I had really done it this time. Dug a hole so deep, I couldn’t see my way out of it. My options? Move to another apartment and get a new job or to move to Georgia where the rest of the family was. Either way I have to move. I can’t go on this way. This man has stolen my spare key and now I can’t be sure how safe we are. It’s true what they say. Life is made up of a series of choices leading up to this very moment. My momma had taught be better than to date the crazy type. Sure, I grew up in a fatherless household, but I had never felt empty or mis-educated, Most of us nowadays, are either fatherless or mommyless, or have two moms or two dads or something combination of adults. There’s daddy and grandma, Mommy and mommy, just grandpa; all different things. The classic nuclear family is fading and we all come from a some kind of mixed up home. I had my momma, my auntie and my Gee Gee. Who needed a daddy? Besides, I had never met the man and why should I ? He knew I existed but still did nothing to be an active participant in my 25+ years of life. My mother tells a story of him coming to see me as a baby with his uncle but she feared their malintent because they carried guns. Something was not right. Luckily, they left in peace. Before leaving he asked my mother if he could take me to see his family in Ghana. She refused. She knew if she’d let me go, she’d never see me again. That was the last time she’d seen the man who donated his sperm for the sake of my existence. If you ask me, good riddens. What do we need him for? I’m wrong though, every girl needs her father to model for her the type of man to allow in her life. I clearly didn’t get that memo. If I had, it’s likely that I wouldn’t have this crazy hotep punching his fist through walls to flex his masculinity every time I said something he didn’t like. Nonetheless, I stand behind my mother's decision to keep me home that time all those years ago. I was her miracle baby as she called it. The only baby she carried to term among 6 miscarriages she had throughout her twenties into early thirties. Though she knew early on that my father would be absent, that didn’t deter her from wanting me. How brave she must have been.

My mother’s strength reminds me that it’s in my DNA to outwit this lunatic of an ex looming around with my key. At this point, I’m just trying to figure out how or when the hell can I sleep knowing this guy can pop up any time?! But let’s face it, I’m not going to sleep. He knows where we live, where we shop, where I work, where CJ goes to school and in his anger, what will he do? It’s even creepier that he left a box of gifts asking to come back. As sweet as some might find it, I find it extremely creepy. It was the same day I had the locks changed to keep him out in the first place. I refuse to lie to the cops again, pretending everything is alright because it’s not alright. I’m terrified and I can’t put my kid through all the things he could possibly do. I put the whimpy chain on the door that his ridiculously strong arm could pop. I've wedged a chair between the front door and the wall, praying that at least if he attempted to get in, I could wake up in time to call the police. I’m disappointed in him and in myself for choosing and letting him penetrate my life this deeply. To think, strength is usually what attracted me to men. But I guess too much of anything…

The hotep and I met on Jamaica Avenue in Jamaica, Queens. I was attending a church that did not allow me to date outside of the church. Their strict subscription to the bible Made for a very sexually frustrated me. I had also just been “laid off”. I say ‘laid off” because as it turns out, the whole job was a scam. I‘d found this job as an executive assistant at a very small bookkeeping company on Craigslist only for the woman who hired me to say a month later that she had been audited by the IRS and could not pay me anymore. Turns out she let the entire staff go. An entire month of work and no payment. She had run this scam before and I had just gotten caught up in her latest cohort. What’s worse? I had lost my government assistance since getting the job. I’d only got the job because my financial aid dropped me and I couldn’t afford school. Can we say broke broke? My life was in shambles. The only thing I had was my monthly metro card that still had two more weeks left on it. After dropping CJ at school, I decided to take a ride anywhere. I needed to feel the air, collect my thoughts and most of all find out who’s hiring. So there I was on the ave walking down the street. I noticed a man in a long overcoat and thought to myself, “what a nice coat” It’s not everyday that you see a younger guy in a business coat and sneakers. He hastily walked past me as I strolled casually. We both stopped at the corner and waited for the light to change. I could see him seeing me. I already didn’t feel like what the conversation could be, so I was hoping it was just a peep and that he kept it moving. He didn’t. When the light signaled to walk, he allowed me to get just ahead of him, I suppose to make sure I had a booty, and then he spoke. My pace quickened. He followed me, I don’t even remember what he was saying. I was intrigued because it seemed different from the usually pick up lines, but not intrigued enough to stop. I walked downstairs to the train station, he swiped me on. A gentleman after my own heart I thought. After he swiped he asked “ So can I take you out sometime?” “Sure” I said, “whatchu doin right now?” He looked somewhat baffled by my bold approach but not turned off. I swipe him on and we walked down to the train that was pulling into the station at that very moment. He grabbed my hand and it felt magical. I  craved physical contact. We attempted to run to a less crowded part of the train, only to end up right in the middle, the most crowded part of the train. I found it strange when he mentioned that I shouldn’t touch the pole because it was dirty. Of course it was dirty but I didn’t want to fall while on the train. He insisted I hold his shoulder. My discomfort grew more when he stared a man down until the man felt compelled to give up his seat to me even though I had been content with standing. We were having a conversation and I didn’t want his mike to my face, if you know what I mean. I recognized the position of power and didn’t want him standing over me. But my damaged ego ignored the small red flags and played along. We got off at Forest Hills and proceeded to this french restaurant that in all my visits to that area, I had never noticed before. “ oh he must make good money” I thought as he asked me to go inside ahead of him to ask for a table. I was confused but again complied with his request. When the host seated me, he followed right behind. He took my coat and followed all gentleman guidelines. When we sat, he handed me a white rose that he had picked from the bush outside. This brought me to tears, here this stranger is making me feel special. I was getting swept over here. Just what the doctor ordered, right? Wrong. This was merely a show.

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