Authors: Tracy Brown
Tags: #Fiction, #Anthologies (Multiple Authors), #Urban, #African American
“What!” said Dawn in amazement. Things this exciting never happened to Dawn. She lived a very drama-free life, for the most part. Dawn was a pretty girl with a two-parent household complete with a picket fence—though it was brown instead of white.
Beyond fucking boring!
she thought. She craved the excitement and drama that peppered the lives of her friends. She loved days like this, when she could sit back and be regaled by Kim’s and Chloe’s adventures with the guys in their lives. This rainy Sunday afternoon in March gave them the opportunity to do just that. Dawn’s parents had gone away for the weekend to celebrate their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, and Chloe and Kim had come over to Dawn’s house in Rosebank to hang out.
“Yeah!” Kim continued. “The bitch was talking real reckless in her text messages.” She puffed the cigarette again, exhaled the smoke. “And he wasn’t innocent either. He was texting back, asking if she takes it in the ass and all kinds of crazy shit.”
“So what did you do when you found out all this?” Dawn asked. She was hanging on her friend’s every word.
“I wrote a message to that bitch as if I was Chris and told her that she need to back off ’cause he’s not trying to mess up his relationship with me. Then I wrote that she should lose his number, and I sent that shit. I deleted the text from Chris’s phone memory so he wouldn’t know I was going through his phone.”
Dawn nodded. “That was smart.”
“Exactly!” Kim said, cosigning on her own cleverness. “So I’m thinking the bitch is just a potential jump-off or whatever and that she would get the point and leave Chris the fuck alone. But no! This skank went and
to the text and told Chris that she thought he was
and all this other bullshit!” Kim blew the smoke out and tapped her foot on the hardwood floor in frustration.
“And now he’s mad at
?” Dawn asked.
“Yeah! That bastard got the nerve to be mad at
for going through his funky-ass cell phone. It ain’t the first time I did that shit! It’s just the first time I had a bitch
to the text!”
Chloe shook her head. She hated how men always tried to turn the tables and get mad, when they were the ones who fucked up in the first place. “Let him be mad, then! He’s just pissed that he got caught. Rather than be a man about it and admit that he fucked up, he’s pissed off at you for finding out what he was up to. Fuck that nigga!”
Kim nodded in agreement, but inside she was scared to death. What if Chris really dumped her over this? She didn’t let
her friends know she was scared to lose him, but inwardly Kim was in turmoil. “I just wish he’d stop calling me over and over again. If it’s over, so be it! I’m fine with that,” she lied. “Just stop calling out my name!”
Chloe shook her head. Was she serious? “Stop taking that nigga’s calls and kick
to the fucking curb, Kim!” Chloe felt like she needed a cigarette, and she didn’t even smoke! She was tired of having to give this bitch motivational speeches and pep talks all the time. “You’re sitting there, waiting for him to decide if it’s over or not, when you should be the one to make that decision. He fucked up, not you. You don’t need his broke, unmotivated ass! All them bitches hate on you ’cause you got your shit together. You’re not sitting out here every day, going to the corner store with your EBT card and having kids like the rest of these females out here. They hate on you, Kim. So they gonna wanna try to fuck your man to get back at you. The point is, he shouldn’t be out here playing you like that, embarrassing you in front of these hoes. Dump that sorry nigga. He ain’t shit—you know it and he knows it, too. You can do better than him!”
Kim scowled at Chloe. “Please, bitch. This ain’t the Tyra show.”
Chloe laughed despite her aggravation. She didn’t mean to preach to Kim. But Chris was such a fucking lame, and she hated to see her smart and cute friend keep putting up with his bullshit. Kim’s self-esteem was low enough as it was.
Kim was one of those girls who yearned so badly for the love she never got from her father that she fell into the arms of unworthy
guys as a result. She tended to latch onto the sorriest dudes and always wound up with her heart broken. Chloe was sick of helping Kim get over one breakup after another, sick of constantly reminding her friend that she deserved better. It was time that Kim broke the cycle and for once left a guy before he had the chance to leave her first.
Chloe was glad she didn’t have that problem. She was having the time of her life with Trey. He was spoiling Chloe rotten, and she was loving every single minute of it. After their initial encounter a month ago, he met Chloe on the ferry each day, and each day he had a copy of the
for her. It had all started as a subtle flirtation between two strangers, and it blossomed into the start of something with potential. They began calling each other and getting together every so often. And each time, Trey spent money on her. He took her to dinner at swanky, celebrity-filled restaurants in NYC. He bought her flowers, gave her money to get her hair done, and even paid for two textbooks she needed for her creative writing class after she’d maxed out her debit card.
“I’m just saying, you could save yourself a lot of headaches if you live by my rules of dating.” Chloe rattled off a list, using her fingers demonstratively. “I don’t tolerate cheating. I don’t date broke niggas. We’re not fucking on the first date, because my pussy is special. You can’t disrespect me or lie to me and think everything is gonna be all right. And the first time a dude acts shady toward me when he’s around his boys, it’ll be the last time he sees me. Period.” She looked at Kim. “As soon as you realized that he was texting raunchy messages to bitches, you should’ve
cut him off.” Chloe shook her head. “Talking ’bout ‘this ain’t the first time’ . . . you must be crazy!”
Kim knew her girl was telling the truth. Still, she couldn’t help hoping this would all blow over and that Chris would forgive her. “All I want is for him to be faithful to me. I can tolerate all the rest of his bullshit. I just feel like if he expects me to be faithful to him, he should give me the same respect.”
Chloe nodded. “You’re right. But he’s not! That ugly nigga is fucking everything in a skirt, and you’re tolerating that shit. Instead of playing phone games with chicks, you should cut his ungrateful ass off. You were doing him a favor by dealing with him in the first place. His no-job-having self! Instead of sending those text messages to Lynn, what you should have done was send a text to Chris’s bum ass. A text that said, ‘Hope that nasty bitch Lynn was worth the fact that you will
touch my pussy again!’ That should have been the end of that!”
Dawn was dying laughing. “You really treat guys like that?” she asked, astounded. “You tell them all that?” Dawn didn’t have much experience with dating. She’d been with her boyfriend, Darius, since high school, and their bond was stronger than ever. She was intrigued by Chloe’s no-nonsense approach to guys.
Chloe shook her head. “Nope. I don’t have to tell them that. Look at me,” she said, gesturing at her hair, clothes, and shoes. “When you look impressive, men know not to come at you half-assed. When you keep your hair done and your nails and toes neat, and carry yourself with class and self-respect, no man in
his right mind would think to treat you as anything less than a queen. You know that, Dawn.” She pointed to her friend. “Look at how Darius treats you. I’ve seen you two together. He holds doors for you, pulls out your chair, tickles you, and all that. That’s the way we
deserve to be treated!” She looked at Kim for emphasis. “A guy could tell from the moment he first sees me that I ain’t a bum bitch. And when a guy sees that you’re about something, he will always treat you like you’re about something.” Chloe was quoting her mother almost verbatim. Rachel would’ve been proud.
“That’s true,” Dawn said, nodding.
Kim wondered if Chloe was implying that she didn’t carry herself as if she was about something. “Well, I know I’m a queen.”
“So why do you care about Chris so much when he treats you so bad?” Dawn asked.
“ ’Cause I like him, that’s why.” Kim was tired of explaining herself to her friends. “And if I want to forgive him, that’s my business.”
Chloe shook her head in disgust. “Trust that you won’t catch
going through no man’s phone or worrying about who he’s with. Please!”
Kim frowned. “I know you ain’t trying to play me, bitch.” She couldn’t stand Chloe sometimes. Especially when she was being condescending and acted as if she had everything all figured out. It made Kim reluctant about sharing the negative things in her life, for fear she’d be criticized or put down.
Chloe looked at Kim and calmly shook her head. “Not at
all,” she said. “I’m just saying what
would be doing if I were you. And I would
be listening to him call me out my name and letting him hang up on me every ten minutes. I would
be answering my phone if he called me. That’s all I’m saying. I think females—all of us, at some point in our lives—can be really silly when it comes to guys. We spend so much time worrying about them, when they spend so little time worrying about us. It’s all a game. It’s just a matter of who’s the better player.”
Dawn smiled. “I like that,” she said, giving Chloe five. “So you think that so far you’re a better player than Trey?”
Chloe nodded. “Absolutely. I got him spending his money trying to get in my pants. I’m getting everything I want from him. Meanwhile, I have no intention of giving up any pussy any time soon.”
Kim shook her head. “Then he won’t spend money on you much longer,” she said. “Once he sees that he’s not getting the panties, he will move on. Trust me!” She was hating just a little.
Chloe shrugged her shoulders. “No problem. Next!”
They all laughed, and Chloe’s cell phone rang. She looked at the caller ID and smirked. “See?” she said. She showed the screen to her friends, and the name jason was displayed. “He’s the one I’m actually fucking. He has already graduated to that point. He spends money on me consistently, knows not to call me unless he’s ready to spend
money, and the sex is out of this damn world!” She answered her phone as her friends looked on admiringly. They listened while she made plans to see Jason that night, and they both had to hand it to her. Chloe knew how to play the game!
When she was done talking to Jason, Chloe turned her attention back to her eager pupils. “Eventually, I’m sure I’ll sleep with Trey. But on
terms. Not his!”
“I hear you,” Kim said. She turned her cell phone off for the time being, changed the subject, and the three friends enjoyed each other’s company for the rest of the rainy Sunday afternoon.
Chloe met Jason at his place late that night. He only had the basement apartment of his mother’s house, but it was a start. Most of the guys her age were still living in the same home and sleeping in the same bed they grew up in.
In Jason’s apartment, the ceiling was so low that he could barely stand up straight in there. But it didn’t matter. They didn’t spend much time standing upright at all.
“Did you miss me?” she asked as she stepped inside, unzipped her dress, and let it fall to the floor. She stood before him, wearing nothing but a sexy smile.
He nodded and walked over to her, kissed her and scooped her naked ass into his large hands. He tossed her on the bed unceremoniously and then climbed on top of her and licked and sucked her until she called out his name. They spent the entire night in bed, with Jason making her climax four different ways.
She thought about calling Kim and letting her listen so that she could take notes on how to live life to the muthafuckin’ fullest! In the morning, she woke up, showered, dressed, and joined Trey in their usual spot on the boat. Chloe felt like the queen of the world.
achel had just gotten home after a night out with her man. Robert was a mechanic who owned two cars and a house, and he had money to spend, which Rachel absolutely loved about him. They’d met in Lower Manhattan when Rachel was on her lunch break. Robert had been coming out of Chase Bank, not watching where he was going, and had bumped into Rachel. After apologizing profusely, he’d suggested that maybe it was destiny. Then he invited her to join him for lunch, and the rest was history.
In the year since their initial meeting, Rachel had learned a great deal about the man. In his youth, he’d been in the streets
hustling, making money, and living the high life. A stint in federal prison tamed him, though, and Robert had reformed his life. Now he had a legitimate hustle as a mechanic, making good money. But Rachel still found herself wondering how he managed to have such deep pockets. Mechanics got paid, but not
much! Still, she didn’t question him or rock the boat. She was more than happy to help him spend his dough, whether it was ill-gotten or not. His appearance was pressed and polished, and he behaved like a perfect gentleman. Robert had explained that while he was locked up, he realized it was time to change his lifestyle. He decided to become a mechanic because he had always enjoyed working with his hands. With Rachel he used those hands well, and she loved it! Robert wined and dined her, and she spent several weekends each month at his house, which gave her a much-needed break from her everyday grind.
Today, she came in whistling and practically skipped to the bathroom to take a shower.
“Ma,” Chloe called out from her room. “Don’t forget that Trey is coming over to meet you in a little while.”
Rachel had almost forgotten. “Okay,” she responded, then slipped into the bathroom with thoughts of Robert etching a smile on her face.
As she showered, Rachel thought about her journey as a single mother and was happy with the way things had turned out. She wasn’t living in the lap of luxury as every woman wished she did. But she wasn’t doing too badly either. Her job was comfortable, and so was her home. Her daughters were developing into well-rounded young ladies, and her love life was at
an all-time high. She whistled some more as she lathered her body, feeling better than she ever had before.