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The Sentinel

 


"It's not that I don't want you here, It's something about the way you stare into my eyes/I know that I don't make things clear, I fall for you every time I try to resist you..."

                                                 Snoh Aalegra~ I Want You Around

The more I live, the more I realize that our intended purpose in this particular lifetime is to simply observe-especially when it comes to ourselves.  Life itself is a living, breathing entity with a mind of its own; determined to express its most authentic self...with little to no interference from me.  It's becoming obvious, painfully, at times, that it still happens...Life, that is; whether you choose to engage or not.  I came to this conclusion when it came to other people rather quickly; understanding that they really don't care what you think, they are just looking for validation in their own beliefs.  So I found it no great burden to make the comfortable shift to the background of their lives, minding my business; happy to only observe.  It took a lot longer, however, for me to realize that this approach actually extended to me as well.  It's all a show, and we choose precisely what to tune into, and more specifically, what experiences to have.  Oh I'm not just talking shit here, I have made this a working theory over the past few months!  I'm the self-professed "Spook That Sat By the Door", and I can't recall a period in time this peaceful for me since I was a child.  After the much needed respite, I was ready to be Outside!  It was Ladies Night at long last, and I was heading to an all white party with Melanie, and two of the sisters from the gaggle, Alana and Jerica.  My new approach to people was about to come in handy-I was going to be spending the night with some ladies that I perhaps had too much upfront info about-and I was already apprehensive...

Landon sat on the bed, watching TV as I got ready.  I tried my best to mentally prep everything prior to, but I was still all over the place.  I had finally managed to find my way into my dress and shoes; trying to remember what else I had in mind for the outfit.  "So what you and the fellas gettin into tonight?"  He asked nonchalantly, still looking at the screen.  "Um, we're going to an all white party with 2 of Melanie's sisters."  I said, from inside the open cube I was  frantically tearing through in search of my earrings.  "And these are 2 of the newbies, right?"  "Yep!"  I replied, with a forced smile.  "Why you sayin it like that?!"  His eyes reflecting slight amusement.  I rolled my eyes because I knew what he was thinking.  He was thinking that I was being bratty and stingy with my time with Melanie.  "I can admit that I DO prefer the excursions we curate for just the two of us are better enjoyed with just us two, but I pleasantly surprised myself on how I fully embraced the sister circle...all 46 of them!"  I responded.  "It's not that this time, the two that are coming are the only ones I've never met in person, and one of them has; how should I put this-a 'very strong' personality.  So strong in fact, she can turn into the Incredible Hulk at the drop of a dime."  I punctuated that statement with a pair of raised eyebrows.  "Oh wow, someone who can tear shit up worst than Melanie?  I wish I was gonna be there for the pure entertainment value.  You gotta take a video if shit goes down!"  Landon said, almost giddy at the thought.  I rolled my eyes again.  Let's hope nothing does pop off, I can't even stop Melanie when she goes there, let alone her honey badger of a sister!  Besides, I'm too cute for the Bullshit tonight."  Landon looked at me, "Where did you say you were going again?!"  His tone changing slightly.  "Berryville, to an all white party."  I said with a smile.  "Oh aight, cool.  ain't nothing out there in Berryville.  But just in case that little white dress got lame ass niggas going crazy, and not taking no for an answer, I CAN be there."  He said, slapping my butt playfully.  "The only downside to the dates I used go on with you in my head is that I couldn't touch you.  Eh, panties Avri.  Stop playing with me!"   

I arrived at Mel's in a rush, thinking I was late, only to find she hadn't even showered yet.  Neve, Mel's mom was there.  She was one of my last OGs, I had to take advantage of the times I got to kick it with her.  I settled on the couch to catch up and gossip while I waited.  "Ya'll Heauxs not ready yet?!  Neve yelled down the hall after the brood.  A few minute later, both Jeri and Alana emerged, one carrying a shoe, the other applying lipstick.  Melanie had yet to be seen.  The next thing you know, thing you know, all you hear is, "Get it Sexy!" being shouted over and over again.  Melanie then emerged in a flurry of white feathers and rhinestones.  "Aight bitches, let's Go!"  She said smiling, making a beeline for the door.  I didn't really know what to expect from this event-after all, it was Berryville-I mean, it's not a place exactly known for its nightlife.  We were well acquainted with the host, which is why we opted to come; but his crowd-was a whole other story.  I was just hoping the food was good, and the music was decent.-keeping my expectations minimal meant a greater chance of them being met.  Shortly after arrival and greetings, I found an oversized chair near a window, I took my glass of pinot and my food over to my new favorite place in the entire party.  I laughed to myself as Landon's voice came to mind again; he was absolutely right-there was nothing in Berryville!  Oh well, this was the ideal spot to just watch and take it all in...who knows, my next story may be right here in this room...

What can I say, when I'm right, I'm right!  Yoooo, everybody (outside of Jeri, who never says a word!), had something going on.  There was this group of 4 big bodied Italian women there that didn't appear to know anyone outside of themselves, they were just here for the black men.  Then there was another clique of girls, who I later discovered were the cousins to the host, who walked in unison like the flying V off The Mighty Ducks; refusing to break formation until they were seated.  I scanned the room for Melanie and Sari; Mel's wife.  She was already at the party with a group of her friends.  Suddenly I saw a Selena song appear on one of the Karaoke screens, and I knew precisely where they were-this was Sari's shit!  My eyes continued to meander, landing on Alana and Tego next.  There wasn't anything immediately odd about the interaction; the two of them had grown quite close over her multiple visits.  They seemed to be quite engaged, until Tego abruptly got up; returning to the table shortly thereafter with an unopened bottle of Tequila and 2 shot glasses.  I lost track of them sometime after Mel and I finished in the 360, but was quickly reminded of their presence just a few moments later.  I just heard the raspy shrillness of Melanie's voice trying to de-escalate a potentially crazy situation.  Soo, apparently alcohol was the trigger that brought out the Hulk in Alana.  Anything that was said once she reached this point, were fighting words.  Ah.  So THIS is the Alana I had heard so much about, and was desperately trying to avoid meeting...

Soon, Gessi joined the small group in an attempt to understand what all the commotion was about.  This was an innocent, yet terrible decision on her part.  Her presence seemed to further enrage Alana.  She began spewing obscenities completely foreign to anyone looking on.  Melanie looked mortified; apologizing profusely for her sister's behavior.  Alana wasn't the only reason for Mel's face-Sari had reached full inebriation as well.  She was wondering around the party, randomly thanking people.  Sari was a little tight over the Host's thank you speech in which he thanked, so Sari felt, all the wrong people.  In the midst of all these random events, yet another person wandered over; Tamika; would wanted so badly to insert herself into the situation.  This was the last thing that anyone wanted; all of them collectively scrambling to prevent her interference.  Alana was still laying into Gessi, telling her she looked like she drank tap water.  The whole chaotic debacle culminated in Melanie and Jeri flanking Alana on either side, carrying her away, and disappearing into the crowd.  I took that as my cue to slip out for some much-needed air; I needed to breathe...

I slipped out the side door, making my way to the small stairway.  It was actually a gorgeous night.  The air was just warm enough to be comfortable, yet still held enough crispness to provide a slight chill when the wind blew.  I found the small pink joint I had tucked away in my wallet and lit it.  After placing one of the dinner napkins I had swiped from a table on my way out on the ground, I sat down; making myself comfortable.  I took a few pulls, thinking of how I couldn't wait to tell Landon about all the Fuckery that transpired.  For all I knew, shit was still going down on the other side of that door.  I took a few more pulls, putting the joint out, and sat-enjoying the quiet darkness.  This is where I always found myself when I went out; somewhere completely tucked away and alone.  I decidedly had enough outside for the day, and was ready to go home.  My phone began to ring, startling me; disrupting the silence like a firecracker.  I groaned a little, thinking it was one of my party companions, searching for me...I wasn't you ready to be found just yet...pulling the phone from my bag, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was Landon.  "I just called to check on you, see how 'ladies night' was going so far."  He said.  "You wouldn't believe me if I told you!  I will say, as far as entertainment goes, the night didn't disappoint...I got to see the Hulk!!"  I said smiling.  "Oh yea?  I can't wait to hear that story!  So wassup, what you doing right now?  It sounds quiet, is the party over?"  he asked.  "Nah, it's still going on, but you know me, I'm sitting in the cut, as far away from the bullshit as possible.  How about you, what you up to?"  I asked.  "Oh nothing much, just out and about; moving around."  Landon replied.  I groaned a little.  "What's the matter?  You're ready to go, aren't you?"  I groaned again.  "Is that bad?!  I don't want to say it.  I'm tryna hang!  I'll be OK, besides, I didn't drive anyway..."  My voice trailed off.  There was no need to finish the sentence.  The bat mobile was coming to a rolling stop at the curb in front of me...  

I couldn't have been happier to see him..."Is this weird?!" Landon asked, as the passenger window rolled down.  I pretended to contemplate for a moment or two before responding.  "No, not for you.  Embrace your identity as my stalker...I have!"  I said smiling as I slipped into the seat next to him.  "But seriously, sometimes, on the inside, I can't tell where I end and you begin.  I love how you can feel me, and know just what I need, and exactly when to show up.  It's better than magic; it's real."  Landon leaned over and kissed my forehead.  "Even though I always say it, I finally realized that you are different, which means you need to be loved that way.  I thought about the way you love me, giving me whatever it is I need and want in that moment.  You may not even know what that is at the time, but you pay attention, and you put my feelings first.  I knew that if I wanted shit to be different, I was gonna have to put in that same work.  I'm not stalking you, I'm studying you; learning how to love You.  I want our forever, and I won't let anything get in the way of that.  I'm being as serious as I can possibly be when I say that you are Mine; fully and truly.  There is no version of any story that ends with us not being together.  I'm not giving you any reasons to walk away or any excuses to run.  I'm here.  And so, I show up for you; making my presence known.  The most important thing is to Be there; and I understand that now."...Wow; he really did get it; all on his own.  I guess I wasn't the only one who had become a conscientious observer..."The walking away is over; for the Both of us," I whispered softly,  "Abandoning you, is abandoning myself."

...Hmmm, I wonder if gorgeous chocolate men are capable of blushingđŸ¤” If so, I'm certain that's what Landon was doing; his smile never really fading the entire way home...     

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