Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock...As I stare over at the clock sitting on my nightstand, it's precisely 3:00 am my time. I've been up all night like a crack addict in rehab trying to shake this feeling. Debating rather or not should I do it. Should I call him and tell him. I wanted so badly to make him pay for the pain he's caused me. He has left me in rejection's grip. I'm locked in a prison of turmoil and I can't seem to break free. Part of me just want to cut my losses and move on, but the wound he has left in my heart cuts deeper. Damn! I hate this feeling! I screamed from the crevices of my aching soul to the center of my aching chest. My heart was pounding so hard it felt like it was going to explode. I was deeply wounded. Out of nowhere, I grabbed my pillow and pressed it over my mouth and let out a loud wail. I screamed so hard that my lungs were beginning to weaken from lack of oxygen intake. Why??? Johnathan...whyyyyy??? I laid in my bed in the fetal position crying for another hour until my tear ducts could no longer produce anymore tears. I was exhausted by the overwhelming sensation of grief. Quickly my grief turned ice cold as visions began to invade my mind of the man I love in the arms of another woman. As each scene played through my mind, I saw Johnathan doing things to other women that I wish he was doing to me. Anger was beginning to rise in me like the dangers of flooding waters, and Johnathan's excuse for dumping me, was as weak as the levees in New Orleans. When it's all said and done, nothing will be able to hold me back from him. This anger that I feel on the inside has propelled me to go ahead with the plan.
I've been back home for a little over a month now, and glad about it. Don't get me wrong, I love traveling abroad, but there's no place like home. The people here in South Africa have mad love for me and show great respect to my family and I. Unlike the way some of the people behave in America. They are some of the most rude and arrogant group of people you would ever want to meet. Especially when driving. Still thinking about that idiot guy who cut me off in traffic while I was in Houston, Texas. He had the audacity to point his middle finger up at me when I blew my horn at him! And he was in the wrong. Unscrupulous jerk! If anyone pulled that stunt here, they would lose that finger. I did, however, had a splendid time with "Velvet", who I later found out was a part-time stripper at "The Hustler's Club", located in an area of San Francisco called North Beach, and "Esperanza Yen" was actually her real name. "Velvet" was her stage name. She brought out the meaning in both of her names either way. Damn! That girl worked me like I was an African slave. Needless to say, she was the only one getting paid. Esperanza is Afro-Cuban and Vietnamese. Her beauty is truly a work of art. She's every man's fantasy. Over dinner, she told me that her mother gained her American citizenship under refugee status. Esperanza's mother fled Vietnam due to the many wars that torn through their country land. She arrived in America with only her clothes on her back, not knowing how to speak English, and she had no family. They all died back in Vietnam. Sang Yen was placed in a government housing development for refugees. Part of her stipulations for gaining refugee status was that she had to learn how to write and speak English, attend a trade school, and learn basic social living skills as an American citizen. Gradually, over time, Sang Yen slowly began to fit right into society. She learned how to do nails as a trade and eventually got her cosmetology license. She worked in other people's nail salons in Miami where she lived for five years. One day, a delivery guy by the name of Carlos Santiago, an equally hard working self-made man from Cuba, came to drop off a package in the salon where she worked. He made these package deliveries almost every week at the Treasure Nail Salon. Overtime, Carlos and Sang Yen took notice of each other. They began to develop a friendship that soon blossomed into a beautiful relationship. After two years of dating, Sang Yen and Carlos got married. They both dreamt of owning their own business one day. So, after months of careful planning, she and her husband Carlos relocated to San Francisco and opened up their first business together called, "Jade Della Rosa", a full service spa salon.
Della Rosa was Carlos's late mother who was killed by a drunk driver on her way home from work cleaning houses when he was seventeen years old. Carlos was devastated over the senseless death of his mother. "Her memory will never be forgotten" he had promised himself. So, in honor of her memory, he named part of the family business after her. Jade was Sang Yen's mother, who was also tragically killed by a bomb in Vietnam. They have both suffered tremendous losses over the years, which was part of the reason why they've always felt a strong connection between each other. A bond that is visibly seen. All of Sang Yen's hopes and dreams were finally coming true. Her life has purpose and meaning now that she has met Carlos. She no longer lives in fear and chaos like she did in her earlier years. Sang Yen now has peace. Part of her name means peace, and when she gave birth to Esperanza, she knew that her hopes were finally being fulfilled, as she watched her life come around full circle.When Esperanza shared part of her background with me over dinner and drinks, I felt a familiar feeling come over me. I empathized with her and was deeply moved. My family had to flee our country also. I understood all to well. But what didn't register, was the fact that she was taking her clothes off for a living. So, I asked her, "Why have you chosen to strip at a gentlemen's club?" I asked with curiosity. She swirled her drink in slow motion with her right hand, while I took a brief notice to her well kept manicured finger nails. She raised her glass to her lips, and drew her drink in her mouth seductively and swallowed. Then she looked up at me with those sexy greenish-brown eyes, and devilish grin slowly forming on her face and said with no hesitation, "I want what you want: money...power...and control."
I hate feeling powerless. And that's exactly how I feel right now. The target of my anger and frustration is thousands of miles away from me. If he was in my city or at least in the states, I'd have a better chance of doing a drive by on him. Thinking back on the last time I had to do a drive by. My daughter's father, Wayne came to mind. He had crossed me one too many times until I finally snapped. One night, I went all out gangsta on that thug and the funny thing is, I'm a box of nerds, a softy, a sweetie pie. But like R. Kelly says, "When A Woman's Fed Up", hell has no fury for a woman scorned. I geared myself up dressed in all black from head to toe. I tied a black bandana around my nose and mouth, pulled my hair back in a bun, and pulled a black baseball cap over my head. The only thing that was seen was my eyes. I looked like a Ninja Muslim woman ready to go Bruce Lee on a nigga. I asked my neighbor could I borrow his truck before I suited up, I made up some elaborate excuse to why I couldn't use my own vehicle. He graciously agreed. Before I left, I grabbed the biggest and sharpest knife from out of my kitchen, and rode off into the night like a undercover vigilante. When I approached his street, I dimmed the lights to the truck and began creeping in slow motion, passing by each house like a phantom on the prowl. It was already dark on his street with the exception of a few street lights that was dimly lit in various places. When I saw his house in view, I parked two houses away so that no one would see me pull up. I exited the vehicle leaving the engine running for my quick getaway. As I walked closer to his house, I could see that Wayne had his curtains pulled back, and that he and his friends were seated in the living room area drinking and smoking, and watching something on television. I quickly headed over to Wayne's parked Range Rover sitting on Alpine rims. That vehicle was his prize possession. He took better care of it than his own child. I removed the knife from the paper bag I concealed it in. The blade caught a glimmer of the street lights. Without no delay, I began puncturing his tires one by one as I heard the tires let out a whistle sound as the air seeped out.When I got to the fourth tire, I had difficulty penetrating its rubber, and it was taking me longer to do my evil deed than planned. Before I knew it, one of Wayne's homeboy's stepped outside to make a phone call, and that's when he saw me at Wayne's vehicle. He yelled out for Wayne and the rest of the fellas to come outside, "Ya'll come out here! Hurry the f*ck up!" Then he yelled out towards me, "Yo, my nigga, what the f*ck are you doing?! Wayne rushed outside and took one look toward the direction of his Range, then yelled, "Man, what the f*ck?! Who is that nigga?! Let's take this ho ass nigga down!" My heart was racing and pounding in my chest as I ran back to the parked truck as fast as I could. Wayne and his homeboys were gaining in on me at top speed. I made it to the truck and quickly slammed the door shut. I hit the control switch that powered all the door locks down. I was so scared, that my hands were nervously shaking uncontrollably. For the life of me, I couldn't properly move the automatic stick shift out of park into drive. In haste, I put the automatic stick shift into neutral, the truck wouldn't go forward nor would it go backwards. I remained stuck at a stand still. Before I knew it, Wayne and his homeboys had me surrounded. They started pounding and kicking on the truck from all angles...even trying to smash in the windows. Next thing I knew, I saw one of Wayne's homeboy's pop open his trunk. By that time, I became extremely frantic as I watched my life flash right before my very eyes. My spirit rose within me as I spoke to myself, "Natasha, you ain't going down tonight, you got a daughter to live for! Now pull yourself together and get this truck out of neutral!"
In quick desperation, I yanked the automatic back in an unknown gear and smashed my foot on the gas. Before I knew it, the truck jerked back in a violent motion, then started moving backwards. I drove backwards like a maniac until I reached the end of the block. I paused long enough to switch gears...Wayne and his homeboys were still foot chasing me. Finally! I got the truck to go in forward motion as I switched gears. I spun the wheel around with a sharp elbow turn. The tires began screeching as the truck leaned to one side as I drove in mad speed! Once I gained composure and full control of the wheel, the truck dropped to all fours and I sped off like the Night Rider. I was flooring the gas pedal at 90 mph in a 35 mph speed zone. Once I got far out of their reach, I rolled down the driver's side window and threw the knife out with force. I took off my black cap, removed the bandana from around my face, and shook my hair into place and drove like my life depended on it. Once I made it back to my side of town, I thanked my neighbor for allowing me the use of his vehicle. To show him my appreciation I offered him gas money, but he declined my offer. I looked at him and hunched my shoulders up and said, "Oh well, if you insist." I turned quickly on my heels and hurried to my apartment with haste. Once I made it in, I peeped in on my daughter who was still sound asleep. Slowly, I closed her bedroom door shut, eased out of my clothes and into a very hot bubble bath. Lord knows I needed it. To this day,Wayne never figured out it was me who inflated his tires that particular night. On the very next day he called me. He said, "Man, you won't believe what the hell kind of shit done happen to me last night", I said, "Try me."
I got a ton of paper work to do, orders to approve, emails and phone calls to return, and I still need to drive over to the Port and check on my ship and the crewmen. I've been sitting in my office unable to get anything done in the last past four hours since I've arrived to the office. It's now a little after 11:00 am and almost time for me to have lunch. I have a meeting to attend to at 2:00 pm with my father, his advisory board, and my know it all elder brother, who is a maritime lawyer and the chief of staff over the family business. Being the youngest of my father's children has worked in my favor as well as against me. My actions and decision making have always come under scrutiny by Edwin, my eldest brother. I know how to do my job. I don't need him telling me how to do what our father has put me in charge to do. Many times he has challenged me by calling my actions reckless and immature."You look the part, but you don't know how to play the part baby brother. You seem to be more preoccupied with chasing after women and blowing off your inheritance on them, rather than focusing on serious business matters at hand!" He roared out at me in anger in front of our father one day in his private office. His words still hover over my head like a grey cloud. How could he speak such grievous words to me like that?! Who does he think he is to me any way? My ruler? As I sat in my office in obvious deep thought, I was brought back to reality by the buzzing of my cell phone. I was being notified that I had just received an email. Without hesitation, I opened my inbox and saw that I had received an urgent message from Natasha. I haven't spoken to Natasha in over a month, what could she possibly be contacting me for now? I had made it quite clear to her the last time we had spoke that it was over between us, and that I didn't want to hear from her again. What does this woman not understand? As I sat up in my chair, I scrolled down the screen giving full attention to her email as it began to read like this:
"There is something that I need to discuss with you. I don't know where to start, and I feel so alone right now. I didn't have the courage to tell you over the phone, so I decided to email you instead. Ever since we have departed, I haven't been the same since...emotionally, spiritually, or physically. I don't sleep well at nights on end, I can't hold down any food in my stomach when I eat, and I have fallen into a black hole and can't seem to find my way out of it. All I keep in my head are the memories of that night when we were last together. Do you remember that night in your hotel room Johnathan? The night you jammed your penis in me and did whatever made your flesh happy. The night you oozed every drop of yourself in me, then turned your back against me once you were done. You even went so far by kicking me out of your hotel room late in the night and told me to catch a cab home because it was over between us. I'm sure you remember...don't you? I want to inform you that it is not over. This is just the beginning. Johnathan, I'm pregnant with your child."
Latarsha M. Preciado
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