When It All Falls Down(6)

By: Tamicka Higgins



Ayana looked at Tramar and smiled. She loved the way he would grip her thighs. “Boy, you really be doin’ the most,” she said. “You know I’m okay with that. I don’t even know why you got to ask.”

Tramar snickered and said, “Okay, then.”

***

Tramar took Ayana to the mall and allowed her to spend five hundred dollars. While this certainly was not the largest amount of money that he’d ever spent on his lady, Ayana was still very appreciative. She loved how Tramar always put her first and was willing to do anything to make her feel better. They walked around the mall, Tramar being as patient as he needed to be so that Ayana could take her time in the different stores. Once she’d finished shopping, he walked her out to the mall parking lot, holding the door for her to get into the car. Once inside, he asked her what kind of restaurant she’d like to dine at tonight, and that it didn’t matter how much it cost.

“Well,” Ayana said, sarcastically. “Aren’t you being nice today.”

“I’m always nice,” Tramar said. “I’m just a nice guy. Who you know that is nicer than me?”

“Boy, boo,” Ayana said. “I don’t care, really. Wherever you wanna go. I don’t want no buffet or nothin’ like that. I ain’t hungry like that.”

Tramar had a couple of restaurants in mind that were in the area. After driving by the first one and seeing that it was too packed for his taste, he drove to the other. This restaurant, which was a seafood restaurant, was just what the two of them wanted to satisfy their stomachs. He pulled his Charger into the parking lot, and the two of them went inside and ate.

After dinner, Tramar drove toward downtown. “I was thinkin’ we could take a little walk, downtown at the park or something.”

Ayana smiled. “Okay,” she said. She always loved walks in the parks. Even though Tramar would go out of his way to spend money on her, there were still simple things in life that she wanted more, such as walking in the park.

Tramar parked downtown on Van Buren Street, and then the two of them walked a couple of blocks down toward Lake Michigan. They walked around the park, talking just about everything under the sun. As the sun fell out of the sky to make room for the moon, Tramar held Ayana close by his side. She always felt warm and safe in his arms. As they passed various couples and families enjoying the mildly chilly Chicago evening, Tramar held her even tighter.

“So, what time was you try’na be back at the crib?” Tramar asked. “I just wanna know so I can make sure to get you back to your best friend on time.”

Playfully, Ayana slapped Tramar’s shoulder with her left hand. “Stop callin’ her my best friend,” she told him. “You know she just wanna be young again. And don’t be askin’ me no question like that. I ain’t no child. I ain’t gotta be back at home until I feel like bein’ back at home. I can’t wait until I find a job so I can get my own place somewhere. I just hope I can find a job that pays enough so I can get somewhere here.”

“You never finished tellin’ a nigga about what I asked you about last week,” Tramar said, shaking his head. “You females. With the way you do dudes so dirty sometimes, I swear all the games just be too much.”

Ayana looked at Tramar and rolled her eyes. She knew exactly what he was referring to. Over the last couple of weeks, Tramar had brought up the idea of the two of them getting a place together. Even after the few years they’d been dating and whatnot, Ayana was still somewhat reserved toward the idea of moving in with a man she wasn’t married to. Sure, she had plenty of friends who did that. However, she prided herself in not being like her friends, as many of them had children within a year or two of high school graduation.

“I told you,” Ayana said. “I’m still thinkin’. I don’t know about that yet.”

“Look,” Tramar said. “I know how you feelin’ and stuff, but you know I’mma marry you. I just gotta get my shit together a little bit. Once I pay this child support down some, I’mma be more on that frame of mind, you know?”

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