'What the hell? This is Mingus comin back at me...He is sooooo dead." screamed Fathead.
I didn't think this was Mingus, not his style and besides after the beatdown Chris and I had given him and his boy,Oatmeal...it was highly unlikely that they would double back and do something like this. Chris didn't believe it was Mingus either and he said so-
"Fathead...come here..let me holler at you....Listen...This aint Mingus...This here is some lady scorned stuff...now I won't call no names, but you and I know exactly who is behind this...and to be honest..can you blame her? You told her you were going to marry her and then you go and marry someone else..???Come on man..if it were me...I'd be a little heated too." said Chris, always the voice of reason.
"You probably right Chris...Well? What should I do?" asked Fathead.
"Take a cab....Take your new bride ,get in a cab and get out of dodge as soon as possible, give her time to deal with this." said Chris.
Fathead and his new bride caught a cab to the airport and a tow truck came to tow the two limos
away. Chris and I stood on the windswept corner...saying nothing..Finnally,I broke the silence..
"You think she did that?" I asked.
Chris looked at me as though i had asked him what one plus one meant and said-
"I know she did it...and you know it too Chess...I just hope she chills, but I know how she feels, Fathead been stringin her along for a minute now." said Chris.
I was surprised at Chris's sudden sensitivity and my lack of it...I felt a strange kind of rueful glee at Cherry being literally left at the alter by Fathead.
I went home with Rell and we put our son to bed. I sat up looking out the window...Rell studied me and she said-
'Chess,what's on your mind? You seem like something is eating at you?" she said.
"It is.....Something I gotta do...You don't have to wait up for me..I'll probably be back late...but I'll make it up to you...tomorrow I'll take you and the baby out to breakfast in the mall." I said.
"Breakfast at the mall? That's all I get?" she said.
"I'll be too tired for any sexin, when I come back." I said.
"Sex? I'm not talking about sex...I'm talking about something more than breakfast" she said..
"Okay, I'll take you shopping." I sighed...
"That's more like it....I'm kidding Chess..breakfast will be just fine" she said.
I grabbed her and kissed her...slowly fondling her breasts ....
"You keep this up and you won't get to where you're going..sure you want to go?" She said.
"Yeah..I gotta take care of this...See you later." I said.
I drove to Josie's....It was nearing closing time...88 had stopped playing and was packing up...There was a few patrons still milling around....I saw Cherry,sitting by herself at the end of the bar. She was downing gulps of Patron..
"Somehow I knew you'd show up." she said as I sat down next to her. Gus looked at me and I quietly said...
"Two Coffee's Gus...Cream and sugar in mine...and you like yours with one cream and two sugars
right?" I said.
"Chess, you remembered." she said...She managed a weak smile, then she turned and asked me-
"Chess, would you have left babymama for me if I had gotten that divorce?"
"Honestly...I would have. Truth be told...I was still sleeping with her the entire time you and I were seeing each other." I said.
"I know." she said.
"You know? You didn't know! " I said.
"Sure I did...You never pressed me for sex....so I knew that you were getting it from someone else."
"It could be that I was a gentlemen" I joked....
"Gentleman is not what I think of when I think of you Chess." she said. She took some photos out of her pocketbook. The photos were of her when she was about 13 years younger....They were taken at her prom in Oakland,California.
"I was the Prom Queen back then..can you believe it? I had guys falling at my feet...I was a cheerleader...and class valedictorian....I was going places..I was a winner. I haven't been a winner in a long time Chess." she sighed as she put the photos away.
'What happened Cherry?" I asked...
"My husband happened...I was a junior in college and I met him. He and his boys used to sell weed, dope and coke around our campus...They didn't go there but they hung around..they were
hip, older guys, cool....I was attracted to the cash he was spending on me and the flash. He was so
nice to me at first....Then he became mean and abusive and I got caught up in him and by the time I saw him for what and who he was..it was too late..I was married to him. I didn't finish college because of him....My middle class family turned their back on me because of him...He started beating on me shortly after we got married, then he beat a man to death, who he thought I was sleeping with."
"Well, were you?" I asked.
"Yeah, I was...My husband was such an asshole...I needed someone to take my mind off of him.. After he killed that guy...I knew I couldn't stay with him any longer so I fled as far from Oakland as possible. I met you and I liked you for all of the same reasons, but I thought you were just like him. Guess I was wrong about you Chess...I got involved with Fathead..a bad man...That's all I ever meet is bad men Chess.." she said and began to cry again.
At that moment, I forgave her and all of my anger,all of my frustration completely left me..It was as if a demon had been cast out of me...I knew that I could move on.
"What am I going to do now Chess? Got no man, Got no job, Got no place to go..."
"You have a place to go....Here's a key to one of my apartments..You can stay there rent free until you find employment...Where is your stuff in storage?" I asked.
"Yes Chess....Why are you doing this for me? I stole your money and your car and left you stranded in Puerto Rico.?"
"Yeah,I know..but you paid me back and we found the rental car and sent it back...and I tossed in putting the kibosh on your ex and getting him locked up as a little extra." I said.
"You're a good guy Chess...You're the one I let get away." she said.
I paid her tab and walked her to her car....We kissed for a long time...Finnally, I broke away from her...I put the key in the palm of her hand...
"Here....The apartment complex is near the one you were in before. Take this key and let yourself in...Tell the business manager to call me and I'll square everything with him." I said.
"Nobody does anything for nothing Chess...I guess you own me now, huh?" she said.
"Slavery is over Cherry...Nobody owns you....Get a job and start paying me rent...Other than that...the game is even between me and you..You're free and clear." I said.
"I love you Chess" she said.
"Goodbye Cherry" I said as I turned and walked towards my car....
"I really do mean that Chess." I heard her say in the distance!