Chapter 10: Toni

What the hell? I jumped up as I heard someone trying to open my door. If it is that damn drunk model again thinking this is her room, I am going to hurt her.  This is what happens when you book work through the agency. The client makes reservations for all the staff from models to stylists in the same damn hotel. The first night after the kickoff is fun. I didn’t drink when I was working but it still a lot your body. You hang out and see people you haven’t seen since the year before. Your snapchat and instagram are amazing.  But by the end of the week, you are over every single person.

I have been working for three days straight and I am running on fumes. If I didn’t have to try and catch up with Gabriel tomorrow I would take my behind straight back to Miami. My feet ache, my arm hurts, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being a MUA. 

Wait does this person have a key?

“This room is occupied! No house cleaning today!” I screamed trying to throw some clothes on as the person on the other side of my door was still intent on getting in.

“I am not house cleaning”

What the hell is he doing here? I looked up and Damien’s fine ass was standing looking at me. He was wearing a black tank top and a pair of grey sweatpants. I almost bit a hole in my mouth seeing his print. 

I watched him walk over to the bed and sit next to me in a trance. Why can’t I stop looking at this man’s dick? As he pulled the covers off of me, his eyes traveled down my body. He took his fingers and ran them down my thighs making me shiver in anticipation. I opened my legs unconsciously. He chuckled. 

Embarrassed, I tried to pull away.

“Never try to take my pussy from me. I was going to get to you. Let me cater to you first” he said gruffly.

“You cater to hoes now?” I said with an attitude.

“Sometimes” he said taking my foot in his hand. He slowly massaged it, putting pressure from on the ball to the heel. As much as I wanted to fight it, my eyes closed and a moan escaped. After he massaged the other foot I wasn’t sure if I wanted to come or pass out. I really wanted to do both.

As he worked up back up my thighs I felt my heart beat out of my chest. I wanted to grab his hands and pull him inside about me, but the smirk on his face wouldn’t let me give in. 

“Toni this asshole called you all kinds of hoes and bitches” I reasoned with myself in my head.

While I was trying to fight myself, he was obviously plotting on me. He turned my body towards him, slid to the floor and brought his face directly in front of my throbbing clit. He started sucking on my thighs going from side to side. Between each pass he would flick tongue on my clit. I could feel myself leaking down my thighs. I couldn’t help myself. I was about to cum. I guess he could tell I was about to erupt. He slid me closer, my body tensed and my eyes shut

Knock Knock. 

“No baby don’t stop fuck who is at the door.”

Knock Knock.

“Baby come on give it to me”

I opened my eyes and the room was completely dark… and empty.

Fuck. This motherfucker just cheated me out of nut even in my damn sleep.

“I DON’T NEED HOUSEKEEPING TODAY” I yelled before throwing the sheets back over my head.

There are a lot of things about New York I miss. I miss the changing of the leaves. I miss the movement. Women in boots. Men in suits. New York moves and shakes like no other city. But one thing I definitely don’t miss is the damn subway. On the way over here, this broad with a ratty ass Ronald McDonald wig kept staring at me like she wanted to jump bad. I was one minute from telling her get the hell out of my face. I had to remind myself that you never know what NY women have hiding behind their tongue. I decided to keep it cute until I make it back to Miami.

I don’t know why I do this to myself. I knew he was going to find an excuse not to show up. I knew when I text Montrell that I was coming in town three weeks ago. I knew when I sent him the address and time to meet up on Saturday.  I even knew when I made sure my flight was later in the day when I always try to leave in the morning. I knew but I prayed I was wrong. I had prayed that prayer a lot over the years. But here I am at Sarabeth’s looking at the bottom of my Bloody Mary waiting for his ass yet again.

Me: Hey I’m walking in.

Me: I am getting a table.

Me: Montrell are you serious?

Me: You know my flight is today.

Me: I can’t believe you.

24367: Hi Antoinette! You received a deposit from Montrell.

Me: I don’t need your money Montrell. I want my brother.

Montrell: I love you Ladybug.

“Are you ok hun?” the waitress said looking at me with a sympathetic glance.

“Yes may I have the check please?”

“Don’t worry about it sweetheart. You look like you need a little love today, this is on me”

I looked up at her as the tears continued to fall. I tried to smile. After she walked away to take care of her other tables, I grabbed my purse to go. I left her a 50.00 tip, courtesy of my brother.

I decided to walk back to the hotel. I had time and I needed to clear my head. I toyed with showing up at the address I had for him in the Bronx, but I decided against it. One thing about my brother, if he didn’t want you to find him you won’t. He had a lot of practice over the years. I looked at the faces of men as I walked down West Street. I wondered if I would recognize him in his walked passed me by. It had been 16 years since I had seen him. Ever since the night I killed our father.

Daddy was drunk again. After Mama left us, he was always drunk. Montrell tried to tell me that he was just sick but I knew what drunk was. All he did was drink and play with his drumsticks while listening to his records. 

A Sentimental Mood was my lullaby my whole life. Daddy told us that he once sat in with Elvin Jones of the John Coltrane Quartet, and that Jones had said he had the gift. Mama said he was a fucking liar. She was always mean to him but I couldn’t understand why. Montrell said Daddy sold her a dream. I didn’t know what exactly that meant but I knew it was bad.

One day I woke up for school and she was gone. For the first few months I looked for her to come back. She never did. After a while I stopped looking.

“Ladybug come here” Daddy slurred with one eye open. He had a crooked smile on his face.

I looked over from my coloring book to see Daddy calling me over to his chair.

“Yes Daddy?”

“You know I used to be a great musician”

“Yes Daddy.”

“You want to learn how to be a great drummer like your Daddy?”


“Come sit in my lap.”

I sat on his lap and turned up the stereo. He took my hands in his and we began drumming to the music with his drumsticks. I swayed from side to side and bobbed my head like I had seen the drummers on tv do. He started to hold my hands tighter around the sticks. I moved in his lap because something was sticking me. He took one of the sticks out of my hand and drummed along himself. He took my tiny 8 year old hand and stuck inside his pants.

“Make me feel good Ladybug. Daddy feels so bad” he whispered as he continued to drum now slower.

He moved my hand up and down to the beat. I wasn’t sure what was going on but I didn’t like it.

“WHAT THE FUCK! YOU SICK MOTHERFUCKER! LADYBUG COME HERE!” Montrell yelled dropping his bags and storming toward my father. He hadn’t been home for a couple of days so I was as happy as I was scared.

I jumped up and ran behind him. I had never seen him so angry. He punched Daddy in the face.

“You crazy little bastard. What are you doing here?” Daddy said trying to stand up. He was a big man but the drinking made him unstable.

“You touched my sister you nasty fuck.” Montrell said continuing to hit him. He did the best he could for a 14 year old but the punches weren’t doing much against our father’s 225 lb frame.

“I will fucking kill you little nigga” he bellowed grabbing Montrell by the neck and slamming him to the ground. “I hate you and your fucking bitch of a mother.”

Montrell tried to fight him off but nothing was working.

“Daddy no!” I screamed.

My screams meant nothing. He was going to kill my brother.

Whap. Whap

I watched my father fall over and his head crash against the coffee table. With his last bit of consciousness, he looked at me with blood mixed tears rolling down his face. 

“I am sorry Ladybug”

He collapsed to the floor. I stood shaking with my brother’s bloody Louisville slugger in my hands. Staggering up Montrell grabbed the bat and hugged me in his arms. A once joyful teenage face turned into that of a grown man in minutes.

“I didn’t mean to kill him. He was hurting you. I am so sorry” I cried uncontrollably.

“Ladybug stop crying. You saved my life. That bastard deserved to die. I need you to call Aunt Irene and tell her to come get you. Tell her you were asleep when you heard me and that nigga fighting. Tell her you saw me kill him. Can you do that?”

“No Montrell No! I killed Daddy not you. I killed him.”

“Ladybug I need you to listen and do exactly what I say. Tell Aunt Irene and whoever else that asks you that you saw me kill him. Ok?” he said wiping my tears away. “I am going to go away for a little bit but I will come back.”

“Take me with you. Please!” I cried.

“I love you Ladybug. Always. Tell them what I said. ” Wiping off my fingerprints, he took the bat and swung in the air a few times. He then went in Daddy’s room grabbing cash and some of Mommy’s old jewelry before walking out the door.

To this day I had never seen him again. I moved to Aunt Irene’s and lived there until I could move as far away from New York as I could, Florida. When I was in high school I started receiving envelopes filled with money from these boys I  knew sold dope. The amounts differed but the note was always the same. They all read I love you Ladybug. When I got accepted to UF, I got a cashier’s check for 10,000. Every semester before I even got a bill, my tuition was paid. My bank account had money deposited in it every week. There was never any note or any inquiry on how I was doing. He never said he wanted to meet. He only said the same four words. 

I love you Ladybug.

To like is superhuman, to comment is divine.

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