“No one knows how blue rain drops cleans the soul”
Going back home wasn’t easy. You would have thought that being locked down would be more depressing, but returning home, was a deeper reminder of my failures. Though I was only gone a few short years, everything seemed different to me already. Almost unfamiliar, and yet nothing had changed. People were still people; the amount of drugs on the street had increased, and the rate of crime was as high as the crack heads. Times were still hard, and I was still me.
Mama had turned Nanny’s room into an office, something I knew she would have never done had I stayed. Despite all her hard work, Mama had little to show for it. The same furniture, carpet, drapes and beds of my childhood remained untouched, kept sacred, and in tact. I sat on my bed, remembering the times I laid awake listening to Nanny snoring, hearing Mama and Daddy fight, and on rare occasions, make love. The sweet aroma of Mama’s kitchen filtered in, invading my thoughts, making my mouth water. I got up to go to the kitchen, when I passed the basement door. Pausing, my hand touched the handle, and pulled the past forward in a stream. It was if I could still hear him, playing and laughing; feeling the vibe and rhythm of our musical souls.
“Tee Tee.” I jumped at the sound of his voice. “Hey, you okay?” Curtis asked, as he reached out to catch me.
I breathed a deep sigh, “Yeah, I’m…cool.”
We looked at each other, and as if on cure, our eyes wandered to the basement.
“Curtis?” I heard the shaking of my voice.
“Yes?” he answered so tenderly.
“Go with me.” I pleaded, taking his hand in mine. And although I felt his reluctance, he yielded to my gentle pull, and we descended down the stairs.
“How long as it been?” I asked.
“Years.” He answered.
The piano was first to greet us; dusty but prideful in its stance. Placing my hand on the keys, another memory of me and Daddy surfaced, of him trying to teach me to play and my six year old daily rebellion. Eventually he had given up, just content that I was just there, enjoying him playing and singing. Curtis began plucking away at the guitar, tuning it as he went along. He began to him quietly at first, and then gradually building as he found the beat he was seeking. The sound of the guitar spoke volumes to my soul; naturally and smoothing. It kissed me like a long lost lover, embraced me and carried me away. It found my vocal cords, and slowly a voice inside me began to escape the empty shell I had become. Together, my brother and I, became one; without direction and yet in perfect harmony. He played. I sung. Each of us, a part of someone long gone, but obviously not forgotten as we had often wished, in our darkest moments, him to be. Finally, when the tears began to sting my eyes, when I couldn’t take the vibe any longer, when the words just wouldn’t form, I stopped, almost choking on its closure.
Mama stood on the basement stairs, in a trance of sorts, as if she was experiencing something almost forbidden. She said nothing as she gracefully returned upstairs, shutting the door behind her.
Curtis was the first to speak. “Let’s go.”
We found Mama in the kitchen, sitting at the head of a set table, waiting. Before we were even able to sit down, she began the blessing. We ate in silence, each of us contemplating what the future held. It wasn’t a sad homecoming, perhaps one of melancholy, but not sad. Mama had prepared all of my favorite dishes; collard greens, chicken and dressing, macaroni and cheese, yams, and banana pudding for dessert. I didn’t comment on the amount of food she had made, fit to feed an army, for I knew she cooked as if we were still a full family. Curtis had told me she still cooked like that even after I left for school, and was locked up, wasting more than she could afford. After prison food, the thought of leftovers for the next two days didn’t bother me. Funny how the simple things in life become grand when you have it taken away.
Later that night, laying in my old bed, I fought to keep the nightmares at bay. Curtis had left to go court the latest fling in his life, and Mama had retired to bed without saying anything more. On the nightstand was my journal, and picture of Nanny and Daddy that I had salvaged from a box in the basement. Drifting in and out of a restless sleep, I was suddenly jolted by the ringing of the phone next to me. The clock on the wall displayed a time that was far too late for phone calls in Mama’s house. Just as if I was thirteen again, I hurriedly answered the phone in a shocked whisper.
“Hey there girl.” Her familiar voice echoed from the line. “Been missing you.”
I smile surfaced on my face; it was her.
“Cissy, what’s up? You know Mama is going to kill you for calling here this late?”
She giggled in response, a soft, childlike and mischievous undertone. A dead give away. “Well, I was waiting on you to call. Hell – I’ve been waiting for you to write…”
“I know. I know.” I interrupted.
“And still,” she continued undisturbed. “Here I am. Better be glad I love your silly, deviate, ass.”
I laughed. “Now why you gotta go there?” We both laughed, and I had to remember that I was home, breaking rules.
She stopped, and just as quickly, turned serious. “I need to see you.”
I sat up. “What’s wrong?”
“Nothing…I just need to see you. Damn, does everything have to be an emergency for you to come out?” she incited.
“For your ass, yeah.” I laughed. She didn’t. “Okay, I’ll call you in the morning when I get up.”
She didn’t budge. “No, I need to see you now.”
“Now? Now?” I asked.
“Now.” She insisted without hesitation.
“Damn Cissy.” I complained, throwing myself back down on the bed heavily. “I just got home, can’t this shit wait?”
“Consider this an adventure,” she cooed, seductively.
My irritation faded with her change of tone, and I began to feel my stomach flutter with reluctant anticipation.
I giggled nervously. “Girl, you are too much.”
“Come on. Get up, get dressed and I’ll pick you in fifteen minutes.” She offered.
“Dress code?” I asked sarcastically.
“You know how we do it.” She said, then hanging up before I could protest any further.
I looked at the phone receiver as if it was Cissy and she could see the look of both curiosity and agitation on my face. Placing my feet on the carpet, I tiptoed to the dresser to grab a pair of jeans and a sweater. It had crossed my mind to take a shower, but if Mama wasn’t already awake from the phone ringing, she would definitely hear the shower on next to her room. Sniffing my armpits, I detected no out right funk that would require nothing more than another layer of deodorant . My breath wasn’t minty fresh, but I didn’t have plans on kissing anybody. I had no idea of what Cissy had planned, but I was confident that going without panties tonight wouldn’t be considered a crime if no one knew. I laughed at myself; the simplicity of life that I desired to live was humorous at times. I would often picture myself being bald, living on an Indian reservation, just writing and living off the land. Maybe be a sheep-herder or raise chickens, something that didn’t require much skill or thought, but earned enough to pay for my meager living.
Yeah right, I told myself, as I looked in the mirror and attempted to comb my tangled hair. Who would you sing to, the sheep? Taking one last glimpse of the plain girl that stared back at me, I quietly opened up my bedroom door, shoes in hand, and began to walk towards the front door. It was pitch dark, and even though I had been gone from home awhile, I still knew the house front to back. Just as I reached the door, I heard Mama tossing in her bed, and felt the guilt fighting its way up my spine, and quickly building up. I knew she wasn’t going to like me going out all times of night, especially having just got home, and under the circumstances, but I couldn’t just sit in the house either. I knew that I was going to have to find a job, and eventually move out on my own, but for right now…I needed some fun in my life. I reflected back to years ago when I would sneak out of my bedroom window to hit the streets, this time, I thought she deserved to not have to worry about me sneaking or being dishonest. I was grown now, but this was still her house. Cissy was pulling up just as I crept outside, and was putting my shoes on.
“Hey hooker!” her loud, ghetto ass yelled out the car window.
“Shhhh!” I motioned to her as I ran towards the car. “Damn bitch, you loud.” I told her as I got in the car.
She looked at me with her mouth ajar. “Well…hell…”
“No…” I interrupted, placing my hand on her mouth. “Your ass IS loud.”
We started laughing. She looked at me and shook her head. “You act like some run away slave.” And then in her best slave dialect, “Meet me on the other side of the woods boss, us niggas going to be free.”
“I feel like a run away slave, and this negra is trying to stay free, why you playing.” We both laughed so hard, that I thought my side would bust. Cissy had the ability to both piss me off, and make me laugh more than anybody else in the world. I became sentimental thinking about how my best and worst times were with one and same person. Cissy was barely able to pull the car away from the curb, we were still laughing.
“Girl, watch it. I didn’t get out of the pen just to get killed by your driving.” I told her, making sure I put on my seat belt to emphasize my playful insult.
“The pen” she mocked. “Bitch, you make it seem like you did some hard ass time.”
I looked at her seriously “Any time in there is hard, believe that shit.”
She said nothing, but nodded her head in empathy. Neither of us spoke for a moment as we continue to drive towards downtown Chicago, which was lit up, as always. The cold up here was different than anywhere else. There was something about the air coming off the great lakes that could chill your ass to the bone, make you evil and not speak to anyone on the street. But at the same time, it was cozier when you were with the right person, refreshing and crisp, like it added to the ambiance of making love by the fireplace, or downing Jell-O shots full of Jack Daniels around a bon fire. It dawned on me that how much I had truly missed being home after all.
“There you go…” she started, looking over at me with her sheepish eyes.
“That mind is racing again…my little hamster on a wheel.” She said smiling.
I needed to change the subject. “So hooker, tell me what’s been up with you?” I looked at the car for the first time since seating in it, and noted how nice it was. “Nice car.” I said.
“It’s cool.” She answered nonchalantly, and then looked at me. “But look at you.” She said, smiling again.
“Yeah, right” I said. “Shit, I know I’m no girly girl.”
“And yet, you always look beautiful.” She added.
I blushed and returned my attention back out the window. “Where are you taking me?”
“To my apartment.”
“Your apartment. Finally moved out of the moms place, huh?”
She stopped smiling. “I’ve been gone for a couple of years now.”
I said nothing, waiting for her to remind me that my position of ‘best friend’ required me to have knowledge of the details in her life. She didn’t, instead readily filling in the gaps as needed, with me listening dutifully, her ever attentive student. Afterwards, she sighed deeply, and looked over at me and smiled, as if her pain was merely a pawn in an elaborate game. We continued to drive in silence, but it wasn’t bad, instead it was comfortable as the morning after an early morning storm. Cool. Invigorating. Sensual. Finally Cissy turned into an apartment complex not for from the southwest side of Chicago. Taking her time to park her treasure into a slotted car port. She bumped the rail, and I suppressed a laugh. She never could drive. Turning the car off, she looked at me, considering me, as if she was second guessing something she hadn’t even thought of before now.
I smiled. “The suburbs, yea?” I joked, clearly impressed.
She said nothing, but quickly shooed me out of the car. As I stepped once again into the night, the chill should have immediately hit me, but it didn’t. Instead, it gently mingled with the growing heat of anticipation that surged within my body. I inhaled deeply, allowing the cold to invade and capture my lungs for a brief moment, and then exhaled.
“Hey you, my darling little hamster.” Her voice startled me. She noticed and laughed. “There you go. Come on girl, it’s cold out here.” Draping herself further in the full length leather coat she wore, she trotted to the security door with her keys. By time I reached her, she was holding the door for me. As we began to ascend a flight of stairs, Cissy took her coat off, and I fought the urge to stare at the fullness of her ass in front of me. Feeling like as stone cold pervert, I attempted to concentrate instead on the number of steps we were taking. Counting obsessively. One. Two. Three. Then I felt the railing, allowing one hand to glide up the cool stainless steel while the other hand gently toyed with spackled wall. My feet felt heavy on the stairs, almost like lifting weights in the joint. One. Two. Three. That graceful, sultry walk of hers – rendering me speechless. Damn. Nice high ceilings, good sound conduction. Very nice windows, small yet decorative. She stopped, and I ended up bumping into her. Felt that ass against me, smelled her fragrance; a mix of ‘lick me all over’ and Red. She acts likes she doesn’t noticed, but I sensed her shifting as she opened her apartment door, stepping aside so that I could enter her domain willingly. I cross the threshold, and was in awe of the ambiance set obviously just for me. Candles, all various signs and colors, flickered against the high rise ceiling and earth tone walls. Void of any real furniture, the over sized animal print floor pillows, thrown in what appeared to be strategic positions throughout the front room. Centered in the room was a lit fireplace, whose flames danced within the hearth, to the cool tunes of Miles Davis bearing his soul from the stereo. A make shift table was in middle of this oasis; a chilled bottle of wine and two African goblets stood guard. Simple. Elegant. Sexy. Suddenly I felt under dressed. She stood behind me, waiting for me to assess and approve. So unlike her, this whole scenario was so unlike her. No crowds, no men, no loud abrupt moments. Cissy, the ever predictable cohort. The tale tell girl from around the way, had grown up. The one who never creased to impressed, had amazed me. She was my personal and consistent Venus flytrap.
“Damn, girl.” Was all I could say, “I’m not mad at ya.”
She walked around into full view, tentative, like a child. “You like it?” she asked.
“I love it!” I screamed, and hugged her, breaking the underlined currents that ran between us. For the moment.
She laughed, not her usual wicked laugh, but one that showed she had love for my appreciation of her efforts, her new life. I kicked off my shoes, and threw myself down on the nearest pillow. She joined me.
“You go CiCi.” I said, “This is so cool. Never knew you had it in you to be so…so…shit, so ‘buppie’” we laughed, and became old friends again, not two women whose conjoined childhood experience, had obviously survived, and now flourished into full fledge adult sexual tension. “How’s Denise?” I asked, once again attempting to break the mood.
Cissy sighed heavily, and rolled her eyes. “If you consider being twenty-years old, with no education, and five kids by five completely different niggas a life, then she’s on top of the world.”
She nodded. “Going on six.”
“Girl, you lying…” She just looked at me. I shook my head, but said nothing else. I wasn’t about to down someone else’s life when mine was just a polar away. At least she knew what she wanted and who she was, even if that entailed being nothing at all. I thought about the different directions I had already traveled in my short life, and realized that I was only a cunt hair away from being another Denise. I thought about their parents, but didn’t want to tread into that territory unless Cissy invited me. I thought that was only fair. You don’t go digging in anybody’s shit, especially if they’re content on burying it. I was thinking about my own shit, and a mental storm was brewing, beginning to cloud my mind again.
“Enough about that shit,” Cissy said, sensing my distant thoughts, “It’s all about us tonight. Doing the girlfriend thang” she sang. “We need to pop open that wine, eat, and smoke this joint.”
I pretended to be offended, and tsked. “You still smoking?”
“Like you needed to ask?” she answered, pretending to be just as offended. We giggled and hit each other.
I reached for the bottle of wine, and stopped. “Well, what you cook?”
“Ha-Ha!” She jumped up suddenly excited, and ran into the kitchen. “I’ve been doing the damn thang.” She yelled, and then I was aware of the other aromas in the room besides the incense. “I’m domesticated now.”
“Oh really?” I asked. “You are just full of surprises tonight.” I struggled with the wine bottle, and after nearly stabbing my hand with the cork screw – which was so damn country of me – I was able to finally fill the goblets by time Cissy returned with a tray of smoking hot Buffalo wings with all the fixings. I smiled wide. Simple, yet thoughtful. “Wine and chicken wings. Hmmm. I can see the title of my next poem now, ’chickenwings by candlelight’ ” I smiled.
She sat the tray on the table. “We have salad too, smart ass.”
“And salad…of course.”
She stood with her hands on her hips, smirking. “Since I’ve impressed you so much tonight…”she started. I nodded my head. “Can I please change the music to something more contemporary? Only your ass like that old shit.” I nodded my agreement again, my mouth on fire from the hot wings, as I frantically grabbed the goblet of cool wine. Grateful as hell that it was handy.
She switched over to the stereo, and suddenly the sound of Gerald Levert filled the air. She returned, and sat close to me, watching my eyes tear up from her hellish creation, and chuckled under her breath.
I looked at her and rolled my eyes. “Cissy, that’s a damn shame that these wings are so fucking hot.”
“I like hot shit.” She said, before taking one for herself, and biting into it cautiously. Instantly, she gagged, probably from suppressing her laugh as the heat welled up in her mouth. “Shit!” she reluctantly surrendered, as she reached for her goblet to put out the flame.
“See?” I mocked. “Even your ass can’t stand the heat, and you cooked it.”
She nodded empathically, as she gulped down the wine, spilling a little on her shirt. I stared at the trail of wine droplets that started at the corner of her mouth, and ended at the drop on her shirt, right above her right nipple. I was transfixed, locked into an internal battle that raged inside me with the fury of a world war. Somewhere deep within my mind, there were staccato rhythms playing the soundtrack to this moment; mingling with the ghostly sounds of lovemaking…sounds I had never experienced myself, and only imagined. I retraced the droplets back up to her mouth, this time with my tongue. I closed my eyes, taking me back to a time in my life when my body was light weight, spirit roaming free, fleeing from pain. This time, my outer body experience would be self contained, in this simple temple. She moaned. My eyes opened, and I saw myself again, the weary prodigal nomad, venturing to an old territory – but on a new path.
I looked at her, took her face in my hands. “You want this.” A statement. Not a question.
She was struggling inside. “Yes, but…”
“If bullshit was worth gold...” I smiled at her. This time; my first and only time, asking for her body to comfort me. I felt her reluctance, almost drowned in her conscience, before saving us both. “I want this.” I stood up, and held out my hand - my breath held hostage – waiting for her.
Looking up at me, as if pleading, she asked, “What happens next?”
Old territory, new paths. “I don’t know,” I answered honestly. “But I do know that I’m a twenty-four year old woman, and as far as I’m concerned…a virgin. I know that when I close my eyes at night, like I have every night for the past eleven years, there are visions of hands that rob my body, mind, and spirit of an experience that everyone else in the world describes as being so…beautiful. I want to know what it feels like to go to heaven in someone’s arms. I already know what hell feels like.”
She stands up, and I see the veil of tears in her eyes. I look at her, and she is no longer my childhood friend, but a woman…the object of my deepest longing. Taking my hand, she leads me towards the other, more sacred part of her hideaway, her eyes never leaving my face. In the bedroom, the dying flicker of candle light, ushered an erotic pathway to her bed, which was draped in black satin sheets, and hanging from the ceiling like a giant spider web. Clothed in imagery, our passion would be consummated on this satin cloud suspended in an ebony sky. She began to slowly undress in front of me, seductively and brave, yet unrehearsed. Finally, she stood before me, her body the perfect and serene silhouette of my most forbidden dreams. I felt her hands upon me, gently pulling at my clothing, peeling each piece off my body as she glazed deeply into my eyes, allowing her fingers to trace each erogenous zone she came into contact with. Touching and caressing parts of my body I had no idea even existed. I felt brand new, like I had just stepped out of my mother’s womb, unaware of the sensations of the world, the physical world. I closed my eyes and moaned, despite myself.
“You are so damn beautiful. You just don’t know…” she groaned in a carnal whisper, devouring each one of my erect nipples in her mouth, as her hands sought entrance to the moist valley below. ”You just don’t know the effect you have on people…on me.” She stressed heavily.
I embraced her face. “I have this fantasy…”
“It’s going to seem – silly.”
“Nothing silly ever comes out of your mouth.”
I hesitated only briefly, feeling her hot tongue travel the length of my stomach, resting, teasing my mound. “I want to take a shower with you.”
Slyly she smiled up at me, as if the request was somewhat expected. “Come on” she took my hand, and in less than five minutes, our bodies melted together, and became as sweltering as the water that pulsated against us. The fragrance and feel of Victoria Secret’s vanilla glace upon that luscious body, beckoned me, and taunted me, until finally it overpowered me. I was on my knees, tasting her – and I could have sworn, her juices were of sweet milk and honey. Something animalistic seized me, and I couldn’t stop my tongue from lapping fervently for more, while my hands gripped and pulled her to me. Her moans, and then her cries to a higher power, only further invoked the beast in me that had been dormant for far too long. A rogue; somnolent of the dark lonely road that was placed before her, laid down like train tracks, by yet another, more malevolent beast.She trembled like a leaf in autumn. “Oh Tya!” she yelled, falling spent against the shower door, her hands tangled in my wet hair.
I wasn’t finished. “Bend over…” I commanded, looking up in time to see the uncertainty that was on her drenched face, perhaps even fear of the unknown. Taking her hands out of my hair, I began at her finger tips, and then continued to place feathery kisses upon her body until I reached her face. Just as she closed her eyes, and opened her mouth to receive mine; I turned her around, and bent her over.
“Wait…” she started, but was unable to finish as I slid my finger in her, my mouth licking her ass and up her back. I developed a rhythm as I penetrated her over and over, working her clit and g-spot like a string instrument. Licking the back of her legs, and even her toes while she screamed in protest, I felt the wave of her sweetness.
She begged me to stop. I did. Having almost forgotten whether this was real or not, the sound of the shower being cut off, alarmed me.
“Let’s go to the bed.” She said, leading me, still naked and wet, to her royal chamber. The bed swung ever so slightly as she pushed me down on those satin sheets, spread my legs, and began to French kiss my pussy. It was new. It was strange. It was good. For the first time, ever, I allowed myself to be swept away by the feeling of pleasure that built up inside of me. And she worked it. Beginning at her work site, and spreading throughout my entire body, the tingling that I felt increased into I had no choice, no will, but to submit to the release that came to claim me. And even as my very first orgasm flooded my senses, the fear crept up and arrested my heart at the same time. It felt so good it scared me. She stopped, only after licking the remainder of my virgin cum out of me, and off my thighs.
Before I had a chance to allow my fear to lead to guilt, thinking of our illicit acts, she positioned herself between my legs. “You taste so good” she told me, as she kissed me deeply, letting me taste the fruit of her labor. Looking down at me, she asked, “Are you ready?”
“Ready for what?”
“To go to heaven.”
And then she rode me. Rode me until our thighs, our mounds, our clits; were dripping wet from sheer, unadulterated, and total bliss.
That night I died. I’m sure of it, because even when those hands came to torment me in my dreams, I wasn’t there. I was in my heaven. Knowing it wouldn’t, that it couldn’t last long, but staying there anyway. This would never be enough. One day I would have to confront those hands, and the only way to do that was to be able to endure the hands of a man upon me again. Now that I had gotten a glimpse of heaven on one side, I was ready to return on yet another. There would be hell to pay soon enough.
Copyright © 2006. Used by permission of author. All Rights Reserved.