- Philadelphia, PA, United States
- I suck at bios. Am horrible at telling interesting things about myself without embarassing myself at the same time. So I stick to the basics: My mind is forever active; always thinking and asking questions. I enjoy reading. Love writing. But if it were up to me, I'd love for a lifetime because love, is an animal that as untamed as it is, it's perfect.
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Monday, April 25, 2011
Most mornings, when I don’t have to tend to any one of my three jobs, my alarm isn’t what wakes me. Instead, it’s his “Good morning” text. And just like that, a smile crosses my face, from ear to ear, cheek to cheek. My brown eyes I’m sure light up because I don’t even feel the weight of sleep on my lids and I happily text back “Good morning”. Sometimes we even have lengthy conversations about life: anticipations, downfalls and shortcomings, the stresses of adulthood – all at seven o’clock in the morning. And after all is said and done, we wish each other good (now great) days and graciously say thanks.
We met in college: I the freshman and he the sophomore. We clicked - immediately. From the beginning, I was fascinated by him. Fascinated by the way he walked and talked: side to side stroll, perfect enunciation, and very little slang. Quick with words, he embodied all I’d wished for: an intelligent urbanite who made me think and feel good. His teeth were white and perfect that embodied one of the most gorgeous smiles I’ve ever seen. He was tall, thick and solid, with deep, endearing brown eyes. He was everything I never crossed, or had the pleasure to entertain or to be entertained by. And I was attracted. There was no denying it.
We’d created a ritual: before or after class, it was deemed our time. And our time the majority of the time was spent nestled in sheets for quick half hours to get our days started. It was convenient and fun. For the both of us, it was different. There was no title. No responsibility or position. We understood, with no discussion into the matter, that at any moment or time this could end. Yet, we kept at it, believing and convincing ourselves that this was platonic. Unbeknownst me, this non-committed commitment would eventually become a problem. But somewhere in the midst of the fun and excitement, somewhere between all-nighters and caramel lattes, somewhere in the time spent together, however trivial and unpromising, I caught feelings. And the feelings that I tried to control, eventually got out of control. I wanted more than rendezvous’ that took us across city and back, but was too fearful of expressing any of these feelings to him or admitting them to myself. My form of control was to sever ties and let the memories of his bedroom and the subway rides before and after class to become figments of my past. So I sent a text. Said what I thought I needed to say, but not what I really wanted to say. He responded; frustrated and confused, in a daze and lost as he attempted to understand why I made such a brash, sudden decision to leave him alone and remove him from my life. To make him a memory that I wouldn’t even visit. I never responded. Just like that, I let him go. And left him alone. Or so I thought.
Fast forward two plus years.
I had never stopped thinking about him and his style, his swag as we say in big metropolitan cities. Always wondered and questioned the what ifs: what if I’d never sent that text; what if I’d told him what and how I really felt about him; what if I’d asked him to be mine, and mine alone, maybe, just maybe, I’d be happy. I always wondered what was he up to and how was his life going while mine was falling apart at the seams with no needle and thread to piece it back together. I was the lone soldier fighting for the survival of a relationship that no longer existed realistically, yet I was still in it. I’d fallen in and out of love on a seemingly daily basis with a man who still yearned for the streets, who allowed those fantasies and wants of what existed outside of our relationship, to view me as second best. I wanted out, but didn’t know how or when, yet, I had a laundry list of reasons why I had every right to walk away and never turn back. It baffled me daily, how I could lay next to my partner, to my lover, to the man who I cooked breakfast and dinner for, washed his clothes and his back if he’d asked me to, and wonder about someone whose memory and existence I’d promised myself I wouldn’t visit. So for months, I questioned if I should reach out to him. And for months, I told myself no. Never look back. Never go back. Leave then, there. But one evening, I ignored these notions; I typed my message and clicked send. Just like that. Unbeknownst, I’d also opened up a new can of worms.
A few days later, he responded. And my heart fluttered rapidly. His response, ‘who’s this?’ Heart sunk to depths I never knew existed. I played with whether I should respond or not, if I should refresh his memory like a steady clocking web browser. Instead, I deleted his response and my original message. Just like that. Delete. Case closed. On with your life.
Or so I thought.
A day or two later, he sent a message on his own accord, and thrilled merely doesn’t explain the sheer excitement I felt. His memory had been refreshed, without me even having to do it. I was happy that he remembered me. Regardless of what his memory was, I’d obviously made some sort of indentation in and on his life for him to recall just who I was. And just like that, we were back on. As if we never stopped.
We re-entered each others lives quickly; like childhood friends who lose touch after elementary school graduation and reconnect as adults. I was happy and satisfied. My eyelids fluttered at the sound of his voice when he called or answered. When his good mornings and good nights were received, opened, and read. There was something specific about him that I sorely lavished in, and secretly, was falling for. He did what was not required of him, but his willingness to do so, made him even more special. He was a secret worth holding onto, and I held on for dear life.
I remember the date: October 19th. It was a Friday. And I was so excited to see his face after two years, though I’d never forgotten it, and knew I never would. A few past 10pm, I saw his silhouette strolling confidently down my block, he looked like exactly what I remembered and smelled even better. We hugged tightly. This tightness, I felt every curve and memorized it and wished not to let go. This tightness was nothing but an endearing love that whispered ‘I miss you more than words or actions could possibly explain.’ With this tightness, the hair stubble of his beard pinched my neck, yet, I didn’t even mind. I felt his hands firmly grasping my waist, the scent of his cologne on his neck and collar, the thickness of his neck, and the coldness of his face from the autumn night breeze. I stood, hugging this man, inhaling his scent and feeling the sheer beauty of his skin, knowing exactly what road I was on and I knew at no time soon would I yield to anyone or anything – let alone stop. I could’ve stood there for eternity and not have gotten tired. And just like that, I came to realize and accept that my feelings for him were not just those of lust and infatuation, but of sincerity and compassion. My feelings, felt at home; they were where they wanted to be.
And since then, my thoughts have been consumed by him; wanting to see him more, to kiss and hug him more. To stare into his silly brown eyes more. And feel his hands grasp my waist and hug me forever more. I wanted him more than what I anticipated; wanted him more now than I did then. I wanted him to be who I woke up next to on lazy weekends. I wanted to see his name in my incoming, outgoing, and missed call log more than anyone else’s name. I wanted him to be the man who I sloped my body across to watch afternoon sitcoms and nightcap movies. But the reality of it all was that I wanted him, but knew right then and there, he was not to be my own, not to be claimed by me at that moment in time because I was unfortunately already claimed and attached to another. And as dissatisfied as I was with what was at home, this was the reality of my situation. Relentlessly, I was bothered and haunted by the fact that he was where I genuinely wanted to be, but I wasn’t. I was even more bothered by his contentment and wanting to be my number two. But every fiber of me wanted and needed this man to be my main man.
So for months, we played around. Our good mornings became a routine, it felt odd if one wasn’t sent or received. He became my consummate partner with no title. We said nice things to one another just to make the other smile. Sent smiley faces in text messages and expressed excitement about the next time we’d see each other. He became an important piece of fabric in my life just as I was in his. He was the person who I could (and I did), talk his ear off about anything: problems in my relationship, problems at work, what happened at the nail salon, or what I planned to do this coming new year. He listened. Never interrupted. Never judged. Never made me feel that my words were falling on deaf ears. I knew he not only heard me, but he listened. I always had his full, undivided attention, and that meant the world to me.
And as time passed and the stresses from my everyday no longer mattered, things began to change. Hugs turned into kisses. Pecks upon lips were given freely and when least expected. Nicknames became necessaries and staples. And just like that, I came to realize, understand, and accept the fact that he meant more to me than sexual escapades and blocks of time spent. He wasn’t just someone in my life, but someone who meant something to my life. I wanted and consequently needed him around. He added to my life and time with him was never wasted.
I was quickly approaching my birthday and overwhelmingly fighting the realization that I was getting older. The more I fought this idea, the more I understood and comprehended that life was designed to continue. It was designed for us to fight ideologies and defeat them. He found my sadness and frustration with age to be a form of humor. His laughs have always been and still are hearty and full; they make me laugh and the timing of them have always been perfect. Subsequently, age made me realize that the relationship I was in, needed to end so that I could began. And it did. Tragically and not in an amicable manner, but it ended. And even in the end, he was there. It was then he explained to me “I don’t know if you realize this, but you have every right to be picky with anything you do. If you don’t a man who cheats, you can weed them out. If you don’t want a dude with kids, you have the right to deny them. You deserve whatever you want, but only if you’re willing to go after it.’ I thought to myself, ‘but I want you. Why can’t and don’t I have you?’ I never opened my mouth.
The fascination that filled my body over four years prior still existed. And as time passed, as we grew older and began to experience the trials and challenges of life, as adulthood slam dunked the reality of what it meant to be an adult, to be grown, into our lives, the more we began to rely on one another for strength and a listening ear. We became tangible fabrics in the lives of each other. It no longer was a-here-today-gone-tomorrow-situation – our purposes and existence in each others lives appeared to be and felt semi-permanent. And just like that, existence and purpose began to get analyzed and studied like a piece of literature. What we added to the lives of one another became crucial and critical as the days passed and the vices of life ensued.
We wanted each other, and wanted it badly. It showed in the way we stared into each others eyes. It showed when his hand folded and wrapped itself into mine. When I’d press my nose into his neck and deeply inhale his scent. It showed when he made it clear that he wanted to hear my voice before closing his eyes for the night, just to hear each other say goodnight. When we’d call each other on our lunch breaks or on our way home, or when our stress levels have peaked and need an unbiased ear. He was there for me just as I was there for him – but it wasn’t enough. And because of this, we found ourselves pulling away, whether from the stresses of life, or from the realization that though closed mouths don’t get fed, we never bothered to open our mouths to voice concerns and wants, we began to change toward one another. And just as the whether grew cold, something changed. It was noticeable, and I was bothered by it.
Sweet kisses and text messages are perfect when all is well – but what happens when it’s time to weather the storm? When to have a body lying next to me is wanted and needed, more than an empty promise to visit or when a week’s worth of ‘good morning’ texts are never sent and therefore received? I realized that though we temporarily claimed each other’s attention and bodies, our hearts were not to be claimed. It became daunting to me, and I’m sure on him as well, that to greet each other day in and day out without knowing what the final outcome would be, was a feat that bought forth nothing but anguish and frustration. So day-to-day is how we handled each other because we understood that we bought something new to this invalid relationship every day. And no days were promised. None of them had guarantees. No one and nothing ensured us that one day I would be his and he would be mine. I had to come to grips and realize that sooner than later, just maybe, as mystical and godly as this man is, he just may get tired of playing cat and mouse. I was forced to admit the fact that as beautiful as this mans existence and all that he embodies is, neither of us belonged to one another; he could not bare permanent claim to me. And though he changed daily and surprised me even more, I knew I had to take my heart off of the table before it became lost in a whirlwind of emotions.
He’d been stressing about work and I was happily adjusting to the single life. His calls had ceased, visits stopped, messages went unanswered. At one point, it had been two weeks since the last time I’d heard his voice, and even longer since I’d been able to feel him. I knew something was wrong and had convinced myself that his joy with me had ended and maybe, just maybe, the thrill was gone; but I hoped and prayed it was just stress and he needed space. Against my own desire, but for the sake of my heart, I’d vowed that I was once again done with him: no texts, calls, or visits. I went cold turkey, but daily, thought of him. Daily, I wanted to send that good morning text, that good night text, that I miss you more than I believe you know or could possibly understand text. I wanted the back and forth to stop. I needed it to end. But I also needed him to know he was missed; so I told him. And thereafter, things significantly changed. Yet, he still is not mine, but I believe in my heart-of-hearts, someday, he will be – or so I hope.
When I think of him, he reminds me of a school girl crush that’s grown beyond crushing and lusting, but has settled at the tip of love. In my belly, butterflies have harvested themselves and they flutter at simple thoughts of him. That quiver at the idea of never. That tighten at the idea of not having. But school girl crushes too have to grow; and often, they have to grow fast. They too have to face life and its realities. They too have to realize and understand that they deserve more than the minimum. More than the basics, or bare necessities, or what’s left over.
It’s always been said not to count your chickens before they hatch, but at least anticipate them. And he was and is anticipated to every degree possible. I wanted and still want this man to belong to me. The reality that I am forced to face daily is that if he wanted me and wanted us, the effort would have gone far beyond text messages, monthly visits, and even fewer calls. If it were possible, I would have loved this man who hugged me so tightly, kissed me so sweetly and so gently, and who wished me nothing but good days, bought nothing but smiles across my face, and showed nothing but respect and compassion, why was he not mine and I not his? The woman I’ve grown into has made it clear that though not all things are meant to bud, grow, and flourish – the love of and for this man that I dream of, is not one of those things. At least that is what I pray and wish upon. I pray and wish that my want and desire for him, does not go unnoticed or unrequited. Though I am forced daily to fight against what is realistic and pragmatic, fight the thought that he is who and what I want, I just may not get him, I remain a hopeful romantic when it comes to him.
Too often, we daydream ourselves into worlds that do not exist, worlds that if they were meant to belong to us and to be claimed by us, they would be ours to have and to hold. We want what we know we will not obtain or receive regardless of the fight. We live for love, and die for it to – fight to endless depths to taste it. Convenience is always that bittersweet friend who fogs the glass and obscures what reality really is. And the reality of him is that it’s fun for now, and so long as the fun ensues, all is well. But in my heart-of-hearts, with closed lids and a humble heart, it’s wished upon stars that this is not the case.
And though I’ve spilled and filled these pages with uncertainty and confusion, I fight daily and often because he is with whom and where I want to be. Yet, at the heart of the matter, he is not mine to claim. And battles with the heart are always dangerous.
Growing is merely an extension of letting go. And it is here where I, and most of us, get stuck and lost in a daze. Fearing what is not known or familiar, it is the ‘hypothetically’s’ and ‘what if’s’ that haunt us like distant childhood nightmares trotting through our memories. We often, nearly always, convince ourselves that what is in our present, in our right now, is right for us right now. But what if it isn’t? What if there exists and breathes a man who will fight not just endlessly, but to the death for us? What if there lives a man who not only promises not to make us cry, but keeps his word, and for him, we never shed a tear out of pain? What if what, and who we are holding onto, what we want to keep around, no longer wants us to fight on their behalf?
I fight these ideas; these thoughts with shields and swords like a knight, all while questioning if he feels, does, or if he would even do the same just to keep me around? And suddenly, my heart quivers and the butterflies tighten. My youthful energy dwindles and my eyes glimmer with tears. But before the tears could fall, I face them head on and convince myself and my heart that what I do and how I feel is not in vain. And just like that, I make it known that letting go and moving on, is not an option. And just like that, continue to move in and out of days hoping he’ll take notice of my supreme dedication. And just like, I take my heart from the vault, and place it on the table.