Callie just stood there . . . glaring at me. I searched the atmosphere for the right words for this moment. But there was nothing for me to grab hold to. So instead of embracing the silence, I forced myself to say something.
“So . . . . . . you decided to stay, huh?”
Callie gave an exhausted laugh while her eyes drifted toward the lights. Again we stood there in a silence that was more than awkward. Now, she was hurt and angry. After a few seconds, she began to tap her toe as if she were a grade school teacher, waiting for me to answer. Instead of a ruler, her hands were filled with a small, brown box of assorted pictures and other office knickknacks. My bottom lip quivered as I attempted to clear my throat. The exasperation in her eyes said more than any four letter word could. Still, I attempted to break the uncomfortable strain.
“Callie . . . . . I’m so . . . .”
“I’m glad that you made it back safely from Colorado, Ms. Bailey! Have a good evening! Hmmph!”
The disdain in her voice was more than evident. Her plum dress twirled as she started to head toward the exit. My heart was heavy. So heavy that I wanted to fall to the floor and grieve as if my best friend had died. But I mustered up the courage to stand, and followed after her.
“Callie wait! Don’t leave! Please! Please!”
I waved my arms as if I was hailing a taxi! To my dismay, she continued to walk as if she didn’t hear me!
“Please! Please don’t leave me! Please!”
She was about to open the door into the night air when suddenly, she stopped. I continued walking towards her as she began hiking back towards me. For a second, I imagined that Callie was going to drop her box, run into my arms, and convince me that things would be okay. Her kisses would let me know that she would never leave me. Her touch would give me hope that we all could be together. Instead of the blissful, Hollywood ending, I got a face full of corrugated cardboard!
“Damn Callie! What the hell?!
A corner of one of her pictures cut the side of my cheek. The box of discontentment laid at my feet. A part of me wanted to return the favor. However, I just stared into Callie’s eyes which were now filled with tears. I attempted to console her, but she knocked my hand away the minute I stretched it out.
“Why did you hit me with the box Callie?”
“Are you really gonna ask that asinine question? Seriously?! Is miss high and mighty gonna pretend that she didn’t go ghost on me last weekend?”
“I can’t lie to you Callie. I did stand you up”
“No you can’t lie! There was no response from you! I’m thinking something might have happened to you! I was worried sick about you! And then I saw that you were posting pictures of you and your son out at Dave and Busters?!”
I couldn’t do anything but look down. I may have erased all the texts, pics, and contact info from my phone, but I forgot to block her from my Facebook page!
“ . . . And I started to inbox you but . . . .I thought better of it. You were gonna pretend that I didn’t exist so I was going to do the same!”
“It wasn’t like that Callie . . . “
“It wasn’t like what Morgan? It wasn’t like that? You’re going to open your lips and lie? There is no need to short change the truth anymore Morgan! Just admit that you wasted nearly six months of my life!”
“Six months Callie?”
“Yes six fucking months! That’s how much time I spent trying to find ways to be in your space. I mean, who in their right mind spends a Monday night watching American Ninja Warrior?”
“So you really don’t like Ninja Warrior?”
“Hell no! I only watched it because you did! I’m not the one trying to be a Crossfit champion! I wanted to be in your world! I thought . . . . you wanted to be . . . in mine”
I could feel her words echo off the walls of the hallway. It meant everything to me that she would watch a show she didn’t like . . . . just so she could share in my dream. I can’t remember the last time Kenneth went along with anything I wanted to watch! When I shared that I wanted to start competing in Crossfit, he simply laughed . . . . . .
“I do want to be apart of your world Callie”
“So why pretend to like me? Why would you send me texts every morning complimenting me, saying that I was the perfect woman? Telling me that I was the most gorgeous creature you’d ever laid eyes on? All those excessive compliments weren’t necessary! Instead, you kept watering me like a plant until I was ready to give myself over to you. And when I did, you crushed me like ice! When you refused to acknowledge me Saturday, it was like you threw twenty tons on my soul. Just because I like women, doesn’t give you the right to play with my emotions!”
“So you think that this was all a game?”
“That’s what it seems like! You were probably lying in bed reading my text messages laughing with whoever else you were spending time with”
“Callie, nothing could be further from the truth”
“So what’s the truth Morgan? Tell me!”
“Callie, the truth is that I’ve never been with a woman before. Never. Every time I considered having relations with another female, I would cast it aside. Even in college when everyone else experimented, I found a church that could divert my mind from those thoughts”
“So I’m just here to satisfy your curiosity? Is that it?”
“It’s a little more than that. Every day that I come to the office, I wait to see you. I purposely come in early just to see what you have on. I’m guessing what outfit you’re wearing based off of our conversation from the previous day. You remember the other day when you came to my office and had me put on your chain?”
“Yeah . . . .”
“I had never felt that turned on in years! My god! It’s the fire that I’ve been yearning for, and I couldn’t control it!”
Callie smiled as she stepped closer to me.
“So why didn’t you call me to come over Friday night after your son’s game? I could have put that fire out?”
I paused . . . a little too long by Callie’s expression.
“So, you didn’t call me because you’re seeing someone else right?”
“Well . . . . sort of . . . . . ”
“Morgan, there is no sort of. C’mon on now! We’re both adults!”
Then my heart rushed out and said something the truth wouldn’t allow.
“Callie, I think I’m falling in love with you and it scares me!”
In that moment, Callie smiled so bright that it illuminated the once dark and dreary building.
“Baby, you don’t have to worry. I’m not running. I’m here for you”
With those words, she kicked the box of knickknacks to the side and took me in her arms. Before I could react, her lips were connected to mine. This time, I didn’t run away. I didn’t hide. I returned the embrace and grabbed her backside.
“So how long have you been wanting to do that?”
“Seems like forever”
Forever never tasted so sweet. We stood there doing what we longed to do since the first day we met in the office hallway. I could feel all my inhibitions start to disappear into the Northern sky. I was finally tasting joy . . . . . finally unbothered.
Written by the Wednesday Gentleman