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Then He Saw Her Face ...

I was that loner kid who read comics when everyone else was playing, listened to the B-sides and watched old movies ... Now I write about it


I was that girl who wasn't as pretty as the others.

Then he saw my face ... At least that's what he said.

He took notice of me.

He told me that I had pretty eyes. No one had ever told me that I had pretty eyes. And once he did, I couldn't stop looking at myself in the mirror; trying to see what he said that he saw.

Next thing I knew, I was in his bed, cuddled up in his arms, head against his chest, listening to SAM COOKE.

I'd never heard of Sam Cooke before. And I just there, deciding that the late singer's music was the most beautiful music I'd ever heard before. And that his voice was the closest thing to hearing a angel sing in my opinion.

Something about, I'm in a sad mood tonight .... my baby has gone away and left me ... It was as if he'd peeked into my diary and set it to music. But I wasn't sad tonight. Not after what we'd done. What we'd shared. But then, I'd felt this before. Gotten too complacent with the status quo. Only to have the rug snatched out from under me with a few simple words that basically said, you can't sleep here tonight, because i'm just not that into you or I got another chick coming over in an hour, so ... Maybe his girlfriend. Maybe his wife. Maybe another random hook up. I'd seen and heard it all.


Except, this one ...

He held me and kissed my forehead and stroked my cheek and made me feel safe ...

Then he fell asleep while still holding me. And I wanted to hope. I wanted to dream. Ii wanted to drift off and go to sleep as well. But I'd done that before, only to be shaken and stirred and basically told to get to steppin'. So I couldn't risk that inner humiliation yet again. My poor heart told me "no". I couldn't bear the possibility. So I stayed awake. And I lay there in his bear grip. Enjoying this security for as long as I could. Waiting for him to wake up and push me out of his apartment. But the hours ticked and they tocked and I as we lay, i listened to him snore and memorized the rhythm as if it were a song that I was expected to perform later. And even when he moved in his sleep, he still held on . And even as the hours increased, I just lay there and didn't dare to break free in order to urinate even ... My bladder screaming for mercy .... Until the sun began to pierce the sky. Then I broke free, or else I was going to wet the bed. And I went into the adjoining bathroom to relieve myself. And even after the flush, he stayed asleep.

Now I was getting worried. Was he dead? No,he wasn't. I know this because I felt for his pulse. And then I listened to his heart beat. His beautiful heartbeat. Then I dared to lay down next to him again. And he reached out for me and drew me close, wrapping me in those loving arms again. And then and only then did I close my eyes and allow sweet sleep to take over my body ... Succumbing to it as if it were the elixir that I so desperately needed and searched the desert forty days and forty nights for.


I didn't know what the protocol was for when they didn't give you the old bum's rush. I truly didn't. Which is why I lay on my side for a while when my eyes finally opened. And then I realized that was holding me anymore. So I turned to look for him and discovered that he wasn't there ... I didn't know what to do with that.

Then I looked at the digital clock on the tall dresser facing the foot of the bed. It was 10am. And I slowly got up. Still not sure what to do. But i got up. My feet on the floor. His Black Panther t-shirt clinging to my body .... And I opened the bedroom door. And there he was, sitting on the sofa, reading a newspaper and watching a DVD of Yogi Bear and Boo Boo ... A couple of store bought coffee cups with a familiar logo on it and a box of donuts.

"Morning Sleepy Head," he said with a grin, looking up from his paper.

Then I knew that things were truly different than the times before. So I inched my way over to the sofa, sat down beside him, my head on his shoulder ... And I exhaled.

© 2020 LaZeric Freeman

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