Saying Goodbye Is Always Too Early
Have you ever taken a test and was moments away from receiving your results? Either an HIV, pregnancy, Pap, midterm or final exam. All are just as nerve wrecking. Let's add to it, you actually think you may have unfavorable results. Therefore, you now need to pass this test. Remember the feeling of having the results seconds away from your face? That "What if" moment owned your heartbeat, it seemed. This is the feeling the doctor has. Now, he has to speak.
This doctor has a world on his tongue. "There are no cures for viruses. Only treatments and vaccines." That's common knowledge for most. He's standing in front of hopeful people. People who pray. People who believe. People who have faith that what is impossible will be possible. The media parade he's had to deal with isn't making any disclosure easy. He's tired. The entire group can see. He has to speak.
In the back of his mind, there is clarity but in front of him is chaos. Too many people are asking questions. Too many answers are left with more questions. "How can you cure a virus when we're told viruses have no cure?" "Why isn't there a cure for HIV but there's a cure for this thing?" "Is this a government deal since no money can be made off of Ebola, is that why they're curing it?" He's had to deal with it all. Now this family. This group of friends and hopefuls have to hear the truth. He has to speak. He speaks.
"Tanya, is no longer infected with the Ebola virus." As he spoke, sweat became tears and tears became happiness as the entire group joined in a collective sigh of happiness. He continued over the raucous ,"Tanya is in good condition and the drugs eliminated the virus in her body. She was good." Still, the medical staff wouldn't allow anyone to visit her. Since his girlfriend was unable to see him, Jonah made a bold decision. He asked the doctor to deliver a handwritten note to her.
"Tanya, you are my tomorrow, yesterday and today. I don't care how corny I may be, because for you, I would write poems and butcher our favorite songs just to let you know...I love you beyond embarrassment. I can't touch you right now. I can't talk to you right now. But I can ask you this, right now. Tanya, will you marry me?" The doctor handed the note to Tanya, a few moments later the hallways and walls bounced the echo of her, "YES I WILL MARRY YOU!!" All it took was a thought of never seeing her again to make him want to see her everyday...again and again.
Life Without Tanya
Red, scream, blue then vomit. Red, scream, blue then vomit. Red, scream, blue then vomit. Jonah's face turns red from anger of what the terrorists did to Tanya. He screams for so long he turns blue. Imagining living a life without Tanya causes him to vomit. This is the cycle of his life. His new life after Tanya was flown from Miami to Atlanta during her fight…with ebola
In the lobby of Emory Hospital, Jonah and the entire crew stayed night after night waiting for the news. The prayers they prayed would make angels cry. They challenged God at His word. "Ask and you shall receive. Seek and you shall find. Knock and it shall be opened upon to you." was a verse Jonah repeated like a mad man. He knew the God he served wouldn't give up on him. Not now. Not ever. Not on Tanya. Slow days ran into a weary week.
Doctors only could give as much as they knew. "We're still figuring out Ebola, there was no guarantee she would be cured." That's all the doctors let the group know. The doctors could have said nothing and that would have been just as effective. It hurts. Knowing someone you love. Someone you planned to spend your life with…is facing a battle between making your birthday and you making their funeral.
No one wants to say it…but everyone is thinking it. What will life be like without Tanya? Sandra and Jalyssa planned to teach Tanya how to dance for her birthday. They wanted to all grow old together. Have their babies grow up to be best friends and have play dates. They shared so much. They were sisters. If she died a huge part of them wouldn't just die…the missing piece would leave them paralyzed from the pain. The week became two, now three.
The doctor comes in. With the media asking questions about Tanya, another person dying from Ebola a week ago and his own personal issues, you can sense the pressure in his steps. He has a clipboard in his hands. There is no smile. There is no pep in his step. There is nothing to detail if he's happy or sad. You won't know if there's good news or bad. His poker face is beyond emotionless. He stands in front of the group. They're exhausted. Too many "What would we do?" reactions have ran mazes in their minds. The time is now. Clinching the clipboard as if it's a life preserver. He flips the page and says, "Tanya…."
She Won't See Tomorrow
The sounds of the helicopters swirling above them only added to the confusion. All the men instinctively followed Capt. Marshall by keeping their guns pointed at the police copter. One copter was filled with a live news crew reporting the blast and hostage situation. The other was a suspicious law enforcement agency. For the time being, the police didn't care so much about the bodies on the ground as opposed to the news copter filming their every move. The news crew thought Capt. Marshall and co. were the terrorist. Hoping capture the police shooting armed terrorist, the news crew stayed on the actions of the police. One decision was quickly made. Now only one helicopter existed.
Two shots from a sniper rifle and the pilot of the news copter was dead. The helicopter and it's living passengers all collided into the American Airlines Arena. No one survived. As the police turned their gaze upon Capt. Marshall and the gang of survivors, they heard, "Shoot!" coming from Capt. Marshall. As the bullets chased the helicopter, the people began to run towards an underpass. The helicopter attempted to dodge the onslaught of bullets and the sniper couldn't fire back on the group. As they kept running, they eventually ran out of bullets. Noticing the copter was coming close, Drake threw an idea out, "Let's act like bums." The group was confused. He didn't fully express his intent but everyone understood and in desperation, followed his actions.
With Miami having one of the nation's highest population of homeless, they all huddled amongst the many who were already on the ground, under makeshift tents or panhandling. The men even took off their guard outfits and were stripped down in just shirts and underwear. You couldn't detail who was who. The copter roamed over the masses of people only to find no one resembling the survivors. Out of sheer anger and frustration, the sniper began to ring down shots from the copter. Randomly killing anyone beneath him, in hopes this wicked idea would push out one of the group members to fire back. It didn't work.
As the world made news of this incident, a violent stand off between real police and the terrorist occurred, Capt. Marshall and the group stayed back inside the sea of homeless people. When everything was over, they quickly detailed their story to the police on site. They told them what happened, what they did and who they were. The police told the crew that the terrorist were from North Georgia. A group calling themselves, "Neo Americans." Their accents were odd because they were southern and some were from East Europe. No matter the fact, most died in an armed stand off with the police. Now the group of survivors were happy to know the situation was over. They all celebrated internally. Some of the group needed medical attention from minor scrapes and bruising courtesy of the running but one person needed a little more than everyone else.
Her tears matched her shrieks. She could no longer hold in the pain of her secret. Tanya told her truth. "They infected me with Ebola" The silence was so thick, it caused hearts to stop. People began to retrace their physical actions with Tanya. All hoping they didn't infect themselves. No one cried harder than Jonah as he contemplated what would happen if Tanya didn't see...tomorrow.
Gay & Racist Eboloa
Facing a two story jump. Nothing but concrete below. They're on borrowed time. Knowing at any minute, the European thugs will find out what happened. Everyone but Capt. Marshall is afraid to jump. They complain about possibly breaking an ankle, leg or worse, falling head first. He figures out a way to calm their spirits.
He asks teams of three to go back into the rooms to pick up pillows and mattresses. Men and women run to the rooms. Some falling, but managing to drag mattresses and pillows back to the ledge. Then, he asks them to throw them right beneath where they'll land. They all comply. A sea of white pillows and cream-brown mattresses fill their landing space. As a sigh of relief begins to overcome the fear, there's a voice chiming in over the walky talkie. Sounds like a rant...a confession.
"I hate these American gays! They deserve to die. They ruin Miami. These disgusting pigs with their decadent ways and flamboyant attitudes. They aren't the true White people. We are! They taint the very essence of White. They are not worthy of living. Once we've infected them with Eboloa, they will infect others. Just like HIV. We will get rid of them this time. Once and for all!" Capt. Marshall and the gang are speechless. It's the eve of Miami Gay Pride. One of the most visited and popular congregations of gay people in the world. They targeted the hotels which held most of the gay party goers. This was an elaborate and horrific yet sloppy attempt at genocide. The room grew silent. Many of the hostages were gay White males. You can sense something wasn't right with them. It wasn't because of them being saddened by the news, but they all had a red mark on their arms. The rant confirmed their fate.
One gentleman looks at the injection mark on his arm and tears up. Anger can be seen in his eyes. Yet, only confused compassion erupts when he speaks, "Why? What did we do? These freaking redneck, nazi, skin head, Euro trash or whatever! What did we do to them? We're tired of being demeaned, hated and mistreated because of our sexual preference. Gay people have killed NO ONE but are constantly being KILLED BY MANY. We don't ruin neighborhoods, rape children, become serial kills or cause interest rates to run high. Those are typically attributed to heterosexual White males. Why are they always trying to point fingers at us? Why are they always trying to deny us a chance? Why? Why will I die with Ebola because someone can't allow me to be happy in my skin. Is that a sin? To be happy? I know God doesn't love my actions but He loves me as His child. We all sin. Why is mine more horrid than their acts of hate, murder and discrimination? Why? When will this be over?" Everyone is quiet. No one has an answer. Despite some of the conservative views many have, they too were guilty of gay defamation or worse. No one could do anything but cry as fear of touching the gay White men and contracting Ebola hindered much affection in their time of need. Now it was time to jump.
Each person jumped on the beds and pillows without hurting themselves. Jumping from the back of the hotel helped them not to be spotted by any of the hostage takers. No camera crews could reach the area. It was as if they had a free pass to run to safety. As the gay men wept to the uncertain futures of their health, as each person in some ways feared what would happen if found by the thugs, Capt. Marshall was the only person who said, "Be ready." As he spoke, a news helicopter circled above them. Unmarked police copters soon followed. You could hear, "Drop your weapons or we will shoot." The accents were familiar to Capt. Marshall. "No one speaks like that in Miami" Capt. Marshall said. Capt. Marshall knew this wasn't a time to obey the law. One whisper and a moment later...the story of 3 Naked Women changes forever.
Jonah seemingly impersonates a surgeon. He's so delicate, yet urgent. Panic owns the room. Everyone is crying, praying or yelling. Many are bleeding. Some run up the stairs to find loved ones. People are afraid to go outside the exits where the bombs will detonate. Amid all the confusion, Jonah is calm. Like a lone dolphin among a crowd of sharks during a fending frenzy...he stands out. Pumping Tanya's chest. Breathing in her mouth. She stopped breathing. He won't give up on her. Pumping. You can see the intensity in his eyes. "One, two, three, four five" is repeated as he pressed on her chest. His ear to her chest, a silent prayer to God and one thrust of air into her lungs...
She coughs up water. Moments prior, feisty Tanya fought her assailant and he dunked her head into the hotel's lobby fountain. His goal was to drown the fight out of her. He succeeded. Thought to be dead, he threw her lifeless body into the gym with the rest of the hostages. She looked into Jonah's eyes and said, "You didn't have to stick your tongue in my throat to save my life. I'm not allowing you to resuscitate any woman. If she's choking, either I'll help or she just better die." They both laugh and he hugs her and finally loses control. No tears, no words just an embrace that says, "What would I have done without you?" A voice over the walkie talkie is heard. "All four hotels are ready to go. We need a response from hotel A. Hotel A check in. Hotel A? Check in!"
Capt. Marshall tells the group, "We need to get ready. If they don't get a check in, I'm sure they have a plan to come back here for these guys. They seem amateur but I'm sure they aren't that stupid. We need to get out of here but the exits are wired to explode. We can pick up the guns but it won't be enough for their entire crew. We should double back and go to the area where the bombs already detonated. They may be on the 2nd floor but I trust a jump and a sprained or broken ankle than to blow up or die under rubble after the explosion. Follow me." All the hostages follow behind Capt. Marshal. Jonah and Capt. Marshal pick up extra guns from the dead thugs. As they head up the stairs, someone is stumbling down from the third floor. The angered Jonah takes no chances and fires upward towards the sound. He hears an ugh! They run to the downed enemy...it's Drake!
"WHO SHOT ME IN THE ASS?!" Jonah, holding back laughter with a mixture of happiness to see Drake alive admits to the shooting. "Sorry brother, I thought you were one of the thugs" As they look at the wound, it turns out the bullet barely grazed his butt. Capt. Marshall enlightens Drake about his health, "You were nicked. Not even really bleeding. Man, if you don't get up, take this gun and follow us, we're trying to get out of here alive. Might have to jump out the second flood window." Drake responds. "MAN...I GOT SHOT IN THE ASS! JONAH, IF ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH ME, YOU'RE PAYING FOR IT. (Drake continues in a mumble) I don't care if it's a nick...still hurts" Jonah replies, "Sorry brother. Want me to get Sandra to kiss it?" Drake, unamused, "SHUT UP! YOU SHOT ME IN THE ASS!" They reach the second floor. Debris is everywhere. Blood is everywhere. Dead bodies from those who tried to escape are everywhere. Jalyssa vomits and so does Jonah. The gore is unbearable as there are children in the rubble. As they move pass the bodies, they stare outside...they have to jump or face death.
Isn't this your life? Are you in a place where you have to do something drastic to take your career, marriage, relationship or faith to another level? Aren't you afraid? Let me tell you something...jump. You may not know how you will fall but one thing you will never know...if you don't jump, you'll never know if you might fly. Most of us are trapped in a box. Repeating the same steps hoping success will visit us in our complacency. Sorry, you will stay where you are and never see a higher tomorrow if you don't jump. You want that marriage? Start dating new types of people. Jump. You want that career? Start meeting people you won't typically hang around. Jump. You want that new car? Take that second job you might hate. Jump. If you don't jump, if you don't, you will only see a familiar comfortable ground. It won't make you happy. It won't make your dreams come true. It will...it will make you realize, "If I don't jump...I'll never see a new ground and all the new I deserve." Jump.
Took Her Breath Away
He cradles her, like a child. Her body is motionless. Lifeless. A second explosion erupts throughout the hotel. The bursting sound causes ears to temporarily pop. You can't hear anything. Instead, while watching this man hold this woman, you see his shrieks. You see his pain...loudly. His seemingly endless tears make noise. As he grips her, the words, "Baby, please wake up" appear in your mind. That can be all he wants. Her to wake up. However, how could his desires ever become reality...when debris from the ceiling crushed her head? Captain Marshall can't help this man but he will do whatever it takes to make sure Jalyssa is safe.
His legs aren't moving fast enough. His lungs aren't getting enough oxygen. His eyes are fogging. Finding the women is getting abnormally difficult. Something is wrong. Gas is filling the hallways. His hand covers his mouth. This isn't a new routine. It's tear gas. Ahead of him, on his way to the stairs is another man in all black with an assault rifle an gas mask. He telling everyone to get down. Captain Marshall, slows his run to a stumbling walk, acts as if he's being overtaken by the gas, waits until the man is busy shoving others to the floor. Captain Marshall can see he's an amateur. Probably young. He gets within striking distance. The gas is taking effect. He takes one deep breath by breathing through his shirt. The man's back is turned. He runs towards him. Gets five feet away and...one bullet stops his bravery.
An Asian man shot the man in black once in the chest. As the man in black fell back, he instinctively shot back at the Asian man. Both died. Captain Marshall took the assault rifle and gas mask from the man in black and the pistol from the Asian man. Back to running. He heads into the stairwell. Overhearing the words of men on walky talkies. The man in the stairwell says, "I have the hostages. They're all in the gym. All exits are tagged. No one gets in or out. If they try, the trigger will detonate." In response, another voice says, "Shoot anyone who tries to leave. This has caused two bombs to go off instead of one. We can't risk losing more of the hotel's infrastructure." Capt. Marshall waits until the man in the stairwell chimes out of the conversation then shoots him in the back of the head. Takes the walky talky from the fallen man. Stealthy heads down the stairs. As he's getting closer to the gym floor, he hears coughing above him.
The stairway entrance door slams open and shut. A man gasping for air is all Capt. Marshall hears. As Capt. Marshall steadies himself and prepares to line his shot, he sees a man tearing the gas mask off of the fallen man in the stairwell. As the man picks up the assault rifle, Capt. Marshall gets in range but notices the profile of the man is familiar...it's Jonah. Capt. Marshall whispers, "Jonah?" Instantly, Jonah recognizes the voice and whispers back, "Marsh?" Capt. Marshall debriefs Jonah about the whereabouts of the girls. They peek through the door to locate any other men. While waiting for the coast to clear, Jonah tells Capt. Marshall about Drake's health. "Drake's still unconscious. He's breathing, though. I just hope he comes through. Had to find the girls, you know. Hey, I'm going to get the dudes coat. With this mask, they won't know if I'm one of them or not. At least I can get close enough to them and catch them off guard." Capt. Marshall agrees with the idea. Although he doesn't know if Jonah has it in him to take a life. He just hopes he can when the time comes. Jonah gets dressed. He heads out to the gym. Three men are on guard. They don't take any particular notice of Jonah. Jonah looks into the gym windows, sees something he didn't prepare for...Tanya
She's laying on the ground. Jalyssa is over her. With Sandra crying. Something happened. A nearby guard speaks, "She actually bit and scratched me. She's a fighter." He laughs. The other guard replies, "I know. Should have left her alone. She looked feisty. When the time comes, I want her in my room." The other responds, "The time is coming soon. Police aren't here yet and we can rest assure that means all other plans are working." Anger overtakes Jonah, with one pull of the trigger, all three guards are down. He doesn't stop shooting the one who hurt Tanya. He shoots until the bullets stop. The eyes of his enemy closes. It's not like in the movies. It doesn't take two seconds for the eyes to close. He keeps shooting. The clicks of empty ammo are all you hear. Capt. Marshall bursts through the door to find his question has been answered. Now the real question has to be answered. Is Tanya alive?
Beyonce & Miami Heat
Jonah, Captain Marshall and Drake are on a triple date with Tanya, Jalyssa and Sandra. They decide to visit Miami on a 3-day vacation. Jalyssa and Sandra both slept the entire 9 hour drive while Tanya and Drake kept making everyone sick with their constant kissing, complimenting and goofy jokes. Captain Marshall and Jonah were going back in forth about how hip hop was murdered. Drake and Jonah got on everyone's nerves with their restrictions on what to eat on the road. Most never new there were fruit in gas stations but...most never cared. Everyone has an amazing time driving, laughing and preparing for their fun in Miami. Who knew smiles and happiness would be exchanged for blood and tears in just 23 hours?
They arrive at the hotel. It's late. Piling into an elevator, the group plans out their day. Heading for the 15th floor, as the door bell dings to open, Tanya steps out only to bump into an older man in his 50's, bald head, thick beard, seemingly a giant, with a very heavy British accent and large red scar across his face that reached down to his neck. She didn't realize it was the wrong floor. The older man apologized and she did as well. Tanya reentered the elevator and the older man followed. For some reason, there was silence on the elevator. They reached the 15th floor, Jonah made a joke to Tanya, "ONE FIVE babe, not ONE ONE there is a difference." All laughed at the corniness of his comedy. Each went to their room, amped about their individual events. They all sleep well.
Tanya sings, "Uh oh uh oh uh oh oh oh" while dancing against Sandra. They're competing for who can do the best Beyonce impression with Jalyssa as the judge. "Tanya, you would have won but your morning breath caused you immediate disqualification. Winner....SANDRA! As I should say, Sandronyce" They all laugh at Jalyssa's verdict and joke. Then there's a knock on the door. Tanya rushes to answer, anticipating it to be Jonah. She opens without listening to the name only to see another older man, this one shorter with an inspector badge. He asks if the women have seen anyone who looks suspicious lurking around the hotel. They all reply, "No" but the memory of the bald British man comes to mind. He leaves and so does the conversation about the bald man. The women had Beyonce to think about. No need to ruin the day with too much thinking. They hoped so. Meanwhile, the men had their own run in with the inspector.
"What does he mean, "suspicious?" Drake asked. "I have no idea. Whatever it is, I hope they don't ruin the Miami Heat game for me. I just want to see Wade dunk, Bosh hit about 100 3 pointers and see what Lou Deng has in the tank. I think they'll make it this year." Jonah replies. Captain Marshall is silent. He doesn't like what's going on. There is something happening in this hotel and he can't quite put his finger on it. It all started when he noticed the concierge being very awkward when it came to knowing where the elevators are and how to properly direct them to different points in the hotel. Any person who works there should know the basics of gym, elevator and restaurant locations. It wasn't a gigantic hotel. Then watching three men in overcoats sitting in the lobby reading newspapers would appear normal to most but when these men are wearing combat boots in this Florida weather, that doesn't add up. He mentally prepared himself for the worse. Made sure his gun was loaded and let the guys know what he saw. Now they all were on alert. Getting the girls and out of the hotel was their main goal. Both would appear to be a needed but impossible objective.
A loud explosion erupts. The hallways shake. Jonah slams into Captain Marshall. Captain Marshall falls into Drake which causes Drake's head to slam right into a wall. Drake is unconscious with a bloody nose. Jonah freaks out, goes to his aid and tries to wake him up. Captain Marshall, without hesitation, runs to the girls' room to see if they're okay. He knocks, no answer. He bangs on the door. No answer. He steps back and with one thrust kicks open the door. It's silent. Only the emergency alarms fills his ears. His eyes are filled with someone else... A sight of blood soaked walls and hair are all he sees. There was a struggle. The women aren't in the main room. He looks into the bathroom and notices a body twitching on the floor. Neck snapped, blood still oozing from his face. It's one of the men with the overcoat in boots. He has scratches all over his face and is dead. Captain Marshall's eyes survey the room...he doesn't see the girls. He doesn't see the girls...where...are...the girls?
For weeks you have a horrible migraine. Your teeth feel like they're moving and each day you can barely speak. You take pills, attempt to sleep it off and do everything you can to handle this excruciating pain. One day, you pass out.You're rushed to the hospital.
Once awake, you see a doctor standing in front of you. She tells you, "We have you on a special medication. You're free to go but you have to see a dentist." She gives you a recommendation to visit a specific dentist, Dr. Proven. You remember how horrible you felt and decide to take no time visiting the dentist.
You arrive at the dentist. The assistant asks you to sign in. While signing in, you notice the office is beautiful. It has awards decorated on all the walls. Photos of the famous Dr. Proven with celebrity clients are everywhere. Newspaper clippings flood the entire lobby area. The assistant calls you in for X-Rays. You go, finish your x-rays and wait for Dr. Proven. While in the operating room, you see Dr. Proven's multiple doctorate specializations and many more honorary degrees. You even see a picture of him and President Obama with the President's mouth open. Evidently he's a client. He enters the room.
He says, "I have some good news and bad news." You reply, "Give me the good first." He agrees, "Well, it's curable and I can do it today." You ask, "What's the bad news?" He says, "You have a rare medical condition. It actually causes extreme pain in addition to random and uncontrollable black outs. That means no matter if you're driving, walking, eating or anything, you will pass out. Additionally, you run the risk of having brain damage from consistent black outs. Which means memory lose or even worse. Finally, you will end up brain dead. It's an infection that's hard to understand, even harder to explain but we know the results and ending." You say, "Well…fix me. So hurry up and cure me." Dr. Proven says, "Here's the thing, I can continue to keep you on medication and you may or may not end in memory loss or I can take out all your teeth, remove the infected roots, replace them and even clean your teeth. Make them pearly white." You say, "That seems like an easy decision. What's the catch?" Dr. Proven says, "You'll have to allow your gums to heal without teeth for a month. Which means you'll have to walk around town without teeth. Drink your meals and have nothing hard for an entire month. Also, you'll have to gargle with this mouthwash everyday. It's not tasty at all. It's tastes like raw onions and vomit but it cleans your mouth using natural elements versus chemicals. Do you wish to proceed?"
This story may be your life. Your heart is broken, now that you're healed, you have to decide who's hands will you place your heart into now. Will it be someone who has proven to be worth your love? Someone who currently displays the credentials of someone you can love you? Someone who others speak highly of? Or will you continue placing your heart in comfortable hands. People who will eventually hurt you. People who will cause you no good and put you back in the brokenness you once felt? Now, if you decide to go with the first person, will you be able to change you to be loved by them? Will you be able to refrain from being who you once were to be loved the way you deserve to be loved? It may seem simple, but changing the horrible ideas you have on love and the way you love is just as hard as the embarrassment of walking around without teeth and the difficulty of only drinking your meals. In the end…what will you change about you to be loved right? Either decision you make will endure something. Just one journey has a possibility of ending in happiness. The other…is a painful reality. It just so happens to be what most choose.
How Men Cry
"I stood there. Roses still in hand. My mouth didn't move. My heart...I think it stopped beating. Nothing was real. Yet, everything was reality. Confusion owned the moment. How and why didn't even pop up. It was, "What did I do to deserve this image?" I'm not trying to sound poetic but...this is literally how it felt and what was going through my mind." Jalyssa asked," What did you do?" Captian Marshall, that gentleman who carried her during the incident with Pastor Baptiste, replied, "I prayed. I prayed for her. I prayed for him. I prayed for me. I...prayed."
She asked, "What did you pray about?" He said, "That I wouldn't kill them both. That I wouldn't lose my future over someone who lied about loving me. That I wouldn't blame myself for trusting my father to be a father to my wife and mother of who I thought was my unborn son. I looked in that room. As she maneuvered on top of him. No one saw me. She was so happy. She loved him. It was unreal. I thought I only made her that happy. I thought I only made her smile like that. I left the flowers there. I left the note there. I didn't make any noise. I just left. I was so hurt, I couldn't cry. I could only wonder...why should I love again. Not when. Not how. But Why?"
"The tests confirmed the baby wasn't mine. My father was embarrassed. So was she. They kept up this charade since our wedding day. Both claimed, "It was impossible to fight our feelings." My father was married to my mother. She was married to me. How is it impossible to stay faithful? Even more so, how is it possible to cheat on your husband with your husbands father? How can you hurt your son by sleeping with his wife and getting her pregnant? How? It doesn't matter. I grew up from the pain. It didn't own me. It didn't make me worse. I slept with women...many of them, yes. I wasn't a dog. I just was horny and they fed my need. None of them thought we were more than sex. None of them thought we were going to be more. I told them in advance. My heart wasn't ready. I wasn't ready for loyalty but...you know how...what healed me?" ˆJalyssa, stared into his eyes, without one word she waited. He continues, "I said, she didn't deserve me. She needed a way out and gave me the best gift she could offer. An opportunity to be loved by someone who will."
Jalyssa and Captain Marshall have been dating for seven months now. Both healed from their struggles. Both happy in their individual independence. Both ready to Be Loved Right. They haven't kissed. They haven't had sex. They aren't exclusive to one another. After this exchange...all that changed. He says, "I'm not saying I love you. That's too soon. We've only dated for seven months. However, I'm willing to say to you... I want to date you exclusively. I want my heart to be yours. I want yours to be mine. I can promise we'll continue to pray together. I can promise my kisses will be the best you've ever had. (She blushes) I can promise we'll continue to go to church together and I'll stop laughing at your horrible singing. I can promise I won't hurt you like the Pastor but I won't promise to be perfect. I can only promise to do the best I can. If you accept what I promise...I would like you to be my girlfriend. What's your answer?" She looks him in his eyes, smiles and the words are said with a stare.
Men don't always cry with our eyes. Some do occasionally, but others don't. What we tend to do is cry through our actions. Sometimes you'll meet a man who just wants sex, attention and affection from women. Honestly, many times he's not attempting to be a slut bucket. His goal is to self medicate. Sure, it seems like a horrible idea but when you take away the emotions from the seemingly illogical motive...you can see the logic behind it. Each woman offers a brief moment of untainted happiness. No strings, no loyalty no trust. Just happiness. He can not call or text and it will be none the matter. Every woman knows what her position is in his life and he knows his position in theirs. Is it wise? No. Is it advisable? No. However, it's how some men cry. They are just self medicating to rid themselves of the pain caused by heartbreak and instead of loving again...maybe lust will be the antidote for their illness. At least he was healed from this by the time he met another healed person. There's nothing more horrific than two broken people trying to make love out of shared destruction.
Finally Loved Right
Let's play a game. You will be you, the character in my story and I will be a storyteller. Imagine, you're in the grocery store and everything is old, spoiled and unhealthy but edible. You ask other shoppers and the owner, "Where is the new, healthy and nutritious food? They tell you, "We don't know." You ask, "When will it arrive?" They all say, "We don't know." Now, you are starving. So much so, your ribs are touching your lungs. This is the only place to buy food that's in walking distance. The next grocery store requires you to do something you can't fathom...walking 50 miles. Now, you're hungry. You don't have a car, there's no bus and no one around you has any form of transportation...what do you do?
Some may say, "I'll just deal with the spoiled, unhealthy and old food. It's edible. All I need is good seasoning and it will work." Others may opt to wait in hopes better food will come. Lastly, there are those who will walk those 50 miles, get enough food for the month and do it again each month. Why? Their body is worth healthy, nutritious and unspoiled food. They are worth it.
When it comes down to these women in this series, they all had to grow up. They all had to realize deadbeat men were everywhere. Yes. Deadbeats approached women eagerly. Yes. Deadbeats are charming. Yes. However, these women understood, that packaging may be appealing but if the contents are spoiled, unhealthy and old then consumption can only lead to food poisoning. They became so tired of being infected by attending to men who only hurt them, they didn't mind that 50 mile walk. Your 50 mile walk will be different. Your 50 mile walk will be just as strenuous. What will it be?
Changing who you love is harder than walking 50 miles but just as important. The type of people we love detail how we will be loved. Have you ever noticed when the question comes up of, "Have you ever been loved the way you deserve?" some people just can't say "Yes. Yes I have." In the same sense, if you asked, "How many of you loved someone better than the way they deserved?" Those same people would raise their hands, stomp their feet and cry out, "Yes. Yes I have." Why so? They never changed the type of men they hung around, entertained or ventured to alter their standards enough to visit new places, meet new people and see new things to surround themselves with better crops of people. That's a 50 mile walk many won't endure because it's so easy to stay and wait for better food to come but it won't. It's easy to eat spoiled food but that's never been wise or ended in happiness. It's time to do something different.
When you read this, do me a favor. Understand Jalyssa, Sandra and Tanya all are about to become the women they expect to become. No matter if those ideas of the type of women they want to become are good or bad. At what cost did such achievement demand? Whatever the cost, they're willing to pay it solely because in their hearts, after all the suffering and pain of the poor decision making, they realized...I'm worth the good food.
Are you? If so...are you ready to start your 50 mile walk?
Too Overqualified to Love You
Maybe it’s not you.
Maybe…maybe you aren’t the issue.
Have you ever thought…
Have you ever thought…
Maybe they’re not qualified to love you?
You are everything they pray for.
You’re everything they want.
You’re not what they’re ready for.
You’re not what they expect.
You’re not doing anything wrong.
You’re not the problem here.
Have you ever thought…
Maybe they’re not qualified to love you?
When you’ve done all you can
When you’ve done more than you can
When they say they love you
When they treat you like they don’t
When you hope they will change
When your hope is lost because they haven’t
Have you ever thought…
Maybe they’re not qualified to love you?
I want you to sleep well.
I want you to stop those tears.
Being a good person isn’t a bad thing.
Being good to a bad person…is just a bad investment.
Don’t feel bad for being good.
Don’t feel bad for treating someone like you deserve to be treated.
Don’t feel bad for being you.
Have you ever thought…
Maybe…they’re not qualified to love you?
God Is A Comedian
Eddie Murphy, Richard Pryor and Robin Williams should be banned in certain countries. No, not for what you may think...but their amazing ability to make us laugh at ourselves. It's easy to poke fun at different people. If you're skinny, laughing at the heavy boy who can't run five steps without sweating is worth a giggle. However, when that heavy boy categorizes your legs as hairy pencils, now your chuckle becomes an awkward smirk. In the end, you still find truth when that joke comes to mind as you're exiting the shower and by chance you look at your legs only to see...the resemblance they have to a hairy pencil. Great comedians teach us how to laugh at our awkwardness. That's a talent only the great own. God is the greatest comedian of all time. Don't believe me?
Look at any of your school photos from 10 years back. No laugh? Wait, how about video of you doing ANYTHING 10 years ago? Still no laughs? What about how "deep" in love you were with your first boyfriend or girlfriend? Remember those days? Remember when you couldn't imagine living without them? I was in middle school. Thought I would marry Sherica Walkins. You couldn't convince me of anything lesser. Well...let's just say my wife's name isn't Sherica Walkins, ha! However, I remember the foolish moments endured during my youth. Who set up those punchlines? God. Well, Jalyssa is about to fall prey to a funny joke...only God can pull off.
Moving boxes fill her new apartment. The Frenches helped her sort things out, gave her a huge hug and left knowing...Jalyssa is ready to move on. She smiled. Despite still being haunted by those memories of Pastor Baptiste, she knew...the worst was over. Only thing left in her mind...was ice cream. She left to pick up her favorite. Cookies and Cream with mint chocolate chip. As she entered her complex, there was police everywhere. She quickly pulled into the driveway, got out and entered her house. The ice cream was left in the car so she ran outside, got it and came back in. She didn't know why so many police surrounded the area. She didn't care. Crazy people have bad aim, she thought. With one spoon and an empty belly, the ice cream filled her stomach and removed care about the outside world. Then a knock ruined her indulgence.
Answering with a worried heart, a police officer with a commanding voice said, "Atlanta PD. We just want to ask you a question." Opening cautiously, the police officer stared down at his clipboard, not even looking at Jalyssa. He asked, "Mam, have you seen a White male, 6 feet tall runni.." he looked in her face. He said, "Are you that woman from a couple years ago?" Embarrassed, she replied, "Yes I am." He then said, "I was one of the officers first on that call. I actually picked you up and took you into the ambulance. You fainted. I searched for you since the incident. Honestly, I wanted to know if you were okay, if you needed a voice, prayer or help. I prayed for your heart. Knowing what happened, I knew God had to be present to heal you." She interrupted him, "I am healed. Still going through the memories but I am beyond better. Thank you for praying for me. I didn't know I fainted but I should have. Since I don't remember an ambulance." They both chuckle. He continues. "Well, I have two questions for you. One. Did you see a White male, 6 feet tall running through this area?" She says, "No, officer." He continues, "Okay, I see that you have ice cream on your cheek (she quickly wipes it away in embarrassment) and many unopened boxes. I get off in two hours, can I come by, help you unpack and you repay me with ice cream?" She smiled, agreed and said to herself, "How funny is the God I serve?"
How funny is God? Well, think about any time when you thought, "How could I get out of this mess?" now ask yourself, "How did I get out?" One time, I was two weeks away from having no money! I was close dead broke. I'm calling around to get money people owed me and barely making ends meet. I'm worrying to myself, "Once I pay these bills...how will I pay the next?" Then all of a sudden, I learned a check was in the mail. The check was sent two weeks prior to my need of money. How funny is that?? Before I needed money...God answered the prayer...even before I prayed the prayer. Laugh now at your struggles. Soon...they'll be jokes you'll share with yourself. God is good...God is...funny.
Drake's Blue Ivy
Drunk in love was he. Wanting her but refusing to be a victim of loving the wrong woman was his battle. We've heard the narrative. We've seen it. We've even probably be in it. Broken woman meets good man. Good man rehabilitates broken woman. Broken woman breaks good man. Drake couldn't submit to the horrible natural order of poor decision making.
His daughter, Azul, was his gift. He thought Sandra would be the mother of all mothers...instead of the female version of a deadbeat dad. With full custody, he only allowed her to see the baby once a week. Each week, each times their eyes met...the darkness in his heart release a small ray of light. The, "What ifs" owned his mind. What if she has changed? What if she's ready to be a wife? What if she finally understands what a good man is? What if...she can love me the way I deserve to be loved? Those answers were about to be answered.
Drake walks up to Sandra's parents door and knocks. The father, always one to approve of Drake, invites him in. There is a weird smile on Sandra's fathers face. Something is about to happen. As if there's a surprise. As Drake and baby Azul wait for Sandra...she finally enters. Six months have passed since she decided to change her life. Six months isn't a long time when altering matters of the heart but when you lock yourself in a room with only meditation and prayer as your entertainment...six months is a lifetime or two. Sandra is wearing an all white gown with a glowing smile to match. She has Drake's full attention.
"I was stupid. God gave me a good man and I made him a friend. You are a good father to our child. You are a good...great person in general. I wanted to chase a lifestyle that isn't healthy. I wanted to love men who never would love me. I traveled down the road many women journey. I wanted to change boys into men. I failed...like them. I know my mistakes. I know what I should do. I'm doing what I should do. Drake...will you be my boyfriend, forgive me and allow me to love you the way you love me?" Drake's mouth was wide open, he didn't know what to say. He nodded his head in approval and his right hand started itching. Like he's touched poison ivy, it wouldn't stop. As he was about to scratch it, her father said, "Don't scratch your hand, if your right hand itches...it means money is coming." Drake had something more valuable than money coming...it was love.
Are you Sandra? Do you want to be? Better yet, would you need to be? If you pass up on a good man to chase bad boys, do you think that good man will eventually come back in your life? This is a fictional tale. Typically most good men don't stay around. Bad boys stay because they never are really around. They're just there being a leech in your life. Never adding only subtracting. Hopefully you aren't Sandra. Hopefully you don't take the good men in your life for granting. God forbid you ever endure the pain of "the one that got away." Accept them now. You deserve it.
Like Mike Brown
Imagine; His red face owned by the anger in his heart. His right hand gripped a loaded desert eagle hand gun, his left hand held car keys. The previous night he filled his gas tank. He was prepared for war. "Another dead Black boy?" clutter his thoughts. Tanya rubbed his back and pleaded with him not to drive 13 hours to Missouri but...her words fell on deaf ears. He believed that an armed White man killing police would at least bring justice to Mike Brown's death. At this moment, there was no God. There was no Jesus. There was no more faith. Just hate. Jonah, a White man who was raised by an adoptive Black mother after his mother died...was willing to join his mother. Hate led him. Tanya didn't give up...but was willing to fight if need be.
"It doesn't make sense. Who cares if he stole a cigar, chips or whatever. None of that is worth more than 1.25$. His life wasn't worth a 1.25$? You mean to tell me a professional police officer couldn't tase a boy? He was a teenager. He's supposed to be allowed to make mistakes. That's what being young about. You know how stupid I was at 18? Now, when you look at what happened to Ray Allen, you see how disgusting justice is." Tanya didn't know the story. She didn't even know who Miami Heat star, Ray Allen, was. Jonah could see the blank look in her eyes. He told her the story. "Seven 18-19 year olds broke into his house while his wife and children were home. The cops didn't arrest those teenagers. Why? They didn't steal anything and the backdoor was open...so they let them go. You mean to tell me that isn't a crime? So...I can just walk into anyone's home as long as it's unlocked? That's legal? They're almost pleading with Ray Allen not to press charges but IF that was in a Black neighborhood with seven Black men, that story would have ended in bloodshed. Wait...justifiable bloodshed. They did enter a house without permission. That's enough to kill. Right?" His heart was melting with anger but Tanya changed the temperature with one question. "If you're ready to give up everything...now that you're my everything...I'm willing to fight and kill too. I rather die beside you rather than burying you. Can I come too?"
Jonah was caught off guard. He...thought about his thoughts. Was he really willing to kill? What would that do? He was eager to gain justice but at what cost? How could death alter hate? Only love can do that. With one simple question, he realized there was an answer to this horrific incident. No, it's not an easy pill to swallow. No, it's not recommended for the weak in faith. No, it's not something you can guess. He led her in a prayer for all the evil people in America. He prayed for his enemies.
Emitt Till's death opened his eyes to the evil that exists in White people. Trayvon Martin's death opened his eyes to the evil the exists in Hispanic/Latino people. The murders in Chicago opened his eyes to the evil that exists in Black people. He always prayed for good days but never did he pray away the demons his enemies faced. He unloaded the gun, hung up his keys and they both dropped to their knees. Justice will be served. Maybe not by this law but definitely by THE law. God had good memory.
Have you ever done that? Prayed for your enemies? Isn't that almost a wild idea? What if you did? What if you got on your knees right now and said, "Heavenly Father, would you please heal my enemies." Eight words but amazingly powerful. No amount of anger, peace or protest can bring back Mike Brown. He could have been the next Black president, a mayor or even a police officer. His future is one we will never know. One thing we do know, it was taken. Can we pray for that police officer who will always live as a murderer? Can we pray for the mental stability of his family as they undergo the affects of his actions? Can we pray for the health of protestors who are simply asking...demanding justice for Mike Brown's death? If we can't, then using the word, "Christian" to describe yourself is almost like a man with no hands calling himself...a boxer.
Where Was God?
Spring of 1996 brought change in the life of 12 year old Egypt. Christmases would never be the same. None of my birthdays would really matter. Even Halloween would lose it's attraction. (I know...that's coming from a 12 year old's mind.) You see, that Spring is when I found out my mother passed from a rare type of heart attack.
As I buried my mind into the Sega Genesis to escape the reality of now having to live the rest of my life without my mother...I asked a question, "Where was God?" Didn't He already know my biological father was absent from my life? Didn't He already know none of my relatives jumped to take care of my younger sister and I? Didn't He already know my older sister was just 19 and had a new baby daugther to fend or? Lastly, didn't He already know I would go to achieve goals set and unset despite unrelenting struggle, unexpected sacrifice and unstoppable suffering? He did.
When you think God isn't there...wait. Just because you can't see the future, doesn't ,mean He holds the same talents and skills as you do. God knows our tomorrow. He knows it may not be better than our yesterdays or today but He knows what it will be. When we say, "I trust God" pay attention to what you're saying. When you turn on your GPS do you just listen and go where it's taking you or are you skeptical on every move it asks of you? Many of us just listen. We trust this device will lead us in the right direction. No matter how many turns or u-turns it asks of us. Trust God like that.
Jalyssa is days way from bidding goodbye to the French's. She's healed...almost. The burning question she just can't stop asking is, "Where was God when the pastor raped me? God wasn't there when I wanted the abortion. He wasn't there when I lost the baby. Where was God when I needed Him?" Little did she know...in three days, she would see where God was. It's not easy to find Him when pain owns real estate in your heart. Oddly, it will be moment she prays for answers...that a question is given. "Why do you think I wasn't there?"
Life isn't easy. We stand just days after the death of Mike Brown and Robin Williams. One, a teenager heading to college who was gunned down by a lone police officer. The other, a legendary comedian who is someone I pay a great deal of respect to but say fit to commit suicide. The demons that owned land in the officer's heart will leave one day...hopefully. The family of Mr. Williams will see joy fill their hearts and laughter own their home one day. Despite the tragedy in both accounts, God is in them both. Greatness will come from both circumstances and/or lessons. We just have to wait and see.
Not Worth Two Tanks Of Gas
My father missed my 30 “Happy Birthdays”, 6 graduations, 3 broken hearts, 2 proms and he had a chance to make my only wedding but...Wait, let me take you back. You see, I decided to do the, “Christian” thing and accept my absent father back into my life. For a while, it was actually beautiful. We laughed, talked and even said, “I love you.” All was sincere. One thing he would do that would irk me is slyly state, “I take care of all my kids.” On the phone, I was hurt. I was one of his kids…right? I mean, I came from him. Yet, he didn’t “take care of me.” He left me to figure out how to play sports, talk to women and become a man courtesy of TV, women and other men. That’s not how you, “take care of” someone. That’s how you abandon someone and let the world raise them. A gamble.
He, evidently, was a betting man. Threw me out into the wilderness and knew I would come back a wolf pack leader. Right? That had to be why he was absent almost every day of my life. I can actually count on one hand how many times I’ve physically met my father. This isn’t supposed to be reality for anyone. However, despite deserting me only a few days after my mother died, leaving a 12 year old to figure out the world along side his 19-year-old sister…I forgave him. That didn’t mean the pain evaporated. It just meant that I didn’t blame him for my troubles…but I still hurt. Just as the wound was beginning to mend…he placed another bet.
Only two days before my wedding…he gave me the news. “Son, I won’t be able to make your wedding. Don’t have any gas money.” Now, my father lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. That’s only 3 hours from where I married my dream woman, Orlando. Any car can do 3 hours on one tank of gas with minimal effort. Thus, it would only take him two tanks or a total of about 100$ or less to take part in one of the most sacred moments a person can have. He didn’t think asking a friend for money, going into a little debt or finding a ride was worth it. Yet, his bet was…I would still be the person he could complain to and brag about as if…I’m one of the kids he, “takes care of.” His gamble failed. Will yours?
With only a few more blogs left, these women will leave you with coins to gamble with. Now, this won’t be an easy task. It’s like playing Vegas…with your entire life savings. Here’s the catch, if you bet right, you may win more than you ever bargained for. If you bet wrong, you will definitely fail. What are you betting? The happiness of your future child. When you gamble your body with a deadbeat man, you lose. Your child will always wonder why you chose this man/boy and why daddy’s not there. That will leave a forever scar. Yes…you are to blame alongside the deadbeat you opened your legs to. That child deserved more but you birthed them into this world with less. Another choice.
Sandra, Tanya and Jalyssa are about to engage on a rapid journey to take your mind somewhere relaxing. How their stories end will amaze you. No, you won’t know it until the end but I guarantee you this…when they gamble…what they gamble…will be worth the wait to see.
You Have Permission to Love Yourself.
Until the man with no feet introduced me to the man with no legs…I used to believe not having new shoes…was an issue. When Jalyssa met the mother who was raped and had a baby by her own father…who then introduced Jalyssa to the daughter who’s father and grandfather are the same, she thought her problems were bad. What was amazing about the man without feet, the man without legs, Mrs. French and her daughter…they all still smiled and discovered joy despite their circumstances. Sometimes God introduces us to people in worse situations than us to open our eyes to a fact, “You can choose to frown until the sun shines or smile while you wait in the rain.”
Like many people, you will love yourself when everything is “right” in your life. When your skin is better. When your body is slimmer or you have more curves. When your hair looks better. When you get a higher paying job. When you get a newer car. When you find that special someone. When you move into the home of your dreams. When that happens…you’ll finally love yourself. That’s what you may believe…but what about the father of two who works at Pizza Hut and drives a 1998 station wagon but smiles this bright smile every time he mentions his son or daughter? What about the mother who graduated top of her class, has a PhD and 11 million dollars from her father’s will…but cries herself to sleep because the father of her child doesn’t want anything to do with her? These two people have everything and nothing at the same time. The one who has the least, feels like they have the most. The one who has the most…feels like they have the least. Our feelings…are choices.
Waiting to love yourself is like waiting at the train station…for a jet. After a while, you’ll realize that’s not how it works. Loving yourself is a choice. It’s something you decide to do because if you don’t, nothing will ever be worth anything. Many millionaires, celebrities and successful people commit suicide every year. These are some of the most beautiful, rich and well to do people on earth. Nonetheless, they took their own lives. Some could no longer look in the mirror and love what they see. They didn’t make that choice. However…you can.
As Jalyssa looks into the mirror of her heart, she’ll do what anyone can do…if they choose to. She will make that difficult decision. It’s been 3 months since she’s stayed with the French’s. Her tearful nights have turned into nights of laughter. Each reason she had to cry has been replaced with purpose to smile. Someone must have tricked her. The French’s must have put something in the water. Is she being drugged? No, she’s making a choice to smile everyday. So today, when she looked in the mirror, yes she saw a former mistress. Yes, she saw a former mother who wanted to have an abortion. Yes, she saw someone who lied to her friends. One thing she saw that trumped all those images…was each of those things…was a past image. It wasn’t her present. Today, she saw who she is now…a beautiful Haitian American with a smile worth all the money in the world. Now…what do you see in the mirror?
This is a moment in your life, dear reader. If you know someone or yourself who doesn’t love themselves…you can help them or yourself make that choice. Will it be easy? Name something worth having that’s easy to have? Outside of faith, you might find it difficult to locate. As a matter of fact, faith is challenged more often than anything so that might not be easy at all. Love what you are, who you are and how you are. Love those teeth, eyes, nose, lips and ears of yours. Love it all. No one can give you permission to love yourself except you. If you need permission…I’ll give it to you. You have permission to love yourself.
Nothing Is Wrong With The Way You Love
You gave everything. Loved them the way you would want to be loved. Treated them the way you would want to be treated. Held them the way you would want to be held. Nothing they desired went ungiven. From support to intimacy, you left no stone unturned. No matter the fact, when the relationship was all said and done, you felt as if...you gave too much, you loved too much and did too much. Then you were left to contemplate the strangest question of all, "Is there something wrong with the way I love?" Oddly, the answer is simple.
Many times, it's not that our love is wrong...it's actually misplaced. We love the wrong people for the wrong reasons and are hurt when we the wrong people hurt us...for loving them. We can never understand why some people don't want to be loved right. We can never understand why some people leave us then love someone who could never love them the way we did. We can never understand why someone can't accept what we believe they should want. Well...what if none of this is about you?
We've been tricked. Yes, tricked. This magician isn't that great. As a matter of fact, this magician is probably the WORST magician around because none of their secrets are...secrets. They've actually been doing the SAME things for years now. What's the trick? We love people who can't love us the way we love them and people who NEVER earned our love to begin with. TV taught us this. That weird old magician. We love people who WE deem are in NEED of our love. We rarely make them earn love. Why? On TV...who earns love? How long does it take them to earn it? What did they do to earn it? You've never watched a movie or show and saw someone earn another person's FOREVER love. (Remember, love is for FOREVER) All it takes is for someone to be "different", a person your parents won't approve of or someone who is broken/bad. That's it. That's the criteria for our love.
Social media, TV and anything that sends out a mass message proves this. Your love isn't broken, it's who you choose to love that is. My wife is an AMAZING woman. She loves me like I was handed to her by God. We go on dates, giggle around one another, hold hands randomly, send "I love you" texts, read the Holy Bible together...etc. All of the "gushy" TV stuff...we've been doing that for going on 4 years. Here's the kicker, we earned each other. There is no, "I was a deadbeat and she tried to save me" talk. This was two equally yoked people coming together for the purpose of creating something God would smile upon.
Are you loving someone who is equally yoked or just loving someone who needs your love? Make that distinction. It will be needed if you ever find yourself alone in a corner asking, "What did I do wrong?" the answer may be...nothing but love the wrong person for the wrong reason. Jalyssa is figuring that out right now. Why did Pastor Baptiste choose his wife over her? Why couldn't her love make him leave his wife? He "needed" Jalyssa's love because his wife was so "evil" and he was in pain. All the wrong reasons, the right outcome happened today though...Jalyssa release the regret and realized...there's nothing wrong with being wrong...just don't let it become a tradition.
New Type Of Baby Daddy
“My mother had me when she was 13” says, Mrs. French’s daughter, Cairo to Jalyssa. “ She didn’t know how to be a mother. She didn’t even know how to be pregnant. She was still just learning how to have a period. She still didn’t like boys. With me, she had to learn how to be a woman before being a child. My father is my grandfather. My mother hates the word, “baby daddy” because it reminder her that her baby daddy…is her daddy. I’m 27, about the same age as you. No matter the fact, I don’t feel 27. Some nights, before she became this woman you may admire, I was the one cleaning her up after a long night of partying. Before she met my stepfather, I was the one defending her from deadbeat, abusive men. I haven’t had the chance to be a child. At 27, this is my first year being young. The sad thing about this…I don’t know what that means, to be young.”
Almost every success followed suffering. When you look at Lebron James, Mark Zuckerberg, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tavis Smiley, Oprah Winfrey, Jon Stewart or Steve Harvey, you’ll note they all share a common denominator; something pushed them to be great. Being great isn’t always a convenient choice. Sometimes, it’s your only option outside of repeating the failures or your parents or peers. Cairo wants to replicate the mother she has now. Not the one she grew up with. Now that Mrs. French is a mother again, while pregnant, Cairo can noticeably detail the difference in how she’s preparing for the baby.
“My mother will treat that child like a gift. She has to. There is no way she can endure such pain and not give my sibling the love needed. The strength I have isn’t by desire. It’s by circumstance. While my mother was learning to love herself, she was also learning how to love me. Providing isn’t the end game of how to love a child. She learned. She taught me how to love. Most importantly, she taught me how to pray.” Jalyssa asks, “What does prayer have to do with anything? I prayed. Look at what God did to me?”
Cairo responds, “I remember hearing about your rape on TV. The forced pregnancy. Then you had the miscarriage. In the Holy Bible, Job went through much but his prayers were answered. You know why? The story wasn’t over yet. His story didn’t end with, “Job suffered.” Just because you pray, doesn’t mean you don’t suffer. Just because you have faith, doesn’t mean the enemy neglects to target you. Praying doesn’t end all the bad this earth offers. What it does, in my belief, is prepare you for all the good God will give to the faithful. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote, “Unearned suffering is redemptive.” In essence, the journey of this unfair hurt won’t end without victory. You won’t suffer forever, but when you succeed outside of the pain, you must be ready for the success your endurance provided, otherwise you suffered in vain.”
Are you praying to be ready for what you’re praying for? In church, my pastor Dr. Raphael Warnok said, “When going through hell…keep going.” Meaning, if you’re going through a tough time in your life…just keep going through it. You will get to the other side. If you give up now, you won’t ever see why you went through the injury, the broken heart, cheating, divorce, breakup, disease, loss…etc. Keep going through hell because…maybe heaven is on the other side. Are you ready for it?
Being A Black Woman
Blog Series 26
How can a mere man tell you about being a Black woman? What would I know? Why would I dare attempt to fail at educating you about you? When would it make sense for a man to own the bravado needed to actually say, “I know what it is to live as a Black woman?” My answer? It should never happen. However, it does. Men all around the world are mouthpieces for a gender that they know little about. Yet, amazingly no matter how little we know about women, it doesn’t stop men from placing their behavioral views on them. Following in their footsteps is asking for regret. Therefore, it won’t be my belief on how women should be…but what I’ve seen. As a matter of fact, it’s what Jalyssa sees.
In the home of Mr. and Mrs. French, she notices something. Even though the wife is a doctor…she still serves her husband. Breakfast is made for her husband. His clothes are ironed before he wakes. A cup of orange juice and coffee awaits him. Each day is the same. She isn’t a housewife. She isn’t a maid. She is a woman…a Black woman. Jalyssa is confused. Why is someone who can be so independent treating this man like he’s her god? What’s wrong with her? Is she insecure? When will she realize he can cook, iron and make his own drinks too? Jalyssa’s inner inquiries become vocalized. She asks Mrs. French, “Why are you being a servant to Mr. French? You do know he’s a grown man who can do all the things you do for him? Isn’t that enabling?” What follows…is a lesson one generation missed.
She stares at Jalyssa for a moment. A smile reaches from cheek to cheek. This smile is so bright; it awkwardly causes Jalyssa to smile as well. Mrs. Francois speaks, “Young lady, you have so much to learn. Honestly, your generation has so much to learn. I have three degrees, make six figures, can hire men to be my husband everyday and never have to answer or serve anyone…but is that why God has me here? Is that living?” Mr. French walking on the conversation. She’s in her, “Teaching voice.” The look he gets from his wife is common. It’s the look of, “It’s about to go down.” He smirks, sits nearby to enjoy being an audience member to this occasion. She continues, “I can do it all alone and be happy alone but is that living? Being independent is a beautiful thing and believe it or not, I am independent but a man wants a woman who is INTERdepedent. Someone he can work with and be equal to not a slave or master.” Jalyssa is star struck. She didn’t know what she got herself into. Despite the unknowing venture she journeyed, the conversation kept her captivated. Mrs. French continued.
“Why can’t I serve my husband? He earned me. I didn’t offer myself to him for attention and compliments. This man was a good man before he met me and aimed to become a better man after. Why not serve a man like this? You see, it’s weird. I know women who serve deadbeat men like they’re kings. These women bring home the bacon, take care of the children and provide this no nothing brother warm legs to enter without ever asking for anything. He didn’t have to be good or great at anything but she serves him. When a good, educated Black woman does the same, it’s somehow lesser. As if I’m weak for giving my man what he gives me. Now, he does the same for me. I know you see the foot rubs on my bad days. Not have I ever had to open a door. The bills are paid, even though I can afford them myself. This brother makes me smile not just with compliments but empowering me in my worst of days. This is the least I can do to thank him. One day, you’ll have a man, not boy, but a man of your own. If he earned you, I guarantee…you’ll treat him the same way. That’s being a Black woman…with a good Black man.” Jalyssa is…forgetting to breath.
A Black woman ran a marathon the other day. That’s nothing new or outside the norm. She ran the marathon…almost eight months pregnant. You know what some had to say? “She didn’t win.” That’s how powerful Black women are. When a regular period CRIPPLES most women for 3-7 days, for Alysia Montano, that was just another day in her life. Being a Black woman seems to be a double-edged sword. You can be strong but never vulnerable and if you’re vulnerable, you’ll be considered weak. No matter how you cut it, the walk of a Black woman is different than most cultures. Be that as it may…to all my sisters…keep being amazing. My only modest advice, amplify your amazing ness by dating someone who is just as amazing. Otherwise, you might fall prey to babysitting instead of loving. You deserve it.
Blog series 25
“Are you out of your FUCKING mind?? My daughter has a cigarette butt burn on her forehead and this isn’t a sign you need to change? You let some random dude put a cigarette out on my daughter? Drake says. Sandra replies, “What mother would want her child burnt? How dare you think I would allow it to happen? He was drunk and did it unknowingly or something. I don’t know why he did it. I rushed her to the hospital. They say it will just leave a little scar. Don’t cuss at me, Mr. “Good” man. I thought you were too “good” to use that language.” Drake smirks and says, “It will just leave a scar? Maybe that doctor wasn’t referring to the physical but the spiritual scar she’ll have. This girl turns two in two weeks but has seen mommy bring a new “Daddy” home every other month. Who knows if these men are fondling my child? You know what…the court hearing is a few days away…my prayers will be answered.”
Drake continues, “Aren’t you sick of being someone’s “main”? Don’t you want to upgrade to having someone at least change their Facebook relationship status for you? Why is it so easy to get in your pants? What’s even more mind-boggling is the sheer times you’ve contracted gonorrhea. Wasn’t that a sign that at the very least you should wear condoms with these animals you date? Outraged, Sandra fires back, “Animals? What makes them animals? Yeah, everybody I date may not be husband material or even father material but you know what? At least they don’t judge other people. At least they live each day to the fullest. They may not have much or want much but they don’t bother anybody. There’s no stress to be perfect with them. I can just be flawed and enjoy life with them. So what we may never have a house, two car garage and a German Shepard. I’m fine with being in an apartment and owning a pit-bull. I’m just trying to live!” Drake breaks down. He literally collapses onto a chair. His face trembles. The words flow like water out of an open faucet.
“I get it…you want “Swag”? Someone without plans, if they had plans, they lack ambition to see those plans through or integrity to even keep the little plans they have going? She tries to rebuttal but he continues. “You want a “REAL MAN” A brother who has more cons than pros. A living walking excuse machine. When times get tough, he leaves his responsibilities instead of handles them. (Mockingly) The stereotypical, “The White man made me broke, an absent father and drug dealer with multiple convictions, “REAL MAN”? Okay, it makes sense. Well...my daughter won’t have to suffer while you digest this YOLO mindset. Hope you also know that on the opposite side of YOLO is YODO because that’s the same amount of times you can die. Your daughter will live only once and what she’s seen is a mother who cares so little for her own life, she ransoms her child’s permanent memories for the pleasure of temporary men. Wonder how you would feel if she brought home the same type of men you prostitute your heart to?"
Sandra isn’t breathing. She’s thinking. Why is she continuously surrounding her heart with men who can never love her the way she deserves? She’s thinking. Her parents didn’t raise her to be someone’s “sex buddy.” They are still happily married to this day. Why? Why is she ignoring an evidently God sent man for men who seem to have no angelic purpose in her life? She wasn’t stupid or brought up around the type of men she dates…It was poison. She finally got it. The enemy wasn’t these men but her standards. They aimed to keep her from love. In these relationships, she was always the giver of love. The idea of them reciprocating kept her around. It never happened. These men were just as amazed at dating an educated, clean woman. Why would they ever change? If they did nothing to get something so great…why do something and risk losing it? Hope kept her in their beds but reality just kicked Hopes butt. Sandra feared being loved right. Love isn’t one-sided and she understood it now. She speaks, “I get it. I won’t fight you in court. I will willingly give you her. Just do me a favor…pray for me. I’m about to do what I should have done a long time ago.”
Sandra moves back in with her parents. All social media accounts…deleted. All phone contacts of men she entertained…deleted. She was voluntarily cleansing herself of this mindset. Why? If she didn’t do it now, there would be no magic in her future. How could she ever become the wife in the white dress scrolling down the aisle with her husbands loyal hand interlocked with hers? It would always stay a dream. It would always stay a fantasy. “REAL MEN” get married. “REAL MEN” scroll down aisles and marry the mother of their children. “REAL MEN” get women like Sandra. Well…they will... Hopefully if you’re in this situation, you take a moment to do what she did…give yourself a chance to Be Loved Right.
He Opted Out.
Blog series 24
A mirror couldn't hold his image. He was gone. There would be no sequel to the movie of their relationship. No rematch to the fight over her heart. The towel was thrown. Words, "I just can't do it anymore" introduced the pain of, "I knew better." An apology was warranted but too late and meaningless. Her, "I'm sorry" was already tattooed on his heart. The infamous, "Give me one more chance" was a bumper sticker on his soul...he peeled it off and threw it away. He's too hurt to be healed by broken promises. Lurking inside every man is an, "I quit" switch. It was switched.
Jalyssa was in recovery. No longer a slave to her feelings, so she thought, she wanted to date again. Each man reminded her of Pastor Baptiste. They were all, "too good to be true" but at least not married. Yet, no matter how much they compared, they were never "good enough." Date after date, text after text, she became immune to the "dating game." She would smile, laugh and wait for them to lose interest after she said, "I'm celibate." Like clockwork, they would give up. The calls slowed to a crawl and texts would go from 140 characters to four words or less. Everyone stopped being sweet and became annoyed. This is the life she chose and expected. Then the unexpected called.
He was as Haitian as soup Joumou. Sex was on his mind but respect took the forefront. "I can wait. I don't even know you, anyway." was his retaliation to her "I'm celibate" response. Honestly, he was honest. She was beautiful, sincere and goofy as a newborn gazelle. This all pleased and interested him. Their kisses could have the subtitle, "I miss you" over them. Asking to be her boyfriend and plastering all social media about her, "Yes" was enjoyable to see. His calls and texts never decreased, only increased. One thing did change, though.
Little by little she kept comparing him verbally to Pastor Baptiste. You see, early in relationships, we don't pay attention to tiny details that might blow up later. Each, "You better not have a wife." or "Do you have another life?" irked him. She was still broken. He was her token. The man she used to heal. Not the man she would love forever. Casual jokes became hurtful. Soon, being so vulnerable to someone's pure intentions scared her. She would have been happier if he was like the rest. "What do you really want from me?" became a daily meal he was forced to eat. Popping up to his house unannounced in hopes of "catching" him in the act was disgustingly frequent. Sifting through his phone, unlocking passwords and writing back female friends were becoming an evil norm. Sad fact, she never found anything worth mention but used it all like fuel to drive him away. So he did and never drove back.
"The best way to get over one man, is to get under a new one." is the female common adage regarding relationship recovery. How has that worked? Many times the next man is a victim to horrible treatment. When has sex ever healed an issue? Have you ever witnessed sex save someone? Better yet, where have you seen dating for healing make the pain go away? Odds are, you haven't. If you have, it was an illusion. We are a delusional bunch. Using people's emotions, time and touch to mask our immaturity. When you're damaged, take time away from dating. I always use half the time I was with someone as a good gauge for redating. (Ex: If I was dating for 4 months, I'll not date for 2) When I would resume dating, every woman would receive, "I'm not looking for a relationship, still getting over my ex." If they thought this was a lie, joke or whatever, it didn't matter. At least I was mature enough to consider their feelings even if they believed mine were fiction.
"People think because I'm White, I don't have "Black" issues. It's a lie. Many White men, like myself, grew up without a father too. Black people don't own the rights to deadbeat dads. My father was around until I was five but he was an alcoholic drug addict who beat my mom so much, she has visible scars... 20 years later. Even when he was around, he wasn't around. He only came to steal, beat or rape my mom and tell me how much of a nothing I would become. This man has at least seven other children. Who kept sleeping with him? Even more importantly, who kept sleeping with him...without a condom? Black people aren't the only ones who have abandonment problems. Do you really think all White fathers are these great men who stick around every day from their child's birth until their own death? No. It's a lie the media wants Black people to believe so they will always look up to us instead of realizing we're more similar than different. I guess I'm telling you this because...I never want to hurt you like my dad hurt my mom. As a matter of fact...I promise I won't." Jonah, Tanya's boyfriend, said all this and she needed...all this.
Tanya never really dated White boys. I know, even though she herself is White, the idea never really crossed her mind. Of course many of her buyers were White in the beginning but that didn't matter. She just never believed a White man could make her, "wet" without money being involved. They just seemed too "lame." How could a corny preppy White boy make her creamy? Jonah...Jonah made her legs drip like a broken faucet. What turned her on the most...is he didn't care about sex, he wanted her. What really made her "wet"? The mere fact that her mental arousal outweighed her physical arousal. If in between her legs were dripping, her mind was a waterfall. In order for this to happen, she had to do what many women won't do...give up and give in.
There are a ton of good men out there. However, they are considered lame, too good to be true, too nice...etc. Society, as I've written before, has done a number on the psyche of women. As long as you inspire women to equate good with boring and bad with fun, you lower the chances of them ever indulging in healthy storybook relationships. Too many of my personal friends have storybook relationships. Ex: I introduced them; they didn't want to chat, ended up chatting, fell in love and are happier than ever. Even the classic, she approached him, they date, she leaves him and they end up back together happier than ever. Each couple is educated, God fearing, loving, supportive of one another and just plain...good. This is my actual life. I've witnessed too many good people in healthy relationships. They only had to do one thing...give up on society. Why? Society is single, miserable and unhealthy.
Tanya knew the idea of finding a broken man who "needed" her, then she would "fix" him and "make" him into the man of her dreams...was a stupid idea fed to women daily. All cultures are force fed this lie. Disney's Aladdin is an example. A thief gets a princess. Even Beauty and the Beast. A mean man is won over by love. How painfully powerful. Instead of thanking the thief for saving her life...she had to dates and "makes him" a prince? Instead of ignoring the mean beast, she "made him" into a man? Tanya...just gave up and gave in. Now she gave herself a chance...to love.
Jonah promised to not repeat the cycle. There is much to learn in this moment. Are you repeating a cycle of your parents? If your mother were a single mother, you would do her no favor by becoming one. If your father was a deadbeat dad, what good would the earth be if you became the same? Today, I ask you a favor...give up and give in. Make the right choice because it's the right choice. The world we live in wants to see you obese, sick, lonely, on many medications and still following failed trends. This is what you know is wrong. Give up and give in. You need to make a promise to yourself...
Her White Boy.
Blog series 22
Healthy food costs too much and has no taste. Gas efficient hybrid cars are too slow and “look weird.” Working out ruins hairdos, is hard to fit into weekly schedule and is too exhausting to do daily. Good guys are too boring, too good to be true, too controlling and hard to find. Fast food has seasoning, smells much better and it doesn’t cost a lot. A regular car isn’t expensive and looks so much better than a hybrid. If I was meant to die I would die, so working out is a waste of time. Bad boys are good in bed and fun! I know, some of the above probably sounds like your voice in words. If not your voice, then the voice of someone you know. If not that, then a conversation you’ve entered in your life. This is the world we live in. Where everything bad is good and everything good is bad.
Who do you think benefits from this way of thinking? Can you imagine how life would appear if we actually worked out regularly, ate healthy foods, weren’t spending wild amounts of money on gas and lastly…dated people with futures instead of horrible pasts? Well, what would happen is what you’ve probably been praying for. Tanya prayed for something, now she has it. A classic, “Good man.” However, when it comes to getting what you pray for, there comes an issue many just seem to fall on. You see, we expect bad for so long, we desire it. Therefore, when good finally arrives, we’re stuck with a decision to make…do I accept it as is or do I throw it away and go back to waiting for perfection or the trash I dated before. Tanya is about to be an example.
Three weeks in and no “sex talk.” She’s surprised. She is also a bit at odds with him and his approach. They watch scary movies, talk about the “fake butts” of celebrities, fight over which Holy Bible verse is better, pray together at night, go to sleep on the phone and wake up with it glued to their faces (They both drool…how cute). She’s just waiting. Another week goes by and she breaks the ice. Wants to know his sexual history. He tells her of his many “bed visitors” and asks her about hers. Afraid to tell him her past of being a prostitute but goes in anyway. He doesn’t flinch. Simply asks, “Have you been tested? If so, are you clean?” She details that she had an HPV scare when she was younger but it went away, like many women. Then he laughed and praised God. He said, “It’s funny, only He can take two people with such a past and make them whole.” They both laugh. They kiss. Clothing is coming off. He holds her face. Stares her deep into her eyes. He says, “We’re not ready for this step. If you are, I’m not. I prayed for a woman like you. Won’t let sex ruin what we have. ” She calculates the treatment and then the lack of desire for sex and comes to a conclusion in the form of a question, “Are you gay?” He jumps back, smirks and says, “If I would’ve banged your brains out, I would be straight. However, the mere idea of waiting to marriage or at least until you’re my official girlfriend and not just a “friend”…makes me gay? You have your life messed up. Please leave. We’ll talk tomorrow.” This is the world we live in.
How do you expect God’s prayer to look? You are praying for a car so…you think He will send you a 1990 Corolla with no wheels, engine and doors? I bet if someone gave that car to you, you might praise God thinking that’s your prayer answered. You might be satisfied with such a gift. No question, you might spend the money to get it fixed up so you can finally drive. In the same sense, if someone at your church, temple or mosque came up to you and said, “My daughter moved to Israel with her husband. I have a new Hybrid Lexus with only 2 miles. That’s how far the dealership is from our house. You can have it. I don’t need it.” You would probably think that’s, Too good to be true. Then you’ll ask, “Did you steal it or is it stolen?” Why can’t God be so amazing that what you pray for…won’t be messed up? Isn’t He powerful enough to give you what you pray for without it needing so much work? If He isn’t…you need to pray to a new God or become one.
God Stopped Talking...
“Can I pray with you?” His first words made her heart…hurt. It was a shock. No, not because of what he said…but when he said it and where. Tanya never expected someone to utter those words to her…in Wal-Mart at 11pm.
She’s been praying for some time now. Asking God for a “good man.” However, like clockwork, she either meets another Peter, Pookie or Pablo who isn’t about anything, “needs” her to upgrade him or is just a representative. God kept telling her, “His love will hurt.” She didn’t know what it meant. No matter the fact, she just kept praying. Knowing God was paying attention. He had to be. For some reason, this day is the first day…He stopped talking.
An unexpected rainy day in Atlanta caught Tanya off guard. While leaving Wal-mart on her way to catch a midnight movie with Jalyssa and Sandra, she left her raincoat and umbrella in the car. Her goal was to run, dodge the rain and enter her car without ruining her clothing or wetting her Holy Bible and purse. Sometimes our goals and reality…don’t match up. Trying to be swift, she ended up slipping on asphalt, rolling and scrapping her entire left leg pretty bad. Once in the car, upset but jovial, she yelled, “God, if I had a good man, he would’ve gotten wet, drove the car over and I wouldn’t be soaked right now!” She laughed then suddenly, which is common for Atlanta’s uncommon weather, it stopped raining. At that moment she discovered her Holy Bible was dropped during her poorly executed “choreography”. Yes...she had to go back into Wal-mart.
Walking back. The snickers from those who witnessed the fall didn’t hurt. Even the odd limp she now owned wasn’t what hurt. What really hurt was watching the women who stood by the curb and waited for their good men to get the car, pick the shopping bags and let their women enter without risk of being caught by Atlanta’s trick weather. As soon as she reached the Holy Bible, a gentleman picked it up. When she raised her head, she noticed this brother. He wasn’t dreamy. He wasn’t exceptionally tall. He wasn’t the athletically built gorgeous man she’s accustomed to ignoring. He was handsome, dressed in cargo shorts and a Morehouse sweatshirt. He wore an Atlanta Falcon baseball cap and had very nice teeth. He was White as snow with long black hair. The latter of which caught Tanya off guard when knowing Morehouse is a Historically Black College. He asked, “Can I pray with you?” She didn’t know what to say. She didn’t know what to do. She just knew…God stopped talking for a reason. Now she is left to talk to a prayer…answered.
Are you prepared for what you pray for? Are you? Are you honestly prepared for the good man, woman, money, weight or health you’ve been asking? If you are, when God gives you directions on how to attain it…what do you? Sometimes we want to be healthy, God sends you signs of how to eat, workout…etc but we ignore it. Sometimes we want someone “good” but the moment they arrive, we wait until they mess up or show a common flaw and we desert them or make them, “a friend.” What are you doing with God’s promises? Think about it. He will answer but what will you do?
He Asks. You Answer.
Blog Series 20
Sandra and Tanya convince Jalyssa to visit a poetry lounge. This weirdly dressed poet grabs the mic and begins, “Ladies, there are only three exclusive relationship positions a woman can be inside a man’s life, girlfriend, fiancé and wife. That’s it. Nothing is “complicated” about it. If you’re giving “girlfriend” exclusivity to someone who didn’t ask you to be a girlfriend…you’re not a girlfriend. If you’re giving fiancé treatment to someone who didn’t ask you to be his fiancé…you’re not his fiancé. If you’re giving “wifey” loyalty to someone who didn’t bother to get down on one knee, have a wedding and tell the world, “I love her”, then you are not the wife. What are you? Nothing, just a woman in his life that he’s given attention and compliments to. Therefore, you felt certain you’re the only one and gave him your all in hopes…he thinks the same. I have a story for you.
He continues, “Three young girls were walking home from elementary school. All were 10. They saw an old man building a bridge over all the broken glass, sharp rocks and dangerous material found on “The Path.” One of the young girls, the leader, noticed his work and asked, “Old man, why are you building this bridge? We don’t mind taking the long way around. Anyways, you’re too old to finish. You have at least another 10 miles to go. You won’t even get to walk across it, you’re too old. Old man? You don’t want to talk? Probably can’t hear.” The old man continues to build as the three young girls walk. One young girl looks back starts to talk to him but refrains for fear of the leader and just follows the other girls’ footsteps. Five years pass.
The young girls are now young women. At 15 they visit “The Path” on their way home from high school. The leader of the group notices the Old Man again, “Hey old man! Why are you still building this bridge? I see you putting cement on each brick and doing all this hard work for what? Why? You’re too old to even walk across this thing when you’re done. Hello?? You’re not going to talk old man? I hope you die out here then, old man! Let’s go girls.” All the girls follow, but one looks back. She starts to talk to the old man but fears the leader and just follows the other girls’ footsteps. Another five years pass.
In college, the three young women are now women. At 20, they plan a reunion back home, walking near “The Path” the leader catches a glimpse of the Old Man still building the bridge over all the broken glass, sharp rocks and dangerous material. She asks, “Old man, it’s been about 10 years since we seen you here. We have to admit, you’ve done a LOT of work. They all nod in agreement. She continues, “No matter the fact, you’re now definitely too old and the bridge is about 6 miles away from completion. You won’t get done any time soon and definitely won’t walk it. Why do you do this?” Again, he ignores her. Placing cement on the bricks, he works. Angry, she says, “I hope you die out here then, old man! You aren’t ever going to finish anyway. Let’s go girls.” One girl stays. Now she’s a woman. She doesn’t just follow the leader. She asks the Old Man, “Can you forgive my friend? She has always been the somewhat ignorant one. He nods in agreement and continues to place cement on the bricks. The young woman continues, “May I humbly ask, why are you building this bridge over all these harmful things when we’ve taken the longer way around for so many years? The old man picks up his head and says, “I’m not building this bridge for me. I’m building this for those who come after me. I don’t want them taking the longer way around and nor should they have to suffer my same struggles as a youth. I build, for those I may never see.” After he says those words, the old man dies. The woman sees him there, picks up the bricks and starts to put cement on them. There are two characters you can choose to be in this story. The person who tries to succeed by taking the “long way” courtesy of making the same mistakes their parents or friends did or the person. The one who takes the shorter way using, “The Path.” The Path is learning from the mistakes of others and building a bridge with your mistakes then teaching others about them so they too will have a shorter walk in life. Who will you…who are you? Don’t settle for what your parents settled for. You deserve to be a wife not just a “it’s complicated.” If your mother died a single mother, your grandmother too, why should you? Change the path. Be more than someone’s option. If you become a wife, then you create a path for women to walk. They can be like you because you built a bridge that says, “I’m wife. Follow me.” There is nothing glamorous about being anything else.
The girls had a charge. Be nothing or something. Jalyssa didn’t want to be there but now…felt like no other place was better fit for her. She knew then, being exclusive to someone who owns no title with you is foolish. The classic, “I’m not into titles” is just a game fools play on fools to keep them fools. Tanya and Sandra both held back tears. They too knew the same, “If he didn’t ask and I didn’t answer…then I am what I started to be…nothing.” Don’t you, dear reader, deserve to be more than nothing? Don’t fear asking the question because other women before you just took the long way around the question hoping the man’s actions will prove otherwise. With technology today, a man can make 20 women feel like “the only one.” Why not make sure you are? Just ask him to ask before you give the privileges or even after you’ve given them. Don’t you deserve it? If not, you’ll find out if he didn’t ask and you didn’t answer…why you are just as significant to him as you were…before you met him.
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