1. Chapter 3: Bed-Stuy Brunch

     

    "Where are you?" 

    Chase hit send. She hated these bourgie brunch parties but the hostess was a family friend. Her sister, Liz, was supposed to be at her side verbally picking apart the hoi polloi of Bedford-Stuyvesant. She was running late and that was unlike her. Chase was furiously texting her to no avail and after a minute or two she threw her phone back into her purse.

    "I hope everything is alright" She thought. Her face must have looked strained when a voice from behind said "I hate these things too but damn. Who died, Ma?"

    His name was Tony and he introduced himself as the hostess’s brother. “I didn’t know Sunny had a brother.” Chase mused. “Well actually we have the same dad, different moms.” He replied. “We didn’t know each other until a few years ago” “Oh that explains it”. Chase had known Sunny since they were kids and Sunny had always been Super Bourgie. This young man could clearly not give two damns about whether the brie was imported or if the champagne in the mimosas was Andres Cold Duck or Vueve Cliquot.

    Whether or not the occasion called for it, Sunny always maintained an air of pretention in everything she did. In high school she was infamous for her lavish birthday parties. One year she had an overnight pool party at the Grace Hotel in Times Square. Another year she shuttled the entire 10th and 11th grade classes to Big Boulder Lodge in the Pocono’s for an all-expense paid ski trip. The kids had free reign to the lodge privately reserved for Miss Sundara McClean and 149 of her closest friends.

    "Wait, was that you in the silk pajamas at Sunny’s ski trip party?" Chase asked. "Oh you mean the red joints with the lipstick prints?" Shawn laughed, "Yep." He took the last swig of his bubbly like it was a shot of Henny. "I still got em too!" They cracked up. A few of the other guests looked over at them with obvious looks of annoyance. He had a hearty laugh that showed all 32 of his pearly whites. One of his incisors was rimmed with a gold cap. He was definitely from the other side of Sunny’s family tree.

    "I’m bout to top up," Tony said, shaking his empty champagne flute. “Would you like another?" "Sure," Chase smiled as she handed him her glass. As Shawn turned on his heels and cut through the crowd she thought about her new friend. He wasn’t drop dead fine but his face was pleasant. His chestnut brown complexion was clear and even, his shapeup was fresh and he smelled nice. With his straight teeth and a good sense of humor he wasn’t half bad company at this stuffy ass brunch. Bed-Stuy was now the Washington D.C of Brooklyn. Upwardly mobile out of towners loved it and as a result the cost of living skyrocketed with each new wave of transplants.  He almost made her forget she was still waiting for her sister. Liz still hadn’t responded to her text and now her calls were going straight to voicemail. Something was up.

    Tony returned with two fresh flutes of bub with a plate of cheese, crackers and fruit delicately balanced on top. One of the fruits rolled to the edge of the plate,  fell in one of the flutes and bobbed to the top. A couple minutes passed when Sunny came by their little corner to mingle.

    “Tony! I hope you’re not harassing my company.” She chided playfully. “Chase let me know if he gets out of hand.”

    Tony’s face was that of mock surprise. “Me? Out of hand? Never!”

    Chase giggled before taking a nibble of cheese. “He’s good Sunny, he’s lucky he’s cute or I’d spill the beans on what he said about your look.”

    Sunny’s outfit for the brunch party was a bright yellow romper with military-esque epaulettes on the shoulders, a belted waist and deep pockets. Despite the August heat her thigh high boots were the exact same shade of canary in suede. Her makeup was even louder than the jumpsuit: cobalt blue eye shadow, heavy lashes, blush, concealer, a contoured nose and a bright pink lip. Sunny was proof that money couldn’t buy taste. She was a sweetheart but couldn’t dress to save her life. Out of all her friends Chase and Liz were the ones who kept it real when she needed it. She had a tendency to get defensive though.

    Sunny looked down and huffed up her shoulders. “What’s wrong with my outfit? I’ll have you know this romper was custom made and these boots are from Sak’s – they haven’t even been put on the sales floor yet.”

    “Now, now. No need to get indignant, boo.” Chase purred, “your brother was just saying how much you reminded him of his favorite TV show character.” Sunny’s face softened. “Oh really? Who?” Tony smirked, unaware of where Chase was going with this. “Yeah, Chase. Who?” he asked.

    “April O’Neil from the Ninja Turtles!”

    Chase could barely contain her laughter and Tony spat out a mouthful of champagne as he doubled over in tears. Sunny’s face went from blank confusion to seething anger in seconds.  Her nostrils flared as she wiped a glob of spittle from her brow.

    “Chase,” she growled, “meet me in my room. Right. Now.”

    “Ooooh” Tony joked, “You in trouble.”

    Chase laughed it off. “Hush. I’ll be right back.”

    Sunny’s bedroom was more than a room and less than an actual apartment.  The bedroom itself was flanked by a full bathroom, dressing room and walk in closet. She might be a terrible dresser but that didn’t stop her from shopping. The ten-foot deep walk in closet was packed to the brim with expensive designer duds; sequined Cavalli gowns, floral Pucci silks, red bottomed Louboutins. Too bad the colors were off and the fits didn’t compliment her body type. Chase was turning the seams on a studded Balmain jacket when Sunny burst in the room.

    “What the fuck, Chase?”

    “Sunny I was just joking.” Chase started, “You know I get silly when I drink.”

    “It’s not just that.”

    Sunny went to her vanity and pulled out a mini train case, a vintage Samsonite. She popped the latches open and revealed a dozen or so small jars inside. A sliding top tray held a few varieties of rolling options: grape Dutchmaster cigars, White Owls, Zig Zag papers, Rizzler from her latest trip to Jamaica and a pack of vanilla Entourage. She reached for her grinder and motioned for Chase to hand her a folded postcard from her dresser.

    “Girl Scout Cookies or Purple Train Wreck?” Sunny asked.

    “Hmm. I’m not in the mood to pass out. I gotta meet Liz when I leave.”

    “Girl Scout Cookies it is.”

    “So what’s the problem, Sunny?”

    Sunny began crushing. “I just got tapped to be the next lifestyle editor of Mixxy.”

    “What? That’s great. What’s wrong with that?”

    “The problem is I have to do a staff shoot and, as you so loudly put it, I can’t dress my way out of a paper bag.” Sunny looked deflated at her admission but she continued. “I trust you Chase. I just didn’t expect you to embarrass me at my own damn house. The Editor in Chief of Mixxy was standing right behind me.”

    “Was she the light skin woman in the red fro?” Chase asked.

    "Yes."

    Chase felt a pit of shame welling inside her chest. “Oh fuck. Sunny. I’m sorry. I was just joking.”

    Sunnys shoulders slumped a little. “It’s fine Chase. I was just really trying to impress Andrienne. I don’t even think she likes me but my dad golfs with her dad so….”

    Leave it to Sunny to let nepotism work for her. 

    "In any event, Chase, since I obviously need help maybe you can be my stylist?"

    It had been a week since Chase put in her unemployment claim. She had tried not to think about her overdue rent, empty fridge and the turn off notices for both the gas and the electricity. Sunny didn’t know any of that but Chase knew if she did she would never hear the end of it. 

    "I mean, that’s if you have time. I know you’re so busy at the agency these days." Sunny went on, "I could really use the help though, girl."

    Chase took a pull and kept her responses cool and even. She didn’t need to raise any suspicions. “When is the shoot exactly?”

    "Next week Friday. I’ll give you $400 plus expenses to pull 2 looks together for me."

    Four hundred dollars would at least keep the landlady at bay. Lights, gas and food be damned. 

    "Sure, Sunny. I gotchu."

    "Oh gosh, Chase, thanks so much. I really need this." Sunny looked down at her outfit, "How about you style me something right quick to celebrate our new venture? I can’t go back out there looking like this."

    Chase smirked. Leave it to Sunny to be extra. “No prob, babe. Give me a second. I gotta make a call.”

    Once in the hall, away from Sunny’s prying eyes and ears Chase checked her messages. There was a text from Liz:

    GUESS WHAT? I GOT A NEW JOB!

    Chase smiled and wrote back:

    NO SHYT! I GOT ONE TOO!

     

     

    Comments
     

  2. My #wcw is dedicated to my top 3 favorite black authors. Octavia E. Butler, Zadie Smith and the Queen of black folk anthropology Zora Neale Huston. #inspiration #writing #authors

     

  3. It’s about that time. Your text messages bout to be lit. All the exes of cuffin seasons past will come out of the woodwork. Be cuffed if you want but don’t get desperate and settle for a bum you wouldn’t be seen with in public! #psa #cuffingseason #settlingisforsuckers

     

  4. Tag someone you know. It’s not for myself but for an artist who will be performing at the Out Jazz festival. I’m offering cash money AND pics for your port. None of that TFP stuff! #philly #mua #makeupartistneeded #paidgigs

     

  5. Yo, dead ass, we on that New York shit, juheard? #straightcheese #staywildin #wildny #Brooklyn

     


  6. Chapter 2: Team Beach

    The sun was high and so was the humidity. On days like this there wasn’t anywhere Liz wanted to be but on the beach. Her straw tanning mat strapped across her back Liz made her way to the boardwalk. Brighton Beach was buzzing with the sounds of Puerto Ricans and young Black folk. Pushing through the crowds of rowdy teenagers, Liz made her way to the quieter, Russian dominated Ocean Parkway side of the beach. Old folks in their skimpy swimwear made her happy. This was her Sunday morning joy; her weekly commune with the Spirits. Clutching her sandals in one hand she tip toed barefoot across the hot sand. Everything was as she left it: calm, serene and inviting. The sky was a perfect shade of cornflower blue. Not a cloud to be found.

    Liz dropped her bag and shoes before spreading her mat out. A nearly empty bottle of tanning oil rolled out of her tote before she stopped it with her foot. Stripping down to her bikini and giving herself a few obligatory sprays, Liz tossed the bottle under the canvas bag and headed to the water. It was warm. The waves lapped at her ankles and calves as she waded out into the sea. Diving into the water headfirst, her entire body tensed then relaxed as her body became acclimated to the temperature.

    "I needed this" she murmured as she rolled on her back and floated across the water. "Fucking Nature Foods is gonna make me crazy."

     The waves were choppier than last week but she didn’t mind.  Every week Liz fought with her manager at the organic supermarket where she begrudgingly worked. She couldn’t understand why a job that only paid minimum wage felt so entitled to her time. She had been there 4 weeks and it was hell to get Sundays off. Ultimately she ended up claiming religious reasons to excuse her out of Sunday shifts and that wasn’t a total lie; Sundays were for recalibrating and refreshing her ashe. And she always brought little gifts to the sea. Today she gave seven pennies.

    Way out, past the eyes of the lifeguard an old woman in a floral swim cap was doing laps. Her arms moved fluidly through the rougher waters while her head bobbed in and out of view. After 15 minutes she retreated to her mat, oiled herself up for a second time and proceeded to bake. She wasn’t 5 minutes in when she felt something black her sun.

    "Sorry to bother you, love, but do you have a light?"

    She opened her eyes to a squint to see a young blonde guy standing over her.

    "My bad, were you sleeping?" He asked. He had a sharp accent that Liz couldn’t exactly place. "Nah, just getting my tan on" She replied as she rolled over and rifled through her tote to fish out a green Bic lighter.

    "Thanks," he paused to light his thin cigarette. Liz didn’t recognize the filter. It must’ve been one of the local Russian brands.  He inhaled deeply before tossing the lighter back to her and flipping the carton in her direction, offering Liz a bone.

    “No thanks” she declined, “only greens for me.”

    He took another drag and smiled brightly. “Why didn’t you say so?”

    He walked off and Liz resumed tanning. Five minutes had passed when she felt the weight of a body on her mat.

    “Here.”

    Not one to be rude to a blunt Liz inspected the L before taking a pull. It smelled and tasted delicious.

    “Oh yeah, I’m D.” He said while extending his hand.

    “D?” Liz inquired, “just D?”

    She took a final pull before passing it back to him.

    “Yeah. Dmitri. Dmitri Demisovski.”

    “Demisovski? That’s Russian?”

    “Yeah but technically I’m Albanian.”

    He was about 6 feet even with a slightly tanned complexion and a medium build. He looked like he moved cinder blocks all day but his hands were smoother than baby toes so he definitely wasn’t a construction worker. His eyes were a sharp, cerulean blue and his face was expressionless, even while talking. The air around him was electric but Liz couldn’t exactly put her finger on how or why she felt comfortable enough to sit and smoke with him. He looked like a cop but he didn’t feel like one of the boys so she let her guard down. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a Ziploc baggie with about a half an ounce of bud in it.

    “Ayo, what you doing?” Liz said, nervously looking around. “The boys are out here. You wildin’.”

    Dmitri smirked and reached into his other pocket for his rolling papers. He plucked off a nugget before sealing the baggie and putting it away. His fingers worked diligently to break down the bud before he rolled a perfect joint. It took less than a minute.

    “Babes. I don’t worry about these things. You shouldn’t worry about them either.” Dmitri took a long drag and smiled. “I was raised down here. I haven’t been back in a few years but as it turns out, I actually own that building right there.” He pointed to a mid-rise brick building right off the boardwalk that looked about 6 stories high.

    “Oh really?” Liz’s ears perked up. She was in the middle of studying for her real estate license and she was open to the idea of having work before she even got certified. “How many units are in that building?”

    “About 48.”

    “About?”

    “Yeah, years ago my babushka converted 3 of the units on the top floor into one apartment.” He tipped his ashes in the sand and passed the L back to Liz. “That’s where I’m staying now.”

    Liz pressed on, “So how many units you have available right now?”

    “15.”

    “15!” she yelped “Man, you playing games. That’s a damn gold mine. What are you waiting on?”

    Dmitri’s eyes flashed and he smirked. “I guess I was waiting for you. What you know about moving units, ma?”

    Elizabeth Sanchez was and would always be a hustler. She didn’t get too excited about anything New York City had to offer these days but when she did get hype off an idea she couldn’t contain it. His double entendre had gone straight over her head; she was too busy coming up with a marketing plan and was negotiating her commissions. Nature Food was not big enough to fund her lofty ambitions. That damn real estate class couldn’t be done with fast enough either. She reached back into her tote for her phone and saw the missed calls from Chase. She’d call her as soon as she got back to the block, right now she was too busy setting up her once in a lifetime real estate opportunity.

    “So you don’t have a broker or a property manager?” she quizzed.

    “Hold up ma, I aint say all that.” Dmitri laughed. “Slow down. Take my number. Let’s talk about this over dinner.”

    “Dinner?”

    “Yup, tonight. At my place.”

    “Your place?” she was eager for the chance to make money but she wasn’t dumb. Going to some strange mans house was dangerous business.

    “Oh my bad, ma. I aint tryna scare you. I forget this is Brooklyn. You don’t know me. I get it. Bring a friend or two. I promise I won’t bite.”

    “Hmmm we’ll see. I might pass through with my sister.”

    “No doubt.” He motioned for her to pass him her phone. “Here’s my number and my email. Don’t be a stranger, ma. Let’s get this money.”

    Comments
     

  7. #TBT Me and my sis @trezureempire for @getdecd. I miss sewing….

     

  8. 2 years ago I big chopped again. It grows. #bigchop #naturalhair #teamnatural #blowout #napptural #noperm #dontneedit #thatswhatweaveisfor

     

  9. Maferefun Yemaya. The Mother of all fishes. We are your fishes and you are our gentle mother and our fierce protector. Today we honor your essence. Headed to the beach to celebrate! #mafarefunyemaya #orisha #yemaya #yemoja #santeria

     

  10. Ray Donovan mini marathon to get my mind right. #guiltypleasure #ioneemwatchtv #butthisismyshit #hesstillsabretooth #raydonovan

     

  11. Shhhh don’t tell ma dukes but I just copped these #Jordan Taxi’s from @rumorsboutique and I’m hype to whip out my leather paints and get that restoration poppin. Im thinking gold accents after I clean up the white. Ugh I friggin love kicks! #chicksinkicks #sneakerhead #kicks #sneakers #restoration #thrift #decd

     

  12. Chapters 2 and 3 getting tweaked and edited. I’m gonna give yall something to look forward to on Thursdays like Scandal. #wildny #yallgonnalovethis #Brooklyn #todayIGtomorrowNYTbestsellerslist #novelist #inprogress #TBT

     

  13. Aww shit, Chase. #youknowyoufuckedupright ? Are you lost? Go to getdecd.com/wild-ny to get caught up #aintyourrentdue #chasegetsfired #wildny #Brooklyn #writing #novelist #VictoriaChase #TBT #throwbackthursday

     

  14. Allow me to reintroduce myself : my name is Nikki Buchanan and I write. For the next couple weeks for #throwbackthursday I will be posting chapters and snippets of my novel-in-progress, “Wild, NY”. Check out the 1st chapter on my site http://www.getdecd.com/wild-ny/ #TBT #wildny #writing #Brooklyn #getdecd #todayIGtomorrowNYTbestsellerslist #novelist

     


  15. Chapter 1: Chase Gets Fired

    It was Friday and Chase was fired. After months of skating on thin ice, kissing major management ass and doing special assignments, Victoria Chase was officially unemployed. It’s not like she was shocked. For the past 3 weeks she had begrudgingly taken up the urgent projects, slacked until the point of no return and had pretty much done a shoddy job whenever she could get away with it. When her manager tried to throw her a bone and asked Chase if she needed more time to complete the task she lied with a straight face and a steady hand. I’ll get it done, Amarilys, she assured her. It’ll be on your desk first thing monday morning. On sunday night she made an executive decision to leave the spreadsheets unfinished along with the powerpoint presentation she had been assigned to prepare for her boss’s conference call with the company’s controller. Maybe it was a subconscious jab at Amarilys since Chase was the one who had been passed over for the position and as a slap in the face she had been the one to train her as their department’s new supervisor. For weeks Chase did all of the work while Amarilys took early liquid lunches with her best friend, Tanya, after which they’d come back to the office sloshed and hammered while Chase toiled away like some new age Cinderella. Tanya DeLeon was a few rungs higher on the ladder than Amarilys and they both were terribly incompetent. That’s the thing about corporate that Chase couldn’t get with; those who knew what to do were at the bottom, those with shit for brains were at the top. When Chase’s old supervisor was fired she just knew she was a shoe-in for the empty position. After all, Tanya had come straight to her to keep things running smoothly while they searched for a replacement. Victoria, we really need you, she said. It’ll only be a few weeks, she said. Chase hadn’t really wanted the position but she knew the work so after 6 weeks of department limbo she was pissed about having to train her new supervisor. This was the way of the corporate jungle. She had given so much resistance to Tanya that once she had effectively trained Amarilys she wasn’t shocked that she was put on a special project of doing absolutely nothing. That’s how things were done in corporate; first they agitate you, then they extract what they need and give you busy work while they figure out how to get rid of you. Then once your purpose has been served, and only after they have gotten every ounce of work out of your ass, they terminate you. It’s all so cut and dried that by the time HR calls you in you know what it is. 

    Chase walked into the conference room, saw the stack of papers in front of the human resource assistant and heaved a heavy sigh as she sat down.

    “Good morning, Miss Chase” the assistant began “I’m sorry to inform you -”
    Chase held up a hand to interject “I’m fired. I know the drill. Now where do I sign?”
    The assistant stammered and nervously rifled through her stack of papers, trying to regain her train of thought. Chase clicked her pen, signed the papers and declined an exit interview. “Victoria, you’ve worked here for over 5 years, at least write something down in the notes here” she flipped the paper towards Chase and placed the pen on top. Chase scribbled something quickly before signing the bottom of the page and walking out of the office. The HR assistant’s eye’s went wide when she read Chase’s final words “You all can suck my dick from the back. PEACE.” 

    Everyones best career advice always began and ended with the age old adage “Don’t burn your bridges”. Chase had done more than burn the bridge; she had soaked it in gasoline before lighting a blunt and tossing the match over her shoulder. She didn’t need to go back to her desk to pack up, she had already brought her personal items home weeks ago. Her desk was totally absent of the personal touches that decorated the cubicle she had called home for the past 5 years. She had just swiped her metrocard at the subway and was descending the stairs to her platform when she realized the HR assistant had never mentioned severance or unemployment benefits. None of the papers she took from Human Resources made mention of it either. Maybe they’ll give me the severance on my next check, she thought. She made a mental note to call the department of labor first thing next week. 

    She was finally free to do whatever she wanted so what did she want? The train pulled in and since it was the middle of the workday she had her pick of seats in the empty car. She chose a window seat, took a dog eared notebook out of her purse and began to write. Ink spread on the pages like wildfire as she dumped the contents of her mind onto the page. It was an old writing exercise her HS english teacher had drilled into her head and every time Chase did it she felt clearer. Even if the pages didn’t make sense, after revisiting them a few times she was able to make heads and tails of it. She had scratched out 2 pages and was turning for the 3rd when she realized she was about to miss her stop. 

    Fighting through the closing doors she exited the car and decided to head over to Pearl’s Place to get some lunch and talk with Yessie. Yessenia Brown was one of Chase’s oldest friends and confidants. Temperamentally, they were as different as night and day. Where Yessie was meek, Chase was boisterous and where Yessie was reserved, Chase let it all hang out. If Yessie was a mixed drink she would be a Bahama Mama or something frilly with a paper umbrella. Chase was a whiskey straight, no chaser, kind of girl. Naturally, they clashed but more often than not, they balanced one another out. Yessie worked full time at Pearl’s Place, the restaurant her mother and aunties had opened 25 years ago in Crown Heights and much to Yessie’s chagrin the eponymous Pearl still worked there everyday. Mrs. Brown loved the hustle and bustle of the shop and even though the kids nagged her about it she refused to sit down. Instead, she micromanaged every inch of the business and simultaneously drove Yessie and her cousins absolutely crazy. 

    When Chase walked up to Pearl’s she saw Yessie’s cousin, Amir tending to the jerk chicken on the grill. She quietly snuck up behind him and placed her hands over his eyes. 

    “Guess who?” she giggled 
    He held her hands and spun around, smiling broadly then going stone serious when he finally realized who the hands belonged to. “Oh, it’s just you.” He deadpanned “ I was hoping for Tyra Banks.” He kept a straight face for all of 20 seconds, just long enough for Chase to feel slightly embarrassed, before cracking up raucously. She playfully punched him on the shoulder before he kissed her on the cheek. “Where’s my girl?” she asked “The same place she always is, Chase.” He replied, pointing his lips towards the kitchen. The big lunch rush was just clearing out and a few patrons were at the tables sitting around. Ms. Pearl herself was seated next to a giant of a man who wore his long thick locs in a bun high on his head. They were both deep in the midst of what appeared to be some big debate, when Chase got closer to the table she realized Ms. Pearl and the dread were deep in someone else’s private affairs. She knew it was gossip because she had given Auntie Pearl a kiss on the cheek and was halfway behind the counter before she heard Ms. Pearls’ Jamaican lilt over the hum of the kitchen music. 

    “Lawd forgive me babes, mi neva even see when yuh come in.” Pearl checked her watch “But wait. True seh unno wuk dese hours, yah?” 

    Chase knew better than to tell a Jamaican mother that she had been fired from her “good job with benefits” so she did what any other sane person who values their peace of mind would do. She lied. “Auntie, it’s just a summer Friday. I’m off early.” Luckily for her Ms. Pearl was still in the throes of gossip and she was dramatically hollering “Kiss mi neck!” to punctate some seemingly crucial turning point to the rastaman’s story. Chase was in the clear. 

    Yessie was in the back of the kitchen cutting dough into triangles for pastries when Chase found her. She was covered in flour to the elbows and couldn’t give a hug so they gave each other kisses on the cheek before Yessie’s eyes widened. 

    “They finally did it?!” Yessie said a little too loudly. Chase shot her a stern look before nervously looking out front. Ms. Pearl was still minding other people’s business. 

    “Yes” she whispered “And will you keep your voice down, your mother already suspects something.” 

    Yessie rolled her eyes knowingly as she cut another perfect triangle of dough “She’s always suspecting something. My mother could make the pope confess to murder.” She sprinkled a bit more flour on the table before rolling out another section of dough. “So what are you gonna do? Did they at least make it worth your while?” Yessie’s face changed from support to sheer horror once Chase gave her the quick and dirty breakdown of the morning’s events. 

    “You told them WHAT?” she yelped

    “SHHHHHHH” Chase clapped a hand over Yessie’s mouth. She peeked out front again and saw Ms. Pearl’s head turn slightly “Wah unno a shout bout? Is this a restaurant or a dancehall?!” 

    “Sorry, Auntie. We’ll keep it down.” Chase assured her. She slowly removed her hand from Yessie’s mouth. “I didn’t say it, per se” she started “I just had to get it off my chest.” “Well, damn Chase, you didn’t have to burn the bridge like that. I told you to put in your two weeks notice a month ago.” “Yessie I didn’t come here for a lecture. Plus, this is not the place to talk about this” Amir burst into the kitchen with a pan of jerk chicken quarters fresh from the grill. Both girls looked at him as he set the pan on the cutting board. “Not the place to talk about what?” Amir had a penchant for gossip that rivaled his Aunt. The girls stared blankly at him. They knew better to tell Amir anything; he couldn’t hold water. “Well you gonna whisper like Auntie can’t hear you or you gonna chop this up?” He asked. Chase washed her hands and lifted an apron off the hook before grabbing the cleaver. As she separated the thighs from the drumsticks she gave Yessie a look and mouthed “we’ll talk about this later” behind Amir’s back. He turned around quickly to try and catch her but Chase was quicker. Amir quinted his eyes and smirked while Chase shot him a sickeningly sweet smile back.  Yessie sighed and continued to cut dough. Chase could only imagine what her sister Liz would have to say about this new development. She would cross that bridge when the time came. 

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