Authors: Allison Hobbs
Brick left the bedroom and went downstairs. As he passed through the family room, his eyes slowly panned the area, giving his cozy home a solemn, lingering look. His jaw muscles twitched as he detached his house keys from his keychain. With deep regret, he set three silver keys on the coffee table.
Deep in his heart, Brick had always felt the immense joy he’d shared with Thomasina was something he didn’t deserve. He’d always feared that his happiness was only temporary. Now that his worst fear had come to pass, he was surprisingly calm. Though his heart was breaking, the rage he felt toward Misty’s unknown assailant kept him strong—kept his emotions intact.
When Brick threw the duffle bag in the back seat of his car, he noticed his son’s car seat. Missing his little guy already, he sighed bitterly and reached for the seat. He groaned when he remembered that his keys were inside. He placed the child seat on the front porch and raced back to his car, as if running away from the painful reminder…his son wouldn’t be riding around with his daddy for a long time.
Lured by the unbeatable cheap price, Brick approached a smudged glass door that led into the entry of a seedy hotel. The place had been recommended online as an economical lodging for tourists.
One glance at the misfits that were loitering in the lobby told Brick that these guests were not out-of-town travelers. Brick perused the hotel guests and quickly sized them up. Some were so animated, they were practically boisterous, while others mumbled to themselves, shuffling around like zombies, obviously high out of their minds.
Addicts, a couple of pimps, and a bunch of hoes.
He hadn’t been expecting the Four Seasons, but he certainly didn’t expect a gutter hole like this. Spending the night in his car would be better than staying in this rattrap.
Prepared to recline in the front seat of his car, Brick turned to leave. From the corner of his eye he spotted someone stepping off the elevator—someone that looked vaguely familiar.
Judging by the way the dude was dressed with half his ass out, his jeans hanging well below his waistline, Brick decided that the young punk had to be right out of his teens…no more than twenty or twenty-one.
Brick felt much older than his actual years. Being married to an older woman had matured him. He’d evolved from being a directionless, weed-smoking thug to becoming a responsible family man. He heaved a sigh, realizing that he could no longer consider himself as being responsible. After what he’d done, most people would consider him completely reckless.
From the time he’d put that first pill onto Misty’s tongue, he’d knowingly begun the process of unraveling everything he’d worked so hard to build.
But… What was done was done.
If he were lying up in bed paralyzed, he’d want someone to put him out of his misery. Trouble was, he’d failed Misty. She was possibly worse off than before. And that was a damn shame.
He watched the slim-sized dude as he sauntered over to the front desk and exchanged words with the clerk.
I’ve seen that skinny-ass, young bull before.
Curious, Brick crept over to the counter to eavesdrop and to get a better look.
“Yo, I can’t sleep in that room if the air ain’t working,” the dude said.
“It’ll be twenty dollars more if you want to upgrade,” said the disinterested clerk. A fitting representative of the sordid hotel, the clerk had bad teeth, a terrible case of acne, and greasy dark hair that hung in his face.
“I ain’t paying for no upgrade. It ain’t my fault that y’all shit be breaking down every other day.” The skinny bull jerked his body in aggravation.
“Take it up with management,” the clerk dryly responded.
“I’m taking it up with you, mufucka!” The dude leaned across the desk, threateningly. “I’ma boss; I call the shots!” he growled at the clerk. “I’m ’bout to black out, man. I’m two seconds from snapping, yo. Man, you don’t want it. I’m tryna tell you, if I make a call, me and my peoples will take over this bitch!”
The young chump was talking real reckless, Brick noticed. He doubted if a dude his size could survive a strong wind, let alone handle a hostile takeover. Brick chuckled to himself.
Squinting as if to sharpen his vision, Brick edged closer. He studied the angles of the young bull’s dusty, brown-skin face. He couldn’t place him, but his gut feeling told him that this loudmouth sucka had something to do with Misty.
“They be trippin’ up in this piece, man. Always tryna beat a muthafucka.” The slim dude directed his words to Brick. Brother to brother…thug to thug.
Grimacing, Brick nodded, denoting his shared disgust of the business practices of the shabby hotel.
Sensing that Brick might have second thoughts about checking into the seedy dive, the clerk dismissed the scrawny dude and offered Brick a forced smile. “Can I help you?”
“I came to inquire about weekly rates,” Brick stated gruffly.
“We only rent rooms on a daily basis.”
“What’s the daily rate?”
“Fifty-six dollars. Check-out time is noon.”
“That’ll work,” Brick replied. One night in this dump was more than enough time to figure out the connection between this loudmouth sucka and Misty.
“Did you forget about me?” the dude with the sagging jeans interrupted. “How you gon’ just ignore what I was saying? I need some muthafuckin’ air in my room, and I ain’t paying extra! My shawty is pregnant, yo. If she loses my seed, I swear to God, I’ma sue everybody. I’ma own the place!”
Unfazed by the angry rant, the clerk pointed to a box on the desk that was labeled, ‘complaint’ in hand-scrawled, black letters. “Put your grievance in writing.”
“This is bullshit. Don’t y’all got any fans or something that I can take up to my room?”
“You can try the hardware store down the street,” the clerk offered disinterestedly.
“Now I gotta text my shawty and tell her to bring some money down here. Man, y’all gon’ have to come off some serious paper if she gets sick from having to drag her pregnant ass down to this lobby.” He glared at the clerk and then pulled out a cell phone. Frowning at the screen, he began rapidly working his fingers and thumbs as he texted.
Suddenly, the hairs stood up on the back of Brick’s neck. Watching this nut bull fucking with his cell phone brought back memories. Now he knew exactly where he’d seen this dusty-looking knucklehead. He’d been playing with a cell phone when Brick had first set eyes on him.
That’s the clown that was with Misty when she came to visit Thomasina after she gave birth to Little Baron. He was Misty’s only worker. He was whining about going to Red Lobster
while Misty was working on me…determined to lure me back into the game. If memory serves, Misty called him Troy. Yeah, this nigga’s name is Troy.
Staying in a flophouse like this, Brick concluded the male prostitute was obviously going through hard times without the guidance of Misty. Brick doubted if the kid was involved in what happened to Misty. He didn’t appear to have the heart, or the paper, to put a hit out on his former pimptress. But you never know. Anyone that had been close to Misty was suspect; even this lanky fool. If nothing else, he’d be able to give Brick the names of people that had beef with Misty.
Resisting the urge to collar and bitch-slap some information out of the chump, Brick softened his expression. “Yo, cuz, I can switch rooms with you after I check in. I wouldn’t want a pregnant woman to have to suffer in this heat.”
The dude named Troy stopped texting and looked at Brick. “Good looking, man,” he said, breaking into a relieved grin.
Having difficulty holding his affable smile in place, Brick turned his back and filled out the forms that the clerk had given him. He wrote down a fictitious name and address and then slapped some cash on the counter. Without question or even asking for ID, the clerk gave Brick the key to his room.
It took forever, but I’m finally in Philly.
Evette said she was gon’ skip work and spend some time with me. I hope she realizes that I want some welcome home nookie the moment she opens the door. No polite chit-chat. She don’t need to say shit. I want her to immediately start coming out of her drawers.
I get off the El on Forty-sixth Street. I’m walking and scanning all the little side streets, looking for Ludlow, the street Evette lives on. It dawns on me that I’m not locked up anymore. I’m breathing in fresh air and feeling sunshine on my face, and there aren’t any guards around, telling me yard time is over, and to get back inside.
Pent-up rage begins to leave my body. I feel good. Excited about the future.
“Whassup. How’s it going?” I say to passersby, giving them a friendly smile. But they all give me wary looks, gazing at me all crazy because I extended a greeting.
Philadelphians are the most evil-ass, unfriendly people in the world. Fuck ’em; I’m a free man.
Evette told me that her house was left to her by her grandfather. It’s paid in full. All Evette has to worry about is keeping up with the taxes. I told her I would help with that…but we’ll see. I ain’t spending no dough until I see how things are gonna turn out between us.
I’m on her street now, and I’m getting nervous. Anxiety is making my heart beat fast. Am I actually about to get my dick wet?
Evette better not be wasting my time talking about getting me reintroduced to society. She claims that she can help me become a productive citizen. Mold me into the perfect husband. Whatever! I’m only interested in having a spot to call home, some cooked meals, and wet pussy whenever I want it.
I’m about to press down on this babe’s doorbell, but I’m feeling kind of skeptical…like I might be on camera, getting punked. I haven’t been inside a home in such a long time, all kinds of mixed emotions are jumbled up inside me.
True to her word, Evette is home. She opens the door, and smiles at me. “Look at you! Oh, my goodness, look at you, Kaymar! You’re so handsome.” She squeezes my right bicep, and then gives me a hug.
Stiffly, I tolerate her embrace. “Hey, Evette. You looking good,” I tell her, but I’m lying. I’m horrified to see that one side of her face is hanging. Her eyelid is droopy, and one side of her mouth is kind of zigzag.
I thought “visually impaired” meant that she couldn’t read small print without rocking some extra thick eye glasses, but the entire right side of her mug is impaired and sagging all crazy.
Evette’s dead wrong. Instead of taking me off-guard and springing her deformity on me, she should’ve been honest about her condition.
Now I understand why she wouldn’t send me any pictures. She figured that one look at her mug and I’d cut off the relationship.
“So, what happened to your eye…and your mouth and shit?” I ask, trying to keep the frown off my face. “What is that? A birth defect?”
Evette looks crestfallen, like she’d hoped that I wouldn’t mention
her ugly face. Sheee-it! One thing about me, I always speak my mind.
“It’s Bell’s Palsy. My doctor said it’s not a permanent condition. That’s why I didn’t tell you. I was hoping my face would be back to normal when you got out,” she says, trying to sound pitiful.
“Goddamn!” I look away in disgust. “So, lemme get something straight,” I say, standing with my arms folded across my chest. “You really can’t pick your lip up at all?”
Her good eye blinks rapidly. “No, I can’t control my facial muscles on the impaired side,” she says, shaking her head.
There’s a long awkward moment as I marinate on her words. I decide that I’m furious, and that Evette needs her ass whooped for misleading me into thinking she only had a minor problem with her vision.
But I can’t kick her ass. Not right away. I don’t want to jeopardize my parole, so I’m gon’ have to ease into backhanding this lying bitch.
Digging deep, I gather up some self-control. I force myself to look past her flaws. I focus on her good points. Like her fat ass! Umph! My dick is starting to swell. I’m ready to grab those juicy buns.
Instead of standing around feeling awkward, Evette and I should be getting better acquainted upstairs in the bedroom.
My dick is bricked up and ready for stroking. I’m feeling conflicted emotions, though. It’s crazy, but I’m feeling both disgusted and turned on by this scuggly ho. Something about her hideous disability is bringing out the freak in me—giving me real raunchy thoughts.