Love Comes in All Sizes
Aaron was on top of the world. He had just finished up an ad campaign for a well known chain of grocery stores. This campaign brought 18 million dollars into the firm. He was well on his way to becoming a senior VP at Lindenbergh, Moore, and Associates. Life was great for Aaron Epson. Not only was he climbing the career ladder to success, Aaron also had his pick of the finest women.
He enjoyed being a playa. Aaron knew he would never be a husband and hopefully never a father. He wanted to be a bachelor all his life. His mother was always asking when he was going to settle down. She never liked the women he brought home and she could not understand why her son would choose a life that she claimed would lead to loneliness. Aaron did not see it that way. He had a different woman almost every night. He could never be one to settle down
Aaron was still reveling in his success when his administrative assistant buzzed him.
“Mr. Epson, the delivery woman is here to pick up the prints for the Swanson campaign and Ms. Gillingsworth is here for your 2:30 appointment.”
“Okay, Erica, I’ll be right out.”
Aaron had almost forgotten about his appointment. He was hoping to leave early since Marie, one of his “special” friends was flying in this afternoon. He had met Marie at a business conference in Atlanta and they hooked up that same night. She had a bangin’ body. She had dark chocolate skin and while she wasn’t really that pretty her body more than made up for it. Aaron figured meeting her at the airport was out of the question. He walked out of his office and walked over to the heavyset woman seated in the waiting chair. He handed her the package and was reached into his pocket for a tip. A thinner lady was seated two chairs away from the lady Aaron was giving the package to. She and the secretary both exchanged glances. After Aaron handed the woman the tip she stood up and said thank you. Then she casually walked over to the delivery girl.
“Here you are miss,” Ms. Gillingsworth said, “Have a nice day.” She glanced back at Aaron to see his reaction. He had turned red which was hard to do for such a handsome, dark man. She approached him and held out her hand, “Hello Mr. Epson, My name is Alexandra Gillingsworth and I am here on behalf of Heavenly Kreations, Incorporated. I am your appointment.”
“Oh, Ms. Gillingsworth I am truly sorry. I don’t know what to say. Please step into my office.”
Aaron stepped back for Alexandra to pass and she accidentally rubbed him. There wasn’t a lot of room in the doorway. He stepped in and closed the door. Aaron knew that she knew why he had approached her and while he didn’t feel bad, he knew he wanted this account. The more business he brought to Lindbergh, Moore, and Associates the better.
“Ms, Gillingsworth I just want to apologize once again. I didn’t mean anything by it.”
“Oh, it’s fine. It happens more than you think. Are you ready to pitch me your campaign idea because if you want I can come back another day?”
Aaron was disappointed that he wouldn’t be working close and personal with a female he was attracted to but business was business. Aaron began to explain how he believed he could bring national exposure to the clothing retailer of Heavenly Kreations, Inc. by television and print. Ms. Gillingsworth seemed to like his ideas and at the end of his pitch she just smiled.
“What do you think?” Aaron asked her.
“Well to be honest I’m not sure if Heavenly Kreations is ready for this type of exposure. Having eight stores in six states is hard enough without bringing in more business and trying to open more stores. You definitely gave me something to consider,” Alexandra stood, “I’ll be in touch.” With that she shook his hand and walked out of his office.
Aaron could not believe all she had to say was “something to consider.” He was practically doing her a favor. Heavenly Kreations was only known in a few states and with his idea they could open up quite a few more stores in other states. He didn’t want to think about that right now because he knew Marie was in her hotel waiting for him wearing one of her skimpy nightgowns that he couldn’t wait to remove. He gathered together his briefcase and left. As he passed his assistant he told her to cancel the rest of the days appointments.
On the way back to her office Alexandra could barely think about anything else. Aaron Epson was one of the finest brothers she had seen in a long time. She knew he would not be interested in her because she was not a size six. In fact she was currently sporting a size 20 navy blue pant’s suit that did nothing to hide all the curves she had. There was no way that Aaron would be interested in her. He looked like the type who probably had an entourage of beautiful women at his beck and call.
Alexandra pulled in front of her office building and stepped out of her 2005 pristine white Lexus. She had always had a taste for the finer things in life and she knew she would never get them working for someone else. She had invested five years of her career working for one company and seen numerous people get promoted above her. It was always something so she decided to pursue her own dream. She always wanted to design clothes and now three years later at the mere age of 31 she had eight store featuring her personal designs and creations. She was worth more money than her parents had probably seen in their lifetime.
Alexandra walked up the stairs to her office. She had quit taking the elevator. She wanted to incorporate exercise into her day. While she wasn’t losing any weight she was happy she wasn’t gaining any more. As a child she was always skinny and as soon as she turned 19 her weight skyrocketed. Many people would contribute his to being away at college and not eating properly. Her friends had called if the “freshmen fifteen” but to Alexandra it was more like the “freshmen fifty.” Its hard being overweight in a low-fat, low-carb, every one must be skinny society.
Alexandra had tried every diet possible, she did the soup diet, the cabbage diet, the squash diet, the reverse diet (you know the one where you eat dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner), she had even did the Daniel’s fast diet with her church. While everyone else was praying for spiritual growth, Alexandra was praying for a physical shrink. Nothing worked. Alexandra finally accepted herself and accepted the fact she would never have a man who desired her. That was that.
Alexandra reached the third floor and hurried to put her heels back on. She walked to her office and past her secretary. Keisha, only 23 years old, was married with twin daughters. Alexandra always thought she was so pretty and figured her life was great since she had kids and still remained “petite.”
Alexandra’s office was also her sanctuary. While most people could not wait to leave their office Alexandra wished she could live in hers. She had personally decorated it in vibrant colors and big furniture. In her office was a huge contemporary metal and glass desk with big orange leather chairs for visitors. A bright pink sofa that she had custom made and sometimes laid on when she needed a cat nap. There were no mirrors in her office because this was her place of peace. In her mind there was no peace if you had to see how much weight you were holding walking around. There were lots of little knick knacks and statues. She had plenty of pictures hanging up and a huge window with a nice view. Her favorite thing in her office was the miniature waterfall she had in the corner. Just listening to the running water made her relax. This was the type of environment she needed to be creative. Her personal creative heaven is how Alexandra viewed her office.
Alexandra went into her office and got right to work. A lady had approached her and asked if she could design her wedding gown. While Alexandra didn’t do much personal designs any more being offered $15,000 for one wedding dress was not an offer someone turned down. As she set there drawing sketches for the gown she started to nod off. She had been up pretty late the night before finishing up sketches for the store. Alexandra decided to lie on the sofa for a little while. As soon as her head hit her orange throw pillow Alexandra drifted off. Her dreams were filled with pictures of Aaron. In one dream she was making love to him and in another they were getting married and she was wearing the wedding gown she was designing for the lady. In another dream she and Aaron were at the park watching their son and daughter play. Then in the last dream, she saw Aaron with a young skinny woman and he was ridiculing Alexandra for her size and telling her he could never fall in love with someone as fat as her. Alexandra awoke with tears streaming down her face. She hadn’t even known she was crying in her sleep. Her dream upset her enough that she knew she could not work with Aaron Epson or his company.
The alarm buzzer went off at five a.m. as it did every morning. Aaron reached over and hit the off button on the clock. He always went for a five mile run before work. This was how he relaxed. It cleared his mind and it kept him healthy. Even though he was only 36, he was concerned about his health because there were a variety of health issues that ran rampant in his family. Most of the men died of heart attacks before even seeing the age of fifty and Aaron was determined not to let that happen to him. He stepped out of bed and went to his closet. He put on black Nike shorts and a red t-shirt. He grabbed a pair of running shoes and headed out of the door.
Once he reached the sidewalk he turned to view his house as if he was seeing it for the first time. Aaron looked at what he had accomplished and then to the two cars that he called “Pride” and “Joy.” Many people talked about how Cleveland is the poorest city in the nation. If you were ti ride down many of the streets you’d have to agree but if you went into the surrounding suburbs you would see everything but poor. Aaron stayed in Solon which was a few miles from Cleveland but he loved the city. His house had cost him a few hundred thousand but it was worth it. looking at the house now, it did look empty. For the first time he entertained the thought of finding one woman and settling down. Then a beautiful woman jogged past him and all thoughts of settling down went away and new thoughts of a new conquest entered. He turned and began jogging behind the woman, happy thinking about the days to come.
Aaron’s morning run had gone wonderfully. He felt good; he had even gotten the woman’s phone number before returning home and leaving for work. She was beautiful, unattached, and not looking for a serious relationship. She went as far as to tell him she was into her career and not looking to get involved with any one emotionally but she still had physical needs. Just thinking of his future nights with her made Aaron feel his manhood.
He pulled into the garage and parked his car. He left the keys with security and headed up to his office on the 28th floo./r. Before he could enter his office his secretary told him that Vance Lindenbergh was wait.ing for him inside. Aaron was a little nervous but figured he probably came down to congratulate him on the campaign he had just finished because it was doing really well. Aaron stepped into his office and Mr. Lindenbergh was sitting behind Aaron’s desk.
“Hello, Mr. Lindenbergh. To what do I owe this pleasure?” Aaron said walking over to him. And standing by the window.
“Well, I’m here because we received a call yesterday,” Mr. Lindenbergh said, “It Looks as if Heavenly Kreations is going to take their business else where and we can’t have that. We have been watching that business for the past year and if it continues to grow at the same rate we have seen then we know it is going to be huge. We need to have that account on our books before another firm spots it and sees what we see. This company was founded by understanding trends and being able to spot good investments. We are not willing to let Heavenly Kreations go. So if you are unable to land this account we will give it to some one who can. Do you understand?”
“Yes, sir. I wasn’t aware of the call. I promise I’ll be right on it.”
“Good, we gave it to you because we know how good you are. Have a nice day.” Mr. Lindenbergh said exiting the room and leaving Aaron upset. He had just gotten to work and it was already starting off badly. All because of some heavy-set woman who could not see the favor that they were trying to do for her. Just as quickly as the feeling of anger had come it left because Aaron had an idea. A woman like that probably had low self-esteem. She was pretty but who could ignore all of the weight packed on her. He had a thought; if he could get her to go out on one date with him then he could get her to sign on with the company. Aaron sat behind his desk and called Ms. Gillingsworth’s office.
“Heavenly Kreations, How may I direct your call?” a pleasant voice said.
“To Ms. Gillingsworth please, “Aaron responded.
“She’s out of the office right now. Would you like to leave a message?”
“Yes, my name is Aaron Epson from Lindenbergh, Moore, and Associates. I will be in the office until five and would appreciate it if she could call me back today. Thank you.”
“I’ll make sure she gets the message.”
Aaron hung up the phone not believing what he was going to do just to land an account.
It seemed that Alexandra hadn’t even walked in the door before her secretary was handing her a message that Mr. Epson had called. She didn’t want to return the phone call because she knew he was going to try to persuade her to change her mind. Alexandra could not possibly think about going back to that firm after having those dreams about him a couple of days ago and last night was even worse. She and Aaron had gotten married and they were on their honeymoon in Jamaica. Alexandra stepped out of her bedroom in a long, soft pink, flowing gown and Aaron was waiting for her in the bed. He told her he wanted her to take the gown off so she did. As soon as it hit the floor he started laughing and pointing at her.
Alexandra was wondering why she was having all of these dreams about Aaron. They had only met for an hour or so. He was a fine looking man and she was more than a little attracted to him but she knew Aaron had no interest in her at all. After all, he probably had more women on speed dial then she had friends. What would he want her for?
She decided to return his phone call anyway.
“Hello Lindenbergh, Moore, and Associates. Where may I direct your call?” the secretary said answering the phone.
“To Mr. Epson, please”
“Sure one moment. Transferring.”
“Aaron Epson, here.”
“Hello, Mr. Epson this is Alexandra Gillingsworth. I am returning your phone call.”
“Yes, Alexandra,” Aaron said. She could have sworn she heard his voice go from business like and demanding to mellow and smooth. “I was told that you are not accepting our offer and I was wondering if we could discuss things over dinner tonight.”
“I don’t think so Mr. Epson. I’m just not ready for the type of publicity you are expecting if I go forward with your campaign.”
“I understand and I’m sure I can put your mind at ease if you allow me to take you to dinner. For business purposes.”
“Fine. Where would you like to meet,” Alexandra asked him.
“Actually, I was hoping you would allow me to pick you up.” Alexandra could not believe her ears. It almost sounded like this was a real date.
“That will be fine.” Alexandra gave him her address and listened to him write it down. Then she hung up the phone. As soon as she did she picked it up to call her best friend Veronica.
“Hello, Veronica speaking.” Veronica was also self employed. She was beautiful, powerful, and smart. A combination men could not resist. Not your ghetto boys but successful men who were ready to settled down. However, Veronica was not ready to settle down. She was focused on her career and only had time for “male friends” not boyfriends and especially not husbands.
“Veronica, its Alexandra. I was wondering if you could stop by after work and help me pick out a suitable outfit for tonight.”
“Of course, darling. What’s happening tonight?” Veronica asked.
“I have a business dinner with a man from the advertising firm that wants to help me go national.”
“With a man?”
“All you heard was man and I’m telling you that Heavenly Kreations is about to become a household name.”
“Honey you haven’t been on a date in years. Heavenly Kreations I know is going to be big anyway, so I have to concentrate on the shocking part,” Veronica laughed. Alexandra had to laugh too. It had been a long time since she had dated anyone. Her last boyfriend had cheated on her. She thought he was the one. She was even expecting to marry him. That is until she came home to find him with not one but two women in her bed. He was tied to the headboard and one woman was pleasing him orally and the other he was pleasing orally. Alexandra could not believe her eyes. He had always been so conservative in bed with her. She didn’t even bother to ask him why. She did what any sane woman would do. she went to the kitchen grabbed a butcher knife and chased all three of them out half naked and then called the police and told them that she had spotted some people streaking down the street. They were arrested and Alexandra never heard from him again.
“Alright thanks girl. I’ll see you around six, okay?”
“I’ll be there.”
She hung up the phone entertaining the thought of having a real date with Aaron. Then she though about all of those horrible endings in her dreams and decided it was best to maintain professional during dinner. It was business just business. This was Alexandra’s mantra for the rest of the day.
Aaron was still at work trying to figure out how he would persuade Alexandra to accept their offer. He wasn’t attracted to her physically but she did have a pretty face. Aaron could not believe he had even considered her in that way. In college he and his fraternity brothers would do some really mean things to fat women. Things he never told anyone about and he planned to keep it that way.
It was almost five o’clock and he told Alexandra he would pick her up around seven thirty. This meant he had enough time to go get his car washed and waxed and head home to change. While this wasn’t a real date, he still knew that women responded to the way a man looked and how he took care of the things he had. Aaron gathered his things and walked out the door.
After taking care of everything he needed to do, he headed home. Aaron wasn’t quit sure where he was going to take her to dinner. He had a reputation to protect and being seen with a woman like her would certainly affect it. He was known for dating beautiful women and if anyone caught him with an overweight woman what would he say he couldn’t very well tell them, “I’m just romancing her, maybe sleeping with her to get her account.” He was seen as a playa but he still didn’t want people to think of him as user.
There was a good side to him even though many people did not get a chance to see it. He only played hardball when it came to business, money, and women. He did things many people could not picture him doing. He spent weekends with his nieces and nephews. He had even signed up to be a part of the big brother program. While he only participated in these things once in a while, at least he made an effort.
Aaron glanced at the clock in his living room. It was almost six-thirty and he was supposed to be at Alexandra’s house in an hour. He headed upstairs to his walk in closet to change his clothes. He wasn’t happy with what he was about to do but he knew it had to be done if he wanted to get promoted.
Alexandra had spent the last hour getting her hair worked on by Veronica. Before Veronica had made it as a business woman she did hair in her home. Alexandra had told her she wanted a French roll or bun. Something that did not let her long, silky hair hang because she wanted to appear professional. Had Veronica listened? No. Alexandra ended up with curls every where. It was pretty but it made her look like she was going man hunting. Veronica had talked Alex into wearing a nice black dress that hugged only in the right places. The only reason Alexandra had even decided to where it is because she figured he was taking her to an upscale restaurant and she did not want to look foolish. After everything was said and done they left the bedroom and were sitting in the living room talking. It was now seven o’clock and they had a few minutes.
“You told me about you family and the business, Veronica but you haven’t told me about the new men in your life.” Alex teased.
“That’s because there are no new men but I did meet one man when I went jogging this morning.”
“Oh really,” Alex said.
“Yes girl and he is fine. I could not let that opportunity pass. I think I’m going to go home and call him right now,” Veronica said getting up, “Besides you don’t need me here, he’ll think I’m here to check him out.”
Veronica gave her a hug and left.
Shortly afterwards, Alex’s door bell rang. She walked slowly over feeling butterflies in her stomach. She opened the door to see Aaron standing there in a fine black Armani suit. He was holding an exquisite bouquet of red and white roses.
“These are for you,” he said handing her the bouquet.
“Thank you,” Alex said trying not to let him see her blush, “you want to come in while I put these in a vase.”
“Sure,” he stepped in looking around. She walked into the kitchen to get some water and find a vase for her flowers. When she came back he told her he liked her place. Her home was the complete opposite of her office. It was decorated in neutral colors. It was more sophisticated.
“After you, “Aaron said pointing to the door.
Once they stepped on to the stoop, Alex turned and took her keys out to lock the door.
“Allow me,” Aaron said holding his hands out for the keys. She placed them in his hand and then he locked the door. He handed them back to her and she placed them in her purse. Then he held her hand and placed his other hand on the small of her back, helping her down the stairs. She had only been into this “business date” for five minutes and already he had managed to make her attracted to him more. Then he opened the door to his 2006 sleek black Navigator. Alex stepped inside and she could tell that he had just had it cleaned and that impressed her some more.
During the drive to the restaurant, they had small talk. They talked about how each one had gotten to where they are in their careers. She discovered he had a good sense of humor which Alex found very attractive in men. His cell phone had rang during the drive and he looked at it and set it down in its holder. He must have known she was wondering why because he explained that it was his best friend and he only wanted to focus on the evening. She didn’t buy it but at least he had offered an excuse.
They finally arrived at the restaurant in Mentor. Alexander wondered why they came so far from Cleveland just to have dinner but she put that thought in the back of her mind. They were promptly seated once they arrived and the waitress took their drink orders. Alex order water while Aaron ordered a martini. Alex knew it was best to get right down to business before her mind started filling with what-ifs.
“Well Mr. Epson. What would you like to know?”
“First, call me Aaron. And second, I have a confession to make. I asked you out for personal reasons. I think you are a beautiful woman and I just wanted to see you again outside of work.”
Alex almost thought she hadn’t heard him right. Then it hit her, what he was really saying.
“Look, I know I am not your type. I’m not tall, thin, and pretty. What I think is happening is you need my account and this is you way of attempting to get it.”
Aaron laughed. “Okay, Ms. Gillingsworth. That may be true. However, I am enjoying my evening with you.”
“That’s nice to know.”
“So you pulled my card. That’s fine. There’s no reason why we can’t have a nice pleasant evening and we won’t even discuss business. We’ll do the usual date stuff. Tell me about yourself.”
“Are you kidding?” Alex asked. Aaron just gave her a charming smile. Alex smiled back and began talking about her family and her interests. Aaron talked a little about himself. They learned more about each other in a few hours than a lot of people learned during a lifetime. It was easy to open up to someone you had no intentions of seeing again.
Aaron was enjoying himself. Listening to Alex talk wasn’t boring at all. Many times when women were talking Aaron found himself becoming bored and then he would fantasize about them in bed. This was different, he listened to Alex. She was very funny. He found him self lost in her words. Everything to do with business and other women were out the window. He only concentrated on her. The more she spoke the more beautiful she became to him. Instead of seeing what wasn’t quite right he started to see what was right. When she laughed it made his heart glad. Aaron had never had this type of feeling with a woman before.
After they had finished eating Aaron paid for everything. They left the restaurant. He watched Alex walk past and for the first time he found himself attracted to her physically. He had never even given thought to the idea of being attracted to someone who wasn’t thin and “perfect.” But now he understood that true beauty began from the inside and worked its way out. Aaron had learned so much from Alex in such a short amount of time. All of a sudden he could see himself settling down having a couple of kids and wanting to look into those eyes for the rest of his life. It wasn’t love at first sight but it love at first insight.
During the drive back to Alex’s house they talked more. They started to talk about family and relationships. Alex told him about her last boyfriend who she caught cheating with two women. To other men this would have been unbelievable found this to be normal. He had been a part of a ménage trios on more than one occasion. He did however feel sorry that Alex had to experience something like that. Now that he knew and now that he was interested in her, Aaron was aware of the fact that Alex’s heart was under heavy guard and protection. His reputation would definitely be a problem and combined with the low self-esteem he saw in her, he would have a tough time getting her to open up to the idea of starting a relationship.
As they pulled in front of the house Aaron and Alex both got quiet. It seemed as though neither one of them wanted the evening to end. Aaron stepped out of the car and walked around and opened the passenger door. He took Alex’s hand to help her out of the car. She looked surprised at the gesture of the implication. He walked her to the front door and waited nervously as she fumbled for her keys. Then he spoke.
“I hope you enjoyed yourself as much as I did tonight,” Aaron said.
Alex just smiled for a minute. “I enjoyed myself very much. So I guess you can say your plan worked. I am comfortable working with you so you have won my business.”
“Well, I appreciate that,” Aaron said.
Alex turned to go into the house when Aaron grabbed her arm. She turned to face him and he kissed her on the lips. It wasn’t the kiss he wanted to give her but it made the point he wanted to get across. Aaron knew she wouldn’t believe he was sincerely interested in her.
When he pulled back they stared into each other’s eyes. Both were searching for the other’s heart. Aaron was hoping she could see how he felt.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to get to know you,” Aaron said to her.
“Thank you for dinner Aaron. I look forward to working with you. I’ll give you a call tomorrow to schedule an appointment so we can take the preliminary steps.” She stepped inside and closed the door. Aaron drove home thinking about how he could convince Alex that he would like to begin a personal relationship with her more so than business.
Alex wondered if Aaron was really expressing an interest in her or if it was still part of the act. She had picked up on his plan the moment they entered the restaurant and he went into what she called “playa mode.” He looked good doing it too, so she couldn’t even get mad at him. Alex climbed her stairs and headed for her bedroom. She immediately took off her clothes. She felt pretty good about herself at this moment. Even if it was part of a plan at least she wasn’t so unattractive that a man would not consider seducing her. As she passed the mirror in the nude she caught a glimpse of herself. She backed up and turned to face the mirror. Alex hated what she saw in the mirror. She analyzed every inch of her body. “How could a man find all of this attractive?” was all she could think. She had been in relationships but with men who weren’t that attractive themselves. To have a man as good looking as Aaron wanting to start a relationship with her was not possible. Alex hated what she saw. She made up in her mind that she would not let Aaron get close enough to hurt her and she would remain professional at all times. It would almost be like tonight never happened.
Aaron was excited about coming into work today. His secretary had even noticed he was different today. He felt different. Aaron wondered if all of his friends who had given up the single life to marry had felt this way. Love is a powerful force that had never affected him until now. Last night was like waking up from a deep sleep for him. He finally saw the proverbial light. All Aaron wanted was Alex.
While Aaron was trying to keep busy, his secretary buzzed to tell him there was a call on line one. He had been anticipating Alex’s call all morning.
“Thank you,” Aaron said to his secretary then he picked up the phone with a smile on his face, “Hello, Aaron Epson here.”
“Hello Mr. Epson. I missed you last night.” Aaron could not place a face with the voice.
“I’m sorry but who’s calling?”
“Oh I guess you wouldn’t remember me we only met once but you alluded to some promises I hoped you’d make good on last night. However I am willing to give you another chance.”
Aaron figured out who it was. It was the woman he’d met jogging the other morning, Veronica.
“I did see your number last night but I was unable to answer the phone.”
“You were probably making good on promises to someone else, huh?”
“Honestly you’re right. I recently became involved with a woman and the only promises I will make good on are the ones I promise her. Sorry.”
“No problem. There are plenty of men who would want the chance to be with me. Good luck,” Veronica said and then she hung up the phone.
The phone rang again this time Aaron answered it himself. He hoped it was Alex.
“Aaron Epson here”
“Hello Mr. Epson. This is Alexandra Gillingsworth, I am calling to schedule an appointment. When might you be available to begin the advertising campaign?”
Aaron laughed to himself. She was overdoing it just a little bit. She was being too professional. If that was the way she wanted to play the game he’d play it with her.
“Ms. Gillingsworth I am available this afternoon if you would like to meet and sign some paperwork. It’s the same paperwork that was forwarded to your attorney a couple of days ago. Would you be available around 3:30?” Aaron didn’t want to sound too anxious even though he was.
“I’ll see you then Mr. Epson.” with that she hung up the phone. Aaron smiled to himself. He called the flower shop down the street and ordered two dozen roses, all red with the exception of one white rose.
Alex wanted to get this meeting over with. She had more dreams of him throughout the night and although they ended well she couldn’t shake the idea of the others. Alex didn’t want to sit around the office waiting for three thirty so she decided to treat herself to lunch.
After lunch it was time to go see Aaron. She drove straight over and when she stepped out of the car she straightened her clothes. Suddenly she was self conscious about seeing him. Alex told herself that it was only a meeting. Like any other professional, business meeting. Once she was standing in front of his secretary’s desk she felt her hands get clammy. Then when he opened the door to let her in, her heart skipped a beat.
“Hi Alex,” Aaron said sitting behind his desk. She sat down directly across from him.
“Hello, Mr. Epson. How are you today?”
“I’m doing really well now that you’re here.” Alex blushed at the answer. How could this man be flirting with her.
“Where are those papers?”
“There over on the table next to the sofa.” When Alex glanced over she spotted the papers next to a vase of flowers. She looked at him and he smiled. “Who sent you all of those flowers?”
“No one they’re for you. Read the card.”
Alex walked over to the flowers and read the card. It read, “To the first and only woman who has ever opened my heart. I fell in love with you in a few hours and I look forward to falling in love with you every morning for the rest of my life. Love, Aaron.”
Alex almost cried. No man had ever written her anything so special in her life. Aaron stood up and walked over to her. He put his arms around her waist and gave her the kiss of a lifetime. This time she kissed him back. Alex felt happy. A man had fallen in love with her without her having to compromise herself. She was finally able to let her guard down. They stood there kissing for a long time. Alex found herself lost in Aaron’s arms. Her only hope was that he was not playing with her heart.
Aaron was so happy. He and Alex had been seeing each other for a few weeks and things were going great. They hadn’t slept with each other but there had been some close calls. A couple of friends had seen him with her and he didn’t care what they thought. He introduced Alex with the pride that any man would when he is truly in love. He had received some looks but most of them were happy for him. Only his best friend, Tony, was confused by this sudden change of heart. It had only been a few weeks since he stopped sleeping with other women. Tony knew the secrets of Aaron’s past and could not understand how he was attracted to Alex. He had even questioned him on the phone the previous night.
“What I don’t understand is that when we were in college and we were pledging the frat you played all those mean tricks on those girls. You said you hated fat women and thought they should not be allowed to eat until they lost weight,” Tony said laughying and reminding Aaron of how foolish he had been all of those years.
“I know but I was young and I was stupid. I had no clue what a real woman was and it is definitely not some skinny woman who will open her legs for a man with the right amount of money. When Alex and I were able to sit down and talk she didn’t ask how much money I made. She wanted to know about my childhood and my family. She told me about her life growing up. I’ve never had such a deep conversation with a woman like that before.”
“Okay, but all I’m saying is you’re in love right now but what is going to happen when a thin, beautiful woman comes onto you. Are you going to be able to walk away and go home to a fat woman?”
“First, don’t talk like that about my girl. She’s big but she is the most beautiful woman in the world to me. I would walk away from Tyra Banks if I had to. I have found something I wasn’t even sure existed, love. If you can’t accept it and be happy for me than maybe you shouldn’t be my best man.”
“Your best man? You asked her to marry you already?”
“No, but I am soon. Maybe tonight.”
“You are crazy. You have only known her a little over a month how can you be ready to jump the broom?”
“I’ve known my heart for years and if it is telling me she is the one that is all I need to know. Bye.”
Aaron had hung up on him. He thought if anyone would be happy for him it would be Tony. Tony had been living the same lifestyle as Aaron until he came across, Eva. Tony was tall, light-skinned, and had that pretty boy charm but Eva was one of the most beautiful women Aaron had ever seen Tony with. Tony fell in love and married her within a year despite all of his friends trying to discourage him from doing so. Why was Tony giving him such a hard time? he should understand love better than any of Aaron’s other friends.
Aaron pulled into Alex’s driveway and walked to the door. She opened it before he could knock. Then she planted a passionate kiss on him.
“Hold on, close the door again,” he told her.
“Why?” Alex asked dumbfounded.
“Just do it so I can get another one of those kisses.”
“She hit him playfully on the shoulder. “You are so silly all you have to do is come in and you can have anything you want.” She said looking at him seductively.
“Anything?” Aaron asked with a smirk.
“Well, almost anything. Let me get my coat.”
Minutes later they were riding in the car heading back to Aaron’s place. He had planned a surprise romantic dinner for her. He was planning to ask her to marry him tonight. Tony had made him nervous because it had only been a few weeks and he hoped Alex didn’t think it was to soon. Aaron sincerely hoped she felt the same as he did. When they pulled up to the house Alex gave him a quizzical look.
“I thought we were going out for dinner.”
“No, we’re eating in tonight.” When they were in the house, Aaron told her to close her eyes. He guided her to the dining room doorway, then told her to open her eyes.
Standing in the doorway Alex’s eyes fell on a candle lit table with food already prepared. “Oh you cooked for me.”
“No I ordered it. You know I can’t cook,” Aaron laughed.
Alex laughed and they sat down to eat. They enjoyed the dinner and then Aaron told her he had a very special dessert. He stood up and walked over to the counter. He came back carrying a white dish with a small black box on it.
Alex looked clueless. He placed the dish in front of her and removed the box then he got down on one knee. Alex let out a small scream. Aaron smiled looking up at her.
“Alex, you have made me one of the happiest men on earth. I never thought it was possible to feel for a woman the way I feel about you. You are what true love is. I want you to spend the rest of your life with me as my wife. Will you give me the honor of allowing me to take care of you, love you, protect you, and hopefully become the father of your children?”
“Yes. I will marry you I love you too and I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that you would be kneeling before me asking this question. I want to be Mrs. Alex Epson more than I want air.”
They embraced each other both reveling in the moment.
He took her hand and led her upstairs. Once they were in the bedroom Alex felt a little apprehension and Aaron must have sensed it. she did not want him to see her naked and change his mind.
“Baby, I love you and that means I love every inch of you. You are beautiful in mind body and spirit.”
That was all it took. He kissed her and started to take her clothes off piece by piece. He did this until she was completely nude. Then he laid her down and undressed himself. Aaron climbed in the bed and begin to make love to her. He kissed every part of her body and kept whispering how beautiful she was and how much he loved her. She waited for him to come inside. When he did she shuddered at how good it felt. He made her feel so beautiful. She thanked God for this man and cried at how much love she felt between the two of them at that moment. When they both screamed out in ecstasy she felt as if they were one.
It had been nearly two weeks since they had become engaged and now they were at their engagement party that Veronica was hosting at Aaron’s house. She had been a little shocked when she found out the man Alex was seeing was the same man she had been planning to sleep with a couple of months ago. He and Veronica thought it was best to keep that to them selves for fear of making Alex worry. Besides Veronica knew he was in love with Alex if he had turned her down.
Aaron on had even started talking to Tony. He and his wife were there. Aaron was enjoying meeting all of Alex’s friends and family. He looked around to find his fiancé. She had been mingling for a half an hour and now he needed to hold her in his arms again. As he was headed to find her Tony started clicking his glass. Aaron looked up because it wasn’t time for any toasts yet. Dinner was going to be served until later. People were just enjoying the fine wine that Veronica had ordered special for them. As Aaron looked closer at Tony he could tell he was drunk already. Alex walked up to Aaron and wrapped her arms around him. She smiled and kissed him. He kissed her back, he loved to taste her sweet lips. Then they turned to face Tony.
“Everyone please meet me in the other room,” Tony said slurring his words.
Once everyone had assembled in there Tony began to give a speech. “You know I am truly happy for Aaron and Alex. They’re in love. But let me tell you what love does. My wife, Eva is screwing my boss. Love screws your boss.”
Everyone looked at Eva who was standing next to her husband. She had a look of sheer rage and embarrassment. She ran from the room. Tony continued, “Love isn’t worth anything. So Aaron forgive me but I have to save you from yourself. You’re not in love. There’s no such thing.”
Aaron was in shock. How could his best friend ruin their engagement party. Aaron looked at Alex and apologized. He started walking over to Tony to pull him from the room but before he could get there he saw Tony take a VHS tape out of his pocket and place it in the VCR. Aaron knew what was on the tape. He started running towards Tony but Tony had hit play already and he could hear the collective sighs of everyone once the tape started. Aaron looked back at Alexis who was staring at the television with a blank stare. Her face went pale and then she looked at him. She had a look of pain and disgust. Then she ran from the room through the same door Eva had taken earlier. Veronica followed after her. Aaron walked up to Tony and punched him the face. He pressed stop and apologized to everyone. He thanked them for coming and concluded the party. As the guests left he could over hear some saying, “No he didn’t.” “how could he do that?” the gift table was practically empty by the time everyone left.
After everyone was gone Aaron left to go over to Alex’s house. When he arrived he saw Veronica’s car in the driveway. He knocked on the door and after a couple of minutes it finally opened. It was Veronica standing there with a disapproving look on her face.
“She doesn’t want to see you anymore,” Veronica said with disdain.
“I have to see her. I have to explain..,” before he could finish his sentence he glanced past Veronica and saw Alex sitting on the couch. Her eyes were puffy and red. She looked up at him and he saw all the pain he had inflicted on her in her eyes. Aaron knew nothing he’d say would take away the pain. He turned around and left. He knew he lost his heart that night.
Alex was feeling really good this afternoon. She still thought about Aaron on occasion but she was getting over him slowly. She missed him but how could she stay with a man who would do something so sick? When Tony pressed play she had expected to see some goofy home video with the two of them but instead Aaron was on the tape with a woman a little bigger than Alex. It looked as if someone was taping from a closet because it was only thin line of view. The woman was on top of Aaron rocking back and forth when all of a sudden everyone came rushing from the closet towards her. The woman was surprised and then had a look of embarrassment on her face. All the men started teasing her and calling her names. Then she started sobbing, she grabbed her clothes and ran from the room. The camera turned to Aaron who was sitting in the bed with a smile on his face. He looked satisfied. He looked happy. He had hurt a woman and possibly scarred her for life. How could anyone feel good about that?
Her secretary buzzed her. “Someone’s on line one from Lindenbergh, Moore, and Associates.”
“Tell him I’m out of the office.”
“It’s not Aaron. It’s someone named Vance.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Hello, Alex speaking.”
“Hi Ms. Gillingsworth. This is Vance Lindenbergh. I am calling because I haven’t seen Aaron in over a week. I was hoping you would know where he is because we can’t reach him. we have a client who has requested to work with him. I know you two are a couple so I was hoping you would help me out.”
“Actually, Mr. Lindenbergh, we are no longer a couple. I haven’t seen him in over a week.”
“Oh sorry to hear that. Thank you, have a nice day.”
Alex hung up wondering where Aaron was. she wanted to go check on him and see if he was okay but Aaron was no longer a part of her life. She had even sent the ring back. Veronica said she should keep it but Alex wanted to forget the whole thing. She wondered how he was doing though.
While Alex was still lost in her thoughts there was a small commotion outside her office. Then her door flew open, Alex didn’t know what to expect. Then she saw Aaron standing there. Her secretary apologized and said she had tried to stop him but he walked right past her. Alex told her it was okay and asked her to close the door.
“Aaron, Mr. Lindenbergh just called looking for you?”
“I don’t care about that right now. I want you back. my life has been upside down since you left.”
“Aaron I can’t. How could you do something like that. You had a look of disgust on your face as you watched her get undressed. She may not have seen it but I did. And how could you be so mean to someone. The Aaron I fell in love with would never do that.”
“Alex I was young and I am ashamed for what I did. I forgot that Tony even had that tape. We have all done things we’re not proud of and that was one of my lowest moment but don’t hold me accountable for something I did then. You know I’m not the same person now.”
“You’re right but every time I picture that look on your face, I wonder if that was how you looked at me the first time we had sex.”
“No, I didn’t look at you that way the first time we made love. I love the way you look and I would not change you for anything in the world. Please forgive me. I love you and can’t live without you.”
He walked over to her and bent down on one knee. Then he took her ring out of his pocket and placed it on her left hand. “Alex this is for life. For better or for worse. We have to work through this together not apart.”
Alex kissed him and they hugged. He held her so tight as if he was scared she was going to run again.
“I love you too Aaron.” Alex knew she would never run again. This was her man and he accepted her the way she was and that was all that mattered.
One Year Later
Aaron was sitting at his desk at work. When there was a knock at the door.
No one opened the door. They continued to knock until finally Aaron opened the door. His wife was standing there with a t-shirt that read, “Congratulations, you’re going to be a DAD.” Aaron looked into Alex’s eyes and his heart skipped a beat.
“Are you sure?” he asked.
“Yes baby, our family is no longer a duet but a trio.”
Alex stood there looking more beautiful to him than ever before. He placed his hands on her stomach and made a promise to her and his child, “I promise to take care of you both and I will be the best father and husband I can be.”
Alex and Aaron embraced each other laughing and crying. Then Alex said, “I couldn’t have asked for a better husband.”