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There was no father at home to provide for the nine children, all just one year apart. Across the hall from our apartment was a young 16 year old kid that everyone in the neighborhood liked. His family was just as poor as mine, but because he was so handsome the teenage girls used to give him money and clothes. Soon they started to call him Flossy Floss.
One day I came up the stairs crying, and Flossy and his friend Wayne were sitting on the stairs. When Flossy saw me crying he said, "What's the matter?" I looked deep into his brown eyes and told him I was hungry. He told Wayne to stay with me. When he returned I couldn't believe my eyes. Flossy was dragging a bag full of frozen food from his house. He told Wayne to help him carry the bag across the hall to my apartment. He was so anxious to help me that he forgot I stayed right across the hall from him. Flossy also was trying to avoid his babysitter, Mrs. Brown, because he did not want her to catch him taking the food.
When they arrived at the apartment, Mrs. Brown looked out the door and asked Flossy if he was okay. While getting paid to baby-sit, all she did was watch "General Hospital" every day. I pushed my door open and saw we now had electricity. My brothers and sisters ran towards the door and asked where I had gotten all the groceries. They grabbed the bags and put them in the kitchen. I heard my older sister telling them to help her cut up the potatoes. Flossy told me that any time I was hungry to just knock on his door three times and he would meet me in the hallway with some food. He put his hand in my pocket and told me not to touch what was inside until he had gone. He said goodbye and kissed me on the cheek. The bright smile on his face made me feel really good.
He and Wayne went back to their spot on the stairs. I went straight into the bathroom for privacy and pulled out the object that Flossy had slipped into my pocket. I could not believe what I saw; there were five twenty-dollar bills shaking in my trembling hands. After my sisters finished cooking, my mom came through the door. She stopped when she smelled the aroma of baked chicken, mashed potatoes, and greens.
"Where did you guys get all of this food?" she asked. My sister Krystal told her that my boyfriend, Flossy, had given it to us. My mom turned, looked at me and smiled.
It was recognized in the neighborhood that I was not like all the other girls. I knew I had unique qualities, was cute, and had a sexy figure. But I was not conceited. I recall Flossy sometimes being outspoken with the girls that passed their stairs hang-out spot, but when he saw me, he acted shy and tense. Even the day he offered to help me he acted really shy. Strangely, I never looked at him as a play'a, but all the other girls gave him their money. Wayne was shy as well, but was always coming up with a lot of the girls.
My mom called me into her room. "Peaches, that boy Flossy really liked you. You and your sisters are growing up fast, so I have to sit you down and explain about men. I like that young fell'a. He's a decent guy and he never gets into trouble. The only thing that concerns me is that he has all of those young girls flock to him and chase him around, like bees flock to honey. Don't mention this to anyone, but I hear his momma is a hoe and works on the hoe strip. Rumor has it she don't let no pimp taker her money, either." The two of us laughed at that statement.
To my surprise the story got me excited. I reached in my pocked and pulled out four of the twenty-dollar bills Flossy gave me and handed them to my mom.
"Peaches, where did you get that money?" When I told her that Flossy gave it to me she said sternly, "Did you do anything with that boy Flossy?"
"No, Mom!" She told me to always be completely honest with her and we went to eat.
After dinner I took a good long bath. I did my homework and tried to get some sleep, but sleep evaded me all night long. I just could not get Flossy Floss off my mind, feeling so drawn to him. I could hardly wait to get to school the next day to see him. When I finally dozed off, I immediately started to dream about him. I woke up about six o'clock and rushed to get dressed. I usually took my time, but the quicker I finished getting dressed, the quicker I would see Flossy. I thought up a short plot. I would wait for Flossy to leave his apartment, then wait about 30 seconds and start off to school. I heard his door open as I peeped out the peephole. There he goes again, I said in my mind, full of lust as I now know it was. He was the best-dressed guy in school and had this fancy swagger as he walked.
I hurried out the door. To my surprise when I walked out of the apartment building door, he was standing there waiting for Wayne. He smiled and came over to me. Having lost his shyness, he kissed me, and to my surprise the kiss was directly on my lips. One minute it seemed like an eternity, warm and sensual. I felt a thousand bolts shoot through my body from my head to my toes. I was speechless. I attempted to regain my composure to make sure no one saw what had just occurred, but my friend Trina had witnessed it all. Approaching me, a huge smile spread from cheek to cheek, because she was the only person I had told of how I felt about Flossy. I tried to move. My brain was saying move but my bodily functions were not complying. My feet felt like they did not belong to me. I snapped out of this frenzy once Trina grabbed my arm and told me to snap out of it.
Wayne had left the building. We all began our short journey to school. As usual everyone was hollering at Flossy—boys and girls alike—and I did feel some jealousy every time a girl spoke. It was as if Trina and I were nonexistent, just two girls in the midst of two of the most popular guys in school. I knew in my heart that one day they would regret ignoring us and would wish I was their friend. Suddenly a girl called out to Flossy and walked up, totally disrespecting me as if I was not standing there. She asked Flossy for his phone number. Flossy looked at me, and seeing the frustration in my face, readily declined. From that point on I knew I was special and fully understood that Flossy had much respect and love for me.
Trina sparked a conversation with Wayne and asked him to go to the movies with her; that was no surprise to me. Trina was always outspoken and as they say, a little fast.
Flossy said sarcastically, "Well, I guess I have to take my girl out to the movies, too!"
"I responded, "I didn't know you had a girlfriend."
"Well, if you didn't know, you know now. You my girlfriend, baby!"
The moment turned from sarcasm to emotional and I just burst out into tears. He reached over and wiped my tears, saying, "I'm sorry."
"No! Don't be. I'm just happy. This is the happiest day of my life." We hugged and continued on our way to school.
All day I could not focus on my classes. All I would think about was Flossy. My heartbeat raced every second he came to mind. I just wanted to taste his lips and feel his warm hands again brush against my face. Damn! I thought. I need him, want him!
At home that night, I went straight to sleep. I now knew that with Flossy by my side, all my dreams would be fulfilled. We did stick to the plans we made earlier that day to go to the movies at five o'clock on the coming Friday. I took the twenty dollars I had left, and Trina and I went to the dollar thrift store. We picked out some nice hook-ups to wear. We left the store feeling secure with our choices. For twenty dollars we did well: jeans, shoes, T-shirts, socks, and even some panties. Surprisingly, I still had five dollars left and gave Trina half. She was and still is my best friend, so we always shared with each other.
I spoke to Flossy later that day. He told me that "Scarface" was showing. The buzz around the neighborhood and school was that everyone was going to check it out, so he wanted to get there early. His aunt was going to take us and pick us up. We arrived at the theater early as planned, but the line was still long. Flossy recognized one of his friends near the front of the line and he motioned to us to come up. He and Flossy clasped hands, did their ghetto shake and hug thing, and had some small talk.
We went inside. This movie theater was lavish and clean. It was Trina's and my first time in a movie theater, so we just went with the flow and let Flossy and Wayne lead the way. Once seated, Wayne and Trina said they would go and buy the popcorn, candy, and soft drinks. Flossy and I remained behind, cuddled up in our corner seats, kissing and respectfully touching each other. We were so into each other we never noticed Trina and Wayne's return. The movie was good, they said. To be perfectly honest, I never paid any attention to it, but was totally into Flossy.
We went home directly after the movie. Flossy's aunt was there like clockwork to pick us up. Flossy and Wayne wanted us to come over to Flossy's place, but I told him I would have to ask my mother. We used the excuse of playing board and video games as a ploy to get there. And since Trina was okayed to spend the night at my house, my mom would have to give the okay for her as well. That was no problem, she said yes. Trina and I went across the hall and knocked on Flossy's door, but there was no answer. We knocked a second time and the door swung open.
The apartment was so fly. Everything was luxurious and in place. The television was brand new and the furniture was covered with plastic to protect it from spills. The carpet felt thick, as we were asked to remove our shoes. It was good that we had purchased new socks. From the minute I saw this place, I did not want to leave. It was not like our apartment. I thought Flossy was poor like us, but it should have occurred to me that it was not like that, when he gave us the groceries and put that money in my pocket. Trina and I looked around in awe. I curiously asked who else was at home. Flossy replied, "No one!" in a devilish tone. We left Trina and Wayne in the living room, while Flossy and I went to his bedroom. He said he wanted me to see how nice it was.
His bedroom was immaculate and neat. Unlike my room, Flossy's was that of a neat freak. I immediately knew that I had to get it together in my room at home. We sat down together on the edge of the bed. He grabbed my hand.
"I know you hear a lot of people saying that my mom's a hoe, and you might look down on me and my mom. But, Peaches, please don't." Moisture filled his big sexy eyes. "I love my mom and really don't care what she does for a living. All I know is that she takes good care of me. She's my mom and will always be my mom. That's just how life is. My dad was never around and he never done anything for me. As a matter of fact, I don't know what the fool looks like! But Mom's been both my mom and dad, despite her doing what she does for a living to provide for me."
I started to speak, but he cut me off by touching my lips and saying "Shhh!" That one word was so sexy, it made me twitch between my legs.
"You must understand my mom is the one who put and keeps this roof over my head and puts food on the table. And she does it all because she loves me and is determined that I never want for anything!"
He fell silent as if he was wrong for explaining his mom's prostitution. Tears ran down his face and I wiped them away. I had never dealt with a male on this level, so did what I felt was the natural thing to do. I put my arms around him, embraced him, and told him that I would not tell anyone. I confessed that the only thing that mattered to me was his love, his trust, and his total honesty.
He stood up. "Let me show you something." He pulled a photo album out of the dresser drawer and showed it to me; it was pictures of his mother, a full-figured, voluptuous woman, extremely beautiful. Now I know where Flossy had gotten his handsome looks.
I told him, "No matter where life takes us, we must always remain friends. Please promise me that we'll always remain friends."
"Of course, baby, and one day I'll be rich and take my mom away from the lifestyle she now has. And I want to move your family and my family away from these dangerous projects."
"Flossy, promise me you'll never use drugs as an outlet to get out of the projects. And tell me you'll never sell drugs."
"Baby, a fly guy like me doesn't have to sell drugs. The girls are always going to take care of me!" We both laughed and continued with some good conversation, learning everything we could about each other.
Around three o'clock Trina and I sneaked back into my apartment. We went into my bedroom but could not sleep, so we talked about Flossy and Wayne all night. We imagined that they were doing the same as we were. They had so much in common: their moms were the best of friends and they worked on the streets together. Flossy and Wayne were open about their moms' occupations and told us how their moms discussed how they were going to become the first international broad players in the pimp game.
Both Trina and I grew up relatively quickly over the years, but did not experiment with sex. We traveled around the bases with Flossy and Wayne, but never reached home plate. What I admired most about these good brothers was the fact they never forced us to do anything. We grew up to be well-mannered girls and fine ladies. Despite being the main women in their lives, they still had the girls on lockdown. School seemed to never be on their minds.
She launched into a deep scenario about how she got started, how things worked in the beginning of the game, and what changes had been made since then. She told him, "Boy, if you're going to be a pimp, you must do three essential things to survive: Be strong, never show weakness, and dress for the part. And I'm not just talking about clothes. Everything including your cologne, jewelry, and car has to be fashioned so eloquently that your team of ladies feels that they must at all times respect you and uphold your name in the street as their pimp. They must feel secure knowing that you'll protect them at all times from police and tricks. Never do you want to betray your girls or make them feel they're unimportant to you. I'm telling you all this from my own personal experience. I've been through a lot of pimps and, as you can see, none of them are helping me do a damn thing. But if the streets get too rough, I know I can call up one, get on his team, be protected, and keep my ass out of jail and the graveyard."
Their talk went on and on. Flossy was fascinated with his entrance into the world of prostitution. Having finished her advice, she told him to get himself together because they were going shopping. They headed to the shopping district in Georgetown D.C. She purchased some suits to get Flossy's pimp wardrobe off to a good start. He could now pass for a young twenty-five-year-old instead of a seventeen-year-old. His mother's choice of clothes was excellent, not exactly Armani, but perfect for the role he was about to assume. She also bought him a pair of seven-hundred-dollar gators.
"Now, son, I'm about to take you into the heart of the hoe stroll, but I want you to drive. Don't look nervous and just follow my lead." As they approached Northwest 14th Street, Flossy saw women walking around half-naked, promoting their goods. They pulled over right on the heart of the strip. A few girls recognized his mom's car. When Flossy got out of the car, hoes and pimps alike stared at him. They immediately figured that his mom had some new guy on her hip.
Two of his mom's friends came over and introduced themselves. "Hi, I'm Rachael, and this is Judy. Who's this, Honey?" addressing her by her street name.
"This is my new man." Flossy went with the flow.
"What's up, ladies? I'm Flossy Floss. But you two beautiful ladies can call me Mr. Floss. He grabbed their hands one by one and gently but seductively kissed them. Honey was quite impressed with Flossy's natural ability to croon the ladies.
"Look, this is good peoples," she said. "I know you'll have been catching the blues with that fool-ass nigg'a, Rock. Flossy here's willing to handle Rock and put you all on his team ya'll try to be down for him."
Excerpted from So Enticing by Colin D. Rose Copyright © 2008 by Colin Don Rose. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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