I heard voices through the door.
I found myself stalling on the porch. Not so much listening, but wondering…
Why? And thinking should I proceed.
She would have let me know ahead of time of her plans. So it must be okay.
I slid the key in the door and entered. The hallway entrance blocked most the living room from eye sight. But I could see her black jeans. I could see her rise. She smiles as she walks toward me.
A simple hey slips from her lips.
“Hey,” I reply back.
I proceed to go up the stairs to my room. Leaving the soft chatter behind
me. But then she says,
“Come back down when your done putting that stuff away.”
There was something in her voice. A seriousness that didn’t match the friendly smile she just gave a minute ago. I turn around to face her. But there’s nothing. No clues, no hints. Just her. There was no need to search those eyes. I would find nothing. She hid herself well.
I started up the stairs and put each item away carefully. I heard male voices going back and forth in some friendly argument. Then I
heard Yuri explode in laughter. Our groups never mingled. Ever. Occasionally I would meet one of her girlfriends and every once in while she would bump into one of my boyfriends or a girl friend of mine. But to hang out? It just never happened. And that’s the way she wanted it. But tonight, why was this so different?
Before going downstairs I run my hands over my curls and attempt to flatten my now frizzy locks. What am I doing? Trying to impress Yuri’s loser friends? Maybe. I swiped my finger through an open jar of vaseline and dabbed it on lips before finally heading downstairs.
Before I could enter the living room, Yuri meets me at
the bottom of the stairs with a smile. Once again that smile was very misleading. I’ve seen it so many times in so many different situations. Situations that didn’t call for a
smile at all. Tears maybe, but not a smile.
Hey babygirl. She spoke softly.
Hey I said.
As I began to wonder where this is going, she slides an arm around my waist and ushers me into the next room. As we round the corner I catch a glimpse of a long time friend of Yuri’s, Anthony and also a guy they called TooSweet. As I glance toward the automan to identify the other guy, my heart nearly stops and I have to catch my breath.
It was Eric. I notice him before he raises his head to stare back at me. The feeling of shock, fear, betrayal, take over my body. Eric. In my
house. How was that possible? Before his eyes met mine, his hands reaches for his phone. His left hand. The one with the gold college graduation ring,
nicely fitted upon his index finger. Which also happen to fit upon my cheekbone and sometimes right below my brow. I felt a gentle squeeze around my waist, just as Eric glanced up. By then, I had removed any sign of emotion from my face and now I simply stared back at the shock and slight confusion in his eyes.
“Ya’ll know Jaymese.”
“What’s up Jayjay?” Too Sweet called out.
“Hey.” I said simply.
“Eric,” Yuri said, turning in his direction.”This is a good friend of mine, Jaymese. Jaymese. Eric.”
He nodded in my direction. His eyes refusing to meet mine. “What’s up.” Eric mumbled.
“Man, you want another drink?” Yuri asked. Before Eric could even respond, she gave me another squeeze around my hips. “Pour my man a drink, Jaymese.”
Even though everything in me wanted to pull away from her, tell Eric to pour his own got damn drink, my legs simply betrayed me. It was like some outer body experience, as I found myself in the kitchen standing in front of the cupboard, taking out a large shot glass.
“Man, I think you drank the last beer, you don’t mind dark liquor do you?” I heard Yuri ask from the living room. The kitchen wall was blocking Toosweet, Anthony, and Yuri, but I could see the bottom half of Eric’s left leg fidgeting, tapping back and forth on the wooden floor.
“Yeah, that’s cool.” I heard him reply.
I guess that was my cue to reach for the dark rum. Yuri wasn’t much of a
drinker, however you would never know from the extensive wine collection she had situated underneath the kitchen island. As I began to twist the cap back onto the bottle, I realized that I would actually have to walk up to him and hand him his drink. I began to hear a slight clicking coming from the counter and I realized my grasp had tighten around the glass and my hand was trembling. What was I scared of? Yuri was here. I composed myself and walked over to where Eric was seated. Scenes of me ‘accidentally’ spilling the liquor all over his shirt crossed my mind or simply bashing the shot glass against his skull. The vivid imagery helped loosen me up as I leaned toward him and set the glass down. Instead of letting me set it on the glass table he quickly cupped his fingers over mine as he slid the drink out my hand. Inwardly cringing, I turned around
to head back upstairs, giving Yuri a quick smile and nod.
In my room, I collapsed onto my bed. My head spinning. Glancing at my cars keys sitting on the side table, thoughts of leaving and taking a long drive ran though my mind. I need to get out of here. But then just as quickly as the thought came I quickly reconsidered. There was no
way that bastard was running me out of my own house. I flipped on the tv and turned up the volume, blocking out the voices downstairs. Thoughts of ‘how did she know’ and ‘perhaps it was simply a coincidence’ spun through my head. As my eyes began to get heavy, my last thought was Yuri’s ass had a lot of explaining to do……..