by Christina

"The first day that I remember you...the first image that comes to my mind is..." "Sexual Chocolate?" "No seriously...my door...and me standing before it...with such anxiety that I could hardly open it. But I did it anyway. I had to. I could have ignored you but that would have been rude. I stepped outside and I look and I saw you walking towards the house as though you had been walking to my house for years. As if you knew exactly where it was, exactly who I was, and you were coming to me. In fact, looking back in hindsight, I think to myself, "Maybe someone was sending me to you, sending you to me...like...maybe we were soul mates and you... just knew where to go." It was even a coincidence that you knew the area because Heather lived in the same area at one point. It was hard to find at all. Nothing was hard about us getting together. Everything was surprisingly easy, surprising fast and before I knew it, the pieces were already together.

"I think I remember the look on your face the most. You were just staring with this... intensity about you, yea that's what I would call it, that I had never been around before. I felt as though I could feel your energy even though you still...at least...ten feet away from me. I got a warm feeling in my chest. I don't think because I realized that you weren't a monster. I mean you didn't look crazy or anything like that. I think it was because somehow or another...maybe... I don't know...I felt our souls sensed each other and kind of reached out. Soon as you came to my door I felt as though I wanted to give you a hug, but I didn't even know you; not really, I mean we had talked a few times on the phone but nothing really serious. You sat down beside me and, you know I think about it and hmm, well for one I feel like you are so different from what I initially thought you would turn out to be. I was so convinced that you were gonna turn out to be something hooorrrrible since everything else had been hooorrrrible. I knew that you'd be horrible because I liked you, and that was always bad luck. But you sat down beside me and I wanted you to do what I was comfortable with, which was to be all over me.

"I had been used to people just handling me. This was the first time in a long time that I actually wanted a man to touch me, but you stayed away. I was mentally devastated, racking my brain trying to figure out, 'how many inches should I move to the right...hmm...maybe I should breathe in deeply so that my breast rise and he'll notice me. Should I scoot over a little bit, should I stay where I am, should I say something, should I make a joke, or should I just watch the movie?' I waited...by the end of the movie I had pretty much given up. I thought that you had sat there and rode it out like a gentleman, but that you really weren't interested. Then you made me take some little quiz. You asked me all these stupid questions to try and decipher who I really was and I thought to myself, 'Maybe he might still be interested in who I really am.' Nobody had even been interested in that before. The thought excited me...more than sitting next to you had.

"And somehow we ended up in the kitchen. I don't remember how or why, but I remembering having to let the fat dog out and her taking foorrever to squat and pee. The flipside of that ordeal was being so close to you and you turning and looking at me...between those eyes and the initial warmness that I felt...I felt drawn to you. I just wanted to run into your arms, which was kind of scary at first, but I learned to get used that because that's how it is always."

"Baby I remember our first date as well as you do. You know that I do. Well that's if you could call it a date. Even now your parents have a death lock on you. Besides, it was the first time I'd ever gone to a girl's house and actually "watched" a movie. The Muppets Christmas Carol...what a strange date, but it made me even more interested in you. As I sat there look at Rizzo the rat eating everything and anything, and you finding this somehow extremely amusing, I came to the conclusion that you were definitely an oddity , but somehow it attracted me to you. I didn't understand it but I went with where this interaction seemed to be taking me. Seemed like as soon as we kissed I knew we were at the beginning of a story of sorts. I never really had the chance to think of the pros and cons of beginning a relationship at that point in my life. The thought of preservation didn't even occur to me until months later...in hindsight I wish it would have happened sooner..."

"If anyone should be thinking that now it should be me! Forget sooner, it should have never happened Sean! I have so many emotions attached to you that maybe sometimes it is very difficult to hide the way I really feel deep down inside. And I never want to hurt you by saying things that I can not take back. But you deserve to know the truth and I don't think that it is benefiting either of us that I keep my emotions locked down inside. There are so many incidents that have changed the way I feel about you and this relationship that I hardly know on which end of the spectrum I'm sitting, but I still came here today ready. I hate the fact that you think that I don't want this to last. I can't even begin to figure out how to defend and answer the accusations that you are have been throwing towards me via text message for the last hour. How could you think that I don't want this to work? I'm the one who has wanted a family with you from the very beginning even though I hardly knew you and you hadn't even had the courage to say that you loved me yet.

"I had my own troubles as well, but at least I had the courtesy to have them last night! "What do you mean by that, what happened last night!?!" "If you calm down I'd be able to tell you. How ridiculous you are being right now! I mean honestly you are screaming at me through a fucking door you idiot!" "Don't change the subject cookiepuss." "Fine, last night I dreamed of a conversation that we had with Mrs. Sylvia and how she had read my palm and told me that I wasn't happy and that I was not with who I was meant to be with. I remember trying to shrug it off but you asked about it as though I would confess that there was someone else that I loved more than I loved you. This just wasn't true and still is not. I tried to explain it to you by saying that when we met you were a different person and that was the man that I feel in love with. Since then I believed that you had changed as far as your feelings towards me.

"When we first got together I believed that I was so lucky. You were so handsome and your smile made me blush every time you flashed it. But it was your eyes that made me feel like you were something special. And you were to me. You were so very special to me and you showed me things that I had never seen before and that no one had ever taken the time to show me before. Like the meteor shower. I think about that all the time now a days. I wish you still thought enough about me to think of things like that. But there is so many other things going on right now that I honestly feel as though you and I are on the back burner. But there was a time when I had blind faith in you and us and this relationship. I threw everything I had left in me, every seed that had the potential to grow into love I gave to you. I held onto you as though you would rescue me from my own self-destruction. I was someone that I didn't recognize and that scared me to death because I didn't remember how to be any other way...until you.

"You made me feel safe and warm. You made me feel truly desired and I wanted to change and be different for you, better. That is why I fought so fiercely to keep you near me even though everyone else thought it was the worst thing that I could ever do. I didn't care I just wanted you and I fought so hard to keep you around and I wanted you to let me into your life and love me, truly love me. I wanted that so bad that nothing else mattered. And when I got pregnant I thought at first that this was a sign. As much sex as I was having before it had never happened, but with you it happened right away. I was so scared but I had confidence in the fact that you would take care of me and find a way to make things work. When that didn't work the way I had planned I tried to understand where you were coming from and understand that is wasn't the right time. And I did in a way even though it killed me inside.

"I thought it was the only way that I could keep you. And by that time I was so in love with you that I felt I had no choice but to see your reason; unfortunately soon after you didn't want to hang out with me anymore. I wasn't enough for you anymore. I couldn't do anything to keep you with me and no matter what I tried to do you went in the opposite direction of me. I would make elaborate dinners for you as a big surprise on days and nights when you would say you would stop by and you would never show. Then you would chastise me for trying to surprise you and not just telling you. I would get so excited when you would get off from work that I would spend hours before your shift ended trying to find something perfect to wear that would make you want me enough for you to stay with me for more than a couple of hours. But when the time would come for you to get off you were no where to be found.

"You would not answer my calls, you would just ignore me. But I thought you loved me? How could you do that to someone you love? I don't have to continue to talk about what happened after all that because you know. But that is one of my questions to you. What was so great with those guys? Why wasn't I enough? Why did you turn away from me? How could you leave me by myself for so long wondering and worrying about you? You knew that I loved you and you took advantage of me. You knew that I would wait around for you no matter what you did because I clung onto as my hero. You knew that and you just didn't care. Yet still I loved you so much I pretended for so long not to care and that it didn't break my heart and cut at my very soul. I hated the fact that I wasn't enough to satisfy you; that you felt the need to stay out night after night with men who cared nothing about your well-being."

"My well-being, no that wasn't exactly what they had their mind on. At that time in my life I thought I had everything you know? I had a job, a car, friends, and most of all a woman who loved me. Maybe somehow it's only natural for men to act out when things are trying to straighten themselves out. The life of a black man is always a struggle; maybe I felt that something was wrong because I didn't have to struggle. You made things so easy for me, so easy...I wanted to settle, honest I did. I don't really know what got into me. I just wanted to have fun and enjoy everything I had. It wasn't me running from you because of the drama connected with the baby. I wanted that baby as much as you did baby. I just couldn't take care of it, what kind of man would I have been if I couldn't take care of you and my baby? And besides I had wanted to give you what you wanted which was not a baby out of marriage. I didn't ever expect things to get so out of hand."

"Yea of course you didn't, who would have? Of course I didn't know what to expect from you, you were hardly around for me to even make a good hypothesis. So when you got in trouble I was sure that you were going to tell me that you had been cheating on me. And still I rode the El, the sub, and the bus to hear you say it and to tell you that I didn't care, that I still wanted to be with you. I loved you so much I was willing to forget my pride, my dignity, my self-respect to be with you; for you to love me as much as I loved you. Then when you told me the truth my heart sank so low I thought I was going to be sick. As hard as I had tried to keep you away from my dirt you had found trouble all on your own. Something I had been afraid of with you and your drinking buddies.

"Honestly, and I have never told you this, I thought that all the dreams that I had with you, any plans that we had made, were all over. I thought that was the end of everything. I thought you were going to jail and that even if you didn't things would be so much harder for us. You would have a record and the jobs and opportunities I had wanted for you would no longer be available to you. I felt like the dream I had made with you was falling to pieces. But I tried so hard to be positive with you even though I was so disappointed and even feeling a little betrayed that our lives' dreams had been destroyed over the safety of another woman. Even still I got over it as best I could but never once did you think to apologize for any of these things because I assume you didn't think anything was wrong in your actions or that they even really affected me in anyway. Yet after this, I thought that we were stronger and better than before. I thought that this would make us so much closer, but I was wrong.

"That whole episode with Heather threw me for a real loop. I never saw that coming and when it did I just knew for sure that everything was going to be alright; that you would be my hero and come save me from this mess. I had faith and confidence in you and your family... both were blown to the wind almost as fast as I had gained them. I have never felt such pain in my heart then when you did not show up that night or call or even acknowledge my existence. My mother sat there and told me that I would never be a main priority for you as long as heather was apart of your life. And I acted so fiercely that she was actually scared of my behavior and told me countless times that I was out of control and that you were not feeling the same emotions for me at that time and certainly not acting like a madman. I thought this was a lie and that she was just jealous and so many other things I thought in my head that night. But nevertheless I knew in my heart and in my soul that you would come and make it right.

"My father gave me an ultimatum that if you didn't speak to my parents that night we were over and done with. I just knew that this would never be. But I was so wrong. And I made such a fool out of myself testifying to your great love for me and how you would never in a million years leave me by myself to face this battle. But you did and not only did you leave me alone but you went yet again to another woman's rescue. I have never forgiven you for that and that's the honest truth. You changed everything I felt for you with that. My spirit was just broken and my heart bled with the sorrow of knowing that your love for me was not as great as I had once thought. I lost my faith in you and my trust in you. And even still I tried to get over it even though I thought I would be saying goodbye to you forever. Another question is here, how could you put me in that position? How could you put us in a position where someone could come between us and tear us apart? I didn't even know how to survive without you and you told me that I would never have to do that, but I did. And it hurt so bad to be without you... so bad. And to think of how you had let me down on so many different levels tore me apart inside. How could I believe anything you ever said after that about always being around? Being around forever?"

"Baby I do love you so very much. I want to be around you; it's not that I don't. It's not that I ever haven't. "So what is it Sean?" It's complicated to explain, of course I'll try, but it's really very complicated. I had to go to her first, she is the mother of my son, and though I don't care for her anymore I could not lose my son. I had to make sure that didn't happen. I would have risked losing something I loved either way. It was a gamble and I chose my son. I always will and you know that. And I'm aware not that you weren't asking me to choose, but I felt like you were. The situation wasn't fair, "Life's not fair Sean," Yes baby I'm aware of this, but I just didn't know how to handle it. I'm so sorry for hurting you that way. I know it was a very rough time; it was for me as well. I cried in front of your mother when she told me I had to back off you for a while until she could smooth things over with your father. You were my world and I couldn't even think about not seeing you for one day let alone never again. Yet somehow I knew everything would turn out alright."

"Alright? What a joke! You told me time and time again that everything was going to be alright and that you would make things alright. But that did not happen either. Our one glimpse of hope slipped right through your fingers with Sunoco. That would have brought so many changes for the better, but your past came back to haunt you and my fears that our dreams of life together came true in that moment. I felt so horrible for you and at the same time disappointed in myself for not keeping you out of trouble, as though I had any power over you. The more disconnected I became in my thoughts and feelings the more I didn't want to hear a word you said. I just didn't believe you, I didn't feel anything. Your tears meant very little. It was far too late for that.

"I felt like I had to be away from you and so that's what I did. And I watched you cry and felt little feeling. I was sorry to hurt you but in a way I thought you somehow would learn from our break-up and maybe we would meet later in life and try again. I still loved you very much but it was as if my heart had gone into preservation mode towards you. I was cold to you and didn't like it so I stayed away from you. And Karl was the complete opposite of you. He always wanted to be around me and for once someone liked me more than I liked them. He wanted me to meet his family so fast. He was proud to be with me and almost felt as though he was so lucky to find me; like he had been waiting his whole life to find someone like me. He swept me around into a place where I didn't have to think about the pain, the disappointment, the sadness of it all. But it was all a hoax because as soon as another man touched me I knew that I only wanted to be touched by you, no matter how much I hated you.

"And I let myself go, and saw you, and made love to you, and found myself once again with your child. And once again I thought this was a sign that this was meant to be, but you didn't. And once again I wanted to be with you so bad that I didn't complain or try to change your mind. You and I finding each other again was not a sign enough that we should try harder and go through the trouble of trying to have a family together. That was a stab in my heart that I don't think I'll ever get over. Another question...would it have been so hard? Couldn't we have thought about it a little bit more? Why haven't you ever told your family that I was with your child? Why do our troubles and mistakes have to remain remote to your family, but up front and funky in mine? Are you ashamed of what we did? Do you ever think of how I deal with that from day to day seeing Kaesean and having to hear about his mother, the one that got the chance? You never even gave me a chance at being the mother of your child, why? If you love me so much more than you loved her why didn't you try? I think of my brother in debt and with no job at all and he is overjoyed that the woman he loves is going to bear his child! Why weren't you? Why wasn't I enough for you to take a gamble?

"After that I had a new found hate for your son's mother and spent thousands of dollars with Mrs. Sylvia trying to get rid of her and detach her from your life. I was tired of being the other woman in your life. I wanted you to start to really live your life with me. Make plans with me. Really love me. You say you wanna marry me, you say you want children with me but when we have the chance you don't. I don't understand why things have to be so complicated. If you love me than love should be enough but your pride overshadows your love and I'm the one that ends up being hurt. I do love you more than anything and anyone but I need to know where you really stand with me because I can't continue to shed tears for the things you'll never give me. I want a husband, a family, a life with you where you love me more than anything and would sacrifice everything for me, anything for me. I want you to listen to and try to understand that the only thing that I have ever wanted is for you to love me, be in love with me, as much as I am with you. This is what I want for us...and here we are. I'm ready, are you?"

"I just don't know if I can do this...I love you I do. I just have to figure out why I feel like I'm about to have a heart attack right now. This should be easy. This is what I want, honestly it is. I think I just need some air; yes air would do me good right now. I'll be back when I've got some fresh air in my lungs. Then I'll be ready, honestly I will." She heard the clicking of his dress shoes and the remote sound of the trees rustling as he closed the door on the other side of the wall. It was bad luck to see the bride before the wedding he had said. With her forehead still pressed onto the wooden door, she slid down onto the floor and a black-tinted teardrop hit her cascading gown.

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