He was the first person I saw when I walked in. He had a familiar face, one that could easily be forgotten, but it was something about him that was unforgettable. I’d spoken to him a few times before, but never took an interest in actually conversing with him. He would not hesitate to greet me whenever I would enter the club. I guess it was just his way of letting me know he was there. I knew he was interested in me, I’d heard the talk amongst mutual friends, but he wasn’t the man I’d been looking for.
“Hey,” he said, “how ‘bout a game of pool?”
He knew exactly how to get my attention. I hardly ever turned down the offer to shoot a good, competitive game of pool. Besides, I was no rookie. I had become pretty skilled at wielding the cue stick; in fact, I prided myself on being able to hang with the “pool sharks,” locals who had mastered the art of billiards.
“Sure, I’ll break!” I responded, “I could use the practice.”
As I approached the wall rack that held the pool sticks, I could feel his eyes upon me. As I turned around, he attempted to look away quickly, you know that I wasn’t looking type of look. Yeah, I saw you, I thought. Don’t be embarrassed, Boo … I am looking sexy, ain’t I? He’d only ever seen me in jeans, a casual shirt, and sneakers … just the every day “kick back and chill” outfit. But on this day, I was wearing a cute, above the knee, black stretch denim skirt that clung to me like second skin. It had four gold vertical zippers that started at the waist and went the entire length of the skirt. I purposely left about four inches of each zipper undone, just enough to show a subtle hint of lower thigh. I wore a black tank top that accentuated my frontal, upper torso area quite nicely (if I may say so myself). I accessorized with black and gold sandals and jewelry. To complete the ensemble, I had on gold and black prescription shades that always looked good on me.
I have no idea what must’ve been racing through his mind. He fumbled with the balls to rack them and dropped two or three. I’ sure he had sneaked a peek at my legs. Each day, I would walk from one side of the city to the other, so my calves were gorgeous; they were to die for, and on this night, they almost killed him! Just the thought of it made me smile. He’d finished racking the balls and stood back while I leaned down to break. I could only imagine the view he was surely taking in. I drew back on the stick and thrust it forward with all the strength I could muster …
The cue ball soared to its destination and slammed into the lead ball with precision. CRACK! Ah! The sweet, undeniable sound of my favorite past time. I love this game! The clicking noise the balls made as they scattered across the table in every direction, hitting any ball that dared to cross its path, made the blood flow a little faster in my veins. My only concern were two … the cue ball and the eight ball. As all of the other balls stopped moving, the eight ball rolled ever so closely to the distant right, corner pocket … right to the edge … drop …drop, I remember thinking … finally, it did. Game over.
I hadn’t realized that others were watching the game, but from the reaction of the spectators, I knew I’d become a “semi-celebrity.” It’s really a big deal when the eight ball falls on the break. In most cases, it isn’t a slacker who accomplishes that feat. It’s usually someone who knows the game.
“Next,” I shouted , much to the delight of my newly formed fan club.
He couldn’t believe it! “You deserve a drink for that … what would you like?”
“Surprise me,” I said. “And rack ‘em again!”
We played a few more games with me winning four in a “best of seven” match. I felt so good, I couldn’t miss. Everything I hit fell … three railed bank shots; shots that required just the right amount of English to set me up for my next shot … nothing but pocket. I confidently strutted around the table, studying every shot and angle, knowing he was taking in my every move. He couldn’t focus on the game! It wasn’t my fault he was distracted by everything I did and said. The way I winked in his direction after each magnificent shot; the way I giggled at his jokes. I had him befuddled and bewildered … which was just where I wanted him.
Truth is, I began watching him, too; how he interacted with everyone around us. He had a wonderful of humor. He was so mannerly, such a complete gentleman. I’d never thought he was my cup of tea … nothing personal, I just never dated a man who had a dark complexion. I liked milk in my tea … liked my tea the way I liked my man … Hot, fresh, and light. It was at that moment I decided why tea? Why not a good stiff cup of black coffee? HMMMMM! That was a refreshing thought. After all, I was really enjoying his company.
Before long, others who were brave enough to take me on, were standing around waiting for their shot at me. I was lining folks up and knocking ‘em down! Nobody could get me off the table. I’d noticed that he’d come and stand next to me as I waited for the next rack, or between shots. We were getting to know each other quite well, and having a good time doing it. It was indeed a good night. After about three hours of play, I forfeited my winner’s stick; it was time to find a change of scenery.
“Let’s go dancing,” I suggested. “I feel like dancing.”
We walked in the next club and headed straight for the dance floor. He sure knew how to dance … put me to shame, too! I’d always been a great dancer! Now, across from him, I wasn’t so sure. He was so smooth the way he moved. He had footwork I had never seen before. We had so much fun! We laughed and danced and danced some more. Before we knew it, it was 2 a.m. Time for the club to close. I didn’t want the night to end … and I could tell he didn’t either.
“Where would you like me to drop you off ?”
Before I knew it, I said, “I wanna go with you.”
My response must have sent him into shock … he had been trying for the longest time to take me out on a date, and I kept refusing him simply because he wasn’t light enough. How shallow is that?
He opened his eyes widely and asked, “FOR REAL?”
“Yeah, I wanna go with you,” I said softly.
I know it wasn’t the best choice, having a one night stand; in fact, morally, it’s just plain wrong … but after spending the early evening with him, I knew we were destined to be much more than “wham, bam, thank you, Ma’am.” We had a wonderful time! He was so gentle, so attentive. I know it sounds cliché, but on that night I felt as if we were the only people on earth. We talked about the things we both wanted in our lives. From that moment on, my future was his future … and his future, mine. I knew this was the man that I would spend the rest of my life with. It wasn’t the sex that convinced me … it was much deeper than that. Before this day, we were both lost … and in that room, on that night we found each other. He was my tour guide to a place called Happiness, and I was the part of him he had been looking for. Years later he would tell me that I completed him.
It has been almost eighteen years since that night, and I must say we haven’t had many dull moments. He is now my husband, and I his wife. We have four children, each other, and a love for the Almighty God. HE strengthens and protects us. We’ve had some ups and downs, but who doesn’t? It’s all good, though. We’ve beaten the odds and are still playing the game called life. And together we’re winning.