TRICIA WAITED impatiently at the door. Her hands were shaking with nervous tension. It had taken an unbelievable amount of time to do her makeup because her hands kept jerking as she tried to apply lipstick and mascara. Finally, it seemed like it was almost time for John to arrive. Trying to calm her nerves, she sat down on the couch.
Although it seemed like forever ago, Tricia had once been in love with John. Despite their better intentions, they had succumbed to an animalistic desire and had sex—more times than she could count. Tricia had been nursing his sick wife, Rebecca, until she died. After Rebecca’s death, Tricia had returned home and taken care of her mother. Now, it seemed like anything was possible. After burying her mother, John had sent her a message and flowers for her birthday. She was going to have dinner with him tonight.
Tricia smoothed her dress awkwardly. She had worn this red dress not long before she had finally had sex with John for the first time. Although she had pretended not to notice, she had seen him watching her slim curves move and strain against the fabric. She cursed herself silently. How could she possibly be trying to dress up for him? Since Tricia had returned home, she had dated Rod. Attractive and successful, Rod was a wealthy real estate developer. More importantly, he was kind, funny and actually black. Although times were changing, dating someone of the same race would still make her life easier. Ruining things with Rod would be terrible. He was her best friend, Tenaya’s, brother and she would probably lose her friend as well as her boyfriend.
Standing up, Tricia walked over to the phone. She wanted to call John and tell him that she could not make it. Being around John would be an impossible temptation for her. Dialing the phone number, she waited until his voicemail picked it up. Unwilling to cancel a date with a message, she went over to the couch to sit down again. Before she could get comfortable, she heard a knock at the door.
Groaning, she managed to smile before she pulled the door open. In front of her, John stood with a handful of red roses. Smiling widely, he made a move toward her and seemed prepared to sweep her off her feet in an instant. Pushing his hand away, she gave him a hug.
Confused, John hugged her before stepping back. “You look…ravishing, Tricia. How are you?” In his voice, she could hear the unspoken question. He did not know about Rod and could not understand her hesitation.
“I’m good, John. For a while, I was confused and depressed after my mother’s death. Fortunately, Rod was there to help me through it.” As soon as she said this, she regretted it. Tricia had wanted to slip Rod’s name in so that John would know she had a boyfriend. John’s crestfallen expression made her instantly reconsider this decision. “Here, come in, come in. I can get you a cup of tea or something before we go. Did you want anything?”