Shereen McKellar
Lovers And Roommates II


(Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely concidental).



Copyright © 2014 Shereen McKellar All Rights Reserved







3


Zayla




“I can’t even look at The Cosby Show the same without thinking about Bill Cosby drugging someone and humpin’ and pumpin’ a chick while they’re passed out.” I told Marquise as I watched him fixed the lock on my bedroom door.

Marquise turned the knob repeatedly to see if the door was locked. “I’m not knocking what he did, but I think some of them were Chronicles of the Casting Couch like the blonde woman who said Bill Cosby raped her repeatedly. Why would you continue to go back to someone who raped you?”

“True.” Marquise had a point.

“And why would you go to a guy’s hotel room and not expect nothing to go down?” Marquise said. “I think the door is fixed. Can you go on the other side and lock it? I want to see if I can’t get in from this side.”

It was Monday evening, and Marquise was over at the apartment fixing the locks to me and Shannon’s bedroom doors. When I found out the lock was jacked up on my bedroom door the other day I called Marquise immediately and left a voicemail on his cell phone for him to fix the locks. Shannon said she would call, but I couldn’t wait for her especially since Shannon has a tendency to forget. I needed to be able to lock my bedroom door if need be. I wanted my privacy, and I definitely wanted to avoid dangerous situations. You never know Shannon may bring some guy she’s dating to our place, I have my bedroom door unlocked and I wake up to have his sick ass on top of me and inside me. And I’m not having that.

I entered my bedroom and shut the door before I locked it. I breathed a sigh of relief when Marquise turned the knob a few times, but wasn’t able to get inside my room. “Thank you, Jesus of Nazareth, the lock is fixed!” “Yeah, but just because you go to a dude’s hotel room doesn’t give him the right to put shit in your drink and rape you. That’s like because you go out and wear a tight ass dress that gives a dude the right to rape you.”

“But you have to be careful out here and think. That’s why I tell my female cousins dress how you want to be addressed, don’t go to a guy’s room just expecting conversation and snacks and don’t accept a drink from a guy if you didn’t see him make it.”

“Well, I got some advice that’s even better for your female cousins. Every man is a rapist or a cheater until he proves otherwise.”

“So you’ve never cheated Mr. Sometimes-You-Get-Tired-Of-General Tso’s Chicken-and-Want-To-Try-Chicken-Lo-Mein.” I gave him an “If-you-say-you-haven’t-cheated-you-a-damn-lie look.”

“I haven’t cheated.”

“So you never cheated or thought about cheating?” I gave him a sideways glare. You show me a man whose never cheated and I’ll show you a woman that doesn’t like money.

“No, I haven’t said I didn’t think about cheating because I have. I’ve been tempted to cheat. Dying to cheat, but I haven’t cheated because to me it’s not even worth it. Look, Zayla, you're fine, you’re smart, you're in college, you have a job, you smell of fresh flowers, now you have a smart mouth, but, other than that a dude who cheats on you is a fool.”

I smiled at Marquise’s comment. “Look, Marquise I don’t have any money. I barely have enough money to pay rent.”

“Awww, girl. I don’t want your money.” He waved his hand like he was swatting away a mosquito. “I’m just keeping it a thousand with you.”

“Speaking of money I need to call this stupid job of mine and see if they put me on the schedule.” I walked over to my dresser and grabbed my cell phone which laid next to my Bath and Body Works' Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin body spray. Ever since I dropped Terrence’s cheating ass like a bad habit I’ve noticed my hours have decreased. And last week I didn’t even get a shift which was really pissing me the hell off. Now, I could see why Keyarra didn't believe in mixing business with pleasure because I should’ve never gotten involved with Terrence. But, once again I was a fool for a nice tongue and a smile.

"They're still fucking up your hours, hunh?" Marquise asked.

"Mmm-hmm. If I don't get more hours trust and believe I will be quitting this job."

"Why don't you apply for a job at Wawa?," Marquise suggested. "I heard they give you benefits and everything."

"I already applied there, but I haven't heard anything. I applied at Wawa, Starbucks, Ross, TJ Maxx and a few other places."

"Which Ross did you apply to? Because they're building a new Ross on Old York Rd. It should be opened in the next few weeks."

"Really?" My green hazels widened. Immediately, I pictured myself heading into Ross and filling out an application. I found that's the best time to work at a place when they're just opening. "I'm going to check that out tomorrow. Thanks for telling me."

“No problem." Marquise started to stroll towards the door. "Well, I'll see you later."

“Thanks again for fixing the locks.” I followed behind him in my blue jeans and black, tank top.

“No problem.” He said. It was a comfortable silence when our eyes met as Marquise turned around before he exited the apartment. Ever since Marquise gave me a ride from the bus stop and dropped me off at the hospital when Keyarra was attacked we had been buddy buddy. We're not best friends because for one we haven't gone through enough to best friends. And two I'm not quick to call someone my best friend, but we would talk and laugh when he would come over to the apartment building. And last week we went to see the new N.W.A movie at The Movie Tavern. I headed back to my bedroom and scrolled down to where I noticed Five Below in small, black letters on the screen. I pressed the number on the screen and placed the cell phone to my ears.

“Five Below, this is Jazmin. How may I help you? I breathed a sigh of relief when Jazmin finally picked up on the fourth ring. I really didn’t feel like leaving a message on some voicemail.

“Hey, Jazmin.” I greeted cheerfully. “Is April there cause I need to know my hours for next week?”

“Yeah, she’s here. Hold on.” I had to have listened Ariana Grande for about three minutes before April came to the phone.

“Hi Zayla.” April greeted on the other end. “You’re not on the schedule for next week.”

“What did you just say?” I know this girl didn’t just say I wasn’t on the schedule. I was about to get pissed off to pisstivity. Now, I’m going to have to go to my dad and borrow some money to pay for my share of the rent. Now, I have to hear my dad’s mouth. “A brick building going to have to fall on your head for you to quit that wishy washy job of yours.”

April repeated. “I just said you’re not on the schedule.”

“Okay thanks, bye.” I pressed the shit out the end button on my Samsung Galaxy and slammed it down next to my DVD player. This is just great. No hours for the week again! Before, I was pissed the hell off. Now, I’m pissed the fuck off. Now, I have to ask my father can I borrow a few hundred dollars and I wasn’t looking forward to that. I could hear his lecturing ass now. 'A brick building must have to fall down on your head for you to quit that wishy washy job of yours. I don’t know why you had to move out and work anyway. You should be on focusing on your studies anyway.' Now, I have been putting in resumes’ and applications online. And the good thing is I have an interview for a customer service position at a collection agency next week, but I need money now. Just wait until I see Terrence tomorrow. He was going to hear my mouth. He’s acting like he was the one that was hurt when he was the caught busting slob his slutty dressing sister and now he’s interfering with my money. And when you mess with my money you mess with my emotions and that’s a problem. I could’ve came to the job and slacked off. Instead, I came on time, did my job and a good one at that. Terrence was going to tell me something and it better be “I’ll make sure I put you down on the schedule for next week. down on the schedule for next week.

********************************************************************

“What’s up with this schedule?” I asked when I marched my narrow behind into the manager’s office after I bought some construction paper for a class project. Terrence was in front of the computer rocking a pair of glasses along with the Five Below uniform which consisted of a short-sleeved, orange shirt with the words Five Below embroidered in royal blue letters and blue jeans. I told you he was going to hear my mouth. You should know by now I don't bite my tongue. “What’s the deal? You in the early stages of Alzheimer’s where you forgot to put Zayla Hathway on the schedule for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 2-9:30 and Sundays from 11-7.”

He diverted his attention from his computer screen and swirled around in his swivel chair to face me. “I told you that our hours were going to be reduced."

“The devil is a liar. You didn’t tell me that.” Terrence knew damn well he didn’t tell me that the hours were going to decrease. He was just like a lying ass Scorpio. No, let me correct that. He was like a lying ass man because men are liars no matter what their zodiac sign is.

“Well, now I’m telling you that our hours have been reduced.”

“Well, I don’t think that’s fair, and I don’t think it’s right. I’ve been here the longest out of everybody, and you have people that’s coming through the door that’s getting more hours than me. ” I could feel my blood boiling and flames of heat engulfed my body like I was going through menopause when I gave him a piece of my mind. Besides Jazmin I’ve been here the longest, a year and a couple of months to be exact, I should have the most hours.

“Well, you don’t do closings any more, Zayla.”

So what?” I scowled and shrugged my shoulders. Before I was pissed the hell off. Now, I’m getting pissed the fuck off. “I told you I’m catching the bus and I can’t be on some corner 11:30 at night. I don’t know about you, but there’s only two kinds of females that are on the corners late at night and I’m not that kind of female.”

“Other people catch the bus and they don’t have a problem with it.” Terrence had the audacity to throw that in my face. I can’t stand when folks compare people’s situations to others. That was one of my pet peeves. What one person can do doesn't mean the other person can too. Like I said I was here before anyone else I should have seniority over shifts. And this wasn’t about doing closings anyway. This was personal. Terrence just pissed that I caught him in his whoretivity and because of that I don’t want anything to do with wanting-his-cake-and-ice cream-and-eating-it-too ass.

I countered. “How you know they don’t have a problem and they’re just not telling you?” I could name two folks at the top of my head have complained to me about doing closings. It’s just that they’re scared to speak up. Me, I’m not, and you’re seeing that.

I continued with my arms folded across my chest and glared at him. “This doesn’t have anything to do with closings. This is personal and I’m not feeling it.”

“You really like playing a victim, Zayla.” He had the nerve to say. “Everyone isn’t out to get you. I know you like to believe that.”

My mouth dropped to the floor. This motherjumper must’ve really bumped his damn head against a floor, bathtub, toilet, door, I don’t know, but he bumped his against something. And to think I was spending my time going to the movies, going shopping, having dinner and spreading it wide for this shady bastard. "Me, a victim? Really?”

“Yes, now I told you that with you not doing closings it’s going to be hard giving you a shift. Now, if you do closings I can give you a few 5-11 shift."

A shift, a shift! Was he serious? Does he thinks he’s doing me a favor giving me a shift especially when I told him I couldn’t do closings? I wouldn’t be able to pay rent with a shift. I can’t even get a monthly transpass and a burger and fries at Red Robin with for a six hour shift.

I swear like knocking all the teeth completely out of his fucking mouth. “You know what? I’m not going to go back and forth with you over hours or closings because you’re not worth it.” Then I stepped closer to him and whispered. "And I hope that bitch gives you a STD." I rolled my eyes and headed out his office. If he wanted to be an asshole that was on him. I’m not going to beg and plead for more hours. If he's not going to give me more hours I'll go somewhere else that would. I exited right and sashayed past the different businesses before I stopped at Home Goods. The doors slid open and I approached the counter where a deep cocoa brown-skinned girl with hair ultra short like Lupita Nyong'o, but curlier greeted me. “How are you today?”

“Good!, can I have an application?” Hopefully, I can get something really soon so I can tell Terrence he can take those six hours and shove it up his ass.

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