Here’s the continuation from yesterday’s Introducing Tawny:
With mail and shoes in hand, I padded up the terra-cotta sidewalk. Upon opening the door I greeted by the scent of curry and pineapple. Thank God for Scott.
“Mommy, Daddy cooked dinner for us!” Reagan, a miniature version of me, ran full speed in my
direction and wrapped her ever-growing arms around my waist.
I kissed her on the top of her head and placed the mail on top of the television. I dropped my
shoes at the front door and headed for the bathroom. While washing away the day’s disappointments, in mostly myself, I took account of my blessings.
Sure, I didn’t get the lead role I had been hoping for but I didn’t settle for a part that could stunt my growth as an actor. Sure, I was late picking my child up from after care and could’ve been reported to the Department of Children and Families for child abandonment, but her father happened to be free to pick her up for me. Things could be far worse.
After my counsel-me session in the bathroom I called Mrs. Stephens, my forgiving landlord, to both apologize for almost setting her home on fire and inform her that my rent would
be late. Again.
“What are you talking about? Mr. Scott took care of it.”
“He what? Okay. Sorry again about earlier. Good night.”
Scott and Reagan were sitting at the high top, cherry wood dining table. I could tell he let Reagan attempt to set the table because she had placed all the silver ware at the top of the plates and she had three wine goblets instead of cups. Reagan loved the finer things in life. Wonder where
she got it.
Scott had prepared curry tilapia, whole grain rice and field green salad with bits of fruit and
nuts. Reagan said simple prayer and we at like a family. Something we hadn’t done in over a year. By seven-thirty, Reagan was yawning and ready for her bath. Scott took care of everything. He read her a book after bath and tucked her in.
You never miss your water until…
While Scott played Mr. Mom, I showered, tried a new salt scrub I had been working on and prayed. Talking to God had become more difficult since Scott left. Not that he was my connection to God, but he was definitely part of the reason I understood what I understood. He had introduced me to spirituality and never forced his beliefs upon me. From day one, I knew I came after God and
I was perfectly fine with that, as long as no one came before me.
Scott and I met while I was in Los Angeles living the dream. He had come to visit his younger cousin, Petal who was studying at USC. Petal was a faceless freshman who dated one of the guys on the track team. I would see her in passing and she always really friendly, a true West Coast girl.
One of our friendly encounters would lead to my meeting Scott Eric Nelson, her first cousin. I was
an arrogant twenty-one year old college senior when I fell head over heels in love with Scott. Seven years my senior, Scott visited me every other weekend for the duration of my senior year and helped me move into my first off-campus apartment after I graduated. Our love was a deep, serious love. It was the kind of love that threatened your dreams. After three years and thousands of
frequent flier miles, not to mention a few breaks I decided to take, Scott had had enough.
“Reece,” he’s the only person besides Papa who has ever called me by my nickname after high
“I can’t keep this up. Either move to the East Coast or I’m going to start weighing my options,”
Scott had said over the phone one afternoon.
“Scott. I can’t just up and leave. I just signed a contract with -”
“Reece, you mean to tell me after all this time, all the effort I’ve put into this relationship,
you’re going to put that ahead of me?”
I never answered him.
The conversation ended with him hanging up. A few days later I heard the jingle of his keys in my front door while I pretended to sleep on the couch.
Scott stood six feet even and had the body of a boxer. Broad shoulders, full chest, small waist,
strong, lean legs. In tapered dark wash jeans, a crisp white v-neck, and camel hued leather loafers, Scott packed all his belongings and dropped the spare key on my lap.
I had no idea he was coming but was relieved to hear the door slammed shut. My guest from the previous evening had been crouched behind the sofa for the entire thirty minute episode.
“Can I get up now?” asked the faceless sophomore sprinter who had kept me company in place of
I sighed and locked both locks on the door. My life had just begun to slowly spiral away from me.
Scott’s nudges woke me up. I had fallen asleep watching Jeopardy on DVR.
“What time is it?” I handed him the remote because I knew he would much rather watch C-SPAN or The Discovery Channel.
“Almost eleven.” He turned the television off and sat next to me on the couch meant for two.
“How long are you down here for?”
“Not sure. I have a good amount of leave and I haven’t taken a vacation since last summer.”
“Thanks for handling everything today.” I could’ve kissed Scott at that very moment, but I knew I
wouldn’t. He wouldn’t receive it. I was surprised he was even sitting next to me.
“No problem.” Scott touched my forehead and smiled at me. He still loved me. His eyes said what his mouth would never dare whisper.
“I’m gonna make some tea then head to bed soon. Couch or guest room?” I stood and motioned in the direction of the third bedroom that separated Reagan’s room from mine. The room that housed extra shoes, clothes, headshots, ingredients for products I would one day produce.
“I’ll sleep out here.Gonna shower first.”
I pulled out a pair of boxers and sweat pants that Scott had left last spring when he moved to
Tucson. Scott showered in my bathroom because “Reagan’s shower is too low.”
While Scott showered I mixed chai tea, hot water, Bailey’s vanilla hazelnut creamer and agave nectar in a pot on the stove. I poured the steaming hot beverage in two clear mugs and topped it with fresh whipped cream.
Scott and I sat and talked on the couch for the better part of three hours. It was refreshing to
finally be able to share my dream with the man who wanted nothing more than my happiness. Though he would much rather I be a stay-at-home wife and mother, I knew that our time apart had caused him to look at me as much more.
To be continued…
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