“Girl, I can’t believe we’re planning a baby shower instead of a birthday party for Adarius this year!”
Chey walked around the party store picking up everything I didn’t think we needed, which wasn’t hard because almost everything pink was adorable. With everything we already had piled up in her garage, combined with the full cart I was pulling around, Chey was going overboard and I know if I didn’t step in to put a stop to this, she was going to have her house looking like a Pepto Bismol bomb exploded all over the place.
“Yea, I still can’t believe it,” I mumbled to myself. Rather believable or not, I just didn’t want to. Chey was so busy showing me these God awful jumbo pink flowers that she wanted to put on the wall, she didn’t hear me so I was silently thankful for the distraction.
When I saw Adarius and Qui together at the wedding a few years ago, I came to terms then that whatever it was we had or tried to get started was a done deal, regardless of how much it hurt to accept it and move on. Up until he kissed me a few weeks ago, I thought he had moved on too.
Oh my God, that kiss! The memory of it still made my lips tingle but I felt sick to my stomach at the same time. I wasn’t disgusted by him at all, that man knew how to do things to my soul no other man has been able to, it was the act itself I couldn’t stomach. My thoughts and feelings behind that kiss resurfaced after Adarius left with Qui that night. If she wouldn’t have come over looking for him when she did, I know for a fact that I would’ve fucked her man all over Chey’s house with no shame. Having his lips and hands all over me after all this time had me on fire but it just wasn’t the physical, he was in my head. His words, the way his eyes pierced my inner core, that connection…I missed that, I missed us.
Everything I felt that night and all over again right at this moment was wrong as hell and I felt terrible. With us planning this shower, I’ve been spending more time with Qui than I felt comfortable with, but I couldn’t tell Chey to do it all by herself because that would’ve opened up the door to that awkward conversation I wasn’t in the mood to have with her.
“Lay look!” Snatching me from my dirty thoughts, she ran over to the display of pinatas wildly waving her arms to direct my attention to the oversized pink bear.
“Who has a pinata at a baby shower where there are no kids? Do you know how much it’s going to cost to fill that shit up?” I rolled my eyes, not even bothering walking over towards the display. This was where I decided to put my foot down to stop her foolishness.
“What? Girl this is too cute! We don’t even have to fill it up, it can just sit on the gift table.”
“Didn’t you get those big ass pink nursery blocks to sit on the gift table? We won’t have room for the gifts with all this other stuff you keep trying to put on it. We need some other colors mixed into this décor, all this pink is making me nauseous.”
“Eewww, that attitude of yours is ugly and not a good look heffa!”
It was time for us to get out of here, I was over this entire shopping spree and was ready to get home. I ignored her as I snatched the cart towards the register, hoping she would take the hint. We unloaded the cart in silence but I knew it wasn’t going to last for long. Chey being her usual self knew something was up and was going to pick and pry as soon as we got into the car.
We struggled as we tried to get everything to the car but after we finally got it all loaded, I pulled out my phone so I could finally see who had been blowing me up since Chey came to pick me up. Rashad’s lawyer and momma had called me a few times and I had a text from Isaiah that I couldn’t wait to respond to. I didn’t know what the sense of urgency was with Rashad and his folks, but something told me that whatever it was that was going on was about to drain me and I really wasn’t in the mood for that type of emotional stress. Deciding to wait until I was alone to call his momma back, I sent Isaiah a text back instead. As soon as I realized that Chey was pulling up in front of Adarius’ barber shop, the message that I was in the middle of sending was no longer important.
“Um, what are we doing here?” I stumbled over my words, failing to hide my nervousness which gave Chey her opening to address the elephant that sat in the back seat next to that big ass pinata.
“Adarius asked me to stop by here after we left the party store, what’s up with you? Ya’ll still messing around or something?”
That was the question I was hoping I wouldn’t have to answer any time soon but she jumped right to it. I turned my head to look out the window in order to avoid her piercing stare, her assumptions weren’t dead on but close enough and I felt bad enough as it was since I was still harboring feelings for him. Granted, I haven’t done anything with him except kiss him but that still doesn’t diminish how wrong the act alone was considering the both of us belonged to someone else.
“Oh my God Lay,” her voice was muffled as she picked up her key fob out of the cupholder as she prepared to get out of the car. “When did you start settling for the side role?”
“Chey, don’t start with all the judgmental crap please. We haven’t hooked up in years, so before you sit here and start preaching about how nothing good ever comes to a side chick, make sure you know what you’re talking about because I’m nobody’s side anything first and foremost.”
Before I could finish the point I was trying to make, Isaiah’s ringtone chimed in and interrupted me. “Not only that, I’m not thinking about Adarius like that no mo, I’m in love with this nigga right here,” I waved my phone in her face so she could see who was calling me. The way she rolled her eyes, I wasn’t sure if she believed me or not but it really didn’t matter.
Her initial reaction was one of the reasons I haven’t told her about what went down at her house in the first place. After what she went through with Parish and his ex, she had zero tolerance for women that went after a man that was in a relationship. That was one of those conversations we had that always ended in a heated debate since our views when it came to cheating were slightly different. Chey blamed the woman in the cheating situation simply because if she knew about the relationship then she should know the man is off limits. My position is and always have been, fuck faulting the female, that man knows what his relationship status is before he starts cheating. Listen, with all the shit I went through with Moesha and all the other females that Rashad kept entertaining behind my back, I wish I would be mad at the side chick involved. No matter how sneaky he thought he was, his dirt always found its way back to me and after I heard most of the lies he was running around telling them when it came to me, there was no way in hell I was about to be out here looking stupid by blaming them for my nigga being unfaithful.
“Lay, I wasn’t being judgmental at all. I only asked what was going on with you two because you looked like you saw a ghost as soon as I pulled up.”
“I just didn’t know we were coming over here, that’s all,” I shrugged as I tried to play it off. It wasn’t a total lie, I was caught off guard and the few times I was around him, I had time to prepare with the exception of him popping up on me at Chey’s a few weeks ago.
“Oh alright, I just wanted to make sure because I would hate to be caught up in the middle of some drama, you know how ya’ll do tho.”
With us being best friends for all these years, we stayed in each other’s business and since Adarius was apart of our trio, he was naturally included but I knew her statement had nothing to do with that. After the first time we slipped up, I didn’t think we would go there again. I mean I told myself that anyway and was half way convinced too but he let it be known he wasn’t about to let me run away from him because I was scared to leave the fucked-up relationship that I was comfortable in at the time or give him a chance. Shit, what better lover to have than your best friend?
“There’s nothing for you to be in the middle of, I barely talk to him as is and I honestly don’t know if that’s his choice or mine anymore but either way, it’s all good.”
That was half a lie, it wasn’t all good since I missed my best friend more than anything. I still felt the love shared between us when we crossed that line we probably never should’ve still lingering around. There’s no way I could ever say that out loud, keeping my thoughts to myself was best for everyone at this point.
“It’s just awkward for me sometimes because of Qui you know?”
I just nodded without responding as I played with my phone. This weird sense of loyalty she seemed to have towards Qui got on my nerves. They had grown pretty close over the last few years but as soon as she started fooling around with Adarius, Chey made it her point to tell me more than once how uncomfortable she felt when it came to me and him since she never told Qui that we used to mess around.
“Hmph, whatever Chey. You can go ahead in there, I’ll stay in here so I can call Zay back,” I waved her off because I knew she was trying to push my buttons.
“And that snappy ass attitude is why I refuse to believe it ain’t nothing going on. Come on Lay, I know your ass better than anybody, you’re not over him and despite him being with Qui, I know damn well he’s not over you.”
Seeing Adarius walk out the shop in my peripheral, I looked at her and shook my head hoping she would just shut up and leave the whole thing alone. I know she meant well but she was pissing me off because I was tired of talking about this.
“Aye, what’s up!” he nodded as he walked closer to the car, speaking to both of us at the same time. “Damn, look at all this shit! Ya’ll outta control for real, Chey yo’ lil ass can barely see over the steering wheel so I know you can’t see behind you,” he joshed, showing all his teeth. That sexy ass smile had me drooling and staring too damn hard until we locked eyes.
“Shut up fool, I’m about to get me a truck!” she laughed as she playfully shoved his shoulder as she got out the car. I stifled my laugh because she got mad every time we teased her about being short.
“Ya’ll can put the stuff in your office, I have to go to the bathroom.” I watched her run off like her pants were on fire, suddenly feeling the anxiety from being around him alone creep up on me. With that kiss being fresh on my mind, I didn’t even know how to act around him.
“So you can’t speak,” he smirked as he plopped down in the driver seat, never taking his eyes off of me. As his eyes roamed over my frame, I forgot how to breathe. The air in the car was thick as hell and I was minutes away from suffocating while I silently tried to tell my medulla to get to work and do its damn job. It didn’t make any sense how this man made me feel and he knew the affect he had on me because he sat there and watch as I squirmed nervously in my seat.
“I did,” I mumbled more to myself because I couldn’t remember if I actually did or not, hell I was still struggling with trying to focus on my breathing. I needed to get it together because I wasn’t about to sit here and let him punk me like this. He needed to get this stuff out the backseat and leave me alone. The second he bit his bottom lip, I crumbled and I felt my panties get wet. The effect he still had on me was the reason I’ve been avoiding him like the plague.
Hearing Isaiah’s ring tone, my heart started beating fast like I was stealing something. I swiped my finger across the screen so damn fast, my voice was caught up in my throat as I stuttered my greeting, “Hi, um heyyyy babe.”
Adarius kissed his teeth as he abruptly got out the car, I guess he got the hint and left me alone. I was willing to bet cash money that he was pissed I answered my phone since that took away from whatever moment he was trying to have out here with me before Chey brought her nosey ass back out here.
You would think that I would be able to move on and focus on returning the love and affection being given to me by Isaiah. But it had been a constant struggle for me to start the next chapter of my life since I kept re-reading the last one. The soul knows when it’s time to close a chapter and mine wasn’t ready to let the love of my life go.