– 5 –

    “You’ve got to be kidding me”

   Bri sat in the lobby at her job. It was 11:30 and her shift had been over at the hospital. She was a CNA just getting off from doing a double. She has already said her goodbyes to her employees mins ago and her ride still wasn’t there. It was just her and the security guard at the front desk, Jerry.

    “Again, Ms. Perez” Jerry noticed from day one Bri was always late getting picked up and even getting dropped off. He kinda felt sorry for her.

   Bri gave Jerry and half fake smile and looked at her phone. It was now going on 11:45. She was going to be late picking up her daughter from her moms and she was not in the mood to hear her mouth. But overall, Bri appriciated her more than anything. She was really the only help Bri had.

    She could see some light from afar and noticed it was her car pulling up.


    She gathered her things, went outside and got into the car. Her baby father, James, was driving. She didn’t even bother starting with him. He knew he was late and she was upset and he didn’t even apologize. He lit his weed, turned up the music and drove off.

    Bri looked at him in disgust. She angrily turned the down music.

    “I would appriciate it if you didn’t smoke in front of my job please James. How disrespectful can you be.”

    She examined her car. They were liquor bottles and trash all in the back seat. She could tell he had his friends in the car with him previously. Normally he did, all day he would ride around while she’s at work. Which aggravated her more, she couldn’t see why he was always late.

   “My boss gave me a final warning. If I’m late again, I get suspensed.”

    “Forget this job. You don’t need it. I got you Bri. I always told you that” James said, feeling on her leg. He tried to calm her but Bri wasn’t having it.

    “What do you mean forget this job? I need this job. I have bills to pay. Our daughter to take care of. I don’t need your money” Bri movied away so James could stop touching her.

    Bri loved the money James showered her with when they first got together. But it wasn’t just the money, it was everything about him. He was cute, brown skinned and had the best personality. But it wasn’t til they were a year in where everything changed. He used the money to control her, and things turned physcial when she had her baby. James would always call Bri his property.

    “I’m taking my car to work tomorrow with me.” Bri suggested. “Have one of your lil friends you ride around with come get you.”

    James looked at her as if she was crazy.

    “You don’t complain when I’m bringing in the money. When you couldn’t pay rent last month, I had you. Who took you and all your friends to Atlantic City last month for your birthday. I can’t take your car? I take care of this damn car! If it wasn’t for me, this shit would be somewhere sitting in somebody garage. I own this car!”

    Bri couldn’t argue. She just turned away and looked out the window. James had won, once again.

   “Take me to my moms to get my baby, and take me home.” Bri mumbled.

    James relit his dutch, turned the music back up. The conversation wasn’t nearly over.



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