The next morning when I got up from the hotel in Paris I went to my conference. After the conference, I decided it was time to go back to the United States; I had enough. I thought about Lamar, that poor little desolate sucker but I’m sure he’s going to be with someone else, so why even care? I figured I’d never see him again anyway. He’d be in the U.S. next week and who cares.
I went back to California and continued to do what I normally do which are trainings, lectures and conferences. When I got off the plane, I went home, relaxed awhile, then got in my car and went through the drive-through to get a bite to eat and decided to go see a movie.
As I was walking in, I saw this tall, gorgeous, good-looking gentleman. I knew he had to be an athlete of some sort. I was right. This was something because I never really got along much with a person who wrestled. He was a professional wrestler, buffed, mixed African-American and Caucasian, short hair, nicely dressed, nice butt, nice arms/biceps, and smelled good too! He was by himself, so when I got in line to buy the ticket he asked me:
“Are you by yourself?”
“What movie are you going to see?”
“I’m going to see that movie too. Would you like to be my date?”
“Date? I don’t even know you.”
“My name is Carl.”
“Carl, it’s nice to meet you.”
“What is your name?”
“Shenina, that’s a different name.”
I really didn’t want to give my real name, so Shenina was the first name that came into my head.
“I’ve never known a white girl named Shenina. There’s a first for everything. Would you like to join me in a movie?”
I figured sure. He paid for my ticket. We went in and he asked me if I would like some popcorn.
He went in very gentlemen like; it was actually kind of nice. He didn’t try anything. He sat there in the movie with me. We would laugh at the scary parts. I would jump and he would jump. Actually, I felt pretty good, I felt kind of comfortable.
After the movie he asked me where I was going. I told him I was just off a long business trip and that I was tired and just came to the movies to unwind. He asked me if I’d like to have a drink.
“No, I don’t drink.”
“Would you like to go have some coffee?”
“No, I’m not a coffee drinker.”
“I’ll take you up on a milkshake.”
To be safe, because you know how I am with men, I told him:
“I’ll meet you.”
We went to a place called Candylands. They serve all different types of ice cream and sodas and they even have a Slurpee machine.
When we got there, I changed my mind.
“You know what? I’d rather have a Slurpee.”
“Are you sure?”
“Oh, it’s got to be a Coca-Cola Slurpee.”
“You know, that’s sounds good. I’ll have the same.”
So we talked, and we talked. There was something different about Carl, very different. I felt, you know what, for the first time this could be a friend. I didn’t have very many friends other than my family. The more I looked at this man, he was pretty, ooh, and he looked good. His teeth were white and pretty. I figured for being a wrestler he would be aggressive, but he wasn’t. He was very smart, graduated, and got his Masters. He was very humble, loved his mother and father, talked immensely about his sisters and brothers and what he did for them. He was not arrogant or boastful like Lamar. I found him to be pleasant and did I say fine too? Oooh, this man did something to me. Let me quit.
I asked him how he felt about different races; African-Americans, Hispanics.
“People are people. As long as they love God, I don’t care.”
Hmmm, I thought about it and got a little sad. I got to picturing myself on the beach running up and down with him running behind me and myself running after two little kids thinking that would be nice, but that quickly left my mind because I knew I didn’t have a long time to live. I came back to reality and just enjoyed the moment.
We talked and we talked. Before I knew it, it was 12 o’clock midnight.
“Oh Carl, sorry but I have to go.”
“I’m sorry, could I get your number?”
I told him I would prefer to call him so he gave me his card. He said he would be in town for a while but then he’s leaving to go on tour, but that he’d like to hear from me before he left. He walked me to my car and gave me a nice hug. I could just feel his biceps around me. He waited until I started my car, told me to make sure I locked my door and then sent me on my way.
I was driving and thought, God, why couldn’t I have met this man before these experiences happened to me? Why? I started getting mad and I started crying. I think for the first time I really released what had happened to me when I was going to college and I cried myself home. I went home, took a shower and went to sleep.
The next morning when I got up, I was too weak to even go to work so I called in. I sat there holding his card thinking once again of running on the beach with him chasing me and our two kids, but eventually that dissolved and all I could do was close my eyes and remember what happened that college night – that horrible night.