“You gonna eat that last slice?” Tyler asked as he reached in the box and picked up the last piece of our chicken and spinach pizza. We were at my apartment watching the second “Sex and the City” movie–– I must admit, the man was trying hard.
“I mean, you already got your grubby hands on it,” I laugh. Tyler takes a bite. “Thanks,” he says. “Now, is Carrie into this Aiden guy because her and Big seem to be really in synch.”
He looks at me and I burst out laughing. “Seriously?” I ask.
“What? I’m just saying. How she gonna meet an ex love all the way out there and not tell him she married dude?” Tyler shakes his head, his dimples showing even as he frowns.
“Well, her story with Aiden was kinda deep,” I say. “And he hated Big.”
I still can’t believe we’re doing this. This big, tatted man is sitting on my living room floor, totally engrossed in a certified chick flick, and he’s been nothing but a gentleman. No reaching over to cop a feel or trying to kiss me during the movie. We are really just chilling and enjoying each other’s company. I’m really enjoying his company.
“It’s a lot to fill you in on, but I will give you the details after the movie,” I say. Tyler closes the pizza box and pulls me into his arms. “Cool, cause I don’t want to miss anything."
“One more paper, and my semester is over!” Lynda pulls out her laptop and flops down on her twin-size bed. “Lord knows I don’t feel like doing this.”
Do not answer. Jerk on the line.
Dylan’s ring tone fills the room and Lynda stares at her cell. “Don’t answer it girl. He just wants you to come over, and you do not have time to be any man’s booty call.” She ignores his call … until he calls again.
Do not answer. Jerk on the line.
“Hello Dylan,” she says. “What can I do for you?”
“Hey babe, I miss you,” says Dylan. “You miss me?”
Lynda sighs. She does miss him, but damned if he’ll know it. “No.”
Dylan smiles on the other end of the phone. He knows he has this one, and he really does miss her––she’s a good girl. He, however, isn’t quite ready to be good. But that doesn’t mean they can’t kick it in the meantime. He can tell he’s going to have to try a little harder to get her to the house.
“I know I been busy lately, baby, but I’m trying to make it up to you. Come see me. I got you something special to celebrate the end of you semester.”
Lynda rolls her eyes and looks at the blank page on her laptop. Her paper is due Wednesday so she technically has another day to finish it up.
“I dunno, Dylan. I have work to do, and I don’t appreciate not hearing from you all last week,” she says, knowing full well she wants to go. He’s just not good for her, and she knows that as well.
“You’re going to make me beg?” he asks. “Please baby baby, please!” He laughs. “Come on, I’m sorry––wait until you see your surprise.”
“Uh huh,” says Lynda. “Alright, I’ll come for a little while, but I really do have work to do.”
He smiles and places the engraved stethoscope in the gift bag. “See you in a few, baby.”
“Tell that woman to stop calling me, Donte. I’m serious. She can’t keep calling me at work with this foolishness.” It was the second time this week that Donte’s child’s mother had called her at work asking her questions about what happens in her and Donte’s house. “She’s acting like I’m the unstable one, like I wouldn’t be good to your child!”
Donte had stopped by Nyla’s job to drop off lunch. Apparently he had just missed his ex’s latest phone call. “I know she’s trippin’ Ny, but try your best to ignore her. I’ll talk to her when I pick up Kai tonight.”
Nyla rubs her temples, her bun is too tight. “I try to ignore her, but it’s hard when she continues to call my cell. What is it? Does she want you back?”
Donte looks at his girl. He knew he should have told her what happened a couple weeks ago. He had gone by to drop some money off for Kai and his ex answered the door in lingerie. She basically begged him to be with her, but he resisted, barely. Clearly his ex could feel he was torn and was now trying to cause drama in his relationship.
“She might want that, Ny,” he says, “but I want to be with you.” Donte walks over to Nyla and loosens her bun, releasing her curls. “I love you,” he says. “Please don’t let her come between us.”
Nyla looks up into his eyes. She loves him too, but something has been off lately. She stands up, pulling her hair back into its bun. “Listen, we’ll talk later. I have to do a home visit for a little girl whose mother we think is using.” She kisses him lightly on the cheek. “Thanks for lunch. I’ll see you at home.”
As Donte turns to leave his cell goes off. It’s his ex. “Are you going to get that?” asks Nyla. “Answer the phone, Donte.”
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-Photography by GMO Photo Editor, Billy Montgomery