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Every I Love You Isn't True
By RaSheeda M. Bryant-McNeil
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2015 RaSheeda M. Bryant-McNeil
All rights reserved.
I knew I was supposed to be crying my eyes out, playing the devastated fiancée role; however, I couldn't help but wonder why this bitch Diamond was crying more than everyone else at this damn funeral. As I sat there pretending to be listening to the pastor, my mind replayed how it all began.
Diamond ran the naked safe house for my fiancé, Bossman, and my sister Jullian's fiancé, West. I had never liked the bitch but put up with her late-night and all-day phone calls to my man, because as long as she was helping to make our money, I was able to spend it. Bossman and West had her check in every hour to confirm via phone call or text that everything was on track. West had the day shift for all confirmations, from sunup to sundown, and Bossman handled all confirmations from sundown to sunup.
One late night, I was about to go in on her ass for calling when Bossman let me in on a well-kept secret: Diamond was West's jump-off. My first reaction was to call my sister immediately and tell her about her man, but Bossman encouraged me otherwise. "Wifey," he said, taking the phone out of my hand and looking me straight in my green eyes, "in this game of life, there are sacrifices to be made, and this is one of them."
With a fuck-out-of-here face, I rhetorically said, "What does that have to do with my loyalty to my sister, Boss? Do you actually think I'm gonna sit on this vital information? I can't have my sister out here thinking she's the only when, in fact, she is just the top-notch bitch," I said with my head cocked to the side and my right hand on my hip.
Truth be told, my sister Jullian was a ten, but I'd heard Diamond was a ten in the sheets and a ten on the streets. That hoe had one up, which meant competition, and competition had to be eliminated.
He knew I was about to be on ten. He was leaning against the wall, hands in his pockets, wearing an all-white linen outfit that looked as if it had been tailor-made to his chocolate skin. He took his hands out of his pockets; licked his smooth, thick lips; rubbed his chin; and then proceeded to walk over to me like a boss. I loved the way this man walked. Hell, I loved everything about him.
"Look, Adrianna, Jullian has a happy home. West makes sure she has everything emotionally and especially financially. What nigga in the game make sure he come home every night before two in the morning just out of respect for his girl?" He spoke with the utmost respect for West. I cocked my head to the side and said, "A real one." I rolled my eyes and began to turn over in bed, when I felt Boss grab the shit out of me.
"Adrianna, don't make me call you out of your name, and don't make me lay hands on you. I have never hit a woman unless she was a fiend, but you about one second from feeling me. You hear me?" His piercing eyes told me he wasn't playing, so I shut the fuck up and closed my eyes, hoping he would just get off of me.
I couldn't take one more sniff of his alcoholic breath, but the smell of alcohol was a signal for Ms. Kitty to start thumping. She knew that when he came home tipsy or drunk, she was going to get licked until she came all over his mouth. I quickly acted submissive, because the sooner I acted as if I agreed, the sooner I could put my plan into action.
As soon as Bossman went to sleep, my ass was dialing Jullian's phone. Instead of going to sleep or trying to get some, he grabbed his phone to call Diamond back. I heard him explaining why his voice sounded so excited, as if he owed her an explanation or something. "I'm cool, baby girl. I just had to take care of the home team first before I could answer." He looked back at me with a devilish grin, grabbed his nine, and then left the room for some privacy.
I knew he was heading to the media room for privacy. I never went in there. I didn't have time to watch TV. I was about my money. The only thing I wanted to watch was my money stack. He had the room decked out with mirrors all over, so when he was watching a movie, it showed in the mirrors as well. It was a man's room, with a long black-leather sectional, every game device one could imagine, and a fully stocked minibar. I hadn't been in there since we moved in. That was his room, and I had mine. We had an office on the first floor beside the library, but he never used it. The library was my room. I monitored my shoe-and-accessory store, DivaStar, from my office, even though I went in every day. I'd learned from Bossman that in order for people to respect you as the boss, you had to be on the scene like the boss. That was one thing he taught me.
To my surprise, he didn't go to the media room; instead, I heard him at the bar, pouring himself a drink. Thank God our master bedroom was on the bottom floor because I could sneak up on his ass and bust him in the head if necessary. As I tiptoed down the hallway toward the kitchen, I stubbed my darn pinkie toe. At times like this, I hated that I was light skinned, because I bruised easily.
He was so engulfed in his conversation that he didn't even hear me say, "Oh shit!"
Like a spy, I hid behind the second staircase, which was located between the breakfast area and the kitchen. After a pause, I heard him say, "Nah, it ain't like that. I'm the man of this castle just like I'm the king of the safe house. For the last time, Diamond, don't have your punk-ass brother, Sly, up at my spot. I don't trust those up-and-coming niggas. They don't respect the golden rules of the streets."
While he listened to Diamond's reply, I saw him take a sip of Henny and then, clutching his jaw, slam the glass down on the bar's black-marble countertop. He took a long breath and started rubbing his hands and popping his knuckles. That meant he was getting all amped up. Then he started rubbing his chin as if he were thinking about what he was about to say to shut her down completely. "We take corner boys like him out for even sniffing around our spot. He suspect. I know that's your fam, but I'm not trying to go to jail to become a thumb-in-the-booty-hole nigga. You feel me? Baby girl, I'm not gonna repeat myself, and that's final."
I thought, Did this nigga just call her "baby girl"? I know I didn't just hear him call her my nickname. I came around the staircase and was in his face so fast that I didn't even remember walking toward him. "Baby girl? Baby girl — that's what you call every female now, Boss?"
I prepared myself for him to start a full-blown fight, but he did just the opposite. When I got close enough, he picked me up from under my ass and threw me onto the bar. He untied my white silk robe to show my hard nipples through my matching white silk gown underneath. I saw his nature rise, and immediately, Ms. Kitty started thumping again.
His chocolate skin was smooth rubbing up against mine. He lifted my gown, leaned me back, and tasted me until I came all over him. In one sweeping motion, he flipped me over, wrapped my jet-black ponytail around his hand for a firm grip, and gave it to me from the back until we both were completely satisfied.
Damn, I love my nigga.
However, I would never love a man more than I loved myself. I believed that no matter how much a man said he loved you, he would never love you more than he loved himself. All the hoes he had on the side only confirmed my belief. It was cool though, because if he ever left me, I already had my eye on plan B. Plan B was a motherfucker too.
Bossman and West were two of the few kingpins who never had any of their spots hit. Charlotte, North Carolina, was known to breed stick-up boys, so even though they'd never gotten hit up, they knew that one day someone would try it.
Well, that day came — in broad daylight — and of course, there were no witnesses.
Now there I was, looking at my future husband in an all-white Alexander Amosu suit, his favorite brown-and-gold Prada shades, and tan-and-brown size-16 Prada dress shoes. I scanned him up and down and couldn't help but smile inside at his Bossman stature and the look on his face. A Rick Ross lookalike would be an understatement, I thought while staring at him as he lay in his all-white diamond-studded casket.
We just buried West yesterday, and Jullian was crushed. His family took care of everything, including her. West had made sure they knew how important Jullian was when he was alive, just in case he ever had to leave this earth early.
Jullian looked just like Nia Long from a distance, with her stance and sassy, short cut. She had the prettiest clear brown skin, like that of her birth mother, Beverly, and our mother, Josephine. Jullian had a different mother but had been raised with Charisma and I. She had our Banks family signature: slanted eyes. Everyone in the family had black eyes except for my father, Warren, and I. I'd always wanted my mother's and sisters' complexions. My sister Charisma was light brown, and Jullian was caramel brown. I was the only light-skinned one with freckles out of the bunch. Truly, I was like my father's twin. I knew I was sexy. There was nothing wrong with being light skinned, but I just wanted to fit in with my sisters. When we took pictures, I was always the bright one in the bunch. Unless people met my father, when I was with my mom and sisters in public, they would stare at me as if wondering if I were adopted or something. Charisma was the favorite in the family. She tried her best to be humble about her achievements, but she was too good to be fucking true. She had won best-looking female, most likely to succeed, best dressed, and homecoming queen every year. I had been in her shadow all through high school, since we were in the same grade. She was one year older than I was, but I skipped fourth grade.
Charisma wasn't the only smart one in the family. I'd always won most popular because of my "I don't give a fuck, because I'm going to do what I want to do, so let's have fun" attitude. Jullian was two years behind us and had her own crowd of fans. She'd won best dressed and most-popular female almost every year at school. Jullian was the youngest, and she was exactly who she showed you she was. I always felt competition, especially from Charisma. She never said she was better, but I knew she thought it. She made me feel as if I had gotten molested because I was the weaker one. "Why couldn't he just think I was the prettiest one, Charisma? You can't stand the fact that someone chose me!" I shouted at her the day the family found out. I confided in her first on our front steps, because she was my big sister, and all she could say was "I wonder why you and not me." No one wanted to be molested, but for some sick reason, I gloated about the fact that someone had finally chosen me over her.
She'd already snatched our neighbor Rashad Jones from me when he moved in. While looking at his family through the window as they were moving in, I said how fine he was. She rolled her eyes and said, "Looks like another pretty boy to me." As we were talking, we lost sight of where he went, and the doorbell rang. No one knew it, but I was sore from being touched by Mr. Donald, so I didn't race Charisma to the door, as I normally would have. I thought the visitor was probably just a Jehovah's Witness anyway, because I had seen some of them walking around the neighborhood that day. To my surprise, it was Rashad Jones. His parents had made him come over to ask what time the bus came in the morning. Charisma walked outside to talk to him, and they had been inseparable ever since.
After I told her the rest of the details about Mr. Donald, she just looked at me with a shocked face. As she got up off the porch swing, she kissed me on the forehead and said, "You know I have to tell Mama, right? You don't have to tell this story twice." Then she went into the house, leaving me to my thoughts.
Half of me thought, Why does she have to be the freaking hero and go tell Mama? The other half of me was glad I didn't have to repeat the story twice. That night, Mama sent Charisma off for nine months to go live with my aunt. I figured she wanted to protect her since she hadn't been able to protect me.
The abuse emotionally drained me. Little did they know, Mr. Donald had not only molested me but also raped me. I was still a virgin when his adult hands touched me. I kept going back because he kept saying, "If you let me feel it one more time, I won't ask again."
After the third time, my thirteen-year-old brain said, He will never stop, so I concocted a master plan. Mr. Donald was only twenty, but Mama had taught us to use the titles Mr. and Ms. for anyone who was considered grown. All of the teenage girls in the neighborhood thought he was fine, with his light-brown complexion and chiseled face. I came to find out he was doing all of the little fast teenage girls in the neighborhood too. He used to tell me I was different because I was a virgin, and he loved to look into my green eyes. He was always sweet and gentle to me. I told him no every time, but deep down, I wanted a man to love me. I felt conflicted. During our last encounter, I figured out that the more I said no, the more he got turned on. I wanted his attention but not that attention. After he came, I said, pulling my panties up, "Mr. Donald, my aunt Mary didn't come." I rubbed my belly, and in my little-girl voice, I whispered, "I think I'm pregnant."
I figured that would get him to stop for sure, and I was right. Just as my father ran off after he found out my mother was pregnant with me, Mr. Donald disappeared. He sat up from the bed so quickly that I thought he was going to come choke me. I immediately started thinking of an escape route out of his bedroom. However, he didn't even look at me when he spoke. He looked up — ironically, he looked to the ceiling, as if he were talking to God for a moment, asking him what he had gotten himself into. Throwing me my yellow sundress and matching training bra, still avoiding eye contact, he yelled, "Go home, and never come back! If you tell anybody — and I mean anybody — I will kill you!" I was surprised that he raised his voice. He never raised his voice at me. I was shocked, but deep down, I smiled because I would never have to sleep with him again. Firmly, he said while lighting a cigarette, "Remember to go out the back door. I don't want anyone seeing you leave."
Without another word, I hurried out of there. A 'For Sale' sign was in his yard the next day, and I never saw him again. Charisma didn't have to stay away after all. It had killed her to leave Rashad. She begged Mama to let her come home. After nine months, she did, but by that time, the Jones family had moved. In the midst of reminiscing, I felt someone pull my hair back off of my shoulders and place it behind my back. It was Charisma. "Hi, Sis. Do you want to come stay with me for a couple of days? I know you don't want to go home to an empty house. Darnelle and I are here for you if you need us," she said with sincerity.
Who the fuck is she to speak for Darnelle? I thought. She is not his wife yet. Hoes kill me, claiming men as theirs without the last name. I answered without looking away from the casket. "That is so thoughtful of you two." I decided to play her little fairy-tale game, so I included Darnelle in my response as well. I loved her, but I was going to show her ass one day that she wasn't the only queen in this family. "I promise I won't stay long," I said.
Flipping her hair, Charisma said, "Darnelle is in and out, so it's all good. You know he's not getting any until we get married anyway, so it's not like you will run across anything improper." She chuckled. Charisma was a virgin and always kept reminding me that she'd waited for her Prince Charming. They'd decided not to live together until they were married. I applauded the bitch, but damn, could I live? I didn't want to be reminded of her fairy-tale ending all the damn time. I couldn't believe fine-ass Darnelle had even waited. Just like Charisma, that nigga was too good to be true.
Mama, looking as if she could be related to Diahann Carroll, shushed us with her pointer finger and told us that the preacher was speaking. That meant "Shut up, or I will shut you up." Since we couldn't finish our conversation, I blew Charisma a kiss to let her know that I loved her for being my sister.
Excerpted from Every I Love You Isn't True by RaSheeda M. Bryant-McNeil. Copyright © 2015 RaSheeda M. Bryant-McNeil. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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