[This short story was inspired by the song “Heart Crush” by BJ The Chicago Kid @bjthechicagokid]
“What took you so long to give me a chance?”
“An interrogation on our first date?” she laughed.
“Yep, especially after you dissed me so many times,” he chuckled.
“Just be thankful I’m here now Jason,” she smiled at him.
He touched her hand, “Trust me I am.”
“What you grinnin’ about?”
“Can I be honest with you?”
“Hit me with it!”
“I had a flash back to the first day I met you.”
“What about it?”
“Well, for one you talked the entire campus tour. You wouldn’t let anyone else say anything. And you kept cracking jokes, I could hardly concentrate from laughing.”
“I was tryna’ liven’ up our group. Everybody was acting all scared like they couldn’t say nothing, and you just kept talking in that little voice ‘And this is the computer lab…’” he mocked her. They both laughed.
“Hey! I was trying to stay professional. It was my first day as an R.A.,” she giggled.
“You know what I find funny Mia?”
“What?” she grinned at him.
“That after months of hounding you, you finally decided to give me some play.”
“I’m a busy woman,” she lied. She had finally decided to take him up on his offer to go out, only because she had broken things off yet again with her “on again, off again” boyfriend Kyle.
“We’re never too busy for anything we really want to do. I think you were just scared to give me a chance.”
“No, I’m just busy. That’s all.”
“I think you’re embarrassed at the fact that I’m younger than you.”
“Maybe?” she joked.
“See, I knew it.”
“Well, you are a freshmen and I’m a junior.”
“But we’re both adults. This isn’t high school, we’re in college. And remember Aaliyah taught us a long time ago, age ain’t nothing but a number!” he playfully sung.
“Please, please!” she leaned over in laughter at his shenanigans.
He ended his performance, “You lucky I even took you out, after dissing me so many times. I was ready to move on to Bridgette.”
“Really?” she continued to laugh.
“Yep!” he teased, “She been digging me since the day you gave me her info for math tutoring. Since then she been offering me free meals in the cafeteria and everything. On top of doing most of my work for me,” he grinned. “I’ve been real tempted to make her fall in love with me. You know I’m irresistible,” he playfully licked his lips, winking at her.
“You’re a comedian!” she cracked up in laughter again.
“And you like it!” he teased her. If she had to admit it, she did. Jason was a breath of fresh air from Kyle, and she was enjoying it.
“You kicking it with us tonight?” Tasha asked. “You know the Que’s having they foam party?”
“Nope, I have a date,” Mia blushed.
“With who?” Tasha smacked her lips.
“Jason,” Mia grinned.
“Really?” Tasha rolled her eyes. “You’re really giving a freshmen that much play.”
“I like him.”
“What does it matter that he’s a freshmen?”
“I’m just saying.”
“Don’t judge, okay. I didn’t question you when you were dating the that forty year old.”
“Hey, he was only thirty seven. And you’re dating him? Or is this a date? There’s a difference.”
“What’s the difference?”
“Going on a date is getting to know one another. Dating is basically a relationship, a commitment. Like you’re serious about each other.”
“I guess it’s dating then.”
“What!” Tasha gasped, “So, ya’ll in a relationship?”
“Not really, but we have been spending a lot of time with each other,” Mia hesitantly admitted.
“When were you going to tell me?”
“I don’t know. It just slipped my mind.”
“How can a relationship slip your mind?”
“I don’t know it just did. And it’s not a relationship.”
“Naw, you can’t fool me. You must be ashamed to be dating him. Or something?”
“I’m not ashamed, I just…”
“You’re ashamed. He’s younger than you, and you don’t know how to deal with that huh? He’s not your usual type.”
Mia exhaled, “The age isn’t the problem. It’s just that I’m use to guys who can bring something to the table. I have my own place, I have a full course load on top of two jobs, so I’m use to certain things.”
“What does any of that have to do with dating him?”
“He’s a freshmen, living on campus. Which is cool, I understand that. But, I’m use to dating someone who can do for me. Not the other way around.”
“Like Kyle?” Tasha rolled her eyes.
“Kyle’s a cheater. Anyone is better than someone who can’t be faithful. Plus, he could do all that only because he’s set and comes from money. He don’t know nothing about hard work,” she rolled her eyes. “It’s better when you work hard for something. You and I know that.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“Then, what’s the issue?”
“I like Jason a lot. I can be myself with him. He makes me laugh, and he’s so sweet and thoughtful. Going out his way to show he appreciates me. Just last week, he gave me his jacket to cover myself in the rain when he walked me to class,” Mia blushed, thinking of how much she really did like him.
“Kyle would have let you get wet,” Tasha clowned.
Mia didn’t respond, she just frowned, knowing that Tasha was telling the truth. In spite of Kyle being a man who could provide for Mia, someone who had it all together on paper, and someone she was had been dealing with for the past three years, he didn’t make her feel like Jason did. She felt alive with Jason, she had fallen in love, but she wouldn’t admit that to Tasha.
“So if he’s all of that, and you like him. What’s stopping you from being with him?”
“I don’t know. I’m getting ready to graduate soon and move on. He’ll still be here in college, I don’t want to lead him on. Plus there are so many chicks out their he could build with.”
“You’re not telling me everything, I know you Mia, what is it?”
She blurted, “I’ve been talking to Kyle again!”
“Really Mia?” Tasha checked her, “What does he have to do for you to leave him alone completely. I thought you catching him in bed with ol’ girl was enough?” she shook her head.
Tasha threw her hands up, “You know what. It’s your life, and you can do as you please. I was giving you flack for talking to the freshmen, just joking around. But, after seeing you light up when you talked about him, I thought he might be good for you. But no,” she mocked Mia, “You want to ruin your happiness to be with Kyle. Someone who doesn’t care about anyone but himself!”
“He promised that’s he’s changed,” Mia defended him.
“They say insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. You’ve been on the Kyle Cycle for three years now, and just can’t seem to get off.”
“Hump!” There was silence between the two for a second. “So, what are you going to do about Jason?”
“I planned on letting him know, in the nicest way possible what was going on. That it’s best we stop whatever it is between us, before it goes any further.”
“Kyle must have pulled the, Let’s work on us, drop everyone in your life card, again.”
“He’s trying, give him that!”
“I gotta go. I’ll check you later.”
Months later- Mia’s Graduation Celebration
“You enjoying tonight?” Kyle asked Mia. His breath smelled of the alcohol he was drinking.
“It’s cool,” Mia told him, pushing back from being so close to his face. She was irritated by him drinking so much, but didn’t want to say anything to ruin the night. He had put everything together beautifully. Of course paying for it all. She didn’t want to seem ungrateful.
“You can at least smile,” he hugged her tight, making her feel uncomfortable. Not wanting to start an argument. She did like he suggested.
“I’ll be back, I need to make a call,” Kyle left her alone to stand by herself.
She stood in the corner of the room, sipping her champagne, not in the mood to really talk to anyone. Most of the people there to celebrate her were Kyle’s friends. They were there to get a free meal, and partake in the loads of alcohol that was flowing around the room. Mia had suggested just a small dinner with her a few of her friends, but in true Kyle fashion he needed to flex his bank account. “I can’t have people thinking I can’t afford to celebrate my woman in style. Let me handle the dinner plans and the guest list.” She remembered him telling her, a few weeks back, as they prepared for this night.
“Hey Girl!” Tasha, startled her, snapping her from her thoughts.
“When did you get here?”
“A second ago,” Mia sipped from her champagne flute.
“Oh,” Mia responded, not too enthused.
“Who are all of these people?”
“Your guess is as good as mine. I don’t know anyone beside Kyle’s friend Tremaine and his girlfriend. Everyone else is a stranger to me.”
“In true Kyle style, I see he invited people he wants to stunt on, huh?” Tasha shook her head. Mia rolled her eyes. “He did good though, this place is f a n c y, and I heard the food was bomb,” Tasha looked around the room, taking in the ambience.
“I’m glad you came,” Mia half smiled at her.
“I’m surprised I got an invite, you know Kyle don’t like me,” she sarcastically laughed, turning her lips up. Mia didn’t respond, she was staring off, consumed by her thoughts. “What’s up with you?”
“Nothing, I’m good.”
Tasha smacked her lips, “I know you. It’s written all over your face. What’s the deal?”
Mia huffed, “I’ve just been thinking lately.”
“About what?” Tasha rolled her eyes, taking a sip of champagne.
“It’s been the same thing with Kyle. He hasn’t changed. Controlling, obnoxious. Things just aren’t fun like they use to be. I’m just overall annoyed.”
“I should have listened to you.”
“About what part? Not going back or giving Jason a chance?”
“Both,” she sucked her teeth.
“Umm, somebody is letting out a whole bunch of truth tonight,” she clowned Mia.
“I’ll be right back this champagne is running right through me. Watch my clutch please,” she told Tasha, before leaving for the ladies room.
Mia left the banquet room and entered the dining area. Her mind was racing, thinking about what Tasha had just said. Thinking of how she made the wrong decision. The restaurant was noisy, the sounds of patron’s chatting over dinner, waiters bustling around tables, and the constant open and close of the kitchen door, allowing the loud sounds of meal preparation to seep through and add to the clamor. The noise and her thoughts, had made her feel uneasy. Mia moved throughout the closely set tables, in back into the foyer, where the restrooms where at the front of the restaurant. Before she could make her way into the restroom, she was stopped in her tracks by the sight of Kyle talking to a female she didn’t know, and who wasn’t one of the party guest. She didn’t say anything, refusing to cause a scene and embarrass herself off an assumption. She couldn’t hear what they were saying, but from the looks of it she was no stranger to him. His hand was wrapped around her waist, their bodies pressed against one another. She couldn’t see his face, but the female had a huge smile across hers, as Kyle bent over whispering in her ear. Right before their conversation ended, Kyle bent down and kissed the girl, not on the cheek but in the same way he kisses Mia. Kyle ushered the unknown female out the door, turning around to make his way back into the party. He stopped in this tracks startled by the sight of Mia standing right behind him.
“So who’s that?” she didn’t wait to ask.
Kyle started to talk, but before he could let out a full explanation, he began to smirk, “It ain’t what you think it is.”
Mia closed in on him, “It can’t be too different from what I saw.”
“And what did you see? I was only being a gentleman, holding the door for a young lady.”
“You must think I’m crazy! I saw you kiss her!”
He extended his hand, trying to grasp her, “Can we talk for a second?”
She moved away from him, before he could touch her “I can’t do this Kyle!” she turned from him, quickly making her way back to the party.
A moment later she was back in the banquet hall, scouring the room, looking for Tasha. She spotted her across the way, flirting with some man neither of them knew.
“Where’s my clutch?” Mia interrupted their conversation.
“What’s going on?” Tasha turned around, concerned.
“I’m done. I’m leaving.”
“What? Why?” Tasha raised her eyebrows in confusion.
“Ask Kyle!” she grabbed her clutch and hurried from out the room, brushing past Kyle as she left.
“Mia!” he called out to her, she didn’t turn around.
She increased her pace, nearly running out of the restaurant. Tears began to flow from her eyes. She was upset. Upset with the fact Kyle hadn’t changed, but more accept with herself. She had cut things off with Jason, someone she had fallen in love with, only to return to someone who couldn’t love her like she deserved. When she weighed the pros and cons of getting back with Kyle a few months ago, she felt she was making the right decision. She thought being with Kyle was the safest thing; she didn’t have to wait for him to make something of himself. He had already done so. And with her graduating not too long after him, it made sense to pick him over giving Jason a true chance. If she would have chose Jason, she would have to wait for him to get through school, and she couldn’t see herself doing so. So she made the best decision she thought, the most logical one. Tonight proved even more that she hadn’t made the best decision at all.
She made her way to her car, sticking the key in the ignition, starting the car, and pulling off, she began to cry even harder. Frustrated she sped off, tears clouding her vision. Before she could make it fully out of the parking lot he car came to a halt. She had hit something. She jumped from the impact, stomping on her breaks she stopped her car. She threw the car in park, opening the door, she slowly got out to see what had just happened. Scared to see the damage she had just caused to her car and whatever animal she had hit, she slowly walked to check it out. She screamed in horror, as she looked down. She hadn’t hit an animal, but a man. She didn’t know who the male was that she hit, but she knew he worked for the restaurant, the yellow vest with the word “Valet” written in black letters on the back, let her know so. She dropped to her knees, covering her mouth in shock of what had just happened. The guy was laying on his side, she couldn’t see his face. In spite the impact he was moving, barely. She crawled closer to him, but not to close, he was painfully calling out for help.
“Help, somebody help!” she screamed. Another valet rushed over, abandoning the patron he was helping.
“What happened?” the guy asked, as he rushed to the accident.
“I don’t know!” she yelled, shaking.
“Help!” the man who was hit faintly called out.
“Dial 911!” the valet told her.
She rushed to her car, and pulled out her phone, dialing 911 she nervously talked to the operator, as the valet helped the hurting guy.
The accident had now drew a crowd, Tasha and Kyle both rushed over to the scene.
“What happened?” Tasha asked.
Mia answered, still shaken, “I don’t know, I don’t know. I was driving and then…”
“Just calm down. Breathe,” Kyle tried calming her.
Another valet rushed over, dropping to his knees to help. Mia stood in shock, holding her mouth, as they worked on giving the injured guy CPR. They watched as the men continuously pushed on the injured valet’s chest. Up and down, blowing huge breathes of air into his mouth. After a few minutes they stopped. She walked closer to them, “Is he okay?”
“He’s gone. Jason is gone!” the valet looked up at her, shaking his head.
Hearing the name, she ran to the body, fearful that it may be her Jason. Dropping to her knees she saw his face. Her fear was confirmed, it was Jason, her Jason. The man she had just realized she let go to soon, was now gone before she could even make things right with him. And it was all her fault. She screamed out in pain. (Queue Song: Heart Crush)
©Tomiya Thomas, 2016
*Disclaimer- I do not have any rights to the music.
If you would like to hear the song please check out his music on his Official Sound Cloud Page: https://soundcloud.com/bjthechicagokid
Or purchase the song:
Here is a YouTube link of him performing: https://youtu.be/cLVxQ2-pOMA