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Friday, January 18, 2013

What's A Girl To Do?


On this morning...I sat in the local Dunkin Donuts having a tumbler of coffee and eating some doughnuts with my friends, Producer, Meek Rollins , Trumpeter, Downtown Rob Brown and Trombonist, "Bone" Hampton...We had been up the past two nights recording with downtown Rob Brown....

We were having a brief respite before all of us was headed toward our beds respectively....Symphony Sam, a saxophonist and leader of a twenty piece band he called his "Orchestra " happened to stop by...He was buying coffee and he spotted us and came over...

"Mind if I join you guys?" he said.

"Pull up a seat Sam." said Meek Rollins....

"Fancy meeting you here B-Flat." he said as he sipped his coffee...

'Why, were you looking for me?" I asked.

"As a matter of fact, I was...I got a business proposition for you....How would you like to be a member of my band?" he asked.   Rob Brown and Meek Rollins laughed...

"Oh it's a band now Sam....Not an orchestra?" laughed Downtown Rob Brown.

Symphony Sam ignored him...

"Look Gus told me about a month ago to put together a house band...A band to play Josies on nights when nobody is booked....and a band to open up for whoever plays...That DJ he had wasn't cuttin it and since the crowd likes live music a little better...I decided to do it... I got two guitarists, a bass player, a drummer, a percussionist, a keyboardist, a trumpet player and a trombonist...I got room for you on Organ.....I even hired my cousin, who is a DJ, to spell us during breaks...We'll be like the house band...." he said.


I thought about it for a minute....I had just met with Kevin's wife Sepia and Robert Foxworth's wife,Bonita a week before and gave them a down payment on a nice little house, just blocks from where I was now... and I had bought a used car, a 2009 Nissan Altima off of  Kevin's friend, Otis Teller...a nice old man that ran a garage across town..


I was just about broke...The money I had made from this gig would help me pay my rent and my bills and leave me with just enough to buy groceries and gas... No drinking this weekend...I was trying to line up a tour...

"I'm in Sam...When do we start?" I asked.

"Next Monday night...We open for this guy here and his quintet...He said looking at Rob Brown." he said.

"You pay scale?" I asked.

"A little over.." said Sam...

"Oh yeah...a steady paycheck....I can get with that." I said.

"And look B. If you need to go on a tour from time to time...I'm flexible...Or if you got a recording date..I'm flexible." he said.

"It's all good Sam....Thank you man." I said.

Meek Rollins and Rob Brown all smiled....

I looked at Sam...

"Did uh Honey send you to me?" I asked.

"She's a nice girl B. We all love her...We want to see her taken care of...But to answer your question, no, she didn't....Gus put the bug in my ear." said Symphony Sam...

I smiled..."Good old Gus." I thought.

Things did seem to be looking up for me... New House, New Car and a steady job.... There still however was the matter of Honey....Hadn't seen her in two weeks, though I had talked to her...By now it was quite obvious to everybody...that I had it bad for her.....But some people, like Bernadette, the hairdresser, Bonita Foxworth, even Mabel , 88's wife were letting it slip that as bad as I had it for her...She had it just as bad for me......I must admit, that did give me hope!

She still hadn't committed to marrying me ....Hell, I hadn't formally asked her....I didn't have a ring....Right now ,I didn't have money for a ring.... I needed a favor...and I only knew of one place to go for a favor like that.

II-





Chris Thompson was no longer a gangster...He and his best friend, Chess and his former lieutenant Donald Smooth had gone straight and had built a number of successful businesses up...These guys were connected to everything but the street lights and for once ..it was good things...They owned Condos, Apartments and a shopping center which employed half the neighborhood... I was presently renting a condo from them...

So when I called Chris...He told me to get with Chess and Donald Smooth and to meet him at a new spot they were renovating and turning into a condo in West Philly...

"What's on your mind B. Baby?" said Chris Thompson...

"Look man...I just got a job...steady money..." I said.

"Yeah Gus told me you gonna be part of Symphony Sam's house band...Congrats!" he said.

"I got your rent money right here ." I said and passed an envelope to Chess.  Chess looked at me peculiarly and smiled...

"What do you need B?" asked Chris..

'Well man...I just bought a house...I put a down payment on one...so I'll be moving soon..and..and you can keep my original deposit.."I said.

"Yeah...I see you got a ride....You doin okay for yourself..but you aint come all the way up here to tell me that...What's on your mind?" said Chess..

"Well man...I thinkin bout gettin married...but right now...I don't have a ring...and like , if you give me a loan...I can uh..I can pay you back Chris...You know I'm good for it man." I said.

Chris frowned....He looked at Chess....Donald Smooth busted out laughing.... Without saying a word... Chris walked over to his car and got out an envelope....He passed it to me..Still not smiling..

I looked in the envelope....There was ten G's in it...

Then...He smiled...Chess broke into raucous laughter....

"That's not a loan...That's a gift....Don't mention it again..." said Chris smiling and patting me on the back...Chess then took out a pen and wrote a name and an address on a card...He passed it to me..

"Go see this guy...He's a friend of ours...He owes us money...Tell him to give you a nice rock...on the house and the debt he owes us is paid off!" said Chess...

"I'll call him..." said Chris...

"I don't know how to thank you guys." I said.

"What are you standing here talkin to us for?  Get goin while he's still open." said Chris...

Chess and Donald Smooth patted me on the back as I hopped in my ride and pulled off.

"Take care of Honey man...She's my favorite Barmaid....She's good people." said Donald Smooth.

Wow! Everybody loves her....




I couldn't afford to screw this up...So many people were pulling for both of us....Or maybe just her!


III-



I stopped by Honey's apartment.... It had been two weeks since I'd seen her. She smiled when she saw my car......

"That yours?" she asked.

"Yeah...Purchased it about a week ago...I told you I'd have some wheels soon." I said.

"I knew you would. Heard you doin all kinds of big things...Gonna be in the house band at Josies..." she said.

"Yeah, that way I can watch you.." I joked.

"I made a down payment on my house a couple of weeks ago too..."I said.

"I heard... Bonita told me when I saw her at the hairdressers.You aint kiddin, you really have changed...What you doin all this for?" she asked.

"A special lady." I said.

"Oh really? Anybody I know?" asked Honey.

"You know her real well...been knowin her all your life." I said.

"Guess it can't be Brooke...I aint known her but a few years.."joked Honey...

"Stop playin.." I said ,laughing.

I had told Brooke about my plans to get back with Honey a week ago.....Last time she had called me.

"You never stopped loving her did you?" she asked me...

"No...I didn't...It took three years in a Spanish Prison to show me that I had blown a good thing.Probably the best thing I ever had" I said.

"Well ,better late than never.. She knows you love her...She'll make the right decision. Good Luck to you B. You're a nice guy...You deserve it." she had said. 

I smiled , thinking about that conversation....Then I returned my attention to Honey.

"I uh...copped one more thing too." I said to Honey.

"Oh?  What's that?" she asked..

I pulled out the ring....Her eyes got as wide as saucers when she saw it....

"Ouuuu B.  Look at this!!! OH MY GOD....How did you? OH MY GOD!!!!" she said.

"Honey...Marry me ..Marry me again...I aint perfect, but who is?...Honey I thought about you the entire time I was locked up...I wondered if I'd ever see you again..I said if I was ever free again I was gone find you and do everything I could do to get you back....and just like that..I was free and I was back home and all I thought about was you....That's all I thought about..Come on now...let's stop playin.." I said.

She was quiet for a long while.....Like I said...My ex wife could be a poker player...Her face rarely betrayed her emotions.

"Okay Honey...just think on it.." I said and was getting ready to walk away when she grabbed my arm...

"Where you goin?  I aint say no..." she said....She was smiling now..Smiling broadly!!!

"You didn't say anything." I said.

"YES....YESSS B.  ,I'LL MARRY YOU...AGAIN!!!!!What's a girl to do?" she said with fake exasperation...

She gave me a long sensuous kiss.....Then she whispered to me...

"You didn't do nothin illegal to get that rock did you?" she asked.

"Of course not.." I said.

"Good...just checkin...." she said and we both busted out laughing...

"Get in the car...I want to show you the new place..."I said.

"Damn B.  I feel like giving you some right now...In my living room..." she said.

"You know that normally I'd take you up on that...but I want you to see the house..."I said.

"Wait...I'm offering you some , right now and you're turning me down?" she said.

"Well ,just for now.." I said.

"WHO ARE YOU??? Did someone kidnap my ex husband and send a replacement?" she laughed...

I laughed.....

"Come on girl and get in this car..." I said...

Honey walked up to me and kissed me again....

"Thanks B." she said.

"For What?" I asked.

"For being patient.....I haven't been the easiest person to deal with,I know..." she said.

"You talkin too much girl...get in this car." I said,laughing....She hugged me and we got in the car and pulled off into the afternoon sky!

EPILOUGE:





Rozanda "Honey" Collins Brown married me two days later....Gus walked her down the aisle....Downtown Rob Brown was my best man.... Bone Hampton, Reed Nelson,Symphony Sam
and Kevin Morris were my groomsmen... Sepia Morris, Kevin's wife, Bonita Foxworth,Mabel Jenkins Moore, Corabeth Jenkins Hamilton, Victoria Weatherford and Anita Jenkins were the bridesmaids...

Pastor Struthers married us...





Gus gave Honey a week off and we went on our honeymoon..(With the 10G's Chris and Chess gave me)

Wasn't a happy ending for everybody....Carlton, the semi-pro basketball player was there...Not only did he see Honey getting remarried to me...but he saw his other flame, Anita Jenkins there with Chance Howard, the young Attorney at Robert Foxworth's firm...

He stomped his foot and stormed out before the ceremony was over....

And in Oakland, California....Brooke Taylor, the jazz guitarist returned to her apartment to see it spread with roses of every color  all over the living room and in the bedroom, Bo Killens lay across the bed nude...Smiling...

"I was waitin for you baby."

The slap was heard around the city...and the police had to be called...Brooke broke all of the flower vases and chased Bo out of her apartment, nude!!!!

"Heyyyy, what was that for???" he yelled...

"LYIN CHEATIN BASTARD!" yelled Brooke as she sailed vase after vase at his head....

''Woman, you crazy...Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.." he yelled.. as he ran for the door and out into the street..

"Brooke...Brooke...Let me back in to get my clothes...I'm naked....I aint got no clothes on...Baby please...!!!!" he yelled...

She never opened the door....People walked by, laughing and hollering at his plea...

"Brooke!  ,Brooke!!! It's cold out here baby...I'm out here naked...It's cold...., Heyyyy what are you lookin at pal?  Not you Brooke...Brooke!  Come on now....I can explain...Baby PLEASE!!! ,Please!"he exclaimed.

He was arrested and charged with indecent exposure before he finally was able to explain what had happened and was released some days later.  Even the cops were laughing!
*************************************************************************

Meanwhile in a hotel in Jamaica, Honey and I lie together in bed sweating profusely after making love furiously all night and into the morning...
`

"B.  you gonna kill me baby.." she said...

"Not if you don't kill me first...." I said trying to catch my breath...

"You happy?" she asked.

"Oh most definitely....How bout you?" I asked...

"Oh yes...yes...yes...." she said....

We stared into each others eyes and burst out laughing....

17 comments:

Sunflower said...

Awww Keith,I'm gonna cry ...This wwhole storyline was so sweet!

Brenda said...

You out did yourself mister...Loved this damn story!

Vanessa said...

The best! This was one of your best ever! Thank You!

Lisa said...

Keith...Loved this story...I was brought to tears...Just loved everything about it!

Halo said...

I've been reading this over and over...That's how much I loved this...Love the way you portray African-American Couples...Wish you were writing for Television and or the Movies.

Angie B. said...

Standing and Clapping! Just Standing and Clapping...I loved this story and especially this last installment! Just loved it!

Toni said...

Keith, you just get better and better everyday...This has got to be one of my favorite stories that you have written. Loved it,Loved it,Loved it!

Cheryl said...

I was about to cry....So Happy for Honey Brown and B.Flat....Can't tell you how much I enjoyed this.

Captain Jack said...

You are giving it to the people!

Yvonne Anderson said...

Great storyline...Just great...Standing and applauding!

Anonymous said...

Standing and Applauding and slinging my panties at you...I Loved this story!

James Perkins said...

LMBAO ! Loved what happened to old Bo Killens at the very end...Great story...Hope to see more of B-Flat!

Sean said...

Good Story....And nice seeing the whole Escapades "family" chip in and help B. out...Love the cameos..

Grover Tha Playboy said...

@Anonymous- still throwing panties huh? LMBAO...I haven't commented in a long time...Just been reading...You crack me up! Great story Keith..

Tate 2 said...

Standing and Applauding and throwing my boxers and wrist watch up to the rafters...Hell of a good story man!

James Perkins said...

LMBAO! OH NO!!! We got another person throwing underwear! LOL!

Brenda said...

Please don't encourage either one of them!-LOL!