Somebody That I Used to Know Ch. 03bymonamante©
Just three more sessions; hold it together, Toni, I told myself. Ashley leaves for San Francisco tomorrow and then it's over with. We saw each other for the last time this morning, and I can honestly say that whatever we had was nice.
I've had Miranda on my mind for three months now. This sort of thing never happens to me, the sort of thing where I sometimes catch myself daydreaming about her, wondering what she's doing, longing for the touch of her lips one more time. Since that dance at the club, I haven't been able to go one day without thinking of her for prolonged periods of time.
I sit and try to figure out why I want her so much and I have come up with two theories: A- either I just need to do her to get her out my mind or B- I'm in uncharted territory and way over my head. I'm hoping for A but I think I know its B. I like her, I actually really like her. It's not just sexual or physical but so much more.
I love the way she talks to me like an equal and how she never backs down from an argument. She always tells me what she thinks- whether or not I like it. She calls me just to say hi and, when we get coffee, she always orders for us not just herself even though we will trade off who pays. When I'm with her at her office she pouts when another student enters. I love the way she looks at me when we talk and the way she texts me good morning even if I haven't sent her a text.
I've fallen in love with her and it didn't even occur to me that it was happening until it was too late. We text each other every night, and even when I am on a night shift, she'll text me throughout just to see how I'm doing. She tells me that she's up doing paperwork but I know it's because she wants to check in with me and make sure I'm doing alright. Sometimes, we will eat our dinner together over the phone, her conversation and laughing filling the empty hours. Only my dad has ever cared that much, and even he doesn't like I feel she does.
Not to mention the fact that I take extra time to get ready when I'm going to see her. I make sure to wear her favorite cologne, which she mentioned she liked when we danced that night at the club. It took every ounce of self-control not to make her mine, then and there. I wanted to take her back to my place and show her how a person who cares about you can make you feel. But I didn't because it wasn't about that; in that moment, it was about being intimate with each other. Having her in my arms that night made me realize what was missing. I realized that I was just going through the motion of life, and that since she came into it I was living again, enjoying every moment. I don't just want sex; I want to make love to her and worship her body. FUCK! I fell in love and didn't even see when she sneaked in and took hold of my heart. I hope she doesn't hurt me because my hurting her isn't going to happen.
I knew I was taking a chance by initiating anything with my professor, but for the last three months I have felt something for her I haven't felt in a long time, if ever. The last time I had felt anything close to this was with Sylvia and even then it was different. I don't even know if I can describe how I feel about Miranda. It's this want to be around her and talk to her, this need to hold her in my arms and just be with her.
It's been a long time since I've asked anyone out. I know the risks of rejection and yet something tells me if I don't try it'll be worse. I care about her the way I care about my friends. I love spending time with her even if it's just coffee. The thought of having someone to call my own- that right there is the best part.
I know that she flirts with me and she feels something; the question becomes the same it has always been: am I worthy of more? Is there a possibility that she will want to be with me and only me? Will she want a relationship with someone younger? Will she want someone who isn't even half as financially stable as her? We belong to different social classes and, as much as I want to say that it doesn't matter, I can see the differences between us.
I have to work to survive; she does it because she likes it. I have to make a lot of sacrifices to be able to have what I have; she doesn't. My dad accepts my way of life; her family doesn't and that can place a strain on any relationship even if all the odds are in its favor.
But none of this matters if she doesn't say YES.
"Toni, what are you still doing here?" I was leaning on the wall next to her classroom door. She walked out and I followed her to the stairs where I took her bag full of blue-books to carry for her. It was as if she was tempting me, wearing my favorite white skirt suit. She had only worn it one other time and I had fallen into her web. Women worry about panty lines and let me tell you there was nothing there so do you really have to wonder what was underneath.
"Do you really have to ask? I just turned in my final and I graduate on Saturday." I knew if I prolonged asking I would chicken out. "Let me take you out on a date, just you and me." She tried not to smile but it was there.
"Walk me to my car?"
"I always do so..."
"Toni, you know I'm a lot older than you. Why do you want to go out with me?" Her sexy confident smile was gone and she sounded defeated. If she only knew how much I had dreamed of being with her over the past few months.
"Do you want a detailed list or will it suffice to say that I think you're beautiful and would be honored to be in your presence." That made her blush.
"You know you're a smooth talker," she replied with a knowing smile. "How can I know I can trust you?"
I stopped walking and she did the same. This story sounded so familiar. She turned to look at me, and I knew that if I wasn't honest and put my feelings out there that I would end up where I had started so many years ago.
"I've never done anything for you not to trust me. It may seem like I'm spitting game but it's the truth. You're beautiful, Miranda, and I love talking to you and spending time with you. When I'm with you I'm happy, happier than I have ever been. I have no experience with relationships or dating, but the one thing you need to know is that I respect commitment. I would never lead anyone on and I don't lie." I handed her the bag. "If you don't trust me then don't say yes. If you think I'm some player then you've already hurt me. I told you once and I've told you twice that I want you, Miranda, not just for sex or for one night. You have my number; let me know if we can be more than friends or if I'm not worth it."
I walked away because I was hurt. I may be confident and smooth but it's just me being honest. I'm not spitting game or trying to get her to bed. To not be trusted right off the bat and be judged based on her past...
"Toni..." I ignored her as she called my name. She could call me on my cell when she knew what she wanted. "TONI."
I knew she wouldn't come after me; technically, I was still a student.
I headed for the student parking lot. When I got to my car, I sat there for a while just resting my head on the steering wheel. Crazy thing is, I have never slept with two women at the same time because I only sleep with them once. I don't lie to women and say I'll call you and then don't. I make it clear from the first instant I'm just looking for fun, no strings. I don't give false hope or flat out lies; I'm always honest and if the girl doesn't like it then we go our separate ways.
From day one things were different with Miranda. I always made sure there was mutual respect and only honesty. When we would spend time together during her office hours, we would spend half the time getting to know one other. I knew she was divorced, selling her place, and had bought a new home. She came from money and her parents didn't like the idea of the divorce or that she had no children and was a successful business woman who worked on her career instead of a family. It isn't that she didn't want a family, she just wanted children to be raised in a home full of love and not lies.
I know she loves to hear me talk about cars, and I know she pays attention because she asks questions. We have so much in common and are so similar but it's our differences that make us work. I mean, we work in the sense that we never get bored of talking to the extent that we always lose track of time because conversation never fails.
The best part is how comfortable I am with her. I remember the first night I met her and how beautiful she was but how she acted like such a bitch. Then when I saw her in class, I mean she looked like she was dressed to kill, elegant and classy. She was gorgeous and beautiful, everything a woman like me would love to come home to. Before she came into the picture I couldn't even think of settling down and being with just one girl. Now? Now, she's all I want.
The more I think about it the more unreasonable I sound. The truth of the matter was that in that moment when she asked me how she could trust me all I could think of was what Sylvia had said so many years ago, how it had turned my whole world around. My thoughts were heavy as I got to work and received her message.
--Toni, I am so sorry if I offended you but that was never my intention. Please give me a chance to explain and maybe we can go on that date. Just you and me, baby, please.--
I wanted to answer but I was at work. Plus I felt like an idiot for acting so dumb earlier. As my shift went on I thought of her and only her. After Friday's shift I had the next two weeks off to help her move after which I would start my new job. Finally my shift ended I went home only to find Sandy at my door.
"What are you doing here?" I asked her suspiciously as she looked really mad.
"Why haven't you answered her text?" She demanded. What the hell was going on?
"How do you even know she's been texting me? My phones been off."
"I know. I've been calling and so has Jada. It's not like you to disappear off the face of the earth."
I opened the door and led her in.
"I was working. What does it matter? We didn't have plans, and I'm sure no one has died or you would have them to call through to me on the radio." Now I was mad. She was my friend but I felt like I was being scolded like a child.
"Don't fuck this up Toni. For the love of your father, don't just give up on her. You are so in lo... into her that you haven't been interested in even going to the club. All you ever do is spend time with her during her office hours and even when you hang out with us you're always texting her. I can tell it's her because of that stupid smile you get."
"How do you even know about her text?" It was her turn to blush and in that instant I knew the answer. "You're fucking Autumn!" Her eyes went wide but she didn't try to deny it as it wasn't a question.
"You're so vulgar; I'm not fucking her. I make love to her." I flung my shirt I had just taken off at her as she smiled. I imagined that her smile was similar to the one I had when I thought of Miranda. "Anyways, this conversation is not about me. Here, this is Autumn's address." She handed me a slip of paper. "Go pick her up."
"No, stupid, Miranda. She's there with Autumn. She called and came by but I left before she got there so I could come see what the hell was wrong with you."
"I can't go." I handed her back the slip of paper. All I wanted was to shower, go to bed, and pretend nothing had happened.
She took the paper and sat on the recliner facing the bed.
"Change, shower, whatever it is you're gonna do, and I'll be waiting for you to explain what's going on with you guys."
I hoped she'd leave, but when I was done with my shower and dressed in sweats and a muscle shirt, she was sitting in my recliner- probably texting Autumn from the smile on her face.
"Do I look that stupid when I text her?" I asked and she laughed, raising her eyebrow.
"Worse. Now tell me what's going on with you guys."
"Nada, nothing, zip."
"T, I was sitting right there at the club when you sat next to her, held her close, whispered sweet nothings in her ear and then made out with her like you were two teenagers in a movie theater- and there's the smile again. And, if I'm not mistaken, you were sleeping with that other girl all this time. I have never seen you like this with anybody. I don't think I've ever seen you this happy."
"Will you go away if I tell you?"
"Yes. After you promise to go see her."
I started with the day I met the most beautiful Bitch in the world- How even after dropping her off I couldn't get her out of my mind. After spending the night with Sylvia and her girlfriend, I still wanted her. I talked about how I felt when I figured out she was my teacher and how I apologized for my attitude. Then our regular office visits and the run in at the club the first two times; the first time I kissed her and how she didn't stop me; the thong I have in the drawer next to my bed that she gave me; the constant flirting and getting to know each other. I talked about everything right up until today after the exam. After over an hour of my countless stories Sandy slapped me upside the head.
"Ouch! What the fuck, San?"
"One, you over reacted and two, why didn't you answer her? I mean, I have never seen you act this way about anyone. Ever. You're in love with her and you know it. What's holding you back?"
I felt the tears and, not being one to cry, I waited hoping to hell they wouldn't fall.
"I'm scared to get hurt. I've never felt so weak around anyone. I can't even look her in the eyes too long because I'm afraid she'll see how I feel."
"That's why you won't really open up to her." She mulled over the thought.
"It's easier to remain unattached than to have your heart broken. I learned that the hard way," I said, my voice hoarse from talking so long and unshed tears.
"NO." Sandy adamantly shook her head as she glared at me. "You took one bad experience and based the rest of your life on it. What are you gonna do? Live the rest of your life based on ONE experience or are you going to actually LIVE your life?" We stared at one another for long moments. "That wasn't a rhetorical question, T."
"I'm going to call her?" I asked hesitantly.
She stood up and smiled, carefully placing the paper with the address on my nightstand and smoothing it out.
"Only you know what you want, babe; the rest of us only want you to be happy." She kissed the top of my head and left.
First instinct, call for a second opinion from Jada. But my mind had already made the choice for me. I sprayed some cologne, pulled on a sweater, threw on a beanie, put on my Jordan's, and grabbed my wallet. First stop flower shop, stop number two dinner from Mario's, stop number three Autumn's house.
I was scared shitless as I knocked on the door with flowers in hand.
Autumn came to the door in her pajamas and I wondered how Sandy got the straight girl to fall for her. Sandy could have had anyone but she wanted Autumn- Miranda's best friend. Go figure.
"She's in my bedroom. Come in and I'll go get her."
"Nice hickey; San can be very possessive." I couldn't help the evil grin as Autumn jerked and turned to look at me, a guilty hand flying to her neck as a blush crept across her face and down her neck. "Do you mind if I go get her, please?"
"Break her heart and I'll find someone to kick your ass," she threatened, the moment almost ruined by her embarrassment.
"If I ever hurt her believe me I'll be kicking my own ass."
"Good. Take as long as you need. I'll be watching TV. Just don't get too naughty, I just changed the sheets."
I walked to where she pointed and my breath caught in my throat. This was the first time I was in a private setting with Miranda where I didn't have to worry about anyone or anything. She was facing away from the door laying down on the bed in a set of black silky pajamas. I walked slowly to the side of the bed. When she saw it was me, she turned to face away from me. Cute. I'll have to be the adult. I set the flowers on the bed, and as I sat on the bed, I picked her up with one hand under her knees and the other under her back and dragged her into my lap.
Turning her face towards me, she laid her head on my chest and inhaled.
"Who do you smell so good for?" She placed her left hand on my chest and kept her head down.
"You." I pulled my hand from underneath her knees to grab her hand on my chest and give her a kiss on each fingertip.
"Who do you look so good for?" She brought her hand to my neck and finally showed me her gorgeous eyes which were rimmed red. Damn, I had made her cry. The realization brought a rush of sadness and guilt but I knew I would make it better. I brought my hand to her cheek to stroke and feel her soft skin.
I leaned in and, for the first time in my life, I was ready for the rest of my life. With a beautiful woman in my arms with her lips on mine, I wanted nothing else but her. Her kiss was soft and hesitant, her lips delicate and inquisitive as though she was searching for something unknown. I wasn't scared, though; I knew what I wanted. I held her close poured all my feelings into this one kiss, trying to show her what I was afraid to tell her. I wanted more but I was afraid to pushing too far. This kiss was it; everything I had waited for was now real, but I wanted more. I pulled away and I heard her whimper. I couldn't help but smile.
I licked my lips.
"I'm sorry for the way I acted. You can trust me." I looked into her eyes and saw the look of a person who wanted what was right in front of them. How had I missed it? It was the same look from all those days in her class. It was probably the same look I had when I thought of her being in my arms and of holding her close. It was the look I probably had when I thought of being able to make her happy and spend my days with her.
"I bought us dinner; it's not exactly a date but it's a start. Will you come over to my place and have dinner with me?" She kissed my lips again and I couldn't help but smile. What had I been missing all these years? Or maybe I hadn't been missing anything but I was simply waiting for the right woman. She pulled away and stood up between my legs facing me as I held her in my arms.
"First, we talk about what happened?" She was looking for my eyes but I didn't want her to see how vulnerable I was around her.
"I think you interrupted San and Autumn. How about we talk at my place, please?" I pulled her closer but she kept her distance.
"I'm supposed to sleep here. Remember the house is packed up and my bed isn't being delivered for another few days. Toni, why won't you look at me?"
I didn't want to offend her so I finally looked up.
"Miranda spend the night with me. We can talk at my place and you can take the bed. I'll sleep on the recliner. Just come home with me please."
"Anything for you," she breathed. I liked the sound of that. I stood up and held her in my arms. I felt like her protector because, for the first time, she wasn't in heels and it seemed like I towered over her. "I took your height for granted. Wait, what do you mean I interrupted Sandy and Autumn?" Oh crap.
"Autumn?" I grabbed the flowers and handed them to her with a flourish trying to distract her from her line of questioning.
"They're beautiful, Toni." Her smile was back and I couldn't help but leaning down and kissing her. My hands were holding her face and hers went around my waist.
"Am I interrupting?" I could hear the smile in Autumn's voice. Miranda let go smoothly and stood next to me. I wanted her close and automatically I wrapped my arms around her waist as she rested her body on mine.
"Yes, but it's your house. Autumn, what's going on with you and Sandy?"