Mekayla paced back and forth in her loft for what seemed like an eternity. Out of habit, she found her cigarettes and inhaled three back to back. Never once did she look at the answering machine blinking at her desperately. She didn’t know what to do with herself. All she did know is that she was feeling guilty and she needed to be near Kevin, and she didn’t need to hear his ever-rational voice tell her no.
She brought her cigarettes and ashtray and damn near sprinted to her computer desk. She shook the mouse and thanked the good Lord above for her cable modem and went to the Amtrak home page. She knew she could get to the train station in twenty minutes and it was already one thirty in the morning. She frantically looked over the schedule and saw that a train was leaving at two thirty am. Mekayla booked the train and rushed to pack a small bag. Lucky for her, Kevin gave her a key, six months ago. By the time the cab got her there it would be near dawn but at least Mekayla could start the day off unburdening her guilt.
Kevin was slightly irritated at the fact that Mekayla didn’t answer her phone when he called her back. But like he left on the answering machine, he was pretty sure she was writing and he knew how blocked she was so he would just give her space. He was sure she would call back when she was done. To be honest he was starting to feel a little guilty that he didn’t go up to see her that weekend, but since was nearing the end of the marking period he thought he was going to be overloaded with papers and grades to turn in. Kevin knew from previous experience that bringing the work with him when he visited wasn’t conducive because the work never got done. It’s not that Mekayla required a lot of attention but when he did see her he wanted the weekend to be about them and grading stacks of exams containing diagramed sentence structure was the last thing on his mind.
After he entered the last bit of grades onto an Excel spreadsheet, Kevin shut off the computer and made his way towards the couch. He began mindlessly flipping channels with the remote and settled on Sportscenter. He walked over to the fridge, grabbed a beer, and began staring at a Hummer commercial when the phone rang.
Thinking it was Mekayla; he muted the television.
“Hello” he said enthusiastically.
“Hey Kevin, it’s Prudence.”
Prudence was a friend that he had met shortly before he got together with Mekayla. Kevin was interested in her for a brief period of time. She was the exact opposite of Mekayla tall, trim and as dark as baker’s cocoa. They talked on the phone a few times and even went to a movie or two, but once he gave his heart to Mekayla, Prudence was put in the friend box, permanently. Prudence called him from time to time to check on him and inform him of the latest movie she saw but other than that, when Kevin went out, it was strictly a guy thing.
“Yo whussup Pru?”
“Were you busy?”
“Nah, actually I’m just watchin TV, why whussup?”
“How would you like to do me a favor?” Prudence purred.
Kevin chuckled, “That depends on what the favor is.”
Prudence laughed, “Aw c’mon now boy, you know you missed out on this a year ago.”
Kevin mocked disappointment, “Aw damn. But what’s the favor?”
“Would you accompany me to this party?” she whined more than asked.
Kevin was more than happy to get out of the house but couldn’t let Prudence know he was too excited because it might give her the wrong idea. “Your girls ain’t around?” he asked.
Prudence sucked her teeth, “Aw you know my friends are still out shaking their asses. This is an adult party with actual intelligent conversation.”
“How long do I have to stay?” Kevin asked while he shut of the TV and began moving to his bedroom.
“Until I find a suitable replacement.” Prudence joked.
“Funny. So what benefit do I get out of being your man whore this evening?” He asked as he looked in his closet for something suitable to wear.
“Free drinks.” Prudence quipped.
“Where is it?” Kevin got ready as he mentally took the directions Prudence gave him. He decided on a black turtleneck and black slacks. He knew about these types of parties. They were mainly a bunch of pseudo intellectuals that discussed religion and politics all night. It was Pru’s crowd though. Since she just got her degree she acquired this wisdom that she loved to flaunt. He figured he would have a few drinks, make sure Pru got home okay, and make it home in time to watch the late movie. On the way out the door Kevin walked by the phone and thought about calling Mekayla then thought against it. He never really told her about Prudence and there was no need for him to open a big can of worms now. He would let her write and call her when he got in.
The lounge was about twenty-five minutes away and when he finally got there, Prudence was waiting outside wearing a business suit. Kevin had to chuckle to himself because it was Saturday, and not even people that had business on Saturday’s wore suits.
“Well it’s about time.” She tapped Kevin playfully on the shoulder.
“Hey Pru.” Kevin giggled as he gave her a friendly hug.
“What’s so funny?” She said before they walked into the lounge.
“You kinda overdressed aintchu?” He said as he held the door open for her.
“Oh please, you know how stuffy these people are,” she squawked.
“I guess.” Kevin said non-convincingly.
What Prudence didn’t know is when she quoted the party as being adult was that she was extremely accurate. As soon as Kevin and she got to the back room, they were immediately handed drinks with plastic genitals sticking out from them instead of umbrellas. As cocoa as Prudence was, Kevin saw a red hue cover her face. When Kevin looked around, he saw tables of “party favors” and folks laughing and giggling above them. Then when he looked further in the back he saw a rather big brother wearing a leather vest, pants complete with a mask.
“Aw hell nah, ” Kevin said taking Pru’s drink, placing it on the table, knocking over a few vibrating things in the process.
They couldn’t move fast enough. Prudence just followed Kevin who made a beeline to his car. He unlocked it, Prudence got in and Kevin began driving. They were quiet for a good ten minutes of the drive until Prudence realized that she wasn’t in her own vehicle.
“Um where are we going?” she asked.
Kevin did a double take, “Oh shit,” he laughed. “I’m goin home.”
“You have beer there?” Prudence said unfazed.
“Then keep on then.”
When they got back to Kevin’s apartment, he went straight to the fridge handed them both a beer. While leaning against the kitchen sink Kevin looked at Prudence and fell out in laughter. Prudence followed.
Four hours and a twelve pack later the pair was sitting on the couch listening to music and laughing.
“I still can’t get over how red your face was.” Kevin said through laughter.
“I can’t get over how hard you grabbed my arm.” Prudence snapped back. “I’ma be bruised in the morning.”
“You’ll be aiight.” Kevin chuckled finishing off his beer.
“Hey don’t you think you had enough? Are you gonna be able to get me back to my car?”
“Oh yeah.” Kevin responded. “If not I’ll pay for your cab.”
Just then the radio played Dwele’s Subject.
“Ooooh, I love this song.” Prudence said while grabbing Kevin’s arm. “Dance with me.”
Kevin got up but just stood there in front of Prudence who was swaying to the beat. She then wrapped her arms around his shoulders.
“Does your girl know you are so stiff?” She said laughing. Kevin looked uncomfortable but he put his arms around her waist and closed his eyes.
Mekayla noticed from the street that Kevin’s lights were still on.
Oh good, at least I didn’t wake him up.
She paid the cabby and wearily walked up the steps to Kevin’s front door. She smiled to herself as she heard Dwele through the door while turning the key.
Kevin looked stunned as he saw Mekayla coming through the door.
“Hey,” He said damn near pushing Prudence out of the way
“What are you doing here?” He said with concern with his arms out as if Mekayla was supposed to hug him.
Mekayla, stunned, looked at Kevin then looked at Prudence and then looked at the beer bottles on the table. Mekayla’s eyes became narrow daggers that she threw at Kevin’s throat.
“I’m not doing anything here, anymore,” she hissed as she darted down the steps.
“Mekayla!” Kevin called after her. He went to run after her but because he was tipsy and had no shoes on, he slipped on the steps. Mekayla’s cab was still downstairs and she flew back into it.
“Take me back to the station!” She yelled unable to hold back her tears.
The cabby sensing her urgency took off with tires squealing. He looked in the rearview mirror to see a man limping slightly after the cab. Then before he turned the corner he saw a female following him. He then looked at Mekayla who was sobbing uncontrollably.
“I have a napkin if you want it?” The cabby asked.
Mekayla almost choked on her tears.
to be continued…