Are we all accustomed to the blessings, joys, smiles that we are able to get? Do we take it all for granted? thnk about it.... and then be grateful and thankful.

 "So what do you wanna do now? Do you wanna go on with this? Stay here
and work it out or what? The clock is ticking?" I looked around for
the last time in the apartment. I knew it was time for me to make my
move. If I didn't, I would be stuck and would not have the courage to
go.
"Yeah, I'm going. I can't stay here."
"Okay, let's get going, the meter is running."
"Yeah, Let me go ahead and pull the rest of my bags from out of the
hallway and the bedroom."
"There is more? Dam girl. I'm glad we got a mini van. Because we
would have not made it in a regular cab." I had started to pull
garment bags from out of the bedroom, I had four more suitcases in
the hallway. And Terry had taken two bags downstairs. I was glad we
had an elevator.

I still smelled his cologne in the air. And I still felt him deep
inside of me. Right there on my spot, going back and forth on my
walls. And the sweet kisses we shared. I closed my eyes and relished
hard.

Terry, the cab driver and I had managed to get all of my things in
the mini van. It was a lot. But I had been with Overton for two years
and had accumulated a lot before we hooked up, and when we lived
together. I was a shoe, clothes, purses and accessory hoar.
I was leaving my furniture, taking only my files and two laptops I
had purchased. He could have it all. I had even left him a note
saying he could keep it, or give it away. At this point it don't
matter what he did with it. Like a true Rasta would do. I am cutting
off the dreads cause someone has died in my life. So I am shedding
all bad karma, all bad and negative energy. I was leaving my past in
my past.

And as we drove away, and I took my final look at that flat we
shared. Made love, argued, laughed in, entertained in, played in,
talked in, just like that I was leaving. I had told myself not to
shed any tears, and it was very hard. But I could not feel sympathy
or sadness if I was to do this.

"Are you going to be alright?" I took a deep breath.
"Yes. I'm good. I'm excited about the next lifetime for me. I
mean, I got to unpack, decorate, clean, put my furniture where I want
it. That will keep me busy all weekend."
"You mean us all weekend. Because you already know I am going to help
you unpack everything and get you straight." I hugged Terry, and
then kissed her on the cheek. We drove in silence the rest of the way.

I sat there with each light, each second and minute saying to myself.
Be strong, don't cry, you will be alright, all is well. Be happy, be
excited. The new me was evolving, changing for the better.

I know that I would relish my last day and night with him. I took
him out to his favorite restaurant. Had his favorite drinks sent to
him. Took him to his favorite lounge, had his favorite cigar which he
just held and never smoked. Had a card and his favorite cologne and
a new one he had liked wrapped in a beautiful box. Took him to his
favorite club where we could salsa. And came home and dropped into
sexy under garments. And we tossed and turned in OUR bed for most of
the night. He went to work tired and with a huge smile on his face.
His coffee was ready, his kiss was delivered. His lunch was pre-made
with a sweet love letter.

"Okay, so I tell you what I am going to do. I am going to the corner
store and getting some fresh flowers. Two bottles of wine, and a box
of cloves. And we are going to get a nice buzz. Take a shower and
go out and eat."
"Terry I have a lot to do hear. I can not think about going out
tonight."
"We are going out this evening. And that is the end of it. So you
need to go ahead and take your shower now. And then start looking in
those suitcases and garment bags for something sexy and cute.
Because I want Chinese tonight. I am going to be starving in a
couple of hours. And you know we will have most of this knocked out
tomorrow anyway." I shook my head yes. Because I knew my girl. She
was not going to take no for an answer. So I walked into my new
place, my new bathroom. And I found the box marked towel and mats.
And I went and took my shower.

I had to admit, the hot steam, the hot water felt good on my skin.
It was cleansing. It was purifying me, I thought of it as washing
all of my past away. I washed and I cleansed. And every time I had
a thought of him, I would change the thought.

I knew exactly what was what. And I found a sexy dress and shoes
with all the accessories. Terry came in my room with a towel wrapped
around her. She was about to get in the shower next.

"These are for you. And she handed me some sunflowers, my favorite
flower. She had found the new wine glasses and had two glasses and a
bottle of moscata with her already opened. I took one of the glasses
and my flowers. I smiled. Here is to new beginnings. Love and
happiness and to a brand a new bright future."
"I can drink to that!" And so we did, she showered, we drank, we
laughed about past memories we shared, we coiffed, and we had a great
time just getting dressed.

"I really want to ask you something Samaria…."
"And what is that?"
"This new job, new place, I am happy for you. I really am. I want
you to be happy inside. And I know things will be hard on you and for
you…."
"Terry…..it took courage for me to leave Overton. It really did.
And I love Overton more than words can express. But you have to do
what you gotta do. And if things are stagnet, and know one is
listening. What is that accomplishing? I mean, I am wasting his
time and he is wasting my time. I will be okay. I can walk way
knowing I gave chance after chance. And that I pleaded my case just
one too many times."
"I'm proud of you. I am, I thought you would never leave. And I
must say I am a bit jealous of the new place. Girl this is hot!
Better than where you were."
"Yeah, I can not wait to get settled…"


SOMEWHERE ELSE



"Carmen! Carmen! You hear me calling you!!!! I swear you are the
stupidest person I know."
"I was in the bathroom Hannah. I heard you when you called me. I
answered you and told you I had to get dress." She rolled her eyes.
Now who felt stupid?
"I need my coffee and my muffin. And I need you to clean the
downstairs for me real well. Spic and span. I have some guest
coming over. And you can go and pick up some snacks, drinks, and
ice. You don't have to cook. Just set up a nice spread. And oh,
get my bath ready now, and then you can get my coffee and my muffin
ready and bring it upstairs to me." And she cut her eyes at me
again. There was not a thank you, I appreciate what you do for me or
anything in a long while. I didn't have to stay here at all, she was
not my mother.

I went upstairs, helped her with her bath. And then I went into my
room, and I started bringing my suitcases downstairs. Two by two. I
had already packed my car late last night when Hannah was asleep.
There were a lot of things and clothes that I had given away. I had
called Stepped to Recovery a week ago. A non-profit organization that
helped ex-drug addicts move on to their new life. Hannah had a lot
of junk in her garage. But it was all in perfect condition junk.
She was a collector of so much. There was years of stuff in there.
It wasn't until one of her card friends and gossip buddies had said
that she would be doing the right thing giving it away. Hannah of
course was not the person to give nothing away to anyone. She hated
sharing, giving, anything that required her to share more than she
had to. But Hannah wanted to look good in front of Kathy. So she
said, "You are right. That would be the best thing to do. I was
saying to Carmen I need to get rid of all this stuff anyway." Which
was a bald face lie! And let me tell you, it hurt that witch to see
it go, she even cried!

The one thing that lured me to this job was how sweet and loving,
caring she is. Her house, a suite for me to live in with my own huge
bathroom. I was treated like a queen. And I loved doing things for
Hannah. And be around her, she was sweet. She is conniving in every
way imaginable. And she spun me into her web. Took things from me
and broke me. I have been the only one that has stayed this long. I
can make it on my own. I know I can……

While Hannah was in her bath. I looked around in this beautiful room
and remembered it just for that. For that to be my last memory of
it. I inhaled the house and looked at every room with the pride and
beauty I had when I first came to work here. A nurse, house keeper,
accountant, cook. I was all those things to Hannah. I managed her
household very well, and Hannah paid me well too. But there hadn't
been a raise in a year. And the money was looking smaller, and
Hannah was more than three hand full's. I was verbally abused,
emotionally and mentally worn down by her. Had lost my energy to go
out, do things someone my age should be doing, walks, drives,
lunches, libraries, museums, clubs, concerts. I was at her call
24/7. And she made me that way because I let her.

I snuck out the front door, that was it for me…………….




SOMPLACE ELSE



Look, before you even think it or go there. I will shoot from the
hip with it. I am not a perfect man. But I am a good man. It took
some time for me to get to where I am right now. Faithful and
dedicated to my wife. Me, a player of hearts and sex. I seen her,
and I played awhile, yeah I did. And I fought myself in falling in
love with her. But I was drawn to Dawn in major ways. She was as
perfect as a woman I wanted could be. And yeah she has flaws too, we
all do.

I married Dawn, I was in love, she was in love, we were in love. We
both hustled hard to get this house, set up our own business
together. Dawn would work around the clock right there with me/ My
soldier girl in a real way! She cooked, cleaned, shopped, did the
banking. Made love to me and still had me twisted up in the things
she did to me. Some of that shyt would be a crime, for real.

Dawn had finished up school. Went right to work at this fortune 500
company as an Executive Assistant. Stayed there worked her way up.
And was promoted to the companies Public Relations Manager. She and
I worked a small little business on the side together for some quick
money. She had some connects and so did I. We had set up a cleaning
service. We had hired a crew of ten people. Uniforms, two vans, we
had hooked this business up. Dawn said "If we do it. Then let's do
it right baby." And so it took us two years to get it off the
ground. Contracts in place, we did our thing. She come home, and
helped me with that. Multi-task at times. Because she could work
from home. She was putting her money in our side business. I was
working my gig as foreman of a shipping yard. We was pulling in loot
from our jobs. We had saved, pinched, and made sure that on Saturdays
we set the business to the side at 3:00 we shut down. And Sunday's
we were off. This is when we took naps, rested, made love ferociously
to each other. Went to movies, concerts, dinner. There was time for
play. We had to make it our time. Besides, we had an answering
service. And a dispatch service. We worked seven days of the week.
Well our employees did.

We had saved up money for a house, got a great loan. I had bought
Dawn a new car paid for. I got that truck I had been wanting. And
we took a nice vacation right before we bought our house. Two weeks
we were out of there!
I started spoiling Dawn more and more. I had quit my job and went
in full-time into the business. We were doing well, we had acquired
one hundred office cleaners, I had set up an office in a nice lofty
looking suites downtown. I had an accountant on staff, HR, Office
manager, Executive Assistant, Secretary. My staff was eleven deep.
And Dawn helped me, us in promoting our business. With her degree in
public relations and marketing. She put us out there. And that is
where she settled herself in the position of the company. She had
great and wonderful ideas we all loved. The office staff, Dawn and me
had a very close relationship. Dawn was insistent that "Honey, you
pay your employees well, their worth, benefits, they are good to you"

Dawn had gotten another promotion from her job. She moved to VP of
Marketing and Public Relations. She was no longer a manger over the
department of twelve. My wife was being seen, noticed. She was
indeed a hard worker! We both were.

I was noticing how Dawn had changed. As we made more money, I
spoiled her more, and her status at her job. She had become this
entirely different woman. The way she talked at me and not to me.
We now had people who cooked and cleaned our house. Which was okay,
I had no real problem with that. Because we were busy. But it was
now the extravagant purchases, the haughty attitude, the way she
judged hard and looked down on other people. Our love making was now
mechanical. And there was another man.

I made sure that there was money in the bank to run the house for the
next three months. This also included food and the necessities for
the house. I left a note saying that the mortgage I would continue
to pay until our divorce was final. She was with her lover this
weekend. Saying that she had to leave town for a business meeting.
She doesn't know that I have had our home, and office phones wired.
She used the office phone one night, Something she rarely does. But
the one time she did, I got her.

"I miss you to baby. And I can't wait to see you this weekend.
Can't wait to feel you. You set up everything right?"
"You know I did. Anything for you baby."

I was of course hurt, cried, hate her, loathed him, wanted to beat
the shhh…..I was mad. So I put all my energy, that recording, my
priorities. I took revenge on that. I found a good attorney. Even
went ahead and had her followed by a detective who said he had
pictures. I didn't want to see them. He even had video tape. Didn't
want to see that either. Dawn had only shares in the business. And
I had already told my divorce attorney that she could still be on the
board, I would love for her to still market the business. Hell, I am
not stupid. Dawn is good at what she does. She could have the
house, I didn't want it. It wasn't the house I had remembered it to
be.

I had purchased a nice townhouse not far from the offices. I was
good, why wouldn't I be? I had someone that would be waiting on her
to pull up Sunday evening and serve her the divorce papers.

I left a simple letter, I didn't pour my heart out to her. "You know
why I did this. And you know what you have been doing. Hope you
make him as happy as you use to make me." Dawn was a sensible woman.
She wouldn't do anything to hurt me financially or physically. If
anything she will let that ice break. She will cry and hurt. As she
should. She knows I love her. And if Dawn had not gotten so caught
up in the money. Talked at me like I was a kid and demean me being a
man. We rarely talked, she never listened when I wanted to talk.
She didn't want me to touch her or make love to her. She didn't want
to have kids. And now the affair that has been going on for awhile
now.

This man, Matthew Curry Hines will love again. When I am healed from
love first……..



RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW…


When you hear the stories of my best friends. I mean the three of
them are my best friends. Samaria, the first person I met when I
moved here. And we have been tight and as thick as thieves. No
matter what man, job, death. We have been there.

Carmen was in my den of thieves as well. When we all couldn't hang
out together. One or the other would hang out. Carmen and Samaria,
well you know what I am going to say. I love my girls so much.

And my brother Matthew hurting like that over his wife Dawn like
that. My brother was good to that woman. And I hurt for him the most
because he is my flesh and blood. I can't tell you that this drama
that has been going on all at the same time with my two best friends
and my brother are wearing me out. But they have been there for me
so many times in my life and helped me through so many obstacles in
my life. We all love, give, support, encourage, and help heal one
another. And friends and family like this you can not ask for
anything better.

So I Terry Jasmine Hines will do what I can do. I don't let any of
them spend too much time alone. I keep them all busy. I stay
nights, I cook, I help, I laugh, I talk, we cry, we love. And now
that my brother has left his wife. He is out fourth musketeer. I
love it!

But you know what? You thought these stories were about them. And
it wasn't. It was about the people who had taken advantage of them.
Yeah, for real. Overton, Samaria's ex-fiancée. Hannah, and Dawn.
You see they are the ones that are truly going to feel the cold. My
girls and my brother are healing. And I want them to heal with pride
and smiles and seeing a better future for themselves. Not hold onto
to all of that garbage they experienced. Not everyone acts nor
behaves in such matters.

I feel more sorry and empathetic for the people they left. My heart
hurts the most. And of course I am angry at them and how they
behaved. But, when I have driven in my car, or had time to let the
anger go. I realized they were the ones who would be missing out,
missing, appreciating, wanting, yearning for them. When you truly
have genuine people in your life you don't ever take advantage of
that. It is truly a doggie dog world out there. And real
relationships and love does not come that easy. Hell, it's cold out
there…..



"Just Toy"
Written Expressions
9/2008











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