#12DaysofaShortStory Challenge – Day 8 and 9

Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

I’m going to lie, when I started this challenge, I was a bit cocky. I thought it would be easy to knock out 12 days straight of writing. Not so much but I’m going to continue to give it a go. You’re getting a double dose today–Day 8 and 9. Catch up on Day 7-ish and earlier post here before you start reading.

 

The Season for Living: Part VIII

The first snowflake of winter sat quietly on my window sill, taking in the chill from the air and its single moment alone. For once, the meteorologist got it right. They predicted our first snow storm months ago but only cold rain fell. Today they nailed it as I watch other snowflakes join the first one. 

Watching them move in on my balcony calmed my mind for a moment. I sat and watched. Watched and waited and hoped. I hoped that the storm would bring in more than just snow, hopefully it would bring in some clarity about what I should do about Cade and his declaration.  

I’ve gone through so many emotions in one phone call. First jealously, then curiosity, now confusion and I all really want is clarity.  

I remember thinking about Cade in a romantic way when I first met him. With a hue as bronze as his and eyes as clear as the sunset, it’s hard not to be infatuated at first sight. We first met on the corner of Maple and Simon Street. I was there with a friend and he was walking up with a mutual friend. We couldn’t be older than 15—maybe even 16—and he was gorgeous in my young eyes.  

But I knew my homegirl was digging him seeing that she damn jumped on him when he was close enough. They exchanged numbers and that was it. We would forever be best friends. Me and my girls had a solid and forever rule to never date an ex. And he soon became an ex, and then me and her grew distant. Not because of him, but because I had to grow up and go to college. She was cool with staying in the same place with the same people and trying to get a job right out of high school. I respected that as much as I hope she respected my decision to go away to college.  

Ironically me and him ended up at college together but I knew about their relationship and just let friendship be enough. Sure, there were a few drunken nights where things could have gone another way but it couldn’t. We wouldn’t. Friendship over lust. Now I have to choose between friendship and love. I don’t want to lose my friend. 


The Season for Living: Part IX

The snow layered and layered as I stared at the phone. I want to call Cade back but I’m not sure I have the right words yet. I move from my bed downstairs to the kitchen. I’ll focus on feeding myself and maybe something will hit me.  

It’s getting late so if I’m going to call him back, I need to do it soon before his shift is over. Hopefully he’s not busy yet. I pick up the phone and begin dialing. Then I stop. Not yet.  

I opened the cabinet and pull out a box of cheerios and milk from the fridge. Evening breakfast always makes me feel better. I plop down on the stool at the island and look out the window.  

The sun has set but the rays have the sky glowing under the snowfall. It’s beautiful. Sipping the milk off the spoon, I looked around my empty apartment and reminisce on the last time Cade was over. 

He brought over Chinese food and we sat and watched like three basketball games together. We argued about who was the best player and laughed at the worst ones. He almost made me spit out food at one of his jokes. He’s a pretty funny guy. That day he was in jeans, some shirt and a fresh cut. I love when a man gets a fresh cut, so I remembered his vividly; wavy and smooth. He looked nice. Nothing out of the ordinary but cute. He has always looked cute in some way.  

Like when he smiles, the dimple on his left cheek peaks out. Or when he’s trying to be serious and his eyebrow furrow just like the Grinch. He can never hold it either; he’s such a softy.  

Okay, so maybe I like him more than I think.  

Oh yeah, even before the last time he was here, I remember when he came over just to talk. It was after his dad passed. It was a rough time but he did his best to get through it but when he came over that time, he cried and I was happy to be there for him. 

I hugged him right as he was leaving and apparently, he needed it more than I knew. He didn’t break down, he just embraced his sorrowed and quietly let tears flow. I’m glad I was there with him. I’d never seen him like that before and haven’t seen him like that since. He told me soon after that he had never cried in front of another woman other than his mother. I was honored and felt so much love for him in that moment. Love for our relationship…I mean our friendship. 

I mean, I guess there are times when this feels more like a relationship than just a friendship. I need to know when me makes it home safely each night, but that’s because of his job. He always comes over when I’m not feeling well, even when my cramps have me down and out. He never asks what’s wrong other than is it my stomach or a cold. That’s enough for him.  

And we care so much for each other. We damn near know everyone each other’s family. He comes to my reunions and I go to his. He comes over for the holidays and I’ve even vacation with his family in the summer time. 

It’s like we’ve been in a relationship and I didn’t even know it. No, I didn’t realize it. If this is what a relationship is, then I can do it.  

I scrap my spoon on the bottom of the bowl. I’m full of food and of clarity. 

To be continued tomorrow…

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#12DaysofaShortStory Challenge – Day 7-ish

Photo by Adam Birkett on Unsplash

Bear with me guys. I’m fighting a cold but the story must go on! Check out Day 7 below and if you missed Day 6, read the story here.

The Season for Living: Part VII

Butterflies circled in my belly. I nervously waited on his answer but I’m not sure why. What he said was beautiful so what am I worried about? Maybe it’s because…I don’t know if I feel the same. I mean I care deeply for him. I love him as a bff, or even my bro but I’m not sure about my man. I don’t want to disappoint him.  

“Well,” his voice was calmer than the moment before but still a bit agitated, “I don’t know exactly when it happened Tee. I’ve cared for you for a long time.” 

“I know. I care for you too.” Hopefully he didn’t equate that statement to his. “But loving me is different. You’ve never shown me more that friendship. I mean…this is sort of weird.” 

The silence over the phone this time was stiff. Am I doing to him what old boy did to me back in the day? I won’t do that to him.  

“Cade, this is so new to me. Please don’t be upset. I just need to time to think about everything.  

“I’m not asking for a commitment Tee. I’m just telling you what I’ve learned about myself. I know what I want to do professionally and I know who I want to be with personally.” 

First, I was jealous of the love I thought he had for Angie, and now I’m jealous of self-assurance. He knew what he wanted and I wanted to know too.  

“Hey Cade, I’ve got to use the bathroom. Let me call you back.” That was the only thing I could say to keep us from another awkward silence. I need time to think. 

To be continued tomorrow… 

#12DaysofaShortStory Challenge – Day 6

We’ve hit an important part of the short story. Let me know what you think so far. Oh, and if you missed yesterday’s post, check it out here.

The Season for Living: Part VI

“Cade, are you there?” For a moment, I thought about if he wasn’t on the other line. What if his phone called me back but he was in a criminal fight for his life?  

“Yeah, I’m here.” I was glad that I was wrong. Then silence. A calming silence. It was like we wanted to hear each other breathe to know that we were really alright. I’d be lying if I said this was the first time I thought about “what if” in Cade’s career.  

I knew how ridiculous the world could be. We all know how reckless people think police officers are but Cade was the swan of the bunch. He held his own with the community and everyone respected him for it. He gave respect to earn respect, even to the grimiest, drug-ridden lost soul. He was just different.  

So different that I couldn’t image my life without him. 

He broke the silence with beautiful words. “I love you.” 

I couldn’t fill the silence yet, so I just let him continue.  

“I had to just say it. When I got off the phone, I couldn’t focus on helping my guy. I just kept thinking. Did she get it? Did she finally get it? And something spoke to me and said no.” 

“You’re right.” I chuckled but not at his gesture at his accuracy of the situation. I had to explain myself before he took it the wrong way.  

“I thought this whole time you were talking about Angie.” 

“Angie. The fuck…no. She’s cute but her personality is trash.” 

“Touche’.” I hadn’t even gotten that far in my analysis to breakdown her character.  

“I don’t need you to say it back though.” 

Shit, I didn’t say it back, but why not? I do love him. But I wonder if it’s the same way.  

“I mean I do too but are you talking about on the friend front or the more than friend side.” 

“Were you listening to me at all?” His aggression sort of pissed me off. I’m just trying to get some clarity. “I love you like wanting to be in a relationship with you. Like wanting to be near you, or even better, to kiss those lips.” I couldn’t be mad anymore.  

“But when…and how Cade?” I could probably figure it out but I needed to hear more before I put my heart out there.  

To be continued tomorrow…

#12DaysofaShortStory Challenge – Day 5

Photo by Aaron Wilson on Unsplash

I’ve hit Day 5 of my challenge! FYI, today’s post has explicit language. I’ll rate this one PG-13. Wait…if you missed Day 4, go catch up here.

The Season for Living: Part V

DeDe use to run track in high school and apparently at 26 she still has it. I could tell she was at a job when she started explaining herself.

“This bitch was all up on my man at the Winter Eve Ball so I had to slap the fuck out of her. No let me correct that—I had to slap her for wanting to fuck.” DeDe was breathing normal again. I guess she made it to a safe place.  

DeDe was one of those friends I couldn’t let go no matter how much of the hood she brings to an event. She’s real, she’s loud and she’s got my back. And I have hers but not in the fight. I don’t fight. I’ll have the bail money and lawyer ready though. 

“I told you to stop giving that girl all that energy.” Margo was a constant topic in our conversations. She was the side chick that enjoyed being a side chick even if her duties weren’t needed any more.  

“I know, I know girl. But I’m so tired of her. She just won’t go away.” DeDe’s right. For some reason—probably the same reason as DeDe—Margo just won’t let Sean go. I would never tell DeDe this since thots and side chicks aren’t supposed to have real feelings but they both love him.  DeDe just won his heart in the end. 

And there it is. Another scary moment in love. You can’t stop who you love and you can stop others from loving who you love too.  

“Look DeDe, y’all have come a long way and you’re going to have to move forward. Stop looking back or you will miss what’s in front of you.” Her silence meant that she was absorbing my words. She’s a great listener but it’s usually always after the fact.  

My line begins to beep. Shit, it’s Cade. I didn’t notice that he hung up but I had to finish our conversation. 

“Hey, are you good now?” 

“Yeah…I’m good.” The calm was over her. “I’m about to call an Uber to get me home. I don’t even know where I’m right now.” 

“Okay but call or text me when you get home. Are you coming over for dinner tomorrow?” 

“You know I’m there. Boobs, Bourbon and blunt in hand.” 

“See you tomorrow babe.”  

DeDe is a really beautiful person. She loves so hard and she forgives to keep that love going. She’s dedicated to her heart and lives for each loving moment. Each kiss, each touch, each possibility that he was her forever love. I admire her so much that I envy her. She’s a true romantic at heart. Maybe I should follow my own advice: stop looking back. I’ve got to stop trying to avoid past mistakes by not even trying again at love. Maybe I was like Cade. Maybe the man of my dreams was right under my nose.  

My line clicked again. Damn I forgot to click over.  

“Cade…” 

To be continued tomorrow…