Chandler waited all day and most of the night for Inaya to call him. She never did. She didn’t call his house phone or his cell phone. Nor did she call him at work. DJ Treat would have forwarded the call or sent him a text message if she had.
Now Chandler felt something he hadn’t felt in a long time – rejection. It wounded his pride and damaged his ego. He never had a woman turn him down or ignore his advances before. Most women usually jumped at the chance to go out with him. Those that did never regretted it.
“I thought for sure there was something between us. Something strong, something downright Divine if you believe in that sort of thing,” Chandler told his sister, who dropped by to return his carpet cleaner on her way home from work. He confided in her when she inquired why he looked so miserable tonight.
“Ask her out again on the air. Better yet, get her home phone number from directory information,” Christina Acadia suggested as they sat on the black sofa in his home studio where he made freelance commercials for his thriving voiceover clientele.
“I have too much pride to put myself on blast like that again. And I refuse to reduce myself to securing Inaya’s private number from any source other than her,” Chandler replied. “I don’t want the woman to think I’m a stalker.”
“A little stalking never hurt nobody.” Christina chuckled.
Chandler gently tugged on her long dark brown ponytail the way he’d done for years whenever he reprimanded her about something. “You would say that after you practically stalked Linus,” he said, referring to how aggressively she pursued his shy and yet highly competent pharmacist of a brother-in-law. She almost got kicked out of college after getting caught leaving a red rose petal trail up to Linus’ dorm room.
“And I’ve never regretted it.” Christina grinned, revealing rows of straight white teeth that had been assisted by braces in her teen years. “But seriously though. I think you should pursue every option available to you concerning this woman. I mean, how many women have you known that’s been able to create this depth of longing within you after only one meeting? If I’d acted so prideful after Linus and I met in the library that day, I wouldn’t be married to the love of my life now.” She held up her left hand and pointed to her diamond and gold trimmed wedding rings.
“It worked out for you, but that may not be my testimony. Inaya might reject me again.”
“Rejection is not the end of the world. It has no power to kill anyone. Nor should anyone let it prompt them to kill themselves or others. If Inaya does reject you again, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that you at least tried to follow your heart,” Christina said.
“So very wise for someone so young.”
“That’s ‘cause I like to hang around wise old folks like you and our parents.” Christina smiled, effortlessly springing to her feet, despite her large size. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get home to my husband. It’s Valentine’s Day and unlike you, I got some romantic things to do.”
“Don’t rub it in, lil sis.” Chandler playfully scowled at her. “Remember, I’m single by choice, not by force…though it feels like the latter today.”
“Sorry. I couldn’t resist.” Christina laughed. “I love you, big bro.” She leaned over and gave him a fond hug. “Keep your head up.”
“Love you, too, and I will,” he said, returning her hug.
Chandler went to bed later that night still thinking about his sister’s words. He kept wondering if there was some weakness in him that made him so fearful of rejection. Whereas it didn’t seem to bother Christina at all. The more he thought about it, the more he realized why they saw and handled rejection so differently.
Christina had only gone to one foster home after losing her only parent at the age of two. That home belonged to a white couple named Dusty and Leah Edenfield, who were not only good foster parents, but who later adopted her. Thus she had been spared the constant sting of rejection during her formative years.
In Chandler’s case, he suffered through three hate-filled, mentally and physically abusive foster homes before meeting the Edenfields. By the time he was adopted, he was an emotional mess. It took a lot of caring and nurturing from the Edenfields to counter the negative effects of his childhood.
Some stuff still remained, stuff like his aversion to rejection and his need for attention. That latter need is what led to him becoming a ladies man at the age of thirteen. With his natural good looks, athletic ability, and gift of gab, it was easy to gain the extra attention he craved from the easiest source – women.
Now Chandler craved the attention of only one woman – Inaya.
© 2014 by Suprina Frazier