Chapter 21: None of My Business

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"What was all that about?" Tanya asked as we walked towards the exit of the building.

"I should be asking you that. I thought you were getting serious with Landon?" I pointed out, looking over at her. "What was that back there with Duane?"

"That was just Duane trying to spit some weak-ass game," she began to laugh. "Ain't nobody checkin for him and yet, he still keeps trying every time I see him."

"Watch, he's gonna mess around and get him some of Tanya's brown sugar one of these days," I countered, unable to stop the laughter from spilling out of me.

"No ma'am, I don't do strippers," she said shaking her head profusely. We were outside of the club by then and there were stragglers all around us but nobody was paying any attention to our conversation. I stopped walking and gave her a stern look.


"Oh stop, what you did was different," she brushed off slipping her arm through mine to force me to start walking again. It was chilly outside so I didn't complain. "You let him dig you out when you needed it," she began to whisper as if she needed further explanation for her comment, "and you don't plan on ever dating him seriously."

I didn't respond because I didn't look at Phillip the way Tanya looked at Duane. I believed that Phillip was different even though he was technically still a stripper.

"That's still a messed up thing to say," I chastised her.

"What do they say about women?" She asked. "Never wife a hoe" or "you can't turn a hoe into a housewife."

"That's what ignorant men say."

"Well the world is filled with a whole lot of ignorant men," she said shaking her head. "I think they're all fuckboys if you ask me."

"Damn-" I began to say, but was interrupted when I thought I heard my name.

"Joy!" When I realized that it was my name, I turned around with Tanya following my lead. To my surprise, Phillip was jogging towards me.

"Well ain't this about a-" Tanya mumbled.

"Come on," I pressed her, turning us both around to keep walking. Seeing Phillip that night was the last thing I expected. I had only stopped by the poetry slam because two other artists that I was friends with needed a third artist to participate in the painting portion of the night. Tanya and I had plans to go to a club, but I agreed to do them this favor if they agreed to participate in an idea I had for an art camp that summer.

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