"Wow! That color looks amazing on you, Leila."
"Really? You think so?"
Tapping Leila on her behind, Coco replied, "Girl, who you trying to hurt tonight?"
"No one!" Leila laughed. "I'm married remember?"
Smoothing the dress down her thighs, Leila checked herself out in the mirror.
"It's such a shame all of that is going to waste on Calvin's sorry ass," Zina replied coldly.
"Don't start with me, Zina!"
"Don't worry-- I'm not! Just pointing out the obvious."
Clapping her hands together, Coco exclaimed. "Alright, ladies! Back to your corners."
Not wanting to cause any more tension for their night out, Zina apologized to Leila. "Sorry girl, I just care and only want the best for you."
"I know you do, Zina, but please respect that I'm a grown woman, and I wish not to discuss this any further."
"Got it, Leila! I don't like it, but I'll respect your wishes."
When they arrived at the club, they were surprised to see it fairly crowded at such an early hour. As they made their way over to the bar, Leila felt someone softly tug her on the arm. "Can I buy you a drink?" A handsome olive-toned man asked politely.
"Of course you can; who would turn down a free drink?" She laughed.
Tapping Zina and Coco on their shoulders, Leila informed them that a cute guy offered to buy her a drink.
"Bye, girl! We'll catch yo ass later!" Zina replied, waving Leila off with one hand.
Instead of sitting at the bar, the guy that Leila just met lead her over to a private table in the corner.
"So, what can I get you, Ms? Sorry I didn't catch your name back there."
"It's alright; I didn't throw it. My name is Leila, and yours?"
"My names Stephen, thanks for joining me, Leila."
"You're welcome-- thanks for the drink."
Fiddling with a napkin on the table, Leila asked, "so where are you from? I detect a slight accent."
Placing his hand over hers to stop her fidgeting, he smiled. "Italy. I'm from Italy. I just moved to California two weeks ago for work."
Pulling her hand away from his, Leila felt relieved when the waiter came over to take their order. She didn't mind some harmless flirting, but she also didn't want Stephen to get the wrong impression.
When the waiter returned with their drinks, Leila and Stephen made a toast.
"To new friends!" Stephen chuckled.
"To new friends," Leila echoed.
After finishing their drinks, Stephen asked Leila if she would like to dance. She had been itching to get out onto the dancefloor, especially now since the buzz from her drink was starting to settle in.
As Leila and Stephen began to dance, Zina and Coco came over to join them with some guys they met at the bar. In the midst of everyone having a good time, Leila's heart dropped when she saw Calvin hugged up on a scantily clad woman.
Without saying a word, Leila ran off the dancefloor and headed towards the restroom.
"What the hell?" Coco muttered to Zina, as they both took off running after her.
"Should we go after them?" One of the men replied.
"Naw... you know women. They go to the restroom in groups." Stephen replied nonchalantly.
When Zina and Coco entered the restroom, they heard Leila sobbing inside one of the stalls.
"Leila... Honey. What's wrong? Please talk to us." Zina asked softly.
Since Leila was in the accessible stall, she opened the door for them to enter, as it was large enough to accommodate all three of them.
"Calvin is here! While we were dancing, I spotted him hugged up on another woman. I mean... I know he's been cheating on me, but this is the first time I've seen it with my own two eyes. Guess I deserve it for being here myself."
Stooping down to wipe the tears from Leila's eye's, Coco responded sympathetically. "You don't deserve to be cheated on Leila. You were just here dancing; you deserve to have fun... And sorry, but your husband is an asshole. All he does is constantly disrespect you."
Patting Leila's back gently, Zina closed her eyes and sighed deeply. "Come on, Leila, let's get out of here."
"No-No! Please... You two stay. I don't want your night ruined because of me. I'll take a cab home."
"Oh stop that, Leila, we're taking you home. And besides... this club is lame." Zina hissed.
"And so are those two dudes we met. We were only dancing with them for free drinks." Coco laughed.
As the three made their way out of the club, they saw the guys they were dancing with now partying with a new set of women.
"Well, damn-- they didn't even wait for us," Leila spoke exasperatedly.
"Girl, I told you those guys were lame," Coco replied bitterly.
After being dropped off at home, Leila rushed off to the garage. Her emotions were in a wreck, and she desperately needed to release her pain. Even though Leila was no longer in love with Calvin, it was still hurtful for her to see him with another woman.
And Even though she would dance with other men and let them buy her drinks while out clubbing, she'd never cross the line with them. No matter how horrible Calvin treated her, she still recognized that she was married and would never sleep with another man. The only time she had ever done such a thing was before getting married to Calvin. At the time, she was young, and it was a unique situation.
Back in November 1984, Leila had a once in a life-time encounter with a famous singer. She ran into him in the lobby of a Miami hotel where they were both staying, and he invited her up to his room for a drink. Admittedly, she knew that he only wanted to fuck, and she wanted to fuck him as well. He had just finished performing with his brothers at The Miami Rose Bowl on their "Victory" Tour and she found him extremely irresistible. His body was still sweaty from giving his all on stage, and she wanted nothing more but to kiss every inch of his glistening body.
"What woman in their right mind would turn down Michael Jackson?" She thought profoundly while reminiscing over their hook-up.
Thinking that she would never see Michael again, she let go of her inner inhibitions and had a one night stand with him. It was a decision she never regretted but also a secret that she would take to her grave. She never told anyone that she met Michael Jackson, let alone had sex with him. She respected his privacy and intended to keep their special rendezvous under lock and key.
Every now and again, Leila wondered if Michael thought about her and the hot night they shared, but she would always laugh it off.
Pulling a brick out of the bottom of the wall, Leila removed a few items and took a seat on the floor.
As she tightened her fist, she squeezed her eyes shut. "Ahh!" She cried out quietly, tossing her head backward.