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Another Excerpt from If It Don⿿t Hurt... It Ain⿿t Love

Truth be told, I don't feel like going anywhere tonight. Semaj was at his friend's, Jason, house for the night and this was the first time in a long time that I had been alone. Peace and quiet finally. I loved my son dearly but he wore me out. He just turned fourteen and he looked more and more like his father everyday. Acted like him too with that hot %#&@$! temper. I looked in the mirror again and checked out my style from head to toe. I could use a new wardrobe. I borrowed my dress from Vatyra last year. I loved the way it fit. It was a honey colored, ankle length silk dress with a split up the center of my left thigh. I paired it up with a pair of opened-toed sandals. I had on a pair of beige thongs that I bought from Kat's boutique, After Moonlight, but you could see the outline on the top of my %#&@$! so I took them off. As I was taking them off the phone rang. I went to the charger and of course it wasn't where it was supposed to be. Where could it⿦? Semaj. I headed straight for his room and ignored the Do Not Enter skull and cross bones sign on the door. The ringing got louder.

"Pew," I said, holding my nose. "That boy better get this %#&@$! cleaned up."

%#&@$! was everywhere. Clothes, trash, Tims, movies, magazines, rubbers, baseball caps⿦ wait. Rubbers? I forgot the phone and made a b-line to the pair of Tims in the middle of the floor that had a box of Trojans sticking out of one. I picked up the box, correction, I picked up the empty box and felt sick. My mind went in a hundred different directions. My child was having sex. I bet it was that little fast %#&@$! Denise from up the block that kept ringing my phone. Just then, the large pile of clothes on Semaj's bed started ringing. I sifted through it until I found the phone.


"Hey are you ready? If we get there before 11:00 ladies get in free and the first round of drinks are free." Kat's voice boomed through the phone lines.

I looked at the digital clock on Semaj's nightstand. 10:02 pm.

"I wasn't really feeling all that well, Kat. I'm gonna stay in."

"No, %#&@$!, you keep whining about how you never get to go nowhere. Now you have a baby sitter and you don't want to go? What is it, you broke?"

"Why I gotta be broke?"

"I'm just saying the first round of drinks is free and if we move it now we can get in free. %#&@$! at least stay for one round of drinks."

"It's not that, I just don't feel like partying tonight. Look, I just found an empty box of rubbers in my fourteen-year-old son's room. I'm about to go get some answers."

"%#&@$!, at least he had sense enough to use rubbers."

"I'm not in the mood anymore."

"Too bad, I'm on my way. Be ready."

Dial tone⿦

"No⿦ Kat... Hello?" %#&@$!, she didn't hear a damn word I said. Oh well, she'll be knocking on the door of an empty house. I jumped out that dress and into some jeans and a sponge bob T-shirt and raced to Jason's house. Semaj begged to spend the night, insisting he was too old for a sitter.

"Yo moms what's up?" Semaj asked as he followed me back to the car parked in front of Jason's house.

"Get in the damn car." I headed back home with Semaj asking me a hundred questions about why I pulled him out of a make-out session at Jason's house.

"I didn't even know those girls would be there. I swear," he lied.

"Can I have my receipt, Semaj?"
"What receipt?" he asked with a puzzled look on his face.

"Well, since you think that I'm buying your bull%#&@$!, I want a goddamn receipt," I yelled. He finally got the picture and didn't say another word. I pulled up into the driveway and Semaj hopped out and ran to the house to open the door.

"Stop, Semaj. Go stand in the living room." He stopped in his tracks and turned to face me, huffing and puffing.

"Empty your pockets," I told him as I plopped down on the couch and removed my Tims.

I looked up at him. He was at least twelve inches taller than me. I just knew he had a pocket full of rubbers for that make-out party. How could I not have known he was having sex, or even thinking about having it? I had a safe-sex-and-respect-women speech all worked out. Damn!

"I gotta go use the can." He turned to leave.

"Boy, what did I say?" Semaj took a couple of steps toward the coffee table and began emptying his pockets. Keys, change, crumpled up dollars and a piece of paper with a phone number on it. He just looked at me.

"All this 'cause you caught me kissing some chick?" he mumbled.

"Excuse me little boy what did you say?" He done lost his damn mind.


"Some chick??? What's her name Semaj?"

"I think its Sheila."

"You think?" I mumbled. "You couldn't take the time to learn her name?"

"It's Sheila, ma. Her name is Sheila," he said and started to turn toward his room. "She's in my science class."

"Turn your pockets inside out." Semaj stopped in his tracks. He didn't even turn around.

"I already emptied everything, ma."

"Then you should have no problems." Semaj sighed. Instead of turning his pockets inside out he reached in his right front pocket and pulled out three items and put them on the table. All I could do was stare at the items on the table.

"Ma, I can explain." His voice broke me out of my trance and fueled my rage. A rage I had never felt before, not even when a cop came to my hospital room after I had given birth to Semaj to tell me he made a mistake and killed my boyfriend. Not even when that same cop handed me a bloody jewelry box with a two-carat diamond engagement ring that was found in James' pocket.

"I didn't raise no god-damn junkie," I yelled at the top of my lungs. I grabbed one of my Tims off the floor and hurled it at him and hit him square in the chest. I grabbed the other boot and charged at my son, hitting him repeatedly with it. I stood there yelling and cursing as I beat on him until I felt my arms being yanked back and I was being forced on the couch.

"What the hell is going on here?" Vatyra yelled. She must have let herself in with the spare key I gave her. She walked over to Semaj and looked at his swollen and bloody face. "Damn, Tamia, look at this boy."

"All this for some rubbers? I'm glad you're not my mom," Kat said as she sat next to me on the couch. She must have come in with Vatyra. I forgot all about the damn rubbers. I just stared at Semaj standing there, holding his arm close to his chest and looking at me with puppy eyes.

"Semaj?" Vatyra asked. "What the hell is going on here?" He didn't answer. "Tamia?" All I could do was point to the table.

"Whose is that?" Vatyra asked, but she already knew. I pointed to Semaj.

"Semaj, that your weed? This your lighter and blunt? 'Aunt Ty, can I get a few dollars?' What, you got me supporting your habit?"

"No, but, Aunt Ty,"

"No, what, Semaj? No that's not your weed or no I'm not supporting you habit?" Vatyra looked like she was about to kick Semaj's %#&@$! again. And you know what? I would have let her.

"Let that boy get himself cleaned up," Kat said walking toward Semaj. "Boy, I didn't get all dressed up tonight to save your life. Go to your room, grown folks gonna talk about you now." Kat walked back to the table and picked up the bag of weed and blunt. She ran the blunt under her nose, inhaling deeply, and then she dropped both items into her purse. "So we still going or what?"

Selfish %#&@$!.