Inaya floated on cloud nine for the rest of the week. She and Chandler talked every chance they got. She loved hearing his voice before she went to sleep at night and first thing in the morning. She especially loved the songs that he kept dedicating to her on the radio, though he had yet to mention her name. Each time he would simply say, “This song is dedicated to my princess.”
Inaya appreciated the way Chandler respected her need for privacy considering how large his audience was. She, in turn, made certain concessions for him as well. One of which was to go out on another date the following Saturday. Unfortunately, she made the mistake of not only agreeing to a movie earlier in the day when more people were out and about, but to also go out to dinner afterwards at an upscale restaurant.
As expected, they encountered stares galore on their date. Hard stares, inquisitive stares, and most of all, disapproving stares. It was like they were some kind of freak show.
Yes, Chandler was tall and white with lean muscles, while she was short, brown and voluptuous. But were they that much of an oddity in today’s society? It would seem so in Montrose.
Inaya marveled that Chandler didn’t seem bothered by the stares at all. They certainly didn’t deter him from being openly affectionate with her. Although she loved how he constantly held her hand, draped an arm around her shoulders, and planted affectionate pecks upon her cheeks throughout their date, she did not like the negative attention those things drew to them.
Why did I ever agree to this? Inaya thought, increasingly bothered by their differences as time went on and the stares continued.
The kicker was when she went to the ladies room and was approached in the hallway by a handsome black man in a very expensive looking gray suit. Despite his attractiveness, his eyes revealed an ugly soul that was full of disdain. The words that came out of his mouth were equally ugly, callous, and cold.
“Such a waste. Why would you settle for being a white man’s whore when you could get with a Princeton educated brother like me and be treated like a Nubian queen?” the man whispered as he paused in front of her, blocking her entry to the restroom.
Inaya recoiled at those venomous words. “No man determines who and what I am. I have some say-so about that and with the rest given to me by birthright. For all that education you’ve had, you’re obviously still ignorant about our real black history,” she countered in an icy tone. Then she politely sidestepped him, pushed the ladies room door open and went inside.
It took everything in Inaya to pull herself back together after that encounter. It took even more strength to calmly go back to her table as additional reasons not to date Chandler suddenly bombarded her mind. The contrasts between them became magnified by the second.
Contrasts like the fact that Chandler was a bold Christian that spoke his mind and shared his faith in any setting. Whereas Inaya only had faith in herself, became outspoken only when she had to be and only in certain settings.
He thrived in the outdoors and usually had what sounded like a house full of people over whenever she called his home number. Whereas she was a homebody and a loner. She learned a long time ago that the more people you had in your life, the more problems you had, too.
Maybe we’re just too different to make a relationship work, Inaya thought as they exited the restaurant and walked hand in hand down the long breezeway. She refused to focus on how comfortable her hand felt in his or about how compatible they were in the bedroom. He couldn’t hold her hand twenty-four hours a day and good sex wasn’t enough to make a relationship work or last.
“Let me get the door for you, princess,” Chandler endeared after he tipped the valet for returning his car and keys in good condition.
“Thanks.” Inaya smiled and allowed him to courteously open the passenger door of his jeep for her. Why did he have to be such a gentleman? Why did he have to be so freaking adorable?
“Did I tell you how gorgeous you look today?” He gave her frame a slow perusal in the elegant yellow floral chiffon dress she wore.
“Yes, about a hundred times.” Inaya couldn’t help but chuckle as she settled into the car. He had a knack for distracting her from troubling thoughts, including those that pertained to him.
“Well, consider this a hundred and one, sexy lady,” Chandler said, bending to capture her lips right in front of various restaurant patrons and workers.
Inaya opened her mouth in protest but to no avail. The parting of her lips only served as invitation for him to slide his tongue inside her mouth and deepen the kiss. She moaned at the delicious taste of him. She moaned again when he began to do that back and forth thing with his tongue that she liked. The man was such a good kisser. Certainly good enough to make her forget where they were and about all her misgivings.
“Ewww! I’m tired of these hoochie mamas snapping up all our good white men,” a disgruntled female said as she passed by.
Chandler abruptly broke the kiss at those insolent words. He turned and glared at the outspoken, plain looking redhead who stood like a stick figure next to her better looking overweight friend. “What man in his right mind would want a bitter, jealous-hearted chick like you?”
“Plenty of men want me,” the redhead retorted, flipping her long locks away from her face. Her scowl made her look even more unattractive, almost like a flaming-haired witch. Or worse like a snarling rabid dog.
“And I’m sure none of them are in their right minds,” Chandler countered. “Now instead of spewing your hate toward someone you don’t even know, why don’t you spend more time learning how to love yourself? Then maybe you’ll have enough compassion in your heart to truly love others. Maybe then you’ll be able to keep a good man.”
The redhead recoiled as if she’d just been slapped. She had…by the truth.
“How did he know—” her obese friend began, confirming that Chandler had indeed spoken the truth.
“Let’s go!” the redhead interrupted with a crimson face. Then she turned around and practically ran toward the restaurant.
“Wait for me,” her friend said, following as best as she could considering her weight.
“Something must be wrong with me, because I actually feel sorry for her,” Inaya said, wincing when the embarrassed redhead tripped and fell in her haste.
“I don’t.” Chandler frowned and closed the passenger door after making sure she was buckled up. “I forgive her, yes, but I never feel sorry for people that try to hurt me or the ones I love,” he added as he settled into the driver’s seat.
The ones he love? Does that include me? Already? Inaya thought, not sure how to feel about that, despite the tingles in her body. What she did know was that she needed to break up with him before either of them developed even stronger feelings.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier