2:54am I was talking to a friend about a month into the lockdown and I brought up the fact that our parents had similar and very different battles as they grew up. My mother was born during the civil rights movement. My father watched civil wars, coups, dictatorships, polio, HIV, and Trump. I know it seemed like a huge jump to Trump but truly think about everything we have gone through as a race and a global community since he came into office. Fuck.
From our conversation, he mentioned the fact that we have to document these times. The societal issues are largely accounted for in hashtags and op-ed’s but we need our own account. As a writer, I am very guilty of not really liking to read back my work. Idk why but once I create it and put it out, it belongs to YOU. Somehow, I kind of detach from the content and I just hope it’s impactful.
So for this piece, I have decided to write it like a journal/diary entry and I hope you find something here or just enjoy how I write if that’s all you need. I had such high hopes for 2020, and honestly, it could still turn out fucking amazing but at this exact moment – FUCK.
Cancellation of Sporting Events
Confirmed UFO Sightings
Evidence of Parallel Universes
Murders of Black people + Riots across America
Return of #Anonymous
And it’s just June.
I remember telling someone that I didn’t think that the lockdown for this long. I was sure that the capitalist world that is America would force them to send us back to work as soon as they could. I was wrong. I think 2020 so far has shown us that the saying “we have seen it all” is nonsense because we have not seen this shit. At least not at this rate. I feel largely conflicted on most days. The lockdown has reactivated my creative talents through @TheRantsShow and this blog. I am back to writing more and sharing it. Key part: sharing it. The best days on my blog (thanks to people like you for being here to read this) since 2017 have all come while the whole world is protesting the murders of #GeorgeFloyd #AhmaudArbery #BreonnaTaylor and the brutal raping of Tina & Uwa. #JusticeForTina #JusticeForUwa So while personally, I have finally found some joy, I am still immensely consumed by sadness and dread.
Getting laid off in March, I struggled to keep my head afloat for about a month. Then I got to the final stages of a company I thought I wanted to work for and I was passed over. Enter depression, doubt, and dejection. So as I turned to my creative outlets like I know how I was so happy to be finally in the groove again. And even that feels unfair. It feels unfair to be happy. To have things that make you smile when my people are dying and the world is reeling.
Being unemployed in the middle of a pandemic, while worrying about your health and life is a different level of crazy. Then the overwhelming news of pain and sadness everywhere you turn feels like being in a toxic relationship that you know you need to leave but you can’t seem to figure out how. Everywhere I turn, I feel stuck. For many of the reasons listed above, I have questioned God. Why this or why that? Yet, I have somehow found some peace in God still. It’s weird.
I can’t seem to think of much than getting a new job. I know we should not be defined by our jobs but I feel like not being an active contributor in life truly bothers me. I tend to feel inadequate AF. I want to be doing things, being impactful, and truly touching lives. I keep thinking about @TheRantsShow’s Annual Give Back – will I be able to touch the lives of these kids this year due to the pandemic and being out of a job? Sigh.
I was taking the trash out earlier tonight and my heart started racing. I stopped on the stairs to process for a second and I realized that it was because there is a county-wide curfew at the moment. So from 9pm-5am, everyone needs to be in their homes. But I started thinking, what if a police officer saw me and I got shot or something bad happened. I know in your mind, like in a mind, a quick thought came in about how I could potentially be thinking irrationally but just look at most of the recent killings of black men and women. Nothing seems irrational or impossible anymore.
I worry about my blood brothers
and all my friends, acquaintances, and just random people. Who got us? Every time they call my phone, I panic. Is one calling me because something happened to the other one? Did someone assault or abuse my sister? Is everything okay? I worry about walking to the 7/11, driving, being in the workplace, being around a certain group of people (yes, those people), or just fucking existing and it being a crime to be alive and black. I worry. A lot. And that is weird for me. I hate worrying. I am team, worry about what you can control, change it, or allow it. This sucks. I feel like I’m constantly watching my back, waiting for the other shoe to drop. It’s mad.
We need to train our boy child. All over the world but especially in Nigeria and the broader Africa. Men need to stop raping women/girls. It has to stop. It doesn’t matter where they go. Women are not safe. And what is mad is that through everything, they stay protecting us. How?! We need to take the time to teach self-awareness, consent, and have firm consequences for people that violate other people on any level. I wish I lived in Nigeria and I could have those conversations with young boys. Consent is attractive. Consent is peace of mind. Consent is to be given, respected and can be revoked. I pray for the families of the young women abused by animalistic men.
My heart is heavy. My soul is weary. My body is achy. We all need peace. Please do not give up the fight. We can and we will pull through. I believe in us. Please stay safe out there, we are fighting two wars – a global pandemic and racism. Stay safe and sane. Catch part two of Bastards next Saturday. Did you miss part one? Read it here
So how are you doing, Sanmi? You may ask…
HURTING. Really HURTING.
How are YOU feeling? Leave your answers in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading as always! 💕 Till next time, stay up!
Please leave a comment Below!
Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support. You are highly appreciated.
There was a crisp tinge to the air that summer afternoon. The Ibadan heat felt like a stranglehold. The only breeze that day was the ceremony. We had gotten to the priest earlier in the week to make sure things moved quickly and efficiently. The whole week was a shit show. Family had flown in from all over the world on a whim. But the events of that day and the following weeks would leave a lasting impression. Money talks, but greed uses a megaphone.
It had been exactly 72 days since my father passed away in his sleep while vacationing with his friends in Kenya. He was 65 years old and for the last twenty-five or so years, our family had a routine – we travelled the world for two weeks as a family and Daddy went to link up with his boys. Friends from their high school days at Wesley College, Ibadan, the six of them would manage to do well for themselves in varying fields – from politicians to lawyers, doctors and businessmen. My father was a medical doctor in England for two decades before moving back to Nigeria; he would then teach at the University of Ife, go into politics and then fully into business, supplying medical equipment to the government. A great family man but clearly a man not without his flaws and demons, as you will soon find out.
This year, we swapped the order of our vacation because one of our cousins was due to get married three weeks after this vacation to Kenya. We decided as a family to start our vacation after Daddy got back from his boys’ trip and end it in Venice, where the wedding was going to be held. At least that was the plan.
I was surprised when I got a call from his lawyer and confidant that he had passed. I was even more surprised at how well my older sister was giving this eulogy.
“…a dad is someone to look up to, someone to follow, someone to admire, someone to be proud of and someone to brag about, someone to hold and someone to cry with, someone to learn from and someone to respect, someone to listen to and someone to talk to, someone to try and impress – sometimes rebel against – and, someone, most of all, with whom to share everything this wonderful life has to offer. I am so incredibly grateful and happy that I can stand here today and tell you that I have had all this and much, much more with my dad Chief Ayodele. I am blessed to have had Fehintola as my dad. To say I loved my dad would be an understatement – and to say I’m going to miss him would be an even greater understatement.
My dad was one of a kind to me, my siblings, my mom, extended family, his friends and the entire community. Thank you for loving us so deeply daddy – we will never forget you.”
She stepped away and came to stand next to me. She flanked me on my left while my twin younger sisters stood to my right. My brother stood at the end of the line, next to one of the twins. My sisters and I were close – very close actually – but my brother, well he was an acquired taste. Smart and super funny, but dealing with demons that dwarfed even that of my dad. It quickly put members of the family off.
As the casket was lowered, my mom, who had been crying for most of the service, began wailing even more.
“Ah Fehintola, afi gba to se mi pa. Se eleyi to se yi da? Ah Fehintola, until you ruined me. Is what you have done fair?”
They restrained her as dirt was poured on the coffin and we began heading to the celebration of life. It was a big party because of how popular my father was but at 65, it just felt like there was more to his life and it got cut short.
We danced in the streets as traditional drummers played our family oriki. We arrived to a packed stadium and the ceremony began. My mother would eventually join us about 30 minutes later, presumably after she got her makeup retouched.
I don’t really remember the celebration if I am being completely honest. It felt like a bunch of formalities and a lot of ass kissing from those my father gave money to and those that hoped my mother would give to them. Different organizations with the same story of how my father blessed them with his resources and his kindness. Blah, blah, blah.
When we got to the house later that afternoon, it was more of the same. Governors and dignitaries from Nigerian states, international guests, business partners, and so on. A lot of hand shaking and more ass kissing. Some only came to make sure their stream of benefits continued, some came to make sure their business deals were intact. Only a handful really came out of care and concern for my family. Around 8pm, I had shaken enough hands and I was ready to leave. My mother was staying in the main house and all the kids had our own homes in the estate. These were gifts my father gave each of us upon graduating college. I would alternate between my house and the family house where my parents stayed depending on the occasion or the number of people in the 9 bedroom house. Like the Christmas Taiwo was telling my dad that she was dropping out of medical school, I stayed in my own house because I knew it was going to be a madness. Shoes and insults were thrown that night. There was a very different type of tension in the air tonight. I said my goodbyes and got in my car. I FaceTimed my fiancé Ivie on my way home. She couldn’t make it to the funeral because of a missed connection at Heathrow. In many ways, I was glad that she didn’t come, nobody needed the extra family drama. Let’s just say getting ready to marry an Edo woman was already proving difficult with the family. Who knew what type of wailing my mother would have put on if she saw her.
Sunday morning was low-key. We went to church and sat together like they do in my parent’s Anglican Church. The Vicar prayed for our family towards the end of the service. More condolences, hugs, and handshakes. Some of our family members went back to Lagos and other places. I spent most of the day at the family house, cleaning out my father’s room and organizing his study. My father and I shared a love for shoes. We would travel to cities and have them custom made or hit the shops to pick out pairs we wanted to use to tension people back in Nigeria.
I remember truly realizing that he was gone as I turned off his TV screen that broadcasted the global stock markets. He watched them every morning after family prayers and as he took his tea. The man was gone. I cried as I drove home that evening. If I felt like my father was gone, nothing prepared me for what Monday would bring.
When we arrived for the reading of the will, I expected it to be a formality. Over the years, my father made it clear that things were aligned and clearly shared. The only things we were not clear on were cash and splits. Stocks in his companies and his portfolios had been given to us and we had account managers handling those for us. Each person had their house and undeveloped land in Ibadan, Lagos and along the Lagos – Ibadan Expressway. The properties in New York and Los Angeles were to stay with my mom. I was already running my father’s business with my brother as co-executives. My older sister lived in San Diego and was a software engineer and had her own family. Taiwo worked in media for a top soccer team in England and Kehinde was a practicing lawyer in Washington DC. Basically, we were good. We grew up rich and comfortable thanks to our parents so we did not expect any issues with sharing things
The will reading had the following parties:
My mother My siblings and I Three lawyers Two representatives for the company’s board of directors And my older sister’s husband
The lead lawyer opened a sealed envelope and began reading the will. Money was split, the home went to my mom along with most of the physical properties around the world. Nobody really cared for the things like the cars and his boat in Lagos. I got a 40% stake in the company while my brother got 15%; all my sisters got 5% each, bringing the total family ownership to 70%. My sisters also got a higher split on the cash in hand which ran deep into the millions of dollars. I actually appreciated his rationale around this company ownership. I had worked for him since I was in college and my brother joined the company about 6 years later. So at his time of death, I had invested 10 years of my life into the company. The bombshell was not even that all of what was split would not go into effect or get to us for 6 months.
As the lawyer wrapped up, he picked up his suitcase and pulled out another sealed envelope. The moment he pulled it out, my mother became very uneasy. He held it in his hands while he said
“Chief Ayodele wanted this to be read after all the assets have been distributed.”
I sat up straight and anticipated the news. He pulled out a paper and began reading,
“I, Fehintola Ayodele, swear that this document is being drafted while I am able bodied and of sound mind. No part of this document is drafted under duress. Over my life, I have had the privilege of doing some amazing things and building greatness. Without a shadow of doubt, my greatest achievement in my life is being your father. If this is being read to you then it means that life got to me before I got the chance to tell you this by myself. It has eaten at me for years and while I know you may be disappointed, I hope that you eventually understand that I did it for your own good.
So here it goes, I am not your biological father. None of you are biologically mine. A few months after your mother and I got married, I had a terrible accident that completely ruptured my testicles. After many rounds of corrective surgery, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. It ballooned fast and may have been what took me away from you. Your mother and I had an agreement, we chose someone to reproduce with and I would take full ownership as your father. I have loved you all as my own and I truly hope that it came out in every interaction we had. You bear my name, you are filled with my love and you are the best gift that God ever gave to me. I know you will have questions, I expect tons of them especially from those last two. Your mom is the strongest and most loving woman I know. Please give her time and she will answer all your questions as we discussed. I love you all always. This family has made my life worth living”
The whole room was stunned to silence. Dead silence.
My mother was sobbing but ever so quietly. There weren’t many other reactions beyond shock. Disbelief maybe, but mostly shock. “What The Heck Man” was all I could think of.
———————— Are you enjoying this series so far? You pictured the funeral, imagined the home? If you are liking what you are reading, welcome to the WhatTheHeckMan family. In case you missed my most recent series “Scar Tissue”, please read them at the links below. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4. Don’t forget to leave me a comment at the end and answer the poll + please re-share this to your social media platforms. Let’s continue growing the family! Thank you!
I was sitting in my car in the driveway. My legs had no power to walk. I am not even sure how I drove home with tears in my eyes. Everything in my life felt rocked. Everything felt like a lie.
My head was resting on the steering wheel when I heard a knock on the window. I turned to my left and it was my childhood friend Adesuwa. She was the daughter of one of my father’s closest friends and former business partner.
I wound down the window and said,
“Suwa, what are you doing here?”
She smiled and replied,
“I came to check on you. I just heard what happened. Was on my way back to Lagos and I had to stop by and check on you. Are you okay?”
I wasn’t even sure if I was okay. I nodded. She said,
“Are you sure?”
“I mean, I guess. I just have so many questions and I am not even sure where to begin getting answers or if I really want those answers.”
She nodded and said,
“I can only imagine”
I replied. She then said,
“Come inside, let me make you something to eat and we can talk and take your mind off this.”
We headed inside and I was sitting on the couch while she was in the kitchen. I actually dozed off while she was in the kitchen. There wasn’t much talking that actually happened. When she came out, she had made some rice and stew with plantains. We sat and ate together.
As we ate and watched TV, she went to the wine cabinet and picked out a Red that we opened. About 35 minutes after we were done eating, I opened another bottle. Adesuwa and I were always close. We actually lost our virginity to each other way back in SS2, way before our parents knew anything of us. Then we dated briefly when I first returned to Nigerian from getting my Masters in Chicago. We stopped being as close when I started dating Ivie. Just to avoid drama and issues. But that night, something in me wanted to be reckless. It wasn’t the alcohol, that’s cowardly. It was me.
As we started talking, I said to her,
She smiled sheepishly and said,
I tapped my lap and motioned to her. She came over, placed her glass on the coffee table and turned to me with a smile on her face. I immediately kissed her. Passionately. Kissing my way down her body, I laid her on the couch as I slid up her dress. Finding my way to her pink, her wet immediately covered my lips. She let out a gasp of relief. It was like our lips were meeting for the first time. They tasted like a homemade white chocolate candy. Super sweet. I delved deeper. My tongue parted ways as I searched her inner walls. As she dripped down my lips and on to my beard, my tongue flipped into overdrive as I tried to get it all. Nothing was to be wasted. As I slurped and my tongue went from left to right at uncontrollable speed, she clutched the pillows. She placed her legs on my shoulders and gripped them around my neck, it only sent me further into pleasure. I dug deeper. Licking faster; nibbling on her clit. Then she went silent as I vibrated on her clit; I knew what was coming. So, faster my tongue went. And then faster, covering every inch of her pulsing pink. I was working like I was auditioning for a position. I missed her. I missed sex. It was completely non existent in my relationship. She squeezed her legs tighter around my neck and let out her squeal! Her sharp moan kissed my ears like a nip on your bottom lip. She came. I rose to take off my pants and released my throbbing member.
As we walked into the room, she asked me to lay down. Flat on my back I lay, as she climbed on top of me. The heat and warmth was insane. Her wet dripped down my throbbing shaft. She placed both hands on my nipples and stroked them as she rolled her hips on me. No words, just eye contact. She was driving me insane. I closed my eyes and I knew.
I quickly turned her over. Her face went straight into the bed and her ass perfectly served up to me. I slid in behind her and thrust in slowly. Quickly, the pace picked up. Her cheeks bounced as I slid in and out of her. I could feel the base of my balls slamming into her wet clit and splattering all over me. She reached under and tickled my balls as I thrust into her. I grabbed a handful of her braids as I exploded and pumped her full.
We slumped next to each other stark naked with most of her clothes downstairs and mine too. After a few minutes, she got up and went to get her clothes. As she walked out of the room, she said,
“Can I get a shirt to sleep in please?”
I ruffled through the closet and found one. Tossing it on the bed, I headed into the bathroom to wash up. About 5 minutes later, I returned while she was putting on the shirt and tucking her things into the corner of the room. As she hopped into the bed with me, she said,
“So Plan B tomorrow?”
I smiled and said,
“You know the drill.”
“Jk, I’m on birth control”
I laughed and replied,
I think we chatted for a few more minutes but I remember the very last thing was that she leaned over and kissed me on my forehead.
It must have been 4am in the morning when I heard my name out of my sleep.
“Tomiwa, wake the fuck up.”
As I opened my eyes, I noticed Adesuwa was pointing a gun at me. Not sure what was going on, I put my hands up and asked,
“Adesuwa, what is going on?”
“Please don’t talk. Just don’t say anything.”
Still confused and half naked, I asked again,
“Suwa, did I do something? IS this a joke? What is going on?”
“I am sorry.”
“Sorry about what?”
I chimed back. She said,
“Close your eyes.”
I was taking too long. So she yelled again,
“Close your eyes Tomiwa!”
I closed my eyes and that was when it happened. I heard the shots.
Bang bang! My body went limp.
End of Part 1. Please like this story, leave a comment below, and share social media! ~Release part 2 early? 20 comments and we have a deal~Share with your friends and family to get us to 20!
About a month ago, I stumbled on this song. I won’t even lie to you, my first reaction was slight jealousy of how beautiful his voice was.
The lyrics of the song speak so distinctly to my life. As I write this on the ferry home from work, I had to give in to the tears.
A couple of Sundays ago, I was at church. It was offering time and as we walked up to give our offering, I noticed that I was giving a denomination much higher than I was used to. Not only that, it was now a norm for me. I asked myself, when did your offering change?
I grew up listening to pastors that preached giving. They would tell you that you had to give where it hurts and you could feel it. This space felt weird to me. Not because I was giving a crazy amount but because I had enough. More than enough.
For many, the barometer of how great God is usually gauged by financial success or wealth. And while it is not the only measurement I use, it sure is a telling one in today’s society. Being able to “financially” do more in God’s household is such a blessing.
I am grateful for my offering changing. I remembered the days where I would pray that God accepted my $1 and now I can give 10 times that without feeling like I wouldn’t see the next week. He listens. But you cannot stop giving once he gives you. That is what makes the blessings flow, even more, continuing to make God proud so he continues to give you more.
Referencing times that I didn’t have enough or realizing that my offering has changed, is a reminder that God is too faithful to fail me. At various points, I put my trust in him and when I didn’t have enough at MY time, I questioned him. I remember one year that a Pastor asked us to sow a seed at the beginning of the year. I dropped $250 for me and another $250 on behalf of my siblings. Later that year, I was out of a job. Shocked and sad, I wasn’t sure how to begin or where to begin. I kept saying “you asked me to trust you” and this happened? And then I realize something, as I tag off the ferry, there is so much I have been able to do out of this “not having enough” that reminds me that God is too faithful to fail me.
_______________________ UPDATE: It’s amazing that I wrote the piece above the line between February and March. At the end of March, I lost my job due to the effects of COVID19. Part of my offering changing and God’s faithfulness is how I have been able to stay afloat through all of this. It has been truly amazing how God has shown himself and a firm reminder that he has bigger plans for us. I wrote that without knowing a pandemic would take away my source of income and overall happiness. But God has been working hard on me as a man to not place my worth and belief in material things. God is too faithful to fail me. Also if you have not read my just-concluded series “Scar Tissue”. You can read part 4 here. ________________________
What does your growth look like to you? What are those blessings that still shock you? How is your offering different now from what it used to be? Leave your answers in the comment section below.
Thanks for reading as always! 💕 Till next time, stay up!
Please Leave a Comment Below!
Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support. You are highly appreciated.
I watched your video today The one we made on our fifth date When you looked into the camera and tried to pronounce my middle name The way your smile warmed my heart More than the French toast from brunch We were by the waterside All I could see were white sands and you, in a similarly beautiful dress Getting ahead of myself? I know Always my mistake But as I stored the video away that day I didn’t have to worry about storage space
The annoying reminders “Upload to your iCloud account” A telling reminder that I had no more space Useful space So I started to delete things Memories, moments, mornings Trying to find space Like those reminders, you became a nag I initially tried to make it stop But eventually, I gave in and deleted things Slowly But the reminders kept coming “Purchase extra storage space” And so I did I bit the apple as I paid and you were gone
I stumbled on that video The one that started it all Your smile, still so beautiful But this time I watched it with no sound No promises remembered I missed you for a second I reached out and dialed Then it went straight to voicemail You blocked me
When the heart feels empty, home has no warmth.
Written on October 19th, 2017 when I realized they had moved out.
I couldn’t stop looking out the window. Taking it all in, I couldn’t understand why this was happening. Denny’s was busy per usual. And my brain was trying to organize all the open tabs. Why would he send me flowers? Did he even send the flowers? Phone in hand, I crossed my arms and stared at them. I had moved the flowers to my table next to the window. The flowers deserved light. They were a beautiful and colorful rose bouquet.
I wanted to call again but my pride wouldn’t let me. I eventually took a picture of the bouquet and posted it on my instagram with the caption, “Thank you secret admirer for the flowers, I appreciate them.”
The back half of my workout was pretty weak and I think it’s because I was distracted. But thankfully I pushed through – I was taking necessary steps towards getting back to full fitness. I tell you this though, them hip thrusts? Not easy!
Later that afternoon, I would braid my hair into three big all-back cornrows and do a chemical peel and Manuka Honey mask. Ezi came over later with some wine, apple pie and ice cream. We started catching up and I told her about the fight with Denzel. She said,
“Babes, you fucked up. Like how would he tell you that and within 48hours you were using it against him? All he asked for was space!”
I chimed in,
“But honestly, you should have seen him. He went from like 0 to 200.”
“Yes! People are allowed to do that when you tell them you had an abortion for a married man! You cannot police his feelings, love. And it’s not like he called you out your name or something, man just said he needed space and you flipped.”
She clapped back at me. I froze, and without having a clean comeback, I picked up my phone and pretended to text someone. Ezi saw right through it.
“Girl, put that phone down.”
As she smacked it out of my hand.
“What are you going to do? From what you told me, he sounds like a great guy, so are you actively trying to get him back or what?”
I couldn’t contain it. It felt like the emotions of the last few weeks poured out in one as I said,
“Ezi, I have called him, multiple times. He is ignoring me. I know I fucked up. I panicked. Telling him felt very risky and made me vulnerable. I guess I did not play for a very real reaction from him. I wish I could take it back. He is such a great guy and I wish I didn’t mess this up, but I am starting to think that it’s beyond repair. Those flowers came today and I thought he sent them but there is no note. I called, and I was blocked.”
Ezi came closer and hugged me.
“It’s gonna be okay.” She said.
As I pulled away from her, she said,
“How do you know that he blocked you for sure?”
“I have called a few times and it just goes to voicemail.”
Ezi reached for her phone and said,
“Let me try calling. Let’s see if he really blocked you.”
I called out the number and she began dialing. A few buzzes and I heard his voice over the phone,
Fuck! This man blatantly blocked me. I was shook.
Ezi had an apologetic look on her. She tried to make me feel better when she said,
“It’s okay love. Just give him some space. He’ll come around.”
Ezi would stay for a few more hours before leaving for the night. As soon as she left, the sadness set back in. I desperately wanted to sleep but I couldn’t. My mind was racing and I kept trying to figure things out. A part of me felt pride, that I was a good person and I deserved to be fought for – and the other was incredibly critical and bashing me for messing up a great opportunity at a happy future. Those thoughts filled my head for hours, until Denny’s became busy that night. But there it was, the familiar loneliness and the background noise of unassuming people living their best lives, one pancake and one sausage at a time.
I was waiting for the doctor to come back with the results of my checkup. My heart was racing for some reason. Initially, I couldn’t figure it out. It felt like I was waiting for bad news. Almost like when you get the “babe we need to talk” text in the morning, but y’all can’t talk till nighttime. I was praying for good news.
I was feeling good, it was a month after the surgery. My diet had been good, I was lightly back to working out, and even started working from home on a few cases. The wait was taking a bit longer than I expected. I pulled out my phone and I went onInstagram. I am not sure if it was the universe or something but the first profile to show up was Denzel’s. I had already tapped into it too fast that I couldn’t back out anymore. The first snap was his meal from the night before, at dinner. First, his plate and then a boomerang of his group of friends taking shots. The next snap was the crew walking down Oxford street. Yes, in London!
I closed the app quickly and tried to control my breathing. A part of me felt very weak because I had been doing a good job over the past few days. I had a moment a few days before where I had to tell myself to get it right. I am still not sure why him being in London was annoying to me. But I felt cheated. I felt like I wanted him to just call me; tell me he was annoyed, tell me we could work things out. But I guess that is one of the things you want to know about someone before getting deep with them. It is important to understand how they are when happy and how they navigate conflict. The doctor interrupted my thoughts and said,
“Ms Leila, how are you? Sorry for the wait.”
I smiled and replied,
“It’s fine, doctor. I’m okay.”
He smiled and said,
“Well, I have good news for you. All your test results came back great. You are definitely trending in the right direction post surgery. I will say to continue doing what you are doing – taking it easy and not stressing yourself. In a couple of weeks, you can resume light travel and the likes. But as much as you can get people to help with things, feel free to let them do that for you. How is that young man that was by your side during surgery?”
I smiled and said,
“We broke up.”
“Oh, that’s a bummer. Well, still take it easy and try not to over exert yourself.”
“How are the meds working?”
“Everything is working well. I think it’s because I haven’t been doing too much; the side effects like dizziness have been mild. So, I would say pretty good actually.”
“That’s good to hear.”
He replied and then continued,
“Well, if anything changes or you are feeling anything, please contact me and we can alter some things. Okay?”
“Well, great. I’ll get out of your hair. You can change back to your clothes and I’ll see you at your next check-in. Have a great rest of the day.”
He said as he shook my hand and exited the room. I sat there for a few seconds before I started putting my clothes on. The results of my checkup made me happy but I was still sad inside. That was the story of my life at that point.
I was starting to forget about Denzel. Okay, that was a lie. It’s better to say that I was not being regularly triggered by thoughts of him. It had been two months since he walked out of my apartment.
I felt like I had finally moved on. After all, I had a date later that night! It was a friend of a friend that had been on my case for almost a year. He reached out to me and asked me out again, I needed to get back in the game so I said ‘yes’.
I told him that I would meet him there. It was a nice Thai restaurant that had opened about 6months prior. The ambience was really lovely and I was excited for the food if not the date. I was pleasantly surprised at how things went at dinner – the food was so good and he was actually a really good conversationalist. I didn’t realize that we were pushing almost two hours. He had an early day the next day and I had to catch up on some work. So we decided to end the night a bit earlier than I usually would like to end a date.
As we headed out of the restaurant, he asked,
“Did you drive?”
“Yeah, I parked in the garage a couple blocks down.”
“Okay, I’ll walk you to your car.”
We kept talking as we walked down the street.
As we neared the end of the walkway, we walked right past a BevMo. I just happened to glance into the store and I saw him. Yes, Denzel. I stopped for a quick second and then I continued walking. Chad asked me,
and kept on walking. As we got to the end of the street, I could feel my heart racing. I said to Chad,
“Hey, I saw someone back there that I should probably say hello to. If it’s okay, we can say goodbye here and I’ll let you know when I get in?”
He seemed a bit confused and maybe disappointed but he replied,
“Sure thing. Have a good rest of the night.” He leaned down, gave me a hug and disappeared into the night.
Till this day, I am not even sure where the courage came from but I stormed into the BevMo and looked through two aisles before I found Denzel.
“So you just decided to not pick my calls, reply to my texts and block me?”
He was startled. His first words were,
“Hey, let me call you back.”
He glanced at his phone to make sure the call had ended and I said,
“Are you going to answer me Denzel?”
He replied and said,
“Leila, I simply asked for time.”
I snarled back and said,
“And two months is not enough time? Can you confidently say that what I said deserved that?”
He looked embarrassed as he said,
“Leila, do we really have to do this here?”
I didn’t care, I truly didn’t. I was very angry.
“Yes, Denzel. I don’t care about these people. Why are you pretending like you had any intention of contacting me? If I didn’t see you today, you would not have reached out to me. So please, just answer my question.”
He paused and then he said,
“Leila, everything was just moving really fast. Not really your fault to be honest but even with what you told me, I felt like I needed time to process – which I asked for and you snapped at me. You didn’t just snap at me, you decided to use something I told you in confidence against me. Something I don’t even think you know enough about to speak on. So yes, it has taken me awhile to come around to the idea of engaging you in conversation.”
I understood what he was saying despite my ego being bruised.
“So what now?”
“We’re just done? No closure, no discussion. Nothing?”
I added. He stood straight and said,
“I had every intention of calling you, but with your reaction, I just felt I needed to protect myself first. These past few weeks have not been easy for me either. But I needed to take care of myself first.”
There wasn’t really much else to say. I turned and said,
“Well, thanks for saying that.”
“How has your recovery been?”
I snarled back as I walked away.
As I got home some 15 minutes later, I got a text message from Denzel saying,
“I am sorry about how that went. I am glad to know you are doing well. It was good seeing you and I hope you liked your flowers.”
I hissed and put the phone down. My heart melted but I was also very annoyed by the whole exchange. It was only a few seconds. and the tears came flowing down. WhatTheHeckMan.
I would spend days thinking about the entire Denzel situation. Not the fight or coming from a place of regret but more trying to understand myself and why I reacted the way I did. It was not lost on me that my relationship with my mother and past let downs with men scarred me. But, I needed to take ownership of my life. It took me a few days, but I began to see the exchange with Denzel as a learning experience.
The situation put my insecurities in full focus. The level of vulnerability that Denzel saw me in, frightened me. Because of my health situation and how things happened, we accelerated what would have normally taken months to uncover. The level of vulnerability that Denzel and I had gotten to would have come from repeated opportunities to flex the muscles of trust and safety.
I got back from a grocery run and I was putting the items away in the kitchen when my phone began to ring. I reached for it and it was Denzel.
I said with caution, not fully understanding why he was calling me. I could tell he was smiling on the other side of the line as he said,
“I’ve been wondering…”
“I’ve been wondering…how different things would have been if I had just let you win that race on our first and only date? Or how you never gave me my trophy for crushing you at that race. I’ve been wondering how many things we’ve left unasked or words unsaid. I have been thinking about how sorry I am that it’s taken this long to say I miss you. And I want to see you. I’ve been wondering if you would want to see me too.”
I didn’t even realize that I was already smiling and then I said,
“Well, technically if I didn’t pass out. I would have won but yes, I have been thinking of things as well and how it could have been different. And yes, I would like to see you.”
“Would you like to see me right now?”
I quickly replied. He asked again,
“Will you like to see me right now?”
“Where are you?”
I responded. I could almost picture his smile as he said,
“Look outside the window.”
It was one of the few times my blinds were actually covering the window but I walked over and I slowly pulled them up with my left hand. There he was. As the blinds went up, he waved at me and on the phone, he said,
“Pancakes or waffles?”
I ugly laughed like a baby and told him I would be down in a few. Mouthwash, a spritz of perfume and I fixed my wig before I darted out of the house.
The way we hugged each other was different; more different than when we hugged before my surgery and even after. It felt so intentional and I felt safe.
“You look really good.”
“Thanks. So do you.”
We sat down and started talking after we ordered our food. I spoke first,
“Denzel, I want to start by apologizing for my reactions when I shared what I shared with you. It was immature and unnecessary. You have displayed the highest level of respect and responsibility through everything, my outburst was unfair to you and I am truly sorry.”
His head dropped down, then went back up as he said,
“I am sorry too. I wasn’t expecting what you told me and I pride myself in controlling how I react to things. I have spent years in therapy and medicating to ensure that I remain present and engaged in conversations and in my relationships. That day caught me off guard and I think your approach to my feelings made me uncomfortable as well, so I chose to leave. I am sorry it has taken us this long to see each other and to talk through this.”
I was so grateful for his poise and his calmness in apologizing. I made a joke saying,
“It doesn’t look like you’ve lost any sleep since that day. Looking fine as hell.”
He chuckled and said,
“Trust me, the heart has taken a beating missing you and trying to figure out what you want going forward.”
“What do you want going forward, Denzel?”
I asked. He looked me straight in the face and said,
I felt chills run down my spine. I gathered myself and asked
“Are you sure?”
He smiled and said,
“Yes, I am.”
I looked at him with some seriousness and said,
“Even after the ‘beating’ I have given you emotionally?”
He smiled again and said,
“When you fell, I felt so many things. I worried about your life and health but something in me made me stay. Sometimes you love but you aren’t in love, and sometimes you fight the one you love, to fight for your entire idea of love.”
I started tearing and he said,
As he reached over to wipe my tears. He said,
“We have both taken a beating and through all we have seen together, the only way now is up. I would love to get to know you better and deeper. We will be stronger for all that we have been through. The beautiful thing about scar tissue is that it’s always stronger on the comeback.”
I had a few tears streaming down my face and I said,
“If you weren’t sitting so far away, I would come and kiss you.”
He smiled, got up and came over to my side. Holding my face, he planted the warmest kiss on my lips. My breathing turned slow, my muscles relaxed and I almost melted in his arms. Midway through the kiss, our waitress came and said,
“Here’s your water.”
Embarrassed, we both giggled as we moved the cups. He placed his hand on my inner thigh as I leaned on his shoulder. Then he said,
“So tell me something about you. Something simple o.”
We both laughed so hard! Then I replied and said,
“This is my first time ever in a Denny’s. It has always given me ghetto vibes.”
He looked surprised as he looked at me and said,
“Why didn’t you tell me, so we could go somewhere else?!”
I smiled and said,
“It’s okay. I just wanted to see you.”
He kissed me again, and this time, as we were kissing we heard people arguing behind us. As we turned around, it was a couple in the middle of a huge argument. From what we overheard, he was not taking care of her and he might also have been sleeping with her cousin.
We both burst out laughing so hard and lost it as he said – say it with me people…
WhatTheHeckMa……. Please leave me a comment below. Here are two questions for you. Rate the series from 1-10 and rate how likely Leila and Denzel will be successful together 1-10 (10 being happy and growing). Leave your answers in the comments below!
Thank you for coming on this ride with me. I hope you enjoyed it!
The nurse read the awkwardness in the room. She slowly left the room and shut the door behind her. I could see through the blinds that the nurses in the hallway were eavesdropping. I’ve had pretty decent relationships with my care team during my time here; but at that moment, I wished they were all gone.
I slowly began to sit up and I looked at Denzel. He looked uneasy, sad.
“What do you mean that you don’t want to have kids Denzel?”
I asked first. It was as if my question brought relief to him and then anger, he quickly replied and said,
“That’s what you’re more concerned about?”
It took me aback for a second. I repositioned and said,
“Well, no. But I guess it was so unexpected that I wondered how to even proceed. Sorry if that seemed insensitive. I just wondered if that’s something I should have known”
He seemed even more annoyed as he said,
“Leila, we have known each other for less than two months. The current state you are in spiraled from literally our first date. I am not sure when you expected me to slide in the fact that I don’t see children in my near future”
It was a sound point. Heck, I was the one who chose to nearly die on the night of probably my best date in half a decade. I desperately wanted to understand him but also not be insensitive or rude. I was processing his words as he came up to me, pulled his chair close and sat down. He took my left hand and said,
“Look Leila, I really like you. I understand feeling blindsided by this, but think about it; we are sitting here under circumstances that neither of us expected to be in. I am more than willing to talk through anything. I am a pretty open book.”
“Why don’t you want to have kids?”
I asked immediately. He smiled and then got serious again,
“For years, I stumbled through school tagged as the kid with behavioral problems. My family members said I had an evil spirit inside of me. I saw priests, imams, and even an online voodoo doctor. It wasn’t until I wanted to join the army out of high school that I got a psych eval and found out that I had a bipolar disorder. For a long time I hated myself, and I truly do not want to pass that on to my kids – genetics and such. The world is cruel and I guess the best chance I can give them is to not have them experience it at all.”
I froze. His eyes were watery. He was holding back the tears. I got it. It made sense. So why did I still want to say more? Ask more? I wouldn’t need to, as he spoke again,
“I always considered adopting but I just felt that most women would want their own. However, I decided that in the meantime, I would try to make sure the lives around me felt love and support. That is why I convinced my firm to partner with me and give hope to veterans and other people dealing with mental health issues.”
“So, you would like to adopt?”
I asked. He nodded and said,
“With the right woman. Yes”
I squeezed his hand tighter and said,
He stood up and planted the longest kiss we had ever shared on my lips. A tear streamed down the right side of his face. I wiped it off and said,
“You chose to be here for me when you didn’t have to. I gotchu.”
Two days later, I was getting discharged. My father came with Denzel to take me home. Denzel drove and my dad was in the passenger seat. As we headed to my apartment, I couldn’t help but be thankful for life and the opportunity to live. The surgery being abandoned still weighed on me. I kept feeling like there was a plot twist and something else would go wrong. I guess that’s what happens when you reach the brink of life and get pulled back in.
When we got to my apartment, the place was clean. Spotless. It smelled so nice. Remember that I hadn’t seen the insides of my place since I stepped out for that date. It was beautiful. I was in love with the place. There was a bouquet of flowers on the kitchen island from my father’s wife with a “Get Well” card signed by Denzel and most of my friends. My heart was so warm.
The first thing I did when I walked in was walk to the window. I looked outside, and there was a line outside the Denny’s. Sunday brunch time. Somehow, that sight truly warmed my heart. I loved the way people just kept living their lives. In a very weird way, it made me realize that I needed to keep living mine. If I had died, beyond my clients and family, the world would have kept on moving for everybody.
Walking back towards the kitchen, Denzel had already put some food on fire. Rice and stew with goat meat. My mouth was watering. I came up behind him and brushed his shoulder. He laughed, and continued cheffing it up. My dad had poured himself a glass of wine from my rack and was watching the Utah Jazz vs. Miami Heat game. I opened up my fridge and it was perfectly arranged with water, gatorade and food. Lots of it. I turned to Denzel and said,
“Did you cook all this?”
He turned and said with a smile,
“Most of it. Your dad got the water”
We both laughed and I just felt so grateful. I walked into my room, closed the door behind me, and did a happy dance. I knew he was a great man but seeing him in my home – felt A M A Z I N G! The man just had a way! It was a beautiful way and how naturally my dad took to him was a huge selling point. And let’s not forget his cooking skills. That alone had me considering feeding him. If you know what I mean!
I changed and took a shower. The shower was everything. It felt so good to be home. My water, perfect temperature, my own soap, and just my own everything. I hopped out of the shower and changed into an oversized shirt that my dad had given me and some comfortable silk shorts. I wanted to show off my legs but I realized that I hadn’t shaved in a bit. Too lazy to run back, I braved the living room. I could hear my dad and Denzel going at it. They were arguing and laughing about the game. The previous game had ended. The 76ers and Bucks were playing now. Denzel looked at me and asked,
“Would you like me to dish your food now?”
I nodded and said,
He got up and kept talking to my dad,
“Mark my words, Giannis is going to be a multiple season MVP winner – before Embid wins anything. He has no heart”
My dad wanted to clap back but he got distracted by my shirt. He said,
“You still have this??? How many years has it been?”
I laughed shyly and said,
He scoffed and said,
“Well, you know I always told you my style was timeless.”
We both laughed as I sat on the couch. He was sitting on the single recliner to my right and backing the window. Denzel brought our plates to us with drinks and water. Rice, goat meat stew and plantains. After weeks of hospital food, this felt like heaven. Denzel sat next to me while we ate and watched the game. I don’t remember falling asleep, but all I heard was my dad laughing and teasing Denzel. The 76ers won.
Giannis had a great game but it appeared my dad was vindicated. He got up and took all our plates to the kitchen. He placed them in the sink and began putting on his coat. Denzel said,
“Sir, you’re leaving? I can drop you off.”
My dad said,
“No, don’t worry about it. I’ll Uber. Let me leave you two; keep her company while she rests. It’s good for her.”
He reluctantly agreed. My dad came over to the couch, kissed my forehead and shook Denzel’s hand. The door shut behind him a few moments later.
I looked over to him and said,
“Thank you for today and thank you for everything – this was really nice, and the food was so good! You need to give me all your recipes.”
He laughed and said,
“Nope! I need to have something that makes you keep coming back to me.”
Laughing I said,
“Oh wow, so you are trying to trap me with food?”
“Is it working?”
He asked. I smiled and replied,
“Let’s just say you keep going like this and I’m the one that will be proposing to you.”
We both laughed. I was laying next to him on the other side of the couch. He picked my feet up and began to massage them. Gently caressing and loving on them, I was drifting away. He did that for a little while before he stopped. He poured himself some more wine and we picked a movie – The Highwaymen on Netflix.
I got up and snuggled on him. My head was on his lap as we watched the movie. He stroked my hair and minutes later, I was sleeping again. Frankly, I think it was the medication I was on. There was a shooting scene in the movie that woke me up. I looked up at Denzel. He was wide awake and thoroughly enjoying the movie. He looked down at me and said,
He reached for the remote control, paused the movie and said,
“Can I ask you something?”
I wasn’t sure where this was going but I said,
“Yes, of course.”
“Will you be my girlfriend?”
The words sounded like they came from a megaphone. I don’t think I have heard anything louder. Not even Jesus. I sat up straight and looked at him.
“Are you serious?”
I asked. He smiled and replied,
I was blushing but I forced the words out and said,
“I would love to.”
He smiled and said,
“Whew! I’m glad you said yes ‘cos I wasn’t sure how I would follow up if you didn’t.”
We both laughed and I said,
“Technically, you knew I was going to say yes. I mean you fried me plantain and gave me a foot massage. I stand by the fact that you set me up.”
He unpaused the movie and it continued playing. I didn’t lay back down. I just stared at him. The room was dark but also perfectly lit with the Denny’s sign across the street and the television. I did not wait for him to turn. I grabbed his face and kissed him hard. I hadn’t felt butterflies like these in forever. My soul cherished it, my heart liked it, my pussy loved it.
As we broke away, he looked at me. He was searching for confirmation but I could sense his hesitation. I pulled him and said,
He leaned in and kissed me. And then kissed me again. Our lips locked as our tongues communicated what our hearts felt. The he abruptly stopped and said,
“Wait, are you sure about this? You are still healing.”
I said to him,
“I feel fine. Just be gentle.”
Minutes later, my shorts were on the floor and I was trying to take his off. He helped me pull them down and I leaned back onto the couch. He kissed on me a bit more but my body yearned for him to fill me up. I could feel my wet dripping down my thigh and towards my ass, and then he slid in. I gasped. My eyes closed as I felt every vein on his hard member as he filled my walls. His thrusts were shallow but intentional. I knew what he was doing and I loved how gentle he was being.
Our eyes opened and he looked me dead in mine. In and out, slow and controlled without missing a beat. We were like dance partners at the Rodeo. It was as if our bodies had done this before. There wasn’t much noise. It wasn’t like a porn clip on Twitter. Nothing dramatic. Just simple, sensual and sexy love making. I think I orgasmed on the feels alone that night. He pulled out and spurted his seed on my inner right thigh. We both giggled as he wiped me clean with the paper towel I didn’t use from dinner. He slumped next to me and we slept. I would get up later in the middle of the night to pee and that was when I put my shorts back on and pulled him to the bedroom. He held onto me like a prize. But I was the one who felt like the winner.
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…now back to this masterpiece. Please comment when done and VOTE!
I woke up early. A little before my beside alarm that never failed to go off at the unforgiving 6:30am. As we lay there with his hands across my chest as he quietly snored, my heart was racing. I woke up that morning with an incredible conviction – tell him.
I knew exactly why. I may never had gotten to that point in the natural progression of things but frankly, there we were. As he woke up some twelve to fifteen minutes later, he said,
“Good morning beautiful.”
With my head turned away from his face, I smiled and said,
“Good morning handsome.”
He was not getting a whiff of this morning breath so early in our relationship. Relationship. There it was. Eating at me. I had always been the blunt type and with my performance at the hospital, it was only right. I said,
“Denzel, I have something to tell you.”
He immediately moved back and sat straight. Before I could speak, he said,
“If it was because of last night, I am sorry. I wanted to take it slow, I didn’t want you to feel pressured.”
I smiled and said,
“Sshhhh. No Denzel, yesterday was perfect. You are perfect. This feels perfect and that’s why I have to tell you this.”
There was a pensive look across his face as I said,
“You trusted me with so much over the last few days, and your dedication to standing by me, a woman you hardly knew is a true reflection of the man you are. So, I have something to tell you.”
I paused and then said,
“A few years back, about 4 years ago to be exact, I had an abortion.”
His eyes grew big – he jumped in his skin. I continued,
“I was dating a man, an older man. He lived in Houston. We were together for over a year and he promised to marry me. I got pregnant and told him; he asked me to keep it and he was hoping we would have a boy. A few weeks after I found out I was pregnant, I was contacted by a woman who said she was his wife of 3years. She told me he had a habit of leading women on and since they have three girls already, he was basically out searching for a boy. I couldn’t believe it and I was so heartbroken, so I told my dad and we decided not to keep the pregnancy. I was not going to raise a child by myself, yet alone a child born out of lies and deceit. I know it is a lot but I felt you should know.”
He froze. Minutes that felt like forever passed, and then he said,
“I am going to leave if that’s okay.”
“What? You’re leaving? Just like that?”
“Just like that? Did you hear all you dumped on me? It’s a lot. I need to process things.”
“Dumped on you?”
I snarled back, then said,
“I just felt you should know”
“…and I appreciate that but it’s just a lot. A lot has happened so fast. I need to think and breathe.”
It was as if my insecurities kicked in as the next set of words left my mouth; I would regret and still regret till this day.
“So you’re just going to leave? Is that what you do when you have problems? You run???”
I could tell he felt disrespected. I could see the anger in his eyes. He said,
“RUN? I have stayed with you through so much, what many would have run from. Literally most people would have just dropped you at the ER and dipped. How dare you say that to me? Man, fuck this.”
“Denzel, why are you yelling at me?”
I chimed back. He snarled back,
“Because I am upset. Okay?! I am allowed to be fucking upset! What the fuck?”
And then I said it, I don’t know why but I did,
“You sound really angry. Maybe you should take some time, take your meds and think.”
He stopped. Flat. His face dropped. All the rage disappeared and seemed to be replaced with regret. He didn’t say a single word. He turned and headed out of the room and I heard the front door slam. Just like that, he was gone.
I cried so much for weeks. Every single time I remembered him. I would feel a sinking pain in my belly. I fucked up.
I left so many voicemails, called so many times. I had never been to his place, so I couldn’t show up even though I wanted to. So badly.
Three weeks went by, not a single word. It was Saturday morning and I was in my living room. The first time since the night before I saw him last. I was playing Snoh Alegra’s album and working out on my yoga mat with the windows open when I heard a knock. I wasn’t sure I heard it right at first, so I turned off the music and walked to the door. Looking through the peephole, I couldn’t see anyone. I twisted open the door lock and swung the door open.
At the foot of the door was a bouquet of flowers. I bent down and picked up the flowers with the base. I looked down the hallways to see if anyone was there. No one, so I turned back in and placed them on the kitchen counter. I searched inside for a note. It was tucked in the corner. I pulled it out and opened it up. It said,
“I hope you are feeling better. Thinking of you.”
No name. No signature. A part of me thought it was Denzel. I really wanted it to be Denzel. I walked over to the coffee table and picked up my phone. I went to his name and began the call.
It didn’t even ring. It went straight to voicemail. I was blocked. Fuck. WhatTheHeckMan!
~We almost made it to 20 comments last week, let’s see if we can do that this week and drop Part 4 early!~
End of Part 3. Please leave a comment below or on social media!
I remember when I was eight years old; my friend Ezi and I found a puppy on our way back from school. We picked him up and spent the remainder of our walk home trying to decide if we should keep him or not. Ezi and I lived in the same cul-de-sac, so as we stood between our homes, she tried to convince me to let her take him home. I was in love with him already. I even came up with the name we gave him – Rex. Ezi’s family is super religious and at the time, her Gambian mom would have seen a stray pup as an evil spirit being brought into the house. I finally convinced her to let me keep him and we would alternate every two days. She came over with me as we converted the old empty microwave box in my garage into a dog bed. Our grand plan was to keep Rex in my room during the day and then move him to the garage at night.
Things worked well for Thursday and Friday but on Saturday when I followed my mother to the women’s fellowship at church, I couldn’t wait to get home. I was incredibly annoyed by the fact that she wouldn’t just leave and take me home. I know many of you can relate to our parents lingering back in church for hours. Rex needed to eat!
By the time we got home, my father was in the living room watching TV and drinking a beer. My older brothers had not returned from their soccer games with my uncle who coached them. As the door opened, I thought I was going to die. Right next to my dad was Rex’s cage. I almost choked. My dad barely even looked up as he greeted my mom. His eyes never left the game he was watching. I wasn’t sure what to do or say about the obvious dog sitting next to my dad. I was trying to figure out what to say but before I could jump in, my mom jumped in and said
“Where did you get a dog?”
My dad glanced down at Rex who was cutely trying to get out of the box. Without even looking at my mom, he said
“I got it from a coworker moving out of town.”
“Oh, who is moving? Jim or Dorian?”
My mom followed up. He didn’t even flinch. He said
“Not them. You don’t know Chris.”
It almost seemed as if my mom did not want to get into it with my dad. Most of his projects ended up with her cleaning up after him or him abandoning it halfway. I am confident that she believed he would get rid of Rex within weeks. My brothers would also fall in love with Rex instantly once they got back home. That afternoon though, as my mother left the room, my father turned to me sitting on the couch nervously next to him, looked me dead in the eye and said
“Never hide anything from me ever again.”
I nodded as he let me play with Rex. He must have gone into my room and noticed Rex or maybe he had heard him moan. It was the first time I ever saw my dad lie. That incident made us so close, he became my best friend and my hero. A lie brought us close and allowed me to always live my truth with him. Years later, I would see him lie for the second time in my life – the day they told us about my mom’s lung cancer.
Rex would be in our family for 11 years till he and my mother would pass away within a month of each other. I used to always think that Rex kept her alive. One month after she passed, he left us too. I remember the day being cold, really cold. Somewhat like today.
My surgery was a few hours away and I was nervous. The only time I cried as much as I had in the last two days was that month I just described. Between Rex and my mom, I couldn’t breathe. In many ways, I felt like both deaths were telegraphed. I knew they would happen but I did not plan for the pain I would feel after. My dad initially hid my mom’s diagnosis from us until he couldn’t anymore and frankly, it was easier for him because they had been divorced for a bit. Well, and my mom had been cheating on him. It was as if she knew her time was up, so she decided to go back to her high-school/college sweetheart. They would live out the rest of her time together. I cried more when she moved out of the house than when she died. And when Rex was put down, I lost it.
The surgery weighed heavy on me. I was scared. All I could think of was my mother for some weird reason. I felt like it was a curse. How medical conditions would come in and snatch happiness, hope and potential away from unassuming people. I couldn’t stop crying. Denzel was right there with me. When I would stop crying and knock out, I would hear him whip out his laptop and try to catch up on work. The man was trying.
I was two hours away from surgery when my father walked into my hotel room with his new wife. Okay newish wife. He tried to marry this Ghanaian lady a few years after my mom passed and that was a bust. After my siblings and I moved out, he just stuck to teaching around the world and frankly, racking up international partners. A few years ago, he decided to settle down with Estelle and she is an angel. She rushed to my side and gave me a big hug, tears welled up in her eyes.
“Baby geh, are you okay?”
she said. You gotta say it in a Liberian accent to get the full effect. I chuckled a bit as my face lit up. Before I could respond, my dad and best friend spoke
“We got the first available flight down.”
I smiled like a kid and said
“Where are you coming from now?”
He fixed his coat as he came to give me a kiss on my forehead and said
“Kuwait… I’ve been co-directing a US exchange program there.”
I was so proud. He channeled everything into work after mom and he really took his career to the next level. He continued and said
“So, who can fill me in here, what’s the status and who is this gentleman?”
as he made his way towards Denzel, hand outstretched.
Denzel responded and said
“Hello sir, I’m Denzel, a friend of Leila”
My dad firmly shook his hand and looked over to me. It was as if his eyes said
“Is this him?”
A few seconds later, my dad said
I nodded. Denzel kept smiling, clearly embarrassed but confused about what was happening. My dad added
“I’ve heard a lot about you Denzel. Don’t worry, just enough, not too much.”
Everyone laughed. With Denzel’s help, we quickly brought my father up to speed. We were only a few minutes away when he asked if he could have the room. Everyone left us. He pulled out the chair close to me, sat down and held my hand to pray with me. Once he finished praying, he just looked me dead in the eye and said
“I’ll be right here when you get out and we’ll figure this out together.”
There are moments that define you and moments you choose to define. They are not the same but operate with the general concept. You deciding what you are willing to take and what you let take you. I don’t really know what I expected to be the case post surgery but I just prayed that I woke up.
As I woke up, my mouth tasted bitter and it felt stiff. I wasn’t really plugged in. I sort of opened my eyes and tried to find my bearings. Stumbling into consciousness, I felt a warm hand envelope my left hand. Denzel. He smiled at me and said
“Hey beautiful, welcome back.”
I rolled my eyes as I swallowed hard and replied
“I am pretty sure there is nothing beautiful about how I look right now”
He kept smiling and said
“You are always beautiful to me”
“Aren’t you so sweet?”
I gently replied.
I followed up by asking
“How long have I been out for?”
He paused as if he didn’t want to answer and then he said
I replied in shock. He nodded and said
“Yes, they had to keep you in an induced coma to make sure your body healed properly from the surgery”
I was still in shock and he said
“But you have been recovering really well though. They said your body is reacting very well to treatment and the meds.”
“Your dad and Estelle just left about an hour ago to visit a friend. I think someone just had a baby or something”
My mind flashed to my cousin Leah, we were born a few weeks apart. She was having her first child. I was so caught up in everything happening that I completely forgot about it. I asked
“Did they tell you what she had?”
I said as I smiled.
“We’ve been on a girl streak in our family for a long time. I hoped that I would break….”
I could not finish the sentence as I almost broke down. It felt unfair to get stuck on the negatives when I was just glad that I made it out alive.
Denzel picked up on it and quickly jumped saying
“Soooooo now that you are awake? What do you want to eat?”
I held back the tears and I said
“Is it weird that I want okra with goat meat?”
He smiled and said
“Okay I gotchu. I’m gonna make you some.”
I fixed my head to the right and said
“Hold up, you can cook COOK?”
He nodded and said
“Uhhhh yeah. You thought I was joking when I told you I could cook?”
I smiled and said
“Wait a minuteeee. I didn’t think you were lying. I just thought you meant you could cook basic shit like noodles and the occasional pasta. Since we know how much you Nigerian men love adding that to your Chef kit.”
He burst out laughing and said
“Nah booboo. I cook cook and I do it well. I just don’t do it enough because I travel so much. So I never want things to go bad.”
I was actually impressed because he clearly looked like he was telling the truth He got up and said
“I’m gonna head back to mines and be back soon. Luckily okra doesn’t take too long to make. I’ll make it, shower and be back before you know it.”
I quickly chimed in and said
“What’s gonna be in it? Cos I love my goat meat”
He smiled and said
“Don’t worry bout it sweetheart. Don’t worry bout it. That’s that spla, that’s that spla right there.”
He kissed my forehead and grabbed his things and walked out. I took a deep sigh. All the emotions were about to hit me. I was out of surgery, alive and somehow I had managed to keep this awesome man around. What in the world! As I was sorting through the emotions, the door opened and my nurse walked in. She checked my vitals, asked how much pain I was in and how I was feeling overall. I asked her about the details of my surgery and she said
“Overall things went well. The doctor is going to be coming around a little later though to go over all the details with you. In the meantime, do you need anything else?”
I shook my head and she began to leave. She got to the door, stopped, turned around and said
“It’s not really my business but I think you should know that man has not left your side since the first night you got here. He has slept in that chair every night. He’s a keeper.”
I couldn’t believe it. I started to cry. She walked over to me and said
“Oh no baby, don’t cry. What’s wrong? Its a good thing.”
Amidst the sniffling and sobbing, I stopped and said
“It’s not that. It just sucks to know that I finally found a good man and I’m basically about to die and he has to see me like this.”
She leaned in and gave me a hug. As she pulled away she said
“I hear you sweetie but look at the bright side. He’s still here. He is not obligated to and he could have run but he’s here. Focus on that.”
She was right. But all my mind could think of was, how much longer till he wouldn’t show up anymore.
———————————————— Enjoying Part 2? Great! Please leave a comment when you are done. It keeps me going. Thanks! ————————————————
“You made this?”
“Denzel, you actually made this???”
He nodded again and said
“I told you to stop doubting meeeee”
I was shocked. Y’all won’t believe me when I say this but it was fire. Like even better than mine.
He cooked it perfectly. The seasoning, the sliminess and the meat was soooo tender. I was truly impressed. He admitted buying the poundo yam from the Nigerian restaurant downtown, I wasn’t mad at it. I had just washed my hand off when the doctor walked into the room.
Frankly, I appreciated the fact that he wasn’t trying to make small talk because I did not even want it. He asked how I was and if the nurses had come to check on me which I told him they had.
Denzel went to sit down as the doctor began talking. He said
“So Leila as the surgery progressed, we noticed that it would have been more damaging to make the cut that we had initially discussed. So based on the recommendation of the chief of surgery, we aborted the surgery and took some tissue graft and sewed your uterus. There is no guarantee how durable it will be in the long run but I wanted to let you know that with the right diet and medication, you should be fine.”
Have you ever really had a moment where your head was spinning and all you could hear was a ringing sound? Like the sound was distant but also right there? That was where I went. I left the room. It wasn’t until I heard.
“Leila, Leila, can you hear me?”
I slowly came back into reality. My first words were
“So does that mean I can have children?”
The doctor straightened himself, glad he finally got through to me and said
“The possibility is there; although, I would advise against it because it could potentially be dangerous for you and or the child. Let’s start with getting you back to full health and then the journey of the rest of your life will continue.”
The doctor excused himself. Denzel just sat down. I think he was trying to give me space. He asked from his seat
“Are you okay?”
I quietly mumbled
“Don’t worry we’ll figure this out.”
I am not sure why but I snapped
“Figure this out? I am 28 years old. Single. Unmarried and now I may not be able to have children and everyone keeps telling me it will be okay? How is it going to be okay Denzel? How?! I want to have a family. A home. With kids running all around it.”
My voice peaked higher as I yelled to hold back the tears
“I want to be a better mother than my mom was! I want my own kids. I want mine! Don’t you want kids?”
At the exact moment he stood up to answer, the door opened, it was one of the nurses coming to check on what was going on. Denzel stood up and from his coat, a pill bottle fell and perfectly rolled towards the door. The nurse noticed it and stopped it with her foot while bending down to pick it up. Denzel’s words sailed into the room. He said
“No Leila. No I don’t want to have kids.”
I froze. My eyes turned to Denzel. Denzel was looking at the nurse. The nurse held up the pill bottle and read it. Then said out loud
“Are you giving these to her?”
Denzel shook his head. Walked up to her with his hand outstretched to collect his pills. I asked
“What pills are those Denzel?”
He turned around and said
“Don’t worry about them. You don’t need the stress.”
I persisted as the nurse stood glued in place.
“Tell me Denzel”
He looked at me with sadness in his eyes and said
“I struggle with bipolar disorder and anxiety. These are my pills that I take everyday.”
The nurse’s face said it all. What The Heck Man!
~We didn’t quite get 20 comments last week, let’s see if we can do that this week and drop Part 3 early!~
End of Part 2. Please leave a comment below or on social media!
3:36am I couldn’t sleep. The clubs had closed and the Denny’s across from my downtown apartment was full. The line typically circled the building on late nights. It was the only diner that stayed open late. The noise actually was not what was keeping me awake. To be honest, I enjoyed it most nights. From my bedroom on the 5th floor, I have watched fights break out, people make up, proposals and even someone going into labor. In my days, I had given a peepshow or two to the non-paying customers because I forgot to close my window. Oh, the late-night buns on display.
On this night, I really needed that sleep. I had an early morning and I just wanted to sleep, but it had reached that intersection where you asked yourself if sleeping was the right move. I was now worried that if I slept, I could oversleep and miss my appointment. Reluctantly, I turned around and pulled open my bedside drawer. It didn’t take long but I picked my player. I repositioned on the bed and spread my legs. Click. Buzz. 7:30am.
I forgot to brush my teeth. Looking up at the monitor, I was hoping I could get out of there as quickly as possible. I took a swig of the Listerine in my purse. A few seconds later, my client returned. It was the first time I was visiting the VA office. I never knew they were this organized and rowdy at the same time. My client, let’s call him “Jay”, leaned over and said,
“Thank you for coming with me. I hope if we can get the records here, they will help my case”
I smiled, clutched his left hand and said
“I hope so too Jay. I hope so”
He was reading a copy of the New York Times magazine and I was replying to emails from the firm when I glanced up and saw someone at the desk being attended to. My first reaction was the internal “hell nahhh” I sprung up, walked up to the desk and said,
“Excuse me sir, I think you just cut everyone here and ma’am, we have been waiting for hours”
I was clearly upset but I could not understand why he was smiling. From the moment I spoke, he had the biggest grin on his face. He did not immediately respond. I started to scan him from top to bottom. He was wearing a matching forest green tracksuit and it was soaked in sweat. It appeared that he had just finished a workout or something along the lines. The lady behind the counter spoke first
“Ma’am, he is…”
I didn’t let her finish, I asked him directly
“Is there something I said that was funny?”
The smile on his face slowly disappeared and then he said
“Hi, my name is Denzel. It is a pleasure to meet you this fine Saturday morning. I apologize if I cut in ahead of you. It was not my intention to be rude”
He then turned to the lady behind the counter and said
“Please see that she is attended to immediately”
And then he walked away.
The lady behind the counter, Anita, from her name plate, rolled her eyes and began to attend to me. She gave me a few documents and said
“Please fill this out with your client and bring it back to me. You don’t have to wait in line”
I grabbed the clipboard, my documents and pen while turning around to sit down. Then I heard her say
“Oh by the way ma’am, that man wasn’t cutting the line. His company sponsors weekend hours with the government. He is a senior manager there and our liaison.”
I wanted the ground to swallow me up. How did I make such a fool of myself? You see why I tell you I needed more sleep?! Fuck! I walked back to my seat next to Jay. As I sat down he said with a smile
“Don’t worry about it, we’ve all had embarrassing moments”
We both giggled, I did so wishing the ground would open up and swallow me.
The first hand embarrassment sat in my throat as I helped Jay complete the documents. We were rounding up when I heard a voice. It said
“Hello sir, do you mind giving me your seat for just a few minutes?”
I looked up and it was Denzel. That beautiful smile brightened up his face. I was so lost in it, I barely noticed as Jay slid over. He also had this sheepish smile on his face. Denzel sat down and said
“I hate to interrupt but as I walked to my car, I realized that I would be incredibly unfulfilled if I did not get your number and a chance to know you better. So, my name is Denzel and if you wouldn’t mind, I would love your number, please”
I wanted to blurt out the numbers but for whatever reason, these words came out next
“And what if I don’t give out my number to men I don’t know?”
Unflustered, he smiled again and said
“Well, this is our second meeting and you know my name. So technically, you know me. I just don’t know you…yet”
He wouldn’t stop smiling. It made me want to smile too, actually, I think I was smiling already. I replied
“Well since I already embarrassed myself today, I guess giving you my number won’t hurt”
He handed me his phone and I typed in my number and saved my name. He looked down at the phone and smile as he said
“Leila. That’s such a beautiful name”
He rose and stretched out his hand to shake mine
“Well Leila, it is a pleasure to meet you. I have to run now but I will text you as soon as I can”
I nodded with a smile as I shook his hand. He turned to leave and said
“Thank you sir and Leila, I have a feeling we’re going to be really good friends”
At that moment, I was so glad I didn’t oversleep.
Two weeks would go by before Denzel and I would see each other again. It turns out that right after we met, he headed to the airport and was on a work trip for two weeks.
Asides from the first two nights after that Saturday, we had talked on the phone every night and texted through most of the days. He worked for an investment firm based out of Silicon Valley with projects all over the world as a global lead. Somehow in the two weeks, he had come up with a nickname for me “Bono”. A nod to the music icon but also a reference to the fact that I led the pro-bono department at my law firm.
If there was one thing that was truly beautiful about talking to Denzel, it was how easy it was to talk to him. Nothing felt forced or pressured. He was so well versed in most topics that we had content for days. Never a dull moment. We locked in a time for our first date. It was the Saturday he got back. I wanted him to rest after his long flight from Amsterdam, but he was adamant that he wanted to see me. We set the time for 8pm.
Funny enough, I was ready. Typically late but on this day, I was ready. READY. I was on the phone with my girls when the text message came through
“Hey beautiful, I’m outside”
The girls teased me because I actually looked really excited.
“I’ll call y’all later babes”
“No you won’t. Especially if you getting it on tonight”
I giggled and said
“That ain’t happening…at least not tonight”
I said cheekily as I tapped the red circle on the screen.
Hair check. Reapplied my lip stick. Fixed my blouse. Checked to make sure I had my cards in my purse and ID. Pepper spray. Full body check. And now I was ready.
As I stepped out of the building he was standing by the passenger door, leaning on the car and pressing his phone. He looked up as he heard my footsteps. The first words out of his mouth were
“Wow, you look amazing”
I smiled and replied
He opened my door and closed it before walking around the car to hop in. As he started driving, I could feel how much I was liking him come through. There was just something about the way he gripped the wheel. I finally said
“You clean up really nice as well”
Looking at his buttoned down shirt inside his dark blue blazer. He smiled and said
“Much better than a tracksuit, I reckon?”
I smiled and mimicked him
“Reckon… who even says that?”
That was one of the jokes we had – me teasing him about growing up in London and South Africa. At various points, he sounds like a completely different man.
He chimed back. I laughed and teased him about the fact that he had now lived in America for almost 10years and he couldn’t claim to be British anymore. We laughed and he kept driving.
A few minutes later we pulled into the parking garage. It was a short walk to the restaurant where we were having dinner. Such a cute little spot by the water. You could hear the music playing out of it as we walked up. He checked us in and we were quickly sat at our table.
It was a “wine” restaurant. I feel like there is a more formal name for it but it’s escaping me right now, so that would have to do. Basically, the wines are the entrees and the bites plus meals serve as the sides. We got an 8 rack which gave us a glass each of eight wines in the category we chose. They were mostly sweet because that is what I liked but one or two were dry and crisp like he liked.
The conversation was beautiful, we talked about everything from how I decided to be a lawyer to him being a son of a diplomat and living around the world. We talked about my dog that I just had to put down, dating in San Diego, and even the Farmer’s market. Immigration and women’s rights did not get left out either. I had to make sure he did not vote for Trump.
As the night wound down, we agreed to take a walk by the waterfront and sober up while still talking. I was admiring how tall he was and how good he looked in his coat when he reached out with his left hand to hold my right hand. He walked on the side closest to the water. His voice was so calm, the night felt perfect and we got closer to each other as we walked. As we strolled, he noticed a rock right in the middle of the path. He slightly broke away from me and kicked it into the water.
He jokingly jogged and stretched out his hands like a soccer celebration while cheering himself. I said
“Oh look at you! World Cup winner eh?”
He smiled and said
“You don’t know that I scored the winning goal at the last World Cup?”
We both chuckled. I added
“Look at you soccer player. I bet I could outrun you right now”
He stopped and faced me while continuing to walk backwards as he said
“That’s unfair because you’re a runner but I am pretty sure I could still take you”
The competitor in me jumped out and I said
“I’ll take you on this lawn right now”
“In those heels?”
I stopped and started to take them off. He seemed surprised but up for it. I pulled the shoes into my hands and I pointed down the field and said
“First to that pillar over there”
“Let’s get it!”
We lined up next to each other and I counted
“On your marks, get set….. GO”
He took off! I started to wonder why I even agreed to it, he was so much fitter than me. He was gone and I was laughing while trying to catch up with him. Suddenly, it got dark. And I couldn’t feel my legs. Seconds later, I could feel the wet of the grass from the sprinklers on my hair. I heard his voice get closer as he screamed in panic
“Leila, Leila… can you hear me?”
I faintly saw him as my eyes closed. That was the last thing I remember.
I woke up in the hospital. Confused, I tried to look around and find my bearings. I couldn’t see much around me. I was too weak but I was scared that something bad had happened.
Before I could turn, Denzel was standing next to the bed – holding my hand. He whispered
“It’s okay Leila. You’re okay”
I had a tube down my throat, so I could not speak. I wanted to make sounds and ask him what had happened. Just as I motioned, the doctor and my nurse walked in.
“Hi Ms. Leila, how are you feeling? Nod if you’re feeling okay”
I nodded. He looked over to Denzel and said
“Who are you sir?”
He straightened up and said
“Ummmm… I’m her friend”
He looked around and said
“Well, if it’s okay, I have some confidential information to share with my patient, would you mind stepping outside the room?”
Denzel looked at me as if to confirm that he was stepping out. He stepped out as the nurse took out the tube from my mouth. My mouth was bitter and I was trying to swallow but it hurt too much.
The doctor looked at me and said
“I am really sorry that you are going through this at this time but I am so glad you made it in when you did. We did some scans and we discovered that you have a hole in your uterus. It led to some internal bleeding and is probably what caused you to pass out. We can try to manage it going forward but my recommendation would be surgery as soon as possible.”
It hit me like a ton of bricks. I think I just froze there. Thinking back now, I am sure that I was actually crying. He leaned in and said
“I know it is scary but I promise, you are in the best hands. Everything will be okay”
It took me a few minutes to gather myself and I said
“Can I have a few minutes to think about it?”
The doctor and nurse nodded and stepped out of the room. Denzel walked back in towards me. As he smiled at me, I broke down. He walked over to the bed and without saying anything, he just held me.
Tears. Snot. Fears. What the Heck Man!
End of Part 1. Please leave a comment below or on social media!
~Release part 2 early? 20 comments and we have a deal~
Growing up, my mother always made a point to teach us about contentment. We were raised to appreciate what we had – however little it was.
It became a guiding principle. When I graduated college and went into nonprofit work, some of my friends with engineering degrees went into $60,000+ jobs while I made a measly $28,000 per year. I never saw them as better or myself as less than. I have always been financially sound and economical. We took the same vacations and ate at the same places. I was able to contribute always. I was always content with what I had.
This piece has been on my mind for a few weeks now because I have been thinking about contentment from a place of having more than enough. Over the last few years, there has been very little in my life that I have not been able to have. One area of my life that has been easier than others is attraction from women. Sometimes without even trying, I get people that express themselves or want to be with me. It is scary and unnerving.
I can look at a person in my life and say “if I really wanted them, I could have them” It’s been that “easy”. But how does one stay content in abundance? Those weren’t lessons that we were taught as kids or even young adults. So I’ve been having that dialogue with myself internally about what maturity looks like. It’s not always being able to be okay with not having, it’s being okay with having enough.
What is enough you ask? We chase after money, status, growth, promotion, and in many cases, we do it relentlessly. We are encouraged to go beyond what we currently have. Enough is when that internal clock tells you that you shouldn’t be going for that extra. Usually when you are eating, there is something called a satisfaction point. It’s the point before your stomach starts to stretch itself to accommodate that extra spoon of rice. Where eating is no longer for pleasure but out of greed or survival.
Update added on 3/11/2020: Most of this piece was done more than 3weeks ago but something happened last night. I got texts from two people in both situations, there was enough said to make me turn my head. Reconsider. Re-explore. Be discontent. But I am thankful for the thoughts that reminded me to focus on me. What I have and I am building. Staying where I am chosen and not seeking more, the more may seem glamorous but isn’t always so. Contentment is being okay in the unknown but having faith and discernment to hold firm.
Abundance comes with responsibility. Ease of access comes with self-control – in any walk of life. As I grow and morph into better versions of myself, I hope I retain the ability to say no when I don’t even have to ask the thing in question.
Till next time, stay up!
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Thank you for reading!
Please comment, retweet and share. Thank you for your continued support. You are highly appreciated.
Thank you for persevering, for evolving and believing in yourself even when the chips are down. You are gifted, talented and a kind person. Some may read those and think I’m arrogant but after spending much of my adult life doubting and being afraid of my genius, I am reclaiming my slay.
The concept of the man I want to be has been sitting with me lately. People make the jokes about turning 30 soon and getting old or achieving this or that but the truth it, I just want to be a good man. I want to be a man that my friends are proud of, that my parents and family rely on and that God is delighted in.
Earlier this week, I was faced with having an uncomfortable conversation with a friend. Tell the truth and hurt their feelings or be silent and it would blow over. I spoke up. It was still hard but it’s more of the man I want to be. A man of his word even in the most difficult. 29 is about challenging myself to be my best. I will be the man I am proud. Thank you for watching me grow over the last 6-7years. More creativity coming and more of Adewus, The Wordsmith that you will be proud to call your own.
Let’s get it! But before that, let’s review 2019 and project aspects of 2020.
Happy Birthday to Me!
Faith: I started reading my bible again and truly taking my service in his vineyard more serious. We are on the path to redemption and taking my place in my home.
2019 Final Score – C+ 2020 Expected Score – B+
Fitness: I’m back in physical therapy. It will go a long way towards me being whole again. I am also back in therapy, so mind and body will be touched this year. I completed the 75Hard Challenge which was 75 days on a strict regimen. If for that alone, I killed 2019. More to come!
2019 Final Score – B+ 2020 Expected Score – A
Creativity: I need an editor. I have so much written already. To my old editor, I know you will read this. You working with me on this forged a huge part of our friendship as well, let’s actually start our journey back?Y’all should beg my editor to come back o. If you want good and consistent content, they need to come back to full-time work. Seriously.
2019 Final Score – C- 2020 Expected Score – A
Finances: Around this time last year, God blessed me with a nice promotion to kick off the year. It was unexpected. When I was laid-off in June and finished working in June, I was shook and depressed. I had goals! I had things to pay off. So much I wanted to do. It derailed me a bit and that is why the score I have given myself is lower than I expected/projected but I think the thing it most emphasized is the fact that I need to save more and be extra diligent with my planning. God almost doubled my financial blessings last year and I am so grateful. It has already positioned me to be able to do more. I am going to be really aggressive this year. So….
2019 Final Score – C+ 2020 Expected Score – A+
Relationships: I have already committed to doing love right this year. I want to do it without fear, caution or trepidation. Last year hurt. Like my love life was the ghetto – ratatata. I was stressed and unhappy. I am ready this year. First step this year is self-love. I am back in therapy and I am going to take care of me first before opening the door to external love. My biggest prayer is that I am ready for the woman ready to choose me without fear and love me unapologetically.
2019 Final Score – F 2020 Expected Score – B
I will be back to update you on 2020 in 2021 but till we get there, let’s enjoy so much content to blow your mind this year. Remember, you are AMAZING and I will celebrate you and with you all year. Happy Birthday to US!
Thanks for reading as always!
Thank you for commenting. Here is to a fun 2020! You are highly appreciated.
We come to the people that hurt us for healing or decide we won’t move or heal until they validate the hurt they caused us.
Today I had a conversation with an abuser. It was simple. The FaceTime call came in, I answered at the office and the person asked one question.
“How do you know this girl?”
Not “how was work?. How are you?” A woman I had never met before.
The next hour would be spent talking through their feelings, assumptions and perfections of me. Then I stopped. I noticed that my mood had changed, I was upset. Heavy hearted. And then thankfully, I had the presence of mind to remind myself that this wasn’t about me.
Said person had made me doubt myself before, question my purest thoughts and even start to feel like I was unworthy of love. It got me thinking, why do we allow ourselves to go blind to the dangerous things that burned us before? There is a need to continue to litigate our hurt and pain. We want to fully understand, conceptualize, rationalize it and then play chess master in trying to run the game again to this time, avoid the same outcome. It hardly ever works.
Recently, I was exploring a friendship that I have been nurturing in private for almost a year. I started to ask myself recently, why haven’t we argued or fought? What is going on? A part of me was unable to understand why the relationship wasn’t like some of the toxic ones I have had in my past. And then it dawned on me, you have to actively realize that you are deserving of healthy liberating and empowering friendship and love.
Most of my sense of style comes from my father and growing up, he was always very particular about how we treated our clothes. Most especially our church clothes. He would love his shit if he saw us running around in them or not being proper in our Sunday best. He used to say “it is not about the clothes really but some people will stain your clothes; knowingly and unknowingly” Some know that their hands are dirty. Others are unaware but if you allow yourself to continue spending time in spaces that have mud, whether they meant it or not, you will get stained. Leaving the door open to an abuser is a direct bath to misery. Not always because they intend to but because that all they bring to the table.
You don’t kick someone out, change the locks and then give them the new code to your house so they can see how beautiful it is inside.
I’ve been actively running from friendships that don’t bring me peace, ground me while lifting me up. As someone who immensely feels things, “losing” friends can be extremely hard but as I get older and wiser, I am starting to understand the value of protecting my peace. My sanity. My peace of mind. Those things are not “pretty”. They are not always pronounced or easily discoverable like confidence or the glow but they are incredibly important.
It is also important to understand the triggers and the ways we enable abuse in our own lives. We have to take responsibility for it. Most importantly, we have to we have to keep all the negatives out. You don’t kick someone out, change the locks and then give them the new code to your house so they can see how beautiful it is inside. Nobody does that. You are responsible for genuine happiness and growth this 2020. So block her, don’t call him back, delete his album on your phone. Breathe. You got this. Take control of your peace. You will be better for it. Your world will be grateful for it.
Till next time,
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