I heard it all before, p.5

I Heard It All Before, page 5


I Heard It All Before

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  Chapter 5

  Demi walked into her house and paused at the front door. The smell of old food and weed, among other things, assaulted her nostrils before she even had a chance to close the door. Her husband, Kamari, was on their plush leather sofa, playing his video game like he didn’t have a care in the world. The empty plates and cups that once contained food and drinks were scattered all over the floor and table beside him. The ashtray with smoked blunts was at his side, along with the lighter that he used to fire up. When he looked up and saw the look on Demi’s face, Kamari paused his game and hurriedly stood up to greet her.

  “What’s up baby? How was your day?” Kamari asked while attempting to give his wife a kiss.

  “Too damn stressful for me to have to come home and deal with this bullshit,” Demi said while turning her head, avoiding his lips.

  “I’m about to clean up,” Kamari said as he started grabbing plates and cups, bringing them into the kitchen. He wasn’t in the mood to argue, but that was all that he and his wife seemed to do lately.

  “I’ve asked you a million times not to smoke that shit in here. We have a huge yard and patio for you to use. The entire house reeks of weed,” Demi argued.

  “Man, it’s too damn hot out there. It ain’t nothing that a lil air freshener won’t kill,” Kamari replied.

  “Air freshener only hides it for so long. The smell gets into the curtains and our clothes too. I can’t go to court smelling like the same people who I’m trying to defend or convict,” Demi fussed.

  At only twenty-six years old, Demi was the youngest attorney at her firm. None of the other attorneys took her seriously because of her age, so she had to work extra hard at proving herself to them, as well as her employers. The firm was made up of mostly men, so Demi was like a goldfish in a tank full of sharks. Graduating high school early, at the age of sixteen, meant nothing to them. Being in the top ten percentile of her graduating class from law school was an accomplishment that was overlooked because of her age and sex. It also didn’t help that everyone thought that she was only hired because of the influence of her mother, who had been a courtroom stenographer since Demi was just a baby. She had to work earlier days and even longer nights, just to show everyone that she deserved her small corner office that was right next to the women’s bathroom. The office that all new hires were cursed with until something better came along. Almost a year had passed before Demi finally started to get the respect that she demanded and deserved. Her work life had improved tremendously, but the same couldn’t be said for her personal one. Her home was in shambles and she wasn’t sure what she could do to fix it.

  “How can your clothes smell like weed, when I only smoke in the front room?” Kamari asked, shaking Demi away from her thoughts.

  “Maybe it’s because smoke travels Kamari,” Demi said while sitting her briefcase down and walking away. She took off her jacket, rolled up her shirt sleeves, and started some warm, soapy dish water. Kamari dropped the dirty dishes in the sink, and Demi began to wash them.

  “Sorry baby. I’ll go out back to smoke from now on,” Kamari promised while kissing his wife on the neck.

  “What about the job interview? How did it go? I wanted to call you earlier, but it was crazy in the courtroom today,” Demi replied.

  “Crazy how? What happened?” Kamari asked. He loved to hear Demi’s stories about court cases and the outcome of the trials.

  “Later, baby. I wanna know about your interview. How was it?” Demi asked again. When Kamari broke eye contact and turned his head, she already knew the outcome.

  “You didn’t go,” Demi said, as more of a statement than a question.

  “Man, I’m just not feeling that nine to five shit. The fuck I look like working at the courthouse when I know most of the niggas that come through there? My wife is a lawyer and I’ll be doing transport like a fucking flunky. That shit is embarrassing,” Kamari argued.

  “This shit is getting old Kamari. I’m really losing my patience,” Demi noted.

  “There just ain’t no pleasing you, man. I’m doing what you wanted me to do. You wanted me to get my GED and I got that shit. You begged me to stopped selling dope and I did that too. Never mind the money that I made from selling dope is what put your ass through law school. You weren’t complaining then, were you?” Kamari asked.

  “That’s a damn lie. I never asked you for a dime when I got accepted into law school. You didn’t want me to get student loans, so you took it upon yourself to pay for it. And, yes, I did beg you to stop selling drugs and for a good reason. I’m an attorney Kamari. How would it look for my husband to be a drug dealer? The shit doesn’t even make sense.”

  “You don’t want me to help, so stop complaining about being the sole provider,” Kamari said.

  “I’ve never complained about anything. I already told you that I don’t have a problem holding us down if you want to go back to school. You did it for me and I’ll gladly do it for you,” Demi replied.

  “School ain’t for me and I told you that.”

  “Now, that’s what I have a problem with. School ain’t for you. A job ain’t for you. Exactly what is for you, Kamari? I said I’ll hold us down, but what I won’t do is take care of a lazy, grown ass man for the rest of my life!” Demi yelled.

  Her husband wasn’t lazy at all, but she was upset and saying things out of anger.

  “Ain’t a damn thing lazy about me and you know that. I’ve been out here grinding since I was sixteen years old, but this is what you wanted. You wanted me to stop selling dope, so deal with it.” Kamari shrugged

  “How long did you think that was gonna last Kamari? Jail or the grave were your only two ways out of that situation.”

  “I’ve never been to jail a day in my life. And I’m not your daddy, so stop putting me in the same category with him,” Kamari said, regretting the words as soon as they left his mouth.

  “Fuck you!” Demi spat as she dried her hands on a towel and stormed off to their bedroom.

  “Shit,” Kamari hissed as soon as his wife walked away.

  He wasn’t trying to be insensitive, since he knew that Demi’s father was a tough subject for her. He, too, just like Kamari, had been in the dope game until he was gunned down a few years ago, along with two of his associates. Demi was in college at the time and she took the news hard. She and Kamari had only been dating for a few months back then, but he was there for her every step of the way. She’d been in Kamari’s ear ever since then, trying to get him to do the right thing. The streets were all that he knew, so giving it all up was easier said than done. Kamari had never worked a regular job a day in his life and he didn’t feel the need to at twenty-nine years old. He loved his wife more than anything, but their differences were driving a wedge through their marriage. Demi’s mind was made up, so Kamari had to make some serious decisions. It was either get a job, go to school, or risk losing his wife. He didn’t want to do either, but something had to give. Going back to school and obtaining his degree was what Demi really wanted for him, but he just wasn’t feeling it.

  After finishing what Demi had started in the kitchen, Kamari walked down the hall in search of his wife. He found her sitting in the middle of their bed with her face buried in her laptop. After growing up in foster homes in the slums of New Orleans, Demi was the best thing that ever happened to Kamari. He didn’t let his guard down with anyone besides his best friend, until she came into his life.

  He’d met her when he accompanied a few of his associates to a fraternity party that was being hosted on her college campus. Demi was standing with a group of her sorority sisters, but she stood out amongst the crowd. She and Kamari hit it off instantly, and he made the hour-long trip to see her every weekend. He was upfront with her about what he did for a living, and she never judged him. She did tell him that he should try to do better for himself and those talks only intensified after her father was killed. Kamari promised her that he would go back to school once she graduated, but that was
only to shut her up.

  Kamari never knew his parents or anyone else in his family, so he had it hard. He remembered all too well how it felt to go hungry some nights because the people who the state placed him with didn’t bother to feed him. He wore clothes that were too big and nobody thought to wash them. His hair was so dirty and nappy that sores started to develop on his scalp. Taking a bath was a treat because he didn’t get to do it very often. By the time Kamari made fifteen, he had dropped out of school, run away from his fifth group home, and started living on the streets. He begged for money every day, just to get a hot meal every night. When he made sixteen, he’d made a few friends on the streets and things began to look up. Kamari was introduced to some older boys in the area who used him to run errands for them. When they saw how good he was at it, they started giving him drugs to sell and he had been good ever since.

  Kamari went from sleeping under the bridge, to renting hotels rooms. When his money started to look good, he got an apartment in one of his girlfriend’s name and never looked back. Demi knew his struggle, but she still didn’t fully understand. Kamari vowed that he was never going hungry or broke again if he could help it, and he meant that. He just needed his wife to get off his back and let him be the man of their household.

  “I’m sorry baby. You know I wasn’t trying to hurt your feelings,” Kamari apologized as he sat down next to her.

  “I know you weren’t, but somethings gotta give Kamari. All we do is argue and it’s stressful. You make it seem like I’m asking for too much because I want better for you.”

  “It’s not that you’re asking for too much, but you have to give me some time Demi.”

  “It’s been almost two years since you got your GED Kamari. How much time do you need? You could have been more than halfway through with the associate degree program by now,” Denim noted. She hated wasted time, but that’s all that Kamari seemed to do.

  “I’m not trying to work for nobody else, when I’ve been my own boss all my life. Maybe I can do like you suggested and get my business degree and make something happen with that.”

  “That’s a good idea baby and you know I’ll have your back every step of the way,” Demi promised.

  “Man, I just feel like I’m too old to be going back to school.”

  “You’re not even thirty years old yet. I was in class with people in their forties and fifties. You’re never too old to learn.”

  “Yeah, that’s true. I guess we can sign me up for the next semester,” Kamari said, making her smile.

  “Promise me, Kamari. Don’t just say what you think I want to hear. You want us to start a family, but we have to get ourselves together first,” Demi replied.

  “I promise baby. You know I’ve been ready for you to get off those pills and give me some babies.” Kamari smiled as he helped his wife take off her clothes.

  Once he got himself undressed, he lowered his body onto hers and kissed his wife passionately. Kamari hated to make promises to Demi, especially if he knew that he couldn’t keep them. He would do or say anything to make her happy, so his broken promises would just have to do for now. What she didn’t know wouldn’t hurt her, but what she did know would cause him to lose a wife. That was a chance that he wasn’t willing to take.

  Chapter 6

  With a new excitement, Demi walked into the restaurant on a four-way call with her sisters and cousin, in search of an iced coffee or two. Although she was her mother, Diane’s, only child, Demi had two older sisters, Isis and Imani, by her father. He was briefly married to their mother before he got with hers, but he made sure that all three of his girls were close. Their cousin, Savoy’s, deceased father was the brother to their deceased father and they were close with her as well. Savoy got on their nerves all the time, but she was still their girl. She was overly critical at times, even though she had more problems than all of them combined. Savoy and Demi were the only two who were married, but Imani and Isis were both engaged. Demi was the youngest of the four and the only one who didn’t have any kids. Both of her sisters had a daughter, and Savoy had a daughter and a son by her first and second husband.

  “We need to be trying to figure this out now,” Imani spoke up, right as Demi was seated and placed her order.

  Most people ranted and raved about the beverages at Starbucks, but IHOP could give them a run for their money any day in her opinion. Hot chocolate, iced coffee, or green tea were all her favorites and any of them on any day would suffice. She had a little over an hour before she was due in the office, so she decided to sit down and enjoy some crepes before she went in.

  “I think we should do the R. Kelly concert in the arena,” Savoy said after a short pause.

  “I don’t think so. Don’t nobody wanna see that pissy pedophile!” Imani yelled, making her sisters snicker.

  Imani was reckless with her mouth and she didn’t care about what she said. Just like always, a screaming match between her and Savoy ensued, with Demi and Isis quietly listening in. The four of them got together and did something every month and it was always the same thing. Savoy and Imani always disagreed in the beginning, until one of them said something to get the other one on board. It sometimes took forever for them to agree on something, but they always had a good time when they did. The four of them all had busy lives, but they made sure to spend time with each other, minus the kids and spouses.

  “What’s wrong with seeing R. Kelly? Shit, it ain’t like he pissed on none of us,” Savoy replied.

  “I’m just not feeling that. Besides, I heard that he wasn’t even showing up to some of his concerts. I’m not about to chance wasting my money like that,” Imani said.

  “They have a ladies’ night concert at the casino in Biloxi, but we’ll have to stay overnight if we go. We can’t drive back home after we start sipping anyway. They got a nice line up too,” Isis interjected.

  “Oh yeah, Avant, Tank, and a few others are gonna be there. I heard it on the radio. Let’s do that!” Savoy yelled.

  “I’m down with that. Everybody will have to check with their significant others to make sure it’s all good before we get the tickets though,” Imani spoke up.

  Demi was in such a good mood that she didn’t care what they did. After the talk that she’d had with Kamari a few nights before, she was confident that things between them were going to get better. He’d even taken the initiative of going to a few of their local universities to pick up some information about registration, and she was so proud of him. She knew that it was a hard decision for him to make, but it would be beneficial to them both in the end. She had his back two hundred percent and she made sure that he always knew it. She also knew that he wouldn’t mind if she stayed at the casino’s hotel with her girls for one night. He would rather that versus her driving back home after having a few drinks.

  “It’s not like we’ve never stayed overnight at the hotel before. I ain’t asking that nigga nothing. He’s my husband, not my daddy. Besides, I might be in the mood for some new dick that night,” Savoy replied.

  Savoy was a known cheater and she didn’t care about who knew. She loved to have one-night stands and being married never stopped her from exploring.

  “And that’s exactly why you’re only thirty years old and on husband number two. Bitch bust it open for any nigga that smile at her. Keep it up and it’ll be three,” Imani warned.

  “As if I give a fuck. At least I made it to the altar,” Savoy noted, taking a cheap shot at her cousin who had never been married before.

  “I’ll be there soon boo. An unlike you, my first time will be my last,” Imani replied.

  “We need to make a final decision soon, so we can get some good seats and book our rooms,” Isis said, changing the subject before an argument started.

  “I’m in. I’ll talk to Kamari about it later, but I know he won’t mind,” Demi spoke up.

  “Why should he when you wear the pants? His lazy ass ain’t gon’ do nothing but sit on the game all night anyway,” Sav
oy commented.

  And just like that, Demi’s mood went from sweet to sour in a matter of seconds. She loved her cousin, but her judgmental attitude was what kept her at odds with everybody. She always had something to say about everybody else’s business and her shit was all fucked up. Demi knew that it was her own fault though. Every time she got mad with her husband, she vented to her sisters and cousin. Savoy was only saying what she’d heard Demi say about him many times before out of anger.

  “Bitch, there’s nothing lazy about my husband. Who do you think held it down all those years while I was in law school? Who do you think paid for me to attend law school? Your husband out here picking up trash for a living and you always got something slick to say,” Demi snapped.

  “Sis, calm down. You don’t have to explain shit to her and nobody else,” Imani butted in.

  “I know I don’t, but I had to set her ass straight. Bitch out here fucking for free and always got something to say,” Demi replied angrily.

  “I’m just saying though cuz; you pay, so you should have the final say. Kamari shouldn’t have a problem with anything since you’re paying for it,” Savoy said, refusing to back down.

  She was used to her cousins ganging up on her, but she was far from scary. Demi tried to act like she was so perfect, but she had drama in her life just like everybody else. Her husband was a bum, but she always tried to justify why his lazy ass didn’t have a job.

  “But anyway,” Isis said, moving on to another subject. “We need to finalize our plans no later than tomorrow. Y’all know how I feel about getting shitty seats. I’ll put everything on my card and y’all can just pay me back.”

  “I’m in too. Y’all just have to check with y’all fathers to see if y’all can go,” Savoy said sarcastically.

  “Bitch, you better be lucky I’m not in your face right now. You make me so sick with your hating ass,” Imani fussed.

  Once again, she and Savoy went back and forth while Isis and Demi just listened. Demi waved her waitress over as she looked around the semi-crowded restaurant. She pulled some money from her black Birkin bag and made a quick decision.

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