“So you cook too?”
“No,” I reply without ever turning around. “Anybody can cook. I-” pause for dramatic effect”- throws DOWN in the kitchen. You got about ten minutes before the food is done and I recommend you shower.”
He laughs at me on his way up the stairs as I put the finishing touches on the food. In exactly ten minutes, he’s back, shirtless and rocking the hell out of some black pajama pants.
He sits at the table as I put his plate down. I go back to get my own and join him. We pray. After the amen I sit back in my chair and watch him take the first bite.
“Oh. My. Gawd. La, this shit is so good.”
And that’s all I hear him say until his plate is clear. Although I did have an interesting time watching the top of his head and hunched shoulders.
After he finishes, he sits back, his hands rubbing the ripples in his stomach. I try my hardest not to get distracted. Suddenly, my eggs are real interesting.
“Seriously La, why are you not married yet? Or at least wifed up?”
“Because if I wanted to be in an institution, I could just go to a hospital.” He laughs at me, that gorgeous smile on display.
“We really didn’t set you up you know.”
“Yeah I know. I texted Katy Girl about it this morning.”
“I just wanted you to know that.”
“We’re cool. Thanks for making sure I got to bed. I didn’t mean to put you out.”
“It was nothing. Katy Girl was trying to go home with Batman anyway so everybody ended up safe and happy.”
“Oh goodness, what an incestuous little group.” We laugh at all of us and our dynamic.
After alot more talking, he gets up and clears the table without me asking and I retreat to the big chair by the window. The view from his place is so lovely. So high up you feel like you’re the only person around for awhile.
Once the dishes are cleaned, he comes and curls around me in the chair, kissing the back of my head. We’re quiet for awhile, sitting that way. It takes me awhile but before long I’ve relaxed into the curve of his body. It feels strange, being held after going without so long. I’m not ashamed to say I missed the feeling.
“You left me in bed alone…” and I trail off hoping he’ll complete the thought.
“Yeah. I wanted you to know I was serious about not pushing.” I nod, my heavy hair falling into my eyes.
“Thank you. I really appreciate that. That’s all I ask.”
“To not be pushed. I come around to where I need to be in my own time. I just hate for someone to be pushing me at their pace to achieve their own agenda.”
We fall silent again. He starts raking his big fingers through my hair, massaging the tension at the nape of my neck.
“You hair is getting so long. If you cut it, I’ll kill you.”
“You’re such a nigga.” We laugh because it’s true.
After awhile he breaks our silence again.
“Can we real talk for a second?”
“Please,” I respond and I shift away from him preparing myself for what follows.
“I know you feel alone out here and you don’t have many friends or family. I’d like to try and be your friend. I know it’s something I’ll have to work at because I recognize I have feelings for you, but I don’t want you to feel alone. I might not get it right everytime, but I wanna try. Like last night, I didn’t want you in my bed so much as I wanted you safe and taken care of. And I knew if you were here with me, you would be.” He pauses to check my reaction. “Is that ok with you?”
“Yeah. That would be good. Thank you for being willing to put forth the effort.”
“It’s not a thing. Look, I’ve gamed you before a lil before-” I bust out laughing because he says this as if I had no idea.
“Hush. I just want you to know I’m being genuine. No more bullshit. But that means you have to do the same for me. Ok?”
“Ok.” He moves from behind me. “If you wanna shower, I’ll run and get you some clothes.”
“I can just put on what-“
“Shower and shut up.”
By the time I have washed the sweat and smoke from my skin, he has gone and returned, leaving a black sundress on the bed for me that perfectly matches the wedges I had on last night. I check the tags. He even got the size right.
He’s got to be gay.
After I dress and try somewhat unsuccessfully to make myself look less hungover, I walk downstairs to find him fully dressed and on the phone. Without breaking his conversation, he hands me two more tylenol, this time with water. He throws me the keys to his truck and mouths to me that we can go pick up my truck back at Katy Girl’s house.
As he’s walking out of the door I realize that if by some miracle or act of God and/or Congress we can make a friendship work, he’d be a good person to have in my corner.
I use the marker on the board by the fridge to scrawl him a message in my big, loopy writing:
Me plus you it equals better math…