“Princeton, please talk to me! I know I wasn’t ready for you before but I’m ready for you now! I just needed a little time! Please talk to me! Please . . . . . . . . . please . . . . . . .”
I pounded the door one last time before I heard a dog barking. Several of Princeton’s neighbors had come out to investigate the commotion. I didn’t realize that I was that loud! The stares I received as I walked back to my car confirmed otherwise.
I sat in my car for a few minutes as I yearned for Princeton to open the door. When reality caught up with me, I turned the ignition and began to drive away. I brushed back the tears and began the long drive back. I didn’t wanna believe that I was too late. I didn’t wanna believe that he had moved on to someone else. I wanted to believe that I still had time. Besides, I was his true love. But now, he wasn’t returning any of my phone calls. He wasn’t responding to my texts.
I turned on the radio to get away from my imagination but every station that I had programmed reminded me of him! Luther was singing about a house not being a home. Avant and KeKe were talking about their first love. Hell even Backspin was against me with LL talking about he needs love! Uuuuuuugggghhhh! To keep from crying I turned the stereo off, only to be left alone with my thoughts yet again.
Before I arrived at Princeton’s home, I had fantasized how it would all go down. I was going to knock on his door. He was going to come to the door all groggy asking what I was doing there. I was going to tell him that I chose love and left my fiance. He was going to wrap me in his arms and kiss me with those soft, edible lips. I was going to get lost in his strength and be swept away into the bedroom where we would make love like the first time. Then I would make him some pancakes and tell him that I was a fool for ever leaving him. We would eat and then make love again . . . . and again . . . . until we both fell asleep in each other’s arms.
Instead of my dream, all I got was the metal black door restricting access to the next level of my life. Then a thought came to mind. Maybe he was still at the studio? Yeah! Maybe he was still working on that project with Anthony? That’s it! Wheeeeeew! I still may have a chance! He can’t ignore me! Oh no no no! Brother can ignore my calls but once he sees me in his favorite red sundress, he will be mine once again!
Just as I started to enter the address to the studio in my navigation, an unfamiliar number came across the screen.
“Good morning Elder Alexander, this is Prophetess White. How are you?”
Prophetess White? Calling me? At this time of the morning? Breathe girl . . . . . .
“Blessed and highly favored First Lady. What do I owe this morning call?”
“Well, I wanted to know if you were available to join me this morning for breakfast at the Highland Bakery?”
“Sure, First Lady”
“How soon can you be here? I already have a spot for us in line”
“I’m about thirty minutes away”
“Good. See you in thirty”
What does she want to see me for? I didn’t beat Staci’s ass like I wanted to. I didn’t tell Bishop that his favorite pupil was damn near raping me every time we had sex. I was keeping things to myself. There was no need for anyone to know. If anyone knew that a man was making me cower and do things I didn’t want during intercourse, I would appear. . . . . . weak. I just couldn’t let that get out. I had worked too hard to command the salary I had at the church and the honorarium for all my speaking engagements as an elder. I couldn’t go back to just being a choir director! It took the brothers in the ministry nearly ten years to acknowledge that I could preach with the same fire as they could! I wasn’t about to show weakness. Not then. Not now!
The thirty minute ride felt more like five! As I walked toward the restaurant, I felt as if I was going into the principal’s office for a paddling. My heart began to race as the nervous sweat developed underneath my arms. I made a dash for the restroom when I entered the restaurant. I dried off in the stall and allowed myself a few moments to calm down. I looked in the mirror and reminded myself that this was just a brunch. No judgement. No demotion. Just brunch. I put on my big girl panties and went back out to the hostess who stated that First Lady had just taken a seat near the back.
Fear began to crawl all over me again as I trudged to where Prophetess was sitting. She stood and smiled as I came near. To my surprise, she hugged me like I was a long lost sister!
“Ummm . . . . . . . good to see you too Prophetess?”
“Girl please! Enough with the protocol. Call me Olivia”
To say I was caught off guard was an overstatement. I never spoke to Prophetess outside of church. We never had phone conversations and now she was hugging me and asking me to call her by her first name? This made me feel uncomfortable and . . . by the expression on her face, she could tell.
“Jade, I know what you’re thinking. If this was about you having to leave the church or be sat down for a season, we would not be meeting here about to eat French toast and drink Mimosas”
“With all due respect, we’ve never been close First . . . I mean Olivia”
“You’re right, Jade. That was all due to Staci but after last night, I needed to converse with you about Marcus to get your take on the situation”
“What situation is that?”
“Well . . . . . . Marcus is in the hospital after he attempted to rape Staci”
I began to choke on my water. I couldn’t believe it!
“He attempted to rape Staci? Noooooooooo!!!!”
“Yes. In fact, Staci’s husband caught him attempting to rape her and shot the bastard!”
“That’s . . . . . . . . . unfortunate. . . . . ”
Olivia looked at me long and hard before she responded.
“Jade, I know that you broke off your engagement to Marcus. Was it because he was violent toward you too?”
I sat there for a minute. I felt like a hooker in church for the first time about to pour out my heart to a woman who I really didn’t know. I attempted to speak but I couldn’t. Tears began to well up as Olivia took my hand. I could only shake my head in agreement.
“It’s okay to cry darling. Seems like you try to be strong for everything. I wish you would have told Bishop or me”
“I couldn’t tell anyone. It’s already hard enough trying to be taken seriously as a musician but then to be female minister at that? It’s . . . so hard! Admitting that Marcus was literally raping me every time we had sex . . . . . . . .”
Olivia held on to my hand and began to pray for me right there. No organ. No choir. No fanfare. She began to pray for me in a bakery! Her words were so sincere as she beseeched God to heal my heart. Then she asked Him to heal my mind; to not fall apart with all that was going on around me. She ended the prayer by asking for peace in every area of my life.
“Amen. Thank you Prophet . . . . I mean Olivia. I don’t know what to say?”
“There’s no need to say anything else about that situation Jade. It’s in God’s hands now. The challenge now is how you will move on. Will you let the actions of one man poison the pool for all others or do you move forward?”
“I’m trying to move forward. In fact, I left Marcus for the man I am truly supposed to be with”
“So where is he?”
“Well, I’ve been trying to reach him for several weeks now. He hasn’t returned my calls or texts. I asked him to wait but that was over three months ago”
“So why did you think he was going to wait? Did you think you were just that special? Did you tell him about Marcus?”
“No . . . . . I didn’t want to tell him. I was afraid that he might kill Marcus”
First Lady examined me again as if she were staring straight through my soul.
“I don’t think that’s why you didn’t tell him about Marcus. Like Staci, you were probably caught up in the fancy cars and the nice house Marcus lived in right? You probably thought that life would be better with a tall, brown skinned brother who made six figures right?”
I didn’t want to agree with her because although she was right, she was wrong. It wasn’t all about the money. . . . . or was it?
“I see women like you all the time Jade. You are strong. You make your own money. You’re “independent”. But at the end of the day, you all want a man that can take care of you with the lavish things instead of what you really need which is patience, kindness, and understanding”
“You really think so First Lady?”
“I know so. Trust I’ve been where you’ve been. Bishop is my second husband. I was a lot like you when I was younger. Ambitious. Talented. Beautiful. I wanted a man who was 6’5”, lots of hair, and made six figures. Initially, that’s what I got. But girl, I was so unhappy. That man cheated on me with Lottie, Dottie, and everybody! Funny thing was, I allowed it because I didn’t want to lose the money. I was raising two kids on my own even though we lived in the same house. I was a slave to his money. When my sons started to call me out my name because their daddy did it, I knew it was time to leave. I lived in the projects for two years before I got on my feet. And you know who loved me in spite of my brokenness and poverty? Bishop. He didn’t have all the money in the world but he loved me and my kids. Twenty-three years and it’s still like the first time”
I couldn’t help but smile. That’s how I thought it would be with Princeton but I played with his mind. If he took me back now, it would truly be a miracle!
“So tell me about this guy that you believe is like my Bishop”
“There’s . . . .really nothing to tell First Lady. I think my foolishness has cost me a shot at love”
“Never say never darling. The Lord works in mysterious ways”
She beamed as her phone rang and she told the person on the other end where we were. She began to get up from her seat and collect her purse.
“So we are not going to have breakfast Olivia?”
She smiled back as she looked at the side door. Just then, a familiar face came through the opening.
“I believe the two of you have some talking to do. Breakfast is on me”
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of The Wednesday Gentleman and Author of the Forthcoming Novel “Addicted to Chaos”