COMING NOV. 8th!
Catch a glimpse into the life of Khadijah Caldwell, a young lady who is suffering from the recent losses of both her parents and trying to learn how to become a woman in a world full of pain. After issues with her home life causes her to have to abruptly change her environment, she quickly becomes acquainted with Teddy “Bundy" Perino.
Bundy is a ‘business man’ who has deep-rooted issues of his own, but a magnetic force of chemistry pulled him and Khadijah together the first moment that they met and he wanted to learn all there was to know about her. When tragedy strikes in Bundy’s life, Khadijah decides to stick around and be the best friend that she can be in a time of need, despite having knew him for only a short amount of time, showing Bundy that she is down for the ride.
Eventually, undeniable feelings begin to flow between the pair as they offer each other pure, authentic forms of themselves. Dive in to watch the two become inseparable as they stop at nothing to prove that not even the greatest obstacle could make them fold.
“Khadijah! Khadijah! Girl, wake up. You’re gonna be late for work!” My cousin, Tia, woke me from a deep sleep. I rolled over and sighed, clearly annoyed. “This bitch comes in here every morning with the same bullshit”, I thought to myself. I had been staying with her and my aunt, Evelyn, for almost two years now, ever since my parents passed away in an accident. We lived in a middle-class neighborhood just outside the city limits of Memphis, Tennessee, where I was born and raised. My auntie worked as a schoolteacher during the day while Tia worked at McDonalds, and I worked at Applebee's as a waitress. So, as you can see, everybody in this house had to pay in order to play. There weren’t any free rides around here, per Auntie Evelyn’s words. Today was Tia’s day off, though, and she decided to be a pain in the ass and wake me up an hour earlier than my normal time, just in an effort to piss me off.
“Why do you always come in here with that shit every time I have to go to work? That shit ain’t cool!” I yelled across the room, looking ahead in irritation as Tia took it upon herself to start going through my makeup bag. “And get outta my shit!”
I think this girl just loved to hear me scream because she looked up at me and smirked as if I wasn’t serious.
“Girl, don’t nobody want that shit anyway. It's not even my complexion!” she replied. I didn’t have the time or the patience for her today, so I just decided to get up and start getting ready for work. As I took my Applebee’s uniform out of my hamper, my mind drifted into deep thought and I decided that I really did deserve better. Here I was, twenty years old, living with my auntie and working as a fuckin’ waitress. It seemed like since my mama and daddy died, my life had been going downhill, and Auntie Evelyn and Tia made my life no easier. Aunt Ev was cool, but she was strict as hell. My own damn parents weren't that strict on me, and they sure as hell never treated me the way she had been. If me or Tia fucked up just once, she always stood somewhere in the shadows, waiting to preach to us. I swear that bitch should have been an evangelist or some shit. Truth is, I’d been plotting my escape from day one of stepping into this hell hole. I knew my time to shine was coming soon, so I just remained humble, stacked my bread, and played the game the strategic way until it came.
After I showered and did my daily beauty routine, I got dressed and went back to my room to grab my Louis Vuitton purse and cell phone. I didn’t have to do my hair because I decided to keep my 22-inch jet black, Brazilian body wave bundles installed for at least another week. Time began to fly as I spent the next twenty minutes looking for my keys, which I discovered were already in my purse. I was guessing that Tia put them there when she snuck back in after using my car to go see her man last night.
“I know this hoe better had put some gas in my shit, or we gon’ have a fucking problem!” I said aloud to myself, walking out to my brown, 2000 Honda Accord. Just as I got into the car and sat down, I checked my clock and grew nervous, knowing that I was late as hell for work. Upon starting the engine, I watched as my gas hand fell from a full tank to a quarter, enraging me even further at Tia’s irresponsibility. Lucky for her, I didn’t have the time to snap on her ass because Lord knows that the bitch deserved it.
When I made it in the door of my job, it was ten o’clock precisely, meaning that I was just in time for the lunch wave. I greeted all my fellow coworkers as I walked through the kitchen, making my way toward the POS system to clock in. Just as my time registered, I saw my best friend, Bre’Ale, walking up in the distance.
“Bitch!” she quietly yelled, careful to not be heard by our boss. Bre’ale and I had been best friends since the seventh grade and had been here through everything, including the deaths of my parents. I fucked with her because she was a real, down ass female, and everyone needed someone like her in their corners.
“What’s up, Bre?” I asked, knowing by her tone of voice that she had something to tell me. ‘Mouth of the South’ was my nickname for her because she was like News Channel Six; always had some hot gossip. Bre’Ale cleared her throat, causing me to laugh at her silly ways before she started to run off at the mouth.
“So, you know that I saw Tia down there in Orange Mound in your car, right?” I nodded my head, motioning with my hand for her to go on with the story. “Girl, she was down there with Ethan. Your Ethan!” Bre’Ale dropped a bomb on me. My insides started to tense up and get hot at the sound of this, putting me in instant disbelief.
“Okay, so?” I tried to play it off, but Bre’Ale knew that I was pissed. She was happy to run this story to me, anyway, because she never liked Tia from the start.
“So? Girl, you already know that she fucked him! Bitch, she had your shit reversed in his yard and all, and she followed him in that house. She didn’t come back out for hours. That’s some snake ass shit, if you ask me.” I didn’t let Bre see me sweat, but that shit was foul as fuck. Ethan was my ex-nigga who I still loved and cared for, but now the thought of him just disgusted me since he would stoop so low as to sleep with Tia. On Tia’s behalf, I wasn’t even surprised because that was how these hoes in Memphis operated. It just blew my mind because she was my family, and family should never sleep behind family! I told Bre that I would catch up with her later and went on to tend to my customers, annoyed as hell with the world. A part of me wished that she would’ve waited until after work to tell me something like that because my mood instantly went to shit.
To top it all off, the workday seemed to drag along as I went from table to table, checking on my patrons, cleaning my stations, and collecting my tips when the customers left. I tried to not let what Bre’Ale had told me get under my skin because after all, Ethan didn’t belong to me anymore. That nigga had something good, but he lost in in the midst of constant dishonesty and fucking different hoes day by day. I held him down while he was broke, but he started to treat me like an enemy after he got some money in his pockets— like a typical fuck boy. The only thing that fucked me up the most was the fact that Tia was my cousin and waited until Ethan and I broke up and attempted to take my place. Even as my family, though, Tia could never be half the woman I was becoming, and I really wanted to beat her ass for even thinking that she could. I got so caught up in this drama to where I wasn’t even paying attention to what I was doing. I bumped into this girl who looked like she was around my age, accidentally knocking her to the floor.
“Damn, bitch, excuse you!” she yelled, picking herself up off the floor. At this point, my mind had taken all that it could take before it just exploded. I was already pissed to the highest power, so I really wasn’t thinking clearly when I sent my fist flying into her mouth, knocking her back onto the same floor that she’d just gotten up from.
“Bitch, don’t you ever call me out of my name, you don’t know me!” I yelled at her while she cowered beneath me. I had her by the hair when my manager came from the back and broke up the fight.
“Ms. Caldwell!” he yelled, “I want you in my office! Now!” I hung my head as I slowly walked to his office, trying to catch my breath.
“Fired? How the hell can you just fire me like that, even after I told you what she said to me?” I asked my manager, Mr. Rankins, looking him square in the eyes. He showed no compassion or interest as he listened to my claim, then retorted.
“Khadijah, it's not about what she said, or what you said. In my opinion, it’s more so about the way that you handled it. I can't have you in here getting into physical altercations with the customers and, against my better judgment, I have to let you go.” The words let you go seemed to resonate in my head as I started to nod in understanding, convinced that the universe just had that one coming for me. I wasn’t trying to say or hear shit else from him as I stood up and gathered my things to leave. I didn’t even clock out, I just quickly headed for the door instead. I had tears in my eyes by the time I reached my car and when I got in, I just lost it! Questions like what am I gonna do now? and how will I tell auntie Ev that I lost my job? flooded my head. I knew that I was gonna get my ass put out for sure now that I didn’t have a way to help pay the bills. I was already prepared to beat Tia’s ass when I made it home, and now I had to tell Aunt Ev some shit like this? That’s a double fuck up. I put my key into the ignition and started the car, preparing to head home to face my doomsday.
As I pulled into the yard, I saw my auntie unloading groceries from her trunk, a perplexed look forming on her face when she looked up and saw my car pulling into the driveway. When I got out and attempted to walk past her, she stopped me.
“Um, why are you home so early? You don’t get off until eleven o’clock, young lady!” she asked me. My heart was quickly dropping while I tried my best to keep my head down, ignoring the question as I made my way to the front door. “Khadijah! Did you hear me? I said why are you home so early?” she repeated herself, louder this time.
I looked back at her, irritation starting to take over, and yelled, “I got fired, okay? That’s why I’m home so early!”
When I opened the door, Tia was sitting there, eyes glued to her phone screen, not even noticing me staring down at her with disgust in my eyes. I dropped my purse and ran up on that bitch, determined to beat her ass really good. I grabbed her hair, dodging a punch that she failed in delivering in a weak ass attempt to defend herself.
“Bitch!” I yelled, yanking her to the floor and dragging her desperate ass across the carpet. Just as I reached down to hit her again, Aunt Ev walked in the house and saw us— well, saw me beating Tia’s ass.
“What's going on? Hey, stop that right now!” she yelled as she ran over to me, yanking me away from Tia.
“This bitch is fucking my ex! She took my car to Orange Mound to have sex with him last night, and she's supposed to be my family? You triflin’ ass bitch!” I yelled as I tried to break away from Aunt Ev and hit Tia again, but Auntie wasn’t having it.
“That’s enough, Khadijah! Look, I’ve allowed you to stay here long enough to save some money and I’ve been nothing but nice to you, but I will not let you hurt my child over a damn man!” Auntie Ev looked me in my eyes, saying this hateful shit, but had yet to say anything to her nasty ass daughter. “Plus, you lost your job today and you have nothing to contribute anymore. Baby, I'm sorry, but you have to leave my house.”
One mind told me to slap the shit out of this hypocritical bitch, and the only thing that stopped me was the fact that I had been saving $4000 over the years from my paychecks and my parents’ insurance policies every month for a few years. Had I not been covering my own ass for so long to make sure I had some finances stashed away, I would’ve been angrier than I was. I had been waiting on an opportunity to leave this motherfucker anyway, and now I finally had it.
“Alright! Just give me until in the morning and I’ll be gone,” I said, attempting to walk out the door onto the porch. Auntie Evelyn grabbed my hand and pulled me back.
“No sweetie, you need to leave tonight!” she said without so much as blinking her eyes. Fake ass love was all this was. I wasn’t fucked up about it, though. I just went into my room and began to pack my things because a lady always knew when to leave. After striding down the long hallway and entering my bedroom, I pulled my large Louis Vuitton duffle bag from my closet and began to swiftly throw my clothes into it. Nothing but rage could be felt flowing through my body as I thought about what had just happened, and Auntie Evelyn was dead ass wrong for automatically siding with Tia. I knew that she loved Tia, but wrong was wrong. Tears were forming in my eyes because my anger was starting to take over, but I quickly wiped my face and continued packing my things. If my parents were still here, I wouldn’t have to suffer through this shit. My eyes diverted to the ceiling as I quickly said a prayer to myself; maybe God would hear me this time.
“Lord, please watch over me through it all. I don’t know what you have planned for me, but I trust your will.” As soon as I threw my last item into my bag, I zipped it up and headed for the door. Auntie Evelyn was standing in the doorway as if she was waiting for me. “Wherever you go, please be safe," she said, but her words fell on deaf ears as I walked past her without even looking back. I didn’t have shit else to say to her because this was bullshit and she knew it. Instead, I opened the door to my car and threw my luggage inside. After cranking the engine, I swiftly backed out of Auntie Evelyn’s yard and hurriedly sped down the street, headed for the airport. Upon arrival, I picked a space in the parking lot to slide into and killed my engine. My eyes were glued to the entrance door of the airport as I was excited for the journey, but scared as hell as I thought about a new future. A new life. A new beginning.