Practice What You Preach

Carrie laid in the bed for a few moments staring up at the ceiling. Her mind was racing heavily. She hadn’t told James about Philip. His prison sentence made his existence null and void. She thought there’d never be a day where she’d have to bring him up. Talk about life throwing curve balls. She had to figure out a way to tell him everything.  She finally sat up on the bed. She took deep breaths to calm her nerves. She needed to be relaxed so she could help James tend to Jr. Just as she was about to get up from the bed, James entered the room. She felt her knees go weak and she collapsed back down on the bed. “Lord I hope he wasn’t eaves dropping at the door.” she thought to herself. She knew James had a habit of eaves dropping on her conversations and then bringing them up in later arguments. She hated it. “Why can’t you respect my privacy? You always complaining about me acting funny when I get on the phone, this is why! You always in my business.”she hissed. James knew she hated it, but he didn’t care. After all he’s put her through, he was just trying to make sure she wasn’t planning any revenge tactics. 

She noticed her husband’s rigid demeanor. She swallowed hard. She knew he had been listening at the door. “So, where do you want me to start?” she asked. “You can start by telling me why your sister felt so comfortable giving our address out to someone in prison. Secondly, who is Philip? Thirdly, what does she have to fix?” he demanded. Carried got up and reached for her husbands hand. “Where’s Jr.?” she asked. “He’s downstairs watching television.” he replied. She motioned for him to lay on his stomach on the bed. He didn’t have a shirt on, so this made it easier for her. She climbed on his back and made herself comfortable. She reached for the baby oil she kept on the night stand. “I hope you don’t have anywhere to be, because this is going to be a long story.” she stated. “I’m all ears.” he countered. She proceeded to massage his back while telling the story behind her and Philip’s relationship. 

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A few moments later, James attempted to get up from the bed. Carrie quickly hopped off of him. “Carrie at what point were you going to inform me that your ex-boyfriend is a murdering drug dealer? At what point were you going to make it a point to even inform me of that?” he boomed. “James, I just told you, I didn’t think it was even necessary. I was at the trials. The judge handed him a sentence of 45 years to life. That was it for me. That chapter of my life closed. There was no need to bring that extra baggage with me.” she explained. “Carrie I get all that, but you don’t think this man is fool enough to try something? Like truth be told, I’m a little concerned.” he stated. She gave him a peculiar look. Of all the people in the world, she never thought her macho man husband would be concerned. “Don’t look at me like that. I said concerned, not scared. I have a family that I am trying to keep together. I know I haven’t been the best husband, but I’ve been doing a damn good job of reconciling. I’ll be damned if I let some prison punk come take that away from me.” he boomed. “No one is taking anything away from you.” she assured. She loved it when her husband talked like this. It gave her a feeling of security.  It also turned her own. His rugged demeanor was her biggest weakness. It made her body succumb to his every need. If it wasn’t for Jr. being downstairs, she’d have made passionate love to him right then and there.

Just as they emerged from the bedroom, they were met with the sound of the doorbell. “Now who is it?” Carrie asked, annoyed. “I have no idea. I’m not expecting anyone.” James said as he made his way downstairs. He walked over to the door and peeped through the peephole. “Well, who is it?” Carrie asked impatiently. “It’s the neighbor.” James whispered. Both looked at each other. They’ve been in their house for almost three years now and not once has the neighbors ever knocked on their door. “Open up and see what she wants.” Carrie stated. He opened the door and was horrified at the site before him. There stood his neighbor bloodied and bruised as if she had just been in World War II. They both gasped. “Oh my God! Joanne what happened to you?” Carrie asked. “It’s David. He’s been drinking again.” she stated through whimpers. She motioned for her to come inside. “Hey Jr. honey, go with your daddy. I’ll be up in a minute.” she said. Jr. ran over to his father and they both went up the stairs and disappeared into the bedroom. “My Lord Joanne. You are nobody’s punching bag. How long has this been going on?” Carrie asked. “It started six months ago when he got laid off. He drinks all day. He yells all day. It’s frightening Carrie. I’m afraid for my children.” she cried. “Joanne you have to get out of that situation. This is not healthy for you, nor the kids. By the way, where are the children?” “I sent them to my mom’s house.” “Alright, thank heaven. Sweetie you can’t live like this.” “I know. I’m just not sure how to leave.” “Well honey, you need to find a way. This is only going to get worse. I hate to see them dragging you out in a body bag.” Carrie stated. She watched as Joanne broke down in tears. She walked over and gave her a warm washcloth and consoled her. “I’m sorry to just barge in here on you all like this. I had nowhere else to turn.” Joanne cried. “Oh, girl it is alright. Any time you want to talk, I’m here. Let’s go out back and sip some wine, to relax you.” Carrie suggested. Joanne let out a half smile and followed Carrie out back.

Just as she was gathering the wine glasses from the kitchen, there was loud banging at the door. “Joanne you in there! Get out here now!” David shouted. Carrie looked over and noticed a frightened Joanne standing in the doorway. He continued banging on the door. “Go out back, I’ll be there in a minute.” she told Joanne. She sat the wine glasses down on the counter. Before she could get to the door, James emerged from the bedroom with his gun by his side. “Carrie what is going on down here?” he boomed. Just as she was about to tell him, the banging continued. “Who the hell is that?” “That is David. He’s trying to get Joanne.” “Where is she?” “Out back on the lanai. ” she stated, pointing to open glass door. James rushed down the stairs to open the door. “Aye homeboy, you are going to have to stop banging on my door like that. I have child in here!” he shouted. “Where is my wife? I need her home now!” David demanded. “First of all you are going to calm down before you come up in here!” James demanded. David looked at James and then noticed the gun in his hand. “I don’t want any trouble, I just want to speak to my wife.” David said, in a low tone. Carrie looked back and noticed Joanne coming from the patio. “It’s alright David. I’m coming.” she stated. Carrie watched as Joanne made her way up to the front to greet her husband. “Joanne are you going to be alright?” Carrie asked. “Yes, I’ll be fine.” she mumbled. With that, the two of them exited the house. James and Carrie watched helplessly. Who knows what kind of destruction was unfolding in their house. “All I can do is pray that God sends her an angel in the midst of her turmoil.” Carrie stated. With that, she turned around and went upstairs.

 

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Gettin’ It How You Live

Yesterday after we left the park, I thought I had an epiphany. I almost felt as if I was falling in love with Tyrin. When he took me back to my car, I almost let those words slip out. If it wasn’t for his phone ringing and snapping me back to reality, I probably would have caved in. I was laying down in my bed staring up at the ceiling. It had been a rough night. I tossed and turned, all the while wondering was he feeling the same way. I tried to convince myself that it was all in my head and I was just being naïve. I tried so hard not to think about him. It was to no avail. My phone buzzed at three a.m. letting me know I had received a text message. I checked my phone and to my surprise it was Tyrin. He was letting me know he was thinking of me and wouldn’t be able to sleep until he got that off his chest. I smiled and put my phone back down. I know, you’re probably wondering why I didn’t reply. Well, besides the obvious, I was really trying to shake this feeling. It’s not healthy being in love or falling in love with a married man. This was not a feeling I was trying to get accustomed to. Nope, I wanted my love life to be transparent. I didn’t want anything clouding or blocking that area. That’s the only way I can figure out what’s best for me.

I glanced over and looked at the clock. It was only six thirty. I didn’t have to be to work for another two hours. I tried my best to roll over and go back to sleep. That idea got shot to hell when my phone rang. “UGH! Who is this!” I growled as I turned over to see who was calling me. It was my mom. I had no choice but to answer. My mother was so demanding. If she needed you or needed something done, she wanted it done right then and there. She expected you to drop everything and run to her beck and call. I answered trying not to sound annoyed, “Hello.” “Laresse!” she shouted. I grabbed my head as I flopped back down on the pillow. “Laresse!” she continued. “I need you to get up honey! It’s your father. He has been testing my last nerves this morning!” My mom and dad have been married for the last 23 years. I’m the youngest of three siblings. My two older sisters moved on the other side of the world, and I decided to stay closer to home. I was slowly starting to regret that choice. Every time my dad decided he wanted to do something, she had a hissy fit. She expected him to be all about her. I’d be lying if I said me and mom’s relationship wasn’t strained. I’d be 31 years old next month and she still treated me like I was twelve. I absolutely despised it. I tried to talk in a low tone hoping she’d calm down. “Ma, what’s the problem?” I asked. My hint was not received. She continued yelling. “This man is trying to go to breakfast with his friend Randy.” she stated. “Yea, so?” I replied nonchalantly. “Yea, so?” she replied mocking me. “I mean, yes ma. What’s wrong with that? Dad and Randy have been friends for years. You act as if this is new to you.” I explained. “I don’t even know why I called you. You have always taken his side. I wanted to spend time with him today!” she shouted. “I’m not even real sure why I answered.” I thought to myself. Randy was my dad’s best friend from college. They have been like Fred and Barney. Two peas in a pod. My mom can be so selfish at times. “Mom, don’t you think you are overreacting? It’s just breakfast. You act like he said he was divorcing you and moving to China!” I countered. “He might as well. He’s been going to breakfast with Randy all week. What about me? I want to go to breakfast!” she cried. “Ma, alright listen. It is too early in the morning for this. I am not sure what you are carrying on about. If I know you, you probably got up and cooked. Why don’t you try finding things to do by yourself. You know, things like going to a day spa, getting a manicure or pedicure, shopping, things of that nature.” I suggested. She was not trying to hear it. “I want to be with my husband and he doesn’t seem to understand that.” she spat. “Neither do I.”  I mumbled. “What did you say Laresse?” “Nothing ma. Listen I have to go. I have to get ready for work. I’ll talk to you later.” I said. I took the phone from my ear to press the end call button. I looked at the clock and let out an exasperated sigh. “Great, now I have an hour to get ready for work. Lord Jesus that woman will drive a schizophrenic person insane and I’m not even sure that’s possible.” I said to no one in particular. I put my phone on the charge, got out of bed and started to get ready for work. That phone call alone told me this was going to be a long day.

While on my way to work, I was listening to the Breakfast Club. It consist of Dj Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamange tha God. I think the show is very hilarious and informative at the same time. There’s this segment called ask Yee. Basically, people call in and ask for her advice on various topics, whether it’s relationship advice, financial or even work related. She’s there to offer whatever advice she can. This morning a young lady called in and wanted advice on what to do about her chaotic marriage. She stated that her and husband had been married for five years and that they have five beautiful children together. She then goes on to say that she is still in love with her ex and that two of the five children she has belongs to her ex and her husband doesn’t know. This disturbed me. I can’t understand how people can be so cruel and self-centered. She has this man thinking he’s raising five of his own flesh and blood children and he is unaware that two of them are not even his. I was questioning the other three. Like was she even sure the other three belonged to him? It’s crazy how people are only about what makes them happy. She was sitting on the phone trying to explain how her actions were weighing heavily on her heart and she was unsure of what to do. My first hope for her was that her husband wasn’t listening to this show. If he was, she wouldn’t have to worry about telling him anything. He’s already aware. My second hope for her was that her ex didn’t fly off the cuff and get an eager hair and go tell her husband himself. That could go one of two ways. No, I take that back. That could go several ways. He tells the husband, the husband lashes out at the wife, husband in jail. He tells the husband, the husband lashes out at him, the husband in jail. He tells the husband, the husband attempts to lash out at him, in self defense, he protects himself, he ends up in jail. But, where does that leave the children in all of this? Either way, I hope her decision is a wise one. At the end of the day, there’s children involved who need all three of their parents.

When I arrived at work, I was relieved to see Tyrin’s parking space was empty. That meant he hadn’t arrived yet. I gathered all my belongings and exited my car. Just as I was about to make my way up the sidewalk to the entrance, I saw Sharon arriving to work. I stopped and waited for her. Before finding a parking space she rolled down her window and shouted “Lai! Wait for me!” I nodded my head to let her know I acknowledge her request. As I was waiting for her to find a parking space, my phone buzzed. I found the nearest bench to place my things down so I could get to my phone. I dug in my purse and pulled it out. I tapped the screen twice to light the screen up to see who it was. I was taken aback by the name that showed up on my screen. It was Jordan, a guy I met a few months ago. We had some crazy nights. Talk about a man who knows how to work you and the bed! He was all that and a bag of chips. That all came to an abrupt end when his baby mamma popped back into the picture demanding that they try to work their relationship out. Of course, I gave him a piece of my mind and called him everything but a child of God. We haven’t spoken since. I clicked on the message icon to read what it said. He was asking could we meet for lunch around 2 p.m. this afternoon. Now, I’d be wrong if I didn’t say I felt like a rebound. I wasn’t sure whether to be mad and curse him out, or agree to meet for lunch just to hear whatever rhetoric he was going to say. This is the part where I should ignore the urge to give in to my pettiness, but this time I couldn’t help it. I agreed to meet him for lunch, only because I know he was going to pay for it. He then offered to come pick me up from work. I politely declined. I was not about to get stuck with him. I wanted to be able to jet out of there on the first train smoking. I let him know I’d meet him there and that he had to make this lunch quick because I had a meeting at three. Sometimes I could write a manual on how to lie to men just to get rid of them. I had no such meeting, or at least I don’t think I did. Either way, I wasn’t trying to get to know him again. I wasn’t impressed. Just as I slipped my phone back into my phone, Sharon was walking up the sidewalk. “Whew! Girl I’m glad you waited for me. I have got to fill you in on the drama that took place yesterday after you and boss man left.” she stated. She always knew how to brighten my day. I loved the office drama that went on around here. It was own personal version of Love and Hip Hop. “Girl, what happened?” I asked, with all my attention on her. She motioned for me to follow her into the building. “Girl, come on. We’re going to need a coffee break for this one.” she replied. Anytime she suggested a coffee break, I knew this was about to be an epic drama tale. I couldn’t wait for that coffee break. I lived for my daily soap opera office drama. Why else do we get office jobs in Fortune 500 companies?10-Minion-Quotes-About-Work-6034-8

Eternity: Life on The Outside

 

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It’s been two weeks since I was released from that halfway house. Three years of living there is enough to make my worse enemy succumb. It was so lovely to smell some fresh air. I had been in there so long, I almost forgot what freedom felt like. No more being monitored, told what to do, when to do, how to do it. No more people rummaging through our things. Most of all, I was finally able to put Sierra to rest. Although I missed my daughter so much, I know this is not the way she wants me to remember her. The first thing I did when I got out was visit her burial site. I stayed their all day laughing and crying with her. I was finally able to say goodbye. I let her know she would never be forgotten. I let her know she had a little brother on the way. During the last few weeks of my stent there, I found out I was having a boy. I overjoyed. I was hoping for another girl, but, I was just as grateful. I felt like Jesus was giving me another chance. I promised I wouldn’t let him down.

I rolled out of bed and grabbed my robe off the bedpost. I’d been staying in an apartment not to far from the doctor’s office. This made it easier for me to get to and from my appointments. I went downstairs to get the daily paper that was left on the porch. When I got out, the doctor who had been monitoring my well-being, hooked me up with a social worker. I was a little apprehensive at first, but, eventually warmed up to the idea. I asked her was she going to take my baby. She assured me that would not happen as long as I stayed clean, got a job and provided a stable living environment for the child. She was a nice lady. She showed me all the ropes of the system. I was able to get an apartment with little to no rent. I got enough food stamps to feed a family of five. All of my utilities were no more than $20 a month. She even got me a monthly welfare check. It wasn’t much, but I wasn’t complaining. Some money is better than no money. 

I attempted to pick the paper up off the porch, but was met with severe pain. I slowly lifted myself up, thinking the baby wasn’t comfortable. I was only in my second trimester. I was a petite woman so it didn’t take me long to start showing. Another sharp pain shot up through my back. I balled over. I waited for the pain to subside before going in the house and trying to call the doctor. Just as I reached the phone, another pain shot up my back. I cried out. The pain was to unbearable. I quickly dialed the number. The nurse answered on the first ring “Dr. Roland’s office, how may I help you?” “Yes, this is Eternity, Eternity Jackson. I’m having pains that won’t go away.” I explained. Just as I was about to explain the severity of my pains, another one shot through my back. I screeched in the phone. “Oh my God, ma’am are you able to make it to the hospital?” she asked, her voice filled with concern. “No, I have no car. Please send help. The room is spinning.” I replied just before I collapsed on the floor.

When I woke up, the nurse was standing over me reading my blood pressure chart. “Where am I?” I asked. “Oh, hello Ms. Jackson. You’re in the hospital. Your doctor’s office called the ambulance.” she explained. “What happened? What about my baby?” I asked. “You collapsed from dehydration. Your baby is fine. We would like to keep you overnight to monitor you fluid levels.” she informed me. With that I let out deep sigh of relief. After everything I’ve been through, the last thing I wanted was for me to lose this baby. I stopped caring long time ago that I had no idea who his father was. Things happen for a reason. I was just ready to meet my little man.

Gettin’ It How You Live

I know you’re probably wondering if me an Mr. Briggs slept together when we left the office to go on an alleged lunch date. If you think we did, you’d be very wrong. I told you, never assume anything. You’d just look like the first three letters at the beginning of that word. We went to lunch. He took me to this burger place not to far from his place. I was a little skeptical about going at first because of how close it was to his house. You know how men play innocent and try to act as if there are no hidden agendas. At any rate, I went along with it. I tried to hide my skepticism as best as I could. After we ate, I reminded him of a meeting that he was scheduled to attend when we got back. Do you know he had the audacity to tell me “Lai, don’t worry about that meeting. I’ve already sent Justine to cover for me.” I glared at him. Justine was his secretary, or should I say his puppet. It was almost disgusting how much of a kiss-up she was. If he told her to jump off the Grand Canyon, she’s probably do it. Sister girl had it bad for him. We’d be in the break room together, and out of nowhere she’d just start professing her love for him. She’d say things like “One day, he’s going to notice me. He’s going to honor me for all the hard work and dedication I put forth.” I’d just sit there and listen. I mean how desperate can a person be? I mean, she may as well leave her panties on his desk with a bow on them. I said to myself, “No wonder he’s always avoiding her.”

“”Baby why are you looking at me like that?” he asked. “I knew you had some a reason for coming over here!” I bellowed. He gave me a peculiar look. “Don’t look at me as if you have no clue what I’m talking about!” I hissed. “Baby, I’m not sure what you mean, but, I came over here because this is my favorite burger place. I meant no harm.” he assured me. I sat back in my chair. The sincerity in his voice made me question my assumption. Here I am always telling people not to assume things, and that is exactly what I was doing. I softened my demeanor a bit. I felt exactly like the first three letters of that word. I felt a wave of heat rush through my body. “I’d never disrespect you like that. You mean more to me than any mid day quickie.” he continued. Alright, see this is the part where I wish men didn’t have mouths. Why did he have to ruin this moment? A mid day quickie? Really? That’s where he was going with this? I guess he could tell by my demeanor that he had just ruined an innocent moment. Before I could tear into him, he said “That didn’t come out right. I didn’t mean it that way. I mean sex is not important to me. Just time spent with you is enough for me.” Alright, I’ll give him that. He redeemed himself. He still wasn’t off the hook though. All of that sounds so sweet and tempting, however, I am not ignoring the fact that he is married. So what if he’s telling me he no longer wants to be with her. Who’s to say that he won’t have a change of heart one day? Who’s to say he won’t wake up one morning and decide to work this out and patch up his marriage with her? Then where does that leave me? Left out in the cold with a broken heart? Confused trying to pick up the pieces of my life and figure out where I went wrong? No thank you! I am not interested in that! There are too many single men walking the face of this earth to be stressed over someone else’s husband.

When we got out to the car, he came around on my side and opened the door. I got in and watched as he rushed around to the driver side. In those few seconds, I almost forgot I was a woman with morals. Watching his pants moving up and down from his jogging motion sent a tingle up my spine. This man was purely the work of God. When he got in, I couldn’t help but stare at him. He was gorgeous. I mean absolutely stunning. I was deep in a daze, that I hadn’t noticed him staring back at me. It wasn’t until he leaned in and kissed me that I came out of my trance. “Tyrin what are you doing?” I shouted, snatch my lips away from his. “Giving you what you asked.” he countered. I felt my face turn red. Was he reading my mind? How’d he know I wanted him to kiss me like that? I quickly turned away from him. I diverted my eyes to the floor. “Why do you keep avoiding me? I don’t want to hurt you.” “I never said you did. I don’t do married men and you know that!” I cried. He let out an exasperated sigh, “I’m not sure what more else I can do to make you understand that I love you. I really do. I know I started this thing off wrong. I should have told you up front about my marital status. I just figured it would never come up. I know now that that was a stupid idea. Lai, I’m sorry. I really am.” I’d be lying if I didn’t say my eyes were filled with tears. I tried desperately to wipe them away before he noticed. It was no use. A single tear landed on my powder blue clutch. He lifted my head up forcing me to face him. I tried to force a smile. “Stop crying. I didn’t mean to hurt you.” he reassured me. If I wasn’t still trying to stand true to my morality, this would be the perfect time for some make up sex. I love make up sex. It’s so much more intense and passionate. I quickly erased that visual from my mind. As long as another woman bore his last name, my cookie jar was sealed. It would take the act of God for him to pry the top of it.

A few moments later, we arrived at a secluded park. The view was breath taking. The water was had hue of blue from the painted bottom. The trees provided just enough shade to keep the winds cool. There was this big statue of a woman holding a scroll in the air. It really complimented the park. When I opened the door, I noticed the faint smell of jasmine. “Oh my God. I love that plant.” I beamed. “What plant?” he asked. “Jasmine. It’s such a soft scent.” I replied. I glanced over in his direction and noticed he was attempting to locate the direction of the scent. “It’s over there.” he said while pointing towards the bird feeder. There was pretty little bluebird resting on the branch above it. I rushed over towards it and pulled out my phone to get a picture. This park was so serene. The tranquility was so relaxing. I felt like a little girl in a candy store. Everything was just beautiful. “How’d you find this place?” I asked. “I used to come here all the time when I was kid. It looked nothing like this. It was run down, all the homeless people used to come here.” “I would have never found this place.” I replied. He moved in closer and put his arms around my waist. I thought about pushing away, but decided against it. Him standing behind me was calming. I liked this feeling. It was different. It was more intense. It was deeper. We found a tree to sit up under. He sat down first and I sat in between his legs and rested my head on his shoulder. The wind tickled our skin. It was nice to get out and enjoy nature every once in a while. It’s one of life’s greatest gifts. Not only does it gives you peace of mind, but it stimulates you in ways you couldn’t imagine. We wallowed in this moment as if it was our last.

 

Stay tuned for the next chapter…..

Gettin’ It How You Live

Every morning when I get to work, I make a habit of stopping by the break room and grabbing my morning coffee and bagel with strawberry cream cheese. I stop by Sharon’s desk and have our usual morning gossip talks. She’d fill me in on all the latest drama going on around the office. You know, who’s sleeping with who, who’s about to get fired, who’s boyfriend/girlfriend called the office several times a day, etc. It was almost like a routine for me. This particular morning, she informed me that we’d be getting a new employee to take over Dana’s position. Dana was the Administrative Assistant for my boss. She was fired a few weeks ago for inappropriate workplace behavior. Bump it, I’m not going to sugar coat, sister girl got caught getting it on with the janitor in the downstairs restroom. Two of our employees were on their way to lunch and made pit stop in the ladies room downstairs. They walked in on those two with their pants down; or, should I say his pants down and her skirt up. I can only imagine the level of embarrassment they endured in such a compromising position. Needless to say, I had to be the one to fire her. I was not happy about it. Although she was caught being inappropriate at work, she was by far, one of the best employees we had. She was prompt, accurate and I never had to tell her to do anything twice. It saddened me to have to do that. I saw the shame and hurt in her eyes. It almost made me tear up; however, I couldn’t let my sympathy for her cloud my judgment and ability to my job effectively. It had been almost three months since that fiasco happened and we were in desperate need of some help. When Sharon told me this, I was elated. Not only because we were getting some help, but it actually gave me something to do besides sitting in meetings looking at my boss all day. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job as an Executive Chief Financial Advisor, I just hated those meetings. They all sound redundant. The same rhetoric over and over again. It’s draining. We’d sit there all day talking about this or that and still have nothing accomplished. I felt like I was going in circles. I had customers whom I needed to consult with and haven’t been able to because I had to take on two roles. Talk about exhausting! Thank you Lord for strength and guidance, because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. That little tidbit of news was like the calm in the middle of a storm.

When I got to my desk, I was not surprised by the stack of paper wore strewn about. I was just curious to know what it was. I sat my stuff down and started rummaging through the stack. I instantly felt an anxiety attack coming on. This was a list of all the problem employees and the many merits they’ve received over the past six months. I work at a financial firm and we have a high turnover rate. Don’t get me wrong, the job is as easy as they come. I mean it is mostly data entry, answering customer inquiries via emails and making sure they get a timely response. In reviewing these merits, I have quite a bit of people who have been written up for untimely responses, rude response, not responding at all, or just not even reading the inquiry. It doesn’t take a lot of work to open an email read, the customer concern or question and use the resources provided to give the customer and answer. Of course, there’s a few discipline issues such as excessive tardiness, absences, abuse of PTO or sick time and things like that in there that has to be addressed. I let out a deep sigh and proceeded to place the merits in alphabetical order so I could get this done efficiently. Just as I was finishing up the first stack, my boss walked out of his office “Oh Laresse, you’re here. Just the person I’ve been looking for. I need you to assist me in today’s meeting about the ROTH accounts.” “Mr. Briggs, I won’t be able to assist you today. Apparently, I have some firing to do.” I replied while hinting at all the paperwork on my desk. “Where’d all this come from?” he questioned. “I’m not sure. When I arrived this morning, they were thrown, and I do mean thrown on my desk.” I stated. He walked around my desk and proceeded to sift through all the papers. By his reaction, I could tell he was just as baffled. “Here, let me take these. You should not be doing this. I didn’t authorize you do to anything of this magnitude. Why are there so many merits in here? They appear to be from the same people over and over again.” he scoffed. “Mr. Briggs, I thought you were the one who put these on my desk. I wish I would have known that! I’ve been sitting here for the past 45 minutes organizing these papers and scheduling meetings with you to get this stuff taken care of.” I replied. “You’ve scheduled meeting with me?” “Yes, Mr. Briggs. Seven to be exact. All within thirty minute intervals, consecutively.” I informed him. He let out an exasperated sigh. “Alright, we will handle this first stack since the meetings are already on my calendar. This second batch is going to Mitchell who should have been handling these in the first place. By the way, where is he?” “I’m not sure. I haven’t seen him all morning.” He shook his head in annoyance. “This is getting ridiculous.” he mumbled. “Sharon just informed me that we are getting a replacement for Dana?” I asked, trying not to sound as if I already knew. “Yes, we are. He doesn’t start until next week.” “Well, that’s a good thing. At least it will give us some help.” I replied trying to sound optimistic. My enthusiasm was not received. “Help, yea right.” he scoffed. “The only help we will have is with Jesus. You’re going to be tasked with training him on Dana’s position. I can’t even depend on Mitchell be on time, let alone do simple tasks such as firing problem employees. Pretty soon, we’re going to be looking for a replacement for him.” he continued. I sat back in silence. Although he was yelling, I didn’t take it personal. I knew that his frustrations had nothing to do with me. After a few moments of awkward silence, I suggested we take a break and walk outside to get some fresh air. His demeanor seemed to perk up a bit. “That sounds like a great idea. Maybe some fresh air will help me sort out this dilemma I have.” I grabbed my phone and badge, and waited as he rushed down the hall to grab his badge and lock his office.

After returning from our break, we headed back to his office to prepare for employee one on one meetings. “Now Mr. Briggs, remember we have to keep these short if you still want me to assist you in the meeting this afternoon.” I reminded him. Mr. Briggs had this habit of giving the employees long drawn out lectures on why he had to make the decision to let them go. He’d drill them on the importance of life choices and making decisions not just for yourself, but for others that depend on you. Although they were very informative, they were not necessary. These people are grown! We are not running a junior high school. All of those life choice lessons and lectures should have been comprehended in high school. If they don’t have it by now, they aren’t going to get it. Point blank, plain and simple. “I know Laresse, I just want to make sure they understand that every decision has a consequence.” “Mr. Briggs, you are the Director of a Fortune 500 company, not a Principal at a Senior high school. We have no time to lecture, baby, nor teach grown people about how to be on time to work. Excuse my frankness, but, they learn company policy on day one. They’ll be alright. They figured out how to get this job, they can figure out how to get another.” I replied. If it was one thing I’d change about my boss, it would be his coaching mentality. He ran this company as if he was running a school house. I had to coerce him into changing his ways. He cared too much. Not that there was anything wrong with that. I just feel like there’s a time and a place to care. Work is not a place where I care too much. In all truthfulness, many of these people he cared so much about wouldn’t hesitate to overthrow him just to take his position. The way I see it, corporate America is a dog eat dog world. Every man for themselves. I had few employees who didn’t like me, and I didn’t care. I didn’t earn my position by caring. I earned by position by knowing my role and not letting anyone get in the way of that. I know you’re probably thinking I had to cutthroat a few people, right? Believe it or not, I didn’t have to. I knew what I wanted and went for it. I didn’t have underhand people, I didn’t have go behind anyone’s back, nor did I have to be dishonest. I just simply did what I needed to.

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A few disgruntles employees later, I glanced down at my phone and noticed it was almost one o’clock. I suggested we go over to Wasabi’s for lunch. Mr. Briggs agreed, and I exited his office to grab my things. I waited in the hallway. A few moments later, he emerged and we headed down stairs. When we got to his car, he came around on my side and planted a nice juicy kiss right on my lips. I was taken aback. “What was that for?” I asked. “I miss you. I haven’t been able to see you or touch outside of this office.” I glared at him. How dare he? He was trying to play casual as if he didn’t mess up the little office romance we had. You’re probably thinking I “worked” my way to the top. I’ll just say this, it’s never a good idea to assume. The first three letters of that word would indefinitely spell out you presumption of how I got my position. I could go into this long drawn out story about how Mr. Briggs paid no attention to me when I first started. I could even tell you that I applied for my position three times before I was awarded it. I could even go deeper and tell you that I thought he was a tightwad and a stickler, and by far no one I had any interest in dating. But, for what? You’d never believe me. Opinions and assumptions are like buttholes, everybody has one. I will, however, tell you why my hand is itching to slap those beautiful lips right off of his face. I’m not sure whether to call this cheating or getting my karma. Either way, the way he handled the situation was low.

A few months ago, Mr. Briggs or Tyrin I should say, invited me to dinner to go over some last minute details on a project we working on. Now, here I am thinking this was just going be some innocent working and employee engagement. Boy was I wrong. I had not expected him to be blowing my back out later that night. The sex was amazing. I had to have more. We had sex any and everywhere we could think of. I think I might have worn him down. At any rate, he wasn’t complaining. After a few months of us messing around, he called me into his office to tell me that we needed to tone things down, because we were starting to look obvious. I agreed, and kept my distance as long as we were at work. When we were not at work, it was completely different story. I had gotten used to our “scheduled” lunch meetings. Anyway, one morning when I arrived, there was a woman sitting at my desk. I asked her who she was and who was she looking for. “I’m looking for my husband.” she replied. “Who is your husband? Would you mind moving out of my chair? This is my desk.” I said, trying to mask the annoyance in my voice. “Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” She quickly got up and walked around to the other side. “My husband in Tyrin Briggs. Would you happen to know where is office is?” I almost choked on my water. I stared at her for a moment. I don’t want to gloat about sleeping with a married man, but, I can see why he was cheating. This woman was no bigger than a pencil. She was almost anorexic. She had long red curly hair and freckles on her face. She was fair-skinned with large buck teeth. I was surprised she was able to close her mouth. Truthfully speaking, I actually found her quite amusing. I tried to compose myself before answering her. “I wasn’t aware that Mr. Briggs was married. He’s never mentioned anything about having a wife or family.” I countered. I noticed her demeanor became timid. She diverted her eyes to the floor. If I didn’t know any better, I’d have thought she was crying. After a few moments, she finally looked up. I could see pain and hurt in her eyes. “We’ve been separated for the past three years.” she finally replied. My heart crumbled a bit. Without saying another word, I got up and escorted her to his office. As I opened the door to his office, you would have thought he seen a ghost. All the color left from his face. He was like a deer in head lights. “Mr. Briggs, your wife is here to see you.” I announced. I stepped aside and motioned for her to have a seat. I asked if she needed anything before exiting the office. Now you’re probably thinking how can I be so calm and collected after just finding out my lover for the last six months was married. Well, it’s simple. There’s a time and a place for everything. Although this was the time, this most certainly was not the place. Heck, I had rent due next week. You think I was about to fly off the handled at work and risk losing my job and ruining my reputation? No ma’am! I calmly collected my things and left for the evening. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to function after that. I was furious. I have a strict no married men policy and he knows that. Yet, and still, he looked me dead in my face and lied. “No baby, I promise I’m not married. If I was married, do you think I’d have all this time to spend with you? You are all I’m focused on right now.” I mimicked. Boy I tell you, men sure do know how to talk a woman right out of her panties. It almost sickens me how stupid and gullible we can be at times.

I had to rub my hands together to keep from smacking him. “Have you lost your mind?” I bellowed. He looked befuddled. “Don’t look at me like that! You know darn well, I don’t do you anymore! After that stunt you pulled a few months ago, I am no longer interested in you!” I spat. “Baby, I have apologized on so many levels and occasions, I am not sure what to do anymore. I brought you flowers, I gave you jewelry, I bought you a car (which you don’t drive), I even paid your rent for the whole year! I don’t know what else to do. I miss you and really want us to work.” “Us?” I interrupted. If he think he was about to buy me, he had another thought coming. I am not a hooker, stripper, prostitute, or call girl. I am not up for auction. You can’t just shower me with gifts and think I’m going to be swooning all over you. I am not a material girl. “First of all Tyrin, when I asked you were you married, what was wrong with the truth? I mean that would have been key to this whole thing working out.” “If I would have told you I was married, you wouldn’t have gave me time or day.” “Oh alright, so you thought lying to me was the best solution?” “Well, it worked. I got you.” he reminded me. Alright is it just me, or did he just straight up play me? “Listen, I didn’t mean to lie to you-” “But, you did! There is no such thing as an accidental lie Tyrin!” “So, you’re not going to let me finish?” “No, I’m not because there’s nothing you can say to me that will make sense. I was almost about to be in love with you. I’m glad she showed up when and where she did.” I sneered. He stood there smirking at me. I hated when he did that. He knew his dimples were my weakness. My boss was a tall brown-skinned brother who stood about 6 feet 2 inches tall. Handsome as ever! He had the body of a God and a smile that will melt the panties right off of you. His smooth skin and neatly kept beard did not add to the situation either. If I wasn’t so upset with him, I’d tell him to forget about that meeting this afternoon and attend a meeting in my bedroom. “Why are smirking?” I asked trying to sound annoyed. “You.” he replied coyly. I smacked my teeth and rolled my eyes. “Can you unlock the door so we can go on to lunch and come back.” “I’ll unlock the doors if you unlock something else.” Alright, now he was just plain making this hard. He moved in closer to me and stared me in my eyes. “Come on Tyrin, I don’t have time for these games. I have work to do.” “I know you do, an so do I.” he replied while planting kissing on my forehead. His kisses were so relaxing. I tried in vain to push him away. It didn’t work. The smell of his cologne had weakened my demeanor and I loosened up a bit. I felt his hands start to roam my body and I instantly smacked them away when he got to that “sacred” place. “We can’t do this here. You know that.” He moved back and motioned for me to look down. My eyes widened. The bulge in his pants was enough to make me scream out in ecstasy right there. “Get in.” he said while opening the door. I complied, intoxicated by his kisses. Lord this man was about to send me into overdrive.

 

 

Stay tuned for the next chapter….

 

Hidden Figures

Mind, Body & Soul

A successful woman is one who can build a firm foundation with bricks other have thrown at her

Author Unknown

As we approach the month of February, I had this brilliant idea to do a thread on infamous black women who made a difference throughout history and in the local community. As  the years go on, many people seem to forget the February is black history month. It’s a time to pay homage to all of the African-American men and women who made an impact on law, history, the community, sports, and any aspect of life.

I chose to do women because we are really coming together to stand up and make a difference in the lives of other people. Men are always recognized for all of their hard-work, effort, and dedication, but, what people don’t know is behind that hard-working dedicated man is an even more dedicated hard-working woman…

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Practice What You Preach

The next morning, Carrie awoke to find James downstairs watching television with Jr. “Good morning, sleepy head. I thought you’d never wake up.” he greeted. “Well, I’d elaborate on the events of last night, but we have a child in our presence.” she cooed. James kissed her cheek and turned his attention back to Jr. “Good morning Jr., how are you?” “I’m fine Mrs. Carrie. Look at the new trucks my daddy bought me.” he replied as he eagerly rushed over to show her. “Oh wow, these are nice. Show me how they work.” James watched as the two of them sat on the floor playing with the toys and making mock engine sounds. “Daddy come play with us.” Jr. urged. James rushed over to the circle and joined in.

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Despite all of the troubles that life has thrown their way, they truly were a happy family. Even though Jr. didn’t belong to her, Carrie treated him as if he was her own child. They did everything a mother and son would do together. She took him shopping, planned play dates, movie nights, and even helped him with his homework. On nights that James had to work late, she’d offered to keep him. This made things easier between him and Jessica, and gave their household some balance. She didn’t mind Jr.’s company. After all, this would prepare her when she and James decided to have a child of their own.

A few moments later, their play session was interrupted by the doorbell. Carrie and James both glanced at the clock on the microwave. It was only 8 o’clock in the morning. “Who on earth could this be?” James said as he got up to open the door. Carrie watched impatiently as he jogged over to the door. He peeped through the peephole and then proceeded to open the door. “I come here for my son.” she blared. Carrie let out a heavy sigh as Jessica stepped inside. Just as she started to get Jr. ready to go with his mom, she was interrupted by the sound of a man’s voice. “Jessica can you hurry up. I got things to do.” he boomed. “Preston don’t rush me, I have to get my son.” “I don’t know why you won’t leave him here. I don’t have time to be watching after no kid!” “Excuse me? This is my child, you knew what it was when you got with me.”

Carrie looked in awe as the two of them stood arguing in front of Jr. She couldn’t believe that Jessica was actually dating this clown. If he couldn’t accept her child, then why the heck was she with him? “Umm, James, I’m going to take Jr. upstairs and finish getting him ready. He doesn’t need to be around this.” He nodded his head and watched as they both disappeared into the upstairs bathroom.

“Jessica who the heck is this?” James asked. “My boyfriend, why are you worried?” She snapped. “Why am I worried? You got this clown around my son talking all crazy and you asking me why am I worried?” he replied. “Man listen can you go get my son from upstairs so I can go. We got things to do.” “No, as a matter of fact, you go do whatever it is you have to do. Jr. can stay here.” “He isn’t staying here. I want my son with me.”

Before James could reply, Preston butted in “Listen bruh, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. We don’t want any trouble. All we come here for is to get the kid and be out.” James looked at him up and down and let out a heavy sigh before replying, “Bruh, I don’t know you and I’m not trying to get to know you. This is between me and her. I don’t appreciate neither one of you coming up here disrespecting me and my household. Both of you all need to leave.” “I’m not leaving until I get my son.” “He’s not going with you.” James stated firmly. James watched out the corner of his eye as Preston’s hands slowly started to form fists. “You going to assault me in my own house?” he snarled. “Listen bruh, it’s nothing like that.” He then turned to Jessica and said, “I’ll be in the car. This has nothing to do with me.” They both watched as he left the house. “I suggest you follow him.” James stated in a low, yet stern tone. Jessica glared at him. She tried for a minute to think of new ways to insult him. When she could think of none, she quickly turned around and walked out the door. James relaxed his shoulders and walked over to the kitchen and pulled out a large bottle of wine.

A few moments later, Carrie emerged from the bathroom to find James pouring a large glass of wine. “Sweetie is everything alright?” “I can’t believe her. I mean how can she do my son like that? That clown doesn’t care about him. There’s no telling what he’s doing to my son over there. I think I need to get full custody of my son. I can’t take not knowing what’s going on.” “Sweetie, Jr. is old enough to talk. Why don’t you just ask him. You know he isn’t going to lie to you.” “Carrie, I don’t know how to.” “Babe you just have to talk to him. He’s a child. Ease into the conversation. Don’t be to harsh with the questions. Be discreet about it. He’ll open up to you. We talk all the time.” she assured him. She watched her husband closely and noticed he was crying. She took the glass out of his hand and turned his face towards hers. “Everything will be alright. I think now is the perfect time for you to talk to him. He’s in the tub splashing the bubbles everywhere.” He nodded and made his way upstairs to the bathroom.

While they were upstairs, Carrie went outside to the mailbox to retrieve the mail. She looked in the box and saw she had a few envelopes inside. She pulled them out and started to sort through them. As she was thumbing through the mail, she noticed a handwritten envelope. She read it and felt her heart start to race. Her palms became sweaty as she read the name and address it came from.  She quickly tore it open and read the contents.

Dear Carrie, this is Phillip. I know it’s been a while and I know this is kind of out of the blue. I just wanted to let you know I’ll be getting out in two weeks and wanted to see you. I got your address from your sister Monica. Me and her boyfriend are still tight and we talk to each other from time to time. She told me you had gotten married, but I’m not concerned about that. You’re supposed to be mine. We made a promise to each other before I went away. I want to make good on our promise when I come home. I want you to be with me. We can have our own little family and be like we were before I got locked up. Well, I hope this letter reaches you. I look forward to hearing from you. See you soon.

She couldn’t believe what she had just read. Phillip her long time boyfriend before she had even met James was coming home. She thought he would never get out. After all the charges the district attorney rattled off in the court room, the judge handed him a sentence of 45 years to life. He had only been locked up for eight. She wondered what he did to get out early. The case was pretty much open and shut. Either way, she had to figure out what to do to keep Phillip from coming around and bringing more trouble to their marriage. Just when things started to look on the up and up for them, things always seemed to take a turn for the worse. I guess that line in the marriage vows for better or for worse was very real, because through all of the worse times, they still seemed to prevail.

As she walked back into the house, she was greeted at the door by a naked Jr. “Jr. where are you clothes?” she asked looking at James. “Soon as I got him out the tub, he ran downstairs looking for you.” She chuckled nervously. “Jr. let your daddy put your clothes on. I have to use the phone.” “Babe are you alright?” She swallowed hard before she answered. “Yes, I’m fine. I just have to go call my sister.” “Your sister? You don’t like your sister.” “Well she called and asked me to call her.” she replied as she hurried up the stairs. James watched as his wife disappeared in the bedroom. Her sudden demeanor change puzzled him, and he couldn’t quite pinpoint what caused it. She was jittery, and her breathing was labored. He fixed Jr. a snack and turned on cartoons before going upstairs and eaves dropping at the door.

“Monica, why would you tell Phillip where I lived?” she blared. “Carrie, I didn’t tell him.” “Bullshit Monica! He clearly wrote in the letter you told him! I am happily married. I don’t need this man coming around causing problems for me and my family. It’s bad enough we have to deal with James’ baby momma and all her drama. We don’t need Phillip.” “Carrie I thought it would be nice if you heard from an old friend. I had no idea he was going to try and break up your home.” “Well you’d better fix it before he gets out. This is the last thing I need right now. Me and James are in a happy place right now.” she replied before slamming the phone down. She dropped back on the bed and sighed heavily. “Lord what am I going to do?”