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Pieces of Me


"It seems like I can finally rest my head on something real, I like the way that feels...its as if you know me better than I ever knew myself, I love how you can tell, all the pieces, pieces, pieces of me..."
                                                         ~Ashlee Simpson

I Like me; ALOT.  I love how my mind works, the way I think about all the possibilities before making a decision.  Overall, I'm pretty satisfied with my choices, and prepared to deal with any fallout that may come.  I don't have secrets; if you don't know, then it's none of your business.  That goes Double for my personal life.  It's between Me, and the other party involved- that's it.  The less people involved, the less explanation you have to offer when things change.  I never complain, never explain.  If you want to mess with me, you have to be willing to accept the fact that I change my mind; OFTEN.  It's a get down, or lay down situation; very cut and dry.  Landon is, and was the Only exception to this.  We had an unspoken policy, similar to what the military lives by of, "Don't ask, Don't tell", with one big difference, "When I ask, you had better tell."  We had been skating along so smoothly, with everything seemingly just right between us, I had almost forgotten we spent in limbo-apparently, Landon had NOT.  It was a lazy, rainy, Saturday afternoon when Not only was he with the shits, but he wanted to know it all.  I was trapped, with just one way out; through my last year of escapades, and everything Landon didn't know...

I don't think I could have been any less prepared than I was in that moment.  We had been binge watching our favorite show in preparation for the new season that just dropped.  I was like six episodes behind, and Landon refused to start the new shows until I was completely caught up.  We had snacks, I had fuzzy socks, and had found the most comfortable spot to lay on Landon.  There wasn't anything missing.  We were discussing our predictions for the season premiere.  Out of nowhere, Landon chose to kill my vibe😑  "Aight.  So we know we both hate saying shit that we think may cause problems, which ends badly, and always comes out one way or the other..."  He said, looking down at me. "Yes.." I replied nervously, turning to meet his gaze.  "OK, so fuck it, Ima just say it.  You and I had our own paths for over a year up until a few weeks ago.  I'm ready now, I want to know what you were up to, what you were doing..."  WTF?!  WHY?!  My face betrayed me.  He responded before I had the chance to say the words.  "I don't want any surprises Avri, you know me.  I'm not tryna hear shit from anybody else.  I want to hear it all from You.  A year is a long time, but I'm still Me."  I frowned.  "Can't you just be content with the information that it's all in the past, properly handled, and never to see the light of day again?!  Don't take my hesitation as nerves, I don't have anything to hide, I just don't see where details will help ease your mind.  Do you really want to talk about this?  I don't have a single question for you; I trust you to handle your own shit, and keep it away from me."  I said, exasperated.  "I know, and I think that's dope.  I wish I was grown enough to just keep it pushin, but I can't, I need to know."  I could tell by the look on his face that he was serious, and something he had avoided for as long as he possibly could.  If this is what he needed to ease his obviously uncomfortable state, then so be it; I would tell on myself.  "Fuck it, I'll make popcorn; Let's Talk About it..."

"Understand that people serve certain purposes in my life.  If you're here, there's a reason, and you have a role to fill.  That's definitely the case when it comes to the men in my life."  I began.  "I'm aware, keep going."  Landon said with a slight grin.  I took a deep breath, and continued.  "Ok, so we briefly discussed my P.Y.T. in the past, and what purpose he serves, so we don't need to re-visit it.  Just know that he was the ONLY one scratching that particular Avri itch, so let's leave it at that."  "Yea."  He replied, raising an eyebrow.  "Great.  Moving On.  Sooo, let's discuss everybody else then, and their individual 'jobs'."  "Everybody else?!" Landon said; genuinely taken aback.  "You said you wanted to know, don't turn into a sucka-punk now!"  I said.  He poured a drink, lit a cigarette, and re-positioned himself on the bed.  "I'm ready, come on..."

"There's Adonis, the engineer.  We have alot in common, and share interests that most people don't.   We like to travel together.  All the trips I've taken since I came back to Richmond have been with him, outside of the two girl's trips."  "...And all the two of you did was travel together?!"  Landon asked.  "That is correct.  I would be lying if I said that we weren't initially attracted to one another, I mean, it's the reason we hooked up in the first place, but nothing ever happened between us.  At some point, we liked who we became and decided not to fuck it up.  That was enough for us."  Landon shot me a slightly skeptical look.  "I paid my own way!  Well, I started paying my way after the first 2 trips!"  I said.  He laughed.  "Aight, so who's next?!"  He asked, taking a sip of his drink... 

 "That would be Jason, my industry husband.  He's my permanent Plus 1, attending all of my events with me.  He always makes me look fabulous, and people can't seem to take their eyes off of us.  He's a scene whore, so being seen is what he lives for.  There's always a bomb-ass swag bag for him to post, so he's more than satisfied."  Landon had an amused look on his visage.  "SO what's his preference?  Does he like men?  Is that your Gay Husband?"  I feigned shock, playfully hitting him.  "I guess I can see why you would assume that, me describing him as 'fabulous', and all...but no, he's not gay.  He's a city kid, it's the only life he knows, and is gonna run the streets for the rest of his life.  Going to a fancy party a few times a month to create content is just icing on the cake.  I knew from the beginning that we hit it off as friends.  His love of the spotlight couldn't translate into anything for us."  Landon sat, thinking for a minute.  "I don't know yet, but I'm thinking he may need to stick around, you're gonna still need a Plus 1 for all the shit I don't want to do.  I'll get back to you on that once I there more?!"  He asked incredulously...

"Just one more, Tyler.  He's my Date Night Boyfriend."  I said, glancing over at him through my side eye.  "OK!  Now we gettin to the good shit!"  He said with fake excitement, grabbing a handful of popcorn for effect.  I rolled my eyes.  "Not unless you want details on some pretty fantastic dates.  We pick something sensational to do; taking turns with the planning.  I've even planned dates for him and women he was actually interested in.  We kissed once, and it was enough to know that there was no spark between us."  I said.  "Omg, you have all these 'piece of niggas', you just take what you like from each one, and leave the pieces you don't!" He blurted out, trying to sound horrified.  "You not shit Avri, at least Pimps take care of their Heauxs!"  "Whoa, whoa, whoa, pump your breaks, one thing I never claimed to be is a Pimp-one simple fact remains, I'm not taking care of no Heauxs-EVER!" 

After a brief intermission, that started off simple and   sweet with having my legs and feet massaged, it quickly escalated into something else...what can I say, ONLY Landon can touch me like that...I was lying on my stomach, smoking a joint, basking in afterglow, when Landon's voice broke the silence.  "There's one more person we need to talk about."  I turned to face him, wondering who he was referring to.  "Who?  There is no one else, you know everything."  I said.  He took the joint from me and hit it.  "The nigga that shall remain nameless."  I let out an agonizing groan.  "Come the Fuck ON!  Is this really necessary?!  You know what went on between us, why does it need to be talked about in detail?!"  "Calm Down."  He said in a low, authoritative voice.  It was the one that said he meant business.  "I don't want those kinds of details.  What I want to know is, how it made you feel.  How did it make him feel?  How often did it happen?  How did he react when you told him it was over?  In other words, do I need to worry about any residual effects, or is he gonna go quietly into that gentle night?"

I had never known jealously from Landon; at least not in any capacity in which he had ever shown me.  He was amazingly inept at hiding things he didn't want people to see.  Whatever persona he presented to the world is what we saw.  For the first time, I realized that Landon was just a man; experiencing the same insecurities the rest of the human race encountered from one day to the next.  They were the same apprehensions.  He knew that sex created a whole different set of problems-especially when it's ongoing.  I knew I felt absolutely nothing, one way or the other.  I didn't do emotional casualties of war.  You know up front what TF it is when you get involved with Avri James.  My response had to be precarious; I needed to remove any shadow of doubt, and put his mind at complete ease..."Thank you for being my safe space.  I love that I can talk to you about anything, and that you want to know it all, even my faults.  I want you to, I don't want to hide anything, ever.  I can't answer how He felt, because I never asked.  I wasn't interested.  He knew from the beginning that it was only about sex.  When you re-entered my life, I let him know my attention was being called elsewhere, and our situation had to change; point blank period.  I didn't mince words, and I kept it cute.  I didn't feel anything in those moments, except immense relief, to finally be living my most authentic version of myself.  It was a necessary evil that served it's purpose, and now it's over..."

I sat back on the pillow, waiting for Landon to respond.  He took a long pull from his cigarette, and shook his head slowly.  "OK, cool...and there was no backlash?  No residual effects?  Not even a drunk text askin you what's still good?"  He asked.  There had been a message...I had all but forgotten it; WTF Landon, are you really in my head?!  I reached for my phone...better read than said; at least that's how I felt anyway...I scrolled to the message thread and opened it; handing the phone to Landon.  "Missing my favorite girls.  How is She BTW??👀"  He gave the phone back to me.  "OK, that's it, that's all of it."  As uncomfortable as this conversation had the potential to be, I was actually happy that it had happened...even more so now that it was over!  There wasn't anything left to tell.  "Well, you can't blame him for having great taste, Jasmine is quite possibly The Best...Nobody wants a woman that no other man doesn't, that's a fact.  As long as he understands that it's never happening again, then everything will stay right with his world...but you better let me know if you get any more messages-when you get them."  ...And just like that, it was over.  I searched his face for any signs of apprehension, or if he was holding back in any way, but found nothing.  He was calm, and looked rather pleased.  More relief rushed over me, and I finally felt like everything was just as it should be.  Landon was in such a good mood, he even let me pick what we were going to watch next.  There hadn't been anyone else INSIDE; even after all this time; not ever.  I knew that was his real question; his Only question, but he didn't know how to ask.  I lay on his chest hoping he knew; Hoping he could Feel it; that I had given him that Peace of Mind...  


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