Joli sipped on her cup of tea. She looked around her perfectly decorated house. But, for the very first time the silence was the loudest thing she’d ever heard in her span of being single. So, she sat her cup down and grabbed the keys to her new Jeep. She figured a little time away from home would help as if she wasn’t already away enough. Joli slid her favorite CD in the stereo and danced in her seat as she traveled around the city. But, after hours of joyriding with the top off and the sun beaming against her skin she decided to stop at a little store for some much needed water to quench her thirst. She was a tiny thing and it never took much to make her feel as though she was drained. Before hopping out of her Jeep she checked herself out in the mirror. “Thank goodness my hair is braided.” She flipped her long braids out of her face. They flew back and stopped just inches from her lower back. Joli stepped out of her Jeep and smiled at every gasp from the many men who tripped over their own feet admiring her exotic beauty. “Hello,” she said to a staring tall fair skin man standing next to her.
“You are a very beautiful woman. May I ask your name,” he asked with an all too familiar accent.
“Joli,” she replied closing the door and walking away. Her hips swayed with every step.
“Wow,” he whispered under his breath hurrying to pay for his items in order to catch Joli before she drove away. “Excuse me, my name is Valente. Are you very busy today?”
“Why do you ask?”
“I’d like to spend the day getting to know more about you Joli. I’m very intrigued by you,” he admitted.
“Are you not working today?”
“I come and go as I please. I would much rather get to know you, if that’s possible.”
Joli took a moment to gather her thoughts. She felt like driving away at that very moment. But, she thought, why the heck not? Today marked the first day in a year that she’d been about to simply do nothing and do something spontaneous. So, she figured she’d make Valente her spontaneous. “What did you have in mind? I won’t be going any place where I’d be totally alone with you. So, that means no Hotel, Motels, or Holiday Inns. If you remain a gentleman, we will be okay. If you turn into a total tool you will be left to taste the dirt and gravel my wheels throw in your face as I drive away.”
“You’re a feisty woman. I like that. I want to take you shopping. I want to buy you a swimsuit, sexy dress, and hot heels. What do you say?”
“I’m not a cheap girl Valente. Are you sure you can afford my taste?”
“I’m not a cheap man, can you handle me spending money on you? You American women aren’t open to chivalry. You’re too independent.”
Joli smiled. “Okay, it’s your dollar. Should I follow you?”
“No, I’ll follow you wherever you gorgeous LA women go to buy your sexy swimsuits. I’d like to take you to the beach today.”
Joli nodded and took off as if she were a Nascar driver. She figured he would keep up being as though he was driving a shiny Porsche. “I wonder how many women this man has picked up in one week using this same method. I can’t fool myself into thinking I am the only woman or the first.” She thought aloud. Joli weaved through the cars on the interstate. “Rodeo Drive here I come,” she laughed reading the traffic sign to her destination. Joli eased her Jeep into a parking space and hurried to feed the meter.
“I should have known a woman as put together as yourself would end up on Rodeo Drive,” he laughed.
“Did this change your mind?” She walked closer to the first store.
“No, I love to see women wearing the finer things.” He held the door open.
“Hi Joli, how are you today?”
“I’m great thank you.”
“People know your name here?”
“I didn’t bring you here because I can only afford it on your dime. I brought you here because I only buy nice things, no matter who’s buying. What can I say? I have expensive taste sweetheart,” she replied flipping through the skimpy swimsuits.
“So, you do well financially?”
“You could call it that,” she smirked.
“If you were my lady I wouldn’t want you to buy for yourself. I’d like to do that for you. I would take care of you in every way.”
“Don’t write a check your wallet can’t cash. I must ask you a question.”
“Go for it.”
“Do you have a crazy jealous woman at home ready to fight for her man? I’m much too grown for games,” she asked holding a multicolored swimsuit with diamond cut outs along each side lined in gold.
He sighed. “You’re going to look exquisite in that swimsuit. You must be comfortable with your body to pull that off. Can you pull it off?”
“You have eyes. Why would you think I can’t,” she replied making a complete 360 turn.
Valente held his hands in the air while following her to pay for the swimsuit. “I’m only giving you a hard time my lady. Believe me, I noticed your sexy curves when we I first laid eyes on you.”
Carla chimed in the couple’s conversation. They were talking so much it was like she was doing Double Dutch to get a word in otherwise. “Are you sure you want this suit? I’m sure you have…”
Joli quickly interrupted, “I’m sure,” she smiled.
“Okay, that’ll be five hundred and sixty-five dollars.”
Valente pulled out his wallet. “Here you are,” he said.
“Good-bye Carla, have a great day.”
“You as well Ms. Kavangla,” Carla replied.
Joli placed her finger over her lips and gave Julie a wink before walking out of the store.
“I can’t wait to see you in this swimsuit.” He held the small bag in the air.
“You won’t be disappointed. I have a feeling that suit was designed with my body in mind.”
“I don’t think I need to ask you if you’re married. Surely you wouldn’t be with me if you’re married. If you are married, you’re a naughty girl Joli.” He waved his finger.
“No, I’m not married,” she laughed.
“Do you have any children?”
“No children,” she replied. “How many children do you have?”
“No, no, no, children for me. I travel way too much. They would be disappointed in me as a father.
Maybe one day in the future I will settle down long enough to be a good father. Do you want children at all in your life?”
“I would rather wait. I have too much to do and children only slow you down.”
“Were you born and raised in California?”
“No, I moved here three years ago. I’m from New York.”
“Ah, I thought I heard an accent. How do you like California?”
“It’s not home,” she laughed.
“Italy is calling my name. Have you ever visited?”
“Good, so when I take you to Italy you won’t feel out of place.”
“Whoa, what is this about you taking me to Italy?”
“Don’t worry, I will give you time to feel okay with traveling with me.”
Joli laughed, “I know we’re not. She pranced along the sidewalk lead into the next store in search of the sexy dress he’d initially wanted to her to buy for their day of getting to know you. “Oh, that’s the one I was looking for,” she said wasting no time looking through the other dresses.
“Now, that is really sexy. Whoever designed the dress, I must buy them dinner.”
“I take it as you approve of this dress?”
“Senza dubbio,” he replied.
“Ho pensato che ti piacerebbe.”
“Ah, you speak Italian?”
“I told you I visit quite often. Hi Rachael, how is your day going?”
“We’ve been pretty busy. Hey, this is the last dress. They all moved pretty quickly.”
“Duly noted,” she replied with a nod.
“This lady has expensive taste,” he said.
“Yes she does,” Rachael smiled.
“Okay, now we need to buy you a sexy pair of heels for your pretty feet. They are pretty aren’t they,” he teased.
“So pretty, they’ll make you want to taste them,” she replied.
Valente laughed, “Okay, we will see feisty woman.”
Joli grabbed the heels made for the dress she’d picked and asked Rachael to grab them in her size.
“Yes, you’re about to see.”
“Here you are Joli.” She quickly returned with the requested black pump.
Joli thanked God because she’d just gotten a pedicure after debating because she was so tired a couple of days ago. “What do you think?” She waved her tiny foot in the air towards Valente.
“Okay, okay, you have beautiful feet. I stand corrected,” he laughed at her boisterous personality.
“We will take these,” she spoke to Rachael. “Valente come, join me. There is something I’d like to ask you.”
“I think I already know what you want to ask me.”
“What do you think I need to ask you?”
“You want to know why I’m spending so much money on a woman I don’t know.”
“Bingo,” she replied.
“I will be honest. I’m an Italian man. We’re not as leery as people. When we see a beautiful woman we don’t act shy or wait for another man to shower her. I’m looking for a lady who takes pride in herself the way you do. I can see you’re not used to a man like me. But, I want to get to know you
and show you how you should be treated. Are you open to getting to know me?”
“You’re telling me you are looking for a specific woman and you see that in me?”
“Yes,” he replied with the most honest eyes Joli had ever seen.
“Do you remember when you saw my dress and you said you wanted to take the designer out who made that dress?”
“I’m ready for my nice dinner. I’m the designer, Joli Kavangla.”
He snapped his fingers. “I knew I heard the lady say your last name. Wow, here I am truing my best to impress you. But, you keep on impressing me.”
Joli laughed, “I’ve never met anyone like you. Today I left my house because I was sitting there alone. The silence became so deafening. It was the first time in my life that I’ve questioned my lack of a relationship and what direction I was going. Then I met you. Wow,” she said. “I never met a man so free and spontaneous. I don’t know if it’s because of where you come from. But, you’re nothing like I’ve ever known. When men learn who I am and what I do they tend to step back and make me take the lead. Then those men began to leach off me. So, come on. Let’s get our day of dating started. I’m ready for you to show this designer how to relax and allow a man to take the lead.
The couple laughed and embraced for the first of many times to come.