Baby is determined to try to get down here this weekend. I think she’s shooting for Friday night when I finish at the salon. She says she has to go back around 11am or noon on Saturday, which is choice. Because that gives me time with her Friday night into Saturday for some greatest hits. I like this, because once she goes I’m off for the rest of the day from everything.
My daughter tells me we need paper towels for the kitchen. I’m a little curious about this because my vegan daughter Lorelei now owns my kitchen and uses all of the paper towels. I never touch a single one. But as a child who is nearly twenty-one she thinks all household stuff is paid for by parents.
I love her and I’m fine with it. I’m happy she’s my daughter.
I go to Walgreen’s and pick up two rolls of paper towels, a can of Axe body spray, (Phoenix. You’re welcome Axe or… I’m sorry Axe) A bag of kettle corn, (Cravings lately. Unexplained. Just love that stuff. It’ll pass.) condoms and a pack of cigs.
As I approach the counter I hope the cashier doesn’t put some sort of story together based on my purchases today…
Oh, this guy needs Axe body spray to attract a mate, and then he’s buying condoms in the hope he closes, and then he’s buying cigarettes to smoke after the sex.
Or… He will eat the entire bag of kettle corn watching Netflix alone tonight when he fails miserably at the bar, using the paper towels to mop up his tears.
I’m at the salon on Friday and it’s quiet. A welcome repose from Thursday. It was busy yesterday night. I loved it. We made money, some of my favorite people stopped in, and the night flew by.
Cherie is on the train and on her way down to the city for the night. I lock up at 8pm and settle the drawer. She’s never been to the new salon. She texts me to ask whether she should come to me or head to my house.
I give her the address and tell her to come to the salon. I lock the doors and turn off the lights in the hallway. I hit the flashlight feature on my phone and head down the steps. The door downstairs opens and it’s Cherie!
She’s already off the train and here! I come down and give her a hug and a kiss. I’m so happy to see her. She looks great as always. Dark locks and sexy lips and hips. I’ve missed her. I’ve been thinking about her a lot this week.
Once I knew she confirmed for Friday night my hunger for her grew.
If you’ve been reading this blog you already know that I’ve accepted the fact that we can’t always be together. That’s just the way it is now. Cherie’s in school, working at the hospital, and taking care of her son. Just a full schedule.
But somehow love survives and thrives between us. A playful sweet love that has been built on a rich history over the last year. Our one year anniversary just happened two weeks ago. You would think that would be a time for great celebration and jewelry.
But she was in class and then at CHOP (Children’ Hospital) doing blood work for sick kids, and I was in meetings with an app company about selling their products in this market.
Cherie had to grow up fast in her twenties. Once you have a kid, that changes you if you’re made from anything good. Cherie is. She said to me tonight her son’s father doesn’t spend enough time with him and the support is light. I told her that I thought her ex had a good job and made decent money. She said he has five kids from two different ex-wives so he’s basically broke all the time.
“He’s white, right?”
(Laughs) “Yea. But my son is last on the list when it comes to support or time.”
“I’m sorry. But I’ve been divorced. Support is based on how many overnights he has with the child and how much income he earns. You can go to court and make him pay. It’s just a math equation.”
“You forget that we never married over the time we were together. There’s nothing in place for me to enforce it. I’m basically a single mother.”
By this point I’m lying next to her on my bed. We’re just talking before anything happens here. Her beautiful dark, almond eyes glisten with tears.
But no tears fall. She looks at me calmly describing her plight. She only blinks between statements.
My girlfriend is resolute.
“If my son’s father is going to fail and continue to fail as a father to his son with me, then I have to be the best mother I can to him.” She breathes deeply, never taking her eyes from mine. I see in her a strength I don’t know in anyone else I know. She means what she says and there’s no other choice for her. Cherie knows that because she’s lived in a world where she can count on no one but herself.
Her mom, dad and sister are great, but at the end of the day she knows she’s really the only one in her son’s life. This has been the painful and triumphant journey of many black women through history.
She’s beside me, her head supported by her hand on her side. I am lying on my back looking up to her. I realize in that moment, I truly am looking up to her.
She’s calm, and her words are sure. I love her. I love her so much in this moment. Looking upon her sheer will to survive.
I’m in awe.
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