Steven was in love. He did not need to say it as his actions showed it. I was there the night it happened. We were at the store when a young black lady walked in. She walked up to us while we were stocking the shampoo aisle. She asked for help.
She was tall and dark skinned with a smooth complexion. She was beautiful and had a great body. As we would say in Jamaica she has a “Coca Cola” shape. It was Steven’s favorite aisle to pick up women looking for hair care products. This young woman was not Steven’s type. He liked white women and “brownings”. I did not expect him to try and pick her up.
He believed she was black American and put on his best “twang”.
“Let me show you where that is” he said to the young lady. He had the biggest smile on his face.
When she replied I heard a Jamaican accent.
He walked her 2 aisles over and did not come back for almost 35 minutes. I could see a smile and glow on his face.
Her name was Kelly and she was from Kingston. For the rest of the time we worked he kept talking about her.
I joked with him
“Yuh love out”, I told him.
“Nah, she just different”, he replied.
For the next few weeks Kelly was all he could talk about. She had a boyfriend but he was working hard to “bruk his foot”. How did he get her number when she had a boyfriend?
He knew some of her friends from her Jamaican high school, Holy Childhood. He told her he would call her with their phone numbers. After that first call they hit it off. I was getting blow by blow descriptions, something he never did before. They had developed a close friendship. He thought she liked him but did not know how to break it off with her boyfriend. She also heard about his reputation as a “player” from a friend and did not trust him. He told her he would change for her and he would prove it.
Steven stopped picking up every girl that walking in the store. He stopped his late night partying. He was a changed man all because of Kelly.
His “love affair” for her did not last. She was not leaving her boyfriend and told Steven they had to end their friendship. Steven was devastated. He thought it was going to end like all his other pursuits. He called in sick for 3 days.
When he came back to work he was depressed. He looked sick. He was unshaven and had dry salvia at the sides of his mouth. He looked awful. He was not the Steven I knew. I tried to cheer him up by joking around and showing him beautiful women who walked in the store. That did not help.
Then he asked me a strange question.
“Have,you ever been in love before?” he asked.
It was a strange question coming from a man, especially a Jamaican man. We don’t show this type of emotion especially to other men. Maybe his depression has him doing strange things.
At first I was going to say yes. I was in love with Angela. I still am.
“No”, I replied.
“Good, then this will not happen to you. I don’t wish this feeling on anyone. I am in physical pain because of my broken heart. Don’t ever fall in love.”
I could hear the pain in his voice. I had felt that pain before when Angela got married. I still think about her. I will always love her.
“Let’s go out to a club tonight” I was trying to get his mind off his heartbreak.
“No, I am going home to get some sleep” he replied.
The next morning I got a phone call from Steven.
“I need your help”.
He sounded desperate.
He wanted me to talk to Kelly and let her know that I was not seeing anyone. He wanted her to know he was changed and not the partying bachelor. He wanted me to tell her that he was madly in love with her.
“I can’t change anyone’s mind” I told him.
“She will believe you” he replied.
“How am I going to tell her this?”, I asked.
“She is coming to the store tonight. Can you put in a good word for me?” he was pleading.
“Okay. I will see what I can do”
She came to the store that day. Steven was in the back.
I started a conversation with her. She was very nice and the conversation was easy. I felt awkward trying to sell her on Steven. I had to be frank with her.
“Do you know you are driving Steven crazy? He is madly in love with you” I told her. I then told her how he was a changed man since he met her. I told her he was a womanizer and he stopped since meeting her.
Kelly seemed surprised.
“Did he put you up to this?” she asked.
“No”, I lied. From the corner of my eye I could see Steven peeping through the stock room door.
“Okay” she replied, “Tell Steven I had to go”
She turned and ran out the store.
Steven stormed out the stock room and ran after her.
He was gone for 15 minutes. I went back to work.
Steven came back in the store with a big smile on his face. He was “glowing” like a light bulb.
“Whatever you said worked, I owe you one”
Seth and Krystal’s wedding was two months away. The phone call I dreaded was coming at any moment.
Seth called me on a Saturday morning at 10:00am. I was in deep sleep. I worked late the previous night and had gone to a friend’s birthday party at a nightclub with Steven and his new girlfriend, Kelly.
“Are you still sleeping”, he asked.
“Yes”, I replied whispering into the phone.
“Rise and shine”, Seth said laughing.
“Why”, I asked in an annoying voice. It was not condescending as Seth knew me well enough to know I meant no harm.
“We need to discuss you being my best man”, he replied.
I was up now. Seth had told me 10 months ago he wanted me to be his to be his best man at his wedding. The problem was the wedding would be in Jamaica.
Maybe it was time I tell Seth the real reason why I cannot be his best man.