Blue Lines, Brooklyn, Chicago, Devotion, Japan, Julia Nichole McGinnis, LES, Lower East Side, Mi Alma, MW, Myla Watson, Part 2, Poem, Prose, Redemption, The Smith, Word Story Part 2, Words Story, Yo Luz Ro-De
Today’s piece continues the story’s 3rd part in a freely written piece of fiction.
The word used provided by CA friend Julia Nichole M. visit her blog here. Enjoy.
“…you don’t, you don’t, you don’t see me
The music played in the background, as she returned from upstate New York. She needed a break after the last few months feeling as if she had prove herself everyday to make him believe her. Although peaceful, she slowly began t realize that she knew so little of him. They spent time together, granted years off and on together, but he seldom spoke of himself or work.
Their previous relationship consisted of fights, her exasperation, and him questioning her. But the one constant was his interest in her, what she did, how her days went. Upon his return, and her happening across him at The Smith, he had been at peace. She still did not know why he had not called, or where he went. She glanced upon her finger, remembering the one night she had worn the ring. The dreary northern day did not agree with her disposition as she traversed back toward the city and her apartment. His ring tone came up and she answered.
“Hey,” half-heartedly, “how are you?”
“Fine,” he answered in a tone she found cold, “where are you?”
“Just took a drive, I’m on my way back now. I miss you,” she offered in a tone that she felt he did not believe. It was disconcerting to her to feel this way. His devotion to her was always evident. She knew she could do no wrong by him, in the past. Now he seemed so distant, like a stranger, yet so peaceful, and easy with her…non-committal.
“Alright, I’ll be late tonight. You can come by my place, if you want, and then we can grab a bite.”
“That’s fine,” she replied while disconnecting. Her eyes weary, burning wanting to release tears, though she knew she would not. “I don’t know,” she questioned herself as reached for her Starbucks mug. She had planned to stay home.
He continued to plug away in his office. Her voice was a nice reprieve, though he was not sure of their future. His wants remained the same, but those few months made him a different man. He knew that he had abandoned her, twice actually, but the man he was today was contingent on it, and it depended on whether she could understand that who she was, allowed him to leave, and who he is now, was something he needed. He smiled at their picture, at a game, that still sat on his desk. It was from before, her smile wide, he happy with her. He still not regained much of his weight, his time overseas had taught him to eat better, and with his workout regimen, he could not put weight back on.
“I have to get this settled,” he whispered, knowing he did want to see her tonight. He buried his head into his computer, knowing that he was preparing for more time for them. He reached for his coffee, and glanced out the window. New York was cold and ugly today.
“Hey,” the phone answered with a familiar voice. “I still don’t appreciate how you left me ass sitting out there,” was the first thing she heard, she did not even know why she answered.
“What do you mean,” she answered irritated. “Those were my Giants tickets, and I still gave them to you. Fuck is your problem?”
“They’re not even yours,” he responded.
“No they’re not, they belonged to my man, and he wasn’t here, which should make you feel like more of a bitch telling me why you don’t appreciate me. You know what, why the fuck did I even answer this call.”
“He must not have done his job, if you came to me.” She listened to those words and thought.
“I’ve been fucking this up,” she whispered barely audible on the call. She looked at her reflection in her rear view mirror, and she realized prior to his leaving, she had put in little work. He was still here for her now, but she knew he could easily leave. He left her alone in Chicago, though she realistically knew she was taken care of, she knew that he left her in New York, and disappeared with out a trace. She questioned whether they would last, so now she knew she had to fight. It shocked her that he was not mad about the ring, however it also shocked her that he still had not asked her to marry him. He was what she wanted, and she knew it allowing her to smile widely. She sipped her coffee again.
“So why you gotta be like that, wanna meet up?”
“I didn’t make a mistake when I met you,” she admitted, “it was fun, and something was missing.”
“What you man, being a man,” he chastised. She sat back, and took solace that she never told him about their relationship.
“My man was gone, did you ever see me needing anything from you? Did I ask you for money, could you pay for game tickets? We were friends, while he was gone, and I didn’t know he was coming back. We had fun, but you were that, fun.”
“I need to come…”
“No,” she interrupted. “He’s a man, I messed up enough times, but you can’t even measure up. You can understand this, we’re not going to speak again, you just showed me what I did wrong. Bye,” she disconnected. Her smile widened.
He actually looked forward to meeting her tonight. She had left a note at his condo directing him to meet her at The Smith. He knew that she questioned herself now, but looking at their past, only she could rectify that. As he navigated to the table where they had happened across each other those months ago, he sat and smiled.
“Hey,” Carly, their server greeted, “good to see you guys will be her tonight. Where is she?”
“On her way,” he grimaced. He thought about how Carly had not worked their prior to his research trip with his job. But she was there the first night he came back from Japan.
He looked up, and like a fallen angel, she walked back through the door. Their table was directly in sight of the door, to the back, on the side of the bar. The room was dark, and he looked up at her.
“Hi,” she greeted with a kiss, her girlish grin renewed. Her hands looked preoccupied as she smiled at him. “Are we okay,” she asked without the timidity of the last few months. “I’ve been with you, but I miss you,” she admitted.
“Do you miss the fights,” he asked evenly, “do you miss the sex,” he smiled, “no you don’t miss that. Do you…”
“I just miss you,” she interrupted, “I just want to know that I can still be who you loved…who you love. I’ve made a lot of mistakes. You didn’t stop me.” He smirked. “I just want,” her voice broke, “I just want to know you. I know where you work, I know where you’re from, but I realize I’m, more …”
“You didn’t want to know before,” he offered. “You don’t have to worry about me,” he smiled. “I learned some things, but I’m here.”
“Do you love me,” she asked bluntly, fortunate the dark hid her simmering emotions. “When you were gone…”
“When I was gone doesn’t matter. Whatever we have, began when you found me here, and whatever we have continues or ends starting there,” he offered in a way that made her believe him fully.
“I love you,” she offered.
“I know,” he responded content.
“I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t believe you. I was here when you screwed up bad enough that I left you…alone. I was surprised you recovered from that. I wasn’t willing to give you what I had in the past, and left with my job after you surprised me at your old place.
“What you don’t realize is that you have found your redemption. Your confidence may not be where it was, but that is because you did that to yourself. I love you,” he admitted. “You are my heart, you are redeemed. You have to carry that, because if you don’t, your failure is on you.” She did not know whether to smile, or frown. “This isn’t another chance, this is believing you’ve grown up.”
She had a tinge of irritation before Carly returned with two glasses and a bottle.
“I know you have been wondering about this for some time, especially since I came back.”
Confusion filled her mind.
“May I have the box you brought back,” she shook that he knew what was concealed in her pocket. She had planned to pull a surprise on him, however reluctantly handed him the worn box.
“When I first wanted to do this, we were not ready. I wanted to save you, you wanted to be married. You were willing to continue to be wrong, I thought I was happy to have you, and could take it…I could not. You wanted to be married, you knew you could marry me, I just wanted to save us.
“I still want you, I still love you, but now is right. You have walked a road, and found redemption in my heart. You can still mess this up, but I believe in you, and that you won’t. Will you…”
And like she had said those months before, she answered before he could finish his ask, “YES.”
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.