Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 12

“Ms. Duncan, the doctors will see you now,” Felisa said to the beautiful woman still patiently waiting to be seen.

Felisa had never known for her bosses to keep anyone waiting this long. It had been a full thirty minutes. The appointment had been for 2:30pm and it had only been with Dr. Foxworth. Now both doctors wanted to see Ms. Duncan. Dr. Russo had even rescheduled the rest of his afternoon appointments just to make time for this meeting.

This meeting must be really important for both of them to attend, Felisa mused. Inside she suspected that it really the meeting that was so important, it had to be the woman attending the meeting.

“Thanks again,” Nyla replied, grabbing her suitcase as she stood up to follow the impeccably dressed receptionist to the back. She didn’t know what to make of the delay. The doctor was either running behind today or had scheduled too many appointments too close together. Either way she was about to find out. Little did Nyla know, she was about to find out more than she ever imagined.

Did she say doctors? Nyla mused, just now realizing the whole of what she’d been told as they neared the third mahogany door on the left side of the wide hallway.

****

As Nyla entered the small conference room, she saw Dr. Foxworth sitting at the end of the rectangular-shaped mahogany conference table, peering over a file. At that point, she began to wonder if maybe she just thought she heard the receptionist say ‘doctors’. After all, there was only one person waiting for her in this room.

“Have a seat, Ms. Duncan.” Brentt smiled, getting up to greet her. “I apologize for the delay, but my partner requested that he be included in this meeting also and I had to wait for him to clear his schedule,” he said, briefly shaking her hand. Brentt couldn’t get over how even better Nyla looked in person. But then again, Kirk always did have exceptionally good taste in women.

“It’s no problem, really. My evening is free, so we can take as much time as needed.” Nyla smiled at the friendly doctor, ready to accommodate the delay. She wasn’t leaving town until tomorrow afternoon anyway.

After taking a seat, Nyla couldn’t help but notice that she was practically being gawked at by the red-haired man. If first impressions were anything to go by, Dr. Foxworth seemed very eager to meet her today. At second glance, maybe he was almost too eager.

Oh no, I hope he’s not attracted to me, Nyla mused, thinking about some of the other men she’d encountered over the last nine months. Her fingers and all of her toes couldn’t hold the number of business associates she’d had to turn down for dates recently.

If Nyla’s program wasn’t so successful and if it didn’t immensely improve the sponsor’s reputation in the community the way it did, some of those rejected men would have surely terminated their business with her. She was sure of that.

As if waiting for his cue to enter, Kirk came through the door that led from the adjoining room at that very moment. “I’m sorry for my tardiness,” he said, taking a seat directly across from Nyla. Kirk had a huge smile on his face, obviously enjoying the delicious look of surprise on her face.

Brentt was right. The element of surprise did have a way of letting one see a person’s true, unguarded feelings. Kirk was pleased that despite Nyla’s obvious surprise, she actually looked happy to see him again. That had to be a positive thing in anybody’s book.

“Please continue, Ms. Duncan.” Kirk smiled, staring intently into Nyla’s chestnut eyes, willing her to remember their very last encounter. As he looked upon her, he noticed and appreciated the difference in her sandy locks. They were longer and arrayed in a beautiful assemblage of tiny curls that bounced as she moved her head. Besides that, everything else was deliciously the same. Especially her gorgeous figure.

Nyla blinked and wet her lips as if in slow motion. She remembered their last encounter all right. There was no way she could ever forget Kirk or those luscious brown lips of his. There was no way she wanted to forget those things.

Clearing her throat, Nyla said, “Uh…yes, I was just saying…that…uh…my evening was free, so we can take as much time as needed.” Oh God, please help me to focus my thoughts. I can ‘not’ botch this deal. Too many kids are depending on me, Nyla prayed.

“Great, because I…we may need the rest of your evening, Nyla,” Kirk said, momentarily distracted by the quick flash of her pink tongue. Then he cleared his throat and refocused his mind. “Now let’s get down to business.” Kirk was ready to race through this part of the meeting to a more pleasurable end.

“Yes, let’s do get down to business.” Brentt smiled, looking from one engrossed person to the next. He didn’t care that he was now the invisible man in the room. In fact, he was thoroughly enjoying watching the fireworks display. The electricity flowing from Kirk to Nyla could light up the whole building. It especially pleased Brentt to see the sparkle of joy in his best friend’s eyes. He’d been waiting for this day for a long time.

“First of all, my partner and I have already decided to become lifetime sponsors,” Brentt continued, even though he wasn’t sure if Nyla was able to comprehend his words right now through the thick fog stemming from her preoccupation with Kirk.

“Lifetime sponsors?” Nyla repeated, her eyes still glued to Kirk’s face. She hadn’t even given her sales pitch yet and they were already looking to sign on, and as lifetime sponsors no less.

This meeting was going faster and better than any of her others for multiple reasons. The main reason being the fact that the two men already seemed to know exactly what they wanted from her professionally. On a more personal note, Kirk was smiling at Nyla as if he’d been waiting on her all his life. And no matter how hard she tried, Nyla could not seem to break eye contact with him. She also couldn’t get over how handsome Kirk still was. Especially with that thick mustache aligning his soft brown lips. Oh to kiss those lips right now would be heavenly.

“Yes,” Kirk replied, still looking straight at Nyla, continuing to feast off of her features as well. “We’ve researched your company and found it to be very sound, financially and otherwise. Plus, we’ve checked with the Charitable Organization Section of the Department of Regulation and Licensing, the Bureau of Consumer Protection, the local Chamber of Commerce and the Better Business Bureau and they all speak highly of your organization. We’ve also heard glowing reports from some of our Georgia colleagues about the success of your programs. I understand that several communities have already been highly impacted by your efforts.”

Kirk paused and his voice lowered considerably as it grew thick with emotion. “I’m even more impressed by you now than I ever was before, Nyla.”

“Thanks, Kirk…uh…I mean, Dr. Russo,” Nyla stammered out, still not fully recovered yet. She was confused and frustrated that she hadn’t pulled herself together by now. But what Nyla didn’t realize was that it would have been for anyone to remain calm in the face of destiny. It was a blessing that only her hands shook and not everything else.

Discerning that his unexpected presence had unsettled Nyla to severe distraction at this point, Kirk immediately turned to Brentt. “Will you excuse us for a moment? I need to speak with Nyla alone.”

Although he was a bit better at concealing his feelings than she was, Kirk knew that neither he nor Nyla would be able to continue this meeting without first addressing some of the other things currently happening between them.

“Sure thing,” Brentt replied as he got up and practically skipped from the room with joy. A love connection had already been made almost a year ago. Now a serious relationship was about to be born. Brentt could just feel it and he couldn’t wait to tell his wife about it. Bonnie was going to love this news.

When Brentt left, Kirk reached for Nyla’s trembling hands across the table and held them. “You already have our business. You had that before you ever walked through the door. This meeting was just a formality.” He rubbed his thumbs soothingly across the back of her hands until they stopped shaking. “Are you seeing anyone, Nyla?” Kirk had to ask.

She shook her head. “No, are you?”

Kirk released her hands and got up to walk around the desk. “I wasn’t, but I am now,” he said fervently, pulling her up from her seat and into his arms.

Nyla eagerly went into Kirk’s arms, embracing his neck as she did. At the first touch of lips, they both shuddered with exhilaration and moaned. At the second, multiple groans trembled in their throats and the kiss quickly deepened. Then for the next few minutes, time seemed to still as Kirk and Nyla ravished each other’s mouths, making up for the old and the new.

When they were finished, Nyla looked up into Kirk’s eyes and posed a question to him. “Are you sure you’re ready for me now? Because I’m definitely ready for you,” she whispered in a husky tone.

Kirk gave her another delicious smack on the lips before uttering his simple reply. “I’m positive.” He smiled with certainty.

In the past, Kirk saw Nyla as a bittersweet interruption to his life, a lemon and strawberry kind of interruption to the bachelorhood that he’d prided himself upon. The same bachelorhood that he’d worked so hard to establish after his heartbreak. Although Kirk had seen earlier glimpses of how sweet a relationship with Nyla could be, he’d been repelled by the sour timing in which they’d met before. But now that he was in a different place mentally and spiritually, Kirk saw Nyla as his destiny, the woman he was meant to be with.

“Oh yes. I am definitely ready for you now, beautiful one,” Kirk reiterated in a whisper as he wholeheartedly descended upon Nyla’s lips again.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 11

June - Nine months later
“Ma’am, Dr. Foxworth will see you in a minute,” the friendly receptionist said to the businesswoman waiting in the blue and green painted lobby. Both colors were soothing aquatic shades that had been strategically chosen for their ability to promote inner peace. The owners of the business believed that people in pain desperately needed all the peace they could get and from every possible source.

“Thanks so much,” Nyla replied, crossing her shapely legs in the red jeweled buckle suit she wore. Her now completely healthy hair had grown almost down to her shoulders. And instead of wearing her tresses in tiny ethnic twists the way she had for months as they had grown stronger, Nyla wore her hair in a multitude of curls that caressed her heart-shaped face.

Nyla’s presence at the pain management center wasn’t for medical reasons. She was here on business. Her new business to be exact. In the time since that game show, her life had been bombarded with changes.

The first change occurred in Nyla’s spiritual life. By using Proverbs 4:20-27 as a guide for her life, she immersed herself in the Word, keeping the scriptures before her eyes through Bible studies (personal and communal), in her ears through tapes and CDs, and in her mouth by speaking daily confessions.

As a result of doing those before mentioned things, Nyla found herself growing and maturing in leaps and bounds. And despite the challenges of being a single Christian woman, she couldn’t be happier. She really loved the Lord and in the past few months, He’d manifested himself as a very real presence in her life by leading and guiding her in every decision she’d had to make. And that was both personally and professionally. Because of her relationship with God, Nyla was not lonely or needy. In fact, she felt more than complete as an individual right now.

The second change took place in her professional life. Instead of changing her career path, Nyla simply enhanced it by acting on an idea that was birthed on that fateful group date she’d participated in over ten months ago. Now she owned and operated One-Hand-Up, a company that promoted community based programs that rallied businesses and individuals together to sponsor scholarships for local students.

Nyla’s goal was to establish these types of programs in as many American cities as she could. She wanted to prompt the wealthy to help the less fortunate in their communities to rise up from poverty through education.

As a wise businesswoman, she found a way to meet the needs of a largely ignored portion of society and at the same time build up a successful career for herself. Because of Nyla’s fierce dedication to this worthy cause and the fact that her business was solely funded by a percentage of the money she raised, she had more than enough motivation to keep aggressively pushing forward.

****

Meanwhile, Dr. Foxworth rushed into his partner’s office to speak with him. As soon as Kirk saw his friend’s flushed face, he knew something was amiss. “What’s wrong? Is it Bonnie? Is she having the baby now?” Kirk asked. He was more than ready to cancel all of his appointments to be there for his best friend.

Brentt shook his red head of hair and rapidly as he closed the door behind him. “No, it’s nothing like that. Bonnie’s fine. As a matter of fact, I just got off the phone with her. Her mother’s coming for the weekend.” At that reminder, Dr. Foxworth briefly looked up towards heaven and digressed from the current topic for a moment.

God, I know I’m new at this praying thing, but I’m gonna need Your help big time this weekend, Brentt prayed, concerning spending more time with his irritating mother-in-law.

Whenever Dr. Foxworth’s mother-in-law came over to visit, she acted like she didn’t want to leave. Having single-handedly reared her two girls in a low income trailer park for most of their lives, Hilary Collie had been more than pleased when her oldest daughter had met and married the wealthy doctor. Especially since having Brentt as a son-in-law meant that there would be dramatic changes occurring in the whole Collie family lifestyle. Not only was Brentt financing her youngest daughter’s college education, he’d moved Hilary into a nice home of her own.

In spite of all that, Hilary insisted on spending two weekends a month at the Foxworth house even though she lived in the same city, only ten minutes away. Brentt really wouldn’t mind having his mother-in-law around, if she didn’t beg so much or always looked for new reasons to ask them for money. Thank God Bonnie and her younger sister, Roseanne didn’t act like that, otherwise he’d be completely overwhelmed by greedy women.

Then remembering what he’d come in here to do, Brentt got back to the subject at hand. Hastily sitting down in one of the high-back chairs in front of Kirk’s desk, he leaned forward to look at his friend eye-to-eye.

“Remember when you thought we should look into that new community incentive program that some of our colleagues in Georgia have been talking about?”

Kirk nodded. “Yeah, the one that gets wealthy citizens to help send poor students to college.” The one that reminds me so much of Nyla, he mused, recalling that she’d had a similar idea on their group date.

“Exactly,” Brentt said, his green eyes almost as wide as his smile. “Well, the person that runs the company is out in the lobby waiting to see me now.” He paused and sat back in the chair, milking the moment for all its juice, adding to the excitement.

“And…” Kirk said, prompting his friend to get to the point. He’d never seen Brentt this excited before or this drawn out. “Man, come on out with it.”

But Brentt would not comply with his friend’s prodding. He was enjoying this moment far too much take a shortcut. “At first I thought the person coming to see me was a man, because the name on the all correspondence I’ve received said to contact N. Duncan. Well, it’s not. That person’s a woman.” Brentt paused to see if Kirk would make the connection on his own.

When he didn’t see the light of recognition come upon his colleague’s face, Brentt decided to expound. “Dude, N. Duncan is Ny-la Duncan,” he said, putting extra emphasis on the woman’s first name. It never dawned on Brentt that Kirk might not feel the same way about Nyla as he did ten months ago. After all, a lot had changed since then.

Since that group date, Kirk had made a three hundred and sixty degree turnaround in his personal life. He was now a born again Christian. He even witnessed to Brentt and Bonnie who eventually turned their lives over to Christ, too. And now that he seldom dated, Kirk spent much of his free time helping the needy through the various outreaches in his church. Consequently, he has turned into somewhat of a renowned community staple.

On a professional level, Kirk’s company has soared through the roof over the last few months. He and Brentt attribute that increase in business solely to the fact that people prefer receiving treatment for their chronic pain by two praying doctors. Especially since their examining rooms, which contain various framed Bible scriptures and quotes, make no secret of their belief in God’s ability to heal.

“Nyla?!” Kirk choked out. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath as his body visibly shuddered with full comprehension of what had just been told to him.

When he finally opened his eyes again, his dark pools were very focused, the way they usually were right before he prepared to go to surgery. Kirk needed his mind just as clear now, lest he wake up and find out that this was all just a dream.

Swallowing the emotional lump in his throat, Kirk asked, “Do you know if she’s married?” God, please don’t let her be married. Please don’t let her be married, he fervently prayed as he waited for Brentt’s answer.

Brentt shook his head. “Although Felisa did call her Ms. Duncan, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she doesn’t have a man in her life.”

“No disrespect, but I could care less about Nyla dating anyone right now. Just as long as she’s not married. If there’s no husband in the picture, then that means that there’s still a chance for me and her,” Kirk said adamantly as he stood up and began to pace the floor with his hands clasped tightly behind his back.

Suddenly, Kirk stopped and faced his friend again. “I never told you this, but I promised myself that if God ever brought Nyla across my path again, and if she was still single, I’d marry her. Besides my mother, that woman has affected my life more than any other woman I know. Because of Nyla, I became more community oriented. And as you well know, when I became more community oriented, I met Rev. Allen at one of my mentorship meetings. God used Rev. Allen to lead me to the Lord. Then I, in turn, led you and Bonnie to the Lord, too.”

“Wow! This woman has affected all of our lives then. No wonder you’ve been turning down dates left and right. In a way, it’s like you’ve been saving yourself for Nyla,” Brentt said, his green eyes still wide with amazement. Most of this was news to him. He’d had no idea of Kirk’s secret promise or of his friend’s new willingness to get married.

Now convinced that this was an opportunity that had been bestowed upon them by fate, Brentt knew that they had to seize this moment. He looked up at his friend with a secretive smile. “Dude, I have an idea that is almost guaranteed to bring out any remaining feelings Nyla may still have for you. In fact, it just might make her yours today,” Brentt said confidently, formulating the plan in his mind even as he spoke.

Kirk smiled and came closer to his friend, patting him on the back. “Now that’s the sign of a true friend. A true friend will tell you exactly what you need to do to get your life-mate. I’m all ears, man.”

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Monday, March 27, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 10

At the end of the program, Onesha turned to her sister with inquiry on her face. She was the first to make a comment on the obvious, most prevalent point concerning the group date. “Even though you told us in advance that you didn’t get picked, I don’t see why not. Especially after watching the whole show tonight. Girl, that man was practically drooling over you from beginning to end.”

Kinda the way Percy does me, Onesha mused, thinking about her newest boyfriend, Percy Whitney. The tall, dark chocolate man went out of his way to please her whenever they were on the same flight. The other flight attendants couldn’t help but notice how much the distinguished pilot favored Onesha and a few of them even had a couple of things to say about it. Behind her back, of course.

“Yes, he was drooling over her, except when he kissed those other girls at the restaurant,” Asia inserted. “Then he looked a little angry because you refused to kiss him, too.”

“Yeah, I forgot about that,” Onesha said. Then her brows arched with humor. “Girl, I know you wanted to slap those two hoochie-mamas for kissing your man,” she added, reaching for her drink again. This tastes really good, Onesha mused. Her health conscious boyfriend would love the cranberry-raspberry mixture. I’ll have to get the recipe before I leave.

“Kirk ain’t my man,” Nyla protested, leaving out the fact that she’d kissed him, too, albeit away from the glare of the camera. Remembering it now caused a blush to rush into her cheeks and sent hot tingles up and down her spine.

Asia looked at her friend closely and smiled. “Naw, but from that silly look on your face, I’m sure you want him to be.” She got up and walked over to the window to see if Matt’s car was parked outside of her building yet. They had a date tonight. Asia didn’t live too far away and she could see her own apartment complex from here.

Nyla laughed again, neither denying nor confirming anything before changing the subject. “I’m actually glad I saw the show tonight. Something I said on that date just gave me a terrific business idea.” Then she turned to Asia. “Didn’t you say that China was looking for a new job? If she still is, then tell your little sister that I may have employment for her very soon.”

“Good as done, sugar,” Asia replied as she stepped away from the window with a wide smile on her own face. She’d seen Matt’s red jeep outside. It was time to go.

****

Back at Kirk’s house, Devon continued to sit on the couch where he’d alternated between watching the show and watching his brother watch the show. Now that the show was over, he commenced to massaging his inner ear with the edge of his car key. Devon’s face was contorted into numerous forms of ecstasy as he continued to move the key in slow rotations inside his left ear. Various moans escaped his lips.

Brentt arched his thick, bushy red brows in question as he looked at Devon, then at Kirk, who was already laughing from the funny sight. “Dude, are you all right over there?” Brentt asked. His freckled face was lit with humor. “I thought you had a hot date tonight, but it looks like your needs have already been met.”

Devon’s hand stopped as he laughed, too, accepting their teasing. “I do have a date tonight. I just like the way the key feels when my inner ear is itching, that’s all.” Then he looked at his older brother’s now scolding face and added, “Yes, I know that sticking foreign objects in the ear is dangerous, but I might take my chances on this one. It just feels so good.”

With that, Devon stood up to leave. It was time for him to go home and get as sharp as a tack, the way he always did when preparing to meet a woman. Since he’d only stopped over to watch the thirty-minute show with his brother, he’d worn gray sweats. After all, there were no women here to impress.

Halfway out of the den, Devon turned around and said one last thing to his brother. “Just tell me this before I go, Big bro. Why did you pick Talethia, when Nyla was clearly the woman you really wanted?”

Kirk debated within himself about what to say. He knew his younger brother looked up to him, but he couldn’t deny the truth. Something inside just wouldn’t let him lie about his feelings or even try to conceal them.

Squashing his pride, Kirk said, “To be completely honest with you, I still want Nyla. But I saw no sense in going on a second date with a woman that I knew I could lose my heart to.” He stood up from the stool he’d sat on and walked with his brother to the living room area. Brentt stayed in the den and called his wife.

“Big bro, are you running scared?” Devon asked, astonished by Kirk’s openness. This was not like his brother. In the past, Kirk would have just kept such things to himself. In the past, that kind of information would have had to be pried from his tight lips with a pair of pliers.

Kirk nodded, sensing more changes occurring within him. “Yeah, I am. As fast as I can, too. I’ve already been burned once, remember?” he said, referring to his relationship with Ulonda. “I’m not ready to go through that kind of pain again any time soon.” Kirk neglected to say that being around Nyla for that one day almost made him reconsider his position on love. But he would leave something to himself. He’d already said enough as it was.

****

Later that night Nyla received an unexpected phone call. It was from Antwon of all people. He was finally contacting her after four months of separation. After four months of Nyla wondering what went wrong in their relationship. After four months of her trying to figure out how to move on without him. Nyla sat straight up in bed at the sound of his voice, now fully awake at 2am eastern time, 11pm pacific.

“Hey, baby. I saw you on TV tonight and I must say, you looked great. I especially liked the new hairdo. That guy was a fool not to pick you,” Antwon said, leaving out the fact that he was glad that Nyla didn’t get picked. He also completely ignored the fact that he was a fool to have ever left her and had no right to judge another man’s actions when his were just as flawed, if not more so.

Antwon was glad that Nyla didn’t get picked for two main reasons. One was the fact that her being on that show was evidence that she was starting to move on with her life and thus was not still pining away for him at home alone, as his spy in the apartment building previously informed him.

Another reason Antwon was glad that Nyla didn’t get picked was because of fear. He’d seen the way Kirk looked at her during that date and it scared him. It scared him enough to call Nyla at two o’clock in the morning that’s for sure. Although Antwon had been gone for quite a while now, he still didn’t want another man to have his ex-girlfriend. Not when he’d finally gotten his stuff together.

With the pleasantries aside, Antwon got to the real purpose of his call. “Listen, I want to apologize for leaving you hanging like that. I just needed time to work through some things alone. And now that I have, I’m ready to try again.”

While he waited for Nyla to answer, Antwon pressed the ‘channel up’ button on the black TV remote in his hand. He was searching for the Channel 9 evening news. Enroute he passed by Channel 7 and paused as Tatum Bernau’s pretty face appeared on the scene.

Antwon frowned. She was his competition. Her station’s weekend ratings were higher than the company he worked for and he didn’t know what to do about it. Yet. After quickly flipping the rest of the way to Channel 9, he put the remote down.

“Try again?” Nyla asked. The man must be crazy. After four months of no contact. Please, she mused decisively, her lips in a scowl. If Nyla hadn’t been holding the maroon phone in one hand, both arms would have been defiantly folded across her chest as an outward sign of the anger that was floating around in her heart.

“Yes, try again. I’ll even fly you out here first-class,” Antwon said. His voice softened in that persuasive way that used to melt Nyla’s reserve every time. His attention was now focused solely on their conversation and not the TV screen across from him.

Nyla sighed with indifference and shook her head. His charm wasn’t working on her this time. “You must have finally gotten a job.”

“Yeah, I did. How did you know?” Antwon asked. He smiled at the very mention of his top salaried weekend anchor position at a thriving southern California television station. He’d been working there for a full month now and he loved it.

Antwon also loved his new apartment. After three months of staying alternately with his divorced parents, he’d been more than ready to find his own place. A place he imagined Nyla sharing with him. Unfortunately, co-habitation would again be the extent of Antwon’s commitment to her. Due to his parents’ rocky union and even rockier divorce, he didn’t believe in the institution of marriage. That dream was destroyed a long time ago.

“You wouldn’t be offering to spend that kind of money on me, if you didn’t have a job. A good one at that,” Nyla said. It was hard to forget how much her ex-boyfriend prided himself on being able to shower her with gifts.

As a whole, Antwon tended to equate love with money. This was largely due to the fact that money was all that his nomadic salesman of a father ever really gave to him or his mother. Consequently, when Antwon found himself without any money to give, he felt that he didn’t have any love to give either, and more sadly, no love to receive.

Antwon chuckled. “You’re right. And that’s not all. I have a big studio apartment just waiting to be broken in the right way,” he said huskily, making it clear that he expected their reunion to be an intimate one. Although he’d been with a few other women in the last four months, none had come close to replacing Nyla in his heart.

“Tyrone told me that you started back going to church with your parents again. But don’t worry; no one has to know about our little rendezvous. That’ll just be between the two of us,” Antwon teased, looking very self-confident now as he leaned back and propped his feet up on the navy ottoman in front of him.

Tyrone? Who’s Tyrone? Nyla mused. Her brows furrowed in a frown.

Suddenly she remembered that Tyrone was the ad executive from the second floor that Antwon used to play golf with on Sundays to keep from having to go to church with her. Nyla also remembered how as a result of Antwon’s refusal to attend church and the guilt she felt at times from their co-habitation; she stopped attending church, too. None of that had set well with her parents, particularly her father who didn’t think that the selfish, conceited sportscaster was good enough for his daughter in the first place.

So he can call somebody in Dapper City, just not me, Nyla mused hotly, realizing that her father had been right about Antwon all along. He was selfish and totally unconcerned about how his actions would affect her.

Then deciding that it was time to end this call and any hope that Antwon had of reconciliation, Nyla spoke her mind. “I’m not coming, Antwon. What we had is over and I’d appreciate you not calling me again. After all, you seemed to have done all right without speaking to me over the last four months, so the rest of your life should be a breeze,” Nyla said tartly, before promptly hanging up in his face.

The loud click in Antwon’s right ear sounded like a church bell tolling for those who’d been lost. Someone was lost. Nyla was lost to Antwon forever and he knew it. He’d waited far too late to reconcile with her and he knew that, too. As a result, the dejected man returned the black phone to its base.

****

Back in Dapper City, Nyla got up and went to sit on her covered balcony for a time of meditation. After that call, there was no way she could go back to sleep now. Talking to Antwon had caused her to think about some of the decisions she’d made in the past, both professionally and privately. Now Nyla saw where she could have done better in both areas of her life. Although she knew that she couldn’t change the past, she could make better decisions for her future. And that’s what she endeavored to do from now on.

Realizing that it had gotten chilly out, Nyla returned to her bedroom for a crocheted blanket that she and Onesha had worked on together as teenagers. Wrapping the lightweight pink and green material about herself, Nyla returned outside just in time to see the first raindrops of a quiet storm starting to fall. There was no thunder, no lightning, just a steady supply of liquid to saturate the thirsty earth and make things grow.

As she sat there looking at the impromptu waterfall created from the balcony above and listening to its soothing sound as it fell on the structures below, Nyla felt something growing within her. It was an idea. A great, wonderful, innovative idea that would surely bless the world around her.

Suddenly a scripture from Proverbs 3:6 came to her mind. ‘In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.’ Nyla smiled and looked upwards in gratitude of that reminder. “Yes, Lord. I realize that I’m gonna need You now more than ever before. And I’m okay with that.”

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Good News!

In the month of April, I will be featuring another one of my novels entitled 'Turbulent Journey' in its entirety. Cut and paste that freebie to your computers while you can, because once May gets here, the second half of 'Turbulent Journey' will be taken off the blog and the whole book will once again be for sale. If you recall, I did the same thing in December with 'Beautiful...Tangled Roots'.

Now on to my second batch of good news. I am currently in the process of putting 'Bittersweet Interruptions' in paperback form. At this time it is going through another editing process (When will the editing ever be over for any book? LOL).

I expect 'Bittersweet Interruptions' to be ready for release late spring, early summer. Special thanks to all those who have bought this book or any of my books in electronic format. Your financial support is making my leap to print possible, one book at a time. Thanks again.

Suprina

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 9

September - One month later
“C’mon, Nyla, the show’s starting,” Onesha yelled from her sister’s comfortable blue couch. They were getting ready to watch the Three-To-One broadcast featuring Nyla’s group date.

Although she’d heard all about it, Onesha couldn’t wait to see the man who, at the very mention of his name, could make her little sister smile and blush all over. The man that had made Nyla forgot all about Antwon.

As the handsome man’s face scrolled down the television screen, another eager woman instantly reacted to his appearance. It was Asia. She’d been impatiently waiting to see Kirk, too.

“Ooo…he’s cute,” Asia squealed, putting the big clear bowl of popcorn down on the rectangular, glass coffee table in front of her. Then she sat down on the opposite end of the couch, leaving room for Nyla to sit in the middle, the way she always did when the three of them were together.

These days the girls hadn’t been getting together quite as much. It wasn’t because they didn’t value each other’s company anymore. It was just that their individual lives were rapidly changing and consuming more of their schedules. Asia was dating a new man, a man that she was very serious about and was even thinking of marrying one day. Onesha was dating a new man as well and she was flying more hours with the airline. As for Nyla, she was back to traveling from city to city with her fundraising job.

Hurrying from the kitchen with a round platter of drinks in her hands, Nyla finally took her seat. Even though she already knew what was going to happen, she wanted to see Kirk’s face again. In a strange way, she missed him.

With her eyes glued to the TV screen, Nyla put the green platter in her lap and handed off beverages to the women on either side of her. Then the three of them became silent as the announcer began to narrate the story.

“Welcome back to Three-To-One. The game show that matches you up with three dates for the evening and watches as you narrow them down to that one special individual for an all expense paid tropical second date. Today we have a handsome doctor in the hot seat. Kirk has to choose between Alandria - the model, Talethia - the restaurateur, and Nyla - the fundraising executive.” As the announcer spoke, simultaneously three still shots of the female contestants appeared across the screen with brief information about them under their faces.

“Who will he choose when all three women are so beautiful and have so much going for them? That’s left to be seen,” the announcer continued. “But first, let’s get Kirk’s first impression of the women.”

Then they featured Kirk’s behind-the-scene commentaries. When he got around to his first impression of her, Nyla held her breath. Kirk almost looked startled, shaken even, as he looked through the two-way mirror.

I knew there was something funny about that mirror, Nyla mused, remembering the feeling she’d had of being watched that day. Today’s show was proof that she indeed had been observed unawares.

Asia said, “Girl, the man looks like he just found gold.” She took a deep sip of the nutritious cranberry-raspberry smoothie in her hand. It tasted good going down her throat. Although Nyla couldn’t cook a lick, she sure knew how to make the best drinks.

“Yeah, and the name of that gold must be Nyla,” Onesha inserted, eager to see what would happen next.

****

In another city, Kirk sat looking at the same program. Brentt and Devon were with him. They were watching the show on the wide screen television in Kirk’s spacious den while drinking light beers and eating chips. The three men usually congregated like this when they were watching sport shows, but they weren’t watching a sports show tonight. Tonight they were watching destiny in the making.

“Player, what happened there? You look like the cat got your tongue,” Devon teased. He hadn’t seen Kirk look at a woman like that since Ulonda, the beautiful, yet covert little gold-digger who’d left his brother for a wealthier benefactor after a year of serious dating.

“Yeah, and that cat’s name must be Nyla,” Brentt said, observing his best friend’s posture as he sat at the custom built mirrored bar area. The bar top was black with mirrored trimmings and a mirrored base. Behind it was a rectangular-shaped mirrored wall that allowed the barstool occupants and others to see their reflections. And the reflection Brentt saw on Kirk’s face right now was priceless.

As Kirk rotated the bottom of the black barstool with his sneakered feet, he looked like he was able to pounce on the television set. Especially when the cameras did a close up of Nyla. The man even licked his lips as if the very image of her was mouthwatering to him.

Brentt continued to observe Kirk’s current demeanor. The more he did, the more he realized that Nyla was the one for his friend. But what he couldn’t understand was why Kirk didn’t pick her. Yet another look at his friend’s face and that answer came quickly enough.

He’s afraid of her, Brentt deduced. She must have had quite an affect on him. Then as the program went on, Brentt and Devon both saw just how much of an affect Nyla really had had on Kirk.

****

“What did you whisper in his ear?” Asia asked, gathering up another handful of popcorn. The hot sauce she’d sprinkled on them gave the snack an added kick. Asia loved spicy food and her new boyfriend did, too. That was just one of the many things they had in common, despite the fact that some people probably wished that they had none.

I wonder what Matt’s doing, Asia mused, thinking of her blond-haired, military man right now.

Meanwhile, the other two women in the room continued to focus on the television show. “Kirk looks like he’d just been told something delightful by the wide smile on his face,” Onesha said, clearing her throat as she reached for her glass. The popcorn had gotten hotter as they’d gotten closer to the bottom of the bowl. “Asia, what are you trying to do, burn my tonsils out?” She shot the mahogany-skinned woman a stern look, before gulping down her juice drink.

“I think it’s my best batch yet,” Asia teased, sticking out her tongue. She and Onesha often kidded each other like this. In fact, Onesha was like a big sister to her, too.

“Crazy women.” Nyla laughed, rolling her chestnut eyes upwards. “Anyway, I basically told Kirk to take his hands off of my derriere or else.” She pointed to the screen just as the cameras showed Kirk complying with her wishes. “I guess he didn’t want to be embarrassed on national television.”

****

“Dude, what happened there? It looked like she was finally warming up to you,” Brentt said, popping open another beer, his second one for the night and also his last. Neither he nor Kirk was heavy drinkers. In their line of work, they had to maintain a clear head and a steady hand at all times.

“I thought she was, too,” Kirk said, remembering how good Nyla had felt in his arms. “But let’s just say that Nyla was warning me to straighten up and fly right or else.” He smiled, chuckling to himself. That beautiful, feisty woman.

Devon’s dark eyes narrowed as he focused on his brother’s face. He couldn’t believe Kirk was actually digging the fact that Nyla had dissed him. His big brother was changing on him and he didn’t know how to feel about that. Thus, Devon leaned back on the black leather sectional couch he sat on and silently took closer notes of his brother’s every reaction concerning this woman named Nyla.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 8

Later that night, after calling her family and friends to let them know that she hadn’t won, Nyla found herself unable to sleep again. Finding nothing interesting on TV, she decided to go downstairs for a late night swim to relax after such a long, draining day.

The August heat hadn’t drained her; it was the company she’d kept today. The constant emotional highs and lows Nyla had felt from being around an undeniably attractive man and two competitive, openly hostile women had definitely taken their toil on her.

As she made her way through the burgundy Persian carpeted hallways of the hotel, the mahogany clock she saw on a wall revealed that it was now 4am in the morning. I’m officially one-day-old in the Lord, Nyla mused, getting on the elevator. She was extremely happy about that.

****

Swimming in long luxurious strokes, Nyla traveled back and forth across the width of the pool several times. It was a while before she spotted a lone figure sitting on an ocean blue-colored lounge chair on the darkest end of the pool area. When the person suddenly stood up upon being noticed, she realized that it was Kirk.

What Nyla didn’t realize was that fact he’d come out here an hour ago for a little swimming and stargazing - two things that never failed to relax him. She also didn’t realize that he’d been silently watching her for the last twenty minutes.

Wearing only a pair of navy swim trunks, Nyla watched as Kirk came towards her. Trying to think of something halfway intelligent to say in the midst of her raging emotions, she took her time getting out of the pool. After wrapping her wet body in one of the hotel’s burgundy terrycloth robes, Nyla’s mind had cleared somewhat from its distraction.

“I thought you would have been upstairs resting up for your big date tomorrow,” she said. Saying those words set Nyla’s teeth on edge like long fingernails to a black chalkboard. Just the thought of Kirk and Talethia at some tropical location together aggrieved her.

Kirk came closer until he stood directly in front of Nyla. His dark eyes were ablaze with emotion as he noticed the pain in her chestnut pools. “I picked the wrong woman,” Kirk whispered. With every delicious lap he’d watched Nyla swim that truth had sunk in deeper and deeper.

Kirk forced himself to continue looking at Nyla’s lovely caramel face, instead of focusing on how the moonlight looked shining on her deliciously well-toned body in that glimmering silver suit she wore. Now was not the time for lust. There was something deeper happening here. Something deeper and higher happening at the same time, changing Kirk against his will, invoking a faraway memory to come closer to his consciousness. Something about Nyla’s sad chestnut eyes suddenly seemed so familiar. Had they met before this game show? If so, when?

“Uh...huh? What?” Nyla stammered out. What is he talking about? she mused, trying equally hard not to stare at Kirk’s muscular mahogany chest as she pretended to busy herself with tying the robe’s sash.

“I deliberately picked the wrong woman. And you know it, too, beautiful one,” Kirk said softly as he reached over and traced Nyla’s wet hairline down to her smooth elegant neck. For a brief moment, he allowed himself to relish the electrically charged heat between them before promptly removing his hand. Any further contact might produce a blazing fire that neither of them would be able to put out.

“You are the one I should have picked. But I couldn’t.” Kirk shook his head and frowned as if it pained him to say this. “No matter how much I want you, I know I’m not ready for you yet.”

Nyla nodded in agreement, still tingling from his touch. She understood exactly what Kirk was talking about now. Now was not the time for them. She was not ready for another serious relationship, either. Her heart hadn’t fully healed from the last one yet. Although the last twenty-four hours had gone a long way towards speeding up her recovery, Nyla knew that she still needed some time alone. Some time to get to know God better.

But the endearment he uttered, Nyla mused. She couldn’t seem to get past the fact that Kirk had called her by the same affectionate name the female minister had mentioned yesterday around this time. Maybe beautiful one is a popular endearment in this part of the country, she thought, wondering what all of this meant.

“I understand completely,” Nyla finally replied. “Well, goodnight, Kirk.” Then sighing audibly with regret, she moved to walk past him.

Kirk nodded his farewell, still in complete control of himself until the sash of Nyla’s robe accidentally brushed against his leg, sending another bolt of electricity through him. Inhaling sharply, he reached for her hand and held it, allowing the strong currents stemming from their touch to flow throughout his whole body this time. Neither moved for a long while as they stood looking intently into each other’s eyes, drinking deeply of what they saw there.

Then suddenly they moved at the same time towards each other. Soon Kirk and Nyla were locked in the kiss of lifetime as they clung together, probing each other’s mouths like there was no tomorrow. It certainly felt like it. Only this moment mattered now, for tomorrow they’d have to go their separate ways again. Return to their separate lives. With that in mind, Kirk and Nyla kissed as if they needed this memory as a private souvenir to take back home with them.

When they finally came up for air, Kirk rested his forehead against Nyla’s and sighed out loud. Deep regret weighed heavily upon his shoulders. “Goodnight, beautiful one. Thanks for gracing my life with your presence. I’m richer for it.”

It took everything in Kirk to release Nyla instead of taking her back to his room to finish what they’d just started. And the fact that they’d both unconsciously said goodnight instead of goodbye would be something he’d think about for months afterwards.

Nyla nodded without saying another word. Among other things, she was too stunned that she’d broken her no-kissing-on-the-first-date rule for this man. A gorgeous, mahogany-skinned, kiss-your-socks-off-man. A man that she’d never see again. Then as Nyla walked away on slightly unsteady legs, she realized that this trip had truly been bittersweet in more ways than one.

****

Five floors up, Brian - the cameraman - had just finished a late night of editing and was out on his balcony smoking a cigarette when he spotted the two people below. I knew Nyla was the one, he mused, after having witnessed the whole intimate scene. But that moment had not been filmed and thus Brian had no proof that he’d actually won the bet. Well, maybe that’s a story best left untold, he reasoned, seeing how Kirk’s shoulders slumped with sadness as he watched Nyla walk away.

I don’t believe it! A rich man ‘can’ actually be poor, Brian realized as he watched the miserable looking doctor slowly walk in the opposite direction of his ladylove. All of this made Brian think of his loving wife back home and how much she had enriched his life over the years.

I guess I’m a rich man after all, he mused, going back inside the suite to make a call. He suddenly wanted to hear Marina’s voice right now.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 7

After that late lunch, the game show participants all went back to the hotel to rest up and change. Per Kirk’s request, all three women would wear the outfits that he bought for them earlier that day. Because Alandria and Talethia selected lingerie as well as clothes in his presence, only Nyla would have the good doctor wondering what was underneath her new outfit.

At 7pm they all reconvened and were then escorted to one of the hottest nightclubs in Commonway. This was the part that Nyla dreaded the most. She was conflicted about whether a Christian should drink or go dancing. But after spending the last few hours calling around to track down her mother, she was finally able to get some peace about those things.

After first taking a few moments to praise God for Nyla’s conversion, Millicent Duncan mentioned that God’s Word didn’t seem to be against alcoholic beverages taken in moderation or for medicinal purposes. But that there was evidence of God’s disapproval concerning getting drunk.

Since most people didn’t know when to stop or either didn’t have the willpower to stop once they got started, Millicent advised Nyla to just refrain from drinking altogether until she could get further teaching on the subject.

As for the dancing question, Millicent informed her daughter that dancing was not sinful in and of itself. But that some people tended to use it in the wrong way. She concluded the conversation by mentioning that certain hip movements and gyrations often displayed in today’s dance steps were better if reserved for use between a husband and his wife. And since this man was not Nyla’s husband, Millicent advised her daughter to use wisdom and discretion in that area.

****

The party at Heroes and Heroines was jumping tonight. Colorful lights played with the eyes in time to the lively music that played with the feet. There were plenty of small, round tables set up on the two carpeted levels of the club to accommodate those who wanted to sit. There was also plenty of dancing room on the hardwood floor area for those who wanted to jam.

On top of that, people - dressed in their best party attire - were out early enjoying themselves, ready to party until the break of dawn. Alandria, Talethia, and Kirk were three of those people. In fact, after having a couple of drinks, the two women made a man-sandwich out of him on the dance floor while Nyla, who’d only had a club soda, danced alone.

Nyla really didn’t mind though. The date was almost over and she was pretty sure that Kirk would not pick her. And she didn’t want to be picked, either. She’d already accepted the fact that she didn’t need another man in her life right now. Emotionally, Nyla knew that she wasn’t ready for another serious relationship. And since she never believed in casual sex anyway, there was no other kind of relationship she could be in. Especially with a man like Kirk, a man she found herself very much attracted to.

Let me just make the most of these last few hours, for tomorrow I go home, Nyla inwardly resolved as she threw her hands up in the air to the rhythm of one of her favorite party songs. The song was entitled ‘You don’t have to call’ by R & B singer Usher.

“Hey,” she said soulfully as the music permeated her pores, prompting her feet to move. So engrossed in doing her own thing, Nyla failed to notice that Kirk had eased his way away from Alandria and Talethia and was now dancing closely behind her.

Although the two women looked disappointed that he’d left them, they didn’t try to stop Kirk from spending a few minutes alone with the ice princess. By now it was obvious to Alandria and Talethia that Nyla was not going to be picked, either. However, it was not surprising to them. Kirk needed someone who was warmer, more passionate towards him. Someone willing to go the extra mile to be with him and Nyla just hadn’t demonstrated the willingness to be that person today.

Meanwhile, Kirk continued to make the last few hours of his time with Nyla count as he danced behind her. With his eyes fixed on her effortless rhythm, it was obvious that she certainly had the moves of a winner, regardless of what anyone else thought.

Kirk suspected that Nyla was a natural dancer by the way she walked. All of her movements seemed completely in tune with every beat, every musical note. When the instruments took a dip, her body did, too. When they rose, she did, too. And when the music had a breakdown moment, Nyla broke it all the way down, practically to the floor.

What intrigued Kirk even more was the fact that Nyla wasn’t dancing to impress. She wasn’t dancing to get his or anyone else’s attention. In fact, her eyes were closed and the look on her caramel face was one of utter contentment as she simply enjoyed the music. Watching her, Kirk thought he was in heaven. Or at least somewhere near there. Unable to resist touching her, he moved closer and boldly placed his hands on her swaying hips.

Feeling hands on her body, Nyla’s eyes flew open as she turned around to face her unwelcome and uninvited dance partner. To her irritation, instead of removing his hands, Kirk simply shifted their positions. Now he held her firmly by the waist. Nyla’s chestnut pools sparked ire and something that was a close cousin to desire. She quickly hid the latter as she silenced all emotions, except a barely concealed sliver of anger.

Even though Nyla continued to dance, she hoped that Kirk would see that she wasn’t as enthusiastic anymore and remove his hands altogether. But he didn’t. Instead he reached down and palmed her bottom, drawer her even closer to him. No doubt Kirk wanted to see how well they moved together.

Discerning what Kirk was up to and yet not wanting to make a scene on national television, Nyla inched even closer to him, putting her arms sensually around his neck until she was at his ear. Then she whispered ever so softly that ear. “Let go of my behind right now or all of America is gonna see you wallowing in intense personal pain, if you know what I mean.”

Then under the guise of a sensual dance move, Nyla raised a knee slightly against Kirk’s inner thigh for extra emphasis. Withdrawing a bit, she smiled intently at him with a determined look on her face, sending him the message that she meant business.

Seeing such fire and ice at the same time, prompted a smiling Kirk to finally remove his hands. But he could not remove the affect Nyla had had on him. Her invigorating scent, the softness of her body up against him, the way they’d moved together for that brief moment in time had all left him with mixed feelings. Now Kirk knew without a shadow of doubt who he should pick.

****

At the end of the date, all four individuals were ushered into a private suite for the final decision. Besides the extra lighting needed for the camera shots, the room was basically decorated along a romantic theme. The flames of scented candles were dancing on three brass sconces that individually hung above each woman’s head as they sat a fair distance away from each other on elegant, embroidered dancing lady chairs.

Roses of various colors were arranged on the walls and on the small dancing lady table positioned by the oval-shaped window opposite them. Kirk stood near this table next to the three silver boxes that sat on top of it. Everyone knew that those boxes contained the roses of his decision and were mentally preparing themselves for what would come next.

When the rose boxes were handed out, Nyla was prompted by the producer to open hers first. Slowly lifting the silver lid, she was blindsided by an unexpected sense of disappointment. There lay a beautiful yellow rose, signifying that she was not the chosen one.

Even though Nyla hadn’t expected to win and hadn’t really wanted to win, it still stung that she hadn’t. Unknown to her, a few of the show’s crew members took quick looks at each other. Some were shocked by Kirk’s decision, others were not.

Relying on sheer willpower and a quick silent prayer for strength, Nyla stilled her emotions, drove the look of disappointment out of her telltale chestnut eyes, and forced a smile to appear on her face. She did all that in the seconds that it took before she had to look into the nosy camera lens peering at her from the right.

Then ready to put this whole experience behind her, Nyla squared her shoulders, stood up and approached Kirk for her goodbye moment. According to the rules, she could inquire as to why she wasn’t picked, but in light of everything that had happened in the last twenty-four hours, it was better to just let things be.

Extending her hand to Kirk, Nyla forced herself to ignore the jolt of electricity that surged between them once again. Focusing on such things wouldn’t profit either of them now. “It was good to have met you, Kirk. I think everything worked out for the best,” she said, shaking his hand goodbye.

But a goodbye handshake wouldn’t do for Kirk. It wasn’t enough. In a matter of seconds Kirk had Nyla in a big bear hug. Although the hug was brief enough, the intense emotions it provoked within him proved his point. There was definitely something between him and Nyla. Something powerful.

Incidentally and unfortunately, that’s exactly why Nyla hadn’t been chosen tonight. Kirk was afraid of her and the wonderful, fantastically irritating things she incited within him. He’d entered this contest simply for fun, not to find a serious relationship. And deep down Kirk knew that if he’d chosen Nyla, he’d end up getting very serious, very quickly.

“Goodbye, Nyla,” Kirk said as he finally released her to leave the room. Oh how he would have loved to have gotten just one taste of her sweet lips before she left. But then that would have violated her first date rule. Besides, one kiss from Nyla was sure to leave Kirk wanting more. Much more than he could handle right now.

By the time Talethia was revealed as his chosen date, Kirk was more than ready to call it a night. He especially hated when Alandria protested his decision by slipping him her number and address anyway as she gave him a deep goodbye kiss to show him what he was missing out on. Kirk couldn’t wait to throw that slip of paper in the nearest trashcan. He was allergic to gold-diggers like Alandria. A couple of middle school girls and a woman named Ulonda were all the allergens of that type his life could stand.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 6

The Three-To-One entourage finally arrived at the restaurant around 2pm. Alandria and Talethia both quickly claimed seats next Kirk again. Being the odd woman out was now a familiar thing for Nyla, so she set out to just enjoy her meal with as much dignity as she could muster on such an unusual group date.

Kirk certainly seems to be enjoying ‘his’ meal, Nyla mused as she watched him dive heartily into the peppercorn steak and two-cheese linguine on his oval-shaped white plate.

Halfway through the meal, Talethia leaned in closer to Kirk’s right ear and whispered something that made him chuckle. Alandria immediately protested. “Hey! No whispering here. You have to tell us what you said.”

Talethia smiled secretively. “Kirk can tell you if he wants to.” Her mocha cheeks flushed with excited color. It was clear that she wanted them all to know her dirty little secret.

Kirk looked reluctant, as if he really didn’t want to repeat Talethia’s words. And from the way his dark eyes turned to stare at Nyla, it was obvious that she was the reason for his reluctance. Did Kirk suddenly care too much about Nyla’s feelings to repeat what nasty thing some other woman had whispered in his ear? Was that why his eyes searched her face as if he was trying to discern what was going through her mind right now?

“Will you tell us, Kirk?” Alandria asked, trying to regain his attention from Nyla.

“No, Talethia can spill the beans if she so desires,” Kirk replied, his eyes once again drawn to Nyla’s face like magnets. Oh how he wished that it was just the two of them on this date and no others.

Talethia couldn’t have been happier to tell her secret. “I told Kirk that the steak was excellent, but that I bet his lips tasted better.” She grinned triumphantly at the other two women, pleased that she had thought of something so original.

“Let’s see,” Alandria said, eager to prove herself superior in this area, too. Many of the guys she dated had deemed her to be a great kisser. She wanted to add Kirk to that list. “C’mon, Kirk. How about a little taste for your ladies?” She ran a pair of manicured hands across the exposed portion of his left arm.

“Whoa! Stop right there. I am not kissing him. As a rule, I never kiss a guy on the first date,” Nyla said quickly, anxiously, bringing all eyes abruptly her way. She couldn’t kiss Kirk. Doing that might make her reconsider her decision to wait for the right man to come into her life.

Although Nyla had legitimate reasons for not wanting to kiss Kirk, as soon as she saw the flash of pain flicker in his eyes, she instantly regretted ever saying anything. Even though she’d spoken truth, she hadn’t meant to hurt him by doing so. Nyla would never want to do that.

Feeling an unexpected blow of rejection hit him and thinking of his younger brother at home, along with all the other men wishing they were in his shoes today; Kirk turned to Talethia and planted a big wet one on her lips. After leaving her breathless and panting for more, he turned to Alandria and did the same.

Nyla forced herself not to react as she lowered her gaze to her plate. She couldn’t understand why Kirk’s actions felt so personal just then. And why she suddenly felt punished. Not knowing what else to do, Nyla began to push the remainder of the pasta primavera around on her plate with her fork, putting small bites of it into her mouth. She pretended to enjoy it, even though her appetite was long gone. Nyla would not give the three other people at the round table the satisfaction of knowing how they’d affected her.

When the kisses were finally over, Alandria turned to Nyla and said, “Girl, you don’t know what you’re missing.”

“Yeah, you should have thrown your little rule book out the window for this one,” Talethia added, her body still singing from the affect of Kirk’s kiss. The current state of her body made her more determined than ever to get this man.

“I’ll take your word on that,” Nyla said nonchalantly, picking up her glass to quench her suddenly dry throat. She couldn’t wait for this date to be over. She wished she could leave now, but contest rules dictated that she stay until the bitter end. Oh how she regretted ever letting Asia and Onesha talk her into this.

Not getting as much satisfaction as he thought he would out of the kisses or out of Nyla’s reaction, Kirk promptly endeavored to change the subject. “Hypothetical question, ladies,” he said, pushing his plate forward and clasping his hands together on the table. “If you were my woman and I told you that money was no object, what would you like for me to give you?” Whether they knew it or not, this was a test and their answers would help determine Kirk’s final decision at the end of the evening.

Talethia immediately answered. “A trip to Paris. That way I can take you to all the finest restaurants and introduce you to the finest cuisine before taking you back to our hotel room to make the finest love you’ve ever had.”

Kirk smiled. His mahogany face was lit with humor. “Good answer, Talethia. I like that.” Kirk especially liked how well Talethia played along. He could see them having lots of fun together.

Alandria decided to go deeper. “I’d like a shopping trip to the jewelers for the best engagement ring money can buy,” she said, hinting at the fact that one day she’d want their relationship to go beyond dating. “Then I’d like to go shopping for a new house. A house that we’d furnish with the best of everything from the best stores. A house that we’d spend our waking hours making love in from top to bottom.”

Kirk didn’t bat an eye at Alandria’s response as he suddenly realized an important truth about her - she was materialistic. Why else would her answer focus so much on shopping? Sadly, that negative trait reminded Kirk too much of someone from his past and he instantly began to fight not to frown.

When Kirk finally replied, his tone was polite, yet very dry. “From top to bottom, huh?”

“From top to bottom,” Alandria reiterated, licking her lips suggestively.

Kirk ignored that last comment and turned to the last woman at the table. “What about you, Nyla?” His voice became unusually soft, as if he was somehow trying to communicate that he’d forgiven her and hoped that she’d forgiven him for the unspoken things that transpired between them only minutes earlier.

Since this was something Nyla felt that she could participate in, she came right out with her statement. “Kirk, since you said that money was no object, and since I’m assuming that if I was your woman I’d already have your love, I’d tell you to continue giving me that good love - which shouldn’t cost a thing. Then I’d tell you to use the money you would have spent on me to impact our community for good. Maybe send a worthy poor student to college. I think that would be a better investment of your time and money than any trip or any amount jewelry could ever be.”

Kirk was floored by that answer. It was so unexpected and so effective. But most of all, it instantly provoked him to start thinking about how he’d been spending his earnings lately. On his substantial salary, Kirk could afford to live lavishly. Very lavishly. But what about those who couldn’t? What about those who couldn’t even afford to buy the necessities in life?

As Kirk thought more about Nyla’s words, he felt himself changing inside as the philanthropist within him arose as if awakening out of a deep sleep. He’d longed to add purpose to his giving and now Nyla’s suggestion had shown him how.

Seeing the intense look on Kirk’s face, Nyla added, “Furthermore, if I was your woman, you’d already know that all I ever really wanted from you anyway was your complete, unadulterated love.”

That last part had come from a deep place in her heart. And even though she’d spoken it to Kirk, Nyla felt as if that statement could have also been directed at Antwon. For some reason, he’d never been totally convinced of her unconditional love for him. In hard times, he’d doubted it even more.

Kirk blinked and nodded his approval. Nyla’s lengthy answer had affected him deeply. Deeper than he ever imagined it would. It had also left him speechless, unable to say a thing.

But Alandria had plenty of words to say. “Oh that’s so sweet. I can almost hear the violins playing now.” She smirked and pretended to play an imaginary violin. “Girl, that’s what UNCF is about and I’m sure Kirk gives generously to them every year.”

Mindful of the cameras, Kirk held his tongue. He resented every foul word that had donned the doors of Alandria’s lips. If ever a mouth needed a padlock it was hers. Consequently, Kirk found himself disliking Alandria more and more by the moment. How was it possible for all that beauty to be wasted on such a selfish soul?

“As he should give to such worthy causes,” Nyla countered, keeping her gaze steady on Kirk. “But think of how much more powerful your contribution would be if you were also helping someone in your own community, your very own city. Someone that, once they get their education, can come back and do the same thing for someone else. Pretty soon, your whole community is uplifted and enriched with strong, educated leaders and professionals.”

Being raised in a community oriented family was evident in Nyla’s speech. In fact, among other charitable acts, her family often spent every Thanksgiving feeding the poor at their church. During her teen summers they used to take a month off to help build homes for the needy. The fact that Nyla grew up to inspire people to give for a living was of no surprise to anyone. She’d been groomed for such a thing all of her life.

Having gotten his emotions back in check and feeling the need to cut this cat fighting short, Kirk intervened just as Alandria and Talethia were about to verbally double team Nyla with smart retorts. “Ladies, ladies, let’s not spoil our appetites for dessert,” he said, motioning for the waitress to come over.

By the time dessert arrived, Nyla wasn’t sure if it was safe to even ride to the next destination with Alandria and Talethia. The menacing glances they gave her reeked of green venom.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Author Note - Free Gift

Just wanted everybody to know that a free Date Compilation File is available for immediate download.

I created this file to store all completed date storylines in case anyone wanted to print them out and read them altogether in sequential order.

To get this Date Compilation File, email me at suprinaf@bellsouth.net and I'll upload it to you promptly.

Thanks for being faithful readers,

Suprina

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 5

Almost forgetting that he hadn’t seen Nyla model anything yet, Kirk turned towards the dressing room door just as it opened. Suddenly the smile on his face froze. His heartbeat seemed to thunder in his ears with excitement. He’d never seen a woman look this beautiful before and she was fully covered. Nyla’s beauty seemed to start from the inside out, indicating that she probably had a beautiful soul, too.

“Beautiful, just beautiful,” Kirk whispered, admiring the way the tank dress fit upon Nyla’s frame as it elegantly reached all the way down to her ankles. The gold bangles and thick hoop earrings she wore were the perfect accessories to the outfit.

So engrossed in the gorgeous sight before him, Kirk failed to realize how abruptly he’d shifted his attention from the other two women on the date. Now Alandria and Talethia were watching Nyla with sharp daggers in their eyes. They resented the fact that she’d successfully obtained the whole of Kirk’s attention without even trying.

Brian, one of the cameramen, smiled when he saw how absolutely mesmerized Kirk was with Nyla. Although the other members of the crew deemed Alandria as the projected winner since few believed a man could pass up on a beautiful model, his bet was on Nyla. Therefore, Brian zoomed into Kirk’s openmouthed stare before panning to capture every annoyed expression and frustrated movement of the angry, half-dressed women behind the good doctor.

Instead of being angry or offended by the way Kirk stared, Nyla simply smiled. His fervent interest felt good, like a cup of hot soup on a cold winter’s day, able to warm up the chilliest person.

“Thanks, Kirk. All that’s missing now are those gold sling-back shoes over there,” she said, pointing to a clear display case on the left side of the store by the lavender-colored wall.

Then before Kirk could say anything else, Alandria interrupted the heated moment. “Aren’t you going to join our little show?” She wiggled her slender hips for emphasis, bringing instant attention to the thigh-high fishnet stockings she wore. Alandria’s question sounded pleasant enough, but it was totally self-serving. She believed that she had the best body out of the three women present and she wanted Kirk to believe that, too.

Alandria deemed Nyla’s body too top-heavy with those ‘D’ cups and her ‘ba’donk-ka’donk’ derriere as entirely too big and most likely full of stretch marks and cellulite. She deemed Talethia’s body as more like a man’s with its hard, bodybuilding contours. From Alandria’s critical assessments of her counterparts, it was clear that it was now every woman for herself. It was also clear that she was willing to feign friendship with Talethia, only to stab her in the back later, just to get the man she wanted.

Talethia joined in with her own brand of cattiness. “Yeah, what’s up with that? You’re not a shy little virgin are you?” She snickered, running her hands down the skimpy, red silk camisole and panty set she wore, trying to send the message that she was far from virginal.

Kirk remained quiet, watching the three women interact with amusement. He wanted to see how Nyla would handle herself in the face of such clear adversity.

Nyla simply smiled at the wisecracks directed towards her. She’d been through this kind of stuff before and knew exactly how to deal with it. Here comes the truth. Here comes the truth, she mused humorously to the tune of ‘Here comes the bride.’

Aloud Nyla said, “I wish I was a virgin. It would have saved me a whole lot of trouble. No, the next time a man sees that much of my body, he’ll be my husband.” Then she turned and gave Kirk an even bigger smile. “I’ll be over there, if you need me,” Nyla said, nodding to the left, before going to get the shoes she mentioned earlier.

Kirk’s long lashes hooded his eyes as he watched Nyla walk away. She had a sensual stride without even trying. And the formfitting dress she wore only served to emphasize it even more. Suddenly, an internal dialogue began within him.

Ooo…wee. As Devon would say, ‘Baby got back’. But then again, baby got top, too. Truth be known, baby got everything, Kirk mused with pleasure, taking another quick, appreciative look at Nyla’s voluptuous frame before regaining control of his thoughts Okay, Kirk. Stay focused, man. You can’t let this woman get up under your skin, he coached himself.

Then keeping his face neutral, Kirk turned back to the other two women on the date. As he did, he was careful not to reveal how much Nyla’s words and actions had affected him in any way. Although his ego was eating up Talethia and Alandria’s attention, something deeper inside seemed to be yearning for more of Nyla’s. Much more.

With Nyla momentarily out of the picture, Alandria decided to take a few extra digs at her. “Doesn’t she remind you of a black Dolly Parton? I mean, that rack must be at least a double ‘D’,” she said, referring to Nyla’s generous bosom.

“Yeah, can you say breast reduction?” Talethia nodded in agreement. Her own size seven body was full and firm, but it was nowhere as curvaceous as Nyla’s. Neither was it as slender as Alandria’s size five. Talethia was the woman in the middle and she believed that as such, she’d be a better match for Kirk. In every way.

In Nyla’s defense, Kirk said, “I’m a versatile man. I like ‘em in all sizes.” And for the moment, that was sufficient to quiet the estrogen storm around him.

****

With their packages in the trunk, Alandria and Talethia immediately sat on either side of Kirk in the long black limousine. This forced Nyla to sit across from them with the cameraman. Having come to the conclusion that she was not on this date to win the heart of a man anymore, Nyla simply relaxed in her seat with the determination to do her best to enjoy the rest of the evening. The most she could hope for now was to land a business connection out of this date with the prestigious Florida doctor.

“So tell us, Kirk, what are some of your likes and dislikes?” Talethia asked, looking up into his eyes with absolute adoration. The tight black dress she wore had risen up to her thighs and pretty soon the whole country would know her personal business. Interestingly enough, Talethia didn’t seem to mind that prospect at all, neither did the cameramen filming her.

Kirk smiled. “Well, when I’m not working, I enjoy physical activities like working out in the gym...”

“What about making love?” Alandria interrupted. “Do you enjoy that physical activity, as well?” she asked, running her right hand down the right thigh of Kirk’s pants, caressing him, subtly trying to win his favor.

Kirk laughed and leaned back to put an arm behind the head of each lady on either side of him. But before he could reply to Alandria’s inquiry, Talethia answered for him. “Of course he does. You can look at him and tell that. But what I want to know is, where’s the craziest place you’ve ever done it before, Kirk?”

Just Skanky, Nyla mused, forcing herself not to frown at the antics of her peers. After all, the cameras were still rolling.

Then making a conscious decision to curtail this current discussion, Nyla promptly changed the subject. “Although I’m sure Kirk’s answer would be quite insightful to us all, I’m personally more curious as to why he become an anesthesiologist. What was your motivation for becoming a doctor, doctor?” A gentle smile rested upon Nyla’s face as she looked at him

Kirk’s laughter slowed to a stop as he looked at the sincere woman across from him. His ears felt caressed by the tender way Nyla had called him doctor and something moved deep down inside of him. Fortunately, the female hand on his thigh stopped moving on the outside of him as everyone waited for his response.

Kirk’s response was so slow in coming because he found it hard to believe that Nyla was actually genuinely interested in learning that kind of information about him. No woman had ever asked him that before. No, not one. Most women Kirk dated only wanted to know about his PMS - his power, money and sexual adventures.

The second reason for Kirk’s slow response was the fact that he didn’t know what to do with the feelings Nyla had stirred within him. Not only did he actually feel compelled to answer her question, he actually wanted Nyla to get to know him better!

Removing his arms from their former positions, Kirk leaned forward until he was close enough to Nyla to smell her zesty perfume. It was intoxicating, just like her. That started more feelings churning within his veins. Now Kirk really wanted to give Nyla what she wanted from him, yet so much more.

“When I was a young boy, I broke my leg falling out of a tree. I was in so much pain all the way to the hospital that I could hardly stand it. But as soon as I got there, the doctors promptly did the x-rays and gave me something that took away all of the pain. I mean all the pain left,” Kirk said with emphasis, appreciating how attentive Nyla was to his every word. “Anyway, I never forgot that act of mercy. It made me want to help take away the pain of others, too.” Even as he spoke, Kirk was still amazed that he was even sharing this story with her. This excited and scared him at the same time.

Ignoring the excitement and reacting totally from the fear of what else Nyla would unwillingly bring out of him, Kirk switched the conversation back to safer ground. “Now I’m only interested in giving pleasure,” he added sensually, putting his arms back behind Alandria and Talethia’s heads. Beside him, the other girls chuckled.

This is more like it, Kirk mused, grateful that his emotions were receding back into their usual numbness.

“I see,” Nyla said quietly, almost reflectively. For a brief moment there, she actually thought she got a glimpse of the real Kirk Russo and not this playboy persona he’d been showing them thus far. She was puzzled as to what made him close up again. Yet she would not dwell on it too much…at least not right now.

Then as Nyla turned her attention to the passing green scenery through the window closest to her, she tried her best to block out the giggles and snickers of the two women sitting across from her. Lord, help me, she prayed. Then after shooting another quick look at her companions, Nyla attached an addendum to her prayer. Lord, help us all.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Monday, March 13, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 4


As the women conversed quietly with each other in the smaller room, they had no idea that they were being watched through a two-way mirror. Kirk Russo was on the other side of the mirror in an adjoining room, observing them and making comments about his first impressions of them. One of the show’s producers was in there with him along with a cameraman.

“All of the women are gorgeous,” Kirk said into the camera. “I’m very pleased with the three that were chosen for me. I’m also very intrigued by them, particularly because they’re so different from each other.” He’d already seen pictures of his dates and had been given a brief bio of each of them, so he knew exactly which lady was which. Kirk walked closer to the mirror and pointed at the first woman.

“Talethia has that beautiful mocha skin that looks almost as soft as a baby’s. But that bold nose-ring tells me that she is far from juvenile. The fact that she owns her own restaurant also tells me that this lady is about taking chances. I like that in a woman,” Kirk said, also noticing how fit Talethia looked in the short, black sleeveless mock-neck dress she wore.

She must work out, he mused, keeping certain thoughts to himself. He wasn’t about to tell the camera everything. As a rule, Kirk made it a point to keep most of his personal feelings to himself.

Then Kirk pointed to the second woman. “I wasn’t surprised to learn that Alandria was a model. With her beautiful face and tall, slender body, I imagine she’s probably very successful at what she does.”

And the way she keeps cutting her eyes at Talethia and Nyla when they’re not looking tells me that Alandria can’t be trusted, Kirk silently observed. But then again, what woman can be trusted? he added from a bitter emotional place.

When Kirk finally looked at the third woman, he shuddered unexpectedly. Even though he knew that there was a thick mirrored wall between them, it was as if Nyla was staring right back at him. And what was even stranger was the fact that it was as if some of her very essence was actually penetrating through the glass and seeping directly into his pores. As if part of her was trying to find its way into his heart. And it felt good, too. So good.

Kirk rapidly blinked to refocus his thoughts. Then clearing his throat, he continued with his verbal assessments. “Nyla seems fiery to me. Definitely confident. I can tell by that hot outfit she’s wearing that she’s a woman comfortable in her own skin. And her hair is just fantastic,” Kirk said as he quickly concluded his statements.

Kirk didn’t want to say anything else about Nyla right now. With a flood of unexpected emotions bombarding his mind, he didn’t trust himself not to say the wrong thing. Especially since he couldn’t stop thinking about Nyla’s voluptuous figure in that outfit.

I wonder what size she wears, Kirk mused, suddenly determined to find out as an idea formed in his mind. Checking his platinum diamond-dial watch for the time, he discovered that it was already noon.

Then after the cameras were off, Kirk turned to the producer and said, “Instead of going to the restaurant first, I’d like to take the women shopping.” Then he added, “On me, of course. I’ll pay for everything.”

The middle-aged male producer smiled and nodded. “That’s fine, Dr. Russo.” Carter Lepton had been in this field long enough to know that last minute changes in a script sometimes made for the best material. “Just tell me which store. We’ll need to call ahead and let them know we’re coming.”

****

In the other room, Nyla slowly lowered her eyes from the mirror. She’d had the strangest feeling that she was being watched and not from the visible cameras across the room from her, either. Those, they were instructed to ignore. No, this was surveillance of a different kind, of a secret kind, and Nyla didn’t know how to feel about that.

With the continental breakfast now over and everyone properly introduced, they all awaited the moment when Kirk Russo would grace them with his presence. The three women had all been told basic things about him, like the fact that he was single, lived in Florida, and at twenty-nine was already a prestigious anesthesiologist with his own company.

Alandria and Talethia seemed very impressed with the fact that Kirk was a doctor. Alandria even whispered under her breath that he was probably making just under half a million dollars a year.

Nyla knew for a fact that many anesthesiologists, who had good general and OB skills, started off making $300,000 a year. As a professional fundraiser, it was a large part of her job to converse with high-salaried people like that on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, the companies Nyla represented required her to obtain and maintain such lucrative contacts in order to raise funds for their worthy causes.

Yet even though Nyla knew what tax bracket Kirk abided in, she was not overly impressed by it. She’d dated doctors before and found most of them to be a bit on the pompous side. Suddenly, Antwon’s face flashed across her mind. As a highly paid sportscaster, he’d been a bit on the pompous side, too.

Maybe it really isn’t time for me to be with a man right now. Maybe I do need some time to myself, Nyla mused, remembering the female minister’s words from the wee hours of this morning. That would certainly account for her sudden disinterest in men, particularly in a man she hadn’t even seen yet.

Just then, a gorgeous African-American prince walked into the room. It was Kirk Russo. The tall, muscular man looked like he just stepped off the cover of a magazine in the sporty gray knit shirt and navy slacks he wore. He had deep mahogany skin, dark eyes, thick brows and thick black hair cut close to his head. A trim mustache sat above brown kissable lips. And when Kirk smiled, it was as if the room had suddenly gotten brighter.

Nyla almost forgot to breathe for looking at him. No doubt about it, this man personifies the word ‘hunk’, she mused, thinking that perhaps she wasn’t completely disinterested in men after all.

Fortunately for Nyla, Kirk started greeting the women from the opposite side first, saving her for last. This gave her a chance to recover, a chance to pull herself together. Even as she prepared for his approach, Nyla couldn’t help but notice how affectionately Alandria and Talethia hugged him. The two women acted as if they already knew Kirk intimately. And from the wide smile on his face, he didn’t seem to mind. For some reason that bothered Nyla.

When it was finally her turn to greet him, Nyla gave Kirk a light, chaste hug, barely brushing against him. But that was obviously enough to electrically charge the space between them for Nyla immediately felt a surge of fiery attraction flow through her body. And for a moment, she thought she felt Kirk shudder.

No, that must be my imagination, Nyla reasoned, promptly moving a safe distance away from him. She was fast starting to wish that she’d never agreed to come on this date after all. But then if she hadn’t come, she would have never gotten saved in that hotel room, either. Especially since that husband and wife ministry team was on a local broadcasting station, one that Nyla couldn’t get in Dapper City. Thus, another bittersweet moment.

But Kirk’s shudder hadn’t been a figment of Nyla’s imagination. His body had reacted to her touch, in more ways than one. And he hadn’t been nearly as close to her as he’d been to the other two women. Swallowing the excess liquid collecting in his mouth from the excitement of meeting this gorgeous woman in person, Kirk decided to erect that familiar shield of cynicism concerning females in his mind. He had to do something to protect himself from any further emotional damage. After all, Nyla was a woman and experience had taught him that the only woman he could ever trust was his mother.

Then forcing his smile to remain, Kirk made an announcement. “Let’s go shopping, ladies!”

****

At La’Joya’s Exclusive Boutique, Alandria and Talethia enthusiastically squealed with delight as they browsed through the various selections the boutique had to offer. The fact that Kirk insisted upon them getting what they wanted no matter how much it cost only added to the excitement.

Nyla was excited, too, but she kept her emotions under wraps. She wanted to see where this little shopping excursion was going. In short, she wanted to know what it actually meant for Kirk and what it would mean for them later. From her past experiences, Nyla found that most men only took women they barely knew shopping when they expected something in return.

What does Kirk want? Nyla mused, opening the last dressing room door by the wall with the garment she’d chosen in hand. She was going to try on a brown, animal print tank dress. A dress, that if push came to shove, she would pay for herself. Nyla would not be beholden to any man. Not anymore.

Antwon Harrison, with all of his gifts and compliments, had spoiled Nyla while they were together and made her think that she was a treasured commodity in his life. But when his contract with the television station didn’t get renewed, he’d grown bitter, even to the point of accusing her of only wanting him for his money.

Antwon didn’t even give Nyla a chance to prove to him that those gifts were just things to her. That her love for him was real, able to withstand this trial or any other trial. No, he’d simply handed her a weak excuse for his desertion, packed his clothes, and left.

Suddenly, Alandria’s loud voice snapped Nyla from her thoughts. “I love shopping for clothes, Kirk. But I especially love shopping for lingerie.” Her voice was deliberately sensual as she brushed her black, halter dress clad body up against Kirk.

The narrow aisle between the rectangular-shaped clothes racks left Kirk little room to move away from the forward woman. A large part of him didn’t want to move away. After all, Kirk wasn’t looking for anything serious and Alandria’s idea of fun suited him just fine right now.

In the dressing room, Nyla shook her head with disapproval and stopped undressing as she listened to see how Kirk would respond to the other woman’s attempt at seduction.

Like a typical male, he chuckled. “Oh really? Well, why don’t you pick some out and model them for me then.” His dark eyes twinkled with humor as Alandria brushed up against him again on her way towards the round lingerie racks by the large panoramic mirror on the right.

In the dressing room, Nyla frowned and sucked her teeth in disgust. That figures, she mused, rolling her eyes upwards towards the ceiling. Then she started back undressing, only to pause again when Talethia decided to have her say.

Not to be outdone, Talethia immediately stood in front of Kirk, eager to join in the merriment. “That sounds like fun. I’ll game for that, too,” she said, staring intently into his eyes as she traced his strong jaw line with her right index finger. “I have a good idea what a quality man such as yourself likes.”

Kirk smiled with satisfaction as he watched Talethia sensually away. That wide smile made it clear how much he relished the female attention he’d received thus far. He really looked forward to more of the same from all the women.

Back inside the dressing room, Nyla’s eyes continued to roll. They are just going all out, she mused. Now that Alandria and Talethia’s true colors were coming out, she decided to proceed with caution around them. Suddenly Nyla came to another decision. She was not going to model lingerie for Kirk and he better not ask her to, either. It didn’t take a Bible scholar to know that God definitely wouldn’t like that.

Nyla took so long getting into her dress that Alandria and Talethia had already began to model the first set of lingerie for Kirk. The half-dressed women shamelessly vied for Kirk’s attention as they pranced sensually in front of him. His many compliments and whistles only seemed to egg them on.

By the time Nyla finally stepped out of the dressing room, Alandria and Talethia were striking poses, prompting even more compliments from Kirk’s lips. Nyla did everything she could to keep her face neutral and her mouth shut as she silently watched the two women make fools of themselves over a man.

Meanwhile, the cameras were steadily rolling, capturing all of this on tape. The two cameramen and the single male shop employee were all smiling at the bountiful sight before them. It was a good thing the female owner closed the store down during their visit, otherwise Alandria and Talethia's little peep show would have created an even bigger stir.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Author Note

Whoopie! You guys helped me make history yesterday. The blog got up to a hundred hits! A hundred hits!

I'm still hyped up about it, especially since the blog has only existed for 3 months with very little advertising.

Thanks so much for your support, financial or otherwise. And since you obviously like what you see here, don't forget to tell a friend.

Thanks again,

Suprina

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bittersweet Interruptions - Ch. 3

Nyla spent the night before the date in her hotel room pampering herself. She wanted to look extraordinary for the big day tomorrow. After eating a light dinner of grilled chicken salad and apple juice, she retired early. Yet for some reason she couldn’t go to sleep. Maybe it was nerves. Or maybe it was the interesting television program that was on at 4am. Either way, Nyla was up, wide awake.

The television program now playing was one of those religious shows that came on late at night to lead people to Christ and to help television viewers cleanse their hearts and minds from the grime of life. At initial viewing, Nyla didn’t know why this television show appealed to her so much, or what kept her tuned in to this channel when there were so many others to choose from. She wasn’t in need of salvation, was she?

Nyla and her sister had both been reared in loving, two-parent homes. Growing up, they had lacked very few things in life. But here tonight (or rather this morning), while watching this riveting television show, Nyla saw that she did lack something – a personal relationship with God. Yes, she’d gone to church all her life and acted the part while she was there. But that had only to please her parents. Yes, she’d even been prayed for and prayed with. Yet Nyla had never wholeheartedly turned her life over to God.

Nyla never felt she had to turn her life over to God, especially since both of her parents were God-fearing believers. As a matter of fact, she and Onesha always felt that their parents’ spirituality would somehow get them into heaven, too, like a grandfather clause that made exceptions for descendents. But now this husband and wife TV ministry team was saying otherwise. And Nyla was listening. Hard.

“John 3:16 let’s us know that whosoever believes in Christ should not perish, but have everlasting life. That passage is talking about having a personal belief,” the fair-skinned female minister said, briefly expounding upon the scripture.

“Yes, and 1 John 5:1 supports that,” the cinnamon-skinned male minister added, holding up a black Bible. “It says, ‘Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him.’” The tall man was careful to put additional emphasis on the words ‘whosoever’ and ‘one’, indicating that they was referring to an individual person.

Like the perfect helpmate that she was, the female minister took her husband’s words and ran with them. “We all know what the word ‘one’ means. But let’s talk about the word whosoever.” She pulled out a sheet of yellow legal paper where she’d written the definition. “Whosoever means whoever or whatever person. In short, one person, an individual,” the female minister read. Then she turned to her husband for him to continue.

Not missing a beat, the man picked up where his wife left off. “From that definition it’s abundantly clear that you must come to a place of personal belief, just like everybody else.” The cameras zoomed into the minister’s face as he became even more serious. “Listen preacher’s kids and kids of strong believers, this means you, too. You can’t ride your parents’ shirttails to heaven. You have to turn your own life over to Christ. You must be born again.”

Nyla instantly sat upright in bed. They’re talking about me, she mused, now realizing without a shadow of a doubt that her parents’ spirituality really didn’t extend to her.

Suddenly a familiar chorus began to play. The man’s voice softened. “Won’t you get saved today? Do it today. Don’t wait. This is your time. Your chance to get it right. Your chance to get your own name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.”

Nyla practically leaped out of bed and onto the floor, caring very little about ruining the knees of her very expensive pink satin pajamas. There was no way she was going to pass up this opportunity. This was her time and she’d definitely make the most of it. Then as Nyla repeated the prayer of salvation after the male minister, she felt her heart open to receive God’s unbridled love to overflowing.

As if compelled by an invisible force, the female minister suddenly added these words at the end of the program. “Before we say goodnight, I sense that there’s a young lady out there right now who is suffering heartache from a broken relationship. You thought that relationship would last, but it didn’t. In fact, you worshipped that relationship and the man in it, instead of worshipping the Most High God. I’ve been there. A lot of us have been there. But know this, beautiful one; you need God more than you need another man right now. And also know that God can love you better than any man ever could.”

The woman spoke with such sincerity, such conviction. No wonder her words were so effective.

Then the female minister paused and smiled over at her husband before continuing. “God has blessed me with a wonderful man. My husband knows how much I love him, as I do him. Marshall also knows that divine love transcends any human love we could ever feel for each other, at any time. Now listen closely, young lady, and let me tell you how I got to this point. You see, after the bad breakup I had long ago, I started over by allowing God’s love to dwell in my life first. Then when it was time, God opened my heart to receive a man’s love again. That’s when Marshall came along.”

The woman paused again and smiled tenderly into the camera. “My husband was definitely worth the wait. So for that young lady and other young ladies like her, I say wait. Wait on the Lord. Wait on God to show you who the right man is for you. I guarantee you won’t regret it.”

With tears rolling down her face, Nyla nodded, receiving every wise word the woman had spoken. Then getting up from her knees, she hastily found a pencil and paper in order to write down the names of the husband and wife ministry team. She wanted to write to them and tell them how much they’d blessed her life and also send them a love offering to help keep their program on the air. A life changing program like this needed to stay on the air, so that it could bless even more lives.

As she returned to the full-sized wooden sleigh bed moments later, Nyla knew that she would never be the same again. And the contented smile on her drowsy face revealed that she was all right with that.

****

The next morning, Nyla awakened with a start to the sound of a ringing phone. It was the hotel’s front desk, giving her the 8am wakeup call that she’d requested the night before. After thanking the desk clerk, her mind became riddled with second thoughts.

Now that I’m saved, should I even keep this date? Nyla mused, sitting upright in the bed.

Suddenly she thought of the contract she’d signed, the plane ticket and the hotel room she’d already accepted. Although Nyla could most definitely reimburse the game show for her expenses, she really didn’t want to incur possible legal action against herself for reneging on a written agreement. Especially at the last minute. Being the best friend of a lawyer all these years had afforded her a wealth of legal wisdom and without even calling Asia, she knew that her best possible recourse was to just go through with the date as planned.

Now that it looked like she was still going on this date, Nyla needed to know what to do if they went to a club tonight. Especially since so many of these kinds of dates went to such places. Furthermore, how would God feel about her being in a place like that? And what about the sexy clothes Nyla had brought with her?

Oh, what to do. What to do, she mused, unsure how to handle these issues since she was so new at this salvation thing. Now Nyla wished she’d paid more attention in Bible study class. Wait, I bet Mama would know what to do, she mused, reaching for the gray phone again.

Yet no sooner had she picked up the phone, Nyla remembered that her parents were out of town at a business exposition. It was that time of the year again, time for the Duncans to search for new books by rising authors to put in the family’s bookstore.

Nyla hung up the phone and punched her pillow in frustration. Suddenly, last night became a bittersweet interruption in her life. On one hand, it had been the best thing that could have ever happened to her. On the other hand, it was the worst. Or rather the timing couldn’t have been worse.

These issues wouldn’t have come up yesterday. Yesterday, there would’ve been no dilemma about where to go, what to wear. Now everything was different.

Realizing that she couldn’t sit there debating all day, Nyla leaped up from the bed and rushed to get dressed. She needed to at least try to find some new clothes before their 10am meeting with the Three-To-One crew.

****

At 9:30am, Nyla came back to her suite with sagging shoulders and a disappointed frown. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been successful in her mission to acquire new clothes for the date. This was a new city and Nyla hadn’t known her way around. Neither did she have enough time to find her way around, either. On top of that, the gift shop hadn’t opened at 8am as she expected. And when it did, the apparel selection had been very limited. Thus, Nyla was stuck with wearing the clothes she originally came with and now she only had thirty minutes to get ready.

Rushing through her shower, Nyla thanked God for Asia and Onesha who insisted that she get her long locks cut for health purposes and twisted for convenience earlier that month. Otherwise she would have needed another ten minutes to tend to her hair.

After putting on the formfitting, strapless nutmeg-colored pantset, Nyla slipped her pedicured feet into a pair of gorgeous Aztec beaded shoes with suede insoles. Her height instantly shot up to 5’9, two and a half inches taller than she usually was. Then, because of her smooth caramel complexion, she only needed to apply the basics of makeup and she was done.

Fearing that she was late, Nyla prayed all the way down on the elevator. Fortunately, the other two ladies were just coming in, too, so she knew that her prayer had been answered. Thank You, Jesus, she mused, quickly finding a seat in the elegant conference room.

Soon Nyla was introduced to the camera crew, then to each of the other contestants. At first meeting, Alandria and Talethia seemed to be decent ladies. But then again, the man of the hour hadn’t presented himself yet.

Nyla knew from firsthand experience how quickly women changed when there was a man involved. In fact, she’d witnessed female rivalry at its worst during her college years when the campus ratio was seven women to one man. That was when she really focused on sharpening her communication skills. And although Nyla was not above engaging in a good catfight when necessary, she’d learned that she had to do considerably less physical combat when her verbal skills were at their best.

Interrupting Nyla’s thoughts, one of the cameramen asked each woman to stand in front of the camera for a full-length still shot before being ushered to another smaller room to wait for their date. Things were now about to get very interesting. Very interesting indeed.

© 2006 Suprina Frazier