“Why don’t you date black men?” Yolanda demanded. “Every time I try to set you up with one, you’re not interested.”
“I’m not attracted to black men, Yolanda.”
“Why not? There are so many fine looking black single men out there.”
“I can’t help that I’m not attracted to them.”
“What kind of men are you attracted to then?”
“Well, I have a weakness for Indian men–“
“Indian men?” Yolanda shook her head, her medium brown curls brushing against her medium brown face. “Indian men are interested in black women for only one reason. They want the experience of sleeping with one.”
“Are you telling me that black men aren’t guilty of the same thing?”
“At least they end up marrying black women. Indian men marry their own women.”
“Some do and some don’t. I’ve seen a lot of blindian couples.”
“Yes, Black women and Indian men.”
“I’m sure very few lead to marriage.”
“What about black men who date women of other races, don’t you have a problem with that too?”
“Of course, I do. Those are the ones who are brainwashed into thinking that black women aren’t good enough and that they are better off marrying White or Asian women. They think they have arrived when they marry White women. Those men disgust me. Most of them end up in a bitter divorce and custody battle. There are many black men out there who love black women. You could easily find yourself one but no, you prefer to run around with Indian men who just want to sample you.”
Audra’s mouth tightened. “I don’t have to stand here and be insulted by you. I’m a grown woman and I can date whomever I damn well please. If I want to date Indian men, that’s my choice. Look at it this way, you’ll have more black men to choose from. It’s five-thirty. I’ve got to go. I’m meeting Charan for dinner.”
“How long have you been dating him?”
“We have been in a relationship for four years.”
“Do you think that he’s going to marry you?”
“I don’t know but if he asks me to marry him, I will definitely say yes because I love him.”
“Does he love you?”
“Yes. I’ve really got to go. So long, Yolanda.”
“Good luck, Audra. You’re going to need it.”
Audra didn’t answer. She turned and walked away.
Yolanda watched her go, shaking her head again. She would never understand why black men and women would prefer to date people of other races when they should be dating each other. When she got married and had children, she would make sure that they didn’t date outside of their race.
Charan was waiting for Audra got to the restaurant. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw him and her steps quickened. He stood up and they hugged and kissed before they were shown to their table. He helped her to remove her jacket, murmuring, “You look amazing,” when he saw the black cocktail dress she was wearing.
She smiled as she sat down. “Thank you. And you look handsome as usual.”
He sat down opposite her, his eyes intent on her and she could see the admiration shining in them. “Thank you. Before we have dinner, there’s something very important I would like to ask you.”
She stared at him. He looked very serious all of a sudden. Please don’t let it be bad news, she prayed. “What is it?” she asked.
“You and I have been dating for over four years now. And we’ve been very, very happy. So, I think it’s time that I held your hand, looked into your beautiful eyes and ask this question which has been burning in my heart ever since the day I realized that I was head over heels in love with you: Audra Martin, will you marry me?”
Audra gaped at him, her heart racing. She watched as he placed a little black box in front of him. With tears in her eyes, she nodded. “Yes, I will marry you, Charan Laghari.”
He released her hand to open the box and gingerly removed the exquisite diamond and gold ring. Smiling, he slipped it onto her finger before raising her hand to his lips. “Thank you,” he murmured. “You’ve made me a very happy man this evening.”
Audra dabbed her eyes with the napkin. “And you’ve made me a very happy woman.”
The waitress arrived then to take their orders. When she returned with their drinks, he lifted his. “Let’s make a toast.”
Audra raised hers.
As their glasses touched, Audra couldn’t help thinking about her conversation with Yolanda earlier that day and how much she was looking forward to telling her about her engagement.