Saturday, August 29, 2015

Dating Series: Looking for A Love Jones, Part 2

 I'll release an installment each week. I hope you enjoy it. If you'd like to share it, you can do so with the hashtag #lookingforalovejones & tag @rivaflowz and @ bae_app on IG or Twitter.

I'm not a fan of random social media messages from men I don't know. They're always really creepy. There's one guy who insists we've met on several occasions and sometimes describes what I've worn for the day. (Yes, this is really scary.) There's another that sends me random love poems, written by Romantic Era poets. There's even a guy that sends pictures of me performing poems. He congratulates me on shows, but has never greeted me at one. He says he's not ready yet. 


Being in the limelight causes my eyebrow to immediately arch, whenever the Facebook message sound goes off. 


His profile picture was tiny, on the left side of his message, but I could already tell that he was well dressed and a deep shade of chocolate. Enlarged, his photo boasted a white linen suit against a red brick background. He was bald, with an incredible smile. 

"I fathom that if you were lighter, blonde, or had more time, your work would already be viral."

I was taken aback by his message, "Excuse me?"

"I'm a photojournalist. Do you know how difficult it is to sell stock photos of people with melanin?"

He'd started the conversation as though we'd already known each other. His statements were intriguing. I decided to play along. 

"Is it? I know nothing about that field."

"It is. My pictures are in magazines and newspapers, but in my free time I take images for folks to use in their digital spaces. Folks without melanin are flying off of the virtual shelves. However, we brown skinned folks are not." 

His name was Travis. He'd discovered me via the Bae App a few weeks before and happened to come across my Facebook, courtesy of "People You May Know." He was convinced that because we'd come across one another twice, we were "meant to be." We messaged back and forth, for a week, and eventually exchanged numbers. I waited for a few days for a message or a call, but he failed to appear. After two weeks, I'd decided that our friendship ended within those Facebook messages. 

The living room was quiet. There'd never been a day that Ray came to visit, where things seemed solemn. I walked out from the kitchen, with his glass of water, and caught him staring at Mason's items sitting next to my couch. He'd left his bookbag and computer, while he went out to visit with friends. 

"So, he is staying here."

I handed Ray his water and sat beside him, "No. He came over for breakfast, with a mutual friend. He's a few blocks away visiting his frat brothers, from college. He asked if he could leave his things here."

"And you said yes?"


"That's not like you, Ms. I-need-my-space."

"A bookbag and a laptop aren't going to stress me out."

"He left it here, so he could come back," Ray kicked Mason's bag.

"Stop that!"

Ray laughed, "Look at that. You're even protective of his stuff."

"Whatever. What did you end up doing, last night?"

"After you and homeboy had your first kiss at the bar, I went to get some numbers."

I smiled, "Oh, you caught that."

Ray rolled his eyes, "I did. I ended up taking Jenna home and then I went to see Mila."

"Who is Mila?"

"A Karen rebound."

"I thought we couldn't call them that."

"You can't, I can."

"So, tell me about her."

"Ain't much to tell. I'm not going to see her, after last night. I got what I wanted."

I rolled my eyes, "You're disgusting."

"Where'd you go with, Mason?"

"He took me home, like a gentleman. I went to sleep and then woke up this morning to prepare for his arrival."

"Where's my brunch?"

"Back at your momma's house."

Ray punched my arm, as my doorbell rung. Mason was probably back for his items after his meeting. I opened the door to find him, with two tickets in his hand.

"J. Cole concert?"

My eyes brightened, "Hell yes! Where'd you get those?"

"They're for press and since my writer can't make it tonight...why not take the best writer I know?"

I hugged him, hoping Ray wasn't behind me staring, "Thanks! I'm about to go and pick something out to wear."

Ray joined Mason in the living room and I heard the two greet one another. I pulled a pair of jeans and a cotton tee, while slightly eavesdropping on their conversation. I could barely hear them. When I figured out what I wanted to wear, I made way back into the living room. I caught Mason, mid sentence.

"That means she's single then, my brother..."

I sat between my best friend and Mason, "What are you two talking about?"

Ray got up to leave and grabbed his car keys, "Nothing. Absolutely nothing."

The concert was amazing. Afterwards, Mason and I made our way backstage and interviewed some of the other Dreamville artists. I really wanted to help and reminisced my days of writing hip-hop journalism. Mason was a few years younger than me and watching him I could see the same passion I had, for the work. 

He was finishing up an interview with an emcee, when a random girl walked over. She was an hourglass, with surgery to match. 

She spoke quickly, "Are you a reporter? You should interview me."

Mason smiled as she giggled, after her statement, "I'm good. Thanks for the offer."

"You own HipHopForever, right?"

"Yeah. How'd you know that?"

"You're fine as hell and I've seen you at a few shows."

I really didn't want to be petty, but I'm not that mature yet. I coughed. 

Mason turned to look at me, "This is my homegirl, Erica. She came with me and thank God she's helping with some of the writing."

The random girl acted as if he hadn't introduced me. She pulled a business card out of her bosom (as if!) and handed it to him, "Call me sometime."

When she walked off, I took the card from him. It had a huge picture of her face and bosom plastered on it and it said her name and "model." I gave it back to him, "Typical."

Mason put his arms around me, "You're not jealous, are you?"

I grit my teeth, "No. Besides, I work for you. I'm just one of your writers." 

He smiled, "You do not! I didn't mean it like that."

I laughed, "I'm just messing with you. C'mon, let's go." 

Travis finally called. 

He'd been in the hospital, visiting his sister for the last two weeks. She'd fallen ill and they were incredibly close. He spent every moment, by her side. I listened to him as he spoke: things didn't look good, he'd only left the hospital to breathe, he hated that place and was only there for her.

“I see you’re still on the Bae App, despite finding me.”

I laughed, “I see that you’re still on it too. It’s the only way you’d be able to know that.”

"I'm not good at dealing with things like this."

"Who is?"

We tried to talk about everything but. I made him laugh and he thanked me for it. Before we knew it, four hours passed. 

"It's been really good talking to you."

I rolled over, on the sofa I was laying on, "It was good talking to you, too."

Three seconds after we'd hung up the phone, he text me, "Let's go out. tomorrow."

I was suddenly intimidated, I looked at his text and scrolled through his social media. I viewed thousands of followers that were in awe of his work, the hundreds of emojis girls left behind, and how debonair he was at all times. 

I responded, "I have to write, all day. When I get back from Jamaica?"

"You're going away?"

"Yes. Only for two weeks."

He laughed, "You can't play hooky, tomorrow?"

I swallowed my insecurities, I could hear them land in the pit of my stomach, "No, two weeks. I promise."

He was pissed, "Nah, I'm good."