“That sounds like trust issues Homer.”
“No that’s asking for respect,” I corrected.
“I have guy friends I’m cool with. Maybe not enough to lay up on the phone and talk to them but just because you see me talking to a man doesn’t mean I’m falling into his lap the same night behind your back. I have men in my phone that I talk to. That I’ve known for years.”
“Cut em off.”
Pia turned to look at me as I kept my focus on the ceiling with all the seriousness in me. I didn’t care one way or another. I want attention on me at all times. Fuck everybody else.
“I’m more than enough man for you. You feel like you gotta talk to another nigga on the phone, call me. You smiling in another man’s face, I better be the one---”
“Are you kidding me? Homer?” she laughed. “You can’t be serious!”
“You hear me laughing?” I asked, turning towards her, “I don’t play that.”
“You’re being possessive! I can’t even talk to---”
“No. Talk to me. Especially if you end up being my wife? My wife, and you still entertaining other men?”
“It’s not entertaining them. I have friends---”
“Men and women can never be friends Pia. I’m your man, and you see I’m on the phone talking to a woman about everything under the sun. You telling me you wouldn’t feel a way?”
“I mean… I would want to know where she came from. Maybe it's not you, it's her I wouldn’t trust---”
“Exactly. It’s not you, it's the niggas you talking to I don’t trust. Any man talking to a woman on the phone and texting her while she’s in a relationship, and know she’s in a relationship thinks they got a chance. I don’t want to leave any room for that. If you feel like you gotta talk to other men, then I’m not doing something right or you’re not ready for a relationship. It’s that simple, and plus? We got a child together. Who you talking to other than me at this point? I should be the first on the list of messages. First on yo contacts, first everything because of what we have together.”
“You act like I don’t have any other options outside of you Homer.”
“I never said---”
“Because if you went through my phone now, you’d be surprised. Especially my DMs. Tuh, you’d probably recognize some of the names too.”
I started to fix my mouth to speak before my brows came together to look at her.
“Anyway,” she continued, “I’m not the jealous type.”
“I am, and I don’t give two fucks what anybody got to say about it.”
“I like dates where we stay in and watch a movie. Maybe some late night cuddling. Something I can be close to my daughter without always having to involve her. I’m not really into the lounges or club scene.”
“I’m not either,” I admitted. One thing Nasia had over me. She still liked to party, and be in the mix of things. I rather do grown shit. Leave that for the young kids that are into the loud music, and getting drunk. Gets old after a while.
“I like to get out though,” I added, “but I’m old school. Restaurant, and movies. Jazz in the park. Cruises, and vacation spots. I like grown adult shit.”
“Jazz in the park sounds nice,” she said as she laid comfortably on the bed. Adjusting her pillow and moving Violet to sleep on the other side of her, we ended up closing the gap between us. Naturally blending in our body heat together as I smiled to myself.
“I wanted to give her some more room,” she muttered, distracted as she tried to get Violet to be comfortable beside her. I laid back with both arms tucked behind my head until I stretched one out, reaching to touch my daughter’s head.
“I like to watch old movies over and over again,” she continued, laying back down beside me until my outstretched hand met hers. “I love comedies the most.”
“That’s my favorite too,” I said, locking my fingers with hers, “I always gotta have food when I watch something.”
“Me too,” she laughed, “I don’t know how people can watch the TV screen without food in their hand to be honest. I am a numbers girl. I like to make sure I have everything in order. I’m practical. I have to be with a child.”
“Same,” was all I could say as I closed my eyes.
“Are you falling asleep Homer?”
“Mmmm hmm,” I hummed, gently rotating and massaging her ring finger in my hand.
“Family will probably be the only thing we’d have to worry about. My parents and your sisters…”
“My sisters don’t have a choice. Yo mama on the other hand?” I yawned. “Fuck her. If we ever get married, and you move out here with me?”
“What makes you so sure I would move to South Carolina?”
“Because if I’m your husband, you’ll love me enough to do it,” I stated easily as she laughed. “When you come out here? She’s not welcomed near my home or near Violet. Yo pops called me up to apologize a few times on her behalf too but nah. That relationship is dead before it even started. If she wants to see her granddaughter, you take her to Georgia. I don’t even want her at the wedding.”
Pia didn’t say anything, but I could feel her hand still moving in mine before she turned over on her side to face Violet.
“She wouldn’t come to the wedding if she was invited,” she muttered, “I’m afraid I wouldn’t have much family show up on my side anyway. The thought of me getting married is…” she sighed, “first man to propose to me? He dumped me for who I thought was my friend, and ended up marrying her instead. I get to see their love display all over social media with their baby… she still reaches out to me every so often to check in on me, and actively talks to my parents and family. They both do, and in some twisted world?” she yawned again with her voice trailing lightly into her sleep, “I believe they really fell in love and didn’t mean to hurt me in the process, but love is love right?”
I didn’t say anything. Just enjoyed her hand in mine.
“Maybe that’s why it didn’t hurt as much with Dre because I knew eventually he would leave me too. I don’t think I will ever allow myself to fall that deep in love again with another man.”
I opened my eyes at that statement, listening to the rise and fall of her chest before falling back to sleep.