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Bag Number 1

You hurt me. You prick.

It’s funny how a song can trigger so many emotions, especially emotions that had been buried for so long…

I woke up Sunday morning, contemplating going to church, but not really feeling it… trying to figure my way out of spending another day full of this seemingly insatiable desire to hop on a joystick. Yeah, a joystick. 

So after giving in to staying home, I was somehow drawn to listen to some gospel music, something I rarely do… and not the new school stuff either. Nope, the battle I was fighting required much more… “Jesus, Be a Fence.” As I made breakfast, I listened and sang to the familiar tune, praying all the while, crying on the inside… “He’ll fight my battles if I just keep still…” Singing and dancing and shouting and praying. 

Spending time.

Donnie McClurkin… Marvin Winans… 

Oh, Marvin Winans. I remembered that he was my favorite singer because his voice is as smooth as spreadable butter and tender like a bear hug and even though he’s like 80 and a bishop, I would marry him if he promised to only speak to me in song and not make me go to church every Sunday and do First Lady stuff… just saying... 

As I searched to hear more of his songs, one song in particular that I still can’t recall the name of, I happened upon a few more hits that took me back down memory lane.

BeBe and CeCe… Anita Wilson… 

Anita Wilson… “It’s Done”... so many emotions flooded me, almost toppling me over. My teaching assistant a few years back introduced me to this song as I was going through the toughest break-up of my life. She played it for me when the students left the classroom and oh how I cried. Stone cold me. Vulnerable-less I. The unreachable finally reached. I must’ve played this song everyday for probably like a month. It was one of the only things that kept me sane and alive. 

Have you ever experienced that kinda hurt, so real and thick that the only way you can see out of it is through death? So real that it’s weight is so heavy on your heart that you’ll do whatever it takes to get it off of you? Walk into oncoming traffic… jump off a bridge… slit your effin’ wrist… just take the pain away!

Silly of me.

All the days and nights spent helping him fulfill his dreams thinking it was about us. 

All the time spent contemplating a way out, but not wanting to leave while he was pursuing his goals because I thought it was about us.

All the unnecessary conversations trying to get him to unlock his emotions and express himself to me and thinking we were on the same page.

All the other guys I could’ve entertained but didn’t because of my commitment to him.

All the moments I spent convincing myself that he was different from other men and that I could trust him.

All the… all the… all the…

And all the time, was he trying to break me? On purpose?

The real question is how I let him back in… How did I trick myself into believing that forgive and forget meant that I should revisit the scene of the crime? See, I don’t have the kind of heart that can easily let go of three and a half years of memories… that easily forgets the gifts that were bestowed on it by even the most broken people. 

I can’t sit in hate or bitterness or despair for lengthy amounts of time. A blessing and, perhaps, sometimes, a curse. A curse because I let my guards down and let him somewhat back in even though I said that I would never ever ever entertain a cheater again.

The crazy thing is that I don’t regret it. I don’t regret kissing him again. I don’t regret making love to him every time as if it was the first time again. I don’t regret saying I love you. I don’t regret going on that trip with him even though I swore I would never vacation with a man unless he was my husband. 

I don’t regret any of it, because deep down, I’ve always known that he wasn’t the one. I don’t regret it because by letting it play out, we came to the end.

I just wish I had been more honest with myself and that I had recognized our brokenness and taken him off his pedestal sooner. 

You hurt me. You prick. 

But I will forgive.

I will ‘forget’.

Because all is love. 


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