It’s like a dream to me, I would have never known
– Chrisette Michele
I had a fresh hair do and no umbrella.
It’s the evening of Valentine’s Day. It didn’t smell like rain when I got out of my car, even though I knew it was in the forecast. Maybe I was too excited about being taken out on a date-date by a may-an to pay attention.
I met Mr. Conversation a few months ago at a fabulous hotel party. I’ve been on plenty of dates, but I haven’t had a “real” one like this in a long, long time. The kind where the man will drive you to your destination safely, look out for you for the night, and after, take you wherever you want to go. By my calculations, it’s been almost a year ( roughly the time I’ve been broken up with John) since that happened. I’ve grown too accustomed to the QC kind of date, where you meet him at the location and you both get in your cars and head home in opposite directions at the end of the night.
I walk into Mr. Conversations house and am greeted by a big, wide, fine-looking, great-smelling man, who says hello to me…well, very warmly. I’ve never seen him dressed up. He doesn’t have to wear a suit for work, and he doesn’t really like to. But for Valentine’s Day, he has broken out a suit and some hard soled shoes ( fresh shine).
Just when we’re about ready to go, I look out the blinds and realize it’s pouring rain. Of course it is. It rains every time I see this man. It’s as if we’re living in Love Jones but without all the smoky cafe`s and stuff.
Mr. Conversation doesn’t have an umbrella. Mine is in my car. But nothing will ruin my Valentin’s night. We’re going out. I’m eating a piece of Valentin’s Day red velvet cake! My freshly done hair will have to be damned. I will get wet to go on my Valentine’s Day date.
I steel up. Breezily announce that I am still good to go and there is no need to be late for our reservation. If he’ll just give me a towel, I’ll throw it over my head and hope for the best.
He looks at me as if I’m stupid…and starts taking off his clothes.
“No, baby,” I plead, reaching to button him back up. “We can do that later. I still wanna go!”
He laughs, smiles at me like I am the cutest thing ever. “I’m gonna run to get the umbrella.”
This beautiful Black man undresses, redresses in basketball shorts and a wife-B, and runs out in the pouring rain to get the umbrella from my car. Then he runs to his car – still in the pouring rain – to swing it around to the closest entrance so I will stay as dry as possible. Then he runs back into the house, soaking wet. He dries off, undresses, and redresses.
He looks at me. “What? What I do? Hmmm?”
I’m staring at him as if he is a superhero and I am Lois Lane. My hair and good dress have been saved from destruction. “You’re amazing,” I blurt. I tiptoe up, grab his face, and kiss him. “Thank you, Mr. Conversation.”
“C’mon,” he says, forcing himself to pull back. “We have reservations.”
When he’s ready again, he takes me by the hand and leads me out of the house. I happily follow.
Mr. Conversation takes me to a fabulous Italian Restaurant uptown. I let him order for me, and he picks out a wonderful dish Italian Sausage and Pasta dish. The only thing that is off is that Mr. Conversation keeps checking his phone all night, texting someone, then apologizing profusely each time.
“Did something happen at work?” I ask.
“Um…..no. I….just gotta take care of something,” he says mysteriously.
I nod. “Okay.” I don’t even let my mind wander to some next chick. He’s a man. He has man business to tend to. I keep eating my pasta.
The phone, on the table now, goes off again. He apologizes before checking it and typing back. I’m starting to get annoyed. I’ve been sipping on water. I order a glass of white wine when the waiter strolls by.
“I gotta run out. Okay?” Mr. Conversation asks.
What? I think it. I don’t say it. “Sure.” I try to sound as nonchalant as possible. I am slowly seething.
He goes away for about five minutes, then returns. The phone doesn’t buzz or ring again. It’s back in his pocket. We have amazing conversation, and I eat until I’m stuffed, but I am still thinking about the Valentine’s Day red velvet cake that he had been promising me for weeks.
When the waiter comes by to run down the dessert options, Mr. Conversation shuts him down before I can answer. Is he in a hurry to get somewhere? Did he make plans to do something after this? Maybe all that letting him order for me and lead me around has gone to his head. Red velvet wasn’t on the list of items the waiter ran off anyway, I justify. No red-velvet cake for me, I guess. It’s the only thing that keeps the evening from being perfect. Oh, and his ringing phone.
I get a doggie bag, and Mr. Conversation carries it with him as he runs to get the car in the rain and swings it around for me. All the way back to his house, we’re laughing and joking in our own little world. I’m still annoyed about the phone, but I’ll bring it up tomorrow, after Valentine’s Day.
Back at his condo, I kick off my shoes at his door. Mr. Conversation runs ahead to the kitchen, then calls me in. “I have one more surprise for you,” he says when I’m walking through the doorway.
I’m beaming. “Really, what?” I stick out both hands like a little kid, waiting for my gift. I even close my eyes.
He laughs. “Open your eyes, silly girl!”
I do. And there is nothing there.
He reaches into my doggie bag….and pulls out a cake. A homemade red-velvet cake.
“Here,” he says, placing it in my hands. It’s still warm.
He gives me the back story. The morning, Mr. Conversation realized the restaurant didn’t have red-velvet cake. He called a friend who bakes and told her the problem in a panic, then asked if she could whip up a cake.
Of course, it was an inconvenience. He pressed. He had to have it. She said she would rush home as soon as she could and make the cake. All of the texts throughout the evening were updates about the cake’s status: “I put it in the oven.” “I took it out the oven.” “It’ll be cool in 20.” “I’m icing it now.” “On my way.”
I don’t know what he said or did to impress upon this woman the importance of the night or the person he was entertaining. But this gracious, phenomenal woman, whoever she was, not only made the cake at the last minute, be then she jumped into her car and drove in the pouring rain to deliver it to him while we were at the restaurant so that he could feed me red-velvet cake on Valentine’s Day like he promised.
The cake is amazing.
The night is amazing.
Mr. Conversation is really friggin’ amazing!
“You are the sweetest thing ever!” I blurt to Mr. Conversation – not for the first time. I go up on my tiptoes for another kiss.
He has that look again, the one he gives when he’s trying to brush off a compliment. I swear he would blush if he could.