Chapter 2: Pain Never Dies As I pulled up into the Northwest Plaza mall parking lot in a new 2004 black Mercedes I looked down at my watch and realized that it was four o‘clock. I told Silace that I would call him by three. Stepping out of the car and digging through my purse to find his phone number I headed for the mall. Finally finding it I tried to decide which number I should call. My conclusion ending at calling his cell phone I grabbed mine and waited for him to pick up. After the third ring a female voice answered the phone “Hello?” “Yes, may I speak to Silace?” “May I ask who is speaking?” “ Loyalty” I said getting kind of frustrated. What is this the twenty one question run down or what. If he isn't there just say that he isn't but if he is give him the phone. “Hold on.” It sounded as if she had put the phone down But I could still hear the talking. “Silace its some chic on the telephone that wants to talk to you.” “What's her name?” “Loyalty” she said imitating my voice. “Well Miss Ahlini she is not some chic her name is Loyalty and she is a woman okay.” “Ohh daddy's got a new girlfriend.” She said giggling. Hold on did she just call him daddy? Man that child sounded as if she was about 20 years old and I bet she looks every bit of 18 too. He has kids that must mean that he is married. Here I go again jumping to conclusions. He hasn't even taken me on a date yet and I'm getting ideas and saying what ifs. **** I really need to learn how to let things flow. “Yeah keep on messing with me and you wont be going shopping today.” he said before he picked up the phone. “Hello.” “Hi.” “Sorry about that. So how has the rest of your day went since your accident.” “Oh it has been fine.” I said before I walked inside of Famous and Bar. “That's good to hear. So where would like to go to dinner tonight?” “Well I really don't know. Why don't you just pick a place.” I said looking at a pair of Gucci boots that were on sale for $239.00. “How about we go to Macaroni Grill?” “Sure that would be fine. Say about 7:30 and you can pick me up at my house.” “How about around 8:00 cause I have to take my daughter home first.” “Oh you have a daughter.” I said as if I didn't know “How old is she?” “16.” “What’s her name?” “Ahlini.” “That's very pretty.” “Yup that's my heart. Aye why don't you give me your address and I will call you before I come.” “Its 1409 South Grand Avenue condo 1.” “Okay I'll see you later.” “Alright bye.” I said before I hung up. When I left out of Famous and Bar I just knew that I had to get those boots, but what would I wear with it. Walking into Bath and body works I picked up a new set of Cucumber Melon body fragrance remembering that I had ran out of it two days ago and headed for the hip hop fashion store Lark. Listening to Ginuwine song In Those Jeans I picked up a pair of BabyPhat dark blue jeans. Looking for my size I realized that they only had one pair left. Searching for a cute little shirt I found the perfect one and it matched the white Gucci shoes. As I purchased the outfit my cell phone rang. Not looking at the caller ID I picked it up. “Hello” “Hey baby.” A male voice that I have been trying to erase out of my life for the past 4 years. “How did you get my cell phone number Ladell?” I said in a shaky voice “I see that you haven't forgotten me.” He said ignoring my question. As I grabbed my bag with shaky hands I walked out of the store. “That's something that I have been trying to do for the past four years. I had to leave New York because of you. You know I have a restraining order against you and if I go to the police you will be arrested.” “Now now sweet thang why would you go and do such a thing like that. You know that I love you.” “ How can you love me and you tried to kill me?” I said practically yelling into my cell phone. Trying not to draw attention to myself I had to calm down. Getting ready to hang up he said one more thing. “Your still mine so you better tell Chris and who ever else to stay away from you before I do. Oh yeah by the way when will you truck be fixed?” Was all that he said before he hung up on me. How did he know that my car was totaled? Well if he knows that my car is messed up then that must mean that he is back here in St. Louis. This cant be right. Six years ago when I was going to NYU was when I met Ladell Hudson. We both were majoring in business and had most of our courses together. I didn't really pay any attention to him until he approached me at a football game. We went out on a couple of dates and on like our forth one we ended up in one of the Ramada Inn’s most expensive suites need I say anymore. Anyway we went on to becoming boyfriend and girlfriend. And during the whole time we were together he showed no sign of being a crazy psychopathic controlling freak. About two years of being in the relationship with him he proposed to me. I was already head over heals in love with him and at that time I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. He practically worshiped me. He was okay up until one night I had went out with a couple of girls from school and I saw Chris at the club. Me and Chris were dancing and kicking it having a good old time, and I hadn't seen him in like 3 years anyway. Later on that night he was too drunk to drive home so I took him back to my place. He slept on the couch and I slept in my bed. Ladell came in the next morning waking me up with his yelling and screaming about how could I betray him. I tried to tell him that this was Chris and he was like he didn't care if he was my brother he didn't want any males other than him and my daddy in my house. Then all of a sudden he hauled off and hit me dead in the middle of my face. It was as if my whole face had broken into little pieces. Him and Chris began to fight and the police came. I was rushed to the hospital and had to have 15 stitches done in my face. I ended up with a black eye broken nose and a busted lip. Getting a restraining order he then began stalking me making me have to move out of my apartment and changed my phone number. One night I came in from a night school class to find him sitting in my living room watching TV. Scared as hell and trying to figure out how he got into my apartment he asked me how my day went and why was I getting in so late. Staring at him speechlessly I turned and tried to run but he had beat me to it. Pulling out a pistol he told me that if I moved or even screamed he would kill me. Knowing that he wasn't playing and not trying to catch his bluff if he even had one I walked over to the couch and sat down. He went along like nothing was wrong and like we were still engaged. Finally around 11:00 that night he fell asleep as I got up off the couch and tried to leave out of the door. Before I even got my hand on the door he shot me dead in my shoulder I fell to the ground and fell unconscious from the shock. Waking up in another hospital bed and my arm in a sling police officers questioned me about the accident as they called it. I told them the story of what happened and after that day I haven't heard from him and they never did find him. Moving back home to St. Louis thinking that it would be safe I see he found me after all these years. This was scary as hell. Not knowing what to do I called Chris. Calling the office Stacy told me that he wasn't there so called his cell phone. After the second ring he picked up the phone. “Hey T what's up?” “Chris why did Ladell just call me?” I said almost in tears. “Ladell who? You mean your ex finance that tried to kill you?” “Yeah that's the only Ladell that I know!” “ Hold up I thought they couldn't find old dude. How did he get your number aren't you unlisted?” “Yeah that's what I was thinking. And how did he know that I was back in St. Louis.” “What makes you think that he knows that you are back here?” “Because he asked me when will my car be out of the shop and you were the only one that I called when I got into the accident. Mama doesn't even know that I was in a accident today.” “ **** that's deep. Okay this is what you need to do. Call the police to let them know about the previous incidents that you have had with him and have them set out a warrant for him. When did he call you?” “ Like 3 minutes ago.” “ Well give me the number that he called you from.” Looking through my calls I found the one that I just received from and the number showed up unknown. But it did have a 314 area code which meant that he was in St. Louis. “Chris it showed up unknown but it did have a 314 area code. I am so scared I do not know what to do.” “As long as the police know that you have a restraining order against him and he already has the attempt of murder, assault , resist of arrest and a warrant in New York for him he has no way to get away. Anyway did you ever find out who hit your car?” “ I know that he has all of those charges but if he just called me then he must not have given a **** in the first place. And to think about it nope I surely didn't find out who hit my car. But I don't think it was him.” “ Don't put nothing past him okay. You don't know what he will and wont do. And right about now I think that it will be more things that he will do rather than what he wont do. And I mean how else would he know that you car is in the shop? Think about it T.” “Yeah I see where you are coming from. Right now I'm going to call the police and let them deal with it. I mean my whole world cant revolve around the fact that he might be in town.” I said nervously laughing it off. “Alright T if you need anything call me okay.” “ Alright I'll call you later.” “ Bye” He said as he hung up. I cant sit up here and trip off of this I need to go on with my life and if he comes to get me then there for I can retaliate. Right now I need to get the shoes and go get a fill in on my nails. As I went back into Famous and Bar I went straight to the shoe department and purchased the shoes. I believe that I got these for a steal. Normally these shoes run for about $600-$800. Heading for the nail shop on the other side of the mall I decided to do as Chris told me to and call the police. During the whole time I got my nails re-done I talked to a detective Turner. He told me that the restraining order was still in affect and that Ladell also had another warrant out for him in Atlanta for raping and attempt of murder for another woman prier to the one he has in New York. Detective Turner and I talked until I was on my way back to my house which wasn't until 6:00. He told me to come to his office on Monday so that we could go over the case again. I told him I would and headed home. As I walked into my condo I put my bags on the couch and checked my messages on my answering machine. In total I had nine and five were from Lamar. Deleting those I listened to the rest. Beep. “ Hey T this is your mom I haven't heard from you all week. It would be nice to hear from you just to know that you are still alive. Just kidding. But aye call me it wouldn't hurt you none.” Beep “What up chic its me Zamani. I need for you to do me a favor so hit me up on my cell wherever you get a chance.” That chic always need a favor. Beep “Hey T. What's been up with you baby girl. Your cousin misses you . You be actin’ like you cant call nobody no more. But aye its kool just holla at me. And incase you forgettin people voices right along with numbers its me Lianez.” “***** didn't nobody forget bout you.” I said out loud as I smiled. The last message was a hang up. Heading for my bedroom to run some bath water I decided to call Zamani to see what she wanted. Or shall I say how much money she needs. After about the 4 rings her answering machine picked up. I left her a message telling her that I got hers and to call me when she go this message. Next I called my cousin Lianez. “Hello” he said in his strong New York accent. “Hello yeah can I speak to ‘ Nez” I said sounding like one of those little girls that he deals with. “Yeah dis him. Who dis?” “***** don't act like you don't know who this is. Its Monica. What you doin to night?” “ Nuthin what's good with you ma?” “ Why don't you come ova here and see what's good?” “ You still live off South Grand and Russell in that tight *** Condo?” He said busting my game. I started laughing so hard. “How you did you know its me?” “Maybe cause I don't know any Monica's and you the only person in our family that stress your r’s to the fullest when you be tryin to act ghetto. Oh yeah and we got caller I.D.” “ You little punk. Anyway what you been up to. How is school?” “ Ohh I’m chillin’. School going real cool . You know I gotta keep them grades up so that I can go to college... For free.” He said giggling. “You so silly. So what you want? What you calling for?” “ Oh so now I cant call you with out wanting something. Woman don't nobody want nothing from you.” He said trying to make his seventeen year old voice deeper than it already was. “Yeah okay. Come on spit it out. I really don't have all day. I got a date tonight and I have to get ready.” I said turning off my bath water. “Okay don't be rushing me I'm big daddy you better respect me!” “ Ohh so now you big daddy right.” “Yup. Anyway I wanted to know if you would let me come down there for the summer. You know I miss you so dearly. I mean it really aint right me living all the way up here in New York. I mean I haven't seen you in like 2 years.” “Aww aint that sweet. My little cousin misses me. Well let me think about it.” “ Naw I want a answer now before Mike or Cory ask you cause you know they try to follow me everywhere I go. I just need to get away for a minute.” “ Okay yeah you can come. But how you getting down here and when you get out of school. And did you talk to your mama about it?” “Yeah she the one that told me to ask you. She said it would be a good experience. And I just got out of school today.” “ But you still didn't tell me when and how you are getting down here.” “Ohh I'ma get on the greyhound and I'm leaving on Monday.” “ Naw why don't you just fly down her on Tuesday?” “ How in he heck am I'm going to fly down there? I mean mama aint got that type of money right now.” “ I’ll pay for it and I will book a flight just make sure your stuff is packed and you have a way to the airport and your ticket will be up there by Tuesday morning. I’ll call you on Monday and let you know what time your flight leaves aight?” “I love you so much T. You know you my favorite cousin. Man I cant wait till I get there." He said excitedly. “ Yeah yeah whatever. But aye let me get in this tub and stuff I'll talk to you Monday. Love you.” “Love you to T. Holla” As we hung up I just had to laugh. That boy was something else. But he surely was one of my closest cousins although he was only 17. I remember when I was up in New York he was only 10 years old and he tried his hardest to always be around me. I use to always take him where ever I went if he was allowed to go. He was so cute and mature for his age. Now he is practically a grown man. I would really like to know what qualities of his daddy’s has he taken now? Getting in the bath tub and soaking in the hot water I began to think about Silace. So far although I knew practically nothing about him he seemed very kool. He just might have potential . I just hope all goes well. After about thirty minutes of me time I washed up and go out of the tub. Heading for my bed room my cell phone rang. “Hello?” “Hey Loyalty its me Silace” “Oh hey I was just thinking about you.” I said surprised that I just let that slip out. “Oh really. I already have that affect of you.” he said with a chuckle. “Now don't get too sure of yourself. What's up where are you at now.” “Oh right now I'm dropping my daughter off at her mom’s house and on my way over your house. Are you ready yet?” “ I will be when you get here.” “ That's a deal . I’ll be there in 30 minutes.” “ Okay see you then.” “ Alrighty then." I grabbed the bags off the couch and laid my whole out fit out on my bed. After I lotioned my whole body down I smelled like tropical fruits. Putting on my clothes and turning on my hot irons I went to the kitchen to get a cup of water. Just as I was about to head to the bathroom my doorbell rang. Checking out of my window to see who was at the lobby door it was Chris. Pressing the buzzer he came in. “***** what you want?” I said with that same expression on my face. “Oh my bad for trying to make sure you were okay.” “You coulda called.” “Yeah girl coulda whould shoulda.” he said with a sexy smile.” Anyway where you getting ready to go?” “ Noneya’s” “Ohh so its like that?” “***** you aint my man” “ Never gave me a chance” “ Yeah that's what they all say.” Then I turned and looked at him. Our eyes met for a slight moment but it felt longer than that. I have never ever in the past 13 years that I have know him looked at him like that. It was like something connected between us that never connected before. Breaking the graze I headed for my bathroom to do my hair. Oh my god what is going on. He is my best friend I’m not suppose to have any feelings for him or even look at him in such a way. “T can I have some kool-aid” he called form the living room. “As long as I don't have to get it sure. Help yourself” Looking at my watch it was now 7:50 Silace should be here in a minute. Just as I sprayed dome Curve perfume on and put some lip gloss on the buzzer rang. Looking out of my door I knew it was Silace I buzzed him in. As he walked in I introduced him and Chris. "Chris this is Silace. Silace this is Chris.” I said as they shook hands. When I looked up at Chris it looked as if he had something to say but I kept my mouth closed. If he had something to say he will let me know. “Okay Chris I'm getting ready to go. If you are going to stay here just lock up when you leave if you are not you need to get up so we can go.” “Naw its kool I’m getting ready to go on ahead home. Just call me when you get in alright. And don't forget.” As Chris left out I gave him a hug and watched him pull off in his BMW. “Okay Silace I'm ready just let me get my purse and a jacket.” “Take your time Beautiful” I blushed and went into my room to grab my purse and Gucci jacket. As we left I turned on my alarm. When we got into the car Silace looked like something was bothering him. “What's wrong?” “Nothing.” “You sure.” “..... Okay here is the deal. First off I want to get everything out in to the open before we go on the date or dinner or whatever it is. As long as we are together at this moment to have a good time I want us to be honest cause I don't want any crazy boyfriends to pop up out of the blue trying to bust my head cause they see me with you alright.” “Sure that's fine with me” “ Okay I am single I have no girlfriends and have been since my divorce. Which was finale 6 months ago.” **** he aint had none in 6 months I wonder how difficult that must be for him. “The only women in my life is my mother and daughter Ahlini. Okay how bout you?” “Well I am single officially. I just recently broke up with my ex I am kind of happy about it. I have no children and Chris has been my best friend for the past 13 years.” “For a minute there I thought that that Chris guy was your boyfriend. I mean you two seemed as if you were made for each other. “Me and CHRIS? Oh no I cant see that happening anytime soon. So you shouldn't have anything to worry about.” “You are very beautiful” “Thank you very much. You aren't too bad your self.” I said with a smile “Ohh are you saying that I need a little work?” “ Nope not at all. Your just right. Tall Dark and Handsome.” “Is that right?” “Yup surely is.” “Well lets just see where this wonderful night will take one Beautiful sista and one Handsome man shall we?” “ Sure I'm down for what ever.” “ Is that so?” He said with a sly grin.