~ A process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior.
~ A personal rapport
“Baby, I hope you’re almost ready! We need to be at Devon’s by 7 p.m.” I shouted as I rushed in the door to get dressed. This was the single most important night of my life! This contract would literally catapult Barrington Construction to the next level and give me that cover page of Newsweek magazine that I have been waiting for.
I snatched the red tie from my neck as I jogged up the stairs and threw it on the bed. I jumped out of my shoes, socks and pants and hurried into the bathroom. I let the water run for a minute so it could get piping hot…just like I like it! I need to be on point for this meeting. GDB was the largest industrial company to hit the Southwest and I was the second of three construction companies they were meeting with to build their 5 acre infrastructure. “Baby, did you hear me”, I shouted with my shirt unbuttoned which was now laying on the bathroom floor. I stuck my head outside the bathroom door to listen for Carmen’s voice but I didn’t hear anything. “Oh well, guess she’s downstairs”, I said to myself as I dropped my black Calvin Klein briefs on the floor and stepped into the shower.
Usually I’m like a duck…dip in-dip out but I wanted to make sure I was ever so fresh. I lathered up with the red Dial shower gel tonight. I washed feverishly as the suds slid down my chocolate silk six foot three frame and glided down my six-pack that I worked so hard for! 6% body fat baby! I hit the gym five times per week and I’m careful about what I eat. I didn’t have to worry about washing my hair because I don’t have any. I’ll just shave it again for that silky smoothness. I must admit for being 35 and owning a successful business, I look damn good! My baby is fine too. Carmen is the love of my life! We’ve been together for 14 years and she is my rock. I don’t know if I would be where I am today without her by my side after dad died. My dad ran this company for 40 years and left it to me and my little brother Shavon. Shavon is only 21 and he really isn’t serious about much of anything so that leaves all the real work to me. He comes through on occasion to show his face and push a few papers around but he doesn’t make any decisions or sign any checks.
“Carmen!” I yelled stepping out the shower dripping wet and walking into the bedroom. “Why are you yelling honey, I’m right here”. There stood this 5’6 ft vision of loveliness! The moon gently caressed Carmen’s honey complexion and round amber eyes. The wine colored dress she wore clung to her curves like a roller coaster. Talk about having a coke bottle physique at 34…my boo will put most strippers to shame. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw that she was dressed and ready before me. One thing about my lady is that she handles business! I wasn’t sure if she even remembered tonight’s meeting since I hadn’t said anything about it at breakfast. “Girl, you look amazing! Come over here and give daddy some sugar”. I said pulling her close to me. I hadn’t seen her since this morning in her robe and to see her looking like this turned me on. I could feel my excitement start to rise. “Steve, stop playing! You’re getting me all wet and we don’t have time to play around so put ‘that’ away”, she pointed at my manhood and slyly pulled away from me. Her mouth said stop but her eyes said daddy throw me on the floor and come get it! “You right baby, we gotta hurry up”, I conceded as I dried off and threw on my grey power suit and wine tie to match with my lady.
Carmen was always on top of the latest fashion which was evident by the stacks of Cosmo magazines in the closet and the Masters degree proudly displayed in the china cabinet. During our college years at Grambling University I would see her walking around campus as if it were her own personal runway. It was as if her walk commanded the attention of everyone around especially the fellas. Every time I tried to say something to her, she dismissed me but in a classy way. I hate to admit it but I got turned down a few times by her…but she was the only one. I had all the chicks flocking to my dorm like I was giving away government cheese. It was a blow to my ego to have her ignore me like that but I knew if I kept trying she would give in. I was determined to win this battle. One day I was riding down Main Street in my dads’ construction truck on my way to visit one of my few lady friends and noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the side of the road. As I was grooving to the sounds of Luther Vandross’ ‘For you to love’, I contemplated stopping. “Man, I don’t have time to be pulling over and getting dirty”. The closer I got the more familiar this obstruction became. It was a car with the hood up that was smoking. This was not just any car but a yellow Honda Civic and that could only mean one thing…CARMEN!! She was the only person on campus with that bright ass car. “Here’s my chance to make an impression”, I thought to myself. “I’ll get out, fix her car real quick and she will be so happy that she will have to go out with me”! I popped two Altoids in my mouth and made sure I didn’t have any crust in my teeth or any visitors in my nose as I pulled in behind the smoking bumble bee. I pretended to have no knowledge of who was on the other side of that hood as I strolled up and said “looks like you could use a hand”. Carmen stood over her engine and glanced up at me. It was like our eyes connected and a part of our souls too. My heart was racing with anticipation. “I finally have your undivided attention”, I said under my breath. There was no class for her to scurry off to and no girlfriends pulling her away giggling. “Oh hi”, she said dusting off the residue from the car. “I really don’t know what happened. I was just driving along and all of a sudden smoke was coming from the creases of my hood”. Her asset was perfectly round and I don’t know anyone who could make a t-shirt look so good! She was just begging to be rescued and I’m not just talking about this roadside side show.
“Let me see if I can lend a hand”, I said rolling up the white sleeves to my Polo dress shirt. I examined the basics; oil level, check; brake fluid, check; transmission fluid, check; anti-freeze, check. “Shit, that’s all I know about cars”, I said scratching my head with thoughts racing of what to look at next. “Think man think! What else could it be?” I tinkered with a few other things until it hit me! “Umm, I think it may be the radiator but it’s too hot now to touch. You can sit in the truck with me until it cools and I will put some water in it for you”. It was cool to be able to sit and talk with her and you know who did most of the talking. I was raised to let a lady speak and you speak when spoken to. She talked about wanting to get her degree in Fashion Merchandising and a bunch of other things. I listened attentively as she spoke about her ex-boyfriend Scoop. I got the distinct impression that they had unfinished business but since he was back in Philly and she was here in Louisiana, they were a done deal. The rest is history…I guess she couldn’t resist all this charm not to mention I fixed her car.
“I’m glad you suggested we drive the Benz. I want to make certain the executives know that I am a family man, the Vice-President of GDB is big on that”, I said holding Carmen’s hand as we pulled up to the valet station at Nick and Sam’s. “Not a problem baby, that’s what I’m here for…to help and support my man”, she said smiling and stroking my goatee. “I love you Carmen Barrington”, I said looking into her eyes and falling in love all over again. “I love you too Steve Barrington. Let’s go close this deal”, she said exiting the silver 4 door sedan.