12.

As I drove around town, I called Sophia.


"Hello?" She answered, an annoyed tone accompanied her greeting. 


"Sophia, hey."


"How are you?" She asked me.


"I could be a lot better. You?"


"I'm alright. What's so special today that made you call me?"


I sighed, "I want to meet up with you. Say...at the park or something?" I asked.


"For what?"


"Do you have anything better to do?"


"Probably."


"Sophia, I would just like to apologize. I hate doing it over anything that is not in person, because it makes me seem like a punk. I would really like to apologize to you in person."


Her line went quiet for a bit, "Alright. What time?"


"In about fifteen minutes downtown." 


"Downtown? Why at that park?"


"Please?"


"Fine." She sighed, "I'll be there in a little bit." She hung up. I looked in my mirror and noticed my hair was still down from earlier. I should have put it in a ponytail. I never wear my hair down when I'm out in the public. I found a parking spot and began looking for a ponytail holder. You would think I would have them lying around or that Sophia, Ravenna, or my girl would have dropped one in here. Guess I have no other choice but to wear my hair down today. Great, now I might be mistaken for a female today.


I found a bench for Sophia and I to sit on and watched the ducks as they swam in the pond in front of me. Women jogged past me, looking back when they got a chance to look at me. Every once in a while I would flash a smile at the ones that caught my attention, in which they would blush, but not one of them dared to spark a conversation with me except for this one blind woman who sat beside me.


"You seem like a nice person, Michael." She smiled as she threw pieces of bread to the ground for the ducks.


"Far from it." I laughed, sitting back as I watched the ducks pick at the pieces of bread.


"Are you waiting for someone? You're not a regular here."


"Actually, I am waiting for someone. You're good."


She laughed, "You're waiting on your wife?"


I smiled, "No. I could never be married. Everyone has been asking me that a lot now a days."


"This special woman has you talking a certain way. Everyone can hear it."


"Well, I'm not meeting that special woman that has this effect on me today."


"Oh," She frowned, "Why not?"


"Ahh, she got upset with me earlier. We won't be talking for a while."


"Why do you say that?"


"Because she doesn't want to talk to me."


"Ahh, so she's the man in this relationship, I see."


I laughed, "No. I'm the only man in the relationship. Why do you say that?"


"Well, as a man aren't you supposed to call her and apologize for whatever you did to her?" I looked past her to see Sophia walking toward me.


"Yeah, I would suppose you're right." I reached out to shake her hand, "Savannah, it was really nice speaking to you."


"Leaving so soon?"


"Yeah, my friend is here. It was lovely talking to you." I smiled.


"Oh, well. I'll be leaving then." Savannah grabbed her walking stick and stood up.


"Oh no! You don't have to leave. I'll go. This is your spot."


"Are you sure?"


"Yeah, I'm positive. We were just going to walk around anyway."


"Well, thank you, Michael. Have a nice day."


"You too." I shook her hand once again and went to meet Sophia embracing her in a long hug. She hugged me back with much determination. I assume she missed me. "You okay?"


"Yeah. Let's go."


We walked along the trail to the other side of the pond. "Sophia, I just wanted to apologize to you. I meant to apologize to you the night you left, but we were both really upset at that point and time and I couldn't really bring myself to say anything. So, I'm so very sorry for talking to you the way I did. The way I said what I said to you was really uncalled for. Though I don't feel for you what you feel for me, I know I could have said it much better. Also, I really don't want to ruin our close friendship. Our friendship really means the world to me. I want you to know that." Sophia looked down, smiling. "I'm serious. I mean, we've been friends for a long time! If we had stopped being friends over something as stupid as that, I wouldn't know how to deal."


"You would though." She looked up at me.


"How so?"


"That one woman who keeps you glowing like a ray on the sun would help you deal."


I bit the inside of my cheek. Maybe she's right. My girl is like my best friend though I have totally different relationships with my girl and Sophia, I think I could deal, but then again there would be a small void in my heart that would be yearning for Sophia to be completely honest. "We have a totally different relationship than the relationship you and I have Sophia. She would help me deal, but then there would be a small void deep within me that would be yearning for you."


"Yearning for me? How so?"


"You're like my sister. There are only so many people that I have that I put at such a close rank with me. There is you and then there's Jamie, who's been with me through the thick and thin."


"Please do not say I'm like a sister to you."


"You're right. I can't say that. I can't find the right word for it either. We're hella close but then again you get carried away at times." We laughed.


"We're just good friends. How about that?"


"I'm okay with that term."


"Cool... I have a question if you don't mind me asking."


"If it's about my girl, please hold that question."


"It is about her but not necessarily..."


"...shoot."


"What do you refer to her as if she's cheating on her partner with you?"


I sighed. Why does it matter what I call her? New rule. Sophia is not allowed to bring up my girl. "I call her, 'My Girl.' Sophia if we're going to continue this friendship there has to be some new rules in place."


"There were rules the first time?" Sophia made a face.


"Mental rules. Anyway, you can't keep mentioning my girl. There's really no purpose in you wanting to know anything about her. She's in my life, not yours. If you're jealous of her, I'm sorry. But trust me there is nothing to be jealous of." She shut her mouth and looked down. "I feel like you mention her entirely too much. When I'm with you, my best friend in the whole wide world, then no one else in my life should be brought up. You talk about her a lot. Do you know that?"


"No. I didn't know that."


"Well you do."


"I'm sorry." She stopped and sat on a nearby bench. I sat beside her. "I really am, Michael. I don't mean to... But, let me ask this one question because it's pondering me. What is her name?"


"Why?" I made a face.


"What is it? Because you never call her by her name."


"There's no need to. You don't need to know her name, Sophia."


"Does she know me by name?"


"No." I lied. My girl knew all of the names of my friends. But it's not like I try to talk about them twenty four seven like Sophia tries to talk about her all the time.


"Hmm. Ok." We sat in silence, until she looked up at my hair, "who took your braids out?" She asked as she ran her fingers through my hair.


"I did." That was a partial lie. I took out half, but I did not want to bring my girl up because Sophia would talk about her and I don't have time for that. "I finished my mix tape. I want you to check it out for me."


"You did?! Finally your voice will be exposed! When are you releasing it?"


"This Thursday actually. I'm excited to release it. Darryl is going to put three tracks on YouTube for me, one of which that I just finished. But my mix tape will actually be downloadable on my website. I want you to listen to it before its release date though."


"I get special privileges? Yes!" She laughed.


"I just finished it today. Maybe Darryl is still there putting it together; if we hurry we can catch him."


"Well, let's go! I want to hear your music." We got up and I walked her to her car. I got to my car and drove over to her to tell her to follow me. My only concern is how she will react to my new song, which I decided to call "Here Comes The Sun." Sophia will know instantly that it's about my girl. I would skip the track so she won't hear it, but I want to see her reaction. Not to the fact that it's about someone that isn't her, but seeing if she catches the sense of emotion I have embedded into the song.

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