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Youth by Dee Faisal
Today the world stops to acknowledge love
But I take a moment to thank God above
He reached down and blessed me with you
My love for you is true
And I can’t imagine happiness without you
I can’t promise you there won’t be lows
But I can promise you that we’ll never be alone
I’ll always be your support
Completing your every thought
Fulfilling all your wants
Pushing you to dream for more
I will never be gone
Your ruling in my life
I will always lead you back to it
Back to your throne
You are my Queen
Happy Valentine’s Day my love
My mind was troubled by the emptiness. I just lay there in the dark room.
A few rays of light sneaking into the room from the right side of the space.
I was lying on my side of the bed with my back to the window.
I would occasionally drift towards sleep but it was too dark on the other side.
I worried about where my mind would go if I closed my eyes. The memories my brain would tap into. I wasn’t ready and I didn’t know when I would be.
I could hear myself breathing as the night continued it’s daily appearance and reminder of my emptiness.
It was a bit colder that night. It was 3 days after Tony has left me.
Broken promises he made to me.
He had promised me that I would never feel this.
He looked into my eyes and told me that he would never leave. He would be there to protect me.
I found myself conflicted between feeling sadness and emptiness to addressing feelings of anger.
I sometimes became mad at him because he was perfect.
He was by far the best I ever had. In many ways than one, he completed me.
And it had taken me so long to find someone like him.
Someone that truly understood me without reservations
He truly took on my baggage and the extra I came with and did not charge me for any of it.
There was no fairytale love story about how we met, or whether I put him on this wild goose chase that most women put men on.
Our first interaction was very simple and direct.
I had just gotten out of a horribly draining relationship and earlier that night, I had sworn off men.
I was sitting in bed at my friend’s apartment when I had been watching classic movies and eating beef patties.
I was just fattening myself up. I couldn’t understand why the guy I had just broken up with, was such an asshole.
Cheating on me and then somehow trying to make it my fault?
After I gave him everything???
I made a plan to become more selfish and focus more on growing myself.
I was so done with men.
I was saying things like
“all men are the same.”
“They are all dogs”
“I will never open my heart to another man”
“I’m just going to be cold from now on”
I was in my anti men state when my friend Laura walked into her apartment.
She stopped in the doorway and just stared at me.
Slowly smiles covered both our faces and she said
“Get up! We’re going out”
she shut the door with the back of her right leg and placed her handbag on the floor.
I replied with a full mouth as I slid under the covers
“Nooo… I’m not”
She was now standing by the island in the kitchen. She was pouring herself a glass of wine.
She downed the glass in one go and said
“When I left this morning, you were laying right there.
And I’m pretty sure you haven’t even moved since I left; unless to get food because you love food too much.
We are going out tonight! I have had a day and we need to let loose. I am calling Jessica too”
Jessica was the life of the party and she for sure was not going to let me stay home. I picked myself and ran out of the living room in my sweats as Laura laughed at me.
The plan was to grab some drinks at a local bar before proceeding to this new club downtown.
We were all covered in our coats, with our skimpy dresses underneath; drinking away and laughing. I had scanned the room when we first walked in and I felt there were not many attractive men in the room. Besides, I didn’t need any nor did I think any would be able to match up to us.
Laura was the social activist and director of the largest homeless shelter in the area, Jessica even with her party ways was surprisingly a killer negotiator for big firms. Her team would get drafted in to broker mega deals but she partied like she was raised on the Jersey Shore.
I was the “modest” one; boring dentist. I love dentistry and a man with great teeth.
I remember joking that night before we left the house that a man with great teeth would probably be my undoing.
I was sipping out of my glass of wine and I can’t even remember what we were talking about when I heard a really deep voice behind me.
I turned to my right where he was standing and I looked up at him.
Such a good-looking man!
I tried to compose myself and before I could speak, he stretched out his hand and in that sexy bass ridden voice, he said
“My name is Tony. Nice to meet you.”
And then he did it. He flashed that beautiful smile!
I squeezed my legs together and swallowed hard before stretching out my hand to shake his.
Then he said
“Good evening ladies”
to Jessica and Laura. He shifted to the fourth chair and said
“May I sit?”
I think we were all still in shock but I nodded and he sat down. His eyes were glued on me and I couldn’t help but continue smiling.
Remember that “I’m off men” speech I gave earlier, yeahhhh… It died.
I just wanted to kiss those perfect lips that guarded his amazing teeth and then run my fingers through his beard.
He smiled again and said while looking straight at me
“So I have 3 questions for you.
One, what’s your name? Are you single?
Two, do you like sushi and jazz and three, when can I pick you up?”
Now I was smiling too hard and I knew it but you couldn’t blame me. I was so surprised and turned on by his confidence.
I looked over to my friends on my left as if to say
“Is that guy serious?”
And they looked back with the expression on their faces saying
“Yes! And you better answer so he can take you out”
I turned back to him and said
“You know, you actually asked me four questions. Instead of three..
Soooo… you have to pick one to eliminate”
He smiled and calmly said
I want an answer to all 3 or 4”
I just couldn’t help it. The way he held his ground and had my friends gazing on the greatness of his beard, I gave in.
There was only a two-week break between my breakup and meeting Tony but I felt like it was so worth it.
As we left the bar that night and walked into the cold night, I noticed Tony didn’t have a coat on but it was really chilly out.
“Aren’t you cold?”
I asked. He smiled and said
“Not really. I have my scarf and my car is literally right there”
pointing at a park BMW sitting curbside. The scarf was actually really nice and I said it out loud.
“Do you want it?”
I smiled and before I could answer again, he took it off and placed it around my neck and said
“It looks better on you.”
A hug, a goodbye to my friends and we began walking away in opposite directions. I kept turning back to look at him as he faded into the night.
We walked as Laura said
“What happened to staying away from all men?”
I smiled and sniffed his scarf that smelled heavenly and said
“This one came to me”
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Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Love you to bits!
. . . . . .
Mornings since Tony left brought forth feelings that seemed to conflict within my heart.
Everyday I woke up to the reminder of what I had lost but I would find comfort in my time at the cemetery where I could just cry and hold on to the memories he created with me.
My mother continued to ask me why I would not allow myself to be taken by someone else. Especially since it had been 5 years.
I had changed so much of my life but I still didn’t let go of Tony. I closed my private practice and took up teaching to be around kids.
I changed the layout of almost every room in the house except Tony’s side of the room.
I just couldn’t let go.
People just didn’t understand what Tony was to me. He literally was everything.
My thoughts began and ended with him.
And I was tired of having to answer to people. It was annoying like when the detectives came to talk to me right after Tony died.
Can you think of anyone that would have wanted to hurt your fian… Tony?”
I smiled as the detective corrected himself mid sentence. He must have been thrown off by the engagement ring I was wearing on my finger. I had fallen in love with the ring and begun wearing it.
“We apprehended a man named Carlos Riera a few blocks away from the crime scene.
Do you know this man?”
He looked up at me as he slid a picture of the man across the table. I looked up and shook my head to let them know I didn’t know the man.
I still couldn’t imagine anyone trying to hurt Tony.
He was that kind of man so questions like that annoyed me because I felt like they had no answer. And because I had to “help” the detectives, I had to pretend that there might even be the slightest possibility, that someone wanted my Tony dead.
. . . . .
With each year, the holidays became lonelier.
I was sitting on the bus a day before Valentine’s Day and all the radio was playing was love songs.
I was in hell because I had forgotten my headphones at home and had to listen to the entire lineup on the radio. Everything was mushy and sweet.
But driving me up a wall as I imagined what Tony would have had planned.
He always had something elaborate planned out and almost every time, it was a surprise.
But I was resigned to just my imagination and clutching on to the old memories we had made.
I arrived at the school and made my way into my classroom like I always do and there was a bouquet of flowers sitting in a vase.
I actually smiled for a second while I read the note; it was from Michael.
Michael had been trying to be with me for almost a year. He worked as a management consultant for a Fortune 500 company and was travelling most of the year. In some ways, I felt that made it easier to ignore his advances.
We had gone out a few times so I didn’t seem rude but I just couldn’t give him all of me.
He was a great guy but nobody was Tony.
I placed the flowers on the side of the table and continued with my day.
It was extended recess and I was on recess duty. Teachers took turns in watching the kids on the playground.
I was walking around the yard when I arrived at a table filled with kids painting Valentine’s Day paintings for their parents.
Some of the pictures were actually really cute. I was watching the kids, focused as they tried to get the mixtures of colors right and ensuring the angles were properly colored in.
It was a joy to behold.
A boy from the end of the table called out
I looked up and headed over to the kid
“What’s going on?”
He looked up at me and said
“I ran out of green and I cannot finish coloring in my dad’s name”
“Aww… Let me see if there is some green on this side.”
I replied as I walked to the other side of the table. I ran my hand through two tubs of crayons before I found the right kind of green he needed. I returned and handed it to him.
I was about to turn away when he said
“Teacher, you wanna see?”
Holding it up to me. I obliged with a smile.
It was a nice picture of the boy, his mother and father. I was about to hand it back to him when I looked at the corner of the picture and the name read
I looked at the boys face and thought,
“It couldn’t be”
I sat down on the bench next to the kid and said
He looked up at me and I said
“This is a nice picture. Is this your family?”
He nodded. I smiled and said
“Aww.. you guys are going to have a nice Valentine’s Day?”
He bowed his head and shook it. Then he said
“My mummy is at work but my daddy is in jail.
But.. but… my aunty Lydia is coming to take me and my cousin Ricardo to see Spongebob tomorrow”
His smile was full. I was struggling to maintain sincerity as I said
“Awww… I’m sorry to hear about that. “
“Oh no! Don’t worry, my dad is coming home soon. My mommy told me”
He chimed in.
I nodded in agreement and without prompting he continued
“Yeah.. my mommy said my dad had to go away because he got into a fight with someone. But he wont do it again so, and he told me it is not good to fight… so I don’t fight”
“That’s good Albert.
Always listen to your parents”
I got up as the bell rang. As he was about to walk away, I asked
“Albert, how old are you?”
“I’m am 7. I will be eight in July!”
He replied with a huge smile as he picked his painting and took off running back to class. I just stood there and stared into space.
I kept telling myself, it couldn’t be.
It just couldn’t.
Or could it?
Part 3 will be published on Saturday.
I really hope you enjoyed it and please continue to comment. REMEMBER, your feedback is EVERYTHING TO ME.
Thank you all!
Check back on Saturday for Part 3.
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