I rushed from my job to Applebee’s to meet my mom for lunch. I hadn’t seen my mother since I started up with James. She sat in a booth facing the door with a smile. She wore a black and white floral pencil skirt, a red blouse that hugged her amazingly and some simple black pumps. Her hair was up in a classic bun with red lips to match as she sipped on her water with lemon. She was simply cute as a button as her glasses sat on her nose and she smiled upon seeing my face. She stood and once I was close enough she pulled me into her arms and placed kisses on my cheeks. After I tight embrace, we both sat in the booth making small talk. I knew where I got everything from when with her.
“So what’s been up sneaky?” She smiled before sipping her water.
“Work, school, and dating.” I smiled back.
“It’s the weirdest thing, I’ve been receiving random money being put in my account it was worrying me at first. I finally called the bank and she described my absolute twin. Wonder who that was, right?”
“Yes, I don’t know.”
“Girl where are you getting this extra money from?” She got straight to the tea.
“Just been saving. I don’t have tuition to pay now so I thought I’d drop some money in your pockets since you conveniently drop money in mine.” She sipped long before rolling her eyes.
“Mm hmm, I’m going to find out how little girl.” We both laughed. I decided to think quick on my feet and decided to “expose” my extra income is from taking on another job as a work study student in between classes and working at my normal job after school. My mother warned me about adding too much on my plate, but dropped it after.
“What’s going on with you lately?” My mother asked. I explained life; I had started a brand new form of life that I wasn’t used too, but it worked well for a girl who was living a boring life with all responsibility and no fun. I explained that my life was transforming before my eyes and that I was starting to process the thought of actually caring about someone other than myself and family. I explained the butterflies that Ron gave me and James without mentioning James’s name. I explained that dammit I didn’t know what was going on lately but it looked damn good on me.
“You have a glow.” She observed as she munched on her Caesar salad.
“I do?” I smiled innocently, but was feeling myself in the inside. We talked about everything that we could think of at the lunch. We hit every subject known to man and I loved it. Immediately as I sat in my car my phone begin to vibrate in my lap. It was James; as always, on time and fine.
“What’s up love?” I answered.
“I have some money for you. I also would like to take you out this evening.”
“I have a date this evening with Ron.”
“Well, you better decide what’s more important to you love.” He ended the call on that note. It was all good; I wasn’t too stuck in my feelings to understand that I can have the best of both worlds. I text messaged Ron and asked to move our date up that I was called to do some last minute things, but I wanted to see him and decided I’d go on two dates in one night.
Ron arrived around 6:30 for an early dinner and we departed my home to head out. It was a casual night for us seeing we both had homework to work on. We headed to Panera Bread to have great salads, conversation, and pull both of our lap tops out to work. It felt nice; to have a man to truly understand what I was all about. As we sipped our coffee’s and typed away, we both started a conversation on our wants and needs in relationships.
“So while I have you on pause from that paper may I ask what you want in a relationship?”
“I want reliability, loyalty, and honesty. I would like for my boyfriend to be my homie and worth my time. I think that’s very important for me to be able to trust the person I’m with because I don’t want to keep dating losers. What do you want?”
“You; plain and simple, I want you. You are brilliant, smart, dependable, determined, and beyond gorgeous.” He smiled at me. I loved the attention he gave me, the way he smiled at me, and the way he wanted to be his.”
“If you only knew how bad my attitude is when I get shaken out of my sleep, how focused I am on being the best at everything I do, and how I love cunnilungis.” He damn spit out his coffee at my last statement. I was dead serious. I wanted him to know that what I wanted was what I truly wanted and deserved. He made me smile at his response.
“Is that all?” He questioned me.
“Yep. Among other awful habits I’ll come up with.” We both laughed.
“Well, I am a gym freak, I think that my socks really smell after I work out, and I don’t like to share my women. It’s okay for friends, but touchy feely friends piss me off quite frequent.”
“That’s not that bad at all. I can say that you need to shower and throw away your socks afterward but I can deal with everything else.” We both cracked up. We sat in his car riding back to my house and something inside of me wanted a little bit more quality with him, but I had money coming my way from James. Ron made my life realer than it had been fooling with James. I knew that I needed the money, but for the first time in a minute I wanted some real attention from someone who had no one else but me. James had a wife and a business. Ron had classes and me. I liked those odds.
“Why can you pack a bag and come stay the night with me?”
“Ron, I have homework to complete.”
“I know that, but let’s just not say no, but maybe after my homework is done, almost done, kind of done. Anything to sleep beside you tonight. There’s nothing more I will try to do.” I looked in his face and couldn’t tell how sincere he was because I was too busy watching him rip my clothes off in my head.”
“I will call you if and when I’m ready. So don’t fall asleep super early tonight.” Ron leaned into me and pressed his lips on mine. I kissed him back and exited the car.
“I’m outside waiting for you darling.”
“I thought you always retrieve what you want.”
“You act like it’s a crime to be seen with me.” James responded. I grabbed my clutch and opened my door to James standing there with his head piece attached. As I opened the door, he pushed his way into my place and lured me to the sofa. I leaned against it facing him and his hands roamed my exposed my legs and landed on my ass.
“James, what are you doing?” I asked nonchalant by his advances. My stomach had too many butterflies to control him.
“I missed you.” I placed my arms around his neck. His mouth covered my mouth placing his tongue in mouth. I enjoyed the taste of his mouth, the smell that invaded my nostrils, and the grip of his hands on my body.
“I’ve missed you too.” I responded in between breaths. Once we were both to our normal selves, he handed over the money for the night. I dismissed myself and hid it in my closet before exiting my home with him. I didn’t want to like James; I wanted to accept my situation and just want Ron. I knew that believing in love was going to fail me when it came to my future. It was nice; it looked good on paper, but didn’t ensure life would afford me the opportunities I needed. I had to keep the money coming and I wanted James to continue kicking the money out.
As we sat across from one another I watched the waitress throw herself on to him able to smell the money he had. He wore a navy blue finely textured two-button jacket and flat-front trousers with stripe pink and blue shirt with pink and blue colored tie. He had a handkerchief sitting in the front pocket on his jacket and some beautiful tan calf leather cap-toe shoes. His hair and goatee was cut low and he kept his eyes on me as he ordered his Whiskey. I admired the shape of his chin, the straightness of his teeth, and his eyes that were brown and pierced my face. I could tell he was ugly in high school though; he was one of those boys that was determine to peak at some point. I giggled to myself thinking of him in school as the geek now chic. What was I to do with James? The waitress exited our presence and I had to ask.
“What do you do?” I questioned after the weeks we spent together.
“I own and manage an architecture company in the heart of Atlanta. I use to design and I still design every now and then, but now it’s more traveling and business side for me and designing for my employees.”
“That’s amazing. I think that that’s a true career path. It’s different, it’s involves creativity, and I’m rather impressed that you aren’t working for white people.”
“Well, had I known you’d think so highly of me I’d be super excited to let you know earlier.”
“I think that a career is great, but starting your own career is amazing. It’s black owned, black operated, and the decisions are made by a black man. Not only is it black made and inspired, it’s a lucrative business. Congratulations on your accomplishments sir.”
“Who is this man that you are allowing to pursue you?” He questioned me with his hands crossed.
“His name is Ron. He’s a student, very nice, and he wants me.” I responded.
“I want you.”
“You have a wife.” I retorted.
“You’d have me and have another on the side as well. I wouldn’t be able to trust you with anything.”
“You aren’t in my current marriage to determine what or how I’d handle our relationship. You are only assuming that because I’m married I must love my wife so much and we need to stay faithful and together.”
“You didn’t look too disappointing at the Dreams game. She was gorgeous; she looked blissful, and you were there holding her up and making her look damn good. Until I see or hear proof that that’s not where you want to be I will continue to date who I want and do what I want. I think we’ve already discussed what we will ask and won’t. I don’t understand why it’s so important to you whom I’m with. He doesn’t have anything to do with you and I. Our agreement is spending time together and you assisting with my living conditions through financial means. Is that not what we agreed upon?”
“You have a smart ass mouth,” He stated with a blank face.
“And you ask too many questions for a married man.” I responded. I was who I was. I spoke my mind and I didn’t apologize for it. How dare a man with a wife and a commitment expect a woman with no man, no ring, and no commitment to stop for his ass? Granted, he would pay my next semester of school, but for all that damn trouble I’d just be 20k in the hole instead.
“Can we enjoy our evening?”
“Can we? Because quite frankly you’ve pissed me off.” I rolled my eyes.
“I apologize my darling. I will conduct you as if a business venture from here on out. We don’t have to do all this wining and dining. I do this because I want you, but if business is what you want my dear you can have that.”
“I just want you our time to be ours. I don’t worry about your wife and you don’t worry about Ron. I want time with you just don’t question me and I won’t question you.” He smiled. I caved a little bit in what I was saying, but I needed to have him at my beck and call. We finished our dinner with small talk but I felt used for the first time like really bad. We ended our night. We kissed. We separated. I cried. But instead of lying in bed alone, I packed my bed and headed to Ron’s.
I lightly knocked on the door of his apartment ready to run away. I stood in some sweats, a hoodie and some flip flops. He opened the door with a smile and a beer and I stepped in without any shame…
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