Mine Ch. 03by*Eve*©
Things weren’t going quite as he planned. She should have been his by now, but she was more skittish than he originally anticipated. Not to mention, she was beginning to spend an awful lot of time with some punk, which was really beginning to piss him off. After his months of finding out everything about her, having her comings and goings watched, he felt an intense anger that she would dare spend time with another man. “She’s mine!” He said to himself fiercely.
The thought of his ebony beauty (as he liked to think of her), spending time with another man filled him with such a jealous rage that he felt murderous. He now understood how Othello could wrap his fingers around his beloved Desdemona’s throat in the popular Shakespeare tragedy. The thought of her even looking at another man without his permission was driving him insane.
His original plan had been to handle her with kid gloves, but now he realized that he would have to change things up a bit. No other man or woman for that matter would ever claim her as long as SHE drew breath.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Narissa enjoyed the time she spent with Jake. He would pick her up after class, and then he would take her out to eat, always to the best restaurants. After each meal he would drop her off and kiss her gently on the lips, but never like that first kiss. Being as inexperienced as she was, she wanted more but couldn’t verbalize her desires, and it was frustrating. She wished that she wasn’t so timid around Jake.
Things became more tense with Jake the more time they spent together. Narissa had the uncomfortable feeling that Jake was hiding something from her. Whenever she would ask him a question, he would either ignore it or ask her a question in turn. She had a sinking feeling that he was toying with her, and she hoped to God she was wrong. Perhaps he thought she was easy when she let him kiss her the way he had. The only other time she had let a boy kiss her, Narissa’s grandmother had caught them and called Narissa a stupid hussy. Her grandmother had said that men didn’t respect women who gave in so easily. Despite her misgivings, she still really liked him, so Narissa kept quiet.
Nearly two weeks after Jake started picking her up from school, a new guy started in the mailroom at Narissa’s job. Malik was a part time college student. Everyone in the mailroom, Narissa included, immediately liked him. Malik was a bit of a comedian, and one couldn’t help but laugh at his off beat humor. It became obvious after a while that Malik was interested in Narissa as more than a colleague. Malik was a good-looking guy and he knew it. He was tall and lean with light brown skin, a pencil thin mustache over full sensual lips, and a pair of intelligent sherry brown eyes. His eyes were not as intense or startling as Jakes’ but they were nice.
Malik liked Narissa because she was cute and sweet. She seemed so genuine. It was refreshing to meet a girl who didn’t seem interested in playing games. He wished they didn’t work together because nothing complicated things more than an office romance. He toyed with the idea of asking her out anyway but decided against it. He would just bide his time. They wouldn’t always be co-workers.
They did however, become fast friends. There were no other black people in the mailroom, so they gravitated towards each other. They often joked together and sometimes went to lunch. Narissa really liked Malik but only as a friend. Maybe if Jake wasn’t in the picture, she could easily fall for Malik. It was good to have another male friend besides Jake, although she didn’t know if Jake was just her friend or something more. The whole situation was confusing.
Things soon fell into a pattern. She would have lunch with Malik nearly everyday. After work was school and after school she saw Jake. She couldn’t remember a time when she had been so content in her life. Everything seemed to be going well, when one day those things began to crumble around her.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It started out as a normal day. Malik had decided that they should go to lunch at their favorite Mexican restaurant, the Wicked Burrito. Their love for Mexican food was something Narissa and Malik found in common. The restaurant was a little run down but the food was terrific. As Narissa was taking another bite into her greasy burrito, she wondered what Jake would make of a place like this. He only ever took her to really nice restaurants. Narissa sometime felt that Jake was spoiling her. She would have been quite happy if he ever took her to Wendy’s of McDonalds, but Jake would tell her that she deserved better. Frankly she didn’t care where they went as long as he was with her.
It was as if she conjured him up in her mind, because there he was entering the restaurant with a gorgeous blonde. Narissa’s heart plummeted to her feet. She now had the answer to her question. He was just a friend. “You’re not eating. Is something wrong?” Malik asked noting that Narissa had lost interest in her food.
“Nothing. I guess I just lost my appetite.” She said pushing her half-eaten burrito away from her. What was Jake doing here? This was not his type of establishment.
“Do you mind if I finish that?” Malik looked at her food longingly. For such a thin guy, he sure could eat.
“Sure.” She said unable to tear her eyes away from Jake and the blonde who seemed to cling to him like a cheap suit. At that very moment, Jake looked up, and his eyes met hers. He smiled briefly at her and then turned back to his companion. Tears pricked the back of her eyes.
Malik finally noticed her distress. “Are you okay Rissa?” He put his hand over hers calling her by the nickname he had affectionately given her.
“I-I just need come air. I’m suddenly not feeling well.” She stammered.
“Okay, come on.” He said taking her in his arms and giving her a brief hug before leading her outside. “Now tell me what’s wrong.”
“I guess what I had didn’t agree with me.” She answered evasively.
“You’re an awful liar honey. Now tell me the real reason you’re upset.”
“The guy that walked in the Wicked Burrito, is someone I know. He and I have been seeing each other.”
“That white guy? Really? He seemed to be a bit out of place in a restaurant like this, which is the only reason I noticed him in the first place. You’re dating that guy?” He asked incredulously.
“Why is that so hard to believe?” She nearly shouted. She was annoyed that he would like so little of her.
“Don’t get your panties in a bunch sweetheart. You just don’t seem like the type to get involved with someone like that.”
“Like what?” She asked cautiously.
“Can’t really say, but I’ve seen that guy somewhere. I can’t think where though. He seems kind of dangerous.”
“Dangerous? He’s nice to me. Dangerous is such a strong word.”
“Maybe so, but my gut doesn’t lie. Anyway, you never mentioned that you were seeing anyone before.” He said sulkily.
Narissa looked at her feet. “I didn’t mention it because I didn’t know exactly where I stood with him. Now I know.” She said quietly. The last thing she wanted to do was cry in front of Malik, but to her chagrin she burst into tears.
“Oh honey, it will be okay.” He hugged her firmly to him. As much as he liked her, now wasn’t he time to make his move. She needed a friend right now and he would be that friend.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The day only seemed to get worse as Narissa was distressed for the rest of the day making several mistakes, causing a reprimand from her supervisor. Her thoughts were on Jake and the mystery blonde. Her evening turned into a nightmare when she was asked by her instructor to stay behind when class was let out. Tonight had been a big test and he probably wanted to say something to her about it.
“Miss Lewis. It has come to my attention, that you have been cheating on your tests.” Mr. Ashby began without preamble.
Narissa’s mouth dropped. “How have you come by this information. I am not a cheater.” She defended herself.
“I have my sources, and I have proof. In light of this information, I can’t in good faith pass you for this course so I will ask you to do the right thing and not come back.” He said not quite making eye contact with her.
“What proof do you have? I paid money for this course just like everyone else.” Her face was on fire with embarrassment. This little man could not be serious. She had never cheated in her life. She was not a cheater!
“As far as money goes, you will need to take it up with the finance office. As for the proof, I don’t have to disclose it.”
“Why can’t you disclose it? I didn’t cheat. This is illegal. You can’t do this!” She insisted vehemently.
“I was hoping you wouldn’t make a scene. You’ll get a formal letter in the mail. Now if you don’t vacate the premises I will have to call the authorities.”
“But you can’t do this!” Narissa cried. This was the second time today that she was reduced to tears.
Mr. Ashby had the good grace to look slightly embarrassed but turned his back on the crying female. Numbly, Narissa left the building. Jake didn’t come pick her up even after waiting an hour. Now her nightmare was complete, or so she thought. The worst was still yet to come.
She caught the bus home that night. When she stepped in the door, Taj and Tamara were sitting on the couch. Taj looked a little uncomfortable. Tamara was smirking. “Can we talk to you for a moment.?” Tamara asked in a falsely sweet voice. Narissa immediately knew something was up. What was it now?
That night, Narissa laid in bed, literally sick to her stomach with worry. She was beyond tears. Talk about being kicked when you’re down. Tamara had nastily informed her that she and her Taj would no longer need a roommate and Narissa had to be out by the end of the week, which was two days from now. Could things possible get worse? She had nowhere to go. Brianna would probably let her stay for a little while after a little gloating, but Narissa didn’t want to crawl back to her sister.
She had to formulate a plan. She could maybe move into a cheap hotel temporarily until she could find something else. She’d straighten things out at school. She was not a cheater. She would go to the head of the school with a complaint and everything would be okay. She worked too damn hard to let things stand as they were. The living situation and school, seemed solvable, but what was she going to do about Jake?
Her heart felt as if it were breaking into a million pieces. He was probably doing things to that life sized Barbie that she could only dream about. He was probably touching her in the places where Narissa wanted to be touched, and kissing her…. It hurt too much to even think about it. She had begun to think that he had feelings for her, but apparently, he didn’t.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
At work Narissa was distracted and once again made a lot of mistakes. Not even Malik could cheer her up. He suggested that they go out for lunch but she didn’t feel like company. She decided to go to the park and grab a sandwich on the way.
As she sat on a park bench feeding the rest of her half eaten sandwich to the pigeons, she didn’t hear the footsteps approach. “Narissa.” She looked up to see Jake standing there dressed casually in a pair of khaki pants and a black crew neck top.
“Jake!” She exclaimed in surprise.
“Mind if I join you?”
“Yes. I mean no. Please have a seat.” She moved over to make room for him.
“I’m sorry about yesterday. I meant to pick you from school last night but something came up last minute.” He explained
For a minute she thought that he would mention the encounter at the Wicked Burrito, but he didn’t. “It’s okay. It doesn’t matter because I probably won’t need any more rides from you.” He only raised an eyebrow but didn’t ask why. “I’ve basically been kicked out for cheating, and I didn’t. I’m going to talk to the head of the school and see what I can do but that’s not even my priority if you can believe that. I have to find somewhere else to live by tomorrow”
“I guess I will have to stay at a cheap hotel or something. I wish that I had signed some kind of lease agreement with my roommates but I was so trusting. I thought as long as I paid my rent I would be there for as long as I want-----” She broke off suddenly. “What are you doing here Jake? Don’t you have to work?” She asked realizing for the first time that she didn’t know what he did for a living.
“When you work for yourself, the schedule is flexible.”
“You never told me about your job before.”
“You never asked.”
“I didn’t want to be noisy.”
“You can ask me anything.” He said softly turning those flashing eyes on her and Narissa’s heart did another flip flop.
“What do you do for a living? I imagine that you do well judging by your cars and your choice in restaurants.”
“Do you like my cars?”
“They’re nice. I’ve never ridden in anything so expensive. It makes me feel…”
“A little out of place.”
“Would it better if I drove an economy vehicle?” Narissa looked a little embarrassed that she had confessed this to him. She glanced nervously at her watch. She should have been back to work ten minutes ago. “Would it?” He persisted.
“I don’t know. Look, I have to go. I’m running late and I was already in trouble this morning for being late.” She said getting up. In the back of her mind, she saw Jake and the blonde together and she couldn’t get that image out of her head. It only underlined their differences. She didn’t belong in his world.
As she moved to leave, he grabbed her wrist roughly. She looked down at her wrist in his vice like grip and then into his eyes. Some indiscernible emotion flickered in his eyes. Anger maybe? It was a bit unnerving. “Please let go of my wrist. I have to go.”
He held on to her wrist for a few seconds more, tightening his grip before he let go. “Then by all means go.” He dismissed with a quiet menace in his voice.
A shiver went down her spine. What the hell was that about? She walked away slowly looking over her shoulder. Jake sat on the bench staring at her. That was spooky, and to top it off, he hadn’t answered her question.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
She got back from lunch twenty-five minutes late. Malik looked distressed. “What’s wrong?” She asked him.
“Old man Turner is looking for you. He wants to see you now.”
“Oh, no. I don’t like the sound of this.” She sighed. Mr. Turner their supervisor had been on her case for a while now. From the way her week was going, she was prepared for what she knew was about to happen.
Mr. Turner didn’t mince words. She had ten minutes to get her things and leave her security badge and keys behind. It felt like she was in the Twilight Zone. Was it possible for things to go this wrong in such a short period of time?
“What the hell is going on?” Malik demanded, walking out with her despite Mr. Turner calling him back.
“Malik, I think you should go back to work.”
“Fuck Turner. That was wrong and you know it. Why did you let him do you like that?”
“I saw it coming.”
“What are you talking about? That’s bullshit. You’re the hardest worker in there. I wouldn’t have taken that shit. You should go to HR.”
“What good would that do? I don’t care about this job anyway, I have more pressing things at the moment.” She laughed ironically.
“What could be bigger than this?” He asked in disbelief.
Narissa didn’t want to tell him what was going on but the genuine look of concern on his face, had her spilling her guts.
“Damn girl, did you break a mirror or something?” He asked in disbelief.
“Or something. Well, I have to go home and pack up my stuff.” She shrugged. She was just past caring. Now she was running on auto pilot.
“If I didn’t live with three other guys myself, you would be welcome to stay with me. Hey, my sister has an extra room at her place. I’m sure she would let you stay with her for a while. She’s married with a baby but she wouldn’t mind if I explained the situation. I’m sure she wouldn’t even charge you that much if at all. She and my brother-in-law are really cool.” He offered.
“I couldn’t impose.”
“No imposition. She’s taken in boarders before. Let me give you her number.” He said pulling out a pin and a slip of paper from his pocket. “Give her a call.”
“Thank you. I will check this out.” She said gratefully taking the slip of paper from him.
“I put my number on that piece of paper as well. Don’t be a stranger.” He leaned over and planted a soft kiss on her lips.
Narissa didn’t feel that tingly sensation that she got when Jake kissed her, but Malik’s kiss was pleasant. “Well, let me get back to work before old man Turner jumps down my throat. Stay strong girl.” He walked back into the building leaving her standing on the sidewalk with her box of stuff.
“Narissa.” She turned around to see Jake coming out of the building. This day was getting weirder and weirder. Why was he popping up everywhere all of a sudden?
To be continued....