glass, he stood looking in her eyes,
making her lower her glance. Jessie placed the glass in the
sink and turned to walk back out side, when Dustin
grabbed her arm and pulled her close to him. They both
stood staring into each others eyes. Pulling her closer,
Dustin kissed her gently on her lips. Jessie found herself
submitting to him. Releasing his hold, he looked at her.
Jessie turned and walked back outside to sit in the
lounge rocker with Dustin on her heels. He stood over
her as she sat down, and again placed her bare feet
“Jessie, I would like to see you more,” Dustin
spoke to her.
“I know you don’t feel much for me, and I
understand why, but you couldn’t be further from the
truth. I don’t care about Latajsha, nor do we have
anything between us.” Jessie looked up at Dustin to see
the sincerity in his eyes, but she also didn’t hear him say
what she had hoped. Getting no response from her,
Dustin sat beside her.
“Jessie, I did like Shanty, but I saw she was
interested in Richard some time back, and he and I are
close, so I didn’t step in the way of it. Shanty is cool, and
I know she and I are good friends; I don’t want to end
that. Most importantly, I don’t want to keep pushing you
away.” Jessie looked over at him, sat up straight and
started to respond, when he pulled her close and kissed
“Dustin, I need time to think about this. You
can’t just turn your feelings on and off about someone
overnight.” Interrupting her, Dustin stood and pulled her
up with him, holding onto her.
“Jessie, my feelings weren’t that serious to begin
with. I liked her; I didn’t say I was in love with her.” he
spoke, as he held her glance. For awhile, Jessie didn’t
know what to say to him.
“I still need to think about this,” she finally said
to him, as she sat back on the lounge rocker. Dustin
stood, looking at her with his hands in his pockets.
Suddenly, he turned and walked away. Jessie didn’t look at
him; instead, she sat back and exhaled.
Her thoughts were racing in wonder of what
brought all that on. She wondered if he had spoken to
Shanty, and if Shanty had encouraged him. She went
inside to call her and put her questions to rest.