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© Eliza Rose
I can’t stop thinking about the day I had Clare’s legs in the air on my bed and she was screaming my name. As I drive to meet her at the Starbucks on 42nd street, I rehash the sweet times we shared as I mentally set up to change her last name. I am driving the speed limit, watching the other cars pass me to get to the highway. Once I am on the FDR drive, I increase the speed and lower my window. I allow the fresh air in as I indulge in the mental memory of my baby. She took her time letting me in her mind and once we were both ready for sex, I just knew it would be magical. After getting to know each other, she finally pegged for me to make love to her. I couldn’t wait to kiss her delicate skin, feel the electricity between us ignite as we shared a deeper connection.
I knew from our conversations that our love was more than mental and spiritual. I aimed to please her, taste her, feel her, and protect her. Man, her body had me memorized, she was so fine naked. It was hard to restrain myself in my entirety as I didn’t want to just be seen as a freak in the sheets. She soon learned that I am more than just a pretty face and a businessperson. I made love to Clare with my eyes and with my tongue.
The way she cooed when I gave her oral, brought me to pure lust, made my dick hard. I pumped her with the essence that I was her person. Just thinking about the first time we had sex, is sending me to a place where I can’t even fuck her right now. Not in public.
Although, we would be kinky if we did. Shit, there has been many times I fantasized about snatching my bookworm babe from behind the counter at B&N and sliding up in her panties. Somewhere along my daydreaming on the road, I am honked at, and the driver stuck up his middle finger because he signaled to pass me, but I hadn’t noticed. I am in the middle lane, so I drive a couple more minutes to lead to the right because Exit 9 is approaching. I get to my destination in five minutes, but parking is nowhere in sight, so I drive around toward 40th street.
It’s all good though, I could use the walk. On the way there, I consider texting Clare, but I don’t want to ruin the surprise. Work has been keeping me busy, I know she would be outside counting the minutes until I arrive. I missed her just as much I hoped she missed me. I love her to death, and while I have loved in the past, she feels like the one.
As I stand out front of Starbucks, the reflection of my nerves looks back. Today is the day I make that life changing move. I gather my thoughts, having prepped for the words to impress Clare. I even looked up some context from her favorite books to add to my proposal. I straighten my tie and tighten my suit jacket. It’s a little chilly but expected as it is September. I look at the time on my watch. It’s 8:00p.m. The 42nd streetlights shine around me as I spin for affect. I pause at its beauty, the movie theater sign, McDonald’s huge display, and the Hello Kitty store. This is our memorabilia, and this is the perfect night for her to say yes.
We had plenty date nights at this Starbucks location, 6 years ago we made it our permanent territory. Every year we frequent here, the minute we walk in the employees know our orders. This strip is legendary, even over on 7th avenue, visiting Hershey store and M&M’s store as if we are tourists and not residents, constantly giggling and pointing at things we always see. Clare gets me every time because I tend to end up buying her all the things she asks for, from candy, mugs, chocolate, to sweatshirts. She owns all the M&M’s sweatshirt colors, in which they should give her a gig to advertise. She just had to “get one in every color.” I have a feeling she would wear one tonight because they are her “go to.”
I regain my confidence, turning back to the store, reminding myself that I put in enough effort to get this far. An eager customer brushes past me and he says, “Stop staring and push on! You look great by the way.” His voice was raspy and young. I turn to him as he walks through the doors. He’s right. I peek inside to find my love. Clare’s in the corner, engrossed in her book, “The Kat Trap” by Cairo. She was always into those erotica books. I take a deep breath, hoping tonight will go as planned.
She is wearing the yellow M&M‘s sweatshirt with gray leggings and her tan UGG boots. I wanted to match her style, but work took over and I chose to come straight here. Her hair is in a long ponytail with her bangs slightly above her glasses. She flips the page as she sips her iced medium vanilla soy with whip cream latte. With Clare working in Barnes and Noble as the Head Cashier, she taught me a thing or two about drink labels as she also helps in the café. I take a few steps back, as I ponder entering the coffee shop. My palms are sweaty, and my heart is beating rapidly.
I take the ring out my pocket and admire it. It’s a nice 5 carat rose gold ring that her mother helped me pick out. WOW. She’s going to love this! Can’t wait to make her the Mrs. Miller. I kiss the box and put it away, ready to face Clare. I’m sure she is thinking about what’s taking me so long.
The smell of coffee beans is in the air and it’s welcoming. I hear a barista shout, “Clare! Iced medium Caramel Frappuccino and Coffee cake.”
I see she ordered my usual. Always on point with the details.
“Hey Babe,” I said as I placed a kiss upon her vanilla latte lips. She smiles quickly after.
“Hey hun,” Clare looks at me with a smirk. I can tell her mind is going.
“Everything alright?” I ask and take a sip of my frap.
“Yes…” she hesitates and stares at me.
“Tell me how was your day?” I start off the conversation.
“It was good. Work was hectic as usual. But I sold the most memberships for the month. How about you?” She said as her eyes wander around the room.
Why is she so distracted? She is usually more focused than I am.
“Oh it was cool. Had to help the boss with his computer and installed new ones around the office. You know, the usual. I got dragged around the office and did some trips around the city. I think I might be getting promoted,” I said as I notice a young couple sit beside us, laughing and gazing at each other. The guy wipes the girls crumbs off her mouth with a napkin.
“Mmhmm, good to hear love,” she says but not with enough excitement for my liking. I reach in to kiss Clare. A sweet, subtle kiss.
She reaches for my hands. “You see this couple? That was really sweet. Must be nice to have someone do something nice for you just cause.”
Clare takes a deep breath. Her thoughts take over.“I wish you look at me that way. You don’t even clean my face like our neighbor here did to his woman. The only time you admire me is inside the house. Why can’t I feel cute and appreciated more…?”
I am baffled. What is she trying to say?! “Clare…what’s s going on? I see you are fallinginto a mind trap. Just what exactly are you getting at?” There’s a pique in my voice. The lovely couple sneaks a glance at me.
“Sit down. Please Clare.” I reach out for her hand.
She snatches her hand back, obliged and rolled her eyes. “What could you possibly say to me Jackson to fix things?”
“Oh, please Clare! Don’t act like you haven’t been all cooped up at work, always picking up hours. You only come to my house when you feel it’s necessary for you.”
“So, you telling me I don’t come to cuddle you at your convenience?! Don’t play with me Jackson. I’m basically there every damn day and when I can’t be there it is because of our work schedules. How dare you sit here and fix your mouth to say when it’s necessary for me! How about when it is necessary for you!” Clare pushes her seat back.
“Clare. Clare. Clare. You know how important my work is. I’m sorry my job is currently a priority.”
“And I’m not?!”
“I didn’t say that babe. Relax. Let’s take a breath.” I didn’t know Clare felt this way. Had I been out of touch this whole time?
I can tell she is holding back tears.
“Jackson. I love you. I can’t believe… I come… second to a phone, second to work, second to your mother, second to everything in your life—”
I interrupt. “Clare. Just don’t do this please. I love you. Not here.” My eyes start to water.
“Jackson, you just don’t understand!” she says. She buries her face in her hands as her shoulders shake.
I try to grab her hand, but she pulls away. “Baby, help me understand, please…I have something to say to you…”
“I’m sick of it!” she said blinking away tears and ruining her mascara. She grabbed her coffee, and I knew exactly what is coming next.
Everything happens quickly, I could see every muscle on her face used to look at me both angry and jealous. Her eyes wet like glass as the mascara runs down her cheeks. She throws the last of her drink on me. Caught up, I toss the ring on the table, bawling, and storm out before I am the one that gets escorted out.
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