Chapter 1 “Dre.” Carres said over the cell phone. “What’s up babe?” He replied affectionately. “I’m spending the weekend with a friend of mine from Connecticut. So if you don’t see me you know why.” “Ok. Who is it?” He asked. She knew he wouldn’t be happy when he found out it was a guy. “ My friend James. He’s going to visit his uncle in Florida but he’s stopping here for two days. So I’m going to be with him.” “CarresÖ” “I got to go. Practice has started.” Carres quickly hung up the phone. “Carres! Let’s go!” Shouted Andrea. “I’m coming.” Carres dropped the phone into her bag and ran over to join the rest of the group. “Alright. How would you guys feel if we did a step or two in the student union today? We can practice the dance for the upcoming sorority party, and then for the last thing perform in the union.” Andrea said. All the girls gave positive responses to the idea. They all jumped up and started by doing their usual warm up. Five sets of twenty high kicks, five-minute jog, leg and arm stretches, and splits. The group of girls enthusiastically practiced their dance in the middle of the track. There were students and faculty running and a few students watching from the stands. Watching the Delta’s, one of the most popular and prestigious sororities. Andrea, the captain and soror president, turned on the battery powered boom box. “5..6..5..6..7..8Ö!” She yelled loudly over the music. Everyone started the dance in sync. Each move was fluid and tight. After one run through, Andrea was happy with the group. Everything was on point, and looked great. “Well, it looks like you guys are all set on the dance, keep practicing that so it stays perfect just as it is now. Let’s go over a few steps.” She turned around and faced the group. “AGGIE PRIDE!” She yelled. The group started a complex step, again with no mistakes. Going through step after step after step, Andrea could find no fault in the Delta’s performance. “Well you guys have managed to blow me away, so let’s go to the student union! I want the same energy there as you just gave me here.” They gathered there things and all headed over to the union. Andrea went up to Professor Johnson to ask if it was ok for them to perform. She came back and told the group that he said it was all right. The group cleared out a large space in the center, and got into formation. Andrea set up the music and took a seat in front of the group. Just as he walked up to the student union building, James wondered where Carres was. It was a pretty big campus, but at least it was easy to find from the airport. He was glad for that. He walked in, and looked around, hoping to see Carres somewhere. “Excuse me, do you know Carres Deer and where I could find her?” James asked a guy that was standing next to him. “Oh Carres? She’s most likely at step practice with the Delta’s. I think you can find themÖactually they are right over there in the center. I wonder what they are going to do? Well those are the Delta’s, Carres would probably be with them.” The guy finished, still craning his neck to see what the Delta’s were doing. James said thank you, and made his way through the crowd. He got to the front, and took a seat at a vacant table, and watched to see what they were going to do. He spotted Carres in the group, and was glad to finally be able to find her. “AGGIE PRIDE!” She called. The group commenced the first drill. With great applause from the audience, they got more energy and performed the next two steps with out hesitancy or mistake. Then Andrea put on the music, and counted off for the group to start the dance. Everything went without a mistake, and from the amount of applause from the students; the Delta’s did a top performance. After putting the tables and chairs back in their original position, the crowd cleared and went back to what they were doing before. Carres was talking to someone as she picked up her things, when out of the corner of her eye she spotted someone she thought reminded her of James. She wasn’t sure it was him and decided not to say anything. “Carres.” She heard her name called. She said a quick excuse me to the person she was speaking with and turned around. “James!” She said with excitement. She walked over and hugged him. As soon as she touched him she felt something surge through her. “How are you? It’s been so long.” James said, as they hugged for a second time. “Come on, I have to go change. You have to come to my dorm with me. I’m so glad you came.” Carres said taking his hand and leading him out of the union. Giving him a small tour on the way to her dorm. “Ok stay here, if my roommate comes in just tell her I said it was ok for you to be here.” Carres grabbed her towel, underwear, and her robe. She took a quick shower, and came back feeling refreshed. She came in to see James lying on her bed, with her cd player on. She taped his foot, and he looked up at her and smiled. While he went back to his little world of music, she got dressed. She put on a jean skirt that she designed. It had a red strip down the side that stopped an inch above the final hemline, with a red shirt with a jean stripe down the arms and sides, which also stopped an inch above the hem. Carres even made sure she wore the blue denim colored bra and boy short underwear that matched. She then took her pair of red and blue sneakers that she also designed and had made, with her red ankle sox. She went over to James and took the head phones of his ears. “Your so into you music that you don’t even realize that I’m wearing the outfit that you helped me design. I just added a little flare to it.” James sat up, and watched as she turned around. “We did that? Wow, I knew it would look good on you.” She walked over to the dresser and took out a red headband. “Do you have any of the other things that we did?” “No, this is the only one I made. I still have all the drawings though, I added a lot of them too.” Carres went to a large three ring binder on her shelf and opened it between them on the bed. Together they leafed through the binder looking and critiquing everything together. After they had finished discussing, they prepared to leave. Carres looked into her closet and took out a red knapsack. She took a quick look around her room and put everything that she would need into the knapsack. “Ready?” She turned to ask him, after a final look over her room, making sure she didn’t forget anything. “Yeah. Can we get something to eat, I’m hungry.” He said standing and stretching. “C’mon, you’re always hungry!” Carres said laughing and grabbing his hand. “Shut up! You’ve made that observation many times over the years. I think we get the point now.” They walked together laughing, into the common area and out the door. “Do you want to eat on campus? The food is ok, but they have a bangin Jamaican restaurant close by. We could go there if you want?” Carres asked him just as the exited the dorm building. “I’m up for what ever you want.” “You know we have had this conflict before, don’t give me the option when I’m giving you the chance to choose.” Carres said jokingly. “Alright, lets go to the restaurant.” James decided. “Good, ’cuz that’s where I was hoping you would say. I’ve been craving some Jamaican food for a while, just haven’t had the time to go. And I haven’t been driving the car much except to work. So this will give me a reason to drive.” They got into the car and Carres started up. As usual there was a reggae mix in the CD player. She turned to look at James. “Do you want to listen to this? I don’t care what we listen to.” He said it was fine and they drove off. They talked non-stop about their lives since the past two years had gone by. Picking up from where they left of before Carres left and James moved out of his parent’s house, when they were friends wanting to be more but couldn’t allow it to happen. So instead they became incredibly close friends, and enjoyed the friendship to the fullest. They hung out on the weekends and talked all during the week. They shared more with each other, than they did their own best friends. They pulled up to the restaurant. They both got out and instinctively held hands, like they used to do before. They were seated, and slowed their talking and laughter to a minimum.
Chapter 2 Carres grabbed her messenger bag that had all her overnight essentials. She grabbed her cell phone and charger and walked out of her room. James was on the couch talking with her roommates. She put her bag down, and walked back into her room. She put on a short jean skirt, with a strapless corset, and her matching jean jacket. She then put on the matching sneakers, and put her hair in a tight ponytail. She brushed on a bit of eye shadow, and some lip-gloss that she dropped into her purse. “Ok. I’m ready.” She said exiting her room. “And it’s about time.” Lana, her roommate said. “Look, don’t start with me.” Carres said jokingly, and smiling. “Everyone here who is going?” Clarissa, Carres’s other roommate, asked. “Yeah!” They all got up to go. Carres took James, Michelle, and Shauna in her car. Lana had Clarissa and Gina in her car. They drove to the club, bumpin’ reggae music all the way. They soon pulled up to a club called ‘The West Indian’. “This is the hottest reggae club in the area. Waite till you and I go to Jamaica. I’ll show you some reggae clubs there that you won’t believe.” Carres said to James with pure excitement in her voice. They parked next to each other, and got out. They didn’t have to wait inline because of the fact that they were all regulars and had V.I.P passes. Also for the fact that Carres had made herself known at the club and usually got in half price for her and her friends anyway. They were all quickly ushered in, and didn’t even bother to have a seat. Carres grabbed James by the hand and led the group to the dance floor. Carres said good-bye to her friends. After a night of dancing, she brought her friends back to the dorm. They all said good-bye to James, and gave him a quick hug. Carres settled back into the car, and reached behind James’ seat and grabbed her cd case. She took out the reggae cd. She decided to put in a Boys Two Men CD. “Remember when we were in my room and you sang for me?” Carres said with a reminiscent smile. “Yeah, and how you made me nervous by staring at me the whole time.” James laughed. “I couldn’t help it if I was captivated by your voice. When we get back to the hotel, you have to sing for me.” Carres said eagerly, hoping he would say yes. “I don’t’ know if I can pull that off tonight.” “Please James? I haven’t heard you sing in so long.” Carres said in a whinny child’s voice. “Ok. Fine. You knew I was going to eventually say yes anyway.” “True. But I didn’t think you would say yes so easily.” “I expected you to ask. Remember, I know you.” James said gently nudging Carres. She smiled coyly, and put on ‘It’s so hard to say good by to yesterday’. She nudged James to encourage him to sing for her. By the time they had reached James’ hotel, he had managed to reach into the middle of another song. Carres parked and they got out. James reached into his pocket and took out his room key. They walked up to room 204, and James opened the door for her. She looked around and saw his belongings arranged in an orderly fashion in the room. “I’m going to take a quick shower.” Carres said. James nodded in response, and sat on the bed. She walked into the bathroom and he heard the shower start up. He got up and took out a wife beater and a pair of boxers, so that he could go into the shower after her. He undressed down to his underwear and neatly folded his clothes back. He might not be the most organized and neat person, but he knew he was not trying to take forever to pack when the weekend was over. He placed his watch, and necklace on the dresser. “Can’t trust these cleaning ladies these days.” He said to himself as he put his wallet in his bag. Carres came out of the shower wearing a pair of black boy shorts, and a wife beater. “You can go in now.” She said simply, as she put away her clothes and took out her lotion. James walked to the bathroom and paused at the door. He took a quick look back and caught a glimpse of Carres putting lotion on her long legs. He decided to take a cold shower, a lot of the feelings he had before were rushing back into his mind and body. He went in to the bathroom and painfully took that cold shower. As Carres rubbed in her lotion, she felt something odd inside. She looked towards the bathroom door and closed her eyes. She remembered all the times they spent together. Smiling to her self when she remembered the first time they kissed. The time they went to the movies, well the many times they went to the movies. And then her mind drifted to the time they started going out over the summer before she left for college. She smiled. Just as she finished putting lotion her arms, James walked out of the bathroom. She looked up and smiled at him. He was wearing a pair of black boxers and still had the muscle toned body that she loved so much. “Do me a favor? Rub some of this lotion on my back please.” She said with a smile. “Sure.” Carres turned her back to James and took of her wife beater. As his hands made their way up her back, she moved her hair out of the way. “Your hair grew! It was like to your neck the last time I saw you. It looks gorgeous.” He commented, dying to touch it. Carres put back on her wife beater and smiled as she turned around to face him. “Thank you. Hey! You know what we should do? We should put the beds together. Then just chill and talk like we used to.” They agreed, and shifted the room around. After moving the two beds the plopped down next to each other and started to laugh. “Alright. Tell me what’s been going on since I left.” Carres asked. “Well, nothing really. Remember we are from Connecticut.” They both laughed. “Actually. I went to a community college and got my grades up. I’ll be able to transfer to any college I want now. So even though I’m here to visit you, I’m thinking about this school.” James said, acting as if the matter was the everyday run of the mill situation. “Are you serious? That’s great. If you come down here, we would have so much fun. You can be in a fraternity and everything!” Carres said excitedly. “Yeah, but how are you down here? I remember the whole situation with your family and everything.” Carres stopped smiling. “I’m actually pretty great. My mom wouldn’t let me take the car down here, so I came down and instantly got a job. It was much easier to get a job here than it was in Connecticut. Best of all I have a paid internship going for me right now too. So I bought my car, and I make enough for insurance, loan payments, and everything else I need. I don’t talk to anyone in my immediate family except my dad. Then on the weekends, I work for a local record label as a promoter. So I’m doing pretty good if I do say so myself.” Carres said, nodding in emphasis. “Well, good girl.” James said approvingly. Carres moved closer to him and laid her head on his shoulder. “What about you and Lisa?” Carres asked. “Nothing. She doesn’t call me and I don’t call her. If we happen to see each other we just don’t say anything anymore. What about you guys?” “I think we grew apart a lot. I think it started like right before you guys went out. I just noticed some things about her that got on my nerves that I was willing to over look, because she was my best friend. But after a while we just stopped talking, and I tried calling her a few times and she never returned my calls. So I guess she and I aren’t friends anymore. I actually don’t know.” Carres said. She sat up and looked down at James. “Let’s not talk about the past unless it’s pleasant. I don’t want anything to bring back bad memories.” Carres said. James nodded in agreement. Carres grabbed a pillow and laid on her stomach next to James. She turned to face him and looked into his eyes. “You have gorgeous eyes. I’ve probably told you that one to many times already.” Carres said smiling, not for one second loosing sight of his eyes. “Yes you have told me more than once. Just about ever time I ever saw you; you said the same thing to me. I think I know now.” They laughed. Carres sat up and looked down at him. “Is there a cd player in here? I have a Musiq cd with me. We could listen to it.” Carres looked around and found that there was a DVD player in the room. When she looked at it closely she realized that it could play cd, mp3, and DVD. She took the cd out of James’ bag and put it in. “Turn on your back. I’ll give you a massage like I used to do.” He jumped with zeal, and she laughed at his eagerness to get a massage from her. “I remember the first time you gave me one. Never in my life had I felt so relaxed.” He said as he settled down. They talked very little after Carres started to work her “Jamaican magic”, as James liked to call it. They quickly became reacquainted with each other. They both could feel the original feelings that they had for each other coming back. For that time they were together, they both forgot about all their worries, and all the other people in the world. For that time Carres forgot she had a boyfriend. James was the only person in her mental. Chapter 3 Carres stretched and looked around. For a quick second she forgot where she was. She looked down at the spot next to her and saw James. All the memories of the night before flooded back into her mind. She cringed at the fact that she had to go back to the real world in a few short hours. She laid back down and curled up next to James. She felt his arms close around her, and for that moment she felt calm. She quickly fell back asleep. James felt movement at his side. He felt when Carres sat up, he opened his eye and looked at her, quickly shutting his eye when he saw her turning to look at him. He waited until she laid back down before he opened his eyes again. He didn’t even bother to allow a thought into his head; afraid that if he did it would ruin the moment. They went to IHOP. It happened to the closest diner to the university. They sat down in the blue booths and looked at the picture filled menus. While Carres was deciding on what she wanted she got the sudden feeling like she was being watched. She slowly looked up away from the menu with out moving her head. She noticed that James was looking in her direction. “Is there something wrong?” She asked. “No. I’m sorry, I was just thinking about something.” He said. Carres nodded in response and went back to looking at the menu. She had already decided on the French toast. That’s what she always got. French toast, eggs fried hard, bacon, and apple juice. She put down her menu when she was tired of looking at the pictures and trying to persuade herself to get something different. “Do you know what you’re getting, James?” She asked. “Yeah, I’m getting pancakes, scrambled eggs, ham, and orange juice.” He said. Carres smiled thinking of how much food that sounded like, and then she remembered that James always had a knack for eating a lot. “So what are you going to be doing with your relatives in Florida?” She asked, trying to make small talk. “Probably do some work for my Uncle? He has his own auto body shops down there. I think he has two right now and is probably working on opening another one. So I will be helping with that, and also I’m thinking about moving to Florida, so we are going to travel to different cities and see what they are like.” He said. “That’s cool. Well, my dear, have fun.” Carres said. They continued the small talk until the food came. After eating they went to the car. “Ok, what do you want to do today?” Carres asked “I don’t know. What is there to do around here?” “Well, we could go to the mall. Oh! No! Let’s go to the beach today. We can go to sunset beach. Or we could go to the museum. The museums are cool, I can’t remember what they are called but I know how to get there. So what do you want to do?” “Let’s go to the beach. I haven’t been to the beach in a long time, and it’s normally too cold in Connecticut to go.” “I know!” Carres said laughing. “You know I actually don’t have a bathing suite. Do you?” “I don’t think I brought one.” “Well then that means we are stopping at the mall first. I have to get one.” Carres said eagerly. She couldn’t believe that she had been in North Carolina for two years and had not managed to get a bathing suit. She chuckled to herself on that thought. She looked over at James; he looked a bit too serious for that instant. “Goodness, J, look happy.” She said patting him on the thigh. “We are going to the beach! I haven’t been to the beach since I was little and I used to go with my cousins in New York. We are going to have fun.” Carres sped along the highway in the direction of Greensboro Mall, usually referred to as the Boro. They walked into JC Penny and quickly found the bathing suit department. They browsed through all the different selections. They laughed together at the ugly bathing suits, and Carres laughed even harder when James would hold up a suite that was a little to risqué for her and expected her to at least try it on. “The day you see me with that on is the day that pigs fly and I have lost more than my mind.” She would say when he would hold up something she didn’t like. They left JC Penny empty handed and ventured out into the mall. The second store they hit was All Sports. Carres had never noticed this store in the mall before, but then again she didn’t come into the mall through JC Penny, as she normally didn’t shop there. They walked in and were dismayed to not find any bathing suits, just exercise suits. So the left and attempted to find another store. “Ok, we are having no luck, hun.” James said. “Can’t you just put on some of those cute boy shorts you have with a wife beater?” “Obviously not, or else I would have thought of that already. Hold on I have an idea.” Carres sat down on a bench and took her phone of the clip at her waist that was attached to her shorts. She looked through the names in her phonebook and decided on calling Ashley. Ashley was the one out of all the Delta’s who knew the mall like the back of her hand, and knew what every store had to offer. The girl was so good she could even give you personal and critical reviews on merchandise in each store. She was what Carres classified as an over achieving shop – a – holic. After Carres consulted with Ashley, she hung up the phone and jumped out of her seat full of enthusiasm. She grabbed James’ hand and they walked side by side to the store suggested by Ashley. Carres walked in and went straight to the sale rack, as instructed by Ashley. Still not having said a word to James. Carres went through the whole rack and finally picked a suite. She held it up to show James. He nodded with approval. “That’s it.” He said simply. “Now, try it on.” Carres walked to the changing rooms, and took of her clothes to try on the suit. The suit was a bikini. It was black with a pair of boy short bottoms and a top that stopped below the bust and tied behind her neck. She came out and showed James and he nodded in approval. She quickly took off the suit and was about to pay when she decided to grab two beach towels. She all of a sudden turned to James. “Do you have a suit?” She asked. Totally forgetting about him for the moment to fine her suit. “Yes.” He answered. Carres went to the register and paid for her suit. She took off the tags and put the suit on under her clothes. She decided to just wear the suit top as a shirt and wear her shorts over the bottoms. They continued on their way to the beach. On the way they blasted the music and allowed the rhythm’s to pump energy into their bodies. The beat became their heart, and the melody their blood running through their veins. Carres lied on her stomach, on top of her beach towel. She looked over at James. He was lying on his stomach as well, with his face in her direction with his eyes closed. “James?” Carres said. “Humm?” He replied. “After I left did you have any other girl friends?” Carres was unsure why she was asking him this question, but hey didn’t every girl want to know about her ex’s love life? “I did, but they didn’t work out.” He simply replied. Carres didn’t think she should ask anything else, even though everything she wanted to know was said in that small statement. “I think we are supposed to turn over now.” Carres said. Not like she could really tan anyway. She was already dark brown; if she got any darker she would be mistaken for an African. Most people already thought she was Dominican, which is funny because of the fact that she was Jamaican. They both turned over and reclined on their backs, with their eyes closed. Carres reached into her bag and took out her sunglasses. “This is too nice. I should really come to the beach more often, it’s not that far from school either.” Carres commented, making small talk. “True. Maybe I should move down here, it’s gorgeous. The weather is great too.” He agreed. After a moderate amount of time in the sun, Carres got up. James looked up at her. “Let’s go for a swim.” James sat up to her statement. By the time he got up she was already half way to the water. He ran after her, and they swam out together. They went out until they could stand with the water reaching their necks. They stood holding hands and allowing the waves to wash over them as they ducked under the water and came up laughing. After a while, they swam back into shore and laid down on their towels. Carres turned on her stomach and turned her head to face James. “So have you had any boyfriends?” He asked. Carres somewhat dreaded this question. She never did tell James that she had one currently. She hesitated for a minute. “I actually haveÖ one now.” She said slowly. “Really how is that going?” James asked sounding like he was truly interested, even though Carres had a feeling that he was hurt. “Oh, man. You know I can’t keep much from you. This is it right. Before you and I met, actually a good while before you and I met, I met another guy. He and I kept in touch and he asked me out a few times, and then we kind of stopped talking for a while. Just for the fact that he had to move to North Carolina. Now don’t think I moved here for him. I was already looking at the school from before I knew he was moving. So He basically tried to spit game at me again, and that was just before we started goin out, and he kept tryin while we were goin out. But I told him I have a boyfriend; so he stopped and we were just friends. But then I broke up with you before I came here, because I didn’t want to go to college with a boyfriend, because I hate long distance relationships, and I didn’t want to put you through anything like that.” Carres paused and took a breath. This was a lot she was letting go, and to James of all people. “So I get down here, and I was craving you, but Dre was here. The thing is that’s why I turned him down the first time, because he wasn’t there with me. That’s why I broke up with you, because I knew you wouldn’t be here with me. So that’s it, all of it.” Carres laid silently, allowing James to take it all in and process it. “You know, now that it’s mostly processed. I think you did the right thing. I mean, you know I would hate a distance thing anyway. Look at when we were going out, we hardly saw each other. I thought when you started it would bother me, but it really doesn’t at all. But I’m definitely glad you told me, and I’m quite happy for you, as long as you’re happy. What kind of friend would I be if I were any other way? You are happy, right?” He asked with a cautious look on his face, just to make sure he said the right thing. “I am. Dre takes good care of me. You know, gives me space when I need it, and knows what to do when I don’t need it. He’s been my best friend since I’ve gotten her and has made it very easy to transition. He’s really jealous though, but I’ve grown accustomed to that. Don’t worry about him though, I know how to handle him.” Carres eased back into her comfortable position. “What time is it? We should get back to campus soon. I’ll have to change and then bring you to the airport. It’s too bad that you can’t stay longer.” Carres said after a few minutes of allowing the sun to warm her back and easer her muscles. “My watch is saying. 4:30. My flight is at 10:00. We have time don’t we. I’m really enjoying this.” James said laughing. “O.K a little longer. We have to leave by 5pm to be able to get back to campus and then get you to the airport on time. Carres drove to the airport to drop James of for his flight. She walked with him to the waiting area for his plane, and sat with him for a little while. They talked quietly, enjoying the last few minutes they would have together for a long time. Carres looked over at him, and slid her hand into his. James looked at her and then leaned in and kissed her check. “I’m going to miss you.” He said as he squeezed her hand. She smiled and laid her head on his shoulder. Carres stayed with him until they called his flight. She watched him board, and felt like she was loosing something. She drove back to campus in silence. Before going to her dorm, Carres stopped in the café next to campus and bought a cappuccino. She sat thinking about James, and how good it was to be with him again. Staring out of the window, she didn’t notice when Dre walked up to her table. “Carres?” He called for a second time. “Humm.” Carres replied in a dazed tone. She slowly looked up and realized it was Dre. “Hey!” She said excitedly jumping out of her far away thoughts. “Can I sit?” Dre asked. “Of course.” Carres replied. She looked across at him while taking a sip of her cappuccino. “Where you been this weekend? I went to your dorm a few times but you weren’t there.” “I told you I was going to spend this weekend with my friend.” “Right, who was it again.” “James.” “So it was a guy?” He asked, knowing that he had no reason to be jealous, but he couldn’t help it. “Yeah, a friend from Connecticut. He and I were really close.” She replied, she was still a little distant from the conversation. She didn’t realize, but Dre could tell easily. “So what did you guys do?” “You don’t have to get all defensive Dre.” Carres said noticing the tone of his voice. “I’m not. I’m just asking you a question.” “We hung out, went to a club and chilled, and went to the beach. Nothing special.” “I hope so.” Dre responded. Carres looked up to meet his eyes. She then looked away, and took the last sip of her cappuccino. “What are you doing tonight?” Dre said, using his normal tactic to smooth over any bump between him and Carres. He hated when they were either on the verge of arguing or arguing, and tried to keep it to a minimum. “I’m going to go and read, or do some writing. What about you?” “I was hoping something with you.” He said sliding his hand over hers, stroking her hand with his thumb. “I don’t think tonight is best. I just feel like relaxing.” “All right.” Dre said. They sat in silence for a few minutes. Carres decided to go, and Dre walked her to her car. She offered him a ride to campus, but he declined. He watched her drive away before he turned to walk to his brother’s apartment. For some reason he felt odd about the whole episode that just passed. Carres got back to the dorm and changed into a large tee shirt. She pulled out a book of poetry and put on some Musiq Soul Child. She immediately thought of James. That was the first thing they had in common Musiq. She smiled and continued to read her book. Soon falling asleep with words of love, smooth brown skin, and roses all around. Chapter 4 “BUZZ” Was the first sound that Carres heard in her ear. She rolled over and slammed a pillow over her head until she couldn’t stand the noise and got up to turn it off. She walked to her desk and pushed the off button. She looked over at her roommate’s bed. It was empty, Lana had to go to work early that morning. Carres had class in an hour and a half. That gave her enough time to get dressed, eat breakfast and get to class on time. She pulled on a pair of Capri’s and her black tank top. She pulled her hair into a tight ponytail and put on a hat over it. Carres grabbed her black sneakers and a pair of socks. She grabbed her bag with her notebooks, and her entrepreneurship textbook. She had to go to the art institute today after her entrepreneurship class. It was about an hour drive from Greensboro to Charlotte. Carres cleaned up her bed, and grabbed her wallet and keys. Carres walked over to the cafeteria, and ate some French toast with some fruit and orange juice. She then went to the on campus coffee shop and got a cappuccino. After looking at the time and realizing that she only had 10 min to walk to her first class, management. She got her cappuccino and got her butt in gear. She managed to make it on time with about three minutes to spare. She sat in her normal seat, and took out her notebook and a pencil. Her professor walked into the room and began the day’s lecture. Carres aptly took notes. Luckily she had did the reading Friday, before James came, She was able to answer all the questions thrown her way. After class Carres had entrepreneurship. The class was only two doors down the hall. After this class, she only had two and a half hours before her class started at the institute. She went back to her dorm and dropped of her books for her first two classes. She grabbed her notebook and text for her fashion merchandising class, and her laptop. She had fashion merchandising and graphics. After those two classes, she was free for the rest of the day. She jumped into her car, and drove over to the Jamaican restaurant by campus. She got a patty and coco bread, with a cream soda and some drops. She then drove over to the park, and sat with her doors open and some music on, while she ate. As soon as she finished, she opened her laptop and put the finishing touches on her project. Looking down at the screen, satisfied with her work, Carres closed the laptop and put it in its case. Backing up, she drove out of the park and headed to the highway off to her last classes for the day. When Carres finally came back to her dorm, she discovered that it was empty. Her roommates were more than likely at the Epsilon party across campus. Even though a lot of people were expecting her to be there, Carres decided not to go. She went to the bathroom and took a quick shower. She decided to wear a pair of boy short underwear, and a wife beater. Those being the most comfortable and best studying clothes that Carres owned. Carres pulled out her computer, and made the adjustments to her project that were suggested by her teacher. After working for a while, she decided to do the reading for her business class. The text was incredibly boring, but she had to do it. Might as well do it while she was awake or else she would fall asleep later trying to complete it. Carres had managed to get quite far in her reading before she heard a knock at the door. She got up and opened the door. “Dre? What are you doing here?” She asked a bit puzzled. “I came to check on you. Tonight is the Epsilon party remember? We were supposed to go together.” He said. “I remembered, but I had some studying to do so I decided not to go.” Carres leaned on the door; waiting for him to go so she could get back to being focused. “ So are you not going to invite me in?” “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t think you were going to be staying, because of the party and all.” She said moving out of the way and allowing him in. “Are you ok? You seem a bit edgy, what’s wrong?” Dre asked. “I’m fine.” Carres said. She really wanted him to leave; she was fine busying herself with work and not thinking about anything except business principles and graphic tools. She especially didn’t want to think about James. “Do you need any help with anything?” He asked, only trying to give her any support or help she needed. “I’m fine.” She replied curtly. Dre looked at her uneasily. She was acting different, not as warm and inviting as usual. She was acting uneasy as if something was bothering her. His eyes narrowed as he looked at her. “Why are you looking at me like that?” Carres demanded really wishing he would just get up and go to the party. “You seem different to me. Honestly, Carres is there something bothering you?” He said getting up and walking to the space in front of her. He took both her hands in his. “I am your boyfriend, you can tell me I’m not going to be mad.” Dre looked at her. Carres looked away from him. “I’m fine Dre. I just feel like being alone and I just feel like doing my work.” “Carres, you can’t work all the time. Come and have some fun with me. I’ll help you with your work tomorrow.” “No, I would rather do it tonight. Plus, I just don’t feel like going out tonight. How about I make you a deal. If I finish all this work tonight, I will go out with you tomorrow. We can do what ever you want to do.” “Carres, why won’t you look at me?” Dre said ignoring her previous statement. Carres dropped his hands, and walked over to the door. “I’ll see you tomorrow Dre.” She said as she held the door open. Dre looked at her with disbelief. He knew something was wrong, and had a feeling it had to do with James. He wasn’t happy at all with this situation. “Alright. I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll meet you here after your last class.” Dre said walking to the door. He stopped in front of her and placed a kiss on her lips, she didn’t respond. He walked out. Carres closed the door, and sat on her bed. “Why did I just do that?” She asked herself as she dropped onto her bed. She laid her head in her hands, and pushed all thoughts aside trying to refocus her mind. After an hour more of reading, she finally finished and did a few of the questions following the chapter. She then went to the bathroom to brush her teeth and wash her face. She came back and laid on her bed. She put some music to play and decided to call her Vivian. “Hello?” Vivian answered. “Hi may I speak to Vivian, please?” Carres asked, not entirely sure if it was Vivian or not. “This is, what’s up Carres.” “I love how you knew it was me.” Carres said smiling. “What’s up? What’s new? What’s really good, Carres?” “Nothing, but I need some advice from you. Your not busy are you?” Carres said laughing. “No. I was just folding laundry, I can take some time for you.” Vivian said. “That’s what I love about you, Viv. All right here is the situation, I’m going out with Dre, as you already know. Now, remember James? Well, he came to visit me over the weekend. Remember how he and I used to like each other a lot and even went out for a while but broke up because I was leaving? Remember how I told you it was going to take a lot for me to get over him, but I will? Well when he came to visit, I think all those feelings I got rid of came back. Which is bad because he isn’t here, Dre is. Dre came by to check on me tonight because there is an on-campus party and he and I were supposed to go together. I decided not to go, and just do some work in my dorm. So I totally ignored Dre. He was trying to be nice, and I know that he knows that there is something up. But I can’t tell Dre about James because of the fact that Dre is an incredibly jealous person. But the thing about it is, is that I am with Dre because he treats me well, and he is here with me. Dre has never let me down when I have needed him. He even paid of my computer for me, I only owed like quarter of the whole amount left, he just up and paid it. When I feel like it, Dre will go with me and buy clothes for me. He helps me write, he helps me with schoolwork, he critiques my work for the institute. He helps me more than he has to, more than I ask. But there is something about James I just can’t shake. There was this feeling I got around James, it’s different that what I feel around Dre. Half of me wants to tell Dre, but half of me doesn’t. I don’t know if I should just cool it with Dre, or try it again with James, or just stay where I am. I mean it might be too early to even think about it, but still.” Carres said taking a deep breath after finishing. “Wow. That’s a lot,” Said Vivian. “Well I think that you should just leave it alone. Maybe you only feel these things when James is around, but look how long you guys have been apart and you have been quite fine with Dre. I think you should just relax, let the feelings pass, and continue with life. Just tell Dre that you were a bit frazzled from all your work and you were trying to concentrate on it. He will understand, Carres, he really cares for you. It’s fine to keep James as a friend, but make sure that all he stays.” Vivian said. “Now why was my advice a lot shorter than your situation? Can’t you just give a summary, Carres?” Vivian said laughing. “I know. Well what you said does make sense; I probably would have eventually gone for that option anyway. I mean James and I are still cool, but I’m with Dre. I am Dre’s girl.” “Right, and Dre is your boy.” “Thanks, Viv. What time is it? I have class relatively early tomorrow I should get some sleep. I’m going out with Dre too, good thing it’s on a day that I don’t have classes at the institute.” Carres said. “It’s about to be midnight.” “Wow, ok good night, hun. Thank you for setting me straight.” Carres added with affection in her tone. “No problem, just keep everything I said in mind.” They hung up and Carres cleared off the end of her bed. She packed up her things, and took out the items she needed for class tomorrow. She set her alarm, and pushed the play button on her stereo. She rolled over, and drifted into sleep. The next morning, Carres woke before her alarm went off. She got up and turned it off before it made that annoying noise. Her roommate was still in bed, so she made the effort to be quite. After returning from brushing her teeth and washing her face, she turned on the radio low to listen to the news. As she put on her shirt, she heard a knock at her door. She pulled on her jeans, and walked to the door wondering who would come so early in the morning. “Good morning, Dre.” She said as she answered the door. She moved so that he could come in. “Carres, I know it’s early, but I thought it would be nice if we had breakfast together.” He said smiling, poorly hiding the expression on his face telling Carres that he wasn’t happy about something. “Good, I wanted to talk to you anyway. I was going to wait till tonight, but since you’re here.” If you just wait for me, I’ll be ready in a few.” Dre sat on her bed and watched her get ready. She quickly finished getting ready, and grabbed her notebooks. She put them in her messenger bag with her computer in its little compartment, and grabbed her textbook. She turned around and smiled at Dre. “Ready?” “You look nice.” Dre said standing up. He walked to the door and opened it for her. She walked out in front of him, and waited for him to close the door. They walked together in silence down to the cafeteria. They both decided to get French toast with grits and bacon. After Dre paid for the both of them, they found a table off to the side and sat down across from each other. “Carres.” Dre said. Carres could tell that he wanted to say something about what happened the night before. “Dre, I have to apologize to you. I didn’t treat you fairly last night. I’ve just been a bit frazzled. I’m trying to keep my grades up and everything, you know. And last night, I just didn’t feel like going out, and I really wanted to focus on my work and try to get as much done as possible. I only acted the way I did because I was tired and wanted to finish. I didn’t mean to worry you, or make you think that something is going on. I just wanted to be alone for a while.” Carres said, resting her hand on his. “So it has nothing to do with this cat? What’s his name? Your friend that you spent the weekend with?” “No. I mean I thought about him, yeah, but that’s only because he and I are close and we haven’t been around each other in a while. I mean we had a lot to catch up on, and being with him just reminded me how much I missed his friendship and being around him. It’s the same thing if we split you and your brother, and then ya’ll visit each other for a few days and then split again.” Carres said as she enclosed her hand around Dre’s. “Alright. I trust you.” He held her hand bringing it to his lips and gently kissing it. “Eat up, you have a long day ahead I want you to be well fed and alert.” He said laying down her hand and resuming to eat his meal. Carres smiled and began to eat again. After they ate, Dre walked Carres to class. He assured her that he would be waiting for her at her dorm after her last class and that he would have something planned for her as a stress reliever. He kissed her, and gave her a hug before he allowed her to go into the class. Going through the day, Carres had forgotten about her arrangements with Dre. She went to the quad and sat under a tree. She pulled out her computer and continued her work on her graphics project. Finding some head phones in her bag, she turned on some music. She was creating a layout for a web page and also making the graphics that would be used. She got so engrossed in that she totally forgot about Dre. She didn’t realize, until she noticed a shadow over her. She pulled the head phones down to her neck, and looked up. It was none other than Dre. “Hi.” He said, with a tinge of anger in his tone. “Hi, baby.” As soon as she saw Dre, the memories of that morning flooded into her mind. His promise to meet her after class, and the evening they were supposed to have came back to mind. “What are you up to?” He said trying not to sound angry. “I was trying to finish up this project for graphics. I’m almost done, I just have to finish two more graphics and I’m done.” “May I see?” Dre added. He wanted to make sure that’s what she was doing. He looked through her project and gave an approving nod. “Well, I’m glad to see you hard at work, but we had plans tonight.” “I’m sorry, it kind of slipped my mind. Then I got so into my work, that it looked like it had no intention of slipping back into my mind.” Carres shoved the computer into her bag and stood up. She took Dre’s hand. “We can still hang tonight. What plans did you have for me?” Carres said trying to butter him up. “Come on. Lets go back to your dorm, and you can put down your stuff. You’ll find out soon enough, what I have planned for you.” Dre said taking her bag and holding her hand. “I really am sorry I forgot.” Carres said, the only reply she got from Dre was a ‘shhh.’ They walked back to her dorm, and Dre put down her things. Carres took out her room key and her wallet out of her bag. “Do you have any early classes tomorrow?” Dre asked, “No. I don’t have any. I have work tomorrow at three, though.” “Bring some pajamas and a change of clothes then. I want you to stay with me tonight.” Carres smiled, and grabbed her backpack out of her closet to use to put her things in. She grabbed two cds and her poetry book as well. They left her room, arm in arm. They took Carres’s car and drove to Dre’s brother’s apartment. It wasn’t very far from campus, but it would be easier for Carres to get to work the next day by having the car there. Dre informed her, that his brother wouldn’t be home at all, because he was visiting family in Fayetteville. Dre escorted her into the apartment. He placed her things in his bedroom, and came back to see her seated on the couch. “Would you like something to drink?” “I’m fine thank you.” She said smiling. “Well the first thing I have planned for you is a massage to get all that stress out of your muscles.” Carres was about to stand up, to follow him, but he stopped her. She looked up at him. He then bent down and picked her up. She laughed, and wrapped her arms around his neck. He brought her into his room and laid her gently on the bed. He kissed her gently, and began to undress her. He then had her lay down on her stomach while he warmed some massage oil. While he waited for the oil to warm, he put on a Soul-to-Soul cd. “Hey I got something for you better than that Soul to Soul. Look in my bag you see a Bilal cd and a mix I made.” Dre looked and found the two cds. He put in Bilal and then got the oil. He sat on the bed next to Carres. He used his fingers to drip the warmed oil onto her back. He began to rub her back. Carres could feel all tension and all forms of thought melt out of her body. She closed her eyes and allowed Dre to do what ever he wanted. She continually moaned in response to his hands. He moved from her back to her arms, from her arms to her legs. He then had her lay on her back, and he repeated the process on the front. After he finished, he left her to go and start a bath. He returned and lifted her up again; he brought her to the tub and laid her down in the hot water. Carres immediately allowed her head to lay back and her eyes to close. She opened them again when she heard rustling next to her. Dre had taken off his clothes, and was standing next to the tub in all his glory. Carres smiled and sat up so that he could sit behind her. Together they sat in the tub and allowed their bodies to soak in the hot water. Dre slowly washed the oil off of Carres’ body. Carres just lay back in his arms and closed her eyes. When Dre got out, he allowed her to stand so that he could dry her off with a towel. He gave her a robe, and then dried himself. He picked her up and brought her back to the room. He replayed the Bilal cd; he had come to like the smooth and romantic vibes from the music. He pulled the covers back from the bed while still holding Carres, and laid her down. He lit a few candles in the room, turned off the light, and walked to the other side of the bed and got in next to Carres. He pulled her to him, and cradled her in his arms. “Are you relaxed?” He asked with a deep, smooth tone in his voice. The very tone he knew would turn Carres on. “Mmmhmm,” was Carres’ only reply as she snuggled up closer to the heat of Dre’s body. Dre reached down and tilted Carres’s face up to his and kissed her. He gave her a light yet passionate kiss. “I love you,” He said after he slowly pulled from the kiss. “I love you too.” Carres said smiling. She rose up on her elbow, and leaned down to kiss him again. While she kissed him, she threw her leg over his waist and straddled his hips. “Is this your own part of it?” Dre asked with a little chuckle. “Mmmhmm.” Carres said kissing him again. She kissed from his soft lips down to his neck. She placed kisses everywhere. The next morning Carres awoke to the sun shining in through the windows. She looked at the clock next to the bed. It read eight o’clock. She yawned and stretched. She laid on her back and remembered the events of the past night. She smiled lazily. She sat up and looked down at the space next to her expecting to see Dre. She then slowly turned her head, as she smelt something delicious. She got out of bed and picked up the discarded robe off the floor. She put it on, and walked into the bathroom. She brushed her tetchy and then walked out into the kitchen. She saw Dre in the kitchen dishing out food onto two plates. He was facing away from her and she quietly walked up behind him and gave him a hug from behind. “Good morning, gorgeous.” Dre said. “Good morning Adonis. What did you make me for breakfast?” Carres said, moving out of the way when Dre was moving to place the plates on the table. “I have made you akee and salt fish, with fried dumplings cook plantain and milo. A traditional Jamaican just for you because I know you have been craving some for the longest time.” He said as he put the plates down. Carres smiled, and hugged Dre tightly. “You have no idea how long I have wanted some good akee. You are defiantly the best boyfriend ever.” Carres praised as they embraced. He pulled out a chair for her and she sat down. After eating breakfast, they decided to go back to bed. Carres laid on Dre’s chest. They stayed in a comfortable silence for a while, until Dre looked down and then made a large sigh. Carres tried to ignore it because she knew that he was looking for attention. When he did it again, she realized that he was going to keep doing so until she replied. “Dre, I know your not sighing like that for your mental health. What is on your mind?” “ I know we already talked about this, but I just want to make sure. I have nothing to worry about right?” He asked. “Worried in what regard?” “Us.” He said cautiously. Carres rose up on one elbow and looked down at him. She shook her head at him. “I told you already, there is no reason for you to be so jealous. I will never hurt you like that. I may knock you out every so often but I won’t hurt you otherwise.” She said jokingly. She giggled as Dre grabbed her and pulled her to him, capturing her lips in a kiss. Carres arrived at work at two fifty. It was a good thing that Dre had pushed her out early. The way she was feeling, it would have almost been impossible to get her to leave. She punched in and headed to the third floor. Carres worked as a logo designer at Adplex Imaging Solutions, in Greensboro. She had gotten the job because she went to the Art Institute. It was a good paying job, eighteen fifty an hour. For a college student to get paid that much was basically unheard of. Besides the pay, Carres loved her job because she got to use her favorite programs: Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. She was able to have free creative reign, and her boss never bothered her either. As far as she was concerned it was the best job ever. Today she started working at three and was able to leave as soon as she finished the thumbnails and actual production of two logos. All she had to do was take the description of what the specific company wanted and put it into action. She sat down at her desk and looked in the folder that had her projects in it. She decided in her mind that they were easy and she could do them all by the end of the day even though there were four in the folder. By the time she had finished it was eight o’clock. She looked at her watch and nodded in satisfaction. It was good timing, and she wouldn’t have to be at work the next day. She had finished the day’s assignments, plus the assignment for the next day. She wrote a quick not and placed it on her bosses office, explaining that she finished two days worth of assignments, and that unless she was needed she wasn’t coming in to work the next day. She laughed at the fact that her boss must be tired of receiving those notes. Most times Carres did two to three days worth of work in one day. She figured that must be why her company was paying her so much. Carres gathered her things, and shut down her computer. Besides two other people and the maintenance crew, she was the only one left. She got in her car and decided to put on the radio. She rolled down her windows and drove back to campus. When she walked into her dorm, she put down her things and was about to put her phone to charge when she noticed that she had voicemail. She called and found that it was from James. He said that he was calling just to say hi and that he missed her, nothing new. She went to the bathroom and took a shower. She looked over at her roommate’s bed; of course she wasn’t there. Lana had the habit of not coming back to the dorm until way after midnight. She was probably at her best friends apartment. By the time Carres was ready to settle into bed it was nine forty five. She set the alarm to wake her at six thirty. She had two early classes at the institute and then three classes in the afternoon, plus a study group later that night. She got into bed and called James back on his cell phone. She knew he was awake because this was the time that they usually called each other. “Hello?” “Hey, was up?” “Nothing. How are you?” “I’m good. You had called me earlier? I got your message and was just returning your call.” “I wanted to tell youÖ I wanted to tell you that I had a good time with you.” “Well I’m very happy you had a good time. I did too. You should come and visit more often.” “I should, shouldn’t I?” “Yes, so how is Florida?” She asked. “It’s great. I like North Carolina better, though.” He said with a little chuckle. “I have only been to Florida once, so I guess I can’t comment.” There was a silence. They both were unsure of what to say next. Carres rolled onto her back and waited for something to come into her mind. “What are you doing?” James asked. “Laying in bed. I came from work around eight thirty nine, and took a shower and came to call you.” “Where do you work again?” “I work at Adplex Imaging Solutions. I do graphics remember?” “Right, I do remember you telling me now.” “How is your family?” “They are fine. I was telling my Uncle about you, he said to tell you that you should come and visit.” “That sounds like fun, but when are you coming back to visit me?” “Can I get back to you on that?” James said laughing. “Sure. Tell me why Dre got jealous that I had spent the weekend with you. He is the most jealous person I have ever met in my life. But it’s kind of good to know that he is jealous, because I know I have someone watching my back.” “Didn’t you tell him that we were only friends, or did you tell him about how we used to date?” “I didn’t tell him about us, he would have flipped. Probably because he would think that you were trying to get me back. His problem is that he doesn’t trust the people around me he does trust me, though. Well at least I think he trusts me?” Carres giggled. “As long as your happy my dear, it’s all good.” “So the day after you left there was a party that he and I were supposed to go to. I didn’t feel like going so the whole thing sparked because he thought that I was hung up on you and that I didn’t want to be with him anymore. So he kept bothering me about it. In reality I was just trying to do some work and he was stopping me from getting it done. So the next day he took me out to dinner and then he gave me a massage, bath and the whole nine yards if you know what I mean. Then in the morning he made me akee and salt fish for breakfast. I’m not going to lie, it was banging.” “He takes really good care of you. Now what would you do if he wasn’t there to take my place. I know I surely couldn’t take care of you being all the way in Connecticut.” James laughed. “I know. But we had our good times. Best thing was that we never argued, we just sat around acting stupid.” They both laughed. “Well you have someone just as good as me, so enjoy. But be careful I might come back and reclaim my position one day.” They laughed again. Carres didn’t take that time to think about what James said. She rolled on to her side and looked at the clock. “Oh man, it’s eleven thirty. I have to get up early in the morning. I have two classes at the institute, and then three here, and I have a study group. I need to get off the phone and get my beauty rest.” Carres said. “Yeah. I have to wake up early to help my Uncle. He’s an architect, so I’m helping him while he is here. He’s hoping that I don’t follow my dad’s career, and follow him to work as an architect.” “Well like I always say, do what makes you happy. As long as you do that your good to go.” “Yeah. Well night night baby.” He said. “Night night baby.” They hung up. Carres burrowed down into her bed and found a comfortable spot. She replayed the conversation in her mind and drifted off to sleep. The year continued, and Carres continued to date Dre, continued to participate in school activities, go to two schools, and work. She was happy. She felt like there was meaning to her life, things were going her way. That summer James came back to visit. He was able to stay with Carres, because she rented an apartment during the summer and vacation. They spent everyday and night together. It got to the point that James and Carres slept in the same room. Carres didn’t see it, but Dre could tell they were drifting apart. The longer James stayed, the closer he and Carres got, which mean that Dre saw less of Carres. Dre tired to avoid confronting Carres about the situation, afraid that he was seeing more into it than there was. One night, Dre decided to stop by Carres’s apartment. She was home with James. Carres allowed Dre to come in. He found James lying on the couch. From the looks of things they weren’t really doing anything at all. “Carres, can I speak to you in private?” Dre asked. Carres nodded in response and took his hand escorting him to her bedroom. She sat down on the bed and patted the space next to her for him to sit. “What’s up baby? You sound mighty serious.” Carres asked. “I am. I have a question to ask. Remember a few months ago when James came to visit? I had asked you if he was going to be an issue in our relationship. You assured me that he wasn’t. But since school has let out, I have seen less and less of you. I don’t even get to talk to you on the phone because you are always with him. I don’t like it Carres.” Dre said taking a long sigh, hoping that he had made the right decision to confront her. Carres stood up quickly with a look of annoyed anger in her eyes. “Is this what you really came to talk to me about? I told you it wasn’t an issue. Just drop it Dre. He is just a close friend, no big.” Carres said with a tinge of anger and attitude. “Then why is it that I feel like I’m loosing my girlfriend.” Dre returned her attitude. “So are you mad because I have a male friend who isn’t you or one of your boys that you think you can trust me around?” She spat back. “I’m not mad, I just want my girlfriend back!” Dre said raising his voice. “I can’t believe you would get jealous because I am spending time with my friend. I never get to see him, I can see you anytime.” “He’s taking you away from me. What do you want me to do, sit back and loose you?” “He’s not taking me anywhere. I’m right here. If you had really wanted to spend time with me you would have called, you would have stopped by. I do happen to live in the same city as you! Goodness, Dre, just stop acting like a big baby.” Carres said as she turned away from him. She waited for him to respond, all she heard was a door slam behind her. She jumped at the loud noise. She then heard the front door slam upon his exit. She slowly walked to the door, and opened it. She looked out and saw James sitting on the couch. “I’m sorry you had to hear that.” Carres said slowly walking out of the room. She sat on the couch next to James; he wrapped his arm around he shoulders. She leaned into his warmth. She knew Dre was right. She didn’t have that connection with him anymore. She never lost the connection she had with James. The only thing between her and Dre was the fact that they both had the same career goals. The only reason why they probably stayed together this long was for the sex and the fact that they had no one else who caught their attention. “I’m sorry I caused this.” James said. “It’s not you. He’s right, he and I have grown apart, but it’s not because of you.” Carres said. “Lay down.” James lay back down to turn on his side and stretch out his long legs. Carres laid on her side in front of him. His hand immediately found that comfortable space on her tummy. Carres reached for the remote on the coffee table, and pushed play. The first cd to play was Bilal, a personal favorite for Carres and James. They laid just like that together until they fell asleep. Carres dreamed back to the day that she and Dre had met. She was with her friend Melissa. Melissa had come over to Carres’ house that day and they had decided to go to the mall near by. Carres and Melissa were walking through FYE, when Carres spotted Dre standing in the next isle. She and Melissa were giggling while trying to make it look like they weren’t staring at him. Melissa then dared Carres to go and talk to him. That day Carres felt like there was no shame in her game. She casually walked into the isle that he was in, and stood next to him she picked up a few cds and casually looked at them. She watched his hands, and made a grab for the same cd that he was. She acted like it was an accident and allowed him to have the cd. She picked up the one behind it, and started looking at it. She commented on a song, and it happened to be a song that Dre really liked. They started talking and introduced themselves. Melissa soon came over, and Carres introduced her. Dre then called over his brother and made introductions. They all walked out of the store together still talking. Dre and Carres exchanged numbers. At the time Dre lived in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was only in West Hartford that day because he was going to visit someone with his brother in Hartford. They had decided to make a stop on the way. After they became pretty close, but Dre had to move back to North Carolina, where he was originally from. They stayed in contact, and they went from being friends, to being more than friends. Carres didn’t wake up until she felt movement behind her. “James?” “I was trying to get up with out waking you.” He replied. Carres sat up to let him get up. He walked over to the bathroom. Carres looked at her watch, it was eleven thirty. “What time did Dre come?” She thought to herself. She thought back over the day’s events and realized it was around four thirty five o’clock. She got up and went into the kitchen. “Do you want something to drink?” She called, as she poured some apple juice into a cup. “No thank you.” She walked into her bedroom and grabbed a pair of pajama pants; she had been walking around most of the day in a pair of boy shorts. James walked into the room and sat on the bed. “What are we doing tonight?” “Let’s go see a movie.” Carres suggested. “Is there anything out that you want to see?” “Not really.” “I had a feeling you would say that, there’s nothing out that I want to see either. What movies do you have?” James asked walking over to the bookshelf located next to the chest of draws with the TV on top. “Let’s watch brown sugar. I love that movie.” “All right.” They set up the movie and got comfortable in the bed. After the movie the spent all night talking. James never asked Carres anything about Dre. He just sat back and let her do all the talking, only putting in input when asked or needed. Chapter 5 The clock ticked and tocked. Carres sat looking at the clock waiting for the last minute to strike. She looked down at her book, and up at the board. She took the last few notes that were put up. As soon as she finished the professor dismissed the class. She picked up her notebooks and quickly walked out of the room. She raced to the cafeteria and got something to eat. Since she had woken up late, she missed breakfast. She hoped no one had heard her stomach growl. She found a place to sit by herself. She did happen to see a few people that she knew but decided not to sit with them today. While eating she pulled out her ipod and played some calming music while she ate. Carres quickly finished and headed to her dorm. When she arrived she found a bouquet of flowers in front of her door. She picked them up and pushed open the door to her room. She found Dre sitting inside. She put the flowers on her dresser and put her things down by the desk. She walked over to her bed where he was sitting and sat down next to him. “Are those flowers from you?” She asked realizing that she hadn’t even looked at the card. “No. I was thinking about it though.” He said. She could hear the jealousy rising in his voice. Carres walked over to the dresser and took out the card. She opened it and read the note: Carres, Thank you for being a great friend and more. Love, James Carres smiled at the note. She put the note back in the flowers and took her seat next to Dre. He didn’t say anything at first. “Who is it from?” He finally asked. “James.” “Why is he sending you flowers?” “Because he can.” Carres said sounding defensive. “I am not comfortable with you being friends with him.” “I don’t care. You can not dictate who I am friends with.” “I don’t care who you want to be friends with, but not him. I don’t want you to see him as long as you’re with me.” “I don’t tell you who I don’t want you to see, why do you think you can tell me. Do I complain when you go out with Monique? Do I get jealous when you go out with Sandra? I don’t say anything and I allow you to have your fun. I never say anything. Half the time I have no idea where you are, with whom you are with, or what you are doing. I never bother you about it at all. I expect the same courtesy from you.” Carres said trying to hold down her annoyance and rising anger. “They are only friends. I am with you.” Dre said in a weak defense against Carres’s statement. “So you can use that reason and I can’t? I have told you more than once that James and I are just friends.” “I don’t want him around you, Carres.” Dre kept his eyes down. He didn’t want to look into Carres’s eyes. Carres was already out of her seat. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. “So you want meÖ” She stopped talking in mid sentence when she heard her phone ringing. She unhooked it from the clip attached to her belt loop. It was James. She answered the phone. “Hello?” “Hey, what’s up?” “Nothing. I got your flowers they are gorgeous. How did you know I loved roses?” Carres asked, making sure that Dre knew who she was talking to. “I just picked the flowers that reminded me of you most and hoped that you would like them. I’m only kidding, you had told me once before and I happened to remember.” James said with a little chuckle. “I really appreciate them. So what’s new?” “I also have some good news to tell you. I finally decided to leave. My parents are moving to Italy in a few months. I will basically have no reason to be here, I won’t have them to take care of. So I decided to move down to North Carolina. I had such a great time with you when I visited and I really like the place.” “Really! That’s great! I can help you move in and everything. Plus it’s much cheaper to live here than it is to live in Connecticut, and you get so much more for your money.” “I have already done some searching, and I have a job lined up and all I have to do now is come down and look for some apartments. I really liked the one that we stayed in over the summer.” “That is so great, James. Then I will have another one of my best friends back.” Carres looked over at Dre. He looked mad as ever. She decided it was time to get off the phone. “But listen, James, I have to get off the phone. Dre is here.” She said. “Are you still trying to make it work with him?” “Yeah. But I’ll talk to you another time.” They both hung up. Carres put down her phone and stood in front of Dre. “That was fucked up, Carres” “Just like how it’s fucked up that you feel you can do anything you want and then still have the right to come and tell me what I can and can’t do? It’s fucked up how you want to tell me who I can and can’t be around! It’s fucked up how you try to act like this is a relationship and all I am to you is a good fuck buddy! It’s fucked up how you ignore me and only come around when you get bored with your little two cent hooker girlfriends and your friends that are so high they been passed the mile high club!” Carres was too angry to control it. She stood with her back to Dre and her arms folded. “I don’t treat you like that.” He said quietly. “Yes you do! Last weekend I called you and said lets go out, you brushed me off and said you were goin out with some friends. I said fine have fun. Two days ago I called and said lets go out to lunch, you said no. When I asked you what you had planned you told me you had to see someone, and you wouldn’t tell me who. After James left before school started, I asked you if you wanted to go shopping with me for some things I needed for school and I knew you had to get some things as well. You told me no because you already had plans for the day. I don’t mind that you go out, but damn make some time for me. You don’t do that anymore. What happened to the times when we would spend whole weekends together and you would make me breakfast and we would just spend all day in bed? What happened to when we would go to the club and dance for so long that we had to sit in the car for a half hour just to rest enough to drive home? What happened to when we would go out to fancy dinners just so we could dress up and then undress each other at the end of the night? Should I really keep going?” She screamed at him. She was so angry that it all just spelt over. All the frustration and all the hurt emotions all spilled out of the glass. Dre said nothing. He sat on her bed with his head down. “I can’t lie, I have mistreated you, and I have neglected our relationship. I can’t defend myself. I just kept away because I thought you wanted me too. I thought that you stopped wanting to be with me, so I just decided to leave you alone. Half the time you called I told you I had things to do because I thought you were just going to break up with me. I came by today because I wanted to find out if you wanted to be with me or not.” “I do want to be with you. I would have told you by now if I didn’t. I just want my boyfriend back; the one that I started liking from when I was living in Connecticut. I want the same boyfriend back who swept me off my feet.” Carres said as Dre got up and walked to the spot in front of her. “You can have anything you want, baby.” Dre wrapped his arms around Carres, and hugged her close. “Just never slip away from me again.” Dre kissed Carres’s forehead. Carres immediately thought of James and how he used to kiss her in the same place when they were together. Carres smiled and embraced Dre; in the recesses of her mind she wished it were James. Dre let go and looked down at her. “How about you spend this weekend with me?” “I will try. I have a few things coming up that I might need the weekend to do, but I will try.” She said giving a weak smile that Dre didn’t notice. Dre looked at his watch and then back at Carres. “ I have to go though. I promised my brother I would help him with some things. I’m late and you know how he is.” Carres nodded in response. “I love you, baby.” Dre said. “I love you, too.” Carres said after a quick hesitation. Dre kissed her on her head and walked to the door. As soon as he left, Carres called Ebonie. If no one else knew what to do it was Ebonie. They decided to meet for lunch the next day at one after Ebonie’s last morning class. They both had evening classes the next day so they had plenty of time in between to sort the whole thing out. “So explain this to me again.” Ebonie said as they found a spot in the shade. The sun spilled out of the sky and created the most comfortable day. “O.k. I never fully got over James, and I liked Dre the same time I liked James. Well no that’s a lie. I was cool with Dre but Dre wanted me, and I really liked James but couldn’t go out with him because he lived too far and we never were really able to see each other. That’s how it really was. Well when James and I tried to go out over the summer it didn’t last long because I had leave, as you know. So I went out with Dre, because he was here and we have some things in common. But I still wanted James because I just always got this feeling when I was with him and I don’t have that feeling when I’m with Dre. So I put James in the back because he wasn’t here and we couldn’t give each other what we needed being so far away. Then he had come to visit for a while, and well everything came back. So Dre and I have been a bit, what’s the word, strained. He thought that I had wanted him to leave and just didn’t want to tell him. Which in a way is true but your not going to tell him that. And last night he and I got into a heated argument, and then we made up. But in the middle of the argument James called me. He told me that he is finally able to move out of Connecticut because his parents are moving to Italy and he won’t have them to take care of so he doesn’t have to live in CT anymore. He decided to move down here by me, because he loved the area when I showed him around the two times he came to visit. I’m excited but I’m scared about Dre’s reaction. You know how jealous Dre is. I don’t know what to do. It’s happening again, having two guys and not knowing what to do with either.” Carres dropped her head into her hands. “Well first of all it seems to me that you don’t even want to be with DreÖ” “The only thing Dre can give me now is the access to the industry that I need. I can get in with his friends that are involved in music and can get me where I need to be. James can give me what I really want, and Dre can give me the career I really want.” “What is more important, career or love?” “Right now career. If I keep James as a close friend then once I get what I need from Dre I can be with him. But that’s so wrong to do that to Dre, he has been good to me.” “Well there you go, if that’s how you see it. I think you should tell Dre and be with James if he wants you. It will be hard but in the end you will be happy. But do what you think is right. I mean you have a point; Dre can get you in the industry. But I know that if you break up with Dre he will really break and not talk to you again. Then you will have to work your way in from the dead, six feet under, bottom. But think about it, can Dre give you the emotional strength that you need to get there?” Ebonie asked. “I don’t think Dre can be there for me emotionally. I know James can. But with out Dre bringing me where I need to be I have nothing.” They sat in silence for a bit. Carres took in what Ebonie said as she ate her food. She suddenly didn’t feel hungry but she knew she had to eat something. Carres finally looked up from her plate. “I think I have made my decision on what I’m going to do.” She nodded to affirm the decision. “What?” “I’m going to keep James as a friend until I break up with Dre. I’ll break up with Dre after I get him to introduce me to some contacts that I can use. Once I get what I need from Dre, then I can be with James. But damn! I didn’t think of how Dre would react if he found out after we break that I’m with James. That’s what he’s been bugging about he thinks that I’m going to leave him for James. I mean that’s what my plan is now, but it wasn’t in the beginning.” Carres shrugged. “Carres I know you are trying to do what you got to go career wise and love wise. But can you really be mean enough to do that to Dre? Maybe you would be better off just staying with Dre and then seeing what happens in the future?” Ebonie suggested with an uneasy look on her face. “Do you think that would be best?” Carres was confused and still trying to decide what to do. “I think for now it might be, but in the end it’s up to you and how you feel.” Carres nodded in agreement. They finished their meal in silence and got up to leave. “If it were you in my place what would you do?” Carres asked as they walked up to Ebonie’s dorm. “I would do what ever makes me happy. If that means scrapping from the bottom to get to the top so be it. If that means starting off with a set of contacts by using my quote unquote boyfriend in the process, then so be it. It’s what ever makes you happy.” Ebonie said. She hugged Carres and slid her key into the door. “I hope you make the right choice, Carres.” Ebonie hugged her again and went inside. Carres turned and walked out of the building. She replayed the conversation in her mind. Right now she needed to break into the music world. James couldn’t give her that. But in a sense he could give her so much more. Carres walked out to the student union and sat at bench in the sun. Dre could give her the opportunities that she wouldn’t normally have so easily. Dre could give her the material things that she wanted, but didn’t desire or wish for. She could be happy with that, right? James could give her stability, love, and friendship, something she had always wanted. Dre would easily judge her, James wouldn’t. They both could give her things that she wanted equally as bad. “What would make me happy?” She said to herself “I want my career to start now! But I want love to start now, too. But the career will bring me everything I have dreamed of. I will finally be able to put myself where I have wished to be for ever.” She thought in her mind. She sat in silence a while longer debating the same options and facts over and over in her mind. “There has got to be a way to have my cake and eat it too. I’m goin to stay with Dre, get where I need to be and hopefully James will still have me when I can be free to have him.” Carres nodded to affirm her decision. She got up and headed for her dorm. She got her books and headed to her final class. Still not sure of her decision but decided it was what she was sticking too. The next few days she was able to keep a straight face and act like nothing had happened between herself and Dre. None of their friends knew anything was awry, only Ebonie. They went back to acting like they did in the beginning, when they would go out on romantic dates and do romantic things for each other. With in a few months James had officially moved to Greensboro, North Carolina. As soon as he arrived, Carres started spending more time with him. She slowly stopped seeing Dre as often as before, she saw James every day. James was open to her company, and enjoyed it as much as he could. In his mind Carres was a temptation that he couldn’t have, she was the friend that he wanted. Little did he know that the same thoughts were reeling through Carres’s mind every time she looked in his direction or when she slept or when she got bored during class and wanted something uplifting to think about. They continued their relationship as friends, and everyone knew it. When Carres wasn’t to be found, they knew she was with James. Things started to get a little out of hand when people would spot them walking and holding hands, or sitting a little closer than friends should on a bench in the Student Union, or when they were seen in Carres’s dorm laying together in her bed. When people would ask Carres if she had broken up with Dre, she said no. When they asked about James she fondly described him, but stuck to the fact that he was only her close friend. Some would say too close. Carres didn’t realize, but this was making Dre more and more angry and jealous day by day. Day by day Carres and James were falling for each other and denying it to the world and themselves. Dre never made the effort before, but he started to watch them in public. He saw that Carres was more affectionate with James in the short time he had been there and set up shop, than she had been with him in the two years they had been dating. Dre began to think of reasons why Carres would leave him, but could come up with none. He tried to find reasons as to why Carres would affirm being with him, but denying being with James. He decided to confront her again about the matter, there was no way he was going to loose his girlfriend. If anyone was going to be lost it was going to be her, not him. One night he stopped by her dorm, and decided to enter with out knocking being as how he had a key to her room. He knew that her roommate would not be in on a Saturday night. He didn’t know why he felt that Carres would be, but he decided to act on his hunch. He opened the door to reveal something that his eyes did not believe they would ever see. Sitting on the bed was Carres kissing James. Just as Dre silently opened the door, Carres separated the passionate kiss. “I can’t do that. I am still with Dre I need him. I can’t do this with you, but it felt so good.” She sounded weak. She stood up from the bed and turned her back to James. She sucked in a full breath when she saw Dre at the door. She quickly turned and looked at James and then back at Dre. “Dre, since when do you enter my room with out knocking?” She asked. “Since you gave me a key and the privilege to do so. What the hell do you think you were doing? And what do you mean by you need me?” He asked angrily slamming the door. “I guess it doesn’t make sense to ask how long you were standing there.” “CarresÖ” She quickly cut Dre off before he could say anything. “I kissed James, Dre. You saw it I couldn’t help it. One thing you don’t know is that James and I used to dateÖ” “You used to date this guy, but you tell me that you are only close friends and want me to trust you? How the hell do you think I can trust you now? You wonder why I get jealous so easily. This is why. I don’t even know if I can be with you anymore.” Dre yelled loudly. “Carres, you have to decide. Who do you want to be with, James or me? You can only have one, and you better make the right decision.” Dre said, giving her the final ultimatum. She looked back and forth between the two. This would be her chance to be with James and be happy, but she needed Dre. For once she decided not to follower her heart. She made her decision. “I pick Dre.” She said faintly as she struggled to stand. She walked over to the desk and leaned on it for support. James silently stood. He gathered his things and left silently. He looked at neither Carres nor Dre. As soon as the door closed behind him, Carres made the attempt to walk to Dre. She took two steps she sunk to the floor and placed her head in her hands. Dre rushed to her side and enclosed her in his arms; she let him because she had no other option. The decision was made. She allowed Dre to spend the night with her, but woke up just as torn as she felt attempting to fall asleep. The next day after Dre had left for work, Carres decided to write James a letter in hopes that she could explain why she made her decision. She also wanted James to forgive her and still be the good friend and companion that he had always been to her. She sat at her computer and nothing came to mind, she decided to do the one thing that connected them, poetry. Carres sat and wrote the longest poem of her life. After finishing she re read it and decided to only make spelling changes. She printed the poem and sealed it in an envelope. On the front she wrote James’s name and put please read on the bottom. She hopped that he would read it and not tear it up in anger. She decided to drop it in his mailbox at his apartment she didn’t want to bump into him for the fact that she wasn’t fully ready to face him. She knew she had done the one thing that she had always tried to avoid and that was hurt James. It wasn’t like before where if she had hurt him, they would just talk it out and still be cool. Now she had really really hurt him and risked not getting him back. She all of a sudden felt like something was missing. She had really fucked up by trying to have her cake and eat it too, and not even realizing down which path she was headed until it was too late to turn back. Carres got dressed and headed to James’s apartment. She left the letter and then headed back to campus to see Ebonie. The only thing she got from Ebonie was the same thing that she already had established, that she had fucked up. Ebonie wasn’t much solace at this point, and Carres only felt worse after talking to her and having to reiterate the facts. The remembrance of the whole event was making Carres feel worse and worse. She went from Ebonie’s dorm to Friendly’s. She ordered a burger with fries and a milkshake. She laughed to herself at how she must look. Sitting by herself looking depressed with a huge plate of food in front of her. The fact of the matter was that Carres was just plain hungry, which thinking of that made her laugh even more. She ate her food and left. She didn’t want to go back to campus, nor did she want to go to see Dre. She had nowhere to go that would give her comfort. When the next year had started, Carres was working at a record label. She had managed to get the job through contacts that Dre had introduced her to. She had tried to be friends with James, but he never returned her attempts. She was much happier with her work, and she had an apartment of her own off campus. Yet, everyday when she woke she still felt like there was something missing. But she had managed to accomplish what she said she would. She used Dre to get into the business, but now there was no James to share it with. It’s not like she could blame him for not wanting anything to do with her, but she hated the fact that they weren’t at least friends. The only good thing that came from it all was that Dre was happy Carres stopped seeing James. Eventually the relationship went back to the way it started, and Carres and Dre were both fine with that. If they had any problems they were certainly not going to tell each other. Yet the further they got from each other the higher they got on the corporate ladder. By the end of the school year, Carres had gotten promoted to talent scout for her good eye in spotting successful artists. Dre was being called by every popular label for his beats. He became the new point person for the industry. Everyone wanted him to produce their songs, and everyone wanted Carres to find worthy talent. The august of her senior year at A&T, Carres finally got enough courage to just go and see James. She had decided that if letter, emails, flowers, and everything else she tried didn’t work then she would have to try something more drastic; herself. That day, she came in from work around five thirty and took a shower. She went through her closet trying to find the outfit that she and James had worked on together before she left for college. She splashed on a bit of makeup and perfume. About hour and a half later, Carres pulled up in front of James apartment and parked. She sat in her car for a minute hoping that she had made the right decision. She walked up to the building and pushed James’ bell. She was surprised there wasn’t an intercom or anything. The door clicked repeatedly and gave her access. Finding her way up to the apartment was a breeze and she knocked on the door. James opened the door, and allowed her in. He didn’t say hello, or anything. “May I have a seat?” Carres shyly asked. She felt a few ripples go through her stomach as she turned to face James. “Go ahead. Why are you here?” “Well hello to you too sweetheart.” Carres said with sarcasm hoping that she could lighten the mood; she quickly remembered when her stupid attempts at humor made him laugh or smile. “Get to the point sweetheart.” “I came to talk and apologize for the way I treated you. I don’t like the fact that I hurt you, and you know I can’t stand the fact that we haven’t talked to each other in so long. I want to be your friend again James, we were mad tight and I really liked that. I don’t have many people I can be like that with.” Carres said looking up at James. He still stood at the end of the hallway leading to the door. He wore a pair of faded jeans and a wife beater. Carres subtly looked him up and down and noticing how much more muscular he was than she remembered. She could tell he hadn’t had a hair cut in a week or so because his hair was just the way she always liked it, the perfect length for her to run her hands through and not be able to mess up his hair. “Well you do need to apologize. I did receive everything you sent to me, thank you, but you did some shady shit, Carres. I never thought you would really do it. I knew you were capable, but I though I was the only person who you would never do that to. You led me to believe there was something more, and there wasn’t. I would say you were using me, but you must have known that I couldn’t give you anything besides my friendship and love. I know what you plan was, but I still don’t get why you did it.” He folded his arms and waited for her response. He looked at her outfit and instantly recognized it. He never knew that the sketch they drew would come out looking so good when actually finished. “I did it because I could not have my cake and eat it too. I had to choose what was more important for me at the time, career or love. I had to choose career because that was my main goal. I choose Andre because he could give me the career that I have been dreaming about, the career that everyone thought I could never have nor accomplish. I wanted to be with you and make you happy, but I had to think about where I needed to be. I never knew that this whole thing would happen and that you wouldn’t be my friend. I didn’t know I wouldn’t have you there to share everything with. It was always my intention to be with Dre, get the job, while still having you as a friend and when I got what I needed drop Dre and be with you if you still wanted me at the time. I didn’t mean to lead you on, but in a sense I didn’t because I meant everything. So this whole thing happened because I had to make a choice and it blew up in my face. I will be honest with you, I regret ever hurting you but I don’t regret my decision. I am the top talent scout at my record label, this is my last year at A&T and I have two more left at the institute. I am where I need to be, but I don’t have anyone to share it with.” Carres took a double breath after she finished. She looked away from James awaiting his reply and hoping it was something positive. “Well I’m happy for you, but you still hurt me.” “I know, I’m sorry.” She said as she looked back at him. “This all could have been avoided if you had just old me in the first place.” James said with a forgiving tone in his voice. He had already forgiven her from the time he received her letter, he just wanted to make her struggle a bit before he let her know. He wanted to make sure she understood what she did fully before he fully forgave her. “Excuse me?” “If you had just told me that you really wanted to be with me, but wanted to use Dre for the career I would have been fine with it. The way I felt about you I would have waited.” James said with a smile. “Are you fucking kidding me?” Carres sat on the couch dumb founded. She shook her head. “Why didn’t I follow my first instincts and tell you. No I had to be brilliant and come up with a whole plan and a half. Goodness! So are we friends again?” She asked. “Yes. Now come here!” James said opening his arms to her. She quickly got up and walked into his hug. Remembering the feel of his body against hers. She laid her head on his shoulder and closed her eyes. She enjoyed the smell of his cologne. “James? Your wearing cologne, where are you going?” Carres asked with out moving or breaking the embrace. “I’m going out on a date.” “Are you dating her?” “Are you dating Dre?” “That answers my question. I am still dating him. I want to break up, but every time I get the nerve to, something good happens job – wise and I get promoted right along with him. By the time I break up with him, I might be given a whole damn record label.” “Well I hope that works out. I do still have to get ready though. I can’t ditch my date.” James said looking down at her. James could feel that she reluctantly pulled away. “Well it was nice to see you again. I’m glad we are back on speaking terms.” Carres said. She looked down and then remembered the outfit. “Hey! Remember this? We drew this together.” Carres said excitedly. “I do. I noticed it before. It came out gorgeous, I love it.” James smiled. Carres beamed, she knew he would remember and like it too. “Well. I guess I should be leaving you have to get ready. Oh, here’s my card, I designed them myself, give me a call sometime.” Carres said, as she pulled a card out of her pocket book. “I will.” They hugged again, and James laid a soft kiss on her forehead right at the hairline like he used to do before. Carres let go, and headed to the door. She turned and smiled just as she opened the door. “I love you, James. Remember that you’re my boy for life.” She said as she winked and then closed the door behind herself. James stood on the opposite side of the door smiling. He was surprised yet at the same time not surprised that she had said that. “That’s my girl.” He said to himself. He walked to his room and turned on the news as he finished getting ready. Carres walked out to the street, and started jumping up and down in her excitement. She got her friend back! She got in her car and put in a reggae cd. She opened the windows, and turned up the cd. She got on the highway and headed back to campus. She got on the highway, and started to merge into traffic. She looked in her mirror and say that the lane was clear. She looked and switched into the middle lane. At the same time another driver switched into the lane behind her, but at the same time hitting the back of her car from the left side. “What the fuck!” Carres screamed as she realized that she no longer had control over the car. Carres’ car spun and stopped when she faced the on coming traffic. She screamed as she instantly tried to turn the car. Just as she got the car around and punched her foot onto the accelerator pedal so that she could get out of the way of the on coming, she pictured James in her mind just as she was hit by a tractor-trailer just as soon as she had turned the car around and started to drive in the right direction. That night James came home from his date. He turned on the TV and noticed that the news was on. He was about to change the channel when He heard car accident. The broadcaster began to talk about an accident on the highway right by his apartment that happened around seven o’clock. It was about the time that Carres had left. He hoped that Carres had been far enough away to not be effected by the traffic from the crash. He sat down on his bed and removed his right shoe just as the broadcasted described the car with the most damage to be a black Honda Accord Lx 1996. James looked up as he thought about Carres’ car. He shook his head in disbelief and threw away the notion. The broadcaster explained that there was a drunk driver speeding on the highway and hit the back of the Honda causing it to spin out of control into on coming traffic but the driver in the car turned the car around but was still hit by an oncoming tractor, the driver killed on impact. James hoped there was enough information to identify the driver. Just as soon as the thought entered his mind the broadcaster made the final announcement to the evolving story. “The driver of the Honda was identified as Carres Deer. Ms. Deer was a student at North Carolina A&T State University, and also at the Art Institute in Charlotte. After rescuers opened the car they found identification in the victim’s purse.” James’ jaw dropped. He couldn’t believe it. He sat on the bed and stared blankly into the screen as tear after tear rolled down his cheek. Dre had been calling Carres all day since four. He was trying to get in touch with her to break up with her. He became aware of her plan to use him for her personal gains and knew full well that they were not in a relationship that made either of them happy. He wanted to quite the relationship and move on. He had come to the decision that he had wasted too long on Carres and couldn’t make her love him, and at this point he could not make himself love her either. He decided to go to her apartment and wait for her to return. He used the key she had given him to get in and sat on the couch. He waited in contemplative silence. He wondered if he was doing the right thing but then decided that if he wanted to be happy and wanted her to be happy it was the right thing. He got up and wandered into her room. He took off his work clothed and took a shower. He put on some boxers and a tee shirt that he had left behind the last time he stayed over two weeks ago. Carres always made fun of him. She would say that every time he came he left part of his wardrobe in her apartment, and gave her more laundry to do. He smiled at the thought while pulling the shirt down over his head. He turned on the TV as he crawled into her bed and made himself comfortable. As he flipped through the channels, he saw nothing that interested him. He set his cell phone to alarm at ten. Incase she didn’t come in by then or did and didn’t bother to wake him. He then drifted off to sleep. Dre later awoke to the annoying sound the cell phone’s alarm. He rolled over and stretched. Opening his eyes he remembered where he was. He got up and looked around the apartment. He began to really wonder where Carres had gone. Dre went back to the bed and found his comfortable spot again. He flipped on the TV and turned to the news. Something had to have happened while he slept. He tuned in just as the broadcaster started to talk about a tragic accident on the highway. He thought of Carres probably being in traffic now, where ever she was coming from. As the broadcaster continued Dre began to feel hot tears run down his face, they came faster and faster as he heard the name of the victim. Carres Deer. The next day there was a moment of silence given in each class on the campus of A&T and the Institute for the loss of a fellow student.