by Jasmyne K. Rogers
The last conversation that was had between Mama and I always plagued my mind.
“You’re afraid of a man, Lisa,” Mama said, as we sat on her porch drinking sun tea.
“What?” I choked, almost laughing. Mama sipped her tea and stared me directly in the eyes. Her silence spoke volumes. It said, “You know damn well what I mean.”
“How many of those so-called men were single and not spoken for?”
I grew silent and stared at the oak tree that blew fiercely in the front of the yard.
She had a point. Since Lawrence, every man I had been with was in a relationship or in a marriage on the verge of breaking. Mama read my mind and vocalized my thoughts.
“Baby, you have to let Lawrence go,” Mama pleaded. “You’re too beautiful of a woman to allow him to ruin your life.”
I rolled my eyes and sighed. That man had hurt me so good. He was my infinity for six years. I trusted in him and his love for me. Things went extremely well…at first. Then as the seasons began to change, so did he. He ran out on me countless times, but my love for him seemed to grow and remain faithful. He did not. He left me in the last summer of our relationship. Never dreamed he’d leave in summer.
I sighed, not allowing Mama’s words to penetrate my mind. Instead, they blew in the wind that made the oak tree dance.
“Let him go. He left you. Stop being afraid to have a man of your own. Wait on the Lord to guide your heart to the right man who won’t hurt you. Stop living stolen fantasies.“
Those stolen fantasies had kept me sane after Lawrence left me. Fantasies of the bliss of other people’s relationships became my own. My thoughts danced in my mind just as the oak tree swayed. Mama continued to sip her tea as I became lost in my thoughts. I was only protecting my heart.
His style of dress was casual compared to other days. He was wearing a short sleeve Polo shirt that caressed his smooth skin. I envied the Polo shirt and the khaki shorts that hugged his hips but were less friendly with his legs. I heard him tell her, “I’ll call you after lunch, honey. I love you a dozen moons.” I imagined it was I who was on the other line sitting on the leather sofa where we had watched our favorite movie the night before as I fidgeted with the diamond ring engraved My Muse. I picked up the framed picture where we had spent our honeymoon in the Islands. I love you infinitely. I would tell him that every night as he cradled me into his arms and I felt his warm breath on the nape of my neck as we became one with the spirit world.
He was walking towards me when he clicked end on the Bluetooth stabled in his ear. The sky went dark for a second and thunder began to roar in the horizon. I did not care. I felt his eyes piercing my skin as our bodies collided when I ran into him intentionally.
“It’s okay. I’m quite clumsy at times.”
“And very pretty.” He already had me at the conversation between he and his wife, which I had stolen and made my own. He was mine.
and screamed on that same night when our bodies collided and meshed together underneath the moon. I felt myself floating off as he bundled me into his arms. I had him.
He was mine…
until his phone cried Maxwell’s “This Woman’s Work” over and over again.
He clawed his way from underneath my splendor and answered. I imagined I had asked him his location and would he be coming home soon.
“Yes baby. Got caught up at the office. I will be home in an hour’s time. I love you a dozen moons.”
I love you infinitely.
I died a thousand deaths with him. I let go and drifted into his heart as my body married his. Tonight, I was his wife. He would cradle me and whisper how many moons he loved me.
After he clicked end on his phone, he gathered his lies and shorts that hung on the end of my bedpost.
I waited for him to climb back in bed and take me back to the spirit world we had just visited. Or maybe it was just ecstasy.
I would wait for an eternity as he placed a fifty-dollar bill on my nightstand.
“Thanks for everything.”
I fought tears not wanting to return to my reality.
Tonight was just like all the others, just stolen fantasies. He would return to his wife with no traces of me. I would remember his scent as I go about my days. No man will ever love me as much as I love him.
I crawled from bed when I heard the door shut. I wiped the harsh tears that danced down my face. I did not know his name or even his number; I just knew he was mine forever.
The fifty-dollar bill was laying on my dresser, ready for me to pick it up and add it to the collection, but I couldn’t. I hopped in the shower to remove his scent and attempt to remove him from my mind. He was everything that I wanted. I did not want his money. I wanted him. I would let it be known tomorrow when he made his daily stroll through the park.
Homeless people still decorated the sidewalk as I searched for him. “You looking for somebody, baby?” An elderly lady asked who hobbled on one leg. “No ma’am,” I replied courteously, but I was looking for him. She would never know. No one would ever know. I did not want to share that piece of information. Then he would no longer be mine. Pigeons darted across the broken cement just as stolen thoughts darted across my mind. The oak tree swayed as the wind blew.
It reminded me of myself.
Married men had only caused me more heartache.
Mama was right. God bless her soul.
I saw him once I stopped looking for him. He was dressed in business attire today. I saw him staring at me. I smiled and went the other way, handing the fifty-dollar bill to the elderly man who pleaded for a decent meal to eat.
This time I would wait on the Lord. No man will ever love me as much as the Lord does.
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Jasmyne Rogers is a native of Wilcox County, Alabama and graduate of Georgia State University. She majored in English and thoroughly enjoys writing that reflects African American culture, history, and progression. She self-published her first extended short story, In the Basement of a SOUL Child’s Mind: The Extended Short Story, in 2012. Her personal motto is adapted from the Ubuntu philosophy, “I am because WE are.”
Connect with me on FaceBook--Jasmyne K. Rogers and Twitter & Instagram--@poetic_jaszy.