“Are you ok?
I think so.. how are you?
“I’m fine. What are you up to?
Just at the office about to leave for today
“Great! You want to grab something to eat?
I’m not in the mood.
“Ok.. well if you change your mind..
I’ll let you know..
..take it easy.
She was someone who I could spend the night with. I’m understating it. She was someone I could spend every night with. A dim glow from my computer monitor while we lied there talking about why Adventure Time and Regular Show were such great cartoons. Our hands intertwined while we were on our backs looking up at a ceiling with pink and purple decorations from a surprise I had did for her. We had hit a rough patch in our relationship, but we both seemed like we wanted to work through it. After all, we’d been together for nearly three years and nothing ever came between us. It was our first real challenge as a couple that we had to face together.
“So. Are we still going on that trip?
Of course! You know I still want to go.
I’d go anywhere with you.
“You’re such a sap.
..I know I hate it.
“I love it.
I had a tendency to constantly remind her how much I cared about her. I didn’t want her to think anything else. After all, she was everything I wanted. We planned a trip. Nothing fancy, just something to give us time to be together. The idea was that we would remind each other of why we fell in love and stick to that during the duration of the trip. It was exciting to think about. It wasn’t the first trip we’d taken, but it was going to be the most important one we had ever gone on.
“Yes.. are you?
“What are we doing when we get there?
I’m not sure. Probably eat, museum, eat, nightlife, and sex.
“How about sex, eat, museum, sex, nightlife, eat, and sex?
That’s similar to the routine that we already do. I though I’d mix it up some.
“So that’s a no?
Haha, that’s a yes.
We made it to Jacksonville at the best possible time. There was no traffic, but yet the city was alive with people roaming the streets. We checked into our hotel and sat around for a few minutes before leaving.
Ok Google.. show me nearby restaurants.
“You’re so fancy.
We opted to just walk around and find somewhere we wanted to go. There happened to be some kind of festival going on with food trucks and live music going on outside. We chose a great weekend to be here. The festival padded our day with things to do and see. We walked around holding hands and exchanging forget me nots into each other’s ear. She was wearing my favorite sundress; Her brown skin, the blue water, and the bright, but calm yellow color of her dress was a living painting. I was mesmerized.
I think you are so beautiful.
“You don’t look to bad yourself.
…You know I love you right?
Like really love you.
“J– , you almost had to get hit by a car to push me out of the way. I know you love me.
You glad we came on this trip?
“I am. We needed this.
what about you? Are you glad?
I am, I think it’s a good thing for us right now.
“You’re a good thing for me.
Eh, I’m ok.
“Yeah you’re just ok.
We both liked to be condescending. An attribute of her personality that I admired. It’s usually seen in a bad light, but it made me laugh because I was the same way. She often joked about how sarcastic I was and always tried to be just as sarcastic as me. She didn’t have it in her. So she just stuck to being condescending. Her poker face had gotten better from watching me tell lies to people with a straight face. That’s what she learned from me. How to lie with a straight face. I learned how to be more compassionate from her. Quite a trade off.
“I am so full!
Your stomach is sticking out.
“Take me to the clinic!
After they finish this song.
K—, why are you still eating?
“Because, it’s good.
It is pretty good.
“You want some?
After hanging out all day in the city we made it back to our hotel to have some time to ourselves. Everything was great until I felt upset about why were having a rough time with our relationship. I couldn’t shake the feeling so I started talking about it.
It bothers me that you still talk to him.
Because, I feel like you shouldn’t. Like at all.
“I work with him.
Yeah, but you don’t have to talk him.
“I only talk to him at work I don’t see or talk to him outside of work.
I’ve seen you text him before.
“It had to do with work.
I’m trying to not let this bother me, but it still does.
I don’t think that you and him had sex or anything, but that happening and you trying to hide it from me. And he’s technically still around. It bothers me.
Tears started to form. Not in my eyes, but in her’s. I had a tendency to bring it up at the worst times. Sometimes, I would wish I hadn’t even mentioned it, but it was something I knew that needed to be addressed. I wanted her to know what I was going through instead of holding it in all the time. The sun had set. She still wanted to go out. So we did.
I still love you.
“I still love you too.
We arrived at a bar. I ordered drinks. She had something with vodka and I something with whiskey. A proper drink I thought. We both admitted they felt watered-down, but then again both of us could be considered heavy drinkers by someone outside of our social circle. The music was loud so it wasn’t really a place were we could converse so we ended up drinking and dancing until the music started sounding bad.
This music isn’t that great.
“Yeah, you want to go?
After making our way to the exit and heading outside we noticed a guy we both thought was in his 30s standing outside of a club a few buildings down checking IDs. We approached him and began talking about the nightlife and how no one is really out that night. He informed us that it’s because it’s Friday. Where we were from the first day that people come out at night is Thursday. Mostly due to there being an art college in the downtown area who’s last school day fell on Thursday. Somehow this inspired us to talk about relationships and he confessed that he’d been struggling with keeping a girlfriend.
~I use to do women wrong. And now it’s caught up to me
What do you mean?
~Just wasn’t faithful. Lied to them and played too many games.
“Aww. Now you’re paying for it.
~Yeah, that’s what it feels like. Maybe I’ll find someone though. Someone who can put up with me.
How long have you two been together.
Oh man, many, many years.
“Almost three years.
~Ah OK. That’s great. You don’t see a lot of young black people doing that nowadays.
Congratulations for making it so far.
We both looked at each other and smiled. I pushed her gently and she hit me in the back of the head. I’m sure the cuteness of that made the guy uncomfortable so he lit a cigarette and turned to her.
~You know how you can tell if you have a good guy?
The door-guy took a puff of his cigarette as he eyed a girl walking by. His co-workers shakes his head then turns to the door-guy waiting for his explanation. The door-guy looks at me.
~When is your anniversary?
~See he knows the month and the date.
You need to hold onto him.
Haha, I could still be crazy.
~Yeah, but you’d only be crazy to other people. Not your girl.
“Yeah, he could be a lunatic that is good with picking dates to go on.
I could be.
~Yeah.. I guess you could be.
We talked with him for a few more minutes and agreed to come back another time where we could be here for the entire weekend. She had to work Sunday so we would be heading back Saturday night. We also found out that he was in his 40s.
“I still can’t believe he was in his 40s.
He looked 28.
“I don’t want to be working at a club at 40. Don’t let me get like that.
I’ll leave you before that happens.
There was an awkward pause. Not the kind that we usually do like we would both laugh quietly to ourselves or the moment before I’d start tickling her. It was a silence that lingered in the air and made it harder to breathe. It converted oxygen into sulfur. I quickly tried to fix my poorly timed joke.
But, then I’d be miserable!
The evening after I found out what happened between her and a co-worker I tried to stage an event like I was leaving her. Packed a garbage bag with all the stuff I could fit in it. I left it by her bedroom door so she could see it. When she came home she saw it and broke down crying as she entered her bedroom. It was a dumb idea.
“So you’re leaving?
I don’t know. I’m still upset. I don’t know what I’m doing.
I quickly realized that it was a dumb idea and tried to reassure her that I wasn’t leaving, but that this is going to be something we both would have to work through. She seemed willing and that was enough for me. The thought of it ending kept crossing my mind that day, but I knew that it would take time and effort to put the pieces back together. My insecurity was an open-wound that I wore like an undershirt. It was hard to hide sometimes.
We will get through this.