Today we have a guest appearance from the lovely and talented LaBakir. Make sure you show her some love in the comments.
“Now what am I supposed to do when I want you in my world…I guess I’ll see you next lifetime.”
That was our song, although at the time it had a totally different meaning. We were sophomore’s in high school and dated briefly before I began sweating* dealing with an upperclassman. I was so smitten with Mr. Jock, that I ignored what was right in front of me. What was better for me at the time. I’ll never forget the day J.G. was preparing to leave my house, Erykah Badu’s video for “Next Lifetime” came on as he pleaded with me to give him another chance. He told me I wasn’t the only girl that Mr. Jock was dealing with, but like old folk…I wasn’t hearing him. As he stood in the doorway to my house, J.G. quoted Ms. Badu and said “I guess I’ll see you next lifetime”.
And he left.
That wasn’t the end of J.G. and I though. We remained good friends throughout high school, even as he began to change before my eyes. The lanky boy with dark eyes and freckles decorating his nose would eventually be kicked out of school, having to attend evening classes. The young man who once played football and was considered a pretty boy would start hustling and involving himself in illegal activity. It just didn’t make sense. This wasn’t the J.G. I knew. This wasn’t the guy that I’d play fight with in the hallway between classes before getting caught by a teacher. Or the kid with whom I’d plot to ask for bathroom passes at the same time, during the same period to roam the halls for five minutes and eat candy. It certainly wasn’t the guy who would buy me “corner store pizza” before sitting outside for hours on the porch or shooting hoops.
But it was who he had become.
After high school, I went to college while J.G hit the streets harder. While my nose was in the text books, he was handling business out of state. On a visit home for Thanksgiving, I ran into J.G. and we began spending time with one another. Since graduation, he became a father and picked up a cigarette habit while I was accumulating student loans and working for the athletic center. Nonetheless, our chemistry remained and J.G. became my “unboyfriend”. I knew that he and I couldn’t really be together because we were living in two different worlds. Mine collegiate, his criminal. Our “unrelationship” lasted a few months until his baby mother gave me a call. Apparently they were still together, so I removed myself from the picture. I was the one who left this time. Maybe Badu was on to something. Perhaps J.G and I could only exist in another lifetime.
I graduated from college and returned home. Through word of mouth I found out J.G. was serving time. This broke my heart, as I envisioned so much more for him. I found out where he was located and wrote him a letter asking if there was anything he needed. I never received a response and just chalked it up to the fact that maybe he was working things out with his baby mother.
It’s four years later and I hear from a friend of a friend that J.G. is trying to get in contact with me. Not knowing what to expect, I get his number and give him a call. He wants to see me, and suggest we grab a bite to eat. J.G. is still quite the gentleman and I’m enjoying our conversation, but nothing could prepare me for the next twenty minutes. He tells me he’s been thinking about me and he wants me to be his girl. He reassures me that I’ll be happy and he’ll take care of me. That he knows what he has to do to keep a woman like me. He’s almost thirty and he’s ready to get out the streets. He wants a good life and he wants it with me.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? Well let’s do a quick assessment our resumes*:
– 10 year old child
– an ex-con
– currently going through a divorce
– on parole
– unemployed (although he claims otherwise)
– owes $5,000 in back child support
– no kids
– no record
– college grad
– good credit, Roth IRA, and life insurance
In the most non-judgmental tone I could muster, I explained to J.G. that maybe I wasn’t a good fit for him. Just because we have a history, doesn’t necessarily mean we can pick up where we left off. Years have passed since we’ve had regular communication and A LOT has changed (see the above). While he was busy in the streets, I was working on setting a foundation for the type of life I want to live. My vision does not include a man covered in tattoos unless his name is Terry Kennedy with a few priors. *cue wind chimes* It includes my man Terry Kennedy and I traveling the world, enjoying life, and perhaps reproducing two athletic sons who love to skateboard. I wonder what my family and friends would think. I try to envision bringing J.G. home to meet my daddy (who’s a correction officer and 3rd degree black belt in jiu jitsu). As active as my imagination is, I just can’t.
“You only think this is crazy because it’s me saying I want to be with you. Are you going to hold my past against me? Don’t you want to be happy?” J.G. looks at me intently waiting for an answer, motorcycle helmet in hand. I ignore his gaze as I tell him I do want to be happy, but that what he has going on is a bit too heavy for me. I let him know that I can be his friend and that’s it. This answer doesn’t make him happy, but he’s persistent that the story will end the way he wants it to. I roll my eyes and tell him I have to go.
Am I being too judgemental? If I didn’t have a history with J.G., I wouldn’t have entertained that conversation with him due to his resume. On the surface, he is NOTHING I look for in man. However, he has a good heart and has always treated me well. Being 100% honest, I’m just not sure if that’s enough. Are we really compatible or is it our history that is making it appear that way? J.G. is suggests the third lifetime is a charm, but I can’t risk getting caught up in some foolishness.
*sweating- exercising extreme thirst for someone. Don’t judge me. I’m not the only one guilty.
*resume- a person’s qualifications taken into consideration when in the running for being apart of your life