Part 1: Jason and Kamilha

I was one the baddest strippers in the game in my city. Some know and some didn’t. That was the power of wearing a mask when I hit the stage.  some said that being a stripper was nothing to be happy about but I was. Unlike other strippers, this was not my life this was just my job. No matter how many people looked down their nose at me about it. it kept clothes on my baby and me back, my bills paid food on the table and made me able to do things with my son that moms that work a 9 am to 5 pm couldn’t.

I could care less what people thought about me or my job. I was twenty-two and I was doing what needed to be done as a single mom. there was no man in my life or anything like that. the only focus I had was my son and getting this money. at night I got up on stage and shook my ass and when I walked out the doors of Classy Cats Carmel was no longer existed. I was just Kamilha or mommy.

Despite my job and my age, I was the best damn mom if I did say so my damn self. I’d do anything and risk anything when it came to Cardell. he didn’t ask to be here. my grown and stupid actions got him here so it was my job to make sure I did the damn thing for my little man. there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to give him everything he wanted.

   I valued every moment I got to spend with him. he was four but it seemed like he was growing up so fast right before my eyes. he was such a little man. My mom always yelled at me and told me to stop calling him the man of the house and to go get a man. But I loved the bond me and my baby had. When we went out he held doors open for his mommy and everything. I was raising him to be the perfect gentleman, my mom felt like I was building him to be the man I wanted in my life.

   as I sat and watched my little man play on my living room floor with the racing cars I had brought him not to long ago I admired him my phone started to ring. I instantly got an attitude thinking that the club was calling me to ask me to come in. But to my surprise, it was my mom.  

   I answered “hey mommy.” i said. “hey baby how are you and my grandson?” she asked. Cardell stood up and walked over to me on the couch and tapped me to get my attention “ma is that my nana on the phone?” he asked. i nodded my head. “we got mom, How are you?” i said to her.” “i’m blessed and highly favored to be yet still amongst the living. But I could be even better if I seen your face in church today.” i rolled my eyes at my moms statement. we weren’t even on the phone five good minutes before she brought up church.  but I couldn’t say I didn’t know it was coming. it never failed that my mom either brought up church or what I should be doing with my life at this age.

   when i was eighteen i got pregnant with Cardell. I was one of them fast tell girls that was tired of being a virgin and being picked on. I mean it might not seem bad to be called the virgin church girl. But when your mom dressed up in nothing but jean skirts or your Sunday's best it was hard to get the boys when you didn’t look like the popular girls in school. Cardell’s father and I was together for almost two years when we had sex prom night. Neither one of knew what we were doing and that's how Cardell got here. I felt like if my mom prepared me more for sex instead of trying to shield me from it, I possibly could have avoided getting pregnant but that was here nor there and I loved my baby boy.

   when i got pregnant my mom still made me go to church. she made me go up to every altar call and pray line they had like that was going to make my baby go away. when I wasn’t in the pray lines I was dealing with the church members talking about me, talking down to me or making me feel like nothing because I was having a baby. WHen if only they knew that the daughters they were glorifying for not having kids had just taken the easy way out and either aborted or swallowed their babies. I was actual mindful enough to say I was grown enough to make my son I was going to be grown enough to keep him.

   when I had Cardell nothing change. I was still talked about. Sat down from everything I normally took part in in church. it bothers me more than my mom didn’t even sit up for me. It was like she picked church over me. I know what I did was wrong. But when would they understand that the wrong was in my actions and not in my son. They wouldn’t even let me get my baby christened and that was it for me. I was done being tired like I had leprosy.

   i ended up saying to hell with hell and refusing to go. I had no deserve to spend any more time around those hypocrites. that caused a wage between my mother and I Which made her put me out. her favorite line was “as for me and my house we will praise the Lord and that includes going to church Kamilha and if you aren’t going to church then you can’t live here.”

   i didn’t fight her about it or even argue with her about it because she didn’t understand how I felt or what I was going through her and my dad were married when they had me. what made it worse that it seemed like she didn't even care how i felt. she was willing to put her child and grandchild out on the street over church.she gave me a total of sixty days to get out and everyday she counted down the amount of days i had left. she stuck notes everywhere to remind me how long i had left. i went out and got a job at a call center. but that was not working, after taxes and making sure that Cardell was taken care of I was making enough to move out; pay a security deposit and first month's rent.

one day I was complaining to my coworker about my situation and she told me about her bartending job at Classy Cat. I told her to see if she could get me in there. Any extra money was needed. she was able to get her manager to hire me. He said I would do great because I was pretty and guys would buy drinks from  me just to be able to talk to a pretty girl. i started working and the money was cool. It got Cardell and me out of my mother's house by her deadline. But I wanted more money. I wanted to live comfortable not check to check like most people.

   one day the club had auditioned for new dancers and I tired out. Figured it was worth a try seeing that I could wear a mask with my custom. The club manager gave me the job and then my first night I dance I was extremely nervous. But I did what I had to and put on my custom and hit the stage. that night i made $2,000 dollars. that was more than I was making at the call center every two weeks. eventually, I went from dancing 1 night a week, to 3 nights and week, to quitting my call center job and dancing 5 nights a week.

   my son nor my mother had any idea what I was doing. I put Cardell to bed at 8 pm and my cousin Jessica would come over and watch him while I go to the club. I’d pay her $200 a week to watch Cardell and to keep my secret from my mom of where I was working. I would work at the club from around 9 pm to 3 am. by 3:30 I was back home with my baby. I loved the life I was living I had my own car, house and I was always home to make sure that my baby was clean, safe, feed, dress, always on time for school and had me at home to help him with homework after school.  

   But me and my mom were in a better place from when she put me out. She and her sat on the phone chit chatting after I got her passed the whole church conversation. Cardell tapped me and said, “mommy I want to go to my nana house.” I looked at him shook my head and said, “you have school in the morning.” My babies face was so sad. “bring him over. I can take him to school tomorrow and it will give you a break.” she said. “no mom its okay.” i said. “Kamilha even the greatest moms need breaks, so let me do that for you,” she said to me. I sat there and looked at my baby. i wanted to tell them both no but who was i to stop him from spending time with his grandma. “Cardell if you going, get my living room cleaned up,” I said and his frown turned to a smile as he raced to pick up all his toys. i told my mom we would see her shortly and hung up with her to go pack Cardell’s bag.

   once i dropped my baby off to his nana i came home and sat there looking around. I decided to get dress and go have a few drinks. I never actually just went to the club when I turned twenty one I didn't even go have drinks I was in mommy mood. I went to the club and the music was jumping. it was pretty early so the club wasn’t packed yet. I went and grabbed a booth in the back of the club so I could be low. The bottle girl came over and asked what I was having and I told her  to bring me a long island.

   As time went on I enjoyed my drink and danced in my seat. Until a man approached me. “can I have a dance.” he asked. I looked him up and down and said “no, I’m fine.” he walked away,  a few songs later he came back and sat down. I looked at him. “can I help you?” I asked him. “you can tell me your name.” he replied back to me. “why would I do that?” I asked him. “because it's the polite thing to do not to mention I think you're a very attractive woman.” he said with a smirk. “I’m sorry I got a whole child. I don't get time for these games,” I told him. “I’m sorry but I don’t play games. I’m a grown man with businesses. So let's try this again. Hello, my name is Jason.” he said as he extended a hand over the table. I looked at him and then extended my hand. “I’m Kamilha,” I said.

   Jason had pulled my attention just like that. I had been dancing for men 5 nights a week for years now but none them ever got me to this point. Where i looked at them in a way that I felt attraction. “So Jason tells me about yourself,”I said to him since it was clear he was not leaving my booth. Jason laughed “well this is not a get to know your environment but I own a construction company.” he answered. I looked at Jason’s hands there was no way those well-manicured hands did any manual labor.

I asked in a smart way “so do you do any of the handy work?” Jason laughed only when I am short staffed and that's not too often.”  As Jason asked me what I did for a living just as the bottle girl came back over and asked did I want another drink. I told her to bring a bottle of Ace of spades and handed her $300 out my purse. I looked back at him and said with a smirk “I make money.”

Jason started to laugh again. “that was really cute.” “what was cute?” I said. “the whole buying a bottle thing to make it aware that you don't need a man for nothing. Let me guess you already told me you have a child so you probably have a baby daddy somewhere who fucked you over and doesn’t even realized the treasure he missed out on. Now you’ve sworn off men and focused on your child and that its. As a defense to any man that approaches you, you do stuff to show that you don’t need a man.”

I sat and listened to Jason as he hit the nail right on the head. This man was reading me like a book. I hadn’t actually even entertained a man since me and Cardell’s father Tyrell had split ways. After seeing how Tyrell up and left me and Cardell choosing a college and a football scholarship over my baby, his son I vowed to protect my baby and not let any other man have the chance to come in and out our lives.

As the time passed us I drunk a little more and Jason kept up the small talk between us. when the lights came on I was finally able to get a better look at Jason. He was a caramel brother that seemed like he might be mixed with something. In was in this hot ass club with a suite on and his button up was showing a little bit of his chest. he had a real crisp line up going on and the top of his hair looked like he was following the new trend of twisting your hair with a sponge.

Jason got up from the table and walked around me. “Kamilha it was my complete pleasure meeting you tonight. he said as he stuck out his hands and shook hands. when we released hands I noticed that Jason slipped his car and $300 in my hand. I yelled out to him as he walked away. “you forgot something” I said holding the money up. Jason turned around  “no I didn’t I paid for the bottle because I’m a real man.” he said. I started to say “I don’t…” and Jason interrupted me. “I know you don’t need me and that makes it so sexy. I don't want any woman that needs me I want a woman that can hold her own and genuinely just wants me,” he said. I was stuck on how to answer Jason’s statement. “I look forward to hearing from you Kamilha. get home safely,” he said as he walked away. I was excited and nervous at the same time. I was attracted to someone for the first time in a long time but being a stripper was like a job a girl dating someone has.

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