When she “caught” me with my new little cell phone, out of habit and conditioning; I immediately went into “Operation Explanation”:
#1. I explained to her that I was not trying to be little “Miss Secretive” and that whatever our situation was [whenever she was able to talk to me without her “coaches” and “people” on the line and wanted privacy] perhaps we could have private time on my cell phone, or she could drop me an email, or text on it if she wished to-on a line of communication that no one would know about but the two of us (if the two of us was really what she genuinely wanted, and she had pure, genuine interest in me-period-without the drama and red-tape).
#2. I explained to her that with the new cell phone, I could also be online with her-without interruption, because my home phone calls and voicemails would go straight to the new cell phone’s voicemails and I could retrieve them and talk to whomever, later.
#3. I told her that rather than me rushing home from my day to for us to talk, and to avoid my having to get online and going into the room to find out that she’d be gone; perhaps she could just send email, or text to let me know that she was waiting on me to get home so that I could do just that: get home and talk right to her. I explained to her that I didn’t have the luxury of having mobile/remote access to her like she did me, so she was able to handle her day with knowing my availability but at least with my new cell phone, I too, could be mobile and accessible. At least I would know when to go home to be available to her rather than breaking up my day to get home, only to find that she wasn’t available yet. This setup could free up a lot of time for me. The thing about Janet is that when she was off tour with time on her hands, whomever deals with her must have a lot of time on their hands too-to tend to her-that’s just how she is. She can’t (and won’t) trust you otherwise.
I was exhausted with all the creative explaining, and ideally, those explanations would have been true, but realistically, I had been dealing with her long enough to know that the reasons behind those explanations could never happen even if she could merely entertain the thought of it being that way-it wouldn’t. And she certainly wouldn’t go for #3 (to allow me that much free time in my own personal life away from her) that would mean way too much free time not just away from her-but away from her control (and her literal remote control).
The real truth was just what it was when I bought the damned cell phone and transferred my calls from home to it:
#1. I wanted privacy on my fucking telephone.
#2. I wanted whomever dialed into my telephone to have some fucking privacy, too.
#3. It would eliminate 80% of our issues of her “overhearing” something that caused her to react-that totally had nothing to do with her, and her misunderstanding and acceptance of the fact that I really did have a life and other friendships and relationships before her, period--that since her; became strained (and some-estranged).
I felt so stupid. I felt like such a puppet on a string but I didn’t know what else to do. I did know however, that I had to keep my cool and remain patient until I could put together all the pieces and was able to pull away from her-safely (in the event she did have any ill-intent). I had no idea if, or how this thing would end, but I did know that when or if it did; it was not going to be in my favor or out of care for me, my feelings and my life. She was just too hot and cold, too off and on-and we were always arguing about something. I never knew what she would do next.
As happy as I was that she took a very unexpected turn from the way I expected her to react about my no-show for the Xcapade shin-dig; the bottom line is, that way was a rarity. The hurt got to her heart before the anger did, so things went well (that time). But in my heart of all hearts, all else was just a matter of time. I was growing not to get too comfortable with her sweetness-no matter how much I loved it.
With her, I was beginning to know what the effects was like for that baby whose mother was going through post-partum and loved + hated her baby, where the child could sit in the feeding seat and get all kinds of love, food, affection, reaction and attention that was pleasing to it and then the next moment, the mother would go blank and stare the child in the eyes and become unresponsive and despondent when the baby would reach for the mother and expect that same play that it had gotten the last time it sat in that feeding chair. Enough of that made the baby crazy and then there goes their healthy mind and sanity as they develop and grow.
I’m sane and sensible enough what was going on and could be true enough to myself to admit that I was allowing it to happen, but without a clear plan of action to prepare for the worse, as well as what damage could really be done by somebody who blinds the world by her superstardom and smile and who too, has access to the media, my computer, my important files that I need for my career plans (and I won’t belabor the obvious): my heart.
So two days after our fun, July 7 night, I was lying in my bed thinking things through-thinking about how all this shit began and if there really was a way out for me. I knew in my heart that what we called ourselves having was almost impossible, because she really didn’t wholeheartedly trust me-therefore I couldn’t wholeheartedly trust her, either. I just knew that she had the upper hand because of who she was, and that afforded her many resources that I couldn’t light a candle to, so I knew I had to be careful all the way around. I knew in my heart that she felt like she had too much to lose by trusting “little ole’ me,” but she too, had given away so much and the fact of the matter was-we were from two different worlds and going nowhere [normal]-fast. Her image was too big for her to want to consider “love” with me-not just us being “out” and open-that’s not important, nor was it my wish. But how we communicated and especially how she gathered information-period, caused more problems that necessary and that thing would always be--because of trust level never matching her status and “image.” I was sensible enough to know that.
Deep down inside, I felt so defeated every single day with this woman. I had really come to terms with the fact that no matter how much time, love and attention I gave to her; it was never going to be enough to make her trust me fully. All I could see was me-giving; trying to prove things to her until I broke down in mind. I just broke out crying. I cried so bad that I could hardly breathe. I wanted to burst out of the house and drive six miles up the road to Shauntay’s house, or anybody’s house, so that I could talk about what I was going through deep down inside, but it was too late at night. So I took a deep breath and picked up the phone to call Shauntay. I knew that Janet would probably get her signal, letting her know that I was on the phone, but I did not care. When Shauntay answered, I took a deep breath and busted out in tears even more and began to spill out things to her that she never even knew about this thing with Janet.
I told her about how trapped I felt and how stupid I felt for feeling trapped.
I told her about how every other day I was going through something with Janet and how controlling beyond belief she was.
I told her how I’ve never felt this defeated and trapped in my entire life.
I told her about how I had been trying so hard to be patient because I was so afraid that everybody on her payroll would point the finger at her to say, “I told you so!” I can’t lie; I wanted to prove them all wrong about me where Janet’s best interest at heart was concerned.
I told Shauntay about how I felt so obligated to be there for her since all others around her were on her payroll and were basically paid to be her friends, and something inside me couldn’t pull away from her, I just couldn’t, although I know I needed to.
I told her about all the rotten, cruel, crazy, as well as the good, the grandiose, and the great things that had been going on that I never told her about.
I told her about all the nights and days that tears rolled down my face sometimes at the thought of the whole situation, but that I was so afraid to turn away. I was scared. I just couldn’t turn her away no matter how hard I tried because I knew she was lonely. And considering who she is; she couldn’t just walk to the corner store or take a stroll in the park even like the average celebrity could. She was happy to have found somebody from outside of her life, to give her “life” and I couldn’t cut her off from that. I felt obligated to that.
I told Shauntay I was tired, tired as hell. I cried while Shauntay pitifully listened.
I told her how so desperately I needed her to go on and live her life so that I could have mine back and that I was trying to hang in there to give her whatever she wanted or needed to finally release me.
That night I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Thank God Shauntay was home, because I needed to cry out to somebody. Somebody else on my side needed to know what was really going on.
The next morning I woke up with my eyes wide shut and puffy and tight.
My nose was all stopped up from crying myself to sleep. I walked downstairs into the living room and looked at the computer looking at me. I did my usual thing, I took a deep breath and logged into I.M while I got dressed to see if Janet was going to come on. I needed to know what was on the menu today. It was something new: A gone away message-something she never did in the history of my dealing with her.
The message [emphasized, capitalized, italicized] and read: “Hello, I’m away from my computer right now and out LIVING MY LIFE… I’ll return later…In the meantime, check out my cool web page: www.geocities.com/wellesley/veranda/xxxx/xxxxxxxx.htm Thanks.”
I took a deep swallow. “Living her life huh?” I said to myself, as I looked at the ellipsis that followed the sentence. I knew she must’ve been upset because I told Shauntay “I wish [she’d] go on and live her life and leave me to mine. I was so shocked and hurt that that was about all she gathered from the entire conversation she “overheard” rather than understanding my pain. It was real. While reading the message I shook my head-because that was just the kind of shit I was talking about.
I selected the web addy that she had listed (for me) to view. It was titled: “The Three Amigos…Plus One.” The three amigos pictured were: Shawn (in her own window of the pic), Tina (in her own window of the pic), and then Janet (in her own window of the pic). Janet’s picture, of course, gave off the most energy. She had practically no expression on her face-almost like she was being interrupted. She stood upon a balcony holding on to the rail, with her back to the camera but turned her face was turned to look at the camera with very soft half-smile. The “Plus One” part? Well, that was left blank, but I knew whose picture was supposed to be there...
I frowned and said aloud while sitting in my black Futon chair, feeling uncomfortable: “No, they are no friends of mine and this can’t be happening, I do not believe this. I hope she doesn’t ask me if I saw the web page.” How soon I forget…she was most probably up already, watching me-watching the page anyways, but stubbornly refusing to talk to me.
I logged out, put my book bag on my shoulder and left out for school and work.
That afternoon when I got in, I peeked into the room to see who was there. Immediately, someone came down under the nickname called: “Employee” and said: “Has anyone seen Janet, because I need to pick up my check?!”…I guess in response to my telling Shauntay on the phone the previous night that they were being paid to be Janet’s friend. I didn’t say anything back. The next [employee-friend] was having a conversation with [another employee-friend] claiming how guilty they felt and all. Then “Chulo” came down and said:
“Cinamon, come here… *wiggling finger* Do you trust me?”
“Well, here lately Chulo everyone’s proved themselves guilty-first, before proving themselves any other way, so I can’t answer that right now,” I replied.
“Cinamon, come here…*I’m caressing your neck and holding you close to me while I feel you breathing*”
Immediately I knew that was Janet hiding behind the name. I just stared at her as she looked at me through her mask-we both didn’t know quite what to say to each other. I had grown scared to receive her niceness for too long. I couldn’t accept it-because I knew it would only be for a short time. I really wasn’t in the mood for her lustfulness that day, however. She had already taken so much out of me. I just sat there, letting her caress my neck until it was time for me to go. I didn’t come back for the rest of the afternoon.
That Friday evening, I finally logged onto I.M and waited for her to come in. It took her forever to come in and I did not want to go into the room, so I stayed logged onto I.M while I stepped outside on my porch to talk to a close male friend mine who too, knew the rules (but without knowing exactly why): Drive by and toot the horn.
He and I sat on the porch and talked a while. When I came back into the house, Janet had left a few lines:
“Where are you?”
“What are you doing?”
“Oh, you’re trying to be funny because it took a while for me to come in?” …stuff like that.
After reading them, I kept trying to get her to come back on and although she stayed logged on, she refused to answer me. I went on over to the room and she was there. I just watched her doing what she does best; staring at me from across the room deciding what she was going to do next. Anytime someone said anything to her, she would respond but kept her eyes on me the whole time-daring me to move or excuse myself all the while, refusing to talk to me. I already knew her moves. She was top of the line stubborn and could outwait and out-persist you, the type that could squeeze blood from a turnip like no one else could. I refused to play that game with her tonight, so I logged out like slamming the door in her face.
The next day was Saturday and I spent it at Shauntay’s. She wanted to get me out and away from the house and I hurriedly did so. I arrived to her house in the late morning and we basically hung out, cleaned up, cooked, had dinner, and talked all day. We got caught up on the goings in her life that had been back-burner conversations for she and I whenever I could find the time to pull myself from Janet for longer a period of time than a one-hour lunch.
Shauntay confessed to me that in that one conversation last night and finally finding out what had all been going on (besides what she had known the surface) she was so winded of the situation I was going through that she wanted give me her favorite bible as a “no weapon formed against me shall prosper” gift. She wasn’t a highly religious person like Kia, but after learning what I was feeling and going through, she said she felt like it would be like kryptonite to Superman, daylight to a bat, and a cross in the face of the devil. Immediately I flipped through it, reading through some things that I could relate to at this point in my life. Together we came up with a remedy to alleviate a lot of the things I had been going through with these people in this other-worldly world of theirs.
We selected some scriptures for me to recite for when the need would arise again.
I already knew that day would not be too far away…
Our day was just like old times. It had been a while since Shauntay and me spent a weekend day for so long and so many hours with just me, her two girls, and her husband coming in and out of the house finding something to complain about while we’d all laugh and he and Shauntay would argue like Ma’ and Pa’ Kettle.
When I got in the house late that night, I walked straight past that damned computer and retreated to the quarters of my bedroom that hadn’t seen the likes of me lounging in it to merely sit back and watch television in like-forever. I could feel the four walls of my room doing a dance with the flickering light from that television dancing on it-wondering what the heavens was going on up in here! My slumber extended it my audience while I slept like a baby until I was interrupted by the doorbell ringing.
It was 3:30 a.m. I snatched my curtain back, opened the window and looked down: “WHO is it?” I yelled.
A tall black guy with a cap on his head yelled:
“Uh yeah, is Shanina there?”
“WHO?” I asked.
“SHA-NINA!” he enunciated and confirmed.
“Uh, you have the WRONG house playa,” I yelled.
“Well, do you think she lives right here?” he pointed at door number 2.
Perplexed, in my rough “I’m a woman but will bust a cap in yo ass voice” I hollered down: “Uh no, I’m more than sure she doesn’t live there Playboy…”
“Yeah, ok. Alright then…” said the tall black guy, as if he did not believe me and ‘willll be back.’ I sat up in my bed in the dark, not believing what just happened.
“This can’t be,” I said. “This just can’t be.”
“Shanina” is the name of Shauntay’s eight-year old daughter. “Shanina” is a name that Shauntay and some family members made up from a mixture of about three late loved ones in her family, so that tripped me out-the irony of some big, tall strange black guy knocking on my door in the middle of the night asking for a “Shanina” and enunciating it like he meant that shit, and wanted me to hear him pronounce the name-make no mistake about it. And to add interesting to irony, Shauntay (and Shanina)’s was where I spent all my time that whole day, up and away from Janet.
I watched the guy walk away from my house headed south-down the hill, and from the house next to mine; the view from my window disallows me to see any further down the hill in the direction he was headed.
My house was the only house on the whole street with a driveway, and if he was driving, why didn’t he pull into the driveway? It’s not that often that one walks the streets in my neighborhood at almost four in the morning ringing wrong doorbells on my small residential streets, either. One would pretty much make sure he had the right address before ringing someone’s doorbell in the dark morning hours asking for a name like: “SHANINA.”
I was livid and a little shaken up because I really didn’t know how to take that, but I had been through enough with Janet and experienced the lengths she would pay for and go to, to get the results (and the reaction) she wanted-to match her wishes, her sweetness (or her wickedness).
Sunday July 10, I entered the room. Everybody was just staring at me. A couple people spoke, and the rest just stared.
When they would prepare an arsenal of drama (or even fun), they loved to make harmless nicknames to poke fun at my red/orange skin undertone, my duck lips, or my round bottom. So when they began to drop nicknames down like “peachy,” “orange,” “daffy,” “red,” and “basketballbutt,” that would be like their inside jokes and siren-like a warning that I was in the room. Whether this day was going to be drama, or fun had yet to be seen.
So far, what she wanted to be seen (by me) was the conversation they were carrying on about what she knew about me sexually-and just like a dude, she even brought up our May encounter where she placed the thingy between my breasts and I gave it head while merely in the moment-demonstrating what she wanted to see: how I give head. Then she went gangam style on me.
Like a dude, she turned it on me and called me every dick-sucking slut she could in front of her friends. She began to drop and arsenal of things that she kept on safety for a day to come around like this. Other things (that she most probably “overheard” at some point in one of my phone conversations) she brought up. She began to repetitiously drop down real last names of a couple of real old boyfriends of mine-one in which she had to have really sent the dogs out for, because he a) had an unusual last name and b) she had never heard me mention anything about him-not even on my phone. She was on a hunt to hunt and gather, and was very jealous-she just wanted to pick a fight with me that day (as if I didn’t have a life before dealing with her). She was unbelievable. I think her digging into my “heterosexual” was inspired by me telling her that my male friend stopped by and I sat outside on the porch with him (when it took her too long to get back on the line). The way she behaved this day reminded me of one of the times back in May when we cybersexed and she told me I “looked like the type that liked these” (talking about “Mr. Happys” e.g-penises). That sexsion took her through a strange kind of sexual and sadistic agony that on this day in the room, she turned into anger at the thought of it, so she decided to taunt me with her friends (like a dude would do to a girl).
I watched them
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