Chapter One, Page 16

Before meeting Imanme I was struggling with a debilitating anxiety. I had a decent job, a nice apartment in the city, a luxury vehicle, and money in the bank. But none of this mattered. Through my eyes, I hated my job, my apartment was too small, the service engine light was on, and I was down to my last grand. I couldn’t see the good in anything I had done. I always envisioned my life a certain way since I was a child. That life had not fruition and I was out of ideas. Introspection was not giving me the consolation I needed. My routine had become work, gym, home, repeat. I had no social life outside one married friend who was never available. Family was local but distant, and my parents were still listed as my emergency contact. I cried myself to sleep most nights wishing for something to get better.

Every night I would write. I would pound on the buttons of my laptop when I was angry, cry over them when I was sad, and play soft music as I typed when I was lonely. Writing was my comfort until Imanme showed me love.

“Can you come to the first game?” I knew the answer but that didn’t keep me from asking. “I’ll try,” he said. “If I can’t make it I promise to watch it on television.” “Deal. I’ll be in a ball cap with my hair down underneath.” “Do you really think I couldn’t spot you?” He paused making his next statement clear. “Sequoya darling, I could spot you anywhere.”

Chapter One, Page 17

Do you choose who you love? That was the question I wanted to answer in my book. Women and men think so differently but underneath their muscle and our makeup, I still feel as though we all want the same thing. Everybody wants to be loved.

The first man I ever asked about love said it was overrated. “If you find someone that will work with you and not against you, that’s love.” Even the younger version of myself was disappointed in that answer. “What about the stuff I see on TV?” All he huffed was, “That’s TV, entertainment, it’s not real.” I told myself he was in a bad mood. As I grew older his answer didn’t change.

Love defined is an intense feeling of deep affection. When I first looked in the dictionary for the answer I remember thinking, “That’s it!?” Where are the roses, the long walks in the park, bubble bathes, and massages? What about the guy that makes my heart melt and gives me butterflies in my stomach?

“I told you that stuff isn’t real,” he said then closed the door behind him. I turned to my mother. My last ray of hope. “Do you think the love I’ve imagined is real?” She smiled the widest smile I had ever seen. “You bet it’s real.”

Chapter One, Page 18

If a person gets to choose who he or she loves that person would be wise to choose someone who loves the same way he or she does. If its out of man’s control…then what? I needed to look outside my parents. I interviewed anyone that would talk to me.

“Why do you love her,” I asked male interview #5. They always look so serious when they’re talking about “The One.” “Its just something about her,” he said. “She was the first girl that made me feel special.” I didn’t tell him this but I was thinking, you are a huge, tough man. A girl needs to make you feel special? “What did she do?” I asked. “She was there for me like no one outside my family had been. I could call her anytime and she was right there.” “How was the sex?” “Still the best I’ve ever had to date.” He was very serious. “That girl could call me anytime she wanted and I’d drop everything, or anyone for her.” “So let me get this straight. There’s one woman that you would give your all to. You’d be faithful, supportive, and all that other stuff I know nothing about,” I said. He replied with certainty, “Yep.”

“So why are you not with her?” “She’s married to another man.” This was a common denominator among men. “The one that got away” owned several hearts.

Why did a woman have to leave a man for him to appreciate her? Just do right the first time and save everyone the head ache. I had almost concluded all men are stupid but hearing Imanme’s ringtone made me hold that thought. “Hellllllooooooo,” I said.

“What are you doing baby?”

“Writing. You want to help me with my research?”

“Let’s hear it.” I loved his eagerness to expound on my questions. He always answered with an unflinching candor.

“Why are men so stupid?” He laughed, “I’m going to need a little more information than that.”

 

Chapter One, Page 19

“Change my mind. I don’t want your help right now. I want you to be captivated when you read my book. Just know I’m disappointed with the answers I’ve received from men thus far.” I wanted Imanme to let his guard down so I could really pick his brain. Its not that I thought he would lie to me but I wanted to make sure he was relaxed. “You jack off today?” We laughed. “Hell yeah.” I loved him so much. “I thought about you too,” he said. “Remember that time we flew to Hawaii. I came up from behind you when you were out on the balcony looking at the stars.” I could always hear him smiling. “Damn that shit was good.” I reminisced with him for a moment. “When are we going back?” This was my way of indirectly asking him when we would see each other again. I was back on my grind but I missed him terribly.

“Sooner than you know.” He smiled again. Subject change, I thought. If we continued this conversation it would lead to phone sex followed by me passing out. That couldn’t happen tonight. I needed to work. “Do you think people choose who they fall in love with, or is it out of man’s control?” He didn’t answer immediately like he was in deep thought. Then he finally said, “To use your words, it’s out of man’s control. A man or a woman could meet the right person and fall helplessly in love.” My chest was tight but I had to know. “So do I have to fear losing your love to another?” “Sequoya darling, you are my helpless love.”

 

Chapter One, Page 20

He always had the appropriate answer. “Do you know how much I love you?” I asked. I had never felt this way about anyone. I thanked God for him everyday. I tried to mask my emotions with a joke. “Can I be your ride or die chick?” “You know you my Pooh Bear. We ride, not die.” “Oh, I thought of a nickname for you earlier today.” “I’m listening,” he said. “Binky…for obvious reasons.” We kissed the receivers ending the call. It was time for me to get back to work.

Interview #7 was tall, thin, and charismatic. “Thank you for meeting with me,” I started. “Are you in a relationship or are you single?” He licked his lips while checking out my thighs. “I’m single,” he said. “But you could change that.” “Let’s just stick to the questions.” I had to keep a few men focused on our objective. “Are you in love with anyone?” “Nope…but you could change that.” This interview was over. I chopped it up to another horny man that could only think with his little head.

I sat at my desk looking though notes and interviews. I had been researching men for years. Sometime last year it occured me to look at the women who love them. My first interview was a woman who had been in a relationship with a man for years who cheats on her. I wanted her to feel comfortable to talk openly about her relationship. I agreed to keep her anonymous. She agreed to be honest. “Why do you stay?” I asked her. “I love him.” Of course you do, I said to myself.

She and #7 had been together 8 years.

Chapter One, Page 21

“Hey Ma,” Steph was in a good mood. We were scheduled to fly to Washington meeting with the NFL in 2 days. This marked the first day of preseason and the first day to the rest of my life. “Sup homie,” I said. “My bags are packed. What time is the meeting? I plan on buying a new suit.” She laughed, “You will not be in a suit on the sideline. You will be in sweatpants I’m certain.” “I know but I want to look nice the first time I meet the team. Will the game be on television? I still haven’t told my family I’m leaving Oklahoma.” “Sequoya! What are you waiting on? Yes it will be aired! You can’t let them find out when they turn on the television. They will be heartbroken.”

She didn’t understand the relationship I have with my parents, especially my dad. I wanted to make sure nothing could go wrong before I tell him. “I’m going to call them after I sign on the dotted line. I promise.” What I hadn’t told her is, that I hadn’t told anyone my fortunate news. Family, friends, nobody.

The only person that knew was Imanme…and the people that read my diary. But they still think this is fiction.

Chapter One, Page 22

It is.

I danced around my apartment after I ended the call with Steph. Imanme was the only person that had seen me dance. I was so in my zone with him. I couldn’t wait until he called me tonight. He was going to be so proud of Pooh Bear. I triple checked my luggage for the trip. Tomorrow I was catching a flight to start my new escapade. I heard his ringtone. I rushed to the phone. This was not normal. He called at night. Something must be wrong.

“Hello,” I said. Nerves running through my body. Please God let him be okay.

“I’m at the airport. I had to see you.”

“What?!” I said.” You’re at what airport?”

“Tinker. How fast can you get here?”

“Give me 20 minutes.” I could tell him my superb news in person. I took a ho bath, a 2 minute shower, then jumped in my BMW headed to see my baby. He said he missed me. I would’ve teased him about lying but the fact he was across town I couldn’t. He missed me. He…missed…me. I didn’t have to show ID. Security was expecting me.

“Pooh Bear.”

“Binky.”

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