"Y'all can put it right there." I pointed my head to an empty spot on my white floral print sheets covered bed as my best friends Shannon and Zayla were carrying my storage box of books just as I set my box filled with perfumes.
It was Friday afternoon. And we finally moved into our very own apartment. I couldn't have been more excited. It was a beautiful and spacious apartment with three bedrooms, one full bathroom and a modern kitchen with a dishwasher and garbage disposal. Plus, it was twenty minutes from my acting instructor job at The Liberty Theatre. And not only was I happy that I'm finally on my own, but I was going to be living with my girls. Shannon, Zayla and I have been tighter than a bra cup two sizes small since we were fifteen years old. As a matter of fact, they were more like my cousins than my own blood cousins. We were so close that my mom use to call us The Three Musketeers. If you saw me, Zayla and Shannon were right behind me and vice versa and vice versa.
Shannon was the shortest and thickest out of us at five foot three. She's five foot six when she wears her three inch heels, or as I like to call them biscuit heels with a thick hourglass figure. She has buttermilk skin with a little bit of freckles spread across her cheeks and pointy nose. She usually wears her chin-length honey brown hair in ponytail pieces and wraps. Today she had an impeccable weave which was styled in an upsweep ponytail with a bang in the front. If I didn't know Shannon, I would've assumed it was her real hair because it looked natural.
Zayla, on the other hand, is five foot seven and some change with full, high cheekbones and piercing green-hazel eyes. Although on some days they look more hazel and other days they're greener. And today was one of the days they looked the latter. Her short golden blonde hair was done in a mohawk which complemented her sun-kissed honey brown skin and spunky personality.
Me, well, I'm a shade darker than Zayla so my skin is like a pretty cocoa brown. I'm between 130 or 133 pounds depending on who's taking my weight at the doctor's office with a shapely booty, even shapelier long legs that would make Amerie hate on me and tight abs that came from sweating my butt off doing one hundred crunches three times a week. My hair was dark and fell a couple of inches past my shoulders. It's funny because growing up Shannon had the longest hair out of all of us, and I had the shortest hair. Now Shannon and Zayla both joke around that they're gonna tie me to a chair, cut my hair and attach it to theirs.
"You know what, y'all? Y'all can put the box right next to my desk." I said when I noticed a spot next to my computer desk which was better for me since I planned on putting my books on the shelves right above my desk.
"Will you make up your mind, girl?" Zayla asked with attitude just as she and Shannon were about to rest the box on my bed. "This box is heavy. What you do? Pack Borders in this mug."
Shannon concurred. "I know. And I thought I had a lot of books."
"Okay, okay. I'll put y'all out your misery." I remarked, not wanting to hear their complaining selves anymore.
"Thank you." Zayla released an enormous sigh of relief as her and Shannon placed it in front of my pillows.
"What kind of books do you have in here anyway?" Shannon lifted the lid off the box and peeked inside with her nosey self.
"You are so nosey. You all in my business." I tried to put the lid back on so she couldn't see inside, but Shannon already had her small, book grabbing hands on a book. Her eyes scanned the title and read. "203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild In Bed. What the hell?"
"Let me see that." Zayla snatched the book out Shannon's hands. Her funny-colored eyes traveled over the red, hardback, floral print cover. "Oooh, what are you doing with this?"
"I just got it to get some ideas for my stories." I lied. Well, it wasn't actually a lie. I have used some of the ideas for the love scenes in my novels and short stories. Writing, as well as acting, has been my passion since I was in the third grade which is why I'm a fourth year theatre major at The University of The Arts. While everyone in school had goals of becoming doctors, nurses, lawyers and athletes, my dream was between playing God with imaginary people's lives and bringing an imaginary person to life. But I bought the book to get ideas to spice things up inside and outside the bedroom.
"Riiight, Keyarra, riiight." Zayla pursed her lips. "Just when you think you really know a person, you really don't know them. Just let me find out you got a jumpoff."
"You know Keyarra over here is a porn star. If you ask me, I think she wrote that book and wrote it under a pen name." She took the book out of Zayla's hands and skimmed through the pages.
"I think that's it as far as my boxes," I looked around my bedroom. Then I remembered my box filled with my pajamas, nightgowns and lingerie was still in my car. "Wait a minute. No, I don't. I still have one more box. Do y'all have any more boxes left?" My eyes darted between Shannon and Zayla.
"Yeah," answered Zayla. "My box of CDs is still in your car. You have any more boxes left, Shannon?" Zayla turned and looked at Shannon.
"Uh yeah," Shannon closed my book and put it face down in the storage box. "I still have a couple of boxes of my things I need to get out."
We headed out the door and were greeted by the beaming behind sun and humid air. On the news they said it would be sunny at ninety-five degrees, but it felt more like one hundred and five degrees. It was a good thing I opted on wearing my cotton, black booty shorts instead of my black sweatpants because I would've been sweating unreal and the pants would've been sticking to me like second skin.
"It's hot as biggety balls out here." Shannon squint her eyes from the bright sun as she opened the back door on the passenger's side of her red Stratus. Since Zayla had her boxes in my black 2003 Altima I powered off the alarm with my remote control pad. Just as I inserted my key into the trunk door and pulled it up, some hardcore rap song blared throughout the street. Immediately, I shook my head and felt my eardrums ringing like a chime. I hated it when people blast their music with a passion. I just felt it was so unnecessary. Just because they didn't mind going deaf didn't mean everyone else wanted to be ten percent away from losing their hearing. I looked up and noticed a white Nissan Pathfinder driving up the block with the song in full blast. Just my luck, the car abruptly parked in the empty parking space in back of a raggedy Passat that was parked right behind my car.
Shannon bent her knees, pulled the box closer to her chest and lowered her voice. "Check out the candy bars coming this way!" That was her little name for men. "Ooh la la!"
I followed her gaze and noticed two hoodish looking guys heading towards us. One guy was tall with medium brown skin, Asian-esque eyes and two, thick gold chains which hung down to his chest. The other guy was Snoop Dogg skinny; light brown-skinned and appeared to be between five foot eight and five foot nine. He had on a long, white T-shirt, baggy blue jeans and a white and black cap on his head. Apparently my definition of fine is different from Shannon's definition because these guys weren't fine. Now my future husband in my head Jesse Williams is fine. My former husband in my head Wil Demps was fine, but these guys were cute at best. Then again, I rarely found the street guys fine anyway so maybe I'm biased. Unlike Beyonce`, Kelly and Michelle, I didn't want a man who had to be street to look at me.
"Calm down, boo-boo," Zayla muttered, gently patting her on the shoulder. "The last thing we need is for your panties to be soaked. And you know guys can smell the wetness."
"Shut up." giggled Shannon. "Besides, they're not wet yet."
"Eeell," I wrinkled my nose like I smelled spoiled milk and covered my ears. "Must you two be so crass?"
"How y'all ladies doin'?" The Ghettotastic Trio smiled and looked us over.
"Okay!" Zayla and I greeted back as Zayla picked up her white, cardboard box filled with her CDs from inside the trunk.
Shannon responded flirtatiously. "What's up!"
"Y'all ladies movin' in here?" Cap Guy asked as he pointed to the apartment building.
"Yup," That was Shannon.
"That's whassup," Asian-esque eyes said. Then he yelled out to a caramel-colored, football player built brother with a five 'o' clock shadow and cornrows that looked a few months old. The guy hopped out the backseat of the jeep with a cell phone in his right hand. He was dressed in a tight-fitting, black T-shirt and blue jeans that were hanging halfway down his butt, advertising his black briefs. His buff arms were covered in tattoos. Dude had that thugged out I'm-going-to-bust-a-cap-in-your-behind look to him. I was a step away from sprinting into my apartment and closing the door. "Yo Dallas! Come meet our new neighbors, man."
"New neighbors?" Cornrows slid his cellphone in his left pocket. His eyes moved from Shannon to me to Zayla's. "Get the fuck outta here! So y'all must be movin' into the apartment on the first floor? See we live right above y'all on the second floor in 1431B."
"Okay neighbors. It's nice to meet you guys." smiled Shannon.
"So why don't y'all ladies introduce y'all selves?" Cap Guy quizzed.
We told them our names. As I told them my name, I noticed Lyzel's eyes glazing my body and stopping to rest on my thighs and legs. Instantly I felt conscious. Maybe I shouldn't have worn these booty shorts after all. Then the hood trio introduced themselves one by one. Asian-esque eyes' name was Chase. Cap Guy with the Wandering Eyes' name was Lyzel. And Mr. Thugged Out with the Cornrows' name was Dallas.
Chase walked over to Shannon and took her box out her hands. "Let a man get that for you since you look like you strugglin'."
"Thank you," Shannon flashed him a Miss America smile. "See that's why it's nothing like a man cause y'all so strong." This girl really had no shame.
Just as Dallas proceeded to grab the box out Zayla's hands, she looked at him strangely. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?"
"I'm carryin' the box for you, Light Eyes. What chew scared or somethin?'" Dallas smirked.
"Uh yeah. And now that I'm looking at you, you look like that dude that was on America's Most Wanted last week."
"See you hurtin' my feelings, Light Eyes," He clutched his chest and had a wounded look of hurt on his face. "You hurtin' my feelings."
"I'm just playin'." Zayla handed her box to Dallas and told him. "You can take this for me."
Then Lyzel strolled over next to me and went to place his hands on my box of pajamas and nightgowns, but ended up touching my hands. Out of nowhere several tingles traveled up and down my spine. "Why don't you let me carry that for you, baby?"
"No, that's okay." I answered quickly.
He must've noticed my apprehension because he asked. "Why you nervous, baby? I'm not gonna hurt you." He added before flashing the deepest pair of dimples I've ever seen. If there's one thing I can't resist on a guy are dimples. Suddenly I felt my eyes pasted to his face, and my heart pit-pattered. Why is my heart doing that? It must have something to do with the Welch's Red Grape juice I had this morning. Up close I noticed he had more of an innocent-looking baby face than a thuggish look. Then again there are a lot of non-threatening looking, cute-faced murderers and rapists in the world.
"How do I know? I don't know you like that."
"Well, you can get to know me like that."
"No, that's okay."
"So it's like that, hunh?" asked Mr. Cap.
"I guess it is."
"Don't pay her any mind. You can carry this for me." Shannon reached inside the backseat of her sedan, grabbed a box and handed it to Mr. Cap.
As the guys carried our boxes into the apartment building, I faced my crazy best friends and whispered hotly. "Have y'all been sniffin' oil sheen spray? How are you going to let them carry our stuff into our apartment? We don't know them like that. They can be plottin' to steal some of our stuff. Or tell their boys about what we have so they can steal our things."
Shannon whispered back. "Will you stop being so damn scary? Come on, they're our neighbors."
"Yeah, Keyarra," concurred Zayla. "And our arms need to rest. We've been lifting and carrying boxes all day."
"Okay, okay. But if I come into the apartment one day and find my T.V. and stereo gone, I'm going to go off," I said before carrying my box into the building.
"Yo, where y'all want these boxes at?" Chase asked when we entered the living room.
"Y'all can just put them right here." Shannon pointed to an empty spot in front of the couch.
They placed the boxes on the floor before Lyzel looked around the living room and spoke up. "Y'all been moving y'all stuff in here by yourselves?"
"Yup," replied Zayla. "We're independent women."
"Y'all men couldn't help y'all move?" Lyzel asked us, but his eyes were locked on my face. I chuckled for two reasons. One because men crack me up how they play smooth and slick. And two men automatically assume if you're attractive that you have a man. Or at least have more men in your face than Soma had underwear. What they fail to realize is that they're a lot of female buggerwolves in serious relationships or happily married.
"No, we're manless." I answered, staring down at my French pedicured toenails.
"Yeah!" Shannon waved his comment off. "We're platinum card carrying members of the Lonely Broads Club."
"No, you mean you're the lonely broad." Zayla and I corrected her in unison.
"I'm in the Alone, But Very, Very, Very, Very Happy Women Club." said Zayla.
Dallas questioned. "Oh, so you one of those sistas who don't need a man, right?"
"That's right. Me needing a man is like a roach needing a car. Men are nothing, but lying, cheating, trifling, selfish, no good sons of bitches who would screw your cousin if you turn your back and close your eyes."
"Whooooa, ma!" The guys chorused in perfect harmony.
"I see you one of those male bashing chicks." Lyzel said.
"No I'm not a sexist, I'm a realist." corrected Zayla.
"Get the hell out of here!" Chase sucked his teeth. "Y'all women can be scandalous too. That's why us men cheat because we know y'all cheatin'. I say y'all cheat more so than us it's just that y'all sneaky with y'all shit, ya know what I mean?"
"Women can be sneaky, I'll give you that." Zayla concurred. "But women cheating more? I doubt it."
"Some guy done fucked you over, hunh Light Eyes?" asked Dallas. Then he opened his tattoo-covered arms for a hug. "Come here and let me console you."
"The only guys I need consoling me is right here." Zayla opened the freezer, picked up her carton of Ben and Jerry's Butter Pecan ice cream and pointed to the name. "They're the only men I need, Tattoos."
"Oooh you cold." commented Dallas.
Chase steered the conversation in another direction. "Well we gotta go, but check this out? Y'all need to come over and chill with us. You know have a couple of drinks." His eyes darted back and forth between Shannon and I. Then he turned to Zayla and joked. "And you too Miss Realist."
"Okay. We'll take you up on that offer." A smile crossed Shannon's face.
Lyzel chimed in. "Aw'ight, we're gonna hold you to that. And if y'all need anything just knock or holla." He looked over his shoulder and stared at me. Once again my heart pit pattered. Dag, I really need to leave that juice alone.
We thanked them for carrying our boxes for us and exchanged see y'all laters. Then they strolled out the apartment and turned right.
Shannon closed and locked the door. Then she leaned against it, closed her eyes and grunted like she was constipated. "Umph! Those guys are fiiiine! Oh yeah, I'm really going to like it here. And did y'all check out that guy Chase? Shoot, he can chase me between the sheets every day of the week." Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday love." She sung the chorus to Cherrelle and Alexander O' Neal's Saturday Love and began gyrating.
"You wanna go inside the bathroom and wipe yourself with the toilet paper, Miss Soaked Panties?" Zayla asked, pointing to the bathroom. "Cause I know if you weren't wet before, you wet now."
"A couple of sheets of Cottonelle isn't going to help. I need some Bounty." She laughed.
I grimaced. "No, your nasty, horny self needs Jesus."
"I know you not talking about needing Jesus, Miss 2,003 Ways to Put it on a Man in Bed." Shannon shot back.
"See, you got it all wrong. It's 203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild in Bed," I corrected her. "And like I said I bought it to get ideas for the love scenes in my stories."
"Whatever. I know Lyzel would love for you to try those tips from that book on him." Shannon wiggled her eyebrows and grinned from cheek to cheek. "Cause he was checkin' you out big time, wasn't he, Zayla?"
Zayla answered. "Mmm-hmm. And Keyarra was checking him out too."
"Keyarra wasn't checking him out." I argued with a frown.
"Yes you were," Zayla's eyes twinkled. "But I don't blame you cause he’s a cutie."
"He's cute, but he's not even my type."
"Oh, I forgot you into those bi-racial and multi-racial looking pretty boys." Zayla rolled her eyes skyward.
I shrugged my shoulders and replied a little testily. "Well what's wrong with that? I can't help whom I'm attracted to. I'm sorry, but I'm not into the Mr. Thug Lives or the Yo shorty! ghettolicious types."
Zayla and I have traveled up, down and around this road before. She was always getting on my case about being into pretty boys. Zayla would always season her statements with sayings like, "Ain't nothing a pretty boy can do for me, but introduce me to his more masculine looking friend." Or, "I like my men how I like my fried chicken-crispy on the outside and tender on the inside." But a man whose jeans sag down their behinds revealing their Hanes, vocabulary laced with slang and profanity, can't hold an intelligent conversation and listens to nothing, but rap music doesn't do anything for me.
"I'm not saying you gotta be with those type of guys," responded Zayla. "But why be with a man whose skin is softer than yours and eyelashes curlier than yours?"
Shannon laughed. "And you know what they say-if you want it real good get yourself a hood boy."
"Anyway," I was too through with them telling me whom I should and shouldn't be attracted to. "Where's the box cutter at so I can open this box and start unpacking my stuff?" I asked as I stood in front of my box filled with my sleepwear.