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The Invasion

by San D Curry 2 years ago in fact or fiction · updated 6 months ago
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Love between friends

The Invasion
Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

Yes…I walked my 6-foot-tall, fine self, right up in the Hard Rock Cafe; unannounced, hoping “she” would be there…your woman.  She reminds me of a Nubian goddess, with skin that appears to have been gently touched by the sun.

I found myself searching the room for every medium height, thick and curvy bodied, naturally curly haired sister (which fit her description) that I could find.

I wasn’t bothered; we were just friends; you and me.  You were standing on that stage looking fly as ever, singing my favorite MJ song, Butterflies…who knew?

And just like every other time, without even trying, my presence demanded the attention it received.  Every single head in the room turned to look at me. 

My only focus was you.  I was dressed from head to toe in thigh-high boots, and a suede, all black, pant ensemble with tiny drops of leather. 

A maxi, fur coat enveloped me, and a thick black fury head band with pieces of golden dreads that were peeping from beneath. I was looking like the queen that I am. 

Your amazing green eyes caught mine, you couldn’t believe it was me.  A gigantic smile followed. 

She didn’t understand what was going on; neither did I, for that matter.  I knew all about her and who she was to you, but she knew nothing of me. 

I even rehearsed it in my head, “We are just friends”.  You despised me for just “showing up” like this but hey, we here now, and our hearts betrayed us both, by leaving the “friend zone” …man!  How many times did we tell ourselves we weren’t going to “go there”, and meant it?  We were so sincere.

You talked about the distance between us and I agreed that it would never work; the long-distance thing and all.  Yet, here we are , and we cannot keep our eyes off each other. 

I dare not take my coat off and threaten to stay awhile, like; where was I going to go?  I traveled all these miles to surprise my friend, who is on stage undressing me with his eyes; I’m no better by letting him. 

It’s like everyone else in the room had suddenly disappeared.  I can’t even remember what you said to get off that stage so quickly and make your way towards me. 

There you were, in arms reach.  You said, “Hello”.  I could hardly speak.  I managed to say, “Hey”. You smiled again; he is so beautiful.  Yes, I meant beautiful because I saw his heart as well as his face.  That’s what saved us. 

I drew back, as you grabbed for my hand, I could not pull away.  “Come with me”, you whispered in my ear… I just stared, “come on, trust me” …I gave in. 

You lead me to a more secluded area.  My entire body began to shake.  You noticed, as you looked back at me and gave me a look of reassurance.  We made it to a nice and cozy room. 

It was gorgeous; with brilliant walls , covered with color tones of a steel gray. An off white leather sectional, surrounding a matching, midsize ottoman, complimented the metallic greyish floor.

There were four skylight windows, beautifully hovering over a small portion of the room. “You are expecting someone?”, I could not resist.  “Maybe…you know you wrong” “What?”  You stepped up to me; “Come here, give me a kiss.”  “Nooo, we can’t do this!” “The hell we can’t, forget that.”  “I’ve waited 3 ½ years for this moment to finally meet you in person and you walk up in here lookin’ all fine; you knew what you were doing, and you knew how I would react.” “Kiss me.”  And then it happened; we kissed. 

It wasn’t the sloppy, lustful, romantic kind.  Part of me wanted it to be ( Lord knows the flesh is weak); but it was kind, loving and sweet; damn near could have been "The forehead kiss”, and we all know what that means; he was locking it down, marking his territory. 

Goodness he’s fine.  “What about your girl?”  “Damn!”  “What the…I don’t know!”  I tilted my head and just looked at him as if to say, “I know you aren't gone just leave her sitting out there.” 

He started walking towards the door he left wide opened, and then turning around on a dime, “You stay right here!” I tilted my head again, this time, the other way. 

Before he could even leave the room, in she walks.  I automatically froze.  “Vanessa!” “I was just heading your way!”  She smiled as she looked at him in a deep, affectionate type of way. I thought, “airhead.”  What is my problem?!  I thought again, as I smiled, tight-lipped, trying to control the conversation I was having in my head.  “God please don’t let me ever fall that stupid in love and lose my freaking mind!” 

Billy was attempting to introduce us as he mirrored me with the weirdest look on his face.  “Vanessa, this is Seaven, Seaven, Vanessa.”  “Oh! your friend from Georgia?”  I looked at her even harder to keep from looking at Billy, knowing my face would give it all away of how surprised, shocked, and confused I was that he and I never had the conversation of her knowing anything about me.

I mean we talked about everything! That was our pact, the glue to our unshakable friendship.  We were breaking all kinds of rules tonight, but I could not be mad, I did kind of know what I was doing, coming out here like this.  

“Yep!” was all he could get to come from his mouth, in response to her question. I laughed underneath my breath. He sounded ridiculous, and I figured I had better have my fun with him now, because I knew I was in trouble.

 It’s funny how misleading a multiple number conversations could be, giving all types of misconceptions. I am referring to the three year stretch, where Billy and I communicated mostly through social media and by phone, sometimes by video. 

We just knew our roles as friends were intact. Anyone who knew me, could tell by my demeanor that, at that moment, I was having a whole other conversation with myself.  “Sweetheart, can you not comprehend how disconnected your man is from you right now?’ “do you not see, that I am a huge distraction right now?” Oh, the shame, the pity.  

I totally zoned out; to the point of not knowing what he said to get her to agree to meet him later that night.

I just remember thinking, “not much left of the night, it’s already going on 12 midnight; but hey, tea I will sip."  He gave me a look; I had no idea what it meant, so much for perception. “Come on Seaven, let’s grab some coffee."

Neither of us drank any type of alcohol whatsoever. As soon as we sat down, our emotions flew out of control, we were talking on top of each other and talking quite loudly at that.

“Your friend from Georgia?!” “Seaven, I swear to god” … “How could you not tell me you told her about me?!,” his kingly instincts kicked in, “hold up”; was his way of getting the conversation under control. I dug that about him …doggonit, he does that to me every time. It was even more intriguing to experience it in person.

 “Seaven, do not ever, pull some crazy stuff like this, ever again on me, you got me all messed up!"  I tried to suppress the smirk that was forming on my face. “I’m sorry babe, I just wanted to surprise you for the holidays.”

That was believable enough; if it wasn’t for the fact that Billy didn’t celebrate Christmas or any other holiday for that matter. I bit my bottom lip as this thought occurred to me.

He cut his eyes at me as he brushed his hand across his mouth and shook his head. “Well you most certainly did, that’s for sure.” “So, where are you staying?” I replied, “At the Lionsgate hotel” “do you have everything you need?” I tried to make light of the situation as I softened my voice while saying; “not everything” “ damn it Seaven, this isn’t funny” “Okay, okay, geeze, stop being such a jerk about it." 

His cell phone notifies him of a text; he casually takes his phone from the inside of his jacket pocket, while standing in front of me to view it, because; you know, there is no secrets between us. Yeah right, I wasn’t impressed. 

He nonchalantly put his phone away. “How long are you going to be in town?” “Until after the new year” I was short with him, as I grew irritated.

"What the hell is wrong with you?” Now it’s him with a smirk on his face. “Nothing; I’m good” “You sure?” he asked, while still wearing that silly looking smirk on his face.  

People began to form in lines for the hustle, it was my perfect “way to escape” thank you lord. “Uh oh, this is my song!” I jumped up from my seat, acting unbothered, and went to include myself in one of the lines.  

I was doing the hustle, and being “extra” with everything, throwing my head back in the imaginary wind and laughing. I was sneaking glances at Billy, to make sure he was watching me.

When he flashed that gorgeous smile of his my way, I nearly lost my rhythm. I hated myself for it because I am almost certain he was aware. “Oh no; please don’t, please lord no” was my thought as he stood up from his seat, and started to head towards the dance floor.

Billy was the best dancer… ever!  He is an entertainer, dancing is part of what he does for a living. I would have been okay with it, but it was impossible for me to maintain my swagger when it became a dual dance between the two of us. 

If anyone knew me, they knew I could not turn down a challenge. What Billy didn’t know about me, was that I was a pretty good dancer myself. I had a style of my own; it complimented all those fancy moves of his.  

Without even realizing it, we caught the attention of every single person in the place, they all went crazy with hand claps, whistles and yells. I didn’t like that kind of attention; Billy didn’t seem to mind it.

I pulled him by the arm, he could see the desperation in my eyes of wanting to disappear from everyone but him.  He threw his hand up in a wave towards the crowd, as we headed to the exit door. 

The sound of the ocean waves was a pleasant way of waking up the next day. I smiled, and gave out a sigh of relief, as I looked over at the empty space next to me indicating that Billy and I kept our heads, and didn't do anything foolish. That’s when it dawned on me; I had no itinerary for my spontaneous trip.

I felt a little silly about it.  Oh well, Sacramento CA is beautiful enough, if I didn’t do another thing, just enjoying the beauty of it all, would be good enough. 

 I jumped up and headed towards the bathroom to take a shower. I didn’t want to lose the morning hours without a brisk run in the residential cu-de-sac area that was right next to the hotel. 

I downloaded my iPod with my favorite  gospel tunes, popped in my earphones, and took off jogging.  

 I didn’t see many people who looked like me. They were all cordial. 

Some smiled and said hello, others just smiled while passing by.  My mind began to flood with the events of yesterday. I found myself laughing aloud.

Billy and I became friends like two guys who were best buddies over the course of years; I am such a tomboy by nature. I couldn’t for the life of me understand how we wound up here in this predicament.  That frustrated me. 

I remember the first time he saw me while on a live chat.  He kept saying how cute I was.  I blushed. I shouldn’t have, because he continued to say it, over and over again. I didn’t handle a lot of attention well.  I was so use to being invisible among the vast amount of beauty between four older sisters, and chiming in with everyone on how pretty they all were. 

I wasn’t much for all the make-up and fancy dresses; although I did like to dress. I just preferred pant suits and fancy shoes. I loved shoes.  

I was okay with hanging out with our only brother. He was kind of stuck in the middle of it all, being the third oldest sibling.  

Hanging out with my brother Thomas most of my life, is how I realized I didn’t catch feelings as often as most females; surprisingly enough, the guys liked that about me, and I would get most of the attention.  Females hated me for it. 

 Now back to Billy. How in the hell did we end up here?? The early morning jog was supposed to deter my thoughts of Billy. Nothing seemed to help.  

It was more than a notion of how Billy and I met.  I worked with a modeling agency.

One of the designers had been asking for years if I would model his line of clothing for his more prestigious, private venues; I had been at the agency ever since then.  

 Billy ran across my profile, while viewing the lineup for an old-school R&B concert he was going to perform in.  We had mutual business connections, but I was not as well acquainted with mainstream celebrities, as Billy was.

Networking was one of the ways we both kept our occupations lucrative. Billy was looking to increase his fan clientele when he reached out to me. But like everything else when it comes to us … things didn’t quite pan out that way. 

Amanda, my manager at the modeling agency, agreed to give me this paid week of vacation, only if I agreed to do some scouting while I was here in Sacramento. 

Later that afternoon, I put on my favorite cashmere, cream colored pant suit, and geared myself for work mode. 

I found myself looking over at my phone, while sitting out on the deck at the coffee shop, owned by Billy’s parents; hoping to hear from him.

There was no text, no phone call, nothing. I refused to text or call him; after traveling all these miles to see him. I was beginning to get offended. I suspect he called himself teaching me a lesson. Either that, or we both were being too stubborn for our own good.  

I overheard the conversation coming from a table adjacent to me.  I tried to be discreet when I heard Billy’s name while listening in. I wasn’t the only one he was avoiding. Per the conversation; Billy was M.I.A. I struggled to hear the details. I was beginning to look a little awkward, short of falling from my seat to hear, so I decided to focus on my reason for being there; which was scouting for potential models. 

I thought, although this was somewhat of a rhetorical question; was I beginning to catch feelings? I had to check myself, "Absolutely not! I’m not catching anything!”…. Well, the thing that I didn’t want to happen; happened.  Vanessa walked in and sat two tables away from me. It felt as odd as a cat being dragged to an underground aquarium filled with fish. I mean, who does that??  

 I fixed my face to prepare to smile once she would see me and acknowledge my presence. To my surprise, she never once looked my way.

I then forced myself to undo the plastic smile that seemed to be stuck on my face; because if anyone knew me, they knew there was no way in the world I was going to approach her first to say hello… oh, no no no! 

I felt my eyes glaring at the humongous yellow gold diamond on her right finger. There is no way she could have been wearing that thing two nights ago without me seeing it!  Billy told me he didn’t believe in showing affection by way of monumental, man-made, materialistic objects. I am apt to believe, like Maury, that … was a lie. 

I must have gone through every type of emotion possible, as I sat there, trying to take in what just happened. Okay, let’s recap. First, I don’t hear from Billy, at all, then miss dingy Vanessa walks in and sits her love crazed butt, two tables from me; far away enough to claim innocent of not seeing me so she wouldn’t have to speak, but close enough for me to see that 10-carat rock on her finger that is almost blinding to the eye… got it.

I waited for the icing on the cake, which would be for Billy to walk in and join her. I cannot say how happy and relieved I was that it never happened. 

The next few days seemed like I was stuck on a merry-go-round in my mind which refused to stop spinning.  The only distraction I had, was the potential modeling clients I managed to make appointments with.  

The first appointment was with Eddie Conway. I set it up in the conference room at the hotel.  Was it my intent to have a gorgeous man as my first appointment??  There are things in life, you have no control over.  In any case, it back fired.  

I could not focus on our meeting without comparing him to Billy. His smile, although beautiful, didn’t sparkle like Billy’s. His walk didn’t make my heart race the way that Billy’s did. His deep voice didn’t tease me… like Billy’s. Oh, good grief!

Despite of it all, I could bear it.  I set him up with the agency for an interview.  

It was Jhalel, my next appointment, who I was most impressed with.  She didn’t let anything deter her from her dreams of becoming a top model. I was taking a break, and heading towards the restroom when a girl, who looked to be close to 9-years-old, made her way towards me. She seemed almost unaware of her surroundings. 

Jhalel ran up to her to try and grab her, before the little girl latched on to my legs with her arms. I smiled as I kneeled to try to communicate with her. I could see the apologetic look in Jhalel’s eyes when I looked up at her. I continued to communicate with the little girl, who is now obvious to me of having autism. 

 Jhalel began, "her name is Loretta. She’s named after her great grandmother; my grandmother, Loretta is my daughter."  I couldn’t think of the appropriate words to say at that moment, so, I didn’t say anything. I reached out to rub Jhalel’s shoulder.

I believe she could gather how much I admired her for being so strong and courageous, following her dreams, not letting the fact that there was no one to help her with her daughter dissuade her, so she had to bring her here with her.  Something tells me this young lady had a very hard life, yet decided to persevere; in spite of it all.  

I was proud of the fact that I had accomplished everything I had on my “to do” list for the day.  A warm rush went through my body; when I saw, Billy sitting on a bench in the foyer of the hotel.  I despised him for just showing up like that;

hmm, sounds familiar, and on goes the merry-go-round in my head.  My eyes caught his amazing green eyes, and before I could even stop myself, a gigantic smile followed… what the hell? I can’t even remember what I did to make my way towards him so fast.

I didn’t give my mind enough time to catch up with my heart, and I just reacted by grabbing his hands, and whispering, “Come with me.” He just stared. I said, “Come on, trust me” … he gave in.  

I lead him by the hand to my hotel room.  I could feel him trembling; I looked back at him, giving him a look of reassurance.

 I wanted to ask him so many things; especially about that ring on Vanessa’s finger.  I asked if I could make him a cup of coffee instead. He nodded his head yes; I made one for myself also.

We sat in the guest room area.  It seemed like an eternity of silence, as we sat there, sipping our coffee.  His royal instincts kicked in, and he began. “Seaven, you can’t just do things like this. This is real life, you know.

You’re not the only one in it”

I wanted to help him say whatever the hell it was he was trying to say; so, I patronized him. “Yes Billy, go on, I’m listening” He continued, ignoring my sarcasm. “Look, we talked about this, and we both agreed, the long-distance thing will never work.”

I attempted to give him a look of utter bewilderment, as if the thought never even crossed my mind, his gaze, and sudden mouth curvature, forced me to come to grips. “Seaven; you can’t expect me to…. I mean Vanessa and I … look, I never expected you to just pop up, and” … Billy seemed to have gotten on his own little merry-go-round; the way his words were going in circles. 

 I tilted my head from one side to the other, as I began to have my own inward conversations. I know you are not going to just leave me “out here” all by myself. I wanted to escape this dreadful nightmare of a roller coaster, but there was no way out; but in. 

 Still, I needed to hear him say it; that he put that humongous ring on Vanessa’s finger. We could start there.  Wouldn’t you know it, he never did! Is this man secretly narcissistic?  Attempting to gaslight me? 

I rebuked my own thoughts as I began to rationalize things from his perspective.  Billy has always been a solid man.

He has never been misleading; well, not intentionally.  That night, he looked different to me. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something has changed.

“You look so beautiful Seaven” … Wait; what?... Ladies and gentlemen, you have just entered the twilight zone.  Out of pure impulse, I walked right up to him and slapped him in his face, “What in the hell is wrong with you Billy, you need to pull yourself together”.  He held his cheek in disbelief.  

We couldn’t take our eyes off each other. Billy motioned towards the door and started to leave. “No Billy! Don’t you dare leave me!” “For the sake of our friendship, we’ve got to fix this Billy”.  “My goodness Seaven, you really do think this is your own little personal world, where you get to do as you please!”  “You should have never brought your narrow behind here in the first place”. 

Yep, you guessed it, at that moment I caught all kinds of feelings, and I did not like it at all. 

Billy’s words proceeded his exit.  There was nothing left that I could do. I spent my last two days in my hotel room. The more tears I cried, the more pain I felt.  

That night, in my hotel room, was the last time that I ever laid eyes on Billy Johnson; but it’s okay. You see, Billy was just a fairy tale that I made up in my head. 

It was my way of moving past the reality of a heartache I developed for a man that invaded my world; who will remain nameless …  Because, well… the words in this story are; or could be…. True. Only Billy and I will ever know….

fact or fiction

About the author

San D Curry

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