“Have you ever thought about doing the fish pedicure thing in here?”

“Bailey, who has time to be trying to take care of some dead skin eating fish?” My identical twin sister, Brielle, answered my question with a question of her own. 

After a long week of standing on my feet, there is absolutely nothing like a pedicure to get me right. Brielle is a beast with the manis’ and pedis’ at her nail bar called, ‘Hands and Feet’. 

“If I did that, I would have to hire somebody just to take care of the fish and clean out the bowls,” she continued, “No ma’am.”

I didn’t think about that. 

“I guess I just figured they took care of themselves.” Hell, we never had fish is pets. I didn’t know what it took to keep them alive.

“Bay, nothing just takes care of itself. Even plants need to be watered.” Bri had a point. I just saw it on Instagram and thought it would be bomb for her to have something like that here.

Brielle took me as her last client of the day. When she finished, we were going to ride home together. 

We lived in a three level townhome in Overland Park, Kansas.  I loved it out here. Everything was so nice, neat, and clean. They were constantly building up too. Pretty soon,  we wouldn’t have to leave here for anything. 

Us being so young and living in that area was a clear demonstration of God’s grace. I could still remember when we used to live in the city. I never thought I’d see the day when we actually had enough money to live exactly where we wanted to live. The townhouse wasn’t something we rented. We paid a mortgage on it. We were gonna own it. 

It wasn’t like I needed her or she needed me. We could both survive on our own and still live in Overland Park, but Bri was my best friend. I wanted to live with her. 

“Do you think I should get rhinestones or a design?” Brielle was at the end of my pedicure, so she needed to know if I was going to be extra or if she should just put the topcoat on because I was going to be simple.

“It’s up to you, but hurry up and decide. I’m ready to go home. I had a long day. ”

I chose just leave my feet plain. My hands had a different black line design on two of my fingers. My polish was nude, because I never liked for my nails to clash with any of my outfits. My feet were the same shade. Yes, I was that girl, and they both had to match. 

By the time we made it home Bri was done for. She told me she was taking a shower and calling it a night. That meant I was gonna be up by myself.  

I wasn’t down for a night of boredom, so I called my friend Edison over.  Now me and Ed were more like flirt buddies than anything else. He had a thing for me and I had a thing for him, but we never crossed the line.  We had always kept things pretty neutral. Low-key I think Ed had a situation. There was somebody somewhere, this I knew for sure, but if he didn’t think it was out of line to come chill with me then I didn’t either. 

I hurried and took my own shower and put on my PJs while I waited for him to get here. My wash and go was still popping from two days ago so I just put my bonnet on, not even bothering to twist my hair. I didn’t have to be made up for Ed. He had seen me with my hair all over my head and sleep in my eyes. He’d even seen the shower caps on my deep conditioning days too. 

When he made it, I saw that he was just as dressed down as me. Edison had on his black do-rag, a plain black muscle shirt, some Jordan basketball shorts, and some white Nike socks with the slides. Just comfortable. 

“You keep dressing sexy like this and I’m going to have to bend you over in the kitchen.” He said,crass has hell, as he walked in giving me a hug. 

“What?!?” I asked as I looked down at myself. “How am I dressing sexy?” I asked laughing but very much confused. 

“You got on a tank top with some leggings and a bonnet. Bay, you know that bonnet does something to a nigga.” He said being silly. 

“Ed if you don’t shut up and get’cho ass in this room …” I laughing still. He was funny. 

He came in and went straight for “his side” and I got on mine. At some point we would end up cuddled up in the middle, but we always started out on separate ends. 

“What you got for us tonight?” He asked. We hung out at least twice a week. 

“Belly. That cool?”

“Yeah. I ain’t seen that in a minute.” Then he looked and me with mischievous eyes and said, “You trying to Netflix and chill?”

“Ed, you know damn well this ain’t no Netflix and chill. It’s a movie night. Get it right fool.”

“What’s the difference?” He asked tossing my millions of throw pillows to the floor. 

“Oh, there is a big difference. Act like you don’t know …” I answered getting underneath my comforter. I liked to keep my room cold. 

“Either way you still gone be put to sleep. Straight snoring and slobbing all on my chest.” Edison was all about games today. 

“First, I do not slob. Second, you’re so comfy and warm.” I couldn’t even deny snoring. Yep I did it, but only when I was really tired. 

“Yeah whatever. Just come on.” He said pulling me to his chest. “And don’t put your cold feet on me either.”

Half way through the movie we were both knocked out. If I didn’t have automatic off, the movie would have been watching us.  

I snuggled into Ed’s chest, threw my leg over his thigh, and I felt it. It was a nice size. I had been copped this feel so that wasn’t new but what was new was when I felt his huge hand grip my booty. Then it stayed there

I waited a beat or two, then I shimmied so that his hand ended up on my lower back. Then I waited again. Then Edison slid it right back down on my butt … again 

“Ed? What are you doing?” I asked in a whisper. 

I half expected him to play possum, but he replied, “Bailey, we’re two grown ass people, who are attracted to each other, in a bed at 1 o’clock in the morning.”

“What that mean? After a certain time you can’t control your hands?” I knew what I was asking didn’t make much sense, and if I were to be honest, I knew this was coming but I didn’t know it was going to be tonight

“I been controlling more than just my hands for a couple months now. Am I reading this wrong?” He asked, hand still on my ass. 

“You know I’m not down for casual sex. That’s not my thing. I get attached and show out when shit ain’t right. I’m not going to front about that.” Honesty was the best policy as far as I was concerned. 

“Ain’t nothing about this casual. You think I drop what I’m doing any time, day or night, for just anybody? You think I would torture myself sleeping next to you two nights a week almost EVERY week with a hard ass dick if I didn’t respect you enough wait until you’re ready? Nah, Bay, if it was like that, we would’ve been fucked. This is deeper than that”

I can’t tell. You ain’t come at me with no relationship talk. You doing this.” I circled my butt in his hand so he could get the picture. 

“I don’t have to come at you with no relationship talk. You already know what it is. What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained. Who else are you kicking with besides me? Taking you on dates? Letting you meet their family? Bringing you soup and shit when you’re sick? Leaving his boys hanging, like tonight, to come and lay up with you? I even bought your ass tampons last week. My actions have been doing the talking. I guess you just ain’t been listening.” 

“Well, who else are you kicking it with?” I knew his dick hadn’t been dry for five months. I had known Ed for years, but that was the length of time we had been kicking it strong. 

“I ain’t been kicking it with nobody else. The only woman that gets my time is you. I’m not going to lie to you though, I’m a man and it is what it is?”

I lifted up on my elbows and with an arched brow that I’m sure he couldn’t see, I asked, “What does that mean?”

He smacked his teeth, “What’chew mean, what does that mean?” Sighing like he was now tired of the conversation, but I wasn’t letting it go. 

“If what’s understood doesn’t have to be explained, then you’ve been cheating.”

“Now you’re reaching for an arguement.” He replied more claimly then I’d like and pulled me back down to his chest.

“Nah,”with my chin on his chest I asked, “Are we together or not? Cuz from what you just said, I’m legit confused.”

“In my mind, we just need to make it official. Now when we do that is up to you. I’m not pressuring you about it. It’s gon’ happen.” 

I laid there quietly as I thought about a talk I had had with one of my homeboys a few weeks back, “Ain’t no nigga making it official with some pussy he ain’t had yet, and that’s real. You want that nigga Ed to lock you down? Then stop locking it up. That’s just the ugly truth Bay.”

“But I can’t give it up to soon though, because then he’ll think I’m a hoe.” I tired to reason

“First off, niggas ain’t even on that no more. If he wants to be with you, he’ll want to be with you and it won’t matter when y’all fuck. Everybody grown out here. Second off, you don’t want to wait for very long either, cuz while it’s never too soon there is a such thing as too late. Another shorty will come right in and take your spot.”

“Stop thinking so hard, Bailey.” Edison said in a quiet voice bring me back to my current state. “We ain’t taking it no further than this tonight.” Then he gave my booty a rub, which oddly enough relaxed me some. “I know you ain’t ready. Go back to sleep.”

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