Segment Eight: Write In The Middle of IT

IMG_0674The Basement was filling up quickly even though the band has still setting up.

When Mekayla walked in she was pleasantly surprised that Brett had secured her favorite booth. When he stood up, she took survey of him again. He was wearing a lime green turtleneck and brown slacks. Brett’s smile was amazing as well as infectious. She couldn’t help smiling back at him as she sat down on her side of the booth.

“Hey” she said.

“Hey yourself, “Brett replied, “You look gorgeous.”

“Thank you.” All of a sudden Mekayla became self-conscious of the flattering peasant blouse she was wearing and hugged her shoulders to conceal herself.

Brett frowned slightly, “Are you cold?”

She shook her head, “Nah, I’m good.”

“You want a drink?”

Mekayla thought for a minute because she knew that if she started drinking she wouldn’t stop. Not that she was an alcoholic or anything and actually she preferred the herb to the alcohol, but when she drank she lost what little inhibitions she had.

Considering there was an attractive man sitting across from her, she was about to listen to some neo soul and she was out of herb, she replied, “Sure.”

Brett waved over the waitress who was a tall slender woman with an auburn Afro.

Jaqueline recognized Mekayla and softly smiled at her.

“What’s up Meek?” Jaqueline said.

“Hey girl.” Mekayla responded casually.

“Your usual?” Jaqueline said writing down her usual order for Hennessey on the

rocks with a twist of lime.

“Yes please.”

“And you?” Jaqueline gave Brett a somewhat sarcastic look.

“Heineken.”

Jaqueline nodded and without looking up asked Mekayla, “How’s your man?”

Even though Mekayla’s stomach dropped her facial expression never changed, “He’s good Jackie thanks.”

“Cool,” Jaqueline said while walking away, “I’ll be right back.”

When Jaqueline was out of earshot Brett resumed his grinning at Mekayla. “So does everyone know you have a man?”

Mekayla chuckled, “Yeah well he usually comes up here to see me perform.”

What she didn’t tell him is that on one particular weekend Mekayla performed a poem that publicly announced her love to Kevin and when she was done he came up on stage and hugged her. The crowd gave her a standing ovation more for the emotional reaction to the poem then the actual poem itself.

“Oh so he will be here for the Haunted Poetry Weekend?” Brett asked

Mekayla shook her head, “Nah, he has an away game that weekend?”

“Oh he plays ball?” Brett asked somewhat surprised.

“Oh no,” Mekayla corrected him, “He’s a high school coach.”

“Really,” he answered appearing interested. “And what do you do?”

“I teach creative writing at the after school program.” she answered.

“Do you like it?”

“I love it.”

At that point Jaqueline returned with the drinks and when she left the band began

to warm up. Brett looked around and realized that he didn’t have the greatest view of the stage.

“Damn.” he said.

“What’s wrong?” Mekayla answered.

“I really can’t see.”

“Well do you want to switch places?”

“But then you won’t be able to see.” Brett said matter of fact. “Do you mind if I

sit next to you or is that against the rules?”

Mekayla slightly frowned, “What rules?”

“Any rules that you and your man have established.” Brett said with sincere seriousness.

Mekayla’s frown became more than slight now, “My man and I don’t have any rules like that. Like I told you before Brett, he trusts me.” She slid over making room for Brett to join her in the booth. Brett pushed his beer over to the other side of the table and got up to sit next to her.

“Well do you trust me?” he asked her raising his eyebrow.

“I have no reason not to.” she answered straight-faced.

When Brett sat down next to Mekayla she was enveloped by his fragrance. It wasn’t exactly cologne, because it smelled more like a soft cleanser of some sort. Inside she smiled but outside she remained emotionless. The band was playing louder now signaling that they were ready to begin which solicited light applause from the audience. The band consisted of a drummer, bass player, and keyboard player. There were two singers a female, who Mekayla recognized as Jane, although she pronounced her name Ja-nay. Jane was an awkward looking pear shaped woman with long dreads and a bad attitude.

Mekayla knew her since high school and even though Jane had a strong voice, she was very stuck on herself. Mekayla always thought that artists, especially black female artists should stick together, but when she tried to approach Jane after an open mic one night and Jane snubbed her. After that, Mekayla refused to go to any of her performances.

The male singer was Malik, who was absolutely gorgeous, but only twenty-years old. Before Mekayla and Kevin got together, she thought about buying a PS2 or some sort of video game to get Malik over to her house. He was caramel, with perfectly trimmed facial hair, and his dreads were now past the “wild” stage. He only stood about five foot eight, but there was a sexiness that just oozed from him. It could possibly be the fact he could sing everything from Bilal to Gerald Levert. Ironically enough at that point the band started playing Bilal’s “Soul Sista” and Mekayla smiled widely.

“I love this song,” She leaned over to whisper in Brett’s ear.

When Brett responded Mekayla felt his breath on her ear and it made her flutter on the inside. “Yeah his whole CD is tight.”

Mekayla as a distraction picked up her drink and drank a little more than she was supposed to, which made Brett chuckle.

“You want another one?” he said intentionally moving closer to her ear. Mekayla leaned back and nodded to give more space between his mouth and her ear. Brett signaled Jaqueline over to the table. But she just pointed at Mekayla, nodded and spoke to the bartender. Brett trying to be casual leaned closer to Mekayla’s ear

“You smell great by the way. Is that Obsession?”

She nodded.

“I don’t know too many people that wear that anymore, but it’s a classic.”

The breath on Mekayla’s ear smelled of peppermint, which pleased her, however she took her hand and turned Brett’s face toward the stage.

“You said you wanted to see right?” Brett had a satisfied smirk on his face as he listened to the music. They sat and listened to Malik’s set, which consisted of Bilal, D’Angelo and Levert. Brett kept the drinks coming. The pair did not speak, and somehow during the course of the evening they inched closer together. Mekayla was always a touchy feely person so the closeness didn’t bother her at all. She must have been feeling her liquor because at times she would find herself closing her eyes and singing along to the music. Upon opening her eyes again she stared at Malik promising that if her and Kevin were to break up for whatever reason, she would go out and purchase a PS2, and she meant that shit. Her fantasy was interrupted because it was Jane’s turn and she sung a lot of Erykah, Jill, and Mary. They did three duets, and then took a break. Mekayla stood up.

“I’m going to get some air.”

“You okay?” Brett asked as he let her out of her booth.

“Yeah, I’m just feeling my liquor.”

“You want me to come with you?” Brett asked hopefully.

“If you want.”

The pair went outside and down the same alley where they first met. Mekayla leaned up against the wall and sighed heavily. Brett stood in front of her and looked into her eyes.

“You aiight?”

Mekayla closed her eyes half because she was uncomfortable, half because the sky above her was spinning.

“Yeah, I just shouldn’t drink that much.” Brett reached out to her and began rubbing the back of her neck.

She saw that as comforting, not sexual.

Brett saw it as loosening her up. They heard slight applause turn into an ovation as apparently the band took the stage again. They both recognized Dwele’s Whoomp coming through the walls into the alley.

Mekayla began to open her eyes but before she opened them completely Brett leaned in and kissed her full on the mouth. Her eyes sprung open but he comforted her by placing his hands on her hips and drawing Mekayla closer to him. Brett kissed her again and this time he kissed her passionately and Mekayla was held captive by his kiss and Dwele’s bass line.

to be continued…

 

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