The thing about making decisions while under emotional distress is that you can not gauge how awful the impact of your decision would be at that moment. The residue that it leaves behind lasts far longer than the split second it took to follow through with the decision.
It has been nearly a month since Trevor, and I last saw one another before our breakup, normally we would cross paths near the neighborhood bodega. At this point, I knew he was purposely avoiding me. I called his house more times than I got the chance to speak with him. I could not eat, sleep, nor did I have the desire to hang with the girls. Truth be told, I stood clear of them because I knew they were going to ask me a thousand questions that I did not want to answer. I could not decide what I was struggling with most. Did I miss seeing his infectious smile? His sudden and on-point jokes? The time we spent together just watching movies? Or was it the fear of seeing myself going back to that lonely place I was in before us? What I knew for sure was that I felt sick to my stomach every time I thought about it. Vanessa, on the other hand, would not allow me to stay in my funk. To help pick up my spirits, she decided that she would be strategic in her planning to get me up and at it again.
One Saturday morning, she got out of her bed with a mission. Arising early enough to feed cows, she was at my house by nine O’Clock. I woke up to her sitting at the edge of my bed with a plastic bag in one hand and a large iced tea in the other. “Girl, you moved three times. Your ass is awake, get up”. It takes me to another level of frustration when I am awakened out of my sleep, and being a light sleeper made it extremely important for me not to be disturbed. I’m guessing the look on my face showed my frustration, but Vanessa ignored it and just started talking. “I have an entire day planned for us, first we will have breakfast, I bought your favorite a toasted corn muffin with jelly and a small coffee with half-and-half three sugars. You will eat this while I help you pick out something to wear, don’t worry about your hair I got you today.”
I was worried that Vanessa loved to put her hair in a high ponytail, then wait until the curling iron is at its maximum heat. So hot, you can see the steam coming from it as soon as it touched her hair. Not to mention, the fan-like thingy she did with the hair coming out of the ponytail was the icing on the cake for me. She is my best friend and I love her, I honestly did not have the energy to fuss over a hair due.
After I finish with your hair, we are going to the avenue (shopping area) to do some window shopping. From there we are going to jump on the train and head to the Bronx, my cousin’s best friend is having a party and I think it is time for us to get out of Brooklyn. Finally, she said something I agreed with and that was getting out of Brooklyn, which sounded like a fantastic idea to me. I was sold. I got up and got it together. Vanessa was winning because breakfast was nice, and the walk was refreshing.
I had never been to the Bronx. It took us almost two hours to get there, but my girl made the best of it. She often had a camera on her person, so she kindly asked a passenger to take a photo of us. Vanessa made a long train ride feel like an adventure. When we finally got off the train and began to walk to her cousin’s house, I noticed that in the Bronx the streets were extremely long, and we were walking up hills by the fourth block I was trying to catch my breath, and it felt like I was dragging myself.
We finally reached our destination she introduced me to her cousin Linda and within ten minutes I knew this girl was not for me. Linda and Vanessa started planning out what we would do before the party and I heard Linda say “let’s go get the weed first” I looked at Vanessa and said, "since when do you smoke?” she replied “Nah it’s just what I do when I am with my cousin” Vanessa accomplished her mission which was to get my mind off Trevor and the situation I was in. All I was concerned about was our well-being from that point on. If that’s the way she enjoyed the time she spent with her cousin, then I knew from that moment on that my head had to be screwed on right. Rule number one, when it came to traveling with friends.
If “we came together, we leave together!”
I planned for us to be in the same condition we were in before we left my house. Before this day, when someone said PARTY, I was most likely with an older family member and there was a themed cake, balloons, party favors, candy bags, matching napkins, paper plates, and cups and most importantly there were adults around for supervision. None of these things came with our current situation.
Walking into the apartment, I quickly noticed to my left a young couple on the wall getting it in. Let’s be clear, in the early nineties there was only one dance you needed to master when it came to dancing to reggae music, and that was “whining”. If you had the skills to move your hips and waist to whatever pace the song demanded, you could step into any party and have a small circle surround you while you displayed ALL your skills.
I glanced over my right shoulder and saw another young girl dancing alone, she could dance but not well enough to draw a crowd. After surveying the room, I could see that a few people were sitting and talking while others huddle in groups. When I stopped canvassing the room I paid attention to the music, I could feel each beat vibrating in my chest:
Boom bye bye
Inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote the nasty man
Dem haffi dead
Boom bye bye
Inna batty bwoy head
Rude bwoy no promote no nasty man
Dem haffi dead
Buju Banton blowing through the speakers in the early nineties was his time, he was by far the dopest reggae singer.
Subsequently, this is where I learned to love dancing differently. As a young girl, I enjoyed watching myself mature as a dancer. The choreography was put together for me, which made it easy to concentrate on my technique and form. Over time, I was able to get my body to move on command however I wanted it to. Parties like this one, however, taught me how to have a relationship with my body.
Let me explain, until now my body would follow the commands of what my mind instructed it to do (technique and form). At that moment, my body became the leader taking control of my attitude, demanding me to express how the music made me feel, as a result I would become that girl that will show how well I could dance at any party.
“A monster was born.”
We stayed at the party for several hours while Vanessa and her cousin continued to indulge in smoking and drinking. I watched as others did their best to show their ability, carefully studying their moves. I observed that Vanessa had had enough to drink, I convinced her that it was time to go. We said our goodbyes, and off to the two-hour train ride back to Brooklyn we went. Turned out that Vanessa’s mission to help change my mode awakened another girl inside me.
After our trip to the Bronx, I was reminded that socializing with friends can uplift the spirit, while our burdens in a dark room will possibly drive us to drink. A few weeks had gone by, and the girls and I hung out plenty. We laughed together danced together and there were nights that we cried together. Each night it was something we all needed. Coming outside more kept me in the loop of what was happening in the neighborhood. There had been whispers of Trevor seeing another girl. I was jealous, for sure. Immediately awaiting the moment that I would see these two together, just so I could get a good look at her. During my investigation of “who’s the new chic” I found out that she was not from Brooklyn.
Let me just say that there is nothing worse than a girl from another borough coming into your hood to find herself a boyfriend, I was frustrated every time I thought of it.
Sweetheart took three trains which resulted in a two-hour commute to come to see a guy whose ex-girlfriend lived one hour and fifty-eight minutes closer. You better believe I was super pissed.
That day finally arrived, and I examined her thoroughly like I was a gynecologist. She was about 5”5 with beautiful dark skin and a very short haircut. She had twice as much “rump shaker” as I and from what I could see her outfit choice was a good one, so I had to give her points for being well dressed. So, at this point, my hopes of this new girlfriend being a sad-looking troll was over. A few weeks had gone by, and I saw the new girl more times than I wanted so I was contemplating whether I should slap her the next time she crossed my path! The one thing I knew was she would NOT be successful in escaping. Trevor and I crossed paths a few times and we stopped to speak to each other. Outside of that our communication had gone dry.
With the holidays approaching my anxiety level sped up to the medication level and my emotions were hitting every dark space of my life. Eventually, I got up the nerve to call Trevor. We talked for hours just like we use to. He made silly jokes and I laughed, I made awful jokes and he laughed with me. Our conversation covered almost every major topic at that point, so I thought it would be a good idea for me to ask the question that had been sitting on the edge of my tongue for weeks, who’s the new girl? He shared mostly good things about her. which I was disappointed about because I needed something desperately to be wrong with this girl. He also mentioned that she lived in the Bronx which made it difficult for them to see one another.
While he continued to talk, I had already checked out mentally I was now thinking of ways to be more present in his life so he would regret the choice he had made with our relationship.
After hanging up that night I believe we were both relieved. It was a sign of how much we missed each other and how authentic our connection was. We stayed in constant contact from that point on…
Lucky Colter is a public speaker and featured writer on PR Now Magazine. She has already received over 1000 views collectively on her amazing Chapter Series "Broken Brooklyn"
Follow her on Instagram