“So . . . . . . . what am I to you?”
I pretended not to hear as I closed my eyes and listened to Ronny Jordan interpret my soul. I continued to allow my mind to drift and bask in my sex induced high. However, I got the impression that Fatima had other plans as she inched closer. I could smell her jasmine as if she were right on top of me. I could feel her eyes attempting to discern my thoughts as I laid there, sweaty, striving to get my heart rate back to normal.
“C’mon Solomon . . . . I know you hear me. Answer my question. What am I to you?”
I opened my eyes ever so slowly. I hesitated in responding because I knew she wouldn’t care for my answer. I didn’t want to ruin her perception of me. While I wasn’t ready to dismiss all others, I couldn’t risk losing my favorite bedroom companion. I needed to finesse this. I turned my body toward her and caressed her face.
“Beautiful, you give me the strength I need to make it through each day. Why do you think I make it a point to see you every time I’m in town?”
“That doesn’t mean anything Solomon. I want to know what I mean to you. It’s a simple question”
“It’s never a simple question Fatima. Never. You’re asking me to make a commitment to you . . . . right after we’ve been intimate. . . . and that’s not fair. I came to relax and get away from the stress, not experience more of it babe . . . . . . ”
Fatima rose slowly from my side and went into the bathroom. I dreadfully waited to hear her sobs but to my surprise, she emerged from the bathroom wrapping her natural in a towel. She returned to the bed, crossed her legs, and leaned in for more discussion.
“Solomon, I’m a big girl. I understand that you enjoy spending time with me. The feeling is quite mutual. However, I’m starting to develop feelings for you. Simply put, ninja I like you! I want to know if you see this going somewhere or am I just a good time for you?”
“Just a good time? You’re more than that lady, much more”
Fatima began to shake her head in total disgust.
“Can I get you to not be a politician and be yourself for one moment please? I’m not asking you to marry me. I’m not asking to be your girlfriend. I’m simply asking you if we can start dating. Just yes or no . . .”
“Haven’t we been dating already?”
Fatima’s golden brown complexion was beginning to turn red. She rolled her eyes as she looked toward the ceiling. I could see that I couldn’t dodge the question anymore.
“Yes, Fatima . . . . . I want to date you. But how can you say that you like me? Do you really even know me?”
“So you think I just sleep with random dudes huh? Just let any random nigga hit this? Don’t play me Solomon!”
“I didn’t mean it like that babe. I know we grew up together. Yes, our families know each other. But do you know how I am now? I don’t know if you would like the man that I am beneath the suits and money”
“Try me. Now the other women you’ve been with may get caught up in the glamour but I’m no slouch either. I’ve got my own shit and I will keep rolling with or without you”
“So if that’s the case, what do you want out of all of this?”
“Honestly, I want to see how this goes. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would be lying in the same bed as you. I just took a chance that you may be feeling me like I was feeling you. I enjoy spending time with you as you make it easy for me to just be. I find myself wanting to talk to you every day. Wanting to breathe your air. I miss you as soon as you we part. You’re not like these other guys around here. So yeah, I like you. Do I need to write you a letter asking if you like me too? I can draw a heart for “yes” and a broken heart for “no”?”
“No lady, you don’t have to do all of that. I’m digging you as well. The only thing is that I came out of a bad relationship and I want to take my time to date. I spent a third of my life with the wrong woman. I don’t want to date just one person at a time and have time wasted. Knowhatimsayin’?”
“So . . . . . . . . . you’re fucking other women besides me?”
“Honestly . . . . no. Not at the moment. . . . . . . .”
“So you’re interested in seeing other women?”
“Let’s put it like this; I’m currently reviewing applications”
“Hmmmmmmmm . . . . . . “
I could see the wheels in her head while she analyzed my answer.
“What does “hmmmmmmm” mean?”
“Means that you’re scared to fall in love. You’re not ready for a relationship”
“I didn’t say all of that now. Now you’re putting words in my mouth!”
“No, I’m not trying to put words in your mouth. I’m just merely going off what I’ve experienced. I used to be like you. My last relationship wasn’t the greatest either. We were dating but lived like we were married. I helped that nigga through a divorce and even helped him pay his child support! I waited eight years for a ring and never got one”
“So you see why I like to date more than one person at a time?”
“Yeah I see it, but it doesn’t make sense if you take the time to look at it right”
I couldn’t understand where she was going with this. How could dating multiple people ever be wrong?
“Okay, hip me to your logic. I’m listening”
“Dating multiple people at once is no different that online dating. You’re not giving one person a shot because your attention is all over the place. It’s hard to focus when you have to remember what you shared about yourself with Susie, Gina, Laquisha, and Jan. If anyone shows any flaws, you immediately run to the next. The sad thing is, everyone has flaws. What you end up doing is meshing eight women together to make that one perfect woman. It’s not fair to you or all the women you keep in rotation. Give yourself a chance to date one person exclusively. If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Move on to the next”
“But there is a flaw in your logic beautiful one. How do you recoup the time lost decrypting a person’s representative?”
“You don’t. Love is a risk babe. You have to be prepared to take the gamble. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose”
“But I don’t like to lose Fatima . . . . you know this”
“Well babe, you’re not ready to be in love”
There was a stillness in the room as I digested her last statement. I wanted love but I didn’t want to lose any more time. I had already lost enough time with Nakita. I had lost enough time with my father. Despite the money that I made, I wouldn’t be able to get time back that I lost.
“You may have a point Fatima. Damn . . . . you’re challenging my philosophy. I thought I was ready but now . . . . ”
“I understand babe. And for the record, I know what I am to you. You wouldn’t be making the time to come and see me. You actually take me out and are seen with me, which is saying a lot. I just wanted to know if you were mentally ready to accept me being apart of your world”
“You’re a real Iyanla Vanzant huh?”
“Well beloved, like I said before, I like you. Despite your uncertainty, I wanna stick around and see if I can win your heart”
“Yes, really. Now my only other question is . . . . . . . who is my competition?”
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of the Wednesday Gentleman and author of the forthcoming novel, “Addicted to Chaos”