Chapter 1 - Killing Me Softly
Boy, lately you’ve been stingy with your time
Got me wondering, I’m wondering if I’m on your mind
Boy, I just wanna be in your possession
You say I’m the one you want. So, come express it
Don’t slip, don’t slip
’Cause a nigga might push up on it
Don’t really wanna lose this moment
Why window-shop when you own this?
I tiptoed into the house like I was walking on eggshells a few hours after Lyric left the restaurant. He was so upset and I just wanted to give him some space before I tried to talk to him again. So I just road around and went by the grocery store and bought a few things for dinner.
The house was filled full of solitude. I’d usually find Lyric playing on his Xbox or PlayStation in the living room cracking jokes and giving me the googly eyes but right now it wasn’t even close to that. It was dark and desolate just like the rest of the house.
I decided to cook for him, I guess as a peace offering. My grandmother always used to say the way to a man’s heart was through his stomach, so why not test it out.
Fish and macaroni and cheese were his two most favorite foods. So I went with a Blackened Catfish recipe, loaded baked potato, long green beans, and three-cheese macaroni and cheese.
I finally finished up cooking and set the table for two. Then sucked it up and walk towards his bedroom door. I could smell the crypt and the low sounds of Buju Banton playing from behind his door.
I knock but he doesn’t answer the first time. So I knock again and go to turn the handle and realized it’s locked. So I knock at the door one last time before talking.
“Hey, I just wanted to let you know I cooked your favorites for dinner if you wanna eat,” I said loud enough so he could hear me behind the door.
My surprise when I heard the music cut up louder like he was trying to drain my voice out. I guess besides not wanting to see me at the moment he didn’t want to hear me either.
Looks like it’s just me, myself, and I for dinner tonight. So I wrapped his food up in some plastic wrap and placed it in the fridge.
My heart sank a little when I found the plate tossed in the garbage the next morning. Still untouched and wrapped in the same plastic.
I guess grandma was wrong about that one.
~1 week later~
I was on my way back from one of Lyric’s list of tasks he has me doing. Today was Saturday and this muthafucka’ wanted a cinnamon sugar bagel. Now you would think a bagel that’s not anything to complain about. But it is when Mr. Ego wants it from a specific bakery 45 minutes outside of the city. Only because they are organic and use shit like organic high oleic sunflower oil, organic raisin juice, organic malted barley flour, and virgin cow’s milk.
The thing is I have to get up at the crack of dawn to go to this place because they sell out quickly if you’re not there before the doors open.
It’s been freaking crazy this whole week. I swear he’s taken every show that anyone has requested from him. So you could imagine how full my plate has been. I don’t even remember the last time I got more than 5 hours of sleep.
I know this is just his way of punishing me. I’ve been more than apologetic to him and even had Miranda try to explain the situation to him. But he still wasn’t trying to hear any of it. He just kept throwing up what I said about not wanting to date anybody right now so he was gone help me out with that. I guess by keeping me so busy that I barely had time to think straight.
So right now he’s the boss from hell and I’m the suffering employee walking on eggshells while he cracks the whip. But I’m not sure if I can take much more of him and his shit.
I finally get that stupid fucking bagel and jump in my car to head back to downtown. Lyric’s performing on a locally televised morning show so I head straight over there as soon as I leave the bakery.
Soon as I get on the freeway I receive an incoming call. It’s Miranda. I haven’t spoken to her since the day after the whole restaurant fiasco when I cursed her ass out something real proper like. She’s been calling me every day and I’ve just been sending her to voicemail.
But even though she overstepped her boundaries, she’s still my friend and she’s been there a lot for me. So even though I’m still pissed I know she had good intentions.
“Oh my gawd De, you answered! I’m so so so so sorry! If I knew you and Lyric were talking I wouldn’t have done that. I just wanted you to be with somebody who could make you happy.”
“I understand that Miranda but the whole point of the matter is I specifically asked you not to. So whether or not you felt I needed to start dating again you should’ve respected my wishes.”
“I know and I promise to never ever do that again!”
“But I guess I should’ve told you that him and I had a little thing going and this wouldn’t have probably happened. But anyway I’m done talking about that, how’s my nephew doing?”
“He’s growing good, getting bigger and killing my damn back!”
I laughed, “Well it won’t be too long before he’s here driving you nuts like you do to me.”
“Mmmmm, ya your right,” she giggled. “So where are you off too, sounds like your driving?”
“Well, I’m riding back to downtown coming from a Grassy Lanes Bagel Factory run for Mr. Ego.”
“Wait don’t tell me he’s still pissed at you De!? Cause the only time you call him that is when he’s acting like an ass.”
“Yea, pretty much.” I laughed.
“De that fucking bagel place is about an hour away going and coming and he got you drivng there?”
“Yep, pretty much, he’s been working me like Hebrew slave.”
“De I’m so sorry it’s all my fault.”
“No Miranda, yea you put me in a crazy situation but I talked to him, he knows what the deal is. I’ve begged and pleaded with him. Catered to him to the point of exhaustion and he’s still holding a fucking grudge. I’m about to throw in the white towel. I don’t know what else I can do to show him that I care about him and I want to be with him. Guess that’s probably why I’m still putting up with his bullshit.”
“Well if you find a minute for some downtime maybe you can come by to my place and we can relax and unwind and watch some movies. I got plenty of wine over here that I’m not drinking,” she said laughing.
“Ok, maybe I’ll stop by the store and pick up something for us to snack on.”
“Ok, hun sounds good.”
“I’ll hit you up later then.”
I finally made my way back downtown to the filming studio. I got checked in and cleared by security than found my way back to the dressing rooms where Lyric was.
“Morning Big C, I got you a coffee just how you like it,” I said handing over his cup of java.
“Good morning, thank you,” he replies giving me one of his big bear hugs. “How’s my baby girl this morning?”
“I’m ok C’.”
He gives me that look like he knows I’m straight-up lying to him.
“He’s still got you running around like a chicken with its head cut off, doesn’t he.”
All I can do is laugh at the moment, it’s the only thing that’s been keeping me from losing it and breaking down.
“I’m trying hard C but he’s so fucking stubborn and you know how he is. He could be sweet as pie one minute but as soon as he feels a certain way he can be a pure grade-A asshole. I don’t know what else to do C and to be honest, I’m getting tired of trying. If everything I’m doing is not enough....well maybe.....”
I was about to finish my sentence when the stage producer walks up and knocks on the dressing room door for Lyric to come out, and says it’s time for him to perform in ten minutes. He finally emerges out of the dressing room wearing a black t-shirt and black skinny jeans with his black Snakeskin Field Jacket and his Red Balenciaga Sneakers. Plus his new pair of 5-carat black diamond stud earrings and Cuban link chain he bought when we went to the mall the other day.
“Good morning Lyric, I got your bagel for you.”
I handed over the brown paper bag to him. He barely made any eye contact with me before walking off without a word. I was trying to keep my composure because we were out in public but God knows I had had it with him and his stank ass attitude.
“Well the least you could do was say good morning to me or thank you! I know mama Treble taught you better than that.”
He stopped a few feet in front of me with his back still turned, took the bagel out of the bag and took one bite then tossed it straight into a nearby garbage can and walked off.
I swear I think I blacked out for a few minutes because the next thing I know Big C had a hold on me, wrapping me up in one of his bear hugs again making sure I couldn’t break free.
“Please C I swear I’ll pay you triple of whatever that fucker is paying you today, just let me go!”
He laughed a bit, before kissing my forehead. “Its ok baby girl, don’t let him get you worked up.”
“I can’t deal with this shit anymore C’, you hear me! I fucking can’t! After Javion I promised myself I wouldn’t let no other man disrespect me like that again and I’ll be damned if I allow him to do it to me as well!”
“I promise I’ll talk to him ok.”
“No C’ you don’t have to do shit, I’m good. He said he didn’t want me having him looking foolish and crazy out here, so I’m just gone fall back.”
“Baby girl I-”
It’s ok C, I’ll see you later,” I said interrupting him and walking off.
After I left the filming studio I sat in the car a bit to calm my nerves. Then I called Miranda and told her I was on my way after I stopped at the local Publix to pick up some subs and a box of chicken wings to eat while we watched movies.
“Well it must be my lucky day today, I get to see your beautiful face again, even though you cut out on me the other day, I won’t hold it against you,” I heard a voice say from behind me.
“The one and only, how are you?” he asked giving me that handsome smile of his.
“I’m fine thanks.”
“That you are,” he said taking a quick second to look me up and down.
“I’m so sorry about the other day. It was a little overwhelming and I had to hash out some things with Lyric. Trust me I’m not that rude I wouldn’t have left like that.”
“No, no, I understand. Being an assistant to a superstar I’m sure has its crazy days. Promise I won’t hold it against you,” he smiled.
“I appreciate that,” I gave him a smile back. “Well it was really nice seeing you again,” I said smiling and turning to walk away.
“Dereon wait up!” Hakeem yells jogging up to me grabbing my hand.
“Maybe when you have some extra time.......maybe we could meet up and grab a coffee or something. But not as a date or anything. Definitely wouldn’t want you doing nothing crazy like that dating shit,” he said with a big grin on his face.
“You’re a mess.”
He got a little closer while stroking his thumb across my knuckles of the hand he was still holding onto. He was so much taller than me I had to look up at him catching the gleam he had in those bronze-colored eyes of his.
“Would I’d be more of a mess if I asked could I have your number, so we could talk about how much you don’t want to date anybody right now?”
I couldn’t do anything but laugh. I had to give it to him he was a little smooth with it, with his Chris Brown looking self…….