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One Day You'll Be Mine...

FEATURE: Check out the whimsical, technicolored world of self-taught illustrator Geneva Benton | AFROPUNK

I've never been one to particularly enjoy being stuck in a place with a bunch of random individuals, ergo I don't really party...but every now and again, I do like to get dressed up and hit the streets for a while.  Since my 18th birthday, I  hadn't gone out while on Richmond.  Tai and I had talked about it, but never made any real plans.  Something must have been in the air, because we both became increasingly restless, and finally decided it was time to break out.  We chose the particular spot based on the day; I mean, because what's the point if you aren't going to be seen, right?!

By this point, all of my evenings were all but monopolized by Landon, rarely spending one apart.  I expected some phony resistance, but knew no real issue would come into play.  I didn't really know for sure what he felt for me yet, but I DID know that there was SOMETHING...The real test in any new relationship is your 1st evening apart; how your significant other handles this initial outing can tell you exactly what you need to know as far as how they feel, and just how serious the two of you are.  Once our plans were set, I let Landon know that I wouldn't be on Richmond Friday night.  It went over pretty well; no big deal; the week continued on as usual, with no real reference to my weekend plans.  Tailor was excited enough for the both of us.  In the back of my mind, I began to think she wasn't as comfortable in that gray area she and Parker had been existing in for the past few years.  Me, for the first time in a long time, was EXACTLY where I wanted to be.

Friday finally came, and I started to get a little more into the party spirit.  I even found a hat that I loved to wear that night, so that in and of itself had me LITT.  Before I knew it, the day was over, and I was getting ready for the night's main event.  It was a Summer night, but on the cooler side, so I decided to wear jeans(of course!), just in case the temperature continued to drop.   Tailor arrived, and it was time to go.  As usual, both Landon and Parker were outside shooting the shit.  I came out, a little apprehensive; half expecting to be berated about what I was wearing...instead, as I reached the second landing of stairs, I suddenly became fully aware of the silence...No peanut gallery.  "OK!", I thought, "Maybe I'll make it all the way to the bottom.." that thought abruptly stopped when I noticed I was being watched.  I paused for a brief moment to see if he was going to say something to me.  Nothing.  I continued towards the car.  I could feel the eyes on me as I crossed the street.  As I opened the passenger door, I heard, "Yo, where do you think you going?!"  I replied, "you KNOW where I'm going!"  "yea, OK, I'll see you later".  Little did I know that "later" would arrive far sooner than my return to Richmond that night...

Once we arrived, it didn't take long before we saw familiar faces; I really hate being in a room full of strangers!!  It was surprisingly fun; Tai and I actually had a ball; just all over the place, happy to see people we hadn't seen all Summer.  Along with the few songs we danced to, the night passed by pretty quickly, and mostly in a blur.  Before I knew it, we were about to get ready to head out.  Things were winding down, and there was a mad dash to the bar for last call.  Tai wandered off for a minute or two, rounding up a few of her friends to say her last goodbyes.  I took a seat at the bar to wait.  Some random walked up, prattling on about something; I wasn't really listening, but I did respond with my usual script, "Hello; Avri; Yes; and "No Thank You!"  After giving up the absolute LAST gracious smile I had in me for the night, I looked up, and there stood Landon with a litt Parker not too far from him.  We made our way to each other; all the while I'm thinking, "When he said later, I thought he meant on Richmond!"  Lucky for me, I wasn't  found in a compromising situation!  Obviously, my face said all of these things.  When we reached each other, I of course inquired about the "late" arrival.  His response was, "Looking the way you do right now, think I WASN'T coming?!  They need to know you are apart of MY WORLD, not theirs".

Later on, I would learn that quiet, awkward decent down my grandmother's stairs was the moment when things changed between us forever.  He actually saw me for the first time, and knew exactly what he felt for me from that point on.  Landon decided right then and there that it would never going to sit well with him to see me with anyone else.  It was just going to be HE and I from that point on; AND if a pop up was necessary every time I left the block, Landon was happy to oblige...


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