Waiting For An Apology That Will Never Come

Knowing when to finally let go

Photo by Lucas Pezeta via Pexels

I left without saying goodbye. I did it because it was time. I knew it. I know you knew it. Why were we hanging on? There was love . . . there was old love that flickered as a reminder that my heart would keep breaking if the cycle continued and I did not want it to, so I broke the cycle. I should have been brave enough to say goodbye. I should have had the courage to tell you why I was leaving.

We’d managed to be what others thought we were for over a decade knowing damn well who we actually were and I guess that didn’t bother you but it sure as hell ate at the core of who I am. It stopped me from living freely.

The day I left, it felt right — like a rite of passage — something meant to cross me over into or on to a higher plane. I backed away slowly, taking everything familiar to us with me.


I had no plan of action.

The days that followed soon after, haunted me. There were photos of you up, gifts that you’d given scattered around my home, and scents you would wear. I had to erase them all. I had to get rid of them. It was a time of cleansing — burning sage and lighting candles became a frequent pastime yet you still remained.

I’d been doing fine, seven months had passed. Until one day . . . I was looking for an older photo of Jernee to share with someone and there you were, with the kids . . . All of you smiling. All of you happy. You staring back at the camera with a plump, dimpled cheek, and I lost a little bit of strength that built itself inside me. The tower fell. The wall came crumbling down.

Every brick that was laid crushed right before my eyes. I was breaking . . . again. And you wouldn’t know it.

I wake up sporadically during the night.

The other night, I had been awakened from a deep sleep by the urge to pee and the theme music from Pinky and the Brain playing in my head. How odd, I thought. Not the urge to pee, but the theme music. Why Pinky and the Brain? Why a cartoon from a time I vaguely remember? You’d know. I know you’d know. But I couldn’t ask you. It was late and it’d been nine months. And anyway, how would I start off that conversation?

“Hey, you’re asleep, I know . . . but when you wake up, you’ll see this — I had to leave. I was an ass for the way I left but it doesn’t seem like you mind. Why in the hell is Pinky and the Brain’s theme music popping up in my head in the middle of the night?”

You would scoff at the audacity of my untimely text message the moment you saw it. You’d curse under your breath, angrily. You wouldn’t want to wake anyone else up. You’d probably say something like, “How the fuck should I know, Tre? Are you okay? I know . . . I understand. But you still could have said something. I hate you for that.”

You were witty and forthcoming with just the right amount of bite in every word. The South does that to biracial women who are activists fighting to be seen. Fighting to be heard. Fighting to let others know they’re just as black as the rest of their people. And I loved that about you.

I haven’t found anyone else.

Not that it matters. Not that you care. Not that I expect you to. I left but you had done so years before and the door was slightly ajar. I had grown tired of looking at it that way — a sliver of opportunity for you to come waltzing back in. I closed it.

Funny thing is, I thought you’d appear with a key and open it. But that’s just a dream. And we were just a thing that probably should have never been that thing but it still hurts.

I don’t speak your name in therapy. I give just a little and keep the rest to myself. My therapist cuts through every inked blot and tells me like it is, “When you’re ready to share, I’m ready to listen. When you’re ready to heal, I’m ready to help.” And I know I’m ready to heal. I’ve been ready to heal. So what the hell am I afraid of?


I have an inkling I’m not alone in this. Many of us have that one person who stripped us of ourselves and left us with a gaping hole in our hearts. We have to move on, right? We must move on. The hard part is no one tells you that months or years later, reminders sneak up on you and restore some of those faded memories.

The fight then becomes keeping your sanity versus allowing those reminders to take over and win. How often are we telling ourselves, “I am more important than what we were? I have a right to heal and be happy.”

The truth is, there will always be a person with whom you connect intensely and if and when your relationship with that person ends, you are still you. You have to find a way to remain you and not lose yourself because of them.

You can move on or waste your time sitting around waiting for an apology that will never come. You don’t need it. Trust me, you only think you do.

And yes, I tell myself this too. And now, I finally believe it.


Originally published in P. S. I Love You via Medium.

We Weren’t Built for “I Told You So”

A Prose Poem

I flinch every time I hear the word “honey” used as a term of endearment. You clung to it — it was one of your favorites. “Honey, this” and “Honey, that.” I damn near vomited from the overwhelming sweetness of its usage. We wandered separately for what felt like eons — casually loving others, then solemnly returning to what we’d built . . . what we’d taken a chance on designing. I was never too attached to the bigger things in life. Many have said we would fail — too different, they uttered. But we held on to the missage offered to one another that “opposites attract.”

I want my ring back . . . Selfish, yes? Of course, you’d think this. I’ve spent many nights watching you flirt with anyone who would lend you an ear and a free drink and I am almost sad to say, I should have had my eyes open wide enough. I should have been open to seeing you for who you really were.

I should have known who I really was.

Isn’t that the way of these types of things? You find yourself standing on a ground firm enough to hold your weight, yet you don’t really know if you won’t fall straight through to another dimension just as easily as you landed in the current one.

I’m rambling, I know. You hate that.

But, hear me out . . . Given our current situation, this day was bound to happen. I knew the moment the calls stopped. I further knew the day I packed my last bag and you followed me to the door, touched my right hand gently, pursed your lips, then backed away. The love we shared left us feeling vacant. Months before, unbeknownst to us, we were evicted. Pink-slipped and hurried along to make room for two more women who would find themselves in the same situation five years from now.

I knew you loved him.
I ignored it.
I knew you loved me.
I held on to that.
One was not greater
than the other.
And I thought it was.
That was my mistake.


I settled into a loft — open layout, in a nicer neighborhood. The cat sadly meows in my direction daily — he misses you. You were his favorite even though he is mine. You come by weekly to be with him — to give him the attention he craves. To shower him with your scent. And it is hard for me to see you strutting around as fiercely as you do without being able to wrap you up in my arms and lean into your musk. I tame myself — a shrew, learning to do what is most important — to unlove you.

You tell me this man understands you — that he hears you when you speak. That you have everything you have ever wanted in a partner but he does not hold you. He lacks empathy. He is okay with having you away days on end — he doesn’t need you near him. I nod. I listen. I say that it’s still early and you have to grow together just as we did. I feign acceptance of your new relationship but I see it crumbling in the back of my mind.

You are a whole being.
You think you are half.
You don’t need anyone
to complete you.
But, you think you do.
This is what ended us.
This is why we’re here.

And we weren’t built for “I told you so” and I wouldn’t dare say it.

I tell myself the best part about us not being us anymore is learning who you are without me — it’s learning who I am without you.


Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium. Beautiful people, I wish you a happy holiday season for whatever it is you celebrate and that you’ll be safe, loved, connected, and secure. I am taking a short break and will be active again on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Peace and blessings.

Reflections of a Lost Love that Will Never be Found

Flash Fiction

Readers: This fictional piece has content that reflects upon depression and briefly mentions suicide.


I don’t know where we went wrong — don’t know what I could have done. I thought everything was fine — everything was okay. She’d been hurting, I tried to step up. It was hard loving her — hard trying to constantly fill in the spaces that had holes bigger than my heart. There were locked up voids — galaxies of pain unfit for undoing. Everyone said, “Don’t do it. She’s damaged goods.” I wondered what in God’s name would make people say some of the things they said about another human being.

Everyone needs love. EVERYONE! That was my response — to all of them who thought they were going to shift my position or move me toward a different path, I never flinched. I stayed until she left. I knew what I was getting myself into. I knew she was hard to love.

She was a wall — brick and mortar, impenetrable, but I broke through. Years of listening to her and learning her ways and loving her and being there for her got me through the thickest wall I have ever met. But she left. Six years — six long, sufferable years — she left. I feel fine. I am fine. I will be fine.

I AM OKAY! I say this to my younger sister who never liked her. She asked if she could stay with me for a few days or weeks or months, just until my eyes looked normal again. Just until I got up out of the bed without any coaxing from anyone else. Just until . . . She’s not a nuisance. I know she means well. I would probably want to be around her too if her heart had been plucked from her chest, flaunted in front of a hateful public, and stomped on.

She was a wall — brick and mortar, impenetrable, but I broke through.

I know I would want to protect her. But I would give her space. Would I give her space? Did I give her space? She used to say, “You know all the right ways to love me without smothering me. You grant me peace. I need that. I love that.” I thought I was in the clear — I was making headway. She didn’t even say goodbye. I got up on a cold, Saturday morning, rolled over to her side of the bed, pressed my hands into the space she used to fill, and lied there. She never returned.

Two days later, I received a text message that said, “I am holding you back from finding a partner who can love you much better than I can. I won’t do that anymore. Deena, I won’t be your burden — I won’t wear your shoulders down. I love you. I always have. I always will.”

And just like that, I found myself listening to Anita Baker, Michael McDonald, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and a list of other artists who have a plethora of open up your heart and come back to me songs. One thing was certain — she wasn’t coming back. I could tell when I read the message — she definitely wasn’t coming back.

My mom came over on a Monday morning while my sister was at work. She called herself tidying up the place — but I’m what they say is “a neat freak,” so there wasn’t anything left to tidy up. She opened up the curtains and blinds in my bedroom and implored me to get out of bed. I turned to my right side and continued to lie still. I wanted the comfort of my covers. I wanted to pretend I was being shielded by her — loved by her.

I got up on a cold, Saturday morning, rolled over to her side of the bed, pressed my hands into the space she used to fill, and lied there. She never returned.

No one prepared me for the day the dam would break. No one told me heartache would feel this tormenting. Everyone thinks you should move right on past the pain and get back to living. But, shit . . . don’t I get time to mourn my failed relationship? Don’t I deserve my grief? Don’t I get to say when I am ready to move the hell on without being told to?

A long-time friend, part-time lover called me one day when I was sulking. I looked at the name and number as they flashed across the screen. Something deep within me told me not to answer. I did.

“Hey . . . If you want to talk, I’m here. I know you — I know you’re over there thinking it’s something you did and it isn’t. You only know how to love all parts of a person even when they’re truly hard to love. Sometimes, people just have to find their own way and it has to be without anyone else tagging along.” I held the line. It was so good to hear her voice — to sit with her words and remember who we were. She had a point, right? It wasn’t my fault. I thanked her for calling and found my way to the kitchen.

I splashed my favorite bowl with some homemade chicken noodle soup — filled it to the brim. I slurped every mouthful, enjoying the flavors — deeply experiencing the calming powers of comfort food. The phone rang as soon as I licked my lips and wiped them clean. An unfamiliar number . . . A call I probably shouldn’t take. I did.

A long-time friend, part-time lover called me one day when I was sulking. I looked at the name and number as they flashed across the screen. Something deep within me told me not to answer. I did.

“Deena! Deena, you there?! Please, say something!” I couldn’t I just sat there. A hollow space in my soul sunk even deeper. It was as if I’d known what would follow next. “Deena! *sighs* You’re listening to me, I can hear you. Parker was found dead this morning — slit wrists, in the tub, by her next-door neighbor. I’m coming over.”

Why’d my sister call me from a number I don’t know? Did she say Parker is dead?! Is she coming over? I slapped the spoon from my bowl, turned on the water from the faucet at the kitchen sink, and slowly — the tears began to fall again.

I knew she was never coming back.


Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium

Your Body is an Ocean

Flash Fiction

Awkward Body Photo by Tremaine L. Loadholt

“Today, I will leave you.” She says this to my back. I hear her. I feel every word as they leave her lips. She caught me cheating on her, in our bed, with a man. Not another woman, but a man.

I love her. I do. It was never my intention to hurt her, to cut her deeply the way I have, but I want him. I love him too.

We met at a local café on a sunny, summer day fifteen years ago. She has ocean blue eyes.

Ocean. Blue. Eyes.

I was instantly attracted to her.

“I’ll have a grande non-fat white chocolate mocha and a blueberry muffin, please.” I say this to the Barista. He prepares my order with the finesse of a seamstress. I wait in anticipation for the hot, miracle-working liquid to touch my lips.

I spot her. A goddess trapped in an awkward body. She walks like she’s trying to pry herself from a foreign, encapsulating shell. She wants to break free. Every step of her stilettoed feet announces her presence.

“Venti caramel macchiato, light foam, extra caramel with a shot of espresso and a peach creme danish, please.”

She places her order with the Barista casually. This isn’t her first time. She’s a veteran. I placed my bet that day on her. I won. We were married within six months and now, here we are.

“I never intended to hurt . . .”

She puts her hand up in the air between us. I pause my speech. My apology isn’t necessary. She eyes my lover as he dresses frantically. His perfect body squeezes into the outfit I spent minutes removing from him hours before this moment.

She packs her shoes, clothes, grabs the bedroom television, her jewelry box, and secures $1200.00 from the safe in our closet.

“I’ll have Devin come by tomorrow for the rest of my things. Expect to hear from Chaffey, my attorney. Pierre, you could have at least gotten a fucking room, but our bed?! The same bed we’ve shared for fifteen years?! I hate you!”

What was there for me to say? I knew she was leaving. I also knew she wasn’t coming back. I say the only thing I thought was apt to say.

“Your body is an ocean.”

“Excuse me?!”

“It’s the first thing I said to you after we made love the night of our honeymoon. Your body is an ocean.”

“‘I know every wave.’ Yes, I remember. Too bad I couldn’t keep you from exploring other bodies of water, Pierre. Fuck you!”

Every word stings. I don’t want to lose her. But, I know I will. I watch her pile her things on to a hand truck and click-clack loudly down our hallway. She is leaving. She isn’t coming back.

My lover finger-combs his hair and stands awkwardly before me. He wonders out loud if his body is an ocean too.

“No. No. Your body is my playground.”

He shoots me a look of disgust but kisses me passionately anyway before leaving.


I sit here now. Alone with my thoughts and the echoes of my home. These walls house many secrets and my lover and I create many more. But I still think of her. I still miss her. I still want her.

I know no other waves.


Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.


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