Call it the death of “me” or the “depth of me.”
His presumptuousness was sexy.
His evasiveness was a turn-on.
Before you knew it, he would leave you with no choice-but his way-before you even realized it.
I had never met a guy like that before-one that had such a non-commanding presence yet, such a presumptuous way about him. I knew he couldn’t have been from our town-they just weren’t cut like that here. And after some time, let me tell it-God must had broken the mold when He cut him from that different cloth that I was sure he was cut from. And he cut me deep and had me to the point where I was ready to meet his Maker even before his Maker had plans on meeting me.
Malachi was his name. No. Not like “Myle-li-ky” it was: Ma-lah-chee.”
He was awkwardly and abnormally tall but there was nothing awkward about his body and the way he carried it and himself. He had the height of a ball-player, the good looks of a model but a rock-star personality (subtly so). The whole town knew him and treated him as such, yet, I had never seen him one day in my life, nor had I ever heard tale of his name-or his many tales that I had grown to live with and deal with.
I kept the keys to my friend’s office complex, and on early Friday mornings, I would stop by to do some work for him to help get him caught up from the week. While there, at the office next door, Malachi was relaxing and hanging back on the black leather couch in an area adjacent from some other guys. When I walked past the door to get to the little office I was working out of, I saw Malachi sit erect on the couch and fold his hands as if he was about to say something-I didn’t give him time to-I headed straight to my office, pulled the door in some, took a seat and proceeded to get back on the computer. A couple minutes later, I saw this tall handsome face in the glass, using his index and middle fingers to peck at the glass to ask my permission to step in.
“Hello,” I said to him.
He stepped inside.
“Hello, Miss Lady-how are you? My name is Malachi and I-I couldn’t help but notice you walk past the office next door. I would be remised and not be able to sleep tonight if I didn’t stop in here to find out what your name was,” he smiled, while holding onto his chest.
I squinted my eyes and stared at him as if-all at once-I was going to: laugh, giggle, smile and tell him that I was about to call security. Within that time, he was walking towards the desk where I sat. I held out my hand to shake his:
“I’m Angie,” I giggled-only.
“Nice name: ‘Malachi,’ is that your real name?” I asked.
“Everything about me is real-down to my name Angie,” he replied.
He proceeded to tell me that he was here on business with some guys next door who too, were from town, but flying to New York on business with him. He sat there smiling and flashing those pretty teeth and lips-asking me a ton of questions as if I was there to be interviewed by him-I was doing the same to same to him, while multi-tasking.
Just as he was about to continue to pour on his charm, we were interrupted by two good-looking guys rushing to the office doorway to tell Malachi that the driver was outside blowing. Malachi replied: “Go ahead. I will catch up with you guys by tomorrow evening. Y’all can get everything up, running and going until I touch down tomorrow-in a day or so, can’t you?”
The guys looked stunned-but afraid to question it or doubt that they could.
Two more guys came rushing towards the door with rolling luggage and shoulder bags on their arms; running into the two that were already standing at my office doorway. They all looked as if they had all run into a brick wall. They did: Malachi.
He turned towards all of them and introduced me:
“Hey guys, meet Angie-my new friend. She’s beautiful isn’t she? I was just getting to know her, and well-I’m not going anywhere right now,” he said matter-of-factly.
I sat there with my eyes stretched wide-open as if I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.
“Hello Angie,” they all spoke in unison, like obedient choir boys.
“Hello,” I waved.
“You guys look so nice and fresh. Nice haircuts. Awesome,” I complimented.
“Where’s the driver?” he asked.
“It’s out front,” replied one of the four handsome guys.
“Well, you all know where we were scheduled to check in. It can still go on without me today. Nothing major’s going on until the tomorrow or the next day or so. Just keep your phones on you and I will buzz you when I touch down tomorrow-perhaps,” he replied.
“Here’s something to hold y’all over until I get there-enjoy yourselves until then,” he replied-handing one guy the wad of money that turned his back to me to count out and divide with his fingers and his mind.
All their faces relaxed. They grabbed their luggage and shoulder bags then prepared to head out. Malachi slapped hands and shoulder-hugged each guy as they rushed to get to the cab and to catch their flight.
When the office doorway cleared and the commotion died down, I wondered what in the hell was Malachi going to do and where he was going to go. He had the nerve of steel.
I proceeded to type onto the computer while pretending to ignore the fact that this man was still standing there, in this office alone with me without the safe sounds of the commotion that was just next door.
I then grabbed my legal pad and began to place the calls to check on some orders that my friend asked me to check on as well.
He made himself comfortable on the couch adjacent from the desk where I sat; staring as if he had a million thoughts running through his head about what he had up his sleeve next.
I broke eye-contact with him as I took notes and places several calls back to back.
When I got off my last call, I had to ask him just what he was going to do with himself. Because I knew that he wasn’t from town and was here on business:
“So um, where are you going and when you are going Malachi? Your crew just-peeled out on you to head miles away,” I said.
He looked past as if I merely asked him to hand me a pencil.
“You sound so professional,” he complimented.
“Oh, thank you,” I replied.
I smiled at him with my brows up as if I was waiting on him to answer my question still.
He held his cell phone up to his chest and had a look on his face as if he forgot who he was about to call.
With a soft smile, I interjected to help him out: “So were you about to call for someone to come pick you up or? You didn’t drive right?”
“No, I actually didn’t drive. One of the guys’ girlfriends brought them all here to meet me because I had business next door to tend to. I’ve been here since I arrived in town and they met me. But, I would like to hang out with you today-to see what your day is like if you don’t mind,” said this smooth operator.
I pretended to ignore his question while entering the rest of the information I needed to enter into the computer.
“Um, we’ve talked about so much about ourselves and who we had in common and all, but I would like to know if you are spoken for-if you don’t mind my asking.” He asked.
“Fine time to ask,” I replied and giggled.
“No, I was hoping to impress you enough in conversation that even if you did-you would as least lie for the day even, just so I could hang out with you. I just want to roll with you for the day. I just feel that way. I hope I’m not invading your space,” he offered.
“No, I’m okay,” I replied. “So, how were you going to get around-get from here after your guys left. I mean…” I looked at him as if to say: “who says I was just going to agree to put you in my car and ride with me.”
“Oh, I can get around while I’m here. Trust me. That’s never a problem. I can hang with whomever I choose to-but I want to hang out with you,” he pointed.
“I mean, I’m not weird or anything. I know your brother and we know quite a few other people in common-they can all tell you-I’m a cool dude,” he laughed.
“Well, to answer your question-I do not have anyone that I am seeing exclusively. I date and have a couple guy friends is all,” I replied.
“I’m shocked. Someone as pretty as you, why don’t you have a boyfriend, you have such pretty teeth, a pretty smile. I love your smile. It’s magnetic,” he said-seriously.
I blushed and looked back at him-observing his perfect shoes, perfected good-looks, freshly manicured nails, crisp t-shirt, brand named expensive jeans with a masculine studded belt that I could tell cost every bit of a thousand dollars-at least.
Still, he didn’t feel perfect and complete. He kept complaining about his hair needing to be cut. Finally, he asked: “Do you mind taking me to the barber shop so I can get my hair cut?”
“I thought this was my day-you were rolling with me today!” I joked.
“Well, just liked you got left and ended up stuck here with me-you left me with no choice then, so, I guess I have no other choice now too-eh?”
He burst into laughter.
“Sure, I can do that,” I huffed and replied-as if I was in the middle of more of a hard days work.
He laughed aloud.
“I like you-a lot. I’m looking forward to hanging out with you. Something about you in the first few minutes made me not want to leave,” he said-sweetly.
“Oh, that was a sweet thing to say,” I replied.
We ended up having a cool day. When he got his hair cut, he looked as perfect from his head to his perfect nails: t-shirt, shoes and jeans-being held up by the thousand-dollar belt.
We then we stopped to eat at my favorite restaurant. He was so smooth-and interested. He ordered himself a lot of food but was so interested in listening to me-that he slid his plate away from the table while he sat and watched me laugh and talk.
“Why aren’t you eating?” I asked him.
“Because I love your conversation and I like to watch you if you don’t mind,” he said-seriously.
“…And you talk funny-but it’s cute,” he laughed.
“I can’t tell if it’s an accent, the way you just-talk or if it’s my accent clouding my decision on how you talk,” he said.
I frowned at him. This guy was a smooth one-I could tell.
“Again,” I gasped-”you leave me no choice,” I laughed and shook my head.
He laughed with me and kept staring at the light shining down on my hair and face.
He just kept watching and watching and watching…then he ate, while watching me-still, as if his chin had the eyes that watched the food that he cut and methodically placed into his mouth.
When we got done eating, he asked if I would take him to the bank.
I laughed again.
We had learned so much about one another up to that point that we were about ready to finish one another’s sentences and near reading each other’s minds, so, he already knew what was in my mind as I held out both of my hands and shook my head really fast: “Sure. Again-you leave me with no choice.”
With that in mind-both our minds-we both laughed.
Though all for me, from the moment I watched him make that spontaneous change of plans-about so much as heading out of town on business and working it around what he wanted and around his time; up through this very moment in the day already, I could tell that he was the type of guy who took the kind liberties with people (and in life-period), that you just had to “work around” and “deal with” if he was going to deal with you in any way. Take it or leave it, or him-you. I could tell that was how he was. No matter how interested or invested he was in any thing, he had a very flat and indifferent way of exhibiting his lead. So much so that if you had a complaint about it, he could stonewall you-effortlessly, so, it would not be up for argument or for you to defend. No matter his offense. So far, the only “argument” (to myself) I could have about it was if that was just his “way” (less his money) I could respect it. But if that was his way because of his money, and I didn’t grow to respect him I would not accept it-or him.
Everything he did and said was like some unspoken mental habit.
He was involved, flattering, generous and interested: so much so that even up to this moment he left me with no choice-but his way.
Though: “Sure. Again, you leave me no choice,” was my new joke-about as new as we were to one another-I could tell that it really was no joke. And neither was he.
I’m thinking that he is what it was, and he is what it is.
He was the business.
But exactly what his business was-he never stated that.
I noticed that too-right along with my scanning his perfect hair, skin and nails, his perfect t-shirt, his perfect shoes and his perfect jeans being held up by that perfect thousand-dollar studded belt.
Whoa boy. What have I gotten myself into?
I think I should be looking at the front door but he did nothing outside of being himself-that I should reach for the knob just yet but he sure as hell made me want to, when while on this excursion of hanging “with me” for the day, he had me take him to the bank on the strip. Having no other choice-it turned out that I ended up “hanging with him” because while there, Malachi literally had me outside waiting on him for a little over an hour-in the blazing hot sun.
At first I thought I was being punked or that he surely went in to rob that bank. Yeah, that was it-I thought to myself. But then reality set in and I thought about how I had even seen movies where bank robberies had taken less time than that. And from my view-there were no police and swat assuming the position with guns drawn yet, no news cameras-but where was he? I asked while wiping the sweat from my brow in between turning the car and air off and on.
By the time he returned, it had been on the “on” and air position-so he got the luxury of not having to wipe his brow when he returned. I just looked him up and down while secretly wondering what he did with the canvas bag. I said to him: “Malachi-again-you leave me with no choice. And well, out in the hot sun this time.”
He looked at me and simply replied, nonchalantly: “I’m sorry.”
I kept staring at him with my eyes blinking really fast-he shrugged his shoulders and smiled at me if he merely walked into the bank and came out in the normal five or ten minutes time.
“I had to do some wire transfers to a partner” he said, with his head turned away this time-with an almost contemplative look turned serious on his face-as if to say that was all he was going to explain and I had better not probe for more an apology or explanation than what he had given.
You couldn’t argue with him-I could tell. He wouldn’t allow it. His body and his presence were not going to give way or room for it. But somehow, someway-I had to exert myself in order to take over the rest of this day that he was merely supposed to ride shotgun on while observing what I would be doing for the rest of the hours in it. The fact that he was stuffing money in my hand at each errand we ran for him; had worn thin. It wasn’t about the “hanging out with me” turned cabbie-it was how he just appeared into my day and took the wheel without even taking the wheel.
I deviated from my whole day.
“This couldn’t be good,” I said to myself.
“We have to pump the brakes for a minute, because I need to make a stop somewhere to oversee something,” I said to him.
I made a B-line over to Lucky’s summer camp to check on things and have the bus ride home routed to my mother’s house for pickup. Lucky was in a wild and playful mood and happy to be going to Gran’s house-so that put me in a better mood.
I got the rest of my errands run and business taken care of while in between, Malachi had a few Western Union and Money Gram stops to make-I guess to send off all that money that I was still a little convinced that he robbed from that now, poor bank on the strip.
With my mood lighter, business handled and errands run, I was now ready to laugh and talk more about what his dealings with Twin could possibly be and why he was so connected to the city, though not from the city.
“I actually moved my dad and sister up here after my mom passed. My dad’s family moved here some years ago, so, he felt right at home here. I’m not really close to them like he is-but, he’s happy here-so, I’m good with that,” he explained.
I knew that he must do something that generated a lot of money, but it was hard to figure it out. He had the height of a ball player, the good looks of a print-ad model, but was far from the look of a drug-dealer. Outside of the one highly expensive diamond watch that he wore-that I could tell cost ten-times as much as his belt; he didn’t have on one other accessory. No gaudy pinky ring, no gaudy necklaces, no earrings-nothing. He still had all his teeth and it merely looked like he cared for them and had gotten them whitened a time or two.
Throughout our excursion, I could tell that he was well-connected in the city, but it baffled me that I had never heard of him before-especially with that unusual name.
Though my stomping ground wasn’t in the streets, since my innocent years, I still remained friends with some of the girls I grew up with whose life took on a different direction-and they were street girls. They kept their ears and business to everything-street. It seemed like I would have heard his unusual name at least a time or two-if the streets were indeed his stomping ground-as well.
Was he some kind of loan-shark? His manner and “way” told me that he could be.
A professional hit-man perhaps? His manner and “way” told me that he could very well-be. I looked at his non-obvious but expensive style and I could clearly see him wearing an Uzi as an occasional accessory-easily.
The questions plagued my mind.
I did not want to insult him by asking if he were a has-been of some former public life, nor did I want to ask him something that he could very well had been prepared to give me an answer for-that I didn’t want to hear or know.
So instead I asked him to state his business with Twin and to explain how he knew him so well.
“Twin and I have known each other for years-many years. He rolls with some dudes in business, and he put me on to them,” he said-still leaving me with nothing solid.
That had to have been the most camouflaged answers to a question I had never heard in my life. I took a deep sigh and began to giggle.
“What’s so funny?” he laughed back at me and moved his back toward the car door to look at me.
“Nothing” I replied-and giggled.
“Okay-this is starting to look weird, I know. But I never knew. It all dawned on me during this whole time I have been spending with you,” he confessed.
I was clueless as to what he just said was all about but hell, I was ready to play right along with it to see what I was about to get up out of this man of steel.
I replied, playing along-like I knew what he was talking about:
“Man, you are a trip!”
“Okay, let me explain something. When I first saw you my mouth dropped. I was stunned,” he said.
But, I already remembered him saying something to that effect earlier when we were in the office, but this sounded different. I decided to adlib a few giggles to get him to talk more-because he seemed embarrassed about something.
I shook my head back and forth-as if to say: “shame on you.”
“Okay, I saw you then-but I swear, I swear it didn’t dawn on me that “you” were “her” that day,” he confessed.
I was really confused at this point, but this sounded juicy and I needed for him to finish confessing something that sounded like I needed to know. I figured the best way to get it all out of him was to laugh, shake my head back and fourth, giggle, and do anything but say no words until this cat was out of the bag.
I pulled over and placed my hands upon my forehead and shook my head back and forth and laughed. It was working. He went for it. He lost all his cool.
“See, that day, I was in town and your brother, me and another dude that is close with your brother, had a meeting up at the sports bar that afternoon. We were wrapping up to leave and your brother had stepped out the back door of the restaurant and when he opened the door, she was standing right there-right in my view-and my heart almost stopped. So me and my friend-who is also friends with your brother-had stepped outside ‘cause I wanted to see if I was seeing right. So I asked John-our mutual friend: ‘Who is that!?’ John then told me that was the girl’s brother-his twin. You…” he gasped.
Throughout his whole explanation I was really clueless and kept my fingers over my forehead but my hand blocked my face while shaking my head back and forth-giggling. I had no idea what he was talking about until he got to the part about “twin,” and that’s when I knew that he was talking about me. I was “she,” I was “the girl,” I was the sister-the “twin,” who did indeed meet my brother slash Twin at the back of the restaurant to give him some paperwork-something I had typed up for him. That all had come together for me, yet it all wasn’t coming together plus adding up, so I listened on while he continued:
“I was standing there at the top of the steps and you and your brother were right at the bottom, about twenty steps down from me,” he said.
I totally didn’t look up the steps for any length of time but I did remember meeting my brother in back of the restaurant and that there were some other people atop the steps-talking to one another. I did not think they were with Twin-so I paid no attention to them. I replied:
“Yeah I remember that day-it was about a week or two ago up at Maloney’s meeting my brother out back-but I didn’t pay y’all any mind or look to see who he was with.”
“It didn’t look like you did-but boy when I saw you Angie I was like ‘oh my God, where is she from?’ I had never seen you here. And I’m here a lot. I get around the city a lot. I even club here-sometimes but I had never seen you in my life. I wanted to meet you so bad. I can’t lie-for the next couple of weeks I was trying to hang closely to your brother because I wanted to meet you. Part of the reason I even decided to work on his venture was so that one day I could meet your fine ass. I couldn’t help it,” he confessed.
It still wasn’t adding up. Twin had no connection to my friend’s office, where I would do some work on Friday’s, so I was clueless as to how Malachi could have found me there.
“So how did you wind up at the office complex-my brother has no connection to anybody or any business there,” I said-looking at him as if he was starting to spook me.
“That is the crazy part. I don’t know. Twin had nothing to do with my business that I was doing over at that complex-it just ‘happened.’ All I know was that I saw this fine ass girl walk pass-and I said to myself: ‘Damn she is fine. I know I saw that particular booty somewhere before!’ “ he joked.
That broke the ice as well as the spook-totally catching me off-guard.
“Angie-that was purely coincidental-I swear it was. When I walked up to you at the office-I had no idea that “you” were “that girl” from the back of the restaurant that day. But to be honest-by the time I kept staring at you and watching you get up to go the fax machine and walking around, I put it together while I was watching you talk on the phone. That is when I knew for sure that you were that I feel in love with at first sight,” he laughed.
I listened, intently.
“When we walked out to your car-I totally put two and two together because I remembered your car being parked sideways at the back of the restaurant down by where you were talking to Twin. And when we got into the car after leaving the office, my motherfucking ass exhaled-I can’t lie,” he laughed aloud.
I laughed and shook my head some more, this time without my hands covering my face, but rather, looking at him and twisting my lips while laughing with him.
“Angie please believe me, this is the most awkward coincidence I have ever experienced in my enter life. I wanted to step to you that day but John was like: ‘Nah, he’s very over protective of his sister,’ so when he said that, I asked John where you hung out at. He said that you didn’t hang out anywhere, so I told John that it was a must that I run into you somewhere. So, after that-it was a for sure go-me helping your brother out with the venture, because I wasn’t going to rest until I met you, again,” he said-seriously.
“So what about all this: ‘I like you-a lot/looking forward to hanging out with you/something about you in the first few minutes made me not want to leave,’ stuff you said-when you already knew who I was, and you had already put “two and two” together?”
“That’s just it. I did like you a lot. I was looking forward to hanging out with you. There was something about you in those first few minutes that made me not want to leave-back at the office. It helped it even more when in my mind, I remembered that the girl from the back of the restaurant that day, happened to be that girl that I couldn’t get off my mind for two weeks. “She” just so happened to be sitting right in front of me-all by design I guess,” he confessed.
I got quiet. It was a dead silence in the car. I reached to turn the radio down and looked over at him with a serious face:
“So you mean to tell me that I have been hanging out with a methodical-assed stalker?! Help! Help!” I yelled out the window-laughing my ass off.
His eyes got big while he was laughing:
“No. No. Please believe me-everything I said was the truth. Exactly how everything happened-in that order. I swear. I swear Angie. This is all coincidence!” he asserted-sounding like he wanted to make himself very clear, believed and trusted.
I gave him a look of a “maybe” kind of approval.
He replied romantically: “It was love at first sight, then this coincidence. You ever think that maybe you were just supposed to meet me?”
“Maybe so, this is some kinda different-I tell ya. But I believe you. I believe certain things are kismet-maybe we just are-for some reason. Now I would love it if God would give me the reason why though…”
He smiled and stared into my eyes-looking hopeful.
“I’m glad we got all of that out and in the open and that it all came out in the open this way-it does seem weird. ‘Cause my heart bounced at the girl back at the back of the restaurant the same way it bounced for the girl who walked past the door at the office complex and now here that girl is-you,” he said-romantically.
I switched gears.
I looked at him lightly and ran my fingers over his freshly cut thick hair then touched his perfectly blade-shaven face:
“I was just thinking. That guy at the barber shop did a number on you. You needed it! You went in rugged and came out precise!”
I laughed aloud. His face turned beet-red. He laughed with me but looked at me with a shocked look on his face at the same time.
“Did I look that bad? I never go more than seven days without a haircut and my face trimmed-ever. I didn’t think I looked that bad!” he replied.
“No. You have very nice hair and gorgeous facial hair-so you can look rugged or freshly cut and could play the look off well. I was just playing-you looked really good before the barber. But you looked perfect-after words,” I said.
He took a deep sigh of relief.
I was winning.
I needed this moment.
I needed to turn the tables somewhat, to give myself some leverage in this-so as to not feel like so much a pushover to this man that I could tell was used to having his way-all the hours of the day.
“Yeah, I noticed that when I complimented the guys at the office-on their haircuts, you player-hated on them and interrupted me. I saw it all unfold. Don’t think I didn’t catch that,” I giggled and twisted my lips.
“Ah man! Are you serious! I did not hate on them!” he laughed-in ways that I could tell that he would never dare allow a girl make him do. All of his “cool” was in the palm of my hands at this point.
I replied jokingly:
“Admit it. You only wanted to hang out with me today so that I could see what you look like with a fresh haircut and shave too-like your guys at the office-didn’t you?”
I used my index and middle finger to move them back and forth from my face to his-repeatedly: “We’re like this now.”
He laughed uncontrollably.
I patted his back then began tapping my index finger to my ear while listening to him laugh like a high-school boy.
“You can tell me…”
He laughed so hard. His “cool” was so in the palm of my hands.
“That was one of the first things you did-you got a haircut and face trim! I saw it all. I was in here,” I laughed-while tapping my index finger onto my temple-listening to him giggle his ass off.
“You are crazy Angie!” this is tripping me out, man. I’m at a loss for words!” he kept laughing uncontrollably.
This was fun and it had been a screaming rollercoaster and concerto of a day.
I broke his laugh as if I was the conductor in the pit:
“Well,” I slapped my thigh:
“I need to wrap our day up-you have worn me out. I feel like I have been around the world in a day with you. I’m way too relaxed and slap happy now. And so are you. You are losing your swag!” I laughed and giggled.
“Huh!” he looked at me-taken aback.
“I’m just kidding. Again! Geez! Pardon my humor-it sounds serious sometimes,” I replied.
“It’s not. I’m really enjoying this. I had a great time with you-I really did,” I said.
“I really had the best time with you today. I have never have spent-like-a whole day with a woman who made me not want to leave, or you spend time with her while thinking of a thousand other things I could and would rather be doing-you know?” he confessed.
“Wow, that’s the sweetest thing-thanks,” I blushed.
“Ohhh,” he whined and pouted.
His “cool” and a part of his: never-beat-like-this-before-heart…still in the palm of my hand.
“I know a lot of this day was spent around with me woven in between-I apologize. And if it’s not too much, I would like to know if you would name the date-anything, anywhere-tonight. I would love to spend more time with you-I really would. I hate for this day to end, and in the next few days or so-I have some important things to get back to and…” he sighed.
“…And, it’s my fault that you sent your business away to start without you, so now I owe it to you to finish spending the day with you, only after, you took care of all the business of yours-while redirecting mine! Oh I get it!” I laughed condescendingly, while shaking my head-looking at him.
He was cute-for a second and one second only: he poked his bottom lip out and rolled his head to the side as if he was my favorite puppy.
Raise up off the clutch.
In an instant, he straightened up from toe to head, from inside to out.
He took the wheel.
He refused to take his swagger down any more notches after all this. It was as if a little devil on his shoulder stabbed him in the shoulder and made him straighten up-blowing fire on his “cool” that seemed to evaporate from my hands-just like that.
He put it in first:
“I mean it. And I will not take ‘no’ for an answer,” he asserted-sitting back as if he was in the middle of some kind of deal that he was all to used to making-having pushed upon the table; some kind of offer that could not be refused, never been refused and dared not be refused.
I paused for a moment, wanting to take a rein check on this offer, not only because of the fact that I had already been with him all day. But in a regular situation with a “regular” guy, who lived in this “regular” town as me, I first of all-would not have allowed him to consume my entire day after meeting him so soon, and I definitely would not have taken him up on a date soon thereafter. In the middle of my pause-I had a lot to consider-with this hopeful, gorgeous, sexy, mysterious and busy man sitting to the left of me-waiting for an answer: right now, about: tonight.
I liked him a lot and was having such a good time with him that it was only natural for me to immediately say “yes” to him. But the girl in me, who had already ascertained the fact that it was obvious he was used to getting his way, wanted to offer him that rein check and make him do what he probably was not ever used to: hurry up and wait. He had the money, he had the freedom of choice to travel where and when-if I was worth all those things he said I was to him and how I made him feel; then that same hunger should send him packing and off to the next chick in the city the give him his way, and come back for the prize when he touched back down in town.
It was really a big dilemma for me-because I wanted him to still like me, but at the same time, I didn’t want to be so available to him-because I knew he was all too used to that.
But when that little voice in my head looked at that little devil on his shoulder, I gave into the excuse called: “momentum,” and allowed myself to give in to this day as it had taken off and had been going because something told me that if I did not-once I was out of his sight-I would be out of his mind, too, and I didn’t want to gamble with that. So my final answer: “Sure Malachi-sure-no problem.”
“Awesome. What time Angie?” he replied-keeping his cool.
“Whatever time. I need a couple of hours though-at least,” I replied.
“How about a nice dinner and a movie? Shit it’s your choice-whatever you want to do-wherever you want to go,” he offered.
“Dinner and a movie is good-something light and chill-we need that,” I giggled shyly.
“Awesome. How ‘bout 7:30-8:00?” he asked.
“Sure, that’s good Malachi,” I replied.
“Okay, well-I’ll get dropped off at your place-7:30ish and then we can take off from there,” he said.
“Um, okay,” I paused, but agreed.
“Okay, give it to me-and all your numbers,” he asked.
I paused again.
I gave it to him and dropped him off at his dad’s house and pulled off.
Immediately, my first move was to whip that phone out to call a couple of my homeboys who hustled or one of my home girls to drop Malachi’s name and get the 4-1-1 on him, but I had to rethink that-be more methodical about it. I’m not a street girl, but I know the streets about as equal as me not living the streets.
Though Malachi didn’t look like a thug, he said that he was “connected to” the streets, so that’s thug enough to me. Though he was the first street guy I had ever dated, I know the streets enough to know that because he was so connected to them, I would not want it to get back to him that I went street-fishing on him.
That could be a cross between messy, disrespectful or both-in the eyes and mind of the streets and those whose stomping ground had footprints there. At worse, right at your door-it could get you an unexpected invite with unprecedented results-depending on who you inquired about.
Who better than to call and ask than my home girl that I grew up with: Tori.
She has footprints in the streets that far outnumber the embedded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Always kept it fly and sexy from the time she’d go to bed at night until the time she last left her footprints in the cement of the streets-no matter what, no matter where. Her hair and nails stayed Ghetto Fab-Boo and shit, shined and shellacked at all times. Nail and hair salons loved to see her coming and the streets hated to see her go in to sleep at night. The streets loved her and she loved the streets.
She was a big tipper.
She always owned the latest fashions and although she was from the deepest depths of the hood; she could still pronounce and speak of and for every designer clothier and jewelry brand as if they were on her cell phone’s speed dial-breaking her door down to rush her their: not-yet-sold-in-stores’ ready-to-wears to premier out on the town.
Tori was an only child-spoiled-and always had every (material) thing most girls could only dream of, or watch television to see. Her mother and father liked to dress her to the 9’s and buy jewelry for her even as early as ages where she knew nothing about it and what to do with it, except put it in her mouth like teething rings. But she was taught to respect the diamonds at a very early age, and that they all had blood on them…
Tori was one of my “umbrella friends” from back in my innocent years. She and I had grown up together-since second grade, and though our lives took on different directions, we still remained friends over the years. She was a lil’ hustler and hustled with and for her boyfriend. All she knew was street life, street people, the club scene and all things streets. She had no choice. She grew up around: pimps, prostitutes, thieves, heroin addicts, superstars, people who served superstars, doctors, lawyers, cocaine addicts, runners and mules, killers-you name it.
When her mother and her father hustled, traveled, partied and did whatever they did, Tori was right along with them-from her mother’s womb, attached at the hip and standing right by her side. It was just “life.” Her parents felt that it was best that she see and experience it all in their care rather than not. Tori was no stranger to nothing-street. In her lifetime she’s witnessed: good and bad life, good and bad living and fast and slow deaths. So her mentality, interest, concern and area of expertise had always been “street-” that’s all she’s ever known. It was her throne and where she felt most at home. It was a lifestyle-a subculture: both, a job and a career for her.
When we were kids, she had the house that we would all hang at everyday in the summer to do all our bad: watch porn and do all kinds of ungodly things in that house of hers. Her mom and dad lived a fast lifestyle where every Friday night and/or Saturday night and/or Sunday night; there was a party at their house for the adult friends of theirs, who too, lived a very fast lifestyle. Tori would be up in her big dainty master bedroom-chillin’ or peeking down at the goings on from the top of the stairs. At her parents parties; they too, would do all kinds of ungodly things that by Monday, Tori, me, and our other friends would kindred the spirit of-Monday through Friday from the very moment that Tori’s parents were off to work; leaving me-with my responsible, mature, Queen Bee ass-in charge to check on Tori.
She would go swimming with me and tag along, following my lead for the day every summer Monday through Friday until her parents came home from work. Tori knew the rules: everything she needed to eat should be found in the refrigerator or cabinets-no stove, no ironing, no windows and no answering or picking up to use the telephone, and lastly: do not answer the door-for no one She was to never answer to anything other than my kick at her bedroom wall. And if I didn’t kick anytime of the day before five when her mom and dad returned; she would have to cop a squad in the house and watch television until then.
Our bedroom walls faced one another and whenever it was time for me to head out-be it swimming, the local store or to do or be anywhere in the neighborhood; I slide on my handy little tap shoes, place my ear and both hands to the wall and begin to kick really hard until Tori would kick back. That was only time she would be allowed to open and peek out her bedroom window, which sat next to mine. From there, we would agree on a time for her to be dressed and ready-house key around her neck-and off, we would go.
As we grew into adulthood, Tori was slick and loved to swap the 4-1-1 about all things and all people “street”-but only to and with certain people. She even had a name for her gossip: “The G’s.” The one thing about Tori though-is that as long as it wasn’t about drug sub-culture secrets, then G-swapping was “equal opportunity information” unless you ended or prefaced your conversation with the words: “keep this between us.” As long as you made that clear-your G’s with Tori was not swappable with the next man.
She knew how to act like she did not know what the hell you were talking about-easily-if you were trying to shake her down for any information that was prefaced or ended with: “keep this between us.” That was the lock and key with her. And she knew my rule: “don’t ever put me in the know about nothing I didn’t need to know. Only tell me what I asked and wanted to hear-no more-no less.” She would only share the G’s with me-whenever I put in a call to her for it. She never just-”offered” it. Or she would dish it whenever we would get together and catch up on one another’s goings on in our lives. Whether we were on the phone or in person, whenever Tori and I would get together, it would be for lengthy periods of time-because our lives were such that we didn’t get to do it that often.
Considering the time frame I was working with-in getting prepared for my date with Malachi-I had to put Tori on the back-burner for giving me the G’s on Malachi, because I still had to get over to my mom’s house to and check on she and Lucky while managing to get back to the house for a power nap, bathe, and get dressed to wait for Malachi to magically appear.
With the short time that I was working with, who better to call than Twin? I knew that if Twin knew that Malachi was connected to me in any way, he would most probably give me a report on him that was less than a desirable “fit” for me-the cutting room floor version.
But I knew that if I inquired about Malachi for someone else (that he cared for like a sis) I could get the reel-to-real: clean-cut version.
So for tonight, working with what little time I had before Malachi was to arrive, I opted for the reel-to-real, clean-cut version. I just pray to God that Malachi does not make me regret not getting Tori’s version first.
Twin and Malachi are men, and although Twin is my brother, he’s still going to keep it “G.”
Tori-she’s gonna give me the “G’s.” The real. Period.
But in the meantime and in between time, I’ll pause to get the reel-real version:
“Twin. Question. Do you know of a dude named Malachi?” I asked-the moment he picked up the phone.
“What about him?” replied Twin-sarcastically asking a question of my question.
“Nothing about him-someone asked me if I knew him and that if I didn’t, to ask if you knew of him, is all” I lied and replied.
“Who is this ‘someone’?” asked Twin.
“Nina. Nina who we grew up with-it’s cool,” I fibbed.
He paused. I could tell that he lifted his brow and dropped his shoulders.
“Malachi is one of the dudes I met with a couple weeks ago when you typed up that paper for me and brought it up to Maloney’s-in the back that day,” he offered-something I already knew.
I replied: “I really didn’t pay any attention to who you were with.”
“He’s cool. He’s a low-key dude. He’s a hustler-a businessman. I’m doing business with him right now,” he answered-something I already knew.
“Well, I guess my question is-is he trouble? Is the dude crazy? Does he have a checkered past-or what?” I asked.
“I mean, I wouldn’t want my sister hanging out with him, but he’s no trouble-for somebody else’s sister. I wouldn’t want my sister hanging out with no hustling dude or street dude-regardless of how I felt about him,” he replied.
“Well, Nina’s like a sister to us. You got love for her-so, what about her?” I asked-curiously, while applying my eyeliner and knowing that my doorbell would be ringing any minute-Malachi on the other side of the door.
“Nah, he’s cool. He wouldn’t have her into nothing crazy or anything like that. He’s very low-key and plain. He’s moves about quickly and he’s far from messy so, she’s cool,” he replied.
My doorbell rang.
“Alright Twin, let me get the door. My neighbor forgot her front door key and needed me to drop mine down,” I lied and replied.
“Alright then,” he answered back.
The funny thing about the word “hustle” and calling someone a “hustler” is that-it’s vague. It can have a negative or not so negative connation. It can be a legal hustle or it can be an illegal hustle. It’s like somebody telling you that they were merely on cocaine. Well, was it actual powder cocaine or was it rock cocaine? Whether it was power or especially if it was rock, a user is more apt to say that it was merely “cocaine”-rarely “rock” or “crack.”
A “hustler” can hustle drugs and a hustler can even hustle bibles. Anything done for profit outside of a typical nine to five job is a “hustle,” like a nine to five job is a job, a career or a job. In the streets and when talking about street-type things, everybody is covert-everything is vague. It’s never really anybody’s business what kind of “hustler” somebody is unless they hustled with or for you. Other than that-the code of the streets is to just be content with someone being called a hustler like you would about somebody telling you they worked at Citibank-unless you’ve put in enough work or were granted credit from them to know what it is they exactly hustled.
With Malachi on the other side of my doorbell, I knew that he was a hustler and for now-I’ll be content with the fact that Twin knows him and that he wouldn’t exactly have an aversion for him dating a girl that was “like a sister” to him.
Malachi was prompt and meant “businessman: meant business man.
He arrived closer to 7:30 than he did to 8:00. Something told me to just be ready at 7:30-because I could literally feel his interest all the way through me.
I asked him if I could take a rain check on the dinner because the drive-in movie that I wanted to see, started at a time that was conflicting with the dinnertime-knowing that I would most probably be sitting there with him for at least two hours watching him watching me as if he was trying to put a puzzle together. I was too busy trying to put him together at this point.
He left the evening all up to me and with that, I watched him and assessed everything-throughout our day:
- When he bought things (that I would fetch) he would turn down the change.
- When he bought and fetched his own things, he’d stuff every paper bill left over-in my change cup and unused clean ashtrays.
- He had filled up my gas tank filled up before the errands and then again before we left out that evening.
- At the drive-in, anything I asked for he bought (and fetched): extra large-oversized.
He tried very hard to impress me. Looking so funny trying to carry our drinks, popcorn and an excessive amount of goodies all back to the car-we laughed. Things like that let me know that he:
- wasn’t cheap and
- liked to do things in a big way
We lay there in the car-moon roof wide-open-our legs straddled across one another, talking about everything through the two movies that we forgot were playing on the big outdoor screen in front of us. Time passed so fast. I wondered if he had enough of me as yet, had he figured out all he needed to know-had this puzzle been put together enough for him.
Hope you enjoyed this (one time) fast forward bump and looking forward for what’s to come 🙂 ❤️ Now, back to where we last left off and will be continuing from (wherefrom I will drop the upcoming/next excerpts):
“Malachi and Tori Spilling” (from Book 3/Finale of the Angie Situation series)
“Somebody’s Got to Die” (from Book 3/Finale of the Angie Situation Series)
THE ABOVE-POSTED EXCERPTS ARE FROM THE NOT YET PUBLISHED PREQUEL / BOOK 2 (Naivete) and BOOK 3 (Sophistication) “Angie Situation” series/trilogy
BOOK 1- (already PUBLISHED and on Amazon):
TABLE of CONTENTS
- The Roots of Picked Fruit 17
- The Precocious Ripening 33
- Ripe & Ready. Gangs, Bangs & Pangs 39
- The Queen Bee in Me 63
- Another Level. Blossoming. Beautiful. 80
- TGGF, Male Model & Me 101
- TGGF & Me 112
- Divorcing Dad 124
- You Know Who 130
- First Flings First 139
- In the Lion’s Den 170
- Cold Shoulders and Frozen Dancing Feet 195
- Pills & Frills 204
- You Know What: I Told You So 209
- Dichotomies & Dazes 228
- Situations, Decisions & Transitions 241
- Up, Out & Away 244
MEET the AUTHOR Q & A 254
READING GROUP GUIDE 257
SNEAK PEEK into book2 (“Angie Situation NAIVETE’” )’s CHAPTER ONE 260
OTHER BOOKS BY ANGELA SHERICE 269
ABOUT the AUTHOR 270
Media Maestro .
Writing Rhinoceros .