When It All Falls Down(5)

By: Tamicka Higgins

“Well,” Neeci said, sounding a tad bit resentful. “Ain’t that somethin’? Ain’t that special? The nigga gon’ come and take his lady out on the town. Hope you have fun. Tell him to come up and say hello.”

“I’ll see,” Ayana said, knowing that she wouldn’t have Tramar come up to say hello to her mother unless it was absolutely necessary.

Just then, Ayana could feel her phone vibrating in her pocket. It was a text message from Tramar: crossing state line.

Ayana remembered that she’d forgotten to grab her purse. Quickly, she rushed back into her bedroom, looked around on the floor for her purse, and grabbed it. A few minutes later, she was slipping into her jacket and heading out the door.

“You think you gon’ be comin’ back tonight?” Neeci asked Ayana.

Ayana stopped, poking her head back in the apartment. “I don’t know,” she answered. “Probably. Why?”

Neeci, now walking out of the kitchen and to a couch in the living room, shrugged her shoulders. “No reason,” she answered. “I was just askin’. You not gon let Mister Tramar come up and say hello?”

“Uh…” Ayana said, trying to think up an answer quickly. “He said that we gotta get goin’. I don’t know why, but he sound like he in a rush a little bit. I’ll see you later, Mama.”

Before her mother could even respond, Ayana had closed the door and locked it. She headed down the three flights of stairs and outside, into the courtyard of her apartment building. Immediately, she could smell the pollution from the nearby factories. Airplanes flew low to the ground, preparing to land at Midway Airport, which was only a couple of miles away. Ayana stood out on the sidewalk at the edge of the parking lot. Every so often, she would look up from her phone, where she’d been checkingFacebook to see what updates she’d missed from the tons of friends that she’d kept in contact with since graduating from high school. The Chicago skyline, busy in every way imaginable, rose toward the sky to the north. Within minutes, she saw Tramar’s red Dodge Charger pulling into the parking lot. She smiled and waved, getting his attention. He pulled up.

“Why you doin’ all that waving?” Tramar asked, sarcastically. “You know that a nigga know where you live. You ain’t got to go doin’ all that waving and shit. You know anywhere you are, I see you.”

Ayana quickly climbed into the front passenger seat and buckled her seat belt. “Boy, you be doin’ the most,” she said. “Pull off before my mama decide she wanna bring her ass outside. You know how she be actin’. She asked if you was gon’ come up and say hello.”

“Shit,” Tramar said, looking out toward the parking lot. “If you want me to, I can pull into a spot right quick and go and say hello.”

Ayana looked at Tramar with eyes that let him know that there was no way she’d want him to do such a thing. “Nigga, please,” she said. “Just pull off. Please. I don’t feel like bein’ bothered with her.”

At nearly six feet tall, Tramar’s long legs extended toward the pedals of his car. With a nice D.C. fade, people often told him that he looked as if he could be the singer Trey Songz’ younger brother. His skin was smooth and brown, only a little darker than Ayana’s. His eyes were big and bright and clear, which Ayana had always loved about him. Tramar looked over at Ayana, clearly not moving.

“What you waiting on?” Ayana asked, noticing that the car hadn’t pulled off yet. “Why we still sitting here?” She glanced back at her apartment building.

“You know,” Tramar said, smiling. He shook his head as if he were a little boy. “You know exactly what a nigga be waitin’ on all the time. And I’m gettin’ tired of havin’ to tell you.”

Ayana huffed and she leaned over the console and kissed Tramar. “There,” she said, “now can we go?”

“Yup,” Tramar said, nodding his head. He then pulled off and zigzagged his way out of the neighborhood.

“Where we goin’?” Ayana asked.

“Well,” Tramar said, smiling and glancing over at Ayana. His eyes lowered and looked at her thick thighs, as part of them were showing through her ripped jeans. He loved how Ayana’s thighs pushed together. He reached over and squeezed them. “I was thinkin’ I could take you to the mall then maybe out to dinner or somethin’, if you okay with a nigga doin’ that.”

Also By Tamicka Higgins

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