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The Ugly Girlfriend

By:Latrivia Nelson

Chapter One

Club Play Pen was packed nearly past code violation with yuppies and athletes by midnight. Blaring house music and multi-colored strobe lights added chaos to the crowds intermingling between the inside of the club and the open patio leading out to the cool breeze of downtown Phoenix.

While everyone else seemingly enjoyed themselves, LaToya Jenkins rounded the dance floor with her frozen drink carefully tucked into the tight embrace of her hands, avoiding the small hovels of prim and proper women to get to the booth where her friends waited for her.

This wasn’t exactly her scene. It was her close friend, Angela, 35th birthday, and in celebration, the girls had agreed to take her out. So, here LaToya was in a crowded club being ignored by the entire male population again, while Angela gyrated on the dance floor with the tenth guy on her dance card.

“Sorry it took so long,” LaToya apologized with a huff as she arrived back at the booth. Her two friends looked up from their conversation and scooted over in unison to give her some room.

LaToya was a big girl. Well, she was bigger than they were. Gracefully toting a few extra pounds, she was the heaviest of her little clique of four. Size 14 to be exact and heavy chested, as her mother had called her.

She pushed into the leather booth and sat her drink in front of her. The prickles of her pantyhose rubbed against her legs and clung to her sweaty thighs.

I hate these things, she thought to herself as she tried to put on a happy face. Inside, she wished that she could have been at home curled up to a good book.

“What took you so long, girl?” Deana asked, moving her long, black weave from her oval face with her French-tipped acrylic nail.

“The bartender kept ignoring me,” LaToya answered frustrated. “But I finally got a guy to order for me.” The young, female bartender scantily dressed in a purple peek-a-boo outfit straight out of Fredrick’s of Hollywood had ignored anyone who wasn’t extremely handsome or a size zero, which was why she had finally resorted to outsourcing her order to someone more desirable.

“A guy, huh?” Kristen, her other friend chimed in. “What did the chivalrous knight look like? Rich? Powerful? Cute?”

“All of the above. He’s one of my clients,” LaToya explained with a faint grin. “I ran into him outside of the bathroom. So, when he came up to the bar, I asked him to get my drink.”

Pulling the straw to her lips, she sipped her drink. Too strong, she thought to herself as she pushed it away. All of that effort for nothing. Figures.

“You said all of the above?” Kristen continued. “Where is he?”

LaToya turned in the booth and looked towards the bar. From their elevated position over the dance floor, she could clearly see the large man. He was still standing in the same position talking to a group of women and laughing. Once she was sure that he wouldn’t notice her, she pointed towards him. “The tall brother in the white shirt,” she said, taking another sip of her drink. She might as well get her money’s worth. “His name is Byron. He’s an architect for the biggest firm in Phoenix.”

All eyes quickly shifted towards the bar. She could feel their collective attention drawing towards the money.

“Where?” Kristen asked squinting. “There are like six men over there with white shirts on.”

Deana hastily slid on her glasses and scanned the room.

LaToya was always amazed at her friends and their shameless pursuits of the overrated opposite sex. “He’s the really dark brother with the jeans on and the white button down shirt. He’s right there by the white guy,” she said, pointing again.

“Oh, now I see him.” Kristen licked her lips. Her hazel-contact clad eyes widened.

“He sees us too,” Deana said, pulling at the sides of her strapless dress.

“Look, look, he’s waving,” Kristen said in a high pitched voice.

They all waved back, including LaToya, who was simply glad that she knew someone worth knowing in this place.

“Oh snap. He’s coming over.” Kristen turned quickly. She pulled out her compact and checked her lipstick.

Deana followed suit.

“Why do you two bother? You look amazing,” LaToya said to her friends.

“And he’s bringing over the white boy. So, someone gets the leftovers,” Deana giggled as she eyed them from her mirror.

LaToya didn’t bother to freshen up. She knew that they weren’t coming over to talk to her. This was the exact same thing that happened every time that they all went out. The men gathered to talk to her friends and completely ignored her.

Minutes later, Byron strode confidently to their booth with his friend in tow. They smiled like Cheshire cats, eyeing the women who quietly cooed after them.

“Good evening, Ladies,” Bryon greeted over the music while looking at LaToya. His bright brown eyes sparkled with mischief. He knew that he was a catch. And so did they.

Byron was the normal Ebony Man of the Year. Tall. Dark. Homicidally handsome. Educated. Successful. His list went on and on.

His chiseled jaw clenched tight as he looked over his pickings. With one hand in his jean pocket and the left hand out to show them that he was not married, he stood like a runway model awaiting one of the women to fall before him like a human offering. LaToya bet that Deana would be first.

They all blushed and said hello in unison, all accept LaToya. Was it possible that he was actually coming over to say something to her? He hadn’t taken his gaze off her since he walked up.

She bit her bottom lip and waited. A shiver raced up her spine and caused goose bumps to form on her bare arms.

“LaToya, I’d like to introduce you to Mitch. He’s a colleague of mine,” Byron said, putting his hand on the attractive white man’s shoulder. He looked at his friend with pride.

“Hi, M