Kisa’d had a few last minute things to tend to at the studio. So, lunch wound up being changed to an early dinner. Keith came up out of the subway, squinting against what was still a fairly well lit day. When his vision cleared, he spotted Kisa across the NYU courtyard sitting, elbows on a table, chin on palm. He waved, “Hey!”
Don’t you know,” she hollered back, “it’s bad manners to keep a lady waiting?” He’d run into his agent and couldn’t get away for a good half-hour. She looked fantastic. Suede boots, thigh-hugging jeans, short leather jacket. This, he promised himself, is going to be good. Lesli who? He went to cut across the grass.
“Keith!” That was Lesli’s voice. Stopped dead, he couldn’t believe it and thought he may’ve been hearing things. Then, it came again: “Keith, wait!”
He jerked around. She was standing on the far sidewalk shrieking like a banshee, jumping up and down, flailing her arms. Beside that damnable Gwen. Kisa followed his eye, saw Lesli, and narrowed her eyes to slits. She was not happy and Lesli was none too pleased to see her, either. Keith felt like he’d stepped into an episode of The Twilight Zone.
Lesli stopped traffic. Literally. Walking out into the middle of Park Avenue like she was taking a brisk but determined stroll on a lawn, the woman was a living, breathing wonder. A cloud of pigeons fluttered up at her feet. Car horns blared and she got called every kind of dumb, stupid broad in the book. Never flinched.
In work clothes, a smart, slate grey suit with a thigh-length skirt that perfectly caressed her hips, she’d probably just got off the job. Stop traffic, hell. It was a wonder she hadn’t caused a five-car pileup. She hopped up on the sidewalk, moving toward him with, clearly, a sense of purpose.
“What in the hell,” he called, “are you doing here?”
“I…we…uh…” In all the time he’d known the woman, she’d never been at a loss for words. Now, inanely gesturing, stuttering, this intelligently articulate woman apparently had somehow transformed into an idiot.
She had enough sense, though, to wave behind her and keep Gwen away. Not that Gwen would have the slightest inclination to get any closer than that to Keith, much less follow her girlfriend out into the middle of traffic.
“Please?!” is all she could say.
Okay. Lesli evidently had lost her mind. “Please, what?”
“I don’t know.” She waved her hands. “Just can’t we…uh, can we…”
He waited for her to find words. When she didn’t, he said, “I’ve got a date. You want me to give you a call?” Lesli turned. Keith watched the back of her head and saw Kisa’s evilly staring glare. Kisa was about to come over. He put his palm up to caution her back.
Lesli spun back to him. “No, I don’t want to give you a damned phone call and let that witch have time to get her claws in you. Are you going to make me beg you out here in the middle of the sidewalk in front of all these people?”
The wind blew hair across her forehead and she impatiently brushed it back. “Because,” Lesli entreated, “I swear to God I will.” She then tried, “After what we’ve been through, what we’ve meant to each other, you owe me…you owe us both that much.”
“Aw, hell.” He didn’t have much of a vocabulary at the moment. And sure hadn’t the first notion what the woman was up to, but whatever it was, she was determined to be up to it. He did owe her at least a conversation after, as she said, what she’d meant to him. His hot date would have to cool off for another day.
He was on his way to tell Kisa that when Lesli grabbed his elbow, hissing under her breath, “Please?!”
“Woman, if you don’t turn me loose…”
She let go. With a pitifully begging gaze. “Uh…okay.”
He assured her, “I will be right back.” Lesli relaxed. A little. He continued on over to Kisa’s table. “As you can see, something has come up.”
Less than gracious, she snatched the napkin from her lap and tossed it on the table. “For real?”
“I’ll make it up to you. But I have to see if she’s okay.” Which, obviously, Lesli wasn’t.
Kisa stood and blurted, “Oh, no! Miss Thing waltzes in out the clear blue and you leave me sitting like a sack of laundry? I don’t think so.” She shot Lesli a sour glance. “You blew it, brotha-man. Big time!”
He had a feeling she was speaking God’s own truth. And watched one the finest, most fascinating women he’d ever known quite probably walk out of his life. Whatever the hell Lesli wanted to talk about, it better be pretty damned good.
Next week: Lesli acts up.
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