Travis opened the door for his brother, Sire. They walked passed the Sony flat screen television sitting in a whiskey-logged box. Sire silently chuckled to himself while simultaneously shaking his head from left to right. He knew his brothers ego would catch up to him eventually. He warned him incessantly about playing with a womans emotions and her trust and most importantly her patience. Sire knew that every woman had a breaking point no matter how much self-restraint she had and how much she was a “ryde or die”. Tamara was beautiful, smart, humble, submissive and now she was gone. Sire secretly and silently wished her the best and was glad she got away from his brother. The “incident” (the name Travis gave to the tragic murder of his TV and his photo) had only occurred 3 weeks prior and already Travis was dating someone else. She was some chick they met at their cousin’s wedding. Her name was, Special, and boyyyyyyy was she unaptly named. She had the intelligence of pocket lint,the personality of a pebble, the refinement of a banshee, a reputation as an international hoe, and none of their friends liked her. Sire knew Travis missed Tamara. Its hard not to love a woman who loves you. Special was just a pretty face and new booty. Tamara was innately unique and …gone.
Special smiled at Sire when he came in but never officially greeted him. She only spoke when she was spoken to and Sire speaking to her would have been a waste of oxygen. When the guys sat down at the table to play chess (they definitely couldnt watch TV), Special left the apartment to get drinks and pizza for the guys.
Wait for it…wait for it…
Travis asked the predictable question, ” So…what do you think of my exotic Nubian queen?”
“WHERE???????? WHO????!” Sire was rolling on the floor laughing. He literally fell out of his chair and rolled on the floor gasping for air because he was laughing so hard. His 6’4″ frame almost knocked over his brothers cheap ass table so he got up before he did anymore damage to his brothers studio apartment or Travis’ injured ego.
“Dont try to play me, Sire. You know my shorty stops traffic. You wanted her but I bagged her first. Don’t be a sore loser.”
“Trav, she’s cute but cut that “exotic” non-sense out. You and I both know she ain’t exotic. The word exotic indicates that she is of a foreign nature, different, non-traditional. When I hear exotic, I’m thinking of a woman who makes me guess her ethnicity, her influences, and her exposure. The only thing I guess with Special is how many partners she’s had and how many of them I probably know or gave a pound to on the basketball court or in the barbershop”, Sire said while still laughing.
Half mumbling Travis said, ” She is exotic.”
“Aiight. I apologize. She’s exotic. Her toenails are done by Asians. Her hair is blown out by Dominicans. Her cosmetologist is Jamaican. Indians do her eyebrows and her eyelash extensions. Caucasians at the spa in the mall do her Brazilian bikini waxes. Not to mention, she’s boned dudes all over the world”, Sire continued taunting his little brother.
Travis couldn’t help but crack a smile at the last part. Sire was right. Special was high maintenance and manufactured but she was fly! Definitely the trophy piece he was looking for.
“Listen, you can’t keep insulting her. That’s not right. She’s educated. Got her Masters in criminal justice”, Travis defended.
“What does her ability to write papers and pass tests have to do with the fact that my boy who lives in Canada, knows your girl and smashed that down after 1 Bahama Mama at a bar?”
“Low blow, Sire. If a tree falls in the forest but no one is there to hear it, did the tree fall?’
“If a tree sluts itself out in St Lucia and no one is there to see it but my boy puts it on the internet….YES that tree is a HOE!”, Sire said.
“You always cross the line, Sire. Checkmate.” Travis was focussed on the game while Sire was cracking jokes on his new love interest. “You don’t understand the importance of having a flawless woman on your arm. You a herb. Every woman you’ve ever been with had a “nice personality”, Travis said.
Sire flipped the table upside down. The chess pieces flew everywhere and some of the glass pieces shattered. Sire’s large frame loomed over his brother. He positioned himself so that there was only a centimeter between his pocket knife and his brothers right eye. He put his mouth at whispering distance to Travis’ ear and said, “If you ever talk about my wife in that manner again, I’ll cut you into tiny segments and use them as your replacement chess pieces. Then I’ll hang whats left of you on the wall where your flat screen used to be.”
Sire’s wife died 2 years prior. She was the only woman he had ever been with. He loved her and his family loved her. She was a beautiful woman but she had a rare disease that took away her thick long hair and her coke bottle-shaped body. Even as the end was drawing near, Sire remained loyal and faithful. Truthfully, he met Tamara first and if he hadn’t been emotionally attached to his wife, he would have courted and dated Tamara. Travis coaxed his brother to cheat but that wasn’t Sire’s style and he adored his wife to the very end.
Travis remained calm but his eye was twitching. “You’re so sensitive, jeez. Get that knife out my face, Sire. You play too much.”
Just then, Special entered the apartment with Tamara’s old key. She was juggling pizza, sodas, and whiskey sour. Neither of the brothers moved. They were still in a stand-off. She looked at the busted up table and the broken chess pieces and stood frozen at the door. Then with a blank stare she said, “Who won the game?”
(to be continued)
-Shaun M Nickens