Chapter 3 and 4 introduces you to
William Matters and Tasiyana Middleton.
Gatekeeper of Secrets
man with the Afro
woke up every morning drenched in sweat and the horrid nightmare disturbing his
sleep. He looked at the clock and it is 5:30 in the morning, the house is cold
and dark. He sat up, yawned, and stretched as he kneeled to say his prayers. He
thought of Tasiyana and always wondered what happen to her. After he left for
college he tried to forget about her but he always thought of her. He was
plagued by guilt of leaving and never reaching out to her. He stood up and
looked outside reminiscing about the tragedy and love they shared.
rain on this Friday morning is pouring and he hoped it would wash away this sad
feeling inside of him. He put on a pair of sweats, a hoodie, and sneakers. He
needed to take a run to clear his head more than to stay in shape but to erase
the guilt, to try for at least an hour to forget the past. He felt like crying a
good soul-cleansing cry but he knew if he started he wouldn’t stop and he
couldn’t lose control of his emotions. He purposely bogged himself down with
running four half ways houses, going to meetings, trying to save the world all
so he could forget. Like his mother he became an expert at masking his pain and
misery. William Goode-Matters born on July 11,1976.
graduated from City’s Honor at the top of his class, earned a full scholarship
to Howard University where he became the guy who fed the poor and ran every
charity event to raise money for those less privileged. On the surface along
with his credentials of Two Masters degrees one in Social Work and the other in
Business Administration as well as being the C.E.O of My Brother’s Keeper, a
transitional housing program for ex- offenders and multi- service agency. He is
a man of perfection but underneath all the degrees, the success he is a man in
deep pain and holding on to secrets. He covered it up by wearing a mask that he
is a man who has it all under control. William did things that are unthinkable,
learned skills and carried blood on his hands. He hid life in Washington, DC to
his feet hit the pavement, the rain is pouring and the music of K’Jon on the
ocean is playing as he is reflecting on his life. He needed to vent and let go
of the pain inside of him someone who wouldn’t judge him about his past. It is
days he wanted to scream but instead falls into his lifestyle of work and more
work. William couldn’t even confide in the woman he is dating because she is so
shallow and self absorbed. When he is running it where he finds clarity about
the things he faced everyday in his life. It is the time he turned off his cell
phone, didn’t worry about his clients, and prayed. He ran until his legs felt
like rubber and all to forget about the past and try to live in the now.
clothes where sticking to his body but for some reason the combination of rain,
his thoughts and music where cathartic. With each step he counted his blessings
but also thought of the situations and people he needed out of his life. He
thought about Imani, the woman he had been dating on and off for a year. She is
in love with him but the feelings are not mutual. With their schedules being so
hectic Imani and William rarely saw one another and when they did it either was
to have sex or go to functions as his date.
is indeed beautiful, auburn dyed dreads that cascade down her back, chestnut
brown skin, deep chocolate brown eyes, and a body like Halle Berry. William
thought every human has a flaw and for her it was her damn personality that
sucks to hell. When they spend more than two hours together they argue over
everything from politics to social welfare. He often feels as if they are
running for a political office because every issue has to turn into a debate.
She always has to be right about everything and anyone who needs a hand up is
lazy freeloader. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth and diamonds on her
finger she could never identify with poverty. A pampered princess who has never
wanted for anything with her parents owning several hotels in Buffalo she
wouldn’t have a clue about struggle. It is why they would never marry or go
farther then being sex buddies he thought.
wanted more than sex he desired companionship and a woman willing to understand
the man he is. He wanted a wife and to start a family. As he ran the second lap
the rain slow up some, a large amount of snow washed away. He stretched his
legs, leaned his head back, and rotated his neck. He started off again with only
two miles left He normally put in five miles a day. A woman runs past and waved
her hand at him and he nods.
found that often women stopping and greeting him. William is the type of man who
got stares because he had that biscuit brown complexion, he stood at 5’11, hazel
eyes, and 200 pounds of muscles, and when he smiled he has deep dimples that
sunk into his cheeks. His hair is normally braided straight back but today he is
sporting a bushy Afro. William has had his fair share of women because he is the
first to admit he is not a saint. He has fornicated, drank to get drunk to at
least wash away the pain and hurt dwelling inside of him. He had blood that
forever stained his hands.
never imagined coming back to Buffalo but God has a way of changing your plans.
What brought him back was the death of his brother Luck. William made a decision
to stay after the several failed attempts to open up his own transitional
housing program in Washington, D.C. So he quit his job as resident director and
stepped out on faith to start his own non-profit organization. He wrote a
proposal and presented it to his father. His mother delivered a million-dollar
check given to him by his father and the memo written was a million dollars to
stay out of his life. He copied the check before cashing it and framed
started his transitional housing program for men who where being released from
incarceration. He created this so men could have a second chance on life. The
program offers a one-stop module where they are provided shelter, medical care,
drug addiction, and mental health counseling. When each resident walks into the
door they are introduce to a home like setting. Each room equipped with a
television, DVD player, radio, basic cable, fresh bedding, and linen. A weight
room built in the basement of each building so they can keep with up with their
physical health. Upon entering each resident is given a 200-dollar gift card to
Wal-Mart to purchase hygiene products, underwear, socks, and shoes. Each
Wednesday a barber is paid so that each man can have a haircut and lessons on
reflected back on the beginning of his career as a resident aide in Washington
D.C. working his way up to director. It seemed that these men coming into
another environment still felt incarcerated. They could go outside but still
could feel the cuffs on their wrists. They struggled with owing child support,
issues with women, and most of all adjusting to society rules and the rapid
changes of the world made at lighting speed. He began to understand that the war
outside was far worse than the war in prison. You see times have change, people
who they knew and grew up with are either dead, or in the place they just came
from. They dealt with resentment of those who promise to write and call but
abandon them. They dealt with a system designed for them to fail in the first
knew God called him to this particular cause because he could have worked
anywhere. My Brother’s Keeper opened on his birthday. Development, character
building workshops, and self-sufficiency are all apart of his module. He
currently has a staff of twenty- five people and no assistant. Many are
volunteers from the community who pitch in to help from Legal services to local
physicians, dentists, barbers and even a chiropractor.
of the men who leave the program are now hard working, honest and productive
citizens. Saving a life from becoming a repeat offender also effected the
community in a positive way. He has dealt with every type of man that has
committed a crime. The only men who do not qualify for his program are murders,
rapist and child molesters. He hated them and to him they should burn in hell.
It is his belief there is no redemption for them and once they violate a child
or woman they would never change. No one could ever make him think differently
about the scum of the earth.
monitor is beeping and breaks his train of thought. His mind is clear so he can
start his day. He walked to his car and sees a homeless man sleeping on the
ground, with a sign change for food. He pulls out his wallet and drops ten
dollars in the man’s hand. He crossed the street to the seven- eleven purchase a
cup of coffee, two sandwiches, an apple, and a banana. The woman standing next
to him has a box of Crispy Creme donuts, Hagen Dazs ice cream, and Wny Jobs
knew her he could never forget her eyes that cut deep through William. She stood
at five-five and about 250 pounds. She is the color of nutella butter, her eyes
the shape of almonds and the color is chestnut brown. Her auburn hair, curly and
pull back into a ponytail covered with a gray scarf. He looked in her eyes and
he knew it was Tasiyana. She lowers her head and paid for the items and scurried
out of the store. Did she remember me? He wondered. Tasiyana entered his life
before, he protected her from his father, and they share some life changing
events. He would never forget her.
walked across the street and placed the bag next to the man lying in the wet
grass. He stood over him and prayed for him. He hands the man the cup of
God bless you brother and be safe.” The pungent odor leaps off his body, his
sneakers torn revealing the sores on his feet, his breath smells of rotten meat
and alcohol. He opened the bag grabbing the sandwich, ripping through the
plastic to a take a bite. William walked to car and hands him a pair of sneakers
he only wore once.
should fit you and here is my card. When you want to clean up or need clothing
call me. I will have someone pick you up and we can go from there.”
you brother, you are a good man.”
shake hands and as he approached his car he spots her again. He had to say
something to her. He walked to the corner pretending to cross the street. He
stands close to her and she takes a glance at him and then to the ground. The
rain has picked up again and she opened her umbrella. The stoplight is stuck on
red; the traffic is picking up as people are heading to work. His husky voice
Good Morning.” She replied and blushed.
light turns green and he watched her cross the street. He leaned against the
poll watching her as she walked into the building. She didn’t remember him but
he could never forget her. He walked to his car and got in. His past resurfacing
itself reminding him it was time to face
hate New Year’s Eve and I always will. It has always been saddest day of my
life. This year is worse because I am alone well not really my cat Purr, Crispy
Creme Donuts and Haagen Daz ice cream is by my side. I am trying to be happy
about my life and believe in me again. I just can’t get out of this feeling
inside of me that I am drowning in misery. I have felt that way since I was
twelve years old and to be honest it scares me that I may not want to live
am writing in my journal because I am asking for something and this is
important. I guess you can call it my New Year’s resolutions. I need a reason to
live another day. I need to look in the mirror and see a reason to smile. I need
a man but not like the last man who is now in love with my brother. I need one
who will love me the right way. I want to lose hundred pounds off this 275-lb
frame. I don’t want to feel ashamed of my body. Lastly, I need a job that
fulfills me and help me make a difference.
I am complaining, I have two people in my life who are the best friends a woman
can have Lori and Treasure. They are the reasons I wake up and try hard to make
my life work. I would love to be my own reason for living but I am not. No one
is aware of how truly unhappy I am with myself. A smile can hide a million
tears. Treasure is the one I talk to the most and Lori is the one who not afraid
to give it to me straight. I have a master degree, an apartment in a good
neighborhood, food, and enough savings to hold me out since I have been laid
feeling comes every year around this time and I know it is a reminder about the
night I try so hard to forget. New Year’s Eve makes it that much harder not to
remember a grown man taking away my virginity without permission. The boy who
came in and sat with me praying for my soul and protecting me from his father.
Howard became my friend. The boy who’s father molested him that night Years
later he would protect me again and disappear. He would make me fall in love and
go away with out a word. It seems to be the story of my life.
put down her journal and flipped through the channels stopping at the Good times
marathon. Her date for this New Years day is a box of Crispy Crème Donuts and
Haagen Dazs ice cream. Purr, her furry gray and white cat even had a date. It is
how it had been for the past five years since the break-up with Noelle. For the
past week she sat in her funky furry pink robe, pajamas and fuzzy socks.
Surrounded around food, the remote control, and her journal.
is New Year’s Eve the memories of that night haunt her for that one day. Today
Bishop Goode is on the cover of the Challenger’s Newspaper, Buffalo News, the
news media, and his billboards all over the place. He recently announced his
candidacy for Mayor and the media buzzing about the saint that could rebuild
Buffalo. She ripped up the newspaper and throws it in the trash can. She heard
Purrs signature scratching on the window she gets up and lets him in. He licked
her and with his sandpaper tongue, meowing for his nightly snack of turkey
pieces. He opened the plastic container and she feeds him the leftover
sound of the phone ringing and the flashing of Anthony’s name she pushed the
ignore button and deleted the text following. Three years ago she caught her
brother in the bed with her former fiancé, Noelle. Back when she used to indulge
in marijuana she’d pull out a blunt hoping to smoke away the truth. When the
smoke did clear her brother and ex are happily in love, planning a commitment
ceremony in the summer. So she decided to take a vow of celibacy and a major
vacation from men. They have been the major downfall for her and she could no
longer keep failing in love with Mr. Wrong.
very reason she relied on cookies, cakes and fried food to soothe her is because
she believed it just wasn’t going to happen for her. Tasiyana had just about
every type of men from the church boys to the thug who loves being in jail and
receiving packages, the educated, handsome, living on the down low and screwing
her brother. Tasiyana got tired of crying over some fool and being angry with
herself for choosing Mr. Wrong.
while she is on a hiatus she is supposed to work on improving the woman she is
but has instead took on sulking, eating and gaining an additional eighty pounds
to her already large frame. Her mother’s name flashing and it’s the last thing
she needed is a tongue lashing on how she should lose the weight and come back
to church. She didn’t need a positive affirmation or a bible quote because to
Tasiyana it words and nothing more. She answered the phone because she didn’t
want her showing up at her doorstep.
New Year’s Mom.” She greeted her.
the Lord on this glorious day, daughter. What is your resolution this year? I
hope it is to get that weight off you and forgive your brother.” She sucked her
teeth and regretted answering the phone. She always wanted to bring up Anthony
and try to make her forgive him.
on the weight and no on forgiving my brother. You forget that he hurt me and why
should I keep being the forgiving one?” She opened the box of donuts and pulls
one out taking a huge bite.
it is in the past and it’s dead and gone. That is your problem always sulking
and throwing pity party. You hang on to the things you can not
For who You, Antonio or Bishop Goode? How can I let go of the past when the
people in it keep showing up? ”
mother spoke that same line about forgiveness every time. She forgave the Bishop
because he paid her to. She forgave Anthony because he was her favorite and in
her eyes he could do nothing wrong. It didn’t matter that he disrespected,
humiliated, and stole the love of her life. God forgave Anthony and he forgave
Bishop Goode. It became the story of her life the people she loved constantly
hurting her and getting away with the acts of hurt they caused her.
mother Linda Middleton- Harris married the man of her dreams both recovering
addicts and now co-pastors of Faith and Redemption Ministries for the past
twenty –five years. She loved the title First lady and the attention she
received from the church. She dressed in lavish clothing, threw annual so- call
fundraisers that basically funds her fix on Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Lobo tins,
Michael Kors purses and the money she spends on custom made clothing. Yes, she
did her share of charity work. She could envision her mother well-manicured
fingers and three-carat diamond ring tapping on the counter as she rolls her
God forgave us all along time ago. Tasiyana I want you to stop being the victim
for Chris sakes.” She bites her bottom lip and punches the pillow on the couch.
She wasn’t going to start the first of the year with long sermon. So she
Bye Ma. Have a good year.”
I’m not finish talking to you.” She yells.
I’m finish and to give you the respect a daughter is suppose to give a parent.
hit the end button and closed her eyes this has to be a better year. The phone
rung again and it was Lori her best friend who had the life she dreamed of. Lori
had freedom in every since of the word. She lived by only the rules she wrote.
She dressed in vibrant colors and chose to be bi-sexual she could have anyone
she wanted. Lori lived so free she one-day walk in to her job and told her boss
to kiss her behind because she saved enough money to open her restaurant,
bakery, and catering business. Well five years later her business is a huge
New Year, Sis.” Tasiyana could here the sounds of Ledisi in the
to you, so fill me in on your exciting New Year’s eve.”
I met up with Sabella after she brought in the New Year with her husband she
came over and we sexed until the dawn’s early light. I sent her back home
because Mama never let them hoes stay overnight. So what you do and please tell
me you at least changed your clothes and did your hair?” Lori with the phone to
her ear and a mixing bowl in her hand pouring batter into the pans licking some
of it off her finger.
step out for a moment and went to the store that is about it. Today this man
with beautiful eyes watched me cross the street and he even spoke to me. Dang,
he was handsome. I could have swore I knew him.”
so what you telling me is you sat in the house sulking and watching the Golden
Girls Marathon, right? Tasiyana you need to get your ass out and live your
not today I have already been lectured to by my mother. I know what I need to
change and it will happen eventually. Hopefully with the job interview I can
change. Treasure referred me to my brother’s keeper.”
hated Treasure she thought Tasiyana new friend seemed to be a stuck up broad
pretending to be perfect. It seem Treasure and Tasiyana where hanging out more
than they where. She’ll admit she was jealous of the new their friendship.
Tasiyana was hers and no one else.
I told you a position is always open at my restaurant. For the record I hope you
are not inviting that stuck up broad to the Art Show I am catering.” Lori sucked
her teeth and slams the bowl down. Tasiyana picked up the donuts and took a bite
out of it.
I did and why do you hate Treasure? She has done nothing to you,
don’t hate her I just can’t stand a phony broad and she is phony. Always
bragging about her husband Blue and her perfect life. I bet you she got major
skeletons in her closet all them boogie broads do.” She huffed.
like your jealous, Lori.” She whispers.
her, please? What time do I have to pick you up for the interview?”
I need to bake these cakes and get these orders out. I love you babe.”
love you too.”
met Lori freshman year of college even then she was a woman who demanded
attention. She wore her jeans backwards, with a cut up sweater and punk rock
hair. Born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. They where roommates for the first two
years and every one knew she was bi- sexual and many speculated that Lori was
secretly in love with Tasiyana. Lori never tried anything with her. Lori kept
her safe in the streets of the Bronx while attending Fordham University. She
taught her how to survive and yes hustle. Lori would cook dinners, bake cakes,
cookies and brownies selling them on the subway to pay for her books. Lori
always made sure Tasiyana had money and decent clothing but all everyone could
see was she was trying to turn her out. Tasiyana mother and brother said to stay
away from her. Tasiyana chose to stay her friend because she is the only one who
never turned against her after that horrible ordeal at the school. She stuck by
her side and helped her get through all the pain and embarrassment. The break up
with Noelle, and the challenges she faced during college. She shared her inner
most secrets with her and vice-versa.
was right she needed to get out of the three-year funk she had been drowning in
misery ever since her break up with Noelle. This one had broken her heart
because she thought he really loved her. He showered her with gifts, took her
out on the town and she even accepted the fact he got another woman pregnant.
The day she caught him in the bed with Anthony devastated her. How could her
brother of all people hurt her like that? She thought as she ate another donut.
Tasiyana often thought she was cursed in many ways because bad things always
happen to her. Life scared her more than death it was always the certainty that
nothing would ever go right. The thought hadn’t been proven wrong for the 36
years she has been living on this earth.
thought of the gentleman with hazel eyes that stood next to her and the way he
stared at her. She would love to have a man like him she watched him give the
homeless man a bag of food and a pair of sneakers. He watched her as if he knew
her but where could they have known one another from? She thought
2013 Tamyara Brown- Tamluvstowrite
Blue Butterfly Chronicles!