The Pantry: Chapter 4

“You continue to do what I tell you to do, and you will always be alright with me.”

Quan sat in the chair across from Tyrone, flabbergasted and at the same time annoyed at Tyrone’s arrogance. What the hell do they see in his ass? His eyes were fixed on Tyrone, but his mind was elsewhere, thinking of the many women who crossed the infamous threshold leading to Tyrone’s office better known to most as his sex studio, as they continued on with empty affairs. Maybe I should just ask him.

“You dig what I’m sayin’?”

“Huh?”

“About Trish.”

“Trish?”

“Damn man, you ain’t heard a word I said.”

Quan slightly dropped his head and chuckled. “Just a lot on my mind.”

“I feel you but you gotta keep up. That can’t happen what happened the other day. How you let Trish walk past you when you know Kim was here?”

Quan looked up and frowned. “Well, it’s kinda hard keeping an eye on Monroe and watching the door for your girl—”

“Baby moms… not my girl.”

Quan nodded. “Baby moms, my bad. You wanted me to keep Monroe in check, right?”

Tyrone stood up, pushed his chair off to the side and stretched. “Right. But I almost got caught up in some shit that I can’t let happen.”

Quan nodded his head again and pursed his lips. “I get it and I appreciate you lookin’ out for me and all. Giving me this job but I can’t do three and four things at once my dude. You wanted me to keep an eye on Monroe, making sure he was doing his job. I can’t keep an eye on him and watch the door at the same time.”

“Why not?”

Quan sat up in his seat. The nerve of this dude. “‘Cause.” Stopping to cough, he held up his right index finger and lightly patted his chest. “I’m only one person,” he finished quickly before the cough that was stuck in his throat forced its way out. Holding his mouth, he forcefully coughed, pushing the tickle out of his throat. “And the store be all busy now. So, I gotta watch Monroe, the door for one of your women, and secure the store? That’s a lot man.”

Tyrone walked over to the door and opened it. He glanced out into the hall and yawned. “You’re a smart dude, I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

Quan smiled out of habit as he was in no mood to smile. Growing extremely tired of Tyrone’s demands and being his “fixer”, he wanted to punch him, show him that he too was a man and wasn’t trying to be, as they say in the hood, another man’s bitch. Instead, he kept his mouth shut, his hands relaxed, and his demeanor calm. “You know what, you’re right. I’ll figure it out.”

“Good,” Tyrone said as he stepped slightly to the right. “I’m glad we seeing eye to eye. Remember, I’m the only one who will pay you what I’m paying you. So, figuring it out is in your job description.”

Quan chuckled. “My job description huh?”

“Yep. I mean I ain’t saying you can’t get a job somewhere else, like down the street at that burger joint, flippin’ and grillin’ but they ain’t gonna pay you like I do. So, if you want to be able to continue to pay that debt you owe, I suggest you do a better job at watching that door.”

Quan squinted his eyes.

“Yeah, what? Didn’t think I knew about that?”

Quan stepped out into the hallway. “With all due respect, that’s none of your business.”

“Oh, is that right?” Tyrone grinned a devilish grin. “Well, let one more slip happen, and I promise you, I’ll make it my business. I know what you did and if you want to keep that little secret, you’ll keep my secrets straight.”

Quan’s stomach nervously knotted up, bringing his mouth and his words to an abrupt close. He knew it was time to get quiet and stay quiet. How the hell does he know about that? Nobody around here is supposed to know what I—

“Go on, you got a door and a store to secure, and I got an appointment.”

Although his face didn’t show it, a game face he perfected during his days in prison, Quan’s mind was in shambles. If this gets out, I’m done. Shit, how the hell does he know about that?! Not lending any more of his time to Tyrone, he walked away, passing an excited Monroe, Tyrone’s last sexscapade before another busy and undoubtedly adventurous day at The Pantry.

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