Chapter Four: Denial
From that day forward, I did my best to try and forget about Kay. I slept with many women. But it wasn’t working. She haunted my dreams and I thought about her constantly. It didn’t help that I saw her with the meathead all over town. And even though I was in love, I didn’t want to be in love with Kay anymore. It was painful.
I came out of a café close to my job, and I saw them across the street. I’m not sure if they saw me, but I watched as they laughed, and kept on walking. I was pissed. That night I found a honey and slept with her; promptly putting her out of my house after I fucked her.
Two days later, I was in Chinatown shopping, and I’ll be damned if I didn’t see them again. Laughing and enjoying each other like the last time I saw them. Why is she always in the same places as me? That night I went out and found some meaningless sex again thinking this would help.
I went to the movies, and they were somewhere close. I went to the grocery store, and they were somewhere close. I went to dinner with Jeffrey, and they were somewhere close. Every time I found a woman to be with, so I didn’t have to think about Kay. It wasn’t helping, but it didn’t hurt either. I often wondered if Jacob and Kay had slept together. If so, it wasn’t supposed to happen. Kay was supposed to wait for me.
“Kay, we have been going out for a while. When can I make love to you?” Jacob asked.
“I realize that, Jacob. But I’m still not ready.”
“It’s Darren isn’t it?”
I crossed my arms and said, “I think it is. He’s a selfish ass, Kay. I don’t know what you see in him.”
Not willing to give up anything, she replied, “I told you, it’s complicated.”
“Have you slept with him?”
“That’s none of your business.”
He nodded. “You’re right. I apologize. Can I ask you something else? Do you love him?”
She was quiet for a few moments not knowing how to reply. “I know I did once, but now I’m not sure.”
“So, you are dating me to get over him?”
Kay shook her head. “No. I am dating you because I like you.”
I sighed. “So why won’t you let me have you?”
Kay again shook her head. “I’m not ready for that kind of commitment yet Jacob.”
Instantly angry, “Okay. Fine. Call me when I can show you how I feel about you,” I said in a tiff and left letting the door slam behind me.
Over the next three months, I went on a marathon dating spree. I often went out with several women in one week, and not one of them was the woman I loved. It is my guess that my best friend was worried about me.
I was at home entertaining a gorgeous woman when my doorbell rang. I ignored it, because I was obviously busy. In the process of me ramming my tongue down her throat and rubbing all over her beautiful body, the doorbell rang three more times. Whoever it was, was not going away.
I huffed loudly. “Be right back, sweets.”
I walked to my front door to find Jeffrey standing there. “What are you doing here? Shouldn’t you be at work?” I asked, obviously frustrated.
Jeffrey pushed past me. “Yes, and so should you.”
“I told you I was going to be working from home.”
Just then the gorgeous girl walked into my living room. Damn it!
“I gotta go, Dude,” she said smiling widely at me with her perfect white teeth. “See you later?”
I smiled. “Sure.”
She kissed me on the cheek, smiled, and walked out of the door. She didn’t even acknowledge that Jeffrey was in the room. I saw the look on his face as he watched her leave and then turn back to me.
“Who in the hell was that?” Jeffrey asked.
I smiled thinking of the things she did to me the night before. “Dawn.”
“Doesn’t look like you’re getting much work done to me,” Jeffrey crossed his arms and smirked.
“I’m working man, stop trippin’.”
“You aren’t working, you are fucking. Mind you, there is nothing wrong with that, if the accounts are taken care of. Where’s Kay?”
Just the sound of her name almost drove me crazy. The smile I had on my face immediately disappeared. I missed seeing her. I missed her phone calls, her text messages. I missed her mind-blowing kisses. “She doesn’t want me.”
“That’s a lie and you know it.”
“How do you figure that?” Jeffrey asked shrugging.
“I don’t want to talk about it.” Jeffrey stood there and stared at me. He wanted an answer, and he wasn’t going to leave it alone until he got one. I sighed deeply. “Okay, okay. The last time I saw her, I told her I wanted us to be exclusive, and she laughed in my face.”
“Oh, yes she did. She didn’t think I was serious, so she laughed at me.”
“That isn’t like her. Would you like me to talk to her?”
I shook my head in defeat. “Nah man. I’m trying to move on.”
“So, you really do love her.”
Hearing the word love coming from my closest friend, made me realize that I really did love Kay. What I was going to do about it was anyone’s guess.
“Of course, I do.”
“Did you tell her?” Jeffrey asked.
“Not in so many words.”
Jeffrey tipped his head and glared at me. “How many words did you use exactly?”
“Okay, okay. So, I haven’t told her. I just know I’m in love with her. But she’s with that Jacob guy now.”
“Perhaps she’s just going out with him because she can’t have you.”
“Man, how in the fuck do you figure that?”
“Believe me, I know.”
Jeffrey talked about Kay and me getting together until he was blue in the face. I wasn’t hearing any of it. Not that I wouldn’t like to get with her, I just didn’t want to have to deal with the drama of the meathead. The way I felt about Kay just might send me back down a road I already traveled. So, I thought it was better if I stayed away from her.
Jeffrey, however, had a different idea. Being my best friend for most of my life, he hated seeing me so down and self-destructive. He believed Kay loved me just like I loved her. He only had to get us together in the same room without anyone or anything as a distraction.
A week later, he invited me to his house for a party. I was required to bring a date, so I invited Celiene. This way I could work the room. There were going to be many new women for me to get to know. I couldn’t wait.
Jeffrey still lived in the city, on Park Avenue, in the penthouse of his building. I wondered why he was going to throw a party at his place. He had white carpet, and his balcony wasn’t large enough to host a large party. But I assumed he knew what he was doing. I put on my suit, went to pick up Celiene, and drove to the party.
When I got there, I was surprised to see maybe twenty people. Everyone was coupled off. It really didn’t matter to me though. If I wanted a woman, I could get her, and I think Jeffrey knew that.
I panned the room as I came in. I saw Peter Sullivan and his wife Mila. Peter headed up our Accounting Department. Very nice man with a very nice wife. The next couple I saw was Michael Henderson and his fine ass wife Olivia. Michael was our head of Marketing. Oh, and in case you were wondering, Jeffrey and I are in International Sales. I swear if Michael wasn’t married to her, I would go for it.
Then I looked to my left to find sexy Melissa chatting it up with Jeffrey, Kay, and the meathead. My body instantly got hot. What the hell was Jeffrey thinking? Inviting Kay and Jacob. I really wanted to leave, but that would be disrespectful to both my friend, and Celiene. Not to mention I was enjoying looking at Kay. She was just as beautiful as she ever was. This night she wore a purple and black cocktail dress with heels to match. I couldn’t take my eyes off her even though I was pissed.
“Just look at them,” I said in an angry tone. “Smiling and laughing like they are a happy couple or something.”
Celiene smiled. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen them together. They make a good-looking couple.”
I didn’t know what the hell she was doing, or trying to do, but all I wanted to do was smash his fucking head in. “I can’t believe she came with him. She knew I was going to be here.”
Celiene turned to look at me. “How in the hell was she supposed to know that? And besides the invite said bring a date. She couldn’t bring you, so she brought Jacob. Does that make her wrong?”
I loved and hated Celiene. She was right about me at least ninety percent of the time. I sighed miserably. “I suppose not,” I replied quietly.
Celiene smiled at me. “Why don’t you go talk to her?”
I shook my head. “No. I need to use the restroom. I’ll be back.”
“So, are you going to talk to her when you get back?”
I rolled my eyes and walked away.
“Nice get together, Jeffrey. Where are the rest of the guests? I thought this was a party,” Celiene said.
“Thanks, Celiene. But I would not have been able to do what I intend to do with fifty people here.”
“And what is that exactly?”
“Stick around, you’ll see.”
“I don’t believe I have met this charming woman, babe,” Melissa said.
“Oh. Sorry Pumpkin. Melissa, this is Dude’s friend, Celiene.”
Melissa smiled. “Nice to meet you, Celiene.”
“Nice to meet you as well,” Celiene replied returning her smile.
I looked around and didn’t see Dude. “Where is he?”
“He went to the restroom.”
“Thanks, Celiene. If you ladies will excuse me for a moment.”
I went to the guest bathroom to find Dude coming out.
“You done in there?” I asked.
Dude nodded. “Yeah. Left a huge log and a serious stench in there. Hopefully Jacob comes in after me.”
I laughed. “Your ass is stupid. Why don’t you do me a favor?”
“Talk to Kay.”
Dude pursed his lips and shook his head violently. “No. She brought that meathead here to disrespect me.”
“Dude, she brought that meathead here because she needed a date. Talk to her.”
He rolled his eyes and crossed his arms in front of him. “I don’t know who I am going to kill first. You or Celiene.” We were both pushing Dude in Kay’s direction, and I don’t think he appreciated it.
I shrugged. “What could it hurt? Just at least say hi.”
“If Jacob starts shit, I’m gonna smash his face in and leave.”
“That is not going to happen. I got your back. I’ll be your wing man as always, but if you love her and really want a relationship with her, you have got to get the lines of communication open again. If you don’t you will lose her to the meathead forever. Do you want that to happen?”
“Not at all. Okay I’ll try,” Dude replied, defeated.
I crossed my arms in front of me and then asked, “Hey, can I ask you something personal?”
“Sure, nothing has ever stopped you from prying in my personal life.”
“Have you ever slept with Kay?”
Dude shook his head. “No, never.”
“Why not? I’m sure the opportunity has been there before.”
“It has. But as much as I want to be with her, something always happens before I can get in there.”
I smiled a half smile. “Yeah, you are meant to be with her, but you need to talk to her tonight.”
“I’d just rather enjoy my co-workers and my friends. Hold up man, what do you mean I was meant to be with her?”
I chuckled. “Kay is gonna be your wife.”
Dude rolled his eyes, smirked and simply replied, “Fuck you.”
We made our way back to our small get together. Kay, Celiene, and Melissa were talking and laughing. Kay was the focus of my attention. I couldn’t help but stare at her. Her beautiful eyes and her infectious smile. She was absolutely the most beautiful creature I had ever met. But because I couldn’t bury my past, I suffered. Perhaps tonight I could bury Dude Smith. It was going to take the right words, if I heard them; I certainly was going back to being Darren. Darren was a nice guy…I think he was. I can’t really remember.
“She is so beautiful,” I said almost breathless.
“Who? Celiene or Kay?” Jeffrey asked. He knew exactly who I meant, and he laughed before he asked, “You ready?”
I nodded, not taking my eyes off Kay. “Yeah.”
“Go for it. I got your back.” Jeffrey then called his girlfriend. “Melissa!”
She looked up and met his gaze. Jeffrey tipped his head to the left where Jacob was talking to some of the other guests. She excused herself and made her way to Jacob. Once she had his attention, it was my turn to move. For some insane reason, I was nervous. I hadn’t spoken to Kay in months. But it was now or never.
“Celiene, will you please excuse us?”
Celiene smiled at me, happy that I was going for it. “Of course.”
I have never been so nervous in my life. You would think that I’d just met Kay when I was in middle school. You know the smart nerdy kid approaching the popular cheerleader. That is the way I felt, and I couldn’t figure out why. But I went with it.
I put my hands in my pockets, and looked at the floor when I asked, “Hey, Kay. How have you been?”
She nodded and replied, “I’m fine Darren. How are you?”
Darren. My real name. I could get used to it, as long as she was saying it. “I haven’t heard my real name from anyone in a while.”
“Yeah. You are the only one who calls me that.” And that was the truth.
Kay smirked. “Oh, you can’t be serious. Other people call you that. What about people at work?”
I grinned. “Nope, not even at work. I’m the boss so they call me, Mr. Smith.”
Kay giggled. Oh my God it has been forever since I heard her laugh. I missed it. I truly wanted to grab her around the waist and pull her close to me.
“This is true.” Is what I heard after my mini fantasy was over.
I shuffled my feet and watched them as I did. I then asked, “So, how have you been?”
“Good and you?”
I truly felt like a teenager around her. This was a new feeling for me. “Fine.” I paused for a couple of seconds. I needed to get this off my chest, so I did what both Celiene and Jeffrey suggested. I went for it. “Hey, can we go somewhere private to talk?”
She nodded. “I don’t see a problem with that.”
Dude took over again. “Come on, let’s go.”
I grabbed her hand and led her outside on Jeffrey’s patio. It was a little cool, but I needed the privacy while I could get it. Once we were outside, I had no idea what I wanted to say. She saw it.
“What do you want to talk about, Darren?” Kay asked. Her voice, angelic in my ears.
I had to grow up fast. “I want to pick up from where we left off before.”
She shook her head. “I don’t remember where we left off.
“Yes, you do,” I replied softly.
She looked at me hard. “No, tell me again.”
“So much has happened since we talked last. You are dating that Jacob guy and I am trying so hard to move on.”
Kay paused for a moment and said something that shocked me. “I am not dating Jacob.”
She couldn’t be serious. I saw it, and so did many others in my circle. “Looks like it to me.”
“Just because you happen to see us out together does not mean I am dating him,” she replied with a sexy smile.
I didn’t buy it. “Kay, come on it has been months since we spoke.”
She rolled her eyes and shrugged. “Okay, okay. I am sorta dating him.”
Sorta. I needed her definition of, sorta. “What does sorta dating him actually mean?” I asked. I prayed she would give me the answer I desired.
“It means I like him and that’s all. He takes me out, I give him a kiss, and I send him home.”
My heart leapt right out of my chest. “Does this mean you have not slept with him?”
“Not that it’s important, but yes, that’s exactly what it means. I’m saving my love for someone who loves me.”
“Do I have a chance, Kay?”
She didn’t answer my question directly. She decided to tell me a short story instead. “Once upon a time I thought I was in love with Darren Smith. Darren is the guy who took me out to dinner and laughed with me. Darren is the man who took me to church with him. Darren is the man who did not try to sleep with me. It is Darren who I fell in love with. Darren is respectful, and honest. Dude on the other hand is just an attractive man who sleeps with anyone just because he can. I don’t want Dude. I want Darren.”
That is when I knew for sure she would and could be mine if I just consented. “Kay, I am so sorry. Dude gets in the way when I’m scared.”
“What’s there to be afraid of? If you pick the right woman, she will certainly take care of you.”
This was her confession. She was telling me that she loved me without my asking. “Perhaps you are right. Are you the right woman, Kay?”
“Before I answer that, tell me something.”
“Do you love me, Darren Smith?”
There it was right there out in the open. She was admitting to me that she loved me. Me, Darren Smith, and not Dude. Darren Smith has only been in love once in his lifetime. At that time, he loved the wrong woman. Okay, okay. Lucy was not a bad woman, but she wasn’t right for me. My mother told me that many years ago. I missed my mother’s insight. I wish I could have talked to her about Kay later. But that wasn’t going to happen. I really think she would have loved Kay. But I had a serious question in front of me. I had to give this woman her answer.
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I do.”
Kay smiled. I returned her smile and asked the same question. “Do you love me, Kay Jacobs?”
Kay shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe I do.”
She was going to be my girl, and the both of us knew it. I just had to say it from my mouth. “Well then since we are not sure, wanna give love a try?”
She smiled at me with her gorgeous white teeth. “I think I could do that.”
I was so happy; I thought I was going to burst. I did have an obstacle in my way. “So, what do we do about the meathead?”
She giggled that wonderful little giggle and said, “I will handle that. What do we do about your date?”
I shrugged. “Celiene is just my friend, that’s all. She’s cool with it.”
“Do we just pretend for the rest of the night?”
I nodded. “I kinda want to keep things between us private for now, so yes.”
“Well, I’m off tomorrow. You can come and see me if you like.”
I grinned widely. “I’m gonna do more than just come see you. I’m gonna have a whole day planned for us. You just be ready.”
She smiled just as wide. “I will. Is it okay if I call you Darren?”
“That’s my name, don’t wear it out.”
We both laughed hysterically and went back inside.
Celiene, Jeffrey, and Melissa were watching us when we came back in. Kay walked over to Jacob. There was some conversation, and eventually, she pulled him outside. I watched the entire exchange and waited on the fallout.
“How did it go?” Jeffrey asked.
I didn’t want to give anything away with Jacob still in the room. “I’ll tell you later.”
“How much later?”
I could see Jacob’s face from where I stood. He didn’t look happy. The next thing we knew, the sliding door opened, and Jacob stormed out of Jeffrey’s place.
“Right about now,” I said as I heard the door slam in the distance.
Jeffrey didn’t say a word. He knew what just happened, and he was happy for us.
“Well, it’s about damn time.”
I laughed at my friend, and we continued our evening.