Cash Only: Chapter 6

Tiffani Alexander

Need to catch up? Read Chapters 1-5 of Cash Only in the GMO Best of 2009 Issue!


Chapter 6 – The Beginning

“Babe, what is this?” Donte is looking at his salmon roll, one piece of it on a fork, with a combination of disgust and confusion on his face. I can’t help but smile, he’s so cute and, well clueless.

“It’s salmon, fish row and rice,” I explain. “The other roll is eel.”

“Right, right, ok,” He says. The sushi, however, has made it no closer to his mouth.

Laughing, I touch his hand, lowering the sushi to his plate. “Honey. I told you to start with a California roll. That’s just crab and avocado, beginners sushi.”

Donte shakes his head and basically tosses the piece of sushi into his mouth, immediately following up with a swig of his bubble tea, which he doesn’t seem to like anymore than the salmon roll. “If I’m going to eat sushi, then I’m going to eat sushi!”

I still can’t believe that I have been dating Donte, or as my girls insist on calling him, Temptation, for a month now. We are so different – he’s Southeast and I’m Mitchellville. I know that sound bourgie but hell I am. I have this malt liquor drinking, chicken box eating man in Café Asia eating sushi and dinking bubble tea and I love it. He’s so willing to do anything I want to do to make me happy – and I’m willing to do the same for him, to a point. I laugh again, picking up his chopsticks.

“Babe, let me show you how to use these.” He smiles, kisses me and put a chopstick in each hand. “Oh, we have a long way to go,” I say.


“When are you coming by the house?” asks Tyler. I really don’t think dropping these final sketches of his tattoo off at his house is a good idea. But, he does have a flight to catch tonight and his house is on my way home from work.

“I should be there in about 20 minutes,” I say, hanging up in time to see Nyla’s number come up on the screen.

“Hey mama, what’s up?  How was sushi with the tempting one?”

Nyla sighs loudly before answering. “Shut up Tracie!” she yells, clearly annoyed. “Sorry girl,” I say. “I just can’t believe how much time you two are spending together, it looks like things are getting serious.”

“It does seem that way, doesn’t it?” Nyla is quiet for a moment before continuing, “I so know better than this. I mean, falling for a stripper? I should have my head examined!”

I can’t help but smile to myself as my girl has a mini breakdown on my phone. Nyla can be so "by the book" sometimes, it’s actually nice to see her let go a bit and not follow the “rules.”

“Well if you need your head examined then so does Lynda,” I say. Nyla laughs.
“Yeah, but at the least the baby is just 'kicking it' with Dylan,” she says.

"So she claims," I add.  “I think there’s more to that than meets the eye.”

“Uh huh, and you and Tyler are still all business right? I mean, you have been sketching this tattoo for over a month now,” says Nyla.

I can’t believe she is calling me out! I turn on Tyler's street and and start looking for his house. 
“For your information, I have a job and finals. I don’t have time to sit and draw some grown man’s tattoo!"

“Right. But you did!” Nyla is laughing as I pull up in front of Tyler’s house.

“Whatever." I'm clearly up in my feeling right about now, but I'll never admit it. "I’m about to finish this business transaction now. I’m at his house about to drop off the final sketches.”

“Oh, at his house huh? You couldn’t meet him at the diner this time?” she asks.

“No smart ass! He’s flying out to Jamaica tonight and I pass his house on the way home anyway so…”

Nyla cuts me off: “Right, whatever helps you sleep at night. Donte is on the other line, call me after your, uh, business transaction is complete.”

My girl hangs up on me and I look at Tyler’s front door. It opens and there he stands, shirtless of course.

“Park on the left and come on in,” he yells – disappearing into the house. I take a deep breath and grab my portfolio case. “Business, strictly business.”

Dylan hasn't called me in a week and it's slightly bothering me. I look at his number in my phone and debate on calling him for the 100th time. "F it!" I dial his number and listen to the phone ring. After what feels like an eternity, he answers.
"Hey Dylan, it's Lynda. I haven't heard from you..."
Killer, can you bring me a glass of water?

"Hi Lynda. How you been?" he asks.
I know this man isn't going to act like I didn't just hear a chick in the background! I take a deep breath to calm down and sit on the edge of my pink recliner. 
"I have been wondering what's up with you? "Do you have company?"
Dylan answers quickly: "Yes."
"Wow." I can't believe he just said that, and I can't believe I can still hear this girl giggling in the background as I talk to him on the phone. Dylan cuts into my silence. 

"Listen baby, I will call you later tonight. You know we're cool. I can't wait to see you again."
Without another word, I hear a dial tone. I flop down into my chair and stare at the phone is disbelief, but I quickly shake it off. 

"At least he didn't lie to me. It is what it is," I say to myself. Maybe if I say it enough, I’ll start to believe it.
If you're a bad girl, get at me bad girl...
Nyla is calling. I can't take a mama lecture and I really can't take stories of her love affair with Donte.
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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