He Listens (Chapter 17)
SERIES SUMMARY: Kayla is on a quest to move beyond the hurt of her past as she realizes the impact that hurt has on her present and potential future. This is a modern tale of love that accounts the complexities of blending the lives of two thirty-somethings and all of their respective baggage. Read to see if Kayla will finally share her secret, embrace something new, and most importantly exercise her faith.
They hug and he kisses her. The kiss quickly turns from a peck to a passionate lip-lock. They hold each other close and rub one another’s back. Kareem leans back and says, “Damn, maybe you should fall out with my baby-momma more often.” They laugh and hug again. Walking out to the porch to wait for Karah, Kareem grabs Kayla’s hand and locks his fingers in it. “See, we fit together,” he says to her. He then sits on the first step and motions for her to come and sit with him. She does and in the quietness of that moment, as they sit there side by side, something happens between them. They both feel it, but neither speak on it.
When Karah pulls up, she breaks their quiet. it is obvious that she has misinterpreted the message. She jumps out the car with three of their cousins and a baseball bat.
“Kareem, what you done got my sister into?”
“Karah, it’s cool. Everything is good.”
“Good? Them women in there ganging up on Kay ain’t good!”
“Karah, nobody was going to do anything to Kayla, trust me on that.”
“I’m just saying Kareem, they don’t know me – don’t mess with Kay – I don’t play that Kareem. I will go in there and act a fool! Kayla is all dignified and stuff, and she don’t mess with nobody and ain’t nobody going to mess with her!”
Having seen this scene before with Karah and her cousins, Kayla interjects, “Karah, I called you for a ride, not a scene from reality tv. Now get back in the car and give me that damn bat.” She turns to Kareem, kisses him, and mouths, “call me later.”
The drive home was filled with a word-by-word reenactment of the main event. But Kayla quickly grew tired of reliving it so the later part of conversation continued on without her. She was thinking about Kareem, and how at this moment, after what had just happened, that her feelings for him were the strongest. Maybe it was the way he stood up for her. Maybe it was the look in his eyes when Karah pulled off. Or maybe, just maybe they connected as they sat on that porch. And maybe by a simple, unexpected gesture, Kareem had managed to knock bricks off a wall that through experience was way too tall. She was so into her thoughts, that she didn’t even notice that Karah had pulled up to her building.
“Night, night, and thanks for having my back fam, I love you’ll.”
“Call me after you talk to Kareem,” Karah replied.
“You know that I will.”
Kayla stood on the sidewalk and watched as Karah’s car turned the corner and faded out of sight. Then, no sooner had she kicked off her heels and grabbed the week’s worth of mail from the table, Kareem calls.
“You made it home yet?”
“Yeah, I just got in. Where are you?”
“In my car, on the way over there.”
“I tried to stay, I tried to eat, but every time I thought about it, I got mad. Finally, I just emptied my plate and left.”
“I’m sorry all that even took place, and on your Grandma’s birthday.”
“No, I’m sorry. I’ll be there in a minute.”
As Kayla waits for Kareem to arrive she stretches out on her couch and flips through her mail. Most of it is junk, but one envelope has a hand writing that she knows all too well. It’s from Andre. His gallery opening is in three weeks and he wants her to come, stay the weekend with him, and be his date to the event. Upon reading this, Kayla looks to the ceiling and wonders to herself how Ex’s have a way of resurfacing at the most inappropriate times.
But just as she is ready to go into a world wind about this new drama that has came via snail-mail, her buzzer rings. When Kareem makes it in, Kayla is standing in the middle of the room with the invitation in hand.
To be continued…
© LaRonda Moore