When It All Falls Down

By: Tamicka Higgins

A Chicago Hood Drama

Hustler’s Lady Book 1

Chapter 1

There is really only one way to describe Ayana Love. At just twenty-one years old, she had already seen more than her fair share of problems. In fact, those who knew her would agree that since the day she had come out of her mother’s womb, she was up against the wind, so to speak. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, on 38th Street specifically, had made her probably one of the strongest women mentally in all of Chicago, if not all of the Midwest. Ayana listened to old school R&B music in her bedroom as she reflected on her current situation. Finding a job, since her last job had closed down and relocated to China, was proving to be more difficult than she’d ever thought it would be.

At 5’2 in height, Ayana had always been a rather thin girl – that is, until she grew into a woman. Having been what many people would describe as a “string bean” for most of her childhood, upon graduating from Harper High School in Chicago, she finally filled out. Her chest went from an A-cup to a very full C-cup. Her hips were not big, but they certainly were not narrow. Last time she’d checked, her hips measured a nice thirty-eight inches. Her waist measured around thirty inches, give or take, giving her the hour glass figure that so many women sought, especially nowadays.

Ayana, however, was known for having a pretty face. Her skin was brown and smooth. In fact, many of the neighborhood people would jokingly call her peanut butter as her specific complexion of brown could give even Jiffy peanut butter a run for its money. However, what many, including Ayana and her family, would consider to be Ayana’s best feature was her lips. She had big lips and was proud of it. As a child, especially in elementary and middle school, her full lips had been the object of teasing. However, as she grew into them and filled out in every other place, she had learned to love them. As the years went on, she’d learned to love her lips even more as she’d seen other people going to extremes to get full lips like hers, especially white people.

Ayana looked in her mirror after getting up from her computer, where she’d been sitting for the better part of her Friday afternoon and evening applying for jobs online.

“This shit is so hard,” Ayana said to herself as she applied a light layer of cherry lip gloss over her lips. “Looking for a job is like putting your name and information into a black hole. This shit is startin’ to feel hopeless.”

Ayana spoke the truth, as she’d put in for at least twenty jobs in a timespan of six or seven days. As of yet, she hadn’t heard back from a single company. However, she kept her head high and trusted that she’d find something sooner or later. Even though the balance was starting to get a little low in her bank account, she prided herself in being smart with her spending habits. She knew that she could make her few stacks last a couple more months if she needed to. And that was exactly her plan.

Just as Ayana was walking out of her bedroom and into the living room of the two-bedroom apartment she shared with her mother, dressed in a white t-shirt and black, polyester pajama pants, she heard her cell phone vibrate. Quickly, thinking that it may be a human resources person calling her, she rushed back into her bedroom. After quickly scanning the room, she found her vibrating phone setting on top of her queen-sized bed and snatched it up. It was Tramar calling. She smiled, knowing that talking to her boo would put a smile on her face, as he was always so understanding and supportive of everything she did or tried to do in life.

“Hello?” Ayana answered.

“Wassup sexy?” Tramar said. “A nigga text you but you ain’t answer.”

Ayana let out a deep sigh and smiled. “I know,” she said, shaking her head as she sat down on the edge of her bed. “I been puttin’ in job applications all damn day again.”

“I see,” Tramar said. “Have you heard anything back from them? Like, has any of the companies even sent you an email?”

Ayana looked up at the ceiling, shaking her head even though nobody was in her bedroom with her at that moment. “No, I been checkin’ my email, but I ain’t heard back from even one yet. But you know how it is. It takes time. I’ll probably hear something back next week. I done put in for like twenty jobs this week or something like that. Surely I’m gonna hear back from at least a couple.”

Also By Tamicka Higgins

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