21 Years Later — We Still Support Each Other

I’m blessed to have her. I hope she’s blessed to have me, too.

Photo by alex starnes on Unsplash

If you know what it feels like to be walking on what you think is your last leg — limping on worn-out shoes, tortured feet, and trying to carry the weight of your body with the world resting on your shoulders and a special someone is right there for support . . . then, you are blessed. You have been given a gift God handpicked for you, and you should cherish it.

I have someone in my life who has been a force — strength when I have waded through rough waters with little breath to give to anyone else, and she still hangs in here with me.

She has accomplished so much. I am motivated by her ambition. Her managerial skills impress me. Her presence when she enters a room demands the attention of everyone around her, and it is a sight to witness.

I feel nothing but happiness when she is around. We can laugh for hours at the silliest thing or the corniest movie. The older we get, these things do not change.

When you can find peace in the presence of someone else that also lends peace to you to share with someone else, that is the beauty of life that knows no bounds.

Just like any two best friends, we have had our trials. Tribulations came and attempted to conquer. However, we stood firm on their rocky paths. The shakier they seemed to get, the mightier we became. Nothing could shift our spirits and move us away from who we were meant to be.

When you have seen someone at their worst and what you gain from being a witness is strength and revelation, then you hold on to that person. You hold on to their love. You tie yourself to the very thought of their existence and you thank God for thinking about you in your season of need.

A lot of us will never know the beauty of this love — this kind of friendship. Many of us will not allow ourselves the vulnerability we will need to strip down and be our naked true selves to someone else in order to gain this type of understanding — this bond.

I am happy to know I have moved through embracing the hard parts of me and willing them to become soft. Walking through this time of my life opened up doors for me and my best friend. It strengthened our communication skills and made us tap into growth factors, too.

21 years later and we are stronger than we have ever been. Together as one, we have skipped down dusty roads meant to break our bones. And we are continuing on a journey that seems to be a settled place of welcome with an overwhelming dose of calm.

I do not want to know a world without her in it — without her standing by my side and lifting me up when the gloominess of life is pulling chunks out of my heart.

Whenever we see each other, we pull one another into a hug that says, “Hey, girl. Just stay right here for this moment in this embrace for a while longer. Don’t let go — not yet.” And we rock and we sway and we step back and look at each other in awe.

We’re still here — still making each other’s days — still sharing laughs and joy; still being who we are unashamed and with no excuses.

Stronger together, come what may.

©2023 Tremaine L. Loadholt

This piece is in response to the CRY “Stronger Together” writing prompt.

Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.


Photo by Gui França on Unsplash
taken by Tremaine L. Loadholt

I am taken aback by her — by
who she is, what she does, and
how she moves about in
this world.

she is bold — passionate about
life and her surroundings, and
I stand on faltering feet,
wondering when I’ll be
able to l o o s e this confession
curdling my spirit.

I am eating my words
for dinner, submerging my
heart into overflowing waters,
stunted by fears that
tangle my tongue.

women need to come with
instruction manuals, and an
extra five dollars behind
their ears — I got tolls to
pay every time I lose
myself in one of them.

I get shy around her–nerves
tighten my stomach muscles,
and I play hide-n-seek with
my words. 
why am I like this?

does she notice?
will she say something?

and every day we 
shoot the shit like I
ain’t dreaming about cuffing
her to the base of my heart 
and whipping her hips
under my arms.

“I’m a sinner. I’m a saint.”

and I no longer feel
shame in this skin I’m in,
but this woman . . . 
this fine, Black woman,
skips and dashes,
slips and thrashes her
way into my mind more
than I realize, and I

am taken aback by her
again and again and

*Track playing in the background: Sade, Is It a Crime?

Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

Every Day, I Am Growing into Who I Want To Be

And I love this woman so much

I buy a few things that give me peace; fuzzy socks, The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama, amber, sandalwood, and lavender-scented candles, and sink into the first days of the new year losing pain and heartache, yet honoring grief.

A mourner does not need to discuss their mourning.

I take down the Christmas decorations before the 1st can whisper “goodbye,” and I feel complete relief. The space I missed is free of red and green colors and thistles from an aging artificial tree.

I have found my way into a friend’s heart who is a crush — who has found herself attached, too. She doesn’t want to be. I can tell. But here the two of us are — wading through unknown waters. And while I’ve been writing about and focused on her for a year and six months, she is succumbing.

I have a penchant for falling silent when I am angered. I do this to review what I should say — think about how I should approach the subject. She is the opposite — what comes to her at that moment is spouted and sprayed in your direction without warning.

A day chanced upon us and a rebuttal of hers had silenced me, which she’d recognized immediately when I did not return a response. My behavior placed her in a space to understand my silence as a warning — to embrace it as the moment of calm before a storm.

Others were witnesses — knowing her slight, she acknowledged my silence and advised them she needed to step away to check on me. Funny thing is, I’d been distracted. I moved to silence to take care of something else, but she now knows what triggers me — what causes me to shell up for just a bit before I make my presence known again.

Her birthday is coming up, and I made simple purchases; some things to brighten up her day. Nothing major. I love gift-giving on a budget. I love seeing the lives in my life circle the sun again.

I await the day I will share these with her.

Reflection has become my go-to maneuver for comfort

At this stage in my life, I reflect more. I find a comfortable space, sit back, read, then connect the stories of the books I have read with moments and events in my life.

It is an odd practice, yes, but it brings me the sustainability I have been seeking.

The dog, who is also aging, jumps into my lap and fetal-positions herself without my consent, and I allow her this peaceful display. I sip my choice of decaffeinated coffee and close my eyes.

“When will I move past the past?” “When will I allow myself permission to feel love again?” “How can I discern love and admiration from lust and temptation?”

I reflect to ensure I can still determine what is best for me. I reflect to ensure I can admit wrong and accept defeat. I reflect to ensure I will conquer my demons before they can stifle me into the pits of total despair.

Tradition no longer stimulates me

As I read through various posts on Instagram and WordPress, I noticed people who I follow sharing the vibes they wanted and the foods they intended to have for New Year’s Day. I tilted my head and whispered to myself, “I no longer crave tradition.”

I detest black-eyed peas, and I already had collard greens for Christmas. Cabbage had not been a craving, so I did not cook it, either. Instead, on the first day of the new year, I made barbecued chicken wings, steamed asparagus, and roasted red potatoes.

I did not invite a man to be the first person to walk through my door. I did not do laundry the day before or take the garbage out, either.

These things I did on the actual holiday, itself. I did them because I can — because they needed to be done — because when I did them; I wanted to.

Unbound to tradition or superstition, I still awakened with God-issued breath in my lungs on Monday, January 02, 2023.

I am growing as a plant-mom, and this warms my heart

I love my plants. I have a peace lily named Dora, a croton named Lyric, and a crossbreed aloe vera succulent named Jupiter.

I have shared a story or two where I mentioned them before, but I document their progress. I construct videos/reels via Instagram, and I share photos as well.

It is a thing of beauty to watch life take place before my eyes.

I am a witness to inescapable barriers of constant growth with these three, and it warms my heart.

I love this woman so much

Every day, I am growing into who I want to be, and the peace that comes along with this is indescribable. I no longer wait for anyone’s approval as it pertains to things I want to do for myself.

I do not seek anyone’s opinion on what I believe is best for me and my life.

I no longer search for love in the hearts of those who have not yet found it for themselves. Sometimes, this can be a hard one. With the crush, she’s here . . . I know she’s here, but deep down, I also know there is the impending possibility we will only be able to be friends. And for me, that is okay, too.

I cater to myself more fondly and with a passion, I could not conjure up for at least three years.

I love myself in the totality of the word “love”, and I imagine great things for my mind, body, and soul for the future ahead.

I am not the same person I used to be, and for this, I am eternally grateful.

Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

Your Silence Is HURTING My Ears​

It’s funny that silence can hurt your ears. But I guess your ears aren’t any different than your heart.

Your Silence Is HURTING My Ears​

Because this just touched me in a way I didn’t think it would. I understand. I relate. Maybe you can or did, too, at some point in your life.

Pay Belladonna a visit. You will not be disappointed.

Peace and blessings.