"Will he be here through the weekend?" With one eye open I pull my head off the couch and study Laila. She's standing beside my brother looking up at him while she shuffles papers across the kitchen counter.
Chris shrugs his shoulders and replies, "I was hoping he'd be gone already." When I clear my throat they both look towards me. The irritation etched over my brother's face is undeniable. "Oh did we wake you?" He no longer looks like my kid brother who indulged himself with candy and junk food when he was growing up.
Sitting up with my back against the couch I grab my shirt that I threw in a heap on the floor after the club last night. "You could use more practice on your inside voice."
Chris' biceps bulge and his eyebrow twitches. It's been years since we've been under the same roof for more than just a few days. It doesn't help that their apartment is hardly large enough for the two of them. "Didn't know I had to whisper in my own house." Laila slaps Chris' arm.
"You two argue like school kids." She sits beside me on the couch curling her short legs under her getting cozy. "Just found out yesterday that I have to work this weekend." She looks between me and Chris.
"Too bad. I was hoping you could give me the female perspective on the apartments I plan to look at this weekend." A small smile spreads across her face. "That excited to get me out of here?"
She laughs and throws up her hand. "No, I was going to ask you if you would mind entertaining Nicole this weekend while I'm at work." She looks away from me. “I’m sure she wouldn’t mind giving you a female perspective."
Clapping my hands together I shout, "Hell no I wouldn't mind."
"Wait do you remember Nicole?" I visited Chris on campus a few times, and while there, I met Laila. The women at Lee University were all sexy. I don't know how my brother managed to stay faithful to Laila. I should have gone to a black college; maybe I would have graduated. Instead I went to University of Tennessee and dropped out after my second year.
"No, but if she kicks it with you I'm sure she's cool. And if she went to Lee I'm sure she's sexy." I grin rubbing my hands together. "Big, small, petite, tall I like them all." Laila bursts out laughing. My brother groans from the kitchen.
"That's your problem," Chris mumbles.
Ignoring his comment Laila says, "She'll be here tomorrow. I'll tell her to catch a Moovn to the apartment." She peers beyond me to look at Chris. "Bae will you be home to introduce Bryan to Nicole?" Chris nods his head. "You've been here long enough to know where you can take her. Maybe take her out to dinner, get some drinks. Whatever." I nod my head and Laila stands up from the couch walking the short distance to their room. "Oh and thanks," she offers before disappearing.
Chris hovers over me. "Listen, Nicole is the girl who helped orchestrate me getting back with Laila. She's cool so don't fuck her over." His stern look reminds me of our mother.
"Damn dude. Chill out. I wouldn't do that to Laila's girl." His eyebrows arch. "Do you have that list of places for me to look at?"
"Yeah I'll leave it out on the counter." He walks to the window and stares out. "You sure you want to move here?"
I left Tennessee after abruptly quitting my job at our family's business. I never had it in me to be a businessman in an office. Although I wanted to do what I could to help the firm grow even more, I never planned to make it my lifetime career, unlike Chris, who my dad expects to take over once he retires. “What better place than New York for an artist?”
"You think you'll be able to afford living in New York from the art projects you commission?"
I shrug my shoulders and say, "I can live like a starving artist if it means I'll be able to do what I want to do and not what Dad expects me to do."
"What happened that day you quit?" I haven't shared the story with Chris. The day I showed up at his doorstep with a suitcase, I just said I needed a place to crash. With little hesitation, he's let me stay on the couch for the last two weeks.
"That's a story that needs a bottle of Hennessy." Looking at the time on my phone I say, "And you should probably get to work. I'm sure Dad will be upset if you miss the morning check-in." I grin knowing my brother, although continuing the family business, even expanding it here to New York, would much rather be doing anything else.
He shakes his head. "Maybe one day I'll have the gusto to be like you." We both chuckle at the irony. Chris and I share genes, but our looks and personality vary on separate ends of the spectrum. We personify the meaning of night and day.
Alone in the living room, I examine the empty walls. After a year of being in this apartment they are still bare. Opening my photo app, I scroll through my artwork. Any of the pieces would liven this place up. In my haste, I left the artwork at my studio in Tennessee. Eventually I'll need to return to gather the rest of my shit. I definitely need to collect my art work, if nothing else. I have art pieces to sell to garner cash for the next few months at least.
A text message comes through from an unknown number.
222-365-1809: can I see you today?
I'm sure it's someone I met in my escapades here in New York. I try to make the chicks I meet feel special by giving them my number after beating their back out. I don't ever save theirs though. Keeps me from calling for a repeat experience. They rarely ever contact me. Chicks have something against calling guys if they don't call first. It's worked for me.
Chris: must not have saved your number, who is this?
222-365-1809: Jenna, met at the bar last weekend...
Yeah, Jenna, she was bad too. Thick hips and breasts that bounced around like balloons while she rode me.
Chris: where do you want to meet?
I bought her a whiskey sour at the bar where she was celebrating with her homegirls. She was appreciative but ignored me in favor of her girls. When they started to leave, she slipped in the seat to my right and chatted me up. She is sexy and witty, a bad ass combination. If I ever wanted to chill out with one girl she'd be a good candidate. But I don't, and if we fuck again I'll make sure she knows.
222-365-1809: my place?
Chris: be there in an hour?
222-365-1809: see you soon
Laila and Chris have been holed up in the room but Chris should be leaving soon. After sniffing my armpit, I hop off the couch and knock on their door. I hear them moving around and hope I'm not disrupting their morning sex. Neither responds and I knock again. I smell like the subway. Coming in late from the club left me without an option to wake Chris and Laila for a shower. I have to find my own place tomorrow. I raise my fist again but Chris opens the door. With his head cocked he says, "You need the bathroom?"
I nod my head as Laila walks between us. "See you when I get off." Kissing Chris on the lips, she then pats my arm before she leaves.
I smile at Chris still standing in the doorway. "Were y'all fucking?" He rolls his eyes and shakes his head. "See that's why I won't settle down. I like spontaneous sex."
Ready for more? Subscribe to my newsletter to hear about the Creative Love release!