So, how did it go? Did he kiss you?”
“Did he fuck you senseless?”
“Damn girl, did he at least rock your world with tongue action?”
I couldn’t hold my laughter back anymore at that one. I shook my head although I knew she couldn’t see me. Only Tatiana.
“Tati, nothing happened. If anything, he’s avoiding me like crazy now.”
I felt a pang of hurt, anger and embarrassment in my chest every time I thought about it. I knew this plan was stupid, but my stupid heart and my stupid feelings was still holding on to stupid hope that maybe what I was feeling wasn’t just stupidly one-sided. Everything was just stupid overall.
Its Monday; my day off, and Alonzo has been avoiding me ever since Saturday. I know we weren’t talking to each other much before, but it wasn’t intentional, well, not on his part. Now, its a completely different story, one I’m certainly not proud of. Its like he deliberately tries to stay away from me, and what hurts more, he makes it so obvious.
Like, whenever I walk into the living room where he would be watching his football game, he’d abruptly shut the TV off and walk off, or when I walk into the kitchen when I know he’d be eating breakfast, he’d tell me a stiff good morning then he suddenly doesn’t want anymore of his food, which isn’t even half eaten! Its like I’m the plague.
If that isn’t obvious enough, I don’t know what is.
I’ve cursed myself more than I could count for even listening to Tatiana in the first place about this plan that I knew was gonna fail from the get go. Things are even weirder than it was before.
“Kalani, girl listen to me. Do you like this guy a lot or do you love him?”
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Just answer the question.” I just knew she was rolling her eyes at me.
Do I love Alonzo? Did I see a future with him? He has always been there for me, even when I don’t deserve it. He loved me at my best and at my worst, he loved me when I had doubts about my future and when I thought I wasn’t good enough for him. He still loved me, even when I listened to what other people would say, and didn’t give him the benefit of the doubt. When I didn’t believe in him, he still loved me, Kalani Monroe, the girl who was the ugly duckling in a picture perfect family.
He believed me, he believed in me, and treated me like a Queen who wouldn’t want for anything. At all. The attention, care, respect, love--they all came in a nicely wrapped Alonzo package, and I was such a fool to give it up to someone like Georgia. Someone who I allowed to dictate my relationship and what it stood for.
The soft caresses he’d give my body like he was worshiping it, like it was made for him. The light kisses on my lips or neck to make me smile when he knew I didn’t want to, his warmth that always surrounded me when I was cold and needed someone, his smile, his laugh, his caring nature, his whole persona...
It was all I ever needed. I can’t loose him again. I can’t loose the one thing that makes my heart skip a beat whenever I see him. Not to someone like Georgia.
“I-I love him.” The realization had me cheesing hella hard.
Tatiana’s boisterous laughter nearly bust my ears over the phone, but I didn’t mind at all. I was fucking in love with Alonzo Valentine. It all seemed so surreal, I had to let it replay a couple times in my head.
“I fucking knew it!” I snapped out of my thoughts at that.
“What are you talking about?”
It was almost like I could feel her grinning, “When you were talking about him Friday, you had this look in your eyes, one I knew you didn’t know about. Why’d you think I told you to go after him?”
I gasped at her words, “You knew? How?” Was I that obvious?
“It was so obvious girl. So what are you gonna do now?”
“I’m gonna get my man.”
After my lengthy phone call with Tatiana, with her bursting down my eardrums about the plan to get Alonzo back, I took a nice, hot bath to relax myself for later. I’m so ready to do this now. I still can’t believe that I’m in love with a taken man. Me. I laughed out loud at myself. A taken man whose about to get married to my step-sister.
If anyone told me that I would be in this position right now, I’d probably die laughing at the absurdity.
I just can’t picture my life without him. Everything he ever did was to protect and care for me. I left him for New York, for fucking Kemari Russell. I laughed again. The hits just keep on coming.
I didn’t bother to wipe the tears as they streamed down my face. I didn’t have the energy to. When I thought about the things Kemari put me through, I hate myself more everyday. The cheating, the lies, the secrets, the sex, the abuse, the blood---so much fucking blood. If I closed my eyes, I’m sure I could just go back and see twenty year old Kalani, battered and bruised on the living room floor with blood surrounding her like she was in a pool.
He told me once that I was so beautiful, that it hurt for him to look at me, so he beat me with the buckle on his belt to prove his point. I had a deep cut under my arm after that, which, I had to learn how to stich by myself that night. I wasn’t allowed to the hospital. Hell, I wasn’t allowed to leave the house period.
I trace my fingers over the scar and another tear left my eyes. I had many more to show for it, but Kemari wasn’t dumb. He placed his mark in places he knew wasn’t going to be noticeable. He knew.
I had to adopt to a lot a things to make sure that I didn’t anger him or trigger an emotion I didn’t want to result in me getting a beat down, which, was almost always a response. If I didn’t have the salt and pepper at the dinner table, I’d be in trouble, if I didn’t warm his food up before he got home, no matter the hours, I’d be in trouble. If I so much as speak when not spoken to, I’d be in trouble. That one was his favorite.
Riling me up just to hear what I had to say so he could beat the shit out of me. And I always let him win. But he never really needed an excuse so, that didn’t matter. It didn’t matter what I thought, what I felt, how I felt, what I needed...I was just an accessory to him. A free fuck here and there to get his fill.
I stopped myself from going down memory lane on that chapter. I didn’t want to think about how he used my body for his pleasure. Only his. That’s a reminder that will forever stay in my mind. In the deepest part of my mind that will never resurface again.
But I guess he’s not all to blame for the things that happened to me over the course of those dreadful two years.
I fell for someone who mistreated me and took whatever he wanted from me. Someone who didn’t respect me or what I stood for. And I let him. I let him control apart of my life and that’s something I know I’ll always regret. My own insecure naivety led to my own downfall. And that’s all on me.
I’m still a little shocked I managed to escape. I know for other people it was ten times harder, and for that I’m so grateful. It definitely wasn’t easy. It took time, patience, precision and a hell of a façade. But I made it through. More specifically, I jumped through.
I smiled thinking back to me escape and how relieved I was when I pushed my bags through that bathroom window, then jumped out without getting caught. I ran to the nearest Dealer shop and bought a phone, then bought the earliest flight leaving for Houston, Texas with the little savings I managed to salvage from the place I found out he hid my money and came home.
But home just seemed like another drama filled stay that I didn’t want or need.
I walked out of my room and looked up just in time to see Gloria walking briskly down the hall. Just the person I wanted to see. I rushed down the hall to get to her.
“Gloria!” She stopped abruptly and turned around with a smile on her face.
When I just came here two months ago, I instantly developed a liking towards Gloria. The red headed, older woman always seemed to have a warm smile on her face and she was just a total sweetheart. Kind and caring. Just like her boss...
“What can I do for you Miss Kalani?” Her strong, Russian accent seeps through in her words and I had to stifle a laugh at the way she called my name. Instead of saying Ka-la-ni, it sounded like she was said Ka-lan-lee. I didn’t mind though. She made it up to me by always cooking the best food I’ve ever tasted. Speaking of food...
“Is it okay if I cook dinner tonight?”
Her auburn brows lift in surprise at my request. “Is my food not good, Miss?” Her broken English was accompanied with her fallen, smiling face. “Oh, no, no, no. That’s not the reason Gloria.”
“Then what is the problem?” I took a deep breath preparing myself for what I’m about to say. It was gonna be noticed anyway, right?
“There’s no problem with your food, Gloria. I absolutely love it.” She gives me a warm smile at that and I give her one in return, “I just want to cook for Alonzo today...just to show him my appreciation for letting me stay here.” I knew my excuse sounded weak. I’ve been here for two months, and I’ve just decided to show signs of gratefulness?
Gloria’s warm brown eyes shinned with understanding and...mischievousness. Fuck.
“Oh, I see now.” I give her a shy smile. I am so obvious. I internally rolled my eyes at myself. “Well, the kitchen will be yours today.”
“Thank you, Gloria.”
She nods and turns to walk away, but I called her back, “Do you know what Alonzo’s favorite food is?” I knew his favorite food, I just wanted to see if it changed over the years. Her brows shoots up again and this time I didn’t bother holding back my laughter. She gives me a sly smile and tells me and I grin to myself.
It hadn’t changed...
I looked at the time on the clock on the wall as I set the table. It was 7 going on 8; he’ll be here any minute. I light the candles and run my hand down my backless, spaghetti strap, black dress, smoothing out the wrinkles. I bought this dress a couple weeks ago incase of a special occasion and this was definitely a special occasion. It hugged my full breasts and waist and flared out at the hips, showing my thick thighs.
I’m so nervous I could pee myself. What if he doesn’t like it? What if he gets mad and tells me to leave? I mean, the guy has been avoiding me at all costs. Would he remember the first time I made this for him?
Deep breath, Lani. You got this girl. Just relax and hope he appreciates it.
I hear the engine of a car pulling up and I take a deep breath preparing myself for his reaction. I hear the door open and I hurry and stand at the head of the table facing the arch way entrance to the dining room so I’m the first thing he sees when he enters.
“Gloria? Why’s the house so dark?” A smile quickly makes its way to my face when I heard his voice. Deep and husky. A shiver goes down my spine and I bite my lip in anticipation when I hear footsteps coming this way.
“Gloria--” He stops abruptly at the entrance when he sees me. His eyes instantly rake over my form slow and deliberately, and my body tingles all the way down to my toes. The look he was giving me was one of a dark promise. A promise I wouldn’t mind him fulfilling right now. It was the look he’d give me right before he pounds my pussy until I can’t breathe. Fuck. I’m wet...
I look him over also, and saw that coincidentally, he was dressed for the occasion. He was wearing a navy suite and man, was he bringing the look together nicely. His jacket was slanged over his shoulder and his button down shirt sleeves was rolled up his forearms, showing those big, strong hands of his. His hair was a devilish mess but that seemed to give him more appeal to me.
He tears his eyes away from my body and looks around the dining room, seeing the lit candles, and then the table seeing the food, the very same food I’ve cooked for him for the first time. His favorite. I cooked spicy fried chicken with Australian potatoes, lamb Baracoa accompanied with a nice, chilled bottle of red wine I asked Gloria for.
“Hi,” the word leaves my lips in a whisper.
“Kalani,” he says my name in that commanding voice that means business. Damn.
“I made this just for you. I hope you like it,” I smile at him softly to hide my nervousness. He opens up his mouth to say something, but he didn’t get the chance to when I heard someone else’s voice that made my blood run cold.
“Babe, where are you?” Georgia makes an appearance then, and I wish the ground would swallow me whole. She gasps when she sees the dining room and looks at me with nothing short of contempt.
“Well, what do we have here. A romantic table for three?"