May 19th

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My meeting with my editor was a total downer. I drove home feeling defeated and stressed. How the hell could they push my deadline up? So now, instead of six months, I only had four.

“I’m not even done with the first draft,” I said aloud as I pulled up out front.

I noticed G and Sharif were on G’s step as I parked. Glancing across the street I could see Rell in his doorway.

“Smoking as usual,” I said to myself putting the car in park.

As I reached into the backseat to grab my books and bag, I could see Rell heading my way.

What does he want, I thought getting out of the car.

“Wassup Cam!” he yelled when he got half way.

“Yes. I really wanted the whole block to know I was home,” I mumbled, “I just want to go in the effin’ house.”

“Yo. Wassup.”

I slammed the car door deliberately, “Hey.”

I began walking towards the stairs; purse and work bag in one hand and binders in the other hand.

Rell followed.

“What you about to do?”

“Going in the house.”

“Why? You should hang.”

Stopping mid stride, I glared up at Rell. He towered over me on a regular day but today I was in 5 inch heels. My vantage point was a little better.

“I am going in the house. Pouring a glass of wine. Listening to some good music and light up an el. That’s all I want to do.”

Continuing up the stair, I huffed to myself.

Rell followed.

“Hey you want to match up? We can all chill.”

“Did you not just hear what I said?” Why does he always think I’m supposed to smoke with him, I thought.

“Why you wanna chill by yourself? That’s boring.”

I rolled my eyes and proceeded to my front door. Rell ran ahead of me to reach the door first.

 “Yo, I almost forgot. Melanie is in the house right now. Ain’t nobody in there.”

“What’s your point?” I fumbled with my keys until I found the right one.

“You can go talk to her and shit.”

I dropped my stuff in my doorway and turned abruptly, “I am not talking to anyone. I just got home. All I want to do is relax.”

“Well you the one who wanted to talk to her so bad.”

My mouth dropped. Is he serious, I fumed to myself.

“Dude. The only person who wants me to tak to her so bad is you.”

I had begun to raise my voice.

“Hey Cam!” Sharif yelled from G’s step suddenly.

“What!” I yelled, immediately realized my tone and followed up with, “My bad. What’s up.”

“Lookin’ good!” he said giving the thumbs up.

I smiled and shook my head.

“Thanks.”

Turning back to Rell I said, “I’m going in the house. I’ll talk to her on my own time. Okay.”

“I was just sayin’. It woulda been a perfect time. You aren’t scared, are you?”

That’s it. I’m going to truly cuss this dude out if I don’t go in, I thought.

I threw my hands up and walked in the house.

“Damn. See you later than.”

“Bye,” I huffed grabbing my stuff out of the doorway and slamming the door deliberately.

“Ugh!!!” I yelled so only I could hear it.

Tossing my keys on the coffee table, I could hear the guys talking. Living only a few doors down from G, made it easy to hear conversations if they were loud enough.

“What’s wrong with her?” Sharif asked.

“She must have had a bad meeting,” G responded.

“Man, she’s probably on her period or something,” Rell blurted out.

Rell and G laughed. Sharif didn’t.

I grinned to myself and grabbed a glass out of the dining room cabinet. Allowing the red wine fill my glass, I turned on my stereo with my elbow. I let The Commodores’, “Zoom” play very loud, deliberately.