Saturday, November 28, 2015

Guest Fiction Series: I Used To Love Her, Part 2

For a few months, will be taking four guest authors #fromblogtobook. Each week you'll be able to read a new installment from unique aspiring authors. This tale is from Angelica Bryant. Enjoy!

(Read all parts here.)

June 24th,  2009
“Chloe, come on, let’s dance!!”
I sipped my Belvedere & cranberry as I watched Leslie sashay her way towards the dance floor, beckoning me to join her.  I rolled my eyes.  If her idea of getting me out of my “funk” consisted of me sweating out a fresh press, my dear sister had another thing coming.
“Go on!,” said my best friend (of practically my whole life) Amali, “Take that to the head and have some fun granny!” she teased.
Just as I started to protest, her attention was diverted by six-foot-three-inches of caramel; my whining would be no contest to that.
Come on Chloe, you used to be the life of the party—I goaded myself. Vodka was burning its way to my stomach, I stepped onto the small dance floor and found Leslie twirling and whining to the soca beats like she was alone in her loft, with her stereo pumping.
That’s when I saw him—well more so caught him mid-stare; staring at me.  I halfway expected him to drop his gaze; I mean usually that’s how these things pan out.  You catch them, and a mixture of shock and embarrassment leads to sheepishly averted eyes and a knowing nod among your girls; but not this one.  His look stayed fixed on his target—me—and only seemed to intensify once he was spotted.  I took him in, determined, for once, to be as composed and cool as I put on to be.
About 6’4.
Clothing tailored and dripping off of a perfectly sculpted physique.
How many drinks have I had? Just dance.  You’re supposed to be relaxing.
Admittedly, I did feel more relaxed.  I was wound up, but finding out that your longtime boyfriend had been seeing other women tends to have that effect.
Malik had been my “Mr. Perfect”; reliable, supportive, established, with looks that could intimidate any model sauntering down a runway.  We were a power duo; he, the high-powered banker and I, the talented producer.  Together we were supposed to take the world by storm—we were expected to be the fairytale.  That all came crashing down four days before, when he happened to leave his iPad at home.
Three FaceTime attempts from a raven-haired college girl, two hours of arguing, and one confession later, here I am.  
Let’s just say, a dream deferred. 
I danced and tried my best to put this week’s events out of my mind.  All I could feel was the beat of the bass and the fire of my drink.  My hips swayed to the rhythm, and I almost felt like myself.
I closed my eyes and got lost in Machel Montano –The way you dance and move yuh hips from left tuh right, Yuh really out ah sight, I wanna get with you tonight—
Warm hands, delicate but firm, brushed the small of my back.  I turned only to find myself face to face with Mr. Stare-me-down.  He smiled at my surprise.  
“I’m Chase.  Would you like to dance?”  
I placed my hand in his.  I can only describe what happened next in one word:  Heat.
Or passion.  Or magnetism.

Maybe there are several words.  Needless to say, that dance turned into eight, turned into laughs over doubles, turned into introductions and “you guys go ahead I’m going to stay a little while longer" (to which Leslie and Amali grinned in approval).
Eventually, it turned into a whirlwind that swept us up for eight months.   Like moths to a flame, we were drawn to each other.  Everything in me craved him and him me.  Chase was smart & artistic.  He wooed me with art galleries, festivals in the park, and at-home cooking classes that almost always ended with lips locked, fingers entwined, desert-before-dinner kinda love being made on his kitchen floor. 
Eight months of bliss filled magic...
...until Malik called.  He wanted to talk.  We agreed to meet and I was sure I’d be able to give him a piece of my mind, prove to him that I had moved on and nail the coffin shut on what we’d had.  I had imagined it going that way.  
Reality: Emotions are far more complicated than I wanted to admit and not hardly as rational as the scenario I'd thought up on the drive over to meet him.  The reality was I wasn’t over it.  I had a great man, who took all the pieces Malik left behind and turned it into something beautiful.  There I was, opening old wounds for Malik to fill them with sweet apologies, as if they'd stitch my heart back together again.  I wanted to move on, but my heart was stuck in some torturous limbo.
I didn’t expect Chase to tell me that he loved me.  I didn’t expect the words to hit me like bricks, holding more weight than I'd thought they could carry.  I didn’t expect for his touch to  feel different.  I didn't expect to feel the urgency, the intensity when he drew me in as I tried to walk away.  I didn’t expect for him to follow me out, shouting my name, begging me to look at him.
 I couldn’t even look at him.  
And I didn’t expect to see him, something like a lifetime later, standing in front of me, preparing to be fitted for a tux he’d wear to marry a woman who wasn’t me.  


Angelica is a creator/writer living & loving in Atlanta, GA 

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