Copyright © 2010
All rights reserved to Botta Bing.
I thought about the plan we came up with all night. I was so anxious to see what the outcome would be. I woke up with butterflies in my stomach knowing that this was the day I was going to take my chance, and finally approach Rome.
After waking up and eating French toast with my mother I got ready to put the plan in motion. Lanett had left for the business seminar she was catering today. I knew where she kept all her customer’s information. She had asked me to file the information for her many times before.
I logged on to the computer in Lanett’s office and opened her business files. I typed in Rome and found no results. I had almost forgotten that his real name was Calvin Dowell. When I typed in Dowell, his information automatically popped up. Listed under his name were three numbers. One said home in parentheses, the other Ferren, and the other Calvin.
Of course I decided to use Rome’s cell phone number. I took a deep breath as I grabbed the phone off my mother’s desk. I couldn’t believe the risk I was about to take. It was desperate, but I just wasn’t gonna give up a chance with Rome, married or not. I had to see if I was missing out on anything.
Nervously, I began dialing the numbers. My heart beat faster every time the phone rang. Then after the fourth ring, the ringing stopped. I heard music and rustling in the background before he answered.
“Hello.” He spoke loudly over the music. I imagined he was in his studio.
“Hello Mr. Dowell. I’m calling on behalf of Lanett’s catering.” I responded in my best professional voice.
“Oh, can you hold on for a minute?” I heard him talking to people in his background telling them he was gonna step out and take this call but they should continue running the song. I heard a door open and close behind him. “Sorry about that. How can I help you?”
“Well it’s procedure at Lanett’s Catering to call our clients and give them a brief survey to ensure that they were satisfied with our services, it will only take a minute.”
“Well, I’m sort of in the middle of something. You all did a great job, the food was great, just give yourself the highest rating there is ok? I really have to get back to work now.” He said trying to rush off the phone.
I almost said ok and hung up, but I decided to go through with the plan. “Actually Mr. Dowell, there is a bit of a billing issue we came across as well. I’m Lanett’s daughter, we met at Cobo Hall. She asked me to take care of this personally. Can you meet me somewhere so that we can discuss the issues and take care of everything as soon as possible?”
“Wait a minute what did you say your name was?”
“Oh ok. I remember you. Small world huh?” He laughed a little.
I laughed too. “Sure is. So, can you meet me?” I said, changing my voice to a more personal tone.
There was a long pause. “Why can’t I just handle whatever the problem is at Lanett’s kitchen? Why do I have to meet with you?”
I paused. “Well you don’t have to. Trust me though, what I have to discuss with you can’t be handled in the kitchen.” I said revealing my real reason for calling him.
“Oh ok. Where do you want to meet?” He gave in easier than I thought.
I smiled. “How about downtown at Small Plates?”
“Ok. Be there at 3:30 sharp.”
“Ok. See you then.” Then we hung up.
It seemed unreal what had just happened. I was about to meet with Rome. I didn’t know what to think of it. It was only like 11:30, but I had to figure out what I was going to wear.
I ran upstairs to my room, picked out what I was going to wear, and then hopped in the shower. After I showered I lounged around in my towel for a minute talking to Janessa, Tamela, and Marcie on a conference call. I told them all the details about what was getting ready to happen. They were as surprised as I was that I went through with the plan and that it actually worked. They all wished the best for me before we hung up.
My phone had been alerting me of new text messages and voicemails the whole time I was on the phone. They were all from Jamel. I was still ignoring him, and he still wasn’t giving up. He was starting to get angry with me, and some of his messages were becoming disrespectful. One of his text messages read: U know what? If u was just gon play me like this that’s all u had 2 say. Fuck u. U a hoe anyway! I hope Malinda gives u what u deserve.
I wasn’t surprised. I figured that some hurtful things would be said in the process of me cutting Jamel off. It did piss me off though, and I found it funny that he thought his girlfriend was gonna hurt me or something. Although, every bone in my body was ready to call him and go the fuck off, I didn’t, because I knew that was the reaction he was probably looking for at this point. I figured his lashing out could only mean that the time was near for him to give up and leave me alone.
The time was now 1:45 and my heart was racing. I couldn’t wait to see Rome and finally tell him that I always wanted him. I wanted to tell him I didn’t care about his wife, and that I could be his getaway when he was tired of her. I was finally gonna put it all out there, I just wished I would have done it sooner. I didn’t want him to get the wrong impression.
Since I knew it would take awhile making sure everything was perfect for my meeting I began getting ready early. I picked out some khaki Bermuda shorts that really showed off all my curves, a fitted baby-blue ruffle blouse that showed lots of cleavage, and my baby-blue toe-out, satin stilettos with the dark brown heel. I put smoky brown eye shadow on my eyelids, and applied a little mascara and lip gloss. I hardly ever wore make-up, but I wanted to make sure I was perfect. I decided to wear my hair in a low side ponytail that hung over my left shoulder onto my breast. After I put on my dark wooden jewelry that my mother bought me from the African festival, and placed all my belongings in my brown leather Gucci bag I was all ready to go. Grabbing my keys and cell phone off the nightstand where my clock now read 2:50, I headed downstairs feeling like a million bucks.
Walking to my driveway, I could have sworn I saw Jamel’s car pull off from across the street, but maybe I was just imagining things. I hoped to myself that he wasn’t that crazy, then hopped in my truck and pulled off. My phone started vibrating in my lap. My Caller I.D flashed a picture of Carlo so I answered.
“Wassup baby?” I said placing the phone on speaker and leaving it in my lap.
“Oh bitch I got yo’ baby!” It was Adrienne, apparently calling me from Lo’s phone. I heard Keena crying in the background.
“Girl, don’t you hear your daughter crying? Don’t you have some motherly duties you need to tend to?”
“Don’t worry about my daughter or my motherly duties. I handle my business bitch, which is why I’m calling you now. Carlo forgot his phone, he had to make a quick run. I just knew I wasn’t gonna see yo’ stupid ass in his phone again, but guess what?”
I gasped sarcastically. “Oh God! Don’t tell me you saw me in there!” I laughed.
“Aint shit funny hoe! The only thing that’s gon’ be funny is when I beat the fuck outta you. You gon’ learn! Whether it’s the easy way, or whether I gotta show you the hard way.”
“Look…” I started to respond only to see call ended flashing on my screen. That bitch is a real piece of work. I thought to myself as I drove. I wasn’t gonna let her ruin my mood though. I changed my state of mind back to positive, thinking of how pleased Rome would be that he agreed to meet with me after he saw how good I looked right now. I wished for a kiss at the end of this meeting as I continued to fantasize about how this would play out the whole drive there. Then finally, I was there.
I parked on the street in front of the restaurant, took a deep breath, and then I got out. When I got inside, the atmosphere was quiet and relaxed as usual. I chose for us to meet here for those very reasons. It was more of a personal feel here. We would be able to be secluded and really get to know each other. I searched the room and didn’t see Rome anywhere. After the host asked how many were in my party, I informed him that I was waiting on another guest that should be arriving shortly. When I was seated I retrieved my cell phone from my purse to check the time. I was a little early. It was 3:20. I hoped this wouldn’t make me seem too eager.
About 15 minutes passed before I saw the person I had been awaiting walk through the door. Well, not exactly. The person that was there to meet me wasn’t Rome. Damn! He set me up! I thought to myself. I didn’t know what I should do. Should I hurry up and get out of here before she recognized me? Should I just be a woman and stand up to her? Shit! I don’t know what to do.
Ferren spotted me. I was the only one sitting alone. My heart began pounding as she pointed to me when the host came over to seat her. She strutted through the restaurant to the back booth where I was sitting, looking like a super model with her long hair flowing over her back and shoulders. She was wearing Chanel sunglasses, and a yellow sundress. There was no turning back at this point I had to stand up to her.
She stood over the table staring at me with her green eyes a minute before she took a seat across from me. I stared back.
“You look just like your mother.” She said. There was no sign of friendliness in her face when she spoke. I knew Rome must have told her everything. “My husband informed me that there was an issue with our bill. Where are the documents we need to look over?”
I just sat there staring at her, looking humiliated. “You know what?” I said with a fake smile. “I must have left them in the car. Let me go get them and I’ll be right back.” I had no intentions on coming back. I had begun to scoot out of the booth when Ferren reached across the table and grabbed my arm.
“Wait.” She said, while I looked at her like she had to be crazy for grabbing me like that. “I know what this is all about. Rome told me you have a thing for him.”
“Look…I’m sorry ok. Let me just be on my way.” I said getting ready to leave again.
“You’re not sorry.” She said with a smirk. “You remind me a lot of a younger me. I used to be just like you when I was your age. You know? Not giving a fuck about who a man belonged to because I knew I was the shit.”
“Hold up! You don’t know anything about me!” I said, feeling guilty of how right she was about my character.
“Look I’m just gonna get to the point ok?” She said, removing her sunglasses from her face. “I just got back from a wonderful honeymoon and I really don’t feel like making this any more complicated than it has to be. Although, I didn’t think it would be happening this soon, I don’t mind if Calvin sees other women. I know how many women want him, and I know it’s only a matter of time before he’ll give in. He’s a man; he can only take so much. The thing is though, I’m the chosen one. I’m his wife. I’m the one he comes home to every night, and the only woman he’s reaching in his pockets to give any money to. I’m the one with his last name, and when he gets tired of all you thirsty heffas, I’m the one who will still be by his side. He only sees other women that I approve of, and he has to abide by my rules. You cross me the wrong way, and anything you and my husband had going on can be considered done immediately. If you don’t end it when I say it’s done, you can consider yourself dead.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. It almost felt like I was in a nightmare or something. How could she be ok with her husband seeing other women? I had never heard anything like this before. I just sat there stunned. I didn’t know what to say, or even what I was supposed to say to something like that. This was not at all how I had imagined this meeting going.
After looking me over, Ferren interrupted my thoughts. “You’re a bit young, but I guess I approve. Congratulations Cameron, you’re Calvin’s first fling.” She said with the fakest smile I had ever seen. “These are my rules. Listen carefully, because I’m only gonna say this once. He is not to see you more than once a week, never in public, and never in our home. Don’t ever try to embarrass me or think you’re taking my place, because like I explained before I’m the head bitch in charge! He may buy you occasional gifts, but is to never pay any of your bills, tuition, rent, give you cash, or write you checks. Sex must be protected at all times, and for the duration of your little fling you must be on the pill.” She placed her sunglasses back on her face, and gathered her belongings. She started to walk away, but stopped to turn around and tell me one more thing. “Oh yea, I’m gonna need you to get tested for S.T.D’s and get the results to me before you two get started as well. Ok? We all clear?” She just shook her head yes and started walking towards the door before even allowing me to respond.
I just sat there watching her leave the restaurant, half of me still in a deep state of shock, the other half still wanting to wake up from this humiliating nightmare. I felt really small sitting there alone. What had I just gotten myself into? At least now, I knew one thing for sure. I knew that Ferren wasn’t the right one for Rome. She couldn’t really, truly love him if she was ok with him not being completely hers. This almost took the excitement out of everything. Rome and I wouldn’t be a secret kept from his wife. He wouldn’t be putting his relationship on the line because he had feelings for me. It would just be something his wife allowed him to do.
When I was ready to just forget the whole thing ever happened, I thought about how I could really use this to my advantage. If Ferren wanted to be dumb enough to allow Rome to be with other women, I was going to be the one that made her regret it. After I started spending some time with Rome, he would see how he was really supposed to be treated. I would snatch him right from under her grip. He was going to be mine. He didn’t deserve anyone who didn’t want his all, and that wasn’t going to give her all. It would get old sooner than they thought. I guessed that the confidence, or at least the confidence that Ferren thought she possessed was part of the reason Rome married her in the first place. It took a strong woman to be able to put up with something like this.
As far as I was concerned, their marriage was now on my clock. It would be a matter of time before Rome was leaving her to be with me.
I walked out of the restaurant with too much on my mind. This had been a crazy couple of weeks. There was no telling what would happen next. Whatever it was that was about to take place in my life made me feel like I was on the brink of a true learning experience. The present seemed like the most eventful period I would ever live out. A point I would never forget.
I had one foot in my car when I heard someone call my name. I turned around only to find Jamel standing across the street. What the hell? Is this nigga stalking me or something? So, that was his car in front of my house earlier.
I didn’t know what to say. I just stood there staring at him with one foot in the car and the other on the pavement.
“Just let me talk to you real quick Cameron.” He started crossing the street. He looked so hurt, like someone close to him had just passed away or something.
“Jamel, did you follow me here? Are you out of your mind?!” I said, taking my leg out of the door and slamming it behind me.
“No, the question is, are you out of your mind? Why you ain’t been answerin’ none of my calls or messages? And who the hell who you out here tryna look all good for?” The pain I saw in his eyes had turned to complete rage.
“Oh hell naw! You got me all the way fucked up! I don’t have to answer to you! It ain’t none of yo’ damn business who I’m lookin’ good for, just know it ain’t you. And, I haven’t been answering you because I’m done with you. So, have a nice life with your weak ass girlfriend because we are finished!” I said, completely angry at him for following and questioning me like I was his property. If he wanted to follow somebody, it should have been Malinda, not me.
Rage showed even deeper in his eyes. He balled his fist up as if he wanted to punch me in my face, and then he backed away. His pain had taken over again. “Look Cameron, I’m sorry. I’m sorry for following you here, and I’m sorry for everything I said. You know I love you. We can work this out. You can’t just tell me you’re done with me like that! Don’t do this to me girl.” He was pleading with me as if we were in a relationship. He was really pissing me off acting all desperate. I couldn’t stand it. It only confirmed my decision to be done with him.
“Work what out Jamel? The only person you need to be working shit out with is Malinda. We were only fuckin’, you act like it was something more. I don’t want to do this with you anymore. I’m done, and there is nothing you can say to change my mind.”
When I said that, it must have taken him completely over the edge. He gripped both of my arms and slammed me up against my car. He hurt my arms more than anything. I winced in pain, “Ouch! You’re hurting me! What the fuck is wrong with you?” He let go of me.
“I don’t mean to hurt you Cam, but you are evil. You know that right? How the fuck you gon’ stand here and tell me to work it out with my girl when you know you don’t really give a fuck about what happens with us? I don’t know what I was thinking still messing with you anyway! You ain’t nothing but a hoe, goin’ around stealing men from women because you ain’t shit and can’t keep a man for yo’ damn self. You know I really cared about you and would have never cheated on you if you weren’t so busy trying to be seen by every other nigga instead of making time for me. And you know it don’t you?!” He was talking so close to my face that our noses were almost touching. He rammed his finger into my forehead with every insult.
I smacked his hand down, just as a guy who had been watching the whole ordeal from the window of Small Plates came out in my defense. He yelled at Jamel, telling him to stop before he called the police. I used that opportunity to hurry up and hop in my truck. Jamel backed away from my truck and went back across the street towards his own car. “This ain’t over bitch! It is not over!” I heard him yelling out as I pulled off.
Tears started streaming down my face as I drove back home. I had never seen this side of Jamel, and I didn’t like what I was seeing at all. This whole day had just turned into a true nightmare. All I wanted to do was just go home, eat dinner with my mother, get some rest, and start over in the morning.