I found myself sitting at a table inside a restaurant’s basement in front of the kitchen. Sitting across from me was Jimmy. 5’9 and kinda fine. He wasn’t ugly but you could tell he didn’t take care of himself. His hair wasn’t combed, his V neck was wrinkled and his purple lips indicated to me that he was a smoker but one thing I knew from the minute I met him, he was very genuine. “Hey, I’m sorry if this really isn’t ideal” Jimmy tells me as he looks around the basement in his seat “Coupon says I was getting a $92 value but I forgot to make a reservation and this is the best they can do on short notice”.
“No, it’s alright. The food is great” I responded politely. At that moment, a waiter bursts out the kitchen, bumping right into my left shoulder.
“My bad” the waiter tells me as I rub my shoulder. This definitely was not alright. “Um, how much did you end up paying?” I asked Jimmy while wondering if I’m going to have to put an ice pack on my shoulder later. “Like $27” he responds. For a $92 meal? That’s not bad. “Too bad you didn’t reserve it on a better day to sit upstairs” I tell him while I continued to chew my food. I didn’t have food like this at home. I could hardly get the words out when speaking because I was too busy shoving food down my throat! I now understood the hype around soul food! I was so busy stuffing my face, I didn’t even realize I faded Jimmy voice out and barley heard a thing he was trying to tell me.
“…I was supposed to come here with my ex. Well ... I don’t even know if I can call her that...” he continued rambling “Technically we were just dating. No titles. We were dating for over a year but she had a problem making up her mind if she wanted to be in a relationship with me”.
I looked up realizing he may want a response or reaction from me.“Oh… sounds complicated”. That seemed to buy me time. “Yeah, I got tired of waiting for her to show me the affection I’ve been giving her, everything felt one sided so we called it quits” he explained.
“Oh, that sucks” I reply. “Eh, not really” he says smiling “Finally had the time to focus on myself for a change. I was trying to make a perfect situation with someone when I didn’t even have my life together on my own to begin with”. Wow. This guy is pretty deep.
“That makes sense” I agreed “So, you’re making changes that you couldn’t make before?”
“Yeah, I used to spend a lot of time and money on her but now I’m focus on myself” he tells me “Getting ready to fix my truck... there’s nothing wrong with it, just need to fix a few things...I also have an online business and working on moving out of my apartment, tired of my roommates... what about you? Any moves you’re trying to make in life?”
I hate when guys ask me what I do or what are my goals in life. Most of the time they are just trying to figure out what angle they need to come at me so they can sleep with me. There’s no way he can care about what I have to say or what’s on my mind, he just cares about what’s between my legs… but I can’t resist a moment to talk about myself.
“Yeah, I’m a store clerk at a spot called Kinky Candy. We sell women’s lingerie, shape wear, sex toys and other adult novelty items but I want to get my real estate license and be able to start fixing and flipping property”.
“That’s dope” he responds casually. I’m sure it went through one ear and out the other. “My grandfather taught me how to do it playing monopoly as a kid” I express to him as I continued to eat my food, “The goal is to get four green houses to get that big red hotel. Get enough residential properties that I can rent out and use the money to maybe become a Marriott franchisee or something, have my own hotel. I’m actually trying to find a limited-edition version of the game I use to play with him”.
“I never played Monopoly but I did play cashflow” he states, “Ever heard of Rich Dad, Poor Dad? I can’t vouch for his book on real estate or investing but he got great info on financial education and building wealth through passive income. I play that game religiously”.
I was shocked. Nothing about him said “entrepreneur”, he definitely doesn’t look like the men I’ve been meeting at business conferences, expos and seminars. He was…different.
“Oh! You didn’t strike me as a guy who would care about financial independence” I clarified. “Oh yeah! It’s bigger than me” he retorted, “I’m trying to create a legacy. Like Dame Dash said on the breakfast club, I do this for my last name. I want to make sure my kids don’t have to have a boss, that they can be their own boss. Instead of being on the streets like I did when I was younger with my friends, getting in trouble... that they will use their time and money better. Practice group economics and make difference in our community”.
“Oh, you have children?” He laughs. “Oh no, I’m speaking about my future children. The one that will continue the family name. I’m all about building a family empire. Being wealthy is the goal”. At that moment, I kinda started to feel turned on by Jimmy. I didn’t realize he was such a go getter, an intellectual or had any ambition in general. I started to get lost into his sweet brown eyes when the waiter walks up to us and hands Jimmy the bill. Jimmy looks at the bill confused and looks back at the waiter as if he made a mistake.
“What’s this?” He asks. “The bill” the waiter responds. “Oh, but I prepaid online!”
“That was for the meal sir. That doesn’t include tax and gratuity”. The waiter walks away as Jimmy sighs and looks at the bill. “Well, isn’t this embarrassing…”
“What’s wrong?” I asked, fearing his response.
“I left my wallet at home” he replies.
Of course, he did! Mr. “I’m building an empire, I’m all about legacy” forgot his wallet at home! I should’ve known this was too good to be true. “Wow, you’re lucky you are cool Jimmy” I tell him as I begin searching through my purse “How much is it?”
“$25 tax, another $15 for tip. So, $40.”
$40 DOLLARS TO SIT IN THE GOT DAMN BASEMENT?!?!
“They can kiss my whole entire ass!” I conveyed to him as I put the money on the table, “I’ll put the $25 for the tax but that waiter can eat a dick if he thinks I’m going to give him a tip!” The waiter’s lucky I don’t sue him for this bruised shoulder! I was so upset, I stormed out without even saying goodbye to Jimmy. Before I knew it, I was already at my car, slamming the door and sitting in frustration. My phone goes off. I thought it would be Jimmy calling me but it was a text from Ashley. I called her immediately.
“Hey girl. How’s dinner going?”
“Horrible!” I shouted.
“Why? What happened now?”
“I get to the restaurant and it’s really nice but why is our table is in the basement next to the god damn kitchen?”
“Nah! No Way!”
“Yes. Almost got into it with one of the waiters for bumping me like a linebacker”.
“No, they didn’t?!?”
“Yes they did and then had the nerve to try and get a tip! I was about to give them the tip of my heel. They got the right one tonight!”
“They didn’t know who they were messing with... So, how was he? Did you see any potential growth?”.
“You mean Mr. I forgot my wallet? I ended up paying for tax, I left the restaurant and that’s the end of that”.
“Oh... So, you got that stack?”
“That’s not fair. It was a terrible date”.
“Yeah but was he terrible or the situation?”
I sat there and thought about it. As always, she was right but I didn’t want to admit it.
“Well he wasn’t the worst and I can tell he has ambition” I ended up thinking out loud.
“See he wasn’t that bad. You should give him another chance... or you could give me that stack!”.
Ugh. Why Me?!?!
“I don’t want to” I told her, “He doesn’t deserve another chance. He probably forgot his wallet on purpose”.
“You’re just making excuses” she tells me, “But cool. How about this? I get if you don’t think he deserves another chance but if he tries to make it up to you in the next 24 hours, you have to let him. Cause that would be a redeeming quality. Don’t you think?”
“Yeah but after that type of date he isn’t ever going to call me again.”
“Oh my God. You’re really going to die alone!” she squealed.
“No I’m not”.
“You right... You’ll have 9 cats with you when you go”.
“Don’t say that. I’m going to find someone who’s right for me”.
“Not the direction you are going in. All I see is bibles and kitty litter in your future. Jesus is going to be the only name you holler after midnight”.
“Ight, I got to go Miss Cleo. I’m going to get you a crystal ball for your birthday”.
“Well when you ready to take my advice and keep a man, call me now!” she tells me in a bad Jamaican accent.
“Bye girl” I tell her as I ended the call. I sat there and thought about it for a minute. I don’t even have a thousand dollars to give her.
Across the street, I see an elderly woman walking alone. Looking at her makes me think of what Ashley said what was in store for my future. Was she right about this? He said no strings attached and I ended up paying. He didn’t even chase me out the restaurant. Son of a bitch got a free meal!
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!I jumped in my seat as someone begin banging on my hood out of nowhere.
“What the fuck?”
Jimmy put his hands up. “Hey! Sorry! Didn’t mean to scare you. You ran out so fast I didn’t have a chance to catch up...I got your change”.
I found myself rolling my eyes as I roll down my window half way. “Gee, thanks” I acknowledged him as I took the change. Half of the change fall out of his hands and spreads everywhere in my car.
Lord, why me?
“It’s fine” I told him.
“Look, I know I said tonight would be a free meal and I didn’t live up to that. I’m sorry. If you’re not busy tomorrow, maybe you can stop by my place. I’ll give you back the money!”
“You can’t chase quick pay, PayPal or cash app it?” I asked him looking to find a way out of this.
“Na” he quickly responds.
“Not even Venmo?”
“Na, I have the money in cash. Plus, this will give me a chance to show you how I make money online”.
I can see now he wasn’t taking no for an answer.
“Yeah, sure. Text me” I told him as I rolled up the window. Jimmy’s head goes up with the window until it reaches the top. He smiles and waves as I pull out of the parking lot.