April 23, 2014

Creative Sundays: Guilty

Continued from, With Kerry,  part of an upcoming novel by Tiara Faith McCray anticipated in 2011.

When Kerry found out, I was careless.  I woke the next morning to an empty bed.  Kerry’s small black hair band lay on her pillow as if carefully placed in the spot where her head had been.  Her small purple suitcase was gone but her sweet almond scent was still in the air.

It was unlike her to leave without saying goodbye but when I entered the kitchen and Jayna told me she left early and didn’t want to wake me, I accepted that excuse although I should have known better.  Jayna wore one of Kerry’s old oversized t-shirts.  If Kerry was there, Jayna would have been wearing shorts, so I knew it wasn’t an accident when she kept bending over a little too far to get things from the lower cabinets.  I was shirtless and wearing my basketball shorts.  She kept looking at my stomach and smiling.

“Did you have a nice night?” she teased.  I shook my head and opened the refrigerator wishing Kerry hadn’t agreed to let Jayna stay the night.  After we left the restaurant, Jayna started dropping not so subtle hints about her long drive back home.  Kerry offered her my couch until the next morning.  I could still picture her smirking at Kerry and I when we entered the bedroom for the night.  A part of me wanted to take her up on what her eyes offered.  Another secret moment, with Kerry right on the other side of the wall but I resisted.

She sauntered over to me and wrapped her arms around my bare chest, I turned to face her.  She pulled me to her by my shorts and nestled her body into mine.  I sighed deeply. She snapped her head back with her arms still around my waist.

“What? Are you done with me, Nate?” She said pretending to pout.

I wished I was.  I wanted to push her away.  I wanted her to disappear.  I wanted the side of me that lifted her to the small kitchen table and lifted her t-shirt to be buried somewhere far away.  Instead, I buried my face in her neck, kissed her so deeply she could barely breathe.

“Who’s better?” She murmured when she came up for air.  I ignored her. 

“Me or Kerry?” She said a little louder.

Instead of answering, I pulled down my shorts.  She smiled as if that were a good enough answer and pulled me to her. 

“Oh my God.” Encouraged, I continued.

“Oh my God.”  This time I realized it wasn’t Jayna’s voice I heard.  Jayna sat up and placed her hands against my chest pushing me away and staring over my shoulder.

“Nate…” she drifted, her eyes wide.  I pulled up my shorts and turned around.

Kerry stood behind us holding a beverage carrier with three cups of coffee.  She opened her mouth as if to speak but no sound came out.  Jayna crept off the table and gathered her t-shirt from the floor, pulling it over her quickly.

It was so silent as Kerry eyes darted from Jayna to me then around the kitchen taking in the whole scene.  I started towards her and she threw the cups of coffee at my chest, the hot coffee sizzling down my body then onto the floor.

She turned around and headed towards the door.

“Kerry…” I said entirely unsure of what would follow.  She paused and turned around.

“I knew!” She screamed, her voice shrill and uncomfortable, tears streaming down her cheeks.

“I knew but I didn’t want to know…” she breathed.  “I knew but I didn’t want to…” she repeated.

For the first time, I noticed Kerry’s purple suitcase nestled against the side of the refrigerator and her airline tickets on top of her bag.  Jayna knew Kerry hadn’t left.  She wanted her to find out this way.  Kerry lowered her head and moaned mournfully.  She began to sob audibly.  I looked at Jayna cowered in the corner of the room, looking like a scolded child.

“Don’t you look at her!” Kerry yelled in a voice unfamiliar to me. 

“I loved you.” She spat, striking me twice with all of her might in my face.  She said loved like it was a dirty word.

“How could you do this?” She asked as if expecting an answer.  When I didn’t answer, she asked again, and again… pounding her fists into my chest for punctuation, the tears falling freely from her face.  When she lost her balance, I tried to catch her only to be smacked twice in the face. 

I felt emptied and unable to speak.  I had known this moment would come.  In fact, a part of me looked forward to it.  I didn’t want to hurt Kerry but I needed to be released.  I knew I would disappoint her and this day seemed as inevitable as death.  With or without Jayna.

Kerry pushed me aside and began towards Jayna.

“You’re disgusting.” She spat.  Jayna looked away.

“Look at me!” Kerry screamed taking a few steps closer to her.  I grabbed Kerry’s shoulders and she pulled away looking to the side.

“I am better than this.” She said more to herself than to  Jayna or I.

She exited the kitchen and a few seconds later, we heard the apartment door slam.

Not long after, I followed.

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is native of New York City and reluctant resident of the DC Metro Area. She is a writer in her heart but a lawyer by profession. She is a wife and also a mom to two boys. She is a self proclaimed and self loving oddball. She is determined to find both spirituality and happiness and like any true totalitarian matriarch, impose both on her family. She is wise enough to know that this may not happen simultaneously.

More Posts - Website

Creative Sundays: With Kerry

Continued from, His Dirt,  part of an upcoming novel by Tiara Faith McCray anticipated in 2011.

“I wish I could stay longer.” Kerry said, sitting on the edge of the bed and pulling her long braids back into a ponytail.  I had been lying in bed watching the last of the sun escape the horizon outside of my window when she emerged from the bathroom in an oversized t-shirt.  She had just washed her make-up off and her skin was bare and moist.  Her voice was a welcome interruption to the silence I had begun to grow accustomed to.

“Me too, baby.”  Kerry’s flight was at 1pm the next day.

“I know I gave you a hard time about being in New York with me…” She looked back at me, where I was leaned against a pillow propped on the headboard of the bed.  I placed my hands, fingers linked, behind my head, remembering how hard Kerry had tried to convince me to follow her to New York after she had gotten the job offer. 

“I knew I would miss you,” she whined softly. “I just wanted to be close to you.”

“I miss you, too.” I began. “But Kerry, what would I look like following you to a new city with no job and no plan.”  I could feel the frustration begin to rise in my body. 

She turned to face me and crawled her hand on to my lap, placing her hand on my thigh. 

“I don’t want to fight…” she whispered.

Softened, I twirled a few of her braids in my fingertips.  She turned and looked at me and smiled mischievously.  She leaned down and playfully bit my thigh over my shorts.  I laughed.  Encouraged, she bit the other one and I laughed again pulling her ponytail lightly.

“Hey…” she said popping up and laughing.  She leaned into me, her head buried into the nape of my neck.  She kissed my neck twice.

“I love you.” She stated looking into my eyes. 

In that moment, I wanted to grab her and kiss her.  Tell her I loved her too.  Confess about Jayna and swear to never stray again.

Her look changed; she looked worried.  She must have sensed my hesitation.

I grabbed her under her shoulders and lifted her up to my face.  I studied her, looking for a reason in that moment not to feel guilty.

“Why are you looking at me like that?” She said, her voice dripping with insecurity.

“Like what?” I said smirking.

“Like that…” She smiled, embarrassed.

I pulled her face toward me and kissed her.

“You love me, too?” She asked, pulling away and staring at me.

Too much, I thought.

I turned her over on the bed, pulling her t-shirt off, studying her body under the dim light pouring into my bedroom from the street light outside of my apartment.  Kerry didn’t just turn me on.  She got to me.  She got to me in a way where I never wanted to stop touching her.  I never wanted to stop hearing her voice.  I never wanted to stop breathing her in on nights like this.  Jayna accepted me for who I was but Kerry loved me for all that I wanted to be.  I hated the part of me that felt so strongly, that cared so much, that was scared of a world that she didn’t exist in.  I was pretty sure I would have been better off having never known her and I was pretty sure she would have been better off having never met me.

I traced my fingers down the middle of her breasts, down her stomach and down to her thighs.

“I love you, too, baby.”  I murmured, hoping that for this one night, I could hide my betrayal and be the man that deserved a woman like Kerry and her love.

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is native of New York City and reluctant resident of the DC Metro Area. She is a writer in her heart but a lawyer by profession. She is a wife and also a mom to two boys. She is a self proclaimed and self loving oddball. She is determined to find both spirituality and happiness and like any true totalitarian matriarch, impose both on her family. She is wise enough to know that this may not happen simultaneously.

More Posts - Website

Creative Sundays: His Dirt

Excerpt from an upcoming novel by Tiara Faith McCray anticipated in 2011.

I arrived at Mo’s at 6:18pm.  Jayna was waiting in the lobby and Kerry had yet to arrive.  Jayna shifted awkwardly on the lobby bench as I sat down beside her.  I looked at her and smiled.  She smirked.

“This will be interesting.” She said shrugging.  She was wearing a form fitting yellow camisole and white skirt.  When she shrugged, one of her straps fell to the middle of her arm just above her elbow.  I reached over and pulled her strap back over her shoulder letting my fingers linger and looking into her eyes.

“Don’t make it more than it is…” I began, my finger lingering under her strap rubbing her skin with the back of my nail. “Knowing Kerry, if she knew something was going on between us, she wouldn’t be inviting us to dinner.” I whispered.

She laughed.  “I’d be missing and you would be dead.”

I removed my fingers from her shoulder and placed my hand under her chin. 

“Well, Nate, maybe we should have some more fun before we die.”  She said staring at my lips.

I could feel myself getting excited.  Kerry could walk in at any moment and I couldn’t help but think of being with her best friend just before she got here.  I pictured Jayna flush, a little out of breath and hugging Kerry when she arrived. 

On the bench in front of ours sat a fairly overweight blonde woman looking at us with a small smile.  She grinned uncomfortably and looked away embarrassed to be caught witnessing our intimacy.  I smiled back and kissed Jayna heedlessly, closing my eyes and pulling her closer.  Lost in the moment, I could care less if Kerry walked in at that moment.

“I could do this right here.” I said, leaning back against the wall and wiping the small beads of sweat that had emerged on my brow.  She laughed. “I would let you.” She replied.

I glanced at my watch.  Kerry said she may be a little late, I thought.  I could tell her we were both in the bathroom. I planned, contemplating taking Jayna to the Men’s room.  A part of me wanted Kerry to wonder but have no idea.  I wanted her to kiss me and feel the subtle difference.

“After Kerry gets here, why don’t you meet me in the bathroom?” Jayna said looking intently into my eyes as if reading my mind. 

“Sorry I was late, guys.” Kerry walked in closing her umbrella.  Jayna stood up and embraced her. 

“Hey, baby.” I said as she pulled away from Jayna.  Kerry reached her arms around my waist and kissed me.  For some reason, I glanced over at the blonde woman who was no longer smiling but glaring at me, shaking her head before looking away.

“We are still waiting for a table.” Jayna said.

“How long have you been waiting?”  Kerry asked with a hint of irritation.

“I just got here…” I began.

“I was here at about a quarter to six… actually the hostess said the wait was about thirty minutes so we should be sitting by now.” Jayna offered.

“Let me see what’s going on.” Kerry said, walking off, taking charge as usual.

“Tell her I went to make a call and met me in the bathroom.” Jayna said as soon as Kerry was out of sight, squeezing my forearm.  She walked off, glancing over her shoulder and smiling at me, ensuring I would follow.

She knew I would.

“Our table is ready.” Kerry said beaming and resting her hand on my chest, clearly impressed with herself.  “Where is Jayna?” She said taking my hand and looking around.

“Went to make a call, I think.”  I looked at her take it in.  No reason to doubt me and still smiling slightly.

“Baby, why don’t you hold down the table while I take a quick whiz?”

“Okay…” she said, she tilted her chin up for me to kiss her.  I gave her a quick peck and smiled.  Sensing her disappointment, I added, “Just a few minutes, baby” as I sprinted off to the Men’s room.  It was more like ten when I met Jayna, who was waiting for me in the fourth stall just as ready as I was.

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is native of New York City and reluctant resident of the DC Metro Area. She is a writer in her heart but a lawyer by profession. She is a wife and also a mom to two boys. She is a self proclaimed and self loving oddball. She is determined to find both spirituality and happiness and like any true totalitarian matriarch, impose both on her family. She is wise enough to know that this may not happen simultaneously.

More Posts - Website

Creative Sundays: Washed Away

I am avoiding his eyes, tapping my fingers beside my brown tea cup to the beat of the rain.  The rain has collected in our gutter and is pouring down our bay window, blurring the view outside.  I can barely make out the green grass on our manicured front lawn… or the apple tree that we planted six years ago, the day after we moved in. 

I look up and his eyes are avoiding mine too.  I feel more comfortable to study him.  His eyes are darting around the kitchen.  He is half sitting on our black granite countertop, running his fingertips along the nape of his neck.  There are beads of sweat above his lip.  I know this picture.  I know his body.  I know his sweat.  I know that he is nervous.  I know that he has run out of words.  And years ago I would have found them for him. 

But not now.

Now, he is on his own.

Because that is what he wants.

I remember when we first met.  It was raining then too.  We unwittingly shared a cab to the same fraternity party off campus.  I was a sophomore in college and he was a junior.  We sat too close together in the middle of the back seat, sandwiched between a friend of mine and a friend of his.  We laughed nervously as the cabbie sped up the Harlem River Drive.  I apologized when we hit a bump and my hand rested in his lap. 

“I don’t mind.” He had said, smirking at me and looking at me with such intensity I had to look away.  He laughed.  Later that night, he found me on the dance floor.  I had been hoping he would.  He pulled me close to him during a slow song and asked me my name. 

“Laila.” I had said softly. 

“Chris.” He responded.  We danced too close and too slow and at the end of our dance he told me I was beautiful and just like that he had me.  It was never the other way around.

A part of me aches to move towards him now.  Replace his hands with my lips and bury my body into the warmth of his.  Sway to the rhythm of our breaths and feel his arms surround me and remind him of how well we fit on rainy days like this. 

“You aren’t going to say anything?”  He says finally, focusing on my face.  I look back to my teacup and shrug.  I was unsure really.  I wasn’t sure how to respond to his declaration of unhappiness.  His need for someone else.  His decision to leave me… in our house… with our dreams… and with our memories.  Should I wish him well?  After all, we were friends once. Or did I beg? Did I cry? Or did I channel my inner Lifetime protagonist and find a weapon?

I take a sip of my now cool tea and look in his direction.  I remembered eating popcorn at midnight in our first apartment.  How mad he got when I beat him in Scrabble.  His favorite pair of socks with the holes in the heels.  How his face nestled into my hair at night after I had used my peppermint shampoo.  What was there to say?  I wonder.

“What is there to say?” I ask, more to the infinite space between us than to him.  Perhaps I would hear the perfect conclusion whispered to me in the cool air raising the goose bumps on my skin.   

He shook his head, failing to consider my question.  Finding validation for his decision in my vagueness.  I could see the thoughts passing through his mind. 

She doesn’t even care, he lies to himself.

We both knew I did.

“Alright then,” He says, standing up and moving towards the door. “I will be back tomorrow to pick up my things.”

He puts his hand on the doorknob and picks his umbrella up from the basket beside my chair. He pauses.

“Don’t worry…” he begins. “I will be sure to come by while you are at work.” I look down at my bare unmanicured feet wondering if it was his worry or mine that he sought to avoid. 

“Sure.” I manage, smiling in his direction.  His head snaps back, caught off guard at my crooked smile.

He opens the door and leaves.  A breeze replacing the warmth his body left.  I get up and walk to the sink, rinse my cup of its remaining tea, and watch the rain pour down out of the window as he backs his car eagerly out of the driveway. 

That’s that, I thought, placing my cup in the sink.  My hands rest on my stomach and I sigh.

“I guess now isn’t the time to tell him about you.” I say softly.

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is native of New York City and reluctant resident of the DC Metro Area. She is a writer in her heart but a lawyer by profession. She is a wife and also a mom to two boys. She is a self proclaimed and self loving oddball. She is determined to find both spirituality and happiness and like any true totalitarian matriarch, impose both on her family. She is wise enough to know that this may not happen simultaneously.

More Posts - Website