The Morning After

by LaVerne Prade

As the morning sun peeked through the shades, and I heard the dew dropping ever so gently on the leaves, I noticed I couldn't move. I mean not in the sense of being paralyzed or unable to walk, but I just couldn't move. Oh I know I said this is what I wanted. I know I said I needed my space. I know I mentioned something or other about outgrowing one another. But nobody ever told me it was going to be like this. In my rush for my independence and freedom, I had no idea I would in fact be enslaved in my own existence.

He's gone and I have the bed all to myself. His clothes are gone and I no longer have to step over his shoes in order to enter the house. See all of my single girlfriends, made that life look as good as those homemade cookies mama used to bake. Oh they flexed their spontaneous, I can go anywhere, do anything I want, don't have to answer to no man, muscles every chance they could get. I admired that, and I was envious of it. What I didn't see was their tears at night. Nor did I notice the sadness in their eyes, which made the whites a beige color.

See it was almost as if I wanted my freedom, but at the same time I wanted my marriage. In church I think that is what they call, "serving two Gods".

Okay so yes we were young, and inexperienced. And if my memory serves me correctly, we even chuckled as we said our vows. Gosh, that day seems like a million years ago. It was either get married, or break up - what a choice.

Why is it that the unattainable seems so appealing? Is it that innate urge in us to conquer, to control, to do what can't be done?

After several days of not bathing, not combing my hair, and not answering the telephone, I finally found the gumption to get out of bed. I wanted to feel bad for as long as possible. I wanted to wallow in my misery, have my own pity pat party, if you will. 'Cause you see I deserved to be punished, just for choosing this. Who in their right mind would choose this -- I guess that is assuming that I was in my right mind.

What made it so bad was that he was fine. Now I ain't talking about moderately good looking, the boy next door or remotely average looking, I'm talking about FINE, with a capital FINE. He had a way about him, you know that confidence, that charisma, that thang, that women just have to have. What is up with that? I think my girlfriends call it the "edge". That is the same edge that will cut you down one side, and up the other.

After a few years into the marriage, I realized that his looks weren't even enough. I also discovered that I was never satisfied and wouldn't know contentment if it smacked me in the face. I had that black woman's disease - you know, keep me excited and guessing all the damn time, please be creative, and by all means -- make plenty of money in between all of that. Oh by the way, I cannot see you cry or show any emotion, because at that very moment and beyond, I will view you as weak, and never look at you the same again.

So you are probably wondering, if he was so fine and he had it going on, then what was my problem, right? Well, remember I said I wasn't in my right mind. Come to think of it, I wasn't in any kind of mind. It had to be all about me, me, me. See he had to recognize how lucky he was to have me. I'm so intelligent and sexy, any man would want me. And now I have plenty of time to test that theory out.

As I rise to attempt to start my day and live as close to normal as possible, I wonder where all of my friends are now. Oh yeah, now that I'm divorced they are probably with someone, you know, I'm sure being single is no longer chic. Who are they fooling anyway? We all yearn for companionship. Women's lib is cute and all, but those bedsheets get extremely cold, especially during the winter months.

I've learned so many valuable lessons. That is what happens when you are forced to be by yourself, and to face yourself. Damn you mean I've got to face myself. I've got to actually look at myself in the mirror and be held accountable for the state of my life. You mean I cannot blame anyone else, or point the finger, or feel sorry for myself another day?

God has a way of allowing us to come to the end of ourselves. It reminds me of walking a plank, you look down and there is nowhere else to go.

If only I would have known that this is how it would be, The Morning After.

The Morning After by LaVerne Prade

© Copyright 1999. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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