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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours, Part V

Aretha smiled slightly as Shun and Drea walked into the kitchen. She’d seen that kiss and wasn’t happy about it. Aretha knew two things about military men, they’d break your heart or they were loyal but would still break your heart with loneliness. She didn’t want Drea to latch on to Shun, a guy she just hours ago couldn’t remember, and get her heart broken. Her daughter had dealt with enough sadness and heartbreak. Losing Quincy McClain had been so hard on Drea and Aretha. He had been a man who loved his wife and daughter. He’d been near perfect in Aretha’s eyes and a hero to his young daughter. A training exercise at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina changed their lives forever. Quincy, an instructor with the 82nd Airborne Division had taught thousands of privates to jump, but on June 14, 1994, something went terribly wrong and Quincy’s chute malfunctioned. Drea had been inconsolable and spent most of that summer in and out of the hospital. She had to be home schooled for half of her senior year, refusing to be around people or to answer the dreaded, how are you?
Aretha had seen positive changes in her daughter, but she was still worried – as any mother would be.
            “Good to see you, Shun,” Aretha said. “Would you like some lemonade?”
            “Oh, no ma’am. I just stopped by to say hello and I’m going to head back to my mother’s place. She’s having a barbecue and I’m supposed to be bring the potato chips.”
            “That’s nice, you should always be helpful to your mother. Please tell her I said hello,” Aretha said.
            He nodded, “Yes, ma’am. Drea, I’ll see you later?”
            “Yes. Don’t the movies here still start at seven and nine?” she asked with a laugh.
            “Yep. So, you want to go to the nine o clock show? I can pick you up at eight and we can eat at the bar. . .”
            “I’ll eat here,” she said, “then we can just go straight to the movies.”
            “All right,” he said as he turned toward the door. “See you then.”
Drea smiled and waved to him as he exited the house. Once he was gone, Aretha swatted her daughter on the behind with the dishtowel.
            “I hope you know I saw you two out there playing tonsil hockey. I have a good mind to tag along with you two to make sure you actually go to the movies.”
            “I’m sorry, Ma,” Drea said. “I didn’t mean any disrespect, but . . .”
            Aretha threw her hands up. “I’m not that liberated of a mother, yet. You are grown and like I said, you make good decisions. Be careful.”
            “I will, it’s just a movie and it was only a kiss,” she replied. Aretha swatted her again.
            “Drea, this wall you have protecting your heart. You’re going to have to tear it down one day. Maybe you should go to his mother’s barbecue,” Aretha suggested.
            Drea shook her head. “And get pounded with questions? No, thank you. That’s been my favorite part of college. The only questions I’m asked are ones I care to address.”
            “Are you ever going to talk about it? I know you still miss him. I miss him everyday, but I speak it. You keep it bottled up and I don’t. . .”
            Drea hugged her mother, mainly to shut her up. “I’m fine, Ma. I’m fine.” She released her mother and shrugged. “Now, I have to take a shower and call Yashira so that we can go shoe shopping.”
            Aretha shook her head, noticing that her daughter has become skilled at shifting the subject away from her when she deemed it necessary. That girl should be a damned lawyer.

            Drea curled up on her bed and dialed her friend’s number. She couldn’t believe that Shun looked that good. Though she wouldn’t dare to admit it, it was the fact that he wore a uniform and those dog tags that had clinched it for her. Those and his strong arms and the way they felt around her when he hugged her.
            “What’s up, stranger?” Yashira said when she answered.
            “Nothing much,” Drea replied. “You will not believe who just left here.”
            “Shun? He was over here and I told him that you were back in town and he said he was going to stop by and see you. Doesn’t he look different?”
            “Totally. He doesn’t look anything like the guy we went to high school with at all,” Drea said.
            “He doesn’t, but he’s still pretty goofy.”
            “Well, we’re going to the movies tonight,” Drea said.
            “What? He must have really made an impression on you,” she replied. The kiss flashed in Drea’s mind. She could almost feel his lips on top of hers and taste the sweetness of his tongue.
            “He sure did. So, you have to come with me to find a pair of shoes for tonight.”
            “All right, I’ll be over there in about twenty minutes,” Yashira said. When the two friends hung up, Drea hopped into the shower.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours Part IV

            Drea lost herself in the weeding of the garden. She hadn’t even noticed the white car that pulled into the driveway as she tugged at a group of pesky dandelions. Once upon a time she’d thought they were the flowers and actually used to cry when she saw her dad tossing them away. She threw them haphazardly to her left.
            "Wow, it's like that?" a deep male voice said, causing Drea to bolt upright and shield her eyes from the sun. She allowed her eyes to wander his tall, lean yet muscular body. He wore a white tank top that made his dark brown skin glow in the sunlight. Grey basketball shorts that hung past his knees. The black aviator glasses that covered his eyes placed the focus on his lips. Full. Thick. Oh shit, wet because his pink tongue just licked them.
            "Sorry about that," she said. "But, umm, who are you?"
            He took off his sunglasses and Drea nearly tumbled over. "Shun?"
            "Do I look that different?" he asked, flashing a radiant smiled that was more blinding than the sun. She stood up and never felt shorter in her life. What was this guy eating?
            "Were you always this tall?" she asked breathlessly. Drea had a weakness for tall men with dark brown skin tones.
            "If I was, you always had your head in a book, and never noticed anyway." He smiled again and she did the same. Then thought about what her head looked like now. Damn, she had to look a hot mess. But when she looked into his eyes, it didn't seem to matter.
            "What are you doing with yourself these days?" she asked, forcing her hungry eyes away from those toned arms.
            "After high school, I decided to join the Marines."
            "Wow," she said then gave him a salute.
            "I'm not ready for college, but I dammed sure didn't want to work in one of these factories."
            "Or flip burgers at Hardees," she added. "There are no opportunities here for young people."
            Shun nodded and Drea saw his dog tags. She reached up and touched them, reminded of her father's Army dog tags that she wore for years. He was close to her heart that way. Now she kept them draped around an 8x10 of him in his dress blues. Shun seemed to feel the wave of sadness washing through her.
            "I was sorry to hear about your Dad." His voice was quiet and tender, like a gentle breeze caressing her cheek.
            "Yeah," was all she could say. She hated condolences. But when he wiped a smudge of dirt from her cheek, his sorry comforted her.
            "I know it's last minute, but do you want to go to the movies tonight?"
            She locked eyes with his, holding the gaze for a moment longer than necessary. “Sure,” she finally said. “What are we going to see?”
            He shrugged. “Honestly, I just want to get you alone in the dark and eat popcorn.”
            “Ooh, aren’t you forward,” she joked, despite the amorous thoughts rolling through her mind.
            “I’d better go inside and speak to your mom,” he said and turned toward the back door.
            “Wait,” she said as she kneeled down and dusted the black dirt from the dandelions off his shoes. “You don’t want to track dirt into Aretha’s kitchen.” As she rose to her feet, he cupped her face in his hands. “You know, I’ve wanted to do this since freshman year,” he said then kissed her. Slowly. His tongue danced with hers and sending wanton sensations throughout her body. She felt a warm trickle between her thighs and right before she and Shun went a step too far, Aretha called out her daughter’s name.
            “Yashira’s on the phone,” she said. Drea looked up at Shun, her hooded eyes clouded by lust and desire.
            “We’d better go inside,” she said. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours Part III

When Drea and her mother finally made it home to Elmore, South Carolina, she couldn’t help but think that after a year in Atlanta, she was in store for a summer that would consist of watching grass grow. After dropping her bags in her room, which now seemed smaller than ever, Drea stripped down to a pair of cut-off shorts and pulled on a faded purple tee shirt with Prince’s face plastered across the her chest. Today, she’d just lounge around and do nothing. It was hard to party and maintain good grades. She’d done pretty well for a freshman experiencing freedom for the first time. While she’d made two good friends at school, Shannon Kelly and Zahra Brown, she couldn’t wait to see Yashira McIntyre and Tracy Davenport, her best friends since middle school. They’d decided to go to school in South Carolina, Yashira at Claflin in Orangeburg and Tracy at Wofford in Spartanburg. Drea had wanted to get away from what she was familiar with. After all, as a journalist, she’d be traveling the world and meeting new people every day. Tomorrow, she and her girls would probably hit the lake; go shopping in Columbia or job hunting. But today, she wanted to be . . . “Drea!” Aretha called out. “I hope you don’t think you’re just going to lay around here and watch me do your laundry.”
Fantasy over. “I’m coming,” she replied as she slipped on a pair of pink socks.
Walking into the laundry room, she smiled at her mother, who’d already dropped a load in the washing machine.
“Thanks, Ma.”
“You’re welcome, lazy. What do you want for dinner,” Aretha asked, and then gave her daughter a slow once over. “Have you been eating at school?”
“Yes, but I do a lot of walking and I started kick boxing.”
“You definitely look like you need to eat a sandwich or two,” Aretha joked. “I guess I just have to accept my chubby baby is gone.”
Drea shook her head. “Yes, she’s gone.” Weight had been a struggle for Drea and it wasn’t until her senior year of high school that she saw changes in her body. It helped that she gave up her addiction to Whoppers and other red meat. So, when Zahra suggested that they go vegetarian, Drea was with it. Although, she secretly ate chicken occasionally.
“Yashira called here for you yesterday,” Aretha said as Drea sorted another load of laundry.
“I didn’t know she was back yet.”
“I’ve seen a lot of your old classmates. Do you remember Shun Lucas?”
“I know Shun Watkins, but not a Shun Lucas.”
“Yes, that’s his name. He’s in the military, I ran into his mother at Winn-Dixie.”
Drea shrugged. Shun had been one of those forgettable guys in high school. They’d shared a few classes and we cordial, but that was it. “Okay,” she said.
“He’s coming home this summer before he goes to Russia or some where, she was telling me. I think she wants to have a party for him and she said you should come.”
“I don’t know him like that,” Drea said. “But that’s probably the most exciting thing I’ll do this summer, so if it happens, I guess I’ll go.”
Aretha popped her daughter on the thigh with a towel. “Oh, you think you’re grown now, huh? If you want something to do, there is plenty around here you can do. Starting with the garden in the back yard. It needs weeding, Hotlanta girl.”
“Aww, man!”
“Get busy, shorty. That’s how they say it, right?” Drea smirked at her mother then padded outside to weed the vegetable and flower garden she and her mother planted shortly after her father’s death.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours part II

It was 1995, Drea McClain had just finished her first year at Spelman College and wasn’t happy about having to return to her small South Carolina hometown. She wanted to stay in Atlanta, get a job and go to summer school. Anything to avoid going home where there was a curfew and endless days of boredom.
“So,” her mother, Aretha McClain, asked as they rode down I-20, “how was school?”
“It was amazing,” she replied with a smile.
Aretha nodded. “I can tell, so proud of that 3.5 GPA. But I know you were having a good time in between studying.”
Drea shrugged; definitely not ready to tell her mother about her clubbing adventures, her fling with the captain of the Morehouse College football team and her flirtation with alcohol. “Kind of,” she finally said.
Aretha snorted. “All I have to say is be careful. Atlanta is a big city and I’m sure the people there would love to take advantage of you. But, you’ve always made smart decisions. You do use a condom every time you have sex, right?”
“Yeah. I mean, huh?”
Aretha glanced at her daughter briefly then returned to watching the road ahead. “Honey, I was 19 once. Be smart about who you give your heart and body to. Are you serious with him?”
“No. He was a senior at Morehouse and he graduated already,” she replied without the hint of sadness. Honestly, she thought. He was a waste of her time. The sex was whack; he wanted oral sex but didn’t want to return the favor. Sex was something she could do without. So far, her two experiences had been nothing like the romance novels she read and the stories her friends told. In her mind, she was still a virgin with a modicum of experience.
“You don’t seem too broken up about it, so I guess that means you didn’t love him?”
“Absolutely not! I’m all about graduating and building my career in journalism. Love can wait.”
“Aren’t you lucky that your dad and I didn’t feel like that?” Aretha said with a laugh.
Love is for suckers, she thought but simply nodded in mock agreement with her mother.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Unfaithfully Yours

Restless and suspicious, Drea decided tonight was the night to finally admit the truth. Shun was never going to marry her. Their relationship was as dead as the batteries in her vibrator.
Rising from the sofa where she'd spent the last hour sitting and cutting up the pictures she had of him from his time in Bosnia, she grabbed her leather motorcycle jacket and the keys to her motorcycle. She needed to clear her mind and she didn't give a damn about the threat of snow and the chilly temperatures on the Charlotte streets.
Pulling her leather gloves on as she headed walked out of her town house, Drea brushed away a warm tear and crossed over to her bike. She hopped on the cycle and started it up just as the first drops of freezing rain began to fall. She should've gone inside and forgotten about riding to Shun's house to confront him about his latest cheating incident. How many times had she found out about him sleeping with another girl, most of the time by his own admission. There had been the cashier at the gas station who'd given him free gas because he ate her pussy. And then there had been the Army Sergent who'd bragged about how good she gave head and he just had to find out.
But this. This time, he'd gone to gotdamned far. Shun had slept with her friend, Yashira. Before she pulled out of the parking lot, she read the text message again.
Drea, I'm sorry. U know I love you, but the thing with me and Shun just happened. We were drinking and one thing led to another. I couldn't keep this from you. Y.
"Couldn't keep it from me?" Drea growled. "Bitch!"
Normally, Drea didn't blame the other women. They weren't the ones who'd made a commitment to her. But Yashira was a horse of a different color. Yashira had sat with her at Starbucks and listened to her cry about Shun and how he'd hurt her with all of the other women. Now, she was one of them. If she wanted Shun, she'd had years to make him hers. Hell, she'd been the one to introduce them. As Drea tore out of the parking lot, the freezing rain began to fall harder. Heading around the corner, her front wheel slipped on a patch of ice and she tumbled from the motorcycle. Everything went black as pain savaged her body.