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  • Writer's picturethejsingraham

Hey Auntie, II - excerpt: show me my competition

In this excerpt from Say What You Mean, part II to Hey Auntie, Liza is backed into a corner and made to deal with a situation she never considered. A meeting between her kinda present and somewhat past.



An hour after the game ended I found the Collins’ outside of the arena. While Thomas celebrated with his fellow alums and the team inside, I sent a text to Lauren who told me they were waiting for David Marcus. Apparently, he had a lot of press looking for some facetime following the game he just played. When I walked up I hugged Kamilah, Lauren, and Dre, waving at Mike, Tiny, and two other men I didn’t know--one of which was younger and even taller than David Marcus.

We chatted for a few minutes, before the man of the hour, even in defeat, came strutting out of the large glass doors. As usual, he looked 90s R&B music video good, in a white A&M hoodie under his light gray unbuttoned peacoat. Distressed denim now covered those powerfully built, slightly bowed chocolate legs of his. Our eyes met for a beat, before…

“Slim! I ain’t never seen no shit like that before in my life moe! You was wrecking them nig—...”

The taller, younger, and more animated of the two unknown men bounced over to David Marcus boisterously before being cut off.


The other unknown man’s voice boomed. It possessed a natural heaviness, that leaped from his chest, amplifying like we were in an enclosed space. Quiet as kept, it startled me, especially when the expression on his face was so calm.

“What I tell you about your mouth?” The man with the salt and pepper beard said in a more relaxed, yet still aggressive tone as he walked towards them.

DJ, put his head down and patted his chest, but the broad and mischievous smile he flashed David Marcus remained.

The three men spoke briefly, laughing and joking before the older man dapped up David Marcus, hugging him for a long time. When I looked at the pair, in a weird way, they shared a resemblance. They didn't look alike but at the same time, they kinda did. Where the one named DJ was loud and energetic, the other man held the exact same presence as David Marcus. Quiet, unmistakable confidence. Almost regal. And just like my manchild, he was fine, but in a more rugged, salt of the earth kind of way.

When he and DJ left, Tiny ran over to her cousin and hugged him--the rest of the Collins followed. I stood there awkwardly, not entirely knowing where we stood at the moment, but happy to at least not feel unwelcomed, judging from the look on his face.

Just as they had kind of broken their huddle and Lauren waved me over, the glass doors to the arena opened and out stepped Thomas. Fuck! I completely forgot he was here and that I had told him where I was.

David Marcus turned around to see what had caused my expression to change.

“There you are, you ready to go?” Thomas asked as he walked by the Collins' over to me.

The six of them turned in unison to see who had asked the question. Simultaneously Thomas’ eyes widened when he saw David Marcus.

“So you’re out here sleeping with the enemy huh?” Thomas asked in jest. “You know the guy who was doing his best to break the hearts of an entire university and its alumnae?”

The sleeping with the enemy line sent me into a coughing fit that threatened to make me bend the knee. Damn is it that obvious, even though I’m not…presently. As she had in the past Kamilah just looked at me oddly, while Lauren and Mike looked on concerned. Dre’s eyes got big, but he largely was able to keep his cool. Tiny smiled, slyly but said nothing.

David Marcus locked eyes with Thomas and said nothing at first, then stepped forward with his hand extended.

“Guilty as charged. Ms. Liza was most definitely, sleeping with the enemy,” he said in a slow and measured tone.. “David Marcus Collins. And you are?”

I honestly did not know what was happening, but I knew I did not like it in the least. The vibe that was being thrown out was unnerving. After being confronted by the youngest Collins woman in attendance, then finding out that my girl’s husband may also know about my little secret, and now to have this weird non-showdown showdown. This is too much.

“David Marcus, this is Thomas. Thomas, this is David Marcus,” I said looking between the two of them nervously. “Also, this is Kamilah, David Marcus’ mother, his Uncle Mike, his Aunt Lauren, my co-worker, Uncle Andre, and his cousin, Tiny.”

With introductions out of the way, I really was ready to head home and climb under my bed. My original plan after the game that I just witnessed was to open a bottle of wine, slip into something soft and comfortable, then drink myself into a state of euphoria with my good homegirl, ROSEtta Bone.

Now, hell, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I just knew I wanted to be anywhere but here.

“You played a hell of a game David. A little extra for my taste with the antics, but a hell of a game nonetheless,” Thomas stated rather clumsily.

“Yeah, what can I say? You caught me in a rare moment and I was provided extra motivation just before the half.”

“Aw, what? You talking about that little dust-up on the sideline?” Thomas added, with a newfound cockiness and bravado I had never experienced before.

“No sir,” David Marcus replied with a laugh. “Recognizing I was up against inferior competition.”

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