“How long is this going to take? I got things I need to do,” Lu impatiently implied as she tapped her foot on the floor. I glanced at my watch on my wrist before looking up with another sigh.
“Is this place always this busy?” Indigo asked.
“Not usually but it's lunch time so everyone is grabbing a bite,” I said with a flip of my hair off my shoulders.
The lunch crowd was full of suits and interns running around like maniacs trying to complete tasks. Others were busy typing away on their phones while some sat down refusing to eat. Attempting to take calls in the noisy food court. I could spot a few of Percy’s colleagues and partners, and see a few clients walk out of the building with security. Any time you saw someone of importance in the entertainment industry they were almost always coming from Percy’s office.
“He knows I asked to meet with him today so I don’t understand why he’s so late,” I muttered, looking around as I smiled at a few men openly gawking at the three of us. Tallulah drew attention wherever she went. Especially when she wore her hair in those knots with beads and gold clips. Indigo thankfully threw on a baseball cap to cover up her snow white hair but to the outsiders, they looked out of place. Basic and almost ghetto in certain circles around here when standing next to me especially, but to me? They were the coolest girls I know, and I always found myself somewhat insecure to stand by them.
“Lu, have you been using that stuff on your face like I told you?” Indigo asked as Lu rolled her eyes. She was breaking out again, and it was all along her chin and jawbone where the dark spots seemed darker than normal.
“It doesn’t work---.”
“It won’t work Indie. I’m telling you----There he is. PERCY?!” Lu yelled as I clamped my mouth with embarrassment, trying not to laugh. Percy was walking out of the elevator with a client, purposely ignoring us until he finally turned in our direction.
“You can tell he used to fuck around here,” Lu mumbled. “Look at how these women watch him.”
“I know you’re just nervous so I’m going to ignore that comment,” I said with a smile. Lu threw her hands up and walked off with a groan as Indigo took her place. “What’s her deal? Honestly? What’s the worst he can say?”
“I don’t know. If it's not her skin that makes her insecure, it's the thought of dating out… It would make anybody nervous and if Percy can set her up with somebody? That means she’s forced to go on a date and actually make an effort to connect with someone outside of what she’s used to.”
“A black man?” I asked. Indigo pursed her lips in response.
“Trav has been calling and stalking her nonstop so it could be that she’s still dealing with his mess but she knows he’s not good for her at the end of the day. They’re not good for each other. Both of them are toxic to one another. Time apart is good for them because I know like she knows, she’s going to go crawling back to him which is why I asked for you help.”
“With setting her up with someone,” I finished.
“Someone that’s above Travis… A man with class or about something that can show her how she’s really supposed to be treated. Not like a damn fetish.”
“You think he treats her like a fetish?” I asked, shocked. I never picked that up from Travis but I’ve only seen him a handful of times and either Lu was over the top happy with him or she was going off, mad and upset. There was no in between.
“No but he’s not the only white man she’s dealt with… I think Travis fucks anything with a hole between the legs so trust and believe he doesn’t treat her like a fetish, trophy or prize.”
“Sorry for being late.”
Percy walked up just in time, unbuttoning his jacket as we awkwardly stood together. He pushed his glasses up, looking me over with a subtle nod of approval at my attire.
“I don’t have much time to waste, I barely had time for this lunch so---.”
“We have a table over here,” I said quickly before he started to get on my nerves. Quicker we could do this, quicker he and I could separate. We grabbed the chairs where Lu sat to herself, texting on her phone. Percy noticeably pulled his chair closer to mine while my legs crossed over into his space with my ankle gently resting against his leg. Little things like that I was starting to notice between us.
“It wasn’t easy,” Percy said. “And I hope to God you will not look like this when you do go out with---.”
“What’s wrong with how I look?” Lu pressed.
“The people in my circle are not interested in the colorful ethnic charade you have going on. You need to be classy. Look appropriate. We have dinners, meetings, places to be, people to meet constantly and if you look like that? Nobody is going to want to be around you. Jasmine showed me some pictures but I decided to go with this one,” he said, showing his phone. It was a picture of Lu sitting on a park bench with her hair just shoulders with an ice cream in her hand. Sunglasses on in mid laughter wearing a simple jeans, and a white t-shirt.
“Nigga are you serious?!” She blurted out with a laugh. “I was like fucking 19 in this picture! I don’t look anything like that!”
“Well that’s the picture I showed them. I didn’t like any of the other pictures. Your face up close isn’t…”
Percy grew quiet as Lu’s brows shot up, giving me a warning look.
“Best fran, permission to go off on chicken nugget for a dick brother in law?”
“Hold on you two,” I laughed nervously with my hand on Percy’s arm. “Percy I gave you the pictures that were up to date and appropriate---.”
“Nobody was going to bite if they saw those pictures---.”
“You don’t know that and you shouldn’t be the deciding factor---.”
“If you’re coming to me asking to be set up with my friends, my family, and my colleagues, you’re representing me and my taste,” he stated with a firm tone.
“So how many people are interested in her?”
“Yes, tell me how many are interested in dating a child,” Lu snapped.
Percy pushed his glasses up as he began to shift through his phone.
“Three men in my inner circle who are all attorneys are interested. There are two more that showed interest but have yet to confirm a date or time they want to meet so I’m waiting on that today and one of my clients saw your picture by accident and asked who you were and if you were single. I declined because he’s a rapper highly addicted to whatever and can barely function enough to sit in front of me to discuss his current case, but I’m sure he’ll continue to ask.”
“A rapper?” She asked with interest as Indigo groaned.
“You just heard this man say the rapper is on drugs---.”
“A little juju can fix that. Maybe I can get to the root of his problems and why he’s on---.”
“No,” we all said together as Lu sat back with her arms folded across her chest.
“So three dates,” Indie smiled proudly. “When is her first one?”
“In a few hours actually. His name is Harrison,” Percy said, showing her a picture as we all leaned in close to see a handsome black man smiling in his headshot in front of a tree. Wide face with, almost looked a bit hulkish in size. Lu slowly leaned back in her chair, unimpressed.
“I don’t have good luck with black men,” she said plainly.
“Well everyone minus one that’s interested is black so I don’t know what to tell you,” Percy said as Indigo silently thanked the heavens.
“I’m going to tell you how this date is going to go,” Lu said in a dry tone. “Niggas gon nig? He’s going to look at me, then my hair… start saying some ignorant shit… Disrespectful shit.”
“If you go in with an open mind, it won’t be like that,” Indie said. “You have this weird delusion that you don’t attract black men, when you do. I think you’re just scared of them.”
“I attract any man I want to attract Indigo,” she popped.
“That’s the spirit!” I exclaimed, hoping to cut the tension brewing between the two of them short. “So it's a date. Let’s get you ready. Percy and I will be joining you so you won’t be alone.”
“We are? I never agreed to that---.”
“You are now,” getting up as I pushed my chair in. Percy just stared at me, eyes taking a second to look me over again before nodding.
“Fine,” getting up as I smiled. Winning small battles with him one at a time.
“I never heard of this Harrison guy so I’m excited to meet him as well.”
“He’s not as colorful as Lu but I’m sure you could use someone a bit more calmer than yourself,” he said as Lu rolled her eyes.
“Let’s just get this over with so I can go back to fetishing over the pink skin since Indie thinks I’m obsessed with white men.”
“I’m just saying,” she laughed with a shrug. “Nothing better than a fine black man and a beautiful black woman together. I can’t wait to hear about this date.”
Oh and this date was definitely going to be more than I expected. Lu was already late. Having changed outfits multiple times until I ended up taking her last minute shopping to find a simple black dress to slim out her figure. Her hair was pulled back into a draping rope twist that swung down her back. Little to no makeup because she was in the middle of a breakout, but she still looked beautiful. Percy and Harrison were already there, deciding to meet us at the restaurant to grab a table when we finally pulled up to park.
“Are you nervous?” I asked, noticing she was quiet the entire way, staring at her blank phone.
“Girl nervous where?” She popped playfully before her mask came down again. “All of this wouldn’t be happening if Travis could just get right.”
“Well until he does, you can’t wait anymore. You should just see what else is out there. Whether he’s black white or asian.”
“Asian men ain’t hitting on nun,” she mumbled softly as I laughed. “Been there done that.”
“I think I see them,” I pointed, seeing two men dressed in suits standing outside waiting by the doors. Harrison was shorter than Percy but his body was definitely thicker, and wider with muscles squeezing against his suit.
“So yall done set me up with...Yall just,” Lu let out with a laugh. “Am I taller than this nigga?”
“Lu do not start,” I laughed as we got out. “You have on heels anyway---.”
“Yall done set me up with a lil muscle nigga. Do he even come to my chin?”
“He’s not that short and stop it.”
“Can I change shoes? Height is already a turn off,” she complained as I looked at her over the roof of the car.
“Behave and be good. You don’t have to date him or see him again, but for tonight? Can we be kind, and respectful?”
“Harrison is paying for you so be kind to the menu, and his pockets---.”
“It ain’t tricking if he got it---.”
“I don’t even know what that means Tallulah,” I exasperated as she laughed. “Just be nice, okay? Walk up, sexy, confident, and look this fine black man in the eye and introduce yourself. Turn off the spirit stuff and be in the moment. I told Percy to be respectful and make sure he speaks highly of you. Whether he’ll admit it or not, he does consider you like an annoying sister so he will make sure you look good in the light.”
We looked over at the two standing there talking to one another before Lu sighed.
“Bitch if I walk over to him and I’m able to look down at his scalp, I’m getting a tah-go plate and going home to cry over my man,” she said as she walked off with a whip of her ponytail.
Percy Hugo Milton
“I’m glad you decided to come out tonight,” Harrison said as we stood outside watching Jasmine’s car pull up. “When you showed me her picture I was immediately interested,” he laughed.
“Well that’s good to hear,” looking at my watch. “My wife just pulled up so they’ll be walking up any second. No matter how much time you give them, women will still manage to be late.”
“Yeah,” he laughed. “Is there anything I should know about her? Any warnings?”
Yeah she’s a fucking lunatic bitch who talks to herself and ghosts. Drags my wife into the most ridiculous situations and constantly picks on me.
“I think you can handle her,” I said, tugging at my ear with a frown as he laughed. “She has a vibrant personality to say the least.”
“Vibrant? She has an attitude? You know how women, especially ours and how they get,” he laughed. I didn’t. Just sent him an annoyed smile while watching the two girls walk up. Harrison’s laughter ceased as he let out a low whistle.
“Your wife is gorgeous, man… This is my first, maybe second time seeing her in person. Beautiful dark skinned woman.”
I shot him an irritated glare, having to stop myself short of ruining this night.
“Where is she from again? Everyone says her family is exotic.”
“She’s from here,” I managed. “Born and raised.”
“Yeah but she looks… You know those dark features aren’t so harsh. She’s not American, that’s for sure,” he explained before smiling. “That’s her friend? Not bad. Maybe better than the picture you sent me. What does she do for a living?”
“You should ask her Harrison when we get inside and sit.”
“Your wife doesn’t have a sister?” He jokingly asked just as the two walked up with Jasmine coming to my side.
“Sorry we’re late. Traffic and emergency dress change. Hi you must be Harrison,” Jasmine greeted with her hand out to shake. Not once giving me a chance to introduce her, but I cut in. Shooting her a hard glare.
“Harrison this is my wife, Jasmine Milton and her friend Tallulah Skye,” I exchanged as Lu stood on the curve with a single heel as she smiled sweetly at Harrison who couldn’t stop staring at her chest.
“Wow,” Harrison let out in shock as he took Lu’s hand for a light kiss. “Your hair… I can’t imagine how long it took to put that in,” he joked. “It’s beautiful.”
Lu’s eyes creased together.
“To...put what in exactly?” Voice, and tone completely changed. No accent, no stupid slow country way of talking like she usually has. She changed her dialect completely to match Jasmines and I was impressed, and amused.
“Well you know… I know how black women are with their hair. My mother always told me to never ask if it's real or not but it is beautiful,” he said as Lu shot Jasmine an evil look before smiling.
“Thank you. Hope we haven’t been keeping you boys waiting long,” she continued. I opened the door, guiding Jasmine in first.
The moment we sat down at the table with Jasmine and Tallulah closest to the window with Harrison and I on the outside of the booth, I signaled for a server to take our drink orders before we were left alone. Harrison kept his eyes on my wi-- Jasmine while Tallulah looked like she was trying to keep from saying something she would regret.
“So Harrison, where are you from?” Jasmine asked.
“Born and raised in Virginia,” he stated proudly. “I came down here to study medicine at Emory and fell in love with Georgia. Haven’t been home since the holidays. I plan on settling down and raising a family out here one day soon that’s if I meet the right woman,” he smiled, suggestively looking at Jasmine who looked at Tallulah, oblivious to his advances. “You two are beautiful gorgeous Queens. I was telling Percy how lucky he was to get to be around the two of you----.”
“Oh please,” Lu laughed bashfully. “I was just sitting here wondering why you’re single. All of the women out here in Atlanta.”
“You would think but I’m particular about my choices. My next move is to settle down and eventually get married so I’m currently in the market to marry. No casual dating for me. I don’t have the time for it, what about yourself?”
“I live in the height,” she paused, looking at Jasmine who tried to cover her laughter. “Of the moment,” Lu finished. “Eventually I’ll get married and have kids but no time soon. The right one hasn’t come along. My future husband is currently somewhere wasting his time with birds.”
“You’re really beautiful,” he smiled at Lu before smiling at Jasmine. “She’s really pretty. I was afraid Percy might set me up with someone like his brother and the crowd he associates with,” he laughed.
“What were you expecting?” Lu questioned.
“You know, when he first approached me with the idea, before showing your picture… I assumed it was a woman who was trying to date up. You know… the circle we associate ourselves with, women carry themselves a certain way. I halfway expected you to be… and I hate to say it because I love my black women, but I was hoping you wouldn’t be one of the ghetto ones. You know, but when he said you were a friend of his wife, I figured you had to have class about yourself.”
He smiled even harder at my wife as Lu looked from him to her before frowning playfully at me as if to say, you see him hitting on your wife…
“Mmmmph,” she hummed with a smirk. “Ghetto you say?”
“Not in a bad way. I just… the loud ignorant types… They’re littering Atlanta but in the right circles and situations, I’m able to find a gem like you two so I am glad we have this night, and I hope for many more.”
“What do you say Jasmine, you hope for more?” Lu asked as Jasmine nodded, holding her drink up. Harrison held his drink up to clink with hers as the two laughed.
“You should tell him what you do for a living Lu,” Jasmine pressed. “She’s such an amazing person all around. I have no idea where I would be right now without her.”
“What do you do for a living Ms. Tallulah?” He asked curiously.
“I’m a medium,” she smiled. “I pick up on vibes, energy, love connections… Undertones of flirting like what’s happening at this table,” she said, cutting her eyes at me as Harrison laughed.
“Hardly, we’re all being friendly. Isn’t that right Percy?” He asked as I remained quiet, glancing at my watch. “A medium… That’s… an interesting job. Did you go to school for that or...wake up one day and say… I talk to ghosts?” He joked.
He, and Lu laughed as Jasmine suddenly became uncomfortable, looking towards me as I snapped.
“Oh now you remember I’m sitting here next to you? Your husband?” I muttered through my teeth.
“Why are you being so annoying?”
“Why are you flirting with her date? Breast out, showing your damn gums---.”
“Percy?!” She hissed underneath her breath, both of us keeping our argument to ourselves as she rolled her eyes. “Get a grip---.”
“No you get a fucking grip. Get your chest out of his face and stop being disrespectful to me and Lu before I shut this entire night down and go home.”
Jasmine stared at her glass, eyes wide before suddenly pulling back with embarrassment as she pulled her dress up, and kept her head low.
“Well my ex is a white man so he really had no say in who I connect with, what church or belief or spirituality I dabble in. He wouldn’t understand either way because it's not his place to, given his history.”
“A white man?” Harrison asked with shock. “Really? I find that interesting when women date outside their race. White men who date black women in my mind are just looking to fulfill a fetish and black women who entertain that are looking to fill a void their father either didn’t provide or seeking attention to fill an insecure need they have. I rarely have respect for those that step outside of their race, and culture. It’s a turn off to be honest,” he said, wiping his hands with the napkin. “No offense of course.”
“None taken,” Lu smiled before cutting her eyes towards Jasmine. “I need to use the ladies room. Jas?”
That was our cue to step out of the booth, letting the women walk off together while we sat back down.
“She’s going to be an easy lay,” Harrison smiled. “I’m coming behind some white man? Yeah, she’s probably looking to have sex at the end of this. Probably haven’t really been satisfied since God knows when, but I’m game. Can you believe it? A white man?”
“Shocking,” I added dryly, looking at my watch again.
“Hey? What was going on with you and Jasmine? You alright? She seemed upset,” he noticed as my entire face grew hot.
“Why don’t you let me worry about my wife for the night,” I said with a grin. “And focus on your date. I can assure you anything concerning her has nothing to do with you.”
“I get it,” he laughed. “I’ll fall back but she is beautiful, man. You got a good one, cherish that. She looks like she doesn’t hear it enough.”
I'll probably post more to this but if and when I do, I'll post an alert on my IG stories. @authordesiree
Thinking since I haven't used to other IG for the cafeteria page, I'm just gonna merge the two 😅. And archive the cafe page.