Cuffing season: A short story by Shubricca L Bell. (Part 2)

Loni had been on fourteen dates with fourteen different men, in twenty one days. None of them made it to date number two, and according to Loni, it was all with good reason. “Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute,” her sister Erica said, as they stopped on the stairs, before entering the church for choir rehearsal. “Someone actually came to meet you on a date, in their baby’s momma car?” “Yes, girl. I couldn’t believe it either, but she came to that restaurant, cursed him out and took her keys. Then he had the nerve to ask me if I could drop him off at home,” Loni said. “Well, did you?” “Ahh, no,” Loni said with a laugh. “I told him that I had somewhere to be.” “And where was that, Loni?” “At home in my bed,” Loni said, as the two of them shared a laugh. They continued up the stairs. “Girl, I’d already had a long day at work. I was tired, and not for the foolishness,” Loni said. “Oh yeah, that’s right. You’re producing a new reality series. How’s that going?” Erica asked. “It’s going good,” Loni said before Teddy, the director of music interrupted. “Erica, Loni, how’re you ladies doing tonight?” “Good,” Erica said with a smile, as she continued to her seat. “Hey Teddy Bear,” Loni said, as the two of them shared a hug, and kissed each other on the cheek. Loni and Teddy are longtime friends. They grew up together, attending the same classes during school, and they attended the same college as well. Teddy and Loni had a certain glow when they were around each other, and everyone could see it. The way they both smiled and looked at each other when they talked, wasn’t anything less than a special bond. It was more than just chemistry. After choir rehearsal, Loni and Erica was walking to their cars. “Girl, why don’t you and Teddy stop playing and be together, already?” Erica said. “Teddy? Girl, Teddy and I are just friends,” Loni said. “And the flirting?” Erica said. “The flirting seems to be a little more than friendly,” Erica said. “Erica, it’s harmless. We’re only friends,” Loni said, trying to convince Erica who wasn’t the least bit convinced. Teddy ran up behind the ladies as they were talking. “My bad ladies,” he said. “You almost left without your phone, Loni.” Teddy said as he handed Loni her cell. Her sister smiled and said, “Bye y’all,” before getting in her car. “Bye Erica. See you Sunday,” Teddy said, with a wave. Loni smiled, because she knew what Erica was thinking. “Bye sis,” Loni said with a wave, as Erica drove off. Loni and Teddy stood in the parking lot. “Thanks for my phone, Teddy. I’ve been exhausted, working late, and trying to find a date,” Loni said as she continued to update Teddy on her life for the past month. “Wow, you poor thing. Listen, you don’t have to show up to Thanksgiving dinner at your parent’s house, alone. My parents are going on a cruise this year, so there won’t be any Turkey for me, and you know your boy be hungry,” Teddy said rubbing his pudge. “Let me go with you, instead?” Teddy said. “Aww, that’s sweet of you Teddy, but everyone knows we’re just friends. I want them to take me seriously, and the only thing everyone in my life seems to take seriously right now, is the fact that, I don’t have a man. I’m not going to lie. I want a man too,” Loni said before she was interrupted by the wind chill. “Whew, this cold weather isn’t making things any better either,” she said as she rubbed her arms. “Here, let me warm you up,” Teddy said with a hug, as he rubbed Loni’s back. Loni continued to talk, “I just feel rushed, more than the actual desire for finding love. Rushed by my family, my feelings, my biological clock,” Loni said. Teddy laughed. “Woman, you’re only twenty six,” he said. “I know but,” Loni said before Teddy interrupted. “Listen, I’m not going to hold you long, because it is cold out here, but I’ve been feeling the same way,” he said. “Really?” Loni asked. “Yes,” he said with a laugh. “Guys go through the same things. So, I feel you. My parents has also been pressuring me to find a woman, get married and make a family. Listen, and I get it. They just want what’s best for us, but sometimes they can come off as overbearing,” he said. “Ain’t that the truth,” “What about this? How about I go with you to Thanksgiving dinner, and you come with me to my parents house, for Christmas, and from there, we’ll see how things goes. Neither of us want to be alone this time of year, and we are friends. So, why spend the Holidays being annoyed by our families alone, when we can be annoyed together,” Teddy said before they both shared a laugh. “Okay,” Loni said, coming out of Teddy’s embrace. “It’s a deal?” he said, extending his hand for a shake. “Deal,” Loni said, as she shook his hand. “Thanks for the talk to Teddy Bear. You always know just what to say, to make me feel better,” she said. “Likewise,” Teddy said. “You know that I love you girl,” he said as he opened her car door for her to get in. “I love you too, friend.” She got into her car and waved goodbye to Teddy as she drove off. “Lord Jesus, Erica’s going to have a field day with this,” she said.

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