Charli and Tristan: Things Have Changed
Charli’s mom decided that she was ready to move from the straight back and into a better house. After looking for a short time, she had found one house but since Charli was not too enthused about it, the search continued. By the time her mom found another house Charli began to think about all the nights she had spent in her old home with her friends. The new house was an upgrade because there was a shower in the bathroom, but the memories being left behind is what had her stuck.
She wondered if Tristan would still come to visit her. She wondered if the late night hellos would stop. She wondered a lot about the new home, especially her neighbors because that was the one thing she was glad to be escaping from in her old neighborhood. Living on a newly paved road, where the houses were close enough to hear the conversations carrying on inside was tricky because you were bound to hear something, or see something that you shouldn’t.
Just as they were moving, Charli’s nosey neighbor from across the street began talking shit about her, and on one particular day it all came to a head. “You just don’t know what I have seen go on at your house”, Maime told Charli’s mom because she noticed how hard they were staring at them from across the street. Charli’s mom, Cassie, looked at the old woman and said, “Well if you wanted me to know you would have told me by now, so as far as I am concerned you ain’t got shit to say.” With those few words, Cassie walked inside and resumed packing up her belongings, then looked at her daughter and realized what a beauty she really was.
“Mommy, what was all of that about?” Charli asked walking into her mother’s room. Even though she had heard most of the exchange, she really was hoping that her mom would talk to her and not treat her like a baby. She liked being the only child. She liked being the center of mother’s universe, but she also wanted her mom to see that she did not have to be protected from the many things that people said about her because she had actually grown used to it. “Oh, Maime was just talking junk as usual, saying that I just don’t know what you be up to when I’m not home.” Cassie decided to take that chance to have that conversation, phishing for a response from her, trying to see exactly what she would say.
There was an understanding between Charli and her mom that left a lot of people confused. Cassie was not blind to the many admirers her daughter had, she just hoped that Charli was being smart. She also knew that Tristan had become a permanent fixture in Charli’s life and wanted to protect her from heartbreak. Even though Charli was mature for her age, Tristan was no longer in school and was grown in the eyes of the law but she knew how her daughter felt about him.
They had been moved in a few months and Tristan finally made his way over to see Charli. True to form he called and told her he’d be out and about for a little while but he would definitely come see her because he missed her. Charli lived a few streets over from Tristan’s aunt’s house, so it was not really a stretch for him to make his way over to see her.
Sitting in the living room one night, Charli heard a car door close then she saw a car out front. She felt the butterflies in the pit of her stomach as she watched Tristan walk up the driveway. She opened the door before he could knock. “Come outside”, he said to her very smoothly and without hesitation she stepped outside. As they sat on the front steps she could smell the Cool Water cologne, but fidgeted a little because she had heard in the streets that Tristan had a girlfriend. But remembering they were just friends she couldn’t be mad.
“What brings you by Trist?” Looking at him, she saw a stress line in the middle of his forehead as he began to speak. “Man chill out, I just wanted to see you”, Tristan looked at her. He could hear the hurt in her voice, but he had made up in his mind he would tell the truth about whatever she asked.
“So I hear you have a girlfriend, why you not with her?” Charli looked at him, searching his face for more answers. “Look, it ain’t what you think it is” he began to say. “Yea ole girl my girlfriend but shit ain’t working out anyways; but I ain’t here to talk about her. I just wanted to see you.” Then there was awkward silence. The night air around them was humid and thick. Crickets chirped as they sat side by side staring up at the stars in the moonlight. Tristan grabbed Charli hand and said, “I will never lie to you.”
A few weeks went by before they spoke again. Charli respected his relationship, but wanted to know why he chose someone else to be his girlfriend over her. It bothered her quite a bit but she knew that no matter who he was with, if he came to see her, she would not turn him away.
Just as she had poured a big glass of sweet tea from the fridge and sat down to watch Midnight Love on BET, there was a knock at the door. She had felt anxious the whole day wondering what was causing her nervousness. Her heart had been missing the person who popped up at his own will. Tristan was at the door again. He was tired, but he was intense. He walked on in. Instead of going into Charli’s room they watched Janet Jackson’s Anytime, Anyplace video and sat on the couch. He didn’t say anything, he just held her hand. As Brian McKnight’s Anytime began to play, Tristan leaned into her and kissed her.
This kiss was different. It was lustful. It was warm. It was a longing in his veins that he could no longer deny. Tristan loved Charli, and even though he never spoke the words to her, he hoped she understood. He was older. He knew what to do. He knew what to say. He took the lead and pulled Charli from the couch. He hugged her. He wrapped his arms around her waist and squeezed her tight.
Tristan looked down at her and kissed her again sliding his tongue between her lips. His tongue wrestled with hers as he walked her backwards towards her room. He sat her on the edge of her bed and removed his shirt while standing in front of her. “Can I?”
Those two words slid off of his lips as he reached for her shirt. Before Charli could answer, she felt his hands in the small of her back pulling her closer to him. He lifted her shirt up and over her head, then kissed her on her forehead. This was happening.
To be continue…