Alibi, p.10Teri Woods
“I just wanted to do something else, you know. It gets hard after a while, or at least for me it did.”
“How long have you been dancing, in places… like that?” asked Delgado, trying not to use descriptive vocabulary. Detective Ross immediately looked at him and quickly interceded.
“Yeah, Daisy, how long have you been a stripper?” said Ross, looking over at Delgado. What the fuck is he doing, trying to be nice to her? She’s lying through her teeth and he’s showing her mercy. What’s wrong with him?
“Don’t tell me you don’t know that either,” said Ross sarcastically, tired of playing games with Daisy. She was ready to take her in, sit her in a room, and leave her there for maybe two or three days and then see if her memory got any better, and that was exactly what she planned on doing.
“No, I know when I started dancing, it was like four years ago, after I turned eighteen,” said Daisy with an ounce of confidence.
“So, you’re only twenty-two years old?” asked Ross, as Daisy shook her head yes. “I think we need to take her downtown for questioning,” Ross advised, looking over at Delgado, who seemed to be admiring the young girl, not taking his eyes off her for one second. “What do you think?” she asked, wondering why he wasn’t responding. She looked again and he was still staring intensely.
“No, I don’t think we should take her downtown. I think we should give her a chance to think about what she’s doing. Have you thought about what you’re doing, Daisy?” asked Tommy, knowing exactly what was going on. She was being used for an alibi. She wasn’t a real alibi.
“I don’t understand what you mean.”
“Okay, let me explain to you,” said Delgado.
Ross interrupted. “No, let me explain,” she said, stepping in front of Tommy, who had really pissed her off, with his “No, I don’t think we should take her downtown” bull crap.
“Let me be clear with you. These three men were murdered. This mother and her son were murdered, and you need to look at them really, really good, because not only are you lying to investigators, you’re lying to me! And the guy who killed them needs to be brought down, and your little daydream story you got going is going to crash all around you, and when it does, I’ll be there and I’ll be charging you with everything from perjury to obstructing justice, do you got that? ’Cause when I’m done with you, you’ll be figuring out everything that you don’t know in a nice comfy cell inside Muncy. So, you just think about that, because if you keep fucking around with me that’s right where you’ll be! You got that, Honey Dipper?” asked Merva, leaning over the table, her hands on the table supporting her weight as she bent down in Daisy’s face.
“Okay,” called out Tommy as Merva stared Daisy eye to eye before backing up off her. “We will need you to come down to the Thirty-second Precinct. You might want to get a lawyer and have him present when you come in. Call me tomorrow, and we can set up a time for you, okay?” asked Delgado. He felt really bad. She was going to make a horrible witness, probably end up perjuring herself under oath and end up in prison just like Ross said.
PAYIN’ THE PIPER
Yo, Daisy, open this god damn door!” yelled Lester Giles, the owner of the building, better known as her “straight from the depths of hell” landlord. “I know you in there.”
Daisy couldn’t take the pounding on her door any longer. “What?” she said, agitated, as she flung the chain off the door, unlocked the deadbolt, and pulled the door open.
“What? You asking me what? I know you ain’t getting nasty. You got my rent money? That’s what.”
“Look, Lester, I just need one more week, please. I’m waiting for my boyfriend to get back and once he get here I’ll have that for you.”
“You say what, again?” he asked, making her repeat herself. “Is you out your god damn mind? I ain’t waiting on no nigga, is you crazy? You sitting here waiting on a nigga. Shit, you might as well get to stepping to the nearest homeless shelter and wait on this motherfucker over there. But not here. What is you doing? You ain’t even working no more.”
“How you know what I’m doing?” asked Daisy, frowning up at him.
“Don’t worry about that, I need my money, that’s what you gots to be worried about, rent.” Then he spelled it out for her. “Ah-ra, eeee, annnn, teeeee! Now, you gots my money or not, and don’t play with me.”
“Lester, come on, please, seriously. Don’t I always pay you? Come on, I always take care of you. Don’t I?”
“Then you gonna have to take some caring tonight, baby. Whoo whee, just rock my world. You sure is pretty, you know that, don’tcha?” he said, reaching up and rubbing his finger across her face and then down on her titty.
“Lester, stop playing,” she said, knocking his hand down.
“Girl, you think I’m playing with you. I’ll throw you and everything you got out on the street tonight. You understand, Daisy,” he said in an evil whisper. “Now what you gonna do?” he said, sneering at her like the grim reaper and meaning every word he spoke.
It wouldn’t be the first time she had had to give Lester Giles sexual services to keep a roof over her head. All she could do was pray that it would be the last. She thought of Reggie. Damn, I wish I didn’t have to. But, what he don’t know, won’t hurt him. She hated it, hated the thought of it. She really loved Reggie and wanted their sex to be sacred, cherishable, and not tainted by someone else. Not to mention that she hated Lester. He was dark-skinned, but you could still see a long scar on the left side of his face. He had a bushy afro of dusty gray hair and the hugest potbelly you could imagine. Reggie, where are you? If only you could just step right off that elevator right now and save me. She looked at the elevator door, realizing it was merely wishful thinking. She opened her apartment door so that Lester could pass by.
“That’s what I thought,” he said as she closed the door and watched him begin to massage himself.
A couple hours later, after she had satisfied her rent debt, Daisy sat in her living room alone. She turned on the television, but her mind was heavy. She didn’t really watch the TV, just sat still. The phone rang. She looked at it, but didn’t answer it. She knew who it was, Sticks. As much as she wanted to answer it, in anticipation of Reggie’s possibly calling, she didn’t answer it. She already knew it wasn’t him. She just had a horrible feeling he was gone. I can’t believe Reggie left me like that. What did I do? I don’t understand. Maybe I should go to his mother’s house. It was very far away, somewhere out in Montgomery County on the other side of City Line Avenue. She didn’t even know if she would be able to find her way back there. And Sticks wasn’t really asking her to do anything, he was more or less telling her what she was gonna do. He’s really ordering me around, and the police, they know I’m lying. Poor Daisy, if there was one thing she wasn’t good at, it was lying. She had tried her best, but she knew in her heart that the cops were looking in her eyes reading the truth. What am I going to do? She said I’ll be in Muncy for perjury, and that poor little boy. Why’d he kill them people like that? It was too much, not to mention she was flat broke. Daisy looked in her pocketbook and took out her wallet. She flashed through the bills—sixty-seven dollars and some loose change. That wasn’t much when that was all you had to your name, with nothing and nobody to help you. What am I going to do? She thought about it, hard. Sticks did say to make a list of things I needed. Truth was, Sticks was going to have to do something; he was all she had to help her out. I better go back to the Honey Pot and get Calvin to give me my job back, and I know he’s gonna make me beg like a dog for it, too. But what else can I do? I ain’t got no choice. And truth was, she really didn’t, she had nothing and had no one. Love sure don’t love nobody.How could I be so stupid.
She hopped up, got dressed, and made her way down to the Honey Dipper. By the time she got there it was almost midnight, and that was perfect timing to catch Calvin in his office.
She walked inside. Saying hello to familiar faces, she ma
“Damn, Daisy Mae, I almost ain’t recognize you with your clothes on. Shit, how you been?” asked Dallas, happy to see her.
“Oh, I been okay. Got so much going on, you know?”
“Man, do I, it’s been rough for everybody though. Just got to hang in there.”
“Yup, just gotta hang in there. Hey, Dallas, where’s Calvin?” asked Daisy, cool, calm, and collected.
“He’s back there in his office.”
“Oh, ’cause I really need to see him.”
“Well, be careful, he might not recognize you with them clothes on.” Dallas laughed to himself as Daisy made her way to the back of the club where Calvin’s office was.
“Who is it?” he growled from behind his desk.
“It’s me,” said Daisy as she peeked from behind the door and let herself in.
“What in the world do you want now?”
“Listen, Calvin, I’m sorry.”
“Sorry, you damn right you sorry. You got the god damn police all over this motherfucker. Everywhere you turn there they are. I can’t keep no business in here and it’s all because of you. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with you girls. You stupid or something? You can’t think? All you good for is lying on your backs and opening your legs. That’s it! Get on out of here; ain’t nothing I can do for you,” said Calvin with blistering coldness.
“Calvin, please, I came back to work, I’m not trying to cause no trouble.”
“Work, girl, is you crazy? Let me tell you something, these god damn police is talking about some minor was in my bar on November 5 and was with you drinking. They threatening to close me down, and I swear I won’t lose my business behind your stinkin’ ass. You hear me, Daisy, I won’t, god damn it. Whatever you done told them police or whoever, you better think again, ’cause if they subpoena me to come to court, I’m telling ’em that you wasn’t even working that night. Shit, you think you gonna close me down? Is you out your fucking mind? Get the fuck outta here, Daisy. I don’t want to see you no more. You nothing but trouble, nothing but trouble.”
“I’m sorry Calvin, I didn’t me—”
“Don’t matter what you meant, only matters what you do, and you doing some fucked-up shit, for some real fucked-up people. You better be careful or you gonna wind up in an alleyway somewhere dead,” said Calvin, as he watched Daisy close the door behind her.
“That’s right, get on outta here, talking about some god damn Bernard Guess in this motherfucker, nigga ain’t even old enough to piss straight, let alone drink, and he in this motherfucker fucking my shit up for me. I don’t think so,” said Calvin, hot and bothered, and needing something or somebody to cool him off. He peeked out his door.
“Hey, Cherry Tree, come on in here,” said Calvin, grabbing a half-naked cocktail waitress by the arm.
“My name is Cherry Blossom,” the girl said, as if Calvin really needed to get it right.
“Aaww, shit, Cherry Tree, Cherry Blossom, shit’s all the same, you just get on in here.”
If nothing else, owning a strip club had its membership rewards, and every now and then, Calvin would cash them in. It was rare, but every blue moon, he took full advantage of being the boss.
Daisy went home realizing that the situation that she thought was bad with Sticks was actually worse than she had imagined. Why the fuck would he want an alibi for someone in a bar that wasn’t old enough to drink? This nigga got me all in the middle of some real bullshit. I can’t even get my job back with Calvin. I ain’t got no money. The police is talking about locking my ass up in Muncy and this nigga is threatening me to say this bullshit alibi. Is he nuts? Daisy honestly didn’t know what to do. All she knew was that she was beginning to wish she had never given that alibi statement to that investigator. Oh, Momma, if only I had listened to you. She had no idea that one alibi statement would end up costing her for the rest of her life.
It was almost two o’clock in the morning by the time she got back home. She was hungry and tired. There was a corner left in a box of Cap’n Crunch cereal. She poured some milk into the bowl and sat down at the kitchen table. Look at that pile of mail. I bet it’s all bills in there. Sometimes, the realities of life can make you afraid, and that’s what Daisy was feeling just looking at the mail. I ain’t got no money to pay no bills. They’re gonna cut the phone off. She started by opening up an AT&T envelope. And sure enough, it was a cut-off notice. Cut it off, the only motherfucker calling is that damn Sticks and I sure as hell don’t want to talk to him no way. She still couldn’t believe that Reggie had broke out on her, with no plans to return. I just can’t believe it. I know he’s coming back, he’s got to come back.
Daisy sat there opening up each envelope, looking at the total due boxes. Mmm, no television, ’cause won’t be no cable. Damn, the lights too. I better find some candles. Shit, I’m liable to be sitting here in the god damn dark any second now. This is crazy. There was an envelope marked Abigail Fothergill. It was her mother’s bank statement. She opened it and glanced at the pages, put it back in the envelope, and laid it on the table. Wait, what the… She picked the envelope back up, pulled the statement out again, and looked at the bottom right-hand corner, at the total. It must be some kind of mistake, some kind of big mistake. There was $47,422.04 in her dead mother’s bank account, and she was named as a cosigner on the account.
She looked closer at the statement, and approximately three and a half weeks ago, there was a fifty-thousand dollar deposit made, a debit of $2,577.96, and a remaining balance of $47,422.04. Oh, my god, it must be some kind of bank error. But, what if… what if that money is still sitting there? What if the bank hasn’t realized they made a mistake? Oh, my god, please let that money still be there. Just then Daisy’s phone rang. Go ahead, Sticks, I’m counting money over here, nigga. I ain’t got time for you and your fake ass, ain’t gonna work, alibi. Shit, a bitch got money to spend and shit. Daisy was suddenly sparked by the thought of all that money really being there. So sparked that she sat up all night long, dancing, prancing, talking to herself in the mirror, and ignoring her ringing phone.
The next morning, Daisy was standing on the corner of Thirty-eighth and Chestnut streets waiting for the bank to open. The lettering on the glass window of the bank said it opened at eight-thirty. Daisy glanced at her watch. All right now, it was eight-thirty. Come on, what’s the holdup. Patience was no virtue today or any other day when it came to collecting fifty thousand big ones. Oh, Lord, please, god, please let me get this money. I’ll be so good. I won’t strip no more, or have sex no more. I won’t do nothing, I swear, god, please.
Sure enough, thirty minutes later Daisy was walking out of the bank with a pocketbook full of wrapped, fresh, clean, one-hundred-dollar bills totaling $47,422. The four cents she slid into her jacket pocket. A bank manager had seated her in a private room and brought the money to her. She was allowed to count it. It turned out that the account had been frozen after the deposit was made. The bank had been informed by the government that the Social Security checks that Daisy had cashed had to be reimbursed because they should have never been cashed after Abigail Fothergill passed. Daisy had cashed three months’ worth of checks, her mother’s account was in the hole, and a freeze was placed on the account. Then, the bank had collected its debt, which was the $2,577.96 and therefore released the freeze, which allowed Daisy to withdraw the money out of the account.
“Take as long as you need, and if we can be of further assistance, just let us know,” said the bank manager assisting Daisy.
“Thank you,” said Daisy, staring at the cash. She didn’t even hear the door close behind her. All she could do was sit there and look at the money. Oh, my god, I can’t believe it. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was as if someone else got blessed and she just happened to be standing next in line. What am I going to do with all this money. I can live forever off of this. And the best part about it is, I don’t have to sleep with nobody no more, ever!
As she paid the cab and opened the door to get out, she saw Sticks watching her, standing only a few feet from the cab. Where he came from and how he got there, she didn’t know.
Damn, it’s only nine in the morning.
“Man, why the fuck you got me calling your phone like a fucking stalker?” he said, ready to grab her by her collar and throw her in some bushes.
“Sticks, I ain’t even been home.”
“Yeah, good answer. Come on, we got to go to the lawyer’s office. I been trying to call you and tell you that the appointment is today at 10:30 A.M. Come on, you coming with me.” Sticks began to walk down the street toward his parked car. Daisy wondered if she could outrun him. Probably not.
“Sticks, really, I don’t want to do this. I’m not good at lying, and besides I don’t even know this guy.”
“You don’t have to know him. Just memorize his picture.”
“No, no fucking buts, do you understand,” he said, his blood pressure at a boiling point. “Don’t make me fucking hurt you, Daisy, this is it,” he said, gripping her by her jacket and really getting ready to knock the shit out of her.
Feeling his anger and knowing that she was no match for him, she decided to just play along. The only thing was the money. She wished she wasn’t carrying it around in her pocketbook. Lord knows, anything could happen, and Daisy was a shining example of Murphy’s Law; anything that could go wrong, would go wrong. An hour and a half later, Sticks walked them through the doors of the lawyer’s office.
“Hey, Mr. DeSimone, this is Daisy. Daisy, this is Mr. DeSimone.”
Alibi by Teri Woods / History & Fiction have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes