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Sunday, June 27, 2021

What Inspired Me to Become a Writer

    Flashback to the summer of 2005, and I’d clocked out to another frustrating day at work. I was a sorter operator at a banking firm making $30,000 a year, and I was deep in debt with no end in sight. I’d said to myself numerous times that there had to be more to life than what I was currently doing, and I’d reached a breaking point. My wife and I were at odds quite a bit because of money problems, and I’d thought about throwing in the towel and going my own way. However, I decided to get on my knees and pray for direction, and God had showed me the path to take by downloading in my spirit the tools to write a book about the decline of Little League baseball in inner-city Chicago. I didn’t have the slightest clue on how to write a book, but the Lord gave me the spark to learn everything I could about becoming a self-published author.

Novice Writer

    My book sales were dismal initially, and my first book cover was cheesy. However, I was super excited about publishing my first book back in 2007. My wife helped me coordinate a book signing that year, and all of my friends and family gave me plenty of support. I was well on my way to becoming a bestselling author, or so I naively thought, and I didn’t realize the hard work that I would have to put into building the brand I currently have online. The thousands of hours of sweat equity and trial and error had finally started to pay off three years ago, and it was well worth it in my opinion―a labor of love if you will.

    A seed was planted after I wrote that first book―a short book of about fifty pages―and I’ve gone on to springboard a side-career of writing fiction afterward. I found my niche and honed my skills to the best of my ability, and I’m looking forward to publishing many more novels and short stories in the near future. All praise, honor, and glory to Yahawah Bahasham Yahawashi.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

The Wrong Number: An Urban Fiction Short Story

Nick had thought better of hanging out at the sports bar on one particular Friday night because he hung out the previous night and drank himself into a hangover that didn’t subside until the middle part of Friday afternoon. His friend, Nathan, had texted him earlier and asked if he was going to the spot that they frequented practically every weekend──Bar Louie, a sports bar near the Circle campus. He replied that he didn’t know just yet because he still wasn’t feeling well.

Nightfall had set in on the chilly October night, and Nick still didn’t feel up to going out after he slept the entire afternoon and early part of the evening away. He had called off from his job earlier, as a second shift forklift operator at a warehouse in the northwest suburbs. He grabbed his phone to text Nathan back and tell him that he wasn’t going to the spot, and he clicked on his recent call list to dial Nathan’s number. However, the list was empty. Damn, I don’t remember clearing my phone, he thought. Subsequently, he checked his contacts and saw that all of his contacts were also deleted.

“What the hell!” he shouted. “Was I so drunk that I deleted my entire contact list?!”

Nick had examined every aspect of his iPhone and realized that he accidentally erased all content and settings. He then typed in Nathan’s number and texted:

Yo Nate I ain’t coming tonight cus I’m not feeling well. I’ll get up with you tomorrow.

A minute or so later, he received a text back:

Who is Nate?

Damn, I texted the wrong number, he thought. He texted back:

Sorry wrong number

He placed his phone on his dresser and went to the bathroom for a few minutes, and when he returned to his bedroom, he had yet received another text.

Who are you?

Why?

WHO ARE YOU?!

Who are you?

I asked you first

Nick chewed on this person’s last statement and texted:

Are you a chick or a dude?

A minute or so passed, and he received another text:

I’m a girl

It figures, he thought, and he texted back:

Well I’m a guy

What’s your name?

Nick what’s yours?

My name is Carla. Can you send me a picture?

It depends.

On what?

Are we gonna hook up?

That depends.

On what?

If you’re fine or not so send me your pic Nick.

Nick attempted to scroll the pictures on his phone after tapping the camera icon but quickly realized that he’d deleted them the previous night. He ended up taking a selfie and sending it to Carla moments later. He received a text from her a few seconds later:

Okay handsome I can definitely work with what you got. Here’s a pic of me.

And Nick was instantly turned onCarla had sent him a picture of herself half naked in lingerie. She was very attractive with braids, smooth chocolate skin, shapely body, and puckered lips with cherry lip gloss on them.

Nick had texted her back:

Damn baby you are so fine. When are we gonna hook up?

We can hook up tonight if you’re not too busy.

Where do you wanna meet?

Where do you stay Nick?

I’m out west in K-town.

Well I stay out south in Calumet Park.

Nate pondered for a moment and texted:

We can meet up somewhere close to downtown.

Okay we can hook up at the South Loop Hotel on 26th and State.

Are we gonna smash?

Yeah baby we’re gonna smash but bring the drink.

What do you like?

I like Patron or Grey Goose.

Okay beautiful I’ll bring the Grey Goose. See you in about an hour.

She sent him the ruby red lips emoji, and he quickly got out of bed to shower for his rendezvous with this beautiful stranger. He was out the door in twenty minutes, and he stopped at a liquor store a half-mile from his apartment to get the fifth of vodka for about thirty bucks. He also bought a six-pack of Budweiser because he wasn’t a vodka drinker. He then hopped on Interstate 290 and was in the south Loop in about twenty minutes. He found parking in the rear of the hotel and waited for Carla to show up. Ten minutes turned into twenty minutes, and twenty minutes turned into thirty minutes. She finally showed up right before the forty-five-minute mark as Nick was about to leave the lot. She got out of a black 2019 Chevy Camaro with a tight-fitting, black mini-skirt and stilettos on, and Nick hopped out of his rusty, 2003 Hyundai Elantra, slightly embarrassed.

Sexy Woman

They embraced tightly for a moment and Nick said, “My main car is in the shop.”

“I’m not trippin’ on that boy,” Carla said. “Did you get the room?”

“Not yet. I had to see if you were gonna show up first.”

“I’m sorry I’m late. I had to make myself pretty for you.”

“You’re worth the wait.”

“Come on, let’s get the room.”

They went inside the hotel and Nick paid for the room with his debit card. Their room was conveniently on the first floor, and they quickly settled in, with Nick cracking open a beer and Carla opening the bottle of Grey Goose.

“Are you going to have a drink with me?” Carla asked.

“Nah, I’m good with this beer,” Nick answered.

“Come on baby, please? I’ll let you do anything you want to me if you drink some Grey Goose with me.”

“Well, since you put it that way, pour me a glass.”

“Can you go down the hall and get some ice, baby?”

“Okay, I’ll be back in a minute.”

Carla poured both of them a glass of vodka while Nick went halfway down the hall to fill the ice bucket. Nick came back minutes later and said, “Here you go.”

Carla grabbed a handful of ice cubes and put some in both glasses and said, “Here, drink this.”

“Thank you,” Nick said as he gulped his drink down.

“Do you want some more?”

“Yes, please. This is smooth.”

“I knew you’d like it.”

“So, tell me a little about yourself,” Carla said, sitting on the bed.

“I’m a manager at a warehouse in Elk Grove Village,” Nick lied, as he sat on the bed next to her.

“How long have you worked there?”

“About five years.”

Nick paused and then he asked, “What do you do for a living?”

“I used to dance at Club O in Harvey but now I sell hair off my website,” Carla answered.

“Man, that’s dope. You make a nice piece of change, huh?”

“Yeah, I do alright.”

“Can you pour me another glass, beautiful?”

“Sure, no problem.”

Nick shook his head in delight as he marveled at the shape of her derriere as she poured both of them another glass of vodka. She handed him his glass and sat back down on the bed. She took a sip and said, “I want to open up my own beauty supply store eventually.”

“That’s what’s up,” he said.

He took her glass and his glass and placed them on the nightstand before he leaned into her for a kiss. She placed her left hand on the back of his head as their kisses became deeper and more sensual. He began to kiss her neck as he worked his way down to her chest and she pulled one of the spaghetti straps of her dress down to expose one of her breasts. He caressed, kissed, and licked her nipple before he stood up to disrobe himself. She proceeded to pull down the other spaghetti strap of her dress and stood up to wiggle completely out of it, and she wasn’t wearing any underwear. His eyes nearly popped out of his head as he attempted to unfasten his pants but fell backwards onto the bed.

“Are you alright, baby?” she asked.

“Nah, I don’t feel good,” he answered.

And the last thing he remembered about that night was Carla’s naked body standing in front of him. He awakened the following morning to a knock on the door. He sat up from the bed completely disoriented and didn’t remember where he was at first.

“Housekeeping,” a young lady said.

“Okay, give me a few minutes to get dressed and check out,” Nick said.

“Alright.”

Nick realized that he slept with his clothes on and that his wallet was on the nightstand. He then looked inside of it and saw that his two hundred dollars in cash and Cuban link chain were missing.

“Dammit!” he shouted, pounding his fist on the nightstand. “I can’t believe she robbed me!”

He grabbed his phone that was next to his wallet to dial her number, but she had cleared his call list after he passed out from the roofie she slipped him. He checked his text messages and she erased them as well. He thought about calling the police but decided to take the L instead. Next

Five Things I Learned After Self-Publishing My First Book

     I can remember how excited I was like it were yesterday when my first book titled What Happened to Little League Baseball in the Inner ...