Warning: This post contains content that may not be appropriate for younger readers. It includes sexual innuendo and adult conversations. Consider the rating PG.
Well… that was… not what I expected, I thought as I drove home. I hoped to spend time with my best friend and explain my decision, but now I wasn’t sure I was going to tell him at all… with Shameka and all in his life. I wondered why I was jealous. It’s not like he was dating someone else… Llamas! I was dating someone else. She was just his sister… but somehow I still felt like I was going to be replaced.
I showered, wanting to wash off the grime of the day. More than one kind of grime. I hoped my evening with Davis would be uneventful. I didn’t know how many more surprises I could handle.
I took extra time on braiding my hair and slipped into a pretty dress. Abe had said drinks on the house for the best-dressed lady. That’s not really why I was dressing up. I wanted to look good for Davis. A free drink is just an added perk!
Davis called right before he was supposed to pick me up, and asked me to meet him there. I was disappointed. Maybe we’re not getting our date! I thought with annoyance. This was getting old. My thoughts were conflicted.
Should I just stay home?
No, you idiot! You already promised to meet him there. You said you were on your way.
But… he isn’t picking me up… maybe because he doesn’t really mean what he said… maybe I’m not his girlfriend. Guys always pick their girls up.
Oh, shut up, Kass! This isn’t the Dark Ages. I can drive there to meet him.
I finally chickened out on the driving solo thing and called Ayesha. She laughed when I said I felt silly about driving to meet him and told me I was worrying for nothing. She was also thrilled to hear he called me his girlfriend. But she also agreed to walk over to my house and drive over with me in case the evening was a disaster.
“Gotta have your wing girl, I guess,” she joked as we got in the car. “Besides, I plan to win the best dressed lady thing and I like jazz.”
“I don’t know about you. I put a good bit of effort into my outfit,” I laughed.
“Yeah, well, we’ll see. Do you know who decides?”
“No clue. Wait… how are you getting home?”
“What do you mean?”
“If… the evening does go well…”
“What? Are you planning to go home with him?”
I flushed a thousand shades of red. “No!” I protested vehemently. “I mean, if the evening goes well, and we are on a date. I’d… well, I guess, I’ll have to bring my car home anyhow.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Ayesha shook her head. “I’ll drive your car home and walk over to my place and you can come get the keys in the morning if Davis wants to drive you home… or elsewhere…” Her eyes twinkled mischievously.
“Thank you, you’re the best!” I exclaimed. “And no, I’m planning to come home tonight. Besides he lives in my grandparent’s pool house.”
“Yeah that’d be awkward,” Ayesha agreed.
“Stop it, I want to have a good time tonight,” I sighed heavily.
“Seriously, Kass, if you want to have a good time tonight stop trying to control things and let things happen as they may. You don’t need me. I’m coming anyway, but you really don’t need me. Not to have fun on a date with Davis,” Ayesha assured me. “You just need to learn to go with the flow…”
“Well, the flow needs a little extra assistance tonight,” I replied. “Thanks for coming.”
We arrived at Jade’s Java Jolt at a quarter past eight. Abe wasn’t kidding about ladies night. The place was packed in the coffee shop. Standing room only. I inquired about Davis and the barista pointed to the ceiling.
We headed out to the upstairs patio. It was a good turnout. There was quite a few ladies from what I could tell, and a few men. I even saw Mr. Andrews heading up to the stage.
Ayesha grabbed my arm, and her jaw dropped open.
“Look,” she pointed.
There was Davis… playing the cello on the stage. His fingers were flying over the instrument rhythmically. He didn’t miss a beat. This is why he couldn’t pick me up, I thought with a smile. He was playing in jazz night. He looked so handsome in his casual brown suit and white button down shirt. I was in awe of the beautiful music coming from the stage. Davis and Mr. Andrews were phenomenal, as was their pianist. They wrapped up their song and the cheers were loud. I clapped enthusiastically. Davis spotted me and his face lit up. He leaned over and whispered something in Mr. Andrews’ ear. They both grinned.
“Hello ladies at Jade’s Java Jolt, how are we doing tonight?” Mr. Andrews asked.
The ladies and few gentleman in the crowd whistled, clapped, and cheered.
“My friends, we’re The Twilight Trio, and over here we have the lovely Jamie on the piano,” Mr. Andrews motioned to the pianist, who bowed appreciatively. “I’m Beau,” he pointed to himself. “The old guy of the group…”
This garnered some laughs from the audience.
“And this handsome fellow over here is… Davis…” he motioned to the man on his right. “But sorry, ladies, I hear he’s spoken for…”
A few disappointed sighs and “aww’s” came through the audience.
“And the next song, he’d like to dedicate to a very special lady in the audience tonight,” Beau said.
My heart caught in my throat. “Wha??” I reached for Ayesha’s arm.
“Yes,” Davis spoke up. “I’d like to dedicate this song to my girl, Kassiopeia.”
“What?” I repeated as the instruments began playing.
Ayesha grinned at me excitedly.
“Someday…” Davis began singing as his fingers moved over his bass cello. “…when I’m awfully low… when the world is cold…”
“Oh Kass,” Ayesha gasped, her eyes shining with emotion. “You know what he’s playing right?”
“...I will feel a glow just thinking of you…and the way you look tonight…”
I stood in wonder and other emotions I couldn’t put into words or clear thoughts. He was singing… for me… to me… Davis was… wow! I couldn’t think. I could just listen and sway with the music.
“…and that laugh that wrinkles your nose touches my foolish heart… lovely… never ever change…”
Somehow, I had willed myself closer to the stage and I lost Ayesha in the crowd. I grasped my necklace as I listened to him warble The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Simatra₁.
“Hmm… mmmm… just the way you look tonight,” Davis sang with his eyes closed as the song ended.
I couldn’t even clap as I was so filled with overwhelming emotions. Davis smiled in my direction and came down from the stage as Mr. Andrews announced they’d be taking a little break. Davis came toward me. Wordlessly, he wrapped his arms around me in a warm welcoming embrace.
“You look gorgeous, Kassiopeia,” he said. “Thank you for coming tonight.”
“That was incredible,” I whispered as I lingered longer in his arms. “I don’t know what to say… Davis… you’re such a sweetheart. I had… no… idea…”
I wiped at the tears at the corners of my eyes.
“I was worried you’d think I was standing you up when I asked you to drive yourself, but I wanted to surprise you,” Davis pulled back and made eye contact.
His beautiful blues made my heart melt even more.
“Thank you,” I said softly. “I am… successfully surprised and amazed.”
“Kassiopeia, you’re a lovely woman, and I’m honored that you said yes to being my girlfriend,” Davis complimented me.
“Oh llamas! I have no regrets,” I laughed nervously.
Davis titled his head to the side.
“What?” I asked.
“Your nose really does wrinkle when you laugh,” he remarked.
“Oh, sheesh!” I laughed again, playfully slugging his arm. “Why don’t you buy this girl a coffee?”
Davis took my arm and ushered me to the counter.
“Rod, get my girlfriend a drink,” Davis asked the barista, and then turned and winked at me. “Anything she wants, ok?”
“Alright,” Rod the barista grinned. “What’ll it be?”
I smiled as I saw Ayesha in the background giving me a thumbs up.
“I’m feeling adventurous tonight,” I replied. “Surprise me.”
“I’ve got just the thing,” Rod replied.
Davis and I moved back closer to the stage and watched Beau and Jamie play another song together. I enjoyed my white chocolate mint mocha with red hots candies. It was a delicious surprise. We listened to a few more songs by another group called Mister Smooth. Davis excused himself to go to the restroom.
Ayesha walked over to join me.
“He is one mighty dish of yummy melt-in-your-mouth delight!” Ayesha exclaimed, watching him walk away. “Mmm Mmm… what I wouldn’t give to be in your shoes, girl? I don’t think I’d have my pants on right now.”
“Oh llamas!” I exclaimed. “Seriously, Ayesha, he’s sweet, but we just started dating.”
“Come on! You’re over the moon. You’d be willing if he was…” Ayesha laughed.
“He is pretty sexy up there with his unbuttoned shirt and singing me a love song,” I giggled, allowing my thoughts to wander, but then I sobered. “Ayesha, tonight’s not the night though. I’m waiting…”
I thought back to what my sister had talked about on the night of our conversation almost a week ago. What had she said? “I don’t want to get that kind of attached before marriage and VJ is totally cool with it,” Andi had said. And I had told her I respected her. I wasn’t ready. I knew that. I didn’t want to even open that chapter of my life yet. I wanted to wait. Did Davis respect me enough to wait? Why am I even thinking about this now? Ugh!
“Well, I’ll be taking the keys, and I’ll leave you two kids to enjoy your romantic evening,” Ayesha said, snagging the keys from my purse.
“Thanks, Ayesha, I owe you,” I smiled appreciatively.
“You’ll have to call me tomorrow and let me know… how… it… goes…” Ayesha said with exaggerated slowness.
“Riiight, good night…” I laughed.
Davis and I enjoyed the rest of our evening. He was such an interesting guy to get to know. I learned about his dream to travel to third-world countries, particularly Af’simica to do his medical residency. He shared how he wanted to work with inner city youth, particularly troubled and homeless teens, and teach them basic skills about hygiene, exercise, nutrition, and stress management. He talked about his family and football games on the lawn at Thankful Day, pizza and wings as a Christmas Eve tradition, and the summer fireworks extravaganza in his home town. He was such a fascinating guy. The more we talked, the more I wanted to know all about him.
Jazz Night was winding to a close, but a lone pianist stayed and played late for tips. Davis requested a few songs and took me for a spin on the dance floor. Davis was a good dancer. He didn’t once step on my toes. I was so nervous that he would notice that my palms were sweating in his hands, but he either politely ignored it or didn’t care. Rod even dimmed the lights for us before heading out for the evening. It was perfect.
He walked me down to his car.
“I had a great time tonight, Davis,” I said sweetly.
“Me too,” he grinned.
“I had no idea you wanted to do all those things. It’s really very admirable,” I complimented.
“Well… just doing my part is all,” Davis shuffled his feet and looked at the ground momentarily. “Don’t sell yourself short,” he looked up. “I think it’s great you want to open your own nonprofit. The world needs more women in leadership,” Davis returned the compliment. “I bet my Granny would give you a few pointers if you wanted.”
“I’d like that,” I said softly.
“And you’re going to learn lots from the business department at Edgewater. I had a professor in Basic Economics 101 that you’re going to love,” he added. “She had some fascinating ideas about women in leadership and business.”
“I’m looking forward to it,” I nodded.
“In fact, I’d request her as your adviser. I can give you her contact information,” Davis continued. “She would be the best person to talk to about starting a nonprofit. She spent ten years in the business world before working for nearly fifteen in the nonprofit sector.”
“Okay, I’d appreciate that,” I bobbed my head enthusiastically.
“I’m really glad you’re going to my alma mater in the fall. I think you’re really going to enjoy Edgewater. Plus you’ll be close to my family. I’ll definitely come for visits…” Davis said eagerly.
“You better,” I replied flirtatiously.
“Oh I will,” he leaned in, smiling coyly.
“There’s a place by the lake that’ll take your breath away…” he trailed off and looked at me adoringly. “…where the sunsets are the color of your hair…” he closed his eyes for a moment. “…so beautiful.”
I stood very still. I didn’t know if he was referring to me or the sunsets. I didn’t care.
“I’d love to take you there…”
“I’d love that…”
“Kassiopeia?” he said gently, as he hesitantly lifted his hand.
His eyes met mine, asking permission inaudibly, as he placed his fingertips ever so softly against my cheek. His fingertips brushed my skin tenderly. I felt like I was on fire. My hand caught his wrist and everything in me wanted to pull him close to myself, to press the contours of his body into mine, and to draw his lips to my own. But I waited. I waited to see what he’d do next.
“Kassiopeia,” he said again, this time a little more confidently.
I loved the way he kept saying my name… my given name, not my nickname.
“Yes?” I dropped my head shyly and closed my eyes expectantly. Is he going to kiss me? Oh I hope my breath is okay. Sheesh! Kass! You have breathmints in your purse. My purse? Oh where is my purse?
“Shoot!” I exclaimed, jerking back. “I forgot my purse inside.”
“It’s okay,” Davis said. “I have a key.”
We began to walk back to the coffee shop. I couldn’t believe I had just ruined a perfect moment. He was going to kiss you, you idiot! I chided myself. No, you don’t know that… But I had hoped that.
Suddenly the earth beneath my feet began to sway, knocking me off balance. I frowned as I felt a wave of dizziness. I half-expected Davis to catch me, but instead of feeling his arms, I felt the ground shaking. I heard him gasp affirming that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this sensation. What’s happening? I thought, my head feeling foggy from the swing of emotions I was feeling.
As I looked up, I saw a evergreen tree splitting in two, its giant branches ferociously spiraling toward the ground. The last thing I remembered was screaming.
Chapter 15 Coming Soon!
- What just happened? Is Kass going to be okay?
- Will Kass ever tell Gage what’s going on?
- Will Kass and Davis kiss?
Author’s Changes: What’s different?
- Minor spelling fixes
- Old folkie changed to old guy
- Added song lyrics
- Drink changed to coffee
- Photo size edited