The world, my family, and my friends had written me off. Shit, I wrote myself off because I had nothing left in me to fight. Tamiya was supposed to hate me, too. I had betrayed her, lied, and made her feel like shit. “You come to break me down some more and laugh at my fucked-up life. Shit, you have every right to all I’ve done to you. Why are you here, Tamiya?” She took a deep breath, took my hand in hers, and interlocked her fingers with mine. She observed my fingertips that were burned. The pink of my lips had brown marks that showed evidence I was fucking up. I sat on the broken stairs of the trap house. There on Riley Street is where I lost my soul. It is what that building signified an entrapment of broken souls seeking healing, but only falling deeper into hell. I watched tears fall from her eyes and I knew she was hurting for me.
Spider's Voice by Tamyara Brown
Tamiya stood in front of me and lifted my dirty face to look into her chocolate brown eyes as she wiped my tears with her thumb. I smelled the scent of her favorite perfume, beautiful from Estée Lauder. It was the first gift I gave her for her birthday ten years ago. I observed Tamiya’s new look. She was thinner, her hair was longer and dyed chestnut brown wrapped up in a bun. She welcomed her new shape by wearing shorts that hugged her hips, and a hoodie that said Howard University. Her legs were shapely, and she even wore brand name sneakers. I could see the diamond ring on her finger. It was a reminder that she was about to become another man’s wife. I hung my head and noticed she still wore the ankle bracelet with the butterfly on her right leg.
The world, my family, and my friends had written me off. Shit, I wrote myself off because I had nothing left in me to fight.
She was supposed to hate me, too. I had betrayed her, lied, and made her feel like shit.
“You come to break me down some more and laugh at my fucked-up life. Shit, you have every right to all I’ve done to you. Why are you here, Tamiya?”
She took a deep breath, took my hand in hers, and interlocked her fingers with mine. She observed my fingertips that were burned. The pink of my lips had brown marks that showed evidence I was fucking up. I sat on the broken stairs of the trap house. There on Riley Street is where I lost my soul. It is what that building signified an entrapment of broken souls seeking healing, but only falling deeper into hell. I watched tears fall from her eyes and I knew she was hurting for me.
“I don’t know why, and I probably never will. God only knows. Spider, I want to help you, but this time you got to get in the ring with me. I can’t fight for your life if you quit. You ask me why and it is simple. I care about you. This time around, take care of yourself, too. Fight to get back to yourself. Here are some sandwiches, chips, water, juice, cups of soup, clean clothes, soap, and a washcloth. My number is on my business card. Call me. When you’re ready, I’m here.”
She attempted to let go of my hand, and I held it a little longer, brought it up to my lips and kissed her fingers.
I blurted out, “I’m sorry for hurting you and how shit went down. If I get nothing else right in this life, I want you to know that I want to make it up to you.” I let her hand go, even though I didn’t want to. She reached into her wallet and handed me two twenty-dollar bills.
“Be safe out here and please know you are still a king. Promise you to never forget that. If no one has told you are something special, I am. I mean it with all my heart.” She kissed my cheek and hugged me. I knew she was another man’s w fiancé, but this moment showed I still had the keys to her heart.
“I promise I won’t, Tamiya.”
B.L.A.H DIARIES-THE SIDE EFFECTS OF HIM
I’ve played pretend most of my life as if my problems don’t exist. The truth is I have a ton of them. In my pretend world I gave myself permission to ignore them but I learned what isn’t handled will eventually explode in your face. As painful as it became to live in a lie I felt the revelation of truth could murder me. In a matter of twenty-four hours, I discovered that my husband was gay and in love with my best friend, Charles. How do you repair when it seems you will Be Broke, Lonely, Angry, & Horny forever? How do you find the shattered fragments of your soul lost in your pain? Kenny and Charles made me accept my reality after deciding to sleep at home instead of the hospital with our daughter sick with leukemia. I became complacent in a loveless marriage, and just like most women we want it to work but for me, I just wanted for once to win in love and life. -Zenobia McCall
THE ROUNDTABLE OF TRUTH ABOUT LOVE & MARRIAGE
The Illumination of Lies
I watched her sleeping angelically, her phone buzzing on the table at three in the morning. My question is, who in the fuck would be so bold to call my wife at this time of night? I reached over her shoulders, and it read three missed calls from Lula. Treasure’s cellphone screen is locked with a code, and I sling it on the table. My suspicions are eating at my gut, I look up at the ceiling, and I tap her on the shoulder. She turned over and sat up on her elbows and gave me an evil stare for waking her out of her sleep.
“Who the hell is Lula, and why is she calling you at three in the morning, and may I add several times?” I snapped.
She looks at her phone, sucks her teeth, and then rolls her eyes at me.
“Blue, it is just a client I am working with now that I have my certification. Remember, I am a life coach, and sometimes clients call even if it is late at night. Since the layoff, I had to start a side hustle. I can’t leave all the bills and the responsibilities of the household on you.”
“Oh yes, that gig you told me about with these rude motherfuckers having no understanding of respect. No damn client should be calling at three in the morning. I do not care who it is. While coaching her, teach her time management and care for our home. It would help if you focused on raising our daughter; the bills and everything you need I have covered. It is why I work so hard, so you do not have to. I kicked the covers off, my neck felt tight, and I twisted it side to side. Treasure huffed and jumped up when the phone rang again. I cut my eye at her and then the phone. She hit the ignore button and held the phone in her hand.
“I don’t say anything when William calls with an urgent matter in the dead of night with my Brother’s Keeper. When my client calls, it is being disrespectful. In this marriage, the same rules should apply, and it is not some gig.” I scuffed.
“William has never once called at three o’clock in the morning about business. The latest has been at midnight, and that was only once. Lula is calling every fucking day in the dead of night. Like I said before, your focus should be on taking care of our daughter and our household. What you are doing is playing captain save a chick to folks who do nothing but whine all day. You are babysitting, not doing anything of value. Our daughter lately is always at your parent’s house. Let me shut the fuck up before I get into your ass about several things.”
I swallowed and ran my tongue across my teeth as she headed to the bathroom to take her all-so-urgent call. She glared at me and sucked her teeth.
“Treasure, if she is your client, then why does the conversation have to be conducted in the bathroom?”
She put her hand on her hip, cocked her head to the side, and said,
“Confidentiality. I still must abide by HIPAA rules and regulations. She is in a crisis.”
“Yeah, aright. I’m telling you fuck around and see what happens.” I lit a cigarette and took a long drag.
She walked into the bathroom and slammed the door. Ten minutes later, she steps out of the bathroom, dressed in a sexy blue nightgown, and those patent leather heels I like her in, her dimples and breasts cause me to forget what agitated me in the first place. I can smell the scent of her favorite perfume Belle. We have not had made love in a month.
“I’m so sorry, and I told her never to call this late again. Can I show you, my apology?”
LOVE HAS NO WAIST SIDE
Love has No Waist Size
By Tamyara Brown
Deandre “Money” Jackson stared at Karmella and knew it was the woman he had fallen in love with ten years ago. She had gained weight but to him she was still beautiful as the day they met. Her smile still lit up the sky, Karmella’s caramel complexion glowed with the sun, her chestnut brown eyes sparkled, and the way she pulled her hair behind her ear still gave him butterflies. It was so many words he wanted to say to her but the main three was, “I miss you.”
He hadn’t spoken to her since their last visit ten years ago when he wasup in Collins Correctional. The memory repeated itself day after day while he did his bid. All the dudes and the correction officer told him to forget about Karmella and move on with his life. Deandre couldn’t forget about the love of his life she was embedded in his heart and mind. Every day at the same time he watched Karmella sit at the bus stop, open a book and read. She had the same routine. He noticed the worried look on her face, the way she bit her nails, the shaking of her leg and a tear that rolled down her cheek. What dude may have her upset her or broke her heart?
The ringing of his phone startled him Cash face showed up on the screen, his twin brother and best friend. Deandre was proud of his brother who is a defense attorney and has yet to lose a case. With all the fiasco of sleeping with their father’s wife, losing two of his fingers Cash never let it deter his dreams.
“I am looking at Karmella.” He leaned against his work truck.
“Karmella! Did you say anything to her?”
“Ah, damn man and let me guess you see her with some lame ass dude, right?”
“She’s alone and I just want to run over there and kiss her. It ain’t over for me.”
“Bruh, she left you ten years ago and yeah she sent packages and money. Face it, you two are done just accept it.”
“I want to and I made a pact to wipe her out of my mind. I tried and smashed a few broads but I find myself still thinking about the love Karmella and I shared. I’m not over her all of these years, the pain of losing her and I still love her.”
“Remember how Dad was obsessed over Onika? How he almost murdered me over screwing his wife.”
“Yes. Both of you coo coo for Onika Sin’s nasty cooch.” Cash wiggled the numbs and shook his head. The memory of his father chopping his thumb and pinky off taught him a valuable lesson never mess with a married man’s wife.
“Love is a powerful addiction and Money you’re in love. I never in my life seen you stress over no woman and Karmella changed you maybe it’s why you can’t let go.”
“How’s the gig of you running shit at the cable company?”
“Good, and you running the show at city court helping criminals get off one technicality at a time.” They both chuckled.
“You know it. I called because I want to make sure you stay on the right path.”
“I’m done with prison life and crime. I want to live good and marry Karmella.”
The love song played, and he thought of the day she left him. The whole scenario reenacted in his head.