If you haven’t read part one, click here to read it.
My heart thumped as I replayed Rob’s remarks in my head.
Ya boy Ashton was real popular at the bar…
Popular? Popular with whom? Other women? Was that what he did while I was out trying to make a future for myself? Cheat on me?
I darted my eyes to Ashton but before I could say anything he stood and grabbed Rob by his shirt.
Ashton’s veins popped out of his neck like he had popped steroids. My heart felt as if it had stopped completely. I tried to find solace in our dark purple wallpaper, but it never came.
“Bro you gotta go,” Ashton said to Rob. “You my bro and everything, but get out. You can’t be out here plantin’ bullshit and lies in my woman’s head.”
Rob’s feet dangled from the floor as Ashton’s hand gripped the collar of his shirt.
His strength would have been a turn on if I wasn’t convinced Rob was telling the truth—that Ashton was being a hoe at the bar and messing with other women.
What did Ashton have to hide that Rob might expose? I rubbed my truth crystal again.
“Ashton, put him down! And Why do you want Rob to leave anyway?” I blurted. “Is he lying?” Silence hung in the air for a few seconds.
Ashton turned to me and narrowed his eyes. He still held on to Rob’s shirt tightly, though he did finally lower Rob onto the floor.
“I know what you’re doing Diane.” He glanced at my pocket where my crystal was. “It’s not gonna work,” Ashton said.
Rob coughed when Ashton finally released his shirt collar and shoved him. “I’m outta here, y’all trippin,” Rob said as he stormed out. “And you owe me for the weed, bro!” he called before the door shut.
“Look Diane.” Ashton gripped my waist firmly and I hated that it still felt so good, to be held by his lying ass.
“The truth is,” he said. “I do wish you had been there with us, babe. There were so many other couples there, but you were busy studying.” His eyes avoided mine, like there was something else he wanted to say, but couldn’t.
I rubbed my crystal ball and suddenly it felt pure. Ashton might have been telling the truth.
But still, something wasn’t sitting right with me. His eyes were honest, but something lingering in the air, something about Rob’s words, still bothered me. Did my studying bother him?
Grandma’s voice chimed in my mind again. Ain’t no point in wasting life stressin bout no man. On one level granny’s words made sense but on another they weren’t real for me. I did see a point in stressing over a man, especially one who was important to me. Why did that have to be a bad thing?
I exhaled and we started to kiss. Surprisingly, the liquor on his breath didn’t even bother me. I was just glad my baby still loved me in spite of my hectic study schedule.
We sat on the couch and started messing around. Ashton touched all over my body and eventually made his way down to my feet and for the first time in a while, he licked my toes.
I had never had my toes licked before. My eyes closed immediately as I laid back and soaked it all in.
Between inhaling the sage and rose I sprayed around earlier, to watching his sexy beard dance down by my toes, I was in heaven. He looked up and we locked eyes, but he didn’t look happy.
“What’s wrong baby?” I said.
“I ain’t gone lie, Diane. Someone was there that I had to fight off of me.”
My foot jerked away from him. “Who?” I clenched my fists.
“Portia. She was all over me. Said she visited you on campus and everything and how much you were…”
“Wait what? You sat and had a conversation with her? With your ex?” I was fuming.
After I lifted myself off the couch I stormed outside to the balcony and yelled at the top of my lungs. This bitch was ALWAYS haunting me! Why couldn’t Portia get out of my fucking life and accept that Ashton chose me?
Ashton stepped out to join me in a flash. His warm hands slipped around my waist from behind and his liquor breath was no longer cute.
He planted kisses all along the back of my neck. “I’m sorry, baby. I just wanted you to know the truth. That’s what you wanted right?”
I sighed heavily and let him continue to fondle me. Staring at the train which I could see from our balcony, I fantasized about getting back on it. I thought about riding through the night with the homeless people. Maybe I should have just stayed on it.
But then again, I guess this is what you get when you want to know the truth.
Even though it wasn’t pretty, the truth was what I wanted. I looked up at the sky and saw my grandmother’s face again. She saluted me, and said the only way I could keep a clear head, is to stay focused on my dreams. And my dream was an honest relationship, and a career.
Ashton and I cuddled on the balcony until he fell asleep with me in his arms.
As I studied the evenness of his snores, I wondered if the reason he seemed so at peace in my arms, was because he loved me enough to tell me the truth. And maybe the truth was that everything I needed, I already had.