BlaFEMI + SHAINA (pt. 1)

Femi + Shaina

She whispered in his ear, causing the unclipped and invisible hairs on his ear lobes to stand up. Why was it that she was always able to make him so vulnerable, even when he tried his hardest to be strong- to resist her when she looked at him with those perfectly slanted almond eyes.

“I wish you would just stop” Femi whimpered “You don’t get to play with my soul like that”

“Stop what”, she replied.

She always played this game. The ‘I’m unaware just how much you make my soul hurt’ game- the ‘I can see how much you want to hold me’-game.

It’s always been like this since the first day that they met. Femi was sitting in front of the principal’s office being completely and adorably rebellious. Adorable because despite his numerous attempts to be a “bad boy”, all anyone, including the teachers at STEM School of the Bronx, saw was an intelligent, kindhearted and somewhat naive boy. Shaina saw it to. She often wondered why Femi never grabbed hold of the power that he could very easily wield. The most unattractive thing about Him was his lack of self-confidence and that was it. She hated the way that he looked down when he walked. She hated the way he spoke in a mute tone that made everyone around him go, “Huh?? What did you say?” It was absurd to Shaina that Femi didn’t see in himself what she saw when he looked at the mirror. It was difficult for Shaina because she was born with confidence. She never cared about the size of her forehead or how skinny she actually was. She had learned from early on that her forehead only brought more attention to her seductive eyes and although the boys considered her skinny, she knew that if she angled her very flexible body a certain way she could be just as seductive as the thick girls that the men from the block would catcall every evening on their way home from school. She discovered the secret of attraction. It wasn’t about how your physical features were arranged on your face or how thick your waistline was, it was about how big you thought your waistline was. Confidence was everything. Femi hadn’t quite grabbed hold of that truth.

“He must not be aware of how tall he is” Shaina thought.

He must have never noticed the smoothness of his dark chocolate skin, his chinky eyes or his unnaturally white smile and how they all seemed to fit together effortlessly yet exotically. Marline and Ophelia said it in AP Physics, and she realized it, she was attracted to this quiet African boy. And she found solace knowing that Femi Adironke Babajide looked at her like a prized possession. Like a caramel Mona Lisa to be adorned and worshipped. Her ego meter filled quickly when he would stare into her eyes deeply as though he was trying to communicate the full weight of his desire for her.

It was unarguably inevitable and eventually to the obviousness of everyone at Bronx STEM they would both find themselves here. She on Femi’s lap and Femi’s hand wrapped around her waist leaning his head on the nape of her neck. Her Herbal Essence rainforest leave in conditioner wading blissfully through his senses.

“I told you to stop Shaina…please”, Femi pleaded as his voice trailed off from a stern warning to a soft whisper.

“Femi, nothing is going to happen, we’re outside. Relax, I’m just saying hi.”

“Hi, Shaina” “Now stop Shaina”.

He added, “Seriously. Please. Stop.”

“Femi, you have to stop being so soft. Man up. cuz that right there…that ain’t cute”.

Femi’s heartbroken look quickly switched to frustration followed by anger. An all too familiar process usually egged on by Shaina’s incessant provocations. Femi placed two fingers on the bridge of Shaina’s nose. She looked up at Femi’s eyes and suddenly became aware of their physical differences. Her 5’5 frame looked up at Femi’s slim but solid 6”3 frame and she suddenly became afraid. Did she finally go too far? This was the type of speech that would cause Quincy to rough her up just a bit. Never too much where he would cause bruising but enough to cause pain that would put Shaina back in her place. Yea, maybe Quincy would take it too far sometimes, but he never meant to and the few times that he would take it too far he would make sure he apologized so that Shaina would know just how much he loved her. Shaina knew that she just had to be careful with her mouth next time because he was a Scorpio and Scorpios were known for their temper but only because they were so passionate and intense.

Femi did not believe in Zodiac signs. He often told Shaina that Christians had no need to believe in anything other than Christ; but she had to wonder, especially as she looked up at Femi with his two fingers pressed against the bridge of her nose. Had she finally pushed Femi to the edge? The only stability that she had come to count on. Had she finally made this sheltered kid who had no reason being in this part of the Newark to snap and act like the majority of males that were found in the Bricks, that put their hands on their women in order to “set them straight”? She could handle being smacked. Newark women learned how to do so by the time they turned 15. She was two years past the age of enlightenment- the discovery that, “niggas are all the same” and so she waited. She waited for Femi to finally reveal his true colors. The crimson red that ran through all men. The same blood that ran through Allen when he cheated on her cousin Kiana. The same life that coursed through aunt Nia when everyone learned that Uncle Milo would hit her when he’d come home after losing big betting on the Knicks. The same blood that ran through Quincy when he’d treat Shaina like a play thing after he finished smoking a doobie with all his Crip friends.

Femi softly pushed Shaina’s head back with the force of his fingers and stepped back. “Shaina, I don’t know why you want me to be mad.” “I gotta catch my bus.”

Shaina jumped towards Femi, wrapped her arms tight around his neck hanging off of him with her feet off the floor and kissed him passionately…