Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing


Urban Tango by Regina Neequaye

Posted on by in Writing

Ayanna Williams has it all, wants more, and will do whatever it takes to get it. Her promotion to Senior Deputy Assistant to the District Attorney is the next move to her best move. Jefferson Thomas is a handsome, politically connected, business man who finances many key players in the political class. Ayanna and Jefferson find themselves for the second time on opposite sides of justice. Bringing Jefferson Thomas down is the catalyst for her next, best move.urban-tango

This storyline is the base for Regina Neequaye new novel Urban Tango that deals with the seedy world of human trafficking. The following excerpt marks the ending of the first chapter of the book.


She grabs the handle on the side of the bathtub and attempts to pull herself out. I stand and watch her struggle. After several unsuccessful attempts, she lets go of the handle and falls back in the tub. I offer my hand; she takes it. I pull her out. She stands close in front of me. “I am really sorry.” She flirtatiously bats her eyes. “Let me make it up to you.” She smiles, showing yellow, decaying teeth as she rubs her thin body against me. She takes my hand and leads me to the bedroom. I grab the open bottle of water and willingly follow. She grabs what looks like a month of dirty clothes from the bed and throws them on the floor. The drugs have made her lose her mind. She knows, and everyone who works for me knows, with the exception of Stacy, I don’t get down with employees.

“Don’t worry about it, Courtney; everything is cool.” Dark circles surround her eyes. Stress lines cover a prematurely aging face that was flawless two months ago. “I am going to make you feel good; take your mind off of everything.” She lies on the bed and leans back on two oversized pillows. I sit next to her and open the small baggie filled with uncut heroin. She quickly opens the night stand and pulls out her gear. She is so anxious she doesn’t notice the thick black leather gloves that cover my hands. Her hand trembles as if she has a neurological disorder. She struggles to get the rubber band around her arm.

“Let me help you, baby.” I take the rubber band and tie it as tight as I can. I remove the syringe and metal spoon from my pocket. I place the heroin on a spoon, mix in a couple of drops of water, melt it with a lighter, and fill the syringe with as much of the warm, bubbly liquid it can hold. I rub my thumbs over her desecrated veins, find a good injection spot, and insert the needle.

“Slow, baby, you got to do it slow.” I ignore her and quickly push all of the poison in her arm. She leans back against the upholstered leather headboard. Her eyelids flutter and slowly close. A euphoric smile stretches across her face. After several minutes, she slowly opens her eyes and stares at the wall. I almost pity her. She was never smart, but she had a perfect body and a beautiful face. Small craters now cover her honey brown cheeks. She lost a lot of weight much too quickly, causing the elasticity in her skin to diminish. Courtney very much needed her good looks to make up for her lack of intelligence and common sense. She has no self-confidence and is a magnet to losers.

Her head falls to the side. She struggles to hold meaningful conversation. The heroin that flows through her veins is pure and uncut. Her eyes slowly roll back in her head. Her gaze is peaceful. She mumbles, but her words are inaudible. I sit in the chair next to her bed and watch the clock.

“This is some good shit! You got a little more?” The high is wearing off. Her speech is still slurred and labored; it is as if the space in her mouth is too small to accommodate her tongue.

“Sure, baby, anything for you.” I sit on the side of the bed, tighten the rubber band around her limp arm, empty last of the poison from the baggie onto the spoon, and melt it. I siphon the liquid in the syringe and stick the needle in her arm. Her mouth curves into a slight smile. Her head slowly falls back against the headboard. Her breathing is soft and slow, almost like a sleeping baby. I look at my watch. Five minutes have passed. Her body jolts forward and begins to shake uncontrollably. She is stiff as a board. Spittle, thick like milk, flows from her mouth. Her head falls forward; her chin sits awkwardly on her chest. Her eyes are wide open; I take my glove covered hand and close her eyes. I leave the needle stuck in her arms and turn off the lights. I grab the empty baggie and cigarette lighter and place them in a pocket of the jeans that lay on the hamper. I wipe down everything my hands touched and leave with plenty of time to transport the companion to my favorite client.


About the Author

Regina Neequaye is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She is also the author of 360 Degrees. Sample chapters of the author’s novels can be read at


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