by Tameko L. Barnette
At midnight, Katura laid down on the twin-sized mattress in the living room. It was only three days into the fall season and her life was beginning to change for the better. Everything she had been praying and working towards was manifesting right before her eyes. And her eyes had healed significantly too. A part of her health issue was the impairment of her physical vision. But with lots of herbal remedies, her eyes had improved a great deal and she was ready to move forward.
She placed her hands over her lower belly right underneath her navel. She took a few deep breaths and felt herself calming down. "Thank you," she said to her Sacral space. She closed her eyes and waited.
A few minutes after closing her eyes, Katura felt her entire being move through time and space. And there she was suspended in Universe. She was among the stars, moons, and planets. She jumped as a shooting star zoomed past her head. With her legs crossed in a meditation pose, she closed eyes while way up in the Cosmos. "Om!" She chanted and the entire universe shook all around her. Then, she listened as every moon, every planet, every star, and every entity within the universe responded with a resounding, "Om!"
She saw herself packing the boxes, making arrangements, and smiling at a handsome man who called her, "friend." She saw the road they were riding on towards North Carolina. She saw boxes being unloaded and unpacked and nice furniture being delivered and set up. She saw her refrigerator full of good healthy food. Transportation. New friends. A thriving online business. All was well in her world.
While she was smiling in the Cosmos, she heard a chirping sound that made her open her eyes. She opened them and she was back on the twin-sized mattress with her hands over her Sacral space. The cell phone alarm was ringing. She'd slept an entire seven hours.
* * *
It had been six months since she had moved from the old confederate town in Virginia and had settled into the new place in North Carolina. She had made some new friends and even found out that that there were several people she knew online that actually lived close to her in North Carolina. So, she received lots of invites to healing circles, empowerment meetings, and Black sistahood gatherings, most of which she attended.
One cool March evening, Katura's phone vibrated a little louder than usual startling her out of meditation. It was a Full Moon that night. Katura frowned at the phone, but something kept nagging her to answer it despite her weariness of its interruption.
She didn't bother to look at the Caller ID, "Yes?"
"Greetings Katura!" She recognized the sensuous baritone voice on the other end. She smiled a little, but then remembered that this voice hadn't called her in several months regardless of how many times she emailed and left voice messages. He's always busy. He's always too busy, if someone asked her.
"Hey...uh, how are you?" Her voice faded as she turned away from her altar that was decorated with Buddha, Kwan Yin, Ganesha, Green Tara, and Sekhmet statues. She felt strange – a mixture of happiness and fear.
"I'm doing well. I wanted to talk with you. I got your messages that you had moved. I just wanted to check on you. Do you need anything at all," the sultry voice asked.
"Well...I appreciate you asking, but I have everything I need right now in the apartment," she responded.
"I want to see you," he said.
Oh my, she thought.
"Sure, I'd love to see you too," she slapped her forehead with her free hand. Damnit, why did I sound so anxious and desperate?
"I have to come down that way for a workshop I am doing in a few days. I'll be about twenty minutes or so from you. Can we make some arrangements to spend some time together? Would you like to come to the workshop too?"
Katura was well aware of her friend's upcoming events. She always tried to show support by keeping up with her friends and colleagues events and sharing them with others, even if she couldn't afford to be there herself.
"Sure, we can do that," Katura allowed her mouth and voice to smile.
"Excellent Katura, I know we haven't had a chance to see each other in –person, but I promise, we'll have a good time. You'll be safe," clearly, he had remembered her stories of issues of feeling safe with men, particularly her African-American brothers.
"I know," her heart calmed down and she realized that she really did believe him. She really did trust him.
* * *
Katura rode a cab to a local café called Ogun's Pot that served what had become one of her favorite kinds of coffee and thin slice of pound cake. She and her friend had agreed on meeting around lunch time, which were several hours before his workshop. She wanted to see how things went before agreeing to spend time with him after the workshop.
She was dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a blue couture short-sleeved shirt with an Egyptian Ankh symbol in rhinestones on the front and a pair of black wedge sandals with rhinestones adorning them. Around her neck, she wore an Egyptian Ankh carved out of buffalo bone. Her afro was carefully picked and shaped. She smelled of Japanese Cherry Blossom body spray and lotion. She was nervous as she sipped her coffee and took a small bite of her pound cake.
As a customer walked out of the café, Katura saw a handsome Black man walk through the door on his way inside. His smile was warm water – very soothing to her soul. Her heart beat a little faster as he noticed her and began to approach the table. Dressed in black pants and a white shirt, he opened his arms, "Katura," he smiled even wider.
Nervously, she stood up, and embraced him. Much to her surprise, tears began to form in her eyes. He leaned in and kissed her neck.