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The Book of Eli

 


The Universe has this beautiful way of shifting your focus when you have something on your mind.  It pulls your attention elsewhere, and wraps you up in whatever is going on.  That's exactly what happened to me when Eli called...He and Kelly had parted ways, and he was as distraught as I had ever known a man to be over a breakup.  After much coercing, I finally convinced Eli to come to Jensen City for some R&R, and a much-needed friend.  The magnitude of this situation required that it be dealt with in person; it was simply too fragile to try and decipher by phone.  He reluctantly agreed, and made his plans to spend the weekend on Richmond with high hopes of having an Iyanla V moment.  I couldn't guarantee any relationship repair, but I would be present for the self-rebuild he was about to enter into, giving him a positive point to start from.  It had been a minute since I had encountered a genuinely broken heart; it was time for reparations...

For as long as I have known Eli, there had been a Kelly.  We had been friends since the age of 12, and 2 people never got along better.  He loved her from the 1st day they met, and made no qualms about it; EVERYBODY knew.  Eli made it his business early on to state the FACTS, so there would be no room for mis-interpretation; Kelly belonged to him-and NO ONE else.  All throughout our young teenage years, it was all about the two of them.  Granted, Eli generally kept a girl or two up his sleeve, he ALWAYS put Kelly 1st, and never let them effect her OR the relationship.  I still remember how excited he was when we graduated from High School; they were finally going to move in together.  He was going to work, while Kelly attended college.  They had done just that.  I was really proud of them too; so many people make plans, but not the effort to have them translate to real life.  The first  2 years went smooth; with their laid-back dynamic making it easy for them to adjust.  After a while, however, it became harder for Eli to keep the distance between Kelly and other girls.  Don't mistake it, Kelly wasn't stupid, she knew EXACTLY what she had and who she was dealing with.  It was the respect factor of it all that had changed.  She was finding things, there were phone calls, and finally, an impromptu confrontation.  She called me SCREAMING; she was sooo upset...she couldn't understand what she had done to deserve this.  Eli was in the background, pleading; insisting that NO WOMAN would ever take her place.  By the end of that conversation, I had managed to calm them both down; each agreeing to let it go, and remember what they meant to one another.  That was over a year ago.  Eli didn't make any provisions for the way Kelly was feeling, and just kept right on doing what he was doing.  Now, Kelly had met someone at school that she wanted to start spending time with; fed up with Eli and his behavior.  She was moving out of the home they had shared together for over the past 3 years...

I was at Passenger Pickup #3, Level 2 just outside baggage claim awaiting Eli to emerge from the double doors.  He a last appeared, looking terrible; my heart sank.  I had never seen Eli in this state.  All I knew is that I needed to be there for my friend, in any way possible.  He threw his bag in the back seat behind me, then walked over to the other side of the car and slid in the seat next to it.  He pulled his cap down on his head, and put on his shades.  "Well damn, HELLO to you too!  I know I said I was picking you up, but I never said I was an Oober!  Wtf?!"  I said, completely outdone.  "My bad Yo, wussup Avri; I appreciate this Dog, I really do!"  He folded his arms and slid way down into the seat.  All that was visible in the rearview mirror was the top of his head.  He was in full on shut down mode.  The good news was I seen this version of Eli in the past and was familiar with it; its the one that didn't get his way...This sadly gave me my first glimpse of hope for our weekend.  At least now I had some idea of what I was dealing with.  I put on one of our favorite playlists, choosing instead not to stir the pot, or ruin the ride with words.  Before I knew it, we had arrived back on Richmond.  Eli looked as if he needed to be scraped off the seat.  "It's a really pretty night, let's sit outside for a while and enjoy the air..." I suggested.  He sucked his teeth, slouched even harder if possible, and stubbornly sat.  "Fine!" I exclaimed and shut the door.  I hadn't agreed to be a babysitter...

I walked up the first landing of steps and sat in my chair.  This was his issue; not mine.  Why get my blood pressure up for no reason?!  Whenever he was ready, he would come out.  About 45 minutes into my Solfeggio 432hz meditation, the back passenger door swung open, and a fresh white uptown appeared on the curb beside it.  Eli took off his hoodie and made his way up the steps to have a seat beside me, passing a joint.  The sky was completely clear, and the moon in a perfect crescent hung bright and white against it's navy blue backdrop.  "What the fuck did I DO Avri?!  What the fuck have I called myself DOING, all this time?!"  Neither of these were questions I was prepared to answer.  "I just don't understand WTF I'm doing.  It's like, I'm watching myself do the same stupid shit, over and over again; and I KNOW it's stupid as Hell, and jeopardizing everything I care about.  Yet, I still won't stop myself.  Why can't I just STOP?!  Why do I always have to take shit soo fucking far?!  How am I ever going to be able to come back now?!  I pushed her too far this time..."  My heart was breaking for my friend.  The first thing that came to mind, the ONE thing I knew for sure was needed in this situation, I wasn't sure Eli had it in him to give.  I had already spoken to Kelly before Eli arrived...What was needed, was a sincere apology-on both ends.  Both He AND She were going to have to open their hearts to each other, LET GO of EVERYTHING that happened, up until this point, and start from RIGHT HERE; a place of LOVE, where they first began.  In this particular case, however, Eli was going to have to the 1st move because Kelly had lost faith in how much he loved her...The problem was, however, in all her pain, the little stunt she pulled, Eli's faith in Kelly's love had taken a huge blow, and hurt his confidence in a major way...

"Look, as your friend who loves you both, I just gotta say that the two of you are doing THE MOST!!!  I never saw two people who loved each other more, AND know exactly what the fuck it is you want out of life.  Moreover, those plans have ALWAYS included one another.  You introduced a foreign element into your sacred space; you left the necessary room for someone to come in and cast the shadow of doubt on Kelly, and she just followed your lead.  That space, between you and her was UNBEARABLE for Kelly.  In her mind, you were filling it with someone else, and moving further and further away from her.  My nigga, you didn't even NOTICE that she had made a new friend!  She's tired of feeling like she doesn't matter Eli; all because you can't be honest with yourself about what she really means to you.  Instead, the two of you are going back and forth; dealing with your emotions like kids.  You're oblivious to the fact that you are damaging what you have a little more each day by not dealing with what's happened out of fear.  You have scared each other into submission; you both went too far; and are now lost.  Both afraid you can't find your way back."  Eli looked perturbed; "Man damn Avri!  I came here so you could FIX me!  I CANNOT lose her!  You know what we've BEEN through?! How much she MEANS to me?!"  "Then maybe you should be on your OWN porch, pleading your case to Kelly!"  I fired back, snatching the joint from his hand-now I was getting upset.  I must have shocked him, because he digressed, then looked up at me, asking, "If it were you, what would it take for you to forgive me?!"  I sat quietly for  few minutes, and thought about the question.  I wanted to answer my friend from a complete place of honesty; WWAJD(What Would Avri James Do)?!  "What's so hard about saying, ‘I Love YOU; sooo much; I KNOW I fucked up.  I APOLOGIZE.  Please forgive me, and I will spend EACH day making sure you never forget how I feel about you again.  You are IMPORTANT to me, in a way I don't fully understand myself yet, but I damn sure want to find out...’  Accountability Mother Fucker, on BOTH your parts; point blank period.  Then, when it's all said and done, you appreciate and cherish just how special what the two of you have, and honor it; like the blessing from the Universe it truly is...”  He sat; thinking about what I  had said for a long time.  I could literally see him turning it over in his mind.  "Can it really be that simple?!  I mean, could that actually WORK?!  Is that really all it would take to fix this Avri?!  How do you know?!"  I answered the only way I knew how, "Because, it's all I would need.  With THAT much Love between the two of you, when you strip all the bullshit away, that's ALL that's left..."  We finished the joint in silence; blowing great rings of smoke around the moon as the cool night air rested gently, all around us...  

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