By nature, I wasn't exactly a ray of sunshine, which was probably why I found Kelleigh so attractive. She brought lightness to my boring and sober life, which made me question what I had to offer other than my head space and what I was doing to help her.
Gary would have plenty of things to say if he knew I was even thinking this way. He was the best friend a guy could have and had more self-confidence than he should have considering that he hadn't had as good a start in life as I had.
Right now, my parents were off somewhere in Alaska on a cruise and no doubt they were living it up. Some time down the road, I wanted what they had. A relationship that wasn't perfect but had been tested and tried and was still going strong.
"True that," I said coming back to our conversation. "Are you sure that's not why you went out with me. Feeling grateful and all?"
She jabbed me in the side. "You know that's not why."
I shrugged. "Since you won't tell me, all a guy can do is guess."
"Which may lead you to some wrong answers," she said.
"So go ahead and tell me why you said yes."
"I'm not sure I know."
"I think you're just shot my ego dead with a single bullet."
"Come on, I know you don’t believe that. A guy like you? You're not only brilliant, but run your own business? In your position, my ego would be out-of-this-world large."
Tapping my chest, I said, "This is the same guy you referred to as nerd-boy, remember?"
"I know you couldn't have taken that seriously."
I only raised one eyebrow in response, but she touched a finger to her lip. "You did, didn't you?"
"You have to know I didn't mean anything by it."
I shot her a look that made her burst out laughing. "Okay, I'm sorry, but you did say some nasty things to me."
"I already apologized for those."
"So why do I feel I'm saying sorry twice for committing the same offense,"
"Dunno. Could be because you're always doing something to get in trouble."
"You see now, this is why you shouldn't tell black people your business. They take it and throw it in your face."
That cracked us up for a few minutes, before her phone rang. She ignored it and touched my hand. "I really enjoyed being out with you tonight and I guess I'll see you on Monday."
"I enjoyed it too."
I stared into her eyes, knowing she wanted me to kiss her. We both edged forward and our lips met in a gentle hello. I pressed my lips to hers in a series of gentle kisses, until her eyelashes closed. My tongue teased her lips in a gentle, but persuasive move and when she opened to me, I used the advantage to invade her mouth. With lazy strokes, my tongue played with hers and I held her in place with a hand to the back of her head.
Her hand came up to grip my shoulder and when she made a sound in her throat, I gradually withdrew, letting her catch her breath before leaning away from her.
"I … uh … goodnight," she whispered.
I didn't trust myself to say anything, so I opened the locks and got out of the car, to help her inside. Ten minutes must have passed before I drove away from her gate. I was definitely taking a chance getting back into her orbit again, but I prayed this time she'd be sensible enough to stop chasing after a guy who meant her no good and give me a chance to show her how I felt about her.