She Belongs to the Streets
“I told you she was gonna be late, Samantha! Didn’t I tell you? Didn’t I?”
“Kamiyah, don’t start!”
“But haven’t we been through this, like three or four times before? You know good and well she ain’t gonna marry whoever this joker is!”
“So you don’t believe people can change? You of all people?”
“True, but I ain’t never, ever reneged on an engagement! Aisha my girl and all too, but c’mon! She need to stop leading these ninjas on! All these damn engagement brunches? We could’ve had a thirty minute Zoom meeting and called it a day, but noooooo! Aisha gotta be extra! Girl got me out here in my good spanks and shit!”
Samantha raised her eyebrow as I adjusted my jeans.
“Look Kamiyah, if I treat you to a few drinks, will you behave?”
I gave my cousin a smile as I reviewed the menu.
“I hope Terrance gave you his Black card because this Fuego Margarita got my name all over it! And they let us keep the glass too? Yeah, I’ll behave, for as long as the liquor lets me”
“Good. I’ll do the heavy lifting. All you gotta do is nod and smile”
I gave her a thumbs up as we followed the waitress to our table. As I tried to immerse myself with thoughts of black beans and guacamole, images of Chance and his new boo continued to stalk me. I was doing my best to keep a brave face in public, but I kept seeing his face everywhere I turned. I couldn’t describe this intense pain that I was feeling, but every time I saw the two of them in the media blogs, I felt it. I had been comfortable seeing Chance with other women before, but this time was different. It was like I was losing my best friend and I couldn’t figure out how to handle it. Seeing Chance happy with Inez made me feel some kinda way. Despite what Chance believed, I knew that Inez was bad for him. I just had to make him see it.
Samantha must have picked up on my vibe because the next thing I heard was,
“Hey Kamiyah, what are you gonna have? These Margaronas look too good! Can you start us off with two Margaronas, please?”
The waitress disappeared with our order as Samantha started to dance in her seat. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“Girl them kids must be doing a number on you to be dancing with no music on”
“Girl, if you only knew! Trying to homeschool three teenagers? And they always think they know everything! These teachers are the real MVPs! You best believe that!”
“So distance learning doesn’t have regular class times?”
“Girl hell naw! They have that for the elementary kids. But mine? They just give them assignments and say hey buddy, do the best you can! I have to learn the shit before they do and give instruction. All the while, I’m trying to do my own job from home”
“And you know the second semester starts in two days! Kamiyah, if they don’t hurry up with this vaccine, you may have one less cousin!”
“You’re a real trooper, Sam! I couldn’t do what you do, girl. You’re a MVP too! I think I need to buy you drinks”
“Nah, I said I got you and I got you. Besides, it’s going on Terrence’s card. Since he leaves me with his kids all day . . .”
“Girl, say less”
“Which is what you need to do, Ms. St. Clair”
“I gotcha cuz”
“Good, ‘cause if the drinks don’t keep you in line, my stilettos will”
“Now look Sam, we may be family, but don’t kick me with them damn shoes, aight? We’ll be fighting up in this piece!”
“You always wanna fight somebody! That’s probably why Chance didn’t want to mention his new boo to you. You probably wanna get at her, too!”
“See Sam, I thought we were cool. Now, I have to cut you!”
“Settle down Freddy Krueger! I think I see Aisha headed this way”
I took a sip of my frozen Margarita before Aisha bounced down to our table.
“Hey, hey, hey ladies!”
I kept on sipping while Sam and Aisha did their customary greeting. There was no way I was hugging someone that belonged to the streets.
“I’m sorry for my tardiness, but ever since I announced the engagement, dudes have been coming out of the woodwork telling me they love me! Blowing up my phone at all hours! Can you imagine that?”
Before I could respond, Sam stepped on my foot to silence me. She knew me all too well.
“So who’s been blowing you up now? Let me guess? Thomas? No, Bradford?”
“They did call, but I got a blast from the past. You all remember Tito?”
“Not Tito “He’s So Fine” Carver?”
“One in the same”
“Damn girl! What’s it been? Almost twenty years since . . .”
Aisha grew silent as we all remembered that awful night. What was meant to be the best day of their lives turned into a nightmare. No college girl wants to turn up pregnant their junior year of college, but Aisha and Tito made the best of a bad situation. Tito was a stand up guy throughout the entire pregnancy. No one could have imagined their child dying during delivery. No one is ever prepared for that. Aisha handled the death better than most women while Tito went into seclusion. He was never the same, and eventually, they fell apart. Although Aisha practiced baby making quite a bit, she swore off having any more children.
Samantha, who was normally good with recovery, couldn’t find the words to say as Aisha sat in her chair. I wasn’t about to risk my life in this restaurant and not have a good time. I called our server over and ordered a Margarona for the bride to be. In my usual, illustrious fashion, I broke the ice by saying,
“You know we could have done this via Zoom, right?”
Aisha laughed as she attempted to put her phone down.
“Now Kamiyah, you know it wouldn’t have been the same. Besides, I miss my girls!”
“Uh huh. I think you just needed to get out the house from the soon to be hubby”
Samantha gave me the stink eye as she knew what I was alluding to. I nodded like a scolded child and began to lose myself in my alcoholic beverage again while Samantha continued.
“So I’m curious. Why did you accept Mr. Rasaan’s proposal? I mean, what does he do? Where’s he from? And most importantly, what does the brother do?”
“Well first off, he’s actually from Atlanta. He graduated from Morehouse in ‘05, and works for Geosyntec Consultants.
“Isn’t that an engineering firm?”
“Yeah! They have an office in Kennesaw. Rasaan worked in their Chicago office for several years before relocating to Georgia”
“An engineer? That’s new. You normally don’t date guys like that”
Before I knew it, the liquor pushed me into the conversation.
“Yeah, you know you’re a big game hunter, attracting the athletes and shit”
“I know, right? I wasn’t even expecting this to happen! I was minding my business at a red light on Circle Parkway. He rolled down the window on his Range Rover and asked me out to lunch. We went to the Yard House and really hit it off”
“You do know that we are in a pandemic, right?”
“I mean we did social distance, but the brother was fine! It’s not everyday you meet a smart, good looking, brother who is interested in what you have to say”
“So he was interested in what you had to say when you were at the light?”
Samantha raised her eyebrow again, but my question was valid. Besides, she knew I was right. And it wasn’t too bad because Aisha answered with no hesitation.
“On the real ya’ll, I get tired of dating these regular guys around here”
Athletes are regular now? Hmmmmm.
“None of them ever want to listen to what I had to say. Seems like all of them just wanted to bend me over and stick their dick inside me. I’ve always wanted someone to take me seriously. It just so happened that Rasaan appreciated me for who I was. We haven’t even had sex yet”
I peered through my glass as I tried to understand if Aisha was feeding us a line, or she realized that she found her golden goose? Samantha was smelling bullshit too, but found a better way to articulate it.
“Hmmmm. Are you telling us the truth, Aisha? I’ve never known any Black man to be celibate until marriage”
Aisha looked my way. She could tell that I had something smart to say, but I left it alone. Unfortunately, she didn’t.
“Before you say anything Kamiyah, no he’s not gay! Trust me, I gave him a test drive and he passed with flying colors! Unfortunately, he doesn’t want sex to cloud things and said he would wait until we’re married for another taste. I respect that. Plus he’s traveling back and forth right now helping the Chicago firm until they get a new director”
Aisha was trying to sell shit and I wasn’t buying. But Samantha, ever the advocate of love, seemed to believe the lie.
“So how often does he travel right now?”
“He normally leaves out every other Tuesday and comes back that Friday. This week, however, he won’t be back until Monday”
“Wow! I don’t know if I could handle that girl, but I hear absence does make the heart grow fonder”
“It does, but this being celibate got a girl all wound up! I’ve gone through three vibrators trying to hold it down! That’s why we’re having a short engagement”
Samantha and I nodded in unison as our food came to the table. For what was supposed to be a joyous occasion, it felt a bit off. My spidey sense was tingling and I couldn’t figure out why. Even though she said she was happy, her smile seemed forced. And then she had this fucking obsession with her phone. Every other second, it was jumping and she was answering. After digesting some of my quesadilla, I finally asked,
“Is everything okay, Aisha?”
She appeared to be a little flustered as she looked at us. Samantha put down her drink and reached for her line sister’s hand.
“What’s the matter girl?”
“Rasaan’s here? Cool! We finally get to meet him!”
Aisha’s eyes went straight to a man that we had seen before but not quite like this. He was dressed in a black Polo sweater and grey slacks. When the waitress disappeared from our table, there he stood, tall and proud. Samantha and I stood in shock as Aisha began to smile.
“Ladies, I think you all remember Tito”
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman
*Dedicated to Eric Jerome Dickey, the man that motivated me to keep on writing. Rest In Power*