An eerie feeling suddenly came over Lydia as soon as Stanley was out of sight. One of those creepy feelings you get when you’re at home by yourself in the wee hours of the morning and you hear a scary sound that you know better than to get up and investigate. As she and Stanley had walked across the street, Lydia thought she had caught the eye of someone watching them from a light brown Ford Taurus parked at one of the meters towards the end of the block. But when she turned toward the driver, they pulled off. Now as she was securing herself in her seatbelt, from the rearview mirror, it looked like the same brown Taurus, which was parked three cars over from her. Now, she wanted to believe that the car belonged to an employee or to someone picking up an employee. But her gut was just telling her otherwise. Lydia was a smart woman. She knew not to ignore that gut, so she didn’t waste anymore time getting the hell out of that lot! Maybe it was paranoia from the long hours she’d been working. Then, maybe not. Either way, she felt a helluva lot better once she was on I-96 heading toward home. The good feeling of relief didn’t last very long, though. A few exits before the one she took to get to her house, she saw that the same Taurus was two cars behind her in the next lane. Lydia panicked and immediately reached for her cell phone, which for some God-awful reason was dead. She’d been so tired the last few nights, that she hadn’t thought to re-charge her phone. Damn!
Finally, the safety tips that often came through her email from friends paid off. Lydia knew not to go home. Instead, she took the next exit that came up and looked for the nearest gas station. Her mind was racing far too fast to remember where the nearest police station was. She saw a Mobile gas station two traffic lights after she exited the freeway. She pulled into the entrance. And that damn Taurus pulled right in behind her. These crazy people have no shame. All in one motion, Lydia was unbuckling her seatbelt and opening her door to hurry inside when a man’s all to familiar voice called out her name.
“Lydia.” It was as if time itself had stopped. She felt suspended in her steps, hardly able to turn around But she did. He called out to her again.
“Lydia. I’m sorry if I scared you.” She couldn’t believe she was looking at Thomas Cunningham, the finest, sexiest, most sexually satisfying man so far, who had captured and broke her heart. She still found him irresistible. But, still, he scared the shit out of her! Finally, her voice surfaced to her throat, and then out of her mouth. “Thomas, what the hell are you doing here?” Before he opened his mouth, they both already knew the answer to that. It was the same unspoken reason he always had for abruptly reappearing in her life whenever he felt inclined to do so. To reclaim what he had always believed to be his—Lydia.
That last time Thomas deserted her was three years ago, leaving her to look like a fool in the eyes of her loved ones, and she vowed that would be the last time. Oh, she knew he’d be back again. Like her mother always said, “A leopard never changes his spots.” After she had picked up the pieces of her shattered heart, Lydia vowed to do things differently when he came back the next time. But now that that time seemed to have arrived, as he stood before her eyes, in his flawless, beautiful dark chocolate flesh, the strength she was so confident that she’d have disappeared. Lydia felt weak, like a melting piece of hot wax, and she prayed it wasn’t written all over her face. As he stepped all-knowingly toward her, he spoke in that delicious baritone voice that made her knees buckle.
“I’m back, baby,” he began reaching his hand out to hers. “This time I’m back for good.”
“For good,” Lydia repeated, barely audible, she was so taken aback by the strength of his presence it sickened her. “And what does that have to do with me?” she asked with a mock courageousness they both knew had been rehearsed.
“How about I tell you over a drink?” Thomas asked, seductively gazing at her with those deep brown eyes she remembered getting lost in.
L.A. Jefferson @ 2009