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Monday, August 01, 2016

Caught Up (2)



It’s Saturday and the girls and I are at the mall. We shop a lot and we love it. We not only shop for things, we also shop for the hot men- the ones worth our time.

Lucy- a part of the Playgirls Club and my bestfriend, is talking about the social event her parents are planning and all the well-known people that are going to be there. She’s trying to convince us to show up with her because she has to be there in order to portray the perfect family. A family she can’t stand.
We’re talking about it when I hear someone calling me.

“Steph!”

No one calls me that.
Only one person called me that.


With a sinking feeling in my heart, I turn around and right in front of me- like a blast from the past, is Mike.

If you knew my entire story, you will probably say he’s my ‘One that got away’ and you will  be correct.
After what happened with him, I took my mission to toy with men’s hearts to another level. I became cold and ruthless and I had nothing to lose.

“Uh…Mike!”
I try to smile but I can feel each attempt collapsing.

“Um…what…I mean, what…are you…doing here?” I foolishly ask.

It’s a public place for crying out loud!

He’s smiling and that dimple I used to love is winking at me. God! He’s huge and his arms are probably packing muscles.

“Not even a hug?” he asks and moves to hug me. I want to escape but I can’t. As if he heard my thought, he pulls me into his arms and holds me tight.

This can’t be happening! It feels…it feels like coming home. But I have no home, I lost it when I lost him years ago.

We hear snickers from behind us and let go of each other. We turn to my friends who are still watching us but with surprise on their faces. I can see the laughter some are trying to hide. I would probably be laughing if someone had told me I will react this way again to a man- including him.
I guess I was wrong.

“Ladies, this is Mike. Mike, my friends…” I watch as Michelle moves slowly towards him, the look in her eyes, one of predator to prey and I step in front of him, blocking her.

“Actually, their names are not important," I conclude.

Michelle frowns at me before winking at him.
“We’ll let you catch up with your friend then. You know where to find us.”
With that, they leave and I turn back to him. I’m caught unawares when he hugs me again.

“I’ve missed you," he murmurs against my ear. It's hard trying to forget your dream girl.” And he releases me.

I look away, flushing. My fair skin gives me away. We are at the mall and I can’t seem to put myself together.

“How-” I’m interrupted by the voice of a child.

“Daddy!”

I look behind him and sure enough there’s a little boy running to us.

“You’re married?”
Shock has me gasping. My question comes out like an accusation.
Before he’s able to reply, the boy reaches us.

“You told me to wait that you were coming back.” This cute little man is pouting and he sounds whiny.

“But you didn’t!”
He’s frowning at Mike, then he clutches Mike’s leg as if he thinks Mike will disappear and leave him.

“I’m sorry dude. Forgive me?” Mike is now squatting, facing his son. He’s holding his palm out to his son. It doesn’t take long for his son to start smiling and place a small hand on top of his father’s.

“Me and you?” the little boy asks.
“Me and you," Mike assures him.

He lifts him up and turns to face me. They’re both smiling with identical dimples winking at me. They’re so cute and it’s like an arrow heading straight to my heart.

This could have been our son. This boy was a reminder that he’d moved on.
I look at his ring finger and though there is no ring, there is that mark that comes from wearing a ring for long.

“So you are married?” I ask again, not minding his little boy.

Mike looks uncomfortable. He spares a glance at his son before turning to me.

“I was," he finally says.
“Huh?”
“She died some years ago.”
“Oh…oh! Sorry.”

I’m bad at this. It’s awkward and I don’t know what else to say.

“It’s okay.” This from the little boy.
“She’s resting in heaven, right dad?” He looks to his father who nods. “Right.”

I fiddle with the strap of my bag.
“I’m gonna go. So…um…see you. Whenever.” I’m gesturing wildy with my hand.

Not ever, I hope. He moved on from me. Guys fight to be with me but he didn’t. He moved on. I guess we were never meant to be.

“Take care, whatever.” I turn to leave and he grabs my hand and turns me around.

“Steph.” My name comes out like a sigh.

“It was good to see you, I have to get back to my girls.”

I don’t struggle for him to release me. I don’t know what I am but one thing I’m sure of is that my happy mood is gone.

“Hold on," he says, releasing me. He reaches behind him for his wallet and manages to pull out a card while carrying his son.

“Call me. Let’s talk.”

I take the card, not that I’m going to call him.
Sensing my thought he asks for mine and I dumbly hand it over to him.

“I never got over you. Never.”
His voice is gruff with emotion and almost like a whisper. Nodding my head, I turn and flee.




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