Manhattan

Double Standards

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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.

Knowing Your Worth- Part III “New Beginnings”

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I am beginning to think that this was all too much for me to take on. He has refused to take the paternity test, as he believes that I could have been with anyone. The nerve of this man! After he knew he was my everything. I thought I knew Philip, the man whom was my lover, best friend, and now the father to my child. I refuse to be a single parent without the support of the father. Tiffany told me that I should leave it alone and move on. But how can I move on when my heart believes that he still loves me. Am I crazy? Was it all a lie? Did he really only view me as a side chick?

All of my friends told me that I should have abort my child. I honestly could not bring myself to do it, my child is a part of me. I fall asleep every night with my hand on my tummy, placed exactly where I can feel the heart beat. It is so tranquil, it makes me so proud to know that within me is a part of Philip and I growing in unison. Does that make me a fool for going forward with this pregnancy? I beg to differ. We were a unit; it will be well between us. After having two early labor scares, I mustered up the courage to call him again. It was the night of Valentines day, he sent my calls to voicemail twice. I dialed him once more and he picked up, sounding like he had smoke coming out of his ear. “What the hell do you want, you stupid idiot?!” Hello Philip, I understand your anger but we need to talk. I would like to speak with you tomorrow after you get out of the office. I know you frequent Buka on Fulton Street in Brooklyn on Wednesday’s to watch soccer. I must meet with you in person, this is very important. “Sheila, I have no interest in meeting you and even if I entertained that idea, I have plans tomorrow.” I would only require an hour of your time. “What time are you talking about? You know that I am a very busy man! Also, how do you know that I frequent Buka on Wednesdays?” Philip, that part is not important, can you meet me at 6pm? “Ok.”

I arrived a little early, so I could calm my nerves and park in my usual spot. It’s been months since I’ve seen him. Who am I kidding, I mean, it’s been months since we have talked face to face. I see him each week, though he does not see me. I wait in my car and watch him go in and out of Buka. I don’t see anything wrong with watching him, it is not weird, though Tiffany begs to differ. I have even studied his schedule, to a science. He usually arrives at about 5:30pm but he waits in his car until 6pm. Once the parking meter rules are suspended at 6pm, he heads into the restaurant. His dinner normally consists of, Jollof rice, chicken stew, sweet plaintains, and a glass of Red Stripe. He has always loved Red Stripe, ever since we went to Jamaica on our one year anniversary. I am so thankful for the bartender Pete that likes me, he always gives me the scoop. He is a nice guy but I am not attracted to Pete, I just use him for his information. Besides, what do I look like dating someone and I am a week away from giving birth. In any event, I reward him for his information by allowing him to give me foot rubs. He has a foot fetish, so I allow him to rub my feet on Saturdays as he fills me in on all that is going on with Philip.

Pete told me that Philip and his wife have been going through a lot. He said the wife has gone back to Nigeria and refuses to come back until he cleans up his act. Apparently, Philip has sowed his seeds with another woman by the name of Adeola. Adeola, is the woman that I saw in the car with him, the night I told him I was pregnant. She is one of the Senior Vice Presidents at his firm. In addition, it turns out that she is seven months pregnant. She decided to keep it, as per Pete, because Philip said he intends to leave his wife for her. I heard she looks miserable, and they normally end the night in a screaming match. I am furious that he impregnated another woman but who am I to judge.

Philip walked into the restaurant as if he had his own theme music playing in the background. He is so cocky but it is so sexy to me. He walked up to me and smirked, though I wanted a kiss, I was elated to see him. As soon as he sat down, a whiff of his fragrance hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately, I inhaled Chanel Bleu and wanted his scent all over me. I gathered my thoughts and said, I want you there next week when I give birth, how do you feel about that? Surprisingly, he obliged and the following week, he was by my side as we welcomed our beautiful daughter Abeo Eva Adeoye on February 22nd. He stayed with me every night, though I knew he was uncomfortable, sleeping in that awkward hospital chair, but he never complained.

Abeo has her father’s eyes and lips. She has a beautiful spirit, she does not cry much and loves smiling. Indeed, she has become my version of heaven on earth. I find that I stare at her as she sleeps, as if I fear this is a dream and I could wake from it. Her father has been with her every single day. The only draw back is crazy behind Adeola. She has come by my home twice already and have keyed my Benz and given me two flat tires. Philip said she has a brother that works at the Police Station that can locate his car, via GPS, at any time. Therefore, she has been tormenting me for the past two weeks.

I decided that this night I was going to give her something to remember. I walked out the front door and asked her why she was on my property? Oh how I wish I never went outside. Let’s just say, I asked Philip to leave that night and decided to raise my child without his help. There was a reason why Philip didn’t want me to go outside. Apparently, Adeola is the sister to his wife, yes, his sister in law and they have been having an affair for the past two years. Wait, there is more, she is HIV Positive. She went on to explain that Philip is the man she contracted the disease from. The reason why she has been coming by is because her medical insurance does not fully cover her HIV meds. Philip is suppose to pay for half and he has not been answering her calls and she has grown desperate. That’s the reason why she turned to her brother (the cop) for assistance. As I stood there, I felt as if someone shot me in the heart. I felt a sense of relief for myself, but a tremendous sense of sadness for this woman who Philip has just ruined her life.

Thankfully, he did not give me the disease, as we ALWAYS used protection. I was so grateful that me and my child dodged a bullet. Here I was, lusting after a married man, who was HIV positive. It makes no sense but honestly, if I had not gone outside that night, I could have potentially become his next victim. It has been two years since I’ve seen or heard from Philip. I heard from Pete that he has lost a substantial amount of weight. Sadly, Adeola passed during child birth and her child died the day immediately following. When Pete told me the story, I could not help but cry. Both were victims to a heartless coward, who cared little about either of their lives. I am thankful that I had the courage to move on and allow myself to love again. I am engaged to a wonderful man who loves me as much as he loves my daughter, whom he has adopted. I learned so much from my relationship with Philip. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself, if you are running after this man, then who is running after you? I grew to know my worth and will not be second best to anyone, ever again.

Thank you for reading the last installment of Philip and Sheila. I hope you liked it and will share it with others.

Disclaimer: Everything here is compiled data and does not reflect the views or opinions of Khemeka B.

Sincerely,

Khemeka B

Knowing Your Worth- Part I

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Do you know your worth? Honestly, do you know when to walk away from a situation before you lose yourself?

These are questions everyone should ask themselves. Especially, if you are in a courtship that is going downhill. To be real frank, some people do not know how to walk away from a troublesome situation, in terms of dating. However, some times, when you are in what appears to be a meaningful relationship, you may not want to let go. When you begin dating, the newness is so addictive. You are engrossed in getting to know your potential mate. This is the time to learn their likes, dislikes, and crucial information that will dictate whether or not you continue the courtship. Ideally, it is suggested that you take your time and keep any sexual intimacy at bay. However, sometimes, you incorporate the sexual intimacy before you have commitment. Nowadays, most dating relationships start out with sex, then both parties decide if they want to commit to one another.  This method is completely the wrong approach because as WOMEN, we cannot just have sex with a man and emotionally detach. Men on the other hand, they can have intimacy with multiple partners and keep their emotions in tact. Obviously, men and women are wired differently, no arguing that. Some women would argue that they can do what men do and be emotionally deattached.  However, Sheila tried this approach and wound up getting emotionally consumed to an unworthy gent.

Sheila met Philip while traveling out of town on business. He was an executive at a finance firm her law office worked with. Philip had key accounts in Africa and therefore had to travel often. He being Nigerian, was happy that some of his new clients were based in Ghana and Nigeria. It afforded him the time to see family back home. Philip is handsome and gainfully employed man with no children, at least that’s what he led her to believe; later you will learn about his double life. He being the oldest of his family was responsible for taking care of his mother after his father passed away five years prior. She admired this about him as she wants a man that is family oriented.

After three months of dating, Sheila decided that she wanted more. She fought the desire to be that kind of woman that demands a man commit to her but she was not keen to letting Philip slip through her fingers. In her mind, she felt it would be foolish to let “Mr. Right” pass her by. As their courtship progressed this awesome man became the torn in her flesh. The trips to Africa seemed to be more frequent than normal. He became unreachable, especially while visiting Nigeria. Sheila is normally a confident woman but began struggling with insecurities whenever he was in Nigeria. Normally when he is traveling, they Skype and speak on the phone at least twice a day. The last trip was different, very different.

At 11pm (Eastern Standard Time), Sheila dialed Philip while he was in Nigeria, which as 4am his time. When she hadn’t heard from him all day, she could not go to sleep without hearing his voice. There was nothing that could prepare her for who answered the phone on the receiving end. Let’s just say, it wasn’t Philip. The woman answered the phone with her voice very groggy. Sheila immediately hung up, believing she had dialed the wrong number by accident. When she called back and the same voice greeted her, she was tongue tied. The woman said, “Hello, who is this?” Sheila said, “I am looking for Philip.” The woman said, “Who might I ask is calling?” Sheila said, “This is his girlfriend calling from the States” The woman hung up the phone after a very long pause. Sheila was fueled with venom and called the number back repetitively but no one answered. She had a sleepless night and called out of work the next day. About midday Philip called her and sounded cheery and clueless as to what transpired the night before. When she confronted him of what happened, he laughed and said you must have dialed the wrong number. Oddly enough, Sheila fell for his excuse and left it alone. Literally, she convinced herself that she called the wrong number and made no mention of it again.

Philip returned from Nigeria the following week and all was well again in their relationship. Three months went by and he informed her that he had to go back home because his mother was ill. She thought nothing of it but requested that he agreed to call her daily. Of course he agreed, but he did not keep up to his end of the deal. He called her the first day he arrived but did not call her for two days straight. On day three, she called him at 1am (Eastern Standard Time), which is 6am his time and guess who answered his phone…yes, non other than the same woman. Sheila was not tongue tied this time around. She asked the woman, “Who is this and why are you answering my man’s phone?” The woman in her very thick Nigerian accent said, “What is this?! What do you mean your man’s phone? Why are you calling my husband’s phone?” Sheila said, “I am sorry Miss, I must have dialed the wrong number because I am trying to reach my boyfriend Philip and he is not married. The voice on the receiving end fell silent. She replied, “No my dear, you have the right number, Philip is my husband and he is the father to our 3 children”. He is sound asleep and I just happen to hear the phone going off as I am preparing breakfast. Sheila was silent for what felt like a decade.

The woman said, “Hello, are you still there”? Well, if you do not want to speak, let me speak to you plainly. I love my husband and he is a good father but I know that he has been stepping outside of our marriage. In our culture, it is (somewhat) condoned that men will have other women. It is not easy to accept but it is what it is. He has been careful to not bring this to my face but I see he has gotten sloppy. I cannot tell you to leave him alone, that is up to you to decide. However, he is not a man that would put a woman before his family. Therefore, I strongly advise you to reconsider your dealings with my husband. Again, the choice is yours but please respect me and not call my husband at these unforgiving hours again! The wife hung up the phone and that was the last time for the duration of Philip’s trip that she called him.

When he returned two weeks later, she picked him up from the airport. When they got to her place, she cooked dinner and made love to him. She literally went on as if nothing had changed. In fact, she never brought up the conversation she had with his wife. Some people would say that Sheila is a fool. Most would say that she is stupid with very low self-esteem. However, though all of those statements may be true, there is more to it. In her case, she does not know her worth or how to teach someone how to value her worth. Therefore, what she is willing to accept, who are we to judge.

Please leave a comment if you can relate, agree or disagree with Sheila’s actions.

Lost & Found

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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. 

 

Sincerely,

KB