Chocolate Vanilla Sweets

Chapter One

I kissed her. The heat between us was unbearable. I tried to be patient. “Go slow,” I breathed in my head, But I was already lost in her warm beautiful mouth. She felt so meek in my arms that I knew she wanted all of me. I ran my pale long fingers over her rich smooth ebony skin. Her hair was a natural, thick, curly afro and her eyes were large and expressive. I knew her thoughts. They had synced with mine. Needing to touch her hourglass frame some more, I grew anxious and yanked off her top… I wake washed in sweat.

I hate these dreams of Suzanne. Lately, I think of her more often than necessary. It’s been over fifteen years since I last laid eyes on her in the flesh. So, we link up on social media from time to time. She’s pursued the passion and dreams of her mother and is almost done with medical school. I look up at the custom made vanilla embossed ceiling in my bedroom. I’ve done pretty well too. I’m the second heir apparent to one of the globe’s largest banking and financial services. Our business presence vibrates practically across every continent. My brother Doug will one day run the lucrative empire. I don’t mind being second fiddle. It allows me much play time and accommodates me rising through the ranks of the ForeRunners organization. We are a growing alternative right group with chapters across the US. I am head of the New York chapter. Our hope is to take the philosophy that our white race is all power everywhere.

It’s early morning. Outdoors remain dark. Rufus, my Shih Tzu, barely opens his eyes as I jog across the carpet. I hit the treadmill with a solid 30-minute run. Again, I think of Suzanne and that stupid dream. We sort of grew up together. Suzanne’s mom, Sheila, was my favorite housekeeper at the family estate in Southampton New York. I knew black people made good servants, but what I didn’t know or anticipate was that little black girls turned into such beautiful women. One in particular.

Suzanne was just a regular skinny girl at ten, eleven. We played together all the time. But at fifteen, she was different. She grew tall and slim. She had the most beautiful smile. Her skin tone glowed. I’m sure she grew past me at the time. And I was practically six feet. Of course, I fell for her. Which guy with eyes wouldn’t? The thing with Suzanne was, she wasn’t only pretty, but her mind was sharp. I was always struck by how much she knew. I could spend forever just talking to her about things. The orbit, aliens, economics, science, politics, any subject in the world.

I had grown accustomed to girls twisting themselves into pretzels just to be with me. Not just because I am an okay looking guy, but I’m after all, a direct heir to the Mitchell’s financial dynasty. Yet Suzanne’s mom kept her prized daughter away from me. Away. From. Me. Michael Henry Mitchell! And then Suzanne’s asinine brother beat me up one day.

Chapter Two

I was twenty years old when her loser brother touched me. He was a few years older. Suzanne and I were playing a game of tennis and afterwards we shared a couple of smooches right there on the tennis court for the world to see. Sometimes when I am with her, we get carried away. I was at Columbia University doing my BSc in Business and she was still a junior in high school. I came home regularly, only to see her. I had no idea, that her big stocky brother, Martin, was visiting with his mother that weekend. That jerk and I never got along. Martin pulled me from his sister and landed a couple painful punches. I was bleeding and bruised when he was done. From that day onwards, I never saw Suzanne again. She was moved to another school. Apparently, no one approved of our little romance. My father only allowed it because he knew I wasn’t serious. After all, I was dating a rich industrial tycoon’s daughter at the time, Amy Rizzo.

Since the fight with Martin, I worked out everyday. I lived at the gym, building my upper and lower body strength. I learnt boxing. I was ready for any attack, particularly from black guys. I get a high, just knocking them about in the boxing ring. Well, there are a few who landed some hard blows, but most times I beat them up. It’s important they know that I am dominant. White blood will always be superior. I learnt this new outlook on campus, where prominent men spoke to us about the racial make up of the nation, that it was intended for white Christian and European ethnicities. All other groups were inferior. This revelation propelled me to great heights at Columbia. I held positions on the student governing board, got stellar grades and graduated cum laude.

It took me a few years of travelling the globe before I committed to immersing myself into the company. Doug was already running the corporate office in Milan. In a few months, he will be back in New York city. I currently co-head the Investment Banking Division for North America.

I complete my power walk, take a quick shower and get dressed for work. I am meeting with some college kids this morning to discuss the effects of the multiculturalist agenda on white Europeans. I send a text to my assistant, Sarah, while my coffee brews. I scroll quickly through my morning messages. Suzanne has sent me a message on messenger. She’s returning to New York. Doing her residency at a hospital in the Bronx and is arriving this weekend. Suzanne ends the message with, “I can’t wait to see you. Can we meet?”

Chapter Three

My heart races. Of course, we can’t meet. What’s the matter with her? Suzanne, You have been tucked away in Saint Paul Minnesota since God knows how long. I have forgotten about you and your family. Or I try hard to forget… And, your mother will always be my favorite cook. But I don’t want to see you or your lame brother. I’ve moved on with tons of other beautiful women, some of them as chocolate coated as you.

I send a quick text: Sorry Suzanne, I travel a lot and won’t have the time. I press send.

Over the next few months, The Black Lives Matter movement keeps gaining momentum and dominates the news cycle. They keep having these absurd demonstrations, protests and rallies due to so called injustices meted out to black people. The demonstrations are taking place mainly in the city. Recently, a caucasian van driver mowed down some protesters in Brooklyn. Two people got hurt. They are all idiots. The driver for hitting those people and the protesters for not realizing that all lives matter. Plus, white lives are the ones marginalized and dishonored. Very soon, we will be outnumbered. These people will take over if we don’t stop them. This is the white man’s land after all. The Jews, those blacks.

I need a stiff drink. Rum. I pour myself a shot from the stash I store in my office. There are so many black and Jewish persons rising through the ranks at our company, that I don’t even understand how people say racism exists. The ForeRunners will educate the masses. We have undertaken a massive campaign at a huge price tab, with college and university clubs designed to spread our message.

The months roll by quickly and it’s almost the end of the year. The stores are getting ready for Christmas. Almost a year had passed since Suzanne had started her residency. We spoke briefly online when she arrived in New York and that was that. Doug is back at our head office and six months ago, I was given the task of running our Atlanta offices. I finished my Atlanta CEO stint and thankfully, I am back in New York city.

It’s a few weeks before Christmas. I see a striking tall girl, in the lobby of my condo residence. I scrutinize her carefully. She is wearing a black close-fitting leather pants and wine-red crop top sweater with high heel boots. Her slick hair is done in curvy cornrows that is pulled into a sexy ponytail. She’s sizzling and is exactly my type. Her back is turned to me. I stride with confidence, already role playing in my head, the approach I will take, when she turns to face me. Oh my God!

Chapter Four

It’s Suzanne. My confidence deflates. My approach slows. She seems equally surprised to see me. I look into her warm large brown eyes, and I feel like a kid again, unsure, goofy. The type of kid an older brother would beat up. My eyes harden at the memory. I am standing before her thinking, she’s still beautiful. In fact, she’s more radiant than ever. I sigh, “How are you Doctor Suzanne Smith?”

“I am okay.” Suzanne smiles.

I close my eyes a bit to hide something…vulnerability. Unfortunately, the emotions are still there when my eyelids reopen. Time did not remove the feelings I have for this woman. In that moment, my hate for black lives didn’t matter. I am captivated.

I take another breath, “Ahhhm…what are you doing here?” this is a luxurious condo complex owned by my family. It’s not accessible to just anyone, especially someone of Suzanne’s means.

“I am here to collect a package from my attending physician. This is the address I was given. But she’s not here yet. Still some minutes away.” Suzanne says, looking around the plush contemporary lobby.

“I live here…”

“On the pent floor I bet!” Suzanne says, grinning. Of course, would have been my response, but I held back the comment.

“They have excellent guest service here. If you need a drink or need to use the restroom…if you need wifi services, Tray or Linda can help you.” I say, showing her the persons at the reception desk.

“Thanks,” Suzanne says, with a subdued smile.

After we exchange a few more pleasantries, I disappear into my private elevator. It zips me to the fortieth floor. The elevator opens into a huge bachelor suite with a stunning panoramic view of New York city. Suzanne would love this killer view. Rufus jumps on my leg. I pick up my furry friend and walk over to the security tv screens. As controller of the property, and penthouse resident, I can see all the happenings in the lobby and other places in the building. I am looking at Suzanne, sitting on a sofa in the lobby, scrolling through her phone. Imagine that…running into the elegant Suzanne Smith here. All six feet of her! I rub Rufus’s head. An idea pops into my head.

Chapter Five

I shed my suit and change quickly into a blue sweater and mint grey jeans. I grab a light jacket. They are predicting snow in a few weeks. Rufus indicates he wants to go outside with me. But Roger, the dog walker had already come by, “Roger has already taken you walking Rufus. I’m going to look for a friend. Be a good boy until I get back okay?” Rufus wags his tail and does a friendly bark. “That a boy,” I say, rubbing his head. Rufus has been the love of my life, ever since I got him as a pup four years ago. There was no need to have a woman living in my space. I was fine using dating apps like Happn and Hinge. No commitment. Although, there is Barbara. My beautiful dating partner on and off for the last six years. Barbara and I have an understanding. If neither of us are hitched by the age of forty, we’ll get married. We weren’t in love or anything. But we were both successful businesspeople and fully understood each other. I turn thirty-six next year, and still find it difficult to settle down. The possibility of marrying Barbara is becoming real with each passing year.

By the time I whizz downstairs, Suzanne’s still in the lobby and is growing very impatient. I can tell by the way she’s tapping her boot on the floor, while sitting.

“Your boss is clearly late.” I say, surprising her.
“I guess she is.” Suzanne’s voice is tight.
“What’d you say we go to a nearby coffee shop? It’s the best in this part of the city?” I say.

Suzanne chuckles, stands and hides her delicious figure in a snuggle white Fall jacket. “Sir Michael! You’re on.” She laughs taking my arm. We are back to our old days, where she calls me “Sir Michael”.

Perhaps I should call her “Sue.”

The coffee shop is warm and cozy. We order coffee, cookies and cake. I ask Suzanne if she had gotten the chance to visit my parents. They live in a penthouse apartment on 52nd street.

“Of course, Mike! Your parents are the benefactors of my fine education. They are absolutely incredible!” Suzanne quips.

“They are very proud of you. We all are!” I smile.
“How is Doug?” Sue asks.

“He’s getting married on Valentine’s Day!”

“Stop! Doug. Married. Wow! I am so happy for him. So, he’s going to take the plunge,” Suzanne’s eyes are a brilliant brown and for a moment I am lost.

“Michael!” Sue brings me back from gazing. It’s an embarrassing moment and I blush.

“Doug had called me when he got back from Milan. He wanted to know if I needed help with anything.” Sue says as a forkful of cake disappears into her mouth, “your mom told him I was here.”

I nod, sipping my coffee. I felt like a jerk. I didn’t call Sue, but my brother did. My brother, the stiff, snobbish one. I run my hand over my face, “Hey Sue, I am sorry…” I try to apologize for not meeting up with her earlier. But she brushes the comment aside with her hand, like she’s brushing away an insect, “No need to explain Sir Mike. I know how busy you are.” She replies.

I grow uncomfortable. Her smile is adorable. I am relieved that she swats away my apology. I can’t explain not calling her. How can I explain that I’ve dreamt of her since she was skinny twig in high school? How can I explain that she continues to be one of the brightest, funniest people I know, and I am happy just being in her presence? I can’t explain any of it. Oh, how I wish I could.

Chapter Six

It’s two weeks before Christmas and the twenty-eight-story headquarters of PJMitchell Financial Services is cheerful with Christmas décor. I am humming a Christmas carol in the boardroom, and my personal assistant, Sarah, asks me if I am okay. Yes, I readily respond, smiling with my brows creased. Why???

“One would think you’ve fallen in love. That’s all.” Sarah shrugs while placing the meeting’s agenda and minutes on the huge glass covered mahogany conference table. There will be an Investment meeting shortly targeting our European market. Only Sarah and I are in the boardroom. Could I be in love? I saw Sue twice since our coffee date. We both lead hectic schedules but somehow, we squeezed a moment for lunch one day in the Bronx. And over the weekend, we visited with mom, who wasn’t well. She suffers from hypertension and diabetes. Sue gave her a thorough check up. It turns out mom’s blood pressure was high. Sue made recommendations including changes to mom’s diet. It was great seeing the care she took with mom, and how passionate she was about her work. Suzanne’s dark brown soft curly hair was in a huge bun. And while she was running checks on mom, all I wanted to do was pull her hair tie, and run my hands through her thick hair.

Later that same evening, we had spoken to Sue’s mom in Saint Paul. It was great talking to Sheila, and I promised to keep in touch more often. My chauffer, Harry, would be driving Sue to her home In Queens. But just before she got into the Jaguar SUV, I stopped her, and did what I wanted to do all evening, remove the hair tie, and run my hand through the moist curls of her hair. Normally, I have an inch height advantage over her, but she was in heels that day, so she was a bit taller.

“Sue, are you seeing anyone?” my blue-green eyes are intense as I stare into her warm browns. She knew exactly where I was going with this line of questioning. Sue looked away.

“No one. Not right now.” Sue said, softly.

“Are you sure? No guy waiting in Saint Paul?” I smiled.

Sue laughed, “No, what about you? Do you have a special girl?”
“No.” I said quickly. Maybe, a bit too eager. There is distrust in Suzanne’s eyes. She knew me too well. “No!” I repeated, holding her gaze. No one important.
I turn to my Assistant and smile, “Perhaps, I am falling in love…”
Sarah is quiet for a moment, and then her shocked face breaks into a hearty laugh, “I never knew this day would come. That’s great Michael! Don’t screw it up.”

Chapter Seven

I take Sarah’s warning to heart and take some weeks off from work. Suzanne is also on break for Christmas holidays and to my joy, she’s accepted an invitation to spend Christmas with my family. We will be going to the family cottage in Great Valley on Christmas Eve. The Saturday before Christmas, I invite Sue to my place for dinner. It will be the first time that she will be coming over and my chef has prepared a wide array of Italian and Asian food. The food is delivered at five pm sharp. I had no need for butler services and my maid Teresa has the night off. It will just be Sue, Rufus and me.

I can see Harry, my chauffer and Sue walking across the lobby on my surveillance screen. She’ll be here within moments. I do a quick scan of the ridiculously large studio penthouse. I have no staircase. It’s one big living space for Rufus and I to explore, with huge rooms flowing into the other. I am dressed in white loose slacks and a grey torso hugging long sleeve top. I am standing, legs apart, directly in front of the elevator when the door opens.

A huge smile spreads across her face when she sees me, and then her jaw drops. Sue is enthralled by the view. I knew it! She looks like such a kid. Sue tosses me her jacket and handbag and walks over to the huge glass windows. “Oh my God!” Sue says in awe. She is looking at the fiery grey shade of the evening skyline. I hang up her jacket. The sun is setting. We can see the statue of liberty in the distance. Sue stands there a long time, enjoying the view. And I stand a few feet behind, enjoying her view. Sue is stunning in all red, pants and short sweater top. Her hair is out, wavy and thick, like a crown on her head. Sue turns and looks at the colossal studio. Then she finally sees me, with Rufus in my arms, wagging his tail.

Sue grins, walking towards us, “Who is this little fella?”
I introduce her to Rufus, and they immediately hit it off. Sue gently scratches behind `Rufus’s ear, while talking to him. Rufus and I walk her through the studio. The magnificent Christmas tree bringing everything to life. I explain that every room can be separated by hidden dividers. “That’s good to know,” Sue says, noting that I have three bedrooms. She finds the entire pent floor amazing. “It must be good to be a Mitchell,” Sue smiles, making a little jab at my mega wealthy family. I shrug in response, “Sometimes. Ready to eat?” I ask. Sue nods. She follows me into the kitchen. Sue comments on how much she loves the dark furnishing contrast against the light-colored floor. We set the dining table. Sue blesses the food, and then we eat.

Sue and I talk about everything. We talk about her family, my parents’ and their marriage struggles, our love for New York, her journey to becoming a doctor and how she became a woman of deep faith. In that moment, I realize what I loved most about Sue. She didn’t have a mean bone in her entire being. She is beautiful inside and out. In college, while Sue found faith, I was busy finding hate. How could I be with her, and continue to lead this double life? I was leading a white supremacist group and at the same time, falling in love with a black woman. That has to be wrong on all levels and yet…

Chapter Eight

“What are you going to do with all this food?” Sue asks after we are done eating.

I am hoping you will take most of it off my hands. Share it with your neighbors or something.” I reply.

“I can do that. I’ll give it to my medic friends who are still in town. They’ll love it, especially the panzanella! Give my compliments to the chef,” Sue laughs.

“Glad you enjoyed it. I will!” I tell her, as we clear the table.
While eating, Rufus was always by Sue’s feet. She fed him throughout the meal. And while in the kitchen, he follows behind her, wagging his tail. I have never seen Rufus so enthralled with one of my female friends. He gets bored with them pretty quickly. But not Sue. My dog has extremely good taste in women. I am putting things away and out of the corner of my eye; I see Sue checking me out. I pretend not to notice. I work out a lot. My muscles are relaxed but visible beneath my clothing. I am accustomed to ladies’ attention. But feeling Sue’s eyes on me is a real turn on. My eyes meet hers, and she shifts her stare immediately. I smile because she’s such an open book. The eyes being the windows to the soul is not a cliché in our case. As kids, we’ve always been like that. We knew what the other was thinking just by making eye contact.

I pull her from the kitchen unto one of my many sofas. We are in the space designated for my office. Rufus jumps in the sofa, nestling himself between us. I shake my head, “No boy, you’ve stolen my date’s time all night.” I pick up Rufus and take him to the kitchen. I pour his favorite dog snacks unto a plate. Hopefully, munching on these will give Sue and I some alone time. I give Rufus a little pat on the head while he eats, then grab two wine glasses and a bottle of red wine before heading back to the sofa. Sue, sits, looking beautiful and serene, admiring the brightly lit night sky. I take the view for granted, but she’s totally enthralled.

“It’s been over ten years Sue, and I still want to kiss that mouth of yours.” I say, meaning every word. Her eyes cloud with…she attempts to look away. But I gently turn her face to mine and see desire. My lips find hers, gentle at first. Then more insistent. Kissing Sue is like a quenching a well needed thirst. The taste of her gets addictive with each passing second. And I now understand why I’ve never been able to have a lasting relationship with anyone, why I have always fallen short of committing to any woman. It’s her. She’s energy, like a current that flows. I need more of her. I run my hands under her top when she stops me. I want to be all over her, and I close my eyes. I pull away.

Sue, nervous, pours herself a glass of wine. “I’m sorry.” She says.

“No, no. It’s my fault. We can take things slow. No need to rush anything.” I tell her.

“I know it’s been a long time…” Sue responds, licking the wine from her lips. Her emotions sitting right there in her eyes. I look away, knowing she wants to be kissed and darn it I want to kiss her! I move closer.

“Sue..” I whisper. Sue touches my face, tender. I need no more encouragement. I kiss her again…bruising her lips with my intensity. The wine glass she’s holding, spills wine all over my shirt, a little got on my pants. I didn’t care, but she did. Sue pushes me away, and I yield. “You need to change your shirt and put it to soak or something.” Sue says.

“No, I don’t” I tell her with a shrug, removing my top, “I can go shirtless.”

Sue stares at my chest, six pack and arms as if in a trance. A slow smile tugs at my lips. I stand slowly and head to my bedroom. There is no doubt in my mind that she’s the one. With her, I feel that strange down to earth goodness mirth that I lost many years ago, when I went to college. I forgot what this type of happiness feels like. No wonder she has plagued my thoughts for so many years. A part of me was missing.

I pull on a black Tee shirt, then stop at the restroom before heading back to the office, which is way on the other side of the penthouse floor. On leaving the restroom, I see Sue looking at something. The thing is in her hand and she’s deeply absorbed. Whatever she is looking at, it must be pretty interesting. Sue then looks up at the wall, where I forgot to remove a Nazi symbol. Oh rats! I hurry towards her, “Sue!”

Chapter Nine

Sue turns to me, then looks back at the Nazi symbol. Within moments, I’m beside her. The poster Sue is holding is from a conference I spoke at earlier this year. It reads America Unites Presents The Ku Klux Klan, Neo Nazi Socialists, Alt-right Club and The ForeRunners. The speakers are listed, and sure enough, my name is on the list. I am embarrassed, frustrated, and angry.

“Were you nosing through my things?” My voice is harsh.
Suzanne’s eyes are spewing fire, “I wasn’t nosing around. This poster was lying on the floor and that photo is hanging on your wall!” she points to the Nazi symbol. Clearly, in my hurry to hide my ForeRunner ties, the poster had slipped from my hands.

“It’s not what you are thinking!” I snap.

“Oh, and I am wearing a dummy hat right now,” She says, sarcastic, explain to me why you are a speaker at a conference for hate groups!”

“They are not hate groups. They just want an equitable society for all people. Not just black lives and other minorities.” I say, taking the poster from her hands. I place the poster in a desk drawer. And then Sue does the worst thing possible. The thing that rips my heart to shreds. Sue begins to cry. Not a loud cry, just that soft watery cry when you’re hurt and tired. “I am sorry.” I say quickly.

Sue stiffens, “So this is what it’s like when you are white and privileged. When you’re born into enormous wealth that you can’t feel anything. You have no idea what it is like to be poor and forgotten and treated less than human. This is what my brother Martin warned me about with you. Why we could never work…”

“Your brother is a fool!” I roar.

“Is it because he’s black? He’s stupid for protecting his kid sister from a guy full of hate…a guy who just wants to have his way with a poor black girl!” Sue snaps. Rufus is by her leg barking. I swoop the little guy from the floor. Having him in my arms offers some comfort.

“You know better than that Sue. I don’t see you that way. I never did! You’re different!” I tell her.

“No, I’m not. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m black! And I can’t help who I am Sir Michael. None of us can. You can’t help being white either. Should Rufus as a Shih Tzu be treated any different from a Poodle or a Golden Retriever? Aren’t they all dogs, just the same, worthy of love? Even more so…us. Human beings made in the image of God? We may be different shades, but we are all humans, and Mike we all have a right to be here. None of us have more rights to walk the earth than anyone else. None! We all deserve love and compassion. How dare you think that you are superior to any other human being? How dare you! Why? because you are white? That makes you something more?” Tears are rolling down her cheeks, and I am speechless. Mainly because I see the sea of pain that swims in her brown eyes. “You have no idea what it’s like to be black and be confronted with so much hate for no reason. You are being beaten with hate just for existing. When racists like you are so focused on hating other people, we just get modern day lynching like what happened to Tamir Rice, Trayvon Martin, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and …and…and just too many names to mention.” Suzanne is torn, exhausted. And so am I.

I try to hug her, and she pushes me away. She hates me. I offer to take her home, but she prefers to be chauffer driven. She wants nothing more to do with me. Sue eyes communicate she is done! “Give me another chance,” I croak, but the stare she gives me is stone cold.

“I am in love with you.” I confess. “I have always been in love with you Sue. I’ve loved you for more than twenty years.” Of course, she knows. Sue just needs to look into my eyes, which she is doing right now.

“I must go.” Her voice is hoarse. Rufus sensing that something is wrong, begins barking, pleading on my behalf. Sadly, we both watch her go into the elevator.

Chapter Ten

It’s been three days since the big argument between Sue and me. My calls to her phone go unanswered. Being off from work, and the ForeRunners on break, I had more alone time than usual to consider things. Sue had called me a racist. How can I be a New Yorker, home of liberalism and be a racist at the same time? I almost followed Doug and voted for Obama. Almost. I’m no racist. I wished ill on no one. And I’ve always been attracted to black women. How can I be a racist? I am the least racist person alive. But the more alone time I had, the more I thought of how I do everything in my power at the company to block non-whites from getting ahead. I don’t see anything wrong with putting my people first. But didn’t brown skin people have families to care for too? Didn’t they work as hard as white people to get ahead, perhaps even harder? And then the inhumane killings and senseless shootings…George Floyd for instance. Why did that policeman kneel on the man’s neck until Mr. Floyd’s life was snuffed out? And that black guy in Kenosha. The police had shot him times in the back with his kids in the car? I scratch Rufus’s head and sigh.

I think of the few black people I knew…Tray, who works at the receptionist desk in the lobby. I didn’t like him at first. He was a temp. But he was so good with the residents and guests, I had to keep him. And Tony, the delivery man. Real funny guy. Always had a joke or two up his sleeve. He’s got six kids, I think. Why do I hate these people again?

It’s the day before Christmas Eve. I grow tired of being alone. I haven’t spoken to Barbara in weeks and preferred to keep it that way. I go on the dating app and meet a pretty brown skin girl. She looks Indian and is opened to going out tonight!

Later, we go to a Christmas party held at a ritzy pub in the city. I see Ted and Ronald at the pub, both are senior bankers, and members of ForeRunners. My date is okay. She is pretty, laughs at my jokes and smiles with me a lot, but I’m bored stiff. I keep missing Sue. She should be going out with friends at a popular club, SolidRock, in Brooklyn tonight. She mentioned it, the night of our fight. I grow anxious, feeling the need to see Sue. This date is going nowhere fast anyway. That’s why I prefer dating apps. It’s impersonal. No strings attached. It’s easy to have my chauffer just take this girl home. “Are you sure you don’t want us to hang out some more?” the girl purrs, rubbing her palm on my chest. From the way she’s looking at me, this girl wants to do more than just hang out. “Sorry.” I say with a thin smile, removing her hand from my chest. I order my chauffer to take her home.

Ted and Ronald are open to going clubbing with me in Brooklyn. It’s tough to gain access to some of these nightclubs during the merry season, but I have an app due to my influence that allows me access to practically any night life activity in New York. “We’ll make it a wild night! Probably pick up some chicks…” Ted laughs, already looking a little woozy. I ordered Ronald to drive. I’ll drive my own car.

The men arrive at the club before me. It’s late and the club is packed. It takes me a while to shoulder my way through dancing bodies to locate the guys. It’s good to just hang out with friends and not overthink things too much. Ronald is seated in a booth and have an ice-cold beer waiting for me. On greeting Ronald, I ask for Ted. Ronald points to Ted standing with a few ladies near the bar.

“He’s totally wasted! You know Ted and the ladies.” Ronald shouts above the music. The lighting in the club was poor, but Ted seems to be arguing with one of the women. I take two swigs of my beer, then decide to walk over there and help the poor girl out. As I get closer though, I see a tall slim gorgeous black girl standing beside the Latino girl with whom Ted is sparring. She is wearing a wig, but I can recognize Sue anywhere. An ache forms in my chest when I see Sue throw whatever she was drinking in Ted’s face. I am close enough to hear Ted utter, “bitch!” I restrain Ted’s arm before he hits her. Instead, I slap the Ted across the face several times. Ted starts telling me some derogatory things about Sue and her friends. To be honest it hurts. No one gets away with trash talking a sweet woman like Sue. Nobody. I punched Ted’s lights out.

Chapter Eleven

“Go home Ted!” I say before pulling Sue from the raucous.
Sue is wearing a long black hair wig which didn’t look good on her. Her natural curly hair texture is much nicer. Anyway, the tiger stripe mini dress, black leather jacket and thigh high boots makes her smoking hot. But I didn’t like guys seeing her in that outfit.

“Where are you taking me?” Sue screams, eyes flashing with anger.

“I saved your butt in there!” I shout.

“I can take care of myself!” Sue asserts.

“Why all that makeup? and you hardly have any clothes on…” I didn’t get a chance to finish speaking, as someone hit me hard across the face.

For a moment, I am dazed. But I am revived when I get an extra uppercut under the chin. I taste blood and I’m now seeing red. Ted is trying to launch a fresh attack and he’s calling Sue every disrespectful, sexist name in the book. I unleashed all my pent up anger over the last few days on him…beating him with my fists. By the time, I’m done he’s flat on his back. His lips are swollen, a tooth is missing, and his face is barely recognizable. I vaguely remember Sue and Ronald trying to hold me back. The thing is, after I’m done hammering the guy, Sue is on the floor administering first aid.

Ronald is angry and tells me how much of a loser I am, and he’s going to report all that I did tonight. He said there is no way I can be head of the ForeRunners anymore. I shake my head and let him know I didn’t want to even be a member. The organization was dumb anyway. It’s soley based on treating people like crap because of the color of their skin, their religion or sexual orientation. It’s stupid. Why should I be a part of an organization whose sole existence is to put other people down? Like…how stupid is that?

While Ronald and I were arguing, Sue must have gone inside and gotten her friends, as a bunch of attractive ladies are now outside rendering aid to Ted.

“You nearly killed him.” Sue whispers, as I help Ronald put Ted in the car.

“His mouth is filthy.” I state.

Before Ronald drives away. He looks at me and says, “I am so disappointed in you Mike. You could have been a very powerful man in Washington one day. You would have done a lot for the cause.”

I grin and tell him, “You wouldn’t support me Ronald. You see, I believe. Black. Lives. Matter.”

These words are loaded and are blasphemy to the movement. He sticks up the middle finger and speeds off. I turn to see Sue smiling while giving me a quiet applause. I bow and when I hold my head up, she realizes that I have a cut on the chin. Sue begins to fuss, but I put my fingers on her lips, telling her to be quiet.

“I’m sorry for everything. I thought about all that you said to me…and you’re…you are right. Why should I hate others because they are different from me? The truth is all lives matter. But sometimes black lives don’t matter enough to people. Aaaah…you see, the ForRunner movement wants to create a white multicultural society. And we tried to do it through education. But the underlying message, despite us trying to soften it, was hate. Hate them. Hate others. But it makes no sense Sue. I am angry at people I don’t know, and I have no real idea why. I’m just angry. I want to stop being angry. I don’t want to act like how Ronald and Ted just acted. It’s stupid. Just living in a world of fear…for the Jews, the blacks, the immigrants…aaaah, it’s all too convoluted. There is no justifiable reason to hate people for being people,” I finally say.

Suzanne wraps me in a warm loving hug.

“Does that mean Christmas at my family’s place is still on?” I ask, hopeful.

“No, but I am thankful for everything you said. It’s just that things are so fractured right now Michael. Too many people see the world through your friends’ eyes. There’s just this huge divide,” Sue sighs.

“I was part of the problem. Let me use my resources to be part of the solution. Allow me time in the new year to put together a team to see how we can fix this. Or play a part in fixing this. We also need to start a mass re-education campaign on tackling race issues. It’s going to be a tough conversation for many.” Michael shakes his head.

“A tough one indeed. I want to work with you on this Mike. I have lots of ideas,” Sue smiles. I hold her hand. My eyes communicate, I would like that very much. “I’m sorry I can’t come to your family dinner tomorrow but a bunch of us got invited to spend Christmas with our attending physician. But…there is still Boxing Day and the days after that.” Sue smiles. She’s beautiful.

“I look forward to many, many days after that.” I say, pulling her close. It’s getting cold and a few drops of snowflakes are beginning to fall.

“Kiss me Michael.” Sue whispers. Our lips meet and it’s no longer cold. It feels like a hot day in July. For the first time in forever, I’m keeping love alive. I am committed. It’s going to be a happy new year!