Whatchu think about shorty?” Snipes asked me as he placed a forkful of ketchup-drenched scrambled eggs in his mouth.
I was so tired and drained from not having slept in what felt like a week that I didn’t even pay him any mind and I laid my head down on the restaurant table.
“Katrina! What the hell is wrong with you? You hear me talking to you, right?”
“What, Snipes? What?” I asked as I picked my head up off the table and wiped some cold out of my eyes.
“Shorty right there, our waitress! Whatchu think about her?”
“What are you talking about?” I asked as I stared at my pancakes and watched them get colder by the second.
“You think she sexy or what? I’m feeling her! Got damn, look at her ass! I think she’s an Indian chick or Brazilian or some exotic shit like that. And you know you don’t ever see no Indian chicks wit’ ass like that!” Snipes said to me, blatantly disrespecting me, his girl.
I didn’t respond as I continued to stare at my pancakes and wondered when the hell I was gonna be able to lay my ass down and get some real sleep.
“We gonna check into that hotel right down the block, the Days Inn. I’m gonna have us check in under the last name Rivers. A’ight?” Snipes stated.
I acknowledged him by slowly nodding my head three times.
“So you think she’s sexy or what, ma’?”
“Yeah, she’s a cute girl,” I said with absolutely no emotion.
“I wantchu to get her to come back to the hotel and chill wit’ us so we can do that threesome thing I been telling you that I wanted to do. That’s our chick for the threesome right there. But you gotta kick it to her because it won’t work if I talk to her. A’ight?” Snipes said with all seriousness. He got up and reached in his pants pocket. “Remember, we checking in under the last name Rivers, and we staying at the Days Inn. Give her the info and get her to come by,” he added as he dropped a twenty-dollar bill on the table and sat back down.
“Snipes, we don’t even know this broad. She’s the damn IHOP waitress! What am I gonna say to her?” I asked, beginning to show some signs of aggravation and disgust.
“Katrina, come on, ma’! Kick it to her and don’t fuck that shit up! I’ma wait at the door and watch you do your thing,” Snipes said with a sinister look on his face, a face that was now my life’s worst nightmare.
The sound of Snipes’s chair scraping the floor as he pushed away from the table was a loud metal-grinding noise that did nothing for my headache. I watched him walk away from the table as his pants sagged off his ass and his loosely laced Timberlands made a thud with every step that he took.
I hate the sight of that sick motherfucker! I thought to myself as I looked at the waitress making her way over to my table.
“Is everything okay?” the Indian-looking waitress asked.
“Yeah, everything is fine. You can bring me the check,” I replied as I thought about Snipes’s selfish wish for a threesome.
“I have your check right here,” the waitress said, looking into the pocket of her blue apron.
She placed the itemized bill on the table and prepared to walk away.
My heart started racing from nervousness but I could feel Snipes’s stare burning a hole in my head.
“Umh, excuse me . . .”
“Yes?” the waitress asked as she quickly turned back to face me.
“Yeah, I was just trying to read your name tag. What is your name? Soraya?” I asked with a puzzled look on my face.
“Yes, it’s Soraya, you pronounced it right,” she said with a slight giggle.
“If you don’t mind me asking, where are you from? Is that an Indian name?” I tried to muster up a smile.
“No, actually it’s an Arabic name. My parents are from the Middle East.”
“Oh, okay. Well, listen, my name is Katrina, and I know that I don’t really know you, and I don’t even know how to ask you this, but do you have a man . . . a boyfriend . . . are you married?” I said, stumbling over my words as my heart pounded and a nervous smile reappeared across my face.
Soraya smiled as she shook her head no and said that she didn’t have a boyfriend.
“Like I said, Soraya, I know I don’t really know you, and I know this may sound like the craziest thing you have ever heard, but I really think you are just so gorgeous, and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind hanging out with me and my boyfriend back at our hotel room when you get off from work later today? We’re staying—”
Soraya cut me off in the middle of my sentence and laughed and shook her head, saying, “Oh no, no. I’m sorry. But I just, you know, I’m not like that, and I don’t know who you are.”
There was now this uncomfortable silence as I didn’t know what the hell to say. It’s not every day that I catch rejection from a woman that I’m trying to pick up for my man.
Soraya broke the silence as she took the twenty-dollar bill off the table and wiped the table with a damp cloth. “Do you need any change?”
“No, you can keep the change.” I glanced at Snipes and watched him glare at me like he wanted to murder me or something.
“Look, Soraya, please just—”
Soraya cut me off and told me that she really was too busy and had to get back to work. And she quickly walked off. I honestly couldn’t blame her for walking away as quickly as she had. She probably thought I was some kind of freak or something.
I glanced over in Snipes’s direction and saw him violently push open the glass IHOP door in disgust and storm out of the restaurant with his arms and hands flailing.
I wasn’t in the mood for his shit, not that morning I wasn’t! I was thousands of miles away from my home. I hadn’t seen or spoken to my family and friends in months, and I was beyond fed up with Snipes. I gathered myself and prepared to head out of the restaurant. I was wearing a nice pair of tight jeans and a wifebeater with some white high heels.
As I made it out of the restaurant, I could see Snipes already in the driver’s seat of our luxury car, and he started the engine as I approached.
I opened the front passenger door and got in. There was silence and I could tell that Snipes was in one of his pissed-off moods again. I sat down but I didn’t look at him. The only thing that I could think of was how in the hell had I ended up some three thousand miles away from New York City, in Tacoma, Washington, of all places?
The silence was killing me so I reached for the radio to turn it on and break the uneasiness. I was hoping to find a hip-hop or an R&B station.
“Turn that shit off!” Snipes immediately barked. “You fucked shit up with shorty and you gonna just sit down in my car like everything is everything?”
“Snipes, what do you want from me? She wasn’t into that!” I yelled back.
He turned and grabbed my throat with his right hand and applied so much pressure that I thought he was gonna crush every bone in my neck. All of my air was cut off and I began scratching at him and flailing my arms trying to free myself of his grip.
“Let me tell you something! Don’t you ever disrespect me like that again! That’s the first got damn thing! And you fucked the shit up with shorty, otherwise she would be here in this car wit’ our asses right now headed to the hotel! I don’t need you causing me no more stress, Katrina! I got these niggas on my ass, I got the feds on my ass, I got this money to get, and I don’t need no more bullshit to deal with!” Snipes violently slammed my head backward into the headrest before finally loosening his grip on my throat.
I coughed, desperately trying to suck air into my lungs. I massaged my throat with my right hand and hoped that the pain would quickly go away.
“I don’t care who you dealing with, everybody has a price and everybody can be got and hustled if you spit game the right way. You remember that shit! And next time I don’t wanna hear she wasn’t into that! You make her get into it! You convince her to get into it!” Snipes chided as he put the car in drive.
I was still coughing, and I closed my eyes and held back my tears. I wanted to scream and end this nightmare that I was living. With my present circumstances, my dreams of studying to become a veterinarian weren’t working out. I would have given anything to have turned the clock back to the start of my freshman year at the prestigious New York University. But unfortunately I couldn’t turn back the hands of time. And, man, what a difference those past nine or ten months made.
Copyright © 2008 by Mark Anthony. All rights reserved.