Kintsugi Part I

Kintsugi Part I
By: Honey B. Baker

“Nadia, you are such a lame. Why aren’t you coming with us to the party anymore?” “I just don’t feel like it. I want to rest.” Jayla sucked her teeth and I could practically hear her rolling her eyes through the phone. “Well, if you say so.” “I do say so.” “Bye Naddy!” Jayla said before hastily ending the call.

Truth be told I was the picture of health but I knew that Jayla and Tasha wanted to introduce me to Tasha’s cousin who’d just moved to the city. I was sick of people trying to “hook” me up with someone in an attempt to help me get over Donovan. I knew the people around me meant well but I was sick of dead end blind dates that only ended in making me further depressed.

Donovan had come into my life like a refreshing breeze; handsome, intelligent, charismatic, and everything else I wanted in a man. By the time that I realized he was a narcissist with sociopathic tendencies it was too late and all I was left with was a broken heart, a shattered self-esteem, and only a few shreds of my dignity. He’d sent me through the ringers in ways that I did not think were even possible. That was well over a year ago and I was still limping through my love life.

I was overly caution, hyper vigilant, and sadly, in every man I went out with I saw Donovan.  I wasn’t going to allow another Donovan into my life, period even if that meant never allowing another man into my life. Nah, I wasn’t turning into a lesbian but I just wasn’t feeling the opposite sex.

“Naddy, I know you still dealing with how ol’ boy treated you. But we just want to see you happy. That’s it. You can’t let that idiot’s actions hold you emotionally hostage forever. Love you.” The next morning I woke up to that message from Tasha.  Tasha had been my homegirl since freshmen year of college and she’d been there with me through thick and thin. “Thanks.” “Are you still coming to Nicole’s engagement party tonight?” “Yeah, I’ll be there.”

That night I slinked into a tight all black dress and my favorite black pump and got ready to make my way to Nicole’s engagement party. In all honesty, that was the last place I wanted to be tonight; celebrating someone else’s love when no one loved me. Nicole and Dwayne were corny as fuck anyway. I rolled my eyes once more as I looked at their engagement announcement to get the address for the venue.

When I got there it was already full the familiar faces of my line and chapter sisters. I made my rounds and spoke to a few people and left my gift at the gift table.

“Umph, I’m glad to see you’ve recovered.” I turned around to see Jayla standing there with a skeptical look on her face. “Yeah, I’m good now.” “Okay good, glad to see you came out. I wasn’t expecting you to come.” Jayla knew that I was really down on love to the point I’d deleted all of my social media accounts; all it seemed like was everyone was getting engaged, getting married, and getting pregnant. And meanwhile, I couldn’t even get a text back.

“Yeah, I decided to come out. I didn’t have anything else to do.” “Don’t sound so glum.” “I’m trying not to. It’s just a lot going on right now.” After hanging out for a while and congratulating the lovebirds I decided it was time for me to make my hasty exit before I had a nervous breakdown. Plus there was a Netflix binge of A Different World calling my name I was in such a rush that I ran right into someone knocking his drink out of his hand.

“Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry.” “It’s cool, I’m sorry for being in the way of a woman on a mission. You were moving with a purpose.” “My bad.” “It’s okay. I’m Dylan by the way.” “Nadia.” “You’re Tasha’s linesister, right?” “Yeah.” I gave him another once over to see if he was someone familiar to me. I mean he had to be for him to know that kind of information. “My bad, I’m Tasha’s cousin. I just moved back here from LA. Dwayne was my dean.” “Oh okay, cool. Yeah Tasha was my spec.” “Cool. Hopefully, I’ll be seeing you around.” “Maybe.”

Dylan was quite handsome. He was 6’1, toffee brown complexion, a sharp haircut, and warm, inviting brown eyes with an easy smile.

“Hey girl, Dylan told me he met you tonight. He is really interested in you.” “I’m not really trying to meet someone right now.” “L GIRL! Get the fuck over Donovan’s bliggity black selfish buck tooth nappy headed funny face headass!” I busted out laughing at Tasha’s description of Donovan. She’d never liked him so when we split it had been no love lost for her. I had almost lost my friendship with Tasha because I’d sided with Donovan when I should’ve sided with her because she saw right through his bullshit.

“It’s not that. I just don’t feel ready. I do not want to drag anyone else into my bullshit right now.” “Dylan is a good dude and I’m not saying that because he’s my cousin. I feel like y’all would be a good match.” “Thanks Tasha, time will tell.”

I couldn’t lie Dylan was attractive but I’d never dealt with a man who wasn’t attractive so that didn’t set him apart.

A few weeks later...

“A Long Island ice tea, please.” I settled in at Happy Hour at Joe’s, my usual Thursday nightspot. “How are you doing tonight, Nadia?” “I’m good, Keith.” “You haven’t been in here in a minute.” “Yeah, I’ve just been busy.” “Well glad, you’re back in here.”

I nursed my drink as I surveyed the scene; it was same ol’ faces as always. “Bartender, a rum and coke.” The voice was sexy and smooth and somewhat familiar. I turned and saw Dylan sitting a few places down from me. I walked over, “Hey Dylan, how are you?” “I’m good. Good seeing you again, Nadia. How are you?” “I can’t complain. You here by yourself?” “Nah, I’m actually supposed to be meeting someone here for drinks. She should be here in a few minutes.” “Oh okay.” I do not know why I sounded so disappointed when he said that but I definitely felt a slight twinge of disappointment.  “Oh okay, well it was good seeing you.” “Likewise.”

I went back to my seat at the bar and examined the woman that walked in. She was cute, I guess. Dylan was handsome so I knew he didn’t suffer from a shortage of woman chasing after him. I polished off my drink, tipped the bartender, and left. I didn’t feel sitting there like a bump on a log.

Buzz, buzz, buzz... I looked down to see that I had a text message from one of my associates, Simone. 1 Image Attached. I opened it to see a picture of Donovan down on one knee proposing to some woman. “FYI: Just thought you should know.”

I sighed deeply as I fought to hold back tears. It hadn’t even been six months since the last time Donovan and I had seen each. Although, it had been a year since we'd broken up he'll still invite me out from time to time. At the time I thought it was because he was trying to keep tabs on me until he was ready to settle down. But what did I expect? Donovan made it clear that I wasn’t good enough for him for whatever reason. Every chance that Donovan got he used it as a chance to degrade my intelligence, my looks, and my confidence. What hurt me so deeply was that he did it with such ease often times with a smile on his face.

I’d been so weak for him. I’d allowed that treatment because I believed what he said about me was true. I’d let him pulverize my heart into dust.

A few months later...

“An apple martini, please. Shaken not stirred.” As I sipped on the drink I felt someone come up behind me and tap me on my shoulder. I turned around to see Donovan standing there with his Cheshire cat grin in full effect. An uncomfortable flushing feeling overtook me. “Hey Nadia, how are you?” “I’m well Donovan. Yourself?” “I’m good. This is my fiancé, Casmina.” The way he dragged out the word fiancé for emphasis made my blood boil; he knew what he was doing. “Nice to meet you.” I said as I forced a smile.

“Likewise.” She said as she flipped her 28-inch bone straight Brazilian weave. “Are you here by yourself?” He said as if patiently waiting for me to say yes so he could gloat. Before I could answer and give him his satisfaction, I felt a gentle kiss on my cheek. “Hey babe.” I was shocked when I turned to see Dylan standing there. I decided to play along. “Oh hey babe.”

Dylan extended his hand to Donovan. “Nice to meet you, bruh.” Donovan’s face became covered in a fog of disappointment and angst. “Oh yeah, nice to meet you.”

“Take care, Nadia.” “You do the same.” Donovan walked away with a little less of a spring in his step. Dylan sat down beside me and I took in his cologne; he smelled delicious. “How are you this evening, Miss Nadia?” “I’m good, Dylan. What about yourself?” “I’m well.” He continued his flirtation with a slight wink. “What are you drinking?” “Apple martini.” “Bartender, another apple martini for the lady. Rum and coke for me.”

Dylan and I sat at the bar and talked for well over and hour. He had a wicked sense of humor so he kept me laughing. I could feel the heat of Donovan’s gaze from his table across the restaurant. I looked at my watch and realize it was getting kind of late. I decided to send for an Über. “No need for an Über, I’ll take you home. I mean if that’s cool.” “Yeah, that’s fine.”

As we made our way down the expressway in the pouring rain our quiet ride was abruptly interrupted when Dylan’s car ran over a something and was quickly followed the unmistakable sound of a flat tire.

“Shit!” Dylan pulled over and got out in the pouring rain. I felt so sorry for him as I looked at him ruining his Prada suit to get down and change the tire in the worst conditions.

When we got to my house. “Dylan, come in so you can get dried off.” “You sure? I don’t want to inconvenience you.” “It wouldn’t be an inconvenience. You’ve already done enough for me tonight. Let me return the favor.” “Thanks.”

When we came in my bulldog, Roscoe jumped on Dylan. “Roscoe, down boy!” I looked at Dylan and apologized, “Please excuse him. Strangers excite him. Normally, it’s just him and I.” “He’s cool. I have a bulldog as well, Al Capone.” “Awww. Let me get you something to change into.” I went into my guest bedroom and took out an old T-Shirt and grey sweatpants that belonged to my younger brother and gave them to Dylan. “Thanks.”

To my surprise he stripped down to his boxers right in front of me as I turned my head. I noticed a slight smirk come across Dylan’s face. “Are these your boyfriend’s clothes or something?” He said teasingly. “No, they belong to my brother. He stayed with me this past summer and left it here.”

Dylan sat down on the coach to put on his gym shoes that he’d taken out of his trunk. “Quick question, the guy at the bar. Who was he?” “Long story.” Dylan playfully looked at his Patek Phillipe watch and cavalierly said, “I have all the time in the world if you’re willing to tell me.” He said as he gave me a concerned and sincere look. I tentatively began retelling the story of Donovan and I but before I could get halfway through the tears began to flow.  However, I did make it to the highlights or should I say the lowlights of the story.

Dylan gave me a sympathetic look as he gently intertwined his fingers with mine. “Have you ever heard of kintsugi?” “Kint who?” I said as I furrowed my brow in confusion. Dylan smiled warmly as he began to explain. “Kintsugi. In Japan when a piece of porcelain like a tea cup or a plate or something like that is broken it is repaired with gold instead of glue. They believe that’s brokenness is what makes it's beautiful. I clear hear it clearly in your voice that dude broke your heart and from what I can tell he did himself a serious disservice. You are a very special woman with a gentle spirit.” I blushed as he continued, “But what I’m saying is there is beauty in your brokenness. You’ve just got to allowed something to come in and fill those broken places with gold.”

Dylan gently kissed me on the cheek. “Nadia, I would love the opportunity to do that. I can tell you’ve been through a lot but I just want a chance, that’s it. Give me a chance to make you forget dude ever existed.”

I let his words dance around in my brain. “Time will tell.”

To be continued...



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