Sunday, November 13, 2005

...Ain't Gold (Part Eight)

"Is he cute?"
Nicole winced. Chuchi was twisting her hair back but she was killing her. She was tapping her foot, sitting on her hands, resisting the urge to jump out of her hair and scream Damnit, could you make these any looser? Cuz I can't feel anything!
"Would I have gone out with him if he weren't?"
"You went out with Stretch."
"That was a different story."
"How was it different?"
Nikki didn't quite have an answer. She liked Stretch, yes, and her reasons for breaking up with him had nothing to do with his outer appearance. "Forget it."
Chuchi had known Nicole for way too long to believe anything she said about a man. Nicole's bad choices regarding men were notorious. She dated and fell in love for all the wrong reasons, and everytime she did, Chuchi resisted the urge to shout I told you so! She never listened and one of these days, Chuchi knew it would catch up to her.
"How was the date?"
Nicole picked up an Essence and thumbed through the fashion pages. "It was nice."
She spoke around a bobby pin. "Nice like what? Like are you seeing him again or was it a nice date on vacation?"
"I'm seeing him again."
"This weekend."
Chuchi frowned and secured a lock of hair with a bobby pin. "Don't you have that birthday party this weekend?"
"That was last week. This Friday I have the office party."
"So you can go on a date and throw an office party?"
Nikki sighed, annoyed that Chuchi was being so slow. "No. I'm going out with him on Saturday, the party is Friday."
"I like him enough. It's just a couple of dates."
"Yeah. A couple of dates turns into staying over after dinner and calling me at three in the morning talkin about oh girl I am so in love with him. He is so fine."
Nikki turned around and hit Chuchi with the magazine. "I never called you at three in the morning over no man!"
Chuchi laughed and gave her a final spray. "You know admission is the first step to recovery hoe."
"Then yo mama should be well on her way."
Chuchi gasped and chased her friend out of the kitchen.

Rich looked from Toots to Cookie and back. He had to tell the truth to Toots but saying a word would mean admitting he what he had don was wrong. Rich had a problem admitting he was wrong. And then there was the chance she would kill him anyway once he told her what happened.
Toots face was contorted in anger. "Rich if you don't tell me what's going on right now I will kill you myself."
He knew that was a lie, his Toots loved him too much, but at this point he couldn't doubt her. He closed his eyes as he spoke to her.
"She's talking about the baby, Toots."
She nodded. Okay, this was something she knew. "The baby. What about the baby?"
Cookie cocked her head. "Go on."
He sighed, hands still in the air. "It wasn't Sammie's baby."
Toots looked at her sister as the words came out of his mouth.
"It was my baby. And I told her to get rid of it."
"But why?"
"Because I didn't want it. I can't afford a baby. We were just starting out. We were making money. How the hell was I supposed to care for a baby? I don't even know how to change a goddamn diaper."
"So you made her kill it?"
"Don't interrupt Toots. Keep going Rich."
"Cookie do we have to-"
"Keep going Rich," Cookie said, tightening her grip on the gun.
"There's more?"
"Oh yes. This is where it gets good."
Rich swallowed spit, which was pretty hard seeing there was a lump in his throat. "The night she got arrested," his voice cracked. "The night she got arrested, I didn't stop them. I let them take her."
"You what?" Toots screeched.
Cookie's hand began to shake, as she struggled to keep her aim on Rich. "Let me. First, he made me kill my baby. You remember when the Feds came and got me, don't you Toots? He let them take me. He stood there. They dragged me out of my bed and took me away and he never said a word.
"There was a reason he didn't talk about the trial. There was a reason he didn't let you go. You wanna know why Toots?"
Toots was covering her mouth with her hands and shaking as tears rolled down her face. She didn't want to hear anymore. The Rich she knew wouldn't do something like that. Not her Rich.
"He went in that courtroom and he lied. He told the Feds everything they wanted to know. He told them a bunch of lies and they locked me up for what he did. He locked me up so I would keep my mouth shut about the baby."
"No!" Toots finally screamed. "You're lying!"
"Ask him if I'm lying. Ask him!" she shouted.
Toots had dropped her knees, unable to contain her grief. How could he lie to her? How could he do this to her? "Please," she managed though her tears. "Please say no."
Rich wished he could. He had already done enough damage. He had lied to her long enough and if he pulled a fast one now, she'd blow his brains out.
"I'm sorry Toots."

Mookie sat back and folded his hands. Maxell had been going on for twenty minutes now about how he had been betrayed, how bad it was going to be for Rich when he found him. Mookie found himself nearly falling asleep; that jet lag was a bitch.
"Find Shadow." Those words had Mookie sit up straight, unsure he had heard correctly.
"What do you mean 'find Shadow'? There's a reason why her name is Shadow. Can't no damn body find her."
Maxell whirled and stuck one of his fat fingers in Mookie's chest. "I do not care what the reasons are. I wan't her found and I want her dead." Maxell reached into his jacket pocket, removed a cigar and posed with the cutter in his fingers.
"Or is that too hard for you? You're going to let some fucking mystery bitch give you the slip?"
Mookie shifted in his seat. "I'll find her."
"Are you sure?"
"I said I'll find her. Lay the fuck off." He stood, straightened his clothes and walked out of the room.
"I'm hoping so."
Mookie walked out to his car in a blaze of anger. He was pissed off that Maxell had questioned his masculinity. He would never do that to Rich. Even if they were faking kindness, he knew Maxell respected Rich. Pretty soon, he would be the one getting all the respect. He just had to bide his time.
Patience was a virtue but waiting was a muthaf*cka.

Copyright © 2005 Jacki Simmons
All rights reserved.


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Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take and may this song play all the way, through. And if it skip a beat, hit repeat, this the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. If it skip a beat, hit repeat, This the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. -Juelz Sanatana, This Is Me, What The Game's Been Missing