A few short years ago, I decided to bravely chronicle some of my dating stories of the past and present, in order to not only heal from failed attempts at love, but to learn lessons to make me a better partner in relationships. And now, not only are we bringing back the narrative tales of #RelationshipGoals, but I also plan on sharing stories outside of romantic relationships. Be it friendships, dating or my relationship with family members, I hope the stories shared in this column help you process how you show up in relationships too.
Now, can I tell y’all about the complete saga that was Andrew? Woo chillay. Buckle up.
Do you believe in instant chemistry when it comes to dating? There I was pumping through LAX with some cushion time to grab a coffee before my flight back home to New York City. I was pleased with myself because usually I have just enough time to make it to my gate as we’re boarding. As I sat there, marveling at the minutes I had to spare, my phone rang. It was a fairly new friend of mine who rarely calls so seeing Andrea’s name pop up on my phone was intriguing to say the least.
I picked up, “Hey Andrea!”
“Oh, I am so glad you picked up sis! What’s up?” Andrea sounded excited and urgent, as if everything was dependent on this phone call.
“I’m headed back to NYC from doing some interviews here in L.A.” I said sharing my whereabouts with Andrea.
“See, this is why I need you!” Andrea started, “You’re always working so hard. I love your interviews, which is why I thought of you for this project.”
The worker-bee in me perked up, “What project?”
“I am working with my brother to help him launch his rap career,” Andrea shared.
I will admit, I rolled my eyes a little bit. A rapper? I’m sure she wants me to interview him, I thought to myself.
Andrea explained the project to me and that she needed me to be the one to interview Andrew. “I only thought of you and one other person. This would be happening next weekend. I’ll need to book your flight to Houston, like today, so what do you think?”
As a journalist, I am always looking for new and exciting ways to tell stories, plus I loved traveling to do so, so I accepted the gig. “Sounds dope. I’d love to help you out!”
Andrea couldn’t hold in her excitement. Before I landed back in New York City, Andrea dropped my flight and hotel information in my inbox along with a media kit for her brother’s rap career. And because I was working the moment I landed from Los Angeles, I didn’t get a chance to read all of the information about the up-and-coming rapper I was going to Houston next week to interview.
I found myself cramming as I would for an exam in college when it came to preparing for the interview with Andrew. I didn’t even open the media kit until I was on my way to set the day I landed in Houston. And when I say, “set,” we were shooting outside, all over Houston. Andrea created a scrappy, yet professional production that day. I knew it wasn’t a “big time” shoot. I knew I had agreed to various interview scenes that required multiple outfit changes and being creative about where the disrobing would happen.
“Oh! He’s actually really good,” I said zoning out to one of his singles. From the time Andrea told me about the job until I pulled up that day on set, I hadn’t looked at one single image of Andrew. So when I saw Andrew walking towards my Uber to open the door for me, I actually took a sip of air like it was the last piece of oxygen left on the planet.
“Hello Miss Danielle,” Andrew said as I got out. His arms hung open, waiting for me to fill them up in a hug. “I’m a country boy, so I like hugs.” Andrew’s accent was thick and slow like molasses. He smiled at me, allowing me access to every last one of his teeth. And against his ebony skin, those teeth looked like a choir of angels.
But it’s cool! I wasn’t even trying to look at Andrew like that. In fact, I was in the middle of trying to decide the fate of my current boyfriend back home in New York City. That story might be another column for another day, but just know my ex and I weren’t on good terms and I was mostly staying with him because I felt guilty about breaking up with someone who liked me as much as he did. He and I were friends for over 10 years and finally got together, but he wasn’t a good fit for me. To him, I was everything and it wasn’t fair. I say all of that to say even though Andrew was big fine, I ain’t have time for that. Andrew’s hug smelled delicious AF, but I was focused. I smiled back at him, “Nice to meet you too.”
Before I could say anything else, Andrew grabbed my suitcase out of the trunk (my many outfit changes for the shoot) and said, “I’m a huge fan, Danielle. I stayed up all night looking at your Instagram, reading your articles. You’re a big damn deal and you got time for somebody like me?” Good God, Andrew’s charm was palpable, so thick you could grip it.
Andrea walked over to us smiling, “I knew y’all would hit it off!”
Andrew and I were standing almost shoulder-to-shoulder on set, waiting to start. He leaned over to me, allowing his cologne to ravish my nostrils, “You make me nervous.”
I blushed and played it off. “Nothing to be nervous about!”
There was. There definitely was something to be nervous about. This chemistry, this spark, I know good and damn well he felt it too. But I was there to work, so I tried my best to ignore it.
During the first interview, Andrew shared stories about his time in prison, thanking God for all that extra time to work on his mind, body and spirit. I poked fun at Andrew’s physique, calling him skinny.
When we made our way to the next set, another outdoor venue, Andrew and I both needed a wardrobe change. As I was rifling through my clothes, I spotted Andrew changing his shirt. Skinny, he was not. I felt an animalistic reaction in my body towards him. I tried to pretend like I didn’t see his perfectly defined six-pack. Andrew smiled, knowing I did.
Throughout the day, I noticed during any down time, Andrew would strike up conversations with me. I kept it as light as possible, knowing I was there to work and also in the middle of a breakup.
After the shoot, Andrew, Andrea and I went for dinner and drinks. I tried my best to ward off the heat permeating between me and him. As I talked about my career and where I wanted to go, I watched Andrew’s eyes. They stayed fixed on me. They were intent, but also comforting. At one point, I had to excuse myself so that I could dry my panties in the bathroom.
When I got back to the bar, Andrea was sitting alone. She breathed a dramatized sigh of relief. “For a second there, I thought y’all snuck off to…” She laughed.
“To what?!” I situated myself on the stool.
“Girl, you know! Y’all are both acting like no one else is in the room,” Andrea shook her head.
I smiled, first from the thought of Andrew, then feigning innocence I told her, “I’m not doing anything.”
“You’re doing everything. Girl, he loves you,” Andrea laughed. “Be careful sis. My brother is…”
“My brother is what?” Andrew cut her off, taking his seat between us.
I felt my womanhood throb. Andrew’s scent danced in my nose. He sipped his cocktail. “What were y’all talking about?” He accent drawled and I clung to it.
“You,” I looked up from my glass and at him. I felt hot.
The corner of Andrew’s mouth lifted into a grin. “Ayyye!” He said and he danced in his seat.
I thought about what Andrea said before he walked up, “Be careful sis.” Sitting there, I was trying my best to be careful, knowing I had absolutely no intention of using any type of caution with this man. Right now, I am 100% shaking my head at my own self, but then, I was indulging in a feeling that was exhilarating. One day with Andrew gave me all the feelings I was missing in my current situation — that spark that feels electric. But involving myself with someone like Andrew was sure to be something if I was being warned by his sister…
Do you believe in instant chemistry when it comes to dating? Stay tuned to next’s week column to see what happens next.