My heart is almost pounding out of my chest, there’s sweat
running down my face and I feel like I might vomit at any moment. I’m wondering why I’m doing this to myself,
when I look at the girls in front of me in my circuit training class. Oh yeah, because I want to look like those
supermodel looking women right there.
I look to my right and see Gina with her jet black hair in a
messy, but sexy bun, with her olive colored skin glistening as she does her
squats. How is she glistening, when I’m
sweating and panting like a pig? I’m
contemplating strangling her with my bare hands when she turns her bright blue
eyes on me and says, “Come on Evie don’t give up now, it’s just getting fun.” If she wasn’t so guileless and sweet, without
a mean bone in her body, I really would throttle her.
I turn to my left and see my other partner in crime, Megan,
leaning against the wall, eyes closed, gulping for air with her red hair
plastered to her face. I can tell she
wants to make a smart remark towards Gina’s comment, but I think she’s
breathing too hard to speak for the moment.
Her green eyes catch my brown ones and I can see the murderous glint in
her eyes. I chuckle to myself, feeling a
little better knowing that I’m not the only one struggling to make it through
Gina is tall and fit where Megan and me are both shorter and
curvier. Gina recently grew tired of
hearing me complain about how unhappy I was with my figure and talked me into
joining this circuit training class, and I, being the great friend that I am,
dragged Megan along for the ride.
I’m having a hard time concentrating on the instructor as
she talks us through the exercises.
Besides my avoidance to exercise, and the inevitable pain that comes
along with it, I have a lot on my mind.
My brother Trevor called asking for a favor. He says that he has a buddy separating from
the military that needs a place to stay.
He claims this friend of his already has a job lined up, but needs
somewhere to stay until he can find a place of his own. Trevor says the guy is more than willing to
pay rent and that it would only be two or three months tops. My big brother thinks it would be an
opportunity for me to put aside some extra cash for me, and my daughter
I’ve been a single mother since I was eighteen. My Granny
Mabel let me stay with her and helped take care of McKinley while I went to
college. I’ve just recently moved out of
my grandmother’s house and gotten a three bedroom apartment. It isn’t in the nicest of neighborhoods, but
it isn’t the worst. Besides I can’t live
with my grandmother forever.
I’m considering taking in Trevor’s friend. I really do need
to start a ‘rainy day fund’ for me and McKinley. I love my little girl more than anything,
there’s nothing I wouldn’t do for her.
Which is why I’m worried about having a stranger move in with us.
It’s not that I don’t trust Trevor’s judgement. He’s my overprotective big brother after all,
and if the guy is a friend of Trevor’s he’ll be a friend of mine. It’s just that I haven’t brought a man around
McKinley since the day she was born.
Even though this man won’t be someone I’m dating, I don’t want to give my
little girl the wrong idea.
McKinley has recently started asking questions about her
father. It all started when she began
Kindergarten and heard other children talking about their dad’s did this, and
their dad’s did that. I remember the day
she looked at me with her sparkling eyes full of tears and said “Momma, how
come I don’t have a daddy like everyone else?”
With her beautiful light eyes like her father’s and her
caramel complexion more like mine, she’s like a beautiful little angel. I ran my hand over her sandy colored ringlets
and told her that her father had to go fight for his country, but if he could,
he’d come back for her one day. That’s
the best I could come up with for the time being. The truth is too complicated for her five
year old mind to comprehend right now.
Hell, sometimes it’s too much for me to comprehend.
“Well ladies and gentlemen that’s it for today’s class. I hope to see you all again on Monday,” the
instructor announces. Well damn, I’m not
sure if I completed the exercises or stared off into space in contemplation for
the last twenty minutes.
“Thank goodness the torture is finally over,” sighs Megan.
“Oh come on ladies, it wasn’t that bad was it?” asks Gina,
taking a sip from her water bottle.
Megan puts her hand under the water bottle tipping it up further causing
Gina to sputter and spill water down her face.
“No Gina it was just peachy, can’t wait to do it again. And as for you missy,” Megan says, pointing
her finger at me. “I’m going to get you
for tricking me into coming to this class.
Low impact aerobics my ass! I
feel like I burst a couple of blood vessels somewhere.”
“Oh it wasn’t that bad,” I lie. “Anyways, I couldn’t tell you it was circuit
training class, because I knew you wouldn’t come and I needed someone besides
Princess Gina to share my pain.” I say to Megan. “No offense to you Princess Gina,” I add.
“None taken,” Gina replies.
Gina is a beautiful woman with a sweet disposition, that’s
how she got the nickname of ‘Princess’ in college. She has an exotic look that comes from her
mixed heritage. Her father is from El
Salvador and her mother is German American.
She inherited her father’s olive complexion and jet black hair. From her mother she got her crystal blue eyes
and slender build. At 5’9 she could easily pass for a model. I could definitely be jealous of her, if I
were the jealous type.
Gina, Megan and I have been friends since freshman year in
college and Gina is definitely the glue that holds these three amigos together
because Megan and I have strong personalities that can sometimes clash.
I catch a glimpse of myself in the full length mirror and
see that my cheeks are red under my caramel colored skin and my hair is
slipping out of its bun haphazardly on my head.
All the sweating has caused my curly hair to frizz giving me a
“sunflower look” as my brother Trevor teasingly calls it. I critique myself in the mirror eyeing my
large breasts and wide hips, luckily I have a pretty small waist or I’d be a
total catastrophe. At 5’1, I’m
definitely carrying some extra weight, but at least I carry it well. Or so I like to tell myself.
“Alright Evie, if you’re done ogling yourself in the mirror
we’re ready to go,” Megan teases me, grabbing me by the shoulders from behind
and steering me towards the exit door of the gym.
Outside it’s a beautiful sunny day in Northern
California. I’m glad it’s Friday night
because it’s been a long week and the three of us are going to meet up for
dinner and drinks later at our favorite spot, Shay’s Bar & Grill.
“Ok ladies I’ve got to run and pick up McKinley before
After-School-Care closes. I’ll meet you
guys at Shay’s at 7 o’clock.” I inform them, and we go our separate ways.
It’s been a while since I’ve been out with the girls and I’m
having a hard time choosing what to wear.
As the newest accountant at the publishing firm, I’m required to wear
business attire daily, which I pair with sensible shoes and just throw my hair
into a bun and call it good. On my days
off I’m usually a casual clothes kind of girl, jeans and t-shirts mostly, and I
don’t take the time to do intricate hairstyles with my wild curls.
But tonight I’m feeling like putting a little more effort
into my appearance. I’ve already spent
an hour straightening my tight dark curls and now my hair hangs to the middle
of my back, straight and silky with big loose curls at the end. Megan always teases me, asking why I
straighten my hair just to curl it again.
She doesn’t understand what it’s like having mixed-girl hair.
Like Gina, I’m the product of an interracial
relationship. My mother is Native
American and Swedish, my father is African American. People say that I have an exotic look, but I
don’t see it. I have big brown eyes,
brown curly hair that comes just past my shoulders, when it’s not straight, and
light brown skin. There’s nothing exotic
about that. Gina says it’s my big doe
eyes and pouty mouth that make me so irresistible. One of the reasons I love that girl.
Anyway, I’m searching through my clothes in utter despair,
with McKinley sitting at the foot of my bed watching me with fascination.
“Momma, are you going on a date?” she asks me.
“No McKinley. Why
would you think that?” I respond, still shifting through my clothes.
“Well Nattie, my friend at school, says that she didn’t have
a daddy for long time either and then her mommy went on lots and lots of
dates. And now she has a step-daddy,”
she spits out in a rush. Taking a deep
breath she finishes with “If I can’t have a real daddy I thought maybe you can
go on dates and find me a step-daddy just like Nattie’s mom,” she says in
earnest with hope dripping in her sweet little voice.
She might as well have walked up and sucker punched me in
the gut, because that’s what it feels like hearing those innocent words falling
from my baby’s mouth. I don’t know who
this bratty little Nattie is but I sure could wring her neck right about now
for putting these ideas into McKinley’s head.
She gets enough crazy ideas on her own without any help from the peanut
I walk over to the bed and plop down next to McKinley
wrapping my arms around her. “Honey it’s
just a girl’s night out with your Auntie Megan and Auntie Gina. But don’t worry
sweetie, one day Momma will find her prince charming and we’ll be a family,
Ok?” I told her gently squeezing her and kissing her on the forehead.
“Ok Momma,” she agrees hugging me back. “Hurry up and get ready so I can go to
Granny’s house,” she says to me over her shoulder as she skips out of the
room. Thank goodness kids are so damn
Now my nerves are shot.
I need some help figuring out what I’m going to do about McKinley and
her new found daddy obsession. I need to
talk to my girls and get some advice pronto.
And to top it all off, I need a damn drink!
Shay’s Bar & Grill is only a couple of blocks away so I
decide to walk in case I decide to have more than a few drinks. It’s a warm balmy spring night and there’s a
slight breeze gently blowing my hair and causing my dangling earrings to tinkle
ever so slightly in the wind.
I stop a couple buildings down from the restaurant and
switch out my flip flops for the heels in my purse. The short walk and fresh air did me
good. I smile as I sashay in the front
door feeling refreshed.
I had finally decided to go with something casual but sexy
before leaving my apartment. I’m wearing
tight black jeans, a sheer top with camisole underneath and a pair of strappy
high heels. With my minimal makeup and
jewelry I might not be show stopper but I should turn at least a few heads.
I look into the restaurant and spot Megan and Gina already
here in our favorite booth and head towards them waving. As I walk up to them Gina gives a little
“Hey mamacita, looking good,” she says in her manliest voice
possible. We both laugh as I slide into the booth next to Megan who’s not so
subtly eyeing some man candy at the bar.
“You guys look pretty hot yourselves,” I comment with a
little smile and a wink. Both ladies are
wearing dresses and Megan has her hair cascading down her back in gorgeous
fiery waves while Gina looks elegant and classy as usual. I sigh saying “I wish someone had given me
the memo.” Megan finally tears her eyes
away from the hunk at the bar.
“Huh? What in the
world are you talking about?” I look her
and Gina up and down pointing.
“You know, the memo that you guys obviously got saying to
wear sexy dresses and come-get-me high heels,” I say teasing.
“What difference does it make? You never take a guy home
anyway. You’re only 24 years old and you
act like an old lady already. I know
you’re a single mom and all, but you’ve got to live a little sometimes.”
Wow, that stung just a little bit. I must have made a face because Megan notices
my reaction and quickly apologizes. “I’m
sorry girl. That was totally uncalled for.
I think I’m just on edge, it’s been eons since I’ve gotten laid and I’m
jonesin’. We all laugh a little at that.
“Besides we all know that you’ve never gotten over your first love. What was his name again? Hunter, right? The perfect specimen of a man that you
compare every other man to.”
Yeah, Megan’s right about that. I never got over him. Hunter Douglas. My brother’s best friend. The boy I’ve loved since the second
grade. The beautiful boy who was sweet,
funny and kind with messy blond hair and stunning gray eyes.
The boy who turned into the man that crushed my heart into a
million tiny pieces and stomped on them as he walked away. Of course, I omitted that part of the story
when I told Megan and Gina about Hunter.
Even though Hunter had done irreparable damage to my heart I still couldn’t
forget how wonderful I thought he was before that fateful day.