“Now what?” DJ was looking straight ahead at nothing in particular. His face was strong, jaws were tight, breathing was steady.
“I should’ve whooped that nigga ass. Lame ass nigga. That’s what you like?”
I took a deep breath. “No…..well….not anymore.”
Think. Say Something.
“Baby I’m sorry. It’s not what it looked like. I’ll tell you everything, but I know you’re mad right now. It won’t matter.”
DJ looked at me and I could see his jaws pulsate. His features were intimidating. Dark, broad nose, chiseled face, big lips. I never wanted to be on the receiving end of that wrath.
“You fuckin that nigga?”
“NO!!! Nooo !! No I am not.”
DJ looked behind us at my front door, he leaned over and placed his hand below my chin, on my neck.
Is he about to choke me
“Bree Renee…..I’m not playing with you. If you fuckin this nigga tell me now.” DJ’s eyes became watery. His angry face started fading into worry and sadness.
“I promise. I am NOT fuckin with him.” DJ released his grip and put his head down.
“We’ve been hanging out. Yes, he does try to get back with me, but I always reject. He has a girlfriend and a baby on the way, I have you and -”
“No. You HAD me.” He turns and looks at me. “I can’t do this shit. You here doing lord knows what and I’m out in Cali being a stupid ….just fuck it. ”
DJ stands up and takes the first step off. My heart is beating fast.
I can’t let this happen.
“You will not walk off on me twice. You did it once and I had no choice but to let you. You won’t do it again. If you walk off on me this time, don’t ever come back.”
DJ stood there shaking his head.
“You left and for 3 months I barely talked to you. Always a class, homework, party, this ,that. It drives me crazy not being able to see you. It hurts so bad.”
I felt myself get angry. I thought about the weeks prior to him leaving, that he cut me off.
“For two almost 3 weeks before you left , you completely stopped answering my calls. You brought me home and I didn’t see you again for the rest of the summer? What the fuck do you expect me to do!!”
No tears. Just anger.
“Then at the airport, you didn’t even kiss or hug me goodbye, because YOU couldn’t handle it. Now you pop up back in Chicago and the world is supposed to stop huh?”
DJ sat back down. I explained to him everything about me and Latrell’s relationship prior to ours. I told him everything about us going out, even about what happened that day, leading up to them meeting each other at the car. We talked, and talked, and talked. It became dark and DJ left back for the south side. I went inside the house, feeling better but still unsure of what was going to happen to our relationship.
*bzzzzz* Half sleep , I’m awakened by a text message from Latrell.
“Are you ok?” I didn’t respond. I deleted his number and called my provider to have his number blocked.
The next morning I log into Facebook. DJ tagged me in a picture we took in the summer.
“My heart. My world. Inseparable.”
I stared at the picture for eternity. My braces gleamed with my smile and my hair was wind blown as DJ kissed my cheek and hugged me tight. The backdrop was Lake Michigan and the sky line from the 39th street beach & rocks. The warmth of the scenery and the memory of how happy I was, could’ve engulfed the December coldness. Cold outside, warm inside.
“Ok close your eyes”, DJ led me by the hand up the stairs to his mothers home. We walked in and I felt his little brother hug me and his mother hugged me. “Stay right there Bree! Don’t move!” DJ was giggling. “Open your eyes”.
There was a cake with a candle and Christmas wrapped gifts. “HAPPY BIRTHDAAAAYYYYYY”. I was speechless. DJ’s family had taken me in like I was their own. We spent every holiday together and were literally inseparable. New Years came and we went to his step father’s home in the North suburbs.
“Alright. Everybody grab a glass! The count down is starting.”
“3………….2………….1 HAPPY NEW YEAR!” DJ looked at me and smiled. We kissed in the middle of the kitchen and the world became a slow motion effect. After the kiss we laughed.
“100 years from now, I want to feel the same way about you, I want to be in love with you forever.” All I could do was smile.
“Heeeeyyy!!!! Everybody shut up!!!!” DJ turned the music down and everybody began to quiet.
He walked over to his backpack and pulled out an envelope. He walked back to me, cheesing. Something about him looked so youthful; boy like. I adored him. He had one of the best smiles I’d ever seen.
“You know I’m in college and I got big things lined up. Free ride tuition, a spot to live in, a good job. Everything in my life is going great. But it’s hard to make all these moves without my best friend next to me. We talk everyday about our dreams and aspirations. We know what we want out of life”
It was true. I was taking finance courses at Robert Morris downtown and working for the OCC as a paid intern. DJ was taking business management and had a good job at Wells Fargo.
He handed me the envelope. “Here.” I opened it. A one-way ticket. Destination: LAX.
DJ began to lower to one knee. Everyone in the room gasped. “Is he about to…….”
“I know it’s not a ring. You deserve the best diamond in the world, and I promise that I will get you whatever you want when I’m able to. But I can’t be away from you anymore. I need you there. Breana Renee Riley..,…”
Time stopped. Nothing moved.
He grabbed my hand. That moment I will never forget. His smile was so sincere. His hand was warm and sweaty. The crop neck knitted sweater I bought him was so perfectly wrapped around his muscles. His silver chain glistened. His cologne permeated the air. I heard whispers and gasps all around me. I thought I was dreaming. Is this a joke? Is he proposing? Is he serious?