Tuesday, April 18, 2006

cuz no one loves you more than me...and no one ever will

part one: it could all be so simple
part two: but you'd rather make it hard
part three: loving you is like a battle
part four: and we both end up with scars


i didn't look back.

i just couldn't.

i didn't want to see the look on his face, the look in his eyes. i didn't want to be reminded of how easily affected i could be by him. i didn't want to be reminded of how easily it could be to leave with him right then, drive to a secluded parking lot, and let him fuck me the way i've dreamed of being fucked for years.

for years.

so i just kept my eyes in front of me as i walked away.

actually, it was more like i was playing like i was walking but i was really running away. my heart was beating so fast it felt like it had simply stopped beating. my breathing was rushed, my hands clammy as i gripped my clutch bag painfully, cracking my knuckles in the process. as i made my way through the closely knit throng of people, i wondered frantically if leron had decided to follow me. i glanced behind me quickly, but saw nothing but unfamiliar faces engaged in conversation around me. i walked through the doorway leading to the dance floor and headed down the stairs at a slow pace, carefully watching my foot placement on the steps to ensure i didn't trip and fall again out of nervousness, cuz this time there was no doubt about it. i was nervous.

really nervous.

candice and the girls were in the same spot they were in when i left them. seeing me, they all gathered around, aware of the fact i had left the floor with a guy unfamiliar to them.

"where da hell did you go???" asked candice, a look of concern on her face.

"and who was that you went with??" danielle questioned on the tail of candice's inquiry.

i looked from one face to the other and said nothing. candice stepped forward and looked at me more closely. she frowned at what she saw in my eyes.

"girl, what happened???" she demanded, "am i gonna have to break my heel in someone's ass?"

"no, girl, no" i replied wearily, suddenly too tired to stand, "i'm okay, really i am."

deborah, who had been standing silently to my right, finally spoke.

"girls, it's obvious nikki isn't ready to talk about whatever just went down."

they all stared at me as if waiting for me to confirm or deny deborah's claim. i sighed. it was obvious they wanted to know so i had to figure out a way to say something and nothing at the same time. i wasn't ready to talk about it.

"the long and short of it is i just saw an ex and we stepped away to talk. that's about it."

"oh shit," said danielle, her eyes wide as she took the information in, "i've been there before, sista. remember when i bumped into david a couple of months back?"

we all groaned in response, familiar with the story of danielle and david. i damn sure wasn't ready to revisit THAT particular saga, so i nipped that shit in the bud.

"yeah, that was fucked up," i said quickly, my eyes trying to adjust to the darkness in the room as i tried to locate somewhere to sit. "meanwhile, i'm tired. i'm gonna sit a couple of songs out. do ya thing. i'll be back eventually."

they all had looks of disappointment on their faces as they realized i wasn't about to satisfy their curiosity.

"okay, nikki," candice said with a warning in her voice as she watched me head towards some seating, "but you KNOW you're not gonna get away without telling us what happened, right?"

"yes, candice," i replied sarcastically, not looking back. "i know all about how stubborn your ass can be."

"lovely is the feelin' now
fever, temperatures risin' now
power (ah power) is the force the vow
that makes it happen
it asks no questions why (ooh)
so get closer (closer now) to my body now
just love me 'til you don't know how (ooh)..."

a minute later i was sitting on the far end of the dance floor, out of their sight. the dj was spinning 'pre-white and crazy' michael jackson on the turntables and everyone was folding their bodies into various forms of elation as michael demanded they 'not stop 'til they got enough'.

my feet begin moving of their own accord, recognizing the song as one of my favorites. however, even as my head followed in the footsteps of my feet, my mind refused to budge from its preoccupation with leron as i was besieged with images of the first time i danced with him.

i had been hanging with my girlfriends at frozen paradise, a popular club in atlanta at the time. leron and i had only been talking for a couple of days via telephone and were still in that "everything about you is absolutely fascinating" stage of the courtship. we'd made plans for a date on saturday, but this was friday night and he was eager to see me. I’d wanted to see him just as badly but i'd done a pretty good job of playing it really cool up until then. i should have known he would find a way to conveniently "show up" at the club completely by 'coincidence'.

frozen paradise was basically an old red lobster restaurant that had been converted into a club. its atmosphere was intimate, as the space itself was rather small, but that just encouraged folk to dance really close, which was fine by me. i loved dancing, and especially loved dancing close to a fine brotha, my body teasing his with minute touches of breasts to chest, ass to crotch, tickling breaths to skin. when leron got there, i was already on the dance floor, getting my groove on with a guy i had been flirting with since I’d sauntered through the door ten minutes prior. through the red lighting of the room, i saw him standing in a corner, watching us intently. my heart started beating double time, my dancing become even more daring as i witnessed my audience. i played like i had dismissed him in my mind, turning my attention to my dance partner. i was smilling in his face when i saw leron walk up behind the guy and just stand there, his eyes still upon me. i raised an eyebrow, unsure of what he was going to do. he made his intentions known immediately.

"that's my lady you're dancing with," leron stated loudly over the music. the guy, who'd up until that moment had only had eyes for me, turned around to see leron standing behind him. he stopped dancing and sized leron up. leron had taken on a confident but intimidating pose, his 6' frame appearing even larger as he squared his shoulders and stared the guy down. i guess the guy figured i was more trouble than i was worth cuz he stepped aside with no fanfare while my mouth dropped as leron smoothly stepped in front of me, a mischievous turn to his lips.

"you've got alot of nerve!" i exclaimed, still in shock over his bold move. i had remained dancing, a feeble attempt to cover for my confidence which had just fled with that guy's retreat from the dance floor. leron's smile grew wider as he registered the pleasure at seeing him lurking behind my surprise, his white teeth gleaming even brighter against his dark skin.

"yet you know you want to dance with me, so where's the problem?" he had yet to move other than to place his hands on my hips and pull me closer to him.

"damn leron," i said in mock annoyance at his action, "you fucking with my flow! i didn't give you permission to put your hands on me, you know."

he let go of my hips quickly, grinning sheepishly as he looked away. i saw his lips move but the music was so loud i couldn't make out what he’d said.

"what did you say???" i yelled above the music. he turned to me, his face a serious study. moving his head so that his breath was a hint of heat against the fragile skin of my ear, he repeated himself as i unsuccessfully tried to control the awareness suddenly shaking my spine, the seeds of my need falling from my limbs to plant themselves in hot spots all over my body.

"i said 'i couldn't help myself'," he murmured, dropping his head softly so that his nose hovered closely above the curve in my neck, "damn you smell good."

i shivered again.

damn you sexy as fuck.

he was wearing a powder blue polo shirt that played as a stark contrast against his beautifully chocolate skin. his jeans, loose fitting and freshly pressed, were belted at his hips. he was thick in the waist and thighs, a little pouch of a stomach visible where the ends of his shirt were tucked into his jeans. i glanced down at his whiter than white reebok shoes and made a slow perusal of his body. no, he didn't have the body of a greek god. he had the body of a real man, one i could hold onto at night, kiss and cuddle up against, a body that could handle a voluptuous sista such as myself. his body looked lived in. i wanted to move in, damnit.

oh, he'll do. he'll do nicely.

"you're right," i responded with a cool nonchalance, "you can't help yourself."

then i made a standing turn, making sure he could see my body from every angle in my form fitting strapless red sundress. "does this look like the golden corral to you?"

he shook his head slowly, his eyes having just bitten the lure, his attention now being reeled in as i continued my methodical turn.

"this ain't no 'free for all' kinda buffet," i said as i winked at him, "first you gotta have an invitation to even sit at the table. secondly, this is a delicacy one feasts upon with flawless use of the proper utensils, not grabbed and gnawed at with the manners of 'captain caveman.'"

his surprised laughter was loud and joyful, a deep sound that appeared to have come from the bowels of his soul. we stood there together laughing on the dance floor, oblivious to our surroundings. we didn't even hear the music until we noticed people around us start slow dancing. the smile was whittled away from his lips as the air around us increased in degree.

"tell me what kind of man
would treat his woman so cold
treat you like you're nothin'
when you're worth more than gold..."

the atmosphere around us thickened like gravy on a hot stove after flour's been added. it bubbled up around us, sticking to our skin in clumps of condensated liquid.

he reached for me at the same time i stepped into his arms. his chest was broad and firm beneath my cheek as i layed my head upon it. i was standing in between his legs, the position allowing for the most intimate of contact where our hips met. upon first feeling his erect dick move against my crotch i almost jumped out of my skin. i mean, it felt like a huge snake.

gawtDAMN. what the fuck does he have DOWN there? a fucking anacockda? king cumbra?
(yes, i like to amuse myself with play on words like that. sue me.)

i must not have been as discrete with my inward jumping as i thought cuz i heard him chuckling softly next to my ear.

"don't be afraid of it," he whispered slyly, "i promise you it doesn't bite."

my giggle was muffled by his shirt. his arms moved more tightly around me as he splayed the fingers from one of his hands across my back, the other hand resting on the area right above my ass.

"you better hope i don't," i quipped in response.

"ouch!" he said, a wince in his voice after hearing what i'd said. we both laughed again. we'd been standing there holding each other, not moving. we hadn't even swayed to the music yet. i lifted my head from his chest and looked into his eyes.

"is this how you folk dance in jacksonville?" i asked laughingly, "do you wait for the world around you to move instead?"

he smirked at me, but said nothing.


"i can't dance," he blurted out quickly, so quickly in fact i almost didn't hear what he'd said.

"what???" i asked incredulously, my eyes wide with shock as i stared up at him. he sighed loudly.

"i can't dance."

a black man who can't dance? what kind of phenomena is this? that's like having a dog who can't bark, a cat who can't meow, a president who can't tell a lie! i was speechless. perfect leron was suddenly imperfect. how da hell could i be with a guy who didn't know how to dance???

"i'm willing to try if you are, though," he said, wariness in his eyes as he noted i was still wearing the shocked expression. i schooled my face so that i had most of the shock layered beneath a look of support.

"we don't have to if you don't want to," i replied.

"no, i want to." his grin was strained. i hesitated, a skeptical look in my eye.

"are you sure?" i asked, not wanting him to feel as though i forced him into doing it. he nodded.

"yeah. let's do this."

he moved his left leg awkwardly in an attempt to try to reposition his feet. as he lifted his right leg, the side of his sneaker hit me dead in the ankle. my knees buckled as the pain shot up my leg. he was holding on to me tight, so i didn't fall.

but i damn sure yelped like a little bitch.

"OH! damn!," he burst out as he saw my face crumple in pain, "i'm so sorry!"

i almost went limp in his arms, the agony emanating from my ankle making my eyes water up.

"no! no!," i said trying to downplay my pain and his miscalculation, "i'm alright, really. i have weak ankles anyway."

i tried to laugh but it came out as a hiccup, the throbbing of my ankle having effectively squeezed out any mirth within me. he had his arm around my waist to support me as i limped my way over to one of the booths lining the floor. i plopped down in the seat, leaning over to see my ankle begin to swell, a knot forming in the exact spot where he'd mistakenly kicked it.

"damnit nikki, i'm so sorry about this," he said remorsefully from below, having bent down to his haunches to check out the damage close up. i swallowed before speaking, my tongue pressed hard against the roof of my mouth as i attempted to pull the anguish away from my voice.

"it's okay, leron." i said reassuringly, my voice only wavering a bit, "really. it's nothing. it hurts, but i'm sure my life isn't over."

that night was over fo sho, though. i couldn't even stand on my ankle without it throbbing. leron had kicked the shit out of it. he kept apologizing and i kept trying to assure him i was alright, but he didn't believe me. eventually he rounded up my girls and told them i had to go home. they weren't too happy about it, but they weren't about to let leron take me home so after mumbling amongst themselves, they made their rounds to say their goodbyes while i leaned against leron and limped my way out of the establishment. once outside in the parking lot, leron asked where we were parked. i pointed to a spot that all of a sudden seemed like a mile away from where we stood. i almost started crying again.

"you're not gonna make it all the way there," he said matter-of-factly, "i'm gonna have to carry you."

he leaned over, placed one arm behind my back and the other one in back of my knees. in one movement he had me lifted high against his chest. he started walking towards the car.

you know, in romance novels, it seems so romantic. in real life, all i could think about was the fact that i wasn't all that petite. i could break this brotha's back.

"put me down, leron!" i protested loudly, " i'm too heavy for you to be carrying like this!"

by this time my girls had exited the club and were walking towards us. it didn't take them long to catch up. i mean, leron was struggling whether he wanted to admit to it or not.

"hold up!" chevon yelled out from behind us, "you can put her down! jackie's gonna bring the car around!"

i could have sworn that brotha sighed with relief at hearing that, although he would deny it time and again throughout the relationship. he carefully placed me onto my foot and wrapped his arm around my waist to support me. we didn't say anything while jackie went to go get the car. i was too exhausted to speak and i think leron was just too embarrassed. after the car pulled up and i was carefully placed into the back seat, i closed the door and rolled down the window. leron looked genuinely hurt. my heart hurt a little for him too, although my ankle hurt a whole lot more.

i extended my arm through the window and reached for his hand.

"leron, it's really aiight," i said trying to convince him as much as i could before i left, "you might have kicked the bone out of my ankle but i still think you're sexy as hell. oh, and it doesn't hurt that you've got a big dick." i smiled and blew him a kiss as the laughter erupted from the girls in the car. he had a half grin on his face as he watched us pull off.

the date the next day had to be postponed because my mom had decided to stay over to nurse me while my ankle continued swelling. leron was apologetic about the incident for weeks afterwards. we never did get the dance thing down during our relationship. i regretted the fact he never felt confident enough to try again, although i wasn't mad at the alternative. being held close while the music vibrated around us was heavenly, too.

"this cut isn't really all that old, but this is still sexy grown folk music for us sexy grown folk!"

the notes from an acoustic guitar cut cleanly through my reverie and i was guided back into the present by the dj's voice, my body instantly on high alert as i sensed leron's presence in front of me.

"storming outside
she keeps me home
quiet conversation makes me warm

"one dance, nikki. that's all i'm asking for."

dance? you DANCE now??

i was thoroughly shocked for the second time that night.

"yes, i dance now, although i'm still not all that good." he replied to the question in my eyes, still widened in disbelief, "but i'm willing to try if you are."

he slowly extended his hand, an indistinguishable look in his eyes as waited for me to respond. i thought about how we'd never danced the whole time we were together all those years ago. i thought about how much courage it must have taken him to not only come after me but to ask me to dance when he'd always been too afraid to do so before.

i placed my hand in his and stood up. he led me through the crowd on the dance floor until we were right in the middle of everybody it seemed. then he turned to me.

he reached for me at the same time i stepped into his arms. the timing was still perfect.

as was the melding of our bodies as we held each other closely, his chest a familiar place for me to lay my head, his heart beat a remembered cadence as it played its rhythm to my ear. my arms were around his neck, my fingers teasing the hair at the nape. i felt his dick move against my crotch. leron's fingers flexed against my back in response as my nipples tightened in response to his response.

"nik, you know that's my spot. stop that unless you're prepared for the consequences," he said tightly. my hands stilled as i felt his breathing match mine in unsteadiness.

"well you know my back's one of my spots but that hasn't stopped you," i replied, my attempt at being indifferent about it immediately squashed as i felt his hands run down the length of my spine before squeezing my asscheeks softly.

"i'm more than prepared for the consequences." almost as if on cue, his dick moved against my crotch again. my toes curled in my shoes as i my clit throbbed in response.

it had been so long. soooo fucking long.

"summer rain
whispers me to sleep
and wakes me up again
sometimes I swear I hear her call my name
to wash away the pain
my summer rain..."

we still hadn't moved yet. i thought about our first dance and almost cracked the same joke i did back then. then i felt leron's leg shift a little.

before clipping the very edge of my sandal. he was a whisker away from stepping all over my foot. my giggle was again muffled in his shirt. i looked up into his eyes, silent laughter glowing from mine.

"who's nervous now?" i asked with a smirk, remembering his remark from earlier.

"ha ha," he replied, "yeah, yeah...you got me."

we gathered close into each other, no words needed as we stopped moving and allowed the music to shimmer around us instead. every now and again he'd lean in close to whisper the lyrics to the song into my ear.

so go ahead and make it rain "keep it right there..."
you bring the sunshine back again "baby, keep it right there..."
so go ahead and make it rain "oh, keep it right there..."
your tender touches wash away my rain "keep it right there..."

my eyes were closed and i was hearing those words on a long ago night while we were making love. i felt his lips brush against my locks. i sighed deeply, content for the span of that moment. and that's when i realized...

we were dancing.

well...we were swaying in rhythm to the ballad, which was just as good as far as i was concerned. my smile became full blown as i kept my head against his chest. our movement as one was minimal yet major, a minute movement across space revealing miles of inner grace.

we didn't dare look at each other, just held each other tightly and swayed to the music, our bodies enflamed as they molded into each other.

just this...all i need is this and i'll be aiight.

another song played through before i peeled myself off of his body, every inch of me aware of just how vulnerable i was at that very moment.

just this night...all i need is just this night and i'll be aiight.

"in your heart, you know you want to," he said quietly, and i was reminded of him using a similar line when we'd first met. his eyes were bright as they searched my face for an emotion to assist him in persuading me. i looked at his lips and licked my own. my nipples were extra sensitive and i could feel the cream saturating my panties. my pussy was weeping for attention.

so many reasons why i should. no sex in months, nikki! MONTHS!

i crossed one leg over the other as my pussy began clearing her throat, determined to make her needs known.

"yeah, leron," i agreed, nodding slowly even as my eyes held regret, "i think part of it is my heart speaking, but most of itis my body speaking. the one place we never had a problem was in the bedroom."

"what we had was good, nikki." he said as he intertwined his fingers through mine. we were still standing close, which was fucking with my senses.

"it was good at one time, leron. i loved you so much back then. you were my first in so many ways, both good and bad. from you i figure out what i wanted and didn't want in the guy i wanted to share my life with."

leron stood there silently, waiting for me to continue.

"i still love you, leron. i love you for all of the wonderful memories you've given me to look back on and cherish. i love you for being who you were which allowed me to grow into the woman i am now. i love you for loving me back then. i grew up in your arms. i'll always love you for the part you played in my life, but i also remember hating you."

this time it was me holding his hand more tightly as i spoke.

"i hated you for lying to me when you knew you didn't have to. i hated you for not standing up to your mother when she called me a snobby bitch for not loaning her money whenever she asked me for it. i hated you for not calling out your sisters when they stole from me. i hated you for making decisions you knew could fuck up what we had, yet you made them anyway."

i brought his hand up to my lips, kissing the knuckles softly.

"i don't hate you anymore leron," i whispered as i felt my eyes burning, "but there was alot of hate there and it ate through alot of that love and left me full of emotional holes i'm still trying to fill. i can't be with you when i'm still healing from being with you."

he had yet to say a word. i saw the hurt reflecting in his eyes throughout my speech, but he never interrupted. he just looked at me intensely, like he was trying to tell me something with his eyes. i didn't want to figure out what he was saying. i was emotionally drained and just wanted to go home.

"i gotta go. i'm tired."

i leaned in close, got on my tippy toes, and kissed him softly on the lips.

"bye, love."

and then i turned and walked away from him for the second time that night, only this time my knees didn't buckle.

that following monday i got a call from my mom at work. i knew something bad had happened cuz mom never calls me at work unless it's an emergency.

"what's wrong, mom???," i asked frantically,"is something wrong with aswad? somai? dad? granny??"

"no, no, no," she interrupted me impatiently, "you've got mail here at the house."

i paused.

"is it another letter from the irs?"

"no, it's worse than that" she replied sarcastically, "it's a letter from leron."