She sat at the table, taking some sips of her white zinfandel champagne, and less than five minutes later he joined her at the table. She bowed her head to say a little prayer and then started digging into her meal. After the first bite, she remarked “This tastes delicious.”
Omar was a chef and had prepared the meal from scratch himself. He had made one of Jordan's favorite dishes, his special seasoned grilled chicken breast with yellow rice and broccoli. He had done this a few times before for her birthday and Valentine's Dayâhe liked to prepare this meal as a treat to Jordan on special occasions. This time, just like the other times, it tasted great.
“Thanks,” he replied.
After she realized that wasn't enough to break the ice, she just went for it. She didn't do all of this to have an argumentative night.
“Oh, I am so sorry about tonight. It was crazy at the office. I have been backed up with work, and Jayon has been going through a lot and he really needed my help preparing for a very important case Monday morning.”
Omar gave no reply. Jordan continued, “And listen, I don't want you to be mad but ...”
Omar interrupted, “Honestly, Jordan, I don't want to hear it. Let's just enjoy what's left of the night.”
With just that sentence, Omar made Jordan feel guilty again. Feeling terrible, she just started back eating her meal. He had actually spoken up just in timeâshe was just about to confide in him about what had happened at the office with Jayon. Luckily, not knowing what she was about to say, he stopped her, because it definitely was not the time or the place for that. Jordan had just gotten so caught up in her ramble, she didn't evaluate the circumstances correctly. She was happy that she hadn't, though. There was enough tension in the room without adding that to the equation. She decided her confession could wait.
They ate the rest of their meal in silence, other than a comment or two. As their plates started to empty, they started to chat a little bit more. Omar decided to share a story about when he picked their son Jason up earlier in the day. They were finally at ease and the tension had cleared by the time they had finished their food. With full stomachs, and finally engaging in conversation, they sat around the table for a while, talking and sipping champagne.
After discussing Jason at school, a couple of news events, and the latest gossip about Omar's cousin, Omar remembered, “Lexia called.”
“Oh, really? What did she say?” Jordan replied.
“She will be in town on Monday. She wants to hook up with you, Chrasey, and Dakota.”
“That's cool. It would be nice to see her. Is that all she said?”
“Pretty much ... I think she wants to stay here.”
“You think? ... Did she ask you that?”
“Not directly, but in so many words.”
“Well, what did you tell her, in so many words?”
Lexia was a friend of Jordan's, but not a friend she loved and trusted enough to let her stay with her and her husband.
“Well, let me call her before she pops up over here. I will suggest to her that she stay with Dakotaâshe has more space at her place.”
“Whatever,” Omar said as he excused himself from the table.
“So, what's for dessert?” Jordan asked as Omar headed in the kitchen with his plate.
After a few moments with no response, Omar walked out of the kitchen with a can of whipped cream and some strawberries, “I don't know what you're having, but I know what I am having for dessert!”
Jordan smiled, and gave a dirty grin. From the outside it appeared as if that was just what she had in mind. On the inside, though, Jordan was kind of hoping somehow it would have gotten too late for sex. She simply just wasn't up for kinky, all-out performance sex. She knew her outfit said, “come get me,” so there was no way she could back out at this point. Between what had happened with Jayon, and the overall frustration from the whole night, she would have preferred a quickie. However, Omar had so much more in mind. So Jordan attended to her wifely duties and since it was their anniversary, she quickly adjusted her attitude and enjoyed every minute of dessert.
Here We Go Again ...
e was supposed to be here thirty-five minutes ago. I just can't stand it when he does this.”
Chrasey was standing outside of her workplace at 5:35 P.M., waiting for her husband Keith to pick her up. Frustrated and downright livid, Chrasey walked down the street to the bus stop on the corner of Stewart Avenue and Mason Street, in Long Island
As she approached the stop, she reached in her bag to check her cell phone for missed calls, just to see if he had called. As she pulled it out, her wallet fell to the floor along with a piece of paper. As she kneeled down to pick it up, so did a gentleman who was standing beside her who she had been too pissed to even notice. He got to it first and picked up the wallet and piece of paper and handed it to her.
“Thanks,” she said, hardly looking at him.
Looking at her cell phone, there were no calls, just as she expected. There was no sense in calling him, because she had already done that five times since she first stood in front of the building. The last time she spoke to him was at about 4:00 P.M., and he'd said he would be there at exactly 5:00.
For the past month, Chrasey hadn't had a car and Keith had been picking her up from work. A drunk driver had hit Chrasey's car and practically totaled it. It would be at least another month before all the insurance stuff was handled and she could get another car. A month more seemed too long, because by then she would probably have killed Keith. His running late to pick her up, just like his coming home late, had become normal behavior for him. It wasn't worth discussing or arguing over because he would act like she was crazy, so most days she didn't even mention it.
Keith and Chrasey had been married for eight years, and the past three had not been so good. They fought at least three times a week, and their communication was minimal and unhealthy. Keith was usually distantâshe couldn't even get him to have a full-fledged conversation with her. The only time he was sweet was when he wanted some from her. Chrasey tried to go along with the way things had become instead of fighting every day, but all the while she was feeling more resentment toward him and their marriage. Still, on days when she was going through things like this, she could just explode.
“You are too beautiful to be at bus stopâwhere is your chariot or limo?” said the gentleman behind her.
“Don't even ask,” she responded.
“Well, I assume you must not have a man or he must not be handling his business.”
“A little bit of both,” she replied.
At first, Chrasey thought,
what a bad pickup lineâmillions of New Yorkers take public transportation home every day. Why does my man have to be slacking for not picking me up
? However, she did understand that most people on Long Island got a ride or drove home. Either way, he was right that Keith wasn't handling his business.
“May I ask your name?” he said.
Chrasey had been too busy looking toward the driveway in front of her job, checking to see if Keith would pull up from another direction. To make eye contact with the young man keeping her company at the bus stop, she turned around to finally get a real look at the guy and noticed he looked at least ten years younger than she. Chrasey knew she wasn't an old fogey, but she wasn't a young teeny-bopper, either. Chrasey was five-seven, and had a weight problem. She weighed 210 pounds, but as her mom always told her, her face made up for it. She had the most beautiful brown eyes with long lashes and perfectly arched eyebrows. Her skin had a caramel tone, and she had high cheekbones, a button nose, and full, perfectly shaped lips, all making up a pretty, round face. Even though her body had some extra pounds on it, she still had most of it in the right places. She was a 38D, and had junk in the trunk that most men drooled over. She was always receiving compliments on her rear end, but Chrasey always felt self-conscious because she had a gut with her butt. Dakota and Jordan hated this about Chraseyâshe rarely saw how beautiful she truly was, and she always focused on her flaws.
Her frustration with her husband had her feeling a lot more spunky than normal, though.
So, she answered, “My name is Chrasey, and I'm not sure how old you think I am, but I am 34 years old, and I am really not into children.”
The young man, not even looking offended or fazed by her response, said in return, “Well, my name is Trevor and I'm not sure how old you think I am, but I'm 27 years old and I am far from a child, so it looks like me and you may have a bright future.”
Not being able to help but smile, Chrasey reached over and shook Trevor's hand.
“My apologies, Trevor. It's just that I am waiting on my
to pick me up from work and he is forty minutes late, and I am really in a bad mood.”
“He is picking you up at the bus stop? That's kind of weird,” Trevor said jokingly.
“No, he picks me up in front of my job, but I don't feel like waiting anymore so I am going to take the bus if it comes before he gets here.”
“You have so little faith in him, you must not think he is coming at all ... or he has done this before, because you seem to have no patience,” Trevor said.
Chrasey just gave him a look, like
don't get me started
“Maybe something happened, and he got held up,” Trevor continued.
It's like some man thing, like the police's blue code of silence. All men, regardless of how little they know a man, must defend other men. It's like the dogs' secret bark.
done this before. I have heard every excuse in the book, trust me.”
Just as Trevor started to respond, after scrambling for a clever comeback, she saw Keith's black Jetta pull up at her workplace.
“There he goes ... nice talking to you,” Chrasey said as she gave Trevor a slight wave and hurried down the street.
Halfway back down Stewart Avenue, her cell phone rang. Of course it was Keith calling because he didn't see her standing in front. She didn't even bother to answerâshe was only steps away from the back of the car. By the third ring she was walking around the side opening the door and getting in.
“Where were you?” he said as soon as she sat down in the car.
“Keith, don't you dare. Where were
is the question.” She looked him right in the face.
“I was caught late in a meeting at work,” he replied with his already prepared excuse.
“You couldn't call, Keith? You knew I would be out here waiting.”
“By the time I got out of the meeting, I just rushed here.”
“Whatever, Keith, let's just go,” she said, frustrated by his lame excuse.
As Keith made his U-turn to go down the block, Chrasey noticed Trevor was still standing at the bus stop down by the corner. As Keith proceeded down the block, Chrasey glanced over at the bus stop in Trevor's direction. He was already looking at Chrasey when she turned her face, and as soon as she made eye contact he smiled and winked. Feeling like the moment seemed to be in slow motion, she gave him a sweet smile and turned away.
It was then that Chrasey took in just how fine Trevor really was. He stood about six-two, 205 pounds. He was brown-skinned, with a round face. He had a slight dimple in his left cheek, and a narrow nose with a few dark-brown freckles. He had pretty, light-brown eyes, with perfectly trimmed eyebrows. He was a good-looking young man, surprisingly handsome. If she had just seen him walking by on the street, she would think he was out of her leagueânot that she was looking. As she realized that this fine young man had showed interest in her, and thinking she looked a hot mess as usual, she thought to herself maybe she needed to give herself a little more credit.
Fifteen minutes after her moment with Trevor, Keith and Chrasey were just making it out of Long Island and back into Queens, heading home. First they had to stop off of Rockaway Boulevard to pick up the kids from Keith's mother's house. Once they reached home, it was business as usual.
By day Chrasey was the director of TMHS Human Services Corporation. She ran the quality assurance department for the agency's facilities for the developmentally disabled. She had been in this field since high school, and she had been promoted enough times to make her one of the field's experts. By night she was supermom for her two kids, Kelsey and Quinton.
Starting her normal routine, she began cooking dinner for the kids, helping them with their homework, and got them washed up and ready for bed. Kelsey was 5 and Quinton was 6, and between the two of them, Chrasey had her hands full at all times. With two small kids, she barely found time for herself, which made it hard to keep herself up as she would like. She was usually not dressed to impress and sometimes it was weeks before she made it to the hair or nail salon. Her normal outfit for a day was a pair of black Lycra work pants and a sweater or button-up with the same pair of black shoes. On weekends, she was a complete mess. She would wear sweatsuits that sometimes had a bleach stain or a hole or two, with an old pair of sneakers. She would pull her hair back in an unbrushed ponytail, and wear no makeup except maybe some lip gloss. Chrasey wore a lot of different-styled weaves, always halfway down her back. That was the one thing Chrasey didn't play withâher weaves were always tight. The rest of her needed maintenance on a regular basis. Her kids, though, they were fresh from head to toe. They had taken all of her self-admiration and style away the day they were born.
Her inability to put time into her looks only lowered her self-esteem and made it easier for her to tolerate Keith's neglect. He barely needed to help with the kids because Chrasey did so much. It wasn't as if he even tried to split the parental duties in the evening. The only time he would help is if Chrasey wasn't home from work early enough to do it. He usually crawled onto the couch with his Heineken beer and started watching television. It didn't dawn on him that she could use a break from time to time, even when she was home.
Most nights Chrasey would just bite her tongue and feel a bit disturbed about her situation. At other times she would end up asking Keith a provocative question or just flat-out start an argument because he barely helped out. More times than most, she went the quiet route, just trying to keep peace in her house. However, on this specific evening, she was feeling a little better than usual about her situation. That young man at the bus stop made her feel attractive for the night.