Authors: Tamika Jeffries
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #United States, #African American, #Women's Fiction
By. TAMIKA JEFFRIES
This book is fiction. All characters and events in this book are all fictional and have no similarities to any living or deceased individuals. Actual places and situations are purely coincidental.
Anybody's first impression of her would have probably been negative, if they were bombarded with her oblivious whining. She didn't mean to be a drama queen. She really didn't. But when it came to men, drama seemed to follow her to the end of the road and back. Her undying love hunger had finally driven her to the edge of despair; and she wasn't afraid to let it be known; and who better to overwhelm than her beloved circle of friends?
"So, I told his ass to stop calling me!" Roni yelled to Angie, who was sitting across the table from her at the Halo, swirling her skinny red straw around in her second
Cosmopolitan, and doing the usual complaining about men.
She rolled her eyes and smirked. "Roni, it couldn't have been that bad."
"You just don't know, girl!" Roni's big brown eyes were wide with frustration.
"He is a super moocher! He never has any money. We went out three times and he never had a dime on anything. Then he had the audacity to ask me if he could stay at my hotel for a few weeks- free! "
"What are you crying about now, girl?" Karla, asked in an amused tone, as she walked up to the table, closing her cell phone.
Angie cracked a broad smile at Karla. "Hey girl. Sit down and get a load of this one!"
Karla winked at Angie, and sat to hear Roni's usual men-nagging. Roni's already dark complexion deepened with embarrassment. "Oh, so ya'll gone sit here and act like I'm always complaining."
They looked at each other, then at Roni and burst into laughter.
"It's not funny, ya'll! I mean, you guys have problems too. Well, you Angie, you don't even date a guy unless he's got a large bank account and-"Angie held up her hand. "Hey-hey. I'm sorry for laughing, but you just get so uptight about it. Don't go dragging me into this, though", she was still smirking.
" Yeah, whatever. Tell me, your guy, attorney Brandon Whitmore, son of the retired D.A, and from Whitmore Law firm, aint the finest, and most paid, lawyer on this side of hell!"
"That's besides the point, sweetie! We are talking about you - and Brandon is not the highest paid around here. His brother, Ryan Whitmore, is! And he's not my guy. He's sort of my guy. We're working on something long term, but these special kind of things take time," she grinned, admiring her freshly manicured nails.
"Ok, but just listen to me ya'll! Jarin Austin is a moocher! Big time!"
"Did it ever occur to you after the first date that he might be at least a tightwad, Roni? I mean, you told us that he carries his lunch to work every day in the same plastic grocery bag for goodness sake!" Karla lectured, in between ordering her usual cranberry juice on the rocks.
"Well, you know, now that you mention it, I did kinda ignore a red flag with him." Roni fell into her "duh" mode and her face had the word written all over it. "I knew I should have just stuck to my blockbuster nights alone, with my silver bullet I bought at the sex toy store." she blurted out.
"Ooh girl, TMI, girl TMI!" Angie laughed and fanned Roni with a napkin.
Roni giggled. " I mean, this online dating crap is crazy! And the new guy, who I talk to online all the time, doesn't even have a photo. He describes himself to be very attractive, but he never posted a picture online. I've been talking to him for a couple months now and I love his poetry and the things he says to me. Whenever I ask him if we should exchange numbers, he said not right now. He kept saying he wanted to take things slow. I'll bet he's got a woman, wife, or something. “Nobody commented.
"What about you, Miss I'm-too-good-for-anybody-who-aint-rich", Karla started with Angie; relieving the pressure off Roni. Her honey gold eyes squinted which meant she needed to be wearing her glasses.She almost choked on her Kamikaze. "Who me?"
"Yes, you, dear!", Karla sang playfully.
"I don't think I'm too good for anyone. I just aim high. I have high standards and I wont settle."
"No, you just have a sadity and bougie attitude with the men who make less than a six figure salary," Karla laughed.
"I am not!" she was laughing, too.
"I think you need to listen to her, Angie", Roni said, nodding her head.
"Well, we all can't just go around acting like we don’t need a man like you,
Karla. Girl, I gotta admit, you are that strong kind, because Lord knows, some nights I can't help but make a phone call!" Angie laughed, giving an agreeing Roni a hi-five.
Karla knew she'd hit a nerve with her girls, but just shook her head. " So what did you guys think of that hair show last week? I think Daphne's work was the bomb!"
"I think it was mediocre, for what I know she can do", Angie blurted.
"Hell, I agree! I've even let her do better styles on my head." Roni chimed in.
"But don’t tell her I said that", she sipped her drink.
"You guys are a mess. So where is she anyway? Is she hanging out with us tonight?", Karla twirled one of her auburn locks.
"Oh she sent me a text earlier and said she had a couple of manicures to do, but she would meet us at my house , if she didn't catch us here", Angie remembered.
Roni giggled and Angie and Karla looked at her, waiting to find out what was funny. " Well, rumor has it that she is dating my hotel chain owner's nephew, Jody or Joven Lexington, whatever his name is."
Angie had been eyeballing some guy at the next table when she heard the name. She swiftly whipped her neck around. " You mean, Joden Lexington?"
"Yes, ma'am", Roni raised her perfectly arched eyebrows.
Angie narrowed her eyes. "Oh I would have to see that to believe it! Even though he's fine and all, I've seen fine men approach her and try to talk to her. Rich ones, even! And she blows them off as quick as they come. I don't understand. Hell, somebody as rich as that model photographer from Paris she met, I would have fallen in his lap, voluntarily!" Angie laughed hysterically. Karla rolled her eyes. "I almost want a drink when I listen to you."
"What? I like rich men, so what?!"
A group of professional men, three black, and one white, walked over and greeted them.
"Can we buy you beautiful ladies some drinks?" one of the gentlemen asked.
"No thank you", Karla said.
"I'll have a cosmopolitan," Roni blurted out.
Angie and Karla looked at Roni and held in their laughter. Roni was too busy "making eyes" at the guys that she didn't notice.
"Nothing for me, thank you," Angie said.
"Miss Cosmopolitan. I like a lady who knows what she likes," one of the white guys said.
Roni smiled. "I am one who definitely knows what she likes," she flirted.
Karla rolled her eyes. Everybody knew the routine. Roni gets a number. Roni goes on a date. Roni dates a loser. Roni complains forever and a day about the guy who broke her heart. The guy handed Roni a business card and smiled.
"Call anytime," he said, walking away, with the other two.
She looked at the card. "Mmm, Derek Sieman, CLU CHFC. Sieman's Financial Planning and Investments. I love the way his name sounds," Roni giggled.
"I'll bet you do. Especially the last name. You lil' freak mama!" Angie laughed.
Everyone at the table laughed, including Roni.
"Oh whatever, I'm not even going to call him. He's not my type. Too chunky. I'm already overweight. I don't need anybody else to be a heavyweight. That's uncomfortable," she said.
"So, are we gonna get outta here or what?" Karla asked.
"Waiting on Daph, remember?" Angie said.
"Oh, I almost forgot," Karla said, looking at her cellphone.
"Wait a minute,what did you cook for us tonight girlfriend?" Roni looked at Angie.
"Well, I made some meatballs with a sweet and tangy sauce, and I bought a fruit and veggie tray. Of course I have our daiquiri mix and a wide selection of wine, so we're good all night."
"Damn! no snacks? Popcorn, chips and salsa, little debbies, uh hell-o?" Roni laughed.
"Shit, there's two grocery stores right down the road if you want to contribute my sista", Angie giggled.
"You guys, I made some mini veggie egg rolls and I have to go home and get them, when we leave here." Karla looked proud. Angie and Roni remember how sick they got the last time they ate Karla's famous veggie egg rolls. The disgust on Angie's face was almost evident. She was saved by Daphne's appearance, as she came sashay-ing through the club towards the table. Her curvy body caught the attention of many men, but she walked past, ignoring the usual attention.
"Hey crew!" she smiled, sitting down. She smelled of her Usher for women perfume , as she sat next to Angie. She looked around at the half empty glasses. "Well, we might as well all get outta here when ya'll finish those drinks. I can drink for free at your house, Ang", she laughed.
One of the employees of the Halo walked by. She was very hard in appearance. A white woman, in her mid twenties or early thirties, with coal black hair, and pale skin. The contrast of her hair and skin color made her look like she was Emo. She wore a very spiky hair cut, and the men version of the Halo’s uniforms.
“I think that chic is a straight lesbo. And she‘s always staring at our table when we come here.” Angie said, looking in her direction.
Everyone at the table stole a quick glance at her, including, Daphne, who’s glance was more of an x-ray. She practically undressed the woman with her eyes, from head to toe.
“It doesn’t make a difference does it?” Karla asked Angie.
“Not really. I’m just saying. She is like always staring at our table. I think she likes one of us,” Angie started giggling.
“Yeah right,” Karla chuckled and sipped her cranberry juice.
“Uh, hello, Miss Daphne. Over here!” Roni said, noticing the way Daphne was looking at the woman
“What’s up?” Daphne asked Roni.
“Nothin, I was just tryna break your trance. You know it’s rude to stare, and you do it quite a bit,” she smiled slowly. Daphne ignored her comment.
"But anyway, lemme tell you, girl, about this moochin' ass Jarin," she deliberately switched the subject.
Karla excused herself to the ladies room and Angie followed. It was going to be a long night. The knowing expression on Daphne's face was just the beginning. Roni was about to do her whining. It had been a ritual for the last two years with the girls going to the Halo once a month and having an all night ladies night at
Angie's house, whenever it was convenient for everyone. Sometimes only two or three made it, but it was a time for them to bond and share their stories about none other than the single life.
Ladies Nite # 1
"Nobody feels like listening to that Neo-Soul shit tonite, Karla", Roni laughed.
"That's because you have no taste in music", Karla retorted, putting her Ledisi CD into the player.
"That's Ledisi, I like her", Daphne opened some paper plates.
"Whatever! Can I hear some Neyo or some Bobby V up in here!" Roni shouted on her way into Angie's kitchen.
"That's just what we don’t need! Nobody wants to hear those love songs and empty promises", Karla said. Roni shook her head and headed for the crockpot of meatballs.
"Girl, I didn't know you got a new color in here, it's beautiful!" Roni called to Angie, who was looking through her DVDs for something to watch.
"Yea, I think it's called Salsa, Roni. I got bored with the eggshell color that was here when I bought the house."
"I love it. It's rich and bold", she stuffed a meatball into her mouth.
Daphne walked out of the living room to take a personal call on her cell phone, while the other ladies sat around with small plates of everything except Karla's veggie egg rolls.
"Okay, so what are we watching?" Karla asked Angie.
"Well, it's a toss up. We can do What's love got to do with it, Waiting to Exhale, or -" Angie started.
"What is up with you guys? First, Roni wants to listen to Neyo, and now you want to watch some sad ass single lady movie", Karla frowned childishly.
"Fine! I mean, I do have more movies, damn! I have A black woman's guide to getting married, which is actually very funny. It's not so serious, you know? Or we can watch my man, Mark Wahlberg all night. You know, I just love the movie Fear, and I can't watch the part with him and that chic on the rollercoaster enough! " she laughed.
"Oh, hell no! Let's just do the Guide to getting married, then", Karla was laughing. Roni rolled her round eyes.
Halfway through the movie, Angie brought out strawberry-lime daiquiri's to her bored group of friends.
"Yo, let's do something else", Daphne yawned.
"Amen!" Roni laughed.
"I like my movie! You guys complain so damn much!" Angie continued to hand out her homemade daiquiris, when her cell phone rang for the fourth time. "Roni, stop the movie, we'll just have girl talk and maybe play some cards, but I gotta take this call. It's Brandon- finally."
She grabbed her phone and walked across her pewter Solutia carpet, past her curio of collected crystal figurines, to her Southwestern style bedroom.
"Hey, you", she grinned from ear to ear. "Yeah, it's ladies night. The girls are here. What do you mean? Why not? Well, I guess so. Sure. Okay. Bye,” she sighed with disappointment, because he'd told her he couldn't keep their planned dinner date. Roni, Karla, and Daphne were already seated in front of the home theater system, debating, when Angie tiptoed back into the living room.
"But what I'm saying is, why are so many women making themselves fall intothe threshold of desperation for men these days? We have so many stepping stones and opportunities to allow us to be independent enough to take care of ourselves." Karla was sitting with her legs indian style, with her daiquiri on the table beside her. "Angie, it smells like alcohol is in my daiquiri." she said.
"I don't think I put alcohol in yours, Karla. Give it to me, I'll make you one without."
"First of all, just because we want good men and make ourselves available to good men doesn't make us desperate! Aint that right, Daphne?" Roni yelled.
"I am not about to get into you and Karla's usual debates, " Daphne avoided the subject. She was thinking about her lover, Jas.
Jas was average height with an athletic frame, short hair cut, Dolce and
Gabana glasses with wine colored frames, that looked wonderful on her creamy light caramel skin. She was a hair stylist slash makeup artist that she'd met her at a hair show in Miami the previous summer.
The conversation in the room was not intriguing her as much as the details of her first kiss with Jas. Daphne loved her life, but kept it pretty much private. Her best friends in the whole wide world didn't know that their homegirl was a lesbian. She wasn't ashamed of it, but didn't want to come out just yet. She really didn't know what they thought of lesbians, and planned to get all of their opinions separately. She knew not to bring the topic up around them all together and get double teamed. She knew Karla would be politically correct about it and Roni would probably exaggerate on how "socially" unacceptable it was or how nasty it was to her. Angie would probably be the only one who wouldn't give a damn one way or another. She laughed internally as she thought about Angie asking her one question..: "Is this lesbian you're dating rich or come from a rich family?" Her daydreaming state was broken with the hammering volume of Roni's loud mouth.
"I don’t give a damn about being a big girl! I'm a BBW. In case you're confused, that is a BIG, BEAUTIFUL, ASS, WOMAN ! Shit, a lot of men love women my size, but-"
"Uh, Roni, that would be a BBAW, then," Angie threw in her two cents.
"Huh?" Roni looked puzzled.
"You said, and I do quote, a BIG, BEAUTIFUL, ASS WOMAN!", she giggled.
"Well, you know what I meant," Roni said.
"Roni, you took me the wrong way. I was not saying your weight is an issue, sista. You are a beautiful woman. You know that. I'm saying for you not to let anythingmake you fall victim to the abuse of these no good men."
"You know, if I didn't know any better, Karla, I would think you were a little on the funny side. So, spill it. You like a lil coochie, huh? " Roni joked and poked Karla in the stomach.
"Ha! Like you said, if you didn’t know any better! Well, obviously you do know better cuz aint no funny bones here."
"And there it is right there." Daphne said internally. "Hey you guys lets all just play cards or something. I'm tired of talking about all this men crap."
"This happens every month when we get together, Daph. You know we all talk about our issues and men! You just never say anything." Roni laughed.
"Yeah, Roni is right Daphne. You never say anything about anything", Angie chimed in.
"That's cuz my mind is not focused on that crap continuously. I get chased by enough men to believe I'm a fuckin celebrity. I see it all, you guys. After the salon and trying to help my poor, dying brother out, I'm drained and I don’t wanna talk about all negativity with my friends all time. I mean, damn! I wanna see smiles on your faces sometimes and hear some happy fuckin endings! You guys, we are all successful, beautiful ass women and all we can do is sit here every other week and cry about this and that!
Whatever happened to appreciating life and just living it?! she started to cry.
"I'm sorry Daph", Roni ran to comfort her.
She started to sob loudly and everybody crowded around her asking what was wrong.
"Denise is dying. He's been full blown now for years, but he's getting really sick."
"Oh, baby I'm so sorry. If there's anything I can do, you know I'm on it, " Karla hugged her tight.
"Me too, sis", Roni said, with tears welling up in her eyes.
"I'm okay guys. I'm okay. I knew one day he wouldbecause he's been sick since he was around twenty two. He was doing drugs and living life in the fast lane. I'm good, though ya’ll." Angie gave her a Kleenex to wipe her running mascara. "Fuck this. Let's finish them daiquiri's and bring thatdamn tequila in here, too", she laughed. "I feel like getting fucked up!"
"That's what I'm talkin about!" Roni agreed.
Everyone parted ways the next afternoon, after their mild hangovers subsided. Karla had been the only sober one.
She shook her head when everyone raided Angie's medicine cabinet for Aleve, Motrin, or whatever was there to relieve their symptoms of a classic hangover.