Updated: Oct 16
Ok, I have been editing. What y'all think?
Copyright 2020 by Lacrecia Hillis All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review or scholarly journal www.lacreciahillis.com
The sun beamed down on him like he was being punished. He wiped the sweat from his forehead and gulped down the bottle of water and wiped his mouth. The sun couldn’t stop the feeling of just being able to run. Nothing else made him feel so free. There is nothing like the feeling of the breeze on his skin, except there was no breeze today. The trees looked droopy and bent down, as if they too detested the heat and asking the people for help. The path looked faint because of the heat as if it would disappear any minute. Danny’s thoughts stopped as his eyes became glued to her. Caramel skin, brown short hair, short in size, and thick. Shorts that showed her caramel toned legs and a t-shirt that showed her c cups. Her plump butt spoke to him, he salivated, I got to have her he thought. He jogged in front of her and she took out her headphones and with a quizzical look on her face asked “can I help you?”
High cheekbones and pretty black eyes stared back at him as if they could see his soul, which he hoped not. There was a light sheen of sweat on her forehead, again no wind today.
“Is there a store around here?” he asked
She gave him you stop me for that look but said “Yes, around the corner.”
“Thank you so much” he said showing off white pearly teeth.
“My name is Danny, what’s your name?” he asked.
She smiled back and said “You welcome, Monique,”
Her smile was so sexy he thought. He had to get away from her, she wasn’t safe.
“Well I’ll see you around, Monique.” He gave her that charming smile again and started jogging the trail.
Monique didn’t realize she was staring at him and smiling as if memorized, he was cute. Wonder if he’s married or has a girlfriend? He looked good enough to eat with his shorts that left her wondering what they held under it and a shirt that showed off strong-looking pecks. Thinking about it made her lick her lips. There was a splash of freckles everywhere around those green eyes, red hair you want to run your hands through, a chiseled jaw, and plump lips. She needed to get laid, shaking her head, she put her earphones back in and ran the trail. The numerous texts she got from her ex popped up in her head. He claimed he wanted to see her, but that was never a good idea. They always argued when they were in the same place and she didn’t feel like that. Memories clouded her thoughts. A woman called as soon as he got home – of course, he denied knowing her, but she just didn’t pull the number out the air. One of the many reasons they broke up. He was a liar and she had heard enough lies to last her a lifetime on top of being very untrustworthy and sneaky. Her brows wrinkled with her mounting anger. Her fists clenched. What she ever saw in him alluded her now. Monique unclenched her fists and her face relaxed remembering the beginning, flowers at work, hot meals waiting for her after work. Never an argument about her doing overtime, that she loved. She came home to a clean place every day. Monique loved their place. Surrounded by green grass, designated parking spaces, and trees. They lived on the bottom floor. The apartments were beige with stairs that led to other apartments. Perfect, just perfect so she thought. When you pulled up to it there is a breezeway that was visible under the stairs. Monique strolled through the breezeway to get to her apartment. She was the third apartment on the left. Monique had just done more over time, cause they needed the money. James worked at a marketing firm but they weren’t doing so good hence the overtime. Monique heard voices under the stairs. One sounded like James' voice. With a quirked eyebrow, she slowly walked to the stairs. Like they were pigeons and her footsteps would scare them away, they quickly parted, but not before she caught them in an intimate position. Holding each other about to kiss. She stood in front of the pair with her arms crossed. The woman scurried upstairs, apparently living in the same building as them. Monique looked at James as if she could burn him alive with just her gaze. Ignoring the look he said “Hey baby” with a cheesy smile across his lips. Looking like a cheshire cat caught doing something sneaky. She walked off, James on her heels.
“I was just talking to our neighbor.”
Monique ignored James and gave him side eyes that could burn him to ash, got in her car and drove off. Next couple of days were spent at her friend's house and she didn’t talk to him for two months, then she accepted his dinner invitation. Monique took in his mix matched clothes, untucked shirt, and disheveled hair. Satisfaction ran through her, seeing him like that. Monique thought he learned his lesson and moved back in. Boy, was she wrong. Monique rolled her eyes at her naïve thinking back then. She stopped working so much over time, made sure she was home, and gave him more attention and love.
One day Monique got off early, she smiled knowing James would be surprised. The first thing she saw when she opened the door was clothes we’re thrown about. Jeans on the couch, a skirt on the floor. Clothes littered the path to her room. With each piece of clothing, her anger increased. Monique’s fists clenched again as if being in that moment again. Sounds were heard coming from her bedroom. The thump of her heart was louder. She knew what she would find but her heart was in denial. The room door creaked open. Two sweaty bodies were intertwined, making sounds of pleasure. Fire burned in her veins. She pulled the woman to the floor and punched James in the face, knocking on the floor and left.
Of course, she got a plethora of texts and her phone was bombarded with calls and voicemails. She shook her head of the bad memories and thought about the cute guy she just met, I’m available, hope he is too, she felt better. She cleared her mind and let the jazz take her away. Monique loved this park. It had the most beautiful trees that were full of leaves and had colorful flowers growing on them. A path that was littered with flowers and leaves, but it didn’t subtract from the beauty of the park. There were plenty of trees that shaded its visitors from the scorching sun. Thank God summer was coming to a close. Benches were set all over the park but even with the trees providing shade, it was still hot so the benches were empty.
The path shimmered where the sun got in from the break in the trees. Monique jogged faster, and did two more laps in the park, hoping to run into Danny again but she didn’t.
He must have left, Monique decided to go home.
Where is she? Thought Danny.
Danny went home disappointed and so did Monique. She called Shawna as soon she got home. Shawna has been her best friend since they were young, ever since a girl came up to her on the playground and said:
“She didn’t belong there.”
She was mean to her every day until Shawna confronted her one day when she was being mean to Monique. She asked the girl how she could bully someone when she still wet the bed. They were too big to be wetting the bed, so everyone laughed. The bully huffed and stomped off. Sitting on the bench in the playground, Monique bawled her eyes out from what the bully said to her. Shawna sat by her and handed her a tissue.
“You do belong, ” she said.
Those simple words made her smile and Shawna smiled back, they were inseparable from then on. Monique got home fast, she lived right down the street from the park. It’s been a year now that she lived there, James and her use to live together in Florida but when they broke up she left. They picked out the apartment together but she didn’t need the memories, the hurt was too much. Monique went to take a shower, she was in there a little longer than usual thinking about Danny. Did she mention, she needed to get laid. She got her phone from her bed and dialed Shawna.
“What’s up girl?” Shawna said.
“I met someone today, ” she said with a smile that looked like if it was there too long, it would rip her face. Her eyes shined brightly with jolly.
and freckles everywhere”.
“Yes, and they look delicious”
“I’ll take your word for it”
Monique could see her friend, the question on her face through the phone.
“He is so muscular.”
“He asked me for the nearest store.
“ You know I know here like the back of my hand” said Monique.
“You should, you have been in Charleston for seven years now, even though you left and came back.”
She heard the sadness in her voice.
“I needed my bestie”
Shawna sounded happy again. Monique’s face split into a grin.
“I’m so glad you’re not in Florida anymore and you’re here with me” said Shawna. Exaggeration on sad. “Me too.”
”So did he ask you out?”
“No, but I hope he does”
“James was bad luck”said Shawna
Monique felt her mood deflate like a flat tire.
“I’m so glad you met someone,” Shawna said excitedly
“Me too!, ” she said excitedly again
They talked some more and hung up. The next day Monique went back to the park. She bent down to touch her toes in a stretch, looking through her arms for him. A shadow came over her as she was bending down. When she lifted up, it was gone. The shadow was in the shape of a dog. She chalked it up to seeing things. Monique finished stretching and running. She did a couple of laps. On her way she gave one more glance around her and turned to look forward and walked into something solid. Monique jumped, where did he come from?
“Hey I saw you and wanted to say hi”he said
“Hi, ” Danny said his face rapidly growing red.
“Hi, ” she said heart thudding
”How have you been?”
“Since yesterday?” Monique asked
“Yea. A lot can happen in a day”
“True I guess”
“How about you?”
“My day got better when I saw you, ” he said
He said walking closer to Monique. His gaze made her feel like prey. Not in a slimy way, quite the opposite. Her body felt on fire.
“Really?” she asked her voice barely a whisper and her eyes hooded. He breathed in deeply, nostrils flaring, and moved closer. They were so close now she smelled mint on his breath. He took another inhale and his pupils filled his irises and got brighter. She couldn’t believe what she was seeing. Danny took another deep inhale and she heard low groaning.
“I have to go, ” he said suddenly
Monique watched him walk away quickly, still breathing heavily. She arched an eyebrow and turned and walked home confused, she was sure there was something there. The next day she didn’t see him on her run. Several days passed but she never saw him. He saw his target and ran up to her.
A surprised look crossed Monique’s face.
“Umm, hey” she said hesitantly
“what happened to you?”she asked
“My stomach had this terrible pang and the pain hit me suddenly.
Monique eyes now looked sympathetic.
“Are you okay?”
Monique looked down at her feet. She was playing with her hands. Danny lifted her chin.
“Can I take you out tomorrow?” he asked
Monique gazed into calm green eyes, her eyes lowered to his strong looking pecks, then down to his….
“So how about it?” asked Danny.
“I’m sorry what did you say?” she asked, while catching the drool in danger of falling.
“Would you like to go out tomorrow?”
Monique thought about it blushing. “Yes” she said, smiling.
“Great,” said Danny with a wide grin. His voice sounded deeper and his eyes were glowing.
She must be seeing and hearing things. Monique refocused on what he was saying. “I will pick you up at eight”.
“Ok” said Monique beaming. She gave him her address and number and he jogged off.
Monique couldn’t help watching his butt as he jogged away. Danny looked back over his shoulder and gave her a puddle made from her intimate lady parts smile. She turned her head quickly and her cheeks rapidly became red. Just then her phone dinged. It was a text that read I miss you. She rolled her eyes and put the phone back in her pocket. A feeling of just breathing fresh air in a long time went through her body. A gentle smile graced her lips. What will she wear? I haven’t been out in a while. Monique went out with her girls now and then but that’s different. A smile still in place, she put back on her headphones and continued to jog home smiling, not even James could ruin her mood right now. Monique couldn’t wait to get home to call her best friend Shawna, there was so much to tell her.
“He asked me on a date,” said Monique excitedly
“I was going to ask him.”
”Be straightforward ya know?”
“Yea,” said Shawna invested now
“Then I chickened out”
”But he asked!”
Shawna could hear the smile in her voice.
“I’m going to be honest, I thought he vanished, it’s been a couple of days since you mentioned him.” Said Shawna
“We actually have a date tomorrow, but I don’t know what to wear.”
“Why don’t you wear that cute red dress with the heels.”
“Thanks bestie, good idea.”
“You know I got you. Make sure you try them on tonight.”
“I will.” They talked some more and hung up.
Monique immediately went to her closet and got out the red dress. She tried it on and looked in her mirror sitting on the dresser. She turned left and right, then turned her back to the mirror; satisfied, she changed back into her comfortable clothes. Monique walked to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and pulled out her favorite wine. She poured some in a cup and took it to the living room and sat on her loveseat. She turned on the tv and watched her show, Law and Order.
Now on her third glass of wine, Monique yelled he did it slurring, guilty.
Monique didn’t mean to indulge but thinking about James and Danny, she kept refilling her cup. She made the intro sound to Law & Order. Her head whipped to the window thinking she heard a sound but saw nothing through the window. She shrugged and turned back to the show. Monique lived on the second floor surrounded by trees so she wondered what could be up in the trees. The episode ended and she went to bed, her glass was empty. Monique staggered to her bed and fell in it, she took her pillow to her chest and said take me, Danny. Monique heard a sound coming from her window. She scrunched up her face and narrowed her eyes but saw nothing so she turned her head. Monique looked at the wall, her eyes began to cross then she fell asleep.
The alarm woke her, it was time to head to work for a few hours. Monique is an accountant and there was an account she needed to finish up. She got up and got dressed. She locked up her apartment and left. It’s been six months she has been there and liked it, she liked helping people with their finances