Victoria's Bookshelf

Where the discerning reader goes for a good story and stays for the inspiration.


Chapter 1...

          Glancing over at Jerome Hudson, Michael Lee Patterson smirked and shook his head. A devilish grin etched across Jerome’s face as he added his latest entry into his palm pilot.
         Jerome more affectionately called it his virtual black book. Both Jerome and Michael watched as Tina Black, Jerome’s latest entry, sashayed away from them. Tina dressed pretty much like her predecessors, with tight halter tops and shorts or skirts that left very little to the imagination. 
         Michael lost count, but he could’ve sworn Tina was the third or maybe fourth co-ed to get added to Jerome’s virtual black book…just within the last hour that they had been sitting out here. Obviously it didn’t bother the females that they weren’t Jerome’s only one.  Maybe they felt blessed just to be included in his book. Who knew what went through the minds of all the co-eds Jerome dated. And ‘dated’ was really a loose term here. 
         Jerome and Michael were sitting just outside The Book Depot, Valley State University’s bookstore. The Book Depot, a popular hangout this time of year, was centrally located amidst the 300-acre sprawling campus of Valley State University. It was the state university for the city of Valley View, in northern California. The campus was almost shaped like a horse shoe with the bookstore, student recreation centers, library and nine residence halls on one side. The administration building at the apex or center of the structure, then the music building, science, math and various other buildings where the classes were held made up the other side of the horse shoe.
         Jerome and Michael, both seniors at Valley State, had known each other since the seventh grade and were best friends. They were both African Americans, stood about six feet tall and were incredibly handsome. Their resemblance to Morris Chestnut and Shamir Moore, respectively, was sometimes uncanny. Michael had a light chestnut complexion with chocolate brown, open inviting eyes and a ready smile. Jerome, on the other hand was dark brown complexioned with eyes that always appeared to be half closed…as though he was hiding something. Unfortunately, his female conquests never got close enough to him emotionally to discover what he was hiding. He would only let them in so far.  Jerome always treated his relationships with young women as a game and he was the self appointed ‘Master of the Game’. 
         “All right, what was that smirk for?” Jerome turned a puzzled look towards Michael.
         “That’s because you’re so predictable. No matter how many young women we’ve come across in the past three years, you always go for the same kind. Of course, you do make it look easy though. But, you might be surprised at what some of the other women may have to offer.”  
         Jerome’s taste in young women always tended to be for the tall statuesque, full-chested ones, complete with ample hips, long hair and generally tight fitting short outfits. As far as he was concerned, the less they used their brains the better Jerome felt about them.
         “Now you know I’m not into any long term commitments. I’m out to have a good time until we graduate next year. No emotional entanglements whatsoever. There’s no time for me worrying about hurting anyone’s feelings. All my time needs to be focused on those Fortune 500 companies looking for the highest GPAs from the graduating class. I don’t have time for anything more than ‘get in…get out’…move on to the next conquest, or rather female companion.”  
         “I see you’re still letting our being virtually ignored the first few years of high school color how you treat women.” Michael vaguely remembered those days when not a single female would talk to them. Then all of a sudden when he and Jerome gained some height and weight and started working out regularly, the females decided to notice them. Their turnaround in behavior kind of ticked Jerome off and he was determined to get back at them for playing him like he was some kind of game. So Jerome started his version of the game in his senior year in high school and never looked back. Michael hoped Jerome would tire of it before someone turned the tables back on him.
            “Nah man.  I’m over that,” Jerome replied rather unconvincingly.
            “Sure.   Try telling that to someone who doesn’t know any better.” 
            “Anyway, if I decided to go after a different type of woman, that wouldn’t be a problem either. There’s no woman on campus I couldn’t get if I really wanted her.”  
           Michael’s jaw dropped as he turned to face him, “Oh, really? You mean any woman on campus is fair game to you? You’re telling me you would have very little difficulty charming your way into the panties of any female student at this school?”  
          “I wouldn’t have put it quite that bluntly, but yes you name her, she’s mine.” A wide, confident smile came across Jerome’s handsome face.
          The wheels started turning in Michael’s head as he laughed at Jerome. Michael narrowed his eyes as he thought for a quick moment.
          “How about a little friendly bet? $100. I pick the female and you have let’s say, I’ll make it easy for you. I’ll give you two months in which to ‘get to know her biblically’ if you know what I mean.”
            “Umpf! I could do it in one month. Who’re you kidding?”  
            “No. We’ll keep it fair. You have two months starting from the day you meet her.”  
            “Hey man, the bet’s on!” Jerome laughed out loud. 
             Michael thought back on all the female students he noticed over the last three years he and Jerome had been at the university. He tried to figure the one who least likely matched Jerome’s style in women. Suddenly a rather conniving smile lit up Michael’s face. He instantly thought of the perfect candidate for this bet. She was a sister and her name was Vivian something or other. He couldn’t remember what her last name was. He noticed her during the middle of their first year at the university. Vivian was about five feet seven inches tall and not curvaceous at all. She was thin with long legs and a small bust line.  Although she did possess one feature that was on Jerome’s list. She had brown, below the shoulder length, wavy hair. She didn’t seem to hang out with a lot of people, mainly a few here and there. Michael knew she lived on campus and had a cute, brunette roommate. But, he never noticed her romantically involved with any of the guys on campus. She also seemed to be serious about her studies. He even heard from some of his and Jerome’s buddies trying to ask her for a date and her emphatically turning them down. The guys even nicknamed her “Vivian-the No-Queen”. She dressed conservatively, generally wearing loose fitting khakis, or blue or black jeans with a T-shirt or sweater depending on the temperature. Vivian was a perfect candidate for his bet with Jerome.