If it’s a man’s world and God is a man, why did he choose women to give life? Ever since Eve ate from the Tree of Good & Evil, women have been blamed; abused; disregarded & disrespected by men, but why? She’s treated like a one-sided coin, just used for her tail as her head is ignored. In fact, her head has been cut off and when you cut off the head of a fertility doll, what are you left with? Our reality!
Marquez Love is an amateur football star and professional womanizer. Growing up in San Francisco is easy for him, because he is raised by his single-mother, who favors him over her four daughters. Armed with a wild temper and a nickel-plated nine, Marquez protects his sisters and mother from abusive boyfriends, sex-traffickers, crooked cops and his jailbird father, who are each a threat to their femininity.
Marquez’s mother, Louise; and three of his four sisters, Mercedes, Xiesha and Tyra each tell from their point of view what it is like to down-play their strength, while bearing multiple types of abuse is their relationships with men. While their relationships differ, they all are affected negatively by Marquez’s vanity, promiscuity and disrespect towards women.
Marquez defends his family from: abusive boyfriends, men on the Down Low, child molesters, drug dealers, crooked cops and his jailbird father, which are each in their own way a threat to their femininity. After accomplishing fame, fortune and treating women as inferiors his whole life, Marquez realizes as a man, he could never be greater than his maker, which is his mother, a woman.
Every day, when I wake up and step foot out of my house, I see women being disrespected, neglected and overprotected by men who see them as inferiors. Honor and respect is due to every female, because she is a potential mother and carrier of life, and if it wasn’t for a woman, no man would be alive.
Here’s the synopsis of my upcoming novel…., read it then let me know what you think.
Title: “Don’t Mess With My Sister!”
By: Ebrahim Aseem
Chapter (1): “Bruised Fruit”
Voice: Louise Dowey
Time Setting: Thursday, October 25, 1984 San Francisco, CA
“I noticed my head was bruised…. It didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even care. I was just happy to be with Marcus.” – Louise Dowey
Mama always told me, “Louise, make sure you marry a man who can lighten up the picture.” She always used to say, “Two dark skin people shouldn’t have babies together, ’cause the baby will come out too dark.” She thought dark skin people should get with light skin people, so they can make “pretty brown babies”. I, on the other hand, have always liked dark skin men. They seem so much more real and rugged, and their skin looks much smoother than light skin men’s skin. Light skin men are so full of themselves, they think they are the prettiest things on Earth. That’s what I liked so much about Marcus Love. He was so down to earth, 6’5”, with buttermilk smooth chocolate skin and all muscle. Every time he lifted me up with his big arms, pressed his chiseled body against mine and pressed my lips up against his; looking into his brown eyes, I knew I was in love.
“Last stop little lady!” the bus driver projected.
I was so busy staring into space, thinking about Marcus, I didn’t notice the bus driver pass my stop.
“Thanks,” I said to the bus driver as I got off.
“Thank you,” he said right before the doors closed, “your pretty smile just made my day.”
I usually got off the #44 bus at the top of the hill, but since I missed my stop, I had to walk all the way up the hill from the post office to Marcus’ house. Before I got to his door, I noticed his mother Elaine sweeping the walkway with a broom. I never understood why people in the ghetto swept the cement in front of their door, but never scrubbed the door, walls or windows. The walkway would be clean, but everything else would be dirty.
“Good afternoon Ms. Love,” I said, greeting Elaine.
“Oh hi Louise,” she replied, giving me a hug after she stopped sweeping. “His clothes are at the top of the stairs.”
I thanked her, walked inside and closed the door behind me. I heard the sound of her sweeping again a second before I heard the door shut. Every day after school, I went to my boyfriend’s house to wash his clothes. He had football practice every weekday from three to seven, so he never really had time to wash them himself. I didn’t mind, because I liked doing things for him. I was always naturally giving. Mama always taught me and my sisters, showing somebody you love them is better than just telling them. She also taught us, some things are a man’s job and some things are a woman’s job. “Doin’ laundry is a woman’s job,” she would say, “and gettin’ dirty is a man’s job.”
After I washed my love’s clothes at the laundry house, I went back to his house and waited for him to come home. I did my homework while I waited. At about 8:20 pm, Marcus pulled up outside his house. I saw his light brown 1961 Chevy Impala through the living room window. After I heard him put the car in park, I rushed outside to greet him.
“Hello handsome,” I said with a huge smile. He slammed the door and didn’t reply.
“Are you O.K.?” I asked.
“HELL NAH I AIN’T O.K,” He yelled. “Coach is putting me on the bench again.”
I could tell he’d been drinking, because he was slurring his words. Plus, I could smell the liquor on his breath.
“But I thought you were a starter,” I empathized.
“I AM,” he yelled, “but he keeps threatening to put me on the bench, because he says I run too much.”
“But you’re a good runner,” I complemented.
“Let’s just go in the got damn house!” he yelled.
“O.K.” I agreed. He grabbed his football equipment from inside the trunk and slammed it shut. I noticed the half full bottle of Brandy he’d been drinking in the backseat, behind the driver’s seat. As he opened the driver’s door to pull his keys out of the ignition, I grabbed the bottle from the backseat of the car. Before I could get my hand out of the car, he snatched the bottle from my fingers, spinning my body around to face him.
“BITCH, WHAT THA HELL YOU THINK YOU’RE DOIN’?” he yelled, “LEAVE MY GOTDAMN DRANK ALONE!”
“I’m sorry,” I defended with my head down, flinching before I spoke.
“YEAH YOU IS SORRY,” he agreed, “SORRY AND STUPID!” He took another swig of the liquor and started walking crooked over the same concrete pathway his mother had been sweeping a couple hours earlier, spilling liquor on the ground as he strolled. I folded my hands and leaned backwards against the passenger door of his Impala, my head still facing the opposite direction of heaven.
When he got to his front door, he turned to me and yelled, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST TAKE YA STUPID ASS THE HELL HOME!” He stormed into his house and slammed the door shut behind him.
“I knew he was right,” I thought. “I didn’t have the right to grab his liquor. Sometimes I act so stupid. Every time I have the chance to make him feel so much better, I make him feel much worse. He must think I don’t love him. Sometimes, I think he drinks, because he knows he has to deal with my smart mouth all the time. I should give him less lip and more love. Maybe when I wash his clothes tomorrow, I’ll clean his room too, that will show him how much I love him.”
I had to catch the #15 bus to get home. I lived in Geneva Towers with my mother, my two sisters Latasha and Loretta, and my little brother Lloyd. We lived on the 17th floor in building B. It was scary going to and coming from our apartment, because the elevator would always break down and I’d be stuck on it with gangsters and crack heads. This time, when I got on the elevator, it was empty and no one was around. I felt relieved. I pushed the button marked “17” and the “close-door” button. When I got to our floor, I got off the elevator, wallowed to our door, pulled my keys out of my pocket and used them to open the door. Before I got inside, I could hear my mother in the kitchen frying chicken. Her chicken smelled so good, it almost took my mind off of what happened between babe and I.
“Hey Louise, ready to eat? She asked.
“Mmmm Hmmm.” I hummed. I gave her a big hug and a kiss on the cheek as I glanced over her shoulder to see what else she was cooking. There were collard greens simmering in a big bronze pot on the burner, black-eyed peas in a smaller pot and corn bread fresh-out-the oven, wrapped in a peach towel on the counter. I pulled the silverware out of the drawer and began to set the table.
“Louise, stretch your neck outside the balcony and see if your sisters are walking down the street,” my mother said. “They’ve been gone over a half an hour and I need that butter to spread on this cornbread.” I walked to the balcony, slid open the screen door and looked down. All I saw was some boys playing football in the street.
“They ain’t there yet,” I told her, still staring outside.
“Shit!” my mother complained angrily. I closed the balcony door and sat down in the chair next to it. I couldn’t stop thinking about Marcus. I covered my face with both my hands and rested my elbows in my lap.
“What’s the matter baby?” my mother asked.
“Nothing,” I responded nonchalantly.
“Why are you lookin’ so sorry then?” she asked.
“I’m just tired,” I exhaled, avoiding eye contact.
“Is it Marcus?” she asked in a rhetorical tone. I hesitated for a moment before answering her question.
“I made him hate me,” I whined, finally looking into my mother’s eyes.
“How?” she asked, looking down as she stirred the black-eyed peas.
“By the way I treat him,” I whined. “I try to let him know how much I love him, but no matter what I do, I always end up making him angrier.”
“Louise, you’re sixteen years old,” my mother said, “it’s time you started acting more mature, like a woman. You gotta do things for a man. Tell him how strong he is. Let him know how much you need him. Then one day, when you two get married, you will be able to give him the greatest gift a woman can give a man.”
Momma always told my sisters and I the greatest gift a woman can give a man is having his baby. As I thought about what my mother had just said, the front door opened.
“What the hell took ya’ll so got damn long?” my mother yelled.
“There was a long line,” my older sister Latasha answered in a short breath.
“The hell it was,” my mother snapped, rolling her neck as she spoke.
She snatched the brown paper bag from Latasha’s right hand, yanked the butter out of it and tossed the bag to the side.
“Dinner will be ready in five minutes,” my mother yelled as the bag she just tossed floated like a feather to the ground, “so ya’ll can go wash up. Louise, go down to the rec room and tell Lloyd to bring his skinny ass up here before he misses dinner. Ole Somalian refugee looking ass little boy. Lord please bless my son with some meat on his bones. ”
“O.K.” I agreed before grabbing my keys and walking out the door.
I knew my sister was lying about there being a long line at the store. She told me, whenever mama would tell her and Loretta to go to the store, she would make Loretta go to the store alone, so she could go to her boyfriend Teddy’s house up the street and have sex with him. After closing the front door and locking it with my key, I wallowed down the hallway with my head down, watching my feet as I walked. When I got into the elevator, a cold felling came over me.
“Marcus probably doesn’t want to be with me, because I don’t put out,” I thought. “He probably wants a girl who he can have sex with.”
I knew I wasn’t ready to have sex, but I also knew if I didn’t, I could lose my boyfriend. I didn’t know what to do.
After I got my little brother from the rec room, we rode the elevator back to our apartment and ate dinner with the rest of our family. My brother and sisters were all at the table talking, each telling us how their day went. I sat down in the chair next to the balcony, ate my food and stared out the window. Even though I could feel the food go in my mouth, I couldn’t taste a bite. All I could do was think about my man. I spent the rest of the night on auto-pilot as I deliberated the pros and cons of losing my virginity at the age of sixteen to my first love.
The next day when I went to school, I tabled the thoughts of my relationship problems as I did my class work. Sitting in class was like living a different life, because it allowed me to forget my problems & do what I loved to do, which was learn. I’d always enjoyed learning ever since my first day of school. For as long as I could remember, I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. Sometimes, while I was in class, I would daydream about growing up and becoming a doctor. In my daydream, I would work during the day and come home to my three beautiful children and my handsome husband. This time, when I came home in my daydream, the house was empty. It was fully furnished, yet there weren’t any children or husband waiting for me. As I looked around the house for my fantasy family, I could only think about one person.
“Last stop little lady,” I heard a familiar voice say as I fluttered my eyes. Talk about déjà vu. I’d been thinking about Marcus so hard, again, I didn’t notice the driver pass my stop again.
“Thanks,” I said to the bus driver as I got off.
“You’re welcome little lady,” the bus driver replied right before he closed the doors, “your pretty smile just made my day.”
As he pulled off, the bus squeaked loudly and smoke blew in my face from the exhaust pipe. This was the second day in a row I’d missed my stop. I had to walk all the way from the post office to my boyfriend’s house again.
When I got to his house, I noticed spill stains on the pavement pathway leading to his door. I started remembering what I did to him the other night. I told myself I wasn’t gonna let what happened then, happen again. I rang the doorbell and envisioned what I would do when I saw him. I saw myself giving him a long kiss and him telling me how pretty I was. About one minute after I rang the doorbell, I rang it again. As the door opened, I put on a smile.
“Hey Louise,” Elaine greeted with a surprised look.
“Good Afternoon Ms. Love,” I greeted.
“How you doing, baby?” Elaine asked, resting her left hand on my right shoulder.
“Fine,” I answered with a forced smile.
After I walked into the house, Elaine closed the door behind me. As I walked through the living room and headed up the stairs to get the laundry, Elaine called my name.
“Louise,” she called, “come sit a spell so we can talk.”
As I walked back down the stairs and into the living room, I tried to figure out what she wanted to talk to me about. She sat down on her plastic covered couch and I sat down beside her.
“So, how’s it going between you and my son?” she asked.
“Oh, it’s going alright,” I thought.
“We’re doing o.k.” I answered despite my thoughts. I didn’t know if she knew what happened between me and her son the night before.
“Really?” Elaine asked as she raised her eyebrows with a surprised look on her face. “My son told me you two broke up last night.”
I felt my heart beating fast, so I took a deep breath and slowly exhaled. I felt so hurt, like I was gonna throw-up. I felt a sharp pain in my heart and I felt my tear ducts get so heavy, they began to sting. I tried with all my might to hold it in, but eventually I lost control. I covered my head with my hands and let the tears pour out my eyes.
“You o.k. baby?” Elaine asked.
“No,” I cried, “I’m not o.k. I love Marcus. I didn’t know he wanted to break up with me. I still wanna be with…”
“I love Marcus too,” she interrupted, “he’s my son and I’m his mother, but I’m a woman first. If a man doesn’t love you and want to be with you for who you are, you don’t need him. You don’t have to settle for being with a man, just because he tells you how pretty you are. You don’t have to allow yourself to fight for a relationship that you’re the only one fighting for. Know your worth. Know you deserve better than holding onto a relationship with someone who you know doesn’t really care if you’re happy or sad. You deserve to be with a man who is gonna treat you how you’re supposed to be treated and love you how you’re supposed to be loved. And Louise, if my son doesn’t treat you how you’re supposed to be treated, then you need to keep on searchin’ ’til you find a man who will.”
After we talked, I thanked Elaine and left. I walked a couple of blocks down the hill until I got to the #44 bus stop. While, I waited for the bus, I thought about what Elaine just told me.
“Man,” I thought, “she just doesn’t want me to be with her son. She probably made up that story about him saying we broke up. I could tell she didn’t approve of me dating her son. Mothers are always acting like that with the girls their sons bring home. They don’t want no girl taking their baby boy away from them. Well, I ain’t gone let nobody stand between me and my man.”
As the bus reached the top of the hill, I reached into my purse for my fast pass. It was very windy outside, so when I pulled my bus pass out of my purse, it flew out of my hands and fell to the ground. When I bent down to pick it up the wind blew it again and it flew into the street. I ran after it, but before I got to the edge of the sidewalk I slipped on an empty soda can and fell into the street, hitting my knee and my head on the ground really hard.
I stood up, looked around for my fast pass and ran to it when I finally spotted it. This time, I stopped it with my right foot so it wouldn’t fly away again. I reached down to pick it up from under my foot, but before I could look back up, I heard a loud honk. I saw a bright light right in front of me. It was a car’s headlights. As I stepped back on the curb so I wouldn’t get hit, the car drove right in front of me. It was Marcus.
“Hop in sexy,” he instructed.
I stuck my fast pass back into my purse, opened the car door and got in.
“I almost ran you over,” he said with a grin as he looked over at me, “I probably wouldn’t have stopped if you weren’t so damn pretty.”
I giggled as he brushed my chin with his fingers. I could tell he had been drinking, because his breath reeked of alcohol. He had the steering wheel in his left hand and a brown paper bag in his right hand. He chugged the Hennessy in between grins as he drove. I didn’t care he was drinking, I was just glad to be with my man.
“Where are we going?” I asked with a huge smile.
“To celebrate,” he said, “We just made the playoffs.”
“Congratulations, baby.” I said in a high-pitched voice.
I was so proud of him. He was a really good football player and he deserved to go to the playoffs. Even tho I knew nothing about football and secretly hated sports, I knew the importance of pretending to have interest in things a guy likes, especially sports. I always felt like anything that my man liked that I either didn’t like or didn’t know much about, that would be yet another thing my man could share with another woman. I learned early on, being in a relationship with a man means sacrificing some of my wants and dislikes, so that he could always feel his happiest with me over any other girl. As Marcus continued to sip, I looked outside my window and thought about how my mother said I had to start acting more mature, like a woman. As I glanced at the passenger side rear-view mirror, I noticed my head was bruised and blood was dripping down the side of my head. It didn’t hurt and I didn’t feel it. I didn’t even care. I was just happy to be with my man.
“You want a sip?” he asked. I was surprised. He knew I didn’t drink and he never asked me to. I didn’t want to drink, but I didn’t want him to get mad at me either and drop me off t the next stop sign, so he could pick up a girl who did want to drink with him.
“Mmmm hmmm,” I answered.
“Here you go,” he said as he passed the bottle to me.
I was extremely nervous and my stomach felt like it was in a knot. The only alcohol I’d ever tasted was beer while playing “the alphabet-game” when I was nine. As I put the bottle close to my lips, I could smell how strong it was. I closed my eyes real tight, opened my mouth and poured the liquor inside. Once I swallowed it, I coughed so I wouldn’t choke.
“Take it easy baby,” he suggested while keeping his eyes on the road. “That right there is hard liquor. You gotta drink a little at a time.”
I felt a burning feeling in my throat right after I swallowed. It was so strong my eyes began to water.
“Go ahead and drink some more,” he said.
I closed my eyes again, opened my mouth and poured some more liquor inside. I knew better not to pour too much this time. I felt the burning sensation in my throat again, as I swallowed the liquor. This time, it didn’t go away. I squinted my eyes and relaxed them, over and over again. All of a sudden, I started breathing fast. I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. I tried to take deep breaths to calm myself down, but my heart kept racing. I rolled down the window and stuck my head out of it. The cool air racing across my face made me feel a little better. I put both of my hands together, placed them against the door and laid my head on them for the rest of the ride.
When I opened my eyes, all I saw was darkness. It was pitch black. As my eyes adjusted to the lack of light, my head began to throb. I had a major headache, I could barely move and my body was very warm from where I’d been laying. After a couple of minutes of fluttering my eyes, my vision became clear.
As I looked around, I realized I was in a hallway. I was in my hallway. I had been lying right in front of my apartment door. I stood up, wiped the droll off the side of my mouth with my sleeve, reached into my purse, pulled out my keys and opened my front door slowly. I made sure I shut the door slowly, so I wouldn’t wake anybody up. At first, the side of my mouth felt like I was bleeding, but after I tasted it with the tip my tongue, I realized it was droll. I never understood why I drooled so much in my sleep. It was as if my body was retarded whenever I wasn’t awake to control it. I was just happy my leg didn’t fall asleep while I was laying in front of my apartment door. Second only to getting my period, the the awkward sensation of my foot waking up from being asleep was the most uncomfortable feeling I had yet to experienced.
As I walked past the kitchen, I glanced at the clock on the wall. The little hand was on the five and the big hand was past the twelve; it was five o’clock in the morning. I couldn’t remember how I got in front of my apartment and why I got home so late. I couldn’t even remember where Marcus and I went to celebrate. I was very confused and my headache seemed to be getting worse.
As I walked into the hallway towards my room, I felt a tingling sensation shoot from my stomach, all the way up my throat. I knew I was about to throw-up. As I rushed to the bathroom, it began to make its way up my throat. I put my hands over my mouth, so I wouldn’t throw-up on the bathroom floor. When I got directly over the toilet, I moved my hands. As it rushed through my lips and in to the toilet bowl, it left a spicy, bitter taste in my mouth. After about four times of regurgitating; I flushed the toilet, rinsed my mouth out and went to bed.
The next four weeks were probably the best weeks of my life. Marcus and I had gotten very close. Not only did he start bringing me around his friends, he finally let me go to one of his football games, the city championship game. Our high school football team, the George Washington Eagles, won the city championship against the Galileo Lions. Marcus played a great game and I was so proud of him. He threw two touchdown passes and ran for one. He looked like a blaze of lighting out on the field as he had his way with the other team.
After the game, Marcus took me with him and his teammates to celebrate at Tic Toc’s Restaurant in Fillmore. I had a sea burger with onion rings and an orange soda. He had a sea burger with fries and a strawberry-banana shake. Tic Toc’s was famous for their sea burgers, because they were delicious. They tasted so good, it seemed like the fish burger was the only burger people would get. After we ate, Marcus and I went into his car to talk. That is when he said the best thing in the whole-wide world.
“Louise, I love you.” he said as his brown eyes gazed into mine.
My heart stopped beating, for a couple seconds, then, it started beating super fast. I felt so happy, I almost started to cry.
“I love you too,” I said with a smile. He smiled and grabbed both of my hands with both of his.
“Since we both love each other,” he said, “we should make love.
He leaned towards me and kissed my lips softly with passion in a way he had never kissed me before. I felt an exhilarating feeling all over my body. I felt so good, but I also felt scared.
“I knew he would wanna have sex with me sooner or later,” I thought, “but I always thought I would be able to talk him out of it until I was one hundred percent sure I was ready. He did say he loved me and if I say no, he might not love me anymore. We need to be with each other. I can’t do anything to lose him.”
I didn’t know if I was ready to lose my virginity, but I did know I wasn’t ready to lose my man.
“So, do you wanna make love?” he asked.
I nodded yes and smiled. He kissed me again. He slid his tongue between my lips and rotated it around my tongue. It made me feel so good, I felt my whole body come alive. After we kissed, he smiled and said,
“Tonight is gonna be really special.”
“We can’t do it tonight,” I said with a worried look on my face, “I’m on my period.”
“Oh…. O.K.,” he said slowly, with a surprised look on his face, “well, just let me know when you’re ready.”
He put his keys in the ignition and started his car. I wasn’t on my period yet, but I was sure I would be very soon.
As we drove out of the Tic Toc’s parking lot, Marcus honked and waived to his friends as they got into their cars. They honked back at him and some of them flicked their headlights on and off. I felt really special. It was the first time he brought me around any of his friends. I finally felt like a woman. I even started to feel like I might be ready to have sex with Marcus. Everything was happening so fast. I knew I had to enjoy myself and take everything in stride.
When I woke up the next day, I felt extremely nauseated. My head was throbbing and I felt like I was gonna throw-up. I didn’t want to worry my mother, so I asked my older sister Latasha what to do. I told her I had stomach pains and diarrhea, so she told me I should go to my doctor’s office to see if I had a bug or a virus. I hopped in the shower and when I got out, we both caught the #9 bus to my doctor’s office at General Hospital.
Once we got to the hospital, we went up the elevator to the pediatrics department on fifth floor. When we got to the waiting room, I walked over to the front desk. There was a lady sitting there on the phone. I waited until she got off the phone before I spoke to her. I told her it was an emergency and even though I didn’t have an appointment, I needed to see my doctor immediately. She told me she understood and put my name on the waiting list.
I had to wait a while before the doctor could see me. My sister read magazines while we waited. I laid my head down on the seat next to me as I gave the ceiling a stare. My stomach still hurt and my headache was getting worse. When the lady at the front desk finally called my name, I got up and walked to where she was standing. Before I walked out of the waiting room, I looked back at my sister. She mouthed, “g-o-o-d l-u-c-k,” which actually made me feel more worried than I already was. As I followed the nurse down the hallway, I began to feel lightheaded and nauseated, like I was about to throw-up again. I stopped walking, clutched my stomach with both hands and let out an exhaling moan.
“¿Te duele?” the nurse asked.
“Yes,” I nodded, wrapping my arms around my stomach “my stomach really hurts.” I didn’t understand what she said, but even though I didn’t know if she could understand English, I figured she could understand sign.
“Usted estará mejor” she said, “El doctor hara su trabajo.”
She took me into a small room and took my temperature.
“Un momento,” she said, “doctor will see you.” She left the room and closed the door.
I looked around the room to kill time until my doctor came. I noticed a poster on the wall giving instructions on how to perform the Heimlich maneuver, so I tried to pronounce the words in Spanish translated under the English words. I could read them, but I couldn’t pronounce them like the Spanish nurse. Momma always used to tell us it was rude when Spanish people and Chinese people spoke their languages to each other in public. She always thought they were speaking in their language so they could talk bad about people without them knowing, but I would always disagree with her.
When the doctor came in, he asked me how I was doing and why I came to see him. I told him how bad my stomach felt and how much my head hurt. He asked me if I had eaten any junk food, so I told him I had a burger and fries the day before. He assured me I shouldn’t be concerned about a burger and fries.
“Are you sexually active,” the doctor asked in a more serious tone.
“No,” I answered, shaking my head, “I’m still a virgin.
“Sorry, I had to ask,” he said in his regular voice, “because now days kids are having sex younger and younger. I also had to ask, because from the symptoms you have, I would have thought you were pregnant.”
The doctor told me he wanted to take a blood test to see if I had caught any viruses, so I took the blood test and left. When I got back to the waiting room, I saw my sister looking at a National Geographic magazine. I could tell she wasn’t really reading it by how fast she was turning the pages.
“I’m ready to go,” I told my sister, power walking past her. As I walked towards the elevator, she tossed the magazine to the chair next to her and followed me out of the waiting room.
“What happened in there?” my sister asked as she pushed the “down” button by the elevator door.
“I’ll tell you later,” I said, folding my arms into my chest.
“Well, are you O.K.?” she asked with her hands on her hips.
“I won’t really know until next week,” I said, staring straight at the closed elevator door.
“How come?” she asked.
“’Cause,” I yelled, “I’ll tell you when we get home.”
“Damn, Louise,” my sister said, “you ain’t gotta yell about it.”
We waited for the elevator for about five more minutes and then we decided to take the stairs, because the elevator was taking too long.
When we got to the first floor, we saw a lot of people standing around the elevators, so we decided to see what was going on. There was a boy with his foot stuck in the bottom of the elevator and about five or six paramedics trying to take his foot out. When they finally pried his foot out, his heel was bruised and covered in blood. They had to put a towel over it to stop the blood from gushing everywhere. After we watched the doctors carry the boy into the stretcher, we walked out of the hospital, walked to the bus stop, hopped on the #9 bus and rode it home.
When we got home, we had to wait ten minutes for the elevator to come. When it finally came, we got on it and my sister pressed the button marked “seventeen”. As soon as we passed the seventh floor, the elevator stopped.
“Ahhw shit,” my sister said.
“This damn elevator gets on my nerves,” I complained.
We both pressed the red emergency button.
“Oooouch,” I screamed after I felt my headache getting worse.
“You O.K.?” my sister asked.
“This headache is driving me crazy,” I moaned in a weak voice.
“What did the doctor say?” my sister asked.
“He asked me what I ate,” I replied in my normal voice.
“Oh,” she said, “didn’t he wanna know if you were pregnant?”
“How’d you know?” I asked.
“Doctors is always askin’ if you’re pregnant.” she answered. “So, is you?”
“Am I what?” I asked.
“Is you pregnant?” she asked.
“No!” I screamed. “I ain’t never had sex.”
“Louise,” my sister said with her hands on her hips, “you ain’t never had sex?”
“I said no,” I replied with an attitude.
“Louise, I didn’t wanna say nothin’,” she said, “but I saw you when you came home in the middle of the night a couple weeks ago.”
“So what?” I asked.
“Where were you?” she asked.
“I was with Marcus,” I answered. My sister raised her eyebrows to suggest I was proving her point.
“But we didn’t have sex,” I yelled.
“Alright,” she said sarcastically, “so what did ya’ll do?” I took a second to think. I knew Marcus and I went out to celebrate, but I didn’t exactly remember what we did. All I remembered was being very sick and throwing-up before I went to bed.
“Well?” my sister demanded with her hands on her hip.
“I don’t know,” I answered in my regular voice, staring into space.
“What’chu mean you don’t know?” she asked.
“I mean I don’t remember,” I answered, looking at her.
“Lousie,” she said, “how you ain’t gone remember what you did? What, was you drunk or somethin’?” I was about to answer no, but suddenly, I remembered I had been drinking that night.
“O.K., I was drinking,” I said in a defensive voice, “but I didn’t get drunk.”
“Why was you throwin’ up then?” she asked.
“I don’t know,” I thought, “Maybe I was drunk. I don’t remember where we went or what we did. The last thing I remember is laying my head on the side of the car door, because I was dizzy from drinking.”
“I threw up,” I answered, “because I was dizzy and my stomach was hurtin’ and….”
“Well that’s how you feel when you’re drunk,” she interrupted, “Why don’t you just admit it? You were drunk.”
I began to realize my sister was right. I was drunk. I never thought about it in that way. I figured I was sick, but I guess I just blocked out the drinking I did in Marcus’ car. I felt bad, because I had never really drank like that before and I never wanted to. I just didn’t want Marcus to be mad at me or think I didn’t love him. Suddenly, my sadness turned into a defensive shield.
“My sister has no right to judge me,” I thought, “I may have made a mistake, but I was just doing what I had to do to keep my man. She’s just jealous, because she and her boyfriend Teddy don’t have what Marcus and I have. Marcus loves me and I love him. It’s just like mama always says, ‘When you love someone, you do things for them,’ and that’s what I did.”
“So what if I got drunk?” I yelled. “I was just try’na have a little fun with my man. I can do whatever the hell I want. You’re just jealous because Teddy don’t love you like Marcus loves me.”
“Oh yeah?” my sister yelled, “Well if Marcus loves you so much, why’d he rape you?” My heart stopped. I stopped breathing. I was shocked.
“Yeah, that’s right,” my sister said, “he got yo dumb ass drunk and raped you. Then, he dropped you off at home in the middle of the night after he had his fun with you. That’s how ya ass got pregnant; and you talk about love? Shit. Well, if that’s love, honey, then I don’t want it.”
I started to cry. All of a sudden the elevator doors slid open. I looked forward and saw we were stuck between floors. I could see the seventh floor through the bottom of the elevator. The elevator showed half of the seventh floor and the other half showed the elevator shaft’s walls. The only way I could see us getting off of the elevator was if we jumped.
“We gotta jump,” my sister said, “I’ll go first and then I’ll catch you.”
“O.K.,” I said in an unsure voice. I got stuck on the elevator in our building a couple times before, but I never had to jump to get off. I was very scared. I felt goose bumps form all over my legs, my arms and my back.
“Hey,” I heard a voice yell, “ya’ll O.K.?”
“Yeah, we O.K.,” my sister answered sarcastically, “we’re just stuck. Dumbass.” When I looked down, I saw a bum with dirty, wrinkled clothes on and a 40-ounce beer in a brown paper bag in his right hand. He put his forty on the ground and took off his dirty jacket.
“Looks like ya’ll gotta jump,” the bum yelled, “but don’t worry, I’ll catch you.”
“O.K.,” my sister yelled as she looked at me. “He looks crazy,” she mouthed so the bumb wouldn’t here her.
“I know,” I mouthed back, “but it’s the only way out.”
“You ready to jump?” she whispered.
“I guess.” I whispered, shrugging my shoulders.
“O.K., here we come,” my sister yelled down to him. She took off her purse and gave it to me. Then, she crawled down to the bottom of the elevator and hung on. After she looked back and saw the bum with his filthy hands out ready to catch her, she let go. He held on to the side of the elevator shaft with his right hand, caught my sister with his left arm and pulled her into the left side of his chest. If he didn’t catch her at the right time, she would have fallen down the elevator shaft.
It was my turn to jump next. I was scared, but I knew I had to jump. I threw our purses down to where my sister was, took a deep breath, exhaled and slid down the bottom of the elevator and hung onto it with both hands. I looked down and saw the bum with his left arm out, ready to catch me. I let go of the bottom of the elevator, closed my eyes and braced myself for the impact. I felt him grab me with his big muscular arm. It felt like he snatched me right out of the air.
“Are you O.K.?” He asked me.
“Yeah,” I said in a relived voice, “thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” he said, “Well, I guess I gotta take the stairs now, huh?” He picked up his jacket and his forty, walked down the hallway and went down the stairs. My sister and I walked down the hallway towards the opposite stairway and walked up ten flights of stairs until we got to our floor.
When we got inside our apartment, I ran into the bathroom and slammed the door. I sat on the toilet seat, put my hands over my face and cried. I was so confused. I didn’t want to believe what my sister said, but it seemed like it was true.
“I know Marcus loves me,” I thought, “but why would he rape me? He wouldn’t. He loves me. My sister is just jealous.”
A week later, I went back to the hospital to find out the results of my blood tests. I was worried to death. It had been five weeks since the last time I had my period and I knew that could only mean one thing.
I sat in the waiting room for about twenty minutes before my name was called. When the lady at the front desk finally called my name, I got up from the chair, grabbed my purse and followed the nurse out of the waiting room. We walked down the hallway until we got to a room with an open door. The nurse opened the door all the way and motioned me to go inside.
“Siéntate aquí,” the nurse instructed.
“O.K.,” I replied, as if I understood what the hell she said.
The nurse walked out of the room and closed the door behind her. I cleaned my fingernails and trimmed them with my teeth while I waited for the doctor.
“Good morning, uh…. Louise,” the doctor said, glancing down at the clipboard he was carrying.
“Morning,” I said unenthusiastically.
“How are you?” he asked as he looked up at me.
“Fine,” I answered.
“Good,” he said as he looked down to his clipboard again.
“I have the results from the blood tests we took last week.”
“I’m pregnant, right?” I interrupted.
“That’s correct,” he answered, “you’re not surprised?”
“Not really,” I replied, “It just confirms what I’ve known for the past seven days.”
“It’s true most women don’t really need a blood test to tell them they’re pregnant,” he said, “because they know their body very well.” He stopped looking at his clipboard and looked up at me again.
“Does the father know?” he asked, raising his eyebrows, making the wrinkles on his forehead more obvious.
“Not yet,” I said in a low voice as I put my head down to avoid looking him in the eyes.
“Is he around?” he asked in a faint voice.
“Yes,” I replied enthusiastically after looking up at the doctor.
“Well that’s always a plus,” he said in his normal voice, unphased by my enthusiasm, “but be careful. Most young men change when they find out their girlfriend is pregnant.
“Not my Marcus,” I thought. “Marcus ain’t like most young men. I know he’ll be supportive of our new family.”
“ARE YOU FREAKIN’ SERIOUS?” Marcus screamed right after he spit out the Hennessy he had just poured into his mouth. I didn’t know what to say. I leaned back on his mother’s couch and cupped my hands over my mouth as he stood over me.
“I can’t take care of no baby right now,” he continued. “I’m try’na play pro football. How in the hell are you going to do this to me?” He took another sip of the Hen he had wrapped in a brown paper bag, turned his back to me and began to pace.
“Me do this to you?” I screamed before he could take another step. “You did this to me. YOU got ME drunk and YOU raped ME.”
I was furious at Marcus and for the first time, I let him see how I really felt. I always held it in when Marcus made me mad. I always bit my tongue when he disrespected me or blamed me for something he dod wrong, but I’d had enough. I loved Marcus, but I was so confused and so humiliated, I couldn’t take lying to myself about it anymore. I felt like I didn’t know him. He got me drunk, then he took advantage of me and he had the nerve to blame me for getting pregnant.
“Yeah, I said it,” I said as I stood up, stared at the back of Marcus’ head and pointed my finger at him as I screamed. “YOU got ME drunk and YOU raped ME nigga! Now what you got ta say about that?”
Marcus turned around. He started to move his lips, but I couldn’t hear him speak. I could only see and all I saw was his fist coming right at me. Then, all I saw was darkness………
I’m currently shopping this urban novel I wrote to publishers “Don’t Mess With My Sister!”
It should be out this summer.
I’m also shopping my non-fiction book where most of my quotes are excerpts from, to publishers as well.
Both should be out & available summer 2014.
Thank you for reading this preview of my book.
I am truly humbled by your support of my purpose, to speak life to young men and women in our generation.
By: Ebrahim Aseem