Instructions: before you start reading, go listen to ‘Lady’ by D’Angelo
Standing next to her car in the dark, feeling frustrated and stupid; Pilar wanted to kick the shit out of it, then proceed to kick herself. Last night she must’ve accidentally left the light on inside of her car when she was searching for her cellphone that fell out of her bag, and now the battery was drained and the dumb car wouldn’t start. For months her mother had been pestering her about signing up for AAA; She’d dismiss it by saying she would (knowing that she had no immediate intentions to do so), then go on to talk about something else to change the subject. So no, calling her mother wasn’t optional right now. The “I told you you so” speeches that she still managed to receive in her early thirties annoyed the hell out of her and right now wasn’t the time for it.
All of her friends were just as irresponsible as her (shocking), and she doubted that they had any means to help her in this current predicament she was in. Besides, all of them were drunk and on their way to the very place she should’ve been en route to at least fifteen minutes ago: the Drake & Migos concert at the Forum in Inglewood. She didn’t expect them to risk missing the concert just to come all the way back to Downtown Long Beach to get her, especially after she’d declined riding with them and insisted on driving herself.
She had multiple reasons for not wanting to ride with them. One, usually they were always running late (the irony of this current situation wasn’t lost on her), two if A.J. called her and asked her to meet him anywhere afterwards, she wasn’t bringing her friends. It sounded fucked up, but her friends and his crowd didn’t mesh. When they drank they got a little annoying, and the idea of them embarrassing her in front of him was too much.
She didn’t know for certain if he was going to the concert or not; he never told her his plans in advance. She was certain he would be there because EVERYONE would. Countless times they’d come to events or clubs separately, spotted one another, chatted for a bit, started texting, and ended up meeting together afterwards. He quietly knew a lot of people, and there was no telling if he was going to be going to either Drake or Offsets after parties. Just incase he asked her to tag along, she couldn’t risk the entourage that consisted of her drunk friends trying to roll with her. Hell no. Absolutely not.
In her mind she’d convinced herself months ago that there wasn’t a man on the planet cooler than him. Of course this wasn’t even halfway close to true, and in the part of her brain that still functioned rationally she knew this. She’d snagged the attention of plenty of men with more money and status than him, this list including a few NBA players and rappers that she’d slept with. Hell, she was cool! But somehow this aloof man had managed to make her fall flat on her face and drown in outright stupidity. They were not boyfriend and girlfriend (yet). They shared no real title besides ‘friends’. Friends that went to eat a couple of times a week to high end places. Friends that spent the night over one another’s houses practically every other night. She’d even been around his friends. He never introduced her as his girlfriend, just Pilar. Just friends. For almost a year that’s what they’d been doing, and she still didn’t know exactly what they were, but she liked it. His hot then cool attitude was addictive to her. She couldn’t understand him, and the times that she thought she had him figured out, he’d prove her wrong and do something completely opposite of her predictions. She still texted a few other guys sporadically, but none of them interested her the way A.J. did. She desperately wanted to question him about why they weren’t officially something, but her ego was too inflated to step to any man begging him to make her his girlfriend. Also her heart didn’t know what it would do if she did build up the courage to initiate this conversation and it didn’t go the way she wanted it to. Then what? Exactly.
Lost in her thoughts, still annoyed and getting anxious about the idea of missing the concert, she was about to say fuck this car and just call an Uber, she could deal with this tomorrow; suddenly a text came in on her phone from her co-worker, James:
“maybe I will see you up at the concert. i’m leaving out the door right now. if I don’t see you, be safe Lady”
Pillar smiled. Thank you God! James was more than her co-worker, he was her friend. Though they were the same age, he seemed so much more mature than her. At least that’s how she felt when she told him all of her personal business, and he’d listen quietly then proceed to tell her she needed to make better decisions. Never in a judgmental way, but more so out of genuine concern. He always called her ‘Lady’, which was weird at first because she couldn’t tell if he was flirting with her or not, but in the two years that they’d worked together and gotten to know each other he’d never tried to get at her.
She replied back quickly:
“hey my battery is dead. can you give me a jump? please!”
The infamous iPhone dot..dot..dot appeared instantly indicating to her that he was typing something, she hoped it was yes.
“omw Lady. be there in 5 min”
Internally she screamed! Thank God for James! Feeling relieved, she dug in her bag and reapplied her lipgloss. Getting a distorted glimpse of herself in the reflection from the cars, she knew for a fact, that she looked killer in her shredded light denim high rise jeans, beige de-constructed vintage B.U.M. hoodie that she’d cropped so that her entire stomach was revealed, and her new Gucci Rhyton sneakers. She couldn’t wait to get to this show.
Pilar grew excited as she saw James’ car approaching. James was the laid back type, he reminded Pilar of the character Franklin from the show ‘Snowfall’, the type of dude that moved in silence, always remained calm and collected. He was modest and frugal, so it wasn’t surprising that he drove a gray, four door, hatchback Prius. And because he was a true California nigga, he had to add his little touches to it like the limousine tint on the windows, that he constantly got pulled over for having.
James pulled up directly besides Pilar’s car, hopped out with his engine still running and immediately greeted Pilar with a warm hug
“What’s going on miss Lady?” he asked rolling up the sleeves on his Pendleton button up, and quickly walking around to the trunk of his car.
He retrieved the jumper cables from his trunk and told Pilar to pop the hood of her car. She looked at him cluelessly and he chuckled before patiently instructing her how to locate the lever under the steering wheel.
Pilar stood back, admiring how James knew his way around her car, how quick he was to drop what he was doing and come to her aid when she called, no questions asked. She also noticed how he wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to help out a friend in need. Pilar dug the hell out of that. She was big on loyalty, be it from family, friends, or a lover. James was a good friend to her and she was appreciative of that.
After several attempts of trying to jump her car, he came to the conclusion that her battery was no good and needed to be replaced altogether. He told Pilar not worry about it, she could ride with him, and they’d come back and get her car situated in the morning. Pilar was fine with that, she wanted nothing more but to get to the concert, turn up with her girls and hopefully run into AJ for a night cap.
James was the type to always open the door for ladies, so when he walked around to the passenger side and reached for the back door, Pilar swatted his hand away and told him,
“Boy quit playing, you ain’t gotta treat me like you my chauffeur or something, get outta my way, I’m riding shot gun like always!”
James tried to stop her but before he could, Pilar had already maneuvered around him and swung open the front passenger door, she was caught off guard when she saw the wavy haired Spanish chick in the front passenger seat. Pilar looked at James,
“Oh… you didn’t tell me you had someone with you, I could have just caught an Uber.”
“My bad Lady, I rushed right over soon as you texted. This is Marisol, Marisol this is my home girl Pilar that I told you about, we work together” Marisol was cordial when she smiled and said hello. Truthfully she was irritated that Pilar was the reason they were going to probably miss the Migos opening set.
Pilar got in the back seat, scooted to the middle and leaned forward, propping one elbow on James seat and the other elbow on Marisol’s seat. In normal Pilar fashion, she began to joke and pester James like an annoying sister would do to her brother.
“Soooo James, is this your girrrrrrlfriend?”
James looked over his should and chuckled, “Naw shawty, bag back, and put on yo seat belt.”
Pilar grabbed a few strands of Marisol’s curls and played with them, spiraling them around her index finger as she proceeded to talk about her as if she wasn’t right there in the car with them,
“Well she’s super cute, where’d you meet her at?”
Marisol pulled away from Pilar, releasing her hair from Pilar’s fingers and answered for James,
“Well we met at my parent’s restaurant, I was helping them out, he came in, ordered a shit load of tacos, and I took his order… we’ve been hanging out here and there ever since, nothing serious… he asked me last minute to come to the concert, so here I am.” Her tone was matter-of-fact.
For the rest of the ride, Pilar and James chopped it up about random workplace drama and what songs they were looking forward to seeing Drake perform. After they arrived and found parking, they got out the car. Prior to parting ways, Pilar and James dapped each other up, and gave each other a hug. Marisol stood by his side, noticeably irritated, but silent, as James made sure that Pilar was straight telling her to hit him up if she needed him to take her home after the concert. Pilar saw Marisol roll her eyes.
After Pilar showed her ticket and was ushered down to the floor seats, she immediately found her girls, which wasn’t hard to do because they were already drunk off of Henny shots and of course they were the loudest in the section. Migos was performing Bad & Boujee and they were singing along to every lyric as if they knew the song was written especially for them. Pilar and her girls were the epitome of bad and boujee and they knew it.
Midway through Drake’s set, Pilar had to use the bathroom, she’d been holding it since she arrived. The multiple drinks and shots of Henny she consumed in the last hour didn’t help, so she told the most coherent friend in her group that she was going to go use the restroom real quick. Pilar pushed her way through the crowded venue, more than a few niggas grabbing at her hand trying to get her attention. Finishing up in the restroom, she checked herself in the mirror, reapplied her lip gloss, and made sure her hair was straight.
As Pilar was heading back, her heart jumped and skipped a little beat. There he was, A.J. standing at the makeshift bar area looking fine as ever. His back was turned to her because he was ordering drinks. Pilar didn’t walk up to him right away because the multiple shots she’d been taking since she arrived had her feeling extra nice. She stood there day dreaming about her legs being wrapped around him and the multiple ways she was gonna love him tonight. She couldn’t help but smile from the inside, and finally she began to slowly stumble towards AJ, but she stopped and froze mid-way. Pilar saw AJ turn to his left with two drinks and hand one to some Rhianna looking chick with long stiletto nails and a fat ass. Fake Rhianna grabbed the drink, and he grabbed her in a way that let Pilar know she wasn’t just some random friend or a distant cousin. When he put his drink down on the table near them, and hugged her with both hands on her ass, fake Rhianna leaned in to him with both arms around his neck. Everything around Pilar froze. She knew that he was definitely fucking this girl and that she definitely wasn’t some random chick; A.J. wasn’t the type to show PDA under any circumstance.
Pilar immediately became nauseous and started sweating profusely. She attempted to push her way back to the restroom, but didn’t make it. All of the Hennessy, the strong smell of the weed throughout the venue, and the lack of real food caused her to vomit right there in the middle of the crowd all over some dude. Disgusted, the stranger yelled
Everyone within earshot turned around to view the shit show; everyone, including A.J. and his fake Rhianna.
Pilar couldn’t bare to look up and see A.J. and his chick looking at her so she ran into the restroom, locked herself in the stall, and with tears in her eyes, pulled out her phone and began texting James:
“james, please come get me, i’m drunk and I need to leave now!”
Pilar sat in the stall, waiting about 10 minutes with no reply, she was ready to say fuck it, and just walk outside and call an Uber. Then those dot…dot…dot appeared on her iPhone screen, then a message from James appeared:
“Lady where are you? I’ll come to you now”
…..pt 2 coming soon…