Bank account ending in 723 has a balance of 0.93$.
She counted out the money she had in her hand again. This was the fourth time it came up to only five hundred dollars. What was she going to do? She was short twenty-five hundred dollars. Her grandmother was on the verge of losing her house, so after giving her a thousand dollars for the mortgage, one hundred for electric, two hundred dollars for cable, and five hundred for food, Morgan was damn near broke. She put a hundred dollars down on Mannie’s books, and fifty dollars on Global Tel Link so there would be no issue when he called. She thought back to which one of her bills were a priority that had to be paid now, then what bills were priority that could be paid with her next check.
She was tired of making money stretch. Like that saying goes, you have to rob Peter to pay Paul. Now she had to figure out how to pay her cell phone bill, a six hundred dollar car payment, and four hundred dollar car insurance. Not to mention how would she pay to get her nails refilled, and her hair styled once she took her braids out?
She thought about returning her 2012 Mercedes Benz C class coupe back to the dealership. but she could never part with it. She had saved up ten thousand dollars for this car, so she could show off on Instagram, and when people saw her, they would automatically know she had it like that. Especially since she moved back to Camden. She wanted to be an inspiration for the young folks. “If you go to college, you can be just like me! You see what I’m driving right?” Not being just humble, she liked the envious look of the other women, and some men when she pulled out her car keys in the store, or walked to her car. It elevated her in her mind, just like her hairstyles that were never less than three hundred dollars, her a hundred dollars lash extension and her fifty-dollar gel manicures.
Angie: What’s up? You in or out?
A week ago Angie, her work best friend, offered Morgan a money making opportunity. All she had to do was give her the names of applicants that didn’t make her cut. She just needed their social security numbers, names, birthdays, and addresses. It was simple enough, but she didn’t openly jump on the opportunity, she told her she would think about and get back to her. She had been contemplating it for a week, only wasting both of their time. She knew what she had to do. And the decision basically made itself after looking at the measly five hundred dollars in her hand.
She couldn’t keep up her lifestyle without making some extra money. She was supposed to be saving up a hefty money bag for when Mannie came home. They had plans of getting married, and buying a home together. Because Mannie fucked up their plans by getting himself locked up at fourteen, the pressure was on her even more to get established. She didn’t want him to worry about anything when he got home. And since she spent the money she saved on her precious car, she had to work double time to save some money.
Although his release date wasn’t for another three years, he made it seem as if he would be getting out sooner. Especially since he fired his last lawyer; it seemed like this new one was making progress. She figured she had atleast another year to get things together. She wanted to have the initial amount saved to be doubled to twenty thousand dollars.
She looked at the time. It was 5:30 in the morning. She put the money in her dresser drawer, and walked to the bathroom to take a shower. Even though the weekends were her only days off, she woke up at the crack of dawn so she could go to the gym for a hour and a half, and then visit Mannie. She used to see him on both visiting days, but a few months ago that was reduced to only one. He told her that his mom wanted to bring more family up there to see him. That made her mad. His mother always wanted to impede in their relationship some how. This was her way of controlling how much time they spent.
Visiting hours started at 8:30 but she always was there a hour early. She had to make sure that there was no chance she would miss him. She couldn’t wait to see him. Every week was like the first time they met. It always felt like an eternity of love, and tenderness in their quick embraces before the guards barked at them to cut it out. He would always manage to suck on her neck and grab her ass in the five seconds they hugged. She would wear something stylish to see him; although it always was the same outfit. It would consist of a pair of Nikes, with black leggings under a garment that looked too long for a shirt, yet way too short for an appropriate dress. When he squeezed her ass, he would make sure he could part her middle just enough so they both could get a feel of what was to come when he came home.
They sat down on opposite sides of the long table, eyes never breaking their stare. They both wished they could rip each other’s clothes off and fuck right on the table, in front of everyone, it didn’t matter. They both broke their eye sex and made sure the cheap chairs were behind the lines on the floor.
Mannie could barely fit in the chair. He was 6’3 and 220lbs. All muscles, and knowledge. He wasn’t the best looking man, but he definitely carried a glow about him that was magnetic to women. Even in jail, he had his fair share of ladies. He had a way with words, and a soothing voice that could make women send him their life savings if he asked.
“Did you read the book I sent you?” Morgan said while opening up her hidden legs slowly.
“Which one, you send me so many…” he took a moment to concentrate. Under the table his middle finger was squeezing through the small hole Morgan made sure to poke exactly where the opening of her lips were. It had to be large enough so he could poke two fingers inside, but small enough so it wouldn’t show her ass. This time she made it too tight. She tensed up once he put his long thick finger inside of her. It was already slick down there, so he had no problem maneuvering. “You talking about that book by Wahida Clark, Blood, Sweat& Payback?”
“Yes,” she had a hard time answering. Mannie had found a compass to her tunnels. It now felt like he was in a different hole inside of her pussy.
He felt her about to explode, but he didn’t want a quick nut, he wanted to feel that whirlwind that scooped him up and sucked him in, and soaked him. He imagined his finger was his dick. “I read a few chapters. You know I don’t usually,” he pushed his finger deeper, “read books like that. I like Malcom X, Ta nehisi Coates, and books about money,” he pulled his middle finger back a lilttle and let his pointer finger join in the penetration. She put her hand on her head and leaned her head back a few degrees, as if a sudden headache had come on. “…you like that,” he interjected in the conversation and whispered.
She shook her head slightly, too busy riding her waves of pleasure to give him his ego boosting answers.
“You know I like when you send me books on finances, but it was ight so far. I don’t know what’s going on with that Briggen, and Shan shit.” His dick was as hard as rock and battled against busting through the seam of his pants. Precum coated the top of his dick, and smeared all over his boxer briefs, when he took his middle finger out and let his knuckle circulate her clit.
“Hell yeah kitten, I would fuck you up if you did some shit like that.”
“Uh un, neveerrr baby. I-uh lovee you,” she lifted her head up and looked at him, while breathing heavily. The older woman that sat next to them, visiting her grandson, moved her chair over a tad. People all around could feel their energy, even though they looked like they were having a normal conversation.
“This my pussy. Tell me,” he felt her cumming, and he was on the verge of busting a nut too. He just needed to hear that one thing.
“It’s…yo-your’s Man…nie,” she could barely manage to push the words out. He came in his state issued pants, feeling her light throbs.
Serena sat by her phone waiting for Brian to call, like a lap dog waits by the door for their owner. She called him repeatedly but he didn’t want to talk to her.
A few days after her abortion, Brian finally came to his senses, and reached out to Serena. His charisma, charm, and sex skills gave him the permission to do whatever he wanted, so taking a brief break from her was normal. That’s how he liked to keep his women on their toes. Let alone, he didn’t feel like dealing with that abortion situation. He wasn’t sure if the baby she had aborted was even his. He had been hearing things about her for the past year that made him suspicous. He thought he didn’t love her at all, but everytime a friend would whisper in his ear about Serena, he didn’t know what to do with the rage of thinking about her being with another man. The latest news was that she had been sleeping around with some nigga from down the highway named Hak. But the more he thought about it the more it didn’t add up, so he felt a little guilty for igging her, he knew she was going crazy.
She was ecstatic that Brian had called and wanted to take her out on a date. She was surprised because he normally didn’t do this for her. Usually he didn’t take her anywhere but to fast food places, unless on the off chance, he brought food over from the corner store. Their relationship was immature at best. It mostly consisted of fucking and arguing and disappearing and making up. And speaking of which, he needed to have sex. He hadn’t had it in over a week, and that felt like a lifetime for him. Bianca had been bitchy because of the pregnancy; and his secondary side pieces weren’t satisfying him. It was like he just fucked them for sport. But Serena had something about her sex game that was so satisfying, it was addictive. He loved the control he felt when he was inside of her; choking and dominating her.
On top of that, his luck had changed financially. He had some extra cash from his recent gambling so he was in a good mood. He thought it would be something different to take her out to dinner. This would undoubtedly impress her, and make amends for not being there for the abortion. And deep inside, he thought treating Serena nicely would make him feel better. Maybe it would help him sleep at night. For the past six months he had been having haunting nightmares of someone drowning him, while flashbacks suffocated him. In his waking moments, the pit of his stomach swirled when he thought back to those violent episodes, and promised himself he would do better. He wanted to be a better man.
They pulled up to Red Lobster, and Serena smiled showing all of her teeth. The hostess took them to a booth in the back, and set out their menus. Brian declined the menu and ordered her a caeser salad and shrimp linguini alfredo, and for himself a Center Cut New York Strip Steak with Rock Lobster Tail, a baked potato and broccoli. She wasn’t old enough to drink yet, so he ordered himself three beers to keep it cool. He had already been drinking on the way.
The dinner went well, just as he expected. Until she wanted to talk about the details of her abortion, and how alone she felt, how she needed him and he wasn’t there, and when they would be together. Blah, blah, blah. He really didn’t want to have this conversation again. She sounded like a broken record, speaking in a childish tone, causing him even more annoyance. They had gone through this a thousand times over the years. Shouldn’t she just be happy he actually took her somewhere? He knew she would cry, and become emotional if he told her the truth, and broke down how he really felt. He didn’t have the time for a breakdown in the middle of the restaurant, so he let her down easy and told her he didn’t want a girlfriend, but that she was special to him. She looked down at her empty plate, then looked back up with hope. Atleast he thought she was special, she rationalized in her mind. He almost felt sorry for her. She was so desperate for his love, it was written all in her energy.
Brian reached out his hand to hold hers, and began his sweet talking. “Babygirl. Let’s not ruin tonight with all that. We out aint we? You always wanted me to take you here, and now that we here, you trying to start something. Listen, sweetheart, I apologize for everything I did that was wrong. Okay? I’m workin’ on that. Especially for putting my hands on you. That shit’s not cool yo, and I am sorry for that. But on the same token it’s not all my fault…you can’t be in my face screaming, smacking me and shit.” He looked into her glistening eyes. “You really know how to push my buttons.”
“I’m sorry too… I shouldn’t push your buttons. When you stop answering my phone calls, and messages it makes me go crazy. I just wanted you there with me, you know how much I need you.”
“You’re right, I should have been there, but I have to get this money,” he said after a deep sigh.
She sensed his struggle. “What’s wrong baby?”
“Nothing…its nothing.” Her eyes pleaded with him to tell her. Like her life depended on fixing his issue. “Remember when I got that DUI? Those fines are catching up to me, and I still have my fines for that assault, and disorderly conduct charge…this shit is scraping me babe.”
A different waitress than they had all night interrupted the couples conversation by bringing out some dessert to Brian, and in the process damn near placing her titties on his cheek in the process. He looked her up and down as if she was the dessert.
“Courtesy of the staff here.”
“Well thank the staff for me. I love chocolate.”
“You can go thank them yourself.” Serena sat with her arms closed. She couldn’t believe this bitch had the nerve to come on to her man, right in front of her.
“Excuse me…umm, where is my dessert?”
“Oh, I’m sorry, does your little sister want one too?” The waitress looked Serena up and down, which made her feel even more self-conscious. She never felt pretty, and even though she was twenty years old, she was mistaken for a teenager often.
“I’m not his-”
“That’s okay babygirl, you can have mine.” He slid the desert over, so it was in front of her. She usually liked hearing that pet name, but now it sounded so childish.
“Well thank you ba-”
“You cool now? I’ll be rigghht back. Let me take care of the check,” he said while eyeing the Jessica Rabbit-shaped waitress.
Serena left the dessert on the table and stormed out of the restaurant. She was embarrassed, mad, and jealous. She sensed that the waitress had an ulterior motive, she wanted her man, and Brian was just as stupid, to flirt back with her, as if she wasn’t sitting right there. Why did she allow herself to be treated this way, she wondered. No matter how tightly she held on and loved him, he always found a way to diminish her, disrespect her being. His relationship with Bianca was one thing, but she couldn’t take it if he dated another woman; that would be too much.
I don’t know why I stay. I hate him. She leaned into the passenger’s side door and closed her eyes, as her anger manifested. She was fed up and drained from the back and forth. They went in a circle that bounced between two extremes; good, to bad. She had an ache in her abdomen, it told her to let him go. She contemplated leaving him alone, but she ignored it once she felt his presence come out of the restaurant and walk towards her. She knew she wasn’t going anywhere after they locked eyes, which made her body shiver; and heat up. He always kept that effect on her. Something inside of him drew her in. Not to mention she couldn’t imagine someone more attractive than him wanting to be with her plain self. His skin was a shade lighter than toasted bread, and his bad boy attitude was something to be revered in her eyes. He had high cheek bones, and black chinky eyes, that were introduced with long eyelashes, in which most woman found themselves in envy over. He had a cocky smile that would make your mom blush.
“Can you slow down?” Serena asked poisonously. Brian ignored her attitude and kept his speed up at first, then accelerating further. This infuriated her even more. By the time they arrived at her house she was ready to explode. There were so many things brewing, things that she needed to discuss. She opened her door and proceeded to leave the car but he grabbed her left arm and she stayed put. He turned the music down and looked over at Serena. He hadn’t a clue that Serena just saw a picture of him and Bianca together on Instagram. He figured she still had an attitude from his encounter with the waitress. She was extremely insecure, and probably made herself think he fucked the waitress in the two minutes she waited in the parking lot. Lately she’d been overstepping her boundaries, and her demands for attention were getting on his nerves. But he decided to start the conversation on a good note and not wring her neck how he really wanted to at this point.
“What’s wrong babygirl?” He took her hand in his and gave it a light kiss before she snatched it away. His tone became sharper. “You been in a bad mood since dessert. I don’t have time for the guessing games, so what’s your proble-”
“You really goin’ to ask me that question? You know why I’m upset…I don’t even know why I bother with you anymore,” Serena belted with so much vibration that it shook the car. “What was that with that hoe in there? You just can’t stop embarrassing me, huh? And you lied to me again. You still messin’ with Bianca.” He looked at her wide-eyed, as she took her phone out to show him proof of what she was saying. “What is this?” she asked, jabbing her phone into his face. On the screen was a picture of him with his arms around Bianca, she was visibly pregnant. “You said you wasn’t messin’ with her anymore!” Brian’s face hid his guilt and embarrassment, his eyes layered with anger at the truth. Serena was so mad she balled up her fist, and hit him with all her strength. The blow landed in his chest. “You just made me get another abortion, and after the last time you weren’t there you promised-”
Before she could finish her rant, he snatched the back of her hair and forcefully pushed it into the window. The side of her head gushed with blood which transmitted an insatiable feeling of violence inside of him. The liquor that he consumed earlier began instigating his abusive behavior, inciting that it was Serena who violated his manhood. He was ready to teach Serena another lesson. Who did she think she was to ask me anything about the moves I make? If it were her business she would have known, he rationalized to himself. Outside of his thoughts he heard a piercing cry as his arm put more pressure on the side of her head.
“Do you really think I give a fuck about what you talking about yo? You a dumb ass bitch that’s why I don’t want you to have my babies. You always botherin’ me about something. Why you can’t never just fuckin’ chill?” He said through clenched teeth. “You ain’t shit. Look at you. You lucky I even deal with your nut ass.” He pulled her closer to him so his voice was directly in her ear, in a chilling whisper he said, “You lucky I just killed those babies and not your pitiful ass too. Don’t ask me about no other bitches.” He threw her face into the side of the door with so much force, more blood gushed from her head causing Serena to become lightheaded from the extreme pain.
“Don’t fucking touch me,” she managed to say. “I hate your ass.”
“I hate you too. Fuck you.”
He unlocked the door and pushed her and her bag outside of the car, but she began to struggle, finding her strength. She grabbed his hand and in the midst of the fight, slapped him hard enough to make his lip bleed. Her eyes grew wide at the red that trickled down his white Nike shirt. He grabbed his face and looked at her like she just made the biggest mistake of her life. She could see him fighting against the urge to cause more damage. A surge of regret went through her torso, while tears welled up. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that baby.” Serena apologized as fast as possible. She tried to get back inside of the car but he locked the door and sped away without a word.
She stayed outside and smoked three cigarettes, while she called him nonstop. She had to know that he knew she was sorry. She couldn’t go to sleep knowing he was mad at her. She finally went inside the house after twenty minutes of being ignored. She wasn’t crying anymore, she was tired of all the energy put into keeping him. Her body began to feel heavy from the violence, and grief.
The blue light from the moon illuminated the utter darkness of her bedroom. Carmella tried to focus on sleeping instead of the demand to masturbate. The wrinkled white sheets balled up between her thighs, she rolled around her queen sized bed, obsessing over what Serena was doing at the moment. Her clit thumped at the memories of her and Serena being intimate. Those sweet memories of tasting Serena’s warm caramel breasts invaded her conscious. She could never forget the way her nipples still tasted like sweet cream from the milk developed during her many terminated pregnancies. That taste alone drove her crazy. The last time she was able to enjoy Serena felt like so long ago; she craved her touch. She hated that Serena went through phases where she wanted to stop that part of their friendship. The excuses varied month to month. The most one used was wanting to be “faithful and true to Brian,” yet consistently she made up an excuse whenever it was convenient for her. Even with all the games she played, Carmella continued to think of her constantly. She was so close but so far away.
She figured she was probably with Brian, not thinking about her at all. She knew she was with Brian when her cousin Bianca called her after eleven at night. She was another one that only called when there was an issue.
“What’s up cousin?”
“Is Serena with Brian? Tell me the truth. Please.” Bianca’s rushed voice pierced through the phone. Desperation hanging on each word.
“Well, hello? I’m good. Thanks for asking.”
“I’m sorry cuz…I am being rude. But Brian just on some other shit right now.”
“What he do now?” she sighed.
“I’m waiting for him to come home so I can go to work, but he isn’t answering his phone. He starting to get back to his old shit again. I thought we was passed this cycle…we was supposed to be building a new foundation, starting fresh with the new baby…” She went on and on for another five minutes. Carmella threw her “mmm”, and “that’s crazy” in periodically. But after the first two minutes she stopped listening. It always was the same conversation when it pertained to Brian. And it always pertained to Brian.
“Girl, I don’t know what to tell you. You need to get you a side nigga, or something.”
Bianca immediately dismissed that idea. “Please, that’s my baby. I am not about to stunt on him like that, I know he love me, we just gotta get through this. Plus, who will want me pregnant, with two kids? Please.” Alth0ugh Bianca was fed up with his actions, she knew she wouldn’t leave him. She loved him too much to leave, plus they had started a family. They had two kids already and she was about to have another one, so she had to latch on.
She was hoping he would get his act together, so they could get married, and be a real family. She didn’t like the fact that they were shacking up. She still held on to her Christianity and thought it was a bad move to have babies out of wedlock, and to live together without a marriage license. But it felt extraterrestrial when she was with him, when they were good.
Bianca talked about Brian nonstop for fifteen more minutes before Serena’s name was brought up. Carmella’s ears perked up.
“Huh, say that again. What happened?”
“I found some more messages between them, and when I asked him about it, he shrugged me off. He says he hasn’t messed with her in months, and she’s obsessed. Now I can understand why she would be obsessed. My baby looks so good, and he puts it down like you couldn’t even imagine. But she knows that’s my man. After I have this baby, I am going to have to beat her ass. I’m tired of this bitch…I cant even believe I used to be friends with her jealous ass.”
“Why you comin’ like that?”
“I know that’s your friend- which I don’t see how you could still be friends with a bitch that tried to steal my man- especially since you’re my cousin but she needs her ass beat. I’m tired of her thirsty ass, I wish she leave him the hell alone. But anyway, did you know she was pregnant, and had another abortion?”
“Oh.” Bianca didn’t believe her, but went along with it anyway. “Well she lucky that she had an abortion. What does she think we bout to be sister wives? How come she doesn’t understand that she’s just an outlet when I get on his nerves, and he needs to vent?”
“I don’t have a comment, I can’t speak for her,” Carmella replied stoically.
“Yeah, mmhmm. Well Lil Brian just woke up, so let me get off this phone.”
Carmella hung up the phone confused and frustrated that this man was such a headache in everyone’s lives. She contemplated on ways to get rid of him for good.
Serena awoke the next morning with a pounding headache and blurry thoughts. Blood dried in her now ruined hair and on the side of her face was a huge bruise from last night. Her right eye was almost closed shut, and the left eye was puffy from all the tears that had leaked from their ducts. Most of the energy from her body was drained, as if she just birthed a ten-pound baby without drugs. At first she ignored the mirror, embarrassed to even look at her image. Yet something inside made her want to see the result of last night. Pitifully she viewed her battered face; wincing at the scars their love had created. She outlined her bruise with her fingertips as her thoughts went wild. How could he do this to me, again? She gently removed a few puffy strains of hair away from her eye. Aaahh, this shit hurts. I might have to go to the urgent care. FUCKK. She touched her eyelid with the tip of her pointer finger. The aching pain causing her to cry. Why did I have to hit him? Or bring up Bianca? I shouldn’t have hit him…but…uh…he makes me so mad. But still, I do need to stop trippin’. Okay, relax, breath. Fuck that. I know I didn’t hurt him like he hurt me. It was as if he was getting worse and worse as she dedicated more of her time to him. She didn’t know what more to do. She was always taught to stick by the person you love, no matter what. She wondered how much more sticking around she could do. She started to wish he would just disappear out of her life, and leave her alone for good. But then what would she be worth? And who would love her? And who would she have sex with? And who could she post on Mondays for MCM? No, she couldn’t be by herself.
She decided not to leave the house. All the medication she needed was already in her medicine cabinet, and in full abundance. Serena delicately cleaned and covered her wounds, then toasted an English muffin, and drank a glass of orange juice before she took an aspirin and put an ice pack wrapped in a shirt on her face. Her phone lit up with a message from Carmella. She ignored it. The way she was feeling today she didn’t want to talk to anyone. Her phone began to vibrate again, pausing her mind from her sinking thoughts into depression. This time Carmella called; that was ignored too. She decided to turn her phone off and take a nap.
When she woke up she took a second dose of medicine, and cleaned her wounds. Serena laid back on her bed and turned her phone on to check her messages. The first message was from Brian. When she opened it hands sprouted from her phone and grabbed her neck forcefully. YO I CAN’T FUCK WITH YOU. YOU BUSTED MY LIP. Once she read the second MAN I LOVE YOU. I DIDN’T MEAN TO HURT YOU and THIS THE TYPE OF SHIT I’M TALKING ABOUT WE CANT BE PUTTIN HANDS ON EACH OTHER, and the third ANSWER YOUR DAMN PHONE! WHY DO YOU HAVE IT OFF? the hands squeezed her neck until it almost cracked. She tried to yell out for help but she couldn’t breathe. There wasn’t anyone to hear her and if they did would they care enough to help? She threw her phone and the hands lessened their intensity until they disappeared all together. Serena sunk into the mattress in a fetal position, while trying to catch her breath. Then she heard banging at her front door. Her heart sank.
Thanks for reading the first chapter of my series Only Human.
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