Blu's boyfriend taught her the ins and outs of sexual bliss, and in exchange she had two sons to show for it. After doing the on again, off again, thing, Blu had what could loosely be considered a family of her own. A night of stupidity changed that, when her boyfriend Manuel got left holding the bag on a drug charge, and was sent to prison. Now Blu must decided if she is willing to standing by her man, wait out the sentence, and see what the future holds, or moving forward with her life to make something better for her boys -- alone.
Ashanti tried to get it right. She married who she thought was the perfect man. Their union was what her dreams had been made of, and it only seemed right to start a family. Her husbands doting ways would no doubt be showered on their baby. Ashanti soon found herself caring for not one, not two, but four babies, and wondering when the fairytale turned into nightmare.
Sandra is just happy to be alive. After suffering a childhood laden with physical and sexual abuse, she thankful just to have a husband that extends so much love and patience. However his biological clock is ticking loudly, and his desire to enter the world of parenting has Sandra more than a little apprehensive. How can she be a good parent when she has no idea what that is?
Higher aspirations and a college campus, bring these three women together. Their bond of friendship serves to strengthen their resolve to take charge of their lives, and propels them to become more than just another statistic.
"If you boys dont get out here right now, Im leaving your behinds!"
"Were coming, Ma, called Manny," my eight-year-old son.
"Boy, stop talking like you from down south! I dont even know where you got that damn drawl from anyway." Where the hell are my keys? I know I left them damn things on the counter. Come on keys, show yourself. I just want to get there and back, I thought to myself. I got on my hands and knees and stuck my hand under the couch to feel for them. No keys. I was just about to start tearing my hair out when I remembered that Id made a quick run late last night, after I got home from work. I walked over to the closet, pulled the door open and stuck my hand in my leather jacket pocket.
"There you are," I said, palming my car keys. "This is the last call, I yelled. I'm about to count to ten. If I don't see both of your narrow butts out here, I'm going back to bed." I was just about to start my countdown when my younger son, Maleek, almost collided with me as he came running out of his room.
"Here I am, Mommy. I'm all ready."
"Good going, Maleek. I wish your brother was ready too."
"I beat him, Mommy. I told him I could get dressed before him, and Im only four."
"You did a great job, babe, but how about we fix your shirt?" I smiled as I pulled the Barney shirt over his head and turn it so that damn purple dinosaur was showing. I really could have left his goofy face hidden. I cant stand that silly thing, but, thats my boo's favorite character, so I try to be nice.
"Okay, Mom, I'm all ready," Manny said, coming into the living room with his jacket on, and his book bag on his back.
"Dag, boy its about time. You took long enough," I said.
"I was ready awhile ago. I was just trying to get together some of my tests from school so I can show dad," he answered.
"Okay. Are we all ready now?" I asked.
"Yes," they both answered in unison.
"Well get your butts to that car," I said, swatting them playfully on their behinds as they went past me.
"Ouch," squealed Maleek, as he ran past me, laughing.
"Maaa, please dont touch my butt," Manny whined.
"Bet if I was one of your little girlfriends you wouldn't be saying that," I teased.
"I don't even like girls," he protested.
"Manny has a girlfriend. Manny has a girlfriend," his little brother teased jumping around on the backseat of the car.
"Shut up, stupid," Manny said punching his brother in the arm.
"Hey, that hurts," Maleek said trying to reach over and hit him back.
"Boy, will you sit still so I can snap this doggone seat belt," I said, adjusting the strap a second time.
"But, Mommy, he hit me," Maleek whined.
"Okay, when he's not looking punch him back later," I whispered and tweaked his little chocolate nose.
"Yeah," Maleek said. He grabbed me around the neck and planted a wet kiss on my cheek.
"Manny, you need any help?" I asked. I slid the cooler full of sandwiches and juices that Id packed onto the floor of the passenger side, and looked over at Manny.
"Mom, I'm not a baby. I got it."
"Well excuuuuse me," I said sarcastically. I checked to make sure Maleeks hands and feet were clear of the door before slamming it shut. Then I climbed into the drivers seat and put on my seatbelt.
"Mommy, can we listen to the Barney tape? Pleeaasssee?" Maleek begged from the back of the car.
"Mom please dont put that tape in. I cant stand it!" Manny groaned.
"You plan to keep him entertained back there?" I asked looking in the rear view mirror, watching Manny get ready to get all into his Gameboy.
"No," he mumbled.
"Well, then. Barney it is."
I popped the tape in and checked to see that I was clear to back out of my driveway. I pulled out, and got into the right lane. I drove along listening to Maleek sing along with the tape. I knew that Manny was into his game and wouldnt add any conversation to this long ride, so I tried to ignore the constant singing, and I plan this trip out in my head.
I dont even know why Im going out there, I thought. Here it is my last weekend before school starts. Im supposed to be hanging out and having fun. Monday, I would be starting school part time, along with working my full time job. Between doing that and taking care of my kids, my time would no longer be mine. But what was I doing on this particular sunny day? Instead of kicking back and enjoying my day, I was driving four long hours to go spend a stupid hour with my babys daddy. Hes been on lock down for a little over a year now. What a waste of a good Saturday! I hope that Negro appreciates what Im doing. I could definitely think of better things that I could be doing right now. Or rather I could think of someone, I would love to be doing right about now!
Girl behave yourself! I had to squeeze my legs together tightly to quench the sensation that was trying to get me all hot and bothered.
"Come on girl, get it together. Youre supposed to be acting like you haven't seen, smelled, or tasted a dick, much less felt one in the last year," I mumbled aloud to myself.
I'm not sure why I even bothered fronting. Deep down I knew that Manuel had to know that I was getting some on the side. Even though he was constantly telling me to save all that good stuff just for him, there was no way he could believe I was doing that. Hell, he knows I'm a freak! That's one of the reasons he got with me in the first place. I love sex! There is absolutely no shame in my game. Hell, I crave sex. If I go so much as a week without sex, I swear I get the shakes. Shooo, sex is the best thing since sliced bread! I shook my head. Yeah, I was going to have to give an Oscar winning performance if I wanted Manuel to think Id been keeping my legs closed. If he wanted to keep living in denial, who was I to spoil it for him?
"Mommy, are we there yet?" asked Maleek.
"No, baby, we got about an hour left to go," I answered.
"Can I have some juice?" he asked.
I reached into the cooler, pushed some chips of ice out of the way and pulled out a juice box. I passed it back to Manny.
"Babe, open this for your brother."
"Can I have one too?" Manny asked.
I reached inside the cooler again and pulled out another juice box.
"Guys, please be careful back there. I dont want to see any juice stains on the car seat."
"Okay," Mommy, Maleek answered.
I glanced in the back seat via the rearview mirror. My older son was giving me one of his I know she is not talking to me, looks. I moved my eyes back to the road and decided not to comment on this. I was not about to get into it with him again about that nasty attitude of his lately. I planned to let his father handle it when we got there.
"Okay, Miss you can walk through again," said the corrections officer.
I walk through the metal detector again hoping not to hear that beeping sound. I was glad when I went all the way through and it was silent. It was a good thing it did, otherwise Id have been tempted to go right back out to my car and leave.
Like I would ever sneak anything in for this simple assed nigga sitting up in here. That isnt even about to happen! There is no way in hell that I plan on doing anything that would land me in a place like this.
"Here you are, Maam," the officer said handing me my burgundy coach bag.
I took it from him, wishing I could swing it upside his head, for being all up in my business. But hell, the man was just doing his job. If I wanted to be mad at somebody, I may as well point the blame in the right direction. If Manuel hadn't been so damn stupid, I wouldnt be here in the first place.
"Come on kids," I said herding them into the room that was already packed with visitors and inmates. I saw a small vacant table in the right corner and grabbed it before anyone else could.
"Where's daddy?" Maleek asked excitedly.
"Baby they have to go back there and get him. He should be out really soon," I answered, getting settled in my chair. I looked at my sons excited face, and figured I'd better go ahead and remind him now that this was only a visit. Not that I thought he'd grasp the concept, but it couldn't hurt to try.
"Now remember what I told you, Maleek. Daddy is not coming home with us today. We are just here to visit him. Okay?"
"Okay, Mommy. Im going to be a big boy. I won't cry when its time to go," Maleek said, shifting around excitedly in his seat.
"Yeah, you gotta be a big boy, like me," Manny said to him.
"There he is! There he is!" Maleek exclaimed loudly.
"Sit down, boo. Dont make a scene." Like a child could make a scene in a place like this, I thought. I must admit my heart was racing triple time. I stood up and began pulling, twisting and messing around with my hair. I always did that whenever I was nervous or agitated. I watched Manuel walk towards us, his family, with as much pride and confidence as a man could have being in the situation he was in.
"Hey, Luscious," he said, pulling me into a very tight embrace.
In that instant I could feel his dick getting hard against my crotch.
"Girl, I'm missing you like you would not believe," he whispered, trying to grind on me without being too obvious. "You keeping it tight for me?"
"But of course," I lied, with a smile.
"Hey, little men! Whats up? You two behaving?" he asked giving each of them a pound and then tapping shoulders.
"Daddy! I miss you daddy, Maleek said," gripping Manuels orange prison top.
"I miss you too, little man," he answered rubbing the top of Maleek's head affectionately.
"Hey, Dad. How you feeling?" asked Manny, coolly. Though he was trying to act all reserved, the look on his face could not hide the intense pleasure he was feeling at that moment standing before his father.
"Hey, big man. You taking care of business like I told you?" his father asked, giving him a sly wink.
I watched everything that was taking place, but held my tongue. That nigga thought he was slick. As if I didnt know that he was using our son to keep tabs on my whereabouts. I damn sure knew what was going on, but for now I was going to keep my lips zipped. Besides, there wasnt shit he could do about it no how.
"Come on, L. Why you all the way over there? Girl, come here and let me smell you. You know what I need right about now," he said laughing, and licking his lips suggestively. He pulled me down on his lap.
"Man, calm down, baby. Not in front of the kids," I told him softly.
"What kids? These are my little men. They know whats up. I don't have no little sissies, that don't know what a woman is for." He laughed, and reached his hand out towards Manny to slap in agreement.
I shot my son a deadly look and dared him to slap his fathers hand. I watched Manny fight with himself, silently, trying to decide which parent to side with. This was one of those situations that I did not enjoy putting my son in. I only wished that his father would understand that and not try to fight me on everything.
"Its alright," Manuel said, seeing his sons struggle. "Damn! You listen to your mom. Thats what you are supposed to do," his father said dropping his outstretched hand and letting his son off the hook.
As soon as the boy's became occupied with something else, I felt Man angrily pinch me on my ass, as if to say this was not over. I didn't figure it would be. I knew he didn't appreciate me overriding him. I jumped up off his lap, but before I could move he pulled me right back down. While he continued to ask the boys what they'd been up to since he last saw them, I had to endure his dry, clothed, ass-fucking. For a person who enjoys sex as much as I do, I felt violated as his erect dick poked at my butt through our clothing.
"Dad, look. I got all As on my last two Biology tests, and my math test," Manny told his father, excitedly shoving the test papers towards his father hand.
"Whaaaat? Let see me that." Man took the papers, but barely glanced at them as he continued to be more interested in copping a feel on whatever body part of mine that he could reach without drawing too much attention.
"Yeah, look at what our baby did," I said. I shifted my weight a little and tried to redirect Man's attention towards his son, who was eagerly waiting for his father to praise him.
"Good job, big man," his father responded half-heartedly. He tossed the papers carelessly onto the unstable, marred table beside him, and returned his attention to me. "What about you L? Have you been behaving yourself and waiting for me to get out?"
"Man!" I didnt want to have this conversation within earshot of the kids.
"Been keeping it wet for your man? Girl, you know I've been thinking about tapping that ass. That is the first thing on my list as soon as I get out of this place," he whispered into my ear.
Now don't get me wrong, I do have feelings for my baby's daddy. But lets keep it real here. He has been on lock down for over a year now, and I have been the one taking care of home. Making sure the kids have food in their bellies, clothes on their back, and a roof over their heads. Now after working my ass off to accomplish all that, by myself, this nigga wants me to then sit my lonely, not to mention horny ass at home and wait for him to come brush the cobwebs from between my legs. Whateva! God only knows how long it'll be before Manuel gets to see the light of day as a free man. So, whatever I do on the side is my damn business. If I'm wrong, then I'll be wrong!
Now it would be a different story if he were living at home helping me out some. Not even doing it all, but just doing a little sumthin sumthin. But hes not. In fact the only reason I came to visit Man was because I wholeheartedly believe that a child needs to have their father in their life. At least thats how I felt in the beginning when Man first got locked up. But now after all these months, watching Maleek have these fits of hysteria at the end of the visits, I was seriously considering not coming anymore. Each time we came here I had to explain to my baby that daddy was not coming home, just like Id done earlier. And just like today, hed say that he wouldnt cry when it was time to leave, but he always did. To tell you the truth I was getting tired of the bullshit myself.
Now Manny is a different story. He has a tendency of keeping everything all bottled up and thats not good either. Watching him now, I can see that hes disappointed that his father didn't pay more attention to the fact that his grades have gone up. Last visit, his father got on him about getting better grades, and now that he had, Manny wanted his props. I didnt blame my son either. If youre gonna down me for the bad, then praise me for the good. I decided to try one more time to get Manuels mind off my body and onto his sons. That was the point of the whole visit.
"Mannys teacher called and told me how proud she was at the improvement in Manny grades."
"Is that right? You keep it up son. I'm proud of you," his father told him.
Mannys face lit up from his fathers words.
"Maleek, baby don't go over there," I said and jumped up off Manuels lap to stop my son from going over to another couple who looked liked they were in the middle of a heated conversation. When I walked back to our table I saw that Manuel had his hands in his lap. Probably to hide that massive hard-on I'd been sitting on. He shifted when I got closer, I guess expecting me to sit back down on him. Instead I went to the other side of the table and sat across from him, keeping Maleek in my lap. Manuel frowned, but I didnt give a damn. I was getting tired of him poking me in the ass with his dick. He was the only horny one here. I was doing just fine.
"When are you coming home, Daddy?" Manny asked his father.
"I don't know, son. I'm still working on that. But I plan to be out of here soon. Hey, Blu, give them some change so that they can go get a candy bar or something."
"Candy!" cried Maleek excitedly.
"I dont want anything to eat," said Manny, trying to spend as much time as possible with his father.
"Go ahead, son. Your mom and I need to do some talking in private. You and little man go give us a little privacy," Manuel said getting up and putting an arm around his sons shoulder.
"Okay, Dad. Come on squirt."
I handed my older son two dollars and watched as they trotted off to the vending machine. Manuel started as soon as they were out of earshot.
'Girl, come over here. Why you acting so funny?"
I didnt budge. "I'm not acting funny. Im just trying to give you some space so that you can bond with your sons."
Manuel didn't say anything. Instead he got up and came over to me. Pulling me by my arms he raised me to my feet. "Come on," he said, leading me by the hand and heading towards the public bathroom.
"Hey, Tyrone is it clear in there?" he asked one of the guards.
"Yeah, man, go on in. But we on short time today. I can only give you a few minutes."
"That's cool. Its better than no time at all. Im'ma take care of you later, aight?"
"It's all good. See me when you see me," Tyrone responded, and waved us in. When we entered the bathroom I walked over to the wall and leaned against it with my arms folded across my chest.
"Damn, girl. You dont know how much I miss you!" Manuel pulled out his penis and began stroking it to full length. "How bout some head, baby," he said, not even looking up to see that I hadn't budged. "I've been thinking about those luscious lips wrapped around my dick all week!"
"How about we just talk today?" I said quietly, still leaning against the wall.
Finally he looked up. "What? Girl, what the hell are you talking about? I know we didn't come in here to talk. We can talk when we outside with the kids. Now come on and stop playing."
"I'm not playing. Why can't we just have a simple conversation?"
"Cause my dick is hard as a fucking rock, and I am not in the mood for a conversation. What the hell is wrong with you? Now come on and stop fucking around!" He walked up on me and began squeezing my breasts.
"Damn, Man, that hurts!"
"Girl, I know you like it rough," he said, breathing on my neck and trying to grind on me. "Grab my dick and play with me, baby. Damn, do something! At least make the visit worthwhile."
What the hell? Now I was mad. "Hold up! Are you saying that I just come visit so you have someone to fuck?" I asked, and angrily pushed past him.
"What the hell is wrong with you? I thought that we had the same thing in mind, coming back here," he said.
Suddenly this whole scene was played out. I was tired of doing this shit month after month, and decided to quit biting my tongue about it. "I'm tired. I'm raising two kids alone and I am fucking tired of doing it by my damn self," I said angrily.
"Come on now, Blu, you know I would be there helping you out if I could. I love my sons, and I want to do right by them."
"Then maybe you should have listened to me a year ago," I spat.
"Oh shit! Here we go again. You're never going to let me live this shit down are you?" he asked me furiously.
"As long as youre in here, no I'm not! As long as I'm a single parent, no I'm not! As long as I'm the only breadwinner, no I'm not going to let you off the fucking hook! This parenting shit is hard!"
"Like I dont know that! he snapped at me."
"Like you don't know? How the hell would you know? There are two of them, and only one of me. This shit aint a joke!"
"What do you want me to do? Tell me what the fuck you want me to do, Blu! Since you have all the goddamn answers!" he yelled.
"Do? Do? You can't do shit anymore, Manuel, but eat, sleep and shit when the man tells your dumb ass to!"
Without any warning, Manuel raised his right hand and slapped me across the cheek.
"Nigga, what the fuck is wrong with you?" I hollered, and came at him swinging. I told you about putting your fucking hands on me!
"Cut this shit out!" Manuel grabbed both my wrists, and using his body weight, slammed me against the puke green, graffiti covered wall.
"Get the fuck off of me, nigga! I'm tired of this shit with you. I'm tired of your stupid ass. You better take a good look at this face, cause this is my last fucking trip up here. I'm tired of this shit!"
"Hey, everything alright in there?" a loud voice called from the outside the bathroom door.
"Yeah, man. Its cool. Well be out soon," Manuel called back to him.
"Get off me, Man,' I warned him calmly.
"You gonna stop all this hitting shit?" he asked me.
"You the one that started this hitting shit," I snapped at him.
"Okay, fine. I'm stopping." He released my arms slowly.
Everything in me wanted to kick him in his fucking nuts, but I resisted the urge. I marched angrily over to the sink and peeked at my cheek in the mirror. My skin was too dark to show any marks, but that shit was still hurting like hell! I was so heated at this motherfucker that I just walked over to the door, yanked it open and pushed past the group of nosey ass officers standing by the door. I walked over to my kids, who were quietly sitting at the table.
"Come on kids. Get your stuff together, its time to go."
Manuel had gotten himself together and was now right behind me. "Blu, come on now. Don't leave like this. Im sorry I hit you. Please don't leave," Manuel said quietly in my ear so the kids wouldn't hear.
"Manny, help your brother zip up his jacket," I continued, as though I didn't even hear their father speaking to me. I collected my jacket and handbag off the table. After shoving Mannys school papers into his bookbag, I handed it to him. 'Kids, say bye to your father."
'I want daddy to come home with us. Please! Daddy, come home too!" Maleek began to cry and grabbed for his fathers leg.
God, please give me strength to make it through this day. "Come on now, baby. We talked about this. Remember I told you that daddy wouldnt be coming home with us today."
"I want to stay with my daddy. Please, Daddy, can I stay with you?" Maleek pleaded with his father.
"Little man, you gotta go home with your mother. Remember you promised me you were going to take care of mommy until I get home. You cant do that and stay here too," Manuel said, trying to reason with him.
"Mommy and Manny can stay here too. Well all sleep in the same room-- how about that?" Maleek asked, his innocent face stained with tears.
"Daddy will be home soon. I'm working on it. Now please listen to your mother," Manuel said trying to detangle himself from Maleeks grasp. "What all you motherfuckers gawking at?" he snapped at the room full of people who were checking us, like we were the movie of the week or something.
"We can't stay here, baby," I told him, trying to pry his little arms from around his fathers leg.
"Why? Why can't I stay?"
"Maleek, please. Come on, baby," I quietly pleaded with him.
"No! No! No! I won't go!" he yelled at the top of his lungs.
Ignoring all the stares we were getting, I grabbed Maleek while trying to protect myself from his flailing arms. "Manny, get my things off the floor and come on." I turned around to see his father hugging him and whispering something into his ear.
Past experience told me that the best way to diffuse this situation with Maleek was to just get my baby outside, and then try to calm him down. I was at the front door when I finally turned around to see if Manny was behind me. He was still a ways back walking slowly, with his shoulders slouched and his head bent down to the ground. Anyone looking at my poor eight-year-old son would think that he literally had the weight of the world on his little shoulders.
"Daddy! I want my daddy," Maleek called out exhaustedly as I snapped him into his car seat.
"Come on, boo. Calm down. I don't want you to make yourself sick the way you did last time." I reached into the front seat and pulled out the cold rag I had stored in the cooler. I began to wipe his sweaty little face with it. For almost ten minutes he struggled and continued to call out for his father. Finally, he fell asleep with the third and fourth fingers on his left hand stuck in his little mouth. I wanted to reach into my bag and pull out a cigarette, but when I looked out of my front window, I saw Manny sitting on the hood with his head down. I knew that my needs had to be placed on hold. I went to my son.
"Hey," I said, walking up to him and nudging him on his shoulder lightly.
"Hey," he said.
"How you doing?"
"Mad at me?"
"Mad at your daddy?"
"So what you're saying is that everything is peachy keen?"
"Peachy keen? Mom please, I'm not Maleek."
"Okay, okay my bad! I just wanted to see how you were handling everything. I want you to feel that you can talk to me about anything."
"Okay, Mom." He got off the hood and went to get inside the car.
Sitting there on the hood, looking at the building behind the high metal fence that held my kids father captive left me feeling helpless and lost. I couldnt tell who I was angrier with -- Manuel or myself.