Nichoatra, The Love He Could Not Keep (Chapter 6 - Nicky (The First Date), page 1 of 3)

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It was a clear winter night. The temperature outside was bearable-somewhere between thirty and thirty-five degrees, which was quite mild for a winter night in Minnesota. Roderick picked me up from my place at about nine thirty. I wore a tan pantsuit that was flirtatiously flattering to my figure. Clothes have a way of boosting my confidence.

Wearing black slacks with a brown sports jacket, Roderick gave the appearance of a distinguished gentleman. In Liberian culture, a pot-bellied man is looked upon as highly successful. Roderick fit the profile.

It was a thirty-five minute drive to the ball, and our conversation was casual. We talked about work and the fashion show I was planning. Roderick was impressed by the fact that I was working at the bank, going to school, planning a fashion show, and also working on my project in Liberia. He offered to help me any way that he could. I was grateful for his generosity.

When we arrived at the ball, the hall was crowded and dinner had already been served. Neither of us knew anyone there except for the president of the Nigerian Association and his wife. Grace and her husband were nowhere to be found. I felt uncomfortable being there among strangers, so we stayed at the ball for only about an hour, dancing to two or three songs before leaving.

On the way home, out of nowhere, Roderick asked, "Should I get a place?

I was flabbergasted. Was he for real? "What do you mean, 'get a place'?" I asked.

"You know, somewhere for us to spend some time together," he replied.

"Do you mean a motel?" I asked, staring at the side of his rugged face.

"Yes, something like that," he said with a grin, turning to look directly into my eyes.

"Do I look like a prostitute to you, Roderick?"

"Oh-no! No, Nicky," he said, looking as panicked as if he had just run into a wildcat. "It's not like that! I have a lot of respect for you. I just have very strong feelings for you, and I thought you were feeling the same way."

"Did I tell you I wanted to sleep with you?"

"I'm sorry! Forget I said that, okay? Please?"

"No!" I said, raising my voice. "I want to know! Did I give you the impression that I am interested in taking this friendship that far?"

Roderick stared at the road ahead, gripping the steering wheel with both hands. "Look Nicky, we are both adults. I just thought that we could spend some time together, but if you aren't interested, that's fine. I'll take you home, and we can just forget I ever said that."

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