CHAPTER TEN

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"What do you want Tyreke?" I turned and molded my face into my best expression of annoyance. I wanted him to know that speaking my name was enough to cause me disgust. I had clarified that we had nothing to talk about and he disregarded that.

"I just want to talk to you," he said. He walked near as I cleared the last step that landed me on the second floor. He was not close, but he smelled of beer and sweat. A man in decline was all I saw when I stared at him. I felt a pang of pity inside of me and heard myself give in before I could stop myself.

"You only have two minutes and they just started."

"Okay, thanks." He paused. "So you moved on with the guy I saw you with on the internet?"

"It's been over a year since we've been together. I have moved on and you should as well. Honestly, we no longer have anything to talk about."

"What is it about him that makes you want him and not me. From what people are saying you just met," he said. The lights provided by the building softened his lines and made him look almost like he had a year ago. I could feel the coolness of autumn winds biting into my now that I was standing still. I was more concerned that there were already rumors than what he was saying.

"Well, in the span of two days he was more caring and attentive than you've ever been to me. We've known each other since our first day of high school. You never valued me so I found someone who would. He isn't pathetic. I don't pity him." I meant my words to hurt him like he had hurt me. I wanted each syllable to hit him as hard as he did the night he beat me and left me bleeding on the sidewalk. His face contorted with rage but I looked at him unafraid of him for the first time. He had to lean on the railing to keep upright so a well-placed kick could send him tumbling down the stairs.

"I know I treated you bad, but you got with this dude that you barely know. That doesn't sound insane to you? It's probably because he has money. It that's it I got money too. Anything he can do I can do better. Just give me another chance. I know that I've made a mistake, but I deserve a second chance for a one-time thing," he said. He moved quicker than I thought he could up to me and squeezed my arm so tightly that I yelped in pain.

"Let go of me," I ordered. He did not budge, so I snatched my arm away. "This is exactly why we don't work. You're a drug dealer and don't know how to not smoke up the product. Also, you always smell like alcohol. We aren't in high school anymore, grow up and get a real job. I am dating Zion because I think it can turn into something real, realer than what we had. You can't compete with a real man who is a multimillion dollar athlete. Get help and fix yourself up. It was more than a one-time thing and I'm out of chances to give you," I said. My voice did not waver even when he got red with pure anger.

"That bullshit you just want him for money," he spat. I knew immediately the alcohol had taken over his decision making. I prepared myself to run away before he turned violent.

"Unlike you he makes me feel good. All you did was control me. You looked through all my things and tried to tell me what to do, where I could go, who I could talk to. You were never someone who I would even think to call you if I was in trouble. I was never safe around you, but you were right. I know so little about him and it's a little crazy to commit to someone I just met. Yet, getting to know him is better than settling for you. Why are toy even here?"

He just looked at me which gave me the answer to my question. "Exactly, fucking someone," I said before taking off when he balled his hands into a fist. I could hear his heavy footsteps behind me but I was much faster than his alcohol filled body. I made my way past the second floor where my apartment was on and made my way to the third floor.

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