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Authors: Karen Williams

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BOOK: The People vs. Cashmere
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She walked toward us and said, “Have a seat. There are only two people working in the back. That's why there's been a delay. She'll be right out.”
“Thank you,” Desiree said stiffly, tilting her head to one side as she said it.
Desiree was freaking me out, acting just like Mama.
Another woman, who was black and appeared to have an even worse attitude than the previous woman, came from behind a door and called our number. She held the door open impatiently, her eyes staring at the ceiling until we reached her. The dainty-looking chick, light-skin, weave-
-looking, with some wavy weave on her head, had on a navy business suit, some matching heels, and was doing a little too much, if you ask me.
As soon as we reached her, she backed up a bit to let us pass her. Then as we stood there, she locked back the door without acknowledging us by saying hello, and began switching away, making a clackety-clack sound with her cheap-ass-looking stilettos. I knew some quality stilettos when I saw them, 'cause Mama had tons of them. Them weren't it. It looked like she got them muthafuckas from Payless, and the strap was going to give out on her ass any second. And I'm not knocking Payless, but don't wear Payless and fake the funk.
We followed behind her till we got to a set of cubicles. There was only one other lady seated across from her, a fat, older, white woman on the phone talking about her grandson walking for the first time.
Me and Desiree both shook our heads. She was getting paid to do shit, while we were waiting to be seen.
I then focused my attention on this woman in front of me and tried my hardest not to laugh at her. She still had not mouthed a word to us. Instead, she had cleaned the dirt out of every damn finger on her hands, traced her brows with her fingers, straightened her suit, and then added some more lip gloss to her lips.
After all of this, she turned to us and says in a bored and distracted voice, “How can I help you, ladies?”
“Well, the thing is, I need my husband's social security to be transferred over to the—”
“Name?” She hit a key on her computer, cutting my sister off.
My eyes narrowed.
“His name is Desmond Pierce, and my name is—”
“Didn't ask for yours. Give me a second to verify that the information you gave me is correct,” she snapped, drilling away on her keyboard.
Desiree and me locked eyes. She told me to stay calm, but I couldn't help but feel that this bitch was being hella rude for no damn reason. But, shit, this was for Daddy, so I had to keep my cool. Hell, if Desiree could, then I could.
“Birth date?”
“I was born—”
“Once again, I don't need
information, I need
, since the claim is in
“Two, thirteen, sixty-three,” I replied in an icy voice.
Her eyes locked with mine, and she twisted her lips to one side of her mouth. “Is that correct, ma'am?” she asked Desiree, while continuing to look at me.
Desiree took a deep breath and nodded.
She drilled her keys some more. “I see here there's a note attached. Let me read it.” Her eyes scanned the screen. She shook her head. “According to this note, his benefits were terminated, effective December fifteen, two thousand and six.”
“Naw, that can't be right,” Desiree cried.
She smirked. “Oh, it can't? Our records show you were given a termination letter on December first, two thousand and six, warning you that you had two weeks to submit paperwork to verify eligibility that he was still in the home and still incapacitated.”
I closed my eyes and shook my head. Mama didn't turn in those forms like she was supposed to.
“Well, can't we turn in the forms now?” I asked.
“Nope. You would have to re-apply, and in order to do that, you have to wait at least ninety days after the date you were terminated. That's the rules.”
We didn't have ninety fucking days to wait for the money. We needed the shit now. Desiree rubbed her forehead and asked, “Can you make an exception? My fa—husband doesn't have that—”
She gave us a cold look and held her tongue in front of her teeth. “That's . . . the . . . rules—same for everybody,”
“But we have no—”
She took out her nail file and began on her nails, as if we were dismissed. “Not my problem. You should have kept up with our paperwork. Start being responsible instead of asking for a handout.”
Desiree jumped out the chair and leaned over the desk. “Who the fuck you think you talking to, huh? Ugly, unsympathetic bitch!”
“You a bitch!” she fired.
I jumped up too and slapped all the papers off her desk, and they flew in different directions, making a scattered heap on the floor. “Who the fuck you calling a bitch? You don't know us. We'll kick your ass right here, right now and don't give a fuck who sees. Then we'll call customer service on your ass.”
The lady in the cubicle opposite of her got up and slipped away. “I'll get help, Monique,” she said over her shoulder.
Monique tried to stand up, but when she saw me and Desiree take a fighting stance, ready to fuck her shit up, she sat right back down and yelled, “Ron!”
“Fuck Ron! You think you hard, then step the fuck up . . . please.” I wanted to ease some of this tension off. “You'll get a bone stomped out of your ass.”
Before we could get a lick in, a man rushed toward us. He was tall, handsome, and light-skin, with a goatee and a low fade. “Ladies, is there something I can assist you with?” He was calm, despite the tension in the room, and how heated we all looked. Slyly, he stood in front of her ass as she was now on her feet.
Desiree yelled, “Yeah, hold her trick ass, so we can roll her up.”
He hid his smile, pursing his lips. “Ladies, I can't let you do that. But, whatever the issue is, I'm sure that I could be of some assistance to you. Why don't you ladies step into my office. Monique, go take a break.”
She huffed and puffed as she rushed past us. Once she was gone, he escorted us to his office.
Based on the size of it, and all the plaques he had on his wall, I knew he had to be somebody important, and maybe, just maybe, he could offer some type of assistance to us. So I checked my attitude and gave him a tight smile. It was the best I could do.
“Have a seat, ladies, and tell me what the problem is.” He sat behind his desk.
Me and Desiree both sat down in the chairs across from his.
Desiree took a deep breath. “My husband's benefits have been stopped, and that bit—lady is saying we have to wait three months before reapplying. We need that money now. We can't wait that long. I ain't never heard about no rule like that.”
Truth was, we didn't know shit about any of this, but still I thought Desiree was doing real good, so I continued to play along, nodding my head.
“I apologize for not following up with the paperwork. I must have forgotten to turn in the claim form last month, but that didn't give her the right to talk to us the way she did, like we got shit on us.”
He leaned back in the chair, his hands clasped together. He looked from Desiree, who was biting her lip, to me. When he wouldn't stop looking at me, I looked down at the carpet.
“If you don't mind me asking, where is your husband now?”
“He is at Pine Meadows, and his payment is past due. They gave us two weeks to pay. That's all we came for, sir, was to get the money transferred over to the home so he can stay there, sir. That's all.”
His phone rang before he could offer a reply. “Excuse me.” He scooted over to it, and answered, “Ron speaking. Yes . . . Yes . . . Fine.” He hung up and stood quickly. “Ladies, I have a meeting to attend that can't wait, but I'm sure if you come back to the office, say about six, I should be done, and I can assist you with your dilemma. I may even be able to cut you ladies a check today for your troubles. I just need you ladies to do three things for me.”
We both leaned forward and listened intently.
“The first thing I need you to do, ma'am, is to keep up-to-date with the paperwork. The second thing I need you ladies to do is meet me back here at?”
“Six,” we both answered. He chuckled. “Good. And the last thing I need you two do is smile. Ron is going to take care of you, promise.” And we did.
As we walked back up to the social security office, Desiree said, “Cash, I don't know about this fool. What if he just said that shit to calm us down so we wouldn't whip weave-alicious ass, and when we get there his ass won't be there?”
“It's possible he could be lying, but we at least gotta see. And he was hella cool.”
“Yeah, he was cool, not like that bitch. Man, I wanted to whip that ass.”
I laughed as we turned the corner. The office was now only half a block away.
Desiree said, “Hell, we might catch her on the street one day.”
I was silent. I knew we needed to put our focus into getting that money for Daddy.
We climbed the steps and entered the office. “Is it closed?” I asked as we went inside.
“If it was, would the door be open, Cash?”
I bit the inside of my mouth. Hell, the door was open, but wasn't a muthafucka up in there. The lights was off and shit.
“Ladies, I'm in my office. Come on in,” a voice yelled.
Desiree gave me a shove. “Go.”
I quickened my steps and walked through the door, past the cubicles, ignoring the urge to fuck up Monique's desk. It looked so neat and tidy. But I shook the thought out.
We both stepped inside to find him at his desk sipping some shit from a glass. He looked relaxed too. His jacket was off, and his tie was loosened around his neck.
The paperwork made a crumpling sound in Desiree's hands as we both paused at the door.
“Come in, ladies, and have a seat.”
Why, oh, why was the muthafucka playing music?
Some type of jazz, the kind Daddy used to play on his days off from work. Wasn't shit relaxing about this.
“Would you ladies like a drink?”
I remained standing, and so did Desiree.
“Naw. We can't stay too long,” she said. “We just came to drop the papers off and see about the check you said you could get.”
He sat the drink down, rose from behind his desk, and sat on the edge of his desk. He licked his lips and smiled. “Ahh, yes, the check and the paperwork. I'll take care of this issue, if you take care of me,
My eyes widened.
Desiree kept her cool. She cleared her throat and said, “No, I'm Pearla and—”
“No, you're not. I've met her before personally.”
Desiree's eyes now matched mine.
“You ladies are beautiful, especially you.” He winked at me.
Desiree stammered, “B-b-but—”
He continued smoothly and calmly. “ No buts, ladies—unless they are yours.” He chuckled at his own dumb-ass humor.
We didn't.
He continued, “Now here are the stipulations. If y'all take care of me like she did, I'll handle this right here and now. But before I do . . .”
We watched in silence as he unzipped his pants, pulled out his dick, and stroked the shit right in front of us like he was in the privacy of his own damn home.
Ain't this a bitch! You nasty bastard
With the reflex of a jackrabbit, Desiree grabbed the drink on his desk and flung it in his face. “You piece of shit! We trying to help Daddy, and you trying to fuck us?”
While he was temporally blinded, I lunged at him and slapped him across his face with an open palm so hard, my hand stung. “You a nasty, perverted muthafucka! You old as our damn daddy!”
Desiree grabbed his phone off his desk and bashed him in the head with it, and he screamed and doubled over in pain.
Then we tag-teamed his ass, throwing blows all over his ass, kicking him in his dick and nuts, and shoving him all around his office.
“We ain't no fucking prostitutes, punk ass!” I screamed.
“Yo mama!” I yelled.
“Bastard!” Desiree yelled.
I grabbed Desiree before she could go after him again, crouched in the corner of his office like a chump, and we ran out of the office like some runaway slaves.
BOOK: The People vs. Cashmere
6.71Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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