“Hey girl! So glad to see you back! It ain’t been the same without you!”
I smiled and gestured at the parishioner as I took my seat. Hard to believe it had been two months since I’d seen my girls minister. Two months since I been to church. Two months since. . . . . .
“Tiffani!!!!!!! Girl, we were starting to worry about you! Glad to see you back!”
“Thank you Pam! That makes two of us!”
Today wasn’t going to be easy. I was desperately trying to pick myself off the ground. Maybe church wasn’t where I needed to be. A nervous fever continued to course through my veins. I was anxious to feel him come through those doors. I yearned for his Polo Red fragrance to ignite my fire once again. My mind wouldn’t allow me to rest as my heart anticipated his presence. Maybe he was already here? Surely I would get a glimpse during the greeting of visitors! But as the congregation mingled, there was no sign of him. Even throughout the sermon, I kept looking back to see . . . but still . . . no Christian . . . .
“Sister Green! It’s good to see you back! I thought I was gonna have to send some of the elders to find you! Where have you been?”
“Bishop . . . . I’ve been staying with my aunt until I figure out my next move”
“Next move? You’re not thinking about leaving us are you?”
“Well Bishop, I lost my job. After Christian left, I became so sick that I didn’t show up to work for a week. When I went back, I was given my severance notice and final check”
“I’m so sorry to hear that. . . . I really am”
“Well I’m better now . . . . ”
“You sure about that?”
“I’m taking it one day at a time. That’s all I can do . . . . ”
I could tell Bishop Carver wasn’t buying the shit I was selling him this morning. He looked straight into my eyes to encourage the real truth to come forth but today wouldn’t be the day. I had on the full armor of denial! He ventured to hug me but I extended my hand as I made my exit.
The cold November rain hid my tears as I hurried to the car. I turned the ignition but my faithful friend refused to start!
“Not you too Beverly! Not today!”
My body was starting to shiver as I looked to the sky. At that moment, I remembered I had some home grown hidden in my console. I had promised Christian that I would never smoke again. Now seemed just as good a time as any but I had a job interview Tuesday.
“Pull it together girl . . . pull it together! You’ve been through worse than this!”
I sent up a small prayer before attempting to start Beverly again. To my surprise, my baby girl started purring like her usual self again! As I thanked the Lord for his intervention, I started to head home. After my praise, I must have been in a trance because somehow I was on Atlanta Highway about to turn at the mall! It wasn’t long before I was parked in front of my driveway. I looked at the door expecting to see an eviction notice but I couldn’t see much in the constant downpour. Against my better judgement, my heart led me to the front steps where there was no trace of the discharge poster. I took out my key, closed my eyes, and walked in.
I stood in disbelief as I saw all of our furniture still in place! The humble cottage was filled with brilliance as I flipped the switch. I couldn’t comprehend why nothing had changed. By now, the landlord would have thrown our belongings out on the street. But he hadn’t.
Just as I was making myself comfortable on the couch, I saw a pair of headlights shine through the window.
“Oh shit! It must be the landlord! Something else that I don’t need today!”
I jumped to my feet but there was nowhere to run. I was stuck and had to face the music. As the door knob turned, a familiar face came through the entrance dressed in all black. He closed the door and set his umbrella in the corner. What I had been searching for all morning was finally in front of me. Christian never looked more beautiful as he threw a smile my way.
He stood motionless with his eyes fixed on me. They were holding me in place as if I were wrapped in his strong arms again. Inside, this was what I wanted. I needed to let him know how I felt. What he did to me. I needed to release my frustration and anger so I could love again. I was gonna use what Iyanla taught me the other night. I was gonna free myself! I was going to live again!
He continued to stand there in his haunting silence.
“So you’re just going to stand there and not say anything to me?”
“Honestly . . . I’m trying to figure out what I’m doing here?”
I couldn’t let on that I was feeling the same way. I had the upper hand.
“Maybe it’s the guilt of you leaving me high and dry?!”
“Tiffani, I understand that how I left wasn’t the best but trust me when I say I did that with your best interest at heart”
“How was leaving me in my best interest? You left me with rent and bills I couldn’t pay! I had to leave and stay with my aunt! How is that in my best interest?”
“Wait a minute. You left after I did?”
“Yes. I couldn’t be caged with all of these memories. I didn’t want to see constant reminders of you . . . .”
“Damn. . . . . I wouldn’t have been paying everything had I known!”
“Yeah, I couldn’t leave you like that Tiffani. I’ve been paying the rent and the utilities to this place. That explains that low ass light bill!”
I couldn’t believe it! He was actually paying the bills while he was gone?
“So why not call me and tell me that you were paying?”
“Tiffani, I needed some time to breathe. After I was able to transfer to another city, I was able to think about what was important to me”
My heart was racing. . . . . .
“So what is important to you Christian?”
“Sweetheart, it’s you. When it comes to love, you can’t choose who you fall for. And even though I thought you were a little crazy at first, I understand why. If I had gone through your trials, I wouldn’t be standing here. You’re a fighter, and a damn good one! You’ve had to live in a place where people ridiculed you unmercifully for years and you still hold your head high. You’re still smiling. And you chose to give your all to me. When we were together, there was nothing that I wanted. Nothing that I needed. You always gave me your best. You were my peace. I miss my peace”
The waterworks started as he took my face in his hands and brought me back to life.
“Tiffani, I don’t know where this road is going to lead, but I want to see it through. Can we try again?”
I fell into his arms as our lips reunited. The world was right again! Calmness fell over me as Christian placed me on the couch. He positioned my legs just so as he disappeared underneath my dress. My soul began to sweat. I trembled as he confessed his love with every inch of his tongue. I grabbed his head as he lead me to ecstasy. The earth shook and then . . . . there was peace . . . .
“You didn’t answer my question love. Are we going to try again?”
“We can try again Christian . . . . on one condition”
“What’s that beautiful?”
“Promise me that I won’t be the only one getting up at three in the morning to feed the baby”
Written by Michael Dock, Founder of the Wednesday Gentleman and author of the forthcoming novel “Addicted to Chaos”