Letting You Go

I thought that it would be impossible to let you go.

It’s a miracle that I was able to do so.

You always had me itching and wanting your attention and love.

You were medicine for me.

It’s a fact,

I can’t lie about that.

You were a drug that gave me a special kind of high,

Yet you were also a drug that was detrimental to my mind, body and soul.

You were a goddess in my eyes.

I worshipped you without hesitation.

I believed in you with determination,

When I should’ve known that you were a false idol.

I never had a chance,

I was lost in your trance.

I was hypnotized by your physical beauty.

I fantasized about you,

When I knew that I should’ve kept my distance.

But you would not allow it.

You depended on me.

You told me I was a comfort for you.

You told me I was reassurance for you.

You told me I was an angel to you.

You told me I was the sweetest and kindest to you.

You told me I was somebody that you could count on.

You told me I was so much for you,

Yet you were so little for me.

You were never going to let me go.

You intended to keep me as your prisoner,

But I longed for freedom.

It was tiring and exhausting to be with you.

I had to give you so much,

And you were content in giving me so little.

That was never going to change.

You envisioned a future with me.

You had these big plans and dreams for us,

But they were not meant to be.

Disappointments, heartache and hurt was our future.

You tried to tell me that things would get better between us.

You tried to tell me that you were going to change.

At that point,

I knew that they were just mere words.

I could finally tell.

You did not mean any of those words you spoke to me.

They were just lies to keep me under your spell.

I had a chance at love with you,

But I knew that it was not going to be real love.

It would have been an illusion with you.

I even had this delusion that you loved me in your own way.

Maybe I just needed to take a chance with you

And hope you would change in time.

Sadly, I could not trust in chance and hope.

I had to trust the evidence.

I had to let you go.

Black Queens

Thank you for everything that you have done for us black men.

Without you, we would be lost.

You guide us in the right direction.

You all help us when we need it most.

You support us when we’re struggling to stand up.

You nurture us when we are sick and wounded.

You comfort us in the blackest of nights.

You soothe us when we face our darkest nightmares.

You educate us so that we can be better.

You do so much for us, and you deserve more praise and honor.

You are beautiful beyond measure.

Your melanin is gorgeous in all shades.

How can I resist your pretty brown eyes?

Your pretty brown eyes shine bright with ebony and gold.

Your smile always welcomes love, comfort and kindness.

Your soul is pure and wholesome.

You have a beauty like no other.

 

I love you black women.

Without you, I would not be the black man that I am today.

You are responsible in how I treat and respect all women.

You have taught me so much about loving myself and the color of my skin.

You empower me and help me grow at unimaginable heights.

You have shown me love and how to properly reciprocate it.

Thank you black women for molding and shaping me.

Thank you for being more than just women.

Thank you for being black queens.

 

This poem is dedicated to black women and their beauty. In this time of hardship and struggle to find justice for not only George Floyd, but also other black lives that were lost because of police brutality and racism, it’s important for us as African Americans to know our beauty, especially black women. You are beautiful, and you help uplift us in unimaginable ways. Keep staying strong and beautiful because you are appreciated.

 

 

 

Hugs and Kisses

It’s not hard to show you love and affection.

In fact, it’s the easiest thing.

I know it’s because you’ve taught me so much about love.

It’s also because you’re a person that I can’t live without.

I can’t be without your love because it hits different.

It’s been with me since the day I was born.

It’s been with me in times that I was struggling and needing it most.

It’s a love that is unconditional.

Thank you for that love.

I don’t know who I would be without it.

It has shaped and molded me into the person that I am today.

Without it, I would be lost.

Without it, I wouldn’t know how love really felt.

 

Some people don’t know how to love properly because they were never taught how to.

Thank you for being that teacher for me.

You’ve always taught me that love is patient and kind.

You’ve always taught me that the true beauty of love comes through growth.

It’s consistent and built on the foundations of hard work and trust.

I thank God every day for you showing me that different kind of love.

I wonder how can I thank you for it though?

I don’t think I can even compare to all the time, energy and love you poured into me all my life.

However, I can try every single day for you.

I don’t mind.

In fact, I’m thankful and honored that I can.

I love you so much with all my heart.

 

I promise to strive and give you that special kind of love.

I promise that it will be an unconditional love.

I promise you a love that is patient and kind.

I promise you an affectionate love that consists of hugs and kisses.

 

This poem is dedicated to my mama for Mother’s Day Weekend. I love her so much, and I’m thankful and blessed for everything that she has done for me as a mother. She really put in the necessary time, energy and love in me that has helped shape the person that I am today. Mama, I hope you feel loved and cherished today on Mother’s Day. Thank you again for being such an amazing mother to me, and Zaiah Bear loves you berry much!

No One Like You

When I’m with other girls, I think about you.

I compare you to them, and I’m disappointed with the results.

I wonder why they can’t be like you?

Why they can’t put my mind at ease like you can?

Why they can’t hold me like you can?

Why they can’t kiss me like you can?

Why is it so hard with them, but it was easy with you?

 

I know that we didn’t fall in love, but we were close.

I remember that night in your room where love was patiently waiting for us.

I knew that if we took things further that night, love would be certain in our relationship.

You were all over me, and your kisses were different.

They wanted something more from me.

They wanted every part of my body, and they were hard to resist.

 

The taste of your lips was irresistible to me.

I couldn’t stop sucking and licking them.

They were just like candy.

So sweet and so delicious.

They knew how to treat me right.

Why can’t other lips be like your lips?

 

We almost make love a reality, but I push you away at the last minute.

You understand, but you’re hurt.

How could I not give love a chance with you?

Sadly, I was bound to the fears and rules that shaped me.

God was so proud of me, but I was disappointed in myself.

I try to tell you that you did nothing wrong, but you don’t believe me.

Instead, you want me to leave.

I do as you wish and leave you alone.

 

How could I be so foolish with you?

How could I not take things further with you?

How could I not allow myself to fall in love with you?

I know I was young, but I could’ve done better.

That night with you always haunts me because you could’ve been the first girl I ever loved.

 

I fear that you were the one that was supposed to be my everything.

I fear that you were my one chance at love.

I fear that you will always be a nightmare.

I fear that no one will ever be like you.

 

 

 

 

 

The Complications of Love

I never been in love before, what’s it like?

I’d like to think that it’s sweet and rich like chocolate.

However, I also think that it’s like a bad fruit.

You take one bite, and it’s sweet at first.

But then the more you chew and swallow, you quickly realize it’s not quite right.

It’s bitter and sour, and it doesn’t taste like that first bite.

Are you supposed to continue eating the fruit with each bite being sweet then sour?

Or do you just throw the whole fruit away and find another fruit to eat?

I don’t know, but I’d like to find out for myself.

 

There are days that I want a little taste of love.

There are other days that I’m not too concerned about it.

Should I be concerned about it?

I fear that I need to be concerned.

I fear that love is a necessity in my life.

I fear that love is the only way to find happiness.

I fear that love is the only way to find meaning and purpose.

 

Why do people act like falling in love is easy?

It’s like an impossible test that I can never pass.

I’m always overthinking my answers.

I’m always picking the wrong answers.

I’m always spending too much time on one question.

I never have time to finish.

 

Why can’t I have more time?

Why can’t I put in more time and effort in this?

Why do I choose to procrastinate when it comes to love?

Why is this test so hard for me?

I long to pass a test that so many people pass with ease.

 

I truly want to know what love is, but it’s too complicated for me.

Sometimes I just want to give up and forget about it.

But I can’t because I’m too curious about it.

It’s allure and scent is too intoxicating and attractive to me.

At the same time, I know that I’m not ready for it.

 

The thought of being in love frightens me.

I panic every time I get close to being in love with someone.

I sabotage myself and ruin any chances I have because I’m scared.

I’m scared that love will change me.

I’m scared that love will hurt me in unimaginable ways.

I’m scared that love will blind me.

I’m scared that love will be a nightmare for me.

Honestly, I’m scared of the complications of love.

 

 

 

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 Excorcist 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.