"Got the snack bag!" I yelled to Sophia as we packed up the truck.
"Got the fun bag!" she yelled back.
"Noah, what did you bring?" I asked Sophia's boyfriend.
"My good looks?" he said sarcastically.
"Hmm...yeah that's not good enough," I smiled back.
"Its good enough for Sophia," he answered.
"Actually that's only good enough if it comes with a tank of gas to put in this good ol' SUV," Sophia responded.
Noah laughed, "Black girls, you got to love them."
"And love her you do, " I said. Noah was good for Soph. He made her laugh. He challenged her. He charmed her. He supported her. He was tall, broad, dirty blond hair, green eyes. He was a med student at John Hopkins. He was her best friend. And best of all I adored him. Their friendship turned into love. Sometimes it does work out that way. Sometimes.
Noah caught me in thought, "You going to be okay with seeing him?" he asked. He knew me all to well.
"Yeah, I'll be fine. We've all moved on. I'm fine." I said trying to convince herself.
"She's fine," Sophia repeated. "We're going to support Zuri and her wedding. We all have been friends for a long time,we should be able to put aside the awkwardness and return to what made us click in the first place. This is going to be an awesome trip. So let's go, already!"
"We have to wait. James is coming by to see me off," I said.
"And then there's James," Soph grinned. "See, she's fine."
I smiled at Soph and the thought of James. James was an elementary music teacher by day and a hot bass guitarist by night. We met at Barnes and Nobel in the poetry section. I was perusing the aisles talking on my cell phone, loudly debating with my editor. Suddenly a tap on my shoulder startled me. I turned around and there he was in all his glory. Tall, at least 6'3, broad shoulders, hair cut low, skin silky smooth mocha and caramel blended into one. His lips looked like they tasted sweet. His jeans hugged him perfectly and the green sweater complimented his perfect complexion. He had a man purse over his shoulder and it one motion he put his finger to his lips and told me to "Shh". I was too entranced to be offended, so i just nodded, mouthed, "I'm sorry," and walked away embarrassed. We crossed paths again at the check out line.
"So who won the argument," he asked me.
"The jury's still out on that one, " I said sheepishly.
"Well for the record, two people don't have to make love to have a connection. If you don't think you characters would go to that level, then don't write it."
"Wow, I was really loud, huh?" I asked.
"I would call it passionate," he said smiling, showing his Colgate smile.
"Thanks, I just wish my editor would understand that."
"It's difficult. There's a fine line between not compromising your art and trying to make a living off of it," he said.
"Are you a writer?" I asked him wondering how it was he saw my soul.
"A songwriter. My name is James," he said extending his hand.
"I'm Kamryn," I said taking his hand in mine.
"Kamryn Williams? You write pieces for Essence magazine?"
"Guilty as charged."
"I enjoy your editorials. Definitely. Don't compromise. You can tell you write from the heart. Stay true to yourself."
"Thanks. I didn't think guys read my stuff," I said, thinking great, he has to be gay. Of course he is.
As if he read my mind, he answered, "Well I guess being a musician I am in touch with my sensitive side, but I'm not gay." He laughed.
I noticed his dimples. "Thank God," I thought. I just smiled.
"Can I buy you a cup of coffee? Its not everyday I meet a published writer. I'd like to pick your brain."
I hesitated. It had been three months since my confession to Ethan. We hadn't spoken in that time. I was leery, but intrigued. "Sure," I answered.
And James and I had been dating ever since.
"Here comes James now," Noah said bringing me back to present day. James pulled up in his black Maxima, parked his car and got out.
"Hey baby girl," he said pulling me close and kissing me on the forehead. "You all ready to go?"
"Yes," I whined. "But I wish you were going with me."
"I know. Me too. But I have students I have to teach. I'll be there on the day of the wedding."
"But I want you to come now!"
"Stop whining. Take this time reminisce with your friends. Support Zuri and make peace with Ethan," he said.
I looked up into his eyes. They were filled with worry. "I'm at peace with Ethan, James. I told you that. You have nothing to worry about," I comforted him.
"I know. I know. I'm just jealous. You have history with him."
"History that's history. I love you James Taylor," I said sincerely.
"I know babe. But you love him too," he kissed me on the lips and left the words in between us as he walked away.
I said nothing. Didn't dispute it. Argue. Just left it in the air. Terrified it was the truth.