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Authors: Nika Michelle

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BOOK: The Plug's Daughter
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              We were having dinner on a Sunday evening, which was our thing since I’d officially moved back home a year ago. During my entire childhood I was away. Sometimes I wondered if my mother even wanted to be around me. After expressing my feelings to her she decided that we should work on bonding. I looked like my father and so…I felt she resented me. It was like looking at me hurt her, so after they divorced, she sent me away.

              “What does that have to do with anything?” I speared a perfect piece of salmon and savored the flavor.

              My mom had always been a good cook, but being a good mother was a whole different story. She’d always been around physically when I was in the States, but emotionally she was disconnected. It was like she couldn’t bond with me. My father and I were closer. He often told me that he and my mom broke up because she was jealous of our relationship. She felt that he gave me way too much of his attention and she got none. He said that when she finally decided to leave he asked to have custody of me. She never really wanted children anyway. She’d even admitted that fact to me time and time again. I was born because she wanted to keep him. He wanted children, so…The thought made me shake my head.

              My mother only kept me with her after they split to get at my father. She sent me away only to keep me away from him. Well, I guess she wanted me away from her too. I resented her for that shit. Although I had the best education that money could buy, and I’d been exposed to places and things that most black girls my age didn’t get to see, it didn’t matter. That was time that I could’ve had with my father; the parent who truly loved me.

              “Well, you know that it’s time for you to pull your weight. It hasn’t been cheap raising you.” Her mouth was in a tight line as her golden brown eyes twinkled with mischief.

              My mother was delicately beautiful at 5’5, 135 toned and fit pounds. She kind of reminded me of the actress Dorothy Dandridge with her classic beauty and poise. Her honey toned complexion was flawless and her slender nose was the result of a nose job my father had paid for. She’d also had breast implants and a Brazilian Butt Lift at his expense. However, my mother was a walking contradiction. Her beauty was her weapon and she was a deadly woman. Loving money was her vice. She was conceited as hell and she was a master manipulator. Using that to her advantage, she decided to become a female pimp. She’d been running an escort service since I was thirteen.

              “What?” I dropped my fork. “I have a full scholarship mom...Daddy fronts the bill for everything. What have you paid for? It’s not like you even raised me. Every dime you’ve ever made you’ve only spent on yourself!”

              “You ungrateful bitch!” She yelled as she slammed her fist on the table in anger.

              I looked up at her in disbelief. “What the fuck? Are you serious right now! I’m an ungrateful bitch? You should’ve left me in Atlanta with my father! You don’t give a shit about me!”

              She seemed to calm down as she took a deep breath. Her tone wasn’t as harsh when she spoke again. “I’m sorry honey. I am…really.”

              My breathing was labored because I wanted to haul off and slap the shit out of her. Because of her ass I was emotionally scarred. She never put her hands on me, but she had been mentally abusive since I was a little girl. Not only that, but she had a way of pushing me away. I felt so neglected and abandoned. When I was with my father, I genuinely felt loved.

              “Whatever. Thanks for dinner, but I have to go. I have finals tomorrow and…”

              “Jasenia, I…well…” Suddenly the aggressive woman I’d known all my life seemed at a loss for words.

              “What is it mom?” I was annoyed and all I wanted to do was leave.

              “Well, I know that you love money too. You’ve always been so loyal to your father, but what about me?”

              That made me flinch. She couldn’t be for real. I didn’t say a word as she continued to talk.

              “I mean, why don’t you recruit some girls for me. I’ll make it worth your while. You’re driving that nice ass Benz and you stay flyy like your mama. Flash those designer bags. Why don’t you carry one of those Ferragamo bags that your daddy bought you? Entice those bitches. You can make a gwap baby girl. Listen to your mama.”

              I gave her a wicked look before I got up from the table. “I’ll call you later...mama.”

              She didn’t say anything as I left and slammed the door behind me. So, she wanted me to help her exploit young women who were struggling to get an education. That was the whole point of our little dinners. All I could do was shake my head. What would my father think if he knew that my mother was trying to pull me into her illegal way of life?

              She made a lot of money and all, but I’d never wanted any part of what she did. The money was tempting though, so I thought about it as I unlocked the door of my Benz. My phone buzzed inside of my purse, but I didn’t answer. I knew that it was my mother…Missy…the Madame.

*  *  *

              When my eyes fluttered open and I looked around the room anxiety quickly set in. Where the fuck was I? My focus wasn’t really working and my head was hurting like hell.

              “Shit,” I whispered when I sat up and realized that the unfamiliar looking room was spinning.

              Damn, I hoped I hadn’t fucked a strange ass nigga again. All of a sudden I felt nauseous as hell when the events of the night before came rolling into my mental. The images of what Trell had shown me was making me trip. Suddenly I was in a panic and I was hyperventilating.

              Calm down, I told myself as I squeezed my eyes closed. I had to think. Okay, I was at Keenyn’s, so I must’ve been in his bedroom. It was all coming to me. We’d had a nice time talking and vibing, but deep down inside I wanted to spill my guts to him. I wanted to tell him everything. I wanted to start from the beginning, but could I trust him? Shit, could I trust anybody other than my father?

              I took deep breaths like my therapist had showed me. Years had passed since I’d seen her. I’d been dealing with my anxiety attacks really well lately, but shit was starting to hit the fan. There was no way I could go on the way that I was. I was a strong bitch, but even strong bitches could fold under pressure. Time and time again I’d been a victim of that shit.

              My nausea subsided and I stood up on wobbly legs realizing that I had all of my clothes on. Good, that meant I hadn’t fucked Keys. Thank God. I mean, he was attractive as hell and intelligent, but I couldn’t go there. It would make things too damn complicated. My fucked up ass life didn’t need any more complications. I was living, walking proof that money didn’t buy happiness. With access to plenty of it, I was a mess.             

              There was soft knock at the door. “You okay in there?”

              “Yes,” I called out loud enough for him to hear.

              “Uh, it’s a pack of toothbrushes in the bathroom and I cooked some breakfast.”

              I almost laughed. A pack of toothbrushes? Who did that? It was thoughtful though to think of your guests. He must’ve had bitches over often.

              “Thank you!”

              I walked into the master bathroom and found the toothbrushes in a drawer. After brushing my teeth and washing my face, I tried to brush my weave. It was time for me to get my hair done. Wearing a sew-in was easy, but my real hair needed to breath. I made a note to self to handle that as soon as I got my head straight.

              After getting myself together the best I could, I ventured out of the bedroom. Keenyn was sitting at the table and there was a plate beside him waiting for me. I smiled, but it was short lived.

              “You made it,” he said with a grin as I joined him.

              “Yeah, thank you.”

              “For what?” He asked. “You ain’t gotta thank me.”

              “For being a friend. Mmm, this looks good. You’re gonna get me fat.”

              I looked down at the scrambled eggs, toast, grits and turkey sausage links and said grace before digging in.

              “I like thickness baby girl,” he laughed.

              I laughed too and the food was good. We talked a little bit between bites and then an overwhelming feeling to get something off my chest took over me.

              “Can I trust you Keys?”

             
He glanced over at me in surprise. “Hell yeah. Why’d you ask me that?”

              “It’s been a lot going on and so I have trust issues. Honestly, I can only trust my father. I need to know that I can trust you too.” The tears burned my eyes and I willed them away. Yet, still, they fell.

              “What’s wrong?” Keys asked with his hand on my shoulder. “I knew it was something Sen. Please, you can talk to me.”

              I peered up at him and decided to go ahead. Shit, what did I have to lose? It couldn’t get any worse.

              “You know Trell right?” I asked.

              “Rocky?” His brows furrowed together and then he frowned. “Yeah, why?”

              I sighed and then cleared my throat. “He’s my boyfriend.”

              “Fuck,” he whispered before getting up to clear the table.

              “Come sit down Keys. Let me finish.”

              He sat down beside me and from the look on his face, I could tell that the news was unsettling. I had to ask.

              “Are ya’ll still cool?”

              “Hell nah. We fell out a long ass time ago.”

              “I hope that doesn’t affect our friendship.”

              “How long you been wit’ that reckless ass fool. I know how Mendosa feels about him. He wants to take over his territory ma. What the fuck?” He shook his head in disbelief. “You gotta know that…”

              “Now I do, but at first I didn’t know how serious it was. My father doesn’t tell me everything. He’s the closest person to me, but still, my resentful, rebellious nature made me not care that he doesn’t like Trell. I had no clue it was that deep though. Not until last night.”

              “What happened Sen? You can trust me. I’m dead ass serious. Just talk to me.”

              I believed him, so I continued. “I noticed that he was changing a couple months ago. Bitches were calling his phone all times of night and he was starting to get all disrespectful. I wanted to end things with him last night, but things didn’t go as planned.” The tears started again, but I wiped them away and pushed myself to get it out. “He actually put a gun to my neck. I was so scared for my life. He even forced himself on me.”

              “That nigga raped you? Shit ma, why didn’t you tell Mendosa about this? He’ll…” His face was balled up. “I’ll kill that bitch ass nigga.”

              “I thought about telling my father Keys. Believe me, I have. The only thing is he has something on my dad. He showed me a video that he uploaded on to his phone, but it had no sound. It’s surveillance of his father’s house. He said that he had several cameras outside and inside of the house. Five years ago his father disappeared and his body was never found. My father killed him. I could see him clear as day. He choked him out and that nigga Trell found the video a year ago. After his pops was reported missing his uncle broke down the surveillance cameras and took all of the footage out of fear of the cops finding something incriminating during their investigation. Trell found the videos, watched the footage and saw my father choke his father to death and then put him in the trunk of his car. He said if I ever leave him, or say anything to my father about what he’d done to me he’ll report the murder to the police and then kill me and my entire family. He said he’ll kill anybody close to me. Now I’m waiting for him to tell me what else he wants me to do for him. I have no clue what that is. I can’t let my father get locked up for murder and I can’t risk getting anybody that I love killed. I have to kill Trell, but I have to do it the right way. His boys are psycho. I don’t want them to come after me or my father. I know my pops can hold his own, but damn. He’s getting older Keys.” I couldn’t hold my tears back anymore. “Trell said that his crew has the word to carry on his plan even if he does get killed. I don’t know what the fuck to do. You have to help me”

              Keys wrapped his arms around me and held me close to him as I sobbed. “I remember when his pops first went missin’ ma. They still ain’t found  his body.”

              “He’s been holding on to what he knows to black mail me into being with him. I got a feeling he’s gonna use me to go through with his take over. He thinks I can help him take over the East Side.”

              “I ain’t as shocked as I should be because one thing I knew about Trell is the fact that he can be a scheming ass nigga. He must’ve targeted you on purpose. How could you be so naïve? Why the hell would you deal wit’ a nigga that Mendosa’s always warned you about? You had to know it was something fishy as hell about that nigga poppin’ up at the same club you was at. Keys shook his head. “We gotta go tell your pops.”

              I gave him a desperate look. “We can’t tell him Keys and I trust you not to behind my back.”

BOOK: The Plug's Daughter
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