13.

We arrived at the studio to find that Darryl was still there mixing the tracks and making sure that they transitioned smoothly. I'm going to have to pay him at some point. We've been friends since we were in diapers and it's cool that he caught on to the technical stuff unlike me who caught on to the music side of things. Sure, I may put him in his place at times, but he does the same thing to me. It's a win-win situation.


"Darryl, I'm back." I opened the door. Darryl turned around and stared at me like an insect that needed to be squashed. "Now, why are you looking at me like I did something to you?"


"Darryl!" Sophia smiled, hurrying toward him. He stood up and hugged her tightly. "I know we just saw each other but you were so gone you wouldn't have even recognized me. How have you been, lately?"


"I've been alright. Just dealing with this mothafucka and his music thing. Have you heard any of his songs yet?"


"No! Actually we came here to listen to it. We thought we would catch you here. Can I listen to the song Michael just finished? He's been talking about it the whole drive here."


Darryl gave me a look and shook his head. "You really wanna listen to it?"


"Of course!" Darryl got on his computer and looked for the song.


"She gets special privileges. I want her to tell me how she feels when she listens to it. You were the main one saying it's deep." I shrugged and sat in the back. Just as Darryl played the song, my phone vibrated. I went in my pocket to see that she was texting me.


'I'm sorry for earlier...' I stared at the text wondering if I should reply back or not.


In the end, I did, 'No biggie.'


She replied back almost instantly, 'Drew knows about you.'


I made a face. Yeah right. 'How?'


'He went through my phone and saw your name.'


'So?'


'So, he wants to meet you.'


'Why?'


'He knows everyone else in my phone. He wants to know you.'


'Fuck him.'


'What?'


'Fuck. Him.'


'What do you mean by that?'


'Why is he looking through your phone like he's your father or some shit? Fuck him.'


'Michael...'


'What?'


'He just wants to get to know you.'


'For what? I'm fucking his girl. Who wants to meet the guy that's fucking his girl on the side? That's kinda creepy. Don't you think?'


'...don't say it like that.'


'Say what?'


'You're not fucking me.'


'Oh.'


'It makes it seem like I'm one of your whores.'


'I don't have hoes. But, my bad.'


'So, do you want to meet him or not?'


'No.'


'Why not?'


'There's no purpose.'


'There is a purpose.'


'What's that?'


'He means the world to me. You mean the world to me. I want you two to meet up.'


'That's fucked up.'


'How?'


'That's like me inviting you to meet Sinn.'


'Sinn the crack head?'


'She's not a crack head.'


'You're sticking up for her?'


'Point is, I don't want to meet him. Period.'


'Why do you have to be so damn difficult?'


'I'm being difficult?'


'You are.'


'Because I don't want to meet your boyfriend? That's fucked up.'


'Whatever. I'm not about to argue with you over text. That's childish.'


'You texted me first. Just saying.'


'I'll call you later.' I deleted the thread without responding and looked up to find Sophia damn near in tears. I guess it got a hold on her.


"You okay, Sophia?" Darryl stopped the song and rubbed her back.


"This song is so good, Michael. And your voice! God, your voice is so amazing." She managed to say.


"Thanks. Did you feel it though? My goal is for the listener to feel it and possibly relate to it. Not because I'm living the song in reality, but just understand where I'm coming from with that." I put my phone in my pocket.


"I definitely felt it. It's about...?"


"Unfortunately." I turned to face Darryl, "I didn't plan on tears." We laughed, "But, at least I got the point across, right?"


"Hell yeah!" Darryl smiled, "When I get these songs up, you'll have so many hits! It'll be phenomenal! Sophia, did you want to hear the other tracks? You should hear this one. It's my favorite." He played another song as I walked out to the hallway. I called my girl in hopes that she'll answer. She really needs to know how stupid this whole "meeting" sounds with me and her boyfriend.


"Michael, if you're calling to argue with me, then hang up right now." She answered.


"I'm not about to argue with you. You really sound like you want to control me. I'm not a punk and I don't need controlling, especially not by you. I'm the only man in this little thing we have here called a relationship. You can talk that way to Drew, but not me. Just because you take your pain out on him through me, doesn't mean you can talk to me any way you want to." Her line was silent for a bit. I know one thing for sure; I don't tolerate women who act like the man in a relationship. Those types of women are only for the men that can't stick up for themselves. I didn't tolerate Ravenna when she tried to be like that with me. What makes you think I'm going to tolerate it with my girl?


"I'm sorry. I'm just upset." She finally said.


"You're always upset when you call me or when you come over. You've never blown up like that any other time."


"I know, I know. I'm sorry, Michael."


I sighed, "It's whatever. I just called to tell you that I don't want to meet your boyfriend because there's no purpose in it."


"There really is a purpose." She replied.


"Besides the fact that he wants to get to know... Fuck that. When are you leaving this dude? I would assume you'd be done with him by now. Now that he's going through your phone and wants to know every person in your address book. That's a bit scary, don't you think?"


"It's not scary. He just wants to know..."


"Do you know everyone in his phone?"


"I don't care to know."


"I didn't ask that. Have you met everyone in his phone?"


"No."


I sighed, "Babe, you're gonna have to stand up for yourself or leave his ass. Fuck what he says. Fuck what your dad says. This is for your safety. Are you hearing me?"


"I'm hearing you, Michael. I am safe. He knows everyone else in my phone but you."


"That's good."


"It's not."


"It is. It adds mystery. He'll be wondering who this Michael is. He'll wonder if I'm fucking you. He'll wonder if you're cheating on him. The possibilities are endless."


"You don't understand. Mystery is not good. Mystery will get him assuming stuff. Assuming stuff will cause physical harm on me. I don't want him to hurt me, Michael!" She began to cry.


"If he's got you thinking like that then you have to leave him. You know what I'm capable of. I know what I'm capable of. If this nigga hits you again, he's done for. You don't want that. I don't want that. Drew doesn't want that. It's all on you, baby. You need to leave him."


"I can't..." Her voice began to shake.


"You can come here. He doesn't know where I stay. You'll be fine with me."


"Michael, I know that if I leave him or if he were to leave me that I would come to you in a heartbeat. My dad wants me to-"


"Fuck your dad! Does he know that Drew hits you?"


"No..."


"You have to tell him that. Tell him that Drew is abusing you or something will happen that none of us want to happen."


"...ok." She exhaled. "I'll leave Drew."


"Good!" I took a deep breath, a smile playing at the corner of my lips. "When will you leave?"


"In two days... That's our anniversary."


"This Thursday?"


"Yeah. Drew will be gone then. I'll start packing today and maybe you can help me move my stuff into your place?"


"Why would he be gone on your anniversary? Whatever. Ok, babe."


"Thank you so much, Michael."


"I love you."

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