His dark eyes stared into mine. He had the smooth, eggshellbrown skin and the straight black hair of people who had lived in the Southwest for thousands of years. "It's only a year and a half till you graduate," I said. "A diploma will help you get a job. And if you keep up with track, you could get a scholarship to UCLA."
He looked down at my hands. "Why?" I asked. "I don't know," he said. "I just don't wanna be there. I don't wanna be there all the time." "You think I like goin' to work?" "You like it enough," he said. " 'Cause if you didn't like it, you'd quit."
I could see that he'd made up his mind, that he'd thought about this decision for a long time. He probably had the papers for me to sign under his bed.
I was about to tell him no, that he'd have to stick out the year at least. But then the phone rang. It was a loud ringer, especially at six-thirty in the morning.
While I limped to the counter Jesus left on silent bare feet.
"Hello?" "Easy?" It was a man's voice. "John? Is that you?"
"I'm in trouble and I need you to do me a favor," John said all in a rush. He'd been practicing just like Jesus. My heart quickened. The little yellow dog stuck his nose out from under the kitchen cabinet.
I don't know if it was an old friend's voice or the worry in his tone that got to me. But all of a sudden I wasn't miserable or sad. "What you need, John?"
"Why'ont you come over to the lots, Easy? I wanna look you in the eye when I tell ya what we want." "Oh," I said, thinking about we and the fact that whatever John had to say was too serious to be discussed over the phone. "Sure. As soon as I can make it."
I hung up with a giddy feeling running around my gut. I could feel the grin on my lips. "Who was that?" Bonnie asked. She was standing at the door to our bedroom, half wrapped in a terry-cloth robe. She was more beautiful than any man could possibly deserve.
"John." "The bartender?" "Do you have to leave today?" I asked. "Sorry. But after this trip I'll have a whole week off." "I can't wait that long," I said. I gathered her up in my arms and carried her back into the bedroom. "Easy, what are you doing?" I tossed her on the bed and then closed the door to the kitchen. I took off my pants and stood over her.
"Easy, what's got into you?"
The look on my face was answer enough for any arguments she might have had about the children or her need for sleep.
I couldn't have explained my sudden passion. All I knew was the smell of that woman, her taste and texture on my skin and tongue, was something I had never known before in my life. It was as if I discovered sex for the first time that morning.
Copyright © 2002 by Walter Mosley
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