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Jesse Powell





“I Accept the Divine Moment of Life” 

Those really must have been my final words; it was like, once I said them, a door that had been tightly shut, denying me entry, had at long last FLEW open.  Adonis and I departed shortly after to commence with our date that was temporarily derailed unbeknownst to him.  We had a really good time.  There wasn’t anything holding me back.  I was fully present for every moment, and glowing from the inside out by the time we started making our way back to Richmond.  We decided to sit in the park around the corner for a while; after all, it was a beautiful night.  We talked about everything, and a whole bunch of nothing too; just killing time.  For some reason, we both seemed to be trying to stretch the moment-as if the second we returned to Richmond, SOMETHING would change things between us forever.  We laid in the grass on the side of the hill, staring up at the stars.  We were in a really nice space…As I started to notice the significant difference in temperature, I raised myself to a sitting position and rubbed my arms.  Adonis rolled over in his side, propping his head up with his hand.  He looked at me, making a ridiculous face that broke into a full smile.  “I can tell you’re getting restless, are you ready to go?!”  I shrugged.  “Not really, it’s just chilly down here.”  I replied.  “Do you want to head back to the city with me?  You know the Rooftop Park is open in midtown now, AND there’s heat.  We can continue this there.”  I thought about it for a minute, running through my day tomorrow quickly to make sure I was free.  I didn’t have anything planned till late afternoon.  “Ok, why not?!”  I replied.  “Let’s just stop by my house so I can grab a few things…”

Adonis parked a few houses up from mine on the opposite side of the block.  “I promise, I’ll be quick!” I said as I sprang from the truck.  One quick glance to the left indicated the coast was clear, and so I bounded across the street.  As my foot hit the top of the very 1st step, I heard someone call my name.  “Avri,” I stopped dead in my tracks; not sure if I would ever turn around-it was Landon.  I was BEYOND shocked; I mean, what was he doing here?!  I didn’t know this Landon that faced confrontation head on.  He and I had just had the type of conversation that should have sent him running to hide for God knows how long.  I honestly thought we would just quietly exit each other’s lives.  After what seemed like an eternity, I was brought back to the present moment, reminded of why it was that I was standing in this exact spot right now-Adonis…behind me, just a few feet away in either direction, we’re the two men who had taken me on the craziest, most interesting adventure in dating that I had ever gone through.  To my right, was the virtually unexplored territory of a relationship, and an entirely different life with Adonis.  To my right was Landon-a place I knew; and was as comfortable as my own skin.  It was time to turn around…

I didn’t know what I was going to say or Do, I just knew, 1st things 1st, I HAD to turn around…Facing Richmond, I could see Landon in his driver’s seat, the window was rolled almost completely down.  He was looking straight at me; INTO me; like only he can.  “Where are you coming from? What are you doing right now?  Whose car is that?!  Are you busy, I need to talk to you RIGHT NOW!”  The questions came in rapid fire succession, leaving no room for response.  I took a deep breath and approached the car.  “Well, that depends; if you are here because you want to interrogate me over some irrelevant shit, to leave me with more questions than answers by disappearing post conversation; OR come up with some brand new way to devastate me-YES, I’m busy.  That makes the rest of your line of questioning none of your business!”  At this point, he was no longer looking at me.  “Baby, I fucked up.  Please, I NEED you.”  Shit!  There it was; his safe phrase.  I was the ONE thing he was allowed to say; his ONLY get out of jail free card.  This was for an EXTREME EMERGENCY situation, and was able to save him no matter what.  I couldn’t believe he was saying the words; I didn’t even think he remembered.  It was written on one of those thousands of slips of paper I had collected from a time when I wasn’t able to talk to Landon.  I didn’t want to forget, and so, I wrote it all down.  Whatever came to mind.  I never knew he had even bothered to read them.  Just knowing he had taken the time to read what was going on inside my head; all of my apprehension melted away.  “Just give me a minute or two to take care of something.  When I come back, I’m all ears…”

My eyes averted to Adonis’s truck just across the way.  Before my mind could fully register what was happening, I had started to cross the street-it was automatic.  By now he could tell something was happening that was changing the plan.  “That was wayy too quick, everything OK?!”  He said out the window as I approached.  I got in on the passenger side, without any indication of what I was about to say.  “So what’s up?!” He said earnestly.  “Do you remember last year when you and I first had an honest conversation about Landon, and I told you how I felt about him?  I explained that my feelings for him were strong enough to the point that if we ever got to the point where I felt he was REALLY ready; without hesitation, regardless of what was going on between you and I, would give him that chance.  I would disappear so fully and completely from your life you would seriously question if I had ever been there at all.”  I waited a second or two for a response.  Adonis sighed deeply.  “Yes, of course I do.  It’s one of my favorites.  How could I forget?!”  He said, rolling his eyes.  I took his hand in mine, and looked straight at him.  “I apologize, I sincerely do, but that time is NOW.  That’s Landon over there, and he’s waiting for me.  He used his safe phrase.  That’s the Hail Mary…it means no matter what has happened, he needs me to forgive him with my WHOLE heart, forget about it in it’s entirety, and invoke the unconditional love I claim to have for him.  It’s the one thing I MUST listen and take heed to.  I’m sorry Homie, but my hands are tied.”
Adonis squeezed my hand in return.  “I just always hoped you were crazy, and that this day was never gonna come.  It’s funny though, I think your strength of mind is how I kind of always secretly knew it would.  I’d be lying if I said I don’t want you to call me later saying you still want me to take you to the city with me!”  “I gotta go.”  I hugged him tightly, knowing we would never embrace in this way again.  I exited his truck and crossed what previously seemed like an incredible chasm into the future-making a beeline towards Landon…

Part II

I got in on the passenger side and slid quietly into the seat next to him.  “Have you ever done something when you were upset that you didn’t necessarily WANT to do, but because you were so angry, all you could do was make the one you felt responsible feel like you did.  And because it didn’t take the feelings away, you just keep digging…” He said slow and purposefully.  “Yup; more times than I want to admit to.” I said with a small, nervous giggle.  “I don’t know where the fuck I have been, all I know is that I feel like I been somewhere, half asleep, watching all this shit happen.  When I woke all the way up, you were over here, on the verge of taking your heart back and giving it to someone else, and I was over there doing the same shit.  I dreamt of you and us being together for so long. I can’t believe this is what I did when I finally got the chance.  For you to love me, the WAY you love me, is all I ever wanted.  When Heaven and Earth moves space and time to give me precisely that, I say to the Universe, ‘Nah, maybe later.’  Shortly after you got here,   I got hurt for the 1st time, I wasn’t used to that feeling between us.  I got scared and backed away from you, making decisions and declarations about us that effected everything moving forward.  You were absolutely right when you said we never had that chance; especially when I was reminding you that what we had wasn’t a relationship Every time you turned around.  So that’s exactly what developed; everything outside of a relationship; all the things we were never meant to be.  It wasn’t right.  None of it. I couldn’t see a way back to you. Then I remembered my Safe Phrase…I hope it still works, and if you are willing to forgive me, I’m also hoping that we can FINALLY give this a real shot.  I’m ready for my ball back now…please say something, my head is spinning right now…”

Likewise.  Was I being Punked?!  This was definitely not the teenage boy I thought I had been dealing with for the past two years.  This was a Man, wanting at long last to address his feelings and transition into a much better place emotionally.  He wasn’t running from what he felt, he was here, with me now, facing it ALL.  I had to admit this was incredibly sexy and I was COMPLETELY turned ON!  This is the element that had been missing the whole time…” “Well you know the Safe Phrase can only be used as a ‘get out of jail free’ once in a lifetime.  You can’t EVER be in a situation as bad as this expecting a full pardon!”  I finally said.  “I promise, if you let me, there won’t ever be a need to use it again.”  I sat there for a while, as in deep thought.  Like I was turning the possibilities over in my head.  Really, I just wanted him to wait, just a little bit longer; sweat a little; like he had made me do for the past 2.5 years.  At long last, I reached over, placing my fingers in his beard, pulled his face to mine, kissing him.  Deeply; fully; in a way I hadn’t in a really long time.  “For me to say no, and to not at least give this the full attention and opportunity it deserves would go against everything I claim to feel for you.  TOTAL forgiveness, with no strings attached was the deal.”  He grabbed my face, kissing me again and again.  He was smiling; BIG.  Suddenly his face shifted, to one of concern.  “What’s the matter?!” I asked.  “No, but seriously, Who is that, where are you coming from, and what were you about to do?!  You know this nigga gotta GO right?!”  I smiled and shook my head.  “Don’t worry, I got it.  It’s YOUR business you should be concerned with resolving at the moment!”  He glanced over at me, “Don’t play with me Ms. James, you know how I am about the things that belong to me,”  “I guess from now on, you won’t leave your toys laying around for random people to pick up and play with.”  I shot back, giggling.  “Never, EVER, Again.”  We sat there for what seemed like hours, just enjoying being in each other’s full oneness again.  Everyone and Everything else melted away; even Richmond itself.  We each sat with one foot up on the dashboard; staring intensely at each other; thinking of all that lie ahead for us…


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