OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fiction Series: A Nice Backstroke - 8 Ball

Fiction Series: A Nice Backstroke - 8 Ball

This man is not in my salon.

This man is not at my front desk, in my salon, causing a scene.

Tell me I am dreaming.

I walk from behind the front desk.

"Excuse me? I don't think you know enough about me to refer to me as a cunt. I absolutely do not appreciate you coming into my place of business acting like you have no damn sense.  I haven't done anything to you, yet. Best believe I can give you a reason to call me a cunt. But know this, I will earn the title, very well. Now let's try this again, hi Keith. My name is Tay and this is my salon. How may I help you?"

Keith sizes me up.

"Like I said, I wanted to personally meet the BITCH who ruined my life."

"KEITH! What the fuck is your problem?!" Aaron interjects as I open my mouth to curse Keith out.

"Hi, brother! I came to surprise you!" Keith says in the sweetest voice. He walks over and gives Aaron a hug.

"Aaron, I love you, but please get your brother out of my salon before I have the cops to come escort him out. Or better yet, I get my cousins to come kick him out."

"Tay, these hands are rated E, for everybody. Men and women can both catch them."

Laughter escapes my mouth. This man really doesn't know who he is talking to.

"KJ, please let's go. I don't want to lose my job because you're acting like a spiteful jackass." Aaron pushes Keith out the front door.

I can't believe the nerve of this fool. He's blaming me because Robert lied to us both. I start fuming. Once again, Robert is back causing havoc in my life. Tequila would heal this. I found my stash in the back and take a shot to the head.

"Bitch, it's not even 12, why are you drinking?"

"Aaron. I almost kicked my employee's older brother's ass, who happens to also be my ex fiancé' ex boyfriend. Tell me you wouldn't need tequila, also?" He reaches for the bottle and takes it to the head.

"Tay, I hope this doesn't ruin us. Keith didn't even tell me he was here."

"Aaron, we can't control anyone's actions besides our own. I don't hold this against you. Now what did you tell Keith? He swears I ruined his life."

"The exact same thing you told me, how we discovered each other, punk ass Robert. He was just as shocked as we were."

"So who was that calling me a cunt?"

"KJ can be a little much at times. He's attacking you because he's still doing the same thing he was doing two years ago, living a champagne life on a beer budget. My dad is sick of it and about to kick him out. He sees you as the reason he can't get his life together. Robert was the 'key' to his rich life."

"I totally understand all of that. Once again, what does that have to do with me? Robert had nothing to do with my salon or where I am in life right now. He pushed me to do better but that's it. I built this place on my own."

"No idea, Tay. I have no idea. Do you mind if I take the day off to deal with KJ? I know today is our inventory day but this needs to be dealt with, especially him showing up and trying to go off on you."

 

"Sure, baby. Go handle your business. Let Keith know if he ever disrespects me like that again, I will not be nice."

Aaron kisses me good-bye.

Half a bottle of tequila later, I decide to text Aaron.

To Aaron: We need to talk. Meet me at the restaurant across the street, with Keith in two hours.

Keith needs to be put in place. I start my sobering up process. Side pieces normally don't get my attention but I feel bad for Keith.

Aaron and Keith stroll into Newk's. It's one of my favorite pizza places in the neighborhood. Keith sits across from me and Aaron sits next to me.

"I ordered enough pizza and beer for us. If there is something you want, order it."

Keith speaks first, "I still hate you."

"Why? I haven't done anything to you. Robert betrayed me the same way he betrayed you.  Your hate is directed the wrong way."

"You ruined Robert, he wanted me."

"Keith. If you think that, why did he not come back and pick you? Better yet, why did you not go to him? You couldn't still been with Robert, if that is so, go to him. I do not want him. I am over that part of my life."

I decide to be transparent and honest.

"A month after everything happened, I found out I was pregnant. I lost the baby about two weeks later. Those were the hardest six weeks of my life. As much as I wanted to each out to Robert, I refused. I couldn't. He didn't deserve to go through that with me.  But I was devastated. I lost the man of my dreams and a baby within six weeks."

A tear slides down my face.

"So Keith, I sort of understand what you are going through. You are still hurting. I can see it. Holding on to that hurt allowed me to lose someone extremely important whom I should be with today. You have to let that hurt go. New blessings or new opportunities will not come to you because you allow your hurt from Robert to take over that spot. I allowed myself to finally feel my anger, my disappointment, my loss, my sadness. Eventually, I woke up, and I didn't have any bad feelings toward Robert. Do I dislike him? Absolutely. Do I pray for the best for him? Absolutely. It took a long time to get here. I love Robert. He was essential to me getting on the road to becoming the woman I am today. Robert showed me that not everyone deserves my love, unless they can return it, equally. Keith, stop repeating the pattern. You are amazing, from what Aaron tells me. You are greatness. Magical and talented as fuck.  Don't give your attention to some who doesn't value it. Find someone who will be your lightening strike in the midst of this thing we call life. Find someone who you will want to give all of your power to. Find someone who will protect that and protect you at all costs. Find someone worthy of your magic."

Shit. Everything I said is directed toward me.

"I just want to have an abundance of happiness and orgasms."

Aaron cracks up laughing.

"Tay, thank you. That was beautiful."

Keith says as he wipes his face.

"I thought you were going to try to whoop my ass. This conversation was needed. Thank you again."

"I thought about slapping you. The universe told me I would get better karma this way. It's time for you to love yourself. You fine as hell. Someone will want you. Hell if you played for my team, I would want you."

"Tay! Shut up." Aaron squeals.

"What?! Y'all both fine! I know y'all's daddy is fine. My tingling pussy tells me so."

"TAY!" they both yell.

"Ok. I promise not to chase Daddy Fine. So are we ok, Keith?"

"We good. I'm glad we had this conversation."

"Don't show up at anyone else's job, either, calling them a cunt. They may not be as nice as I was."

"I won't. I promise that was my first and last time.  Let's eat this pizza and celebrate in the fact that none of us aren't with a fuck boy."

After laughing until my abs hurt, I say farewell to Aaron and Keith. On my way home, my speech to Keith cake back to me. There was one person who use to be my everything. I gave him up for hurt. I missed Nolan. Extending the olive branch, I text him.

To Nolan: I know I am not your favorite person, but I miss you. I hope all is well.

Nolan: Everything is great on my end. Out of town on a contract. I hope all is well with you.

Me: It is. I need to talk to you.

N: Why? Don't you have a girl or a man or something? I can't keep up with your preference these days.

Me: Nolan, I really wish you would've let me explain what you saw in my phone vs. just running away from me. You didn't even give me the chance to explain myself.

N: I saw all that I needed to see. I wanted you and you were playing me.

Me: I wasn't playing you. You never told me we were exclusive. So I played the field. I still want you.

N: Sorry to hear that.

Wait! Did he just say sorry to hear that?!

A phone call from a private number interrupts my thoughts.

"Tay. It's Robert. I got your number from Keith. Why didn't you tell me about our baby?"

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