Clink clink clink, clink clink clink, clink clink clink went three quarters that I inserted them into the meter for my bus fare. Eeeeer the meter sounded off once more as I inserted a dollar bill to finish paying for my fare.
"Can I have a transfer please?"
Rrrrrip was all you heard as he tore off the transfer and handed it to me. Immediately I headed towards the rear of the bus and took a seat. I checked my transfer to see how much time did the bus driver give me on my transfer. The usual amount of time is three hours, but some bus drivers are generous enough to extend the time limit by an hour or two. And, on top of that, when you get the transfer doubled it adds an additional hour to the time limit. Nope, the usual three hours was all that he gave to me. Luckily enough it only takes an hours bus ride to reach my first destination.
The time was ten fifteen a.m. I should reach my destination by eleven fifteen a.m. The engine growled as the bus pulled off. I turned to look out of the window at the scenery as we moved along at a slow pace. This was the Chene bus route en route to Capitol Park. I didn't need to go all of the way to Capitol Park though, but, rather, get off at Congress and Woodward to transfer to the Dexter bus line and head for the mall. Upon reaching Congress and Woodward though, I normally make a pit stop over at the River Center to look at the vehicle that I have had my eyes on for quite some time now. Along the way, we stopped a few times to pick up and also drop off people at their desired destinations. Finally, we reached my stop and I pulled the signal line to get off.
It was a cloudy day and the weatherman had said that we were going to see rain today. The sky had darkened a little more since before I had gotten onto the bus. A light drizzle started to fall. People began to open up their umbrellas and scurrying for cover. I pulled out of my pocket a plastic rain parka that I had bought from the dollar store and put it on. It was blue in color with small dark blue spots on it to give it style. After putting it on I headed to the River Center.
I passed the Municipal Building, crossed at the light, and went into the hotel. As I went up the escalators I kept my eye on the tunnel that leads from the Municipal Building to the hotel. The reason for this is because I once knew someone that worked in the accounting department of the Municipal Building. She is such a beautiful young lady in her mid twenties. Her complexion could be likened to the sand on a beach. Her shoulder length hair was jet black with pink Highlights. She was five feet and six inches tall without the two-inch heels that she normally wears. She looked wearing form-fitting clothing that showed her cute little figure. She was the exact opposite of what I looked like at the time since I had fallen on hard times.
I, on the other hand, was a dark brown skinned, five foot eleven inch tall, brown eyed man with a thin muscular figure. I wore an afro with a metal pick with the black fist handle stuck into the top making it stick straight up. I haven't seen her in a few years and that made my heart pound deep in my chest as I neared the top of the escalators.
My palms gripped the railing tightly. I held my breath as I finally reached the top. Quickly I peeked down the tunnel and realized that she wasn't walking down it. I let out my breath slowly as I headed around the corner to the other tunnel leading to the River Center.
‘That was a close call' I thought to myself.
I'm really going to have to get over my fear of seeing her. Of course I know that it has been a while since we last spoke, but that conversation spoke volumes. Although she claimed that I could still call and talk to her, but dating was out of the picture. Of course I called maybe two or three times afterwards, but she never returned my phone calls. The last message that I left questioned whether or not she even wanted me calling her. All that she had to do was tell me no and she wouldn't ever hear from me ever again. Her not returning my phone calls was a good hint.
I walked through the second tunnel, headed down the escalator, and realized that the show room was blocked off due to a convention going on. I stepped back over to the other side and headed back up. After reaching the top I went into the store to check my lottery ticket. While in line I overheard two women talking about there being an emergency meeting being called in the accounting department later. Seeing that this was my chance to make contact again with Renita Borman, I butted into the conversation.
"Excuse me young ladies, but did I hear you say that you work in the accounting department at the Municipal Building?"
"Yes, you did. Why do you ask?" responded the short Caucasian female.
She had brunette colored hair and wore a little too much eye shadow for my taste.
"Well the reason why I ask is because I have been trying to contact a Ms. Borman, but lost the number to where she lives. Does she still work in accounting?"
She pondered my question for a moment and then the other woman joined in.
"I think he's talking about Renita."
"Yeah that's her. Does she still work there?"
"Yes she does. And do you mind me asking you how do you know her?"
"No I don't mind at all. She and I are old friends. We've known each other for about twelve years now."
"Next!" said the store clerk.
I stepped over to the counter and handed her my ticket. She checked it and said that I had won seven dollars.
"Hmmmph, must be my lucky day even though it is raining outside. You know it could be because I am a Pisces." I said as I turned back around to the beautiful young women and smiled.
I then told the clerk to give me five Mega Millions easy picks and to also take out a bag of kisses from my winnings. The store clerk did as I asked of her and I immediately signed my tickets. I put the remaining change in a tip cup and asked if the brunette would deliver the kisses to Renita for me. She said that she would and I left the store.
The time was eleven thirty. The Dexter bus runs every twenty minutes when it is on time. Around this time, however, was shift change so, therefore, the bus was destined to be late. I headed back to the bus line with a smile on my face and finally making the decision to make contact with Renita again. As I walked past the Municipal Building in the rain I imagined her being able to hear my thoughts about her. The funny thing is that I could've sworn that I heard someone say that I miss you too. I turned to see who it was, but there weren't any recognizable faces in view. I shrugged my shoulders and chalked it up as my mind playing tricks on me.
As time passed by I met up with the brunette twice a week and had her deliver a bag of kisses to Renita. It turned out that the brunettes' name was Ms. Morleen Hopkinson. Morleen, like I said, was a Caucasian female with brunette colored hair that she wore in Shirley Temple curls. Her makeup was light except for the thick eye shadow that she wore on her eyelids. She was slender with a nice shapely body and stood about six feet tall and always loved wearing open toed shoes showing off her cut pedicure feet. Her face would light up like a bright sunny day whenever she noticed me and headed my way.
On one particular day though, as I went to meet her at our usual location, I ended up bumping into Renita. I couldn't believe it. I mean, there I was standing face to face with the woman that I had been secretly sending kisses to via messenger. A fellow co-worker was more like it. My mouth fell open and my eyes widened as the fear inside of me showed by the way that I trembled slightly. Even though I had stood at five feet and nine inches tall and looked down upon her, but, when she wore heels, I felt as if I were a little chijuajua standing next to a great dang. My brown skinned complexion did nothing to cover up the fact that my face was turning red.
"Oh my gosh, Terrance is that you?"
"Ye- ye- yes it is me." I couldn't believe that I was stumbling over my words.
"Well come on over here and give me a hug. You act like you don't even know me anymore."
I wiped my hands on my pants and then slowly wrapped my arms around her. Can you imagine how it is on that cold winter morning when you are wrapped up in your warm thick blankets and you know that you have to get out of bed? Well now you know how I felt while I was in her arms. I didn't want to let go for anything in the world. It felt so right to me. I might have decked someone in the eye for interrupting that moment. When we finally parted, my heart felt like it was being ripped in two.
"How have you been? What have you been doing all of this time?"
Suddenly I felt as if I wasn't shit. How could I possibly explain that, due to my past criminal history, doors were literally closing in my face? Despite what others might say about things being made better for ex-convicts, as far as jobs were concerned, I knew that it was a lie. Hell, I'm the one that's living the life after all. I knew for a fact that for every one ex-convict that became successful, nineteen others struggled to survive. Those are the statistics that I live with every single day of life. Only she didn't know it or probably wouldn't believe it.
"Well, I'm between jobs right now. I'm waiting for my unemployment to kick in and my grandmother is driving me nuts about losing my job. I really need to get out of her house, but my parole officer is breathing down my neck about sending me back to prison for any little violation that occurs. And that includes my living conditions. I'm walking on eggshells Renita. Please believe me when I tell you that."
"That bad huh?" she said and then unconsciously took a step back from me.
"Yeah, it is that bad for me." I said a little dismally looking down at her toes.
It was funny how I thought that her toes were so beautiful at that very moment. She slowly reached over placing her finger underneath my chin and pulled my head up to look her in the eye. She gave me a mocking look of the expression on my face and I laughed shyly. That moment had reminded me of when I had once did the exact same thing to her a long time ago. Back then, she needed a friend amongst all of the mayhem surrounding us then, just like I needed a friend now.
"Terrance things will get better one of these days and when it does you'll look back at this conversation and laugh. I promise." She said with a serious look on her face.
"I sure hope so Renita because I sure can use a break right about now. But enough about my sad situation, how is your life faring?"
"Oh, I'm doing very well right now. I'm an accountant for the City of Detroit. My portfolio is stabilizing itself. I'm young, my health is excellent, and not to mention that I look damn good in this outfit."She said as she struck her sexiest pose for me.
I took a step back and gave her another glance over. My earlier summation of her was a gross understatement. She was a ten in my book. Just then she looked at her watch and said,
"Oh shoot, I'm about to be late getting back from my lunch break. I got to go."
"Uh, Renita hold on for a second. Is it alright if I keep in contact with you?"
"Sure, just call me on my mothers' phone. You remember the number right?"
"Yeah I still remember it."
"Good then I'll talk to you later." She said for the second time rushing off.
Then suddenly I remembered the bag of kisses in my hand and ended up calling out to her once again.
"Renita wait for another second. I forgot to give you something."
I yelled out as I tried to catch up with her. She then turned around with a look of consternation on her face.
"Look Terrance, I got to go to work or else I'm going to get fired."
"I know, I know, but I forgot to give this to you." I said as I handed her the bag of kisses.
"I'm the one that has been sending these to you via one of your co-workers. Her name is Morleen Hopkinson I believe."
She then gave me a weird look and said,
"Nobody has been giving me..."
She stopped in mid sentence and gave a sound of disgust.
She then gave me another hug, said thank you, and then stormed off. I could've sworn that I heard her utter the word
"Bitch..." as she walked away.
I had no idea what ticked her off, but a suspicion started growing in me.
I called her up later on that night from a payphone and her mother answered.
"May I speak to Renita?"
"Hold on... Renita, telephone."
I heard her yell through the house. A moment later Renita then picked up the phone.
"Hello Renita this is Terrance, are you busy?"
"Yeah, I was about to get into the bathtub and wash up before I go to bed. However, I can talk for a minute or two while the water is running. What's up?"
My imagination started running wild as I listened to the water running in the background.
"Oh, nothing, I was just checking to see if you weren't giving me the run around or anything like that."
"Why would I do that?"
"Well you know how ya'll women are. You love giving out fake names and numbers."
"Terrance, I'm too old to be playing games like that and for two we've been knowing each other for how long? Ten, fifteen years or so?"
"I know, but I haven't spoken with you in a while and I didn't know if you had matured or not. The only way that I can tell is by contacting you. Well that and the fact that I have had that happen twice within the last week."
She laughed at that remark and said,
"It seems like everything is just falling apart on you."
"True, but I'm just glad that you're nothing like them. Plus they didn't look as good as you either."
"Thank you Terrance, I really needed that."
"No problem, which brings me to this point. Did you enjoy those kisses that I gave you?"
"Yes they were delicious."
"I'm glad to hear that because you didn't seem too happy when I gave them to you."
"That's because when you told me that you were sending me candy by Morleen, I realized that I had been eating my candy from her candy dish."
"Are you serious? And all of this time I thought that she was giving them to you." "Hell naw, that bitch wasn't giving me my candy. And to think, Terrance, that I had actually stolen some of them from her too!" She said angrily and I began laughing uncontrollably.
"It's not funny Terrance."
"Sorry, I'm just imagining how everything went that's all. So did you talk to her about it?"
"You know that I did."
"Then tell me everything that you did and don't leave out anything."
"Because, Renita, I just might write a story about the whole ordeal that's why."
"Oh, well I went back a little late and you know why." I coughed at that last remark.
"My boss just so happen to be passing by my office and noticed that I was two minutes late coming in. He got on my case about it and warned me not to be late again. I sat down and went to work immediately. After about an half an hour went by, I got up and walked over to her office. When I walked in she said ‘Hello Renita' as usual. I said, ‘Hello' back and then made small talk with her."
"What kind of small talk?"
"Oh the usual small talk. When is the next meeting, accounting tips, how cute Darryl is today. Nothing out of the ordinary. Then I casually made notice that her candy dish was empty today. She claimed to have forgotten to get some today and I laughed. And that's when I dropped the load on her. I told her that the next time that she plans on stealing candy from someone, then make sure that that person doesn't come into contact with the person whom sent them. And I also told her that the next time that you steal from me then I'll slap the fuck out of you bitch. That's when I threw a couple of pieces onto her desk and walked away."
"Damn Renita, you scandalous!"
"So, she asked for it."
"I'm surprised that you didn't throw her papers all over the place or flip her desk over or something." I said while chuckling about the whole ordeal.
"I wanted to Terrance, but I can't afford to lose my job. Which reminds me, I got to get off of this phone so that I can get into the tub and go to sleep. I got to go to work in the morning." She said to me and then yawned.
I paused for a moment because I was imagining her dripping water from a sponge onto her creamy golden legs.
"Oh, um I was just looking at something that's all. I'll talk to you later then. Goodnight."
We then hung up from each other and I walked home thinking about her. I ended up having a dream that night about her and I in the bathtub together... and I was washing her pretty golden legs and soft succulent feet while dollar bills rained down on us.