Tre: So when u moving down here?

I stared down at the screen feeling a small smile creep onto my face. Tre and I had been texting all day, and I was quickly remembering what had made me fall for him so long ago.

Tre is a guy that I had been involved with the previous year. Well… “involved” is being generous. I was infatuated with him for about a month, his carefree lifestyle, infectious personality, and joie de la vie approach to life was just so attractive to me. Not to mention his incredible body and amazing stories about all his travels and experiences. Unfortunately, any relationship between us was ill-fated. He was moving soon, and even if he wasn’t, it wouldn’t have mattered. Tre was about as emotionally unavailable as they come.

Tired of resisting the urge to text him about nothing, I finally deleted his number from my phone, but in a moment of totally premediated weakness a few days ago, I managed to get his number back from a mutual friend. It took me a while to program it into my phone and save it as a contact, just like it had taken me a while to make myself delete it. Tre had a weird effect on me, and I knew any interactions I had with him would stay in my system for a long time thereafter and color my dealings with any other men I talked for at least the next couple of months. In my mind Tre was like Technicolor and every time he was around it seemed like everyone else looked like sepia.

I thought back to the first night we hooked up. He was hosting a birthday party for one of his friends and invited me to come through. I had made plans to go with Bu, but I was caught up in the suburbs getting my hair done until late that evening. By the time I made back to the city, Bu had already left and decided to hit up one of the clubs downtown.

Bu: We bout to head out. Where u at?

Me: Suburbs getting my hair done. Finishing up now. Wait for me

Bu: Nah, Middle I’m not waiting on your ass.

Me: Don’t leave me! I’m almost done

Bu: Sorry, I’m walking out. Meet us @ ******* if you ever make it out of there

I knew that without Bu there to act as cockblocker/voice of reason, it was pretty much a given that I would be hooking up with Tre that night. Tre and I had had a flirtatious banter going on for years, and I knew he was attracted to me. I’d ignored all of his advances before then, Tre had a rep in our circle as a huge playboy, and I didn’t want to be another notch on his bedpost. But something had changed in me that night, I don’t know if it was the weather, my new hair, or just poor judgment but I went to the party.

When I first arrived, I was unsure about the wisdom behind my decision. The place was packed and Tre was the only person I knew there.  Maybe I should had gone to meet up with Bu, I thought.

After a few drinks and few quick introductions, I had made some friends and was feeling much more comfortable.  Everyone seemed to know each other but they were all very open and friendly towards me. I could sense Tre watching me out of the corner of his eye from across the room, and smiled at him to let him know I appreciate his concern and was enjoying myself.  He walked over to me and offered me another drink, right before he backed me into a corner me by the door. It was about 1:30am, and I was totally intoxicated, both by the high of being so close to him and the 3 drinks I’d consumed that evening. I was constantly laughing around Tre, it was impossible not too.

“What do you mean you can’t swim? How old are you again?”

I giggled. “Its not my fault. Nobody taught me.”

He gave me a mischievous look, and something twinkled in his eye. “I could teach you,” he said with a smile.

“Really?”

“Yeah, there’s a pool on the top floor of the building,” he said in an overly nonchalant manner, seeming to hold back a smile.

“Oh, is that where you were trying to have that pool party or something? What happened with that?”

“Its still in the works. But yo, we need to teach you how to swim. Come on, lets go upstairs.” He made a motion to leave, and I hung back.

“Umm… well, I don’t have a swimsuit with me.”

“That’s okay. You can just wear your underwear, right? Same thing.”

I tilted my head and looked at him incredulously. “Tre!” I whispered in shock. “I am not doing that.”

“Why not?” he gently tugged at my hand and gave me another wide smile.

I snatched it back, and hit him on his arm. “You want me to go skinny dipping? Tre, I am not gonna go skinnydipping with you. Don’t you live here? What if somebody sees? That is so…. inappropriate!” I spluttered.

He laughed.

“Middle, calm down.”

“No! I’m mad you even asked me that.”

“Why? I just figured I might as well try. You said no. Its cool.” He looked down at me, pulled me close to his chest. “C’mon don’t be mad.”

“No,” I said petulantly.  “I need to get away from you for a moment, you’re trying to get people into the trouble.” I stubbornly turned away from him and made as though I was going to walk away.

He pulled me back towards him, turned me around and pulled me against his chest.

“No don’t go. This is fun.” We stayed quiet for a moment, and I looked up at him to see him staring at me intently.

He is such a playboy. I can’t let myself fall for him, he has to fall first, I thought.

“You know, I really feel…. joy when I’m around you,” he said suddenly.

Joy? Where did that come from? I stared up at him, searching his face for any trace of falseness or insincerity. I couldn’t find any. I didn’t know what to make of the comment, and searched my mind for an appropriate reply.

“Dance with me,” I said instead, turning around and leaning into his chest. I felt the hardness of his abs against my back, and breathed in a deep sigh. Why did God have to make him so hot? I wondered to myself.

I swayed to the music and allowed him to cross his hands in front of me, holding me close. As I danced he moved his hands up to briefly encircle the nip of my waist and back towards my hips again. I turned around with a disapproving look.

He smiled sheepishly.

A couple more hours passed, the party had started to wind down. The party guests were walking out, saying their goodbyes, collecting their things. I walked past Tre picking up cups and plates in the kitchen, and as I moved past he grabbed my arm.

“You about to head out? Where you going?

“Umm… I guess that depends. What are you about to do?”

His hands slid down my arm to grasp my hands, and pulled me closer to him.

“Where do you wanna go? We can hit up ******, we can go to ******.” He paused for a moment, then said “I’m just having a lot of fun around you,” he admitted.

“You wanna go out still?”

“We don’t have to. I just– I like having you around. I don’t want the night to end yet.”

I felt something in my chest lift, but I immediately pressed it back down. I looked him in his eyes, wondering if this was him or the just the alcohol talking.

He continued, “We don’t have to go out, we could stay here. Are you tired? We can get some sleep.”

“I can spend the night,” I said cautiously. “I’ll have to leave early though. You know Derrick and Briana are getting married tomorrow.”

His face lit up. “Yeah, yeah, that’s cool.” He drew me in for a hug.

 

And that’s how that whole thing started.

Tre and I had a really nice time that night. We stayed up chatting for a few more hours, talking about family, friends, our future, our past. Like it often is with emotionally unavailable men, the chemistry was amazing, and he made me feel safe.

But you know how guys are. Things start out so sweet and so cool, you let your guard down, they get under skin, just burrow on up in there, like a little tick and then they bite you. As fun as things were in the beginning, they didn’t last. Now I was in Cali, where he had moved, and against my better judgment I had contacted him. Knowing I was only setting myself up to get my feelings hurt.

Why do I let myself get caught up with him?

So, here comes Bu again. Bu and I have a complicated relationship. We had a thing that was almost a thing, but it wasn’t. Absolutely nothing has ever happened …. well, there was an almost thing that almost happened, which I talk about a little bit below. But really nothing happened, and over the past few years where things have been strictly, totally, completely platonic, we’ve truly become great friends.  People are always saying guys and girls can’t be friends but I feel like Bu and I make a strong challenge  to that notion. Bu is just my very handsome, well-built, incredibly funny best guy friend who is best friends with the dude I made out with last night and is also be best friends with my eX.

And that’s why things are kinda complicated.

———————————————————————————————————————————–

“Hello?” a deep voice answered. I smiled reflexively upon hearing his voice. Honestly, we fought ALL the time but I considered him one of my best friends. I always loved talking to Bu.

Hmm… how can I describe Bu? He’s about 6′, skin the color of dark chocolate, and a face that’s handsome but manages to always look somewhat angry, even when he’s in a great mood. He gives off an intensity and seems to always exude masculinity, girls eat it up and are always throwing their panties at him. He is so spoiled when it comes to women. To the point that It makes me ill to my stomach sometimes.

“Hey!”

“Middle. What up.”

“Congratulations!”

“What–? Hold on.” There was a bunch of noise in the background. He was probably out celebrating, like pretty much everyone else we both knew. They are probably getting so drunk right now, I thought. Probably shoulda come up there for spring break instead of going to Cali.

“Hey,” he returned and let out a deep sigh.

“Hey you. Congratulations!” I said with a smile.

“Oh yeah… thanks,” he let out a laugh. “Umm… I just need to tell you. I am so drunk right now,” he whispered.

“Haha, I can imagine. What are you doing?” I furrowed my brows in suspicion. I could hear girlish laughter in the background.

“Uhh, I’m somewhere I’m not supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m not supposed to be doing.”

I shot up from the bed.

“Oh my gosh… Bu, are you-”

“No, no… I’m not doing THAT,” he stated, sounding slightly annoyed.”I’m just hanging with some girls from *********. But I might be doing that later.”

“Oh. Well, I never know with you. I had to ask,” I explained, rolling my eyes.

“Yeah, that’s good. Always ask before you assume. But… so before you say anything,” he paused for a moment. “I talked to P (Pineapples) and he told me-” he stopped himself.

I knew what he wanted to talk about. I actually hadn’t called to talk about that, but I wanted to hear what Bu had to say. While P and I were out on our date the prior evening, he insinuated that he didn’t feel like I was being my total self around him. Apparently, a few years back, Bu told P a story that didn’t portray me in the best light, and I think P has been under the impression that I was holding myself back from releasing my inner wildchild on him.

It was a few years back, back when me and Bu first met. It was the first night  of a long weekend and we’d just finished a hard week, and per usual for us, we decided to indulge on our shared vice of alcohol.  Our friendship was fast growing, though still in its infancy at that stage, and drinking was quickly becoming a favorite pastime of ours. I made a pitiful attempt to go head to head with Bu, which was silly, given that he’s a full 5 or 6 inches taller, and has at least 60 or 70 pounds on me. Before completely passing out on his bed, I made a drunken pass at him, which he later admitted that he had strongly considered though I was clearly inebriated and he was in a relationship at the time. Fortunately he had the presence of mind to NOT join me in my poor-decision making and after putting me to bed, spent the night on the couch.

When I woke up the next morning, I blushed when I remembered some of the explicit things I had told him (I didn’t remember everything.) I swore him to secrecy (drunken come ons are soooo not my style, especially if I’m turned down), but apparently he didn’t keep his side of the bargain because he told Pineapples. Which would have been fine, except nobody knew me and Pineapples would end up in the same city or that we would start dating. The latter was actually what I had called to discuss with Bu.

“Oh yeah. Let’s talk about that,” I interjected. “That was not okay. I thought we’d promised not to talk about that,” I wasn’t as angry as I tried to come across. Pineapples found the story more funny than anything and also, what could I really say? It’s not like Bu was lying. I totally did make a hilariously awkward and drunken pass at him and he’d turned me down. Still, while Bu and I got into it with each other fairly often, it wasn’t often that I got Bu to apologize for anything, so I decided to stay quiet and milk the moment for all it was worth.

“Listen, I’m really sorry, Middle. At the time, I had no idea you and P would ever even meet each other, let alone move to the same city. I don’t even know why P opened his big fat mouth to say anything, it was such a long time ago. I promise, I’m not out here trying to gossip about you or spread rumors about you, I swear I haven’t told anyone else. ”

I bit back a laugh. Who knew Bu could sound so sweet and contrite? It must be the alcohol, I mused.

“Well,” I countered. “It’s not even that you told him that story about me, but, you know, there are just so many other things you could have told P about me instead of that but you didn’t. You left out all the good things! I swear sometimes it seems like people only wanna focus on the negative.”

“No,” he protested. “What? Me? Middle, c’mon. I say nice things about you all the time. I say-”

“Are you sure, Bu?” I continued. “Cuz P always acts sooo surprised. He’ll say stuff like ‘Why didn’t Bu tell me how fun you are?’ or ‘Wow Bu didn’t tell me you were so sweet.’ or even ‘Hey,  why didn’t Bu tell me how cool you are?’ I mean, it got to be too much, you know? After awhile I had to ask, well what on earth did Bu say about me then?”

I sat back and waited for his response.

“No. Naw… that’s crazy. Why did… So, P said that? C’mon Middle you know I’m always saying good things about you. I think you’re… you know I think you’re really great. Yo, listen, I’m really really really sorry, really. I just– I shouldn’t have said anything. I just- argh. This is why I never let P meet my female friends. He always-,” he sighed.

“Haha, its okay. I’m fine.”

“You sure? Cuz, I swear-”

“No for real. I’m good. I mean, well, it’s not like you lied or anything.”

“Umm.. well, yeah. True,” he sounded cautious.

“I mean, it’s not the best story, definitely, but actually, I was kinda thinking to myself and you know, I’ve got other things going for me,” I continued. “It certainly wasn’t my best moment, but it doesn’t define my life.” I paused.

He gave a low chuckle.

“I mean, I would hope that once Pineapples gets to know me, he’ll realize I’m more than just a cum sucking whore bucket, but I don’t know, it might be too late for that. I’mma try though.”

He laughed. “Middle, you’re funny.”

“Yeah, I know. I told you I’m not that mad. But I was kinda weirded out when he told me last night-”

“Oh, y’all were hanging out last night?”

“Yeah. P didn’t tell you? We went out,” I gave a small smile, recalling the details of the evening. “He took me to-”

“Wait, what? Hold up. Y’all went out just the two of you?” he burst out.

“Yeah, he’s a nice guy. We-”

“What the fuck? Are you fucking serious? What the fuck, man. You gotta be fucking kidding me. Are y’all are fucking idiots?”

Hmm…

“Bu, what? What’s the problem?” I tried to keep my voice calm. Bu could get really angry sometimes, and I knew it would be up to me to keep the situation from escalating into an argument.

“Nothing. Y’all do whatever the fuck you want. Don’t bring my name into this shit. Don’t even tell me this shit. God, P is such a fuckin-”

“Bu, calm down. Don’t be mad,” I soothed. “We went out, but we didn’t do anything. Nothing happened.” That’s a lie.

“What-the fuck-ever man, what did y’all do?  Shit…don’t even fuckin tell me. Y’all were talking about me. God, y’all are a bunch of fuckin dumbasses.”

I frowned. Everyone knew Bu liked to curse but even this was excessive. Dumbasses? Where is this coming from, I thought to myself.

“Bu, wait-”

“It’s not going to end well. Its going to be a fuckin’ DISASTER. Y’all gonna be mad at each other, and I’m gonna be the victim. We’re not gonna be friends, y’all not gonna be friends, everyone is gonna blame me. This shit always fuckin’ happens.”

What the hell? Why is he going off like this?

“Bu, listen,” I forced a laugh. “Listen to me, okay? Nothing happened. Nothing. Okay?”

He stopped for a moment.

“Haha did you hear me? Don’t flip out! Nothing happened!”

“Y’all went out for drinks,” he stated flatly.

“Yeah, but we just hung out. Nothing serious,” I was lying through my teeth. I pushed the drinks, appetizers, dinner, and nearly $100 bill out of my mind. As I did the very intense makeout session we had once we finally got back to his apartment. And the death by cuddling he had tried to inflict on me immediately afterward once I decided to sleep over.

“Nothing serious, I had fun though, I just wanted to ask you about him. He’s nice,” I said carefully. “But it sounds like you don’t think he’s a good guy for me to talk to?” I tried to keep my voice light.

Bu remained quiet for a moment, then said “I’ve… I’ve been drinking. I don’t think I can talk about this right now. I gotta go, Middle. I’m being rude.”

I twisted my face thoughtfully, trying to tease out what it was that I was hearing in his voice.

“Okay, that’s cool. Answer my question first. You don’t want me talking to P?”

He sighed. “Middle, let’s talk about this later, I can’t talk about this right now.”

Hmmm…. I had hoped I could get him talking while he was drunk, maybe I could actually get him to tell me something. He could be so guarded sometimes. Whatever was going on his head would be dead and buried by the time we talked tomorrow.

“Bu,” I softened my voice. “I just want to know. Is P a good guy?”

“P is a great guy. He’s my best friend. But I can’t talk to you about this now,” he repeated firmly.

I sighed. Bu was amazingly stubborn.

He continued. “But, I will say this. I wish you were here, in **********, tonight. We should be getting shit-faced. You should be here celebrating too.”

I laughed, “I wish I was there too. But I’m going to Cali tomorrow.” Then I remembered there was something else I had wanted to share with him, but now wasn’t a good time.

“That’s what’s up. But yo lemme hit you back. I’m being rude to these nice ladies. I’mma talk to you… I’mma talk to you later, Middle.”

“Okay. Have fun.”

“Yeah. Peace.”

I slowly brought the phone away from my ear and stared down at it for a few seconds. Well that didn’t go the way I thought it was gonna go. What was that about?

Yo. This is dude is getting on my nerves. I told this dude last wk that I was gonna be MIA cuz I had a lot going on. He’s still blowing my phone up back to back. You’d think he’d understand. He’s a 1L and they’re always complaining about how much work they’re doing.

Now he’s starting to act a little passive-aggressive… like the wording of his texts are just odd now. I think he’s mad. Sigh.

Love this song btw… “I be needing to leave, but I be needing a nut…. You never need it enough.”

Realest ish I heard today.

So this guy is a guy I met last week. I don’t have a nickname for him yet. He’s an overachiever. MBA grad, Ivy-League pedigree. Does something downtown. Really feeling himself, but I’ve dealt with his type before. Not bad looking, but could be cuter. I don’t really remember. We were supposed to go out Thursday, I rescheduled because I had homework. Not too excited about him, he tried to follow me home the first night we met, but I told him it was not that kind of party, if he wanted to see me again, he could take my number and give me a call during the week. Which he did that Sunday. Anyway, its Saturday now, we were suppose to meet each other downtown at 8:30pm (and it was a restaurant I kinda liked too😦. ). Here’s what happened.

Text message:
Him: One of my boy’s is looking for plans tonight might join us at *******. Sorry about that. Feel free to bring friends

I looked at the clock. 6:30 PM. Is he really trying to pull this 2 hrs before our date? He cannot be serious.
Me: Do you want to reschedule? We can totally meet up at another time🙂
Him: Nah group hangs are fun too. Come out.
Me: They are fun but I’d have to know you a little better before I start introducing you to my friends lol
Him: Haha you wouldn’t be introducing me. You would be meeting up with me and my friend. We are both friend likeable.
Him: If u would rather not we can do tomorrow

I made a face. I had already made plans to meet up with Pineapples tomorrow and I was looking forward to it. Uhh… dude, I already have a date? And with a guy I actually like tomorrow. Not happening.

Me: Hey, you know what? Its totally fine. I have to pack anyway since I’m going out of town tomorrow. Maybe we can try again when I get back?

This was a lie. I’m not leaving til Tues. But I’m thinking, I don’t even know this dude, and I’m starting to like him even less, and I’m supposed to meet him and his friend on our first time going out? I didn’t like the sound of that.

Clearly that is not okay. He might crazy.  I thought to myself.
The phone buzzed. He was calling. I picked up, tried to sound pleasant, masking the irritation I was feeling. He made some pitiful attempts to convince me to come out, talking about some:

“So… either I see you tonight or…. never.”

Men slay me. I guess that was supposed to worry me? Umm… nah.

“Hey, its fine,” I replied. Like I said, I could see you when I get back, but if you don’t want to, I mean… its cool. Have fun tonight.” *shrug*

He starts to sound a little panicky. “No, no, we can meet up. Just come meet me and my friend! He’s cool.”

I laughed. “I’m sure your friend is really nice, its just that I don’t really know you guys, and for our first time meeting each other, I would prefer we did it one on one, you know?”

He made a few more attempts, cajoling me. Told a couple of jokes.  He was kinda funny.

“Look,” I said. “I’m sorry, I’m really not trying to be difficult. Like I said, you should go out with your friend, I’ll just see you when I get back.”

“No… don’t apologize, you’re not being difficult.” Audible sigh. “You’re right, one on one is better,” he sounded dejected. He sighed again. “So its either go out with you or bail on my friend, huh?”

This dude is really trying to make me out to be a some hard-nosed bitch.

“No, no…. don’t bail on your friend. If you made plans with him, I don’t want you to do that. I don’t understand why… Well. Why don’t you want us to just see each other when I get back? What’s the problem?” I asked sweetly.

By the way, I grew up in the Middle of the Country, but I spent 4 yrs of my life going to college down south, once when my friend introduced me he said, “This is Middle. She’s from the Middle of the Country, and from the Middle of Africa, so she’s almost Southern and she’s almost Nigerian.” The almost Southern part is true. I am NOT almost Nigerian.

“No, its not that, I just…” He sounded sad. I smirked to myself. “I…. really wanna see before you leave,” he trailed off. “Honestly, I don’t even know this guy like that, we’re not really friends. I don’t even really like him.”

Umm… but just a second ago you were trying to make it seem like I was making you choose between me and a bestie. Dude…. I shook my head.  I laughed out loud.

“Haha… don’t play your friend like that. You were totally gonna have him be a third wheel on our date. Y’all must be close.”

I love messing with these guys sometimes.

“No, ” he insisted. ” Really. We’re not. Not really. Okay, umm…. lemme…. lemme call you back. I’m gonna call my friend. And then I’ll call you back.”

“Okay.”
Oh brother. I thought to myself.  At this point, I don’t care what happens.

I looked at the clock. 7:20. He has til 7:30, I thought.

I gave myself a small chuckle and shook my head. I was putting off laundry to go out with this dude and he’s gonna invite someone else. And a random, at that. That’s what I get for changing my plans around somebody. At 7:23 my phone buzzes, he’s calling me back. I pick up.

“So… here’s what could happen.” he starts off confidently.  “We could invite another friend,” he pauses.

I sat waiting patiently. I’m listening.

“So it wouldn’t be really like a double date, but….” he trailed off again.  “I don’t know. Its not really ideal. I guess. Or I could see you whenever it is you’re coming back. Its up to you, just let me know-”

“How about we just see each other when I get back?” I interrupted. I was starting to feel redundant.

” No. Well, are you sure? Because-”

“No, its perfectly fine. Really. I’m not mad.” I laughed.

“Oh, okay. So when do you get back? Is like 2 wks? Or 2 months? What is it?” He sounded anxious.

“Oh… no, its nothing like that. Its just a week! I get back a week from Sunday.” That part was true.

“Oh! Okay, that’s not that bad, ” he sounded relieved. “Oh, okay. Yeah, then. Sure. Can we put something in the books now? Or maybe not…. I know your schedule is probably crazy….”

“Umm…. well I don’t know how my class schedule will be when I get back, so how about we schedule something for that weekend?”

“TWO WEEKS?” he exclaimed. “That’s two weeks! So I won’t see you til the end of the month. Wow. You’re really trying not to meet me.”

I laughed.

“Nooo, its not that,” I reassured him.

“Well, yeah! You keep pushing it back!”

“Nooo wait, now that’s not fair,” I countered. “Remember, we were gonna hang out today until you invited your friend.” I smiled and rolled my eyes to myself.

I got up from my bed and left my room, walked over to the kitchen and started rummaging around, looking for something to eat. Well, there goes that. Now I have to feed myself, I thought. I peered into my fridge. Shoot, what am I gonna eat? I didn’t cook.

“No, actually, my friend invited himself along,” he continued.

“Wow. Is that what happened?” Hmm, this guy might be weird. What kinda guy friend invites themselves along on dates? That friendship does not sound healthy, I shook my head and picked up some plantains off the top of the fridge that had ripened nicely. Pushed the phone to the crook of my neck and started cutting and peeling.

“Yeah, I tried to tell him it wouldn’t be okay, but he didn’t have anything else to do so…” he trailed off.

“Oh, that’s kinda sad,” I said absently. I wish I hadn’t left my leftovers over at Pineapples’. Some pad thai would have been perfect right about now.

“Yeah, he’s kind of homely,” he laughed.

“Oh really, now?” I crowed. “So…. this is funny. So… you were gonna have me bring my friend to meet some homely looking dude? Wow, dude. That’s foul.” I’m laughing to myself now. This dude is so ridiculous.

“No! No, no, not homely. I was…. exaggerating. My friends are great. Friend-approved. Parent-approved. Kid-approved. Your friends would like them.” Hmm.

“Hmm… Okay, how about I just text you when I get back, and we’ll try to figure out something for that week. I just need to see what my schedule looks like.”

“Okay, yeah that works. Umm… so I guess I’ll just see you then? Safe travels.”

“see ya….”

So that was that. It checks out, because I do have laundry, and the laundry room will be empty tonight since its Saturday. And as usual, I have work that I need to get through. The plantains were perfectly ripened, so that worked out too. And I still have my date tomorrow to look forward to. Its allll good.

Last night was nice. I got to his place and he introduce me to his roommates, then we went to his room.

“Hey,” he smiled at me. “So… you thirsty? Hungry?”

“I’m actually hungry, do you have any food?” I had spent most of the day on campus, midterms were crazy.

“Oh. Actually, no,” he looked sheepish. “We’d have to walk right back out. Is that okay?”

“Yeah, that’s fine,” I smiled.

“So… what are you in the mood for? You feel like walking? Its nice out.” He opened the door for me.

“Umm… what’s around?”

“Let’s see… there’s American… there’s pizza… there’s Thai-”

“Thai is good,” I interrupted.

“Okay…” he gave a nervous laugh.

“Is something wrong?” I looked over at him.

“No. I’m fine.”

“Ohhhhh,” I remembered. “You’re allergic aren’t you? Nuts right?”

“Yeah, and shellfish. But its fine. I’ll just get something else.”

“You sure? There are nuts all over Thai food. We can get something else. I don’t want you to die.”

He laughed. ” I won’t die. I’ve eaten over there before.”

We arrived. It was dimly lit restaurant. A group of old white people laughing in the corner. A few couples sprinkled throughout. There was a really cute black couple sitting by the door. I smiled at them. How cute, I thought.

We sat down, and the waitress handed us the menus.

I flipped through, even though I knew what I wanted. They have some interesting combinations. Wonder what their Yelp rating is. I reached for my iPhone, then remembered that I had asked him to hold it plus my wallet in his pocket because I didn’t feel like bringing my huge purse with all my books in it. I looked up to ask him for it, and caught him staring. I gave a shy smile and looked away.

“You are so pretty,” he murmured. He seemed almost… puzzled.

I blushed. “Thanks,” I replied. I don’t know what to do with my face right now, I thought.

A few awkward moments passed by.

“You are really really pretty,” he said again, looking over my face carefully.

Oh this is too much, I thought. I looked down. “Thank you.”  But FINALLY this fool notices,  I thought to myself. Its been months.

“So,” I changed the subject. “When the last time you talked to Bu?”

Bu was his best friend, my best guy friend. Our mutual friend and a whole nother story in himself.  The main reason why me and this guy know each other. I think he’s also the reason why this guy hasn’t really made any moves until now. I realize why they tell you its bad to have too many guy friends if you wanna get married, guys are always telling their friends NOT to date you which is obviously problematic. And I think they think they are being helpful by doing this… sometimes I’m grateful, but most of them time I want to be like fall back son, I’m an adult. I got this.

We laughed about Bu for a bit. I told him about how Bu had tried to get at this girl while I was present and was terribly shut down. He laughed, “Bu, never told me that part of the story.”

The food came. He ate everything, I ate about a quarter of mine. Then the bill came.

“You can just drop a $10 in,” he offered.

“Okay, thanks.” When is he going to ask me out on a real date? I wondered. Does he not like me?

On the way back to his place we passed by his favorite restaurant. A West-African restaurant, the only one in the city. I had been dying to go there, ever since I moved to the area.

“Ohmigosh I didn’t know it was right here! You live right by here!” I hit his arm and  glared at him accusingly. “Why didn’t you tell me? We could have gone there instead. No need for you to risk your life over some Thai.”

“Well, it gives you a reason to come back and visit me in my neighborhood. We can come back next time.” He looked over at me and smiled.

“That’s true,” I conceded.

Anyway, we went back to his place, watched the movie (the Kevin Hart stand-up, pretty hilare). He likes cuddling and he kept finding different ways to be all up under me (lol).

Boy… stop being so cute. I thought.

He kept making jokes about how it would be so dangerous to kiss me, as I had just finished putting away that bomb shrimp pad thai and he was allergic to both nuts and shellfish.  But he kept mentioning how the hospital was right there (he lives down the street) and he had his epi pens. I looked at him like he was crazy….

“Dude, ain’t no need to put your life at risk over a kiss.”

“I don’t know, it might be worth it,” he said thoughtfully. I shook my head, and turned back to the TV. Family Guy was on now.

I felt his arm over my shoulder, he was tracing circles on my arm.

“Come closer.”

I hesitated, then scooted over.

“You know, let me know if you ever feel uncomfortable,” he said suddenly. “You could always just say ‘pineapples,'” I laughed. Kevin Hart had made a joke in the movie, about how his safe word during sex was “pineapples.”

I didn’t feel the need to say it though. It felt nice cuddling up against him.

After a few minutes, he turned and faced me. Staring again.

“You’ve got a little exotic something going on up here,” he gestured around his eyes. I gave him a smile and tilted my head at him.

“What are you talking about? Is this your way of trying to run game on me?” I asked him playfully.

“No,” he laughed. “I have no game. Ask Bu,” he looked at me thoughtfully. “I’m just being honest.”

He stroked my cheek, stared again. This dude was making me blush.

“You know what?” he leaned in, and then seemed to hesitate, stared deep into my eyes, and gave me a questioning look.

“Say pineapples,” he whispered, gave me a sly smile. Then waited.

I bit my lip and smiled, said nothing.

He leaned in to give me a kiss.

(I know the whole exchange sounds silly, but believe me. It was cute! He has wonderful lips too… I like them.)

The rest of the night was chill. We were kissing and talking. I laughed a lot.

“Hey,” I sat up from where I was laying down on his chest. “This is fun and all, but you need to take me out on a real date.”

“Is that what you want?” He pulled me back towards him.

“Yes,” I said firmly.

“Okay. We can do that,” he leaned forward, kissed me on top of my head, sniffed. “You smell good.”

“Thanks,” I said absently. Played with some of the upholstery on the couch. “So…. when are we going?”

“Next week,” he responded quickly.

I lay quietly for a moment. I knew he was thinking about next Monday, which was when he would find out if he matched or not. He had picked a hard specialty to apply into, and was understandably nervous. Either he would find out he matched on Monday and be INSANELY happy, or find out that he didn’t match, and if so, would have a challenging week ahead of him. I was kinda nervous for him too, but for some reason, I had a lot of faith in him.

“I’m leaving Tuesday,” I said softly. I was going out-of-town for my spring break to visit my sisters.

“Oh, that’s right,” he paused. “Okay. So I’ll see you Sunday.”

“Are you sure? Aren’t you going to be tired?” I knew he would just be getting back from going out-of-town to celebrate his college roomie’s birthday. We had talked about it previously.

” No– well… wait, when do you come back again?”

“I would be back Sunday.”

“We’ll go out this Sunday,” he said firmly. “I can sleep on the way back. I’ll just… drink a Red Bull or… maybe coffee or something. But it doesn’t matter. I would wake up for you. Especially if you’re leaving for the week. I wanna see you.” He kissed my head again, squeezed me close.

He’s so affectionate, I thought. I liked that.

We sat for a few more minutes, watching TV.

Then he made a weird little noise, and I started. I looked up at him. “What was that?” I asked, laughing a little bit.

“I dunno. I just feel really good. My eyes are low, I’ve got an insanely hot girl chilling with me in the room, I’m gonna match on Monday, I haven’t felt this good in a while. I dunno, I just feel good.”

I smiled to myself.

I feel really good too. This is definitely a Nina Simone moment, I thought. But I didn’t say anything. I’m gonna see how this date goes on Sunday.

Some facts about me. I’m 24. I’m a girl raised in the middle. I’m black.

This is a dating blog. The title comes from all those “Girl Raised in…” sayings. You have Girls Raised in the South. (GRITS). Girls Raised in da North (GrinDN) and Girl Raised in the Midwest (GRIM). I am none of those things. I was raised in… the Middle. I’m also a middle child, so I thought it fit.

I picked it as my title for my blog b/c I also think that being raised in the middle of the country makes me cool. I’ve lived in a few other places and I still think ppl who grew up in my area are just naturally born awesome. I’m also a middle child. Usually nobody cares about the middle children. We’re starved for attention. So I went without attention for YEARS (not really, I’m just being dramatic. I do that sometimes… I think its for the attention🙂.  Anyway, with all that time to myself, I read a lot. I still love to read, and I also like to write. I want to write a book one day, but I need to get in the habit of writing. I also need a way to make sense of all these guys I’m dating, so I decided kill two birds with one stone, join the writing club and make a blog about about it.

Oh yea. The main reason why I started this blog is because I realized…. I don’t really know what I want. So I’m hoping this blog helps me figure it out… before I eff around and miss my chance at true love. If its even really out there. So everything I write in this blog is truth.com. I leave out some details in an attempt to maintain anonymity, but the conversations, the dialogue, the stories its all there.

I doubt I’m always going to have stuff in my life to make into content, but for right now, I have lots. Probably in the future I’ll have to go back into the memory bank and retrieve a few things, but I’ll make a note in the post when it happens. As of right now, I’m documenting things as they happen.

Umm…. lets see is there anything else…. nope. Nothing.

Enjoy.