Resisting the urge to slam the door behind Kylisha’s offensive grandmother, Gene counted to ten before doing anything. Finally closing the door, he locked it before turning back towards Kylisha.
Gene’s heart skipped a beat when he saw tears sliding down Kylisha’s face in droves now. Her hands trembling at her sides. Her bottom lip quivering with emotion too deep to utter.
He immediately went over to Kylisha and wrapped his arms around her in a chaste embrace. Little did Gene know that that second genuine act of kindness from him would send her tumbling over the edge for sure. Now heartrending sobs accompanied Kylisha tears.
Oh, baby, Gene mused, squeezing his eyes shut as she leaned against him and released what seemed like years of frustration and anguish.
His heart ached for Kylisha. He felt so helpless. Oh how Gene wished he could do more than just hold and gently rock her in his arms. He wished he had the power to remove all of Kylisha’s pain.
Suddenly one of Grandma Janelle’s sayings entered Gene’s mind. ‘When you don’t what to do, pray’. And that’s exactly what he did.
Lord, please heal Kylisha’s heart, Gene prayed simply and sincerely. He just hoped God was willing to look past his many faults long enough to see Kylisha’s needs. It wasn’t like Gene was asking for anything for himself. His petition was on someone else’s behalf. A very special someone.
She’s one of Your own, Lord, Gene continued in prayer. Surely You will hear and answer this prayer for that reason alone, right?
He got his answer soon enough. Kylisha’s tears began to gradually subside from that moment on. The trembling in her body ceased. Her lips stopped quivering.
When Kylisha’s tears were no more than a few raindrops here and there, Gene ushered her over to the sofa on the right side of the room. He left her briefly to retrieve a floral box of tissue from her desk.
“You have an interesting grandmother,” Gene said as he handed Kylisha the box a few seconds later. “She must be a hoot to live with.” His voice was light-hearted and full of humor, intended to make her laugh. Would it work?
Kylisha chuckled softly as she wiped her face free of moisture. “Interesting? A hoot to live with? I’ll say. That’s why I moved out months ago. I am much happier living alone.” She put the tissue box in her lap in case she had another downpour.
So she lives alone now, huh? Gene silently noted as he sat beside her. Wonder when that happened? Now he wanted to know even more about Kylisha.
“I enjoy living alone, too,” Gene replied. He decided to share even more about himself in hopes that she’d reciprocate. “After years of living in a house full of women, I couldn’t wait to have a place of my own. Even if it was no bigger than a matchbox.”
Kylisha chuckled again, this time louder. “A matchbox?”
“A matchbox,” Gene confirmed, feeling caressed inside by her laughter. He also felt a great sense of accomplishment for having lightened Kylisha’s burden just a little. “It was a small apartment with only four rooms in the whole place. A kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom, and a tiny living room barely big enough to fit a loveseat in. That apartment was nowhere near the size of the condo that I have now.”
Kylisha’s brows rose at the mention of his condo. She looked impressed by how well he was doing financially and by the fact that he hadn’t come across as braggadocios when he mentioned his luxury living arrangements.
Gene stared off for a moment as he continued to recall his first bachelor’s pad. “Yet despite how small my place was, I made sure it screamed masculinity in every room by using lots of dark colors. Pink and yellow were nowhere to be found on the premises.” He laughed, gave Kylisha a lopsided grin, and added, “I didn’t even want anybody wearing those colors when they came over to visit.”
Kylisha laughed, too. She leaned back and got more comfortable on the sofa.
“And to be able to go to the bathroom at any time of day or night without seeing ladies stockings…and other delicacies hanging on the shower rod was like heaven to me,” Gene continued, leaning back, as well. He spread his arms across the back of the sofa, cushioning her head with one of them.
Kylisha guffawed this time. She had a few delicacies hanging on her own shower rod at home.
Pleased that he was having such a positive affect on her, Gene offered to buy her dinner tonight. “I’m hungry. Want to share a bite to eat?”
Kylisha’s laughter instantly dried up in her throat. “I…”
“Now before you say no again, I’m not talking about taking you anywhere. I’m simply talking about buying you a few snacks and couple of sodas from the vending machines in the break room,” Gene quickly clarified.
Kylisha’s smile promptly returned. “I guess that’ll be all right.” She nodded her consent.
“Good,” Gene replied, rising to his feet.
After he returned from the break room, he and Kylisha ate, drank, and just got to know each other better for the next two hours.
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier
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