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Topaz Publishing

Reading Entertainment for the Entire Family Copyright October 2011, Letitia P. Blount Cover Art: Dawne Dominque Copyright October 2011 Editor: Topaz Publishing Line Editor: Kase J. Reed Word Count: 7,191 Genre: Inspirational Romance, IR ISBN: TPEB000000013 Topaz Publishing, LLC USA www.topazpublishingllc.com This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are fiction or used fictitiously. All rights are reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form except when quoted briefly in reviews.

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Topaz Publishing, LLC Karma


Book Blurb Vanity, greed, and gluttony are only a few of the deadly sins. Byata Simpson is a material girl and feels these rules dont apply to her. Good men are rare, but Byata doesnt care. Her heart is attached with a hefty price tag. What goes around comes around, and Byata finds herself facing the wrath of her own Karma. Available in E-Book, Kindle and E-Book CD

Thank you for buying a product of Topaz Publishing Quality Reading for the Entire Family

-Karma By Letitia P. Blount

CHAPTER ONE Im an exotic beauty with luxurious raven locks, and a sexy, svelte body. In heels, I have a catwalk-swagger that men notice from a distance. Its all about me, so please keep stepping if youre not. no time for haters. Heres my story; straight up, no chaser.

Waiting outside a mom and pop caf, I placed my hands on my hips. After running my gaze over the wooden building, I struck a pose. Aint this some stuff? This place is dilapidated, and completely beneath my standards. Just look at this joint. I needed the bling, the fancy cars, and designer clothes. So, why was I standing here? This is hardly the lifestyle of the rich and famous, not even on a small scale. Im looking for a man to take care of me. Only a prince need apply, no frogs allowed. The only reason I came to this pile of junk was because of Sean, my newest boy toy. When a man has a gift for me, it gets my undivided attention. If it wasnt for that, I wouldnt be caught dead in this environment. The area reeked with poverty, a scent I was not accustomed to. Then, who knows, my presence might have been good for business. But me, wait on a man? I dont think so. My patience had started to short circuit. I glimpsed my watch repeatedly. As people walked past, I rolled my eyes. Their uncouth glares made my flesh crawl. I wasnt there to entertain them, nor was I in the mood to be ogled. Byata waits for no one; I

was irritated to no end. When Sean arrived he was going to hear my mouth. Hey Beautiful. Sean had sneaked up behind me. Spiraling around, I blasted, "Youre freakin late! Calm down, Baby. It was only two minutes. Sean leaned in for a kiss. Using a rude street gesture, I palmed his face, pushing his head backwards. My time is valuable, Sean. You said twelve oclock. Chill out, will you. And, dont put your hand in my face. Dont tell me what to do, I sassed. I wait for no one. Byata. People are staring at us. As a couple walked briskly past, Seans blue eyes narrowed. Could you please stop creating a scene? Lets just go inside. So what if theyre looking. They stare at me all the time. I dont give a rip about these people. Sean placed his hand in the curve of my back, then opened the door. Can we just go inside? Go where? To take in his serious expression, I widened my eyes. I never told you I was going inside. I said I would meet you here. Seeming to ignore the package beneath his arm, I asked, Did you forget about my gift? Assuming Id visit such a wretched place was his second mistake. Shaking my head I then folded my arms. No. Sean stared at me, but said nothing. Was I getting on his nerves? If so, I didnt care. He ran his fingers nervously through his dark-brown hair, and sighed. Byata they really do have great food inside.

I stood in the doorway, blocking anyone who tried to enter. For some reason customers kept saying, excuse me, Miss. Standing six feet tall in my heels, it was easy for me to look down on most of them. Naturally, Id give them an evil eye as they pushed their way past. Sean was going to feel my displeasure. I cant believe youd bring me to a place like this. People struggled to get past, and Sean apologized for my rudeness. Grasping my waist, he pulled me aside, allowing people inside the caf. Calling me names only made me stubborn. Like usual, I disregard small-minded people. Theyre just jealous. Eating at this raggedy place would make me mad, too. What did I care? I was hated by men and women, anyway. Guys wanted me, and most women wanted to be me. If a guy didnt have a tight rap, I overlooked him too. It didnt take me long to spot a frog. Having been despised all my life, Id grown accustomed to petty insults, as well as all that other yangyang. Would you please come inside? Sean pleaded. If you dont want anything on the menu we can go somewhere else. Okay? Wanting my gift, I shuddered. Let this be the last time you ever invite me to some little roach-infested cafe. You know I like classier restaurants. Im not going to warn you again. During this same time, I heard onlookers telling Sean to kick me to the curb. I snubbed them. As we walked toward the back of the cafe, I reached onto tables and snatched napkins from their holders. There was no way I was sitting on those filthy seats. People grimaced at my actions, while Sean shrank with embarrassment. Please, Byata.

What? Aggravated, I turned to face him. Do you know what youre looking at? I pinched the fabric of my expensive garment between my fingers. This is a five hundred dollar dress. After wiping crumbs from the chairs padded seat, I finally sat down. Still, patrons threw nasty remarks. With my nose in the air I glared at each of them. Theyd better recognize class. Those moronsthey were all beneath me. Sean gave me a grubby menu. Snatching it, I slammed it on the wobbly table. The table shook, toppling the salt shaker. Immediately, Sean picked up the salt container. Then, he brushed the remains into a napkin. After cleaning up the mess, Sean stroked his shoulders. From time to time, he cast his gaze toward the floor and shook his head. Was he uncomfortable with me? If so, I could care less. He deserved a good butt chewing. Seeing his cheeks redden gave me satisfaction. Bet he wouldnt be late next timeif, there was ever a next time. Yes sir, hed think twice before he brought me to another hole in the wall. Doesnt he know class when he sees it? Guys had warned Sean that he needed deep pockets to date me. My needs should come as no surprise to him. Since I liked nice things, he had to be capable of filling all my wishes. Most of my desires were material. Sean claimed he had been admiring me for quite some time. After a few months, he decided he wanted to know me better. Part owner in a new Real Estate venture, Sean said he had big money; there was no problem. He also agreed that if his woman wanted anything, he could provide it. So,

why the heck was I sitting in a dump, hoping nobody I knew would see me? Sean. I have an hour for lunch. You can give me my gift, now. Youre going to make up for this mistake by taking me to an expensive and classy restaurant. In the near future, I added, for insurance. Reluctantly, Sean gave me the sack he had carried beneath his arm. When I opened the bag, a smile shaped my face. Inside, there was a new designer purse. As I pulled it out, I caught a chill. Oh Sean. Its I looked closely, then winced. Suddenly, my smile turned completely upside down. Oh no, you didnt! You demented fool. This is a knock off! What are you talking about, Byata? Sean stroked the back of his neck, then glanced nervously around the caf. I pointed to the gift. The print is going in the wrong direction. You stupid butthole! How dare you give me, a, a knock off. Rage mounted inside me. Driven by fury, I used the leather bag to slap his face, making sure to hit him hard. On impact, the sound was thunderous. Because I was really upset, Id put some muscle into it. With a surprised expression, Seans face had jerked sharply to the right. Using quick reflexes he snatched the purse as it struck his deeply tanned skin. Appearing mortified, he scowled, held his cheek, then stroked his face briskly. Byata. I cant believe youd do such a thing. And, lower your voice, he whispered, looking around the restaurant. Watching the red markings appear on his face, I smiled with satisfaction. The brushed nickel buckle had done its job. Oh. So, you dont want everyone to know you cant afford a real designer handbag, do you?

I stood up abruptly; the rickety old chair squealed as it slid away. Dont ever call me again! Real Estate, ha! Judging from the soles of your cheap shoes I should have known better. Theyre beginning to run over and lean to the side. Plus, you keep change in your pockets. I hit the table with an open palm. Dont you know a real man never carries change in his pockets? Leaning downward, I poked Sean on the nose. He pushed my hand away, and then moved from my assault. That means you dont have enough paper money. You carry change in case you need it. You bum! Obviously, witnessing my dramatic dilemma, customers were becoming irate. Their shouts elevated to a deafening pitch. They threw food in my direction, and yelled at me, telling me how ungrateful I was. Being the Diva that I am, I gave them no consideration. Yeah, so what? I hurt Sean. As I stood above him, he brooded. The crimson flush to his skin, showed he was clearly provoked. No matter, I was too heated to care. Even if I wasnt angry, I still probably wouldnt have cared. You know what Sean? When we met, I told you it was all about me. I want, what I want, when I want it. Some men see me as a conquestI guess you did too. Dont jack with me, Sean! If you cant recognize a real designer handbag, you definitely cant afford a woman like me. Evidently, Sean was weak. Gawking at me with tapered eyes, he slid his hand over his lips, but said nothing. Punk. I stormed out of the caf, leaving Sean with his new friends who backed him up. These were loudmouth, nosey, roach-caf eating, fools, who felt sorry for this silly loser. A capital L, I might add.

CHAPTER TWO

Once I made it home, I kicked off my shoes and whipped out my cell. It was time to call my cousin, Hydeia. Girl whats up? Walking into my bedroom, I pulled off my earrings, then laid across my king-sized bed. Just studying as usual, she said. But Im glad you called. I could use a break. Youre not going to believe what happened today. Before I could tell her about Sean, I quickly changed the subject. There was something more important I needed to tell her. All Hydeia ever talked about was her grades and graduating from college. High school had been enough for me. At twenty-six, I still lived in my parents guesthouse. They paid all my bills, even though I had a job. A pitiful whine could always melt my parents heart, so I didnt pay for anything. My parents were always tired. When they came home, all they wanted was peace and quiet. They needed their sleep. Being the only child, theyd spoiled me rotten. Why should I further my education, when I have everything I want, or need, right here? Girl youre not going to believe this. Byata, if its something about you, I can believe it. Whats that supposed to mean? Turning on my stomach, I propped myself with my elbows. Just tell me what happened, Hydeia insisted. Remember that toy I met on my job?

You mean the guy named Sean? Yeahthe one buying ski equipment. Yes Byata, I remember. I just said his name. From the tone of Hydeias response, I hesitated, but decided not to tell her off. I needed to talk about my terrible day. Hydeia is my only friend. Besides that, shes the only cousin I have. Well. Today Sean had me meet him at this rinky-dink caf. He said he had a present for me. Hm-mm. Check this out. I get there. Hes late. Im livid. Hydeia sighed. How late was hetwo or three minutes? Byata theres usually a grace period of fifteen minutes, you know. Not with me, girl. You know better. Guys should be there when theyre told. So what happened? She paused briefly. No. Let me guess. You got loud, right? Of course I did. Getting off the bed to pace the floor, I laughed. But wait til I tell you what the gift was. Are you ready for this? Yes Byata. Dang, it takes you forever to get to the point. I looked at the phone and frowned. Look. Im trying to give you all the details. And if you dont hurry up, Im going to hang up. Anyway. I sighed, and then rolled my eyes. I had already told him I needed a man who could take care of me. Hydeia interjected, Please tell me you didnt give him that all about me speech.

Oh, yes I did, Sweetie. Picking my nails, I noticed I needed a manicure. Youll never get a man by telling them that nonsense. Girl please. Its a waste of my time to date beneath me. If hes not capable of taking care of me, he needs to step. That attitude will only turn a man away. What? Girl, you dont know what youre talking about. Not one of them ever turned me away. Youve got serious issues, Byata. Theres more to a relationship than money and material things. And thats exactly why you dont have a man. I dont give them the time of day unless they can pass my test. They must fill my material needs. Most of them fail. Like I said, one must pay a high ransom to date me. I swept my fingers along the sheer fabric of my frilly curtains. Ill tell you what. You keep studying, and Ill be a playacollecting the big bucks, and the bling. Ya hear! Byata. She paused and drew in a breath. Youre a dressing room attendant at a sports store. If your father wasnt a Neurosurgeon, and your mom a Pediatrician, you wouldnt be able to have all the things you have. You said you werent college material. They told you to find a job. Then, you came home with a position as a dressing room attendant. Think about it. Theres something wrong with that picture. You need to learn responsibility. Take care of yourself. Youre twenty-six. Stop waiting for some man, or your parents, to wipe your nose.

Dont hate. Celebrate, or participate, because its all just a game. Im just playing my part. Hydeias confrontation was an indication of her jealousy. Hydeias tone was solemn. Im really laughing, here. Did you just make that up? What a clever girl. Of course, I did. I cant be duplicated. I sat on the foot of my bed. If you dont stop your selfish behavior, one day your lanky butt is going to get played. Ignoring her remark, I continued to talk. Anyways, this fool gave me a knock off handbag. Girl. The print was going in the wrong direction. Can you believe that? Just thinking about it pisses me off again. Hydeia laughed. Really. Girl, I smacked him in the face with that bag and told him to never call me again. Byata, Hydeia gasped. That wasnt nice. Its not that funny, I added, reliving the episode in my mind. Im sorry. But, thats what you get. Dont get it twisted, girl. I will not be treated like some little hood rat. Youre so shallow! And spoiled. What man will take care of you with your bad attitude? Youre right; I do have a funky attitude. Id rather have a man who loves me. We can build a strong future with a solid foundation. Im not depending solely on him to take care of me. Sounds like youre building a skyscraper. Youre a fool Hydeia.

No. Im not a fool, Byata. You need to rethink your playa status. One day, youre going to lose this game. Hater! Im tired of talking to you, anyway. I have a date with a baller. You mean, Crip? Crip isnt a baller. He plays street basketball, Byata. Hydeia snickered. You sure know how to pick em. And youre calling me a fool. Look in the mirror. You dont even know, Crip. How dare she judge my taste in men. I dont need to know him, to know about him. Youll find out playa. Wait a minute. Lets get back to Sean for a second. What about him? Walking into the bathroom, I slid my fingers across the light switch. Why are you angry at him, when you buy knock-offs all the time? Your thieving associates keep you supplied. Your closet is full of knockoffs. You try passing them off as the real thing, all the time. You hater, I snapped. Listen for the click, okay? Brusquely, I shut off my cell in her ear.

CHAPTER THREE

After running my bath water, I soaked in the tub. My feet were killing me. All day long, I stood on concrete in four-inch heels. It felt so good to soak; I almost drifted off to sleep. Then, I thought about Hydeia and what she had said about Crip. She doesnt know him, so her words have no

merit. just going by all that street gossip she hears. Never pay attention to what people say. Im making up my own mind about the men I date. Crip is my boyfriend. Hes the one I have real feelings for. The rest of them dont stand a chance. Theyre just my toys. Yes, thats what they areboy toys. Id met Crip at my job, too. He had a smooth finish like a decadent chocolate bar. His neatly trimmed sideburns and shapely lips were only part of his charm. From the moment he walked in the door, I watched him. Leaving my work station unattended I offered my services to him. Then, like a love-struck puppy, I followed him over the entire store. Now, I was hooked. My seductive movements were obvious. I did anything to make him notice me. Crip had no choice, I was in his face. He swallowed my lead, hook, line, and sinker. For lunch, we went out for Chinese food. Yeah, it was a rinky-dink place. But, Crip wasnt one of my boy toys; he was the man I wanted. Tonight we were going out again. After my bath, I slipped on my baby doll top, a pair of jeans, and my designer shoes. I laid my new clutch on my bed. After brushing my hair into a high ponytail, I put on my make-up. Who knew where Crip would be taking me. Being comfortable was important. Dressed for the evening, I sat on the bed and waited for Crip. Every now and then, Id walk to the door, or peek out the window. When I didnt see his Range Rover pulling up, Id call his cell phone. Repeatedly, I left messages on his voicemail. Livid about his carelessness I plopped down on the bed. This behavior was totally unacceptable. After my date with Sean, this day had been more trouble than it was worth.

Royally angered, I was ready to kill somebody. I opened my cell phone to call Hydeia. Suddenly, I heard a horn blowing outside. Snatching up my purse I started for the door. Suddenly, I remembered the two sports jerseys Crip had asked me to buy. I had no problem with that. I had placed the shirts on my dresser. Crumpling the sack in my hand, I turned and headed toward the door. Crip would pay for being late, and hed better have my money for these jerseys. Byata doesnt give gifts. Running swiftly, I hurried out the house, cut across the pool, and then walked slowly down the walkway. Crips music was blasting, and the base was booming. My neighbors would complain; I didnt need my parents on my back. Accustomed to being treated like a lady, I stood on the passengers side of the rover, waiting for Crip to open the door. With his head bouncing to the music, Crip just sat there. I banged on the window. He lowered the passengers window, then turned the music down. Are you crazy? Dont bang on my window like that! You could at least, open the door for a lady. Lady? You need to stop tripping. Open the door for yourself. What? Aye, aye. I looked behind me. Apparently, this man had me mixed up with someone else. Aye, Im talking to you. Why you acting all brand new? You wanna get left?

No. I wanted to walk back in the house. This is not how I do it. Im running this game. I opened the door and got inside. Look, next time, you treat me like the lady I am, or youll get kicked to the curb with quickness. Crip took his hands off the steering wheel, and lowered his brows. Byata, you can get outta my car. Take your raggedy spider-monkey butt back in your high-class house. You need to put yourself in check. The tone of his voice told me he was serious. Stunned, I sat quietly. No he didnt just call me a raggedy spider monkey. Now, we can have a nice dinner, and go back to my place, or I can bounce. Confused, I pulled my lips together. He called me a raggedy spider monkey. So whats it gonna be? I stared at him. Dinner. In my mind, I made a mental note to read him his rights, once I ordered and ate the most expensive food on the menu. Only then, would I act a fool. ***** We drove to one of my favorite seafood restaurants. You can bet, I ordered the most expensive food on the menu. Because Crip had called me names, I barely spoke. Cracking my lobster, I then dipped it in garlic butter. If I had said anything, I would go off on him. I didnt want a repeat performance of what happened earlier with Sean. That raggedy spider monkey statement was not cool I was still pissed. Crip ordered the same meal, but he also ordered a seafood platter. He dogged his food, smacking his mouth loudly. It annoyed me. Every time he spoke, food flew out of his mouth.

Disgusted, I finally pushed my plate away. Are you going to eat that? he asked, grabbing my plate. Knock yourself out. I folded my arms and watched him devour the rest of my food. Im sure he saw the appalled look on my face. He had me changing my mind about going back to his place. Crip called for the waiter, asking for the check. When the waiter returned, Crip looked at the bill, and then passed it to me. Handled that, he said. Are you kidding me? I yelled at the top of my lungs, disturbing the peaceful atmosphere of the restaurant. I forgot my wallet. He grinned. How in the world are you going to invite someone out to dinner, and not have the money to pay for it? I didnt say I didnt have the money to pay for it. I said, I dont have my wallet. My money is in my wallet. He leaned back in his chair, picking his teeth with a toothpick. I slammed the bill on the table. I aint paying this. I cant believe you. I wont be treated like a chicken head. Im not paying this bill. Your butt will get back there washing dishes, pots, and pans. I narrowed my eyes. Byata, pay the dang bill! I will not! I shot back. You can go straight to the devil! Who the heck did he think he was? Byata. Ill be waiting in the rover, just pay the bill. Crip got up and walked out. There I was, sitting at the table with my mouth wide open. I

glanced around the room. People were watching. As soon as I glanced at someone, theyd quickly turned away. Everything was crazy. I couldnt believe what type of day I was having. Here I was, sitting there watching Crip walk to his car. While I was watching Crip, the waiter was watching me. I guess he thought I was running a scamtrying not to pay the bill. Fuming, I couldnt believe nor accept what was happening to me. Taking out my credit card, I paid for the dinner. However, when the waiter returned, I jerked the credit card, and signed the receipt. The waiter gave me a foul look, and I returned it tripled. Finally, he got the message and went on his way. If I were a man, Id beat Crip until the white meat was cooked and burnt. But, since Im a woman he will hear my mouth. Getting in the rover I grunted. Evidently, chivalry is dead as far as Crip is concerned. Pointing my finger in his face I gave him a piece of my mind. Let me tell you something. Dont ever pull a stunt like that again. You cant treat me like this. Crip grimaced. Why you doing all that yapping? You paid the bill. Its done. Get over it Prima Donna. Excuse mewhats up with this name calling? I told you when you met me Crip turned up the music to drown me out. Heated, I was close to tears. I couldnt walk over him like I did the others, but that didnt mean I couldnt get back at him. I would find a way even if it took me a while to come up with it. It was not all about me, and I got madder.

Folding my arms I asked. Why are you being so rude Crip? He nodded his head. Ill give you your money back when we get to my crib. After how you treated me tonight, I dont know if I want to go to your crib. Aw, baby, Im going to make it up to you. I said Ill pay you back. He grabbed my hand and kissed my fingers. I didnt forget that you called me a raggedy spider monkey, I reminded him. He kissed my lips. Awkwardly, he ignored my comment. My mind went foggy, and I forgot why I was angry. CHAPTER FOUR

We pulled up in front of Crips apartment. I got out of the car carrying the plastic sack with the jerseys. After calling me names, he would have to earn my kindness. Id give them to him later. Calling me names and making me pay the bill was not in his favor. Inside his living room, Crip turned on some soft music. I wanted him to pay for what hed done earlier. He was going to work hard to make me happy again. We werent conversing, so I got up and went to the bathroom. While I was gone, Crip fell asleep. Now my feelings were really hurt. That doesnt happen often. I decided it was best for me to leave. But first, he had to pay for the jerseys, the dinner, and for calling me a raggedy spider monkey. He had a lot of apologizing to do.

Crip! I yelled, entering the living room. He jumped up; his face was all scrunched up. Here, I said, throwing the bag at him. Crip stared at the bag like hed never seen one before. Whats this? I put my hands on my hips. Look inside. He smiled, then pulled the jerseys out of the bag. Quickly, his smile disappeared. What the heck is this? I stared at him dumbfounded, then shifted my weight. Crips eyes grew wide. These are not the jerseys I asked for. What? Are you stupid or something? I told you, I wanted the Chicago Bulls and the Lakers, not some crazy Celtics and Patriots. Those are the jerseys you picked out! Suddenly, Crip threw the jerseys at me. They hit me in the face, and hung off the side of my head. This is not happening. With shirts hanging from my head, I felt like a dirty clothes hamper. Byata, Crip gnashed his teeth, I asked you to do one thing. I showed you what I wanted, and told you the style I wanted. I cant believe you cant do the simplest of tasks. That was the last straw. Id had enough of this day, and Id had enough of Crip. Give me money for those jerseys, and the dinner, then you can drive me home. Crip scowled. Im not giving you a thing, and if you keep flapping that hole in your face, youll be walking home.

Crip, I demanded, pointing my finger in his face, give me my money, and take me home right now! On his way to the bathroom, he brushed past me. Then he used the bathroom with the door open. With my arms crossed, I tapped my foot, fighting back tears. After taking deep breaths, I tried again. Give me my money, and take me home, Crip. Naw. Im tired of you thinking its all about you. You aint running nothing up in here, with your selfish butt. Now, I was feeling cocky. Take me home right now, or Ill scream. Then, somebody will call the cops. Unwavering, Crip looked me directly in my eyes. You kill me with that noise coming from that hole in your face. You aint special. Im doing you a favor by giving you my time. Just as I handled my boy toys, Crips rules were the same. Give me my money! I opened my mouth, clenched my fist, then screamed at the top of my lungs. Hopefully, I was disturbing everybody in the apartment complex. Get out! Get out, now! Crip pulled me by the arm and shoved me outside. Then, he slammed the door behind me. Oh, heck naw. I banged on the door and kicked it. Youd better give me my money! Youre never going to be a professional baller. You cant even make 3 pointers. You bum! I kicked the door one last time. You dont even know how to treat a real woman.

Crip opened the door. He threw my purse outside, then tossed the jerseys on my head. When you see a real woman, give her my number. Again, he slammed the door in my face. Here I was, standing outside his apartment door with two shirts draped over my head. As I had planned, people started coming out of their apartments. However, they were laughing, pointing, and teasing me. I snatched the shirts off my head. With all the dignity I could muster, I dropped them in front of Crips door. Unfortunately, the crowd that was watching was all males. They cracked on me until I was no longer in their view. CHAPTER FIVE

Though embarrassed and humiliated, Seans scorned face popped into my mind. Is this how he felt? If so, I supposed I was getting what I deserved. Questioning myself, I walked down the street, tears streaming down my cheeks. How did I get to this place in my life? My best answer was karma. So, whats wrong with a girl looking out for herself? Its harmless fun, right? I had to call someone; I looked inside my clutch. My cell phone wasnt there. Just my luck, I must have dropped it in my bedroom, or somewhere around my house. Eventually, I started walking; hoping a taxi would drive by soon. Now, it was after midnight. At this hour, no woman should be alone. But, here I was, walking the street. Because I was the only one out, I became paranoid.

As I walked past a house, I heard the patter of a large dogs paws. They were running in my direction. My heart stopped; I wanted to run. Suddenly, a big German shepherd charged out of a yard, and started chasing me. I broke into a full run. Unfortunately, the dog was gaining on me. Like an idiot, I fell and broke my heel. Really? That only happens in the movies. When I hit the ground, the dog stopped chasing me. With his ears perked, he turned and looked behind him. Then he ran in the opposite direction. My hands were scraped, and my jeans were torn. Sitting on the ground, I prayed, God get me home safely. I got up and tried to walk. My shoes were making this simple task difficult. I took the other shoe off, then threw them both on the side of the street. They were ruined anyway. Barefooted and ashamed, I continued to walk. Although, I kept looking for a taxi, there was no such luck. My imagination kept playing tricks on me. I was seeing and hearing things that werent there. Scared out of my wits, I was ready to walk in the middle of the street. There, would be no bushes in the street. But, soon as I ventured into the street, a car appeared. I had to get back on the sidewalk. How I wished I had my cell phone. At least, I could call 911 or a taxi. The car slowed down, and I panicked. Trying to ignore the vehicle, I kept my head facing forward. My heart was beating so fast, I could hear it in my ears. I whimpered, then thought about running. Whoever it was might give chase, even so, I quicken my stride. When I heard a window rolling down, a lump formed in my throat. Byata!

Because the driver knew my name, I slowed down a little, trying to recognize the voice. Byata what are you doing out here? I stopped and looked, unable to make out his face from where I was standing. Byata. Its me. Sean. Sean. I had never been so happy to see Sean in my life. What are you doing out here this late at night, and where are your shoes? Of all the people to witness my humiliation, it was the person Id treated so badly. Embarrassed, I limped closer to the car. I bent down to look through the passengers window. Hi, Sean. Its been a long night. Whats going on? he asked urgently. Do you need a ride? Yes, I do. Opening the door, I thank God as I got inside. At this point, I didnt know what to say. After giving Sean directions to my house, there was silence between us. He wanted to know why I was walking in the wee hours of the morning with no shoes, and I knew it.

Gripping the steering wheel, he asked, Do you need to go to the hospital? No. Im all right. The least I could do was offer an explanation. I went to dinner with a jerk who stuck me with a $180.00 restaurant bill. Then he threw shirts I had bought for him, in my face. He called me a raggedy spider monkey, and then he kicked me out of his apartment. If that wasnt bad enough, Ive lost my cell, and got chased by a vicious dog.

After I fell and broke my heel, I threw my shoes away. Now, Im in your car. Wow. I, well ImI dont know what to say, Byata. Are you sure you dont need to go to the hospital? No. I just want to go home. I turned my face towards the window. There was no way I wanted Sean to see the tears running down my face. Sean, I know youre probably thinking I deserve what I got. Because of what I did to you todayI mean yesterday. He didnt answer for a few seconds. Byata, I dont think anyone, even you, should be left to find their way homeespecially being a woman. What you did to me was wrong, he rubbed his cheek, but I forgive you. I dont have time for grudges. Do you feel you somehow deserve this because of what you did to me? I sat there, pondering his question. At the time I did it, I wasnt thinking about Seans feelings, and I didnt care. Now that I know how it feels, Im ashamed of myself and I feel guilty. I didnt know what else to say. Im sorry. I blurted. Sean grinned. I accept your apology. Thank you, that means a lot to me. He stroked my shoulder to comfort me. Have you learned anything from tonight? His question annoyed me. Was he my parent now? The old me was stewing up a sarcastic remark, but I didnt want to get kicked to the curb. Walking on the streets at night had been a terrible experience. Yes I did. What did you learn? While he chuckled, his shoulders lurched. Annoyed, I jerked my head to look at him.

He simply stared at me. I learned, I cant treat people like dirt. Sean had put me into a selfanalyzing mode. Being in this position, I felt uneasy. It revealed how I made others feel. Now, I was learning, what goes around will come back, and then knock you on your butt. I didnt need to tell Sean that, he already knew. Are you going to kick me while Im down? If he had more to say, I wanted him to say it. At least we could be done with this. I was getting ticked, not with Sean, but with myself. No, Byata. If I made you feel that way, Im sorry. Can we just start over? I asked, feeling I needed to make it up to him. What do you mean? Hi, Im Byata. I held out my hand. Sean looked down at my hand. He smiled. We dont need to start over. Gently, he pushed my hand away. Thanks, Sean. Theres no need for that. I told you Id already forgiven you. Byata. Do you know what forgiveness is? The reason you dont know what forgiveness is, is because youve never apologized for the things youve done to people. You think its all about you, when its not. All about you creates situations youre in right now. Swallow your pride. Pick your face up off the floor. I get it Sean. I appreciate you telling me this. Its not that I wanted to treat you or anyone else badly. I just feel, or felt, I deserved the best. I didnt beat around the bush. I told you upfront.

But what about love, kindness, and emotionsloving someone for who they are? I want that too, Sean. But thats not what your actions, or your words show. Lifting my eyes, I took in Seans profile. Im going to work on that. I promise. Thats good. He pulled in front of my house. Thanks, for driving me home, Sean. Youre welcome. He lowered his voice. Can I offer a little advice? Sure. Find men who wont leave you stranded. Thats not cool, you know. Yeah, I sighed loudly. I know. I guess I have a lot of re-evaluating to do. Take care, Byata. An idea blossomed in my head. Sean, let me take you out to dinner, or at least to lunch. Sean smiled. He hesitated. I think Ill pass. Taken aback and confused I cringed. I thought you said youd forgiven me. I did. In hindsight, youre not the type of woman Id like to date again. Dang, Sean. Could you crush me anymore? No. I wasnt trying to crush you. I was just being honest. Honest with you, and honest with myself. See, Byata. The women I date are women I want to build a future with. When I went out with you, I was searching for

that special woman. Right away, you let me know, by your own accord, that you arent the one. I stared into Seans deep blue eyes. There was no malice, only sincerity. I respect that. Thanks again. After getting out of the car, I watched him drive off. Id messed up something promising and pure. As soon as I walked into the house, my cell phone was ringing. Following the sound, I found it glowing beneath my bed. It was Hydeia. Byata! Hey. Why havent you picked up your phone? Girl, I was going crazy! Why? Did you think something happened? Girl. Hydeia rambled frantically. All my friends are calling me. They said you and Crip got into it. He kicked you out of his apartment and made a fool of you. Hydeia. Please tell me you didnt call my parents looking for me. Closing my eyes, I prayed. No, but I was getting ready to call them. Sitting on the bed, I talked to Hydeia until the sun started the day. I told her everything from beginning to end. Of course, she thought I deserved a lot of it. But that was okay. I agreed. I had it coming. In hindsight, we know all things. Now, I had some growing to do. I still believe I deserve the best, but Ill depend on myself to get it. One day, Ill find someone to build a future withsomeone like Sean. Lets just say, Im a work in progress. There has been a lot of damage done in twenty-six years. Before I can build a future

with any man, I need to work on Byata. And, by the way, I still buy knockoffs. Later! ~The End~

Letitia P. Blount
Letitia P. Blount's love of writing began at the tender age of seventeen. When she felt she had stories to tell, she began writing novels and poetry. Letitia's greatest joy comes from writing poetry and fiction about real life situations. Her writings inspire and uplift her readers. Letitia and her family lives in Massachusetts.

Letitia P. Blount Copyrights 2011