THE LONELIES TALKING AGAINI arrived back in Philly on Sunday night. I was so miserable during my five and a half hour trip that I completely ignored the passenger sitting next to me trying to make small talk and finally snapped on him just as we touched down in Philly. “Will you shut the hell up,” I hissed, causing his cheeks to turn beet red. The other passengers sitting near me cleared the aisles, creating a swift exit for me. Just as I was deplaning, Dave’s number flashed across my cell phone. I let his call go to voicemail because I decided to take the train home instead of letting him pick me up from the airport. I knew I had to confront him, but I didn’t know what to say.As I waited on the R1 train’s platform, I went from feeling sad to feeling mad. I went from feeling sorry for myself to being angry as hell. I couldn’t believe Dave would do something like this to me. We had only been dating for four weeks, but he seemed different than all of those other guys. He seemed to have class, but that phone call just proved that he was a dog in sheep’s clothing. I was so messed up over this that I called my middle sister, Kesha, someone I never seek advice from. But since she was the only one who was available, I figured I’d pour out my heart to her. After I told her what happened, she gave me good advice much to my surprise.”You’re not in a full fledged relationship with this dude yet and he’s already showed you how he’s gonna be from the door,” she finally said after listening to me boo-hoo on the other line. “You can still mess with him, but you can’t say you weren’t warned,” Kesha said before hanging up the phone.
I hated to admit whenever Kesha was right, but she was right on point this time. Dave kept calling and I finally answered once I got home. He asked to come over that night. I decided not to mention the phone call at that moment and told him it was ok to come over because I wanted to talk to him. I would confront him then. As usual, he called me once he arrived in the lobby of my apartment building because he needed me to left him upstairs. I thought of screaming at him or spitting in his face as soon as I saw him, but I kept my cool. He was standing there with a dumb smile on his face, but he was looking good as ever in his butter-soft camel colored leather jacket, blue jeans and Kenneth Cole loafers. The scent of his Jean Paul Gotie cologne wafted through the lobby, reminding me of how much I loved his scent. He threw his arms around me in a big hug, but I just stood there with a frown on my face. “Hey,” I finally replied dryly.
“What’s up with you?” he asked, staring at me strangely with his brown, bedroom eyes. I guess he was used to seeing the happy smiling me that couldn’t wait for him to lay the pipe, but not this time.
“I’m fine,” I snapped, rolling my neck in one smoothly choreographed motion.
He stepped back, extending his hands so I could hold them. “I really missed you. How was your trip?” he asked, flashing his bright white smile.
I forced a smile. “My trip was very…interesting, especially Friday night.”
Other tenants and their guests had gathered in the lobby, drowning out our voices, so Dave and I headed up to my place.
Dave took off his leather jacket and lay across my bed which also served as my couch since I only had a small efficiency at the time. He folded his arms behind his head after motioning for me to sit next to him on my bed.
Kicking off his loafers, he asked, “So, what happened on Friday that was so interesting?”
I narrowed my eyes. “Me and Brian went out to dinner. What did you do on Friday night?”
Dave pulled me beside him. “I was here missing you,” he said, landing a a peck on my forehead.
I pulled away slightly. “Is that right?” I asked.
“Yeah, I went to Friday’s on City Line and then went straight home. I was tired.”
Now standing in front of him, I asked, “Is that the only thing you did on Friday?”
Dave sat up from the bed, locking eyes with me. “What’s up with you, man? I came to see you because I missed you and you acting funny. Can’t your man get some love?”
“I’ve never been good at beating around the bush,” I began, “I got a call from you on Friday while you were screwing some chick. That’s what’s wrong with me. And I’m pissed off because you’re sitting here acting like you ain’t do shit.”
“What phone call are you talking about?” Dave asked after a long moment of silence.
“Don’t act dumb now. You called me while you were having sex with some girl. I heard the whole thing, Dave.”
Dave jumped up from the bed. His eyes shifted from side to side as if his mind tried to comprehend what I had just said. I started walking towards the door to let him out and he stepped into my path. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I went home on Friday and I wasn’t with anyone else,” he pleaded.
I brushed past him and started unlocking my door. He spun me around and cupped my hands into his. “I wasn’t with anyone else, I swear.”
I pushed him away from me. “How the hell did somebody call me from your Blackberry while they were having sex? You never let that thing out of your sight. Just be a man and tell me the truth. Did you have sex with someone on Friday?”
“I swear. It wasn’t me.”
“Just leave, Dave ‘cause you’re a liar and a bad one at that,” I said, opening the door for him to leave.
Just before he walked out the door, he turned to me and said, “I swear, it wasn’t me. I was at home asleep.”
“Just get out,” I hissed before slamming the door in his face. I leaned against the door after he left and bawled. I couldn’t believe he lied to me like that. I must have been crying for twenty minutes or so before Dave called me again.
“I’m downstairs, can you please let me up?” he asked in a serious tone.
“For what, so you can lie to me some more?”
“No, I want to talk to you, that’s all. Just let me say my peace and let it be what it’s gonna be.”
I went downstairs to let him up and just sat on the bed with my arms folded across my chest as he talked.
He paced back and forth as he spoke. “See, I just talked to my brother and he told me that he called you by mistake. See, it was him and his girlfriend who you heard having sex.”
I jumped up from the bed. “Your brother! I’m supposed to believe that? That’s the best damn lie you could come up with? WOW! Get out! I never want to see you again.”
“You don’t mean that,” he said, pulling me close to him. “It wasn’t me.”
“Dave, just leave,” I said, escaping his grasp. “You must think I’m a fool.”
Dave stood at the door and stared at me for a while. “It wasn’t me,” he finally said before leaving.
I sucked my teeth and slammed the door behind him. I went into my bathroom, looked at myself in the mirror and broke down crying. I knew Dave was lying to me. I knew that was him on the phone that night. I was angry at him because he lied to my face and I was angry at myself because I knew I was going to take him back. And I hated myself for that, for being so weak, so desperate. But being with Dave was better than my alternatives. I didn’t want to find someone new and start over again and I didn’t want to be lonely—God knows I didn’t want to be lonely.
Before I met Dave I had spent so many nights alone in my apartment crying over my ex. He left me for another girl. He flaunted her in my face at the church picnic and let her drive his Lexus, something he never let me do. He even let her answer his cell phone, something I dared not do. One time I called him after we broke up to return his phone call and this chick answered the phone in a sleepy tone like she was half asleep. She told me that he was still sleep and that I should call him when they wake up. I was floored. He soon moved in with her, but kept calling me and like a dummy, I kept taking his calls. I thought this was the man I was going to marry and thought that this new girl was only temporary. But as the months wore on, I realized that he was not leaving her. He was stringing me along. I thought it would be easy to shake my ex, but it was so hard. I loved him and my feelings for him ran deep. To my credit, I never had sex with him after we broke up that last time, but I did take his phone calls and see him. Once I realized we weren’t getting back together, my nights were some of the loneliest moments in my life. The bright burnt orange walls of my apartment seemed to close in on me as I would lie on the bed and stare at the ceiling. Sometimes it hurt too much to move around because my body ached. Have you ever experienced heartache so deep that it effected you physically; you lose weight, your hair falls out, or your body simply hurts.
Meeting Dave ended those dreadful lonely nights. Being with him reminded me of the old saying that the best way to get over a man is to get under another one. I don’t know if that’s true, but it felt good feeling his warm body lying next to mine during the middle of the night. It felt good having someone to talk to about things that were important to me. It felt good to make love on the regular. So many things about Dave felt so good that I couldn’t give that up, not right now.
Like my sister Kesha said, I was warned and I knew what I was getting myself into by still messing with Dave. But at the time, that phone call couldn’t compare to my fear of being alone.
Stay Tuned for the Conclusion…
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