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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

LOVING YOU - Chapter 5 - LONELY by Van Dirk Fisher

Justin couldn’t believe it, but he was finally in. In Mariah’s office that is, he thought to himself with a chuckle. Her office was immaculate and there was a sweet smell of jasmine in the air. Just like the fragrance she loved to wear. So this is where she worked. He smiled to himself. He was proud of her. She finally got that promotion she was waiting for. Justin remembered the frustrating nights when they would stay up all hours of the night, talking on the phone as she expressed her concern that her company didn’t appreciate her. Well, obviously things have changed and they finally gave her the recognition she so deserved.

He was hoping to give her the bouquet of flowers that he was holding in his hands, but she was nowhere in sight. He found that to be strange, because the receptionist told him he could go right in, so he did. Who was he to question her? The roses were beautiful. They were Mariah’s favorite colors, peach and white, so he had to buy them. He was hoping to see her at the photo shoot yesterday, but she wasn’t there, and if she was there she didn’t make herself known to him. He couldn’t blame her though. He would have probably been distracted if she was around and noticeably excited. She was more beautiful every time he saw her. Mariah radiated innocence, a softness, but underneath that soft shell there was a tigress of strength and you could sense that when she got down to business she knew how to get the job done.

Justin found himself sitting in her chair behind her desk. He could feel the warmth of the seat as if she was recently there. On her desk was the CD by Darnerien McCants, the American wide receiver who played for the NFL and currently plays for the Hamilton Tigers-Cats of the Canadian Football League. My man could blow. Darnerien used to play for the Washington Redskins, but they didn’t know what to do with him. And then he played for the Philadelphia Eagles, but they didn’t do right by him either. My boy should go Hollywood. They would eat him up out there, but that day will come, hopefully sooner than later. Justin looked inside the case and the CD was missing. He looked around for the remote control and he found it and he pressed play and the slow jam LONELY began to play. Justin felt his heart skip a beat and his breath began to quicken. Mariah remembered or was he just bugging? Nah, nah, he knew what was up. She was thinking about him too. LONELY was their song. That’s the song they danced to when they first met. Justin closed his eyes while he leaned back in the chair and lost himself in the moment.

Just then the door opened and in stepped Mariah. She heard the music playing and saw the roses on her desk and the back of her chair was facing her. She smiled and locked the door behind her. “Baby, you know you’re not supposed to be here. Besides I told you I had work to do and couldn’t get away, . . . but I’m glad you’re here,” Mariah kicked off her shoes and started to unbutton her blouse. “My appointments have been cancelled for the rest of the afternoon. So you have me all to yourself.” With that being said Mariah walked over to the chair, turned it around and bent down to give him a kiss, but was startled when she realized it was Justin. “Justin?!!! What are you doing here?!” she exclaimed. “Obviously, about to have the time of my life,” Justin laughed with glee as he saw her white satin bra, which was probably made by Victoria’s Secret. Mmmm, she smelled baby fresh. Dayum she was gorgeous. Justin was jealous as her bra teased and caressed her skin, replacing him like no man could. His tongue became wet with anticipation as he longed to cup her breasts and give them all the attention they deserved. “I told you I couldn’t see you Justin. So what are you doing here?” Mariah said as she backed away and buttoned her blouse. “I’m trying to prevent you from making the mistake of your life,” Justin said as he got up and walked toward her and grabbed her by her hands. “How did you get here?! What do you want?” Mariah demanded. “I told them I had something to give you so they let me in,” Justin explained. “Don’t look so surprised. I’m not going to hurt you. I just wanted to thank you for booking me for the cover of Men’s Health Magazine,” Justin said as he pulled her closer to him. He could feel her body relax a little, but on her face was fear as if she was going to cry. “Please, please, don’t!” Mariah pleaded. Her lips were moist and Justin longed to kiss her, but he couldn’t. He wouldn’t, if she didn’t want him too. “I won’t do anything you don’t want me to do. I’m sorry Mariah. I just wanted to give you these flowers. I had to thank you in person,” he said as he let her go. He turned to the desk and picked up the roses and handed them to her. “Thank you, but you didn’t have to,” she said as she took them from him. “They’re beautiful.” There was an awkward pause between them and then Justin said, “I remembered how much you liked them.” “That was sweet,” she said as she moved to put them on a side table.

“Mariah, I’m not going to lie to you. I still love you. I never stopped loving you.” “Please!” Mariah pleaded again. But Justin continued, “No please! I came this far. Let me have my say. . . . When we were together, I fucked up. Yeah, I’ll admit it. I should have told you everything about me when we first met, but I didn’t expect you be around the way you were. You were different. You weren’t like the other girls. I messed up.” “Shhhh, please, don’t say it,” Mariah pleaded. “I have to. I haven’t stopped thinking about you. Every girl I tried to get with after you never worked out, because she wasn’t you,” Justin said as he looked at her and then looked at the door, remembering that it was still locked.

“Please Justin, you must go. I’m getting married in two weeks. We can’t do this,” Mariah said softly as LONELY continued to play in the background. Justin sat on the corner of her desk just looking at her with his hands resting on his thighs, “So you gonna tell me that you don’t miss me too?” Justin started to get a little indignant, “I see you been listening to our song. How you going to marry this dude when you know you still love me?” With that being said, Mariah turned her back so Justin couldn’t see the tears that were about to well up in her eyes and she walked toward the door and said, “Please Justin. If you love me, you’ll leave me. I love Michael and I don’t want to hurt him.” She didn’t want to look him in the eyes, but she managed the courage to do so and Justin rose from the desk and walked over to her and said, “If that’s what you want I’ll do it, but before I leave do me a favor.” “What is it?” Mariah said, holding on to all the strength she had in her to not give in to Justin’s pull at her heart. Just then there was a knock at the door. Mariah felt her heart sink as she moved to open it.

To Mariah’s surprise and comfort it was Susie, her secretary. “Mariah I’m back from lunch, would you like me to do anything?” Susie said with a smile on her face as she gave Justin the look over. Her smile was so broad that Mariah could only wonder what Susie was thinking, but Justin knew. He knew she was undressing him with her eyes. “No I’m fine Susie,” Mariah said, trying to break up this little love fest that was going on. “Are you going out to lunch?” Susie said. “Yes she is and it’s my treat,” said Justin. “That’s the least you can do for an old friend Mariah. Let me take you out to lunch to celebrate your impending nuptials,” Justin said with a devilish smile. “I can’t. I have work to do, . . . appointments scheduled for the rest of the day. I can’t take a lunch break,” Mariah said nervously. “Sure you can! Maybe you didn’t get the message I left for you earlier. Your calendar has been cleared for the rest of the day. So you’re free. You can relax. Eat. Go shopping. I can hold down the fort. I’ll call you if anything comes up,” Susie said coyly. “Are you sure?” Mariah said flustered and feeling a little trapped. “You heard her. Let’s go,” Justin said. “I won’t take no for an answer. Besides this will be my last chance to see you,” Justin said to Mariah hoping she would get the message that this was the favor he wanted.” “Okay, okay. Lunch, and then I have to go,” Mariah said finally giving in to him. “Well you two run along,” Susie said. “Oh, I better put these flowers in some water before they die,” Susie said as she walked over to the table to get them. “Enjoy!” Susie said as Justin and Mariah walked toward the elevator.

Once they got to the lobby Mariah felt her body relax. Lunch can’t be that bad she thought to herself. After all there will be plenty of people there. Justin wouldn’t dare to try something in the restaurant. He promised he would be on his best behavior. He said he wanted to say goodbye and he would respect her wishes. She was happy as they stepped outside the building and she realized that she could finally breathe a sigh of relief once this lunch was over. In two weeks she will be marrying Michael Cavaughan. He deserved the best and Mariah was determined to be the best wife for him. After all it was Michael whom she loved the most. Michael would never lie to her. He had always been honest with her and she with him. After all, she told Michael about Justin. Well, she told Michael about her being in love with this guy and how he lied to her and cheated on her and got some girl pregnant. Yeah she told Michael and he comforted her and told her he was single and that any man who would cheat on her didn’t deserve to be with her. Yeah she and Michael talked about a lot of things when they first met. They said there would be no secrets between them. And there weren’t. She just didn’t tell Michael her lover’s name. It wasn’t important anyway, not now, because after today, she would never see Justin again.

Justin was preoccupied with Mariah as they stepped outside so he didn’t notice the gray BMW parked across the street. He should have been paying attention, but he wasn’t. All he could think about was Mariah. She loved him, and he knew it. She just didn’t want to admit it, but he knew it. The CD by Darnerien was one clue. The fact that she didn’t keep any photos of Michael on her desk was another. Oh yeah, Justin was full of himself. He thought he had Mariah pegged, but what he didn’t know was that she kept Michael’s picture closer than her desk. In fact, she wore his picture in a locket that she wore around her neck. Michael was the closest to her heart. Closest to the warmest part of her body that left her moist at night when she lay in bed alone thinking about him long after he had gone. Yes, Mariah was fortunate. She was loved by two men. Too bad for Justin though, because Shaneequa was loved too. She was Justin’s baby’s mama, and as far as she was concerned Justin was all the man she needed and she was all the woman he needed. He just needed to be reminded of that shit every now and again. She knew Justin was PHINE and he got distracted every time some hoochie would throw some pussy his way. He was a man. What did she expect? Good thing she was a forgiving woman. Her mama raised her right. She taught her that a good woman has to learn how to fight for what’s hers in order to keep her man. And that’s what Shaneequa was, a good woman. Good thing she had her long lens camera that her papa gave her for Christmas, cause it was gonna come in handy. Daddy always knew what to buy her before she did and now it was time to put it to good use.

As Mariah and Justin entered the restaurant, Shaneequa was there, snapping away. As they toasted glasses and laughed at each other, Shaneequa was there, snap snapping away. As Justin kissed Mariah on the cheek, Shaneequa nearly broke her neck to get that shot, but she snapped that one too, just in time. Shaneequa smiled to herself. Satisfied. She even kissed her camera she was so pleased with herself. Luckily, Mariah and Justin chose a table near the window so Shaneequa could get all the good shots she needed. God was good. Lord have mercy, Shaneequa thought to herself, and Justin would see that she was doing this for his good too. Yes he would. She knew he would!

To listen to LONELY sung by Darnerien click here.

To buy the CD with all the songs mentioned in the novel LOVING YOU click here.

To read chapters 1 thru 5 click here.