“Alright then, talk with you later.” He
smiled as I waved.
I was just hoping that Agnes wasn’t
going to be jumping down my throat about how long it took for me to submit my
newest work, even though it was supposed to have been sent in about a month
ago, there was still something missing.
When I got to her office, Maggie, her
secretary, was there to greet me. “Hey, Marley, Mrs. Mason is already expecting
you. Go right on in.”
I smiled as I went into her office. She
was on the phone with someone and she pointed to the chair in front of her desk
for me to sit. “I want to talk with you about your story,” she whispered as I
sat down in the brown leather chair.
“Alright then, I’ll talk with you later,
take care,” she said then hung up the phone.
Agnes turned to me, “Well I read your
novel and this one is probably your best work yet. I literally cried my eyes
out until there were no more tears left to cry. I don’t know how you come up
with such good characters. They seem so lifelike, Marley, I don’t know how you
do it sometimes.”
I started laughing because I could
tell by how red and swollen her eyes were that she was telling the truth.
“So you think my fans are going to
like it then?”
“Do you know who I just got off the
phone with? Robert Chase from Barnes and Noble and he wants you to do two grand
openings; a book signing at one and a signing with a Q and A session at the
other. I can have you scheduled for both if you can do it?” she asked with a smile.
“I would love to do it. I have never
had a book signing for any of my books before. My schedule is completely open
for anytime. I just came to see what you thought of my book.”
“What’s the matter, Marley, you look
“Nothing, Agnes, I’ve just had a lot
of stuff going on lately, nothing that a long warm soak wouldn’t cure. It looks
like the right weather for it anyways. Call me later, when you’re not busy, ok?”
Getting up, I waved as I walked out of her office.
* * * *
“Do you want to go out for dinner
tonight, my treat?” Andrew asked while we walked from his office to the corner
“Nah, I plan to stay in tonight. My movie
is coming on and I want to see it.”
“But I am treating, Marley, and you
know I don’t do that often.”
I laughed at Andrew as I looked over
the tomatoes, “This I know, but it’s going to rain because my knee has been
acting up all day, so I’m going to make myself dinner, curl up in my pajamas,
and watch a good movie.”
And that’s what I did when I finally
got myself settled down that night, and like I predicted, the rain was pouring
outside. I was eating a salad with the tomatoes I bought from the market place when
the intercom buzzer rang through my apartment. Getting up, I pushed the button,
“Yes, who it is?”
“It’s me, Richard, can I come up?”
Pushing the buzzer for a minute, I opened
the door as I heard his footsteps coming up the hallway. He was soaking wet
when he came to my door.
“I know you didn’t come out in this
weather without an umbrella!”
“I got bored at home, so I came to
surprise you. What are you doing?”
“First thing first, take your coat
off and put it in the bathroom on the hanger to dry and go change clothes. You’re
soaking wet, and I am not going to have you dripping all over my couch. You
know the drill, mister, so move it!” I shouted as he went straight to my
bathroom to change.
When he came out, he was wearing his
usual baggy pants and a t-shirt he mixed up one time in my laundry and I just
kept them at my place. He went into the kitchen and came back to the couch with
a bag of chips and two sodas. Handing me one, I put mine on the coffee table
and continued to watch my movie. That’s when he put his cold feet on mine and I
shouted as he started laughing. I threw a pillow at him, starting a full-blown
pillow fight. I don’t think I ever laughed so hard, it felt good to laugh like
“You know, you’re a trip. What
happened with your girl?” I asked point blank.
“She had some party she wanted me to
go to, but I told her I was too tired, going to parties every single night and
meeting all of those people, most of them are the same ones. So I just stayed
home, then I got bored. I was going to call you but decided to surprise you,
and well, here I am.” He smiled as he sat right next to me.
Even though he was wet from the rain,
I could still smell his cologne. It was something that I gave him a long time
ago, and he told me how much he loved it. The smell was not too faint but I
could still smell it on his skin as I started snuggling with him. This was as
far as I could go with him; we never ever seem to go any further than
snuggling. Grabbing the blanket I had, I pulled it over the both of us and we
snuggled deep within the warmth of the blanket and his body.
God, why can’t it be like this all
I didn’t realize that I had fallen
asleep until I found us still lying together on the couch. Looking up at his
sleeping face, I had to smile at how peaceful he looked. I couldn’t, I wouldn’t
take my eyes off of him at that moment. I wanted to kiss those lips just to
feel them. He had kissed me dozens of times on the cheek, but I hadn’t had a
real kiss since that night when we were in college.
“Alright Richard it’s your turn now,
truth or dare?” Max Simmons asked as everyone else started passing around Jell-O
It was our junior year in college and
we were having fun at an after mid-terms party at Richard’s fraternity.
Everyone started laughing and giggling as some of the guys huddled around Max
to plan this dare.
“Alright, alright, you have two
choices. You can either kiss Marley or drink this cup of cigarette butts, Coca
Cola, and ashes,” he said, handing him the McDonalds cup filled with the
concoction. I swear I never saw anyone turn so many shades of green in my life.
He probably could have barfed something the cat drug up, but I never thought
that he would do what he was about to do.
“But here is the catch…if you kiss
Marley; you have to go into the closet over there to do it.”
He pointed towards a black door and
believe me, there was no telling what lurked in the deep depths of that closet.
I was afraid even to think of how much it probably smelled. That’s when he
grabbed my hand and pulled me up, walking me to that closet door.
“How long do we have to be in there?”
I asked Max as he opened the closet door for us.
“If it is a good kiss then it should
last around 5 minutes, maybe longer if it’s really good, have fun kiddies!” he
laughed and closed the door. Darkness engulfed us.
“Where is the light?” Richard asked, trying
to find a switch or something.
“Just feel around, you’ll find it.”
Soon, the little light that did come
into the closet was enough for us to see each other. It was an uncomfortable
moment, I had to admit, and all we could do was to sit and wait. He looked at
me and I saw a nervous smile.
“What do we do now?” I asked. “You
know they’re going to wonder if we did it or not. You don’t have any of my
lipstick smeared all over your face. If we’re going to kiss then why not just
get it over with.”
He nodded and moved toward me, even
though all I could see was the outline of his head in what seemed a florescent
halo. Finally, I could see his eyes; God, those eyes, how they sparkled in the
darkness. I kept staring as he bent over me while I sat on a trunk. I don’t
know what he was thinking at that time, but I was thinking, “God I
been waiting for this moment for so long!”
His fingers ran lightly across my
face, it felt so nice, and I wanted to let this moment linger as he moved some
of my black hair from my face.
If you don’t show that you‘re
enjoying this, then he won‘t know that you care so much,
I kept telling myself while he
cupped my chin, motioning it upwards toward his face and that sweet smile of
his. It made me smile when he did. I don’t know what it was about him that always
made me smile.
Maybe it’s because you’re in love
with him you idiot!
“You know, as long as I’ve known you,
Marley, I’ve never noticed how your eyes seem to shine so much.”
He moved closer to me, and I could
feel his warm breath against my lips. That's when it happened. It was soft and
it made me tingle all over as I felt him deepen the kiss. I slowly stood and we
held each other close.
That’s when the door opened with a
bright shot of light, and we heard a lot of cheers and shouts from people as we
stopped mid-kiss. Talk about being embarrassed that night. It would be the only
time we ever kissed like that.
Go on girl, he’s still asleep... Kiss
him, he won't know!
I shook that idea out of my mind. If
I wanted him to kiss me, I wanted him to be fully aware of what he was doing. I
got up quietly, yeah even for a fat chick I could move with ease as I put the
blanket back on him and went to the bathroom.
I started making breakfast; scrambled
eggs, sausage, toast, and some fruit. When I started pouring the juice, I could
see his sleepy head pop up from behind the couch. Rubbing his eyes and
stretching out, he looked over and said, “Mm, a little breakfast, huh? Let me
check on my clothes and see if they are dry yet.”
I decided to make a small bowl of
grits for myself, and when I came back to the table, he came in with his
clothes and sat down. We ate our food; well, we ended up eating off each
other's plate because he kept eating my grits.
“Didn’t you tell me that you didn’t
“I only like it when you make them;
yours are always good for some reason. I always enjoy having breakfast with you
like this. I’ve actually missed spending time with you, been so busy with work
and these shoots, and Laura, she keeps me on my toes a lot. You know, she was
telling me that she wanted me to go to France with her. I’ve always wanted to
go there and take pictures. I’m thinking about going, Marley. I really want to
This is not the way to start the day.
I knew I was going to throw up my breakfast. This was like a bad fucking
nightmare. I heard the phone ring and got up to answer it.
“Is Richard there?” asked a female
I handed the phone to him as he
started talking on the phone. I was putting up the dishes as I heard him
telling her that he was over here for the night. I could hear her screaming
something, and he went on to say he had slept on the couch watching television.
She thought we slept together. Oh my God,
she thinks we slept together!
He hung up the phone but didn’t look
at me at first. Then he turned around and tried to put on a smile, but I knew
whatever she said hurt him. I just went back to rinsing the dishes before I set
them up in the dishwasher. “That was Laura. She was worried about me. I forgot
my cell phone, and she had been calling me half the night. Then she got your
number off the net and called.”
“She sounded pissed.” I told him
“Yeah, she was, but she’ll get over
it. I’ve got to go back to the studio,” he said, putting on his shoes and making
his way to the door. He turned around, looked at me, and smiled, “I’ll call you
later. Maybe we can go out for lunch, if you like.” He closed the door, and I
slumped down in my chair with a heavy sigh.
What is going on with me?
I went to start my bath, figuring out
whether to use my vanilla or lavender bath salts. Oh hell, might as well use
both of them, so half of each went into the warm water. I went to get my towel
when the phone rang again.
“Is Richard there?”
“He just left not too long ago.”
“Can I ask you something? Why was he
there with you last night?”
I know I looked puzzled as I went to
turn off the faucet in the tub, “Who is this?”
“This is Laura, his girlfriend,
Laura.” She made sure to emphasize “girlfriend” when she responded.
“He came over to watch a movie.
Listen, didn’t he already explain to you why he was here. I really don’t
understand why I am explaining anything to you in the first place.”
“Why is he always talking about you
all the time? Every day he refers to something that happened when you guys were
in college or something else. And now, he’s at your place, all night long, what
am I supposed to think?” she said, anger in her voice.
This girl was totally pissed at me.
“If you trust your man, then you
shouldn’t have to worry about where he goes. Richard and I have history, and we
always will have history regardless of who he dates or I date.” I could feel my
blood pressure starting to rise.
“When was the last time you had a
date anyway? I mean, has it been that long that no one has wanted to take you
out and now you have to go after someone else’s man? Why don’t you just leave
mine alone? He wouldn’t want a fat bitch like you anyway!”