I met Jay at a party about three years after I moved to NYC. The party scene became my social life. I was out every night, going to no less than two parties a night. At my first stop on a Tuesday evening, I spotted Jay. He’s the first White guy I had my eyes on since high school (I’m from the south, so White boy crushes were a plenty), but there was something different about him. The way he walked–a quick step that somehow made time slow down around him. He could literally part a crowd with his stride. And the way he spoke–tongue heavy with New York City venom and a velvety tone that needed to be spoken into a late night radio station’s mic. I was intrigued.
I’d seen Jay around at a few of the parties I frequented, but this time, instead of it being a one-sided admiration, Jay and I locked eyes and wouldn’t let each other go. He smiled first, then I smiled and he wasted no time in walking over to me. “I’ve been waiting for a month for you to smile at me,” He stuck out his right hand in my direction. “I’m Jay, pleasure to finally meet you.” His hands felt smooth, like play dough in my hands.
We shook, “I”m Danielle. Nice to meet you as well.” I played stupid, “We’ve met before?”
“I’ve seen you around at a few events here and there. I’ve been waiting on at least one smile from you before I tried to meet you.” He smiled at me, “Well worth the wait,” Jay held my hand in his. His palms were sweaty. Did I make him nervous? I smiled trying my best not to stare too long into his icy blue eyes.
I completely forgot that I was leaving that party to, of course hop over to another. Jay and I knocked back a few cocktails and before I knew it, we were tucked away into a corner of the venue. We weren’t completely shielded away from the mingling crowd, but the energy between us made me feel like we were alone.
“Do you always lure men into corners?” Jay laughed. I spotted a gap in his two front teeth that I immediately imagined that same gap in the teeth of our adorable mulatto son, Jay Jr. “See,” Jason interrupted me. “You’re hesitating, you do!”
I wasn’t hesitating, I was at our son’s christening in my head. Sipping my cocktail, I had to stop to laugh, almost spitting all over Jay, who leaned in and placed his small, but juicy pink lips onto mine after I was finally able to swallow down the drink. If he had only known that I was in the middle of planning our lives together.
We didn’t notice the lights coming on at the party. I didn’t notice the room emptied out. But I noticed when the music cut off. “It’s quiet in here, we should…” I was tapped on my shoulder.
“The event is over,” a man in a suit was standing over Jay and I.
“Woops!” I stood up, dizzy from smooching with Jay and way too many vodka pineapples, I immediately feel back down to my seat. “We were just leaving, right Jay?” I grabbed Jay’s soft hand.
His hand gripped mine, “Yes. My bad dude.” Jay pulled me up and led me toward the door. We stumbled outside to the nearest street corner. We’d talked enough that night for me to know that Jay lived in Brooklyn and I lived in Harlem. But when we both slid into the same cab, I knew we were going to either my place or his, no matter how thick the drunken fog was.
I slurred my address to the cabbie–an ambiguous street corner. Jay squeezed my thigh. “So you’re just going to kidnap me.”
“It’s now or never,” I smiled.
“I like the sound of now,” He kissed me.
It was one of those one night stands that everything went perfectly smooth. Our slurring tongues and drunken hands moved in a orchestrated masterpiece all over one another until we laid there breathless on a pile of our own clothes and bodily fluids.
Dizzy, with my caramel leg draped over Jay’s creamy white stems, I shivered. Jay grabbed my duvet and pulled it over us. “Cold?”
“A little.” I said settling myself under the blanket.
“You just want me cuddled up on you,” Jay slid closer to me, rolling me over with my back to him. He nestled into the crevices my curves left open. His skin felt like milk on my back. I smiled. And before I could even come up with a clever response, Jay said, “This almost feels better than what we just did.”
I wanted to scream out, “I love you!” But I know enough about my crazy after-sex impulse word vomit enough to know that it was best that I stay quiet. My biggest fear would be to ask this man I just met what he was thinking, even though he’s obviously bold enough to express himself. I fixed my mouth to ask him what he was up to the next day, but I quieted myself before I could even part my lips. We just met. Be cool. I was cool.
So cool in fact, Jay ended up staying the night. I fried him up some eggs and bacon. We fed each other in bed, laughed about our childhoods and told stories about where our scars came from. I still wanted to scream out, “I love you!” But I kept my cool.
Jay and I hung out (re: had sex, ate and talked in bed) non-stop after that. Weeks bled into months and months became years and before I knew it, I’d been sleeping with Jay for four years. Our relationship was friends with the cherry on top of some good loving. After one of our sweat sessions, Jay picked up his phone, ready to order takeout. “You want something from the Dominican spot?” He smacked me on my butt, grabbing it in his hand after the smack.
“You.” I said with my head buried in the pillow.
“Babe, I can’t hear you,” Jay leaned closer to me.
“I said I want you.” I smiled at him, thinking his response would be automatic and right out of the love story we were in the middle of.
Jay put his phone done. The amount of time that went by felt like torture. “D…”
“I’m playing Jay!” I tapped on him on the chin with my fist. “Don’t get all serious. We’re good boo.”
Jay looked at my for a second and smiled. “For real. I mean, I like you. I like what we’re doing…”
“Seriously Jay. I was kidding,” I said with my eyes welling up. I could feel the tears threatening me.
Jay kissed me. “I just don’t want a girlfriend right now. You get it, right?”
I was already up and headed to the bathroom. “I gotta pee.” As soon as I closed the bathroom door, the tears started. I turned on the shower. I got in and cried. “Danielle. he’s a booty call.” I whispered to myself.
Jay and I stopped hanging out as frequently. And then we stopped altogether. It had been two years since we’d spent any time together. I’d still see him at parties and while he was cool, always willing to say hi, I was awkward and often broke out into a ridiculous sweat trying to avoid him. “You look good D!” Jay caught me leaving a party as he was coming in. He grabbed my wrist.
“Hi Jay. You too.” I let my wrist slip from his hand. His “Hi stranger” text later that night wasn’t a surprise. But when he showed up 15 minutes later, I was. I let him upstairs. Initially, I gave him the cold shoulder, but his typical corny jokes made me laugh and I couldn’t help myself but to fall back into our old ways. He put his head in my lap, told me how much he missed me and those blue eyes drew me back in.
I woke up with Jay beside me, clinging to my curves like they were his life’s blood. I woke him up. “I’ve got to get going.”
“You don’t have to make anything D. It’s me. I’m going,” Jay kissed my shoulder. Let’s have lunch this week. I need to talk to you.
“Sure.” Jay left. I beat myself up the entire week for being weak for him when all I wanted was for him to make me his girl and I gave him my body again with him even attempting to give me a title. Maybe that’s what he wanted to meet for? But if that was the case–wouldn’t he have told me when he came over that night?
Jay never called, texted or emailed me to set up our lunch date. But I found out what he wanted to talk to me about on Facbeook. His status went from “Jay is single,” to “Jay is engaged.” Everyone who commented seemed to know things about the man I slept with for four years that I didn’t know.
I clicked her name. Of course she was beautiful. She was also skinny–a vegan. Her profile photo was her and Jay in an embrace, wearing matching New York Knicks apparel at a game. The most recent photo in her timeline was Jay and her kissing, with the caption, “I said yes!” Her friends flooded her timeline in comments, hashtags (#FaveCouple) and well wishes. When did all this start? Jay told me he didn’t want a girlfriend!
Jay didn’t want me as a girlfriend because he’d already had one. One that he was now ready to marry after he got all his rocks off with me. I closed her Facebook page and changed my own relationship status to “it’s complicated.”