“Aye yo Christian! Wait up man!!”
Although I could hear Johnson’s plea for me to stop, my anger continued to push me forward. Today’s news was too much to digest at once. I tried to ignore the signs. I tried to ignore her history. But today, I couldn’t turn the other cheek. I had played the fool for the last time.
“Dammit Christian . . . . . . you know your ass can walk fast! Sheeesh!”
I stopped to look at the sky while Johnson gathered his breath. It would be about fifteen minutes before the next bus came so I was at his mercy.
“Christian, it’s going to be okay. I will talk to the deputy chief about the circumstances leading up to the fight. Just give me a chance to work things out”
“I dunno Johnson. I don’t think the deputy chief will take too kindly to an accountant knocking out one of his detectives”
“Well, shit happens brother. In this line of work, it happens more times than not”
“That’s easy for you to say Johnson. I’ve only been here two months”
“Tell me what man would allow another man to talk about his lady? Hell I wouldn’t! Shiiiiiiiiiiiid, as far as I’m concern, that bastard had it coming!”
“Yeah, but you didn’t cold-cock the chief’s nephew. Word will be around town within the hour. I’d be surprised if it’s not on the internet before 5pm”
“All police business stays in house young buck. That’s something that the chief preaches the first day at the station. If word got out about officers fighting and shit, it would be a bad look for the office. So on this incident, I’m going to ask you to keep quiet. And since you don’t have a scratch on you, that won’t be a problem right?”
I didn’t say a word. He knew I was going to have to confront Tiffani about the matter.
“Christian . . . . . . . . “
“Johnson don’t play me like that. You know what has to be done. You know I live with her. I can’t just walk around and not confront her?”
“Listen . . . . just for today man. We don’t want this getting out remember?”
“So I’m just supposed to walk around like shit ain’t bothering me? I’ve been a fool this entire time and I’m supposed to be cool with that?!”
Johnson nodded in agreement as the bus came to to its stop.
“Just think about what I said okay? I’ll give you a call later once I’ve smoothed things over”
I gave no response as I ascended the steps. As I took my seat, Donnell’s statement began to replay in my head:
“At least my chick is not getting dicked down by them dope boys on the lower eastside!”
I started to rewind my entire experience with Tiffani. From the time I met her at church to the time she took me to the mall. There hasn’t been a place where she hasn’t been noticed by these shady ass characters. I wanted to believe that it was all a coincidence and that she was just so fine that brothers couldn’t help but point and stare. But . . . . . I knew better. I didn’t even question how much she was making at TeleNet. But . . . . I should have. No way a customer service representative is making enough to drive a new beamer and have no car note! There are not enough incentives to make that jive!
With each reflection, I could feel the fury burning once more. It wasn’t that I was furious with the messenger. More than anything, I was angry with myself. I refused to see what was really going on because life was better. After a year and a half in the wilderness, I was back to where I was. I had a beautiful woman in my life. I had a gig that didn’t involve flipping burgers. I had financial stability to pay child support again. It felt good to sleep in a bed that I could stretch all the way out and not have my feet dangling over.
As my ride came to an end, I dismounted and pointed my face toward the open sky. I looked to God for intervention because I knew that after tonight, I would be back in jail. A part of me was tempted to walk over to Tiffani’s job and confront her right then and there. The other part of me wanted to get lost in some china white to make me feel alright. I couldn’t give in to my emotions. Not now. I needed to numb the pain I was feeling. Sitting around the house would only make matters worse. I could see myself sitting in a chair with a bat in my hand, waiting for Tiffani to come through the front door. But I couldn’t go back to the old me. I was better than that now. I opted to take the long way home. I walked around the mall twice before actually starting my trek.
As I turned the key, I could smell the fried chicken cooked from the previous night. It began to put my mind at ease . . . . . that was until I made it to the bedroom. Morning sex was still faintly in the air. I thought about the love we made. Then I began to think about how many men I was tasting when I kissed her lips. How many dicks I was partaking as I put my face to her sun. That rage that Donnell felt was on me tenfold. I went to the closet and saw the bat nestled in the corner. Overhead, I saw the gun safe.
As I began to turn the dial, the phone rang.
“Hey Christian, this is Johnson. Everything is cool. Be back to work tomorrow at 9 AM”
Tears were in my eyes as I steadied my hand to open the safe. I wanted to stop but the other part of me took the gun in hand. While I contemplated destiny, I heard someone coming up the stairs.
“Hey babe. What are you doing home so early?”
“Tiffani, we need to talk. Have a seat please . . . . . . .”
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of the Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the forthcoming novel, “Addicted to Chaos”