The things Minister LeBron taught Kylisha proved to be highly effective. She was no longer susceptible to Gene’s presence at work or at church, and she hardly ever thought about him during her waking hours. The vivid dreams she used to have of Gene have also dwindled. Now Kylisha only dreamed about him once a week instead of five.
Unfortunately, Kylisha couldn’t seem to control the way she felt whenever another woman gave Gene attention. Jealousy would arise every time. Every single time. However, Kylisha was able to successfully control how deep that jealousy went within her and how long it stayed.
Kylisha also couldn’t seem to shake certain doubts. The main one being the fact that she might have prematurely and erroneously judged Gene’s actions. It was now a whole month later and the man was still attending church on a regular basis.
On top of that, Gene barely got any personal calls at work nowadays. Kylisha counted only two female callers last week and they were business associates who hoped to change the nature of their relationships with him.
Kylisha wasn’t sure exactly what Gene said to them when he returned those calls, but not too many days later both women canceled their services with the company. Fortunately, one of the women called back yesterday to reestablish service after realizing she couldn’t get a better deal or better service than Rozier Sanitation.
I’m glad one of them came to their senses, Kylisha mused, putting the finishing touches on a letter Mitch asked her to type. Inwardly, she wondered if she was using all of her common sense. Was Gene truly reformed or not?
Then there was the situation with Arnaz. Though he initially agreed to hang in there with Kylisha and date at a slow pace, Arnaz was now starting to put pressure on her to go faster. He’d already introduced her to his parents and met her grandparents. He’d been very subtle about both incidences.
When Kylisha met Arnaz’s parents, they just so happen to be visiting him on the same day he asked Kylisha to drop off the Bible he’d left in her car. Arnaz met her grandparents by offering to change the brake pads on her grandfather’s truck one Saturday when he learned why Kylisha would not be driving it that morning.
Arnaz sucked up to her grandparents the whole time he was there. He gave Jacinta countless compliments. He volunteered to do any future repairs on Wilford’s truck.
Though Kylisha’s grandfather remained cautious around this overly accommodating young man, her grandmother soaked up all the attention. Jacinta even invited Arnaz to stay for lunch.
As for Kylisha, she was more disappointed than anything after those encounters. She thought Arnaz was above such manipulations, such games. Realizing that he wasn’t made Kylisha wonder if any man was who he seemed to be.
Maybe I ought to call things off with Arnaz, too, Kylisha mused, printing out the letter. Maybe spinsterhood is the best thing for me after all.
Kylisha folded the letter in three and slipped it into a white business envelope. Just as she started to lick the sealing strip, Gene unexpectedly walked up to her desk with a file in his hands.
Caught mid-lick, Kylisha’s eyes darted up to his only to find them fixed on her mouth. She watched his gaze lift upwards, stopping when his eyes met hers.
Desire slammed through both of them as they were suddenly propelled back in time. In Kylisha’s mind, he was holding her with such incredible tenderness. In Gene’s mind, she was once again doing that fantastic twirly thing with her tongue and kissing him back as if she meant it.
When Kylisha let out a soft sigh, Gene smiled with untold pleasure. He’d remained on the right road for weeks now. Today was the first day he’d gotten a sign that she still wanted him or even still cared.
“Mr. Waldenhall, there’s a woman outside to see you,” Arnaz suddenly said from behind them. Though his features were neutral, his eyes blazed with ire.
What man wouldn’t be angry to find the woman he was dating currently mesmerized by another man? In fact, Kylisha hadn’t even noticed when Arnaz walked through the door. She’d been too caught up in and with Gene Waldenhall. The same Gene Waldenhall she was supposed to be over by now. What had happened to change that?
Gene blinked rapidly as if awakening from a pleasant dream. He dragged his attention away from Kylisha. “Come again?” Gene said, reluctantly turning towards Arnaz.
“I said, there’s a woman outside to see you,” Arnaz reiterated, putting emphasis on a certain word. “She’s coming in, but it might take a while. She had to get something out of her trunk. Plus she’s pregnant,” he added, again emphasizing what he wanted Kylisha to take special notice of.
At those words, Kylisha instantly forced all emotion from her face and returned to her work. After sealing the letter with deft hands, she turned back around to her computer terminal and started typing again. Who cares that the last letter was supposed to be the last one she typed before going to lunch. Kylisha was not moving from her seat until she saw who this mystery woman was.
Gene frowned. He knew exactly what Arnaz was doing. It was time for damage control.
“If she’s pregnant, then maybe I ought to go out to her,” Gene said. He put the file he held on Kylisha’s desk and started towards the door.
Arnaz shook his head. “No, she definitely says she wants to come inside.” He shot Kylisha a sideways glance to see if she was listening. Based on the stiff way she typed, she was definitely listening. Hard. Kylisha’s hands were usually much more relaxed across the keyboard than that.
When the exterior door suddenly swung open, Gene, Arnaz and Kylisha turned to see who it was. They all exhaled sharply when it turned out to be only Rosemary coming back from lunch. Gene and Kylisha’s exhalations were of relief. Arnaz’s was of disappointment.
They all waved to Rosemary as she made her way back to her office. Rosemary waved back and kept moving. She wasn’t about to linger in that tense room a second longer than she had to.
Unfortunately, Gene and Kylisha’s relief lasted for only a few seconds. A very pregnant Gloreatha came waddling through the door right after Rosemary. That brown maternity shirt she wore screamed ‘baby on board’ even without the letters.
God, please don’t let her be pregnant by my man, Kylisha prayed, unaware that she’d just claimed Gene as her own for the first time.
© 2006 by Suprina Frazier
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