Ever been caught up in a love triangle? I have.
Remember Aaron? I tried to forget him, but you know what happens when you like someone; they’re hard to shake. You remember watching Karrueche go back to Chris Brown more times than he ever showed her respect. Breezy embarrassed Karrueche all over social media, in interviews and everywhere we could see him with other women who weren’t her–namely other women like Rihanna. And we called her all kinds of stupid as we watched on, judging her because we could never be that stupid (read: in love), but many of us have and will.
Now, I’m not saying I loved Aaron. Not even close, but I liked him. And liking someone has similar tendencies to loving someone–sometimes you’re willing to turn a blind eye to the fuckery in order to see if there’s sunshine after the rain.
Aaron had asked me to meet him for coffee, even though the last time he reached out was at 4:27 am when he was trying his best to contact me in his drunken stupor. I never replied to him or reached out so I was clearly surprised when he called me and asked if we could talk over coffee. The like I had for him lead me to “yes” rather than “no” or indifference.
I showed up about 15 minutes late for the coffee without letting him know. I guess I was trying to play the late game Aaron liked to play. When I walked into the coffee shop, I spotted him sitting in the back and he saw me and waved me over. He stood up and greeted me with open arms.
“Dani baby!” Aaron hugged me tight and breathed me in. He let his hands drift from my back to my butt and he squeezed it. “Missed you.”
I laughed, “You talking to my butt or me?”
“Both,” he squeezed it one more time before he let go. He leaned in for a kiss.
I leaned back.
“I deserve that,” Aaron squeezed my hand. Aaron pulled my seat out, “You want anything?”
I sat down, “Dirty caramel chai with almond milk.”
“That’s a mouthful,” Aaron went to order my drink and within minutes, he came back, “You’re expensive.” Aaron sat the drink down.
“That’s the least you could do,” I tried to check my attitude, but Aaron’s 100-watt smile and cavalier attitude was getting under my skin. “So to what do I owe the pleasure Aaron?”
“I wanted to see you, during non-booty call hours,” he laughed.
“So, you’re a comedian now?” I asked.
“If it takes a funny guy to win your heart, then yes,” Aaron searched for eye contact from me. “You know I make you laugh!”
“I’ve laughed at you, sure,” I rolled my eyes.
“I get it, you have to be a hard a–. I haven’t been the best,” Aaron said, taking responsibility for his lack of action.
“No, you haven’t.”
“But I also haven’t been the worst, right?” Aaron asked me. “Or else you wouldn’t be here right now.”
“True. So now that you’re seeing me during non-booty call hours, what?” I asked.
Aaron wanted to see if we could be an us. He told me that he wanted dates, countless conversations, he wanted to be the first person I called with good or bad news. “I want to build something with you,” Aaron looked me directly in my eyes and said.
So date after date, secret after secret, Aaron and I got closer. We decided to stay away from the sheets and focus on actually getting to know each other. I discovered that Aaron was indeed funny, he was smart, energetic, ambitious and an extremely talented photographer.
And then one day at work, one of my coworkers, Tiana, was gushing over her new guy to another coworker (Brittany), “He’s so sweet. Look at this thing he made for his mom,” Tiana turned her phone to Brittany.
“That is so cute. So he’s a momma’s boy?” Brittany laughed.
“He is, a little bit,” Tiana said, smiling through each word.
“Mine too,” I chimed in, knowing how much Aaron talked about his mother in admiration. During our last conversation, he told me he wanted me to meet her.
“I like a momma’s boy,” Tiana said to me. “Look at this, it’s so cute,” Tiana passed her phone to me. She wanted to show everyone within earshot the “thing” her boo made for his mom.
I glanced at the picture. It was some sort of arts and crafts project a 4th grader made, “Awww,” I said. I started to hand her the phone back and noticed the photo was on Instagram and the screen name looked familiar. “Wait,” my heart dropped. “Wait.”