Creating the “Perfect Bitch”

Since Kanye West’s infamous “Perfect Bitch” tweet a couple of weeks ago in reference to his boo thang, Kim Kardashian, I’ve refused to discuss or write about their relationship. I’ve secretly wished this relationship would dissipate quietly mainly because I don’t get it or them—atleast as a couple. That’s very selfish of me, but you know how I feel about Kanye. I love his work, but his attitude about his relationship is more than annoying. I don’t want to have to begin separating the man from the music to remain a fan because you really don’t have one without the other.

Last night, faithful Keeping Up With the Kardashians fans tuned in for the Kanye sighting in the first segment, which I missed during all three airings. He brought his stylist in to revamp her closet to make sure she ended up on best dressed lists. He lent yays and nays to Kim’s pieces, from shoes to leather and shearling dog bags. I couldn’t figure out why a woman as stylish as Kim would take cues from a man who wears leather skirts and women’s silk blouses. It works for him, but only him, not his girlfriend.

I’d seen the pictures of her rocking his God-awful boots and a few other pieces he’d asked her to wear, but I thought maybe she was just modeling them probably to get him to shut up. You know he’s the type to whine when he doesn’t get his way. Anything for your man, I guess. Perhaps, she was really hyping up the relationship’s publicity for shits and giggles.

Then I saw her in that damn denim jacket during her confessional segment. That jacket was no trace of Kim, and all Kanye. It did NOTHING for her. This wasn’t them walking down the streets of Milan together after a day of shopping. She’d actually brought his style on her show and her brand.

Let us bow because ish just got real, for me anyway.

Why did Kim’s wardrobe need a makeover? If nothing else, her style is what makes me root for her. It’s classic and sexy in a way that isn’t over the top. Sometimes I feel like I’ve seen her ensembles repeatedly, but she has the body to pull off the most basic looks (white tee and denim with booties). What else does she do, but look chic effortlessly?”

I still maintain that K&K are fashion friends more than lovers. Yes, I’m sure they do what couples do (*ahem). They seem to enjoy each other’s company and what man doesn’t love a beautiful woman? However, this closet stunt has added another layer to my theory.

If Kim is Kanye’s “perfect bitch,” why is trying to change her? He doesn’t want a girlfriend. He wants a dress-up doll.

Think: Sean, the sleazy photographer in Mahogany who used Tracy (Diana Ross) as his artistic muse. She was a diamond in the rough, only needing his guidance to be a real star. He renamed her Mahogany and dressed her in the finest clothes and photographed her, all while sleeping with her, of course. Eventually, he dropped her when she refused to conform to his vision for her and her life.

I imagine the same thing will happen with KimYe IF Kim doesn’t get a backbone and reject West’s controlling ways.

It shouldn’t be surprising though. He probably did the same with Amber Rose. With the exception of his ex-girlfriend, Alexis Phifer, a designer and fashionista in her own right, Kanye has probably been playing dress u p with all of his girlfriends, and that makes me sad for a number of reasons.

Accept people for who they are, instead of trying change them as result of your own issues. When he referred to Kim as his “perfect bitch,” maybe he meant she’d be perfect when he finished with her.

Good luck to them.

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Unemployment: Day 80

My 90th day of unemployment is just days away. My bestie reminded me last week that it was approaching, and unlike so many Americans who aren’t working, I’ve had enough money to make to the 90-day mark without being  foreclosing, visiting a food bank for assistance or pounding the pavement for any and every job I can get. In fact, I’ve worked on some really great projects, traveled and even took a writing class in New York City. I have to agree, I’ve been quite comfortable, and I owe that all to God.

Since my last day of work, I’ve been restless, bored to tears, but happy to lounge around, write, research jobs and catch up on Boss (check that out, please), instead of fighting annoying morning traffic, or worse, school zones. What I haven’t done is stress about where my next meal will come from or how I will pay my bills. At all.

I remember taking a driving course when I was 15. They put me on the expressway to drive, and when I told my mom, she asked me, “You weren’t nervous?!” I told her no, and her reply was, “Girl, you’re too foolish to know when to be scared.” Maybe this is one of those situations, but whatever the reason, I’ve had no worries.

A Twitter follower just announced that this is her first day of “FUNemployment.” That’s a nice spin, right? Earlier this summer, a writer friend who actually made his living freelancing until recently suggested that no one really wants to be unemployed. My personal reasoning was it was all good because the job I left, or that left me, wasn’t a good fit for me. He told me, “I’m sure, but still, it’s just an inconvenience.” I didn’t argue because just a few days in, I hadn’t experienced true inconvenience, as I had one more paycheck coming in.

Yeah, he was right. As I write, I have the State of Tennessee Unemployment Office on my cell’s speaker phone. They’ve been playing this terrible hold music for the past 45 minutes. I’m wasting my precious daytime minutes, but I’ve never gotten hold music, only a call-back message, so I’m willing to wait. See, I haven’t received any unemployment since I filed on June 1. Today is August 21. I’m beyond pissed about it.

I’ve struggled to seamlessly answer the “So, what do you do?” question without fumbling with my words. The fact is that I do work without being tied down to a particular company or organization for now. I’m a writer and I work on freelance projects. End of story.

I thank God for gifts and talents and the right mind to save money and contribute to a retirement plan when I was working. All things work for the good.

‘Sparkle’ Barely Shines, But Teaches Timeless Lessons

I didn’t care for the remake of Sparkle. *insert sad face here*

I know. I can’t believe it myself. It was glossy and fresh with a new story line, a star-studded cast and even Whitney Houston lent her beautiful voice to scene (of course, I cried a little.). All of that, and I still wasn’t impressed. There was a little shine, but not enough sparkle for me.

I should tell you first that Sparkle is one of my favorite movies. It’s another that my mama made me watch as a child (look at the others at Ebony.com). I’m in love in with eras of the past and how we looked and lived in them. Lonette McKee as Sister, to me, was the real star of the movie even though Irene Cara as Sparkle, the film’s namesake, was the one who struggled to keep her dreams alive while falling in love for the first time and nurturing a “sick” sister.

Salim Akil’s Sparkle was stripped, too clean and lacked that “vintage” feeling, despite the costumes and sets reminiscent of old Detroit. I didn’t see the dirty pain that Sister went through with Satin Struthers in the original. Mike Epps is a great actor, but not believable as a villain. I couldn’t really follow the story either. I couldn’t figure out if seeing the original or not seeing it would have made the adaptation better. It was set in the 1960s, but for a while, it seemed to be set in today’s time. Overall, the original premise was there, but there was a completely different twist to each character.

Here’s what I liked: Jordin Sparks was excellent! We need more music from her, and she should totally consider acting as another gig. Derek Luke really embodied Stix. He has a great ability to act in these encouraging “You can do it” roles opposite women. The ladies’ clothes were gorgeous, but the choreography? Eh. I’m probably being petty though.

Here’s where I went wrong though. I didn’t do my homework on the adaptation first, so I went in expecting the original movie. All I saw were three ladies in pretty dresses singing those old Aretha Franklin songs I loved so much, so everything else from the original movie should have been there, too. Not true. Had I read early reviews or even visited the website, I would’ve known that T.D. Jakes produced the film. He’s done some great movies (Jumping the Broom, Not Easily Broken) that address relevant issues in relationships, from infidelity to guilt, but with a Christian spin, without hitting you over the head with it.

Taking that into consideration, there were several themes in the movie that now, I can see: forgiveness, faith, love and using your gifts for good. If Sparkle doesn’t do anything else for you, it will teach a lesson about following your dreams, even if you have to go against those you love. Faith in your gift to succeed is really faith in God, and that’s what matters.

Go see it if you need something to do for leisure. As long as you let the original Sparkle concept go, you’ll be fine.

 

The Birthday Girl

Today would’ve been my grandmother’s 85th birthday. If you’ve been following this blog, you may remember that she passed away in 2010. Rather than write about how I felt then, I’ll tell you something that made me feel better.

I’d been to back to my grandmother’s house only once since she passed away. Even then, I didn’t go in. Before that, I had no reason to because she lived in a nursing home for two years. My aunt, my granny’s oldest child, now lives in the house. A few weeks ago, I needed to pass some time before I went to church. My granny’s house is 10 minutes away. Mama suggested I stop by. I was hesitant not because I didn’t want to visit my aunt, but because I didn’t know how I’d feel walking into house whose original owner no longer existed.

I put on my Big Girl Undies and headed to South Memphis. My aunt lived there now, not Granny, and I’d been there once before. Then, I pulled up and sat in the car and cried. Almost a year later, how hard could it be?

The closer I got to the house with every corner I turned, every street I slowly drove down, small tears dropped on my shirt. I wasn’t sad, but I remembered picking her up every Sunday morning to take her to church. She would tell me to turn on specific streets, instead of the ones I was used to taking. I wasn’t sure if it was because she knew ways to miss traffic or the people who aimlessly wandered around the hood on early Sunday mornings or if she was just being bossy. I remembered helping her find her house keys, which she often misplaced because she put them in a different compartment in her purse every time. Together, we found one special spot for her keys so she could get into the house safely. I remembered stopping there before choir rehearsal on Thursday nights. I would take a nap or talk to her while she sat in her chair, eating candy and junk food.

I’d spent so much time remembering how we used to laugh and spend time when she was in the nursing home that I’d forgotten her life before that when things were normal. I miss her.

I walked into the house to find it totally different. Auntie had really fixed it up. Hardwood floors that had always been covered by emerald-green carpet shined and sparkled and all of her things were, instead of Granny’s. It was a completely new home.

It was yet another reminder that she, atleast her body, is really gone. That’s okay though.

When I left the house, walked down those few steps from the porch to the driveway, as I have so many, many times, I  told my aunt goodbye, and she said, “Bye, baby.” She sounded JUST like Granny. I had to look back.

And that made my day because that was a sign that she’ll never really be gone as long as we have her in our hearts.

Happy birthday, girl! I celebrate your life through who you were, the family you created, instead of material things that represented you. I love you.

Why Play the Crying Game?

On this week’s episode of Love and Hip Hop (Yes, I’m still watching.), Scrappy and his child’s mother, Erica, had a discussion about him dating another woman so soon after they called it quits (which he blatantly lied about, but that’s another story). A little background: They’ve been on and off for 10 years. He’s gotten back with her repeatedly trying to reconcile their past issues, only to move out of their place, break up with her and begin dating his “best friend” all while singing another tune to her. During the conversation, Erica laid out her gripes and even shed tears, which seemed to be out of pure frustration. Scrappy said in his confessional that he couldn’t believe she cried. Finally, she showed some emotion, so he knew she cared. Oh, Scrappy.

I can relate to Erica’s struggle. Years ago, a guy I once really liked told me I had the emotion of a rock. Then, it actually hurt my feelings, but today, it’s pure comedy. I can laugh now because it was true, and even then, I knew I was being “rockish,” but I couldn’t believe that he saw it and called me out.

To scream and yell, throw tantrums and/or cry was a no-no for me. I didn’t see the point, but maybe I hadn’t encountered a situation that would get me that riled up. I was seen as maybe too strong and a no-bullshit-taker, but also as an enigma. Enigmas are no fun, atleast, not after a while. Over time, I understood better. It’s a terrible thing to have feelings for someone, but you can’t read them. They need an affirmation, a touch—something.

This whole “Break down, so I know it’s real” deal though? Nah.

So, you’re saying you need to see a woman literally cry tears, the ugly cry that makes the most beautiful women unattractive to know she cares for you? That she cares about how she’s being treated? True, no one can read minds, but I still don’t buy that way of thinking. It’s backwards. The goal should be NOT to make someone you care about cry or throw fits. You don’t need a woman’s reactions to signal that you’re playing with her emotions or you’re doing wrong. That’s something you know before you even do it.

You want to know how someone feels about you? Ask. Don’t act out to get a reaction out of them. That’s a telltale sign of an immature, even insecure person.

Teach people how to treat you by making your concerns known, yes, but that lesson shouldn’t have to include breakdowns, tears and fighting. For some women, it can eventually come to that point, but it’s usually when she’s had enough, and it’s too late.

For those who think playing these games is some sort of initiation process in relationships, ask yourself if the means is really worth what may wait in the end?

The Chad and Ev Effect: The Double Standard of Violence

I usually don’t address issues like this, but I might as well…quickly.

Following this shocking and outrageous head-butting incident between newlyweds, Chad and Evelyn Johnson, TMZ released Evelyn’s statement today:

“I am deeply disappointed that Chad has failed to take responsibility for his actions and made false accusations against me … It is my sincere hope that he seeks the help he needs to overcome his troubles. Domestic violence is not okay and hopefully my taking a stand will help encourage other women to break their silence as well.”

This may wrinkle some feathers, but this is downright hypocritical.

First things, first: Domestic violence is wrong, no matter who throws the first blow. No one wants to be hit, pushed or handled in such a way that they feel frightened or threatened or physically injured, especially by someone who loves them. I’m not discounting Johnson’s feelings and allegedly experience. I can’t imagine what that feels like. No one, but them were there, so we don’t know what happened.

What matters is the double standard in violence. How crazy is it for a woman who has physically bullied women on camera to condemn the violence committed against her, yet condone and repeat the violence she committed against others?

The same goes for VH1. The network has pulled the couple’s upcoming reality show because of the incident, but when Evelyn was jumping on tables, throwing wine bottles across rooms at women on Basketball Wives, the cameras kept rolling to bring in ratings. Why are they so concerned about image and negative activity now? Violence is violence, right?

Let me be clear: This is not karma, but what’s in us will manifest in various parts of our lives. The dysfunction, the hurt, the unresolved issues and violence is likely come out in thought processes, actions, relationships and friendships. This is not so  much “an eye for an eye” situation as it is a neverending cycle that must be broken.

So while Chad Johnson may need to seek professional help, as Evelyn said in her statement, she needs to seek some, as well. If not, this will serve as yet another life event used to make herself and whoever she comes in contact with miserable.

On the Pole

A little background information on me. I’m small. Like, not petite, but just small. Always have been. No matter where I go, somebody is bound to call me “Slim” as a term of endearment. I fluctuate between a size 4 and 6. I haven’t gained any weight since college and I graduated nine years ago. I’ve had issues with it for forever, but now I’m grateful for it. I’m one of the few who doesn’t have to diet or exercise before special events come up. You would think I was in the gym regularly, but the reality is I don’t work out.

This is not a humble brag. It’s a sad truth.

I’m out of shape. Nothing has proven that more than me going to my first pole dance class.

So, I’m about two years late on the stripper pole craze. I snagged a gift certificate for little or nothing for 15 classes. I thought I was getting a deal, but it might be a gift and a curse. I ain’t gon’ last for 15 classes. Nope.

Okay, I will, but stretching is a must. The crunches as a cool down? They almost killed me. I thought I’d move to pole technique because I’m a fast learner, but I need to stay right where I am. I won’t go into more detail about the class since it was only an hour, but let me say this…

Must respect to strippers, exotic dancers, pole gymnasts, etc. I may not engage in those activities for money, but I’m not knocking what they do. Who would’ve known these women had to have so much upper body and core strength? That’s real work! They deserve every dime. It’s an art.

This is not a game. It’ll possibly be an Olympic sport in 2016. I will conquer the beast that is the pole. I’m not out to compete or be a dancer in training. At all. It’s actually a great workout, and we see where that gym membership has gotten me. Nowhere fast.

Maybe I’ll report back with my progress. Maybe.

 

 

About This Lolo Jones Deal…

In case you missed it, everyone’s mad at Lolo Jones. Maybe they’re disappointed, but they’re definitely salty—about something, and it could be a myriad of things. She’s too pretty to be really talented or not talented enough. Here she is hogging all this good media coverage, including magazine covers and commercials, yet there’s not one gold medal in sight. How dare she? She’s a tease and a joke to the sport of track.

I read “For Lolo Jones, Image is Everything,” in the New York Times Sunday Edition and thought it was crap. Writer Jere’ Longman wrote, “Still, Jones has received far greater publicity than any other American track and field athlete competing in the London Games. This was based not on achievement but on her exotic beauty and on a sad and cynical marketing campaign. Essentially, Jones has decided she will be whatever anyone wants her to be — vixen, virgin, victim — to draw attention to herself and the many products she endorses.”

Simply put: How is this girl getting all of the attention when she hasn’t yet proven herself in her sport?

Today, the Gawker published a story, “American Medalists Unleash on Lolo Jones in Awkward Interview” where the track stars discussed their wins and personal stories versus another teammate who shall, ahem, remain nameless. The story ended with this, “Wells, at least, seems to be focusing her frustration at the media and not at Jones herself — the question is, how much is Lolo Jones responsible for the media machine that surrounds her?”

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Though I didn’t agree with Longman’s views at all, he speaks to what America takes pride in: achievement and results over fluff. We play to WIN, and losers get no love. However, we forget that media loves nothing more than a good story, and Ms. Jones has it.

She’s a pretty girl who has a body to die for and two very important elements: a sob story and unpopular, rather uncommon belief. Abandoned by her black father who was in and out of prison, not only is this biracial beauty an athlete, instead of a beauty queen, but while surrounded by countless men and suitors in her field, she hasn’t had sex yet at 29 years old. She chooses not to.

America loves that kind of shit.

Harper, the runner who actually won a gold medal and draped herself in the flag, has a great story, too. One that she thinks, according to her Gawker interview, is more compelling than her teammate’s. Sadly, it’s not colorful enough for them. Those are the breaks in our twisted society.

So Jones has no medal, therefore, she’s a worthless sack of perfectly tones muscles who should stick to what she’s better at: being pretty. This is an unfair assessment of her performance at the Games and her worth as a whole.

She’s being ripped to shreds right now, but trust, no one feels worse about not winning a medal than she does, even with an armful of endorsements to fall back on.

She has one, maybe two more Olympic games to prove naysayers wrong, but in the meantime, I say get all of the endorsements made available. If that means, she’s a pretty face with no medals for the next four years, so be it. Does that diminish her talent or worth? I don’t think so. Stop trying to make her all things at once.

Jones isn’t the first to be hyped up for a letdown, and she won’t be the last. How long was Lebron James put on a pedestal before he finally told haters to kiss his championship ring during this year’s NBA Finals? Let’s be real, tons of people think President Obama is a fluff President– a celebrity personality, more than an accomplished politician.

Glory doesn’t come quick and easy. Giver her time.

The Stories of People: The Boy in the Picture, Pt. 2

~~~

After some months of talking by phone, Skyping and failed visit attempts, we finally saw each other again. As I sat on a breezy riverfront wrapped in his jacket, he shared that he was no longer attached and wanted to spend more time with me. I obliged and before I knew it, we entered a courtship. Those things I had been missing, like trust and assurance in men, were quickly restored.

I didn’t stop to pay attention to some of the things he’d said in conversation that made me question if he was as serious about us as he’d said. I ignored that our sense of humor wasn’t compatible even though I missed being able to belt out laughs with a man. He’d told me he wasn’t “the funny guy,” so I willingly became the comedienne. Secretly, I felt rushed into how the relationship was progressing considering how it began.

There was chemistry, but there was a small strand of something missing, and whatever that something was, it was important. To blight the feeling, I remembered that the man who made me laugh hysterically was a disappearing act who was also emotionally unavailable. I magnified how I felt when the boy in the picture ran his fingers through my hair and kissed me. Add that to listening to my circle of girlfriends dishing of their happiness for me when I thought he was too good to be true.

“Are you sure?” a close friend asked over her crackly cell phone. “He seems like a great guy, but make sure you protect your heart.” I was annoyed because she challenged me and reminded me to trust my gut.

I shrugged off her concern, as well as my own. I’d literally run into this wonderful man, and we’d already learned so much from each other. He taught me to open my heart and verbalize what’s inside, rather than putting a cork on my emotions, and I encouraged him not to sweat the small stuff. I figured we’d come into each other’s lives for a reason, if only for those.

We traveled together up the East Coast. Since my first visit to the New York City, I’d had dreams of walking hand in hand with my lover, sharing a passionate kiss on the street as the rest of the world buzzed by us. There I was in that place with that person–a perfect set-up for my dream to take shape. On a cold December morning, we caught a cab to Harlem from Brooklyn. As we zoomed down avenues and turnpikes, I laid my head on his shoulder and soaked up all the energy the city had to offer.

I was numb.

I didn’t feel what I thought I should’ve felt considering the time, space and place I was in. The feeling caused a small panic, and I tried my hardest to shake it off. Later that day, we leaned into each other for secret kisses over plates of soul food in a small mom and pop eatery. A true Southern gentleman, he and the owner talked as if they were old friends. She was enamored by his bright eyes and magnetic personality just as I was. When we visited an old friend of mine, she pulled me into her bedroom after dinner and gushed about my beau. “I wish you could see the way he looks at you. This is like a romantic comedy!”

There were many talks about our future together and what we would do the “next time we go away.” I made a conscious decision to accept that this man was real, and not a figment of my imagination. Those youthful folks in that old picture could actually be together. Don’t get crazy and mess this up, I told myself.

Just hours before our flight back home, he’d changed his reservation to remain in the city a couple of days with family to prolong going back to his stressful job. I was livid.

As we stood at the escalator to airport security, he pulled me in for a hug and asked, “I just need a couple of days, that’s all. Don’t let this ruin the good time we had this weekend. I’ll be home soon.”

I barked at him, trying make him aware of his selfish and inconsiderate move. I felt immature for doing so, but I stood in the airport security line with eyes full of tears hiding behind my oversized sunglasses anyway. I traveled back home alone.

When he returned and we resolved our quarrel, I realized that for the first time, I wasn’t keeping score in a relationship, trying to one-up my guy. I was pleased with my personal growth.

A routine call about his travel home went unanswered, along with countless other calls and texts that followed. I became worried about him and his family. Was he dead or alive? A random text reply that read “I’m okay” several days later solidified what my intuition had already told me. He was ending things. Did something happen while we were away? Is that why he stayed in New York?

For some reason he couldn’t say, we weren’t going to work as a couple. I didn’t put up a fight because by then, I was already emotionally and mentally exhausted.

I experienced a different emotion for each day of the next week, from confusion to sadness to anger to relief, and then repeat. We spoke more than once about his decision to end things, and he blamed it on a pesky personality trait–indecisiveness–which had left more than a few burned bridges in his past. My warning to him was to look before he leaps before sweeping another woman off her feet knowing she would reach a quick expiration date. There was forgiveness, but no real reconciliation.

Some time passed, and he called. I reluctantly answered. We quickly gave recaps of our lives without each other, and after a few awkward silences, it all became clear. I remembered that weird feeling I had in New York paired with other “shoulder taps” I’d intentionally overlooked from the beginning. He and I should have never been “us.” His abrupt end to things shouldn’t have surprised me either. He’d been upfront about who he was and how he handled relationships. I didn’t miss any of the signs he flashed before me, but I’d ignored my own.

Luckily for me, he had enough courage to acknowledge his feelings and take action, even though he did so erroneously. He wanted to try again, but by then, I was completely sure in my decision to pass on reuniting with him. We, or maybe, just I, shouldn’t have to learn the same lesson twice: Always go with your gut.

The Stories of People: The Boy in the Picture Pt. 1

For years, a photograph had been tucked away underneath a pile of pictures that archived my college experience light years before chronicling your every move via digital cameras and iPhones became the norm. I’d randomly taken it with a guy I’d seen in passing on campus during a seemingly wild night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I’d flipped past it a million, and though I didn’t know the guy, I’d kept it because it was a great picture of me in the prime of my youth. I was happy, and he was handsome.

I hadn’t seen him, whoever he was, since the picture was taken almost 10 years ago, but during a weekend excursion with friends, we literally ran into each other. Upon first glance, I knew it was him: the boy in the picture. As evident from those pictures stacked in old shoe boxes in my closet, I’m big on memories and nostalgia. To meet him randomly at a concert, there had to be a story here.

The years had been kind to him, and he expressed the same feelings about me. The boyish face in that photograph was replaced with chiseled features and more facial hair. His eyes were the same though—deep and hypnotic. We were no longer college kids, but adults living very different lives in different places. After a brief conversation, we exchanged numbers, which led to accepting a brunch invitation the next day. After a long night of partying, my plan was to call and cancel, but the image of us in that picture made me go.

On the patio of a small breakfast cafe, we admitted that we never really knew each other in college, but tried to catch up on each other’s lives over French toast and fruit anyway. We enjoyed each other’s company so much, that I contemplated skipping another engagement that I’d committed to attending, and that’s so unlike me.

I rarely get giddy over anything, but I looked forward to talking to the boy in the picture again even though we lived hours apart. We spoke again days later by phone, but after that, nothing. As it turned out, he’d just entered a relationship after our meeting. I had this unshakable feeling that our story wasn’t over, but I gracefully bowed out.

A few weeks later when I was still thinking about him, he called. “I’ve been thinking about you…a lot,” he said with a hint of guilt.

We began to talk, and I sent him the old picture of us. He marveled over it, saying what I thought privately: we looked like a happy couple. Perhaps, we both saw a potential love story in that, and it excited us. We continued to keep in touch even though he was involved. We told ourselves “we’re only talking, right?”

Those sporadic conversations turned into constant communication. He became a part of my day, and I, his, from early morning calls to midday check-ins to make sure I wasn’t on the verge of a mental breakdown at work to goodnight text messages. He made it clear that he was with his significant other, even though she, too, lived hundreds of miles away. I accepted it. To me, it was a game of sorts to see how much of him I could acquire. Was it right? No, but I rationalized our relationship by thinking any day he would call me and end communication because of his commitment to his girlfriend. I was fully prepared for the blow, and in some ways I secretly hoped he would to end these immoral shenanigans…