Another month went by and things were going well for both couples. Desiree however was getting impatient. She was ready to tell the world she was in love with Owen, but he kept pushing her back in the other direction. They were in Owen’s car, and Desiree thought it was a perfect time to breech the subject.
“Owen, we have to talk.”
“About what baby?” he asked, not taking his eyes off the road.
Owen gently shook his head. “I don’t think we need to talk about us. I think we are doing fine.”
“You know what I mean,” Desiree said clicking her teeth.
“I know what you mean. But it isn’t time yet.”
“Is it ever gonna be time? You said it would be time when the album was finished. Well when is the album going to be finished?”
“You can’t rush an artist baby. Genius takes time,” Owen said, his eyes still on the road ahead.
“You are gonna keep your promise to tell Isaias and Whitney right?”
“Of course,” Owen nodded. “Now honey, don’t ruin my mood tonight. Let’s just go eat our dinner. Afterward I’ll take you back to my place and make fantastic love to you, and all will be good. Right?”
Desiree rolled her eyes. “Whatever, Owen.”
They were on their way to meet Isaias and Whitney. Neither Desiree nor Whitney knew, but Owen and Isaias had some very exciting news for their women, and they were going to surprise them.
“Isaias baby, where are we going?” Whitney asked.
“I told you I would take you to dinner tonight, and that’s what we’re doing.”
“No silly, I mean where are we going? You had me get all dressed up, and that’s not normal.”
“Whitney, don’t ruin the surprise by trying to guess. Just sit back and enjoy the ride honey.”
“Wow, fancy meeting you two here. Ever since you two have gotten together, we barely see you anymore,” Desiree said.
“Well, that’s not entirely true,” Whitney replied.
Owen and Isaias decided they would stop the two women from chatting so they could get on with their surprise. Owen had two surprises. One for Desiree, and the other for Isaias and Whitney.
“Ladies, it’s time for us to take our seats. Let’s go get some dinner and hear some live music,” Owen said.
They went and sat at a table down front so they could get a great view of the stage. The women weren’t aware that this was pre-planned. It was time for the surprise to take place so Isaias excused himself.
“Oh damn. Owen I need to make a quick phone call and I left my phone in the car. Do you have yours?”
Owen reached in his pocket, and handed Isaias his cell phone. “Sure.”
“Thanks.” Isaias left the table to make his phone call.
The waitress came to the table and gave them their menus. They ordered their drinks, and then it was time for Owen to disappear. “Damn him. He’s running up my bill. I’ll be right back.”
“Do you want something to eat?” Desiree asked.
“I’ll be right back. You two go ahead.”
Owen excused himself from the table as well. Whitney was excited. “Wow this is gonna be nice. It’s been a while since I’ve heard some live jazz.”
Desiree was afraid the men were going to miss the act. “Where are they?”
A lone man stepped out on stage, stroked the base a couple times, and sat it on its stand. He then looked left and right then left again as if he were looking for someone else. Moments later, three other men walked out on stage and began prepping their instruments. The first man nodded and stepped to the mic.
“Good evening ladies and gentleman, my name is Smoke, and welcome to Kick’s. It seems that we are missing a couple of our band members right now, so I guess we will try to entertain you until they get here. Hopefully, before show time.” Smoke looked left and right again, and then at his watch. “Wow, they are so late.” The crowd laughed. “But seriously folks, let me introduce you to the ones who are here. Please give it up for the rest of the band. The three men stepped out on stage as Smoke introduced them. On trombone, is Jeff, on trumpet, we have Kenny and on sax is Alex.” They continued to set up and still they waited. Smoke looked to the left, and suddenly, Isaias walked out from back stage. “Oh, here they come. On drums we have Isaias Reynolds, and on piano, ladies and gentlemen, Owen Thomas.”
The crowd applauded. Desiree and Whitney were both surprised. They had no idea they were going to listen to their men play for them. So they sat back, smiled, and prepared to listen. Owen stepped up to the microphone.
“Thank you! Thank you very much!” Owen waited until the audience stopped clapping. “Ladies and gentlemen, tonight is a very special night for me, and I will tell you why. After months of long hard work, I am proud to announce that we have just cut our first album.” Desiree sat there with her mouth open, because she knew what was coming next. She couldn’t wait to hear it.
“The name of the album is Blood, Sweat, and Tears,” Owen continued. “That’s something we all know about. Am I right? So we’re gonna play a very special song written by our drummer, Isaias. The name of the song is, Philly. Ladies and gentlemen, we are Therapy.”
Owen went and sat down at his piano bench and gave everyone the count. The music started, and Whitney was all warm inside. It was great listening to the song Isaias named after her home town, and essentially her. Desiree on the other hand was angry. Owen had broken his promise. She couldn’t wait until the set was over so she could kill him.
“Thank you very much, ladies and gentleman. Now before I sit down I have something else that I have to say.” Owen paused. “I am a very blessed young man and I will tell you why. God has blessed me with a talent to share with the world, and He’s blessed me with one of the best friends I’ve ever had in my life. Come on over here, Isaias.” Isaias went and gave Owen a hug. “I love you man.”
“I love you, too.”
Owen paused for a long time and prepared himself to say something Desiree was waiting to hear. “I have also been blessed to have two other close friends in my life. For one of them my feelings have changed just a bit. Desiree, honey could you come up here for a minute?”
Isaias looked at Owen puzzled, as Desiree made her way up to the stage. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is Desiree. This woman has been the second person closest to me for the last three years. Some months back, my feelings for her changed. She was no longer just a friend. I kept this a secret from everyone, because I didn’t want anyone to interfere with our thing. I made her a promise that once the album was finished, I would announce my feelings to the world. Well, here it is baby. I love you.”
Desiree was more than happy with those words. “I love you, too.”
Owen grabbed her and kissed her as the crowd gave them a standing ovation. When the kiss was over, Owen said goodnight.
“Well, I’m hungry! Good night everyone, and don’t forget to go out and get our album!”
The band left the stage, and went back to the table. The waitress made her way over to the table with a plate for both Owen and Isaias. Desiree sat there staring in Owens eyes. She was so happy she was beside herself. Isaias was happy the secret about his two closest friends was finally out in the open. “I knew you two were dating.”
“No you didn’t,” Owen insisted.
“I did so.”
“You had an idea we might be. You just didn’t know for sure.”
Isaias grinned widely. “Oh yes I did. The last time we talked about you and her, you gave it away. I just dropped it after that.”
“Oh yeah, what did I say?”
“You said, and I quote. Desiree and I are friends. That’s it. She and I are friends, just like you and her. You aren’t trying to get into her pants. Are you? And, of course I said, no. Then you let the cat out of the bag when you said aloud and again I quote. Better not be. I don’t think you meant me to hear you say that.”
Owen chuckled. “Busted.”
“Well I think it’s wonderful. The both of you belong together,” Whitney said.
“Thanks,” Desiree said stroking Owen’s arm. “But, what about you, Whitney? You got a song written for you,” Desiree said.
Owen smirked. “That’s the very song was holding up the album.”
“Really?” Desiree asked.
Owen explained. “Here’s what happened. Isaias had started messing around one day and had some notes going in his head.”
“They just wouldn’t come together,” Isaias added as he smiled.
“So finally he starts to get everything together, then bam! Here comes Whitney Matthews in a cab. He was all fucked up after he saw you,” Owen said, grinning. “Then when he saw that you were Desiree’s roommate, we had another set back on the damn song. Suddenly new inspiration has hit him. He starts changing the arrangement on me. We would have everything together, and then suddenly the piano wasn’t right. I’d get my shit together, and then his part was all wrong. Finally, it was down to the horn section, and they had to be perfect. So, Desi if you wanna blame someone, blame Isaias. He was the hold up.”
Desiree was happy to finally have what she wanted, so nothing else mattered. “That’s okay. We’re all happy now. You and Owen have your album, and Whitney and I have the both of you.”
Owen poured a glass of champagne for everyone, and then proposed a toast. “To great music, great friends, and great love. May all three go on forever and never fade.”
They all lifted their glasses. “Cheers!”
Desiree excused herself from the table. “I’m gonna go freshen up my makeup. Whitney dear, you need to fix your lipstick.”
“Okay, we’ll be right back.”
The two women got to the bathroom and were standing in the mirror fixing their makeup.
“Russell called again.” Desiree stated.
“I can’t keep telling him you’re not at home. I know he doesn’t believe it anyway.”
“What should I do?”
“Well, decide who you want, and take care of it. If it’s Russell, then stop dragging Isaias around on a leash. If it’s Isaias, then get rid of Russell.”
“I can’t keep them both?”
“If you want the shit to blow up in your face then yes. But, as your friend, I say you need to take care of this. If you don’t, you’re gonna hurt both of those men, and you’re gonna be lonely after that.”
“You’re probably right.”
The next day, Whitney decided it was time she gave Russell a call back. She had no idea how much of the truth was going to come out, but she knew she had to do it.
“Hello?” Russell answered his phone.
“What’s up honey?” Russell asked.
“Why haven’t you called me back?”
“I’ve been studying, baby. By the time I get finished, it’s too late to call.”
Russell sat on the other end of the phone wanting to believe her. “I wanna see you, Whitney.”
“I miss you too, baby.”
“No, I don’t think you understand. I can’t sleep some nights wondering when I’m going to get to hold you again. You’ve been away from home forever. I need you.”
Realizing that she was not going to get off so easily, she asked, “So what are you planning honey?”
“It’s up to you. I just know I need to see you.”
“Okay then. How about next month. Spring break is coming up, and I won’t be busy then.”
“I can’t see you before then?”
“If I came home now, I’d never be able to keep up.”
Russell had no intentions on Whitney coming home. “No, I’m talking about coming out there. I promise I will respect that you have to study. I just want to hold you. Please baby, don’t say no.”
The first thing on her mind was Isaias. “Russell we really should wait.”
“Please Whitney. I’m dying to see you. Please.”
Whitney sat for a few seconds and seriously gave it some thought. She hadn’t gotten serious with Isaias, so what could it hurt. She would spend some time with Russell, and decide afterward. “Okay, you can come.”
“Thank you, Whitney.”
Whitney wanted to be in control. This way she knew she wouldn’t hurt either one she cared about. “I will make your reservations, and let you know.”
“I’m not able to get away from work right now honey. I’ll have to get back with you.”
“Be sure to let me know. That way I can book everything, and you won’t have to do anything but get on the plane.”
“Okay. I love you, Whitney.”
“I love you, too.”
“See you soon. Bye baby.”
Whitney hung up the phone, and wondered how she was going to tell Isaias her boyfriend from back home was coming out to see her. Even though he said it, there was no way he would understand. She couldn’t risk hurting him, so she decided not to tell him.
Two weeks went by and the two couples decided they would do something different than what they would normally do on the weekend. Owen and Isaias didn’t have a booking that week and instead of going out to dinner, they would just hang out and watch a little television.
“I have the movies!” Owen exclaimed
“What’d you get baby?” Desiree asked.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fast and the Furious, Lord of the Rings, and Coach Carter.”
“I vote we watch Coach Carter first,” Whitney said.
“No way, Fast and the Furious,” demanded Desiree.
Owen sighed. “Ladies, no arguments please. We have one television, four movies, lots of popcorn, and plenty of beer. How about we start with a little levity. I’ve heard Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is very entertaining,” Owen suggested.
Five minutes before they started the movie, Whitney’s cell phone rang. “Hello...Hey, what’s up...Really...I’m glad. Okay, I’ll be right there.” Whitney hung up the phone, and politely excused herself. “Hey, I gotta make a run. This chick in my biology class has some notes that I’m gonna need before spring break.”
“You aren’t cheating on a test are you babe?” Isaias asked.
Whitney stood with her hand on her hip and smirked. “I said they were notes not the answers honey. She’s going out of town for a couple of days, so I’m gonna swing by her place and pick them up.”
Not wanting to be left alone with the other couple in the room, Isaias said, “You’re gonna miss the movie babe.”
Whitney didn’t move her hand from her hip and continued to smirk. “It’s a DVD Isaias. We can rent it again. I’ll be back before it’s finished anyway.”
“All right. See you in a few.”
The phone call Whitney received wasn’t her classmate at all. It was Russell at the airport waiting for her. He had no intentions of waiting on Whitney to send for him, because some how he knew the day would never come. So, he made his own reservations, and flew to California to surprise her, and surprise her he did.
She was excited to see him, but angry with him as well. Whitney made her way to the airport in record time. She met Russell out front. She had flowers in her hands, looked extremely beautiful in her black t-shirt and jeans. She greeted him with a kiss, and off they went. She took him to his hotel and allowed him to check in and then they were on their way again. She took him to dinner. They ate, and talked a bit. She avoided any questions that would link them together forever. There was no way she could think about marriage at this point. They talked about what was going on at home, and school. When they were finished with dinner, Whitney was ready to get back to Isaias. “It’s wonderful to see you baby. I really did miss you.”
“I love you, baby.”
Russell found this rather odd. In the past whenever he told Whitney he loved her, she always responded with, I love you too. He excused it as her just being distracted, and went on with the conversation. “You ready to go back to the room?” he asked.
“Let me drop you off, and I will go back to the house and get some things. I’ll be back to spend some time with you after that.”
“Okay. But why can’t I stay with you?” Russell asked, placing his hand on hers.
Whitney smiled. “No men in my apartment honey. I have a roommate, and since it is on campus, it would be breaking the rules, so I can’t.”
“Okay. Let’s go. The sooner I have you in my arms, the happier I will be.”
Whitney took Russell back to his hotel, and went back to her place. When she walked in the door, Owen and Desiree were not around. Isaias was sitting alone on the couch. He got up and walked toward her.
“What took you so long Whitney? I had to sit here and watch our friends make out right in front of me.” Before she could answer, Isaias kissed her with so much passion, she couldn’t resist.
When he touched her, she immediately forgot about Russell, and gave into the moment. Isaias picked her up and carried her to her room. They made love then went to sleep. Early the next morning, the doorbell wouldn’t stop ringing, and Desiree was tired of it. She got out of her bed and answered it.
“Who is it?” She asked.
“Who?” she asked again to be sure she heard him right.
Desiree opened the door. “You here to see Whitney?”
“Is she here?”
Desiree turned her back, and left the door open. “Down the hall first door on the right.”
Russell walked into the apartment to find it a mess. He didn’t think anything of it. His main concern was his woman. Russell made it down the hall to Whitney’s room, and didn’t even knock. He opened the door to get the surprise of his life. There was his beautiful girlfriend in the arms of an unknown white man. Russell’s first thought was to beat the crap out of him, but what would that solve? He wanted Whitney to hurt just as he was at that moment. So instead, he woke her up.
“Whitney.” She didn’t move. “Whitney!” Russell said louder.
Both Isaias and Whitney woke up. Whitney was very groggy, and didn’t realize exactly where she was at the time.
“What is it Russell?” When she said his name, she suddenly realized that he was standing in her room. “Russell!” she exclaimed sitting straight up in her bed. Russell said nothing. He only allowed her to see the hurt in his eyes, and turned to walk out. Whitney however was in a state of panic.
“Russell, wait! Baby it’s not what it looks like! Come back! I can explain! Russell, wait!” Whitney almost broke her neck getting to the door. By the time she opened it, Russell was on his way down the stairs. “Russell baby come back! Russell!”
Whitney stood outside in her underwear watching Russell walk out of her life. By this time, Isaias was in the living room. “Whitney, come on in here. You don’t have any clothes on.”
Whitney realized that she screwed up not once, but twice. Her long time boyfriend had just walked out of her life, and now she was going to have to explain things to her new one. Whitney walked back in the apartment and closed the door. Isaias was extremely angry with her, but he tried to remain calm. “So, that was Russell.”
There was fear in Whitney’s eyes. “Isaias let me explain.”
“What’s he doing here?” Isaias asked pained fury in his eyes.
“Please Isaias. Let me explain.”
Isaias could no longer hold in his anger. “I asked you a fucking question Whitney! What in the hell is he doing here?” he shouted loudly.
“He’s been asking to come out here, so I told him he could,” she said looking away from him.
Isaias narrowed his eyes. “You did this without discussing it with me first?”
Whitney didn’t want to lose the argument. “I don’t have to tell you every move I make, Isaias.”
Isaias erupted again. “You do if it’s gonna break my heart!”
“I’m sorry, Isaias. I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Whitney said with tears welling up in her eyes.
“So what was supposed to happen, Whitney?”
“I don’t know.”
“Yes you do, and so do I.” Isaias decided it was time for him to leave. “Well Russell did the right thing. I hope you like being by yourself.”
“What are you saying, Isaias?”
Isaias gazed at her for a moment, and then went in the room and grabbed his keys. He shouted loud enough for Owen to hear him. “See you at home, Owen! I’m gone!”
“Isaias, come on baby let’s talk about this,” Whitney begged.
Isaias gave Whitney the same pained look Russell did, and walked out of the door. Whitney plopped down on the couch, sighed heavily, and allowed the tears to come.
Just then, Desiree sat down on the couch next to her. “Well girlfriend, I know you’re hurting right now, but I told you this was gonna happen. I told you not to let Russell come out here.”
“I wanted to see him.”
“Well, why didn’t you just take your ass home and see him?”
“He wanted to see California.”
Owen emerged from Desiree’s room. “I’m going home too, Desiree. Good luck, Whitney.”
“Can you talk to him for me Owen?”
“Oh hell no. I’m not getting involved in this.” He kissed Desiree on the cheek. “Bye, baby.”
Owen walked out of the door and left the two women to talk.
“Well Whitney, the way I see it you have three choices. Kiss Russell’s ass and get him back, kiss Isaias’ ass and get him back, or find a new man all together.”
“What would you do?”
“You already know that I don’t mess in people’s relationships. I absolutely adore the both of you so I can’t tell you what to do.”
“You’re no help,” Whitney sulked.
Desiree shrugged. “Sorry,” Desiree said, reaching for a tissue and handing it to Whitney.
“Okay then, tell me this. Do you think Isaias went home?”
“I do. On his way to do his angry man ritual I would assume.”
“Angry man ritual? What’s that?” Whitney asked, wiping her tears.
“He’s going to go home, pour himself a double shot of Jack Daniels, drink it quickly, and pour another. This one, he will take his time and drink it slowly. Then he will reach into the kitchen drawer next to the stove and grab a fresh pack of smokes. He lights a cigarette takes one puff and puts it out. Then he goes to his CD collection and pulls out Miles Davis. Blue in Green is his favorite Miles cut. He sits five minutes listening, and then picks up the phone. He will talk for about ten minutes and then hang up. After that he goes to his room and closes the door.”
“Who does he call?”
“He’s never told me,” Desiree said shaking her head. “Owen says it’s one of his friends back home. He won’t go into detail.”
“Can I go see him?”
“I told you, I’m not in this.”
“Desiree, come on. I mean will he talk to me if I go to him?”
“Probably not. He’s pretty pissed off right now. Tomorrow might be a better time to try talking to him.”
“Should I call Russell?”
“Do what your heart says. But, I will say do what’s right for you. Good luck, Whitney. I’m going to shower. I have class in two hours.”
Whitney went to her room and thought about what mistake she made. She picked up her cell phone and looked to see that she had ten messages from Russell from the night before. She wanted to apologize to Russell so she called him. The first through the twentieth phone calls went unanswered. Whitney then knew that Russell was gone and never coming back.
Isaias went home and did exactly what Desiree said he was going to do. The phone call he made was to Victoria. Although she constantly pushed him aside, they remained close friends and often talked about their problems to each other.
“Hey baby, what’s up?” Isaias asked.
“Nothing.” Victoria could hear the tension in his voice. “You sound upset, what’s going on?”
“She was cheating on me, Vic.”
“What happened?” Isaias told her the story. “Oh honey, I’m sorry.”
“I’m done with her.”
“You didn’t even give her a chance to explain did you? You just left, did your angry ritual, and called me right?”
“I did give her a chance to explain, but she didn’t give me the right answer.”
“What did she say?”
“She said that he was out here because he wanted to come, so she invited him.”
“So was I wrong?”
Victoria was curious about his feelings towards Whitney. “Tell me something.”
“Do you love her?”
Isaias ignored her. “I wanna see you. Why don’t you come for a visit?”
“No, Isaias. I can’t.”
“Because you only want me to come down there so you can make her just as pissed off at you as you are at her. I asked you a question, but I guess I have my answer. You really love this woman don’t you?”
Isaias sighed. “I do.”
“Well I suggest you try to work it out. Talk to her. Find out why she really did what she did.”
“I can’t do that. I walked out on her. Do I just buckle and go running back?”
“No. Because I know you won’t do it anyway. But give her a chance to come to you. If it takes too long, then go to her. Talk to her without getting angry and walking out on her again.”
“I’m so happy we can still talk. I don’t know what I’d do without you, Victoria.”
“The same goes for me. You will call me and tell me what happened right?”
“Okay then. I’ll talk to you later.”
“Love you too. Bye Isaias.”
Moments before Isaias hung up the phone, Owen walked in the door. He heard the last part of the conversation. “You still call Vicki when you get upset?”
“I don’t know why you can’t talk to me. Why do you have to talk to her about everything?”
“She understands me.”
“And I don’t? Hell, we’ve been friends since we were ten years old.”
“I can’t talk to you when I’m having problems with women. I need to hear a woman’s opinion on some things.”
“Oh bullshit. I’m as sensitive as any woman.”
Isaias tilted his head to one side and asked, “Okay then, what do you think I should do about Whitney?”
“You did the right thing. She was totally wrong in what she did.”
“That’s not what Vic said.”
Owen shrugged. “Oh what the hell do I know? I suppose you’re gonna give Whitney another chance.”
“You prepared to get your heart broken again?”
“I don’t think I have to worry about that anymore. Russell was mortified. You should’ve seen his face. He’ll never talk to her again.”
“I doubt that, but okay. If that’s what you think, then you do what you want. I’m not getting involved in this.”
“I knew you were gonna say that. That’s why I called Vic.”
“Did you ask her to come see you?”
“You’re still not over her.”
“Oh come on Owen, it’s been almost three years. You don’t think so?”
“Not if you’re still asking her to come see you, and still telling her that you love her.”
“Maybe not. I don’t know. I just know Whitney was wrong, but I love her.”
“You have got to be kidding me. Isaias are you serious?”
“So what. She’s beautiful.”
“That she is. I wouldn’t mind fucking her myself, but damn.”
Not believing those words escaped his friend’s lips; he stared at Owen for a second and quietly said, “Owen, we’ve known each other all of our lives. You’re my best friend and I love you to death, but if I ever hear you talk about Whitney like that again, I’ll fucking kill you.”
Owen was perplexed. “You are serious.”
“Okay, so you’re in love with this woman. How in the hell are you gonna get past her brother?”
“He’ll love me.”
Owen smirked. “Yeah right. I don’t think so. You do remember the story Whitney told you about her parent’s right?”
Owen chuckled, “Her brother will hate you on sight.”
“You have some nerve. Your girl is Mexican.”
“Desiree isn’t Mexican. She’s Puerto Rican.”
“She’s not white.”
“So what does that matter?”
“You can’t throw stones in glass houses man. Look at you. To ashamed to bring your woman home to your family. If you love her, you will do what it takes to be with her right?”
“I love her, but you know my dad man.”
“Give me a break. You love Desiree. I love Whitney. Why can’t you just leave it at that? If you can have your Puerto Rican, I can have my sistah.”
“Sistah? You’re even starting to talk like them.”
“Them? I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Are you still a bigot Owen?”
“No. Not at all.”
“Now you’re lying. I never thought I would hear something like that come out of your mouth about someone I care about. I thought you’d changed. I guess not.”
Isaias turned to leave.
“Where are you going?”
“I don’t know.”
“We have rehearsal today.”
“You rehearse. If you feel that way about Whitney, you feel that way about me. I don’t want to be around you anymore if those are your true feelings.”
Isaias turned and walked out of the door, slamming it behind him. He had no idea of where he was going to go. Not only was he angry with his girlfriend, he was now angry with his roommate and best friend of many years. However, he was not angry with Desiree and Victoria. He couldn’t go to Desiree for obvious reasons, so he got into his car and drove home. Not wanting to disturb his mother with his problems, he went to the only person who could possibly understand.
He arrived in his hometown about forty-five minutes later. When he parked the car in front of Victoria’s place, it was around noon. Victoria was at home, kicking back in her pajamas. Isaias got out of his car, and hesitated knocking on the door. What if she had a man and he was there with her? Isaias decided that he was there to talk to his friend, and that is all he wanted to do. He knocked at the door.
Victoria got up from her couch, and answered the door. “Isaias, what are you doing here?”
“I had a fight with Owen.”
“You can’t go having fights with your roommate. You do have to go home sometime you know.”
“No, I don’t. I can drive up to see you.”
“I already told you. I don’t want to get in the middle of you and Whitney.”
“But you, like Owen, are my best friend Vic. You can’t help yourself.”
“Okay you’re right. So why are you here instead of with Whitney?”
Isaias said nothing else. He grabbed Victoria and kissed her as if he’d never left. Victoria kissed him back. She kept her eyes closed and enjoyed being in his arms again. However, she knew he was no longer hers.
“Isaias, we can’t do this,” she whispered in his ear.
“Fuck that. I need you,” he whispered back.
“Isaias, please stop.”
“Vic please, it’s been so long.”
Victoria had to make him stop, or she was going to go down a road she did not wish to go. She then pushed away from him. “Isaias, I can’t!”
Isaias was surprised at her response. “Why not?”
“Because we aren’t together anymore. You’ve moved on.”
“I moved on because that’s what you wanted.”
“I didn’t expect you to take me up on it.”
“What? So what did you really want me to do?”
Victoria was ashamed of herself, and what she was about to say. She turned away from Isaias so he couldn’t see her face, and quietly said, “I wanted you to stay with me.”
“Victoria, I didn’t hear you. Turn around, look at me, and say that again.”
Without turning around, she said it louder. “I wanted you to stay with me.”
Isaias wanted to make sure he heard what she was saying. “What?”
Victoria turned around and yelled, “I wanted you to stay with me!”
Isaias didn’t say a word. He grabbed her and kissed her again. This time when she tried to pull away, he didn’t let her go. She eventually relaxed, and kissed him back. All of the bottled up passion she had for Isaias she released in that very kiss. Isaias gently let her go. “Vic, if you didn’t want me to leave, why didn’t you just say that?”
“Because it was your chance follow your dreams. I didn’t want to get in the way of that.”
“I never would have let you go, you know that. I could’ve been a famous scientist, and still love you.”
“No. You couldn’t. You would have eventually found someone smarter than me, and you would have gone on your merry way.”
“Why do you think that?”
“Because you’re doing it right now.”
Isaias was now upset. Just thinking of the times he wanted to be with her, and she wouldn’t let him. He thought about how much she hurt him, and the wound once thought closed, had re-opened.
“It’s been three years, Vic. Three years! Not once did I ever have a serious relationship until now! It was you that I always thought about when I was going out on dates!” Isaias realized he was yelling, and calmed down. “And that’s all they were because I couldn’t get you out of my mind.”
Victoria decided to change the subject. “Do you have a picture of Whitney?”
“Let me see.”
Isaias suddenly realized Victoria didn’t know Whitney was black. He went for his wallet. Victoria saw his hesitation. “Well, come on let’s see her.”
Isaias took the picture out of his wallet and handed it to her. Victoria tried to hide her surprise. “Well no wonder you love her. She’s beautiful.” She paused only for a moment, and added something she knew would upset him. “Has your mother met her?”
“Hmm. I see. So what do you think she would say?”
Isaias was shocked Victoria had the same feelings as Owen. Isaias snatched the picture from her hand. “What the hell is wrong with you and Owen? Just because Whitney is black doesn’t make her any less of a person than anyone else!” Isaias shouted.
“I didn’t say anything about her being black, Isaias.”
“You didn’t have to! It’s all over your face! I don’t get it! When we were kids, why didn’t I see this in you and Owen? Why not? Did you have these feelings then?”
“Isaias please honey I don’t have anything against black people.”
“You don’t have anything against them until they are a threat to your bloodline right? Keep them in their place. Is that what you are thinking?”
“No, nothing like that. I’m just surprised.”
“Why? Why are you so shocked that I can be in love with a black woman?”
“I don’t know. I just didn’t think you were like that.”
“You know what? I’m sorry I ever came over here. I should have gone to see my mother like I started to. I thought of all people you would understand. I thought you would be here for me.”
“I am here for you, Isaias.”
“Well stop judging me, and be here! Whitney is a wonderful person. She’s sweet, and extremely smart. She’s passionate and beautiful. She’s all the things you are. The only difference is she’s black.”
Victoria smirked. “Well why are you up here with me then? Why are you up here kissing and hugging on me? If Whitney is so wonderful, and you are in love with her, why are we even arguing about her?”
Isaias realized she was right. “I’m sorry, Vic. Forgive me.” Isaias turned and walked toward the door. Before he walked out, he turned back. “Thanks, Vic. Still love me?”
“Loved you when, loved you since we were ten.”
“Talk to you later.”
Isaias walked out of the door, and started on his way back home. When he got there, he packed a couple of things, and went to see his band mate, Smoke.
“What you doing here man? You missed the session.”
“I had a fight with my woman, Owen, and my ex-girlfriend. Can I bunk with you for a couple of days?”
“Relax man, I’m not moving in. I just don’t want anyone to find me right now. I just need a place to lay my head until I work this shit out. So you can’t tell anyone where I am.”
“Not a problem. My spare room is your room.”
“Thanks man.” Isaias stepped inside Smoke’s apartment, went to the spare room, and closed the door behind him.
Two days went by, and he hadn’t even gotten a phone call from Whitney. Should he call her? Why hadn’t she tried to call him? Isaias could hardly stand it. Just as he was going to dial Whitney’s number, the doorbell rang. Smoke had gone out, and left Isaias to himself. Isaias got up and went to the door. To his surprise, there stood Whitney.
“Whitney, what are you doing here?”
“Can I come in?”
“Certainly.” Whitney stepped inside the door, and Isaias closed it behind her. “You didn’t answer my question. Why are you here?”
“Smoke came by and told me where you were.”
“I told him not to tell anyone.”
“He was worried about you, so he came to see me.”
“Why would you even care? You don’t love me. You still love Russell.”
Whitney hung her head and paused for a minute. “No, honey, I don’t. I may still care about him, but I don’t love him anymore. That’s why I’m here. I’m here to tell you we are not through, because I love you, and I’m not giving you up without a fight.”
The angry confused expression that was on his face, suddenly soften when he heard her finally admit what he knew to be true. “You love me?”
“Yes Isaias, I do.”
“Well why didn’t you try to call me?”
“Desiree said I should give you some time to cool off. Are you cool now?”
Isaias was so happy he could no longer hide it. He grinned widely. “Yes baby, I am.”
Whitney grinned back. “Good. I’m gonna hug you now. Can I hug you?”
Tickled that Whitney was using his words against him, he replied just as she would have. “You don’t have to ask, just do it.”
Whitney walked over to Isaias, and put her arms around him. He hugged her back. He then kissed her like he missed her. Two hours later, they were lying in bed holding each other. Isaias thought that he should come clean and tell her what happened after he got angry with her. “I went home after I walked out the other day.”
“To see your mom?”
“No. I went to see Victoria.”
“Oh.” Whitney didn’t want to sound jealous. “How is she?”
“Jealous of you.”
“Jealous of me? Why?”
“I think she realizes she could have kept me had she really wanted. She told me she didn’t want to get in the way of my dreams.”
“What did you say?”
“I told her I could have been a scientist and still love her. I told her up until I met you I didn’t date anyone seriously. She got weird when I showed her your picture. I got angry, and took it back. I left after I apologized for going off on her.”
“Why did you go off on her?”
“I think she’s prejudice.”
Whitney now faced something she never thought she would. She however didn’t want to alert Isaias.
“Don’t worry about that honey. How about we just enjoy each other from now on and not worry about anything, or anybody?”
Whitney said what she did without realizing what was going on back in Philly.
Russell had made it back into town and waited until the next weekend to report his findings to Bishop. Russell went to Bishop’s house and knocked on the door. Bishop was not expecting Russell, but greeted him.
“Hey Bishop, what’s up?” Russell asked.
“Not a thing man. Come on in.”
“Thanks,” Russell said as he stepped in the door. “Have you talked to Whitney lately?”
“Actually, I talked to her this morning,” Bishop said.
“Did she tell you anything?”
“No. It was our weekly phone call. Nothing is new in her life as far as I know.”
“Well, let me be the first to inform you. Whitney is out in California fucking a white boy.”
Bishop, obviously upset, showed no emotion, but only said, “Maybe you should tell me the whole story.”
“I had been pressuring her to let me come out there and see her. She kept putting me off, and putting me off. Finally, she said that I could come…”
Russell continued his story, and Bishop’s anger was growing more and more. The more his listened, the angrier he got.
“She never came back?” Bishop asked.
“Did you call her?”
“At her place and on her cell phone. Nothing.”
“What did you do then?”
Russell told Bishop the rest of the story.
“Then I suppose you came home after that,” Bishop replied when Russell was finished.
“Exactly. Went to the airport, changed my ticket, and here I am.”
“Did she call you?”
“So many times, I had to turn my damn phone off.”
“Wow that’s something.”
“What you gonna do about this?”
“What can I do? I have my own drama. This is your problem.”
“Can’t you talk to her?”
“Whitney’s her own woman now. I’m not gonna get in her business. If she cheated on you, you’ll just have to figure out how you’re gonna deal with it.”
“Okay, but, I just thought you cared about her more than that. I’ll see you at work.”
Russell turned and walked out of the door. Bishop gave him time enough to drive off, and went crazy. He broke things, until he couldn’t break anymore. He screamed and yelled. Bishop was extremely unhappy at this news seeing that he wasn’t fond of Caucasians. A white police officer killed both of his parents in cold blood. Bishop didn’t even bother with the phone call. He decided he was going to surprise his sister. Catch her in the act, and handle it from there.