We were cruising down the street in silence. Lil Wayne’s CD had been replaced for Lyfe Jennings. He was my favorite artist. For it to be June, it was an unusual cool breeze in the air. I was leaned back thinking about a whole bunch of nothing. Ebony had one hand on the steering wheel and the other resting on the door frame.
I glanced over at her and she looked at me. “What’s up?”
“Nothing.” I was trying hard not to enjoy her company too much.
“I know what will bring a smile to your face.”
“And what is that?”
“Some Mama Bee’s soul food.”
“Girl hush your mouth.” I sat up in the chair. Just the mention of Mama Bee’s made my stomach growl. That woman could make some collard greens and black eye peas that made you want to lick out the bowl. She had some of the crispest fried chicken. And oh God, as the saying goes, her barbecue ribs made you want to slap your mama.
“Yep, that’s what I thought.” Ebony said before jumping on the highway towards Mama Bee’s restaurant.
“Bony.” I said slipping into the nickname I used to call her. Do you remember when we used to go there every Sunday after church?”
“Hell I couldn’t forget it. We’d both be sitting in church praying that it would end sooner so that we could get there before the rest of the crowd.”
I started laughing so hard that tears started coming out my eyes. “What about… Oh goodness… What about that time you…
“Oh hell no, I know you not going there.” She knew exactly why I was laughing.
One time we’d gone to Mama Bee’s after church and there was only one parking spot left in the lot. As Ebony went to pull in, a car tried to cut her off. She pulled into the spot and an old man yelled out the car, “God don’t like ugly young lady!”
She yelled out the car window, “Well take your ugly ass back home!”
After we’d gotten inside and were seated the old man walked past our table and it was the deacon from our church. We laughed so hard that ice tea flew out our noses.
Ebony almost had to pull the car over to keep from crashing. We were both goofy so once we started laughing, almost nothing could stop us. We laughed and joked all the way to Mama Bee’s. It was good we got there when we did because most churches hadn’t let out yet.
She pulled into a parking spot and I waited as she came over to open the car door for me. She always had manners and I was sure that anybody I date after her would have a hell of a standard to live up to. It felt natural when she grabbed my hand as we walked toward the entrance.
It didn’t take long for us to decide what to order after we were seated. I settled on the smothered turkey wings with rice & gravy and cabbage. Ebony ordered the fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and sweet cream corn. At the beginning of each meal they served a bowl of pot liquor and corn bread to sop it up with. Most people that come here for the first time doesn’t know that pot liquor is just some of the collard and neck bone juice. I may be watching my figure but when it comes to Mama Bee’s the only thing I watch is how much food I can strategically get in each bite.
We were talking and eating when Ebony looked up and mumbled, “Oh Shit.”
“What?” I asked as the hair on the back of my neck stood up. My gut told me something was about to go down.
“Man, let’s just bounce because I’m not trying to have no drama.”
I sat my cornbread down and took a sip of my ice tea. “No, I’m hungry so we’re not going anywhere.”
“Man, I know this girl is about to come over here and start some mess.” Ebony leaned back and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
Ebony looked at me and knew better than to say anything else. Nicole was one of the girls that she’d cheated on me with. I never knew what she saw in her ghetto ass anyway. Time after time again she’d told me that Nicole and her crew were just starting rumors to get under my skin. Just to make me mad. She told me that they were only jealous because I had what they wanted.
Ha! I laughed out loud. I was the only one pissed when Nicole started forwarding me text messages of her and Ebony’s conversations. When she sent me a nude picture of her that had clearly been taken in Ebony’s bedroom, I knew everything she was saying was true.
The waitress walked over and sat our food down in front of us.
“Anything else for you ladies.”
“No mame.” I replied picking up my knife and cutting into my turkey wing.
Ebony picked up the hot sauce and put some on her pork chop before looking over at me. “Man I ain’t f*cking with that girl no more.”
“Did I ask if you were?” I snapped back.
“You didn’t have to.”
“Dang Nyla, are you going to let her mess up the good time we were having.”
“You’re the one that yelled ‘oh shit’ when you saw her. Like your girlfriend had just walked in and caught you with your other b*tch.” The words came out my mouth before I could stop them. The only time I used that word was when I was pissed and Ebony knew it.
“Man, I’m not hungry no more.” She pushed her plate into the middle of the table.
I scooped some rice and gravy onto my fork. “Well get a take out box.”
The moment I felt a presence next to me I sat back and took another sip of Tea.
“Well what do we have here? So Ebony I guess Rapunzel has been keeping you from answering my calls.”
“Step Nicole.” Ebony replied through gritted teeth.
“Oh I get it, you only come to f*ck on my side of the tracks. Obviously little miss perfect wasn’t keeping you satisfied which is why you kept running to me in the first place.”
I sat there in silence. I felt like I was having an out of body experience as Nicole and Ebony began a tennis match of insults.
I grabbed my napkin off my lap and sat it down on the table. They both looked at me.
“Bony, are you ready to leave? It’s a funny smell in here that’s making me lose my appetite. I think they haven’t taken the trash out in a while.” I stood up, turned my back to Nicole, and headed towards the door.
Without giving it a second thought Ebony threw some bills on the table and was right behind me. We hadn’t got out the door good when I felt something land in my hair. The moment I felt the wet spot I knew it was spit. I turned around so quick that everything went into a blur. Nicole was standing behind me with her hands on her hip. My right hand came in contact with her eye and I tried to punch all the way threw her skull. I was about to kill this b*tch.
Hands went around my waist lifting me off the floor and I felt like I was having an out of body experience. I knew that helfa had lost her mind. Spitting in my hair, oh hell no! Another round of expletives came out my mouth as Ebony literally carried me out to the car.
She threw me in the passenger seat and jumped in the drivers seat. “I’m not playing Nyla. Keep your ass in the car. Fighting up in Mama Bee’s like we’re in high school. You know that’s not even cool man.”
I opened my mouth but she cut me off. “I told you that it was time to leave the moment she walked in but no, you had to stay and prove a point. I know that she’s trash but you’re much more of a woman than her. But you just allowed her to bring you right down to her level. You’re so busy trying to prove that you’re the better woman when everybody can already see that. Those chics know they could never take your place and that’s why they hate you.“
Immediately embarrassed I crossed my arms and legs and pinched my lips closed. “When are you going to get over it. I messed up Nyla. I know this now but you can’t keep allowing those chics to make you act like this. It was stupid of me to do the things that I did. I’m trying to show you that I’m not that person anymore but you’re making it real hard man.”
Refusing to say anything to her I looked out the window so she wouldn’t see the tears rolling down my cheeks. I still couldn’t believe that helfa had spit in my hair. I don’ t care what Ebony says, this is far from over.
The car pulled out of the parking lot and was instantly hit from behind. We both turned around to see Nicole in her brothers car holding what looked like a pistol.