When It All Falls Down: A Chicago Hood Drama (A Hustler's Lady Book 1), страница 1
When it All Falls Down
A Chicago Hood Drama
Hustler’s Lady Book 1
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This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and events are all fictitious for the reader’s pleasure. Any similarities to real people, places, events, living or dead are all coincidental.
This book contains sexually explicit content that is intended for ADULTS ONLY (+18).
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SNEAK PEEK: Strapped Up
Books By Tamicka
There is really only one way to describe Ayana Love. At just twenty-one years old, she had already seen more than her fair share of problems. In fact, those who knew her would agree that since the day she had come out of her mother’s womb, she was up against the wind, so to speak. Growing up on the south side of Chicago, on 38th Street specifically, had made her probably one of the strongest women mentally in all of Chicago, if not all of the Midwest. Ayana listened to old school R&B music in her bedroom as she reflected on her current situation. Finding a job, since her last job had closed down and relocated to China, was proving to be more difficult than she’d ever thought it would be.
At 5’2 in height, Ayana had always been a rather thin girl – that is, until she grew into a woman. Having been what many people would describe as a “string bean” for most of her childhood, upon graduating from Harper High School in Chicago, she finally filled out. Her chest went from an A-cup to a very full C-cup. Her hips were not big, but they certainly were not narrow. Last time she’d checked, her hips measured a nice thirty-eight inches. Her waist measured around thirty inches, give or take, giving her the hour glass figure that so many women sought, especially nowadays.
Ayana, however, was known for having a pretty face. Her skin was brown and smooth. In fact, many of the neighborhood people would jokingly call her peanut butter as her specific complexion of brown could give even Jiffy peanut butter a run for its money. However, what many, including Ayana and her family, would consider to be Ayana’s best feature was her lips. She had big lips and was proud of it. As a child, especially in elementary and middle school, her full lips had been the object of teasing. However, as she grew into them and filled out in every other place, she had learned to love them. As the years went on, she’d learned to love her lips even more as she’d seen other people going to extremes to get full lips like hers, especially white people.
Ayana looked in her mirror after getting up from her computer, where she’d been sitting for the better part of her Friday afternoon and evening applying for jobs online.
“This shit is so hard,” Ayana said to herself as she applied a light layer of cherry lip gloss over her lips. “Looking for a job is like putting your name and information into a black hole. This shit is startin’ to feel hopeless.”
Ayana spoke the truth, as she’d put in for at least twenty jobs in a timespan of six or seven days. As of yet, she hadn’t heard back from a single company. However, she kept her head high and trusted that she’d find something sooner or later. Even though the balance was starting to get a little low in her bank account, she prided herself in being smart with her spending habits. She knew that she could make her few stacks last a couple more months if she needed to. And that was exactly her plan.
Just as Ayana was walking out of her bedroom and into the living room of the two-bedroom apartment she shared with her mother, dressed in a white t-shirt and black, polyester pajama pants, she heard her cell phone vibrate. Quickly, thinking that it may be a human resources person calling her, she rushed back into her bedroom. After quickly scanning the room, she found her vibrating phone setting on top of her queen-sized bed and snatched it up. It was Tramar calling. She smiled, knowing that talking to her boo would put a smile on her face, as he was always so understanding and supportive of everything she did or tried to do in life.
“Hello?” Ayana answered.
“Wassup sexy?” Tramar said. “A nigga text you but you ain’t answer.”
Ayana let out a deep sigh and smiled. “I know,” she said, shaking her head as she sat down on the edge of her bed. “I been puttin’ in job applications all damn day again.”
“I see,” Tramar said. “Have you heard anything back from them? Like, has any of the companies even sent you an email?”
Ayana looked up at the ceiling, shaking her head even though nobody was in her bedroom with her at that moment. “No, I been checkin’ my email, but I ain’t heard back from even one yet. But you know how it is. It takes time. I’ll probably hear something back next week. I done put in for like twenty jobs this week or something like that. Surely I’m gonna hear back from at least a couple.”
“Stay positive,” Tramar said, in a very encouraging voice. “I know you, and you’ll keep pushing until you find something. Just keep on pushing. You know a nigga is here for you if you need anything. Swear, put that on everything, don’t hesitate to ask a nigga if you need any fuckin’ thing.”
“I know,” Ayana said, glancing out into the living room. “And thank you. I love you.”
“I love you more,” Tramar said.
Ayana smiled, knowing that she really did have a dude who had her best interest at heart. The two of them had met just a couple of weeks after graduating from high school. The funny thing about their romance was the fact that they’d gone to the same high school and had never noticed one another. Funny enough, on the odd occasion that Ayana went to the club with her cousin, Sharli, she had met Tramar. He’d been standing off to the side with a couple of his friends. The two locked eyes and the rest was history.
“What you doin’ today?” Ayana asked Tramar. “I ain’t see you text me, so I’m sorry. I just been a little frustrated.”
“No, it’s okay,” Tramar said. “Don’t you worry about me. You do you and a nigga will be right here, waiting by your side. And I ain’t really did shit today. I went and hung out with a couple of cousins I got over in Indiana. You know, my family in Michigan City?”
“The ones I met at the cookout on the Fourth of July or something?” Ayana asked, wanting clarification.
“Yeah,” Tramar said. “Them niggas. You know how they is.”
Ayana giggled, as she could hear the bit of anguish in Tramar’s voice. He and his family had never really gotten along. Tramar had learned how to make money out in the streets, hustling in one way or another. His family, on the other hand, seemed to have a habit of having their hands out and wanting to ask for something rather than getting up off of their asses and actually going and working for it like he did. For this reason, Tramar tried to
“Stop it,” Ayana said, playfully. “That’s your family, Tramar. Don’t be that way.”
“Naw,” Tramar said. “Fuck them niggas. Like I said, you know how they is. I only went because my mama wanted me to go. I swear, if she didn’t want a nigga to go, I woulda been anywhere else in the fuckin’ world but over there and hangin’ out with them niggas.”
Ayana giggled. “I know,” she said, thinking of how Tramar said that every time he went to see his family in Michigan City, a small town in Northern Indiana that sat right on Lake Michigan, about sixty miles east of Chicago.
“What you ‘bout to do right now?” Tramar asked. “You know what a nigga want.”
“Do I know what a nigga want?” Ayana asked, sarcastically. “Nigga, this ain’t the nineteen fifties, and I ain’t your damn housewife. How I’m supposed to know what you want?”
“You know,” Tramar said, suggestively. “Stop playin’, girl. You know I wanna see you today. I know you tired and stuff from try’na find a job. That’s why I ain’t bother you earlier in the day because I remembered you tellin’ me that you was frustrated and was really try’na find a job. Let a nigga come swoop you up and make your day better.”
“Where you try’na go?” Ayana asked.
“Damn,” Tramar said. He then snickered. “Every time a nigga try’na do somethin’ good for his lady, she got to come with the twenty questions like he ain’t try’na do something for her. Let me come swoop you up and surprise you. Not unless you wanna sit at home with your mama. I know how you love her. She like your best friend.”
Ayana glanced out into the living room, knowing that her mother was somewhere in the apartment still. She’d been kind of quiet for the last couple of hours, and Ayana was not complaining the least bit. “Boy, don’t start that shit,” she said, shaking her head. “You know she ain’t my best friend. We ain’t even really coo like that.”
“Oh, there you go,” Tramar said, his voice mimicking Ayana’s voice from just moments before when she’d told him to calm down about his family. “That’s yo family,” he said. “Don’t be that way.”
“Boy, whatever,” Ayana said. “So…anyway…. You really try’na come pick me up?”
“Well, duh,” Tramar said. “That’s what I asked you, ain’t it? You try’na go somewhere or hang out in that apartment with your best friend?”
“Stop, Tramar,” Ayana said. “And yeah, I’m down to go wherever. When you comin’ to pick me up?”
“Shit,” Tramar said, “a nigga can be there in a hour or less if that’s okay with you. You know how that traffic be goin’ back into Chicago from Indiana on the weekend. Ain’t shit over here in Indiana, and they try’na go into the big city to have some fun. That’s why I said I can try to be there in a hour or less.”
“Okay,” Ayana said. “I can be ready. Just text me when you cross the state line, since you’ll be close to getting off the highway at that point. I can be ready. Did you wanna come in and see my best friend or whatever you call her?”
Tramar snickered before he answered, “Uhhhh, no. I’ll have to pass on that. You know I love your mama, Ayana. But that chick is crazy, and she be lookin’ at me funny.”
“I know,” Ayana said. “She be looking at any man that come around a couple seconds too long. You know she thirsty. But anyway, let me go on and get ready, and I’ll be ready to come out at just about the time you pull up out front of my apartment building.”
“Bet,” Tramar said.
Ayana ended the call then dropped her phone onto the bed. She jumped up, feeling a little excited that she was going somewhere. Even though she didn’t know where Tramar was trying to take her, or what he had in mind for however long they spent together that night, being with him would certainly be better than sitting at home with her mother. In fact, Ayana was somewhat surprised that her mother hadn’t come into her bedroom when she was talking on the phone. No matter how low Ayana tried to talk when she was on the phone, her mother always managed to hear her talking on the phone and would want to come into the room and be nosey.
Ayana grabbed her towel, walked out into the small hallway that connected the two bedrooms to the living room, and hurried into the bathroom. She shut the door, put a shower cap on over her fresh pixie-cut hairstyle, and took a shower. Once she’d climbed out of the shower and dried off, she returned to her room where she closed her door and sat on the edge of the bed while rubbing olive oil all over her body. She smiled as she looked at her reflection in the mirror. About a year and a half or so ago, she’d thrown her lotion away and opted for using olive oil instead. She’d read online that it helped the skin practically glow over time. And, so far, she’d found this information to be right. The cherry on top about using olive oil instead of lotion was the fact that Tramar complimented her on how her skin looked. He even went as far as insisting to help her with rubbing the olive oil on her back, which Ayana loved so much.
When Ayana had finished oiling her body, she opened her window to see what the weather was like. As it was late September in Chicago, the weather could go either way. Some years, late September could be hot and sticky. However, other years, the fall month could be cold, windy and rather gloomy. Upon briefly investigating, Ayana found that the weather was somewhat of a mixture.
Ayana closed her window and slid into some cute, ripped DKNY blue jeans that she’d gotten on sale just a couple of days before the company she used to work for had closed down. With her thick thighs showing through the rips, she knew that would drive Tramar crazy. He always loved when she wore clothes that showed the beauty that was her body, even more so when it was her thighs, as he was a major thigh man.
Once Ayana had jumped up and down a few times, in an effort to get her pants up over her hips and round ass, she stepped over to her closet door and looked at what shirts she had as an option. She wanted something that would be comfortable but also cute, as she’d be carrying her jacket with her. There was no doubt that the temperature would probably drop later on in the night, as it always did in Chicago. The wind coming in off of the lake would only make matters worse.
Ayana chose a sexy shirt that had a low top. It was white and see-through in certain areas. Once she’d put her bra on and fastened it, she slid the shirt over her head and looked in the mirror. She turned around and looked at her butt, smiling. “He gon’ like what I got on today,” Ayana said, knowing that Tramar liked when she wore more simplistic clothing. Interestingly enough, he was the kind of dude that didn’t like when women would try so hard to look good. He often found trying too hard to be a complete turn off.
Ayana pulled her shower cap off of her head and stepped over to her dresser where she had her hair supplies. She did a quick touch up, making sure that her kitchen and edges were not raggedy looking before doing a little teasing. She hated when women had short hair cuts that looked flat – that looked as if they’d just taken a rag off of their head and walked out of the door.
Once Ayana had finished getting ready, she grabbed her black jacket, keys, and lip gloss and walked out into the living room. No sooner had she stepped into the large, open space that connected with a dining area and kitchenette, she could feel her mother’s eyes burning a hole in her back. Her mother, Neeci, had been washing dishes in the kitchen, having just finished the glasses.
“You look cute,” Neeci said, snapping her neck as she looked her daughter up and down. “Where is Miss Thang goin’ tonight, huh?”
Ayana turned around, smiling at her mother. “Tramar is comin’ back from Indiana, and he gon’ pick me up,” she answered. “And Mama, don’t be that way. You know you wish you still had it like me.” She then giggled.
Neeci, who was conceited in every way possible, stepped out of the kitchen. She placed her hands on her hips. “Girl, I know you not talkin’,” she said, twirling around so her daughter could get a good lo
At a few inches taller than Ayana, Neeci had managed to stay in shape even though she was coming up on turning forty years old. Her streaked blonde hair came down and touched her shoulders, as straight as it could possibly be. Dressed in gray sweat pants and an old sweater, her figure still couldn’t be contained. Ayana knew that men loved her mother’s body, especially since for most of her life her mother had run through men as if they were bad habits. This part of her demeanor had not changed as she’d gotten older.
“Whatever, Mama,” Ayana said.
“Whatever nothing,” Neeci said. “So, Mister Tramar is coming over to pick you up, huh? Will he be coming inside?”
Turning back around, Ayana rolled her eyes. While she was not threatened by her mother the least bit, she still didn’t like the way she always asked about Tramar. To Ayana, there was always something in her mother’s tone that suggested she had a little thing for Tramar. While Neeci would never admit to having any sort of interest in her daughter’s boyfriend, her eyes told a different story. Time and time again, Ayana could pick up on how her mother was looking just a little too hard in Tramar’s direction. In fact, it was almost to the point where Ayana would never want to leave her boyfriend alone with her mother.
Over the years, Ayana’s mistrust of her mother had only grown stronger. While she maintained her respect, never calling her mother out or outright disobeying her or her wishes, seeing her go through so many men since Ayana’s father had divorced her back when she was a child, only made her more skeptical of her mother and her real intentions. Like many children, she blamed her father for the breakup of the marriage. However, as she grew up and saw that her mother was fast and stayed in shape for the sole purpose of attracting men, even if those men belonged to other women, she could only be skeptical of her. To make matters worse, many of the men her mother messed around with were young enough to be her son.