The man easily towered over her and would have typically been perceived as dangerous, but he smiled a smile that was so warm it lit up his brown complexion with an amber glow.
“I’m sorry,” he said, “Did I scare you?”
“Hell yeah,” Mekayla said slightly frowning, “I am usually out here by myself.”
Oh that was smart, Meek. Just tell the strange man that no one comes out here so he can rape your ass.
“My bad, I just followed you out here to tell you that you are very good.” The man said still smiling.
Mekayla then began to take inventory.
Hair cut close.
Bling in his left ear.
She thought to herself and then shuddered.
Kevin would have her ass.
“I’m Brett.” He said as he extended his hand to her.
“Mekayla.” As she went to extend her hand, she realized the blunt was still in it and became embarrassed.
Brett chuckled as he switched hands for Mekayla to shake.
“It’s cool.” He held on to her hand a little longer than customary.
But somehow it seemed okay.
“May I say Mekayla, that you are adorable as well.”
Mekayla let her hand fall from Brett’s grasp as she blushed. To ease the tension, she handed him the blunt and began twirling her bangs.
Brett took a hit and said through an exhale, “That your man wit choo?”
She shook her head, “Nah, he’s my boy.”
“I see. You have one though huh?”
Mekayla smirked, “Is that right?”
Brett took another hit, “Well hell yeah, you look well kept.”
Mekayla laughed, “Oh yeah?”
Brett nodded as he handed Mekayla back the blunt, which she put out against the wall.
“Yeah, you do. I hope he’s treating you right.”
She smiled at the thought of Kevin, “He sure is.”
“Damn, just my luck. First woman I met saw since I moved here who seemed to have her shit together and she’s taken.”
Mekayla could do nothing but smile and attempt to change the subject,” are you a poet?”
“Nah”, Brett said shaking his head. “But I dig that shit though. You do that a lot around here?”
She nodded, “Yeah here and all over.”
“Well I was going to ask you for your number because you’re fine,” Brett said smile sparkling. “But… I’d like to keep in touch with you, so I can see those other events if that’s okay.”
Mekayla laughed, “Oh really ‘Brett’, don’t bullshit a bullshitter.”
“No seriously,” Then he said mockingly,” Besides I would tell your man who I was, no disrespect.”
“He doesn’t stay with me”
Shit you idiot why did you tell him that?
“Well then,” Brett took a pen out of his pocket and began writing on his hand, “What is it?”
Mekayla shook her head, “I am not giving you my phone number!”
Brett said with a sinister grin, “Okay look, even if I promised to keep it poetical?”
Mekayla began walking away, “Nice meeting you, Brett.”
“Mekayla,” Brett gently grabbed her elbow, “Okay maybe I approached you wrong, but seriously I’m new here and I don’t know anyone and I felt you on stage. I want to surround myself with positive people; it’s not my fault you are so damn sexy.”
Mekayla glared at her elbow and then back at Brett. He sighed in frustration and let her elbow go.
“Look I promise, just a friend okay, if I cross the line all you have to do is tell me.”
Mekayla took the pen from Brett’s hand, scribbled her number on his palm, and walked away. Her high was completely blown. Brett watched her walk away, licked his lips and smiled to himself before he followed her.
Maybe it was the weed wearing off so quickly but Mekayla felt like she was dragging on the way back to her booth. She said a few pleasant hellos to the people in the crowd that acknowledged her presence but began to feel really uncomfortable and was damn near tearing her bangs out of her head.
That’s it I made up my mind, I am goin to start twisting my hair tomorrow.
Mekayla eased by the stage where a poet she had never seen before was projecting his little heart out. She reached the booth and found Erik scribbling on a napkin.
In the meantime, Brett followed Mekayla’s every movement but decided not to follow her over to the booth. He sat on a stool on the opposite side of the room that had a clear view.
“How did I do?” Mekayla said softly as if unconcerned
“The usual, you’re winning.” Erik said still scribbling not looking up.
“Ok, cool.” Mekayla all of a sudden started feeling warm and began unbuttoning her blouse while looking around the room. The room itself started looking cloudy but the people became quite clear and really animated. Mekayla had difficulty breathing and felt as though her body temperature was rising by the minute. She started fanning herself with a cardboard advertisement as sweat started forming on her forehead.
“God!” she sighed as she buried her head in her hands, “I’m fucked up.”
Erik didn’t look up but smirked, “You hit it too hard.”
“Nah, E, that ain’t it, I ain’t feeling well.” She continued to fan herself. “Would you be mad if I left?”
Now Erik never knew Mekayla to leave a poetry event early, and he looked up with concern, “Hey you ok?”
“Yeah” she nodded and got up from the table.
Erik got up and grabbed her elbow, “You want me to take you home?”
“Nah, I’m gonna walk.” She gave Erik a hug. She grabbed him before she let him go and whispered in his ear. “Aye yo, if you don’t beat me by at least three points you splitting the money with me.”
Erik chuckled as he let go of the embrace, “One and a half.”
“Two.” Mekayla smiled but staggered a little. At the same time they held up a finger and said,
Their normal goodbye.
Erik stayed standing as he watched her leave. He was kind of worried. Mekayla usually didn’t look this weak when indulging. He’ll call her when he got home.
Brett watched Mekayla walk up the steps to the street, still smiling, and began following her.
As soon as Mekayla hit street level, she instantly felt better. The cool air hit her open chest and she was able to breathe easier. Still she began to button herself up because one more button and all off her business would be exposed. She only lived a couple of blocks away and decided to round the corner to climb the fire escape. She lived in a third floor loft apartment, which for some crazy reason had a back door that led to that fire escape. Mekayla often sat out there to clear her thoughts. Tonight, she was sitting up there to feel better before she went to bed. She propped herself up against her back door and closed her eyes.
Man I’m too old to be indulging like this.
She sat and began twirling the hair at the back of her head when she heard shuffling footsteps.
Where the fuck did she go? Thought Brett to himself. He was right behind her until she turned the corner, and now she’s gone. He walked up the street and squinted as if maybe she was hidden by the streetlight. Then he slowly walked backwards before turning around. Mekayla looked down, squinting as well and then giggled when she realized it was Brett. He looked up but couldn’t spot her right away.
Mekayla then shifted her body so her feet were on the first step of the fire escape as she called down to him.
“You a stalker?”
Brett looked up and flashed that glittering smile, “Hey how did you get up there?”
Awkward silence cause her to relent.
“I used the ladder like everyone else.” she said sarcastically.
“Can I join you?”
Mekayla shrugged, “Suit yourself.”
She watched Brett climb up the ladder and noticed he had an athletic build. She casually smiled to herself as she closed her eyes again and went back to twirling her hair.
I’m only gonna be out here for a minute because I have to go in and call Kevin.
Brett stopped and stood on the space before Mekayla’s steps and leaned against a brick wall. She didn’t open her eyes, but she knew he was directly in front of her. She could smell his cologne. It was crisp but not intrusive. She inhaled slowly so she could get her head together because it was spinning. When she opened her eyes Brett has his eyebrow raised at her.
“Why did you leave out of there so fast?” he asked her.
“Mmmmmm, “Mekayla’s eyes reclosed, and her lips dwelled on that hum for a moment. “I wasn’t feeling well.” Her eyes reopened, and she got a full view of Brett and she gave an approving smile. When Brett began to move closer to her, she snapped out of her admiration.
Oh my God, what am I doing?
Mekayla attempted to ignore the butterflies in her stomach but they were starting to swarm.
I just need to get in the house without that man knowing where I live. I should have never got his attention.
As if on cue, Brett gave her an escape.
“What are you thinking about?” he asked.
“That I need to get home,” she replied,” I have an early day tomorrow.”
“Well I can walk you home if you’d like?” He offered.
Mekayla stood up and realized that the butterflies are now swarming all over her inner thighs. Not since her first phone conversation with Kevin had such a sensation come over her. She was strangely aroused by the feeling but confused at the same time. Because Mekayla was the type of female to act on her attractions quickly and without rational thinking, she thought she better nip this in the bud as quickly as possible.
“No, thank you though.”
Little does he know that we are literally standing at my back door. I’ll just climb down the fire escape, say goodbye to him at the corner, and then go in through the front of my building. Yeah that’s it I can manage that.
She made her move towards the steps and Brett let her go in front of him.
That’s it; let me watch you walk away. He focused on her plumpness. Mmmph, I would just like to get at that, once.
“Well as long as you’re gonna be okay.” Brett responded instead.
“Yeah, I just needed some air. And I wanted to go in and drink some green tea before what’s tryin to get me, actually gets me.” Mekayla said as she jumped off the ladder. Brett followed and she gave him a polite smile.
“Well thank you.”
“No problem,” he looked up and down the street. “Which way?”
Mekayla pointed, “You can walk me to the corner.” They began walking.
“You really don’t want me to get to know you huh?” Brett asked.
She shrugged, “It’s not that. Like I told you, I have a man and adding male friends to my life can complicate matters.”
“Does he live far. I mean I don’t think I could let you live so far from me.” he said awaiting her reaction. They stopped at the corner.
“Well our situation works for us.” she said matter of fact.
“It must, you seem very happy.”
When Mekayla thought of Kevin most people could tell by the warm familiar smile that comes across her face and she was wearing that smile.
“Yes, I am.” She pointed behind her. “I live that way.”
Brett motioned his head in the opposite direction, “I live down there.” There was an uncomfortable pause between them that was broken by an awkward laughter. “Listen, can I call you sometime?”
Mekayla nodded, “You have the number.”
He glanced at his hand and smiled, “That’s right.” He held out his arms, “Can I have a hug goodnight or will that complicate things?”
Mekayla smirked but hugged him as friendly as she could, but when she went to let go, Brett held her just a little bit longer and her knees melted like butter and her body molded to his athletic frame. She didn’t know why this felt so good to her, but it did. She let out a small sigh of satisfaction, but then realized what she did and backed off quickly.
Brett was smiling sheepishly.
“Ok, I’ll call you.” he said.
They parted at the corner and Mekayla decided to walk past her building until Brett was out of sight. When she turned around he was no longer in view and she backtracked, hurriedly shuffled up the steps, and unlocked the front door to the building.
As she climbed the steps she couldn’t wait to get into her loft. She spent every last dime in her savings to remodel the place. She unlocked and opened her door and even in the dark, you felt as though you were surrounded in sunshine. The walls were warm amber and the wooden floors were shined to perfection. Mekayla flicked a switch and track lighting filled the loft. She smiled and took off her shoes at left them on the long, shaggy, crème rug by the door. After she dead bolted her door she walked over to her sand-
washed wall unit and turned a couple knobs. Dwele’s: The Truth came blaring out of speakers that were mounted in the corners of her ceiling. Mekayla swayed backward into her kitchen singing to herself as she took the teakettle off of the stove to fill it water. She came out of the kitchen, smelled the daisies that were in a crème vase on the sand washed dining room table then danced down a small hall which led to a huge bedroom capped with skylights. She danced over to the east wall and peeked out the door to make sure Brett was not lurking in the shadows, and then locked both doors.
Over on the other side of the room behind an Asian screen was her bathroom which was flattered in the center by a claw foot tub. Surrounding the tub were wicker baskets filled with towels, bath gels, faux sunflowers and candles. The dressing area and commode were off to the left. She grabbed a plug from one of the baskets and put in into the tub, turned on mostly hot water, and squirted some Obsession bath gel into it.
Okay yeah, Obsession was kind of old, but it was one of her favorites and since fall was approaching, what a better way to start it off. She began to shed her clothes and let them stay where they fell as she danced back down the hall into the living room which was full of crème, amber, orange and black fluffy pillows. Mekayla didn’t own a couch, but she did have four tree stump tables squaring off the sitting area. She did have a flat screen TV on the wall facing that area. On either side of the TV were shelving full of books.
Off in the west corner was her computer area where she now stood completely naked. Before she turned on the computer she caught the reflection of her plump body and wrinkled her nose up at it. Mekayla clicked and scrolled until she got to Transportation Conversations and deleted it. Hearing the teakettle whistling, she slid over to the kitchen, shut the burner off, darted into the bathroom, shut off the water in the bubble filled tub and then slowly eased herself into it. She began rubbing her limbs with the soft sponge she grabbed out of a basket. She closed her eyes and hummed to the CD. Lifted the sponge and let the water soak her head. Took her fingers and wildly shook her head so that it stood on end.
The start of the transformation.
She caressed the sponge over the softer parts her body.
She missed Kevin. And even though this CD is the bomb, it didn’t help her with her emotions. It’s all about relationships that were mistakes and even though she was secure in her relationship, the words to the songs bothered her. She sprang out of the tub and dripping wet darted over to her wall unit and pressed another button and Jill Scott softly entered the loft. Mekayla now hugging herself to not catch a chill, sprinted back into the bathroom and hopped back in the tub. Reaching behind her, she rolled up a towel and stuck it under her neck so she could soak for a while. She closed her eyes and sung The Way along with the CD.
That’s more like it. This is how love makes you feel.
She felt better when the phone rang. Reaching in yet another basket she picked up a cordless phone and answered,
“You are in the tub aren’t you?” A voice said.
“Hey Kevin baby, I was just thinking about you.” Mekayla said eyes still closed.
“Really that’s weird?” The voice said.
“Why is that weird?” She said playing in the water.
“Because this ain’t Kevin.”
Photo Credit: © Hassan Davis