On a gloomy cloudy day, a woman sits in her car with her head down on the steering wheel in a parking lot across from an apartment. From the apartment, a woman comes out, walks to the car, & enters the passenger side.
She notices her head down. “Girl you look a mess.” She chuckles
The woman lifts her head up, shakes her head, & stares straight ahead.
“Girl I’m so pissed right now, you remember that lip gloss you got me for my birthday? I think it got lost. Was looking all for it before you came.”
The woman stays silent.
“You good girl? Ain’t you suppose to be at work today?”
“I took off.” The woman replies
“Okay girl, whats going on? Because you just don’t take a day off.”
The woman took a deep breath. “Darrell’s cheating on me Tiffany. I know it this time.”
“Girl no he ain’t, he know better. Essence we had this talk how many times now?”
“I just feel like I keep being lied to.”
Tiffany shakes her head. “Girl I keep telling you he’s not like the others. He don’t want none of them dirty hoes out there. All his exes can’t even compare to you & he knows that.”
Essence continues to stare ahead.
“So you gonna be that kind of girl & start trying to stalk him or something? Look, I know he wouldn’t do that.”
“And how do you know?”
“Well because Anika had tried to talk to him a few weeks ago.”
“Chill, she wasn’t serious at all. She was like, testing him to see if he was real or not. Here I’ll show you the texts.”
Tiffany pulls out her phone & scrolls through the messages between Anika & Darrell to show Essence. “You see? He’s not like that Essence. Ya’ll been together for a minute. He really loves you.”
“He never told me about that.”
“Well, maybe to not have you worrying & acting like this.”
“I can’t get the thought out of my head.”
“Gosh girl stop thinking like this. He don’t even hang with his bros like that since ya’ll been together cuz he knows they’d try & pressure him to mess with other girls. Ya’ll even live together! Ya’ll see each other everyday, sleep together everyday. I wish he would give that up for some hoe. Remember what I told him what we’d do if he did?”
“Yeah I do.”
“Right, so he know the deal. He ain’t gonna hurt you girl.”
Essence took another deep breath. “Did you ever like him?” She asked
“What do you mean?”
“Did you ever like him?”
“If I didn’t, I wouldn’t trust him to be with you. Watchu think I “like” him like him?”
“Essence, I can’t believe you’re asking me this. You think I’d be that type to try & take what you have?”
Essence says nothing.
“How long have we been friends?!”
“Since middle school….”
“Since middle school exactly. We’ve been through hell & back, I was there for you all the time as you was for me. I helped you through all the hell as you helped me. I put my full trust in you as you did with me. Girl how the hell could you think I’d be the one to betray you like this. I been telling you all this time that nothing is going on & that you need to stop assuming things. Its making you go crazy. You know I wouldn’t do anything to jeopardize our friendship girl. All the times I tried warning you about the wrong ones you ain’t wanna listen til you got heartbroken. Now I’m telling you myself that this is the right one & you think I’m lying & that I along with all them other hoes are tryna play you. Can’t believe you right now Essence.”
Essence pulls something out of her pocket & tosses it to Tiffany’s lap.
Tiffany picks it up & looks at her. “You had my lip gloss?”
“No. I found it.”
Essence still staring off in front of her, takes another deep breath. “It was in our bedroom.”
Essence pulls out her phone & scrolls through her photo album. “Our neighbor sent me this the other day.” She shows her a picture of her leaving their house along with scrolling to other pictures of her & Darrell kissing each other goodbye. She’s wearing the same outfit as the one in the pictures.
Tiffany says nothing.
Essence pulls out another phone. “I took Darrell’s phone this morning.” She scrolls through his messages & finds her name with heart, kiss, & ring emojis. She shows her the phone & all the messages that they’ve been sending to each other. “You two planned to see each other again today while I was at work.”
“I can’t believe for the past few months, the person I’ve been through hell & back with, the person I was there for as she was for me, the girl who I helped as she helped me, the girl I put my full trust in as she did with me, the girl I thought would never betray me, the girl that I would never do anything to jeopardize our friendship, was all over the man that she says loves me & would never hurt me. The person that I can’t believe just lied directly to me about everything.” She begins to cry.
“So you did like him all this time?” Essence cries. “You were jealous that I had him first?”
Tiffany says nothing again.
“I just need to know…..why did you lie the same way he did?” Essence cries
“Essence, I know you you’re worried about getting hurt again. I know you think everyone is trying to play you & take whats yours. And the thought is driving you crazy to where you’re obsessed with finding out if he’s truly cheating to where you think anyone is a suspect. Including me, your own best friend that you know within your heart wouldn’t hurt or deceive you.”
“I am not going crazy. I know I’m not!” Essence cries
“Then do this one favor for me Essence. Wake up….” Her voice to wake up echoes in Essence’s mind
“Wake up, wake up!” Tiffany shakes Essence trying to wake her as she lies her head on the steering wheel.
Essence pops up & looks around quickly realizing she’s in front of Tiffany’s apartment.
“Girl you look a mess.” Tiffany chuckles “I’m so pissed right now, you remember that lip gloss you got me for my birthday? I think it got lost. Was looking all for it before you came.”
Essence feels the lip gloss in her pocket.