Just as I was about to tell him to meet me at my car in ten minutes, a familiar face came from the back.
“Kyla? Is that you?”
Now how in the hell did she know my name? I wasn’t the one putting on the hits inside of the peanut factory! But there she stood, seemingly star struck, with her hands clasped close to her bosom. I searched her outfit to see if there was anything that would have given me some clue to her name. But I got nothing. I prepared myself to give that apologetic “I’m sorry I don’t know your name”. However, my date for the evening seemed to be familiar with her too . . . . .
She started to giggle like a fucking school girl, bouncing what must have been her newly enhanced breasts! This had to be some groupie that was stalking Charlie and the band. Or worse, this could have been one of his old classmates that he was supposedly not seeing. I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise. The way I stared at this enthusiastic follower made me believe I had laser beams! This new bitch continued to look Chance up and down as if she wanted a piece of my Mr. Goodbar!
“Chance Waters! I knew that was your voice! We could hear you in the back! It’s good to see you again!”
Wait! Hold up! Again? Oh no she didn’t! Didn’t she see my ass sitting here?
“Ummm, excuse me . . . . . Tangerine was it? Yeah, we were having dinner before you interrupted so if you don’t mind . . . . ”
“Oh I’m so sorry cousin! Forgive me for being a little caught up”
At that very moment, Chance and I wondered the same thing aloud . . .
“Kylaaaa?! Don’t tell me you don’t recognize your own damn cousin? I know it’s been a minute since Uncle James funeral and all but dang girl!”
As she came to the other side of our table, everything came into focus.
“Oh my God? Angelica Carson!
I stood up and gave Angelica the biggest hug. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten one of my favorite people in the world! (And yeah, forget what I said about her being a groupie and having fake boobies . . . .)
Girl I didn’t recognize you! You look like you lost a hundred pounds!”
“Almost girl! Went from a size 20 to a 10 since the funeral! Still can’t lose this big ass though!”
“I know the feeling!”
For some reason, I quickly forgot the fact that my cousin knew my soon to be baby daddy. I got caught up in the miracle that Angelica aka Tangie had lost so much weight in a year’s time! I can only lose a pound every two weeks and even that takes an extreme sacrifice! (like drinking only lemon lime water for thirty days) Not that I hate my curves, but this pooch was another story. It has haunted me for fifteen years and needed to be exorcised. And seeing that Angelica had been a big girl since she started slangin’ them Girl Scout cookies back at Meadowbrook, it made me want to know what worked best for her.
Like any good family member, I had one of the waiters pull up another chair at our already tiny counter top table. In the excitement, I was oblivious to the body language Chance was giving at the time.
So what made you lose all that weight Angelica? You know you gotta share your secret!”
“You know cuz, when Aunt Pam died from diabetes and Uncle James died from heart failure, I had to take a good look in the mirror. Both of them died because they didn’t take care of themselves. Aunt Pam never wanted to go to the doctor’s office. Even when her ankles and hands had swollen to the point she couldn’t move, she still refused to go! And Uncle James was the same damn way! Could never get him to drink water! Had to be sweet tea! If it wasn’t sweet, he wasn’t drinking it. As I stood in my bathroom mirror that day Kyla, I saw both of them in me”
“So that made you want to try something different?”
“Girl that only made me depressed and want a large pizza! What really got me motivated was when I took my clothes off . . . . .”
“Took your clothes off?”
“Yeah, I took my clothes off in front of the mirror. My waistline had evaporated and was now bigger than my breasts! I didn’t like the way I looked, but I knew I had the power to change it”
“Amen girl! Use your Black girl magic! I bet you went out and started running every day right?”
“Not exactly. I never worked out a day in my life . . . unless you count sex”
“So did you end up getting a trainer?”
“Actually, I just started out walking for thirty minutes every day. It took everything in me just to walk a track for that amount of time. My legs would burn. Then my knees. But little by little, it got easier. Then after a few weeks, I changed my diet. Started eating better. After a couple of months, I got a membership at the local Y and found a couple of classes that I enjoyed that included some light weight training. Ain’t trying to be like those bodybuilding chicks and lose my goods!”
“I hear that! I’m so proud of you Angelica!”
When I returned my focus to Chance, he resembled a deer in the headlights! The entire time me and Angelica conversed, he said nothing. For the most part, he just sat there, motionless, while me and cuzzo chopped it up. Outside of raising his glass to take a few sips, he didn’t have anything to say. Like he was holding onto a secret. Then I remembered how this whole thing started . . . .
“So tell me Angelica, how do you know Mr. Waters here? And why did he call you Tangie?”
My cousin took an uncomfortable long look at Chance before she answered.
“I used to be one of the background singers for Keith Sweat’s show when Chance was just starting out with Uncle Charlie. On the road, I went by Tangie. Keith nicknamed me that because he said my ass looked so sweet”
“I would expect that from him”
“Yeah, but what you wouldn’t expect from him are the killer rehearsals! Them shits were always brutal whenever him and Charlie were on the same bill. It was like Keith wanted to out do Charlie, although Charlie was the headliner”
I started to take a sigh of relief, but Chance still hadn’t interjected. And seeing that I didn’t have any better sense, I went ahead and asked the question . . . .
“So y’all two never hooked up during the tour? Not even once?”
“Girl no!! None of the guys on tour were checking for me at that time outside of Keith!. Besides, the dancers had the real talent. All the guys were trying to impress them”
“All the guys, eh?”
“Well everyone except Chance. He was always busy writing music or some shit like that. He’d be on the tour bus when everyone was in the strip club soaking up their status. Gotta admire a man like that . . . .”
“That I do cuz, that I do”
I had to let her know that this was MY man, blood or not.
“No disrespect to you Kyla. I just know that Chance is a good dude. He was a stand up guy on tour. Always made Charlie happy”
Chance nodded her way then smiled back at me.
“See? Didn’t I tell you? All men aren’t bad. Even got a witness! Now if you ladies don’t mind, I need to use the little boy’s room”
As he made his way, Chance pecked Angelica on the cheek, and then kissed me on the lips. The softness of those lips! Jesus, Joseph, and Mary! I was ready for him to mess up my lipstick and pull on my hair! I watched him walk away while Angelica motioned to the bartender for a drink.
“Now why are you about to drink at my table? And why are you here in the first place?”
“Girl, Kenya having a baby shower in the big room back there!”
“She’s having another baby? Didn’t she just have one a year ago?”
“Yeah girl. This is baby number seven!”
“Damn! She ain’t even thirty yet is she?”
“She barely twenty five and she still live with Aunt Carla! She need to slow down all that partying before the people get them damn kids!”
“I know that’s right!”
“When they started playing that mumble rap back there, I was ready to leave. And then I ran into you two”
“Well I’m glad to see you, but me and Chance are gonna take this party to a more intimate setting when he gets back”
At that moment, Angelica gave me her trademark sly smile, as if I had done something wrong.
“Why are you looking at me like that? Yes, I know the dress is a little much, but I had to show the goods, you know?”
“Nah, it ain’t about the dress. It’s about Chance”
“What about him?”
“Oh, so you already told him? He’s cool with that?”
“Told him what?”
“That he’s about to fuck a married woman?”
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman