Keith was resigned to a lonely Sunday night in his Vegas hotel room without time to hook up with Lesli. He rang room service, placed a breakfast order — surprise, no grits — and turned on the stereo, looking for a station that played some good old-fashioned Chicago blues. Good luck. He got half a dozen country stations, some gospel, what passed these days for rock music, and gave up.
The phone rang, startling him half out of his skin: “Who the hell…?!” Then, he realized it had to be one of the guys — or both — having opted to visit the watering hole after all.
Most likely, it was only Luis. You pass the hotel bar at the entrance as a rule, and walking in with instrument cases drew attention. Especially, from women. And there had been a few hanging around, having some sort of hen party. Luis probably was calling Keith to go downstairs see what was what.
If I beg off, Keith had thought as the phone continued to ring, he’ll come up here and knock on the door talking trash. Talking ’bout, “Do we have another marriage on the way?” and then stand there laughing like a hyena. Keith steeled himself and answered the phone: “Yeah?”
“Hey, baby.” Definitely not Luis!
He’d thought he just might have an accident on himself. “Lesli?! Hey, girl! I was thinkin’ ’bout callin’ you.”
“Oh, you were not. But, thanks for saying it. That’s sweet.” He never ceased to marvel at the inherently suspicious female mind. She’d asked, kind of sing-song, “You feel like having some company?”
“Darlin’, swear t’ God, I was gon’ see if I could get out there tomorrow. But, they got us jammed up tight. What if I come over next Sunday?” He’d been amazed, shocked to hear himself talking to her like this. Why? She was just a woman. Yeah, the same one he’d’ve sooner or later booked his own flight to come see.
She’d answered without skipping a beat, “What if you come down to the lobby, right now, and collect me?”
“No, stupid. I’m home. Get a plane and catch a cab to the lobby.”
“Holy sh—”, cutting himself short, abruptly on a laughing jag that wouldn’t quit. “I’ll,” he managed to say, falling out in hysterics, “I’ll be right there.” And, hanging up, had himself a true, holy-jump-up-and-sit-down moment.
She’s here! What now?! Whereupon Keith was out the door so fast he hoped he didn’t leave his key-card behind.
In the main lobby, he’d found Lesli sitting relaxed in a large leather chair, reading Essence. He’d had to catch his breath. Warm, intelligent eyes — even just reading a magazine, her face was fascinating, self-possessed, easily confident without being the least bit haughty. And she killed that short skirt she was wearing; in cold blood.
Put it all together with her personality — something of a very pleasant smart ass — and if this wasn’t the sexiest woman on the planet, she didn’t miss it by much. “Hey, lady”
She’d looked up and a bright smile grew across her features. She’d hopped up from the chair and strode spiritedly across the carpet. Throwing her arms open, smile spread into a mischievous, girlish grin, she’d said, “Hey yourself, handsome,” and planted a big, wet kiss on him.
With that, he’d slid an arm around her waist as they made their way to the elevator. They got on, joined by another couple. Nobody spoke. He’d held onto her waist and she leaned a little against him. They got off and the other couple stayed on.
His room was right down the hall, and he could hardly wait ‘til they got there. Not only did she feel great with his arm around her, she smelled great too, like a flower garden. He’d felt nervous as a high-school kid but managed to get the key-card out and in the slot without fumbling. He’d nudged the door open, escorted her in, and was about to come up with a clever line — but never got the chance.
As he’d turned, still holding her, Lesli closed in. “Well, well, well.” Arms draped around his neck, nose to nose, she pecked him on the lips, then winked, adding, “Do I ever have plans for you.” And shoved the door closed.
Next week: Just what were Lesli’s plans?
Dwight Hobbes welcomes reader responses to P.O. Box 50357, Mpls., 55403.
To read more Black & Single Blues by Dwight Hobbes click HERE
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