Peeking through the blinds of her corner office window, Inaya watched a white jeep with tinted windows pull up outside and park. That has to be him, she surmised, noting the various WBUZ bumper stickers on the back of the vehicle. She held her breath as excitement leaped through her veins like a gazelle.
What? No! Inaya thought when the driver’s door opened and a tall white man exited the jeep. The ball of anticipation in her belly dropped to the floor from the weight of her disappointment and cracked like two dozen Grade A eggs.
Chandler Edenfield was extremely tall and athletically built with thick jet-black hair, sparkling blue eyes, and a sporty diamond earring in his left ear that made him look oh so debonair. Although he looked absolutely perfect, he had one major flaw in Inaya’s eyes.
That flaw: He was white! A very attractive white man, but nevertheless a white man.
But how could this be? His caricature had led her to believe that he was a light-skinned black man with colored contacts and a process in his hair. Now she realized the artist had simply captured his tan and that his silky hair texture came out of his scalp, not from a box.
Maybe I just saw what I wanted to see, Inaya thought. But his voice though. How could I have been wrong about that?
Chandler’s voice and urban mannerisms on air had led her to believe that he was a Nubian prince. In person he looked more like a blue-eyed Channing Tatum, yet taller. Much taller.
Even though Inaya definitely liked what she saw, she could not fully appreciate Chandler’s outstanding outer package. The mental stronghold that she had about interracial relationships prevented her from doing so. Not surprisingly, the seeds of that stronghold were planted by her mother. Most negative things in her life were and yet Inaya still loved her.
Uzuri was what people called Afrocentric. She loved black history, black culture, and especially black men. She drilled that love for all things black into Inaya and Kali’s heads since they were little girls. She wanted them to have an acute sense of their self-worth and historical importance to the world. No one could fault her for that.
As Inaya and Kali got older, Uzuri started to preach relentlessly against interracial dating. With hysterical tears, she cited many examples of failed relationships as proof, including a disastrous one that she had with a white man in her younger years. Their mother’s horror stories left a lasting impact upon them.
Yet Inaya still hadn’t been totally convinced that interracial dating was wrong. She thought love was supposed to be colorblind. Plus she didn’t want anyone telling her who she could or could not love. Thus she secretly dated a white guy during her senior year in high school. His name was Joe Powell. His father owned the bakery where she worked.
Joe was easy to talk to, made her laugh, and shared her love for baking. They were going to announce their love publicly after becoming intimate. Yet as soon as adversity came their way, he abandoned her, despite the fact that she’d given him the greatest gift a woman could give any man – her virginity.
That experience broke Inaya’s heart and she never quite recovered from it or from the family drama that followed. She also never had sex again. Sex changed the dynamics of relationships. Sometimes it destroyed them. Thus she avoided it at all costs.
Inaya sometimes wish she’d made a different romantic choice like her sister had. Maybe then she would have a different perspective about sex. Maybe then she would have escaped all those I-told-you-so’s from their mother when Joe went off to college and never looked back.
Kali married Neil Graham, the blackest man she could find. Fortunately, her sister also loved that deep mahogany-skinned man very much and probably would have married him anyway. Neil’s complexion was definitely a plus when it came to keeping their mother’s mouth closed about Kali’s choice of men.
Unfortunately, Uzuri’s mouth never stayed closed for long when it came to Inaya and her love life. She scolded her about remaining celibate for the last ten years and advised her to find a man to take some of the edge off. A black man. Actually, she advised her to let several black men take the edge off in order to make up for lost time. That was just one of many points of contention within their mother/daughter relationship.
When Chandler suddenly appeared at her open office door, Inaya shoved her thoughts aside and returned her focus to him. Her eyes traveled up, up, and still deliciously upwards until she encountered his face. As he ducked his head slightly to keep from bumping it against the top of the nearly seven-foot tall door, she was instantly reminded of the bountiful oak trees that Montrose was known for. He was just that tall.
Chandler was strikingly handsome, too. From his shiny black loafers to his stylish black business suit, he was a mountain of potent masculinity.
Handsome, sexy, and fine. Maybe I need to rethink this whole interracial dating thing, Inaya thought, moving away from the window with fresh desire coursing through her veins. She’d never been so delectably affected by a man in her life and she hated that she liked it.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier