The Sex Opera ...Season 2

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Chapter 8, part 1

The boring sounds of Michael Bolton greeted Brie as she retrieved a shopping cart from the long line of pre-gathered carts. Just her luck she withdrew one with a squealing wheel that wasn’t properly alignment, so every few steps she had to prevent the cart from swerving into a display unit or bumping into another oncoming cart.

Brie stopped at the fruit and veggie area and grabbed a few pounds of apples, plums, and seedless oranges. Before traveling to the green vegetables, she noticed a guy who seemed to be overdressed to be doing heavy shopping. She paid him no mind as she bagged a head of romaine lettuce that was until he carried his hand basket over to her direction and fondled over the cabbage and remained in her comfort zone a little longer than he needed.

“Excuse me,” Brie said as she tried to steer her cart into the main isle.

“How are you feeling, Miss [Brie’s last name here]. I heard about your recent visit to the hospital. Are you okay?”

Brie slowed her stroll and looked up into the eyes of Detective [name here]. She blinked several times before speaking. “Are you guys stalking me now? What concern do you have of me being admitted to the hospital?”

The Detective turned around and shifted his weight onto the vegetable counter. “Not stalking, investigating.”

“There’s nothing to investigate. I told you that I don’t know where my ex husband is.”

“Well, Miss Gertrude [last name] seems to think otherwise. She states that her brother hasn’t contacted her in years and that’s not a habit he was accustomed. Now put yourself in her shoes, if your brother or sister stopped calling you and it was there regular habit, wouldn’t you be suspicious?”

“If my family member was a sneaky sonofabitch, then no, I wouldn’t be a bit suspicious.” Brie tried to move her cart but the detective grabbed hold of the iron basket.

His hard eyes locked with her worried peeps. “You know we’re going to uncover whatever you’re hiding.”

Brie pulled her basket away from his grasp. “There’s nothing to hide. You’re barking up the wrong fucking tree.”

Brie stepped away and walked to the deli section of the store and pulled a number. She glanced over her shoulder and watched the detective nonchalantly make his way in her direction. He picked up a loaf of rye bread and continued walking toward the dairy section where he grabbed a half-gallon of Lactaid and disappeared behind an aisle.

“Dickhead,” Brie mumbled as she waited for her number to be called.

After gathering her deli meats and sauces, she traveled down the breakfast cereal isle where she was temporarily blinded by a bright light at the end of the aisle. She squinted and tried to focus on the blurred body. Before she could get a good visual on the face, the person darted out of plain sight. Brie’s heart began to race as she reached for a box of Special K.

“What the f--”

She tossed the cereal into the cart and pushed down to the hot cereal with her eyes focused on the end of the isle. She grabbed a box of Quaker Oats and continued down the isle. A commotion erupted around the corner of the aisle. Brie hurriedly pushed her cart to investigate. When she bent the corner she saw a man getting up from the floor, dusting himself off and protecting his digital camera.

“I’m fine. I’m fine. I just tripped,” he shouted at a man who was helping him from the floor.

Three store employees restocked the shelves with the dish liquids that were on the floor from the fall. The man turned and looked at Brie and then adverted eye contact by quickly turning his shoulder and making a beeline to the nearest exit. Brie noticed he didn’t have a cart or a hand basket in his possession, just his camera and shoulder bag.

“These niggas are stalking me,” Brie whispered. Her hands tightened around the handle of the cart as she pushed it forward. “I can’t believe this shit.”

She waddled to the checkout counters and stood in line. She checked over her shoulder, behind her back and near the front exits to see if she saw any other suspicious persons lurking around. From what her eyes could see, the coast appeared to be clear. After paying for her merchandise, she made her way to the car where she saw Frank standing at the truck waiting for her to arrive.

“Why are you standing here with the trunk open?”

“I saw you coming out the market so I wanted to be here so you didn’t lift this stuff.”

Brie smiled and glanced over her shoulder and then scanned the parking lot.

“Who are you looking for?”

“Nobody in particular.”

“Who is nobody in particular? Gertrude?”

Brie stopped and gave Frank a look that was meant to silence his questions. “No. I’m just cautious to my surroundings that’s all.”

“Well, you don’t have to worry when I’m with you.”

The statement didn’t stop her eyes from wandering from car to car as she went to climb into the car.

****

Jaleesa stopped at the local mall after a workout session with three new clients. After picking up a bottle of hand sanitizer she wandered over to the media section of a music store to check out the new releases in the DVD and CD display racks. The crowd of young adults swayed her from stopping longer than five minutes. She noticed the sagging pants and hip-hop gear and wherever she saw those two combinations, she knew there was a breeding ground for trouble.

She pushed her cart to the end of the isle to look for the listing of new arrivals. As she scrolled down the list of titles by artists she couldn’t help but overhear the conversations among the teenagers.

“Why don’t you go ahead and get Young Jeezy and then I’ll buy T.I. then I’ll burn some copies and we can take them to school and sell ‘em for five dollars a whop.”

A young entrepreneur in the making, Jaleesa thought as she grabbed the latest Donell Jones CD. Reaching for India.Arie latest, she recognized the next voice amongst all the others that were in the mixing bowl.

“Fuck T.I. He ain’t no muthafuckin’ king. I’m the muthafuckin’ king!”

Jaleesa peered between the racks and saw Evan standing with his hand grabbing his crouch and waving his middle finger in the air. Her stomach felt like a load of bricks was dropped on her foot. She dipped her head low so that he didn’t see her eyes.

Before she squatted out of sight, she noticed a god-awful necklace dangling from his neck and three sparkling diamond rings on his hands. Jaleesa closed her eyes and heard his voice, ‘How you doin’ sexy?’

****

Evan flipped over his ringing cell phone and read the number on the caller ID display. His eyes glazed over as he pressed the ‘talk’ button.

“Hey,” he answered with his lips protruding.

“I need you to stop by and pick up the last of your stash before I sell it from under you.”

“Why you callin’ sweatin’ me about that shit? Maybe I ain’t finished sellin’ what I got.”

“Lil’ nigga I don’t know who the fuck you talkin’ to but I ain’t the one. Have yo’ lil’ skinny ass at my spot in a fuckin’ hour with my money or I’ll send somebody out to bring yo’ ass in.”

“Man, fuck you nigga! You ain’t my fuckin’ daddy. I’ll come over there when I’m good and fuckin’ ready.”

“Oh you wanna fuckin’ play?”

Evan opened his mouth to speak but the phone went dead before he uttered a word. He closed the phone, looked around at his staring friends and slipped the phone back inside his pocket. “Punk ass nigga owe me money and got the nerve to be frontin’ on me to come pick it up,” he lied. His underarms grew warm from his rattled nerves. “Man, c’mon I gotta pay for this shit and bounce. I got bitness to tend to,” he said one of his cronies.