A Familiar Shadow: Part Three

Jaden and Marvin find themselves trapped behind a dumpster in an alley, and they’re not sure what to do. The guy that Jaden recognized as his classmate starts walking into the alley more. Jaden and Marvin can hear his footsteps getting closer and closer to them. Marvin looks under the dumpster, and he can see the guy’s shadow getting closer to them. Jaden starts shaking and trying his best to control his breathing. Then, they hear more footsteps approaching. 

The shadow figure that was drawing near Jaden and Marvin stops in his place. He’s begging and pleading for his life to be spared. 

“P-p-p-please, p-p-please, please leave me alone. I-I-I-I I’ll give you my wallet,” the guy stutters. 

Jaden and Marvin hear the guy crying and pleading for his life to be spared. Jaden wants to do something, but Marvin stops him. 

Jaden whispers, “We have to do something. We can’t just let my classmate get hurt and beat up like this. I can’t listen to this”

“We don’t know what’s going on or how many people are trying to hurt him right now. We need to be quiet and protect ourselves first,” Marvin whispers back to Jaden. 

Suddenly, something hits the dumpster that startles Jaden and Marvin. Then, they hear something hit the ground. They both decide to look underneath the dumpster and see Jaden’s classmate’s body on the ground. Jaden’s eyes meet his classmate’s eyes, and his classmate is reaching to him for help. He’s begging and hoping Jaden will help him out of this frightening, horrific situation. Jaden does not know what to do, but he does not have time to do anything. 

Pocket knives are stabbing Jaden’s classmate’s body. The stabbing is loud, true and unbearable. Blood starts creeping and slowly moving closer to Jaden and Marvin. So much blood is being lost now. Jaden is close to throwing up, while Marvin is in shock with what he is witnessing. Yet, Jaden’s classmate still reaches for him. Despite the suffering and pain he’s enduring, he still reaches out to him. Jaden still watches in horror. Marvin and Jaden hear laughter from the attackers for this is simply a fun, sick, thrilling game that they never want to stop playing. 

“We have to do something, Marvin. I can’t keep watching and not doing anything about it. This is sick and wrong, we have to put in an end to it. I’m calling the cops,” Jaden whispers. 

Jaden reaches for his phone, but Marvin quickly stops him. Then, he whispers, “We can’t do anything right now. It’s too late. Even if we did call the cops, they would get away and we would be the ones in trouble somehow.”

“You don’t know that, we have to do something. They’re murdering a guy right in front of us.” 

“I know, but we gotta think about ourselves right now. The best thing we can do right now is stay hidden and be quiet, Jaden.”

“I can’t just be quiet, I have to do something. Do you not see a guy being stabbed over and over again? Do you not care at all?”

“Of course I care. But what are we going to do about it? Join him and die with him because it’s the right thing to do? No, I don’t know this dude and neither do you. He’s just a shadow in your class, but if you want to die with him too. Be my guest.” 

The stabbing comes to an abrupt stop. Marvin and Jaden kneel down again and see Jaden’s classmate’s body lifeless on the floor. Then, they hear footsteps walking away from the alley. They wait a few minutes before doing anything at all. Marvin eventually gets up and takes a quick peek to make sure nobody else is around. Marvin sees that no one else is around and assures Jaden that the coast is clear. 

They get out from behind the dumpster and find themselves stepping in a pool of blood. Jaden sees his classmate’s body with multiple stab wounds and almost throws up. Marvin tells Jaden that they need to hurry up and get out of here.

Jaden replies, “No, we need to call him an ambulance and—

“You’re still trying to save this dude! We don’t have time for all that. We need to get out of here and get back where it’s safe,” Marvin interrupts. 

“What are you talking about, Marvin? He needs medical attention, we have to do something.” 

“Bro, we need to leave! If somebody sees us right now, we’re going to be in some deep and serious trouble.”

“We didn’t though, and we can prove it to them. We can just explain that we—

“What did we do exactly, Jaden? Oh yeah, we watched a person literally get murdered and did nothing about it. We’re technically accomplices to murder, I think,” Marvin interrupts and yells.

Jaden does not know what to say, then Marvin continues, “Plus, we don’t even know where his attackers are or anything at all. They could still be in the city. They could be waiting for us right now because of all that whispering you did behind the dumpster! Maybe we should stop wasting our time trying to save a dead man! Maybe we should be thinking about getting out of here and worry about saving our own lives right at this very moment!” 

Jaden understands where Marvin is coming from and agrees that they should get back to campus. Then, Jaden feels a hand on his ankle. He looks down and sees it’s his classmate’s hand. He’s still alive. 

He whispers to Jaden, “Help me, Jaden, please.”

Jaden is shocked that his classmate knows his name, but he can’t believe he’s alive. There’s blood all over his classmate’s face, so he can’t really see him at all. Jaden is not sure he can help his classmate, Jaden does not know what to do. Marvin quickly comes over and kicks his hand off of Jaden’s ankle. Then, Marvin kicks him in the face. Jaden is stunned. 

Marvin turns to Jaden and says, “Let’s go, Jaden. We don’t have time for this. We need to get out of here right now. Come on.”  

Marvin runs out of the alley and yells back for Jaden to follow him. Jaden quickly kneels down to his classmate’s level and whispers he’s sorry. Before Jaden can leave, his classmate points at the wall. Jaden looks and sees a mural of some woman in a black veil with purple eyes. Then, his classmate whispers to Jaden, “So beautiful.”

He starts coughing up blood, and Jaden wants to help him more than anything. Instead, he runs away from him and follows Marvin out the alley. As he’s running, Jaden hears his classmate calling and begging for him to help him. Jaden ignores his classmate’s call for help and continues running out of the alley. Never looking back once.

A Familiar Shadow: Part Two

For Jaden and Marvin, the city is within walking distance for them. The college campus is only ten minutes away from the city. They both quickly get dressed, leave their dorm room and head to the city. It’s close to midnight, and Jaden is still feeling a little nervous about being in the city so late in the night. The city is different at night. It’s not as lively or chaotic during the day. There’s this eerie, strange quietness of the city. The city is a different world with nearly no one in sight. If there are people out in the city, they are simply lurking and hiding in the shadows. There are plenty of shadows and dark corners in the city. You never know what to expect, and the city late at night is a place where nightmares can become reality.

Jaden and Marvin finally make it to the city, and they find themselves a few minutes away from the diner. As they’re walking, Marvin is still trying to convince Jaden to go see Maria.

Marvin says, “Look bro, all I’m saying is Maria is fine, and you need to get with her tonight.”

Jaden is still unsure about going to Maria’s place, and he responds, “I don’t know man, I still feel like it’s wrong. Yeah she’s pretty and beautiful, but she has a whole boyfriend. Plus, it’s kinda late and who knows how long we’ll be at this diner. It’s probably going to be too late to see her anyways.”

“I don’t think so, bro. We’re probably going to be at the diner for at most an hour, and I think she’ll still want to see you at 1:00 am. I think she wants you that badly, and you can have so much fun with her tonight.”

Before Jaden can respond, they’re about to walk past the bus stop but see someone waiting there. Marvin tells Jaden to be cool, and Jaden listens to him. They walk past the bus stop and the person waiting there. Jaden takes a quick look at the person at the bus stop and instantly recognizes the person. The person is someone familiar at the bus stop. This person was a guy with glasses, a long sleeved gray shirt and blue jeans. He was someone in Jaden’s chemistry class. Jaden forgot his name, but he remembers the guy mostly keeping his distance and not really talking to people in class. He is this shy kid with a lot of anxiety, and Jaden wonders why he is in the city so late at night. He’s looking nervous at the bus stop, and Jaden thinks about going back to talk to him.

Jaden tells Marvin that the person they passed is in his chemistry class. “Maybe I should just check on him real quick and make sure he’s alright. He seemed kinda nervous and scared at the bus stop,” Jaden explains.

Jaden is about to turn around, but Marvin stops him. Marvin tells Jaden not to worry about him because they’re almost at the diner. Marvin also believes the bus the guy is waiting for will be coming for him soon anyway. Jaden is still worried about the guy, but he trusts Marvin.

As they’re still walking to the diner, Jaden gets a phone call from Maria. Jaden forgot that he didn’t respond to her, and he’s nervous and reluctant to answer it. However, Marvin pushes Jaden to answer the phone. Jaden answers the phone, and Maria quickly asks if Jaden had received her message. Jaden admits that he received it, but he was not sure if he could come over.

Marvin mouths, “What are you doing?”

Jaden tells him to shush, and Maria asks Jaden why he can’t come over. Jaden is trying to find a good excuse, and he comes up with a reasonable, good excuse. He says, “Well, my roommate and I are heading to this late night diner, and I’m not sure how long we’ll be there. I don’t want to keep you waiting.”

“Oh that’s okay Jaden, I’m a night owl and typically go to bed around 3:00 am anyways. Plus, I don’t mind waiting for you,” Maria responds.

Before Jaden responds, Marvin shouts, “Actually, we’ll probably be back on campus around 1 or 1:30 am, so Jaden will be all good to come to your place around that time.”

Jaden could not believe Marvin said that. Maria quickly says that time would work perfectly for her, and she was really looking forward to seeing Jaden later tonight. Jaden tries to object, but Maria adds, “Please Jaden, just for an hour, that’s all I need. I promise you that I won’t bother you for any more.

Jaden contemplates going over to her place, and he sees Marvin telling him to go over to her place. He reluctantly listens to Marvin and agrees to see Maria.

She is happy to hear that Jaden is coming over and adds, “Just text me when you’re at my door. I’m looking forward to seeing you tonight, and I just know you’re going to love our study session a lot.”

Jaden understands and hangs up the phone. He turns over to Marvin and sees this big smile on his face. Then, he says, “I see you, Jaden! Playing hard to get, that’s actually really smart of you because now she really wants you.”

Jaden shakes his head, and he can’t believe the situation he is in with Maria. As Jaden was thinking about Maria, Marvin and him find themselves in front of the diner they were hoping to get to. The name of the diner is called “Purple Eyes.”

“What kind of name is ‘Purple Eyes’ for a diner?” Jaden asks Marvin.

“I don’t know, I kinda dig it bro. Also, everything in there is purple. It has a nice feel and vibe to it,” Marvin adds.

They both head inside the diner, and they’re able to find a booth for themselves. A waitress comes up to them and asks if they want anything to drink. They both decide to get water, and they ask if they could have a few minutes to look over the menu. After a few minutes, Jaden decides to get some pancakes, eggs and sausage. Marvin decides on a burger and some fries. While they’re waiting on their meals to come, Marvins brings up Maria to Jaden.

“I don’t know man, I don’t know if I want to do this,” Jaden explains to Marvin.

“You’re not going to regret it. Look, I’ve had a lot of fun times with cheating girlfriends.”

“You have?”

“Yeah man, they’re something else. The best part about them is that they know what they’re doing and there’s no commitment involved. It’s honestly like a fun, exciting game messing with a cheating girlfriend. A fun, little Mortal Kombat game,” Marvin smiles and explains.

“How so?”

“Well sometimes you’ll have flawless victories with girls that cheat with ease. Sometimes you’ll lose when girls change their minds, and that’s perfectly okay. Girls have a right to change their minds. Other times, they fight and start second guessing themselves. They’re not sure if they want to cheat on their significant other or not. So, you have to come up with the right moves and combinations that puts her mind at ease. Once you do that, you’re having fun times with a cheating girlfriend,” Marvin responds.

Marvin was making a little sense to Jaden, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to play such a game with someone that has a boyfriend. Marvin then asks Jaden what’s stopping him from playing such a fun, exciting game.

Jaden takes a deep breath and says that he wants something more. He wants love. Marvin looks at him and starts laughing.

Then, he says, “Jaden, love is overrated, especially in college. Take it from me when I say that college is all about trying new things and having fun. Don’t lose out on Maria. Have fun with her and who knows, maybe you two crazy kids will fall in love. Also, maybe things are not going so well with the boyfriend, and she’s trying to take a chance with you and start something new. Just take a chance man and go for it, too.”

Their food comes after Marvin makes that statement to Jaden. While they’re eating, Jaden wonders how true Marvin’s words are to him. Jaden is not sure what to think anymore.

After they’re done eating, they leave tips for the waitress and head out of the diner. They both enjoyed their food a lot and admitted that they would want to come back to this diner again for their food.

“Yeah man, that diner had a nice, chill vibe to it and the food was so good,” Marvin says.

“I know it, we gotta come back here again. Also, the service was pretty good,” Jaden adds.

As they continue to walk back to campus and praise the diner, they are surprised by someone running towards them. It appears to be someone crying and begging for help. They both see some blood on the person’s face. Marvin and Jaden cannot tell who the person is, but they can tell that he’s been hurt and in a lot of pain. They think about helping the person. Then, they see three figures chasing after the person. Marvin pulls Jaden back and tells him to run and follow him. Jaden listens to Marvin.

They end up running back near the diner, but they’re not sure about going inside the diner. Marvin directs them through the alley that’s next to the diner. They rush through the alley, and Marvin pulls Jaden near a dumpster. They hide behind it and start to hear footsteps.

Their hearts are beating, and they’re not sure what to do. Jaden asks Marvin if they should call the cops, but Marvin tells him to shush and be quiet.

Jaden and Marvin hear the footsteps getting closer to them, and someone yelling, “Can you two please help me? These three guys are trying to rob and kill me. I tried to get into the diner, but the doors were locked. Can either of you call the cops or something? Help me, please.”

The voice sounds familiar to Jaden. He thinks it’s the one guy from his chemistry class. The guy that was alone and scared at the bus stop.

A Familiar Shadow: Part One

It’s late at night for Marvin and Jaden. They are in their dorm room, relaxing and playing some Mortal Kombat together. They’ve been playing for a few hours now, and they were on their last match of the night. Marvin is using Sub Zero, while Jaden is using Lui Kang. Before the match begins, they go back and forth trash talking to each other. Then, the match begins. Jaden wins the first round, then Marvin wins the second round. In the middle of their final round, Jaden receives a text message. Jaden looks away from the game for a brief moment, and Marvin takes advantage of him being distracted. Marvin hits Jaden’s character Lui Kang with a fatal blow and finishes him with Sub Zero’s fatality. 

Marvin yells, “Let’s go! Get wrecked, son! Did you honestly think that this was a game to me?”

Jaden starts laughing and telling him to shut up. Marvin chuckles and continues, “Nah man, I’m enjoying this victory. You were talking all that foolishness for no reason. I earned the right to brag because all I do is win.” 

Marvin laughs some more and replies, “Bro, shut up! The only reason you won is because I got distracted by my phone.”

“No excuses, Jaden, that was your fault. It’s not my fault that you weren’t focused. Do you know why?” Marvin asks. 

Jaden asks why, and Marvin replies, “Cause all I do is win, win, win, no matter what. I’m the GOAT and King Kong ain’t got nothing on me, and you better not ever forget that. Or I’m gonna have to give you that business again.” 

Marvin and Jaden start laughing together and Jaden says, “Whatever man, but that was a good win for you, I’ll give you credit. Just enjoy it cause it ain’t happening again, you know that right?”

Marvin chuckles and says, “Yeah, yeah, we’ll see. But yeah man, good game. So who texted you?”

Jaden takes a deep breath and hopes it’s not a text from his sister or mom. Before Jaden looks, Marvin puts his hand on Jaden’s shoulder and assures him that everything will be alright. 

Jaden shakes his head and explains, “It’s just hard being here and not at home, especially with my mom being sick and everything. It’s only getting worse for her, and I’m just worried that any text I receive from my sister is going to shatter and destroy my world. I love my mom, bro. I can’t imagine a world without her.”

Jaden starts to tear up, and Marvin quickly embraces him. Jaden sobs and continues, “I just feel so much guilt being here. I should be at home helping take care of her, too. I’m just leaving it all for my sister to deal with alone.” 

Jaden continues to cry and hold onto Marvin. Marvin assures him that it’s okay. He tells Jaden to let it all out and not to hold back. After a few minutes, Jaden starts to calm down and thanks Marvin for being here for him. 

Marvin replies, “I got you, bro. You’re my best friend, and I’m always going to be there for you. And remember, your sister and mom want to see you still living and enjoying life. We’re graduating in a few months, and you know they want to see you walking and getting that degree. That’s a blessing for them. You gotta push through the pain and hurt and get that blessing for them. Alright, bro?”

Jaden wipes the tears of his face and nods his head in agreement with Marvin. Jaden thanks Marvin for the encouragement, and Marvin tells him that it’s no problem at all. 

Jaden takes another deep breath and looks at his phone. He’s relieved to find that it’s not a text from his sister or mom, but it’s a text from Maria. She’s a girl in Jaden’s chemistry class. 

The text read, “Hey I was wondering if you wanted to come over and study for a little bit.” 

Before Jaden responds, Marvin asks if everything was alright. Jaden shows Marvin the text he got from Maria, and Marvin gets excited. Jaden does not understand the excitement, and he asks Marvin why he’s so excited. 

Marvin responds, “Bro, Maria is trying to get a piece of you.”

“What do you mean?” Jaden wonders. 

Marvin lets out a big sigh and says, “Jaden, my clueless friend, she’s trying to get to know you and something else late in the midnight hour.”

Jaden still doesn’t understand, and Marvin groans and says, “Oh my gosh, I really gotta spell this out for you. Bless your precious, innocent heart. Look, she’s trying to have a little bit of the sex with you tonight. She’s trying to smash.”

There’s a shocked face on Jaden’s face, and he tells Marvin that it’s not true. 

“She just wants to study because we do have a big test coming up in a few days. The library is closed right now, and we just so happen to live on the same floor. It just makes sense that she would just want me to come over. It’s convenient,” Jaden explains.  

Marvin chuckles and says, “Yeah, you’re convenient alright. She is not trying to study with you. It’s almost midnight, and ain’t nobody trying to study at this hour. I know girls bro, and that girl right there is trying to get with you.”

The more Jaden thought about it, the more it was making sense to him that she might want to have sex with him. Then, Marvin asks if he can see a picture of Maria. Jaden quickly went to Maria’s Instagram and showed her profile to Marvin. Marvin looked at a few pictures, and he immediately thought that she was beautiful and gorgeous. 

Marvin says, “I see you Jaden! This girl is fine. You need to hurry up and respond because you have a goddess waiting for you.” 

Jaden gives a nervous chuckle and tells Marvin that he’s not going over to her place. He asks Jaden why not, and Jaden takes a deep breath and tells Marvin that Maria has a boyfriend. 

Marvin gives Jaden a puzzled look and says, “Ok, and?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, are you worried about the boyfriend on campus or something?” Marvin asks.

Jaden replies, “Well, not necessarily, I mean he goes to a school in another state. And—

“Bro, you’re all good. He’s like a couple hundred or thousands of miles away from us, so you’re good to smash,” Marvin interrupts. 

“But Marvin, she still has a boyfriend. I don’t know if I’m comfortable being with someone that has a boyfriend. It just feels wrong,” Jaden explains. 

“Why does it feel wrong?”

“I don’t know, it just feels like I’m disrespecting the relationship that she has with her boyfriend.” 

 “Jaden, I promise you her boyfriend is probably smashing some other girl right now in college and that’s why she’s texting you to come over. She needs a distraction right now, and you could use a distraction yourself. You’re doing her a disservice right now by not answering her booty call. Shame on you,” Marvin says. 

Jaden doesn’t know what to say, then Marvin continues, “And they probably have little to no respect for their relationship if she’s trying to get with you right now. Why is that your problem? If she’s not respecting her relationship with her boyfriend, why do you feel obligated to respect it?”

Before Jaden can respond, Marvin admits that he’s hungry and needs something to eat. Jaden admits to being hungry, too. Jaden asks if Marvin wants to go to Taco Bell, but Marvin admits that he’s not really feeling Taco Bell at this hour. Then, Marvin remembers something about a new late night diner that recently opened up a couple of weeks ago in the city. Marvin looks it up on his phone and finds it on Google. He sees that it’s still open and suggests going to the diner with Jaden. 

Jaden admits that he’s a little hesitant about going to the city late at night. However, Marvin assures him that they’ll be fine, and the food is probably going to be so good. 

“Trust me, bro. Let’s get something good to eat and enjoy a little bit of the city at night. Nothing crazy is going to happen,” Marvin explains. 

Despite Jaden being unsure about going to the city, he trusts Marvin and is interested in trying something new. Jaden gives the approval about going to the diner in the city.

Marvin smiles and says, “Awesome, let’s go to the city.” 

This is the end of part one of “A Familiar Shadow.” 

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story. 

Part Two of “A Familiar Shadow” will be posted next Thursday.  

Choosing Your Best Friend Over Love

Two years ago, I was Facetiming and talking on the phone with my friend Charlotte. We were having our usual, fun, chill conversation on the phone, and she told me that one of her guy “friends” admitted to liking her. For me, this did not come as a surprise.

Charlotte was practically this beautiful, Instagram model. She looked good in all of her Instagram posts. She would mostly have famous, professional athletes slide in her DMs, and she would hook up with them sometimes. Plus, Charlotte and I had met through Tinder at the time. She was this gorgeous, attractive girl that I really wanted to get with. However, the more I got to know her, the more I realized that we would be better as friends. I didn’t think that we were compatible, and I couldn’t see myself having a long-term relationship with her. Something was just missing with her. Nevertheless, I still liked talking to her and decided we were better off as friends.

Anyways, Charlotte was telling me that this guy that was her friend was heading off into the military, but he ended up confessing his feelings for her. Charlotte told me that it really came out of nowhere, and she didn’t feel anything romantic with him. He told her that he always had feelings for her, and Charlotte was kind of weirded out and confused by that.

Charlotte asked, “Like Isaiah, if he knew he always had feelings for me, why didn’t he say something from the beginning and just act like my friend all this time?”

It was a valid question, and I responded, “Well, some guys just don’t really like being honest and truthful about their feelings. I don’t personally believe in the Friend Zone, but some guys that do would rather keep you close and be stuck in the Friend Zone because it’s a safer option. They don’t get rejected, and they can pretty much stay close to you and wait for a better opportunity to make their move.”

Charlotte then asked me why I don’t necessarily believe in the Friend Zone. I said, “Well, I just don’t think you can be stuck in the Friend Zone. For a guy or girl, you can choose to either tell your friend how you feel, never say anything or walk away from the friendship. However, it’s all your choice. You’re only stuck because you chose to be stuck.”

Charlotte was impressed with my answer, but she’s still annoyed that most of her guy friends just randomly profess their love for her. I understood her frustration, and I assured that she always had a friend in me. She was glad to hear that I just intended to be friends with her, and she started talking to me about her guy best friend that she really cared about. His name was Billy. She told me that they had been friends for years, and she could always count on him. Billy sounded like a really good friend.  Then, she told me some interesting things about him that made me question if he was a good friend.

She explained to me how every time he talked to a new girl or had a girlfriend, he would just cut her off. Billy would tell Charlotte that his girlfriends were not comfortable with him being friends with her. I thought that was a little weird because I just had a hard time believing that all of his girlfriends were telling him to stop talking to Charlotte. I felt like he just wanted to cut her off, but I didn’t say anything. Charlotte also added that everytime it didn’t work out with any of his girlfriends, he would just be messaging her like crazy talking about he’s sorry and wanted to be friends again.

Charlotte said, “Yeah, he just messaged every 10-15 minutes for weeks saying that he missed me and wanted to be friends again. It was so annoying getting messages from him and just ignoring him, but I also thought that it was sweet that he was constantly messaging and apologizing to me. It showed that he was serious about our friendship and knew he made a mistake, and I just had to eventually forgive him.”

I blurted out, “Well, that sounds like harassment to me. I get that it was somewhat sentimental to you, but that’s also kinda childish and pathetic to me. You clearly didn’t want to talk to him, and he didn’t really respect the fact that you wanted to stop talking to him. But you didn’t block him or tell him to stop for whatever reason, and it ended up working out. Now y’all have a wonderful, life-long friendship together.”

Charlotte said I was right, but she said that Billy doing all that wasn’t pathetic to her. It meant a lot to her. I could tell there was a little change in her mood. She was bothered. It’s possible that I may have revealed and shared too much of my thoughts. I was thinking that maybe I shouldn’t have said all that, when she just wanted to share something sentimental about her best friend. I was thinking I had to be more careful with my honesty and transparency. Some restraint is necessary and important.

Thankfully, I was able to change the subject, and we were able to go back to having a chill, fun conversation. I was relieved that our conversation about her best friend Billy didn’t ruin our time FaceTiming and talking with one another.

A couple of days had passed, and Charlotte messaged and told me in the afternoon that she met the most amazing guy. I was all excited and happy to hear that, and I wanted to know so much about the guy that got her in her feelings. She told so much about him, and how he slid in her DMs and is practically her dream guy. Charlotte felt a real connection with this guy, and I was genuinely happy for her. I wanted her to find the one, and I couldn’t wait to Facetime her and talk about the guy.

Around 6:00 that day, Charlotte messaged me again and told me that it wasn’t going to work out with the guy. I was devastated and hurt. I was invested in this potential relationship, and I wanted to see it come to fruition. How could it be so short lived? They were supposed to have some rom com moments, have some cute pictures together, decide if they want to be public or private about their relationship, get married, have kids and grow old together. I was rooting for this potential couple, how could it be over so soon? I needed answers. I needed an explanation for this romance that literally lasted for a few hours.

Charlotte and I Facetime each other around 9:00, and I immediately ask what happened with her dream guy. I admitted to her that I was rooting for them, and I just thought that they were meant to be. Charlotte thought that I was sweet thinking that, but she said there was a lot that happened. She explained how everything was going well as they were talking and connecting with each other, but then he brought up guy friends. I knew it was about to get crazy.

Charlotte said, “So, I told him that I have guy friends and that I have a guy best friend named Billy. I told him that we’re really close, but he had nothing to worry about. Billy is honestly just a friend.”

Then, she told me that he was uncomfortable with her having a guy best friend. He was worried that they would get close and develop feelings for each other. I was certain that Charlotte would tell the guy that he had nothing to worry about, but she ended up dropping an unexpected bomb shell to me.

She stated, “Well, Billy and I had kissed and made out before.”

I was shocked and couldn’t believe what I heard. I needed more information and details about this unexpected plot twist. So, Charlotte continued, “Well, it was a couple of years ago and we were just hanging out with each other. One thing led to another, and we just ended up kissing and making out. But nothing else happened after that. We just felt like it was weird and decided we were better off as friends.”

There were a lot of questions and concerns that were racing in my mind with Charlotte and Billy. Like how could y’all be friends after that? It wasn’t like they kissed for a few seconds. The way Charlotte described it to me, it sounded like they kissed for a good 15-20 minutes before putting a stop to it and going further. And how did Charlotte know if it was genuinely weird for him, too? He might’ve just said that because you said that. And if he saw you as just a friend, why does he always ghost you the minute he has a girlfriend? It just seemed like Charlotte was something more than just a friend to him. The math was not mathing to me at all. I was thinking all those things to myself, but I refrained from saying anything because I remembered I didn’t want to be too honest and transparent with her.

Anyways, Charlotte added that she told the guy what had happened between her and Billy, and the guy told her that she needed to end her friendship with Billy. Charlotte explained, “Yeah, he was saying that he’s uncomfortable with me and Billy’s friendship, and I essentially had to choose between him or my best friend. That was just so unfair to me because we had just met, and you’re already trying to dictate who I can and cannot be friends with. That’s ridiculous and a huge red flag to me.”

I understood where Charlotte was coming from, and I agreed with her to a certain extent. Charlotte and the guy really had not gone on even a first date, and he really had no business/right telling her who she can and cannot be friends with. However, I will say that if their relationship was more established, then he could have more of a say. I do believe that friends of the opposite sex can get in the way of a relationship and disrespect it as well because they may not know how to respect boundaries. That’s unfair to your partner if he/she feels that a friend is disrespecting your relationship and disregarding certain boundaries. I feel like it’s important for your partner to feel safe, comfortable and secure with you.

Charlotte stated that she couldn’t believe the ultimatum the guy gave her, and she said that she would choose her best friend. The guy understood and decided that they should just stop talking to each other. Then, Charlotte asked me what I thought about the whole situation.

I was thinking a lot of things about Billy, her and potential future relationships where her friendship with Billy could be a problem with guys that were interested in her. However, I said, “Well, I think he definitely gave you an unfair ultimatum, especially with y’all not really going on a first date yet. You made your choice. Your friendship with Billy is clearly important to you, and you don’t want to compromise that in any way. He clearly wasn’t the guy for you, and that’s okay. The right guy is definitely gonna come your way soon.”

She was appreciative of my encouraging words, and she was glad that I was her friend. We ended up changing the subject and just talking and having our normal, usual conversation. Before we hung up, she mentioned the guy again and couldn’t believe how much they connected with each other. She felt like it was real, and it would’ve been nice to see him in person and go on a date with him.

“I can understand that, but you can’t keep thinking about it. It wasn’t like you were in a full blown relationship with him, and y’all weren’t talking very long either. Do you know how pretty and beautiful you are? There are gonna be better, sweeter guys that will come your way and treat you better,” I said.

Charlotte was thankful for everything that I said, and she’s glad that I can be so hopeful and optimistic. She just thought that she had a real chance at love. I just couldn’t believe that she chose her best friend over love.

That’s the end of the short story “Choosing Your Best Friend Over Love.”

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The Strangest Compliment: Episode Two

In this episode, I received not one, but two strange compliments from a girl that I consider a friend. The first compliment wasn’t weird or crazy, but it was an unexpected compliment that made me feel some type of way. It was a compliment that she didn’t give to her boyfriend at the time, but she wasn’t afraid to give me this compliment. I didn’t necessarily know how to respond to the compliment, but I think that I gave a reasonable response. The other compliment was more of a realization of where I stand as her friend. It’s a compliment that I think a lot of guys get, but they don’t know nothing about it. Let me tell you all about it.

Last summer, I was hanging out with my friend Rosa at Taco Bell on a Saturday afternoon. It had been a while since I hung out with Rosa, and it was nice to have an opportunity to catch up with her. At Taco Bell, we both got Doritos Locos Tacos and some drinks. We’re sitting down, taking bites of our tacos and we start to realize that there’s something missing in our tacos. We both smiled and realized that we needed some hot sauces on our tacos. So, I got up and went to get a handful of different sauces for our tacos. I brought the sauces back to our table, and we went crazy and drenched our tacos with hot sauces. Then, we started eating our tacos with pure satisfaction.

After we were done eating, we started talking, sharing a few laughs and catching up. I ended up telling her about this girl that I had been on one date with and how there was something strange about her. Rosa was excited and ready for me to spill the tea. So, I explained that on my first date with this girl, she was talking about being exclusive.
Rosa was surprised to hear this and said, “Wait a minute, she asked if you wanted to be exclusive on the first date? That’s interesting, but I know that must’ve freaked you out.”

Rosa knows me and knows that I don’t believe in putting all your eggs in one basket. Meaning, I don’t believe in hopelessly chasing after ONE girl and putting all your time and energy into that ONE girl, even after one date. I think that it takes time and 5-7 dates to determine if you want to be exclusive with that person. Also, I think it’s okay to be talking to other girls, while you’re dating someone because I think it’s important to have options.

Going back to the story, I replied, “Yeah, it kind of caught me off guard. It surprised me. I guess she was really feeling me on that date.”

“Wow, and what was your response?”

“Well, I said alright and told her that I wouldn’t be talking to other girls anymore. It would be just her.”

“Really? Why would you say that? Aren’t you talking to three other girls?”

“I was, but not anymore. I gave my word that I would be exclusive to her, and I’m keeping it. I cut them other girls out, and I’m just talking to her. I mean, I guess I kinda like her and maybe there’s something there.”

Rosa smiled and said, “That’s what’s up. I hope things work out.”

I shook my head and said, “Yeah, I just have bad feeling about just being with her. I don’t know, I feel like I’m gonna be disappointed at the end of it all.”

Rosa groaned and replied, “Isaiah, you are such a pessimist when it comes to girls. I just don’t understand it.”

I explained, “I just don’t trust y’all. It’s just that y’all be playing too many games.”
Rosa responded, “Says the guy that talks to multiple girls and has a really hard time committing to one girl.”

I chuckled and said, “First of all, I don’t have an issue committing to one girl. I believe in pursuing the right girl rather than aimlessly chasing after some girl like a hopeless romantic. By the way, why do girls find hopeless romantics attractive?”

She responded, “Because there’s just something sweet about a guy obsessing over you and thinking about you and only you. He goes out of his way to win your heart and treasures everything about you. It’s so romantic.”

I replied, “But that kind of sounds forced and tiring for the guy though. Plus, that level of consistency is unrealistic, and how do you know it’s authentic? What if a guy’s just being this way to catch you like a fish. He has the right bait by being a hopeless romantic, and he ends up deceiving and catching you and you’re disappointed with the results?”

“Isaiah, you’re reaching, that’s not how it is.”

“I’m just saying that it sounds like hopeless romantics force love and try to control it, but that’s not how love works. Love is this beautiful, uncontrollable, natural force. It’s patient and kind, and it’s something that is shared and mutual between two people, and it’s not so one-sided.”

Rosa was impressed with my thoughts on love, but she still pointed out that I was still the guy that talked to multiple girls. I sighed and said, “Oh my goodness, y’all are just as bad if not worse. Y’all be talking to other guys too, y’all are just really slick about it.”

Rosa shook her head and replies, “Maybe before we meet a guy, but once we start dating a guy, we’re invested in him.”

I responded, “I definitely believe that, but y’all still have guys around in case things don’t work out. Y’all just have them disguised as your ‘guy’ friends.”

Rosa rolled her eyes at me because she knew where I was heading. She knew that I was about to bring up an interesting rule that I apply to girls all the time. This rule could also be attributed to guys, but in most cases it’s attributed to girls. It’s called the 20% rule. This rule implies that at least 20% of a girl’s friends that are guys are attracted and interested in being with her. For instance, if a girl has 20 straight guy friends, then at least four or five them are interested in being with her.

Rosa couldn’t necessarily say anything because this rule is accurate with her. In our friend group, it was me, her, Jake, Paul, Stanley and Bryce. Five straight guys total that she was friends with. Three of them (Bryce, Paul and Stanley) were trying to get with her. That’s way above the 20% mark with it being 60% of the guys she’s friends with were trying to get with her. Jake and I knew this, and Rosa eventually and slowly found out about this. She claimed that she was oblivious to this, but I didn’t necessarily believe that. I do think that some girls are oblivious to guys liking them, but for the most part girls know when guys are interested in them. Rosa is a very smart, attractive, flirtatious girl, and she always knows when guys are trying to get with her. Rosa likes receiving attention from guys, so it was hard for me to believe that she was clueless about the whole situation between Bryce, Paul and Stanley, but that’s another story.

Going back to this story, Rosa asked me then if I think it’s wrong for a girl to have “guy” friends. I quickly replied that it’s not wrong at all. I do believe that a guy and a girl can have a genuine friendship with one another as long as boundaries are created and set. At the same time, I do believe that girls keep certain guys around in case things don’t work out with their significant other because you never know. I think girls have backup options because I don’t think girls want to completely start over, and it’s more convenient for them to have backups.

Rosa understood where I was coming from, but then she had another question. She asked, “So, do you think that the girl you’re dating now has backup options?”

I replied, “Yeah, she probably does. I just really don’t care too much about it. I’m aware of it, but I’m not gonna stress about it because it’s not necessary. I’m mostly just thinking about her. I promised to be exclusive to her after one date, and that’s what I’m gonna do. I gonna be as real and as honest as I can be, and we’ll see where it goes.”

Rosa liked my response and assured me that things would definitely work out with us. They did not, but that’s another story. Let’s just say that I will never again put all my eggs in one basket.

Alright, let’s get to the juicy part of this story. I ended up asking Rosa how things were with her boyfriend Dexter. Rosa quickly told me that Dexter wasn’t her boyfriend. I was confused, and Rosa told me that he doesn’t necessarily believe in titles. It sounded like they were in some kind of a situationship. This surprised me because she is the type of girl that wants to claimed, and it just sounded like she was settling for less.

I asked her if she was okay with that. She replied, “Yeah, it’s honestly not a big deal for me. We’re definitely in a good place, and he’s just so romantic and sweet with me. We have amazing conversations and our text messages are funny and ridiculous. He’s just so obsessed over me, and he’s such a hopeless romantic, I love it.”

I responded that’s what’s up. As she was talking about him more in detail, it sounded like they were “single but together.” I asked Rosa how long have they been together, and she told me eight months. I was shocked. Then, I said, “Oh that’s what’s up! Look at y’all going all strong and everything, that’s awesome! Being all in love and everything and—
Rosa interrupted, “Oh, we’re not in love. We’ve never said ‘I love you’ to each other.”

This was quite strange to me because Dexter and Rosa had been together for eight months, and they never said “I love you” to each other. I asked Rosa how come they haven’t, and she just told me that it’s not a big deal to them. They just haven’t felt it for each other.

Rosa and I kept going back and forth about them not saying “I love you” to each other because it’s just super weird and confusing to me. How could you not love someone after being with them for eight months?

I started joking and saying that they’re in “luh” rather than in love. I explained that it’s a term that my best friend Obi created. It means that you have a little bit of love for a person, but you’re afraid to be fully in love with a person. You’re simply in “luh.”

Then, I said, “You and ole boy are in luh. You can’t deny the luh that you two have for each other. Your luh is real.”

She laughed and told me to shut up. I chuckled and continued, “Dexter has so much luh for you, and you’re playing games. You luh that boy, and he luh you. It’s that simple when it comes to luh.”

We both started laughing, and she said, “Oh my goodness, I can’t with you. You sound so ridiculous. But nah, I’ll say it when I mean it. I don’t want to say it if I don’t mean it, you know? Plus, I don’t want to look like a fool. When I say it, I mean it, especially with a guy.”

I nodded my head in agreement and said, “Yeah, I agree and understand. You should definitely say it when you mean it. At the same time, you shouldn’t be afraid to love somebody.”

Then, Rosa looked at me in my eyes and whispered, “I mean…I love you.”

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting that strange compliment from Rosa. It took me by surprise because it came from a place of vulnerability, and it meant something more than just a friend. For a second, I didn’t know what to say, but I knew I had to say something fast. So, I smiled and responded, “Aww thank you.”

After I said this, I could tell that my response kind of upset her a little. So, I added, “I’m just kidding, I luh you too, girl.”

My comment put a smile on Rosa’s face, and she just responded, “Isaiah, you’re something else, you’re so weird and extra.”

We both laughed, and I said, “Yeah, I am a little crazy and weird every now and then. And I most definitely extra, I can’t even front. Also, I’m not ashamed of it thank you very much.”

We continued talking some more, and we eventually ended up leaving Taco Bell. I drove her home, and we said our goodbyes. As I was driving home, I couldn’t stop thinking about how Rosa told me that she loves me. What does that even mean? Then, I slowly realized that she does in a sense see me as a backup option for her. I didn’t know how to feel about being Rosa’s backup option, when I just saw her as a friend and nothing more. It’s honestly a strange, weird compliment to be someone’s backup.

It’s kind of nice to be someone’s backup, but I wonder if Rosa and I could still be friends. Can I really be friends with someone that has strong feelings for me? I have an answer to this question, but that’s another story. I just can’t believe the two strange compliments that I received from my friend Rosa

This is the end of “The Strangest Compliment: Episode Two.”

The Strangest Compliment: Episode One

In this episode, I witnessed an old man give one of the strangest compliments I ever heard to a female coworker of mine. It was compliment that had me dying of laughter, and it really made my day. I remember the old man trying to explain his rationale to me, but the damage had been done. The compliment he gave was weird, off the wall and a little creepy. It’s a compliment that one should never use on a woman, especially a young woman. It’s a compliment that all men should stay away from. Let me tell you all about it.

Back when I was working at Sheetz, I remember that I was coming in for my usual 6am-2pm shift. It was a Friday, and I was somewhat in the mood to work with only four hours of sleep. I came in at 5:59, and I saw this new female coworker of mine behind the counter. Her name was Fate, and it was her third day on the job. She was a gorgeous, attractive, young woman, and she was a very optimistic and happy person at Sheetz. I enjoyed working with her all of the time. It was always fun and cool working with her. She would always make me laugh, and I would always make her laugh too, and we just had a really good vibe. It also helped that she was black too. It was nice that another person of color was working at Sheetz, and I didn’t feel so alone.

I walk inside, see Fate behind the counter and say hi to her. She gives me a big smile and says hi back to me. One of my other coworkers, Sara, noticed my interaction with Fate. I put my head back and sighed because I knew what was coming. I went to the backroom, clocked in and saw Sara. I said hi to her, and she gave me a big smile. I chuckled and said, “What is it, Sara?”

“The new girl is kinda cute, huh,” Sara said.

I laughed and replied, “Yeah, she’s cute, I can’t deny it.”

“So, when’s the biggest flirt in the store gonna get her number?”

I laughed and said, “Sara, I’m not a flirt. I’m just friendly, that’s all. I am not flirtatious in any way.”

“Whatever makes you sleep at night, flirt, just go out there and work your magic,” Sara replied.

I just laughed and shook my head. Before I could say anything, Sara left and went to the kitchen. I grabbed my headset and went to the front where Fate was stationed. There was a little line formed to the register, so I wasn’t too concerned with taking care of it by myself. I went to an open register and started ringing customers’ items. I saw that Fate was almost finished with a customer, so I said, “Hey Fate, after that customer, you’re good to go, I can take care of this line myself.”

“Wow, you’re so eager to push me away, I thought we had something special,” Fate joked.

I laughed and replied, “Nah, we don’t, it’s about time for you to go and get the steppin.”

We both laughed, and she said, “You’re so silly, but I have to help you with this line.”

I didn’t object because if she wanted to stay, then that was her prerogative. If the situations were reversed, I would’ve been gone already. Her shift was over, and there was no reason for her to stay and help me out. At the same time, it was sweet of her to stay with me and bring down the line.

Anyways, I was ringing up a customer when this old, black man was at Fate’s register. He was in his late 40s, early 50s. He was a regular customer that would come in Monday-Friday in the morning before he had to go to work. However, he was at Sheetz earlier than usual. I wondered why he was at Sheetz, but then it was revealed. He looked at her and said, “My oh my, I heard about you but you looking even better in person. How you doing?”

Of course, he came for Fate. I was nervous because I didn’t what this old man was about to say to Fate, but I knew that it was going to be something crazy and off the wall. I just had a feeling.

Fate gave a nervous chuckle and said, “Oh wow, I’m doing good, I’m just about to be—
I interrupted, “Fate, hurry up, we got a line forming, you gotta talk and work.”

I interrupted because I knew that Fate was about to tell him that she was about to be done with work. There was no reason for him to know that, especially with the fact that he came for her. The old man laughed and said, “Isaiah, she’s doing a fine, great job with me, you don’t have to worry about her.”

I chuckled and said alright. Then, he continued, ” By the way, you’re such a pretty, little thing. Isn’t she pretty, Isaiah?”

I nodded in agreeance and Fate thanked him for the compliment. Now, I thought that he was done after he said that. That would’ve been a good stopping point for him, but there was more. Yes, what he said next was a truly strange compliment. He said, “Now, are you sure that you’re old enough to work here at Sheetz? You don’t really look that old, but you’re looking just as cute and pretty as a 12-year-old girl.”

My mouth was wide open when he said that. I was so confused and perplexed that I didn’t know what to do. I looked at Fate, and she had this horrified look on her face. I’ll admit that Fate did look young for her age but to call her a 12-year-old girl was kind of pushing it and a little bit more of an insult than a compliment. How was she going to respond? I wondered. She looked at him, gave a nervous smile and chuckled and asked him what did he mean by that. He explained, “Nah, I meant that you have this youthful look about you. You know what I mean? It’s like this, you look like you’re 16 years old. It’s a compliment to your youthful look, baby girl.”

I was trying so hard to keep my laughter, but it was so hard. I was in tears and just trying to keep it together. Then, Fate laughed and said, “I’m older than 16 years old, though. That’s kind of messed up that you think that I’m a child.”

“No, it ain’t even like that,” he said.

The old man tried to plead his case, but he was failing miserably. He wanted me to help him out, but I couldn’t. I was trying to keep my composure because I had just heard the weirdest compliment I ever heard. Eventually, he ended up looking at his watch and realizing that he needed to go. He grabbed his things, looked at Fate and said, “I’ll see you around, baby girl. You doing an amazing job, don’t let Isaiah tell you otherwise.”

Once he left the building, I ended up just laughing like crazy. I was rolling. Fate smiled at my laughter and asked me what just happened. I ceased laughter, wiped the tears out of my eyes and said, “Clearly, he likes them young, my bad, real young with his old, pedophilic self. I can’t believe he compared you to a 12-year-old girl.”

We both ended up laughing, and she just couldn’t believe it herself. She said, “Yeah, it was so weird and creepy, I hope I don’t see him again.”

“Oh, you will. He likes you, and he’s trying to get to know you. These old men that come in here, are trying to get young, pretty girls that are employees here like you in any way they can. They think they can say or do whatever they want to you because you can’t run away from them. Ironically, they think you’re product in the store that they can own. It’s sad and pathetic, which is why you gotta be careful here, especially with the male customers. This place is toxic towards the women that work here, remember that.” I stated.

She understood, but she wondered what she was going to do about the old man. I replied, “Oh, that’s easy, all you gotta do is just tell him that you gotta boyfriend,” I responded.
Fate laughed and responded, “But that’s lying, Isaiah. Plus, maybe I won’t see him again.”

It’s true, she wouldn’t see him again. In fact, he would come in the very next day trying to find her. She wouldn’t be there, but I would be there. However, that’s another story. I just really wasn’t expecting such a strange compliment at Sheetz.

This is the end of “The Strangest Compliment: Episode One.”

Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this short story. There are more episodes to come in this short story series “The Strangest Compliment.”

Getting Condoms With A Friend

Last summer, my friend Marvin and I were working out at Planet Fitness. It was a Thursday, around 8:30 when we met up at the gym. We ran on the tread mill, worked on our stomach and arms. We ended up being done at 10:00. After we’re done working out, I remembered that I needed to get some water and bread from Walmart. I asked Marvin if he wanted to come to Walmart with me, and he said yeah sure. As we were walking to our cars, I joked, “Hey Marvin, while we’re at Walmart we should get some condoms.”

I laughed at my comment, and Marvin had this confused look on his face. He looked at me and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why would we get condoms? There’s no reason for us to get condoms, bro.”

We both started chuckling, and I said, “You’re right, there’s no reason for us to get condoms. After all, I have so many anyways.”

Marvin stopped walking. I looked at him, and he had this shocked look on his face. I started laughing like crazy at his face, and he was yelling that this was not a laughing matter. He wanted an explanation. So, I chuckled and explained, “Yeah man, I got two in my wallet, four in my backpack, two in my jacket and two in my car. I may have a few at home, too. Other than that, I don’t have that many.”

Marvin exclaimed, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why do you have so many condoms? There’s no reason for you to have that many condoms, considering you’re…you know…a…um…a…

“A what? Come on, say it with your chest. Don’t be scared,” I interrupted.

Marvin nervously said, “You’re…you know…a…um…virgin. And there’s nothing wrong…

“I know that there’s nothing wrong with being a virgin, thank you very much. Do you know how many girls have been trying to get with this irresistible, caramel body? I’m thankful and blessed to be a virgin, it’s nothing that I’m ashamed or embarrassed about, and you shouldn’t be either,” I said.

Marvin chuckled and said that I was right. Then, we went back to talking about me having condom. Marvin asked for proof of condoms that I had. I said okay, and I showed the two condoms in my wallet and the two in my jacket. Then, we went to my car, and I showed him the two condoms in my car. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my backpack and jacket with me, but the condoms that Marvin saw were enough evidence to him. He had this horrified look on his face, and he said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Why do you have condoms in the first place? Are you talking to someone that I don’t know about or something, bro?”

I laughed and said, “Nah man, I ain’t talking to nobody. I mean, I hung out with that one girl and nothing crazy happened. I just have condoms for protection, and it’s nice to have them because you never know.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. Wait, are you still trying to wait till marriage?” Marvin asked.

I told him that I was still trying, then he said, “Then, aren’t you more likely to have sex with a girl if you have a condom with you?”

I laughed and replied, “No because having a condom is like an emergency break for a car. You’re never gonna use it, but it’s good to have it with you. You’ll only use it in case of an emergency.”

Marvin didn’t understand my argument, and we kept going back and forth about me having a condom. We argued for five minutes, until we decided to agree to disagree. Then, I smiled and added, “Well, I think you should get some condoms at Walmart.”

Marvin asked why he would do such a thing. I said, “Well, aren’t you going to visit your girlfriend in Virginia this weekend? You don’t want to be unprepared when she’s ready to get it on and all.”

Marvin blushed and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. You honestly think that me and Mary are gonna do it?

I chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, it’s very possible. I’m like 80% sure that y’all are gonna do it. You two haven’t seen each other in months, and it just wouldn’t surprise me if y’all did anything.”

He agreed with me, and I told him that it honestly wouldn’t hurt to get some condoms. Then, he looked at me and wondered if maybe he should try to wait like me. The thought of having sex made him nervous. He didn’t know if he was ready or prepared for something like that. I laughed and said, “Relax man. You’ll be fine. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t. You just gotta go with the flow man. You love her, right?”

Marvin nodded his head, I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Well then, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared just in case something does happen.”

My friend understood exactly what I was saying. We talked a little bit more, and we ended up walking to our cars and heading to Walmart.

When we made it to Walmart, we went in the grocery section, so that I could get some water and bread. After I got those things, Marvin and I headed to the other side of Walmart to get some condoms. As we were getting closer to the treasure, I noticed that Marvin was getting a little nervous. I asked him what was wrong, and he said, “It just feels weird getting condoms at Walmart. Like what if somebody sees us?”

I laughed and dramatically said, “Now that I think about it, we are very, very bad boys right now for getting condoms. I mean, these people in Walmart, who probably aren’t virgins themselves, will probably look at us with judgment and disgust. Why, they’ll be thinking to themselves, ‘Those boys are nasty. Getting condoms to have safe, protected sex. It makes me sick. How dare they consider it. Fornication makes me sick. Lord, please forgive these sinners for even considering getting condoms. I beg of you, Lord Jesus. I cannot believe what I am seeing with my unclean eyes. I am appalled at these heathens.'”

“Oh my God, Isaiah,” Marvin laughed.

Then, I continued, “Yeah, they just need to wait till marriage. That’s all they need to do. I mean, I didn’t do it, it was hard for me. It was a struggle, but they can’t know that it was hard for me too. They just need to know that it’s expected of them, and they can surely do it. They don’t need no condoms at all until they are married to their wife. And if one of them do decide to fornicate and shame a girl, well then she’ll just end up pregnant and it will be all a part of your plan, God, for his life.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. You’re so dramatic,” Marvin said.

I laughed and said, “Of course I am. But look man, I promise you that these people in Walmart don’t care what’s going on with us. And it’s normal and responsible of us to get condoms. It’s nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about, I promise you.”
Marvin appreciated my words, and he admitted to me that there was some fears he had in regards to religion and how they would view it.

I replied, “Look man, I wish the church would be more helpful in these situations. I wish that they were more open and honest with the young people that are confused about their sexual desires. I wish the church would be willing to educate and help those that are confused about sex, but they don’t want to deal with that in an effective way. They want to continue to do what they’re doing, even though it’s clearly not working because it’s the way it must be according to the elders. This old-school mentality to just abstain from sex and fear fornication when it’s clearly not working. You still have people in the church getting pregnant left and right because you’re afraid and uncomfortable to have an open dialogue about sex.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. You’re right, it’s up to us to really be responsible,” Marvin said.
I nodded my head and said, “Yeah man, you just need to get some condoms because you never know what’s going to happen. You could easily have sex with Mary or maybe nothing’s going to happen, but it’s good to be prepared and responsible with some condoms. If you do end up having sex without any condoms, and she ends up pregnant, then your life is going to change completely. Why take that risk? Just get some condoms man for protection.”

Marvin appreciated my words of wisdom and thanked me for them. Then, he was ready to go to the condoms. We looked at different condoms from Skyn, Trojan, Magnums, Durex and others. Marvin ended up finding the right ones for himself, and we ended up checking our things out. Then, we headed out of Walmart.

When we made it outside, we headed to our cars with our things. As I was putting the water and bread in my car, there was a thought that came in my head. There was something important that I needed to tell Marvin. So, I rushed over to his car and yelled wait before he left. He got out of his car and asked what was wrong. Then, I said, “Make sure you practice putting the condoms on before seeing Mary.”

Marvin laughed and said, “Oh my God, Isaiah. Is that really necessary?”

“It’s absolutely necessary. You need to make sure you know how to secure that thing. Otherwise, it will be going all over the place. I’m just trying to help you out man,” I replied.

“Ok will do, bro. And thank you again for helping me out with this. I would’ve been lost without you,” he said.

I told him that it was no problem, and I was glad that I could help him out. As I walking away, Marvin asked me to wait. I turned around, and he asked, “Do you think that you’ll still be a virgin till marriage?”

I was surprised by this question, and I was surprised by my answer. I said, “I don’t really know man. I don’t know how I feel about waiting till marriage anymore. I remember that I was 15 years old when I got my purity ring, and I’m 22 years old now and I’m a different person now. I don’t have the same views like I did before, and I don’t know if I want to retain some of them. For right now, I don’t know anymore if I want to be a virgin till marriage.”

“Oh my God, Isaiah. My boy’s gonna have a little bit of the sex,” Marvin responded.

I laughed and said, “I don’t know about all that man. I mean, if I fall in love with a girl, then maybe I will. But again I don’t know man, it’s something that I need to think about. I mean, I don’t know if I want to be open for business for these ladies that have been waiting for me, and just give them everything they needed and wished for such a long time. But for a girl I love, maybe. It’s open to interpretation.”

This is the end of “Getting Condoms With a Friend.”

Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone, and I hope that people that are having a little bit of the sex tonight have protection.

Another Petty-ish Moment

Last year, I was working a typical, Saturday morning at Sheetz from 6:00 am-2:00 pm. As usual, I was stationed at the front to work the register. Five minutes into my shift, I’m approached by my co-worker Sasha. She asked me if she could talk to me about something important. We’re not really busy early in the morning, so I didn’t have to worry about any customers. I asked her what was up, and she said, “So I have this friend that I was with on Sunday, and she saw a picture of you on Facebook and thought you were cute.”

I giggled, and I asked her how her friend saw a picture of me. Sasha explained that she was just scrolling through Facebook, and her friend Sarah stopped her scrolling when she saw a picture of me. Sasha continued, “Yeah, you were wearing this really nice suit, and you were with your sister and cousin I believe.”

At first, I didn’t know what picture she was talking about, but she showed it to me on her phone. Once I realized the picture, I said, “Oh that picture. Yeah, I was at wedding last week. It was my cousin Dajah’s wedding. I got to be an usher, and I was taking a couple of pictures with my cousin Camilla and my brother Isaac. It was such a beautiful ceremony, and I’m just so happy for my little cousin.”

Before I continue the story, I need to address and help my Facebook stalkers out. So, if you go on my page, which you always do, go on my see all photos tab and click on uploads. Once you click on uploads, click on the first picture of my uploads picture, which should be my profile pic. After that, you just keep swiping left till you reach 50 of 95 and 51 of 95. Or you can just swipe down till you see me in a nice suit with my cousin and brother. Anyways, those are the two pictures that me and Sasha are referring to right now in this story. I just wanted to help y’all out and make y’all’s life a little bit easier. I kind of appreciate you all, hope y’all like them and happy stalking. Now back to the story.

“Aww that’s nice that your young cousin got married and all,” Sasha said.
I replied, “Oh no, she’s older than me. I just call her my little cousin because she’s shorter than me.”

We both laughed, then Sasha talked about her friend was so cute and asked if I was interested in her friend. I asked if she would show me a picture of her, but she refused.

She said, “Wow, Isaiah, you can’t trust me when I say that my friend is cute and pretty. I’m hurt.”

I looked at her and said, “Sasha, your friend saw me on Facebook and thought that I was cute. Don’t I deserve the same courtesy? I should see a picture of her and determine if I’m interested in her or not. I mean, I need a little something to work with since she got enough to determine that I was a whole snack for her.”

We both started laughing, and she understood where I was coming from. So, she went on her phone and tried to find a “good” picture of her on her phone. After five minutes, she eventually found a “good” picture of her in her phone and showed it to me. When I first saw the picture, I thought that she was pretty. So, I said, “Alright, she cute. I’m not gonna promise anything, but I’m down to get to know her a little bit and see what’s up. You can just give me her number or something.”

Sasha was happy to hear this and explained that she could give her friend my number. I told her that was fine, and she went back to the kitchen all excited that I would be potentially “talking” to her friend.

After all that, I went back to register. It was around 7:00 am, and it was still a quiet day at Sheetz so far. Then, this old, white man came into the store. He looked like he was in a rush to find some things. He ended up getting a coffee, and a few snacks. After he got all his things, he headed my way to check his things out. He was in a rush, but once he saw me, he started to slow down. Then, he stopped halfway towards me. There was someone behind him, and he politely let that person in front of him. I thought it was really weird because he was in rush, now all of sudden, he was no longer in a rush. It didn’t make sense. After I was done with the customer, I said to the old, white man, “I can take you right here, sir.”

He looked at me with disgust and said, “Bring someone else up to ring me, would you? I don’t want you.”

I was so confused and perplexed as to why he didn’t want me to ring him up. Then, I looked at myself and realized the reason. I sighed and decided to try to call someone up to ring because I wasn’t trying to deal with him. However, I quickly noticed that my headset was off. Before I could turn it on, the old, white man said, “Hurry up, nig….boy.”
I stopped myself from turning on my headset and wondered to myself, “Was this old man really about to call me the n-word?”

Also, it didn’t help that he called me a “boy” either. So, I looked at him and asked him again what he said. He saw how serious I was and said, “Just hurry up, I’m in a rush.”

I responded, “Oh ok.”

Now, I was looking down on my headset and an idea popped in my head. I was thinking to myself that maybe I ask for someone to ring up this old white man, but I don’t turn on my headset. Then, I asked myself, “Do I really want to be that petty and ruin this old man’s day?”

The answer was yes. At this moment, I was gonna be petty-ish with this old man. Why? Because he ruined my day, and I was just gonna return the favor. There was a part of me that wanted to turn the other cheek, but I just couldn’t at this moment. So, I said in my off headset, “Is someone able to ring this person up?”

I knew that no one heard me, but the old man was satisfied. Then, he said, “Yeah, I don’t want you touching my things. I prefer someone else.”

Now, I deal with a lot of racists at Sheetz, but this one right here was the most ridiculous one to me. I didn’t say anything to him after his statement, and I just stocked cigarettes while he was the only person in line.

A few minutes passed, and he was frustrated and growing impatient. I was just standing at the register watching him. He was looking at his watch, and he asked me, “Hey, is someone gonna come up and ring me or not, boy?”

Again, he called me “boy” and it just made me chuckle a little bit because I could feel the anger in his voice. I smiled, looked at him and said, “Oh, I don’t know what’s going on. They might’ve just forgotten about you, but I’ll ask again.”

So, I asked again on my off headset if someone would ring up the old man.

Ten minutes passed, and this old, white man was still waiting for someone other than me to ring him. He was determined to have his stuff rung up by a white person, and it was honestly pathetic and shameful to me.

All of a sudden, he yelled, “This is ridiculous! I have been waiting here for service for 15 minutes and no one is trying to ring me up! Where’s your manager, boy?”

I just looked at him and shrugged my shoulders. I decided not to say anything anymore because I just wanted him gone at that point, and it was nice to see that he had reached his breaking point. Then, he said, “Are you gonna answer me, boy?”

I smiled, chuckled and shrugged my shoulders again. He was really angry that I wasn’t answering his questions, and he ended up just going to the kitchen. He demanded that someone ring him up. My co-worker Mark was coming up to the register, but then he saw me. Then, he said, “Oh, Isaiah can ring you up, sir. He can take—

The old man interrupted, “I don’t want that…that….just ring me up, will ya?”

Mark ended up ringing up all his stuff. When he was close to being done, I looked down at my headset and said, “Oh my headset isn’t on. That’s why you guys couldn’t hear me.”
I started laughing, but the old man was fuming. After Mark was done bagging his things, the old man snatched his bag. He looked at me and said, “I’m never coming back here as long as you’re here.”

Before I could say anything, he stormed out of Sheetz. I laughed at him, and Mark asked me how come he didn’t want me to ring him up. I said, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know.”

Sadly, I guess some things are hard to let go of in this world.

This is the end of the short story “Another Petty-ish Moment.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “Preferences: Part Two” on the Warfield Zone.

Next week, I will be posting and sharing parts one and two of the six-part horror story “The White Mask.”

The Girl with the Pills

It was my freshman year of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and I was just chilling in my dorm. I remember it was a Monday night, and my roommate Craig was having very, very loud sex with some girl in his room. Now, I knew his schedule. He would always have sex with someone on Mondays, Wednesdays and every now then Saturdays. Usually, it would be late like midnight or 1:00 am, however today was different because he was having sex at 8:00 pm, while I was trying to do some homework. At first, I was a little mad that he was having sex, but then I thought that it was better to be early and all so that I can get some sleep. Eventually, the noises died down at 8:30ish, and Craig ended up knocking on my door. I yelled that it was opened, and he opened the door. Then, he said, “Hey bruh, sorry if me and my girl were loud, we got a little carried away.”

I looked at him and said, “A little? I was hearing all kinds of jungle noises. Everybody probably heard you two going at it like animals.”

We both chuckled and I said, “Alright, are y’all done for the night, then? I’m surprised that you got it in early and all.”

He gave me a face and said, “Well, we’re probably gonna take a shower and then chill some more.”

“How much more, man?” I asked.

He replied, “I don’t know, bruh. Like Zay this girl is bad, man. She badder than the last girl that I was with two days ago. Like she did her thang, and I need more, bruh.”

I looked at him and said, “Bro, it’s a school night. There’s people trying to sleep and study right now, including me, and you’re trying to have some more loud sex with her?”

Craig replied, “Bruh, she bad, you don’t understand, Zay. She’s on point and everything man. And look, I promise that we’re gonna be quiet, bruh. Trust me.”

I stood up and said, “Craig, I can’t trust you. You’re lying to me right now. I know you’re gonna give her that same energy you just gave her. You just hyped her up and everything man. You two are probably gonna be louder than ever with your horny self. You ain’t got to lie, Craig.”

Now, I’ll admit that I didn’t say “You ain’t got to lie, Craig” to Craig on that day, but I said everything else. Now back to the story.

We both laughed, and he said, “For real, Zay, we gonna be quiet.”

I sighed and said, “Alright and if someone comes knocking on our door talking about the noises you making again, you talking to them.”

He chuckled and said, “Alright, bet. Oh and don’t forget you gotta tell me what you want to do on your birthday with the choices I presented to you.”

I groaned and said, “I ain’t doing none of those things.”

He laughed and said, “Oh, we’ll see.”

The choices he’s referring to is another story.

Anyways, he leaves my room and closes my door. A few seconds later, I hear him and his girl of the night giggling across the room and entering our bathroom to take a shower. The shower starts and already noise begin. I quickly put on my headphones and try to ignore them. A few minutes later, I received a text message from this girl on my floor. Her name was Jessica, and she was in my sociology class. I open it, and she was asking me what I was doing. I told her that I was just chilling in my room and all, and then she asked me if I wanted to study with her. I really didn’t need to study sociology, but I kind of wanted to get out of my room. So, I texted, “Yeah sure, we can meet up at the library or something.”

She replied, “Well, how about we study at my room instead? It’s more convenient since we live on the same floor, and I’m already all comfortable, and I don’t feel like getting dressed lol.”

I laughed and texted, “Alright cool, I’ll be over in a couple minutes.”

Then, she responded, “Can’t wait to see you.”

I’ll admit I was really excited. Jessica was pretty and attractive, and she was three or four years older than me. I was 18, and I was thinking to myself, “Man, I can’t believe I’m about to study with this pretty girl.”

So, I got my books together and put them in my bookbag. I was still ignoring the noises Craig and his girl of the night was making in the shower and I headed to Jessica’s room. I made it to her room, knocked on her door and waited for her answer. She opened the door, and she was looking fine and scrumptious. She had on these pink short shorts on and a white T-shirt, and her body was looking so nice. Also, she had the prettiest feet ever, and they were kind of hypnotizing to me. Her black hair draped her shoulders. Her face and eyes were so gorgeous, and I just couldn’t ignore the goodness and the sweetness that was in front of me. After I was staring for so long, she asked me if I was gonna come in. I stuttered, “Oh y-y-yeah, I’m coming…um in to um y-y-y-your place, I mean room.”

She laughed and said that I was so cute. I walked in, and I just couldn’t believe how awkward I was with her just now. I was so embarrassed. Her roommate’s door was closed, and we ended up going into her room. Jessica’s room was a little messy with her clothes on the floor and her desk had a bunch of stuff on it. The only thing that was clear was the bed. I put my bookbag down and a naïve 18-year-old Isaiah wondered how were we gonna study in her room? All of a sudden, Jessica slammed the door shut, ran over to me and pushed me on her bed. Then, she got on top of me and started kissing on me. I was surprised, shocked and excited, and I just started kissing her back. We ended up just making out.

Now, we weren’t making out long. It was about a minute that we were kissing. I was expecting us to just kiss, until she started trying to take my shirt off and go below the belt. She was confused and asked what was wrong. I said, “Oh well, I’m not trying to have sex at all. I’m trying to be a virgin till marriage. Is it alright if we just kiss?”

She looked at me, chuckled and said, “Oh yeah, I remember you telling me that. Yeah, we can just kiss it’s no problem.”

I thanked her for understanding, and we continued to make out. Then, thirty seconds later, she was trying to go below the belt again. I stopped her. Before I could say anything, she laughed and said, “You’re too cute. Look, I think I have something that will help.”

She got up, went into her drawer and took out these pills. I was confused and didn’t understand. I tried to get back up, but she pushed me back down on the bed. She laughed and said, “Relax, Isaiah. Just let me get back on top and relax, okay?”

I listened to her, and she ended up getting back on top of me. She started giving me pecks of kisses, showed me one of the pills and whispered, This pill will help you relax a little more with me.”

She put it close to my mouth, and I stopped her and asked her what is it. She smiled and said, “Oh, it’s just something to help you relax. I promise it’s completely harmless. Look, I’ll even take it.”

She put it in her mouth, got some water and swallowed it. Then, she said, “See, it’s fine, Isaiah, you can trust me.”

Jessica brought another pill close to my face and tried to put the pill in my mouth, but I stopped her again. Then, I said, “Look, Jessica, I’m not trying to take anything. You’re making me a little uncomfortable and—

Before I could finish, Jessica kissed me and whispered, “Okay, I’m sorry. We’ll just go back to kissing, I promise.”

Before I could say anything, she just started kissing on me. Eventually, I started kissing her back, and we were just making out again. We’re kissing for a good two minutes, when she’s slowly trying to touch me below the belt. I stopped her again, and she said, “Isaiah, just take this pill. I promise you’ll be more relaxed.”

After that moment, I realized that I had to leave. So, I said, “Look, I just realized that I have a lot of homework, and I just really need to go.”

I got her off of me, and she said, “Isaiah, I’m sorry. Just come back to my bed. I promise you, we’re just gonna kiss.”

I shook my head and replied, “I’m okay, Jessica. I just really have to go, I’m sorry.”

I told her that I would see her in class, and I ended up leaving her room.

I was outside my door, and I could hear Craig and his girl of the night having sex. I shook my head, opened the door and went to my room. I sat on my bed and could not believe that I was in a scary situation with Jessica, the girl with the pills.

This is the end of “The Girl with the Pills.”

Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this short story.

This weekend, I will be posting and sharing poetry.

The Old Man at the Beach

Hey y’all, sorry that it’s been a minute since I posted on the Warfield Zone. I found myself needing to take a little break and focus on my senior year of college, my relationship with God and other things as well. Anyways, I’m back, and I’m ready to share some of my stories with you all. A story that comes to mind and kind of connects with another story that I will be sharing this week as well is “The Old Man at the Beach.”

This summer, my family and I took a trip to Virginia Beach. It was the end of June, and it was exciting for me because I had never been to Virginia Beach. I didn’t know what to expect, but I knew that I was gonna have a great time with my family. Also, I made sure to bring my camera with me as well because I knew that I could get a lot of great pictures for my photography shop Eyes Haven’t Seen. For me, it was gonna be a very productive vacation.

My family and I would be in Virginia Beach for a couple of days, and it consisted of us making a lot of great memories with each other. However, one day spent at the beach is where I would meet an interesting, old man.

It was a hot, summer day at Virginia Beach. My family and I were excited to go to the beach and enjoy the sand, the sun and the ocean. The weather was a perfect 90 degrees. I remember the wind blowing perfectly and the ocean looking so pretty. Luckily, my family and I found a great spot on the beach to claim, chill and relax. I had my Canon E0S Rebel T6 with me, so I knew that I was gonna take some amazing pictures. I had on a T-shirt, swim trunks and sandals. I decided to take my shirt off and go take some pictures. I told my mom that I was just gonna roam around the beach and take some pictures. My mom said alright, and I went to take some pictures.

As I was walking around the beach taking photos, I realized that I had left my phone with my family. At first, I was thinking about going back to get it, but then I thought that it wasn’t necessary because I wasn’t going to be gone too long. Sadly, I was wrong.
I was taking pictures, and I saw that I was kind of far away from my family. I was thinking about being done taking photographs and heading back to my family, but I thought that I could use a hundred more photographs in my camera.

Anyways, I’m taking more pics in an area that has a few people in it. There’s a guy sitting down on a bench and another guy is just standing and looking at the ocean view. While I’m still taking pictures, I’m approached by this old, black man. He was wearing some shades, a hat, a nice watch, pink shorts and some sandals. He had a fat belly and a little white beard. Anyways, he came over to me and asked if I wanted to take some pictures of him. I told him that I was fine, but then he got a little closer to me. He asked again if I was sure, and I told him again that I was fine. He was uncomfortably close to me, and I kind of felt trapped. Then, he said, “Can I just say that you are a very handsome, young man? Also, very strong. Do you work out a lot?”

Before I could answer, he ended up touching my arms and shoulders. He even patted my stomach a little and said, “Oh yeah, you definitely work out a lot.”

He ended up laughing, and I laughed a little and said, “No, just a little. I just work out like two or three times a week.”

He started laughing, but I kind of just gave a chuckle. I was really nervous and uncomfortable with him, and I just really wanted him to give me some space and to stop touching me. I tried to walk away, but then he said, “Hey, do you wanna smoke some weed with me? It’s back at my car, and it’s some good stuff.”

I replied, “Oh no thank you, I don’t smoke weed.”

I chuckled, but he walked up on me all serious and said, “Don’t you lie to me. I know you smoke weed. I can see it in your eyes. Why don’t you wanna smoke with me?”

I took a step back because he was really close to me, and I said, “Again, sir, I don’t smoke weed.”

“Why are you lying to me? I know you like weed. There’s no way that you don’t smoke weed. I don’t believe it,” he said.

He was still looking serious, and I was still a little scared. He just seemed very insulted that I didn’t want to smoke with him, so I said, “Yeah sir, I don’t smoke weed. Also, I’m vacationing with my family and—

“Oh, I know. I saw you with your family. You’re family is quite lovely. When I saw you walking away from them with your camera, I was hoping to bump into you,” the old man interrupted.

That was kind of a little creepy and stalker-ish to me. I just wanted to get away from him, but I couldn’t. We ended up talking another ten minutes just about each other, and I just really wished that I had my phone with me. I would’ve used it to call my mom or something. Anyways, we ended up talking about music and the instruments we played. I told him how I played the drums, and he explained that he played seven different instruments. Then, he pointed in the opposite direction and explained that his house wasn’t too far from here. He said, “If you want, we can go back to my place, have a little jam session cause I have a lot of instruments with me and maybe smoke some weed.”

He was so adamant about smoking weed with me, and it just made me uncomfortable. I really just wanted to get away from him. Then, he abruptly asked me if I was seeing someone. I quickly responded, “Yes sir, I am seeing someone. An amazing girl that I’m just so in love with right now.”

Then, he said, “Aww that’s sweet, what’s her name and what’s she like?”

Now, there wasn’t a girl that I was deeply in love with at all in my life. I was just saying that because it was more convenient to stretch the truth in this situation that I was in with this old man. So, I said, “Yeah, her name is Denise and she’s just the most special girl in my life right now. I couldn’t imagine life without her.”

“Aww that’s sweet, is it new and fresh,” the old man asked.

I said, “Well, kind of. We’ve been together for six months, but I can tell that she’s the one that I’m gonna marry. I’m actually planning on proposing to her soon. I just don’t want to wait any longer with her, and I’m ready to commit to her. I love her with all my heart. Also, she’s kind of my weed partner in crime.”

We both laughed, and he said, “Aww, so that’s why you don’t wanna smoke with me. Do you have any pictures of her?”

I replied, “Yeah, I have lots of pictures of her and us together, but I don’t have my phone with me. Otherwise, I would show you all the pictures.”

We ended up talking a little more with each other, but he eventually had to leave. I was relieved, and I ended up rushing back to my family. I told my mom what happened, and she was happy to know that I was safe and away from the old man.

This is the end of “The Old Man at the Beach.”

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “The Girl with the Pills.”

Getting Too Greedy

A couple of years ago, my family and I went to Lorain, Ohio to visit my Grandma Mollie. We went to her house on a Friday, and we had planned to be there till Sunday. On Friday, we pretty much enjoyed each other’s company, had some pizza and watched a movie. Luckily, my grandma didn’t have to work on Saturday, so that meant tomorrow would be a day of fun with her.

On Saturday, my Grandma Mollie had gotten up early to make everybody breakfast. My grandma loves baking cookies and making breakfast. It’s literally her bread and butter. It’s like her happy place, the same way writing is for me. She has this passion for baking that I’ve always admired and respected with her. One time, I remember my grandma was making dozens of cookies late at night to sell at a church convention. She’s truly dedicated to one of her many crafts and seeing her dedication was always an inspiration to me. My grandma illustrated to me the importance of constantly working on your craft by her always wanting to bake cookies and make breakfast.

Anyways, my grandma typically makes breakfast for 30-40 people because she always invites uncles, aunts, cousins and family friends to her house to eat breakfast. My grandma really enjoys the company of other people, especially family and friends. Breakfast at Grandma Mollie’s ended up lasting till 2:00, and a lot of my family would leave and thank my grandma for the food. After people leave, my family and I begin the next phase of our day with Grandma Mollie. Games.

Just like movies, playing games is always something that I value with my Grandma Mollie. We played Scattergories, Apples to Apples, Phase 10, Heads Up and many other games. Then, the real game came along when my Grandma Mollie suggested playing Greedy. A game that would lead to betrayal, heartache, disappointment, humiliation and greed.

For those who don’t know, Greedy is a 20-dice game. You can play with as many people as you want, and the goal is to get to 50,000 points before anyone else. You roll 20 dice in your hand, and a certain amount of dice get you a certain amount of points.

Three dice of 1’s=1,000
Three dice of 6’s=600
Three dice of 5’s=500
Three dice of 4’s=400
Three dice of 3’s=300
Three dice of 2’s=200
One die of 1=100
One die of 5=50

The numbers up above are the only way you can get points. For example, a die of 6 will not get you any points because you need a set (three dice of 6’s) to get points. Only a die of one or five can get you added points. Also, you have to roll down to three dice. Once you roll down to three dice, you can have your score be written down on the paper and it will be the next person’s turn.

However, you can be greedy and keep rolling till you have no dice. For example, if I have two dice in my hand, then one or both of those dice have to end up being a one or a five because that’s the only way I can get points. So, if I roll a five and a four, the five gets counted and it would get added to my score. Then, I would have one die left. If I choose to be greedy, my last die would have to be a one or a five. If I roll a one or a five, then I would have those points added to my score, and I would get to roll all 20 dice again and add more to my score. However, if I don’t roll a one or a five, then I would lose all my points that I gained in my roll, and it would be the next person’s turn. The term I would be for losing all of my points is set.

In addition, you can be set if you roll your dice off the table and stack your dice three times.

Now that you hopefully have an understanding of the rules, let’s get back to the story.
So, my family and I gathered at my Grandma Mollie’s big table to play the 20-dice game known as Greedy. It was me, my Grandma Mollie, my Aunt Rachael, my Aunt Bev, my mom and dad, my cousin Alvin and my brother Isaac. I ended up getting to roll first. I had all 20 dice in my hand, and I rolled it all on my grandma’s slippery table.

The person to the left of you counts the dice for you, and that person ended up being my Grandma Mollie. I ended up getting 2 sets of one’s (2,000), a set of six (600), a set of five (500) one die of five (50) and two dice of one’s (200). I ended up being left with five dice in my hand. On your first roll, it doesn’t matter how many dice you have in your hands, you just have to have at least 2,500 points on your first roll. My first roll total was 3,350, so I elected to not be greedy. It was a pretty good roll for me, and it would be just the beginning of me flourishing in this game of Greedy.

Now, I’ll admit that I’m a very competitive person. I love winning, no matter what. I’ll also admit that back in the day that I was not a humble winner either. I liked to talk a lot after I won something, and I was just not a gracious winner. Thankfully, I’ve improved myself a lot and started becoming a somewhat more humble winner. I still trash talk here there, but I’m more kind and sweet to others when I win. Unfortunately, I was just a unnecessary, greedy, competitive person when I was playing Greedy at my Grandma Mollie’s house.

Anyways, I was rolling in Greedy. No pun intended. I had a commanding start and lead to Greedy, while everyone else was struggling. I was literally cooking and dominating, and I was naturally talking smack. I was talking about how I’m the greatest, the legend and the myth in Greedy, and nobody could touch me. My Aunt Bev has this catchphrase in Greedy when she got what she wanted. She would say “Haaaaambuuuurger.” So, I thought to myself, “Since I’m murdering my family in Greedy, it’s only natural that I have a catchphrase of my own. I’m so great in Greedy like my idol Muhammad Ali is in boxing that I had to have a signature, clever catchphrase. A catchphrase that would fit me and who I was.”

All of a sudden, it came to me. My Grandma Mollie ended up getting set, so I looked at my grandma, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”

My grandma didn’t understand. Then, I started doing it to everyone else when they rolled the dice off the table or got set, I smiled at them and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”
My Grandma Mollie and others were annoyed with my catchphrase, but they couldn’t help but laugh at it because it was so good. The way I said and my consistency to say it was hilarious to my grandma, mom and Aunt Bev. My grandma was talking about how I was about to lose this game of Greedy because I was being too cocky. Also, she said, “Oh, I can’t wait to say ‘there ya go’ to you when you start losing your luck in this game.”

I thought my grandma was being foolish because I was just too hot. I wasn’t slowing down at all, and I was having a historic game of Greedy. I was like the 73-9 Warriors team. I was just dominating and rolling lights out all game long. Now, I say the 73-9 Warriors team because I ended up choking and blowing a great lead that I had in Greedy.
I had 47,500 points and all I needed was 2,500 points to win. It was my roll, and I ended up talking about how it was great game that we played. I talked about how they were all worthy opponents, but they just couldn’t stop the legend that I am in Greedy. Isaac yelled,

“Will you be quiet and roll?”

I was laughing, and I ended up rolling two of the dice off the table. I was in shock. Then, everyone started laughing. I was muttering wait, but everyone was laughing. My Aunt Bev said, “Nope, it’s your grandma’s turn now. You messed up, Isaiah. Haaaambuuurger.”

Then, my grandma asked me to look at her, and I did. Then, she said, “There ya go.”

Everyone was laughing, and I was just shaking my head at how naïve they were being. I said, “It’s fine, I’m just trying to give y’all a chance, honestly. I’m so far ahead, I’m cool and thriving.”

Eventually, it was my turn again, and my brother Isaac was the closest person to stopping me. He was only 5,300 points away from getting 50,000. Naturally, I’m not nervous because he needs at least two rolls to get to 50,000. Anyways, I roll the 20 dice and I end up getting 2,350 points. I had five dice in my hand, so I still had to roll. I rolled and I ended up getting two five’s in that roll. I was at 2,450 points. Now, I could’ve decided to be done because I was done to three dice now, however I decided that I wanted to be Greedy. The reason is because I only needed 50 points to win the game. Surely, I could easily roll a one or five in these three dice I thought to myself. There was no way that I was going to be set, I thought to myself. I told my family that I’m about to win this game now because there comes a time where one must be greedy, and this is one of those times. I said, “Y’all played good, but y’all are just no match for the greatness that I am. Please, remember this moment. Please, remember that I am the legend, the myth, the great and the greatest known as Isaiah Warfield.”

I did a little bit more talking, and I eventually rolled the three dice that I had. All I needed was a one or a five. To my disappointment, I ended up rolling a two, a three and a four. I was devastated. Everyone at the table was laughing at me. They were so mean. What did I do to deserve getting made fun of? I looked to my Grandma Mollie for some support for her first-born grandson, but I got the exact opposite. She looked at me, smiled and enthusiastically said, “There ya go.”

Then, I said to everyone at the table, “Hey, I’m still ahead. I just another roll, and I’ll be good. I’m still about to win this game.”

Sadly, I was mistaken. It was my brother’s turn, and he ended up rolling and getting 2,800 points. He was left with four dice. I was thinking to myself, “Alright, he’ll probably get his points, but I’ll have the opportunity to get my points.”

To my surprise, Isaac ended up rolling a set of six (three 6’s) and a one. Isaac yelled, “Let’s go!!!”

It made his total 3,500 points. With no more dice to roll, he ended up getting a chance to roll again and add to his total. I was stunned. He was now 1,800 points away from beating me.

Everyone, except me, was cheering him on. They were telling him that he could do it. My Grandma Mollie, “Come on, Isaac, you can do it. I’ll take you winning over this joker that’s been talking too much all game.”

I couldn’t believe my grandma wanted Isaac to win more than me. The betrayal was real to me. Anyways, my brother ended up rolling all 20 dice and getting 2,400 points. My brother had enough points to beat me, however he had four dice in his hands. He had to roll again. I was praying to God that Isaac wouldn’t get a one, a five or a set, but God sadly disappointed me. Isaac rolled all four dice, and he ended up rolling a six, a three, a two and a one. My brother’s total ended up being 6,000 points, and his total score was 50,700 points. My brother had won the game of Greedy that I was meant to win.
My whole family at the table congratulated my brother Isaac, then they started mocking me with my own catchphrase and other things. Ashamed and humiliated, I ran away from the table in defeat. I wasn’t a winner, I was a loser. I wasn’t a legend, I was a phony. I wasn’t the greatest, I was the worst. I wasn’t the truth, I was the lie. I didn’t live up to the hype. I choked like the 73-9 Warriors team did against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. I blew a lead that I had like the Warriors blew a 3-1 lead. I hate the Warriors, and I’m ashamed that I was just like them in this game of Greedy.

This game of Greedy really taught me the importance of sitting down and being humble. I look back at this moment, and I just can’t help but laugh about it, especially with my Grandma Mollie. In the end, I’m grateful for the memory of that heart-breaking game of Greedy that I had with my Grandma Mollie.

This is the end of “Getting Too Greedy.”

This weekend, I will be posting two poems on Saturday and Sunday.

Movies with My Grandma

Last year, my Grandma Mollie came from Lorain, Ohio, to visit me and my family in Pittsburgh. I remember we were all sitting in the living room laughing and talking, while I had the remote in my hand. As I was flipping through all of the channels, I quickly noticed that there was a certain movie on AMC that I love with a passion. That movie was The Matrix.

The Matrix is my favorite movie of all time, and it’s just a known fact that it’s the greatest movie of all time. That’s right, a fact. It’s got everything you need in a movie from the story, the symbolism, the suspense, the action, the horror, the mystery, the sci-fy, the characters (Trinity, Neo, Cypher, Morpheus, Agent Smith, the Oracle), the romance, the philosophy, the faith, the deliverance, the free will and so much more. I ask you to name another movie that has all of that and more? Can you name another iconic movie? No, you can’t. And do you know why, you can’t name another movie? Because there’s only one, and that movie is The Matrix, the greatest movie of all time.

Anyways, I’m so excited to see my movie on TV, so I naturally put it on AMC. My little brother Isaac looks up to see what I put on, and he starts to groan. He yells, “Oh God, can we not have it on this god-awful movie.”

Naturally, I was appalled by Isaac’s disrespectful words to this work of art. Before I could say anything, my dad said, “Yeah, I agree. I’m not trying see some terrible acting by Keanu Reeves.”

In my mind, I’m saying to myself, “Oh no they didn’t. I know they didn’t just dog my movie like that. Why do they do this to me? Why do they always have to disrespect my movie when it’s on TV? Why do they force to defend the greatness that is The Matrix?”
Naturally, I went off on them. First, I went at Isaac talking about how he had no right to be saying The Matrix was awful when he had never even seen it before, but that didn’t stop him from talking. Then, I told my dad that Keanu’s acting was perfect and just the right amount for the movie. “Isaiah, he barely showed any emotion. His acting was poor with his blank stares. Will Smith would’ve done so much better as Neo, my dad added.”

I responded, “No, Keanu was being realistic. I probably would’ve acted the same way too if I found out I was in a computer simulation for all my life. I sure wouldn’t be dramatic like Will Smith and yell, ‘No, no, no,’ at some mannequin like he did in I Am Legend. Just being way too dramatic. No, The Matrix is a realistic movie with everything and a hint of drama, it’s not a full-on drama.”

My brother, dad and I continued to argue for ten more minutes. My mom ended up betraying me and saying The Matrix wasn’t the greatest movie of all time. My sisters just kept laughing, while my Grandma Mollie was silent. Eventually, we stopped arguing, and I was able to watch a little bit of my movie and recite some of the lines. While I was watching this masterpiece, my brother interrupted my moment of bliss and said, “This movie is trash, and it’s kind of sad that you know every single line in this movie.”

Before I could say anything, my Grandma Mollie came to the rescue. She said, “Now, y’all leave my baby alone. He’s been loving this movie since he was three years old. Let my baby watch his movie in peace, please.”

It’s true, I have loved The Matrix since I was three years old. I remember my grandma introduced the movie to me when I was three years old. She told me how I really loved the movie, and it just always held a special place in my heart. I loved Neo. I would always imitate him, and it used to annoy my mom. My grandma told me that there was this one time where my mom had whooped me hard for doing something bad. I don’t remember what I did, but it was brutal whooping. After my mom was done whooping me, I had gotten up and said “Momma.” My mom turned around, I looked into her eyes and said, “How did you beat me?”

My mom had this confused look on her face, but my grandma was rolling. Then, I extended my right arm and motioned with my right hand to come on and bring it. My mom said, “What in the world is my baby doing?”

My grandma was still laughing like crazy, and she explained, “Well, we’ve been watching the Matrix, and he’s imitating scenes from the movie. Morpheus asking Neo how he beat him in the training simulation, and Neo telling Agent Smith to bring it in the Subway fight. Those two scenes.”

My grandma continued laughing, but my mom was still annoyed. I think she gave me another whooping because I asked for it, but I’m not sure entirely. However, The Matrix would be the beginning of my grandma and I watching movies together.

Since I was three years old, my grandma and I watched hundreds of movies together. There was always just something sacred about watching movies with my grandma. It was just special, quality time with her. I remember we watched The Lord of the Rings trilogy together, and I was just so confused with the story. I had no idea what was going on. I was really young when I saw it, but my grandma made the trilogy special for me. She would take the time to talk to me about what was going on in the movie, and she really helped me understand the plot of everything. My Grandma Mollie did so good with me that I started imitating Gollum to the delight of my grandma.

I remember my grandma and I used to watch Never Been Kissed starring Drew Barrymore a lot. It was our movie for some reason. Just like The Matrix, Never Been Kissed was just a classic for me and my grandma. My grandma was just a huge Drew Barrymore fan, and I ended up becoming one as well thanks to her. Every time we watched Never Been Kissed, it just blew our minds that Drew’s character had never been in a relationship or never been kissed. It was mind-boggling to us.

There’s just so many memories of my grandma and I just watching movies together with her homemade cookies, sweets, candy, junk food and other unhealthy substitutes. Never vegetables thank God. I’m always going to cherish those movies that we watched together because it just shows how much she truly cares about me. She devoted time and energy to be one of the most fun-loving, kind and supportive people in my life. She always puts a smile on my face, makes me laugh with her jokes and just knows how to make me feel special and wanted. Not a lot of people have that effect on me, and I’m just so grateful that I have someone like my Grandma Mollie to do that for me. She’s done so much for me that she doesn’t know about, and I can’t imagine what life would be like without her. I love my grandma so much, and I’m so grateful that I can continue to watch movies with my grandma.

This is the end of “Movies with My Grandma.”

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing “Getting Greedy.”

Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman

Now, I was gonna share a different story today, but I found myself compelled to share this story. I don’t know why, but I really felt like I needed to share this story. It’s a sad but necessary story about honestly being at the wrong place at the wrong time. At the same time, this is a story about being at the right place at the right time. This is “Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman.”

Last week, I was working my usual 6am-2pm shift on Friday. I was extremely tired because I had about two hours of sleep. I was up till midnight writing a story, and I ended up watching Pulp Fiction after I was done writing. Now, I usually watch The Twilight Zone or some horror movie before going to bed, but I wanted to watch Pulp Fiction that night. I’ve seen it a lot, and it’s one of my favorite movies behind The Matrix, my all-time favorite. However, I really wanted to see Pulp Fiction again because I had just watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood in theatres and wanted to get my “Quentin Tarantino” on. It was necessary, and sleeping isn’t that important, right?

Anyways, I was struggling to stay awake. Even with coffee in my system, I was a literal zombie. My coworker Marie is used to me being all sleepy and tired, but she said, “I can’t believe you do this to yourself. How are you functioning? You need to get at least five hours of sleep. Minimum.”

I laughed and said, “Marie, you know me. I can’t help that I’m a late-night writer, and I enjoy a good scary movie before going to bed. I’m only human, Marie.”

We both start laughing, and Marie just calls me silly. It’s around 7 am, and my manager, Michael, sends out a new person to me and Marie to train. Her name is Jenn, and she was really nice and cool to work with. Marie explained to Jenn that me and her were extremely tired, but we promised to perk up at around 9 or 10 am. An hour passes, and I’m slowly but surely starting to wake up. Plus, Marie and I are training Jenn, but for the most part she was doing pretty good on her own. Also, it was kind of slow in the store. Everything was alright. Then, everything changes when I’m stocking cigarettes, and I hear, “Excuse me, sir.”

I turn around and see a black woman in front of my register. She’s pretty, and she’s about few years older than me. However, I could tell that she was a little scared. Not knowing what’s going on, I said, “Yes mam.”

“Can I talk to you really quick?,” she asked.

She was a little quiet asking me, so I leaned in and whispered, “Yeah that’s fine.”
Then, she asked me if we could actually talk in private. I told her that it was perfectly fine and suggested that we talk in the dining room. She started walking to the dining room, while I followed after her. Luckily, we weren’t busy, and Marie had Jenn helping her up front. So, it was fine for me to talk to this black woman.

Anyways, I’m in the dining room with the black woman, and I asked her if everything was alright. She started crying a little and explained that she was drunk and far from home. She lived at North Side, and she somehow ended up in Jefferson Hills. She apologized to me for smelling drunk, and I assured that she was fine. Then, she continued, “Yeah, I ended up going to a party I shouldn’t have gone to. I was drinking too much. I don’t remember much of what happened, but I know these white guys…they…you…know did things to me.”

She was having a hard time breathing, and I just told her to just sit down and take a deep breathe. She quickly sat down and tried to catch her breathe. I sat down as well, and I was assuring her that it was alright. Then, she added, “I’m so scared because my kids are home alone, and I just can’t believe that I was so irresponsible and go to that stupid party.”

She was really beating herself up, so I looked at her and said, “Look, you’re fine now. You did the responsible thing by coming here and seeking some help. It’s better that you’re in here than out there. You’re being responsible now.”

She thanked me for my encouragement and explained that she didn’t have any money. Also, her phone was dying, and she was having a hard time reaching a friend. So, she had no way of getting home. Then, I asked her if she maybe wanted to call the police about the incident. She responded, “No, no, no cops. I just want to forget about last night and go home to my kids.”

I understood that she just wanted to go home, but I still wished that she reported what happened to her to the authorities. Even though I don’t know all the details about her assault, her trembling and crying illustrated to me that she had been through some serious trauma. I wish that she wanted justice for herself, but I understood that she was drunk, tired and ready to forget and be home with her kids. She saw the whole situation as her fault for getting drunk, and she just wanted to forget the mistake she made. Yes, she was drunk, but that doesn’t give men the right to do whatever they wanted to her. Her behavior and drunkenness is not a free pass for men to do with her as they please. She kept saying to me that she should’ve known better, but in reality it’s the white men that hurt her that should’ve known better. They’re the ones that hurt her . They’re the ones that assaulted her. They’re the ones that took advantage of her. How could she not see that? How could she place more blame on herself than on the white men that hurt her? Then, I remembered that it’s the society that we live in. It’s a toxic society that has infected both men and women. It’s a society that places more blame on women for their “mistakes” rather than help them seek justice from the tyranny of evil men.

Anyways, I told her that I understood that she didn’t want the cops involved and asked if she wanted something to drink like coffee or water. She said that water would be fine, so I went and got her a cup of water. When I came back with the water, I was still trying to figure out how she could get home. I was suggesting to maybe take the bus, but she didn’t want to take the bus. Then, I said, “Well, I’m not sure what we can do. I can maybe talk to my manager and see if he has a solution.”

“Wait, is your manager white?”

I told her that he was, and I could tell that made her uneasy. So, I assured her that my manager Michael was nice, and he would do his best to help her. I added that she could trust me, and he wasn’t going to call the cops. She said okay, and I went to my manager’s office.

I told Michael everything that was going on with the black woman, and he handled everything with compassion and respect. Michael talked to her a little, gave her a sausage burrito and a breakfast sandwich and assured that everything was going to be alright. He pulled me to the side and explained how he offered to give her money for the bus, but she didn’t want to do that. Also, he could tell that something serious had happened to her, but she didn’t want to tell him. I explained to Michael that she talked to me about it, and he was relieved with that. Then, he told me to just do inside trash, but also to keep an eye on her. Make sure she doesn’t fall asleep and just check on her and make sure she’s doing alright.

I was thankful and glad that Michael was there as the manager that day. He’s one of the most compassionate managers I ever worked for, and I just couldn’t imagine another Sheetz manager dealing with the scared, black woman as Michael did. He kept it quiet, and he showed her so much kindness and respect to her. Michael was honestly the right manager at the right time.

Anyways, I was checking on the woman like Michael instructed. Making sure that she was doing alright. She told me that Michael was nice to her, and someone was coming to pick her up. They ended up coming at around 9 am to pick her up and taking her home to her kids.

Despite being at the wrong place at the wrong time at the party, I was so glad that the woman ended up being at the right place at the right time at Sheetz.

This is the end of “Checking Out a Scared, Black Woman.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

The Importance of Tipping

A couple of weeks ago, I was scrolling on Facebook, and I came across a post by a waitress. She posted a $184.14 bill for a table that she waited, and she got tipped $15.86. So, the grand total of the bill was $200. Also, the customer put a note on the bill that read, “Thank you for a wonderful experience, Erica.” Then, the caption from the waitress stated that the 8% tip wasn’t enough, and a compliment wasn’t going to help her pay her tuition. After that, I went to the comments.

There were like 15,000 comments, and I got a little excited. I just love going through comments in social media and seeing different perspectives on a post/video that I watched as well. Anyways, I saw that a majority of people were siding against the waitress, while a few were on her side. I found it interesting because my mom taught me that it was important to tip at least 15-25%, depending on the service. I thought this was a universal rule, but the comments showed that this wasn’t a universal rule. I didn’t see any mention of the customary 15% tip, and it was interesting to me. As I was reading through the comments, I recalled a time where I was with some people that didn’t want to tip.

Last year, I was eating at Eat n’ Park with my friends Kevin, Mark and Anthony. They all really wanted to go to Eat n’ Park for one reason and one reason only. To get a free cookie. Those Eat n’ Park cookies were extremely important to them, and they wanted a free cookie. Now, despite having a sweet tooth, it wasn’t that important for me to get a free cookie from the restaurant. Yeah they were good, but they weren’t all that. Plus, I would rather have some really good food than mediocre food and a free cookie. I really don’t like Eat n’ Park. Their food is okay to me, but there are way more better options than Eat n’ Park. I low-key feel like the restaurant knows that they’re food is somewhat okay, and they pretty much reward people for eating and paying for it with a cookie. Eat n’ Park is like, “Thank you so much for eating our food, we know it’s not the best. It’s just okay. Have a cookie” Why are so many people blinded by a cookie? I wonder.

Anyways, they all wanted to go to Eat n’ Park, and I reluctantly agreed to have some okay food. We came in, and it was packed. It took a few minutes, but we ended up getting a booth. We sat down at our booth, and our waitress was this girl named Denise. She was around the same age as us, and it was actually her first time being a waitress. She told us that this was her first day being a waitress, and how it’s been interesting, crazy day for her. We shared a few laughs with her, and we assured that she was gonna be alright. For the most part, she did well. She was really nice, sweet and helpful to us throughout our dinner. Denise seemed like she knew what she was doing as a waitress.

After we were all done with our somewhat decent food, Denise gave us our bills. I looked at my bill, and I was in pain because I had spent $15 on some mediocre food. I just shook my head and said in my head, “Alright, I’ll take the cookie to ease the pain.”

As I was in agony, my friends were asking about the cookies to Denise. She informed them that the cookies were only for children. My mouth dropped, and they were stunned. I was thinking to myself, “You mean to tell me that we had some mediocre food for nothing. That cookie was supposed to ease the pain I’m feeling right now.”

I ended up shaking my head and laughing that we weren’t getting any cookies. However, my friends were begging for them. I was confused because she had just told us that the cookies were for just kids, but they were still persistent on the cookies. I was laughing and saying, “Denise, they’re fine. They honestly don’t need any cookies.”

Anthony quickly said, “Nah, we need them cookies. We ain’t joking.”

They continued to pester Denise about the cookies, when she finally gave up and said that she might be able to get them one cookie. They were satisfied with that, and Denise proceeded to get them a cookie. Then, I said, “Are y’all serious right now? Y’all are really trying to get a cookie like that?”

Anthony responded, “Yeah man, I want a cookie. That’s the only reason we came here.”
Mark added, “True that.”

Kevin said, “I don’t know anymore.”

We started laughing, and Denise ended up coming back to us with one cookie. Anthony was asking where are the other cookies, and she said all she could get was one cookie. Anthony was still telling her that he still wanted a cookie for himself. Kevin decided to be an adult, and he said that Anthony and Mark could split the cookie amongst themselves. Anthony and Mark were still arguing with Denise about having another cookie, and I looked at them and said, “Children, just split the cookie. I am so sorry about them, Denise. You don’t have to get us another cookie.”

They eventually decided to split the cookie, but the damage had already been done. Denise was over this foolishness and walked away from us in anger. I understood her anger all too well, and I was sorry that my friends were being difficult with her.

As we were preparing to pay for our foods, I hear that Anthony and Mark are not giving Denise a tip. I went a little off on them. I said, “Are y’all serious right now? Are y’all really not about to give her a tip? Oh my gosh, I’m feeling some type of way. I can’t believe y’all.”

Then, I looked at Kevin and said, “Kevin, please tell me you’re giving her a tip? You better be giving her a tip.”

Kevin was looking a little scared, but he laughed and said that he was going to tip. We all laughed that I was feeling some type of way, but I was still mad. I ended up giving Denise a $6 tip, and I believe Kevin gave her a 20% tip.

Then, we ended up driving to see a movie, and I was still talking about how mad I was that Anthony and Mark didn’t tip. They were laughing because they couldn’t believe how mad I was. I said, “Y’all are something else. She literally went to hell and back to get y’all a cookie, and y’all don’t tip her? That’s just messed up.”

Anthony said, “She didn’t get us the cookies. Plus, she was rude and stormed off on us. No tip for you.”

Then, I said, “Yeah, cause y’all were acting like children for no reason.”
They all started laughing, and I couldn’t help but laugh with them. Needless to say, I haven’t gone to dinner with them since that day.

In the end, I think tipping is important because I view it as a form of respect and compassion. I understand why some people feel like they’re not obligated to tip, but I think it’s kind of rude. I tip because I was taught to tip by my parents, and I understand that waiters/waitresses/servers rely heavily on tips. In Pennsylvania, there are servers that get paid $2.83/hour. Tax takes some of that as well, so their main source of income literally comes from tips. Sadly, servers are in an industry that is essentially stacked against them. A change definitely needs to happen in the food industry and more people have to understand the importance of tipping.

This is the end of “The Importance of Tipping.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

This weekend, I will be sharing and posting some poetry.

A Petty-ish Moment at Pizza Hut

It was Valentine’s Day, and I had just finished writing and posting “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Two.” I was in the library at my school, Point Park University, and I was just happy that I had got it done at around 8:00 because the bus to my house would be coming at 8:07. If I missed the bus that time, then I would have to go on an 8:30 bus. So, I rushed out of the library and waited for my bus to come my way. It came in right on time, and I was able to take my seat on the bus.

While I was on the bus, I found myself reading this book called Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson. A friend of mine from work had recommended this book to me, and she had a copy that she could lend to me. Anyways, I was reading Mistborn on the bus, and I ended up being interrupted by a text message from my friend Rosa. It read, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”

I replied, “Aww thanks, happy Valentine’s Day to you too.”

Then, she asked me if I had any special plans for Valentine’s Day. I texted, “Nah, I’m just probably gonna chill by my lonesome self haha. What about you?”

Rosa ended up telling me that she was actually going on a date, and I was excited for her. I ended up putting my book away and calling her on the phone. I said, “Tell me everything, girl.”

She laughed and explained how they had a class together, and he was just real smooth with her. They had been talking for a week or two, and he ended up asking her out on a date on Valentine’s Day. I was being extra talking about how he was “the one,” and I just couldn’t believe that she found her soulmate. She was laughing and telling me to be quiet, but I just kept going and going with my extra comments about the two lovebirds destined to be together forever and ever. We ended up talking for a few more minutes, and Rosa ended up asking me about this one girl that I was talking to at the time. I was telling Rosa that I wasn’t sure about her, and I was leaning on us just being friends. Rosa understood and told me that she had to go and get ready for her date. I said goodbye to her and told her to let me know how it goes.

Anyways, I looked outside and saw that I was ten minutes away from the Century III Mall, where my car is parked. It’s 8:30, and I realize that I’m kind of hungry. I hadn’t eaten since 10:00 am, so I knew that I had to seriously eat something. I was thinking about stopping at McDonald’s, maybe Chipotle, but then I remembered that I was due for a free pizza at Pizza Hut. So, I went on my Pizza Hut app and saw that I had enough points to redeem and get a free pizza. I ordered my free pizza and saw that I only had to pay $1.07 for it. The thought of a free pizza had me salivating.

When I was a few minutes away from my car, I was trying to decide what horror movie I was going to watch when I got home. You honestly have to watch horror movies on Valentine’s Day, there are clearly no other movies to watch. I was considering a demon-possession type movie, but I low-key wanted to see people getting stabbed and killed. The movies I was considering were Saw, Scream, Friday the 13th, Hush and Halloween. There were a couple other movies I was considering on Netflix, but I wasn’t sure.

My bus made it to the bus stop at Century III Mall at 8:45. I got off the bus and went to my car. I started it, and I drove it to Pizza Hut. It was literally two minutes away from the mall, and it wasn’t hassle to get to the store. So, I parked my car, turned it off and went inside Pizza Hut. When I went inside, I saw that they were extremely busy making orders, and I looked to the side and saw my order would be ready in five minutes. So, I went back to my car and waited seven minutes before going back inside. I got back inside and saw that the status of my free pizza was set to “ready.” There were two people in front of me, and I just patiently waited till my turn. When it was my turn, I saw that the cashier was a 40-year-old white man. Anyways, I tell him that my name is Isaiah, and I’m here to pick up my pizza order. He grabs my pizza and tells me that it’s a $1.07. I say alright and pull out my debit card. Before I can put my card in the card reader, the cashier stops me and says, “Oh, I can’t accept that.”

I was confused and asked, “Oh, are you guys no longer accepting cards or something?”

He responded, “We are, but I’m just not trying to use our card reader for $1.07. I need cash from you.”

I was confused because I had always been able to use my debit card for $1.07 or even less at the Pizza Hut store that I was at. It didn’t make sense to me that I had to use cash all of a sudden. So, I asked, “So wait, are you not allowed to use cards for small transactions, then?”

He replied, “We can, but I just don’t want to right now.”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing from this guy. What do you mean you don’t want to right now? That makes no sense to me. I looked over at the crew and even they were confused with the cashier. I wondered if they were going to do anything, but they just were working and acting like they didn’t hear anything. In my mind, I was just telling myself to calm down and take a deep breathe. Then, I said, “Ok, so I don’t have any cash in my wallet. All I have is my card. So, am I not able to pay for my pizza, then?”

He sighed and said, “Again, I’m not trying to use the card reader because I just don’t want to use it for a dollar transaction. There’s no reason for that.”

I asked him if there was something wrong with the machine, and he tells me that the machine is fine and works really well. Then, I said, “So, you’re telling me that even though you can use your card reader for a $1.07 transaction, you just won’t because you don’t want to?”

He looked at me and said, “Again, I just don’t want to use the card reader for a $1.07 transaction. You have to pay with cash, otherwise you’re not getting your pizza.”

I was furious, and I was so close to really saying some interesting things to this 40-year-old cashier that was being difficult with me. However, I contained myself and said, “Ok, let me check my car real quick and see if I have any money in there.”

I went to my car, got inside and started screaming. I couldn’t believe this man was trying to really push my buttons. I was just letting out all my frustrations and punching the air like crazy. After that, I calmed down and went in my backpack hoping that I had enough money. I rejoiced as I found five quarters in my backpack. Before I went back inside, and I stopped myself. I was saying to myself that there was no reason to give this man what he easily wanted. Make it harder and difficult on him.

I ended up putting a dollar’s worth of pennies and nickels in a plastic bag. I was so glad that I had plenty to be petty back to the cashier. So, I had my bag full of change and carried it into the Pizza Hut store. Then, I poured all the change on the counter and told him $1.07 in change.

He asked me if I was serious, and I said I was very serious. He sighed and started counting them. I looked over him and saw that they were crazy busy in their kitchen, and it sounded like they needed his help. He hurried up and counted all the pennies and nickels I had, put them in his register and handed me my pizza. I thanked him and showed him my quarters. I said, “Yeah, I did have quarters, but I just didn’t want to use them. I much rather pay with pennies and nickels.”

He looked at me all mad and walked back into the kitchen. I yelled, “Have a good day, and also happy Valentine’s Day!”

I had my free pizza in my hands, and I headed back to my car. Thankfully, it was still extremely hot. I went home, and I ended up watching Saw 2 on Valentine’s Day. Ever since that day, I have refused to eat or order Pizza Hut thanks to the petty-ish moment that I had at Pizza Hut on Valentine’s Day.

This is the end of “A Petty-ish Moment at Pizza Hut.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “The Importance of Tipping.”


A couple of years ago, I was attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), and I had just finished my last class for the day. As I was walking home, I get a text from my friend Howard asking if I wanted to meet up with him and his friend Tasha at Crimson Cafe. I was thinking about declining because I was tired and just wanted to lay in bed in my room, but then I remember it was Wing Night at Crimson Café. Wings are my weakness, so I naturally texted Howard that I would meet up with them. Then, I saw that it was 7:00 and knew that it was gonna be packed. Also, I saw that I was kind of far away from Crimson Café, and I was contemplating if I really wanted to make the journey to the wings. My room and bed were within grasp, but I decided to walk to Crimson Café to get some wings because I was hungry. The last thing I needed to be was hungry and tired, so I might as well not be hungry. I had to mentally prepare myself for a long, grueling five-minute walk, and I hope that I had the will to make it to Crimson Café.

I miraculously made it to Crimson Café. I walked inside and saw Burger Studio completely empty. Then, I immediately saw a long line into Fire Place, where they serve the wings. I rolled my eyes and went to the back of the line. As I waiting, I looked to my left and saw Howard sitting with this pretty, black girl. I waved at them, and they saw me and waved back. After a few minutes, I eventually got some hot wings and a fountain drink. Then, I made my way to Howard and Tasha.

I sat down with them, and Howard made sure to introduce me to Tasha. We started eating our wings, talking and joking around. While we were talking, I noticed something interesting with Tasha. She was laughing hard at Howard’s jokes, giving him googly eyes and touching him a lot. I was asking myself, “Does she like him or something?”

It was around 8:00, and I was ready to leave and go back to my room. My room was at Suites at Maple East. As I was getting ready to leave, Howard got up and said that he would join me as well. He had lived at Stephenson Hall, so he was relatively close to my hall. Tasha lived at Wallwork, it was further away from Suites on Maple East and Stephenson Hall. Since it was kind of dark and late, I asked Tasha if she needed one of us to walk her home. She kind of looked at Howard, but he was looking at his phone. Tasha said that she would be fine and thanked me for offering to walk her home. Howard and I walked together, and Tasha walked home alone.

As I was walking with Howard, I found myself thinking about Tasha. It seemed like she wanted something more with Howard, but he wasn’t feeling her like that. I needed to know why. So, I said, “You know, Tasha seems nice.”

Howard responded, “Yeah, she’s cool, man.”

“You ever think about dating her or something,” I asked.

Howard replied, “Nah, man, she’s just the homie. I don’t like her like that. Also, I only date white girls.”

Howard’s reply took me by surprise. Howard and I had been friends for a couple of weeks, so we really didn’t know that much about each other. However, it quickly all made sense to me. He always talked about how beautiful white girls were to him, and I never heard him talk about black girls. I just couldn’t believe he only preferred to date white girls. How could he not see the attraction and beauty of not only black girls, but other races as well?

I asked him, “How come?”

He said, “Well, they’re just more attractive to me than black girls, man. I like what I like.”
I could tell that he thought that I was judging him, so I quickly said, “Hey man, I’m not judging you or anything, I just find it interesting and just a little curious.”

“Yeah, and I don’t hate black girls, man. I don’t want you thinking that at all. I just prefer to be with a white girl,” he said.

I told him that I didn’t think that of him, but I wasn’t sure. I still found myself confused with my friend’s preference for just white girls. Maybe Howard was just going through a phase. We were both young, and maybe Howard would see the beauty in all women in a few years.

A few years passed, and I found myself talking to my friend Howard last year on the phone. We talked for a little bit, and he told me that he was talking to this white girl. He talked about how she was really cute, and he had a date with her that he was really excited about. He said, “I think this could be the one, Isaiah. I’m finally about to have my white girl.”

I joked, “Man, if you weren’t obsessed with her being white, you’d probably would’ve been having someone right now.”

We both laughed, and he asked me what my excuse was for being alone. I just shrugged and said, “I’m trying to be single. I don’t have time to be with anybody right now. I only have time for God.”

We started laughing again, and we talked for a few more minutes. Then, he had to hang up and prepare for his date. I still found myself confused with Howard, and I needed some answers. I ended up talking to my mom about Howard, and she said something interesting to me. My mom told me that Howard’s preference for white girls wasn’t wrong, but it was limiting. He had a right to prefer white girls, but it puts a limitation on him to potentially find someone that’s perfect for him.

Then, I asked her if it was wrong to have preferences, but she quickly said not necessarily. Certain preferences are necessary to make sure that you find the right person for you. If you don’t have preferences, then you’ll end up with anybody, not that special somebody.

In the end, I learned that everyone has a right to their own preferences. If you want to base your preferences on how somebody looks, then it’s perfectly fine but limiting. For me, my preferences are not about somebody’s look, race or ethnicity. My preferences for somebody is based on what’s in their heart, mind and spirit. My preferences will not limit me in finding the one for me.

This is the end of “Preferences.”

The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Four

Just to recap, Jessica was excited that I decided to message her because she thought that I was sexy and attractive at Sheetz. We talked for a little bit, and she was constantly asking me to come over house. I constantly declined because of the experience I had with the Philadelphia girl and my discomfort to be alone with her. However, I decided that I should at least give her a chance but not too much of a chance. I asked her if she wanted to have dinner and see a movie with me and some friends on Friday, and she agreed. On Friday, my friends, Jessica and I agreed to meet at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) South Campus at 6:00 pm. My friends and I waited for Jessica, but she never showed up. I tried calling and messaging her, but she never answered me. At around 7:30, Jessica messaged me that she was at CCAC for 30 minutes and did not see me. Jessica accused me of standing her up, but my friends and I were at CCAC till 7:45 and never saw her. Then, I discovered on her story that she was actually with her friends from 6:00-7:30 and realized that she had lied to me. She had stood me up and tried to manipulate me into thinking that I stood her up. After I was done hanging out with my friends, I make it home and message to her that I don’t appreciate her dishonesty, and all I really wanted was for her to be honest and tell me the truth. Jessica replied, “You’re right, I wasn’t at CCAC. The truth is I didn’t want to see you because you’re not trying to get with me. You’re trying to get with Vanessa, and you’re just using me to get to her.”
Now, let’s dive on in to the fourth and final part of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Four.”

It was around 1:00 am, and I was just tired and ready to go to bed. I just wanted to sleep and deal with Jessica in the morning. Then, I saw Jessica’s message and couldn’t believe my eyes. Her message had woke me up, and I just found myself in disbelief. Her message made absolutely no sense to me at all. I couldn’t believe that she was literally trying to use her friend as an excuse for her terrible lying, deception and manipulation to me. I was angry and started typing what I really wanted to say to her on my phone. I texted, “Jessica, are you serious right now? You’re gonna sit here and use your friend as excuse for your behavior. I can’t believe your childish behavior, and I’m about to go off on you.”

I said so much in my angry message to her, and I was so close to sending my long, angry message to her. Then, I took a breath and erased all the anger I typed in my phone. Instead, I calmed down and messaged her, “Ok, why do you think that I’m trying to get with Vanessa?”

She responded, “Because when we first started messaging each other, you said that you thought she was pretty, and I could tell you’ve always wanted her more than me.”
I looked at Jessica’s message, and I just couldn’t believe the ridiculousness. It made no sense to me at all. I only said Vanessa was pretty one time, and it was to tell Jessica how my coworkers thought Vanessa was trying to get with me. I was just honest with Jessica and told her that her friend was pretty. That was the only time. I never mentioned her once after that, and there was no evidence that I wanted Vanessa more than Jessica. Before I could respond, Jessica added, “You know, you’re just such a player. You act like you’re this nice and friendly guy, but really you’re just trying to get with anybody but me because I’m clearly not good enough for you. Vanessa warned me about you.”

I was really praying to God to give me patience with this girl. I prayed, “Please don’t let me go off on this girl, God. Please, please, please, God, I need you now more than ever.”

After I was done praying, I didn’t understand how Vanessa thought that I was player. Then, I quickly understood that it was because of Derek. Derek was talking about how I was a player that was just constantly trying to get with any pretty girls at Sheetz, which wasn’t true at all. He was the one that was doing that and failing miserably at it. I gave him advice, and he just brought me down. His false words about me traveled to Vanessa, which resulted in Vanessa creating this false, player image to Jessica. I understood that Derek was responsible for Jessica feeling insecure.

I took a deep breathe and realized that I needed to address this. So, I responded, “Ok, but wouldn’t I have gotten Vanessa’s snap too if I was just trying to get with anyone because it would increase my chances? I was just thinking about you because you were the first girl I saw, and I wasn’t trying to get with Vanessa. And like I said, I’m honest and I admitted that I thought she was pretty too, but I wasn’t trying to get with her. I got your snap, not the other girl because you’re not just anybody. You’re the girl that caught my eye at Sheetz. You’re the girl with the sweet, pretty, green eyes that always mesmerized me. You’re the girl that is so adorable, funny and cute. You’re the girl that is a true, priceless treasure. You’re the girl that I wanted to be with. But thank you for your honesty, I appreciate it and it means a lot to me. At least now you know how I truly feel about you.”

Jessica said, “Awww thank you, Isaiah! You’re so sweet!”

I told her it was no problem. Then, I messaged her that I would talk to her later because I needed some sleep. I messaged her goodnight, and I realized that night that I was done talking to her. I needed to keep my distance and never talk to her again.

A couple of days had passed, and I had a change of heart. I thought to myself that I should be nice and at least try to be friends with her. Give her another chance. I texted her what’s up, and we were talking for a little bit. Then, she asked me when we were going to see each other, and I responded, “You know, I don’t think that’s a good idea. I think it’s better if we just text each other and just be friends with each other. You’re an awesome girl, and I think there’s someone better for you instead of me.”

She texted, “See, there you go again being a player. When will you learn? You clearly didn’t mean what you said about me a couple days ago, and you just wanna talk to other girls.”

I sighed, and I was irritated with her. She was still believing in her lie, and I was annoyed with it. So, I responded, “Again, I’m not a player. And I did mean what I said about you a couple days. I just can’t be with someone that lies and hurts me and doesn’t even apologize for it. You stood me up, lied and never apologized for your mistakes. I geniunely wanted to talk to you and possibly be friends with you, but not anymore. I want nothing to do with you, and I’m moving on with my life. I’m gonna find someone way better for you, and I hope and pray you find someone that’s good and a perfect fit for you. You were the girl I was interested in, but now you’re the girl I never want to see again.”

This is the end of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Four.”

Thank you for following the four-part story “The Girl I Never Want to See Again.”

This weekend, I will be posting poetry on Saturday and Sunday.

The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Three

Just to recap, the black girl ended up telling me that her friend, Jessica, wanted my Snapchat. I went to get my phone in the break room, and I told my coworkers that the black girl’s friend wanted my Snapchat. My coworkers made so many distracting comments about me getting a girl’s Snapchat without saying anything. They had me in tears, and I couldn’t resist laughing. Once I got my phone out the break room, I went back to the kitchen and saw Derek trying to talk to the black girl. I could tell the black girl was uncomfortable, so I quickly came over, opened my Snapchat and started searching for Jessica on it. While I was doing this, Derek was telling the black girl that she needed to be careful with me because I was a player and constantly having really pretty girls throw themselves at me. I didn’t understand why he said this, but I decided to not think too much about it. After I got Jessica’s Snapchat, the black girl smiled and left. My coworkers congratulated me for getting Jessica’s snapchat. Monica asked me if I was going to message Jessica, but I wasn’t sure. Then, she encouraged me to give her a chance and remember that not every girl is like the Philadelphia Girl. I contemplated and decided to message Jessica. She responded, “Heyyyy, I’ve been waiting for you to message me! I’m so excited you messaged me!”

Now, let’s dive on in to “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Three.”

After she expressed her excitement with me messaging her on Snapchat, I asked her what made her want my Snapchat. She responded, “Well, you were looking so sexy and hot in the kitchen, I just knew that I had to get your Snap. And when you looked at me, I like couldn’t believe it. I told my friend Vanessa that I needed your snap because you were too fine.”

I smiled and laughed as she was really making me feel myself. I told her how my coworkers thought that Vanessa was trying to get with me. Then, I said, “Yeah, I thought your friend Vanessa was pretty, too, but I was glad that you were feeling me because I gave you the look and all.”

She sent me laughing emojis and told me that I was funny. After that, she asked me if I wanted to come over her house. Now, this was a couple of weeks after the Philadelphia girl, so I wasn’t eager to go to a girl’s house. Plus, she was living with her parents. I didn’t know them or know how they would react with me if they were to ever catch me with their daughter, so it was better to be safe then sorry. So, I told her that I was good, and I would come over when the time was right.

For two weeks, I was messaging Jessica, and I found myself interested and annoyed with her. I was interested in her because of her serious interest in me, her humor and her eyes. She had really pretty green eyes that were just so hypnotizing, and I loved them. Jessica would always send me pictures of her mesmerizing eyes and pretty face, and they just always made my day. However, I was annoyed with her because she was constantly pressuring me to come over her house. Also, she needed my attention. Jessica would feel some type of way, if I didn’t message her right away or as soon as possible. She felt like I didn’t care about her, but it was just really about me being busy with work, summer school, projects, writings, art and other things. My world didn’t revolve around her, and it bothered her. In addition, Jessica didn’t like it when I complimented or talked about some of her friends on snapchat. She explained to me that it bothered her, and I stopped doing it. I had some very mixed vibes with Jessica, and I didn’t know what to do because I was interested and annoyed with her.

I decided that I should at least give her a chance but not too much of a chance. I asked her if she was busy on a Friday, and she asked me, “No, what you tryna do?”

I told her that I was thinking about having dinner and seeing a movie with some friends. I decided that I wanted to have a group date with her. There was some anxiety at the thought of being alone with her, and I never want to be alone with a girl that gives me discomfort. She agreed to have dinner and a movie with me and some of my friends, but she wasn’t excited about it.

On Friday, the day had finally arrived, and I was seriously nervous. I asked Jessica for her address so that I could pick her up, but she told me that she was good. I found this weird because she always wanted me to come to her house, but now she changed her mind just like that? I don’t know, it felt weird to me. Anyways, I explained that we were meeting at Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) South Campus. Jessica told me that she understood, and she couldn’t wait to see me.

When I had arrived at CCAC South Campus, it was around 6:00 pm. My friends and I had all agreed to meet up at CCAC at 6:15 to plan everything out. All of my friends (Jake, Stan and Nick) were at the school on time, while Jessica was not. I tried calling and messaging her, but she wasn’t answering me. I was worried that something had happened to her. I wanted to do more, but Jake told me that there was nothing more that I could do. I agreed with him, and I was just hoping that everything was alright with Jessica.

My friends and I ended up being at CCAC for over an hour to just talk and figure the restaurant/movie we wanted to go to. Once we decided the movie and restaurant, it was around 7:30. A minute later, Jessica responded that she was actually at CCAC South Campus for about 30 minutes and didn’t see me. So, Jessica ended up leaving and said she couldn’t believe that I stood her up. I was confused because my friends and I had been at CCAC South Campus for over an hour, and we never saw Jessica. I asked her if she went to the wrong campus, but she told me that she did not. It didn’t make sense to me. My friends were even trying to make sense of it, too. Then, I checked her story on Snapchat, and it showed that she was actually with her friends from 6:00-7:30. Jessica had lied to me. How could she do that to me? I messaged Jessica that I saw her story and wanted to know the truth with her. She didn’t respond right away, and I was a little upset. How could she stand me up, and try to manipulate me into thinking that I stood her up?

Instead of thinking about how mad I was with Jessica, I decided to enjoy the company of my friends. We ended up going to Eat-n-Park, and we went to see a great movie as well. After the movie, we all went our separate ways. As I’m driving home, I start thinking about Jessica and wondering what’s going on with her. When I make it home, I message her, “Look, all I ask is for you to be honest with me. That’s all I ask. Just tell me what’s going on. Were you not comfortable hanging out with me and my friends? If you weren’t, then I can understand that. Or if it’s something else, please let me know. I just don’t appreciate your dishonesty with me about why you were or weren’t at CCAC. I just want you to be honest and tell me the truth.”

A few minutes later, I get a message from her that read, “You’re right, I wasn’t at CCAC. The truth is I didn’t want to see you because you’re not trying to get with me. You’re trying to get with Vanessa, and you’re just using me to get to her.”

This is the end of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Three.”

I will be posting the fourth and final part on Thursday.

The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Two

Just to recap, I was working at Sheetz on my usual 6am-2pm shift last summer on a Saturday. Instead of working at the register, my usual spot, I ended up working in the kitchen with my coworker Monica because we understaffed. Around 11:00 am, it got really busy and hectic at Sheetz, and I just wanted craziness to end. Miraculously, it all ended at noon, and these two pretty women came into the store. One was black and the other one was white. As they were ordering food, the white girl was staring at me, an it was weird to me. So, I decided to give her a sweet look and smile at her. A few minutes later, my coworkers were on the headset telling me that the black girl was staring at me like crazy. They were joking around and telling me to shoot my shot, and I was thinking about it because both women were beautiful to me. However, it wasn’t important to me because it’s not my prerogative to get girls at Sheetz. I’m just at Sheetz to work and be friendly. Anyways, I handed them their food and thought that it was the end of that. Then, the black girl came back inside Sheetz, approached the order point and asked for me to come over. Then, the black girl smiled and said, “So, my friend Jessica thinks you’re cute, and she wanted me to give you her Snapchat.”

Now, let’s dive on in to “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Two”

I found myself smiling and laughing in front of this pretty, black girl because my coworkers were in my headset still making distracting comments in my ear. I tried to tune them out, but it was a struggle. The black girl chuckled and asked, “Is everything okay?”

I laughed and responded, “Yeah, I’m sorry, my coworkers are in my ear like crazy, and I didn’t catch what you asked me. Did you want my snapchat or something?”

“Oh no, my friend Jessica wanted me to give you her Snapchat,” she said.

I understood, and I said, “Oh yeah sure, I just have to go to the break room real quick and get my phone.”

So, I walked towards the break room and everyone on my headset was asking what was going on. I said, “Well, I have to get my phone because the black girl’s friend wants me to add her on Snapchat.”

Everyone was going crazy. Monica was saying, “Okay, Isaiah. I see you. You got these girls shooting their shots with you.”

Mario added, “Isaiah is just too cute! It’s ridiculous!”

My coworkers had me in tears, and I just couldn’t resist laughing. When I made it back to the black girl, I found Derek trying to talk to her. I guess he was trying to shoot his shot or something, and I didn’t know what to do. Then, I saw the black girl’s eyes meet mine, and she pleaded with her eyes for me to hurry up and come over. I quickly come, and I start opening my Snapchat and trying to find Jessica on it. While I’m doing this, Derek is still talking. He was jokingly saying, “Yeah, you know Isaiah is somewhat of a player around here. He gets about 10 or 15 numbers a week. There’s just so many pretty girls trying to get with him, so you know you got to be careful with this one. You’re just so pretty, and I just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into.

I was laughing a little, but the black girl was just trying to ignore him. Then, I found myself kind of confused because he was joking about me being a player. Last week, Derek told me that he was trying to get a girl’s phone number, but she asked him how often he tried to get a girl’s number at Sheetz. Derek responded, “Oh, all the time. I do this like 10-15 times a week.”

This was unappealing to the girl, and Derek ended up not getting the number. I told him that it was definitely a mistake to tell her that he constantly asks for numbers all the time because it gave off major “player” vibes. I continued, “Don’t make your first impression something that you’re not because it’s a lie. You’re not a player, Derek. You’re a nice, chill guy. Show that authentic, true side of you because a girl will more than likely appreciate that more than you being something that you’re not.”

After reflecting on the advice I gave Derek last week, I didn’t understand why Derek created this image of me that wasn’t true to this girl. I found this interesting, and I was wondering if he was trying to get the girl’s Snapchat for himself. I was thinking to myself, “I hope it’s not that serious for Derek. If he was really trying to finese this girl by painting me in different light, then that would be messed up.”

I decided to not give it too much thought because maybe Derek was just joking around and what not innocently. However, Derek’s words to the black girl would come back and hurt me later in this story.

Anyways, I had Jessica’s Snapchat information on my phone, and the black girl smiled and left. Afterwards, my coworkers came over to me and asked what happened. I told them everything that happened, and they applauded me. I thanked them, and Mario asked, “So wait, all you did was literally look at this girl, and she just wanted your Snap just like that.”

I shrugged and said, “Yeah man, I just gave her the “look,” and she just couldn’t resist. I guess the force is strong with me.”
We all ended up laughing, and Mario appreciated my little “Star Wars” joke. After all of that, it was close to quitting time. Before I could leave, Monica pulled me to the side and asked if I was thinking about messaging Jessica, and I told her I wasn’t sure. Then, she said, “Isaiah, you gotta give her a chance. Not every girl is like that Philadelphia girl you talked about with me. This girl is probably different and better. I think you should give her a chance, it could be fun and good for you.”

I agreed with Monica and reluctantly told her that I would give Jessica a chance. I was just worried I would be in another crazy situation like I was with the Philadelphia girl.

Anyways, I went home and contemplated if I wanted to give Jessica a chance. After a few minutes, I went on Snapchat and messaged, “Hey what’s up.”

Ten minutes later, she responded with a cute picture of herself with the caption, “Heyyyy, I’ve been waiting for you to message me! I’m so excited you messaged me!”

This is the end of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part Two.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story. Also, check out “The Philadelphia Girl,” if you haven’t yet! Parts 1-4 can be found in the table of contents on The Warfield Zone!

On Tuesday, I will be posting and sharing part three of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again.” On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the fourth and final part.

This weekend, I will be posting and sharing poetry on the Warfield Zone.

The Girl I Never Want to See Again: Part One

Last summer, I was working at Sheetz on my usual 6am-2pm shift on a Saturday. I was expecting a normal, typical day up at my usual spot, which is the register. However, the manager had other intentions for me. My manager needed me to be in the kitchen because we were understaffed that day, and I was needed more in the kitchen. I didn’t mind working in the kitchen, but again I was expecting a normal day at the register.

Anyways, I was working with Monica, my coworker, early in the morning. Now, she was usually in the kitchen, while I was up front at the register on the weekends. I didn’t mind working with Monica because she was really fun and awesome to work with on the weekends. We had a brother-sister type of relationship at work, and it was great. We would tease and annoy each other like crazy, and it always made the day go by faster when we were having fun at work. Now, we were going to be working in the kitchen together, and I knew that it was going to be a blast.

I remember how we were just joking and arguing with each other, and it was the best time. We were doing this the majority of the morning, and it really made time past like crazy. We even had time to have a serious, personal talk as we were cooking and making food. I just listened to her as she was talking to me about her situation. Monica talked a good 30 minutes about her situation, and I gave her sound advice. I was telling her that she was strong enough to get through her ordeal and create a better life for herself. She just had to be willing to fight and go get her blessing. Monica thanked me for the encouragement, and we went back to joking around.

At around 11:00 am, Mario and Derek, two of my coworkers, came into work. Mario was helping Monica and I in the kitchen, while Derek was helping up front and other places. Then, it got crazy busy for about an hour. Everyone was all over the place, and it was just complete chaos at Sheetz. Orders were piling up on the screen like crazy, and I didn’t think we would survive in the kitchen. I was sweating and working myself to death trying to make food, and I was asking myself why I decided to come to work today. I should’ve called off, I said to myself. I should have called in sick to have a nice, chill Saturday at home. It was a messy hour, and I didn’t know how I would survive.

Miraculously, I was able to survive the crazy rush at Sheetz. I was tired and winded from the rush we had, when these two pretty women came into the store. They were around the same age as me, and it looked like they had just finished working out. They were both very attractive, and they were just looking nice and fit. One was black, and the other one was white. Anyways, they approached the order points, and I noticed that the white girl was kind of staring at me. I didn’t know what to do because it was weird to me. I was just making food, and I didn’t know why she was staring at me. So, I gave her a sweet look and smiled at her. She blushed, smiled back at me and walked away. I thought that was the end of it, but it was only the beginning.

As I was making food, Monica on her headset said, “Isaiah, don’t look now, but the black girl is staring at you like crazy.”

Whenever you use a headset at work, it’s primarily used for an individual to communicate with everyone simultaneously. So, when Monica said this, everyone heard and chimed in with their opinions. They were telling me to shoot my shot and get the digits. Mario said on the headset, “Wow, I wish that I could have Isaiah’s looks and get girls staring at me.”

I laughed and told Mario to be quiet. I said to him, “Bro, chill. You’re just as handsome as me, okay?”

“Yeah, whatever, Isaiah. I don’t need your lies. I’m ugly and I’m proud. We all know that you should be a model or something, ” Mario stated.

Everyone agreed, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Mario started laughing and started saying that I was just too cute. I was laughing some more, and I told him to just be quiet. Then, I thanked him for pumping me up.

Derek added, “Isaiah, this girl is pretty. I’m gonna try and talk to her friend, but you have to try and talk to your girl.”

Monica said, “Yeah, she’s a cutie. Isaiah, do you want to jump at the register and get her number?”

I was thinking about it, but it wasn’t that important to me. I don’t really try to hit on girls or get their numbers at Sheetz. I might try to “talk” to girls once in a blue moon, but it’s not my prerogative to get girls at Sheetz. In fact, it’s the last place I would go to pick up girls. Honestly, I’m at Sheetz to work, be friendly with my coworkers and customers, and that’s it. Nothing more and nothing less.

So, I told Monica that I was good and continued to cook in the kitchen. I finished two orders, and I gave them to the black and white girl. I smiled, handed them their food and told them to have a good day. My coworkers were making jokes on my headset and telling to shoot my shot, but I ignored them. The girls thanked me and left Sheetz.

It had died down at Sheetz, and it was nice and chill. A few minutes later, the black girl came back inside Sheetz, approached the order point and asked for me to come to her. As I was walking to the order point, my coworkers on my headset were oohing and aahing like crazy, and I couldn’t help but smile. When I made it to the order points, the black girl smiled at me and said, “So, my friend Jessica thinks you’re cute, and she wanted me to give you her Snapchat.”

This is the end of part one of “The Girl I Never Want to See Again.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

I will be sharing and posting part two on Thursday.

Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom: Part Two

Just to recap, I found myself thinking about this regular Sheetz customer that I had last year. Her name was Brenda, and it was important for me to be friendly with her. She was pregnant, but it seemed like she was going through a rough time in life. So, I befriended her by talking to her about candy, making her drinks and making sure that I acknowledged her presence with a wave and a smile. Months passed, and I learned from my coworker, Marie, that she was unemployed and having a hard time finding a job because of her pregnancy. Plus, there was no father in the picture with Brenda. Finally, Marie informed me that Brenda was having twins. Now, let’s dive on in to “Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom: Part Two.”

When Marie told me that Brenda was having twins, I couldn’t believe it. I thought to myself that it was crazy and unbelievable the situation that Brenda was in. She was unemployed, single and having twins. I couldn’t imagine going through that, and my heart was breaking for her. Marie saw my uneasiness and asked me if I was okay. I replied, “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just such a shame that she has to go through this on her own. It’s just not fair.”

Marie said, “I agree, I’m hoping for the best for her. I’m just hoping that she can take care of the children somehow. I’m hoping the kids will come out alright.”

I agreed with Marie, and I started telling her about my mom and how she was a single mom for a few years in my life.

I explained how my mom was really holding it together for us before she met my dad Shawn McNeil. My mom got pregnant with me in college, and she had to drop out. When she had me, it was important for her to take care of me and show me love. She was working as a waitress and other jobs to really make sure that I was taken care of. My mom was on food stamps at one point, but she got off them as soon as she had enough money to provide for the both of us. As the years passed, my mom has always assured her love to me and implemented that I wasn’t a mistake. She talks about how I saved her from a dark place, and she’s so thankful and blessed to have me in her life. My mom’s love for me means so much to me because it’s genuine and true. There’s nothing like a mother’s love.

After I said all of that to Marie, I added, “As long Brenda loves her twins, then they’re gonna be alright.”

In my opinion, love is the strongest thing in this world because it will push, drive and motivate you to provide for the people you love. Of course, you need the money and the opportunity to present itself, but if you don’t have love, then all that money and opportunity will be for nothing. What good is an apple if it’s filled with worms and no fruit? You need love to be at the forefront before anything else.

Anyways, I was hoping and praying that Brenda would have love in her heart for her children. In addition, I was hoping for money and opportunity to present themselves to Brenda because she needed it.

During the last month that I saw her, I was debating if I should have a serious conversation with her. I was asking myself if I needed to talk to her just like I talked to the stripper a few months back. However, I decided against it because it wasn’t needed from me. I just felt like I needed to continue to treat her with kindness and respect because it put a smile on her face and be in another place. A place where she wasn’t gonna be a soon-to-be mom.

I remember the last time I saw her, I was stocking some cups and lids. She came over to me and said, “Hey babe, how’s it going?”

“It’s going great, I can’t complain, how are you doing?” I replied.

“I’m doing great, hon. I’m about to have these babies soon, and you probably won’t see me for a while,” Brenda said.

I sighed and said, “That’s a shame. I’m definitely gonna miss seeing you. But thank you for being one my favorite regular customers, and I’m wishing you nothing but the best. I know you’re gonna be an amazing mom and do what you can for your twins.”

She smiled and said, “Thanks, babe, I really appreciate it. I’ll see you around.”

After that day, I haven’t seen her since. I’m just hoping that she has a good job, and she is also providing her children with love and care. I pray for her as much as I can, and I hope to one day see her again.

This is the end of “Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

I will be posting and sharing poetry on Saturday and Sunday!

Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom: Part One

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself thinking about this regular Sheetz customer named Brenda. Brenda was a regular Sheetz customer last year, and she was always a delight for me. Brenda was funny, friendly, sweet and so much more. She was one of my favorite customers last year, and I just found myself praying for her because she ended up being a mom. Brenda was a couple years older than me, and she was about to be a single mom. I remember seeing her for months as she was pregnant. Now, I’m hoping that she got it all figured out, and she was able to be a great mother.

Last year, I was working up at the register at Sheetz, and it was a normal, typical day. It was the summertime, and we were busy and actually working a lot. Then, there was this moment during the day where the craziness died down, and I was able to relax. A few minutes later, this black woman came into the store. I took a look at her, and she was pretty. I could tell that she was around the same age as me, and I saw that she was pregnant. She was a few months pregnant, as far as I could tell, and she was in a serious rush to get out of Sheetz. I didn’t understand it. I was wondering to myself if everything was alright with her.

A few minutes later, she comes to my register with some drinks and snacks. I say hello to her, and she quietly replies hi back to me. As I’m ringing things up, I notice she’s looking down and really trying to avoid eye contact with me. I don’t know why, but something was telling me to strike a conversation with her. So, I looked at the stuff I was ringing up and noticed that she had candy. I smiled as I discovered that she had sour patch kids, my favorite candy. So, I said, “Okay, I see you with the sour patch kids. These are so good, you can’t go wrong with them.”

She chuckled at my remark and responded, “Yeah, these are good. Sour patch kids are banging.”

I laughed and said, “True that.”

We had a whole conversation about candy, and she was in a much better mood and more engaged with me. She eventually told me her names was Brenda, and I noticed that she was more relaxed and comfortable. When I had bagged everything and gave her the receipt, I was glad that she was smiling and happier. Before Brenda left, she asked me how are the drinks here at Sheetz. I responded, “Oh they’re pretty good, I enjoy them. You can’t go wrong with them, especially if I’m making them. I make sure to put nothing but TLC in them.”

She laughed and said, “Okay cool, then I’ll be sure to get one the next time I come in. You gonna make sure that you make it for me, babe?”

I responded, “I got you, the drink is going to be amazing and out of this world.”

She smiled and said, “Thanks babe, I’m looking forward to it. I’ll see you later.”

I told her it was no problem, and I watched her leave Sheetz. I was glad that I was able to put a smile on her face and put her in a good mood. I don’t know, it just felt like she needed it.

A few days passed, and Brenda came back to the store. When I saw her, I acknowledged her presence, smiled and waved at her. She smiled and waved back at me. She yelled that she was about to get a drink, and I responded, “No worries, I got you.”

Brenda ordered a frozen drink, and I started making it. We made conversation as I was making her drink, and she was telling me that she was going to be coming to the store more often. I was excited to hear this, and she appreciated my excitement. When I was done making drink, she took a sip of it and loved it. She said, “Ok, you got some skill. I’ll give you that. Thanks for the drink and conversation, babe, I’ll see you later.”

I smiled at her and said no problem and have a good one. She left the store, and I was once again happy that I had made her smile and forget whatever troubles she was dealing with in her life.

A few months had passed, and Brenda was a regular Sheetz customer. Every time she came in, I made sure to acknowledge her presence by waving and smiling at her. It was important to me to do this because I felt like she needed it. I wanted her to know that she was appreciated by me, and I could that that it meant a lot to her. I remember one of my favorite coworkers, Marie, had witnessed my friendliness to Brenda, and she told me that it was really sweet of me. I responded, “Yeah, I could just tell that she’s going through a lot and something told me that she just needs a friend.”

Marie was also kind of close to Brenda, and she told me that Brenda had gotten pregnant at a party. So, Marie wasn’t sure if there was a father in the picture to help Brenda. Also, Marie informed me that Brenda was struggling to find a job. Marie explained, “Yeah, Brenda told me that no one would hire her, and she’s just worried as she’s about to have her babies. No one will hire her because she’s pregnant, and it’s such a shame.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was wondering to myself if that was a form of discrimination, and Marie replied that she wasn’t sure. I just couldn’t believe that she was unemployed, but then I found myself confused as Marie said babies to me. I asked what she meant, and Marie replied and said, “Oh, she told me that she was having twins.”

This is the end of “Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom: Part One.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

On Thursday, I will be posting part two of “Checking Out a Soon-To-Be-Mom.”

Never Missing A Thing

When I think about my dad, Shawn McNeil, I’m thankful for having him in my life. I think about his integrity, determination, hard work, respect, kindness, wisdom and love for others. In addition, I admire his faith and how he’s a true man of God. These things and more that he has instilled in his body, mind and soul are things that I strive for and cherish in my life thanks to him. He taught me how to be a man when I was three years old. He came into my life, and he did his job as my father. Throughout the years, he was always by my side and made sure that I not only felt love but understood it. Looking back on the years and now, I realize that my dad was never missing a thing with me.

When I was 11 years old, I remember that I was starting to learn how to play the drums thanks to my dad Shawn McNeil. He wanted my siblings and I to learn how to play either the drums or piano. Since all my siblings decided to learn how to play the piano, I naturally elected to play the drums. I was thinking to myself that somebody has to do it. We have to have a drummer in the family, right? Anyways, I learned for years how to play the drums by Mr. Charles and every year I would participate in a recital. When I was 12 years old, I had my first ever recital with my little brother Isaac. We were performing the song “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly. I remember I told my biological father Keith about the recital. He promised that he could make it to the recital, but he never did. I invited him to four recitals, but he never made it to any of them. I’ll admit that it bothered me a little when he made false promises to me, but it didn’t destroy me because of my dad. My dad went to all of my recitals, and I felt loved and appreciated because of him. I had my mom and dad at my recitals cheering me on, and it was all I needed to feel loved and appreciated.

In high school, I was a sprinter on the Track and Field team. I participated in the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter and 4×400 meter relay. I told Keith about me being on the track and field team, and he was proud of me. It meant a lot to me to have his approval, especially in high school. I remember year after year he would always promise to come to a track meet, but he never did. It didn’t bother that much because I was used to his empty promises by now. Anyways, I wasn’t hurt that Keith wasn’t there because I had my dad supporting and cheering me on. In fact, he was always exercising and training with me to be a better runner. If it wasn’t for my dad, I probably would never have lettered in track and field. He pushed to be the best possible version of myself, and I’m constantly striving to be the best version of myself thanks to my dad.

One of the things that I really wanted to do in high school was join the theater and drama club. I wanted to act in a school play and/or musical. I talked to Keith about it one time, but he didn’t approve. He said that I shouldn’t do theater or drama club because it was “gay” to him. He didn’t approve of guys that did theater instead of sports, and he didn’t want me doing it. I couldn’t understand the toxic masculinity that existed within Keith, and it was sad and disappointing to me. At the same time, I was still trying to get his approval, so I didn’t do theater and drama club in my sophomore or junior year of high school. However, I did do it in my senior year of high school.

It was the fall play “Murder in the Knife Room” that really enticed me to want to join drama club in my senior year of high school, but I was hesitant because of Keith. My dad actually encouraged me to audition for “Murder in the Knife Room.” He told me that this was something that I needed to do, and it wasn’t gonna make me someone that I’m not. It was going to bring me happiness, and he was going to be there for me and support me. I appreciated my dad and his encouraging words. I ended up being Plastic Politician in “Murder in the Knife Room” and Lucas Beineke in “The Addams Family Musical.” Those two shows, the cast and crew hold a special place in my heart, but that’s another story. Anyways, my dad came to all of my shows, but Keith never came to one.

Around the time of my high school graduation, Keith was talking about how he was gonna come to my graduation. He made a promise to me, but he couldn’t come. I remember I was deeply hurt by this because I had opened myself up to him and believed him. Surely, he wouldn’t disappoint me on this important day in my life, but he did. Thankfully, my dad was there for me, and he was all I needed. He made sure that I wasn’t thinking about Keith rather all the people from my uncles, aunts, family friends, mom, siblings and others that were there for me. My dad made sure to be there with me when I got my diploma, and it meant so much to me that he was proud of me.

Now, I’ll always have love for Keith. I don’t know what’s going on his life, but I know that he’s struggling right now. I pray for him every single day because he is my father, and he will always hold a special place in my heart. However, I’m so thankful and blessed to have Shawn McNeil in my life because he made sure to be a father to me. He knew that I needed that support, and I needed an earthly father figure to believe in me. My recitals, track meets, shows and graduation were special to me because my dad was there for me when Keith wasn’t able to be that father to me. My dad made those things meaningful to me, and I’ll always be grateful for that. I’ll always cherish my dad for teaching me what love was because of those events in my life. I love you always dad, and thank you for never missing a thing with me.

This is the end of “Never Missing A Thing.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

This weekend, I will be posting poetry dedicated to my dad Shawn McNeil on Saturday and Sunday.

Horror Movies With My Dad

I love movies with a passion, and I couldn’t imagine life without them. They hold a special place in my heart. My favorite genre is horror. Horror movies to me are on another level. I just love all the gore, blood, knives, killing, murder, demon possession, suspenseful music, isolated locations, poor choices, dumb characters, terror, madness and craziness that comes with horror movies. I love horror movies like Psycho, The Exorcist, Jaws, Nightmare on Elm Street, The Conjuring series, Friday the 13th, any horror-themed Stephen King movie, Halloween, Get Out, and so many more. I’m so thankful and blessed to have horror movies in my life, but I know that it wouldn’t be possible without my dad.

I remember it was 2008, and I was at a hotel in Springfield, Ohio. It was for a church convention, and all of my family was there. I was staying in a two-bedroom room with my parents and siblings. My Grandma Mollie was on the same floor as us, and she was a few doors away from us. It was a Thursday night, and my family decided that they wanted to have a family movie night our hotel room. My grandma came over and brought her famous cookies with her to munch on. We even had some popcorn and other snacks. My parents scrolled through all the movies the hotel had, and they discovered a movie that they were dying to see. It was the movie I Am Legend starring Will Smith. My grandma and I were excited about watching the movie because we were both Will Smith fans. I thought that this was going to be a typical Will Smith movie, but I was deceived.

This movie was a little more dramatic. There was no comedy seen it whatsoever. In fact, it was kind of a little scary. It was kind of making me a little uncomfortable. Then, my anxiety got a little worse. In the movie, Will Smith goes into this dark building to retrieve his dog. He was all scared for some reason to go into the building, and I didn’t understand it. Was Smith scared of the dark or something? However, I was scared as he was getting closer and closer to his dog. Will Smith see these groups of people huddled together. I was thinking to myself, what in the world are these things? I’m turning away a little because I’m trying not to watch this movie anymore. Then, Will Smith finds his dog hidden under a table and scared to come out. Will Smith is about to turn around, and I’m thinking to myself, “Oh God, please don’t turn around. Please don’t turn around Will Smith. Please, please, please. I will hate you if you turn around. You will no longer be my favorite actor ever. Johnny Depp will take your place, and you’ll be all the way at the bottom. I do love them Pirate of the Caribbean movies, and Johnny Depp would never deceive me like you are right now Will Smith. Please, I’m so scared. I can’t, I just can’t. I can’t watch this movie. Lord, please help me.”

Sadly, Will Smith slowly turned around and this blood-sucking vampire was waiting for him. It was a wrap for me. I couldn’t watch anymore after seeing that scary vampire thing pop out of nowhere, but I didn’t want my family thinking that I was scared. Luckily, my little sister Shawna was scared out of her mind and needed to go in the other room. I saw this as an opportunity. I remember I sighed, stood up and said, “Look, I’ll go with Shawna to the other room. She shouldn’t be alone right now, and I don’t mind being a good, big brother right now.”

Then, my little sister Shawna said, “Aww thanks big brother, but I’ll be okay. You can watch the movie, I’ll be good.”

My parents asked if she was sure, and she said that it was fine. Then, they told her to go into the other and told me to sit back down. I was panicking, and I continued, “You know I should still go back there with Shawna because I want to be a good big brother. I’m willing to sacrifice this movie because I love my sister. I’m 12 years old, and I need to learn the significance and purpose of sacrificing for the people that I care about. It’s about love and commitment. My sister needs me to be there for her and who am I to turn her away for a movie. I want more than anything to continue to watch this really scary, messed-up movie, but I want to be there for my little sister more. Can’t y’all understand that? Can’t y’all see that I’m trying to do the right thing as Shawna’s big brother? Can’t y’all see what your mind cannot comprehend? Let me be a good big brother to my little sister Shawna.”

After I was done giving that little speech, my little brother Isaac laughed and said, “Wait, I know what it is. Isaiah’s scared of this movie too. That’s why he’s trying to go with Shawna, he’s scared too.”

My parents and grandma started laughing and realizing that my little brother was right. My mom was asking me if I needed to be held or anything, and I was appalled. I was just trying to be a good big brother, and they were turning it into something that it was not. Then, my dad said, “Well, sit down and watch the movie then? If you not scared.”

My little brother added, “Yeah, watch the movie with us, coward.”

There was a moment of silence, and I responded, “Dad, I’m going to the other room with Shawna because I’m just trying to be a good big brother.”

The room erupted with laughter, and I just marched into the room. My little sister Shawna followed afterwards and started laughing at me too. My mom yelled, “Don’t worry, Isaiah, I’ll be sure to tuck you in. Do you need to sleep with me with me and your dad to avoid nightmares?”

There was more laughter following my mom’s statement, and I just never felt so betrayed and humiliated by my own family. I wasn’t scared. I was just trying to be a good big brother. To this day, whenever I Am Legend is on TV, they always burst out laughing and talking about “this is my movie, the one that got me all scared.”
After partially watching I Am Legend, I decided to never watch horror movies. I would just avoid them at all cost.

A few years had passed, and I was avoiding horror movies like crazy. It was hard though because my dad would always watch horror movies by himself. He would always ask if I wanted to watch them, but I said no as I briefly had I Am Legend memories all in my mind. However, that would all change when I started reading Stephen King books in high school. I was reading books like The Shining, Misery, Carrie, Firestarter, Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, Dreamcatcher, The Tommyknockers and so many other classic Stephen King books. They were so awesome and amazing to me. The horror and suspense that Stephen King brings in his work is so breathe-taking to me, and I admired his sick, twisted imagination. Stephen King helped me see the beauty and authenticity of horror. My mom and dad noticed that I was reading a lot of Stephen King books, and my dad mentioned, “You know, Stephen King had a lot of his books adapted into movies. We should definitely watch them.”

I totally agreed with him, and I started watching movies like Misery, Cujo, Carrie, The Shining, Thinner, Room 1408 and Firestarter with my parents. It was awesome seeing the books come to life, and I started falling in love with horror movies. I was craving more. I started watching old horror movies like The Exorcist and Psycho. For some reason, my mom couldn’t keep up with the horror movies, and so it was just me and my dad.

I remember my dad and I first started watching Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Halloween (1978). I just loved the music associated with Halloween and Michael Myers just killing people like crazy with his butcher knife. In addition, Nightmare on Elm Street was twisted because you could die in your sleep by Freddy Krueger. That was so cool and awesome to me that Freddy was torturing kids by not making them sleep and punishing them if they did. Freddy was a smart serial killer to me, and I had nothing but respect for me as the killer in the movie.

After watching those movies, I kind of wanted to watch more sick, twisted horror movies. My dad looked at me and said, “Say no more.”

He suggested that we watch the Saw series together, and it was so great. We watched all the Saw movies together, and it was so great and fun watching them with my dad. We would always add little things and laugh at characters just not doing what they needed to do to stay alive. We were praising Jigsaw for his many traps on his victims, and we just loved all the twists in the movies.

Then, we started getting into demon possession type horror movies. I remember we watched the Sinister series together, and we just loved it. Then, we saw Insidious, and it was alright to us. We saw more and more demon possession horror movies on Netflix, cable and pretty much anywhere that we could find them. Fast forward a few more years, and we started going to theaters together to watch all kinds of new horror movies together. We saw most of The Conjuring series movies in theaters and so many other movies together.

Today, my dad and I continue to watch horror movies together whenever we can. I’m so thankful that my dad and I can have something so special together. As I reflect on the many horror movies we saw together over the years, I find myself remembering the laughter, the debates, the surprises and the disappointment we shared watching horror movies together. Of course, I don’t only watch horror movies with my dad. I love watching horror movies with my best friend Obi and other friends. However, nothing can compare to watching horror movies with my dad.

This is the end of “Horror Movies With My Dad”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story about my dad. On Thursday, I will be posting “Never Missing a Thing,” another short story about my dad.

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four

Hey y’all, I’m coming to you with the fourth and final part of “Trying to Get My Hitch On.”
Just to recap, I found out that Kelly was referring to Derek instead of Danny as the creep that was working at Sheetz that started with the letter “D.” Also, I learned that Kelly thought that Danny was sweet, and he was still alive and still in the game. Then, I learned that there was going to a store meeting at Applebee’s the next day, and I saw this as the perfect opportunity to get Kelly and Danny together. I convinced Kelly to come to the store meeting, and all I needed to do was tell Danny the plan. I texted him to come to Applebee’s, sit next to her and connect, and he assured me that he was coming to the meeting. The next day, I went to Applebee’s for the store meeting. However, I saw that Kelly had an empty seat next to her, while Danny was three seats away from Kelly. I ended up sitting next to Kelly because she saved the empty seat for me, and I didn’t know what to do. I texted with Danny back and forth, until he came to the conclusion to pass a note to her. I received the note, but I didn’t know what to do with it.

Now, it’s time to dive on in to “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four.”

Danny’s precious note was in my hands, and I didn’t know what to do with it. I look at it and think to myself that I shouldn’t pass this note to Kelly. I think about opening it, but I get a text from Danny telling me not to look at it. I texted him, “Bro, what did you say in this note?”

“Just pass it down, Isaiah,” Danny texted.

As Danny’s hitch, I needed more information and context. I can’t just give a note to Kelly without reading it’s content. I begged and pleaded for Danny to tell me what he wrote, but he responded, “Isaiah, it’s not a crazy note, just trust me man.”

Trust? Danny wanted to talk about trust, but he didn’t want to trust me enough to tell me what was written in the note. Why couldn’t just get up and tell her? Why did he have to be so weird about it? All I was trying to do was get my hitch on, but he was making it almost impossible for me in this situation. I decided to concede and give Kelly the note that Danny had written for her.

I took a deep breathe, exhaled and handed the note to Kelly. She asked me what the note was, and I told her that it was a note from someone. Kelly opened it, looked at it funny, shook her head and put it in her pocket. I asked her what it said, but she said that it wasn’t important. I was devastated. I thought that I would find out the truth, but I would not find out until later that day.

After the store meeting, I saw Danny walk up to her and talk to her about something. There was a deep sigh of relief from her, and there was even some laughter between the two of them. Then, she walked away. I was so confused and perplexed. What did the note say? Did Danny write that he liked her? Did Danny write his phone number down? Did Danny write his undying love for Kelly? I needed to know as Danny’s hitch.

A couple of hours later, I would have the answer. Danny texted me, “Hey Isaiah, my note actually worked.”

I didn’t know what to think. I wanted to be excited, but I was hesitant because I didn’t know what to expect. So, I typed, “Oh Lord, Danny what did the note say. Please tell me you didn’t say anything weird haha. Please haha.”

“Hi,” Danny texted.

I didn’t understand, so I texted, “What?”

“The note said ‘hi’ Isaiah! And she loved it!” Danny typed.

I couldn’t believe what I had seen on my phone. Danny actually wrote “hi” on a piece of paper. Why would he do such a foolish thing? I thought to myself. This made absolutely no sense to me. He could’ve just said “hi” to her at Applebee’s instead of writing it on a note. Why did he have to make it all awkward and weird? I wanted to persecute Danny for his tom foolery, but I was trying to get my hitch on and needed to be supportive. So, I texted, “Oh she loved it? That’s great man what did she say when she found out you wrote the note?”

“Well, she actually thought that the note was from Derek, and it really freaked her out. But when I told her that the note was from me, she was relieved. Isaiah, I think I’m ready to take the next level, ” Danny responded.

What next level? The friendzone. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to tell Danny that the note was weird and unusual. I wanted to tell him that he more than likely ruined his chances to be with her. I wanted to knock some sense to him and tell him that he shouldn’t be treating Kelly like she’s some high school girl. He needed to be open and honest with her and approach her like a human being, not like some scared cat. I was disappointed and embarrassed for Danny. I texted, “I don’t know man, I don’t think she was feeling it the way you think she was.”

Danny responded, “Isaiah, she was feeling your boy. I got this, bro. As a matter fact, I’m gonna ask her out. Your services are no longer required.”

I’m not gonna lie, I was hurt when Danny said my services were no longer required. I had grown to love my job as his hitch. It had a good benefits like dental and health care, and I did start a 401k too. However, it was a lot of work being his hitch. It was tiring, and I was kind of glad that I was relieved of my duties as his hitch. I just knew that it was gonna be a disaster for him. He was on a sinking ship, and I was his life preserver. He was drowning rapidly, but if he thought that he was gonna be okay, then that’s his prerogative.

A couple of days passed, and I was working with Kelly. Towards the end of my shift, Danny came into Sheetz, but he was avoiding eye contact with Kelly. She was also looking the other way, and it just seemed so awkward between the two of them. I wanted to ask Kelly what was going on, but I didn’t want make things weird and uncomfortable between us. I later asked Danny what happened, and he replied that there was someone else. Danny explained that he couldn’t compete with this guy, and he decided he would respect it and keep his distance from her. I asked him who the other guy was, but he didn’t want to say. I would later find out, but that’s another story. Instead, this is a story of me failing Danny when he wouldn’t help me help him. This is a story of me trying to get my hitch on.

This marks the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Four.”

Thank you for following the four-part series “Trying to Get My Hitch On”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

This weekend, I will be posting poetry on Saturday and Sunday.

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Three

Just to recap, Danny asked me to be Hitch for him. I wasn’t sure about it because I really didn’t know Danny, and I didn’t know his intentions with Kelly. Then, he proposed a deal to me. He said that every time we worked together, he was willing to give me every pretty girl that comes to the register. He was willing to make that sacrifice for his one true love. Danny continued and talked about how his feelings for Kelly were real and authentic, and he just wanted a chance to show her how much she meant him. Romantic, right? So, I decided to be Danny’s Hitch and help him get Kelly. A couple of days passed, and I was working with Kelly again. We were talking a little, and I was trying to bring Danny into the conversation somehow. All of a sudden, this weird dude came to the register and started staring at Kelly. He ended up saying that Kelly was really pretty and asked for her number. Kelly refused, but the guy was persistent. Kelly didn’t know what to do, so I said that she had a boyfriend. The guy apologized and left. Kelly thanked me for the help, and I told her it was no problem. Then, I saw this as an opportunity to shift the conversation. I said that at least there weren’t any creepy guys working at Sheetz, but Kelly replied there was an actual creep that worked at Sheetz. She forgot his name, but she believed that it started with the letter “D.”

Now, it’s time to dive on in to “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Three.”

When Kelly told me that there was a creep working at Sheetz that’s name started with the letter “D,” I immediately thought of Danny. Could he really not hide his love for Kelly? Was it really that deep and undying? Why did Danny have to be so weird and awkward with Kelly? I wasn’t even Danny’s hitch for three days, and he was already making my job tough. It just wasn’t fair to me at all because now I had to turn this around for Danny somehow, but I didn’t know how that would be possible at all. I wanted to throw in the towel, but I made a commitment to be Danny’s hitch. When you are bestowed this honor, you’ve got to be able to stand the rain and weather the storm no matter how disastrous it may seem. When you are someone’s hitch, you perform miracles greater than Jesus Christ himself. When you are someone’s hitch, you make the impossible possible. When you are someone’s hitch, you move mountains and create wonders. I knew that I couldn’t give up, and I needed to be Danny’s hitch.

Before I could say anything, Kelly tapped my shoulder and told me that he came in. I was confused because I didn’t think that Danny worked today. I turned around and quickly saw that it was someone else. It wasn’t Danny, but it was Derek! I had completely forgotten about Derek. His name started with a “D” as well. Now, I was good friends with Derek. He was a nice, cool and respectable person, but I knew that he was a little too eager when it came to girls. He would flirt way too much with girls at the register that it got to the point of making girls uncomfortable. There were time where I tried to help him out and tell him that he was coming off way too strong, but he told me that he was just a hopeless romantic. We had a whole conversation about him being a “hopeless romantic,” but that’s another story.

Anyways, it made sense to me that Kelly was referring to Derek instead of Danny. I understood how Derek could easily come off as a creep to Kelly and other girls. There was still hope for Danny after all.

Derek wasted no time in saying hi to Kelly and just complimenting her like crazy. Then, he went to the backroom. Kelly looked at me and said, “You see what I’m talking about?”

I agreed with her, and I asked her if she wanted me to talk to him or anything. She thanked me for offering, but she said that she was just going to keep her distance from Derek and hope Derek’s affection for her will die off.

I really felt bad for Kelly because what she experienced from the weird guy and Derek was harassment. It was unwanted attention that she received, and it made her uncomfortable. She was afraid of saying anything or causing a scene for something that she didn’t need to deal with at work, a place that’s supposed to be a professional environment. I wanted Kelly to say something to Derek or at least give me the opportunity to say something, but I decided to respect her wishes to do it her way. That’s all you can do sometimes.

Anyways, I decided to ask her about Danny, just to make sure that he didn’t come off as a creep to Kelly. She smiled and said, “Oh, Danny is so nice. He’s one of the sweetest people here.”

When she said that, I was thrilled. Danny was still alive and still in the game. It was a miracle. God had answered my prayers for Danny and pulled through for him. Then, it got even better. Kelly asked me if I was going to Applebee’s tomorrow for the store meeting. I didn’t know there was a store meeting, and I wasn’t sure if I could go to it. However, I saw this as a great opportunity for Danny. He could go to Applebee’s, sit next to her and connect with her. This was a good plan. So, I said, “Oh yeah, I’m definitely going to the store meeting. We get some food and get to enjoy each other’s company. Plus, I’m pretty sure Danny’s gonna be there too. You should definitely come, it’s really fun.”

She was convinced by my excitement and decided that she wanted to come to the store meeting. At the end of my shift, I texted Danny and asked him if he was planning on going to the store meeting. He told me that he wasn’t planning on it, but I told him that he needed to come to it because Kelly was gonna be there. He texted me if I was sure, and I assured him that I talked to her about it. I was hyping it up, and I convinced her to come to the store meeting. Danny understood and texted me that he was definitely going to the store meeting tomorrow. I texted him, “Ok good. All you gotta do is find a way to sit next to her and connect with her. You got this.”

Danny understood the plan and texted me that he’ll talk to me tomorrow. I was honestly proud of myself. I thought to myself that I was really doing good as a hitch, and tomorrow at Applebee’s was gonna be a success.

The next day, I was running a little late to the store meeting at Applebee’s because I had a prior engagement. When I made it to Applebee’s, I went into Applebee’s and asked the hostess where Sheetz was. She escorted to the Sheetz table, and it was a long table. I saw Kelly, but I noticed that she wasn’t seated next to Danny. In fact, the seat was empty. Then, I saw that Danny was three seats away from Kelly. How was this possible? How was Danny so close, yet so far away from Kelly? Why was the seat next to Kelly empty? It wasn’t fair at all. This was supposed to be Danny’s moment, but I had let him down.
Kelly waved for me to come over, and I reluctantly came over. She was happy to see me and explained that she saved me a seat next to her. I thanked her, and I just tried not to look in Danny’s direction. I texted him what happened, and he texted, “I don’t know, you tell me. What are we gonna do?”

I had no idea. I was confused and didn’t have an answer. Then, he texted, “Wait, I got it. I know just what to do.”

I asked what he was going to do, but he didn’t respond. I looked down towards him and saw him writing something on a piece of paper. Then, he folded it up and asked the person next to him to pass it down. Everyone was passing it down, and it ended up to me. I couldn’t believe this. What kind of high school thing was this? What did Danny write on this piece of paper? Should I take a look at it as his hitch before giving it to Kelly? Or should I crumble up his little note to Kelly and throw it away? What should I do as Danny’s hitch?

This is the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Three”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Three.”

This is a four-part story, and I will be sharing the fourth and final part of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” on Thursday.

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two

Just to recap, I was working a variety of shifts last summer at Sheetz. They were all just crazy, typical, stressful shifts. In July, I was working my typical 6am-2pm shift at Sheetz, and I was alone at the register. Then, something unusual happened. I was approached by this pretty girl at the register, and she asked for manager. Her name was Kelly, and I quickly learned that she was a new Sheetz employee. I was excited to meet her, and I had the opportunity to train her. It was great training and working with her, and I was thankful that I made a new friend at Sheetz. A couple of days passed, and I received a random text message from my friend and coworker Danny. He wanted to know my opinion on the new girl. I told him that I thought she was cute and adorable, and he responded that he had a crush on her. Then, he texted, “I was actually thinking that since you work with her more than me, you should you know hook your boy up. Put in a good word for me and hype me up. Basically Isaiah, I’m asking you to be Hitch for me haha.”
Now it’s time to dive on in to “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two.”

When Danny told me that he wanted me to be Hitch for him, I was hesitant. The reason is because I really didn’t know him. I asked myself how could I set things up for Danny, when he could easily be just trying to take advantage of a sweet girl. I considered Kelly to be my friend, and I had to look out for her. I needed to know Danny’s intentions before I could officially be Hitch for him. It was a necessity for me.

I was trying to figure out a way to find out Danny’s intentions with Kelly. How could I go about it without seeming awkward and weird? I didn’t know what to say, so I texted, “I don’t know man, I like her too lol. I think she’s cute, adorable and sweet.”

I’ll be honest, I genuinely liked Kelly, but I wasn’t interested in her the way Danny was. Yeah, Kelly was cute, adorable and sweet, but that wasn’t enough for me. My mom and some of my close friends know that I’m particular in who I want to have a relationship with, and I’m not someone that will settle for just anyone. I date with a purpose, and that’s my prerogative. I’m trusting in God and patiently waiting for the right woman to chase after. She’ll be someone that’s constantly chasing after God and so much more. Also, my mom’s gotta love her. If she doesn’t, then it’s over. I don’t care, I’m gonna drop her like she’s hot because mother knows best. Just kidding, but not really, let’s just say that it would be a major plus if my mom loves the woman I plan to spend the rest of my life with.

Anyways, I just wanted to be honest with Danny about how I felt about Kelly and gage how he felt about Kelly. Then, he responded, “I’ll make a deal with you. Every time we work together you can have every pretty girl that comes to the register. I’m willing to make that sacrifice haha. Or you can tell me to leave Kelly alone, I promise you won’t hurt my feelings.”

I laughed when he talked about giving me every pretty girl that comes to the register. How considerate, you know? I couldn’t believe that he was willing to sacrifice pretty girls that he didn’t have for Kelly. It was sweet and adorable. Then, Danny explained that his feelings for Kelly were true and authentic, and he just wanted a chance to show her how much she means to him.

I’m straight up throwing up in my mouth because Danny barely knows this girl, and he’s already sounding like he’s in love with Kelly. It made absolutely no sense to me, but a part of me understood that it was a crush. I could tell that Kelly was special to him, and he needed my help. Who am I to deny the undying love that Danny had for Kelly? I had to help him out, I needed to be his Hitch. So, I texted, “Alright, how about this? I’ll take care of all the pretty girls that come to the register, and I’ll help you get Kelly. I am going to be your hitch, and this deal is non-negotiable. Do we have a deal?”

Danny texted me, “Well Isaiah, I think I’ll absolutely take you up on your offer haha. Thank you so much!”

I texted him no problem and informed him that I’ll start getting information on and to Kelly, and all he had to do was wait for further instructions. He texted me that he understood, and I was officially on a mission to get Danny and Kelly together.

A couple of days passed, and I was working with Kelly again. We were up front at the register just working and talking with each other. I was trying to figure out a way to bring Danny into the conversation, but I was having a hard time. I was trying to make sure that it wasn’t awkward, weird or out of the ordinary to bring up Danny. I wanted a natural flow of conversation. Then, I thought the opportunity presented itself. A weird guy came to the register, and he was just staring at Kelly. He was silent for a couple minutes, until he finally said that she was really pretty and wanted her number. Kelly replied that she couldn’t, but the guy was persistent. He asked why not and pleaded for her number. Kelly didn’t know what to say, so I replied, “Because she has a boyfriend man. They’ve been together for years, and she was just trying to be nice to you. Can you please go because we have a line, and you’re making her uncomfortable?”

The guy asked Kelly if it was true, and she replied that it was true. He apologized for bothering, and he left Sheetz. I looked Kelly and asked her if she was alright. She replied that she was and thanked me for the help. I told her that it was no problem, and I thought that this was my chance to shift the conversation. I said, “Yeah, guys can be creeps for no reason. I’m just glad there are no creeps working at Sheetz.”

I laughed, but she wasn’t laughing. Instead, she looked around to make sure no one was around and whispered, “Well, there is actually someone here that’s an actual creep here. He’s always staring at me and trying to talk to me for no reason. I forget his name, but I think that it begins with the letter ‘D.'”

This is the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part Two.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

I will be posting part three of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” next week on Tuesday, and I will be posting part four of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” next week on Thursday.

In addition, I will start to post poetry on Saturdays and Sundays!

Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part One

As the summer is slowly approaching, I recall a time last summer where I found myself involved in yet another love story at work. However, this was not a love story like the one I witnessed at Walmart. This love story would be far different. This love story was cringe-worthy, disastrous, painful and heart-breaking like the love story at Walmart, but it was on another level. It was on a level that was hard to watch, but I had a front-row seat to it all. This love story is called “Trying to Get my Hitch On.”

Last summer, I was working a variety of shifts at Sheetz. The shifts varied from 6am-2pm, 2pm-7pm, 2pm-10pm, 10am-6pm and so many other shifts. Some of them would be back-to-back like working 2pm-10pm, then working 6am-2pm the very next day. It was exhausting and stressful, but I didn’t mind it because I was just trying to make as much money as possible. Anyways, I was used to all the shifts and the routines that came with it. There was nothing crazy or out of the ordinary with any of my shifts. Well, one day that would all change.

It was July, and I was working my typical 6am-2pm shift at Sheetz. At the start of my shift, I was mentally preparing myself for a long, boring morning because I wasn’t working with one of my favorite coworkers. We typically work together at the register and enjoy each other’s company. However, I was alone at the register that day, and I was expecting nothing out of the ordinary to happen.

Then, something unusual happened. At 8am, this pretty, adorable girl with glasses approached my register and asked if she could see a manager. I politely told her that she could, and I called for a manager. A few minute later, a manager came to the register and saw who the girl was. He smiled and said, “Kelly, you’re here. Isaiah, this is Kelly. She’s our new Sheetz employee.”

I couldn’t believe it. I was excited and couldn’t believe that Kelly was gonna be our new Sheetz employee. Of course, I was still keeping my cool and composure, but I still showed some genuine excitement about working with Kelly. I smiled at her and welcomed her to Sheetz. Kelly smiled back at me and thanked me for the warm welcome. Then, she went back to the backroom, but she made sure to glance back at me and give me another sweet smile.

A few hours passed, and I was just working at the register by myself. Then, my day would get better. My manager guided Kelly to the front and told me that I had to train her. I was excited. I had the opportunity to train and work with such a sweet person.
So, I started training her a little up front, and it was great. She was funny, sweet and smart, and we really did a lot of talking. She talked about where she went to school, her dreams, favorite movies, favorite candy, family and so much more. Kelly even talked about the love that she had for her grandpa and how he was an engineer. This made me mention my grandpa who was an engineer as well. I talked about how I wanted to follow in his footsteps, but it was not meant to be because math is horrible to me. This made her laugh, and it was nice that we could connect like that with our grandpas.

As my shift was quickly coming to a close, I found myself liking Kelly. She made my shift fun and exciting. In fact, she was starting to become my new favorite coworker. There was just something about her. She was just this sweet, down-to-earth girl that you just wanted to be close to.

Anyways, I left when it was 2:00, and I found myself genuinely happy that I had made a new friend at Sheetz.

A couple of days passed, and I got random text message from my phone. I was confused. I asked who it was, and I found out that it was my coworker and friend Danny. At first I was annoyed because I thought he was trying to switch shifts with me and ruin my weekend, but he assured me that he wasn’t. I was happy to hear this, and I asked him what he wanted. He texted, “Nothing much, just seeing how you’re doing, how work was, YOU’RE OPINION ON THE NEW GIRL. Just the normal stuff.”

I laughed out loud as I quickly caught the hint about Danny wanting to get with the new girl. Nevertheless, I acted aloof. I asked him if he was talking about Kelly. I also added that I thought she was cute, adorable and awesome. Then, I texted, “What do you think of her haha?”

Danny responded, “Well, you could say that I have an ever so slight crush on her.”

I started giggling when Danny said that he had an “ever so slight crush on her.” I loved it. Then, he continued, “I was actually thinking that since you work with her more than me, you should you know hook your boy up. Put in a good word for me and hype me up. Basically Isaiah, I’m asking you to be Hitch for me haha.”

This is the end of “Trying to Get My Hitch On: Part One.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

Also, check out “A Love Story at Walmart: Part 1-4.” They can be found in the Table of Contents on The Warfield.

I will be posting part two of “Trying to Get My Hitch On” on Thursday.

My Dark Side

As I said in the previous post titled “You Smell Like Apples,” I found myself thinking about my times in high school. Today’s story titled “My Dark Side” is about the best and worst of times that I had in high school. I found myself in a scary, dark place that I never expected to be in high school, but I’m thankful for it because it helped shape who I am today in a way. It’s a story that helped me embrace my dark side.

It was 10th grade, and I was sitting in Honors English class. I remember that I wanted to keep to myself because I wasn’t in a good mood. I was being ignored by someone that I cared about, but I didn’t understand it. I was trying to figure out if I had done something wrong to hurt this person, but it was hard to tell. The more I thought about it, the more confused I got because I had done nothing wrong. If anything, this person had constantly hurt me in unimaginable ways, but I didn’t know it. I always saw the good in this person because no one else did. They just saw the bad in this person. For me, this person was righteous and had a special place in my heart. I refused to see the worst in this person because it just wasn’t possible. I was in denial.

Anyways, in English class we were in the poetry unit. We had studied and read different poems written by famous poets. Miss Beres, my English teacher, would also have us write our own poems and voluntarily read them in class. I never read my poems in class because I was kind of insecure about my poetry. I just turned my poems in to Miss Beres and never recited them. Well, that all changed this one day. Miss Beres announced to the class that we had to write a rhyme-schemed poem, and we were all required to present it in class. In addition, we had to make it deep, emotional and personal. This scared me a lot. I wasn’t trying to recite a poem a personal poem in my class, and I needed to get out of it somehow.

After class, I confronted Miss Beres and told her that I wasn’t trying to read a poem in class. I explained that I had some insecurity about reading my poetry, but she said, “Well, Isaiah, this is an environment that’s open and welcoming. There’s no reason to be scared to read your poetry. It’s necessary and a requirement for this unit that you read poetry. I can assure you that it’s not as scary as you think, and you will be fine.”

Miss Beres words really didn’t comfort me, but I knew that I wasn’t gonna get out of reading poetry to my class. I just had to suck it up and prepare to humiliate myself.
I was sitting at home, and I had just finished my math homework. Then, I started thinking about my rhyme-scheme poem that I needed to write for English class. I didn’t know what to write about. I tried to write about something happy and joyful, but I couldn’t do it. It was impossible because my mind was on the person that was hurting me. The person that I thought was supposed to love me unconditionally was hurting me. I could only think about this person and nothing else. Then, I realized what I needed to write about. I knew that I had to write about this person.

It was easy. It was easy writing about this person. It was easy writing about all the pain, sadness, despair, hurt and darkness this person was putting me through. It was easy because it was the truth. I don’t know what it was, but I found myself being truthful in my writing. I realized this person was a disease and a cure in my life. I realized that this person was never righteous. This person was wrong, but I just really wanted this person to be right. The world can’t be right about this person, it just wasn’t fair to him or to me. Nevertheless, I ended up writing how I really felt about this person. There were no lies in this poem, only the truth.

The next day, I was in English class about to read my rhyme-schemed personal poem. I didn’t know what to expect from people in my class. I didn’t know if they were going to be laughing at me or be horrified at me. I wanted to somehow get out of reading this poem, but it was impossible. I had to read this poem to my class.

After one person was done reading her poem, I ended up going after her. I stood in front of the class, took a deep breathe and said the first lines of the poem. I read, “You were never a righteous person.”

It was a struggle to go through this poem, but I managed. I went through all the stanzas and made it to the last line. I looked at the last line of the poem and read, “But you are my dark side.”

There was a pause, and I didn’t know what to think of it. Then, I received a round of applause from my class and teacher. They liked the poem, and my teacher was proud that I had the courage to write and read this poem. Despite the praise that I received for this poem, there was still a certain level of discomfort and discontent I had with the poem.

This poem that I wrote and read aloud in class started something within me. It pushed me to write more poetry that I needed to write. I found poetry to be therapeutic and freeing for me. Poetry was a gateway for me to be honest and open with myself. I am thankful for what this poem did for me, but I still don’t appreciate what it did to me. It hurt me and put me in a dark place that I never intended to be in. I remember my teacher wanted me to publish and recite this poem in a coffeeshop, but I refused to because I didn’t want it out there. I didn’t want to look at it ever again.

I still don’t want to see it, and I don’t know if I ever will be comfortable with it. It’s a poem that I wish that I could erase from existence, but I know that who I am today wouldn’t be possible without that poem. Maybe one day I’ll share it on here, but I doubt it. I hate it, but I love what it did for me. It brought out the worst in me, but it helped me bring out the best in me. This poem wouldn’t be possible without the person that hurt me in the past. Sadly, this person continues to hurt me in unimaginable ways, but I’ve managed to have this person not be essential part in my life. In the end, this person was and will always be my dark side.

Thank you for reading “My Dark Side.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

Next week, I will be posting part one of a four-part story titled “Trying to Get My Hitch On” on Tuesday. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.

You Smell Like Apples

This week, I found myself thinking about my times in high school. It was the best of times and the worst of times, if I’m being honest. However, today’s story titled “You Smell Like Apples” is about one of the best of times that I had at high school. It’s a story about taking a risk, having fun, honoring your word, getting out of your comfort zone and being rewarded.

It was 10th grade, and I was having lunch with my friends Luke and Malik. Luke and I were in the same grade, and he was relatively new to the school. Malik was a grade below us, and he was a fun, outgoing person to be around. Anyways, we were seated at this long table with 5-7 other people next to us. They were in the same grade as Luke and I, and we would at times talk to them every now and then. Well, one of the people at the long table with my friends and I was this girl named Karen. I was good friends with Karen, and we actually had a few classes together. However, Malik had a crush on her. He would get nervous and blush a little every time she talked with us. Also, every time that she looked at him, he would just give this nervous smile and be very quiet. He just wasn’t his normal self when he was around Karen. It was the most adorable, funny thing to me and Luke, and we knew that we had to do something about it. We just needed the opportunity. Luckily, the opportunity presented itself.

Malik started talking about the Homecoming Dance and asked if Luke and I were trying to go to it. Luke was planning on it, but I wasn’t trying to go to the dance. Then, I asked Malik who he was trying to go with, and he replied that he wasn’t sure. I smiled and looked at Luke, and he had no idea why I was smiling at him. I motioned at Malik, then subtly at Karen, and he immediately got it. Luke started smiling too, then I said, “You know, Malik, you should ask Karen if she wants to go to Homecoming with you.”
Malik had this horrified look on his face, and he just didn’t know what to say. Luke added, “Yeah bro, why not? Don’t you like her?”
Malik said, “I do, but she’s gonna say no to me.”

“Now, how do you know that she’s gonna say ‘no.’ She might say ‘yes’ to you. She might be dying for you to say something to her, but you don’t know because you scared,” I stated.

We all laughed at my comment, and Malik said, “It’s not that I’m scared, but I’m just being realistic. I just know that she’s gonna say ‘no’ to me because I’m a freshman and I’m too short for her.”

“Oh my gosh, you act like she’s a foot taller than you. She’s only two or three inches taller than you, bro, it’s not that deep, ” Luke explained.

Malik just shook his head and said, “Guys, inches matter to a girl. Size does matter.”

Luke and I started shaking our heads and giggling. Then, I said, “Look, whether you’re big or small, size doesn’t matter to a girl that much. It’s not that deep for some girls, and I don’t think it’s that deep for Karen. You should just really ask her to Homecoming.”

Malik shook his head, chuckled and responded, “You know what? Why am I the only one being pressured to do something foolish? Why don’t one of you two do something equally, if not more foolish?”

Luke was about to object, but I quickly stopped him. I responded, “Ok that’s fair. I’ll do something foolish, name it.”

Malik said alright and started thinking about what he wanted me to do. Then, he looked around and saw this table full of senior girls. He smiled and said, “Alright, Isaiah. You have to go over there and ask one of those senior girls if they want to go to Homecoming with you.”

I immediately objected because I wasn’t planning on going to Homecoming, but Malik didn’t want to hear it. Malik told me again to ask one of the senior girls to Homecoming, then he would ask Karen to Homecoming, but I refused. He smiled and said, “Well, I guess I’m not about to be foolish, then if you can’t ask a senior to Homecoming.”

Malik thought he had won, but it was not over yet. Instead, I offered a new proposal. I said, “Ok wait. What if I did something else, instead?”

“What did you have in mind?” Malik asked.

“Well, how about I go up to any senior girl of your choosing and whisper a random compliment to her,” I said.

Luke found it interesting, and Malik asked me what random compliment I would say to her. It took me a minute, but then I remember that I was watching something interesting yesterday. I was watching Jimmy Neutron, and it was the episode where Jimmy created a little brother robot. In one scene, I remember the robot smelled Cindy and said that she smelled like apples. Cindy found it to be sweet, but to me it was the most random compliment I’ve ever heard because apples technically doesn’t have a distinct smell. I mean, they smell nice, but it’s not that sweet or anything. I felt like the robot could’ve said something a little more sweeter than apples. It was just lame to me. However, I knew what I had to say.

I looked at Malik and said, “Alright, I know what I’m going to say. I’m gonna walk up to any senior girl you choose, get close to her, sniff her, say ‘you smell like apples’ to her and walk away.”

Luke and Malik started laughing for a good minute, and Malik responded, “Alright, if you actually have the balls to say that, then I will ask Karen to Homecoming before lunch is over.”

I asked him if he promised, and he swore to me he would. We shook on it, and Malik in two minutes picked the girl he wanted me to say “you smell like apples” to. I saw her, and she was two tables across from us. She was really pretty, and I had no idea who she was. She was a complete stranger to me. Eventually, this complete stranger and I would later have a general art class together in February and talk about what I was about to do to her, but that’s another story. A funny, cool story that would result in us being good friends with one another. However, in this moment, I was about to confuse her so much in ways that she never expected.

Anyways, Malik thinks that I’m gonna take five-ten minutes contemplating if I actually want to do this. He thinks that I’m gonna chicken out. Quite the opposite. I quickly got up in seconds and slowly started making my way to the senior girl Malik had selected.
I wasn’t thinking or anything. I just knew that I had a mission to fulfill. A risky mission that would result to a high reward with Malik asking Karen to Homecoming. A few seconds later, I made it to the senior girl’s table. I had multiple eyeballs glued on me, but I didn’t care. I was focused on my target. I got behind the senior girl and bent down to her level. Then, I deeply inhaled her scent, and it was intoxicating. She smelled like roses with a hint of cinnamon and vanilla. It was an interesting combination of smells that made me want to smell her some more, but I quickly remembered that I was on a mission. I resisted the beautiful, tempting scent of the senior girl, exhaled, got a little close to her, looked in her eyes and whispered, “You smell like apples.”

After I said what I need to say, I quickly escaped and heard a “what in the world” from her. Then, I heard some laughter at their table, as I made it back to my table. When I made it back, Luke and Malik had their mouths wide opened. They couldn’t believe that I actually went through with it. They were stunned. I nodded my head, looked at Malik and said, “Alright, it’s your turn now.”

There was only fifteen minutes left in lunch, but Malik was struggling. He was all scared and nervous, and he was asking if he really had to ask Karen to Homecoming. I replied, “Oh you better. You better honor your word and ask that girl to Homecoming. I didn’t make a fool of myself for nothing. You have to honor your word.”

Luke agreed with me, and we all started laughing with each other. Luke and I just kept telling him to do it, and he was really struggling to make his way to Karen.

Eventually, there was a minute left in lunch. I said, “Time’s almost up. It’s now or never.”
Malik finally yelled for Karen’s name down at the table and asked if he could talk to her. Karen came over to him, but a teacher dismissed us from lunch. Luke and I left, and Karen and Malik were alone together.

Luke and I waited for Malik to come out of the cafeteria to see what happened. He eventually came out, and we begged him to tell us what she said to him. He replied that she said ‘no’ to him, but she was very sweet about it. Luke and I started laughing, and Malik started laughing with us. “I can’t believe you guys. I told you guys that she was going to say ‘no’ to me. And you both knew it too,” Malik laughed.

“Well, you can never be sure of anything. At least now you know for sure,” I said.

We all started laughing with each other, and Malik said that he was honestly glad that he asked Karen to Homecoming. It felt good, and it was huge load off his chest.

We continued laughing, but then we went our separate ways to our classes.

It’s crazy that both Malik and I made fools of ourselves, probably me more than him. To this day, I don’t know why I did such a crazy, foolish thing in high school, but I’m glad I did it. I can look back and laugh about it, and that’s rewarding to me. I’m truly thankful for that moment that I told a senior girl “you smell like apples.”

Thank you for reading “You Smell Like Apples.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

On Thursday, I will be posting and sharing the short story “My Dark Side.”

Basketball Shorts

It was three years ago, and I was in my second semester of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). It was the beginning of April, and the weather that day was absolutely perfect. It was around 70-some degrees outside, the sun was out, the sky was ocean-blue and the birds were chirping. It was a good day.

On this gorgeous day, I was hanging out with my friends Antoinette, Sam and Obi at Wallwork Hall, a residence hall. We were just chilling and talking, when Sam and Antoinette both had to leave. Sam had to work on some project, and Antoinette had to go to work till 6:00. It was around 2:00, and we all agreed to just meet back up at 6-6:30 for some dinner. Obi and I just stayed at Wallwork and continued talking with each other. We talked for about 30 minutes, when I suggested that we could go and play basketball outside at Stephenson. I explained to Obi that the weather was nice, and I thought that it would be a lot of fun. Obi responded, “I don’t think so, Zay Zay. It was packed at the basketball court, and I don’t think it’ll be open anytime soon. Plus, we’re wearing jeans, and I don’t feel like changing.”

I understood and agreed with him too, I wasn’t in the mood to just change my outfit either. I was looking nice and clean. However, I still wanted to play some basketball because I was in the mood to do something active. So, I said, “Bro, we can still play basketball in jeans. We’re just going to be shooting around, it’ll be fine. We’re not gonna get all physical and sweaty, we’re just shooting around.”

He asked me where we could go, and I responded, “Oh, we could go to the HUB and shoot around in the gym.

The HUB is a student center at IUP with a nice gymnasium.

Anyways, Obi stated, “Zay Zay, we can’t go to the HUB wearing jeans and playing basketball, we’ll look like fools.”

I said, “Obi, it’ll be fine man. It’s not that deep and again we’re just shooting around. We’re gonna be united wearing jeans at the gym.”

It took a lot of convincing on my part, but Obi ended up agreeing to go and play basketball with me. Then, Obi had to talk to a friend of his at Wallwork, so he instructed me to go to the HUB and rent out a basketball for us to use. So, I headed to the HUB and decided to wait for Obi to come. I don’t know why I decided to wait for Obi, instead of just getting a basketball and shooting around by myself. It still doesn’t make sense to me to this day. Anyways, I was waiting for Obi for ten minutes, and he texted me that he was going to be 20 more minutes. I thought to myself, “You know, I should just go back to my room and throw on some basketball shorts. I got time.”

Now, the HUB was 5-10 minutes away from Suites on Maple East, the residence hall that I lived at. I figured that I would have 10-20 minutes to get to my room and back to the HUB before Obi would make it to the HUB. By the time I reached my residence hall, Obi texted me that he was on his way to the HUB. I started freaking out and rushed to my room. I went into my drawers, found some basketball shorts and put them on. Then, I rushed out of my room and received a text from Obi about where I was at. I texted him back that I was on my way to the HUB, and that I had to pick something up from my room. I didn’t know what to expect from him when I would come to the HUB with basketball shorts on. Maybe he wouldn’t notice.

Now, I made it to the HUB, and Obi immediately noticed me wearing basketball shorts. He had his mouth wide opened and couldn’t believe he saw me wearing a whole basketball uniform. Then, he said in his jeans and polo, “Zay Zay, what are you wearing? Cause I know you weren’t wearing basketball shorts when we agreed to go and play basketball.”

Oh Lord, I wasn’t expecting him to notice my basketball shorts. I took a deep breath and said, “Well, you were gone for a minute, and I just figured that I could just stop at my room and put on some basketball shorts. Also, I didn’t know how long you would be with your friend.”

I laughed but Obi wasn’t laughing. He just waited for me to stop laughing, and then he said, “Oh my gosh, you are out of pocket. You got me here looking like a fool in front of everyone at the HUB. You could’ve told me that you changed and gave me the opportunity to change.”

“True, but look man, we can’t change the past. We have to focus on the present. Did I make a mistake? Yes. Am I sorry about it. Kind of. Can we just go and shoot some hoops?” I replied.

Obi just shook his head and said, “Just shut your mouth and go rent the basketball.”
I went ahead and rented the basketball, and I mentioned, “You know, we’re gonna probably be talking and laughing about this in years.”

“Zay Zay, I’m this close to hurting you,” Obi stated.

I thought he was serious, but I could tell that he was joking around with me. I laughed, and we ended up laughing together. It was good to know that we were good.

Anyways, we found one open basketball court in the HUB and started shooting around. So far, it was cool. I had kept my promise about us just shooting around. Also, we didn’t get tired or sweaty at all. Sadly, this promise would be broken too. A guy came onto our court and asked if we could play some pick-up games with him and his friends. They were in need of two more people. I was cool with playing with them, but Obi wasn’t. He said that he didn’t have the appropriate attired, and the guy responded, “Dude, it’s cool. There’s literally a guy wearing sandals right now.”

Obi and I looked over and saw a white guy wearing sandals on the basketball court. Obi reluctantly agreed. There were two captains, and the remainder of players were picked by the captains. Obi and I ended up being on different teams. After the teams were established, we established that it would be full court, and Obi gave me a stare. I pretended that I didn’t see it. Then, we started playing some basketball.
Now, I was doing well. I was scoring, had a couple of blocks, played some good defense and had some nice assists. Overall, I was playing good. Meanwhile, Obi was struggling. He was missing his shots, and he was a defensive liability. Plus, the guy with the sandals was playing better than him. Then, tragedy struck Obi.

It was a very close on our last pick-up game of basketball. My team was up by 1, but we needed one more basket to win the game. I remember I dribbled past someone and kicked it out to this white guy that was wide open. He had been hitting his shots all day, and I was expecting him to make it. Sadly, he missed it, and Obi ended up getting the rebound. Everyone got back, but that same white guy that missed the shot was still there. He ended up calling for the ball from Obi. Without hesitation, Obi passed the ball to my teammate. My teammate dribbled past Obi and made an easy layup. My team had won thanks to Obi. His team just left the court, and Obi was shocked with his mouth wide open. It was honestly the most hilarious and saddest thing I saw on a basketball court.
It was around 6-ish, and I just kept clowning him for passing the ball to my teammate. Obi laughed and said, “I don’t know what happened. If anything, he’s out of pocket for that. He deceived me and everything.”

We met up with Antoinette and Sam, and we told them everything that happened. They laughed, and we enjoyed each other’s company.

To this day, Obi is still mad at me about the whole basketball shorts thing. He felt like I did him dirty, and I have to agree with him. I did do him dirty, but forgiveness is such a powerful thing in this world. Obi has forgiven me, but he has not forgotten. He almost always mentions it to me, but we always share a good laugh about it. We even mention it to new people that we meet, it’s like a must for us to tell the basketball shorts story. It’s a story that always puts a smile on my face. It’s a story that really solidified our friendship and helped us establish a long-lasting friendship that I am so grateful and blessed to have.

Thank you for reading “Basketball Shorts.” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be posting part one of a four-part story titled “The Black Pill” on the Dark Colors series. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.

Letters to My Grandpa

Last week, it was me and my mom’s birthday. It was on Thursday, April 18. For us, it has become a tradition of ours to have breakfast together at either Denny’s or Pamela’s. On that day, we couldn’t decide what we wanted to have that day. We kept going back and forth with each other, but we eventually decided to go with Denny’s. When we got to Denny’s, we were directed and seated at a booth. My mom told our waitress that it was our birthday. Our waitress couldn’t believe it because my mom looked so young, and I just looked older. My mom and I joked around with her a little bit, and our waitress assured us that our breakfasts would be free. During our time together at Denny’s, my mom and I talked, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company. We had conversations about our art, school, work, friends, summertime and other things. We somehow brought up my graduation and how it’s going to be next year. This made me sad because I immediately thought about my late grandpa Jerry Warfield.

I remember 10-12 years ago when I had moved from West Virginia to Pittsburgh, it was scary for me. The reason is because I didn’t have any family in Pittsburgh, and I wasn’t excited about making new friends in Pittsburgh, specifically Pleasant Hills Middle School. It was the beginning of summer when my family and I had moved from Pittsburgh, and I was dreading going to a new school. One day in June, I got a call from my grandpa. I answered it, and we talked for a little bit. He talked about the Harrison Center and playing tennis with some of my cousins. It was always fun and exciting talking to my grandpa, he just had a way of keeping you engaged and intrigued. Then, he asked me how I was doing. I told him how I was nervous about going to a new school, and how I wanted to go back to West Virginia. Then, my grandpa had this weird idea. He said, “You know what I’m gonna do, Isaiah? I’m gonna send you a letter.”

A letter? This was so random and weird to me. As an 11-year-old boy, I didn’t see the value of a letter. Nevertheless, I told my grandpa that I was excited about getting a letter from him. He asked for my new address, and I ended up giving it to him. We continued to talk and laugh with each other for just a little while. Then, we said our goodbyes. Towards the end of June, my mom tells me that I have some mail. This was odd to me. My mom told me that it was from my grandpa. I’m immediately excited because I’m expecting it to be money in the envelope, but it was sadly an 11-page letter. Why did I have a letter? I grumbled at all the papers in my hand and put them to the side.

A couple of days later, I got a call from my grandpa. We talked with each other, and he asked me if I received his letter. I told him that I did receive his letter, but I haven’t gotten the chance to read it. “Well, hurry up and read it. I want to talk to you about it. Also, I want you to send me a letter back in a couple days about the letter and about your summer so far, okay?” my grandpa said.

I thought that my grandpa was being ridiculous. He wanted me to read his manuscript and respond back to him with a letter. Why? Can’t we just talk over the phone like usual? It was completely absurd to me. Why can’t I enjoy the summer as an 11-year-old boy?
After I was done talking to my grandpa, I told my mom about my grandpa’s foolishness. I was expecting her to be on my side, but she was disloyal to her 11-year-old son. She ended up siding with my grandpa. How could she betray me like that? She talked about how it would be good for me to write and even fun. Fun? Who writes for fun? What kind of sick/twisted person would just write because they wanted to? It made absolutely no sense to me.

Sadly, I was powerless to fight my mom and grandpa. I had no choice but to ruin my summer and read the massive letter my grandpa sent to me.

To my surprise, I found myself enjoying the letter my grandpa sent me. It was funny, deep, sweet and engaging. It was weird because it felt like I was actually just listening to him talk. I could hear his voice as I was reading the page, and I didn’t feel so alone. How was this possible? It felt like he was with me telling me about the Harrison Center, tennis, God, purpose and other important things. I found myself re-reading his letter and wanting to read more. The unexpected happened for me as an 11 year old.

Now comes the hard part. I had to write my grandpa back. It was a struggle for me I put a lot of time and energy in responding to his letter, and I ended up writing two pages in response to his 11-page letter. In my defense, I was intimidated by my grandpa’s writing. How could I compare? It was just important to answer his questions. Also, it was important to keep it short, sweet and to the point. I put my letter together, placed it in an envelope, took it to the mailbox and dropped it in the mailbox.

A couple of days passed, and my grandpa called to let me know that he received my letter. Surprisingly, we talked longer than usual. We actually talked for a few hours. I was talking to him about certain parts in his letter, and he talked about my letter. He said that he really enjoyed reading it and was looking forward to my next letter. Sadly, my mom had to cut our conversation short because she needed her phone. I didn’t have my own phone like my little sisters did when they were my age. The times have changed.

Anyways, my grandpa and I wrote to each other all summer, and we had longer conversations with each other. It became a norm for us. In addition, I was writing more than the two pages to him, and it started becoming fun and interesting to write. My mom saw how much I was writing and suggested that maybe one day I would grow up to be a writer or maybe even an author. Me a writer? An author? That was ridiculous to me. I would never be writer, I was going to be an engineer or do something with math. I loved math. At 11 years old, I couldn’t imagine writing all the time. What kind of person would just write at ungodly hours for no reason? The devil is a liar if you think I’m gonna be that person. I’m certainly not going to be a writer. It just wasn’t going to happen for me.
I continued to write more to my grandpa during my time at middle school, and he continued to write to me. We weren’t writing as frequently like we did in the summer, but it was still important for us to write to each other. Then, I found myself writing to myself and finding myself in my own, safe zone.

In high school, I quickly discovered that I hated math with a passion. Math had deceived me with its simplicity through geometry and algebra. I learned math’s true colors when I had taken Honors Pre-Calculus in high school. It was complex, difficult and incompatible to me. Writing was always simple to me, and we had a relationship that I took for granted. I decided in high school that I wanted to commit to writing. I wanted us to be more than just close friends. We had something special, and I needed it in my life. We were meant to be together.

Eventually, my grandpa and I stopped sending letters to each other. I don’t remember why we stopped, and I wish I knew. However, I do remember one of the last few letters that he wrote to me. It was a letter about me graduating high school, then college. He wrote that he couldn’t wait to see me graduate high school and knew that I was going to do great things in college. It was a letter about not being afraid of the future and having faith that God will always be with me. I’m thankful and blessed to have received that letter, and I’ll always cherish it in my life.

So, when my mom mentioned my graduation at Denny’s, I immediately thought about one of the last few letters my grandpa sent to me. I wished that he was here right now to see me graduate next year. Nevertheless, I remember that he’s in a better place and no longer suffering from dementia. I have to be at peace with that and know in my heart that I’m making him proud.

At Denny’s, my mom and I ended up getting a grand slam, and I immediately laughed because I thought about my grandpa. I laughed and told my mom, “You know, my grandpa wouldn’t touch any of this stuff. He would be wondering where the oatmeal was.”

My mom laughed with me, and she agreed that my grandpa was an extremely healthy man. He was active, played tennis and ate healthy. He was a ridiculously, healthy old man.

I don’t know why my grandpa decided to write letters to me, but I’m so thankful that he did. It opened me to a whole, new world for me at such a young age. In the end, I wish that I can have those days back where I wrote letters to my grandpa.

Thank you for taking the time to read “Letters to My Grandpa.”

Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this short story.

On Thursday, I will be sharing the short story “Basketball Shorts.”

The Philadelphia Girl: Part Four

Hey y’all, I’m coming to you with the epic conclusion of “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Four.” Just to recap, I freaked out about saying I’m gonna lay the mack down on my mystery girl because I remember that I’m a terrible texter. However, I decided to remain calm, cool and collect for Mike’s sake and to give him confidence to text his long-time crush. My text game was miraculously on point with Maria, and Mike ended up getting a response from his crush. It was a happy time for both me and Mike on Brian’s birthday. The next day, a Saturday, I was still texting Maria and getting to know her a little more. There was a connection with her, but she dropped a bombshell on me. She informed me that she was from Philadelphia and just visiting her best friend. She was planning on leaving Monday. I’m devastated by the news and can’t believe that our love story had to be cut short. Then, my friends convinced me to try to meet up with her, after all we had two days together. I asked Maria if she wanted to hang out, and she naturally wanted to see me. We tried to meet on Sunday, but I wasn’t able to meet up with her that day. Luckily, we rescheduled and agreed to meet at Lotsa in Oakland on Monday, the day she was leaving Pittsburgh. On Monday, I headed to Oakland and went to Lotsa to see my sweet Maria before she departed to Philadelphia.

The unexpected happened with Maria, the Philadelphia Girl, and I can’t help but think about what could’ve been had I made a certain choice this day. What was the choice that I faced with Maria? Well, let’s find out in “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Four.”

For whatever reason, I was struggling to find Lotsa. I parked my car and everything, but I was just walking around in circles. I could not find the restaurant that I was seeking in Oakland. It was a struggle for me. After 12 minutes of walking aimlessly, I received a text message from Maria about if I got lost. I explained that I was minute away, but I somehow ended up being five minutes away from the restaurant. I was near Five Guys.

Maria told me that I was close and texted me that her friend was gonna wait for me outside, and she would be wearing an orange shirt. A few minutes later, I saw a pretty redhead in an orange shirt. As I approached her, she recognized me and quickly embraced me. She was laughing and wondering about how I got lost, and I told her that it was complicated. She laughed and told me that her name was Ashley. She apologized for hugging me so abruptly and explained that she was a hugger. I told her that it was fine, and she proceeded in giving me another hug. Then, Ashley said, “You know, I already like you. You get two points for that. Let’s go inside and meet up with Maria.”
It wasn’t crowded at all at Lotsa. It was just a few people, and I was instantly able to see Maria sitting down. She was looking absolutely stunning. When she saw me, Maria instantly got out of her chair and came running towards me. We hugged, and it just felt good seeing Maria in person for the first time.

As I was sitting down at their table, Ashley smiled and said, “Aww you’re a really great hugger, Isaiah. You get three points for that.”

I was confused with the points by Ashley, and I wanted to ask her about that. Before I could, Ashley tells me to make sure I go and get something to eat first. I couldn’t object because I was hungry, and I was desperate for some food. So, I created my personalized pizza and came back to the table. As I was eating my pizza, Ashley asked me what sort of toppings did I have on my pizza. I showed her my toppings, and she approved and gave me one point. I asked Ashley about the points, and she responded, “That’s for me and Maria to know, and you to maybe find out. All you need to know is that you need at least 18 points.”

I was confused and didn’t understand the point of the points. Anyways, I found out how Maria saw me and how Ashley got the note to come my way. Maria explained that they were finishing eating at Burgatory, when she saw me coming through the door. Maria motioned Ashley to look at me, and she approved of my cuteness and sexiness. It was Ashley’s idea to get the note to me as they were walking out of the restaurant. My friends and I ended up seated next to them. As soon as we were seated, Ashley and Maria decided to leave the restaurant. Then, it would be Ashley that would slip me the note on their way out.

I laughed as Maria and Ashley told their side of the story to me, and I shared how my friend Mike and I were searching high and low for them in the restaurant. It was our mission to find them. Then, I added how Mike was inspired by me to text and receive a response from his crush. They asked me about my friend Brian, and I responded that he was high and had no clue of what was going on. They laughed about my friends being fun and funny, and Ashley gave me four points for being a true friend.

We started just having fun, silly conversations with each other. We were talking about crazy college experiences we had, among other things. Ashley was telling me some interesting things about the relationship she had with Maria. She was telling me how sharing is important to them, and I said that sharing is caring. Ashley was happy about my approval of them sharing and gave me five points for my response. Also, Ashley told me that they like to have wild, crazy times together and there were no limits with them. I responded, “Okay, that’s what’s up. Life’s too short to be all boring and safe with everything.”

Maria smiled at me, and Ashley gave me three points for my response. “Awesome! You got 18 points. Now, let’s get out of here and go back to my place.”

As were walking towards Ashley’s place, I found myself wondering what were the points for exactly? I needed this information.

When we made it to Ashley’s place, I noticed that there were a lot of boxes of things in the house. She explained that she was moving to Florida and going to school down there. She was excited about going to Florida and could not wait to go down there because it was her dream location.

Anyways, we were all hanging out and talking, when Maria decided that it was time for us to help her start packing her things. It wasn’t a lot of things. She just had two suitcases, three big bags and two coolers to put in her car. When we were done helping Maria gather our things, we went right back to just chilling and relaxing. Then, it got a little weird. I noticed that Maria and Ashley were giving each other looks, and I asked them if everything was okay. Maria assured me that everything was fine. All of a sudden, they went upstairs and left me alone downstair. It was quiet for a few minutes, and then Ashley yelled if I could bring her phone to her upstairs. I grabbed it and then she yelled,

“Can you open my phone real quick and see if I have any messages?”

She told me her pin, and I opened her phone and found my mouth wide open. My mouth was wide open because I found myself presented with a collage of Maria and Ashley kissing each other. So, I quickly realized that they were trying to have a threesome with me. It all made sense to me now. The points were to mesure if I was good enough to come to their place and have sex with them. Also, Ashley talked about her and Maria being wild and wanting to share. The hugs were to get a feel for me. Plus, they’re both leaving Pittsburgh soon, and it made sense to me that they wanted to have a last hurrah together before they go their separate ways.

I didn’t know what to do. I was confused and shocked. Should I go upstairs and find out what’s waiting for me? Or should I avoid it?

I started thinking to myself that maybe I was wrong and misinterpreted things. I mean, some people just happen to casually leave out some interesting photography. Maybe the pictures meant absolutely nothing, but I didn’t want to find out. I needed to just leave, I thought to myself. I didn’t want to do anything that I would regret, especially with two girls that were gonna be out of my life just like that. Plus, it would be my first time, and I probably wouldn’t last long. It would just be embarrassing for me and disappointing to Ashley and Maria. Also, I didn’t want my first time to be considered meaningless sex with two girls. I want my first time to be meaningful and with my future wife. So, I stayed downstairs and acted like I couldn’t find the phone. Maria and Ashley came downstairs and found the phone. Before anything else could happen, I told them that I had to leave. They wanted me to stay a little longer, but I think that Maria could tell that I wasn’t trying to get with them. So, she added, “You know, I think I need to head out too. It is getting kind of dark, and I have a long drive ahead of me.”

So, we all said our goodbyes to each other. We gave each other hugs and went our separate ways. Maria and I tried to continue texting and Snapping each other, but we ended up just drifting apart.

I have no regrets for how I decided to handle everything with Ashley and Maria. At the end of it all, I’m grateful for the fun adventure that I experienced with Maria, the Philadelphia Girl.

This marks the end of “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Four.”

Thank you for following the four-part series “The Philadelphia Girl.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this love story.

Next week, I will be posting poetry on Tuesday and Thursday.

The Philadelphia Girl: Part Three

Just to recap, I was surprised by the note that came my way at Burgatory. I thought the note was for Mike or Brian because they were dressed way better than me. I show the note to Mike and Brian, and Mike and I were trying to find out where the girl could have possibly gone. We tried seeing if Brian knew which way the girl went because he was facing my direction, but he was too high to remember. Mike and I end up being on an impossible mission to pinpoint the location of the two girls. I ended up texting the number on the note to try and figure out which one of us did the girl think was cute because we were confused. It was revealed that it was for me, the guy with the black shirt and buzzed head. Naturally, I was feeling myself and realizing that I was a nice, caramel snack to this girl. Sadly, we found out that she and her friend were in South Oakland and Brian all of a sudden remembered this at the worst possible time. Mike asked me what I was going to do, and I told him that I was going to lay the mack down on her. Now, it’s time to dive on in to “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Three.”

Mike was excited to hear that I was about to lay the mack down on her, while Brian was pretty chill. Honestly, I don’t know why I said such foolish words because I knew that my text game was wack. To this day, I ironically consider myself to be a terrible texter, but that’s another story. Anyways, I was thinking to myself that I am not about to wow this mysterious girl with my texting. It just wasn’t going to happen.

Before I could retract my statement, Mike looked at me and said, “You know, Isaiah. I’m inspired by you. You’re unbelievable. You know what, I’m about to text this girl that I’ve had a crush on for years. You inspired me to do this, man.”

When Mike said this, I realized that I can’t just take back what I said. I inspired Mike to text his long-time crush. I must do what I said I was going to do for Mike. Mike needed me to spit some game at this girl that wanted me. Mike needed me to show that there was nothing wrong with being confident. Mike needed me to provide him the strength to chase after the girl of his dreams, possibly his future wife. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Victory shall be mine. Yes, the scripture was flowing through me as God knew that this was an important, legendary moment. I will not fail, I will succeed and deliver for Mike.

I started texting her, and I found out that her name was Maria. I immediately told her that it was a pretty name, but I needed a picture of her. I needed to know that she visually represented the name that she was given by her parents. Plus, she saw me, but I didn’t see her. So, I naturally and seductively asked if she could send me a pic of herself. Not even a minute later, she sent me a pic. It was like she had it prepared and ready for my viewing pleasure, and all I had to do was ask. It was a nice, classy, sexy picture of her that really left room for the imagination. She was really pretty and wholesome. I showed the picture to Mike and Brian, and I instantly had their approval. I told her that she was really pretty, and I liked what I saw. She gave me some emojis and thanked me for the compliment.

As we’re all finishing up our food and I was sweet talking Maria, Mike received a message from his long-time crush. He exclaimed that his crush texted him back, and we all celebrated. It was a proud, celebratory time for Mike as he received a text from his crush. There was so much high-fiving and cheers, and we were just ridiculously loud at Burgatory.

Once we all calmed down, Mike and I turned to Brian. He asked us what was wrong, and

I said, “Well, what you about to do? Mike and I are doing our things with our girls, where you at? It’s your turn to sweet talk a pretty mamacita.”

Mike agreed and told Brian to do his thing now. Then, Brian said, “I’m just chilling, for real, for real.”

We all ended up laughing and continued enjoying each other’s company at Burgatory. We ended up leaving Burgatory and just walking a little in Waterfront. Then, we all went our separate ways. I ended up driving Brian home, while he was still high as a kite. I got home and continued to text the sweet Maria.

On Saturday, I’m still texting and wooing Maria miraculously. I remember we ended up talking about our goals, dreams and pretty much finding out more about each other. We also added each other on Snapchat having fun and silly conversations about horror movies being better than romantic comedies, bugs, dogs, terrible TV shows and other random things. I was feeling pretty good with Maria. It felt natural just texting and snapping her. I don’t know why I was just this amazing texter with her all of sudden, it was a miracle. Was God telling me that she was the girl for me? Suddenly, she threw a bombshell at me. She told me that she was coming from Philadelphia, and she was just visiting her best friend. Then, she told me that she was planning on leaving Monday.
This broke my heart because our love story had just begun. It hadn’t even blossomed yet. How could it end just like that? I thought she was the one for me after our one night and one day of texting each other. We had this unspoken connection to each other. She was my soul mate. I was thinking that maybe we could have a long distance, but I ain’t got time for that. It wasn’t going to work out between us, I could see it as clear as day. We had to let each other go.

I told my friends the bitter sad news, and they were like I should still try to meet up with her. It wouldn’t be too late. We had two days together. Our love story had the potential to be stronger than Jack and Rose’s romance in Titanic, we just had to find each other.

So, I asked Maria if we could meet up with each other, and she naturally wanted to see me. The plan was for us to hang out Sunday, but for some reason I wasn’t able to meet up with Maria and her friend that day. Something came up. However, I was still determined to see Maria. I wondered if I could see her on Monday, and she agreed for us to meet tomorrow at 3-3:30 for lunch in Oakland.

On Monday, I worked 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Sheetz. I texted and asked Maria where we were having lunch at, and she told me Lotsa. So, I headed to Oakland, parked my car and headed towards Lotsa to see my sweet Maria before she departed to Philadelphia.
This is the end of “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Three.”

Thank you for reading “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Three.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

This is a four-part story, and I will be sharing the fourth and final part of “The Philadelphia Girl” on Thursday.

The Philadelphia Girl: Part Two

ust to recap, I get a text message from my friend Brian to hang out with him on his birthday. I technically forget his birthday, but I let him know that I can hang out with him on his birthday. I pick him up late and immediately notice that he is high. On our way to Burgatory at Waterfront, we talk about a girl that he’s been interested in for months. Then, we arrive at Burgatory to meet up with Brian’s longtime friend Mike. After a 15-minute wait, we all go inside and get seated at our table. Then, a girl places a folded piece of paper next to me, when I’m not looking. I open and it reads, “My friend thinks you’re cute.” The statement was followed by a phone number and x’s and o’s. Now, it’s time to get into part two of “The Philadelphia Girl.”

When I see the note, I can’t believe it. I wasn’t expecting such a note to come my way because I wasn’t really looking my best. I mean, I had gotten a haircut and my beard was trimmed, but I wasn’t dressed to impress. I was just wearing a black shirt, my necklace and some shorts, so I knew that I wasn’t dripping in finesse. If anything, I was dripping in laziness. Then, I looked at Brian and Mike, and they were dressed way better than me. I started thinking to myself that maybe this note was meant for one of them because it made more sense. Or maybe it was for me. I just had to find out.

I show the note to Mike and Brian, and Mike was immediately excited. Brian was just all giggles and in his own little world. Mike asked me what happened, and I explained that a girl just came from behind me and slipped this note next to me. Then, he asked me if I knew which way she went. I replied, “Nah man, she was gone when I turned around. I didn’t see which direction she went.”

Mike started looking around and thought that they had to be close by us. I agree with Mike as we’re trying calculate and find out where they could be. We looked at different tables in the restaurant, but we can’t be sure where they could be. My head started to hurt from the complex math we were trying to figure out in our heads, so we took a break. Then, our attention went to Brian. We thought to ourselves that Brian must’ve seen which direction the girl went because he’s seated right in front of me. He’s been facing me the whole time, so he had to of seen which way the girl went. Surely, Brian would remember which way the girl went. Surely, Brian would answer our prayers for the two girls. Surely, Brian would know the direction the girl who left the note went. Surely, Brian would not let us down. Sadly, Brian let us down.

He giggled, “I don’t know where that girl went, for real for real.”

Brian continued to giggle, but this wasn’t a laughing matter to me or Mike. This was a serious matter, a girl thought one of us was cute. This wasn’t a joke, and we just didn’t appreciate Brian sitting in front of us with the giggles. How could he not take this seriously? What was going on with him? Mike shook his head and asked Brian why he couldn’t recall such a simple thing. Brian replied, “Look bro, I’m sorry, but I’m high as #$%#. I’m chilling. I don’t know what’s going on right now, for real for real.”

Mike and I can’t help but laugh at Brian’s honesty. We decide to let him off the hook because we knew that he was going to be no help to us with his high self. I just couldn’t believe that Brian was too high to help me and Mike find the girls. This was a life or death situation, and Brian just had to be high on his birthday. He ought to be ashamed of himself for being high at the wrong time. Brian could’ve saved us so much time and energy trying to find the girls, but he chose to be high like the sky. Shame on him.

Anyways, Mike told me to text the number to find out who the girl was trying to talk to. At the same time, he was going to be looking around the restaurant to see who was texting as well to pinpoint the position of the girls. This was our mission. So, I put the number in my phone and saved it. Then, I texted, “Hey, which one of us do you think is cute cuz we’re confused.”

I waited for Mike to give me the signal to send the text message. He started looking around and motioned the signal to me. Once I saw the signal, I sent the message.
Not even a minute later, I receive a response.

It read, “Well, you’re all really cute but it was meant for the guy with the black shirt and buzzed head lol.”

When I saw that message, I was excited. I showed the message to Mike and Brian, and they were excited with me as well. Mike was like, “Alright man, I see you doing your thing.”

I asked Mike if he pinpointed a location, but he said that it was a negative. The target was nowhere to be found. Brian was still high with no clue of what was going on. Mike and I were still on a mission.

While we all ordered our milkshakes and food, I couldn’t help but start feeling myself. I was feeling good knowing that this girl was trying to get with all of this. She was feeling me with my black T-shirt, buzzed head and shorts. I started singing “Sexy and I Know It” in my head. I started realizing that there was something sexy about me walking into Burgatory and sitting down at the table. I was looking so pretty just sitting with my friends, she just couldn’t resist this caramel looking like a snack. Yeah, I was really feeling myself that night.

Meanwhile, Mike and I were still trying to figure out where they were at in the restaurant. It was starting to feel like mission impossible because we couldn’t find them anywhere. Mike said that he was about to go in the middle of the restaurant, tell everyone to be quiet and demand the two girls to show themselves. At first, I didn’t think he was serious, until he shouted, “Excuse me, everyone!”

Before he could finish shouting, I quickly stopped him and assured him that extreme measures were not necessary at all. I had the phone number, and I can simply ask the girl where she and her friend are at. Mike groaned, “Fine, we’ll do it your way. I just think my way will get the job done fast.”

We both laughed, and I said, “I know, I know, but let’s just be smart about this. There’s no need to make it a big thing, yet. Your plan will be plan B, okay?”

He agreed with me, so I asked the girl her name and where she was at. Well, it turned out that she was in South Oakland with her friend. Mike and I were shocked, but Brian responded, “Oh yeah, they did go out the door. My bad bro, I forgot.”

Mike and I just laughed and shook our heads. They really weren’t in this restaurant at all, and we were searching how long for them. Plus, Brian just had to be high at the worst possible time.

After we were done laughing and eating our food, Mike asked me what I was going to do. I looked at him and said, “I’m about to lay the mack down on her.”

This is the end of “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Two.”

Thank you for reading “The Philadelphia Girl: Part Two.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

This will be a four-part story, and I will be sharing part three of “The Philadelphia Girl” on Tuesday.

The Philadelphia Girl: Part One

Last summer, I was relaxing at home and watching some episodes of Daredevil. While I was watching Daredevil, I get a text message from my friend Brian. I take a look at it, and he asks me if I’m doing anything tomorrow. I have an answer, but I don’t respond yet because I’m in the middle of watching Daredevil. After I’m done watching Daredevil, I respond that I’m working, writing, doing homework, photographing, designing, drawing and editing some things tomorrow. So, I’m pretty much going to be busy tomorrow. Then, he texts me that it’s his birthday tomorrow, and he was trying to see if I could hang out with him. I kind of remember him telling me about his birthday, but I guess I technically forgot about it.

Before you prejudge me for not remembering my friend’s birthday, it’s important to note that he never told me when his birthday was and this was my first time hearing about it. He may have told me once or twice at a random time, but you honestly have to tell people more than once when your birthday is. Also, we were still in the early stages of our friendship and still rocking a solid six months together. How well do you really know someone in six months? It’s not like you can marry someone in six months, right? That’s just crazy, no offense to my mom and stepdad for getting married in six to nine months. I love them both will all my heart, but that’s just craziness to me. I don’t know how they could do that. I need at least a good year or so before marrying someone. I need to go through all the seasons with that person. I need to go through fall, spring, summer and especially the winter with them. I need to know that they can stand the rain and the snow with me. I need to know these things, and I need more than six months to find these things out.

Anyways, I tell my friend that I can definitely hang out with him on his birthday. I ask him where he’s trying to go, and he tells me that he was thinking about going to Burgatory at Waterfront at 6:00. We had our plans set, and I had hoped to meet some of my goals before hanging out with Brian.

It’s Friday, and I had to work from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. I went home and tried to reach my goals, but it was to no avail. When it was around 6:30 p.m., Brian was wondering where I was at because I had promised to pick him up. I ended up losing track of time, and I texted him that I was on my way. I was finishing up on a poster design that I was working on for a summer graphic design class. When I finished it, I headed out and went to pick up Brian. I picked Brian up, and I wished him a happy birthday. He was happy to hear this. He gets in the car and lets me know that we’re meeting one of his friends, Mike, at Burgatory. I tell him it’s cool, and I start driving us to Burgatory.

As we were driving to Burgatory, I noticed a certain smell coming from him. I looked over at Brian and noticed that he was chill and smiling a lot. So, I ask him, “Bro, are you high?”

He was like, “Yeah man, I had to hit this blunt before you picked me up. Man, I was smoking a lot today. I don’t know how much, for real, for real.”

He started laughing, and I couldn’t help but join him in laughter.

Then, he started talking about this girl that he’s been liking for months. I know her, and I’m good friends with her. He was telling me that she’s been working a lot and didn’t seem to want to talk to him. They still had a streak on Snapchat, but it wasn’t enough for him. He wanted more from her, but I could tell that she wasn’t trying to give him what he needed. So, I tell him that maybe he should consider just being friends with her or letting her go because it didn’t sound like she was interested. However, he’s hopeful that they can work things out and be together. He still talks about how they’re connected, and how he’s never met a girl like her before. I thought to myself that it was kind of sweet that he wanted to be somewhat patient for her. At the same time though, he’s been trying to talk to this girl for months, even before she was extremely busy with her life. Sadly, it was time for him to wake up and smell the roses because they just weren’t meant to be. Nevertheless, I don’t say this to him because it’s his birthday, and I don’t want to hit him with tough love. He would have to find out for himself the hard way.

When we make it to the Waterfront, I miraculously find an open parking spot near Burgatory. Brian and I head over to Burgatory, and I get to meet Mike.
Brian introduced me to Mike, and Mike tells us that it’s just going to be a 15-minute wait.

As we’re waiting to be called, Mike immediately laughs because he notices that Brian is high. Brian tells Mike that he’s been smoking a lot today, and we all just burst out laughing. Then, w start talking about DC and Marvel comics. Also, we get into Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Titans coming on the DC streaming service, Avengers: Infinity War and so much more. It was refreshing to talk to someone about superheroes and debating about what’s going to happen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and DC Universe.
Twenty minutes later, we end up getting a table at Burgatory. As we’re all sitting down, Mike and I are still debating Marvel topics. Brian is just high and in his own little world. Mike had his back turned at me because he had to talk Brian about something, when this girl came from behind me and placed a folded piece of paper next to me. I turned around, and she had disappeared like she was the Flash or something. I was so perplexed and confused.

I turned back around to my table, and Mike was still trying to talk to Brian. I say trying because it didn’t look like he was all there. I looked at the folded piece of paper and opened it. It read, “My friend thinks you’re cute.”

The statement was followed by a phone number and x’s and o’s.

This is the end of “The Philadelphia Girl: Part One.”

Thank you for reading “The Philadelphia Girl: Part One.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

This will be a four-part story, and I will be sharing part two of “The Philadelphia Girl” on Thursday.

Keeping My Art Private

Last week, I came across an interesting post on Facebook that caught my eye. It reads, “Ur still an artist if u don’t release ur work. Ur still a writer if u don’t publish a piece. art is still art even in private.” I immediately liked the post because I genuinely agreed with this post. In fact, I recall a time where I had this mentality of keeping my art private.

I remember that it was middle school when I started getting into writing. When I say getting into writing, I mean writing for fun and for myself. In high school, I started getting into poetry and seeing the beauty that it can provide for me alone. In high school, I discovered that I could be more open, honest and free in my writing. I could be alone in my own little world, and this was paradise for me. At Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), I started getting into short stories, and I just loved creating new characters, plots and themes that I thought would benefit no one else but me. I remember my family and friends always wanting to read my short stories and poetry, but I was always defensive and not willing to welcome them into my world. Writing is my baby, and I have to protect it from the world.

One day, I remember that I was writing a short story on my computer, and my parents wanted to read it. Of course, I objected to them reading it. Then, they decided that they wanted to talk to me about sharing my work. They were asking me why it was so hard for me to show others what I have written. One of the things that they primarily thought was that I didn’t want to receive criticism. They thought that I couldn’t take it, but this wasn’t the case. For a second, I thought that this was the case, but I later learned that it was entirely something else. It was something that I couldn’t deny.

The truth was I didn’t want people to see a different side of me. I wanted to keep that part of me hidden to others. I write every single day, and I have nothing but love for writing. How can I just expose that to the world? How can I let the world destroy the perfect union I have with my writing? I would be alone in my own little zone. It was perfect. I just had to keep my art private.

I later realized that I needed to start sharing my work. I learned that I’m completely honest in my writing, and I shouldn’t be ashamed of that. I should be proud of my work and want to share who I am with the world, but I’m hesitant to do this. The reason is because I don’t want to be an open book for people. I don’t want people to know me. However, I knew that I needed to make the necessary steps to be okay with people getting know me through my writings.

Last year, I started the blog “The Warfield Zone.” It would be a place where I would publish all of my short stories and poetry for people’s viewing pleasure. I didn’t make it emphatically known that I had a blog to others because I still wanted to keep it a secret. I was also trying not to post too much to much on my blog because that would just expose too much of me. Later, I found that it wasn’t so bad to post. It was almost relieving and therapeutic. Months passed, and I let close friends and family know more about my blog. This year, I decided that I wanted to post regularly and let it be known to many others that I have a blog.

Also, I decided to share more of my photographs regularly as well this year because it’s a part of who I am as a storyteller, and I’m not ashamed of it.

I have learned that sharing has helped me grow as a person. It has helped my family and friends understand me in ways they never conceived. I’m thankful that people have found my writings to be entertaining and enjoyable. I’m thankful to God for giving me talents that I finally have the courage to share with the world.

For artists/writers that keep their work private, I totally understand it. You have a right to keep your work private, but I also think it’s important to explore your reasoning behind keeping it private. When I was exploring the reason I kept my work private, I learned that it was holding me back as a writer. Sharing my work has helped me reach unimaginable heights that I never knew existed. It gave me the necessary relief I needed to be a comfortable writer now. That’s my reasoning. What’s your reasoning?

Thank you for reading “Keeping My Art Private.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this piece.

Next week, I will be posting two poems, one on Tuesday and one Thursday.

Friendly vs. Flirty

Last week, I was hanging out with my friend, Rosa, and we had an interesting conversation on girls being friendly vs. flirty

It was Saturday, and we were planning on seeing an 8:30 showing of the movie Captain Marvel at the South Side of Pittsburgh. It was around 5:00 when we were hanging out, so we decided to go to the Cheesecake Factory for some food before the movie. It was pretty crowded in there, and the hostess told us that it would be an hour wait. I immediately wanted to leave and go some other place, but Rosa wanted to wait for whatever reason. I was telling her that it was foolish to wait because we were going to be waiting for hours, but she said that we could wait. I was hungry though, and I was dying for food. I had a small breakfast and a little snack before we hung out, so I was legitimately dying of starvation. Nevertheless, I listened to her, and we ended up walking around South Side and just going through different stores. I was slowly losing calories and losing my will to survive.

Surprisingly, it was only a 45-minute wait, and Rosa rubbed it in my face that she was right about the wait not being long. I congratulated her for being right, but 45 minutes is still a long time. I’m okay waiting 15-30 minutes to eat at a restaurant, but after that 30-minute mark, you start getting hungrier than usual and time just drags. However, you can’t dwell in the past, and I’m just glad I survived that 45-minute wait. I have to thank God for keeping me alive during that time period.

Anyways, we were seated in the middle of the room, and our waitress got us some drinks and a bread basket. I asked Rosa if she wanted some bread, but she said that she was fine. I immediately attacked the bread basket like a hungry hyena. I was laughing as I was finally able to nourish my starving body back to health.

Rosa laughed at me and called me so dramatic, and I replied and cried, “I didn’t want to wait. I didn’t want to wait. I was fighting for my life, and you were killing me out here. You were killing me. I gave you 30 minutes of my life. 30 minutes, and you made me wait 45 minutes for some food. So, I’m sorry that I’m being dramatic, but you made me this way.”

We were both laughing, and I was honestly proud of the performance I gave. It does take a lot of work to be dramatic.

A couple minutes later, we ended up placing our orders. I ordered a steak and some fries, while Rosa got some shrimp. We started talking and making conversation, but then she changed the subject. She asked me if I was still friends with Blake and Steve, and I told her that I kind of was. It had been months since I talked to Blake, and I barely talk to Steve. Then, she said that she’s not friends with either of them anymore, and she ended up telling me why.

She talked about how Steve was mad at her because she didn’t text him regularly, and he felt like she didn’t care about him as a friend. Rosa was telling me how she always initiated conversation with him, and it didn’t make sense that he felt like she wasn’t treating him like a friend. She told me how he went off on her in Snapchat, and it just made her not want to deal with him. I recall this. I was talking to Steve, and he ended up sending me a screenshot of what he said to her. I looked at it, and I told him that he went a little too far with his comments. He agreed with me, and he was telling me that he got carried away and was being too brutally honest with her. I told Rosa this, and she thought his “honesty” was ridiculous.

Then, she explained the situation with Blake to me. Rosa ended up telling him that she has a boyfriend, and this came as a shock to him. Blake asked her since when, and she told him for the past few weeks. This angered him because he said he had feelings for her, but Rosa wasn’t aware of these feelings. So, Blake decided that he wanted nothing to do with Rosa.

Rosa asked me if I knew that Blake liked her, and I said, “Yeah, I knew that he liked you, but I thought that you knew, too?”

She responded, “No, I knew that Steve liked me because Blake told me, but I didn’t know that he liked me too.”

I knew that Steve and Blake liked Rosa since last year, and it was just a shock to me that Rosa didn’t know.

Anyways, she continued to talk about Steve and Blake, and she told me something interesting that Blake said to her. Blake told her that she flirts too much,, and she asked me if I agreed with him. I replied, “Well, I’ll admit that you do flirt a little. I’ve seen it, and you’ve even admitted to me that you like to flirt a little from time to time. However, I think that you’re more friendly to other guys than flirtatious. It’s just that some guys think that you’re just a total flirt, and they can’t distinguish your friendliness and flirtation.”

She agreed with me, and she was asking me if she did anything wrong. I said, “No, you didn’t do anything wrong. Based on what you’re telling me, you were the one that was just honest with them. They were the ones that wanted something more from you, and they were kind of dishonest about how they truly felt about you.”

I told her that I was sorry that she lost friendships that she held dear. I looked at her, smiled and said, “Just know that you got a friend in me.”

She smiled and thanked me for always being a good friend to her. A couple minutes later, we ended up getting our food and started having different, lighter conversations together. We later went and saw Captain Marvel. After the movie, we went our separate ways.

The conversation I had with Rosa about Blake and Steve really bothered me. I started thinking about this Facebook clip my little sister Shawna showed me of a high school boy hitting a girl because she wasn’t “friendly” enough to give him her phone number, while everyone watched and let it happen. That’s scary that females just can’t say “no” to some guys. They can’t say “no” to guys that are abusive and angry. They have to be polite, and they have to give those men what they want. Otherwise, there will be consequences. We’re a society that gets offended by a Gillette commercial that pushes all men to be better and held to a higher standard, “The Best Men Can Be.” How dare Gillette tackle “toxic masculinity”? They’re making it seem like it’s all guys, it’s just a few. Why do we have to address it? It’s disrespectful for Gillette to tell us how to be appropriate boys, let us be boys, Gillette. We’re fine just the way we are. All of us, or most of us are fine. It’s a shame that there’s no such thing as a female being friendly vs. flirty for some guys, they’re just the same thing.

Thank you for reading “Friendly vs. Flirty.” Be sure to like, share and comment your thoughts on this story.

On Thursday, I will be posting “Keeping My Art Private” on the Warfield Zone.

Is Lebron James Cute?

A couple of years ago, I was attending Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), and I was having a typical lunch/hang out with my friends Sam and Obi in the Folger Dining Hall. It had just gotten built on campus, and I remember how excited we were about the dining hall. A couple of months would pass, and we would have nothing but disgust for Folger’s. That’s another story.

We’re sitting down in the new dining hall talking and enjoying ourselves, and we saw our friend Antoinette come walking towards us. She was Face Timing someone on the phone, and there was a lot of yelling and screaming from her. Everyone could tell that she was upset. When Antoinette got to our table, she sat down and hung up the phone. Obi asked her what was going on, and Antoinette replied, “It’s Young Vegan, he getting on my nerves.”

Young Vegan, who goes by other names like Captain Veggie or Veggie Man, was Antoinette’s boyfriend that lived in Philadelphia. He was about 27, 28-ish, while Antoinette was 21. He had a full-time job and everything. Antoinette would Face Time with him all the time whenever all four of us hung out, and we all called him Young Vegan because he had became a vegan. He couldn’t stand the nicknames we gave him, especially Veggie Man and Captain Veggie, but he had to suck it up and deal with it because we were all the way in Indiana, and he was all the way in Philadelphia.
Anyways, Sam asks her what happened and she explains, “Well, me and Young Vegan were talking, and he was talking about some conversation that he had with one of his female coworkers about Lebron James.”

Antoinette went on to say that Young Vegan and his coworker came to the conclusion that Lebron James wasn’t cute at all, however Antoinette said something to him that would enrage him. She said to him, “Well, I don’t agree with that. I think he’s alright, but there are probably some girls that think Lebron James is cute and popping.”

Antoinette told us that this infuriated him. Young Vegan was yelling at her and telling her that Lebron James wasn’t cute at all. He was ugly. They ended up having a whole argument. Antoinette argued to him multiple times that there were probably some girls that thought that Lebron was cute, but Young Vegan didn’t want to hear it. They were arguing about this for hours, and Young Vegan was still messaging her about conversations he had with other girls that agreed with him. We could all tell that Antoinette was annoyed because she at first thought that they were just arguing for fun, but she discovered that it was deep for Captain Veggie. Veggie Man was all in his feelings about the possibility of other females finding Lebron James cute.

I couldn’t understand this whole thing. I was asking myself how Lebron James being cute ended up being a deep thing for Young Vegan. Why make a simple disagreement a big deal? Does my friend Antoinette have to totally agree with you with everything you say, otherwise you’ll throw a fit? I couldn’t imagine dealing with someone that blew the simplest of things out of proportion. That was just so messed up to me, I thought to myself.

Antoinette told us that one of the things that Veggie Man argued was that girls only look at Lebron James because he’s an NBA star and got money.

Antoinette explained to us how she thought that even if Lebron James was just some regular guy on the streets, girls would still be checking for him. He still had some features on him that women found attractive, and Young Vegan wasn’t hearing it. He kept telling her that she was wrong, and he was getting so emotional with her.

Then, Antoinette asked us what we all thought about her situation. Sam said, “Girl, I agree with you. Have you seen Lebron’s wife? She’s gorgeous and clearly had a thing for Lebron James before he got that money.”

I added that beauty is subjective and that there were probably thousands, maybe even millions of girls that thought that Lebron James was cute.

Obi and I agreed with Sam and added that Lebron James’ wife was a baddie. We also agreed that Antoinette was right by saying that some girls probably thought that Lebron James was cute.

I added, “Man, imagine if y’all had a serious argument.”

Antoinette agreed with me, and she was just in shock about how Veggie Man went off on her. She talked about how she was over this Lebron James conversation that she had with Young Vegan. All of sudden, she gets a Face Time call again from the man of the hour. She answers it, and already Veggie Man was still trying to argue with Antoinette. He was talking about he asked another female friend of his if Lebron James is cute, and his friend said that he wasn’t. Antoinette told him that we all agreed with her that some girls find Lebron James cute. He was arguing with, but Sam, Obi and I decided to back up Antoinette. We went in on Captain Veggie. We were throwing numbers, science and common sense at Young Vegan, and it was just getting him so upset. It was so hilarious to us, and it was just so serious with Young Vegan.

Young Vegan ended up bringing one of his friends into the conversation, and he wasn’t helping Veggie Man at all. If anything, he was just hurting him. I remember he was stuttering a lot, and he really wasn’t trying to help Young Vegan. There were times that he was actually agreeing with us, and Young Vegan told him to leave. He had the worst friend/homeboy backing him up, and it was funny and awesome.

Finally, Young Vegan told Antoinette that they would talk about this later when she wasn’t with us, and he hung up the phone. We all ended up laughing and couldn’t believe how Captain Veggie was an emotional wreck over Lebron James. After all that, we started talking about a movie we wanted to see and just hung out with each other.

Antoinette and Young Vegan argued about it for another day, but they were able to work out their differences and move on from it. It’s crazy how Lebron James could have ruined their relationship, but they didn’t allow something so deep to ruin it. The trials and tribulations are real in this world.

Thank you for taking the time to read “Is Lebron James Cute?” Be sure to like and comment your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be posting two opinionated pieces. The pieces include “Friendly vs. Flirty” on Tuesday and “Keeping my Art Private” on Thursday.

Wendy’s, I Love You

So, I have a very complicated relationship with the restaurant Wendy’s. Honestly, I hate the restaurant more than I love it. To be fair, I guess it’s more because of the employees of the Wendy’s than the restaurant itself, and I’m specifically talking the one on 51 for those familiar with Jefferson Hills. I remember one time that I went to Wendy’s, and my fries were extremely cold. Maybe not extremely cold, but I like to exaggerate. So, I told the lady at the window that I wanted some new fries, and she got irritated with me.

She said, “Can you just please take the fries that you were given? It’s gonna take ten minutes to make them, and we’re kind of busy.”

Now, I understand the struggle. I work at Sheetz, where it can get crazy and hectic at work, especially with making food. Nevertheless, I looked at her and said, “I’m sorry about that, I understand the struggle because I work at Sheetz, but I want to get my money’s worth, so I can definitely wait ten minutes for some hot fries.”

She groaned and told me to wait up front, and I had to wait 20 minutes for some hot fries.

I thought that it was a one-time thing with Wendy’s, but Wendy’s continued to disappoint me. Every time I went to Wendy’s on 51, my food was always cold, and the service was almost always terrible. Sadly, this one Wendy’s on 51 made me hate eating food at Wendy’s and have a certain level of distaste for the restaurant. However, one experience in high school helped make Wendy’s have a special place in my heart.

It was my junior year of high school, and I had to work on a Spanish project with this quiet kid named Khalid. He talked a little here and there in Spanish class, but he really didn’t talk that much. We actually hung out a few times with other people involved, but we never had any one-on-one interaction with each other until this Spanish project.
The Spanish project that we had to do consisted of us going to a restaurant or two and only speaking Spanish to the cashier. Then, we had to write a paper about our whole experience just speaking Spanish to a cashier. We decided to go with Wendy’s because we could easily knock it out, plus we were both in the mood for Wendy’s. Overall, a simple project.

Anyways, I ended up picking Khalid up at his place, and I drove us to Wendy’s. As we were driving to Wendy’s, we were talking and joking around a lot more than usual. There was plenty of laughter going on between us, and it was comfortable atmosphere that I wasn’t expecting with him.

It was around 6:00 p.m. when we made it to Wendy’s, and we were expecting to be there for 30-45 minutes. We went inside, and it was surprisingly not busy at all in Wendy’s. There was just one cashier on duty, and she was on her phone. The cashier was around the same age as us, and she was cute. Also, her name was Mary. Khalid and I got into Spanish mode, walked over to her and started speaking Spanish. She was so confused. Khalid and I had to point at items on the menu, and it was a struggle for her. After we were done ordering, we spoke English to her and explained that we were only speaking Spanish to her because of a project. Thankfully, she understood, and we all shared a good laugh about the whole thing.

Afterwards, Khalid and I found a table and started eating our food. We were also talking and joking around with each other. It was weird though because Khalid was doing most of the talking more than me, and it was interesting and refreshing because he was almost always quiet when we hung out in groups. I liked how insightful and unique he was when were talking about certain philosophical topics, God, movies, videogames, money and school. When we had our disagreements, it was so much fun. We would end up debating and arguing our points, and I would always end up winning our little debates. He might have gotten a few debates won here and there, but I was mostly winning all the debates that day. Khalid will tell you differently, but he knows the truth.

I looked outside and realized that it was dark outside. I looked at my phone and discovered that it was 9:00. It was crazy to me because we had just planned to be at Wendy’s for 30 minutes but almost a full three hours. I told Khalid the time, and he was shocked to see the time too. He asked me if I was ready to leave, but I was thinking that we were alright because it was a Friday night. Then, we changed the topic to girls. I was talking to him about girls that I liked in high school, but I noticed that he was a little distracted. I followed his eyes and noticed that he was looking at Mary, the cashier. This got me excited. So, I asked him, “Hey, what do you think of Mary, the cashier? Do you think she’s cute?”

He replied, “I don’t know, Isaiah. I guess.”

“You guess?” I exclaimed. I immediately told him to go over and talk to her because I knew that he thought she was cute, and he said no. I asked him why not, and he said that it wasn’t necessary. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The blasphemy was too much for me.

So, I said, “Khalid, that could be the one for you but because you’re afraid to make a move, you could be missing out on the best thing ever in your life.”

He started laughing and saying that I was being dramatic. I admitted that I was because I am dramatic, but I also speak the truth. Then, I give him an ultimatum. I said, “Look, if you don’t go over there and get that girl’s number, then you will leave me no choice but to do it myself for you. The worst she can say is no.”

Khalid started cracking up, but I was being dramatic and serious. Khalid motioned me to do it, and I got up and walked over to her. I looked back at Khalid and saw a little terror in his eyes. So, I changed my mind and simply asked Mary for a Frosty. When I went back to Khalid, I saw him feeling victorious because he thought I chickened out, but it was the opposite. I wanted to get him when he least expected it.

As we were heading out, I saw that Mary wasn’t busy at all at the register. Plus, there was no one in the restaurant. So, I said, “Excuse me, my friend Khalid thinks you’re cute. He was wondering if he could get your number.”

The look on Khalid’s face was priceless, he couldn’t believe that I actually did it. Then, without hesitation, Mary replied, “I have a girlfriend.”

I said okay, and Khalid and I ended up going back to the car. Once we got into the car, we just busted out laughing. We were asking ourselves if she was lying or telling the truth, and we were debating it in the car. He couldn’t believe that I did that, and he was asking me why I did it. I said, “I don’t know, it was just good sport.”

I had finished reading The Great Gatsby and “good sport” was my favorite phrase in the book.

Anyways, I told Khalid that he could return the favor on me anytime he wanted, but he has yet to do it. He probably forgot, but I guess this blog post will remind him of it now.
Nevertheless, our experience at Wendy’s ignited a six-year long friendship that consists of walking in malls, seeing movies, philosophical conversations, Denny’s, Applebee’s, Taco Bell, working out together, debates and so much more. Wendy’s is responsible for a friendship that I deeply value in my life, despite having cold food and bad service. All I can say is Wendy’s, I Love You.

This is the end of “Wendy’s, I Love You.” Be sure to like and comment your thoughts on this short story.

On Thursday, I will be posting the short story “Is Lebron James Cute?”

Checking Out a Stripper: Part Two

Just to recap, a couple of months ago I ended up working at Sheetz on a Saturday morning from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. An hour later, a pretty woman named Tatiana came into Sheetz turning heads. I ended up ringing her items up, and I discovered that she was actually a stripper. She had finished a shift and went to a boring party with a friend. Since it wasn’t busy at Sheetz, I ended up talking and having a conversation with her. All of sudden, she got close to me and said she could give me a private lap dance at her strip club. I got uncomfortable and told her that I didn’t think that was a good idea, then she suggested giving me a lap dance at her place. Now, let’s dive on in to “Checking Out a Stripper: Part Two.”

When Tatiana mentioned going to her place, I didn’t know what to say. I looked over at my coworker that was stationed with me, but she just turned away and acted like she didn’t hear anything. I turned back to Tatiana and realized that she was chuckling for some reason. When she saw me looking at her, she quickly stopped chuckling and put on her seductive face. I found it strange, but then I realized what was going on. I chuckled and said, “You were just messing with me, right?”

She smiled and laughed, “Of course. I’m a church girl, I don’t be doing stuff like that, I’m not a freak.”

We both laughed, and she couldn’t believe how uncomfortable I got with her. I replied, “Well, I couldn’t help it. You were very convincing and looking fine, you had me feeling some type of way. You’re a really good actress.”

She thanked me for my comment, and we continued talking some more. Thankfully, it was still slow at Sheetz, so I could still talk to her. She talked to me about how she had to work late later in the day, and it bummed her out that she was going to miss church. I told her that I understood the feeling that she was going through. There were days that I had to work Sunday mornings and miss out on church too. The struggles of bills and college are real, I told her. She agreed with me. Then, she got a little quiet, and she wanted to ask me a very deep question. I told her that she could ask. Before she could ask it, a customer came up to me asking for some cigarettes. I got him the cigarettes he wanted and checked him out.

My attention went back to Tatiana. She looked at me and said, “As a Christian, do you think that it’s wrong of me to be a stripper?”

I was surprised by the question, and I looked at her and saw that she was being serious with me now. So, I asked her what she thought. She replied, “Well, I don’t know. I mean, dancing helps me pay for school and bills, and it’s fun. I don’t feel wrong about it, but I don’t know how God feels about it.”

Before I could answer, there were a couple of customers that I had to ring and check out.
After I was done with that, I went back to Tatiana and said, “I can’t judge you for being a stripper. That’s between you and God. I don’t know you like God knows you, but I do know that you’re a sweet, beautiful, confident woman that has God in your heart. I can see that in you.”

She smiled as I said those sweet things to her, then I continued, “Don’t let others, especially Christians, determine your relationship with God. I mean, it’s fine to have others help and guide you to the path to God because sometimes we do need help sometimes finding it, but you’re the one that has to walk that path.”

She smiled again and said, “You know, I wasn’t expecting a therapy talk at Sheetz, it’s usually at bars these things happen at right.”

I chuckled and said, “I have to agree with you, I wasn’t expecting to get my Dr. Phil on at work. This doesn’t usually happen.”

Tatiana laughed, looked at me and said, “Thank you for the encouragement, Isaiah, I really needed it.”

“You’re welcome, Tatiana. Keep chasing your dreams, keep being confident, keep praying and pursing God, keep being spiritual not religious and keep being you.”

She thanked me again and told me that she had to go. Her friend was waiting for her in the car. I looked at my clock and realized that it was almost 8:00. We had been talking for almost 30 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. I apologized for keeping her so long, but she assured me that it was fine and that she wanted to talk to me. She was glad that we talked for so long. I was relieved, and I thanked her for making my morning at Sheetz a little more interesting.

“No problem, and if you ever come to my strip club, just ask for me, and I got you,” Tatiana smiled and winked.

I chuckled and said, “Thanks, I appreciate it.”

Then, we said goodbye to each other, and she walked out the door. To this day, I can’t help but miss her just like Daniel Caesar missed Priscilla. I was intrigued and mesmerized by her beauty and confidence, and all I can do is hope that I see her again at Sheetz.

That is the end of “Checking Out a Stripper: Part Two.”

Thank you for following the two-part story “Checking Out a Stripper.” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be telling two short stories. On Tuesday, I will be posting an interesting experience at Wendy’s that I had with a friend. On Thursday, I will be posting the short story “Is Lebron James Cute?” on the Warfield Zone. I’m excited about these two stories and can’t wait to share them!

Checking Out a Stripper: Part One

A couple of months ago, I found myself listening to “Who Hurt You?” by Daniel Caesar, and I really enjoyed it. In my opinion, it’s such a beautiful, soulful, R&B song that has Caesar mesmerized by a woman named Priscilla. She’s a stripper that really rocked Caesar’s world, and he’s in complete awe of her. After listening to the song, I was surprised to find out that the song was actually based off of a real person that he encountered. I’ve recently been listening to the song for the past few weeks because it reminded me of my own encounter with a stripper I encountered in November of last year. I can never forget the two times that we talked and interacted with each other. We had something special that one time that we were together at Sheetz. I thought we really had something special going on. I was so mesmerized by her. It’s funny how present turns past. The way she was moving, I could tell that she loved me. I couldn’t help but touch, and I was hoping that I wasn’t doing too much. It was strange new addictions, I changed up my opinions and changed my approach. What can I say? When it rains, it pours. She just made me feel so primal. That’s what I am, I’m just a man. Just kidding, it wasn’t like that at all when I met her. It was kind of sweet, kind of wholesome, kind of exhilarating and kind of a little, just a little sexual. Let me tell you all about it.

A couple of months ago, I had to work at Sheetz on a Saturday morning. I woke up at 5:00 a.m., and I didn’t feel like getting up till 5:30 a.m. I reluctantly brushed my teeth, washed my face, got dressed and drove into work. I got there at around 5:59 a.m. and clocked in at 6:00 a.m. My shift would be from 6:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., my normal shift on the weekends. I looked around and saw that I was working with my normal coworkers, and I went to the front to man the register. I thought to myself that it was going to be a normal day.

It was around 7:00 a.m., and it was kind of slow at Sheetz. All of sudden, this pretty woman with little clothing on came into the store. She was around the same age as me, and she was looking so fine. My coworkers and I were curious about the woman in a leather jacket, mini skirt and boots coming into Sheetz on a cold morning. Some of my coworkers felt like it was unnecessary and inappropriate for her to dress the way she did, but I wasn’t judging her. Truthfully, I was mesmerized by her. The way she was moving and walking in Sheetz, she was comfortable in her own skin. Her confidence in herself was attractive to me.

Anyways, she had a couple of drinks and snacks in her hand and started walking towards me. We made eye contact, and she gave me a sweet smile. Then, she approached my counter, set everything she had on my counter, looked at me, smiled and said, “Hi.”
Before I could respond, one of my coworkers, Bria, came up and said, “Hi, can I say that I really love your outfit, where did you get it?”

I was busy scanning her stuff, but I saw the woman look at Bria. She said, “Oh thank you, these are actually my work clothes that I—

“Oh, where do you work?” Bria interrupted.

The pretty woman looked at me, and I was interested to find out the answer. She looked at Bria and responded, “I work at a church.”

Bria said, “Wait, your church let’s you wear that? That’s so awesome, what church do you go to?”

Bria was serious too, and I could not believe that Bria couldn’t see that the woman was kidding. The woman and I couldn’t help but look at each other and laugh. The woman saw that Bria was hurt, so she looked at Bria and said, “My name’s Tatiana, and I’m a stripper.”

Bria was stunned to hear this and didn’t know what to say. She was about to ask a question, but thankfully a customer came to her register. Tatiana turned her attention to me and asked how much I owed her. I told her the total, and she started searching through her purse. As she was searching, I joked about how I thought that she was a doctor based on her clothes. She laughed and said if only. Then, I awkwardly asked her how her night was stripping.

She chuckled and responded, “It was alright. It was a decent night, I ended up going to a party afterwards. It was kind of boring, and now I’m here with my friend. She’s waiting in the car for me, and we’re heading back into the city.”

Tatiana ended up telling me that she and her friend are roommate, and she goes to a school in Pittsburgh. She told me what school she went to and what she’s studying, and I ended up telling her the same thing about me.

Thankfully, it wasn’t busy or anything, so I was cool talking to her. We were laughing and joking around a lot, then she got close to me and asked me to come closer. I got close to her, and she whispered, “You know, maybe I could arrange a private lap dance for you at my strip club.”

I immediately got uncomfortable, and I told her that I didn’t know about that. Then, she giggled, caressed my face and seductively whispered, “Or maybe I could give you a private lap dance at my place if the strip club is too much for you.”

This is the end of part one of Checking Out a Stripper. Part Two will be coming out Thursday. Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on “Checking Out a Stripper: Part One.”

The Story Behind See You Soon

After posting my poem titled “See You Soon,” there were people that messaged and asked me who I was referring to in the poem. Some people felt like I was talking about someone specifically in my life, so they started throwing out names of females that I was potentially talking about. One of my friends thought that I was talking about someone that I had written about on my blog. I was surprised by these interpretations, and I gave most of them “I don’t know” answers and told them that I’ll possibly talk about it on Thursday. Today is Thursday, and I’m going to talk about the story behind the poem.

I was inspired to write this poem based off a conversation I had with a friend a week ago. We were hanging out, and he was talking about how he needed a girlfriend. He was talking about a potential girl that he was interested in and how she was “the one.” Now, I didn’t take it seriously because he has over ten girls in his mind that are “the one” to him. Pretty much, every new and pretty girl that he meets and has a connection with is “the one.” Anyways, he’s talking about this new girl to me for about an hour, and he asks me how he should approach her. I tell him what he should do, and he thanks me for the advice I gave him. Then, he asked me how my love life is going.

I said, “I don’t know, it’s going, I guess. I’m kind of talking to a few girls, but nothing serious.”

My friend proceeded with saying, “Really, bro? Isaiah, when are you gonna start caring and trying to get with someone? I worry about you man. You need a girl. Tellin you dawg, you gon be a 40-year-old virgin.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at his comment, and I was telling him that it wasn’t going to happen. I wouldn’t allow it. We laughed and cracked jokes with one another and started talking about other things.

After we were done hanging out, I got in my car and headed home. As I was heading home, I was thinking about the comments my friend made about me caring. I was thinking to myself, with the exception of my momma, grandmas and aunties, that I don’t need no woman. I’m a strong, black, independent man. I’m loving the single life and everything about it. I’m saving money, I got time for writing and photography and I’m living my best life. Life’s good. I don’t need some girl to ruin that for me.

However, my tune quickly changed when I was listening to some love songs on the radio. I don’t remember what the love songs were, but they had me in my feelings. I thought to myself that maybe my friend was right about me needing to care. I do want to meet the love of my life, I do want to fall in love with that person, get married, have kids with that person and share the rest of my life with her. I want and need love.

When I got home, I started having mixed feelings because I wondered if me caring was a good idea. The reason being is because I don’t want to obsess over finding someone in my life and allowing it to dictate my happiness in life. I have a couple of friends who are obsessed with having a girlfriend, and I feel like they just decide to settle for anyone that they have the littlest connection with because they’ve allowed their obsession to control their decisions.

For instance, last summer, one of my friends got in a three maybe four-month relationship with a girl at a party. He told me that they made out at the party, and he realized that she was the one because they made out and had a little connection at a party. He was telling me this story, and he was excited about his new relationship. I was being a good friend to him by expressing my excitement for his new relationship. In reality, I thought that he was making a mistake because I didn’t think that his new relationship was going to last. She didn’t sound like “the one” to me. She wasn’t someone that I envisioned my friend having a long-term relationship with. Of course, I didn’t tell him my doubts because I didn’t want to ruin his happiness in having his first girlfriend. It was a special moment for him, and I hoped that I was wrong with my thinking. Sadly, in October, she ended up breaking up with him and being with someone else. He was heartbroken, and I tried my best to comfort and assure him that it’s not the end of the world for him. He’ll find someone else who is perfect and right for him.

Anyways, I thought about the friends in my life that obsess over having a girlfriend, and it was kind of depressing to me because their happiness is dependent on someone else rather than with themselves. That’s kind of scary to me. So, I said to myself, “There are two points on the spectrum of finding ‘the one.’ One point is carelessness, while the other point is obsession. How do you put yourself in the middle?”

I didn’t find the answer that night. Instead, I went to bed curious about my own little question.

On Monday, I actually found the answer that I was seeking in the Bible. I was reading Proverbs, one of my favorite books in the Bible, and I found myself drawn to a specific scripture.

Proverbs 23:1-3. It reads,

1. When you sit down to dine with a ruler, Consider carefully what is [set] before you;
2. For you will put a knife to your throat, If you are a man of great appetite.
3. Do not desire his delicacies, For it is deceptive food [offered to you with questionable motives]

This scripture is about controlling your appetite and not allowing yourself to be tempted with the “delicacies” that are presented to you. It’s about questioning what you put in your body and determining if the “delicacies” are just a mere distraction that someone is offering to you. Your appetite is a weakness because it shows you to be a weak and susceptible person, and the individual that presented the “delicacies” to you can capitalize on your weakness. It’s important to be cautious and show restraint by not giving in and eating everything you see presented to you.

Relating this scripture to finding “the one,” I realize that it’s okay to occasionally care and be interested in someone that I meet. I won’t develop an obsession with finding “the one” because I’ll be careful who I choose to dine with. Also, it’s just a matter of making sure that I’m cautious to what a girl’s presenting to me and determining if a girl’s intentions with me are innocent and pure. I realize that I have to care a little to find “the one”, but I don’t need to obsess.

To conclude, I do care about the love of my life and the future mother of my kids. I don’t know who that person is, but I know that I’m not going to obsess over her because our time will come. In the end, my poem titled “See You Soon” is about my future wife that I will always pray for, care about and love unconditionally.

Thank you for taking the time to read “The Story Behind ‘See You Soon.’” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this story.

Next week, I will be posting part one of a two-part story called “Checking Out a Stripper” on Tuesday. Then, I will be posting part two on Thursday.

A Love Story at Walmart: Part Four

Hey y’all, I’m coming to you with the epic conclusion of “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Four.” Just to recap, Jeremiah, Jada and I, all ended up forming a group chat, but things got a little weird and uncomfortable for me. They started flirting an excessive amount on the group chat, and it was becoming unbearable for me. I talked to Jeremiah about my issue, and he told me that he understood. Later, Jeremiah and Jada ended up making out in the backroom of Walmart and later had some “fun” after work, if you know what I mean. This would spark the beginning of their excessive PDA-filled love affair at Walmart. While I’m minding my business at work, I was surprised to meet Jeremiah’s girlfriend, who was looking for him. What would I do? What would I say? Let’s find out in “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Four.”

When I learned that I was talking to Jeremiah’s girlfriend, I couldn’t believe it. She was absolutely gorgeous and beautiful. There was a calmness and sweetness about her that was almost intoxicating and distracting. She was a goddess. I asked her to repeat the question because I just wanted to hear her sweet voice again.

She smiled and giggled, “Well, I’m Angel. And I was looking for Jeremiah, I’m his girlfriend.”

“Oh okay, I think he’s in the backroom, I can go get him for you if you want,” I replied.

“Yeah that would be great, I tried texting and calling him to come out here but he’s not answering his phone. Are you not allowed to have your phone with you when you’re working?” she asked.

We were allowed to have our phones with us, but I knew that he had to be distracted with Jada. I simply tell Angel that we are allowed to have our phones with us, but he’s probably distracted or busy with something in the backroom. I couldn’t lie to Angel, even if I wanted to.

She smiled and sweetly said, “Oh okay, I’ll just be in the cereal aisle. Just send him my way.”

I smiled back at her and told her that I would. As I’m walking to the backroom and just a few aisles away from Angel, I see Jada and Jeremiah at the end of the drink aisle just laughing, poking and touching each other. I immediately rush to them and pull Jeremiah to the side.

I whispered, “Your girlfriend is here at the cereal aisle.”

He started swearing, glanced at Jada and asked me to keep her distracted. I told him I would, and he started walking towards the cereal aisle. Jeremiah slipped past Jada as she was distracted helping a customer find a specific drink in the drink aisle. After she was done helping the customer, she turned towards me and asked where Jeremiah went. I replied that he just had to do something in the cereal aisle. She was about to head over there, but I stopped her by asking her for some advice on this girl I liked at the time. Jada was excited and thrilled to give me all her advice, but it was unbearable for me. Her suggestions and advice were completely off the wall, and I was just annoyed with her advice. Thankfully, Jeremiah came back, looked over at me and whispered thank you. Jada came over to Jeremiah, but he kind of moved away from her. She asked him what was wrong with him, but he told her that nothing was wrong.

She was concerned and said, “Okay, well lunch is in a couple minutes. Do you want to drive with me and get some Chick-Fil-A? I’m paying.”

She smiled and chuckled, but Jeremiah wasn’t laughing. Instead, he replied, “You know, I don’t feel like leaving. Do you mind if I have lunch with Isaiah?”

Jada was defeated and replied, “Oh okay, yeah that’s fine.”

So, Jada drove off by herself to Chick-Fil-A, and I was having lunch with Jeremiah. He was looking depressed and in deep thought. I asked him what was wrong, and he took deep breathe and said that he had to break things off with Jada.

I asked him how come, and he replied, “It’s complicated.”

We both laughed, but he continued, “Yeah man, I’m done with things being complicated with my girl. I’m ready to be serious with her.”

“Okay, that’s what’s up and what about Jada? You know that she’s gonna go off on you,” I said.

We both chuckled, and he agreed with me. He replied, “I mean, she knew that I had a girlfriend, so she can’t be that mad, right?”

I just shrugged my shoulders and told him to rip the bandage off as soon as possible. Jeremiah was about to text her, but I quickly stopped him. I said, “You should do this in person because it will make her feel a little special.”
He agreed with me, and we just talked and ate lunch.

Towards the end of the work day, Jeremiah asked Jada if he could talk to her. He came over to me and said that he was about to break things off with Jada. I wished him luck, and he took Jada to a more private, secluded area. I was thinking about staying and possibly finding a way to eavesdrop in the conversation, but I decided to just go home. I’ve already witnessed plenty of theatrics at work.

The next day, it was just Jeremiah and I working together. As we were working, he told me that he tried to break up with Jada. I asked him what he meant by tried and he said that she just wouldn’t accept it.

“Yeah man, she was talking about how she loves me and that were meant to be together. She’s in denial man,” he told me.

I wasn’t surprised. I could tell that she had caught feelings for Jeremiah. But it was over between them.

A few weeks had passed, and Jeremiah was avoiding Jada as much as possible. She was chasing after him and trying to get close to him. Whenever they worked together, he got as far away from her as much as possible. Luckily, Jeremiah and I both went to the same college, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), and Jeremiah wouldn’t have to deal with Jada. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Jada from trying to talk to Jeremiah. When we were hanging out at IUP, Jeremiah would constantly get messages from her. He had enough, and he ended up blocking her and ending their love story at Walmart.

This marks the end of “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Four.”

Thank you for following the four-part series “A Love Story at Walmart.” Be sure to like, comment and share your thoughts on this love story.

Next week, I will be posting a poem on Tuesday. Also, on Thursday, I will either post another poem or talk about the poem I posted on Tuesday. Let me know what you all prefer on Thursday, otherwise I’ll just make the decision.

A Love Story at Walmart: Part Three

Hey y’all, I’m coming to you with part 3 of “A Love Story at Walmart.” Just to recap, Jeremiah, Jada and I finally work together on Friday and things are going well. Suddenly, while we’re having lunch, she asks us again why we don’t want to go to Florida with her. I used my momma as an excuse by giving an Oscar-worthy performance of why I can’t be too far away from her. There was a lot of laughter from Jeremiah, and Jada didn’t believe me. Jeremiah used his girlfriend as an excuse, but he was still able to seduce Jada into liking him right in front of me! It shocked me, and it was the beginning of their love story. Now let’s dive on in to “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Three.”

After Jeremiah ended up seducing Jada by using his girlfriend and his catchphrase “it’s complicated”, things got weird. On that same day, Jada suggested that we give her our numbers to start a group chat. Jeremiah was quick to give her his number, and I reluctantly gave her my number. I was hesitant because I didn’t know what to expect from Jada in text messages. Nevertheless, I gave her my number. When Jada started the group chat, it was nice, sweet and wholesome. We would just tell wholesome jokes, and we were all just friends. Then, a few days later, it got a little freaky. Jeremiah started flirting with her in the group chat, and she started flirting back. It was a back and forth thing, and I’m feeling awkward about the whole thing because I’m in the middle of it. I was thinking to myself, “Why do y’all have me in the middle of y’all’s little love game?” I was straight up annoyed with their flirting on the group chat, like get a room or something. Why couldn’t they just talk or text privately? I was asking myself. I was trying to have a clean mind, but their dirty talking was ruining my mind. After a few days of non-stop flirting from Jada and Jeremiah, I had enough and knew that I had to talk to Jeremiah.

When it’s just me and Jeremiah having lunch at Walmart, I decide to bring it up with him.

I said, “Bro, so what’s up with you and Jada?”

Jeremiah chuckled and responded, “I don’t know man, it’s complicated.”

I couldn’t help but chuckle with him. Then I laughed and said, “Well, look man, whatever’s going on with you two, can y’all just please stop flirting so much in the group chat, it’s getting annoying.”

“What you mean?” he asked.

“I mean, y’all are doing too much. Like yesterday, Jada said some off the wall comment, and you were like ‘oh you a bad girl, I might have to give you a spanking’ and then she said, ‘oh my gosh haha, well I do like getting spanked sometimes. It’s kind of fun and turns me on.’ Then y’all started sending each other emojis, while I’m still there. Like do y’all forget that it’s a group message, and I’m the other person in the group chat,” I smiled and replied.

We both ended up laughing, Jeremiah said, “I feel you, man. I’ll start texting her in private. But look man, when things start heating up with me and her, we’re gonna be doing a lot of things in private, if you know what I mean.”

I couldn’t help but shake my head and laugh at his ridiculousness. After our conversation, there was barely any flirting in the group chat. It was somewhat wholesome and kind of pure again.

A few days had passed, and Jeremiah and I were stocking and working in the backroom. I remember that he was looking at one spot in the corner behind a lot of products, and he starts chuckling. I ask him what’s so funny, and he replies that he’ll tell me during lunch. When lunch time arrives, we’re sitting in McDonald’s and he’s all smiles and giggles. So, I asked him what happened.

He said, “Yesterday, Jada and I were making out for ten minutes in the backroom.”
I was shocked and stunned. We start laughing, and I tell him that I don’t believe it.

He replied, “It’s true, man. We were joking around and laughing, and I was poking and touching her while we were stocking, then she started doing the same thing. One thing led to another, and we ended up in a corner just making out. I wanted to lay it down on her man, but she didn’t want to do it there. After work, we got in her car and had some fun, man!”

I couldn’t help but shake my head and smile at Jeremiah’s excitement telling the story, and I believed him. I asked him if it was one-time thing with Jada, and he replied, “I don’t know man, it’s complicated.”
We’re both laughing, and I’m interested to see what goes down between Jeremiah and Jada.

The next day, we’re all working together again, Jada, Jeremiah and me, and there’s just nothing but PDA between the two of them. When we’re working, they’re just laughing and touching each other a lot. My supervisor Sunny was annoyed with it and told them to stop or she’ll have to separate them. They never stopped, they were just sneaking it in while Sunny wasn’t looking.

When we were having lunch, it was so weird and uncomfortable for me. They were sitting close to each other just giggling and touching each other. Jeremiah was whispering a lot in her ear. He was touching and caressing her thighs so much that he had me almost fantasizing about Jada’s thighs. I’m just feeling so dirty and wrong being in their company, the PDA was so strong with them. Then, he starts laughing and smacking her thigh, and she’s loving it. It was so bad that they had me questioning why I was still a virgin. After work, I had to run home, get my holy water, read the Bible and pray to God because they were doing so much. They were just so open with it, their lust for each other was so strong. To this day, I have never seen so much PDA in my life. I can vividly see it, and it’s almost engrained in my mind. I was stunned and couldn’t believe what I had witnessed.

After that day, I could never have lunch with them again. It was almost sinful to have lunch with them knowing that they were going to be very affectionate, touchy and intimate with one another. From a distance, I saw their “love story” blossom. They started holding hands at work, and they started taking drives during lunch to “have more fun.” There was still a lot of PDA displayed between the two of them, but I thankfully kept my distance. There were definitely times that we hung out and had lunch together, but for the most part they were doing their own thing at work. I was fine with it because I viewed them as a couple, and I was cool giving them their space. When I had lunches with Jeremiah, he would always talk about her body and how he loved it. When I was working with Jada, she would always talk about how they were in lust, I mean love, according to Jada. She loved Jeremiah, and Jeremiah loved her body.

At the beginning of August, it was a Friday, and we were all working together again. Then, I was out in the sales floor at Walmart, and I’m approached by this beautiful, black girl. She’s about the same age as me, and I was stunned by her beauty. She was an absolute angel. I asked her if I could help her with anything.
She gave me a sweet smile and replied, “Yeah, I’m looking for Jeremiah. I’m his girlfriend.”

That is the end of part three of “A Love Story at Walmart.” I will be posting “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Four” on Thursday. Be sure to like, subscribe, share and comment your thoughts on part three of “A Love Story at Walmart.”

A Love Story at Walmart: Part Two

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m coming to you with part two of “A Love Story at Walmart.” Just to recap, a new girl named Jada started working at Walmart. She wanted me to go to Florida with her for some “fun,” but I declined. Then, my co-worker Jeremiah told me that she asked him the same thing, but it was weird to him. However, he still found himself lusting after her even though he had a girlfriend. Now, it’s time to get into part two.

A couple of days had passed since I had shaken my head at Jeremiah for feenin after Jada, and I was ready to see if Jeremiah was gonna act on his urges. We would all be working together on Friday for the first time, and I didn’t know what to expect. I was kind of excited to see how things would go down between them. A good will they or won’t they. I wasn’t sure though, but I was ready to get my popcorn out and enjoy the show. Honestly, work can be extremely boring, and it’s nice to have a little entertainment every once in a while. I enjoyed Scandal, so why not watch it in real life? In truth, I couldn’t wait till Friday came along.

When Friday came, it was great and chill the first few hours. We all worked, joked around and had a lot of fun stocking things. Our supervisor was mad that we were having fun and getting our work done. You certainly can’t do both, right? It’s absurd to think such things, our supervisor thought. Anyways, lunch time came around. Jada, Jeremiah and I decided to have lunch together.

We all ended up going to McDonald’s and sharing a booth. Jeremiah and I sat on one side, while Jada sat on the other side. We were all just eating, talking and joking around, when Jada all of sudden asked us both why we didn’t want to go to Florida with her.

She said, “Guys, we could have so much fun together. It would be great and just so amazing like come on guys. I’ll pay for everything.”

I was so confused. Why was she so adamant about us going to Florida with her? What’s in Florida? What kind of freaky stuff was she trying to get into? If you have any ideas, comment what you think.

Anyways, as I was thinking these things, Jeremiah was just laughing so hard. Jada and I looked at him with confusion. His laughter ended up being contagious, so me and Jada ended up laughing with him. After a few minutes of contagious laughter, Jada pleaded that she was serious that she wanted to take us to Florida and have a good time. I’m low-key thinking to myself that Jada is some kind of predator or something cause this Florida thing was really on her mind. Then, she asked me directly why I couldn’t go to Florida, and to be nice and think of something full proof I said that my momma wouldn’t let me.

Jada asked, “Aren’t you 18 though? And why wouldn’t she let you?”

Jeremiah was snickering and laughing as I was getting asked these questions.

I couldn’t help but chuckle at Jeremiah’s snickering, but I quickly responded, “Yes, I am 18 years old, but I’m a momma’s boy. I can’t be far away from my mom too long. I love her! She’s the only woman in my life that has a special place in my heart. And if you can’t understand that my love for my mom runs deep, then we can’t be friends.”

I was so dramatic and over the top with that statement, I really gave an Oscar-winning performance. Nevertheless, I could tell that Jada didn’t believe me, and I could see Jeremiah just laughing at me.

Then, Jada said, “Now what’s your lame excuse, Jeremiah?”

Jeremiah was still laughing and crying next to me, and I honestly didn’t understand it. Then, the unexpected happen.

Jeremiah replied, “My girl wouldn’t let me go.”

I was shocked. He actually told another girl that he got a girlfriend, and my mouth was wide open. It was so unexpected. It was a major plot twist, and I didn’t know what was going to happen next.

I looked at Jada, and she seemed a little confused and kind of heartbroken. Then, she said, “Oh, I didn’t you know you had a girlfriend.”

Jeremiah leaned over to her and whispered, “Well, it’s complicated.”

“What do you mean it’s complicated,” she asked.

He leaned in a little closer to her, gave her this weird look and said, “Like I said, it’s complicated.”

After he said that, Jeremiah touched her arm and smiled at Jada. Jada gave a little smile to Jeremiah, started blushing and said, “Oh.”

I couldn’t believe what I had witnessed. Jeremiah seduced her with a phrase that he always told me, and I was stunned that he used it to his advantage. How did he make “it’s complicated” so sexy to Jada? To this day I want to know. It was just so unbelievable to me. I honestly have to give Jeremiah credit. I mean, he didn’t lie to Jada about having a girl, and she still wanted him.

At that moment, I knew that Jeremiah had her, and it would be the beginning of their “love” story.

That’s the end of “A Love Story at Walmart: Part Two.” This will be a four-part story. I will be sharing part three Tuesday Feb. 19. Thank you for reading part two, be sure to like, subscribe and comment your thoughts on this love story.

A Love Story at Walmart: Part One

Well, Valentine’s Day is just a couple of days away. While lovers and couples will be enjoying their company, some of us will have no one and simply observe the unavoidable lovers that will cross our paths on Valentine’s Day. It will be a sad, pathetic time for single people. Just kidding, my single people. We’re going to be balling, having some me-time, watching Netflix and chilling alone, but most importantly we’re going to be saving money! We don’t have to waste our money on overrated things like flowers that will die, expensive chocolate that doesn’t even taste good or that last-minute dinner reservation to a fancy restaurant that will be packed. I mean, who wants to eat in a packed restaurant? You’re hearing everyone around you, and you can barely hold a conversation with the person/people you’re with. When you think about it, it’s honestly a good time to be single. While I’m thankful for my singleness and hopeful that I’ll find the one soon in my life, I’m reminded of a “love” story that I witnessed at Walmart that honestly made me praise God that I was single.

A couple of years ago, I was working at Walmart in the summer time. Around July, Walmart had hired this new girl named Jada. She ended up working the same shift as me, which was the 5am-3pm shift. My supervisor ended up partnering her up with me in the backroom where we have everything stocked. I’m not gonna lie, I was immediately attracted to her the first time I met her. Jada was a couple of years older than me, and she really caught my eye. Then, things got a little weird the first few minutes that we worked and talked. She asked me if I was single, and I responded that I was. Then, she asked me if I wanted to go to Florida with her. I was taken by surprise, but I quickly told her that I was good. However, she kept asking and insisting that we could have a lot of fun in Florida, and I just kept telling her “no.” Eventually, she dropped it, and we ended up being cool and friends that day.

The next day, my co-worker/friend Jeremiah came into work that day. Jeremiah was a pretty cool and chill dude. We’d always have lunch together, and we would always joke around and have fun at work. At one point, we found out that we went to the same school at the time, Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). Anyways, we’re eating lunch at McDonald’s that day, and he asks me if anything interesting happened at work yesterday. I tell him that there was a new girl that I worked with yesterday. He asked if she was cute, and I responded that I thought she was cute but a little weird. I told him about the Florida thing, and he was laughing and talking about how I wasn’t ready for a freak. I chuckled and told him to be quiet. I took a look at Jeremiah and can tell that he’s already interested in her.

It should be important to note that at the time Jeremiah was in a “complicated” relationship. At the time, he was in a two-year relationship with his girlfriend, but he always insisted that it was “complicated.” He loved her, he was committed to her, he wanted to marry her and have kids with her, but it was “complicated.” He opened up to me and talked about how he was talking and being with other girls, and I never passed any judgement on him. The reason being was because he didn’t judge me for being a virgin. He was supportive and respectful of my decision to be a virgin till marriage. So, I gave him the same courtesy and did not judge him for his decisions. Instead, I was just respectful, understanding and supportive when he talked about other girls.

Anyways, Jeremiah could not wait to meet Jada.

Two days later, I worked with Jeremiah, and he told me that he met Jada. I asked him what he thought about her, and he said that I was right about her.

“Yeah man, she was trying to get me to go to Florida with her, too!” he said.

We were laughing about the whole thing at lunch, but Jeremiah quickly pointed out that he couldn’t deny that she had a “rocking body.” He started looking all weird and smiling, and I knew that he was contemplating and lusting after Jada. All I could do was shake my head.

This is the end of “A Love Story at Walmart: Part One.” This will be a four-part story. I will be sharing part two tomorrow February 14 on Valentine’s Day. Thank you for reading part one, be sure to like, subscribe and comment your thoughts on this love story.

The Story Behind You Will Never Know

The poem that I recently posted titled “You Will Never Know” is about a girl in high school that I liked. We grew close to one another, and we were on the path of being in a serious relationship. However, I ruined everything on purpose. I distanced myself from her and gave her the cold shoulder. At the time, I thought that I was doing the right thing, but I later realized now that I was wrong. I was wrong because I hurt this girl in a way that could’ve been easily avoided. The guilt and regret I felt weighed heavy on my heart, and I just hated that she was the one girl that I hurt in my life. She will sadly never know how deeply sorry that I am.

In the poem and reality, I believed that I wasn’t good enough for her and that she deserved better than me. I was going through depression and other personal issues, and I didn’t want to involve her in that part of my life. Also, I didn’t want her to see that part of my life. I thought that I would bring her more trouble than good. She seemed so innocent and sweet that I didn’t want to be the reason that she changed. She had an optimistic view of the world that I didn’t want to change for her. I assumed that she wouldn’t be able to handle who I was at the time, and I didn’t want her image of me to be different.

My friends told me that my intentions were in the right place, but I just went about it the wrong way. I should’ve been honest with her and hoped that she would understand my fears and hesitation to be with her. One of my friends said that I shouldn’t beat myself over it too much because I was young and didn’t know any better. I quickly said that I should’ve known better. Even though I was a boy, my parents held me to a high standard and always taught me to treat girls and women with respect, love and care. Although I’ve done that for most of the girls and women in my life, I’m ashamed that I couldn’t do it for that one girl in high school. I’m ashamed that I didn’t respect her enough to just be honest and tell her the truth about myself.

In the end, I have grown and moved on with my life. I can’t dwell in the past and continue to persecute myself for something that I did or didn’t do for a girl in high school. I strive for honesty and keep my faith strong in God. All I can do is continue to be the person that God has made me today and keep moving forward.

My Last Days with My Grandpa

Today, I was thinking about my Grandpa Jerry Warfield, particularly the last few days I spent with him before he died.

I live in Pittsburgh, and my grandpa lived in Lorain, Ohio. I could only spend the weekend with him because I had school. I got to my grandpa’s house Friday night. It was a little late, so we just watched a movie, talked a little and went to bed.

On Saturday, we did a lot of talking and also went to the Harrison Cultural Community Center, a center that was started by my late Grandma Deloris. That’s another story. After we were at the Harrison Center, my grandpa and I went back to his house. Then, we went to his music room, and we listened and played some music together.

I can never forget his music room. It was small and messy with music papers all over the place. I always got on him for not cleaning up, but he always said, “Isaiah, I don’t have time to clean. I only got time for music.” I always got annoyed with that answer, but now I just can’t help but laugh about it. In his music room, we listened to jazz. We listened to Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Benny Goodman, Oscar Peterson and so many other jazz musicians. It was great. My grandpa had a deep love for jazz, and it made me have a love for jazz, too. I listened to jazz almost every single day because of my grandpa, but then stopped once he was gone. We also played some music together in the music room. He would play the saxophone, and I would play the drums and guitar. I knew how to play the drums, but I was still learning how to play the guitar. My grandpa didn’t mind though. He loved that I was a musician just like him. However, he really wanted me to learn how to play the saxophone. He said to me, “Maybe in the summer I can teach you how to play the saxophone, and you can teach me how to play the drums. What do you think of that?” I happily agreed to it. It was a deal between us. However, we can never honor that deal.

Later on, we ate some food, talked and discussed God and the Bible. My grandpa was a true man of God. For me, his spirituality was always pure and true to me. He helped me keep my faith strong with and without him. I always thank God for that. My grandpa was talking about going to church Sunday, and I wanted to go with him. My grandpa was happy to hear this. He was filled with pure joy. My grandpa would always go to church alone, so he was very excited to have someone accompany him to church. It’s amazing how something so simple can have a major impact on someone. I never knew though that it would be my last day with my grandpa.

It was Sunday, and my grandpa and I went to church together. I remember how excited my grandpa was with me wanting to go to church with him. He kept talking about his church, and how I was really going to love it. When we arrived, he introduced me to a lot of his church members with a lot of pride and happiness. It made me happy to see him happy. We both sat down in the front, but then he got up to the front with a bunch of other people. Then, service started, and my grandpa and other people started singing together. I was in the front row, and I could hear my grandpa sing. I can’t lie, his singing was kind of awful. He was barely in tune, and he was a little off with his timing. However, I couldn’t help but smile at him for singing to God with all his heart. His singing was genuine, and I couldn’t help but admire his singing.

After the service, my grandpa talked with some people, and I ended up talking to this cute girl with glasses. I thought she was the same age as me, but my grandpa later told me that she was 16 years old. My grandpa was ready to play matchmaker, but I told him to forget it. He kept pestering me about the girl, and I told him that she was too young. He said, “You’re only two years older than her, Isaiah. But if it really bothers you, you just need to wait two years for her, then you two will be good to go.” My grandpa and I laughed at his comment. To this day, I wonder about the girl and wonder if I’ll ever see her again.

We were back at his house, and we spent some more time in his music room. Then, we just talked and ate some more food. My mom arrived at my grandpa’s house to pick me up. I hugged my grandpa and told him that “I loved him.” He said the same thing and also said, “I’ll see you next time.” I left with my mom and went back to Pittsburgh.

A few months later, my grandpa was diagnosed with dementia. He was never the same after that. I couldn’t talk to him like I used to, and it was really hard to be around him. He was different, lost, confused and in pain. Dementia had my grandpa in 2016. My grandpa died last year in August.

Although I saw my grandpa when he had dementia, I knew deep down inside that it wasn’t him. Dementia had already taken my grandpa away, and I was only left with fragments of him. Truthfully, I had lost my grandpa before he died. I already had my last moments and days with him, and I can never get them back. He’s gone, but he’s not forgotten.

I love you, grandpa. I hope our last days together were as meaningful and special to you as they were for me.


A few days ago, on Monday, I had gone through a series of awkward events.

It was Monday, and I woke up at 10:00 a.m. I made myself some cereal, and I got to watch an episode of the greatest show ever, “The Twilight Zone.” I was happy and content.
Then, I looked in my backpack and realized that my day was ruined. I forgot that I had a massive 100-point project due today. Why does school have to ruin everything? It’s not fair! Yeah, my professor gave us a week for a project, and it’s a project that will take a few hours. But, it’s not fair! I can’t help that I’m a procrastinator every now and then, or most of the time. I can’t help it. Awkward.

Anyways, my project wasn’t hard. All I had to do was draw a robot on Adobe Illustrator. I had drawn the design of the robot on paper in 30 minutes, and all I had to do was draw it on a computer. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right? Wrong! For some reason, my computer was acting up, and I couldn’t work on my project. Awkward.

I don’t panic though because I thrive under pressure. I realized that I have a photography class at 2:15 that’s in a computer lab, and I could just work on it there. I just have to be there early. I made it to my class at around 1:20, and the room was completely empty. I walked in, got on a computer and started working on my project. While I’m working on my robot, a professor walked past the room and saw me. However, she continued walking. A few seconds later, she came back and looked at me for a very long time. I avoided her look that was just piercing my soul. Why was she staring at me? What did I do? What, can’t a black man be alone in a computer lab? I just continued being focus on my screen like a good student, until she went away. Awkward.

It’s around 1:45, and I was making good progress. It wasn’t until my friends Rose and Felicia came into class. They started pestering me with questions about the photos that were due in our photography class that day. Normally, I don’t mind helping them because I help my friends in any way I can. However, I had my own project to deal with and didn’t have time to be that friend that always helps. Anyways, for photography class, we had to submit two pictures that had patterns. I’ll share my pictures this weekend. Back to the story, I had my pictures ready. I was prepared. Rose and Felicia should’ve been prepared. Why they got to be procrastinators in college? You can’t be waiting till the last minute to do things. You don’t see me doing that at all. I am always prepared. Wait. Awkward.

Eventually, I end up helping Rose and Felicia out. I’m barely done with my robot, but I can’t help but be the friend that helps. I help them out as best as I can, but they were doomed. They were about to get bad grades. There was nothing that I could do. They needed a miracle. I helped Felicia first, and then Rose. After I’m done helping Rose out, she wants to tell and show me her nice, beautiful necklace that her boyfriend gave her in Philadelphia. She took a trip to Philadelphia and had a great time with her boyfriend. She talked about what they did in Philadelphia and how romantic it was, but I don’t care. I was trying to get my robot project done. I helped Rose, the least she could do is let me help myself. Nevertheless, I listened to her because I’m a good friend. It turned out that they had a nice time together. I’m glad I got to know that. Then, she wanted to show me pictures of her and him together. I was thinking to myself, “I am never getting this robot done.” I went to Rose’s computer, Rose pulled up pictures on her computer with Felicia next to her. Well, she accidently opened the wrong file and showed me some “interesting” pictures of herself. She wasn’t wearing a lot of clothing, and she was in some “interesting” positions. Awkward.

I can’t lie, it took me a minute to look away. It was hard…to look away. Rose has a very “interesting” body that I can’t help but admire now. She quickly closed the “interesting” pictures up, and I quickly went back to my seat and robot. I just couldn’t believe that I saw “interesting” pictures of my friend. I shouldn’t have seen that side of her. How could I not look away? I don’t know anymore. I can never unsee her being “interesting.” Awkward.

I tried to focus on my robot and forget about Rose’s “interesting” pictures, and I did for a little. However, Felicia didn’t let it go. She asked Rose why she took those pictures, and Rose replied that she was modeling. Felicia asked if they were for agencies, but I guessed that they were for Instagram. Rose said they were. Felicia asked me if I found those photos of Rose “interesting”, and I admittedly said yes. She was shocked to hear this, but I didn’t know why. Also, Felicia was looking at me funny and wanted to ask me something. She didn’t for some reason. Then, I hear her whisper to Rose, “I didn’t know.” I put two and two together and realized the question that she wanted to ask me. I asked her, “Did you think that I was gay?” She admittedly said yes. Awkward.

Immediately, I wanted to know why Felicia thought that I was gay. She explained that when she introduced herself in class and said she had two moms, she saw that I was really excited about that. Also, there was this one time where she thought that I said “yasss” one time about something. Then, I explained myself. First of all, I was only excited because I have friends with two moms, and it was nice to meet another person with two moms. Second of all, I said “yess” not “yass” that one time. Bye, Felicia. She tried to apologize, but the damage was already done. I felt some type of way. Awkward.

My photography class got started at 2:15, and we all had to submit our two pictures to our professor, Mrs. Cowell. Mrs. Cowell can sometimes come off as mean, but she knows photography. Anyways, Felicia, Rose and I submitted our pictures to Mrs. Cowell. As I was working on my robot, my friend Raul came into class. We both created a photo together of patterns and decided to submit them both. Mrs. Cowell showed everyone’s pictures on a projector and started to critique them in front of everyone. Mrs. Cowell said that she hated Felicia’s, Rose’s and other people’s pictures. She was very disappointed in them. At least she was honest. However, she liked Raul’s picture that me and him created together. She admired how natural and mysterious it was. Then, she got to my pictures. She liked my one picture of my pattern of hats, but she didn’t like my picture of what me and Raul created. She said that she didn’t like how staged it was. Raul’s picture was staged, too! We practically had the same picture, but his was better? Raul got an “A” on both of his pictures, but I got an “A” on one picture but a “D” on my picture that we worked on together. Raul saw my grade and laughed at me. I was furious. We had the same picture, but he gets all the praise and the good grade! That’s not fair! I can never create a picture with him again. I hate Raul now. Awkward.

I couldn’t stand Mrs. Cowell after that. I ended up getting an 80% on my pattern project, while the whole class got an average of 55% on the pattern project. Raul and I were the only ones that got good grades on the pattern project. Awkward.

While Mrs. Cowell was teaching in photography class, I was working on my robot. Or at least trying to. My friends Felicia and Rose kept looking at my robot and kept saying, “Kitty cat, kitty cat, kitty cat.” I kept telling them that it wasn’t a kitty cat at all. It was fearsome robot that happened to cat-like features. They were annoying me so much with their “kitty cat, kitty cat, kitty cat” chants, and it was just hard to focus. It wasn’t a kitty cat. However, the more that I worked on it, the more it looked like a kitty cat. They were right. Awkward.

I ended up finishing my robot in photography class and thought that it was a pretty robot. Later that day, I went to my graphic design feeling ready to submit my robot. However, when I got into class, I saw that all my classmates’ robots were way better than mine. They were advanced, and they were clean and crisp. While I thought that my robot was a mess. Awkward.

We eventually submitted our robots to our professor Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson is a pretty cool, funny, nice professor. I like him as my professor. Anyways, we all submitted our robots to him. I have this friend in my graphic design class named Patrick, and we joke and make fun of each other all the time. Patrick saw my robot and joked that it was terrible. He even said that I was about to get a “C” on my robot. Thanks, Patrick, for believing in me. However, the opposite happened. Mr. Jackson saw my robot and loved it. He gave me an “A”, but my friend Patrick got a “C” on his project for lack of creativity. Awkward.

That Monday was the most awkward day of my life. I never want a day like that ever again. There were just so many twists and turns that day that my body is contorted now. Great joke, right? Awkward.

I hope that Felicia, Rose, Raul, Patrick, Mr. Jackson, Mrs. Cowell never see this blog post. You know why, right? Because that would be so…what’s the word I’m looking for. It’s on the tip of my tongue. I know it, but I just can’t say it. What’s the word I’m looking for. Do you know? Please let me know if you know the word that I’m thinking about. It’s going to bother me all day that I couldn’t figure out the word I was thinking about. Awkward.

Thank you for reading this post on “The Warfield Zone” and hoped you enjoyed it. If you didn’t, then that would be…awkward.

The Pact, the Contract, the Agreement

A few weeks ago, I was at Denny’s with one of my best friends. He had just got home from college, and he knew that we had to either go to Denny’s or Applebee’s. It’s tradition for us to either go to Denny’s or Applebee’s and have these intellectual, philosophical arguments with each other. We both love to argue and go at it with each other, and it’s fun and exciting for me to always be right. Truthfully, I’m never wrong. For instance, Pluto is a planet. Here’s why. If you can say once a cheater always a cheater, then I can say once a planet always a planet. Boom, I’m right. Deal with it. End of discussion.
Going back to the story, my friend and I were at Denny’s waiting for our food. While we’re waiting for our food, I bring up the tv show “The Carmichael Show” and a specific episode that I watched. “The Carmichael Show” was an NBC sitcom centered around Jerrod Carmichael, his girlfriend and his family. The show dives into different social and political issues through the perspective of Jerrod Carmichael, his girlfriend and his family.

Anyways, the episode I watched dealt with suicide and suicide assistance. Jerrod Carmichael’s grandmother had decided that she wanted to kill herself. The reason is because she had Alzheimer’s disease, and she was tired of not remembering things. There was disagreement between Jerrod and his family to help his grandma commit suicide, but in the end they ended up helping her kill herself. After I was done explaining the episode to my friend, I posed the question, “Is it morally or ethically right to help someone commit suicide?” And we were off.

We were going back and forth with our arguments. We spent a good 15-20 minutes on the topic, and we ended up just calling it a draw. But I was definitely right, for sure. How could I ever be wrong? But we ended the discussion.

My friend and I started talking about Trump and how he’s doing as president. All of sudden, this old, white lady came to our table wanting to say something. My friend and I were both nervous and didn’t know what to expect. We thought that she was going to say something about us talking about Trump, but she was concerned about the conversation we had about suicide. We quickly assured her that we were just talking about a show, and we were just speaking hypothetically with everything. She was relieved to hear this and left us alone. When she was gone, we started laughing. We were laughing because we thought that she was going to get on us for what we were saying about Trump. We thought that she was going to rant about how great he was and how he was going to “Make America Great Again.” Thank goodness we did not have to hear any of that.
Eventually, we got our food and started eating. While we’re eating, we talk about different stuff like videogames, movies, TV shows, Bitcoin and high school. Pretty much normal conversation. Then, the topic of girls come into the discussion. My friend and I are both single, and we both want to be single. I have my reasons, and he has his reasons. I won’t share them now because that’s an entirely, long different story.

Anyways, we somehow end up making a pact, contract and agreement. We made a pact that if I go on four dates with a girl, then he would have to go on one date with a girl. But if he goes on one date before I go on four dates with a girl, then I would have to go on six dates with the same girl. The reason I have to go on four dates is because in my opinion four dates with the same girl means that you’re committed to her. I have never gone on more than four dates with the same girl for a number of reasons. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share those reasons on “The Warfield Zone.” The reason my friend has to go on one date is because he’s never been on a date. Also, if I go on my four dates and he struggles for a month to find someone to go out with, then he has to use Tinder to find a date and vice versa. We ended up making a contract with rules and clauses about who we can and can’t date. We have to date someone that we genuinely like, and we have to provide evidence like pictures, conversations, etc. Finally, we agreed with everything in the contract and ended up shaking hands to solidify our agreement.

Truthfully, I don’t know why we agreed to this, but it doesn’t matter. We made the pact, the contract and the agreement, and all we can do is honor it.

Image is Everything

I look in the mirror
And I don’t know who I see
I just know that I don’t see me
I just see everything that I’m not
It becomes clearer and clearer who I am
I am you, and I am them
But I’m not me
I’m a lie, not really alive
I’m fake like Pinocchio
And all I want is to be a real boy
But honestly, it’s an impossibility
Because I strive to be your perfect image
Instead of my own, perfect image

Why do I do this to myself?
Because I hold you to a higher standard than myself
I’m a liar because of you
And all I want to do is be true to myself
Why isn’t this possible?
It’s unbearable to live like this
On a daily basis
Living your life
Is like walking through a field of thorns
I mourn
Because better days aren’t coming my way
They’re just far away
On an endless highway
That you created
And I am defeated

I’m tired of living your life
I’m tired of striving for your goals
I’m tired of taking your roads with the most tolls
I’m tired of making your decisions in my life
I’m tired of failing your tests
I’m tired of seeking your aspirations
I’m tired of fulfilling your dreams
I’m tired of being your perfect, mirrored image

My name is Isaiah Warfield, and I wrote the above titled poem “Image is Everything.” I’m also the blogger of “The Warfield Zone.” I’m kind of nervous about this because I have never did this before. It’s kind of nerve wracking to me. Truthfully because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. Do I tell you my whole life story in my first blog post or do my own thing? Are there rules that I have to follow? If there are any rules, can someone please tell me before it’s too late. Am I asking too many questions? Probably but who cares. It’s my blog, and I can do whatever I want, right?

For weeks, I didn’t know what to write. I wanted to literally write everything. I wanted to be everything. I wanted to be funny and serious, cool and nerdy, yin and yang, and blah and bleh. That’s right, I wanted to be blah and bleh. I said what I said and said it. Anyways, I was striving for everything because it would have been perfect. It would’ve looked perfect in your eyes. It would have been up to your standards. Then, I quickly realized that I was making a mistake. You can’t be everything. You can’t do everything. Trying to be perfect for others is an impossibility. However, being yourself and putting faith in your standards is perfection. Having faith in your talents, your skills, your goals and your dreams is the true pursuit of happiness.

So, I decided that I wanted to write a poem about not trying to be someone’s perfect image. On “The Warfield Zone”, all I’m going to do is be true to myself. Pretty much believe in myself more than doubt myself. On this blog, I’ll post my poetry, my short stories, my personal experiences, my opinions and so much more because I can.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I hope you enjoyed my first blog entry and hope you’ll visit “The Warfield Zone” again.