Strip away all shades of me… leave me, I just want to be
Worth more than what is between my legs,
Worthy of what can be found in my heart
hoping my inhibition fades,
wasted this perfection of my imperfection to see pass me, I just want to be
pass the pain, pass the blemishes, pass the shame
someone to love me like Jacob loved Rachel,
the woman of his dreams
scheduled years of meticulous forms of labor
humbly for her, he esteemed
I want to be loved more than my worth
how God gave his son for this underserving earth.
just to save me, I want to be
something more than displayed,
like a whore on stage, my anatomy flayed
I give in to my master within, my tears are tortured by my thoughts in sin
where can I find rest? peace please deliver me,
I acknowledge my mess, I must disrobe
I am told that I can just be, me on this stage
selling my soul, all shades of who I wanted to be,
I must Strip.
**Shake ya ass, but watch yourself
Shake ya ass, show me what you workin with**
An old classic strip-joint anthem blared in the background as Neveah did her first routine on stage. Fridays are always the highest-ranking revenue days of the week. The men cash their checks and make an evening of giving their money away, for pretty faces, nice assets to fade into a fantasy. Money came easily for Neveah, men always seemed to gravitate toward her as if the brokenness inside of her could somehow heal the hole inside themselves. Neveah looked out into the crowd, nearly ten-thirty and the seats surrounding the stage were filled, there were men and women standing since no additional seats were available. Neveah’s evening was already certified to rake in big money, she’d already been booked for three private dances and scheduled to work two events in the VIP room.
“These fools ain’t leaving here until I have all their money,” she thought to herself as she twirled into a grand plie’ and down into a side split. The crowd erupted as she hit the floor showering multiple denominations of banknotes at her feet. They always paid she knew even on a slow night she’d walk away with nearly a thousand dollars. As she came off the stage the owner motioned for her to come near.
“Neveah, come into my office” he commanded with a look of distress.
“What is it,” she asked? “can this wait, I need to cash in my money bag before I gotta go to my first booking.”
“Nope, we need to handle this right now; there is something that has come to my attention”
“What, Neveah yelled as she followed Steve into his office, “What can’t wait five damn minutes huh?”
Steve pressed the remote as Neveah stumbled onto a coach lining the wall. Immediately she became horrified as she saw herself on the screen.
“No, no, no, Steve let me explain!” Neveah desperately shouted, as the moans continued in the background.
“Neveah, you are on suspension effective immediately.”
“This is some bull type shit Steve let me explain please.” Neveah rambled.
“This is not up for discussion, you’re lucky I’m not firing your ass. Pulling this shit, I could lose my licenses.” He said gesturing toward the screen.
“But,” Neveah, tried to interject.
“I don’t want to hear it Neveah, go pack your shit you have to go.”
“For how long?”
“I don’t know three, maybe four weeks, I will call when I am ready for you to come back, when I know you are not a liability to this business.”
“Fuck you Steve why are pulling this shit NOW,” Neveah roared. “like I’m the only female to do a little something on the side, REALLY, now you want to be gott-damn self-righteous, fuck you Steve, I’m out”
“Deuces”, Steve yelled behind her as Neveah tore out of the office like a bull seeing red.
On the other side of town Brenya spoke with her sister and best friend reminiscing, as well as rehashing what was currently going on in both their lives. Like each time they talked, their conversation turned toward Neveah,
“Brenya after everything your sister puts you through, why do you continue to allow her to stay here?” Tina asked.
“I can’t let her live on the streets,” Brenya replied.
“Why, her name is already out there? No, I take that back it’s in the gutter at this point. Bre you do not owe her anything and you do not need all that riff-raff constantly around Leiloni.”
“Dang Tina, cut her some slack, you know how she grew up, she didn’t have anybody, Nea went through some messed up stuff.”
“Yeah, she got a bad hand as a child, I get it, my heart goes out to her, I pray that yoke be broken off her life, but that can’t be the sounding brass for her forever, you also went through it as well. You are enabling her, stop making excuses.”
“Tina, I hear I really do. It just weighs on my heart that I was not there for her, and I gotta be what I can be for her now,” Brenya said with tear welding up in her eyes.
Just then they both heard wheels screeching to a stop.
“And that’s my que, let me get on out of here,” Tina said standing up.
“You don’t have to leave because of Nea, Tina.”
“I don’t want no drama tonight, I have enough of that with Luke and these fast-little girls he got following him around, but listen, I love you and I will see you Sunday. Oh, wait no, I’ll see you tomorrow at Momma’s”
Brenya hugged and kissed her sister good bye as Neveah still in a rage banged through the front door.
” Hey Nea, I was just leaving, see you later,” Tina said going to the door.
“Bye,” Neveah snapped.
Tina shook her head and walked out the door.
“Oh, for pete sake Nea, what is going on? What is the problem now”?
“Why is she even talking to me,” Neveah yelled in frustration. “I don’t even understand why you keep talking to her, like she is your sister or something. She thinks she is better than me. Ole cock eyed heifer”.
“Nea, Tina literally just said bye, what is your malfunction”?
“What? You want to throw up in my face how you were adopted by Lynette and that’s your family?” she dramatized.
“Nea, you want to argue, for what reason I don’t know but, I’m not playing these games with you tonight, I hope you have a better morning I’ll pray for you.”
“Cew, you do you, and I’ll do me,” she snapped walking up the stairs to her room