I cannot believe tonight is the very last night of my vacation…
If it wasn’t for all this drama between Van and Gerald, I think I would’ve actually enjoyed it.
Yet, here I am…
in the best hotel Memphis has to offer
overlooking the freaking Mississippi River,
thinking about Savanna…
Why does it seem like every time I try to do something for me, things always end up going haywire? It’s like there’s always something crazy going on around here. Makes me think I should’ve went to Detroit after all, at least then I would’ve been out of reach…
A.J. was definitely ticking me off though, and he didn’t exactly convince me to come that way either.
Some days he’s a total Shakespearean, sending paragraphs of his love and affection for me longer than my arm; while others? I think he’s trying to compete with Houdini on who has the better disappearing act.
It’s crazy how you can be a mans whole world one day, and the next?
His door mat…
I’m smart though.. so I know what that means. Sometimes, I just put up with it because I want somebody here ya know?
I get tired of being so strong all the dang time. Being a counselor, confidant and not to mention, everybody’s go to girl for their problems.
What about me?
Who’s going to counsel me?
Who’s going to let me lean on them for a change?
I mean, I don’t mind holding my girls down, my family down, or my man…
but I’d be lying if I told you I felt the same was being done for me.
I mean, I get it…
To whom much is given, much is required.
But don’t the bible also say, he who refreshes others will themselves be refreshed?
God’s watch must be broken or something cause I am LONG overdo for a refreshing…
Shoot I need a refreshing, a break, a cooler, a massage, SEX!!!! (after marriage of course) and everything else, with all the drama I’ve had to deal with.
Next time I’m leaving for real.
I mean it.
I’m glad I was there for Savanna and all, but…
You know what?
I’m wasting up precious vacation time sitting here writing and thinking about somebody else’s problems.
Let me get my butt up from here.
Keke tosses the journal to the chair beside her and grabs her wine glass from off the table. She sips her wine and heads for the balcony.
“Keke, I know this weekend hasn’t been exactly what you wanted but you are going to make the best of it, okay?”
Keke plops down in the rocking chair on the balcony. She begins to rock back and forth; staring out at the boats on the water.
“Wow… this is beautiful.”
Keke sips her wine.
“This is peaceful.”
She takes another sip.
She looks at the empty chair beside her. Her eyes then go down to her phone to see a clear screen. Not one notification in sight.
“This is Boring.”
Keke laughs to herself.
“Well, this is what I need I guess.” She says kicking her feet up on the empty chair.
Aaliyah “At your best” begins to play on her laptop. She turns the volume up and begins singing along.
“Let me know. Let me know…”
“Yes Aaliyah! Girl you can do no wrong!” Keke exclaims as she sings; rocking her body back and forth.
She gets up and starts swaying her hips from side to side; moving to the beat.
“Now that’s something you don’t see everyday.”
Keke turns around startled. Her wine splatters on her white robe.
A tall dark figure steps backwards and puts one hand up. The other hand is holding a red tool box.
“I didn’t mean to scare you, you called for-“
Keke: “Maintenance.. Oh, I’m sorry.. I forgot all about that.”
“I got the call an hour ago, but I had a few other rooms to go to before yours. There wasn’t a “do not disturb sign” on the door or else I would’ve came back later–
“No you’re fine.” Keke says as her eyes roam all over the strangers body.
Sweet Baby Jesus… He is fine…Lawd have mercy…
“Miss Lady? The problem?”
Keke snaps out of it once she realizes she’s staring.
“I’m sorry, I might’ve had a little bit too much…”
She blushes and points to her wine glass. Her eyes go to floor as she leads him to the bathroom.
“Uhm…so, the toilet is doing this weird sound that goes on for like an hour after every flush. Also, the shower is really cold, so I’ve been taking baths since I’ve been here. But I would love for it to be fixed so I can have a hot shower in the morning before I go.”
“No problem. I can check on that for you.”
Keke motions her hand for him to proceed. She walks back into the bedroom, patting the back of her head.
After a few moments he calls out to her.
His head is down and he blushes as he points to the shower door. Keke immediately snatches her lace thongs off the handle.
“Oh my God.. I am so sorry.”
“It’s a habit to put the panties I’m going to wear the next day on the doorknob..”
He bites his bottom lip to keep from laughing.
“Okay, I’ll let you get back to working on the shower.”
Keke waits until she’s out of eyesight before slapping her forehead.
What the crap Keke?
What is wrong with you?
The panties are clean?
What was that?
“I’ve checked the pipes and nothing was wrong there; so I took a look at the heater, and the problem is you have the heater turned off for the hot water. In a normal hotel it would usually be one system that runs everything, but because these are individual cabin rooms they have their own water systems in each cabin. So dats’ the problem Miss, but, I just switched it on so you should have noting’ to worry about.”
And your toilet, I will have fixed up in a bit alright?”
“I’m sorry, I don’t want to be too nosey or anything.. but where are you from?”
“Why? “Do I not sound Like I’m from the States man?”
“Well, now I know you’re not from here, because no American calls The United States “the states.”
They both laugh.
“I’m from Jamaica.”
“Wow… I knew that’s what I heard in your voice, I mean, I didn’t know for sure, but…okay… well, that’s cool.”
“So, what brought you to the states?”
“My career, I’m only a year away from becoming a Pilot and that’s my ultimate dream. I do handy work from time to time, just because it comes natural. My father was big on knowing how to fix things around the house so he taught me all he know.”
I can teach you all I know too…
I’m sorry Jesus! I didn’t mean to think that!
“Yeah, so after that, my papa send me here to learn from the schools, to get my degree.”
“Remind me to thank your Papa Later.”
“I’m sorry what?” He questions with a smile.
Oh Lord.. did I just say that out loud?
Keke puts down her wine glass and shakes her head.
“I’m sorry Mr.—”
“Estafan… but you can call me Dre..”
“Yes, Mr. uhm.. Estafan Dre, but I think you should be going now, because this toilet is going to have to be fixed another day.”
Keke helps him off the floor and puts his toolbox in his hands.
“Miss Lady, I’m not even finished.”
“Oh, that’s okay, it’s been broken since I’ve been here and I think it can wait another day to get fixed. You fixed the shower, and it’s hot! Although, that’s probably in vain because a cold shower is really all I need right now, so… you probably just fixed it for nothing.”
Dre: “Wait… Can I at least get-“
Keke pushes Dre out of the hotel room and Slams the door.
Keke turns her lip to the side and points a finger at the sky; as if to declare something.
“Lord… I’m sorry…but don’t ever do that to me again!”
“That man was too fine!”
“I was NOT ready!”
“What were you thinking Jesus?”
“Sending him in here like this?”
“Can I have a warning or something next time Lord?”
Keke is startled when she hears three knocks on the door.
Oh crap, he’s still here…
What does he want?
Keke cracks the door with the hotel lock still on the top of the door.
Dre: “My hat?”
She turns to see this Jamaican looking turbo wrap on the floor by the TV. It must’ve fell off when she was pushing him through the door.
She runs to pick it up and hurries back to the door.
Keke: “I’m sorry.”
She hands him the hat through the door.
They both stare.
Dre: “Good night Miss Lady.”
As he walks off, Keke closes the door gently. She places her forehead on the back of the door and exhales.
God why am I so weird?
“Mama, I appreciate you watching C.J. this weekend. Kiss him goodnight for me please?”
“Love you too.”
Now… what am I about to do?
What would Keke do? China says rubbing her hand on her chin.
She stares at the journal Keke gave the girls at the start of their getting closer to God journey.
Hell naw… I ain’t about to spend my Saturday night being no damn Anne Frank.
China sits on her couch and begins flipping through the tv channels.
“When it comes to 7 month old Laqueesha Barrett… you ARE NOT THE FATHER!”
The mother runs off the stage crying and yelling.
“Ahhhhhh… HELP ME somebody!!! Maury I thought he was the daddy… ahhhh!”
“HELL YEAH!” China says snickering.
Let me go pop some popcorn for this!
15 minutes later…
“Now she know damn well that ain’t his baby. Why she even come on here? He blacker than dark Vader and that baby whiter than Snow White!”
Maury: “When it comes to 2 year old Sammie Brown, Dereck.. you ARE NOT THE FATHER!”
Mother runs off stage screaming. China is crying laughing.
“Whew this shit funny! And why they always run off the stage like that, knowing damn well...
China stares at her screen.
Is he serious?
China presses the ignore button.
Don’t answer it China! He’s just going to make up some lame excuse as to why he didn’t show up AGAIN.
What time is it anyway?
She looks at the clock on her microwave.
Hell nah… He just wants booty.
Don’t answer this nig**a.
China: “WHAT Charles?“
Charles: “I’m outside.”
China: “Well go away!”
Charles: “Come on girl, you know you don’t mean that.”
China: “Yes I do, I swear Charles if you come up those stairs I’m gonna—
Charles: “Let me in girl and stop playing.. you know you want it just as bad as I do.”
China begins to replay the last time Charles was here.
His fingers, his kisses; how his hands felt all over her body. Chills run down her spine just thinking about it.
China: “No….I… don’t.”
Charles: “You hesitated. Must mean I’m on to something.”
China: “You ain’t on to a god damn thing! Now stop calling me Charles!”
China hangs up the phone and peeks out her living room window. She sees Charles getting out of his car.
He always was the stubborn type.
That’s what turned her on about him in the first place.
She’d told him “no” a million times before finally letting him in. Once she did, he called 3-5 times a week, showered her with gifts and sent flowers. Not to mention that time he sent a singing telegram to her job. The women at her company never let their men back home live that one down.
Everybody was talking about how good of a man Charles was, and how China was so blessed to have him. But…soon after they went all the way, the gifts stopped. Seems like all those rumors about him had been true after all.
He was just a Playa who enjoyed the chase.
Now, she wishes she hadn’t even entertained him. Especially after finding out that, the bedroom rumor about him being hung?
Was NOT exaggerated..
Now she can’t get enough of him.
What are you gonna do?
Yes you want sex but he doesn’t deserve you!
Look at you China!
You’re supposed to be getting all sanctified during these few weeks!
Remember what Keke said, remember what Keke said..
What DID KEKE SAY?
Some about flee?
Yes, yes! That’s it!
Think of him as a big ass ugly Flea!
“Thump.. thump.. thump”
Listen to me China! You are not going to have sex with him. Okay? Just figure out why he hasn’t been answering your calls, then kick his ass out!
China opens the door. Charles smiles.
Charles: “Damn baby…What took you so long?”
China: “Uh uh… Cause you already know I’m about to light into your ass, first of all—
Charles: “Can I come in?”
China squints her eyes at him. She nods. He brushes past her. She locks the door. Before she can finish Charles places a kiss on the back of her neck.
China: “Charles, no! You stood me up a few days ago, you cancelled on me last week and you’ve rarely answered any of my phone calls this week.”
Charles: “I told you baby, I been busy working overtime at McGrills. I’m trying to do the best I can. I know I been slacking lately, and that’s why I’m here now… to make it up to you.” He leans in for another kiss.
China puts her hand up against his lips.
China: “No negro. You lying.”
Charles: “Come on China give me a break. I’m here now ain’t I?”
China: “What the hell is that supposed to mean? I’m just supposed to accept whatever scraps you feel like giving me just because you here now?
Charles: “No baby.. it just means I’m trying aight? Damn.”
Charles reaches into his pocket and pulls out a small box. China becomes still. Charles walks over to her and takes the ribbon off.
Charles: “I know I got caught up the other day but I wanted to make it up to you.“
China opens the box to a red and white diamond necklace.
China: “It’s beautiful…”
Charles: “You gonna let me do the honors baby?”
China: “Yeah…of course.”
China’s demeanor is calm. She went from 100 to 0 real quick.
Wow… I know this necklace must’ve been at least $500 dollars… maybe he really does care.
Charles places the necklace around her neck. He runs his hands down her shoulders, then back up again. He wraps his arms around her and whispers in her ear.
Charles: “I missed you.“
China turns around to face him.
China: “If you miss me then why won’t you pick up your phone? Or show me that? How’s about sticking to our plans that we make?”
“I want more than an I miss you whenever you do wrong Charles.”
“I’m worth more than that.”
Charles looks back at China and kisses her.
He puts his hands in her hair and slightly pulls it back.
Charles: “Let me give you more then.”
China looks into his dark eyes and gets lost. Her self control went out the window, and she is gone. Her pajama dress is snatched off and thrown to the floor with Charles’ jacket.
Charles stops kissing China and raises an eyebrow while glancing over at her phone.
Charles: “Who’s calling so damn late?
China: “Let me check, it could be my mom.”
China rolls from under Charles and walks over to the counter; swaying her hips from side to side as she walks. Charles know she’s teasing him and he exhales frustrated, as he stares back at China.
Aw crap…I know this is God.
What am I doing with this man?
I know He’s no good. I know it God.
Damn…she must got a censor on me or some.
Charles: “Baby, who is it?”
China turns the phone on silent and lays it facedown on the counter.
China: “It was a private number! Probably some kids playing on the phone.”
China walks slowly over to Charles and places her hand on his head. He gently kisses her stomach.
China: “Now, where were we?”
Charles: “Right here!”
Charles picks China up and carries her to the bedroom.
At The sound of the phone ringing again, Charles kicks the bedroom door closed with his foot. He doesn’t want any disturbances tonight.
I messed up.
I’m sorry girl, but I aint you.
And I damn sure ain’t Jesus.
My body needs this.
Jewel: “And then what?”
Keke: “And then I told him…the panties are clean.”
Jewel burst into laughter.
Keke: “Ughh I know right, I felt so stupid.“
Jewel: “Well, I guess its better than having dirty draws hanging up on a doorknob, cause that would’ve really been embarrassing!”
“Uhm, excuse me, Mr. Fine Jamaican man, let me just get by you so I can get my shitty draws down from off the door!”
Keke laughs and grunts at the same time.
Keke: “Ughhh… I can’t STAND YOU! See, this is why I wanted to talk to China! At least she has SOME sense.”
Jewel: “And you couldn’t reach her?”
Keke: “No. I called twice, so I figured she’d just call back when she could. Besides, her son is gone and I’m sure she’s loving the break, so I didn’t want to disturb her too much.“
Jewel: “Hmm.. That’s unlike her. China’s usually all for some gossip and a good convo. Speaking of disturb, aren’t you supposed to be resting yourself? Miss, I need a break from everything and everybody?”
Keke: “I was.. but being by myself just makes me think a lot. Too much actually.. Ya know? About God, life, music, A.J…”
Jewel: “Ugh…not this dude again. Keke, I swear, you are the toughest woman to crack sometimes but once you’re open, you’re like some soft ass goey, mooey, chewy candy bar or something.”
Keke: “A what?”
Jewel: “I don’t know, all I know is that’s what you are.”
Keke: “Screw you Jewel. I’m going back on vacation!“
Jewel: “Girl, you know I’m playing but for real though, you haven’t even seen the man in person before, so what’s all the hype?”
Keke: “I don’t know… I just feel like he could be different, that’s all.“
Jewel: “Different? How so?”
Keke: “Well he—
Jewels Mom cracks Jewels door open and peeps her head in.
Deidra: “Jewel can I talk to you for a minute?”
Jewel begrudgingly says yes.
Jewel: “Hey Keke, Ima’ call you back aight?”
Keke: “Okay girl.”
Jewel steps out into the living room to see a familiar face.
A face she is not ready to see.
Deidra: “Jewel, I know this was unexpected but hear us out. Your dad is going through some things and your little brother will be staying here with us for a while.”
Jewel: “What? Jordan can’t take care of him?”
Deidra: “He’s not in the best place to do that right now.”
Jewel: “He’s never in the best place to do anything for anyone except himself!”
“What am I supposed to do with him on top of all the other responsibilities you and Grandma throw on me whenever y’all feel like it?”
“I’m not his mama!”
Deidra: “But you are his sister!”
Jewel: “Half sister..”
Little Jerome grabs his back pack; tosses it across his shoulder and runs outside.
Deidra: “Jewel, you gotta change your ways! This little boy needs a place to stay, and he’s staying here. Do you hear me?”
Jewel: “If you already made up your mind, then why even involve me in the first place?”
Deidra throws her hands in the air and rushes to get Jerome from outside. Jerome’s cheeks are covered in tears. Jewel feels bad.
Deidra grabs her purse from off the mantle.
Jewel: “Where are you going?”
Deidra: “Out! Do you have a problem with it?”
Jewel, seeing her mother’s frustrations, know she’s crossed the line; she shrugs her shoulders.
Deidra: “If y’all are still up when I call in a couple of hours I’ll bring y’all back some Burgers from the Bar.”
Deidra grabs her keys from off the hook at the front door and heads out. Jewel closes the door behind her.
She turns to face her little brother.
Jewel: “So, I guess it’s just you and me Huh?”
Jerome: “I guess it is..” Jerome says staring at the floor.
He wipes his tears with his polo cardigan.
Jewel: “You want to watch cartoons or some?”
Jerome: “I like avatar.”
Jewel: “The last air bender?”
Jewel: “Me too.”
Jewel walks over and grabs his backpack from his hands.
Jewel: ” Do you know how long you gonna be staying with us?”
Jerome: “No. I don’t. Daddy just said it’s too much for him to take care of me right now.“
Jewel: “Hmm. That ain’t nothing new.”
Jewel: “It ain’t much in there to eat, but we got some Frosted Flakes and noodles, or I could make you a peanut butter and jelly?”
Jerome: “I’ll take some noodles…with cheese!” “please…” Jerome says trying not to sound too excited.
Jewel smirks. She likes cheese in her noodles too. She turns Netflix on and finds Avatar-The Last Airbender. Jerome plops down on the sofa with a big smile.
Jewel: “I apologize for what I said earlier, I didn’t mean it, my mama just caught me off guard. Besides, it’s not you I’m mad at…it’s dad.”
“And I don’t want to have anything to do with him”
“I’m sorry for taking it out on you.”
Jerome: “It’s okay Jewel. I won’t be here long, dad said he’s going to get me as soon as he can.”
Jewel rolls her eyes.
Just the thought of how her dad left her and her mom and started a whole new family with another woman made her boil.
Jessica and Jerome.
The children he actually loved and took care of.
Look at them now.
Jessica, my younger sister by three years is on drugs roaming the streets, (taking after Her mother) no doubt. And Jerome?
Just look at him.
Boy needs a fresh haircut and is slurping up noodles faster than a child from a third world country.
Looks like all his investments into his perfect little bi-racial family went to Hell if you ask me.
Jewel passes Jerome a slice of cheese. He tosses the cheese on his noodles and continues to slurp them up.
Jewel: “Dang boy… you good?”
Jerome smiles and shakes his head.
Jerome: “Yes, thank you. I’m just hungry.”
Jewel: “Aight, well.. let me know if you need anything.
Jerome continues to slurp noodles and watch TV. Jewel walks into her room and shuts her bedroom door.
She falls back on her bed. Her eyes on the ceiling.
Jewel: “F my life…. just f it…”
What are you doing God?
Do you even care what I think? Or how I feel?
I mean dang…
This house is already crowded enough. Now here we go again, adding another person in the Mix…
Man…. this is too much…
Savannas eyes open as her phone stops ringing.
22 missed calls. 5 voicemails.
She presses play on her cell. She slowly raises up from the bed.
Her voicemail begins to play from her Bluetooth speaker. She slides in Gerald’s house shoes. She takes his robe and wraps herself in it as she walks around their apartment.
China: “Hey Van this is China, just checking on you. Girl, call me back—
Keke: “Van… I haven’t heard from you since the restaurant, please call me. I just want to know you’re okay, please… I—
Tracy: Sweetie I know it’s hard for you right now, but please call me. Me and your father are worried.—
Savanna places her cell phone on the bar area of their apartment.
Tears are flowing from her eyes like waterfalls.
She sees a picture of Gerald and her hugging on the mantle by the fireplace. She walks over to it and grabs it. She presses the frame against her heart and holds it tightly.
Gerald calls out from behind.
Her sobbing made it hard to hear the door opening when Gerald entered.
Savanna doesn’t turn around. She just stands in the living room, holding their picture.
Gerald: “Van…it’s Sunday.”
Savanna continues to cry with her back towards Gerald.
Gerald: “Van, I don’t want to make this uncomfortable, or cause you… or me, any more pain than I already have…
Savanna doesnt respond.
Gerald: “I’ll be quick.”
Gerald goes into the bedroom with two big suitcases and begins to pack.
A few moments goes by and Savanna stands in the doorway of their once Passion filled bedroom.
Gerald is hesitant to look up but he does anyway.
Savanna’s face is flushed red. Her eyes are red and her perfect hair buns have fallen.
Gerald sees that she’s wearing his robe. He feels horrible, but he knows he has to stay focused. His head goes back down to his suitcases and he continues to pack.
Savanna: “Gerald look at me Damnit!”
A shocked Gerald stares back at Van. He has never heard her speak this way before. He can’t believe his ears.
“What Van?” Gerald questions with a raised voice.
Savanna: “Do you remember this picture?”
Gerald doesn’t want to look at it. It’ll only make him more sad. He continues to pack; moving quickly around the room to get all his belongings.
Savanna: “Damnit Gerald… we were supposed to do it all together. I thought I was going to be your wife—
Gerald: “I CANT MARRY SOMEONE I DONT KNOW VAN!”
Savanna is taken back by his shouts. Gerald calms his voice.
Gerald: “Van, we’ve been through this.“
“Time and time again.“
“Pretending like we have chemistry, pretending like you know what I want and that you’re going to give that to me, pretending like you really love me for me.”
“I’m tired of all the fake stuff Van, I need someone who’s going to have my back out here!
And I damn sure need someone who’s not afraid to be themselves!”
“I’m done pretending!“
“SO TO HELL WITH THAT PICTURE!“
Savanna gets angry and throws the picture frame on the floor, glass shatters everywhere. She runs to Gerald screaming as she begins to hit his back.
Gerald turns to her and grabs her arms. He looks her in her eyes. A part of him can’t believe she’s behaving this way. He’s never seen her this emotional.
Gerald: “In the two years we’ve been together, this is the most emotion I’ve gotten out of you to date. Such a shame that it took this for me to see it.”
Savanna: “F*** you Gerald! I hate you!”
Gerald: “So we’re cursing each other out now?”
Gerald throws her arms back and continues to pack. Savanna hits him on his back again.
Savanna: “Baby, why are you doing this to me? To us?”
Gerald glances at the broken picture on the ground. He and Savanna looked so happy.
She wraps her arms tighter around his back and begs.
Gerald: “Let me go Van.”
Savanna: “Gerald please…. please baby.”
Savanna gets on top of the bed and moves his suitcase out of the way. She begins to kiss Gerald passionately. She takes Gerald’s hands and places them on her butt.
Gerald: “Van.. stop.. I can’t do this.“
Savanna: “Please Gerald… please, one more time. Baby, I can’t live without you.. please. Don’t leave.”
Gerald kisses her back. But knows he shouldn’t. At the thought of her being more hurt, he grabs her wrists and throws her off him.
Gerald: “Van, Stop!“
Gerald’s face is cold. He pulls his suitcase back over and starts packing again.
Savanna is crushed.
The same eyes that use to be filled with so much warmth; cold.
The same arms that use to hold her at night; now rejecting her.
And the very same lips that use to kiss her and whisper sweet nothings in her ear, are now saying words she never thought she’d hear.
A few moments later Gerald comes out of the room carrying his two suitcases.
Savanna can no longer look at him.
She keeps her eyes on the TV.
She rocks back and forth as tears soak Gerald’s Robe.
Gerald looks away.
Gerald: “I just want to let you know. You never had to be perfect for me to love you…
“I would’ve gladly taken you just as you were…”
“Even how you are right now.“
“Good bye Savanna.”
As Gerald’s footsteps fade Savanna gets more and more emotional with each step. Once the door closes she loses it.
She screams out. A loud scream as if she was giving birth. Then a wail.
One painful sound after another.
Her body begins to tremble. She slides off the couch onto the floor and continues to cry.
A neighbor knocks on the door.
“Is everything alright in there?”
Savanna continues to cry.
She can no longer contain her hurt..
She lets it all out…
she holds nothing back.
The pain she feels in her heart, she wouldn’t wish on anyone.
“Oh my God.”
“Lord help me….
“Kill me God..“
Savanna continues to wail and cry Gerald’s name until she falls asleep.
(Based on True Stories)
Alright y’all, you’ve just read Episode Three of “Thoughts of a Single Black Woman!”
If you haven’t read the first two episodes (which I hope you have) here’s the link:
I will see you ladies soon!
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