Authors: Nika Michelle
“Oh, so you want me to believe that you love me while referring to me as a bitch. Seriously Trell, you need to leave…” I pulled my cell phone from my back pocket to call my dad and thought about the 380 in a drawer in my bedroom.
As much as I wanted to go get it, I wondered if I’d catch a bullet in my back first.
“Go ahead and call Mendosa. You think I’m scared of his old, has been ass? If so, I’m sorry baby girl, but yo’ ass got me all fucked up. As a matter of fact, I’m ‘bout to prove that you ain’t goin’ nowhere and I’m yo’ daddy now.” He snatched the phone from my hand, ended the call, and winked at me with that gun still in his hand. I felt like throwing up. What the hell had I gotten myself into?
* * *
It took everything in me to go along with Trell until he trusted that I wasn’t going to defy him. The longest night of my life was finally over after six tortuous hours.
He had literally raped me and I was all cried out by the time the sun had come up. My mind was on vengeance at that point and no matter what he’d shown me or done, I had to stop him. Fear made me want to fight back. Mendosa was my father and that didn’t seem like a perk in my situation. I wanted to tell him, but that nigga Trell was black mailing me.
“Remember that there’re consequences if you leave me bitch. You already know what’ll happen and shit. If your father finds out about us, you better convince him that we’re in love. If not, you know what’s gonna happen to yo’ ass. There’s something else I want you to do, but we’ll talk about that later. I’m watchin’ you ma. Do you think it was really a fuckin’ coincidence that I ran into you at that club?” He chuckled. “Hell nah ma. I’m a mufuckin’ calculated nigga. I got plans for you.”
Butterflies danced in the pit of my stomach and I had to swallow to keep the bile down. When the door finally closed I locked it and the tears started again as I slid down to the floor. Why the hell was my life being turned upside down? What Trell had just revealed had made shit even harder for me than they already were. Everything was piling up on top of my head and I was suffocating in my mistakes.
* * *
A few hours had passed since Trell had gone and I was shook for real for the first time in my adult life. Now that I thought about it, it was probably the second time. I mean, I’d been leery before of what my choices would bring to me, but things were different now. He had actually shown me something that had left my mouth wide opened with sheer shock. That nigga knew that he had something that could stop my world…and not only mine, but my father’s too.
When my phone rang I hoped that it wasn’t Trell. Tears were falling from my eyes nonstop since he left and I was actually afraid to even leave my condo. Usually I could use my father as my shield of protection, but not that time. I just knew that Trell was watching my every move. Calling my father crossed my mind, but then I thought about what my so called boyfriend was holding over my head. I didn’t recognize the number, but I decided to answer anyway.
Clearing my throat, I let out a soft, “Hello.” I was trying to sound normal and hoped that I did.
“Sen? It’s Keenyn.”
“Keys,” I let out a breath in relief. Thank God it was him. “How’re you doing?”
“I’m good. I meant to call you earlier, but it’s been a lot going on. What you doin’ tonight?” He asked and I could tell that he wanted to see me.
“It’s cool. I understand. Nothing much. Netflix and ice cream.” Honestly the television was off and I had no appetite.
There I was, a beautiful woman with money in my early twenties and my life was slowly, but surely going to shit. I was supposed to be out on the town enjoying myself, but I was hiding out from a nigga who wanted to destroy me for whatever reason. Trell had his own agenda the whole time and it had never been about me. I had no idea what else he had under his sleeve, but I was sure that it was going to be at my expense.
“Word, word. Why don’t I come check you out? I mean, I have to be honest, I can’t stop thinkin’ ‘bout you. I mean, I’m not tryna push up on you. I just wanna chill wit’ you for a lil’ while. No pressure. I promise.”
I smiled, but I knew that it wasn’t a good idea. Calling my mother had crossed my mind so that she could smuggle me out of Atlanta and send me to another safe haven. Maybe it was best for me to relocate again. I couldn’t go back to Miami though. It was too much going on and I was running away from something that I could only pray wouldn’t catch up to me.
“Well, I uh, I’m gonna be honest wit’ you Keys. I got a…boyfriend who lives here…and…”
He cut me off. “Oh, damn, nuff said shawty…I…”
“But that doesn’t mean that I can’t kick it with you. I’ll come to you,” I said quickly. All a sudden I felt brave.
Maybe I could call Trell and throw him off. If I told him that I was going to sleep and went along with his plan, maybe he’d leave me alone for the night. The thought of being with Keys made me feel safe.
“Cool, uhh, I’ll text you my address.”
“See you in a minute.”
We hung up and I dialed Trell’s number.
“Sexy, you thought about what we talked about huh?” He asked like nothing had even happened earlier.
I wanted to blow his brain out of his head myself, but what he’d showed me made me change my mind. Maybe I could tell Keys all about everything and he could help me. That nigga Trell had some shit on my pops that could get him locked up for life, or worse. Trell had it all covered. He said that if I told my father anything his crew had the word to take shit to the next level. That meant ending my life and my father’s. Prison seemed to be the least of my worries and his.
“Yeah. I just wanted to call and tell you goodnight. I’m goin’ to bed.” I yawned to drive my point.
“Okay cool. I’ll be there to check up on you in the mornin’. I’m handlin’ some shit, so…”
“It’s okay. My pops is comin’ over in the mornin’ and I don’t think you should be here. I’ll call you when he leaves.”
“Yeah, what the fuck ever yo’. I’ll pop up over there if I want to. Like I said bitch, I’m yo’ daddy now. You better be in the bed too. You don’t know if I’m goin’ ride by to see if yo’ car there. Try me if you want to Sen.” His sinister voice made chills travel all over my body.
“Okay,” I said making a mental note to call a taxi just in case he went through with his threat.
* * *
Damn, I shook my head when I thought about Jasenia having a nigga. That shit was a huge disappointment and I wasn’t trying to be her side nigga too. I’d been through that bullshit with Elena, but at least Jasenia had been honest with me. It had been twenty or so minutes since we talked. I had a glass of Hennessey and was twisting a blunt when my phone rang.
“I’ll be there in a few minutes,” her familiar voice greeted my ear and I smiled although her news of having a boo threw me for a loop.
“Okay. Did you eat? I got some Chinese food that I picked up on my way back from Dame’s.”
“Yeah, I did, but I need to smoke. I know you got something. I’m sure I’ll get the munchies after that.”
We laughed. “You right on time shawty.”
After we hung up I made my rounds to see if the crib was straight. I had to make sure that my bathroom was clean and my kitchen was up to par. Women like Sen didn’t play that nasty shit. She was used to the finest and whether she had a nigga or not, I wanted to impress her sexy ass. Shit, I wanted her bad. Way more than I ever wanted Elena. For some reason I was willing to fight for her.
About fifteen minutes passed before the doorbell rang. I looked through the peephole and saw her standing there looking like a fallen angel. Damn, I was willing to go through whatever I had to just to get next to her. Without hesitation I opened the door and let her step in before pulling her enticing body into mine for an embrace.
She seemed surprised by my gesture, but not in a bad way. Soon I felt her body relax against mine and I held her even tighter. For some reason I got the vibe that she needed that hug. After I kissed her on the forehead, I finally let her go.
“What’s a beautiful woman like you doing at home watching Netflix and eating ice cream when you got a man? The only reason I ain’t takin’ you out on the town is cuz I don’t wanna have to kill a nigga.”
She shook her head with a smile on her face, but there was something in her eyes that didn’t match it. I wanted to know what was up with her, but I didn’t pry. It wasn’t like we’d been in touch over the years. We’d just reconnected, so I didn’t want to push her to reveal too much of herself. I’d give her time. Besides, she had a man. Damn.
I led her to the sofa and we both took a seat. After lighting a blunt we engaged in conversation. Sen was so damn smart and everything we talked about was deep. Nothing at all about the conversation was superficial, but she didn’t tell me anything about herself.
“Of course I know all about Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Riots. It happened in 1921 in Oklahoma,” Sen challenged me when I asked. “Don’t think just because I had an education abroad that I’m not up on my Black History sir. It was a sophisticated system of keeping our money in our own community. Businesses were booming and everybody was wealthy. There were doctors, lawyers, teachers, schools, stores and hospitals. Even indoor plumbing until those jealous ass, cracker ass KKK ruined it with their bombs and shit.”
There was an angry look on her face.
“Well, excuse me for insulting your intelligence ma.” I couldn’t help but smile because when I brought that up to Elena she didn’t know what the hell I was talking about.
“I’m high as hell,” she sighed. “You said you got some Chinese food right?”
I couldn’t help but stare at her. “You’re so damn pretty and smart as fuck too. Why your man ain’t checkin’ for you?”
Her eyes suddenly misted over with tears, but she seemed to keep them at bay.
“What’s wrong Sen?”
She shook her head quickly. “Nothing…I uh…”
“What’s up wit’ yo’ nigga? When I brought him up your eyes changed.” I shook my head as I grabbed her hand. “I know I haven’t seen you in years, but I’ll always have your back Sen. You can tell me anything baby girl.” I had a feeling that whoever she was with was a conflict of interest when it came to Mendosa.
In her father’s eyes, she was off limits to any man, but something told me that the situation that she was in was a lot more…complicated. I had a feeling that if her pops found out who her man was, it was going to be a major fucking problem.
“Let me enjoy my high Keys, okay.” She squeezed my hand and the light was suddenly back on behind her eyes.
I reluctantly let it go and got up to fix us both a plate of food. I’d let it go for the moment, but I had to know what was going on with her. When I returned to the room she was puffing on one of those electronic cigarettes. It was all high tech looking and shit with a glass tank and a bright orange battery.
“You smoke that shit?” I asked wondering about the contraption.
“It’s called vaping,” she informed me with a cute giggle. “I used to smoke cigarettes, but I don’t like the way they smell.”
“You trust that shit?”
She shrugged her shoulders. “I figure I gotta die from something right.”
“But you wanna find cures for diseases. Why would you say that?”
She sat her plate on her lap and dug in before answering me. “Lighten up Keys. I’m not trying to kill myself.”
“You better not be…” My voice trailed off as my eyes focused on a faint scar on her wrist.
I wanted to ask if she’d tried already, but I didn’t. My heart ached for her because a voice deep inside of my being told me that the beautiful, pampered princess had not had an easy life. Instead of focusing on the fucked up shit, I decided to be that friend that she needed.
We talked more and enjoyed our meal of beef and broccoli with shrimp spring rolls. After a few shots of Avion Silver she fell asleep on the sofa. I watched her sleep peacefully for a few minutes, enjoying the gift of her beauty. Then I gently picked her up and placed her in my bed. After covering her up with the blanket I went into the living room and sprawled out on the sofa. All I could think about was Jasenia as I drifted off to sleep.
3 years ago
“You’re at that school around all those pretty young bitches all day,” my mother said as she sipped Chardonnay from a crystal goblet.