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 (25 page)

BOOK: Still Wifey Material
10.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

“OK.” I followed him outside.

Kofi and Matthew both sat in the back seat of Bintu’s BMW. My heart nearly jumped out of my chest when I saw them. I wanted so badly to ask why they were accompanying us on this trip, but then I figured I’d probably be wasting my breath. I got in on the passenger side. The ride to the bank was silent. I looked out the window at the city of Houston. I knew in my heart that this would be my last ride through here. Whether Bintu would betray me and kill me, I didn’t know, but either way, I was leaving here.

A Sticky Situation
(Kira Speaks)

W
hile Bintu stood watch over me, I slowly pulled up the metal lever and opened the box. It seemed like he and I both had stopped breathing because it was so quiet in the room. I exhaled and my shoulders slumped as I stared down at the manila envelope. Tears ran down my face at the knowledge that my life had come down to this—a plain white T-shirt smeared with a helpless woman’s blood. I looked up at Bintu as he smiled. I pushed the box in his direction and he snatched the envelope from the box.

“Thank you, Kira. You have done an honorable thing.” His accent was thicker and more pronounced, like he had just arrived from Africa.

“You’re welcome,” I said. I didn’t know what else to say.

“Here. This is yours.” He handed me an envelope. I looked at him, and looked back at the envelope. “Take it and get out of here,” he ordered.

I opened the envelope and found a cashier’s check in the amount of five million dollars. I was stunned. I’d never seen so many zeros in my entire life!

“Oh my God, Bintu! What is this for?”

“Because you kept your word, and in this life, whether you are here in the US or anywhere else in the world, your word and your loyalty are all you have,” Bintu explained.

Before I responded to his financial gesture, my mind immediately reflected back on the day I stood in front of Papi inside of his store front business and accepted that money from him after I had informed him that my late husband was trying to set him up with the FEDS in exchange for his freedom. I didn’t know it then, but I had signed my death certificate once the hit was put out of Ricky and his partner and my secret lover Russ. And if the game was still played the same way, I would be doing the exact same thing all over again by accepting this money, and I couldn’t do that. So without further delay, I shoved the check back into the envelope and handed it back to Bintu.

“I can’t accept this,” I told him.

“Why not?” he asked.

“Because I cannot be bought. What I did for you was merely an even exchange for my life, and you cannot put a price tag on that. So once I walk out these doors, I will be a free woman.”

Bintu smiled and stuck the envelope back in the inside of his jacket pocket. “Very well,” he said and then he gave me a head nod of respect.

As I began to close the safety deposit box and lock it, Bintu proceeded to the door of the confined room.

“If you like I can have a car take you wherever you want to go,” he offered.

“No, that’s OK. I’d rather take a cab.”

“As you wish,” he replied and then he walked out.

I held my hand up to my heart and exhaled. I was finally free! Well, at least for that very moment, and I intended to keep it that way.

After I lifted the safety deposit box in my hand, I slid it back into the slot and walked toward the front entrance of the bank. I took a deep breath and prayed a very small prayer that God would allow me to get me out of this country alive. I promised him that if he gave me one more chance to get my life right, I would, and that I would pick up my Bible every day and read it. I ended with the words, “In Jesus’s name,” and then walked outside.

I flagged the first taxi I saw and instructed the driver to take me to the airport. I sat quietly in the backseat during the entire drive because I was leery of everything around me, especially the driver. I figured since Bintu knew I was going to take a taxi to the airport, then he could have had this guy posted up somewhere, waiting for me to come out of the bank. I moved closer to the door in case I needed to jump out at any given moment.

Periodically I looked out of the back window to see if anyone was following me. Although it didn’t seem like there was someone on my tail, I told myself that I still needed to keep my guard up.

Finally we pulled up to the curb outside Southwest Airlines. I paid the driver and quickly got out of the car.

“Need some help with your bags?” the driver asked.

“No, I got it,” I assured him. I didn’t want him touching my bags. He could stick any kind of small tracking device on them. Besides, I only had a small carry-on and a duffel bag. I didn’t have time to go back home and pick up the rest of my shit I had packed, so what I had was the bare minimum.

The driver stepped back and allowed me to go on my merry way, and I was off to my new life.

A Whole New World
(Kira Speaks)

W
hen I arrived in Anguilla, the sound of a steel drum danced in my ears. All of the brightly colored buildings lightened my mood. I received many hellos and smiles from the natives. As I left the airport, I smiled to myself and headed straight to the bank. Inside I looked around at all of the bright, pastel colors, and at all of the happy islanders. I withdrew enough money to stay in a hotel until I could find a place to live.

Anguilla was a much-needed change of scenery. I loved the smell of the ocean and the sound of the waves. I thought about Nikki and everything that had transpired between us. It saddened me that we could’ve shared all of this together, but she let greed and jealously blind her. At times I even found myself missing her. It didn’t matter that things got really ugly in the end, because when I thought about the good times we had, they truly outweighed the bad ones. I shook my head, willing myself to stop thinking about the past. It wasn’t doing me any good. Besides, I was trying to move forward, and I couldn’t do that if I continued to hang on to the past.

Up in my hotel room, I jumped onto the soft, plush bed which was dressed in all white linen with what seemed like about fifty pillows. I took a strawberry from the fruit basket on the nightstand and bit into it.

“Ahhhh, the taste of serenity,” I said. I rushed around the suite like a kid in a candy store. There were huge mirrors everywhere, a soaker bathtub, a glass-encased shower, and a large balcony overlooking the ocean. I bet the sunrises and sunsets were better than the ones I’d loved watching so much from the balcony in Fatu’s apartment.

The next few weeks on Anguilla were amazing. I never knew all of the things you could do alone when you loved yourself. I just took the time to get to know Kira. After a month of house shopping, I decided to make a purchase. As I was hustling out of the hotel to sign the final paperwork on the house, I bumped into a chick.

“Excuse me,” I apologized. When the woman turned around, I nearly fainted. It was Frances, Ricky’s baby’s mama, the very bitch I had it out with at the Taco Bell restaurant and couldn’t stand to be around.

My mind started racing like crazy and my heart started beating rapidly because she and I had not seen each other since my disappearance. And now here I was in another country like everything was all well and good. Really and truly, I didn’t want to come off as the bitch I could be, so I stood there and waited for her to respond. She grabbed her handbag and pulled it up on her shoulder.

“Well, well, well, if it ain’t Ms. Kira, VA’s biggest snitch!” she said. “Word was on the streets that you came back from the dead, but I didn’t believe ’em. But I guess they were right.”

I smiled, trying to play if off. “Nice to see you finally got with a nigga that would take you to a hotel outside the state of Virginia. I mean, you know this is unusual for you, coming from the projects and all. I’m so used to seeing you fuck with those block hustlers, so it’s really weird seeing you out here!”

“I fucked your husband, didn’t I?”

“Yes, you did, but what did you get out of it other than a bastard child?”

Frances blew her top. “Bitch, don’t worry about my daughter! She’s not a bastard! But what you need to worry about is Ricky’s peoples, because they are looking for your grimey ass! And I can’t wait to let them know I saw you.”

I smiled and said, “Well, while you at it, tell ’em I said hi too.”

“You think you’re being smart, huh?”

I ignored her question and continued to smile at her. I knew this would piss her off.

“Bitch, don’t keep smiling at me! We ain’t cool! You had my fucking baby daddy killed! And now you’re walking ’round here like your shit don’t stink.”

I plastered another fake smile on my face. “Last time I checked, my shit didn’t stink! But as far as me having my husband killed, that’s a damn lie! So whoever told you that bullshit is a liar! And tell ’em I said so too.”

“I’ma do more than that, ho!” she said and took a couple of steps toward me.

I took a couple of steps away from her. “Frances, you better think real hard before you run up on me this time. I’ve been through a lot of bullshit these last couple of months, so I have a lot of aggression built up inside me. And when I finally release some of it, I’m gonna come hard,” I warned her.

“Bitch, do you think I care about your aggression? I will stomp your ass right here and now!” she roared back and took a couple more steps toward me.

Everybody and their mama stood around and watched to see what was going to happen next. But I guess the cat she was with refused to see our little gripping session escalate to higher heights because he dropped everything he had in his hands and grabbed her by her arm. “Come on, Fran, it ain’t worth it. We came here to have a nice time, so let’s go.”

“Fuck that! This bitch needs to get what she deserves.”

“And she will. But now ain’t the time,” he replied.

Frances looked at me with vengeance and I gave her that same look right back. Shit, who the fuck did she think she was? I didn’t ask for none of that drama I went through with Ricky and Fatu. I’d always been the quiet, laid back chick. But those characteristics of mine never seemed to work in my favor. For some reason I always seemed to attract assholes for niggas. So why did she feel like I got what I deserved, like I was some snake-ass bitch? I was a good girl. Fuck them! I didn’t have time to keep listening to this shit!

“Listen to your man! He’s got more sense than you’ll ever have!” I finally told her and then I walked off.

I immediately grabbed a taxi. “Take me to the Orchard Villas, please,” I instructed the driver. I turned around to look out of the back window and noticed that Frances had pulled out her cellular phone and dialed someone’s number as she watched the taxi take me away. That shit really scared the hell out of me. I didn’t know who the hell she was calling, but I did know that it was somebody from Ricky’s family, and I wasn’t about to stick around to find out what was being said. I also decided that I wasn’t going to let this guy take me straight to my destination. “You know what, sir? I changed my mind. I’m not going to the Orchard Villas, so could you take me to another hotel?” I asked.

“Which one? You know that there are dozens on this island,” he replied in a thick Anguillan accent.

“Sir, it really doesn’t matter. Just take me to the nicest one.”

“You got it.” He pressed down on his accelerator.

It took the taxi driver less than ten minutes to get me to another hotel. I paid him, got out of the car, waited for him to pull off, and then got right back into another taxi, which took me home to Orchard Villas. I could not take any chances.

I couldn’t say how long Frances and her new hustler boyfriend were going to be in this country, but I knew that it would be wise for me to stay out of sight. And that’s exactly what I did. God knows that it would be one sad day if I were walking down the beach and one of Ricky’s people ran up on me and tried to lay my ass out with a bullet straight to the head. But what would really be fucked up was that no one out here would help me, and my life would be over just like Nikki’s.

Since I couldn’t fathom that ever coming into play, I was just gonna have to live the rest of my life looking over my shoulders. Truth be told, it won’t be hard to do. It seemed like I’d been running for my life forever and a day. I had enough practice hiding out from those Russian cats thinking they were the feds, so this time would be a slam dunk. Well . . . hopefully!

BOOK: Still Wifey Material
10.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

Intimate Equations by Emily Caro
Breaking the Code by Gyles Brandreth
Engine City by Ken Macleod
Gorgeous as Sin by Susan Johnson
The Hurt Patrol by Mary McKinley
Black Tide Rising by R.J. McMillen