Kevin slept in the next morning, he walked downstairs and spotted Jessica on the balcony, doing yoga. “She’s going to be the death of me,” he whispered to himself. He stood there watching her, the way her body moved in those sexy yoga pants. “I need to go for a run, clear my head, get rid of some of this tension,” He left her a note, and even though all it said was, “Went for a run, be back in an hour,” she kept it.
“Oh great,” she hung her head in defeat. Am I ready to admit this to myself? I need my girls, that’s it, I gotta talk this shit out.”
She sent them both invitations on Zoom, so she could talk to both of them simultaneously.
Christen was the first to join, “Hey beautiful, it’s so good to see your face,” she greeted Jessica.
“Hello, doll face!”
Amanda joined a few seconds later and the girls giggled for a few seconds, excited to spend this time together.”
“I need to sort out some stuff in my head, and I need to do it with both of you, so I thought this would be a good way.”
“Oh, I can’t wait to hear what’s going on with you & Kevin, I need some exciting news in my life, I’m tired of being depressed from all of this crap, not to mention, we put Monster to sleep last night.”
“Monster was their pitty, they called him Monster because so many people give Pitbulls a bad reputation, but Monster was the sweetest dog I’ve ever met,” Jessica explained to Amanda.
After saying their condolences both Christen and Amanda patiently awaited Jessica’s story. Jessica filled them in on the bets and the dinners, she told them about certain conversations and how she’s scared to death that he might be it, but she doesn’t want to admit that, she needs more time, and then she filled them in on his confession.
“What are you scared of exactly?” Christen asked, “I mean I know you said you didn’t want to hurt him, but why don’t you want to admit that you love him? I knew you loved him when you told me he was making you dinner a few nights ago.”
“That’s what I’m scared of, that’s exactly it. If I already love him, once I admit it myself in means I’m allowing myself to fall. You guys know how I am, when I’m into something, I’m all in, he could have the power to destroy me.”
“But do you really think he would?” Amanda asked.
“No, but I’ve been fooled before.”
Jessica sat with her back to the skyline, so the girls could have a pretty view. She watched as Kevin walked in from his run, shirtless and sweaty.”
“Uh, Jessica, you want to share what you’re looking at?” Christen asked.
“I can’t actually show you, because he might see me, but Kevin just came in from his run, lookin’ all hot. I hadn’t seen him shirtless until now and he has this cross tattoo on his shoulder, and I don’t know why, but it’s so fucking sexy. He’s not exactly buff, but he has really nice biceps, and broad shoulders and he’s perfect for me, and I think he just caught me checking him out. Yep, yep. I’m totally busted.”
“Like what you see, sweet one?” he asked as he poked his head through the sliding glass door.
“I was just noticing how the glass needs to be cleaned.”
He chuckled, “Nice save.”
She bit her lip to try and keep from smiling, but he caught it.
“Hello Amanda and Christen,”, he walked over to the monitors, looking at them upside down. “I can’t wait to meet you both in person.”
“We’re looking forward to that too,” Amanda and Christen replied in unison.
“How did you know it was them?” Jessica asked.
“I just confessed my love to you, I think you love me, but you’re scared to admit it, you need to figure some things out in your head first, and I get that, but who better to help you with such a task than your closest girlfriends? The women you have spoken of so many times? The women you would give your life for? How am I doing?”
He walked around and put his arm around Jessica, looking at Christen and Amanda head-on. “It has been said that every brunette needs a blonde best friend, I can’t tell you how happy I am that this gorgeous brunette has two. Thank you both for always being there for my girl.” He kissed Jessica on the top of her head. “I’m going to go take a shower,” he walked away before any of them could say anything.
“Marry him” Amanda commented.
The girls started giggling.
“Now he’s got all of us giddy,” Jessica stated.
“Oh Jess, he’s a beautiful man, inside and out, why are you so scared?” Christen asked.
“My last boyfriend really hurt me, emotionally, physically, sexually. I think I come on too strong sometimes because of that, and I’m extremely timid at others, I just don’t know girls, can I do this again?”
“I think if you’re completely honest with him if you explain these things, he’ll be understanding, and if he isn’t, then you have all the answers you need,,” Amanda replied.
“I never really thought of it like that. I guess it’s not fair for me not to give him the chance, I mean, he’s been hurt before too, maybe that will make him all the more gentle with my heart.”
“Aww, I think so.” Christen agreed.
“Are you going to continue to take things slowly?” Amanda asked.
“Well, I don’t think either of us are in a hurry to rush things, but maybe when I feel the urge to kiss him again, I won’t hold back.”
Jessica decided to surprise Kevin for once. She ran around the house, gathering blankets, quilts, and pillows to build a fort. She draped them over the furniture, television, and big picture window. She moved the coffee table out of the way and laid a futon mattress on the floor in front of the sofa. She placed large pillows all around, so they could lean against the sofa or lay flat, whatever made them comfortable. Fortunately, she had already cut up pieces of cheese and washed the fruit, but still not wanting to take the chance of him catching her in the act, she texted him
“Please come downstairs in 20, not a moment sooner. :)”
Kevin chuckled at her message. “What’s my little vixen up to?”
Jessica made up the charcuterie board, placing it on a pretty wooden tray her dad had built her when she got her first apartment. She had made sweet tea, so she poured that into her favorite pitcher, and made another board with slices of lemon, lime, peaches, and raspberries, so he could but whatever he wanted in it. She realized she was running out of time, so she started literally running back and forth, setting up a dessert table with even more fruit, chocolate, and the angel wings she made the day before. She put ice in an insulated bucket, but in her rushing, she became clumsy and dropped a few cubes. “I’ll have to get those later,” she said to herself as if that would trick her into remembering. She strung up fairy lights around the edges of the blankets and lit a few candles. Pleased with herself, she stepped outside of the fort to find Kevin coming down the stairs.
“What’s all of this?” He asked.
“They’re calling for thunderstorms and I love thunderstorms, so I thought we could hang out in this pretty little fort, and watch the lightning and rain through the big picture window and get to know each other better, I’m talking deep, philosophical conversations, I want to know your views on aliens, religion, who you think the greatest man to ever walk the earth was or is. Your likes, your dislikes, what turns you on, what makes you incredibly angry. I hate small talk.”
“How do you do that?” he asked in amazement.”
“Keep me falling in love with you.”
She smiled, bashfully looking down at the floor, pushing a strand of hair behind her ear.
He stepped forward, wanting to hug her, but he slipped on an ice cube, Jessica tried to grab onto him to stop his fall, but he was stronger than her and pulled her down on top of him.
They both started laughing and she rested her head on Kevin’s chest, trying to regain her composer. She was laughing so hard, and Kevin knew he would never grow tired of that sound.
She pushed herself up just enough that she could turn her head to look at him, but she was still on top of him. Her lips were so close to his she could feel his breath on them. She wanted to close the distance, and just when she was about to lean forward, Kevin turned his head to sneeze.
She stood up and Kevin was kicking himself, “I think she was just about to kiss me. What the hell? Now my own body has it out for me?!” He thought.
“Shall we?” She opened the fort and motioned for him to step inside.
“This looks great.”
The got comfortable next to each other, facing the window.
“What’s one food you simply will not eat?” Kevin asked her.
“Eww, they’re so gross.”
“Right? I like cabbage, but I can’t do brussels sprouts.”
He couldn’t help but laugh at her irritation as she kept dropping pieces of food on her shirt.”
“I’m glad my clumsiness amuses you.”
“I think it’s adorable,” he paused to pick up an olive, which she dropped three times. “Here,” he said, placing the olive in her mouth.
Their eyes met, both of their pupils dilating, the tension in the air growing as dense as fog.
Jessica cleared her throat.
“If you could have dinner with three people, whom you’ve never met, who would they be?” He asked, quickly putting the nervousness behind them.
“Ringo Starr, Chef Wolfgang Puck, and Neil Degrasse Tyson.”
“Wow. Those are excellent choices, and not what I was expecting.”
“What were you expecting?”
“I don’t know, Brad Pitt?”
“Nah, he’s not funny enough.”
Kevin laughed, shaking his head, “God, you will never cease to amaze me.”
She held her glass of tea out as if to say, “Cheers,” before taking a sip.
“So Neil Degrasse Tyson, huh?”
She nodded in response.
“So you’re into astronomy?”
“Oh my gosh, yes. I love learning about our universe and multiple galaxies, it’s so cool. ‘Cosmos’ is one of my favorite shows.”
She was sitting Indian style on the mattress, she rested her hands on her ankles and closed her eyes as she began to talk. “Have you ever been to the mountains, deep, deep in the mountains, where there’s no ambient light, it’s just you, the trees, and the sky, glittered with so many stars, and you can see the milky way, and no matter how hard you try to tear your eyes away from the sky you can’t, because it’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen.”
Yes, but now I really want to do that with you.”
“We should, you know when all of this is over, I could take you to my hometown, back in Maryland, or Davis, West Virginia, which is only a few minutes away, blue ridge mountain views for miles and nothing but sky.”
“I would like that, very much.”
“It’s a date.”
They continued talking, laughing, and falling deeper in love. Neither of them could believe how amazing this felt, the levity between them, the pull between them, the instant connection that neither science nor Webster’s Dictionary could define.
Everything was going well and Kevin was starting to think he may have won her heart sooner than he thought, until,
“I’m sorry, Kevin, it’s my brother,” I have to take this call.
“That’s okay, I’ll just be in here waiting for you.”
She smiled at him while answering her phone, “Holla at ya sista.” She greeted.
There was a long moment of silence and Kevin watched as Jessica’s face fell. She stepped out of the fort and all he could hear was a muffled “What?”
He laid back on the mattress, leaning on his elbow. He watched her through the crack in the blanket as she paced the floor. Was she crying?
She hoisted herself onto the kitchen island, she was talking, but he couldn’t make out what she was saying. He didn’t want to eavesdrop, he wanted to make sure she was okay.
She put down her phone, hung her head, and sobbed.
Kevin thought his heart might literally break at the sight, he wanted nothing more than to fix whatever was wrong and make her happy again, which confused the hell out of him because he had never felt such compassion for anyone. He wasn’t cold-hearted, but he saw the world with Jaded eyes, but he saw her as clear as crystal. That difference drew him, and he was terrified at the rate he was falling.
She wiped her eyes and hopped off the island, making her way back to the fort. Kevin leaned up, popping a grape in his mouth, not wanting her to know he had been watching her. But as she walked back into the fort, hair matted to her cheeks and her eyes red from crying, he couldn’t help himself. He stood up and walked over to her, he didn’t say anything, he just wrapped his arms around her and held her close to him.
Stay tuned for part 5!
Love & life lessons,