“Hmmmph! She think she all that! She think she too good to run to the bus like the rest of us!”
I took the earbuds from my ears and stared at the two female passengers who were hating on this mystery woman. Then my eyes began to survey the other travelers. It seemed that everyone was anticipating her arrival. Some young bucks from the local college were literally drooling as they gazed upon her!
“Man she wore the ripped jeans today dog! Damn I wish I was in her class!”
“Bruh!!!!! I wouldn’t be getting any work done! I’d pay money just to stare at that ass all day!”
I smiled to myself at the youthful admiration. I had to admit that I was curious at the woman who Henry, the bus driver, was waiting several minutes for. Henry was a stickler about time. If you weren’t at your stop by the time the last person got on, you were getting left! No if, ands, or buts! But today, he was making an exception.
Before long, a thick legged, Afro rocking, Nubian goddess appeared . . . . coffee cup in hand.
“Thank you for waiting Henry. I had to run back and get the exams for my ten o’clock class”
Henry smiled back as he started down Ellington Street. The commuters that were once gawking through the window were now facing forward in their seats, trying not to look directly at this Monday beauty as she passed. Even the women who were throwing shade earlier were now grinning in her direction! As for me, I played it cool. I put my earbuds back in as she took residence in the seat in front of me. I sat there trying to ignore her majesty, but her fragrance had me hypnotized. The mixture of fresh rose and jasmine sent me back in time. It reminded me of when I first fell in love. . . . and that made me uncomfortable.
I buried myself in my work cell, trying to ignore this opportunity that God placed right in front of me. I refused to look at her, but still found myself taking quick glances at her face. Her lips were so . . . . damn . . . juicy! I wanted to sit next to her and allow my tongue to get lost in her mouth while I absorbed her power. My imagination started running away, thinking about the two of us being together. She would melt in my arms as we watched some bullshit on Netflix. We would haggle over who was gonna cook dinner with me finally giving in and taking her out to eat. I could see us on our wedding day with Dru Hill singing . . . . .
“Excuse me sir?”
I took my headphones off once again and looked in the direction of my future queen.
“Do you mind if I borrow a pen? Mine just went out and I’m in the middle of a line”
I reached into my bag and pulled out a blue pen. She extended her left hand which bore no ring. My subconscious was egging me to keep her talking. Better yet, sit in the seat next to her and continue the conversation. However fear talked me down:
“You know someone that fine already has a man right? You know that right? And what in the hell would you do with a piece of talent like her? You go ahead and ask her out if you want to and she’ll blast you out on social media!”
So instead of continuing the dialogue, I simply gave her the pen. I gave a quick nod and went back into my work cell, pretending not be interested. She went back to her writing. I sat there battling with my heart and my conscious. Why couldn’t I just be brave enough and ask her out? At least ask her out for coffee?! I knew that she liked coffee! Then fear started playing back all the failures that I had experienced with women that I truly thought were meant for me. Either I found a way to fuck it up by overthinking, or I settled for someone that I knew would never challenge me. Somehow, I always questioned every potential relationship because I never got past my failures. It was easier to sleep with randoms and not get attached. Now destiny was starting to walk away as we apparently came to her stop. She didn’t look back, but kept her stride as she got off at the stop near the local college.
For the remainder of the week, I found myself observing Ms. Anonymous. Some days she would sit directly in front of me. Some days on the opposite side. Every day it was a battle to keep from looking directly at her. I had never seen such a vision of God’s wonder in all forty two years of my life! I wanted her to know that she was making me rethink this whole marriage thing. I’d been divorce for nearly ten years now and was comfortable being alone. I had a great job. I had friends and several “acquaintances” that I could call for a good time. But there would be times where I felt empty. I didn’t have anyone to share my private thoughts with and honestly, that scared me. . . . .
That following Monday, I climbed aboard the bus. Before I could get on level ground, Henry motioned to me.
“Come sit behind me young blood”
I took the seat behind him as we pulled off. Henry had the brightest grin today.
“So why you smiling so bright Henry? Vera finally broke you down and made you an honest man?”
“I see you’re already deflecting Dr. Simon, but you know what’s going on!”
“I see you looking, I mean . . . . .trying not to look at Professor Brock”
“Yes, she’s a professor son. My question is . . . . . what’s taking you so long to ask her out?”
I went into my bag of excuses.
“Well a woman of her stature is probably married and . . . . . ”
“She’s not married and you’ve been staring at her long enough to know that she’s not married. So what’s another excuse you’ve been telling yourself?”
I sat there for a minute without uttering a word.
“I know what’s got you. You’re scared that you might have found the woman that will push you to greatness, aren’t you?”
“Young blood, I see it all the time. Y’all new money brothers are scared to make a move because you’re gonna lose everything you’ve got”
“And that’s true. I’ve worked too hard for where I am right now”
“Indeed you have, brother. But what would have happened if Barak didn’t have Michelle? Could he have weathered the storm? You have political aspirations don’t you?”
“Wait? How did you . . . .”
“Dr. Simon, I’ve been on this earth for quite some time. Trust me when I say, I know greatness when I see it. You’re on your way, but you need a strong woman to keep you grounded. . . .focused. So much new pussy gonna be flying your way that you need a focal point”
“Now you sound like my pastor from back home”
“Brother, we all think that we are God’s gift to women. We think we have to sleep with every woman that approaches us. We get so absorbed by our ego that we forget the mission that we were on in the first place. And it’s in that ego we have that we fail to serve our communities, our people. You, my friend are better than most. You realize that using public transportation saves you money and you get a pulse of the community”
“You’re right Henry”
“So back to my question. Are you gonna ask Dr. Brock out or not?”
“Well you better hurry up Cassanova! Her car will be out of the shop sometime this week”
“Henry, how do you know so much about . . . .”
Our conversation was cut short by my fair maiden’s arrival. She smiled at Henry, then me before taking a seat.
“Boy, if you don’t go and talk to that woman!”
She sat down in her usual Monday morning seat. I observed her as she wrote feverishly in her notebook. My heart was telling me to leap, but there was fear once again, steering me away from my promise:
“Once she gets with you you know what’s gonna happen right? She’s gonna gain weight and tell you to love her as the milk jug she is! Don’t fall for it son! Be smarter than that son!”
So instead of making her acquaintance, I chose to look at the floor and sat in my normal seat. I was already defeated without even shooting my shot! I could feel my heart pacing, trying to figure a way to rescue me from fear’s choke hold. The intensity of the war within started to make the room teeter totter. I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. Before I knew it, she was getting up to get off the bus. Before I could stop, my heart cried out:
“You are beautiful to me, Ms. Brock. And if it’s not too much to ask, could we have coffee sometime?”
It took everything in me to remain cool while fear shook my temple crying out . . . .
To my surprise, she turned around and handed me a piece of paper. There was no reply. Just a pleased, facial expression as she disappeared from my view once more. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me. I felt like hiding, but I was too G for that. Instead of giving my spectators the satisfaction of seeing what was on the paper, I waited until I was alone in my office.
When I arrived, I sat at my desk and opened the letter. Instead of the do you like me, check yes or no, there were several lines written:
“Stare at me.
Ask your mahogany eyes what do they see.
Let your mind visualize me next to you.
Touch your chocolate lips and feel the warmth of mine
Hold yourself and know that I can provide
The comfort in which you seek.
Tell your heart to let me into your world.
Call me to your soul
And I will answer”
I felt warmth all over my face as I read the very last line of the note:
“If you can tell me who wrote this, I’ll give you my number”
Written by The Wednesday Gentleman