Black Short Stories : Harlem Heat - The Final Chapter


Well-Known Member
Jun 25, 2001
Detroit, MI
Poet All Day, Everyday
RaVon sighed as he exited the hotel at exactly 9:00 pm. Nikki, still had not called him in his room or on his cell phone. Obviously, she had made her decision. A lump rose in his throat as he waited for the valet to bring his Monte Carlo around. In his pocket, two return plane tickets to Detroit rested. He had been so close to having her back in his life, but now he knew there was no hope. How cruel fate was to tease him with this one moment! RaVon was shortly distracted from his thoughts, by the insistent ringing of his Motorola V60c cell phone. He grappled with the garment bag in his hand as he reached to answer his phone. “Hello?” he answered, and was rewarded by the breathless cry of, “Oh, RaVon, I am so glad I caught you! I thought I had missed you! Oh…” His heart soared as he rushed to cut her off. “Baby, can you be ready in 15 minutes?”
“I don’t know…I'm only halfway packed…”
“Don’t worry about it. I am coming for you anyway! Take what you need, but you are coming with me tonight!”
“Oh Vonny, I love you!”
“I love you too. Now get packed, cause' I’m coming now!”
RaVon could barely wait for the bellhop to get his luggage into the trunk, before he jumped into the driver’s seat and tore out the hotel driveway. He did not care about anything else except, for at last, getting to his women to bring her home finally.

Nikki flew around the apartment throwing shoes, dresses, and other belongings into suitcases and bags. She was amazed that she had managed to scramble the abundance of her things together in such little time. She rested on the edge of the bed for a moment and, rang the front desk for assistance. “Hi, Miguel could you please send someone up to help me take my luggage down.” She did not want to keep RaVon waiting, or risk Michael coming home to find her still their.
“Right away Ma’Am.”, he said politely in a slightly Cuban accented voice.
“Thank you.” She said as she settled the receiver back into its cradle.

She glanced around the apartment as she walked out the bedroom. This had been her home for the last two years, and yet somehow she felt she would not miss it so much. She stared out the floor to ceiling glass windows that overlooked the gleaming structures and lights of the city. She and Michael had agreed the view was breathtaking when they had first purchased the apartment. The sudden insistent buzzing of the doorbell broke into her thoughts and she turned quickly from the window to answer the door.

“Madam, I’m here to help you with your things.” said a tall, handsome, brown-skinned young man dressed in neat red jacket with gold accents, and sharply creased black slacks. “Oh, thank you. That was fast.” She murmured ushering him into the apartment. “All my baggage is right here by the door.” She said waving her hand at the suitcases and travel boxes stacked near the living room door. The young man nodded and proceeded to pick up her things and take them down to the front desk. After a few trips to the apartment all, her belongings were taken down except for a light travel bag she would carry. She stood still for a moment studying the 3-carat, marquee cut diamond engagement ring twinkling on her finger. This was it. The only remaining vestige of what she and Michael had shared. This ring had symbolized their once willingness to commit to and share their lives with one another forever. She sighed sadly. Michael would have made a good husband for any woman, but unfortunately, her heart had long since belonged to another. She truly regretted the pain she had caused him, and inside she would always cherish the love he had given her when she needed it most.

Taking a deep breathe she drew off the ring that had never left her finger in the two years she had been with Michael, and placed it gently next to the apartment keys on the living room lamp stand near the door. For a moment, her eyes grew watery as she took one last survey of the apartment. She turned away pulling on a fashionable black wool cloak. “Goodbye.”, she whispered and picked up her travel bag and whisked out of the door closing it with a gentle thud of finality.

RaVon stroked Nikki’s tousled brown hair as she lay with her head on his chest dozing lightly. He gently rearranged the blanket the flight attendant had given him around Nikki’s shoulders. He knew this had been a physically and emotionally exhausting evening for her. Things had moved so fast from the time he had picked her up at the apartment until catching this flight back to Detroit. It would be several hoursbefore their plane landed, and he wanted her to have a few hours’ sleep.

He sighed and leaned back into the deep, plush seat. He was elated that Nikki was coming home with him, but he knew that this was only the beginning. He would have to be very considerate of her sensitive nature, and the awkward transitions that were bound to occur when two people are re-adjusting to one another. For a single moment, he wondered if he should have been so rash in his quest to bring Nikki back to him. She had been right; of course, when she had said he had expected her to uproot her whole life for him. He knew how passionate she was about her career as a dancer. With Michael, her dreams and success were guaranteed. He had the right connections and support for Nikki to go far in her career. No doubt, she was talented and intelligent, but realistically there were not a lot of opportunities for dancers in Detroit. Perhaps, her sudden relocation to Detroit had not been the best idea. RaVon hated the pangs of doubt that were beginning to grip him. The thoughts persisted. Would Nikki resent him if she never continued to pursue her dreams of becoming a famous dancer? He had truly had no intentions of Nikki giving up her goals and dreams for him, but he had not considered these things in his all-consuming efforts to win her back to him.

His forehead creased with worry, and Nikki awoke to find him with a solemn look of contemplation on his face a few minutes later. “Hey babe, what’s wrong?” she asked in voice husky with sleep. She blinked her eyes, and looked up at him with concern. He smoothed back her hair and kissed her forehead, and was about to give the perfunctory reply of, “Nothing, boo.” Instead, he looked at her hesitantly for a moment and then began to tell her what he had been thinking. Nikki was quiet for a long moment after he finished. She stared into his troubled green eyes, and reached up and traced his cheekbones and lips with her fingers. She loved this man so much, and here he was worrying that he might not have made the best decision in persuading her to come back to Detroit so quickly.

“Baby, I cannot lie. I could not stand the thought of you being with Michael or away from me for another minute. Purely selfish reasons probably brought me back to New York, but Nikki I am love with you. I should have thought about what you needed, but I was so driven to have you in my life again. Beyond what I want, I care about the things that concern you. I’ve known that you desired to become an accomplished dancer more than anything since we were in high school. I would not expect you to forfeit that dream for me. You were in the best position to accomplish that dream. I don’t want you to hate me for removing you from that, love.” He said earnestly.

“Oh baby,” she murmured, “I can still accomplish that dream. No one said I would never go back to New York. Michael was not the end all to my success. ****, you know I do got some talent.” She joked. RaVon allowed a small smile to play around his lips. “I know that baby, but…” he trailed off uncertainly. “But nothing. I went to New York for the wrong and right reasons when I left here 6 years ago RaVon. I wanted to dance, but I also wanted to escape the memory of you. I have to confess all those years I stayed in New York training and dancing my *** off gave me some good reasons not to visit Detroit often. I was so afraid of running into you. I was an emotional basket case baby! It took me all this time to realize that I had been hiding so many fears deep inside, and allowed the one thing I love next to you and God, to become an excuse for me not to deal with what was going on inside. It was the escape mechanism I used to mask my inability to deal with life. Even when I was with Michael, his love and guidance were like a blanket against all the emotional turmoil I had locked inside of me. It never fixed the ****, but it was like a **** band-aid over a wound that never healed.” She said honestly. RaVon held his breath, waiting for her to continue.

“I had to get real with myself today RaVon. Seeing you today brought back every emotion, I had repressed. You have the power to unnerve me. The thing about you that always unsettled me from the first time we met was how forward and self assured you are. You just say what you feel, do what you feel, and **** the consequences. If something happened, you just dealt with it. You weren’t afraid of ****! That excited and frightened me all at the same time. It was especially scary when we got together and you started making me deal with things I did not want to. Being with you made me have to go deep inside myself to places I had never known and it scared the hell out of me. You know my parents sheltered Dean and I growing up. Everything seemed to be just so perfect, and they did not want us to suffer or want for anything. Mom had a way of patching everything up. She would always smile even when her heart was breaking, and you know when I look in the mirror I swear I’ve become too much like her. It’s okay to be unhappy, angry, or scared, but the point is facing your fears, dealing with the problems, and moving on with your life. I have not done that, and now I realize the mistakes I’ve made. Instead of running from you when I found out you had a daughter by Catia I should have at least listened to you, and tried to sort out our relationship. I can understand why you were afraid to tell me, and it was unfair of me to leave you the way I did. I was being silly, and all this could have been avoided if I had been woman enough to discuss how I felt with you. I was a girl with the emotions of a woman, and I could not deal with them or you, or anything in life for that matter. So, I ran away, and I really regret that. Sure, I’ve become a wonderful dancer; I got my degree, had some great experiences in New York, and hell I’ve even been engaged to one of the most coveted bachelors in NY! But I can’t help, but wonder if things would have been different if I had not left you.” She ended in a quiet voice.

RaVon filled with a surge of overwhelming emotion as he embraced Nikki. “Nikki, baby, I know it took a lot for you to admit all that, but neither of us can change the past. We just have to build from here and move forward with our lives. I mean I can be honest as well. I did not deal with that situation concerning Catie and Vontia in the best way. I should have just been straight up with you. I love my daughter Nikki, and even if you had stayed with me, reality is that Catie still would have been a part of my life as the mother of my child. Could you have dealt with that?” he asked gently.

Nikki looked into his face for a moment and replied, “I could have tried RaVon. I know you love your daughter, and it would be unfair for me to expect you to deny her or her mother a place in your life. I’m going to have to deal with that anyway, especially if I am going to be a part of your life now. I’ve never even met Vontia! Don’t you think it’s about time I did?” she asked with a smile. RaVon’s full lips drew back into an irresistible grin. “Well, alright then Miss Lady!” he exclaimed, but switched back to a serious tone as he continued to speak, “I’m proud of you Nikki. You were a beautiful young girl when you left here, but now you are one hell of a woman. Give yourself more credit, baby; you’re a strong, Black woman. You just had to find the path to open up your heart, and let yourself have peace. I always loved that about you when we were younger. You were so open, warm, and receptive. You were willing to try new things and take those big steps with me when I wanted or needed you too. Hell, you even managed to rub a bit of your culture and sophistication off on this ole’ thug. I kinda dig ballet, theaters, and museums now.” He laughed.

Nikki began to giggle. “Oh really? I remember the first time I suggested we go see an art exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts. You looked at me like I was crazy with one hand around a St. Ides while you puffed on a Newport. How far we have both come!” RaVon laughed, “Really, though. I dig the arts. I developed an appreciation while you were away. Chantay started dragging me to her poetry readings and other cultural events around the city. I probably would not have went into the Charles H. Wright African American History Museum if it had not been for her much less the DIA again. I’ve seen art films at the Main Street Theater in Royal Oak, and earlier this year we went and saw an art exhibit by Jacob Lawrence, the African American painter at the DIA. So I got a little bit of aesthetic appreciation going on.”
Nikki gave him a genuine smile of admiration. “Well that is really great. I’m glad you decided to broaden your horizons. Jacob Lawrence is an excellent artist. You’ve seen Chantay? God, it has been so long since I’ve seen her. How is she doing?”
“Yeah, I see her quite often. You know that was always my heart. She’s doing real good. She has her own home business where she builds websites and things like that. She is also a prepaid legal agent. She rakes in some nice cheddar. To top it off she manages poetry collective, Black Ink, and they are dope. I caught a couple of their performances and they are extremely talented. I’ll take you to see them when they do another feature. Oh, and she has a book and a CD due out this year, so baby girl has been working real hard.”

“****.”, Nikki stated impressed, “Sista got it going on, huh? I’m glad to hear she’s doing so well. I’ve missed her. I meant to write and call more often, but time just escaped me. I would love to see her. By the way, how are her and Dante? I know they were separated the last time I was in Detroit…” she trailed off expectantly.
RaVon’s green eyes darkened and he sighed as he said, “Well, they never got back together after the incident with Jaime’s brother, Jermaine. You aren’t the only one who ran off. Dante stayed gone as long as you did, and just came back to Detroit a few weeks ago. He’s still in a lot of pain. Whenever I mention Dante to Chantay, she has the most shattered look in her eyes. It’s real hard on them loving each other like they do, but I don’t believe they know the words or the way to get back together. They can’t even stand to be around each other. My heart goes out to them. They are my best friends, and there is nothing I can do for them. It’s an impossible situation.”

Nikki shook her head her eyes filled with sympathy. She remembered the overpowering love that Dante and Chantay had once shared. They seemed to have been more enthralled with each other, than Nikki and RaVon had been. It saddened Nikki to know that her two good friends were still in pain with no resolution to the problem.
“That is terrible, but RaVon it’s not impossible. I mean look at us. Our situation seemed impossible too, but here we are together again. Who says it can’t work out for them?” she said hopefully.
RaVon regarded Nikki seriously for a moment before replying, “It’s possible, but they would have to work through years of emotional turmoil and non-communicativeness. The difference with you and I was that we were able to see and talk to each other afterward. Dante and Chantay have been solid in their resolve not to see or talk to one another. It’s not because they don’t want to, but it’s agonizing and neither of them can stand it. I know that **** is painful as hell based on what we went through alone.”

Nikki was adamant and fire filled her brown eyes, “Yes, it is, but something or someone has to get them in the position to come face to face…”
RaVon looked at Nikki suspiciously. “Alright now, baby, I just got back with you and you ready to start the love crusade for others already. I think we better focus on what lies ahead for us right now, don’t you agree?”
Nikki sighed and gave him a smile of resignation. “Okay, okay. I understand and I do agree. I just feel like nothing is impossible now. Love makes you feel like you can do anything, and being with you baby, feels even better.” RaVon smiled and squeezed her hand warmly. “I feel the same way baby, trust me I do.”


The wind whipped Nikki’s light brown locks in the night air as she wrapped her cloak more tightly and stepped inside the Monte Carlo, as RaVon held the door open for her. The wee hour air was cold and chilly in Detroit. Hundreds of stars shone in the pitch-black heavens as they drove along the nearly empty freeway. The smooth motion of tires over the slick gray pavement was comforting, and made Nikki drowsy. She wanted to stay awake and watch the Detroit sky stretch out before them. This was the first time she had been home in a year, and she was reminded of how much she loved and missed these rare, silent, beautiful morning hours in Detroit. RaVon tuned the radio to 107.5 FM and a rich, alto voice filled the car. Nikki smiled at the familiar tune, and sang. “I’m wishing on a star. No matter where you are….” It was one of RaVon’s favorite songs and he smiled at Nikki as he began to sing the words along with her. The music enraptured them as they sang, and as the last note faded, away Nikki gazed at the star filled sky, and whispered a silent prayer of thanks to God for bringing her back to the man she loved. Lacing her fingers through RaVon’s she sank back in the leather seat and closed her eyes with a smile. RaVon glanced over at her tenderly then refocused his attention on the road that led to a future more bright and promising than all the stars in the heavens.

The End


Lyon King Admin.
Mar 21, 2001
this was a very nice story loved every part
ur a very good story writter do continue and
much blessing to ya art & pen ........Thank u for this
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