Addiction: A short story by Shubricca L Bell (Part 2)

I brought in a journal that my great, great, great, grandmother kept. I never got the chance to meet her, but it had stories that were passed down from her great, great, great, grandmother, who she did meet. Stories of my 6th great grandmother and her husband being ripped away from each other after traveling to America on a slave ship. Stories of her picking cotton in the fields until her hands bled. Stories of her going hungry for days, and her lips cracking and bleeding and her tongue sticking to the roof of her mouth because she was denied water to drink.

Stories of her passing out in the field and being awakened by her slave owner violently penetrating her without her permission. Stories of her getting pregnant by her slave master and her children working as house slaves and never being acknowledged as her slave master kids. My great great great grandmother wrote these stories that were passed down to her, and my great grandmothers after her added their stories to it. My grandmother, mom, and I are the only ones who hasn’t added anything to the journal, but I was currently directing a movie about it. There were other stories of my other great grandmothers that I was also highlighting, but every story was pretty much the same. Every one of them had their innocence and femininity ripped away from them by not only their male slave masters, but some of their wives. 

All of their husbands were taken away from them and they had to work the fields like a man, and because of this they weren’t looked upon like woman. My great grandmothers spoke of how they were never viewed as delicate flowers, but savages and animals, who were nothing more than cum buckets for their slave masters, and titties for their owner’s infants and toddlers to fed on. All the hatred, physical, and mental abuse they endured, made them hard, but they were still women, which is why the movie I’m also producing is called, “Concrete Flower.” Fast forward to this day and time and the pain of my ancestors rest on my face, not only my face, but many of my black sisters. It’s like a curse. 

Many of us were born with a mug, and if we wasn’t, the things we’ve had to deal with as a black woman has caused us to have tough skin, and you can see it on our face. My grandmother was raped by a friend of her family when she was four. My mom and I are the only ones in my family that haven’t experienced some form of sexual trauma or other kind of abuse. I had a great childhood. My parents are the epitome of a healthy marriage. 

If they ever had a disagreement, I didn’t know about it. They were always on the same team. “Teamwork makes a marriage work,” my dad always said. Black families were forced apart back then, and although there’s no longer slavery in America, there’s still a lack of family unit in the black community. The single mom rate amongst black women is astronomical. 

The movie that I’m shooting will show how all of the things we’ve experienced not only as black women, but black people, tie into what we’re experiencing today. 

The truth is, nothing will change until we do. Slavery was an excuse back then, but we no longer have to be bound by those demons of our past. My grandmother called those demons strongholds, God rest her soul. My grandparents were married over seventy years, and my grandfather had seven children outside of their eight. 

Yeah, it’s a new day and time, because women aren’t sticking around like back in the day. 

My grandmother had her reasons and eventually she learned to love my grandfather, but a lot of what she experienced was a trauma bond. Today black women are more independent, and we have good careers, but sadly, because we are doing a lot more ourselves, it has caused us to lack that feminine quality that men are saying we need. Again, it started with slavery. That demon just find new ways to create the same problems. 

I sat on the couch lost in my thoughts. “How’s the movie going?” my therapist asked. I sighed. “It’s going good. I’m just exhausted. 

I never thought that shooting this movie would take such an emotional toll on me,” I said. “What do you mean?” she said. “Seeing it play out stirs all kinds of emotions, and I can’t help but think that maybe my independence has gotten me in the situation I’m in.” I paused to see what my therapist would say, but she said, “Please continue. Tell me everything you’re thinking.” 

I said, “Well I’m thirty, and I’ve only been with two men in my life, but I don’t think that I’ve ever truly needed them, and they both knew it. I only needed Jamison for sex, until I fell in love with him, and the relationship before that, he was my first and I just stuck around because he was all I knew. I didn’t really love him or anything, we were both young and one night things got heated, we had sex and then we decided we were in a relationship. We were teenagers. A couple of years later, I met Jamison while picking up take out, and he asked me if he could take me out sometimes. 

I told him that I had a man, but he didn’t care. That was the first red flag I should have payed attention to. He put his phone number in my cell and called his phone. Then he told me that he would text me that night. I’m not going to lie, I like how he just took control of that situation. 

It turned me on. Me and my boyfriend at that time was on the verge of breaking up anyway. He was moving from Atlanta to NewYork, and my dreams were to build a studio in Atlanta, in which I did. I’m very proud of my success. My annual income is in the seventh digit, so I have a good life, but I don’t have love, so my life feels very much incomplete.

I just need someone who is gentle enough to break away this hard shell. I want to be vulnerable. I want love. I want a husband that I can submit to. The way Jamison took charge of things in and out the bathroom made me feel like a woman. 

I was feminine with him, I think. I know now that a part of being feminine is being vulnerable, and maybe I compromised how I truly felt at times, because I didn’t want to lose what we had. I thought that if I got too attached, it would ruin the excitement. Now he’s all on social media posted up with this other woman, and he even bought her a ring!” “Oh, they’re engaged?” my therapist said. 

“No, it’s a promise ring,” I said, sarcastically. “Of course, they’re engaged, doc!” I said. “Okay, first you have to take a break from social media or at least block him and limit your time on social media all together, it’s not healthy. Secondly, you have to learn to set boundaries. Your first mistake was allowing him to take your phone and put his number in your phone ten years ago, especially when you had a boyfriend. 

When he got away with that, he pretty much knew that you were the type he could control, and he used what he was good at to keep you in control. Then again, maybe Jamison thought you were okay with a friends with benefits type relationship. Have you ever told him that you wanted to be his girlfriend or wife?” she said. “We talked about relationships, but we never talked about being monogamous,” I said. “So, here’s the deal. 

You bit off more than you can chew in the beginning. You were curious, and your curiosity killed the cat,” she said. I like my therapist. She gives it to me raw and uncut. “So, now that we know what the mistakes were, we have to work on those boundaries that I was talking about, because the last thing I want you to do is start building walls, that could potentially keep you from experiencing a meaningful and loving relationship. 

I really think that what your great grandmothers and even your grandmother has been through has in a way, caused you to maybe start thinking like a man, in hopes that thinking like him will keep him around, but men and women are very different in this regard. No matter how much you believe that you can do what some of them do without getting attached, you can’t. We can’t. As women, we are emotional creatures, but we’re going to work on how not to allow your emotions to control you, okay?” “Okay,” I said. 

After she gave me several great tips and some very good advice, I felt positive about my future outside of Jamison. It still hurts like hell that he’s no longer in my life, but I felt like I just had to block him and anything that reminded me of him, and I’d be okay. So, I went home and cooked dinner. I poured me a glass of wine and watched TV, as I ate dinner. “Waiting to Exhale” was on, so I turned. 

I already knew to avoid anything that reminded me of him. I turned to another channel and “Diary of a mad black woman” was on. I laughed, because clearly I was being tested. I just turned off the TV, and ate in silence. After I ate, I got up to take my plate into the kitchen, then my door bell rang. 

I had no clue who it was. The mail couriers never dropped off a package at my house after eight,  so it wasn’t them. “Who is it?” I opened the app on my phone to see who it was, and it was Jamison. “What the hell is he doing here?” I thought. Just when I had made up in my mind that I was done with him, he appears on my door step.  I can’t lie, I still wanted him. 

I couldn’t resist him. “What do you want, Jamison?” I said, without opening the door, but standing close enough to hear him. “Careesha, baby open the door,” he said. “Baby? Oh, is there trouble in paradise already? Where’s your fiancé?” I said. 

“Baby, open the door. I miss you. You don’t miss me?” he said. I did miss him and I hated myself for it. I went against everything inside of me and opened the door. 

He couldn’t get in and close the door good enough before pinning me against the wall and picking me up. He unbuckled his pants with one hand and held me me up with the other. I took off his shirt, and we kissed. I was lost in his trance again, and I’d forgotten about those boundaries my therapist told me to stick to. I knew that we were making a mistake, but we never really talked our issues out, we’d have mind blowing sex instead, and that’s where the confusion came in. 

The way he made love to me made me think he loved me. I miss you so much baby. I’ve been dying to make love to you,” he said, as he gave me slow passionate thrusts against the wall. Overcome with emotion, I started to cry. I’d missed him too, and I loved him, and it felt so good.

I started thinking about what he must be doing to his fiancé and I could no longer do it. I told him to stop and he did. “Baby what’s wrong?” he said. “We need to talk and sex can’t fix everything,” I said. “I’m here because I need you baby,” he said. 

“If you need me, why are you engaged to someone else, after I’ve given you ten years of my life?” I said. “Careesha, baby. Why are you complicating things. Me and you are good. This is what we’ve always had,” he said. “Well, Jamison, I don’t want it anymore,” I said. 

“So, you don’t love me anymore?” he said. “Of course, I love you, but obviously my love for you isn’t enough because you’re marrying someone else,” I said. “Why haven’t you said that you wanted to be with me in that way? I can’t read minds, Careesha. Had I known, I would have never got engaged,” he said. 

“But you were entertaining her while we were sleeping together. This is not something that happened overnight,” I said. “Baby, I didn’t come here to fight. Can I just hold you for tonight. I will break things off with her tomorrow, but I just want to be with you in this moment and forget about everything else. 

Can we please just lay down,” he said, walking me to my bedroom. “I just wanted to lay with my baby tonight,” he said before sitting on the edge of my bed, and pulling me gently into his lap. “I love you,” he said. This was his first time telling me this. I had told him that I loved him several times, and he would always say things like, “me too.” 

So, for him to finally tell me that he loves me. It was like music to my hears. We went to sleep and he held me. The next morning, we made love and he had to work afterwards, but he promised to call me throughout the day. He never did, matter of fact, he blocked me. I was furious! After I got off of work, I went to his apartment. 

I banged on the door. Ebony, his fiancé opened the door. “You’re comical. You really don’t believe in bowing out gracefully, do you?” she said, with a smirk. I pushed her out of the way and went inside. “Jamison!” I yelled. 

He came to the front wrapped in a towel. Water was dripping from his chocolate muscular chest like an icecream on a hot sunny day. “Careesha, baby,” he said. I smirked at Ebony. “Baby?” she said. 

“I mean, Careesha. What are you doing here?” he said. “I thought you were breaking up with her,” I said. “I am,” he said. “Excuse me?” Ebony said. 

“Ebony just sit down for a minute. Careesha go to your car and let me talk to Ebony please,” he said. “Oh, no. She don’t have to leave, I will,” Ebony said. “But baby, I don’t want you to leave like this. Can I just explain,” he said. 

“You slept with her last night, didn’t you?” Ebony said. “Yes, we slept together,” I said. I was impatient at this point. All this beating around the bush that Jamison was doing was pissing me off. “Damnit, Careesha, please just leave for a minute,” he said. 

“Fine, but I’m not through with you,” I said. “Whatever, I’ll deal with you in a minute,” he said. “No, you stay. I don’t want you telling me one thing and telling her something else,” Ebony said. We both looked at him. 

“I love both of you,” he said. “I am not believing this right now. Is this because I want to wait until marriage to have sex?” Ebony said. “Baby no. I love you,” then he looked looked at me and said, “but I’m in love with Careesha too.” 

“Oh wow, so she’s not having sex with you? Is this why you came running back to me?” I said. “No, I can get sex anywhere. Look, I didn’t plan for this to happen, but I am in love with both of you,” he said. “So who do you want to be with?” I said. 

“Look honey, the two of you can have each other.  I’m out of here,” Ebony said. “Wait, baby please don’t leave like this,” Jamison said. “Why are you chasing her? She clearly doesn’t love you like I do. 

Let her go. I hugged him and kissed him on the lips and said, “Nobody is going to hold you down like I do,” I said, before grabbing his penis. I shouldn’t have turned my back, because before I knew it, she had hit me upside the head with a vase. My head started bleeding and I fell to the floor. I felt dizzy. 

Jamison held Ebony back and told her to leave.  Everything went blurry and then I passed out. I woke up and I was in the hospital. I asked for Jamison and the doctor said that he didn’t know who Jamison was. He said that the ambulance had brought me to the hospital last night. 

I asked to use the phone, and my doctor told me to take it easy, because I was trying to get up too fast. “I can call someone if you need me to,” he said. I told him to call Jamison and have him come pick me up. After the doctor made the call, he came back into the room and said, that I had the wrong number or something. Wait, did he change his number all together? 

I thought he had blocked me yesterday, but maybe he had gotten a new number. The doctor asked if there was someone else I could call because it wasn’t safe for me to drive home. I told the doctor that I would call a Lyft. After I got home, I called a tow to bring my car home from Jamison house. He never called to check on me.

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