Since Robert met Destiny about a week ago, she had become an everyday friend to him, with constant text messages and phone calls throughout the day, every day, and all night. He loved being around her any way he could. He was not used to being friends with such a beautiful woman, often making it very difficult to hide his anxiety. He did not know what it was about attractive women like Destiny that unbalanced his equilibrium and increased his heartbeat. It was a problem he had since junior high school when he started building an attraction to girls. Maybe it was because he was a coward. Whatever his issue was, he had to get over it now because he was an adult, and she was only a woman, not a monster.
It was a Friday night when they hung out together for the first time on a date. They went out to eat at a TGI Fridays. Destiny wore this aesthetic pink dress with flower designs throughout. On her glistening feet, she wore pink open-toe high heels with red-colored toenails. Her hair was tied up in a white ribbon, she wore moderate makeup, and she smelled like she just walked out of heaven.
Knowing Destiny for only a week, Robert already greatly appreciated her as a friend. She gave him a ride to and from work every day. She signed up for her own membership at Goliath Fitness. She was his new workout partner now. The few years he consistently worked out in Goliath Fitness, he was only limited to leering at the beauty of the ladies that worked out in their gym clothing.
Robert was highly intimidated by a woman’s beauty; therefore, he would never approach any of them in the gym. He had no game, and he was scared of rejection, from not only women but also life in general. That was why at twenty-six, he still worked behind a customer-service desk from his first job. Having Destiny with him as workout partner meant that he no longer needed to stare at other women; he could just admire her when she was not looking. She had an outstanding body of her own. He tried not to pay too much attention to it to not be disrespectful upfront, but she had to notice Robert peeking at some point. They were not a couple, so he did not necessarily have the privilege of observing her that way. He tried his best to stare only in moderation.
“Are you enjoying your food, babe?” Destiny asked.
Babe? Robert loved when women referenced him in that way. Babe, honey, sweetie—it had to mean there was some level of attraction.
“Yeah, you?” Robert asked.
“It’s good. What are we gonna do after?” Destiny asked.
Robert was not thinking about what would happen after. By the time they finished dinner, it would be around 11:00 p.m. He had work at eight in the morning, but he did not mind at all staying out late with Destiny. Maybe a movie, but did she really want to sit in a movie theater for possibly another two hours so late? No matter what movie it was, he would be fighting sleep. But he did not care what it was; he enjoyed her company a great deal, and he would have loved to spend more time with her tonight.
“I don’t know,” Robert said while eating his final bites. Destiny still had half a plate of food left. He hoped that he did not look like a pig while eating his food. “You want to see a movie?”
“No … not a movie. Maybe you can come by my place? If you’re too tired, I could just bring you home,” Destiny said.
Robert’s body suddenly filled with a burst of energy. Destiny mentioned she lived by herself, but he would never invite himself over. This was moving so fast. There was no doubt she was attracted to him. Hopefully, intimacy would occur tonight.
“I would love to go to your house,” Robert said.
After finishing his food, Robert went to the bathroom to check himself out in the mirror. He was not a bad-looking man. He definitely needed some sort of direction with his fashion, but the raw image of Robert Smith was highly attractive. Destiny had to see him the same.
On the drive to Destiny’s house, Robert tried to think of the last time he had sexual activity with someone besides himself. It had to have been at least a year now. Was that what Destiny wanted tonight? She did not make it clear. It was better this way, a surprise. If it happened tonight, he already knew it would be the time of his life. He could not wait to see what her body looked like nude.
Arriving at Destiny’s house, Robert realized he did not have any condoms. Hopefully, she had some in her house. Even late at this dark hour, he could see the diverse colors of the roses in her garden, just the way his mother had hers back at home.
“You love your plants,” Robert suggested.
“I love gardening. It’s peaceful, beautiful, and no drama,” Destiny said.
“No drama.” Robert chuckled. “You don’t like drama?”
“Everyone needs a little drama to keep their life entertaining,” she eventually said.
Destiny opened the door to let Robert in first. After she entered behind him, she took off her heels then she walked to what appeared to be the living room, barefoot, and turned on the lights. Throughout her house was spotlessly clean. It seemed a bit large of a space for only one person to be living in. There had to be something wrong with her to be single and living alone. Maybe she was not single; maybe she was not telling the truth. Either way, Robert did not care. She seemed to be an amazing woman, and tonight he wanted to taste her lips and see where it went after.
“Make yourself at home. Do you want anything to drink?” Destiny asked.
“You have alcohol?” Robert asked.
“No, I don’t drink alcohol. I have freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade I made earlier. You want to try them?” Destiny asked.
“OK,” Robert said.
There was something kind of suspicious about Destiny. She was hiding something, but so far, everything about her was ideal: a single thirty-six-year-old woman, no children, and she lived by herself. She did not work either; the source of her money was an inheritance, which she did not go into details about when he asked. Quite honestly, it was not any of his business. He was immensely privileged and grateful to be in her company at all.
Moments later, Destiny entered the living room with two cups in her hand, one orange juice and the other lemonade. Her hair was now extended full length. She was drop-dead gorgeous. It was amazing how a woman could have their hair tied up, then when they let it loose, it completely improved their elegance. Destiny’s long hair was enticing. His heart beat intensely like the percussionist playing the cadence in a marching band.
“You could have turned on the TV, you know,” Destiny suggested.
“I’d prefer to watch you instead,” Robert said.
The words sounded better in his head, but it was executed in a lame manner. Still, Destiny broke out a smile.
“Cute,” she simply said, giving Robert both cups. “Tell me how you like them,” Destiny said.
Robert took a swig of the lemonade first, not expecting anything too special. It was just lemonade, but he entertained her excitement. Then he tasted the orange juice, which he loved more than the lemonade. More than the lemonade and the orange juice, he loved everything about Destiny’s smile: the way her dimples puffed, her lips, and her glistening white teeth. Eventually she sat down beside him. Still, after a week of knowing her, being too close to her rattled his nerves.
“They’re both really good. Did you have a lemonade stand as a child?” Robert asked.
There was an odd moment of silence between the two. He was staring dead into the eyes of the girl of his dreams, but he did not know what to say or do. It made him a bit uneasy, but he smoothly went with whatever was happening now. Whatever this feeling was, it felt good. Something was going to happen, but what? He had to act upon the moment now. Hopefully, she was feeling the same thing he was.
“Robert, do you like me?” Destiny suddenly asked.
The question completely surprised Robert. He always thought he would have to be the one to make the first move to take it to the next level, if he ever had the courage to do so with Destiny. Clearly now he knew she had some interest.
“I think you’re an amazing person,” Robert admitted.
Destiny did not look pleased by Robert’s answer.
“That’s it?” Destiny asked.
“And … I think you’re beautiful. You do have a fun personality, so yeah, I do like you,” Robert said.
Destiny appeared to enjoy his second response better.
“I enjoy you too. I would like to be more than what we are now,” Destiny said.
Robert was astonished that Destiny was thinking the same exact thing as him. It made her that much more appealing. He never had a woman who possessed her level of beauty that was interested in him. He was curious to know what she liked about him. Over the years, he accepted that he was not appealing to women in a romantic fashion. He was not the kind of guy girls desired to have as a boyfriend, but here and now, Destiny contradicted all those negative and depressive notions he stored of himself.
“You want to be my girlfriend?” Robert eventually asked for clarity.
Destiny paused on Robert’s question. It left him anxious.
“Is that what you’re looking for?” Destiny asked.
This was exactly what Robert was looking for. Being with Destiny would improve his life in many ways.
“Honestly, I think you’re amazing. I would love to be your boyfriend,” Robert said.
Destiny smiled at him. Her face seemed to be filled with joy. The longer Robert looked into her eyes, the more he wanted to give his heart to her. The same foolish mistake he made in the past, falling in love too strong, too fast, eventually giving more of his heart than his exes did in return. In all his past relationships, the love was always unbalanced, and the girl would usually leave him for the guy that they claimed was an asshole. It was his fault though. It was the kind of girls he was attracted to, plus he was weak-minded. Still, it would not stop him from enjoying this moment fully with Destiny. Hopefully, to keep her, over time he could learn how to become an asshole himself, or maybe he would be lucky with Destiny and he could just be himself.
“I want to kiss you,” Destiny said.
Instantly, Robert felt his heart connecting with hers. It was a special feeling. This was actually going to happen! There was nothing left to say. He inched in for a kiss, and shortly after Destiny connected. Her lips were tender and sweet from the lip gloss she wore. Their tongues made great friends as well. The kiss intensified as she held her hands on his face, seeming to enjoy it as much as he did. The kiss continued nonstop for a couple of minutes. He did not want to detach his lips, and apparently, she did not either. He grabbed her waist, moving his hands up to her breast, getting one solid grab before she abruptly stopped it.
“That’s it,” Destiny said, pulling away. Then she relaxed back on the couch.
“That’s it?” Robert asked, mildly frustrated.
“We just met, and I really like you. I want to get to know you more before we go there.”
The pace was moving so fast, and now an abrupt stop as he touched her breast. Honestly, Robert could not be disappointed that the intimacy did not lead to sex. It displayed what kind of woman she was: the kind who respected herself enough not to give him everything on their first intimate night shared alone together. He did get the privilege of spending the night with her in the bed, spooning. It was very difficult to control the animal in his pants, but it felt great to have her sleep in his arms. He was amazed how comfortable she felt with him so early. It had been a long time since he had this connection with a woman; in fact, never had a woman felt so comfortable to simply cuddle with him in a bed. It was the best feeling in the world. He did not want to fall asleep because when he did, he was afraid he would be awakened from this fantastic dream.
Weeks passed, and Robert genuinely felt he became a better man with Destiny in his life. He did not get easily frustrated during work anymore. He texted with her his entire work shifts. He became more confident in his own ability to do better in life and rectify all his problems. It was strange to accept he had a woman that seemed to have more confidence in him than he did in his own self. Now was the time to become a man. No more excuses or complaining. No more feeling sorry for himself, or playing the victim.
Today marked a month of being in a relationship with Destiny. After working seven irritating days consecutively, Robert finally received his day off, which fell on a Friday. In the morning, he relaxed in Destiny’s bed, comfortably watching Sports Center on her large flat-screen television, waiting for her to get out of the shower. Hearing the shower run, he could only imagine how her body looked in the splashing water. He would have loved to join her, but their relationship had not reached the sexual level yet. He would try many times, and he would get close to the point that they were both nude and engaged in oral and foreplay, but no intercourse.
It was frustrating. Robert had no idea how or when sex would happen, but he felt it would happen soon. It was probably best not to think about it because he enjoyed being with her. This was the first relationship in which the woman was as much into him as he was into her. It was still early so he did not want to over-praise it, but so far, he loved the connection he had with Destiny far beyond how physically attracted he was to her.
Eventually, Destiny walked out of the bathroom with just a towel wrapping her torso. With her perfect round breast threatening to pop out from the top and her nice chiseled legs beneath, Robert could not control his erection bulging out through his pants. He snatched a pillow nearby for concealment. It became more unbearable when she dropped her towel.
“Baby, I was thinking …” Destiny started as she put on her bra and faced the dresser. He could see everything through the large mirror frame beside her. “You don’t have to give it serious thought today, but the nights you don’t spend with me are lonely. You’re probably comfortable at home, but if you want, you could, you know … move some of your belongings over here.”
This had to be a dream. It was the longest dream ever. Looking at Destiny nude confirmed that she belonged on the front cover of a Playboy magazine. He would agree with anyone who would suggest that she was out of his league.
Maybe not, but Destiny was a desirable sight to view.
“You basically want me to move in with you?” Robert asked.
“I know it’s sudden, but I put a lot of thought into it. There’s enough space for the two of us. If you don’t want to, it’s OK. I just hate being here by myself,” Destiny said.
“I would love to stay here with you. I’ll give you rent money. I’ll help you around the house and everything. I’m kind of surprised that you actually want me to live here with you though.”
Destiny smiled. “Why wouldn’t I? You remember the first night you stayed here with me? The next day that I slept alone, I barely got any sleep. The next time we lay on each other, I realized I have become addicted to sleeping in your arms,” Destiny said.
Robert was lost for words. What could he say? He never slept in a bed with another woman before Destiny, unless it was pillow talk after sex. It was already one of the closest relationships he ever had with a woman.
“So you’re going to move in with me?” Destiny asked.
“Yeah, of course,” Robert answered. “My mother is going to be thrilled I’m finally leaving home. Will you still hold out on me when I move in?”
Destiny pulled on her jeans and turned to Robert. He loved the way her bra held her perky breast. Her cleavage was lovely.
“You mean sex?” Destiny asked.
“Yeah … I mean, don’t you think about it, or am I moving too fast?” Robert asked.
“If anyone is moving fast, it’s me. I asked you to live with me. We’ll see what happens.”
It was not the answer that Robert was looking for. He was a little bit disappointed, but it really did not matter how long Destiny wanted to hold out on sex, as long as it was not forever.
Later on that day, they went to Robert’s house so Destiny could meet his mother, Roberta Smith. He loved his mother dearly. She still supported him at twenty-six years old, allowing him to live at home, only having to give her one hundred dollars a month for rent. She cooked dinner every day for him and his two younger brothers, Ron and Carter. She also did their laundry. It was nothing to brag about; in fact, it was quite embarrassing. Destiny allowing him to move in with her was one of the first stages in turning the tables of one day being his mother’s support system and finally becoming his own man. It was definitely a step in the right direction. He could prove to Destiny, more importantly to himself, that he was a responsible man.
Robert rang the door, a bit uneasy of how this first mother-and-girlfriend encounter would go. He expected it to go well but could never be too sure. His youngest brother Carter, who was a sophomore in high school, opened the door.
“What’s up, bum?” Robert said to his brother.
“Shut up! Why are you wearing my shirt?” Carter then turned inside. “Ma, Rob is wearing my shirt!” Carter yelled to Mom, in front of Destiny.
Robert could not be too mad at Carter for not understanding that he was embarrassing him. Cater was only sixteen years old, and Robert truly was wearing his brother’s shirt, but he did want to punch him in the face. Destiny giggled as she followed Robert into the house.
“Robert, why are you wearing—” Mom cut her sentence short when she saw Destiny. “And who do we have here?”
“Mom, this is Destiny. Destiny, this is my mother, and this is my stupid-ass brother Carter!” Robert said, directing a playful anger at Carter.
“Robert, watch your mouth! I did not teach you to speak that way, especially in front of this beautiful young lady!” Mom shifted her attention to Destiny. “How on God’s green earth did my ugly son find you?”
“Shut up! I look way better than you,” Robert said to Carter.
“Please …” Carter mocked. “You wish! I look better than you on a bad day than you do on a good one.”
Destiny did not appear to be turned off by the back-and-forth immature battle Robert had with Carter. In fact, she seemed to be amused. Robert wanted to continue with his brother, but now was not the time.
“He’s not ugly. I actually found him at his job, and we’ve become close ever since,” Destiny said to Robert’s mother.
“You want anything to eat or drink? I made jerk chicken, with rice and peas,” Mom said to Destiny.
Robert was still somewhat embarrassed that he was wearing his brother’s shirt and that his mother called him ugly, although he knew it was a joke. To no disappointment, Mom and Destiny got along very well. She even seemed to enjoy his mother’s cooking. How could she not? His mother always put it down in the kitchen. He had the luxury of eating delicious Jamaican food every day without having to spend money at a restaurant.
Later, after the two finished talking about boring women topics and religion, he took Destiny upstairs to his minuscule room in the attic. Even with how small it was, he had a great deal of difficulty keeping it tidy. If it were not for his mother cleaning it for him, Destiny would be walking into clothing on the floor and an untidy bed. He could not have these same tendencies moving in with Destiny.
“I love your mom. She’s so funny,” Destiny said, relaxed on Robert’s bed.
“Yeah, she is. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to tell her I’m moving in with you,” Robert said.
“Is she going to be upset?”
“No, she’ll probably question me a bit to make sure I’m ready to live with someone else, but she trusts me enough to make decisions like these. Even if she doesn’t like it, I’m grown. She knows no matter what, I’ll always be there for her.”
Destiny smiled. “You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” Destiny said.
“I want to! I’m going to get a second job and help you around the house and still give her money every month to help her. It’s hard for her now that she is divorced,” Robert said.
“She told me. I was wondering why I never heard you speak of your father.”
There was not much to speak of, or maybe it was the exact opposite. Robert loved his father, but they never met eye to eye. He distanced himself from his father to avoid all the divorce drama between his parents, and they had yet to reestablish the relationship.
“We didn’t get along during my childhood. He was a very domineering dad, and I was a very rebellious son. When my parents divorced, it meant freedom for me. No more father to haunt my every move. But honestly, without my father, my life has spiraled downward, and I understand and respect him more than I ever did. One day sooner rather than later, I want to rekindle our relationship,” Robert said.
“I want to meet him too,” Destiny said.
Robert did not plan on introducing the two, but maybe it was not a bad idea. His father was a great person. He could honestly admit that most of the time his father reprimanded him, he deserved it. Perhaps if he listened to his father more, he would not be still working at Cheap Prices. Still, being the oldest of his brothers, as long as it was not fatal or life-threatening, it was a privilege to be able to make your own mistakes and learn from them.
“I got you something,” Robert said, opening the door and going into the closet outside his room. He pulled out a bouquet of flowers that he purchased from the floral section in Cheap Prices and entered back in his room, handing Destiny the flowers. “I know I’m not the most romantic, thoughtful person in the world, but this is a gift to show you how much I appreciate you in my life, and I think you’re almost as awesome as me.”
“That’s so sweet, Robert! They’re beautiful!” Destiny said as she pulled herself up to Robert for a kiss.
“I love you. I never want to live another day without you,” Robert said.
After the statement, Robert realized that he was stupid. Moments like this were what got him in trouble in past relationships, falling in love too fast like this was and Hopefully, Destiny would not care to think into the silly statement.
“I love you too. You’re the sweetest man I ever met,” Destiny said.
Robert hated when women told him he was sweet. From past experiences, it was not what he wanted to be labeled as, but unfortunately, he could not help who he was, and for some odd reason, it seemed to work with Destiny.
“Is that a good thing or a bad thing?” Robert asked.
“It’s a good thing. I never met anyone like you.” Destiny said.
The last woman Robert dated said those same words and left him the next day.
When they went back to Destiny’s house later that night, it seemed as if it would finally happen. The mood was right. The mood was right before which touched the surface with oral and foreplay, but their passion tonight for each other was different. He could not let it pass tonight. He had to take her.
The intimacy began from the door, then upstairs all the way to her bedroom. Still kissing to the bed, they pulled off each other’s clothing into more passionate foreplay. Eventually, he took a moment to find his condom in his wallet. Then, for the first time in about a year, he finally had sex with a woman. After, he barely got any sleep, thinking about how amazing it was.
The next morning, everything appeared to have a bright glow to it. It must have been the aftereffects of the wonderful night he had with Destiny. He showered and then cooked enough breakfast for the both of them, something he needed to get accustomed to doing if he was going to stay here permanently, but something strange was going on with Robert’s eyesight. The surroundings in the kitchen became more bright and glossy—the fridge, the table, the floor, everything! He tried to ignore it, but it was impossible. Eventually, Destiny came downstairs in an oversized T-shirt. Oddly enough, even she had a strange brightness to her.
“Good morning, babe,” Destiny said, entering the kitchen.
Something unusual was definitely occurring with Robert’s eyes. Was this what happened as you got older if your layoff from sex was so long?
“Hey!” Robert gave her a light kiss on the cheek. “Grits?”
“Sure,” Destiny said as she sat around the table.
Robert shared Destiny her breakfast and sat across from her around the kitchen table. Everything was blurry now in addition to the bright shimmer surroundings. If this continued, he would have to go to a doctor.
The first bite Robert consumed did not sit well in his stomach at all, but still he forced the food down. When he could bear it no longer, he ran to the bathroom and regurgitated heavily. Residue from the vomit landed on the floor and around the toilet seat. He hated vomiting; it was such an uncomfortable feeling.
“You OK?” Destiny asked, concerned, as she entered the bathroom after him.
“I don’t know. I feel n—” Before he could finish the word, he put his face back in the toilet bowl and let out the remaining grits and bacon he ate.
When Robert finished vomiting, Destiny helped him to her bedroom upstairs. His body felt extremely weak. A massive pounding headache began to beat through his brain as he also experienced a sharp stinging pain from his throat. When he fell in Destiny’s bed, it felt as if he dropped into an endless hole.
“You want me to take you to the hospital, babe?” Destiny asked.
“No … Let me rest,” Robert said, powerless.
Eventually everything went dark.