CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: "ANSWERED PRAYER"

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I am dedicating this Chapter to alexcia13 simply because you wished me a happy belated birthday! #whoop-whoop 😁

CHAPTER TWENTY THREE: “ANSWERED PRAYER”




She still had not moved from the spot that she had been standing when DeAndre walked out of the door and that had been over five minutes ago. So many thought were running through her mind, she needed someone to talk to. Walking back to the room, she reached for her phone and dialed a familiar number.

“Can you talk?” she asked when the person on the other side picked up after a few rings.

“Sure” came the reply form the other side. “What’s up?”

“I messed up Amber. I really messed up.”

“What are you talking about?” she asked with concern in her voice.

“I kissed DeAndre and just made a mess of things.”

“Ok tell me what happened and start from the beginning.”

She sat down on her bed and leaned against the headrest. Where should she start?

“Since the day I met DeAndre, I have been feeling him. I have been trying to keep him at bay because the more time I spend with him, I feel myself slipping deeper and deeper in love with him. I honestly thought that I could be his friend but today was just my breaking point…”

“Why? What happened Zaza?”

“He came over and did things that no man has ever done-”

“Not to be rude but should I be hearing this?” Amber interrupted her.

“No! I didn’t mean that. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

“Sorry” Amber replied sheepishly.

“As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted” Azania continued. “He did things for me that for me that no man has ever done. He heard that I was not well and left what he was doing just to make sure that I was okay. He brought me some meds, soup and a box of tissues because he thought I had flu. When he discovered that I was on my period, he ran me a bath to relax in.”

“Daymn…”

“It only gets better or worse, it depends how you look at it.”

“Girl don’t you dare keep me in suspense. What happened?” Amber repeated the phrase that had become her mantra for the third time.

“He washed my blood stained sheets Amber, I was so embarrassed when I saw the blood stain on the bed but he didn’t even flinch or seem disgusted when he took of those sheets to wash them.”

“Double daymn!” Amber exclaimed.

“I started crying because that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I couldn’t lie to myself or to him anymore. And so I kissed him. But he didn’t kiss me back. He thought I was acting that way because I was on my period.”

“Well were you?”

“No Amber. I wanted to do that for a while now. I am so in love with DeAndre”

She sighed. She had finally admitted it to someone else besides herself.

“He is all I think about and makes what I thought I felt for Kendrick feel like a stupid teenage crush” she continued. “The woman who captures his heart someday will be very fortunate.”

“Why can’t that woman be you?” Amber asked.

“Amber…I don’t want to set myself up for anymore heartache. I won’t be able to survive this heartbreak.”

“Why do you do that to yourself Azania? This could be your chance at happiness and you are just blocking your blessing. Haven’t you been telling me that your momma has been praying that you find a good man?”

“Yeah…”

“Well don’t underestimate the power of a praying mother. This could be an answered prayer. You should stop second guessing yourself. Not every man out there is going to hurt you. Some men come around to break down the walls that we build with stones from past hurts, failed relationships and insecurities. Allow that man to restore your faith in men and let him love you until that broken heart of yours is whole.”

Tears were running down her face.  She couldn’t speak because Amber had spoken words that pierced her soul. They rang true to her.

“I don’t know any man that would come over and take care of a ‘friend’ like DeAndre took care of you. It is clear to me that that man loves you. You are the only one that still needs to see that” Amber concluded.

After a minute of silence Amber spoke again.

“Call him and talk to him.”

“I can’t” she replied. She reached for the box of tissues that he brought earlier and blew her nose.

“Come on Azania, don’t let pride get in the way.”

“It has nothing to do with pride. Whatever I say today, he won’t believe it to be true. I told you that he thinks that I kissed him because I am on my period.”

“Oh…”

“Before he left he said that he is giving me a few days to think things through.”

“Meaning that he will be back?”

“Yes he will be back.”

“Good and whatever you do Azania, don’t mess it up!”

“I’ll try my best not too.”

“You need to do more than just try. You should go all Toni Braxton for this one?”

“Toni Braxton?” she asked. She was confused.

“Yip” Amber responded and started singing.

I wanna be your baby
Won’t you be my man?
I wanna be your soldier
When you’re too weak to stand
I wanna be your baby
Be the end of your day
Forever in your life
Forever by your side
Forever I’ll stand

“How do you think I bagged Brian?” Amber asked when she was done singing.

“By singing?”

“Nooooo” Amber sighed. “By laying it all on the line. I bore my heart and soul to that man and stopped playing games. I just told him how I felt and now look at us about to walk down the aisle.”

“If only it was that easy.”

“It is, trust me. Now I really have to get back to work. I will stop by later and bring some dinner okay?”

“Okay. Thank you for just being you. I appreciate it.”

Through good times and bad times
I’ll be on your side forever more
That’s what friends are for

Amber burst into song once again.

Azania couldn’t help but laugh. “You crazy.”

“I know. Bye girl.”

“Bye Crazy.”

They hanged up and Azania felt much better emotionally and physically. A talk with Amber was just what she needed. She got up from the bed and put on her shoes. She might as well spend the rest of the day with her parents since she had not seen them in a while.



******************************



He had a lot to think about. Azania was not the only one that needed to think things through. It was clear to him that he felt something for her but could he let her in and open up his heart to her? Could he trust and love her?

For as long as he could remember, no other woman had come close enough to even touch the suit of armour that surrounded his most prized possession. His heart. That was until she came along. Slowly but surely she was invading his defenses and slowly but surely the cracks in his protective shield were becoming more evident with each and every day he spent with or without her. He wanted her physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

But that did not mean that he could ever love her. He somewhat felt incapable of that.

He needed someone to talk to. Someone who would give him sound advice and that is why he found himself in Anthwan’s office after he left Azania’s apartment.

Anthwan placed a glass of Hennessy in front of him before he sat down on the other side of his desk with a glass of his own. Maybe he looked like he needed a drink right now.

“You better start talking because I ain’t got all day” Anthwan said after a few moments of silence.

He took a sip from the glass before he spoke. “Azania came on to me today.”

“What do you mean she came on to you?”

“Well she kissed me and said we can’t be friends because she has caught some feelings.”

“You mean she went Trey Songs on you talking about you can’t be friends?”

“Something like that…” DeAndre replied.

“Well if you personally ask me, I knew that this was going to happen.”

“What do you mean you knew?”

“Come on Dre. You are a grown man, she is a grown woman and you are clearly attracted to each other. This was bound to happen.”

“I’m not sure that she wants me like I want her.”

“Trust me when I tell you that Azania Parker wants you or else what transpired between the two of you earlier would not have happened.”

“How can you be so sure?”

Anthwan sighed. “Because while the two of you have been busy playing these cat and mouse games, I actually got to know her.”

“I was not the one playing games” DeAndre protested.

“Maybe not but you did not pursue her like you should have.”

“I did. Time and time again I tried but she just pushed me away.”

“Can I be frank with you?”

“Ain’t that what I came here for?”

“Now since you put it like that” Anthwan said before taking a gulp from his glass “you are not the only one with issues Dre. Azania is different.”

“I know that she is different. That’s what I like about her.”

“But she’s not just different outwardly and that means the way that you approach her has to be different.”

“Isn’t that what I have been doing?”

“By sharing a few casual kisses?”

“They were anything but casual to me” DeAndre protested.

“Does she know that though? Have you told her what your intentions are?

“I tried to show her…”

“Try saying it and showing her at the same time.”

“But they say action speaks louder than words.”

“And what exactly do you think your actions said?”

DeAndre thought about it for a minute. “For someone who has not been in a serious relationship, you surely know a lot about relationships.”

“What can I say, I have watched my fair share of Dr. Phil and Oprah” Anthwan chuckled. “But on the real, you have a good woman right there. Don’t let your father’s past determine your future.”

DeAndre nodded in response and lifted his glass to Anthwan before taking a sip. He definitely came to the right place. Men usually did not speak about their feelings and without having to say much, Ant knew exactly where he was coming from. He felt some of the weight lift of his shoulders. A few days from now he will lay all his cards on the table for her to see. That’s all that he could do. How things went after that would be completely up to her.

After spending some time with Anthwan, he decided to head home. He went by his favorite Italian restaurant to get some dinner because he did not feel like cooking. After collecting dinner, he just had one more stop to make. A few minutes later he was knocking on a door. Seconds later it opened.

“Hey" he said.

“Hey" she replied.

“Feeling better?”

“Yeah.”

He handed her one of the bags of food that he had gotten from the restaurant earlier which contained beef Lasagna and a Greek salad. She took it from him and gave him a puzzled look.

“I just wanted to make sure that you didn’t starve to death. Good night Azania.”

“Good night.”

He turned around and headed back to his car. He didn’t come here to put any pressure on her, he would stick to his word and give her space. All he wanted to do is make sure that she was okay.






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