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SHORTS

Step into the charmingly world of Shorts, where each piece is a blend of wit and wisdom on the everyday adventures of children, marriage, and family life. Through my engaging tales and witty insights, I aim to provide a relatable and light-hearted perspective on life and building successful relationships.

The Best First Date

“Well. This is interesting. I’ve had my eye on him. ‘Bout time he noticed me,” I thought to myself as I turned and waved a sexy thank you. Too bad I was leaving the following day. It would have been nice to make a new friend. Why bother? Instead of joining him, I stayed in my seat. After catching up on email and social media, I decided to call it a night and headed toward the exit. But not before remembering my good manners. 

Along the way, I tapped my benefactor on the shoulder. “Excuse me. “Mr. Martini rose from his seat. The most beautiful black tourmaline eyes stared back at me. “Thank you for the drink. That was a nice surprise.” I extended my hand, “I’m Carly, Carly Estrada.”  

The voice that replied was low and soft, barely above a whisper. “Hello, Carly Estrada. I’m Maurice, Sheri’s cousin. Did I get it right?” He stared at me with those intense eyes as if reading my soul. I felt hypnotized. “Ahem. Did I get your drink right? I noticed that you’re partial to martinis.” 

“Yes. It was perfect. You, you noticed me?” 

“Of course, you were the most beautiful bridesmaid. That cream halter dress is lovely against your bronze skin. Spectacular is more like it.” Who talks like that, I wondered? Shyly, I turned away from his penetrating gaze, mumbling my appreciation for the compliment. That’s when it happened. He touched me. Immediately, I felt a warm sensation begin at my toes and rise up my body. At the same time, I shivered. “Please don’t turn that pretty face away from me.” I slowly turned toward him, smiling. “Seriously, Carly. I must see your face, especially those gorgeous, pouty lips. I’m deaf and need to read your lips to know what you’re saying.”  

I stood like Claudia the Clown with my mouth open, staring at him. How hadn’t I realized that he was deaf? “Carly? Carly? Can you hear me?” He spoke aloud while comically using his hands to converse with me in sign language. 

“Sorry. I was noticing your eyes. They’re mesmerizing.” 

“Nice cover. It’s OK to be shocked. Now that the awkward part is out of the way, can I interest you in dinner? The wedding was fun, but you must have worked up an appetite with all the dancing you were doing.” 

I shook my head, “I have to pack. I have an early flight.” 

“Everyone has to eat. Come on. You owe me after the way you reacted to my deafness.” I was going to apologize again when I noticed him smirking. 

“That was low.” 

“I don’t have much time if you leave tomorrow.” 

“You don’t play fair.” 

“You have no idea.” 

“OK, but for that, I’m ordering only expensive stuff, and you’re paying.” 

“But of course. Shall we?” He gestured toward the main dining room. Like the rest of the resort, the restaurant was elegant and smelled of fresh-cut flowers. We sat at a cozy booth for two in a private corner. 

“This view is fantastic. I can see the moon shimmering off of the ocean . . . Ooh music – “ 

“Would you like to dance?” 

“Can you?” 

“I’m deaf, not paralyzed. Let me show you.” We slowly danced for five or six songs. He explained that he could feel the music’s vibrations and thus knew the beat. Boy, did he. That man was the best dance partner I ever had. We spent most of the night in each other’s arms on the dance floor.  

When we weren’t dancing, we talked and laughed and enjoyed ourselves. It turns out he was part of Sheri’s family, who is from the island. Get this. He was the owner of the resort. That’s why I hadn’t seen him as much as I had her other relatives. He was busy running things. I’ll never forget how he looked that night in his crisp, grey linen suit, no tie, and formal loafers. The grey clothes highlighted his gorgeous dark eyes and charcoal complexion. I’ve yet to meet a more handsome man. Don’t get me started on his locks. They were immaculately twisted all over his head. Long enough to be bold. Short enough for easy maintenance. Hmm. Back to that night. 

After dinner, we walked along the beach in silence. On our way back to the hotel, he suddenly stopped, turned in my direction, pulled me into his arms, and kissed me. It was like a scene out of a movie. There was a full moon overhead, waves crashing against the shore, and we shared a first kiss. It was perfect. I had never felt anything like it. At that very second, I knew I would never meet anyone like him or share another kiss like that. When I close my eyes, I still feel his hands on my waist and his lips press against mine. Romantic doesn’t begin to describe it. I was lost in the moment. It seemed as if it would last forever, but it didn’t. We ended the kiss. Maurice walked me to my room. And that was the end of the best first date of my life. 

The next morning, I kept looking around the hotel, hoping to see him at breakfast or when I checked out, but no luck. He was gone. Sadly, I walked outside to my waiting limo. I cried on the whole bumpy ride to the airport. When I got out of the car, I looked up to thank the driver for holding the door open. It was Maurice. He had been in the car with me the whole time. After he helped me up, he looked into my heart with those eyes and said, “Please stay.” 

A collective sigh interrupted the story. “And that, my island children, is how I met your father.”

Non-Traditional

"Where's Stan? I thought you guys were joined at the hip," said a handsome blue-eyed man with classic frat boy looks. 

"Shut up! He's in New York for a board meeting." 

Ayisha slowly sipped a beer, savoring the flavor. She'd invited her best friend Aaron to their favorite sports bar to share the big news. As soon as their burgers arrived, she told Aaron she was engaged to his college buddy Stan. She asked him to be her attendant during the ceremony if that wasn't enough of a shock. 

"I can't do that." 

"Why not?" 

Aaron hesitated. Afraid to tell her the truth, he succumbed to machismo, "That's for women. I can't plan all that bridal stuff." 

"It'll be just you and Stan's brother, no big wedding party and stuff. Simple." 

"I don't know." She then bombed him with heavy artillery. The look she lobed had made him surrender since they were freshmen at prep school. He was a multi-generational Scottsville legacy. She was one of the few non-White students. Her strength impressed him. Her rarely seen vulnerability enlisted him as her protector for fifteen years. "OK, Isha. I'll do it. Better not sneak any girlie things in." With his surrender, the friends turned toward a mounted flat screen and joined the other diners in cheering for the hometown basketball team. 

As the sun chased the moon out of the sky, Aaron decided to do what he should have done years ago. He jumped into his roadster, prepared to come clean. As soon as he arrived, he pushed the bell and simultaneously banged on the Craftsman-style door.  

Upon hearing the bell, Ayisha checked her cell phone's security camera app. Why is he here this late? Or is it early? She opened the door for her agitated friend and ushered him into the bungalow, "Aaron? What's wrong? 

"You can't marry him, Isha. Listen to me. He's wrong for you. It should be us." Instead of waiting for a response, he grabbed her waist with both hands and kissed the words out of her mouth. "Tell me you feel it," he whispered as he rested his forehead on hers. Tell me you want me," he pleaded in ragged breaths.  

"Aaron, it's too late." 

"No. Now's our time. Tell me." He repeatedly kissed her closed eyelids.  

"I do love you, but . . ." He was so busy pressing his point that he didn't notice the tears flowing down her cheeks. 

"No buts. I need you. Meet me tonight?" She shook her head, clearing it of the astonishment. "Meet me tonight, and we'll figure this out. Please?" After she nodded her affirmation, he left as unexpectedly as he'd arrived, confident that he'd won. 

Aaron sat at his desk all day, trying to contact Ayisha. He lost count of how many unanswered calls, texts, and emails he had placed. Before he could make another, his cell phone rang. The screen displayed a picture of Stan. This could be a good sign. She had to break up with him first. That's probably why I have yet to hear from her. Aaron cautiously answered the phone. 

"Hey." 

"Hey. I hear that Isha told you, our news. I wanted to, but she insisted that she do it. Thanks for agreeing to be her best person. You know, my lady, never traditional." 

Confused, Aaron decided to keep up the pretense until he spoke with Ayisha: "Yeh. I have to tell you I was surprised." 

"Why?" 

"I don't know. You always dated blondes. Figured you end up with one." 

"I also wanted to be a stormtrooper when I grew up. So? We've been together for two years. We're in love." 

"I know, but marriage? It's so much more." 

"How so?" 

"Forget it. How are your parents taking it?" 

"What do you mean? They're thrilled. I am officially someone else's problem." 

"But she can't be what they had in mind for you." 

"Why? Because she's black? I am sure they noticed that when they met her, but it's been two years. Two years of seeing how much we love each other, how much better I am with her, how she fits in with us. Hell! My mother helped me design the ring. Have you seen it? It's so Isha, different, yet brilliant." 

"I hear you. My bad. I'm happy that you're happy." 

A chime in Stan's office interrupted the uncomfortable discourse. "I have to jet. Isha will be in touch about the wedding. Before then, we should get together - just the bros." 

"Sure. Just the bros." 

Later that afternoon, Aaron finally received an email from Ayisha. It only contained wedding instructions and a reminder to bring a date to the celebration. 

The night before the wedding, en route to the rehearsal, Aaron again pled his case to Ayisha. Why did she choose Stan over him? He had known her since high school. He introduced her to Stan. Her response was brief. "I've thought about everything you've said. But here's the thing. Stan never shied from being with me. It didn't take him 15 years to step up. He saw me, pursued me, and loved me. I want a man like that by my side. End of story." 

The romantic wedding ceremony and lively reception were just as Ayisha envisioned. It was an elegant, non-traditional affair filled with warmth and love. Everyone was happy except Aaron, who tried hard to hide his true feelings. It wasn't easy when he saw the affection in Ayisha's eyes every time, she looked at Stan. 

When most of the guests had gone, Stan sidled up to Aaron at the long mahogany bar and toasted him with a crystal flute, saying, "Thanks for finally confessing your feelings to Isha. Despite your revelation and her years-long schoolgirl crush on you, she picked me. Now I will never have to doubt her love and commitment". Stan winked and sauntered toward his bride, whom he escorted out of the ballroom and into their new life.

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