He was pretty. He was almost so pretty that if it weren’t for his body that advertised his many hours spent at 24-Hour Fitness and for that strong, chiseled chin; he almost had a feminine look. The lashes that framed his bronze colored eyes were longer that most of the fake lashes sported by the women who would flirt with him. Kim would say later that he reminded her of a penny: bronze, shiny, chiseled and not worth shit.
Brad, or Duece, as most of his friends called him was fine, but not Kim’s type. But as they say, timing is everything; and that night Kim needed a man’s attention more than any other time in her life. Sometimes you need someone, really anyone, to remind you that you are desirable. Dateless at 3 weddings, including her sister’s, in the last two months had her feeling as unattractive as the IRS. So, when her girls called her to go out to Shadows to have a few drinks, she immediately said, “yes.”
Shadows was the best thing happening in a town like Columbia: blue and purple up-lighting, two bars, great djs, and a VIP section, which Kim and her friends always frequented because at 30 years old, your feet didn’t last all night in heels anymore. Even after her promotion to manager Kim wasn’t one to splurge on designer bags and clothes (unless she got lucky at TJ Maxx or Ross); she was more likely to pay for a decent glass of wine, a good dinner or a splurge night at Shadows.
The usual suspects were there: the dudes in their sunglasses, although it was dark as nightfall,; those with the Bluetooth on their ears, as if they are surgeons on call; the girls with their boobs and butts on display; the flossers, who were there to show how much money they had—ordering bottles of this and that; and the posers—standing on the wall in their dopest outfits and new weaves, ready to get annoyed if someone actually asked them to dance. Half of Kim’s enjoyment on nights like this came from cracking up with her girls about the sights at the scene. People watching never got old…until it did. Kim and her girls, donned in their sexy, but not quite skanky, outfits from Bebe were now up doing the come-hither dance in a semi-circle in their vip area. The fish were swimming, but no one was throwing in a line.
2 guys donning purple and royal blue suits come over and reel in Donna and Trish, leaving Kim to bop to the music by herself. The latest Drake hit was playing and she tried to look as if she was perfectly happy dancing all by herself. Just as she went to pick up her champagne glass, he suddenly shows up and picks up her glass instead, hands it to her and says, “Hey beautiful. I’m Brad, but people call me Duece. Wanna dance?”
Kim doesn’t say a word. She just places down her champagne glass and lets him lead her to the crowded dance floor.
Nicki Minaj was streaming through the speaker:
thinkin’ out loud
I must have about a milli on me right now
And I ain’t talkin’ about that Lil Wayne record
I’m still the highest sellin’ female rapper, for the record
Man, this a 65 million single sold
I ain’t gotta compete with a single soul
I’m good with the ballpoint game, finger roll
Ask me how to do it, I don’t tell a single soul
Duece and Kim fall into a nice flow—both good dancers. Duece doesn’t try to molest her like some men do these days, but grabs her waist from time to time to bring her closer to him. J. Cole, Big Sean, and some old-school Notorious BIG provide the soundtrack to their vibe until beads of sweat begin to decorate Kim’s forhead. The music is so loud that she has to yell in Deuce’s ear that she is going to run to the ladies room.
Mirror real estate is tough to come by in the restroom, but Kim manages to find just enough space to reapply her makeup. She looks good tonight: her dress is hugging in all the right places (although she still has about 20 pounds she would like to lose), make-up is perfect, and Layla down at Chaka’s Braids and Beauty has hooked her up once again. She confidently walks back to her girls at the VIP table.
Before she can even sit down, Trish splutters—one word running into another- “OhmyGodheissofine. Girldoeshehaveabrother. Youguyslookcuteoutthere!”
Kim has to play it cool, so she won’t be embarrassed and so she won’t feel too disappointed if he doesn’t come back around, so she says, “Girl, you are trippin’. It was just a dance.”
Make it last
Make it last forever (Ever)
Don’t let end our love end (Ooh…ooh…)
Let’s make it last (Ooh…ooh…ooh…oh…)
Let’s make it last forever and ever
Don’t our let our love end (Oh…don’t let love end), mmm…
The entire mood of Shadows shifted to one of astonishment, as soon as, Keith Sweat’s whiney voice starts streaming through the speakers. Clubs never played slow music anymore.
Trish starts to say, “What the fu,’ when Deuce walks up, gently grabs Kim’s hand and says, “my cousin is the dj tonight. I got him to play this song for us. Can I have this dance?”
Kim doesn’t say a word. Just lets him lead her to the dance floor once again.
His height is perfect, in that, her head can rest perfectly on his buff chest. He’s wearing Chanel Blue cologne. Their nice sway tsoon turns into a grind—his hands rubbing her back, then her butt. “This Feels. So. Nice.” Kim thinks. She needs to get out of here before she made a decision that she may regret. She gets on her tiptoes to let Deuce know that it’s time for her to go when he kisses her—deeply, their tongues dance familiarly instead of tentatively. Kim leaned even closer in to him, her back -bending, so that her body meets with his body that has had to curve for him to bend down and kiss her.
Not one for public displays of affection, their lust was on full display for anyone to see and Kim didn’t care because for a moment, they weren’t even there.
He leads her out of the club. Lust-fog clouds her brain, but she faintly remembers her friends waving and smiling at her. Everyone knows what’s next, even though she hasn’t even admitted it to herself yet.
They drive to her place; a newer apartment building on the West side of town near the mall because he says that he has roommates. As soon as they walk into her Ikea furnished place, they start back exactly where they left off: his hands on her butt, their tongues and bodies completely entwined, except for this time there was no audience and no stopping.
He leaves around 4am. Kim drags herself from the front hallway to her bed and sleeps hard until noon the next day. She wakes up to 6 voicemails and 21 texts from Trish and . Text: “Girl, just checking to make sure you ain’t dead or nothing. Boy looks too fine to be a murderer, but you never know.” She half-smiled. It was good to have friends like them—always looking out for a sista.
Smelling of Chanel Blue and sex, Kim rolls over in her bed and allows herself to replay last night in her head. She could see herself digging a guy like Deuce. She thought about texting him, but then thought it better for her to wait. But wait, she thought, did he ever ask her for her number? Everything happened so quickly that it didn’t dawn on Kim until that moment that they never exchanged numbers. “Damn, she thinks, must be an oversight. There was definitely a serious connection between them.
All week, she half hopes that he will knock on her door since he knows where she lives, but assumes that he would be uncomfortable doing that. It would be rather strange. She figures that he will be at the club again on Friday.
Friday night comes and Kim has to have a drink before she and Trish get to Shadows to calm her nerves. Drake is playing again when they walk in; the usual suspects are in their places. The place is packed. Before she and Trish make it to their table, she spots Deuce at the bar laughing with a group of ladies and guys. He looks up; their eyes meet; he gives her a sexy half smile and holds his glass up as if to toast her. She smiles and does a tiny wave as she walks to her table.
That’s their first and last exchange of the night.
My intention is for Black people to love themselves and each other. It sounds somewhat silly, I guess; but oftentimes my people are overwhelmed with negative images, bad news, and stereotyped characters about us. I’d like to flip that script. I’d like to remind us, as often as I can, how incredible we are. Read more