Sunday, October 11, 2015

Fiction Series: The Villa, Part 4

The Villa is an ongoing fictional series that drops once a week. Read the other parts HERE.

I woke up to the sound of the ocean, a welcomed intruder in our sanctuary of a room. The balcony doors were open and on instinct I reached over to the other side of the bed to alert Jasper to the beauty of the morning.

I grasped sheets and pillows, but he wasn't there. The sound of laughter suddenly penetrated the air. It seemed that my friends were awake, enjoying the beach while I slept. I woke up and pulled my fingers through my kinks. I already knew, without looking in a mirror, that my afro would be flat. I threw off my robe and slipped into a summer dress, ready for a classic Jamaican breakfast and the sand between my toes.

I made my out to the balcony and stretched my arms across the railing. My friends were enjoying a spread by the pool, while Jasper and Tyani were out at the water, splashing at one another and laughing.

They were too friendly, from the instance of her feet on Jasper's lap to the splash of water to his body with a smile.

I headed downstairs, our mutual residence a fun mess. The living room has towels and sandals scattered everywhere; everyone's vacay reads and belongings strewn. When I got to the poolside, there was only breadfruit and ackee left.

"Where's all the plantain I saw, from the balcony?"

Brendan laughed, "We scarfed that. You've got to wake up earlier, girl."

I took a seat and fixed a plate, with what was left, "I tried, I'm just so tired."

I chewed the breadfruit slowly, its taste more authentic than the ones from the Jamaican restaurants in the south. Tyani and Jasper made their way back from the beach and took a seat at the table.

I put down my plate, "You two were out there having fun?"

The tension had begun, my friends were all of a sudden interested in their empty plates and tried to look at anything but us.

"No one else wanted to get in the water yet. We just beat them to it."

Brianna tried to ease the awkwardness, "It's too cold! Maybe later on. Will you be diving in Kimani?"

I rolled my eyes, "As long as Jasper jumps in with me. I wouldn't want to drift out to sea, all alone. Are you up for that?"

Jasper stood up, "I'm going to get ready for us to all go into town."

I waited for him to finish his statement, for another sentence to leave his lips. He walked back inside while the sound of clearing dishes could be heard next to me. Everyone was wondering what was going on with us, but no one was brave enough to ask.

I took my laptop to the beach. There was a small cluster of beach chairs, in a corner that you couldn't see from the house. I connected my phone by USB, to use it as a modem. I didn't care about the roaming fees; I needed to see how Tony was doing.

Tony was a train wreck. He was the type of man that all my friends and family warned against, but I just had to see how he crashed. I needed to see where it would go because the ride had been so fascinating thus far.

Tony had four kids, by three different women, a bookcase filled with philosophy, the sexiest voice I'd ever encountered, and a  swagger that melted me all over. On the surface, he was the kind of man that made me run. He didn't give me a chance to run. We were on our sixth date, and I was already head over heels when he'd told me about his children. He was older and married twice before. My youth pushed a naive thought into my mind, "Perhaps they just weren't the ones for him."

I was still under this spell, even though Brendan and I were going to be married in a few days. I loved Brendan, but I found it hard to finish the statement with 'all my heart.'

I clicked through Tony's social media. There were pictures from a recent baby shower, several with his new wife to be, and his children were in the background of everyone. His girls were getting so big, they were the spitting image of their father; he could never deny them. I was glad he'd found someone who made him happy.

I couldn't just look in on his life. I had to take it a step further.

I opened up Skype and placed a call to his username. He answered after a few rings. His voice was as amazing as I'd remembered it.

"Hey, Brianna?"

"Hey, how are you? Too busy to show video of yourself?"

"No, I'm just out right now. It's not appropriate. Everything okay?"

"I'm good. I'm in Jamaica."

"Wow! Did I get a call all the way from the islands? You must have something interesting to tell me."

"In fact I do..."

I wanted to see how he'd react to the news if there were anything left.

"I'm getting married in a few days."

There was an awkward silence.

He finally spoke, "Congratulations. Who's the lucky guy?"

"Does it matter? I don't know anything about the lucky gal."

"How do you know there's a gal?"

"Umm...I'm going to sound like a complete stalker, but I check in."

I'd spoken to my therapist about this, during a session that Brendan couldn't attend. She said it was normal to reminisce, to wonder how an old significant other was doing. Was this normal? Was checking in on Tony, with Brendan steps away, sane?

He snickered, "Is that right? That could've been you if you didn't stop answering my calls."

"I've had a lot on my plate these last two years."

"So much on your plate that you called a few days before you're someone else's wife?"

I pressed end on the call. I loved Brendan. What was I doing?

I knew the minute Kimani walked into the kitchen while I was grabbing a snack, there'd be trouble.
She sauntered in, like a mad woman, grabbed a knife from the butcher block, and started peeling a mango. I could tell from her eyes, she wished it was me. 

"Do you have something you'd like to say to me, Kimani?"

"Stop flirting with Jasper."

"I don't want your man, Kimani."

I closed the refrigerator door and took a sip of the coconut water I'd taken out of it. 

"That's not how it looks. You've been a little too close."

"Or is it that he's too distant with you?"

I'd hit a nerve. Kimani ripped the rest of the skin off of the mango and sunk her teeth into it. I continued to drink the coconut water, unbothered, knowing that exactly what I'd warned Brianna about was coming to fruition.

"Mind your business."

"I'm doing that, but you'd do well to mind your own. A man is going to be a man. I can't control that. I can only control my actions. However, you might want to have a conversation with the person that's the problem."

Kimani stood up to head back to her room, "Oh, believe me, I will."

"Unless he's no longer your problem."

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