tagInterracial LoveWinter Withdrawal

Winter Withdrawal

byeveashland©

~~~

This was not smart. But it was either this or find myself stranded on the side of the highway, halfway to Chicago. You'd think a once leading pharmaceutical liaison would be able to afford a new car, but that's simply not in the budget right now. Not if I ever plan to buy a house. So, my bright idea? Park my almost extinct, Dodge Neon in the lot of the Park & Ride and hop a charter bus to my mom's house for the holidays. Since it was the middle of finals when I left, I'd had my pick of any seat. Now, with classes due back in session in less than a week, I'll be lucky to get a seat at all.

Making my way toward the rear of the bus, I get the distinct feeling that I may be riding the toilet back to downstate Illinois. Out of sheer luck, with at least three people trailing me, I spot what appears to be a completely empty seat. To believe that I may even get a window seat seems too good to be true. And well, it is. When I finally reach the pair of seats, I find that the window seat is already occupied by a young woman. At the moment, all I can see are a long set of, faceless, intricately braided cornrows draped over a bare square shoulder and toned arm, as she reaches for something beneath the chair. I take a moment before moving into the seat so that I don't startle her, but it's me who's thrown off balance when my attention is drawn to a guy attempting to move behind me and into the toilet.

When my gaze returns to the seat in front of me, I'm confronted with large brown eyes peeking up at me beneath feathery dark eyelashes. Her smooth satiny skin looks to have been kissed ten times over by the sun and the crooked hesitant smile on her face shoots sparks from my brain straight to my groin. I stand there looking-- staring, long enough that her eyes grow wide with question and the guy from the toilet is already making his way back out.

"Hi..." She speaks the word with a bit of attitude and a subtle swivel of her neck and it instantly makes me grin. Ahh, I love black women...

~~~

Okay, so this guy wears boxers and he hangs-- lawd does he hang, to the left and apparently I'm now the pervert sitting at the back of the bus... But what am I expected to do when the first thing I see when I look up from reaching for my earbuds on the floor, is some random guy's junk staring me in the face.

He'd been distracted with someone passing behind him so I managed to get an eye-full of his 'schlong' snaking down the left leg of his gray slacks. Clearly, the last few weeks without so much as a booty call has put hurtin' on a girl.

My regular 'study partner' left a week before my, very pregnant, supervising professor gave me leave. In the tail end of the semester, I did everything just short of picking up her dry cleaning which included, gladly, delivering a cup of decaf to her with every class session. I don't know who this my new lead professor will be, but I don't imagine them taking nearly as many bathroom breaks.

"Did you have a good break?" Cutting my eye over at my current seat meat-- uh mate, I look to his long wide spread legs with hands resting on his thighs and his knees pressed into the back of the seat in front of him. He's rolled up the sleeves of a sky blue dress shirt revealing slim but muscled forearms that are masculinely dusted with dark hair and corded with veins.

"Yes... It was nice. Thank you." I also want to question him, curious what this man is doing on a bus full of college students, and at least one grad student, but I honestly just want to sit quietly and read my new book download for the next few hours.

"One minute it seems like vacation will never come, then all of a sudden it's over." Leaning his head back against the headrest I look over noticing the dark stubble on his sharp jawline and the stark contrast of it to his peach white complexion. The same lean veins that run through his hands and arms also wind up and around his neck. There's a small tuft of coarse hair peeking from the open collar of his shirt, matching his shortly cropped brown haircut that curls slightly around his ears and at the nape of his neck. He's well built and approachably cute, but no so buff that I wonder how much protein he consumes in a day and not so handsome that I'm compelled to stare.

"Well, mine was about a week too long..." I say without thinking. The heat between my thighs reminding me to call Curtis the moment I'm through my apartment door.

"Why is that?" Looking to me with genuine interest, his-- is that green?-- eyes sparkle and dance across my face and along the fresh braids that hang over my shoulder. He's older. Knocking on forty I would guess, but I can easily imagine the college student he used to be... Baggy jeans, a t-shirt, longer hair, sideburns, maybe a little chin strap...

"The Southside... It's not where I belong anymore..." That's the first time I've spoken that aloud. It was clear to me when I was home at Easter and it's even clearer now that I've survived three festive weeks of the Wild Hundreds.

"I'm from the Southside too!" He says, a little too excitedly. I instantly try to guess which suburb. I simply nod, suspecting I'll be able to get a good start on my book after all...

"Well, we were in Beverly for a while but ended up in Riverdale where my mom stays now..." Okay, so that's not as bad as I'd thought. Since, I'm still not all that interested in chattin' this man up, I keep it light.

"Oh, I know where that is." Is all I offer with a cordial smile, even though we did most our Christmas shopping not more than a fifteen minutes drive from where his mom lives. Fortunately, the bus lurches forward and away from the curb. I use the distraction to place soundless earbuds in my ears, load my book, and shift my attention toward the window and away from the six-foot-something-creamy-temptation sitting warmly beside me.

~~~

Ever since high school, I knew that I had a type. I was on the track team and even my sixteen-year-old self would find a way and take every opportunity to get friendly with the girls' team; always drawn to the black girls more than any of the others. I was usually that one white guy, in a sea of brown, making sure to learn and memorize the lyrics to Hot in Herre and the choreography to Mario's Just a Friend to impress Ayanna Allen who still managed to call me Eminem 'til the day we graduated. I eventually realized that there was no one I needed to impress. Especially once word got out about my third leg.

Once I got to college I hardly ever spent a weekend alone which was great for a while, but come senior year I had nothing and 'no one' to show for it. Now? I'm nothing more than a glorified drug peddler with far too little time on my hands, which is why I've decided to switch gears.

A few days before Thanksgiving I'd bumped into a old friend who offered me an opportunity that at first, I'd refused but later turned around to accept. I was of the opinion that I had been there and done that but realized that taking a step back may be exactly what I need to improve my outlook on life. However, I'm now rethinking my decision as I sit in a fog of five dozen nineteen and twenty-year-olds. It's kind of funny... Well, not like funny ha-ha-- but more ironic that it's the pharmaceuticals that I represent that put me in this position, to begin with.

~~~

It was inevitable that I'd fall asleep. I always fall asleep. It didn't help that the bus pulled off right at four o'clock leading my eyelids to draw closed and set right along with the sun. I'll never miss having to share air with fifty other people for more than four hours but the rumbling engine and subtle rocking of the bus have always been so soothing. My braids have finally loosened enough that I no longer have to sleep on my cheek and I can now comfortably rest my head against my pillow. My pillow?

My eyes snap open like vinyl roller shades. Suddenly, I'm awake and on high alert. The one earbud that's still in place is yanked from my ear as my entire body jerks away from the, now, all too familiar stranger's shoulder that I was just sleeping on. Gah. Is that drool?! I look to find that he's even holding my e-reader in his lap. I immediately reach for it and I instantly regret it. Somehow my fingertips manage to not only graze but briefly 'hook' his fuckin' dick in the process.

I try to speak, perhaps words of apology, but I can't seem to look away from it. He has a paperback fanned over his right knee while the reading light above his seat beams down over his member reminiscent of the glowing leg lamp in A Christmas Story. What I wouldn't give to have my tongue stuck to it like a flagpole...

"You were going to drop it... I didn't want it to fall to the floor." He explains nodding his head toward my reclaimed device. His voice, calm and polite, sounds at least two octaves deeper than when he first sat down beside me. Electric sex personified.

"Huhn? Oh. Uh. Thank you." I wonder if he knows what to do with it...

"Now that we've uh, met... Maybe a proper introduction is in order. I'm Dylan." He says with a chuckle. When he reaches out a hand toward me, I respond in kind, grasping his goliath-sized fingers.

"I'm sorry." I say with a cringe, finally looking to meet his eyes and belatedly apologizing for inadvertently going to second base with his junk.

"I'm not... Most action I've had in over a year." He says, grinning wide at me with his perfectly corrected smile. There's something about him that screams money and privilege. The humor in his eyes is fleeting. He tugs at his pant leg and sits a bit straighter to inconspicuously adjust himself.

"Oh, I doubt that." I mutter, reaching for the bag beneath my chair. I then cross my legs to dam the growing pool between my thighs. Unlike hours before, I'm now compelled to stare, only not at his face.

~~~

"Tell people there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and most will believe you. Tell them there's wet paint, they'll have to touch it to be sure..." I'm such a tool. I retain some of the most useless and random shit. Instead of watching football or inning after inning of baseball on television, my dad and I would sit and listen to comedy albums.

"Nice. George Carlin... But you still can't make me believe that you and Handgela are the only two that've been petting old Jimbo there.

"Hand-gela and Jimbo? " I chuckle again, like some old-timer riding public transportation... Sounds about right. Anyway, I've heard just about every big dick euphemism there is, but what I'm more impressed with is her actually knowing my Carlin reference.

"Let's... Not. Apple or Lemon?" Shaking her head, she offers me some sort of snack bar, as if it's a mint or a piece of gum. I'm starving and anything sounds better than the jar of peanut butter and ramen I've got back at my apartment.

"Apple... Thank you." She simply nods handing me the bar, as if it's to be expected, then shifts in her seat to put on a sweater of the same color and fabric as her tank top. There's something very prim-- but perhaps not so proper about her. I imagine that, much like myself, it has everything to do with her audience...

"What was your name again?" She begins to smile. Of course, I've chosen my words carefully.

"I never gave you my name." Taking the first bite of her fig bar, she seems particularly unimpressed; my guess is, with me.

"Touché." Watching her closely, she seems to be contemplating something. Maybe debating if I'm even worth the time. I've had contact with enough women to know that I'm not everyone's cup of tea.

"Most of my family calls me Nina." She finally says, but 'Nina' can't seem to look me in the eye. The nutritional information on the wrapper of her snack bar is apparently the most interesting thing she's seen in years.

"Nice to meet you, Nina... So, does this make me family?" I smile and she smirks. Turning toward me, she finally gives me her eyes. She smells like tropical fruits and coconut...

"No. This just makes you a guy on a bus that I'll probably never see again." Nina studies me, much like I did her, while she was sleeping. She has a nose that's on the larger side, but nothing that would single her out in a game of Guess Who. There's an arch in her eyebrows that at rest makes her look like some angelic creature and, in a similar fashion, her lips form a perfect cupid's bow. Tightly woven hair and high cheekbones enhance her cat-like eyes placing her in a realm with queens and goddesses.

"Well, that's pretty sad. Who's to say a cup of coffee isn't in our future?" Her smile gets bigger. Nina slept on my shoulder for a good forty-five minutes before being startled awake. At some point along the way she's gotten cold and not even the thick sweater material of her strappy tank top couldn't keep her taut nipples at bay.

"I'm sure we'll survive." I wanted to reach my jacket to put over her but I hadn't wanted to risk waking her or-- um, ruining my view... Geez. It really has been too long...

"Fair enough." Clearly uninterested, Nina is now scrolling through the music playlists on her tablet.

~~~

No less than ten seconds ago, Santa Claus was still very real for this man. Against my better judgment, I take a peak in Dylan's direction to find an expression that can only be described as a pouting. I don't like to be unkind but this could never go anywhere good.

I've been here before. I'm a shade darker than Serena, built more like Venus and I don't have the talent either. My eyes are too far apart, my ass is too flat and I'm not interested in being the object of some white guy's fetish. It took me six years to get through college-- due to circumstances out of my control, and now another three to get through what should have been a two-year graduate program. At twenty-eight years old, I don't have time for bullshit. Unfortunately, we have another hour and a half before we reach campus and all I can think about is riding this guy's dick for the distance that remains. Fuck my life.

~~~

Every few weeks I'd been driving up and down the highway to check on my mom and dad. I'd made it my mission to make sure that they had everything that they needed.

My dad owned and ran a small shipping company that employed the same six people for more than thirty years. The last five years had become a struggle with many potential customers choosing to ship with cheaper and more commercial companies which caused revenue to take a dive. Instead of cutting benefits for his employees, my dad took the brunt of the consequences and allowed his own coverage to lapse.

Cut to a year ago, when they found the cancer. It was too far advanced for much of anything to be done, so we just tried to make him comfortable. Yet, and still, there were hospital bills to pay.

We sold the house in Beverly and within the first few months, the business had to go as well. My dad's life insurance policy covered just enough to keep us out of debt. I sold my Audi and have been doing all that I can to make sure that my mom's coverage and policies stay paid.

I used to feel invincible. I certainly thought my dad was. Without question, he was one of the best people I've ever known and if I can be even a fraction of the man that he was, I can also die a happy man.

~~~

"Which Shakespearean play has a character that shares the same name, Hermione?" I know that I shouldn't engage, but the tattered corners of his Chamber of Secrets can only mean one thing...

"A Winter's Tale. C'mon, now... Childs' play, what else you got?" I knew it! I still have all of my original paperbacks and the rumpled state of his book was an easy giveaway.

"Hmm. Okaaay... Let's see." Honestly, I'm not sure whether I genuinely want to know if he's as big of a 'Potterhead' as I am or if it's 'the D' that's still calling out to me.

"What is the meaning Severus Snape's name?" Sadly, I imagine it's the latter since I'm about three seconds from panting like a bitch on heat.

"Well, Severus means stern or strict while Snape has a few derivations. Snape or sneap means to snub or revile which is probably what Rowling had in mind when creating his character. The name Snape also derives from a small village in England by the same name. Suffolk County, I think." I don't think I've ever been this wet without being touched...

~~~

"Well, damn." Nina says and for obvious reasons, I never lead with my trivial knowledge of Harry Potter, but with this kind of reaction, I might start.

"I don't watch much TV," I say in explanation when the truth is, I was Harry Potter... Dark hair, green eyes, thin gangly body, but instead of the round wire frames, mine were thick brown plastic much too large for my face. Nina is looking at me like I'm a whole snack. Shit, I just may get my coffee date after all.

"Neither did I. I got the first two books for Christmas one year and I never looked back. When the movie came out I had the biggest crush on Radcliffe..." The expression on her face tells me that maybe she hadn't meant to share that last part.

"I've read the whole series at least three times... Working on the fourth now. Back in high school I kinda looked like Harry. That hadn't really worked in my favor..." Her smile and laughter are contagious. I laugh-- but right up until my braces were off and I got contacts lenses for track, life was pretty much hell.

"You recovered well," Nina says as if reading my thoughts. If blushing were a thing for her, she'd be beet red right now, though I'm sure my cheeks are red enough for the both of us.

~~~

This is trouble. He's trouble. I knew it from the moment he sat down, or rather stood, beside me. I'm certain of it now. I've gone to great lengths to only talk to guys that are A-- 'on my level' and B-- 'black'. I've been with a few white guys over the years but never do Iever take any of their doting affection seriously.

Since the very first day of high school, I've had tunnel vision knowing that I could never, and would never, have some white boy show up at my house to take me to homecoming or prom. Nope. Not after my sister had done it two years earlier... I swore up and down that I would never garner that kind of disappointment.

The sad thing? Dylan and I have been chatting incessantly about all things Harry Potter and the only thing in the back of my mind is getting free and clear of this bus without having to give him a fake phone number.

~~~

We're about ten minutes out from the Park & Ride stop and the number of passengers on the bus has dwindled to about half a dozen. Most got off at the campus stop but both Nina and I remained seated. Her rationale, unlike my necessity, was that a bus ticket was cheaper than gas and that she hadn't wanted to risk having to drive so far in the snow. The latter seems legitimate since there are about three inches of snow currently on the ground.

Strangely enough, this charter bus has somehow become a pick-up bar. Granted, I've never discussed the nuances and etymology of adolescent literature with any woman at a bar, but seeing as she's a student, this conversation doesn't have far to go. I really am trying to start the new year off on the right foot and I'm pretty sure that taking advantage of some co-ed isn't the way to do it.

~~~

"Here, let me help you." When exiting the bus, Dylan stepped aside and allowed me to go ahead of him. As much as I would like to believe that it was so that he could check out my ass, I'm content with the likelihood that he was just being polite.

"Thank you, but I should probably try to handle these on my own. I still have three flights of stairs to contend with." I brought back one extra oversized suitcase, in addition to the one I had taken with me, with the intent of not returning to Chicago before graduation.

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