What's a Man To Do

(When do you say enough Pt.2)

by DBryant

Through all of the trials no one knows more than Tyrone that he isn't perfect. He doesn't try to be either. He is simply a man that does his own thing and knows what he wants. It was the week before when he got all of his finances together and eliminated all that was unnecessary. He was ready, he made the last payment on the biggest ring that he could find for her, got a wedding dress not one of those big fancy ones, it was 'elegant' as the retail lady put it in Bloomindales, and the shoes were perfect his sister and Loretta like the samethings and he knew that she would go if he said that he would get her something too. He was going to take the car and trade it for a new one the weekend and he was going to ask her to elope with him. When he got to her house that day, he saw that she beat him home. Tyrone knocked at the door to see if she was down stairs. He didn't want to ring the bell and draw her attention, so when she didn't answer the knock, he knew that she was upstairs and wouldn't come down right away, hopefully.

She didn't and he was able to set up the flowers and put the dress on the back of the chair that sits just out of the hall in the sitting room, but most certainly wasn't prepared for what awaited him upstairs. He was excited, and took the stairs two at a time.

"Hey babe," he said when he saw her standing there with his gym bag in her hand. He didn't think anything of it because she usually used his bag to go to the gym.

"Where you getting ready to go? To the gym?"

"No." She said looking a little tired.

"Then what's the bag for?" He asks wondering if she is going to get to the point, so that he can get the show on the road. Now that he has gone this far he is ready to get it over with.

"Oh this, I was getting your things together." She says holding the bag out to him. He walks past it not paying any real attention to it.

"My things, what do you mean my things?" He asks not sure where this is going. Loe went in to this whole thing about not going anywhere and some point that they weren't going anywhere.

"Girl what are you talking about? What point? Sideways? What?" He said and laid out on the bed out of habit and frustration. He started looking for the remote to kind of minimize the matter and move on to what ever she has to say, so that it can be cleared up and behind them. She stood there, not saying anything, just looking at him. Then after a couple of minutes or so she broke the silence.

" Tyrone, I am serious about this." She said, he couldn't tell if she was about to cry or if she was that angry that she was biting down on her lip to keep from going off on him.

" Okay, can't we just talk about this? I know that we can work this out. Haven't we always been able to talk?"

" Have we? Have we really been able to talk?" She goes on about how he always gets what he wants and he is thinking if he got what he wanted she would be down stairs going crazy over the set up and seeing in her face for once some sort of satisfaction, something saying that she was happy to be with him, but instead she was talking about something else. Like always he is dismissed and is wrong for something else. So when she takes off and heads for the stairs he is right behind her. This time he knows exactly what she means. This is the point that he realizes that there is no pleasing her and that there isn't a thing to change that, not even the ring that was siting on the dress that matched the shoes in the box beneath it.

"Ty..." She shouted in his face before realizing that he was right behind her.

"Yes?" He asked not even strong enough to care about the expression on her face.

" What is this all about?" She asks looking at the flowers and the garment bag.

" What is this about? Well that doesn't really mater now." He said taking the bag from her and threw the star shaped ring box on the dress. He left and got in his raggedy car that he put off getting fixed for so long just to get this one night perfect. It was there 5th anniversary, which she probably forgot, and thought that he had too. Now it really doesn't matter. Shiii... what's a man to do' he thought, then he started the car and pulled off. His feelings were hurt, pulling away from the 5 years and more sorry's than he cares to mention and invested,

" Never again." He thought out loud.

"Man! I can't believe this shit. All this time I put into this relationship and I come home one day and she done up and packed my bag." Tyrone says to Mike on the phone. When he got to his house after leaving Loe's he paced and paced and threw things and played music. He was trying to figure out what had happened this time.

" You know I can't help you, you helped me get my stuff from Toni." Mike says to him. Then Tyrone remembered that day. Toni was fussing about how he wasn't paying attention to her, how he puts his friends before her, and I especially remember her talking about him being forgetful and inconsiderate.

"Yeah I know but Toni was trippin'! What's a man to do? I saw the way the two of you were, it was nothing like what she was saying to you." Tyrone defends his friend.

" Man think about it, was I really that different from what she was saying? Hanging out all the time, not taking care of home so to speak." Mike went on about what he did wrong and what he could have done so that the outcome would have been different. Tyrone still thinks that it was her trippin'.

" If that's the case then, Mike y'all were having two different relationships."

"Tyrone you know you are my man and shit, but think like a woman, think like Lorraine."

"What?" Tyrone says, like Mike just asked him to put on women's clothing and do the hula dance.

" For real, when me and Toni was going through pre-marital classes, we learned a lot of stuff. I even learned something's about her that I didn't even know and you know how long we were together." Tyrone hears Mike but not really listening. All he knows is that what ever they went through, whatever he and Toni learned about each other was different from what happened with him and Loe

He thinks about everything they went through while Mike went on rambling about how he was the bad one in all of that, but he wasn't feeling that. Tyrone remembered when her car broke down on the highway and the very next day he got it towed and took it to the shop to get it fixed. He paid for it and didn't even mention it. She was still upset about his being late but he figured that had smoothed things over.

Then he thought about when he invited her to dinner and forgot. He knew he had messed up, even though she had made plans to cook his favorite dinner for getting the big promotion at work and never did, he never mentioned it. He just left early that next morning and got their clothes out of the cleaners, washed her car and bought her favorite Donny Hathaway CD. She didn't say as much as thank you, but he knew she had forgiven him.

Then he thought about all of the trips they would take to the open mic spots and he would read poetry to her and would even whip out a song or two for her every now and then.

Like that time he took her to his friend's 6th anniversary dinner and he sang 'Forever Mine' by the O'jay's dedicating it to the honored couple and to Loe. That was right before they went to her Grandmothers house in upstate NY. She was already on edge because her grandmother was sick and being her man, he was going to be there for her. Loe whinned, yelled, cried, snapped, snarled, and switched into her evil twin sister Cujo that weekend they were there. Tyrone couldn't do anything right or he was so in the way that when he went to the store she asked what he was doing back already. He knew it was because she was trying to deal with what was going on with her grandma, but wanted to tell her a thing or two anyway. Even when they got back, she didn't really apologize but she cried in his arms and that was enough for him to know that she loved him.

They have been together for a while he started thinking, and he wasn't going to let something... whatever it is that has gotten to Lorraine take that away. He told Mike that he would hollar at him later, grabbed his jacket, and headed out the door.

In the car he thought about how he would put off what he needed to make sure that she had everything she wanted. He recalled sometime during that first month her mentioning a boat ride. On their 2nd (or was it their third?) Valentines Day together, he managed to reserve a table on the busiest dinner cruise on this side of the harbor. He bought a new outfit and wore the cowboy boots that she loves so much to see him in, and was ready to take his lady out. He didn't call first because he was excited and didn't want to blow it, she knows when he has something up his sleeve. So when he got to her house, of course just because things were going well that day, it was too good to be true for the evening too.

" Loe, why are you not dressed? You sick or something?" He remembered thinking back to that night. She was laid up there in this house robe she had since she was in high school. He sometimes thinks longer than that. Frustrated and filled with disgust, he went on home. He didn't even call to cancel the reservations. When he got home Loe had called once already and then two more times while he was there. He didn't want to talk for fear of saying something that he really won't mean.

"Where'd you go last night?" She asked him when she called him the next morning.

"I went out." Is all he wanted to say about the night before. As these thoughts danced and traveled along the Parkway with him, he got over into his left lane to pass a slow driver. While doing so he looked over and saw a woman that looked similar to Loe and he thought about when he leaves work and is on his way to her house in the evenings.

He takes this same route to her house, he usually almost always gets the same park, because the house beside hers is empty, so there is usually a space right in front of where she likes to park. He usually goes in and fixes something to eat, because he hardly ever eats lunch unless it is a business luncheon, and still he is so motivated that he eats light even then. So he cooks something small because he knows that Lorraine won't be home for another few hours or so. When she gets in they will either go out to dinner, or if she is having a bad day, he would offer to cook for her. She usually turns down the offer to cook and would rush in and wash the dishes. He tells her to leave them alone and relax but she all ways ignores it. So he stopped offering and asking her to leave the dishes alone. He knows that she has an attitude when she does it, mainly from her mumbling under her breath, but more from when she is slamming the dishes around. She broke two plates and a dessert dish once. Tyrone just went out and bought some from Ikea. The new dishes weren't a perfect match, but they could pass. She said thanks and kissed him on the cheek. He thinks that he got them so that she would have more dishes to wash, not to replace the ones that were broken in anger. She could be like that sometimes, so sweet and tender then turn in to the angel from hell.

She would wake him up in the middle of the night just from slamming the toilet seat down from where he left it up prior to her using the bathroom. Now he gets pissed off from that, because she knows once he is awake it is hard for him to get back to sleep.

"If you are gonna drive, then drive the damn car! If not get off of the road!!" Someone yelled at him from the fast lane. He now hears all the horns and sees all the fingers getting flipped off at him. He quickly got over and tried to pay more attention to the road.

Seeing his exit sign ahead he quickly got over and road the slow lane out. The ckicking from his blinkers took his thoughts off of Loe so much but then he started to think about himself for a minute. He thought about what he was willing to go through if he stayed with Loe. He thought about what he would go through if he did. He thought about what was keeping him with her and thought her smile, her eyes, the ambition, the strength. He thought about when he was trying to get the job with this new company and how she looked over his resume for touch ups. He thought about how she is never satisfied when he does things for her and how she has a way of making it look pointless. About how she calls to see if he needs anything from the grocery store when she is shopping. Thought about her heart aching when her grandmother was sick, about the joy when she found out that she was going to pull through. Tyrone smiled to himself when he thought again about what he was going to put up with and what he wasn't, and decided to tell her when she opened the door and invited him in.

What's a Man To Do by DBryant

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