She kissed me softly. I grabbed her thigh and brought her closer to my body. We laid on the couch and we spoke sweet nothings to each other. I would whisper in her ear, and we giggled and smiled like teenagers that had found love for the first time.
Her grandmother would be home shortly so we snuggled and watched television. I rubbed her shoulders and occasionally pursed my lips and blew softly in her ear. She hated that feeling of air in her ear. She would get upset and tell me to stop, but at the same time it made her laugh. It was a test of my boundaries, and I knew, or rather I felt that I could do no wrong around JuJu. For me it didn’t matter what was on television; I was just happy to be with her.
“Carlos, Beverly told me she seen you at Gino’s the other night,” she said softly.
“Yea JuJu, I seen her from a distance but she was with her man, so I didn’t wanna interrupt,” I replied.
“You know Beverly my best friend boi, you need to say hello when you see her…Anyways, I heard your Boss got some drama out here on these streets. Whatsup with him and that ratchet wife of his?!” Jules asked.
“From what I know, she don’t want to deal with homeboy’s kids. So don’t look like she trying to stick around too long if he ain’t ready to completely shut off his family,” I said.
“Sounds like she’s a nasty mean ratchet ass hoe. But on everything, I did hear she was a nice looking woman. Is it true what they say? Is she pretty?” Jules asked.
“Yea, she aight, but you know she ain’t you boo, you a ride or die kinda chick…. I like my women like you,” I said.
“Yea she must be fine, cuz it ain’t gots nothing to do with me, why you comparing me and that girl bruh? And by the way, Beverly told me she looked you up and down Carlos, whatsup with that?” Jules asked.
“Beverly a damn lie JuJu, that woman ain’t got nothing for me, we just talked in passing when she left Gino’s,” I said.
“Hmmm…why so defensive,” Jules said.
I held her tighter, and brought her close to my body. Beverly obviously saw how attractive Sheena was. My mind raced a bit because one second I’m with my girl and enjoying myself. The next minute I’m wondering if Beverly really thinks Sheena had her eye on me. I mean me? Really…eyes for me? Sheena is beautiful, I can’t imagine a woman that fine really low key stepping up to me like that. I mean dang, homegirl is married!?
“JuJu stop acting jealous, I really care about you; I really care about us. I’m in this thang for real, and I’m trying to make this thang work,” I said.
“Carlos, look, sometimes I just feel insecure. You know how my past relationships been. These little bois on the street done played my ass before, and I ain’t trying to get played again,” she said.
I grabbed her waist and pulled her close and softly said, “JuJu, look at me. I ain’t trying to play no games with you. I’m trying to get my life right, and I see you in my future.”
I heard a car slowly pull up in the driveway. I hopped up from the couch and sat at the table where there was a computer. I didn’t want Grandma Rose seeing me and JuJu hugged up. I tried to connect to the internet and heard the modem ring a few times, but there was no connection. I tried again, but the house phone rang instead which blocked my online connection. As Jules spoke on the phone, her grandmother walked into the house.
In a raspy voice Grandma Rose said, “you know, ya’ll two could’ve come to Bible study tonight with me?!”
“Yes ma’am, yes ma’am, I know the invitation is always there for us and we thank you for that Grandma Rose,” I said.
“You young peoples need the Lord, I pray fo ya’ll young folks ere day, it’s a cold world out dere, and it’s just getting colder by the day,” she stated.
“Jules, I think I’m gonna head to the house,” I said.
“Grandma, the phone for you, it’s Freddy calling collect from jail,” she said.
Grandma Rose with a chuckle said, “tell that damn thief I don’t wanna be bothered with his ass tonight.”
Jules looked perplexed. Freddy is Grandma Rose’s only child left. Jules mother, Priscilla died a few years before Jule’s brother passed away. Her Uncles Bud and John John both got shot in a stash house while gang banging and selling dope on the streets in the 80’s.
Grandma Rose looked at Jules and laughed and said, “Girl gimme me dat damn phone, I’m just teasing, gimme da phone gal. Let me talk to that no good boi. Anyways tell Carlos bye, I know you two wants to peck each other before he leaves. Night night Carlos.”
“Goodnight Grandma Rose”, I said.
Me and Jules walked to the front porch. I looked at her and felt her love. For some reason she believed that there was something inside me. She believed that I could be a better man. She believed that I could be somebody. And in that moment, I wanted to be with her. In my heart I knew she was the best woman for me.
She looked in my eyes and said, “Carlos, I’m praying for you. I’m praying for us.”
Before I could think, I softly said “JuJu, I love you…”
Author, Sam Blakemore, August 2, 2017