Happy Sunday! With tomorrow being my release day (whoop whoop!) I knew that I had to drop a little sneak peek. The thing was, I didn't know what part I liked most lol. So, I figured I couldn't go wrong with the first chapter. Enjoy!
“Mmm,” I moaned softly, tossing my head back.
My finger traced the lining of my full lips as I collected the excess creamy, glaze that didn’t quite make it inside my mouth. I was intending to make sure it was just as sweet as I envisioned, only to make a mess in the process. When I was certain that I’d cleaned my face, I was taking a damp paper towel to do the same to my exposed cleavage. I typically wasn’t so messy when I was baking, but it was a first time for everything I suppose.
“Top notch saddity. Bitch knew she was pretty!”
One of my favorite Mac Dre songs played in the background as I added just enough cannabis infused milk to thin out my glaze. I’d already made the donuts and as they cooled on a baking sheet, I worked at perfecting my topping. With it nearing six in the evening and after a long workday that left me drained, I was doing some unwinding. Most people curled up with a book while others found comfort in television. For me, it was cooking. Preferably desserts but a woman like me knew her way around the kitchen regardless.
For the better part of a year, my days were a minimum of twelve hours. My body had yet to get used to that shit and I knew it was because I wasn’t meant to be working so damn hard. Nobody was. But after leaving a relationship that left me homeless, I vowed to never get too comfortable in life.
Like most people who ventured over to California, I was looking for opportunities. I was fresh out of college with a degree in Chemistry that was basically useless since I had no plans of being in the medical field. My family all but held a gun to my head so I’d get that particular degree, feeling it would provide me with a high salary career.
To be honest, it was like that for all of my life. They didn’t provide me with the freedom to make my own decisions and I’d finally had enough of that shit. I bought a plane ticket and had been out in The Bay for the last two years. I didn’t even look back. I had a point to prove and wanted them to know I was fully capable of taking care of myself. The thing was, I’d been so sheltered my entire life that I wasn’t nearly as ready for what California had in store for me.
That included my ex. I was a bit naive, but I still knew how the game went. The charming bad boy, who was always so soft in the beginning only to peel out of the sheep’s clothing and reveal the wolf that had been hiding the entire time. Andre was no different.
There were plenty of the typical red flags. He was a liar, a cheater and worse than that he was disrespectful. I hardly had any money to my name and slipped up in allowing him to take care of me. He felt as if I was his property just because he threw a little money my way. Now, I’ll admit I loved living it the hell up on his dime, but I was never meant to be a kept woman. I had my own dreams and somewhere down the line they’d been lost. All because I got too damn comfortable. But did I ever leave? Nope. I didn’t even try.
I loved him and the sense of security he provided. But that didn’t last long, because with the cheating, lying, and disrespect came the abuse. The emotional and verbal was traumatic enough. I was a young and beautiful, college educated woman but Andre? He knew how to make me feel so low. He was quick to remind me that without him I had nothing. That without him I was nothing. How could I argue with him when I’d constantly referred to him as my everything?
It felt like an anchor was weighing me down. I knew I deserved better and that it was out there for me. I was just too scared to go find it. Too scared to start over again. Too scared to admit that I’d failed. Andre had me right where he wanted. For seven months, I stayed. I’d turned a blind eye to everything as best as I could. But all that he was putting me through wasn’t enough for him. I knew it when he called himself getting drunk and putting his hands on me.
‘Til this day, I couldn’t tell anyone what happened. I blacked out and when I came to, it looked like a crime scene. There were various stab marks on his furniture and his blood decorated his entire living area. Me included. I called an ambulance and after explaining what happened, I just knew I’d be going to jail. It didn’t happen that way. Not when it was obvious from the wounds on my own body that he’d been beating my ass. That same night I walked away from Andre and our relationship.
With only a few hundred dollars to my name, I stayed in hotels and even my car. I worked various jobs just to stay afloat but I was going through so much. I had it all one day and the next, I was scrambling for loose change just so I could eat. It was humbling but I still had far too much pride to ever go back home. Or even try to make use of my degree. I had made plenty of friends in California, but I never asked them for help. They never offered either.
I had to accept that I couldn’t depend on any damn body but myself. So after ending my pity party, I found stable employment at the city bank, a Hooters, and one of the food huts at the beach.
Once I had enough saved, I got an apartment lease for six months. Now? I was living in this bad ass house and doing better. While it had two stories, the space was small enough that I considered it to be the perfect starter home. I didn’t have the picture-perfect life I imagined but I was still alive to change that. Everyday offered me that opportunity I so desperately wanted, and I was too stupid to realize it back then. But now? I knew and was going to make shit happen for myself.
The constant chiming sound on my MacBook quickly jarred me from my thoughts. I looked into the screen, smiling at the dozens of dollar symbols floating across. While I maintained regular jobs, my biggest source of income was a bit different. Unethical depending on who you asked. In the world we lived in, if I never learned shit else, I knew that I could use what I had so I could get what I wanted. Even when I was with my ex, I toyed around with the thought of doing an OnlyFans. Out of respect for not only our relationship but him as well I never did it. But I was single now and needed money. So, I did what I had to and didn’t give a fuck who didn’t like it. I always did what everybody wanted, and I tried living my life a certain way only to be left with 99 problems. Being broke wasn’t about to be one.
There was this misconception that it was nothing but high class, private porn. In a sense it was. I’d be a millionaire by now if I took the route of showing ass 24/7 but I was too smart for that shit. I used my talents and my passion and had people subscribing off the strength that I was cute and baking. I’d put on some sexy lingerie and just do as I’d done today with some donuts and easily be a couple of thousand dollars richer. I knew the real money was on the adult side so every now and then I did do some wild shit, but I was always sure to delete anything I wouldn’t want my future husband to see.
Even after Andre, I wasn’t turned off from love. I knew a man was out there for me, but I just hadn’t found him. I wasn’t in a rush to do so either. I had some issues I needed to work on and most importantly, I didn’t want to be a webcam girl forever.
Fifty dollars if I can see your feet.
I’d just finished glazing my donuts and was seconds from signing off when I caught the comment. It was an extra fifty dollars on what I knew was at least $2000 just to show off my pedicure. It was a bit of trickery trying to maneuver the MacBook camera, but I was able to have it lowered enough that it was aimed at the ground. One by one I removed my feet from the black colored, Nike slides giving a full view. Funny, I hated my feet but in the few short minutes I’d left them on display, wiggling my toes and anything else that was requested, I loved them for the extra money they put in my pocket.
With my stream having come to an end, I helped myself to my treats. They were intended to be a snack until I was able to actually begin cooking dinner. I was in the mood for some fried chicken, loaded mashed potatoes and green beans and practically drooled on myself, imagining how good it would taste. I was working on my second donut when my phone rang. Seeing Jessica’s name flash across the screen made me roll my eyes. I already knew she didn’t want shit but also knew she’d keep calling if I didn’t answer.
“Hey! I’m so glad you’re off. What you doing tonight?”
“Nothing. Making some dinner and relaxing. Why?”
“Ugh, girl. You’re always in the house. Come out with me. I’ve got a date with Rudy’s fine ass and he’s got an even finer friend that you can kick it with.”
“Jessica, no. You know that’s the last thing I’m trying to do.”
I wasn’t trying to be up under some stranger while Jessica was doing her. Granted, she and Rudy had been kicking it for the last few weeks, I knew how she was. With enough liquor in her system, she’d loosen up, ultimately hooking up wherever and whenever she could. That wasn’t even my business but if she did that shit tonight, I’d be stuck to smile in some dude’s face.
“Myami, come on. I swear, you moved and act like you’re too good now. You’re not going to work tonight, right?”
“No, but I…”
“Then do me this favor. I’ll even pay if you don’t got it right now. You know I got you.”
I snatched the phone from my ear to be sure I was hearing right. No she didn’t go there. She had some damn nerve even saying some shit like that. While I was still cool with Jessica, she was one of those “friends” who didn’t even give me a floor to sleep on. She was right, I moved away and didn’t let her know where I stayed. Why would I? When I needed her she wasn’t there. I hated how that thought made me feel. Jessica didn’t owe me shit, but if the roles were reversed, I would’ve opened my home until she had one of her own. But she wasn’t me and I wasn’t her so I couldn’t think about it that way.
“I can pay for my damn self. Now where are you trying to go?”
“Girl, you know I didn’t mean it like that,” Jessica laughed. “But, we’re going to Bunkers. And girl... his friend is fine. I’m not kidding. I’m kind of mad I didn’t meet him first. He’s only in town for a minute and they haven’t seen each other in a while.”
Jessica continued rambling on as I went upstairs to find something to wear. She might’ve tried playing it off, but I knew she meant that shit. I was doing significantly better than I was a year ago, but that comment? It just reminded me of where I came from. I didn’t need her or anyone to do shit for me. As much as I didn’t want to go out, I needed to remind her of that. I also needed to do some reevaluating on this so called friendship while I was at it.
I hope you're ready for tomorrow! Have a good night ❤️