How not to be disappointed when love doesn’t show up the way you think it should

When you pray to God for a cup be specific in details, make sure to ask for a cup with a handle- Baba Alade

I was sitting on a soft sunken in couch mean mugging because I did not want anyone to talk to me after being dragged out of the house by Janine. She insisted that I go to a get together with her and my anti-social ass reluctantly went, although truthfully speaking, I needed to get out of the house.

I looked up with my head leaned to the side the way my Baba does when someone is asking him a question and this mocha skinned tall dude with the most perfectly faded fluffy afro called- my name again, this time with authority. I couldn’t believe my eyes, it was Reggie. He picked me up, spinned me around and hugged me so tight. My heart sank with relief. I had not seen him since Mark got killed and we said our good byes-his mother -was sending him down south so he could live.

As he spinned me around, he was telling me that he just graduated from college and had moved back to L.A. From that night on, we spent so many days and nights together drinking, eating, hanging out, playing games and spooning. Everybody used to tease us because we would get hotel rooms and fall asleep on top of the covers with our clothes on spooning. One of the last times we were together before violence and death once again interrupted our innocent love fests. We fell asleep in each others arms-with Janine and Stacey looking on shaking their heads.

Not to long after that night, Stacey got shot and killed. It made no sense, he had just graduated from college also. Rumors began to swirl about Stacey’s secret lifestyle. I phoned Reggie but instead of Reggie answering- his mother picked up the phone and her words were, ” Is somebody after my baby?” What was I supposed to say-I told her the truth, ” I don’t know!” Not to long after I tried to reassure his mother- Reggie would be fine, he called me- going off for talking to his mother. I couldn’t believe the way he was acting and treating me. He moved out of his mothers’ house and it would be years before we would speak again.

Maybe, Reggie forgot  about the events that led to his mother sending her youngest son away to live and now she was reliving the nightmare again in-which he almost lost his life years before- after someone shot up the car, him, Mark and -I can’t remember -who else was in car. Did Reggie remember Shannon screaming at the top of her lungs once we found out that Mark was dead, her boyfriend was gone and they had been deeply in love.

I guess he forgot that at 13 we had made plans to live our lives together. Reggie is one of the only men in my life who has kept a promise to me. We didn’t speak for years after Stacey’s death. We had both been working in the community doing our parts to make Los Angeles better and eventually after we had reunited and rekindled our friendship-one evening as I stood in the doorway of the W hotel, telling Reggie I was leaving after a party he had given for a friend. He said, ” You’re leaving, you’re not going to stay?” I said, ” No, I’m going home.” He looked  at me for a long moment and then said, ” I love you, I love you-no I really do love you!” I softly responded, ” I love you to!” and left.

We’re so passed the age of spooning how we’ve managed to keep our relationship sweet and innocent- God only knows. Although are lives have taken us in many different directions it seems the promise that we made to each other is the glue that keeps our lives connected. As our lives progressed we both married and divorced and have had children by other people, yet our marriage vows seemed not to be able to carry the weight of the promise that two 13 year olds made. He is the part of my youth that remains in innocent love.

I am so proud of Reginald for his commitment to improving the lives of the youth in Los Angeles. He is a reminder that all of our friends death were not in vain. He has always been my safe place to land.


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