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Babies and Fools

black-woman-with-man-holding-baby

I’ve always reminded myself that Mama told me God looks after babies and fools, but I never knew for sure which one I was. I think I know now. With all the drama I went through with Jamal, from dealing with his ex-wife constantly putting me down to catching him at her place after he didn’t come home for days, this relationship has reached a new low. Well, maybe I shouldn’t call it a low, but it’s definitely an obstacle, and a huge one too.

The biggest thing I had to get over before Jamal and I got married was the fact that he put me out of his house while I was pregnant after I caught him over at Jill’s. He claimed nothing happened while he was there, but that doesn’t even sound right. Why else would a man with his own home spend so much time at a woman’s apartment? Unless he felt like I ran him away, which seems unlikely because he asked me to marry him.

It was a perfect day too, our wedding day. My parents came up from North Carolina to be there. It was cold out, so I dressed in my winter white suit that matched my winter white wool calf-length coat, and Jamal wore his best tailored black suit. We walked with our parents to the Baltimore City court house to exchange vows. Jamal stopped by a street vendor to get me a bouquet of roses so that I would feel complete.

As small as that gesture was, I really appreciated it. I just knew that our life together with our baby Eliana was going to be beautiful, and it was. Until the day he told me that Jill was pregnant with his baby.

 
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Posted by on October 4, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Mahogany Butterfly

Mahogany Butterfly Cover

I know it’s been forever, and I was just getting the hang of this, but…the novel that these excerpts belong in is complete! Mahogany Butterfly comes out in October. But don’t go anywhere! I am now working on the second novel, The Opposite of Crazy (tentatively named), and will of course post the excerpts here! Check out my author website, aleishathewriter.com.  Thanks again for subscribing!

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

Familiar Strangers

talking

“Hey, I’m Donna.”

Was that her speaking?  I thought so.  Not sure though.  My vision started to clear and I noticed I still wasn’t hit.  I focused on the face.  Did she look friendly?  Maybe.  I glanced down at her hands.  They weren’t balled into fists like she was about to strike.  But had she just spoken?  That voice had to have been her.  I had to find my voice, try introducing myself.

“Donna?” I repeated tentatively.  She nodded, smiled slightly.  I was relieved that she wasn’t beating me senseless.  I still wondered what made her approach me, though.  Maybe she was just one of those extra nice people who wanted to welcome all newcomers to the neighborhood.  The Westbury welcoming committee.

“I’m Desiree.  This is my friend Kim.”

“Okay, nice to meet yall.  You looked new around here, so I just wanted to say hi.  I actually thought you looked a little bit familiar though.”

Kim and I glanced at each other, silently questioning if the other knew Donna, then we turned back to her.

“Do you ever hang at the Skate-N-Shake?” Kim asked her.

“Nah, I haven’t been skating in years.”

“The only other place we really go to over here is the mall,” I offered, “but I can’t say I remember seeing you there.”

“I don’t usually go there too much either.  I’m mostly just here in the house.  Maybe I know your family then,” Donna responded.  “What’s your daddy’s name?”

“Nate,” I responded, relaxing a little.

“Nate?  Over in Herschel?” she asked, tilting her head slightly towards me.

“Yeah.  That’s where me and Kim live.”

“Oh, okay.  That’s probably where I know you from.  I know Nate.  Tell him I said hello.”

“Okay,” I told Donna.

I wasn’t about to tell my dad anything.  First of all, I was supposed to be at Kim’s house all weekend.  Second of all, if I did leave Kim’s house, I was pretty sure I wasn’t supposed to be in Westbury Park.

 

I was accustomed to people knowing my dad, he had been very popular ever since his childhood, but I was never before somewhere I shouldn’t have been when someone said, “You’re Nate Smith’s girl, ain’t you?  You look just like him and your mama!  I mean, just like ‘em!”

But meeting Donna was different, odd in a way.  I could tell she was a few years older than me, but she definitely wasn’t old enough to have attended school with Dad.  I started to question how she knew him, but changed my mind, not wanting her to get an urge to call him on the phone and say she had met his baby girl.  Where? He would ask. Westbury Park, Donna would say, and she was talking to boys who looked like adults and possibly were.  Donna was speaking again, but I missed what she said for daydreaming.

Kim answered her, saying, “Yeah, we can come in for some lemonade!  You’re right, it’s hot out here today.  Then to Mack, who was all but forgotten, “We’ll be back in a little bit.”

“Come with me, yall,” Donna said.

Kim began following Donna to what must have been her home, the third trailer from the end of the row.

“What are you doing?”  I mouthed to her while Donna’s back was turned.

“What?” Kim whispered.  “She knows your dad.  She’s okay.”

Exasperated, I followed them into the trailer.  Not that I had much of a choice.  I definitely wasn’t staying outside with the mean-looking girls and Mack’s hungry-looking friends who looked ready to pounce on the first female who would give them the time of day.  And, as Kim said, it really was hot outside.  I could stand some lemonade.

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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He’s going away…without me

going away

A few times that I went to his house, he treated me to a dinner that he cooked himself, and surprised me often with chocolate candies wrapped in elegantly decorated boxes. For holidays and my birthday, he gave me jewelry, the most special of which was the pair of earrings he got for me for our first Christmas, because they were so cute. He had pinned the little gold heart-shaped earrings to the ears of a fluffy, brown teddy bear. The earrings had a G for Gavin in the middle of them.

“Those are to let everybody know that you’re mine,” he said with a smile.

“They already know that, I promise you,” I replied as I hugged him and kissed him on the cheek. Then I gave him my best serious, no-nonsense look. “In fact, you better make sure you tell all the hoes you got at Herschel High they better back down. Let me get just one more dirty look from one of your side chicks.”

“Awww, that’s cute! You’re jealous!” Gavin said jokingly, and we both laughed. I didn’t tell him so, but I could see us living happily ever after. 

After he made the decision to attend Gilliam, Gavin started visiting the campus several times throughout the year. Each time he returned, he brought home gifts for everyone with the college’s mascot, an energetic-looking beaver, emblazoned on them. By the end of April, I had been given a Beavers basketball jersey for women, a Beavers throw pillow, and the stuffed beaver himself, wearing an atrocious red and yellow cheerleading outfit that Gavin had the nerve to have personalized especially for me. I gasped out loud, then faked a coughing fit to hide my dislike when I saw my name, Desiree, stitched in mustard yellow thread on the back of the little bright red sweater. My parents and grandparents received Beavers coffee mugs. I maintained my composure and told Gavin I loved the gifts.

 

For each week that passed, I felt Gavin was slipping further from my grasp. It broke my heart that he was so excited to leave, even though I knew that wasn’t his intent. He spent less and less time with me due to the various activities he was required to participate in for his upcoming graduation and college freshman year. I loved the times that I did get to see him, when he would openly talk about how much he missed being around me. He also wanted me to share in his excitement, expected me to. 

Gavin knew that I was going through something, because he told me he would make sure he called me all the time once he got there and reassured me that he would not spend his time flirting with all the new girls he would meet. I knew he was joking, but this concept had actually not crossed my mind until he mentioned it, then it stayed on my mind constantly. Still, I tried not to bring it up again. I didn’t want to spoil his mood. Plus, with different females already practically throwing themselves at his feet, Gavin had been offered every opportunity to talk to as many other local girls as he wanted, and he had not taken advantage of that. I respected him for that decision, trusted him for it. 

 
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Posted by on June 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Playin’ Dumb

playindumb

One day when I was on campus and not feeling very well, I decided to skip my last class of the day to go home and rest. When I got there, Rico was at home just like he was supposed to be. Once again, I felt relieved, but Rico immediately started acting like he had somewhere to be in a hurry, saying something about he had to go do some favor for his boss. I said, “Okay, whatever,” and he was out the door.

I had barely put my books down when there was a knock at the front door. I was the only one home, so I went to answer it. When I opened the door, I saw a girl starting on her way back down the front steps.
“Can I help you?” I called out to the girl.
Surprised, she turned quickly, facing me. She was dark brown-skinned, kind of heavy-set with long flat ironed hair. She looked about my age. She also seemed a little shy.
“Umm, yes, is Rico home?” she asked innocently.
As I eyed her for a few fleeting moments, I realized that she obviously had no idea who I was and that she likely thought I was a relative or something. No wonder Rico had flown out of there so fast! I started to get an attitude, but I knew that there was no need for me to be mad at the girl for falling into the same trap that I had.
“No, he’s not here. You just missed him,” I answered her in a pleasant enough tone.
“Okay, thank you. Sorry to bother you,” she said timidly, and began walking away. She seemed very sweet, soft-spoken, and a lot like me. I contemplated for the few seconds that I watched her walk to her car whether or not I should tell her what she was getting herself into. I decided against it, I just didn’t feel like the added drama. Plus, this girl seemed smart enough. I was sure she could figure it out on her own. In fact, she probably would have thought that I just wanted him for myself, and wouldn’t have listened to me anyway.

When Rico returned a couple of hours later, I kept my cool and acted like everything was normal. Sitting on the couch next to him watching TV, I asked him how the favor went for his boss. He looked confused for a second, then remembering the lie he’d told me earlier, said, “Oh, it went okay.”
“Someone came by looking for you after you left.”
“Really? Who?” he asked, keeping his eyes on the TV.
“You tell me. Were you expecting a visitor?”
“No. Was it a bill collector?”
Now he was playing dumb. I left the topic alone. Strike one.

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Losing Myself

losing self

I really don’t know how I got to this place. This is just too much drama! Now I got the police after me, and I didn’t even do anything! Well, not really. I know one thing, I hope that no-good bastard had himself a good ole time, because I don’t want to ever see him step foot on my doorstep again. At least when I get a doorstep. He’s probably gone kick me out of his house for sure now. Where am I supposed to go? Back to my folks home down south? I don’t think so.

Great, there’s a roadblock up ahead! Which way do I turn now? I wish I knew this part of town better. Nobody behind me anyway. No lights, nothing. The sirens are fading away. Once again, the stupid cops done went the wrong way trying to catch somebody. This time, I’m glad they’re so stupid, because they’re looking for me. Little ole me. What did I ever do to anybody? All I ever wanted was to live my life and be happy. Looked for a little bit of affection from somebody I’ve known a while, thought I could trust. We had a good thing going too, until his wife started to get her panties all in a bunch ‘cause he was happy somewhere else. Hell, she hadn’t wanted him!

Almost home now. I flew down that highway! Let me just get in here and get myself relaxed. He probably won’t even have the decency to leave his wife’s place after I just busted up his groove. Shoot, this morning when I left, I hadn’t even realized that I was on my way over there. I just got in my car to go pick up something to eat, and the next thing I knew, there I was going the opposite direction. He had been missing for going on two days now, but I knew better than to file any missing persons report. I knew where he was. He didn’t think I would remember that he’d told me she lived in that neighborhood, which wasn’t even close to being the best neighborhood, with her ole trifling self, walking around with her nose in the air like she got it like that. Just because I didn’t know the area didn’t mean that I wasn’t resourceful. I had my ways.

My heart had dropped when I pulled into the second parking lot of my search that morning and saw his candy apple red and black Ducati parked right beside her cheap, used Kia. I already knew what I wanted to do: get out and bust that door down, pregnant and all. I was dying to do it, cause a scene in front of all her low-class neighbors in this trash dump of a neighborhood.

But I didn’t because I didn’t know exactly which apartment was hers. All I did was pick up my cell phone and call. The first time, he had the nerve not to answer, so I hung up and called right back. He must have sensed my presence or something, because he picked up real quick that time.

“Hello?” The future father of my child spoke into the phone in a hushed voice, like he was afraid of waking that tramp up.

“It’s Desiree,” I said calmly. “You need to come outside.”

“What?! Look, it’s early and I’m tired. I’ll call you later on.”

Before he hung up on me, I let him know what the deal was.

“You better come out here right now before I knock your pretty little bike over on your wife’s jalopy!”

Then I saw him peeking out of a third-story window through some of those cheap plastic, somewhere between white and beige window blinds. It had to be him. Everybody else in this run down neighborhood was still snoring.

“That’s right!” I said into the phone. “I found you!”

I could hear his skanky whoring wife in the background saying she was gonna call the police.

“Okay, okay,” he was saying to me. “I’m coming. Just let me get something on first. Just calm down.”

He kept saying this while I could hear her in the background talking to someone. Then I heard the sirens.

“How could you let her call the police on me?!” I yelled into the phone. I was furious! The nerve of him! I hadn’t even turned the car off in the half-empty parking lot, so I took off immediately, heart beating hard and heavy, hot tears burning in my eyes.

At the house, I had gotten in and immediately ran upstairs to use the bathroom. It seemed like I had to go all the time, and I just knew I was putting on ten pounds a day. At three months, I was already swollen and miserable. I took a look at myself in the mirror and immediately regretted it. At least my puffy, red eyes matched the rest of me. When I emerged, something told me to go to the bedroom window and take a peek outside, just like somebody would do who was running from the police. To my surprise, I saw my future baby’s daddy at the corner standing beside his motorcycle.

Now he decides to come home, I thought. Why isn’t he coming in the house? All of a sudden, several police cars pulled up out of nowhere, no sirens, no nothing. I saw the person I thought I loved walk over to one of them. He said something I couldn’t hear from in the house, then they all started towards the front door.

What have I done? What has gotten into me? My life as I knew it was about to be over. All because I’d come back to this place, thinking I could make a life with this man. This married man who obviously didn’t want me. He had seemed overjoyed that I was carrying his child when I told him about my pregnancy. What am I gonna do? I can’t tell my parents about all this. They didn’t raise me this way. They raised a lady, sort of. At least, that’s what I’d let everybody think. They loved me for who they thought I was. Maybe I’m not a smart, intelligent, sweet country girl after all. Had the city changed me that much?

No. It was him! I was doing fine until he showed up. Or I showed up…in this city, in this relationship. I was successful, making plenty of money before I moved here, with enough in the bank to cover myself until I could find a decent position. Now who’s gonna hire me? A pregnant, homeless criminal! How long would I have to stay in jail? I knew this married man wasn’t gonna help me with this one. Hell, he was the one who brought the police to find me! He is obviously not the one for me.

I could hear the police coming up the steps to get me, telling my married man to stay downstairs as if I was dangerous. Ha! I almost wanted to laugh out loud. As if I was the one who was dangerous! Too bad it took me so long to see the fire through the smoke.

 
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Posted by on June 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Strike two

womanpointing

Expecting to greet Rico’s mother or grandmother, I turned to drop my books on the couch.  When I turned back towards the kitchen, I was shocked to see Kirsten leaving with Rico behind her. 

In disbelief, I yelled, “What the hell are you doing here?!” 

I immediately got so angry, it felt like my blood was boiling, and I thought I saw a slight smirk on Kirsten’s face.  I looked towards the kitchen, and realizing that I would not have time to get a knife to cut this broad before she escaped, I started towards her.  Rico blocked me, and she quickly left before I could think straight. 

“Rico, what was she doing here?!” I yelled again.

“She just came by to visit,” he replied nonchalantly.

“What were you doing?!”

“We were just talking.  She asked about you.”

What?!  What kinda dumb shit is that?!” I asked as I shook free of his grasp and walked to the door, looking out the window to see if Kirsten might still be within reach.  She was nowhere to be found.

“She called a couple of days ago, I told her you live here now, and she wanted to come over and see how I was doing.  That was it.”

“What were you doing in the basement?”

“Watching TV and talking.”

He musta thought I was born the day before yesterday.  I understood what was going on.  I wasn’t getting anything out of this idiot, but Kirsten had apparently called herself getting back at me because I’d moved in with Rico.  I couldn’t be sure if they had done anything in the basement, but I was sure that was the plan.  She probably had just gotten there and they just didn’t have time to start.  I had surprised them by coming home early.  My ongoing suspicions of him had been confirmed twice and there was no reason for me to trust him again.  Strike two.  

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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