OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Fictional Series: A Nice Backstroke - Part 1

Fictional Series: A Nice Backstroke - Part 1

I can’t believe I am doing this again. Eventually I have to make a choice. Either way, one person would be hurt. One person would love me forever and the other one would be hurt and would walk out of my life. But I had to make a choice. This was slowly becoming too much. And I had to do it tonight. I have a date with Keith, my boyfriend, at 7 and then I’m spending the night at my fiancé’s house, Tay. Yes, I am a man and I am currently engaged to a woman, while dating a man. To be honest, I love them both.

I met Tay about a year ago. I was walking through Lennox Mall one day and crashed into an associate of Carol’s Daughter when I was busy on a conference call.

“Oh, I am so sorry!” I exclaim as I reach down and help her off the floor.

“Oh no! It’s fine! I didn’t see you, I was busy texting,” says the beautiful stranger with the most Southern accent I had ever heard in my life. She has the most mesmerizing lips, with brown skin. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever met. I didn’t realize that I pulled her right into my body when I helped her off the floor and her perfume engulfed me. She smelled of lavender and I wanted to be a part of that scent. She pulls herself out of my grip.

“I am so sorry, once again. Hi, my name is Robert.” I reach out and offer her my right hand to shake. She shakes my hand and gives me the most genuine smile.

“Hi, I’m Tay!” She says in that Southern accent again.

“Where are you from? Your accent is so southern and I love every second of it.”

“I am from Georgia. Born and raised, I was born in middle Georgia but I have been in Atlanta for about 6 months now.” she responds with that southern drawl, again.

“Oh, ok. I am so sorry but are you on your way to lunch? I want to take you to lunch for stomping all over you.”

“I actually am headed home. I have an emergency at my apartment. But it was nice to meet you, Robert!”

Tay runs off and I am stunned. No woman has ever turned me down. Now I am determined to find out about this southern beauty.

I walk into the Carol’s Daughter store and go straight for the register.

“Hi,” …. I read her nametag, Lisa, “Lisa, I have a question?”

“Yes, what can I help you with?” she responds. Lisa is a petite Caucasian woman with blonde hair that she kept in a pixie cut. Her blue eyes are so piercing I swear she can see deep into my soul.

“I was wondering if you could tell me about Tay? I literally bumped into her outside of here and before I could get her number, she ran off.”

“Oh I don’t know much about Tay. She just started working here about a month ago. Super sweet girl, hard worker. But it’s against company policy to give out our employee’s personal information, sweetheart. You could always leave a card and I could make sure she gets your number.” She winks at me.

I knew Lisa was feeding me bullshit but I went along with it.

“How about you tell me when her next shift is? I promise I won’t pop up. I will just send her some I am sorry flowers.”

Lisa thought about this, long and hard.

“She works Fridays. I won’t tell you a time or which Friday.”

“Thank you, I will take whatever I can get! Is there anything you can recommend me buying to get your sales up since you have been such a big help?”

Two hundred dollars later, Lisa had completely revamped my body collection, but the money was well spent.

Thinking about those days, brought a smile to my face. Tay turned out to be the best two hundred dollar investment. I sent her flowers to Carol’s Daughter every Friday straight for six weeks until I got the courage to go back up there and ask for her number. She finally said yes and we have been dating for almost 2 years now. I asked her to marry me about six months ago, the week after she graduated from cosmetology school. Tay is such a hard workingwoman and honestly, it is what turned me on to her. She is now the store manager at Carol’s Daughter and she is assisting at a luxury salon in Buckhead. Her drive made me want to go harder and at 24, she is becoming a force in the beauty industry.

To Tay: I love you. I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you. I am so excited that you chose me to be your soul mate for the rest of your life. Can’t wait to see you tonight.

To Keith: Lover, see you at 7. Same spot. Wear those skinny jeans that I like.

I really am a piece of shit. They both give me different parts of themselves and it is the reason why I can’t let either of them go. Tay is so into her career right now and can’t give me the support I need. Keith gives me all the support I need and but I wasn’t ready to go forward with coming out of the closet. I’m not even sure if I’m in a closet. I love women and men. But I want to spend the rest of my life with a woman. Keith didn’t mind being my little secret but he did not know about Tay. He thought he was the only one. And he was, until I met Tay.

Keith was introduced to me through a mutual friend about three years ago. Keith is about the same height as I am, about 6’0 and is a handsome man. We immediately clicked when I met him and we started dating. Keith was the first guy I had sex with. I fooled around and let several guys give me head but I never went all the way, until Keith. Being with Keith put me in an entire different mind frame. I always felt like I would have to sneak and hide but at the same time, Keith brought an openness to my life that I never experienced before. I told him from the beginning that I wasn’t comfortable being out yet, he understood and we have just allowed things to progress from there. I don’t give him any reason to question me. We go to places that aren’t staples of Atlanta. Keith doesn’t go out much and neither does Tay. A lot of our times together are spent in the house. Keith would rather cook for me because he is a country boy. Tay normally wants to study her craft or sleep. He and Tay live on different sides of town and run in different circles. I don’t have social media so they can’t find out about each other that way, either. I am walking a fine line and I feel like the walls are slowly closing in on me.

Theories: The Westbrook Laugh

Theories: The Westbrook Laugh

Cruising The Hudson: Fish Bar @ North River Landing - NYC

Cruising The Hudson: Fish Bar @ North River Landing - NYC