“That was a good look. I appreciate you for having my back,” I thanked Dazz as soon as he answered. I couldn't get comfortable in my driver's seat before hitting his line. He was still in the locker room holding it down with the only two bouncers who were left while Frank made sure I made it to my car safely. Dazz had come through in a helluva way without me having to reveal I stayed strapped so I owed him more than a few strips of bacon and eggs.
“I got you, no doubt. But I'm gonna have to take a rain check on tonight. Frank asked me to stay and help lock down on account of your rowdy behind.”
“I figured that much but I can't say I'm not disappointed. A bitch is in need of that session more than ever right about now. Do me another solid and make sure you don't let them wannabes get me fired. I already know Isis is in Frank's ear talking shit about me stealing out of her pile. You better let 'em know.” Barking orders at Dazz, I swerved into traffic, out of the parking structure, heading up Griswold.
“Chill out, a'ight, need I keep getting my resume read? Ain't shit shady about to be done on my clock so be cool.” Speaking with authority, Dazz had no reason to lie or half step at this point. He'd already come up out the holster on my behalf so why should I doubt him to finish the job or hold true to his word? At this point, Dazz was my only definite comrade at Bare Faxxx.
“My bad, boo.” I took a cop. “I just want at those hoes so bad. One thing I do know is that Frank better be on the same page as you. It better not faze him if they get a strippers coalition to rally and picket my dismissal; he better know who the real breadwinner of that hellhole is!” Talking reckless as loud as I could, the liquor had definitely sunk in. Without me dancing or swinging to block right hooks, my buzz was starting to settle in a not-so-good way. “Like I told him when he escorted me to the car, Isis's big brick-head ass came for me. I was just gettin' back at her. And the other girl, I don't know where her skinny âmiss too many meals' ass even came from. These bitches be having undercover beefs.” I couldn't control the tantrum spilling out of me. Getting turned up all over again, I wanted to bust a U-turn so I could go back to standing my ground. I didn't want to venture out to the suburbs because the white population who once filled them were now moving into the new lofts, renovated midtown gems, and luxurious apartments above financially booming storefronts. Detroit was where it was happening at so I needed to be right in the thick of it. Living in my subsidized apartment only a couple of miles from Bare Faxxx, I wasn't getting ready to uproot, relocate, or burn up tanks of gas on the strength of some hating hoes. Dancing at predominately black clubs in the hood was totally out of the question because they employed mostly unglammed hood rats with attitudes.
“Why are you still amped when I told you to be easy? White girls be smart as a whip but ain't got a lick of street sense.” He threw a sneak diss my way. “Now for the last time, be cool. I'll hit you up when I'm out of here but I'll take my rain check for some grub in the morning.” Hanging up abruptly, Dazz left me alone with my thoughts.
I didn't take offense to him disconnecting the call 'cause I knew he was still technically punched in. Even though he didn't serve on the security team, he'd been recruited for the emergency, having to make sure the chaos stayed under control. Since I was one of the parties involved with having him still on the clock, I didn't call back to nag or bite his head off for being so rude. Instead I pulled the half a blunt I was blowing on before going into work out from the ashtray, lighting it up. These tricks had gone way too far getting crunk with me tonight. My head was still pounding from getting grazed by the lock but at least Isis had to take a trip to the emergency room. With her being the aggressor and so much shady shit constantly going down within the club, I wasn't worried about her filing a police report or pressing charges against me. Every day of my life I'd been grinding against the grain to get a fair shake out here from bitches but they never wanted to give respect.
Too amped up but not having a choice other than to go home, I kept pulling on the non-hitting blunt wishing I would soon start to feel high. Hearing my phone ring, getting excited, I grabbed it out of my lap, realizing it was only Shawntay calling again. Sending her to voicemail, I rolled my eyes feeling my headache starting to get worse. “Why can't she get the point?” I screamed out in my empty car. Jesus Christ Himself was gonna have to come down here from heaven, tap me on the shoulder, and tell me to forgive my mother. As far as I was concerned, we were done.
Jefferson Avenue was humming with partiers. Commonly known as the strip in the D, everyone made sure to have their cars washed, waxed, and sound systems bumping. Every Friday and Saturday the parking lot at the hottest bars up and down the avenue would be flooded with wannabe pimps trying to score big after the club. People would be dressed in their freshest attire hanging from cars trying to get picked up for the night. The regular routine around these parts couldn't be easily broken. Wishing I could make a stop to join the festivities, I kept pushing my whip toward home, having to get my earnings locked up safely. With so much shady things going on to women in Detroit, I wasn't taking any chances by keeping so much cash on my person. Turning into the parking lot of my apartment complex, I pulled into my spot turning the radio low so I could finish hitting my blunt. It wasn't worth putting out then relighting; plus I hated smoking what tasted like ash.
I heard the sounds of the phone ringing.
You can't be serious. I'm about to curse this chick out for real.
Looking at the caller ID on my phone, my attitude immediately calmed. “Hello.” I answered the unknown out-of-state phone number without thinking twice. My hopes were high that it was Jay on the other end.
“Yes?” The voice sounded too proper to be one of the thugs I usually crept with but I didn't jump the gun in calling him out.
“My pretty lady, you sound just as good as you look and feel. Did I catch you at a bad time?”
“No, not at all. I see you're truly a man of your word.” I smiled into the phone, happy he'd called to spend some more money on me. With my fate uncertain at the bar, I needed to stack all of the money I could get my hands on.
“I'm a man who knows what he likes if nothing else. If I like what I see then I go for it.”
“Oh okay, I like a man who knows what he wants. It takes the bullshit out of things.” Keeping it real with him, I was speaking terminology he could understand. We both knew why he was calling so why waste time with word or mind games?
“Listen here, a few of my buddies and I are staying at the hotel for the night gambling, drinking, and trying to get into a little mischief.” He laughed sounding like only a true white boy could. “At the club I had to pay five hundred fat ones plus an uncountable amount of dollar bills for a few R&B songs of your time. I was just wondering what your rates were for an after-hours call.”
Jay was blunt and direct, something I grew to fear but had no other choice but to respect. For all my years I'd been handled with a long-handle spoon by those people closest to me; and my Grandma Sally, oh God, had she been the most brutally honest person I knew.
“Hello? Butter, are you still there? Was that too forward for you, hon?”
“Yeah, I'm here. Um, nope, it wasn't too forward. I guess you're into callin' 'em how you see 'em. I can feel you on that.” Jay couldn't think more about me than I'd already put on display for him. The only thing left to imagination was how my twat and warm mouth actually felt without a tease.
“I actually call it paying how play. So what will be the ticket?”
After running down a price he didn't hesitate to pick up, I found out his location then ended the call. There was no way I was getting ready to miss out on any of this cash. We'd just agreed upon a definite grand upon arrival. I aimed high 'cause if I didn't put heavy stock into my pussy then who would? If I played my cards right he could end up being a sneak vacation to get away from the drama around here. But if nothing else he'd make one helluva sponsor. Locking his number I ensured he would just be one tap away.
Now moving with speed, I snatched the garbage bags of money from my trunk, running into the house hoping no one followed me here. Tossing them into the second bedroom of my apartment then locking the deadbolt back, I only had a few minutes to get scantily dressed to meet up with Jay at the casino. My cell was ringing nonstop but it was only Shawntay refusing to leave me alone. She'd been clicking in during my and Jay's conversation but I was too caught in his words to even care. But enough was enough. I wasn't interested in anything her jinx ass had to say, but me answering was the only way she'd stop bothering me.
“Yes, Ma, damn. What's up?” Fumbling through my drawers for a cute panty set, I snatched out a hot pink lace bra and matching thong, running into the bathroom to do a quick ho wash up.
“Oh, sweet Jesus, you're okay! Almighty Father, you do work miracles. I'm truly sorry I ever doubted you.” My mother started in with talking to the God who'd abandoned me along with my father's side of the family.
“Hello, Shawntay. I'm kinda busy, what's up?” Rolling my eyes to the back of my head, I couldn't stand hearing her play the sanctified role. Putting the phone on speaker, I set the phone down onto the bathroom sink, running the water to soap up my rag.
“I'm just glad you're okay. I don't rest at all with you dancing at the bar. I know a pretty girl like yourself has made enough money to quit. Maybe you can go back to school for art. You were always running around the house drawing pictures.”
“I know this is a joke. You can't be serious. The only reason I was drawing pictures is 'cause the school therapist said it was the best way to get my feelings out 'cause you were too busy to deal with my âugly, frog-looking ass.'” I repeated the harsh words I heard her call me as a child. In my world there weren't second chances, just consequences. I'd seen that with Dazz. “Don't come judging me now when you made me this way.” Rubbing the rag back, forth, then around my vagina, I even made sure my asshole was fresh and clean just in case the white boy was one of those kink freaks.
“I'm sorry, Shannon. But the Lord has forgiven me for my sins so I can't keep dwelling on the past. Please just take a step at seeing the new me. I know I haven't always been the best mother or role model but people do change.” My mother was barking up the wrong tree.
“Me and God ain't cool, Ma.” I laughed like she should've known. “You know how many nights I prayed for Him to feed us? To keep your punk-ass boyfriend's hands out of my panties? I used to hold my pee all day knowing he'd be creeping around with his pudgy fingers so I'd piss on him in attempts to keep him away. At five I was learning how to fend for myself 'cause you were too busy snorting lines. But you want me to let the past go? And I ain't even about to start no pity party about what went down at my grandmother's house. Let's just say I ain't never fit nowhere I done been at in all my life.” Feeling my emotions starting to pour over, I had to hurry up and dry my hands to end the call. Digging up my past only meant trouble; and tonight with Jay I was anxious to get into something new. Finally a paid businessman was after Butter. Shawntay wasn't gonna have my mind too twisted to perform.
“Your soul is gonna be damned, Shannon, if you don't get right with your Lord. I don't want you to keep living how I lived 'cause that ain't gonna get you nowhere but to the grave.”
“It's been damned since conception, bitch!” Finally able to hang up the phone, I'd had enough of the counterfeit Christian. How dare she judge me? Wasn't that a sin within itself? I didn't feel like having Shawntay ruin my night any longer. Going through my phone to the settings, I blocked her number so she wouldn't be able to get in contact with me until I felt like being bothered again. It was the next best thing next to having T-Mobile change my number. I'd given Shawntay all of my childhood years to ruin; for the rest of my life she'd have to take a back seat.
Dipping my hairbrush into the water, I brushed my hair until the waves bounced back fresh, then made sure my makeup was on point. The amount of liquor I was consuming was starting to take a toll on my beauty. A few months ago I only needed eye shadow and lip gloss to enhance my beauty. Now I needed foundation and concealer to hide where my skin had broken out. Thankfully tonight the dark circles that sometimes hung under my eyes were less than noticeable. I guessed I could thank Sally for finally giving me something I could use in my adulthood life besides resentment for being mixed. Sally used to say I had big raccoon eyes like my mother so she'd put cucumbers on them to make them less puffy. I followed suit a few days ago, seeing the combination of me smoking too much weed, drinking too much liquor, and not sleeping enough had my eyes touch my cheeks. It wasn't a good look at all. Sliding on a pair of low-rise denim ripped jeans, a white cropped top, and the only red bottoms I owned, I could thank Shawntay for this dynamic body. I had curves for days! Once I was completely ready with my keys in hand about to walk out the door, I sent Jay a text to let him know I was only ten minutes away.
“Wake ya ass up, little girl.” I shook Shannon's small fragile body. “Pull them pissy-ass panties back up so we can go!” Not the least bit concerned that the John Doe I tricked with last night also got off on little girls, I had no intentions of playing gentle with Shannon. She might've been my daughter but she wasn't all my blood. Each day of her existence has been a harsh reminder of my hatred for her father. Shannon's long, silky hair and high yellow complexion got her far too many compliments anyway.
She might as well get used to niggas using her for her looks now, 'cause that's all I've ever been worth.