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Authors: Carl Weber

Up to No Good (9 page)

BOOK: Up to No Good
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Again, my mind was overloaded with conflicting emotions. I was hurt; I was angry; I was confused; and surprisingly, I was more turned on than I ’d ever been. It was as if a lightbulb went off, and I was seeing her as a different person. I imagined her as some sort of nymphomaniac, carelessly giving away what was supposed to be mine and mine alone. She seemed more sexy, more exciting, more thrilling to me. She was a completely different woman. Instead of the innocent girl whose virginity had been mine, she was now someone I needed to conquer. And hopefully my conquest would prove, not only to her but also to myself, that I was better than Omar. I was better than he could ever be.

I pushed all thoughts and images out of my mind and gave in to my own body’s demands. While I had always made love to her, treating her delicately, never wanting to cause her any pain, this time I felt differently. I was rough with her, as if I wanted to punish her body for its sins. I didn’t want to remember the tender love we used to share. Instead, I wanted to bang her like some nameless woman I would forget as soon as it was over. I wanted to be like my father and satisfy my own needs. So I told myself that instead of this being the woman I loved, she was nothing more than some prime piece of ass there for the taking.

Keisha tried to pull me close, to stare into my eyes,
but I didn’t want to look at her. I turned my head and kept pounding away. She grabbed my face between her hands, forcing me to see that familiar look in her eyes. I recognized it and knew she was about to climax. A few more strokes and then I climaxed with her, spraying her womb with my seed for the very first time. It was the most awesome sensation I ’d ever felt.

As we lay together on the living room floor, it didn’t take long before the glow wore off and the whole situation felt cheap and dirty. It had just hit me. Omar wasn’t sleeping behind me; I was sleeping behind him.

I glanced over at her face. She was lying on her back, smiling, but where she had looked exciting and exotic just minutes earlier, now she looked used up and old—not at all like the pure woman I had wanted to marry and love forever.

“That was incredible,” Keisha whispered to me. She rolled on top of me, and I felt her firm breasts pressing against my chest.

Incredible,
she’d said. Was that what incredible was now—me trying to bang her so hard that her head made an impression in the wall? I nudged her off me and turned away from her cuddling arms.

“What’s the matter, baby?”

I stared at a spot on the wall, refusing to look at her as I spoke. “Did you ever think about AIDS?”

“What?”

“When you was with Omar. You didn’t use a condom, did you?” I rolled toward her, staring in her face.

“Baby, don’t start, please. We were having such a good time.”

“I didn’t start this, Keisha. You did.”

“I told you I was sorry.”

“Sometimes sorry ain’t good enough. Do you know how many women Omar has been with?”

She tried to touch me, but I pushed her hand away and got up off the floor to find my clothes. It was time to get out of there.

“Baby, please come back here.” She sat up, and when I looked back at her, I saw the tears glistening in her eyes. This time, I didn’t want to comfort her. She deserved to cry.

“How could you do that to me, Keisha?”

“I’m sorry, Darnel. You have to believe me.” Tears rolled down her cheeks now. She came near me as I was sliding on my pants.

“How do you expect me to believe you? We were supposed to be together forever. I’m supposed to forget that crap happened?”

She reached for my belt as if to stop me from getting dressed. I suppose if we stayed screwing all the time, we’d never have to deal with the reality of what she’d done to our relationship, but I couldn’t do what she wanted. I couldn’t just pretend that everything was back to normal. I shoved her hand away, then collapsed onto the couch, my head in my hands.

“But I love you.”

“You sure got a funny way of showing it.”

“Darnel, it wasn’t like that. It was a mistake. The biggest mistake of my life. You have to give me another chance. You are my life.” By this point, she was on her knees on the floor in front of me. How many times had I seen her in this position before, using her mouth to make me feel like the only man on earth? But now she wasn’t giving me pleasure; she was begging, and it seemed so wrong, almost perverse.

“Please don’t leave me.” Her body shook as she reached out and took my hand, tears streaming down her face. Suddenly, all the anger and rage I had evaporated. As messed up as this was, I wasn’t sure I could
walk away, no matter how much she’d hurt me. There was no denying it; I was deeply in love with her.

“I need to know something.”

“Anything.” She looked up at me through red-rimmed eyes.

“Was this the first time?”

She nodded her head slowly. “Yes, it was the first and only time.”

I felt my pain give way just the slightest bit. Maybe I could come to understand her mistake, and we could work our way through this. There was one thing for sure: I didn’t want to live my life without her.

“Do you still want to be my wife? Do you still want to marry me?”

She pulled herself up off the floor and sat next to me on the couch. Holding my hands in hers, she answered, “Yes, Darnel. I still want to marry you. I love you more than anything in the world. What about you? Do you still want to marry me?”

I let go of her hand and stood up, looking down at her. “No,” I said in my most sincere voice. I shook my head. “No, I don’t want to marry you.” I started walking toward the door. “I’m not even sure why I just fucked you.”

I left, feeling good about myself for the first time since I ’d seen her and Omar together.

Jamie
11

For the third week in a row, Louis had to drive up to Pennsylvania for work, but this time I decided to stay home. I swear there is nothing more aggravating than going to a luxury car auction when you ain’t got luxury car money. Besides, I had only gone to Pennsylvania the first time to make sure Louis was really going to work. His boss had been on the phone that night I flipped out, but for all I knew, he was just covering for Louis. Once I was satisfied that Louis was indeed attending that boring-ass auction, I had no desire to go to another one. So I sent him on his way and made plans to cook dinner and spend a little time with Daddy.

I was sitting at Daddy’s kitchen table cutting potatoes when Darnel walked into the kitchen, then left abruptly without saying a word. I’m sure he was hoping I hadn’t noticed him. Why do men always think they’re so sneaky when we women are five steps ahead of them?

“Darnel!” I called his name to assure him that he’d been busted.

I knew exactly why he’d hauled ass out of the
kitchen that way. He was afraid I was going to give him a hard time about talking to Keisha. And he was right. I ’d been holding on to a few choice words for my brother ever since Daddy had told me Darnel went to see her.

When he stepped back into the kitchen, the sheepish look on his face told me that they had done more than talk. The thought of my brother getting back into bed with Keisha after what she’d done to him really disappointed me. Why was it that Darnel was the one who got hurt, but he seemed to be the least mad about it? I just couldn’t see myself forgiving someone for doing what she did. I really hated that wench for what she’d done to my brother.

I stopped chopping and set the knife down on the table. “Hey, where you been? I been calling you all week.”

“I don’t know. I just been busy.” He shrugged his shoulders and tried to look casual as he sat down across from me. “Mostly looking for an apartment. I gotta get outta this place.”

“Whatever. Don’t try and change the subject. You been screwin’ that piece of shit ho Keisha again, haven’t you?”

“No, I haven’t.” His eyes darted around the room, making contact with everything but me. Well, that was a start, I thought. At least he still had enough pride to deny it. But he wasn’t getting off that easy.

“You lyin’. Daddy told me you went over there.”

“Well, ‘Daddy’ needs to mind his own business. That’s why I need to find my own place.”

Oh no, he didn’t!
“We
are
his business,” I reminded him. “I can’t believe you slept with her. Did you forget she slept with your best friend?”

He winced. My words had struck a nerve, but he
still wasn’t willing to get mad the way I thought he should. “Jamie, just let it go, a’ight?”

“No, it’s not all right. You’re my brother, and as long as you are, I’m gonna tell you when you’re being stupid.”

“Jamie, you’re my sister, not my momma, okay? I can handle my own life. I got this.”

As much as I didn’t like his momma, I almost wished she was there at that moment. Someone needed to knock some sense into this boy. And trifling-ass Crystal was just the woman to do it.

“You gonna let that woman play you, aren’t you?”

“Ain’t nobody gonna play me.” His words were meant to convince me, but the look on his face told me that he hadn’t even convinced himself. I almost felt sorry for him. My poor brother was so whipped, he couldn’t stop loving that woman even if he wanted to. Damn, I wish I knew her secret.

Then an idea came to me. If it was all about the booty, then maybe all Darnel needed was someone else to offer him something better. I ’d given up on that idea when Louis shot it down a while back, but now that I thought about it, I knew someone who would be perfect for the job.

“Darnel, look, I’m sorry. I just hate what she’s trying to do to you. You deserve better.”

I got no response. Keisha had messed his head up to the point where he had no idea how special he was. But I was determined to help my brother regain his self-esteem and his pride.

“Listen, why don’t you let me introduce you to one of my friends?”

“No, thanks.”

“Please. Just give it a try. I’ve got this friend Sandra who is perfect for you.”

Still no response.

“How about I bring her to Daddy’s Memorial Day barbeque? If you got somebody by then, it’s not going to matter.”

“Like I said before, no thanks. I’m good.”

“No strings attached.” I wasn’t going to give up.

“Do you understand what
no
means?” He stood up and headed toward the door, but I followed and stopped him before he could leave the kitchen.

“Yeah, I know what it means, but when was the last time you can remember me letting someone tell me no about anything?”

He rolled his eyes and leaned against the doorframe. “Never.”

“Exactly. Now, you’re gonna say yes sooner or later, ’cause I’m gonna bug you ’til you do, so you might as well say it now.”

“Okay,” he finally relented. “But no strings attached.”

I clapped my hands and gave him a peck on the cheek. “Good. So that’s settled. Now, don’t go nowhere, ’cause I’m making dinner tonight,” I said as I returned to the table to get back to work on the potatoes.

“Cool,” he answered, sounding relieved to be off the hot seat. “What time is Louis getting here?”

“He’s not. He had to work in Pennsylvania, but he’ll be home tomorrow night.”

“Really? That’s strange, then.”

I stopped chopping again and looked at Darnel. He had a puzzled look on his face. “Why is that strange? There are plenty of car dealerships in New York that get their used cars from Pennsylvania auctions.”

“No, that’s not what I meant. I thought I saw Louis in Manhattan today.”

“It couldn’t have been him,” I said. “He left last night for the auction.”

Darnel looked truly confused. “Well, your man must have a twin, then, ’cause I could swear that was him I saw. Then again, maybe I’m wrong, ’cause this dude was dressed in a suit, and you know I ain’t never seen Louis wearing nothing but some jeans and a polo shirt.”

“Well, did you say anything to this mystery man?”

“Nah, I didn’t have a chance to actually talk to him. He was on the other side of the street, but I swear he was a dead ringer for Louis.”

“You know what they say—everybody’s got a twin.” I don’t know why, but I was getting a little annoyed. I mean, I knew my man was working in another state, so why was Darnel trying to make me think otherwise? Shoot, I had enough problems controlling my jealous nature as it was, and I sure didn’t need Darnel planting any seeds in my mind. Ever since I went off on Louis about the late-night phone call from his boss, I ’d been trying to keep myself in check.

“Look,” I said, changing the subject before my imagination could start running wild. “Don’t let her hurt you again.”

“Call me when dinner’s ready,” he said, then practically ran out of the room to stop me from saying anything else. The conversation was over for now, but let me find out he was still messing with that ho, I would definitely have more to say about the subject.

On the way home from Daddy’s, I called Louis’s cell phone to check in. We usually spoke several times a day, but I hadn’t heard from him at all since early in the morning. I missed the sound of his voice.

Unfortunately, I only heard a recording of his voice as the call went straight to his voice mail. I figured maybe his boss had taken him out to dinner. He had been working really hard, putting in lots of hours, and it was obviously paying off. He was the only one his boss had taken to the auction with him two weeks in a row, and now he was probably being rewarded with a nice dinner. Who knows? Maybe he’d even be promoted to a senior management position if things kept up like this. I was so proud of Louis.

I left a short message on his voice mail before getting out of my car and heading into the house. I was pretty wiped out from cooking dinner and cleaning up the kitchen. Daddy and Darnel loved it whenever I cooked for them, but that didn’t mean either one ever offered to help with the dishes afterward. I shook my head and smiled, remembering how the two of them were already snoring in front of the TV by the time I finished putting away the last of the pots and pans. They were lucky I loved them so much.

Exhausted, I headed straight to the bedroom and changed into my nightshirt. I opened the closet to put my dirty clothes in the hamper, and that’s when it hit me like a ton of bricks. Louis’s suit—the one I bought him to wear at Darnel’s wedding and the only one he owned—was not hanging in its usual place in the closet. Ever since the day I bought it, that suit had never left this spot.

BOOK: Up to No Good
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