My parents would be coming to Miami soon. I had to evaluate some of the things I had been doing which my parents would not approve of.
The club partnership was one of those things. It was going really good even though it put a strain on my relationship with Rosa. As we continued to plan our wedding she had been asking that I quit the club business. She kept saying we needed the time to plan the wedding. I should not be operating around running a club once a week. I believed it was more about her jealousy of Selena. She hated her. She knew Selena wanted me. She thought that Selena did things to taunt her by calling me a lot to talk business. They had a few heated discussions that almost led to a “cat fight”.
She tried the guilt trip on me. She asked “How would I feel if she worked closely with a guy that loved her and I knew it”. I told her I trusted her and if she was going to leave me, she would leave. It was not what she wanted to hear.
Selena did flirt with me during many of our meetings. She would drop little hints. I think she called meetings so I could be around her. She would wear very sexy outfits and strong perfume. In one incident she mentioned she was getting a breast augmentation. I took the bait and asked her why.
She responded “Why don’t you feel my breasts. They need to be bigger”. She had a sly smile on her face.
Selena loved the challenge of chasing me because she knew she could not have me. She is used to getting everything she set out to have. I was not going to be one of them.
I did not want to get out of the club. The money was good and I was gaining some personal popularity with the crowd that came there. That felt good. I also had some promoters approach me about taking the concept to another night at a location in Miami Lakes.
Deep inside I also resisted giving it up because it was the one thing I had some control of in my relationship with Rosa. When she was in doing her residency and had no time for me I had to do something with my time. It was an ego thing. It was to show that my life did not stop because she was not around. I had friends and there were other girls available who like me. It got Rosa’s attention and she began to spend more time with me. She showed up every week at the club “dressed to kill” in the sexiest outfit to be sure she was relevant. She wanted to outdo Selana. I loved it.
There was a guy who wanted to pick her up but it became known that she was my girl.
Now it was going to change. I would never tell my parents as they would not approve. They would be ashamed to know I did this. It was not the thing someone from upper St. Andrew would do. I don’t think they realize, when you come to America there is no more “uptown” and you do what you have to do to earn money.
I knew what I would do. I would take a hiatus.
I approached Selena and asked her if I could get 2 months off to take care of a few things. We had developed a friendship with another promoter who I suggested could help out while I was away. He could get my portion of the receipts during that time.
“Are you joking?” she asked.
“No”, I replied “I need some time away to take care of things”.
Even though she was my business partner I did no want her to know about my father’s sickness. She is the type that would send flowers when they arrive from Jamaica. She would probably call to check up. The one thing I know she would do is call Sue and ask “How is your father doing?”
Sue was not to know anything. Rosa had kept it a secret and I was not going to tell anyone.
“You can’t take the time. We are getting larger crowds each week” she continued “you are important and the best person to coordinate things”
With Selena I was never sure if it was the business side or emotional side of her talking. She was right about us growing but it was nothing I did not think she could handle. Was she trying to “prop” me up so I could be around her more?
“I have no choice, I have some things that I have to take care of” I replied, “It is an emergency”
“Is there anything I can help you with” she asked with a low sweet voice while she reached over to grab my hand. I withdrew my hand quickly. She was trying to coax what it was out of me.
“No, I have to do this”
“Who is going to help out?”
“What about Max?” I asked “He is really good and helped us out a few times. You can give him my percentage of the receipts”
“Max?” she asked with a weird look on her face. “I don’t like him. All he wants to do is hit on me. He wants to get into my panties. He is always steering at me”
She was right. Max liked her a lot. He had joked with me that he loved her so much he would drink her bath water. He thought she was the sexiest girl he had ever seen.
I tried to address her concerns with a few pacifying words.
“I will talk to him about that” I replied “It will be okay”
“No” she responded “If it is not you we will have to close for the next 2 months” she was getting emotional. She started to cry.
“You okay” I asked
She gave me one of the angriest look I had ever seen.
“I have to go” she screamed.
She walked out slamming the door.
Sue also had to get her act together. There were nights when she did not come home. She would sleep over at Sidney. They were getting along okay apart from the occasional arguments. On the days they argue she would not sleep over by his house. Sometimes it seemed she was always mad at him but she never broke it off. I was beginning to think she cared more for him than she lead on.
My parents would never go for her sleeping out. I am sure in their eyes she was still a virgin and would marry some nice young man and live happily ever after. She would stop the sleep-overs once they arrived.
She also had some revealing clothing. My mother had a habit of peeping into closets. She used to go to my sister closet all the time. Sue moved some of her clothes over to Sidney’s house.
I also had some around the house sanitizing to do. I had a large collection of dancehall music and videos. I took them to Rosa’s apartment.
Outside of the club issue we were now fully prepared for my parents visit. We were now the proud children our parents thought we were. The ones they can go back to Jamaica and brag about. Although my father’s sickness would be the main focus on their mind they would still care about what we did and how it would make them look.
Selena called me back a few days later.
I thought about what you said and I have a solution” she said. She seemed in a better mood. I was feeling optimistic.
“What is the solution”, I asked. I was feeling confident that she had come around to my thinking.
Then she dropped a bomb.
“I want to buy you out” she replied.
I was surprised.
“Why”, I asked
“Because you are leaving indefinitely”, she replied “I think it is best to bring in someone who is committed”
“But I only need a few weeks”, I protested.
“It will only take a few weeks to destroy what we have built up in this business” she replied.
“I am not interested in a buy-out”, I said sternly.
“You have no choice”, she responded.
I was now starting to get agitated.
“What do you mean by I have no choice?” I asked.
“Go read the contract”, she snapped back “If one partner does not live up to their duties the other partner has the right to buy them out.
I was speechless. Was this in the contract? I was not sure. She was a very savvy business woman so I would not put anything past her.
“I’ll call you back on this”, I abruptly got off the phone and started looking for the contact.
I read it twice. She was correct. I forfeit my right to resist any buy out if I am out for an extended period over 3 weeks. A breach of this would automatically activate the buyout clause.
I could not believe she was doing this to me. Maybe if I flirt with her a little she would allow me to take this time off and change her mind.
Then I started feeling like a fool. I started to question myself. I should have read the contract move carefully. I should have had someone else review it before I signed. I had no choice. My parent would be here indefinitely so there was no clear date of my return.
I would have to accept the offer.
I took 2 days before calling her back with my “tail between” my legs. I could not delay as it was a week before my parents arrived.
Selena picked up the phone like she was expecting my call. She was confident.
“Hello” she said with her perfect British Accent, “I suspect you read the contract”.
I was fuming inside. She was talking down to me.
“Yeah”, I replied “but…”
“Here is my offer” she cut me off. She would not allow me to get in a word as she proceeded to tell me how much she would pay me. It was a decent sum.
Can I think about it and get back to you”, I was trying to play hardball and stall at the same time.
I also knew I needed to read any contract she would give me to sign.
“Sure, but the offer only stand for 1 day” she responded like a shrewd business woman. “After the day I will offer 20 percent less”
She was mean. Maybe she was doing this because I rejected her advances. I hung up still in a daze on how different she had become since I asked for the time away.
I had no independent person that I could “bounce” this off. Rosa would say yes to the offer as she hated Selena. Sue did not care and would probably say “take the money and run”
One of my options was to lie to my parents and continue going at night. I could tell them I had a night job. The risk is they could find out I was lying to them. They both knew their way around Miami, or Rosa could let it slip.
I called Max as he knew the club business.
“That is a good offer” said Max.
“Yuh tink so” I asked.
“Yeah man, yuh fe tek it” he replied.
The next day I called Selena and agreed to the buyout. She knew I was going to take it as she brought a contract to me that day. I reviewed it thoroughly and signed the next day. I was not officially out of the club business.
Rosa was ecstatic.
I was disappointed but also relieved that it was one thing less to worry about when my parents got here.
My mother called the next day.
“We are not coming next week” she announced.
“We are going to Cuba for treatment” she replied.
My fathers doctor recommend he go to Cuba as there was an experimental treatment that had a 90% cure. They would be going to Cuba in 2 weeks.
We did all this preparations for “naught”. I was especially disappointed that I gave up the club business because of them. Maybe I should have stood up to my parents. Maybe I should have told them about it. At some point I do not need their approval of everything I to do.
It hurt but I passed by the club to see how things were going. Maybe I could convince Selana to go back to take me back. It was packed.
Max was there. He said Selena called him and asked him to join her.
His eyes were a little shifty. He could not look me in the eyes. He was lying.
Selena walked up to him. She planted a big kiss on his lips totally ignoring me.
She then looked me in the eyes and said “I guess you have met my new partner”
I said nothing.
“Thanks for recommending him” she walked away with an evil smile on her face.
Max stood there and looked at me like a sad dog on a leach.
They were in cahoots. They set me up for this take-over. My fear of my parents allowed me to let my guard down. The number 1 rule in business is the same as being an illegal alien; Trust no one.
A couple days later I got a call. It was Carl, the guy who wanted me to bring the college night club concept to a Miami Lakes club. He had heard I was no longer Selena’s partner.
“Do you want to partner with me on this?” he asked.
My answer was…