Ahhh Sookie Sookie Now!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 . . . Happy New Year!” I shouted to the top of my lungs and raised my champagne glass high, as I watched the Times Square crowd in New York go wild. I couldn’t believe that I was actually celebrating New Year’s Eve alone – watching Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rock & Eve hosted by Ryan Seacrest. I had worked all day long at Saks and had hurried home after work to take down my Christmas tree and holiday decoration before the New Year rolled in. Connie had always stressed the importance of taking down Christmas decoration before the New Year as a way of releasing the old and bringing in the new. Her mother, Granny Tula, had brainwashed her to believe that if you left your Christmas tree up into the New Year, you’d have the same problems from the previous year. Call me superstitious, but I definitely wanted to rid myself of all of the calamities I had experienced in 2011. I was ready for a fresh start. I had made it through the week by going home with Connie to Macon for four days after Christmas. Although I felt as though I was running away from my problems, I also knew that running away was what I needed to do for my sanity. I had contemplated leaving Atlanta without letting a soul know where I was, but I ended up leaving an outgoing message on my home voice mail, informing callers that I had gone to Macon for a few days and would return on December 30th. Although I knew that I didn’t have to be accountable about my whereabouts, in a sense I felt that disappearing would be something Calvin would do, and I didn’t want to be like him. He had left two messages on my cell phone the day after Christmas and one on my home number, telling me that he loved me and needed me. He said he wanted to prove to me how much her cared. I was not quite sure what he meant by proving how much he cared, but neither was I tempted to find out. I realized that Calvin was causing me too much inner pain, and I wondered if there was something wrong with me for allowing such treatment. Deep down, I felt sorry for Calvin though. It was like he was a lost child who had been given an entire toy store, but he didn’t know what to do with all the toys since there were so many. He’d play with one toy for a while and then he’d get bored and end up going from toy to toy, never really being satisfied. In a way I felt like I was one of Calvin’s toys. But now, I was getting tired of being toyed with. I deserve better treatment and respect from a man. While sitting on my sofa, sipping my Moët & Chandon champagne, I wondered how I could help Calvin realize that he had a problem. I figured he would be calling again, although I had been home for two days now and hadn’t gotten another message from him. The news about his arrest seemed to have intensified. He had pleaded guilty to the charges against him and was to be sentenced on January 10th. In the meantime, the NFL had suspended him for two games without pay and fined him an additional $20,000. “The Calvin Moore Arrest” was the main story news reporters highlighted – especially all the sports channels. Being that Calvin was the Atlanta Falcon’s hottest commodity, for the league to slap him with a two-game suspension at playoff time was a real big deal. Fortunately, the news about the lady in the car with him, the stripper, had died down, although the gossip sites went wild – saying that he had gotten her pregnant. I blocked that out of my mind though. The charge of endangering the life of another was dropped, so Calvin was faced with charges of DUI, reckless driving and possession of marijuana. One of Calvin’s sponsors, Drug Free America Foundation, had dropped him two days later, but amazingly, none of his other six sponsors had pulled the plug . . . . at least not as of yet. I wondered what Calvin was doing on New Year’s Eve. Since the week had obviously been a bad one for him, I assumed that he would be laying low and trying not to be in the public eye. Here I am, already consumed with thoughts of Calvin during the first few minutes of 2012. Well, I can’t just forget him that easily. And then the phone rang and I dropped my champagne glass reaching for the phone. My blurred vision prevented me from seeing the name on the caller ID. “Happy New Year!” I said, feeling quite tipsy. “Please make mine happy.” It was Calvin. As much as I was still upset with him for making a fool of himself and embarrassing me, I felt a warm feeling and I knew that I couldn’t avoid talking to him this time. “Calvin?” I said softly, trying to pretend that I didn’t quite catch his voice. “Baby, I just want to prove to you how much I love you,” Calvin said in a sexy tone. “Shayla, I miss you. Why have you left me hanging like this, baby?” I didn’t know what to say. My heart was racing like the many times before when Calvin was in his seductive mode. But I knew all too well that a fast-beating heart could lead me back in the throes of passion and then back in the throes of heartache. This time has to be different. I can not get caught up in him emotionally and physically. I have got to do this for my own sake. “Shayla?” Calvin said. “Yeah, I’m here.” I said unemotionally. “I’m on my way to get you.” “What?” I asked, feeling like I had already lost the battle to stay strong. “I need to talk to you, baby, in person. I’m on my way to get you.” “Coming to get me for what?” I asked, feeling confused, but curious. “Just be ready . . . and pack your bags for a couple of days,” Calvin said. “Warm weather stuff.” “Calvin, I can’t go anywhere. I have to work the day after tomorrow, and . . .” “Shayla, just be ready. I’ll be there in an hour. Just be ready,” Calvin said softly, but sternly. “Calvin, I can’t. I . . .” “Shayla, be ready,” he said again, solidly. “I have something I want to show you. Now, just trust me on this and stop being stubborn.” “Calvin, I’m so scared. I just . . .” “Shay, there is nothing for you to be scared of. I love you, and finally I’m ready to prove it to you,” Calvin said. “What do you mean you’re ready to prove it?” I asked, wondering what he had up his sleeve. “Shayla, do you love me?” “Yeah.” “Do you believe God put us together for a reason?” “Well, yeah, I did. But . . .” “But nothing. Just be ready in an hour because I need to see you. I really need to see you,” Calvin said desperately. I was speechless again, but someone was calling on the other line. The number showed up as private. I clicked over without responding to Calvin’s plea. “Hello? Happy New Year” I said softly. “Happy New Year! Is this Shayla?” A distinguished male’s voice came over the line. “Yes, it is,” I said, curious about who was calling. “Hi. This is Diego Jones . . . Claire Jones’ son.” “Oh, hiii,” I sang as I felt a slight hot flash. “I know that you are surprised to be hearing from me. My mother was so kind to give me your number. I just wanted to wish you a Happy New Year,” he said. “Why, thanks!” I quipped, feeling a little nervous. “And I was also calling to see if we could get together tomorrow for lunch or dinner,” Diego said smoothly. “Oh really? Tomorrow?” I asked, not knowing how to respond. There was then a click on the other line, indicating that Calvin had hung up. “Oh, did I interrupt you? I’m sorry. I didn’t ask if you were busy,” Diego said. “Oh, no. I’m not busy.” “Well, I just thought it would be nice to see you again before I head back to London.” “When are you leaving?” “The day after tomorrow. And I apologize for asking you out at the last minute, but I called a few days ago and got the message that you were out of town . . . in Macon for a few days?” “Yeah, I went back home with my mom. Sorry I missed your mom’s brunch.” “Oh, that’s okay. Did you have a nice time?” “Well, it was more relaxing than anything else.” There was a long pause and then he spoke. “So, what do you say? I was thinking that we could go out to dinner tomorrow evening around 6, just to chat and get to know each other a little better.” “Oh, okay. That sounds nice,” I mumbled half-heartedly. “Are you sure?” Diego asked. “Yeah, I’m sure,” I hesitated. “I just can’t believe it’s a New Year.” Diego chuckled. I giggled too, feeling that he somehow understood my discomfort, but flattery. “Well, I can pick you up tomorrow around 5:30 if that’s okay with you?” Diego said cautiously. “That’s fine with me,” I said quickly. “I just need to give you the directions to my place.” “I’m ready,” Diego said. “I can put it in my GPS.” “I live near Phipps Plaza, where you first met me,” I sighed and gave him my address slowly. “Got it!” Diego said. “There’s a security gate, but you can just ring me under my last name, and I’ll let you in.” “Well, that sounds simple enough.” “It’s pretty simple.” “So, I’ll see you tomorrow,” Diego said. “Apartment 610 at 5:30.” “I’m looking forward to it,” I said trying to sound relaxed but feeling like I was going to pee on myself. “Bye, Shayla.” “Bye.” After hanging up the phone, I got a tingly feeling that started in my legs. I sat still for a moment, trying to figure out my next move. I felt confused. I knew that I loved Calvin with all my heart and had never so much as thought about going out with another man since we started dating. I was faithful, loyal and had inwardly and outwardly pledged my heart and body to only him, so why had I all of a sudden accepted a date with the debonair Diego Jones? Oh Shit. I picked up my champagne glass off the floor and stood to my feet. I have to do something. Calvin had hung up while I was talking to Diego. I knew he would be coming over. He had stated so clearly that he was on his way to get me and I knew he hadn’t changed his mind just because I had put him on hold. After putting the champagne glass in the sink and the fourth of a bottle of champagne that was left back in the refrigerator, I stumbled to my bedroom. What am I gonna put on? I was definitely more tipsy than I needed to be. I felt disoriented. I pulled out the leopard print cat suit that I had ordered from Victoria Secret’s catalog. This will definitely give Calvin a rush. But after thinking about all that had happened, I realized that I didn’t need to get Calvin all sexually enticed and hungry for me. I have to say no. Just say no. Damn, I shouldn’t have drunk that champagne. I put the leopard print getup back in the closet and pulled out some black jeans and a soft, red silk blouse that Calvin had bought me last Christmas. Red was his favorite color and it looked good against my almost chocolate skin tone. My home phone rang. I walked over to the bed stand and saw that it was Connie. “Yeah, Mom.” “Happy New Year, Shay, baby!” Connie squealed. “Hey, Mommy. Happy New Year,” I said, feeling a tad dizzy. I sat down. “So, you decided to stay in after all, huh?” Connie asked gleefully. “Yep. Is church over that quick?” “Quick?” Connie said. “We were in there since 9 o’clock.” “Oh,” I muttered. “So, are you planning to go over to your sister’s for dinner tomorrow and eat some of those collard greens so you can be blessed with money?” “Actually, no, Mommy,” I said. “You and your superstitions!” “Why not, baby? They are gonna be expecting you.” “Well, I’ll just call and tell them that I have a dinner date,” I said cockily. “A dinner date?” Connie repeated. “Not with Calvin Moore, I hope.” “No . . . with this new man named Diego Jones!” I said feeling and little excited saying his name, but still feeling my head spin a bit from all the champagne I had drank. “But Mommy, I’ve got to talk to you about it later. I’ve got to take care of something.” There was a long pause before Connie spoke. I think she was expecting me to say something else. “Mommy, I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I love you!” I said in a hyper tone. “Uh-huh. We will have to talk tomorrow, Ms. Dinner Date!” I chuckled, but I knew that if I didn’t hurry up and get off the phone I wouldn’t be dressed appropriately when Calvin arrived. I had on a white, satiny lounge outfit with sheer arms. It made me feel virginal, but I was sure that it would make Calvin feel like having sex. I have to hurry up and change. “Okay, Mommy. Happy New Year!” I said and hung up. The phone rang again, but I let my voice mail pick up this time. If I kept talking on the phone, I’d never get dressed. It was only Tacara ranting about how Steve had surprised her with a Prada bag with $1,000 in it for a New Year’s gift. Who cares? I loved Tacara with all my heart, but lately she had been bragging a whole lot. The doorbell rang at 1:30am. Calvin knew my security code to get past the metal gates and he always rang the doorbell and then knocked in his normal way – 2 knocks, and then a pause followed by four rhythmic knocks. I was nervous as hell walking to the door. I kept thinking that Calvin would convince me to either go with him or have sex with him and I didn’t want to do either. When I opened the door, Calvin jumped towards me and grabbed me before I had a chance to look at him good. He held me tightly, so I lay my head against his chest – feeling his rapid heart beat from underneath his body-fitting sweater. He smelled so good, so clean, and his arms around me made me want to forget all the vows I had made to myself. But this time I’m going to be strong. I pulled away from Calvin, gaining my strength back. “What’s wrong?” Calvin asked, closing the door. He was still as handsome as he was the first day I met him. He was more handsome. He was sporting his diamond-studded silver chain with the number 85, his jersey number. He had on a black turtle neck and some blue jeans. Before I could respond to Calvin’s question, he grabbed my face with his hands and kissed me passionately. I kissed him back, but I knew that I had to stop his seduction. After he moved his hand from my face to my buttocks, I pulled away. “Calvin, no,” I said. “I don’t want to do this.” Calvin looked at me hungrily, but he seemed to want to respect my wishes. “I didn’t come over here to make love to you,” he said looking me over. “Although I want to. You look so good,” he said softly. He embraced me again, tightly. I tried to push him away, but I felt myself getting weaker and weaker. Calvin wasn’t letting up in his grip. “I’m so sorry, baby. I love you. I am so sorry,” he whispered. I finally managed to pull away again. “What are you sorry for?” I asked, looking him straight in his eyes. “Why are you sorry?” “I’m sorry for hurting you,” he said boyishly. I could tell that Calvin really didn’t like me putting him on the spot. He seemed uneasy. “And how did you hurt me?” I said. Calvin snickered. “Oh, you forgot?” he said. “Good.” He looked down at my feet. “Why don’t you have your shoes on? C’mon. Let’s go get your shoes and your stuff. The limo driver is waiting.” Calvin lightly guided my arm and I walked with him into the living room. “Calvin, I am not going with you,” I said softly, but sternly. “Ahhh, Shayla. C’mon now. Don’t mess this up. Don’t do this.” He turned me around to face him. “Don’t you love me?” “Yes, I do, but . . .” Before I could finish my sentence Calvin started kissing me again, first on my lips and then on my neck. I was really getting aroused, but I pulled away and stepped back a few feet. “Calvin, don’t make this hard for me. I have made up my mind and I don’t want to have sex with you and I’m not going anywhere with you. Whatever you have to say to me you need to say it now,” I said. Calvin looked at me for a few seconds with his “I got her” smirk. I knew him so well. “And this is not funny, Calvin. I’m tired of you playing with me like I’m a toy. This is no laughing matter,” I said. “Who’s laughing?” Calvin asked as he broke into a crooked smile. “Well, you looked like you wanted to laugh and for some reason you don’t take me serious. But I am serious when I say that I’m not having sex with you and I’m not letting you take me off somewhere to confuse me. So, whatever it is that you need to say, you need to say it now,” I said quickly and sat down on the sofa. “You been drinking?” Calvin said, looking at me with a raised brow. “Just a tad, but I know exactly what I’m saying and what I’m doing. I’m not gonna get with you tonight, Calvin. Things are different now. I’m not gonna give in to you.” I started flipping through the channels. I knew I couldn’t fall back into the same hole by succumbing to Calvin. Surprisingly, Calvin stood in front of the television, blocking my view. He looked so good that it hurt, but I knew that it would hurt more if I allowed my emotions to get the best of me. “Turn off the TV,” he said in a strong voice. “What?” I said looking at Calvin. “I will not.” “Turn off the TV and listen to what I have to say to you,” he said gently. When he moved from in front of the television I clicked it off. He sat down beside me. I held my hands together, feeling unguarded and vulnerable. “Shay, I feel lost without you in my life and I am sorry for not being there for you,” he said. “Uh-huh, and when did you realize this?” I said folding my arms trying to be tough. Damn, I feel weak. “Baby, look at me,” Calvin muttered grabbing my chin and turning my head to face him. Oh God. I’m losing it. Why did I let him come in? Why did I even answer the phone? I’m losing it. As Calvin stared into my eyes with sad eyes I felt like he needed me. I wanted to embrace him. Tears begin to trickle down my cheeks and Calvin wiped them. I felt sentimental, but this wasn’t the time. No, heart, you will not rule me. At that moment, I hit Calvin, hard, against his arm with my opened hand. “You hurt me!” I lamented. I then hit him again and again in his chest, but with my fist this time. Calvin blocked my licks with his arms. I don’t know where the streak of violence was coming from, but I stood up and continued to hit Calvin over the head, on the arm – anywhere I could. “You bastard! You hurt and embarrassed me,” I cried. Calvin took many of my blows, but he also dodged a few of them. Finally, after I grew tired of hitting him, I sat on the opposite end of the sofa and held my head in my hands and sobbed. Calvin was quite for a few minutes. And then I felt his hands taking my hands away from my face. He pressed his opened mouth against mine. “I love you,” he chanted over and over as he kissed me. He then pushed my hair back with both of his hands and stared into my eyes. “Shayla, I love you and I will never hurt you again. I want to marry you.” “What?” I managed to say as I stared back into Calvin’s eyes. “I want to marry you, Shayla. I don’t want to live without you,” he said emotionally. His eyes were beginning to tear up. I pushed Calvin away from me. “Now see, you are trippin,” I said as my adrenaline flowed more. “You don’t know what you are saying.” “Marry me, Shayla,” Calvin said clearly and unwaveringly. “I want you to be my wife.” I looked at Calvin suspiciously, but I didn’t detect any deceit. I could tell that he had not been drinking or smoking, which was probably due to his suspension. And then it dawned on me . . . Calvin is just desperate because of his arrest and his suspension. He’ll say anything to get me back on his side. As usual, he was full of talk. “Calvin, talk is cheap,” I said as I exhaled nervously. When I looked back up, Calvin was on one knee and fumbling through his pocket. Oh, God. He has a ring. He has a ring. “Well, let me show you then,” he said as he pulled out the biggest diamond ring I had seen in a while. My head was spinning. I tried to get up and run from him, out of disbelief, but when I stood up, the room seemed to go around in circles. I fell to the floor. When I awoke from fainting Calvin had me in his arms on the floor. He had a cold towel to my forehead. I looked up at him and he was smiling. “Well, I took you fainting to mean that you will marry me?” Calvin said softly. He then lifted my hand and kissed it. “And I put a ring on it, dammit. Do you like it?” I slowly looked at the ring. It was absolutely stunning. I couldn’t believe it was actually on my finger. The platinum princess-cut diamond had to be at least six carats. It had baguettes surrounding it. To say that I was in shock was an understatement. Calvin took my hand and kissed it again. “So, you like it, babe?” he asked with dreamy eyes. “Cal-vin,” I finally said. “It is sooo beautiful.” “So, will you marry me?” he asked as he put his fingers through mine. “Calvin, I love you. Yes, I will marry you,” I said as I guided Calvin’s head down so that we could kiss. After our uninhibited love making, I lay in Calvin’s arms as his fiancé and the happiest woman in the world. Although Calvin went to sleep on my bed quickly after our intimacy, I couldn’t sleep at all. I was still in a state of shock that Calvin had actually proposed to me and had given me a huge ring. I was anxious for the sun to come up and for Calvin to wake up so that we could discuss our wedding plans. I thought about turning on my computer and changing my status to “engaged” on Facebook, and sharing the news with my thousands of followers on Twitter and Instagram, but then I remembered Diego Jones. I have to call him at the first opportunity I get to tell him that I am engaged now, and that I won’t be able to go out to dinner with him. My stomach was churning. I really didn’t want to hurt Diego’s feelings. And what about Claire? What will she think of me? The last time I spoke with her was on Christmas Eve. I had not even called to let her know that I wasn’t able to make it to her brunch. But she had to have heard about Calvin’s arrest on the news. I wondered what she had said to Diego when he asked her for my number. Or maybe he didn’t ask for it at all. Perhaps Claire voluntarily gave it to him. Maybe she sensed my loneliness. But I wasn’t feeling lonely anymore. I was feeling loved. At the same time, I was scared. What will people think? After all of the crying I had done in front of everybody on Christmas Day I knew my family would definitely have their reservations. But who cares what people think? After all, I was marrying Calvin Kendall Moore, the man of my dreams. Nothing else really mattered at all. I would be Shayla Moore. Shayla Moore, Shayla Moore. “Shayla Moore,” I whispered with a smile. I finally dozed off. Calvin and I slept until 10 the next morning. He had told the limo driver to leave the previous night and asked him to pick him back up at 11am. I cooked Calvin pancakes, eggs and turkey bacon and allowed him to explain everything about his arrest. I listened intently as Calvin told me every detail of what happened that night on his way to taking Regina home from Magic City. He tried his best to convince me that she was, indeed, Dante’s friend and he apologized over and over for causing me such pain and embarrassment. When I anxiously asked him about setting a wedding date, his response was “We’ll set the date as soon as this court stuff is over with. I promise.” He said that he wanted to get his slate clean first. I figured I couldn’t ask for anything more, since the charges against him and the publicity had been quite overwhelming. I told him I would stick by him. Although Calvin wanted me to spend the entire day with him by packing a few things and going back to his house and then by taking a three day vacation to Destin, Florida, I told him that I could not go. I explained to him how I had asked my boss for extra days off when I had the accident and then again right after Christmas and that I really wanted to keep my job. I had sensed that Deidra was really getting concerned about my reliability. She even asked me if I was sure I was able to attend a major fashion conference that all Saks buyers were required to attend on spring fashions. The doubt in her voice kind of put me on alert that I really did need to put more into my job. After Calvin left I tried calling Diego to cancel plans with him, but Mr. Jones informed me that he was not at home and that he probably wouldn’t be talking to Diego until tomorrow. I told Mr. Jones that Diego and I had made plans for the evening, but that an emergency had come up and that I would not be able to see him before he left going back to London. There was a long pause before Mr. Jones said anything and then he said, “Well, the best laid plans sometimes go awry.” I truly didn’t know what to come back with after that. I wondered what he was trying to say. Is he planning on finding Diego and telling him that I can’t go out with him or is he just planning on being philosophical? Damn, the Joneses. They always had a way of making you really think about things. “Well, do you think you’ll be able to get in touch with him somehow?” I said, feeling guilty. “Do you have his cell number?” “No, baby. See, you don’t understand.” Jones said. “Diego went out of town and he cut his cell phone off because he’s leaving the country tomorrow. I’m sure that whatever plans he made with you, he’s going to keep them, no matter what.” “So, there is no way you can call him?” I said, perspiring. “I didn’t know he was going out of town.” “Well, he made plans with you later, so I’m sure he’ll be back by then,” Jones said. I wondered why Mr. Jones was making this so hard? Surely he can get in touch with Diego if he really wanted to. I wanted to hang up on him, but I didn’t. “Okay. Well, if you happen to talk to him, please have him call me,” I said, feeling very irritated. “Okay, now. You have a blessed New Year!” he said jovially. “Bye,” I said. I wracked my brain for 30 minutes after hanging up from Mr. Jones, trying to figure out how I was going to get out of the date with Diego. I had promised Calvin that I would come by his house around 6 to spend the night. I planned to give him his iMac then. And then the most polite and sensible solution came to my mind. I’ll just tell Diego face-to-face, when he gets here. I’ll tell him that after we hung up from talking last night, I got engaged! I looked at the big rock on my finger and smiled. When Tacara got home she was more than surprised when I showed her my ring. In fact, I thought she was going to faint herself. “Oh, Shayla,” she said as she seemed to marvel at the beauty of my ring. “Shayla, when did this happen?” “Oh, God, Tacara. Can you believe it? I am so happy. You’re the first person I’ve told.” “So, tell me what happened.” Tacara said with excitement as she stepped back and grabbed my hand – looking at the ring again. “Oh My God.” “Tacara it happened so fast,” I said softly. “Calvin came over last night and the next thing I knew, he was proposing to me. Girl, I literally fainted!” “No way!” “Yep. I fainted when he pulled the ring out, although I was a bit tipsy,” I chuckled. “When I came back to, the ring was on my finger. I can’t believe this. Girl, I am still in shock.” “Shay-laaaa,” Tacara gasped, still seeming to be in awe. “This looks like it’s eight carats.” “Really? You think it’s eight?” “For sure. Look at this huge diamond in the middle. Hell, that’s 6 carats right there. And then you got all these other ones on the side. Got to be more careful!” Tacara and I both laughed. “It’s hard to let it sink in, but I’m engaged, girl. And we’re gonna set the date for sometime next year. We are gonna set a date sometime after this trial stuff is over with.” “So, how do you feel about that?” Tacara asked. “You know, girl, I knew all along that Calvin loved me and maybe it just took something crazy like this arrest for him to realize how much he loved me and how he didn’t want to lose me. I’m just glad the boy came to his senses, because I was seriously at the point of throwing in the towel.” “Well, sometimes it does take giving up someone to gain them back,” Tacara said philosophically. “I’m glad he woke up too. So, are you getting ready to go out with him? You look nice,” Tacara said, looking me over. I had on a winter white turtle neck sweater, a gold skirt and some suede boots. It was 5:00 pm and I was planning to hurry to Calvin’s house as soon as Diego left. I had called Calvin and told him to expect me between 6:30 and 7, instead of 6. “T, girl, you are not gonna believe this,” I said. “What?” she said curiously. “I have a date with someone else,” I said smiling a bit. “You what?” “Girl, I met Claire Jones’ son – remember me talking about her?” “Yeah. The lady you met in Puerto Rico who already knew you were pregnant before you knew?” “Yes. Well, I met her son at the mall recently. He called before Calvin came over and proposed last night inviting me to have dinner with him today. I tried to cancel things this morning, but when I called to tell him his dad told me that he had gone out of town for the day and would not cancel plans with me no matter what. He said Diego had disconnected his phone because he’s heading back to Europe tomorrow.” “So, you still have a date with him?” Tacara asked, looking confused. “Tacara, he’ll be over here in less than 30 minutes.” I looked at my watch. “And I have to break the news to him in person, that I’m engaged now.” “Shayla! Oh, you’re gonna hurt that boy’s feelings on the first day of the year!” Tacara said in exasperation. “I know. I know. It makes no sense. This first day of 2012 has been one of the best days of my life so far, but also the most confusing. Diego is sooo nice and Lord is he fine!” “Is he now?” Tacara said mischievously. “Well, hey. You’re not married yet.” I rolled my eyes at Tacara. “Girl, don’t go there, okay. Plus, he lives in London. He’s going back tomorrow.” “Oh. Well, that settles that,” Tacara said smiling. “It was already settled,” I said quickly. “I’m marrying Calvin.” “Miracles do happen!” Tacara said. “Ta-ca-raa!” I whined. “I mean, good things do happen. I’m just happy for you.” “Well, I’m happy too.” Diego was ringing my doorbell at 5:30 on the dot. I had it all planned out. I would let him in, and then quickly tell him about my engagement. I would then offer him some wine or Eggnog before he went on his merry way. I had rehearsed how I would break the news to him. I’d say, “Diego, before you get settled, I have to tell you something.” I would then proceed to tell him that I had a surprise visit from my boyfriend last night, right after he and I had talked, and that my boyfriend, Calvin Moore, had surprised me by asking me to be his wife and that I had accepted. It’s that simple. I nervously swung the door open. The smile on Diego Jones’ face was warm and infectious. His light, hypnotic eyes pierced into mine and sent some type of wave up my body. He must have thought I was crazy to be standing there in the doorway just staring at him, but my words froze in my throat. He frowned a little. I still couldn’t talk. I knew that Diego was a good looking man, but I obviously had forgotten how good looking, tall, and sexy he was. He also had the deepest dimples. He was wearing a beige mid-length wool coat and some brown corduroy pants. His hair was cut low. He had a bouquet of flowers in his hand. I noticed tulips and daffodils, my favorite flowers. “Are you okay?” he asked. He seemed truly concerned about my momentary paralysis. I tried to snap out of it. “Diego,” I said softly. “You didn’t have to bring me anything.” I couldn’t believe I was so nervous. “Oh, it’s my pleasure. I thought you might like these for the New Year,” he said looking at me. “You look gorgeous. Wow.” After taking the colorful flowers from him and smelling them, I didn’t know what to say or do next. “They smell good,” I said looking up at Diego, who seemed to be smitten with me. He was still smiling. “So, are you ready to go or do you need to go get your coat? It’s pretty frigid out there.” “Oh, I’m sorry, Diego. Please come in,” I said stepping aside. “Excuse me for being so out of it. I just wasn’t expecting . . .” I stopped myself. I couldn’t tell him that I wasn’t expecting him to look so handsome and make my heart beat with intensity. I bit my lip. “Come on in and I’ll put these in a vase.” Diego walked slowly behind me. I could feel his presence and I got a whiff the chocolate scent of his cologne. “You can have a seat and I’ll be right back,” I said coyly. I strolled to my bedroom and looked in my bathroom cabinet for the vase that I had stowed there after Calvin had given me roses before. My heart was still in the speed zone. I poured water into the vase and slowly put the flowers inside. I then glanced at my ring. It glowed, even in minimal light. Without thinking about what I was doing, I slowly pulled the perfectly fitted ring off my finger and put it in my jewelry box. I can’t tell Diego that I am engaged right now. I just can’t. I picked the vase of flowers back up and put them on my nightstand. After grabbing my coat, I walked back in the living room. Diego was sitting comfortably on the couch with a look of anticipation and expectancy in his eyes. “So,” I said softly. “What do you have an appetite for?” Copyright © 2016 by Sonya Jenkins. Any use, reproduction or divulgence of the contents of this material without prior consent is strictly prohibited.
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