This is chapter 1 of my story
Only the Beginning
Speechless... If that is not the best way to say, “Nah, it’s not like that” than I don’t know what is? Yeah, he rejected me. He misled me, because I thought this dude was feeling me just as much as I was feeling him. He showed interest when he took me out to fancy restaurants, made me feel like I deserved the world and told me I was the one he wanted. We had a great connection and every time we kissed I felt it more. But something was not right. He switched up quick, and maybe it was because we had been talking for about a month or two and he still didn’t get any booty. I mean that just is not me. It takes a lot to get that. I truly believed he was different than the rest of the dudes, he claimed to be different. And not like the others, and he said all the right words, did all the right things. What were all the late night phone conversations, poems, slow dances in the park and date after date if he only wanted to be friends?
Still shocked I called the first person I could think of that could make everything better, my ex-boyfriend, Steven. I know that was a wrong move, but he is more than an ex. That man is truly my best friend. We were close, the one who got me through some of my roughest times. Whenever I needed him he was there. See Steven had a way about always making me feel like things were going to be okay, regardless of what was wrong with me. I could call him any hour for any reason and he would be all ears. That’s what I always loved about him so easy to talk to, a listener he claimed to be. However, it was hard because if you asked for his opinion on something or how he felt about you well than it was like pulling teeth to get the answers. Maybe that’s why it never worked out. Damn, he was so sexy. But I’m glad we were able to maintain a friendship better than we ever have. Our friendship is what made our relationship. Sometimes I felt like I was only a friend with benefits, for all the many moments of mutual passion. But in the end, he always proved it was more. Calling me and making sure everything was alright, being there when I needed someone, listening to my problems, giving me strength to see who I was, believing and supporting all of my dreams and life decisions. Steven truly is my best friend.
So anyway, I called him only to discover it was Saturday night, and it was only the night of the biggest boxing fight of the year. My comforting had to wait, because I could not bother him during something that gave him more pleasure than I only dreamed of giving him. Don’t get me wrong, Steven easily was turned on by the swing of my hips, the kiss on his lips and feel of my hands caressing each part of his smooth skin. Each moment I was seducing him with one touch or one look. He was mesmerized by my body and stimulated by my intelligence. Sometimes I believe it was still not enough, because so many nights he left me lying there, while his eye was fixated on the television. Boxing was his passion, a huge part of his life and, to be honest I always felt it was more important to him than me. It’s just I never tried to compete with two men taking out their aggression for a title of manhood, for a championship belt. Maybe he envied these men, because he was not a fighter. My baby was defiantly a lover by nature; he just could not show it.
I knew he loved me and I loved him more than words will ever be able to express and more than you will ever understand. There were so many times when love was not enough to save the relationship and others where it made me run safely back into his arms. I always ran to him, to feel his touch, to hear his voice and to know I was someone. Steven in turn ran to me as well. We could never turn away from each other. We were hooked and very much in love with one another. Steven just never had the strength to express his emotions. Yet, I cannot figure out what went wrong. Was it my drive to be a success? So afraid to be a failure and be like everyone else, I had to be better than what they all thought I would end up like, that I continued to put work first, forgetting about our love, time and time again, never making enough time for him. When I did give him my time, I was always distracted about the next big project I had to work on. I distanced myself from him numerous times. Like the fact that we lived in different states and a few mountains made us distant already wasn’t enough. I wrote poem after poem, night after night, trying to figure out what was the right move. It’s like this: I am the boat; he’s a beautiful beach, but no place to keep me tied down to and the waves are dangerous, my dreams were sailing free in the blue ocean under the glistening sun. So many times, I sailed back and forth from him to my dreams. He was home and comfort, but my dreams being free was something I wanted for so long. Before him my dreams was all I had. They were my safety but soon he became my security blanket. I just did not know what to choose, and to be honest, he made the choice for me. Still I feel like I should have stood my ground and sailed back to him.
I wonder if I had not been so set on my dreams, my needs, and what I wanted that he would still be holding me every night. I miss the nights, staying up late watching a movie, while the sound of his snoring took over, but I was in his arms and that is all that mattered and waking up to him squeezing me and a kiss on the check. Nothing was better than watching him, massing him, while I vented and let all my emotions out, than taken on a journey to paradise. Steven had a way of making me smile without even trying. He always knew exactly what to say, like the first time he told me I was beautiful and to always smile.
Unexpectedly, Steven was better than the Richard Geers, the Romeos, the LL Cool Js and the Jordans. He was my blessing and the best gift ever given. He’s like those jeans that fit so perfectly or that scoop of ice cream that fills the craving. I could not ask for better, but in reality Steven was not as perfect as I believed him to be. As much as I wanted him to be my prince and rescue me from the dead dreary life I lived, he was not the man on the white horse. Sometimes he was more like the Genie or Sebastian, a loyal friend more than my lover. We were friends, yes, but sometimes I felt that was it. Steven did things that hurt, made me believe I was the only one who felt love. He was feeling on my booty only thinking about him and his needs never paying attention to mine. I needed to know how he felt about me; I needed to be taken out and treated like the girls in the movies; I needed him to be someone he was not. And that was the hardest reality. I loved Steven for who he was, but so many times I wished he would gain certain qualities like being able to tell me his feelings, not being afraid to hang out with my family, taking me out and just being more flirtatious and outgoing. I would never change who he was or the memories we have. Steven is an amazing man and I am blessed to have him in my life.
So, why am I worried that Darnell is not interested in me? What does it matter for that D only wants to be friends or doesn’t see me that way? He didn’t say it, he didn’t say anything and as I mentioned before silence is the best answer he could have ever given to know he and I would only be friends. Maybe now, we won’t even be that. So, I ruined the start of a great friendship for something I thought I needed: a man to love me and want me when I didn’t realize I already have the best man in my life.
Steven is and always will be my man, regardless of the fact that we are at different levels in our lives that prevent us from being together. We are very different, but maybe that is what holds us together. Maybe that drive keeps us to continue the battle of remaining a friendship and caring for each other. Steven is my man and for that I will always love him. I will always belong to him in one way or another because of all the things he did for me, the support he continues to give to me. He made my life much easier and always something to smile about.
Loving him was and always will be a joy to me. It came easy at times and yeah, I'm not going to lie it was not always easy. How can I love a man that wanted things I could not give him and he could not give me? He could not be my prince or the man in the movies. To be honest, I do not know who he could be. There was so much about him I did not know. See Steven had so many secrets that he would not tell; a past that he kept to himself. Sometimes I often wondered if I was his best-kept secret. While I ran my mouth about the amazing things he said and did. My lips weren't the only thing that never stopped moving; my pen filled thousands of sheets of paper, including this one and the many more that will follow.
This story, life reflection is dedicated to him. This is dedicated to his love, to his support, to thank him for the man he is and the women he helped me become. The words on this page represent my love for him and his unconditional friendship that I would be nothing with out. Each sentence is connected in some way back to him, back to his encouragement to never give up, never quit and to believe in me, and most importantly to write. He had a way to inspire me like no one else. Writing about him was a gift as well. Being with him was wonderful, but writing about him was heaven. Some of my best poems are inspired by him, because he told me to write every day and was eager to read or listen to a poem. This poem not only represented my love for him, but the talent I have. And if it was not for him, Heaven would not have been written. Read it and maybe you will understand what Steven really means to me:
I recite him poetry
while he kisses all over me.
He becomes my inspiration
as we live out my imagination.
I begin to crave his lips.
I fein for his body between my hips.
We absorb each other
as the physical attraction explodes.
His body drives deeper into mine.
I close my eyes
and feel the rhythm of his body
teasing my paradise.
I realize the sun
and feel its heat sneak down
and kiss my face
tease my curves
as its warm ways slowly
takes over my body.
My heart stutters to no rhythm.
Clarity seduces my mind
as passion dives into another level.
I escape into a fantasy
and suspect this is love.
This is what Steven did for me. Not only did he please me on many physical levels, but he stimulated my mind. Steven helped me to write some of the best poetry I ever wrote. This is the poem I have spent my life living up to, desperately trying to create it again. But not only the poem but moments like this again, if not with him than a man who wanted moments like this with me; a man who wants to take the time to create these moments for me. Steven used to give me these feelings, but something changed in him or maybe me. Looking back now, I believed the moments we shared were Heaven, that the sex we attempted was love making. I realize now just how naïve I was. The reality of our physical expression was I believed he tried to be more passionate and somewhere in the middle he started to make it about me a little more. However, our sex life changed and I believed it was because he lost interest in me. Maybe that’s why he could not give us these nights again. Maybe that’s why the love was lost. BUT what you don’t understand is Steven never let me forget about these times, lying with him, creating heaven and paradise. Steven many times did make these feelings return and to be honest, I know if I ever wanted to feel this pleasure and sensation again from him he will give it to me. All I have to do is tell him. So why don’t I go back? Why don’t I feel heaven again and his arms wrapped around him as he lies on my back and kisses my neck? Why am I not going back to this and looking for something else?
It’s true everything happens for a reason. So in the end, there is a reason why D was just not interested in me. I needed Darnell to be silent in order for me to collect my thoughts on every memory Steven and I shared. Not just the good ones either. We had some times that I would rather not mention. I truly believe my protector only meant to do what was best for me, what he knew how to do and what he was cable to do. One thing he did, that I didn't, was he put my dreams first. He pushed me to continue to fight and believe in myself; he gave me confidence in me and in my writing. I would read him a poem and the look he gave me I knew he was impressed. Just looking at him, I felt like I had the confidence to take on the world, perform stage after stage, write and publish my work and most of all be heard. No matter what I wrote about Steven was all ears, giving his support. He supported me in away no one ever did before and sometimes I confused that friendship support with love, companionship the prince charming and not the dependable best friend. Without him honestly, I would not have made it through some of the hardest parts of my life. All of my hard times and good times Steven was right there on the other end of the phone listening and supporting.
I remember one night I was back in Syracuse for the summer. I had just finished college and was getting ready for grad school. The beginning of the summer was really hard on my family and we were constantly fighting. One night, my mom and I got into a fight about something so stupid, but she ended the argument by saying she was not going to talk to me for the rest of the summer. I was devastated. I called him that night because I needed some comfort, but he didn’t answer. I sat on the front porch in tears. Before I knew it, Keyisha was singing on my phone. He told me he was on his way. That night, Steven and I sat on my stairs and looked at the stars. We talked, he held me in his arms, and promised me things would get better. That night reminded me about the first night he came to my house. We sat on my stairs, looking at the stars and getting to know each other. These were some of the best nights. I allowed myself to believe this was Steven’s way of showing me he loved me and I didn’t need much more than this.
I didn't need to be taken out to the fancy restaurants or the roses and the jewelry. I had a man that was there by my side, as I should have been there for him. But how could I, when I was always so distracted with me? Everything had to be about me and my dreams and no one was going to stop that, until Mr. Wonderful came into the picture. I thought maybe he was worth giving up my dream of living in NYC and attending grad school. I believed those dreams were less important to me and when I tired to show him or tell him it was too late. He would not let me forget everything I worked for, everything I dreamed and the life I deserved. He told me I deserved everything and anything I wanted and I would obtain it. However, the most important thing I wanted, him to love me, was the hardest to obtain. He would not let it happen, telling me I wanted more, more than him, and more than he could give me.
What he will never realize and understand that yes, NYC is my dream, but it was before him, before I felt someone actually cared for me. NYC was an escape route, a way to forget about all the negative shit that surrounds me. It was my motive to never give up so that all of the hatas and people who let me down could realize that I am someone. Growing up in Syracuse was not easy and it was hard to believe in myself. There were so many people who came into my life I felt to bring me down. Steven was brought into my life to bring me up. Make everything better in his own special way. But sometimes I think he came too late. I was already set, and he was right, my mind was made up about my future. Regardless of how great he is or special our love is it was not enough to keep me here, dealing with this negativity. He knew it and I had to move on. I had to leave the dungeon and find my castle.
Oh, by the way, my name is Tiarra, like the crown that Princess’ wear. And yes, I believe I am a Princess. I reside now in NYC trying to accomplish all my goals and the task seems impossible. (However, it is the little calls and reminders left on my voicemail or emails from Steven proving to me I will make it.) I have been working at Colombia University in the Student activities office for about a year now. That means for five long years I have been away from the man I owe so much to. I moved out here right after I finished college in Massachusetts.
Yet, as I sit here achieving every goal I ever had: going to college in NYC, living in NYC, writing for myself, and getting closer and closer to opening that adoption/ foster agency, there is one very important goal I am not achieving, to be happy. I sit at my desk at night typing away the love shared between characters in my mind and I crave for that love for myself. To afraid of what is out there and to afraid to let Steven go I refuse to look for that love because, honestly if it is not from Steven then I do not want it. It is not like I haven’t dated, because I have. But I always feel guilty for giving another man a chance, for letting them into my mind. Steven still has great control over my heart and body. He’s the only man I have been with on an intimate level since we met. It is not that I can’t get another man; I just choose to stay with him. Maybe I believe one day he and I can work everything out. We both can be happy. Then I remember my quote “Dreams are our wishes but reality is our destiny.” And I know that Steven is only a dream; however, my destiny to be happy and in love is not with him. It was time I moved on to someone else and look for something that would help me move on from Steven. Someone who would help me to let go of a fantasy I held on to for so long. I was trapped and under his love spell, well I can’t say love because Steven never told me he loved me. So, maybe I was sprung off the temptation to have him as mine. Still none of it was enough. This woman had needs and desperately wanted love like I saw in the movies. Soon I would find love and trust me I believed I did. I thought I could try love or even like again with Darnell. I knew it was not going to be easy, but he was fine and talented.
Sparkling eyes and a smile that lit up the room was what made me fall for him. It wasn’t just looks it was the whole appearance. He had this style where one would think he was so confident, but if you looked close enough it was obvious he had so many secrets to tell. When I saw him, instantly, I wanted to be his diary and have him write his secrets on me; feel the sensation a blank page feels when the ink of the pen caresses its canvas and together, they create a masterpiece. I knew from looking into his eyes and being swept off my feet by his smile he and I could create lyrics of love, poems expressing our desires and art inspired by our passion and the new love we created at first glance. I was never a fan of love at first sight, but when D walked into my house, cupid struck me and, trust me I needed a medic for how bad I had fallen. I know your like wow this is really cheesy, but if you only seen those eyes and smile, felt the energy and heard his voice you would understand exactly what I mean. I was blessed to see love at its best on a very special night.
Darnell walked into my house wearing the freshest pair of white and yellow Jordan’s, the flyest pair of dark with a hint of light blue jeans and of course a Yellow T-shirt. The yellow is what I noticed first. It was wrapped around a body that I believed screamed for my hands to caress and love it. Now, for me, I’ve never really paid attention to looks. I was all about the personality, but this dude was gorgeous. My eyes were zoomed on to his lips and paid close attention to the way his bones stood strong. Most girls droll over muscles, but I had that already, Darnell’s body fit him perfectly: tall, skinny, and charming with a very sweet caramel complexion. I started to imagine how great it would be between him and I as my eyes glanced up and down checking him out like how my mamma used to examine the fruit before she bought it.
Before I could think of the right words to say Darnell slowly walked over to me and smiled. "Hello, my name is Darnell." The words floated out his mouth as his hand slowly placed his hand in mine and bought it to his lips. The feel of his warm smooth lips seduced my hand and I felt a sensation like never before. Chills ran down my spine and that pleasure was better than the quick thoughts I had of us just a few moments ago. I wanted him. I wanted to get to know who this beautiful man was and for a brief second I thought I was dreaming.
"A gentleman I see," I said it with confidence. "My name is Tiarra."
"I know who you are. I'm friends with Marcus. He has been telling me about you and told me I should come to this celebration. Congratulations by the way." Marcus had so many friends, it was hard to keep up with them, and I never paid attention to any males Marcus knew. If they were friends of his there was trouble to follow. Plus, Marcus knew how much I needed some new romance in my life. He had spent months trying to help me forget about Steven. Why was he hiding Darnell all this time? Oh well, tonight, I would find what I was looking for on my own. Although, I did have to give Marcus some credit if Darnell did turn out to be what I needed and not another experience of feelings of hurt, loneness and betrayal. I am sure if this did develop into more than just some little flirtation Marcus would make sure I would not get hurt.
Marcus was like a big brother to me, not that I needed another one. I grew up with three big brothers, but I had six, plus all the many male friends along the way that felt it was necessary to watch over and protect me. Marcus was another one. From the day we met, he gave me this look like "I'm watching your every move and who ever hurts you will die." He knew I desperately needed someone to take me out and treat me the way a lady deserves to be treated. Take me out to dinner, let me know how special I was, love me unconditionally and let the world know it. Darnell was a ladies man and he was a sweet talker. Marcus must have known he was my type, I hated being set up on blind dates or being introduced to guys but staring into his eyes more and more, I thanked not only Marcus but God for this opportunity.
"Thank you and I’m honored that you’re here to share this joy with me. I do believe my first book will be a success. What is it that you do?" I wanted to know everything about him. There had to be a great personality to match his appearance. But then again not many are blessed with both. It was worth a try to see, who he was, and trust me I wanted to know all the details and then some.
"Oh Marcus never told you about me?" He asked with a cocky tone. The cockiness did not impress me. It almost turned me off from him, but than he smiled again and, oh my, he had the right to be confident. I gave him a glance like please tell me. "I’m an artist, a musician. And not just someone who sings, but I do it all: rap, write, play the piano. I’m looking to get signed but not until after I graduate." He smiled and moved closer to me. He grabbed my hand and led me into a quiet area. "I want to get to know the famous Tiarra everyone speaks about." Wow. This was too unreal, a fairy tale, something in a dream. This man wanted to get to know me when he could have any girl in the world. Damn, I definitely was going to take advantage of this night and the opportunity that was pulling me into a quiet area. My legs tried to keep up with my heart as it raced to find the love it was looking for, as my eyes gazed on to perfection and my mind was pleased already with his talent, ability, and determination to be the man of my dreams, except he’s real.
One would think that when he said "singer" and "plays piano" that would make me want him more, but sadly it was the "after I graduate" that turned me on and allowed him to take me into my bedroom. Darnell was what I was always looking for in man. He had an amazing body with a matching smile and the brains to go along with it, but he also had goals. "What are you studying?"
"Psychology. It took me awhile to find out what I wanted to do with my life." Listening to him was like listening to Trey Songz sing a ballad on love. I was hooked and focused on every word that swam of those juicy beautiful lips. Focusing on what he was saying was hard. Don’t get me wrong, I was interested in him and so intrigued with each word that slipped off his lips and into my ears. However, I had some plans for those lips: for those lips to tell my body some things, for our bodies to express each other. Sorry I am going off on a tangent. Don’t think I am that kind of girl. I had morals and guidelines before I laid myself down for some man or before lips did anything but speak words. I let the freaky thoughts drift back into my mind and listened to him. "I want to be a guidance counselor." He continued to tell me his dreams and I continued to plan the next few moments with him. "Growing up was hard and I always I felt like no one ever cared. That is why I never went to college and gave up on my music. I mean why should I put all this time and effort into school and writing or wasting time putting down tracks when hustling and drugs gave me the money, power and respect? I graduated and could have went to any school because of my talent in music; I had the ability to play piano, write, sing and rap, but getting high and the smell of that green paper meant more to me. So, senior year I quit the whole music thing and went to school just enough to graduate. And then I thought selling was all I needed." He paused and started into my eyes. My heart melted and I watched him lick his lips like LL, but finer if that was possible. I was trying not to think these thoughts, but he was making it so difficult by licking his lips, holding my hand and oh my, just the sound of his voice was perfect as a hip hop song with the right lyrics so a enchanting rhythm. If his speaking voice sounded like this, I could not imagine how beautiful he sounded when he sang. I was glad he decided music was his passion, but I had to know how it all began.
"So, what made you go back to school and write music again?" I had to ask a question before his lips became my desert and my hips became the tool to seduce him.
"I was on the block like any regular day trying to make a good sale. I had enough drugs on me that day to make about $1,000, not to mention the $300 I had from the weed I just sold." He started to tell me but before he could finish I gave him a puzzling look. "Yes, Tiarra I was selling crack, but no I never did it. Weed was enough high for me but would never bring enough money to get rich; so I could get the Lexus and the bling." Darnell reassured me.
"Just wondering. Please continue." I found myself more intrigued by him now that ever before. The way he spoke and his intelligence amazed me. He was the one and for that moment Steven drifted away like a wave on a calm day. For once my mind was free of him, and my heart, well I knew it would soon find room for Darnell.
"Anyway, as I am standing there, I saw three big dudes approach me and my boy Victor. Vic showed them he was not afraid and got in their face. Me, I'm not going to lie, I was scared. I knew they were going to jump us and take everything we had. But I couldn't run and look like a punk. I pulled out my gun and put it to one dudes face. And from the corner of my eye I saw a huge black fist pounding into my temple, and as I hit the floor I heard a gun shoot go off. For sure I thought the bullet was coming towards me as I drifted of into a sleep that I thought I would never wake from. Yet, I did. I woke up the next morning in a hospital bed, covered in bruises and casts. I had four punctured ribs and a broken jaw. Sitting there next to me was Victor’s mother, Kaitlyn. She was the only mother I ever really had, so it was comforting to see her face. I asked her about Victor only to realize it was the wrong move. Vic was shot in the heart and died instantly. The bullet I heard zipping through the air was not from my gun but the man that Victor stepped to. It had taken his life within one breath. Kaitlyn and I sat there crying for what seemed forever, the cops interrupted us and I told them my story. After they left, I promised that I would put the drugs and guns down and pick up the books. I go to school for Vic because he wanted to be a guidance counselor, helping children was his dream when he was little and music was the only way I could take my aggression out. I started writing lyrics again and before long I had songs and started recording them. I had begun passing out my demos to everyone only hoping to get heard."
Darnell stopped and my arms flung around his neck. I squeezed him as tears rolled down my face. He was one of the most amazing men I ever met in my life. His confession about his past made me want him so much. But was he really interested in me? I was debating what made him come speak to me. At that point it did not matter what brought us together, all that mattered was he had his arms around me. Slowly I felt a soft comforting feeling on my neck. D kissed my neck a few times and this was perfection.
Together we sat there sharing a moment that changed my life. He tried to change the subject and ask about me, but there was a knock at the door. It was Branden, my best friend, since college, telling me it was time to cut the cake. Branden and I met the first day of my college experience. I was on his floor and music was blaring from his room. For some reason I started dancing, I thought no one would see me, so I just shook my booty and before my butt could move from left to right I had an audience.
“Yo!” I heard in a masculine voice. I slowly stopped moving and turned around. Thought I was stupid for a second but soon remembered I had a long tight jean skirt on and a cute little pink top and this man was admiring my hips and the way they moved to the beat of Nelly. Still shy but fighting to be confident I realized he was the man I starred at during dinner earlier. I was drawn to him by his smile and saw a sweet brown complexion with eyes that would be the best way to travel into his mind. Shocked that I was actually going to meet him, I walked over to him.
I smiled. “Hi, my name is Tiarra Right.” I put my hand out to shake his.
“My name is Branden Armstrong. I’m a transfer. This is my friend Aaron.” A tall, heavyset light skin man walked out the room. I smiled and walked into their room.
Walking into their room was only the beginning; I had also walked into their lives for good. For the next three years Branden, Aaron and I developed a stronger friendship than anything imaginable. There were plenty of fights and drama, secrets never told, nights upon nights filled with tears, but for every sad or depressing moment we had about 100 more nights of craziness filled with laughter, nights where our shoulders became each other’s pillows and dances that never seemed to hold a dull moment. For every fight we had, there were about 1000 more hugs and smiles, comforting us and allowing us three to be better than friends. They already claimed they were brothers, so yes, like always, I shortly became a little sister to them. That title and closeness meant more to me sometimes than any award or achievement I earned in college. I always had a special place in my heart for both them and that is why as soon as my year without them in Mass was over, I moved to them and NYC. Branden and Aaron had been there every step of the way comforting and guiding me until I found my own place. They were the ones that threw me a surprise party when they found out my book Thicker than Water was going to get published.
When Branden walked into the room, he slowly opened the door afraid like he was disturbing something. I gave him the look to let him know it was all good and he entered the room. “Cuse Cuse,” that’s what he called me because I was from Syracuse, NY, “We got you a cake and I want to eat it. Come on.” He smiled and walked out the room. I looked over at Darnell and he gave me another one of those smiles that had the ability to melt an ice cube on a winter day. We slowly got up and headed to the door. I stopped before I opened it and stared into the most amazing sparkling eyes I ever saw. My lips could not control it anymore; they wanted to taste Darnell and not the cake. I kissed him on the check, afraid if I moved to fast he would think I was easy, and turned and opened the door before anything more could happen. Wishing I had done more, but I knew soon I would get my chance. Darnell and I walked out the room with a bond that was irreplaceable and different than like nothing before. This was the start of a new friendship and I could not wait for more moments with him.
They say a picture describes a thousand words and believe me it does. The sight of Branden standing over a huge chocolate, chocolate cake with a picture of the cover of my book will always be embedded into my memory. It was one of the moments I wanted to live in forever. For once, I felt truly satisfied in my life; I had a book actually in the process of being published. Thicker than Water had been this idea of mine since I was a sophomore in high school. I wrote it desiring to be a writer at like two or three in the morning because that was the best time for my third eye to open and let my fingers talk as they typed quickly on the keys. I was proud when I finished it before I started college. I thought it was the best book ever and it was perfect. Well, little did I know just how much work it needed; therefore, with inspiration and motivation from Steven I spent many years of my life working to finish that book.
When I moved to NYC, the start of the book was only the beginning for me and I was still afraid to let anyone read it. By accident I left a copy of it on the kitchen table one morning and before I could get to it when I got home from work, my house mate, Cheri, had taken it. She had been dying to read what kept me up night after night, forced me to stay in when all my girls were out at the finest clubs in NYC and allowed me to miss one of the biggest moments of my life: a Trey Songz and Keyshia Cole concert, my two favorite artists. I had planned on going, but I had all these ideas storming in my head for my characters that I had to write down and before I knew it, Trey had already performed and you know how NYC works, I would have never made it in time to hear Keyshia hit every beautiful note and let me live in a moment of love and Steven.
After the concert was over Cheri stormed into the room like she had the worst night of her life. I apologized for missing the concert.
“Tiarra, what was so damn important than hanging out with me on my birthday weekend celebration?” She cried. Damn, the lives of Kyle and Laytianna were more important than Cheri, the best girl friend I ever had. I walked over to her and sat next to her on the couch.
“Cheri, I am soooo sorry. I planned on going but I got caught up with the book.”
“The book?” Cheri screamed and looked so mad. “What is this book that takes you away from every thing? It has consumed your life.”
“It always has. I want to finish it. You know I can’t start something and not finish it. I promise Friday, Saturday and even Sunday will be the best ever. We will be on a plane first thing Friday morning,” looking at my watch, “well in about five hours, to Miami to give you the best birthday you deserve.” I hugged her and she forgave me because she knew I was paying for everything.
“I just really wanted to share this with you. You’re the reason I’m hooked on to Trey’s body and voice. I only wanted to go because of you. It was all right with Layla, but Tiarra, I wanted you there too.” A tear began to slip from her eyes. “I was having the best time of my life and I didn’t have you to share it with me.”
“What was this moment?” Curiosity rose in me because Cheri never says things are the best or the greatest so this moment had to be extra special.
“I was on stage with Trey, sitting in a chair while he sang to me. I think he was singing Kinda Love; I couldn’t tell I was too focused on his beautiful lips and damn those eyes. Tiarra, he picked me out of all those ladies to share a special moment with. The whole time I sat there enjoying it and planning the rest of our lives together: being Mrs. Songz and having the most beautiful and talented children in the world. After the song was finished, he kissed me on the check and gave me a rose, and not a real one, but a fake beautiful rose,” she showed me the rose, “he wanted the rose to last like our new love and he slipped me a backstage pass. I spent time with him after the show and developed a new friendship with him. As special and amazing this moment was to me I wanted you there right with me. You know we do everything together.”
I laughed, “very true, but Cheri, this was your moment and you deserved it. I’m happy for you.”
“I’m happy for myself; now let’s get some sleep so we can make it to the airport on time.” We got up. I walked over to the computer and hit the save button. I was now determined to finish this book since it prevented me from meeting Trey Songz. But Cheri had her way and this creation was put on hold and she taught me to see more important things and people than Kyle and Laytianna’s troubled families and love affair.
When she took the copy off the kitchen table that morning she began to read it and finished within a week. Without me knowing my story was sitting on the desk of a publisher, Jacob, from Writer’s Imaging Publishing Company and two days later I was called in for the first revision. That is how the journey began, an idea put on paper, people who believed in me and someone gave me a chance to tell the world about interracial relationships, adoption, broken homes and the friends that become families.
“Tiarra, stop day dreaming and get over and cut this cake.” Cheri yelled holding a knife like she was about to stab me with it. I walked over to the cake and placed the knife gently into the cake and put a slight line down the middle. “You had better make a wish.” Cherri demanded; she lived on wishes, fate and destiny. I made a wish that this new beginning with my career and new friendship with Darnell was going to be the start of all dreams coming true. This moment was the beginning of something I always dreamed of: Success, friendship, happiness and love. The only thing missing was Steven but he was caught up with things in Syracuse. I thought Steven is the reason this book got finished and he knows it, the dedication to him is enough; however, it is time for a new beginning with Darnell and really enjoying my moments and new life in NYC.