Ava shut her eyes as the sting from the mouthwash hit the open wound in her mouth in the form of a tongue ring. It had been three days since she got it, and although it was still sore, she was glad the mouthwash hadn’t stung as much today as it had yesterday.
Ava stuck her tongue out as far as it would go, examining the small, green ball in the mirror before crossing her eyes while looking directly down at it. Her cell phone beeped and she smiled, pulling it out of her pocket to see which one of her “friends” was sending her a message. To her surprise, it was a call from Javier, a guy on the football team at school.
“What’s up? You rolling through?”
“I don’t know,” Ava said. “I need to find a way to go pay my phone bill before AT&T closes.”
“Ay, just let me scoop you. We’ll stop by there,” he said.
“Bingo,” Ava thought in her head. “You sure? I can find a way.”
“I’ll be there in ten.”
Ava laughed before putting her phone back in her pocket. It had been too easy to get Javier to do what she wanted. She was sure he would be paying for her phone bill as well.
Ava walked down the stairs and walked past Bri. Ava laughed loud to see Bri holding an ice pack to her head.
“Shut up,” Bri said. Ava rolled her eyes and kept walking. Yesterday at school, Bri was trying to impress this boy Davion Brown and picked a fight with Ava. She let her get away with it until they got home from school. She waited until Bri was sleep and jumped on her while she was in bed.
Like clockwork, Javier’s old black Impala pulled up as Ava was walking out the front door. He rolled down the passenger seat window and licked his lips. Ava smirked before getting in the car.
“You going to the one of Fifth?”
“Yeah, they open ‘til 5,” she said, changing his music. Javier sucked his teeth.
“You stay playing.”
Once Javier pulled up at the store, and turned to open her door, he stopped her.
“How much your bill?”
“A little over 50. Why?”
He pulled four twenties out of his pocket and put them in her hand. Ava got out the car and went in to pay her bill.
“Easy does it.”
Javier was playing Trey Songz and smoking when Ava got back in the car.
“Dang, I wasn’t gone that long,” she joked. Javier, obviously already under the influence, smirked.
Ava smirked herself, taking the time to admire Javier’s appearance. He always kept himself in the latest gear, well his Dad did. Ava remembered Javier’s dad from a few times she had seen him with Rico. Ever since the school found out Amaru and Ava were done, guys were lining up to see what the rumors were about. Javier seemed like a nice enough guy, he had more tact then the rest of them. He bought Ava things, picked her up when she wanted and never really pressured her for sex. Ava almost felt bad about using him.
Javier had a dark tan complexion, Ava called him Red to make him mad. He was really tall for his age and Ava thought he should be playing basketball instead of football but he was fast. He was the second string quarterback and would probably be the star next year.
Ava fell out of her thoughts once they pulled up to Javier’s apartment complex.
“We gotta go in the back?” she asked.
“Nah, they out of town.”
“Ut oh, we having a party!” Ava said. Javier laughed, shook his head before grabbing Ava’s arm and leading her up the stairs. Ava bit her lip and followed him.
He wasn’t the first after Amaru. It had been six months since Ava found out that Amaru was the one who started the rumors. After she realized Bri knew all about it and fought her, Kita was the one who brought her to her senses. Ava had been crying, heartbroken, for two days straight. Kita came in her room and sat down and when Ava thought she’d say something sweet like moms on television, Kita proved her wrong.
“Baby, this is your first lesson on why men can’t be trusted for anything except sex and money. They pull you in, make you fall in love, and break your heart the first chance they get. I got my lesson with your papi, you got yours with that Amaru boy.”
Ava hadn’t cried since and she didn’t plan on it. Sure, she was upset that Kita had betrayed Rico, but Kita did what she wanted. Ava planned on doing just that.
By the time they made it in Javier’s room, his high had leveled out. Ava knew it was wrong, but she loved talking to him high because he was funny. She kicked her Reebok off that he purchased last week and crawled on his bed.
“Your sister’s eye better?” He asked, laughing. “That was mad funny!”
“She shouldn’t have been popping mess,” Ava mumbled, rolling her eyes before leaning back on her elbows.
“I heard Cyn say she was mad because Davion said you were cute,” Javier said, pulling his cover up before standing up and pulling his jeans off. Ava side eyed him, looking over his dark red basketball shorts, and laughed. When he pulled off two tee shirts she laughed harder.
“It’s like 85 degrees outside and you got on mad clothes!”
“So why you taking ’em off?”
Ava smirked as Javier got on the bed and kissed her shoulder. Ava smiled before laying back on the bed with him. Javier wasn’t as adventurous as Amaru in the bed, but it was nice. He always wanted to cuddle afterwards. Ava wasn’t okay with it at first, but today she let it slide.
A week later, Ava lay in her bed for a while after she woke up. She had been thinking about Javier’s comment on Davion ever since he said it and her wheels had been turning ever since. Ava knew her plan had to go into action when she got up that morning. One of Kita’s boyfriends had taken her to a hotel last night and she was still gone. Bri had an early morning cheerleading practice at the school.
First thing Ava did was check the weather. Satisfied with the results, Ava picked out a pair of denim shorts that were tattered at the ends and a tight, black fitted tee that said “Bad Girl,” on the front of it. After taking a shower, she put her curls up into a high ponytail, the curls almost forming a bun on top of her head. She pulled a curl from either side to leave out. After sliding her black Reebok on, Ava grabbed her wallet and keys and headed out.
Every other Saturday from June to September, there were basketball tournaments at the park a couple of blocks from Ava’s house. Ava usually didn’t go because Bri and her girls were always there. Since school started, they had cheerleading practice on Saturday mornings. Ava thought this was a perfect time and opportunity for her to really get back at Bri for trying to embarrass her at school.
While Ava walked down the street, a shiny, blue Cadillac pulled on the side of her. She rolled her eyes to see LaDanian Taylor and Romero Colby in the car.
“Only kid I know who drives a Cadi,” Ava smirked, leaning on the driver’s window.
“I’m a man,” he stated, “My ride is fly.”
“If you say so.”
“Hi,” Romero said. Ava laughed.
“Why you say it like that?”
“Get in, you headed to the park?” Ava pushed off the door and back up on the sidewalk.
They playfully teased her before LaDanian drove off. Ava got to the park within five minutes. Everyone was up there and the basketball games had already started.
Ava immediately got looks and whispers from the girls, where most of the guys were looking to get her attention. Ava sighed, almost bored while looking around for her target. She nodded to herself and walked over to an empty bench. Ava paid attention to the game for a second before Tre, Davion’s best friend, sat down next to her. Ava genuinely smiled at him, he was the only guy that was friendly to her without any hidden intentions.
“Where’s Jaiva?” Ava teased. Tre smiled.
“She went to get some ice cream.”
“Y’all so cute,” Ava cooed. Tre nodded.
They both laughed.
“What you doing up here?” he eyed her. “You never up here.”
Ava smiled. Tre could help her out.
“Looking for someone,” Ava mumbled.
“And who might that be?”
“When you head back that way, tell D I said hi.”
Tre looked at her and smirked.
“Alright,” he said before getting up. Tre hadn’t been gone for more than five minutes before Davion strolled over, smiling.
Ava sat up on the couch her freshly painted toes propped up on the coffee table. She bobbed her head to Ciara’s, “Oh” while painting her nails. She had been home about an hour and a half and was patiently waiting for her twin to arrive home. Ava had purposely waited until Davion’s brother and his girlfriend were in their living room to strut out of his room, fixing her clothes in the process. Ava smiled thinking about how mad Bri would be when she got home.
The door opened and Ava sucked her teeth to see it was just Kita and Kay, her youngest and most ignorant boyfriend, walking in.
“You look happy,” Kita said, putting a Nordstrom’s bag down. Ava nodded.
“That wasn’t very nice Miss Ava,” Kay said. Ava rolled her eyes.
“Wasn’t meant to be.”
Kita shook her head before walking into the kitchen and Kay lingered.
“Thanks,” Ava mumbled, putting her head down. Kay had been saying little off the wall things to Ava. She hadn’t realized how serious his flirting was up until a few weeks ago.
“You going to see your Papi today?” Kita asked from the kitchen.
“Tomorrow,” she mumbled. Kita knew that Ava went on Sundays, but Ava didn’t feel like saying more than two words to her at the moment. Ava looked at Kay to see him looking at her while he walked into the kitchen. Ava felt a shiver of disgust but shook it off. She immediately smiled when the front door swung open and Bri rushed in with a red face.
“I can’t believe you!”
Ava jumped up off the couch as Bri charged towards her. She waited until she was close enough and pulled her arm, moving out of the way. Bri went face first into the couch and screamed. Ava laughed before moving back as Bri got up. Ava smacked her hands away as Bri tried to throw punches.
“How’s it feel to know your little boyfriend was so eager to get me in his bed,” Ava laughed, playfully tapping Bri on her cheek. Bri’s face got redder as she lunged at Ava.
“You are such a hoe!”
“You’re just mad because I got what you want and much quicker than you could,” Ava smirked. Bri snuck a punch in that stung her cheek a little. Ava’s smile dropped and she swung, hitting Bri in the chest. Bri fell back on the couch and held her chest. Kita and Kay came out of the kitchen. Ava was about to jump on Bri, but Kay caught her around her waist.
“Don’t touch me!” Ava yelled, pulling out of his embrace and putting space between them. He just smiled at her.
“What is the problem!?” Kita yelled.
“She slept with Davion!” Bri yelled in tears. Ava laughed harder. Kita smacked her lips.
“You’re crying and carrying on over a boy?” Kita asked. Bri’s eyes widened as Ava kept laughing.
“She’s a little punk!”
“Ugh! I wouldn’t expect either of you to understand how this feels!” Bri said, grabbing her bag off the floor and jogging up the stairs. “I hate this house!”
“Why’d you do her like that?” Kita asked. Ava shrugged and plopped back down on the couch. She checked her toe nails to make sure they didn’t get messed up. Her nails weren’t so lucky.
“She tried to act all big and bad at school. Tried to play me.”
“Don’t you get tired of fighting her?” Kita asked. Ava frowned.
“Does she get tired of running her mouth?”
Kita sighed, knowing this was a battle she just wasn’t going to win. Kay sighed as well before pulling Kita to his side and kissing her cheek.
“I’m out,” he said. “Don’t forget what we talked about.”
Ava frowned at the somber look on Kita’s face as she nodded and kissed Kay goodbye. She stood still until Kay was out of the front door.
“What?” Ava asked.
“I need you to do me a favor,” Kita said quickly.
“What?” Ava repeated, a little more irritated.
“You know things have been hard around here since your dad left,” Kita said. Ava sucked her teeth, immediately knowing something was up.
“Locked up, not left,” Ava said. Kita sighed.
“Whatever, but Kay has been helping me out a lot these last few months and we really appreciate it, right?” she said. Ava rolled her eyes.
“Well, he told me today that he got a bonus at work and he’ll pay two months’ rent.”
“Okay?” Ava asked.
“But only if you sleep with him.”
Ava looked at Kita’s round baby face and laughed.
“That dude is funny,” Ava kept laughing. She sucked her teeth when she realized Kita was considering it. “No, hell no!”
“What’s going to be the different from what you did today?” Kita asked.
“I did that because I wanted to piss Bri off and Davion is my age. Kay is like ten years older than me!”
“That doesn’t make it better, Kita,” Ava said, her throat becoming tight. “No!” Ava watched as a wave of emotions played on Kita’s face until she looked at her straight on.
“I’m not about to be homeless because you want to act like a scared little girl today.”
Ava’s expression mimicked that of her mother’s as she had a revelation. Nobody in this house cared about her and she would have to do for herself. It was evident that she and her twin would no longer share a bond, but now the woman that she fought so hard for attention from was sitting here trying to pimp her out.
Ava didn’t know how much worse it could get and at this point, she really didn’t care.
Find out what happens next: HERE