Read Still Wifey Material Online

Authors: Kiki Swinson

Tags: #Fiction - General, #Fiction, #Literature & Fiction, #African American women, #African Americans, #Drama, #Drug dealers, #Romance, #Man-woman relationships, #Inner cities, #Romance: Modern, #Contemporary, #Urban Life, #Houston (Tex.), #Street life, #General, #Romance - General

Still Wifey Material (10 page)

BOOK: Still Wifey Material
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Whether or not she realized it, she could take this thing and use it to her advantage. Niggas acted so stupid when they got caught doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing! That was why it was important for the woman not to get upset and act like a fool. We had to take that very thing the men did to hurt us and turn the tables around to manipulate them. My late husband Ricky taught me that lesson.

I remembered back when he used to cheat on me with some of the nastiest chicks he could find. He had a couple babies by them too. But I didn’t let that bullshit get me all bent out of shape. I could have divorced him on so many occasions, but I played it smart and stuck him where it hurt—his pockets—and kept it moving. Believe me, that nigga couldn’t see the forest for the trees because of all the shit he was in. That was why I was able to walk away with over three hundred thousand dollars from his stash. Thanks to Russ, I didn’t keep it long, but, hey, what could I say? You lived and you learned. I just hoped Nikki could do the same.

Four Hours Later
(Nikki Speaks)

A
ll three of us sat in the back office for what seemed like forever. The whole time we were caged up, Carmen and I had to endure Rachael’s fucking phobia issues. Thank God for her husband, though. Peter knew that she was supposed to be at home by seven so they could go to their eight o’clock dinner reservation, so when she didn’t show up or answer her phone after an hour and a half of him trying to reach her, he brought his butt down to the shop to see what was going on. He later told us that when he pulled up to the parking lot and saw Rachael’s car parked outside, his first thought was to curse her ass out. But then he noticed how dark it was inside the shop and immediately forgot all about ripping her apart and started worrying. Why would all of our cars be parked outside while the lights were out? It just didn’t make sense to him. What was even scarier for him was when he tried the front door and it was unlocked. He thought that when he walked inside he was going to find all of us dead. When he heard our voices, he told us he let out a sigh of relief.

“Rachael, baby, is that you back there?” we heard Peter ask.

Rachael immediately recognized her husband’s voice and damn near broke down the office door to get through it. “Yes, baby, it’s me! We’re locked up back in the office,” she yelled.

“Yeah, Peter, you’re going to have to find a screwdriver or something to take off lock,” I interjected.

Carmen came back to life that instant. “Tell him I have one in the top drawer of my station, buried underneath a bunch of pink curling rods.”

“Peter, go to Carmen’s station and get that screwdriver out of her top drawer. There’s a bunch of pink curling rods piled on top of it,” I instructed through the door.

Before he went to get the screwdriver from Carmen’s station, he wanted to know how we got locked up in the office in the first place. Rachael started running off at the mouth, so Carmen looked at her and said, “Can you let him get us out of here before you go into all that?”

Rachael was downright appalled by Carmen’s sudden outburst. Her expression told it all. Peter heard Carmen scream on Rachael, but instead of getting in the middle of the commotion, he went and got the screwdriver. It took him about five minutes to unscrew the lock from the door, and the moment the door opened, I felt a sense of relief. I sprinted out of the office first. Carmen and Rachael followed suit. Rachael ran straight into her husband’s arms and started reiterating the whole robbery episode. Peter was floored by what she was telling him. As badly as I wanted to get in on their conversation, I thought it would do me more justice to call the police so we could all make a report.

While we sat and waited for the police to show up, I called the house and got Kira on the line. “Girl, you aren’t going to believe what happened after you left the shop,” I said.

“What happened?”

“A couple of niggas wearing ski masks ran up in the shop and robbed us.”

“Who is us?” Kira asked frantically.

“I’m talking about me, Carmen, and Rachael.”

“Oh, my God! What did they take?”

Disgusted by the reality of it all, I sighed and said, “They took all our money, our jewelry, and our fucking cell phones.”

“They took y’all’s money and jewelry?” Kira snapped. She was furious.

“Yes! And right after they took our shit from us, they locked us up in the back office and took my keys.”

“What the fuck!” Kira screamed through the receiver. “They took your keys too?”

“Yeah.”

Kira became livid. “So you’re telling me that those bastards have a key to the shop?”

“Yeah, and they got the keys to my fucking car too!” I roared.

“Did you call the police?”

“Yes, I did.”

“All right. Well I’ll be up there in a minute.”

“Can you please bring me my spare car key from the key holder in the kitchen?” I asked.

Instead of responding to my question, that bitch had the audacity to hang up the phone in my ear without giving me any warning. I knew she was upset about those niggas having the keys to her shop, but what about my car? Unlike her, I paid cash for my whip and I must say that it cost more than anything in this damn place, so she needed to calm the hell down and stop thinking about herself. It wasn’t becoming at all.

Right after I hung up the phone, I walked outside to see if those niggas drove off with my car, but when I saw it parked in the same spot, I was truly relieved. I went right back into the shop and took a seat at my station. I noticed Rachael was still running her mouth to Peter while Carmen was on the shop phone near her station. She was an emotional wreck. I heard her crying through the phone to Xavier about the whole thing, including the robbery and how one of the guys was about to rape her until the other one stopped him.

I couldn’t tell you what X said to Carmen, but I could tell you that he was screaming his poor heart out. Homeboy was pissed, so I knew some shit was about pop off. Judging from the things Carmen had mentioned about him in the past, I believed that X was going to find out who robbed us, especially since his forty-thousand-dollar platinum-and-black diamond chain was taken in the process. I just hoped he found them before they had a chance to pawn my shit.

Before they hung up with each other, I overheard Carmen telling X that he needed to get up there right now. From the urgency in her voice, there was no doubt in my mind that X was going to come bursting through the shop door at any given moment.

Shit Got Even Worse
(Kira Speaks)

I
almost had an anxiety attack on my way to the shop. All I could think about was what kind of shape my salon was in, not to mention the fact that those niggas had keys to unlock the doors of my establishment. Call me cruel, but I couldn’t worry about the fact that Carmen, Nikki, and Rachael got robbed. Shit, that little bit of crap they had could be replaced. But the fact that my salon had been invaded by those Viking-ass niggas could not be taken back. I knew I should have been a little more sensitive about what happened to them, but those hoes were fine. Those niggas left them in one piece, so I couldn’t worry about them. I needed to focus on my damn salon.

Upon my arrival, I was thrown over the edge when I walked into the salon and was greeted by Carmen’s fiancé Xavier and a couple of police officers—one male, one female. X was cursing his ass off and throwing a lot of threats around, saying he was going to take care of the niggas who robbed Carmen. As quickly as he said it, the police shut down his silly ass. “Sir, we know that you’re upset about all this, but if you take matters into your own hands, you’d only complicate the situation,” the male officer told him.

“I ain’t gon’ complicate a damn thing. All I’ma do is rectify it because those niggas took something that belonged to me, and I can’t have them flossin’ it around town like it’s theirs. I worked too hard for that shit! So them niggas are gonna either give it back, or they’re gonna have to pay for it,” he protested. I saw right through him. He had two of his flunkies in the shop with him, so I knew he was putting on a show for them.

“Did you have your diamond necklace insured?” the same officer asked.

“What street nigga you know does that?” X snapped. “Shiit, I don’t even have health insurance.”

“Well, it sounds like you need to make a call to your local insurance agent,” I interjected.

“And you are?” the male officer asked.

I ignored him and approached the female officer. “My name is Kira Walters, the other owner of this salon. I want to thank you for coming by.”

“That’s what we’re here for,” she assured me.

Xavier sucked his teeth. “Man, ain’t nobody trying to hear all that. Get my damn chain back, and then you’d be doing your job.”

The female officer ignored him, but the male officer chimed in. “Sir, we all know you’re upset, but you’re gonna have to calm down so we can conduct this investigation properly.”

Hearing the intensity in the officer’s voice, Xavier stepped down from his high horse and took a backseat. Carmen grabbed his arm and pulled him back toward her. Both of the police officers took everyone’s statements, left us their business cards, and assured us that they would do their best to find the robbers and bring them to justice. I thanked them both and saw them to the door.

After they left, Xavier grabbed Carmen’s handbag from her lap and said, “Get the rest of your shit so we can get the hell out of here!” Carmen started gathering all her curling irons, combs, brushes, rollers, and hair products and began placing them into a box. I was shocked by her actions.

“What’s going on? Are you leaving for good?” I asked.

“Yep, she sure is. But you would have known that if you would have been here just a little bit sooner,” Nikki interjected sarcastically.

“Please shut the hell up, Nikki, and stay in your damn place! No one was talking to you!”

“I ain’t got to do a damn thing! I’m so sick of your snooty ass, always walking around here like your shit doesn’t stink while we’re ’round here getting the fucked-up end of the stick.” She chuckled. “Shit, I don’t blame Carmen for leaving. Niggas running up in here like their fucking minds are bad, manhandling us and shit and we ain’t got nothing in here to protect us.”

“Well, why aren’t you packing your shit too?” I roared.

“I will, as soon as I find me a shop,” she fired back.

“Why does it have to be a shop? I mean, it’s not like you can do hair anyway. So why would you even waste your time?” I said and paused, and then I snapped my fingers like a thought suddenly came to mind. “Oh, yeah, I forgot, you are always to trying to do the same shit I do. I wear all designer name clothes, now you’re trying to cop the same shit. I got a new whip, you got the exact same one.”

“Yep, but I paid cash for mine. Too bad you couldn’t do the same,” Nikki snapped back.

“It doesn’t matter, Nikki, because you’re still a fucking hater!”

“Nah, bitch! You’re the fucking hater! And for your information, I can do hair. And as soon as I get my license and open up a shop, I’m gon’ show your dumb ass how to really run a salon.”

“Yeah, what the fuck ever! I wish you would hurry up,” I replied and turned toward Carmen because I really had had enough of Nikki’s mouth. Carmen held her head down the entire time she was arranging the items in the box. It didn’t matter to me, though, because I knew she was going to hear every word I had to say. “Is there anything I can do or say that would make you stay?” I asked.

“I’m sorry, Kira, but that ain’t gon’ happen,” Xavier yelled from the front door. “She’s going to open up her own salon in the part of town where I be at, so I ain’t got to worry about this shit ever happening again.”

“Is this what you want?” I whispered to her.

Carmen looked at me with tears falling from her eyes. “One of the guys was getting ready to rape me until the other one talked him out of it,” she whispered back.

Hearing her say those words hit me like a ton of bricks, so I immediately embraced her. “Oh my God! I didn’t know. I am so sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. It’s not your fault.”

I continued to hold her because I felt her pain. I guess Xavier wasn’t feeling my gesture because he walked over to us and broke us apart. “Come on, now, enough of that shit! We gotta go.” He tugged on Carmen’s arm. “Grab her stuff,” he instructed one of his boys.

I let her go and watched her as X escorted her out of the shop. “Call me,” I shouted.

Carmen looked back at me. “I will.”

While I watched the last guy close the door behind them, Rachael told her husband to go out to the car and wait for her. She looked at me and said, “Do you have a clause on your insurance policy that would allow me to file a claim for theft?”

I looked at her like she was out of her damn mind. “No, I don’t.”

“So you mean to tell me that my husband is going to have to come out of his own pocket to replace my wedding band set?”

“I’m afraid so. The policy I have for my business will only cover damages lost in fire or a natural disaster.”

Rachael sighed heavily and stormed off. “Well, somebody is going to have to pay for my loss, because my husband shouldn’t have to.”

“Wait a minute! You mean to tell me that your husband didn’t purchase any insurance on your ring when he bought it?”

“No, I didn’t,” Peter blurted out.

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that, but that was truly a bad judgment call.”

“You’re right, Kira, it may have been a bad call on our part,” Rachael acknowledged. “But who thinks that one day while she’s working, two big-ass guys are going to barge in and rob her? You would think that your workplace is a safe haven, like your home.”

“I agree,” I said, “but that robbery that happened today can happen anywhere.”

“Yeah, you’re right, but the only difference is that I looked at this place as my second home, and now I can’t say that I feel that way anymore.”

“Well, I am sorry that you feel that way, Rachael.” I watched as she walked toward her husband. All she did was shake her head in dismay and leave.

Right after she left, I went into my back office and made a call to an after-hours locksmith. When I returned to the service area, I noticed that Nikki had left. Thank God, because I couldn’t take being around her much longer, and if she would’ve said another word to me, we would have been knocking down everything in here.

BOOK: Still Wifey Material
4.64Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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