Wednesday, November 7, 2007
12: "BACK TIGHT"
The song is beautiful.
A mixture of the sweetest melody and the softest whisper of love. He is pouring his soul into it. One would never know the ire he is holding inside for me right now, the way he is singing his new love ballad.
Standing at the back of the club, I can see nearly all of Abram's family and friends have come out to support him. They are taking up the first four or five tables, a look of pride and adoration on all their faces.
Abram's friend George was nice enough to convince him to do 'my' song last, so that I would be able to hear it. I can't thank him enough. On my way here he sent me a text message informing me that if I sped fast enough, I would get to hear it. It really is lovely. Reminiscent of a Donell Jones/Boyz II Men/Brian McKnight type of love song. One that really touches you. I listen to the words and feel even worse.
Jam and I have a seat at the only empty table in the back of the room. A table with what must be the record label representative is the only one that isn't full of people bobbing their heads slowly to Abram's rhythm. The man sitting alone is cool, calm, collected. Dressed in an expensive black suit, he sips the brown contents of his small glass slowly, intently. Then stares back at Abram, twirling the ice around in his cup with the motion of his hand. He is careful not to show neither impression nor dislike.
Yeah, that is definitely him.
"Girl, he can sing! I mean really sing. You better hold on to him, he is about to blow up, I'm telling you." Jam says enthusiastically over the music.
I smile. "Yeah he is really good isn't he? I think the scout is liking him too. How can he not be impressed?"
We quiet and listen to the remainder of the song, my heart beating faster as he nears the end. I have no idea how he is going to react to seeing me. I have to make this right though. Our first real fight. I guess that means we are growing as a couple, that's one positive way to view it. Somehow I don't think Abram will share that opinion though.
When he ends, the crowd erupts. They all loved him. I'm so proud of my baby. I try to catch his eyes, but he doesn't look my way. I take Jamaica's hand and make my way through the still-clapping crowd. When I get to the table where Abram's mother and father are sitting, she sees me right away.
"Ata, hey! I didn't know you were here. Abram said you were tied up with some things tonight. He didn't think you were going to make it." She says, hugging me tightly.
Even though he is pissed at me, he didn't let his family know that. A sigh of relief escapes my lips.
"Oh, yeah I confused my dates and had something else tonight, but I got here in time to hear the last song. Absolutely beautiful. I wish I could have heard his whole set." I say.
"Yeah, well he did wonderful. I just hope that man over there feels the same way." She whispers, nodding her head in the direction of the one Jam and I had already assumed was him. "I think I'm going to go speak to him."
"Oh no you're not, mama. Come back here." We both hear Abrams voice and turn around abruptly.
When I turn around he is right behind me. I smelled his strong cologne before I even turned around. He looks at me blankly, then turns his attention to his mother.
"Oh baby, you did so good! You're on your way to stardom baby, I can just see it. I was just going to go talk to the man, see where his head is at, that's all." Mrs. Montgomery smiles and hugs her son.
Jam and I move to the side, let Abram greet and thank his family and friends who came to support him.
"He can't be that mad. I mean, how long have you known about this? What if you already had plans or something?" Jam tries to reason with me, but I know I am wrong.
"He told me about this a week ago, Jam. I know he is mad. He didn't even smile at me. He has never not smiled when he's seen me. Besides, I think he's more mad at the fact that I was 'with' Jaylen of all places to be when I'm missing his performance."
"Yeah, that is kinda messed up. Good luck with that." She says. No help at all. She turns to Abram, who is walking up to us. "Great performance Abram, I hope you get the deal." She smiles Abrams way, gives him a slight hug, and walks off to mingle with the crowd.
Abram's brow is furrowed. A mixture of disappointment and anger cloud his expression.
He looks at me, then past me. Slides by without a word. Pastes a smile on his face and goes to greet the person he wanted to impress most tonight. They shake hands vigorously, the young white man in the expensive black suit finally releasing a smile.
They talk for a minute, his last words being "I'll call you." to Abram. That is if my lip-reading skills are up to par. I sit down at the table nearest me as they exchange another handshake and then Abram walks back over to say goodbye to his family.
When he finally makes his way back to me, the furrow between his brows is back. He stares at me for a while, not saying anything. Then a curt, "Let's go."
The silence is killing me. But I really don't know how to fix this. I have to say something.
"I don't know what to say. All I can say is I'm sorry, Abram. Really sorry."
The furrow deepens.
"What were you doing with him? How long have you been speaking to him?"
"Abram, it's... not like that. I wasn't with him. He just happened to be there when I was there. He was just walking up when you heard him talking."
His eyes squint with disbelief. "So you're telling me that tonight is the first time you've seen him since that day at the restaurant? I don't believe that Ata."
I fiddle with my fingers as we walk to the back of the stage to get Abram's stuff.
"Well, no. I saw him at school one day. But that's it." I say quietly.
"Yeah, I bet. I didn't know we were lying to each other now Ata, but thanks for telling me. I guess I can be more selective in what I tell you from now on too."
He grabs his music book. A beautiful bouquet of red roses rests right beside it. He picks them up hastily, roughly pushes them against my chest. Not enough to sway me, but enough to know he is pissed.
"Here." He says and walks back out into the lingering crowd.
I am speechless. Yes, I should have told him about seeing Jaylen, but was it really that bad? I didn't call him, and wasn't planning on ever seeing him again. Him showing up at that club was purely coincidental.
I find Jamaica talking to the in-house band, trying to get the drummer's sticks. "Jam, let's go." I say, looking around for Abram. I don't see him anywhere.
When we get to Jamaica's car, I see Abram sitting in his not too far away. When he sees me walking towards him, I am fulling expecting him to peel off and leave me in the parking lot.
He doesn't though. Just sits there with the car running. The passenger door is unlocked.
"Abram, please don't let this one stupid night come between us. It really is all a misunderstanding. And me forgetting about tonight, well... that was just stupidity on my part. I don't know what I was thinking about." I say honestly, then tell him the exact happenings of tonight and that day I saw Jaylen at school.
The furrow has lessened, but it's still there. "If I can't trust you, I can't love you, Ata. That's real. I just can't do it. I can deal with a lot of things... you being spoiled, bratty, selfish, bitchy, self-centered, expensive. I can deal with all those. You being a liar, I can't do it. I won't do it."
I can't help but crack a slight smile at his seriousness. "Well damn Abram, tell me how you really feel why don't you?" I say jokingly.
I'm glad to see a small glimmer of humor in his eyes when I say this. It quickly vanishes and is replaced with a look of anger though.
"Well, you are all those things. But your good qualities outweigh the bad most of the time. Just don't lie to me, Ata. ...and don't forget the most important performance of my life, dammit." He says exhaustedly.
I scoot close to him, kiss him softly on his beautiful mouth. "It will never happen again, Abram. I promise you that. I'm kinda pissed at myself for missing your performance too, although I did hear most of the last song thanks to George. It is lovely, baby. Thank you."
"Call me and let me know you made it home." Abram says. He turns his head away from me, grits his teeth, his jaw muscles tight and unforgiving.
I pull one rose out of the bunch, lay it on his dash. "Okay." I say as I get out and walk over to Jamaica, waiting in the car.
"So you guys good now?" She says, watching Abram pull off.
"Yeah, we're good." I say, knowing it is somewhat of a lie.