The Sex Opera ...Season 2

Friday, June 23, 2006

Chapter 2, part 4

The phone fell from her hand and landed somewhere she couldn’t see. “Oh God!” Brie prayed as she knelt down and sat on her knees with both hands holding her full belly. It didn’t feel like it was the baby moving, this pain was more excruciating than what she experienced earlier.

“Frank…” she started as a Target employee spotted her on the floor.

“Oh my God, are you okay?” the young woman asked as she hurried over to the ailing Brie. She was carrying a handheld machine that looked like some sort of scanner. “Do you need me to call someone?”

Brie could hear Frank calling her name through the phone.

“My phone…my phone…” Brie managed to say as she pointed in direction of the device.

The woman found the cellular and put it to her ear. “Hi. I’m here with your wife, she looks like she’s in a lot of pain.”

She talked to Frank for a few minutes and then slowly, Brie gathered herself from the floor.

“Hold on.” The woman grabbed Brie by one arm and assisted her to a standing position. “I think she’s going to be okay. She’s standing up now.” The woman handed Brie the phone. “I have some paper towel in the fitting area, you’re sweating,” she said to Brie as she helped stabilize Brie in a waiting room chair. “Here you go. I’ll be right back.”

“Frank?” Brie said into the phone between heavy breaths.

“Brie, baby, are you alright? Do you need me to come get you?”

“No…No…”she huffed. “I’m okay. I’m just going to come on home and lie down. I’m not feeling so good.”

“Do you want to go to the doctor to get checked out?”

“No…no…I’m cool.”

“Do you think its contractions?”

“Couldn’t be. It’s probably gas from that big breakfast I ate.”

“Okay, you be very careful coming home.”

“I will.” Brie replied said as she caught her breath.

****

Rico signed in the employee in/out binder and scanned the dry erase board to see who was on schedule to work the floor. He knew that he was going to be shorthanded this day because Dana, his regular day shift cashier, told him the previous night that she had a dentist appointment for a much needed root canal.

As he looked over the board, he couldn’t concentrate on the task at hand for his mind kept thinking about how he was going to branch out his operation on the eastside of Detroit.

“Did you get a chance to check in the inventory that came in?” a voice from behind asked.

Rico turned and peered down at Ashante Miller, his seasonal part time worker he gave job right out of high school. He had been trying to get Ashante to work more hours, but crazy as it sounds, he refused on account it was impeded on his time with the ladies.

“No I didn’t. Are those the new Jordans I ordered?” Rico asked as he turned back to the board.

“Yeah, I’ve been waiting for you to get in so I can pull my size to the side.”

“Nigga, you always tryin’ to be the first with sum’thin’. You need to be savin’ yo’ money for other shit, like movin’ out your moms crib.”

“What the fuck I wanna do that fo’ when I get to eat, shit, and sleep for free?”

Rico shook his head and laughed. “Man, you triflin’! That’s why you ain’t got no woman now.”

“What the fuck I want one of them fo’? Sure I’ll fuck ‘em when I need some skins, but I don’t need no bitches running my shit. Then they’ll be houndin’ me to move in with they asses.”

“Wouldn’t that be betta than sleepin’ under your moms’ shit?”

“Nope. Cause when moms ain’t there, I can fuck different broads and push them out the side door.”

“What if they wanna come back?”

“Shit that’s when I tell them that I live with my moms. They don’t come back after that so the shit works out in my favor either way it goes.”

Rico turned and walked away from his employee, thinking, “That’s a silly nigga if I ever met one.”

****

Jaleesa and Brad sat comfortably in her living room as he held her against his chest. Her tears were unstoppable as he stroked her hair and kissed the top of her head from time to time.

“You know. Me and my sister were very close until I met the likes of my ex boyfriend. It was then things became distant between us.”

“You know you’ve always avoided talking about him.”

Jaleesa swallowed and sniffled. “I don’t want to go there. Let’s just say he was horrible and nothing that I had expected he would be.”

“You don’t have to tell me about him until you’re ready.”

Jaleesa rubbed her moist Kleenex under her nose. “Reese and I used to always play practical jokes on one another, even as adults. She would call and tell me that there was a mad clearance sale at my favorite store and then I would race the the mall and find out that she made a fool outta of me. Or I would cook her something and put too much hot sauce on her food.” She giggled. “I loved her so much.”

“Jaleesa, hold onto those memories whenever you get down. Your sister is still with you just not sitting where you can see her. Something tells me that she’s in this room right now.”

“I can feel her spirit too. I hope Sheila is going to make it okay. She loved my sister as much as I.”

“Do you need anything right now? Some tea or warm milk?”

Jaleesa sat erect. “Brad, there are a few things that separate black people from white, warm milk is one of them.”

They both laughed.

“Sorry I didn’t know that. I guess I have a lot to learn from you. If you keep me around.”

The sincerity in his eyes warmed her. She leaned over and softly placed her lips upon his. “I think you’re a keeper…for now.”

After blowing her nose for the umpteenth time, Jaleesa excused herself. She went into the bathroom to throw a few splashes of water on her face.

“On second thought, Brad, I will have that cup of tea. I have some tea bags in the pantry next to the refrigerator.”

“How do you take it?”

“One teaspoon of sugar,” she yelled.

“Any creamer?” he asked. She could hear his body peeling away from the furniture.

“Again, that’s something that separates our races. No cream in my tea please. That sounds rather gross to be truthful.”

“Actually, it’s not that bad once you try it.”

Jaleesa dried her face and went one of the spare rooms to change into a dry tee shirt. When she returned to the living room, she saw Brad standing over the stove dipping a tea bag in a ceramic cup. His muscular arm flexed with each movement, which led her eyes to his wide neck and broad shoulders. It was nice seeing a man taking care of her once again, one whose intentions weren’t to hurt her. Being with mark made her appreciate the simple pleasures of being involved with someone who genuinely cared for her and didn’t have an ulterior motive.

Brad turned and saw her staring at him and smiled at her. “What’s on your mind, pretty lady?”

“Oh nothing much. I’m just watching you being all domesticated, that’s all.”

He chuckled as he continued dipping. “Domesticated? You make me sound like a pet.”

“I didn’t mean to. I just that I’m not used to seeing a man in my kitchen. Haven’t seen a man in a kitchen in long time really.”

“Well, hopefully, that all will change. I like catering to my woman. Not that I have in a long time really, but it’s nice to feel needed.”

Jaleesa stepped into the kitchen and trailed her index down his forearm until her hand slid against the back of his hand and her fingers linked with his. He turned to face her as she leaned forward and placed her lips upon his cheek.

“Thank you for being here with me. I do appreciate you.”

After opening his eyes, Brad leaned against the counter, grabbed her gently by the waist and pulled her toward him. “I’ll be here as long as you need me.”

Jaleesa tilted her head to the side and slowly closed the space between them. Her face was close enough to smell the mint-like scent from his nostrils before she pulled away. Brad remained still as she pulled away and walked back to the sofa.

****