Chapter 2: David
Bible studies are hard. I’m suppose to be focus on God and getting myself right. Then when I look up there are beautiful women. Women I’m not suppose to touch, unless I court them and want to marry. I’m not sure if I’m ready for that, but if it Shantel, than lord I’m ready. I’m glad it’s over though. I can go take a quick, cold shower before heading to the costume dance at the campus center.
“David.” Rita pulled on my arm. She was one of the many attractive girls I was talking about. She was short, like really short, and a little thick, and that made her cute. “You’re still going with me to the dance, right? I don’t want to walk by myself.”
“Yeah, no problem. Where is Louis, again?” Louis was her boyfriend. They were both sophomores and been together for the two years since high school. He was still a ladies man, but I didn’t have the heart to tell Rita. Then again, I suspected that she knew.
“He has to work and he only trust you and his friends.” she smiled.
“Right. Why is that? I mean, I’m glad he trust me, but why not just go with his friends?”
“Well, for one he thinks you’re gay.” Well, she sure didn’t sugarcoat that. I mean it wasn’t nothing new to me. Since coming to college that seems to be what most people thought of me. I guess being flexible and my skinny frame had to do with it. I wasn’t very macho and well, I did have effeminate features like my eyelashes and eyebrows. They looked like I used mascara, but they were naturally that way.
“Okay.” I mean how else do you respond to that?
“Plus, I don’t like his friends. They’re so stuck up and immature. Don’t get me started on them.”
“Okay.” I’m a great conversationalist, huh? “Is Nafi coming?” Nafi was her best friend. A cute nigerian girl. A little taller than Rita, but skinnier. Just my type. Dark chocolate skin and short raven black hair. If I couldn’t have Shantel, than Nafi would be my next pick. At least I talked to her more since she was suitemates with my friend Crystal. I wanted to be free, in case Shantel went to the dance, but hey I could have a shot with Nafi.
“No, she’s going to stay in and study.”
I laughed, “shouldn’t you do the same?”
“I should, but I’ve been studying for our psychology exam all week. I need a break.”
“True, no arguments here.”
“Why, are you trying to ditch me? For Nafi or Shantel?” How does she get to the point like that? I mean we’ve grown close over the two years, but really, how can she know me that well?
“I would never ditch you.” I smiled holding the door for her.
“Dave, I see how you look at Nafi when I come to visit. It’s the same look you give Shantel.”
Great now I might look like a creep. If Rita noticed, does that mean everyone else did too? Did Nafi? Shantel? Oh my god everybody probably think I’m a creep. When all else fails. Bluff.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. Don’t get me wrong both of them are attractive. I stopped because while we waited for the elevator, she gave me the look. A look like my mother would give me when she knew I was lying. “Okay, I do like both of them, but my heart really longs for Shantel. I still wouldn’t just ditch you though.”
“I know.” she smiled looking like kid who just found out they were going to Disneyland. “Don’t worry, It’s not obvious.
“That’s good to know.”
“You should tell her how you feel.”
“Because she doesn’t feel the same way.” Shantel and I talked. I mean I felt comfortable around her, but inside she always made me feel like she was the holy grail. I still remember the first time I saw her. The elevator doors had opened and it was like a ray sunshine beamed from them as she got off. The very same elevator Rita and I were waiting on.
“So, what are you going to do? Lust after her?”
“Lust? I’m not lusting over her.”
“David, lust comes in many forms. It can lead you down the wrong path. Look at Samson.” she said as the doors opened up.
“Well, for one, I don’t have long hair or superman strength, but if I start to go down the wrong path, you’ll be there to help me.” I said as we got on.
“Davey, wait up!” Shantel waved her hand at us. I stopped the elevator doors from closing so that she could get on.
“7th floor, right?” I asked. Trying not to look at her.
“You know it, Davey.” I hated Davey, but she could call me that all day long.
“So, are you going to the dance too?” Rita asked.
“I’m sure am.” Shantel smiled with a wide grin showing off her perfect teeth. On most people they would look silly, but on her, she was perfect. Then she looked at me. “Are you guys, going?”
“Yes, David is taking me.” Rita grinned back. “He’s the only guy, Luis trusts to take me.”
“Well that’s nice. I can see why.” Shantel said looking at me. I couldn’t read her like I could with most people. Not even after knowing her for the past two years. Her bright brown eyes were like beacons. I coughed to distract myself as I thought about her answer. Did she think I was gay, too? That would be all I need, just kill me now.
“What are you going to wear?” Rita asked standing next to Shantel. I’m sure she moved over so that Shantel and I were next to each other. I didn’t know if I should love her for looking out for me or to be mad that she put me in this uncomfortable position. She wasn’t looking at me, totally engaged with Shantel.
“Princess Leia.” Shantel said with enthusiasm. How did she stay so…happy? I don’t know, but I loved that about her. She seem excited about everything. Rita looked confused at Shantel’s response.
“From Star Wars.” I said trying to hide a smile. Shantel was going to dress as the most iconic female characters. I didn’t even think she would be into Star Wars. I guess when I really think about it, we don’t know each other like that. I knew I loved her simple, but cute look. Her positive energy and enthusiasm. Now I know she must be a closet geek.
“Oh.” Rita said, ” I’m going as a sexy nurse.”
“Don’t let Keanna find out.” Both of them laugh. I was just trying to make sure I didn’t pass out thinking of Rita in a sexy nurse costume and Shantel in the slave costume that Leia had in Return of the Jedi.
“Soldier.” I said.
“You’re both going as the careers you’re studying for?”
“Yes” Rita and I both said.
“College students, we’re broke cheaper to use what we have.” Rita glanced at me and nodded her head towards Shantel.
I leaned against the wall of the elevator and looked at her. I loved how Shantel looked. She was wearing tight jeans and a plain white t-shirt that didn’t hide her curves.
“This elevator is so slow, hope you don’t mind being stuck with us.” I manage to choke out the words.
“It’s not too bad. Especially with you.” She giggled and turned toward me. I couldn’t tell if she was being friendly or flirting, but I loved being around her. The light seem brighter around her.
Rita glared at me from behind Shantel. Her eyes yelling for me to do something. I couldn’t just ask Shantel to the dance. What if she says no. I would die. It would be embarrassing. Plus why would she like me? I’m a nobody. No I should…I mean I could walk her and Rita to the party. It would be a date without being official.
“Are you walking over by yourself?
“Yeah, you know Keanna doesn’t believe in Halloween.” She was still smiling that bright smile of hers. Rita started to laugh and they high fived each other. She was right. Keanna doesn’t believe in things that were evil. I thought Shantel would be the same way, but I was wrong. I went to stand closer to her. My heart beating with nervous energy. I can do this. Just ask her. Before Rita says something crazy.
“Would you,” I paused. Trying to get the words out. I felt like I was going to pass out. How could someone have so much power over you. Did I like her, love her, or was Rita right, am I just lusting after her? “Would you like to go with us?”
“Aw, Davey, thanks, but I’m going to meet my Mark there.” She said as the elevator buzzed and doors opened.
“Oh, Mark?” He was a design student in my classes. I wouldn’t think they would even be friends.
“Yeah, we’re together. I told him I would meet him there after bible study.” She didn’t seem to happy, like she was trying to hide something. She didn’t say it looking at Rita or me. The smile was still there, but there wasn’t any feeling with her revelation. All the same, my heart felt like it was stabbed. I glared at Rita, before hiding my skeptical look from Shantel.
The doors opened and buzzed with one of those annoying ear shaking sounds. We stepped out together, because Rita and I lived one floor above Shantel. Plus, I wanted to spend as much time as I could with her, sad, just sad. Mittone, Jackie, and Charlene walked by us. They were dressed in their costumes. Mittone was dracula, Jackie was a witch, and Charlene a sexy catwoman. Not very original.
“Oh look, girls, she is already wearing her costume.” Mittone pointed at Shantel. The girls started laughing at her as if Mittone was the funniest man in the room. I could see Shantel trying to hide the hurt. The more they laugh, the madder I got, but what can I do? I can’t just fight him. He looked stronger than me and without the costume he looked like he could be clark kent. Solid and worse, he was military trained like me.
“Isn’t she from Lindenwold?” Charlene asked, “The poor town that tries to look like Cherry Hill.”
“Yes.” Shantel said. Her smile a little less glowing than earlier.
“Why do you care?” Rita said,” Why don’t you leave her alone?”
“Or what? Your boyfriend is going to hurt us?” Mittone snapped back. Everyone turned to face me. Why me? My heart was pounding even more now. I couldn’t’ walk away. Not from this. He insulted the woman I think I love. Worse, he’s threatening my friends. Rita gave me a look of confidence. She wanted me to defend them. I wanted to defend them.
“I’m not their boyfriend.” I said trying to find the right words. Then I felt a coldness wash over me. I could see colors inside Charlene and Jackie, red and blue. Mittone had yellow, but it was glowing around him. Rita had a faint orange glow and Shantel a faint green around their bodies. Then the glows faded. I noticed a blue light around me? Was I going I that mad that I was seeing colors? With a quiet, but stern toned I manage to say, “don’t hurt my friends.”
“What are you going to do?” Mittone inched closer to me. I felt my body shaking, but I commanded it to stop. I knew I was the faster of the two of us. If this came to blows I would have to use that to my advantage. Then I noticed Jackie shaking. She looked as scared as me.
“You may beat me, but there is no way your friends can beat mine.” I said. I believe that. I knew Shantel took aikido, I almost forgot about that. Rita played volleyball and was always working out. Mittone’s friends look like they have never been in a fight. Let’s see how loyal he was. He looked at his friends and back at me.
“We don’t have time for you, move out the way, we’re late for the pre-party upstair.” They budge past us and into the elevator. My heart kept pounding, trying to escape my chest.
“Thank you.” Shantel said and hugged Rita and I.
“No problem.” Rita said as we walked Shantel to her room. “I guess I’ll see you both there.”
“Shantel,” I said trying to find the words. “Don’t let them get to you.”
“Oh those guys, they’re jealous that they aren’t us.” her brightness was back and I smiled. She closed the door. As soon as it was closed and we were by the steps to go upstairs, Rita punched me in the arm.
“Why didn’t’ you say anything earlier?”
“I don’t know”
“You know sometime you have to fight for what you want.”
“Yes coach.” I said smiling. “At least I got him to go away.”
“You really think Shantel and I could take them?”
I looked at her and nodded,” I wouldn’t bet against you two, the wouldn’t know what hit them. Her smile was just as bright as Shantel’s as we went up the stairs to our respective rooms. I hope I would see Shantel at the party. I hope Mittone isn’t there.
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