When Millsap and Mike-Mike finally left the kiddy track, Millsap couldn’t stop talking about Cami’s son. About how smart Little Man was. How well behaved and mature he was for his age. About how he truly acted like a ‘little man’.
“No disrespect, but with a mama like the old Cami, that boy probably didn’t have no choice but to grow up fast,” Mike-Mike said after listening to his friend in silence for the last ten minutes.
“You’re right.” Millsap nodded in agreement. “Matter of fact, I’m the kind of man that I am today because of my mother.”
“Yep,” Mike-Mike agreed. “The kind of man that always has to be the one in control in a relationship. I’m surprised you can keep any woman with all the hoops you make them jump through just to be with you.”
“They keep coming back ‘cause they know a brotha is worth it,” Millsap replied conceitedly, even though every word was true. He treated all of his women well.
“Whatever.” Mike-Mike rolled his eyes in the driver’s seat.
Millsap chuckled. “Anyway, did you notice how Little Man never looked away from Cami when she talked to him? It was like he couldn’t get enough of staring at her face.”
“If your mama was locked up for five years and now lived way across the country, you’d keep looking at her while you could, too,” Mike-Mike replied, as usual sprouting wisdom that came from being raised by a mature person who’d learned a lot from life and poured those lessons into him.
“I guess so. Makes me kinda want to go holla at my own mama today,” Millsap said, craving a closer relationship with his own mother, despite how greedy she still was. “Mind if we swing by there after we visit your grandma?”
“I’m up for some extra socializing today.” Mike-Mike nodded, consenting to the extra visitation. “By the way, did you notice that Cami and Tonja were both wearing thongs again today?”
Millsap burst out laughing. “Man, the only woman whose thong I noticed today at that park was Cami’s. I don’t look at Tonja like that for some reason. She seems more sisterly to me.”
“Well, neither Cami nor Tonja is sisterly to me. I check them both out on the regular. Ain’t never seen a panty line yet with neither one of them. I don’t think they own regular draws.”
Millsap burst out laughing again. “Okay, first of all, women don’t wear draws or bloomers anymore, Mr. Pick-Up-Too-Many-Words-From-His-Granny-At-Times. Today’s women wear panties, thongs, tangas, and even briefs, but never draws. Secondly, you need to keep your eyes on your own woman. Thirdly—”
“Oh, so you have finally staked claim on Cami?” Mike-Mike interrupted.
“It sure sounded like it to me.”
“Then I must have misstated,” Millsap said, quickly backing out of that possessiveness he’d just felt for Cami.
“Yeah right, college boy.” Mike-Mike chuckled knowingly.
“What about Tonja? Are you claiming her now?”
“She’s mine when we’re together.”
“So you really don’t mind her being and living with her baby-daddy?” Millsap asked, getting the attention off of him for the moment.
“I ain’t gonna lie. Most days it irks the heck out of me ‘cause the girl is just that good in bed. Plus, I’m really feeling her in other ways, too.” Mike-Mike stopped just short of admitting his love. “But since I’m still seeing other people, too, I realize I can’t be too mad about it. Does it bother you about Cami dating other people?” he concluded, smoothly shifting the conversation back where it belonged.
“Cami’s not dating anybody right now,” Millsap replied, avoiding the question he’d been asked. “There are a few dudes tryna holla at her where she lives, but she’s still so hooked on me that she ain’t giving them the time of day.” He smiled with satisfaction about Cami’s preference for him.
“And how do you happen to know all that?”
Millsap grinned and then shared the conversation he overheard in the grocery store parking lot.
“What are you gonna do when Cami does finally start dating somebody? You know, when she gets tired of waiting for you.”
Millsap’s smile drooped into a frown. Leave to Mike-Mike to ask all the hard questions. “When that time comes, I’ll take it like a man like I do everything else in life. I won’t like it, but I will suck it up and get over it.”
“That’s good to know, ‘cause Cami’s onion alone is probably gonna keep those dudes in her neighborhood sniffing around behind her for a long time to come. At the club, too, based on what Tonja told me.”
“Whose tryna get with Cami at the club?” Millsap’s nostrils were flaring now. Hot jealousy singed his insides. His hands balled into fists at his sides.
“Every man with eyes it seems, customer and employee alike, despite our no-fraternizing rule. Cami has turned down so many of them by now that Tonja asked me if you have done what prison couldn’t do - turned the poor girl gay.”
Millsap’s smile returned. “Believe me, Cami is far from gay. Like I said before, she’s just stuck on me right now, that’s all.”
“And like I said before, it is only a matter of time before that changes,” Mike-Mike reminded him and then wisely switched subjects altogether.
For the rest of the ride they talked about how well his grandmother was adjusting to the luxury nursing home she was in. About how she was even starting to walk around again. About how Mike-Mike hoped to one day bring her back to their home so that his grandmother could finish out her days surrounded by the things she loved.
Yet despite their change of conversation, Millsap continued to ponder what his friend had said about Cami. How much longer would she wait for him? Another week? A month?
And once Cami eventually moved on, would Millsap truly be able to handle it? Especially when he still wanted her for himself.
© 2008 by Suprina Frazier