Their first date ‘felt like Christmas’
Two weeks after the Scottish party, Mr. Shorter was working his way through Mrs. Quiles’ calendar. A flirty text dialogue he initiated the night they met was in full flight. “The reason I asked him to kiss me in Macau was because our chemistry had increased exponentially in those two weeks,” Ms Quiles said.
Once Ms Quiles sat at the table – a coveted corner seat which Mr Short had secured by bribing the butler with a pair of Nikes – and ordered a cocktail, “I was like, ‘Wow , he understands me,'” she said.
Back in 2012, neither was interested in dating anyone else. In 2013, Mr. Shorter moved into a condo near Mrs. Quiles’ home in Jersey City. Until then, he had spent most of his life in the Bronx, where his mother, Deborah Shorter, his grandmother, Sadie Gray, and six aunts had guided him through Evander Childs High School and straight into his first job selling sneakers at a local H. & Y Sports shop.
Two years later, they moved into a new home together in Jersey City. In 2016, she quit her agency job and started POP! By Yaz.
Mr. Shorter, who then ran the Nike store, was his sounding board for ideas. He also provided a backdrop of harmony at home, which Ms. Quiles’ past relationships lacked. “Early on, NaVell laid the groundwork for a respectful way of communicating,” she said. “We would have fights, but we never raised our voices or swore at each other.”
Past relationships were no longer worth reminding Mr. Shorter. For him, a future with Mrs. Quiles became all that mattered. “I was like, when you know, you know,” he said. “Even the food didn’t taste good to me when she wasn’t there.”