I deboarded the bus and walked through the Upscale Mall. I used the bathroom and stopped to check for day-old cookies. As I headed for the escalator, I heard a voice:
I looked over and saw Rain, accompanied by a young woman with a small child. Rain nodded toward the woman, “Look at my friend, doesn’t she look great?”
I glanced her friend over, then whispered to Rain, “Not half as good as you, Innie.” I patted her on the butt in front of god, mall security, and everybody.
“You comin’ over for lunch?” Rain asked. “I haven’t seen you in a few days.”
“I called twice yesterday. Last I heard you were off on a ‘Valentines Day thing’.”
“Yepper! Meet my date.” She pointed to the three-year-old munchkin terrorizing mall security.
“Yup, I’m officially jealous.” I kissed her on the cheek. “I will see you for lunch tonight. Gotta get to work.”
As I walked away, I heard her friend ask, “Why he call you Innie?”
A while back, during an exchange of text messages, Rain called me Outie. Not knowing what it meant, I assumed it was a reference to a bellybutton. A visit to Urban Dictionary gave a more flattering definition. (Definitions 5 & 6, smartasses.) I couldn’t let the bellybutton thing go, and since things near the bellybutton also tend to be innies and outies, we assigned each other gender appropriate monikers. Henceforth, I became Outie and she became Innie.
When a certain weekly rag had its Valentine issue, I send her a missive to Innie from Outie. When the paper hit the streets, I sent her a text message to check page 15.The next day, my phone rang at work. It was Rain: “Hah! Boy, why you put my ad in a pink box for sex toys? You’re a nasty boy!” She laughed. I could hear laughter and conversation in the background.
“Where are you?”
“I’m at work. The whole coffee shop knows about Innie and Outie and your lunch specials now!” She was talking to a friend at the same time, who didn’t get the innuendo. Poor Rain.
It wasn’t until later, when I took time to read all the Valentines, that I noticed the picture below my entry. Rain is a proud black woman, and I am about as ginger as one gets. I couldn’t help but gush when I saw what the Mercury had added.
Happy Valentines Day, Innie.