If I Can Make It There I Can Make It Anywhere
So I had been chillin‘ at the hotel the last couple of days by myself. Everyone had been out in the city shopping, going to movies, clubbing, everything pretty much, but I wasn’t really in the mood for all of that. I did feel better than I did the other day when I left Ra$hin’s house.
Speaking of Ra I guess he was really missing me. He was acting like he did when we first met. He was being really sweet, sending all kinds of bouquets of flowers to the suite everyday, sending me my favorite chocolates, bought me a Harry Winston diamond bracelet and had it special delivered, the works. He even left me a voice mail of my favorite Bell Biv Devoe song ‘When Will I See You Smile Again?”. Yeah it was no coincidence that he would send that to me. I was softening a little bit.
My friends had their own opinion about us, but I didn’t really want to hear any except maybe Taina’s who thought I should try to work things out with him before the album release. He called asking to come by and talk to me, I figured it would be ok I was just tired of fighting. I also
wanted to get things square between he and me because there was already rumored online that we had broken up, which wasn’t true.
Despite everything there was still a part of me that loved Ra$hin. I didn’t know if things were going to work out or not. There were times lately that I has wished I had never met him, then there were other times when I couldn’t really imagine my life without him, either that or I was afraid of being alone.
“Thank you for letting me come over, baby,” Ra$hin says to me as we sit down on the couch. “I just want to first start out by saying how sorry I am about the way things have been going between us lately and some of the things I’ve said to you. Especially what I said about Apollonia. That wasn’t cool of me I know. I was just so angry with you about what went down between you and my mom, I’m very protective of her,” continued Ra$hin.
I was hoping he would acknowledge that what he said about my mother was wrong, maybe he could see now how much that had hurt me.
I let out a deep breath I didn’t even know I was holding in. “Well, I’m not going to say it was okay, because it wasn’t. I am glad however that you’re apologizing for that. I too want to say I am sorry for the way I’ve been acting. It’s been a stressful last few months and it really bothers me that we haven’t seen each other.
I’m trying to make it in this game as a new model. People don’t readily accept you in this business all the time especially when you’re black. I may have had a lot of success lately, but it’s not all lollipops and rainbows and it’s certainly not typical. I deal with shit everyday from people I work with. My sister and I are constantly at each other’s throats and it’s been hard not seeing my dad on a regular basis. I mean, I didn’t see him all the time in college but at least he was close by…” my voice trailed off. I don’t know why I was spacing all of a sudden thinking about everything I had just confessed to Ra. I didn’t even realize so many things had been bothering me, it wasn’t just my job or even Ra$hin.
Ra$hin seemed to really be listening, he was quiet for a moment.
“I can’t say I understand exactly everything you’re going through boo. I do understand how rough it is in businesses like ours. You’re being pulled this way, I’m being pulled that way. It’s tough. I think the stress of the album and the upcoming tour has really been getting to me. You know I work non-stop and I’ve been taking my stress and frustration out on you and that’s not fair,” said Ra
“I think sub-consciously I’ve been resenting you Ra,” I tell him.
“Why is that?” he asked.
“Not necessarily because of the album. I thought that once it was out we would have a little time to spend together before you had to go on the road, but now your label wants you to do the tour pretty much as soon as the album drops. That means we’ll never see each other,” I
“Awwhh, baby we’ll see each other when I am on the road, I promise. But look, let’s not think about that right now. I brought you out here to have a good time and show you my hometown. We only have a few more days here, I don’t want to spend it fighting, I’d rather spend it making up,” he said with a certain look in his eyes. I held his gaze as Donell Jones ‘He Won’t Hurt You’ played quietly on the stereo.
I knew what that look meant and it was the first time in a long time I wanted exactly what he wanted.
He pulled me up from the couch into his arms and held me.
Thankfully Taina and the girls would be out for the rest of the night I thought to myself as Ra$hin took my hand and led me to the bedroom.
Ra$hin and I played for a little while. I touched and teased him, we drank a bottle of wine which I don’t even really remember, I knew we had because there was an empty bottle on the floor.
I turned on some music and out came ‘Freek’n You’ by Jodeci. Ra$hin then picked me up and slowly began kissing my neck and chest, that was one area that could always drive me insane.
He wasn’t fast and he wasn’t rough as he was kissing me all over, but soft and gentle and even teasingly at times. It reminded me of how it was in the beginning of our relationship when he would make love to me, not just a roll in the hay.
Okay, yes Ra$hin had a bit of a foot fetish. When I first found out he liked to kiss my feet I thought it was a bit weird and gross, not because I had bad, funky, ugly feet, but shit they were feet! Over time I got used to his liking to kiss my feet, it eventually became a turn on for me especially considering all the nerve endings down there.
I wasn’t only letting him kiss my feet for him. I felt he needed to be on his knees, as if he were begging my forgiveness.
Yes, bow down boy, bow down. I thought to myself.
If I hadn’t just got out the shower I would’ve told Ra he needed to wash his mouth out before kissing me since he did just have my toes in his mouth.
We played around a little while longer he tickled me which I hated that anyone knew I was extremely ticklish. I won’t go any further, you can use your imagination. I just know it was one of the best nights we have spent with one another and I was reminded why I had fallen for him, hopefully this feeling would last.
The next day Ra$hin’s label The Republic was throwing him an album release party at The W Hotel in Manhattan. The album wasn’t being released yet, this was strictly for promotional purposes.
The party itself would be boring and full of executives, artists from the label, and some of his business partners. It was the after party at Cheetah Lounge where my girls were meeting up with us at I was looking forward to.
I put on a new dress by Elie Saab for our red carpet appearance. Although I was happy to be there for Ra, I wasn’t however happy I had to pretend that I wasn’t repulsed at having to stand and take pictures next to Barrington. Bryce was okay, I didn’t have a problem with him, it was Barrington that made my skin crawl!
We stayed on the carpet for at least thirty minutes, I smiled so hard my face was beginning to hurt. Reporters yelled out questions to Ra about the album and his upcoming tour. He was polite and answered all their questions, but I could tell he was as ready as I was to get in and get out.
Another thing that had been stressing Ra was his relationship with his label whom he had been with since he got in the rap game. Ra$hin had basically outgrown his label and had begun doing things with his own smaller label 51/50 which was also the name of his clothing line and other products he sold. He had signed a few artists on his label and wanted to concentrate on that, but The Republic had pushed him with this album and tour and I knew Ra didn’t like to rush an album nor a tour. He wasn’t exactly getting along with some of the higher-ups at the label.
We spent only about an hour inside at the official release party. There were quite a few people there and other artists, but I knew Ra wanted to be someplace more laid back which is why he had Bryce choose a different place for the after-party. I decided to make a quick costume change before he headed to Cheetah Lounge in Brooklyn.
Cheetah Lounge was one of the more exclusive clubs in Brooklyn and on a night when a big star like Ra$hin came in it was invitation only. It was my first time being there, but Taina and Fallion had been there numerous times. They had cage dancers, not exactly strippers but not that far off if you asked me.
Security escorted us to the VIP where everyone chopped it up for a minute Ra$hin ordered five bottles of Dom Perignon White Gold Jeroboam at about forty thousand dollars a pop which ended up costing more than my father’s house.
“How was the release party, Ra?” asked Taina.
Ra$hin sort of shrugged. “It was alright I guess, uneventful. Been to one release party, you’ve been to them all,” he said.
“Dang, and that was your own,” Fallion said.
“True, still nothin’ special though,” he answered.
I get up and go have a smoke with Fallion and Aoki comes over.
“You guys really need to stop that,” she lectured. The Dom gave me a nice little buzz and I was determined not to let Aoki or anyone else mess it up for me, before I could say anything to her, Fallion jumped in. “Aoki, you can go home with all that, we’re chilling stop trying to regulate, dang!” Fallion raised her voice.
“Okay whatever, if you want to suck on cancer sticks, be by guests,” she replied
“Hey Reagan, did you see who was behind us mean mugging you?” Aoki asked. She had been referring to that skank Minka Diaz. I saw her dumb butt looking at me crazy, I saw her at Talina’s party doing the same thing. Oh well, must suck to be her hating on someone 24/7.
The next thing I know Ra$hin gets on the counter and starts dancing. That Dom must’ve gotten to him really good. Ra never does stuff like that, he thinks he is too cool for it.
My personal anthem ‘The Men All Pause’ by Klymaxx came on and Fallion and I made our way over to the dance floor, cutting up and acting silly. I tried to get Ra to come and dance with us, but he was acting like he was too cool to dance to ‘The Men All Pause’, I guess I don’t blame him.
The dudes in the club seemed to be stuck on stupid watching the cage dancers pop their booties. Why females got on stage and shook their asses for tips is beyond me whether you take your clothes off or not.
Taina had recently started going out with Ra$hin’s homeboy, Ramon DeSante. I knew she was super-sprung I told her not to go too fast where he was concerned. Taina wore her heart on her sleeve and fell in love hard and fast. Hmm, I wonder if she saw Ramon enjoying getting a view of the full moon.
To be perfectly honest when I found out Fallion was messing with my friend Marcus Trejio’s older brother Travis a few months ago I was shocked. For one that she was still seeing the same dude after more than three months and two she seemed committed (at least for now). In the past year since I’ve known Fallion, I had never known her to be the relationship type.
Stacey David, one of Ra’s business partners and oldest friends finally showed up. I didn’t really know Stacey all that well, I had only met him a handful of times as he lived out here in New York. He was the main reason why the branding behind Ra’s label ’51/50′ was successful. He was Hardvard educated had a phat penthouse on the Upper Eastside and a home in The Hamptons not too far from Ra$hin’s.
Besides that he was fine as all get out, every girl from New York to Starlight Shores wanted to get at him. Which was good for him because he dated as many girls as he wanted, but only extremely beautiful or exotic ones. Unfortunately for him I was taken. Not that I would want him anyway, he was too much of a player.
“What’ up ‘G’?” Ra$hin greeted Stacey
“Yo, just chillin, chillin,” answered Stacey.
Ra finally got out on the dance floor with me. Ra wasn’t a big dancer, despite his earlier show on the bar counter. But when he did dance he could really gig. All that spicy Latin blood in him I guess.
After a while, the little strippers, excuse me, I mean “cage” dancers took a break and started making their rounds. I could tell Bryce was completely smitten by one of them. He followed her around like a sick little puppy dog for most of the night.
She was really pretty, didn’t know her name, but she didn’t look better than me. Whatever the case, she seemed more interested in Stacey. Poor Bryce, he can never win. Looked like Stacey was equally as interested by the way he was looking her up and down. He was so nasty, I could only imagine what was going through his mind. This could get ugly because all of them were boys.
Things were going pretty well, maybe too well, I spoke too soon. Fallion who seemed pretty nonchalant and unlike her usual self tonight spoted Travis dancing with one of the club dancers.
I knew all Fallion could see was red and she went H.A.M on Travis
“What the hell is you doin’ dancing with that skeezer!” Fallion shouted at Travis.
“Fallion, calm down! We were only dancing!” replied Travis
“Hell nah! You got me twisted, dancin’ with this nasty ass strip hoe!” Fallion screeched. This will not end well.
The stripper, oops I mean cage dancer got mad. “I ain’t no strip hoe, heffa! You better watch who the hell you callin’ a hoe, hoe!” she yelled at Fallion.
“Bitch, who the hell do you think you talkin to? Stripper or not you still shake ya’ ass for some cash! This is my man trick, you better run up off him!” Fallion demanded. The dancer, whom’s name I learned was Uniqua (ghetto as hell name) wasn’t backin’ down the way Fallion had come to expect most females to do when caught in a confrontation with her.
“Look broad, if you so concerned about ya’ man maybe you should’ve been trying to keep him entertained that way he wouldn’t have begging me to dance with him!” she yelled back.
I could see that made Travis uncomfortable he didn’t want Fallion to think he was chasing after this ghetto bunny.
I don’t know what happened next but they were soon on the floor tussling, it all happened so quickly. Leave it to Fallion to start a fight in the club over her man dancing with some broad. Big whoop.
I felt slightly bad for the girl, okay not really, but damn how embarrassing to get beat up at your own job while you’re still on the clock?
After that Ra decided it was time to leave, I told him I needed to use the bathroom first. I saw him looking at the girl Fallion just beat up and I didn’t appreciate the way his big eyes were looking at her. I wasn’t going to say anything for now since we had been getting along. She was nothing to look at anyway.
Snow had started falling, it was so pretty. Growing up in Miami of course we didn’t get snow. I loved to go out in it whenever it was possible. There was still another day before Ra’s big New Year’s Eve Party he was throwing at The Ritz.
Aoki, Taina, Fallion and I meet for breakfast and decide to go over to Central Park. I was as cold as a don’t know what, but the city looked so beautiful and clean with the freshly laid powder.
It was on when Aoki threw the first snowball at me! Taina and Fallion joined in as well. It was nice acting like kids and just messing around for a little while. We battled for a good hour and was soaking wet afterwards. I was crowned the snowball fight queen which I told Taina and Fallion that was sad being that they grew up with snow and I didn’t.
I was so cold I thought my feet were frozen, I head over to the concession stand and get a large cup of hot chocolate. I smiled to myself. My dad would make this for Kennedey and I when we were little when it got cold out. Yes even it Miami it does get cold! Speaking of my dad, I had gone two days without returning his text messages or phone calls. I felt bad, but I wanted to avoid any questions he would surely have about Ra and myself.
We ended up hanging around the city for the rest of the day. Taina had another one of her bright ideas and suggested we go to Libetry Island.
“I thought New Yorkers don’t do that tourist stuff?” I asked her.
“Usually not, unless it’s a field trip in elementary. But you are a tourist Reagan. So let’s go!” she exclaimed
“I need to get you something that will make you drowsy like Benadryl, you too dang happy-go-lucky all the time,” I told her, to which she
We all got in a cab, boarded the ferry headed to see Lady Liberty in all her glory. I had taken photography classes in college so I decided to take a few pics and send them to my Dad, maybe he’ll accept that as me responding back to all his messages.
“See? Once again I was right. You are having a good time Reagan,” said Taina.
“It’s ok,” I said dryly.
“Don’t even front, I saw you doing a back bend to get that shot of Lady Liberty!,” she replied laughing.
“My dad wanted me to take some pictures for him,” I made up an excuse.
“Please! Your dad has been to New York countless times! So don’t even try it!” said Taina. I laughed a little. I did have to admit to myself it was cool being out here at night, the whole city looked so peaceful.
We stayed out on the island for another fifteen minutes or so and headed back into the city, cutting through Central Park to get to Ra’s penthouse it was a beautiful night for a little walk.
The girls were staying over there with me since the New Years eve party will be tomorrow and we all wanted to get ready together. Honestly I preferred to get ready by myself, Taina and Aoki thought it would be fun to do it together. Whatever I thought. At least my Versace dress was custom made and I knew no one else was going to be wearing it.
Ra$hin’s New Year’s eve parties in New York were a tradition, much like his white parties down in Miami each year. He once again pulled out all the stops. For one he always had the party in the penthouse suite of the Ritz. There were quite a few people there. Many of the people there
were his friends and other artist. Even Mrs. Snaupelepugus was there, only this time she was looking like Big Bird. I see she brought along reinforcements this time. Her little hoodrat friends Lala, one of the birds who stays e-thugging online.
As I saw her standing there looking stank as usual I saw that Stacey brought along that dancer from Cheetah Lounge he met the other night. I wasn’t expecting her to be friendly towards us, after all Fallion had just beat up her best friend.
Taina started doing something she almost never does, which is engaging in public displays of affection. But this took the cake. I was convinced Ramon was ready to swallow her face by the way they were going at it.
Stacey stopped by where we were sitting to say what’s up to Ra.
“Where’s your little stripper? You left her out on the dance floor?” I asked him.
“She’s not a stripper. She’s a club dancer, she doesn’t get naked whatsoever, Reagan,” Stacey answered.
“Could’ve fooled me by the way that string was up her booty,” I remarked.
“What is her name anyway Stacey?” Aoki asked.
“Yana Okanda-Smith,” he replied.
“Is she from here?” Aoki inquired, it was a poorly kept secret that Aoki had a huge crush on Stacey which is why she was drilling him about his apparent new flavor of the month, at least for January since December was over.
“No, she born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She and her family moved here when she was five, her dad is Ethiopian and her mother is Bahamian,” Stacey told Aoki.
Most of our friends went to dance and Ra and I hang back for little while.
“Having a good time so far, baby?” Ra$hin asked me.
“Yes, it’s really nice. Everyone seems to be having a good time,” I replied. I held my tongue about Big Bird and her crew. I didn’t want to get into any sort of argument with Ra tonight especially after things had been going to so well between us.
I could see mostly everyone was having a good time, especially Tai, who was really feeling herself. Bryce of course couldn’t take his eyes of Yana. I had asked Ra later on about how things were going to be between Bryce and Stacey he just said he was staying out of that mess.
He too knew how much a player Stacey was and he couldn’t be serious with that girl. Bryce on the other hand really wants someone in his life, he’s actually a good guy. I hope he finds the right woman one day.
I too made my way to go dancing once they started playing my cut ‘Started From The Bottom’ by Drake. I loved the lyrics, they were sort of symbolic for me. Taina and I started cuttin’ up and rapping along with Drake:
“Started from the bottom now we’re here
Started from the bottom now my whole team fucking here
I done kept it real from the jump
Living at my mama’s house we’d argue every mornin’
I was trying to get it on my own
Working all night, traffic on the way home
And my uncle calling me like “Where ya at?
I gave you the keys told ya bring it right back”
I just think it’s funny how it goes
Now I’m on the road, half a million for a show
No new bitches, girl we don’t feel that
Fuck a fake friend, where your real friends at?”
We were cracking up because we were changing some of the words around to fit if a female were rapping.
I was having too much fun. I knew I wasn’t even going to be able to move tomorrow
The party ended up winding down at about four in the morning. I was still hungry so I grabbed a couple of little sliders for the road, Ra$hin was in the hall saying goodbye to some of his guests. All of a sudden I felt someone slap me on my booty and I’m thinking it was him, but to my surprise when I turned around it was Barrington reeking of alcohol.
“Are you crazy foo’? Don’t you ever put your hands on me!”I yelled at him. He swayed a little bit and stepped in closer.
“Awwh c’mon Reagan, won’t you let me see what got Ra so sprung under there,” he slurred. I was beyond disgusted. One, this was Barrington whom I couldn’t stand coming onto me and two, he was Ra’s best friend. I all of a sudden felt dirty.
One could say he was only acting like this because he was clearly drunk, but drinking often just gives you the ability to throw your inhibitions to the wind and do what you’ve always wanted to deep down inside.
He then tried putting his arms around me to which I pushed him as hard as I could.
“Let go of me!” I yelled. I looked around briefly, there was no one else in the room and as loud as I had been yelling no one had even came in.
“C’mon Reagan. If it’s money you want, I got that too. Maybe not as much as Ra but I damn sure can get you anything you want,” he wasn’t letting up. He was starting to smell and look worse to me and I just about ready to vomit.
Barrington got insulting. “Bitch, please you think he would believe a word you say after me? That been my dog since grade school. I told you before, a thousand chicks before you, a thousand chicks after you. You’re just about washed up anyway, hoe!”Barrington yelled back.
Just then Taina entered the room saying she had left her clutch and Barrington left. This all felt very surreal, did all that just happen? I didn’t know what to do. Do I tell Ra about this?
I walked over to Taina and told her everything that had just happened.
“I don’t know what to do!” I said anxiously.
“Oh my goodness! Do you think it was because he was drunk?” she asked.
“I was thinking that, but you know alcohol is basically courage juice. I don’t know if he would’ve ever come at me like that before if he wasn’t drunk,” I replied. I was getting more upset my the minute.
“I really can’t tell you what to do Reagan. If it were me I wouldn’t say anything. Maybe he was feeling some kind of way about you before and made a mistake tonight. The real test is to see if he ever does it sober or tries to turn things around, afraid you’ll say something to Ra and he’ll be the one to say you were trying to get with him!” Taina replied.
I didn’t know what to do. Taina was right. I was damned if I do, damned if I don’t. I didn’t want to get in the way of their friendship. Ra and his friends lived by the motto ‘Bros before hoes’. I wasn’t sure how Ra would react truthfully, would he believe me or Barrington? Should I
just kill it for now?
I once again decide to play my position and not say anything for now.
New York had been one crazy big trip. I had many ups and downs while I was out here. I did have fun some of the time. My biggest regret of course was fighting with Ra$hin, and just as things seemed to be going well Barrington goes and pulls this mess.
Like I said before, I would hold my tongue for now and let sleeping dogs lie in The City That Never Sleeps