Aware

(Excerpt 5)

I woke up in the middle of the night to Mitch’s soft snoring. My queen-sized bed was a decent size for me but with him in it, I felt like I didn’t have any space at all. He was on the left side and I was on the right, but it felt like he was everywhere. Or maybe I was just being selfish, and was too used to sleeping alone, and didn’t want to share my space with anyone. Or maybe I just didn’t want to share my space with him. Whatever the case was, I wasn’t in the mood to be in my bed with someone else. Besides, it didn’t seem all that long ago that Darius was sharing this very moment with me.
I curled up in a ball remembering Darius and how he liked to spoon. How I had fit perfectly as his little spoon and him the big spoon, his arms encircling my tiny waist or around my shoulder, his hand under my pillow alongside my hand under my pillow. I sighed remembering how his chocolate brown skin felt so soft and smelled so good-muscles working in his sculpted arms.
Darius was my ex and I thought he was the one. Actually, I knew he was The One. You know, “The One”. I always figured he was probably too good looking for me, and I kept telling myself that, especially when my eyes met his in my old gym, where I met him. He wasn’t a trainer, just some guy I always noticed because he was in the gym around the same time that I was, when I was actually going. Nowadays, you couldn’t catch me going through a gym entrance to save my life. But that’s where I met him.
He was lifting weights, of course, working on his upper body. I definitely was paying attention, because he was a very good looking man. He had dimples, a bit of a goatee but it didn’t look cheesy on him. Nice, straight white teeth. He always kept his black hair neat, trimmed, lined up, but he had a bit of gray at his temples at the age of 38 and I loved it. He was gorgeous to me.
I was on the elliptical and I was trying to focus on listening to the music and pushing myself to keep going. I was very slim, trimmed, but curvy in all the right places, but I was striving to have my cardio be on point. I remember I was in the zone and when I reached for my water, I miscalculated my reach and smacked the bottle right off the holder and it fell. It rolled a little and I took off my headphones, not wanting to wait for the elliptical to slow down, and tried to step off when I damn near twisted my ankle like an idiot. I tumbled a little and fell on my knee but it didn’t hurt all that bad, it was just an embarrassing moment for me. I tried to play it off like I didn’t care and continued to get my bottle when Darius came up to me. I looked up at him as he started talking, saying hello and asking me if I was okay. I nodded and got up. “Yeah, I’m fine, thank you.”
He smiled and that’s when I became putty. “You sure? You look like you were about to break your ass hitting that floor like that.”
I shook my head and smiled. “For real, I’m good, thank you again for asking.”
I started to make my way back onto the elliptical when he just stood in front of it, watching me almost. “What’s your name, if I may ask?”
“Makaela.” I offered to him but didn’t ask for his. I didn’t want to seem too easy, too interested. Playing games, I guess.
He stuck out his well-manicured hand. “Darius. Nice to meet you, Makaela.”
“You as well,” I said as I shook his hand. It was soft, which was surprising.
“I see you in here working out, and I always think to myself how mean you look. You probably get that a lot.”
I just looked at him and he lost some points with me. I wasn’t sure what he was trying to get at but it was not what I wanted to hear, especially if he was trying to hit on me.
He pointed at my face. “See? That look right there: mean. You look like you’re ready to beat my ass in here just for saying that.” He just kept smiling, like I was amusing him.
I got safely back onto the elliptical and proceeded to reach for my earphones. “Are you hitting on me or trying to get my number or what, because that’s not going to help you at all.”
He laughed. “I’m sorry, I’m not trying to come off rude, or disrespectful even. I was just trying to make fun with you, not of you.” He said as he let the humor fade a bit. “I wanted to talk to you, I would like to talk to you. Outside of this place. If that’s alright with you.”
I pretended to give it some thought but I already knew the answer was yes and always had been yes from the very start that I saw him and that spine-tingling smile. I noticed he wasn’t extremely tall, 5’11, but that was more than tall enough for me standing at 5’0 flat! I looked into his brown eyes and said, “Alright, we can do that.” And we did that.
We shared many great moments together. We traveled together. I got to meet his family back in his hometown of Chicago. We even moved in together, talked about possibly getting married and starting a family together. Our own little clan, the Williams Clan, he’d say. The love making felt like we could move mountains and shift the earth on its axis. We had what I felt was a soul quenching relationship for the 4 years we were together. He was a beautiful soul to me and I loved him for bringing me light. Right until the very end.
Darius 3 and a half years into our relationship was offered a position overseas in Japan. I was willing to quit my job and follow him to his next destination because I was serious about us. And he said he was as well. He was working for FedEx as a senior marketing specialist and they wanted to relocate him to Japan. He accepted. We discussed when it would be taking place and how soon we needed to sell everything we weren’t taking with us and packing up everything we were taking. We had approximately six months to figure this out but we were both so excited about this new beginning. Our babies would learn a different language, learn about another culture and be so blessed. We just knew our lives were going to be forever changed for the better.
The day came when he had to go back home to tell his folks the good news about the job and how close we were getting to leaving for Japan and possibly, getting married before we left. I dropped him off at the airport and got to see him off. We kissed goodbye and it was all good. When he touched down in Chicago O’Hare Airport, he called me to let me know he made it and was on his way to his folks’ home. I got a call the next day from his mother. She told me that Darius had been shot while out trying to buy some celebratory champagne to bring back to their house so they could toast to all the great things that were happening, and he was in the hospital. I was so on edge and was willing to drop everything to be by his side. His mother told me not to worry, that the doctor would let her know how bad it was. The day after that, his father called with the grim news of Darius’s passing. I didn’t immediately cry. I felt so numb. I just let him tell me, heard the straining in his voice as I listened. When I hung up, I just went to my room and let the hot tears stream down my face while I laid down on my bed, our bed. I didn’t have Mr. Chow then, so it was really just me, by myself.
I remembered taking a shower eventually and just breaking down, bawling so loudly in the shower that I was sure the neighbors probably thought I was dying! Or crazy. Either one, I was there in the breakdown and feeling every ache in my chest. It felt like my heart was ripping and tearing. I sat in the shower for over an hour just letting the tears flow freely. I cursed God, I cursed all that was good because of Darius’s death. I didn’t even reach out to my best friend. I just let myself be consumed with anger, sadness, rage, melancholy. Everything that was not happy and joyful, I wrapped around me and held it close. I held it so close that I just let myself stink with the scent of it.
I took time off from work and after almost two months of being a total recluse, I decided to talk to Sandra and she forced me to come out with her for a drink. I didn’t want to but she said it was what I needed. I told her she couldn’t tell me when to stop grieving and that I had every right to want to be alone. She wasn’t hearing it and picked me up. I got into her car and didn’t pretend to be happy about the whole thing. I was unhappy, and it showed.
She drove us to North Park and we went to Seven Grand. “I promise you, you’ll thank me for this,” she said once we got inside. It was a Friday and it was relatively quiet for a Friday night. But then again, it was a slight chill in the air that night. Fall had made its way to us. She ordered a cocktail, I ordered a ginger ale. She said hell no and made me order a whiskey sour. I let her. Once we got our drinks, she and I started to play a bit of pool, even though I was trash at it. We did it and then the drinks started coming a little more. I was having a fairly okay time of it, I even laughed a little here and there. I was right in the middle of a spill of laughter when I accidentally bumped into this delicious gentleman by complete accident, almost spilling my drink on him. I looked up and met green eyes and a mustache set in a tanned face, only it wasn’t a tan, he was just olive skinned. I couldn’t tell that night anyway. “I’m so sorry,” I told the nice guy as I got back to my game with Sandra.
“No need to apologize, you’re fine,” he said, as he walked by, probably to meet up with friends while I continued on with Sandra.
When we were all set to leave, because she got her buzz and so did I, we were walking out of the exit and I felt someone bump into me. I turned to see what the asshole looked like and it was the same green-eyed fellow.
“My turn to apologize, I guess,” he said as he stopped walking by me.
“Apology accepted,” I told him as I was turning back to leave with Sandra.
“You’re really pretty. I just had to tell you that,” he said and I turned back to face him.
I was intoxicated, and the wind was biting my cheek so I was sure I was blushing pretty hard. “Well thank you, you don’t look too bad yourself.” I stared up at his eyes. “You have some really pretty eyes.”
He smiled, the wind playing in his hair. “Thank you.”
“Oh my gosh, come on, I’m freezing out here!” Sandra was ready to go.
“Let’s talk later. Here’s my card,” he pulled out his wallet, which was pretty much congested with receipts and business cards aplenty, finally handing me his card.
I read out loud his first name. “Dimitri. I like it. I’m Makaela.” I stuck out my hand for him to shake.
He grabbed my hand in his as he shook it, and his hand was warm. “Dimitri and Makaela. Sounds nice together, right?” He joked.
It was my turn to smile, as I started walking away from him and towards Sandra. “I’ll call you, Dimitri.”
“I hope so,” he said with a smirk. He had one dimple, I noticed. I just waved and turned back to Sandra as she looped her arm through mine while we walked to her car. “I think he’s very cute. You really should call him,” she told me as she pulled out her cellphone and just ended up calling us an Uber to my house since we were both intoxicated and clearly couldn’t drive.
I thought about it. “Maybe. I don’t know yet.”

Melt

Excerpt 4 (Chapter 3)

I managed to get my server fixed and back up, running better than it originally did when I first took the position. I got to leave out of the building on time today, so I felt like today was a wonderful day. Then I remembered I had dinner to look forward to with Mitch, a dinner I almost forgot because I did tell him I was suppose to meet up with my girl, Sandy. I called Sandra on my way from work since I knew traffic was going to be a bit of a hassle. She picked up on the second ring, which was quick for her since she never seemed to have her phone on her when I called. “Hey, it’s me. Are we still meeting up for drinks?” I asked her while I kept my eyes on the road. I was thankful for the cars now having the capability to bluetooth up your phone to the stereo.
“Oh, shit! I totally forgot. I just agreed to stay another hour here. Can I take a rain check, I’m sorry!”
“Yeah, that’s fine. I was just calling to make sure and because Mitch wants to go to dinner. I was suppose to do breakfast with him but I totally slept late.” I merged onto the 163 north and was going to get off at Washington Street. I could’ve taken the street way again, but I didn’t want to.
“Ohhhh, dinner is it? I thought you two were over trying to get back together. I see that you’re a liar now,” she teased.
“Ha ha, I’m not lying, we’re not working on that. I told him we’re better off as just friends because he is still in limbo about what it is he wants relationship-wise. I don’t have time for all of that.”
“Mhm, you a liar,”she retorted. “You’re going to go to dinner and then have a glass of wine or even sake, and forget all about what you just told me. I know you,” she was laughing and I could the machinery going in the background. She worked in a warehouse as an operations manager as but she didn’t do the heavy work, she just made sure the people who did, did it correctly. I still worried anyway because it wasn’t toys in the background, it was the real deal.
“I’m not lying to you and I’m not going to forget. I promise,” I told her as I made my way down Washington to turn onto Park Boulevard.

And just like that, Mitch and I were making out in front of my door in my apartment building. I didn’t forget, I just also really enjoyed making out with him. And he knew that.
We managed to separate long enough for me to open the door to my apartment and usher us inside as I closed and locked it behind me. “I see nothing has changed in this place,” he said as he walked to my couch. Mr. Chow came walking out of my bedroom, looking mean but that was just his face. I walked into my kitchen and filled Mr. Chow’s bowl with his cat food, giving him a rub down as I did.
“Of course,” I told him as I began to put the cat good away. “What would I change? I like my place the way it is.”
I had a fairly open floor plan space where you walk through the door and my kitchen is off to your right with a breakfast nook, no wall separating it so you can just walk in. Through the front door, you could walk straight into the living space (no dining area because it was just me and Mr. Chow, rarely any guests), where my dark red sectional face my flat screen, the love seat was to the right of it. I did, however, have a fireplace, of blood red brick. It was my favorite feature, with a mantel above it where I had pictures of my mom and my siblings. My flat-screen TV was above the mantelpiece. I could sit on my sectional and be warmed by the fire. I never had both going at once. I had my stereo to the left of the fire place, with windows to each side of the fireplace. I had a desk with my laptop to the right, behind the love seat. The door to my bedroom was there next to my desk area. Bathroom was at the left side of the room, left to the entrance of my apartment while I had a bathroom in my bedroom as well.
It wasn’t a tight space but it wasn’t grandiose either but big enough for me to fill the space with what I liked and still have room for a huge, black lacquered vase full of bamboo to fit in front of my left window. Paintings on my wall. My living area was all beige colored walls because I wanted my furniture to stand out.
My kitchen was all white walled and stainless steel pieces. Stainless steel fridge, stove, and microwave. The cabinets were a brown, smooth wood that was so dark it could’ve been black at first glance. Sink was steel as well, shiny. I had a dishwasher but I barely used it because I liked to wash my dishes. If I was in a rush and hadn’t done the dishes the night before, I’d throw them in there and let the dishwasher handle it, but that was far and few in between. I always kept some Glade plug-ins in the sockets of my kitchen and my living area. Especially in the bathroom because that’s where I kept Mr. Chow’s litter. His pee was strong so I needed to keep the smell down. The Glade helped with that.
I was very comfortable with my home. The fact Mitch was trying to be funny about how I hadn’t changed anything was ridiculous.
I walked over to my sectional and sat next to him while he sat right in the middle of it. I had throw pillows that my mother bought for me that were a beautiful hunter green and burnt orange that I felt went very well with the couch. Mitch was playing with the burnt orange one.
“You don’t like my place?” I asked him.
He smiled. “I was just messing with you, I love your place. I’d move in if you’d let me.”
His smile was one of his best features and another reason why I was still immensely attracted to him.
He had a very attractive face. He was a very tanned Latino with thick eyebrows that he seemed to like having waxed, I noticed, as of late. Thick, black wavy hair that he had buzzed on the sides and back, very neat on top. He had up-tilted brown eyes but I swore they were hazel when I first met him but he kept telling me they were just very light. He set the precedence for me when it came to kissable lips because he had really amazing lips. That’s why I didn’t mind making out with him at the very least. His nose was broken once but you couldn’t really tell unless he showed you because it was a very normal nose; not narrow, but somewhat straight, almost wide through the nostrils.
He was tall, six-foot-one, with broad shoulders and a small waist. He used to be chubby but he grew up and got fit because he felt like he wasn’t healthy. I admired him for it but I didn’t think he needed it. He thinned out but bulked up and it fit him very well.
He was one of those guys that got sexier as time went on. He was funny, a great kisser, great lover, and had a very nice spirit about him but he hid most of his flaws from just about everyone. His flaws had a tendency to be serious issues that he didn’t like to share, of course, and would keep them from everyone until he got it under control. That, and he had a habit of lying and being very conniving but he was growing out of all of that. He was turning into someone a woman would love to have. Me not being one of them because I just couldn’t see it anymore. I really wanted to, once upon a time, but time had a way of making things just dissolve. He didn’t understand but he should’ve. Yet some things stayed the same, like that sexy smile of his.
I just returned the smile and put my legs up, curled to my chest as I wrapped my arm around my legs and used my other arm to rest my chin upon as I looked at him, “You know damn well I would never extend that type of invitation unless we were in a relationship and had been for a while. Successfully, might I add.”
“I know. I just had to throw that out there. Just so you know, I would accept the invitation. You’re very clean and I like that, because I’m pretty clean myself,” he put Mr. Chow back on the floor and he sauntered off back into my room where I placed a little bed for him.
“Glad to hear that you’re a clean person and all that, but we’re not moving in together anytime soon or maybe even ever so let’s not even discuss anything like that right now,” I smoothed my hand over his arm, playing a little. He took it as a sign to start rubbing on me. I wasn’t feeling in the moment of trying to continue what was started in the hallway outside of my door, so I didn’t return his advances. I slightly recoiled under his touch and he caught the hint. His eyes grew serious as he stared at me. “We could always just talk about making things between us for real. I’m ready for a relationship, Kaela. I’m ready to settle down, I want a family. I need to have a kid or two soon. My clock is ticking now!” We both laughed at his little jape, because I knew he couldn’t stay serious for too long. Much like how he was with his fleeting mentions of wanting a real relationship and settling down, ‘for real this time’ he’d say.
“I can’t even take you serious, Mitch,” I let the laughter die from my eyes. “You say you want a relationship, you say you’re ready for a family, but your actions always contradict that. Or maybe it’s just with me that your actions say something different. Either way, it never seems to work with us. And I’m tired of trying, I really am. I just want to leave that alone and just be friends. Okay?” I was mentally exhausted, “I thought we already talked about this; I feel like a broken record right now!”
He then did something I didn’t really expect because I was basically telling him we will never have a part two. He grabbed me by my shoulders and pulled me into him, his lips landing on mine. His lips always had a way of leaving me weak. Just a little bit.
I let him kiss me, I admit that. I didn’t pull back. I melted into him with his soft lips on mine. He opened his mouth slightly, to let his tongue reach into my parted lips and massage my tongue with his. I always did enjoy a nice, wet kiss. It was always like nirvana for me. My heart sped up and I reached my arms around his shoulders, bringing our bodies closer together, chest to chest. His teeth nibbled at my bottom lip, tugging at the last moment. I moaned into his mouth, then sucked in his breath, like I was trying to suck in his very life force. His hand went to the back of my head, keeping me from pulling away. I wasn’t going to. I didn’t want to.

Do We Have A Purpose?

screen-shot-2014-06-21-at-11.34.56-am.pngI have to step back for a moment and really think about it.

I have to ask myself do I have a purpose? What could it possibly be? Is it something that will just come to me or do I have to go out there and actually find what it is I should be doing?

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m pretty sure we all have something we love doing, the one thing that you could see yourself doing forever, but what if you’re someone who is good at a lot of things? How can you pick just one thing to focus on? That’s where my problem lies.

I’m really great at communicating (I get nervous of course, but I know how to stop, take a breath, and continue on even when I experience a bit of “word-vomit”), I’m personable, I’m completely relatable, and I know how to connect with people on a personal level. I also am a creative person, that’s how I get excited about a lot of subjects. Anything that I feel is a creative outlet, I’m there. I am also into reading and writing (sounds incredibly cliched but it’s very true; I have a mountain of books and I have a story that I’m currently doing as well), heavily! I try to find new ways to express myself when it comes to writing. Hence why I do try to blog. Where I am somewhat of an extrovert, I do have my introvert moments. I like to stay behind sometimes, and I think that’s what’s keeping me from being even more out there. That’s hurting me but I don’t change it. Maybe I should?

This brings me to purpose and why it is I’m having a bit of a “time” with it. I know what I’m great at, then what I’m good at, and what I’m bad at. I try to focus on my strengths more than anything, but I also understand that I can’t do many things at once (or can I? See? That’s my problem!). I know I have to focus on one thing that I know I can do exceedingly well. The issue I’m having is can I turn that into something I can monetize so that I’m not a miserable Betty. Another thing is quantifying that and putting it into action someway, somehow. Then there is the over-saturation with the main thing I know I love, because now, everyone thinks they’re a guru and knows what they’re doing and talking about.

As of late, however, I have recently decided instead of continuously thinking about it, and talking about it, I should just put action behind it. I’ve been incredibly inspired by getting more into a few social media outlets that have connected me to a whole new source of strength; a renewed vision of what I want. I’m not saying I may have found my purpose, but I’m excited about something and I haven’t been in long time. It still ties into the main thing I really wanted to partake in, but I want to attack it in a different way, and get people really interested in it. The fact that I’m elated about it let’s me know I may be on the right path to finding what it is I want to do for the rest of my life.