Heavy Love

By: Amarie Avant

A BBW BWWM Destination Romance

Chapter 1

Angelique Curtis, Los Angeles, Ca

THE WIND BLOWS through my brown tresses. It’s just about that time to hit up my oldest friend’s kitchen, so she can work out these kinks. Why do I always drive my Mazda coupe with the top down the day before I put my hair into a ponytail or force my homegirl, Niecy for a “family” discount when I can’t afford to pay full price. Must be the principle, right?

The 30-minute drive from my condo in Long Beach to my boyfriend, Carlton’s townhome in Los Angeles has just about doubled. Traffic on the 405 has us moving at snail's pace. I could zip by Niecy’s house right now. My family used to stay right off Alondra Avenue. Niecy’s house was less than a hop, skip and jump away. Only good times growing up in Compton.

Then my father had this addiction. At the age of twelve, I came to the conclusion that he loved gambling more than he loved my mother, two younger brothers, and me, of course. The racetracks are where we lost the home that his grandparents left to us–Scot Free. It wasn’t a new house, it was an old home and it had character. To this day, driving down my old street makes my tear ducts burn just seeing the only home I knew before moving to the projects in the North side of Long Beach, during middle school. So, I thought my father stole the house up under us for his addiction? Who was I kidding, when you’re in the hood, and nobody loves you, then any given Sunday, someone was trying to steal from our tiny apartment. I was always a sturdy girl, moving from Compton added on more pounds, because I didn’t even have Niecy for the peer pressure. I guess it was a blessing and a curse.

There was no comradery like back on my childhood street. But, with my good grades, my mother snuck me into the best schools Long Beach had to offer, even if I had to get on the bus before the sun set fire to my mocha skin. Not desiring to be alone with my thoughts, I turn up the satellite radio. Adele croons into the stereo, making me sigh deeply.

“Lord, I need a love like that,” I mumble, listening intently to the words.

Inching my foot off the brake and then back on, I continue to travel through traffic. I’m going to cry myself to sleep tonight if Carlton is not home. Driving in traffic irks me, besides, this is the middle of rush hour. Boyfriend or not, I’m dropping by unannounced. But that’s just the psychologist trait. “Crazy know crazy” ain’t just a phrase for these mean streets. As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I don’t practice what I preach. My relationship theories clash with eras upon eras of evolution: a person’s desire to go with what they know. I’ve invested a little over four years into Carlton, in us. We met right before my 21st birthday; in fact I’ll be 25 next week. Forget about that small caveat of falling in love, if this were solely an investment, I’d be making out like a bandit. Not to mention, he has an advanced degree, is from a two-parent household, and he …can… be funny.

As a banker, Carlton spends most of our time together with a Bluetooth glued to his ear. The other? He can be found calculating our entertainment expenses so that I have enough cash to pay for my half. When we first started dating, I was appalled at how he asked me for half of the bill at The Stinking Rose in Beverly Hills. He’d gotten the porterhouse. He’s a big guy. But I love a big guy. He didn’t even offer one of his garlic shrimp that he’d ordered as an appetizer. I’d ordered the vegetarian Alfredo, on a diet. You’d think I ordered half of his food too, with the bill at such an expensive place. But no, Carlton had explained that the last woman he dated used him for his money and left him with credit card debt. I’m utilizing a behaviorist approach to teach him that this fear is unwarranted. Of course, there are gold diggers in the world, he just needs to disassociate every female from this mindset. Regardless of his faults, the sex is good.

The music fades. Before I can press the next station, one of my favorite chef’s names is mentioned.

“They said Chef De León just stormed off the stage like that!” The female personality sounds like she snaps her fingers for emphasis.

“All I know is, Chef Franco de León better bring his sexy ass back,” says one of the funniest radio personalities around. “My granny records all his shows. He’s got every mama around the nation talking about how they can’t cook without him.”