While You Were Away, Part II
We Need to Talk…
I walked to my car, afraid to look back to see if he were watching. I couldn’t find my car keys at first so I turned on the flashlight app on my phone, great; found it. I sat in my car and waited for the engine to warm up, as the weather outside was frigid. I watched the cold escape my mouth as little mini clouds filled my car and fogged my windows. I shivered uncontrollably until the lever went past C. I could have taken him up on his offer to spend the night but I wanted to speak to Shawn before I went to bed. I have no desire to catch feelings for Blake. He knows what this is. It is and will remain a booty call.
Relieved that the car was finally warm enough to drive, I turned on the heat at full blast. As I put the gear into drive, I heard tapping on my window. I almost jumped out of my skin, because he scared the crap out of me. I unlocked the door, afraid to wind down the windows and risk letting in too much cold air. He sat down in the passenger seat and remained silent. After a minute, he broke his silence, “are you sure you want to leave without finishing our conversation?” What is wrong with this dude?! We were in bed after our session and he wanted to cuddle and talk about our future. I told him, it would be awkward to do cuddle and do things that are symbolic to what couples do, as we are far from ever being that. I also stated that, it makes no sense to try to put a label on what we were doing because I am not leaving my fiancée. As soon as I brought Shawn into the discussion he shut down. I wasn’t going to negotiate my comfortability with this man. I told him that I really enjoy what we’ve been doing for the past month. However, I would really like to keep [emotions] out of our situation. Before he could respond, I jumped out of bed, threw on my clothes, and walked out. I felt like he wanted me to make a decision and I already made my choice.
He called my behavior childish and rudely insensitive. I chuckled. He stopped talking for a second and lowered the volume of the radio. I guess the volume was too loud or maybe, he didn’t like the Drake song playing over the speakers, “O to 100.” I guess that was making him feel uncomfortable. All I know is, this is not a conversation that is worth having. Nonetheless, I sat there and listened to him bitch and moan. I immediately felt like the dude in this sit-uation-ship. I softened up and interrupted by expressing how much I cared about him. As a matter of fact, I think because I care so much, it is best that we cut back on our frequency. I think, quite possibly, seeing each other three times a week is showing itself to be a bit much. He looked at me, pulled my face to his pillow soft lips and smiled. He kissed my forehead, the way I grew accustomed, and shook his head. As he reached for the handle to open the door, I stopped him.
“Blake. I think you should know something. I’ve been keeping a secret from you but I don’t think it’s fair for you to not know.”
Ok. What’s going on? Is there something troubling you?
“Yes. Shawn and I have decided to get married in two weeks. We are going to use our planned vacation to Jamaica, as a destination wedding. I just purchased the tickets for our parents today. Our two best friends will be the witnesses. I thought you should know that once I am married, we can no longer see each other.”
Are you kidding me?! Why would you marry him, if you and I both know that you are not happy?! If you were happy with dude, you wouldn’t be here with me.
“Yes, there are some things about him that I am disgusted by but the pros outweigh the cons. I am not satisfied with him in the bedroom but that’s mainly because once he turned 40, his man parts have a hard time staying stimulated. He has been taking the pills the doctor prescribed and they have been helping for the most part.”
LOL. So, you rather marry a dude that can’t keep it up?! I don’t need pills to keep it stimulated for you. I’m a year older than him and don’t have this issue. EVER! You are MORE than enough, to keep any REAL man stimulated. Why are you marrying him? Is it the money?
“Blake. Though I have financial stability with Shawn, we were never together for the money. I make my own damn money and don’t need him or any man to hold me down. Heck, I hardly need a man to satisfy me. I have toys that do a better job and cause less stress. So, if you really think, I’m with Shawn for the money, you are bugging!”
So, why the hell are you with me? You pull me into your world, only to dump me so easily. Do you even realize that I broke up with my girlfriend because I’m in love with you. I broke up with a damn good woman, that I was with for two years, to be with your crazy ass! And this is how you repay me?! You’re going to marry a dude that’s cheating on you with his former colleague.
“What did you just say?”
You heard me. Did I stutter?! Your fiancée is banging Emily. You know Emily, don’t you? I believe he mentioned that a year ago, you grew suspicious of their interactions. He said one night while he and Emily were away on business, you were blowing up his phone and he didn’t answer for an hour. When he finally called you back, he gave you some bogus excuse that the two of them were entertaining clients.
Just know that, he wasn’t with clients, he was with Emily. To ensure that you stopped pressing him for information. About two weeks later, he told you that she no longer worked for his firm. Something to the effect that she moved away to Chicago for a new role. Do you want to know why she moved? Hmm…
She moved because his assistant caught them making out in one of the conference rooms. When Shawn was confronted, by another senior executive, he told them whatever it took to save his ass. He threw Emily under the bus and she was laid off. They didn’t tell her why they were letting her go, they made it about performance. The assistant was debrief by Human Resources and warned that if she spread any rumors, she would be fired and sued .
Shawn felt guilt for being responsible for her termination. He decided to take matters into his own hands and reach out to one of our college buddies. He’s a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs and owed Shawn a solid. By the time, he convinced her to move to New York, he fed her the dream that he would eventually leave you and they would be together. Some riding off into sunset fallacy. She bit the bait and moved there. However, New York, isn’t quite Chi-town.
Now, let me get this straight. You paid for an apartment for him to move into, and live with, his side piece. Ha-ha. That’s some funny stuff.
Let me ask you a question, why haven’t you visited him at his place in New York?
When I spoke, it was to let him know that I needed to head home. He let himself out of the car and I watched him as he climbed the stairs and entered his home. He moved into his house a few weeks after the dinner at my place. Once he walked in and closed the door, I jumped on 95 North. I had a few things I needed to find out from Shawn.
I arrived at Shawn’s place about thirty past one. I had my girlfriend meet me at the building so she could let me into the premises. As she no longer had keys to the apartment, I needed to have someone let me in. I wanted to catch Shawn, if he were up to no good. Ringing his bell at one in the morning, was not going to be the wisest. I hugged her and told her that I was good and would call her once I was headed home. I walked up two flights of stairs and once I got to his apartment door, I put my ears to the door to listen. I heard nothing but the music blasting from the apartment three doors down. I forgot I was in New York, the city that never sleeps. I took out my phone and dialed his number. After three rings, he answered and sounded very groggy.
“Hey. What’s up babe?!”
Where are you?
“What do you mean?”
I said, where are you?
“I’m where I’m supposed to be, in my bed.”
Ok. Open the door.
“What?! Are you joking?!”
Nope. Not at all.
I heard footsteps on the other side of the door. I stepped to the side, so he couldn’t see me from the peep hole.
“Why are you playing with me? I am home babe, wish you were here.”
That’s sweet. Funny thing is, I am here. Come back to the door.
On his end, he grew silent.
“Oh okay babe. I am in the bathroom now. Let me take a whiz and I will be right there.”
I hung up and leaned against the wall in the hallway. I counted down how long it took him to come back to the door; five minutes. I heard a door close and then lots of movement but couldn’t decipher what caused his delay. I used this time to unbuckle the straps on my shoes.
When he opened the door, he looked visibly uncomfortable. I took off my pumps by the door and noticed a pair of black shoes, too small to belong to him. I shifted my eyes to the living room, he still had the television on. Nothing out of the ordinary, just Sports Center. I walked to the kitchen and saw two plates, one wine glass, and a scotch glass. I kept quiet because he was a wine drinker, why assume he had company. I walked to the closet door and he grabbed me from behind and pulled me into his arms for a warm embrace.
“Baby. I’ve missed you so much. What do I owe this surprise?”
Why are you trying to stop me from going into the closet door?
“Babe. Please, don’t start. You can go anywhere you like.”
I opened the closet door and found only containers and a few jackets. I closed it and walked over to the couch. I told him to join me so we could talk. It was then, I heard a noise coming from the bedroom. I jumped up and ran to the door. Once I got to the door, I put my hand on the handle and turned the knob. It was locked. I turned around only to find him by the main door.
Shawn. Come and open this door, RIGHT NOW!!!
He began walking towards me with fear in his eyes.
“Babe. I must have accidentally done that. Let me go and get a dinner knife. Maybe I can pry the door open.”
I noticed that he elevated his voice, when he said, “Maybe I can pry the door open.”
I heard wind blowing on the other side of the door. By the time he came back with the dinner knife, I had used force to push open the door. I walked in and saw an opened Magnum wrapper, next to his very messy bed. I noticed that the window was open and it was obvious that whomever was here, had escaped down the fire escape. I smelled the same perfume that was on one of his business jackets a year prior; Jadore. I walked into his walk-in closet and found two women suits, coats, and two shoe boxes. None of these items belonged to me.
“Babe. It isn’t what it appears to be. I let my boy use my apartment earlier. I came in from work and passed out.”
So, you mean to tell me that you jumped right into your bed, knowing that your boy had had sex in it earlier? Then you decide to leave the open condom wrapper on your night stand. Not to mention, you allowed him to let his female friend leave clothing here? Okay, if these items mean nothing, then you won’t mind me throwing them away?
“I snatched the clothing off the hangers and threw them on the ground. I stomped the shoe boxes and threw the shoes at him, in a fit of rage. Within seconds, I collapsed to the floor in emotional pain. I screamed at the top of my lungs and sobbed. I was certain his neighbors would call the police. I didn’t realize that he had his arms around me until I came to my senses. I threw his arms off of me and stormed out, but not before leaving my engagement ring on the kitchen counter.
By the time I reached my car, he was within inches away, still in boxers and barefoot.
<To be continued>
June 20th was a warm day in Brooklyn, when I woke I found myself in a pool of sweat. The room was humid, you almost felt as though you could slice the air like pie. I was rudely awaken from my dream by my obnoxiously loud ringer. I wanted desperately to go back to my dream that involved me marrying Idris Elba. We were about to consummate our union, when the phone disturbed me. Oh well, it was a dream, so nothing to get excited about, thought it felt so real. When I moved my mask from my eyes and grabbed my phone resting on the nightstand, I saw the name and sent the call to voicemail. I know that’s a douche bag move but he wasn’t deserving of an answer.
He called about ten times back to back before I put my phone on silent. I stumbled out of the bed and realized my legs and arms were sore. I don’t recall the woman getting that many swings in but hey, such is life. I walked over to the window in a snail like motion. My head hurt from being hungover and my body ached from fighting. Sadly enough, I had no idea who this woman was, all I knew was she was booed up in a corner with Robert when we walked into Brooklyn Moon. I opened the window and heard the ice cream truck making its way down my block. I was tempted to run down the stairs and get me a cone but was too achy. I felt dehydrated, so I made my way to my kitchen.
When I walked into the kitchen, it was obvious that I brought some of that anger home with me. It looked like I had a fight with my kitchen. The week old bouquet of roses, which was his attempt to get back in my good graces, after I caught him with a woman, two weeks prior, were now on the floor, with the broken vase in a puddle of water. The roses lay on the floor, as dead as our relationship. I looked at my window and beneath the windowsill, laid my once mounted wine rack, and the wine bottles were at the base of the stove, thankfully unbroken. I had way too much Tequila last night. What was I thinking?! Ugh…I should had never let my boy Starrtender convince me to try his new concoction, when I stopped by Milk River. He sure knows how to make a drink. He is so darn heavy handed with his drinks though. Sigh! I surveyed my kitchen and was in shock as to the condition. I began cleaning up but was stopped suddenly by a glass that suddenly pierced my foot. Now I have to deal with a cut under my feet and blood staining my floor.
After I cleaned up the kitchen, I hobbled my now bandage foot into my living room. When I walked into my living room, I saw my home girl Naadira, passed out on my carpet, fully dressed and her “ruby woo” lips, nicely smeared on my cream color carpet. I yelled in the highest octave “Naadira, Get UP!!!” She did not budge. I walked over and nudged her with my feet. “Naadira. Get up babe!” She opened her eyes, like this was the first time she saw the light of day. I was a prick, so I walked over to my drapes and pulled them back, letting in all the BRIGHT sunlight. She sucked her teeth, like a true Trini-woman and cussed me in under her breath, in her Trinidadian jargon.
“Michelle, where’s Paula?” I told her that last I remember, her man escorted her out of the lounge. She told me to check on her to make sure. When I called Paula, she seemed pissed. She began by scolding me about her disappointment in my actions last night. I tried to interrupt and defend myself but she shut me down each time. “Michelle, you are too grown for this kind of behavior. What were you thinking?! We are in our 40’s, you looked like an immature child unable to control herself. Fighting over a man that can’t keep his ding-a-ling in his pants. Stop making excuses for his actions and own the fact that you are taking crumbs from someone unable to give you more.” I was silent and took it all in because everything she said was true. I played myself and made a fool out of myself.
I’ve been with Rob for two years, and caught him cheating four times. The first time was with his second child’s mother. The times after were with women he met at the lounge he owns in BedStuy. I resented him for opening the business. I wanted to partner with him and he told me, that privilege was reserved for his wife. Those words pierced like a knife but I had no fight in me at the time. Although it was my $40,000, he needed in order to get his business up and running. His credit was so crappy so I did like what any good woman would do and gave him the money. I thought I was being a good woman but in actuality, I was foolish for prematurely giving money to someone not willing to give me his last name.
The times I caught Rob fooling around, was not by chance, I had help. One of the security guards that likes me would always send me pics of Rob in action with the caption, “Boys will be boys. When are you going to get with a real man?!” Whenever he sent me these text, I would rush to the lounge but as I got to the door, the other security guard would act like he forgot who I was. I learned that he did that in order to give Rob a heads up that I was there. He would have me wait at the door and go inside and obviously warn my man. By the time I walked in, most of the time, in sneakers, spandex, and a t-shirt, he would have cleaned up his act. I didn’t realize then how crazy I looked walking in there looking crazy, sometimes with my hair pulled back, only thing missing is vaseline on my face.
On May 25th, the disloyal guard wasn’t at the door. My insider was working the door that night and let me in with no issues. I walked in like a hound dog, searching every corner for my cheating behind man. Finally I spotted him, caught in the darkest part of the lounge, kissing on this female I knew from the beauty salon in Clinton Hills. She knew he had a girl but could care less. It turns out that I use to date her baby father, who I wound up cutting off. The vicious cycle is a bit more complex than you’d imagine. I broke up with her baby father to be with Rob, and he broke up with her to be with me. YES, karma is a biatch!!
That night I ran up on them, she saw me coming ahead of time. She got up and positioned herself ready to defend herself. Something within me told me to rush them, so I began running towards them. As I got within arms reach, she swung at me. I ducked, caught her with a right hook to the jaw. Her cheap, .99 cent gold hoop earrings, flew across the room and her head cocked to the right. I went to hit her again but she caught me in the stomach, guess I have to pay better attention in boxing class with my trainer Nay-Shaun. He always tells me that I have a strong jab but I am poor with blocking hits. Well, when I went to kick her, Rob grabbed me by the waist, threw me on his shoulder and hauled me towards the door. I kicked and fought, calling out all kinds of obscene words to her. She stood on the platform of the seated area, smirking at me and blowing kisses. I was so heated but there was nothing I could do as the six security guards held my arms and legs until I was outside of the lounge.
When we got outside, Rob hailed a taxi, gave the driver $30, and told me he’d see me in the morning. When I got in, I sent him a text so he knew I was safe. It was so odd but he was extremely calm. Not once did he look me in the eye, I could feel his embarrassment, shock, and anger. He arrived at 5 am, slammed the door and walked into the room, seemingly ready to argue. What happened next was something he had never done before. He dragged me out of the bed and pulled me into the living room. The living room was facing the back of the building and no one could hear my screams if he did anything to me there. It’s apparent that he was drunk and was not in his right mind. I screamed as loud as I could but no one came to my rescue. For the next ten times, though it felt like an hour; he beat me. I don’t mean the kind of beating that your parents give you. No, this beating was violent, it was laced with venom and his target was me.
After he grew tired of pounding my face and body with hits, he walked into the bathroom. As I laid on the floor, bleeding from my nose and mouth, all I could do was pray that he would not come back to beat on me some more. Moments later, I heard the shower running. I cried, screamed, but no one was there to hear my plea. At this point, my vision was blurry. I could not see through my black eye. Once he was done with his shower, he went in the room and began watching TV. Not once did he come back to check on me. He left me there on the floor, like a piece of garbage. I must have dozed off for three hours because once I awoke the clock, which was now on the floor, said 8am. The phone ringing was what stirred my slumber. I was sore, weak, and therefore; could not move. I listened for the caller-id to indicate who was calling me this early. I heard it blurt out, “Angela Bryan”, my mother was calling. I tried desperately to crawl as quick as possible to my desk. However, before I could answer, I heard Rob answer the phone in the bedroom, “Good morning! Hi Ms. Bryan! Yes, she’s good. No, she’s in the shower. I will have her call you as soon as she gets out. No problem. Have a great day beautiful!”. He hung up the phone, walked in the living room and said, “…”
Stayed tuned to Part II. Please follow this page for immediate updates on posts.
Lost & Found
I realize as human beings that we decide who we choose to give our hearts to. It is not easy to open up to others, especially when you are not certain how they will reciprocate. Oftentimes we search for quality people because in this world we live in, more often that we suspect, people don’t always have the best intentions. Though they appear as they are genuine, their true self always gets revealed. Moreover, we are not psychics so we are unable to decipher who will be the real deal. Realistically, we cannot live our lives without giving people a chance to show their true colors. It is inevitable for us to learn to accept people for who they are and then you must adjust accordingly.
Recently there was a shift in my life, a shift I did not foresee happening, nor did I plan for it. The shift felt more like a shove, a punch, a swift kick to the jaw. The pain was instant and the hurt was deeper than a sword being forced deep into your heart. The sword however, cut both ways, and the blood (which was the pain and disappointment) poured through me and spilled into every crevice of my life. Though on the outward it appeared as though I was fine, inwardly I was slowly decaying. At that moment in time, I lost something, someone, very close to me. I thought of ways to get back what I lost because to me, I prefer quality over quantity any day. Not to mention, the minuscule thing that brought about the dissension was not worth me risking the lost of someone that important to me.
However, it was not up to me to decide when the reconciliation should commence. It has to be something both parties wish to engage in. If either party is not willing to have closure, then trust me, it will not be resolved. In my efforts to reconcile, I realized that there was more bad than good. It was confusing to me that I kept this individual in my life for such a lengthy period of time. To add to, acceptance was painful because I had to accept that this person was not truthful about how they felt about me. One thing that I respect is honesty but I have no tolerance for phoniness. If you are for me, then “Hooray”, if you are not, then communicate what is bothering you. No one person is perfect, so it is obvious that you are going to say, do, or even act out in a way that may be deemed inappropriate.
Therefore, I can respect when someone who claims they (love you like a fat kid loves cake) tells you how something you are doing or done is affecting them; at whatever capacity. What I do not appreciate is when that individual chooses to hold things inside and when they (unleash the dragon) attack you by bringing up stuff that happened years prior. No matter how truthful the claim, it is not fair to the person on the receiving end to be confronted with past issues, that were never brought to their attention. Nonetheless, as I sat and listened to the verbal lashing, I wondered, how many times have I been around this person and never, NOT ONCE, did they mention their true feelings.
Inwardly sitting there and listening felt like a brutal attack. I heard things that I did that I forgot that I did and stuff too long ago to remember, so I had no recollection because unbeknownst to me, their had been an underlying issue. Needless to say, when it came time for me to defend myself, it fell on deaf ears. I learned a great deal from that situation and hopefully, someone out there in cyber world can learn from what I endured.
For starters, avoid the following…
1) Don’t wait years to bring up things you don’t particularly like about your friend.
2) Don’t act like everything is cool if in essence, it really is not.
3) Take ownership for your part in the situation and don’t get defensive. Well at least TRY not to be defensive
4) Listen very careful to what they are saying
5) Forgiveness does not mean you will go back to being friends
6) Respect how people handle things, even if you don’t agree with their approach (we are all human beings and we all deserve the same respect)
7) Don’t use social media to air your dirty laundry (you can’t bad mouth someone conducting a matter in a classy way but ratchetness is and will always land you in the Hall of Shame)
8) Being silent does not mean you are weak, it is a true reflection of your strength
9) Learn what it means to choose your friends wisely
Lastly, I shared what I lost and briefly I will share what I found. I found out that I was friends with an enemy for 5 years and did not know it. I found out that you can forgive and not hate. I learned that the best part of being me is having a loving heart. I found out that when I hurt, it hurts those closest to me. They hurt because I am not myself and I become a shell of who I truly am. Today I am wiser and stronger than I was 8 weeks ago. In time I trust that I will fully recover from this lost but today is a good day. My bruise hurt but it is what it is, a bruise, it is meant to hurt in order to connect with the pain. The pain is my friendly reminder to be more careful of who I let into my heart and life. Honestly speaking, I could never really hate someone that I loved in the way I loved that person. In other words, I love this person even to this day but I DISLIKE who they have become. For that reason, I release my anger so that I can heal.