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Fear, confusion, panic . . . all those emotions and more overcame Jacinda Montenegro in a horrifying instant. She was frozen to the spot where she sat; she couldn’t move. She felt paralyzed, unable to budge, incapable of moving a muscle. Her eyes searched the room looking for something that might help her get out of her predicament, something that could rescue her from her dilemma. Finally, with little other option, she cried out, “HELLLPPPPP! Help me! HELP!”
Khari Brevins, her boyfriend of two months, heard Jacinda’s cries from his comfortable position on the sofa in his basement, two floors away. He had been chilling in his man cave all by his lonesome; watching some college ball and eating a bacon cheeseburger fresh off the grill, some store bought potato salad he had doctored up to give it some taste, and drinking a few bottles of imported ale to quench his testosterone-driven thirst. He jumped up and bound up the stairs two and three at a time. Breathless, he reached the top of the staircase on the second floor of his house and made his way cautiously to the master bedroom. The slight sound of his bare feet on the hardwood floors in the hallway seemed to echo throughout the house as he crept along. Not wanting to make too much noise; he approached the bedroom with caution.
“HONEY! Help,” Jacinda cried out again, at the top of her lungs.
Entering the bedroom, Khari was expecting to see a blood bath of dismembered body pieces. Seeing nothing, he made his way further into the room. The bathroom door was ajar. He scanned the room quickly, looking for something that he might use as a makeshift weapon to defend himself but couldn’t find anything other than a pair of Jordans he had kicked off in the heat of passion the previous night and they wouldn’t work against a crazed serial killer, not even in a pinch. Disoriented momentarily, adrenaline taking over, Khari made his way across the room. He could hear his heartbeat pounding in his ears. Summoning up all his courage, his fist clenched tightly, he stepped into the doorway to discover what sort of gruesome crime scene would lie before him.
“Oh, you’re here. Good,” Jacinda sighed. “You’re out of toilet paper. Can you get me some? I was getting ready to use your shower curtain to wipe my behind.” Seeing the humor in the situation, she burst out laughing. Based upon Jacinda’s wide-eyed, innocent, and dazzling smile, it was clearly evident that she had no clue that her screams for help might have been even a tiny bit on the melodramatic side. Backing out of the room and breathing a sigh of relief, Khari went to the linen closet in the hallway and grabbed three rolls of two-ply cushiony, quilted softness and returned to the scene of the crime so to speak.
“Here,” he said, standing in the door frame with his back towards Jacinda, trying to hand her the rolls of TP with his hand stretched precariously behind him.
“Uhmmm, I can’t reach, silly. I didn’t poop, ya know. It was only pee. You can come in. Would you just hand it to me, please?”
“Jeez, Jay, do you always have to be so graphic?” Exasperated, Khari closed his eyes and tip-toed into the bathroom like he was a little boy trying to pretend he was invisible, put the rolls of toilet paper down on the counter, and made a quick exit back to his basketball, burger, and brew.
Jacinda joined him about a half hour later, smelling like she had bathed and lotioned herself with every tropical fruit known to man, carrying a plate with a hoagie the size of the state of Connecticut in one hand and an orange-cream soda in the other. She had spent the morning in bed sleeping and relaxing while Khari was up and about doing his Saturday morning chores. This was their first real time together since they had woken up. “What’s the score?” Jacinda inquired.
Khari glanced over and all she was wearing was a pair of black bikini panties, not a stitch of other clothing. He practically spit his Samuel Smith Organic Lager across the room. “Uhhhmm, don’t you want to put some clothes on? I mean, it’s 2 in the afternoon.” Because they hadn’t been dating very long, this was the first time they had a date that didn’t end with one of them getting up and getting dressed in the middle of the night to go home. This was their very first intentional sleepover, complete with a packed bag and everything. It was clear that Jacinda was comfortable in her own skin, much more so than Khari could ever hope to be. For a brief moment, Jacinda felt embarrassed. In her own home, she’d walked around buck naked in front of Khari but, again, they had only been having sex for a couple of weeks so they hadn’t quite worked out all the logistics of coupledom just yet.
Jacinda felt ashamed; tears welled in her eyes. This was the first time in the 8 weeks that they had been dating that Khari wasn’t totally attentive and sweet. She thought her lack of clothing indicated that she was comfortable in his home but it was clear he didn’t want her to feel that relaxed. She jumped up, ran upstairs güvenilir bahis to get dressed, and returned a few minutes later wearing black leggings and a hot pink t-shirt. She even put on socks and shoes just to be on the safe side. She made her way back to the sofa and sat in silence as she ate her sub and watched the game. Khari sat in silence and watched the game, not even bothering to make small talk or look in her direction. He could tell that she was upset but he just didn’t care. When Jacinda said she was going to leave to go home, he made no efforts to ask her why or even ask her to stay. He cleared the dirty dishes and asked her if she needed help taking her bag to the car like she was an unwelcomed house guest who had stayed too long.
Khari, at 37 years of age, worked as an installer for a cable company. If anyone were to ask him to describe himself, he would emphatically say that he was a good guy with his own house, his own car, no criminal record, and no kids. He made a fairly decent salary but if it wasn’t for the fact that Khari had gotten into a car accident and received a settlement of $60,000 he wouldn’t have been able to put a down payment on a house and buy his truck. In fact, if he hadn’t gotten that lump sum, he more than likely would have been living with his mother in her basement. He liked to live for the moment and saving and budgeting had never been skills he had mastered so he blew the rest of the money on partying and ladies.
As for the ladies, Khari was a liar and a cheater extraordinaire who treated women like objects. He had never, not once in his life, had a girlfriend he hadn’t cheated on. He didn’t even think that was a problem or an issue, it never even crossed his mind that anything was wrong with that fact. The only person he thought of in relationships was himself, women were a nuisance because he really only wanted sex and he resented having to pretend to care about someone else and their feelings, but that’s what he did, pretend. He was great at pretending when he wanted to; his acting skills could have won him an Academy award. Khari had the ability to convince women that he was attentive, loving, committed, faithful, and oh so in love, right up until the minute he decided he was bored of pretending then he would move on, no explanation, no looking back. When he was in a relationship and his self-centered urges hit, he would do something, anything to fuck up the relationship and he would gravitate back to the collection of mentally-unstable women he kept on retainer who he had romanced in the past and who found his particular brand of emotional immaturity sexy and who didn’t ask too many questions to ascertain his level of fidelity. Or at least they believed his lies enough to be swept up in the romance of it all.
Standing at 5’9″, 180 lbs, naturally fit, built like a Pit-bull, with flawless caramel-colored brown skin and a smile that could light up any room, Khari was neither ugly nor overly attractive. His most “attractive” feature was that he knew how to pour on the charm to get women to fall in love with him. The romantic emails, the late night phone calls, the dinners and the endless lies were his weapons of choice. It was especially the phone calls in the beginning of the relationship that lasted hours and hours where he would tell the women how amazing, wonderful, and intense the connection he felt to them and that would usually be enough to seal the deal and make them fall in love. After they fell head over heels, the phone calls would last 20 minutes and he always had something more important to do than talk on the phone. You see, Khari was addicted to the chase. When he caught his prey, he would find someone else to romance. When the women whose hearts he had destroyed would confront him, angry and hurt, he would ignore them like they didn’t even exist, blame them for some made up excuse, and he would take no responsibility whatsoever for his actions without a thought or care in the world. Khari was totally oblivious of how heinous it was to make a woman fall in love with him and then just snatch it away.
Jacinda, on the other hand, was a case-study in growth, evolution, and transformation. She had gone through her 20s depending on her looks. It’s what Black women who are attractive do. You use your looks, your big butt, and, if you’re “lucky,” your light skin to get men to do everything for you without you needing to have a thought or a care in the world about being self-sufficient or independent. She dressed well, was relatively smart, and standing at 5’5″ tall, 160 pounds, possessing more than her fair share of tits and ass, there was no shortage of men vying for her attention and willing to buy her things to impress her. That meant men fell all over her just for the chance to have her on their arm when they were out and about town but ultimately, their only true goal was to get her into bed. She wasn’t a real person to most of them, just a sexual conquest. She was more like an erotic game piece türkçe bahis to be collected by men in some twisted competition to see who could screw the most attractive women.
Jacinda had gone through her 30s dependent on books, immersing herself in self-help books, workshops, seminars, and retreats in an effort to unpack a little bit of the baggage so many Black women carry around with them that had been keeping her from knowing real joy. She was way past the “buy me” stage and wanted men to value her for more than her looks, but for her substance. She didn’t want to hold onto past pain to the point where she exploded in violent anger at the tiniest provocation. She didn’t want to feel like she was constantly walking around with a cloud of insecurity and self-doubt hovering over her. Her 30s was her time of reinvention and renewal.
In her 40s, Jacinda was the top in her field of cooks. She’d quit her job as a bank manager and she’d gone to culinary school and gotten a job as a food stylist on a TV network. It was great because she could express her creativity with what she loved doing the most and she didn’t have the dreadful schedule of a restaurant chef. She finally had gotten comfortable in her own skin. Everything wasn’t all peaches and cream, however, because it seemed that she was so anxious to love and be loved, not to grow old alone, she would jumped into relationships where the warning signs were there and she found herself overlooking some major character flaws in men and giving too much weight to chemistry and not enough weight to character. She didn’t date thugs, she dated emotionally immature men. It wasn’t a preference it was just a reality that Black men hardly ever did any work on themselves and they had been raised in a society that told them that their manhood was to be measured in inches and machismo.
She figured that if she could just find a good enough man who was committed to her, she could help shape him into a great man with love and guidance. It didn’t seem all that unreasonable to her. No relationship is perfect; Prince Charming only exists in fairy tales. She was doing what she thought was her only choice, to accept what her mother, sisters, grandmother, aunts, and a whole host of elder Black women had been telling her since she was a child. Men, they said, were never going to be sensitive, nurturing, or understanding so if she didn’t want to spend her life alone, she needed to just suck it up and deal with it. It was that advice that landed her in a string of dead-end relationships.
After their little incident, Jacinda let a few days go by, hoping Khari would call her and apologize for the incident, or at least acknowledge that he should have been a bit less rude and a bit more sensitive. That call never came. Her mind raced, her thoughts would spin out of control. She couldn’t figure out what happened to the man who had come to fix her cable and blown her away with his sensitivity and attentiveness. She saw his postings on Facebook; simultaneously she planned and plotted on what and when to post on her Facebook page so that he would see them and he could be reminded of her presence. Finally, tired of the childish games, she picked up the phone and called him. He was emotionally distant. She addressed the issue head on, he told her that she was over-reacting and that he hadn’t done anything wrong. Khari never apologized. He just glossed over that part as if he didn’t owe her anything and he acted as if he did nothing wrong. Much to Jacinda’s credit, it was her efforts at communicating her feelings without projecting shame that turned the tide in the conversation and before long; things were back on a good footing.
The weeks turned to months and they were getting along better all the time. The relationship had a few problems, nothing to break up over, and for the most part they were going extremely well. Khari’s brothers had been teasing him about settling down and finding someone rather than just the endless string of women that only lasted two or three months so Khari decided that Jacinda was nice enough that he would try to make it work with her. The relationship really started to blossom when he made that choice. There was very little fighting, they got along well, they enjoyed the same forms of entertainment and social activities and the sex was . . . very, very good.
The sex between them wasn’t bad by any stretch of the imagination; Khari made sure Jacinda came every time. Jacinda just like felt the sex was monotonous, lacked any sort of creativity. A typical evening would be spent having dinner, watching TV, and when Khari decided that he was tired enough to go to bed and not too tired for sex, they would shut everything down and head to the bedroom. Khari always wore a t-shirt and boxers to bed and the lights out always had to be out. Their routine was entirely predictable. Jacinda would get in bed, usually naked or wearing something semi-sexy, and Khari would follow soon thereafter. He would start rubbing his dick güvenilir bahis siteleri on her ass and playing with her breasts and talking dirty. That would go on for about 15 minutes until he thought she was sufficiently aroused and then would slide his boxers off and climb on top of her under the covers and “do his business” as Miss Celie would say.
Technically, Khari was masterful at throwing the dick. His dick got super-hard, he lasted long, he had a phenomenal down stroke, and he knew how to seal the deal. The only thing missing for Jacinda was diversity. He never once sucked a toe, he never gave her a massage, they barely even kissed. Every once in a while they would augment their evening with a little oral sex but Khari wanted to use sex more as an aide to get to sleep rather than an actual intimate connection with the woman with whom he shared his life. Jacinda wanted more sensuality, more passion, more variety but Khari always had an excuse for why it had to be pretty much the same way all the time. He was tired, he had to get up early, he had other things on his mind, everything was an excuse for him not to do anything other than exactly what he wanted to do. Eventually, Khari got to the point where he could silence Jacinda’s complaints about sex by saying, “Babe, I’m so in love with you, I need you. Sex with you is amazing. You are all the woman I need.”
And those were all the words she needed to hear. The sex wasn’t bad so Jacinda thought it was her responsibility to be a little more accepting of what was good about the sex and conversely try to gently suggest other things they could do together. Most other women would have been satisfied with a good, hard fuck but Jacinda wanted to incorporate toys, she wanted to try different scenarios and techniques, she wanted to have spontaneous sex at 4 in the afternoon in the shower or the kitchen or the park. She would have settled for him just being more tactile in bed. Anything would have been an improvement but she weighed the pros and cons of their relationship and decided it wasn’t a deal breaker. Lying, cheating, doing something intentionally hurtful, those were deal breakers and she was assured Khari loved her and that was worth more to her than playing some silly erotic board game, a hot stone massage, or using chocolate body paints.
On the night of their one-year anniversary, Khari took Jacinda to their favorite restaurant. They sat across the table from one another and gazed into each other’s eyes, they flirted and talked and fed each other. Love was in the air. Khari realized that this was the longest, healthiest relationship he’d ever been in. He was caught up in it, thinking that he had really changed, that he was no longer a player but he was really, truly a good guy. He was starting to believe his own lies. He started to pour on the charm. “Over this last year, Jay, I’ve grown so much. You’ve helped me to be a better human being, and dare I say it, a better man. I am so comfortable with you. I can easily see myself spending the rest of my life with you.”
When he heard the words come out of his mouth, something instantly changed within him. Never stuttering for a second, while he was still professing his undying love, his mind was racing with thoughts that he wanted to end the relationship and end it immediately. He knew he had gone too far. Khari didn’t want to spend the rest of his life with anyone. What he wanted was to fuck as many random women as he could, no strings attached, and never have to pretend to care about another woman for as long as he lived. Fuck what his family had been saying. He had gotten so masterful at lying, at pretending to be the sweet, sensitive boyfriend that he almost started to believe his own hype. The minute he heard himself say that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Jacinda, it was like being struck by lightning. He knew that he HAD to get out of the relationship and fast. He knew that he couldn’t keep pretending to love her. He wanted to be as self-centered and narcissistic as he could be. He didn’t mind pretending to be into women if they were just fuck buddies and booty calls and married women who had husbands to go home to but telling a woman that he wanted to spend his life with her, he had gone too far and the game had to stop.
Even as he was sitting there, even as he heard his professions of love in his little prepared speech leave his lips, he was planning his exit. He was holding her hand, softly touching her cheek, and telling her things that every woman would want to hear and he was lying the entire time. He knew in that very moment that the next time that she brought up an issue about their relationship, he would blow it out of proportion and give her no choice but to break up. He thought about cheating on her and letting her find out but that was Plan B. Technically, he had cheated on her before but it but he justified in his mind that it didn’t really count because it was only oral from some chick at his job he didn’t give a fuck about anyway. He knew Jacinda; he knew that it wouldn’t be long before she wanted to talk about “the truth” or feelings or how to make their relationship better, or something about relationship stuff. It was just a matter of time.
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