Stacey pulled her long jet-black hair back into a ponytail and changed into her workout clothes. She walked
out from the locker room into the booth area. She called out to the girls in the salon. “Okay ladies, I am
heading out to the gym. Please remember to lock up and set the alarm before leaving, and I will see you all
tomorrow. And call me if you need anything.”
She exited the door of her high-end salon that is located in the heart of Beverly Hills. She drove down the
streets of Wilshire Boulevard in her brand-new pearl-white fully-loaded-with-leather-seats Infiniti QX56
luxury SUV, singing to her favorite song that just came on the radio.
“That is my song!” She popped her fingers and danced in her seat. “I love me some Jill Scott,” she said as
she turned up the volume on the radio. She began to sing, “Let’s take a long walk around the park after
She couldn’t hold a tune, but it didn’t stop her from enjoying the sounds of her favorite artist.
People stared as they pulled alongside her, watching her sing and move to the music.
It didn’t bother her one bit; she continued singing, “Find a spot for us to spark conversation, verbal elation,
She entered the 405 Freeway heading south toward Los Angeles.
She grabbed her cell from her purse and called Miki. There was no answer, so she left a voice message.
“Hey girl, it’s me. I’m on the 405 headed that way, so I should be there in the next fifteen to twenty minutes.
See you when I get there.” She disconnected that call and placed the phone on the passenger seat.
Finally arriving at the gym, she parked her SUV at the far end of the parking lot to avoid damages to it. She
walked through the parking area swiftly, not paying attention to all the eyes that were staring. She walked
through the double doors of the gym. Miki met her at the receptionist’s desk where they signed the
“Welcome to Leimert Park Gold Gym,” the receptionist said.
“Thank you!” Stacey responded.
“You ready to get your workout on?” Miki asked.
“Oh yeah, it has been a crazy day,” she answered. “Thanks for meeting with me today. I just
needed to get away from there. If I had spent one more minute in that salon, I would’ve bust a cap in
somebody’s ass .”
“What happened at the salon today?” Miki asked.
“Stella is happened, that’s what. She thinks she can tell me what to do like she is my boss or something. Do
I have to remind her every day that I am the owner of that shop and I can bounce her ass up out of there
when I get ready?”
“I guess you do.”
They both walked over to the treadmill area.
“Let’s grab these two right here,” Miki said.
While working out, Terry noticed Stacey and decided to go over and introduce himself. Miki spotted him
first and whispered to Stacey.
“Girl, check out that fine ass brotha heading our way.”
“Where . . . Damn, he is fine,” Stacey whispered.
“Too damn fine. Taye Diggs in the house!” Miki blurted out.
“Girl, he is tall, dark, and handsome.” Stacey said.
“And he is bald and got muscles all over the place, and I do mean all over. Umm, umm, umm! Girl, the
brotha is packing.”
She was massaging her chest. “Girl, I just had a Stella-got-her-groove-back moment.”
“Yes he is,” Stacey agreed.
They both laughed.
“Hi . . .,” Stacey said quietly.
“How you doin’?” Miki said.
He stared at Stacey. “My name is Tiberius Jones. I am one of the trainers here at the gym, and I wanted to
come over and introduce myself to you.”
Miki hopped off the treadmill and approached Tiberius.
“Well, hello, Tiberius, my name is Mykisha Daniels. But you can call me Miki.”
He pointed at Stacey. “And you are?”
“I’m Stacey . . . Stacey Paige.” She extended her arm to shake his hand.
He was holding Stacey’s hand tight. “That’s a pretty name, Ms. Paige.”
“Thanks, but you can call me Stacey.”
“Then Stacey it is. Nice meeting you.”
“Nice meeting you too, Mr. Jones.”
“Please call me Terry.”
“So that means I can call you Terry too?” Miki blurted out.
“Yes, you can.”
Still holding Stacey’s hand, he said, “Wow! You have the most beautiful hazel brown eyes.”
“Thank you, Mr. Jones—I mean, Terry,” Stacey responded.
“You are very welcome, Ms. Paige—I mean, Stacey. I hope to see you again real soon,” he said, backing up.
Smiling, Stacey said, “Maybe.”
“Oh, and if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me or one of the other trainers.”
Terry walked away to continue his sessions.
“Girl, did you see how he was looking at me? Oh yeah girl, he wants Miki.”
“Girl, he was not looking at you.”
“Yes, he was. If he was not looking at Miki, then who could he have possibly been looking at? I am the
baddest chick up in here.”
“He was looking at me, of course.”
“Honey, please, I don’t think so. He was all up in my grill. He was not thinking about you.”
“Whatever, Miki. Can we please finish our workout?”
“We sure can because Miki got to keep it tight, boo boo.”
“Oh my god, you’re just too much. I don’t see why I keep putting up with you.”
“Because you love me.”
They both continued their workout.
Excerpted from "The Obsessions of a Married Man" by Ammie Edwards-Rucker. Copyright © 0 by Ammie Edwards-Rucker. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.