A month earlier Isaias and Owen were at registration. They were finally on their way to being men. It was there at registration, that they noticed a Puerto Rican girl by the name of Desiree Martinez. Desiree was gorgeous. Long black hair, bronze skin, and eyes so dark brown, they were almost black. Her smile is what attracted Owen to her. Isaias and Owen were constantly competing against each other, and this competition included women.
“Bet she talks to me first,” Isaias said.
“You’re on.” Owen smiled.
The two of them approached her and spoke at the same time. Desiree spoke to the both of them, and the three of them hit it off the first day, though they didn’t know why.
Desiree a young woman from New Jersey and had nothing in common with these two young men. At the time the only common thing was, Eastern-Clark University.
A medium sized school that sat in the mountains of California. This university boasted some of the top scientific minds in the country. However, not all of the students were willing to admit they were as smart as they really were. Some were there to continue their education and go on to have bigger brains. Some were there to get away from their families to start their own lives. Some really didn’t belong there at all. Although Owen was very brainy, his parents bought his way into the school.
Two years later, Victoria was still a part of his life; Isaias had almost given up on marrying her. They still talked, and that was all that they ever did. At the beginning of their junior year. In comes Whitney Matthews. Short with long black hair and sultry black eyes and dark skin.
Whitney was a black woman, and she had an IQ to match her beauty. She was a transfer student from an east coast school. Now also in her junior year, she came to Eastern-Clark to get the additional training to become a physicist. One thing she didn’t count on was the lack of people like her.
Whitney was one of twenty black students on a campus of two thousand. At first, this made her uncomfortable, but she didn’t let it bother her for long, because she was there to study, graduate, and get on with her life. Everything was going according to plan until she met her roommate and soon to be close friend, Desiree Martinez.
On one very warm fall day, Desiree was in her apartment cleaning up so the place would be presentable for her new roommate. The only thing Desiree knew about her is that she was from the east coast. It made her happy to know she was going to have something in common with her new roommate. Desiree was in the kitchen when the doorbell rang. She went to answer it.
“Who is it?” Desiree asked.
“It’s us sweetie, open up!” Owen shouted.
Desiree opened the door. “What’s up fellas?”
“We were on our way to rehearsal when we heard you were expecting your roommate soon,” Isaias said.
“I hope she’s cool.”
“We do too,” Owen added.
“What’s her name?” asked Isaias.
Owen squinted. “Whitney? Sounds like she’s from money.”
“Oh please Owen, not every woman named Whitney is from a well-to-do family.” Isaias exclaimed.
Owen was curious. “You know anything else about her?”
“Other than she’s coming from the east coast, nothing.”
“That should make you happy to have a home girl as your roommate. Now maybe you’ll have someone to cause trouble with, and leave us out of it,” Isaias said, grinning widely.
“Come on man, we’re already late. Let’s go,” Owen said in haste.
“Desi, do you need help with anything?” Isaias asked, always courteous to people he cared about.
“No, I’m good.”
“Okay, we’ll see you later.”
Isaias and Owen both kissed Desiree on the cheek and left. As the two men walked to the parking lot, they noticed a cab pull up. Inside the cab was an extremely attractive black woman. Isaias made sure to stop and get a good look. “Damn!”
Owen stopped in his tracks. “What?”
“The chick in the cab.”
Owen looked in the cab’s direction. “Out of your league man. Come on the guys are waiting.”
Isaias didn’t take his eyes off the cab. “Yeah.”
They went on about their way. Had they waited to see who was going to get out, they may have seen Desiree’s new roommate. Whitney Matthews had arrived.
Two days earlier, Whitney was at her older brother’s place back in Philadelphia, he was worried about her going so far away from home.
“Quit freaking out Bishop. I’ll be fine,” Whitney said biting her sandwich.
“California is a long way from the streets of Philly, girl.”
“That’s exactly what I wanna get away from. The streets. I can’t get anything done here anymore. My so-called friends are always getting me in the club and you know I should be studying. This will be a new start for me. It’s a good thing trust me.”
Bishop shook his head. “I don’t know. Every since momma and daddy died, I just like you to stay close.”
“You have your own life. You have your beautiful girls to take care of. Lord knows that ex-wife of yours can’t do it right. Don’t worry about me, I’ll be fine.”
“I will miss you,” Bishop said with a hint of sadness in his voice.
“Eastern-Clark is one of the best universities in the country. It has taken me forever to get in there, so I’m going. There’s nothing or no one that is going to stop me.”
“All right, Whitney. You go with my blessing. But, I want you to know I love you very much, and if you ever need anything, all you have to do is call. I’ll even bring you a cheese steak if you want.”
Whitney laughed. “It’s a deal.”
Bishop still worried about Whitney so he had to know. “You sure this is what you wanna do?”
Whitney sighed heavily and looked her brother in the eye. “I’m going Bishop.”
“All right little sister, whatever you say.”
Whitney got on the plane as planned, and began her journey into the world unknown. As she sat in the cab, she noticed two attractive men walking by. Cute, she thought, and paid the cab driver. By the time she’d gotten out of the car, they were gone. Whitney stood on the sidewalk for a minute and absorbed her surroundings.
There were trees and grass everywhere. The air was clean and it was quiet. She then thought, I think I’m gonna like living here. She smiled, and headed towards her new place. Although she had her key, she knocked out of respect for her new roommate. After a moment, the door opened. Desiree looked at Whitney with much confusion. “May I help you?”
“Hello, I’m Whitney Matthews, your new roommate.”
“Really?” Desiree said, looking Whitney up and down. “You don’t look like a Whitney. Come on in.”
“Thank you, I think.” Whitney stepped into her new apartment.
Desiree introduced herself. “I’m Desiree Martinez. Come on in, take your shoes off, and get comfortable.” Desiree left the living room, and shouted, “Your room is down the hall, first door on the right!”
Whitney shouted back to her. “Thanks!”
Desiree came out of the kitchen with two glasses in her hands. She handed one of the glasses to Whitney. Whitney took it and had a seat on the couch. “Nice place.”
“Thanks. My last roommate decorated. She was a nerd though. You’re not nerdy are you?” Desiree asked with much concern.
“I don’t believe so.”
“Good. What’s your IQ?”
“At last check, one sixty eight,” Whitney said proudly.
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Not only do you not look like a Whitney, you don’t look like a genius either.”
Whitney was intrigued. “And just what does a genius look like?”
Desiree smiled. “I have two very close friends that are at band practice now. When they come back, I’ll show you what genius looks like. Between the two of them, their total IQ is like three fifty or something.”
“Impressive. And you?”
“I’m the same as you.”
Whitney smiled. “So your friends are only slightly smarter than us.”
“Slightly.” Desiree changed the subject. “So, I come home five days ago to find out that you were coming. I got your name, and some town on the east coast. Where are you from?”
Desiree grinned. “Really? I’m from Jersey.”
“Nice.” Whitney looked around the room and asked her next question. “How did you adapt to this environment when you first got here?”
Desiree was getting more comfortable. “Oh girl, please. When I first got here, I hated it. I’m such the city kid, I had issues. But I met my friends at registration in freshman year, and I adapted quickly. They are from this part of the country.”
“Northern California? Must be white,” Whitney smirked.
“They are. But they’re cool though.”
“You said they went to band practice. I’m guessing rock music?”
“Wrong,” Desiree replied, shaking her head. “Jazz.”
Whitney was surprised. “Get the hell outta here!”
“No shit. One of them plays the piano, and the guitar. The other is a drummer.”
“Smart and talented as well. Is there a lot of that going on around here?” Whitney asked.
“No. That is why these two are so special. People like us have a hard time finding our creative side. You know that left-brain thing. My boys are whole-brained.”
“Can’t wait to meet them. What happened to your last roommate did she graduate?”
“Nope. She fell in love, and decided a husband and children were more important than an education. So, she left school to get married. I’m glad though. We didn’t get along very well.” Desiree smiled widely. “I’m known as the resident wild child around here. If you can’t deal with it, you can’t stay.”
“I like to party. I drink. When the party is going well, I may get a little drunk from time to time, and from time to time, do some crazy shit. So, if you don’t want to be a part of that, I’m cool. Just as long as we get along when we’re at home. But if my partying bothers you, well simply put, you can’t stay with me.”
Desiree and Whitney continued to talk, and things were going great. They got along well, and discovered they had many things in common. They talked for an hour, and then went shopping to get Whitney’s room in order. When they got back, they poured themselves a drink and sat to talk some more. Whitney and Desiree both felt their friendship beginning to grow, and their living together was going to be a great arrangement.
By the time the doorbell rang again, Desiree, and Whitney were well on their way to intoxication.
Whitney looked at the door. “Is this your friends you think?”
“I sure the hell hope so. It’s damn near midnight.”
Whitney got up and opened the door. “Hey! Come on in!” The two men stepped into the apartment. Owen ignored Whitney, but Isaias was stunned. He couldn’t believe the woman he’d seen earlier, was now in Desiree’s apartment.
Whitney turned to her roommate and asked, “Tell me Desiree, who are these two handsome strangers?”
“Whitney, these are my very close friends, Owen Thomas, and Isaias Reynolds.”
“These are the two with the high IQ’s?” Whitney asked.
Desiree nodded. “Genius.”
The women laughed uncontrollably. Owen was a little irritated. He didn’t like the fact that a perfect stranger was teasing him. Isaias was in a completely different state of mind. He could only stare at Whitney. Isaias nudged Owen. “That’s her,” he whispered.
“Her who?” Owen whispered back.
“The chick in the cab.”
“Like I said, out of your league. Get that shit out of your head right now.”
“We’ll talk about this later.”
“So, you two. How was practice?” Desiree asked.
“We’re almost there. The song Isaias wrote is almost ready to record. So Whitney, that is your name right?” Owen asked.
“What brings you to our campus?”
“Funny,” Owen said not believing that Whitney was as smart as she was. “That’s what my major is.”
“What about you, Isaias?” Whitney asked, seriously wanting to know in spite of her intoxication. “What’s your specialty?”
“I would’ve pegged you for a biologist.”
Isaias squinted. “Any particular reason?”
Desiree and Whitney laughed again. It was obvious to Owen that Whitney and Desiree were well beyond drunk. So, he decided it was time to go. “Well ladies, we’re tired. We’re gonna go. We just wanted to stop by and meet you, Whitney.”
“Nice to meet you too,” Whitney said politely.
“See you fellas later.”
“Goodnight Desiree. Goodnight Whitney.”
“Goodnight,” they said in chorus.
Owen nudged Isaias. “Say goodnight, Isaias.”
After Owen and Isaias left the girls apartment, they started on the way home. Owen’s mind was strictly on the jam session they finished. Isaias on the other hand was fantasizing about the woman he met.
“We sounded good tonight,” Owen started. “If we can just get the horns perfect, we should be recording in a couple of weeks.”
Isaias was somewhere else. “Yeah.”
“Did you hear me? I said we’re almost ready to record our album, man.”
Isaias stared out of the window and nodded. “Yeah, I heard you.”
Owen was irritated that Isaias ignored him. “What the hell is wrong with you? Normally I can’t shut your ass up.”
“Nothing,” Isaias said quietly.
Owen shook his head. “Naw. What’s up?”
“I don’t really know,” Isaias paused. “What did you think of Whitney?”
“Oh come on man, we were in there three minutes and both of them were drunk. I don’t know anything about Whitney, yet.”
“She’s still out of your league man.”
Isaias was now irritated. “Why do you keep saying that? I can pull any babe on campus I want, just like you. Why is Whitney out of my league?”
Owen shrugged. “If you don’t know, I can’t help you.”
“It’s because she’s black right?”
“That’s part of it, yes.”
“And the other part?”
“She’s fucking hot man. Nobody that looks like her wants to fuck with you.”
“Bullshit,” Isaias smirked. “I bet I pull her inside of a month.”
“A month?” Owen laughed. “It’s gonna take that long?”
“Yeah. I am at a disadvantage.”
“And what might that be? You just said you could pull any babe on campus you wanted.”
“I’m a white boy. I have to take my time with this one. You know, figure out what makes her tick.”
Owen glanced at his friend slightly then put his eyes back on the road. “Are you looking for a steady woman now?”
“Maybe,” Isaias said as smile playing at the corner of his mouth. “I want to be just like you.”
“Naw, no way. Are you talking about silly ass Sophie from Lit?”
“Nope,” Isaias said, his small smile widening to a grin. “Someone much closer to home.”
Not completely understanding what Isaias was talking about, Owen speculated. “If you still think I’m hung up on Yvonne, you’re crazy. That bitch is only interested in two things. My inheritance and my dick. Beyond that she couldn’t care less about me.”
“You know exactly who I’m talking about, and I think you should go for it.”
“Desiree,” Isaias said, smiling widely.
“She and I are friends, just like you and her. You aren’t trying to get into her pants. Are you?”
“Better not be.”
Isaias chuckled aloud. “I knew it. You have had a crush on her for at least a year now.”
Owen was determined to keep his relationship a secret. “I can’t mess with Desiree. That would mess up everything. The three of us are close friends, and that’s the way I want it to stay. I can’t fuck with Desiree, and neither can you.”
“You on the other hand, have a deal. I bet you a surf and turf dinner that you will not be able to go out on a date with Whitney.”
Isaias smiled. “You’re on. But you will lose.”
Exactly one week later, Isaias and Owen were at home studying and Owen was having a hard time with his homework. Isaias offered to help. “What’s wrong man?”
“This formula is not coming out right, and it’s making me crazy.”
“Let me see.” Isaias looked at the problem, and was also confused. “Oh damn, I see what you mean.”
“I have got to get this right. We only have two problems for homework, and well you know how that goes. It’s strictly pass or fail.”
“Why don’t you call Whitney?” Isaias suggested.
Owen looked at Isaias and raised an eyebrow. “Why would I call her?”
“She is in your class idiot.”
“Yeah right. But, she has to be having the same difficulty as me. I am smarter than her you know.”
Isaias shrugged. “Why don’t you call her anyway?”
Owen stared at his roommate and best friend, because he knew exactly what he was getting at. “No, why don’t you go on over there and ask if she has the answer to the problem for me. I know that’s why you brought her up.”
Isaias smiled. “You’re right. I think I’ll go ask her.”
“You had better do something. You are a week in the hole.”
“I know. But I still have three to go.”
“Well get on over there, and hurry back. We have rehearsal tonight.”
Isaias left his place smiling all the way to see Whitney. Not knowing exactly how she would react to him, he stopped at a flower shop on the way to see her, and bought a single rose. This would make her all mushy, and relaxed. He would be able to talk to her a lot easier this way. When he arrived at her apartment, he held the rose behind his back, and knocked on the door. Desiree wasn’t home, so Whitney answered the door. “Who is it?”
Whitney opened the door. “Hey, Desiree isn’t here.”
Isaias smiled. “I didn’t come to see her. Owen sent me over here to see if you had the answer to the second problem on the homework.”
Whitney squinted. “He couldn’t just call me?”
Isaias continued to smile. “Actually, I offered to come and get the answer myself.” Isaias presented the rose to her. “For you, lovely lady.”
Whitney gushed just as Isaias thought she would. “Oh Isaias, how sweet. Come on in.”
“I’ll just go get the answer for you.”
Whitney went to her room and brought back a piece of paper with the formula in its entirety. Isaias looked at the answer and was surprised. “Wow, you got it right.”
“Yeah. It’s easy.”
“Not that easy. Neither Owen nor I could get the answer. Thanks, Whitney.”
There was an uncomfortable silence between the two of them for a moment. Isaias decided it was now or never. “Whitney, we didn’t have a chance to get to talk the other night, because well you and your roommate were drunk, and it was late. So I was wondering if it would be possible for us to get together and go out for a drink or something.”
“I don’t have a problem with it. I think it would be nice.”
“Great. What’s your schedule look like?”
“This week I have Friday night free.”
“Not good,” Isaias replied shaking his head. “Our band has a gig that night.”
Whitney was now flirting with him. “Really? I’d love to hear you play. You play the drums right?”
“Yeah. I’m just back up though. Owen is the real genius.”
“I thought I heard him say you wrote a song or something.”
“Yeah, but it’s not quite perfected yet.”
“Have you written other songs?”
“Yes, I have.”
“I’d love to listen sometimes. What’s the name of the one you’re working on now?”
“Don’t have a name for it just yet. We have issues with our horn section. After we get those kinks worked out, we’ll be good to go.”
Whitney stared at Isaias for a moment and smiled sweetly. “I never would have pegged you for a musician. Twenty year old, northern California white boy, a jazz musician.”
“Music is universal. It’s all in what sounds good to you.”
The two of them started talking, and before they knew it, two hours had gone by. The doorbell interrupted their pleasant conversation. Isaias looked at his watch. “Oh damn. That would be Owen. We have to rehearse tonight.”
“I’ll get it.” Whitney opened the door.
Owen was furious. “Damn it Isaias, I asked you to hurry back. Now I have to finish my homework when I get home tonight. You had better hope the horns have it together, or you get to figure out my physics problem for me.”
Both Whitney and Isaias smiled. “Oh hold on to your shorts man. I have it right here.”
Owen calmed down. “Okay. Hey Whitney. Thanks.”
Owen examined the piece of paper he had in his hand, and discovered the answer was correct. He was satisfied, and was ready to leave. “Come on Isaias, let’s go.”
Isaias was not in a hurry to leave. “I’ll meet you downstairs okay?”
“Okay, but hurry up.”
Owen turned and went to his car leaving Isaias and Whitney alone. Whitney was still flirting, and she asked, “Is he always in a hurry?”
“Pretty much.” Isaias paused for a long time. “Hey, Whitney.”
“So how about it? You want to have a drink with me?”
“Are you asking me out?”
Isaias was suddenly embarrassed. “Well I guess you could say that. But it’s not a date, date.”
Whitney smiled. “A get to know you kinda thing?”
“Great. I’ll call you later, and we can talk about the details. Is that okay?”
Isaias respected her space, and gave her an un-intrusive kiss on the cheek. That was not unusual for him to do. Isaias kissed everybody. Whitney thought it was kinda nice. “Goodbye, Whitney.”
“I’ll call you.”
“I’ll be waiting.”
Isaias went down to Owens car. He was happy about the outcome of his latest encounter with Whitney. “I am so in there.”
“You asked her out?”
Isaias shrugged. “Sort of.”
“What the hell does that mean?”
“It means we’re gonna get together over drink or something.”
“And she said yes?”
“Yep,” Isaias said nodding. “You do know the definition of date don’t you?”
“Let me hear it.”
Owen recited the dictionary. “Date. An appointment to meet somebody for a social or business activity.”
“And the other?”
“A social or romantic engagement with a person. So, which is this?”
Owen smiled. “You will let me know when it becomes a romantic engagement won’t you?”
“Have you ever known me to Welch on a bet?”
“Okay, I will let you know.”
Three more days went by and both Whitney and Isaias finally got some time to go out for a drink. They went to a small pub not far from campus and had a couple of drinks. By the time the short evening was over, the both of them had gotten to know each other a little better, and the attraction was almost too strong to ignore. Isaias walked her to her door and was certain that their new relationship would continue to move forward. “Goodnight Whitney. I had fun.”
“I was wondering. Have you gotten to know me well enough to go out on a real date?”
“Why do you ask?”
“Can I be honest?”
“I have never been out with a black woman before, and you make me nervous as hell, but I am so attracted to you I can’t stand it.”
Whitney was flattered and could only say the one thing that came to mind. “You’re cute, Isaias.”
Isaias grinned. “You think I’m cute? Really?”
Whitney nodded. “Yeah, I do.”
“Does that mean you’ll go out with me on a real date?”
“Name the place and time, and I’ll be there.”
“Oh wow. I have to think about it. I didn’t expect you to say yes.”
“Well when you’re ready, I’ll be ready.”
“Great.” Isaias suddenly felt the urge to kiss her, but he paused to ask first. “Whitney?”
“Can I kiss you?”
“You don’t have to ask Isaias. Just do it.”
Isaias leaned in and carefully placed his lips upon hers. When he didn’t feel any resistance, he gently pulled her close to him and went for it. After about ten seconds, his manhood began to rise, and he knew it was time to go. As gently as the kiss began, he ended it the same way. He didn’t want to let her go, but he had to get home. “I’ll call you okay?”
Isaias turned and walked to his car. On the way home, he was grinning from ear to ear. His surf and turf dinner was in the bag. He couldn’t wait until he got home to tell Owen. Isaias went in the door and called for his roommate, and there was no answer. He went to the refrigerator to get a glass of water, and there was a note from Owen that simply said, Be back later. Owen. Isaias, threw the note away, and went to bed. Owen was out on a date with the one person Isaias previously suspected.
“Owen, I’m tired of doing this. We’ve been at this for months. Isaias can see what’s up. He’s not stupid you know,” Desiree exclaimed.
“He did notice it, but I squashed it. I don’t want him knowing we’re together. I don’t want anyone knowing we’re together yet.”
“I still don’t know why.”
“We already talked about this. I told you, I wanna get the album finished first.”
Desiree was not happy. She only wanted to love her man in the open. “The album this, the album that. How much longer before you can tell the world how we feel about each other?”
“We have to finish one song, and then its a few weeks in the studio I’m guessing.”
“I’m gonna hold you to that.”
“All right, Desiree. When the album is recorded, we’ll all go out and I’ll be sure to mention that I’m sleeping with you.”
Desiree clicked her teeth. “You don’t have to say it like that.”
“Well you are the one making a big deal out of this. You know how we feel about each other, so that should be good enough for now. Besides, Isaias is too busy trying to get Whitney. He has his own agenda. So now, when he goes out with her, we can go on and do what we do a lot easier than in the past. I promise things will be out in the open soon enough okay?”
Owen changed the subject. “I left a note for Mr. Nosey just in case he gets home before me, so what do you wanna do now?”
“Let’s go to the movies.”
“Desi, it’s too late for a movie, how about you let me hold you for a few hours.”
“How about we go to a hotel, and watch a movie there.”
Owen grinned. “You’re on baby.”
Before the sun came up the next morning, Owen awoke and took his woman home.
He really cared for Desiree. She was different from all of the women his parents introduced him to, also different from any other woman that ran in his normal circle. He enjoyed a woman who was totally secure in who she was, wasn’t concerned about social status, and wasn’t after his money. He could never tell Desiree the real reason why he wasn’t announcing his feelings to the world, but eventually someone would find out.