The History Of The Human Heart (Part Four) by Danielle Allen
Preme’s soft lips moved over mine powerfully as he had me sandwiched between his hard body and the front door. Our mouths never let each other as he finished opening the door and backed me into our apartment. When the door closed behind him, he broke the kiss long enough to lock the door and then he was kissing me again.
There was a slight hint of alcohol on his breath, so I didn’t know if it was the liquid courage or the recent breakup, but something was driving him. He was a confident man, but this was different. His touch, like his kiss, was sure. It wasn’t just that he knew what he wanted; he knew what I wanted.
The way his touch made me feel was new and at the same time familiar. His hands moved from my arms up to my neck until he was cradling my face. The moment he tipped my chin upward and deepened the kiss, my stomach quivered. With each pass of his tongue, I felt myself giving in to the passion that silently burned between us.
A banging on the front door startled us apart.
We stared at each other. Unclear on what happened and what it meant, I took a shaky breath.
Another barrage of knocks rained down on the door.
“We should get it,” I whispered, finally breaking the silence. “The neighbors are going to be mad.”
He knew I was right, but I could tell he was content to ignore the intruder. But I needed a second to wrap my mind around what just happened.
When did he break up with—
“Claudia?” Preme said her name with confusion. “What are you doing here?”
“You’re just going to end things without a conversation? You just decided it was over and that was that? You broke my heart and you don’t think I deserve answers! I deserve a conversation! I deserve better than this, Supreme!” Claudia wailed before pushing her way into the apartment. The moment she saw me, she stopped in her tracks. “I guess you’re happy now, huh?”
I shook my head. “Whatever you two have going on is between the two of you.”
“You’ve been trying to get him since we started dating and so it looks like you won,” she hissed, mascara tinted tears streamed down her face. “Congratulations, Storm. You won.”
Ordinarily, I would’ve snapped back. I would’ve checked her and put her in her place. But I’d just got finished kissing him and I didn’t have a leg to stand on.
“That’s enough, Claudia. I told you to cut that shit a long time ago,” he demanded.
“Oh, because that’s your friend?” she said sarcastically. “You keep choosing her over me because she’s your so-called friend. Well, your girlfriend is supposed to be your friend too!”
“I realized that,” he said, glancing over her head at me.
My eyes widened slightly. “I’m going to my room,” I announced to no one in particular. Making a beeline to my room, I immediately stripped and took a lukewarm shower.
There was nothing like a crying, angry ex-girlfriend who was jumping to all the right conclusions to sober a situation up. I had just finished moisturizing my body when I heard a scream. I quickly threw on a t-shirt and a pair of short shorts and I cracked the door to my bedroom open to see what was going on.
“I knew it! I fucking knew it!” Claudia shrieked. “Fuck you and her bitch ass. I knew it. This whole time you’ve been lying to me. I should’ve never believed you. I gave you my heart and you’ve been—you know what, Fuck you, Supreme. And fuck you, too, Storm.”
The rage in her voice and the malice in her tone let me know she meant that shit. I didn’t know what he’d told her, but I knew that she would probably beat my ass. On a regular day, we were pretty evenly matched—honestly, I felt like I could take her. But I was pretty sure that he told her that we kissed and the fury she felt was palpable.
Turning my light off, I slowly closed my door and crept back to my bed. That was none of my business. No matter what she thought, nothing happened while they were together. Nothing ever happened until that night and they were already broken up.
Lying on my back, I squeezed my eyes shut.
Even though I knew I wasn’t in the wrong and I didn’t even like the girl, I begrudgingly admitted to myself that I understood where she was coming from. I could imagine feeling a way if the same situation happened to me. It looked messier than it was. But since she was always convinced it was happening, there wasn’t going to be anything that anyone said that was going to convince her otherwise.
Nothing happened before tonight.
My mind showed me quick glimpses of moments with Preme over the years. Our friendship blossomed, becoming different, becoming more as time progressed. The intimacy of our relationship and the bond we shared was special. We respected, protected, and supported one another like friends were supposed to do.
But Brianna never freaked out when I studied with someone else.
My stomach flipped.
When I thought back to the night he asked me not to have men over, I thought he was being an overprotective asshole—in a brotherly way. I thought he was worried about my safety and scared someone was going to steal my virtue or whatever asinine thing was driving his thought process. I shrugged off my gut feeling and convinced myself that it was because of what happened with Brittany freshman year.
But there was a moment that I kept denying to myself and repressing from my memory. When Claudia kept calling, he looked at me. He looked at me the way he always looked at me when it was just the two of us.
But instead of making a joke or one of us changing the subject, he asked me if I wanted him to answer the call. And I knew he wanted me to say no. I knew it and I thought about it for days. But what I never wanted to admit to myself was that I wanted to say no.
I kicked the covers off me and stared at the ceiling.
There was a light knock on my door. “Storm? You up?”
“Yeah. Come in,” I said into the darkness. Light from the hallway poured in and illuminated his path to my bed.
Dressed for bed in a t-shirt and shorts, he sat down. I could smell his soap and assumed he’d taken a fresh shower. It took everything I had not to bury my nose into the side of him and inhale.
To prevent the urge from coming again, I moved to the other side of the bed. Once I moved, he laid down beside me. His fingers laced on his stomach as he stared at the ceiling alongside me.
We were both quiet for a really long time.
“I broke up with Claudia,” he told me.
I didn’t know what to say so I just listened.
“I’ve been preparing to do it for a couple weeks, but I finally broke up with her a couple days ago.”
I swallowed hard. “Why?”
“Because it wasn’t working anymore.” He hesitated before he added, “I don’t know if it was ever really working.”
“What do you mean? You two had been together for a while.”
“She isn’t who I can see myself with—like on some forever type shit.”
I nodded, suddenly very aware of his closeness. “Oh. Is-is that what you’re looking for?”
“I mean, I’m not looking for it,” he answered slowly.
We were both quiet.
“What did she say when you told her that?” I wondered.
“I told her that it wasn’t working, and we should go our separate ways. She said some off the wall shit and I left. She said her homegirl called her about what went down with B.S.U. and she wanted to check on me.”
I looked at him out of the corner of my eye. “You don’t believe her?”
“I think she was looking for a reason to talk. You see how I opened the door and her first, second, and third question was about the breakup.”
I let out a huff of air. “That’s true.” I was quiet for a moment. “I was nervous for a second when she screamed. I thought I was going to have to call the police.”
He turned onto his side and gave me a look. “You know I would never put my hands on a woman.”
I looked at him. “I meant for her! I thought she was going to attack you—or me.”
He licked his lips. “She wouldn’t have made it back here if she wanted to and she knew not to try it.”
“I heard her yelling fuck me.” Still holding his gaze, I swallowed hard. “I assume you told her that we kissed.”
He didn’t say anything, allowing the silence to stretch and swallow me whole.
“No. I didn’t tell her that we kissed,” he answered slowly.
“I told her I was in love with you.”
My breath got caught in my chest. “You what?” I whispered.
“I’m in love with you.”
My heart was racing, and I had to remind myself to breathe. “Supreme,” I exhaled his name, trying to wrap my head around what he’d just said.
“If you can honestly tell me you don’t love me, too, I’ll drop it.”
“I—” Unable to find the words I was searching for, I leaned forward and kissed him.
The electricity crackled between us and things heated up quickly. Our hands were all over each other. It started innocently and then my hand gravitated to his bulge. I started stroking him over his shorts until he groaned into my mouth. As the kiss became more passionate, clothes started coming off. Before I knew what was happening, I was naked.
“It’s not fair that I’m naked and you still have on your shorts,” I complained.
“I’ll take them off in a second. There’s something I have to do first.” He rolled on top of me and kissed me gently. Spreading my legs, he trailed kisses down my neck. He sucked my nipples until they were hard and then continued his journey until he settled in the apex of my thighs.
It only took that first lick for me to know that I was his. And by the time he had me coming on his lips, he knew it too.
He kissed me all over as my body recovered from the orgasm. When he made his way back to my lips, we lost ourselves. His shorts came off and when I climbed on top of him, I was tempted.
I wanted to feel him, all of him. I wanted to be closer to him than I’d ever been with anyone. But I’d never been reckless a day in my life and I wasn’t about to start.
I broke the kiss and stared at him.
“What?” he asked softly, moving a strand of hair from my forehead.
My heart was in my throat. “I love you.”
I ripped my eyes away and dismounted him. With my back to him, I reached for the condom in my nightstand. Clearing my throat, I handed it to him. “Here.”
my nightstand. Clearing my throat, I handed it to him. “Here.”
He grabbed my arm and tugged me until I was facing him again. Covering my mouth with his, he kissed me hard. When he pulled away, he searched my eyes. “I love you.”
“I love you, too.” I laid back and watched him as he rolled the condom on.
He grabbed my ankles and lifted them high. Kissing each of them, he spread me wide. “Do you know why I’m not looking for forever?”
“No,” I whispered, the length of his dick capturing my attention as it bounced between us.
Lining himself up, he played with clit with his dick as he watched me. “Because I’ve already found it.”
His words hit me at the same time as he hit my spot. I loved the way he seemed to take in everything—every move I made and every touch that brought me pleasure.
Spreading my wetness around, he toyed with me to make sure I was ready to accommodate his size.
“You’re my forever,” he growled as he finally worked his way into me. “But you already knew that right?”
“Yes,” I moaned in response.
“You feel so good,” he grunted as he pulled out and then slid back in as deep as he could go.
Each time was a little deeper, a little faster, a little harder. And each time, we were a little louder. For hours, we ebbed and flowed between making love and fucking and back again. My body ached from physical exhaustion and complete and utter satisfaction. By the time we wore ourselves out, my comforter and sheets were on the floor and we were blanketed with love.
We knew that we were going to spend the rest of our lives together. We said it that morning definitively. And then we said it every morning.
Until we didn’t.
I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with Supreme. And somehow, I was twelve hours away from signing divorce papers. I grabbed the edge of the counter and hung my head. How did we get here?
Preme entered the kitchen. “Storm?”
Gathering myself, I turned to face him. “Hmm?”
“Are you sure this is what you want?” he asked again.
My eyes watered, like they always did. Because on one hand no, I didn’t want to end the most impactful relationship of my life. But on the other hand, I didn’t have any more fight left in me. He wasn’t the man I married anymore. And as hard as I fought to get us back on the same page, it just wasn’t working.
“I want a lot of things,” I finally answered.
He started to cross the kitchen. I held up my hand to stop him, but he continued. He stopped a foot in front of me. “I love you.”
I blinked rapidly, looking everywhere but at him. “I love you, too.
“So, what are we doing?”
“You are going to follow your dreams and continue traipsing all over the world. I’m going to make a life and a home.” I bit my bottom lip. “We don’t want the same things anymore.”
“I want you. I want our daughter. I want our family.”
Tears burned my throat. His words hurt. I knew he meant them, but not in the way I needed him to. Swallowing hard, I whispered, “You want the idea of this family life. You want to be a star more than you want to be a husband and father.”
After selling a few songs and a few beats, he started working with different rappers and record labels. He was able to turn his love of music and his business degree into his dream job. He went from working in the office of a car dealership and making beats for local artists to creating his own business and selling his services to some of the biggest artists in the world. He always had work coming in because he was always positioning himself to be in the mix. But in doing that, that meant long stretches of time away from home.
“I love being your husband and Amira’s father,” he sighed. “Don’t do that. Don’t make it seem like I don’t love you with everything I have in me.”
“After you give everything to your work, you love me with everything you have left.” My voice cracked. “I need more than that. I deserve more than that. And I’ve been telling you the same thing for five years.”
“The timing wasn’t ideal—”
I wiped my eyes. “Wasn’t ideal? Supreme, you went to Dubai with that mumble rapper for a month when Amira was still an infant. Parenthood was something you wanted, too. But I was left to do everything on my own.”
“I know. And I’m sorry about that. I know I fucked up here and there. I know I dropped the ball, but I know we can work through this. I want to work through this.”
I wiped my eyes with the heel of my hand, and I gave him a sad smile. “I’ve believed you every time you’ve said that for the last five years. You can’t live that life and be my husband.”
His brows furrowed. “Are you forcing me to choose?”
So, you can resent me? Hell no.
I shook my head. “I’m not forcing you to do anything. I love you, Supreme. I’ll always love you. And I’m proud of you. You are living the life you always wanted. But the life I’ve always wanted, included having a partner.”
“I can do both.”
I took a shaky breath. “Since when?”
He didn’t say anything, so I continued. “Just please don’t forget about Amira. She already feels like she doesn’t see you enough.”
He took my face, cupping my cheeks. He opened his mouth to say something but then he stopped. He sighed and his body deflated. His eyes started to water, but he kept holding my face and staring into my eyes.
“You’re still my forever.”
My lip trembled. “Prove it.”
He kissed me gently at first, but then it intensified. All the pent-up emotions, all the unresolved issues, all the hurt, and all the love was poured into that kiss. The saltiness from my tears mixed with the bittersweet kiss. When we finally pulled apart, my lips felt bruised.
“I wish I could kiss the hurt away,” he whispered.
“Me too.” I walked him to the door. “When do you leave for Paris? I still want us to take Amira to dinner so she can see that the divorce doesn’t mean she doesn’t get mommy and daddy time.”
“It’s supposed to be tomorrow night, but I’m trying to push it until Tuesday. I’m going to make it work. We’re still doing dinner.”
I nodded silently. He was good at making promises he couldn’t keep. He was never really on his own schedule. He was on the schedule of whatever artist he was working with.
“You told me to prove that you’re my forever and I will.” He brought his face closer to mine. “It’s amazing what people can overcome.”
My heart hurt. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” I murmured.
“I love you,” he told me as he pulled the door open to leave.
“I love you, too.”
As soon as I had the door closed and locked behind him, I burst into tears. But by the morning, I was poised and pulled together. Amira was in school and I’d met Brianna for coffee before heading to the lawyer’s office. I was prepared as I was going to be. As we sat at the long glass table waiting for Supreme to show up, my stomach twisted in knots.
“Are you okay?” Brianna whispered as the two lawyers looked over files.
An assistant rushed into the room with an envelope. He went to speak to the lawyers in hushed tones.
Rachel, my lawyer, stood and walked over to me. “This is from your husband.”
I wasn’t sure why I was nervous, but I took the envelope. “Where is he?”
“This was delivered by a carrier,” she told me.
I stared at the envelope.
“Uh, we’ll give you a second,” Rachel stated, signaling to everyone else to leave the room.
When it was just me and Brianna, I looked at her. “He’s not coming.”
She put her arm around me and gave me a squeeze. She didn’t say anything, but there was nothing to say. Supreme hadn’t showed up for me consistently in a long time.
With trembling fingers, I opened the envelope and pulled out a white card.
Storm. This is the history of a human heart.
I felt my face twist in confusion. “Huh?”
“What does it say?” Brianna asked as if she weren’t reading it over my shoulder.
I flipped the card over.
You wanted me to prove it so after Paris, that’s it. I choose us. I love you. Forever.
“What’s going on?” Brianna asked, impatiently peering at the card. “This is the history of a human heart? What does that mean?”
I sat back in my chair. “It’s from The Souls of Black Folk. The chapter on Alexander Crummell.”
She looked at me in confusion.
I looked back down at the card, shaking my head in disbelief. The spark of hope that fluttered in my belly complicated my emotions. I didn’t know how we got here, but I knew that divorce made the most sense. Even though my heart still longed for the Supreme I fell in love with, the Supreme that read books just to be closer to me, I couldn’t keep waiting for him to show up.
But what if this time is different?
“What does it mean?” Brianna asked again.
I closed my eyes. “It’s about survival. Going through a lot, but making it out on the other side of it.”
“But what does it mean in regards to Supreme? Are you guys still getting divorced today?”
And as hard as I tried to fight it, hope filtered in and I made the only decision that felt right in the moment.
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