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No bodys baby: Melissa (chp1)
How did I get to the point in my life where no map made by God’s hands can help me find my way? I woke up today just wishing that things could be different. Then I cried when I realized that I don’t know which “different” I was referring to. Deep down inside, I’m not sure what I want. Does anyone?
I used to be the social butterfly with wings the size of that of an eagle. I would soar through the night sky waiting to land on the next scene. Everyone knew of me. Everyone liked me. And I knew and liked all those who surrounded me with their open arms and warm embraces. Even the envious could not help but stop and hope to get a glance of my wondrous presence. I am sure that to some, I may seem cocky; but what I say is true. I used to be quite popular.
I speak as though its been ages. So sad when the reality of it all is that the person I used to be died but three years ago. Depressing, even, to know that a kiss was what murdered my soul.
Loud music blared from my bedroom walls of jazz and funk as I sang along and danced by myself. The smell of my hair filled the air as I straightened it to perfection. My outfit was laid out on my mattress with the shoes ready by my foot board. My cell phone rang. It was my best friend, Victoria, asking again “What time and where?” Finally an hour later, I was out of the house and into a taxi cab with Vicky already inside. “Gorgeous,” she said to me. “Likewise,” I said. We chuckled and gossiped all the way downtown.
“Chrome” was the name of the bar that I grew oh too familiar of. It was wall to wall tight with beautiful people. Vicky and I held hands tightly as we made our way to the back to ‘our table.’ We were regulars and there waiting for us were a few faces from our high school cafeteria days. It was not long before the table was full of empty cups and beer bottles, and the ash tray overfilled with cigarette buds.
From across the bar, the typical story; I could see him staring. There he was with his friends all as handsome as he and I was with mine. Eventually he walked up and whispered the line that started it all, “Excuse me ma’am, but is this seat taken?” Not original, granted, but his voice, deep and seductive, stole the show. He was tall and lean; muscular and handsome. With vanilla skin and chocolate eyes, this man was a dime a dozen. His aura was all around pleasant. I remember the sweet smell of his cologne and how, that too, trapped me. The waitress came our way and the gentleman asked me if I would like another drink. I politely said “No thank you” and he ever so sweetly suggested a bottle of water instead.Vicky knew my ‘type,’ and knew that this stranger was all things right. She made her way to the dance floor and left me alone to explore what he had to offer.
He sat there next to me until the last call for drinks. We walked out together following our friends and exchanged phone numbers that night as we stood outside of ‘Chrome’. He was on his way to his car. Vicky and I were lining up to get into a taxi cab. He took my hand in his and pulled it up to his soft lips. With a gentle kiss, he smiled again and said “Get home safe.”
I sat there by the window of the cab smiling to myself. I looked at the business card he had given me. “Michael Alvan: Freelance photographer.” A man in the arts, I remember thinking. Nothing can be sexier. Of course, Vicky had a million and one questions of the lovable stranger and I had answers to spare. The whole ride home was spent with me telling her all of what I learned about this amazing man.
The next night, he called me and we spoke for hours. That is how it went for about a month. We’d break night talking about our cultures, dreams, goals and fears only to meet for coffee the next morning before heading to work. He lived but 5 miles from me, so spending time together was never an issue. Soon after we officially began to date, he began fitting taking me to and from work into his schedule to save me the gas money.
I was still living with my mama then. She was not too fond of Michael, that much was certain. I was a few months shy of my twenty-second birthday while Michael was pushing thirty-four. The age did bother me a bit at first considering that he was the same age as my sister, Mary-Ann, but mama always told me that where there was love and respect there was joy in any relationship, so I never understood why it mattered.
I wondered at times if she would have reacted differently to Michael had papa still been alive. It was my mistake to bring that to her attention one night at supper. It was Sunday, and that is certain by the fact that Mary-Ann and Jacqueline were over to fill the chairs for mama’s sake. Jackie was setting the table with the plates, cups and silverware. Mary-Ann and I were helping set the food. I walked back into the kitchen to take the last dish from mama’s way when I asked her if it would be okay to invite Michael the following weekend.
“Only man to eat in my house is your papa,” she said in disgust. She looked at me with such hate. I stared at her in confusion. “But now mama, papa ain’t with us no more. And besides, Jason’s eaten with us before.” I was referring to Jackie’s father. “Hush!” She yelled. “But mama,” I continued. “It’s just one time. So you can get to know him.” “I said to hush now girl! I’ve already said my piece.”
After enough of the back and forth on how I never have my head where its supposed to be, I asked Michael if it would be okay for me to move in with him. Of course he was thrilled with the idea. It was five months since our eyes first met, but I was deeply in love with him. I moved in that very week.
A few weeks later, he took me out to dinner to a beautiful restaurant by the name of “Blue Rose.” Our table was solo in the garden where we could feel the warm summer breeze and enjoy the glittered filled sky as we waited for our hot meals. “Close your eyes,” he said to me. I did. I took a deep breathe in and captured the wonderful moment. “Open them,” he said. He was before me now on one knee. I could feel every drop of blood in my body rush to my face as my eyes began to water and my hands and legs shook. “Melissa Mossing, will you marry me?”
Not a single word came out. I leaped into his arms and nodded my head vigorously. I cried tears of pure excitement and joy. He place the ring on my finger and with tears in his eyes he told me how much he loved me.
How I yearned for my mama’s blessing and fell into a deep sorrow when harsh words of disappointment and grief was all I received from her. She called me all types of foul names and accused me of being with child. She compared me to my sister although our stories are nothing alike. I cried silently as I held the phone. “Okay mama, well I just wanted to let you know. I love you.”
Despite what my mama tries to say about my sister, Mary-Ann is a gentle and loving soul. Always with kind words and understanding and forgiving gestures. She is never the one to push those in need away. Although most of what they say of her is true, I love her and she has always been there for me. She has been through more hardships then the average heartbroken soul, and yet she still stands tall. Mary-Ann is one to be admired and yet so many pity her at times.
After hanging up the phone with mama and smoking a cigarette or two, I dialed my sister’s number slowly. I told her of the engagement in a mumble. I could hear her yell out to Jacqueline, “Jackie baby, Auntie Mel is getting married! Ain’t that exciting!” I smiled. “Me and you need to go out and celebrate,” she said to me. I love her so much. I could not expect less of Mary-Ann’s reaction to the news.
She and I made plans to go out that weekend. I had also invited Vicky so that I could tell her the news in person. We had arranged to meet at “Chrome” at 10pm that Friday night. I was in the bathroom, tying up my hair. My outfit was simple; jeans, a nice blouse and a pair cute shoes. Michael stood at the doorway and stared at me for a moment. “Where are you going?” He asked. Without putting a second thought to it, I reminded him of my plans and continued to get ready to go. I made my way to the bedroom and searched for my purse and keys.
He was in the bedroom now; pacing back and forth slowly. “Baby have you seen my,” I began to say. He interrupted me, “Do you have to go?” I looked at him and walked over to his side. I placed my hand gently on his face, “Baby, I made these plans a couple of.” “And I’m just now finding out.” He interrupted me again. He was getting angry, I could tell, but I didn’t understand why. “Well now that not true,” I said to him, as I went back to searching for my belongings.
He stormed out of the bedroom. I could hear the footsteps down the hall and into the kitchen. The fridge door opened and slammed shut. “Mel, how would you feel if I did this to you?” He asked me from afar. I ignored his foolish question. I found my purse and walked into the living room, still searching for my keys. “Answer me,” he said in more of demand then a kind request. “What are you talking about Michael?” “How would you feel if I got all dolled up to go to some bar? Are you f***ing somebody else Mel? Just tell me now. We can end this right now!” I stood in total shock.
I stared at him for a moment not sure what to say or how to react. It took me a while to collect my thoughts. “I am meeting with Mary-Ann and Victoria, Michael, what the h*ll are you talking about.” He looked down at this half empty bottle of beer and shook his head. “Of course you are,” he mumbled. “I don’t have time for this, Michael, I’m running late.” I was growing impatient of his nonsense now. “Have you seen my” “You don’t love me anymore. If you loved me, you would stay home.”
I stopped and stared again at him. It was not fair what he was asking from me. I made these plans days before. I hadn’t seen Vicky in months and I was excited to spend time with her and Mary-Ann, just the three of us enjoying drinks and sharing a few laughs. Why was he acting like this? He had never done this before. “Please baby,” he said innocently. “Please just stay home with me.” He put his empty bottle down on the coffee table and walked over to me. He kissed my forehead. He kissed my neck. He kissed my lips. He looked into my eyes. “Please.” We made love shortly after.
The next morning, after Michael had already left for work, I called Mary-Ann and Vicky to apologize for not showing up the night before. While on the phone with Vicky, I was separating the dirty clothes, getting ready to do the laundry when the sound of metal hit the floor. I looked down beside my foot, and there they were. My keys. In my hands were the jeans that Michael was wearing. ‘No,’ I thought. ‘It must have been an accident.’ I placed my keys into my purse and continued to separate the dirty clothes as if nothing had happened.