The Ideal Man
By: Daniels Lover
Past comes to present
The first thing she noticed was how dark and silent her apartment was. It was an odd feeling for her to come home to a quiet place she had gotten use to her mom leaving the TV on or cooking in the kitchen. She had just gotten home from Trays band practice, she made sure Lily got home safely before she took public transportation back to her place. She turned on the living room light and noticed a note on the coffee table. She picked it up recognizing her mothers neat hand writing.
I'm at Toya's helping her get last minute things together for her wedding tomorrow. I'm staying the night but I expect you there tomorrow for the wedding. I had a date for you but-.
A part was scratched out.
Just wear nice clothes.
No sooner had she placed the note back down, there was a knock at her door. She quickly walked over to the door and looked out the peep hole then opened the door to see Tray standing there casually with his hands in his pockets. He was looking at her with a small smile on his face. It didn't matter the circumstance he was always happy to see her.
She crossed her arms and leaned against the door blocking his entry. She narrowed her eyes at him when she saw him smiling. How could he be in a good mood when all that drama just happened? He noticed she wasn't in a good mood and carefully masked his face to hid his emotions.
"Can I come in?" He asked in a neutral tone. His voice sounded as good as he looked but she refused to let him charm her. He looked great in his skinny jeans and leather jacket. Not even a piece of his hair was out of place despite the wind.
She was still propped up against the door blocking his entry. "I'm surprised your not making up with Devon." She said snidely. She was secretly glad he wasn't.
He sighed and took his hands out of his pockets and reached out for her hands. He held both of her hands and his thumb gently stroked the back of her hands. She pulled him into her apartment and freed a hand to close the door. The puppy dog look he gave her worked, and he smiled as she led him over to the couch. He pulled her down next to him and wrapped an arm around her shoulders.
"I'm here with you, I wanted to make sure your okay." He said softly. She rested her head on his shoulder sighing softly when she felt his hand play with her hair. He started at the tips and then slowly moved up and started massaging the nape of her neck.
"I'm okay, its Lily I'm worried about." She said shivering slightly when his finger brushed her ear. He raised an eyebrow and started to grin and purposely ran his finger down the outer rim of her ear. She hissed when a tingling sensation ran down her spine. He leaned down trying to kiss her ear when she smacked him on the chest. "Your vicious." He reached down trying to tickle her sides when she grabbed his hands and growled. He gave in, and moved his hands to his lap. She was still tense as if expecting him to try again.
"How is she?" He asked curiously, looking at her from the corner of his eye. She had her arms crossed and closed her eyes thinking.
"Angry." He slyly reached out and poked her side gently. Her dark brown eyes opened and looked into to his blue ones. "I'm sorry if I would have known he would act that way-" She cut him off by shrugging.
"It's okay, no worries." She said. He frowned at her.
"No, it's not." His jaw clenched and he turned his gaze away from her. "I will not have him treat you that way, or make you feel uncomfortable again." She reached out to touch his arm and felt his muscles were tight and tensed up.
"Tray…he just-" She started but stopped when he interrupted her.
"Please don't defend him Aleen. You're too nice of a person. It makes me feel protective of you." He pulled her into his lap and wrapped his arms around her waist.
"I'm not a baby, I don't need to be protected." She protested. She was not used to being held so intimately but it felt nice. He kissed her forehead.
"Yes I know but you're my-" She put her hand over his mouth knowing what he would say. She could feel him smiling against her hand and couldn't help but smile back.
She made the mistake of looking into his eyes. They were dark and alight with fire which was odd because they normally looked an icy blue color. His eyes were piercing hers making her fidget uncomfortably. She dropped her hand assuming he was mad at something she did. He leaned over and kissed her cheek then pulled back. He watched as she closed her eyes and sighed. Then he kissed the corner of her lips and her eyes shot open. "Wha.." She mumbled. His fingers found their way up the back of her shirt and she jumped from the coldness.
"Is this too much?" He whispered stilling his fingers. He was so warm and comfortable she didn't want him to move. When she didn't say anything he started to move away and she reached out and grabbed him. He smiled and looked at her with that strange look again.
"Stop looking at me like that…it's like you want to eat me or something." She mumbled.
She missed his sly smirk. "Well maybe I do."
She raised an eyebrow completely missing his double innuendo. "Well you can't because I'm human and that would be cannibalism." She informed him smugly.
"Watch me." Before she could move he had her pinned up against the couch. His hand her hands pinned behind her head and had straddled her waist. He was very careful not to hurt her and didn't put all his weight on her. First he just watched her squirm then he raised one of her arms and gently bit her wrist. She squeaked and tried to tug her arm away.
"Really Tray?" He laughed and pinned her arm back down.
"Really Aleen." He leaned over and bit her shoulder then kissed it. She shivered and tensed up automatically. He trailed kisses from her shoulder to her neck feeling her resistance decrease. He smiled against her neck then bit her.
"You a vampire now? She asked quietly. Trying to pretend he had no effect on her. He was making her stomach flutter and her heart race. Suddenly her throat was tight and it was hard to breathe. Why did he smell so friggin good? She sniffed his hair subtly then stopped feeling like a freak.
"Yup." He pulled her up into a sitting position then released her.
She was getting ready to retort when her eyes looked toward the table where her mothers note laid. She looked over at him watching him push his hair out of his eyes.
"Hey, you wouldn't want to go to a wedding would you?"
The wedding ceremony was beautiful. The church was decorated with Gold and Chocolate brown. The bride looked stunning and the ceremony was beautiful. It made Aleen think about getting married one day. Tray sat beside her the whole time holding her hand. They had gotten odd looks by several people. Tray seemed oblivious to it, he was just sitting and smiling looking handsome in his black suit and biker boots. He insisted on wearing eyeliner despite Aleen's protest claiming he looked 'dead' without it.
Aleen on the other hand was terribly aware of the looks they were getting. She was wearing a simple lilac dress and wedge heels. Her mom was sitting towards the front in a navy blue pants suit and had not looked at the two since she walked in and gave them no acknowledgement.
After congratulating the bride and groom Aleen decided to skip the reception and instead go to eat with Tray. Her mom stayed behind and went to the reception.
They settled on a family restaurant closer to Aleen's apartment. Tray chose the table closest to the window and sat down across from Aleen. He sat there playing with his menu and looking down or glancing out the window. When waitress came over to take their orders he hadn't made a decision yet. Aleen ordered a chicken salad and water.
"Same." He muttered while handing over his menu. The waitress smiled and tried to make eye contact with him but he didn't look up.
"Okay, I'll be right back with your orders."
Aleen reached out taking his hand making him look at her.
"Okay, What's wrong you don't like salad, you eat junk food."
He smiled. "What I can't be different?" He joked before going back to his serious demeanor.
"Actually I have something on my mind." He admitted finally looking into her eyes.
"I could tell, what's wrong?" She asked. He didn't say anything for a long pause. The only sound was a whiney baby protesting food a few tables away. He coughed and sat up straighter in his chair.
"I've been thinking about this for awhile." He paused when the waitress came back with the food.
"Is there anything else I can get you?" She asked placing straws next to their drinks.
"No we're good." Tray muttered taking a swig of his water looking annoyed by the interruption. She left.
"Anyways… I've been meaning to tell you about my parents since that night you fought with your mom."
"It's okay I get it, Your not ready for me to meet your parents, no need to explain." She blurted out before he could finish.
He smiled and shook his head. "No that's not it at all. Truth is my parents aren't worthy of meeting you."
She rolled her eyes.
"Yeah right, your afraid they won't like me because I'm black it's okay you don't have to sugarcoat it."
"No really, I'm serious." At her skeptical look he elaborated.
"Listen, I grew up…fast. My dad beat my mom and she allowed him to. She is nice, but weak unable to stand up for herself, So I always would, I didn't care how much he would hurt me. I didn't want him to hurt her, yet at the same time I grew to resent her. All these question flew around in my mind daily like, Why didn't she take me and leave my dad and stop the abuse? A sick part of me thought she liked it, maybe needed it, I don't know. The only time he paid attention to her was when he wanted sex or was drunk." He paused before continuing.
"Yet, he wasn't always like that. It started when I was 12 and my dad lost his job at an insurance company. He sank into depression and started drinking everyday and eventually dragged me and my mom into the hell he was going through." He looked at her to see her reaction. He really wanted her to understand.
Aleen was listening intently, giving all her attention to him.
"Long story short I snapped one day and beat my father senseless with a baseball bat ran away and never saw them again. They could be dead for all I know. I've been living on my own for six years every sense I was 16."
He stopped taking a sip of water letting her digest the information. Neither one of them touched their food.
"Oh." Was all she could manage to get out.
"I'm sorry." Her brown eyes looked at him softly, she wished she could take all his hurt away.
"I don't want your pity, I just thought you should know." He said a bit harshly.
She shrank back letting go of his hand in surprise.
"Sorry, it's just a sensitive subject." He said in a softer tone.
She said nothing for awhile unsure of what to say. What could she say? If she was honest with herself she did pity him. But only because she knew what it was like to grow up in a dysfunctional family. At least she still had a relationship with her mom however fragile it was.
"Don't be it's not my place to judge. I've had my own share of family issues, so I get it, that's all." She said quietly. Her voice was so soft it almost got lost in the background. She had a sad look on her face and her eyes were looking in the distance with a faraway look. He gently nudged her with his foot.
"Hey, wasn't trying to be a downer." He said smiling a bit. He kept bumping his foot with hers until he got a small smile from her.
"That's better." He said fully grinning before going back to serious.
"What were you thinking about?" He asked now that he had her attention.
"Just thinking about my mom, and how much we don't get along anymore." She admitted.
"I didn't have a chance to fix things with my parents. Which is why I want you to be able to make up with your mom."
She picked up her fork and picked at her salad saying nothing.
"You do want to fix things don't you?" He asked staring at her. She shifted in her seat and then looked up avoiding his eyes.
She shrugged "Well yeah, I guess."
'Then just talk to her, I'm sure she just wants the best for you. I know she doesn't exactly like me but I can deal with that. I'm not going anywhere I can handle whatever she throws at me." He was smiling and she could tell he meant it.
"Okay, I'll try. I'll talk to her when I get home."
She watched Tray look at his salad with disinterest. He looked around and cued their waitress over.
"Sorry to be a bother but could I get a burger, not in the salad mood." He said smiling charmingly and the waitress grinned back.
"Yes of course let me get this out of your way." She picked up the tray and walked off.
"Oh, I forgot to tell you, I got a new job offer." She said casually.
"Really? That's great, what is it?" He asked.
"A litigator, I get to actually be in court instead of the office all day."
"That's what you always wanted right?" He asked eagerly awaiting his burger. She smiled and nodded.
"Yeah it is."
She pushed the door open to her apartment to be greeted with the lights off and the TV on just how she left it earlier.
"Hey mom!" She yelled putting her jacket on the back of a chair. She picked up the remote and turned the TV off.
"Mom!" She called walking into her room expecting to find her mom in the room probably ignoring her. She should have been back by now.
Her room was carefully made up and neat. She had never seen her room so tidy. She opened the closet and noticed her mom had put her shoes in color order in her closet. She rolled her eyes and closed the door.
"Ma?" She knocked on her bathroom door. She stood there waiting for a irritated "What?" But was greeted with silence.
"Ma? I'm coming in." She pushed the door open and frowned. She wasn't in there either. She turned around and looked around in her bedroom. Not even a scarf or purse of her moms was there.
She went back into the living room and sat down on the couch confused. There was no note so she couldn't have just left. She would have said something. Maybe she would call. She pulled her phone out of her pocket and turned if off silent noticing she had a missed call from her mom and a new voicemail.
She dialed her voicemail and listened.
"If your listening to this you probably noticed I'm gone. I thought it best to just get my stuff and get out of your hair. I bought groceries because your fridge looked empty and I threw away those strawberries you had in there cause they looked old. Anyways You didn't look so bad at the wedding but you need to do something with your hair, I've noticed its about time for a perm. We won't even mention what your friend looked like. Anyways I'm on the way home, and keep your room clean and tell that boy to eat.
"You have no more messages, if you want to-" She pushed end. Suddenly the room looked darker and her place felt bigger and empty. She tossed her cell on her coffee table annoyed and glared at it as if it ruined her life. Her mom was so rude but she was use to it. She could have said worse.
"Oh well, I'm glad. Now I have my place back." She muttered to herself her eyes never leaving the phone. It lit up after a few minutes and she scooped it up quickly.
After a pause a automated message played.
"Would you like a travel to exotic places for free? Would you like to get away for-" She hung up and put her phone back on silent.
She fell back on the couch and sighed. Her blanket was laying across the arm of the couch and she tugged it over her and kicked off her shoes. She started to drift off to sleep before she realized she could sleep in her bed if she wanted to.
She got up and walked to her room dragging the blanket behind her. She looked into her room and sighed leaning against the doorframe. She turned around and walked back to the couch. It just seemed wrong to sleep in there for some reason, almost like it wasn't her room anymore. She tuned the TV back on and watched some teenage drama about a pregnant high school girl. She fell asleep sitting up with the remote in her hand. It bugged her mom when she left the tv on at night so she made sure to turn it off before she drifted off.