“What the hell is going on here?” I walked up to the table where my man and my new enemy sat across from each other taking one hand covering the other hands. It was a sign of affection to them but a sign of betrayal to me. There was a few people staring at me and the scene going on, but I didn’t care at the moment. I had completely forgotten my reputation as an upstanding, law abiding citizen and my senses. I was seeing red. I wanted to flip the table over in a tirade. My man looked at me calmly and the ‘enemy’ had an evil smirk on his face. I wanted to smash his head into the glass window and watch the blood run down the side of his face and then do it again. This was my man he had his hand on. He had his filthy, hoeish hands on my man.
“Good evening, Kardell. How are you?” No this bitch didn’t just ask me how I am doing while he is sitting across from my man. I didn’t answer him at first because I wanted to retain my dignity and some of my reputation as an upstanding citizen but as they say, shit was about to get real.
“Have you lost your fucking mind?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking in such language in front of my man, but I was seething hot and didn’t care at the moment.
“My mind is great right now. It couldn’t be better. I’m out with my man and we are having an almost quiet brunch together, before you showed up and showed us your ghetto side.” He looked at me and then at my man and then smiled slyly, like he was winning.
“Your man?” I asked, looking at my man waiting for him to answer.
“Did I stutter? You have a degree or two and you mean to tell me that you haven’t grasped all of the English language?” Lewis said sarcastically. “How could he be your man if you didn’t want him?”
“You’re in my business and I’m about to be in yours.” I threatened.
“Like I said, my man and I are enjoying ourselves and we don’t want the interruptions so we would appreciate it if you found you a man, if you can, and leave us two lovers alone.”
“Are you forgetting the fact that you work for me and not the opposite?” I stated matter-of-factly.
“Is that a threat?…Are you threatening me?” He turned towards me in his seat as if he was about get up. I took a step back just in case he was about to swing or something. I can say I wasn’t planning on this shit to happen today. I guess there was something that could change my mood today. I never thought in a million years that it would be this.
“It is what it is,” I replied.
“Excuse me is everything okay over here?” A male and female member of the museums security walked up to us. The male asked the question.
“No everything is fine…Just a little miscommunication.” Mateo finally decided to talk by answering the officers. “Kardell have a seat so we can discuss this rationally.” His smile and calming voice was all I needed to hear so I hesitantly pulled out a chair and sat down at the table. I was breathing hard and looking at Lewis’ ass, was not making it any better.
“Okay, any more profanity or arguing and we will have to ask you to leave the grounds. This is a family friendly environment and we like to keep it that way. Have a great day at the Walter’s Art Gallery fellas.” They walked off and left us to hash out the mess that we were in.
“Gentleman this is entirely my fault. I wasn’t being honest with either of you. I like both of you and couldn’t decide on which one of you to see exclusively. You two are very good looking guys and it is hard to decide when two guys meet my standards. I like you both.” He looked at both of us, one to the other, intensely.
I was shocked at what I was hearing. Here I am thinking I am the only one and he is dating Lewis and me. I wanted to get up and walk out and leave them both here looking stupid, but that would only make Lewis the winner and I wasn’t going out like that. I found him first. The truth is I probably fucked myself by seeming uninterested in Mateo when I first met him and denying that attraction to Lewis. His fast ass swooped right in and made his move. I had to give it to him he was a go getter. I guess he was looking for love too. It just happened to be the same guy I was interested in.
“Mateo, it’s okay,” I spoke up first. “It can happen to anyone.”
“Yes, I forgive you.” Lewis stated, and then reached his hand across the table and placed it on Mateo’s hand that was resting on the table. I reached over knocked it off and placed my hand on his. I know it was petty and downright childish, but I wasn’t giving up that easily. Pretty soon were pushing each other’s hand off of Mateo’s before he finally pulled his hand back.
“No need to fight fellas, I have a great way to solve this dilemma.” He looked at both of us and smiled. “Since I can’t possibly choose between the both of you I propose a contest of sorts to see who the best man for me is. I love games and why shouldn’t life be interesting.”
“A Game?” I spoke hesitantly.
“Yes, I know it is totally unconventional, but I think it would be fun to have a little friendly contest. Think of it as American Idol for dating.” He laughed lightly.
“I’m game if he’s game,” Lewis looked at me sharply. I eyed him back in the same manner.
“But you can’t take it out on each other at work.” We both nodded our heads yes even though I knew that it was going to be hard to keep this from spilling over into the work atmosphere.
“Great. It will take me a few days to think about what I want to do, but expect a text with the first challenge.” He said getting up from the table. “I’m looking forward to this. Have a great day gentleman.”
We both watched him walk off and then we looked at each other in silence for a few seconds.
“May the best man win.” I stuck my hand out to shake Lewis’ hand. He hesitantly did the same before he said the same, “May the best man win.”
Release: August 27, 2013
Excerpted from May The Best Man Win By: M.T. Pope. Copyright © 2013 by M.T. Pope. Excerpted by permission of Urban Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.