Can I keep it real with you all? I’ve just finished a standard size bottle of wine in record-breaking time, beating my personal best of forty-five minutes in thirty-six minutes. I have dried up tear marks on my face and if my grandmother were around, she’d hand me a tissue from her bosom and tell me in her Southern accent, Baby, you know whatever it is you’s going through, know The Lord gone sho ’nuff bring you out of it now.

And I wanna believe that Granny. But I don’t. You’re physically not here in the flesh. But I heard you loud and clear with every swig I threw back from that bottle….

I’ve separated from the boy man I’ve spent the last six years with. A man who made me feel like I wasted my twenties. We played house and we started a family, but we outgrew one another and I was tired of holding onto something that felt I could change but knew was out of my control. Something that made me lose sleep and go in the bathroom, cover my eyes and SCREAM until my skin gave the illusion that I had dashed my face in Frankly Scarlet courtesy of MAC. Something that made me arrange happy hour dates with my girlfriends just to drink the madness at home away.

A shot of vodka for the arguments over money. Let me get a round of Hennessy for the times I found those text messages in his phone. Patron please, for all those long nights of patronizing. 

I held on to an “us” just for the sake of trying to keep a family together. I wanted wholeheartedly to redefine what I believed a family was and my kids deserved that even if I felt like I was unhappy. (Wo)man up. I reiterated that every night I kissed those kids to sleep and had to lay next to a man that couldn’t fulfill any desire but the sexual. That was good enough for him. It was no where near enough for me. I admit, I fronted for the cameras and perfected fake laughs in front of friends because I didn’t want anyone to know how incredible the pain felt inside. I was falling out of love by the year and yet, I had the audacity to tell people that the most important thing in a relationship was making sure you fall in love with your partner everyday.

But here I am – sitting in a quiet house, playing Chasing Pavements by Adele, shaking my head and fumbling with photos that I don’t know if I should keep or burn with the ends of this cigarette. I’ve already changed his name in my phone, deleting the emoji hearts behind the nickname, and modified my relationship status on social media. I’m not ready for the questions from anyone. Not even from myself.

My twenties were supposed to be about having fun and dating, figuring me out and following my dreams, but he had me at what up beautiful, and I gave it all up and gave him EVERYTHING. I gave him a twenty year old woman who never had her heart broken and thought Jason and Lyric, Darius and Nina, Monica and Q, would be me and him forever. Oh, how I was naïve. And now I can’t breathe. Not because he whisked me away and took me up out of the projects, moved me upstate and we lived happily ever after, but because I’m trying to catch my breath from all the running I did behind him, after him and trying to keep up with him.

I don’t know my left from my right or what a baby step in the right direction even is, but I know in the thirty six minutes I downed that Merlot, I realized I don’t know how to be alone. I don’t know how to move forward and I don’t know how to let go. I don’t know how to spend the remaining thirty six months of my twenties without him.

Absence makes the heart grow independent? I’m hoping to find some light and truth in that. Right now, I don’t know much of anything – just the lyrics to this song and the fact that I need another glass of wine to get through the night.

I’m just keeping it real.


Image Credit: MAXIMUSHKA