Read Part I here.
I tried to fall asleep, but I kept replaying the events of that morning in my head over and over again. I cried quietly in my old bedroom, fell asleep briefly, woke up, replayed the events, and repeated until Monday morning when I drove to the Clerk of Court’s office to file a protective order. I had no reason to be ashamed, but it was embarassing to ask for directions to the right office for protective orders. It was embarassing to request the forms from the clerk, and sit in the open hallway as I completed several pages of information. The clerk and I went over the information on the forms, and she directed me to a judge to get my temporary restraining order approved.
I sat outside the courtroom on a hard bench in a long hallway, waiting for the judge to finish a trial so that I could get my TRO approved. The hallway was stuffy from having so many people inside, and not enough air vents blowing cool air. There was a man seated next to me who had so much nervous energy that he kept shaking his legs, causing the bench to vibrate. Another woman on the opposite side of me sat motionless with her head down. Suddenly the doors of the courtroom opened, and Charles’ niece (the daughter of Marcel, whose dick I had allegedly been scoping) and cousin exited. IS THIS REAL LIFE?! The niece smiled and asked if I was there for traffic court. I told her no and laughed nervously. They both smiled, accepted my answer, and went about their lives without further questioning my reasons for being there. Certainly, they were going to snitch.
The New Orleans airport has always been a bit hectic during 4th of July weekend because of Essence Fest, and I wanted to avoid it. Instead of flying somewhere for the holiday, I decided to take a spontaneous road trip with a friend. We decided at the last minute to take the scenic route to Biloxi, Mississippi.
Now, I hadn’t been there since the summer before 7th grade. I only remember because I had just gotten my braces, and I have a picture of my brace face with my parents at a pizza place in Biloxi. The last time my friend had been there was immediately after Katrina destroyed it. Needless to say, things had changed a lot. Poor Mississippi suffered through Katrina and the BP oil spill and it took a gargantuan hit on the economy.
I honestly never held a positive opinion of Mississippi. That state is always competing with Louisiana to take the crown on the “worst states” list, and usually wins. I know that it isn’t a bunch of racist hillbillies stuck in the antebellum, but I just never felt that it had anything to offer me. I’ve met a lot of men from Jackson. Apparently, the dating scene there is horrendous and there are lots of black gays with and abnormally high rate of HIV.
We stopped at a couple of markets on the side of the road in Louisiana as we made our way to Mississippi. Can I just mention how much Louisiana makes me smile sometimes? Where else can one see a sign on the side of the road that says “FRESH GATOR JERKY?” How can one not stop on the side of the road and buy some? It was good, too. We bought gator jerky, cracklins, liquor, and chocolate covered strawberries.
Charles* and I had been in month three of dating, and things were not going well. The guy had paranoia tendencies, and had accused me of communicating with other guys. I was not and there was nothing to indicate that I was. Furthermore, we were casually dating and not in a committed monogamous relationship, so he had no right to make accusations even if I was. This wasn’t going anywhere, and we both knew it. I was unwilling to defend myself against unnecessary accusations made by an insecure man, so I ended our dating relationship late Saturday night while he was at my apartment.
Maybe I should have done that over the phone instead. I really thought it would be as simple as me saying it’s over, him saying okay, him leaving my apartment, and is both proceeding to live our best lives separately. Charles became irate, began a lengthy monologue about how horrible of a person I was, called me everything but my God-given name, and further alleged that I had been lusting for his brothers-in law. The entire time I lay across my bed, waiting for him to finish saying what he had to say and leave. His outlandish statements were not factual, and I didn’t care to defend myself any longer.
“Yeah, I saw you looking at my brother-in-law!” he yelled passionately. “I saw you looking at Marcel’s* dick when we were at the waterpark! Then you tried to look at me to see if I was watching you, but I caught your ass!” As he spoke, he became even more irate, and motioned to hit me as I lay in bed, but stopped mid swing.
Here’s the deal: I don’t like kids. I don’t want kids. I won’t have kids. The only time I like them is when they are nice, calm, quiet, and respectful. Since that happens rarely, I’d rather do without them in my life entirely. I have no doubts in my mind about this. I don’t despise them; I just would rather not be around them. Being around someone else’s kids is out of my comfort zone.
Keith had a daughter who was three years old that he never saw due to “baby mama drama.” There are two sides to every story, and I didn’t know the story of the mother.
Well, for some odd reason, Keith’s biggest fantasy was to spend time with his daughter and someone that he cared about (me at the time) altogether. But he was so afraid to bring his daughter around me because he knew how I felt about children. No sweat off my back. I was not interested in the proposition anyway. He was highly furious at the idea that I was not interested in spending time with him and his daughter.
He invited himself over to my apartment one evening. I say okay, thinking we were going to do grown up things. I got a knock on my door. I unlocked and opened the door without even looking through the peephole to see who was on the other side. I expected to see Keith’s sexy self grinning at me. And I did. Not only did I see Keith, standing in front of him was an adorable girl with long black pigtails and a smile inherited from her father.
Daryl* was a new addition to my roster. He travelled year round for work, so it was difficult to see him. I had to get in where I fit in without much advance. He called me around 10:30 one night, but I didn’t answer because the introvert in me didn’t feel like talking. He called again on the next evening while I was getting ready to hang with friends, and I answered since I was in a better mood.
“I was in your city last night. I called you, but you didn’t answer,” he announced.
“Oh, yeah?” I responded. “I was already in bed when you called.” I really was in bed. I just hadn’t gone to sleep yet.
Now he was two hours away, but wanted to take me out to dinner. I told him about my previous plans for dinner with friends, but suggested we meet afterward. Honestly, I only offered because I thought he would decline the late night invitation, but he agreed. That was okay. I was ready for an adventurous night.
Dinner with friends went way longer than I expected, and I drank too much and was too tired to drive an hour to meet him halfway. so I called after midnight to cancel. I felt so bad about it because I’m a woman of my word. I had said I would be there and I knew he was looking forward to it., but there was no way I could make it. He sounded really disappointed when I cancelled, and even offered to come all the way to me. I declined because I had already washed my face and was in bed. I would have been deep asleep by the time he got to me. Maybe some other time.
The next morning, Daryl called to reschedule. Because I felt so guilty, I was going to drive almost two hours out of the way to meet him instead of meeting him halfway like the previous day’s plan. I normally would have never considered it because that’s a long drive just for a man, no matter how interested in him I may have been. Still, I told him I would make up for my no show, and I wanted to make it right.