Shades on; arms crossed: the reclusive solitary man
Melissa Couris said that he had been in at least one of her classes last year and she knew who he was. She thought he had been in a Language Arts class with Miss Jankowski last year (’98). She said that he was always quiet, didn’t talk to anybody and sat in the corner with his arms crossed. She said that he wore a trench coat and sometimes he wore his sunglasses in the classroom.
“..you seem a lot like me. Pensive, quiet, an observer, not wanting what is offered here (school, life, etc.)“ - DBK
Schuster stated that Anderson acted as if it was urgent that they get out of the school and then asked Schuster if she wanted to stay and eat at Dairy Queen. Schuster stated that she told Anderson that she did not want to eat at Dairy Queen because she did not want to be late for class.
Schuster advised that Anderson was “very close” to Harris and Klebold. Schuster stated that Anderson wanted to be Klebold’s girlfriend.When Schuster learned that Harris and Klebold had committed the shooting at Columbine, she was very surprised Klebold was involved. Schuster stated she thought Chris Morris would be with Harris, not Klebold. Schuster stated she could see Harris doing something like this because he was much more angry.
Schuster stated that Anderson told her she was with Harris and Klebold when they bought the guns. Schuster wonders if Anderson may have known the shooting at Columbine was going to happen.
It’s been a little over a week since Kellen came up with this dinner/dancing idea and the closer it gets to us going and meeting them the less I want to. I look at Chris and he’s nervous. More nervous than I’ve ever seen him and as each second ticks off I want to call Kellen and cancel this. The only reason I agreed to this dinner in the first place was because I saw the look on his face and it got to me. He had such a smug condescending look on his face as he stared back at Kellen. His hands were on her thighs and she was holding him to her and they looked so damn arrogant about it. I wanted to stand there and yell and scream and call her every unholy name in the book but I have more class than that. She’s not worth my time, effort, or energy… I have who she wants and I agreed to this dinner so I can show and prove to her that it’s time to move on.
I told my girls about their little scene and this upcoming dinner and they all wanted to come with me and put her in her place. Mona had to damn near be sedated but when I promised her that I would handle her so well that she would never bark in Chris’ direction again she finally calmed down. I understand they have a business together and I’m not trying to come in between that but all this extra shit has to stop and change because it’s not good or healthy for Chris and my relationship. I chance another glance at him and all my confident thoughts rush from me and I’m back to thinking and wondering if this little dinner is a good idea.
What if in all my plans she opens her mouth and begs him to come to her. We have something growing and if given the right amount of time and effort it can be spectacular but is it enough to compete with her? When we first got together I was so scared she would come rushing from the shadows taking him and his love from me. I remember watching her as she watched Chris and how she looked at him was etched in my brain. Her every feeling and emotion for him was clearly seen on her face and in that moment I was envious of that feeling. I didn’t say anything to either of them that night and I played it like I had never seen her before when Chris first introduced us. I had so many damn questions for her that I needed answers to but I held my queries in and fell into Chris instead. He’s amazing and incredible and dream worthy and everything else and I don’t want to lose him.
When we first started I could see him fighting his feelings for her and I wanted to run away from us so many times but he would kiss me and whisper to me and all my fears would fall away. He wanted this as much as I did and I fell a little more under his spell. We would have our moments but he always promised he was trying and wanted this as much as me and I believed him up until around her birthday. The way he carried on for her and her surprise party I was ready to tear my hair out and call everything off. I saw the gift he damn near broke his back to get for her… although flying her jibberish talking family and friends in should have been enough… and I wanted to fall down and ask him why. That damn bracelet was spectacular and if I had any half a mind I would be wearing it on my wrist and my nervousness about this dinner wouldn’t be here.
After her birthday though I thought all and concern for her was gone. We’re at another place in our relationship and he quit rushing out to see and hang and be with her. I was so scared to go there with Chris because all of my past relationships turned to shit once we went there. But Chris was different… he was so gentle with me and promised me that he would stay forever and he’s been true to that. He went so far as to avoid her at work because he did not want whatever she was trying to bring to him to destroy what we were building. But something changed in the last week or so that makes me think that going to this dinner might not be the best thing to do.
I look at him and he’s fidgeting with his clothes and baseball cap and I’m ready to go over there and dress him myself to get him to calm down. Sighing softly I question him wishing I had kept my thoughts and questions to myself.
Softly whispering, “You sure you want to do this?”
“Would it matter if I didn’t?”
“Why the attitude?”
Slowly shaking his head, “I don’t have one…”
“If you don’t want to do this we don’t have to…”
“It’s a little too late to be calling anything off…”
“Are you mad at me?”
Flatly as he continued to look away from me, “Why would I be Sydney?”
Softly sighing I turned away from him my fear from earlier hitting me once again. I think the reason I’m running from this dinner now is because I don’t want to watch him staring at her… I don’t want to be witness to her staring at him… I don’t want a front row seat to the two of them taking everything I thought I had and running away with it. I don’t know where Kellen fits in all of this but surely he’s stressed and as scared as me. But then again he was the one to suggest this dinner so maybe he knows something more than I do and whatever his fear is gone and he’s confident in what they had.
It would be perfect if there was truly something between the two of them. Then maybe this fear of Chris running back to her would leave me and we could truly be happy. In that brief moment I saw how Kellen looked at her and maybe just maybe if I push them in that direction it might happen and then any other dinner dates he came up with would be looked at with anticipation and joy and a good time between friends. A slow smile spreads across my face at the thought and in that moment I made a vow to make that that happen. Before this night is over Kellen and Robyn will be a couple and any fear I have about Chris and I will no longer matter. Wrapping my arms around his waist I kiss the nape of his neck fighting the urge to tell him exactly how I feel. I love him and he makes me happier than I ever thought possible. Feeling his hands cover mine I smile before softly whispering to him as he whispered back to me.
Softly whispering, “I’m sorry about earlier…”
“You have nothing to apologize for…”
“I just want this night to be perfect…”
Slowly nodding his head, “It will be…”
“I wonder why Kellen even came up with the idea…”
“He seems like a good dude…”
Flatly as he moved away from me, “So I’ve been told…”
“Does Robyn seem to like him?”
“At this point I have no idea who or what Robyn likes…”
Softly whispering as I looked away from him almost afraid to hear his answer, “Do you want her to like him?”
When I didn’t get an immediate answer I slowly turned my gaze to his and instantly wished I hadn’t. The look that covered his face was one I never saw before but the thought of Kellen and Robyn was not something Chris wanted to think about. As much as I wanted this to be in his silent response he all but screamed that’s the last thing hoped or wanted. Attempting shake that look from his face he pasted on a fake smile covering up his true thoughts telling me what I wanted to hear instead.
Softly whispering, “I want her to be happy…”
“Even with Kellen?”
“I want her to be happy and loved with whoever she chooses…”
“So if she chooses Kellen…”
Slowly shaking his head, “I just want her happy…”
Taking my hand in his Chris led us out the door and in the direction of the restaurant I picked. Wanting to make a good impression I picked the one Caribbean restaurant I knew about. All of my friends bragged about it nonstop and I hope this crap is somewhat edible or I’m going to be hungry while I over analyze every word, movement, and interaction during this dinner. Ackee Bamboo Jamaican Cuisine [link] looked exactly how I thought it would and the smells hit me the closer we got to the front door. I feel almost nauseous and me getting through this dinner might be the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted.
Ordering a drink the second the waitress made the suggestion I shook off Chris’ gaze wanting this over and done as quickly as possible. And yet as she they slowly made their way to the table I chanced a glance in Chris’ direction before signaling the waitress letting her know my need for another drink to get me through the night. My turn to paste a smile on my face I faked it for as long as I could and when finally we got to the club I slipped up and told her exactly what I thought of her, her stringing Chris along, her misuse of Kellen, and how I was on and hip to all of it. The last thing I remember from the club is Chris pulling me behind him as she attempted to wipe off the drink she was wearing.
I’ve done a lot of things in my life but this by far was the hardest thing I’ve ever attempted. When Kellen came up with this bullshit idea of dinner and dancing my first and only response was no. The last thing I wanted to do was spend any amount of time with let alone dinner, dancing, and some bullshit talking we would be required to do with him. There’s nothing about this dude I even remotely like and having to endure a whole night with him was a torture I’m not sure I can withstand. He’s too smiley, too accommodating, too right, too not like me, too perfect for her.
I saw the way her face lit up when she all but forced me to go to Mijo and apologize for my stupidity. That moment was supposed to be about me and my brother cutting through my bullshit while she stood beside me holding my hand. But the second she saw him it was like she forgot about me, my needs, me reconnecting with Mijo, and just left me high and dry. I know that’s not what happened but that’s how it felt. And to see him smiling back at her cut into me and made me feel like my place in her life was diminishing. In retrospect I’m probably jumping to conclusions and thinking it more than what it is but in that very moment I didn’t like him and I doubt I ever will.
I heard Sydney talking earlier but my mind was so full of thoughts I couldn’t even front like I was listening to her. I knew she was just as nervous as me and was just trying to gauge and figure out what exactly I was feeling but I don’t know myself so as wrong as it was I ignored her. I gave non committal answers hoping they were enough but I came off rude and I know I hurt her feeling but I really didn’t mean to. I’m so caught up and scared I’m losing my songbird I don’t know how to think straight or treat the person next to me right. Sydney’s a good girl and if my heart didn’t belong to Robyn we would be everything together but life and my heart don’t work that way so we’re just stuck. I know I should man up and claim Robyn as my own before Kellen stakes his claim but I don’t want to hurt Sydney like that.
I remember the first time I called Robyn my songbird. We had a wild night and all the crew was over to my house crashed out and trying to sleep the alcohol off. I woke up to her gone from my bed and I felt lost. I think that was the fastest I ever jumped out of bed but I wanted to find her and hold her in my arms again so I could fall back to sleep. I stumbled around a little until I found Mijo in the kitchen looking for anything to calm a raging hangover. We rummaged around for a second until we heard her. She was on the back patio… her back to us… eyes closed… face raised to the sun to warm her… ear buds in her ears… singing her heart out. She was singing some old Etta James song and me and Mijo stood in shock at how amazing she sounded. Not that we thought she would sound bad or anything like that but we stood there for at least two or three songs falling in deeper awe of her with each word. She turned to us and we just stared at her and in that moment Mijo whispered some out there talk about songbirds and robins and it just stuck. I called her that from that moment and while she played like she was embarrassed and would hide away her face when it were just the two of us she would wrap her arms around me and softly sing to me. The thought of her giving those whispered songs to someone else is too much and I almost want to fall in front of her and beg her not to give away what should only be ours.
Sydney is talking to me again and as much as I want to ignore her I can’t. We went through a whole unnecessary conversation earlier and I can’t sit through that again when I’m ready to jump out of my skin. She wanted me to say I was ok with Robyn loving someone else and I couldn’t force myself to say it. I won’t be happy with her loving Kellen, the man next door, the dude down the street, or anyone else unless that other person was me. I’m selfish and I know it but I only want her to love me. Her tone has changed and I drag my eyes from searching for any sight of Robyn to turn and look at Sydney and I can only shake my head silently wishing that I hadn’t.
“Did you tell them the right time?”
Slowly nodding my head, “Of course I did Sydney…”
“Then where the hell are they?”
“How am I supposed to know?”
Mumbling as she looked away, “You know everything else about her…”
“I don’t know everything…”
Slowly shrugging, “Close enough…”
“You know how you always ask me to chill and give your friends a chance… well I’m asking the same thing from you…”
“What do I get if I do?”
Staring intently at her, “The same damn thing I get…”
My heart sped up and I instantly know that she’s here. She has that effect on me and even without seeing her I know she is beautiful and my heart won’t be able to sit across and not touch and kiss and tell her how amazing she looks and yet I can’t wait to see her. I feel Sydney tense beside me and I turn my head in the direction of the entrance and I stare as she slowly made her way to me. Maybe it was wishful thinking on my part but my every fear, thought, and feeling of unease showed on her face as well. Perhaps she is dreading this night as much as me and this torture I am feeling is felt by her as well. My eyes locked on her until she stood beside our table I said the first and only thought in my head making her smile and Sydney sigh beside me.
Softly whispering, “You look beautiful…”
In that moment it felt like we were the only two people in the restaurant and the world. All I saw was her smile as she smiled back at me. I always tell her how amazing and beautiful she is and every time her nose crinkles and she shakes her head like she does not believe it. She did the same thing this time as well and it takes everything in me not to reach out touch her cheek and tell her over and over again. She’s not dressed how I normally see her and I want to pull her to me and whisper in her ear just how sexy she looks. She whispered back to me and for a few minutes more we ignored all around us and just stood in this moment.
“You don’t have to lie…”
“What I tell you… ‘when you dress like this…’”
Slowly shaking her head as she finished my forever mantra, “…even Naomi bows down…”
“And you know it baby…”
Softly laughing, “I’m going to tell Mijo you used that tired line again…”
“He better stick to his crazy mumble jumble…”
“I’m telling him that too and you overusing mumble and jumble… where did you get that mess from?”
Loudly as she moved closer to me, “From me…”
Smiling as she turned her gaze to Sydney, “Hey Sydney… you need to check your man… he’s been using your little term over and over again…”
“Maybe if he continues to use them he will remember who his actual girl is…”
I turn my gaze to Sydney and the look on her face is the last thing I want to deal with. I’ve been bending over backwards to sit and hang and play nice with her friends and I will be damned if she turned that attitude on me or Robyn. Ready to tell her back herself I am stopped as Kellen decided to speak making my feelings for him to get just a little deeper.
“Surely no one would ever forget you as their girl…”
Slowly shrugging, “You would think…”
“Trust me I know…” slowly looking her up and down as he smiled at her, “you look beautiful as well…”
“Thank you… nothing like a compliment from someone looking just as good…”
Softly laughing as he continued to stare at her, “If that is a compliment thank you… I felt like such a girl seeing as though it took me forever to pick out what I was going to wear tonight…”
“You look handsome…”
His gaze turned to Robyn and the smile he gave her made my blood boil. I want to end this dinner, dance, and whatever right then and there. Hearing her compliment him and him smile adoringly in her direction is too much and I rise coming up with some lame excuse to leave the table. I have to control my emotions and my thoughts or this will be a disaster that no amount of nice words or controlled feelings will fix. We just have to get through this and I will come up with a way to get out of this relationship I’m in and into the one I want. Splashing some water on my face and taking as many deep breaths I can muster I get myself together enough to go out and face this whatever. As I return to the table I feel all of their eyes on my but all I search out for and acknowledge is my songbird. I want to hear her whisperingly sing to me as the night becomes the day. I want to hear her as I close my eyes and open them to another day, another chance, finally an us. I want to… my thoughts cut off as I see Kellen lean forward and whisper something in her ear. I could almost deal and tolerate the whisper but her small smile and giggle cut into me and I feel as if I broke into a million pieces in that very moment. I see Sydney signal the waitress for another drink and I join her in drinking away the pain I am feeling. I didn’t want this dinner and dance and as I down my first of many drinks I can’t help but wonder how much of my heart will be left by the time the night is over.
If I’m honest this whole dinner, dancing, thingy was not high on my list of things to do. Kellen is as cool as anyone I’ve met in a long long time and spending time with him is amazing and something I want to do over and over. And Chris is just Chris. I love him and even if we just sitting in the middle of an empty room doing nothing it would be the best doing nothing I’ve ever experienced. He’s everything and nothing or no one will ever change that but then there’s Sydney. I don’t dislike her but then again I don’t like her either. If I was forced to be honest the second that cunt took my place in Chris’ life she’s been on my shit list with never any plans on being removed. It’s better that way and the less I have to interact with her the better. If I have to pretty it up I would go with the notion that we have nothing in common and likely never will even with Chris between us.
From the moment Kellen and I walked into the restaurant she’s been a bit of a bitch and I’m doing everything in my power not to cut into her ass. It could be the simplest of conversations and she would cut in with a catty comment I’m so not here for. To sit across from Chris and not be able to touch him and watch him try not to smile and laugh is simply torture. I want to sit beside him and touch his freckles and play in the deep well of his dimple while I tell him over and over again that any future babies will most definitely get that perfect imperfection from him. I want to touch him in that one spot that I know that will make him fall over in the loudest laughs ever heard. He swears he’s not ticklish but let me barely touch him on his right side a little below his rib cage and he will run from me laughing and screwing and begging me to stop. I normally give him a look and continue my touch while I laugh at his reaction. I want to do all of that and more and the fact that I can’t coupled with her slick ass comments is too damn much.
And even if I could somehow over look her and everything she is doing Kellen is beside me and I feel guilty for ignoring him. It’s funny though… me ignoring him is not all because of Chris and everything I want to do to and with him… put of that ignoring has to do with Kellen and Kellen alone. When he arrived at my apartment to pick me up for dinner I had to run back inside and splash some water on my face and release a few woosahs for good measure. He looked… no doubt Kellen is handsome but when he arrived on my doorstep with his bow tie and page boy cap and those eyes… for a quick second it was Chris who and dinner nope.
I’ve never really looked at him like that but damn in that very moment either I haven’t had any in a long damn time or that damn man was doing something to me I didn’t think possible. He didn’t even know his effect on me because he stumbled over his words as usual and quickly smiled in an attempt to cover his embarrassment taking me back to stalker Kellen. I gently took his hand and our eyes locked and I’m not sure who broke the gaze but the next thing I knew we were at dinner with a catty Sydney and my Lumpy. This is different and confusing and ton more adjectives and for a moment her catty ass comments and Kellen whispering in my ear didn’t matter and we went back to Songbird and Lumpy.
Smiling as we waited for the bill to be brought to the table, “Remember the first time I came home to BIM with you and I tried my accent on your family…”
“My fam was not having it…”
“They gave me that wack ass nickname…”
Softly laughing, “That was all Gran Gran…”
Quickly shaking my head, “You and Rorrey was off somewhere and Gran Gran pulled me to the side and told me if you keep trying to talk with that awful accent she was going to put lumps all upside your head…”
“She probably would have…”
“Yep and I would have laughed the whole time…”
“Wow thanks for nothing…”
Laughing as I held my stomach, “The way you were jacking up words and the side eyes I was getting for bringing you home…”
“Watch me the next time I go there… Lumpy and his accent will be in full effect…”
Fanning my hand at him, “That reminds me… I have a message from Melissa, Leandra, and Noella…”
“I don’t even want to hear it…”
“They gave me another message to give you if you try to ignore the first one…”
Softly sighing, “Ok damn… who actually gave the message and how many swear words is in it?”
Softly laughing, “She told me to tell you that the next time you want to be a rasshole cunt and go hide and not say goodbye to them after bringing them ‘err she’s going to kick your ass the next time she sees you. You vex her for no reason and instead of enjoying her last few days ‘ere she worry about you…”
“I’m not trying to be rude but do you and your people know how to speak English?”
“What do you think I’m speaking?”
Slowly shrugging as she stared back at me, “I mean like proper English and not all that broken up words and stuff. I know you all have school and everything but what happens after high school? Is there a high school or does schooling stop at like sixth or eighth grade or something…”
“I rather like how she and her people sound… the Caribbean accent has a certain sing song quality to it. And when you get into the different patois and how each change in each region and destination it’s pretty damn amazing…”
“You said all of that to say?”
Slowly shaking his head, “Open your eyes and ears before you make even a bigger fool of yourself…”
A whispered thank you to Kellen I looked back at Sydney more pissed off than I ever thought possible. I know her whole dribble was about getting a reaction out of me but I won’t play into her game and go there with her. Every time I’ve been around her I’ve gone out of my way to at least be civil… hell on more than one occasion I was nice to her ass… but after tonight I’m done and won’t even try with her anymore. I’m not foolish enough to not know that this has to do with Chris but I don’t control his actions or interaction with me. He’s my best friend and we have a history together that no stuck up valley chick is going to come between. My gaze goes to Chris and the anger I am feeling in nothing compared to the look on his face. I almost feel sorry for her when finally they get somewhere private but the chick tried me for no reason at all.
Somehow we moved from dinner to dancing and as we made our way into the club I prayed that this went better than that mess we just sat through. I’m not sure if she was attempting to get on my good side with the places she chose but in addition to the Caribbean style food restaurant she also chose a club that specialized in dancehall, soca, and reggae music. I really can’t stand her but I’m in my element and I’m about to have a damn time tonight. I spare a quick look in her direction wondering how many drinks she’s had so far tonight. She’s been slamming them back the entire time we were at dinner and she’s not stopped since we got to the club. Not my problem and I pulled Kellen to the dance floor blocking out Sydney, her drinking, and funky attitude she’s still carrying.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many songs Kellen and I danced through but I was feeling the music and my dance partner. I’m almost shocked that Kellen was able to keep up with me and if not for the slowing down of the music we might still be on the dance floor. Laughing as we slowly made our way back to the table my breath stopped and my heart exploded as I read the look on Chris’ face. If I had any sense I would turn and go to another table and ignore that look and request in his eyes. What he’s asking for I can’t give… well I can but I shouldn’t and I won’t as long as she is in the picture. We had that conversation when they first started and I won’t go back on that just because his gaze is making me want to throw away every bit of willpower and give in to him. Like I said if I had sense but it seems I don’t and before I could even sit down and attempt to formulate a way out of giving in to him he grabs my hand and drags me back to the dance floor.
The music still slow he wrapped his arm around my waist pulling me close to him. My eyes closed tight I tried to tense up my body wanting this over before it truly began. It’s not that I don’t want to be pressed up against him but I know me… I know where my mind will go after a few seconds… and more than anything I know that by the end of this song every bit of willpower and defense I set up against him will be destroyed. He’s my best friend and I love him but I can’t be having these feelings for him no matter how much of a bitch his girlfriend is. I hear him whispering and I slowly shake my head not wanting to go there no matter how nice the words he said to me.
Softly whispering, “Babe…”
“Open your eyes…”
His soft breath caressing the skin behind my ear, “Baby please…”
Against my better judgment I opened my eyes to his request catching my breath once again as he stared back at me. His forehead on mine together we stared into each other’s eyes as his hands locked at my waist. The song changing Chris turned my back to him pulling me into his as he slowly moved behind me. I knew… he knew… we both knew that we shouldn’t be dancing like that but it didn’t stop me from moving against him as he grinded behind me. The hitch in his voice matching mine we continued to move against each other losing ourselves in this moment. The song changing at least three times we continued to dance regardless to Sydney, Kellen, or anyone else who thought we were wrong. Slowly hypnotized by his whispers we were both stilled as obviously drunk Sydney came up to us ready to tell me exactly what she taught of our little dance.
Her words slurring as she looked me up and down, “You’sa… I see… I see what chu trying to do… I won’t… my man… slut ass bitch…”
Pointing wildly at me, “She think I don’t peep her ass game… she trying to get you and yo dumb ass letting her…”
“You go too far…”
Turning her gaze to me, “You think I don’t see yo ass… you all over him thowing it on my man and you think I not gon do something…”
“We’re dancing and…”
“I know the difference between dancing and fucking him on the floor…”
Slowly shaking my head, “Maybe you should back off the drinks for the rest of the night…”
“Maybe you should my man back off…”
It’s obvious alcohol is speaking for her and I don’t want to deal with her or her drunk tongue. I’ve had enough of both tonight and I pull away from Chris going back to our booth and an unreadable Kellen. I left them yelling in the middle of the dance floor and as I turned to offer some type of explanation to Kellen I am stopped as she stumbled back to the table grabbing her drink and throwing it all over me.
“Maybe that vex yo island ass and keep you from dancing on another body man…”
I’m in a state of shock and before I can even attempt to digest everything that happened Chris angrily pulled her from the club leaving me wet, confused, angry, and just damn lost.
Tonight has been interesting to say the least. When I came up with this whole dinner, drinking, night on the town I had no idea how it would turn out or if they would even go with it. I won’t lie… I was shocked when his girlfriend jumped at the opportunity. Out of everyone I thought she would be the one most against it. If I could see how he looked at Robyn surely she could see it too. But more than how he looked at her in that moment in the studio I saw how Robyn looked at Chris as well. When I walked in the studio and they were wrapped around each other I wanted to turn around and not look back. I’m feeling something for her and to see him sitting with her legs wrapped around him and his hands on her thighs I was hot.
She never promised me anything and I’m not even sure if she knows how I’m starting to feel for her but I still didn’t want to see that. They looked too comfortable and too used to that position and intimacy. If I used my first mind I would have turned away and washed my hands of everything my heart is trying to develop for her but my mind shut off and words and invitations tumbled from my mouth and now we’re here. I think what made me shut off my brain and logical thinking was the look on his face. If there is a word stronger that smug that was the look covering his face. Once again he was staking claim to her and he wanted me to back down but a switch deep inside me clicked off and refused to let me do so. I was ready to light into his ass but with the hearing of his girlfriend’s voice I lit into another way. What I wanted from this outing I’m not sure but it answered some questions for me that I didn’t even realize I wanted the truth to.
Dinner was strained at best. Far too often we were treated to a trip down memory lane as Chris and Robyn spoke about his time in Barbados with her family. I was hip to his game seeing as though he was the one who continued with the direction of the conversation and inwardly I laughed at each pulled memory. While I was hip to his little stake at ownership once again the alcohol his girlfriend swallowed all but blocked out any type of understanding and acknowledging of what was going on in front of us. Her quip about Robyn and her language and educational system was just foolish that no one took the bait on which simply made her slam back more drinks. That should have been clue enough to end this little get together so she could go and sleep this foolishness off but we didn’t and we made our way to a local dancehall reggae spot and bad went to worse and I can understand why.
I won’t lie and say their little dance fest didn’t affect me. To see her dance so simply with me to what she and Chris were doing on the floor was like a dose of cold water being blasted in my face. One look at him and you could see he was all into it and if not for Sydney and her actions he would still be attached to Robyn and whispering in her ear but Robyn… I watched her and with each beat of the song my opinion and thought changed. With one beat my mind would scream she’s enjoying herself and any thoughts and/or feelings she had for me is gone and back on Chris. And yet with the next changing beat I thought that it was only a dance and I’m thinking and putting too much emotion into nothing. And once again when the beat and song changed somehow my mind convinced me that every emotion I was feeling for her she was feeling for me as well and was simply whispering it so to Chris so he could back off and just let us be. While I was deep in my thoughts Sydney wasn’t having it and made her way over to them yelling things I am sure she is going to regret in the morning. I can’t hear everything over the beat and call of the music but I watch Robyn walk away shaking her head as she came back to me.
I deadened every thought and emotion as she neared me. In that moment I did not want her to know how I felt because in truth I didn’t really know myself. I wanted to be angry and hurt but I had no right to be. I wanted to be indifferent and aloof but I couldn’t be that if I tried. So I was just blank. She sat next to me I guess in an attempt to explain away the craziness of the dance floor but before she had a chance to utter a single word Sydney was back at the table letting the alcohol speak for her as she decorated Robyn with a full glass of strawberried daiquiri. Her crisp white outfit colored with frosty red drink was too much for even the calmest person and before Robyn could erupt Chris pulled a drunken Sydney from the club.
I’m not sure how long we sat there but I watched the anger, the sadness, the shock, and several other emotions dance across her face. And when I finally thought all had played out Robyn turned to me and fell over in an uncontrollable fit of laughter. I want to laugh with her but I’m not sure her laughter is laughter because she finds Sydney’s actions funny or laughter because that’s all she can do to keep from showing other emotions. Paying the bill I offered my hand to her leading her from the club. I won’t broach the subject unless she does and as I make the slow drive back to her house broach and talk is exactly what we did.
Softly laughing, “Well that was something…”
“You can say that…”
“I don’t think no shit like that has ever happened to me before…”
“Were you injured or…”
“That cunt better be glad I’m not…”
“What did she say to you?”
Shaking her head as her laughing turned to obvious anger, “I don’t even know… only her drunk ass knows what she was trying to say…”
“I guess I could understand her anger…”
Quickly looking at me, “How so? I didn’t do anything but dance with the idiot…”
“You did more…”
Crossing her arms across her chest, “How you figure?”
“I’m not trying to argue with you…”
“Her during the entire dinner was wrong… there is no disputing that but the two of you at the club… the way you danced with each other…”
Softly whispering, “We were just dancing…”
“It was more than that and you know it…”
Slowly shaking my head, “You know it…”
No other words are said and we continue the rest of the ride to her apartment in silence. There is more that could be said but it would be a waste. Whether she wants to admit it or not them on the dance floor was more than just a dance between old friends. As crazy as it though that dance made me want for her grow. While Sydney was boozing it up and letting her anger and jealousy fester I was sitting back planning and waiting for the day when Robyn and I will be on the dance floor oblivious to the world around us.
Arriving at her house I exited the car to open the door for her. Silence surrounding us still I walked her to her door thinking about what to say to her. Though it sounded as if I was angry at her I’m not. I wanted her to realize that she and Chris shared more than just a dance and not try to play if off as something less. But despite is meaning more I’m not ready to turn away even if it’s best I do. I see something great between us and one dance and one overbearing over confident ‘best friend’ is going to stop that. Turning to me as we stood outside her door she began to speak and my response stopped her words and gave her more to think about.
Softly whispering, “Despite everything I did have a good time tonight…”
“So did I…”
“I’m going to have to cook you some real bajan food though… that place was good but not good enough…”
Slowly nodding, “I look forward to it…”
“And the clubs in Bridgetown… we have to hit them up at least once or…”
“Are you inviting me back to Barbados with you?”
“I… what I meant…”
Softly smiling, “I enjoyed the craziness of the club as well…”
“I could and would say the same but I’m not sure my outfit will agree…”
“You still look amazing even covered in strawberries and slush…”
Slowly shaking her head, “I can’t believe…”
“Despite everything I enjoyed myself and I would like to do this again…”
“I’m not putting up with that nut again…”
Softly whispering, “Next time I’m hoping it’s just you and I…”
“Are you asking me out on a date?”
“Depends on if the answer is yes…”
Softly whispering, “Kellen…”
“I’m feeling something for you and…”
“Something like what?”
Whispering as I stepped closer to her, “You have to know what I’m feeling…”
Blocking out every thought telling me not to I cupped her face in my hands bringing her mouth to mine. When she did not push me away I trailed kisses from her mouth to her ear as I whispered to her once again.
Softly whispering, “I want something more…”
“I see you… I watch you… I want you… I want to give you everything you deserve…”
Softly whispering in response, “What do I deserve?”
Placing a tender kiss on that tattoo behind her ear I softly spoke before I took her mouth in a kiss once again. “Everything…”
My lips on hers once again I can’t stop my smile at her response in opening her mouth to mine. Our tongues moving slowly against each other I pulled her closer still not wanting this moment to end. Her arms around my neck and her back against the door I continued to kiss her losing myself in the softness of her lips, the smoothness of her body, and the intoxication of her smell. I was lost in her and enjoyed every second of it. Our kiss finally ending I whispered to her once again before turning to leave.
Softly whispering, “I’ll call you…”
Moving from her a slow smile spread across my face as she bit her bottom lip only able to nod to me in response. Sparing one last look I returned to my car absolutely ecstatic with how this night turned out. Sydney and her crazy… Chris and is possessiveness… Robyn in her beauty… me in my joy… tonight was everything and more and I would endure a million more dates like that they ended each night with a kiss like that. Finally stopped at a red light miles away from her apartment the elation I was feeling bubbled up and I had the best laugh I’ve had in a long damn time. Tonight was perfect.
I’m more than a little bummed out that I’m gonna miss performance of this album at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in San Francisco today. Of course I can’t stand the crowds, and I have to work, but the idea of hearing the whole album performed by people like Robyn Hitchcock, Chris Stamey, and Van Dyke Parks sounds pretty great. I saw Big Star (the 2000s version with the guys from the Posies), and Alex Chilton was in great form and enjoying himself immensely. But they very pointedly did not play songs from the 3rd album - too depressing I suppose.
Get me out of here
Get me out of here
I hate it here
Get me out of here