Awakening from her daze, Tameka took a quick self evaluation. Purse, check. Keys, check. Hair, check. What had happened? Had she fainted? She felt strangely different.
She hated different.
“Damn!” she exclaimed as she positioned herself behind the steering wheel. “I’ve got this green goop all over my new shoes.”
As Tameka made her way down 51st Street, she began to notice how differently everyone looked. She stared intensely. The bodies along the sidewalk appeared to slow down. She stopped her car. Three girls were jumping double-dutch when suddenly the rope stopped midair. The girl inside the twirling lines had one foot up the other down mid-hop. Closing her eyes, Tameka counted to ten. Surely, that fainting spell had had more of an effect that what she had thought.
She opened her eyes. The world moved again at its normal pace.
Eyeing the pawn shop along highway 70, Tameka wished she could get her diamond studs back. She had hocked them to pay her last month’s car note. It was not her fault they cut her hours at work. What was she supposed to do, not get her hair done? She pulled into the parking lot. Every week she checked on them to make sure they were still there. Sayeed stared at her momentarily before pressing the buzzer. The light inside of the yellow gate turned green and Tameka walked in.
“Why are you always tripping, Sayeed?”
“I just like to see you sweat.”
Tameka would have cursed him out but she spotted her earrings and went to take a closer look. As she stared at them, a familiar strangeness overcame her. She looked around for Sayeed. He stood motionless behind the counter. The store was unusually crowded. Each face stood frozen before her.
This time Tameka was not afraid. She did not close her eyes, nor did she count to ten. Realizing what a unique opportunity had befallen her, she slipped behind the counter, took the keys from Sayeed’s belt, opened the case, and retrieved her earrings.
For a moment Tameka thought, maybe this is wrong. Her next thought was she better get while the getting’s good, if it had been someone else, they would do the same.
With her new found ability, Tameka went from case to case helping herself to a piece of jewelry here, a designer bag there, and a few customers’ cash. She returned Sayeed’s keys and let herself out of the yellow gate.
Pulling along side her multi unit apartment building, Tameka felt a sense of satisfaction. She knew Kim, Miesha, and that whole crew would be hatin’ on her because her hair was tight and she was wearing those new Baby Phat shoes. And just wait, she thought, until they saw her in all of her new found treasures.