Aisha put her drink down and just stared across the table at Delia for a long silent moment. She shook her head in disdain at the woman’s stupidity for boldly and so foolishly exposing Bonz’s secret to a complete stranger.
“I thank you for telling me that, Delia, I really do. But since I don’t intend to become the man’s wife or bear his children, I really don’t see how that matters to me,” Aisha coolly told the foolish woman, putting extra emphasis on her name like a scolding parent.
Delia bristled at Aisha’s hard tone. Beside her, Cami smiled, obviously happy to hear that the model wasn’t looking for a long-term commitment with Bonz. This was the second time Aisha insinuated a brief fling was all she wanted with him. If that was true, then Cami could certainly overlook such a thing. She’d overlooked worse before with her last man.
Aisha leaned in closer to Delia and added in that same scolding tone, “Furthermore, if I were you, Delia, I would keep that kind of information to myself from now on. For all you know, I could be an undercover cop, ready to take down all three men.”
Delia’s mouth dropped open like a drawbridge, but no words fell out. She looked like a deer caught in headlights as her eyes darted nervously to the men and then back to Aisha’s calm countenance. Her drink remained untouched.
“Are you an undercover cop?” Alexis asked in a whisper, needing to know if hot-headed Delia had messed things up for all of them with her big mouth.
Aisha turned to smile warmly at Alexis. “No, but I could have been. You ladies look like you have a good setup here.” She paused and turned to face Delia again. “Don’t blow it by running your mouths too much. Men such as yours need discreet women who can keep a cool head under pressure.”
“You seem to know what you’re talking about. Have you been with a hustler before?” Alexis asked in her normal tone. She admired the beautiful model even more now that she’d displayed a fair amount of street sense.
Aisha nodded. Her eyes took on a faraway pained look. “In college I dated a guy that sold weed and a little powder to put himself through school,” she replied, revealing something that only she and Dominic knew about. Yet Aisha felt peaceful about sharing it now in this setting. “Trouble is, Parker didn’t know how to let it go once he graduated and obtained other options for his life.”
Alexis swallowed hard. “What happened to him?” she said, looking anxious as if she already knew the answer to her question.
“Let’s just say that I visit Parker’s grave once a year on his birthday,” Aisha replied with glossy eyes full of real emotion. She definitely wasn’t acting now.
Aisha had been deeply in love with Parker Oakley, even planned to marry him. But being the wife of a drug dealer didn’t go well with the type of career she really wanted. Certainly not with the sensible career her mother wanted her to have.
If Aisha made it big in
When Aisha gave Parker an ultimatum three months before their wedding date, she found him extremely unwilling to go totally legit. As a result, she called the whole thing off and made preparations to leave him. When Aisha finally left, she cried the whole plane ride from
After a month in
Aisha was overjoyed. When Parker didn’t show up at the LAX airport a week later as planned, she immediately called to check on him. That’s when she was told that Parker and several of his drug contacts had been killed by the police in a sting operation.
It seems that Parker had tried to make one final score before leaving his life in
That whole experience soured Aisha on love and on dating men involved in illegal activities. Since then she practiced a no-strings-attached romantic life and only dated professional men. Bonz would be her first digression from that path. But it would be a short digression.
The three women around Aisha had grown quiet at her words. They all knew the risks involved with the kind of lifestyle they led. Over time, if the police didn’t get their men and send them to prison, other hustlers got to them and sent them to early graves. It was all so depressing if one really took time to think about it, which is what they were doing right now.
Feeling the need to do something about the current heaviness that had descended upon the group, Aisha stood to her feet. “Listen, ladies, we can sit here and dwell on the past all we want. We can even stress about what might happen in the future. But I, for one, am going to enjoy living in the present. And on that note, I say, turn up the music. It’s time to dance,” Aisha said, willing to dance in her socks if she had to. Somebody had to break through all the gloom.
When Alexis complied with her request, Aisha cheerfully called over to Bonz. “Hey, Greg! Come dance with me, baby.” Oh my, what a fine little actress she turned out to be.
© 2005 by Suprina Frazier