Untitled (A Fictional Novel In The Making)

by Jhori Barksdale

They say love makes the world go round and if that is indeed the case, my world must be turning at a very slow pace. Love hasn't made an appearance in my life in so long that I've almost stopped looking anytime an attractive brother go by. Why should I keep cruising the candy isle if I can't buy even a small morsel of chocolate? The way I figure it--- when the good Lord is ready to bless me with a man, he'll do something outstanding to let me know that it's him. I'll find him sitting in the middle of my bed naked with a big red bow wrapped around his little man or maybe he'll just prop him up on the edge of my desk at work with a card sticking out of his mouth that says, "Special Delivery." Either way, I've gotten bug eyes from looking for Mr. Once in a Lifetime and I'm tired of when ever me and my girls go out, they always telling me to stop looking as if I'm waiting to exhale.

I mean, I just don't understand what the problem is. I'm what most would consider very attractive with a nice body that I spend good money on at The Peachtree Athletic Club. I have a successful business, drive a 1999 CLK and live in a beautifully furnished palatial home on a private lake plus I always make sure that my wardrobe, hair and breathe is always pimp tight. I thought that was what most brothers wanted----A sister who can handle her business and not have her hand stuck out every time he sees her. However, apparently it seems to be a problem and I'm having a very hard time grasping why. Most of my girls and some of my close guy friends say that it is an intimidation thing. Intimidated by what? Shit, he should be happy to meet someone that doesn't go cha-ching and try to pop him open like a cash register every chance she gets. I'll be the first to admit that there are indeed some scandalous females out there who only want to use a brother for what they can get without offering anything in return.

Let's use my girlfriend Laetesia as a perfect example. Now that girl can zero in on a brotha with money like those FBI cameras were on Will Smith's ass in that movie, Enemy of the State. At the height of 5'10, 140 lbs. with raven black close-cropped wavy hair and almond shaped hazel eyes, she is the epitome of black beauty. Men pant after her like snow huskies during a 45-mile trek across the North Pole with no water in sight.

Although she graduated from Spelman four years ago with a degree in Finance, Lae Lae has never worked a day in her life unless you want to count a few holiday gigs at Be Be's in Lenox Square Mall. Even then she was picking up rich married men who were suppose to have been coming in to find something for their wives or girlfriends. They would leave out the store with a dress for their woman and Lae's telephone number while she'd have a $300 outfit bagged up, paid for and sitting in the backroom as well. Girlfriend uses and disposes of men like cake crumbs on a napkin and shows no remorse whatsoever. And the sad part is that she will tell a brotha from the start, and I quote, "Listen, I've barely worked a day in my life and I don't plan on ever doing so. If you can't or won't take care of me and provide me with all of my needs, there really is no sense in us wasting our time, now is there?"

The trifling part is that most of the time the idiot ends up doing it. I have to really wonder sometimes what be going through some of these men head.

Well I'm definitely not like that and it's really pissing me off that I can't find anyone because of this so called intimidation thing, while the gold diggas are out there striking it rich and not only keeping their sheets warm, but having them burned up on some nights. Hell, you can throw my sheets in a blender and make frozen daiquiri's with them.

I swear. If I spend one more Valentines Day watching every administrative assistant, file clerk, receptionist and agent in my office receive roses, candy and balloons, I'm going to find Cupid and take that bow and arrow and show him what I really think of him.

The phone on my desk rings and I debate whether I want to answer it. The only time my private line rings is either when my sister is calling to ask for money or my mother is calling for the very same reason. Sometimes I wonder if they get together and plot the date and time that they each will call to hit me up for cash. I've decided that this is my last year being an ATM. Jalae will finally be graduating this year from Spelman and Mama is just going to have to learn to stop living beyond her means or either gets up off her ass and get a job. I can't see any reason why she can't live off her pension and dad's SSI check. Her house and car are both paid for and it's not like she has any major bills. I know they are both going to have hissy fits when they find out that the bank is closing, but damn; I know if I don't nip this shit in the bud right now, they'll forever be depending on me to take care of them.

After the fourth ring it stops and goes into my voicemail. Yeah, let them leave a message and I'll call back later.

Thirty seconds later the receptionist rings my line.

"Yes, Tracy." I answer the phone hoping to head off any idle conversation.

Ever since I hired her three months ago, she's gotten it in her head that if she kisses up to me enough, she'll move up the ladder a lot quicker. Girlfriend is going to have to get a few more skills under her belt before she can expect to come from behind that front desk. But if she continues to handle our clients the way that she has, after six months I'll offer to pay for her a few courses. Good help is hard to find so when you do run up on someone worth keeping, you do all you can to make them happy.

"Ms. Christian, I have your sister on the line and she's asking that I page you saying that it's really important."

Sighing because she always says that and it's never anything significant except to make a withdrawal, I tell her to go ahead and put her through.

"Yes, Jalae." I let out a slow breath to prepare myself for whatever life threatening drama she is about to throw at me this time. The last one was about three weeks ago so I know I'm long overdue.

"Hey sis, I hope you weren't in a meeting or anything cause if you were, I can call you back."

"No, I'm not in a meeting but I am in the middle of working on something important. What do you need?" I reach inside my desk draw to take out my purse.

"Well." She pauses to smack her tongue, which drives me completely bananas and reminds me of those girls whose mama's allow the mall to baby-sit them all Saturday afternoon. "You know that the new semester is about to start in a few weeks and I need to buy my books for class." She pauses to smack again.

"Jalae, that really does not sound very lady like." I say.


"That smacking thing that you do with your mouth all the time. It very ghetto."

"What smacking thing?"

Pulling my checkbook out of my purse I decide it's not even worth the effort. "Never mind." I say knowing that it's a lost cause. "How much do you need?"

"Well, my books are going to cost about $450 and then I want to get a few other odds and ends too, so I really need about $700 total."

"Seven hundred dollars!" I have to restrain myself from yelling into the phone. "What kind of odds and ends could you possible NEED for $250 Jalae?"

"Darn sis, you act like you ain't never been to college before. You got a degree. You know that by the time you pay for books, and supplies and stuff like that, that it really adds up."

"Not to almost $300 it doesn't. Where are you buying your notebooks and pens at; Neiman Marcus?"

"You trippin." I can just see her on the other end rolling the big hazel eyes she inherited from our daddy. That's the reason she's like she is now. Daddy always gave her way. Now he's gone and she thinks I'm suppose to carry on.

"No, you trippin. And I better not get another Discover Card bill where you've decided to go off on a shopping spree again. I gave you that card for emergencies and Donna Karen is not an emergency." I state, getting mad all over again. Sitting up there padding her pockets while bleeding me dry.

"Darn Amari, I paid it off."

"Yeah with who's money? I swear Jalae, one day big sis ain't going to be here to save your ass and you're going to appreciate all the things I do for you."

"I do."

"No you don't."

"Money, money, money." She smacks again, grating on my last nerves and prompting me to hurry up and end this conversation. "That's all you fuss about."

"Yeah, and maybe once you start earning your own and stop calling me all the time, you'll understand why." She really begins to piss me off. "Anyway, come by the house around 8 tonight and I'll have the check ready."


"Yes, a check. I'm going to start keeping a tally of all this money I'm dishing out. When you graduate and start working, I'm putting you on a repayment plan."

"Oh, so it's like that now?" Attitude comes through the phone making me wish she was still 10 where I could grab her by her shoulders and just shake the shit out of her like I use to. Spoiled brat. Always has been and probably always will be.

"That's how it is now." I repeat her words. "It's about time you learn what responsibility is. I'm not going to ask you to pay it all back, but I do expect you to pay me for at least this last year."

"Damn Amari, do you know how much money that is? Plus I'm your baby sister and it ain't like you don't have it?"

"And if you had not been goofing off in school, you would still have your scholarship and I wouldn't be having to spend it."

"Do you know how much money I've spent on you over these last 5 years less we forget that you were suppose to graduate last year." My irritation begins to show. "Look, I have to go. Just come by the house around 8 like I said."

Shaking my head, I hang up the phone. One day very soon that girl is going to get slapped across the face with a serious dose of reality and I hate to say it but I'm going to have to be the one doing the slapping. Ever since daddy died, I've felt like I had to over compensate for the lose by taking on his responsibilities, by trying to be a solid foundation and the stability that was lost when he died. But this shit has gotten old and now it's about time that I let her and my mom both spread their wings and learn to fly on their own. I can't continue being leaned on for emotional and financial support--especially when most of the time I'm just as confused as them.

Looking at my watch I find that I've lost a lot of time on the phone with her and am suppose to be meeting a client on the other side of town in 30 minutes. Traffic is going to be a bitch.

"Damn." I grab my purse and the jacket off the back of my chair and then snatch up my briefcase. Hurrying out the door I throw over my shoulder for Tracy to call them and let "˜em know I'm running a little late.

Pulling up to the house at a quarter after 8, Jalae's little Miata is parked on my side of the garage. For someone who has a documented IQ of 198 and only missed 1 question on the SAT, I often wonder if it's true that the smarter you are the dumber shit you do.

Coming in the door, I find her sitting at the kitchen bar reading a Vibe magazine with a plate of lasagna and salad in front of her.

"What's up sis? You're late." She says without even looking up.

Dropping my things on the counter, I go over to the fridge and pull out a bottle of Merlot. Reaching in the cabinet for a glass, I pour the liquid and take a large gulp before saying anything.

"Did you check the mail box?" I ask after taking another sip of the wine.

"Why would I do that? I don't live here."

"Well I sure as hell can't tell based on where your car is parked and how you've come in and made yourself a nice little spread with the lasagna that I had planned on eating when I got home." I snap.

"Oops." She looks over at me with a forced sorrowful look on her face. "I'm sorry."

Letting out a long sigh, I try to smile. "It's ok baby. I just had a very trying day and really want to just kick off my shoes and relax for the rest of the evening."

"Ok, well I guess that's my queue to get out." She gets up and takes her plate over to the cabinet. "You won't mind if I take the rest of this with me will you?" She pulls out a plastic container to put her food in.

Rolling my eyes upward, "No, Jalae. Go ahead." I pull two checks out of my purse and lay them on the table. "I went ahead and gave you $800 so don't come calling me any time soon asking for anymore money. The other check is for mama. She called me right after you did saying something about the water heater needing to be replaced and something else about going to Biloxi with the old folks. I swear you two must be in cahoots to bleed me dry." I say heading for the stairs. "Please go check the mailbox for me and don't forget to lock the door when you leave. You left it unlocked the last time."

I can hear her mumbling something under her breath as I go up but at this point I really don't care. All I want to do is get out of these pantyhose and get into a nice hot bubble bath.

The light on the phone is blinking so I go over and hit the play button and then begin taking off my clothes. Leaving everything in the middle of the floor, I walk into the bath and pour three caps of Victoria Secrets Pear Glaze in the tub and start the water.


"Hi baby." A deep voice projects from the other room. "I know I'm the last person that you expected or even probably want to hear from, but since today would have been our fifth wedding anniversary I was kind of feeling you and decided to call. I hope everything is going well and you're doing OK. I called over to mom's house and she sounds really happy to hear from me. She gave me your number."

It figures that she'd do something like give out my number without conferring with me first. And what makes him think that he still has the privilege of calling my mother, mom? I'm sure she beamed like a 100-watt bulb when he did that.

"I hope you don't mind." Then he pauses like he wants to say something else. "Well, I just wanted to let you know that I remembered even if you didn't. Happy Anniversary baby. I love you." He hangs up.


"Hey baby girl." My mother's voice comes on next. "Guess who just called me? Shawn. Said that he had been thinking about you and really wanted to check and see how you were doing." I can see her cheesing all the way through the phone. "He even remembered today would've been your wedding anniversary." Now I can really see that gold tooth in the front of her denture flashing like a hotel Vacancy sign.

"I truly don't understand why you left that young man like you did."

I'm sure you don't. Daddy fooled around on you for years and you still stayed with him.

"I can tell that he still loves you. Could just hear it in his voice."

I'm thinking more like, the lust in his voice.

"Anyway, I gave him your number. I didn't think you'd mind."

I'm sure you didn't----but I do.

"He said that he might come see me later on this week cause he's got some kind of conference that he's attending here. A conference huh? Must be moving on up at that computer company he's working for. Maybe if you had stayed married you wouldn't have to work like you do and I'd be a grandma by now. Well mama has to go. Give me a call later. And don't forget you have to take me to the bus this Friday evening for my trip. I asked Jalae but she says that she has something to do. Love ya baby." She finally hangs up.

Luckily there are no more surprise calls and the rest are mostly about business with the exception of Lae calling about a party this weekend. I don't know why that girl thinks I have the time to be out shaking my ass with her all the time. Everyone doesn't have some rich idiot dishing out outrageous amounts of money just to have them as a showpiece on their arm. I wonder what she'd ever do if she couldn't find someone to support her high maintenance ways. Of course just like her way of thinking,

I doubt that'll ever happen. People like Lae Lae just seem to have it like that while people like me gets the grubby seconds.

Going back into the bathroom I pin my hair on top of my head and then walk over to the tub and flip the switch to turn on the jets. Sliding down into the hot water I lay my head back against the pillow and allow the days frustration to be slowly massaged away. As my mind begins to settle, I wonder what really made Shawn call me after all this time. I hadn't heard from him in almost four years, why now? Shawn and I were very young when we married. Twenty-one to be exact. It only took three months for me to realize that he really wasn't ready for the sacrifices and the kind of commitment that being married entailed. Not even two months after we walked down the isle I found a lipstick case in his car. He explained that away as a female colleague riding with him to a meeting and that she more than likely dropped it. About a week later I caught him in a lie when he said that he was going to play ball with his boy Harry, then Harry turned around and called the house looking for him an hour later. The least he could have done was called Harry to let him know not to call the damn house while he was doing dirt. I guess at 21 your mind is still so focused on getting a piece of ass that you don't have the time to plan your strategy.

When he came home and I asked how the game was, he told me that it was off the hook and they were going to play again the next day. I didn't mention that Harry had called and decided to wait and see if he would talk to him before he went out the next evening. Apparently he didn't cause the next day he comes home from work, takes a shower and then grabs his gym bag and heads out the door. Now that's what kills me with cheating men. If you're going to mess around, at least try to be smooth with the shit. Why would you take a shower to go run up and down a basketball court where you're gonna sweat?

After stretching it out for another six months we eventually got an annulment and he moved away to New York to work for some big computer firm. We had tried to remain friends but it was too painful so we kind of just slowly stopped making the effort. Ever once in a while I'll think about him and wonder what he's doing, but for the most part I've gone on with my life and assumed that so had he.

After lazing in the tub until the water runs cold and my skin looks like a cinnamon colored prune, I get out and dry off. Hoping to spend the rest of the evening curled up on the sofa with a book and some more wine; I put on my silk pajamas and go downstairs.

Fifteen minutes into my chill zone the doorbell rings. Shit. Who in the hell is dropping by this time of night uninvited and unannounced. I get up and tip toe over to the door. Peeking out the side panels I find Lae Lae standing on the otherside with her hands on her hips and pants so tight I swear I can see where each vein is located in her leg.

"It's just me so open the damn door."

"Don't your ass know how to call first." I turn the knob and walk back towards the den.

"For what, so you can hide behind that black box on your night stand? I swear Amari, it's no wonder your ass can't find a man." She walks in behind me.

"Who the hell says that I'm looking for one?"

"Well even if you ain't looking, you damn sho need to get you one." She kicks off her shoes and plops down in the chair across from me. "Lately your ass has been grumpier than an old man who's run out of Viagra."

"No I haven't."

"Yes you have."

"If it seems that way it's just that I have so much going on right now with three multimillion dollar sales in progress. I'm running around from eight in the morning to sometimes ten at night showing houses from one side of the city to the other. I can't just give those clients to anyone and you know my top two agents are out on maternity leave."

"That ain't it." She shakes her head.

"And don't forget that I'm renovating the house on Jekyll Island. I'm having to run down there at least three times a week to check on the progress. With me being all the way up here in Atlanta, I can't trust that they'll do everything that I'm paying for. I asked mom to go and stay down there for at least a month while they were doing the major stuff but she says the smell of the salt water makes her nauseous and the weather aggravates her arthritis."

"Un huh. That ain't it either."

"Well Ms. Thang, why don't you just tell me exactly what it is then since you know so damn much." I cross my arms.

"You need some dick girlfriend."

"Some what?" I laugh. "Is that all it takes to relieve me of my frustrations? Just pop me a penis like's some Tylenol and everything will be ok?"

"Yeah girl. Ain't nothing like a little recreation to relieve some of that built up tension."

"Is that all you think about? Sex and shopping?"

"Hell yeah. Give "˜em some sex and then they'll take you shopping." She laughs at herself while I sit there and shake my head.

"I swear Lae, one of these days your gold diggin ways are going to catch up with you." I get up to refill my glass of wine. "Do you want some." I ask heading towards the kitchen.

"Yeah, and some of that sweet potato pie you had on the counter if Jalae hasn't come over and eaten it up."

"Ugh. How can you drink and eat something sweet at the same time. The thought of it makes my stomach queasy." I turn my nose up.

"Can you nuke it for about 10 seconds too." She hollers back from the den.

She must think I'm Hazel or somebody.

Coming back into the room with our drinks and her pie. "Are you still messing with that married white man?"

Taking the glass and plate from me. "Who Jeff? Yeah, that man knows how to set a woman up right. And he's Italian and separated thank you very much." She extends her arm and flashes a tennis bracelet that would make Lil' Kim sweat.

"Damn. He gave you that?"

Smiling and taking a sip of her drink. "Yeah, and is talking about trading in my Expedition for a Range Rover too."

"I'm sorry, I don't care how much money he has and how good he looks, I can't do no white man."

"Italian." She repeats.


"Right about now you should be happy to get what you can." She quips.

Ignoring her jab at my status, I say. "All I know is one day your ass is going to get jacked up something awful messing with these women's husband and their money."

Dismissing that notion she throws her hand up in the air. "If not me, they'll be somewhere spending it on some other woman."

Changing the subject, I fix my eyes on her face to see her reaction when I say what I'm about to say. "Shawn called me today."

"Shawn who?" She empties her glass and gets up to go get more.


Stopping dead in her tracks and swinging back around. "Shawn as in Shawn Harrison?"

Nodding my head. "Yeah."

"What in the hell made him call you?" She comes back and sits down on the sofa beside me.

Shrugging my shoulders. "I don't know. He said something about it being our fifth wedding anniversary and that he was thinking about me and decided to call."

"What did you say?" She raises her eyebrows.

"I didn't say anything. He left the message on my answering machine."

"How did he get your number?"

"How else?" I roll my eyes.

"Oh." She answers knowingly. "Well you aren't going to call him back are you." She twists up her mouth like she's tasted something bad.

"No. Besides, he didn't leave me a number."

Getting back up from the sofa. "Good, cause it took me too long and too damn much work to get you half way straightened out and Lord knows you still ain't completely right." She pushes me lightly on the side of my head.

After she comes back in the room we sit and talk for a couple hours like best girlfriends do. I berate her on her lifestyle and she nags me about mine. I believe that deep inside we both envy one another in a lot of ways but refuse to admit it. Sometimes I wish that I could have her carefree don't give a shit attitude. Always demanding and expecting nothing but the best that life has to offer. Although I am pretty well off to only be 26 years old, I know that money can not replace that special feeling that you receive from loving someone and knowing that that person loves you as well, in spite of all your shortcomings.

Laetesia can try to hide behind that strong high class persona if she wants, but I've know her since she had pig tails and braces. Behind all that bullshit she wants everyone else to believe is a woman who's afraid to love and be loved. It only took one Jerold L. Griggs to screw up her whole perspective of love and turn her into the person that she is- or at least appears to be. Hopefully one day she'll see that life has a hell of a lot more to offer than what she believes is making her happy right now. I can see it in her eyes but she's ain't ready to embrace that side of herself yet.

"Well babe." She stands up and stretches making me fear that any moment she is going to pop the seams of her pants. "I need to get home and get me some sleep. I've got a plane to catch in the morning."

"Where in the hell are you going now?" I get up to walk her to the door.

"I'm flying with Jeff to Vegas for the day. He has a business meeting so I figure I'll spend a few hours shopping and hanging out in the casino."

Frowning at the thought. "Lae Lae, you need to be careful. I know this man is good to you and all but you need to remember that he has a family at home. He has a wife and children." I say. "I really don't think it's a good idea for him to be taking you out the way that he does. What if someone sees you two and it gets back to his wife?"

"No one is going to see us. Besides, he can easily say that I'm one of his assistants. I swear Amari, you really do know how to fuck up a wet dream." She bends over and kisses me on the cheek. "I'll bring you something nice back. And stop worrying so much. Your face will look like a Shar Pei by the time you're 30."

"Ok." I say still sounding concerned. "Just be careful Lae. I don't want to have to go straight Decatur on someone's ass cause they found out you're screwin their man."

"Love ya. Bye." She goes out the door.

My alarm goes off at 4:30 every morning but I always hit the snooze button so much that it's more like closer to 5 when I get up. By the time I put my clothes on, have a cup of tea and scan the paper it's going on six and I have exactly thirty minutes to get to the gym and work out for an hour before my day begins to spin out of control. I use to go to Run-N-Shoot to work out because they were open 24 hours a day and I could still get some exercise in even when I worked late which was usually the all

the time. But it seemed like ever time I went up in there some female was trying to hit on me.

I met one girl named Tiffany during the midnight Guts and Butts step aerobics class and at first we seemed to hit it off pretty good. Women are more comfortable with giving one another compliments so I didn't think anything of it when she told me she thought I had a beautiful shape and wished she had an ass like mine. Judging by how her shorts drooped in the back, I could understand her dilemma.

However, eventually she began to make me nervous cause she started giving me too damn many compliments. After my body came my hair or nails. Then it turned into the shape of my eyes and skin. When I told Lae about it, she laughed at me and said I was naïve as a mutha. Yet instill, I had to give the girl the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was just one of those super friendly types.

Anyway, Tiffany always hung around this other girl named Diamond that danced at the Gentlemen Club and was a little hard around the edges but I figure strippin will do that to you. Who was I to judge? We were all up in there for the same reason-to improve our body and get our sweat on.

Still, the day I walked into the locker room before aerobics class and found those two sitting on the bench hugging and kissing, I knew that I needed to find somewhere else to pursue my cardio vascular activities.

At least at Peachtree Athletic Club I don't have to worry about getting hit on by women because it's majority men. The only problem is that most of them are gay. I can't win for losing.

Today I work out for my usual allotted time and then head for the office.

I'm not in the door five good minutes before the trouble starts.

Mr. and Mrs. Green wants out of their contract cause they feel that they can get more than one hundred and fifty thousand for their 45 year house though they've never done any repairs since they've been there, it needs new gutters and the pool looks like a swamp. The Thomas's are upset because they want to close on the 15th but the sellers' new house won't be finished until the 1st so they're insisting on including a two-week rental period in the contract. And then there's the enigma of them

all; Alisha Young, who after showing her a million condos still doesn't know what the hell she wants. By the time ten o'clock rolls around I'm calling Tracy to bring me a BC and Coca-Cola and I haven't gone out on my first showing yet.

"Ms. Christian, you have a Mr. Harrison on the line. Would you like to talk or send him to your voicemail?"

Damn. Of all times, now is really not the time. "Send him to my voicemail."


Good old Mama. She didn't tell me that she gave him my office number too. I'm going to a little talk with her about being so free with my personal information. Beginning to count in my head, a minute later my pager vibrates on my waist. Yes in deed----we're going to have a little mother and daughter pow wow real soon.

Looking down at the unfamiliar number, it doesn't take a scientist to figure out who it is. Picking up the phone and dialing my pager number to retrieve the message, I'm not surprised when Shawn's deep voice oscillates through the handset.

"Hello Amari. You sure are a hard person to catch up with. Your mom told me that you stay on the go all the time. I'm sure she also told you that I'm in town for a convention all week. I know that you're busy but hope that maybe you'll find time to see me if only for a few minutes. I'm staying at the Marriott Marquis downtown in room 803. I'll be teaching seminars all day but usually finish up around 5. Give me a call at the hotel or page me at 1-800-555-3658. I'll talk to you soon.


When I said I was in need of some male companionship, I did not intend on backtracking. The last thing I need is to dig up old demons. Picking up the phone, I dial Mama's number.


"Mama why you give Shawn my number?"

"Well good mo'nin to you too Amari. I'm doin just fine, how "˜bout you?"

"Good morning mama. Now why did you do that? I don't want to talk to him and I surely don't feel like celebrating an anniversary that doesn't exist. You should not have done that Mama."

"Baby I didn't see where it'd hurt for your husband to have your number. He's in town for just a week and wanted to see how you were doing. He sound real surprised when I told him that you'd gotten your license and opened up your own company."

"He's not my husband! The marriage was annulled which means that technically it never existed, but that's not the issue. You had no business giving out my personal information without consulting me first. I really don't have anything to say to him. What is there to say? We said everything five years ago. And in case you've forgotten, HE was the one who screwed around on me. What do you want me to do? Welcome him back with open arms? Well it ain't going to happen Mama so you may as well get over that fantasy."

After I speak my peace, she gets all quiet which in turn makes me feel bad because I know I've hurt her feelings which in turns pisses me off because this is my life and I'm too old to be letting my mama run my business like it's her own personal convenience store.

"Listen Mama, I'm not mad at you I just wish you would have asked first. I've got enough things going on right now to be dealing with a mistake I made five years ago. I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings, OK?"

"So does that mean you're going to see him?" She quickly ask as if she didn't hear shit I just said. Seeing that I'm only wasting my time, I say. "I guess so. It looks like even if I decide not to he's going to keep calling until I do."

"Good baby girl. I just want you to be happy." She says.

With that said, I quickly get off the phone. I don't know what Shawn has that makes my Mama only see sugar and molasses when it comes to him but it has always pissed me off. He could never do any wrong as far as she was concerned and even after his cheating, she still had the nerve to blame me, saying that I must had not been doing something right. Ok, well if that's the case, she didn't do shit right for almost 30 years cause Daddy fucked around on her the whole time. I get so tired of women blaming themselves and every body else but the man when he decides to stray and lay up with another woman instead of adhering to the vows he stood before the good Lord and promised to do.

I've dated three other men since Shawn and Mama has treated them all like first rate criminals----well Jamari really was a crook, but she didn't know that.

Looking down at my watch, if I don't get my ass up and out of here, I'm going to have some very angry clients waiting on me.

Untitled (A Fictional Novel In The Making) by Jhori Barksdale

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