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I am a soul who was never lost; I just, at times, lost my way. Who am I? I am a lover, mother, friend of my enemy, drug dealer, shop lifter, responsible citizen, victim of my abusers, corporate executive, entrepreneur and college graduate. Most importantly, I AM WHO I AM. Undeniably, I AM ME. As I sit and look around this room, I see little children like me. I see men and women who are supposed to be my family. I see a big two-story canary yellow plantation style home with tables set up for a Fourth of July bash. I smell barbecue, only like my granddaddy can cook it. I see my mom and dad laughing, talking and drinking… probably just reminiscing about all the good times we’ve had. I see my Aunts gathered at a table playing Tunk, a card game that I too will play when I grow up. I see my two Grandmothers going back and forth from the kitchen to the main patio table bringing out trays of nothin’ but Saint Pete’s finest soul food. I see so much from the Lanai that I’m sitting in with all of the other children who are playing and talking. But what I don’t see and what I don’t understand is why no one else can see my step-uncle pushing his finger in and out my coochie. Why don’t they see me? Is it because I am only nine years old and I look small for my size? Or is it because he’s so big and black that his shadow covers my pale skin? Is it because I’m sitting on the far side of this wicker floral printed sofa and my tulip printed panties blend in too well with the design? Why don’t they see me? Why don’t they save me? Who am I? I am the nine year old who chose to run after being fondled. I am the nine year old who got away from the abuser before he was able to finish what he started. I am the scared little nine year old girl who ran, but never told. I am the nine year old girl who was supposed to enjoy family gettogethers without being touched by creepy ex-con uncles. I am the nine year old girl who continued to play with her cousins not even five minutes after her molestation. I am the nine year old girl who carried on about her life making mistakes, learning by way of experiences, breaking rules, making her own rules, but always in the back of her mind even in the worst of times, keeping her parents words in the back of her head, “You have to live right,” “treat people like you want to be treated,” “no one likes liars,” “always be responsible,” “educate yourself” and my favorite, “cleanliness is next to godliness.” How could I fail when I’m armed with these principles? Easy! I would fail in my parents’ eyes more than I could imagine.
Who am I? I am the eleven year old who finds much joy in leaving my house and visiting with my Mama Elsie. Mama Elsie is my daddy’s mom. Mama Elsie used to teach school. And Mama held the family together. I spent my summers with Mama. I am the 11 year old who can tell my good friend Sophia what sex is because I’ve had experience with sex since I was age nine. I know about sex because thanks to some pervert, I want to masturbate. I know that if you rub around your coochie and put your finger in it you are having sex. So this summer I will show the neighbor boy what sex is. I will show him like my uncle showed me. It might hurt a bit at first, but I can handle it because I have experience when it comes to finger fucking. This summer I will be able to go all over the neighborhood without supervision because I am an honor roll student. My parents know I am a good girl and Mama Elsie loves me more than life itself. I’m her little pale skin grandbaby so I get whatever I want. So this summer I will do just what I want to do; start middle school no longer a virgin. Wait, am I a virgin? I’m not sure if I am a virgin? Does being fingered in your private place when you are nine years old mean that you’re not a virgin? When I tell someone about my first time, I need to make sure I know when I lost my virginity. I definitely don’t want anyone to be able to prove that I was molested in a room full of people and no one even noticed me! How embarrassing. How humiliating. I am in control. I will determine when I lose my virginity, not anyone else! Do you think that I want to remember my first time with a man being like this? Hell no. My first time will be this summer, with the guy of my choice. I will remember every precious moment. And I need to do it fast. So here we go, first day of summer, my parents drop me off at Mama Elsie’s house before work. I eat a hearty breakfast and I hit the road with Sophia, who we call “Fia” for short. Today is a hot day, so me and Fia put on our red “silky” jogging shorts and black muscle shirts and a pair of black and white Converses to match. We slick our hair back with curl activator from a home ‘Carefree Curls’ kit and nobody can tell us we’re only eleven. It’s time to go to work! First on the list, we must stop at Tiger’s house. Tiger is the smoothest boy on the block and boy, can he break dance! We walked slowly towards his house acting as if we were headed somewhere else. But we were really headed directly to his front porch. I zero in on Tiger sitting there with those Lee jeans on, black t-shirt and that red LL Cool J “I need love” Kangol hat on his head.
He immediately sees me, Lil’ Red, in the short-shorts. He asks me to come over. We rap for a moment and then at a blink of an eye, Tiger starts shuffling to a Rob Base song “OOOH Cut… OOOH Cut… it takes two to make a thing go right!” I’m in love! I’ve decided to make Tiger my ‘baby daddy.’ So for at least two weeks into the hot summer, I drag Fia along and we take these imaginary walks to the store. We have no intention on actually going to the store. Because if we had, we’d just walk to the nearest corner store, straight up Mama Elsie’s street, two blocks away from her house. It was a straight shot. I walked it all the time because when Mama Elsie needed her Virginia Slims Menthol Lights 100s, she would send me. And I would bring them back in less than ten minutes. We intentionally took the long route to the corner store, all the way around the block in the opposite direction, so that we could pass by Tiger’s house. I didn’t know if Tiger knew we took the long way just to see him, and I damn sho didn’t care. I also didn’t care that Fia was tired of going with me. She had no choice. She had to follow me because I am the child who Mama Elsie cooks breakfast, lunch and dinner for daily. While Fia’s grandparents and mother work during the day, leaving her virtually home alone to raise herself for the summer, I have three good meals a day. So it’s either roll with me Lil’ Fia or eat bologna sandwiches! Finally, one day, I get the courage to go into Tiger’s house while his grandparents were out. Not like me, he lived with his grandparents. I thought that was so great. I wished I could do the same ‘cause if I lived with Mama Elsie, I would do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted and she would co-sign on that shit! But for some reason, he wanted to live with his mother. We get close and I realize Tiger didn’t choose to live with his grandparents. He lived there because his mom was on drugs. Each day we spent together I felt like we were celebrating the uniting of a perfect match. He was the guy that all the girls wanted. And I, his mate, was the girl that everyone envied. Every other girl waited around for him to notice her. But I devised a plan to conquer him. He didn’t choose me. I was the girl that chose him. I didn’t care if he was ‘Saint Pete’s Finest.’ No one chooses Lil’ Red. I am in control. I get to pick the first apple out of the orchard. I’m the first to get to lick the bowl after the batter is poured. I am the chooser; no one chooses me. And that made me want him even more. Tiger actually asked to drink my venom. I didn’t have to lure him in much, he practically begged for my poison. And that made him more than deserving to hold the title of Lil’ Red’s baby daddy. We became closer and closer. I knew I had to make my move.
So on one not so particular Sunshine State day, I told Tiger that we should go up to his room and hang out for a while. He agreed. Fia and Tiger’s cousin BaeBae would be on the look-out in case Tiger’s grandma came home. We walked right up those stairs, went into his bedroom and lay down for a while. I knew how to be subtle. I scooched and scooched until my thigh touched his. I moved around just a little so that he could feel the friction. Then just as I planned, Tiger started to grind on my private side. He was supposed to do like my uncle did. He didn’t take his finger and put it down my shorts. Instead he pressed really hard and tried to force his wee-wee into my coochie. It hurt like heck! And just as I was about to tell him to stop trying he made a weird groaning sound and stopped stiff. I was a bit upset. He had ruined my plan of losing my virginity to the coolest dude on the block. So I decided it was time to go. As I got up I saw a wet spot on my shorts and the outside of my coochie hurt like it had carpet burns. I had no idea what just happened. I just knew what didn’t happen. I left Tiger’s break dancing, no sex havin’ ass right there where I found him; right where he didn’t want to be, sitting on his grandma’s porch listening to Rob Base through that big ass Boom Box with the piece of masking tape holdin’ the play button down. What an idiot. Tiger was just a cute little boy. He wasn’t a man. He had no idea how to have sex! I was too upset. It was definitely time to go. So I grabbed my loyal friend Fia and we bent a block. Who am I? I’m a twelve year old girl going on thirteen. It’s another summer at Mama Elsie’s, still trying to find Mr. Right. I would have to put a rush on my plans because I’m already twelve and I still haven’t lost my virginity. At twelve I feel like I’m fifteen or maybe even sixteen. I feel that there’s no one close enough to me to understand me. My twelve, thirteen, fourteen and fifteen year old friends don’t know shit. They all think about baby stuff, like what outfit to wear, what movie they want to see, or going skating and silly mess like that. I on the other hand have already mapped out exactly who I want to be in life. My experience has made me more mature than them. I’m not a child; I’m almost a grown woman. I don’t have time for childish things. I want to be noticed; accepted by all, even if they don’t like me. I don’t ever want to be just another piece of chicken in the box, hot and juicy but once you eat it, it’s gone. I will never be just another pea in the pod. I’ll never be invisible. I will stand out from all of the rest. And I will spend every day planning how to get what I want, no matter what. One night at a summer game in the park, I meet Raymond. He’s not just ANY Raymond, he’s ‘Raymond - the fifteen year old who drives a Camaro.’ I
tell him I’m going to the eighth grade. And he laughs. He says I’m a baby. I’m no baby! I’m an experienced sexual person! I so desperately needed someone or something to call my own. I don’t want to be overlooked. I want to be noticed. I want to be handled with care. I want to be kissed and hugged. I needed a man, my man, my baby daddy. Raymond had this nonchalant attitude about me being his baby mama. What is wrong with him? Can’t he see what he’s missing? I would have to reel this fish in with special bait, because he definitely wasn’t biting. So for weeks on end, after seeing Raymond drive by the park and watching the older, finer girls get all of the attention, I waited and I waited until I could make my move; a move that would be so cool that Raymond would have to want to get with this. But it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. Every week I made sure that I showed up to the park in the shortest shorts and the tightest muscle shirts. Still, Raymond never noticed me. I made sure that I slowed down and twisted real hard when I walked past Raymond. I even wore my Mama Elsie’s Estee Lauder stank ass perfume. But still, he never noticed me. What’s wrong with him? Why doesn’t he just try to secretly touch me in my private place? Why doesn’t Raymond want this? I’ve tried everything in the world to make him want this. I put on the tight booty shorts. I made sure my curl was always slick. I wore the fire red lipstick that I stole from my sister’s purse. Hell, a person who couldn’t smell would at least complain about the loud ass perfume that I sprayed all over my body. “Why doesn’t Raymond want this?” I screamed in my mind, “There’s nothing else to do!” So I decided that Raymond must not like pretty girls. He must not like sexy lil’ red skin girls. It’s official; Raymond is obviously too busy running around being cool to see what’s slappin’ him in the face; me! Now I’m thirteen years old. It’s time to find out what I’m missing; what I’m doing wrong. So one day, I decide to grab up Fia and my home girl Latisha (Tisha for short) who lives up the street and head out to this Recreation Center that everyone’s always talking about. They say that this spot is ‘bout it ‘bout it! I decide to wait until Friday night when all of Mama Elsie’s old lady friends decide to get together and smoke Virginia Slim Menthol Lights 100s and drinks scotch and milk. It’s Friday night. Mama Elsie’s friends all showed up, as promised. Just as all of the fish and grits are gone and all of Mama’s old school teacher friends start to load up in their Buicks and Cadillacs, I ask Mama if she wants me to make her another drink before I lock up the house. She says yes, of course, so I make it a little stronger and send Mama to bed. Now it’s time to grab
the keys to Mama’s two door canary yellow Cadillac Coup de Ville with the white wall silver spoke rims and hit the town. I ease out of the driveway, I scoop up Fia and Tisha and we head straight to the Rec Center. When we pull up, all eyes are on us. And guess who else has eyes on us? Raymond! We park and get out of that Caddy like we had been driving for years! Latisha sees two older chicks, Lisa and Michelle, so we stand with them. Just as we pose next to these older chicks like we were supposed to be there, Raymond and his homie Ken walk up. Now, I have my chance. He finally notices what he’s been missing! However, what happens next wasn’t exactly what I planned. They ignore us, me, Fia and Tisha, like we weren’t even there! Raymond talked to ‘Make-Up-Face Lisa’ and Ken hollered at ‘Bow-Legged Michelle.’ It feels like we are standing here for at least a century. I am invisible! I will not stand for this public humiliation any longer. We are the shit, not those old birds! I grab up my crew and say, “Let’s go!” We’re not going to stand here like sitting ducks. We are challenging game. So why is Raymond chasing this vulture? We stroll the park and end up behind the baseball bleachers. And just when I thought it wouldn’t get any worse, I see Lisa under the bleachers propped up on a block of concrete and Raymond is between her legs gyrating like no body’s business! I grab Mama Elsie’s keys out of my purse and tear off running to the car that I had stolen especially for this event. My crew was chasing after me because they definitely couldn’t walk home from the Park at this time of night; it was almost midnight. But I’m not going to spend one more wasted moment in the stolen Caddy. I don’t understand – why does he want her? And why was he giving her something he didn’t want to give me? I didn’t know exactly what it was they were doing, but I knew it was supposed to be me under those bleachers with Raymond. I jumped in the car and I sped out of the parking lot. All along the way home I must have bounced off of every curb I turned. I was sure we lost at least three hub caps. As we pulled into Mama’s carport, I turned off the headlights and eased into the driveway. The next morning I felt like I woke up from a bad dream. I headed into the front room for breakfast but Mama Elsie wasn’t in the kitchen. She was outside walking around her car and shaking her head in disbelief. She was stunned. And when I took a look, so was I. There was more damage than a few missing hub caps! I walked over and asked Mama what was wrong, waiting for her to explode and ask me how I got the keys to her car. Instead,
she said that one of the ladies was so drunk last night, that when she moved her car so they could pull out of the car port later, one or probably even two of those heffas backed into her car and knocked her hubcaps clean off! And now car is all dented up and her hubcaps are missing! I didn’t know whether to ask Mama Elsie to stop drinking scotch and milk because she had clearly lost her mind, or kiss her for being my favorite girl! I could always count on Mama. She never saw any wrong when it came to her little red pale skin grand baby. I was more than lucky. Mama never thought to even ask me if I was the terrible person responsible for all of the damages to her car. It never even crossed her mind. It was a very clean get away. I just didn’t get my man!
Chapter 2. The Estates Who am I? I am the thirteen year old going on fourteen Lakewood Estates chick that has it going on. Everyone wants to hang with me. Is it because we are one of the only five black families that live in the Estates? Is it because my mom was a stay-at-home mom studying for the CPA? Is it because my mom passed the CPA exam and now answers to the second in command for the only Power company in the county? Is it because my dad is the only black Jeweler on the pristine white sand beaches of the Florida Gulf Coast? Is it because my sister is in college? Is it because I have a water bed, VCR, Atari and my own phone line in my room? Is it because while the other kids are walking to school, I’m being dropped off in the baddest rides every morning when we only live five minutes away? Is it because my eighteen year old, cool sister/cousin Tina lives with us and we roll around the city in her Neon Blue Nissan Sentra Daddy bought her for graduation? Is it because we have a pool and a Jacuzzi? Yeah, it’s all that and a bag of chips! We are the baddest family in the Estates and I know it. Plus, my parents trust me and I am always home alone, giving me plenty of time to do whatever I want. My sister is in college. But I have Tina (T), my cousin who is like a sister to me. T stays with us because her mom is having some problems. So, now she’s officially part of the family. Tina is going to the junior college and it’s free reign during the days. I spend every day planning what kind of after school event I will hold at my crib before my parents get home from work. And of course, I will invite this bad boy that just moved into the apartments across 54th Avenue with his dad and stepmom. See, if you live anywhere near 54th Ave and you are black, you’ve made it! “Well we movin’ on up... to the East side… we finally got a piece of the piiiiiiiiie!” And we all knew that. But it’s something about a good girl whose parents try hard to keep her away from the ‘hood’; whose mom was born and raised in the Jordan Park Projects, but was able to make it out and become a success story via good looks, lots of hard work and a little luck; whose dad was brought up in Ocala “country ass” Florida and is now a Master Jeweler/Gemologist. It’s something about a good girl whose parents gives her the world and trusts her undeniably when the truth is; she secretly lusts for a more dangerous life. It’s something about a good girl who loves going to her Aunt’s house in the projects to meet up with all of the kids who go to the “other” schools that her parents didn’t want her to attend. It’s something about a good girl who is too smart for her own damn good.
So on one sunny day, I planned an afternoon school gathering at my crib, 1111 Caesar Way South. This house was my Greco-Roman Palace. My friends and I would enjoy swimming together in the eight foot pool. We would soak in the steamy hot Jacuzzi after I dropped some Palm Olive dishwashing soap in to suds things up a bit, of course. We had everything planned out. We would leave school an hour early. We happened to all have excuse notes and leaving early would give us more time to hang out. Then, we would walk home because the school is less than ten blocks away. We would hit Caesar so hard that we’d forget I even have parents. We would partake at the bar, “Wine Coolers for everyone!” And then the match up would begin. Now let’s see, it’s Linda & Curtis, Me and Will, Rico and his crew from the projects and Leslie. I guess that’s enough for the day. Now I’m going to let Will know that I am his woman. Will is so fine. He has good hair, his skin is olive brown and his body is like Leonidas! He is King of Sparta. And I would be his Queen! He was a Spartan warrior and I was his wife Gorgo. I loved Will the Spartan so much that I would wait until he returned from war, vowing to never be with another after his death. Oh yes, Will from Sparta was my first puppy love. Every day after school I threw a wild party so that I could be with Will. I invited only the coolest because of course we couldn’t let everyone in our little hidden palace. This was it; I finally found someone to be my baby daddy. It was Will and I knew that he could get the job done. Finally, after weeks on end and nine weeks into to the first semester of school, he asked me to be his lady. I said yes and we tongue kissed. This was different; this felt good. He could kiss! Where did he get this experience? I didn’t care. I just knew I was thirteen now and I was late. I was supposed to lose my virginity two years ago. I’ve had experience with sex since I was nine. This would be a piece of cake. So as we kiss, bad boy Will feels up and down my eighty three pound body. I think I am sexy because my grandma and aunts always talk about how I’m such a little thing, but I have a booty. Will kisses me so hard. He lays me down on the black and brown big striped sofa in the family room in front of the big screen TV and I get kissed from the roota to the toota! I’m not too sure what is about to happen next. But as I glance down, I see him moving my shorts to the side. Okay, he knows about sex. He’s going to do what my uncle did. He’s going to use his finger the right way. But he doesn’t. He moves my panties and puts his mouth on my coochie! I am scared to death. But I can’t move! It feels like water running through my toes, but better. It feels like a back rub with lotion, but better. It
feels like a hot shower on my back when I’m freezing cold, but better. It feels like… oh my GODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD! I’m in love; my nose is wide open and there goes the good girl. Another one bites the dust! It was my first experience with oral sex. I thought, “This was it! This is what sex is all about. I can do this, and damn… I like it too?” So I’m thirteen and I’m in love with a bad boy that lives one minute away. Life couldn’t get any better. Now I’m two weeks in with Will and he says he wants to go “all the way.” In fact, he says, “It’s time for you to give me some coochie.” I don’t want to seem clueless so I say, “Okay.” But in my head I’m thinking, “How much coochie can I give you? You’ve sucked the life out of me! We’ve done everything we can do right?” Will is already my baby daddy. What more could he want? I’m fine with the kissing, grinding, rubbing and the coochie eating. But Will is not. I don’t understand what else he wants. Will was my eighth grade lover and I thought that this love would last a lifetime. Will and I spent days on end together. We walked to school together. I even turned down the morning rides with my dad in his new black and gold Chrysler Conquest Turbo. I’d rather walk with my Will. He’s better than anyone. He loves me and I love him. We would be together forever. I thought I gave him everything. But he still wanted more. And then, out of nowhere, he just up and ‘quits’ me one day, standing right in front of the rod-iron gate that leads up to my front door. It’s over. I stand there and cry, while my mom watches from the living room window. I don’t understand! What did I do wrong? I gave you my heart! Will rides off into the sunset on his hand-me-down huffy bike and I am completely distraught. Now, “forever” was two and a half nine week grading periods that changed from ‘forever’ to ‘the end!’ With that first break up, my heart bled, healed, then hardened. … Now, who am I? I am the fourteen year old who will never have her heart broken again. Who am I? I am the fourteen year old who will have the best summer of her lifetime before she hits ninth grade. My first year in high school will be the best ever and I will definitely make sure it starts with a bang! Ready or not world, here I come! I will start the summer at Mama Elsie’s house again. But this time I will not start ninth grade a damn virgin. What’s wrong with me? Yea, I’m a little skinny. But I just got a little cuter. Yea, I wear braces. But I have a Lisa-Lisa
Cult Jam hair cut, shaved on one side with a dope ass Leisure Curl. Yea, I’m short for my damn age. But that’s me rockin’ a name chain different from yours because my daddy custom made it! Yea, I’m ninety pounds soaking wet. But that’s me with a wardrobe from Maas Brothers department store. My mom gave me the credit card to get whatever I wanted for school this year. Yea, I’m only a freshman. But that’s me with four gold chains, eight rings and two holes in my ear filled with fourteen carat gold. Yea that’s me with the Gucci bag I wear with the strap across my chest so that it falls perfectly on my waist; I make sure I look flawless when I pull out my red lipstick with the mirror kit. This shit makes me different from the rest. This shit will make them want me. And no one will break my damn heart! Now Leslie and Linda can stay over at Mama’s house with me sometimes during the summer, because we are older and more responsible. We are ‘good girls’ and our parents love us. So this hot summer day we wake up and decide to hit the block. We pass Tiger’s house and I don’t even blink. He’s a memory deeply hidden in my past. We walk down to Zach and Bryant’s grandma’s crib. These are two brothers that also go to their grandmother’s house in the summer. When we get there I see a familiar face. It’s Ken, Raymond’s no good ass friend. Ken had done nothing to me, but because I didn’t like Raymond for that shit he pulled last summer, Ken would catch hell. Of Course, Leslie messed this up by immediately hooking up with him. Then Linda decided to get chitty chatty with Zach. And Bryant was left for me. But he was six fuckin’ feet tall and I was a whopping four foot nine and some change. I quickly decided this would never work, so he immediately became my homie. Every day, we hung out with them. And we had a blast all summer. That is, until Raymond shows up from out of nowhere. He obviously got the word from Ken that we were chillin’ between our grandma’s cribs. So here’s Raymond pulling up in that damn blue Camaro. I swear the engine never sounded that loud before. He needs to check that shit. That damn ‘hunchin’ on the baseball field’ Raymond. I can’t stand him! He thought he was too cool for me then? Well, how ya like me now? I was invisible to him then. Do you see me now? He thinks he’s so cute, with his big ass nose! I hope he doesn’t say a damn thing to me. But he does and now I’m talking to this no good bastard. He’s talkin’ ‘bout how happy he is to see me and how good I look. As if I needed him to tell me. I know I’m the shit! He’s sitting there looking at me like he could just eat me up. Matter of fact, I could see him sopping me up like a biscuit with syrup on top. So he just keeps talking and now he’s got me laughing, talking ‘bout how I used to steal
my grandma’s car. After he stole the first laugh, it was easy for him to keep me smiling. Touching and poking me lightly on my stomach and sides as he made ridiculous comments about me growing at least two mangos this season. He was sitting there boosting my ego, telling me how my legs were always so pretty. Hell, I had no idea what he meant, but I was smiling from ear to ear just listening at how he delivered that bullshit. I mean, he hand delivered each comment and served that shit to me on a platter. And just like that, it’s a wrap; I was back on that drug called Raymond. Before we leave, Raymond asks for my number and I give him Mama Elsie’s number, because Daddy ain’t ready for his little girl to take calls from no boys. So now we talk every chance that we can get. He’s calling my grandma’s house just to see if I’m there. I try to make sure that I’m at Mama’s house all summer and even on the weekends when Mom and Dad are not working. Now he’s coming over to Mama Elsie’s when everyone else goes home. Normally, one or two of my home girls would stay the night at Mama’s house with me over the summer, because of course it was the happening spot. But they didn’t stay the night all the time. So as soon as my home girls would leave, I would wait for Mama to go to sleep and I would sneak Raymond back into the crib. Now he’s talking about how pretty I am. How he thinks about me all day and night, even when he’s asleep. He tells me how he wants to be the one to make me smile. He tells me that I am the only one for him. He picks me up, hugs me and kisses me. And now he decides he wants to grind on me. I wanted to believe everything that he was telling me. But in the back of my mind all I could remember was how he chose someone else over me. And that won’t happen anymore in my world. I’m still not sure about Raymond because I remember his ass gyrating between that hoe’s legs. I’m going to protect my feelings this time. So I decide to kiss and grind only. I’m not sure about giving him my pocket book. There’s no way I’m giving him what Will got from me. There’s no way he’s taking my soul. Especially after I found out there was still more of me to give. But then after at least one month of us sneaking around town in his blue Camaro, I started to change my mind. I was thinking more and more about sharing myself with Raymond. It was something about him. He was more mature. He took me out for pizza and bought me flowers from the gas station (which I’d have to keep at Mama Elsie’s). He knew how to wine and dine a woman. He knew how to treat a woman. He just knew everything about a woman. He made me feel I was a real woman; like he wanted to be with me. And he wasn’t a little boy, he was a man. We were actually a
grown-up up couple. And I knew what grown-ups like my mom and dad do; they don’t stay mad, they kiss and make up. What was more important, I believed he truly proved he’d changed because he was hanging out with me in public. He wasn’t hiding me under the bleachers. We were riding around town in front of everyone including that hoe that let him ‘do it’ between her legs in the park. He had to have changed. He doesn’t want to be with hoes, he wants to be with me. I’m not invisible. Maybe, he can be my baby daddy? He could be ‘the one.’ So I decided to give him what I didn’t give Will. I was ready to go all the way now. And now, after doing some research, I knew exactly what that meant. One day, after my parents go to work, I let Raymond into my make-believe Greco Roman Palace that I called home. We both knew what we wanted. We wanted to make love, because we were in love and that’s what people in love do. So he comes into the house and we lay on the floor near the front door, in case we have to make a fast get-a-way. Raymond rubs his fingers through my slightly greased Leisure Curl. He rubs his hands all over my face. I’m not sure what to do so I just hang onto him lightly. We both are fully clothed except for our bottoms that Raymond managed to make disappear like a magician. And it happens… I give Raymond what I’d never given anyone else. I give him something so precious. I give him something that I can only give to a special person once in my life. I give him my virginity. I give him ME. And it changed everything. At that point, love was the only thing I saw when Raymond was around. It was strange. This special moment that I’d given to Raymond was not so romantic. It wasn’t heart stopping. It wasn’t beautiful. It didn’t feel as good as when Will put his lips on my coochie. It was just a quick moment, filled with pressure, a sorry kiss or two, a lot of pain and it was over. Yet, I treasured this moment. In my mind and on that day, I became a woman. I erased all of the horrible things that happened before that special moment. There was nothing left for me to do now, but be with my man. We would make love and live happily ever after. And that’s what I longed for most, love. I longed for a love that would not forget me. I longed for a love that would never hurt me. I longed for a love that reminded me every day that he loved me. I longed for a love that would never leave me lonely. And I found everything I longed for and I owed it all to sweet Raymond. The summer was over and I was satisfied. I’d lost my virginity and I would start ninth grade with the man who turned this little girl into a woman. I would go to high school a Queen, no longer a naïve Princess. Now, I was prepared for anything life could throw at me because I’ve done it all.
I had about a week before school would start. I wouldn’t be able to see Raymond at the Palace right now. Everyone was home for the last week of summer vacation. And there was no way that Daddy would let me see Raymond. Shoot, Raymond drives a sports car like Daddy. And sports cars are for older cooler guys like my daddy. Daddy’s no dummy. He would see right through Raymond; right through his smooth talking rhymes. Daddy would definitely know that Raymond was an older and more mature guy. And I wasn’t about to explain to Daddy that I could handle my shit, that Raymond was no threat to me, that no one could hurt me now. So instead, I missed Raymond for about a week. But I was fine. I knew he was at home wishing he could be with me too. I occasionally called Raymond. Of course, I had to sneak. Daddy didn’t allow me to take calls from boys. I was sooooo happy when I heard his voice. The happiest I’d been in all my days. I had the love of my life and in seven short days I would start high school with him. I couldn’t wait to start school. I couldn’t wait to show everyone that this freshman had landed an upperclassman. I couldn’t wait for everyone to see me. I lay in bed at night, thinking about the next day when I would finally see Raymond again. When I saw him, I would tell him in a special note, “It’s all your fault, you know… I’ve hardly accomplished anything today. Every time I begin something, you creep into my thoughts, softly, slowly at first, and before I know it, my imagination is filled with thoughts of you period… warm thoughts, nice thoughts, such loving thoughts. But this is getting out of hand, and I have to get something done today. So maybe I’ll begin by doing something very important. I’ll give this to you, just to let you know how much I want you, I need you and how very much I love you.” … It’s the first day of High school. I’m going to Lakewood High. People call it “Hollywood High” because it is where all of the well-to-do kids on the south side go to school. Every day at Hollywood High is a fashion show. You have to dress to impress; I mean really dress to impress. You better not be caught dead wearing hand–me-downs. I’m so ready to see Raymond. I wake up at 5:30 a.m., because I can’t wait to start school at 7:05 a.m. I put on my Palmetto Jeans, a red shirt and my white Reeboks. I wake Daddy up and he puts on his black Robe with the brown trim and his leather sandal style house shoes. Daddy is so sleepy he doesn’t even get dressed. He takes a quick gargle of Listerine, grabs his keys and wallet and we hit the garage. Then Daddy drives his baby to
school. Daddy doesn’t mind taking this less than five minute drive. Sure, I could of walked, but I’m Daddy’s little girl. “Daddy’s little girl… with pink bows on my shoulders and blue bows on my feet, don’t I look so sweet.” Daddy pulls up in front of Hollywood High in his new Chrysler Conquest Turbo with the camel cloth interior, puts the stick shift in neutral, keeps his foot on the break, reaches into his robe pocket, then hands me a wad of money for lunch and whatever I’ll need for the first day. I give Daddy a kiss and dash out to find Leslie and Linda. Leslie and Linda had already made it into high school a year before me. They were older. They were starting the tenth grade. But that was cool. I always related better to older folks. My Mama Elsie always said I was an old spirit. Mama said I always caught on so quickly. Mama said I always knew what to do when she needed me. And I guess that made me an old soul. Hanging with Leslie and Linda was a breeze. They were older in age. But I was wiser in many ways. And no matter how old I was Leslie and Linda were still my home girls. They would treat me the same as they always do. So on the first day of school, Leslie and Linda showed me the ropes. This would be a walk in the park. I would handle this cool, calm and collected. Or at least that’s what I thought. After our rounds around the campus, checking everybody out and running down the list of who’s who, what couples are together, who broke up, who has the ‘fly-est’ clothes and the baddest gear, I figured out that upper classmen had a special wall and that we lower classmen had to keep it ‘steppin’, as in “keep walkin’ and don’t even think about talkin’ unless you’re invited into our click!” That was fine because I was sure that when Raymond saw me, there would be an exception to the rule. As I’m walking through the halls, I see Raymond talking to this brown skin homely looking chick. He’s standing with her in front of a doorway, just outside a classroom full of upper classmen. I’m walking toward him, not really registering what is happening. And he looks at me, dead into my eyes. He clearly sees me. And just as I’m about to speak he grabs this chick around her waist, gives her a kiss in the mouth (just like the sorry ass kisses he gives me) and she turns around and walks into her class. I was invisible to her. I can’t move. Raymond walks past me and casually throws up his hand in a slight wave. He wasn’t even going to stop and properly acknowledge me. I was nearly invisible to him too. He didn’t even stop and try to explain that he just made a terrible mistake with that homely ass chick. After all I gave him! After everything we went through over the summer!
This is the first day of the worst time in my life! Raymond, my lover, my baby daddy, my friend, my everything has just shown me who he really is, “again.” He is a thief in the night. He is the crypt keeper. He is a vampire. He is Freddy Krueger. Oh my God, I’ve just loss my virginity to Raymond in Friday the thirteenth, the scariest movie ever made! To add insult to injury, Raymond stopped, turned around, looked me in my shell shocked face and said, “I never told you I was your boyfriend. I will talk to you at your house, AFTER school!” And he turned around like a cold killer with no conscience and walked away. The words rang out in my mind then exploded like a bomb. I was dazed. I didn’t hear a word that Leslie and Linda were saying for the rest of the day. Somehow I must have gotten something out of my mouth. I don’t know if I said it in a whisper, or a shout, or the calm, sexy voice I planned to use all day on my first day of ninth grade. But I know I told them what happened because they screamed, “That no good motherfucking lying ass bitch!” And started yelling like they were ready to fight! I just wanted to go home. Like clock-work, after school Raymond pulled up to my house. I stood outside and acted tough, although my heart was melting and oozing out of my chest. He parked on the road, just in case my mom or dad came home early. As he walked up the driveway, all I could see was that big nose sticking out from under those RUN DMC coke bottle glasses he wore. He wasn’t even that cute; at best, he was kinda fine. But he held my heart in his hand. He wasn’t mad. He wasn’t angry. He was just cool, smooth talking ass Raymond. And when he reached me, he grabbed my hand and tried to explain. Raymond told me how he already had a girlfriend. And they had been together for two years. He said they were broken up when we met. But recently they had gotten back together. I just stood and listened as he broke my heart. I only said these four words, “But I love you.” He ended the conversation by letting me know that love is like flowers, they die. He walked away showing no emotion. He didn’t have one tear from behind those coke bottle glasses. He just turned and walked away, like he had someone more important to get back to. And then it happened; I became what no woman, or any girl ever wants to become: an Unforgiving, Noncommitting, Untrusting, Dysfunctional, Independent, Bitch (UNUDIB)! You can always tell who we are. We act hard on the outside. We walk around looking for the love we lost from other men, and expecting something better than we had before. But it’s always the same. In our hearts, we really believe that we can find the ideal guy. But our hearts are hurt again and
again. Some of us act like we aren’t phased by these no good men who steal our hearts. We will walk around telling everyone that things are fine. When the truth is we are hurting so bad inside that we can barely breathe. Being a UNUDIB is like having a life-threatening disease. But we don’t even know that we are really sick and suffering emotionally. So there I am, left standing sad and alone, without someone to hold my lonely hand; not even a blanket to cover my sad face. I loved Raymond so much. But he took my love and threw it away in one selfish moment. He never loved me. He just wanted my body. And in the process of taking my body without regrets, he cut out the piece of my heart that was devoted to making sure I would find and love ‘Mr. Right.’ And once that part was gone, there was no turning back. I was well on my way to becoming a full-fledged UNUDIB. I accepted the fact after my break up with Raymond that I was at the beginning stages of going through this change. It’s funny though, we UNUDIBs will still want a man after he hurts us. We will still accept him after he has cheated on us. We will accept his many stories about why he’s not ready to be with us or why he doesn’t love us anymore. In front of our friends we will say “oh things are good at home girl.” But in fact, we are walking around numb because we have been hurt so many times that we can no longer feel the pain. This illness will follow us through the course of our relationships. We will then ruin good relationships because of the uncontrollable ways that we have from our disease. So, I’ve decided after my first true heart break to embrace my disease. I will live with the uncontrollable symptoms. I will make sure that every man I’m with after Raymond feels the side effects from being with a UNUDIB. With pride I will wear the every word of my disease. I’m now at the coolest high school ever, Lakewood “Hollywood” High; home of the Spartans! I’m in the ninth grade with honors. I’ve had my heart broken twice already. I’m no punk; I’m a survivor! I live and breathe to prove to the world that I am not empty. I am full, full of fire, full of ice, full of passion, full of whatever it takes for me to stand out from all of the rest. I’m young, I’m experienced and I have nothing but time on my hands. I have my whole life in front of me, so bring it! I’m ‘bout it!
Chapter 3. Home Alone My parents trust me even more now because I’m in high school and I’m making good grades. I’m always home alone. And I have no problem with being home alone. I do home alone just fine. When I’m home alone, I have time to do whatever I want. And of course I do just that, whatever I want. My sister is away in college. Tina is going to the junior college and working at Bojangles where they make fast food chicken. It’s free reign during the days. So, I spend every day planning after school events which will cordially be held at “Caesar’s Palace”. Days on end, my Hollywood High crew and I enjoy plush parties at the crib. We drink, we swim, we mess around and then about twenty minutes before 5:00 p.m. we do a massive cleanup. Everyone leaves and I post up at the counter doing homework, waiting for Mom to come home. Like clockwork, at 5:15 p.m., the automatic door comes up and Mom pulls into the garage in her tan Mercedes 190E five speed. Mom comes in through the garage door, goes straight to her bathroom and I jump up and follow her straight to her room. See, we have a daily ritual. Mom plops down on the toilet and I flop down on her side of the bed facing her while she sits. I knew that this was the only time that I would have my mom’s complete attention. So, while Mom sits and does her business, I sit and think of everything I want, need or wish to talk about. And at that moment, she’s not Mom, she’s ‘Ma’ and she’s all mine. It was at that moment, I had the busy corporate executive woman to myself. I had the complete attention of the impressive show piece wife that attended every social function with Daddy. I held captive the dynamic girlfriend who was the best friend to all of her friends. And I had her all to myself. I had the daughter-in-law who loved Mama Elsie like she was her biological mom all to myself. I had the Auntie who cared for and loved all of her nieces and nephews all to myself. I had the phenomenal woman who did everything for everybody else all to myself. So while Daddy was still at work; and PJ, my little mutt, was still running around the Estates impregnating all of the white people’s full bred fancy dogs; and while Rayna, my sibling who is nine years my senior, was busy graduating college and living her life, I took advantage of this toilet water moment. So at that one to four minute moment, Ma was all mine. And I loved it. It was the moment that meant more than me finding my baby daddy. It was better than hanging out with my girls. It was better than wearing all of my designer clothes. It was better than everything.
Unfortunately, those toilet water moments just didn’t last long enough. I always wanted more time. But no matter what, until the day I died (or at least I thought) I would take advantage of those intimate eau de toilette moments. They were mine and mine alone. But if those moments are so special, why don’t I say what I really want to say? Why can’t I tell Ma that last night when I was getting ready to take a shower I felt some bumps between my legs? Why can’t I tell Ma that when I got up on top of the bathroom counter with my butt facing the mirror, I saw these brown things around my coochie lips? Why can’t I share how scared I was when I was up there on that counter butt-ass-naked pulling my coochie apart looking at ten little brown mountain tops? Why can’t I just tell Ma how I took some tweezers and pinched and pinched until I ripped each one of those little brown mountain tops right off my coochie? I just don’t know where to begin. So I don’t start anywhere. Because if I start telling Ma right there during her toilette break, she might just fall straight in and drown. So instead, I tell Ma how good I’m doing in school. I tell Ma how much fun me and my friends have. I tell Ma how all of my teachers love me and of course I love them. I tell Ma everything she wants to hear and she believes me. Because I am a good girl, evidenced by all of my damn good ass grades. Here I am this good girl who is so smart that she obviously opted out of going to medical school at the age of fourteen and decided she would be her own doctor! I obviously, didn’t feel the need to go to a coochie doctor. That would be too embarrassing. So instead, I performed a painful, unsanitary, non-sterile wart removal procedure on myself. I was so damn smart, that I was able to remove those damn warts while standing on top of the bathroom counter with my ass bent over backwards. I even held those tweezers so damn straight that I clearly was better than any gynecologist. And I am so damn smart, that I even cleaned up with beta dine douche, took a shower and jumped straight into my waterbed. I had school the next day! And good girls are never late to school. We show up on time and we always look our best. No damn genital warts would stop me! Who am I? I am a tenth grader. I am a fifteen year old girl who knows everything. I know how to dress. I eat the best chef’s salads for lunch and a mean gourmet meal at home for dinner. I have the best skin. It’s like butter and honey. I am a woman evidenced by my most magnificent sexual encounters. I am a smart girl. You must have seen my grades? They are all above average. Did I mention that I was drop-dead gorgeous? All the boys tell me so. Did I mention that this year I gained three pounds and my booty is so sexy in these black MC Hammer pants?
You know today I decided to wear my white t-shirt with the tassels hanging down in a v-shaped pattern just so they cover my MC Hammer Pants in all the right places. I call this look my ‘not so dramatic Hammer pants, cowgirl style’. And of course, my Leisure curl is long and Mom made sure that I had it professionally styled. I had the one side shaved above my ear just like Lisa-Lisa’s, but of course mine was better. Did I mention that I decided to date whomever I wanted this year? Hell, I’m almost sixteen! This year, Mom will have me join some mini sorority organization for debutants. I will have to go to all of the meetings, talk to all of these doctors’ and lawyers’ boring ass daughters who are in the club. Then to make it worse, I would have travel to these historically black colleges and universities on what they call “HBCU visits.” The trips are supposed to make us want to go to college after we graduate from high school. We only have to visit two in the entire state of Florida so that was some relief. I will go to “Talla-Nasty” (our nickname for Tallahassee, Florida where you are greeted with motels and bed bugs) to visit Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, the home of the FAMU Rattlers. And then I would have to go to Bethune Cookman College, home of the most prestigious African American woman “Mary McLeod Bethune”, and home of Daytona Beach Freak Week. The trip to “Talla-Nasty” was a very boring trip and I couldn’t wait to come home. But the trip to Daytona, on the other hand, was off the chain! Black people called it Daytona Beach Freak week because it was the time that everyone came to the beach to ‘get their freak on.’ Man, when we got out of our sixteen passenger van, I saw heaven! There were guys rolling down the beach strip on hot-to-deaf motorcycles. And on the back of those motorcycles were what looked like half-naked Two Live Crew dancers. These girls had on two piece bikinis and rode on the back of those bikes like professional booty dancers. I’d never seen anything like this! Guys rode down the strip in Chevys painted with bowling ball swirls and candy colored paint jobs. The cars had fabulous sound systems we could hear bumping all the way down the street. The hip hop from those drop top Chevys sounded like Beethoven’s best symphony to me. And I should know because I made it to first chair on a couple of occasions when I played the flute in middle school band. But this was nothing like that crap we played in Mr. Warsaw’s music class. This was the beginning of my long-lasting totally monogamous commitment to rap music. And as I got out of the van and let my body feel the base, I
knew that I was in the right place. I was where my heart had always wanted to be; free to roam with hip hop, free to sing and rap as loud as I wanted, free to make love to that hip hop song all night long. I had found my home away from home. In the middle of all of those tits and asses, I found something so free… I found what would make me happy when I was sad. I’d found Hip Hop. Hip Hop would never leave me. It would never forsake me. It would never turn its back on me. Hip Hop wouldn’t look at another girl. And if it did, it would never choose her over me. Hip Hop would say the sweetest things to me. Hip Hop might call me out of my name, but it would never be in vain. Hip Hop wouldn’t abuse me or use me. Instead, Hip Hop would soothe my soul. And I didn’t know it then, but Hip Hop would stay with me as I got old. I was in love with Hip Hop and no baby daddy could take its place. Now of course, I’ve got to do the college tour with these babbit-ass chicks. So I gear up to get this shit over with quickly. I’ve got business to get back to on the beach. We go to the college campus and do a walk thru. I couldn’t concentrate on Bethune Cookman when I knew that not even two miles away was heaven as it is on earth. I had no idea what our tour guide was saying. All I could hear was the sound of the drums and the sound of the treble tweetering in my ears. All I could see was the riff raff hangin’ out on the strip near our hotel. I couldn’t wait until this campus visit was over so that I could get onto that beach. Finally, we are headed back to the hotel and one of the Bethune Cookman Alumni chaperones makes a fabulous statement. She says, “I know you ladies want to spend some time on the beach.” Oh yea! And then she starts rambling on about how she and her Kappa Kappa Kappa Sorors used to party like crazy…. I couldn’t hear a word after that because in my mind I was busy picking out my swimsuit. I noticed another “Debutante” girl in our group. Her name was Celina. It seemed like Celina wasn’t focusing on becoming the next Kappa Kappa Kappa “Miss Debutante” either. Miss Debutante was just a title for some black girls with parents who had a little bit of money. It was the black peoples’ debutant ball. It was a teeny-weeny itsy bitsy version of Miss America. And it seemed like neither Celina nor I gave a damn. Shoot, she was grabbing up her things and was ready to hit the beach faster than me! I knew then that Celina would be my road dog for this trip. Neither one of us were focused on winning the Miss Debutante scholarship pageant. Instead, Celina and I focused on hanging out on the beach. And on that beach, we instantly became very good friends, boy let me tell ya!
So here we are, two escaped Debutantes coming down Daytona Beach. We intentionally left the other girls. Low and behold, we walk up to these dudes in a big long truck. I’d never seen a truck all suited up like this. There were many trucks on the strip but this particular one had a tall light skinned man standing outside of the driver side. He wasn’t as light as me and he didn’t have skin like honey and butter. But what he had was an awesome sound system in that truck. And when we rolled up on that truck all I heard was Baby Face singing, “What kind a man would leave you standing out in the cold… must of been a silly one to sacrifice a pot of gold… you’re the kind of woman who needs a man that’s always there… I’ll give good love… I’ll buy your clothes… I’ll cook your dinner too… oh baby… as soon as I get home from work…” His name was Hitch and just like that, I was in love! It took all of one conversation and listening to Baby Face and I was up in Hitch’s room. He made me feel like a twenty year old woman. He was so gentleman like. He knew how to treat a woman. I knew at that point that I had really found my baby daddy. I found myself in this grown man’s hotel room all alone. I was alone, but why wasn’t I afraid? Why didn’t I feel like this man was not supposed to be with a young girl? I was only fifteen. I only wanted a baby daddy. I was dangerously close to marriage with this move. He wasn’t just a baby daddy; he was what my twenty four year old sister was looking for, someone to marry. But instead of becoming her husband, I would make him mine. Why didn’t I just get up and walk out of that room? Why didn’t I say to him, “You are too old to be in a hotel room on Daytona Beach with a little girl that you don’t even know?” Why didn’t I say or do the right thing? Because as he poured that sweet bubbly stuff in my cup, all I could do was drink; because it was so god damn good. And as I became intoxicated by this man’s sweet juice, I felt settled. And Baby Face kept on telling me how “I had that whip appeal,” “he was my faithful lover,” and “he’ll give good love.” I was paralyzed by the ambiance. I was stuck in that moment. And soon, I would be stuck with my legs in the air. I had no idea where Celina had gone. I didn’t even know if she was okay. I left my Debutante buddy out there on the strip all alone. She could have been anywhere and anything could have happened to her. I only hoped that she was okay like me. If she was lucky enough to be in some older man’s room that she knew nothing about, then she was just fine. If she had some older, sexy man that was more than two feet taller than she was, then she was fine. If she had some older man rubbing her and loving up on her like Hitch was doing to me, then she was more than fine; she was really okay.
After hours of making love, I finally decided to head back to my hotel. The sun was long gone. I had to make it back before curfew. There was no way that I was letting these debutants ‘know’ that I’m a bad girl. They could ‘think’ it all they wanted, but they would never be able to prove it. Just as I was leaving, Hitch wrote his number down on a piece of paper. He said it was his cellular number. He said he took it with him everywhere. Now, I’d never seen one of those. But I saw this big square pouch that looked like a purse with a cord hanging out. He pulled out a cut out square box that had telephone buttons on it. I figured it was a phone that you could travel with. I figured he must have been an important business man. I felt so special. My new baby daddy was a business man. He was probably one of those executives at a bank or at the power company. On the way back to the hotel, I strolled slowly down the street. I floated down the street and sang a song that me and my sister/cousin Tina sang as little girls, “Loving youuuuu is easy cause your beau-ti-ful and every day of my life is filled with loving you… la la la la… la la la la la la la la aaaa… shooda-dooo-do-do… OOOOOOOOOH!” Stacy Lattisaw knew how to sing that song and she definitely understood how I felt about Hitch. Because the words to her song defined how I was falling in love with a damn good man. Just as I was about to sing my second verse, I saw Celina walking along ahead of me. She was laughing and walking with one of Hitch’s homeboys. They couldn’t have stayed on the beach all this time. So I knew what was up with them. I knew she was my girl then. She was no longer Celina, now she’s my home girl CeCe. We were two peas in a pod. CeCe and I were ‘PYT’s’ (pretty young things) but we didn’t need our hands held to take care of our damn business. We were grown. We knew how to take care of ourselves and how to handle our men. I met up with CeCe as she said good bye to her new friend. We walked along that beach talkin’ shit about how we just handled those guys. We bragged about how we stayed in control of our shit. We also compared each others’ skills and agreed that we both were light years ahead of our time. I had to make sure that CeCe was the real deal and knew how to get a man. So, just as we walked into our hotel room, I casually asked CeCe, “So did you get the digits?” And to prove to me that she was no imitation piece, CeCe pulled out a folded piece of hotel notepad paper, handed me the digits and verified that she was truly authentic. She wasn’t just a one-time thrill. This marked the beginning of a match made in heaven. At that moment CeCe and I became friends to the end.
Who am I? I am the sixteen year old girl, who is definitely no virgin. I am the redbone who deals with nothing but the best. I’m the sixteen year old who is secretly dating a grown man. I am the girl who still has good grades. I have a crew that everyone wishes they were in. I may be a little small for my age, but I’m not afraid to fight in the girls P.E. locker room during showers. Shoot, I had to fight for what I wanted all my life. I’m definitely not afraid of the girls who just barely made it into Hollywood High and are jealous of me for no reason. They mommas probably lied about their address just to get them into the school. And that’s why they can’t deal with me. They wished they had what I have. They wished they had a red two door Toyota Celica with the tee tops like mine. They wished they had a daddy who always made sure that they had the best clothes, jewelry, house, and summer vacations. So yea, I’m not afraid of who I am and I will fight, cuss, or run over anyone who gets in my way. I was born to be on top baby! I’m always in control of my ship. I keep my guns locked and loaded. And when you’re sleeping, I’m up thinking about how I’m going to ruin your day, ‘once again.’ Who am I? I’m that bitch you love to hate. After returning home from a fabulous vacation in Daytona, I get back in the swing of things. It’s time to finish tenth grade with a bang. I’ve had my eyes on this guy named Nate that lied on his school papers to get into Hollywood High. His mom told the school that he lived with his aunt that barely lived in the neighborhood. But it was something about Nate that sparked my attention. I remembered him a couple of years ago at the park where Raymond ruined my life. I was too busy running from Raymond’s gyrating ass to notice Nate near the playground swings rapping with some of his homies. But now I had all the time in the world. I couldn’t call Hitch right away. That would make me look too desperate. So to pass time, I focused on Nate. This would be easy. After all, I’d just scored a homerun with an older man. So I set up my traps for Nate. And after a while he was walking home with me every day from school. I had it going on. This nut would walk me home and then he would have to walk over three miles in the opposite direction to get back to his house. But whatever; that’s what an expert does to these lame ass niggas. One day after school, Nate and I started to get hot and heavy and he decided he wanted to go all the way. I really didn’t want to, but I let it happen anyway. It was nothing like the love making that Hitch put on me. Even though the sex he wasn’t all of that, I tried it a few more times with Nate. But after having sex with Hitch, I knew what real lovemaking was. I didn’t have time for little boys anymore. So after a few disgraceful one minute moments, I ended things with Nate. I knew it was time to call Hitch. And I
did just that. And the very next day my sister/cousin and I were out to dinner at Red Lobster with Hitch and his homie. We had a ball sitting there in Red Lobster acting like we were all grown up. I ordered the lobster of course. Why wouldn’t I order the best? I wasn’t like the rest. I was special and Hitch knew it. And when the bill came, Hitch pulled out a wad of twenties and left a big tip. On the way home I sat in the front seat of the truck with Hitch and I thought I was such a big girl. I had never been in such a big truck. It was like a humongous pick up with a back seat. But I didn’t let him know this was the first time I’d ridden in a truck so big. The ride home was fabulous. He had his hand on my thigh all the way home. I wished that we were going home together and that we lived in a house on the prairie. I wished that we had a family; two little boys and a girl that we loved dearly. I wished that this date would never end. When we pulled up to Caesar’s Palace Tina and I got out. And just as I was going to wave goodbye, Hitch kissed me so hard that I thought that he had taken my last breath. The kiss was long and passionate and I just melted right there in his arms. When he released me, I almost fell. I raised my hand as he pulled out of the driveway and extended a weak wave that would have embarrassed the Queen of England. But I could barely move after that kiss. It was the kiss that I’d been missing since I returned home from Daytona. And I asked myself, “Why in the hell did I wait almost three weeks to call that man?” The next day at school was so foggy. My vision was blurred. And I couldn’t hear anything that Leslie and Linda were saying. But this time, it was for a good reason; I was completely in love. During lunch I participated during our huddle, but I had no idea what the conversation was about. All I could do was think about my love… think about how I couldn’t wait to see him again. After school I began my walk alone. Or at least I thought I was alone. Nate was following behind me. He asked if he could walk me home. I told Nate that I was fine and that I had to study. I’d been coming up with excuses since Nate blessed me with his last one minute miracle. I didn’t want to break his heart, but I knew it was over. So falsely, I entertained him and stroked his ego, praying that he would get tired of walking me home for nothing. But he didn’t get tired. He walked me home for the rest of the week. I knew I had to end it because he was getting in the way of my time with Hitch. So after a week, I let Nate walk me home for what I wanted to be one last time, even if he didn’t know it. He asked to come inside the house while I did
my homework and I let him because I didn’t want to break it off outside. I wanted to let him down gently and with dignity. Nate tried to hold me and kiss me, but I refused. I explained to Nate that I didn’t have time for a boyfriend right now. I made up story after story about how my studies were more important because I was trying to get into college and I had to make sure that my GPA was at least a 4.0. Nate had a rebuttal for every argument. Finally, I couldn’t take it anylonger. I told Nate that I didn’t want to talk to him anymore. I had to get started on my homework. I raised up to walk Nate to the door and that’s when it happened. That’s when my sweet little eyeglass wearing Nate turned into Dr. Jekyll. Nate grabbed my arms and told me that he wasn’t going anywhere. I told him to let me go because my mom would be home from work soon. He told me that I was a liar because he knew that we had at least forty five minutes before she got off from work. I told him she was coming early. But he didn’t care. Nate grabbed at my clothes and tried to rip them off. We struggled and when I realized that he was not giving in, I began to really fight. I ran towards the kitchen to grab the phone on the wall. But just as I grabbed the phone, Nate grabbed me. He took the cord from the phone as I tried to dial 911 and wrapped it around my neck. He wrapped it so tight that I almost stopped breathing. I couldn’t yell for help. I was more angry than afraid. I was more in shock that this nice geek would have the audacity to take my coochie. I didn’t cry. I struggled until I was too weak to fight anymore. And right there on the carpet next to the sticky kitchen floor as I looked over at the linoleum, Nate raped me. He choked me until I was too weak to move. He held both of my hands behind my back and he raped me for the longest one minute that I’d ever experience during any act of sex in my life. And when he was done, he said, “NOW it’s over! And if you tell anyone I will stab you in your stomach!” And as he walked out the front door, I looked until I couldn’t see his muscle bound legs and big ass anymore. I looked until I felt like he wasn’t coming back for more. And then I got up and ran to the front door. I slammed that door so hard, the door bell rang. I locked the door so many times that my hands where hurting when I finally released the knob. And after the slamming and the locking, I did what good girls do best. I cleaned up my mess. I took a quick shower and freshened up so that when Mom came through the garage door she would see her good girl at the kitchen counter doing her homework. And like clockwork, Mom came in and I greeted her with a smile while I sat there at the counter. And so she
wouldn’t be alarmed, I jumped up and followed her to her bathroom. And as if nothing happened, we had yet another eau de toilette moment. Mom sat on her throne and I sat on her side of the bed facing the bathroom. And I shared with her how great my day went and how wonderful things were going at school. Why didn’t I share that this motherfucker had just forced entry into my private place? Why didn’t I call the police? I know my daddy wasn’t scared of anyone. My dad survived the Vietnam War. He would kill this dude. But I didn’t tell a soul. I didn’t want Mom and Dad to know how I had really messed up. So instead of telling, I did what I do best; protect the creeps that hurt me. Who am I?
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