This is the most real post I’ve read in a long time! Men are not always appreciated as much as women are and no one says anything about it.
Tina shot up, swung her legs off the bed and snatched her robe from the hook on the door. Pulling it tighter around her body she was in Janiyah’s room in an instant and rocking the seventeen-year-old in her arms like an infant. There was no explanation needed and no sound escaped either of the women’s mouths except the whispering words of comfort coming from Tina.
“Shh. It’s alright now. It’s alright. It’s over.”
She rocked and rubbed the young woman’s head with her eyes closed. This was her routine. Running into Janiyah’s room in the early mornings, though she didn’t think it would have lasted this long. She also worried she could not sympathize with her sister’s daughter, now her own. To lose your baby brother in such a violent way was one thing, to witness his murder was another thing. And then, there was the other thing.
Tina’s cell was singing in the room downstairs. Peering down at her exhausted teenager, she quickly untangled her body and let the girl fall sleepily back into the sheets and covered her before running downstairs, into her bedroom and silencing the phone before it woke up the other kids.
Hmm. Tina looked down at the tiny screen. That was odd. What was the office doing calling her so early?
She looked toward the window. She still couldn’t believe the city had settled and despite four people living here, the house was still too big. No amount of money could bring her nephew back though, even if it did help to raise his brother and sisters. The money was good. She couldn’t lie. It felt good not to have to worry about bills or pray she didn’t have to investigate some asshole just to make ends meet. Tina loved this time of day. Early, when the sky was still dark, the sun not yet peeking through. Tina threw herself back into the bed and called the office back.
“You better have a damn good reason for calling me so early in the morning.”
“What?” Tina’s smile faded, and she sat back up in the bed.
“When did this happen?”
Tina got out of bed and balanced the cell between her ear and shoulder as she slipped on a pair of slacks. Trying to do the same with a blouse was not going to work.
“Hold on a minute…”
Placing the phone on the bed she slipped on her shirt and put the phone on speaker.
“The phones are blowing up over here. Officer Parks said she started getting them as early as last night,” said the caller.
“Calls? What calls? I thought I told you to hold…” she said before almost slipping on a sock. She picked it up and put it on. Now if she could just find the other one. Tina wasn’t the organized type at home. What she could do at the office did not manifest in her private life. It was one of the worries she had about being a mom. Cops didn’t exactly have a lot of time on their hands. She found herself hiring a Nanny against her better judgment to help maintain that balance. She had little time for laundry and housework and now that Janiyah had her license, she could pick up her brother and sister from school. She did make it a point to be back in time to make dinner and spend time with the kids. It made her feel motherly like she was upholding her end of the bargain. Miss. Bernice was not allowed to cook for her family except on occasion and during emergencies. This sounded like one of them.
“All I know is you better get your butt down here asap.”
“I’m on my way,” said Tina looking under the bed. Where in the world is that other sock?
“Yea, I know what that means. I’ll give you an hour.
“Freddy, chill. I said I’m on my way.”
“Your on-the-way has a different meaning from everyone else’s on-the-way,” Freddy chuckled.
Tina rolled her eyes and hung up on her partner.
“Kayla…Michael…” she called, grabbing the toiletries bag on her way out the door. She only had enough time to jump in and out the shower.
“Niyah,” she called, climbing the stairs and walking the length of the hall where a giant blue M hung against a door. She banged.
She turned to the door facing Micheal’s where a giant pink K hung and banged.
Turning to her left, where the door was already slightly open from earlier, Tina peered in.
“Janiyah, ya’ll come on. I need ya’ll to get up.”
The young woman stirred and sat up, a black night scarf covering her head. Her elegantly arched eyebrows shot up,
“What time is it?”
Tina smirked. She didn’t know how she did it, but Janiyah managed to be cute at every occasion, even after waking up. The nose ring she begged Tina for didn’t look bad against her golden-brown skin. Janiyah scratched at her nose as if reading Tina’s thoughts. As anticipated, her nails were freshly done.
“I need you to call Miss. Bernice, tell her I need her to come in early. Like, right now.”
“Okay.” Janiyah patted her head. “Where’s your other sock?” she laughed.
Tina cut her eyes and smirked as she turned away from the room and ran back downstairs, calling names as she descended.
“Mike, KK. Up. Now!”
As she hurried her mind flooded with Freddy’s urgent message.
Another man was found dead yesterday in the Cicero neighborhood of 145th Avenue, now the fifth black man to die in the past seven days. It happened the same as the others, in broad daylight. All the men had suffocated, found dead in hotel rooms or their own homes. The latest death is the oddest of them all. Some Insurance Company worker found dead on the floor in the bedroom of an empty home. He was still wearing his blue-collar Insurance shirt and Khaki pants. Tina pondered as the shower poured its steaming hot blessings over her body. She hated cases like this. They made her think of…them. Tina stopped moving, letting the water drench her skin. How could she have forgotten the most important piece of the puzzle? Ronnie.
Her nephew Ronnie lost his life in a drug deal gone bad last year. There was a shootout at an empty warehouse where his sisters and brother had been kidnapped and held hostage. Ronnie’s loyalty to Big Sam, the dealer who hired him, ultimately costs him his life. But Tina knew the truth. It was the year everything began, the deaths, and the sightings all over the world. Tina knew better. They had killed him. Is that why the city had settled? Who would want to admit that the impossible was possible? That they did come but were not the friendly miracle workers we thought they would be? Was her team trying to sweep the truth under the rug?
Tina’s body trembled, not from the air now cooling her skin as she stood shivering under the water, but from the truth. Tina knew that Big Sam had blue eyes and that Ronnie’s death was no accident. They had murdered her nephew, were back, and killing again.
He is the invisible man. His strength a hushed whisper overshadowed by feminism or the piercing pain in her song. Scattered notes torn in half with thoughts unspoken and slavery chords not so easily broken. The patent leather image of mama and the broken-down brotherhood of papa. I know only because it’s painted on the palms of his hands where oppression carved her words of degradation in his face. This invisible man. This King without a throne. This sovereign without a scepter. This hero without a robe. This waiting beacon of royalty with nothing to rule, waiting in the wings of Eagles. I can see it in his eyes, the invisible tears. They say men aren’t supposed to cry so he is bottled fury. I can smell rage in the language of his captivity, the walk in his stride, and the hustle in his teeth when he smiles but dear King, today is your day. This morning, over cups of coffee and spoken words I will sing for you. You are important today. You are acknowledged today. Today the brotherhood reigns; I give you the permission to rule from my pen.
I saw this post on Facebook made by a sister who made a very valid point. While I cannot remember her entire statement, in summary, what she said was that men are more accepting of women when it comes to relationships. I agree with that statement. I have seen it happen over and over again even within my own past. I have a cousin, for example, who has always, despite having children, been capable of having a man by her side. Not because she’s the best person ever, but because men are usually more loving than women. Meaning, a man is willing to accept a woman with all of her flaws. He is willing to accept that she has six children and no job. He does not mind providing for her and being there for her. A man would marry a woman the world thinks is fat or ugly. Men do this because men tend to give more than we do.
Women love of course, but we are also much more judgmental and rejecting. For most women, if a man can’t provide financially he is nothing. If he is not good looking, he is nothing. If he is not sexually adequate, again, he is nothing. You see, men, contrary to popular belief, are not just this hard core structure of a person. But real men have deep emotional feelings, they do cry and they do feel pain. It is possible that a man who has been hurt by a woman he truly loves will never come back from that. Society says that this man is weak but this couldn’t be any further from the truth. It’s not that men who show their emotions are weak, it’s that men are just more loving. As a woman, I am not saying we do not love or have the same deep feelings since we tend to be extremely emotional, but what I am saying is that it is true that men tend to give more in relationships than women.There’s a saying that rings true: “You ain’t a Queen until you’re married to a King”, but some women would rather rule alone than to admit it.
I don’t speak much about relationships on this blog. But what I don’t understand is how grown men and women continue to model their relationships after these Hollywood style movies, especially within the Black community. From Waiting to Exhale to Scandal these shows are far from realistic as far as strengthening a relationship is concerned, and are doing nothing more than rotting your attempt to be successful at building a strong family unit. If you’re going to dedicate yourself to these kinds of shows at least understand when you’re being lied to. At least then you can receive back some kind of substance from having watched it. For instance, “Think Like a Man.” First of all, how did Steve Harvey become such a relationship expert? But that’s another post for another day. But here’s a movie where grown men and women play children’s games. Women, Steve Harvey tells you to think like a man. The bible says that Satan thinks like a man, and that the inclination of the thoughts of men’s hearts is only evil continually. It looks good yes, but everything that looks good ain’t. Why do I want to think like a man? I’m a not a man, I’m a woman. These movies got many of you walking around thinking like the devil and you don’t even know it. There is nothing of value that you can take from this movie and apply to your real life relationship. Far as Scandal is concerned, there is just nothing healthy about the way Olivia controls the men in her life; she may as well have them on strings and yall are eating it up. What kind of advice can Ms. Pope give me that will help strengthen my marriage? In the real world we say, “I want to be a good woman,” but then we turn around and give energy to shows that are not representative of what we say we want. Our mouths are in a conflict with our hearts. (And let’s not even talk about Empire that yall love so much. I’m still asking myself why Denzel Washington could win an award for Training Day and not for Malcolm X. But I suppose we’ll always be nothing more than Pimps and Thugs instead of Gods and Kings, but that’s another topic for another day). It’s not just about entertainment. Subconsciously, you still take something back from it that you implement into your physical life. The kinds of things we expose ourselves to: music, movies, books, etc., all have the capacity to affect us in some way. There is always something that we take back from the experience and make manifest into our physical existence. I’m not condemning anyone; I ain’t got stones to throw at you that don’t first belong to me. I’m in this same boat. It’s just that I’m at a point in my life where I am beginning to do away with those things that do not prove to be of value to my life. Personally, I cannot continue to give myself to anything that no longer grows me. There are certain things that I am no longer willing to even allow occupying my consciousness. As a unit I just think that we must learn to understand the messages given us and how they are teaching us to operate in the real world. There was a point where I lived for this kind of entertainment, especially because of the love I have for my people. Anything we did or was a part of I wanted to support, even if it was a TV show. But I notice that we tend to upgrade everything about ourselves except our minds. It’s time to get started on that.
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