He had just finished making a business call when he noticed Cyiarra. She was sitting alone at a table having a glass of wine. It had been a year since the last time he saw her. He walked over at once and her face broke out into a big smile. When he reached her, she got up and exclaimed, “Ajay, fancy running into you here,” before she hugged him.
He hugged her back, thinking she felt really good. “You look great,” he remarked when they separated. She did in that black dress which hugged her figure and she had taken out the braids. Her natural hair looked better.
“Thanks. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how gorgeous you look.”
He felt his face get hot. “Are you waiting for someone?”
She nodded. “Yes, but you can sit and chat with me until he gets here.”
He sat down. “So, who’s the guy you’re waiting for?”
“Someone a co-worker set me up with.”
“So, this is a blind date.”
“Yes. What about you, what are you doing here?”
“I’m having dinner with a client.”
“Man or woman?”
“Is she single?”
“Are you sure it’s just a business?”
He smiled. “It is, I swear.”
She didn’t look very convinced. “I always thought that you were a bit of a flirt when we were at high school and it got worse when we were in university. I used to watch you. You were always surrounded the cheer leading type of girls.”
“Were you jealous?”
“Yes. You must have known that I had a huge crush on you.”
“I didn’t. You had a funny way of showing it. Every time I saw you you were talking to that guy, what’s his name. The one who won the ugly sweater contest two years in a row.”
She laughed. “Oh, that was Malcolm. He was a really sweet guy.”
“He was always hanging around you. It was obvious that he had a crush on you.”
“I guess he did. I’m surprised you noticed, though.”
“I noticed everything about you.”
Her heart skipped a beat when she saw the expression on his face. “So, why didn’t you ask me out?”
“I don’t know. I guess I was nervous and afraid that you’d turn me down.”
“Turn you down?” she exclaimed. “Are you serious? I would have jumped at the chance to go out with you.”
“What about now?” he asked. “Would you jump at the chance to go out with me?”
“Are you asking?”
He was about to answer when his date walked in. “She’s here.”
Cyiarra followed his gaze. The woman making her way over to the table by the window was stunning. The elegant red slim pants suit flattered her slim figure and accentuated her olive skin. Her black hair fell in thick waves past her shoulders.
Cyiarra looked at Ajay. “She’s stunning.” She couldn’t help being jealous.
“Yes, she is but I’m not attracted to her or anyone else.” His eyes were riveted to her face. “I’ve eyes only for you, Cyiarra.”
Cyiarra’s pulse quickened. She took a sip of the wine.
He reached into his pocket for his wallet. He opened it and took out a business card. He jotted down his number on the back and gave it to her. “This is in case things don’t work out between you and this guy.”
She looked at him. “Are you hoping that they won’t?”
“Yes,” he admitted before standing up. “It’s good to see you, Cyiarra.”
“It’s good to see you too.” She didn’t tell him to enjoy his dinner.
He walked away.
Cyiarra watched him, wishing that she was having dinner with him instead of this other guy. She glanced at her watch. He was five minutes late. Not good. It would be embarrassing if he didn’t show up. She was about to take another sip of wine but decided that it would be a good idea having too much on an empty stomach. She was hungry. Where was he?
Just then, a tall and very attractive African American man suddenly materialized in front of her. “Good evening,” he said. “I apologize for being late. The traffic was bad. I hope you haven’t been waiting too long.”
She waved his apology aside. “No, I haven’t been.”
He stretched out his hand. “Cyiarra, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Keenan.”
He sat down. “Brie didn’t mention how beautiful you were.”
Cyiarra smiled. He seemed like a nice guy but every now and then, her eyes drifted over to the table by the window. A couple of times she noticed that Ajay was looking in her direction.
Dinner was pleasant but by the end of it she knew without a doubt that it wouldn’t be a second date. She smiled at Keenan. “Keenan, thanks for a lovely dinner. I enjoyed it very much. You’re a really nice guy but…”
“…but, you’re not interested.”
“Well, it was nice meeting you any way. I wish you all the best.”
“Thank you, Keenan. It was nice meeting you too.”
“Do you need a ride?”
“To the subway would be fine, thank you.”
While he paid the bill, she pulled on her jacket and grabbed her handbag. As she stood up, she looked across the room at Ajay. He was watching her. She wanted to go over and say goodnight but decided not to.
She called him in the morning. That evening they went for dinner and dancing. A year and a half later, they got married.