A Different Breed

Part 6: That’s Nasty As Hell

“You have a problem.” Katrina released the words from a mouth that was remembering how to smile easily. Her lips curved up with little effort as if she hadn’t been crying randomly for the last couple of weeks or wearing a fake smile in mixed company. Even the loud crack of the ice as the warm cranberry juice hit it birthed a simple elation in her chest.

“True,” Imani said adamantly, from the phone Katrina had propped up against a ceramic flour container. She ran a brush smoothly through a silky orange wig in a room that was lined with mannequin heads topped with an eclectic array of wigs of various textures and colors. “No shame in my game. I love options and changing it up.”

The quirk of Katrina’s mouth stayed in place as she chewed the morsel of sharp cheddar. She knew those two things to be abundantly true about her friend.

“But I ain’t the one with a problem.” Imani’s face twisted as she leaned closer to the phone. “What the hell are you eating?”

Katrina surveyed the charcuterie board. She felt like treating herself so bypassed the plates and at the late-night hour she didn’t want to dirty up the kitchen that was already clean but she got hungry. The dinner of grilled steak and mac and cheese evaded her body in a quick duration. She knew going to sleep without loading her stomach again wasn’t an option.

“Pickles and cheese are good.” She stacked a slice of the pickle on top of the square slice of cheese. “The textures. The tang. You missing out.”

Imani gagged. “The hell I’m not.

Katrina half-shrugged then popped the strange snack in her mouth.

“That’s nasty as hell.” Imani shook her head as she resumed brushing the wig.

“It’s not,” Katrina assured, once swallowing. Her mouth opened to compliment her dietary choice but a rap of knocks on her door called her attention. A furrow worked its way in her eyebrows. It was past nine on a Friday night. She hadn’t ordered anything or expected visitors but she had an inkling of who it could be.

“Let me call you back.” She said, picking her phone up.

“Tell Keir I say hi.” Imani teased.

Katrina rolled her eyes, humor still playing on her lips as her finger hovered over the red circle. She told her friend about the TA’s offer to walk her to the car and since then she’d been joking about it.

“Bye girl.” She said and after her friend echoed the three-letter word she ended the call.

Her steps to the front door were easy and unfaltering which wasn’t a surprise since who she presumed was waiting on her porch. They didn’t knock again but she knew they hadn’t left. Persistence was a talent of theirs.

She twisted the lock and swung the door open. “What do you want?” The smile was gone from her face. She was sure to erase it once appearing in front of him or else he’d assumed his frequent visits were working.

Terrence’s eyes went wide with shock at her standing before him. His hands tightened around the bulky DVD case. “You forgot this.”

He handed her the box set and she examined it as if it was an explosive device then snatched it from his grasp not wanting to accidentally touch him. “It’s on HULU but thanks.”

She stepped back to close the door but his hand slapped against the wood structure preventing it from moving.

“Can we talk?” He said with pain and hope on the handsome features of his brown face. “Please. Can we talk? Can I come in?”

She shook her head. “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Those words were true. She didn’t want to talk to him. Well, she didn’t only want to talk to him. She wanted to kiss, hug, and fall asleep with her back against his chest enveloped in the warmth of his arms. A cup of chamomile helped her forget how much she missed his body in her man aiding her to sleep.

“Please.” He said again, letting his hand fall from the door.

The way his tone dipped just a bit, deep and pleading went straight to her help electrifying those emotions of love she tried to push out of her heart but their claws were deep in the organ. The way he peered at her made her question the sound, constant voice in her mind. It made her debate her convictions and choice. That was another talent of his, making her go against her logic and reason. She still loved him, and deep down she feared if she’d always love him.

But then she remembered those other words he said from the confines of his black SUV. She wasn’t even supposed to be at the hospital that night but she hadn’t seen him since that morning and missed him. So, on her way home from work seemed like a great time to swing by the hospital and visit him. Apparently, it wasn’t. On her trek, to the elevator, she noticed his vehicle was running and assumed he sought refuge in it for a quick nap. But napping wasn’t even close to what he was doing.

Yes, baby. Just like that. Fuck, you feel so good. Katrina closed her eyes hard to remove the thought and day from her mind.

“We have nothing to talk about.” She slammed the door with a force that made the door knocker rumble.

Caution was thrown to the wind as she opened Instagram and went to Keir’s direct messages.

KatrinaI made it to my car safely but I need a ride.

It only took half a minute before his response appeared.

KeirYou need a tow?

She let out a breath. She was rusty at this but tried again.

KatrinaI need someone to ride.

This time his reply came in seconds.

KeirI’m available. 

Why do you think Katrina messaged Keir?

Is Imani right, are pickles and cheese nasty?

Is Imani right, are pickles and cheese nasty?

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