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The Quick and the Dead: A Landon Perspective


As fantastic as the weekend was, it was time to go back to school--I really wasn't feeling it...sitting in my car in front of Avri' house, I almost thought about hitting the turnpike in the opposite direction and just never going back.  I had shit on my mind.  Avri appeared in the doorway; 'I wonder if she would be down to run away with me', I thought.  "Hey!"  Avri said, as she slid into the seat next to me; a full smile on her face.  I don't know what my face said, I was in mid-thought.  The past few months had been Hell for Avri and me; I just could not take one more thing.  WTF did she mean he wants to talk to me?!  I don't like this...  Who was this clown?  Where did he come from?!  Oh yea, from me...
I was the one who told her to date some other people; to enjoy being unattached.  Funny thing is, I said it, I just didn't think she would actually DO it!!  Note to self, from now on, stop saying shit you don't mean!  I want to be upset; maybe I am...

And yet, I love her...even when I'm upset...maybe that's why.  
Don't get me wrong, I know there's no need to feel any type of way; he's nobody.  Not to Avri, and damn sure not to me--so where does he get off thinking he has the right to question me about MY Avri?!  She's MINE.  If I didn't know before this weekend, I do now.  I could feel her the entire time; regardless of if we were together or not.  This was IT.  There is nothing and no one like US.  I spent the last few months running from the fact that she IS.  I thought I was losing myself, when, in all actuality, I was learning that what I felt for Avri was identical to what I felt for myself.  By understanding and respecting that, I was finally loving myself the way I should; and allowing myself everything I deserve.  Being absent from Avri wasn't self-love, it was self-deprivation.  Whenever I would go through shit in the past, and I was hurt, my coping mechanism had two parts:  1) inflict a level of pain that matched my own;  and 2) shut the fuck down.  Even with me knowing we were different, I still did the same stupid shit anyway.  I went so far that I didn't know how to come back.  Do you know how hard it is to STOP once you've built up that type of momentum?  Shit, I didn't even know what that meant!  In the back of my mind though, I ALWAYS knew what I felt for Avri, I just didn't realize I had gone too far.  I may never fully understand how close she came to walking away from me forever, but if this nigga Adonis was any indication, my baby was serious this time.   I cannot think my way through this, I have to trust what we have and know that it's real...

We rode in virtual silence for the better part of two hours.  I had enough of being inside my head; I wanted to be with my baby.  I glanced over at Avri; silent; intently reading and scribbling things in the margins.  She had a slightly worried look on her face, but she was doing her best to hide it from me.  "I'm going to need you to get real familiar with the library at Columbiana, and the architectural building on your campus because unless you are transferring to Columbiana in the Fall, those will be the only places outside of our dorm rooms that you'll be studying!", I said to Avri, finally breaking the silence, but never taking my eyes off the road.  Avri abruptly stopped reading and turned to look at me.  Her face was both astonished and simultaneously relieved.  She took her hand and brushed something from her right cheek that I didn't see.  When she put her hand down, I saw her palm was damp.  "What did I say?!"  I asked nervously.  "OMG, I have been sitting here the past few hours just waiting on you to tell me you were going to need time when we got back to school; or worse, just disappear, and I not hear from you till whenever."  Damn, she really DOES know me!  "I know at the end of the day where I want to be is with YOU.  I decided to try something different, and skip past all the dumb shit.  He wouldn't be in our lives if I didn't put you in a position that made you feel like he needed to be.  After all, the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expect a different outcome.  I didn't come this far and go all the way to college to lose my mind and let it take my heart right along with it..."  I could tell she was happy.  Even though she didn't say much, when I asked her about her book she was reading, she got excited and told me everything I had missed the past two hours--right down to how she had begun outlining her paper in the margins.  I missed most of it, I just wanted to hear her voice...

We made great time getting back to Excelsior.  It was a good thing too; I had a project due the next day that needed to be finished.  Avri's paper wasn't due till later on in the week, but I wasn't ready to let her go just yet.  "Come on, let's go check out the reliquial in the Architectural building, maybe they have what I need to knock this project out; you can work on your paper a little more."  She agreed, and before we knew it, it was almost 2 am.  Avri had already fallen asleep twice, so I finally set my hostage free, and told her I would meet her in her room when I was finished.  I was now completely alone.  The silence that had been there the entire time suddenly got so loud.  I few minutes later, someone walked in.  I thought to myself, "somebody else who procrastinates!"   There were only two tables in the reliquial; to my surprise, the young man approached my table, pulled out the chair across from mine, and sat down.  I watched as he did this, and so naturally, once he took his seat, we were eye to eye.  I didn't know him, but I could tell from the way he looked at me he knew exactly who I was..."Adonis," I said as I leaned back in my chair.  "I heard you wanted to speak with me..."

I couldn't believe this nigga.  Avri and I hadn't been back a full eight hours, here it is the middle of the night, and he was WITH THE SHITS!!  I'm not one for confrontation, especially when it comes to things that already belong to me.  What was the point of beating a dead horse?!  It's just the sheer audacity of this nigga; sometimes you gotta give the people what they want...I waited; I mean this is YOUR show my nigga--I continued to read, highlighting as I went along, glancing up periodically in anticipation of him beginning.  After what seemed like forever, halfway down the second page, he finally spoke.  "I came to have a conversation with you man to man about Avri.  Being as though you know who I am, then I'm sure she told you some version of what I might say.  I'm not here to throw Avri under the bus, or have you thinking shit was going on that wasn't, I would never disrespect her in that way.  She was up front and honest with me from the beginning about what she had with you, and never really allowed me any closer than arm's length.  At first, that was more than enough.  Shit, I was just excited that she allowed me to be around her.  But as time went on, and there was no you, I started to think, 'maybe I DO have a real shot, he's been MIA this entire time.  It's GOT to be over, at least for him.'  Then suddenly, out of the clear blue sky, you were back.  Ima be honest, I started to believe you weren't real.  The next thing I know, Avri can't meet me in the Brussell House after class for her green tea and banana nut muffin because she's jumping into a red Acura I had never seen to disappear with you.  I booked us a flight because she said she needed to get away--she declined.  At that point she told me that you and her were doing whatever it is you call this once again, and that I basically wasn't going to see her anymore.  The exact words she used were, 'erase me from your reality as if I never existed.'  All I want to know from you Landon is if this thing is real, or is she just the prettiest girl you fuck with, and that's the reason you keep coming back.  I really like Avri and want a real shot; I think if you let her, she could really like me too."   

I sat, listening intently.  Through the symping, he did actually say a little something...I paused for a moment or two after he finished speaking, just so he would think I contemplated what he said--now, I was ready to go in!  I placed the cap on my highlighter, and laid it in the spine of my textbook, looking directly at Adonis.  "If there is one thing I've always known as long as there has been a Landon and Avri is that NO ONE else outside of she and I really understands how we work.  IDGAF what it 'looks' like to you, because you were explicitly told, and yet chose to ignore it.  The only person who needs to know how she feels about me is ME.  You don't have the right to question it.  Being as though you know even less of me, I can't believe you're sitting in front of me right now with this bullshit.  You've been kicking it with her for the past few months, and you THINK you know how you feel. (there was a brief pause for my laughter, I couldn't take it anymore!) My nigga, I was there before, during, and now, AFTER you.  I know how I feel about her.  She is ME.  There's absolutely no way in Heaven, Hell, or Earth that I would ever walk away from that.  As a matter of fact, since it was my absence that seemed to prompt all this confusion, both she and I will be spending ALOT more time at each of our respective campuses.  I can't have another clown like you coming along and thinking this shit is OK."  He sat, looking stupid.  I think this is what white people refer to as "dumbfounded"!  It was that face that prompted what I said next.  I know I said I was going to do things differently when it came to Avri--there's levels to this maturity shit though!  "I'm on my way to the Quads right now, my baby is waiting.  Oh yeah, you should start thinking about where you want to go to school next semester since you'll be transferring from here."

I sat for a few moments more, just to see if he was going to muster up some type of response--nothing.  He got up and left the table as quietly as he had come.  I stepped out into the misty early morning and crossed Greene St; thinking about what just happened.  It wasn't really that confrontational after all; I actually felt GOOD.  It felt right to say exactly what I was feeling for a change.  Maybe I should be thanking Adonis...This is like one of those things Avri thinks is going to turn out to be horrible, but in all actuality, it's JUST what you needed--"LESSON!"  I think Ima keep that part to myself; I still want her thinking I'm a whole gangster out here in these streets!  She was already asleep when I slipped quietly into the room.  I stood there, watching her for a few minutes, and my mind suddenly went to something Adonis had said--he offered to take Avri AWAY?!!  She was so calm and peaceful..."Later." I thought.  I laid down beside her, and she eased into my arms without waking, as if she had been there all along...


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