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“Zay? Where are you?” I thought anxiously to myself. Our date night was to celebrate my pre-18th birthday since I would be out of town for two weeks. But so far, it seemed like I was being held up. X’Zavierr never did these things to me so I was worried. Suddenly my phone rang. That sweet tune always lit up my heart the same way it lit up my caller ID. X’Zavierr had personally written a jazz lullaby especially for me and I had it set to everything. My ring tone, my alarms, my callback, everything.
“Hello?” My voice was shaky as I anticipated the worst
“Baby, I am so so sorry. I got held up at work, but I am on my way. Give me just a few more minutes, please?” He, on the other hand, sounded frenzied.
“Alright, Zay, but I am upset you know.” I was staring dejectedly into the darkness ahead of me.
“I know. I’m even more upset because I messed up your whole evening.” His voice really did sound frustrated. He was three times remorseful, twice as furious and five times more filled with love than I was just a few seconds ago. I couldn’t understand what was going on. He had called me today while I was working my shift at 21, asking me to meet him at his place for a “special night under the stars”. I’m a sucker for moonlit walks, dinners on the terrace at his house or just simply relaxing under the trees in his moms backyard. In those times we would be talking, thinking, communicating and sometimes reveling in each other’s presence in the silence. X’Zavierr could mend anything, even broken spirits like mine was now.
“Zay,” I whined, “It’ll be okay. Where are you now?”
“Doin’ ‘75 down Casca Lane. I’m three streets, a stop sign and two turns away and counting every minute till I see your beautiful face.”
I loved a romantic guy. But something about the way X’Zavierr romanticized me was different from all the other guys who were just trying to impress me. He was constantly complimenting me on my good points and when I asked, he could even give me constructive criticisms. I had talked to other guys who would give those “pleasing” answers. For instance if you asked, “What do you think I should work on to improve my attitude?” I would receive, “Baby, you are already perfect. You don’t have to do a thing.” Those were major turn-offs for me. But when I met X’Zavierr, I asked him the same thing and he gave me an honest manly reply. “I think that if you wanted to work on your attitude, you could remember to put out three times more compliments and one-half the amount of criticisms that you would generally say. That’s what helps me.” He related it all back to himself so that I could see that I wasn’t the only one with mistakes. His constructiveness was beyond anything that I could have asked for. It helped me to see that I’m not perfect in everything but I am great in a lot of things. That’s what I always wanted in a man…
“Aww…” I had to get my head back into the conversation, “See? It’s all better.”
“Not till I see you it’s not.”
“Well, don’t crash, Lover Boy. I’ll be here waiting.” I snickered while twirling my curly locks. I could feel my toes tingling with joy and anticipation. “Who loves you?” I asked knowingly.
“I love you, Vitani and now I can show you.”
“What?” I was puzzled.
“Look out the window.” His voice had grown husky.
I looked to see what he was talking about. There he stood with a fistful of flowers and a beautiful pastel envelope with fresh candles and a box of chocolates. I rolled down the window playfully.
“Sir, may I help you?”
A sly smile appeared on his face and his brow wrinkled in that adorable way it did when he was up to something. He draped his navy blue American Eagle jacket over his arm gracefully and opened my door. After taking my hand lightly, he bowed at the waist; his voice dripping with passion as he spoke.
“Madame, it is my pleasure to present you with this token of my highest esteem and,” here he paused, looked my deeply in my eyes and kissed both palms of my hands before continuing, “please you tonight.” I couldn’t suppress my squeal of ecstasy.
“Then with all respect, kind Sir, what should I be to keep a gentleman like yourself away from what pleases you?”
He helped me out of the car, wrapped me in his jacket and walked me up the steps on his arm. When he stepped in the doorway, he turned on the lights then led me to his room. Although Zay still lived at his parents, I felt like this was the most romantic night of my life.
“Vitani Jade?” He whispered as he caught me up.
“Yes, Mr. Houston?” I replied awestruck.
“I really do love you. In the simplest way possible.”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way X’Zavierr Marquel.”
He bent down, placed his lips close to my ear and whispered, “I don’t want you to be afraid, Vi. I want to protect you, Vitani, and keep you happy always. Be patient with me while I try.”
“Why wouldn’t I be, Zay? I love you too. Simply, wonderfully, blissfully, extremely, completely, humbly, sincerely, truly. I’m yours. Always and Forever. Remember?” I stroked the back of his head and leaned onto his chest before wrapping my arms all the way around him. Each time I held him that way, I tried to hold on as if I could never be torn apart; as though I could keep him with me for just that one last minute; as though we’d always be together as one.
“Yes, I remember. Always and Forever.” He took my hands and kissed the palms again. The warmth of his breath caused my stomach to quiver. Butterflies were rising higher and higher inside of me. Zay didn’t touch me sexually very often, because he didn’t have to. Our love wasn’t something that had to be proven. It was established and it existed most definitely. Sometimes I felt almost sad when he talked this way. It was almost as if he were trying to say, “Goodbye.” I never wanted to hear him say that to me. Now, I was content to remain here in the center of his room, in his embrace, standing quietly. He had my favorite jazz playing softly in the background and it seemed as if the rest of the world had melted away into a land that didn’t exist. Then he pulled me close and tightened his grip around me. Firmly he held me. Gently he squeezed me. Tightly he pulled me. Fiercely he loved me. In that moment, I knew that nothing else really mattered in the world. As long as we had our love, we could survive anything.
We began to dance around the room, laughing. It was then that I noticed he had pushed all of his furniture to the far wall and tea candles were slowly burning, casting small soft shadows around the room. I could smell the tropical scent of Febreeze that he always used. The small bouquet of deep red and vivid purple flowers had been set on his dresser next to the heart-shaped box of Ghiraldelli chocolates. My eyes fell blind as I surveyed the room and it’s magnificent beauty. As many times as I had been to X’Zavierr’s room, I had never seen it look so strikingly stunning as it did now. Even though it was the same room I had been in numerous times, he had gone to the extra effort to make it seem like a real romantic get-away and that made me see it in a whole different light. It was truly set up for romance. Simple romance; the way we both liked it. Simple meant that neither of us were pressured to do, say or be anything other than our true selves.
“Vitani,” his voice instantly brought me back to reality, “I want you to know how much I care for you. Always remember I’m here for you.”
The touch of his lips against mine was more like a caress. It was a imitation of the feeling you get when you’re on a boat and the seas are smooth and the sun is fading behind you. Dolphins sing. Pelicans fly above. The world is a paradise that was meant for two people alone. I embraced his kisses with a passion so intense that I felt as though I was flying. No one in the world was experiencing as much joy as I was in that instance. I was only a girl once; that’s true. But to be X’Zavierr’s girl was more than a privilege. I didn’t want it to end. I didn’t want any pauses or breaks or rests. The symphony we made together was a two part harmony that I repeated over and over in my mind day after day faithfully. Who knew when I would next kiss him this way?
He stepped back and took a look at me. I sighed happily as I looked in his face. He knew just how to make me happy. Being simple, that was a treasure. It was the biggest thing he could do. I counted the small tokens as more than eight times their weight in gold. I leaned back; holding on to his hand. We took seats next to each other on the small black couch in the corner. We could’ve talked about our careers. We could’ve reminisced on memories of the past. We could’ve planned our future together. We could’ve laughed at childhood memories. But…we didn’t. Instead, we held hands and looked out at the moon glowing with the silver stars. He brushed back my curls and we looked into the other’s heart. There I could read pages of excitement and desire and in turn, he wrote on the walls of my heart. No talking was necessary to communicate, for we could plainly see what everyone else was blind to.
Sometimes I would wonder if all that we had together was an imitation of love. Like faux leather. But in the dark, I had no doubt that whatever would be, we would face. As the music played tenderly, he reached his arm around me and I rested my head against his chest. He played in my hair while I drew small hearts and our initials into his dark gray Polo. Why did so many people seem to be so complicated? Wasn’t it just about being content? Learning to give of yourself before asking? I think we had it figured out and we perfected it; customized the concept to fit our relationships.
There was so much more our relationship than people saw on the outside. We were always more than just a couple. We had what every 15-year-old girl dreams of while she sleeps at night. We were connected in an unimaginable way, but there was no bond forcing us to stay together like the magnetic poles of nuclear rods. We held to each because we knew that apart from each other, we would fall. X’Zavierr was my very first boyfriend, yet somehow, it seemed as if I had known him my whole life. I wasn’t his first girlfriend, but that was alright with me because I was his only girlfriend. In a way, X’Zavierr and I had a brother and sister bond; we were tied to each other in a familial sort of way. He protected me and watched over me. I was motherly and protective. One aspect of our relationship that changed my whole look on the “couple thing” was the fact that we were still allowed to have friends outside of each other. Neither of us tolerated jealousy, and we both understood and respected the other’s need for company outside of a relationship. Zay didn’t mind that I had a lot of guy friends. In fact, he once told me he would consider it suspicious if I didn’t. I wasn’t bothered that he had female friends either. Sometimes, I could be worrisome and I understood his need for space yet true feminine friendship.
X’Zavierr and I did almost everything together. He knew how to make me laugh when I was almost about to cry. He would hold me close while I fought over the tears and struggles that would not come out. And when those times we’re over, he was always on the other side with a word of encouragement, practical advice and a simple reminder of who I was and how much I meant to him. X’Zavierr changed my life, and I was changing his too.
But all too often, it seemed as though we lived for saying, “Goodbye.” I didn’t like that.
There in his room, he sighed and leaned his head against the back of the leather couch.
“Zay? What’s wrong baby?” I had sensed slight apprehension ever since he called me. Now the feeling was coming back.
“Well baby, you know, I’ve been thinking.” He paused. His hazel green eyes rolled across the black silk sky then to me. He held my gaze and I forgot my doubts and fears. Nothing could be so bad when I still had the opportunity to look into his delicious eyes.
“Do you ever find it difficult?”
I was slightly confused. I had completely missed his meaning.
“Difficult to do what?” I could feel myself savoring his scent of fresh shaved skin cream and coconut lotion.
“Well, I mean….Difficult to stay away from me physically. To not want me. Do you ever find it difficult to refrain from being sexual with me?”
Now I completely understood his meaning. And misinterpreted the tone of the room.
“X’Zavierr, there is NOTHING easy about keeping myself away from your body. I struggle with it on a more-than-daily basis. I think about it often but even more so when you make me feel so special and pampered like I do now. If you only knew how hard it is to keep my hands to myself and my mind off of your body. If you only knew how hard it is to not want to beg for more every time you kiss me. If you only knew how much I struggle with the desire of wanting to explore your body in the quiet. So, yes. I find it extremely difficult. Why do you ask?” I knew there had to be some motive behind his thoughts.
“I was curious.”
I kept quiet, knowing if I did, he would continue.
“I had a very hard time with it today. I thought all about tonight, the whole time I was at work. I planned every minute of what would happen here tonight. I even had my mother light the candles before I called you. I want to share myself with you in every sense of the saying. But I can’t Vitani. Just lately, it’s even more difficult than usual because I find you so appealing…and sexy. But see that’s just it! I want you, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I could have you! But I must wait. I WILL wait. You’re worth the wait and ALL the struggle I can possibly go through each day to stop myself from going too far.”
“X’Zavierr, you do know that you already make me happy enough right?”
He kept his arm around me and continued panning through the stars as if they would give him his answer. But he didn’t look at me, or answer.
“I couldn’t be more ecstatic with your decision to wait. What you just told me is my personal fairy tale dream come true. Well, one of them. I’m glad you will wait, because even though it is a battle, I want to and I WILL wait for you too.” I held my breath and gazed up at him. Even sitting down, X’Zavierr was inches taller than me. “I love you,” I said putting my head down. I began to play with a stray strand of fabric between the cushions. I said those words persuasively as if to convince him that they were the reason behind my decision.
At those words, he looked down at me and smiled. He lifted my chin and I saw his eyes glisten. The moonlight reflected through his window and fell upon his light brown skin, making it radiate. As he spoke, I began to feel both relieved and anxious. I anticipated his next words.
“Vitani Jade, I am positively thrilled that you feel the same way too. I love you.”
He made a little move, almost a jerky one, as if he were hesitating. Then he pressed his lips to mind. In the moment, I was caught up. I forgot all. I focused only on him and the passion that was thick in the air. The heat from his mouth was permeating. It enveloped my whole body at once and invited me in. Just as soon it began, it ended and I was looking at him with pleading eyes. It’s often funny how I never think of how he sees me until after the fact.
“No Vi. I can’t. Not now.”
“I know, and I am sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just that….well your kisses are so sensual and vibrant. They’re irresistible and I really can’t have just one.”
“I know. I feel that way too.” He crossed himself to turn to face me on the couch. He took both of my hands and looked straight into my eyes. At these times, I felt like such a small child, but still, I felt protected.
“Vitani, I won’t compromise your reputation or your body. But I do want to express myself so that you know exactly where I stand. I want to have a very intimate, personal, sexual, one-to-one down time with you. Right now, yesterday at the party, tomorrow when we go to the movies, Thursday next week if we’re ever alone. I’ve got to have you! But I love you more than the feeling that I have to express that love for you by condoms and birth control pills. I can wait. And I know that if I do, our time together will be significantly more pleasurable because you will be the first woman I would have ever slept with. You see, my relationship with you goes beyond the bounds of sex. It’s not contained in that realm and it doesn’t revolve around that concept. I love you now, I loved you then, I’ll love you tomorrow and I’ll just have to wait until you marry me Miss Ri’chard.”
“Well, Mr. Houston,” and I embraced his neck by interlocking my fingers behind his neck. "THat is one thing I can not WAIT to do..."