“You’ve been at my house nearly three weeks and you haven’t done a damn thing. Have you even seen your daughters?” Ameya didn’t try to hide her annoyance as she removed the dirty dishes and trash, I’d strewn around the guest bedroom.
I shrugged and continued mashing the keys on my laptop, trying to appear busier than I was.
“Well you need to figure it out – quick, or I’m going to figure it out for you…”
“…and what is that supposed to mean?” I stopped typing and raised a brow.
“IT MEANS, I WILL GO TO THE POLICE MYSELF….”
I rolled my eyes. “You’ve been threatening to go to the police since I got here…looks like I’m not the only one hesitating…”
“I’m trying to give you the respect I’d want you to give me in this situation…but it’s getting hard. For all you know deacon dick-em-down over there probably fucking the shit out of your kid while you over here hiding behind a computer….”
I cringed. “Seriously, Ameya? You just gone put that into the universe like that?”
“It’s already in the universe…” She shot back, “…hell it’s in her womb!”
I sneered at the reminder, “You’re an insensitive asshole, you know that?”
Ameya shrugged, “Call me what you want, but I refuse to be an accessory to a child rape for much longer. I shouldn’t have let it linger this long.” She folded her arms across her chest and began to stare at me judgmentally.
I threw the cover away from my legs and hoisted myself up and out of the bed. If I wanted to hear someone bitch at me all day I could go to my father’s home where Merline would gladly remind me of all my moral failures. I came here because I thought I’d get some peace but, clearly, that was a mistake.
“You don’t understand what my family is capable of, okay?”
“WHAT THEY GONE DO?” She asked, gloved hands on her hips.
I didn’t say anything. When I tried to explain, it just sounded…weak.
I didn’t have it in me to struggle. From the day I was born everything was planned for and handed to me. I was told how to dress, how to speak, how to wear my hair, who to befriend, who to love, who to hate, and even who to fuck. I denounced my love for Carmen and married a man appease my family’s prejudice – and I couldn’t even choose my own beard! Who was I kidding? I didn’t have the courage to go against them. Hell, I didn’t even know how.
Ameya pulled off the elbow length yellow cleaning gloves and laid them across the trash can inside the connecting bath before returning to speak.
“Are you that afraid of being responsible for your own life?”
“I’m not afraid of being resp—”
“The hell you’re not!” Ameya put both arms on my shoulders and looked into my eyes, “You won’t even call the police because you’re afraid you’ll lose your daddy’s money…”
“…you don’t know what you’re talking about—”
“….I mean, is he your daddy or your sugar daddy? I’m confused….” She threw her hands up and let out an antagonistic laugh.
“UGHHHHHHH!” I growled in frustration. “I can’t deal with you right now…”
“You can’t deal with me? You’re willing to sell your child’s innocence to maintain your bank account and I’m the one you can’t deal with? Tuh!” She sucked her teeth then frowned in disgust. “Carmen said these people fucked you up, but I had no idea it was this bad.”
“Excuse me?” My voice was full of offense.
“You’re basically a pimp.” She said matter-of-factly.
“HOW THE HELL AM I A PIMP, AMEYA? I DIDN’T PUT HER ON A CORNER FOR THE DEACON TO DEFILE!”
“HAVE YOU CALLED THE POLICE YET?” She ran up in my face like a madwoman, “HUH?”
I turned in shame.
“WHY NOT? TELL ME!”
“I…I….I…I..” She mocked my shame.
“I…just need some…time to get my…”
“….MONEY STRAIGHT?” She finished my sentence, “Exactly!”
“It’s not the way you make it sound.” I folded my arms across my chest and turned away, making a beeline toward the bathroom. Ameya blocked my path.
“IT IS EXACTLY THE WAY I MAKE IT SOUND!”
“AGAIN” I was working overtime to remain calm, but my voice was cracking. “I AM GOING TO THE POLICE AS SOON AS I HAVE WHAT I NEED TO PROTECT OUR ASS!”
“You mean your ASSets.” She correctly me harshly.
I pushed past my sister and entered the bathroom to brush my teeth; Ameya followed, undeterred.
“What do you want me to do, Ameya? Call them right now? Even if I did, my family would find a way to spin or cover it up; then I’ll look like I’m having some type of mental break….”
“AND? AND I’m not trying to end up on a 5150 – AGAIN!”
Ameya responded with a blank expression. She showed no sympathy for my dilemma.
“Ameya, what good am I to anyone if I end up in a mental hospital?” I tried to reason, “If they declare me unfit – financially or mentally – Derrick Michael will end up with sole custody of my girls…”
“You know you people of faith really annoy me. You do all this hooping and hollering about your faith and God and favor, then when it’s actually time to put that shit into practice, y’all fold quicker than a cheap ass card table.”
I loaded my toothbrush with Crest, rinsed, and began to brush back and forth. Water swelled in my eyes. I willed it away.
“It’s easy for you to judge me…from where you are.” I spoke slowly, trying to hide the aggravation in my voice, “…you were born into the world where you can do as you please; I was born into a world where I was trained to do as I was told….”
“Oh, girl please. You’re damn near menopausal now…if mommy and daddy still control you it’s because you let them…”
I shook my head but chose not to respond.
“Listen, they could drain my bank account, tie my ass in a strait jacket, and throw me into the bowels of hell and I still wouldn’t let them fuck me …and especially my child…without a fight. But I guess that’s just me.”
“Yea…well, I ain’t you.” I spat with agitation, a string of toothpaste clung from my lip to my chin.
“You’re right. I’m not you. And I’m not going to allow this shit much longer. You have 24-hours to report that man or I’ll do it myself…” She glared at me through the mirror, “…and neither you nor your family gone do a damn thang to stop me.”