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I Wanna Be

“Just a few days before our first day of college, you excited?” Omari asked looking over at his girlfriend of one year and best-friend of seven.

“Yeah…I guess.” Dominique mumbled looking out the window

“Baby please don’t be like that, I know you wanted to go to UNC but USC is a really good school too.”

“Omari I could care less about the education because I’m going to get one regardless, I just had my heart set on being a Tar Heel ever since I can remember. Playing soccer for them was a dream and now I’m going to be playing for a school who isn’t even ranked. So could you please let me sit over here and mope?” she asked looking over at him.

Omari let out a sigh as he got off on the very next exit. He pulled off to the side and put the car in park.

“And in other NCAA sports related news Christopher Brown has officially been taken off of U of A’s roster. This is a complete shocker to the college basketball world! A definite shoe-in for the NBA has literally disappeared off the face of the planet. We’ve tried reaching out to the university but…”

Omari cut the radio off and looked to Dominique.

“Babe forgive me if I’m trying to put you in a better mood, but USC was the best choice for me. I swear to God I appreciate the sacrifice you made to be with me. But sweetie I want to go pro and this was the very best way.”

“Omari you were the number one running back in the nation, you put every single personal stat and national record to shame. You could’ve went to a school that had a class size of only the football team and you’d still get drafted!” Dominique explained irritated.

“But you’re the number one midfielder in the nation, so why not put your skills to use and get USC ranked?”

“Please leave my ego be.” She said rolling her eyes.

“What I gotta do to make you happy?”

“Keep driving and let me adjust to this at my own pace.” She said reaching in the back to grab a pillow.

Omari watched her turn in her seat towards the window while snuggling up to the pillow. He sat there for a second and let the guilt eat at him. She was right, he could’ve went to any school especially UNC who was also throwing offers at him, and he would’ve been drafted. He knew she knew he was bulls***ting her about great opportunities. In all honesty he wanted to move from the country. Austin was cool but not where he wanted to be, he wanted the glitz and glam the City of Angels had to offer. He wanted that celebrity feeling he knew he’d get playing for USC. He wanted her right there by his side to experience it with him. Two national number ones on one another’s arm would’ve been a good look for them. Constantly on Sports Center, sharing the cover of ESPN and Sports Illustrated magazine, the sky was the limit for this power couple. But above all else he loved her and couldn’t imagine them an entire country apart from one another. Omari would’ve absolutely died if she were to fall in love with another man, especially if it were his fault and selfishness had anything to do with it.

“Baby” he said reaching over and touching her shoulder.

“What Omari?” she grumbled half asleep into the pillow.

“Come to the back with me.” He said unbuckling his seatbelt and moving to the back of his Range Rover.

She rolled her eyes as she did as he requested. Omari was leaning up against the window with his legs stretched out and Dominique climbed in between them and laid up against his chest. They sat there for a few minutes in silence.

“Dominique I love you with all my heart baby and it’s killing me that you’re unhappy because of a decision I made and begged you to make. I need you sweetheart, I mean I could do this without you but nowhere near my fullest potential. I’d probably get my scholarship pulled from how horrible I’d be playing.”

“It’s ok Omari, I just need some time to adjust. I’m sure I’ll be happy here, I just have to get over the fact that my mascot is a damn condom.”

“It’s not a condom baby, it’s a Trojan.” Omari said laughing.

“Well when I think of Trojan I think of the condom.”

“I don’t see how.” Omari joked grinning.

“Just cause I don’t f*** don’t mean I don’t watch TV Ishmael. All of those ridiculous commercials it’s hard not to notice.” She said irritated.

“I’m just kidding baby, chill with the Ishmael.” He laughed again knowing that he was upsetting her from her use of his middle name.

“Whatever, so why we back here anyways?”

“Multiple reasons main one being that I just wanted to hold you for a little while. Secondly I’m a little tired from all the driving.”

“Who wanted to drive though?”

“Me but I just wanted to spend more time with you on this little road trip. If I’d of known you would’ve been acting like this I would’ve had my s*** shipped too and dealt with you on that short ass flight.” Omari teased through laughs.

Dominique quickly spun around in his arms and kept hitting him in his arms and chest. Omari was laughing the whole time while trying to contain her arms.

“I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I was just kidding baby.” He said still laughing.

“You play too damn much.” She laughed straddling his lap.

“But you still love me so deal with it.” He said leaning forward with his hands on her hips.

“Keep it up with that smart ass mouth of yours and I’ll be loving you from North Carolina.”

“Don’t play babe.” Omari said getting serious and making Dominique laugh even more.

He knew this to be true because just the day before they left UNC was calling her to make sure that she was completely sure about her decision.

“Now it’s your turn to stop tripping cause you know I ain’t leaving you.”

“You bet not break my heart like that.” Omari said leaning forward kissing her lips that were formed into a smile.

After a sweet make-out session the two sat there holding one another, having meaningless conversation and sharing laughs. The two were content with one another’s presence.

“Ok you, it’s time to go.” Dominique said getting off of his lap and making her way to the passenger seat.

“But I was enjoying myself.” Omari complained from the back.

“I was too but we gotta go baby, we’re only 6 hours or so out.”

“You say it like it’s not a long time.” Omari said making his way to the driver’s seat.

“It’s not” she said snuggling back up to her pillow but this time facing Omari.

“That’s because you’re not driving.” Omari huffed.

“Then maybe you should’ve listened when I told you we should fly.” She teased laughing.

“f*** you man” Omari laughed.

“Maybe one day.” She grinned.

Omari nodded his head while gazing at her.

“Given your past I know that this must be hard for you, but I really do appreciate your efforts and how patient you’re being with me.”

“It’s nothing ma, I love you and if you want to wait to make love then I’m willing to wait until you’re ready. Even if you want to wait these next four years until we get married I’ll gladly do it.” Omari smiled meaning every word he said.

“Trust me it won’t be that long.”

“No?” he smiled.

She smiled back and shook her head no.

“Can I get a round about time frame so I know when I need to be ready?”

“Nope, it’ll just have to be a surprise. Hold up…what you mean be ready?”

“Well I don’t want to disappoint you so I’ve been practicing to keep myself up to par. High five!” Omari said reaching out with his right hand.

“Eww baby that’s gross.” Dominique laughed shoving his hand away.

“No it’s not, that s*** is natural.” Omari said putting the truck in drive.

(((7 Hours Later)))

The two arrived in Los Angeles and looked around impressed with what they saw. Omari followed the directions his navigation gave to the USC campus. They pulled up in front of a building that the navigation led them to and out front were a few students. They looked older as if they’d been attending for at least a year or two. They held a certain presence about them that screamed confidence. Only a few things could give off that feeling without words, popularity, money, or athletes. In this case it was all three. Omari rushed around to the other side of his truck to help Dominique out.

“Omari Grandberry and Dominique DeLorme it’s a pleasure to finally have you here.” One of the guys greeted smiling, descending the steps.