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Love Affair

Song: Valentines X Rylo



Dom: “You miss me?”

 

Ameera looked at her phone and bit her bottom lip as butterflies lit up her stomach, her past knocked on the door to her heart and the answer that danced on her manicured fingertips caused her to take pause, she put her phone down and admired herself in the mirror. It was just like him to throw her off. Of all days today was the last day she needed to be thinking about him. He knew that, but just like always he didn’t give a fuck he needed her energy so fuck whatever she had going on. The involuntary chill that ran down her spine was the confirmation she needed to block the number and delete his thread.

“Hey baby, you ready?” Darius’ voice entered the room before he came into view, the smile that slowly spread over his face showing off white teeth and dimpled cheeks was contagious because she couldn’t help the grin that she returned when she looked at him.

“Putting on my shoes now.” She responded bending over to tie the straps on her heel

“Sit down I got you,” he insisted, and she obliged, allowing him to take her foot into his lap and put her heel on fastening the strap. Darius bent before her and kissed her ankle before repeating the steps on the other foot. The spark that she waited for in response never came and she did her best to hide her disappointment. Darius was a good man, successful, handsome, caring, charming, intentional. He treated her so good that she felt guilty for not loving him the same,


“Women can grow to love a man if he is consistent enough, but a man with his mind made up to treat you like you don’t matter to him will do that for as long as you stay. Give it time, you will learn to love him baby,”  


Her mothers’ words from their last phone call played in her head so clear that a tear rolled down her cheek, she couldn’t deny the truth they held. However, she also couldn’t deny that love lacked logic and her heart refused to get with the program. Darius was safe and she convinced herself that being with him was making the right decision, she returned to the moment as he kissed the inside of her ankle again and stood up. Admiring each other in the large mirror of the bedroom they shared, his brown suit complimented her cream-colored floor length dress that hugged her frame. Ameera’s hair was put up showcasing her beautiful brown face, she pulled her phone out needing to capture the moment as Darius rested a hand on her hip and they posed for a few pictures.

Ameera had no clue what Darius had planned for them and the anticipation of what was to come had her stomach in knots,

“We’re here,” He revealed and before she could ask a question a man dressed in a black suit opened her door

“Happy Valentines Day,” he greeted and handed her a beautiful red rose,

“Thank you.” Ameera smiled stepping around the car to stand next to Darius as she looked at the entrance to the building, a red carpet filled with rose petals guided them to through the entrance until they stopped in front of an elevator. Once the doors opened Ameera’s smiled dropped as confusion took over her face, they walked into a dark room and she was shocked once the lights came on and a crowd of people shouted

“SURPRISEEEE!!!!,”

“Happy Birthday baby,” Darius whispered in her ear then kissed her cheek

Ameera’s eyes blurred as her friends hugged her, she thought they all had Valentines Day plans. She was used to celebrating her birthday late because of the holiday it fell on but today everyone she loved was standing around her and she was overwhelmed because Darius listened when she told him about that and wishing someone threw her a surprise party. Ameera looked over at him and they made eye contact as tears filled her eyes, there was so much regret that lived in her and before she could walk over to him she felt a tug on her arm, she looked over and realized it was her best friend, Chelle, that needed her attention she excused herself and followed her to the restroom.

“What’s up?” Ameera asked as soon as they walked in

“Wait,” Chelle responded opening all of the bathroom stalls to make sure they were alone, once her search was complete Chelle let out a sigh of relief “Girl you got that nigga wrapped around your finger, this is going to be cake.” Chelle laughed while sticking her tongue out and twerking.

“I’m out.”

Chelle's celebration stopped as she let Ameera’s words land in the space between them,

“It’s not that simple and you know it,”

“Why isn’t it? Tell your uncle that we need to choose a different mark. Darius isn’t the one.”

“You’re right. He’s a pawn and your orders were simple, get him to fall in love with you. Job well done, it’s almost over.”

“Well what if I want to stop pretending and stay here?!” Ameera shouted, she was tired of constantly running schemes on people and moving on to the next victim, only limiting contact with her real family to phone calls that were growing shorter and shorter. All to show a sense of loyalty to a group of people that would move on to the next mark if she dropped dead today. Chelle was the first person to introduce her to this life when they were in college, the money helped put her through school so she couldn’t complain then. However, Chelle’s uncle was the mastermind behind it all and when he came to visit Chelle and let her know that he needed her and Ameera to join his team they didn’t question it. Chelle and Ameera fit the bill perfectly and every plan went off without a hitch plus he paid generously for their services. When she was younger it was a thrill and she enjoyed it, but she was turning 25 today and she couldn’t see her doing this much longer. She wasn’t sure where her conscious came from, but her gut was telling her that Darius didn’t deserve to be dragged into this. Ameera didn’t love him, she could admit that, but she’d been with him for 8 months now and she cared enough to protect him from what was to come.

“That isn’t realistic Ameera, get your head out your ass and come the fuck on. You don’t even love that nigga.” Chelle’s disgust with Ameera’s actions was plastered on her face as she turned to grab the door to the bathroom. “He’s about to propose to you tonight,” She said before pulling the door open to leave. A lump formed in Ameera’s throat as she turned to place her palms on the bathroom sink, just in time to brace herself for the next words that fell from Chelle’s mouth.

“Unblock my brother,”

Ameera's head shot up and she looked at Chelle in stun, the love affair Ameera had going with her older brother, Dom, was a secret for the numerous reasons Dom had provided over the years but she had no clue that Chelle knew about it. The irony of it all was that the love that Darius showed her was enough for her to see the flaws in the love Dom showed. Eight months was a long time, it was actually the longest time she spent away from Dom since they met but the text message was more than just a question to throw her off her game, it was a warning to let her know he was coming to get her and blocking him didn’t mean that her feelings went away with the deleted thread. Ameera fell in love with Dom as a young girl and put him on a pedestal he was bound to fall off of, the years of lies and deceit being explained, gifted, and fucked away were clear when she was able to breathe fresh toxic free air and the more she thought about it in this moment she looked up at Chelle

“How long? She asked

“What?” Chelle asked feigning ignorance

“How long has Dom been playing me to keep me loyal?”

“You’re paranoid Meera, my brother fucks with you.”  She locked the door to the bathroom, the chill that fell over the room wasn’t missed by Ameera “And besides even if that were the case being disloyal has consequences and backing out ain’t an option.”

Ameera scoffed and nodded her head the clarity that fell over her was enough to make her want to vomit. This whole time she was a fool in love, she could swallow it coming from Dom and Chelle’s uncle, but Chelle was her best friend. Her being in on it and pretending for years felt like she plotted on her right along with Dom. The trapped feeling that circled her caused the lump in her throat to tighten, the room was suffocating and she knew it was time to plot her escape from it all. Ameera was going to tell Darius everything and she prayed he’d forgive her and get her away, for now she pulled herself together and checked her reflection in the mirror. Emotions cleared her face as if she were a magician and when she turned back to Chelle her game face was one of an expert poker player.

“You right Chelle, I’m tripping. Let’s get this money.”

“That’s what I’m talking about,” Chelle responded her smile returning as she unlocked the door

 Once they exited the bathroom Darius walked up to them

“I’ve been looking for you love,” He said taking her into his arms and kissing her passionately, Ameera allowed him to walk her away from Chelle after their kiss.

“Let’s get out of here.” Ameera suggested

“Is everything okay? Darius asked “I wanted to introduce you to someone, this is the guy I’ve been telling you about. I closed the account today and I invited him to celebrate.” Darius walked her over to the bar while explaining who she would be meeting and before she could respond Darius turned her toward his guests.

“Baby meet Stephen and his nephew Dom.”

When Ameera locked eyes with them she stopped in her tracks, there was no hiding her surprise, yet she tried smiling as she shook their hands. It felt like shaking the hand of the devil himself when she touched them. The new light she saw them in was blinding but she was still able to read Dom like a book, she knew it was too late.


“He’s here to get me and kill Darius."


The End


Happy Valentine's Day!

-T.A. Campbell

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