As Inaya drove to work, she saw vendors setting up shop in various places along the busy road she traveled. It was February 14th and there would soon be a multitude of roadside tables bearing baskets full of sweet treats, stuffed animals, balloons, and other Valentine’s Day goodies.
Inaya didn’t care what day it was or about its significance to women. She was too focused on the interesting things her favorite DJ said on her favorite radio show to worry about Valentine’s Day and all the stuff that came along with it.
The Big E was the DJ and host of The Buzz in Your Ear, WBUZ’s most popular morning show. Like so many other listeners, Inaya kept her radio dial on 98.6 FM where she could hear good music, career advice, comedy bits, celebrity interviews, showbiz news that was never gossipy, and most of all, The Big E’s stimulating deep baritone voice.
His voice is to die for, Inaya thought wistfully, skillfully guiding her black Volvo through traffic. She also loved how confident, outspoken, and relevant The Big E was when it came to community issues. He was not afraid to ask the questions that kept his listeners loyal and on the edge of their seats.
The Big E’s voice is actually to live for, Inaya mentally corrected herself. She was big on positive confessions and believed that words, spoken or unspoken, carried unknown power behind them. She learned that little nugget from one of the many self-help books she liked to read.
“Listen up, all you heroes and heroines out there, this is The Big E telling you to get out and get involved in your communities,” he advocated. “Be the change that you want to see.” Then he began to disclose information about local mentoring programs, GED classes, and various other community outreaches, including the local Court Appointed Special Advocate program also known as CASA.
“Telling, not asking, huh? I like this brother more and more each day,” Inaya said, feeling warm and cozy inside despite that cool and breezy morning. The fact that he mentioned a program that she was professionally involved in endeared her to him even more.
I wonder if he’s married, Inaya found herself pondering as she often did each weekday morning while listening to the radio on her morning commute. That had been her constant thought ever since The Big E came to work for WBUZ.
Inaya didn’t dare voice that thought aloud. Although she was aggressive in her job as a social worker because innocent lives depended on her to be so, she was not that way at all in her private life. She had way too many trust issues due to a few lecherous boyfriends that her single and rather promiscuous mother allowed to come into their home during her formative years. Thus she would never willingly pursue any man.
Inaya didn’t enjoy being pursued either. Truthfully, she just wanted to be left alone. Yet that seemed to be an impossible feat. Men and a few bold women couldn’t seem to stop pursuing her.
Her mother didn’t lie when she declared her as gorgeous this morning. Any mirror could attest to that truth.
Inaya was stunning at 5’4 with large chocolate brown eyes, long lashes that feathered her high cheekbones, smooth mocha skin that needed very little makeup, and a curvaceous body that looked good in anything. Those attributes drew attention to her like bees to honey. Over the years she became quite skilled in thwarting romantic advances, which was why she was known as a cold fish among her rejected suitors.
Inaya’s trust issues weren’t just with people. She also had some major trust issues with God. After a tragic incident at the age of seventeen, she no longer trusted Him to protect her. And even though she was a good person, giving to various charities, volunteering her talents around town when needed, and helping hundreds of children out of bad situations each year, she did not currently attend church or have a personal relationship with the Lord.
Just then, The Big E’s voice cut into Inaya’s thoughts as he concluded his public service announcement. “With all of that said; I’d like to wish everyone a happy and very loving Valentine’s Day. For the fellas that waited ‘til the last minute to get your girl that special gift, shame, brothas, shame. For the ladies that only hooked up with a brotha to get a special gift today, shame, sistas, shame.”
Inaya chuckled as The Big E belted out that unforgettable deep baritone laugh of his.
“Ouch! I know I pressed a few hot buttons out there with that one, but hey, that’s what I’m here for,” he continued. “Anyway, my good people, maybe TLC’s Waterfalls will help cool those tempers down.”
Inaya felt anything but cool as the soulful female group began to belt out their soothing melody. The Big E’s rich laughter and easy wit had her feeling like she was having a hot flash and she was only twenty-seven years old.
Now that’s the kind of voice a sista could lose herself in, Inaya thought, keeping her secret crush to herself like she did most personal things. In fact, her coworkers just found out this year that she had a younger sister after working side by side with them for more than five years. The most they knew about her personal life was that she was single, had no children, and was an avid baker that often brought in scrumptious treats for them for no apparent reason except to be nice.
Inaya was nice…sometimes to a fault.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier