Cash Only: Chapter 8
“Hurry up already!” I was waiting for Nyla and Lynda to get to my house for our monthly Saturday night dinner – and they were both running late. “I’ve already had two glasses of wine waiting on you two heifers!”
“I’m about 10 minutes away, chill,” laughed Nyla. I was on three-way with her and Lynda, who had gone to see Dylan perform at some special event show. Nyla and I had refused to pay $25 to see the same guys do the same routines on a Saturday afternoon.
“I will be there as soon as I leave the club,” says Lynda.
“Oh, I can’t wait to hear how that went,” I laugh. “See you guys in a few.”
I hang up and go into the kitchen to check on the scampi. If there’s one thing I can cook, it’s seafood. My scampi with spinach and tomatoes over pasta was on point.
Knock, knock. I put the salad on the table and reach for the door, swinging it open. “It’s about time chick!”
I don’t know how long I stood there, stuck.
“Well, I’ve been called a lot of things, but never a chick.” Tyler was standing at my front door. What was he doing here, and how did he know where I lived?
Oh, there was my voice: “Tyler, what are doing here?”
“May I come in, or are you going to continue to be rude?" Tyler smiled and I step aside, letting him enter into the front hallway of my apartment. “Thanks. I hope you don’t mind me stopping by,” he says, leaning up against the wall. He's wearing a white wife beater, some Nike basketball shorts and a fitted cap. How could one look so good in something so simple?
“Your girl Lynda told me where you lived… she said you wouldn’t mind.”
I mentally made a note to kick her ass later. “Did she?” I gestured for him to follow me into the family room. “Take a seat. Was there something you wanted me to add to the sketch?”
Sitting down on my couch, he leans over and puts his hands on his knees. He’s staring at me, a bit too intensely. Just then my Pomeranian, Koffee, jumps on his lap – cutting into the moment, for which I’m extremely thankful.
“You haven’t answered my question,” I say. At the moment, he’s giving Koffee his undivided attention, which is making me even more attracted to him than I already am. How cute is that? Koffee's tiny body of fur nestled into the crook of that man's arm. What arms...
“The sketch is perfect,” he says. “I came by because you haven’t been by the club in a couple weeks, and you didn’t come tonight. I wanted to see you.”
“Why?” I ask, moving to toward the kitchen. “Excuse me, but I have to check on dinner. My girls will be here any minute.”
Tyler stands up and follows me. “Why are you running?” He’s blocking the doorway and puts his arm around my waist. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.” He leans forward and for a second I am lost in his eye.
Nyla walks in and hands me the cheesecake. “I got chocolate like you … oh, hi Tyler.” Nyla looks to her left where Tyler is now standing, holding Koffee, who is clearly in love with the man as she is licking all up in his face – and he is letting her.
“Hey Nyla,” he says. “I didn’t mean to interrupt your ladies night. I just can’t stop thinking about your friend and she can’t seem to stop avoiding me.”
“I’m not avoiding you,” I say, obviously a bit too defensively. “I just have been busy with school.” I walk over and take Koffee. “Stop baby, he doesn’t want you all over him like that.”
Tyler smiles, “No, I want you to be.”
A giggle comes from the corner of the room. “Do you guys need a moment?” Nyla asks, tossing her hair as she turns to leave, “cause I can come back.”
“No, I’m going to go.” Tyler turns to me. “And I’m going to call you later. Answer.”
He pets Koffee one more time and touches the tip of my hair before walking to the door. “See you Nyla.”
As he’s walking out, Lynda is walking in, looking hella guilty.
“Hey ladies,” she says nervously. “What was Tyler doing here?”
“Stop playing you little instigator,” I yell, throwing a pillow off the couch at her. Laughing, she ducks and goes straight for the wine.
“I mean the man said he was missing you and that you were not returning his calls,” she says. “It hurt me to see a man that big look like he was on the verge of tears!” She laughs and kicks off her heels. “I’m sorry girl, but you are faking. You know you are feeling that man.”
I take the wine bottle from her hands and pour myself another glass. “He is just a cute guy,” I say. “Nothing more. Besides, I’m not looking for a new guy right now. You both know that I’m still working through my feelings over the break up with Gary." As much as I hated to admit it, even to my closest girlfriends, Gary had really hurt me and I just wasn't up to opening myself up to that sort of pain again.
“Which is exactly why you need to give Tyler a chance,” Nyla says, chiming in and going for her glass. “Just take a chance and have a little fun.”
I sip my wine and move toward the table. “Maybe. Now can we eat and get to the gossip that doesn’t include me?”
Tiffani's Facts: Publisher and Editor in Chief of GlossMagazineOnline.com (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
*Photography by GMO Photo Editor, Billy Montgomery