The Strangest Compliment: Episode Two

In this episode, I received not one, but two strange compliments from a girl that I consider a friend. The first compliment wasn’t weird or crazy, but it was an unexpected compliment that made me feel some type of way. It was a compliment that she didn’t give to her boyfriend at the time, but she wasn’t afraid to give me this compliment. I didn’t necessarily know how to respond to the compliment, but I think that I gave a reasonable response. The other compliment was more of a realization of where I stand as her friend. It’s a compliment that I think a lot of guys get, but they don’t know nothing about it. Let me tell you all about it.

Last summer, I was hanging out with my friend Rosa at Taco Bell on a Saturday afternoon. It had been a while since I hung out with Rosa, and it was nice to have an opportunity to catch up with her. At Taco Bell, we both got Doritos Locos Tacos and some drinks. We’re sitting down, taking bites of our tacos and we start to realize that there’s something missing in our tacos. We both smiled and realized that we needed some hot sauces on our tacos. So, I got up and went to get a handful of different sauces for our tacos. I brought the sauces back to our table, and we went crazy and drenched our tacos with hot sauces. Then, we started eating our tacos with pure satisfaction.

After we were done eating, we started talking, sharing a few laughs and catching up. I ended up telling her about this girl that I had been on one date with and how there was something strange about her. Rosa was excited and ready for me to spill the tea. So, I explained that on my first date with this girl, she was talking about being exclusive.

Rosa was surprised to hear this and said, “Wait a minute, she asked if you wanted to be exclusive on the first date? That’s interesting, but I know that must’ve freaked you out.”

Rosa knows me and knows that I don’t believe in putting all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, I don’t believe in hopelessly chasing after ONE girl and putting all your time and energy into that ONE girl, even after one date. I think that it takes time and 5-7 dates to determine if you want to be exclusive with that person. Also, I think it’s okay to be talking to other girls, while you’re dating someone because I think it’s important to have options.

Going back to the story, I replied, “Yeah, it kind of caught me off guard. It surprised me. I guess she was really feeling me on that date.”

“Wow, and what was your response?”

“Well, I said alright and told her that I wouldn’t be talking to other girls anymore. It would be just her.”

“Really? Why would you say that? Aren’t you talking to three other girls?”

“I was, but not anymore. I gave my word that I would be exclusive to her, and I’m keeping it. I cut them other girls out, and I’m just talking to her. I mean, I guess I kinda like her and maybe there’s something there.”

Rosa smiled and said, “That’s what’s up. I hope things work out.”

I shook my head and said, “Yeah, I just have bad feeling about just being with her. I don’t know, I feel like I’m gonna be disappointed at the end of it all.”

Rosa groaned and replied, “Isaiah, you are such a pessimist when it comes to girls. I just don’t understand it.”

I explained, “I just don’t trust y’all. It’s just that y’all be playing too many games.”

Rosa responded, “Says the guy that talks to multiple girls and has a really hard time committing to one girl.”

I chuckled and said, “First of all, I don’t have an issue committing to one girl. I believe in pursuing the right girl rather than aimlessly chasing after some girl like a hopeless romantic. By the way, why do girls find hopeless romantics attractive?”

She responded, “Because there’s just something sweet about a guy obsessing over you and thinking about you and only you. He goes out of his way to win your heart and treasures everything about you. It’s so romantic.”

I replied, “But that kind of sounds forced and tiring for the guy though. Plus, that level of consistency is unrealistic, and how do you know it’s authentic? What if a guy’s just being this way to catch you like a fish. He has the right bait by being a hopeless romantic, and he ends up deceiving and catching you and you’re disappointed with the results?”

“Isaiah, you’re reaching, that’s not how it is.

“I’m just saying that it sounds like hopeless romantics force love and try to control it, but that’s not how love works. Love is this beautiful, uncontrollable, natural force. It’s patient and kind, and it’s something that is shared and mutual between two people, and it’s not so one-sided.”

Rosa was impressed with my thoughts on love, but she still pointed out that I was still the guy that talked to multiple girls. I sighed and said, “Oh my goodness, y’all are just as bad if not worse. Y’all be talking to other guys too, y’all are just really slick about it.”

Rosa shook her head and replies, “Maybe before we meet a guy, but once we start dating a guy, we’re invested in him.”

I responded, “I definitely believe that, but y’all still have guys around in case things don’t work out. Y’all just have them disguised as your ‘guy’ friends.”

Rosa rolled her eyes at me because she knew where I was heading. She knew that I was about to bring up an interesting rule that I apply to girls all the time. This rule could also be attributed to guys, but in most cases it’s attributed to girls. It’s called the 20% rule. This rule implies that at least 20% of a girl’s friends that are guys are attracted and interested in being with her. For instance, if a girl has 20 straight guy friends, then at least four or five them are interested in being with her.

Rosa couldn’t necessarily say anything because this rule is accurate with her. In our friend group, it was me, her, Jake, Paul, Stanley and Bryce. Five straight guys total that she was friends with. Three of them (Bryce, Paul and Stanley) were trying to get with her. That’s way above the 20% mark with it being 60% of the guys she’s friends with were trying to get with her. Jake and I knew this, and Rosa eventually and slowly found out about this. She claimed that she was oblivious to this, but I didn’t necessarily believe that. I do think that some girls are oblivious to guys liking them, but for the most part girls know when guys are interested in them. Rosa is a very smart, attractive, flirtatious girl, and she always knows when guys are trying to get with her. Rosa likes receiving attention from guys, so it was hard for me to believe that she was clueless about the whole situation between Bryce, Paul and Stanley, but that’s another story.

Going back to this story, Rosa asked me then if I think it’s wrong for a girl to have “guy” friends. I quickly replied that it’s not wrong at all. I do believe that a guy and a girl can have a genuine friendship with one another as long as boundaries are created and set. At the same time, I do believe that girls keep certain guys around in case things don’t work out with their significant other because you never know. I think girls have backup options because I don’t think girls want to completely start over, and it’s more convenient for them to have backups.

Rosa understood where I was coming from, but then she had another question. She asked, “So, do you think that the girl you’re dating now has backup options?”

I replied, “Yeah, she probably does. I just really don’t care too much about it. I’m aware of it, but I’m not gonna stress about it because it’s not necessary. I’m mostly just thinking about her. I promised to be exclusive to her after one date, and that’s what I’m gonna do. I gonna be as real and as honest as I can be, and we’ll see where it goes.”

Rosa liked my response and assured me that things would definitely work out with us. They did not, but that’s another story. Let’s just say that I will never again put all my eggs in one basket.

Alright, let’s get to the juicy part of this story. I ended up asking Rosa how things were with her boyfriend Dexter. Rosa quickly told me that Dexter wasn’t her boyfriend. I was confused, and Rosa told me that he doesn’t necessarily believe in titles. It sounded like they were in some kind of a situationship. This surprised me because she is the type of girl that wants to claimed, and it just sounded like she was settling for less.

I asked her if she was okay with that. She replied, “Yeah, it’s honestly not a big deal for me. We’re definitely in a good place, and he’s just so romantic and sweet with me. We have amazing conversations and our text messages are funny and ridiculous. He’s just so obsessed over me, and he’s such a hopeless romantic, I love it.”

I responded that’s what’s up. As she was talking about him more in detail, it sounded like they were “single but together.” I asked Rosa how long have they been together, and she told me eight months. I was shocked. Then, I said, “Oh that’s what’s up! Look at y’all going all strong and everything, that’s awesome! Being all in love and everything and—

Rosa interrupted, “Oh, we’re not in love. We’ve never said ‘I love you’ to each other.”

This was quite strange to me because Dexter and Rosa had been together for eight months, and they never said “I love you” to each other. I asked Rosa how come they haven’t, and she just told me that it’s not a big deal to them. They just haven’t felt it for each other.

Rosa and I kept going back and forth about them not saying “I love you” to each other because it’s just super weird and confusing to me. How could you not love someone after being with them for eight months?

I started joking and saying that they’re in “luh” rather than in love. I explained that it’s a term that my best friend Obi created. It means that you have a little bit of love for a person, but you’re afraid to be fully in love with a person. You’re simply in “luh.”

Then, I said, “You and ole boy are in luh. You can’t deny the luh that you two have for each other. Your luh is real.”

She laughed and told me to shut up. I chuckled and continued, “Dexter has so much luh for you, and you’re playing games. You luh that boy, and he luh you. It’s that simple when it comes to luh.”

We both started laughing, and she said, “Oh my goodness, I can’t with you. You sound so ridiculous. But nah, I’ll say it when I mean it. I don’t want to say it if I don’t mean it, you know? Plus, I don’t want to look like a fool. When I say it, I mean it, especially with a guy.”

I nodded my head in agreement and said, “Yeah, I agree and understand. You should definitely say it when you mean it. At the same time, you shouldn’t be afraid to love somebody.”

Then, Rosa looked at me in my eyes and whispered, “I mean…I love you.”

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that strange compliment from Rosa. It took me by surprise because it came from a place of vulnerability, and it meant something more than just a friend. For a second, I didn’t know what to say, but I knew I had to say something fast. So, I smiled and responded, “Aww thank you.”

After I said this, I could tell that my response kind of upset her a little. So, I added, “I’m just kidding, I luh you too, girl.”

My comment put a smile on Rosa’s face, and she just responded, “Isaiah, you’re something else, you’re so weird and extra.”

We both laughed, and I said, “Yeah, I am a little crazy and weird every now and then. And I most definitely extra, I can’t even front. Also, I’m not ashamed of it thank you very much.”

We continued talking some more, and we eventually ended up leaving Taco Bell. I drove her home, and we said our goodbyes. As I was driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Rosa told me that she loves me. What does that even mean? Then, I slowly realized that she does in a sense see me as a backup option for her. I didn’t know how to feel about being Rosa’s backup option, when I just saw her as a friend and nothing more. It’s honestly a strange, weird compliment to be someone’s backup.

It’s kind of nice to be someone’s backup, but I wonder if Rosa and I could still be friends. Can I really be friends with someone that has strong feelings for me? I have an answer to this question, but that’s another story. I just can’t believe the two strange compliments that I received from my friend Rosa

This is the end of “The Strangest Compliment: Episode Two.”

Based on this story, I have some interesting questions that I would love to be answered. These questions will help me prove something to a friend, so if y’all could answer one or more these questions whether you read the story or not, I would really appreciate it. You can comment a simple “yes” or “no” for all these questions or go more in depth. Here are the questions:

  1. Are hopeless romantics authentic?
  2. Should you be exclusive to one person after one date?
  3. Is it okay for a guy to talk to multiple girls while dating someone?
  4. Is it okay for a girl to have multiple guy friends?
  5. Is 6-10 months too long for you to say “I love you” to someone that you’ve been in a relationship with?
  6. Can a man and a woman have a genuine, close friendship without it leading into something more?

Here are my answers:

  1. No
  2. No
  3. Yes because you never know, and you have to keep your options open. Also, it’s okay for a girl to do this as well. I think it takes 5-7 dates to determine exclusivity with a person because I believe in “growing in love” with a person rather than “falling in love” with a person. Growing in love with a person to me is about using your mind, heart and soul. Falling in love is only about using your heart. Love is patient and kind, and to me falling in love is the opposite of that. It’s abrupt, sudden and emotional. There’s nothing stable about it, and it’s not a good foundation to build love with somebody. Again, this is my opinion. In addition, it’s important to be mindful because you don’t know a person, and it’s okay to keep your options opened for someone that is better fit for you to grow in love with. If you meet the 5-7 date requirements with someone, then I think that’s when you should stop talking to multiple people and start building and being exclusive to that person.
  4. Yes, but I think it’s important to be aware of girl’s friends. Same way with a guy’s “girl” friends as well.
  5. Yes
  6. No

Again, if you all can answer one or more of these questions with a simple “yes” or “no” and/or go more in depth with your questions, I would really appreciate it. Also, if y’all want to dispute/argue with any of my answers, I will welcome it. I love arguing.

 

 

Another Petty-ish Moment

Last year, I was working a typical, Saturday morning at Sheetz from 6:00 am-2:00 pm. As usual, I was stationed at the front to work the register. Five minutes into my shift, I’m approached by my co-worker Sasha. She asked me if she could talk to me about something important. We’re not really busy early in the morning, so I didn’t have to worry about any customers. I asked her what was up, and she said, “So I have this friend that I was with on Sunday, and she saw a picture of you on Facebook and thought you were cute.”

I giggled, and I asked her how her friend saw a picture of me. Sasha explained that she was just scrolling through Facebook, and her friend Sarah stopped her scrolling when she saw a picture of me. Sasha continued, “Yeah, you were wearing this really nice suit, and you were with your sister and cousin I believe.”

At first, I didn’t know what picture she was talking about, but she showed it to me on her phone. Once I realized the picture, I said, “Oh that picture. Yeah, I was at wedding last week. It was my cousin Dajah’s wedding. I got to be an usher, and I was taking a couple of pictures with my cousin Camilla and my brother Isaac. It was such a beautiful ceremony, and I’m just so happy for my little cousin.”

Before I continue the story, I need to address and help my Facebook stalkers out. So, if you go on my page, which you always do, go on my see all photos tab and click on uploads. Once you click on uploads, click on the first picture of my uploads picture, which should be my profile pic. After that, you just keep swiping left till you reach 50 of 95 and 51 of 95. Or you can just swipe down till you see me in a nice suit with my cousin and brother. Anyways, those are the two pictures that me and Sasha are referring to right now in this story. I just wanted to help y’all out and make y’all’s life a little bit easier. I kind of appreciate you all, hope y’all like them and happy stalking. Now back to the story.

“Aww that’s nice that your young cousin got married and all,” Sasha said.

I replied, “Oh no, she’s older than me. I just call her my little cousin because she’s shorter than me.”

We both laughed, then Sasha talked about her friend was so cute and asked if I was interested in her friend. I asked if she would show me a picture of her, but she refused. She said, “Wow, Isaiah, you can’t trust me when I say that my friend is cute and pretty. I’m hurt.”

I looked at her and said, “Sasha, your friend saw me on Facebook and thought that I was cute. Don’t I deserve the same courtesy? I should see a picture of her and determine if I’m interested in her or not. I mean, I need a little something to work with since she got enough to determine that I was a whole snack for her.”

We both started laughing, and she understood where I was coming from. So, she went on her phone and tried to find a “good” picture of her on her phone. After five minutes, she eventually found a “good” picture of her in her phone and showed it to me. When I first saw the picture, I thought that she was pretty. So, I said, “Alright, she cute. I’m not gonna promise anything, but I’m down to get to know her a little bit and see what’s up. You can just give me her number or something.”

Sasha was happy to hear this and explained that she could give her friend my number. I told her that was fine, and she went back to the kitchen all excited that I would be potentially “talking” to her friend.

After all that, I went back to register. It was around 7:00 am, and it was still a quiet day at Sheetz so far. Then, this old, white man came into the store. He looked like he was in a rush to find some things. He ended up getting a coffee, and a few snacks. After he got all his things, he headed my way to check his things out. He was in a rush, but once he saw me, he started to slow down. Then, he stopped halfway towards me. There was someone behind him, and he politely let that person in front of him. I thought it was really weird because he was in rush, now all of sudden, he was no longer in a rush. It didn’t make sense. After I was done with the customer, I said to the old, white man, “I can take you right here, sir.”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “Bring someone else up to ring me, would you? I don’t want you.”

I was so confused and perplexed as to why he didn’t want me to ring him up. Then, I looked at myself and realized the reason. I sighed and decided to try to call someone up to ring because I wasn’t trying to deal with him. However, I quickly noticed that my headset was off. Before I could turn it on, the old, white man said, “Hurry up, nig….boy.”

I stopped myself from turning on my headset and wondered to myself, “Was this old man really about to call me the n-word?”

Also, it didn’t help that he called me a “boy” either. So, I looked at him and asked him again what he said. He saw how serious I was and said, “Just hurry up, I’m in a rush.”

I responded, “Oh ok.”

Now, I was looking down on my headset and an idea popped in my head. I was thinking to myself that maybe I ask for someone to ring up this old white man, but I don’t turn on my headset. Then, I asked myself, “Do I really want to be that petty and ruin this old man’s day?”

The answer was yes. At this moment, I was gonna be petty-ish with this old man. Why? Because he ruined my day, and I was just gonna return the favor. There was a part of me that wanted to turn the other cheek, but I just couldn’t at this moment. So, I said in my off headset, “Is someone able to ring this person up?”

I knew that no one heard me, but the old man was satisfied. Then, he said, “Yeah, I don’t want you touching my things. I prefer someone else.”

Now, I deal with a lot of racists at Sheetz, but this one right here was the most ridiculous one to me. I didn’t say anything to him after his statement, and I just stocked cigarettes while he was the only person in line.

A few minutes passed, and he was frustrated and growing impatient. I was just standing at the register watching him. He was looking at his watch, and he asked me, “Hey, is someone gonna come up and ring me or not, boy?”

Again, he called me “boy” and it just made me chuckle a little bit because I could feel the anger in his voice. I smiled, looked at him and said, “Oh, I don’t know what’s going on. They might’ve just forgotten about you, but I’ll ask again.”

So, I asked again on my off headset if someone would ring up the old man.

Ten minutes passed, and this old, white man was still waiting for someone other than me to ring him. He was determined to have his stuff rung up by a white person, and it was honestly pathetic and shameful to me.

All of a sudden, he yelled, “This is ridiculous! I have been waiting here for service for 15 minutes and no one is trying to ring me up! Where’s your manager, boy?”

I just looked at him and shrugged my shoulders. I decided not to say anything anymore because I just wanted him gone at that point, and it was nice to see that he had reached his breaking point. Then, he said, “Are you gonna answer me, boy?”

I smiled, chuckled and shrugged my shoulders again. He was really angry that I wasn’t answering his questions, and he ended up just going to the kitchen. He demanded that someone ring him up. My co-worker Mark was coming up to the register, but then he saw me. Then, he said, “Oh, Isaiah can ring you up, sir. He can take—

The old man interrupted, “I don’t want that…that….just ring me up, will ya?”

Mark ended up ringing up all his stuff. When he was close to being done, I looked down at my headset and said, “Oh my headset isn’t on. That’s why you guys couldn’t hear me.”

I started laughing, but the old man was fuming. After Mark was done bagging his things, the old man snatched his bag. He looked at me and said, “I’m never coming back here as long as you’re here.”

Before I could say anything, he stormed out of Sheetz. I laughed at him, and Mark asked me how come he didn’t want me to ring him up. I said, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know.”

Sadly, I guess some things are hard to let go of in this world.

This is the end of the short story “Another Petty-ish Moment.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

Next week, I will be posting and sharing parts one and two of the six-part horror story “The White Mask.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Girl With the Pills

It was my freshman year of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and I was just chilling in my dorm. I remember it was a Monday night, and my roommate Craig was having very, very loud sex with some girl in his room. Now, I knew his schedule. He would always have sex with someone on Mondays, Wednesdays and every now then Saturdays. Usually, it would be late like midnight or 1:00 am, however today was different because he was having sex at 8:00 pm, while I was trying to do some homework. At first, I was a little mad that he was having sex, but then I thought that it was better to be early and all so that I can get some sleep. Eventually, the noises died down at 8:30ish, and Craig ended up knocking on my door. I yelled that it was opened, and he opened the door. Then, he said, “Hey bruh, sorry if me and my girl were loud, we got a little carried away.”

I looked at him and said, “A little? I was hearing all kinds of jungle noises. Everybody probably heard you two going at it like animals.”

We both chuckled and I said, “Alright, are y’all done for the night, then? I’m surprised that you got it in early and all.”

He gave me a face and said, “Well, we’re probably gonna take a shower and then chill some more.”

“How much more, man?” I asked.

He replied, “I don’t know, bruh. Like Zay this girl is bad, man. She badder than the last girl that I was with two days ago. Like she did her thang, and I need more, bruh.”

I looked at him and said, “Bro, it’s a school night. There’s people trying to sleep and study right now, including me, and you’re trying to have some more loud sex with her?”

Craig replied, “Bruh, she bad, you don’t understand, Zay. She’s on point and everything man. And look, I promise that we’re gonna be quiet, bruh. Trust me.”

I stood up and said, “Craig, I can’t trust you. You’re lying to me right now. I know you’re gonna give her that same energy you just gave her. You just hyped her up and everything man. You two are probably gonna be louder than ever with your horny self. You ain’t got to lie, Craig.”

Now, I’ll admit that I didn’t say “You ain’t got to lie, Craig” to Craig on that day, but I said everything else. Now back to the story.

We both laughed, and he said, “For real, Zay, we gonna be quiet.”

I sighed and said, “Alright and if someone comes knocking on our door talking about the noises you making again, you talking to them.”

He chuckled and said, “Alright, bet. Oh and don’t forget you gotta tell me what you want to do on your birthday with the choices I presented to you.”

I groaned and said, “I ain’t doing none of those things.”

He laughed and said, “Oh, we’ll see.”

The choices he’s referring to is another story.

Anyways, he leaves my room and closes my door. A few seconds later, I hear him and his girl of the night giggling across the room and entering our bathroom to take a shower. The shower starts and already noise begin. I quickly put on my headphones and try to ignore them. A few minutes later, I received a text message from this girl on my floor. Her name was Jessica, and she was in my sociology class. I open it, and she was asking me what I was doing. I told her that I was just chilling in my room and all, and then she asked me if I wanted to study with her. I really didn’t need to study sociology, but I kind of wanted to get out of my room. So, I texted, “Yeah sure, we can meet up at the library or something.”

She replied, “Well, how about we study at my room instead? It’s more convenient since we live on the same floor, and I’m already all comfortable, and I don’t feel like getting dressed lol.”

I laughed and texted, “Alright cool, I’ll be over in a couple minutes.”

Then, she responded, “Can’t wait to see you.”

I’ll admit I was really excited. Jessica was pretty and attractive, and she was three or four years older than me. I was 18, and I was thinking to myself, “Man, I can’t believe I’m about to study with this pretty girl.”

So, I got my books together and put them in my bookbag. I was still ignoring the noises Craig and his girl of the night was making in the shower and I headed to Jessica’s room. I made it to her room, knocked on her door and waited for her answer. She opened the door, and she was looking fine and scrumptious. She had on these pink short shorts on and a white T-shirt, and her body was looking so nice. Also, she had the prettiest feet ever, and they were kind of hypnotizing to me. Her black hair draped her shoulders. Her face and eyes were so gorgeous, and I just couldn’t ignore the goodness and the sweetness that was in front of me. After I was staring for so long, she asked me if I was gonna come in. I stuttered, “Oh y-y-yeah, I’m coming…um in to um y-y-y-your place, I mean room.”

She laughed and said that I was so cute. I walked in, and I just couldn’t believe how awkward I was with her just now. I was so embarrassed. Her roommate’s door was closed, and we ended up going into her room. Jessica’s room was a little messy with her clothes on the floor and her desk had a bunch of stuff on it. The only thing that was clear was the bed. I put my bookbag down and a naïve 18-year-old Isaiah wondered how were we gonna study in her room? All of a sudden, Jessica slammed the door shut, ran over to me and pushed me on her bed. Then, she got on top of me and started kissing on me. I was surprised, shocked and excited, and I just started kissing her back. We ended up just making out.

Now, we weren’t making out long. It was about a minute that we were kissing. I was expecting us to just kiss, until she started trying to take my shirt off and go below the belt. She was confused and asked what was wrong. I said, “Oh well, I’m not trying to have sex at all. I’m trying to be a virgin till marriage. Is it alright if we just kiss?”

She looked at me, chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, I remember you telling me that. Yeah, we can just kiss it’s no problem.”

I thanked her for understanding, and we continued to make out. Then, thirty seconds later, she was trying to go below the belt again. I stopped her. Before I could say anything, she laughed and said, “You’re too cute. Look, I think I have something that will help.”

She got up, went into her drawer and took out these pills. I was confused and didn’t understand. I tried to get back up, but she pushed me back down on the bed. She laughed and said, “Relax, Isaiah. Just let me get back on top and relax, okay?”

I listened to her, and she ended up getting back on top of me. She started giving me pecks of kisses, showed me one of the pills and whispered, “This pill will help you relax a little more with me.”

She put it close to my mouth, and I stopped her and asked her what is it. She smiled and said, “Oh, it’s just something to help you relax. I promise it’s completely harmless. Look, I’ll even take it.”

She put it in her mouth, got some water and swallowed it. Then, she said, “See, it’s fine, Isaiah, you can trust me.”

Jessica brought another pill close to my face and tried to put the pill in my mouth, but I stopped her again. Then, I said, “Look, Jessica, I’m not trying to take anything. You’re making me a little uncomfortable and—

Before I could finish, Jessica kissed me and whispered, “Okay, I’m sorry. We’ll just go back to kissing, I promise.”

Before I could say anything, she just started kissing on me. Eventually, I started kissing her back, and we were just making out again. We’re kissing for a good two minutes, when she’s slowly trying to touch me below the belt. I stopped her again, and she said, “Isaiah, just take this pill. I promise you’ll be more relaxed.”

After that moment, I realized that I had to leave. So, I said, “Look, I just realized that I have a lot of homework, and I just really need to go.”

I got her off of me, and she said, “Isaiah, I’m sorry. Just come back to my bed. I promise you, we’re just gonna kiss.”

I shook my head and replied, “I’m okay, Jessica. I just really have to go, I’m sorry.”

I told her that I would see her in class, and I ended up leaving her room.

I was outside my door, and I could hear Craig and his girl of the night having sex. I shook my head, opened the door and went to my room. I sat on my bed and could not believe that I was in a scary situation with Jessica, the girl with the pills.

This is the end of “The Girl with the Pills.”

Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this short story.

 

 

The Old Man at the Beach

Hey y’all, sorry that it’s been a minute since I posted on the Warfield Zone. I found myself needing to take a little break and focus on my senior year of college, my relationship with God and other things as well. Anyways, I’m back, and I’m ready to share some of my stories with you all. A story that comes to mind and kind of connects with another story that I will be sharing this week as well is “The Old Man at the Beach.”

This summer, my family and I took a trip to Virginia Beach. It was the end of June, and it was exciting for me because I had never been to Virginia Beach. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I was gonna have a great time with my family. Also, I made sure to bring my camera with me as well because I knew that I could get a lot of great pictures for my photography shop Eyes Haven’t Seen. For me, it was gonna be a very productive vacation.

My family and I would be in Virginia Beach for a couple of days, and it consisted of us making a lot of great memories with each other. However, one day spent at the beach is where I would meet an interesting, old man.

It was a hot, summer day at Virginia Beach. My family and I were excited to go to the beach and enjoy the sand, the sun and the ocean. The weather was a perfect 90 degrees. I remember the wind blowing perfectly and the ocean looking so pretty. Luckily, my family and I found a great spot on the beach to claim, chill and relax. I had my Canon E0S Rebel T6 with me, so I knew that I was gonna take some amazing pictures. I had on a T-shirt, swim trunks and sandals. I decided to take my shirt off and go take some pictures. I told my mom that I was just gonna roam around the beach and take some pictures. My mom said alright, and I went to take some pictures.

As I was walking around the beach taking photos, I realized that I had left my phone with my family. At first, I was thinking about going back to get it, but then I thought that it wasn’t necessary because I wasn’t going to be gone too long. Sadly, I was wrong.

I was taking pictures, and I saw that I was kind of far away from my family. I was thinking about being done taking photographs and heading back to my family, but I thought that I could use a hundred more photographs in my camera.

Anyways, I’m taking more pics in an area that has a few people in it. There’s a guy sitting down on a bench and another guy is just standing and looking at the ocean view. While I’m still taking pictures, I’m approached by this old, black man. He was wearing some shades, a hat, a nice watch, pink shorts and some sandals. He had a fat belly and a little white beard. Anyways, he came over to me and asked if I wanted to take some pictures of him. I told him that I was fine, but then he got a little closer to me. He asked again if I was sure, and I told him again that I was fine. He was uncomfortably close to me, and I kind of felt trapped. Then, he said, “Can I just say that you are a very handsome, young man? Also, very strong. Do you work out a lot?”

Before I could answer, he ended up touching my arms and shoulders. He even patted my stomach a little and said, “Oh yeah, you definitely work out a lot.”

He ended up laughing, and I laughed a little and said, “No, just a little. I just work out like two or three times a week.”

He started laughing, but I kind of just gave a chuckle. I was really nervous and uncomfortable with him, and I just really wanted him to give me some space and to stop touching me. I tried to walk away, but then he said, “Hey, do you wanna smoke some weed with me? It’s back at my car, and it’s some good stuff.”

I replied, “Oh no thank you, I don’t smoke weed.”

I chuckled, but he walked up on me all serious and said, “Don’t you lie to me. I know you smoke weed. I can see it in your eyes. Why don’t you wanna smoke with me?”

I took a step back because he was really close to me, and I said, “Again, sir, I don’t smoke weed.”

“Why are you lying to me? I know you like weed. There’s no way that you don’t smoke weed. I don’t believe it,” he said.

He was still looking serious, and I was still a little scared. He just seemed very insulted that I didn’t want to smoke with him, so I said, “Yeah sir, I don’t smoke weed. Also, I’m vacationing with my family and—

“Oh, I know. I saw you with your family. You’re family is quite lovely. When I saw you walking away from them with your camera, I was hoping to bump into you,” the old man interrupted.

That was kind of a little creepy and stalker-ish to me. I just wanted to get away from him, but I couldn’t. We ended up talking another ten minutes just about each other, and I just really wished that I had my phone with me. I would’ve used it to call my mom or something. Anyways, we ended up talking about music and the instruments we played. I told him how I played the drums, and he explained that he played seven different instruments. Then, he pointed in the opposite direction and explained that his house wasn’t too far from here. He said, “If you want, we can go back to my place, have a little jam session cause I have a lot of instruments with me and maybe smoke some weed.”

He was so adamant about smoking weed with me, and it just made me uncomfortable. I really just wanted to get away from him. Then, he abruptly asked me if I was seeing someone. I quickly responded, “Yes sir, I am seeing someone. An amazing girl that I’m just so in love with right now.”

Then, he said, “Aww that’s sweet, what’s her name and what’s she like?”

Now, there wasn’t a girl that I was deeply in love with at all in my life. I was just saying that because it was more convenient to stretch the truth in this situation that I was in with this old man. So, I said, “Yeah, her name is Denise and she’s just the most special girl in my life right now. I couldn’t imagine life without her.”

“Aww that’s sweet, is it new and fresh,” the old man asked.

I said, “Well, kind of. We’ve been together for six months, but I can tell that she’s the one that I’m gonna marry. I’m actually planning on proposing to her soon. I just don’t want to wait any longer with her, and I’m ready to commit to her. I love her with all my heart. Also, she’s kind of my weed partner in crime.”

We both laughed, and he said, “Aww, so that’s why you don’t wanna smoke with me. Do you have any pictures of her?”

I replied, “Yeah, I have lots of pictures of her and us together, but I don’t have my phone with me. Otherwise, I would show you all the pictures.”

We ended up talking a little more with each other, but he eventually had to leave. I was relieved, and I ended up rushing back to my family. I told my mom what happened, and she was happy to know that I was safe and away from the old man.

This is the end of “The Old Man at the Beach.”

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “The Girl with the Pills.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Too Greedy

A couple of years ago, my family and I went to Lorain, Ohio to visit my Grandma Mollie. We went to her house on a Friday, and we had planned to be there till Sunday. On Friday, we pretty much enjoyed each other’s company, had some pizza and watched a movie. Luckily, my grandma didn’t have to work on Saturday, so that meant tomorrow would be a day of fun with her.

On Saturday, my Grandma Mollie had gotten up early to make everybody breakfast. My grandma loves baking cookies and making breakfast. It’s literally her bread and butter. It’s like her happy place, the same way writing is for me. She has this passion for baking that I’ve always admired and respected with her. One time, I remember my grandma was making dozens of cookies late at night to sell at a church convention. She’s truly dedicated to one of her many crafts and seeing her dedication was always an inspiration to me. My grandma illustrated to me the importance of constantly working on your craft by her always wanting to bake cookies and make breakfast.

Anyways, my grandma typically makes breakfast for 30-40 people because she always invites uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends to her house to eat breakfast. My grandma really enjoys the company of other people, especially family and friends. Breakfast at Grandma Mollie’s ended up lasting till 2:00, and a lot of my family would leave and thank my grandma for the food. After people leave, my family and I begin the next phase of our day with Grandma Mollie. Games.

Just like movies, playing games is always something that I value with my Grandma Mollie. We played Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Phase 10, Heads Up and many other games. Then, the real game came along when my Grandma Mollie suggested playing Greedy. A game that would lead to betrayal, heartache, disappointment, humiliation and greed.

For those who don’t know, Greedy is a 20-dice game. You can play with as many people as you want, and the goal is to get to 50,000 points before anyone else. You roll 20 dice in your hand, and a certain amount of dice get you a certain amount of points.

 

Three dice of 1’s=1,000

Three dice of 6’s=600

Three dice of 5’s=500

Three dice of 4’s=400

Three dice of 3’s=300

Three dice of 2’s=200

One die of 1=100

One die of 5=50

 

The numbers up above are the only way you can get points. For example, a die of 6 will not get you any points because you need a set (three dice of 6’s) to get points. Only a die of one or five can get you added points. Also, you have to roll down to three dice. Once you roll down to three dice, you can have your score be written down on the paper and it will be the next person’s turn.

However, you can be greedy and keep rolling till you have no dice. For example, if I have two dice in my hand, then one or both of those dice have to end up being a one or a five because that’s the only way I can get points. So, if I roll a five and a four, the five gets counted and it would get added to my score. Then, I would have one die left. If I choose to be greedy, my last die would have to be a one or a five. If I roll a one or a five, then I would have those points added to my score, and I would get to roll all 20 dice again and add more to my score. However, if I don’t roll a one or a five, then I would lose all my points that I gained in my roll, and it would be the next person’s turn. The term I would be for losing all of my points is set.

In addition, you can be set if you roll your dice off the table and stack your dice three times.

Now that you hopefully have an understanding of the rules, let’s get back to the story.

So, my family and I gathered at my Grandma Mollie’s big table to play the 20-dice game known as Greedy. It was me, my Grandma Mollie, my Aunt Rachael, my Aunt Bev, my mom and dad, my cousin Alvin and my brother Isaac. I ended up getting to roll first. I had all 20 dice in my hand, and I rolled it all on my grandma’s slippery table.

The person to the left of you counts the dice for you, and that person ended up being my Grandma Mollie. I ended up getting 2 sets of one’s (2,000), a set of six (600), a set of five (500) one die of five (50) and two dice of one’s (200). I ended up being left with five dice in my hand. On your first roll, it doesn’t matter how many dice you have in your hands, you just have to have at least 2,500 points on your first roll. My first roll total was 3,350, so I elected to not be greedy. It was a pretty good roll for me, and it would be just the beginning of me flourishing in this game of Greedy.

Now, I’ll admit that I’m a very competitive person. I love winning, no matter what. I’ll also admit that back in the day that I was not a humble winner either. I liked to talk a lot after I won something, and I was just not a gracious winner. Thankfully, I’ve improved myself a lot and started becoming a somewhat more humble winner. I still trash talk here there, but I’m more kind and sweet to others when I win. Unfortunately, I was just a unnecessary, greedy, competitive person when I was playing Greedy at my Grandma Mollie’s house.

Anyways, I was rolling in Greedy. No pun intended. I had a commanding start and lead to Greedy, while everyone else was struggling. I was literally cooking and dominating, and I was naturally talking smack. I was talking about how I’m the greatest, the legend and the myth in Greedy, and nobody could touch me. My Aunt Bev has this catchphrase in Greedy when she got what she wanted. She would say “Haaaaambuuuurger.” So, I thought to myself, “Since I’m murdering my family in Greedy, it’s only natural that I have a catchphrase of my own. I’m so great in Greedy like my idol Muhammad Ali is in boxing that I had to have a signature, clever catchphrase. A catchphrase that would fit me and who I was.”

All of a sudden, it came to me. My Grandma Mollie ended up getting set, so I looked at my grandma, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”

My grandma didn’t understand. Then, I started doing it to everyone else when they rolled the dice off the table or got set, I smiled at them and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”

My Grandma Mollie and others were annoyed with my catchphrase, but they couldn’t help but laugh at it because it was so good. The way I said and my consistency to say it was hilarious to my grandma, mom and Aunt Bev. My grandma was talking about how I was about to lose this game of Greedy because I was being too cocky. Also, she said, “Oh, I can’t wait to say ‘there ya go’ to you when you start losing your luck in this game.”

I thought my grandma was being foolish because I was just too hot. I wasn’t slowing down at all, and I was having a historic game of Greedy. I was like the 73-9 Warriors team. I was just dominating and rolling lights out all game long. Now, I say the 73-9 Warriors team because I ended up choking and blowing a great lead that I had in Greedy.

I had 47,500 points and all I needed was 2,500 points to win. It was my roll, and I ended up talking about how it was great game that we played. I talked about how they were all worthy opponents, but they just couldn’t stop the legend that I am in Greedy. Isaac yelled, “Will you be quiet and roll?”

I was laughing, and I ended up rolling two of the dice off the table. I was in shock. Then, everyone started laughing. I was muttering wait, but everyone was laughing. My Aunt Bev said, “Nope, it’s your grandma’s turn now. You messed up, Isaiah. Haaaambuuurger.”

Then, my grandma asked me to look at her, and I did. Then, she said, “There ya go.”

Everyone was laughing, and I was just shaking my head at how naïve they were being. I said, “It’s fine, I’m just trying to give y’all a chance, honestly. I’m so far ahead, I’m cool and thriving.”

Eventually, it was my turn again, and my brother Isaac was the closest person to stopping me. He was only 5,300 points away from getting 50,000. Naturally, I’m not nervous because he needs at least two rolls to get to 50,000. Anyways, I roll the 20 dice and I end up getting 2,350 points. I had five dice in my hand, so I still had to roll. I rolled and I ended up getting two five’s in that roll. I was at 2,450 points. Now, I could’ve decided to be done because I was done to three dice now, however I decided that I wanted to be Greedy. The reason is because I only needed 50 points to win the game. Surely, I could easily roll a one or five in these three dice I thought to myself. There was no way that I was going to be set, I thought to myself. I told my family that I’m about to win this game now because there comes a time where one must be greedy, and this is one of those times. I said, “Y’all played good, but y’all are just no match for the greatness that I am. Please, remember this moment. Please, remember that I am the legend, the myth, the great and the greatest known as Isaiah Warfield.”

I did a little bit more talking, and I eventually rolled the three dice that I had. All I needed was a one or a five. To my disappointment, I ended up rolling a two, a three and a four. I was devastated. Everyone at the table was laughing at me. They were so mean. What did I do to deserve getting made fun of? I looked to my Grandma Mollie for some support for her first-born grandson, but I got the exact opposite. She looked at me, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”

Then, I said to everyone at the table, “Hey, I’m still ahead. I just another roll, and I’ll be good. I’m still about to win this game.”

Sadly, I was mistaken. It was my brother’s turn, and he ended up rolling and getting 2,800 points. He was left with four dice. I was thinking to myself, “Alright, he’ll probably get his points, but I’ll have the opportunity to get my points.”

To my surprise, Isaac ended up rolling a set of six (three 6’s) and a one. Isaac yelled, “Let’s go!!!”

It made his total 3,500 points. With no more dice to roll, he ended up getting a chance to roll again and add to his total. I was stunned. He was now 1,800 points away from beating me.

Everyone, except me, was cheering him on. They were telling him that he could do it. My Grandma Mollie, “Come on, Isaac, you can do it. I’ll take you winning over this joker that’s been talking too much all game.”

I couldn’t believe my grandma wanted Isaac to win more than me. The betrayal was real to me. Anyways, my brother ended up rolling all 20 dice and getting 2,400 points. My brother had enough points to beat me, however he had four dice in his hands. He had to roll again. I was praying to God that Isaac wouldn’t get a one, a five or a set, but God sadly disappointed me. Isaac rolled all four dice, and he ended up rolling a six, a three, a two and a one. My brother’s total ended up being 6,000 points, and his total score was 50,700 points. My brother had won the game of Greedy that I was meant to win.

My whole family at the table congratulated my brother Isaac, then they started mocking me with my own catchphrase and other things. Ashamed and humiliated, I ran away from the table in defeat. I wasn’t a winner, I was a loser. I wasn’t a legend, I was a phony. I wasn’t the greatest, I was the worst. I wasn’t the truth, I was the lie. I didn’t live up to the hype. I choked like the 73-9 Warriors team did against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. I blew a lead that I had like the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead. I hate the Warriors, and I’m ashamed that I was just like them in this game of Greedy.

This game of Greedy really taught me the importance of sitting down and being humble. I look back at this moment, and I just can’t help but laugh about it, especially with my Grandma Mollie. In the end, I’m grateful for the memory of that heart-breaking game of Greedy that I had with my Grandma Mollie.

This is the end of “Getting Too Greedy.”

This weekend, I will be posting two poems on Saturday and Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Movies With My Grandma

Last year, my Grandma Mollie came from Lorain, Ohio, to visit me and my family in Pittsburgh. I remember we were all sitting in the living room laughing and talking, while I had the remote in my hand. As I was flipping through all of the channels, I quickly noticed that there was a certain movie on AMC that I love with a passion. That movie was The Matrix. 

The Matrix is my favorite movie of all time, and it’s just a known fact that it’s the greatest movie of all time. That’s right, a fact. It’s got everything you need in a movie from the story, the symbolism, the suspense, the action, the horror, the mystery, the sci-fi, the characters (Trinity, Neo, Cypher, Morpheus, Agent Smith, the Oracle), the romance, the philosophy, the faith, the deliverance, the free will and so much more. I ask you to name another movie that has all of that and more? Can you name another iconic movie? No, you can’t. And do you know why, you can’t name another movie? Because there’s only one, and that movie is The Matrix, the greatest movie of all time.

Anyways, I’m so excited to see my movie on TV, so I naturally put it on AMC. My little brother Isaac looks up to see what I put on, and he starts to groan. He yells, “Oh God, can we not have it on this god-awful movie.”

Naturally, I was appalled by Isaac’s disrespectful words to this work of art. Before I could say anything, my dad said, “Yeah, I agree. I’m not trying see some terrible acting by Keanu Reeves.”

In my mind, I’m saying to myself, “Oh no they didn’t. I know they didn’t just dog my movie like that. Why do they do this to me? Why do they always have to disrespect my movie when it’s on TV? Why do they force to defend the greatness that is ThMatrix?” 

Naturally, I went off on them. First, I went at Isaac talking about how he had no right to be saying The Matrix was awful when he had never even seen it before, but that didn’t stop him from talking. Then, I told my dad that Keanu’s acting was perfect and just the right amount for the movie. “Isaiah, he barely showed any emotion. His acting was poor with his blank stares.Will Smith would’ve done so much better as Neo, my dad added.”

I responded, “No, Keanu was being realistic. I probably would’ve acted the same way too if I found out I was in a computer simulation for all my life. I sure wouldn’t be dramatic like Will Smith and yell, ‘No, no, no,’ at some mannequin like he did in I Am Legend. Just being way too dramatic. No, The Matrix is a realistic movie with everything and a hint of drama, it’s not a full-on drama.”

My brother, dad and I continued to argue for ten more minutes. My mom ended up betraying me and saying The Matrix wasn’t the greatest movie of all time. My sisters just kept laughing, while my Grandma Mollie was silent. Eventually, we stopped arguing, and I was able to watch a little bit of my movie and recite some of the lines. While I was watching this masterpiece, my brother interrupted my moment of bliss and said, “This movie is trash, and it’s kind of sad that you know every single line in this movie.”

Before I could say anything, my Grandma Mollie came to the rescue. She said, “Now, y’all leave my baby alone. He’s been loving this movie since he was three years old. Let my baby watch his movie in peace, please.”

It’s true, I have loved The Matrix since I was three years old. I remember my grandma introduced the movie to me when I was three years old. She told me how I really loved the movie, and it just always held a special place in my heart. I loved Neo. I would always imitate him, and it used to annoy my mom. My grandma told me that there was this one time where my mom had whooped me hard for doing something bad. I don’t remember what I did, but it was brutal whooping. After my mom was done whooping me, I had gotten up and said “Momma.” My mom turned around, I looked into her eyes and said, “How did you beat me?”

My mom had this confused look on her face, but my grandma was rolling. Then, I extended my right arm and motioned with my right hand to come on and bring it. My mom said, “What in the world is my baby doing?”

My grandma was still laughing like crazy, and she explained, “Well, we’ve been watching the Matrix, and he’s imitating scenes from the movie. Morpheus asking Neo how he beat him in the training simulation, and Neo telling Agent Smith to bring it in the Subway fight. Those two scenes.”

My grandma continued laughing, but my mom was still annoyed. I think she gave me another whooping because I asked for it, but I’m not sure entirely. However, The Matrix would be the beginning of my grandma and I watching movies together.

Since I was three years old, my grandma and I watched hundreds of movies together. There was always just something sacred about watching movies with my grandma. It was just special, quality time with her. I remember we watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy together, and I was just so confused with the story. I had no idea what was going on. I was really young when I saw it, but my grandma made the trilogy special for me. She would take the time to talk to me about what was going on in the movie, and she really helped me understand the plot of everything. My Grandma Mollie did so good with me that I started imitating Gollum to the delight of my grandma.

I remember my grandma and I used to watch Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore a lot. It was our movie for some reason. Just like The Matrix, Never Been Kissed was just a classic for me and my grandma. My grandma was just a huge Drew Barrymore fan, and I ended up becoming one as well thanks to her. Every time we watched Never Been Kissed, it just blew our minds that Drew’s character had never been in a relationship or never been kissed. It was mind-boggling to us.

There’s just so many memories of my grandma and I just watching movies together with her homemade cookies, sweets, candy, junk food and other unhealthy substitutes. Never vegetables thank God. I’m always going to cherish those movies that we watched together because it just shows how much she truly cares about me. She devoted time and energy to be one of the most fun-loving, kind and supportive people in my life. She always puts a smile on my face, makes me laugh with her jokes and just knows how to make me feel special and wanted. Not a lot of people have that effect on me, and I’m just so grateful that I have someone like my Grandma Mollie to do that for me. She’s done so much for me that she doesn’t know about, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without her. I love my grandma so much, and I’m so grateful that I can continue to watch movies with my grandma.

This is the end of “Movies with My Grandma.”

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing “Getting Greedy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interesting Day at PetSmart

A couple of years ago, I was working part time at PetSmart. I was an early morning stocker and cashier. My shifts varied during that job from 5am-10am (early morning stocking), 2pm-7pm (cashier) and 3pm-9pm (cashier). In the month of July, my managers decided to just have me working 5am-10am because they needed me more as an early morning stocker. They asked me if that was an issue, but I told them that it was fine. I didn’t mind just working in the mornings. In fact, I was excited to just work as just an early morning stocker.

In the early morning shift, I just worked with two people. I worked with my manager Jim and my coworker Chris. Jim would work by himself with manager stuff, while Chris and I worked together on getting everything stocked from cat litter, cat food, dog food, toys, crates, treats and other things. We had about four hours to stock everything we needed (5am-9am), then we had a 30-minute lunch and 30 minutes to clean up. It varied if we got everything stocked or not in time. It just depended on how much we had to stock. Also, Chris and I talked and joked around a lot, and this also effected if we got everything stocked in time. However, my first day starting as primarily an early morning stocker was a day like no other.

It was a Monday morning, and I was at PetSmart at 4:55 am. A few minutes later, Chris had arrived. Chris and I had to wait for Jim to arrive because the store was locked, and he had the keys to the store. We’re both in our cars and on our phones just waiting for Jim to come. Ten minutes pass, and Jim’s not at PetSmart. Twenty minutes pass, and he’s still not here. Thirty minutes pass, and Chris and I are wondering what’s going on. We get out of our cars, and I asked him what’s going on. Chris said, “I don’t know, but Jim’s late, man.”

We were both hoping nothing bad happened to him, and Chris wondered if another manager was supposed to be working with us. I showed him the schedule on my phone to show that Jim was scheduled to work with us. Chris started rubbing his eyes and said, “Alright, I’ll just shoot him text and see what’s going on.”

He texted Jim, “Yo where u at?”

A few minutes later, he laughed and texted, “U up lol?”

He started giggling, and I couldn’t help but shake my head and giggle with him. Ten minutes passed, and there was still no response. I looked at and Chris said, “Well, let’s try calling him.”

We tried calling him, but there was no answer. It was 6:00 am now, and we were contemplating if we were able to leave or not. Five minutes later, Chris gets a text from our manager Jim. It read, “Hey fellas, I forgot to set my alarm and my phone was on silent. Whoopsies! I’ll be there in 30 mins.”

Chris and I started laughing because we saw the word “Whoopsies.” We kept joking around and saying that now he can’t be mad at us if we were 10-15 minutes late to work. Also, we were joking about how we could just use this against him.

It was 6:45 when Jim arrived at work. When Jim got out of his car, Chris yelled, “Hey sleeping beauty, did you get enough sleep?”

Everyone laughed, and Chris explained that he didn’t know what happened. His wife ended up waking him up. We all laughed as we all walked inside PetSmart, clocked in and headed to the back room. Chris assured us that he would make sure that we get our two other hours for coming in on time, and we thanked him. When we made it to the backroom, we saw that there was a lot to stock. Also, we only had two hours to stock everything. Jim looked at us and said, “Alright look, I’m not expecting yinz to get all this stocked in two hours. Just get as much as you can done, and we’ll just have to figure this all out later.”

After Jim said all of this, he left the backroom and went to his office. Chris and I looked at each other, and we were so excited because we pretty much had a free day. We didn’t have to feel rushed or anything, and it was gonna be a fun day at work. We only had to work for two hours and thirty minutes.

Chris and I started working, and we were just two happy campers. We’re smiling, talking and having a great time together. Chris was talking about his iFunny page with me, and some interesting memes. It was all sunshine and rainbows, until Chris came at me with a thunderstorm.

It’s around 8:00, and we were stocking dog food. All of sudden, he remembered something. He told me that he forgot to mention something interesting to me. I asked him what, and he explained that last week a cute girl was asking about me on Friday. I was excited and wanted to hear more. Chris said, “Yeah man, she was fine. Her body was popping, her booty was looking right. Everything was just on point, my man. She was such a cutie.”

Chris was really hyping her up for me, and I just wanted to know more. Chris continued, “Yeah man, she was talking about how sweet and cute you were, and she just wanted you to have her number.”

After he said that, we both got excited and started clapping our hands and jumping up an down. It was a great moment we shared together, and all I needed was the number to solidify this moment. So, I said, “Alright bro, let me get them digits.”

Suddenly, Chris stopped jumping, made a face and said, “Yeah, about that. I actually didn’t get the number.”

I stopped jumping and clapping, and I asked him what did he mean. He replied, “Well, I just didn’t get the number. It just never came up in our conversation.”

“Conversation? How long were y’all talking together?” I asked.

“Like a good five minutes,” he said.

“Wow, so you were talking to this goddess that wants me for five minutes, and you somehow don’t have the necessary information I need to pursue this girl,” I said.

I just couldn’t believe what I was hearing, Chris yelled, “Now, wait a minute! In that time, I was hyping you up. I told her all these great things about you, and I got her really excited about you. I mean really excited about you. And I did get some information. I found out that she works around here.”

I said okay, and I asked him where does she work. He gave me a scared look and started looking away from me. Then, I said, “Chris, please tell me you know where she works. Surely, you would at least get that information for me.”

Chris turned to me, gave a weird face and said, “I wasn’t able to find out—

“Oh my gosh, Chris! You didn’t get any information for me! I thought you were my boy, how could not give me anything to work with?” I interrupted.

“Jan was around, Isaiah. You know how strict she can be. I didn’t want her thinking that I was just talking to a customer,” he said.

“But you were talking to a customer! For five minutes! You could’ve gotten some information for me. It’s not that hard to ask people where they work. Also, you have my number. You could’ve just given it to her in less than ten seconds. I just can’t believe this betrayal by you. I thought we were brothers,” I said.

I started to fake cry, and Chris started laughing and asking why did I have to be so dramatic. I responded, “Because this is a serious moment. If the situation was reversed and you were the one she wanted, I would’ve gotten her number, her place of employment, her Facebook, her Snapchat, her Instagram, her address, her driver’s license number, her social security card, her birth certificate, and so much more in under five minutes for you. I would do that for you. Give you everything and anything you needed to be with this goddess you described to me. I just can’t believe that you didn’t give me anything. I thought we were brothers, but that was clearly a lie. I just can’t believe this betrayal.”

I continued my fake crying, when Chris came to me and embraced me. He started fake crying and said, “I’m sorry, Isaiah. I’m ashamed of myself. I let you down, and I didn’t get you your goddess. Please, forgive me, my brother.”

I responded, “Your betrayal is unforgivable. The damage has been done, and there’s nothing you can do to fix it. That goddess you described was probably the love of my life that I’ll never see again.”

We fake cried some more and then we let go of each other. Then, we started laughing. I told him that I was still low-key mad that he didn’t get anything from me. He said, “I know, but I also found out that she comes in the afternoons at PetSmart. I told her that she’ll probably eventually see you again in the afternoon.”

I sighed, looked at him and said, “Nah bro, I only work the mornings now. So, I’m probably never gonna see her again.”

“Oh. Whoopsies,” Chris said.

We both started laughing, Chris looked at his watch and said, “Well, it’s 9:00 right now, so it’s break time. Do you want to go and get some Chick-Fil-A?”

“Yeah sure, I could use some Chick-Fil-A right now.”

So, Chris and I headed to Chick-Fil-A, ate and talked for thirty minutes, came back to PetSmart to clean up our mess for thirty minutes and went home afterwards. It was truly an interesting day at PetSmart filled with bliss, laughter, fun and betrayal.

This is the end of “An Interesting Day at PetSmart.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

This weekend, I will be posting and sharing poetry.

 

 

 

Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman

Now, I was gonna share a different story today, but I found myself compelled to share this story. I don’t know why, but I really felt like I needed to share this story. It’s a sad but necessary story about honestly being at the wrong place at the wrong time. At the same time, this is a story about being at the right place at the right time. This is “Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman.”

Last week, I was working my usual 6am-2pm shift on Friday. I was extremely tired because I had about two hours of sleep. I was up till midnight writing a story, and I ended up watching Pulp Fiction after I was done writing. Now, I usually watch The Twilight Zone or some horror movie before going to bed, but I wanted to watch Pulp Fiction that night. I’ve seen it a lot, and it’s one of my favorite movies behind The Matrix, my all-time favorite. However, I really wanted to see Pulp Fiction again because I had just watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in theatres and wanted to get my “Quentin Tarantino” on. It was necessary, and sleeping isn’t that important, right?

Anyways, I was struggling to stay awake. Even with coffee in my system, I was a literal zombie. My coworker Marie is used to me being all sleepy and tired, but she said, “I can’t believe you do this to yourself. How are you functioning? You need to get at least five hours of sleep. Minimum.”

I laughed and said, “Marie, you know me. I can’t help that I’m a late-night writer, and I enjoy a good scary movie before going to bed. I’m only human, Marie.”

We both start laughing, and Marie just calls me silly. It’s around 7 am, and my manager, Michael, sends out a new person to me and Marie to train. Her name is Jenn, and she was really nice and cool to work with. Marie explained to Jenn that me and her were extremely tired, but we promised to perk up at around 9 or 10 am. An hour passes, and I’m slowly but surely starting to wake up. Plus, Marie and I are training Jenn, but for the most part she was doing pretty good on her own. Also, it was kind of slow in the store. Everything was alright. Then, everything changes when I’m stocking cigarettes, and I hear, “Excuse me, sir.”

I turn around and see a black woman in front of my register. She’s pretty, and she’s about few years older than me. However, I could tell that she was a little scared. Not knowing what’s going on, I said, “Yes mam.”

“Can I talk to you really quick?,” she asked.

She was a little quiet asking me, so I leaned in and whispered, “Yeah that’s fine.”

Then, she asked me if we could actually talk in private. I told her that it was perfectly fine and suggested that we talk in the dining room. She started walking to the dining room, while I followed after her. Luckily, we weren’t busy, and Marie had Jenn helping her up front. So, it was fine for me to talk to this black woman.

Anyways, I’m in the dining room with the black woman, and I asked her if everything was alright. She started crying a little and explained that she was drunk and far from home. She lived at North Side, and she somehow ended up in Jefferson Hills. She apologized to me for smelling drunk, and I assured that she was fine. Then, she continued, “Yeah, I ended up going to a party I shouldn’t have gone to. I was drinking too much. I don’t remember much of what happened, but I know these white guys…they…you…know did things to me.”

She was having a hard time breathing, and I just told her to just sit down and take a deep breathe. She quickly sat down and tried to catch her breathe. I sat down as well, and I was assuring her that it was alright. Then, she added, “I’m so scared because my kids are home alone, and I just can’t believe that I was so irresponsible and go to that stupid party.”

She was really beating herself up, so I looked at her and said, “Look, you’re fine now. You did the responsible thing by coming here and seeking some help. It’s better that you’re in here than out there. You’re being responsible now.”

She thanked me for my encouragement and explained that she didn’t have any money. Also, her phone was dying, and she was having a hard time reaching a friend. So, she had no way of getting home. Then, I asked her if she maybe wanted to call the police about the incident. She responded, “No, no, no cops. I just want to forget about last night and go home to my kids.”

I understood that she just wanted to go home, but I still wished that she reported what happened to her to the authorities. Even though I don’t know all the details about her assault, her trembling and crying illustrated to me that she had been through some serious trauma. I wish that she wanted justice for herself, but I understood that she was drunk, tired and ready to forget and be home with her kids. She saw the whole situation as her fault for getting drunk, and she just wanted to forget the mistake she made. Yes, she was drunk, but that doesn’t give men the right to do whatever they wanted to her. Her behavior and drunkenness is not a free pass for men to do with her as they please. She kept saying to me that she should’ve known better, but in reality it’s the white men that hurt her that should’ve known better. They’re the ones that hurt her . They’re the ones that assaulted her. They’re the ones that took advantage of her. How could she not see that? How could she place more blame on herself than on the white men that hurt her? Then, I remembered that it’s the society that we live in. It’s a toxic society that has infected both men and women. It’s a society that places more blame on women for their “mistakes” rather than help them seek justice from the tyranny of evil men.

Anyways, I told her that I understood that she didn’t want the cops involved and asked if she wanted something to drink like coffee or water. She said that water would be fine, so I went and got her a cup of water. When I came back with the water, I was still trying to figure out how she could get home. I was suggesting to maybe take the bus, but she didn’t want to take the bus. Then, I said, “Well, I’m not sure what we can do. I can maybe talk to my manager and see if he has a solution.”

“Wait, is your manager white?”

I told her that he was, and I could tell that made her uneasy. So, I assured her that my manager Michael was nice, and he would do his best to help her. I added that she could trust me, and he wasn’t going to call the cops. She said okay, and I went to my manager’s office.

I told Michael everything that was going on with the black woman, and he handled everything with compassion and respect. Michael talked to her a little, gave her a sausage burrito and a breakfast sandwich and assured that everything was going to be alright. He pulled me to the side and explained how he offered to give her money for the bus, but she didn’t want to do that. Also, he could tell that something serious had happened to her, but she didn’t want to tell him. I explained to Michael that she talked to me about it, and he was relieved with that. Then, he told me to just do inside trash, but also to keep an eye on her. Make sure she doesn’t fall asleep and just check on her and make sure she’s doing alright.

I was thankful and glad that Michael was there as the manager that day. He’s one of the most compassionate managers I ever worked for, and I just couldn’t imagine another Sheetz manager dealing with the scared, black woman as Michael did. He kept it quiet, and he showed her so much kindness and respect to her. Michael was honestly the right manager at the right time.

Anyways, I was checking on the woman like Michael instructed. Making sure that she was doing alright. She told me that Michael was nice to her, and someone was coming to pick her up. They ended up coming at around 9 am to pick her up and taking her home to her kids.

Despite being at the wrong place at the wrong time at the party, I was so glad that the woman ended up being at the right place at the right time at Sheetz.

This is the end of “Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Tipping

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling on Facebook, and I came across a post by a waitress. She posted a $184.14 bill for a table that she waited, and she got tipped $15.86. So, the grand total of the bill was $200. Also, the customer put a note on the bill that read, “Thank you for a wonderful experience, Erica.” Then, the caption from the waitress stated that the 8% tip wasn’t enough, and a compliment wasn’t going to help her pay her tuition. After that, I went to the comments.

There were like 15,000 comments, and I got a little excited. I just love going through comments in social media and seeing different perspectives on a post/video that I watched as well. Anyways, I saw that a majority of people were siding against the waitress, while a few were on her side. I found it interesting because my mom taught me that it was important to tip at least 15-25%, depending on the service. I thought this was a universal rule, but the comments showed that this wasn’t a universal rule. I didn’t see any mention of the customary 15% tip, and it was interesting to me. As I was reading through the comments, I recalled a time where I was with some people that didn’t want to tip.

Last year, I was eating at Eat n’ Park with my friends Kevin, Mark and Anthony. They all really wanted to go to Eat n’ Park for one reason and one reason only. To get a free cookie. Those Eat n’ Park cookies were extremely important to them, and they wanted a free cookie. Now, despite having a sweet tooth, it wasn’t that important for me to get a free cookie from the restaurant. Yeah they were good, but they weren’t all that. Plus, I would rather have some really good food than mediocre food and a free cookie. I really don’t like Eat n’ Park. Their food is okay to me, but there are way more better options than Eat n’ Park. I low-key feel like the restaurant knows that their food is somewhat okay, and they pretty much reward people for eating and paying for it with a cookie. Eat n’ Park is like, “Thank you so much for eating our food, we know it’s not the best. It’s just okay. Have a cookie” Why are so many people blinded by a cookie? I wonder.

Anyways, they all wanted to go to Eat n’ Park, and I reluctantly agreed to have some okay food. We came in, and it was packed. It took a few minutes, but we ended up getting a booth. We sat down at our booth, and our waitress was this girl named Denise. She was around the same age as us, and it was actually her first time being a waitress. She told us that this was her first day being a waitress, and how it’s been interesting, crazy day for her. We shared a few laughs with her, and we assured that she was gonna be alright. For the most part, she did well. She was really nice, sweet and helpful to us throughout our dinner. Denise seemed like she knew what she was doing as a waitress.

After we were all done with our somewhat decent food, Denise gave us our bills. I looked at my bill, and I was in pain because I had spent $15 on some mediocre food. I just shook my head and said in my head, “Alright, I’ll take the cookie to ease the pain.”

As I was in agony, my friends were asking about the cookies to Denise. She informed them that the cookies were only for children. My mouth dropped, and they were stunned. I was thinking to myself, “You mean to tell me that we had some mediocre food for nothing. That cookie was supposed to ease the pain I’m feeling right now.”

I ended up shaking my head and laughing that we weren’t getting any cookies. However, my friends were begging for them. I was confused because she had just told us that the cookies were for just kids, but they were still persistent on the cookies. I was laughing and saying, “Denise, they’re fine. They honestly don’t need any cookies.”

Anthony quickly said, “Nah, we need them cookies. We ain’t joking.”

They continued to pester Denise about the cookies, when she finally gave up and said that she might be able to get them one cookie. They were satisfied with that, and Denise proceeded to get them a cookie. Then, I said, “Are y’all serious right now? Y’all are really trying to get a cookie like that?”

Anthony responded, “Yeah man, I want a cookie. That’s the only reason we came here.”

Mark added, “True that.”

Kevin said, “I don’t know anymore.”

We started laughing, and Denise ended up coming back to us with one cookie. Anthony was asking where are the other cookies, and she said all she could get was one cookie. Anthony was still telling her that he still wanted a cookie for himself. Kevin decided to be an adult, and he said that Anthony and Mark could split the cookie amongst themselves. Anthony and Mark were still arguing with Denise about having another cookie, and I looked at them and said, “Children, just split the cookie. I am so sorry about them, Denise. You don’t have to get us another cookie.”

They eventually decided to split the cookie, but the damage had already been done. Denise was over this foolishness and walked away from us in anger. I understood her anger all too well, and I was sorry that my friends were being difficult with her.

As we were preparing to pay for our foods, I hear that Anthony and Mark are not giving Denise a tip. I went a little off on them. I said, “Are y’all serious right now? Are y’all really not about to give her a tip? Oh my gosh, I’m feeling some type of way.  I can’t believe y’all.”

Then, I looked at Kevin and said, “Kevin, please tell me you’re giving her a tip? You better be giving her a tip.”

Kevin was looking a little scared, but he laughed and said that he was going to tip. We all laughed that I was feeling some type of way, but I was still mad. I ended up giving Denise a $6 tip, and I believe Kevin gave her a 20% tip.

Then, we ended up driving to see a movie, and I was still talking about how mad I was that Anthony and Mark didn’t tip. They were laughing because they couldn’t believe how mad I was. I said, “Y’all are something else. She literally went to hell and back to get y’all a cookie, and y’all don’t tip her? That’s just messed up.”

Anthony said, “She didn’t get us the cookies. Plus, she was rude and stormed off on us. No tip for you.”

Then, I said, “Yeah, cause y’all were acting like children for no reason.”

They all started laughing, and I couldn’t help but laugh with them. Needless to say, I haven’t gone to dinner with them since that day.

In the end, I think tipping is important because I view it as a form of respect and compassion. I understand why some people feel like they’re not obligated to tip, but I think it’s kind of rude. I tip because I was taught to tip by my parents, and I understand that waiters/waitresses/servers rely heavily on tips. In Pennsylvania, there are servers that get paid $2.83/hour. Tax takes some of that as well, so their main source of income literally comes from tips. Sadly, servers are in an industry that is essentially stacked against them. A change definitely needs to happen in the food industry and more people have to understand the importance of tipping.

This is the end of “The Importance of Tipping.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

This weekend, I will be sharing and posting some poetry.

 

 

 

 

A Petty-ish Moment at Pizza Hut

It was Valentine’s Day, and I had just finished writing and posting “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Two.” I was in the library at my school, Point Park University, and I was just happy that I had got it done at around 8:00 because the bus to my house would be coming at 8:07. If I missed the bus that time, then I would have to go on an 8:30 bus. So, I rushed out of the library and waited for my bus to come my way. It came in right on time, and I was able to take my seat on the bus.

While I was on the bus, I found myself reading this book called Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. A friend of mine from work had recommended this book to me, and she had a copy that she could lend to me. Anyways, I was reading Mistborn on the bus, and I ended up being interrupted by a text message from my friend Rosa. It read, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I replied, “Aww thanks, happy Valentine’s Day to you too.”

Then, she asked me if I had any special plans for Valentine’s Day. I texted, “Nah, I’m just probably gonna chill by my lonesome self haha. What about you?”

Rosa ended up telling me that she was actually going on a date, and I was excited for her. I ended up putting my book away and calling her on the phone. I said, “Tell me everything, girl.”

She laughed and explained how they had a class together, and he was just real smooth with her. They had been talking for a week or two, and he ended up asking her out on a date on Valentine’s Day. I was being extra talking about how he was “the one,” and I just couldn’t believe that she found her soulmate. She was laughing and telling me to be quiet, but I just kept going and going with my extra comments about the two lovebirds destined to be together forever and ever. We ended up talking for a few more minutes, and Rosa ended up asking me about this one girl that I was talking to at the time. I was telling Rosa that I wasn’t sure about her, and I was leaning on us just being friends. Rosa understood and told me that she had to go and get ready for her date. I said goodbye to her and told her to let me know how it goes.

Anyways, I looked outside and saw that I was ten minutes away from the Century III Mall, where my car is parked. It’s 8:30, and I realize that I’m kind of hungry. I hadn’t eaten since 10:00 am, so I knew that I had to seriously eat something. I was thinking about stopping at McDonald’s, maybe Chipotle, but then I remembered that I was due for a free pizza at Pizza Hut. So, I went on my Pizza Hut app and saw that I had enough points to redeem and get a free pizza. I ordered my free pizza and saw that I only had to pay $1.07 for it. The thought of a free pizza had me salivating.

When I was a few minutes away from my car, I was trying to decide what horror movie I was going to watch when I got home. You honestly have to watch horror movies on Valentine’s Day, there are clearly no other movies to watch. I was considering a demon-possession type movie, but I low-key wanted to see people getting stabbed and killed. The movies I was considering were Saw, Scream, Friday the 13th, Hush and Halloween. There were a couple other movies I was considering on Netflix, but I wasn’t sure.

My bus made it to the bus stop at Century III Mall at 8:45. I got off the bus and went to my car. I started it, and I drove it to Pizza Hut. It was literally two minutes away from the mall, and it wasn’t hassle to get to the store. So, I parked my car, turned it off and went inside Pizza Hut. When I went inside, I saw that they were extremely busy making orders, and I looked to the side and saw my order would be ready in five minutes. So, I went back to my car and waited seven minutes before going back inside. I got back inside and saw that the status of my free pizza was set to “ready.” There were two people in front of me, and I just patiently waited till my turn. When it was my turn, I saw that the cashier was a 40-year-old white man. Anyways, I tell him that my name is Isaiah, and I’m here to pick up my pizza order. He grabs my pizza and tells me that it’s a $1.07. I say alright and pull out my debit card. Before I can put my card in the card reader, the cashier stops me and says, “Oh, I can’t accept that.”

I was confused and asked, “Oh, are you guys no longer accepting cards or something?”

He responded, “We are, but I’m just not trying to use our card reader for $1.07. I need cash from you.”

I was confused because I had always been able to use my debit card for $1.07 or even less at the Pizza Hut store that I was at. It didn’t make sense to me that I had to use cash all of a sudden. So, I asked, “So wait, are you not allowed to use cards for small transactions, then?”

He replied, “We can, but I just don’t want to right now.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from this guy. What do you mean you don’t want to right now? That makes no sense to me. I looked over at the crew and even they were confused with the cashier. I wondered if they were going to do anything, but they just were working and acting like they didn’t hear anything. In my mind, I was just telling myself to calm down and take a deep breathe. Then, I said, “Ok, so I don’t have any cash in my wallet. All I have is my card. So, am I not able to pay for my pizza, then?”

He sighed and said, “Again, I’m not trying to use the card reader because I just don’t want to use it for a dollar transaction. There’s no reason for that.”

I asked him if there was something wrong with the machine, and he tells me that the machine is fine and works really well. Then, I said, “So, you’re telling me that even though you can use your card reader for a $1.07 transaction, you just won’t because you don’t want to?”

He looked at me and said, “Again, I just don’t want to use the card reader for a $1.07 transaction. You have to pay with cash, otherwise you’re not getting your pizza.”

I was furious, and I was so close to really saying some interesting things to this 40-year-old cashier that was being difficult with me. However, I contained myself and said, “Ok, let me check my car real quick and see if I have any money in there.”

I went to my car, got inside and started screaming. I couldn’t believe this man was trying to really push my buttons. I was just letting out all my frustrations and punching the air like crazy. After that, I calmed down and went in my backpack hoping that I had enough money. I rejoiced as I found five quarters in my backpack. Before I went back inside, and I stopped myself. I was saying to myself that there was no reason to give this man what he easily wanted. Make it harder and difficult on him.

I ended up putting a dollar’s worth of pennies and nickels in a plastic bag. I was so glad that I had plenty to be petty back to the cashier. So, I had my bag full of change and carried it into the Pizza Hut store. Then, I poured all the change on the counter and told him $1.07 in change.

He asked me if I was serious, and I said I was very serious. He sighed and started counting them. I looked over him and saw that they were crazy busy in their kitchen, and it sounded like they needed his help. He hurried up and counted all the pennies and nickels I had, put them in his register and handed me my pizza. I thanked him and showed him my quarters. I said, “Yeah, I did have quarters, but I just didn’t want to use them. I much rather pay with pennies and nickels.”

He looked at me all mad and walked back into the kitchen. I yelled, “Have a good day, and also happy Valentine’s Day!”

I had my free pizza in my hands, and I headed back to my car. Thankfully, it was still extremely hot. I went home, and I ended up watching Saw 2 on Valentine’s Day. Ever since that day, I have refused to eat or order Pizza Hut thanks to the petty-ish moment that I had at Pizza Hut on Valentine’s Day.

This is the end of “A Petty-ish Moment at Pizza Hut.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “The Importance of Tipping.”