Natural Selection

Miguel clasped his palms around the mug of hot tea and cast a furtive glance towards the kitchen. Jasmine was bending over the stove, delicately pulling out a tray of sweet rolls she had kneaded and made from scratch. Everything about this woman was authentic: from the first curl on her head to her pinky toes.

When he’d seen her at the gas station a month before his feet ground to a halt. The vision of her leaning against her black Acura patiently waiting for tank to be filled had arrested all his senses. Without pausing to think, he approached her, determined to unload this burden that had come upon him with such suddenness it was causing him physical pain.

When he spoke, he would not allow her eyes to leave his.

“I don’t know if you have a man, and quite frankly, I don’t give a damn,” he near-growled. “I have to tell you: you’re stunning. You’re beautiful. You’ve taken my breath away, and I need it back.”

Jasmine laughed – a throaty, haunting, sincere trill – and playfully asked him how she might save him.

“I don’t want you suffocating on my account.”

She was witty. And intelligent. He liked that.

“Just take my number,” he urged. “If I hear from you, I’ll be saved. But if I don’t…”

She cut him off quickly.

“Oh, no. There’s no ‘but’ about it. You’ll hear from me.”

Miguel smiled and walked back to his car. Of course she would call. Women always did. His mind was filled with the things he planned to do to her. What an ass. It was like a sunrise over the Serengeti: big, beautiful, round and impossible not to behold. He was captivated by it. Everyone was.

Their first date was at the Cheesecake Factory. She ordered the gumbo.

“I have to wash my hands before I eat,” Jasmine whispered.

“I probably should too,” he said under his breath. “Let me come with you.”

He stood to his feet and helped her out of the booth, conscious of the angry, disapproving stares of Black men dotted around the restaurant. The tips of Miguel’s ears turned red as he walked behind her, led by the swaying of her hips in the direction of the washrooms. When one particularly burly brother stared at her a little too hard, she paused and smiled at him… and then reached for Miguel’s hand, wrapping it around her narrow waist while brushing the curve of her breast against his chest. How dare this stranger judge her and her date? The little blonde he’d chosen to take to dinner that night was just that: his choice; and Miguel was hers.

That night they talked about everything; his life in Puerto Rico and hers as an African girl brought up in the South. Jasmine’s voice was like a spiritual hymn. It ebbed and flowed, trapped in a timbre that sounded like lust: a permanent purr of pleasure.  Yes. That was it exactly. Every time she spoke it was with a moan and a yearning.

Why hadn’t they slept together yet?

“You know, a White girl would have let me hit that by now,” he said with more confidence than he felt, offering her a sideway glance.

“You don’t say? Hmmm… Are you comparing me to White women now?”

He cursed inwardly. Stupid, stupid, stupid! This race thing was trickier than he thought. This was the first Black girl he’d dated, and it would probably be the last if he kept this up. Of course no woman wants to be compared to another, and he was pretty sure this was one of the worst mistakes he could have made. A BET comic would roast him for dinner if he ever got wind of this moment!

Laughter drew him from his dismayed thoughts.

“Miguel, I’m pretty certain there are a couple of Black women that would have let you hit it by now too,” she chuckled, setting a plate of rolls gently on the table. “But I’m just a little different. I’m not going to let you screw me in the back of your truck, or suck your dick in the back of the club.”

Miguel thought back to the countless blow jobs he’d gotten on Friday nights from faces that were nothing but a blur now. These were the benefits of being an “exotic” man. Women swooned over his Spanish brogue and made not-so-subtle suggestions when he not-so-innocently leaned in closer to hear what they had to say above the blare of music. Twenty minutes later he was in the back of his car with a sinewy Southern wannabe socialite. It was like getting head on autopilot.

Jasmine broke off a piece of pastry and straddled Miguel, pushing the soft warm treat into his mouth. He immediately went hard.

“I have a drawer in my room. It’s tied with a satin ribbon,” she said under her breath. “When it’s time for us to get ‘intimate’, you’ll know. You have to be somethin’ special for me to go in that drawer. It means I think pretty highly of you.”

“What’s in it?” Miguel asked, the pitch of his voice slightly higher than usual. This woman was a mystery.

“Cain’t tell you that… yet. But what I can tell you is this: what I have between these thighs is holy. I keep its wells clean and clear. When you do drink out of the depth between THESE thighs, you’re going to want to quench your thirst on a regular basis. When that day comes, when you enter me – when YOU enter ME – it’s not going to be some quick screw in the dark. I want you to see the effort I put into being with you. My legs shining with oil, pussy gleaming like a new born star, and my hair. Whoo, lawd, my hair! I’ll let my twists out, in case you want to play with my hair. Do you know how much conditioner I have to use to get my hair play ready?”


“A lot. Takes a lot of conditioner to get this stuff tangle-free.”

Jasmine stared hard into Miguel’s eyes with seriousness. They studied each other’s faces.

Then they collapsed into a fit of laughter.

Jasmine leaned back and picked up her mug of tea, taking a sip and kissing Miguel deeply, mingling chamomile and desire. She broke away and gave him in out.

“But if you ever decide you can’t wait, the door is right there.”

Miguel shook his head.

“Oh, no. There is no ‘but’ about it. I can wait.”

There was no way he wasn’t going to stick around long enough to find out what was in that drawer…



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