Wrong Address, Right Guy

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Chapter One – Stood Up. Again.


A throbbing bass line vibrated the wall between my tiny top-floor flat and the one next door, threatening to send my Kit-Kat clock crashing to the floor. The black cat’s eyes moved side to side, ticking off the beat as my neighbor sang along with raunchy hip-hop lyrics, her tipsy, off-key caterwauling wafting through the open window of my bedroom. I rolled my eyes. I could have been mistaken but I think the plastic cat on my wall rolled his eyes, too.


Nicole and I had been neighbors for two years, and her pre-date ritual was as familiar to me as the reddish-brown freckles scattered across my nose. Nicole considered herself the next generation Carrie Bradshaw, slurping homemade cosmos as she spackled on her makeup and slid into yet another skin-tight micro-mini dress for yet another date. I was no prude and, to be totally honest, I’d kill to have as many men interested in me as Nicole had. I drew the line at casual sex, however. Nicole, on the other hand, drew no lines. Judging from the various names she’d shrieked during orgasm, she’d slept with three different men in the last month. Part of me was jealous. Another part of me feared she’d catch some kind of crotch cooties and that they’d travel through the air vents in search of fresh flesh to infest.


Like Nicole, I had my own pre-date ritual.


Step one: shower with my lavender body gel, praying that the ancient pipes in the brownstone would provide sufficient water pressure for a full rinse.


Step two: squeeze a glob of gel into my palm and run it through my curly brown hair. No sense trying to fight corkscrew locks with such a strong will of their own.


Step three: drop the towel, step naked onto the scale, and kick them damn thing back under the cabinet when it shows I haven’t lost a single ounce despite starving myself all week.


Step four: slap on some lip gloss and mascara and dress in a cute outfit, something with a sweetheart neckline and full skirt to hide my overly generous hips.


Tonight’s selection was a bright red number that brought out the warm undertones in my hair and skin. I added a black pashmina and a pair of four-inch black stilettos. The shoes tortured my feet, but my boyfriend Brock always requested I wear them. He said the shoes made my ass perky. When’s the last time a man made any effort to make his ass more perky for a woman? That’s what I wanted to know.