Wednesday, January 18, 2006

...Ain't Gold (Part Twenty)

New Year's Eve: Two Weeks Later
Rich helped Nicole out of the car, admiring the view from the back as she walked towards the club. He locked the car and caught up with her, passing the long line of New Year's partiers. A few shouted out in jealousy, but when they saw who he was, the noise stopped. After making a stop at the coat check, Rich and Nicole made their way to the VIP section. Nicole heard the noise before they made it inside.
“Bout time you got here nigga. Party ain’t a party til you get there.”
“You know I was comin.”
Mookie up and downed Nicole. “This her? Damn, nigga! You said she was fine, you ain't say she was fine!”
Rich laughed. “Nikki, this my man, Mookie.”
He stuck his hand out politely. “Very nice to meet you.” He leaned in closer. “You make sure you keep and eye on him, hear me?” Nikki smiled and nodded.
“Don’t be tellin her that shit,” Rich said.
“Rich!” The cry went up collectively. Well brothaman must be popular, she thought. He took handshakes and kisses from everyone there. He knew an awful lot of females, she noticed. “Baby,” he pointed counterclockwise. “You know Mookie, that’s my best friend, my numba one nigga. You need anything you call him. That there is Cris B, that’s Smash, Mike and that-that is Toots.”
Smash took a sip of champagne and almost choked. “That’s Nicole? How the hell your corny ass get with her? He buy you McDonalds, mama?” Nicole smiled widely at his joke.
The group laughed. Rich smiled back and lifted his middle finger. “Don’t even try to play me like that, Smash. I don’t see no shorty on your arm.”
Smash looked at his watch. “Don’t worry. Ya mama should be here any minute.” There was a chorus of “ohhh’s!” The crew knew what was coming. Rich was in a good mood and if he felt like getting into a shit talking contest, everyone knew the outcome.
Rich let the pot shot slide, and quickly followed it with another one. “Nah, she makin a pit stop at ya daddy house.”

"How she gone be at daddy house when she on her way here?"
"She on her way here to slap you for lyin bout that dick."
Nicole put a hand to her mouth and giggled. She had never heard men talk like that. It was funny and she liked it. Toots laughed aloud as well.
Smash didn't appreicate Toots laughing at his joke and got on her. "Fuck you laughin for Toots? Don't nobody want your shit." He made this statement knowing the opposite was true. Everyone wanted a piece of her but they all knew her loyalty lay in one man. She didn't let him get away with it. She slid a hand across her chest, licked her lips and retorted, "Your baby mama likes it."
That ended it, the boys running over and declaring Toots the winner. She got him good with that one and she smiled, toasting Smash and her victory.
“Oh aright, Toots I got you. I got you. It’s nice to meet you, ma,” Smash said, standing. He hugged her. “It’s a pretty sight to finally see this nigga wit a real woman on his arm.”
“Yeah, somethin you know nothin about.”
“Fuck you, Rich. Aight?”
Nicole met Toots, who eyed her skeptically, but then warmed up as the night went on. It turned out the two had a lot more in common than Toots thought they did. She liked the girl. She was exactly what Rich needed. A good girl with a level head on her shoulders. She knew Rich wanted to settle down and get out of the game soon, and Nicole was a better bet than any chicken she’d ever seen him with.
Over the next four hours, Nicole was properly introduced to the family and very soon she felt right at home, as if she had known them forever. Rich kept ducking in and out, returning wit a grin on like the Cheshire Cat. She didn't know what he was up to, but Toots told her it was nothing ot worry about. She followed her around and talked. It was near midnight when they finally got a chance to sit down. Rich pulled her down next to him on one of the couches.
“Hey sweets.”
“What’s up?”
“I want my babygirl to myself for a little while.”
“That’s fine with me,” she said, laying her head against his shoulder. The party was in full swing around them, but their little world was quiet. Rich took her left hand in his right, gently squeezing her fingers. After a few moments of relaxed silence,
“How long do you see yourself bein with me, Nikki? Honestly.”
Nikki put her mind to work and answered him as honestly as she could. “I really could be with you forever, Richard.”
“You sure?”
She looked into his eyes. “I’m very sure.”
He nodded and reached for his jacket, which he laid on the couch a little while ago. He produced a little black box and handed it to her.
“Rich, what is this?”
“Open it up, mama.” He had a glint in his hazel eyes and a smile dancing on his lips.
Nikki opened the box. Staring back at her was a massive yellow diamond ring. Her mouth was open, but there were no sounds coming out. Se finally did find something to say.

"Are you asking me to marry you?"
He smiled, dimples flashing, eyes dancing. Nikki was still fishing for words.
“Come on, mama, don't make me get down on one knee.” He chuckled.
“Oh my god! Rich!”
“I-Yes! Yes!” As everyone was shouting Happy New Year Richard leaned over and pulled Nikki close to him, kissing her hard. “I love you so much, baby,” he whispered.
“I love you too Rich!”
Rich caught Smash's eye. “Yo check it!” his big voice boomed out. “Check it! Yo, lemme get a one time for my nigga Rich,” he paused and waited for the cheers to subside, “And his shorty, the soon-to-be Mrs. Knightley, they just got engaged, niggas. Throw ya drinks up, kiss the ring niggas!”

Toots turned around, holding a hand to her mouth to keep it from falling to the floor. Mookie turned as well, painting a surprised grin on his face to hide the steam coming out of his ears.
This was also a surprise to everyone in the room. Richard Knightley had always professed that he would never wed, that he would ride or die, “money over bitches,” until the day he was lowered in the ground. In half a year, Nikki had changed all that. Her world was turned upside down like glitter in a snow globe. But all that glitters ain't gold.

Rich and Nikki left the party two hours later, with Nikki protesting his ability to drive. “You had a few.”
“I had two. I’m straight.” He took her hand and they walked blissfully out to the car. “You made me a very happy man tonight, babygirl.”
“You made me a happy girl. I can’t believe this,” she said, taking a hold of his arm. He opened her car door as he always did, and then slid in comfortably on his side. He kissed her lips again and started up the engine. Silent and reliable it purred to life.

At the next light, Rich leaned over to kiss her again. He was so damn so happy at this very moment. He had the most beautiful girl on his arm. She loved him and he loved her. And that’s all there was to it. He never saw the black sedan pull up alongside them. By the time Nicole screamed a warning, it was too late. Three flashes hit the side of the CL and the sedan sped off, leaving skid marks in the street.


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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