Angelina Pt. 01byJoyride1980©
It was Friday morning and he walked down the hall of Goddard Advertising, to his father's outer office and smiled at Mrs. Chavez, his father's secretary of twenty-two years. She waved Nick in, telling him that his father was free.
Nick walked and sank down into the chair across from his father's desk. Not looking up Christopher Goddard asked his only son, "Why are you here, don't you have work to do? You better have a good reason for coming in here with that look on your face." They shared the same office building because Nicholas, who was the founder and CEO of Goddard Advertising Inc., was also on the board of directors in charge of the hotel chain that his father owned. This appointment made on Nick's twenty-first birthday as a gift from his father and as a very large bonus for working in the company, where he had been working from the age of eleven.
"I just came to let you know that I'll be taking Angie out tonight so I'll might be home late, if I come home at all." At twenty-five years old, Nicholas Goddard still lived with his father. After all, it was free.
"All I have been hearing about is the plans you have tonight; you were so excited about it. What happened? Why do you look as if you just had the shit kicked out of you?" Chris' relationship with Nick was very open and candid. There was no sugar coating anything, which both of them preferred.
"Angie just broke up with Kevin last night." Chris' left eyebrow rose quizzically, "I know that I should be happy about it but, Dad, you didn't have to hear her last night. I took all the strength not to I had in me not to go to his house and mess him up good.
"But, Angie, who could always read my mind, made me promise not to hurt him physically or otherwise." Angelina Durham was Nicholas' best friend from private school; she was the only one that made him feel comfortable when he first moved to Barbados from Trinidad.
"And as usual, you complied. Nick, you have to stop doing this to yourself and let her know how you feel. The sooner you realize that the happier both of you would be." Nick had been fifteen when he met her and fell instantly in love and had made the mistake of trying the friend route in order to win her favour. All she saw him as was her best friend, a position that he would not give up, even if it meant his life.
His father has been trying for years to get Nick to confess his love for Angelina before it was too late. It always ignored, he loved her too much to risk losing her and he was paying for it dearly.
"I know that you're right but now are not the best time to off-load something like this on her."
"Nick, you have to stop thinking like that because by the time you feel that it is the right time, it would be too late."
She had pulled her long curly hair into a simple ponytail at the nape of her neck. Its simplicity of this style accentuated the numerous shades of blonde in her hair, which ran from platinum blonde to the darkest blonde. Angie was a person who never wore a lot of makeup; the most that she would wear would be mascara and lip-gloss or lipstick. Tonight she was wearing clear mascara that had some glitter and lip-gloss that made her full lips look rosy and quite kissable. Of course, she did not know this.
She was wearing an emerald green halter-neck dress with a hem that fell mid-thigh, Angie's baby sister, Nikki, called it her "all-cleavage" dress because of the plunging neckline. The colour of the dress matched the green of her eyes, which she inherited from her mother, Catherine.
Angie always wore this dress to make her feel better and it never failed to cheer her up because she always felt confident when she wore it. Tonight, she needed to be cheered up because the night before she broke up with her boyfriend of six months, Kevin Johnson.
Angie met Kevin one night at one of the nightclubs in The Gap. St. Lawrence Gap, better known as The Gap, is famous throughout the island for its nightlife. It is a 1.3km stretch of road located in the parish of Christ Church, which is the home to nightclubs, restaurants, hotels and bars. One could always find fun in The Gap.
Kevin had walked up to Angie and told her that she was the most beautiful woman in the club and please honour him with a dance. Angie smiled and said, "That's nice. How many women actually fell for that line?"
"I don't know. You are the first that I ever tried it on."
"So should I be flattered, probably yes, but should I actually dance with you, I'm not sure."
"I am actually here because of a bet that my friends and I have going. My friends are under the impression that I can't get any woman to dance with me. The woman has to be a complete stranger that they picked out for me."
"I take it back." She replied, "I am not flattered. You want me to dance with you so you can win a bet. How much is riding on my answer?"
"One hundred dollars each and there are five of them."
"You must have been very confident in your charm and ability. There is something that you should know; I don't dance with complete strangers."
The smile that Kevin has maintained throughout the conversation began to falter. "But if I were to get half of the winnings, I will dance with you. By the way, my name is Angelina Durham."
"I'm Kevin Johnson." What Angie did not know was that Kevin knew exactly who she was and that was not a chance meeting. It had been all orchestrated.
Anyone would ask the simple question how could she be so naïve? To actually think that he wouldn't know who she was but it was very easy to understand. Although, she was probably the richest woman in Barbados, it was not advertised wealth. She had never considered herself growing up any different, other than the fact that her grandfather was rather rich and was leaving it to her.
Parents never treated her with deference because she was worth more than them put together; she was an ordinary child who did chores just like any other.
She was now looking at herself in the mirror, asking herself how she could be so blind. Why didn't she see through his bullshit? He was always saying that he was short on money because the majority of it in numerous investments. If she had not tried to help as a surprise, she might not have known that he was lying to her.
Kevin was living off the trust fund that his parents have set up in their will before they died in a crash. He received a cheque every month from his lawyer and normal people would have been able to live off the allowance. Kevin had very expensive taste and for him, his allowance just could not stretch that far.
How could she be so stupid? How could she overlook the most obvious signs? Hadn't Jeremiah taught her better than that? Because you liked the bastard, that's why and the sex wasn't that bad. But I wonder how sex with…don't even go there, young lady. Leave well enough alone.
Just then, the phone rang. "Hello?" It was Nick, her little Nicky, who had been her best friend since she was seventeen. Two years her junior, no one would ever guess it by the way he acted. He acts more like her big brother.
"Hi, babes, I'm in the car and I'll be there real soon. Are you wearing my favourite dress?" This made Angie smile as intended.
"Yes, I am. But before you get any ideas, this dress belongs to me. But because I love you, you can borrow it whenever you want."
"See you in fifteen." He laughed.
"See you soon." Click.
It only took ten minutes for him to get there and she heard him as he turned into her driveway. He had brought her a surprise; this brought a smile to her face.
It was a Toyota Supra in classic black with a glossy finish and he had it lowered to at least three inches from the road surface. With eighteen-inch rims and low profile tires, one knew that when the government decided to dig up the road, Mr. Man wasn't driving this car. This car was obviously was for highways and roads that closely resembled them. The colour scheme of the car was black and blue; he had blue neon lights under the chassis and black and blue bucket seats. His interior detailed in black and blue from the petals, which lit up; to the CD player.
"I must say your car is sexy, very sexy." Angie said as she circled the car. "Can I see under the hood now?"
Angie was probably one of the few females he knew that understood and shared his love for cars. She also knew cars as well, if not better, than most guys know and still was a woman, curves and all. Sometimes he would call and ask her opinion on one of the cars he was customizing but this time he wanted to surprise her and that he did.
"Very sexy. If you put in a little more work, you could be just as sexy as your Supra." She said with a teasing gleam in her green eyes.
"Get in before I am forced to put you over my knee and spank you." Nick opened the door for her.
"Promises, promises. So where are you taking me tonight?" Angie asked as she settled down in the bucket seat.
"Fiesta Latina. Is that okay with you, Angel?" Angel had been his nickname for her since they met; the only other person that called her that was her grandfather, Jeremiah Stone.
"Whatever, I trust your judgment." Angie waved her hand at him.
"Oh, really? What about Deborah, you thought I was thinking with the wrong head." Nick lifted his left eyebrow and glanced at her.
"You were. I trust your judgment just as along as it has nothing to do with your love life."
"You should be the last one to talk about bad judgment concerning one's love life. Don't forget your last debacle with Kevin Johnson."
"Listen, child, I had to deal with the Double Mint twins chorus line of "I told so" and I would rather you not talk about him tonight. If you can't do that, I'll go back inside."
"Just because you don't want to hear that we warned you beforehand that he was no good, we have to keep our mouths shut. Fuck that!"
"Well, I hope you enjoy dancing with yourself but knowing you, all you have to do is flash those pretty baby blues and you'll have all those skanks begging to bear your children."
"Angelina, stay where you are, goddamn it!" Nick shouted; his temper was slipping. This girl really knew how to piss him off.
"I think that I should stay home, seeing that I am going to be cramping your style. Think about it, how you can get laid when you have a girl with you already. They are stupid; I doubt they would believe that we are just best friends." She opened the door and had one foot out the door before Nick shouted, "Get your fucking ass back in this car!!"
Angie glared at him for a second before he softened his approach and asked, "Would you please get back in the car? I promise that I wouldn't talk about Kevin. Please?"
She got back in and buckled up her seat belt without a word. Nick started the engine, reversed the car out the driveway in front of her apartment, and proceeded to drive around the mini roundabout and out through the front gate. He pulled out and headed to towards the South Coast, disregarding the speed limits. He decided not to take the direct route to The Gap but went through the country instead; momentarily, forgetting the height of the car.
He needed to release some anger and he knew no better way than to become one with his car and just drive. He had done it on several occasions, usually when he and Angie got in a fight. He actually forgot that she was in the car, for a few seconds, as he sped through the corners of a very familiar road in St. George. He pushed the car to its limits, maybe on some subconscious level, trying to scare Angelina but she did not scare that easily. Angelina realized that she had underestimated the car, despite how the car looked; it handled the roads of the country with ease. The roads of St. George were not the worst in the country but they weren't the best either, and anyone who had their car as low as Nick had his would have been slowing down every few feet, careful not to damaging any of the OZ rims that the car sported.
Nick showed his skill by dropping two gears, pulling the H, sliding the car into the gap, releasing the H and picking back the two gears from the beginning; this manoeuvre lasted a total of five seconds. The only way he liked to make 90-degrees turns. He didn't slow down until he got right at the border of Christ Church. Nick would look over at Angie every few seconds and it began to get on Angie's nerves. So much so, she had to ask, "Doesn't your neck hurt?"
"If you would just speak to me, I wouldn't have to constantly look at you to see if you are still steaming. I just freaked when you told me what he did, but I did tell you that I didn't like him from the get-go."
"Well, I am sorry yet again for not listening to you but I actually thought that he would be different from the rest. I guess my taste in men is just horrible."
"No, not your taste in men, just the ones you choose to get involved with. This is not your lowest point; you do remember the married man."
"Who I didn't know was married. Thank God, I hadn't slept with him before I found out."
Angelina had a semi-affair with a married man right after she returned from college. It was nothing big and it lasted about two months before she accidentally ran into him, his wife and kids in Sunset Crest, when she and the girls went shopping.
The girls were Angie's female best friends that she had met in college, after her embarrassing, almost wedding to Antonio Mendes. Angie was the latest addition to the circle, seeing that the others had gone to the same private school in New York.
After Kevin, Angelina decided that she was going to take a hiatus from men and dating, she hadn't told Nicholas yet. Something told her that he might not like that idea but it was her life not his. "Nick, I have decided that I am going to call it quits where men are concerned."
"Angelina, becoming a lesbian is not the answer, you just have to learn to pick men how you pick friends and employees." Nick was afraid that she was going to retreat into herself again.
"Please, that is a waste of money. Why would I become a lesbian so I can buy dildos and vibrators when I can just find a man who comes with the right equipment? Besides, I meant for now, not forever." Angelina told him.
"Okay, this is what we are going to do, we are going to go to this club and we will not discuss Kevin Johnson or any of his dastardly deeds." Nick said, knowing that any discussion on the matter would only depress her and she was to be happy tonight.
"Agreed, Angel?" They spent the reminder of the ride in silence.
They constantly got into arguments; the most violent ones were the one that concerned her love life or his but they never lasted too long. There was one argument that lasted for a full week; but some suspected that the reason it dragged on so long was that she had a meeting in Chicago for five days out of that week.
When they rolled into the parking lot of the club, it was like a scene out of the movie, The Fast and the Furious. Everyone gathered around the car and when Angie got out of the car, she pushed towards the edge of the ever-growing crowd. Angie began to get worried because she didn't like what was going on. Instead of forcing her way back in and risk starting a riot, she called Nick on his cell.
"Hello?" He answered on the first ring.
"It's me, Blue Eyes. I am at the edge of the crowd and I'll meet you inside, that way we won't upset any of these lovely people. We best meet by the bar, far left." Nick agreed and the ended their conversation.
It was 1:30 when Angie reminded Nick that later that Saturday, he had that big appointment with the client that came from New York. He reluctantly ushered her outside to the car.
He disarmed the alarm and let Angie in the car before he slid into the driver's side. He gunned the engine and pulled out of the parking lot. He decided to show her exactly what the car was capable of and he just let the car loose on the highway.
Because of the time of morning, there was no traffic to deal with but one thing that annoyed him about Barbadian highways was the roundabouts are so damn close together and by the time, you have gotten to a sufficient speed you have to slow down so you don't total your car.
One guy he knew was running from the police and was going at this astronomical speed came to a roundabout but instead of going around or even over it, he went straight the roundabout and completely wrote-off the car. People who witnessed the accident began to steal parts of the car and the police officers who were chasing him didn't even bother with giving him a ticket.
"You have done good and made me proud. The girls must hear about this." Angie complimented him.
"Thank you, that means a lot coming from you." Nick said sincerely.
"You're welcome. Now go home and call me when you get there." Angie told him as she got out the car.
"You're trying to get rid of me, aren't you?" Nick asked as he put the car in reverse.
"It was something like that. Don't forget to call me now."
"Don't I always call you when I get home?" Nick asked as the car rolled back down the driveway.
"Yeah but you have a brain like a sieve. Just call me, hear you later."
The girls did hear about the car on Saturday when they had their weekly date, although, they lived in the same apartment complex, they hardly saw each other because of their hectic schedules. The only time they see each other outside of their weekly date. It was like as one comes in, and the other goes out; there was hardly an unscheduled time that all five were in the same place at the same time.
Mercedes, who like her name suggests, was a car fanatic and is a bigger freak over cars than most people they knew. She was the only person they knew that could tell you the company that made the car by just hearing the engine. That was the very reason why, when Angie had to replace the manager and CEO of the car dealership, she chose Mercedes Bancroft.
Mercedes asked all the pertinent questions such as "How much power was there under the hood?" and "Does the body kit suit the car?" The one question left for last, known to make or break a car in her eyes, was "Was it automatic or manual?" Luckily, for Nick, it was manual so it passed in Mercedes' books. For any one in their group, that was good as gold because Mercedes was very discriminating.
According to Mercedes, a car is not worth the time discussing unless it is a manual but of course, to every rule there are exceptions to the rule. However, those exceptions make the rule; and the rule was that if a car is an automatic, it automatically fails.
"So did you enjoy yourself last night?" Louise Preston asked as she sipped her Coke.
"Hello! She was with pork, how could she not enjoy herself? Come on." Rosa Santos answered for Angie. Pork was the name they had assigned to the white Bajan men.
"Technically, Nick is sheep." Elise Cooke Adams interjected. Sheep was black and white mixed. Elise was happily married to the son of one of the most powerful men in Barbados at twenty-three. She was the first of the girls to take the plunge and she warned them that she would not be the only one.
"No white Bajan is pure white, this island is too small." Rosa qualified.
"There are some pure white people in Barbados, you know." Ellie piped up again. Ellie was the shortened version of Elise.
"But exceptions make the rule." Louise said.
"Would you people stop being so goddamn technical, you're scaring me. Angelina, are you thinking again?" Rosa asked.
"I am just listening to you all. You are quite interesting."
"That's why you love us." Louise said with a slight nod of the head.
"Yes, I do. When I get married, you all will be in the wedding party." Angie smiled.