he next day was Friday, Chrasey's day had ended, and as usual she was ready for part two of her life's work, her kids and her home. She came outside of the building to wait for Keith, and when she didn't see him she walked to the snack shop a few feet away from her building's front door. She ordered an iced tea, and as she waited for her change she glanced to make sure Keith wasn't there yet. Once she was done with her purchase, she proceeded back to her waiting post, sipping on her drink. She heard a horn, looked around, and all she saw was a black BMW parked in front of her. Thinking it was intended for someone else, she paid it no mind and continued to wait.
Then she heard someone call out, “Chrasey!”
She turned and looked closer into the car. After she was able to make him out, she realized it was the young man from the bus stop yesterday.
“Oh, hello there ... Trevor, right?” she said, faintly showing her excitement at seeing him again.
“Yes, how was your day, Chrasey?” he said, trying to show he hadn't forgotten her name, either.
“I'm good, just got off work. I am waiting for my husband again ... what are you doing out here?”
“Just waiting to pick someone up,” he replied with a serious face.
“Oh, you know someone who works here?”
“Yeah, this gorgeous lady I met yesterday. I wanted to be out here just in case she ran out of patience again waiting for her ride.”
Now, Chrasey was a 34-year-old woman who had seen her share of chivalry and heard all types of game, and, she thought, almost every line in the book. Still, Trevor managed to impress her with his charm and pickup lines. For some reason there was something about Trevor and his smoothness that was getting to her.
“Stop playing, Trevor. You are waiting for your girlfriend or something, out here trying to make me blush. You better get on your way before you get in trouble,” she said quickly, trying to disguise her thoughts.
“No, I'm not. I really came back to check on you ...
I don't have a girlfriend, to answer your question. If I did, I wouldn't be here regardless of how beautiful you are ...”
Chrasey didn't say anythingâshe just looked at him and gave him an expression that read,
“Honestly, I'm here because I got off work early today to get my car out the shop, and I couldn't help but try my luck and see if you were left out here again,” he continued.
“Oh, so my painâyour gain!” she said, smiling.
“Well, I was hoping it could be both of our gain.”
Chrasey just laughed. “Good one,” she said.
After fifteen more minutes of waiting and chatting, Trevor convinced Chrasey to tell her husband she got tired of waiting and took the bus. He promised to take her straight homeâhe just wanted a few moments to talk to her without her looking over her shoulder the whole time.
Chrasey knew better than to get in the car with strangers and all those rules every woman is to follow. But something about Trevor's angelic baby face made her feel like she was safe with him. She told him he would have to drop her off at the bus stop by her house in case her husband was already home, and she didn't want him to know where she lived. He agreed, and at 5:25 off they went.
“So, do you do this knight in shining armor skit for all the girls you meet?” said Chrasey.
Laughing, Trevor replied, “No, just the ones who look like they need my help.”
“I am not in need of any help, especially not from another male. All of you are problems waiting to happen.”
“So, are you saying you are about to switch to the other side?”
“No, I'm just saying I can do badly by myself.”
“So, you are doing badly? That means you can use some help.”
“Listen, I am happily married. Like all couples, we have our issues ... he works a lot.”
“So your relationship has issues because he works a lot? I find that hard to believe.”
“No, it's a lot of things. But we are fine. Is that why you picked me up from work? You wanted to help me out because my husband was a few minutes late yesterday. You figured I was your good deed for the week.”
“Not at all, Chrasey. Just something about you really stuck with me for the rest of the day, and I had to see if I could get the chance to get to know you.”
“So, what's with the whole husband interrogation?”
“We don't have to discuss anything you don't want to discuss. I just found it odd that you said you were happily married, because you're sitting here with me.”
He must have made a strong point, because Chrasey had no reply, just silence.
Rise and Shine
s Dakota slowly opened her eyes, she looked over to the other side of her queen-size bed and noticed David, fast asleep.
She immediately jumped up and eased further away from the side of the bed he was lying on. She must have had too many glasses of wine, because she couldn't believe she'd allowed him to sleep over. Lucky for her, Tony hadn't called or come over.
After about ten seconds of thought, Dakota got out of the bed and went to the bathroom. After she brushed her teeth, she looked in the mirror and noticed her hair was a mess. She hadn't wanted to wrap it the night before because it would have ruined her sex appeal. Her hair was evidence of a wild night with David; she picked up a brush and began to fix it. One thing Dakota never felt comfortable with was letting a man see her first thing in the morning. She wasn't insecure, but she wasn't quite as secure with just the raw Dakota ... stank breath, ruffled hair, crusty eyes, hoarse-voiced Dakota Watkins. The “morning” Dakota didn't have quite as much sex appeal. So, it became her ritual that any time a guy slept over, when she woke up she would slightly fix herself before engaging in any type of interaction with him. Not too much fixing up, but just enough to look like she even woke up beautiful.
After she finished flattening her hair back down, wiping her face with a wet washcloth, and brushing her teeth, Dakota started back toward the bedroom. As she reached the doorway, David had just finished his morning stretch.
“Hey, beautiful,” he slurred.
She lay back down beside him and gently kissed him on his cheek.
“Did you sleep well?” he asked.
“Yes, how about you?”
“Well, I must say you put me to sleep quite nicely.”
She smiled, and rolled over toward him. “Well, how about I wake you up just as nicely?” she said in a seductive tone.
“Mmm, that sounds good to me.”
Just as Dakota begin to guide her hand under the sheets, her cute little Sony cordless phone rang. “Hold that thought,” she said. She reached over and checked the Caller ID. It was Chrasey. Calling at 10:00 A.M. on a Saturday morning, it had to be something either real important or real juicy. Tempted not to interrupt David, but curious to know what Chrasey wanted, she answered the phone.
“Yes, my dear. You better be calling me for a good reason this early in the morning,” Dakota said.
“I don't need a good reason to call you. Besides, 10:00 A.M. is far from early on a Saturday morning for a woman with kids. Just because you have no one to wake
up at the crack of dawn ...”
“Don't assume,” Dakota said with a hint of bad girl in her voice.
“What ... you have company over there? Tony finally showed his sorry behind up?”
“Yes and no.”
“Yes, and no? What, someone else is there?”
“Yeah. I was a little busyâcan I call you back in aboutâ”
David interrupted Dakota. “Go ahead and talk. I will go and cook breakfast.”
After a moment's hesitation, she responded, “OK, I will be in the kitchen soon.”
“Mmm-hmm. And who is that?” Chrasey said.
“Girl, you all messing up my groove.”
“I will let you go, you little freak.”
“No, he is going in the kitchen to make breakfast.”
“Who is he?”
“Remember that guy David I told you about a while ago?”
“The cutie you used to work with?”
“Yeah, him. Well, he came by to cook dinner last night andâ”
“Cooking dinner and breakfastâhe sounds like a keeper.”
Dakota couldn't help but laugh. “Tell me about it, girl. And he put it on me last night ...”
“Don't even tell meâit's been way too long for me, and I am tired of living vicariously through you,” Chrasey said.
Dakota loved being the single one sometimes, getting to still be a black Carrie from
Sex in the City
, while her two close girlfriends were married with kids. These were the times it didn't depress her. She knew these were the times that being married was a bore compared to her life.
She called Jordan on three-way, so she could have her moment. Dakota described pretty much blow for blow how David showed up, cutting short her night of depression. How he cooked dinner, served dessert with champagne, kicked back and watched a Lifetime movie with her, and waited for Dakota to make the first move. It was perfect. As soon as the move was made, though, he took over like a champ.
About twenty minutes into the phone call, Dakota, Chrasey, and Jordan had all shared their juice from their previous nights of drama. Dakota told them all about David's skills in bed, and how bad she felt at first because he was just some rebound sex because of Tony's no-show. She felt bad until Chrasey reminded her how Tony still hadn't shown up or called, so she did what she had to. Chrasey told them both about her new friend Trevor, and how she gave him her number.
After Jordan reprimanded her for being a married woman giving her number out, Chrasey explained, “It's just something about him.”
Jordan took the exchange of gossip as her opportunity to get what happened with Jayon off her chest.
“Are you serious?” Dakota yelped.
“I wish I wasn't,” Jordan said.
“I knew he never stopped wanting you. He was probably pissed you and Omar had gotten back together when you guys were in grad school,” Dakota said.
“Well, I don't know what to do now. I don't even think I can face him. I haven't even told Omar yet,” Jordan said.
“Don't tell him that, Jordan. You are just going to start something for nothing. Keep this one to yourself,” Dakota advised.
After Chrasey agreed, Jordan explained, “I can't do that. I wouldn't want Omar to keep something like that from me. Besides, what if something big comes from thisâhow can I explain it to Omar after the fact.”
Chrasey said, “You are right. Do what you feel is best. But I ain't telling Keith a damn thing about Trevor.”
They all laughed.
“So, what are you going to do about Jayon? That's if Omar doesn't get to him first,” Dakota said.
“Omar isn't like that. Besides, I'm not telling him during our anniversary weekend. First, I will talk with Jayon on Monday, and tell Omar after it is all handled.”
“Well, good luck with that. I personally think a hot affair will loosen you up some, Ms. Esquire,” Dakota said.
“Ha ha. I'm going to ignore that comment. Only Omar knows just how loose I really am,” Jordan said jokingly. “Speaking of loose, Lexia is coming in town Monday, and she wants to stay with one of us, I thinkâand it ain't gonna be me.”
“Why not?” Chrasey said.
“Because I am having a hard enough time giving Omar the time he needs without having another woman in my house to give it to him. Besides, Chrasey, let me see you let her stay with you and Keith.”
“Oh no, she isn't. I guess that just leaves Dakotaâshe is the only one who doesn't have a husband to be stolen,” Chrasey said.
“That's not right. Why you guys treat her like that?” Dakota said.
“Please, Dakota. Have you forgotten about how she had sex with Tim when he was with Tasha? And she boinked Edgar, Tammy's boyfriend Chris, and Alicia's man. The girl just doesn't care. I know she claims to have changed, but I'm just being on the safe side,” Chrasey replied.
“Well, she can stay with me. Besides I have my men whipped, so I am not worried about it,” Dakota giggled.
“M-hmm. Well, she should be in town on MondayâI will tell her to call you when I speak to her,” Jordan said.
“Well, I have to go, you guys. Breakfast is ready,” Dakota said.
“OK. I will call you guys later,” Chrasey said.
They all hung up.
Once Dakota leaned over and placed her cordless phone on the cradle, she swung her legs out of the bed and put on her lavender monogrammed robe. She walked down the hall and stood in the kitchen doorway. She was just in time to watch David set the table.
As she watched him carefully place the forks and knives on top of the napkins, in her mind she was thinking to herself,
This is husband material all the way
Right during that very delightful thought, the doorbell rang. Without thinking twice, too far in “la la land,” Dakota glided toward the door. She looked through the peephole and didn't see anybody.
“Who is it?” she called. When she didn't hear a reply, she opened the door to see if someone was in the hall.
Maybe worst case she thought it could have been her landlord, maybe a Jehovah's Witness, maybe the paper boy coming to collect money, a FedEx package, something. . . but she damn sure wasn't prepared for it to be Tony. After waiting for him to ring her doorbell all night, when he finally arrived he wasn't even on her mind. There Tony was, standing at her doorstep, bright and early, dressed in a dark gray Sean John sweatsuit and a baseball cap. All six-four of his frame filled her doorway, and the wifebeater underneath his sweat jacket clung to his six-pack.
Too in shock, mesmerized, and panicked to remember she had every right to just slam the door in his face and have a great excuse, she just stood there, looking dumbfounded.
As he mistook the open door and the lack of words for a welcome, he began to step in. Just as he took his second step in the door, reality hit her and she realized what was happening.
“Where do you think you are going? You think you are just going to waltz in here like everything is OK?” she said.
“Damn, Dakota. You're not even going to ask if I am OK? You are just going to start your drama as soon as I walk in the door ... I was in jail all night.”
“For what?” she said, clearly seeing through his well-planned excuse.
“I got pulled over, and they said I had too much alcohol in my system.”
“Well, why didn't you call me? And why were you driving around drunk?”
“I wasn't drunk at allâit was more to do with me being a black man driving a nice car. And I called my brother to come bail me out.”
“Well, I don't know what to tell you, Tonyâyou always have a million excuses. You do this all the time. Quite frankly, it all seems hard to believe.”
“You're calling me a liar?”
“No, I'm just saying I knew you would ...”
Just then, a loud noise came from the kitchen. Either David dropped something by accident or he made the noise on purpose as a friendly reminder that he was waiting.
“Who is here?” Tony asked.
“I was just about to mention that. I have a friend over, a friend from work. We were about to have breakfast and do some work.”
“It's Saturday. And isn't it a little personal to be doing work at your house?”
Dakota knew that there was no way she was going to fool Tony into believing it was all innocentâshe was in her damn robe, for Christ's sake. But she figured she'd play his own game on himâthat was her story and she was sticking to it.
“Oh, no. We worked on some projects here last night. I was waiting on you to show upâyou never showed so we just worked for hours and hours. Before we knew it, it was so late I just let him stay over. He lives way out on the Island. So, he slept in the guest room, and now he is up, cooking breakfast.”
“Mmm-hmm, Dakota. That sounds like bullshit to me.”
“You're calling me a liar?”
Tony knew right then what Dakota was trying to do, what game she was playing. It was way too familiar for him not to notice.
“Not even. Well, since I am here why don't I join you two for some breakfast,” he said.
“Tony, we really have a lot of work to get done. You will just be a distraction for me.”
After what looked like an
I can't believe this chick
look, Tony replied,
“OK, 'Kota. Well, I am going to let you get back to your business breakfast. I guess you can give me a call when you're done.”
“OK. I definitely will.”
She waited as he walked back out the door, gave him a peck good-bye, and closed the door after him.
Proud of her “playa point” she just earned, she walked to her terrace and waited for him to come into sight. She watched him get in and pull away in his black Cadillac Escalade truck. Once she was sure the coast was clear, she returned to the kitchen. David was sitting at the table, sipping on a cup of orange juice, reading Dakota's