In the meantime, as scheduled, I graduated second in my class and accepted any and all scholarships to the University of Houston: that was including an athletic one! The only things I had to pay for were housing, books and food! My family was proud of me and I was too happy to be back home! I became roommates with two of my best friends from home, Sarah and Renee, who was already a sophomore at Houston. Not too many had left Houston after graduating so I was also reunited with a ton of others I had befriended before I moved, myself.
The Lady Cougars basketball program? Yeah, it wasn’t the best! But, at least I was playing college basketball AND earning a degree; I had little room to complain! My family was very supportive, attending every home game they could. I took the role of starting guard and cherished it, determined to make the team better. I knew it would be a team effort; but if they saw how determined I was, I figured they would get their asses in gear as well!
College life was easy, especially seeing that I technically already had experience (I took a jab at online courses after getting married and did fairly well)! But I was living my dream of attending college on campus. Granted, it was nothing like the movies portrayed it, even with me being one of the most popular and well known students there. There were no outlandish frat keg parties that lasted for days on end (there were parties to go to but they were only when there was some special event or something good happened. Any other time, it was just some get together with a few people; mainly the student athletes). I wasn’t disappointed; my time was nice and occupied with other things!
As far as my love life went, it was standard and drama free. Even though this was a new chapter in my revamped life, I had the knowledge of a nearly forty-year-old who had been through it all. I didn’t let anyone come near my heart and I let it known that I wasn’t looking for anything serious. I had my little flings here and there, even plucking a couple of guys from the men’s team who had the same mind frame. I made sure that I never dated two guys at a time as well as if I decided to go to a student athlete, he wasn’t a buddy of someone who I already had sex with. And, I was always protected; I knew these guys were sticking their dicks into anything that moved and I be damned if I was gonna get something from them!
Before I could blink fully, I was graduating from Houston with a degree in journalism. I had accomplished so much in those four years, it amazed myself! Making the Dean’s List all the time. Getting the Lady Cougars into the NIT my senior year and winning it! Even being named Miss University of Houston my last year there. But nothing compared to getting drafted into the WNBA! They had called me a sleeper pick, one who could become a quality role player at whatever team picked me. I went earlier than anyone anticipated though but I was determined to make the best out of it! I was at a stark disadvantage, however: everyone else who played my position towered over me! At only 5’4, I was the shortest woman in WNBA history to be drafted!
Being in Utah wasn’t so bad. Salt Lake City was surrounded by mountains so the weather was something for me to get used to. I would manage though, being a professional basketball player! True, the Starzz were nowhere near what the Utah Jazz had done in the past or even the present, and we didn’t get as much as the guys. However, I was finally close enough to touch and rub shoulders with one of my celebrity crushes: Jackson Daniels. He played for the Duke Blue Devils and the first time I saw him on TV, I was forever mesmerized! I followed his every move, something that was rare for me because I was a die-hard Houston fan. I found it funny that the Rockets did draft him however he only played one season before getting shipped to Utah. I adored him, still… and my new best friend, Charlotte knew it all too well!
Although we had just met, me and Charlotte took to each other quickly, along with a few other Starzz. We quickly started this routine of hanging out and drinking over each other’s houses. I thought that the night would be the same until Charlotte called me and told me that it would be just me and her. She pleaded for us to head out to this bar downtown. I actually could never say no to the girl, what with her big green puppy dog eyes! When I sighed and finally agreed, she damn near squealed and told me that I wasn’t going to regret it.
Now, Charlotte Knight was supposed to be my best friend! I thought I knew everything about her; she could say the same… except I never told anyone about the whole time traveling thing! Regardless, what happened when we walked into the bar took my breath away! Sitting down at the actual bar was Martin Walters… and Jackson Daniels. Now, Martin was indeed a fine specimen of a man but I was not a fan of… “dark chocolate”. I liked my men milk chocolate like myself… and Jackson was definitely that!
Charlotte pulled me over towards the two; I had found my feet stuck to the floor as I ogled Jackson! My heart thumped hard when the two looked at us, both smiling. Martin smiled a bit wider as Charlotte sat very, very close to him. I damn near died when he stroked her ear; all this time… and I knew for sure that she was gay!
When I tried to sit down beside her, she widened her eyes and actually shoved me towards Jackson! I blushed furiously as he continued to smile at me.
“Jack, this is my ‘sis’, Jasmine!” she cheerfully introduced. I knew that my hands were either really sweaty or that you could feel my heartbeat through them as we shook hands. He didn’t seem to notice so I took a seat beside him.
“I find it a bit ironic about your name… in more ways than one!” he flashed me a gorgeous smile. I melted. He was inches away from me. He smelled fantastic! And I was trapped within that light brown gaze of his! I blushed as I came out of my trance and realized what he said.
“Heh. I… never thought of that… until now!” I lightly laughed.
The four of us sitting at the bar was a bit of a blur. My mind reeled at so many things! One, Martin Walters was married; that was a well-known fact, especially seeing that his wife was one of the biggest supermodels in the world! But there he was, giving Charlotte his undivided attention and not being able to keep his hands to himself. The way she acted told me that this wasn’t the first time they had been together.
And of course, the fact that I was laughing, talking and joking with Jackson the whole time seemed like a dream! I think we even flirted with one another a bit. Couldn’t help feeling that, especially whenever he would say something, he would give me this… look. God… what if this was the real reason I was stuck? What if I was supposed to make all of those changes just so I could meet Jackson? Because things were playing out very nicely, just like the stories I would write about him. The man didn’t hesitate in accepting my offer to go back to my place!
All the way there, I thought: “this is it”. All those little childish stories I had about meeting him was slowly turning into a reality. But there was something a bit strange and off about it all. In my stories, Jackson was, well, if not romantic, at least lustful towards me! This Jackson was a bit… nonchalant. He never grabbed my hand or tried to sneak a feel in. And there was no sexual flirting from him; whatever he said could’ve been easily taken as small jokes from an overly nice man.
Regardless, there he was, in my home, sitting on my couch and I couldn’t complain about that! Maybe I needed to make the first move? I handed him a glass of wine as I sat beside him with mine. Not too close, though; I didn’t want it to be obvious! I was a bit let down as we continued to talk about random things; I guess I really did have to make the first move…
When he finished his glass, he gave me a delicious smile and my heart puttered away.
“Jazzy, I had a really great time tonight.”
“Yeah… me, too.” although I was screaming like a crazed fangirl on the inside, that last glass of wine loosened me up and I returned the smile. I hope he knew that I was down for whatever he wanted to do!
“I have to be honest with you, though. Your friend is trying to get us together.”
“Oh?” I downed the last of my wine. “I… honestly don’t know what to say about that! Except that I had no clue.” which was true. Jackson laughed a bit.
“She’s been telling me so much about you; it’s like I know you! And, you’ve proved her every bit of right just in these couple of hours,” his eyes gleamed at me. God, please say that he was eyeing me; drinking me in as I’d been doing the entire night! “You really are a great person but… you’re not my type. I’m so sorry.”
“… Oh. It’s… fine.” my heart dropped to the floor. I should’ve known that; in an article about him, he told the world what he looked for in a woman. I was too short. Couldn’t be mad at someone who towered close to seven foot preferring someone who didn’t have to stand in a chair to kiss him!
“I hate being like this but… you’re just a tad bit too short for me.” he confirmed.
“No, you don’t have to explain anything! I was unaware that this was a blind date!” I forced myself to laugh. Jackson chuckled.
“However, I would love to…” he paused. I raised my eyebrows a bit at him. Loved to what? Fuck my brains out in a one-night stand? Be fuck buddies? Because I was too short didn’t mean he had to not at least let me ride him into the night; I was perfectly fine with just screwing him! “… be friends.” he finally continued. Oh. I didn’t know why but I felt like crying. Instead, I smirked and nodded.
“That’s cool. We can be friends. Hey, I just realized I got an early day tomorrow. Hate to call it a night but…”
“Heh; I understand! We’re both sitting here like we have nothing to do in the morning! We’ll hang out later?”
“Of course!” I took our glasses and put them in the sink. I led him to the door, where he gave me yet another gorgeous smile.
“Wait; here’s my number…” he gave me his number.
“Thanks. I’ll give you a call later. Good night, Jackson.”
“Night, Jazzy.” he smiled and left. I should’ve known better. But, I caved in to my emotions. Instead of going to bed, I got back on the couch, curled up and silently cried.