Breakfast with the beautiful southern belle police officer Josie “Sexy as Hell” Rae 930 at Waffle King. That didn’t leave me much time so as soon as I saw the lights turn on at Western Union I bolted inside. Amanda hooked me up with a hundred bucks which was like the third good thing to happen to me in the last 24 hours. Holy Jesus a trifecta, a good omen if ever there was three. Now I could afford a new shirt, sneakers, and still have enough left over for breakfast. Did I really offer dinner? What the Hell was I thinking? But that’s just it, I wasn’t thinking, this Josie Rae had me completely inside out. This is way more than just a little horny flirtation, although that wouldn’t be bad either. That said this feeling of cocoons opening up in my intestinal system was something I haven’t experienced in a long time. I haven’t felt like this since….Jesus shit man, …since Carrie! I’m not sure why I have this strange feeling but I did know one thing, I was gonna be at Waffle King by 930 come River Styx or high tide so I’d better get my ass moving.
I found a small clothing shop at the boardwalk which had mostly touristy shit but I was lucky enough to find a Jack Daniels Tee shirt to match my new Harley Davidson bandana. I ran up Ocean Blvd to a gas station and took a hobo shower in the bathroom actually using a bar of soap I bought at some weird store called Piggly Wiggly. I had also bought a tooth paste and shampoo and cleaned myself up as much as humanly possible inside a Shell gas station bathroom. I was feeling more than just positive, I was feeling damn near obsessed. I got directions to Waffle King and that’s exactly where I headed, this time leaving those annoying voices always putting me down at the gas station. Could this be love?
I got a nice table near the window, rearranged the waffle syrups four or six times and waited excitedly. When I spotted Josie Rae I was floored. Out of uniform she was even more stunning. Long curly blond hair that danced off her head, piercing green eyes and a small slightly upturned nose. Her smile re-opened the cocoons. She had on dark blue eye shadow and bright red lipstick. That look combined with the fact I knew she owned handcuffs tipped the scales of justice and I would confess to anything. A mysterious beauty. I couldn’t believe how smitten I had become. She looked at me with a very sexy leer and said, “Y’all have the right to remain silent. But if you do I’ll never shut up so y’all better be ready ta tell me things” She sat down and we began talking instantly as if we had known each other forever. We discussed cultural differences between north and south, compared similar experiences growing up, and every conversation came loose and easy. I had found a friend but was hoping for more. In an effort to feel her out I mentioned that I was only heading back to New York because I have nothing here. She smiled at me assuring me she could tell by the way I got ready for our date that I had nowhere to stay then she put it out there. “Well mister JT, if Y’all wanna come on home with me you can have yeself a nice hot shower and good nights sleep afore you go on yer way.” I tried to weigh the implication of intentions here but what did it matter. I win either way. If its just the plain offer it sounds like nothing lost and I leave fully refreshed, but if she’s hinting at something deeper, then I’ll go deep! “Josie Rae, I have to tell you I am whelmed. In fact I am overwhelmed. I was beginning to believe that the southern hospitality I’ve heard so much about was pure legend. I would appreciate that greatly.
As low as I was on funds I insisted on paying and as always left a nice tip. We left Waffle King and drove out of Myrtle beach towards Conway. She explained to me that Conway is much more real and much cheaper to live in than “The Beach”. We pulled into an apartment complex and her room was around back in what seemed like nowhere. The area’s around Myrtle Beach were remarkably poor, seriously impoverished area’s and this apartment which would have been basic back on Long Island was a luxury home by comparison. Once we got inside it was all I could do to stop myself from ruining everything by jumping on Josie. I maintained my composure as she went into her kitchen and pointed down the hall. “Woncha go on ahead an take a shower JT, I bet its been awhile since y’all felt a nice hot shower. I’ll git us some wine. Towels are under the sink.” She pushed me toward the bathroom and I worried maybe I was smelling ripe or something so I did as I was told and went right into the shower.
Its amazing how much we can take things for granted. The very second that hot water hit my hair and headed downward my attitude of gratitude returned. It was like the hot water was cascading onto my shoulders and chasing away all the negativity that had been clinging to me for so long then forcing it down the drain. As I peered down imagining all the bad shit running down the pipes a voice startled me. “Mind if I join ya?” I looked up and right in front of me was this beautiful angel with the sexiest southern drawl this side of Daisy Duke standing buck bone naked in front of me. Before either of us knew what was happening we were in a desperate lip lock with mouths open and tongues dancing. Embracing beneath a cascading stream of hot water I felt her body up against mine and within seconds she felt not only my body but my intentions. Rubbing our bodies together our tongues continued a desperate slippery tango and the most audible sound either of us could make were moans. I’ve heard people say they could hear fireworks going off from a kiss like this which is pretty damn accurate. My roman candle was reaching up anticipating an oncoming explosion that promised to find itself south of the border. We soaped and kissed, kissed and soaped and let me tell you if I died right then and there I’da died one happy man.
After a complete cleansing and drying we continued our assault of passion in Josies bedroom. Time ceased existing and we made love three times in a row while raising foreplay to an art form. We must have spent a few hours with very little talking, a whole lot of cuddling, and it was obvious to me we both benefited more than one orgasm. Now admittedly I hadn’t had sex in a few months so my libido was begging for release but it was far more than that. The tenderness, the closeness that had been absent from my life since Tina and I split. It was on a par with the love of my life Carrie. Not the third women to have sex with but perhaps the third woman to fall in love with. I was certain she was in love too and I was right, only it wasn’t with me. I had to remind myself to slow down because I had a reputation for falling in love with any female that shows me a modicum of attention.
After the sexual smoke cleared away the talking returned. It wasn’t good news. Josie Rae is engaged to be married. Her fiancé is away for three weeks training at some place called Quantico, some FBI training school or some shit. That hurt but Josie convinced me we can enjoy this small bit of time together before I head back home. When I thought about it I knew she was right, I had nothing to do, nowhere to be, and life has really sucked for the last two years, I deserve some great sex and the company of a beautiful woman if only for a short time. We agreed I would stay with her for two weeks but leave before her fiancé returned. That gave me plenty of time to get her to change her mind. Besides, if I can’t change her mind I’ll want a head start if a well trained FBI dude learns I’ve been boning his bride to be.
So it was I became a kept man, at least for the next two weeks. Josie and I really connected. I wasn’t ready to give it up. I stayed at home while she worked and cooked us breakfast or dinner. On nights she had off we went out dancing, on nights she worked we sat in and had wine, sex, and talk into the afternoon. Towards the end of our time together the conversation of us as a couple kept sneaking in.
“You know JT, I really does like y’all but I caint git outta what Im into. Tell y’all the truth I aint even shore if I loves Randall. It’s juss the way things is here hon, when a feller asks you at marry an your fokes want you to marry him you jess do.” The cultural divide was clear and quite probably freedom of her culture is the one thing I may represent to her that will convince her to stay with me. “That may be how it is around here Josie babe, but not back where I’m from. A girl cn do what she wants and date who she wants. Nobody tells a New York girl how to live her life. Why don’t you come back to New York and try that for a while?” Back and forth for days, neither of us giving in on the future but both of us giving our all in the bedroom. I prayed for time to go as slow here as it had when I was in prison, but time sucks. Instead it flew by.
Unfortunately that inevitable moment arrived. We both knew it was coming. Time for JT to leave and move on to the next adventure. Only thing is this time I wasn’t really sure if I wanted a new adventure. More unsettling was I still wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about Jo. Could it be love? Maybe. Not the traditional type of love but a strange and alluring love that grabs hold while your not paying attention and digs its roots deep into your soul. Our love story was a short story with the end written before it even began. A love story who‘s destiny it was to fail. It started as a time bomb of sexual tensions that made good on its promise to fulfill both our intense needs and then it was supposed to fizzle out. That was all it was supposed to be, two lovers sharing the comfort of each other for just a short time. But the sexual volcano erupted and the lava it released was strong and unfamiliar. Is this an emotional attachment? Not good! Not good at all!
We agreed from the start that before her boyfriend Randall got back home I would leave willingly as we would go our separate ways. I was sort of okay with that. No attachments, no bullshit, not strings. At the time it seemed like a good idea but I never considered that my emotions would sprout into a giant beanstalk in two short weeks and stick my head up in the clouds. I mean sex without commitment should be a young mans dream. And the sex was good, god damn was it good. Reckless abandon? That was an understatement! We often put the music on real loud to drown out our very expressive sexually motivated squeals and promises. I can’t even remember half the shit I said but the half I do remember was pretty much the both of us pleading gods name over and over louder than I ever heard before. So often and so loud you would’ve thought we were staging a Oh God Yes born again revival.
The fact that no strings were attached made it intriguing even though I dug her so much from the start. I knew when the time came I could leave no problem. That is I thought I knew. It wasn’t supposed to happen this way but I was pretty sure I did love Jo. I reasoned I was just not in love with her. At least I didn’t think I was. She understood the dark side of me the way Tina had, she fulfilled me emotionally the way Carrie had, yet I knew from the start she was unattainable. Maybe that was it, maybe just wanting something I know I can’t have is what’s driving these feelings?! One thing I was certain of is Josie and I were really good together. Our feelings for each other went so deep. Our conversations went deep. And the sex, well….deep! But it was time to discard the emotions and say good by. Who knew it would be so difficult. We laid naked in bed in a satiated silence after what was presumably our final high energy fling. Anyway we went at it as if it were our last time either of us would ever make love again in our lives. So much determination and passion we were motionless for over an hour before she spoke.
“JT Sweetie, I sweer I ain’t never gonna firget you baby. But y’all known Randall is coming back inna few days and its bess fir us both if y’all be long gone fore then.” She placed her head on my chest using her soft curls as a pillow. She tenderly reached around my shoulder to lightly scratch the back of my neck. “Why does it have to end Jo? Why can’t you come up north with me?” She moved her hand to my lips, “Shush now Justin, y’all know that caint happen. Things is way differnt down here baby. Things is expected of a gurl down here. My Mama won’t never furgive me an my Papa, well Papa ain‘t one to anger up none.…Ya don’t wanna be puttin no bee in Papa’s bonnet Honey J. I juss caint do that, my future got be with Randall. It’s done been determined already. Thats the way its spose to go. I got to think about the future.” I placed my arms around her and planted her head firmly between my neck and chin to caress her with my cheek. “It doesn’t have to go like that. You in can be in charge of your future. You can make your own choices. There ain’t no reason you can’t leave here. Hell baby child even if its not with me why get married to someone you don’t love? Trust me, that shit don’t end well at all, I been there and it sucks.” I could feel a tear on her cheek. She sat up, “JT, that’s not how life is here in Conway South Carolina. I gotta answer to Jesus. I know y’all don unerstand that but it means a lot here Baby Boy. A girls folks expeck her to marry the man they wants fur her to marry, have chillen and raise them to fear the lord. Womens don’t get to do no choosin’ round here and that’s okay, way its always done been. A girls don’t wanna have no bad past cuz a past can foller her around an make her life horrible if she goes against thangs. My past is determining my future, and my past is with Randall so my future gone be with him too. Mommy an Daddy like him an he‘s gun be a good supporter. So now my future got to go that way, Sugarpie. Don’t matter none what I want.” I looked at her incredulously. “That’s not true Jo it matters very much what you want. Its your life pretty girl. Your past only determines who you were not who you are. Its what leads you to your present but it sure ain‘t who you are today. You can’t live in the past Babydoll that’s over. Your past is gone, you own your future and if you want your future to be with me all you need do is say so.” I gently kissed her on the temple. “Listen to your heart Jo, what’s your heart saying? The heart knows because the heart lives in the present and begs you for a future. A future that you want, not what god or Jesus or your mom and dad want, but what Josie Rae wants! You’re not defined by your past and you can rewrite your future Sweet Thing. Listen to your heart. I think I hear it whispering my name.” She smiled a half smile that told me a hundred sad stories. The story of the past two weeks being over, o a girl and a boy sharing the most perfect moment in time before time runs out. The story of a beautiful girl who is chained to a pre-determined destiny and is not willing to break free. It teased her with what could be while at the same time mercilessly reminded her of her fate. It told of deep stories of sadness and defeat, told by a lonely girl who believes she has no control over her own life so she‘s giving up. Stories of things gone by and things to come, but not the story of the now, the right here. No stories of a happy ever after with me or of endless possibilities. The smile was fighting a sadness underneath below a profound stare with eyes that confirmed her feeling of hopelessness. “Weeze all defined by our pasts JT, ain’t none of us can rewrite the future no matter how much we want to. The heart lives in the present but its afraid of breaking. Like mine is right this second. I dint never spect this to be so hard baby. I aint even sure how it happened, but we had us two weeks of bliss and I ain‘t sorry bout a second of it. But it got an endin sugar, I‘m sorry but as much as it hurts me this song is got to be over. Every song ends. I done wannit to stop neither but that’s my life honeypie. Things happen for a reason an we juss gotta figger out what the reason fur us was.”
We embraced deep in thought for a few minutes. This feeling was so foreign to me. Fuck man, am I starting to grow up? I’m not sure why but I still wasn’t ready to let this all just slip away, “Jo baby listen” I sat up and took her hands in mine. We stared into each others soul with piercing compassion. Our eyes embraced. “The past doesn’t matter Josie Rae. You done things in the past and I done things in the past but that’s history, not destiny. Maybe its our destiny to look beyond our pasts and think about a future. I never really thought that things happen for a reason, like fate or anything. I always believed everything was random and just happened. But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe shits not just random. All the things that happened to me were so we could meet. That’s why I took a trip with people I knew I had no business being with. That’s why I got busted and stuck in jail. To meet you. I learned a lot about myself doing my time in prison. Maybe I was in prison to straighten my head and to get ready for you and me.” Now her smile was thoughtful, she was fully aware she was in complete control of everything. One of the things I love about her. (did I say love?) “Sweetie, you wasn’t in no prison. You was in jail Baby Boy. You spent time incarcerated in a southern jail, and maybe you sure enough did do some growin there, but it was just a jail, not a prison. People like you an me we own our prisons. We carry our prisons right here on our backs. It sure nuff don’t seem right but thets how it is fur us dreamers. We dream but we ain’t never in control of our dreams, not really. Way I figger it weeze born with these prisons on our backs, you an me. We live with them an they done remin us that no matter how hard we believe, we ain’t in control of nuthin. We likely carry’em tar graves. And we been out of our prisons for two glorious weeks, maybe the best two weeks of my life. Leastwise the happiest. That’s what I got from you hon, an that’s gun be my most precious memory. You freed me from my prison but it’s still here a waitin, right there on my back. An I got to carry it agin an agin, cuz its my prison. I sure hope it was like heaven fir you too JT. For the last two weeks Justin you let me out of prison and I will always be thankful for that. But I got to pick my prison back up tomorrow, and I recon you gonna fine yersff someone you can live with too, an you‘ll live with your prison still on yer back. Leastwise I recon you will. Lets juss firget all bout this now an just be happy with each other one last time. Lets make love once more afore you leave.”
I had no argument left, she was right. I wasn’t ready to become a good provider like Randall. I didn’t belong here and Josie doesn’t belong in New York. I do carry my prison on my back, I always had. Besides, over time she would get tired or bored of me, or worse, something bad would happen to her. No one stays with JT. Not for long anyway. That was my prison, a life that’s a plague of death or abandonment. Like I always seem to do I got hung up on someone that leaves my life. Then I push them away like I did with Carrie and Tina, or they just leave on their own like Joe, James, Ken, Bill, June, and even my mom. I put them aside and thought about the past two weeks and I gave her the most passionate kiss I was capable of. Then we made love. We made love for over an hour, not with reckless abandon this time, but with slow calculated lasting tenderness. When we finished we wrapped our arms around each other and fell asleep. We never spoke another word to each other.
When I woke up it was six o’clock so I quietly got out of bed and kissed Josie Rae Sessions on the cheek and whispered, “I don’t care what you say pretty girl, I’ll always love you.” I could swear she smiled but whether she did or not, the only fair thing for me to do for her was to exit quietly. At that moment I had truly matured. I knew I was growing up because I loved her and that’s why I had to let her go. That’s how deep my love went. I quietly let her go as I tip-toed away with my heart shattered in pieces. I would only prolong her pain and make it worse if I continued to be selfish. Sacrifice. Love comes with consequences. You gamble on some pain to enjoy the ultimate pleasure. But like everything else in my twisted world it ends. I learned a lot. How much love really can hurt, how my love for one woman could be so strong I would willingly break my own heart to allow her to follow hers. I also ;learned love never stays. Right or wrong it wasn’t for me to choose. I had my own life to focus on now. I washed up, got dressed and left. Maturity is soooo overrated. I walked out the door with exactly what I had arrived with two weeks ago, my wallet, my clothes, and the prison on my back.