“You would be right…” she says, laughing. She hopes he sees that she is joking, just because Sophia really wants him to be joking.
“I thought so,” Jamal continues, and he smirks. Sophie watches Jamal for a moment and then when it is clear that he is serious, she breaks the stare, and continues on her way. She cannot help the warmth filling her chest though.
Sophie hadn’t really thought of what her type was until then. She has been so focused on her studies and on her pending career in the renewable energy industry that she had really up until that moment put the idea of being with a man, any man, on the back burner. She knew that she would get to it, eventually, but now was just not the time. And then she met Jamal.
Jamal had entertained the possibility many times though, always attracted to the pale skin and great legs that all white women seemed to have. And Sophie had a perfect ass too, which really was a bonus because this is that one thing Jamal thought was lacking on real white women in the real world. He had always figured that asses had been photo-shopped into their pics on the magazines and billboards that he had seen.
“Are you avoiding me,” he asks one day when she had not been on the track for two days.
“No not at all,” she says, although she knows that she really had. Jamal was proving to be a distraction for her now, and she really couldn’t use any distractions so early in the year. She had also already received more than a little bit of attention from her fellow students, but there was just something about Jamal that had her fixated. She knew that it couldn’t happen though.
She was nice, to him, to everybody. But he was twice her age, and she knew that there could really not come too much good from a liaison with him. She had planned on losing her virginity this year, but she hadn’t envisioned
losing it to a Jamaican in his forties. Why not though, she asked herself.
“You been busy?” Jamal continues.
“Yes,” she says, not really a lie, but she knows that she could have still come running on the track because she just changed her route and not the time of her morning jogs.
“Okay,” he says, not really believing her, returning to his sweeping. She really wants to ask him what his intentions were. The undeniable attraction growing between them made her wonder what his true angle was. But, unable to lie to herself, Sophie already knew that they'd reached a fork in the road. Her thirst for this statuesque, black- Zeus of a man made her long to choose the path of quenching her desires. But, Jamal didn't know that she was a virgin, and so she thought she'd probably not be the best person to satisfy his experience. She doesn’t divulge this though, and instead asks him something that she wishes she hadn’t as soon as the question escapes her lips.
“Are you free tonight?” she asks him, and then immediately bites her lip.
“I could be,” he says, holding his broom tighter, obviously also very nervous now.
“Apartment 243, the Edgerton building…” she says, again before she can stop herself.
“Okay…around seven?” he asks, seeming to want to conclude this conversation that he has really wanted to have with her since the first day he said hello to the pretty Brit.
“Yes, seven!” she says emphatically, and then she runs right off the tracks and goes to process this conversation she really didn’t expect to have with the maintenance man…
Sophie hadn’t thought about what the other students in her building might think of this nocturnal visit from Jamal, not until she was face to face with him at her door. Her neighbor across the hall, a guy named Jonah who she hasn’t had any real conversation with even though he lives so close to her, also happened to come home at just that time. Seeing the snide l
ook Jonah throws her way, she isn’t sure if Jonah knows who Jamal is though, because he really looks different in his jeans and vest. Maintenance workers really faded into the background in their grey coveralls.
This was a very good thing, she thought!
But her visitor was obviously much older than she was, and this was probably the reason for her nosey neighbor’s expression. Jonah had once suggested that he and Sophie ‘hang out,’ but he really had no appeal to her. Sophie owed nobody an explanation for what happened in the privacy of her apartment, so she stepped aside and let Jamal in, half nodding at Jonah, returning his stare with a look of defiance. As he stood in his own doorway with his mouth agape, she closes the door and turns into her tiny apartment, taking a deep breath and preparing herself to attend to her guest. She is suddenly nervous, thinking that perhaps she should have suggested that they meet in a more public place.
“Hello,” Jamal says, and he comes down and kisses her on her cheek.
“Hello,” she says, and then she looks across to where she has a bottle of red wine breathing on the table. Sophie wonders if Jamal even drinks wine. She hopes he does, because this is really all she could get without being asked to produce ID. The US, to her, was very strange. You could drive at 16, but had to wait to be 21 to buy alcohol, legally!
“Here we are…” Jamal says, looking around the space. Sophie walks to the table and pours them both a glass, handing one to Jamal whose eyes are still on every corner of the tiny space. He really seems to be taking it all in, almost as though he has never been inside any of the student accommodation before.
“Do you want a tour?” she asks him, noticing his curiosity. He nods, and three minutes later they are back in the living area, having seen the bedroom, bathroom, and now the kitchen, dining and living areas which are all essentially one space.
“Can I sit?” he asks.
“Yes, of course,” she says, taking her wine to the kitchen where she gets a salad out of the fridge. She really thinks that she might have got this wrong. Firstly, she didn’t confirm with Jamal this morning that they would be having dinner. Secondly, the menu wasn’t discussed at all, and while lighter men might have appreciated a salad, she isn’t sure if the ebony hulk in her apartment now will show this appreciation.
She sets up on the tiny dining table, and then pours them both a second
glass of red. She still hasn’t relaxed any more than when he arrived, but she does a good job of pretending that she is. Sophia watches him eat, taking huge chunks of the salad on his fork and stuffing it in his mouth. He chews loudly too, and she finds this cute. She really just nibbles on hers, while taking in this breathtakingly gorgeous beast of a man. She smiles inside, as she quietly observes him, smirking as she notices a piece of lettuce stuck between his teeth.
When they are finished eating, having had a third glass of wine, Jamal seems to be more relaxed than Sophie. She is looking a little more tense now, knowing that with the meal out of the way, he is probably going to want more than she is ready to give up right then. She knows that she really wants him to be here, but she isn’t sure how to tell him that there would be limits to tonight’s proceedings.