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

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