Complicated [Part 4] (by Cortney Joseph)

Six

So we chilled for a few days, talked and got to know one another. It was easy being around King. I didn’t have to stress myself or worry about him trying to question me about shit that wasn’t his concern.

For a change I could state what I wanted and how I felt without some type of backlash, without someone trying to force their own views down my throat. I spent days at his house where we did simple shit. I tried to protest, act like I wasn’t interested or entertained, but I was. And for the first time in a long time I didn’t NEED alcohol or drugs to calm my nerves. I was naturally at ease with this dude.

 

I sat down after taking my shoes off and folded my legs, low-key enjoying the fact that all King wanted to do was play a game of poker. “This would be so much fun if it were strip poker.”

He looked at me and smiled. “If you want to see the d, just ask. No need for games.”

“Ha. Ha.”

“So, are you finally gonna tell me what’s really going on?”

“With what?”

“You and this clown. What’s his name?”

“Cairo. And really, why do you care? Why can’t we just chill and have fun like we’ve been doing for a minute now?”

He won our current hand and picked up all the cards to deal again. “Because I have this feeling that when you leave here every afternoon, you go back to your home with him and you’re unhappy.”

“We can’t all have happy endings King.”

“Sure we can.”

King said nothing after that and I thought to myself for a few minutes. “I’ve always had a thing for older men. A man that was about eight to ten, maybe eleven years older, that’s what I liked.”

“And how old are you now?”

“Twenty-six.”

“Damn, I just struck out.”

I shook my head before continuing. “Anyway, I wasn’t promiscuous or anything like that but I sometimes went out of my way to attract the attention of older men. If they were a bit thuggish, intelligent, established, and had a little money, it was a plus. Was told all of my life to stay away from drug dealers and for the most part I did, until I started following my older brother around. Cairo wasn’t his supplier, they weren’t friends or anything, but they ran in the same circle.”

I could feel myself smiling, thinking about when he and I first met. “Out of every older man I came across, he noticed me for more than just the body I had. Back then, he cared about me and what I thought. I was sixteen and he was twenty-four. Everybody and they mama told me not to get involved with him. My father even had him arrested once because he thought he was brainwashing me. You know that overprotective parental bullshit, he stayed on our case. As soon as I turned eighteen I moved out, and relationships with my family have been tough ever since. Over the years I helped Cairo build up his lil’ empire or whatever, niggas in the streets knew about him and what he had because I was out spreading word. Trying to build up something for me and my man. That’s just the type of chick I am. He got his lil’ street fame, his lil’ groupies and shit started to change. Then, when I was twenty, someone set him up and tipped off cops that we had all types of drugs stashed away in the house, and we did. We were both selling and by then he was already had two strikes for some other major shit.”

“What’d you do Loni?”

“Normally we handled everything with gloves, but that day I put my prints on everything and took his charge. Did three years.”

“Why?”

“Because, that’s the type of chick I am. I’d go down for my man if he needed me to. Anyway, got out and he’d already started changing on me before that. Didn’t look at me the same or treat me the same. That’s when I found out he had other bitches and a baby mama. Told me that I was good enough to ride with him and fuck but I wasn’t good enough to have his babies or carry his name.”

“Y’all engaged now though?”

“I took him back after he initially denied his first child. DNA test came and his apology came with an engagement ring. Baby mama had a second baby, and she’s pregnant again right now. He probably got kids I don’t even know about but I’m still with him.”

 

King took my hand in his, moving closer as he gave me a hug. “You don’t deserve that type of treatment Loni, no woman does. If a nigga can’t see when he’s got a good ass woman beside him, then he doesn’t deserve her. He doesn’t deserve you.”

“But I feel like this is the life I get and deserve for not listening to my father when he told me not to get involved in the first place. I saw all of the signs early on and I ignored them because I thought I could change him.”

“Loni, you can’t change anybody.”

“I know.”

“If he knew what he had in you, he’d do it on his own. But because you let him get away with these fucked up situations and you forgive him, you’re telling him that it’s okay to treat you like that. And it’s not okay. It’s foolish.”

“That’s my life though, full of foolishness.”

“Hey, there’s no need to cry.” I didn’t know I was crying. King wiped my eyes. “Sometimes I just wish I didn’t care about others so much. I wish I didn’t care about him so much. I want to be selfish and say screw him and the fact that he can’t do shit without me in the background. Without me he’d lose money, he’d have nowhere to go, no one to turn to.”

King slowly turned my face to his and gave a small smile. “Wanting to walk away from an asshole is not being selfish. It’s showing that you care about yourself.” Without thinking about it, I kissed King.

 

I’d pushed him back, climbed on top, and gotten us both out of our shirts within the few minutes we laid on the floor kissing before I finally stopped myself and stood up.

“Okay, that was unexpected but definitely welcomed. What’s wrong Loni?”

“I shouldn’t have done that.”

“I don’t mind.”

I jerked my head towards him and rolled my eyes, upset. “I know that you don’t mind but I do! Ugh.”

King stood up and pulled me into his arms, running his fingers through my hair as he spoke softly. “I’m sorry. I know you’re confused, and I shouldn’t act or let you act on that. Even though we’re just getting to know each other I care about you, and I want you to be happy. I hope you see soon that you would be a happier with me.”

I looked into his eyes and he smiled again, kissing me gently.

 

I didn’t say anything else after that, I grabbed my stuff and left. Trying to rush back to my own home to clear my mind, trying to convince myself that I wouldn’t have been any better than Cairo if I’d have slept with King.

And Lord knows I wanted to.

 

I closed and locked my door behind me, irritated. I now had a headache, Tommy wouldn’t stop calling my phone, and Cairo’s dog wouldn’t shut the fuck up. After taking one of Cairo’s boots and throwing outside at the big ass Rottweiler, I closed my backdoor and headed to the back of the house.

The only thing I want to do is lie down, clear my mind, and sleep. Walking down the hall, I could see the light of the guestroom. The door was cracked open just a little so that let me know Cairo’s ass was home.

Since I never knock on doors, I walked in. Thrown completely off guard when I saw this nappy weave wearing ass hoe sucking him off. His eyes were still closed, so he hadn’t seen me. I politely turned around, went into my own bedroom, opened my closet and walked straight to the back. Using my step ladder, I reached to the top shelf and grabbed one of my converse shoe boxes and pulled out my .22. I checked to make sure it was loaded before I politely marched my ass right back into the guest room.

This nigga was laid the fuck out now, groaning as the trashy bitch threw it back on him. I didn’t say anything. I simply shot at their asses, catching her in the shoulder and barely missing his head after he pushed her out of the way.

 

“Apollonia, chill!!”

“Chill with these motherfuckin’ bullets lodged in your skull!” She screamed and ran out. I tried to shoot that bitch again before turning my gun back on him as he tried to sneak past me.

“Come on Loni, Baby, it’s not what you think … okay. I mean, we weren’t in your bed.”

“Oh-ho…” I shot again and he ducked down before running out. I chased behind Cairo, emptying my clip. Instead of shooting him in the head like I wanted to, I flinched on the final shot and hit him in the ass just as he made it out my front door. Years of anger took over and I tore up my entire house.

By the end of the night I’d cut up, broken, threw out, and burned everything Cairo ever bought and owned. My phone rang and I took one deep breath before picking it up. “What?!”

“Loni, why are their cops in your driveway and reports of gunshots at your house? Why is there a big ass fire on your lawn?”

“Because, a bitch is about to go back to jail and I’m sure that’ll make you happy since it’ll keep me away from Cairo.” I hung up on Tommy before doing the one thing I never thought I would. I called the cops and snitched, gave up everything I knew about Cairo and the way he’s made his money for the last ten years. I told them about the offshore accounts and the different illegal businesses he ran with his friends. I’m over it.

Fuck him, fuck that his kids about to lose their daddy, and I hope a big nigga named Tiny makes Cairo his bitch. I’m over it.

 

Seven

You would have thought they’d lock my crazy ass up.

 

They didn’t. Instead they let me go as long as I agree to testify against Cairo and his bullshit when the time comes. Of course, he sent out threats, but honestly there ain’t shit else he could do to seriously hurt or break me. He ain’t got no real friends, and his hit men are loyal to me… if he gon’ have me killed, he’s gotta do it himself. And the amount of time he’s facing, I’ll probably die of old age first.

 

Even though I didn’t want to be bothered, instead of locking myself in my house again I went to stay with Tommy and Red. Acting as my father since he claims he’s not dealing with me anymore, without missing a beat, she was on that judgmental shit as soon as I walked through the door, but Red’s super nice behind kept the peace, insisting that she and I just needed to talk things out.

That was fine with me; I just did not want to hear ‘I told you so’. And what did she say to me, over and over, for a week straight?

“I told you so, Loni, but you just wouldn’t listen.”

I sucked my teeth before looking past her at Red, wishing I could use my mind to remove the knife from his hand and bring it to my own. “Reginald.”

“Yes Loni?”

“Get your fiancé before I decide to lace up these Timbs and stomp a new hole in her ass.”

Tommy rolled her eyes and sat down next to me. “Loni, why do you take everything I say as if I’m trying to judge you? It’s not judgment.”

“Then what the fuck would you call it Thomasina? Because honestly it sounds as if you’re excited to rub this shit in my face. It’s finally over, are you glad? I feel foolish as fuck, are you glad? I’m hurt and confused as fuck, are you glad? Are you happy? Does this excite you? Would you like to watch me cry myself to sleep tonight? Because I will gladly leave my door open just for you to come and stand over me.”

“No I’m not happy that you’re hurting.”

“Please Tommy, just leave me alone about this, okay. Just go back to being my little sister, the one who supported whatever I did, no matter how stupid it seemed. I don’t need you and others in my ear screaming shit like you told me so. I don’t need people beating me down anymore than I’m beating my own self down. It’s over, and done with. Just support me in whatever I choose next.”

She took a deep breath, wanting to say a whole lot more. I know she doesn’t intentionally try to make it seem as if she’s better than me. She doesn’t intentionally try to throw her good life in my face, but that’s what happens and I’m honestly tired of feeling like shit when I’m around her.

 

My phone rang, saving me from having to continue the already dead conversation with her. I got up and stepped outside, sitting on the trunk of my car before I finally answered. “Hello?”

“Hey, how are you doing?”

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath, relieved to hear King’s voice. Since I’d changed my number again, I text him but didn’t hear anything. I assumed he saw the news and said fuck even trying to be friends with me.

“I’m okay, I guess. Finally feeling like the fool I’ve been playing all of these years.”

“So it took you a little longer than most, the important thing is that you finally want more for yourself. At least, I hope you want more for yourself.”

“I do. Right now though, I know I just need to get myself together.” I could hear him moving around a little before he finally took a deep breath. “Gunshots and fire, I probably scared the hell out of you, huh?”

“Eh, I would never bring you to that point. I do hope you get some type of help though, and not through alcohol or drugs either.”

“Yeah, I know. They already signed me up to see this therapist. I met her and I think she’s more of a nutcase than I am.”

King chuckled and I took a deep breath, pulling one of my knees up to my chest as I moved back closer to my window to give myself room. “Listen King, I understand if this is the last that you want to hear from me. I’ve already let you witness some fucked up shit and we were never even together.”

“That was one of the best ‘not together’ kisses I’ve ever had in my life though. And why would this be the last time I hear from you? Are you moving out of state or something?”

“I should.”

“Then how would I be able to get closer to you once you’re finally ready to get with a real nigga. Excuse me, a king.”

I couldn’t help but smile. “I don’t get you at all King. You’re so sweet and kind to me, and I’m just…”

“Hurt. I could change that if you’d let me. But, only when you’re really ready. You know, some of us men don’t like our hearts played with either.”

“I was starting to believe that y’all didn’t even have hearts.”

“Nah, that’s only bitch niggas like the one you used to fuck with.”

Yeah, used to. I liked the sound of that.

 

I don’t know when I’ll be myself again, fully. But I’m damn sure not rushing into anything. He hasn’t run away from me with all of this drama and bullshit; and if he’s meant to be in my life, for whatever reason, I don’t want to be the one to ruin whatever type of friendship or relationship he and I could have. “King?”

“Yes Apollonia?”

“For now, I hope that I can have you as a really great friend. I-I could use someone in my corner that I can trust to be real with me but not judge me. You know, tell me the truth about anything, to my face, even if it hurts my feelings.”

“Of course I’ll be here for you. I’ve been telling you for a minute now that I feel something for you, I wouldn’t just turn my back on you because you’re not ready to be mine yet.”

“You’re just going to keep throwing that out there, aren’t you?”

“What?”

Be mine. When you’re mine… and everything else that you say in regards to us being more than friends.”

“Mmhm. But you know a man like me can wait for something great to come his way.”

“You swear that you are so smooth.”

He laughed and we kept talking a little longer.

 

For a change, it felt nice to have a friend that was willing to listen and say what they felt without making me feel bad. For some reason I felt that I could open up to him, even about my jealousy towards my sister.

Yeah, I can admit it now.

I guess I can try to move forward in a more positive way. Whatever happens after all of this shit with Cairo blows over, that’s just what happens.

If more is meant to happen between King and me, it will happen. Right? Hopefully then, shit won’t be so damn complicated.

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