Authors: Allison Hobbs
Perplexed, Reed screwed up his face.
“Sometimes she don’t know nobody; she even forgets her own name,” Buttercup explained. “Then when the sun goes down; she really starts to trip. She starts thinking she’s still back in the 1950s when she used to live in Chester. Back then, she used to work in a whorehouse owned by some lady named Miss Addie Mae. She called herself a sportin’ girl,” Buttercup said with a giggle.
a Sportin’ Girl!” Dottie insisted. “And Miss Addie Mae don’t like a whole buncha talk with the customers before they hand over the money,” Dottie continued with her horribly painted lips poked out. She struggled some more and tried to pull away from Buttercup’s strong grip.
“See what I mean?” Buttercup said, laughing. Then, turning serious, she said, “It’s so hard to control her. I have to hide my lingerie and shit because she’ll start messing in my stuff when she thinks it’s time to start trickin’. But mostly she’s all right in the morning and afternoon. She can be real sweet and pleasant.” Buttercup smiled warmly at her great-grandmother.
The old woman didn’t return Buttercup’s smile; she rolled her eyes and muttered, “Bitch!”
Reed just shook his head. He was ready to get out of there. Everything in the house was old and dusty; he wanted Buttercup to hurry the hell up. The creepy dusty house was causing him to itch. A few more minutes in this hellhole and he was going to start coughing and sneezing and carrying on.
“Look, why don’t you just leave her for a little while. I gotta get some air. You wanna go out and take a ride with me?”
“I don’t know, anywhere. Just hurry up,” he snapped, no longer feeling the need to be polite.
“Okay, just let me get her upstairs. If I don’t lock her door, she’ll start rampaging around this house like you wouldn’t believe. Come on, Grandma,” Buttercup coerced sweetly and placed a comforting arm around her great-grandmother.
“Okay,” the old woman replied, suddenly docile. Looking weary, she began to shuffle toward the stairs. Then, in mid-step, she changed gear and dramatically threw off the robe. Reminiscent of an old James Brown move, Dottie slid across the floor, wiggling and shimmying her way back to Reed.
Taken off guard, Reed threw up both hands defensively. Buttercup grappled with her grandmother and dragged her to the stairs.
Having seen and heard more than enough, Reed hollered, “I’ll be outside in the car!”
“Okay, but I have to get myself together before I come out. I don’t want to get you worked up and acting crazy, so I’m gonna put on some makeup and grab one of my wigs.”
“Yeah, all right. Get yourself together, but please…hurry up.”
He waited patiently for a few minutes, but feeling antsy, he decided to pass some time by patching things up with his wife.
There wasn’t a chance in hell he was going to let Dayna drag him through a divorce. He knew how to handle her. All he had to do was serve her up some good dick, talk some shit about starting a family, and she’d be walking around on cloud nine, buying baby clothes and changing one of the spare bedrooms into a nursery. And most important, she’d cut out all that diet bullshit and start cooking some real food.
He pulled out his cell and cleared his throat. It was time to sweet-talk his bitch of a wife.
ayna didn’t have high hopes that Reed would do the honorable thing and vacate their bedroom. So instead of allowing him to deplete her energy with an emotionally charged argument, she decided it would be less stressful if she made the move herself.
By quarter to seven that night, however, she was still plowing through her clothing and personal items. Progress was being made very slowly and it appeared that it was going to take a few more days to transfer all her things to the spare bedroom.
The spare room wasn’t nearly as large as the master bedroom and it didn’t have a private bathroom. What she liked about the room was the canopy bed, which was draped with sheer white fabric. Beyond that, having her own private space more than made up for the lack of extra perks.
Dayna filled a large plastic container with shoes and dragged the container into her new bedroom and left it sitting in the middle of the room. At seven o’clock, famished and exhausted, she decided she’d done enough for one night. She’d start fresh tomorrow after work. Hopefully, she’d be asleep by the time Reed got in. She’d left the master bedroom in shambles. Her new bedroom was in a state of chaos and disarray as well, but she was too tired to finish straightening up. She decided to eat a quick meal, put in the yoga DVD, do some stretches for about a half-hour, spend another hour or so grading papers, and then call it a night.
She padded down to the kitchen and stuck a Lean Cuisine in the microwave. As she waited for the quick meal to heat, she reminded herself to take a sleeping pill before she retired to ensure a deep and undisturbed sleep. She was not in the mood to listen to Reed rant about the mess she’d made.
Dayna sagged into a kitchen chair, emotionally drained. She’d invested so much into her marriage; it hurt to have to accept that she’d been wrong about Reed. He was not the man he appeared to be.
It was Reed who had wanted to rush into the marriage. That should have raised a red flag, but instead she chose to be flattered. Even though she had wanted to delay the ceremony for a little while longer so she could plan a really extravagant and unforgettable wedding day, he told her he couldn’t wait. He was too much in love. Looking back, she realized that planning a wedding was a pleasant distraction from the pain of her parents’ breakup.
While she thought she was being swept off her feet, she was actually being hustled by a fast-talking smooth operator who needed the legitimacy of marriage to get the things he wanted in life. Marriage to the daughter of a prominent attorney was definitely a step up for Reed.
But their marriage was based on lies. Dayna now knew that Reed had never been accepted to Wharton’s business school. Emotionally blinded by their own rocky relationship, her parents were charmed by Reed and it was easy for him to persuade them that he was the right choice for their daughter.
My husband never loved me
. Those words had become a mantra she had to keep repeating in order to stay focused. Deep in thought, she chewed the food without tasting it. Reed, with his self-serving behavior, fit the profile of a sociopath. She’d studied personality disorders in college and had taken a refresher course a couple years ago. At that time, she didn’t recognize any of Reed’s characteristics because she was focusing on the students she taught. Teaching emotionally disturbed children was challenging. The refresher course provided her with a deeper understanding of the numerous wounded children she was responsible for educating.
Dayna recalled how she recognized sociopathic characteristics of a sociopath in one of her students of whom she was quite fond, an eight-year-old named Preston. He was a beautiful child who came to school tardy and unkempt. He was being raised by a grandmother since his own mother was in prison. Getting teased by his classmates was a daily occurrence in Preston’s life, causing him to routinely lash out and fight his classmates. Dayna always rallied to his support like a mother lioness, offering him comfort and chastising his tormentors.
One day Preston arrived at school crying inconsolably. Through his racking sobs, Dayna was able to determine that he’d had a birthday the day before and no one in his family had acknowledged it.
Determined to spare the child further damage to his self-esteem, Dayna ran out during her lunch break and bought a sheet cake. It was decorated with a toy truck and the words
Happy Birthday Preston
were written in blue icing. Giving Preston an impromptu birthday party, Dayna bought ice cream and party hats for him and his classmates to wear. Her heart swelled with pride as she watched the scorned child enjoy being the center of attention. For that one day, instead of being the butt of every joke, Preston was a hero.
“Can I take the rest of the cake home to my grandmother?” Preston asked at the end of the day.
“Of course,” Dayna readily agreed. What a sweet child to want to share his cake with the grandmother who had ignored his special day. Tears stung her eyes as she watched Preston leaving the classroom proudly carrying what seemed to be his very first birthday cake.
A few days later as she was going through Preston’s records, she noticed his date of birth: July 6, 1996. How could that be? He’d just celebrated his birthday two days before. Mystified, Dayna scratched her head. Thinking it a mistake, she had the secretary check his birth date on the computer. Sure enough, Preston was born July 6.
Dayna was stunned and as soon as Preston arrived to school the next day, she pulled him aside to privately ask him why he’d lied about his birthday. To her utter astonishment, Preston jerked away from her. “Don’t be pullin’ on me. Get your fuckin’ hands off me, you stupid bitch,” he snarled, his face twisted in rage. “Fuck that cake; I’m not kissing your ass over no dumb birthday cake.”
Later, when she hauled him off to the principal’s office and insisted he be seen by the school psychologist, it was determined that Preston hadn’t been invited to a cousin’s birthday party and needed to feel some type of satisfaction. Had Dayna never caught on to his scheme, Preston would have continued to show her his sweet side only.
It had been a chilling experience for her and throughout the duration of the school year, Preston had continued to waver between being an absolute angel when he wanted something and the worst demon from hell whenever he was disappointed. When Preston chose to be an angel, Dayna found him nearly impossible to resist.
She now realized that Reed suffered from the same disorder. He was incapable of giving or receiving love and incapable of feeling remorse. He was an emotional shell and emulated feelings only when it benefited him.
If Reed’s personality defect was influenced by genetics, she could only thank the Lord that she hadn’t conceived a child with him. The mere thought of giving life to his unholy spawn sent a shiver down her spine.
The telephone rang. She looked at the caller ID. It was Reed calling from his cell phone. “Hello,” Dayna said in a tone that would let him know his call was not welcome.
“Hey, sweetheart. How ya feeling?”
Dayna didn’t bother to respond.
“Oh, so you’re still upset with me? Okay, well, look I know I haven’t been the best husband, I’ve been putting the PBP before you but all that’s about to change. I don’t want to lose you. You hear me? Nothing is more important than our relationship and I’m willing to take full responsibility for everything that’s going wrong in our marriage.” He spoke with warmth in his voice. Dayna hadn’t heard him speak in that tone in months. If she were the same idiot she’d been in the past, she would have instantly believed him.
With her guard up and bolted in place, she responded, “To answer your first question, I’m fine. Nothing has changed; my mind is made up. I don’t want to talk about what you could have done in the past. Our marriage didn’t work, I’m really sick of it, and judging by your frequent absence here, I can only assume that you want out of this marriage as much as I do.”
Reed winced and then spoke in the same soothing tone. “I’m confused. I never said I wanted to end our marriage. I’m cool. Look, it must be that time of the month or close to it. You know how you get,” he said with an uncomfortable chuckle.
“Don’t go there—blaming my hormones as if I’m emotionally unstable.” She switched the phone to her other ear. “Reed, listen to me. I want a divorce and my decision is final.”
“Damn, Dayna. What the hell is wrong with you? You can’t just suddenly disrupt my life and expect me to go along with it.”
“It’s not all about you, Reed,” she said calmly. “This is also about me. I don’t love you, you obviously don’t love me either, and this horrible marriage is like an anchor weighing me down.”
Reed gritted his teeth to control his mounting anger. He forced himself to speak in a calm tone. “I know your parents spoiled you. Gave you everything money could buy. But you’re a big girl now and you should know that in the real world, people don’t always get everything they want.” The threat behind his words was unsettling, but Dayna stood her ground.
“Your lack of cooperation won’t stop this divorce.”
“But I can delay it, and in the meantime I’m going to make sure your life is a living hell,” he announced menacingly, and then clicked off.
Dayna held the phone briefly and then hung up. Somewhat shaken, she thought perhaps she’d have to involve her parents after all. Reed sounded really vicious, as if he were gearing himself up for some vindictive action. She’d be damned if she was going to sit back and allow him to wreak havoc upon her life. She’d call her dad first thing in the morning to let him know that Reed had threatened her. Her dad would know what legal options were available to her.
ddly, the unpleasant exchange with Dayna had aroused Reed. It was as if his hatred for his wife had materialized into a hot hand that now caressed his groin. He jerked his neck toward Dottie’s Hair Salon and leaned on the horn.
What was taking that whore so long?
The door finally swung open. Buttercup popped outside wearing a red wig, tight low-rider jeans, and a skimpy red top. Liking what he saw, Reed nodded in approval.
She climbed inside the Lexus. As she bent slightly to place her purse on the floor, Reed caught a glimpse of a red thong sticking out of her jeans. His aggravation began to subside until thoughts of Aziza entered his mind. The smell of Aziza still filled his nostrils; the acrid taste of her vaginal juices remained on his tongue; he felt a yearning so strong he had to restrain himself from pushing Buttercup out of his whip. He felt like roaring away from Delancy Street and screeching to a stop in front of the nearest ATM machine to get the two hundred dollars Aziza charged.
But he couldn’t. Thanks to Dayna’s temper tantrum and hollow threats, his cash flow would be limited for a while. He had to exercise control. However, he knew it would be hard to find satisfaction in an ordinary pussy. He felt like doing something freakish and wondered what kind of debased act he could talk Buttercup into.
“Where are we going, Joe?” Buttercup asked. Reed had told her his name was Joe when he’d first met her and had never bothered to tell the foolish girl otherwise.
Reed shrugged. “I guess we can rent a room at that spot on Fortieth Street. They charge by the hour, but I think we might need more time than that.”
“How long you think we’re gonna need?” Buttercup looked apprehensive.
“I’m just saying I know you want to get high. That’s gonna take some time.”
“No I don’t. I’m clean,” Buttercup exclaimed with pride.
“Two weeks, nigga,” she said playfully.
“Aw, that’s nothing. You’ll be back doing your thing the minute you get your hands on some money.”
“That’s a lie. I got money. I get my grandma’s SSI check.”
“Oh yeah? How much is that?”
“Come on now…mind your bizness,” she said with a wink.
“I hope that Social Security check is worth moving out to your own place. I can’t understand how you can bear to live in that ancient ruin. No disrespect, Butter, but damn…your great-grandmother’s house doesn’t seem fit to live in. I’m surprised the people from the city haven’t kicked y’all out and boarded it up. That place is a health hazard.”
“Stop trippin’. It ain’t all that bad. Besides, I gotta reason for staying there.”
Reed rubbed his jaw in thought. “Oh yeah, what’s the reason?”
“Like I said, mind your bizness, nigga. Now how much you plan on spending tonight? ’Cause if you ain’t talkin’ what I want to hear, you can just drop me off at the Apache.”
“Naw, I gotchu, I gotchu,” Reed promised.
Buttercup stuck out her open palm. “Then stop talkin’ shit and let me hold something.”
Reed chuckled and turned onto Market Street. He pulled up in front of the Wine and Spirits shop. “I know you didn’t stop drinking,” he said as he turned off the ignition. “What do you want? A bottle of gin?”
“I swear to God.” Buttercup raised her right hand. “I quit doing all substances.” She sounded weak and unconvincing.
“Who do you think you’re kidding? You know you still get your drink on. What are you saying…if you have a drink, you’ll start smoking that shit again? I know you’re not that weak.”
Buttercup grappled briefly with the dilemma, then shrugged. “Okay, get me a bottle of Hpnotiq.” She figured if she broke down and took a drink, she might as well let him treat her to something that cost more than eight dollars a bottle.
Reed came out with a chilled bottle of Hpnotiq and handed it to Buttercup. He sped to Fortieth Street and parked in front of a rooming house. “Wait while I take care of the room,” he instructed. “Oh yeah, I have cups in there.” He pointed to the glove compartment.
After making the arrangements, he came outside and beckoned Buttercup. She trotted across the street, tightly clutching the Hpnotiq as it were a four-thousand-dollar bottle of Hennessy Timeless cognac.
The no-frills room was practically bare. No bureau, no chair, not even a closet. There was a hook on the back of the door, a bed with a lumpy mattress, and a chipped wooden nightstand. The single window was covered with a grayish-colored shade.
Reed took the bottle from Buttercup, cracked open the top, and poured her a drink.
“Ain’t you drinking, too?” she asked when she noticed he’d filled only one plastic cup.
“Naw, this shit is for women; it gives me a headache. But go ahead, drink up.”
“Don’t be trying to get me drunk so you can take advantage of my womanhood,” she said jokingly. Then turning serious, she said, “Now look…I might laugh and joke but I get serious when it comes to money.” She stuck out an open palm.
Reed looked stung. “After all this time we’ve been dealing with each other, you still don’t trust me? You think I’d run out without paying you. Damn, Butter, I thought we were better than that.”
“Whatever,” she said, taking a swig from the cup.
Reed reluctantly withdrew three twenties and handed them over. “Are we straight now?”
“Hell no, nigga. Not after that shit you put me through. There were welts on my ass for days.”
Reed peeled off another twenty.
Buttercup nodded in consent.” Now we’re straight.” She stuck the money in the pocket of her jeans. “But this money don’t give you permission to start beatin’ on me.”
“I told you somebody slipped something in my drink. I’m cool now.” Reed started pulling off his pants. “You miss Big Daddy?” he asked her as he stroked his expanding manhood, which had started to throb with a dull ache.
Buttercup took two big gulps of the blue elixir to help get into her role. “Uh-huh, I missed you,” she said un-convincingly, then downed the entire cup and helped herself to more.
“Then why are you ignoring him?” Reed complained. “Look at him.” He pointed his generously sized member in Buttercup’s direction. “Give my man some attention, baby.”
Buttercup walked over to Reed holding the cup of Hpnotiq in her hand. She bent down on one knee and guided his penis into the cold blue liquid.
“Aw shit,” Reed moaned. He squeezed his eyes tight and leaned back, ready to enjoy whatever freaky thrill Buttercup had in mind.
She licked the dripping liquid from his dick, moaning and making slurping sounds as she licked him dry. Then she took in just the head of his dick, encircling it with the tip of her tongue teasingly. She began to suck on it, pulling in an inch at a time. She stopped suddenly and took another swig and inserted his dick inside her fluid-filled mouth.
If her juicy mouth hadn’t felt so cold, Reed would have felt like his dick was inside a vagina filled with cum. After a few moments the liquor felt warm and Reed’s thrusts became so hard and violent, the liquid began to seep out the corners of Buttercup’s mouth.
Feeling like she was about to choke, she pulled back, swallowed the Hpnotiq and allowed his penis to slip out.
“What’s wrong, baby? Why’d you stop?” Trying to push himself back inside Buttercup’s mouth, Reed wore the expression of a desperate man.
“You act like you tryin’ to push your jawn all the way down my throat; I’m not gonna allow you to choke me to death. Damn, I thought you wanted your money’s worth, but seeing as though you’re in a rush, then come on and get it over with.”
“Okay, okay. My bad,” he admitted as he tried to calm down. “Damn, you had me so excited, I just got carried away. How come you never did that shit before?”
“You ain’t never bought me no Hpnotiq before,” she said with a hint of arrogance. “You ready?” she asked with a seductive tilt to her head.
“I don’t know,” he responded with a chuckle.
Buttercup threw her head back and emptied the cup into her mouth. She crooked her index finger and beckoned him.
Reed slowly entered the watery abyss. With each thrust, he heard a splashing sound that was driving him mad. And like the tide of the ocean, the waves began to recede. Buttercup was slowly swallowing the Hpnotiq, but she left just enough in her mouth to keep it moist enough for his dick to slip in and out with ease. Suddenly, she put a suction hold on his stiff member, holding him captive, rendering him helpless as he succumbed to a heart-pounding, body-shaking, powerful orgasm.
When his heart stopped pounding and he could finally catch his breath, Reed glared at Buttercup. “I wasn’t ready to bust a nut. Damn, Butter!” he complained.
“Humph,” Buttercup muttered in response after spitting his cum into one of the plastic cups. She quickly gulped down more Hpnotiq. The bottle was now only half-filled.
He checked his watch. “We’ve only been here for about twenty minutes. I paid for two hours,” he lied.
“Nigga, I ain’t staying up in here for no damn two hours. I got shit to do.”
“Well, just give me another ten or fifteen minutes. Damn, baby, I haven’t seen you in a while. Why you wanna rush me?”
Buttercup sighed and poured herself another drink. “I hope you don’t expect me to sit here all night while you try to get it up again. Anyway, I’m not giving out no free head.”
“Free!” He balked. “I just gave you eighty dollars. You think you can make more than that at the club?”
“Probably,” she said skeptically. “I know one thing…I can’t make another dime if I’m sitting up in here.” She shifted around impatiently.
“All right. Here’s another twenty.”
Buttercup greedily snatched the money and tucked it inside her pocket with the rest of the cash.
She leaned over unenthusiastically and lifted his flaccid dick. Reed moved her hand away. “Yo, stop rushing. He ain’t ready yet.” Seeming relieved, she sat up and quietly sipped the Hpnotiq.
“Take those jeans and shit off. That might help,” Reed barked while tugging on his dick. He looked over at Buttercup. She put the cup down and propped up a pillow and huddled against it; her eyes had a drowsy intoxicated look. She was finally feeling the liquor. Good. He liked her better when she was high. And vulnerable.
Reed helped her out of her jeans and top and let them drop to the filthy floor. Skinny as she was, she looked real sexy in the red bra and thong. He squeezed one of her small breasts and then got up and hung his clothes on the back of the door. When he rejoined her, he put his arm around her, allowing her head to rest on his chest.
“Baby, why do you keep making me pay for it when you know how much I dig you? I think of you as my girl.”
“Stop lying,” she muttered in a sluggish voice.
“For real. Can’t nobody please me the way you do. Don’t you think if I didn’t have real feelings for you, I would have left your ass alone a long time ago? I could get my dick sucked by any one of those jawns at the strip clubs or I could pick up somebody out there hustling on the streets. But they’re not
. Now, I admit it; I’m not going to lie…it was just sex in the beginning. But then I started catching real feelings for you, but I wouldn’t let myself express how I felt knowing you were out there tricking with anybody for twenty dollars. And the more I think about it, I’m coming to realize why I acted like a madman the last time we were together.”
She looked at him with curiosity.
“It was jealousy, baby. I can’t bear the thought of you sucking on any dick except mine.”
“For real?” A ray of light shone in her eyes.
“I dig you, girl. But how can I consider you
girl if you’re out there doing whatever with whomever.”
She pulled her head away from his chest, sat up straight, and looked in his eyes. “What am I supposed to do for money?”
“I can help you out, baby. It’s not like you got a lot of bills. How much do you need to get through a week?”
Buttercup searched the stained and chipped ceiling for an answer. “I guess a couple hundred.”
“All right,” he said nodding. “Well, how much are you getting from your grandma?”
“Not much. She only gets a few hundred from Social Security every month. I’m working on some paperwork she needs to get her ex-husband’s SSI. After I get through that process, we’ll get a lump sum, retroactive from the time we applied.”
“That sounds pretty good. How much do you think you’ll get?”
“About four or five thousand, I think. That money will help out, but that’s not the money I’m really interested in.”
Suddenly interested, Reed shifted his position. “Oh yeah?”
“Right. When I was a little girl, my grandma used to brag about this money she had hidden somewhere in the house.”
Reed sucked his teeth. “Humph. That sounds like something a kook would say. If you moved into that rat-infested place based on something your nutty grandma told you, then you’re not dealing with a full deck your damn self.”
“For real! My hand to God, I’m not lying. Back when she was in her right frame of mind she showed me a whole lot of money. Rolls and rolls of money. My grandma’s old school. She don’t trust no banks. She had that money rolled tight with a rubber band wrapped around each roll.”