This is the second installment of HIM & HER! Need to catch up? Read Part One now. Enjoy!
All right, so this is how it went down.
That morning, my car wouldn't start and my roommate only had enough time to drop me at the nearest train station. I never ride that thing because I don't do people in tight spaces. As expected, the packed train had me smashed between a mother, her kid in a stroller, and a young dude with a large backpack. At this point, I’m trying to keep my cool in this uncomfortable situation, but even that new PJ Morton joint banging through my AirPods wasn’t enough to brighten my mood.
At the next stop, I saw HER get onto the train and wedge herself between the handrail and the door. She had on this yellow dress that clung to every curve, peak, and valley. She was tall, probably 5'10, with long hair styled in braids that hit the middle of her back. And I could tell by the fullness of her lips that she had a smile that would mess a brother up.
She reached into her bag and pulled out her phone. When she looked up, she caught me staring at her. I told myself to look away but I felt myself smiling at her instead. She barely gave me a nod before turning to stare out the window.
She was like a siren beckoning me off my ship, man. She had the kind of beauty that would make any man jump overboard to his death. I love women but, before that moment, I couldn’t imagine risking it all for anyone... but she was extraordinary. And I knew I wouldn’t have much of a chance to talk to her if I didn’t act right then.
I pushed past some passengers, eyes locked on her. As I drew closer, I noticed more of her radiance. I could keep trying to describe her, man, but honestly, that’s just like describing God to an atheist—I can go on and on but you’d never believe me.
Nah, don’t look at me like that. I know how I sound, but if you saw her, you’d understand.
The train slowed and I stumbled backward, nearly collapsing into an elderly man’s lap. When I got myself together, she was booking it off the train and across the platform. It wasn’t even my stop but I rushed off behind her.
I called out, “Excuse me,” to her. There was no way she would hear me with all the noise, so I did what any other sucker would do. I followed her. Stupid, I know. I’d seen the girl for three minutes and I was already acting out of character. I didn’t know if she had somebody in her life or if she would even be interested. I’m sure women like her get hit on by men all the time, and that shit’s gotta be annoying. But, I couldn’t help it.
It didn’t matter anyway because I lost her. On top of that, I was going to be late to my meeting. I ducked into a bakery so I could at least bring some doughnuts for the team, then texted my partner and let him know to start the meeting without me. It was stupid packed inside and the whole time I waited, I fantasized about that yellow dress.
Maybe twenty minutes later, I headed to meet my Lyft when I caught a glimpse of yellow in the corner of my eye. Dude, it was HER. She was carrying a box and talking to some security dude. I almost hung back but my feet moved toward her. Good thing, too, because just as I got up to her, the jerk shoved her into my arms. I dropped my phone and the doughnuts but I didn’t care. When she looked up at me, I forgot how to breathe.
Fuck those doughnuts.
I see the way you’re looking at me, but I felt like a white girl in one of those romance movies. I was so frazzled when it all happened. My box of stuff was all over the sidewalk and people were kicking my belongings...but girl, I couldn’t even think straight. I looked up to see who caught me. We stood like that for what felt like hours, our chests heaving in unison. He held me like he knew me, like I was already his.
He said something to me. I only knew because his lips started moving but I couldn’t even hear him, so I surely couldn’t answer. This brother looked like he walked right out of a Nia Forrester novel. I mean, he was the kind of fine that ain’t fair, honey.
I had on my good heels—yes, the ones you think belong to you—and he still towered over me. But you know I’ve never been the type to trip over height. All the men in my family are giants. What got me was how solid he was. I could tell under that crisp, white shirt and those navy pants that he was thick, like the perfect consistency of your favorite soup on a rainy day in April. Hearty. Filling. A man like this had ingredients to satisfy you long after the meal. But that wouldn’t deter you from going back for seconds or thirds—savoring every spoonful. Nah, it’s too good not to indulge again and again.
It took him tilting his mouth into an easy smile for me to realize I hadn’t blinked.
I’d seen this face before, maybe a manifestation of my wildest dreams. I was drawn to his features. His eyes were intense and focused on me; he didn’t look away for even a second. His nose, perfectly broad and fit for a king, boasted the lineage of his African ancestors. I suspected royalty ran in his family line. The strength of his foremothers and forefathers reverberated through him and the effects transferred to me through his firm yet gentle grasp. I trembled a bit under the heat of his stare.
He helped me gather my belongings off the ground and I offered to replace the doughnuts crumbled on the sidewalk. Even though my newly unemployed ass needed to be saving every coin, I used it as an excuse to spend time with the fine stranger who hadn’t told me his name… but already had me wondering how it might sound echoing through my hallway.