“Don’t answer the door,” my husband, Damien, shouted. He ran into the living room as a loud, continuous knock became even louder.
“Why, what’s wrong? What’s going on? Who is it, Damien?” He snatched my arm and pulled my petite body to the floor. I had no choice but to follow his lead and kneel next to him on our marble floor.
Moments passed, but the relentless pounding did not stop. Damien hadn’t answered my question, so I asked him again, “Who is at the door? Who would have the audacity to drive onto our property and up our driveway?”
“It’s the people from the bank. They’re trying to serve me more court papers.”
“Why are they coming here, banging on our door? I thought you said your attorneys were handling everything.”
“They are. He is. He said they may start coming around, but not to sign or accept anything. As long as they aren’t able to personally serve me, it gives me more time.”
“Okay.” I took in a deep breath and tried to make sense of what was going on. Damien saw the defeated look in my eyes and comforted me with a kiss on the cheek. His kiss only made me sadder. I tried to hold the fear in, but a stream of tears flowed down my face.
He wiped my face with his thumb. “Babe, don’t do this. Don’t make me feel any worse than I already do. It will be okay. I’m in the process of getting this all under control. My lawyer put in all the paperwork with the creditors. He’s taking care of everything. It’s all going to work out. Trust me.”
“I don’t understand, Damien. One day you say we’re okay, and the next day someone is at the door trying to serve us papers. What’s going on? Tell me the truth. Can we afford to stay here, or do we have to move?”
“I told you already. We don’t have to move. Once the bankruptcy filing goes through, everything will be back to normal. I’ll get one payment to pay all the creditors, and they will leave us alone. I promise you. I told you I will take care of you, and I will. Do you believe in me?”
“Yes, I do.” He turned to face me. “Then know that I won’t let anything happen to you.” “I understand, but my mom saw something on the news and people are sending my sister stories they’ve found on the Internet.”
“I don’t want to talk about this anymore. People owe me money. I have investments out there that will pay back eventually and hopefully I will get a job covering sports somewhere. I don’t know—maybe I’ll get a scouting position. And in the meantime, I will be in the gym. I can have a comeback. Teams are still interested in me. I have a plan, Tiffany. Believe in me—I got us,” he rambled on. “Believe. All right?” I shook my head and told Damien that I believed in him, but I was lying. I didn’t believe him or even like him at that moment. After five long minutes, the knocking finally stopped. I got off the floor, walked to the window, and watched the man who’d been knocking as he got into a navy blue SUV. How did we get here? What happened in our lives that led us to this awful place? I thought to myself as the SUV pulled out of our looped driveway.
Since I was a teenager, my mother, Helen, told me that I was never to be with a man who could not take care of me. She gave me detailed instructions on how to have a man provide for me. She had used the same rules to land her wealthy husband. So I’d followed the blueprint step-by-step, but now I needed a new set of plans.
A lot of girls dream of one day being famous. They work on being sexy daily. They get butt shots and breast implants, trying to achieve the perfect body. Some even think all it takes to be a model is to post pictures all day long on social media. But me, I’m sexy effortlessly. I was born that way. My butt and breast are all mine. A few years ago, my only dream was not to have to worry about my rent every month and to be able to fill my refrigerator. That was then, and this is now. Who would have ever thought I would be where I am today? My name is Shanice “Shani Amore” Whitaker and I am a video vixen, men’s magazine cover girl, and model, a.k.a. your boyfriend’s #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday). I’m living a life I didn’t even think was possible. I’m traveling all over the country and making good money just to pose or host parties, but I know it won’t last forever, and that’s why I’m trying to expand my brand. I know there are other girls with cuter faces, longer weaves, and super snatched waists, ready to try to step into my heels. That’s why I’m transitioning into commercials and acting. I never want to be known for just one thing. My career began when I worked in a Philly nightclub called Belize. There, I met a lot of powerful people and made a lot of connections. I worked for this lady named Adrienne who knew everyone. I also met my homegirl Darcel, who put me on to do video shoots. From there, it was on. I started appearing in music videos and getting more modeling work and hosting parties. I also met the love of my life, Jabril Smith, who played basketball for the Oklahoma City Thunder. He had a girlfriend, but he still invited me to his games and flew me out to his city. From then on, I humbly accepted the position as his main side chick. He bought me a condo and gave me a nice monthly bag and shoe allowance. Yes, he was in a relationship and had a baby on the way, but he was kind and I didn’t have to lie about who I was and what I did. I was a girl from North Philly, with a daughter that I had at sixteen and a mother in jail. I didn’t graduate high school, and I fucked him and his teammate the same night I met them. He knew all of that and still loved me and treated me like a princess. I loved Jabril so much I took a case for him. One of his boys left some weed in the car and we were pulled over by the cops. I claimed it as mine and for being his down-ass chick, Jabril rewarded me by never calling me again. At least he was nice enough to hire me a lawyer, who got all of the charges dropped. He also sent me twenty thousand dollars in “thank you” money. None of that meant anything to me, because all I wanted was him. Our breakup devastated me, but I still had to move on so I could eat. Tears don’t pay bills. I picked myself up, and I’ve been hustling hard ever since. Since then, I landed six magazine covers and was both the lead and love interest in eight music videos. Life was good and about to get even better. My management was in talks to have our modeling agency be a part of a television show.