Short Story for Class

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A Small Bouquet of Roses

He came through the door with small a bouquet of roses, a card and a brown paper bag of breakfast. When I was younger I often heard truth between the lines of every black romance movie that “Black women are destined for black successful men or doomed to be unhappy and single for the rest of their lives or unhappy with children for the rest of their lives.” I did not think much of about romance when I was younger, in fact, love in my mind seemed quite complicated. My parents often spoke of it as a fling for most of my life. Until I reached the age of twenty when I grew closer to the age of drinking alcohol and partying. I was always molded, prepared, and told to go through life without thinking about romance. My father often spoke of it as if it was something grownups could only attain at the age of 30; my mother rarely even talked about it as if it was some mythical feeling of primitive beings no longer needed. Moreover, for most of my life; I had often found myself seeking the company of myself rather than others.

Now that is not to say I did not have a few boyfriends in the past. It’s true I had my once in a while average Joes, a few I believed would make it over the long haul with me. However, they certainly were nothing like “him” in any way.

The sweet smell ketchup filled the air, as he neared closer towards me. Slight shock had filled my toes as I became unable to move. My eyes stared almost glaringly at the three simple roses that stood from the plastic. Their young petals still just budding from their clutches. With each step he took, the brilliant crimson of their skin bleeds ever more brilliantly upon their lips in the dusted morning sunlight.

“Hey, I Ummm… Well, this is for you” Tamir stumbles over his words slightly before the last part spews from his lips and flops onto the dark floorboards before our feet. His tall frame hid beneath his dark and tired hoodie and super new green sweatpants that loosely hangs over his new red Nike sneakers. Placing the small bouquet into my arms. His hands last just seconds upon the bouquet before he slowly, hesitantly them pulls away. As if he were afraid I might drop them from my arms. Feeling the cold flower lips touch my skin, I stare at the little present that now rested on my bosom. The yellow card hanging from the plastic wrap just beneath the red ribbon. Utterly lost of words.

*             *             *

I knew he was running later than usual. Often times after our nightly embraces, he would get up early in the morning and bring me breakfast. Whether that meant cooking it or purchasing it from the local bagel store a few blocks from his house. I would wake up to the smell of bacon and eggs and a cold glass of orange juice just inches from my grasp. He would then leave a trail of gentle kisses over my mahogany skin just between my shoulder-blades. Before whispering my name into my dream. Like always I would wake up whispering:

“Good morning bubble butt” pressing the palm of my hand into his bearded cheek. As I stare into his brown eyes.

“Morning chocolate bunny” before he would kiss my lips. Pulling my tired body into his chest. As he holds me there against his warm mass.

*             *             *

My heart suddenly goes silent within my chest; as I stare at the roses in my arms. This had never happened to me. I have gone on numerous dates, some who paid for dinner, others who let me watch a movie on their game station and the one guy who took me to the zoo. However, never once had any of the guys I have dated ever gave me roses. I mean not that giving me roses was the first thing this “guy” has ever done for me that was romantic or made me feel special. For days when we chilled at his place or if we sat in a restaurant or went grocery shopping. I found myself finding something in his eyes. I found an endless list of words that seemed too fresh for our lovely wounds, a sensation that echoed to the very fibers of my soul. Lov…

‘No’ that’s impossible I would shake my head. I knew what love meant, and it wasn’t as happy those Disney Movies would display. So he couldn’t have fallen for me. He couldn’t find me attractive. For years, I was taught by society what was beautiful and charming. It wasn’t kinky curls, dark brown eyes, acne prone skin, thick messy eyebrows and a girl who actually cared about graduating near the top 30% to 10% of the class. No beauty was straight hair, blue eyes, light hair or thick dark straight hair and small tiny waist and legs that men supposed goes gaga over. And these traits, were nothing like me. So I had always questioned the relationships I was in. Now I cannot say that I would be won over by roses surely. However, for years of going through relationships, where men and boys gander at my breast more than they listen to my words. I have come to discover that Tamir was a bit odd.

*             *             *

“Tell me about your story” was the first conversation me and Tamir ever had.

“My novel?”

“Yeah, I saw on your profile that you are writing a novel. Tell me about it?” Tamir sat just inches from me. His eyes hanging hazily just inches from closing gave me the idea that he was clearly on some kind of drug. His slightly crooked teeth made me feel inferior to him in looks. I couldn’t help judging him the first moment I saw him. He wasn’t the kind of person I would call “The Goods” or the “Right Material.” In fact, if I may boast a bit, most my boyfriends before were quite handsome and trimmed. Causing me to feel inferior to them and feel insecure about my looks. “What kind is it? Horror, Sci-Fi, Non-Fiction?” he named a few genres.

Okay, so he’s a bit more learned than my last ‘encounters’.

“It’s a young adult fiction, with a bit of fantasy. I guess somewhat of an urban fantasy though not so focused on the older tales” I smiled warmly hoping to hide the dirty judging thoughts that filled my skull. I had been working on this novel for six-year and with no avail to writing all of its content on paper.

“Oh cool, young adult. So are there like strange creatures in your world? What are they? What do they do?” question after question he interviewed me. And with each question his eyes light up as he drew closer. Until I found myself staring into his brown eyes. Though his face was quite literally blocking most of my vision; I could feel the piercing stares of every black person walking the park that day.

Tamir is six feet tall, and 7 inches, not only is he tall. He is mixed with polish and African American blood. His warm slightly tanned peach skin glistened in the light that morning as his curly locks majestically waved about his head. Tamir is not only six-seven but also a great hero of weight loss. His trimmed figure still held some semblance of the four hundred rings of fat that once clutched to his body. His chest was not as flat as most guys his age and his stomach though slightly toned had a slight over-indulged bikini line. Moreover, to top it all off, Tamir was known as a goofy man. In comparison to me a mere five foot five, slightly dull looking girl in comparison to her classmates and soft spoken. We were complete opposites. We were quite an oddity it seemed no matter where we went. Moreover, to top it all off, we were of different skin color. I could remember the faces people made as Tamir walked me over to the park. Of the older black men who stared at my back as I walked away. As if I had stepped over some boundary with a clearly marked sign that said “No interracial dating.”

I was afraid of being with Tamir. Afraid that he would think of black girls as sexual objects, unable to think on their own. Or alternatively, as crazed buffoons who scream at the top of their lungs every second.

*             *             *

Feeling the warm water trickle over my body and warm my skin. I gaze at Tamir’s back. At spray of small pimples that showed across his skin like stars. I watched as the water rolled over his skin, as it dipped into beautiful valley just over his spine. And painted his skin in a judliant gleam of life. My fingers itched to touch his skin. Wishing I could press my forehead into his back. When he turned around.

“You want to shower off some?” he smiled some as he stepped aside allowing the water to hit more of me. Quickly hiding my flushed cheeks, I nod my head as I quickly move forward towards the front of the tub. Not thinking of the walls just at my toes and new found slippery surface covered over in soap waiting for me. Just as my foot took a step I slipped and began to fall outside the tub. My brain went on overdrive, as I began to map out the room. I began to think up of a million ways I would get hurt or possibly die in here. Of my head hitting the toilet seat, my legs crashing against the tub surface before I met the porcelain floor. As blood spills from my wound. I thought of how embarrassing it would be for the ambulance workers who would have to pick up and move my fat ass. Imaging how their eyes would trail over my body, finding every fat flabby fold and stretch line. I knew then, Tamir would wake up from his trance. That then and only then would he realize he made a terrible mistake to go out with a fat chick like me.

When suddenly I feel an arm wrap around my stomach and harshly pull up from my fatal fall. Before smacking against a warm chest. Looking up, I see Tamir’s eyes filled with a particular fear as he stares down at me. I found a child like a look within those dark manly eyes. That I believed was long gone from him. His arm twitched and fluttered tightly against me as I felt the veins in his arms throb profusely.

“Your okay?” his voice commandingly and yet questionably stumbled from his lips. Turning around in his arms, I felt his heart beat against my hand. As his chest returned to its normal pace.

He was worried…. For me…..

“Yeah I’m… I’m okay” I muttered in return.

*             *             *

Many times I had tried to date out of my race only to be met with racial stigmas and disappointments of people who believed I would be more open to the idea of anal sex. I could not help myself for how I was raised. I could not help that I was born with mahogany skin but do not inhabit the so-called black women character or personality many men desired of over sexualized African. Moreover, I could not help feeling rather distant to men who believed me to be dumb or naïve.

So when I often found myself being stared down for standing next to Tamir, I often wondered why he choose me. Tamir was never pushy, in fact hanging out was all he wanted from me. We would play video games, watch movies, go to the grocery store even have tickle fights. However, never once did Tamir put a stigma on me for my skin color. Never once have I felt sex was all he wanted or that he was just dating me for my breast. When Tamir stared into my eyes, he saw me. I could talk the way I wanted to, I could ask him things without dumb-ing them down out of fear that he wouldn’t understand me or that he would feel offended. Tamir allowed me to be me. And that was all he asked of me.

*             *             *

“Just be honest with me. That’s all I ask of you” Tamir whispered before he laid me down on the bed. Staring into his eyes, I found a certain seriousness in his eyes, anger, fear, hope, and confusion. I didn’t know what I was asking. Suddenly asking him to be my boyfriend. I had found myself thinking about him none stop, when I was away from him I begged to be near him. When he smiled it filled me with glee, I couldn’t explain. When he felt angry, I felt terribly sorry and angry for him. When he was sad, I wanted to cry for him, to take his burdens away. So when I found these words slipping from my lips. I knew why they were there, I just didn’t know when they would appear.

Nodding my head, I agreed to his terms. I agreed to be myself, to saying my thoughts and feelings. With a gentle kiss, I showed my pledge to his agreement.

*             *             *

Opening the card, I found a small message within saying:

Christy, you mean a lot to me. So much so that I rushed buying this gift for you and misspelled your name!

I am glad we took a chance on each other.

So many more fun times and laughs ahead.

-T.[1]

I knew then that Tami no matter how different he was, no matter how many people stared us down. I would be by his side for as long as I was allowed. True he was slightly overweight, not as educated and mentally handicapped somewhat (not high as I once believed, though not severely). Tamir was just perfect for me. Who would ever think, a small bouquet and simple card will help me to say the words I kept in my heart.

I love you, T.


 

[1] From a blog entry I wrote. I am Imperfect Writer on WordPress.com

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