"I need to call Darryl", she says to herself.
She begins dialing with a slight smirk on her face.
The phone feels heavy in her hand when you factor in her butterflies.
In a two bedroom apartment 15 miles away from Ramona, sets of male and female clothes are scattered over a living room floor. In the pair of pants owned by none other than Darryl Austin, his obnoxious ringtone is going off..
Recognizing the assigned ringtone, he throws a sleeping female off of his chest and sprints towards the phone.
Panting heavily, he manages to get out a "Hey pretty".
Unclear as to why exactly he is out of breath Ramona politely asks "Hey.... why do you sound like that"
He is skilled in the arts of lying to women. He conjures up a decent lie."I was just having a quick work out"."Oh I'm sorry I didn't mean to interrupt you” Ramona says.
Catching his breath he finally begins to slow down his pace enough to put his more attractive voice on. "It's cool. What’s going on?"
"I've just been doing a lot of thinking lately", Ramona tells him. He knows this part of the conversation will be about something he doesn't really care to hear at all but in order to get what he wants he has to play his role. A fake smile dawns his face as he calmly replies,” About what"?
"Us and whether we are or are not supposed to be together", she says.
Darryl couldn't have seen this coming. After their last meeting he was certain that things would move forward not backwards. In a final attempt to save grace he finds himself, Darryl "Mr. I Get Pussy When I Blink (self named)", up against her doubt. Having sparred with many a woman's doubt he uses a day old trick that has worked time and time again. He deceitfully submits and says:
"Baby we don't have to rush. Lets take things slow"
"I been through a lot and I prayed on it recently. We get along and all and things are cool but I just don't believe that its supposed to work. I don't know". His humble submission had caused her to turn her doubt back onto herself. Darryl knew exactly what he was doing. Ramona had experienced many men in her life that merely wanted her for sex, but Darryl was unlike any she had ever seen.
The more experienced player at sex chess takes a second to reply. He waits for her to show concern... sympathy.
"Hello"? She asks cautiously. Check.
Darryl is happy, yet manages to stay in character over the phone.
"Yea I’m here"
"I can respect that."
Darryl pokes his head into his room to observe whether his guest is still sleeping or not. Thankfully, she's still out.
Relief hits Ramona immediately.
"Thank you for being so understanding"
His eyes quickly unhinge from their post so he can get back into character.
"Its just the way things are; nothing to take personal. But I do have a request"
"Ask", she replies openly.
"Can you come over tomorrow night"? He asks.
There was no way he was going to give up so easily. In his mind this ass was his. This was a month of hard work & dedication, late night talks on the phone, good morning texts, money on dates, & worst of all he even had to give up a few booty calls every now and then.
She gives in a little and offers Darryl a deal. "You can take me out tomorrow night if you like", she replies.
Intrigued he says, "That wasn't what I asked".
Darryl was working his magic. For a brief moment Ramona recalled their last encounter as well. She bites her lip a little at his subliminal hint. "I know...but that’s how I answered, now stop being fresh".
Accepting the consolation prize he replies, "ok fine"
A short while later they say their good nights, each wearing a smile for different reasons. Ramona drifted off into her deep sleep. Darryl on the other hand returned to his bedroom to entertain his original guest...again...and again.... and again.
Rested in his sex stew with the random woman. He lay on his pillow more comfortable than ever. His arms folded behind his head forming a muscular yet crooked "M" and his smile was from ear to ear. What a king he was. A woman he only met several hours ago was fast asleep on his chest. In his moment of arrogance he didn't notice the small stream of drool dripping towards his armpit. But nonetheless, he knew that within a few hours a woman that he had been trying to sleep with for a month would finally be his. Finally!
No woman had ever kept him waiting for this long. But after what happened last night he knew it was any day now. The moment replayed over and over again in his mind. He closed his eyes for a brief moment to take in the full event. He remembered Ramona telling him” wait, wait, wait". He heard her loud and clear but his hand was still making its way down her pants. Being pinned against the sidewall of his apartment made it difficult for her a pull his hand away. The bricks slightly snagged against her hair as she reluctantly moved her neck away from his kisses. He knew she was turned on but she pleaded "Not yet, Not yet". Afraid that he might mess up the chance at a reoccurring piece of ass, he obliged. For a second they both just stood there breathing hardly. The sound of her belt buckle shackling as he pulled his hand up from her pants confirmed what had just happened between the couple. Or almost happened. He respected her wishes by not continuing but he knew that if his penis had a mouth it would have screamed at the top of its lungs or nut lungs, whatever. That night concluded with a mutual stare and an infatuated "Good night", followed by a "text me when you get home". Darryl walked into his house with more energy than usual. Ramona walked back toward her car reclaiming her class, while hoping she didn't give any neighbors the wrong idea about who she was. Darryl opened his eyes and remembered her scent. The woman currently laying on his bed with her head on his chest pulls wraps her leg around his. Her need for his comfort flatters him. He takes another look at the size of her ass and refills his personal tank of accomplishment. "What a good life", he thinks.
At 8pm the next day, a 2013 Nissan Maxima pulls up to apartment 213b in the Sleepy Meadows housing village. Ramona walks out of her apartment in casual attire as requested by Darryl.
Never had Darryl seen regular clothing look so good. The darkened sky mixed with her radiance created an exotic runway toward the vehicle. Long dreads swaying left and right across her waist outlined her hips: dragging across the fullness of her ass like the strands of a beaded door rolling off of someone’s face. Her curves imprint themselves in Darryl's mind. For a brief moment he contemplates the idea of finishing where they left off.
"Hey there handsome", she says angling her figure into the sedan.
"You're going to make this difficult aren't you" Darryl replies.
She smiles, "What"?
"Red pants, black blouse showing a little cleavage, and *sniff* *sniff* is that the perfume I bought you"?
Blushing, she replies "Yeah this is my first time wearing it. But if it's too much I can go in the house and wash it off"
"No" he insists.
"We'll be late, it's no big deal".
Darryl was trying his best to keep his composure. He wanted to rip her clothes of right there in the vehicle. He didn't care they did it, or whether or not anyone saw them, all he could picture was her straddling him in the driver's seat and her left foot up by his headrest. The imagination began to overtake his reality as Ramona was speaking to him. He was sure that she was saying something of importance but all he heard in his head was "fuck me". He managed to keep her ignorant of his true intentions by smiling, laughing, and replying to her sentences with short quips. Ok...really...that happened.... you lying...wow. All of which were perfect for the thirty-minute car ride. She suspected that he wasn't really listening, but not until the 28-minute of the car ride.
The Maxima pulls up to a two story building on the out skirts of town.
The outside appearance turns Ramona off. The building appeared to be some rinky-dink shack. The dangling outside light was flickering. A motivated fly repeatedly collides with it. Drops of water from an old air conditioner in the window on the second floor feed a hopeful plant in between a single crack in the concrete. A homeless man lying across the pavement in front of the neighboring building is crying in his sleep. This was not what Ramona was expecting.
"Ummmm what is this"? Ramona asked. Her hands were hesitant to open the door of the vehicle.
"Babe relax, it's a surprise. I wouldn't take you any place that would harm you. You trust me don't you"? Darryl smirks like a handsome Grinch.
Reluctantly, she replies...."yes".
Darryl parks in a nearby parking lot. He glances at Ramona's ass as she exits the car. He reaches for a cheek, but slightly misses his mark. Maybe on purpose.
The Maxima was one of Darryl's prized possessions. So much so, that he obnoxiously presses the door lock on his key chain several times. And then walks around the car and pulls the entire door handles individually. "Paranoid a bit much" Ramona jokes. "Whatever. Don't judge me,” returns Darryl. He grabs her hand then says, " Just follow me and watch that smart mouth of yours".
She finds protection in his hand yet hates that she has to trust him so much.
Her clicking heels follow close behind him. Images of her hips swaying come to his mind. "The fuck, Darryl calm down" he thinks to himself.
They step up to a metal door that is surprisingly new. Darryl knocks three times. A small latch slides open at the center of the metal door. "Who is it", asks a pair of eyes with gray contacts. "Its Dom", says Darryl in a more assertive tone.
"Dom"? asks Ramona
"Another time for that babe", dismisses Darryl
She stares at him for a second. He feels her eyes burning him from the right. She doesn't like secrets. And up until this point she was under the impression that there were none.
The door opens and Darryl steps foot into the dark entrance. A dark blue cloth dangling from the ceiling brushes across his face. The music and familiar atmosphere draw him in. He knows what coming.
As the cloth finds Ramona's face she brushes it away with her free hand. She doesn't know what is coming. And definitely doesn't want some random cloth touching her face.
They enter a large foyer of a room. Thick red lighting makes it appear as if they were a cell in blood. Half naked, intoxicated, women parade amongst the festivity. “Am I at a strip club”? she thinks. Judging by the black girls practically falling over and the white women dancing aggressively off beat, she assumed that everyone was drunk. The red lighting cast a general haze over everyone present. No one's face is clear. The obsessive amounts of smoke don't help the view either.
A group of girls no older than 19 walked pass the pair, talking about something called “molly”.
Ramona grips Darryl's hand tighter. "Darryl...”
The tone of her voice forces him to address her. He has to make sure she’s comfortable to get what he wants later.
"Babe we're at a friends house party that's it. I thought you said you trust me". Darryl says.
"I do but come on Darryl! You know I don't smoke. You know I don't like being in crowds. Did you think I would like this"?
The look in her eye lets him know this is serious. But her voice didn't compete with the volume of the music. Unsure of what she actually said, he tugs on her arm to pull her in, and then says, "Babe, relax. You're with me. Nothing will happen".
"YOU'RE NOT EVEN LISTENING TO...” the movement of her lips is halted by the interruption of his. She sighs and continues to follow him within the house.
"Oh damn not now" Darryl thinks.
A females voice from a few feet away coats the couple. The volume of the music throws off the direction of the announcement. From the right a female with a figure similar to Ramona’s walks towards Darryl. As the woman's face becomes more visible Ramona begins to cringe.
In her mind Ramona performs a cosmetic scan of the woman. Her assessment runs down as such:
"I can't really see the shoes all that well.... but I can see your toes curling over the front...no"
"Her body is ok, but mine is better"
She doesn't say any of this aloud of course.
The woman's unwelcomed eye contacts Ramona's, and then finds Darryl.
"Dom where have you been? I haven't seenchu in forever"
"I've been chilling.... how you been"? He does his best to make it seem like him and the women have not slept together.
" *Giggling* I've been good. I missed you", says the curvy woman.
Darryl's incognito plan was in the process of backfiring. Ramona's tugging on his hand confirmed it.
"Oh my bad, Keke this is my friend Mona" Darryl and Ramona weren't a couple, so to speak, but the word "friend", sticks out in Ramona's mind. Remember that whole thing about backfiring, yeah it was happening.
The two women's eyes pick up where they left off. One greeted the other..."Hey". Keke's tone has a slight bit of sarcasm in it.
Ramona politely replied...."Hello". Her tone was more sarcastic.
"Well anyway I just wanted to catch up with you. Call you later. Bbbbbbyyyyyeeeee Dom". Keke had won this brief exchange. Her presence was left in the minds of both parties. Darryl kept thanking God that Keke didn't say too much. And Ramona kept thinking of Darryl and Keke's relationship.
"She has his number"? Ramona thinks to herself. If her mind were a small notebook this clue would've been jotted down, right next to his nickname being "Dom". To add insult to injury Keke kisses Dom on the cheek right before leaving the pair. The kiss was hard enough to leave a light lipstick mark. The number note would have been underlined in red ink. In an attempt to respect his guest Darryl tries not to enjoy the kiss as much as he really does. Keke's presence throws a slight wrench in Darryl's plans. He has to get Ramona some place more private. Some place more comfortable. An idea hits him. The silhouette room. Keke wouldn't be allowed down there. "What a great idea" he thinks. If it wouldn't look awkward, he would have patted himself on the back.
The lighting and ambience of the house was troubling to Ramona. Something about it wasn't quite right. Darryl leads her to the back of the apartment. They pass through a corridor of men resting on each wall, constricting the walkway. She could feel their eyes groping her.
She says "Darryl I want to leave".
He continues pulling her forward, and then replies "Come on babe we just got here". If Ramona's patience could be a lit fuse it would be to the end of cannon. This was the third time that Darryl had blown her off. There won't be a fourth.
Wherever they were in the house, it was someplace different from the general ruckus at the door. These men seemed more like bodyguards than friends. Used red cups didn't create a small obstacle course on the floor over here. But the red light still managed to find it's way towards this part of the house.
Darryl gives a handshake to the man at the end of the hallway and proceeds towards a basement door.
The couple descends down the stairs. Ramona can see more people in between the wooden beams of the stairway. People were seated and seemed to be watching something to the right of the room. The were all well dressed and had drinks in their hands. At the center of the circular arrangement of the seats was a man in a white suit. Something was important about him judging by everyone else's obvious nervousness.
Darryl pulled Ramona to the bottom of the stairs. What she observed brought closure to her curiosity. Everyone's eyes were glued to an event in a less obvious part of the basement. As Ramona's eyes joined there the sight quickly made her turn away. One of the 19-year-old girls that Ramona saw earlier was sandwiched between two men on a pool table. The young girls back rested on another mans stomach, while her legs wrapped around another man's waist. It was insane that the table could support so much weight. Even more insane, was that everyone else was just watching. Ramona could not tear her away her eyes either. At least not initially. The girl was moaning but obviously too drunk or drugged up to know exactly what was happening. The man on top began to thrust more violently inside of her. The man on bottom was stiff, possibly passed out. Neither Ramona nor Darryl could tell. Through the smoke the only visible elements of the event was the woman's legs swaying up and down. The red light beaming against her sweat made her legs look like red ornaments. "Darryl What the fuck is this". Darryl had no idea that Ramona had broken out of their trance.
"Look I don't even care. I'm seriously ready to leave" Her volume carried over the music in Darryl's vicinity but not far enough to alert the crowd below.
"Look why are you acting like this. You are here with me. You have nothing to worry about. What is the problem"?
"I don't want to be here with you or anyone. I told you I don't feel comfortable and you should respect that". The veins in her neck that once protruded to increase her volume were now a reflection of her temper. No matter what she said to Darryl he just wasn't getting her.
"Mo' we are already here. All these people are my friends. Plus I want to introduce you to everybody". Darryl's plan was crumbling before him. He knew this was where all of the "fun" was. And he knew that if he gave her a cup with some Molly in it, that she would want to fuck sooner or later. It’s been his proudest idea but desperate times call for desperate measures.
"And this is how you do it Darryl? There are half naked girls running around upstairs. Everybody is high or drunk. These people are fucking in front of everyone on a pool table? And everyone keeps calling you Dom. Are you serious? Please tell me you are not serious. Look you do whatever you want. I'm leaving"
"Well I drove and I'm not ready to leave, so we're not leaving just yet".
Ramona's eyes locked onto Darryl's as if a different personality just surfaced. "Oh really"? She dares him to repeat what he just said.
He answers back.” Really". In the back of Ramona's mind several flares went off. A small city of just her and everything that she knew crumbled to the grown in her "brain town". But what shined brightest in the demolition was a flashing billboard that read "DID HE JUST REALLY"!. It was her time to let him have it. Which for those of you readers who don't know, this consists of several curse words, a possible smack in the face, a finger waving in his face, and several derogatory sentences poking fun at any or every insecurity that he has a man. These are most commonly areas having to do with his genitalia, possibly finances, typically any area that he may or may not have his pride invested.
Words start to roll out of her mouth only to find the back of his head. To continue any further squabble would be pointless. He seriously left her there. Ramona did the only thing that she could do; head for the exit.
She power walks her way pass the hallway full of body guard-ish friends, successfully ignores the drunken women, and doesn't make eye contact with the 3 guys that try to "talk" to her. Hell, she even manages to give a small nudge to Keke, without her noticing.
Normally, more men would attempt to get her number but her red pants were perfect camouflage for her ass in this setting.
"I can't fuckin believe him", She says; hiding amongst the dark blue dangling cloth by the entrance. Her foot was tapping aggressively to its own rhythm. One much faster than the tempo of the music. She stood there for a few minutes. Just a few. She wanted to give him a chance to make it up to her. She wanted him to understand that what he did was not right. She wanted the guy that she cared about to give a damn about her. 10 minutes has passed by. No one called her name. No one peered his or her head around the front entrance to find her. Where Darryl was wasn't important. He wasn't there with her. His decision encouraged her next decision.
She pulls out her phone and selects a frequent contact of hers that read" Manny's Taxi' Servicio".
"Hi. Can I please get a cab to; I believe this is, 73 Bakers field. It's located directly across the street from a McDonalds. I'll be outside"
A gentleman in his early 40's answers her in clearest English sentence he can muster. "Ok, someone will be outside in 10 minutes"
Twelve minutes later a yellow cab pulls up in front of her. All four of its windows are rolled up but Ramona can hear music pouring from the vehicle.
She opens the car door and angles her curves in the back seat. "Hola Mami where to"? Says a older Hispanic gentleman, with an accent thicker that Manny's
"75 Jackson please". Fortunately, Ramona had been studied abroad in Spain when in college. It was easy for her to pick up Spanish dialect.
The man aims his right ear closer to her mouth. "Que"?
Once again tonight, Ramona has to speak over loud music. "75 Jackson"
The driver’s accent makes its best attempt at English. "QWHAT"!!!!!!
In her mind that slight split personality from earlier starts to swirl its voice in her head. "Maybe if he'd turn down that fuckin Bodega music he could hear what I'm saying...."
Her shout quiets the voice in her head and the confusion in the cab driver's.
He turns down the music slightly. Judging by his facial expression he was offended. He now turned his face towards Ramona just so she could see how disgusted he was.
"Ok. Ok...shu don't half to yell shu kno."
He slowly turns his forward to face the road. The turn was so dramatic that Ramona actually wanted to applaud him.
"Mama the meter is broken do you have cash"?
A little disappointed she replies, "Yeah but I only got 5"
"That's ok", he says.
The car leaves behind the building and any chance that Darryl has at speaking with Ramona ever again.
"I can't believe he never came outside", she thinks.
Five minutes into the cab ride, she receives a text from Darryl that reads: "Where are you"?
She replies verbally, "Now you care"?
The cab driver hears her talking to herself in between the words in a song on this quieted radio. Three years as a cab driver, taught him to get the crazy people home as fast as possible. His foot pressed the gas peddle a little harder.
Darryl had messed up before but never this bad. They were only dating for about a month. Just long enough for her to have feelings. But not long enough for her to tolerate any kind of disregard. The passing streetlights flickered in the vehicle, and influenced Ramona into deep thought. The fling was young, but Ramona did want that anymore. And in a way she kind've thought that Darryl could have been the one. "Oh well" she says aloud. The cab driver presses the gas peddle harder.
Her phone vibrates again, but this time, she's too in tune with her thoughts to notice it. "Brrrrpp" it goes off a second time. The vibration grabs her attention just enough as the cab goes over a speed bump down her street.
It reads "I'm ready to leave where are u"?
Another text comes in after she's done reading the last. "Are u fuckin serious"?
Her finger dares to hit his name in the messages list of her iPhone and reply to him, but she doesn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing that she read the messages. Under Darryl's name in her text messages lies another. Her eyes focus on it name for a brief second.
"Okhay mida. That'll be five". For a reason unknown to Ramona, the cab driver sounded incredibly relieved that we arrived. Almost too relieved.
She followed her "Thank you" with the 5-dollar bill as promised. Only several short steps were between her and her redemption of the night. A warm bath, a glass of wine, and some well deserved sleep
The cab driver pulls off with his music fading in the distance.
She closes the door locking both the top and bottom locks. Her feet beg her to get out of her heels. She acknowledges them. The tightness of her bra makes her breasts feel confined. She releases them.
Though she had a bad outing she promises to salvage the night. She heads straight for her room. Her purse and cell phone find her bed first. With her shoes already off, all that was left was her pants, panties, and shirt.
The same body that Darryl was fascinated with was now free and open. After only skipping out on a few Zumba classes for the past 3 weeks, her body wiggled a little more than usual as she made her way to her private bath. Men including Darryl loved it.
She let the bathwater run as she poured a glass of wine. The steam of the bath, gave her bedroom a welcoming haze, upon entrance.
One leg after, the next, aggravating sweat rinsing off her flesh, she submerged herself entirely. A few sips of wine later and she found herself in a personal paradise. She was completely euphoric.
The thoughts in the cab came back to her. The calmness of the water plus a little influence of the wine helped her to think clearly about pressing issues. The next 15 minutes become a pro and con comparison of other man that had texted her and Darryl.
Darryl made her laugh and feel sexy. Not too mention, he had a great job. But Darryl had screwed up big on two separate occasions. The first screw up happened on their first date. He kept texting while on his phone. That is huge no no for Ramona. Her mother always taught her to demand respect from a man. She didn't have time to teach Darryl how to be one. "No", she thought. Her mind was made up. That was it. The texting thing was one concern but tonight was out of control. Him turning his back on her and leaving replayed in her mind as if it were happening all over again. A man had never done that to her before, and as far as she was concerned, no man would ever again.
Then there was the other name. Ramona had nothing but good memories of him. It had been so long since they spoke. She remembered how he made her laugh so hard once that she spit out her water in a restaurant. And to this day she had never met an individual that she could have such deep conversations with. One thought led to another and before she knew it she was smiling. Then laughing. Then blushing. For the moment he seemed promising, but she didn't want to rush into the idea of them. Besides, she was literally with Darryl several hours prior. She had to think about the cons. Darryl had no children whereas, he has two. He lived several hours away. As this con list ran through her mind she grew more and more depressed. Her smiles, blushes, and laughter dimmed slightly at the idea of her being in a long distance relationship. "Why even try"? She said aloud. The cooling of the water snapped her out of her thoughts for a moment. She unplugged the stopper at the bottom of the tub, wrapped herself in her towel and headed for the bedroom, only a few feet away.
Her fresh feet hitting the carpeted floor relaxes her even further. She's ready for bed. All that's left for her to do is lotion. But as her hand swings for the bottle of Gerber baby lotion on her dresser she takes notice of a framed picture of her parents. She kept it there for the friendly reminder. But never had she noticed it as much before. Her hand gently picked up the framed image and she sat with it; staring at the happiness that her mother and father shared. After 28 years of marriage her mothers smile still shined brighter than ever as if her teeth were used for year 2088 Colgate commercials. "How do they do it", Ramona wondered. She was almost jealous of such joy, yet grateful that she had a blueprint for what a happy marriage looked like.
Ramona was such a daddy's girl growing up. She had always wanted a man just like her father. Darryl was almost the polar opposite. Her father was a hard working, silly, spontaneous, and courage’s man. If anything her father was exactly like...him. Then like a cold splash of water hitting a sleeping baby, a fact came to Ramona. Her father and her mother were not from the same place. Her mother was a country girl from outskirts of Charlotte and her father was a city kid from St. Louis. She had never thought about that until now. It never mattered. At that very moment it helped her to make a decision, that may or may not change the rest of her life. She reached for her phone at 2:00am. The same thumb that almost pressed Darryl's name now scrolled passed it and pressed mine. A few seconds later, and my phone lit up almost as brightly as I did. I got a text from Ramona that said..."Hey".
Unless otherwise noted, All content © Theophilus The Great, 2014