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Excerpt from Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Liar's Game

by Eric Jerome Dickey

Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey X
Liar's Game by Eric Jerome Dickey
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2000, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2001, 400 pages

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Dana and Gerri hugged, short and intense. I expected them to start talking in that silly, high tone that women use when they're trying to act like girls, but they didn't. Their voices stayed smooth, even. I stayed in the background, tapped my feet to the hip-hop, and played it cool.

Gerri frowned. "Dag. This place is usually popping."

Dana introduced us. Her buddy had a faint southern accent, added down-home sensuality to her strong presence. Gerri had a young face with a mature demeanor. That had to come from being a parent and raising kids. What stood out was the weariness underneath her eyes. To me it looked like she'd had a busy life. No dirt was underneath her fingernails, but hard workers recognize hard workers.

Dana asked, "What took so long? Had me waiting."

"Shit." Gerri took a deep breath. "Today has been hell on wheels. Had to drop my kids off at my ex-in-laws—that's where my ex is going to pick them up. His weekend with the crew, so I'm free from parental servitude for forty-eight hours. Anyway, my son didn't want to go. He met this girl."

"Oh boy."

"That's why I want him gone, gone, gone. I ain't trying to be nobody's grandmomma. Anyhow, to top that off, my daughter wasn't feeling good, so I had to stop and buy her some of that nighttime, sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever so I can rest medicine."

Dana laughed. "Could you just say NyQuil?"

"Then I ended up getting there the same time Melvin did, and we had a few financial things to talk about. We almost got into a shouting match, but you know I didn't want to show out in front of my kids."

"You tell him things have been a little rough?"

She nodded. "And I let him know that I'm tired of being patient and I'm talking to an attorney. A Jewish attorney at that. I don't want the white man all up in my biz, but like my momma used to say, when a nigga don't do right, call Mr. White."

"You're taking him back to court?"

"I don't want to. But a sister gotta do what a sister gotta do." Gerri tsked. "So, I'm going to have to keep working my other paper route twice a week. That extra cabbage is really making a difference."

Dana was single, no kids. Gerri was the one with two kids and an ex-husband, a profile that was damn close to mine. For a few seconds I wished that Gerri had sashayed in the room first. Empathy would live in her corner. Maybe. But then again, maybe her plate was already too full.

A tall brother peacocked his way across the room, tapped her on the shoulder, then leaned in and smiled like he was auditioning for a Colgate commercial.

He said, "Mind if I talk to you for a minute?"

"Do I know you?" was Gerri's stiff reply.

"Not yet."

He had a reddish complexion, built like a solid oak tree, goatee trimmed, hair short and texturized to make it look curly, dressed head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger jeans, shoes, probably had on matching Hilfiger drawers. The walking billboard had jumped right into the flow of our verbal intercourse, burglarized his way into our conversation.

His name was Jefferson. He was the proud manager of the rap group Dangerous Lyrics, which was about to hit the stage in the back. He bragged, told Gerri how the group had just got back from Atlanta. They'd won a talent show for HOT 97, had a big after party at someplace called Plush.

Chris Tucker. Holyfield. Chilli. Miki Howard. In the middle of his flattery and nonstop macking he dropped a lot of names.

Gerri asked him, "Ain't you kinda young to be playing me so close?"

"I ain't young. I'm twenty-six."

"Well, this chunk of Little Rock is thirty-six."

Copyright © 2000 Eric Jerome Dickey. All rights reserved.

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