I Hear Things 

On the way home from the police station, she asked Jimmy several times why he was being questioned by Richardson. Jimmy wouldn’t give her a straight answer at first, causing Shelia to raise her voice at him, so he finally gave in, before she cursed him out, and told her it was about Smooth. “What about Smooth?” Shelia asked as Jimmy parked the car in front of their home.

“Nothing, really, just about cab rides.”

Shelia looked at him with a look of uncertainty “That doesn’t make sense. He could have got that information from Sissy. It’s her job to keep track of cab runs, isn’t it?” Jimmy nodded his head in the affirmative, got out of the cab and walked into the house, leaving Shelia in the cab alone.

Shelia sat there for a few seconds, fuming, then jumped out slamming the car door behind her and followed Jimmy into the house. Jimmy went to his bedroom first. Shelia slammed her purse down on the table and swung around to face Jimmy as he entered the kitchen. “What the hell is going on Jimmy? Why are they questioning you about Smooth? Did you kill him?” Jimmy started to laugh. “I don’t see anything funny, Jimmy, about my question, or about Smooth’s death.”

Jimmy stopped laughing. “No you wouldn’t, would you? You don’t and never did see anything funny about his shit did you, Shelia? Smooth could do no wrong in your eyes, could he?” 

Shelia looked at Jimmy with anger. “First place, it’s none of your business about my business. And second place, why are you in my business?”

Jimmy walked to the sink and got a glass of water. “Just looking out for you, you and the girls.”

“No one asked you to do that, now did they Jimmy? Especially me!”

Jimmy took a sip from his water glass. “You don’t have to ask me, Shelia. That’s why I’m here. To protect you. Did you know that your daughters were boosters for your lover?”  Shelia, now in shock, sat down at the kitchen table. “Yes.” Jimmy continued, “Your lover, Mr. Smooth himself, had both of your daughters boosting for him, while sleeping with you. I wonder what else he was doing with them? Guess that’s how he got his name, Smooth, ‘cause it takes a smooth brother to pull that off.”

Shelia was staring at Jimmy, still in shock, unable to speak. Her mind was racing. Smooth with her girls! How! Why! When! She was thinking about the times when her girls were late coming home from school. Were they with Smooth? What about the weekends? Her head was spinning.

Jimmy kept talking. “All that time, you were spending your time with him, he was doing God knows what with your girls. And not just your girls, but other girls. But you knew that, right? It was cool that he spent the money he got from minor girls on you at the clubs. Those fancy clothes he gave you may have come from your own daughters, hustling for Smooth. Is that one of his outfits you’re wearing now?” Jimmy took another sip of water.

Shelia looked down at her pink bell bottoms. Yes, it was one of his gifts to her. Did it come from her girls?

“How do you know all of this?”

“Oh, I hear things when I take people on rides in my cab. My cabbies hear things, and they tell me.” Jimmy sat down at the table with Shelia, sat his glass down and put his right hand in his jacket pocket. “All that time wasted with Smooth. You had a good man right here in your house and you chose a no-good womanizer who used children, your own children, to steal for him. And here I was all this time. Right here! But that’s the past Shelia. We got a future now.”

Shelia looked at Jimmy with disgust, stood up and leaned on the table towards him. “You knew this all this time and said nothing to me. And you think that we have a future together? I wouldn’t be with a low-down snake like you if my life depended on it! Declaring to care about me and my girls and you let them be used that way! Let me be used that way! Kiss my ass Jimmy!” Shelia turned to walk out of the kitchen.

“Shelia. Sit down.” Jimmy ordered. Shelia kept walking. “I said sit down!” Shelia heard the click of a gun. She froze. Then turned slowly back towards Jimmy who was pointing a gun at her. “Sit down.” Jimmy motioned to the empty chair. Shelia sat down.