My head was throbbing when I reached for the phone in the dark. I knew hanging out with Perry was going to be regrettable. I wasn’t really much of a drinker anymore since I’ve been trying to eat and drink a little healthier. Trying to catch up from all the bad foods I consumed while growing up. But when dealing with Perry, that shit goes out the window real quick. And in celebrating his promotion, and with him moving back to New York I figured one night out with him wouldn’t set me back too much. It’s been years since I’ve had a drink and right now I’m paying for it. I didn’t fall into my house till almost three-thirty in the morning. I staggered in the house, dropped my weapon and clothes leaving a trail from the front door all the way to the bed. Once I got in, it felt like I sank to the bottom of an ocean floor, just happy to finally close my eyes.
I was only in the bed for twenty minutes before my phone started rapping at me. All I could do was ask the most-high “why”. I didn’t have to look at the phone to know who it was. Destiny Simone Li-Ric James is a complete and utter pain in my ass. So I already know her calling was going to be some bullshit. Most of the time she’s cool. She’s smart, has a good head on her shoulders, a good family that supports her, an all-around good person. Unless she’s having boyfriend issues and when she has that, she’s almost unbearable to deal with and be around constantly nagging and needing something. I could let it go to voicemail but I know she’ll keep calling until I pick up. I’m not in the mood for this shit. “What do you want Destiny”, I said in a groggy voice hoping that she would get the hint and leave me alone. “Darius, did I wake you?”
“No Dee I’m always up during this time, just sitting by the phone waiting to hear from your annoying ass” (unbelievable).
“Well don’t get snappy with me Darius.” “You’re the only person I can call at this hour.”
“That’s a lie, Perry and Jazz would pick up the phone if you called chump.” Knowing she’s full of shit.
“Maybe, but then I would have to answer a million and one questions but with you it’s not like that.”
“Well don’t I feel honored, I said in a sarcastic tone rolling my eyes, I just got in less than an hour ago Destiny, what do you want?”
“Who was you with?” She asked me intrigued with her nosey ass. I love the girl but she was pushing my patients.
“Destiny Simone Li-Ric James it’s almost four in the morning, what do you want?”
“Why do you say my name like my parents?”
“I’m hanging up.”
“I’m at the 1 Oak Club” she said but wasn’t able to say anything else because I ended the call, got dressed, grabbed my gun and shield off the floor, jumped in the car and headed for the I-495. I hated driving with alcohol in my system. Being black in this country, law enforcement or not it’s tricky. I’ve had plenty of run-ins with the local police department that I had to later put the officers and their department on notice for the way they treat people my color. I believe that if you wear a badge you should do what’s right and respect what the badge stands for. Not abuse your power. You never know what could happen. But here I am driving drunk picking up this fool, like an idiot.
Cops were out and alcohol was heavy in my system. It’s bad news for a Federal Agent catching a DUI. Even though she pisses me off sometimes it’s good to hear her voice. She’s still young and innocent and the fact that she still carries that little girl mentality scares me sometimes. But what I did know was my ass was tired and drunk and not in the mood to hear her shit tonight. And I’m sure her ass is drunk also and as soon as she gets in the car she’s going to start whining about something or complaining about her ex. On any other day it would be funny listening to her complain about things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. That’s the young and innocent part about her. I just hope tonight she sees I’m not in the mood and shuts the hell up.
When I pulled up in front of the club I noticed three guys chatting Destiny up. She looked good. She had on a form fitting black dress, six inch heels and the diamond tennis bracelet I got her for her twentieth birthday. When Destiny saw me she excused herself and got in the car. Deathly hard looks were pointed in my direction as Destiny open, got in and closed the door. She gave me a head nod like the nothing the fuck was going on. When the door closed and I just peeled off even more pissed (a fuck’n head nod).
I stayed silent most of the way back to queens trying to vibe out and calm down to some Donny Hathaway. I could see Destiny peeking over at me trying to gage how angry I was. I guess now she could sense the tension. Truth be told I was glad she called me. I would rather that than to have her caught up in some bullshit. The song changed to Marvin Gaye much to the chagrin of Destiny who let off a deep sigh. I glared at her with a look that said don’t start.
“Come on Darius, turn this grandma music off, you’re killing me.”
“I’m killing you? My ass was in my nice cool bed and your funny looking ass called me up begging for a ride, chump. So don’t start no shit Dee, I’m not in the mood to go back and forth with you tonight, as a matter of fact, this morning. I’m drunk, hungry, and I gotta get up in a couple of hours for work. So save the nonsense.”
“I’m not funny looking Darius, take it back,” she said flipping down the visor looking in the mirror. “How was I supposed to know you and Perry was hanging out getting drunk and hoe chasing? And who works on a Saturday anyway?”
“Hoe chasing,” I said glancing over at her with a smirk on my face? “You know that’s not even my style and if I didn’t know you any better it would seem you have a case of the green eyed monster.” “And grown people work on a Saturday.”
“Green Eyed Monster, Darius please you have to chill with these old ass phrases.” “Aint nobody jealous for your information.” “If you want to hoe chase and catch something to where your dick falls off, be my guess.”
I turned the music down and heard Destiny say “thank you” under her breath. “Keep talking shit Dee, I’ll put some Marilyn Manson on right now, keep it up.”
“Ok, Ok, chill that shit it gives me headaches,” Destiny said with a slight smirk on her face. She likes pushing my buttons.
Driving on the 59th street Bridge always put me in a place. Leaving the fast life of the city, cruising the parkway listening to good music always gave me peace. Being from Rochdale projects in South Jamaica Queens New York, almost getting into that life to being on the other side of the law was, at times hard to deal with because I feel like I failed by not getting everybody I rolled with out of the hood and into better things. I only made it out with one and a half, that being Perry. I’m still working on Jazz. But seeing the bright lights of the big city was always mesmerizing to me. And I think Destiny felt the same way because her ass was quiet for once.
“How was your night Dee,” I asked snapping out of my slight trance.
“It sucked for the most part.” She said in a far off tone. “All my friends are whores.”
That made me laugh.
“Well Dee, they are a little older than you. And they want to find love too,” I said smirking. She hates when I bring up her age.
“But you do have some fine ass friends though, especially that cute ass Sasha.”
“Anyway, horny boy, I’d kick all their asses if they even tried you. They already know. I had to check one already for even inquiring about you and stop bringing up my age.”
“Oh, so now you blocking? Was it Sasha, come on yo, hook me up,” I said laughing.
“Don’t play Darius you know I will cut you. It’s not even funny. I should’ve hung out with you and Perry tonight. What did yall get in to?”
“No, no, no little girl. That’s grown folks business.”
“Darius, stop playing. I’ll be twenty-one next week, come on.”
“And what the hell is that supposed to mean, young buck?” I said glancing over at her. “
That means stop treating me like a little girl.” She turned in her seat to get a better view for this conversation. “I told you that before. I’m a grown woman.”
“Says the girl who called me at almost four in the morning to get driven home to her parents house, yeah ok… little girl.”
“Well what would you rather have me do, get a ride from one of the guys I was talking to outside?” “They were asking if I had a ride.” ‘They would’ve been more than happy to do it.”
“Yeah, and you would’ve ended up in some ditch somewhere”, I said laughing on the inside amused at her trying to make me jealous.
“Don’t you think I know that? That’s why I called you. I’m sorry if I’m an inconvenience.”
“You’re not an inconvenience Dee. I’m just tired and I have a lot going on.” “Good”, Destiney turned again facing forward.
“But your girls are trying to holla’ “
“Don’t play with me Darius,” Destiny said taking a swipe at me.” You can get these hands”.
“Ok, Ok I’m only half joking,” I said laughing.
“But to change the subject, what are you getting me for my birthday?”
“Who says I’m getting you anything?” I asked glancing over at her.
“Well, it is my birthday, you have to get me something. Come on Darius, you get me the best gifts”, Destiny said damn near whining.
“And what’s your point? You basically have everything anyway, with your spoiled ass. What did I get you when you turn twenty?” Destiny smiled and bounced around in her seat flashing the 5 caret tennis bracelet I got her. “Yeah, and now you see why you can’t hang out with us. That bouncing shit right there.”
“First of all DARIUS,” (she said my name the same way Martin Lawrence used to say Pam name on his show Martin.) “I don’t have everything and secondly I’m not spoiled. Now since we’re talking about it.”
“You mean a topic that you pulled out your ass, yeah sure. What’s up?
“I made a list,” Destiny said pulling it out of her purse.
I laughed out loud.
“Oh yeah, you really walk round with a list in your purse? Ok I’ll bite, read it off,” I said shaking my head.
As Dee was reading her list I was in straight toon-out mode. I looked over at her and for the first time it hit me like a ton of bricks to how beautiful Destiny was. She had dark dark chocolate skin, natural hair, hypnotizing eyes, and a phenomenal body. A body that looks like it was sculpted from clay. She doesn’t wear make-up but she had on a lip-stick that looked like it had tiny diamond pieces on her lips. I’ve known this “girl” soon to be “woman” for over six years. I remember when Perry, Jazz, & I used to try and stop her young ass from hanging with us but she wouldn’t leave us alone. Always in the mix. Always getting in trouble and needing one of us to bail her out. And look at her now. I always joked with her about our asses going to jail for letting her hang around us back in the day.
“Darius… Darius… Darius… hello, are you listening to me?”
“Yes spoiled brat, I am.”
“Stop calling me that yo. I’m not spoiled.”
“Look at your list “yo”,” I said mocking her. “That reads spoiled, because I don’t know who you think is going to buy you five, six thousand dollar bags from Gucci or no crazy shit like that.” “That’s what parents and boyfriends are for.” “Ok, so why don’t you be my boyfriend? That could solve everything.”
I laughed at that statement. “Girl please you need to stop playing around like that.”
“Who says I’m playing Darius. I think we would be good together. We like the same things. We have fun when we are together.”
“That can’t happen Dee and you know it. And we don’t like the same things. We are on opposite sides of a spectrum.”
“Why not Darius? And we do have things in common. You mean to tell me that you haven’t thought about it at all? I know you have Darius because I’ve been thinking about it for a long time.”
“A long time, Destiny you know we can’t and we’ve had this conversation before. On so many levels it would be wrong and don’t yo ass have a boyfriend?” “That on top of the age, your parents, and let’s not forget about Jazz and Perry. They would fuckn spaz. You were and always will be deemed off limits from all of us.”
“First of all Darius we had that conversation about us being together when I was 15 years old, it was a kid crush. Second, I’m about to kick Isaiah’s ass to the curb, for the fourth time. Finally, when was I the topic of conversation about me being off limits as far as dating me? What kind of shit is that?”
“First off, as you would say. We touched on the subject, we didn’t really talk about it.”
“But you’re confirming that the topic has come up between yall three before? I wonder what sparked that conversation.”
“I told them what happened on the night of the fight.”
I can’t believe you told them Darius,” she said turning towards me again.
“We don’t keep secrets Destiny, when it comes to you, we keep everything a hundred. Our job is to make sure you are safe. It’s been like that since we decided to let you be a part of our lives. We look at you as a little sister and it works out.”
“Darius I was drunk and I was upset about breaking up with Isaiah, for the second time. I was venerable. It was a lapse in judgement and I apologized for kissing you.”
“I told you Dee I understood and I left that situation where it was at. But I had to tell them.”
“But how do you feel Darius?” Destiny said with her voice sounding more intrigued. The fuckn answer didn’t coming out fast enough. “Look Dee, are you beautiful? Yes. Do I think you have a good head on your solders? Yes. Maybe if we met in another lifetime and you were a lot older and you were more mature, and maybe you had some money, and maybe if you…” “I get it Darius, asshole” (she said that under her breath) I get it.”
“What I’m trying to say is that maybe something could’ve happened but that’s not the cards that we were dealt.”
“Darius, you make it seem as if you’re ten years older than me. You are 30 years old listing to music that your parents were probably conceived to. Stop it.”
“So you’re saying you have no attraction towards me Darius, none at all?” Now she’s turned almost sideways in the seat.
“Dee Dee, what are we doing here? This is not the time to have this conversation, again I might add.”
“Well the guys in front of the club didn’t think I was a “little girl” she said using her fingers making quotation marks. I saw how tense you were when I got in the car, and the way you pulled off… it seemed like you had a case of, how did you put it, case of the green eyed monster,” she said laughing. “It’s ok to be attracted to me Darius. I’m attracted to you, always have. I’m not scared to tell you I have been jealous of some of the women you’ve dated. I never thought they were good enough for you.”
I can’t believe I’m having this conversation. I was becoming sober real quick. “First of all I was upset at the fact that my drunk ass is picking you up. Second, I’m mad at the fact that when I pulled up you continued to finish your conversation like everything was cool. Third, all I got was a head nod when you got in the car. That’s why I seemed “tense”. “And as far as this discussion, you know we can’t. You’re like a sister to me, to us. Have you grown up lovely, yes? Do I get jealous, not one bit. Am I protective over you, most definitely? I owe it to your mother and you know why.”
“So that’s it Darius, a sister?” She asked in a quiet tone turning again to face the front. I could hear the hurt in her voice but what could I do?
“What do you want me to say Dee?”
“I want you to be honest Darius.”
“I believe I am Destiny.” I pulled up to Destiny’s parents’ house, got out and open the door for Destiny to exit, but she just sat there facing forward.
“Get out my car punk, I said which caused her to giggle a little.
“Who are you calling a punk big loser?”
“You, let’s go before you get in trouble little girl.”
“Oh you got jokes now? Come walk me to the door.”
I walked her up the walkway to her front door and couldn’t not notice the curves destiny was gifted with. “Stop looking at my legs and ass Darius.”
I couldn’t hold the laughter in which made her laugh also.
“I was not looking at your legs and ass Ms. Destiny.”
“Yeah ok Darius, you aint fooling anybody. For someone who’s not interested you seem to be staring hard.” She reached in her bag for her keys but dropped them on the ground. I reached down to pick them up and was greeted with a soft kiss when I stood back up. For some reason I couldn’t pull out of the kiss. For some reason my eyes were closed. For some fuckn reason I pulled her close to me. I just couldn’t pull out of the fucking kiss. Destiny pulled back and, to be honest left me wanting more.
“Open your eyes old head.”
“Shut up girl, that was not cool.”
That was a thank you for my ride home handsome, and for the early birthday gift.” “Ha ha ha, whatever young buck.”
“Ha ha ha my ass old head, get off my lawn before I call the cops.”
“Oh really, ok, make sure you call Legend or Jazz crazy ass next time your stranded.”
“Call me when you get home Darius,” Destiny said standing in the doorway as I was walking to the car. “Thanks again for the ride and the kiss.”
I just looked back at her and shook my head, “not cool and I’ll text you because if I call you you’re gonna want to talk my head off and I got shit to do”.
“Anyway, bye sexy boy.”
“Close the door, girl.” When I got to the car I paused for a second and looked at Destiny’s house seeing her looking through her curtain. I threw my hand up got in the car and sat there for a minute. The car smelled like her. What the fuck am I doing, I asked myself as I pulled off.