Opposites Attract E4

Novella Miniseries · Possible Cameo with Login


Mature content advisory

Distinguishing Colors


Before exiting the car, Brad wants to clarify something. “Can I ask you one race-related question for my education?”

”I’m not entering the restaurant through the kitchen!” Alyssa objects.

“No, nothing like that. Obviously, you’re light-skinned and your mother is White. What race do you consider yourself?”

“Does that determine where we sit in the restaurant?”

“Maybe the timing is bad. This has nothing to do with the restaurant. I think of a ‘black’ person as very dark. Do you prefer being called African-American, biracial, or perhaps White?”

“I’m a Black woman that happens to be biracial. We come in all shades, just like dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Why do you need to refer to me by color? I wouldn’t introduce you as ‘my White boyfriend, Brad.’”

I want to know is it a faux pas for a White man to call you Black or should I say something else?”

“Let’s keep it simple. I don’t mind you calling me Black when paired with the word ‘woman.’ For example, you might tell your wife that your attractive mistress is a youthful Black woman.

“There are contexts where Black can be deroga­tory. It will take time to run through all the scenarios. Let’s table this discussion for now because I want to eat, and absorb all this beautiful ambiance.”

Within the foyer, high ceiling, chandelier, marble floor, wooden staircase, and well-dressed staff take her breath away.

Upscale Lunch

Inside the restaurant, the hostess acknowledges the reservation and leads the couple to their table. “Enjoy your meal,” she says with a smile. “Daniella will be your server.”

Moments later, Daniella hands Brad and Alyssa menus while asking for desired beverages. When Alyssa requests a margarita, she gets carded and okayed by the waitress. The couple discuss meal options and are ready when Daniella, who is about the same age as Alyssa, returns. “What can I get for you?”

“The lady will delight in your lasagna. I will savor your herb-butter roasted prawns, and please bring two side salads.”

“May we get some bread and butter too?” Alyssa asks.

“If you prefer, they have warm focaccia bread.”

“Yes, thank you. That’s even better.”

When the waitress leaves, Brad lowers his voice. “I’m happy to have a mistress, but would not feel comfortable introducing you as such.”

“So what will my daddy call me?”

Looking around uncomfortably, he warns, “You can rule out any action if you act like my child.”

“Well, many mature men have young girlfriends. If you need to introduce me, you don’t need to call me mistress, wife, daughter, or Black girl. Just mention my first name and let them figure it out.

“This place is fabulous—very upscale, and crowded. That usually means the food is good. If I come here again, I will do something different with my hair. Now for the elephant in the room. It seems you tricked me. Though this is a beautiful Italian restaurant, it’s on the ground floor of a swanky hotel.”

“Actually, I’m sure I mentioned a hotel in the car.”

”You also mentioned you were taking me to just one address for lunch. That was tricky.

Establishing Boundaries

“You’re probably wondering why you’re so far away from home. I’ve been… married… many years,” Brad whispers. “A lot of people in the neighborhood know me and my wife as a couple. Places that you and I go together must be at least 40 miles away to prevent being recognized.”

“I don’t mind being far away with you. But why go through this subterfuge? It’s apparent that something is missing in your home life. If you were my husband, I would make sure that you had no reason to be curious about anyone else. Tell me, what’s going on?”

“Hold on. Here’s our appetizer…. Thank you, Daniella.”

“I need something in my stomach with this alcohol, to keep from getting light headed.” Breaking off a small piece of bread, she chews and swallows slowly. Brad stares mesmerized while Alyssa continues, “I’m sorry. You were saying…?”

Relative Clarity

After their privacy resumes, Brad confesses a bombshell in response to Alyssa’s question, “Though my wife is central to our relationship, I don’t want to air her private laundry. The truth is, we’re de facto roommates in a loveless marriage.

“Now that puts things in perspective. She has the choice of permitting a mistress or accepting that you will leave her—for good reason.”

Brad clarifies, “She never said that I could satisfy my needs elsewhere, but it’s been implied.”

“You didn’t tell her that’s why you were having lunch with me? Has anything in our conversation this afternoon been vague or implied?”

“Not at all.”

“I can’t believe you don’t know her clear position on this after 20 years. Ask her if you can have a mistress. If she says no, tell her you’ll leave her. If she says yes, you have no guilt or anxiety.”

Brad tries to explain, “I expected to have a similar conversation with her when I mentioned that we were going out this afternoon. She surprised me by asking few questions about it.

“Though it was an unconfessed desire, I had no idea whether someone as young and attractive as you would actually follow through.”

Alyssa expresses concern over the lack of consent, “I suggest you finish that conversation as soon as possible. It would be so much easier on you and me. Sneaking around requires a lot of planning, and lying.

“If Mrs. Dallier sees me in a restaurant with you, I shouldn’t have to duck beneath the table. And most important, if we’re up front, I won’t have to anticipate her banging on my door for a fight.”

Brad assures her, “None of that is going to happen. I will settle it soon.”

Alyssa now delivers an ultimatum. “Until you have that talk, I should probably withhold myself from you. An extra day or two won’t kill you.”

“Okay, I’ll set her straight by tomorrow.” Brad makes eye contact with the waitress from a distance and points to the margarita before holding up one finger so she will bring another glass.

Building Anticipation

The food comes and Alyssa begins eating shrimp seductively from Brad’s plate.

“I have always wanted to come to a restaurant with small tables and big plates. That way, they must serve the meal in courses.”

She sips most of her margarita before beginning the lasagna. I heard that eating from your partner’s plate is a sign of closeness and affection. “Have some of this. It’s good.”

“Anyone looking at us in this restaurant will assume we’re a couple,” he says.

“Does that make you uncomfortable?”

“Actually, being here with you makes me feel proud. This lunch is a dream come true. Finish your margarita before Daniella gives you another.”

“Wow, with all these beautiful women in here, you feel proud with me. That’s exciting. This is a wonderful afternoon that I wish would never end…. Margaritas are really good. Does alcohol make you talk a lot?”

“Sometimes. Since it lowers inhibitions, you might say things out loud that you rather keep in your head.”

“Yikes. I hope I don’t let all my thoughts slip out. Have you noticed that you have never mentioned your wife’s name to me? It’s okay if you can’t say another woman’s name around me. At least you haven’t accidentally called me by her name… unless her name is also Alyssa. That’s funny. Maybe we’re White Alyssa and Black Alyssa.”

“I have another thought slipping out. When you have the conversation tonight or tomorrow with Mrs. Dallier, what if she gives you the ultimatum to leave or stay?”

“I can’t express enough how happy I am about our new relationship. But at this early stage, are you asking whether I will leave my wife of 20 years?”

“Considering where we are at this moment, I deserve an answer to the question,” Alyssa objects.

“What if I say no?”

“Then I know where I stand in relation to her. It seems if I ever develop some mental or physical issue that interferes with my ability to satisfy my husband, I would see a therapist or doctor. But I don’t know all the details. Let me know if she ever comes out of hibernation.”

“All her efforts in the past have been futile, so that’s unlikely. I can’t stress how important is for you to remain civil with her regardless of how my conversation goes. Any negative words or cause for suspicion could someday come up in court.”

“As tempting as it is to brag that you’re more attracted to me than her, I’ll bite my tongue For the sake of neighbors and friends that know you two as a couple, I’ll act platonic within a 40-mile radius.”

“That’s right. We’re on the same page there. I get the feeling you enjoy making me squirm through this meal.”

“Absolutely! This lunch was much better than what I eat at Burger Bun. It already feels like you’re pampering me. I wouldn’t complain about eating this good every day. Maybe this will become our place. Have you and Mrs. Dallier been in the hotel rooms here?

“Yes, we have. For your maximum enjoyment, I wanted to bring you somewhere I was certain had high standards.”

“Now, help me remember. Did we agree to limit our activity until you tell your wife something about whatever we discussed? My head is getting foggy. I like margaritas. This is the most alcohol I’ve had since turning 21. You actually brought me to a hotel for lunch. As my chaperone, are you going to carry me up to a room?” she asks, while leaning her head on his shoulder.

Let me get you some coffee to-go and pay the check. We’ll roll down the windows in the car for fresh air, to sober up.” He then motions for the waitress.

Daniella returns to the table. With a disapproving expression she asks, “Can I interest you, or your daughter in some dessert?”

Just the bill now please, Daniella.”

Brad excuses himself for a moment to stand at a distance and cancel the hotel room reservation. Alyssa admires how well he looks from a far as she sips the remainder of her second margarita.

With Alyssa alone at the table for a moment, Daniella discreetly offers assistance while clearing the table. “If you need help with anything, let me know. I can notify hotel security.”

Not fully understanding a reason for the caution, Alyssa replies, “That’s exceptional service. But my Brad will take care of me.”

Background Check

They leave the restaurant and roll down the car windows while sipping coffee on the road. Alyssa doses off for 10 minutes.

When she awakens, she asks, “If something happened between us, I’m sorry I don’t remember. I’m not angry, but I need to know.”

“No. We had lunch, and are on our way home.”

With some fresh air on the ride home, Alyssa still rambles from the effects of alcohol, “Thanks for being a gentleman. I still know little about you. What line of work are you in? You never asked my age. Are you a child molester? Have you ever been to jail? It’s a little late to find out, but I appreciate honest answers.”

“Wow, the conversation took a dark turn! I’m a day trader, which means I buy and sell stock.”

The word “molester” stings, considering how close Brad just came to taking advantage of her inebriation, but he says, “Unless that was fake ID you showed to the waitress, you’re an adult. That keeps me from being a child molester, and I have never been in prison. Full disclosure: I was in jail for a few hours once because of a mixup. There’s a difference between that and prison.”

With lower inhibitions from the alcohol, Alyssa replies, “Now, I’m scared…. Not really. What will this bad-boy do to me before 6 o’clock?”


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