“Why are you hugging me like you’ll never see me again,” Korey said after one of our award-winning dates. If you remember–Korey was that guy I was dating who’d put his hands on me and like so many other women, I stayed.I shrugged off his aggression as a disadvantage to his personality. Plus, it felt like my eyes would exhale every time I looked at that chocolate hunk of a man. I’m shallow sometimes, sue me.
Korey and I had been consistently dating for about five months. Each and every time we parted ways, I would hold him like we were that couple in the airport in a romantic comedy, hugging and kissing and regretting that we had to leave one another. This time around, I was headed home to North Carolina for a week to visit family. I knew that I wasn’t going to be seeing Korey for at least two weeks, so I held him much tighter and much longer than I ever did. “You’re coming back babe,” Korey said as he pried himself from my grip.
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“Yeah, I know, but…” I trailed off. I didn’t know how to finish this sentence without sounding desperate. Here’s the thing I hate admitting. Somehow, some way, the men I date seem to vanish into thin air as if they’ve been interning for Siegfried & Roy. I know that at times, I get a bit intense, but I’m never crazy. I’ve watched some of my closest friends date a guy, become stage five clingers within the first couple of weeks and lose him like he was never there in the first place. I made it a point not to be that girl. Just like any girl, when I like a man, I want to spend time with him. But, because my career keeps me busy, that’s not always the case these days. Basically, I don’t have the time to be clingy. But when I really like a dude, I have clinger intentions; which is why I was holding on to Korey like he was a tree and I was a Koala bear.
“But, what?” Korey flashed his 1000-watt smile. He grabbed my chin, lifted my mouth up to his and kissed me. “I’m gonna call you and I’ll see you when you get back,” he headed towards the door and for a split second, I caught a weird look in his eye. It was a uncomfortable mix of pity, concern and hesitance.
“Miss you,” I said, grabbing is hand, letting each finger leave my grip one by one, until I was left with his pointer finger in my hand. I tugged on it and pulled him back in for another kiss. Without hesitation, Korey kissed me deeply. I lifted up on my tip toes, losing myself in his pillow-soft lips. “Bye babe.”
The door slammed. “Bye?” I questioned, resting my back on the door. “He never says bye.” That three letter word plagued me the entire evening. And continued to plague me when I texted him later that night to no response.
The next morning, I boarded my flight, texting Korey one more time before turning off my phone. “I’m taking off. I’ll call you when I land.” PHONE OFF.
I landed, turned my phone on and lit up when I saw a message from Korey, “Have a safe flight.” That was it. No exclamation point. No “babe,” no context. SMH. I try not to read too much into texts, but I’m a girl! Of course I read into it. My stomach stayed in knots my entire trip home. Every noise my phone made, I rushed to it, thinking it was him. Four days into my trip, I decided to give him a call. He didn’t pick up. I felt like I was in a tunnel. I couldn’t hear clearly. I wasn’t seeing properly and my vision was fixed on making sure Korey and I were ok.