Shelley and Sean were headed back to Sean’s place from the grocery store for an evening of dinner and a movie. They were celebrating their one year anniversary. She could still recall the first night she saw him and the way he made her feel as they went back to his place. It wasn’t her intention to sleep with him on their first date but one thing led to another and her body was indeed satisfied. She loved the attention she received from Sean but she also hated it. He made her feel desirable and complete yet empty and dirty. Her longing for a man was over yet she still longed for something. At least her detachment from John was final but she still felt connected. As good as she felt to be with Sean she knew it was wrong.
After the first three months of their relationship Shelley’s completeness began to fade away. While her sexual desire for Sean grew, her self-confidence diminished. Shelley always had a mental list outlining the characteristics she wanted in a guy. She thought that Sean fit the mold but soon realize that he was the exact opposite. Despite her observation she continued in the relationship. She knew without a doubt that she could trust Sean, and most importantly he wanted her. Besides, she wasn’t ready to break it off so early since she thought that things would change, and since she feared going back to being single. Although her desire to be wanted by a man was being fulfilled by Sean she still had an emptiness that made her feel worthless.
Sean on the other hand was all into Shelley after three months. She was his heart, his love, his everything. He had never dated anyone like her. She was the perfect lady and he often bragged to his friends about her. She didn’t get drunk, although he did frequently. She wasn’t into wild parties and neither was he. She was family oriented, which he had high hopes of having a family one day. She attend church with him whenever he asked, and she had goals, hopes and dreams although she wasn’t fulfilling many since meeting Sean. Shelley was Sean’s prize trophy. Every chance he got he flaunted her, whether work parties, family events, church outings or friend gatherings. Shelley was known as Sean’s “wife”.
After six months of dating on and off Sean casually proposed as Shelley and Jayvynn spent a week at his house. This took her by surprise especially since she knew she had mix feelings for Sean. His casual proposal didn’t require a response from her but it did reveal to her how serious Sean was.
Their one year anniversary evening was all planned out. Sean was eager to cook the steaks that had marinated overnight in his uncle’s homemade marinade sauce. Earlier that day Shelley sauteed Sean’s favorite vegetable medley. The vegetables were the perfect blend of softness and crunch, drizzled with a savory glaze, just the way he liked. To complete the meal Sean was looking forward to making his grandmother’s famous mashed potatoes he called mash-smash. For dessert Shelley was planning to make her favorite pie that she had not baked in a few years – Peach Cobbler with an extra flaky crust topped with Breyers Extra Creamy Vanilla ice cream.
There were no better moments in their relationship than Sean and Shelley preparing a meal together. Shelley loved that about their relationship. They spent much time creating delectable delights in the kitchen. In fact, Sean was a natural born chef. He could prepare all kinds of meals as well as desserts. The passion Shelley saw in Sean’s eyes and the taste of the food she experienced made her forget the fact that his character was less desirable.
Shelley encouraged him to use his skills to open a restaurant but Sean found every excuse possible to continue working his 9 to 5 as a mechanic. After hounding him for three months Shelley gave up. His lack of motivation were among the many things that Shelley hated about him. He had no drive to improve the quality of his life or his character. Granted being a mechanic wasn’t a bad trade but she knew that he didn’t love it half as much as he did creating amazing dishes.
Now-a-days, they spent more time arguing than they did cooking. Eight months into their relationship Shelley decided that she wanted to practice abstinence. Of course Sean immediately thought that she was sleeping with someone else but that was not the case. Shelley explained to Sean that she knew sleeping together wasn’t right. The Christian beliefs that she were raised with were now finding place in her life. And after all she was gaining a lot from her occasional visits to Sean’s church. However, she found it difficult to resist Sean and the romance that she had grown accustomed to. She often found herself giving in more than not and couldn’t understand why she kept giving into sex with Sean when she really wanted to stop. During those rare occasions that she wasn’t giving in, Sean would raise hell and too frequently she would eventually give in just to calm him down. She had longed for a man to want her, hold her and fulfill her but with each passing day she realized that she felt lonely, bitter and broken.
“Do you remember the first time we went out? You were wearing your red lace-up peep toe booties with the stiletto heel. The ones that made the shape of your body even curvier.” Sean asked Shelley as he walked behind her up the steep narrow stairs leading to the front door of his townhouse. He was a stickler for shoes and those ones he liked especially.
“How could I forget? I had on one of my best outfits and you took me to Hogs On The Hill.” Shelley laughed. “Those shoes hurt too. I had to retire them after the first wear.”
“Oh now you complain about where I took you. I did ask you where you wanted to go, and you said you didn’t care. So, I wanted BBQ, mac and cheese, and greens. Plus, I did mention to you that I didn’t eat out a lot since I cooked at home. You gotta admit though it was good,” Sean said re-positioning the four grocery bags he was carrying.
“It was finger licking good.” Shelley confessed smiling.
Shelley pulled her spare key out of her front pocket in order to unlock the door. As they walked into the house they were greeted by Cotton, Shelley’s poodle that Sean bought for her after their last break up. That break up lasted almost a month. Shelley was sure she would not take Sean back, but like before Sean wooed her with his best of the best. He surprised her with a trip to Honolulu, Hawaii for a week. While they were there she fell in love with Cotton the hotel owner’s puppy whom they were selling.
“Hey girl! I can’t pet you now. I have a hand full of groceries, but I love you.” Shelley said in her best adorable child’s voice. She blew a kiss in Cotton’s direction and she and Sean entered the kitchen. They sat the bags on the countertop next to the fridge. As Shelley went to unpack the bags Sean gently took hold of her left hand.
“I love you,” he said planting a kiss on her hand. “You know I want to marry you right?”
Shelley gazed into Sean’s eyes as butterflies filled her stomach. Some days she loved Sean and some days she didn’t. Today was one of those days.
“I love you too,” she smiled. She looked forward to their evening together.
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