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  • Writer's picturethejsingraham

Hey Auntie, II - excerpt: A tiny problem

Updated: Aug 9, 2022

In this excerpt from Say What You Mean, part II to Hey Auntie, Liza receives a text from an unknown number that opens the floodgates to all of her worst fears as it pertains to one Mr. David Marcus.



The sudden vibration between my legs pulled my attention to my clutch, where I could hear a muffled ding coming from my phone. Seeing Lauren's name lit up on my screen, made my throat tighten.

Lauren C.: Hey babes! Is that you at the far end by the railing?

Lauren C.: I'm not gonna blow up your spot, we can save that for Monday. But I see you down there with Thomas' fine ass.

Lauren C.: Good to see you decided to not write him off just yet.

Thank you for not coming over this way, Lauren. Because the last thing I can do is your energy right now, with Thomas right here, and David Marcus not too far away.

A text from a 301 number sat under Lauren's. It was a random Maryland number, texting me on a Sunday which was odd to say the least. My first thought was spam and if not that, then maybe just a wrong number. Just as I had decided to ignore it, another text came in from the number like it was reading my thoughts.

3018942651: You need to meet me at the ladies' room closest to section 221!

3018942651: I just want to talk.

Oh my God! Kamilah! If Lauren saw me there's no doubt Kamilah did. She saw her son staring at me in the stands, put one and one together, and now she wants to punch me down. Shit! Shit! Shit! I was welcomed into this woman's home, she fed me, then I helped myself to a heaping helping of her son. Fuck, am I hyperventilating?

Subconsciously I looked around where I was sitting to see if anyone heard what I was thinking. They hadn't, but I was seriously considering skipping out on the second half and going home. I'm not a scary woman by nature, but the Collins were a different breed.

When my phone vibrated again, I didn't even want to look down at it. But I am glad that I did.

3018942651: I'm here.


I whispered to Thomas that I would be right back as I walked by him on the steps. He barely acknowledged me.

On the concourse, I looked at the section placard across from me and headed toward section 221. I saw the sign for the restrooms first but didn't see Kamilah anywhere. Is she waiting for my ass in the restroom? Okay, this is a bit much.

Drawing closer, I saw a young woman crouched near the entrance to the ladies' room charging a phone. On my approach, two hazel-colored eyes looked up and locked on to mine in a jarring fashion. The beautiful young woman they belonged to, stood up and looked at me in a very hard, but familiar way. There was an aggressive energy that jumped off of her, but not in a wild way, it was oddly controlled.

"Hey, Tiny, right?" I asked. "Is your aunt in the ladies' room? She uh, she told me to…"

"Wrong one. I texted you."

"Oh, okay," I replied, relieved. "Um, what's going on?"

"You've met my family, so you know how I was raised, and please don't take this the wrong way."

"O…kay," I said, completely uncertain about what this was or what was happening.

"Why the fuck are you playing with my cousin?"

"Excuse me?"

I asked in genuine shock. That question caught me completely flat-footed.

"Imma stop you right there Ms. Liza before you get too far gone in whatever this is you are trying to do right now. I don't play bout, my cousin."

She had me reeling. Her words hit with the amplified volume of a protester speaking through a megaphone, but thankfully no one around us could hear them.

Tiny was tall, like all the Collins women, but without their curves. She had me by at least five inches and had the same pronounced cheekbones that Lauren, Kamilah, and David Marcus owned. The unsettling family trait that I wish she didn't possess right now was the silent intensity that conveyed the true meaning behind her words.

"I know you fucked my cousin. I also know he likes you way more than he should."

My eyes threatened to jump out of my head.

Shit! Wait, what did she say?

"Did you tell D you would be here today, then sit close enough to the court where he could see you with another nig–" she paused, closed her eyes tight, then looked back at me.

Instantly those thoughts of the way David Marcus looked at me before he was pulled off the court by his coach a second ago, came flooding back.

"Did you tell D you were gonna be here then show up with ol'dude to hurt my cousin or to send a message?"

"Now hold the fuck up," I said, looking around briefly, unsure of how loud I just was. "I would never do anything to intentionally hurt David Marcus, I care about him way too much."

"You gotta funny ass way of showing it," she said, looking me up and down menacingly. "You the opps now Ms. Liza. Imma let you figure out if it stays that way after today's game.

Enjoy the show!"

Before I could respond, she had already unplugged her phone and charger from the wall, turned, and walked off.

I stepped into the ladies' room to get myself together, replaying what I said to a seventeen-year-old, to explain my intent or lack thereof. Everything I said to Tiny was true. I would never seek to hurt David Marcus. When I accepted Thomas’ invitation today, I just assumed we would be in the suite like we were yesterday. Then we walked in and went to the left instead of the elevator. When we got to our seats and I saw how clearly I could see David Marcus, I was sick. And that was before he looked at me the way he did, once he spotted me just before halftime.

I never claimed to know or fully understand the game of basketball in any way shape or form. In fact, my mom and grandmother regularly talked about me like a dog for being from the hoop state, North Carolina, and not loving the game as they did. But I had enough of an understanding of it, sports, and human nature in general, to grasp what happened in the second half of the championship game.

David Marcus went smooth the hell off.

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