Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fiction Series: Playing With Fire - Chapter 2

Fiction Series: Playing With Fire - Chapter 2

Chapter Two: Novia

Enrique looks at Nuri’s hand and back at me. “Like I said, we good over here.” Nuri shakes his head. He looks to me. “Novia, you were right about your friend.”

“Friend?” Enrique turns around abruptly. His face shows no emotion. He smiles. “You been chopping it up with this motherfucker, huh?”

“Rique, I---“

“Nah, you good.” Enrique takes a step back clearing the space between Nuri and me. He nods his head. “You got it.”

I reach for his arm but he catches my hand in his. “I said you good.” I pull back. “Enrique…” 

Nuri clears his throat. “We really should be going, Novia. The car is waiting.”

Enrique lets out a breath and laughs. “Wow… wow.”

“Novia.” Nuri says my name again. I look at Rique for a moment before moving towards Nuri’s extended hand. Nuri smiles as he ushers me pass him toward the exit. I look back at my best friend before turning and heading out the door. 

A few days later…

“Shit. He’s here. Bitch, take this shit to my car.” I push the clothes and bags into my friend’s arms. I look at the security footage on my phone. “Gabby, go through the garage. He’s pulling his car around the back.” Gabriela rushes out of the room. I hadn’t been home in a few days. None of my things had been touched. I gather the jewelry from my vanity and stuff it into my purse. I turn back and take a look around the room to see if I want anything else. I don’t. 

I make my way through the kitchen and open the garage door. I step down into the garage and turn back to lock the door. 

“You thought you could bring your ass into my house without me knowing?” Enrique’s voice is surprisingly calm. “You got your hoe ass friend helping you go through my shit?” Gabriela is standing at the trunk of my car empty-handed, arms folded. Everything we packed is tossed all over the garage.

I meet Enrique’s eyes. “I just wanted to get some of my shit. I came when you were gone so we wouldn’t have to do this.”

“Get what? You don’t have shit over here, Novia. Your shit at that white boy house.”

I take my key out of the door and adjust the bag on my shoulder. “Enrique, I’m sorry. I just needed some stuff. I thought I’d be gone before you came back.”

“You don’t have to explain shit to him!” Gabriela is visibly frustrated.

Enrique walks towards me. Gabriela follows him. He stops abruptly turning to look at her. “Don’t walk up on my like I been beating her ass for the fifteen years we been together. Keep your ass over there by the car and mind your fucking business.” Gabriela looks at me but doesn’t say anything. 

“Gabriela, get in the car. It’s fine.”

She looks at Enrique and then back at me. “You sure?”

“Yeah, it’s fine.”

Enrique mocks her. “Are you sure? Get your ass in the fucking car and mind your damn business, shit.” Enrique watches her get in the car and then continues towards me. “I don’t give a fuck about what you do with that white boy but none of this shit belongs to you.” When he reaches me he snatches my purse from my hand and empties it on the garage floor. He throws the purse down when nothing else falls out.

“Rique, stop! Why would you do that?” I punch him twice in his chest and kneel trying to stop my shit from rolling across the garage. “Why the fuck would you do that?” He pulls the other bag from my arm and throws it to the other side of the garage. “Rique…don’t act like this!”

When he says my name I can hear the annoyance in his voice. “Novia, none of this shit belongs to you. I paid for all of this. I’d take them damn inches out your shit if I could.”

“Why are you acting like this? You being mad disrespectful.”

He laughs. “I’m disrespectful? The bitch I been holding down running around with a stranger nigga behind my back, coming home to me like we good, hugged up with some lame ass white boy while I think she taking… fucking… classes… but---I’M---disrespectful?” Enrique snatches my phone and my keys from my hand. “This phone, that car…” He points at the Maybach he gifted me for Christmas. “…all of this shit belongs to me.” He takes a step away from me. I can see he is trying to control his anger. His voice remains calm. “Novia, don’t bring your ass back over here.”

I stand to my feet releasing all of the shit that had fallen out of my purse. I let go of everything except my wallet. 

“Open it.”

“No, fuck that and fuck you.” I turn and attempt to walk away. Enrique grabs my arm. Gabriela jumps out of the car. “Let her the fuck go, Enrique.” He snatches the wallet from my hand and pulls out my driver’s license. He throws it so that it lands just outside of the garage. “Both of y’all get the fuck off my property.”

Tears begin to form in my eyes. Enrique smirks. “I don’t give a fuck about that crying shit. Every time you get sad I want you to remember I thought you were happy a week ago.”

I look at him searching for words as the tears finally run down my face. Gabriela grabs my hand and pulls me with her. “Fuck you, Enrique. I been told her she could do better than your hood ass anyway.” She stops to pick up my license. “Fuck boy!”

Enrique doesn’t respond to her. The garage door begins to close. His phone rings and I hear him answer it. “Yeah, it’s cool. I just need you to come help me clean this shit up.” I walk towards my car and as I reach for the door I hear the doors lock and the alarm turn on. I let out a scream as Gabriela pulls me down the driveway placing a call on her phone.


I sit on the edge of the bed looking around the bedroom. This shit is wild. She really came in here and destroyed my shit trying to take what she wanted. I fall back on the bed and close my eyes. I’ve done everything but cry in the last few days; stayed with a few bitches, popped bottles, even talked to God. I still don’t understand this shit. 

I feel my phone vibrate and ignore it. A few minutes later it starts to vibrate again. I tell myself to ignore it but it could be money. I reach down and grab it. I don’t have any recent notifications. I feel the vibration again. I reach down and realize it’s Novia’s phone. I look at the name on the screen… “N.S.” I shake my head, silence it, and put the phone back down on the bed. A few minutes later it vibrates again. I answer it.

“Who is this?”


This motherfucker. I don’t say anything. I just hold the phone to my ear.

“Enrique, this is Nuri. Listen carefully to what I say next…” He pauses. I still don’t speak. “I have a job for you. If you want Novia to stay alive, you’ll do what I say.”

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