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Related DOES NOT mean friends

I know I know I know…. family is all you have right? WRONG! A lot of the time family can be your worst enemy. They can cut you down, kick you when you hit the bottom, and shovel the dirt on you even though they see you're still breathing.

I was watching Iyanla Vanzant's show on YouTube and she talked about family being forever relationships, the relationships that you will never, no matter what be able to end. And guess what folks? She is so right, you can't end it but oh you can separate from it.

With that being said what you have to learn to do is love from a distance. You don't have to go to every family gathering, cookout, or get together. And think about how much fun is it really to go somewhere out of obligation. That doesn't mean that you don't love your family it just means you're not friends. There is no secret treaty that says you have that you must be around those that you're related to simply because you're related. You are not required to sit in the negativity of others and allow that mess to seep into your pores. And even if you end up going, if the atmosphere becomes too heavy for your positive vibes it is okay to get up and get gone. You're grown you don't owe anyone any explanation.

There is a saying that I use to this day… "blood only makes you related it does not make you family". In life you figure out the difference between relatives and family. Hell I'm not even related to the majority of my family.

You Can’t be Serious (Chapter 15)

So he woke up with her beautiful face buried in  his chest. It took everything in him not to make love to this woman, his one true love, his happily ever after. But, he didn’t want to be used to get over the hurt and damage she just suffered. She snored softly and he painted kisses on her forehead as she slept. She whined and whimpered as if she may have been reliving the mornings festivities, and he pulled her in closer, just enough to allow her to feel him, but not to wake her. Soft 90’s R&B played in the background and at that moment he knew he was in the right place. He smiled, which he had not done in a very long time and he just knew.

What are you smiling for, Austin’s sleepy voice broke his train of thought. This just feels good. Yeah, I know right, I just know, she agreed. His eyes bucked, and he attempted to gather himself. She giggled, yeah that was so smooth Ravel! What do you know, he went straight in, no need to play games, he sat up and she made the necessary adjustments to look him in his eyes. I know that I’ve loved you since I couldn’t stand you, I know that I’ve compared every man that I’ve ever been with to you, even the one I almost married, and they never could compare. The crazy thing, she went on, is that I didn’t even know what I was comparing them to until today. Guys would tell me I was too clingy, or needy, or spoiled, or my mouth is too fly, and I’m too independent, and/or I was too quick to be like yeah I’m done with you. But today, I realized, you set the bar babe. Even at the age of 14 these grown men can’t compare. I do love you back, I am in love with you back, I just didn’t know it until today. She moved closer and the charge of their energy sparkled like diamonds in the rough. His eyes were closed but tears seeped out of the creases. Austin, you don’t have to say that if you don’t mean it, he choked out. She kissed his tears but I do, I mean it with my entire all. The right side of his lip curled up into a smile, he shook his head and pulled her to him. No sex until we are married Angel, okay? And without hesitation, she said okay.

A few hours later the two woke and went downstairs to be apart of the rest of the world. Ladies, Caesar said entering the living room area where the Carrie and Toni watched television. They both looked down at he and Austin’s fingers intertwined with one another’s. He paid them no mind, now like I was saying a few hours again, he continued on, hair, nails, make up, shoes, I know y’all got major work that y’all want done, so what’s the move. Toni took the bait, I do need to hit the mall for shoes and to find a bomb lippie! Oh and I think I’m going to take my dress back and get something else, plus I have to go get my sisters from the airport. Carrie’s eyes widen, they’re coming, well where are they gonna stay, she said with disgust in her tone. All of this mess is because of them two heffas, they ain’t… They can stay right here, Austin cut her right off. They are family and it is our job to make sure they become great women. Yeah okay, Carrie stated oozing sarcasm, until one or both of them are all up on your, your, your him. Damn, you’re just going to talk about my sisters like I’m not standing right here, Toni blazed out. They are all of our sisters, we have to sit them down and talk to them. It is our job to help Toni raise the into women. They have been through a lot, let’s try to do our best to keep them from making the dumb ass mistakes we made. Now am I going to let them have it? Abso-freaking-lutely! But we are three women, that have overcome some crazy issues and obstacles to be about to walk that stage and get those diplomas. They need to see us do that, graduate from college and walk into the world as successful black women. I’ve forgiven them and I love them and it’s all because I realized that I love him. Toni and Carrie snapped their laser focused eyes from Caesar to Austin, but she did not falter.

I know it may sounds crazy, but I’m seeing things so clear now, you two could only imagine. Caesar gently tightened the grip on her hand and smiled. So ladies, are you ready to roll, because I know this is going to be a long day and then only one day of rest until the big day. As they rode in the car to the mall a silent peace fail over the group. When they pulled up to the mall Austin and Toni decided to go shoe shopping. Well ladies, Caesar sighed, I am going to leave that adventure up to you. He went to go the other way, ummm new brother, I think I will go with you if you don’t mind. Sure, actually I would enjoy some one on one time with my new found family. Ravel do not go off spoiling her, okay, Austin shot a fake mean face at him and she and Toni disappeared out of sight. So, what do you want, Carrie said straight-faced, in momma bear mode? Like, you come down here and for what? She told you what was going on and you came down here to play captain save’em, you needed somewhere to stay, you running from something or what? He was taken aback, but so smooth with his response. Listen Carrie, I am not broke by any standards, I own several poetry cafe’s across the U.S. and a few in the Virgin Islands, before then I was a marketing consultant and I still do some marketing and advertisement independently. At that moment he turned to her with a kind of smug look on his face and said Google me and kept walking. She stopped dead in her tracks, but he kept going. Carrie doubled timed it to catch back up him. She fell into step with Caesar, so why does she call you Charles Ravel? Because that is my name, Caesar is the name I gave to myself, I decided to reinvent myself  because of some things I did growing up. But whether I am Caesar or Charles Ravel, I love her, I have loved her since I was 14 and I don’t care who she is with or what she is going through I will always love her. Though I plan on being the last one she is ever with. So how do you plan on doing that, he looked at the mother cub roommate and said, like this. She followed his eyes as they stopped in front of Bvlgari. Can you help me pick out her ring?

He Can’t Be Serious (Chapter 13)

Are you out of your entire damn mind, Nori looked at his cousin with rage in his eyes. The two stood eye to eye, toe to toe, for what seemed like an eternity, but it was really only seconds. Just time enough for Ceasar to take four or five silently calculated steps, moved Austin behind him and struck  with the force of 100 men. He punched Vaughn so hard that it echoed throughout the girls condo. He landed another punch to his ribs that folded Vaughn like an old flip phone. Fight me, hit me, slap me, you punk ass boy! You’re  no man he said as he slammed Vaughn out of the house. Don’t you ever in your life, he punched Vaughn so hard that he fell towards him as the punch landed square in the jaw of his target of fiery!

Charles, baby please no! Austin stood in the walkway as the two men clambered to their feet in the parking lot. No, I’m okay, I promise. Caesar heard the voice of his angel on earth and it broke him out of his violent trance just as he headed towards Vaughn. Aussie, he said with a low throaty groan. He looked toward the sound of her voice. Are you okay? He saw the tears rolling down her face and stalked towards her with a look in his eyes that she had never seen before. Are you okay, let me see your face. He softly reached for her, brushing his thumb over her bruised cheek. I’m fine, I just want to fight, but I’m too close to my goals. The two of them stood there gazing into one another’s eyes as if nothing and no one existed. Austin, you are so amazing, so strong angel, so everything. Austin saw his lips moving and with every word her heart pounded in her ears so loud that she couldn’t hear him.

Nori, Toni and Carrie stood in the walkway separating their condo from their neighbors and everyone felt what was in the air. Nori walked towards the parking lot, where his cousin was leaning against his car. Look at this broad, all cuddled with this thug! Is that what you like, corny thugs, he yelled in the direction of the two caught in one another’s gaze. Man open the door so I can get my stuff out of your damn car. I can’t believe you put your hands on her. I told your dumb ass we should not have come over here. You’re not about that life! You better be glad we didn’t jump you! I should punch you in the, Nori trailed off as he grabbed his keys and cell phone charger from the passenger side door. I’ll call a taxi, Nori stormed away. He had returned to their apartment after his blow out with Vaughn a few days after. He figured since they were family they needed to talk it out. Vaughn man I really can’t even believe you. Come on man, we could… Oh hell naw, Nori cut Vaughn off. I’m done fighting your battles! You talk tough with nothing to back it up. Nori walked away from the chaos.

Are you okay, Toni broke Austin away from Caesar’s arms, snapping them out of their trance. I’m okay, Austin rubbed her hand up her cheek. I wasn’t talking to you heffa, and just that instance they four of the burst into laughter. Come on ladies, lets go in and finish brunch. Vaughn backed his car out like a mad man and clearly broke the speed limit leaving the complex.

He Can Be Serious (Part 10)

This has gone too far… Can I fix it? Of course I can I’m Vaughn. They all love me, I can have them all, I can handle them all. DaVaughn sat in his living room giving himself a major pep talk. Austin is ignoring his calls, Cameron just learned that he wanted to marry Austin, Shyra is… Shyra is young, dumb and gullible, yep she’s the one I’ll reign in first. He picked up the phone and it began to ring in his hand. Dude do you know that she knows? Do you know that they know? My sisters know!!!!! They know everything and I mean E-VER-Y-THING. And you were going to ask HER to marry you!?!? You no good bastard. I can’t believe you’re doing this to our family. How dare you, she cried out for an answer. Shy baby please listen to me, we can work it out. You and I can raise our child together. You can move in with me, have the baby here. My parents will be able to help you uruhmmm I mean us with the baby. You can be my number one Shy baby and we won’t have to hide us anymore , you know? First of all this is Raegan not Shyra and thought you said you wanted me not her. Raegan didnt give him a chance to answer, she just hung up. 

Nori dropped down on the couch and dropped his cell beside him. He reached for the remote and turned the tv on. It’s best that I just lay low and let them all come back to me, he thought to himself. Then a thought came to him, maybe I should actually try being faithful to one woman. He chuckled at what he thought was simply unnatural. He looked around his living room searching for…. Nothing. 

Both boys parent’s helped to furnish their place. They lived in a 3 bedroom loft, completey decked out with all the essentials of a bachelor’s pad. 64 Smart tv, several game consuls and surround sound system filled there blacked out living room area. Blacked out with leather couch, and two gamer recliners, tungsten metal coffee and end tables and black and white photos of all of their favorite movies. Vaughn laughed as he remembered how he and Nori picked out the movie theme to their apartment because I figured it would intrigue females they brought over.

 Damn, I have to call him. We’re family before all of this. He dialed Nori’s number ready to be sent straight to voicemail knowing his cousin is really non-confrontational, but he was wrong. What, the word stabbed through the phone. Damn brah, can we talk? We are better than this, I mean who are we without each other? DaVaughn was actually being sincere. He loved his cousin, Nori was always there  for him, when his parents got divorced, when he found out about he had a sister his age, when he almost slept with his sister because he didn’t know who she was, Vaughn snapped out of it. I need you brah, please you’re all I got! I’m not asking you to forgive me for all the crap I said, I just need my brother and best friend right now. I swear cuzzo I really want to punch you in your mouth, Nori said with a slight grin on his face. Look we need to talk but not at the house, meet me at the Cigar Bar. DaVaughn agreed to the meeting spot. 

He can’t be serious (Part 9)

Nori walked in the house to see his friend… his cousin… his blood on the couch with his twin’s mother. Nori looked at the two of them cuddled up on the couch and couldn’t hold his tongue.  Man I should punch you in your face. You have that girl over there sobbing, hurting and destroyed and you’re here with her, without a care in the world. You are straight dead dog wrong man.  DaVaughn stood as his cousin charged in his direction. He assumed it was about to be a fight but instead  Nori stormed through the hall way grabbed some stuff, his car keys and began to leave.

These two have known one another since as far as they could remember.  DaVaughn’s mom and Nori’s dad are twins. They have been as close as their parents, more like brothers than first cousins. They’ve never lived more than 10 blocks apart. They’ve attended school together since pre school.  They are only 7 weeks apart. Two boys born and raised in the suburb of Dunwoody,  Ga. Both parents are psychologists who graduated from Clark. However,  they are far from the same. Nori was raised solely by his dad because his mom left weeks after he was born and never returned.  Nori’s father instilled in him how to be a man and how to treat a woman, maybe because of the way Nori’s mom left he wanted to assure that his son never had to suffer that kind of pain again. Nori, a caramelized mocha complexed gentleman,  very quiet and peaceful. He had a stifling kind of character yet he lived in the shadow of his cousin DaVaughn.  DaVaughn who was raised by both parents, but saw his father play around on his mother and his mom just kind of making excuses for it. Oh Vaughn,  your dad loves us he’s just doing what men are supposed to do.
Nori, Vaughn called with a sinister smile on his face. You will never be me so you will never understand.  And I will never want to understand either Nori snapped! I’m moving dude. You can have this spot to yourself you and all your hoes. You know it’s stuff out here that you can’t get rid of, right? DaVaughn just continued to laugh at his cousin without a care in the world. But this time Nori refused to be cut down by his cousin brother.

Cameron did you know that your loving baby’s daddy planned on proposing to Austin at graduation? Did you know he’s sleeping with her roommate’s sisters?  Yep, that’s sisters  with an S because it’s two of them! Oh and by the way your twin’s are about to have  a sibling or siblings  because clearly this dude is all about  plural and Shyra is 7 weeks pregnant and refuses to abort her child.

The light in DaVaughn’s eyes faded as the blaze in Cameron’s burned like a growing brush fire. Wow that’s what your doing cuz, we’re family and your snitching? I should. What? What are you going to do or think you’re going to do, because today will be the last that you chew on your own if you try it, Nori said beyond heated. Today I’m done being your sidekick, alibi, and or fall guy. We’re not friends my dude we’re not even family. Nori stood in  the middle of their bachelor’s pad while his cousin and the mother of his twin girls Darie  and Camie headed for the door. Cameron turned before exiting the apartment and softly whispered with a broken heart you reap what you sow.

You Better…

I can look over the last five years and say thank God I’m not the woman that I used to be. I can look over the last ten years of my life and be absolutely grateful for my growth. But man people! Yes… People have been trying me lately. Questioning my loyalty, my character and even my love for my husband. Thankfully I have been able to maintain and not flip COMPLETELY out, however you better be careful! Folks are poking the bear, stirring the pot, shaking the table.

Now by no means do I feel as though I am better than anyone. But… I am definitely on a totally different path. I am not doing anything that I do for show, to prove anyone wrong or to paint a pretty picture on a damaged canvas. My life is so far from perfect, but the fact of the matter is I’ve never claimed it to be. My issues run deep but I have never been the one to hide the scars because I learned so much from them. I don’t have to remember what I told one person just so that things can check out with another. I am who I am and that is more than enough for me. So you better look deep within and figure out why no one, including you, knows who you really are.

I was always told that I was too quick to call someone a friend. My mother used to tell me “you don’t have any damn friends”. I hated that, as a kid, but as an adult what she was saying has become completely clear. I tend try to help people and love them where they are NO MATTER WHAT. We’ve all done a thing or thirty two that we are not proud of, so who am I to judge. But some folks simply don’t deserve the time of day. You know the ones that you meet for the first time and you immediately feel as though they’re putting on a show, but you try anyway. I mean you are we to judge. But please know You better stop the act and let the curtain drop on that production of Messy Boats you’re putting on worldwide.

Now… You can say what you want about me but HUNTY when it comes to talking about or even speaking of the love I have for my husband… You best pause and have all the seats… I mean seats to infinite. This man has changed my life in such amazing ways. I’ve loved him since I was in the eighth grade and didn’t even know it. He created my thought and description of how I felt a man should love a woman. He has built me up when I was down, loved me where I was and allowed me to grow. He prays for me and is a true blessing from God above. My husband allowed me to regain my faith, reassuring me that The Lord is on His own time, but when He’s ready prayers will be answered. My husband is proof that there are some awesome men still left in the world. You better know that if you send for him, I’m coming for you! You better believe that what we have is real because God allowed us to deal with the mess so that we would know that we’re blessed.

I’m trying so very hard not to stoop to the low level that people have been trying to make me drop to. You better know that God is still working on me and I’m real close to jumping in feet first to the lowest of the lows. You better know that I have not always been so sweet and kind and I seriously suppressing the Bush in me. You better know that I’m a lady and I’m trying hard not to give you what you’re asking for because in real life you don’t even know!

We Are Simply Related

You know how the old saying goes, something like… blood is thicker than water. So please explain to me how that same blood that bonds us stops a man from being a father to his daughter.

Is that thin water the reason that my tears are invisible? And why is it when it’s my turn to talk my message is so undeliverable?

I understand you were and are the best you that you know how to be. But how dare you get upset when all that I’m doing is being me.

You hurt me more than you will ever know and you are my mother… Father… Sister… Brother… Yet you fail to understand that titles won’t ever make us closer to one another.

And yes I love and I forgive you but I choose to stay away. Not because I’m holding on but because you really haven’t changed and things are always your way or no way.

As a child I had no choice but to take it, to live the way we lived. But as a woman I have the option to decide to what and to whom the energy that I give.

Family doesn’t do something for you and then have to tell everyone they did it. Family doesn’t beg you to tell your deepest darkest secret then run with it and expose it.

Drama is always the dish of the day no matter the time or the place. Talking about me behind my back and jumping all up in my face.

Then you have the audacity to get mad when I defend myself. Do you think I’m going to continue to allow you to deplete my mental and emotional wealth?

Nope not at all and not even with a heavy heart. I have friends bound to me by love that have fulfilled the family part.

So while you think that blood makes of us family and I just have to accept and take it. In my mind all that blood does is simply make us related.