I didn’t have the easiest life growing up. My mother had me when she was just in high school. She and my dad, Alonzo were boyfriend and girlfriend. My daddy was always in and out of juvey and when he got my mom pregnant, she was only sixteen and he was seventeen. They both tried to hide the pregnancy for as long as possible, but soon enough my grandma found out, she could see my mama was gaining hella weight. My grandma and grandaddy were really upset that my mom had gotten knocked up. They thought she was throwing her life away.
You see, my mama was a straight A student and was hoping to go to college and become a lawyer some day, but how could she do that with a baby on the way? My grandparents also could not stand my daddy, to them he seemed like just another thug from around the way. Once I was born though, they treated me really good and helped take care of me. My daddy didn’t do too much for me growing up. He was always in and out of my life and had kids up and down the Florida coastline.
I couldn’t even tell you for sure how many brothers and sisters I had, on account of his bedroom activities. It was hard for my mama and me. She did finish high school and eventually went to community college and received her AA. It was just us for the first few years of my life, then she met my stepfather and had my little brother, De Vonte. My grandma and grandaddy were so upset with her getting pregnant again when she was supposed to start at Miami U, they kicked her out of the house. They wanted me to stay because they knew she was making a mistake by being in a relationship with my stepfather. She wasn’t going to allow me to stay with them without her though.
After my mom gave birth to my brother, she got married to his daddy. We continued to struggle, my step dad could barely keep a job, he was always on some shady ass hustle and often gambled away the little money he did bring in. My mama continued to stay with him though, she worked little dead end jobs and her wage barely covered our rent, and in between she kept popping out babies. It didn’t help that my daddy hardly paid child support. He had many other kids, but his ass kept his hoes in Fendi and red bottoms. I didn’t exactly know what kind of hustle my daddy had going on, but I knew it wasn’t always legit.
My mama separated from her husband when I was still in middle school. He was always cheating on her, but he did manage to get his shit together and hold down a stable job, working on the docks. He always came and got my brothers and sisters, but never me, I mean I didn’t expect him to. But, it was just kind of fucked up because while he got them on the weekends and during school breaks, I was stuck at home with my mama. I know Daniel didn’t consider me like his child and only put up with me because I was my mama’s kid, that was cool cause I didn’t consider him as my daddy. I started getting into trouble around the time I was in eighth grade. Staying out, being fast, messing with boys. I wasn’t having sex yet, but I didn’t wait too long after that.
I stayed in hella fights too with a lot of girls. Reagan and I went to the same school, but I was often all over the place, getting into shit with girls. A lot of these girls were in high school or went to another middle school. Bitches was mad cause they man wanted me and not them. I skipped school a lot and sometimes Reagan would go with me. She was my roll dog and all, but because her daddy, Uncle Ray was so strict, he was always there to put the check down when she got out of line. I didn’t have no daddy looking out for me, shit I barely had my mama watching what I did.
I really became off the chain once I got to high school and did a lot of shit I wasn’t proud of. I was drinking, partying, skipping school, I was sneaking into the 21 and over club, messing with dudes in their 20’s, just everything. I liked messing with older guys because they had money. They could get me anything I wanted and that was nice for a chance because I never had shit before. I did eventually get kicked out of school, not because of all the skipping I was doing, but all the fights I got in when I did go. That was around the time Reagan and her family left my Miami. That was messed up what Auntie Apollonia did, up and leaving them. She was always on the bitchy side anyway and I have never liked her.
I was mad when Rea Rea left because she was my best friend back then. She was the only one I could really talk to. Uncle Ray started limiting the time we spent together because of all the trouble I got into and he didn’t want Reagan following suit. Actually, I never could really influence Reagan. She was only older than me by about five months, but she seemed to wanna act like that shit meant a few years.
Reagan did her own thing at will. I knew she had problems at home with Auntie and she sometimes acted out because of that, especially when Auntie left them. Rea Rea didn’t do as much scandalous shit as I did in high school, but like I said, she had her daddy putting the check down on her, making sure she didn’t screw up too much. Rea Rea had someone looking out for her, while my mama was in la la land going back and forth her babies daddy.
I had to spend a few days in juvey myself because of a really bad fight I was in at the mall. Some girls jumped me over one of they boyfriends, I ended up picking up a bottle and cracking it over the ringleader’s head. What was I supposed to do with four bitches on me, just sit there and take lumps? But, because I used what the judge considered a “dangerous weapon”, my ass had to go to juvey. It could have been worse, but since I had no priors, they ordered me to community service and I had to get put into counseling.
Even after I completed the required eight counseling sessions, Mama opted to keep me in, arranging it with the court so I could get it for free. Her family berated her for it too. “Why in the fuck you still got Bri Bri up in counseling Draya?, she ain‘ t crazy. She don’t need to see no damn psychiatrist and shit. You just wasting yo’ money, girl,” I remembered my Auntie Shaniece saying to my mother one day. “Actually, Shay, I ain’ t paying for it, I got it arranged so she can still go for free. Briah got these anger issues and she need to quit staying in these damn fights. On top of that, I gotta get this girl in a better decent school where she ain’t gonna be getting into it with more girls,” my mama replied.
I only ended up going a few more times to the counselor and I started at a new school far from my neighborhood. Mama figured it was best to make me go to school out of the way so I wasn’t around a lot of people I knew. I was doing okay for a while, I didn’t really like school, but I went most of the time.
I fought with my dad when I did talk to him, which was only a few times a year. I would ask him for money to buy clothes and things I needed for school. It was always some excuse, he had child support payments, he had bills, whatever. I was hella mad when he up and bought a five bedroom house in Coconut Grove for him and his new girlfriend and her two kids. They were living the life I should have been living. Flossin the shit I should have been flossin. He even bought his girlfriend’s daughter an Altima. What the hell? Here I was either having to ask my friends for rides or get on the bus, and this girl who ain‘t even your kid is riding around in a new car? Outta here with that.
Honestly, I could have had one of the dude’s I knew get me a car or drive one of theirs, but I wasn’t trying to do all the things they wanted me to do or be indebted to some of them like that. I was pretty pissed at the time and that’s when I met my notorious ex, G’. He was something else, crazy as hell. He was a leader of a notorious gang in Liberty City and he had many enemies. There had been so many times when my life was in danger, just from being with him. If it wasn’t folks starting fights in the club, pulling out weapons, to the po pos conducting a raid on his house at least once a month, it was always hella close to something bad happening. We were together off and on from the time I was about seventeen up until a few years ago.
I tried leaving many times, but he always managed to find me and bring me back, I knew it was not going to be easy to get away from him. On top of that, I didn’t have to worry about money when I was with him, any car I wanted I had, shoes, clothes, handbags, all the top designers, all of it was mine. G made it so hard for me though, he was too controlling, always wanted to know where I was and with whom, even threatening me if I ever did try to leave him.
The final straw, when I knew I could no longer take it was when one of his main enemies, T8, who represented another set in their neighborhood tried to kidnap me. One night I was coming home from getting my hair done and I blew a tire, it wasn’t the best area either. I walked around a bit looking for a cell phone signal when out of nowhere T8 grabbed me from behind and tried to pull me into an alley. I had no idea what he would have done to me had he succeeded.
Even though I thought it was corny and useless at the time, but my mom had given me some mace to put on my key ring. She was afraid for me because I was dating G. Thankfully, I remembered I had the mace and I was able to spray it into T8’s face and get away. I ran like crazy that night and waved down a passing trucker who took me to my mom’s house. We both decided staying there wasn’t a good idea, she put me up in a hotel and the next day I was on the first flight to Trinidad to live with my grandparents. I stayed in Trinidad until last year when I finally decided to move out here to Isla Paradiso. That was the scariest time of my life and I never wanted to go back to that.
I had to move out of my last house because the owner was trying to increase the rent and never fixed anything on time. I always had to ask Apollo to come fix something whenever it broke, so finally when my lease was up, I bounced. I stayed with Apollo for a few weeks before moving into my current place. It was a pricey, but better than the last place. I wasn’t worried about the rent too much, cause my boo kicked me down some skrill every week.
I loved him so much. He was so fine. It was nice being with a man that knew how to put it down and treated me right. I was also glad Apollo’s money was legit. I had my share of thugs and I wasn’t about that life anymore. I respected Apollo’s hustle. He and his brother owned a successful tattoo shop. The only thing I didn’t like was Apollo gambling, he was good and didn’t lose a lot, but I remembered all the problems it caused my family growing up. He liked to do a lot of online sports betting and being up in the casino, Apollo also had his own website that sold urban and hip hop gear. He wasn’t nearly rich, but he was ballin ‘ and not even as much as Reagan’s man, Jay, but that was okay, cause my boo took care of me.
I liked taking care of my man. Whenever he came over, I would cook him collard greens, fried chicken, corn bread, and sweet potato pie. I appreciated that he helped me out financially cause I wasn’t trying to be on my feet all day at the shop, so I did as much as possible for him. He had no reason to ever stray. I gave it to him any time he wanted and I treated him good.
“Baby, I really wish you wouldn’t put up any bets tonight, you know I don’t like it when you do that,” I said to Apollo one night while we were at the house chilling. “Stop trippin, Briah. I told you before, you ain’t got nothin ‘ to worry about. I know how to handle my shit. When I do bet, it’s not all the time, so just freeze with all that,” he replied, looking a bit irritated.
“Look, I don’t wanna get into a fight about it, but you know how I feel about betting, boo. I just don’t want you to lose all your money,” I said. “Well, I ain’t, aiight ? I got this. When I do lose, it’s never a whole lot, besides I mainly win, quit worrying about it, okay?” Apollo said. I was going to leave it alone for now, as long as it didn’t become a problem, I wasn’t going to say anything else to him.
I didn’t mind doing hair, I have always been really good at it. I just didn’t see myself doing this for the rest of my life. My girl Daisha worked at the salon with me and she and I were cool. Le Nubian, like most salons had haters working here. The other females I worked with always threw shade my way. They were mad they had to work here several times a week while I only came in two to three days a week. Honestly, I didn’t have to work at all, but I didn’t want to be at home on my ass watching the stories every day.
Also, there weren’t many salons that could do our kind of hair and since I was probably the best out here, I didn’t want to let down my clientele by not coming into the shop.
“So, you decided to come in I see,” Shakira said with an attitude. “I always come in when I got clients,” I replied, rolling my neck. “I’m surprised you still up in here with the rest of us, especially if yo man is paying like he weighing, as you claim,” Canisha, one of the other stylist spoke up. See what I mean about hatin‘ ass heffas? “Girl, my man is ballin and he gives me everything I want. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop being there for my clients. Don’t worry about what my man’s pockets is doing . Have several seats and get yo life,” I said. “Why you getting an attitude ? Somebody mad!” Canisha said, laughing.
I rolled my eyes. “Yep, somebody is mad and it ain’t me just cause you still pushin‘ that tired Civic. Girl, bye,” I said. “Bitch, please it wasn’t this side of a month ago you was pushin‘ an Accord,” said Canisha. “I got your bitch right here, don’t get mad when I stick this curling iron down your throat! And, I’m pushin‘ big thangs these days, trust!”I yelled at her referring to the phat ass Jeep my boo just bought me. I usually consider myself to be a happy and nice person and that is one of the reasons females always thought they could try me, but when girls started talking mess and calling me out of my name, that’s when the ratchet De-Sai in me came out, and females got they feelings hurt.
Before things got too out of control Daisha came over. “Girl, don’t worry about their hating asses. Mad cause you stay laced in red bottoms and Givenchy. Forget them hoes,” she said. “You’re right, let me get back to my client, I got much better things to do,” I agreed. It was bad enough all of that popped off in front of clients, but I was mad I let those broads get to me.
“Damn, baby you sexy,” Apollo said, rubbing my thighs. We had been messing around all night and spent a good part of the morning picking up where we left off. I loved it when Apollo stayed over and my body was still on fire from the night before. “You like that?” I asked him while I licked his cheek and giggled. He licked his lips. “You know I do, girl,” said Apollo. We started getting into it when I heard my phone vibrate and fall to the floor. Who in the hell can that be? I thought to myself. I got up and answered my phone.
“Hello?” I said. “Briah! Where in the hell are you? I have been calling you! You were supposed to be down here at the shoot over an hour ago!” Reagan yelled into the phone. Oh snap! I totally forgot I was supposed to do Reagan’s make up and hair for this photo shoot she hooked me up with. I wasn’t crazy about doing hair, but at least with my name in the credits for a major magazine, the haters at the shop would be sick.
“Reagan, I’m so sorry! My bad, my alarm didn’t go off!” I told her. It wasn’t a lie, my alarm didn’t go off because I forgot to set it last night, on top of that, I forgot about the shoot this
morning. “Whatever, Briah, just get down here now!” Reagan shouted. I didn’t appreciate her yelling at me, but she had a right to be mad, so I held my tongue. “Just give me thirty minutes,” I said and hung up. “What’s the matter?” asked Apollo. “I forgot about Reagan’s shoot. I gotta hop in the shower. I’ll see you later boo,” I said and rushed into the bathroom.
“Girl, I’m so sorry. I hope I didn’t mess up things for you,” I said to Reagan, coming into the dressing room at the studio. Reagan looked really pissed, her jaw was tightened and her fist
clenched. “I can not believe you, Briah. Here I put my ass out on a limb for you, trying to put you on, so you could have a credit on this shoot, and you make me look so damn stupid. I‘m the main model on this shoot and now my ass is holding up the damn shoot,” she hissed at me.
“Reagan, I said I was sorry. I just didn’t set my alarm, I got caught up last night…” I started to say before she cut me off.
“Yeah, I am pretty sure what you got caught up doing. Just save it, Briah and get started on my hair,” she demanded. I looked around and could see Taina and Fallion smirking. I wanted to slap the look off both of their faces, but I didn’t have time to be mad and so, I hurried and started on Reagan’s hair.
I was so mad at Briah, she was making me look unprofessional. The magazine already had someone set to do my hair and makeup, but I knew Briah wanted to work on a professional shoot so I pulled some strings for her. Everyone else was ready when she came strolling in. Sometimes she got so caught up with Apollo that she forgot about her priorities.
Thankfully, Briah was a fast worker and she was very good so the shoot wasn’t held up too long. I knew she felt bad and I would eventually forgive her, but I was still pissed. I saw the way Fallion was smirking when Briah showed up late, I just wanted to punch her in the throat.
The shoot went well, despite getting a late start. I felt bad because all of this happened in front of my new agent, Taylor Wheland. Taylor was the newest senior agent at the IP Nu Model Management branch. I knew her a little from when she was at the Starlight Shores branch. I was working with Charlie at the time, but I always heard good things about Taylor. She was in her late twenties, but already was one of the best in the business. I would miss Charlie, but it was too much to constantly go out of town just to meet with him.
“It was a good shoot, no thanks to you holding up everyone, Reagan,” said Fallion once we were all back in the dressing room “You know what? Shut the fuck up Fallion, I ain’t trying to hear your mouth!” I yelled at her. “Hmmph, looks like someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning,” she said with an attitude. “No, I just rolled over and woke up on the other side of my man. I had a good night and a good morning matter of fact,” I told her, looking dead in her face.
I could see the hate written all over her face. Fallion was well aware, Jay and I were together and all day she had been saying little stupid stuff about the shoot being late and folks being
unprofessional, all in an attempt to get under my skin. She couldn’t say anything about Jay, because she knew he was never checking for her. That was all mine, therefore her ass was stuck to hate on me and my new relationship.
“Whatever you say,” said Fallion. “Fallion, I’m only going to tell you this once. You’ve been hating on me since day one. Why don’t you get rid of that tired ass weave, get a man and stop
worrying about me what I’m doing? You ain’t nothing but a gutter hating rat. If you wanna come at me, come at me with something better, until then I suggest you shut up before I knock the taste out ya mouth, broad!” I said. It had suddenly become very quiet in the dressing room, I could hear a couple of snickers. Fallion had egg on her face and she was stuck looking stupid. She didn’t want it with me because she knew I would roll her shit up.
I didn’t need to aggravation and I certainly didn’t want to be tried by someone like Fallion, especially after all the bull I had just went through with my ex. The last thing I needed was to get into an altercation on the job.
“C’mon ladies, why don’t we all move on? Fallion, I would really be careful if I were you, considering the last debacle on your previous job. You’re skating on thin ice with your agent in Starlight,” said Taylor. Fallion didn’t say anything, she knew Charlie was pissed at her for fighting one of the other models on a shoot a few weeks ago.
“Let’s just drop it, okay, you two? Besides, it wasn’t Reagan’s fault she was late. Maybe if someone could have stuck to her commitment, we would not be having this conversation,” Taina said. “Hatin‘ runs in y’all family. If you got something to say to me, boo, then say it, until then, keep it pushin’,” Briah said to Taina.
“Whatever, Briah. Don’t get all innocent now. I knew Reagan getting you this gig was a mistake, all cause you want your name in some credits, please,” Taina mocked Briah. Briah wasn’t taking too kindly to what Tai was saying and it looked as if she wanted to sock her. I knew Taina felt some kind of way about Briah although she had never said anything to me before. This was the last thing I needed, having one of my closest friends fighting with my
“Keep my name out your mouth, heffa, if you know what’s good for you,” said Briah. “Okay, okay, let’s break it up. Just squash this you two,” I said, trying to diffuse the situation. Briah and Taina didn’t say anything more to each other. Fallion, I could do without, but I didn’t need those two to go at it.
I was looking forward to going home and relaxing, until I entered my kitchen and saw Lake there. Kennedey’s friends from Starlight, Maya and Monica had came out here to help her with an upcoming rally she was putting on down at City Hall in a few days. Micah was also there, why Lake was here as well, I had no idea. Kennedey later told me that Lake was dropping off Micah because his truck was in the shop.
I tried to excuse myself to my room, but I guess Lake was feeling some kind of way and felt the need to get in my face. “So, now I can finally catch up with you, Reagan. What’s the matter? You can’t use that tired excuse you’re out of town or busy with girls, now can you? Oh, I know what you’ve been busy with too. I was just holding you over until someone better with more money came along, huh?” he said to me with an attitude.
“Really? You want to go there with me? Let’s not pretend we had anything in common, Lake. Jay’s money is certainly not why I am with him, I got my own boo. How about the fact that you think a woman’s place is in the home and you’ve alluded to more than once, you thought my profession was silly and nothing but vanity?” I replied.
“Whatever, Reagan. You’re just as superficial as the rest of these silly ass girls running around here. Your stupidity is astounding and you haven’t learned anything from what you’ve been through,” said Lake. That did it, I wasn’t going to stand here in my own kitchen and take this from him. “Who in the hell you calling stupid? You don’t even know me, homeboy. I’m sorry you got your little feelings hurt, I tried to be your friend, but that wasn’t good enough for you. Now, you can get the hell at my house with your no game having, corny ass. You’re a non-factor!” I yelled.
“Lake, man, c’mon, you’re wasting your breath. I told you before, it ain’t worth it,” Micah piped up behind me. I would like to know what he meant. Speaking of which, Micah had developed an attitude with me over the last several weeks each time we saw each other. I could imagine he didn’t like the fact I wasn’t seeing his brother anymore. As if I was obligated to date Lake for the rest of my life, I gave him a friendly text weeks ago, before I even met Jay that I only wanted to be friends.
I told Kennedey I needed to talk to her in private, I had a rough day and everyone was tap dancing on my last nerve. “You need to get your boyfriend in check, because Micah don’t want it with me. I will hurt that boy’s feelings. I don’t care if he is mad I ain’t messing with his lame ass brother anymore. He has had a stank attitude for weeks and you seem to act like you don’t even notice!” I said to her once we got upstairs to her art studio.
“What are you talking about? Micah hasn’t said anything bad about you to me, I would not allow that. Can you blame him if he is a little mad at you? You did give his brother the cold shoulder for weeks,” said Kennedey. “And that’s Micah’s business, how? I did tell Lake we could be cool, but nothing beyond that. You’re my sister and you need to back me up. Like, I said, get your man’s attitude under control Kennedey. You don’t want me going downstairs and making both of them look stupid!” I shouted.
“The only person you would be making look stupid is yourself, Reagan. You got a problem with Micah, you talk to Micah, leave me out of it. I have more important things to deal with instead of your petty ego!” yelled Kennedey. “What is it this time? Save the whales? Outta here with that. Handle it, before I do,” I said. I left it at that and went to my bedroom. I was beyond ready for this day to be over.
A few days later I met up with Jaylen at the park. He just got back from New York and I missed him even thought I had been busy working. The leaves on the trees were turning beautiful shades of brown and gold. I never really cared for fall before growing up in Miami, probably because I didn’t see much of a difference when the seasons change, at least not until we moved to Appaloosa.
“Did you have a nice trip, boo?” I asked Jaylen. “Yeah, it was aiight, Ma. Nothing special, just business. I’m glad to be back, though. You miss me, baby?” He asked, giving me a little squeeze as we walked through the park. “You know I did,” I murmured softly.
“How did your shoot go?” asked Jaylen. “Ugh, the shoot itself went fine, but the before and after was a hot mess,” I replied, rolling my eyes. Jaylen seemed surprised. “Really? What happened?” he asked. I gave Jaylen the rundown of everything that day, from Briah showing up late to the arguments in the dressing room.
“For real? Awwwhh, boo, don’t be too mad at Briah, I know Apollo keep her busy these days,” he said with a little laugh. “She and I are good. We made up. I am a certain way when it comes to my job. I’m never late and I work hard at what I do, my father instilled that in both of us. Briah is just the type, that when she gets a man, she forgets about all of her priorities. I’m happy for her and Apollo, but she needs to find a balance,” I said. Jay nodded and didn’t say anything more.
It was something about the chilly fall air and being with Jaylen that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I wasn’t the kind of girl what was used to feeling fuzzy and warm, but Jaylen had an effect on me like no other man. Ever since our trip to Oahu a few weeks ago, we’ve been connecting on a whole other level. It was nice waking up nearly everyday to someone I was deeply in love with. Our romance had started quickly and I fell for him fast, and after several weeks of dating we told each other we loved one another. I felt so close to him. Our love making was phenomenal, but I felt connected to him on a much deeper level than just the physical, although that was certainly a bonus.
“How’s your father doing?” asked Jaylen. I was a bit surprised he asked about my dad out of the blue. We talked about everything. Admittedly, when Jaylen started talking about his family, I didn’t have much input. I have told him things about my father and that I was very close to him, but the subject of my mother was rarely broached. “He’s fine, how is yours?” I asked cautiously, not knowing where he was going with this. Jay was quiet for a moment. “My old man is good, both of my parents are. I got to see them briefly when I was at home. They were headed out of town, but we all went out to dinner beforehand. Yeah, it was cool,” he said, nodding. I really didn’t know what else to say except it was nice he got to spend some time with his family.
“When is the next time you plan on seeing your father?” Jaylen asked. “Not really sure,” I replied, shrugging my shoulders. “But he’s still doing alright, since his heart attack and all? That must have been a lot for him, I mean seeing what you went through,” he said.
I knew Jaylen would like to say more and usually he said what was on his mind, he was a typical no nonsense New Yorker in that way, but he seemed to hold back at times when the subject of my family came up, he knew that was a sensitive topic for me. I had the feeling he would have liked to talk to me about it, but it wasn’t something I liked to freely discuss. After a long, awkward silence, Jaylen finally spoke up. “Reagan, how come you never want to talk about your family with me?” he asked.
I could feel my body tense up. I knew I couldn’t avoid this subject forever, but it still wasn’t easy. “I really don’t know what you want me to say, Jay. I guess I just don’t talk about my family with everyone,” I replied slowly. “Am I just everyone, though? I want you to feel comfortable enough with me to talk about anything…” Jaylen started to say. “I do talk to you, about a lot, about everything,” I said, cutting him off. “Not everything, Reagan. I feel like there is a part of you that I can not get to, because you have it closed off. You’ve told me general things about your father and sister, but you never talk to me about your mother, any of that stuff,” said Jaylen.
Now, I was starting to feel the knots in my stomach, there was never a good feeling whenever the subject of my mother came up. I was constantly trying to run away from her and my past. “What do you want to know about my mother? She destroyed our family, that’s pretty much it, there’s not much else to tell,” I quickly replied, determined to have this conversation over with. “But, that’s the thing boo, she didn’t destroy your family. From what I can see, you and your sister really love each other and I know you love and respect your father from the way you talk about him. He seems like a good man. What your mother did was horrible, baby and I’m so sorry about that, but you still have a good family,” said Jaylen.
I shook my head. “Please, Jay, just please. I don’t want to go there right now,” I said. “Okay, Ma. I just wished you would talk to me instead of closing up all the time. I‘m super tight with my family and I know how much we all mean to each other, I just want to know what goes in that head of yours sometimes, Love, ” He said. “Look, Jaylen, I get that, but my family is not perfect like yours. My parents didn’t have money, I grew up with nothing. We weren’t rich, Kennedey and I didn’t have it easy, my mother was a selfish lunatic and that’s pretty much it,” I said.
“Reagan, my family is far from perfect nor did I grow up rich. I didn’t mean to upset you, if you wanna drop it, then we can drop it,” said Jaylen. We sat there in silence for a moment. I felt bad that he felt bad and I certainly didn’t want to have this conversation with him. It wasn’t even just with Jay, I never discussed my mother with anyone before other than my father, sister, Briah and Tai. This was our first “disagreement” and I didn’t like the taste it left in my mouth, I just hoped Jaylen didn’t push the issue any further.
“Look, baby, I’m sorry. I don’t want you to be upset. If you ever want to talk about, you know, whatever, I’m here, Ma,” Jaylen said. “It’s cool, it’s just a hard subject for me. I just need time, okay?” I said. “Okay. Why don’t we head back to the house and we can decide where to eat tonight,” he said. “Sounds like a plan,” I replied, happy this conversation was over.
I was looking forward to the rest of the evening with Jay, until I stepped into his living room. Right there on the sofa, Amarre was making out with Martina Meija. The dumb cow, I got into a fight with earlier this year after I caught Ra$hin cheating on me with her. Jay told me his brother had a new girlfriend, I never imagined it was this bird.
Amarre and Martina stopped and looked up when they heard us come inside. Martina didn’t look that surprised to see me and had a slight smirk on her face. I didn’t waste any time getting right in her face. “Oh hell no, what are you stalking me now, broad? You didn’t learn anything from the last time I rolled you up?” I said.
“Hold up, wait? What is going on? You two know each other?” Jaylen asked. “Yes! How you not gonna tell me your brother was dating this bitch?” I asked him. “Slow up, Reagan, first of all, chill on the language, second of all, how do y’all even know each other?” Amarre asked.
“This skeezer is the reason me and my ex broke up the first time. What Amarre, you didn’t know you were dating one of the nastiest tricks in Starlight Shores?” I said. “You need to watch who the hell you calling a trick, puta!” Martina yelled. “Bitch, you don’t want it with me again, little girl. I put you on the floor last time, and I will do it again!” I shouted back at her.
“Oh, I seriously doubt that! Like I told you last time, ain’t my fault your man came looking for me, sweetheart!” said Martina. “Heffa, you were more than available. Now you following me out here, you see what I got, so you try to go get the next best thing. Really Amarre, you’re with this nasty ghetto bird?” I said. “Don’t come up in here trying to regulate me and my man’s relationship! I damn sure didn’t follow your ass, you conceited cow! My parents have a place out here and my sister wanted a change. You are always thinking something is about you, well it’s not!” yelled Martina.
“I will knock you into the middle of next week, don’t let me have to take off my earrings!” I yelled back. “Reagan, baby, c’mon, let’s just go, forget this,” said Jaylen. I could only see red at this point, seeing Martina brought back all these bad feelings of my relationship with Ra$hin and what he put me through. Knowing she was dirty as they come and had managed to snag a good dude like Amarre made my skin crawl. Hoes be winning.
“Everyone has run up in your girl, Amarre. I’m only telling you this, cause your my man’s brother, you can do so much better. She’s a dirty gold digging ass rat!” I said. “You know what, Reagan, I don’t need you to tell me about my girl. I didn’t know you guys had any connects and frankly, I don’t care what went down with y’all, that shit ain’t got nothing to do with me. I don’t say anything about you and my brother, I respect your relationship, so I would appreciate it if you wouldn’t come up in my house and try to dictate to me about my lady,” said Amarre.
I scoffed when he referred to Martina as “lady”. “Whatever, Amarre, don’t say I didn’t warn you about your hoe. Bump this, I’m out!” I yelled. I couldn’t believe how stupid Amarre was being behind this girl. It just seemed like more and more good men were settling for worthless women like Martina. I felt bad for the females with actual real jobs and didn’t have their legs spread to every baller out there looking for a come up, but just wanted to work hard for herself and find a nice man, no all the hoes seemed to be snagging the good men these days.
There was no point in talking to Amarre about this any longer. I turned around and started to leave when Jaylen reached out and held my arm. “C’mon baby, don’t go like this. Reagan, let’s just go out to dinner like we planned. It’s not that serious, Ma,” he pleaded with me. “No, I have no appetite, Jay. Let me go, I just wanna go home,” I said, breaking from his hold. Jaylen could see that I was serious and not in the mood. I was ready to get gone because I knew if I stayed a minute longer, I would slap the mess out of her.
I was mad at myself for letting that bird get to me and embarrassed I lost my cool in front of Jaylen. It was the first time he had seen me go off on anyone. Not my finest hour. Breaking up and getting back with Ra was the dumbest thing I ever did. Martina’s cocky attitude and acting like she had one up on me got on my nerves. She was dating Amarre, this broad had penetrated my circle. I was not happy about that at all. Could my ass have any kind of peace? My day started off beautifully, and now this mess.
I still didn’t feel okay about that popped off at Jaylen’s house the other day. I felt foolish for because of that Martina crap. Jay had tried to call and text me. I did text him back and let him know that we could see each other soon. Really, though I was mad at myself. I didn’t want to drive a wedge in my new relationship. I really did love Jay and the last thing I wanted was for there to be any weirdness between me and his family.
Since it was the weekend, I decided to get dressed and told Taylor and Briah I would meet up with them at Tomo. I wanted to head over there a little early, hoping to catch Jaylen in his office before it got too busy.
“Hey, baby,” I said to Jaylen as he looked up from his computer. A smiled crept up on his face. “Hey, you. I wasn’t expecting to see you tonight, Ma. What’s up?” he asked. “Look, Jay, about the other night. I just want to apologize. I didn’t want to start anything with you and your brother. But just when I saw her, all the bull I went through for over a year with my ex came rushing back to me,” I said, perching myself on his desk. “Baby, I’m not mad. You don’t need to apologize. Most people, considering your circumstances would probably have the same reaction. Honestly though, Amarre and I didn’t even know about that with Martina. I definitely feel what you’re saying about her too, but that’s my brother’s work. You know, he’s grown. He gotta do him, just like I gotta do me. Don’t worry, me and my brother, we good,” said Jaylen.
“Okay, good. Well, I still want to make it up to you,” I said. Jaylen looked up at me. “Oh, how you gonna do that, Ma?” he asked, running his finger along my thigh.
“Watch and see,” I replied in my sexiest voice. I tugged at Jaylen’s collar as he pushed himself up from his chair. “You smell good,” I told him and licked his lips. Jaylen stared down at me with his bedroom eyes instantly making my body temperature rise. “I love you,” he said. “I love you, too,” I murmured. I put my arms around him and we started making out like two horny teenagers skipping fourth period chemistry behind the bleachers.
I didn’t remember if I had locked his office door behind me when I came in, but the thought that someone could come in at any time and catch us, I admit was exhilarating. I could hear the music thumping from the club downstairs while we were still in his office.
Afterward, I helped Jaylen straighten up his office a bit. “Damn, you wild, Ma. Don’t ever hesitate about surprising me at work,” he said with a laugh. I started to laugh too. “I’ll keep that in mind,” I purred and pulled him close for another kiss.
We both headed downstairs. Jaylen went to go talk to Apollo and his brother, while I found Briah over by the bar. “Uh-huh, where you have been, hoe? You look a little unkempt,” she said, looking me up and down with a knowing grin on her face. I blushed and smoothed my hair and straightened my dress out. “What? I was just talking to Jay,” I said to her. “Yeah, okay, hef” she replied. I giggled a little. “I didn’t see the bird,” said Briah, referring to Martina. I rolled my eyes. We were trying to keep our voices low because Amarre was just a few feet away from us. “I’m surprised it hasn’t rolled up in here yet,” I said, looking around at the club.
“Don’t worry about that heffa, Rea Rea, just do you, boo,” said Briah. “Always,” I said and clinked her glass with mine.
I only saw Amarre a couple of times tonight, he was mostly in his office upstairs and when we did see each other, neither one of us spoke. I didn’t care that he was still brittle with me. I did
care if it bothered Jaylen, because I loved him and I didn’t want to get in the way of him and his brother.
I decided at the next opportunity, I would make nice with Amarre and squash all of this. No, I wasn’t going to be cool with that chicken head and she certainly could not be part of my circle. But, I would dap it out with Amarre so to speak and keep it pushing. As long as Martina stayed in her lane and didn’t come for me, she wouldn’t get the Reagan Leeds clap back.