The Following is a slice of life, part of my fictional series on the perils of this American life for the Single Female. comments are welcome.
It just all came to a head. And made me begin to wonder seriously, are men mentally Ill? There are those like Deborrah Cooper who claim that some are without apology. But this latest incident just sent me into serious levels of reflection. I have all kind of complaints about the ‘text dater’ and the ‘ghost dater’, men who seemed to try to keep me tied up with no real intent to commit. But these are men I barely know, who knows what sort of lives they live when they are not on the internet catfishing and spinning their lives into fantastic imaginary dreams.
But then I had my friend. I had known him for years. True, we had met online in some kind of Facebook Black Muslim Matrimonial Group, but it had actually grown in to a real friendship. It was no ‘catfish’ relationship. We’d met in person. We didn’t live in the same state, so we talked on the phone, texted– what people do. I’m talking about for years. I’d moved a couple times. Our most recent interaction had been a few months ago in Atlanta when he and his daughter had driven down there to have her do some recording at a make shift studio in Atlanta’s Castleberry Art District. The little girl has talent, and consciousness. I brought my daughter to see her sing, as I liked her to see what positive things other young girls her age were into. We’d gone out to Five Guys. I drove my car as they were trying to save gas money.
To hear his side of things, he’d always liked me. And he’d been a constant in my life even as I went through ups and downs in the minefield of Atlanta’s Black and Muslim community dating.
He had recently texted, “You always choose someone… not me.”
He’d told me in the past that he enjoyed me telling him of my adventures in life, career, love but particularly love. And I’d told him recently that, I didn’t even think he liked me like that anymore, thought we had just settled into just being friends. He never really seriously pursued me. Never offered me anything more than admiration and flirtation… but in his mind he had.
About a year or so prior and after I had, indeed, chosen someone else (disastrously) he would still flirt by phone. He came down by bus to Atlanta from Washington, D.C. knowing I was seeing someone else. I let him stay in the basement of my house. Actually, he kind of invited himself and I didn’t say ‘No’ well not clearly. But I did clearly affirm, that we were friends nothing more, nor should there be any expectation of anything more. He agreed. He did try to make himself useful, got some of his cousins to smoke weed and think about how they were going to mow the grass. I believe the grass was eventually cut. I’ve always felt the need to be included in events, felt it was terribly rude of people when they left others out. Besides, Atlanta wasn’t his home, so I invited him out to a fight party, I was going to in downtown Atlanta. He made himself useful, again, by driving us in my car. By the end of the evening he took my car back home without me in it, (I had to get a ride) but he went to stay with his cousin saying I hadn’t paid enough attention to him, complaining I was a terrible host. I didn’t see him again on that trip.
After a few months, he began texting and calling again. One night, he went on about how much he always loved me and how I never chose him. I almost relented but he quickly rejoined,
“you deserve someone who can give you all their time and resources and I already have two girls who get that (presumably he meant his two daughters)’ I sighed, It wasn’t as simple as relenting, what is it they tell Black women, to stop fighting? What is it they tell all women, just submit? And here, I’d thought I’d missed the obvious…you know that light-bulb moment in all the Rom-Coms when the female protagonist says, “Wow he’s been in front of me all the time! He may not have Idris Elba abs but dammit he’s here, and he’s exactly what I need! “I sighed and said, “Ya’ll just waste my time. I’m tired of every guy I know always having some excuse about not being able to have a normal relationship with me. I don’t need talk I need action. I would think if you were serious you would need that too.” He agreed. He’d always be there for me, her reminded me, and did I need anything?
So, what I did: It won’t be popular. It will be scoffed at as the action of an unenlightened gold-digger. But I asked him for money. I had read his texts and it started to irritate me. I always listened to words, but these were seldom backed up by actions. I asked for $100.00 for the fingerprinting fee for the school system here. He had offered me money before and I had declined but I decided to go for it this time. Even if we were just friends… I mean who hasn’t asked or helped a friend when they were in need? I braced myself for the response, all the while wondering why, this was my good buddy, my true friend. He took a long time to answer, but replied
And then silence. I was used to receiving several calls and texts talking about how much he loved me. How excited he was when he thought about me. So, after one day, two days, three days I wrote,
Still nothing. Then I wrote,
“I find it interesting that I haven’t heard anything from you when I usually get paragraphs and paragraphs.”
His response: ,
“You bitch can go to hell”
“Really? Because I asked you for something?”
“Yeah, You can go kick rocks in op
en toe shoes and die”
It all came to a head. No need to wonder. Rom-Com over. Elizabeth, Mr. Darcy, was never really your friend and just told you, ‘Bitch, you shit out of luck.’