Same Ol’ Mistakes

Conversation goes a little something like this:

“So we’re done?”

Silence. Contemplating what to say next. “I mean…” The cavalier attitude in his tone irritated her.

She abruptly interrupted, “look…you ain’t gotta drag this shit on any further, just say it!”

“Okay listen…calm down…we ain’t gotta get all irate and ignorant about this.”

“Nigga…you’re the ignorant one!”

“I’m ignorant?!”

“Yes YOU! I don’t hear from you for going on two god-damn weeks! You don’t call or even so much as send a motherfucking smoke signal! And now you want to act like it’s all good…and that I’m the one that’s tripping…?”

He mumbles something under his breath, then shifts his attention to the point of the conversation. “Lets just go our separate ways. You know as well as I do -”

She cuts him off, “Save the closing argument! Have a nice life!” And ends the phone call.

That was yesterday, when the shit hit the relationship fan.  He finally answered her call after the 142nd attempt.  She was exhausted of his negligence and more importantly, she was going to get her closure, whether he offered it willingly or she nagged him enough to give into her demands.

Today, while loathing in self-pity she began to clean to at least give herself something else to do with her time and attention.  She was tired of replaying his words from the night before. Irate and ignorant…made her blood boil. While purging her closet, she came across a shoebox, filled to the lid with journals she had written in over the years.  She started to read, and couldn’t stop.  At first it started off as just being nosey, but in true- revelatory-fashion, she began to realize something she had never recognized before. She read about John breaking her heart, after he slept with her then-best friend. Whom she eventually went back to.  And then there was Ricky who lied about everything, but she continued to entertain because the sex was unbelievably good.  Michael, who was supposed to just be a dedicated booty call, vanished in thin air after she admitted she was pregnant and had a miscarriage a month later.  And then there were more..and once it became apparent to her, she gasped and immediately closed the journal.  Not because she began to feel the deep-seated emotions of heartache and abandonment all over again.  She shut the book because of her.

See, they were all different.  These former lovers were unknowns to one another. They were not a fraternity founded on the premise of breaking her heart.  They were all perched at different phases of her young adult life, having nothing to do with the other. And there, nestled in the museum of past loves, was a pattern…fifteen years deep. Like a buried treasure, she discovers the golden thread that keeps one relationship theme tied to the next…her. She was the common denominator. Time and time again, she found herself in a relationship that was defined by the same B.S. she heard her mother bitch about, her aunts complain about, her friends cry about, and every beauty salon testimony warn about.

So why did this keep happening to her? She was attractive, took care of business in the bedroom, and was always attending to her man’s needs.  How did they all end up in the end zone, celebrating another notch in their belt…while she stood in the backfield, abandoned, not even considered a teammate to win with? She peeled back the layers…and realized, she had become a doormat to men who were just as messed up as she was. She dishonored herself, time and time again….and thus, she attracted exactly what she reflected: dishonor.

In her newfound awareness, she rose to her feet…focused in on her present state.  She  whirled into her bedroom and stood in front of her full length mirror. The shell of the woman she reflected, hardly embodied the woman she was or wanted to be. She was a little girl inside…and before she could ever truly evolve from those same ol’ mistakes, she had to take responsibility for the dishonorable way she presented herself to men. She also had to apologize to herself for making her suffer unworthiness…which led to her attracting men who also were saturated in unworthiness. The only difference was that they had mastered the art of manipulating others into making them feel worthy. And normally, the women who did this, would neglect themselves, compromising their worthiness, in order to make him feel more valuable than she ever could be for herself.

She felt like she had broke the code and announced to herself, “you are worthy dammit!”

And before she could muster up an ounce more of self esteem, a knock at the door startles her. Confused and curious, she walks to the front door and peers through the peep hole. It’s him. Her eyes brighten, her eyebrows arch…her edge softens, and in true-flawed-fashion…she smiles, before turning the doorknob.

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