“This is La.”
“Ay, slight change of plans. You gotta evening gown?”
And that’s how I ended up at some black tie function on Kappa Boi’s arm. Luckily enough for him I had a red gown in the back of my closet that I’ve been looking for a good excuse to break out.
I met him at his place, my dress slung over my arms, in sweats and my hair pulled back.
“How long is it gonna take you to get ready?” he asks me, already in his pants and a wife beater. I try not to stare at his arms outright. I all out fail.
“Um, maybe like 15, 20 minutes?”
“All I gotta do is put on my dress and freshen my makeup and pull my hair down.”
“Let’s bet on it.”
“What you got?”
“Dinner at SkyBar on the loser.”
“Deal.” We shake.
Fifteen minutes later, I’m walking back out of the bathroom. I stand behind him and clear my throat. He turns.
And drops the glass from his hand.
“Well- uh- damn,” he stutters. “I guess, it was only gonna take 15 minutes. You are…” His voices trails off.
“Yeah,” I reply. “I’m all that shit you said.”
He helps me climb up into his Rover and we head to the event. He turns and looks at me.
“I know it was supposed to be a night in. But I need to be here tonight. I promise not to keep you long, ok?” He kisses my shoulder. I adjust my tits.
We enter the room and immediately he’s the center of attention. I expect him to take center stage and for me to retire quietly to the open bar for the rest of the night to make friends with the bartender. I start to walk away and he grasps my fingers in his without even looking at me.
“La, this is Boss Man. Boss Man, this is La.”
“Oh, wow,” Boss Man exhales, taking in my dress. “So YOU’RE the woman that’s got Kappa Boi so bent outta shape. I’ve heard alot about you.” I look up at Kappa Boi. He’s carefully avoiding my gaze. He introduces me to some more people and it all is about par for the course; the men slap him on the back appreciatively, the women introduce themselves through clinched teeth.
We work our way through the room and find a table. K.B. grabs us two flutes of champagne.
“So,” I start, “Boss Man told all your business a little.” He smiles his perfect smile. “So you been talking about me, huh?” I continue. He still says nothing. I laugh. “Alright, be that way.”
We make small talk with the people at our table. They start to play a Frank Sinatra song I recognize.
“So you gonna dance with me and make everyone else in the room jealous?”
“Let’s do it,” I say as he takes my small hand in his big one and escorts me to the dance floor.
For a few songs, we talk and laugh and talk shit about all the people in the room. Eventually, we grow quiet, and he pulls me closer to him. The band strikes up the opening strains of “The Way you Look Tonight” and before I know it his entire frame is damn near wrapped around me, his head resting on the top of mine. When the song ends, I pull away and look up at him. He traces the outline of my jaw with his fingers. I clear my throat.
“I’m gonna run to the bathroom.”
I run immediately to the bar. I’m being foolish. I know I am. I text message the wife. She and I talk for awhile as I sip my SoCo and lime and watch him watch me from across the room. Through every hand he shakes, every conversation, every pat on the back, his eyes never leave mine. He’s so damn charming that no one he talks to even notices. Even while I’m typing, I feel his eyes tangled in my curls. When I look up at him, he winks, his smile warming me from all the way across the room. I text Shani furiously. And I sigh. I sigh alot.
After some time, he comes and retrieves me from the bar for more networking. We work the room together, laughing, smiling, shipping champagne. Well, he sips; I am damn near a walking bottle of Cristal by the end of the night. As the event winds down, we walk hand in hand back to the car, laughing and being silly.
“I’m hungry K.B.”
“I know this great place to take you that you’ll love.”
“What the hell is open? Everything in this godforsaken town closes at 7.”
I expect him to take me to some dim, fancy place downtown with items on the menu I can barely pronounce. Instead, he pulls up in front of a tacky little diner, burning bright with a million flourescent lights. I laugh at him. He’s surprising.
So we go in, me in a $400 BCBG gown, him in an Armani tux, eating greasy fries dipped in mayo and ketchup mixed together to the perfect color orange, and drinking milkshakes. We stay and talk for a long time, swapping stories and laughter. I start to relax a little. He’s talking and I’m learning a different side of him outside the parties and the night clubs and the charming guy that’s always the center of attention. He’s DAMN funny. And that gets me.
After we eat, we get back in the truck and drive down Allen Parkway. We park and walk awhile, with him making fun of me for being at least 2 feet shorter after taking off my heels. Somehow, we wind our way back to the car. He turns on the ipod in the car and we let the back down, sit and talk. We start talking about his music. It’s almost as random as mine. We sit side by side, not touching, but some kinda energy radiating between us. He tells me about himself, a little bit, and it starts to round him out. I start to see him as an entire man and not a personality. I’m quiet. I listen. Around his teenage years, he starts to get uncomfortable. He starts to fumble over his words and shift uncomfortably.
“We can change the subject you know,” I say to him quietly.
“That would be GREAT.” We laugh.
We’re back to the music. That seems a nice gray, safe area. We start asking random questions.
Me: What’s your favorite kinda car?
Him: Where’s one place you’re dying to travel to?
Me: Favorite toy as a kid?
I was all about Operation
Him: Who’s your idea of the perfect guy?
“Tupac is my prototype.”
“REALLY!??!” he says, all shocked. I chuckle. It’s so typical.
“Yeah. He’s my idea of the perfect guy.”
“Hmmm… that’s interesting.”
We talk some more, the minutes sliding past without so much as brushing by us. Before long we’ve been out for a couple hours, and decide to head in. As he walks me around to my side of the truck, “Me and My Girlfriend” comes on. We both crack up.
In the middle of our laughter, he pins me to the side of his car, puts his hands in my hair and kisses me, Tupac playing in the background.
I told my mama I would trade my life for yours
Behind closed doors
The only girl that I adore
He finally pulls away after what seems like an eternity. He rests his forehead on mine, while we both catch our breath.
“Damn,” he says, his voice low and scratchy, “how hood was that?”
We laugh. I can’t help but smile. He helps me into the truck, scooping my dress up behind me, and kissing the tattoo on my shoulder. He closes the door and I sigh.
Damn. That was great. But…
Yet and still, it makes me think maybe I should give K.B. a fair chance.