I don’t need to hear you call me ‘Baby’ in the first conversation. You’re good at that. You’re good at turning interest into desire in minutes and you’re good at convincing me that desire will turn into love. In fact, you’re good at telling me you love me. You’re good at brewing a storm of sweet words whispered enticingly into my ear, your voice distant thunder and your smile, a lightening flash of teeth before you rain all the sexy that God gave you, dripping all over my deserted topsoil. You’re great at picking out all those things I’m trying to hide and calling them beautiful. “I’m an ass man,” you told me, and my insecurities just about melted. I wore skinny jeans the next day. You’re good at telling me what I want to hear before I ask. You weave a heroic tale of dreaming against the odds, talk me into seeing your potential and have me believing in a dream you’ve never had. We talk about slaves and ancestors, about oppression and ‘these streets’ and you recruit my passion for your plight.

You’re good at kissing me the way I want to be kissed, slow at first, convincing me that there are forevers behind those interrupted moments of promise. You’re good at speaking with your body, your caresses trailing fingerprints along my jaw and down my sensitised neck. Without knowing it, you mark me as yours and you’re good at making me feel like I want it that way. You’re good at undressing me first with your eyes, and you’re good at making me believe you like what you see. You flash that lopsided grin that I like so much and lick that bottom lip and I forget that I have been hiding… You’re good at branding every inch of my flesh as yours and I believe you when you whisper ‘Queen’ before you ignite me and I detonate into floating pieces of black gold over and over and over. You’re good at making me want to love on, in, with, for you. By the time you’ve screamed, moaned, sighed and groaned, your work is done. You’re good at making me fall in as you’re falling out.

You’re good at not staying the night, at midnight emergencies and “handling your business”. You’re good at forgetting to call, at losing your phone, at being in a meeting, at working late. You’re good at needing to “take this call outside” and convincing me you don’t know who she is. You’re good at turning me from Queen to Queen B. You’re good at returning everything you stole from me – every insecurity I get back tenfold, every “too good to be true” returned in full and then some. When I can’t take it anymore, when even my dignity has deserted me, you’re good at implanting yet more hope and watering it with assurance. You’re good at eventually letting me go, a shell of the woman I was when I met you.

You’re good at giving me time to heal, at being the friend that I needed. You’re good at just hanging out, at not hitting on me. You’re good at being the exception to the rule. You’re great at playing the friendzone offence, winding down the clock of my skepticism. You’re great at seeing other women and calling me to talk about them. You’re good at telling me none of them compare to me, at validating me without violating me. You’re great at not being him. And then, one day, you call me ‘Baby’.

Twitter: @plumandmustard // @thereisaiditorg

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