“My grandma was getting on my nerves so bad it’s like she was just dying for me to say, “That’s it! I’m moving out!” My friend from work named Senee`said before she brought her glass of apple martini to her lips.
It was Saturday night. Me and my other buddy Blair were having drinks and listening to Senee` talk about her grandmother inside a booth at The Public House. The casual, upscale Center City restaurant was packed with folks talking, laughing, eating and enjoying their drinks as Fifth Harmony's song, “Worth It” blasted throughout the place. Waiters and waitresses were snaking past people and booths while carrying trays with drinks and plates. A lot of the guys were casually dressed in khakis and jeans. Some of the ladies had on jeans and tops. Other ladies were more dressed up in skirts and pants which was a relief to me because besides Sydney I didn’t want to be the only one too dressed up in my black, boot-cut pants that hugged my hips, a button down, black lace top and black heels.
“Yeah, when are you going to spread your wings and fly, butterfly?” Blair asked when he picked up his glass of beer. “You know I have a cousin who just moved in a new apartment with his girl in West Philly and they have available one bedroom apartments.”
“Yeah, but I don’t want to live in no West Philly. It wouldn’t even seem right to move from Mount Airy to West Philly.” I looked at Senee`s eyebrows as she sounded like Keyarra's twin. Senee` was a wax specialist at Total Serenity who could hook up some eyebrows. As a matter of fact, she’s the only one I trust with my eyebrows. Ever since some Korean lady jacked up eyebrows when I was in high school I've been very careful about who I let handle my eyebrows. Folks thought me and Senee` were sisters because we were both light-skinned with honey brown hair and keen features except my face and lips were fuller than Senee`s. I had people coming to me asking me if we were sisters so much that I came close to calling my dad and asking if I had any sisters I didn’t know about. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch considering how much of a manwhore my dad was.
"Wait a minute, now." I said after I finished taking a sip of my Strawberry daiquiri. "There are some nice places in West Philly. It's not where you live. It's how you keep where you live." Although I could see where Senee` was coming from it still takes me out some people say they couldn't live in certain areas when there's good and bad parts in every neighborhood. I remember when Keyarra, Zayla and I were looking at apartments and being the bougie princess Keyarra was claimed she didn't want to live in the city anymore, but then once me and Zayla started talking some sense into her and she saw the apartment for herself she had a change of mind.
"Yeah, but still." Senee` shook her head. I think Senee` was just spoiled and comfortable living with her grandparents' house especially since she didn't have to pay them rent or her share of the utilities.
"Not only that, but I'm sure you and your boyfriend going to want your privacy just like I’m sure your grandparents want their privacy when they want to have relations.” I wiggled my eyebrows. That's one reason why I had to move out from my mother's house besides me and my mom butting heads over different things. I wanted my privacy when my boyfriends came over if you know what I mean. And my mom wasn’t going to allow boyfriends spending the night. Unt-unh. Mama Bishop wasn’t having that.
“Well, first of all my grandfather is about to turn seventy-”
Blair looked at Senee` like she was a few cantaloupes short of a fruit basket while I laughed loudly. If Senee` thought her grandparents were too old to be smashing she had another think coming. Sometimes those old people are the biggest freaks. Just yesterday I had a couple of father timers trying to holler and leer at me like I was a scrumptious piece of meat when I was coming out of Giant buying groceries which, by the way, I just put them on ignore and kept it moving. Puh-leese, what do I look like dating some man whose old enough to be my grandfather? “What does that mean? So you’re saying he’s too old to want sex?”
“Yeah.” She had the nerve to say.
“Are you serious?” I asked her. “Okay, so what age are you going to stop sexing?”
“Uh-huh, just like I thought.” I replied when Senee` didn’t utter a syllable, but just shot me a sheepish smile. At that moment our waiter who was a short, dark-haired white guy who looked to be in his mid-twenties approached our table with a couple of ceramic, white plates filled with our food.
“There you go with those nasty clams. Yuck!” A look of disgust crossed my face when the waiter placed Blair’s plate of clams in front of him. I hated seafood with a passion. I don’t care what it is-shrimp, crabs, lobster, oysters, clams, fried calamari. I didn’t like any of it. I tried getting into it when I went to Red Lobster with my mom and her boyfriend because I’ll try anything once, but I just couldn’t.
“You don’t know what you’re missing.” Blair picked up a clam off his plate and began getting down on it while the waiter placed my plate of chicken tenders and French fries in front of me. My cocoas scanned the restaurant and was disappointed when I didn’t see not one male specimen catching my attention. “Some cuties need to come in here.”
“What you mean some cuties need to come in here? I got all the cuteness you need, girl.” Blair swept his hand down his medium-built body that was cloaked in black pants and a black, button-down shirt and blew me a kiss.
“Oh, help me Jesus of Nazareth.” I rolled my eyes skyward. Blair has tried to holler at me on a few occasions since I started at Total Serenity, but I don’t give him the time of day. It wasn’t that Blair was ugly because he wasn’t. At five foot nine, Blair was attractive with nice, full, pink lips and an olive complexion due to him having a white Irish mother and black father. When I first met him I actually thought he was a white guy with a nice tan, but Blair didn’t have enough umph to him for me. I see him more like a play cousin than boyfriend material. Being that Keyarra was into mixed pretty boys I thought about hooking her up with Blair, but she wasn’t interested. She said she wasn't attracted to him. As I was about to take another sip of my drink I noticed this dark chocolate brickhouse entering the restaurant. The Lord must’ve heard my cry because this guy looked delicious! The guy’s hair was cut very low and an ultra-thin goatee that framed his mouth.
“The Lord must’ve heard my prayer because I see a cutie coming in here. Oh shit, he’s coming this way.” I straightened my black lace blouse as I looked down and made sure my 32 DD twins didn’t look lopsided in my bra when Dark Chocolate Brickhouse strolled towards the table.
“What’s up, brotha!” I sat in the booth mesmerized when Dark Chocolate Brickhouse greeted Blair with a schoolboy smile when he approached the booth. Damn, he looks even better up close. And Blair knows this guy.
“Well, it’s about time, you showed up, man.” Blair stood up and they shook each other’s hands before they pulled each other in.
“Yeah, I would’ve been here a bit earlier but traffic was crazy on Kelly Drive.” Dark Chocolate Brickhouse explained after he gave Blair a couple of quick slaps on the back.
“So this is your friend, Blair?” I gave Blair’s fine ass friend a friendly smile before I wrapped my lips around my straw and took another sip of my Strawberry Daiquiri.
Blair answered when he turned his attention from his boy to me. “Yeah, Shannon, this is my boy Aaron. Aaron, this is Shannon-my friend from work.”
“Wait a minute, Shannon Bishop?” Aaron had a quizzical look on his face.
A perplexed look crossed my face as my eyes took in his dark chocolate complexioned baby face and deep brown eyes.
“Oh my god, Aaron Samuels?!" My mouth fell open. "How are you?” I had no idea this was tall glass of chocolate milk was the nice, quiet, lanky, glasses wearing nerd I knew from St. Therese Catholic School. I remember I use to cheat off of him when we had a Math test. I couldn’t stand Math and Aaron was a Math whiz. Every time you turned around he was busting with A’s on tests and quizzes.
“I’m doing good.” He slid into the booth next to Blair and smiled at me. I gazed at his two rows of perfectly aligned, white teeth which was making me feel weak in the knees. And you know a guy having nice teeth wasn't a preference; it was a requirement. Then my eyes traveled from his bright smile to the way his periwinkle, button down shirt hugged his chest. Mmmm, you’re looking good too. Yeah, time has been kind to him.
“You two know each other?” Blair’s eyes widened as they moved from Aaron to mine and back to Aaron.
I answered after I took another sip of my Strawberry daiquiri. “Yeah, we use to go to the same grade school together.”
“And Aaron, this is Senee`.” Blair introduced Aaron to Senee`. “She’s another friend from work.”
After Senee`and Aaron exchanged pleasant hellos Aaron ordered a glass of Patron from the waiter. Over the next half an hour we talked, laughed and cracked jokes over drinks and food about different kinds of drinks, our jobs and hobbies. I learned that Aaron was in his first year being a firefighter. As handsome as he was I wouldn’t mind him rescuing me from a fire. I could see it now. My apartment being engulfed in smoke as I’m in my bedroom doing my nails or styling my hair. I can see him rushing through the door in his yellow and black uniform as the smoke gets caught in my throat and nostrils where I can hardly breathe. I can see my big, creamy legs around his waist and my arms draped around his neck after he picks me up and carries me down the ladder. Hell, that apartment building wouldn’t be the only fire because it would be a fire between my…okay, let me stop. You would think I was a writer just like Keyarra with my vivid imagination. I told him I was a massage therapist and working at a day spa downtown, but I was planning on starting my own business.
Aaron and I also laughed while we strolled down Memory Lane talking about the time everyone had detention because someone spit on this girl’s Rain’s jacket. I told Aaron how I remembered being pissed off to pisstivity because I had missed my show, General Hospital over some spit shit. We also recalled the classroom parties and fights we use to have among other fond memories. We also gossiped about who had kids, who gotten married, who gained weight, who lost weight and who was cracked out. I even shared with him how one of the girls in our class came out the closet. Aaron was surprised since she always had boyfriends and even had a son. I told him I wasn't especially since she showed me her pubic hairs one day while we were in the bathroom.
“Here comes another cutie coming through the door, Shannon.” Senee` whispered in my right ear.
My cocas followed in the direction of her glance and instantly my look of curiosity morphed into a look of utter disgust when the guy entered The Public House. He had on a red baseball cap, a pair of blue jeans with black and white, short-sleeved top which displayed his new tattoo on his lower arm. I had to admit the top he had on was nice, but I guess it would be nice because I bought it for him which I shouldn’t have. He was walking behind Dallas who finally traded his cornrows for a real low haircut and this husky, dark brown-skinned guy that I’ve seen at the apartment before smoking a blunt and this pear-shaped chick who looked like she killed a few horses with that Ramen Noodles-looking weave she had cascading down her back. That’s one trend I wish would die is chicks wearing these super long weaves.
“That tall, slim, brown-skinned guy that just walked in with the red baseball cap?” I asked Senee` with a frown. I’m surprised he’s not somewhere being a porn star. Images of him having a freaky threesome with those two chicks filled my head every time I see his face. Ever since I almost kicked his ass after confronting him about his freaky video I haven’t said not one word to him.
“Yes, girl.” She must’ve noticed my facial expression because she asked. “You don’t think he’s cute?”
“Hell no.” I still wore a look of disgust on my face as I watched him heading over to the bar with his crew. “That’s my neighbor.”
“That’s your neighbor?” Senee`s eyes widened. Her eyes went from my face to Chase. “Well, you got a cute neighbor. And he's tall too!”
I watched Chase chatting away with his friends and flashing this super thick girl who looked like she killed a few horses with that Ramen Noodles looking weave was rocking a gap toothed grin. I’m about to show him what he’s been missing. Show him that he’s the one that played his damn self.
At that moment Bruno Mars’ jam Uptown Funk bellowed throughout The Public House. After I finished my strawberry daiquiri I looked across the booth at Aaron who finished the rest of his Patron. “Aww yeah, this is my song! Hey Aaron, I wanna see your best dance moves.”
“You wanna see some of my best moves?” Aaron questioned before he slid out the booth. “I'll try. I'm not really a dancer."
“That's okay. I'll teach you some moves.” I flashed him a wink, straightened my blouse and stopped inches from where Chase was standing at the bar with Ramen Noodles and busted out with some sexy dance moves. I wanted to make sure Chase would notice me dancing with a hot guy. I mean where Chase was sexy, Aaron was fine and had a fine body to match. Out the corner of my eye I spotted Chase looking at me and Aaron getting it in with a smirk on his face. I don’t know if it was the alcohol or because I was annoyed, but my body got hot like the flames of hell when Chase stood closer to Ramen Noodles and was murmuring something inside her ear.
I pressed my body closer to Aaron and began dancing more provocatively. Apparently, Aaron was enjoying my moves and body because he was smiling from ear to ear. I turned around and grinded my butt against Aaron's crotch before I dropped it like it was scorching hot. His hands were on my waist as we continued dancing body to body like Samantha Mumba’s song that I use to blast in my bedroom back in the day. My cocoas moved from Aaron to Chase who was still standing by the bar and steadily watching me. I decided to take things to the next level. I swirled around, draped my arms around Aaron’s neck and kissed him softly on his lips. It took me a little by surprise when Aaron slipped his tongue between my lips and moved it around my tongue. It went from a simple, gentle kiss to a longer one. We kissed for a little bit more until I broke away from him. I snuck a glance at Chase whose lips were twisted to the side as he watched us.
A smirk crept on my face as I continued dancing real close to Aaron. Uh-huh. Now record that.
“Oh, so this is where you live?” Aaron asked me a few hours later when he parked his black Chevy Impala right behind my red Dodge Stratus which I’m thinking about selling to Zayla before I get a new ride. He had just dropped Senee` and Blair off at their places and was dropping me off at mine. “I use to come over when one of my cousins use to live in this building. I’m surprised I haven’t seen you here before.”
“When did your cousin live in this building?” I asked when I unbuckled my safety belt and slung my bag over my shoulder.
He lived here like a year ago.” Aaron answered when we stepped out his car and headed towards the apartment building. “He moved in a house now with his wife.”
I reached for the key to my apartment building inside my gold Michael Kors bag and inserted it inside my door. “I want to eventually have my own house. Nothing too big, just a nice three bedroom home in a safe neighborhood. I mean, nowhere is safe, but I want some sense of security.”
“Oh, I feel you.” Aaron followed me inside the apartment building. “So was that your ex at The Public House tonight.”
I acted like I arrived in Cluelesstown when we stopped in front of my apartment door. “Was who my ex?”
“You who know I’m talking about?” He gave me a you-know-you-full-of-shit look.” That skinny dude with the red, baseball cap hanging out by the bar at the Public House.”
“Oh, that dude.” I acted like a light switch had clicked inside my brain. I faced Aaron after I inserted my key into the apartment door and placed my hands on my hips. “What made you think that was my ex?”
"The way you were making sure he was watching when you were dancing up on me and putting those soup coolers on me.”
“Okay, maybe I was trying to make him just a teeny weeny jealous, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I really like you.”
“And I really like you too.” He smiled. Once again I could smell Aaron’s citrusy, spicy cologne when he stepped a bit closer to me. My heart skipped a beat when he stared right into my cocoas. This guy is fine!
“So you’re not disappointed?” I leaned against the apartment door and bit my lower lip.
“No, not at all.” He shook his head. “I actually enjoyed it. I don’t think any straight dude would be disappointed in a beautiful girl kissing them and dancing up on them. If anything I would be disappointed if you wouldn’t let me take you out.”
“Well, I’m free any night except for tomorrow and Sunday night.”
“Okay, how about I take you to this really nice seafood restaurant on Monday night? Their lobsters and crabs-oh my god!” He sounded like he was in seafood heaven right there in the hallway.
My smile instantly turned into a grimace. See, Aaron was trying to be funny. He knows I don’t like seafood. “I wish you would take me to some seafood restaurant. I'll be like, 'Either you take me somewhere else or take me home now!'"
Aaron grinned. “No, I’m not going to do you like that, Shannon. I know you hate seafood. I’ll take you to any place you want to go.”
“I knew it was something about you I always liked.” I said as I looked over his shoulder and noticed the door to the apartment building being opened. All I saw was a glimpse of a red baseball cap and knew it was Chase’s ass.
“I'll call you." Aaron said.
"Okay. I pressed my lips softly against Aaron's. "Have a good night."
“Good night.” Aaron’s eyes wandered over my curves after we separated. I watched Chase purse his lips when Aaron strolled past him and exited out the apartment building.
“Hey Dallas!” I greeted him cheerfully and flashed him a bright smile.
“Hey, what’s up, Shannon!” Dallas headed up the steps with Chase right behind him.
It was the second time that night that a smirk displayed on my lips when I locked eyes with Chase’s. I swirled around and entered my apartment with a satisfied smile on my face. It was nothing like seeing your ex noticing you moving on with a guy that looked better than his ass.