Doing Man for the Last Time from the book "Room 222"

Doing Man for the Last Time from the book "Room 222"

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance


Status: Finished

Genre: Romance


This short story is from "Room 222", a collection of short, erotic stories about eclectic characters and sexual situations, all taking place in the same room of a run down motel. Available soon on Amazon/Kindle. Doing Man for the Last Time – Tonia finally had a good man in her life, and she loved him too much to fuck things up between them. But Man was her boy from way back, and she had love for him too. They had history, he was facing the worse thing he’d ever have to do, and had come to her for help. How could she refuse him? visit for more from this author


This short story is from "Room 222", a collection of short, erotic stories about eclectic characters and sexual situations, all taking place in the same room of a run down motel. Available soon on Amazon/Kindle.

Doing Man for the Last Time – Tonia finally had a good man in her life, and she loved him too much to fuck things up between them. But Man was her boy from way back, and she had love for him too. They had history, he was facing the worse thing he’d ever have to do, and had come to her for help. How could she refuse him?

visit for more from this author


Submitted: March 20, 2017

A A A | A A A


Submitted: March 20, 2017



Doing Man for the Last Time


I listened to Man stammer, unable to concentrate on what the woman at the desk was asking him. When it was obvious to us both that he wasn’t going to be able to answer her, I gave her my information and credit card.

She asked me how long we wanted the room, pointing to the sign behind her. Our options were by the hour, by the night, or by the week. I didn’t know how long we would be there, so I told her by the night to start, and that I’d re-up if we were there longer.

The whole time we were talking, Man was looking over his shoulder. He even went to the lobby door once to look out and make sure no one suspicious was in sight. It was like he thought he’d been bugged and could have his every movement tracked.

Man was starting to get on my nerves. I still didn’t see why we’d had to leave my house since he didn’t live with me and no one would have known he was there.

But then again, I’ve never murdered anyone in front of so many witnesses. So how could I say how I would react?

I’ve known Man for years, dating him off and on. Really, our version of dating was to get together every once in a while, talk on the phone for a few days, and meet to fuck whenever we could. Eventually, he would get upset with me or I would get pissed with him and we would stop seeing each other. Until, for whatever reason, we ended up back together again.

We were actually on one of our off periods when he’d shown up at my door out of the blue. He was scared, visibly shaking as he banged on my door like the damned police.

“Tonia,” he said when I’d answered the door. “I fucked up. For real this time. I need your help. Please.”

I have no beef with Man, and we did have history. But I also have a boyfriend, the best man I’ve ever had in my life, and I knew Tariq wouldn’t understand our strange relationship.

I let Man in anyway, but he couldn’t sit still. He kept going up to my window and looking out. It took me a minute to get him to calm down long enough to tell me what the hell the problem was.

“I killed him,” he said simply, like I should know who he killed. And who the hell goes around killing people and then announces that shit so casually?

“You killed who?” I asked.

“Kenny,” he said. I swear, he was saying this shit like I was there and knew all about him having beef with someone named Kenny. In reality, I hadn’t really spoken to Man in more than three months.

Okay, Tonia, I thought. Just let him get it out.

“You killed Kenny?” I repeated back to him, and I swear I only choked a little bit when I heard myself say it out loud. I wasn’t trying to sound like a character on South Park. I didn’t want him to think I was making fun of him; this shit obviously was not funny. Not to Man, and I had to believe Kenny wasn’t tickled by it either.

“Man,” I said carefully. “Where did you kill him? How? When? Fuck that . . . why would you kill anybody?”

The story poured out of him then. He’d been at a cook-out and had been high. His temper when he drank or smoked was one of the main reasons we fought and could never stay together. So I could just imagine how he’d been acting at this party if he’d gotten mad enough to kill a man.

He said he didn’t really even remember what he and Kenny were arguing about. Just that he’d gotten into one of those moods when he felt out of control. He’d warned Kenny to shut the fuck up, to leave him alone, but the other man wouldn’t listen. Kenny kept coming for Man, and Man just grabbed a knife off a table and stabbed him in his stomach. Fourteen times, he thought.

“I didn’t mean to do it, Tonia. You know I ain’t no killer. It was just an accident.”

I was kind of shocked and didn’t know what to say. Yeah, I knew Man has anger issues, and I could see him losing control and stabbing someone in the heat of the moment. But fourteen times? Shit, even Johnny Cochran couldn’t get this mofo off. He was a dead man talking to me.

But Man didn’t need to hear that from me in the moment. I had no idea why he’d come to my house after he left the cook-out, and I didn’t know if he was still high or what state of mind he might be in. I wasn’t trying to be another body down.

Plus, I felt horrible for Man. His ass was going to go to jail for so long that I knew I’d never see him again. Of course I wanted to help him.

Tariq was at work, and we didn’t have the kind of relationship where he would just do a pop in. He would at least call if he wanted to come over, which was highly unlikely since I knew we had no plans to see each other that weekend.

Besides, if my man couldn’t understand that I had a past, had people I was connected to before he and I got together, then he wasn’t the person I thought he was[TJ1] .

I asked Man if he wanted to stay at my place for a while, and that’s when he started saying it wasn’t safe for him there. That he might have been followed. That he didn’t want to bring his problems to my door. I don’t know what he thought he was doing when he showed up at my house, banged on that very same door, and announced to me that he’d killed Kenny. But okay.

So we’d gotten in my car and had driven all the way across town to a place where nobody would know either of us. I’d stopped at the first motel that it looked like we could afford.

Now I had a room key, but Man was still just as agitated as he’d been at my house. It was all I could do to get him in the elevator so we could make the one floor trip up to room 222.

Once we got through the door, Man locked the deadbolt and secured the chain. Then he just paced back and forth. There wasn’t much room to maneuver, so I climbed onto the bed to give him the space to work off his nervous energy.

Man was muttering to himself, and sometimes I couldn’t quite tell what he was saying. I did catch it when he kept saying “What am I going to do?” and he said something about his mother. He also said he was sorry, but I don’t know exactly who he was apologizing to.

I also didn’t know what to do. I wanted to talk to Man, to calm him down, but what could I say? That it was going to be all right? Even he could never be high enough to think he could stab a man to death in front of a yard full of witnesses and walk away. It was most definitely not going to be all right.

We both knew what Man needed to do. He had to turn himself in. It would be better in the long run if he didn’t make the cops have to hunt him down. They were sure to find him, and depending on the cop or the day, he might not even get his day in court.

Man stopped stalking around the room and sat on the bed at my feet. I scooted up to him and gently laid my hand on his back. I was only trying to comfort him, like the way you rub a child’s back to reassure him.

But Man and I touched each other only when we wanted sex. It was like any time we made contact it was foreplay or outright fucking, and we didn’t know how to just show affection. We didn’t have that kind of connection. So when I started to rub on Man’s back, he reached behind and tried to grab my ass, only the angles were wrong and his touch was awkward. So he got up, sat beside me on the bed, and pulled me around until I was straddling his lap, my legs sticking straight out behind him on the bed. He kissed me, hard and desperately, like I was the only thing keeping him sane.

In spite of myself, I found my body responding to him. I didn’t want to; I had only come here as a friend trying to help Man calm down and face the hardest thing he was ever going to have to do.

But my body was so programmed to his, knew his smell and his touch and even his fucked up attitudes and energy so well, that the response was beyond my control. Man kissed me and I kissed him back automatically.

Then he was picking me up, turning us both around and laying me on my back. Man was big to me, probably about eighty pounds and eight inches larger than my five foot six frame. He liked to say he wasn’t big, I was just small. Either way, he had always been able to lift me up and put me places like it was nothing. I liked that—his strength made me feel safe since he never used it against me. When we were cool, I would sometimes use his size to talk shit to somebody else, knowing they wouldn’t mess with me if it meant they might have to deal with him. But I knew Man was just a big teddy bear in his heart.

So I wasn’t entirely surprised to figure out Man was crying against my neck even as he ground his pelvis into mine. He was shaking too, so much that he was scaring me. I didn’t know what I would do if he gave himself a heart attack or something while I was trapped under him. It wouldn’t bring Kenny back if he killed himself and crushed me in the process.

I thought about slapping him like they do in old movies when somebody is hysterical. Only for a second though; Man was cracking up, not me. I never for a minute believed that if you slapped a man in the face for any reason that he would just smile and let you walk away.

Instead, I tapped him on his shoulder. “Uh, Man? Can you let me up? You have to calm down, you ‘bout to make yourself sick.”

He didn’t want to, but he eventually got himself together enough to roll to one side. I quickly loosened my leg that was still trapped under his body and got off the bed.

I picked up the bag we’d gotten when we stopped at the store on the way to the motel. My thought had been to get Man something to drink, but the options were not good. I’d picked up some Orange Jubilee for myself, but also an iced tea. Lipton, not Long Island. All Man got was a forty ounce and a fifth of Thunder Bird. I really didn’t want to give him any more alcohol, but I knew he was likely to throw the tea in my face if I offered it to him.

I would have tried water, but I don’t drink tap water even in my own house. The motel didn’t look like it was going to offer freshly filtered water from the old, worn faucet I could see from the bed. Plus, I had no cups.

In the end, I gave Man the forty. He wasn’t new to drinking—that malt liquor wasn’t likely to do anything to his system that wasn’t already there. He cracked it open and took a sip. Then he lifted it up and gulped it down for a minute before putting it on the floor by his feet. After quenching his thirst,[TJ2]  Man put his head in his hands and cried some more, loudly and without shame.

I was uncomfortable with men crying in front of me. But under the circumstances, I didn’t think any less of Man. It just meant that he was not high anymore and could clearly see that his life was basically over.

Man hadn’t even had a chance to make any babies, which I guessed was a blessing. At least he wouldn’t be leaving any little boys to follow in his footsteps or little girls to find men who acted just like him because they didn’t have a father in their lives. This was a fucked up way to do it, but it did effectively break the cycle that affected almost everybody in our neighborhood.

I really wanted to go to him, to hold him and offer what comfort I could, even if I could only offer him my body. I loved Tariq, but he was my boyfriend not my husband, and I hadn’t taken any vows with him. Maybe it was technically cheating, but Man was going away forever.

So I went to Man and moved his hands down away from his face. God, the look in his eyes as he looked back at me! I never want to see that kind of hopelessness again. It actually made my heart hurt, and I got tears in my own eyes.

Man hated it when I cried, which I rarely ever did. Seeing me tear up just upset him more, so I made myself stop. We both reached out for one another and held on for a long, long time.

Finally, all the friction from our swaying bodies got to Man and I could feel his body harden. I was down to do whatever I could to make him feel better, to give him the courage to do what he’d have to do in the morning.

I got up on my toes and met Man’s lips with mine. I put my arms up and he slipped my shirt over my head. It was just a t-shirt and I wore no bra, so my tits were instantly free and available to him. It was also chilly so my nipples were already hard. Man rubbed them, then picked me up and put me on the bed again. He began to suck and massage my breasts, and I felt his earlier desperation return as he sucked harder and harder. I felt an answering pull in my pussy and moaned his name out loud.

That did it for him. He began to rip at my jeans, so frenzied he couldn’t even undo the snap. I had to put my hands over his, stilling them long enough to unsnap my own jeans and try to pull them off. But the pants were tight, and Man wasn’t giving me any room to maneuver.

“Let me up,” I whispered against his mouth. “I just need to get them off.”

Instead of letting me get a little room to take the jeans off, Man sat up and took them down for me. All I had to do was lift my hips for him, and he slowly peeled the pants down my body, taking my thong with them.

Then Man just looked at me. It was the same body he’d seen so many times before. But it was like he was seeing me for the first time, trying to memorize every curve of my body so he could recall it whenever he needed to. It gave me a chill to know that I was going to be the last female he might ever see in life, and that to him I’d always be young and firm and beautiful.

So I let Man look and hoped it was what he needed. When he’d stared at me so long I began to feel too exposed, I reached out and put his hands back on my breasts.

Man played with one and his other hand went down to my pussy. He played with my folds, looking for my clit. Man’s fingers were so big that he always managed to find it, despite having no real idea where to look.

Like always, Man knew he’d hit the right spot when I sucked in my breath. Then he set up a steady rhythm, rubbing me lightly sometimes and harder sometimes as my body responded by getting wet for him. Once he felt I was wet enough, he slipped his giant finger into my tight pussy.

I was no virgin and didn’t pretend to be untouched. But with Man, I could generally take only a finger or two. Of course, his dick was way bigger, and I took that and liked it. But his dick didn’t have finger nails, so it didn’t scratch me up the way his fingers did.

Plus, it occurred to me that Man might still have the other man’s blood on his hands. I didn’t know exactly how that worked, HIV-wise, but I for damn sure didn’t know Kenny well enough to want to share bodily fluids with him. That was not okay.[TJ3] 

So although I was enjoying his touch, I was happy when Man stopped probing me long enough to take his own clothes off. I got under the covers when I saw that he was getting completely naked, and he joined me there just as I got comfortable. He’d evidently decided to take his time and make our session stretch out. Why not? We had the room for the whole night. I loved it when we did it this way; not that a frenzied fuck session wasn’t exciting in its own way, but when Man took his time and was gentle with me, it almost felt like making love.

But that got me to thinking about my boyfriend and how bad I was playing him. As far as I knew, Tariq hadn’t touched another woman in the time we’d been seeing each other, and I didn’t want to be the one to fuck it up. It was pretty early on in the relationship, but he was the first guy I’d been with who was halfway decent. He treated me like a lady, we had fun together, and he had a job. Even better, he didn’t have a single felony.

Tariq was so different from all the boyfriends that came before him. As sad as it was to admit it, Man wasn’t even my first murderer. Although Rod’s case was different—he hadn’t broken into the Dairy Queen to kill the elderly owner. The old man just happened to be working late, and when he panicked, his heart couldn’t take it. Either way, he died and somebody had to pay. I’m sure I was Rod’s last piece before he went to jail too. I hoped he and Man wouldn’t meet there and compare notes. This was not an activity I wanted to be known for.[TJ4] 

To keep my thoughts from drifting, I wanted Man to get excited again. Not agitated like he had been, but animated enough that my body would be too busy feeling what he was doing to me for my mind to be thinking about what I was doing in general. Because if I thought about it, it would be all bad.

I knew how to bring some life into Man. As he lay over me, I scooted further down, head under the covers, until I reached his midsection. Then I began to kiss and suck on his stomach, working my way down toward his dick.

Man knew what it was, and just like I’d hoped, he was all for it. As I got closer, I heard him give a little grunt of approval and fall over on his back. I got on top of him somewhere by his knees, and willingly bobbed my head into his groin.

Man was the first guy I’d ever blown, and he’d had to talk me into it. Up until Man, my friends and I had all said we would never suck anybody’s dick. It seemed beyond nasty, although if guys wanted to eat us out, that was his choice. But we would never kiss them right after; that would be like licking our own pussies.

But Man explained to me how backward that was after the first time he ate my pussy and I told him after the fact that I couldn’t return the favor. I could still see the look on his face, his mouth all shiny with my juices, as he asked me what kind of shit was that. If he’d gotten mad, I would have just copped an attitude and left. But he didn’t get mad. It was almost like I’d hurt him.

“Naw, Tonia, don’t tell me you one of those types. How you gonna have me eat it but then tell me you can’t suck it? Why is that? You trying to say you think there’s something wrong with my shit?”

I told him no, it wasn’t personal. I thought the idea of oral was just nasty, and I never planned to do it for anybody. “I can understand if you think it’s not fair,” I’d said. “And it’s okay if you don’t want to go down on me again. I mean, you’re good at it and everything, but now I’d feel bad to even have you down there.”

“So now your hang-ups are going to keep me from doing something I like to do? You ain’t right, Tonia. There is nothing wrong or nasty about sex, any kind of sex. At least, any of the kinds of sex I’d propose we do. I’m not a pervert. Besides, if you never even tried it, how do you know you don’t like it?”

Then he swooped in and kissed me, right on the mouth with my own juices still drying on his lips. And it wasn’t bad, as long as I didn’t think too much about it.

After that, I decided to at least try a blow job. And it turned out I was pretty good at giving head. At least, that’s what Man said. He actually liked that I was learning on him, because then he could tell me exactly how he liked to receive oral . . . kind of instructing me in the way he wanted it to go.

Now I knew what Man wanted, and I really concentrated on giving him the best blow job I’d ever given him. I licked him where he liked it, but this time I was more like lapping his shit. I was alternating, sometimes using the tip of my tongue, sometimes flattening it and getting more of his dick at a time. When I sucked, I did my best to hoover his shit, drawing Man as far into my mouth as I could. There was a time when I could barely get him over my tongue before my gag reflex kicked in, but now I could almost let him touch my tonsils. So I did that, and kept right on sucking even after he gave the little strangled cry that meant he was about to blow.

I drained him down too, instead of spitting as I still sometimes did. Man’s shaft was so far down my throat I could barely tell it was there, as long as I swallowed right away.

We were both out of breath by the time I brought my head up out of the covers. As was our deal, I tongue kissed Man in the mouth. If there was nothing wrong with me putting my mouth on his sex, then he should have no problem with me kissing him right after. To be honest, he never really did. That was my hang-up, and Man had successfully broken me from it.

Man kissed me back and then grinned at me. “Damn, baby. You did that shit. Thank you. I’m going to be able to take that with me to get me through some of the rough nights.”

As much as I knew that accepting his fate was exactly what Man needed to do, what we were there to accomplish so he could move on to the next phase of his life, hearing him say it like that made me feel sick.  It was true, and we both knew it, but his putting it out there like that so matter-of-factly just broke my heart. I started to cry for real, not just tears in my eyes. I was sobbing almost as hard as Man had been, and the more I tried to stop, the harder the sobs kept on coming. Like always, it scared Man to see me like that. He tried to joke me out of it.
“Shit, girl, you acting like you[TJ5]  gotta go. After tomorrow, you are going to be all right. You can go back to your life, work your job, maybe even marry old dude. I know you’re only here with me because I sprung all this shit on you, and you care about me too much to just let me go off without doing it right. That’s why I came to you.

“And I want you to know that I appreciate that shit. I don’t take it for granted. Tonia, I think you are probably the closest I’ve ever come to a love thing. I mean that shit too. You don’t have to say that back, but promise me you won’t forget me, okay?”

Man had never been that sweet to me when I cried before. He had also never told me he loved me before, even though I knew he did. So I stopped crying, not so much because I felt better but because I knew I’d have time enough to cry when this was over. He was trying hard to have a good night, and I didn’t want to mess it up. I knew from experience that Man’s natural reaction when he felt uncomfortable was to strike out, and I didn’t want to fight with him, not tonight.

I wiped the tears off my face and put on a smile. I even apologized to Man and told him of course I would never forget him. Hell, I planned to write him for as long as it took for him to come back. He would always have a friend who gave a shit about him, no matter what happened to me in my life.

That was as close as I’d ever come to telling Man I loved him too, and it was enough. He and I knew we understood each other.

We lay back down, this time just keeping each other company. Man’s naked body next to mine felt comforting; fucking was the furthest thing from my mind. I wanted to ask him if he remembered more of what happened to Kenny, and was he scared about what was going to happen to him. But I didn’t know if I should bring it up.

Man brought it up on his own, in a way. He didn’t talk about his own situation. He told me about his favorite uncle and how he remembered when he was about to get sent up. But that was for drugs, enough to get him federal time. Man was facing murder, and he knew he wouldn’t rate no federal penitentiary. The only thing his experience was likely to have in common with his uncle was the amount of time he was about to lose.

As he talked, I could feel the tension return to his body. I wanted to stop him from taking this path, thinking and worrying about things he couldn’t change or control. The morning would come soon enough, so why borrow tomorrow’s troubles? But I didn’t know how to say that to him, so I just asked him if we could watch some TV instead.

Man was down for that, as long as I would stay there in the bed by his side, which is what I wanted to do anyway. So I snuggled up to his big body and he hit the remote. I don’t even know what we were watching because I didn’t really care. Whatever it was, it took his mind off things for a bit and that was all I wanted for him.

I got so relaxed by his warmth that I drifted off to sleep. I don’t know what time it was when he woke me up.

“You didn’t get a turn,” he reminded me.

I didn’t really want a turn, but I knew it was important to him. Again, my whole purpose in being there was to give Man one last good night. So I turned over on my back and opened my legs for him. He got into position, his big head making me have to part my thighs a little more to accommodate him.

As he began to flick my clit gently with his thumb and followed each touch with a long, slow lick, I realized it was no use. No matter what he did for me, it wasn’t going to get me off this time. I had no complaints about what he did down there, but I couldn’t get my head into it. It was like I was numb.

But I made all the right noises at the right times, and I don’t think Man knew the difference. At least, I hoped not. It really was my intention to send him off with something to hold on to in his memory, but the whole thing was just so fucking sad to me. Every time he touched me, it flashed into my mind that this would be the last time I’d ever feel his particular touch. The last time I’d know his smell, hear his grunts, and see his cum face.

I sucked at being the person to console somebody. I can’t always get out of my own head to be there for the person like I want to. Just selfish, I guess.

It was in that frame of mind that I let Man roll me over onto my stomach. At first, he just went in my pussy from the back, which I kind of like. He had me feeling pretty good when he pulled out and I felt his big dick hit my virginal asshole.

We’d had that happen before, when he misjudged the hole and hit the wrong one. Usually we just laughed it off and he re-adjusted his aim.

But this time, it happened again, and he held it there longer. Man didn’t say anything, but I knew what he wanted to do. Before I gave myself a chance to think about it, I asked him if he had any lube. I was surprised when he did.

”Go slow,” I reminded him as I worked hard not to tense up.

And he did, first using the lube on his finger to work it into me a little bit. It didn’t feel good, but it didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would. By moving slowly and gently, Man was able to get me to take two of his big fingers up my ass before he went for what he really wanted.

As big as his fingers were, his dick was still bigger. At first my body did not want to let him in. I bore down like I was going to take a shit and, slowly but surely, Man was able to penetrate me that way. I don’t know what made me do that and I was horrified at the thought that I might really get some shit on him. But it didn’t happen.

Man getting his whole dick in my ass didn’t work either. But he got the head in and a few inches before I couldn’t help but cry out. No matter what I did, how much I tried to give him this, the shit was just too painful for me. I wanted him to stop.

And he did, but not right away. First he just stopped pushing, but without pulling himself out. He wanted to see if I could be okay with that.

I tried to be, but of course Man didn’t want to just stay in there completely still. Once he thought he had my consent, he began to pump his dick in and out of me. I could take it as far as he’d already stretched me, but as it began to get good to him, his strokes started to go in deeper and deeper. And the pain came back.

“Man, please. Stop,” I finally said.

“Please, baby, just give me one more minute. I’m almost there,” he panted in reply. “Damn, I always knew your ass would feel this good.”

So I ended up biting the nasty motel sheet, trying to let Man finish without crying. But I couldn’t help it; that shit really did hurt. Finally, I felt Man begin to shake, and he pulled out of me and nutted on the sheet between my legs.

I was afraid to move. Even after Man was done, I could feel the burning sensation in my ass and I didn’t know if he’d done me any damage. If so, I was worried [TJ6] I’d make it worse if I moved.

Once Man came down from his orgasm, he noticed me still lying there. He saw the tear tracks on my face and he was instantly sorry. And I found myself in the crazy situation of having to console him for fucking me in the ass.

“I told you that you could, Man. It wasn’t rape. Yeah, it hurt a little, but I’m going to be all right. Can you just hold me for a minute?”

Man did, after first dipping into the bathroom to wash his dick and get a towel. By the time he came back, I’d rolled over onto my side, and he put the towel on the wet spot before climbing in the bed behind me to spoon.

Because of the difference in our sizes, my ass always ended up in Man’s stomach when we assumed that position. But when he put his arm around me, holding me close to his body, I felt safe and warm and protected.

That’s how we both fell asleep.

When I woke up, it was full daylight. Even knowing it was a Saturday, I felt like I was late for something.

Man had never discussed how everything was going to work in the morning, and he was still lying by my side when I woke up. But he wasn’t asleep, just staring at the ceiling.

I wished Man a good morning, but then couldn’t think of anything else to say. How do you ask a person if he is ready to turn himself over to the police and begin a life of exile in a prison? So I just asked him for the time, and was shocked when he said it was ten thirty.

No wonder I felt late; I was hungry. Knowing that I was partially procrastinating, I asked Man why he let me sleep so long. Breakfast at McDonald’s was going to be over before I could get there.

He reminded me of the twenty-four hour diner we noted when we’d arrived last night. It looked old and greasy, the perfect place to pick up a fried egg sandwich with bacon.

I threw on my clothes, happy to note that I was a little stiff and sore but nowhere near what I’d been afraid I’d feel. That last cherry had been popped, and it was over. At least until I finally had my first baby; that pain would make what I experienced the night before seem like nothing at all.

The diner was a neighborhood spot, and many of the patrons joked and laughed with the cooks and the wait staff. Add to that the fact that it was packed, and I knew that my eggs were going to be cold and greasy by the time I was handed my order in a plain brown paper bag. Luckily, I liked it like that.

When I got back to the room, I saw that Man had called his brother. Shaun was standing back by the sink, talking to Man while his woman, Michelle, sat on the bed and pretended to watch television. But the room was only so big and there was no door dividing the two parts of the space, so we couldn’t help hearing every word the two men said.

Shaun was, of course, trying to convince Man to turn himself in. Soon, before it was too late. The cops had already been to their mother’s house, and she’d been beside herself when they told her what had happened.

I didn’t think this was the right way to approach it. And sure enough, when Man heard how his mother was doing, the only thing he wanted to do was go see her, which he couldn’t do because the police had an unmarked car watching her house to see if he showed up.

“Then bring her here,” Man told his brother. “Tell her I just want to say my side of what happened.”

Shaun just looked at his younger brother in disgust. “I am not bringing my mother to no hoe-tel to see your murdering ass. You have caused her enough grief. If you want to talk to her, call her. But don’t even ask her to come out here. I mean that shit.”

The situation was obviously getting heated because Man couldn't form the words to answer Shaun. I could see it on his face; he was nearing the end of his ability to deal. What to do, what to do?

“What did the police say he should do?” I asked Shaun, trying to diffuse the situation with factual information. Of course I knew they wanted Man to give up and stop running. I just wondered if there was a specific place he should report to, or if there was anything we could put in place before he got there.

Shaun sighed, looking at me like I was stupid. “What do you mean, what do they want him to do? What you think? He needs to go to the station, take his lumps, and wait for trial.

Shaun turned back to Man. “And my momma don’t have no money to pay a lawyer either. So don’t ask. It would be different if you were innocent, maybe even if there was a chance in hell of the right lawyer being able to help you. But nobody can help you now, and you know it. So you are not wasting what little money she has fighting a fight that can’t be won.”

That was harsh, and even Michelle gave Shaun a little bit of shit about the way he was addressing Man. By that, I mean she looked up from the TV and called his name. But he got the message.[TJ7] 

“Look, Man, I’m not here to fight with you,” Shaun went on, and his tone was a tad less hostile.  “I actually called myself coming here to help you because you asked me to. But you never know how to talk to people. That's been your problem your whole life. You probably don’t even know that boy you left bleeding out in Miss Maybelline’s yard, do you? What was he to you? What could he have possibly done that made him worth throwing both of your lives away? He didn’t like your new shoes? He question your manhood? He needed to question your brain, because you clearly can’t think at all.

“Plus, how you think this is going to affect Mama and Miss Maybelline’s relationship? They knew each other before you were even born, and Miss Maybelline was always defending you every time you got in trouble. That’s another one of your problems; Mama was too old when she had you, and your daddy wasn’t never shit. He didn’t even stick around long enough for you to see that, but somehow you ended up just like him.  I guess blood is blood.”

I knew it was going to happen as soon as Shaun mentioned Man’s father. I don’t know why he had to go there, especially knowing how close to losing it Man already was. Except that Shaun was just an asshole. Judgmental like his shit don’t stink. I would never understand why Man called him in the first place.

Michelle knew what was up too, and we both made it to the far side of the bed before Man punched his brother in the face. Right in his nose, so blood gushed everywhere. Man never said a word, just stood over Shaun until Michelle helped him to his feet and they left, leaving me alone in the room with a furious Man.

He was still standing where he’d been when he was fighting with his brother, holding himself perfectly still except for the way his chest kept heaving as he tried to get his breathing under control.  He looked like Bruce Banner about to erupt into the Hulk.

 I thought he’d done good not to stomp a mud hole in Shaun and wanted to tell him so. But I was a little scared about what he was going to do next. I wanted to leave too; this was too much drama for me. But because I loved Man, and I knew he’d been provoked, and he had never hit me, I stayed.

I didn’t approach him though, or say anything until he gave a deep sigh and seemed to snap out of his trance. All he said was “I’m hungry, baby. What you got in that bag?”

I was hungry too, but I gave him the whole bag: two cold fried egg sandwiches and all the hash browns. My stomach was too queasy for that shit at the moment anyway. But Man sat down like everything was okay and ate every bit of the food in the bag. We both ignored the drying blood soaking the carpet right outside the bathroom door.

After he finished eating, Man started flipping through the channels with the remote. I wanted so many times to ask him what he was going to do, when he was going to the police. But after the shit Shaun had pulled, I didn’t feel comfortable being the one to bring it up. I knew Man knew what he had to do, and I trusted that when he was ready he’d make that move. But he needed time to get there and I respected that.

While he watched cartoons, I went down to the lobby and paid for one more night. I was hoping it wouldn’t take the whole night, but it was nearly check-out time so I had to let the hotel know something.

I also told them that I’d had a nose bleed in the night and that the blood was everywhere. The clerk promised to send someone up to take care of it. That way I could tell Man that housekeeping needed to get in the room and that we should step out. I was still hungry so I did want to get myself something to eat.

After I went back to the room and assured him that we would be able to return because I’d paid for another night, Man reluctantly left the safety of the motel. We didn’t go far; there were several fast food places nearby. When Man started to complain as I turned up in Burger King, I reminded him that he’d already eaten all the breakfast food. This was for me.

But he said it wasn’t like he couldn’t eat again. He didn’t complete the thought, but I knew he was thinking he’d better get all he could now while he still had the chance; everybody knew how bad the food was in prison. So we moved on, eventually stopping for fried chicken with all the fixin’s. Man liked dirty rice so I let him have mine. I was good with my two-piece and biscuit.

By the time we got back to the room, the maid had come and gone. She hadn’t gotten all the blood out, but the rug was multi-colored and pretty nasty anyway so the stain just kind of added to the grime instead of being bright red like it had been before she scrubbed it in. I guess I could have done that, but it wasn’t my job.

After the way he’d stuffed his face, all Man could do was lie down on the bed with a groan. Pretty soon he was snoring. I figured he’d be out for a while, so I stepped outside the room to make a few phone calls.

I called my mother to let her know where I was, and she said the police were looking for me too. Why, I didn’t know. They had come by her house, asking questions about me and Man’s relationship. Of course she had no info because as far as she knew, me and Man weren’t even speaking, which is what she told them.

But the cops didn’t believe her, and filled my mother’s head with what could happen to me if I helped a killer escape. I spent way more time than I’d anticipated trying to calm her down and remind her that she knew Man. She’d known him for years. Hell, she knew his mother before he and I even met. Did he really seem like a killer?

I was only trying to assure her that Man wouldn’t hurt me, but she assumed I was saying that he hadn’t killed Kenny. I just let her go with that, let her give a little rant about how the police were always targeting our black men, how the people were at fault for not uniting together and putting an end to this shit. Once she got to the part where she started calling on Malcom and Martin, I knew it was time to cut her off. I’d heard the speech before, and I knew how long it could last.

Next, I called my best friend, and she knew about the killing too. I almost told her where we were, but I changed my mind. If everyone was already talking, it looked like Man was right about him not being safe in the neighborhood. Why bring my friend any more into it than she needed to be? Besides, I didn’t plan to be here much longer, and there was no need for her to come out.

I finally ran out of other things to do and called my boyfriend. I expected him to go off or ask me a bunch of questions. I was prepared to tell him the truth—that I’d gone with Man because he was in trouble, but that Man was my past, not my present or my future because my old friend had no future. And I was so happy that I had Tariq to come home to when this was all over.

I could also truthfully say to him that Man’s dick had not been in my pussy, because technically that was true. Okay, maybe not strictly true, but it hadn’t been there long. As long as I said it that way, I knew he wouldn’t ask any more questions. Don’t trouble trouble.

But Tariq was totally oblivious. I always forgot he was from the neighborhood, but had never hung out there. He didn’t know that many people, and was used to being by himself. He hadn’t even heard what happened with Man, and I didn’t tell him.

Tariq was too tired to talk long, and I let him go gratefully. If I could get Man to face the inevitable, I could be home before my boyfriend even knew I was gone. I wasn’t ready to say I loved him yet, but this was definitely the best relationship I’d ever been in. And I did not want to lose him[TJ8] . I felt sorry for Man, but he was not my man, and wouldn’t have been even if he wasn’t headed for prison. He had no right to think he could crash into my life, fuck it all up for me, and then leave forever. It was time for him to either make a move or leave me out of it.

This was my state of mind when I went back into the room. But Man wasn’t feeling it. He didn’t want to turn himself in; he thought maybe if he didn’t give up so soon, he might be able to get away. When Man woke up, he had begun to plan. All he needed to do was leave the state, not even that far, just somewhere big where he didn’t know anybody. He could get a new ID and just let Man disappear.

“My brother is an asshole, I know that,” he said flatly. “But he is not wrong about the way I’ve treated my mother. That woman has always stood behind me, will always stand behind me, and all I do is fuck up. She would be better off if I just disappear.

“You can visit her from time to time, right? I’ll talk to you, and you can relay messages to her just so she knows I’m still alive.”

I knew it was a terrible plan, but I just let Man talk. Right up until he got to the part where he thought I might play a role. He said he knew someone who could help him get a new ID but it wasn’t free. It wasn’t even cheap. Could I give him a few hundred dollars so he could get away?

I knew Man well enough to understand that when he said give, that’s exactly what he meant. This was not a request for a loan—he wanted me to give him the money to get out of a mess he had created. And he wasn’t even my man or anything.[TJ9] 

Shit, I had a job, not a trust fund. I worked hard for the little money I brought in, and nothing about my life should have made Man think I had a couple hundred dollars just lying around waiting for him to kill a man and need to get away.

All I wanted to do was go back to my own life. I’d dropped everything, left my house and my man—I was even the one paying for this dingy ass room—just to try to support Man when I thought he was going to do the right thing. But now he was trying to suck me in deeper and make me pay for the dumb ass plan he’d cooked up, rather than stand up and be a man about what he’d done to himself. And to Kenny.

Man and I agreed on one thing—his brother Shaun was absolutely an asshole. But he wasn’t wrong. Even though he was my friend, even I knew that Man was a user. I didn’t think he meant to be, but his mom had spoiled him so much that he had a hard time remembering that we were not all here to see to his needs. He had a way of sucking everybody into his problems and never really thinking about how he was impacting the people around him. Yet another reason we never could stay in touch for too long.

Maybe I could have told Man all that a little more tactfully, but before I could stop myself I told him exactly what I was thinking. That I’d already disrupted my life, maybe jeopardized my relationship, given him my body, including my ass, to make this easier for him. And I didn’t know why he thought running away was the answer. But hell no, I didn’t have hundreds of dollars to finance him. It wasn’t going to work anyway. He had nowhere to go.

And just like always when he didn’t get his way, Man went into tantrum mode. He started to yell at me, saying fuck me then, he could see that he had nobody behind him. But it didn’t matter, he was used to it.

All this right after Man had just said how his mother always held him down and always would. After I had put two room charges on my already almost maxed out credit card, knowing he would never even try to pay me back. For him to pull this bitch ass victim shit was too much for me. I told him he was the most ungrateful, pathetic bitch I’d ever met. I reminded him that he was in the situation because he’d KILLED KENNY. Not because of anything anyone else had done or not done to him or for him.

I saw the look on Man’s face, the one that said he’d crossed the line in his head that kept him from doing something crazy. I was just about to get scared of him for the first time when we heard the banging on the door.

Before I could form the thought that they were banging like the damn police, the door was kicked in and it actually was the police. I thought for a minute that someone in the next room had heard us fighting and called them. Or maybe the maid had reported to management how much blood was in the room and they didn’t want any trouble.

It was only later that I found out that Shaun was mad about the fight he’d had with Man and had been convinced that Man was going to talk their mother out of money she didn’t have. Shaun swore he was really trying to help his brother, that he knew Man well enough to know he wouldn’t do the right thing and just turn himself in. So Shaun had told the police where to find him to stop them from harassing their mother. He also told them that I was there with Man, which is how my name got added to the story.

That’s how the cops found us, right in time to hear us screaming and hollering at each other.

There were two of them at the door, guns drawn, yelling at both of us to get on our knees and put our hands on our heads. I immediately dropped to the floor and did what I was told. But Man was already overstimulated, and he pretty much panicked. He turned toward the bathroom even though there was nowhere to go.

I will always maintain that Man didn’t reach for anything; he just turned like he wanted to run. Shit, he had guns in his face and was facing a murder charge. Of course he wanted to run. But he didn’t reach for anything, because he didn’t have anything to reach for.

He also had nowhere to go, as any fool could see just by looking at the area. Even from the door, you could see the whole room.

The police thought Man had something in the bathroom. That’s what one officer said. Not the one who shot Man, but his partner. He was defending what the murder cop did before Man’s corpse even had time to stop twitching.

I almost lost my mind. Man’s blood was all over me, the way I imagine Kenny’s blood had been all over him. They got him in his torso. I don’t even know how many shots hit him, even though I was there.

However many, they hit all the right parts of Man’s body. Or the wrong parts. Or whatever.

I supposed Man’s life was over the second he killed Kenny, and he knew that.  At the very least, he knew he was never going to walk free again.  I was to be the last female he’d ever touch.  Even if Man hadn’t been stuck in prison for the rest of his life, the old, broken man who would emerge from the cell would never be the strong, selfish and terrified young man I’d spent the past few days with. 

But we will never know.  Because Man didn’t get a trial.  He never got a chance to tell his mother goodbye.  He didn’t get justice.  All Man received was a spray of police bullets and an ugly death on the nasty carpet of Room 222. 


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