RaVon cruised his gold 2001 Monte Carlo down 14th Avenue in Harlem. It was a bright summer day in New York, and the crowded street was filled with fruit vendors, hot dog stands, and honking, cursing cab drivers. People moved in a rhythmic throng under the dancing sunshine rays. A group of chic young women sporting fashionable Fendi, Prada, and Phat Farm outfits with their leather tote bags, and expensive cellular phones poised for use cast RaVon admiring sides glance as they passed by. The Japanese one with the long silky hair spiked in wisps atop her head in a short red skirt and matching lace top let her slanting dark eyes linger seductively on him. Her perfect red lips formed into a promising smile, but attractive as she was, RaVon was not interested. He drove on until he reached the building he had been searching for. It was a small, but exclusive dance studio, Harlem Body Kinetics. Here, he would find Nikki Evette Meyers, the only woman who had ever captured his heart. It had been nearly 5 years since their break up. RaVon’s former player days had caught up with him in the form of a red haired daughter, Vontia, by a former flame Catia. Nikki had not been able to deal with the evidence of his past indiscretions, and had left him to pursue her education and dreams of dancing in New York. Only a year before when his friends, Teeko and Jaime, ironically an old girlfriend of his, had married he had met again with Nikki and her fiancé, Michael Lorenz, a popular dance choreographer and the owner of Harlem Body Kinetics. Her unrelenting beauty and even more so at meeting her fiancé had stunned him. He was filled with a stabbing anguish and jealousy afterward. He could never imagine Nikki with another man, especially marrying another one besides him. Their relationship had been so beautiful, and he could not let go of the love that burned in his heart for Nikki after all these years. He had not imagined he saw the hurt in Nikki’s eyes when they had chanced upon one another at the wedding. Over the years, Nikki had grown more sophisticated, and had learned to reign in the passion of her emotions. She had smoothed over her shock, and had introduced RaVon to Michael. RaVon had felt the cool reserve she had treated him with before when he had made a trip to New York once in an attempt to get back with her. She had acted happy to see him, but showed no interest in restoring their relationship. RaVon swallowed the hurt that the memory caused even now. He stepped out the car slowly, sliding his hand over the sleek hood of his car, as he drifted toward the building. “Why the hell am I doing this?” he thought, “I am only setting myself up for another disappointment. She never truly forgave me, but I wish to God she would”. If only I could make her see that, there is no other woman on this planet for me besides her. I wish I could make her need me again, love me again, like I need her in my life.” RaVon stopped and stared at the building hesitantly. “It’s not fair to her,” he thought to himself again, “For me to keep trying to interfere in her life. She might be married by now, but then again do I really give a **** about that f*ggot a** n*gga?” RaVon shook his head, and cleared the mean thoughts from his mind. He had never been keen on male dancers, and could not help but wonder about a brother that would parade around in leotards. He almost laughed at himself, but he was too nervous about seeing Nikki. He breathed deeply, and straightened himself as he strode purposefully toward the building. Pushing open the glass doors of the studio, he approached the receptionist who was chirping on the phone. Her hands flew expressively as she continued to talk and did not realize RaVon was towering over her. RaVon cleared his throat, and her round brown eyes drifted in surprise up to his face. “Oh I’m sorry...hold on just a minute sir!” she said as she spun her chair around and whispered fiercely into the phone, “Girl I’m going to call you back. There is this cutie standing here. Un-huh. Bye.” She twirled back around and gave him a dazzling smile. “Hi, I’m sorry, but I didn’t even see you standing there. My name is Cindy, how can I help you?” she said brightly. RaVon turned on his charm and laughed easily. He knew that with his 6’2 athletic build, golden bronze complexion, warm green eyes, and teasing smile that he was irresistible to women. This young woman would give him no trouble at all by the mesmerized look in her melted chocolate colored eyes. “It’s okay, sweetheart, my name is RaVon, and I was wondering if you could tell me if Ms. Meyers in.” “Sure she is. I think she just finished a session. Let me show you the way to her studio.” she gushed rising from the desk. Her eyes flashed into his as he gave her body a cursory glance. She was 5’4 in the heels she wore with deep ginger brown skin, big brown eyes, a pert nose, white teeth, and a buxom figure with shapely legs. She was attractive and wanted RaVon to know it too. RaVon chuckled to himself and smiled at her smoothly. “Show the way Ms. Cindy,” he said offering her his arm. She beamed, and took his arm as she swayed her hips as they walked together. After turning down a long corridor, they reached a room with highly polished hardwood floors, sparkling mirrors, mahogany bars lined the walls, and studio lights glowed overhead from their long silver wracks on the ceiling. Soft jazz music floated from hidden speakers. RaVon’s eyes swept the room until Nikki twirling in the center of the room captured them. He held his breath as he watched her move gracefully. The flesh tone leotard she wore was almost sheer and shimmered against her creamy complexion. It outlined her firm, high breast, her flat stomach, long dancer’s legs, and every graceful curve and line of her slender body. Her light brown hair tumbled over her shoulders as she danced. She was gorgeous. As the music, crescendoed RaVon watched as Nikki became enraptured in the music and flittered like a butterfly around the room. Her perfectly pointed toes danced steps as precise and flawless as a string of pearls across the floor. The music continued to swell and she whirled passionately her long hair fanning out. Slowly the notes decrescendoed until they faded into silence. It was at that moment that Nikki lifted her face and opened her eyes to meet the intense gaze of RaVon. Her eyes widened and she almost gasped. “RaVon?” she said softly. “Nikki.” he said simply looking deep into her eyes. His heartbeat raced. She looked so ethereal at this moment with the soft light glowing all around her. She was always so beautiful when she danced. Cindy looked from Nikki to RaVon curiously. Even she could sense the intensity between them. “Nikki that was absolutely gorgeous” Cindy sang breaking into the heaviness of the moment. Nikki still looking unsettled glanced at Cindy and replied, “Thank you.” Cindy smiled brightly and gestured toward RaVon. “I was just bringing Mr. Woods to see you. You never told me you had such a delightful friend!” she laughed raising her eyebrows at Nikki. Nikki only smiled faintly and tried not to look into RaVon’s penetrating green eyes yet. Cindy watched RaVon for a moment longer then sighed; “Well if you need anything just give me a call at the front desk, and RaVon it was a pleasure meeting you.” Here eyes sparkled as he bowed smoothly before her and said; “The pleasure was all mine.” His smile radiated over Cindy and she was thrilled. She giggled breathlessly and exited the room. She could not wait to tell her girlfriend, Tiara, all about RaVon. RaVon waited until she had left the room before turning his full attention back to Nikki. She had a towel around her neck now with a bottle of Evian water in one hand. “I see,” she said casually, “That you still have the same charming effect on women.” RaVon winced, and wondered if her words carried a deeper meaning despite their casual tone. “It does not matter.” He said simply. Nikki, now recomposed, lifted her delicate eyebrows slightly and asked; “And why is that?” RaVon eyes bored straight into hers as he replied, “Because they are not you. No woman could ever come close to the woman that you are, Nikki.” He said in a low and sincere voice. “That’s is why it does not matter. Nothing much has mattered since you have been gone, especially in my life.” He continued trying to restrain the emotion that wanted to crackle in his smooth voice. Nikki’s brown eyes darkened. “RaVon don’t!” she said sharply. “Don’t start that again. Just don’t say anything!” RaVon’s lower lip trembled, and he bit it. His green eyes shone brightly as he gazed at Nikki. He could see the anger in her eyes, but she was pale and her lips trembled as well. Nikki fought to contain her emotions and after a moment, she demanded; “What do you want? Why did you come here?” RaVon unclasped his hands and moved closer to her. “Because, I needed to see you. I have been thinking about you ever since I saw you at Jaime and Teeko’s wedding. Nikki I know you probably don’t want to see me or hear anything I have to say....” he began. “You’re right!” she snapped, “I don’t and I wish to God that you would just let whatever you think you feel for me go! It took me too long to reach this point of happiness without you, and now here you are again!” she cried and tears brimmed in her eyes. RaVon relented and knelt down beside her. He touched her face and she turned away. He took her chin, and forced her to meet his gaze. He was not going to walk away this time. The pain and the love in his heart for her would not let him. “If you are so happy, then why, baby, why are you crying?” he asked softly as the tears began to spill down her cheeks. His green eyes were dark with a mixture of pain, anguish, and concern. “I am happy, I am!” she screamed yanking away from him again. She rose from the floor and sobbed; “Just leave me the hell alone RaVon! Leave me alone! Haven’t you done enough to me? Haven’t you?” RaVon flinched at her hurt and agony, but he pressed on. Even if he could not win her heart back, he knew they needed to let this tension between them die. They both had to face up to the truth of the past.