FICTION

Jeffrey Bolden

Playa Cards Right

Her light yellow fingers ran through his head as the hair relaxer straightened out his once kinky, curly hair. As she massaged his scalp, he thought about the beautiful woman who toyed with his emotions the same way she toyed with his hair. He met this vixen last year while they attended the same school and he instantly fell in love with her. It wasn't her looks that attracted the young, skinny dark youth to her, but it was her realness, her reaction to the outside stimuli that was most beautiful to him. While she laid his hair down closer to his scalp, he thought about the multiple times he had approached her and the multiple times she had told him that she was already taken, yet still they became the best of friends, with the young man often referring to her as his "sister". Only he knew how important she was to him. He thought about the times they would sneak off to hidden places where they would smoke a cigar or a blunt. He remembered the long, late night conversations they would have under the spring night time stars and his eyes glowed just as the stars did when he looked at her.

When she was finished rinsing out the relaxer out of the young man's hair, he took his head from under the sink and stared in the mirror, looking at his new hair and his naked, nimble torso. His wide smile was attractive as he thought about how his new look was "revolutionary" and "futuristic". He thought about all the women who would flock to his originality and all of the future haters who would not appreciate the young man's "swag". The young woman looked in the mirror beside the young man as he towered four inches above her and she asked, "Do you like it Baby?" His youthful glow to which his name was attributed became apparent and his happiness became obvious. "Ell yeah, I love this shit Sissy! They gonna start calling me Baby Boop ya'heard me." She smiled at the young man adoring himself in the mirror. She left Baby in the bathroom by himself while she went to answer her cell phone that rested, charging right next to Baby's labtop. He stared at his hair for a few minutes then his attention shifted to Sissy's voice in the other room. He became curious to why one of his most reserved friends was yelling and crying in the phone. He shook his head. He knew he she was talking to instantly. Baby hated Sissy's boyfriend.

Baby always knew that Sissy could do so much better, but he never had the guts to tell her that the person right for her was standing in her bathroom. He heard her slam the phone down on the dresser. He walked into the room where she sat on the edge of her bed crying in her hands. His heart scrunched inside of his chest and his eyes squinted. His heart felt confused with emotions ranging from compassion for one of his closest friends to hatred that he felt for the man who caused her pain. He grabbed his shirt and his LMU hoodie off of the chair and began to place the articles of clothing that he hoped would protect him from the erratic weather that was Harrogate, TN. His large, brown eyes set themselves on her beautiful, athletic frame sobbing, and a fire grew inside of his pupils, outlining his anger. He hated to see her cry. He was stuck inside of himself. He didn't want to cross the line from comforting friend to comforting lover. He knew that most men would use the situation he was in to take advantage of Sissy, but he wanted to prove he was different. Even though he loved her, all he could do was place a hand on her shoulder and ask her, "Is everything okay, baby?" His Cajun accent was comforting, his voice was soothing, as she looked up at him with tears in her eyes and all she could say was, "I'm sorry Baby. I didn't want you to see me like this." He blinked and quickly retorted, "Naw Sissy don't worry bout that baby, you like family to me. All the times you've been there for me, I would never turn my back on you. I love you Sissy." It was as if though the last four words he saidopened the flood gates of emotions. She cried on his shoulder while he sat close to her. She clutched his hoodie, loving the mixture of cigar and weed smoke and love that was intertwined in the fibers of his blue hoodie. She found comfort in Baby in a way she had never thought she would. She wiped her eyes with her wrists and stood up. She walked close to the door of her room, and Baby got up behind her. He had thought he had crossed the line then. He put his arm around her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. She looked up into his pretty eyes and asked, "Do you mean what you said Baby?" He looked down and softly spoke the truest of emotions, "Sissy, I think you are the most beautiful soul I have ever encountered in my life. Any nigga would be happy to have you. You are the epitome of perfection. When I look at you I don't see the girl with a body and cute face, I see the smile in yo' eyes whenever you laugh, it's the realness about you that makes you special to me. You deserve somebody who will love you for you and forever. You don't deserve better, you deserve the best. You beautiful inside and out, and whenever you feel like you are just a pebble on earth, to me, you will always be a mountain of inspiration, and you are truly irreplaceable Sissy. That's how I feel about you."

looked into his dreamy eyes with a new found appreciation for the man who held her. She had a new found respect for Baby, a new found love for him. She leaned up towards his dark face and placed her small hands on his jaw line. This is the first time she has ever felt so attracted to Baby. This was the first time she had ever thought of Baby as anything more than a friend. He leaned down toward her to meet her lips halfway. This was the moment he's been waiting for his whole life. Their lust was apparent when their lips touched. He knew what this would lead to and he was not afraid. Neither was she. They both knew this was right. She loved the way her lips felt against his. The dangerousness of it, the forbiddeness of it. They both knew that Sissy still had a boyfriend, but neither one of them cared. This was their moment and Baby knew exactly where that kiss would lead them to. Without looking he closed the door while still lip locked with Sissy. Their moment was to be a private affair. When they were through Baby opened the door and the smell of love sifted through the air. All that could be seen was Sissy's covered naked body and a huge, satisfied smile on her face. She would sleep peacefully that night, while Baby left the apartment building with a smile on his face. He walked outside with many thoughts swirling inside of his head while he smoked a cigar. He remembered his older brother's advice verbatim as the words, "You just gotta be patient Baby. Never rush into anything when it comes to a woman. You gotta finesse, cause if you finesse it you'll wake up to breakfast in bed, but if you man handle it....." Baby shook his head and thought to himself, "Well I don't have to worry about breakfast in bed, but seeing the smile on Sissy's face is better than any serving of bacon and bisquits." He shook his head and wondered what events would await him the next day. –e-