The Velvet Voice

The cool Saturday morning air exploded with a loud blaring alarm and flashing light coming from an iPhone 4 laying on the bedside dresser. It sounded like one of those old car alarms with the seven or eight alternating sounds. Kevin Washington rolled over in the queen-sized bed and after a low, rolling groan, said “alright, alright. I’m up!” Kevin reached for the phone, eyes shut as if he were still asleep. *thud*
He yelled “Dammit!” as he heard the phone crash to the ground. The iPhone fell flat on its front side and the alarm immediately stopped. The room was now quiet but you could almost hear the frantic prayer going through Kevin’s head. “Please don’t let that damn screen be brok-SHIT!” His silent prayer turned into a medley of carefully chosen curse words as he stared at the Los Angeles Lakers logo through the glass spider web now covering his smartphone. He rubbed across the cracks on the phone, looking as if he expected them to disappear. They didn’t.
“300 damn dollars and that breaks it…Why would you cover a phone in glass anyway?!”
The anger in him began to subside. “Guess I’m going to the Apple store.”
He rolled out of bed and walked across the beige carpet covering his apartment floor and into the bathroom. In the mirror appeared a lean, African-American man about six feet in height. He sported a short, Caesar haircut and a thin mustache; otherwise, he was clean shaven. “Hopefully, this isn’t how the rest of my day goes”
He turned on the faucet and splashed a handful of water onto his face to wake himself up.
As the water drips from his dark skin, his shattered phone begins to ring. He walked out to the dresser, picked up the phone, and swiped his finger across to unlock it.

“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”

The phone continued to ring, but wouldn’t respond to his touch. He tossed the broken phone onto the bed as he walked back to the bathroom.

The screen flashed “Missed Call: CJ/New Voicemail”

Kevin went through his morning routine, brushing his teeth, showering, etc. Once he was done in the bathroom, he went into his drawer and put together his outfit for the day. To pay off his college loans, Kevin served four years in the Marines. This was reflected in his sense of style. He pulled a black T-shirt over his muscular frame and threw on a pair of Levi jeans.

Kevin walked out of his apartment and down to his car, a silver 2010 Ford Mustang, and drove off.

About 15 minutes later, he arrived at the Century City Apple Store.

“Excuse me, I need a-“

“I’ll be with you in just a second, sir” replied the skinny, nerdy-looking Apple employee.

“I made an appointment, and I’m still waiting 30 minutes?” Kevin thought to himself.

Then Kevin heard what sounded to him like an angel.

“Thank you so much, I don’t know what I would do without you guys” Said a woman in a low, slightly raspy voice. The way she thanked the employee oozed sex appeal and Kevin couldn’t help but noticed. For some reason, it reminded Kevin of velvet. When he turned his head to see where the velvet voice was coming from, he saw a woman with the smoothest chocolate skin he had ever seen. Standing at about five feet five inches, she had curly black hair down to just below her shoulders. Her body seemed to be sculpted into perfection and although she was stunning in her shirt and jeans, Kevin couldn’t help but wonder what she looked like without them. The woman turned and started out the store. Her walk was as seductive as her voice. The way her hair flowed in the slight breeze coming through the open store door. The way her hips swayed perfectly with every step she took. The glare of sunlight from store windows made it seem as if she was glowing a golden sunshine.

“Wow! She. Is. BAD!” Kevin thought to himself, realizing a split-second later that he had actually whispered the words aloud to himself.

He couldn’t take his eyes off of her, but she didn’t seem to notice anything. She was like a walking statue. Perfect.

Kevin couldn’t just let her walk away, but he was paralyzed. The eight seconds it took for her to walk out of the store seemed half a second as he blinked and she was already out the door. In another blink of the eye, Kevin was out the door right behind her.

“Excuse me mam!

The woman with the velvet voice stopped and turned around.

“Hi, I don’t usually do this…” Kevin usually did this. “But, uh… My name is Kevin”

He extended his hand for a handshake. She looked at it with a slight frown and confusion.

Kevin awkwardly retracted his hand. “A handshake? What the hell is wrong with me?” He thought to himself. Kevin didn’t usually do that.

“Hi, I’m Sasha.” The velvet voice nearly made his knees weak and he felt a slight flutter in his stomach. She still had a slightly confused look on her face. “Can I help you?”

Kevin was a block of ice. Frozen. Then, he snapped out of it. He had served in combat in Afghanistan, he could talk to a woman.

“Yeah, uhm. I couldn’t help but notice you in the store. You are absolutely gorgeous!” Kevin said with an emphasis as though he was trying to convince her of her own beauty.

“Oh, Thank you!” Sasha said with a smile that translated into slight embarrassment and flattery.

Although she was apprehensive, a natural byproduct of all the “Aye ma”s and “You bad”s, Kevin’s charming smile disarmed her of some of her weariness. Not all of it.

“I want to take you out for lunch or something. Can I take your number down?”

He pulled his phone from his pocket, forgetting its sorry state. Both Kevin and Sasha looked down at the phone at the same time.

“Ugh!” Kevin thought.

Sasha let out a slight chuckle. “Uhm, I don’t think so. I’m not really interested.”

Kevin’s stomach dropped. If she couldn’t see the disappointment on his face, she could sure feel it in the air.

“Have a nice day…uh-“

“Kevin” He reminded her.

“Kevin. Have a nice day, Kevin” The velvet voice still made him feel some kind of way.

She walked away with the same seductive gait as before but this time the perfect statue turned and made eye contact one last time with Kevin.

“Damn glass phone!”

 

“That’ll be $224.56.” Said the nerdy Apple store employee.

“I thought I was covered for this kind of damage!” Kevin exclaimed.

“That’s if you had Apple Care. You’re past your normal coverage date.”

“I had a year!” Kevin was now getting really frustrated.

“Yes and you were at one year…on the 6th.” Said the nerd with a cheesy grin.

“The 6th?!? That was yesterday!”

“Why yes it was.” The same grin covered the nerd’s face.

“I oughta smack that damn smile off his face.” Kevin thought. “Here!” He handed him a Visa credit card.

“Have a nice day!” Said the nerd.

“Yea…” Kevin walked out of the store. The phone vibrated as it reset itself.

Kevin checked the voicemail from earlier.

“Bro., we turnin’ up tonight! Club Roxbury. Hit me when you get this. Out.”

CJ was a college friend of Kevin’s. Now they both worked at the same investment firm, thanks to CJ’s dad, who ran the firm.

Compared to Kevin, CJ was a bit childish and a jokester. It was a good balance for Kevin though. CJ added some excitement to Kevin’s life. He always had the club hook-ups and Kevin enjoyed the occasional turn-up.

“Good, I need to get out. Today just has not been my day” Thought Kevin.

As he put the keys in his car door, he noticed a large white spot on the hood of the car.

He looked up as a pigeon sitting on a ledge of the parking structure seemed to laugh at him before flying away.

All Kevin could do was sigh as he drove away.

 

Later that night, after running a few errands, Kevin headed to a 24-Hour Fitness gym to work out with CJ.

“We walk in and we TURN UP!”

“Shut up CJ” Kevin laughed.

“Dawg, tonight is about to go up! Seriously.” Replied CJ.

Kevin placed two 45lb plates on each side of the barbell above the bench.

“Yea, If I make it out of here alive. Damn near killed myself the last time I let you spot me.”

Kevin sat on the bench, inhaled and exhaled deeply, then laid back under the bar.

“Dah, shut up. That was my bad.” Said CJ.

“No shit.” Kevin lifted the bar off the bench fairly easily and pushed out ten reps with little effort.

CJ then took his place on the bench and Kevin took one of the 45lb weights off each side of the bar.

“Man, you been doing the same weight for like a year haha.” Kevin laughed

CJ shot an angry glare at Kevin and replied “I’m a hard gainer alright. Not every can be Rambo like you.”

CJ was about six feet two inches but was much thinner than Kevin.

The barbell shook with increasing violence as CJ struggled to finish his tenth repitition.

“Man, I saw this girl today. She had to be the most beautiful I had ever seen.” Kevin smiled as his mind’s eye recreated the smooth chocolate skin, velvet voice, and shining glow of Sasha.

“What the booty look like though?” CJ said, still trying to catch his breath.

Kevin rolled his eyes. “Man, you are dumb. Anyway, I asked her for her number and got completely rejected. Ain’t felt like that in a long time… I can’t stop thinking about her.”

The duo stood up and walked over to the locker room.

“Oh yea?” CJ said caringly. “Well she’s gone now so get over it”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” Kevin replied but didn’t a word he or CJ said.

Sasha had been on his mind all day and he kind of enjoyed it. Just seeing her in his mind made him smile. It was as if the brief encounter they had was somehow backed by years of moments together. Like he had broken down every second he was around into its own individual moment.

“So what’s the game plan for tonight?” asked Kevin as they both walked out to the parking garage.

CJ looked at his phone to check the time. “Well, I got some business to handle, if you catch my drift, so I’ll just meet you there at 10:00.”

“Quality time with your boyfriend?” Kevin laughed.

“Screw you!” CJ slammed the door of his 2011 Audi A4.

Kevin plopped into his car and drove home.

 

Kevin arrived at the Roxbury at 9:59pm. At 10:14pm, his phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Where you at?” Asked CJ.

“I’m parked down the street.” Replied Kevin.

“Hurry up and come to the door!” *click*

Kevin stepped out of his Mustang wearing a green Ralph Lauren polo shirt, a pair of dark blue slacks, and dark loafers.

As he approached the club, he noticed flocks of gorgeous women in a line stretching from the door to the middle of the block. The closer he got to the line, the more beautiful the women became.

“Good lord, tonight should be fun!” He thought to himself.

“Kev! Kev! Hurry up!” yelled CJ through the crowd.

Kevin sped up until he reached CJ. After CJ exchanged some words with a short guy in an awful grey suit, they were let into the club.

The air in the club was warm and the music was loud. It was good music and the two men were having a great time dancing with the same beautiful women that Kevin had found himself marveling at outside. After about two hours of fun, Kevin headed to the bar for a glass of water.
“Water, please.”

“Here you go.” The bartender slid him the glass of water and a small sheet of paper.

Kevin opened the paper to see ten numbers and the name “Sarah” written down.

The bartender was almost as attractive as the women in the club.

She winked at Kevin and he gave her a smooth smile back.

Just then, he felt a tap on his shoulder. As he was turning around to see who it was, he heard a low, slightly raspy, voice like velvet say “Remember me?”

He turned to lock eyes with Sasha.

“Remember you? How could I ever forget you? You’re the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. At least ten times more stunning than any woman in here. I’ve been thinking about you all day.” Thoughts sped through his head like lightning bolts. Fortunately for him these were all just thoughts and he maintained enough composure to speak.

“Yeah, from the Apple store. Sasha, right?” He calmly said.

“Yep that’s me.”

Kevin’s stomach filled with butterflies and he could feel the sweat glands on his forehead go into overdrive. Luckily, he could use the heat of the club as a cover for the perspiration.

“Hey! What are you doing here?” Kevin asked. “What kinda question was that?” He thought.

Sasha was even more perfect than before. She had smile on her face that seemed to light up the club. She had traded in her shirt and jeans for a black form-fitting dress. Kevin could see every beautiful curve on her body.

“Well, it’s a club so…clubbing” She replied. “Get up, we’re gonna dance.” Sasha grabbed his hand and pulled him to the dance floor. Kevin’s heart nearly pounded out of his chest. As if it the DJ had seen the entire ordeal play out, a slow song came on through the speakers.

“Alright, Imma slow it down for yall real quick.” Said the DJ on the microphone.

Sasha smiled at Kevin and turned around, backing into him.

Kevin looked around and all the beautiful women in the club had disappeared. He saw the same dresses and heels, but their faces looked different, paling in comparison to the woman in front of him. The two swayed back and forth to the beat of the music. Time seemed to slow down as they grinded sensually. Kevin felt Sasha’s hand move to his temple and run down to his neck. He placed his hands on her hips and could feel the curve of her body. He knew she must have had a drink or two and wondered if that was behind her change of heart. What he didn’t know was that he had been on her mind all day as well. She had never been approached the way that Kevin approached her at the Apple store. She wondered if she had made a mistake and she wouldn’t let the opportunity pass her by again.

Now, it was as if the music had gone away. They were moving to the rhythms of each other’s bodies. Their hands felt each other. She could feel his breath run past her ear.

They danced for what seemed like hours until the music began to die and the crowd began to thin.

“So, you think I can get your number this time?” Kevin pulled out his phone. “A little better prepared this time”

They both laughed.

“Uhm, I don’t know…” Sasha’s ambivalence showed in her facial expression.

“Come on, I’ll take you to dinner and if you aren’t impressed, you’ll never hear from me again.” Kevin bargained.

“Alright.” Sasha said with a smile as she placed her number into his phone.

Kevin looked down at the number hit the long red button his iPhone.

“Shit!” He thought. He had hit the cancel button instead of the save.

“Uh…323…uh…555…” Kevin had a photographic memory but he struggled to remember the last few digits. He sure wasn’t gonna embarrass himself by asking her for a third time. “…uh…43…was it 67 or 76…I’ll just try both tomorrow.” Kevin saved two numbers in his phone under the name Sasha.

 

Their first date went off without a hitch, as did their second and their third. Their chemistry was amazing. They clicked on so many levels. After their sixth date, not counting the weekends they spent together just hanging out, their relationship became more intimate. Kevin spent the night at Sasha’s place and in the morning, as she remained asleep, he left the bed to go to the bathroom. After running water on his hands, he searched for the hand soap. He couldn’t see it anywhere on sink, so, without thinking, he opened the medicine cabinet. He didn’t find the soap, but what he did find confused him greatly. He closed the medicine cabinet. The sound of the cabinet door closing must have awakened Sasha because she called out his name.

“Kevin?”

“I’m in the bathroom. Where’s the hand soap?” Kevin asked.

“Oh, there’s a dispenser on the wall behind you. I don’t know why they designed it like that.” Sasha replied.

“I’m an idiot.” Kevin thought.

Kevin retreated back to the bed with Sasha and put his arm under her head.

“I was…uh…looking for the soap and I saw a bunch of medicines in the medicine cabinet.”

Sasha had a dismayed facial expression. “Well, what did you expect to see in a medicine cabinet?”

“I mean, it was a lot. Are you alright?” Kevin asked.

Sasha sighed as she sat up and turned her back to him. “No, I’m sick.”

Kevin said “Well, what’s wrong? Is it bad?”

“I have a terminal disease. You don’t get better from it.” Sasha said.

Kevin appeared to get a little more worried. “Tell me about it.”

“It’s called Pulmonary Fibrosis. It’s a lung disease that usually only old people get. I guess I’m just unlucky.” Sasha said coldly.

“How bad is it now?” All of Kevin’s words had a tone of naiveté to them.

“The doctors say it could be six months or six years, who knows?…That’s why I didn’t want to give you my number. That’s why I didn’t want to get you involved.”

Sasha didn’t look at Kevin but she imagined his faced wrenched in disgust or anger.

“Well, I am involved…and I plan on staying involved.” Kevin said as he sat beside her and placed his arm around her shoulders.

 

It had been two and a half years since Kevin sleepily cracked his iPhone’s screen. Sasha and Kevin had been living together for about three months. Bliss was theirs and happiness shone from both of their faces whenever they were around one another.

“For My Love, My Heart” read a letter placed inside a bouquet of red, white, and pink roses. “Just because you’re you!”

Sasha’s coworkers eyed the radiant flowers and the glowing woman holding them.

“You sure got you a good one, Sash. He is so sweet.” Said Sarah, one of Sasha’s colleagues.

“I sure did!” replied Sasha.

A permanent smile was sculpted on to her face for the rest of the day. She was obviously the envy of all her female coworkers.

After arriving home, Sasha walked into the bedroom to see a stunning red and black dress laid out on the bed with a pair of matching heels beneath it. She exploded with excitement at the dress.

“He remembered!” she cried out.

It was a dress that Sasha had been gushing over whenever they went out to Century City.

She was so excited that she almost didn’t notice another note just beside the dress.

“Try it on and meet me out front.” Read the note.

She frantically picked up the dress and hurried to her mirror. The dress was a perfect fit. The way she moved as she slid it on would surely have stopped Kevin’s heart. She then ran down stairs, checked herself one more time, then stepped out the door. Standing in the street out front was Kevin and a black limousine.

“Sorry for being so bland, they charged a fortune for the Hummer limo” Kevin laughed.

Sasha smiled harder than she ever had before as Kevin opened the door for her to enter.

She had no idea where they were going, but the limo ride there would have satisfied her. Champagne and chocolate covered strawberries filled one of the compartments. They sensually teased and fed one another for the twenty minute ride.

“We have arrived.” Announced the driver.

The limousine had stopped in front of The Scarpetta restaurant in Beverly Hills. Sasha had mentioned wanting to try some really high-end Italian. The couple walked into the restaurant and Kevin signaled one of the employees. “Washington for 2.”

“Right this way, sir.” The waiter led them to a table for two.

The restaurant had the perfect ambience for a romantic date. Candle-lit, classical Italian playing in the background.

“What has gotten into you?” Sasha inquisitively asked Kevin. “Why all of this?”

“You deserve it!” Kevin said with a smile that triggered a carbon copy smile from Sasha.

The two dined and talked for about an hour.

“Today, we are offering complimentary desserts. Would you like to take a look at the menu?” Asked the waiter.

“Oh no, I’m stuffed!” Replied Sasha.

Kevin’s eyes widened. “But it’s free. We should get some.”

Sasha noticed Kevin’s odd reaction, but thought nothing of it.

“Alright, May I see the menu?” She asked the waiter.

“Why of course!” The waiter handed her the menu and abruptly walked away.

As she opened the menu, she noticed a sheet of paper placed inside the menu. The paper read:

 

My sweet love, My sweet love. My angel from above.

I can’t describe what you do to me or how every moment together feels new to me,

But I want you to know what’s true to me, How our love shines so beautifully.

How your eyes paralyze me.

And how your scent is so tantalizing.

The plushest, luscious lips a woman could have

Angelic eyes with a shine the stars would envy

The cutest round nose made for corny eskimo kisses

Cheeks so soft a pillow would sleep on them

A natural black river runs from your head to your shoulders

Eyebrows perfectly arched over each brown gemstone you call your eyes

Eyelashes as curvacious as you are

My eyes transition from your face to the rest of you

as milky, silky smooth as the suavest line

I could ever spit at you.

Where your beautiful hair stopped, a story of your strength began

Shoulders made strong for carrying the burden of an independent woman’s life and our

future family.

Arms covered in the powder-soft skin that allows you to cradle children to sleep.

A beautiful chest for many reasons…but the most important is the heart that lies

Beneath. Beating out a pattern of ups and downs that you go through but still come out on top.

Love’s homebase, the only part of you I need to touch, not with my hands but my

words and thoughts. My heart reaches to yours, arms wider than the Mississippi. I can

only hope that yours will accept mine.

Now, down to your hips as curvy as your lips.

I plan on puttin’ my mark on them from holdin’ them for all eternity

On to your thighs, almost as nice as your eyes

Hamhocks in disguise, Your body’s the prize that comes with time

I like your behind, but I LOVE your mind

Almost forgot your feet, always kept neat

Supporting the weight of the world, a family, and a man…Until I sweep you off of them

and carry you away. I care about everything you do, every single day.

And how the rest of your life I want you to share with me.

So I must ask, Will You Marry Me?

 

By now, Kevin had already assumed his position on one knee extending a precious ring. Sasha already had trails of tears running down to her chin. Kevin could nearly hear her heartbeat as she read those last words…or was it his heart beating?

“Oh God, please let her say yes! I promise I will…uh…Please just let her say yes!” Kevin pleaded in his mind.

“YES! Of course I will!” Sasha squealed with excitement.

They both sprang to their feet as Kevin placed the ring on her finger. They looked into each other’s eyes and shared a long, passionate kiss that could have set off car alarms with the amount of explosive passion it had.

There was no complimentary dessert after all.

After arriving home, Kevin tipped the driver and walked with Sasha to the door.

Sasha grabbed his butt and snickered as he fumbled with his keys. Finally, he found the door key and opened the door. Before the door fully closed behind them, Sasha had already pressed herself tightly against Kevin. Their lips interlocked in a rhythmic dance and their heavy breathing formed something as beautiful as a Mozart composition. They hurried up the stairs to the bedroom, never more than inch in between them. Within seconds, Sasha’s new favorite dress was on the floor and she stood there. Kevin, expecting angel’s wings to spring from her frame stood in awe. She pushed him onto the bed as he unbuttoned his shirt. Sasha crawled on top of the man, running her hand around ever curve of muscle and flesh on his body. They had done this plenty of times, but this time was as passionate as the first time. Kevin began to run his hands down her back, gripping her butt tightly. The symphony of their breathing had entered a crescendo as Kevin moved his hands up to her bra strap. With one hand, he unhooked it and used the other hand to pull it away from her body and to the floor. Sasha leaned forward, kissing him on his lips, before moving to his neck. Before either one of them knew it, they were both embraced by arms, legs, and lips, completely naked. Then, Kevin lifted Sasha into the air as he rose from the bed. Her legs wrapped around his waist as he moved her to the bedroom wall. Their rhythms of their breathing shifted with every thrust. Kevin continued to kiss her neck as well. Kevin, moved her from the wall back to the bed, but this time he was on top of her. Their masterpiece of inhales and exhales continued its upward trend over and over. As if their bodies were being powered by the passion of the moment they continued; the twisted and turned their bodies in a dance of sensual pleasure. On a number of occasions, three to be exact, Sasha’s breathing broke the pattern, turning into long gasps and moans. Eventually, the rhythm escalated to a climax; an explosion of ecstasy that culminated in the two bodies falling to the bed completely exhausted, yet still so in love.

 

The wedding was a week away and Kevin couldn’t be more excited. He had run the day through his mind hundreds of times already. CJ was going to be the Best Man and everything else had been planned out already.

“It’s the end of your life bro!” CJ grunted as he placed the barbells back on their racks.

“Those are 30lbs, not 50lbs. Don’t be that guy.” Kevin replied.

“Whatever. No more going out with the guys. You might as well get your Viagra and Propecia prescriptions now.”

Kevin had been thinking about how things would change once he got married. He wondered if he would be able to hang out as often. Would things change at all? But none of these thoughts would sway him. Kevin was fortunate to have both parents in his childhood and he had a great model of marriage to follow.

“Yea, Yea, we can’t be young forever.” Kevin said, imitating an elderly voice.

“Well, I will.” Replied CJ.

The two grabbed their towels and headed to the parking garage.

“See ya later, buddy.” Said CJ

“Yep.” Replied Kevin

When Kevin arrived home, he ran straight to the bathroom. “Babe, I’m home!” He yelled as he sprinted to the toilet.

There was no reply.

“Where could she be?” He thought to himself. “She did say she was picking up her cousin from the airport…but that’s tomorrow night.”

Kevin flushed, washed his hands and walked out of the bathroom towards the kitchen.

“Babe…? You here?”

Still no reply.

When he got to the kitchen, he saw Sasha lying on the floor next to a pan of heart shaped cookies, still unbaked.

“Sasha!” He yelled in horror as he fell to his knees to check on her.

Her breathing was shallow and she was unconscious. He called 911 and after what seemed like an eternity, they arrived and hurried her to Cedar-Sinai Hospital.

“We knew this would happen eventually. Her condition is deteriorating rapidly.” Said a doctor in a despondent tone.

“What…what does that mean? Like…how bad is it now?” Replied Kevin in a frantic manner.

The doctor looked down at his clipboard of her medical history, but he didn’t read anything. He couldn’t look at Kevin as he said, “In all likelihood, she has less than a week.”

The doctor and everything behind him began to spin. The entire world began to spin out of control around Kevin. All the sounds of the hospital went silent. Kevin’s heart skipped atleast three beats. “But… she was just fine.” Kevin struggled to get any words out.

“Yes, it’s very difficult to predict when a disease like this will advance.” Replied the doctor.

Kevin’s eyes glazed over as he walked past the doctor into Sasha’s room. She was awake and smiled when she saw him.

“Hey there.” Sasha said in a harsh voice that was indicative of her badly damaged lungs.

Kevin looked at her, trying to smile, but he just kept hearing the doctor’s prognosis.

He sat down next to her bed and held her hand.

“We both knew this day would come… and… I understand if you want to get started on moving on without me. I mean, find someone a little healthier to marry.” Sasha said.

It was obvious that she didn’t truly mean what she was saying, but she didn’t know how to make Kevin feel better.

“The wedding?” Kevin thought. He had forgotten all about the wedding.

“No, I want you to be my wife. I need you to be my wife.” Kevin said before breaking into a soft sobbing.

“The doctors said I probably won’t make it until then, and I don’t think I’ll be getting out of this bed any time soon.” Replied Sasha.

“Then we’ll bring it here…We’ll bring it here.”

 

“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you: Husband and Wife. You may now kiss the bride.” Said the Baptist preacher from Kevin and Sasha’s church, with a tear rolling down his eye.

Kevin leaned over a kissed Sasha softly on the lips. “I told you we would do it.”

“Yes, you did!” replied Sasha. The look in her eyes was nothing but happiness.

CJ walked over and patted Kevin on the back. “We’ll leave you two love birds alone.”

“Thanks, CJ.” Replied Kevin. “And thanks for being here, man.”

“You’re my brother. I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.” CJ said as he walked out of the room.

Kevin and Sasha looked at each other, smiling, for hours until they both fell asleep.

That night, Sasha experienced acute respiratory failure and was placed on a ventilator.

As she laid there with an oxygen mask covering her face, Kevin stayed by her side.

His eyes were red from the dozens of tears shed at random throughout the night.

He looked down at his unconscious wife and his mind began to race. Memories flashed into focus as if he were being transported through time. In a split second, he was at the Century City Apple store gazing at the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. He didn’t know her name, but he would figure it out. The next second, he was at the Roxbury in Hollywood turning to see who had tapped him on the shoulder. He danced in his memories. Each second, a new memory from the last two and a half years of his life became a present reality. He had found the love of his life again and rebuilt all that they had in his mind. He was back at The Scarpetta, making the biggest decision of his life: to marry his queen. In each of these memories, he saw her face, her beauty, he saw love.

“I don’t know if you can hear me, but I am gonna talk to you anyway. Since I met you, you’ve been my everything. From the first time I laid eyes on you, I haven’t had a single second where you weren’t on my mind. I truly feel like we have become one. I would do anything for you, and I know you would do anything for me. It had to have been God’s will for us to meet and I thank him every day for breaking that damn glass phone…” Kevin laughed through his tears. “You have been as much a part of me as my flesh and my blood have. You are my life…and…and now you’re being taken from me. I… I… don’t know what I will do without you.” Kevin broke down and began sobbing as he placed his forehead on top of her hand.

Sasha moved. Her eyes opened. She grasped Kevin’s hand firmly and smiled at him through the oxygen mask on her face.

With her other hand, she removed the mask from her face. Kevin tried to stop her, but she gripped his hand even tighter, letting him know to stand down.

Sasha seemed to take all that she had left in her and bring it to the forefront.

In a voice as smooth as velvet, just like the first time Kevin heard it, she said, “In life, I have loved you. In death, I will love you. For eternity, I love you.”

She smiled at Kevin and he smiled back.

Then her eyes closed, her grip on his hand loosened and the monitors began to ring out in a low, ominous tone. Doctors and nurses rushed in and moved Kevin away, but the world was dead to him. He heard no sounds. He lost his wife. He lost his life.

Then a certain peace came over him. It could not arrest all the sadness from his heart, but from that peace he understood that the last two and a half years had been the greatest gift he could have ever received and for that, he was thankful. He saw himself as the luckiest man in the world. He didn’t know what life would bring him next, but he knew that he would live every second of it as a testament to his little Velvet Voice.

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