I Thought I’d Forget All About You

Musical Selection: Bilal|When Will You Call?

A Lamentation

But I was wrong.
I am wrong.
And every autumn pulls
up memories — I have tried
to forget, and I find myself
burying those memories
deeper into my mind for them
to arise at the worst time.

It’s the children …
The children push more
pain into my heart than
anything else.
How are they doing?
What activities do you have
them in after school now?
Your oldest should be going
to college …
College. It’s almost hard
for me to say this out loud.

I have missed three years of
seeing their faces, hearing their
voices, and learning about
their lives as new
things occur. 

I have resorted to denying who
I am; who I was, but
the pain in my heart about
the children does not lie.
It’s there. It is a constant
reminder of what I have lost.

And as I weave through every
year — no longer your toy;
no longer wrapped up in my
own head about what we
could have been — what I wanted
us to be, seasonal depression
sneaks up on me with
your face as its representative.

I am weak.
I am.
I will say this with
no shame.
I am weak, still, for you.

The dog hops up in
my lap — reminds me it’s
time for her to relieve
herself, and I don’t feel
like moving from a spot
I’ve cozied onto in the
chair. 

She still has some
energy even though she’s
past what some say is
too long for a dog to live — she
can spit fire if I am
not quick to meet her needs.

And isn’t that how you were?
Isn’t that what made us
cling to one another?
Your need to order and my
need to take orders.

Weren’t we too blind to
see it could never work
between two women who
were writers so full of
embellished stories?

I thought I’d forget all
about you, yet three years later,
you appear. And no amount
of therapy is sweeping you away
from my heart’s door.

I wanted more.
I couldn’t have it.
I never would have.
At every turn, you would
choose him.
You chose him.

And really, he was the
best decision. My mind
knows this — how about
telling it to my heart?


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.

At 4 am, She Calls for Comfort (Bisexual Flash Fiction)

Musical Selection: Post Malone featuring Doja Cat|I Like You (A Happier Song)

Part IV: A turn of events Cari had not envisioned

Photo by Gabriel Brito on Unsplash

We stood in silence. Teardrops from her big, bold, and dark eyes fell onto my hands. I danced in a circle as I held her close to me. Our breaths pushed from our chests and forced us to stay in sync with one another. How will we deal with this? I don’t yet know, but what I know is this … we have a chance at a new beginning, and daughter or not, I will stand guard against Sabrina if I have to. I won’t watch her break her mother’s heart for a second time.

Once was enough.


After a few moments of standing, holding Cari in my arms, she finally speaks. I feel her body shake. As she breathes in and out, I feel the heaves of her chest. I don’t want to let her go. Her head lifts up and out of my embrace. She speaks …

“When Sabrina was a little girl, I was her everything. I couldn’t even move from room to room without her attached to my hip or tagging along, cuffing my lower legs. We were inseparable. After her daddy left, I hit that damn pipe harder than ever and lost my baby girl for a few years. I try to go back to those days — try to push my body to that time, and I ain’t moving, Rena. I ain’t moving.”

“Cari, you have done all that you can for Bree. I’ve seen you maneuver through various mood swings of hers and her violent attacks on you just a few years back. You have tried. You are trying, babe. You are. And when you have left these addictions behind, you are going to be so much better. Either she’ll see it or she won’t”

“How can she deny me the happiness I have in you? How can she not invite you? Have you not been around for her the last six years of her life?! Even when we weren’t speaking, the two of you were still connected. I don’t get it!”

I watched Cari as she searched for what would make this make sense. And there is nothing. There will be nothing to make this behavior from Sabrina make any of this fathomable. Sure, she has had to fight for her mom’s attention when Cari was strung out on crack cocaine and every label of liquor under the sun, but she has changed — she is changing.

You only get one mother.


I look at Cari. The tears fill up in her eyes and do not drop. My heart breaks into pieces. She is so much and so little and everything under the sun all at once.

“I am going to call her. I’m not going, Rena. If you can’t come … If she doesn’t want you there with me. I am not going. I’m just not!”

The room fills with intensity, and the silence between us is thick and long. Cari wails at the top of her lungs and I stand helplessly feeling all the years we have endured adding up right before my eyes.

“Cari, you need to be there for Bree. Her high school graduation? She needs to see her mother there. I’ll be okay.”

“NO! If she tells me when and where I can bring my partner now, Rena, it will never end. Do you want to be removed from all other aspects of my life with Bree? Do you?! Who does she think she is?!”

Cari has a point. If I cannot come to the graduation, what next? Her wedding, the birth of her first child, her first child’s christening, etc. It will never end. I wish we weren’t in this predicament. Something happened. Something shifted. Sabrina loves me.

“I’m calling right now, Rena!”


“Sabrina Melanie Janssen, just who do you think you are?! Telling me I can’t bring Rena to your graduation — what kind of shit is this, really?”

“Hi, Mom. I … it isn’t my idea. I … Daddy’s paying for the extra tickets cuz the school only gives me ten and he said he’s not paying for Rena to come.”

“I see. Why didn’t you just say that?! Why would you tell me she couldn’t come?”

“Daddy was standing right next to me. Mom … I don’t know what to do or what to say around him. I love Rena. You know that. He hates it when I talk about her or when I say how happy she makes you. I didn’t want the stress of it all. As soon as I said she couldn’t come, though, he smiled.”

“Okay. I’ll fix your daddy. Don’t worry about him. How much are the tickets, because I’ll just buy one for Rena and that’ll solve that.”

“$15.00. I have three left. I’ll put one to the side for Rena. Mom, tell Rena it wasn’t me, please. Please.”

“We will handle all of this. I’ll send the money to your CashApp for Rena’s ticket, and I’ll come and pick both of them up tomorrow. I’ll deal with your daddy at that time, too. I love you, baby girl.”


A turn of events Cari had not envisioned greets us. The look on her face is enough to turn a frown upside down. I hear the joy in her voice as she tells me what happened — why Bree had said I could not come to the graduation. And I guess some bridges do need burning even if we still have to cross them.

“How dare that son of a bitch put our daughter in the middle like this?! I hated him before, but now?! Rena, I could gut that fool. I’m so angry right now!”

“I know you are. But we have bigger fish to fry now. Bree isn’t mad at you. She isn’t mad at me. She is still open to making amends and being a part of your life again. Cari, that’s big. That’s huge! The universe will deal with Marcus.”

The universe and everything good and beautiful will deal with Marcus.


Part I, Part II, and Part III

Originally published in Prism & Pen via Medium.

30 Seconds in His Heart for Two Days

MUSICAL SELECTION: BLAHZAY BLAHZAY|DANGER

Free Verse Poetry

I used to date a boy from
the West Side who went
to our school on the East Side — 
we were both young and dumb,
unattached to anything, still
searching for our own scents
and places to belong.

I hadn’t yet found the courage
to tell young men, I also fell for — 
wanted — young women, but he knew.
He saw me on the court, often — 
against girls, against boys, against
anyone who thought they could
cross me over and land a bucket.

My father taught me how to dribble.
My cousin forced me to use my left hand — 
I’m right-handed.
My uncle and grandfather dared the
boys in their neighborhood to give me
one shady look or it would be their ass …
They had better let me on the court,
and they did.

But back to the days of me
tucking long shirts into 
Cross Colours shorts and lacing 
up Karl Kani boots while carrying
a gym bag full of basketball gear — 
sweaty from a hustle on the 
court until streetlight o’clock.

He wanted me.
I wanted him.

And so we were, for five years — 
off and on. 
He was the only one who could
score multiple points on me; taller
by a whole foot and two inches, my 
plan would be …
relax in 3-point country and let
it rain.
Shooting was my saving grace.

We were the real 
Love and Basketball couple,
scheming on and off the court.
I’d lost a lot of things with him — 
a lot of firsts were torn down,
spat on, and stunted.

I hadn’t learned that
it only took 30 seconds to
pierce his heart.
It took 2 days for him to 
settle in mine.

Were we too young to 
be that much in love?

That was the question 
my parents asked us.
But my father loved this
boy — plotted on him marrying me,
and was crushed when this
did not happen.
I had ruined it — that was inevitable.

He found someone else when we 
were in our 30s — kept in touch
over the years until he proposed,
then it was unholy to speak to 
me … I used to be happy
he had finally gotten happy with
someone else.

I used to be …
As I got older, I just
accepted it — neither happy nor 
sad, just aware that these things
happen, and we had 
to lose each other in order
for me to find myself.

I can’t run up and down 
courts anymore — my shins
are bad, my lower back is 
garbage, and my knees have
seen their last days swerving to
box someone out for
a rebound.

But I remember those 
30 seconds. I remember those
2 days. 
I wonder — does he?
Should he?
Probably not.


Originally published in soliloque via Medium.


Blahzay Blahzay, Danger. ©1996

Holding On To the Simple Things in Life

Photo by Glenna Rankin via ReShot

Amazoned a Pour-Over Coffee maker–
brand name, Bodum–black, and
the sheer level of excitement sweeping
over me has no name.

I even purchased an extra filter,
a pour-over kettle, and a bag of
decaffeinated chocolate fudge nut
coffee, all due to hit my doorstep
within one week.

You may be thinking to yourself,
“Why is she sharing this info with us?”
And I understand why you’d venture
to ask yourself this question.

This purchase makes me happy.
I am delighted with taking on
something new pertaining to
how I make my coffee.

A long-time friend and
still desirable crush
put me on to this method of
brewing coffee as his palate
is a snobby one.

He’s a coffee
connoisseur–no shame about it,
and I want to give my taste buds
the joy of experiencing something
culture-current–smooth–intoxicating.

A woman I dated years ago
was the same way.

Her coffee
had to be blessed by prayed
over hands, no hotter than
lukewarm–sugared to perfection,
and strong enough to get
her through the day.

What better time to take a
step towards ushering in
pure joy while I still can
than right now?

Holding on to the simple
things in life has been my
staple–my way of breathing
during rough times, and I doubt

I’ll be letting go
anytime soon.


©2022 Tremaine L. Loadholt Originally published via Simily.