By the time Monday rolled around, again, I was dressed nearly an hour early as I waited by my bedroom window for Dodge to make an appearance. Anxiety budded in my throat, unable to be swallowed – not even with the help of the bottled water I was consuming. It wasn’t until ten minutes before eight-thirty that rounded the corner and pulled his car into my driveway as if it belonged. It didn’t.
My trip downstairs was uneventful, but the second I opened my door it all changed. Dodge stood on the other side of it with his fist in the air. His intentions of knocking fell short when I appeared with my purse in hand and camera case dangling from my shoulder.
“Good morning,” he started.
"Hi," I tried rushing past him but was caught red-handed.
Dodge caught my right hand and pulled me back toward the doorstep I'd nearly leaped from. The lack of distance between us was life-threatening. For me. For him. It was imperative that I acquired space to think properly. Even this early, he was stunning, tired eyes and all.
“Can I please use your bathroom before you jet off?”
“Why didn’t you use the bathroom where you just came from?”
“And miss seeing you off to work.”
“Yeah,” I nodded.
“And have you feeling some type of way?” He combatted.
“What?” I shrieked.
“Don’t play ignorant. You look forward to my morning visits, though you won’t admit that shit. When I pulled down the block this morning, I saw you peeping out the fucking window. You weren’t low, Fat. You were waiting on a nigga.”
“Arrogance was always the thing I hated most about you. Please don’t get beside yourself, Dodge. Let me show you to the bathroom. Hurry and handle your business so that I’m not late,” I caved under pressure, giving him full access to my home after unlocking the door and stepping in before him.
I could feel his penetrating gaze on my backside as I led him to the guest bathroom that was beneath the set of stairs in my dainty townhome. Slowly, deliberately, he cruised through my place with approving eyes. The nudes and greens gave my place an earthly ambiance, which was the goal when decorating. I’d captured my essence quite nicely and the few people who had the pleasure of visiting agreed.
“Right he-,” I stammered over my words. “Dodg-.”
“Nori,” he spoke, confidently, backing me into the wall just beside the bathroom I was showing him to.
With a hiked chest due to rapid breathing and a throbbing center, I rested my lids against each other and began counting down from five. Hardly remembering what came before the number five, my attempt to remain calm failed miserably. The bitterness filling my mouth revealed the amount of unhealthy influence the man before me had on my mind, body, and soul as it had always been. I was the one gnawing, now.
“Just let me take you to lunch, Fat, and if you want no dealings with a nigga after that then I’ll step.”
"No, you won't." I sighed, finally opening my eyes.
“Ok, I’m lying, but still. Hear a nigga out. Shit.”
“I’m not interested, Dodge. Please handle your business before you make me late for work.”
“Lunch? Please? Shit. What a nigga got to do? Get on his knees? Kiss some ass? What the fuck I gotta do cause I’m ready to do that shit right now.”
“Right now, huh? What about the last seven years? Why now?”
“Stop doing that, Fat. Hear me out and this will all make sense. You think I fucked up, but somebody had to do that shit. The fuck kind of nigga do I look like asking you to hold me down for a possible ten? I’d never stunt your growth like that! You weren’t supposed to hold me down or stay committed to a nigga while in there and I damn sure wasn’t going to ask or expect you to.”
“But I did, nigga!” The bass in my tone was unrecognizable as I revealed my truth. A truth that Dodge was oblivious to. The silence that coated my two-story said so. The hardening of his jawline said so. The softening of his eyes and the sigh from his lips said so as well. He didn’t know. He didn’t realize that he was the only man for me.
“You were the only man for me. Always had been, but you shitted on me, D.”
“Don’t call me that shit,” he pled.
“You shitted on me and then kept shitting on me.”
“I didn’t, Fat,” he interrupted, but I continued.
“Even with all that time between us, when you touched down, this should’ve been your second stop… your mom’s house being your first. But six more weeks. Six fucking weeks and you come thinking that I’m just supposed to hear you out? I’ve been listening to your loud ass silence for over seven years. I’m not going to listen now that you’re finally ready to explain. So, please hurry the fuck up and leave, D,” I emphasized.
He hated it when I referred to him as his street name, but it was suiting. The stranger that stood before me wasn't the man I'd fallen in love with all those years ago. I didn’t know who the hell this was and didn’t want to waste time finding out. When he was finally ready to choose me, I’d already chosen my damn self. For me, that was good enough. Though it took seven whole years, I’d call it perfect timing.
Tuesday came and Dodge found his way to my place.
Wednesday, he was there, too.
Thursday, he was there, too.
Friday, he was there, too.
When the weekend rolled around, I convinced myself that staying inside would only lead to a battle with situational depression that I wasn’t ready to confront. I spent the day planning and plotting on refreshing a few spaces in my home. For months, I’d been studying the care of plants and had managed to gather a list of the ones I wanted.
Fortunately, there was a black-owned nursery only five minutes from my place that had every plant I needed to start my collection in stock. As I stepped out onto the pavement outside of my home, I was taken aback by the green and yellow lawnmower perched at the end of my driveway where my grass began. A few feet away was Dodge, removing his shirt before his eyes fell onto me.
His smirk was sickening. Downright sexy. Unpredictable. Trouble.
“What’s up, Fat?” he questioned as if we’d discussed any of this.
“Dodge. Really?” I tilted my head so far that it grazed my shoulder.
“What? This shit needed cut.”
“So, you went and bought a brand new lawn more to cut it?”
“Yup. What’s the issue?”
“I’ve never seen you cut grass in my life!”
“Because I ain’t never cut this shit.”
“Then, why are you trying to cut mine?”
“Because it can’t be too much to it. Your shit needed cut and cutting it means I get to see your mean ass, so it was a done deal.”
“Are you serious right now?”
“I’m dead serious, Fat. I just want an hour with you. That’s it. But since you aren’t ready to give it to me, then I’ll be here until you are.”
“Please be gone when I get back.”
"Where the fuck you going?" he barked. My leaving wasn't part of his plan. His puffy chest instantly deflated, causing me to chuckle internally.
“That’s none of your business, Dodge.”
“Then I ain’t cutting this shit until you get back," he mugged and threw his hands up as if to surrender.
“Your choice. I never asked you to cut it, anyway.”
“Whatever, Fat. You really on your bullshit and just willing to do anything to torture a nigga but it’s all good.”
"Dodge, I-" before I could finish my sentence, he'd started the lawnmower and drowned me out. His tantrum was hilarious. I climbed into my car cackling, still excited about the new plants I’d be bringing into my home.
When I returned three hours later, my grass looked spectacular. All signs of Dodge, other than the trimmed grass, were gone. The twinge of hopelessness assured me of a few things. One was that my yearning for him had yet to die. As pissed as I was at him, I still wanted him around.
By the third week, Dodge’s visits completely halted. Monday, there was no sign of him. Tuesday was all the same. By Friday, my concerns mounted along with my anxiety. I couldn’t help but wonder where he’d rather be than at the head of my driveway waiting on me each weekday morning. I’d waited over seven years for him, yet a few weeks seemed to be too much on his end. Maybe I’d taken things a bit far, but I couldn’t help but feel as if I hadn’t taken things far enough. He’d been the culprit of his own agony, not me.
The week dragged, the hours appearing to have doubled and there were forty-eight in a single day instead of the original twenty-four. While I'd never admit it, I was growing accustomed to the gifts and letters that he'd written to me from prison but never sent. Like the one that I did receive, they aged well but there were signs of the elapsed time between us.
“Girl, it sounds to me like you’re missing that man and I don’t blame you,” Ny cooed, “I doubt if any woman with good vision would blame you, either. I saw that nigga two weeks ago and prison did his ass well.”
“Shut up. Prison is the reason we’re in this mess.”
“No, prison isn’t. He is,” my friend of over fifteen years corrected.
I'd gotten home around six and indulged in a thirty-minute shower before clinging to my cell as Ny and I talked about everything under the sun. As we'd both have it, it hadn't gone pass Dodge once the topic was breached. For the last ten minutes of our chat, he was the primary victim and suspect.
“You know what. You’re absolutely right and that’s why I’m not fucking with him.”
“Oh, Nori, come on. We both know there’s only a single pop up is holding the seat of your panties to your pussy. He has you exactly where he wants you and as arrogant as that bastard is, I’m sure he knows it, too. Trust me, he knows you and knew that you wouldn’t just jump into his arms and welcome him home. That’s why he waited six whole weeks to get to you. He had to strategize,” Ny trailed off, “And, he did a damn good job because your ass is hot and ready by now.”
"No, I'm not!" Shrieking, I could feel my cheeks stinging as a smile split my mouth wide open.
“Tell that shit to someone else. I can feel the heat through the phone, honey.”
“You’re so dramatic.”
“So, bitch. You’re so fake!” she countered.
The startling sound caused me to rise from the ottoman at the foot of my bed. Unsure of the origin but certain of the location, I headed toward my window. Just as I started on the lengthy journey from one end of my bedroom to the other, the sound resurfaced.
“Hellooooo?” Ny sang into the phone.
“Hold on. Something keeps pecking on my window.”
“What? You live in a two-story.”
“Right. It’s probably a bird or something that is trying to find a good place to nest.”
“If you don’t hear chirping, then I highly doubt it.”
And she was right. It wasn’t a bird. It wasn’t even an animal. It was a human. My human. Unable to contain the pleasure that rose from my toes to the tips of my head, I found myself smiling as I watched him waves his hands in the air – signaling for me to join him.
“It’s him, Ny.”
“It’s who? You need me and mine to come around there?” She questioned, obviously on the move because her breathing had notably changed. She only lived two blocks away in a subdivision that was breathtaking.
“No. It’s Dodge. Tossing rocks at my window like we’re fucking teenagers or something,” I chuckled.
“Aw. Shit. That popup I mentioned being the only thing holding the seat of your panties to your ass… Here it is. I told you that man knew exactly what he was doing. Made you miss his ass so that when he finally decided to show, you couldn’t resist his ass. I’m going to have to give him some cool points for that.”
“Bye, girl. Make sure you fuck him good. My baby needs a best friend and preferably one not too far apart in age.”
“You do the most,” I groaned before ending the call. Of course, Ny had something else to say, but I couldn't make it out before hanging up on her.
I took the steps two at a time after finding a decent pair of tights and a sweatshirt to combat the slight winds that nipped at my arms during the month of February. I’d intentionally taken my time getting to the door where I expected Dodge to be waiting. Instead, I found him a few feet away in my yard with his hands full. Not literally, but he was struggling to set up a huge camping tent that was obviously in the wrong place. My yard couldn’t have been its final destination.
“What is this and what are you doing?” Rounding the tent, I watched as he struggled to connect the final dots that would complete the construction. My trip around the large structure quickly revealed Dodge’s true intentions. “Dodge?”
"Damn, Fat. Can't you see a nigga struggling over here? Give me a second," he huffed, exhausted from the physical labor the tent required.
"I don't have a second to give. Please tell me what you're doing on my lawn, and with all of this?" My hand dragged across the contents in the front of me as my lips hung somewhere near my chest.
“You said you don’t want to go nowhere with a nigga, so I brought nowhere to your ass. And, after all this work, you are going to sit out here and have dinner with me, at least. I don’t care if neither one of us say shit… We both deserve one another’s company, tonight,” Dodge concluded, sealing the conversation by turning his back on me as I looked on.
The hammering between my legs could easily be mistaken for a strong, healthy heartbeat. One thing I adored about Dodge – and probably shouldn’t have – was his ability to gather me without much effort. His haughtiness was one of my favorite characteristics, though I hated it most, too. Under our circumstances, there wasn’t much room for it, but I was certain it wouldn’t rest much longer. I was right.
“You don’t get to do this to me,” I clarified, still finding the courage to voice my discomfort.
“Do what, Fat? What the fuck am I doing?” Dodge had finally gotten the tent steady.
The next few steps he made ceased the distance between us. In under a second, we were face to face. Eye to eye. Toe to toe. So close that his next breath caused chills up and down my spine as I arched my back slightly to recuperate the smallest amount of personal space that he’d invaded.
“Besides trying to love your stubborn ass, huh? What else am I doing? You won’t give me the chance to fucking explain myself, but you keep walking around with your ass in the air for me to kiss it. So that’s what the fuck I’m doing, Fat. I’m kissing it. Respecting these imaginary boundaries that you have put in place for a nigga and shit cause we both know that if I really pushed the issue, you couldn’t deny me.
“We just got it like that and ain’t shit changed. But, it was me who made this shit the way it is so I’m man enough to give you whatever you want and do whatever it takes to right this shit. What I’m not going to do is sit my ass down while you march all over me like I’m a doormat or some shit. It doesn’t work like that. So what we’re going to do is sit down and have some of that fruity ass wine you used to love drinking, some healthy ass food that I had chef make us since you’re on your healthy shit, listen to some music or whatever, and just vibe.
“So yes, Fat. I do get to do this to you. I get to be the nigga you want cause I am that nigga. Always have been and I’ll make sure that I always will be. Instead of continuing to bump my gums, I’m going to shut the fuck up and sit my ass on this blanket. And, you know what, Nori? You’re going to join me. Not only because I want you to, but because we both know that you want to.”
And I did. So, I did. Instead of thinking of a rebuttal, I rested my limbs on the large throw that was spread across my yard. The set up was beautiful, admittedly, making it hard to believe that Dodge had done it on his own. That fact alone assured me that he was trying.
“You did this on your own?” I inquired, hammering away at the silence that penetrated the air with threats of choking me to death.
“I had enough time to think about all the shit that I wanted to do with you when I touched down. This shit played out in my head for months. As corny as it may seem, I’ve been waiting for this day for a long ass time. Camping out at the house.”
“You don’t strike me as the camping type.”
“Cause I’m not a stranger. You know me, Fat. Don’t do that.”
“I’m just saying. It’s cute, though. What are we having for dinner? I didn’t realize I haven’t eaten until now.”
First, there was laughter. And, lots of it. Mouth-splitting, heart-shattering laughter. The kind that made your cheeks and belly burn from the intense stretching of muscles. The kind that made your heart and forehead smile. The old and the new. Catching up and random reminders of the past.
For so many years, I’d dreamed of this moment. Our moments, but I’d never imagined them as they were. Especially not the unexpected battle with anger that only his presence revealed. And, the flutters. They remained. Never ceasing as I watched Dodge toss his head backward and roar from the lungs as I reminded him of a special moment of ours during the time when our pastures were greener.
“I’m sorry, Fat,” Dodge’s smile disappeared as his laughter came to a screeching halt.
“Dodge, we don’t have to do this now,” I sighed with a shake of my head.
“Now is exactly when we have to do this, baby girl. Just tell me. Why did you keep writing me for all those weeks? Every week… faithfully?”
“I wanted you to finally choose me,” I placed the plate that once held spinach stuffed chicken, wild rice, and asparagus in the small trash bag that was beside me. “I thought that maybe if you had some time to sit and think about it, you’d choose me this time.”
“And what makes you think I hadn’t chosen you? I’d always chosen you and always will.”
“You don’t remember the last time you saw me before you went to prison?”
“Then, you should remember walking out on me. Leaving me unclothed and broken after I’d asked you to choose between our future together and the streets you loved to run. Your silence and delayed departure said everything you weren’t willing to. It took me three days to drag myself out of bed. I was sick to my heart. And, when I finally came to, I discovered you’d gotten locked up. That nearly killed me, Dodge,” I admitted.
“Shit. It did kill me. You were the first person on my mind when I saw those lights behind me. But, let me put you up on game, Fat. I never chose the streets over you. I knew that I couldn't give you the answer you wanted at that moment because you would've expected me to just drop everything and the streets don't work like that. I'd just scored that day and it was my largest re-up in my history of slanging. When you told me I had to make a choice, I made it.
“The pack that I got caught with was the same pack I was getting rid of because of the choice I’d made. My homie was going to take it off my hands for a little over half of the profit I would’ve made plus what I paid for it because I needed to get it off my hands ASAP. I was coming back to you. Back for you, because you were my choice. I just never did. I got jammed.”
The pieces of the puzzle finally fit together. Everything made sense, now. The revelation was accompanied by a caved chest and prickling eyes. To think that Dodge had chosen the streets over me was torture. But, to know that Dodge had chosen me over the streets was heart-stopping.
“And, knowing how I’d left things, I felt that it was better if I cut you off completely. I refused to have you coming to see me behind bars, taking long drives every weekend, and making sure the phone was laced with cash for my calls. I’m not built like that, Fat. I wanted your head on straight so that you could live that normal life you convinced me that I wanted and do shit like a picnic in your yard – even if it wasn't with me."
“But it is.”
“And, that makes a nigga feel good because I thought for sure that I’d lost one.”
“Na. You really been treating a nigga like shit, Fat. That’s why I stayed my ass away from for the last week or so. I couldn’t stand the thought of you continuing to treat me like that. Yeah, I probably deserved it, but that ain’t you. I’ve brought you out of character and it’s been fucking with me tough.”
“Basically, you’re telling me I hurt your feelings?” I chuckled.
“Yeah,” he admitted, silencing me quickly. I wasn’t expecting that response.
“Well, Dodge. Hurt feelings hurt feelings. You hurt mine, first.”
“I know and that’s why I’m here to make it better,” he promised, reaching forward and lacing his hand in the back portion of my hair before pulling me forward. “But, you have to let me.”
“I just… I’m just scared, Dodge. You left me for seven whole years. How can I just forgive you within a few weeks? Or how can I be sure that you won’t do it, again?”
"You don't have to forgive me, now. I'm not asking that. Forgive me in time, but at least let me earn my forgiveness. And, I'm not going anywhere. Ever. I'm ready for the regular-ass life you convinced me was worth the peace of mind. I've had enough time on my hands to consider my past and I'm not going back there."
“Then why didn’t you come to me when you made it home? Instead of Dooley being the first place you went?”
“Real shit, Fat,” he smirked before leaning in closer, our lips mere inches away from one another, “A nigga was scared.”
“Scared?” My chest hiked as my voice softened.
“Scared as a motherfucker. I hadn’t been keeping tabs on you knowing what it would do to my mental if I ever found out you were happy with another nigga so I waited. And, waited. Then, I ran into Cru, Ny’s dude, and he gave me the scoop. Told me where you lived and that you lived alone.
“When my birthday rolled around, I moped around the house like a bitch because I would’ve much rather been spending it with you. When I couldn’t fathom another minute in the house and without you, I pulled up on you but you weren’t the least bit interested in a nigga.”
“I’ve never lost interest, Dodge. Just been disappointed. So disappointed.”
“But, my interest for you has always been and will probably always be piqued.”
“Oh, yeah?” he questioned, tilting his head to the side as I nodded.
“Then I assumed you won’t object,” his lips finally touched mine as he paused to savor their flavor, “to what I’m going to do next.”
“It depends,” I moaned into his mouth, “on what it is.”
“This,” Dodge noted as he slid his fingers into my tights and found my clit without delay. “And, this,” he slid it across the silky, swollen bulb with precision causing me to gasp, deeply and loudly.
“Ummm,” my voice was unrecognizable as it released sighs of appreciation. It had been so long. Too long, even, since I’d felt his hands on my pussy and body so close to mine.
“Did you miss him, Fat Mamma?” Dodge reminded us both of where he’d gotten my nickname.
The lips of my pussy were twice the average size and could be seen through any pants I wore – even denim. It was him who’d encouraged my comfort after being so visibly uncomfortable with the thickness resting between my legs all of my teenage life.
“Yes, so let’s please skip the pleasantries,” I begged.
“Why you in a rush?” Dodge taunted.
“Because Fat is dripping and I need you inside of her.”
“I can always slurp that shit up,” he toyed with my emotions as I began to ride the fingers that he had pressed against my box.
“I’m baby, now?” He chuckled deeply, darkly.
That spiked my hormones and increased the thudding below. My tunnel was taking a beating and Dodge hadn’t even slid into me, yet. Reluctant to remove his hand from my tights, he rushed to pull them down. I scooted from one side to the other until they were from underneath my ass. Dodge pulled them from my legs and spread them wide.
The night air sent chills up my pussy, lowering the temperature of the juices I’d collected in my honey pot. A slight shiver rose from my toes and ended with slow, shaky shoulders. He wanted to devour me. The look on his face and swipe of his tongue across his lip spoke the words he didn’t.
“Put him inside of me, baby,” I encouraged, keeping his focus on the task at hand and it wasn’t eating my pussy.
We had all night to get to the luxuries. For now, I wanted some good, hard dick inside of me. I needed penetration. I craved deep, long strokes that sent my body into overdrive. I desired to feel him inside of me while I called his name over and over as if I was rehearsing for my debut on Broadway.
Without delay, Dodge pulled down the sweats easily, boxers included, as I watched his hard dick spring from his pants. If I was any closer, it would've popped me in the eye. It wouldn't have mattered though. Besides, I was close enough to take it into my hands and stare at the beautiful masterpiece with the hard-right hook that slid down my throat with ease for over a year before we split.
Too tempted to decline, I rested my lips on the tip of his dick and slowly savored the taste of his pecan-colored skin. My God, he tasted like heaven. His head sagged as his mouth hung open while he fought the urge to grab my head and rough up my throat with deep thrusts. Instead, he caught himself mid-air and used his hand to push my shoulders backward. But, not before I was able to give his dick one last kiss.
“If I can’t slob on your shit, then you can’t slob on mine.”
“I was getting it wet,” I lied.
“Your shit is leaking, Fat. That’s all the lubrication I need to get in that motherfucker.”
Loud, satisfying grunts escaped our throats simultaneously as he entered my gates and reclaimed his territory. For seconds, we both laid in silence fueled by disbelief and gratitude. I was thankful for this moment and to be sharing it with him. Dodge meant everything to me, always had.
“I’m not going to last, Fat,” he admitted.
“Me, either,” I returned as he began to slowly stroke my pussy and my ego.
“Not even a few minutes,” he assured me.
“I don’t even need a few minutes,” I confirmed.
In and out.
In and out.
In and out.
Dodge did exactly what had to be done. Exactly what needed to be done. He caressed every crevice of my internals with his thick, curved dick. My manicured nails formed pockets in his skin as I clung to him, helplessly, feeling my orgasm mount.
“Damn, Fat. This shit grippin’,” Dodge whimpered. “Shit, baby.”
"I'm going to cum, baby," I announced, nearing my peak. Maybe I should've been embarrassed by its swiftness, but there wasn't a bit of shame. It had been seven years for me and the same for Dodge. We deserved our moment, no matter how soon it came.
“Let that shit go.”
“Uhhhhh. Myyyy God. Ba- baby.”
And, I came. And came. And came. If felt like I’d never stop cumming as Dodge continued stroking me for minutes more until he succumbed to his own peak, resting his heavy body directly on top of mine. As wet a gushy as my center was, as heavy as his body was, and as loud as the night bugs were, I still found comfort in the moment. Comfort in him. Comfort in us.
“I love you,” Dodge whispered.
“I love you better.”
"Happy Valentine's Day, Fat."
"Happy Valentine's Day."
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