Introduction. Chapter One. Chapter Three.
The smell of Jocquetta’s favorite meal is on the other side of the door. She is at Jocko’s college apartment door and is thinking. I’m dreaming there’s no way he could know that my favorite meal is Polvo a Lagareiro, which is Octopus with olive oil and potatoes, Jocquetta is thinking.
The first time she had Polvo a Lagareiro was when she was invited to speak at Oprah X Speak; the conference focused on women in technology in a small town called Porto Covo, Portugal.
She gently knocks, and the door immediately opens—Jocko’s standing there with Orchid flowers in a painted pot with smiley faces on it. Jocquetta smiles but thinks, OK, how does he know what my favorite meal is and what my favorite flowers are?
So she asked, “Jocko, how do you know what my favorite meal is because I know that smell, and how do you know my favorite flowers?”
Jocko smiles and replies, “I hope it’s OK that I called your mom and asked her what I should cook and what about flowers? Should I give her flowers on our first date”?
“First date,” say’s Jocquetta. Jocko starts to sweat and says, ” Yes, I’m not trying to play football with you; I’m trying to show my love for you.” Then Jocko say’s, “If you are not interested,” then Jocquetta closes the door and softly touches Jockos lips with her finger to say stop talking and kiss me.
He was finding so many ways to make her feel loved. Jocko didn’t just kiss Jocquetta; he kissed her, making her mind feel blind. Like the only thing on her mind was having a good time.
The kiss was so long they both got weak in the knees and stumbled over to his Castlery Adams Armchair. Set down, and Jocquetta looked around and thought, thank God Jocko has style. Unlike most college guys with game posters covering the walls, his apartment was lovely.
He had two Samsung frame TVs, one with family photos and another with NFT art by Girls Riding Things, #98764 and #95674, and some other NFT art which freaked Jocquette out because the only thing she was found with was a digital ID card and a Girls Riding Thing NFT # 3002, when her parents where killed in an explosion at a Metaverse theater.
She was like, he is too perfect; there must be something wrong with him, she was thinking. So they sat down and ate, Jocquetta, amazed at how good dinner was. “Jocko,” Jocquetta says. “Dinner was amazing. Have you cooked Portuguese food before?” Jocko replied, “Yes, I screwed up making your favorite dish twelve other times until I got it right. So this is lucky number 14!”
They both let out a big laugh!
Jocquetta thought I love that he kept trying until he got it right. They both played sports, so she was not surprised that he did not give up, but some of her teammates would give up too quickly, which upset her. So being with someone who won’t quit on her was an important thing to discover about Jocko.
After dinner, they sat outside on the small patio beside his apartment. She kept thinking there had to be something wrong with Jocko, so she asked him. “Jocko tell me about yourself because we don’t know each other? I like you, but I’m not sure why?”
“Well, what do you want to know?” Jocko says. Jocquetta says, “Tell me something you’re trying to improve about yourself?”
Um, boy, I see you don’t hold back looking for my faults. Jocquetta try’s to say something, but Jocko interrupts her, grabs her hand, and says, “It’s OK. I’m trying to figure out what might be wrong with you.” They both let out another laugh.
Jocko says, “I lie at times to avoid conflict because I don’t believe arguing gets anyone anywhere fast, but lying does no good either, so I’m trying other ways to deal with conflict.
Jocquetta says, “I can’t believe you are being honest about being a liar.” They both laugh, and Jocko is turning red. Finally, Jocquetta says, “Jocko tell me something good about yourself.” “Well,” Jocko says, “I try to put other people’s interest ahead of mine, and when I can’t, I try to align our interest, so it’s a mutual relationship.”
Jocquetta liked that a lot. So Jocquetta say’s, “Jocko, tell me something about me you would like to know?” “Well,” Jocko says, “Everyone I know says you’re a caring, good person with nothing but a pure soul.”
Jocquetta interrupts and says, “Well, if you only knew what was going on in my head, you would not think I was so pure.” But, Jocko thinks, what does she mean by that. He was not sure, but his imagination was running wild.
Jocko say’s “Tell me something about the man you would like to marry?” Jocquetta says, “Your not getting off that easy asking me something you want to know about me?”
Jocko leans back in his chair, takes a deep breath, and asks Jocquetta, “What’s the worst thing you have done to yourself?” Jocquetta says, “What do you mean?” “Are you in your head being negative or positive a lot?” Jocko says.
Jocquetta thinks wow, I love that he cares how I treat myself because those who suffer most suffer in silence. Jocquetta says, “I try to be favorable to myself, but I have some negative thoughts. I try my best to talk to my mom and dad, so I don’t hold on to those negative feelings.”
Jocko says, “That’s good to talk about how you feel. Jocquetta always talks to me about how you feel; even if you think I might get upset, please communicate with me.”
Jocquetta leans over and kisses Jocko.
The kisses are getting longer and better, but she thinks they might want to go for a walk. Her mom warned her that young love could lead her into some rush situations, so slow down and make good decisions.
Jocquetta giggles, then Jocko says, “You want to go for a walk?” Jocquetta thinks this is too good to be true; how could he know what I was thinking.
Jocquetta replies, “Yes, sounds good.” It was a warm day, and the sun had set; plus, there was a nice breeze. They walk about a block when Jocquetta asks Jocko, “What do you think your mom thinks about us seeing each other?”
Jocko smiles and says, “Are we seeing each other?” Jocquetta laughs and says, “Very funny.” Jocko says, “I’m not sure what she thinks, but I know she respects you and likes you. Are you concerned about something?”
“Well,” Jocquetta says, “I can’t let my personal life get in the way of my goals.” “Being with you and your mother being my professor could cause a problem. Don’t you think?”
“Well,” Jocko say’s, “I understand, and if there’s a problem, let’s try to figure it out. But if you need to choose your goals and career over me right now, I get it.”
“I’m not going to get in your way of success, Jocquettta. My thinking was to find time to see each other when we could. We both have a lot of things in life to look forward to, and for me spending any amount of time with you is what means most to me right now.”
Jocquetta say’s “I can’t wait for Paris.” Jocko say’s, “Me too.”
By Michael Vance Pemberton
I woke up one day and decided to learn to write. I pray and hope I’m getting better.
Chapter three comes out on April 10.
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