this time last year…
“La you are so fucked up.”
“You are so FUCKED
“Because I fucked you once and didn’t fall all head over heels in love with your arrogant ass like all the other extra regular ass hoes you fuck wit’ means I’m fucked up?!?!”
“No you’re fucked up ‘cuz you don’t know shit about love. You have no muthafuckin’ clue what to do with a good man when he’s standing right the fuck in front of you,” he says to me, beating his fist against his chest.
“I know plenty about love. I know good dick isn’t love. I know just because I stood in this same spot and wrapped my leg around your head doesn’t mean we should start picking out matching bands and china patterns and bullshit.”
“That is not what love is about.”
“And neither is anything we’ve done. Get serious.”
“You are so fuckin’ callous.”
“And you are such a fuckin’ pussy.”
K.B. is staring at me, his eyes on fire, nostrils flared, fists clasped tightly at his sides. I’d be scared if I was scared of any man alive, and if this childish shit wasn’t so hilarious to me.
“So that’s all it was to you? Good dick.”
“Yeah, pretty much. But if it makes you feel any better, it was great dick. Your head game could use some tightening up though.”
I start gathering my stuff to go, smirking and shaking my head as the thick carpet swallows the noise of his pacing.
“If I could get my hands on that nigga I’d fuck him up for making you this way.”
I wheel around so fast that I knock a picture off the low table next to the couch.
“Did it ever occur to you, KB,” I spit vehemently, “that this has nothing to do with him? That maybe you can’t charm and buy your way into a woman’s heart if she has any kinda constitution about herself? That maybe you are alone at damn near 30 years old because you can’t dick every woman you meet into submission?”
He glares at me. And I see he hates me. It tickles me. So I laugh.
“See that’s the problem with niggas like you,” I continue. “You’re so damn reliant on your bullet points. You’re so damn proud of yourself for being college educated, for not having kids or being divorced and having your shit together. That ain’t special nigga. You ain’t magic. That’s what the fuck you’re supposed to be doing. You ain’t no glitch in the matrix.”
He takes an angry step in my direction, staring me down like I’m supposed to cower. That makes me laugh out loud. I step up in his face.
“Oh you intimidating now KB? I’m supposed to be scared? Stumble over my words? Take back what I said?”
“You’re a crazy bitch La.”
“Real talk. Don’t make me prove it. Get outta my fuckin’ face.”
He steps back outta my space and exhales hard.
“I could make you happy,” he says to me, his tone the low erotic one he uses in bed.
“That’s exactly why you won’t,” I retort, my eyes never leaving his crestfallen face. “Because you still think my happiness is contingent on somebody else. I know better.”
“Well if it’s not, then why have you let this random nigga make you so miserable? Why are you so wounded?”
“‘Cuz I got my heartbroken asshole. But that doesn’t mean I need you to save me. I don’t need saving.”
“Every woman needs saving from something.”
“If that’s the case then you won’t be the one to save me.”
“Why not? Why can’t I be that dude?”
“Because you’re not worthy.”
My last comment takes him to couch, his hands pressed against either side of his head. He’s rocking slightly, bent over at the waist. I walk towards the door.
“You’re going to wanna come back. And I can’t guarantee I’ll be waiting,” he says to the carpet. I laugh out loud again.
“Spaceships don’t come equipped with rear view mirrors.”
I undo the sets of locks to his door and yank it open.
“Wash your sheets. They still smell like Escada.”
The door clicks shut behind me as I laugh down the hall.
* * * * * * *
The only sounds in the apartment are coming from Neicey Nash on TV scolding the family of four about the foolishness and mayhem they refuse to let go of for their yard sale on “Clean House.” I’m on box number two, shredding receipts and 5 year old bank statements I have seen fit to keep for some reason. At some point I dug out a pair of blue handled scissors from the cyclone of paper that has hit the desk, but they aren’t helping much. I’m curled up on the couch, giggling softly at Niecey but trying to stay quiet. I instinctively glance towards the closed bedroom door each time I laugh, then at the clock. Then I sigh. Keep cutting up receipts.
Every once in awhile, I come across a random picture or receipt or other memento of some memory and a slight smile tugs at the corners of my lips. After a couple hours, my legs are tight and knotted from sitting but I get up only to turn down the fan because I know I will be the only one in the house who’s hot. Around 1am, I am on my last legs, and trying not to yawn.
The bedroom door opens to my right and out comes The Notorious B.O.B., all stumbling and bleary eyed from sleep. It’s really cute and I bite my bottom lip to keep from laughing out loud.
“Hey mama,” Bob says, all scratchy and still half asleep. “How much you got left?” Arms and legs find themselves tangled with mine and I breathe in the familiar scent I’ve come to know and love.
“Um… this is the last of this stuff up here. So then just the boxes downstairs.”
“You left me all by myself!”
“Aww baby you coulda woke me up.”
“Nah,” I say, twisting my most favorite locs around my fingers, “you were sleepin’ so HARD.”
We laugh, a familiar timbre that I have come quite acquainted with, quite attached to, if I am to admit it.
“You watching Niecey?”
“You know it,” I reply, all emotionally involved in the cable I don’t have at home. “So baby tell me why they have lived in this house for six months.”
We both look at the cataclysm that is this house on TV.
“You got to be fuckin’ kidding me. Six months?!?!”
“Yessir. And why all three kids sleep in one ass bedroom?”
We sit that way for awhile, cracking jokes and sharing light touches, kissing during commercials.
“Babe did you see I have a shredder underneath the desk?”
“No nigga! Why you ain’t tell me! I been sitting here cutting and tearing this shit since ‘ever.”
“I mean it don’t work… but it’s there.”
“Stop firing me all the time.”
“Ugh! You’re the worst!”
“OR… am I the best?” Kisses are swiftly given to punctuate said declaration.
Cocky ass nigga. Can’t stand that shit.
“Ok babe so this is it?”
“Yep,” I reply, “all that’s left is my clothes.”
“Just your clothes?”
“Just my clothes.”
“And you’ve got enough space?”
“Yeah I think so. I’m pretty sure I can get everything in the closet.”
“And then you’re home?”
“Then I’m home.”
I am simultaneously exhilarated and humbled by what I am feeling at the prospect. I remember where I was, who I was, just a little over a short year ago. I wanna cry, but I won’t. I just say a prayer of thanks in my head. For Him giving me exactly what I prayed for. Stillness. For Him knowing better than I. For Him knowing exactly what I needed even when I didn’t want it. For Him just knowing.
“Let’s take a shower, and then get you in the bed so we can get up in the morning. You’ve been up all night.”
“Ok Bob,” I say as I strip down and head towards the bathroom.
Later in bed, firmly ensconced in my favorite pair of arms, I remind myself of where I’ve been. I chuckle in my head at even the most foolish of things that I will never admit to. I smile in the darkness and let it wash over me, this thing I keep hearing about.
So this is what it feels like.