I don’t know why I answered the phone. I knew it was going to be a hurtful conversation that was going to piss me off, but I thought I could handle it. After 5 minutes of hearing this girl’s voice I wished I would’ve let it go to voicemail.
“Girl, are you listening?!” Veronica asked.
“Yes…I heard you,” I said, mildly irritated and rolling my eyes.
“Well you don’t sound excited for me,” she accused in her whiny ass voice.
I took in a deep breath and tried to suppress my urge to let loose on her. I continued to rub in my Bath and Body Works aromatherapy mint scented lotion on my upper thighs in a slow, methodical way. They were still sore from my morning workout. I smirked at the thought of my leg muscles being flexed and bent. The good soreness always put a smile on my face, but this bitch was starting to take me out of my place of Zen.
“How am I supposed to sound?” I asked.
“Excited like me!” Veronica exclaimed. “I’m getting married! Do you know how long I’ve been waiting to get engaged?”
I chuckled to myself and murmured too damn long to myself. But I wouldn’t say it out loud. Some things don’t need to be said. I stopped rubbing the lotion in on my leg and laid down on my royal blue down comforter, getting closer to the phone. When I originally answered, I put her on speaker and tossed the phone to the middle of the bed while I put on my black lace bra and panty set. Her voice sounded less shrill from a distance, and I thought my tone wouldn’t sound so dismissive but I guess it had. I decided to pretend to really be excited now and listen to her bullshit story.
“I really am happy for you,” I said halfheartedly. “How did he pop the question again?”
“Girl, he took me downtown to our favorite restaurant, St. Elmo Steakhouse,” she started. “He was acting weird all day so I knew something was up. He made me wait all the way through dinner and then he gave me the ring over the table. I couldn’t stop screaming girl!”
I rolled my eyes. That was the lamest engagement story I ever heard. I mean the bitch couldn’t even attempt to make something up to sound more entertaining? But I played along with her. With my feet waving around in the air I lied, “That story is so sweet. But spare me the details on what ya’ll did later that night.”
She got quiet for a moment and then said, “Girl, I won’t give you too many details. That’s definitely TMI. To be honest, I’m still in shock. We left the restaurant and went to my mom’s house and told my parents the news. Then he called his family. I’m so overwhelmed right now, I don’t know what to do!!”
The sad part is I already knew the truth of how her night ended and I could tell that she was embarrassed by it too, that’s why she was rambling. I almost felt bad for her.
I rolled over on my back and looked up at my bedroom ceiling. Earlier this morning I woke up looking up to the same area of the ceiling but, instead of the irritating feeling at the current moment, I felt the feeling of pure ecstasy. Early morning oral sex was always a good way to start my day. Folgers had nothing on that kind of pleasure.
“All right, look, I get that you can’t understand why I’m excited,” she droned, interrupting my thoughts. “You’ve never been in a relationship long enough to get to this point.”
Was this chick serious? I rolled back over on my stomach, shooting daggers at the phone like she could see me.
“What does me not being in a relationship have to do with me being happy for you?” I asked coolly. “I could have said about damn time, but I thought that would have been rude. But forget it, about damn time!”
“Seriously?” she said, almost sounding hurt. “Now that’s messed up. We’ve been cool all these years and you’ve been hating on me this whole time. I cannot help that a man loves me enough to make me his wife and you’re back to being lonely.”
Now she’s running me on hot. My first thought was to destroy this hoe, but I didn’t. No need in crushing her soul during her special moment.
“Trust me, nobody is hating on you,” I said, closing my eyes.
“I can’t tell,” she said snidely. “I can’t help that you can’t find a good man like mine. If your attitude wasn’t so stank maybe Robert wouldn’t have cheated on you.”
“Oh really?” I said with my attitude on 1000.
“I was going to ask if you wanted to be a part of the wedding, but if you’re going to remain bitter…”
“Then don’t honey,” I interrupted. “I promise it will not hurt my feelings.” At least not as much as they were hurting right now. My statement must have touched a raw nerve with her because she got dead silent. I was truly over her and her bragging.
“Whatever bitch,” she retorted and hung up the phone.
I shook my head, again regretting answering the phone in the first place. I raised my head and looked towards the bedroom door. Veronica’s fiancé was standing there with a cup of coffee and nothing else. I noticed his manhood hanging a little to the left, something that always turned me on.
“Why did you answer the phone?” he asked in a low tone. I could tell he was uneasy, but he hid it well.
“To get the phone call over with,” I answered honestly. “But I shouldn’t have answered. I already knew what the conversation was going to be about, and I still wasn’t ready to hear it.”
He squinted his eyes at me and didn’t say anything. He walked over to the side of the bed he had vacated and set his coffee mug down on the nightstand. Climbing next to me in the middle of the bed, he placed his hand below my chin and rested his forehead on top of mine. I bent my head down for fear of him seeing the growing tears in my eyes and guilt masking my face. What in the hell were we doing here?
“This has to stop,” I said in a low whisper, shaking my head. “You made your decision.”
He didn’t move, but I heard him take a deep breath. He knew this was coming. He would be a fool not to.
He gently rolled me over on my back and placed himself over me in a push up position. His perfect hazel brown eyes looked through to mine. I didn’t bother to turn away from him; I wanted him to take in the pain and the hurt I was experiencing at that moment. He kissed me gently on the lips. I could taste the sweet mix of me and coffee that lingered in his mouth. He kissed me again, more passionately this time. And there it was again, that spark. That undeniable feeling that both of us tried to hide but couldn’t, that led us to where we are now.
Four years earlier.
“I met someone,” Veronica was all too thrilled to tell me while we were in the nail shop. It was a cold Saturday in March and we were waiting for our appointments at our favorite nail salon. Besides being good friends, we were coworkers at the time and every two weeks when we got paid we ventured to our favorite spot to pamper ourselves. This particular day was no different.
“Well okay!” I said excitedly. “Come on new booty! Details please.”
Laughing she said, “We met through a mutual friend and we’ve been talking for a couple of weeks now. He’s taking me out to St. Elmo’s Steakhouse tonight girl!”
My eyes bugged out of my head. “Dang! So you know what you’ll be doing to pay that off,” I said jokingly. “Pull out the knee pads and relax them jaws miss thing!”
She slapped me on my arm and we both fell out laughing. The other patrons in the salon were fortunately oblivious to our ratchet conversation. When it was our turn, we got up to our respective nail techs’ tables. Within an hour we finished at the nail salon and Veronica drug me shopping. I hated to go shopping on a busy Saturday but I knew she was excited about this new guy and I wanted to make sure my girl was dressed the part. We lucked up on a dark red jumpsuit accented with a thin black belt. The black and red jacket she owned partnered up with her barely worn red bottoms were going to complete the set. The color red complimented Veronica’s mocha complexion and dark brown eyes. Her hair was freshly flat ironed and with her make up skills, her face was set to be flawless. She was going to impress the hell out of Mr. Mystery Man.
For the rest of the afternoon Veronica could not stop talking about Mr. Mystery Man, whose name turned out to be Adonis. She admitted that their mutual friend was Facebook and she saw his picture by way of lurking on another friend’s page. She liked a few of Adonis’s pics and he sent her a message asking if he knew her and the rest escalated to tonight’s first date. I am not a fan of social media meetings, but I thought the story was cute. I tried to get her to show me his picture but she insisted that I stay at her apartment and meet him face to face. I should have left, now that I think about it. Instead I stayed and laid eyes on my soul mate.
Adonis arrived at Veronica’s apartment around 8:00 that evening and he was simply perfect. All 6 feet and 2 inches of him. He had the most flawless caramel complexion, low fade haircut and full beard. His teeth looked porcelain and his bedroom hazel eyes were hypnotizing. This man was everything. When I answered the door I was immediately drawn to his style of dress. He had on a brown leather jacket with dark jeans and Timberland boots. Each ear adorned a diamond stud that had to be at least a half carat. Terri McMillan once wrote about exhaling, but I was over here trying to catch my damn breath.
He locked eyes with mine and I knew instantly this was going to be trouble. He extended his hand and I was immediately assaulted by the scent of his Saint Laurent cologne. His hands were big and strong, nails cut short and no rings or indents on his ring finger. Damn, Veronica got lucky with this one.
“Hey,” he said smiling broadly. “It’s nice to finally meet you.”
I didn’t want to correct him. I would’ve told him I was Rihanna if that would have impressed him. I was ready to risk my friendship with Veronica on this man and not care. But instead I came back to my senses, cleared my throat and extended my hand. “Hi,” I said shyly, looking away finally. “I’m not Veronica. I’m her friend…”
His smile never wavered and he shook my hand firmly, still holding on to it after I announced who I was. Then Veronica entered the hallway to the front door and I saw his broad smile slack a little. Was that disappointment I detected? I smirked a little and introduced my friend to her date for the evening, secretly hoping it would be a disaster.
The date turned into many more dates afterwards. Apparently, they had a connection too. I know it doesn’t seem like it but I was happy for my girl. She’d had her share of bad relationships and Adonis seemed genuinely interested in her. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stop thinking about him and wishing I had met him first. And it wasn’t just about the physical. It was the instantaneous chemistry. Some would call it neurotic, but I call it dangerous. There was no way we could act off of it, but there was no way we could avoid it.
For the first few months of their new relationship, I tried to keep my distance. Veronica encouraged me to go out on double dates with them, but I would often decline. The more I would be around them, the more I would want Adonis. He was funny and educated but had an edge to him. Veronica had yet to figure out his mood swings and would sometimes get her feelings hurt. I tried to explain to her how to handle men like Adonis, but I was often met with her sarcastic remarks: How dare I tell her anything about her man or for me to get a man before commenting about her relationship. After that, I tried not to intervene. If she kept getting her feelings hurt, served her right.
Then Adonis started reaching out to me, messaging me through Facebook sending funny memes or videos. Messages turned into texts when Veronica sent out a group text announcing she had received a better job offer with another company and inviting everyone to a celebratory dinner. A text message from Adonis saying good morning and wishing me a good day at work had become part of our friendly exchange. Text messages graduated to phone call conversations after a year of their courtship. For the most part, we talked about him and Veronica. What kind of gifts he should buy her, her interests, where are her favorite places to go? Those questions somehow veered to my mutual interests and goals; before I knew it, we were bonding. I knew I was in too deep, but he made what we were doing feel normal. I looked forward to our now daily conversations that easily lasted a couple of hours.
After a while I realized that my feelings had taken off, and I had allowed myself to develop an attachment to my friend’s man. The thoughts of him leaving her to be with me were ridiculous and not to mention shady as hell. I knew I had to fall back from this make believe relationship that I had in my head. I made myself too busy to answer his calls, and I would wait long periods of time to reply to his texts. He caught on and eventually gave me my space. I felt like I had broken up with my high school crush. I was miserable. Not too long after I started to pull away, I met Robert while I was attending a cycling class at my gym. He was the classic “tall, dark and handsome” type. We shared the same interests, but I didn’t get a twinge like I did with Adonis. I forced myself to like him though, especially when I found out that Adonis and Robert were frat brothers and it made Adonis uncomfortable. My relationship with Robert did not take off immediately; I made myself go along with it for the sake of getting over Adonis.
Half of a year later, things were good. Robert and I were in a cool place. I didn’t love him by any means, but I did enjoy our time together. Veronica was head over heels in love and I tolerated her telling me all of the things that Adonis did for her. It had been a long time since I’d seen him, and I missed him more than I wished to admit. I felt like I’d lost my best friend. I wondered if he thought the same thing about me. On a September evening I got my answer.
I was at home getting ready for my evening TV binge watching while finishing some work on my computer when my phone rang. I assumed I knew who it was before I tapped the answer button.
“Yes tramp,” I said waiting on Veronica to respond.
“Ummm, hello?” a deep voice said instead.
I jerked my head towards the phone in shock. It was Adonis! My mouth opened but nothing came out. I was totally thrown off and unprepared. What in the world did he want?
“Hello?” he said again.
“Hey Adonis,” I said shyly, as if he could see me. “What’s going on?”
“I was calling to see if I could use the spare key to Veronica’s place” he said, more forward now. “I left my iPad over there and I need to get it before I head home.”
I was baffled that he would call me out of the blue and ask me about something so minor. I assumed he and Veronica had exchanged keys by now. And why couldn’t he wait on Veronica to get home so he could stop by and get his iPad?
“She headed out of town this morning on business and I forgot to get it before she left,” he said, as if he were reading my thoughts. “If I’m interrupting something, I can call back tomorrow.”
His tone was more curt than usual, but I didn’t let it bother me too much. It was just good to hear his sensual voice.
“Yeah, I have her extra key,” I said more firmly. “Do you want me to meet you at her place?” Then throwing caution to the wind, I suggested, “Or you can come by here and pick it up. I can get the key back later from Veronica or she may have you keep it.”
Silence is what I heard in return. It was a bold move and I was hoping he would pick up on my insinuations, but obviously, they were not well received. I just wanted a chance to see him again and maybe it came off a little too presumptuous that he wanted to see me. Before I could apologize or say I was just kidding, Adonis said, “I can stop by on my way to her house. You’re closer anyway.”
He knew where I lived because he’d come to pick Veronica up from house a few times, but neither his office nor Veronica’s house were anywhere near my townhouse. However, I was not about to question him. I wanted to see him too badly.
“Okay, that’s fine,” I said staring at the phone.
“I’ll be there shortly,” he quickly responded and disconnected the call.
I immediately jumped up to put on my cute black yoga pants. I changed out of my tattered Nike t-shirt and put on my Butler University tank top with a more supportive bra. I had to make sure my girls were properly placed even for this 30-second visit. I had just gotten out of the shower before Adonis called and the Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue body oil was still fresh on my skin. I took my burgundy silk scarf off and combed down my natural iron out. I had long hair that was freshly colored and trimmed and fell perfectly around my full face. I was applying Sephora clear lip gloss on my lips when I heard someone knocking on my front door.
I walked barefoot out of my bedroom, through the living room and towards the foyer, purposely showing off my fresh pedicure and took a deep breath before opening the door. There he stood in his dark gray business suit. His jacket was open, revealing his light orange shirt and loosened gray striped tie. His fade was fresh like the first day I met him and his eyes had more of a shine to them this time.
“Hey Adonis,” I said trying not to sound too excited.
He smiled in return but didn’t say anything. I took that as whatever bond we had before had since diminished. I ushered him in and went to the kitchen to retrieve Veronica’s extra key from my key ring that was lying on the counter. I would usually offer my guests some water and a seat but based on the vibe I was getting; this visit was going to be short but unfortunately not so sweet. While I was fidgeting with the key on my key ring, his cologne invaded my space. My hands got sweaty, but I tried not to let him know how nervous I was to have him this close to me.
“I hope I’m not keeping you,” he said with a hint of sarcasm in his voice. “Didn’t know if Robert was on his way over or if you had other plans.”
I cocked my head to the side but kept my back to him. With a smirk on my face I answered, “No, I have work to do tonight. You’re good.”
It was silent again.
I went back to working on the key, trying to figure out why my fingers were acting remedial or if I had somehow super glued that bastard to my key ring. I almost chipped my thumbnail.
“Need some help?” he asked, in a more hushed tone. He was closer now, standing directly behind me. Out of the corner of my left eye, I saw him reach around me and place something on the counter. His iPad. My heart pounded in my ears and I had to shut my eyes to steady my breathing. Before I could say anything, I felt his breath on the back of my neck. He placed his hands on my hips and moved into me. I felt his manhood against my backside and imagined all the things I could do to this man to make him forget all about Veronica. I tried to fight the urge to not give in to my fantasy but I knew it was too late. He reached around, took the keys out of my hand, and dropped them back on the counter.
“I needed a reason to see you,” he said into my neck with my hand still in his.
“Adonis, what are you doing?” I asked almost breathlessly.
“I’ve missed you,” was his response.
“I’ve missed you too,” I said. Finally, it was out there. No need in playing anymore games. I couldn’t believe how emotionally attached I’d grown to him, but I was so elated to know the feelings were mutual.
He slowly turned me around and kissed me so softly. His lips tasted like coconut oil and strawberries. He entered my mouth and our tongues danced for what seemed like forever. We stood there for a long while kissing and letting our hands explore one another. I slipped his jacket off his shoulders and unto the floor. He placed his hands under my hips and lifted me up so that my legs rested securely around his waist and then walked us back to my couch and laid me down. All thoughts of Veronica and Robert were absent from my mind. Before I knew it he laid beside me…on top of me…and eventually inside of me. We made love that entire evening without ceasing.
And just like that our affair took off. We found ways to be with one another without making it too obvious. Out of town trips, my place, his place, even sometimes at Veronica’s. It was never the best scenario, but we didn’t care and we didn’t want it to stop. For a while we were clueless to others and what they may have thought was going on. Veronica never said anything if she noticed. She may have thought my new attitude had a lot to do with Robert. Robert, however, picked up on me almost as soon as things began. He would ask me if there was someone else and I would lie and say no. Eventually, he gave up on me telling him the truth and confronted me about an open box of condoms he’d found in my bathroom drawer. The brand of condoms or the fact that some were missing wasn’t the problem. Our lack of never being intimate was the main issue. Of course, I panicked and assumed he knew they were from my sessions with Adonis but he didn’t. I just told him that I made a mistake, and I was sorry. He told me thanks for wasting his time and left me standing in the middle of my living room, dumb struck. I lied about our break up and said he cheated on me when Veronica asked about it. If I’d said I had been messing around on him, Veronica would have hounded me about the secret person and I was not going there.
After Robert and I called it quits, Adonis made more time for me, but I became angry because I couldn’t have all of him. I didn’t think it was fair that I didn’t have a relationship to fall back on but he and Veronica were still together. It’s not like we had a future, which hurt the most. I felt like I was back where I started when he and I first met: stuck. But I was stupid enough to remain hopeful that somehow Adonis would come to his senses and he would choose me. He was the only man that I could ever be myself with. The only man that I could let my guard down for. The only man that made love to my mind just as passionately as he did to my body. He made me believe that true love still existed and that he was made just for me despite his situation. Then a year after our private relationship begun, he reminded me that he wasn’t mine and told me that he had plans to propose to Veronica.
He told me Veronica found out she was pregnant and he had to do what was right. Veronica hadn’t even told me yet, which surprised me a little bit, but it’s not like I’d been the greatest friend. Complete devastation didn’t begin to describe my feelings. I didn’t talk to Adonis for weeks. I couldn’t bear to answer my phone, texts, or direct messages. I even deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts in case he tried to reach me that way. Veronica and my other girlfriends noticed my odd and less-than-sane behavior but assumed it had something to do with my being single and bitter as Veronica so nicely stated earlier. As much pain I was in, I wish that was my only problem.
Then last night Adonis showed up at my door. I answered with the ugliest scowl that I could muster. He barged in and snatched me up. We didn’t say anything at first, just kissed long and hard. And then he told me they were engaged. I slapped the hell out of him and cussed him out. I told him to get out of my house and I hated him for making me believe that he loved me just as much I loved him. I cried and asked him why he chose her instead of me. I cried even harder because I knew I was stupid for getting involved with him in the first place and angry at myself for betraying a good friend. But I still felt that this man belonged to me and I didn’t want to lose him. He allowed me to cry. He tried to comfort me, even though I fought him off. I fought him until I was completely exhausted and he took me in his arms. He cradled me and told me he was sorry repeatedly. Then I let him take me to a place of ecstasy over and over again.
We just ended our third session of passion, me straddling him this time. I was staring down at him now. Trying to capture this moment and all of the other moments we’ve shared. Willing time to stop and allow us to stay like this indefinitely. Finally, I allowed reality to set in. I told him I loved him. He told me he loved me and that he was sorry again. I told him we could not go on like this, that I’m tired of being hurt, and as messed up as it seems, that I can’t keep hurting Veronica. I told him he was selfish as I had been and if he really wanted to be with me, he’d had his chance. I told him his life belongs with his woman and not me and to leave me alone. He told me he didn’t want to continue to hurt me because he loved me too much. With tears in my eyes, I got up and walked to my master bathroom and locked the door. I sat on the edge of my garden tub and waited until I heard him leave before I came back out to my room. I laid down on the bed, in the spot where I allowed him to use my body and tried to forget about his fiancé and unborn seed. I could still feel the heat that our bodies left behind.
Later on tonight, he’ll come back. He’ll come back because he knows I’ll let him in. I’ll lead him back to my bed. Back to false promises and guaranteed orgasms. Back to betrayal and selfishness. Despite us knowing how wrong we are, we’ll continue this unbridled immoral transaction until the day we’re caught and everything that’s been done in the dark comes to light.
But that’s a story for another day.