I Heard It All Before, page 6
“Here’s your check.” The waitress smiled while handing Demi her bill.
“Thanks. Here’s your tip and I want to pay for the people at the three tables in the back. Is this enough?” Demi asked while counting out a few twenties to the other woman.
The waitress excused herself to go double check the amount of the other customers’ bills before she rushed back over.
“It’s too much, but I got your change,” she replied.
“No, just pay for another table or two and you can keep the rest,” Demi said as she grabbed her iced coffee and stood to her feet.
“That’s so sweet. Thank you so much. I’m sure you’re going to make their day. You’ve already made mine,” the waitress said with a bright smile.
She was in a foul mood when she got to work earlier, but Demi’s act of kindness put her in a different head space.
“You’re welcome. Have a good day.” Demi smiled right before she walked away.
“Mother Theresa strikes again. This bitch act like she’s rich. Always paying people’s tabs and shit,” Savoy laughed.
Demi always did the same thing when they went out to dinner, and that drove her cousin crazy. Most of the time, the people that she helped didn’t even seem like they needed it. Demi felt compelled to be a blessing to someone else, being that her husband grew up in foster care. Kamari told her the stories of how he went hungry some days and that broke his wife’s heart. He and Demi donated to the boys and girls club all the time, but Demi took it a step further. She was financially stable and she loved to do for others. She didn’t want another person to experience the things that her husband had to endure.
“You didn’t say all that when I had to paid your light bill last month, did you? I wasn’t Mother Theresa then,” Demi said, putting her on blast.
Savoy was really starting to get on her nerves with some of the shit that she said. She always tried to be funny, but nobody found humor in her words.
“Girl, I was just playing with you. You didn’t even have to take it that far. But, you’ll have your money back as soon as my husband gets paid next week,” Savoy said angrily.
“Haaaaa! That shit is hilarious!” Imani yelled as she cracked up laughing.
That was good for Savoy’s ole messy ass. Demi shut her ass up and not a minute too soon.
“Whatever,” Demi said in disgust. “I need to get to the office. Let me know how much I owe you when you finalize everything Isis. I’ll talk to y’all later.”
Demi dropped her phone in her purse after their call was disconnected and headed for the door. She was sure that her cousin felt played, but she just didn’t give a fuck. Savoy had been the same way since they were kids and it was time out for her negative attitude. Demi was in a good mood and nobody was going to ruin it.
“I hear you, Ma,” Cam said as he talked on the phone with his mother.
“You hear me, but are you listening?” Nora asked her son.
“Nah, not really,” Cam replied honestly.
“I can’t believe you right now Camden. I thought you were taking a step in the right direction, but I see that nothing has changed,” Nora argued.
“How was your trip Ma? Did you enjoy the Bahamas?” Cam asked.
“And don’t try to change the subject!” Nora yelled.
“I love you, so I’m trying to change the subject to keep from saying something that I’ll later regret.”
“You try it and I’ll be on my way to IHOP to whip your high yellow ass,” Nora fumed.
“Man,” Cam said, blowing out a breath of frustration.
“Man, my ass. A five-minute visit won’t kill you, Cam. You’re too young to harbor so much hate and bitterness,” Nora scolded.
“I keep telling you that I don’t hate that dude and ain’t nothing bitter about me. Stop acting like he’s always been in my life. I’m twenty-seven years old and the first time we did anything together was a few weeks ago, when he invited me to the car show. I just got his number for the first time in my life and you want me to act like everything is all good. I’m not breaking my neck to run up there to see him and I’m sorry if that upsets you,” Cam argued.
Three weeks after he and his father went to the car show, Camden was rushed to the hospital for shortness of breath. It was then determined that his cancer had spread and no surgery or treatment could be done to help him. Cam and his mother found out from a news broadcast because nobody cared enough to even tell them. He wasn’t surprised about not being informed, but his mother was pissing him off. She kept trying to get him to go up there, but Cam wasn’t having it. She could feel how she wanted to feel, but Cam’s mind was made up.
“I’m not trying to upset you, baby, but it’s not looking good from what I’m hearing. Your father has been sick for a long time and things have just gotten worse. I just thought that you would want to go see him before... you know,” Nora said, referencing his father passing away.
“I hate what’s happening to him, but I’m not going up there around his people,” Cam replied.
“That’s your people too Camden,” Nora reminded him.
“I gotta go Ma. I need to get to work,” Cam said before they disconnected. He summoned the waitress to pay his bill as he got ready to leave.
“You’re all taken care of. Your bill has been paid already,” the waitress said with a smile.
“Paid by who?” Cam questioned.
“The lady that just left. There she is,” the waitress said as she pointed to Demi, who was just getting into her car.
“Who is she?” Cam questioned.
He’d seen Demi the moment she walked into the restaurant and he kept his eyes on her up until his mother called his phone. Demi was just his type, with her smooth, dark chocolate skin and sexy frame. The pencil skirt that she wore hugged her curves perfectly and showcased her small waist and huge ass. She appeared to be on the phone arguing with someone and that turned Cam all the way off. He had enough dealing with Asha and he didn’t need any more drama in his life. Asha had been the perfect girlfriend lately and he wondered how long that was going to last.
“I don’t know, but she comes in here for coffee all the time.” The waitress shrugged.
After giving her a tip, Cam left for work with another woman on his mind the entire time. As soon as he got close to his destination his phone rang, displaying Asha’s number.
“What’s up?” Cam asked when he answered the phone.
“Nothing, I was just calling to talk,” Asha replied, making Cam remove the phone from his ear and look at it like she was crazy.
Asha had never called to just talk before and he was almost certain that she wasn’t doing it now. She had a reason for everything that she did, and he found out her motive as soon as he pulled up to the shop. His boy, Lo, was walking out of the building and over to his car. When he saw Cam’s truck pulling up, he waited for him to get out.
“The fuck you sent this nigga to my job for?” Cam snapped in anger.
“Huh? Who?” Asha asked like she was dumb.
“Bye Asha,” Cam said, hanging the phone up in her face.
He got out of his car and took his time walking over to where Lo stood. Cam had known Lo for years, but he didn’t know much about him. Lo had one friend that Cam knew of and that was how he ended up meeting him. Lawrence, Lo’s, best friend and Cam were cool, and he put in a good word for him. Lo never talked about a woman or kids, and Cam wasn’t sure if he had either. Seeing his old connect standing there had Cam tempted to see what was up, but common sense quickly kicked in. Asha didn’t know it, but his savings were just about gone. He had enough to get them through the next few months, but that was for bills only. Shopping and all the extras were going to be cut out because he just couldn’t afford it. Things were so bad that Cam was entertaining the idea of selling one of his cars. He’d made a few connections at the car show that he went to with his father, and the dealers paid top dollar for cars that weren’t half as nice as
“What’s up pretty boy? You ain’t fucking with your boy no more, huh?” Lo asked as he and Cam shook hands.
“Man, you just don’t know. I really feel like jumping back in head first, but I just can’t do it. Those eighteen months got my mind all the way right,” Cam replied.
“You need to get at me, bruh. The money is even better than it was before. I got some new contacts and shit is sweeter than sweet,” Lo replied, tempting Cam with every word that he spoke.
“I’m tempted, but I can’t fuck with it. Shit is all messed up right now, so don’t count me out for good. I might be back at it if I have to,” Cam said honestly.
“Alright bruh. You know how to reach me whenever you’re ready,” Lo said as he gave him dap and got back into his car.
Cam watched as he pulled away, fighting the urge to yell for him to come back. Cam had always had more than enough money for what he needed. Adjusting to the life of a working man was harder than he thought it would be, but he was trying. If Asha had her way, he would have been back at it the same day he came home. She wanted him to get close with his father for financial reasons, but Cam wasn’t having it. Just thinking about his father had Cam feeling guilty. He wondered if he should pay him a visit or at least try to call him. Cam felt like a damn fool for thinking about a man who didn’t give a fuck about him, but that was how Nora had raised him.
“Damn bruh, I was just about to call you,” Kobe said as soon as Cam entered the break room at the shop.
“Why? What’s up?” Cam asked, figuring he was speaking of Lo being at the shop.
“I see your pops been all over the news and shit,” Kobe replied, as Cam took a seat.
“What’s new? That’s the only way I saw his ass most of the time,” Cam chuckled.
“They said that he’s not expected to make it through the night. Damn, man. I knew I should have applied to be his driver or some shit. All I had to do was say I was your best friend and I was in,” Kobe said, making Cam laugh at the serious look on his face.
Cam sat down next to him and listened to the news reporter as she spoke about his father as if he were a God. They spoke about some of the high-profile cases that he’d won and all the famous people that he’d represented. They spoke of his parents, his wife, and some of his colleagues. They mentioned every aspect of Camden Blaire’s life from high school and beyond, but Cam wasn’t mentioned once. He tried to act unaffected by it all, but that was the part that hurt him the most. As much as he wanted to play hard, a part of him wanted to reach out to his father. He had been feeling like that a lot lately, but he didn’t tell his mother. Cam figured that if it was meant to be, it would happen on its own.
Two weeks later, Cam’s father passed away at his home. He was sent home with hospice because he refused to die anywhere else, especially the hospital. Cam was thankful that he put his pride to the side and went to visit him in the hospital when he asked him to. His father was happy to see him, but his wife felt the opposite. She sat in the room and frowned the entire time that the two of them talked. Once again, Camden apologized to his son for not being the kind of father that he should have been, and Cam assured him that there were no hard feelings. There was no need for him to keep pointing the finger at a soon to be dead man. The past couldn’t be changed and they both had to live with that. His father even made him promise that he would attend his homegoing service, and Cam couldn’t say no.
“Asha, let’s go! The fuck is taking you so long?” Cam yelled.
“I’m coming baby. Do you know how many people are going to be at this funeral? I have to make sure I’m on point. I know they’re gonna have cameras flashing everywhere. Calm down, we’re over an hour early,” Asha replied as she applied some Chatterbox Mac lipstick to her full lips.
She was dressed in black from head to toe with a pair of black and gold spiked Christian Louboutin’s, courtesy of her boo, gracing her feet. He was making crazy money with Lo and she was reaping all the benefits. She had Cam under the impression that her brothers were buying her so much, but her boo had stepped up to the plate. Cam was still penny pinching, but she could see that his new way of life was getting to him. It was only a matter of time before he was calling Lo again for himself. Since his father passed away, he probably wouldn’t have to. She was sure that Mr. Blaire would make sure that his one and only son was straight with all the money that he was leaving behind.
“I already don’t feel like going to this bullshit. It’s about to be a straight up media circus up in there. I’m stressed the fuck out,” Cam fussed.
Asha admired her man in an all-black Purple Label suit, with the black Giuseppes to go with it all. Cam’s hair was freshly cut and he smelled good enough to eat. Asha couldn’t keep her hands off him all morning, which was why they were running late. His father passing had her with dollar signs in her eyes. Cam was an only child, so he would probably inherit millions.
“I thought I relieved you of all your stress last night and this morning,” Asha said while running her hands up and down his genital area.
“You did. My balls are as dry as the desert; now, let’s go,” Cam said while walking away.
Cam sped all the way to the huge Baptist church where his father’s service was being held. Just like he’d assumed, traffic was crazy to the point where police officers had to direct cars on where to go. Cameras were flashing left and right just like Asha said, making it seem like a concert instead of a funeral. It took Cam thirty minutes just to get a parking space and he was happy that he’d left early enough. His mother was already there, so finding a decent seat wasn’t going to be a problem. Asha grabbed Cam’s hand as soon as they got out of his truck and walked towards the church like she was on the arm of a celebrity. She was all smiles, until they got to where Nora was seated and saw Courtney sitting there with her. They couldn’t go anywhere without her showing up or beating them there. Asha always wondered where her husband was because he never seemed to be around.
“This shit it getting so old. She needs to spend some of that free time with her own man,” Asha whispered to Cam as they sat down. She didn’t care that they were in a church; she was pissed and she wanted him to know it.
“Don’t start Asha, I’m warning you. I already feel a headache coming on,” Cam replied.
He looked around the packed church as the ushers led people to their seats and passed out programs. His mother handed him the thick booklet that was filled with pictures and facts about the great Camden Blaire, who was laid out in all-white in a white and gold colored coffin. Cam did a double take when he read the obituary and saw his name listed as Camden’s one and only child. There was even a picture of them in there that they’d recently taken at the antique car show. The photo was captioned, “Sometimes we need the gray to remind ourselves that all of life is not black and white”. Cam had to admit that he was touched by the recognition. He couldn’t imagine his father’s wife doing something like that. She hated him too much to ever acknowledge him.
“Did you see Trudy?” Nora asked Cam, referring to his grandmother. “She was looking for you.”
“No, I didn’t see her, but why is she looking for me?” Cam questioned.
Before his mother had a chance to answer, two men in black suits walked down the aisle and right over to them. They were dressed in all black with shades covering their eyes, even though they were indoors. They were both tall and husky and gave off a bodyguard kind of appearance.
“Mr. Davis,” one of the men said, addressing Cam, “we were asked to escort you to the front of the church.”
“Asked by who?” Cam questioned.
Asha got excited about the possibility of being escorted to the front of the church. She was sure all eyes would be on her, as she glided down the aisle on the arm of Camden Blaire’s son.
“Mrs. Blaire, your grandmother, is requesting your presence,” the man re
“Nah, tell her that I’m good right where I am. I’ll see her after the service,” Cam announced.
“Why do you always have to be so difficult Camden? Just do with the gentlemen are asking and go with them to the front,” Nora argued.
“Come on baby. I’ll be there with you, so you’ll be fine,” Asha said as she stood to her feet, followed by Cam.
“I’m sorry, but our orders were to bring Mr. Davis only,” the other man said, embarrassing Asha in front of everyone.
“But, I’m his girlfriend,” Asha noted.
“Sorry ma’am, we’re just following orders.” The man shrugged as they walked away, with Cam following right behind them.
Asha expected Cam to say something in her defense, but he kept going and never looked back. Cam was escorted to a seat that was located in between his grandparents. He didn’t really know them too well and he felt like he was surrounded by strangers. It took everything in him not to snatch his hand back when his grandmother grabbed it and gave it a light squeeze.
“You’re very handsome,” she noted as she looked over at him and smiled.
“Thank you,” Cam replied, remembering all the talks that he and his mother had about manners. He was in a church staring up at his dead father’s body in a casket and he would rather be anywhere else.
“This is what your father wanted,” his grandmother said as she continued to stare at him.
“What do you mean?” Cam questioned.
“He wanted you up here, sitting with the family. That was one of his final wishes. He loved you. We all do,” she answered.
Cam didn’t reply because he didn’t know what to say. His father was their only child, so he was sure that they were hurting. Even still, Cam didn’t want to be their charity case. They had no desire to deal with him when his father was alive and nothing was going to change now that he had passed on. He sat with them as a family, but that was only for show. He didn’t feel connected to them in any way.
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