My Fault (Amani) Part III

Staring at the baby in Nayelis’s arms, I felt foolish for allowing my imagination to take me this far. I’d stepped so far out of my comfort zone and came out looking like the ass I felt like. Tucking my hands into my hoodie pouch, I wanted to run out of here but BJ looped his arm into mine and pulled me a little closer to him. Afraid to look in his eyes, I closed mine. What was I supposed to say? 
“Stop—Amani…” BJ pleaded with me as I slowly opened my eyes to look at him. 
His facial expression was softer, but I knew he was only putting it on for me. To soften the shame I felt for showing my true feelings towards him and coming in here causing a scene. Glancing to the right of me, my sisters and Nayelis were all looking at us. Funny how a minute ago I was all for BJ speaking in front of them when I thought he was in the wrong—But I didn’t want anybody to hear whatever he was about to tell me now. Pulling my hand from my pocket I grabbed BJ’s hand and lead him out of his room. Closing the door behind us, I didn’t care what my sisters and Nayelis did in there. Stopping in the kitchen where I knew nobody would hear us, I exhaled and nodded for him to get whatever he needed off his chest. We stood in silence for longer than I’d expected and my nerves were peaking before BJ’s low chuckle threw me. Scrunching up my face as his laughter grew, I found nothing funny about this situation. 
“Don’t look like that…” BJ snickered as I rolled my eyes. “I just—I don’t even know what to make of this!” BJ seemed enthused and I couldn’t read between the lines. 
Watching him laugh at me made one thing perfectly clear—The sex we had meant more to me than it did to him. Covering my chest with my arms, I felt naked in front of him. Bearing my entire soul to the clown, I now viewed BJ as, while he made a mockery of it. Clenching my jaw as he tried to regain his composure, I knew he would waste more time that I didn’t feel likegiving him. Pushing him towards the countertop and stomped back towards isroom. Bursting the door open, my sisters and Nayeliswere startledand sitting on BJ’s bed. To my surprise, Fatima was cradling her sleeping son in her arms as Salimah hovered over her to get a better look at him. Scrunching up my face in confusion, I didn’t expect things to become this good this fastbutI was kinda glad it did. 
“Amani—" 
“Y'all ready?” I ignored BJ as Salimah and Fatima nodded their heads up and down. 
“Uh—Hold up…" Fatima stood to her feet, carefully handing Nayelis son back to her as she moved closer to me. “I was thinking…" she cleared her throat before glancing back at Nayelis whose nervous smirk mimicked my baby sister. “BJ doesn’t have the means or the space to house a grown woman and a baby—" 
“Neither do I!" I protested knowing exactly where she was going with this. 
Just because they squashed their beefswhile I was in the kitchenette getting laughed at didn’t mean I wanted to spend time around this girl. I still had my reservations about her and I could just feel she came with a lot of baggage—Hence the baby boy whose father, nobody knew. This was addeddrama neither one of us needed. Especially, not Fatima, since she had her fair share dealing with her own family and Torin’s. And I knew Salimah wasn’t offering three hots and a cot. Not because she was meanspirited, but that’s just not how my sister got down. 
“I know you don’t but I do—" 
“Fatima, we said we talk about this!" Salimah blurted out as Nayelistucked her bottom lip into her mouth averting my gaze. “She said she didn’t wanna cause us no trouble by coming in—" 
“Who’s gonna get in trouble? I have more than enough room to welcome her into my home—" 
“And Torin is just gon’ let some strange ass girl come in his shit with a fuckin’ baby and not say nothing?” Salimah countered as Fatima pursed her lips together while rolling her eyes. 
Neither one of us could argue with Salimah’s logic because she was right. Torin was a grade-A jerk and a narcissist. He was very arrogant and his newfound regency made him an even more entitled prick. To me because Fatima refused to believe her beloved Joseph was anything of the sort. 
“Well, I said she can come!” Fatima stamped her in defiance like I was Jewel and she’d finally had enough of me. 
Taking a couple of steps back, I held up my palms in case she got the idea to hit me or something. Lately, I didn’t know what to expect from people and since my sisters were living their lives and going through the motions they'd probably want to find somebody to take things out on. I would not be that person. Watching Fatima’s face soften as she leaned back and crossed her arms over her chest, I lowered my hands and shrugged. 
“I’m not trying to tell you what to do but you should be mindful of your husband," I tossed that last word in there to see if her face would change. 
It did! Rolling her eyes to the side, Fatima uncrossed her arms and waved me off. 
“He’ll be a’ight—Torin doesn’t control my life. And…" she turned to point at Nayelis. “She really needs help. Plus, we kinda owe—" 
“Shid!" Salimah scoffed while smacking her lips. “Not I!" 
Smirking as I shook my head and watched Nayelisexhale, I knew she wanted to say something but didn’t want to chance Fatima switching up on her because of it. If only she knew. Fatima was probably doing this because we didn’t want her to. Our word probably didn’t amount to a hill of beans to her. Especially since Torin never respected us when we came around. 
“If it’s gonna be a problem, I don’t mind staying. I got money and I can get a hotel—" 
“That’s where she stay now," Salimah tossed that out there as Nayelis’s mystic eyes widened. 
“Oh—Then I can’t impose—" 
“You’re not imposing and Salimah, really?" Fatima sounded and looked her age as she pouted. “It’s not even like that," she tried explaining to Nayelis. “It’s a suite for like presidents and celebrities—" 
“And royalty," I added as Fatima cut her eyes at me. “Well, you weren’t gonna say it." 
“I don’t have to—" 
“Sholl don’t—Cuz once shorty pull up to flashing lights, men in black—I’m sorry, Arabic men in black linen dresses—" 
“They’re not dresses, Salimah!" Fatima cut her off with a slight edge to her voice. “And so what—That’s beside the point…" Fatima was getting agitated by the second. “She’ll be safe and nobody can come and go as they please. Until you figure out what you’re gonna do, you can just hang out," Fatima offered as Nayelistwisted her lips and eyes to the side. 
I could tell she wanted to say yesbutshe had to put on this front like she would be a burden. Rolling my eyes, I didn’t understand where this jealousy was coming from and I hated it. This girl really needed our help, and I was preparedto leave her hanging all because I jumped to conclusions and got my feelings hurt. Wind it back Amani... You’re better than this. Feeling a hand touch my elbow, I flinched before scowling, realizing BJ was still trying to get me to come back into the kitchenette. At this point, I didn’t even care to hear what he had to say or apologize for how I acted. It was water under the bridge and I did meanthat in every sense of the word. He didn’t want me and I wasted my time and body. Noted and moving on. 
“Mani,lemme just—" 
“BJ, just leave me alone," I told him as Fatima’s face scrunched up in disgust. 
Smirking at my little sister, she had really grown into herself. I’ve never known her to be so feisty but I guess living with Torin was bound to rub off on her. 
“But I don’t want you to leave here without hearing why—" 
“There’s nothing to discuss," I turned towards him with a shrug. “You’re helping your cousin, I jumped to conclusions—Everything’s on me…" 
The silence in the room was a little unsettling but I kept a bleak expression and my nerves down enough to pull off the words I know I wasn’t feeling entirely. Yeah, I was crushed but I had to gain a backbone or this type of thing would keep happening to me. 
“You’re saying this but I feel like we’re not gonna be cool after you leave—" 
“And so what if she not!" Salimah butted in. “My sister don’t owe you, nothin’ nigga—" 
“I’m not even talking to you—" 
“But I’m talking to you!" Salimah popped her neck as she spoke. “I don’t know who the fuck you think you is stringing my fine ass sister along like you got it like—" 
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
Relived that somebody was banging on the door, I was the first person out of the room. Salimah meant well but I didn’t need her crushing BJ to make me feel better. That actually did the opposite for me. Because despite what I’d told him, he’d always have a special place in my heart. We were friends before we complicated everything. Touching the doorknob, I didn’t even ask who it was as I opened it. 
“Charli bring yo ass—Whatchudoin’ here?” Tyrone’s attitude dropped when he saw me standing in front of him. 
Clad in a hoodie and sweats, I could tell he barely showered because he was on a mission to getting here. Tucked in his arms, bobbing her small, curly head around was my niece, Tyler. She was oblivious to what was going on and I was glad. Tyrone had an oversized, knitted blanket that looked like somebody’s granny made it, wrapped around her body to keep her warm. Shaking my head, I knew bringing Tyler would backfire for Salimah. And her being dressed in a onesiein the dead of winter was even worse. See, what I mean—Adding Nayelis to this mess would only cause more problems for my sisters. Hearing footsteps behind me, I didn’t even have to look back to know BJ was approaching us because it was writtenall over Tyrone’s face. Scowling, just as evillyas his brothers would, I swallowed in fear of his expression, knowing what he was capable of doingto anybodyat any given moment. 
“What da fuck is goin’ on?” Tyrone asked me but kept his eyes locked on BJ. 
Fear struck and annoyed with my sister for not coming out of the backroom when he called for her... I stood there dumbfounded. Salimah had all that mouth earlier but now she was quieter than a church mouse. This is why I didn’t need to date. 
“Ty?” Fatima peered out of the room as Tyrone’s face softened. “What are you doing here?”
“Nah, why are you here?” he tossed back while shaking his head. “Charli, you gon' make me drag yo ass out dis crib—" 
“Ty!” Salimah sprung to life as she squeezed her body between the narrow door and Fatima to stand in the hallway. “Why are you here!" she groaned before her eyes bucked at the sight of Tyler in her daddy’s arms. 
“Yeah—I knew yo ass was up to something—" 
“I wasn’t up to nothing—" 
“You lied tho—" 
“About what?” Salimah and Tyrone were back to doing what they did best... Bicker. 
“You said you was goin’ to Fatima’s—" 
“And I did!" Salimah pointed behind her at Fatimawhose bottom lip was tucked in her mouth like a child. “She’s with me—" 
“You know what da fuck I meant, don’t fuckin' play wit me—Look at my fuckin’ baby!" Tyrone moved Tyler around so everybody could get a good look at her. “She don’t got no fuckin’ clothes on and you in here smokin’—" 
“I’m not fuckin’ smoking!" Salimah came closer to us with her arms out like Tyrone was going to hand Tyler over to her. 
“Get back—" 
“Ty, give her here!" 
“Nah, man... Dis da shit I be talkin’ about Salimah—You tellin’ one thing and yo ass out here doing da fuckin’ most! It’s cold as hell outside and you got enough sense to put some clothes on but you got my baby—" 
“Don’t fuckin’ talk to me like I’m a fuckin’ child—" 
“You actin' like one!" 
“Guys!" Fatima interjected as my sister and Tyrone snapped their necks in her direction. “It’s not even like that, Ty—We came here for Amani... Nobody was smoking and we were just about to leave—" 
“You might as well wait a couple more minutes," Tyrone chuckled a little as my baby sister’s face twisted in confusion. 
“Why?”
“Torin on his way—" 
“For what?” Fatima grumbled. 
“I thought he was out of town," Salimah took the words right out of my mouth as she cocked her head to the side like she'd just uncovered the real truth. 
“He was," Tyrone’s jaw twitched as he cut his eyes down at Salimah. “But his flight just got in an hour ago—He was at da crib when I popped up…" 
“And you told him to come here?” Fatima’s voice was whiney and I couldn’t help but smirk. 
“Hell yeah—You better redirect dat attitude at yo sistah fah lyin—" 
“I didn’t fuckin’ lie—I told you I was going to Fatima’s house—" 
“Exactly and you not there now so what da fuck was so important here, all three of y’all had to drag my baby out in da could—Cuz da boys ain’t here!" Tyrone barked back at Salimah and he had a point. 
Fatima was smart enough to leave her kids behind and I feel like Salimah could’ve done the same thing but for some reason, she didn’t. 
“I’m not doing this shit with you right now…" Salimah replied instead as the sound of bass jumping filled my ears. 
“Dats cuz you ain’t got shit to say—Dats a’ight, tho—" 
“Yup, it is—" 
“Shut up Salimah," Tyrone growled as he snatched my sister by her forearm and yanked her towards him. “You startin’ off on da wrong foot," his voice was lower but all of us could hear their private conversation. 
“I don’t care," Salimah rolled her eyes as Tyrone nodded his head up and down. 
“I know you don’t—" 
“No, because you just come up in here like this—I’m not your child, Ty, so don’t treat me like it!” 
“I ain’t say you was—" 
“You don’t have to say it because you’re actin’ like it—" 
“Look at my baby—" 
“Okay and she was warm inside Meeshia’s car—" 
“You really don’t see—" 
“Fatty ma, what da fuck is goin' on?” 
Here we go, I thought with a roll of my eyes. 
“’Scuse me," Torin impolitely pushed himself past me as he walked up to my baby sister. “Whatchudoin’at dis nigga house?”
Turning to mush, Fatima’s voice was softer and so were her gestures. These Taylor brothers get on my nerves. 
“My sister needed us—" 
“She a grown-ass woman—She can handle her own shit," Torin barked in my direction as I frowned, getting the same expression from him. “I told you about runnin’ up behind them like dat—They gotchu in da hood—" 
“We don’t have her nowhere!" Salimah blurted out as Torin’s blue eyes narrowed in her direction. “I don’t care if he don’t like me!" Salimah told Tyrone whose jaw was clenching in anticipation of the war of words Salimah was about to have with his baby brother. “Fatima grown just like us and she made a decision to come—" 
“Bitch I wasn’t fuckin’ talkin’ to you—" 
“Joseph—" 
“Eh—Nigga, c’mon!” Tyrone blurted out, disliking the way Torin addressed his wife. “I’on do dat shit to yo girl so don’t disrespect my wife man—" 
“Wife?” Torin’s brow rose like mine had an hour ago when I heard the news. 
Clenching his jaw, Tyrone remained quiet but kept his glare on his face. Nodding his head, Torin rolled his eyes from Salimah back to Fatima. 
“We goin’ home—" 
“Wait—" 
“Fatima, just drop it," I told her as she shook her head. 
“Yelly’s gonna come with us for a couple of days," Fatima pointed towards the backroom as I shook my head, knowing this wasn’t going to pan out the way Fatima had in planned out in her head. 
“Who?”
“Yelly—She’s my friend from New Orleans... She just came in for a couple of days and we’re gonna chill around the city," Fatima lied as I looked back at Salimah only to see Tyrone staring back at me. 
Quickly turning around, I still had my qualms about Nayelisbut I didn’t want to give my sister away. If she wanted to house this stranger in her midst, so be it. There was nothing I could do and I knew Torin wouldn’t respect my opinion one way or the other. 
“What y’all in here smokin’ on?” Travis poked his head into BJ’s apartment with a smirk on his face. “Damn—y’all packed in dis bitch like sardines—Ooo, Fatty Ma!" he shook his head as Fatima smirked and playfully rolled her eyes. “You ain’t supposed to be da sneaky one!” He said as Torin snorted and shook his head. 
“It’s okay, Fatima…" Nayeliscame into view as all three brothers gazed in her direction. “I can stay here." 
“Damnnn!" Travis was the first to say something. “Who is dat?”
“My friend," Fatima kept her facade up as Torin watched her face. “She’s gonna come with us, okay?” she worded it like she was calling the shots but she said it like a question. 
Torin looked from Fatima to Nayelisthen back to Fatima with a look of uncertainty. Clenching his jaw as he turned towards Tyrone whose shoulders rose and fell just as quickly, Torin didn’t even bother to look back at Travis. Fatima’s bottom lip curled as she put on her best pout which only made the left corner of his mouth curl up. Shaking his head as he rolled his eyes to the side, Torin exhaled and groaned. 
“A’ight—Whateva man—" 
“Yay!” 
“Ain’t no yay!" Torin cut her celebration short. “We gon’ talk about dis shit—" 
“We thought there was a woman here and we came to... You know," I spoke up as all the eyes in the hallway looked back at me. 
“Y’all was tryna jump a bitch?” Tyrone asked Salimah as she fought the urge to laugh. “Ain’t shit funny, Charli! You... Man—" 
“Ty, I’m sorry—I was just tryna help my sister—" 
“You had them pullin’ up fah you?” Tyrone asked me as I shook my head. 
“Man! I’m out—C’mon!" Tyrone grabbed Salimah as he motioned for Travis to move away from the door. “Got my fuckin’ baby out here in da cold ova some Huckabee-ass weed man…" his mumblings faded the further they got away from the doorstep as Travis and Torin snickered amongst themselves. 
“C’mon!" Fatima urged Nayelis as both of them disappeared back into BJ’s bedroom. 
Awkwardly waiting for them to pop back up, I looked from Travis to Torin then reluctantly as BJ whose hopeful eyes did nothing for me. Really, I just wanted to leave. 
“She gotta baby?” Travis asked the question I was anticipating. 
“Yes…" Fatima spoke for her. “Can you get her bag?” her sweet voice addressed Torin who didn’t speak one word to Nayelis or reply to Fatima but he did as she asked him. 
Without another word, I slipped out of BJ’s apartment and down the steps. My mind was flourishing with heartbreaking thoughts but I kept walking to my car. I could’ve stayed until everybody left and got a few things off my chest but there was no need to. BJ showed me how he felt and words would only cut me deeper. I needed to smoke. And I had two blunts and a bowl of roaches calling my name from the ashtray of my beamer. Maybe I’m not meant to fall in love…

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Characters Welcomed!: My Fault (Amani) Part III
My Fault (Amani) Part III
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Characters Welcomed!
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