The Hook Up Part IV
Nahji and Zion arrived at our door at 7:30 on the dot. I opened the door and was met with an eyeful of black deliciousness. Todd’s text retreated to the back of my thoughts as I took in the two gentlemen. Zion looked handsome in his tux, but Nahji was sexy as hell in his formal attire. I loved the pop of red in his red and black bow tie. Without even trying, we were matching again.
I was skeptical about getting this dress at first, but since I was running on such short notice, I didn’t have a lot of options. But this red one shoulder sequence dress looked better on me now that I was all dolled up. It had this drape in the front and a split halfway up my thigh. Just judging from Nahji’s reaction he was digging how the dress hugged my curves.
“Damn, you are beautiful,” he complimented.
“And you look good yourself,” I smiled. “And you were looking in my window again.”
“Or maybe you were looking in mine. I see the way you look at me, Marley,” he teased.
We continued our banter until Indya emerged from her room. I swear Zion's jaw hit the floor. Indya’s black ball gown was a two-piece. The ‘jacket’ was long sleeve and came down into a trained ball gown and covered a sheath mini dress that showed plenty of thigh and plenty of boobs. When she showed me the dress, I was in awe, even when she tried it on for me, it looked good on her. But with her braids pinned up and her makeup on point, Indya looked like a special edition black Barbie doll.
Zion had no words for Indya. He just brushed past me, took her in his arms and kissed her passionately. I could tell it was their first kiss and I had to fan my eyes to keep the tears from falling. If Indya didn’t know it before, I hoped she knew that Zion was damn near in love with her. He didn’t even have to say it…I could see it.
Nahji cleared his throat. “Ummm…maybe we should give them some alone time.”
“I think you are right,” I giggled.
We walked over to the multipurpose room with Nahji holding onto me as I navigated the sidewalk in heels. I really didn’t want to think about what his touch was making me feel. It was really making me re-think meeting with Todd.
Before we stepped into the ballroom, we were given masks and we were whisked inside a space that I could hardly believe was a game room and an open mic a few days ago. Tonight, the space was adorned in black, silver and green. From the backdrop to the table décor, this place looked like it could have catered to black royalty. The Hook Up certainly treated us like we were.
Nahji and I took a seat and fell into our easy conversation. Even while we ate, our conversation never stopped. I thought we would have run out of things to talk about, but we didn’t. The DJ, who had been playing a mixture of both new and old school, decided to slow it down a little bit. The familiar chords of “I’ll make love to you” by Boyz II Men filled the room and Nahji asked if I wanted to dance.
“I uhhhh I can’t dance,” I admitted to Nahji.
“No, I mean I really can’t dance. As in I have no rhythm. As in I’ll make you look like a fool out there.”
He chuckled to himself and pulled me up from my seat. I allowed him to lead me to the dance floor with the other couples that were probably remembering where they were in 1994 when this song came out. I was only 4 when the song was at its peak, but Auntie Tess’ parties had music from the Temptations to Mc Hammer to Boyz II Men. This was one of my favorites by the group.
I’d heard this song a thousand times, knew it backward and forward but dancing with Nahji and really taking in the lyrics made this song take on new meaning. Before the song ended, Nahji pulled back a little and forced me to look up at him. Without hesitation, Nahji captured my mouth with his. Maybe it was because I was feeling him or maybe it was the atmosphere but kissing him felt magical. When the song ended, so did our kiss. I inadvertently whimpered when his lips left mine. I wanted him to kiss me again and again and again.
Nahji and I spent a lot of time on the dance floor, despite my lack of rhythm. We laughed and he tried his best to help me, but I was a lost cause. He found ways to touch me and I loved his hands on me. I remembered the conversation I just had with Indya and even though I was scared to breach the subject, I didn’t want tomorrow to be the last time I saw him. But then, I remembered Todd. I really didn’t know what I needed to do. A few hours ago, I was debating between what I’d known for six years and what could possibly be. Nahji’s kiss just tilted the scale in his favor, and he didn’t even know it. Hell, I didn’t even know if he wanted anything to be in his favor.
When the ball started winding down, Nahji asked if I wanted to take a walk on the beach. I kicked off my shoes and we made the short walk over to the beach. We walked and talked, and it was something about the salty air and the waves crashing on the beach that just made me feel much more at ease. We continued to walk and talk until I got sleepy. Once at my building, he wanted to make sure he saw me before we left. I was hoping his wanting to see me before we headed back to Georgia involved him wanting to see more of me after tomorrow.
“Thank you for making my days enjoyable. I really had a good time with you.”
“I did, too."
Without warning, Nahji kissed me and I started to melt right into the carpet. We kissed like two teenagers trying to get our affection in before having to get on the bus to go home. Laughter coming from the end of the hall made us pull back from each other. As much as I wanted to invite him in, I knew I couldn’t. If I didn’t learn anything from DJ, I needed to chill on who I slept with, especially when I wasn’t sure what was going to happen tomorrow.
“Thank you for a wonderful evening, Mr. Steel. I had a really great time,” I cooed.
“Me too. See you tomorrow at breakfast?”
I nodded and after one more kiss, Nahji let me go into my room.
I took off my dress and ran water into the jacuzzi tub. I looked through the drawers and found a lavender bath bomb. This hot bath and my thoughts of Nahji were the perfect nightcap.
The next morning, Indya and I headed to the going away breakfast. I don’t know why I was surprised by the spread. The Hook up has shown and proved they were all about the extraness. And I was here for all of this extraness: the omelet station, a grits bar, French toast, pancakes and waffles with different topping options, quiche, salmon croquettes, muffins, cereal…anything that anyone wanted was there. Indya and I were devouring our meal and talking about her night when Zion and Nahji came to our table. Her eyes lit up when she saw Zion, but the second I laid eyes on Nahji, I knew something wasn’t right.
“What’s wrong?” I quizzed, foregoing a formal greeting.
“Ummm…can we go somewhere and talk?”
As much as I wanted to finish my breakfast, I needed to find out what was wrong. We walked out the side door and sat outside. I waited patiently for him to start talking. The past two days with Nahji were full of laughter and conversation. There was rarely any awkward silence between us. His silence was making me nervous.
“So what’s wrong?”
He sighed heavily. “I just got an email about a job I put in a bid for. And my company got it.”
He sounded so down that I truly didn’t understand what the issue was. “That’s good news, right?”
Nahji breathed deeply again and avoided looking at me. “Yes. On one hand very good news.”
“And on the other?”
He rubbed his hand down his face. “The job is in Kentucky. It could take nine months to a year to complete.” I was still not following. Noticing my confusion, Nahji continued. “I’ll be in Kentucky during most of that time.”
“As in moving there?”
I never planned on this. Sure I thought about what would happen after today, but I never imagined a scenario where this was an obstacle. I really didn’t know what to say so I just sat in silenc