Finding The Perfect Verse Over A Tight Beat…Or Picking The Best Man Option
In order to understand what’s going on in the series, be sure to read the column from last week, here.
If I had to choose, at that very moment, I couldn’t.
I was too afraid to miss out on something, anything. Insecurity is the damndest thing. It will crawl out of you at the most inopportune moments, when just seconds before, your crown was clinging to your afro.
Christopher was clingy; sometimes it was endearing, other times it was annoying.
Trey was inconsistent, but swoon-worthy when he made an effort.
Edwin’s intentions weren’t clear, but our magnetism was undeniable.
Much like Sydney Shaw, from Brown Sugar, I knew what was good for me and what wasn’t. Did I oblige these notions? No.
Despite knowing this, despite knowing what the perfect verse was for the beat of my drum, I clung to an unfinished melody and prayed for an eventual song.
Marsha arrived promptly. I opened the door to find her, hands on her hips, ready to converse. She walked straight into my living room, plopped on my sofa, and got to the point.
“Are you seeing Edwin?”
I immediately became defensive, her tone was accusatory and unexpected, “We’re talking.”
What did talking mean, anyway? Was it something that you did casually throughout the day? Was it something that was a precursor to the real thing? Was it absolute bull and something for your not-so-significant-other to utilize when they wanted to bail?
“I mean…I thought we were just talking.”
Marsha spoke again, “What does that mean?”
Good lord. She wanted ME to define it.
I let out a small sigh, “We’re conversing on the phone.”
“Did he ask you out?”
“Yeah…well, sort of. Why, what’s up?”
“I’m just going to keep it real. I’m into him.”
“Oh. Since when? When we went to the dating event…you were into Scotty.”
“Well, I changed my mind.”
Marsha was always changing her mind. We frequented a dating event that happened once a month in the city. Wayne, the host, was a good friend of mine that Marsha met through me. Once he started posting flyers, she started attending. I, on the other hand, was busy with work. After much pleading, I finally decided to go with her. We attended their Halloween party and were both wearing costumes. I was Frida Kahlo and she was a sexy kitten.
Marsha was right. There were fine men, everywhere. Wayne spotted us the minute we were about to give the bouncers our name.
“Hey! This is my play sister and her friend. They’re welcome in.”
The bouncer moved the velvet rope and let us in. We both hugged Wayne and I looked at him in admiration. I was so proud of him. He’d started the event with a few friends and now it was a big deal. The place was packed.
“Where do we start? There’s so much happening.”
Wayne pointed out all of the rooms, “There’s drinks and food there, dancing in there, and speed dating in this other room. Start anywhere you’d like.”
Marsha and I decided to head to the dance floor. I spotted everyone of interest to me, instantly. I whispered, “There’s a bald guy over there, that’s gorgeous.”
“Oh. That’s Monty. He’s a blogger. He tried to talk to me last week, I wasn’t interested.”
Ew. Leftovers. I looked around some more.
“What about the brother sitting down?”
She smiled, “That’s Scotty. We’ve been kind of kicking it. Off limits girl.”
Last, but not least, I spotted the DJ.
“Okay. I stand corrected. He’s the finest man in the room.”
She laughed, “Edwin? He’s always busy. He doesn’t have time for women. But if you’re into him, go ahead.”
I didn’t take her advice until months later, at the party. The biggest issue I thought I’d run into was him being unavailable. I didn’t think I’d be arguing with my best friend, over a guy.
“You can’t just change your mind.”
“Yes I can. I met him first.”
“Yeah, but I introduced you to Wayne. You wouldn’t have met him, if it weren’t for that.”
Was I really having this conversation, over a guy? Yes. Yes, I was.
“Seriously, I like him,” she said.
“Does he like you?”
She frowned, “I asked him, but he didn’t really respond. He kind of avoided it.”
She shifted her feet around and played with her fingers, a sign that she was upset or nervous. I didn’t want to lose my best friend.
“I’ll stop talking to him.”
As I said this, my phone buzzed in my pocket. I took it out and looked at it.
I pressed ignore, mentally and physically, put the phone away, and suppressed whatever I was feeling.
Christopher and I spoke every night, since our run-in on Instagram. We’d exchanged numbers and notions, realizing that we had a lot in common. We had a few of the same friends, interests, and we loved all the same sports teams.
He was the epitome of consistent. I received three standard texts, a day, at least one phone call, and several links/mentions to articles he thought I’d enjoy.
We were wi-fi & 4G cuffing, because we lived in different states. (More on the pointlessness of this, in another chapter.)
Christopher’s regularity was exciting, during a time when men were frequently M.I.A. However, there were some times where it became a bit needy.
“Hey. I haven’t heard from you all day.”
“Hey. Did you get home safe?”
“Hey. Hit me in the morning.”
These texts, isolated, weren’t cause for alarm. However, these texts were within an hour of each other. Keep in mind: Christopher and I have never met in person.
I wasn’t checking my phone and I went home and passed out. I woke up to these messages and wondered if Christopher was a little off his rocker.
I brushed these thoughts away and scolded myself for being unappreciative. I called when I got in. After twenty minutes of conversing with him, I got a call on the other line. It was my father. He called to let me know that his really good friend, someone I’d considered an uncle, had passed away overnight. Despite our lack of closeness, I clicked over and started to cry while speaking to Christopher and got dressed at the same time.
He wouldn’t let me off of the phone.
“What’s wrong, love? Tell me.”
I pulled on my jeans and spoke through tears, “I’ve got to get to my parents. I’ll check in, later.”
“Promise you’ll call. I’m worried about you.”
I promised I would.
His incessant behavior was suddenly endearing. All night, he checked in on me and did so several days afterwards.
This experience brought us closer together. I liked him, I decided I would let him know. Before I spoke to him, that evening, he text:
“I’m really into you. Can I fly you down? I really want to see you.”