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A-flutter: The Mourning After

“That shouldn’t have happened,” I said as I sat up and pushed back from Jo.

I balled myself up with my back pressed up against the couch. I wrapped my arms around my knees as if it were the only things holding me together.

“I thought we were having a good time. What happened? Should I leave?

“Yeah, I think you should go.”

“Look, I’m sorry. I never should have done that. I must have read things wrong. I thought you wanted me to. You told me you only wanted friendship and I took advantage right after you told me something very sensitive about yourself. You were vulnerable and I’m sorry.

“No, you didn’t do anything wrong. I just wasn’t prepared for this. I’m not prepared for this. I need you to go.”

“Ok”, he said as he got up from the floor. He grabbed his hat and walked towards the door. As he walked to his car I walked towards the door to lock it. As I began to close the door he turned to face me.

“I’m sorry Mo.”

After the door was closed I was overcome with emotion. I cried from the depth of my soul. I don’t know why but just that intimate moment was too much vulnerability. I had sex with guys since Caleb but they were nothing more than sex. I never let myself get close to anybody. I had worked so hard to heal myself and one moment dehisced my wounds. I guess I hadn’t come as far as I thought. Poor Jo, why did I always have to run away?

I decided to go for a run in Crystal Park. I enjoy running when I’m stressed. It was a beautiful day and the sun was shining bright. The air was cool and fresh. I jogged along a tree covered path and sun trickled through its canopy onto the paved trail. As I jogged into the clearing the lake came into view. The reflection of the sun on the lake struck me in my eyes blinding me momentarily.

I was hit. I fell backwards landing on my butt. As I struggled to gain my composure I heard a familiar voice. It was the sound of smooth cocoa Jacob Brown.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah,” I managed to say.

“Fancy running into you hear, literally.”

“Yeah, I was just trying to relieve some stress. What are you doing?”

“Well, I was running until some lady came crashing into me. I guess the good thing I knocked you off your feet instead of you heart this time.”

As he spoke he gave a smile that would make any woman weak. What was I doing? I was just with Jo and now here I am lusting over Jacob.

Jo made me feel comfortable. He felt like a really good friend you’ve known your whole life but we’ve barely known each other a week. Jacob…Jacob is the icon. He is smart, strong, handsome, protective, and awakens all my lady bits.

He reached his hand down to lift me onto my feet. I brushed off the dirt from the back of my running shorts.

“Do you need some help with that? He said with a chuckle” Gesturing to help me pat the dirt and leaves from my bottom.

“Ha, Ha! No, I think I can handle this part. Do you jog here often?”

“No, actually. I usually run through Freedom Park on the other side of town. I woke up feeling spontaneous so I googled park and picked the 7th park from the top and here I am. What about you?”

“Yeah, it’s my favorite park. I run here all the time.”

“Glad I didn’t lie about being a regular then”, he said.

“Yeah, me too.”

“Well, since you know the area so well do you know if there are any good coffee shops around here?”

“Yes, there is this super cute place on the corner of Edinburg and Panola that has the best affogato you have ever had.”

“Well, I’m sure you are right because I have never had it.”

“What? Man where have you been?”

“Away from you for far too long I see. Would you care to join me?”

He caught me off guard and before I knew it I said, “sure but I need to go home and shower. I don’t want to stink up the place.”

“Yeah, that does make sense. Well how about we both go home and shower and I can pick you up at your place around 7?”

“I will just meet you there just in case you turn out to be some creep and I need to book it.” I laughed it off as a joke but kind of meant it too.

I hurried home and hopped into the shower. I did a quick 2 min shave hitting the key areas: axilla, legs, and labia. You just never know what could happen so better to be prepared. Not that I was going to have sex with Jacob. I was not going to have sex with Jacob. I threw on a shimmery coral halter top and tan leggings. I completed me look with an initial pendant necklace, gold dangle earrings and my hair in a half up/half down style that made my age elusive. It was sexy, classy and cute. I pulled up to the bistro 5 minutes to 7. I sat in the car calming my nerves. It had been a long time since I had actually been on a date with a guy. I had hooked up with men in a lounge from time to time but never where it could lead to something. I already knew that Jacob liked me. We were both young black professionals working in nursing. I wouldn’t have to explain my day to him because he would be able to identify with me. Physically I couldn’t conjure a more perfect specimen.

I got out of the car and walked towards the door. As I reached for the handle I saw a familiar face through the glass door. It was Jo. Oh my God what was he doing here? Of all the places on all of the nights he would be here. It was 7 and as I turned and put my back to the door Jacob walked up. He had some flowers in his hand and I promise it was as if time stopped and we were in a scene of one of those corny love movies. The wind was blowing through my hair as I smiled at him and swooned. The camera would then cut to him walking in rhythm to the music towards me, flowers in hand wearing a leather jacket looking extra cool.

“Did you put our names on the list?” he said.

His voice snapped me out of my day dream. “Oh, no not yet. You know, I thought this place had the great affogato but I think it actually was a different place so let me take you there instead.”

“Really? I mean you seemed so sure before, and I looked it up on Yelp and it seemed pretty dope, so why don’t we go in and if this isn’t the place we can experience something new together. Who knows, maybe it could be some cute little story at a party about how we first met.

I smiled. “Well, technically we first met when I was in the hospital but that was a nice try.”

“Oh well you can’t blame a guy for trying. Tag you’re it! He yelled as he tapped my shoulder and ran inside.”

I had no choice but to go inside. I walked inside and made every effort to avoid being seen by Jo. I asked to be seated on the opposite side of the restaurant and made sure to allow Jacob to shield me as we passed the aisle where I could be seen.

I was with Jacob and he was perfectly wonderful. However, I couldn’t block the thoughts of whether Jo was still in the other room from invading my mind. I did my best to force my mind to concentrate on Jacob. We ordered an affogato and he insisted on feeding me like we were in some old film. He was a romantic. His mother was a single mom who worked two jobs to put him and his two younger siblings through school. His father died when he was just 3 in a car accident. He was hit by a drunken driver. He has been working since he was 16 to help his mother pay the bills and he still sends her money every month. He’s been in three serious relationships but had been cheated on in two and his last girlfriend decided she no longer loved him. He has been single for 1 year and is looking for someone to spend the rest of his life with and have fun and a family.

I don’t think I have ever met a man that just knew what he wanted and laid it out there.

“I am attracted to you Molia but I don’t want to rush things. I want to get to know you. The real you. All of it and I will show you all of me. That’s my promise. I just want to know if I can have a chance to get to know you better.”

I opened my mouth to respond when I felt someone approach. As they came into my view I realized it was Jo.

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