I woke up as Sidney struggled to pull me in the house. She was crying and ranting incoherently. I couldn’t make out what she was saying, and I was in too much pain to care. I closed my eyes trying to wrap my mind around what was happening. I knew she had a temper, but she was so gentle with me that I didn’t suspect…
“Oh…good, you’re awake. I was worried I’d have to call an ambulance,” She smiled with relief and propped me up against the dividing wall that separated the kitchen from the living room. Red spots appeared on my tank top, I realized my nose was bleeding. I tried to sit up, but she cautioned me to stay still.
“You hit the ground pretty hard…you need to sit for a moment…”
“I remember,” I winced, partially out of pain, the other half, frustration.“…being punched in the face for no reason.” I used my shirt to wipe more blood from my nose.
“I know…and I’m sorry about that,” she stood up and started pacing the floor, “I, ah, I…overreacted. I took something out on you that had nothing to do with you. I’m sor—“
“Save it, Sidney.” Every word came with an ounce of pain. I had a lot more to say, but didn’t have the energy to say it. I just wanted her to leave. “Just, go…please. I don’t want this to escalate any more than it has.”
“I’m not going anywhere until I know you’re alright. I came here to be with you.”
“Well I don’t want to be with you! LEAVE!” I shouted and forced myself up from the floor. The room wobbled as I struggled to catch my balance.
“Look, we just need to talk. I’m not leaving until you talk to me, Jam.”
“Sidney, we don’t have a damn thing to talk about. Once you thought it ok to put your fist into my face, you lost all talking rights as far as I’m concerned.” I grabbed the cordless phone off the coffee table, “Leave… now, Sidney….or I’m calling the police”
My voice was calm and firm, but my hands were shaking so bad I almost dropped the phone.
“So, what…you scared of me now?”
“Sidney, just LEAVE! Or promise you I’ll—” I put the phone to my ear and prepared to dial.
“You’ll what?” Her face grew dark, the animosity in her eyes scared me. I didn’t like where this was going.
“I’ll CALL…the police. And we both know that doesn’t always turn out well for our kind.” I stood my ground, hoping she wouldn’t call my bluff. “I suggest you leave…NOW”
Sidney smiled and pulled her phone from her pocket. She hit a few buttons and put the phone on speaker as it rang. An older professional woman’s voice answered the line,
“Chief Pearson’s Office, how may I help you this morning?”
“Ahh, Debbie! This is Sidney – Baldwin – is Frank in?” She folded her arms and smirked in my direction.
“Oh, Mrs. Baldwin, so great to hear from you! He’s in a meeting with the mayor right now, but I will have him call you as soon as he’s out. He’s been expecting your call.”
“Thanks, Debbie. I’ll have to get around there to see that pretty face again, soon.” The mysterious Debbie giggled.
“You do that,” she flirted back before hanging up.
Sidney slid her phone back in her pocket and turned to address me matter-of-factly, “So…what about calling the police? Call em,” She let out a vindictive laugh, “Whoever you call won’t out-rank who I can call.”
I shifted uncomfortably, still holding the phone.
“You did recognize the name…Pearson, Chief-of-Police Frank Pearson, right?” She cocked her head and waited for my response. Smugness decorated her face.
I was afraid. I could fight, don’t get me wrong, but Sidney was a trained boxer. She’d actually competed in female boxing leagues. I’d been to one of her matches, I knew the damage she could do. I just never thought she’d do it to me. Still, I refused to give her the satisfaction of showing any fear.
“I don’t give a damn, WHO you know. LEAVE or I’m dialing 9-1-1. They’ll still have to arrest your ass for assault and battery.”
She elevated her voice and moved quickly attempting to grab me, “FIRST OFF, YOU GONE STOP TALKING TO ME LIKE I’M SOME RANDOM BITCH OFF THE STREETS, JAMEKA!”
I stumbled backwards trying to get away, tripping over the end table and spraining my ankle in the process. As I fell, the phone tumbled to the floor – along with any hopes I had of calling for help.
A pain jolted through my leg that made her punch feel like a pinch. She continued to scream and began to berate me. I tried scooting away, but quickly realized I was backed into a corner and didn’t have anywhere else to go. Sidney stood over me sporting an ugly scowl. She still smelled like a distillery. I didn’t recognize anything in her eyes. It was like the Sidney I knew had checked out.
I noticed she kept balling, and un-balling, her fists. Seemed like it was taking everything in her not to hit me again.
“Sidney, what the hell are you doing? It’s me…Jameka.” I checked my immediate area for something to grab and defend myself in case she hit me, again. The nearest object was a lamp, on the table I’d tripped over, but I’d have to get past Sidney to get to it.
Silently, I prepared myself for her rage.
“SIDNEY, JUST LEAVE…PLEASE…!” I screamed as loud as I could hoping a neighbor might overhear and call 9-1-1. She was a real bitch if she hit me again knowing I can’t even stand to defend myself. Hell, she was a bitch for hitting me – period.
DING DONG! I was saved by the bell, literally!
“HELP!!!!!!!” I wailed loudly.
“Jameka…JAMEKA?!? ARE YOU OK? IT’S TANYA! CAN YOU OPEN THE DOOR?”
In an instant Sidney was at the door, “TANYA?!?” She shouted and I saw the top of my front door swing open, “THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING HERE – AGAIN?”
“WHERE IS JAMEKA?” She demanded, “MOVE OUT THE WAY, SID.”
“DON’T SID ME, BRUH. YOU KNOW WHAT IT IS.”
“YOU DO, SO WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE? MONICA AINT ENOUGH FOR YOU? YOU TRYING TO FUCK MY WIFE AND MY GIRL?”
“WE CAN DEAL WITH THAT LATER, RIGHT NOW YOU NEED TO LET ME SEE JAMEKA”
“I DON’T HAVE TO DO SHIT!” Sidney continued to rant about Monica and Tanya “breaking the deal.” Tanya ignored her.
“JAMEKA! JAMEKA, ARE YOU OK?”
“TANYA! PLEASE CALL THE POLICE! SHE HIT ME! MY ANKLE IS TWISTED! I CAN’T GET UP!” I shouted back.
“THE HELL YOU MEAN YOU NEED HER?” Sidney shouted at me from across the room, I could hear the indignation in her voice. I was glad I couldn’t see her face.
“You heard what she said, MOVE.” Tanya growled and I heard a scuffle at the door. Suddenly, Tanya came barreling towards me with Sidney on her heels, trying, rather unsuccessfully, to stop Tanya from getting inside.
“WHAT THE HELL DID SHE DO TO YOU?” Tanya ran over and immediately lifted me off the floor and carried me over to the chaise. I noted how effortlessly she picked me up, I liked that. “She put her hands on you?” Tanya asked, her face filled with concern.
“WHY YOU CARE,” Sidney’s voice appeared behind me, “YOU FUCKING HER TOO, HUH?”
Why did she keep insinuating that? I’d been nothing but loyal to her, I couldn’t believe she had the nerve to question my character. This wasn’t even about me.
Tanya put her head down and sucked in a breath, “Ok…so I see you found out.” She looked up at Sidney and shrugged,“What does that have to do with whatever you’ve done to Jameka?”
She stood expressionless in the middle of the floor. Sid matched her gaze and moved towards her. They met in the middle of the floor and stood, silently, sizing each other up.
“YOU, BITCH.” Sidney barked. Her voice was deep, threatening – I’d never heard that tone.
“YOU HEARD ME! I saw you kissing her this morning, hugging her, all over her…WHY?”
“Does it matter? That don’t give you the right to put your hands on her” Tanya’s face contorted as she spoke. She definitely wasn’t making this situation any better.
“I can put my hands on her whenever I want, however I want, I pay for it…that’s why we have a contract.”
Sidney had completely lost her mind!
“WAIT A DAMN MINUTE….SIDNEY…FIRST YOU PUNCH ME, THEN YOU DEGRADE ME?” If I could get up, I’d punch her my damn self. She was in rare form today and I wasn’t here for any of it. “Now, I’m your whore?” I used my elbows to prop myself up and look at her face. She returned my gaze with an icy glare.
“I pay you, don’t I?” She quickly retorted without breaking her stare.
“But, WE DON’T EVEN HAVE SEX!” An elementary argument, I know, but it was the only thing I could think up at the moment. My blood was boiling. She paid me for company. She was the duck here. She was the one being used – not me.
“Jameka, IF I wanted to have sex with you, I’d have sex with you. I don’t. You’re just something to keep me entertained while the woman I really love whores around with this bitch,” she pointed at Tanya and continued her attack, “I tolerate you because you’re sweet. You’re easy on the eyes. But you’re no Monica… you’re not even half of Monica!”
She looked at me with deviousness in her eyes, “Well, except weight wise…you’re probably two of her in that department.”
My heart sank. That was a low blow. She knew I’d battled insecurities about my weight and even though I’d lost over sixty pounds, I still wasn’t happy with my body. I’d confided this in her and she’d insisted I was beautiful, that my figure was fine – “everyone doesn’t need to look like Monica, I love a woman with a little meat on her” is what she claimed.
Tears formed in my eyes but I blinked them away. I refused to allow her to see me cry. She’d abused me physically, now she was attempting to damage my spirit. If I never knew what she thought of me, I knew today. And to humiliate me in front of Tanya…
“She asked you to leave. NOW.” Tanya ordered Sidney to the door.
“This isn’t your place. If she wants me to leave, she needs to ask.” Sidney refused to budge.
“I already ASKED you to leave, Sidney. Just go. We’re done.” My voice cracked and a tear escaped my eye. I quickly wiped it away, hoping she didn’t see it, she did.
Sidney took a step towards me and Tanya moved to block her path.
“You don’t want to do that, bruh.” Tanya’s voice was calm, but stern. She pulled her jacket aside revealing a holstered pistol around her waist.
Sidney hesitated and pursed her lips. You could tell she was considering her options.
“BYE.” Tanya continued to stare, her hand on the gun. Sidney nodded in my direction and acknowledged her defeat.
“I’ll catch up with you later, Jam.” She shot me a menacing glare as she made her way to the door – purposely bumping into Tanya on her way out.
“Don’t bother!” I shouted back.
As she exited, I let out a nervous laugh. I knew enough to know this wasn’t over, but I was thankful she’d had enough sense to back off – at least for now.
Who knows what tomorrow holds.