"Hey Auntie" (excerpt - III)
Workouts, emails, and mouth hugs...OH MY! David Marcus runs head on into one person he's been avoiding and another he better not ever deny, all without even meaning to.
Even if I’m down, I am never out
Dogs off the chain, somebody let’em out
So you ain’t gotta ask, you know what I’m about
...you know what I’m about
…you know what I’m about
...the win, the win, the win, the win…
Kingpen Slim’s “The Win” blared through the speakers in the garage as I opened the door. My head started bobbing instantly when the horn’s on the track from one of my favorite songs to workout to hit my ears. Dropping my refilled water bottle on the table in the back, I started the track over and picked up my speed rope.
Against my better judgement I looked at my phone before I got back to the grind and scrolled through my messages. A few from Terence, one from the CID at school letting me know my impromptu pic with the alum from my bus ride had caused a stir...whatever the hell that means. A couple from my cousin Tiny with increasing in severity threats about seeing me while I'm home and one from Jina. The latter I deleted without opening it.
Closing my texts and starting The Win over again, I started my second circuit with three minutes of speed rope. Side to side, front to back, high knees and standard. My pace was steady. Breathing, even. Sweat, a lot of it.
On the inclined bench, I picked up the thirty-five pound dumbbells and started butterflies. Transitioning to bench presses with the weights, I felt a little twinge in my right elbow that made me cut my reps in half and go back to my phone. Same shit I felt last week.
The email to the team trainer was short and sweet. I let him know what I was doing, explained what I felt to the best of my ability and hit send. Already knowing the response I could expect, I deleted the rest of my bench work for the day and moved to curls with twenty-five pound weights.
A loud knock on the door resonated clearly over the music.
“Yeah,” I yelled back. “It’s open!”
My uncle Dre stepped through the door one shoulder at a time, his beard announcing itself with a bullhorn.
“What’s going on stretch, missed you last night.”
He strode over and dapped me up after I put the weights down.
“What up Unc! Hate I missed the festivities. A little miscommunication had me on a cramped iron horse, taking the long way home. It wasn’t terrible though.”
“Yeah I heard. Your mama called Elle last night after you got home. Then I had to hear about it until she fell asleep.”
Unc stared at me for a beat before grinning. Thank goodness, because that brief moment of seriousness had me nervous and that is a whole lot of guy to have angry at you.
In hindsight, I get it though. My aunt Lauren takes turns with moms on who can get the most crazy about me. I guess it comes with the territory of being the first born of one of the Collins kids. That was the other reason why I was so squirrely about saying anything about my ride falling through, because I knew they would have had volunteered my uncle to come scoop me from Carolina.
“In all seriousness though Marc, call me next time. You know I gotcha.” He reached out and dapped me up again to drive the point home.
With pops leaving for greener pastures when I was two years old, uncle Dre stepped in and served as the de facto male authority figure in my life. He never tried to be my father, but he was always there when I needed him and the same went for moms when I lost my mind that one time. In short, there was a quick moment in tenth grade where I decided to try smelling myself and uh...that got knocked out of me expeditiously.
The lesson, never get on the bad side of a six foot three beast who is paid professionally to hit people and keep them at bay.
“You know your mama is inside talking to Elle right?”
“Right. I figured I would try to give Kam some time to take the edge off before she laid eyes on you.”
“I appreciate it Unc, seriously? She’s not still mad is she?”
“Nah, I wouldn’t say mad, but the closer we got to the house she started talking faster.”
We shared a look that said everything without saying a word. Mama and her sister share a lot of the same mannerisms. They are both big personalities. They can both get busy in the kitchen. They both have a death stare that can make you second guess taking another breath and they both get extra chatty when they are trying to keep themselves from going off.
I blew out a big gust of air just thinking about how that conversation was going to go, before a totally random thought shot across my frontal lobe.
“Unc, you ever dealt with an older woman?”
“Yeah. Did you forget your aunt is older than me?”
“That don’t count man,” I waved off. “Auntie Elle is only two years older than you.”
“Let’s see. I fu----” he caught himself and looked around the space like he was nervous about surveillance, “I uh, found myself in a couple of entanglements when I was on recruiting trips back in the day. Those girls were maybe three to four years older.”
He looked at me curiously, “why?”
The door to the garage flew open and the last person I expected to see, stepped inside with a disgustingly syrupy smile on her face.
“There’s my baby!”
Jina closed the space between us like a panther stalking its prey. Her movements were so deliberate that I think they even caught Unc by surprise, forcing him to jump out of the way like he was back on the field setting up a screen. The Burberry flipped cuffs on her coat flew around my waist before I knew what was happening. The scent of rosemary and mint that danced off of the chestnut brown cotton twists she was wearing played easily on my senses.
Before I knew what was happening, I subconsciously returned the intensity of her embrace. She was gorgeous and the protective hairstyle she was donning spotlighted her face in a way that allowed her soft brown eyes and thick full lips to look even more incredible. Got damn these lips.
“What's good lady? We doing surprise pop-ups now?"
Jina stepped back out of my embrace and scrunched up her nose with a grin. The smile that grew from there touched something inside of me like it always did. She had the type of wide, full, thick lips that kids made fun of in their youth. The type that some melanin-challenged women tempted fate under a knife to achieve now.
The type of lips that sent a man’s brain into a tailspin directly into the eye of a twister.
I let my eyes take in her frame, before coming back to those jewels on her face. Thick shapely thighs in black leggings, leading down to black ugg boots. Finishing up my quick appraisal, my eyes moved upward noting a fresh green themed manicure with gold accents. The emerald green wide V neck sweater she wore laid across her breasts in a way that seemed to add a cup size to the petite portion of her pear shaped frame.
Jina Simmons was as bad as ever. Even in those oversized faux frames she had started wearing over the last couple months.
“It’s not a surprise pop-up baby. You clearly have been igging me. I text you earlier and said I would be out this way to go shoot with Russell.”
“Right, so why are you here Jina? I didn’t respond so why would you just assume I’m here?”
My uncle, all six foot three and three hundred plus pounds of him somehow found a way to meld into the background. When my...situation, first entered the garage he flashed me a thumbs up sign from behind her. During our back and forth, he looked on confused, slowly moving towards the door. When it was snatched open suddenly for a second time he jumped and threw up his hands defensively.
“Marky, congratulations! I am not going to kill you.”
Aunt Lauren sashayed into the space and over to me, throwing her arms around my neck. It’s so good to see you baby, she whispered into my ear.
“Marky? I thought you said you didn’t like people calling you that,” Jina asked.
“Correct. Auntie is the only person on earth I allow to call me Marky.”
“For what it’s worth, I don’t even call the boy Marky and I carried his big headed ass for nine months,” mama added.
“Who dis Marky?”
I swear my aunt is an elite level code switcher. She can go from educated Spelman alum to uptown DC girl in two seconds flat. Moms handled the introductions between Jina, aunt Lauren and Unc while I wiped down the bench and scrolled through my messages. The head athletic trainer responded to my earlier message with a couple possibilities for causes plus specific instructions to STOP DOING WHATEVER YOU ARE DOING until we can get you back on campus and checked out formally.
My boy Terence had shot me two more texts that I might check later.
I had a new follow on Instagram.
Then there was the text Jina mentioned...
Jina S: I’m shooting with Russell in the Olive Garden parking lot by your mom’s house. Maybe I can swing by and see you and my friend after. Prime mouth hug season
All of the blood in my body raced to my dick in that moment. Jina and I have always been cool. We get along easily, effortlessly even. She’s a good girl all in all, we just don’t see eye to eye on what’s real versus fantasy. The one thing we will forever agree on however, anything related to the physical.
That woman’s hips are pure black magic.
Her understanding of angles and manipulating all of my senses, especially visual and auditory, incredible.
But her mouth hug’s, a term I hated the first time I heard it, but grew to fantasize about after the first time she wrapped her lips around the longest and strongest piece of me...fuck!
Oshun without question, sprinkled extra dust in the mortar used to grind and mix her during creation.
Now, I really needed for all of these people to leave so I can work out some of this newfound tension and frustration. Conflating sexual compatibility with anything more is the absolute last thing she or I need and if I’m left alone with this girl, penetration is certain.
Hearing my name snapped me back into the here and now. My gaze was fixated on that spot on the floor between Jina’s legs who thankfully had her back towards me. Looking up, I caught my uncle’s eye who had his bottom lip poked out and was nodding approvingly before he laughed at my being zoned out by the visual. Caught, I could do nothing but laugh at myself.
I turned my attention back to my phone and clicked on the Instagram notification that I noticed earlier. IG was an app that I rarely used over the last year plus, so gaining a new follower was odd to say the least.
The profile photo was of a giant sunflower. The first few rows of pictures on the page were an array of brightly colored exotic flowers in the wild. Beautiful landscapes under bright blue skies, on country sides and near rivers. One picture in particular was of a flower that could not be real. It held a luminescence similar to the heart-shaped herb from the Black Panther movie. Nonetheless it was gorgeous. The photo in question was one of a multiple set, so I swiped left.
Picture two was of the aurora borealis seen in Alaska.
Picture three was a perspective shot of an espresso colored woman with strikingly alluring soft brown eyes with gold flecks. Miss Elizabeth? Fuck, she is gorgeous. I mean I had to catch myself from calling out to her when she backed down the driveway earlier, but this angle…
“David Marcus? Is everything alright?”
Momma’s voice re-focused me.
“Yes ma’am. I was uh, looking at a message from the trainer at school.”
“Everything good,” Unc asked with concern.
“Yeah. I just felt a little twinge in my elbow when I was working out. He was giving me some info on what it could be and what I should and should not do until he can check me out,” I lied.
Out of my peripheral, I could see Auntie and momma both staring pointed daggers at me. Aunt Elle had this weird way of being tapped right into my frequency, something that my mom hated when I was young but she leaned on as I became a teen. Whenever they were together however, it was like they could read my mind. Like they became the damn wonder twins or some shit. I gotta get out of here.
“Think I’m gonna head to the gym and try to catch one of the trainers there to see if I can get one of them to take a look,” I pulled out of thin air. “Jina, you mind giving me a ride?”
“Uh, sure,” she replied.
Momma started to say something, then cut it off, directing her attention to her sister who was seconds away from Tik Tok’ing her way into her feelings.
“If it’s okay, I’m gonna Uber over to my favorite aunt and uncle’s house after I leave the gym so I can hang out for a few.”
“Marky, I know you better be talking about me or more than just your elbow is going to be hurting,” aunt Lauren said with a smile and a child-like twinkle in her eye.
I moved over and wrapped my arms around her, lifting her off the ground and spun us around. She playfully protested before falling into a fit of laughter that I loved to hear. With Uncle Dre and auntie not having any kids, they doted on their nieces and nephews like grandparents over grandkids.
With my being the oldest and only Collins kid offspring for years, I was the closest thing they had to a child of their own. And auntie never made any qualms about making her thoughts, wants and needs known.
“Let me go hop in the shower.”