So back to Rob, whom we shall not refer to as chocolate, in deference to the kids in Ghana et al who should be in school and not working the cocoa fields. I also hesitate to refer to him as dark. Where’s the gauge in that? A white person reading this may think of me as dark, whereas a black person might think of me as light-skinned. So what is something less vague to use to let you know exactly what Rob looks like? Something, I might add again, that is not food? I know! The sun has richened his skin to an obsidian hue. Yes, I like that. A rich obsidian hue. Our eyes meet and he smiles. Lawd, that smile. I lift my hand and attempt a slight wave, then change my mind and beckon for him to join us instead.
“Hi, again,” he says as he saunters over with a confident swagger.
“Hi,” I respond and introduce him to the photographer, who immediately asks if he has a portfolio.
“No, I’m a farmer,” he says with a smile.
“Have you ever done modelling work?” the photographer persists.
“Yes, when I was younger,” Rob says.
The photographer gives him his card and excuses himself.
“Modelling, huh?” I ask.
He gives me an embarrassed smile.
“Well you certainly have the pecs for it,” I say, taking in his body. My tone is matter of fact, not flirtatious.
“What do you know about pecs?” he asks.
I touch his arm. “These?” I ask. “Not much, but they sure look good.”
“These,” he says flexing under my touch, “are not pecs, they’re biceps.”
He takes my hand and places it on his chest, saying the pectoral muscles refer to the “largest and most superficial muscle in the chest area”. I didn’t know that. I reluctantly take my hand back.
“What do you do?” he asks.
“This,” I respond waving my hand in a semi-circle to cover the people in the room. “I’m the editor of this magazine, so I should probably also take your number. Never know when I may need a … model.”
The pause is deliberate. I allow that moment to sink in because I want him to think I’m attracted to him but for him not to know for sure. I want to hold back a little. A little mystery never hurt anyone, and guys who look like this probably get hit on all the time, so I should dial the enthusiasm back. Rob takes my phone out of my hand and keys in his digits, then presses the call button.
“Now I have your number, too. Never know when I may need an … editor,” he says with a similar pause.
Mmm. Sassy. I like it. I should probably quit while I’m ahead.
“Well, I better get back to work,” I say.
We say our goodbyes and I proceed to cover the room, mingling, chatting, and looking up every now and again to find him watching me. Intense, too. This happens a few times, and I feel myself getting wet under his gaze. Oh dear lawd, this is one fine-looking man. I wonder how he would react if I told him to skip the mating ritual and just take me home right now.
“Who is that?” a female colleague asks, looking towards him.
“Thaaat, is off limits to you,” I say pointedly.