Shereen McKellar
Center City


2


Peyton




“Ya food’s here!” I mocked the middle-aged looking, Chinese dude who delivered the lunch when I sat the bag of orders in the middle of the table. It still trips me how the deliveryman looks exactly how he sounds.

Simone laughed when I handed her order of spicy General Tso’s chicken with white rice and a shrimp egg roll. “Thank you, Peyton. You have any hot mustard?”

“Yeah.” I reached inside the bag and handed her a packet of hot mustard.

“Thanks.” She sat down in the chair across from me and remarked. “This food looks sooo good.”

I took out a white plastic fork from the bag along with my order of beef with broccoli and plopped inside the chair. “I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I haven’t had Chinese food in a minute. I’ve been eating so much chicken I got feathers growing out my behind.”

Me and Simone were in the break room inside our department about to get our grub on. It was sooo funny because all morning I didn’t know what I was having for lunch. Was I going to have turkey burger platter with fries, a chicken cheesesteak with fried onions and hot peppers, a chicken Stromboli, Japanese food, Mexican food. All I know is that I was hungry as a mutha sucka. It wasn’t until me and Simone started talking about Chinese food that I finally decided I was going to have some Chinese food. But, let me tell you it was hard for me to concentrate listening to Simone. Forget a misdemeanor! It should be a felony for someone to look that dangone fine! That’s one beautiful girl-nice, pouty lips, almond-shaped, coffee brown eyes and blemish free, caramel brown skin. Although my girl Melanie is light-skinned like that actress from Tyler Perry’s “Temptation” movie, I’ve always had a thing for brown-skinned girls. I don’t know why.

“So do you like it here?” I asked her.

“Yeah, everyone here seems really nice unlike my last job."

"The people at your last job wasn't nice?" I asked her.

"No, they didn’t like me too much. Well, the guys liked me, but the girls not too much.” Simone answered before putting a forkful of General Tso’s chicken into her mouth.

Why am I not surprised? I bet the guys wanted to hook up with her and the girls hated on her. Girls were petty like that. If a girl thought another girl was prettier, wore better pair of shoes, rocked nicer clothes, had that good hair off the bat the girl couldn’t stand her even if the other girl didn’t do nothing to her. See, us guys didn’t have those kinds of problems. “They probably were hating because you were more beautiful than them.”

Simone shrugged her shoulders and stabbed a piece of broccoli with her fork. “Maybe.” Then a smile lit up her beautiful face. I could feel myself getting weak in the knees. That’s one of the things that I find attractive in a woman-a nice smile. “So you think I’m beautiful?”

“Yeah, girl.” I answered and gulped down some Arizona Iced Tea.

“So is that your wife and kids on your desk?” Simone asked me out the clear blue.

“What did you say?” I asked before stuffing my face with white rice and broccoli. She must have noticed the 8 by 10 pic I had when me and Melanie went to Walt Disney World with our two daughters Briante’ and Jada. I usually don’t mind talking about Melanie, but for some reason I didn’t want to talk about her to Simone.

She repeated with a smile. “I said is that your wife and kids on your desk?”

“Oh no, that’s not my wife.” I answered nonchalantly. Not yet, anyway. Me and Melanie were going to get married next July, but no one at the job knew except for Lance, Nick and my homie Kevin who worked upstairs in Data Coordination.

“Yeah.”

“And are both of those kids by you and your girlfriend?”

“Yeah, both of those kids are with my girl Melanie.”

Simone sipped from her bottle of Pepsi. I watched her luscious, glittery, bronze painted lips wrapped around her yellow and white striped straw. She had those kinds of lips that were perfect for kissing and being wrapped around a black co-. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold on now, boy. My eyes dropped to my crotch as I could the feel the temperature rising inside my briefs. You shouldn’t be thinking that shit. You got a beautiful girl at home. She nodded her head and responded. “That’s different cause some of the guys I know have one kid by one girl and another kid by a different girl.”

“Yeah, I know. A few of my homies are like that, but I’m not into having different kids by different women.” Then I asked her. “Do you have any kids?”

She shook her head and stuck her white, plastic fork into a shrimp. My eyes were getting swollen just looking at the shrimp. I was allergic to seafood. “Unt-unh.”

“Do you want kids?” I wanted to see if her being childless was either a choice or a circumstance. In my opinion, it couldn't be a circumstance because I'm sure there are plenty of guys that would give Simone a baby or two or three.

“Yeah,” She answered. “I want five kids.”

My eyes got big as quarters while I stared at her. “You want five kids?” She’s the first girl I've ever met that wanted five kids. Hell, she’s the first person to ever want five crumb-snatchers. Three kids was the limit for a lot of people I knew.

Simone grinned. “You have to understand I have four sisters so I’m used to living with that kind of family. And I just want pop them out like Pop Secret popcorn, but I want to wait until I’m like fifty before I start having kids.”

“Fifty?” I looked at her like she was a nut. “You gon wait until your eggs all rotten. See, I’m glad I had my daughters when I was a young whippersnapper.”

"A young whippersnapper?" Another grin appeared on her face. "You're already young."

Well, a younger whippersnapper." I corrected myself.

“I’m just jokin’ about waiting until I’m fifty. I would like to start having kids in about five or six years. Hopefully, the right guy will come along.”

“Don’t worry. You’ll find somebody.” As beautiful as Simone is, I couldn’t see her without a man for long. Shoot, I bet guys be trying to holler at her every day.

As we ate our lunches I learned a little bit more about Simone. She was twenty-three years old and attended Lincoln University for a couple of semesters. Her major was Education because she wanted to teach third grade, but dropped out because college wasn’t for her. All I know if she was my teacher in grade school I would be in school every day. No skipping school whatsoever. I’ll probably be bringing her a juicy apple every week. Now, she wanted a decent job that would give her a paycheck and benefits. I admitted to her that I was thirty years old, but I never attended college. Instead, I worked full-time after I graduated from Fels High School. I was thinking about going to college for Music, but my broke behind can't afford college right now. Besides, I want to spend time with my daughters. I also told Simone how I want to be a fire-fighter and even did well on the firefighter's test. I was just waiting which would be two years.

As Simone finished her bottle of Pepsi she commented and rubbed both of her arms. “It’s cold in here. I should’ve brought a jacket.”

Being the gentleman my Aunt Dionne raised me to be I asked her. “You wanna use my hoodie. It’s on the back of my chair at my desk.”

“Are you sure?” She asked. Her voice filled with uncertainty.

“Yeah, go ahead.” I told her before I finished my lunch. I watched Simone's hips sway side to side as she headed into the maintenance room where my cubicle was at. That girl was like a rotisserie. She looked good in the front, the back and both sides. A girl like Simone could get a guy like me in deep trouble.

Before I tell her that I loooove her…That I waaant her…That mind, soul and body neeeeds her…Stevie started to sing from my Iphone. Stevie was my boy! When I was in a singing group back in high school with three of my homies we would sing some of Stevie's songs. He was one of my favorite male artists of all time. I glanced at the screen on my phone and almost jumped out my boxers when Melanie’s picture was staring at me. You would’ve thought Melanie was in the room catching me checking out another woman.

“Mmmm, your jacket smells sooo good, Peyton!” Simone commented as she entered into the break room. She pulled up the zipper to my orange Aeropostale hoodie while she settled down in her chair.

“Your hoodie smells sooo good?! Who is that wearing your hoodie?!” Melanie asked in a couple of decibels short of a yell. I lowered and shook my head. This is great. Now, I have to explain to this woman who Simone is and why she is wearing my jacket.

“Hey, beautiful!” I ignored her question and greeted cheerfully into the phone.

Melanie responded. I could just imagine her lips pursed. “Don’t even try it, Peyton. Who’s that wearing your hoodie?”

“Oh, that’s Simone wearing my hoodie. She’s a new temp that started today. She got cold so I offered her my hoodie.”

"Mmmm, well, anyway, I need you to pick up Jada and Briante’ from the library. My job needs me to come in since Dawn called out sick.” I puffed. Melanie worked part time at Lady Foot Locker besides working full-time as a customer service representative at Blue Cross. I don’t know why Melanie keep letting those people use her. It’s good because it’s more money for us especially with our upcoming wedding, but they were always calling her like she was their only employee. One time the motha suckas even called her on one of her personal days off.

“All right.” I said sourly.

“Thanks, boo.” She said. “I’ll see you when I get home.”

“All right, bye.” I said into the phone. After Melanie said goodbye I rested my Iphone onto the table.

I watched Simone pick up her container that had her General Tso’s chicken inside it and threw it into the trash can. “Let me get back to work. Thanks for ordering Chinese food. It was really good especially the shrimp roll.”

“No problem.” I smiled at her. Although I wasn’t too thrilled with Melanie working at Foot Locker tonight all of that went out the door when Simone’s luscious lips parted into a smile. I admired her round, firm cakes in those tight jeans she had on and watched her head back inside the maintenance room for the second time. It didn’t make any sense for a female to be both beautiful and bootyful. It’s women like her that can get a guy in trouble.

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