UNTIL I MET YOU
BY GODDY FRANCIS
I can’t believe I’d sit in a park eating ice cream because of any reason. How do people feel comfortable eating this? Kennedy made me come to the park after she dismissed her father’s arrival. I bought her ice cream and she forced me to buy for myself because she don’t wanna be the only person eating ice cream.
I frown and force myself to eat my ice cream as we sit in silence. She’s been awkwardly quiet as she eats her ice cream.
” Why the park Kenny?” I ask her.
” It’s pretty.”
I sigh and nod.
” Am I expected to finish this?” I ask referring to my ice cream. I haven’t taken a lot. Just little.
” Yes. Let’s be sad together.” She smiles at me and looks away.
I serve the ice cream and let it stay on my tongue before swallowing. How do people eat this.
” You’re gonna get ugly if you keep on frowning like that.” She tells me.
I roll my eyes and try to smile. This taste like s***. And it has to be strawberry ice cream. I can’t take this anymore.
” You know, i got into a fight at school.” She states.
” Did you beat him or her up?”
” Yeah. Almost broke her nose. And she was blonde.” She says. I turn to look at her and smirk.
At least I wasn’t a terrible uncle. I did a great job in bringing her up.
” Fist bump.”
” Fist bump…” she smiles as we fist bump.
” So tell me what did she do?”
” She called me a b****. And then i told her to quit cursing, she didn’t listen. I punched her.”
” Damn. That was ****in crazy.” I mutter.
” Five dollar ,Jamal.”
I swiftly turn to look at her. Five dollar for swearing again. I thought she gave up that s***. I pull out a ten dollar note from my jacket pocket and give it to her. She takes it.
” Can i throw away the ice cream now?” I ask nicely.
She cackles with an evil grin.” No. Don’t waste it.”
Good God. We sit in silence as I battle with my ice cream. I think someone needs to sue who thought it’s nice to make ice cream. This is ****in terrible. I just feel like falling off a bridge right now.
” You know… your dad is a great dad.” I say. She didn’t bother to look at me so I decide to continue.
” He was in the millitary and something happened. He was in coma for a long time. He also battled PTSD. I don’t really know if you know what that means.”
” Post traumatic stress syndrome. Of course i know what that means.”
I look down at her. How old is she again? ” Has anyone told you you act eighteen?”
She rolls her eyes and pull her knees to her chest. She rests her small body against me as I wrap an arm around her shoulder. I take that opportunity and toss the ice cream on the trashcan.
” I saw that.” She mutters.
” I know and I’m sorry.”
She giggles silently and nods.
” He missed you. He got back yesterday and he madly wanted to see you. He wants you back.”
” You know , my mom didn’t tell me that. She said he traveled. For work.” She says.
” You’re too young to know the truth though.”
She chuckles and nods again.
” What if you had the opportunity to adopt me , will you?” She asks and look up at me.
” Of course. Who wouldn’t.”
Yeah. And Damon’s gonna freak out.
She chuckles.” Gray , you don’t even like children.”
” Who told you that?”
” I know a lot of things about you that you didn’t even know.”
How did she even know that? It’s not like I behave weird around them. They are cute when they are older. But infants , they are annoying as ****. Their cries, their whining, their wailing, their screaming. It’s ****in annoying. The annoying part is , they take the mom away from you. She won’t even care about you that much except for the wailing child. She won’t give you that attention she always gives you because of the child. It’s so annoying. And sex , I don’t wanna go there.
” So are you gonna forgive him now?”
” What if he’s not like you?”
Damn. Of course Damon can’t be like me. He doesn’t smoke weed and he curses with caution. Who does that? He’s not a mobster but a law abiding citizen, except for the rehab part.
” Does it really matter?”
” I’ve grown up to get use to you. What if he doesn’t swear? How will i get five dollar?”
I raise my brows and chuckle. Five dollar? Really?
” You’re still gonna come over to my place if you’re worried about making five dollar. Lucifer swears a lot. Drake too and even Reid. Manny and Spencer and a lot more of them. So five dollar case is settled.” I tell her and she smiles widely.
” Thanks Jamal. You’re good. Are you gonna get married to Ariel?”
When did we switch from talking about her daddy to marriage. I’m scared of that , I don’t even know why.
” It’s getting late Kennedy. Let’s take you back.”
” You just dodged my question. I will remind you though.” She gets up from the bench and starts walking. I smile and look down at her as I shove my hands in my jacket pocket and follow her tiny little steps.
” Really damon ?”
I shut the door to Jhene’s apartment as they turn to look at us. Her face looks flush like someone who just recovered from a hot make out session. Oh , i get it. They were making out. Damon is such a bad ****er.
” Did we interrupt something?” I ask and lean against the door. Kennedy stands close to me.
” Not really.” Damon replies and clears his throat. He looks at me and then Kennedy. She looks nervous.
Imagine not having a dad fot a long time and a man showed up later and announced himself as your dad. It’s gonna be weird calling him dad when you didn’t grow up with him.
” Hi Kennedy.” Damon says.
I chuckle and look around Jhene’s penthouse.
” Gray said you’re my Dad.”
I look back at Damon and he nods.
” I’m really sorry that I left.” He tells her as he walks to her.
This is so annoyingly emotional and I’m getting bored.
” Where’s your alcohol Jhene?”
Jhene glares at me and point her bar. I walk out of their reunion and sit in her kitchen stool with a glass of alcohol in my hand. I throw back my head and chug down the content.
” Are you okay?” Jhene asks.
I look at her and she leans herself against the door jam.
” You shouldn’t be here. Your baby daddy just arrived , you should be part of that reunion not standing here.”
She smiles and walks to the counter. She stands on the opposite side and smirks at me.
” You look pretty hot yourself.” She mumbles and snatches the glass from me as she gulps the alcohol and sit back the glass.
” Don’t try to flirt with me. You got Damon now.”
” He doesn’t want me. He wants Kennedy and he wants to take custody of her.”
” And what exactly do you want?”
” I want my man back. And I’m not giving him my daughter back if he wants to break up or whatever.”
” You guys never dated.” I remind her.
” Really? You left me because you were this sick ****er who can’t keep a ****. Your brother wanted a relationship. Gray we were in a relationship.”
” To him yes. But to you , you were just having fun. You wanted to get back at me and make me jealous for dumping your dumb ass. I told you we never dated. We just ****ed each other. Move on , Damon doesn’t want you cause you’re sick as ****.”
” You won’t insult me in my house.”
I huff and shake my head. She’s crazy. I grab the bottle of drink to pour more into the glass but she snatches it away from me.
” That’s enough for a day. You don’t have to waste my alcohol.” She says.
I chuckle and nod.
” Damon , can I leave? You can just call a Uber when you’re ready to leave.” I shout.
” No. You’re gonna wait for me.” He responds.
” ****….” I mutter and run my fingers through my hair.
” Okay. Since Damon wants me to wait for him , can i get a little privacy in your house. Don’t try to bug me please.” I tell Jhene and walk out of the kitchen.
I go to her balcony and watch the city below as i lean my elbows on the railings. I pull out my phone and call Ariel. She pick up after the first ring.
” Hey, Tinkerbell…”
She chuckles on the phone and I hear another laughter from someone else as she clears her throat.
” Where are you?” I ask.
” At home.”
” What’s making you all juicy?”
” Mmm.. well I’m having a sister time with my older sister. We are playing a game. It’s been long we did things together….” She sighs.” That’s if we ever did things.” She mutters and I hear it.
” Where are you?”
” Went out with Damon to see Kennedy.”
” Wow. What was her reaction. Did she freak out? Cry ? Run or she might even snub him by the way.”
” Maybe she snubbed. Asked me to get her ice cream and I talked to the kid.”
” Did she asked you to get yourself ice cream?” She asks and chuckles. I can’t forget what Kennedy did. Made me eat ice cream. God!
” Maybe she did.”
” Oh my God…” she laughs on the phone.
” That’s hilarious. Wish I could see your face when she bought you one.” She giggles.” You would have been adorable. You know that right?”
I roll my eyes.
” Stop mocking me. I looked like s*** and worst of all , I can’t imagine people eating ice cream.”
” Jamal , ice cream tastes good. You’re just acting like a grumpy baby right now.”
I chuckle and smile.” I miss you.”
**** of course. I don’t mind if she move in with me just for me to wake up with her every morning. Look at that pretty face of hers every single day.
She stays silent for a second before replying.” I miss you too. You owe me a surprise. Don’t forget that.”
” I didn’t. When i return we’re gonna go check it out. I just hope you’re gonna like it.”
” Hmm. Is it a gift?”
” You don’t want me to snitch about my surprise to you right? Cause if I’m right , you know I won’t tell you a thing.”
She giggles.” Sure thing boss.”
” My mom was here by the way. She wanted me to leave you because you’re in the Mafia.”
” And who told her that?”
” Said your mom told my dad when they were dating each other.” She says and I chuckle.
” You know she’s lying right? About my mom telling your dad I’m a criminal.”
” Maybe. I just told her a piece of my mind. I really do miss you though.” She says and the sound of her voice telling me she missed makes me hard.
” Okay you’re filling my mind with so many bad things I wish i could do to you right now.” I tell her. She breathes out on the phone and I can feel her biting her bottom lip.
” You need to go to church. You owe the priest your confession. And I’ll be escorting you to church too , to make mine.”
I chuckle. ” Alright. I’m gonna think about that.”
” Gray…” I turn around and see Damon holding Kennedy’s hand. She looks less nervous.
” I’m gonna call you back, Tink.” I hang up and turn to face them.
” I want him to take me out and you’re driving us since daddy doesn’t have a car.” Kennedy says. Hell no. I’m not a ****in driver.
” No way. I need to be at home and I have business to handle.”
” Business?” Damon asks.
I glare at him. What’s his problem exactly. ” Yes , business.”
” We can’t call a Uber.”
” But why not?” I ask them.
” Because my daughter won’t ride in a Uber when she got an Uncle who owns a car and a mother who owns a goddamn car too. I’m sorry honey..” Jhene says as she brings out a five dollar note and give it to Kennedy. Damon stares at her as Kennedy takes the money.
” She doesn’t like it when people swear. If you do, you’re paying five dollar for it.” I tell Damon who breathes out and nod.
” Scared to curse daddy?” Kennedy asks.
” Not really, I won’t even try.” Damon says and she smiles.
I need to be with Ariel. I can’t drive them around because they are trying to bond their father-daughter relationship.
” I give up.” I give Damon my car key. He looks at it and raises his brows asking me what he should do with it.
” You can take my car and go wherever place she wants to go.”
” Are you gonna take the Uber?” Kennedy asks with a grin.
” No way.” I scoff and pull out my phone to call Nick.
” I’m at Jhene’s and stranded. Come pick me up.” I say once he picks up.
” Sure thing.” I hang up and look at them.
” What?” I ask.
” Thanks.” Damon says.
” Who taught you that ?” I ask him.
” Shut up. Thank you for this.” He raises the key up and turns to leave with Kennedy.
” See ya Jamal.” Kennedy waves at me.
” I thought that name died.” Damon mutters as he leaves with her.
” I resurrected it though.” Kennedy replies her daddy.
” That’s really good of you.”
I turn to look at Jhene. She glares at me and leave too. Thank God.
” Why are were again?” Ariel asks as she unfasten her seatbelt.
” I wanna show you something.” I tell her and get out of the car.
I walk to the side of her door and open the door for her. She holds my hand and step out of the car. I close the door as she look up at the building.
” Wow. This is beautiful.”
I smile and wrap my arm around her waist as we walk into the lobby. We enter the elevator and i press the top floor button.
” The penthouse?” She asks and turns to look at me.
” Yup. Just wanna show you something. Since we’re alone in here…” I look round the elevator and kiss her neck.
” Why don’t I just show you how you make me feel.” I tease her and kiss her earlobe.
” You’re gonna ride my face today baby.” I whisper against her neck.
She breathes out as I kiss down her neck. I slip my hand inside the back of her hoodie and trail my hand up and down her back. I kiss her cheek and then her nose. She opens her eyes as we stare at each other. She wraps her arms around my neck and stands on her toes to kiss me at once. My arms curl around her waist as I lift her off the floor. I press her against the wall of the elevator as we kiss. Her hands tug my hair as our lips move against each other.
The elevator dings and slides open. With her in my arms and legs around my waist , I walk us out of the elevator and open the penthouse door. I walk in with her and shut the door. She looks around the house and widens her eyes. She hops out of my grasp and glances at every single thing.
” Wow.” She mutters as she walks to the kitchen.
” You bought a new penthouse? Why would you do that?”
I shrug and watch her ogle at every furniture.
” This is so beautiful and expensive.” She says and walks to the hallway. She opens each door and enter the last door. I follow her behind as she looks around the bedroom.
She push aside the drapes of the floor to ceiling transparent window and she giggles.
” So what’s gonna happen to your other penthouse?” She asks and open the door to the balcony.
” You like it?” I ask her.
She turns around and looks at me with a big smile.
” Yes. I love it.” She giggles and look around the bedroom again.
” Then it’s yours..”
She pause her stares and dart her head to me.
” You say what?”
” The penthouse is yours.”