Thursday, May 3, 2012
An Open Letter to My Ex-Lovers
May 2, 2012
This is not a letter to bash or to speak ill will into your lives. I do not have a desire to avenge any hurt nor do I harbor anger for any of you beautiful brothas. Instead, this is a letter thanking you for your presence in my life. Without knowing you & loving you, I wouldn't know me or understand how I love. I realize that each one of you taught me something about who I am & for that, I will be forever grateful. Even though I hated it at the time, I appreciate those occasions when you called me out on my mess. I was wrong a lot and two of you didn't hesitate to tell me, even though you knew you'd be met with a few choice words for doing so.
Over the years, I came to realize that it wasn't about me being too small to own up to my mistakes. No, it was something much deeper than that. I didn't want to be wrong in your eyes. I wanted you to see me as close to perfect as possible. Silly, I know. But that is my truth. You knew me better than I was willing to admit at the time. I didn't want to be that transparent. I felt you would have taken advantage of that so, deliberately, I tried to be evasive but neither one of you fell for that, thank God.
One of you used to make me cry but you didn't know it. My pride wouldn't allow me to display such 'weakness' before you. That's why I preferred to keep a straight face & let my big mouth & cuss words do it all for me. It was a smoke screen. You were so fine to me and all I wanted to do was keep you, but somehow, when I tried to express that, the words would get stalled in my throat. That's why you couldn't grasp what I was saying. I wasn't telling you the whole truth. You went on with your life, doing what you wanted to do & I held a grudge against you for it. For some reason, I actually thought that you could read my mind & know that I wanted us to be together. Some years later, I was able to confess a lot to you and how I felt things went down between us. You confessed your wrongdoings & that was enough for me, but you took it a step further and healed me with your apology. Thank you.
Yes, I remember you all well. From high school, you, my first love, wouldn't let me get off the phone in the late hours of the night until I told you that I loved you. It still puzzles me to this day why your life went in the direction that it did. When I was in undergrad, receiving your letters from prison, I couldn't respond because telling you how disappointed I was with you wasn't going to help your situation at all. However, I am thankful to God that your life is so much better now. You have a wife and a beautiful crop of children. You're doing well and that's a true blessing. To the scrawny cutie that would sneak out of his mama's house to come over just because I told him to, we are all grown up now & life is different for the both of us. I hope our recent argument won't sour our 20+ year friendship for good.
To the preacher's kid, your letters brought big smiles to my face and made me feel so special knowing that a Navy man was somewhere with his mind on me. On Valentine's Day 1991, I cried on the way home from school because everyone was getting their gifts & you were in Afghanistan as part of Operation Desert Storm. But my heart leaped for joy when I opened that package left on my doorstep; a dozen red roses along with a card and a letter sent me into orbit. Please forgive me for breaking up with you once I got to college. It was for the best because I knew I wasn't going to be faithful.
To the one who laid beside me as I received a late night phone call with bad news about a family member, I thank you for consoling me that night. On another note, you have the goofiest laugh but I enjoyed hearing it, especially when I was acting silly! Even though we couldn't ever get our thing together, I still had a great time hanging out with you shooting pool & cooking for you.
There were so many good times; lots of laughter, intimate moments, painful moments, and frustration with all of you. I cherish each of those moments, not because I desire to rekindle our affairs, but because they were all stepping stones to me becoming a mature woman, capable of loving without any fear and knowing how to deal with the issues that arise when a man & a woman are in love. Even though I had you for a certain time in my life, I thank you for preparing me for him -- the one I'm ready to love as soon as time & space allows. I pray sincerely that God blesses each of you abundantly & that you are blessed with much love because each of you deserve it.