Flyy Girl, Page 1Omar Tyree
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the early years
trouble next door
the fast lanes
a loss of virginity
on the flip side
a college boy
“. . . don’t give them nothin’ unless they got something to give you. . . . what you do is get a nice-looking nut dude with some money and romance his ass. If you can get somethin’ without doing anything, then do it. But if you can’t, then make sure you play with his mind real good before you do. . . .”
It is best when some particular creations have no man-made laws.
Only then can we attack the harsh addictions of our deteriorated society.
It is not of an intelligent human being to ignore that which is real.
True answers come from what we can see, taste, hear, think and feel.
Omar Rashad Tyree
dedicated to all sisters and brothers, in memory of the glamorous and exciting ’80s
the early years
“Happy birthday toooo you. Happy birthday toooo you. Happy bir-r-r-th-day dear Tra-a-a-a-cy . . . Happy birthday toooo you,” the crowd of sixteen children sang, helped along by some of the parents who were present.
It was Sunday afternoon in Tracy’s sixth year of life, nineteen-seventy-seven. She sat proudly on her father’s lap at the table in front of her birthday cake. She cracked a broad smile in her cute red dress. Her newly tied ponytail dangled down her neck. Her hazel eyes enlarged as her daddy helped her to cut the two-layer cake while the other children watched excitedly, all wishing that it was their birthday.
Tracy’s daddy, Dave Ellison, was deep cocoa-brown and hazel-eyed and had the lean figure of a trained athlete. He was a youthful twenty-nine-year-old, possessing the boyish face of a teen. Dave wore no mustache or beard, obeying his self-imposed hygiene regulation. He believed that his clean-shaven face presented a healthy and professional appearance at the hospital where he worked as a pharmacist.
Tracy’s smooth, honey-brown skin was exactly half the richness of her father’s tone. She had inherited his light-colored eyes along with the almond shape and long eyelashes of her mother, Patti. Tracy’s eyes seemed to glimmer whenever the sun hit them, making them sparkle like a cat’s eyes. She was average height for her age, not standing out among the other kids. But her daddy was tall, and her mother was no midget herself. Patti had inherited a considerable amount of height from her father, Jason Smith, who had died in a car crash a year ago. So Tracy, it seemed, was destined to be tall.
Tracy’s cousins had always envied the attention she received. For her birthday, she received presents and money from all of her guests and relatives. Her aunts bought her new clothing and shoes that her cousins wished they could have. All but two of her six cousins were older than she was.
Patti, matching her daughter and wearing red herself, bought Tracy a pink Mickey Mouse watch. Dave gave her a small gold ring.
Most of the parents sat around eating ice cream and cake and watching the television set inside of the kitchen. Their kids played board games in the Ellison’s large, finely decorated basement.
The kids began to scream and yell once Patti decided to put on a VCR movie. The 27-inch, floor-model, color television set was a brand-new RCA. Dave had bought it a week before the party. He had moved the old, 19-inch Sony, with stand, into Tracy’s room. Her cousins envied that, too.
Out of four sisters, Tracy’s mother Patti had captured the best man. And Patti had been considered the prettiest sister since their youth, with her light skin, curvaceous body and dark, almond-shaped eyes.
Dave was definitely a catch. His high income enabled them to move into a comfortable and scenic black neighborhood in Northwest Philadelphia. In Germantown, they had the luxury of private lawns, patios, driveways and lots of trees, which surrounded their three-bedroom twin-house, things not affordable to the many Philadelphians who lived in crowded row-house areas. Patti worked at a nursing home as a dietitian, adding to their snug income.
So far, Tracy was their only child. Dave was an only child himself. Patti’s three sisters each had two children.
Tracy fought with her cousins constantly. At most of their family gatherings, her mother and aunts tried unsuccessfully to keep them apart. Their unruly children could destroy an entire party with infighting. They had done it many times before.
The kids, ten girls and six boys, including Kamar, Tracy’s only boy cousin, watched Cinderella. The girls were having more fun than the boys, who would have rather watched Dumbo. But it was Tracy’s party, and she wanted to see Cinderella first.
The children spilled juice on the rug, left crumbs on the tables and got melted ice cream all over their bodies. Patti ran behind them, cleaning up to keep the house neat and pretty.
There were carpets in every room except for the kitchen, which had new blue and white tile floors. And when Patti finally gave up trying to salvage what was left of her clean house, she went and sat in her large kitchen with her sisters and the rest of the parents.
“Girl, this house is just beautiful,” a parent said enthusiastically, as though the house had energized her.
“Yeah, girl, you just don’t know how much we put into this house,” Patti quickly responded, trying to be modest.
“Well, if my man had some money, I could’ve had a house like this, too,” Patti’s younger sister Tanya said. She stood inside the kitchen entrance leaning up against the wall. Tanya was well-curved herself, wearing a royal blue shirt and pants set with black shoes.
“Unh hunh, that’s why I love to visit, just to be in this house,” Patti’s youngest sister Joy said with a giggle. “This feels better than being in the hospital.” Joy was considered the silly sister. She was on the thin side, wearing an off-white dress and sitting in one of the kitchen chairs.
“See, I told you years ago, Joy, that that boy you was dating didn’t have no sense. But you wouldn’t listen,” Marsha, the oldest sister, commented. Marsha was heavy-set and mean. She wore a wide, black, skimpy dress. She kept pulling it down over her hips under the kitchen table.
You need to stop trying to look cute in them tacky-ass outfits you wear, Patti thought to herself of her older sister.
“Look who’s talkin’,” Joy responded to Marsha while slicing a piece of cake. “You ain’t got nothin’ better than what I got.”
“Well, that’s only because the nigga left me. But I gots more, honey.”
Patti began to feel uncomfortable, predicting where her sisters’ conversation was headed. “Come on now, every time we get together we talk about the same-o-same-o. Now, this is supposed to be my daughter’s party, so let’s act like it,” she told them.
“Aw, girl, listen to you,” Marsha snapped. “You gon’ get yourself a little college boy with some money, and then gon’ tell us not to be jealous.”
“Now hold on, one minute,” Patti responded. “Don’t start this dumb stuff tonight, Marsha, ’cause I’m sick of it. You can leave my house with all that.”
Marsha shook angrily while trying to lift herself from the kitchen chair. “Fine! I ain’t gotta s
tay here for this boring-ass party any-damn-way.”
The parents, standing inside of the kitchen and the dining room, began to feel embarrassed. They all appeared as though they weren’t listening to the argument, but they were.
“You know what, Marsha? This is it! If you can’t show me any respect in my house, then you don’t need to come here anymore. There’s no reason for you to be acting like this toward me, or the rest of us.”
“Fine, sista’, you said it,” Marsha huffed. She jumped on the phone and called a taxi. She then got her coat and rumbled to the basement door to call her two daughters.
“Trish and Marie, get your things, ’cause we goin’ home!”
“No, I’ll take them home,” Joy interjected. “Ain’t no sense in them being punished just because you can’t get along.”
Marsha looked offended. “Look, dammit, my girls came here with me and they gonna leave with me!”
Both of her daughters looked up from the basement stairway while listening to the confusion. Trish, the oldest, didn’t care one way or the other, but Marie didn’t want to leave.
Trish hiked up the steps and got her coat in a flash.
Marie whined while moving slowly up the stairs behind her. “No, mom-mee, I wanna stay,” she whined.
“Get up them damn steps, girl! I’m sick of your whinin’,” Marsha screamed at her, grabbing her arm.
“Come on, stop her,” Tanya urged Patti. Tanya, the peacemaker, had the two youngest children.
“You know how she is, Tanya, so I ain’t even gon’ try,” Patti told her.
Tracy came upstairs with the rest of the kids to watch the dispute. She felt good that her Aunt Marsha and cousins were leaving. She didn’t want them at her party in the first place.
Dave had sneaked upstairs to his bedroom to watch a football game long ago. He decided to stay out of the sister battles. He knew it was coming. The Smith sisters had never gotten along since he had met his wife. They were all a larger image of their children.
“The man don’t really love you. He only married you ’cause you messed around and got pregnant on him,” Marsha said to Patti as she hastily headed for the door. “And I should tell him that you lied the first time.”
Patti was shocked at Marsha’s outburst. I don’t believe she said some shit like that in front of everybody! she snapped to herself. A large vein in Patti’s throat thumped erratically. She was embarrassed. She fought off a strong urge to go after her mean-spirited sister as she walked from the house. Patti felt like canceling the entire party to recuperate from Marsha’s venom, but it was a celebration for her lovely daughter. She didn’t want to let her inconsiderate older kin ruin Tracy’s party. Nevertheless, a few of the parents could sense her embarrassment. They moved to gather their kids for home as well.
“Look, Patti, it’s been nice, but I really have to be going. The kids have school tomorrow,” one parent said.
“No, don’t let this tear my daughter’s party apart, Venice. I’m fine. Now come on, they can stay,” Patti pleaded.
“Patti, I have some other stops to make,” Venice argued.
Patti sighed and gave in. “Well, at least let me make you a few doggy bags,” she offered.
Venice nodded as Patti hurried off toward the kitchen.
Patti quickly wrapped up leftover food and two large slices of cake in aluminum foil as she helplessly watched her daughter’s party fall apart.
“See, that’s why I hate them. They always mess stuff up,” Tracy whined at the front door.
“I know. Every time they come over here they get mad at everybody for no reason,” the little girl from next door agreed. The three boys from down the street, who were left, weren’t concerned. With the diminishing number of girls, they went back inside of the basement to begin watching Dumbo.
DING DONG! . . . DING DONG!
“Mommy, somebody’s at the door,” Tracy called, running back to the kitchen.
“I heard it the first time,” Patti responded to her. She marched out to answer it.
“Hey, Patti, how you doin’?”
She backed up to let him in. “I’m fine, Keith. How are you?”
“I’m okay. I just came to pick my daughter up,” Keith said, eying his little girl who was sitting on the couch. She stared up at his slender, dark frame in alarm.
“Well, let me get you some cake,” Patti told him.
“Okay,” Keith said.
Patti took another trip to the kitchen.
Keith then approached his daughter on the couch.
“Hey, girl?” he asked her sternly.
“Yes, daddy,” she whimpered.
“Didn’t I tell you to leave at six-thirty? You got school tomorrow.”
His little girl hunched her shoulders and drew a long face. “Yes.”
“Aww, Mr. Keith, she was gonna come home soon,” Tracy said in her friend’s defense.
“Yeah, well, that ain’t the point. Her daddy told her to come home on her own,” Keith responded to Tracy. “It’s ten after seven now, and she forgot all about what I had told her.”
“Here you go, Keith,” Patti said, returning with more cake wrapped in aluminum foil.
“Oh, thanks, Patti,” Keith said with a smile.
Keith was not tall, nor as defined as Tracy’s dad. His daughter, Raheema, favored him in the face, with her high cheekbones and aquiline nose. Her fair skin and long brown hair favored her mother.
Patti had always wondered why Keith was so mean to his wife and daughters. They were all beautiful. Yet he treated them with nothing but bitterness.
“Well, good-bye, Ra-Ra,” she said, stooping down.
Raheema was as light as Patti and pretty cheerful. But Keith, in times of his evilness, could look like a blue-black, red-eyed wino.
“Say good-bye to ‘Aunt Patti,’ girl,” he told her while Patti stood beside them.
Raheema was nerve-racked by then, and her voice showed it. “Good, good-bye Aunt, Aunt Pat-ti,” she stuttered, with tears in her eyes.
Patti noticed her fear and made a point to see her to her house, next door. Keith had a snake’s tongue, but he was no match for Patti.
“What’s wrong, Ra-Ra?” she asked, as if she didn’t know.
“Oh, she’s just crying because she has to go home to get ready for school tomorrow,” Keith answered for her.
“Well, you can come over tomorrow, honey. Okay?” Patti assured Raheema, pinching her cheeks.
“Yes,” Raheema answered with a sniff. Then from out of nowhere, big tears began to fall from her eyes.
“Don’t cry, Ra-Ra,” Tracy perked, comforting her next-door neighbor with a hug.
“Matter of fact, I’m going over to your house to ask your mother right now,” Patti responded.
She, Keith, Raheema and Tracy went next door, leaving the little boys inside the basement.
“Beth, Patti’s down here!” Keith shouted up the stairs.
Patti could sense that he felt robbed of punishing his daughter.
Beth came down in her nightclothes. She looked tired. Her long brown hair was combed back, and her dark, ringed eyes stood out against her light-brown skin. She looked nothing like she did three years ago, when she and Keith first moved next door. Dave and Patti had moved to Germantown only a year before them. The seventies had been prosperous for blacks.
“How are you, girlfriend?” Beth asked, stepping up to hug Patti. Tracy smiled. And Raheema felt relieved with them in her house.
“I’m doin’ all right. Yeah, umm, I just wanted to ask you if Raheema could spend the night on Friday,” Patti said, changing her initial plan.
“Well, yeah, I guess so,” Beth answered, sneaking a glance at Keith.
“Okay then, I’ll be right over to get her after school. And then we’ll go shopping together and get us some ice cream.”
“Y-a-a-a-y!” Tracy squealed.
Keith took a seat on their long black couch and watched television in silence.
p; “Tracy looks so pretty today,” Beth said, watching Tracy as she bounced in her bright red dress.
“Well, Ra-Ra is a little charmer, too,” Patti told her.
Keith frowned. “Yeah, but she never listens. Mercedes listens, but I guess Ra-Ra thinks she’s too cute.”
“Raheema and Mercedes are two different people, Keith. You shouldn’t even judge her like that,” Patti contested.
Raheema became apprehensive hearing her father speak about her. She hoped “Aunt Patti” could win the fight. Beth always kept quiet. She never intervened when Patti and Keith would go at it about her own children. And since Beth wasn’t up for the challenge, Patti stayed right in their business.
“Well, she better start doin’ what she’s told,” Keith warned.
“She’ll be all right. Come here, Ra-Ra,” Patti said. She gently rubbed her fingers through Raheema’s soft hair and rubbed her neck to calm her nerves. She knew she had won their argument. Raheema would be able to sleep in peace.
Patti left with Tracy and began to send the rest of the children in her basement home. She then readied Tracy for bed. It was nearly nine o’clock.
“Did Keith say anything to Ra-Ra when I went inside the kitchen?” Patti asked her daughter while tucking her in.
“Unh hunh. He said that she was ’sposed to go home at six-thirty.”
Patti shook her head in disgust. “I knew it. That man ain’t no good. He’s just as evil as he wants to be.”
Tracy chuckled and closed her eyes. Her mother then swept into her own bedroom. Dave was still watching television. He was leaned up against a pillow with his hands behind his head.
“You know what, Patti, I’m sick and tired of your sisters coming over here and terrorizing my damn house. I’ve worked hard for mine. Now if they got a problem with that, you best leave them out of our lives. Or at least out of my damn life.”
“Look, Dave, now that’s my family. Without me, they’ll fall apart,” Patti self-righteously assumed. “So even if they argue with me, they really do need me.”