Solitude Part One

I’m single. Not necessarily by choice.

I wasn’t always single. Up until five months ago, I was content. I was two months shy of five years with the man I would someday marry. We were four states and two turnpikes apart, but together. Hey, I would tell myself, the distance just made the times we spent together that much better. I looked forward to the day we could be in the same city; my job in Internal Communications for a midsize consulting firm in Washington, DC was temporary. A job. Not even a real career. Just a stepping stone. He didn’t even want to be in Detroit, but it was the best offer he got. At least he had choices with his business degree in finance. With a B.A. in communications, I got my final-hour job offer three days before graduation; it was my saving grace from returning to my own Rosedale Park two-story to live with my mama.

We attended the same high school in the Detroit Public School system. Good test scores and even better grades got us in. I knew who he was. He was Mason Andrews; exactly 75 inches of smooth caramel, handsome face, pretty dimples, warm brown eyes and a body that said, “Yes, I play football.” He wasn’t wildly popular, but popular enough.

Now it wasn’t like I was some plain Jane. I am what retailers deem “petite” at 5’4” with skin the color of sweet milk chocolate and eyes like almonds. I developed early, so by the time I was 11, I was busty enough for the tissue-stuffers to cut their eyes at me and for hormonal preteen boys to accidentally “bump” into me. By the time I hit 16, my body evened out into an hourglass and I acquired the ass to offset the breasts. My hair is an off-black shade and my high cheekbones were the only indicators of the Native American grandmother from six generations past. So while I do indeed have Indian in my family, it wasn’t enough to get me a college scholarship.
We coexisted in the relatively small high school; our worlds colliding senior year in an advanced placement science class. My lab partner, he was smart as hell and had a sarcastic sense of humor to match my own witticism. We vibed so well, it was only a matter of time before we got together. It was May, the weather decided to play nice that day, he asked me to prom.
With matching academic scholarships to Howard University, he quickly became my world. Every free moment we had, we spent together. He was my first, my last, my everything. He’d started calling me by my middle name, said it was more ladylike than my given name, my mother’s maiden name. He told me he loved me in the fall, I gave him my body in the spring, just as the DC heat began to overtake the campus once more. While there was no ring and no getting down on one knee, he said he wanted to marry me. I was set for life. As far as I knew, the search had ended and I was officially off the market.

Sexing in the dormitories became a regular routine sophomore year. His touch made my body tremble, my knees weak and my face contort. I headed over to the women’s clinic because I wasn’t trying to his baby mama. At least not yet. That damned shot played tricks on me; manipulated my brain to tell my stomach it was hungry, jacked with my metabolism. When junior year’s end rolled around, I was the swollen, bloated friend everyone knew was getting some on the regular because I carried 35 extra pounds on my frame.

The weight just added to the topics Mason and I had begun to argue over. The ruthless cycle of arguing as a form of foreplay began in the spring of sophomore year. We fought over it all.
Quality time.
What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Most of our fights were about me. How come I wasn’t more this or less that? My hair never reached past my shoulders. Although I spent tons on oils, strengtheners, pomades, and had standing appointments at the salon, I could never get the Pocahontas pigtails to match my cheekbones. I needed to work out more, try to make an effort to look better. I was shiftless and full of excuses about my lack of an exercise routine; never mind the chemicals I had injected into my hip every three months had a great deal to do with that. Money was another hot-topic. I loved shoes, still do. Nine West, Enzo Angiolini, BCBG, Via Spiga filled my tiny dorm closets. My clothes from Express, New York and Company, Macy’s, and the Gap spilled over into the common area closets. I spent way too much money and never had the same job. I must’ve had an issue with authority with the way I would work somewhere for a semester, then quit, be it because my manager was a bitch, the commute to the mall took too long on the Metro, I didn’t have a car, blah blah blah. Too many excuses and not enough focus, he would say. All he could do was shake his head when my stint as a restaurant hostess only lasted three days.

Even though at times it seemed nothing I did was good enough, I pressed on. I loved him, he loved me. Simple as that.



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