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Different And In Love
Fun fact: My name is Alesha. I am cape verdean from my mother’s side and a competitive figure skater. i am a u.s figure skating gold medalist and 2017 New England Regional figure skating silver medalist. I attend the local high school in my town, Atten high, and i currently am a fifteen year-old freshman. Finally, the last, most important, essential thing you should know about me is that i am head over heels, madly in like with a freshman korean football player at my school named Jay .
Within the clear plexi-glass, against the scratched white boards with blue trim, on the hard, perfectly wet surface of ice, my feet add fire to the rink and air. My large hands reach for the thick yellow walls that surround me, warmed by the sunlight of the hot star we call the sun. My long fingers caress my soul as my forehead clenches, staining the air with a painful, melancholy feeling. My light-green eyes are fierce like a cheetah, studying and patiently waiting to pounce on its prey, as I glance at my friends at the scratched white boards with the blue trim. All my friends intently watch me with a look that says “Yesss, girl”. I smile devilishly. My ears like an eagle’s listening to every beat of my music as beads of sweat trickle from my face down, around my trachea, and in between my chest. The music stops, and I stand still as my throat burns from my tight vocal cords and the taste of blood and phlegm arises.
Fun fact: I have vocal Dysphonia (during exercise, in my case, my vocal cords close instead of open to allow air into my body). Fyi, it’s not a pleasant feeling.
The session is two minutes from ending so I take a gentle, leisure lap around the rink trying to regain what little energy I have left. The bell rings and my friends and I swiftly leave the ice for the zamboni to zam. I check my fitbit and smile with deep and utter happiness. I burned 1,000 calories from figure skating today and it is 4:30 pm. I get to go home, it is Friday, and my one week school break begins! Hallelujah!
On the ride to my quiet home in the little town of Atten, MA, I listen to my fav song “All In My Head (Flex)” by Fifth Harmony as my mom taps her fingers to the beat on the wheel as she is driving. I tell her about my school day and how I aced my science test. She rigorously shakes my hand with a big smile like she is congratulating me on receiving a beautiful, gold Oscar for the category: Best Actress. I cannot help but smile bigger and even giggle seeing how happy my mom is for me. I peer out the window as we enter our peaceful neighborhood with tall, bent-over rough trees, tickling the roof of our car with their soft, kiwi-green leaves. I sigh loudly enough for my mom to swiftly turn her head to observe me as we turn into our steep driveway.
“What are you thinking about, sweetheart?” She says with deep curiosity.
“I’m so happy that it is finally break, Mom! I needed this!” I tilt my head back gently, resting it on the back of my seat as a sigh is released from my lungs and out my mouth.
“I know! You’ve been talking about it for weeks! But you, without a doubt, deserve it, honey. You have been working so hard, baby, I couldn’t be more proud of you.”
“Moooom,” I say with a little grin as her eyes start to water. I take off my seatbelt and leaned over the seat to give her a warm, soothing hug that lets her know that I love her and appreciate everything she has done for me.
I love my mom and how strong she is being a single mom. How she works like a dog everyday to provide for us.
I admire her.
I admire her beautiful, white smile and curly light brown-blonde hair. I admire how she gets up everyday and dresses like she run the world looking and feeling confident af. I admire her kindness and how her hazel eyes sparkle with friendliness. My mom is my rock, my world, and my warrior.
After my mom and I bring all my figure skating things and her things into the house, I immediately run up upstairs and fly onto my plushy bed like a flying squirrel about to land. I smell my floral orange and turquoise sheets as I wiggle my body around trying to find the perfect resting position. I close my weary lime-green eyes and rest my hands on my stomach as I clear my mind of all thoughts and my long, pointy, gold acrylic nails tap my stomach. As I begin to fall asleep, a buzz abruptly interrupts me. Not a buzz from an insect or an alarm clock. A buzz from a phone. My Iphone. I immediately pop up from resting and reach for my phone.
I ecstatically smile.
Fun fact: “IM” stands for instant messaging or imessaging for them older peeps who don’t know. ;)
My lime-green eyes light up like the sky on the Fourth of July. Jay Kim is texting me? On a Friday night? How unusual of him. I thought he would most likely be out partying with his fellow football boys. But, hey, I ain’t complaining.
Jay Kim and I used to be really good friends when we were about six. We lived in the same neighborhood at the time and he always use to come over after the bus dropped us off at home from school. We would jump on my trampoline for roughly a half an hour and then race each other to his big, dark brown swing set with bright yellow swings. I remember he always would leave pumpkin-colored trucks and cars underneath the swings baking in the hot, radiant sun from the day before. The last few months we have especially reconnected, texting each other some nights and being a little flirty. We mostly have reconnected since we have several classes together like math and ceramics in which we always sit next to each other, or he sits directly behind him.
With red cheeks, I open my Iphone and click on the iMessage app. I intentionally slowly click on the iMessage tab: “Jay Kim”, not to excite or overwhelm myself with this whole situation that is suppose to be casual.
Jay: Hey, alesha.
Alesha: Hey, jay.
Jay: What’s up, cutie?
Alesha: haha, nm. How bout’ u?
Jay: i’m good. Just finished working out.
Alesha: nice. I like to work out too, during the week and weekends by myself.
Jay: cool. That explains why your arms and legs are so freaking buff! ;)
Alesha: haha, thanks.
Jay: :) :)
Alesha: I heard your football season was awesome, mr. undefeated. :)
Jay: Haha. You got that right! Thanks! Coach said we looked and played the best we ever had so far. Hey, how did that big competition you told me about go?
Alesha: it was awesome! I got silver at the new england regional skating championships and got to go to the eastern sectional figure skating championships in florida where i got in the top 6!
Jay: damn, girl! You legit a bo$$ and amazing af!
Alesha: Thanks, Jay! :) I gtg to bed. Skating practice tomorrow morning.
Jay: aww, i was having so much fun talking wit u! ;) :(
Alesha: good niighht, jay.
Jay: gn, cutie.
Alesha: btw, my name is alesha.
Jay: i like cutie better! :)
Alesha: omg, haha! Gn! :)
Jay: hey, wait! U still there?
Alesha: yeah, what is it?
Jay: There is a varsity football game tomorrow night. The game will be pretty intense and it is a lit social event situation. U planning on going?
Alesha: i didn’t plan to bring a friend so i would be there alone. Idk.
Jay: join me! ;) we could meet up somewhere in the stands or at the gates before or during the game.
Alesha: i got to ask my mom but yeah. sounds fun. :)
Jay: cool. Let me know.
Alesha: will do. Later, jay.
Jay: peace out, cutesha! ;)
After my mom and I arrive home around 12:30 from figure skating practice and a chill conversation in which she approved of me going to the game, I bolt upstairs, quickly turn on the water in the shower, set out my makeup on the bathroom counter, and pick-out the sexiest outfit I got.
I am going on a da-..... I mean hanging out with Jay Kim…. yeah…...just haanging out. ;)
I hop in the shower, releasing a tranquil sigh from the perfectly, warm water. I calmy slide the Dove soap around and under all the hills and valleys of my body. My long fingers travel in a line through my scalp like an army spreading lemon-apple scented blood on the battlefield. I briskly checked the clock above the big, bathroom mirror.
It is 1:00.
The game is at 2:00.
I prance out of the shower and hastily dry my curly-afro hair and cocoa-colored skin to start getting dressed. I sleekly slide on my Fashion Nova jeans over my peach-colored thong and slip on my peach-colored bralette to match my undies, an off-white cropped tank top, and to top it off, a classy, pure black leather jacket. I softly apply my satisfying liquid foundation onto my smooth skin, nimbly applied black mascara, and shiny, clear lip gloss.
It is 1:15.
As I nervously descend the stairs, I rigorously scrunch gel into my hair to hold my ringlet-curls that make up my full, bouncy little afro. As I step on the tan-colored tile floor with my high black gold-heel boots, my mom looks at me like I rose from the dead.
“Sweetheart..you look beautiful. However, you look very dolled up to be meeting with just one of your girlfriends.” She says looking suspicious.
“Football games at Atten, Mom, are like social events now. Everyone gets all dolled up and cute.”
“Alright,” she says with an accepting yet unconvinced tone.
I arrive at the Atten High School Varsity Football Game. The lights are blindingly bright like a lamp light being shined in your eyes from a detective trying to exploit that one dark moment in your life that you deeply regret. As I start sensually strutting in my curve, accentuating jeans towards the silver, enormous stands, I see him waiting at the bottom of the steps, looking at his big Iphone 7 plus. He looks so hot I can barely hold myself together. His beautiful, black hair is gelled back with a few spikes of hair falling over his forehead. A shiny, gold cross necklace rests on his pecks, highlighted by his white, long hoodie. His tan pants are the cool, low jogger type with the crotch of the pants hanging like an upside-down boomerang.
My heart is racing.
“Hey, Jay,” I say with a slight voice crack. I immediately and nervously clear my throat.
“Alesha,” he says with much excitement, “I’m glad you came!”
“Thanks, me too,” I say with a bright smile.
“The game is gonna start in a few. Wanna go up in the stands? I saved an area of the bench for us.”
I can’t help but show a shy, side smile from his very gentleman-like gesture. “Sounds great,” I say in a soft, flirtatious manner.
He takes me by the side of my hip gently as we walk closely side by side up to our spot of the stands. We reach our spot and sit down on the nicely, unwrinkled blanket he set down for us. I cross my legs as he sexily leans back on the fence around the stands. His arm rests behind my back as I sense his hand extremely close to my butt. The game starts and both of us become very attentive. The nerves instantaneously stop and I become more comfortable. I slowly and very subtly lay back against the fence where Jay’s arm happened to be. He moves his muscular arm around my broad shoulders.
“You comfortable?” He asks in a sexy tone.
“Perfectly,” I answer.
There is 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The score is 24-24. Jay and I are both on the edge of our seat being so intense when it comes to sports in general. The quarterback finds an opening and throws the football. The entire crowd slowly rises from their seats. Number 56 is in the end-zone, sees it, jumps up, and…….TOUCHDOWN!!! The Atten High Varsity Football Team is officially undefeated! Jay and I scream at the top of our lungs as the entire crowd goes wild. Jay quickly and unexpectedly pulls me in for a big, celebration hug. We rigorously rock back and forth for several seconds until we both feel slightly awkward and release each other.
“That was amazing! Our team is hella awesome!” I say jumping from amazement.
“You got that right!” He says with a mesmerizing smile that brightens his warm, chocolate, brown eyes.
“My mom will be coming in a few minutes or so. Can we go wait outside the gate?” My heart sinks inside not wanting to admit or mention it. For, I never want this to end.
“Yeah, sure. No problem.” He says with a little disappointment, not wanting this moment to end either.
“I had a really great time tonight,” I shyly admit as we take our final steps to reach the gate.
“Me too,” he cutely agrees looking at the ground and then up at me, staring into my eyes.
Our eyes stay strongly connected for several seconds, as if nothing in the world could possibly break our link. He slowly steps towards me so that our stomachs are practically touching. His hand reaches for the side of my face as my hand smoothly grips the bottom of his back. His moist, plump lips touch mine. Our faces and bodies do not move from their position for the next few minutes. His hand forcefully pulls me closer to him, throwing me slightly off balance, causing our kissing to be more vigorous. My arms are closed around his thick neck as my hands travel up and down through his gelled hair. I suddenly stop our interaction when I recognize my mom’s car pulling up.
“Oh, s***, that’s my mom,” I say giggling from embarrassment. “I better get going.”
“Yeah, that’s probably a good idea,” he says quietly laughing.
I slowly back up towards my mom’s Cadillac SUV facing him, watching our hands slowly separate. I wave goodbye as I open the car door. He romanticly blows a kiss and winks.
Fun fact: my mom experienced much discrimination in high school when she dated a boy of a different race than her. And let's just say, it left a scar.
“You mind explaining to me what I just saw, Alesha?” Her tone was terrifyingly scary.
“I was just….talking with a friend,” I reply with such obvious hesitation I roll my eyes from such a stupid answer.
“In-ter-esting.” She articulately said. “So, you talk with a guy by your lips touching?!”
“Mom, calm down, alright! It was just Jay Kim. Remember, we were like best friend’s when we were younger.” I try to less intensify the argument.
“Yeah, I remember. He was a sweet boy.” Her voice starts to return to a normal volume.
“Look, Mom, if you didn’t want me to kiss him or whatev--”
“No, it isn’t that, although, I wish ya’ll would not be so aggressive with the PD--”
“Then, what is the problem?” I aggressively say really annoyed.
“It’s just….,” she lets out a regretful sigh, “I don’t want what happened to me in high school when I was in an interracial relationship to happen to you.”
My anger reaches a dangerously high level. “Oh my god…..I….cannot….believe….you just said that. What is wrong with you?! Do you really believe something like that would most likely happen IN 2017?!”
“Don’t,” I immediately strike back. “Just don’t.” I shift my body to face towards the car window as tears stream down both sides of my face. The rest of the car ride home was dead silent.
A full 24-hours has past since my mother and I have spoken. My heart feels like it was squeezed by the disgusting words my mom spoke that night. Honestly, I don’t even want to look at her, I feel so offended.
In this moment, I do not admire her.
I hear a soft knock on my bedroom door but I do not say a word.
“Alesha? Can I come in, sweetheart? I just want to talk.” She says with a hopeful tone.
“Go away,” I reply with no intention of being polite.
She slowly opens the door and pops her head out. I turn my head towards the door to peer at her from my relaxed, napping position on my bed. I promptly turn away and return to my original position, not one bit interested in what she has to say. She walks over to my bed and softly sits down beside me.
“Look, sweetheart, I am so sorry for what I said the other day. You’re right. Today, things are different in terms of dating and relationships. I shouldn’t have been so clueless, thinking that things are the same as some 40-odd years ago. I was wrong and I hope you can forgive me. I am even planning on cooking tonight so you could invite Jay over tomorrow night for dinner. I promise I wo--”
I stop her with a big, warm hug. She places her soft hands on my back as she rubs up and down. “Thank you, Mom. I love you so much.” A single tear leaves my eye and drops on my bed covers.
“I love you, too, baby.” Her chin rises on my shoulder as her smile grows bigger.
* * * * *
The doorbell rings.
I notify my mom that Jay is at the door. She quickly sprints to the door and unlocks it before I could even take one step.
“Hi, Jay! It’s great to see you again! I haven’t seen you since you were a little one!” My mom says quite excited.
“It’s great to see you, too, Mrs. Scott.” His gentleman-manner level on high.
“Come in! Dinner is already set! Alesha’s waiting at the dining room table.” My mom guides him to the table where our eyes connect like they did the night of the game.
“Hey, Alesha,” he says excitedly.
“Hey, Jay,” I say in a shy, flirtatious tone.
I stand to greet him with a heartfelt hug in which neither of us wanted to let go. All three of us officially sat down and enjoyed the beautiful dinner my mom prepared with much love and care. After we all had finished eating, Jay affectionately grabbed my hand on the dinner table, looked at me with a slight grin, and turned towards my mom.
“Mrs. Scott?” Jay asks as I am completely oblivious as to what is about to happen.
“Yes, Jay?” She replies.
“I was wondering if I may have your permission to ask out your daughter, who I madly adore and would like to be with.” Jay asks with such confidence.
My face brightens like diamonds in the sun. My mom observes my reaction and could not resist.
“Of course, Jay.” My mom happily replies. “Thank you for asking. What a gentleman.” She smiles at me.
I slightly lean towards my mom. “Mom, I--” I began completely stunned by her approval. She stopped me with a loving wink.
“Welcome to the family, Jay!” She says with such happiness and light in her eyes I can’t help but giggle, as did Jay.
Fun fact: The end. ;)