As I walked back from lunch today, and the rain grew in ferocity, I remembered the events and scene that helped me craft the following scene in this excerpt. After minimal deliberation, I decided to share this with you on this rainy day.
Key… there is something that I really need to tell you,” he asserted stealthily as he put his arm around her shoulder and leaned in to her ear.
She took a deep breath as she prepared for him to declare his love for her. She was resolved in making a jump into a new relationship although her current one remained unresolved. Blue would manumit her from the bondage of her boyfriend, she smiled.
“See that is what people are not supposed to do,” he laughed as he turned her face to look at the dress of a female student who walked by.
Key… smirked idly in displeasure. She laughed, but was disappointed that he would utter something as trivial as that when she was, silently, anticipating something different. She continued toward the door after he released her from his grasp, his scent still fresh in her mind. She wanted to stay in his arms, closer than she had been in the past. She looked at Blue.
“I’m not going to class today,” she confessed.
“What,” he asked approaching her.
“I don’t want to go to class,” she restated waiting for him to indulge her soft advances. She stood before him at a moment of weakness, and her feelings for him were at their cusp. “All he had to do was say the word,” she thought as she longed for him.
“Key…, you’re going to class,” he said forcefully as he walked toward her.
She watched as he lifted his hands to her face and took hold of the coat hood attached to her black ¾ length bubble jacket. He lifted the hood over her head and gently tied it closed to protect her from the increasingly inclement weather. She looked into his large brown eyes as he fastened her hood. Key… felt that she saw pain in his eyes as he prepared for her to go off. She grimaced as she thought that she may be incorrect in her deductions.
…her silent thoughts as she wished that he could read her eyes and would change his mind about sending her off to her next class.
She gazed into his eyes with a mute longing for him. She missed him when she was alone. She made an effort to see him when he was with his friends. Why was she silent, she thought, as she realized that she thought of Blue during the infrequent moments she shared with her boyfriend? She stayed in his shadow each day they were in contact on campus. Although her admiration was in silence, she longed for reciprocation from him.
“Key… you can’t miss your class,” he said semi-ordering and semi-pleading. She was unaware of his intentions or thoughts, but he understood that she needed to go to class.
“Do you have a Black,” he asked in his dialect that was a hybrid of Standard English, New York and Atlanta accents and slang.
Key… savored the sound of his voice. She tasted him through his smell, his sound, and his actions. She knew that when they were together nothing else mattered. He walked her out into the rain and she pulled out one of her Black & Mild cigars. He lifted it from her hands and lit it. She shivered in the cold weather, looking for him to hold her. He stood unaffectionate as the cold raindrops fell upon his navy knitted Wu-Wear cap, his mind decidedly preoccupied with something. She pondered, as she did each time they were together, why his actions toward her were not tactile. She was unaware that he was suppressing his advances until she was free of her current boyfriend. She lifted the cigar from his hand as he motioned to her to take it. She felt his hand wrap hers as he placed the cigar in her hand. She watched the smoke bellow from his mouth mixing into the drizzly mist.
“Damn I don’t want to go to class,” she thought silently as Blue’s face reappeared like her angel from behind the haze of smoke.
She wanted to be with him and did not know how to convey her wants. She watched as he lifted his hat to reveal his cornrow braids where the new growth in his curly hair was finding its freedom as he scratched his head. He raised his right eyebrow, as she had seen before, and waited for her to return the cigar to him. She watched him take another full pull from the cigar. His lips kissed the end of the cigar and she thought of them upon hers. As he exhaled she caught a glimpse of his tongue. She was aroused about his presence and felt damned to hold her feelings inside. She saw his eyes fix on her perched form.
“Key…, don’t you have to go to class,” he reminded to her discontentment.
“Yes,” she answered pleadingly with sadness in her eyes.
Blue grabbed her hand and inserted a piece of paper in her pocket.
“Here is a little something that I wrote and I thought that it may brighten your day. I know how much you hate the cold and rain. I’ll see you later,” he paused, “after class. Like normal.”
“Yeah sure,” she muttered aside as she walked off, “like normal,” she hissed. Key… could not see his face, because of her hood, as she headed off to class. She could not gauge the pain that he felt in releasing her from his attention. She began her solitary walk through the rain, with each step through the rain an emptiness grew inside her. The wind gusts were sharp and its frigid waves cut into her face just as Blue had when he denied her quiet requests. She internalized her displeasure as she tried to avoid the puddles of water that impeded her progress. Key… wanted to run back to him and tell him what she felt. She continued walking.
The space left by her augmented emptiness soon became a chasm filled with anger. Anger manifested from what she interpreted as a slowly waning interest from Blue. Her anger was in her inability to voice her feelings. Her anger was in her laziness in ending the obvious … The taste of the cigar was damp and her mouth felt putrid, scowling she looked down at the Black & Mild still in her hand and tossed it to the puddles on the walkway.
The manuscript Blue Lines is the fictional coming of age narrative of a young California woman Key Yemaya Walker, and her 2 year growing journey through school, love, and life period piece, written by Kenneth Suffern, Jr., taking place at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill between the years of 1997 – 1998. Loosely based on true events, and experiences during that time, told through the eyes and voice of the main female protagonist, a freshman first attending the school.