Cash Only: Chapter 10

By Tiffani Alexander

Need to catch up? Read Chapter 1 , Chapter 2 , Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8  and Chapter 9 of Cash Only!




“Put that box in the kitchen and the other one in the bedroom please,” I yell at Donte’s brother Jamal. It’s Saturday and I am actually moving into Donte’s house in South East, DC. I still can’t believe I’m doing this­­––moving in with this man after barely six months, but more importantly moving to South East. I laugh to myself, remembering Tracie’s reaction earlier that day: “Your bourgie ass is moving to the hood? The straight up hood!”

“Where do you want this one Nyla?”

Jamal’s question snaps me back to the present. “Um, I think that’s books. Can you just put it in the bedroom for now and I’ll go through it later?” I ask. “Thanks Jamal.”

“No problem lady,” he says, walking to the back of the house. Just then, Donte comes up behind me and kisses me on the neck.

“I’m so happy that you’re finally here,” he says, brushing my hair off my neck. I turn around and look in his eyes. In them, I see nothing but love and genuine happiness and all doubt washes away. I am jumping in, heart first. It’s scary for me, Ms. Practical as my girls call me, but if I’m not in love I’m in something and it’s deep.

“I’m happy to be here baby,” I say falling into his arms.





Ok. Hair is done; nails are done; outfit is hot. I turn around to get a look at my profile from the back. Butt is way too big.


I look at the clock and I have exactly 15 minutes until Tyler gets here. I finally broke down and agreed to one “real date” as he put it. I’m totally in the dark about where we are going and his making such a fuss has me a bit nervous. Koffee comes into the bathroom and jumps on my makeup chair, looking up at me.

“What do you think?” I ask her. “Does Mommy look hot?”

Koffee tilts her head as if analyzing my outfit and I swear she looks me up and down before barking her reply, which I’m equally sure is a yes.  I laugh and pat her on the head. Just then the doorbell rings. He’s early.

I walk to the front door, take a deep breath and open it. Tyler smiles, but my eyes are drawn to his hands. This man is holding the largest bag of Swedish Fish I have ever seen. “Wow,” I say laughing. “Where did you find that?”

Tyler walks into my family room as he hands me my favorite candy. “I have my ways,” he replies.

“Well, thank you, I say. How did you know that I love Swedish Fish?” I ask, placing the bag on my kitchen counter, but not before removing a few and popping them in my mouth.

Laughing, Tyler grabs one for himself. “When you dropped off the last sketch, an empty bag was attached to the back of it, and you every time I see you reach for something in your purse, you seem to pull it and a fish out.”

I can’t believe he pays that much attention. “Really? I think I may need an intervention,” I say laughing. “So, where are we going?”

“Patience, Grasshopper. You will see once we get there,” he answers, walking me out the front door and to his truck.  

He starts the car and Tupac cranks out the speakers. I can’t help myself and start rapping along: …gotta survive in the city where the skinny niggas die, if they bury me bury me as a g ….

“No need to worry, I expect retaliation in a hurry,” Tyler finishes. He turns to me and smiles, “I forgot you had a little thug in you,” he says. “Thug life baaabby,” I say before I fall out laughing. “No seriously, if you had said Biggie was the better rapper we would so not be on this date right now.”

“Word?” Tyler laughs and I can’t help but notice the musicality of it. “Good thing I said the right thing then,” he says, coming to a stop. We had been laughing and joking so much that I didn’t even notice where we going. I looked out the window and saw what looked like a festival of some sort. Everyone was carrying what looked like easels and I saw a girl with a bag of paints.

“What’s this?” I ask.

“You’ll see,” he replies, jumping out the truck. When he comes around to open my door I see that he’s carrying a huge case. It’s an easel. He opens the back door and pulls out a set of fresh oil paints.

“What in the world …” I step out of the truck and hear the sounds of a hip-hop band. Then I see a sign to my left that reads Hip Hop & Art in the Woods. I turn to Tyler.

“It’s a festival they do every year,” he says. “We can set up over here and you can teach me how to paint the sounds.” He looks at me, a small smile on his lips and I know, that he knows, he’s done good.



It’s Saturday night and I’m home studying. I look at the clock and realize that I have been in these med books for five straight hours.

“I need a break,” I say out loud. I look at my phone. No missed calls. Then I remember that Nyla was moving today and Tracie had her date with Tyler. “I need more friends,” I say moving into the kitchen. As I cut up an apple I start to think about the last few weeks. I really do need to call Nyla and apologize for what I said at Traci’s the other weekend. I really do think she’s rushing into things, but she’s my girl and came to me for support. And, if I’m really honest with myself I can’t say that jealousy played no part in my initial reaction.

Walking back into my room in the four-person suite, I flop down on the bed and turn my TV volume way up. At least none of my suitemates are here and I can blast my music videos. The noise from the television can’t drown out my thoughts though. I’m totally tripping off that girl I heard in the background the last time I called Dylan. And to top it all off, he hasn’t called in a few days.

“Why do you care Lynda?” I scream to myself, tossing the apple and searching for my bag of chips. “Dylan and I are just kicking it,” I repeat to myself. Maybe if I say it enough times I will start to believe it.

Can you handle it, can I go there baby with you….

As if on cue, I hear Dylan’s ringtone. Smiling, I answer. “Hello.”

“Hey baby,” he says. “What you doing later tonight?”

I can’t believe this fool is calling me like he just talked to me yesterday, and acting like I didn’t hear that chick the last time I called him! I decide to play it cool though.

“Later I will be doing what I’m doing now: studying,” I reply. “Why?”

“I wanted you to come by after my set tonight,” he answers. “I won’t be done until late so you can get your work done and then come through to chill out and relax. Don’t you miss me?”

Internally, I am struggling. I know I need to tell this fool where to stick it. I’m tired of seeing him all late all the time. “Why don’t you ever ask me to go out earlier?” I ask.

Dylan sighs. “I would baby, but you’re in school when I’m free during the day and you know how crazy my schedule is,” he says. “I’m making the time and trying to be sympathetic to your school schedule. You just said you have studying to do right? This way, we get to spend time and get our stuff done. What’s wrong with that?”

He’s right, I think. He is making an effort. “Ok babe,” I say. “I will see you later tonight. Just call me when you’re heading home.”

“Cool.” I hang up feeling at once happy and sad. “I’ll talk to him tonight.”


 Read Chapter 11 of Cash Only here!


Tiffani's Facts: Publisher and Editor in Chief of (GMO), Tiffani Alexander came to Chicago in the fall of 2004 to pursue her Master's degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland (College Park campus). She has worked for both Cygnus Business Media and Maher Publishing before embarking on her dream to start her own magazine. In addition to publishing GMO bi-monthly, Tiffani freelances and works as an editor on a legal journal in Washington, DC and serves as Media Relations Director of Golden Creative Communications. To contact Tiffani, email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . 


-Photography by GMO Photo Editor, Billy Montgomery