Wifey 4 Life
    “I will never forget her,” the chick said.
    I looked at her and wanted to throw up. They didn’t know Nikki
    like I knew her. She had them fooled. And I refused to listen to any more of their
    dramatic stories.
    I looked for the nearest exit and made my way toward it. When
    I entered the hallway that led to the foyer, I heard voices. One of the voices belonged
    to Uncle Lanier, but I couldn’t identify the other voice. It bothered me that I
    couldn’t place the voice, so I made it my business to quench my curiosity.
    As I approached my uncle and the other mystery man, I overheard
    my uncle say, “I want to do it myself, but I just don’t have the guts to do it.”
    The two men were only a few feet away from me. All I had to do
    was walk two more feet and turn a corner to come into the foyer. As soon as I did
    that, I was in full view. I was blown away when I saw my uncle talking to Tony,
    the baby daddy of my late friend and business partner, Rhonda.
    The last time I had seen Tony was right before I got shot and
    went into Witness Protection, so I really didn’t know whether to give him my condolences
    concerning Rhonda, or just hug him. I was totally speechless, but something
    inside me got up the urge to do the first thing that came to mind. I finally smiled
    and said, “Well, hello.”
    Tony smiled back at me. “And hello to you too,” he said, and
    then he reached out and gave me a hug.
    After we embraced, I felt a sense of warmth. All the guilt I
    felt at not attending Rhonda’s funeral or paying him a visit to check up on the
    kids went right out the window. “What a surprise to see you here. I didn’t know
    you knew my uncle,” I commented, looking at him and my uncle.
    My uncle spoke up first. “I never told you I met him?”
    “Not that I remember.”
    “It must’ve slipped my mind. But I’ve known Tony for years. He
    used to work for me some years back while I was a supervisor in Wal- Mart’s warehouse.”
    Tony laughed. “Yeah, but tell her how long I kept that job.”
    My uncle laughed. “He didn’t stay with us long. I was actually
    off the day he got fired by the other supervisor, so we didn’t get to see each other
    before he left. But it’s funny how life is. Because the day I went by your shop
    to check on Nikki, he was dropping off his girlfriend Rhonda, and we recognized
    each other that very second.”
    “Where was I?” Before I realized what I had said, it was too
    late to retract my question. I looked at my uncle oddly and hoped he would be clever
    enough not to reveal my whereabouts to Tony.
    “That happened during the time you went away. Nikki and Rhonda
    were handling the shop for you.”
    I was truly relieved at the way my uncle handled his response.
    “So what are you two talking about?”
    “We were just talking about the loss of Nikki and Rhonda.”
    “Yeah, it’s a tragic thing.” I sighed. “It feels like I lost
    two sisters.”
    “Yeah, I’m sure.”
    Tony didn’t utter a word.
    “So, where are the kids?” I asked him, changing the subject.
    “At the house with a friend of mine.”
    “Well, would it be all right if I saw them before I got back
    on my flight and headed out of here?”
    “When are you leaving?”
    “In the morning.”
    “So soon?”
    “Yeah, I got to get out of here. There’s nothing going on around
    here that I need to be a part of. And, besides, I have a man back home who’s waiting
    patiently for me to get back there.”
    Tony and my uncle both smiled.
    “Where are you staying tonight?” Tony asked.
    “At the Hilton on
    Military Highway.”
    “Are you getting ready to head there now?”
    “I was. Why?”
    “Well, if you’d like, you can follow me back to my spot and see
    the kids before you head back to your hotel.”
    “OK. Sounds good. I can do that.”
    “All right then, let’s go.” Tony turned toward my uncle and gave
    him a handshake. “Holla at me later,” he told him.
    “I will,” my uncle

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