Let’s Keep Him

Lisa requests my assistance. She is having difficulty completing her assignments for the course we’re taking. I had not known her before taking this class, but we have become friends. We make arrangements to work in the lab outside of class time.

Lisa is wearing her usual handful of gold rings, a gold nose ring, a few gold chains of varying sizes, and her blond hair extensions are piled high on her head in a style akin to a pine cone.

Toni, Lisa’s friend, is of Haitian descent, with smooth, almost hairless dark skin and a thick head of long black hair. She is not enrolled in the course with us, but visits the lab to spend time with us while we work.

Lisa and Toni have an inside joke at my expense that everyone else gets but me. I am not very good with innuendo.

Often we work for such long hours that I forget to eat.
Whenever I remark about my hunger Lisa responds, “Eat me, Roger!”
And Toni laughs.

We are finished working for the day and Lisa and Toni suggest that I accompany them to Toni’s home in Oakland Park. They want to watch a movie with me.

Not knowing where I am going I reluctantly board the bus with them. We then take another bus to our destination, but must walk a few blocks to the house. As I walk with them I can feel the stares of a group of local gentlemen engaged in some activity that I decide I should ignore in the interest of my physical safety. Toni waves to one of them. He replies audibly.

At Toni’s house, I watch the film with them uneasily. They bring me drinks and popcorn, but my mind is occupied with devising escape plans should I need to exit the home expeditiously.

It is getting dark and I point this out to the Lisa. She laughs and asks if I am afraid, implying that they won’t let me leave. While I am unconvincingly denying her suggestion she repeats her thoughts to Toni, who is in the kitchen. Toni returns to the room laughing.

“I like him, Lisa”, she says. “Let’s keep him.”…

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