I’m not one to keep secrets. My migraine was debilitating this time. With the onset starting Wednesday, writing was like torture and I wanted to suck my eyeball out of my face. I was frustrated because I couldn’t stand to look at the screen long enough to write even one word. I tried to dribble out on the low lit tablet as much as I could, but even then that because frustrating.
Today was the first day the pressure eased off and I was able to just hunker down and push out a chapter. The pressure and the severity of the migraine ceased enough for me to get work done. Ugh… I so need to just make a book empire and be able to work on my book when I have the time.
Soon it will come. I know. My fans know this and believe this, but I need it sooner than later, so I can produce more.
Just griping. Ignore.
He looked to be about in his late thirties or maybe forties with this Michael Ealy flair, but without the unique eyes. This guy’s eyes were dark brown, but still made her feel something. He looked happy to see her. He was thickly built, but not fat. A man. A real man talking to her.
“I was born at night, but not last night,” she said, moving to stand a foot away from the car. Something had to be wrong with him, because she knew exactly what he was looking at.
He smiled. “Because I see you waiting on the bus and I wanted to offer you a ride?”
Madison turned away, too overwhelmed because he was actually talking to her with sincerity. This wasn’t a joke. He didn’t lose a bet.
“Hey girl, come on,” he urged. “Come back here. We can just talk.”
Madison looked back at him and shook her head. Determinedly she said, “I’m not a little girl.” Obviously, his vision sucked and he couldn’t see her very clearly, but she knew if she got any closer, whatever illusion he saw would fade away and she’d see a familiar look of horror. The hoodie only hid so much. He’d see the bumps and craters, the pimples and redness on her face, then most likely speed away.
“I can’t get to know you if you don’t come closer,” he persisted. “Give me your name if you want me to not call you baby girl.”
“I shouldn’t talk to strangers,” she snipped again.
“I won’t be a stranger if you tell me your name. See, it’s easy.” He touched his broad chest. “My name’s Jamar.”
That name definitely didn’t sound made up. He was serious! Why did his name sound so sexy? Madison went into panic mode. “I can’t do this with you.”
“Do what? I haven’t suggested anything…yet,” he chuckled.
HE WAS FLIRTING?
She stepped back some more. “Please stop it.”
Madison rolled her eyes. She might as well walk up to the car and get this over with.
Leaning into the window, in a firm tone, she said, “I can’t play games with you, sir. Stop what you’re doing or think you’re doing.”
He licked his bottom lip hungrily, not at all bothered by her proximity. “You don’t look twenty-eight. You aren’t lying about your age?” he questioned skeptically.
There was a teasing light in his mahogany eyes, but she became defensive. “Of course I’m twenty-eight. What purpose would it serve me to lie to you?”
“You’re on your way to school, you’re carrying a backpack and you just look young.”
“Your observation skills suck,” she said.
Jamar chortled. “You sound like my brother.” He reached out again and covered his hand over hers. “You’re really on your way to school?”
That warm electricity pulsed from his palm into her knuckles and flowed up her arm into her body. She became too nervous to speak. She nodded in answer to his question. Being befuddled hardly ever happened to her.
Now he was back to massaging her hand. His touch felt like a warm pulse shuddering through her veins. “I could give you a ride to wherever you want,” he offered.
“I-I…I shouldn’t. I don’t know you.”
“You’re right,” he agreed, and extended his free hand. “I’m Jamar Ross. And you are?”
“Well, now we know each other,” he said warmly.
She was feeling the pulse quicken. “I’m okay,” she said. “I’m fine waiting for the bus here.”
“Well, it is a dangerous neighborhood. I saw you the other day and saw lots of cars slowing down to check you out. My god-niece says this isn’t a safe neighborhood.”
“I can handle myself,” she said, faking confidence, although she never remembered any cars slowing down to look at her
“Well, how about as a friend, I sit right here and wait, and you can just stand right there, huh? Just to make sure you’re safe,” he suggested.
Madison wondered if he was really just there to keep her safe, but then again, this was kind. The kindest thing any guy had done in a long time.
“Kind of early to be going to school.” That skeptical tone was still in his voice.
She pulled her hand away. “I have lab work to do before class.”
“I’ve never seen you around here before this time of year.”
“I’m from Grosse Pointe Woods, before my mother died a few years ago.”
“That’s out by the east side,” he noted, slightly impressed. “The upper suburbs, right?”
She never liked to brag that she grew up around wealth, and moving back to Detroit, losing everything felt like the rug had been pulled from under her. “Yes, I grew up there in that area, most of my life. My mother had a rich boyfriend. After she died, when I came home from the funeral, all my things were packed up on the porch waiting for me.”
He actually looked devastated on her behalf. “Wow, I’m sorry about that.”
She shrugged it off. “Nothing for you to be sorry about. You didn’t throw me on the streets and sell all my mother’s stuff to pay off her bills. He did.”
“Maybe losing her was heartbreaking.”
Bitterly, she said, “That wasn’t love. He didn’t love her. He loved the money she gave him because he didn’t have to use his own.”
“Love, money, sometimes it’s all the same thing,” he said with a wry smile, trying to make her feel better.
Did he see her pimples? The craters on her face? She wondered. Because when he looked at her he didn’t flinch or try not to look at her face. That was usually the case when guys looked at her. As many times as she had to practice presenting her research in front of people, she could remember everyone’s stares.
“Your bus is coming,” he said abruptly.
“Your bus.” He pointed.
So consumed with actually talking with him, she had forgotten about everything else.
“Bye, Madison,” he said.
“Madison waved and jogged the short distance to catch her bus. When she got on the bus, she looked back at him. He waved his right hand, but his left hand was inside the car, down in his lap. Now it seemed non-important, but when she had been standing there, where had his other hand been?
Yes, down in his lap.
Why did this seem important now?
The bus pulled away as she sat down, and Jamar watched her the whole time until he couldn’t see her anymore.
Would he be there tomorrow? Madison wondered.