If anything could go wrong, it did! Fuck!!
I stared through the window as I saw my keys still in the ignition . . . . . doors locked! I pulled on the door, hoping beyond hope, even though I could clearly see that the door was sealed shut. I went around to the back door, praying that the door or the window was open. Damn! Both were locked too!
Then as I was just about to give up, I saw that my passenger side window had not made it up all the way. There was just enough of a crack to where I could possibly slide a coat hanger in there and pop the lock! Now the question was, where could I find a hanger? I searched frantically around the parking lot for something similar to the item that I needed. I even started asking some of the colonizers who were walking into the establishment for aid. No mas. I looked at my watch and it was already six fifteen! My stomach was growling something awful, begging me to go in and deal with the keys later. Mr. Romance had already called to check on my whereabouts twice, but I had to have my keys! I mean, how was I gonna get home? I wasn’t about to climb in the car of a man that I barely knew! Yeah, he seemed sweet and all, but I could easily come up missing!
Not knowing what to do, I took out my cell and called my go to . . . .
“Hey Calvin. When you get this message, can you call me? I locked my keys in the truck again and I’m needing your assistance . . . . . ”
Shit! So now what? I looked at the time on the cell. Six twenty-five! I was pretty sure my date thought I had stood him up. Kinda surprised I haven’t seen him leave. Has he even arrived yet? He’s probably second guessing himself, wondering why he wasted his time pursuing me. Oh well! Despite the unknown disappointment with my date, I still believed that I could open that door if I had a hanger. I mean how hard could it be? After all, I had that Black girl magic!
I shuffled into the restaurant. When the cool air hit my face, I realized how much energy I used trying to get in! I could feel the perspiration on my brow, under my arms, and who knows what was happening under my breasts! Still with the confidence of a queen, I approached the wait staff . . . .
“Excuse me . . . . Jennifer? Yes, do you all have a wire coat hanger that I could use? I locked my keys in the car”
As the blonde hostess began to speak, a husky baritone echoed . .
“So you’re the crazy woman trying to break into her own vehicle?”
I looked at Jennifer perplexed, wondering how her voice became so deep? Then I felt a tap on my shoulder that prompted me to turn around. There he was, still dressed in the attire from this morning’s interchange. Since I had already been talked about, I confessed to the allegation.
“Yeah, it’s me”
“So that explains why you didn’t return my phone calls”
“Yes, I . . . . wait a minute? So you knew I was out there all this time?”
“No I didn’t. I called you several times and thought you were standing me up. I was getting ready to head out when I saw you standing here”
“So do you have a coat hanger in your car that I could borrow?”
He looked at me perplexed as if I asked the wrong thing.
“What? Did I say something wrong?”
“No. I’m just wondering why you just didn’t call roadside assistance?”
“You mean AAA?”
“Well to be quite honest, I don’t think I have it”
“Well I do. Give me a minute to call them up”
“Don’t you need my car information?”
“No. I can just have them come out here and they will unlock your car. I’ll just say that I was driving you to dinner. Can you roll with that?”
Warmth and sincerity was in destiny’s voice. My hero was coming through.
“Ms. Jennifer, could you seat my dinner companion? I will be along shortly”
I looked at him very peculiar. He spoke to the hostess as if he knew her! Like he actually owned the place! The way he commanded the situation made my nipples stand on edge. He disappeared into the shadows as the attendant seated me. Not two minutes went by before she returned with water and a blue green cocktail.
“Excuse me Jennifer, but I didn’t order this?”
“I’m sorry ma’am. Dr. Simon requested that you have a drink as well. It’s the house special. If you don’t like it, I can bring you something else”
I took a small sip of the concoction.
“Oh . . . oh my! This is fantastic Jennifer!”
“Good! Should I tell the bartender to make another?”
She scurried off to fill my request before I could ask what was in it. But at this point, I really didn’t care! It was cold, sweet, and was taking away my cares from the day. I was able to relax and the perspiration ceased. After a few more sips, my Black knight appeared. He took off his jacket and sat down.
“Roadside assistance will be here in about thirty minutes. Is that okay?”
I shook my head as I continued to unmercifully slurp my drink. Hamilton began to laugh.
“Alright now. You know that’s not water right? Don’t let that Patron have you calling an Uber home!”
The drink was finished and I was feeling right. The tingle was sending my body into a new world. I looked over and he couldn’t seem to keep his teeth in his mouth!
“You’re smiling awful bright there Dr. Simon. Do you find me entertaining?”
“Honestly, I’m just glad you’re here”
“Really now? Even after I stood you up for thirty minutes?”
“Well seeing that I waited an entire week to ask you out . . . . . ”
“Hamiliton, you’re better than I am! If it were me, I would have walked out the door and blocked your number after fifteen minutes!”
“Wow. . . . .”
“You think I’m being harsh don’t you?”
“Yes, kind of. I believe everyone deserves a little grace, especially with a first meet. Anything can happen, especially on a school night”
Did he already know that I had kids?
“Well that’s true, it being a school night but my kids are almost out of the house so that’s no issue. As long as there is food in the house, I’m good”
“I hear that lady. So your kids are in high school?”
“Yes, my daughter is a senior this year and my son is a sophomore”
“What about you? Do you have any kids?”
“I have a son who’s been in the military for two years now”
“Wow! So you’re out here living your best life?”
“I guess you can say that”
“You probably have your pick of any woman out here like most of these Carolina men huh?”
“You know you guys have your pick of any woman here. I think the ratio is 10 to 1?”
“I really haven’t checked the ratios and I’ve only been here for three months”
“But don’t you agree that you men can have your way with us?”
“That may be true for some, but we all go through our own personal evolution”
The wait staff came back and we gave our order. Hamilton’s answers were breaking me out of my liquor induced haze. This wasn’t going to be the typical first date conversation.
“Personal evolution? So that’s the new game that’s being kicked today?”
“No game. Simply stating that our minds and bodies change over time. Why do we expect people to remain the same?”
“I like the theory, but loyalty is a trait that shouldn’t have to evolve”
He sat there and looked at me longingly . . . as the colonizers did those Black folk in “Get Out”.
“Did I say something wrong?”
“I’m just wondering who hurt you to make you feel this way about men”
“Not trying to be disrespectful, but I felt a lot like you until earlier this year”
I stared straight into his eyes as he took a sip of his water.
“What happened earlier this year that changed your perspective?”
“I almost died from heart failure . . . . . ”
I sat back in my chair and listened to Dr. Simon tell me about his near death experience. How he changed his diet and his work ethic. But above all of that, he learned to appreciate life all the more. He told me about the woman he was “dating” at the time and how she never visited him in the hospital. He was angry at first, but realized that he never gave them a title. He was starting to remind me of Calvin . . . . . . .
“So . . . . you’re not mad with her anymore?”
“I can’t be. A short time after I left the hospital, she told me that she wasn’t the woman for me. I accepted that”
“See! She was seeing other fellas anyway. That’s what that was!”
“Whether she was or not, I wanted her to be happy. So if it’s not with me, I wished her happiness with the next. That’s what love is. When you care about the happiness of the other even though it may not benefit you . . . .”
“Wow! You’re better than me! You’re just not gonna dismiss me like I’m trash! That hurts!”
“Yes, it does, but like all things, you get over it. At this point in time, I’m over it so there is no need to stress. If she is not the one, I believe God will bring the right one to me”
“So . . . . am I the right one?”
“That remains to be seen. This is our first date. But the fact that I pursued you should let you know that I think quite highly of you”
I blushed as the wait staff removed the remnants of the drinks and brought out the entree. Then Dr. Simon threw me for a loop. He extended his hands to me so that he could bless the food! Calvin never wanted to pray with me! Ever! And now this man, who was literally scared to talk to me at first, was now giving grace? I could see that he was being appreciative as he thanked the staff before they retreated to their other customers. He wasn’t the stiff that I imagined him to be.
As we started our meals, the band began to set up.
“So we have entertainment too?”
“Yes. They play jazz here every Monday night”
“When did that start happening? Out of all the times I’ve bee here, they’ve never had live music!”
“That’s because they are under new management”
“Oh really? How do you know all this?”
“Because I’m the new management”