The second Chapter to Candy Shop, Enjoy!
For once I dreamt in my slumber. It was a dream of a nice house in a nice neighborhood with a huge yard, and a big fluffy dog for my son Grey to play with. He was so happy as he ran through the grass with his dog happily following him. I sat on the porch in a rocking chair with a cup of Iced Tea, it was sweet like my mother used to make us when I was a kid. I couldn’t be happier. My sister came to join me and we just smiled and laughed for hours. The sun set on us and my dream world was covered in darkness yet again. My darkness that warmed me and kept me safe from the world was being shook. A hand, I felt a hand in the darkness shaking me. A warm soul was reaching for me, and I needed to reach back.
“Mommy? Are you okay?” Grey’s voice calls out to me in the dark. My eyes flutter open and I find myself lying in the tub with a towel over my body looking up into the big beautiful brown eyes of my son.
“Did you cover me baby?” I asked wrapping myself in the towel now. The water must have drained out over the night. I was probably going to catch a vicious cold for this.
“Yes ma’am. You were shivering.” He said innocently. I climbed out of the tub and hugged him with all my might. I loved this kid I swear I do.
“I love you baby. How long have you been up?” I asked setting him on the toilet and handing him his tooth brush with toothpaste on it.
“Only a little while mommy.” He said before brushing his teeth. I brushed mine as well then he ran off to get dressed. I washed my face then found a white t-shirt and some jeans to throw on. Grey ran to the kitchen and met me with the brightest smile on his face. Nothing fazes this kid.
“Are you hungry?” I ask kissing him on the forehead. His stomach answered before he did. Dammit I didn’t go to the store last night. My ribs ached as I breathed, but I smiled for my son. It’s all he ever asked of me, so I for damn sure was going to do it.
“You need to eat mommy. I can wait until I get a snack at Headstart.” He said smiling up at me. I stared at him amazed. This kid is only concerned with me, and easily making sacrifices for the sake of another. This kid is the closest thing to Godlike I’ve ever seen.
“How about we get waffles before I take you to Headstart?” I asked grabbing my book bag and his. His face lit up with excitement and he ran to put on his shoes. Once he was fully dressed he took my hand and we were out for another day back on the grind. I got him into his car seat in the Camry and made my way to the nearest waffle house. We sang all the newest songs out loud together; although I don’t think my son should know all the lyrics to a lil wayne song but I can’t help that now.
“It’s time to eat little man!” I proclaimed taking him out of the car seat and walking in with him. He just kept singing as we found a booth to sit at. The waitress came to greet us and his grin just stretched off of his face. He loves women, a fact that I think will be a problem in the future.
“Well aren’t you just the cutest thing in the world?” She asked ruffling his curly hair.
“Yes ma’am I am.” He said proudly. I laughed now. I don’t know where he gets this over bearing confidence from, but at least he isn’t a kid with self-esteem issues.
“Tell her what you want to eat little man.” I tell him.
“I want a waffle and chocolate milk.” He said proudly. She nodded and took the order.
“And for you ma’am?” She asked turning to me
“I’ll have a waffle, scrambled eggs and some water.” I tell her. She immediately leaves and calls out our order. A few moments of silence goes by as Grey happily swings his feet, but eventually he stares into my eyes and I know he has a question.
“Do you have to go to work tonight?” He asked somberly. My heart cringed more than my ribs did as the words vibrated my ears.
“I do baby. I’m sorry.” I say turning away from his powerful gaze. He lowered his eyes to the menu.
“Why? Can’t you just stay home and we can watch a movie? You can pick it out.” He pleaded with me. A tear welled up in my eye as I heard him plead his case. I knew he missed me, but I had to pay the bills. I hate being stuck in these positions.
“You can watch a movie with your Auntie and Uncle tonight, and watch one with me on Sunday when I’m off.” I tried to say to him happily. He groaned angrily.
“All Auntie ever wants to do is homework and sing silly songs about animals and colors. Uncle Trent is fun though.” He said finally. It pleased me to know that Kenya was still a boring person, and that Trent isn’t a dick to my son.
“Okay little man, If I can get today off I will, and we’ll watch a movie but I make no promises.” I say to him. He holds out his pinky to me across the table with a stern look in his eyes.
“Promise anyway.” He ordered. I started at him for a moment and broke under the pressure of his brown gaze. I took his pinky and then we kissed our palms.
“I promise.” We then happily ate our food when it came to our table. We went on to laugh and talk about how things were going at Headstart and how he was a class helper now. I was so proud of him and so heartbroken because I was missing these mini milestones in his life. I was a horrible mother to this precious child, and he loved me regardless. Once we finished we headed for the door and I was stopped in my tracks by a pair of hazel eyes; the pair from last night that sent a shiver down my spine, but not in a bad way. I picked my son up and carried him past the hero who didn’t notice me as he spoke with his female friend. I was almost out of the door before I heard my name.
“Jordan?” I heard him call out. His voice was smooth like velvet, and it went into my ears and melted me almost. I had no clue why, he was just another man in this world, probably waiting for his chance to get me naked. I kept heading for the door, but I wasn’t destined to get away without talking to him. He grabbed my shoulder and stopped me in my tracks.
“You know I have a problem with you just touching me right?” I say turning to him.
“I remember something like that. How are you doing little man? My name is Dwayne.” He said extending his hand towards Grey. Grey smiled and shook it.
“I’m Grey and I’m doing fine.” He said confidently. I smiled and started to turn again.
“Wait, are you okay? Why are you in such a rush?” He asked more demandingly.
“Well it’s normal for people to try to make it to class on time.” I say sarcastically. His female friend decided to make herself known now by inserting herself into my field of vision. I looked her up and down and smiled as best I could. But something about her didn’t sit well with me. Whether it was her horrible weave or her fake nails I will never know, but she bothered me.
“So, Dywane is she the girl you told me about?” She said pointing at me with her left hand making sure I could see the ring on her finger. Oh I get it now. The bitch was threatened and wanted to claim her territory. Whether he was her boyfriend or Fiancée I don’t know or care, but now I’m ticked. Don’t just assume I’m after your damn man because he stopped and spoke to me.
“Yes babe, this is Jordan from 33C I helped her out last night.” He said calmly.
“You’re so sweet.” She said in a tone that suggested she was being fake. I raised an eyebrow and smiled now.
“Yes he was so sweet when he took my shirt off for me and took his time running his hands across my body making sure I was okay. If it wasn’t for the skills in those hands applying bandages I wouldn’t be feeling so great now.” I say smiling evilly. I waved at them both and walked away triumphantly. I could see the anger in her eyes and I couldn’t be happier. I buckled Grey in and sat in the driver’s seat.
“Baby… Never bring home a snobby heifer who thinks she’s entitled to the world. If you do I’ll disown you.” I say laughing. He simply said okay and we were off towards school.
Our fair city of Chamberlyn, New York, was a budding metropolis that was just catching a growth spurt within the last thirty or so years. Concert halls and areas were built. A huge mall and plenty of shopping centers that was fairly new when I was a kid growing up here. It’s funny I remember the Candy Shop being built in the down town area and swearing I’d never go to a place like that. Now I’m the main attraction in that shithole. But the main attraction and source of money for the city was the founding of the newest campus of New York University. It was originally conceived as a small agricultural lab, but soon blossomed into a full-fledged campus once they had an influx in interest over the years.
“Once again we pass into the pearly gates….” I say to myself as we drove onto campus. The campus was a lush green when it wasn’t covered in snow, and it seemed like it was secluded in the country. One could barely tell they were in the middle of the city, and that’s what made this place seem like freedom to me. I loved being here for the most part, but it had its negatives too. I pulled into the parking lot of the education center where the Head Start Pre-School program was located.
“Come on little man let’s get inside before your teacher Ms. Freeman has a fit.” I say fumbling to get Grey out of his seat. He helps as best he cans and we rush towards the door only to be met by the 5’6” woman in a navy blue pants suit. Damn, remember when I said there were negatives about this campus? She was the main one. She put her hands on her hips and looked at me with those piercing black eyes filled with disappointment. She reminded me of my mother, another reason why she is a negative on this campus.
“Well as usual Mr. Grey is late because of his dear old mother.” She said angrily as she held open the door for us. I smiled at her and walked in past her. She walked us a few doors down the hall and stopped in front of his classroom. I kissed him on the forehead and he hugged my neck tightly.
“Remember you promised that you would get off of work.” He said before running in.
“Yes Grey Jones, I promise!” I call to him. I readjust my book bag and head for the door again, only to yet again be grabbed on my shoulder and stopped. Apparently since my incident last night everyone thinks they are allowed to touch and stop me from where I’m going.
“Just what did you promise that boy this time Jordan? Something else a girl like you can’t deliver?” she asked in a snotty tone. Now Ms. Freeman was well into her 40s, but that didn’t make her exempt from receiving a well-placed right hook.
“Just what do you mean a girl like me, Ms. Freeman?” I asked with a bit of attitude in my voice. I hated speaking to this woman. She always acted like she was holier than Jesus because she was the perfect preacher’s daughter with no bad things happening to her in her life, except being old bitter and alone.
“I mean a girl who spends her night shaking her blasphemous tail instead of reading her bible to her son. I mean a girl who always shows up late here and never seems to pay her bill on time. I mean a girl who gets her son’s hopes up about seeing your face after his day here only to be picked up by his Aunt.” She retorted. I grew flustered and before I realized it I was balling my fist. I almost struck her, but the thought of my son being kicked out of the program stopped me. This was the only thing he had going that he truly loved, I couldn’t do anything to jeopardize that.
“Look, Ms. Freeman I have a class to go to, on the opposite side of the campus. I can understand my bill being a concern to you so I’ll pay off what I owe.” I said to her handing her two hundred dollar bills. Her eyes grew wide now as if she was imagining what I had to do to earn this much money. I hate people’s judgmental gazes.
“But Ms. Freeman, when it comes to my son and my interactions with him, you will keep all your God given opinions to yourself. You understand me?” I say to her in a cold tone. My eyes stare into hers as they fill with shock. I’m sure my occupation went from stripper to killer in her mind, but I couldn’t care less. Fuck her thoughts. I took my leave of the situation and headed back to my car.
I barely made it to Carter Hall, otherwise known as out biology building which held all of our Biology, chemistry, and physics classes. I rushed into my Microbiology class just as Dr. Long was closing the door. I slinked up the stairs in the coliseum style classroom and took my seat in the middle of the masses. Yes I was trying to hide from his gaze. No I was not succeeding at it. He gestured for me to come down to him and I quietly got up and took the walk of shame back down the aisle. I cast my gaze out on my classmates to see all of them hard at work on something and my heart sank into the ground.
“Here’s your pop quiz Ms. Jones. Too bad you weren’t here for the little Q&A session we just had five minutes ago. When you’re finished you may leave.” He said with an Americanized Asian accent.
“Right… Too bad… Thanks.” I say sourly as I took the two paged test. Quiz my ass. Everything this man gives us requires an essay. Guess I won’t be leaving early today. I turned around and heard a whistle from behind me. I turned back around only to see Mr. Long with a slight, unprofessional smile on his face.
“Excuse me sir?” I ask him.
“Nothing.” He says licking his lips in an almost seductive manner. I looked around incredulously. Is this really happening? Not in my Microbiology lecture room. I can understand being ogled in the Candy Shop, but I’m wearing Jeans and a shirt with closed toed flats. There was no skin to gawk at! I angrily took my seat and started my quiz. Fifteen minutes in I realized this test was complete and utter bullshit as did most of my classmates, but I couldn’t even focus. I felt watched. It made me uncomfortable, and I’m a stripper. I usually don’t care if I’m seen with or without clothes. But this is my sanctuary so to speak. I for once felt disarmed, yet safe here. I can’t help but glance around the room at the risk of looking like a cheater just to see if anyone was looking at me.
“Eyes down Ms. Jones, I don’t want to have to take your quiz and fail you.” Mr. Long said promptly. My eyes darted back down to the paper and I finished another essay. That confirmed it though, he was staring me down.
“Get it together Jordan… Finish this quiz.” I say lowly giving myself a pep talk. After another twenty minutes and a hand cramp later I finished my quiz and handed it in.
“Good Job Ms. Jones, you still managed to be one of the first finished. I trust this is another “A” in the books right?” He says to me with a smile. I raise an eyebrow and stare at him. His voice was different; it carried a tone that suggested flirtation.
“I hope so. See you tomorrow sir.” I say walking past the desk.
“Oh yes, I’ll see you later.” He said with a slight laugh. I stepped out into the hall and shook from head to toe. It’s like a wave of creepiness left my body. I headed outside to the parking lot and sat in my car now trying to pass the time between classes. I pulled out my cell phone, no new messages. Not like I was expecting one, but it would be nice to know someone cared about me from time to time. I shook that thought from my head. I didn’t need anyone to care for me. I had to care for Grey that’s all that mattered. GREY! I made a promise, I guess I better try and keep it. Time to call the douche of the century, and I’m not talking about Summer’s Eve. I dialed the Candy Shop and waited for a reply.
“Hello, this is the Candy shop, where your sweet tooth is our priority. How can I help you?” I heard a seductive female voice answer. I recognized it as Vanilla. This bitch must never leave the club. Its 10:30am, what reason does she have to be there?
“Vanilla? Is Marco there right now?” I ask her still in shock.
“Yes, who is this? Is this Jordan?” She asked with a slight attitude.
“Yes I need to speak to him.” I answer trying to keep the peace.
“Why? For what?” She asked growing even angrier now.
“Just get off your flat ass and hand him the phone!” I demanded now. She sighed and I head her shuffling around.
“You know because of what you did to Cocoa she can’t even go out on stage for a couple of day’s right?” She said trying to invoke sympathy or something. Fuck Cocoa and anyone giving her sympathy.
“It serves her right.” I say coldly.
“Hello, who is this?” I hear a manly voice come onto the phone.
“It’s Jordan, I need tonight off. I’ll come in early for the rest of the week to make up for it.” I demanded. Marco wasn’t the type of guy you ask favors from. He didn’t respect the weak who begged. In his world you had to take what you wanted from the world and give nothing back. He paused in silence on the phone for a moment then started to laugh a bit. I could feel that he was going to say no and prepared myself for the wave of anger that was about to hit me.
“Normally I would’ve just said hell no and kept it moving, but I can let you have tonight off. In fact I’ll let you have tonight and tomorrow night if you do something for me.” He said with a low chuckle. I heard him tell Vanilla to leave the room and I waited until I heard the sound of a door closing to speak.
“Okay so what do I have to do for you Marco? What could possibly make you so damn generous?” I ask with skepticism in my voice.
“Just give one private dance and I’ll let you be off.” He replied calmly.
“I just have to give one dance? When do you want this Marco?” I asked growing even more intrigued with this generosity.
“If you could be here in a few hours it would be great. I have a good friend of mine coming in and he’d like to see you.” He said smiling through the phone.
“Just one friend? Hell I’m surprised you had any Marco.” I say to him.
“I can give the job to someone else you know.” He said angrily. I could tell that the little Cuban man was getting upset because his accent was growing heavy now. I’d better stop antagonizing him especially since I’m the one in need of his generosity.
“I’ll be there in about two Hours Marco. Can you keep your friend happy with just flat ass Vanilla there?” I asked now trying to sound somewhat gracious.
“Yeah He’ll be fine. He’s at work right now anyway.” He said calming down.
“One question before I go; why is Vanilla there?” I asked out of pure curiosity now. He laughed to himself.
“She’s the accountant from 9-5, and answers the phones.” He said seriously and hung up. I don’t know if I was shocked that she was the accountant, or that he trusted his money to an airhead like Vanilla. There was no way in hell that bitch was smart enough to do that kind of a job. My next class, literary analysis, went by with ease, and I headed downtown to the “oh so wonderful” Candy Shop