Words by Beez
“YEAH!” The chocolate Texan screams his famous catchphrase as he climaxes.
Nicki Minaj rolls off him, onto the other side of the bed, and lights a cigarette. She has become comfortable with this man in recent weeks. No, this isn’t her street boyfriend Meek Mill, but rather her hidden pop superstar lover, Usher.
“You gotta let him know, baby. Gotta let him go,” Usher says, referring to the smitten Philadelphia rapper.
“We’ve talked about this, Ursh. He’s a sweet guy and it’s hard letting him down,” Nicki patiently explains.
“Is it? Or are you just afraid of how loud he’s going to yell when he gets the news? Meek Mill rap like-”
“I know the meme!” Nicki smirks and shakes her head.
“Well, lord knows what the man will sound like when he’s actually upset!” The two of them snicker.
“Oh, stop,” Nicki playfully condemns Usher. “He has a serious issue.”
“And what’s that?”
“I don’t know; he doesn’t like to talk about it.”
“Well, Nicki, you know I love you. And I really need you to decide: me or him?”
Nicki takes a deep breath and then drags on her smoke. She holds it for a moment, and then blows it out. “It’s you.”
Usher smiles and snuggles up next to her. “So, you’ll tell him tonight?” Nicki nods.
Usher kisses her on the lips, then whips out his phone and pulls up Instagram. “One more thing before you go: what color is the dress?” The two have a grand time debating the issue.
Later that evening, upon Nicki’s return to Meek’s home, she finds her boyfriend surfing the web at his desktop computer. She walks over to him and kisses his cheek. The intensity begins, as Meek’s volume instantaneously shoots to a level 10.
“HONEY?!? LOOK AT DIS BEAUTIFUL DRESS! EVERYBODY ON THE NET TALKIN’ BOUT HOW FIYAH IT IS!”.
“Oh, no Meek. I think they’re discussing the color of the dress. Some people see blue and some people –“
“I’LL BUY YOU DA WHOLE DAMN DRESS IF YOU WANT IT! SWEAR TO GAWD! I DON’T CARE WHAT DAT SHIT COST. YOU ROLLIN’ WIT BIG DADDY NOW!”
“Meek, Meek, Meek! Use your indoor voice, please. And people are discussing the COLOR of the dress! What color do you see?”
“IT’S A GOLD AND WHITE DRESS. WHAT YOU MEAN?”
“I see blue.”
“WHAAAAT?!?? OH GAWD, OH GAWD! IT’S HAPPENING. OH FUCK.” Meek stands up and paces around the room.
“What’s wrong?” Nicki stands back in horror.
“I… I GOT A DISEASE, NICKI. WAS BORN WITH IT! YOU MIGHT NOT REALIZE THIS, BUT I SUFFER FROM SEVERE HEARING LOSS. SOMETIMES I MIGHT SPEAK TOO QUIETLY OR TOO LOUDLY”
“Loudly…” Nicki mutters.
“WHAT? WELL, THAT’S CUZ I CAN BARELY HEAR MYSELF!” It finally begins making sense to Nicki. Meek continues, “IMAGINE NEVER BEING ABLE TO REALLY HEAR ‘DREAMS AND NIGHTMARES!’ I CAN’T EVEN HEAR MY OWN SHIT!”
Meek’s emotional state is beginning to put a damper on Nicki’s breakup plans. “It’s okay, Meek. But what does that have to do with the dress?”
“THE NEXT STAGE OF THE DISEASE IS VISION LOSS! AND I DON’T MEAN ARTISTIC VISION LOSS – I MEAN EYE VISION, NICKI. EYE VISION! OH, WHY ME?” The house begins to shake as Meek’s volume reaches an ear-piercing level. Nicki rushes to cover her ears from the explosion of decibels.
“Meek, what disease is this?”
“IT’S CALLED USHER SYNDROME.”
Silence. Nicki gulps. “What? How did you know?”
“HOW DID I KNOW? A DOCTOR TOLD ME WHEN I WAS LITTLE.”
Nicki’s confused. “The disease…is actually called Usher Syndrome?”
“YES, USHER SYNDROME.” Meek isn’t lying. Usher syndrome is an actual condition characterized by hearing loss or deafness and progressive vision loss.
Seeing an opening, Nicki figures this is the best transition she’s going to get. “So, speaking of Usher…”
“USHER SYNDROME DEFINES ME. WHEN I WAS DIAGNOSED, IT MADE ME REAL PROUD. I KNOW IT SOUNDS WEIRD, BUT IT MADE ME WANT TO BECOME AN USHER. A THEATER USHER IN DOWNTOWN PHILLY! AND THEN, I STARTED LISTENING TO USHER – THE ARTIST. HE’S THE REASON I’M IN MUSIC. USHER WAS MY LIFE! HE MADE ME FEEL LIKE IT WAS OKAY TO BE ME! OKAY TO SHOUT TO THE WORLD!”
Meek’s screams get so loud the furniture begins to vibrate.
“IT WAS MY CHILDHOOD DREAM TO BE AN USHER AT AN USHER SHOW, AND THEN USHER WOULD CALL ME UP TO MAKE A SPEECH ADDRESSING USHER SYNDROME AWARENESS!” Meek starts weeping and shrieking at a degree that would make any human being shudder. Nicki can sense hearing damage of her own beginning to set in.
The tension becomes unbearable for her. “Meek, I’m seeing Usher,” she blurts out. There, she said it. It’s out in the open. She feels free!
But Meek sits frozen and gazes straight ahead, not making eye contact. Nicki feels uneasy.
“Well don’t just sit there; say something!”
Meek turns toward her. “SORRY, DID YOU SAY SOMETHING, HONEY? SEE, IT’S MY GODDAMN HEARING!”
“Oh.” Now Nicki has to muster up the courage again. She takes a deep breath and states frankly: ”I said that I’m seeing Usher.”
Meek turns. He walks up to Nicki and grabs her neck firmly. He stares directly into her eyes. Then he swivels his face to the side and licks her cheek from bottom to top and whispers into her ear ever so quietly: “Well I want to watch.”