I was never patriotic, so when Independence Day came around, the last thing on my mind was to go out and celebrate. I was bored and I was lonely, and though the people I was going out with weren’t my normal crowd, they were friends and family that I grew up with. Diana had her man, Marsha had hers, and my cousin Lisa had her own.
I was the only one who was single and my taste was just too high—the kind of men they dated did not appeal to me. They were street boys that lacked ambition; to me, they had nothing going for them. I wanted the executive, the entrepreneur. I was starting to become very accustomed to the kind of high-rolling lifestyle and the exclusive parties that my modeling career had introduced me to.
As me and the girls stood waiting for a cab, I couldn’t help but pity myself. I was unhappy about my life. At 22, I yearned to be in a relationship. I felt I had so much to give a man, and yet I was single. Had I been in a relationship, I wouldn’t be going out celebrating. I would have been going on one of those long drives I love to take, perhaps in a convertible with the top down and my hair blowing in the wind.
We were standing there for about 15 or 20 minutes before I told the girls that I’d wait five more minutes and if we didn’t get a cab, I would be going back home. Diana shouted, “That’s the reason why I didn’t want you to come, with your holier than thou attitude!”
I replied calmly, “As if it’s such a pleasure to be around you with your vulgarity.” Diana was loud and tended to be embarrassing at times. She had no filter and, quite bluntly, she lacked both class and taste.
About three minutes later, a blue pickup drove up with a noticeably older gentleman driving, and what looked to be construction workers sitting in the back. As he slowed down in front of us, he said, “Don’t move. I’m coming right back!” He drove off, leaving a trail of his cologne, as he sped off.
We ignored him, thinking he was messing around because we were standing there looking as if we had nowhere to go, but literally moments later, he came back—he had dropped off his construction workers. He stopped, asked us where we were going, and told us to get in. As he started driving off in the opposite direction, we all shouted, “You’re going the wrong way!”
A little disheartened that we were going to have to get out, I said, “It’s fine. We’ll just continue to wait for a cab.” He hurriedly told us to sit tight, and that he would get us there in 45 minutes.
As we drove on, he told us his name was Keith and asked for our names. He also asked what we had planned for the day and why we were going where we had told him to drop us off. With a hint of disgust in my voice, I quickly blurted out, “They all have boyfriends there.” All the girls were quick to retaliate with, “You talk too much.”
When we finally arrived at our destination, I could see all of my friends’ men around a table gambling, looking like a bunch of bums and thugs—absolutely not my taste! The last thing I wanted was for one of these guys’ friends to think I came for him and start chatting me up.
As soon as we got out of the pickup and Keith was about to drive off, I shouted for him to take me back to where he picked us up from. Diana shouted, “Slut,” to my back as I got back in the vehicle, hoping Keith didn’t hear her and pretending not to hear her myself.
He turned, looked at me, and said, “You were the reason why I picked you all up. I wanted to get to know you, so I’m happy you decided to leave with me.” This was just the beginning.