The Marcelus Inquisition

When Prunella walked into the living-room, Marcelus was in there, sitting in his favorite chair by the fireplace. He scowled at her.

“Where have you been?” he demanded.

“I’m sorry I’m late.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“I was at the library.”

“Dressed like that?”

“No. I was wearing my denim jacket.”

“What were you doing at the library?”

“I went there to research information on who who started Black History Month.”

“Black History Month was created in 1926 in the United States when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History announced the second week of February to be ‘Negro History Week’ Woodson has been called the father of Black History.”

She stared at him in surprise. “Wow. I had no idea that you knew that.”

“I could have told you that if you had come to me.”

“Yes. It would have saved me a trip to the library.”

“Were you there alone?”

“Well, no–“

“Who were you with?”

“Marcelus–“

“As long as you’re living under this roof, what you do and whom you do it with is my business.”

He was right. If it weren’t for him, she wouldn’t even be here in Seattle. It was through FACES Africa, a non-profit organization which offered a sponsorship program for African high-school graduates like her who wanted to study at universities abroad but couldn’t afford to. Out of all the students he could have sponsored, he chose her. He paid for her tuition and provided room and board for her. She was indebted to him. “If you must know, I was with Daryl.”

“Who the devil is Daryl?”

What was wrong with him? Why was he acting like this? “He’s a guy from university. He’s in my Sociology class.”

“What was he doing at the library with you?”

“Well, we didn’t go together, if that’s what you think. I was there looking for information and he showed up. He was there to do some research on Johnston Smith, the African-American poet and Civil Rights advocate and Pulitzer-prize winning author of Burying Yesterdays.”

“How long were you at the library?”

“About two hours. I went there straight after my last class which was around 5:30.”

“And what about him? How long was he there for?”

“I don’t know. I left before he did. I’m hungry. Have you eaten as yet?”

His expression darkened. “No. I was waiting for you.”

“I’m sorry. I probably should have called to say that I would be late.”

“Yes, you should have.”

“I’d better go take a quick shower and then change into something that you would approve of.”

He rose to his feet. “Before you go, I need to ask you something.”

“Sure. What do you need to ask me?”

“Is there something between you and this guy, Daryl?”

She looked at him in surprise. His expression was guarded. “No,” she said. “We’re just classmates.”

“What about the other guys at the university? Are you interested in any of them?”

“No. I’m not interested in any guy in or out of the university. Why are you asking me all of these questions? And why were you grilling me a few minutes ago about where I’ve been and whom I’ve been with? Tell me, Marcelus. Tell me what’s on your mind.”

He ran his fingers through his hair, his expression tense as he met her inquiring stare. “I’m jealous,” he confessed.

She gawked at him. “Jealous?” she exclaimed.

“Yes. It makes me crazy thinking of you and another guy.”

“But, there isn’t another guy, Marcelus. Don’t you believe me?” She reached up and touched his face.

His heated gaze searched her upturned face. “I want to,” he muttered thickly.

“The reason why I’m not interested in Daryl or the guys at university or any other guy is because I’m mad about you.”

His eyes darkened. “Oh, Pru,” he groaned. “Je t’aime.” Reaching out, he pulled her roughly against her, startling her and his head swooped down. His mouth was on hers moving hungrily and putting her arms around his waist, she eagerly responded.

This lasted for a long time, then, he broke off the kiss to pick her up and carry her upstairs to the master bedroom where they made love. They ended up having a late dinner after a quick shower and change of clothes. They became lovers and then after she graduated from university, they got married in a small, elegant wedding ceremony.

Posted for February 2021 Writing Prompts – #17 – Burying yesterdays

Source: Wikipedia;

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