My Reality

Image Courtesy of Stocksy United

I see the fear on her face as we walk towards each other.  It’s broad daylight.  I’m just walking down the sidewalk, minding my own business but she looks at me as if I was going to attack her at any minute.  She walks faster and clutches her handbag tightly.  Maybe she thinks I’m going to make a grab for it.

She moves closer to the wall, trying to put as much space between us as possible.  Her eyes dart back and forth, like a frightened prey and its predator.

Anger and pity fill me.  I’m angry because she assumes that I’m a criminal because of the color of my skin and pity because she’s a victim of her own twisted, racist preconceived notions.

I walk past her.  I don’t look back.  I don’t care to.  I continue walking and with each step, I try to let go of the anger.  It doesn’t do me any good to hold on to it.  But, the pity remains.  I pity her and others like her who live in ignorance.  Perhaps one of these days, this race problem will go away but even as I think it, the idea seems ludicrous.   It will never go away.  It’s something I will have to deal with until the day I die.  Sad, but that’s my reality.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Fear.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

It’s Time

You said it wasn’t your intent to hurt me but you did.

You said it wouldn’t happen again.  But it did.

You promised that things would get better but they haven’t.

You swore you would change but you haven’t.

I love you but there’s a limit to what I can take.

I said that I would never leave you but it’s time I did.

By the time you come home, I will be gone.

Please don’t try to find me.  It’s really over this time.

 

Reason-You-Gave-up-on-your-goals

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Intent.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Back Together

elliott-law0068-853x1280“Good heavens, Atticus, do you want us to freeze to death?” Mrs. Sutcliffe exclaimed as she shot her son a reproving look.  “Kindly close that window.”

He turned to face her.  “It’s a bit fusty in here, Mother.”

“It is not!” she retorted indignantly.  “These rooms are aired out every day.  Now kindly close it before we all catch colds.”

Muttering under his breath, he shut the windows.  He remained standing there, his back to them, clenched hands buried in his pockets, looking out.

“It is a bit stuffy in here,” his sister, Birgit said.  “However, it has nothing to do with the air.”  She gave him a pointed look.

His lips compressed.  She was his sister but he couldn’t stand her.  She was always so smug and condescending.  “What is that supposed to mean?”

“You’ve been in a foul mood since you broke up with that African woman.”

“That African woman.  You can’t even address her properly by her name.”

“Why should I?  She’s nothing to me.  I can’t say the same for you, though.  You’re still pining for her even though you know she’s no good for you.”

“Who are you to determine whether she’s good for me or not?”

“I’m your older and wiser sister.  Evidently, you agreed with my assessment because you broke up with her.”

“I thought we had put the dreadful business with that charwoman behind us,” Mrs. Sutcliffe interjected, agitated.

“So, did I,” Birgit said, getting up from the sofa and walking over to the fireplace.  “I thought my dear brother had the good sense to move on with his pathetic life but clearly I was wrong.  Here he is pining away for a charwoman when he could be out there meeting reputable women.”  She shook her head in disgust.

Addicus swung around and glared at her.  “For your information, Diarra isn’t a charwoman any more.  She got a job at one of the offices where she cleaned.  And even if she were still a charwoman, it isn’t anything to be ashamed about.  She’s making an honest living.   And how dare you make her out to be less reputable because she’s African and used to be clean offices for a living?  She’s worth far more than your stupid, snooty friends.”

Birgit glowered at him.  “Don’t you dare insult my friends.  And as far as you and that charwoman of yours, you can both go to hell.”

“Children, please,”  Mrs. Sutcliffe wailed.  “Let us stop this bickering.  Atticus, I don’t want to hear anymore about that woman.”

“I wasn’t the one who brought her up,” he was quick to remind her.  “Birgit did.”

“I only brought her up because I could see that you were pining for her.  She really got her hooks in you.  You poor lovesick fool.  While you’re here longing for her, she’s dating another man.”

In a matter of seconds, he was standing beside her, his expression tense as he demanded, “What are you talking about?”

She shrugged.  “I was coming out of the hair salon when I saw her with a tall African man.  She had her arm through his.  She didn’t see me.”

He grabbed her by the shoulders.  “Are you sure it was her?  Birgit, if you’re making this up to hurt me, so help me…”

Her eyes flashed at him.  “Yes, I’m sure it was her and I’m not making this up just to hurt you.  Now, let go of me.”

The color drained from Atticus’s face.  Jealousy clawed at his insides.  “I have to go,” he muttered more to himself than to them.  He released Birgit and turned away.

“Don’t tell me you’re going to see her,” Birgit said.

Mrs. Sutcliffe was alarmed.  “Atticus, can’t you see that’s it’s really over between you?  She has moved on with her life.  Why can’t you do the same?”

“Because I love her,” he muttered tightly before he strode out of the room.

*****************************************************************

Diarra had just finished making dinner when the doorbell rang.  After wiping her hands in the towel hanging on the wall beside the sink, she hurried into the foyer, wondering who it was.  When she peered through the keyhole and saw Atticus standing there, her heart leapt in her chest.  She pulled back the latch and opened the door, her eyes slipping over his tall frame.  It had been months since the break up.  The pain was still there.  “Hello,” she said.  “I never thought I would see you again.” african-woman-4a4a9282-090a-4a64-bbfe-c0960b12d8f4

“I know.  May I come in?”

“Sure.”  She stepped aside for him to enter and then closed the door.  She turned to face him.  “Let’s go into the living-room.”

After he removed his shoes, he followed her into the living-room.  He remained standing with his hands in his pockets.  His expression was tense as he watched her.  “I know I have no right to be here or to ask you any questions but there’s one I really need to ask you.”

“What is it?” she asked.  How she longed to reach up and touch his face.

“Are you dating someone else?”

She shook her head at once.  “No, I’m not dating anyone.”

“My sister, Birgit said she saw you with a man.”  He told her where.

“That’s my brother, Khaan.  He had taken me for lunch to celebrate his promotion.”

Relief washed over him and he sank down onto the sofa.  “I’m sorry.  When Birgit told me that she saw the two of you together, I was out of my mind with jealousy although I had no right to be.  I lost that right when I broke up with you.  Oh, Diarra.  What a bloody fool I’ve been.  I allowed my family to come between us.  I shouldn’t be here. I should leave.”

“Have you eaten?” she asked.

He stared at her blankly.  “Eaten?” he repeated and then, shaking his head, he added, “No, I haven’t eaten.”

“I just finished making dinner.  Why don’t you stay and have some?  There’s more than enough for two.”

“All right.  Thank you.”

“I’ll go and share it out.”  She was about to walk away when he caught her arm.  Her eyes were wide as they met his.

“I’m not dating anyone.  Diarra, is there still a chance…?”

“Let’s talk about it after dinner.”

He released her arm and sank heavily down onto the sofa.

After dinner, he was standing at the window, watching the flickering lights when she joined him.  “Promise me that you will never let your family come between us again,” she said.

He turned to face her.  “I promise.”

She took his hand.  “Good.  Do you want dessert?”

His eyes darkened.  “All I want right now, is you.” Reaching out, he unwrapped the scarf from her head.  After it fell to the floor beside her feet, he buried his fingers in her hair as he lowered his head and kissed her.  His mouth moved passionately on hers as his love and desire for her raged inside him.  She put her arms around his waist and kissed him back as her need for him consumed her.

After a while he broke off the kiss to mutter, “I don’t deserve you.”

“We’ll talk about that afterwards,” she gasped.  And grabbing his hand, she pulled him towards her room.

It took a while for things to return to the way they were before the break-up but time, effort and patience kept them on track.  And at the end of the following year, against his family’s impassioned objections, he married Diarra.

You are my other half. And when you left, a great part of me was missing. And now that you’re back, we are one and I am whole again – Love Quote Messages

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Fusty.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

For Better or For Worse

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“How long are you going to continue looking out that window?  She’s not coming back.  Sooner or later you must accept that.”

He didn’t answer.  Her words cut to the core but he refused to believe that Brittany was gone forever.

“She got tired of waiting and decided that it’s time to move on.  Can’t say that I blame her.  I too would get tired of waiting for a man to make up his mind.”

“Marriage isn’t something you take lightly or rush into,” he replied, sounding a tad defensive and resentful.  “I wanted to be sure before I took that step.”

“And are you sure now?”

“Yes!  I’m ready to take that step with Brittany.”

“Well, as they say, too late, too late shall be the cry.”

His mouth tightened in annoyance.  If she had nothing good or helpful to say, he wish she would keep silent.  “Are you going to be much longer?” he asked.  He wanted to be alone to wallow in his pain and misery.

She looked at him.  “Trying to get rid of me, are you?  Well, I’ll be gone in ten minutes.”

Good.  He turned away to look out of the window again.  Any minute, he hoped to see her walking up the street and hear the key turn in the lock.  He had imagined and dreamed of it so many times.  She had to come back.  The night she walked out of the flat and out of his life was still raw and fresh in his mind.  The place felt empty, lonely and dark without her.  He missed her lying in the bed next to him and always fell asleep hugging her pillow.

They had been together for five years and they had been happy years until the subject of marriage came up.  She wanted to get married but he wasn’t ready.  He had seen too many marriages fall apart.  Love wasn’t a guarantee for a lasting marriage.  He had seen couples who loved each other split up.  Was it unreasonable for him to be cautious?  Was it foolish of him to want to wait until he was ready and willing to make that final commitment?

As much as he was in love with Brittany, he was going to let her pressure him into getting married before he was good and ready.  He didn’t regret that decision but he missed her so much that it hurt.  It had been weeks since she walked out but it felt like years.  Yet, hope continued to burn in his heart.  One of these days, she would return and he would be there, waiting for her.

“Well, I’m off now.  Your supper is in the oven, nice and hot.  Your laundry’s done.  I’ll see you in two weeks.  I’m going to visit my daughter in Manchester.”

“Have a safe trip, Hannah.”

“Thank you.  You take care of yourself.  And stop moping about the place.  There are plenty of women out there.”

“I know but there’s only one woman for me.”

“Aye.  Well, I hope for your sake that she’s worth the trouble.  Good afternoon.”

“Good afternoon.”  He got up and saw her to the door.  He reached over and kissed her on the cheek, smiling as she got red in the face.  He watched her walk down the hallway and turn the corner before he closed the door.  He returned to the window.

It was around half-past seven when he decided to get up and have his supper while it was still warm.  As he headed toward the kitchen, he heard the key turn in the lock.  He froze, his heart pounding.  He stood there and watched as the door slowly opened and Brittany step into the foyer.  She closed the door and locked it before turning to face him.  She stood there, watching him.  Beside her were two pieces of luggage.

For several minutes they just stared at each other.  The only sound was the ticking of the clock on the wall.  Then, he was standing in front of her, his eyes restless on her upturned face.  “You came back,” he muttered. 

“Yes.  It was a mistake for me to leave.  I’m sorry.”

“It hurt when you walked out on me.”

“I’m sorry…”

“I was hoping that you would come back.  I’ve missed you so much.”

“I’ve missed you too.  That’s why I came back.”

He moved closer.  “It’s-it’s good to have you back, Brittany.  My life and this place are so empty and miserable without you.  Please promise me that you won’t leave me again.”

“I promise.  And I’m willing to leave our relationship as it is.  If you don’t want to get married, that’s all right with me.”

He pulled her into his arms and hugged her tightly.  “Oh, Brittany…”

She put her arms around his waist.  “I love you, Cedric.”

“And I love you, Brittany.”  He lowered his head and kissed her with passion and longing.  It had been so long since he had held her in his arms or told her that he loved her.  It was like the bright sunshine after a storm.

Several minutes later, he took her hand and led her to their bedroom where they made up for lost time.  Afterwards, they shared the supper Hannah had left for him and it was while they were relaxing on the sofa watching a movie, that he told her that he was ready for marriage.  “I meant it when I said that I was fine with our relationship the way it is.”

“I know you did and I love you for it but I’m ready to take the plunge with you.”

“For better or for worse.”

“Yes.  We’ve been through the worse.  It can only get better from here on.”

She smiled and gently squeezed his hand.  “I believe so too.”

Marriage does not guarantee you will be together forever, it’s only paper. It takes love, respect, trust, understanding, friendship and faith in your relationship to make it last Marriage.com

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Continue.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

The Lapel

“The interview will commence in ten minutes so you need to go over there and fix his lapel.”  489_bc54ba7c-c087-4d6b-9b4e-e7ffd9bce37d

Rhea was mortified.  “I can’t,” she protested.

“Don’t be silly,” Angela snapped.  “You’re responsible for making sure that the guests look good in front of the camera.  Now get over and fix the lapel or you can kiss your job goodbye.”

“All right,” Rhea muttered under her breath.  “There’s no need to threaten me.”

“I’m not threatening you.  I’m not the one who will fire you if you don’t do your job.”

Rhea took a deep breath and smiling apologetically, she approached Ciaran Dankworth, the popular British television actor.  “Mr. Dankworth, I’m sorry but, I need to adjust your lapel.  May I?”

He smiled and nodded.  “By all means.”

She leaned over and fixed it, catching a whiff of his cologne.  It was unnerving and thrilling at the same time being that close to him.  She was a big fan of his.  She followed him on Facebook, read and watch all of his interviews.  When she learned that he was going to be here today, she was beside herself with excitement.  She wished she could ask him for his autograph or have a photo taken with him but she didn’t want to be a nuisance and her boss, Beth would come down hard on her like a ton of bricks.  Beth always reminded her that she had to be professional at all times and never bother any of their guests with requests for autographs or photos.

She straightened away from him, her heart thudding.  “It’s all fixed now,” she said.

His eyes met hers in a direct gaze.  “Thank you,” he said in that amazing voice of his with the posh British accent, most commonly known as the Queen’s English.

“You’re welcome.”

“What is your name?”

“Rhea.”

“Well, Rhea.  I would like to properly thank you for getting me all fixed up for the camera.  Would you object to having dinner with me?”

She gaped at him.  “Dinner? With you?”

“Yes.  After the interview.  I will have my driver take us to The Ivy.  That is if you don’t already have plans.”

“No, no.  I don’t have any plans at all.”

“So, we’re set for dinner at The Ivy?”

“Yes, yes.”  She heard Beth’s voice and quickly left the stage.  It was all a haze.  She couldn’t believe it.  She was going to have dinner at The Ivy with Ciaran Dankworth.  She was so tempted to tell Angela and Beth just to see the expressions on their faces but she held her tongue.  She stood in the wings, waiting for the interview to commence.

It turned out to be the best one she had seen so far.  Beth was beaming and when the cameras were shut off, she shook his hand again very enthusiastically.  “That was a smashing interview,” she gushed.  “I can see the ratings going through the roof.  Thank you so much, Mr. Dankworth for taking the time out of your very busy schedule to do this.  We are very appreciative.”

“It was my pleasure,” he replied.  “I wouldn’t have gotten to meet you, lovely ladies,” he said looking at her and Angela.  “Or your assistant, Rhea who has agreed to have dinner with me.  I hope you don’t mind me whisking her away,” he added when he saw the expressions on their faces.

Beth shook her head.  “No.  I shan’t be needing her any more for the evening.”

“Wonderful.”  He turned to Rhea who had the satisfaction of seeing the red faces of her boss and Angela.  “Shall we go?”

“Yes.  Good night,” she said to Beth and Angela.  “I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Have good evening, Ladies and thank you again.”

They walked away and into the mild evening.  A stretch limo was waiting for them.  The driver opened the door and she got in first and then he.  As the car pulled away from the curb, he turned to her.  “You know, even if someone else had fixed my lapel, I still would have asked you out for dinner.”

She smiled.  “I’m very pleased to hear that.”

He smiled in return.

Dinner turned out to be lots of fun, despite the attention they got.  When he took her home, he asked her on a second date which she happily accepted.  And they have been dating since.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Commence.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Source:  The Evening Standard; B2

It’s How You Respond

Transitions themselves are not the issue, but how well you respond to their challenges Jim George

butterfly in hand on grass

Image by Dreamstime

What transition are you going through today?  Getting old is a big one.  You’re not as agile and flexible as before.  You ache in parts of your body you didn’t even know existed.  It’s important to be active.  Exercise is key.  And you have to deal with those annoying things called eye floaters.  It’s bad enough that you have to wear two pairs of glasses—one for reading and one for distance or bifocals and then to have to deal with black things in your eye…It’s possible to grow old gracefully but it takes effort and patience.

For a lot of women, it’s hard to go from being married to being divorced.  My mother seemed to adjust fairly well but I remember that there were times when she expressed regret about the end of her marriage.  She never remarried.  My father remarried once.  It’s hard for the kids too because they lose one parent when the marriage is over.  They are raised by one and see the other at appointed times.  When your parents divorce, it’s like your entire world is falling apart.  For years I felt as if my father had abandoned me but when I was older and wiser, I was thankful that he didn’t stay with my mother for my sake.  I wouldn’t have wanted him to be unhappy on my account.

Transitioning from high-school to college or university can be a tough one.  For me, it was hard not being with my friends.  We all went to different colleges.  I was a bit of a loner on campus.  I didn’t join any clubs or socialize much.  I had one or two friends.  I was more immersed in my studies.  I worked hard and studied a lot.  I had great professors whose remarks on my papers were very encouraging.  I took my Major in Journalism and Minor in Art History.  And I graduated Cum Laude.  After leaving college, I had to find a job.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything in my field but I never let that discourage me.  Over the years, I have worked at different companies and have been fortunate to meet lots of wonderful people.

Going from being a single woman to being a family woman has been the biggest change of all.  Before I met the love of my life, my life comprised of home, work and church.  I loved going to church.  There I worshipped and fellow-shipped with terrific people who shared my faith.  They were like my second family.  I was involved in different ministries and was part of the choir.

I enjoyed doing community outreach such as visiting homeless shelters for women and youth and a senior’s home.  But in private, I prayed to God for a godly man.  And years later, I met him on a bus.  He spoke to me, I invited him to my church and the rest is history.  We have a son.  I regret not having two children but I’m thankful that God blessed with me one and my mother with her only grandchild.  Before she died, she enjoyed eleven years of his life.

Transition can be hard, challenging but it can also be rewarding.  It just depends on how we handle it.  In my case, it is God who has helped me through each life change.  This year when I lost both of my parents within months of each, it was God’s loving presence and Jesus’ promise, “I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you” which held me together.  My two sisters and I aren’t alone.  We have the Lord and we have each other.

Like me, you don’t have to go through any transition alone.  Your families, friends or faith can be your anchor.

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Transition.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.

Source:  Blue Letter Bible

Cool Dads

father-daughter

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Nostalgia always creeps up on me whenever I see my husband and our daughters watching movies.  I think about the times I used to sit on the sofa with my Dad, eating popcorn.  The really neat thing about him is he didn’t mind watching kid movies with lots of singing with me.  We used to sing and dance to Hakuna Matata every time we watched The Lion King.

Those were great times.  Sometimes when I spoke Dad, we would reminisce and have a good laugh about it.  My girls are lucky because they have a cool Dad too.

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Image Courtesy: Masterfile

This was written for the Ragtag Daily Prompts for today’s word, Nostalgia.  If you’re interested in participating, click HERE for more information.